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Open mike 01/04/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 1st, 2013 - 112 comments
Categories: open mike, uncategorized - 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…

112 comments on “Open mike 01/04/2013”

  1. xtasy 1

    UK churches slam new UK welfare reforms:

    “The Methodist Church’s public policy adviser, Paul Morrison, said the British public had “come to believe things about the poorest in our society which are just straightforwardly not true.

    “The public believes that the major cause of poverty is laziness, yet the majority of people in poverty work. How can that be the case?”

    And the Reverend Jonathan Edwards, general secretary of the Baptist Union, said “The one interesting fact I find is that the majority, the rise in poverty over the last decade, has been more amongst those on low income than on those who are unemployed.””


    As these UK style reforms are also the ones that the National led government in New Zealand wants to adopt here, this is stuff to note.

    Does Paula “Benefit” (aka Bennett or “Bandit”) ever see it fit, to also look at and listen to the growing and increasingly damning criticism and opposition the reforms in the UK are creating?

    There have already been many articles written on forums like those of the ‘Black Triangle Campaign’, ‘Atos Victims Group’ and so forth. When does it sink into the “thick” skull, dear Paula, that what you are pushing through Parliament at present as the ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill’ is going to cause nothing much more than increased harm, pain, suffering, injustices and stigmatisation to beneficiaries affected. There is NOTHING in your bill that will help sick, disabled or sole parents to be put into a position to work, especially since there are not even any jobs, while fit and healthy, often with degrees, struggle to even get supermarket jobs.

    No details have been presented on the planned, to be outsourced work capacity assessments that MSD and WINZ want to enforce on sick and disabled in future, so we get a hidden agenda approach, while this abominable piece of legislation is being passed.

    Shame on you Paula Bennett, shame also on John Key and the rest of your poor hating right wing beneficiary bashers!!!


    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1

      The shift of work capacity assessments to the private sector, no doubt with bonuses or performance based contracts that encourage the disentitlement of clients, or pressure for them to look for work is insidious indeed.

      If the changes brought in the UK are to be mirrored here disabled will be expected to look for work based “theoretical” jobs – ie jobs that don’t actually exsist, but if they did would be possible for the disabled person to do. No discussion of how disadvantaged disabled persons are when they look for work even when no discrimination takes place.

      Disabled have to think about what they can do, sure. But the reality is the employment market simply doesn’t accommodate disabilities, and some disabilities are harder to accommodate than others.

      We desperately need more to help disabled persons into income streams as opposed to “jobs” per se.

      The patronising focus on getting disabled persons to look at what they can do is getting old even before it has really begun. (Work and Income started with posters in their offices picturing a disabled person saying, “it’s about what I CAN do!”, a couple of years ago)

    • johnm 1.2

      hi Xtasy
      “Poorest set for ‘perfect storm’ on benefit cuts: the low-paid, disabled and jobless will be hit hardest ”

      “Bedroom tax is worthy of Stalin, says government’s poverty tsar
      Frank Field condemns change to housing benefit as ‘flawed’ and says scheme will eventually prove to be more expensive”

      “Push people off benefits and get an Easter egg”
      “Job centre workers are facing disciplinary measures if they don’t sanction enough benefits claimants.
      Sanctions mean those out of work can lose Jobseeker’s Allowance for four weeks and housing benefit for two for an “insufficient job search”.
      “The official line is that there are no targets for sanctions,” said Jack, a job centre worker in Birmingham.
      “But managers try to find ways around that.
      “We found out that some managers were offering incentives, in the form of Easter eggs, for the highest number of claimants sanctioned for refusing employment.

      “That means people losing their benefits for three months. ”


    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      When does it sink into the “thick” skull, dear Paula, that what you are pushing through Parliament at present as the ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill’ is going to cause nothing much more than increased harm, pain, suffering, injustices and stigmatisation to beneficiaries affected.

      That’s what they’re supposed to do. These law changes are designed to force people into work so that a few people can get richer. The people putting them in place have absolutely no concern for the people that they will be harming.

      We really are seeing the return of slavery just as bb called for yesterday – it’s just that National have, so far, managed not to call it that or have called that. It’s up to us to start calling it for what it is.

      • karol 1.3.1

        Actually, this NZ Herald article shows they slavery never went away, and that, today slaves are valued less than they were 4000 years ago. During ancient times the value of slaves kept rising, but today they have been increasingly devalued:

        Extrapolating this exponential plot forward to the present one might expect that if, God forbid, we still had legal slavery, the individual value of slaves would now be somewhere around $50,000.

        In fact, slavery is officially banned in every nation but it nonetheless continues unabated.

        One million children are exploited annually by the global commercial sex trade and of an estimated $35 billion in annual profits from human trafficking half is generated in industrialised nations.

        It is estimated that there are more slaves now than at any other time in history. And here is the shocking thing: the average going rate around the globe is less than $100. We have to turn the clocks back 4000 years to ancient Ur to find a time when human lives were so devalued.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yes, I’m aware of the black-market in slaves. What we’re seeing with the legislation that National are putting in place is the return of official slavery – it’s just not called that.

        • geoff

          Supply and demand, karol. There’s never been more people on the planet.

  2. logie97 2

    Meanwhile the people in the think tank (like Key’s mate Weldon) who are advising on and driving such reforms get this


  3. Jenny 3

    Maori Land Rights,
    Nuclear Ship Visits,
    Racist Sports tournaments,
    Schedule 4 mining.

    Among the nations of the world, New Zealand has an enviable record of successful public protest that has resulted in major progressive political change.

    Just think where New Zealand would be today, if those protests had been severely restricted and repressed.

    As the Nacts gear up for their assault on the environment and civil liberties, on behalf of big business. This great history could all be undone.

    Today may be the last chance to legally and meaningfully, protest against fossil fuel extraction and dangerous climate changing activities.

    2pm today you can legally gather on the roadside outside the site of the proposed new mine for a protest. After proposed new government legislation is passed, at the request of the polluters, you will not be allowed to protest within half a kilometre of any coal mine, oil rig, or survey ship.

    Defend the climate from money hungry polluters,
    Stand up for civil liberties,
    Stop Fonterra’s new open cast coal mine at Mangatangi.

    Media Release

    Coal Free Mangatawhiri and Auckland Coal Action

    Roadside Coal Protest at Mangatawhiri

    Coal Free Mangatawhiri and Auckland Coal Action are joining forces on Monday to protest Fonterraʼs proposed new coal mine beside state highway 2.

    Protesters will gather from 2pm at Mangatawhiri south of Auckland for the roadside rally protesting Fonterraʼs proposed new Mangatangi Mine.

    They hope to engage with people queued in traffic on SH2 on their way back to Auckland.

    Local residents, iwi and supporters from Auckland will be calling for ʻno new coalʼ and making the point that ʻcoal cooks the climateʼ in an awareness raising campaign against the proposed mine.

    Public submissions on resource consents for the mine, closed this week with Waikato Regional Council and Waikato District Council. Hundreds of submissions were sent in by local residents, iwi and others opposing the proposed new coal mine at Mangatawhiri.

    The resource consent applications were made by Fonterraʼs coal mining subsidiary Glencoal Energy Ltd, which is seeking consents for an open cast mine on farmland at Mangatawhiri right beside SH2.

    If the mine goes ahead it will be highly visible to anyone driving along SH2. The mine is intended to produce 120,000 tonnes of coal a year to supply the Fonterra dairy factories at Waitoa, Hautapu and Te Awamutu. Fonterraʼs nearby Kopako coal mine is predicted to close in 2014.

    Instead of opening a new coal mine in a farming community, locals believe Fonterra should phase out coal in favour of locally available cleaner burning, wood waste.


    • xtasy 3.1

      Jenny –

      Just wait a little longer, if this government gets a third term (voted in again due to apathy of too many), they will come and introduce further laws, to stifle any protests or dissent, by charging convicted protesters for the time and manpower costs police and other agencies will have had to spend.

      So then the protestors that may be convicted for breaching the peace, disorderly behaviour, obstruction and the likes will be sent invoices, which will be for exorbitant amounts, and if the persons affected cannot pay, they will get periodic detention to “pay” the “costs” off by doing forced labour.

      Key, Collins or whosoever may be in charge then will have no scruples to do this, as it is right along their way of thinking and acting.

      • Jenny 3.1.1

        Just like Communist China where they send an invoice for the cost of the bullet to the family of those they execute.

  4. Chris73 4


    An oversight surely but maybe Labour could hit up Shearer for the fees, he might have a few lazy grand in a bank account doing nothing 😉

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      NZ Labour are listed as an observer party. Can’t say that I see any reason for them to join that particular organisation as they’re not socialist.

      • Chris73 4.1.1

        Thats true and whats also true is that little symbol 4 at the end:

        New Zealand Labour Party, NZLP 4

        Just to be helpful this is what that number 4 means:

        4 Party downgraded to observer status due to non-payment of membership fees

        So Labour were a member they just haven’t paid their fees

    • KhandallaViper 4.2


      Listen to what David Parker says about beneficiaries.
      See how Shearer answers the question on his where on the political spectrum.
      Then you will understand why Labour had not renewed its subscription to the Socialist International.

      • Anne 4.2.1

        Labour has announced that it will hold six meetings over the next week and will ask its supporters to decide who should be the next Labour leader and deputy.

        And so it came to pass. The supporters told them who should be the next leader and the Caucus had a tantrum because the supporters told them what they didn’t want to hear. So they got their own back by tossing the supporters’ choice on the backbench and leaving him there in the hope he’d get fed up and leave. And the supporters said… to hell with you, if you want to play the game that way we’ll withdraw our labour. And so it came to pass, and the Caucus is left with an almighty problem – an election looming and not enough workers.

        • Ed

          Not the way I remembered it. I attended both a meeting of the ‘roadshow” and a branch meeting – at both the audience was solidly behind either candidate. – there were a few committed either way and probably a majority who wanted it left to the caucus who knew them better. I am personally in favour of a formal vote by members (electronic or postal) but that wasn’t in the system at that time.

          Whatever people feel about particular issues within Labour or Green, they are both far better in government than out, and National needs to be kicked out. I suspect as many people will work to get rid of National as will work to elect a particular leader (and many will work for their local MP who they know – it is important for the left to work on the party votes rather than just electorate votes . . .

      • xtasy 4.2.2

        Khandalla Viper: Yes, Parker believes in “social obligations”, that is made rather clear! He talks about “responsibilities” for people getting benefits and so forth.

        Shearer merely says “Labour” comes from “the left”, so that means, it was once on the “left” but is now clearly not really there anymore, as one would logically conclude.

        Yep, it is quite revealing to look back at such interviews and answers given.

  5. The Al1en 5

    Simon Bridge’s corporate sponsored anti mine protest laws – Not needed if there are no contentious schemes in the works? But way to go at the very real prospect of political prisoners in 2013 NZ.

    Easiest way to beat the law is always protest with 500 people, if one is arrested, all get arrested. Elect for trial by jury, get legal aid and take the prison sentence instead of paying a cash fine. The system will fall to it’s knees quicker than a minister in front of a multi corp negotiator.

    • if one is arrested, all get arrested

      The system may be slow, but it can still adapt and target protesters with specific roles.

      All it takes is 100 people acting in the public interest who have knowledge of common law.
      It’s easy to argue prejudice in a district court, but the argument won’t go anywhere unless an alternative forum exists. The common law hundred is an alternative forum, and because it is based on oath it can beat the civil system, which denies the basis for an oath in law even though it exercises the benefit.

      What remains then is to find a lawful remedy for the dispute over mining.

      • Jenny 5.1.1

        The system may be slow, but it can still adapt and target protesters with specific roles.

        Ugly Truth

        The old Mt. Eden Prison in Auckland, which was emptied of prisoners in mid 2011. Remains empty, but is been kept fully maintained and in operational readiness at huge tax payers expense.

        This despite prison overcrowding and talk of double bunking?


        What for?

        Why have the government ignored calls from the public and interested bodies to turn the historic prison into a museum, or allow its use as a film set?

        Or indeed, into a low density, low security, facility, when it has all the resources for such a use?

        Click on the following link see the photo of the new prison with the sinister looking empty prison behind it.


        Housing 600 or a thousand protesters. No problem.

        • Ugly Truth


          Some people have suggested that the disused GM plant in Upper Hutt has been adapted for use as a mass detention center. The electric fences and six foot deep ditch seem excessive security for a disused industrial site.

          It’s unlikely that such facilities would be put to use for a local issue like a mine protest as it would raise the question of why they were not in use already.

          What I’m suggesting is a way of defeating the system lawfully, without resorting to anarchy. The remedy involves understanding the nature of the conflict between the state and the common law and applying established common law systems that the state cannot counter.

          • karol

            applying established common law systems that the state cannot counter.


            • Ugly Truth

              One of the systems is truth. The state depends on fictions of law in order to operate, but such fictions didn’t originate with the common law, but with Roman law.

              In the civil system the most powerful expression of truth is an oath. The common law court is based on truth according to oath, and would engage “oath-helpers” who would testify to the honesty of the maker of the oath. The difference between the two systems is that the common law acknowledges that the privilege of making oath is not a one way affair, and responds accordingly, while the civil system simply lies about the origin of the privilege and ignores the obligation that arises from the benefit.

              • karol

                Ugly, please give examples of this common law system in NZ and how it could be used in such a ways as the government couldn’t oppose it, in order as you say to defeat,

                the system lawfully, without resorting to anarchy.

                Or are you just repeating US Sovereign Citizen lines? Is it really possible to claim resort to some ancient version of “common law” without triggering the full weight of the current legal system?

                • Karol, the common law is the law of the land. Common law cannot defeat lawful government (i.e. government which has real authority), but it can defeat a system based on fictions. In commerce, the truth is sovereign, and commerce plays a significant role in any society.

                  “Sovereign citizen” is an oxymoron, and Wikipedia has a history of political bias. The freeman movement has it’s own philosophical issues so I don’t identify with them, and I certainly don’t adopt their strategies unless I understand the reason for them.

                  The current civil system doesn’t have universal jurisdiction. Deeming people to be citizens is one way for the system to assume jurisdiction. When such an act results in injury of the rights of the people the system has acted unlawfully.

                  While speaking the truth can life unpleasant for the system, the most effective strategy IMO is to return to the common law hundred (a local court based on truth by oath) for the resolution of disputes.

                  • karol

                    OK. So your solution of a peaceful revolution using common law is a bit of a fantasy. There is actually no common law system we can legally use. You can’t give one practical example, just a lot of abstractions that have little connection with practice or current realities.

                    Many of us value truth, and especially speaking truth to power, but don’t subscribe to you mythology of a golden age of common law, especially one that could be drawn on today.

                    • It’s no fantasy, common law doesn’t operate by permission from the state. The system already exists, the problem is a crisis of ignorance.

                      The practical examples I gave were speaking the truth and returning to the hundred. If you don’t know what the hundred is then it’s very unwise to assume that it is an abstraction.

                      The hundred is a documented historical reality that can be drawn upon with a combination of local interest and opportunity. Its purpose is to resolve disputes, and as such it establishes an alternative court of law.

                      “The civil division of the territory of England is into counties, of those counties into hundreds, of those hundreds into tithings or towns.”

                      “Bailiffs, or sheriff’s officers, are either bailiffs of hundreds, or special bailiffs. Bailiffs of hundreds are officers appointed over those respective districts by the sheriffs, to collect fines therein; to summon juries; to attend the judges and justices at the assizes, and quarter sessions; and also to execute writs and process in the several hundreds”


                    • karol

                      UT – still waiting for an actual example where we can use this common law to successfully and peacefully oppose government policies.

                      I’m all for grass roots collective organisation – but I still can’t see how such things as this 19th century commentary can be applied in present day NZ.

                      PS: You have linked to a lengthy exposition. Please can you point to the relevant parts that you consider it shows that common law trumps contemporary legislation in NZ

                    • Karol,

                      An example of policy opposition? Unlikely, common law is apolitical.

                      Naturally a commentary can’t be applied to present day NZ.

                      I didn’t link to Blackstone’s to show that common law trumps contemporary legislation in NZ.

                      To get the right answer you’ve got to ask the right question.

                  • handle

                    “The current civil system doesn’t have universal jurisdiction.” In your most fanciful dreams.

                    • handle,
                      Universal jurisdiction in NZ district & high courts is only assumed, not actual. What facts do you have do back up your assertion that it actually exists?

                    • Arfamo

                      Fair enough. Take a test case, UT. Let us know what happens.

                    • Done it already, Arfamo. The judge admitted to committing fraud in the preliminary hearing. The fraud was in relation to the assumption of jurisdiction.

                    • handle

                      That gravity thing only works because we all assume it does, right.

                    • handle

                      When you claim the common law that has been part of our legal system for hundreds of years means something new, it is not me who needs to provide evidence.

                    • Arfamo

                      What was the case about and where was it, UT?

                    • handle, gravity is part of the law of nature. The law of nature isn’t limited to the physical realm, it also affects the realm of consciousness and ethics. The common law is an expression of how the laws of nature affect people in an ethical sense.

                      I’m not saying that common law means anything new, what I’m saying is that the state is lying to you about what it actually is.

                      Open mike 28/03/2013

                    • handle

                      I am hearing another middle-aged man trying to make his place in the world exempt from social arrangements rather than accept it as it is. Dress it up however you like, you’re not special.

                    • Arfamo, the case was about the common law right to use a public road and it was held in Nelson.

                      IMO one of the most telling points was that the judge at the defended hearing refused to address the issue of the golden rule of statutory interpretation in court. The golden rule is another name for Baron Parke’s rule, which describes how ambiguous legislation should be interpreted. This was significant because he has previously admitted that the language used in evidence, i.e. “vehicle”, was ambiguous.

                    • handle, do you deny that the state is lying about what the common law is?

                    • Arfamo

                      Sounds fascinating UT. So what was the vehicle in question, and what was the outcome of the case?

                    • Arfamo, the vehicle in question was a legal contrivance. A contrivance can be a physical object or it can be an intangible like a scheme or a ploy. What happens is that the police witness says that there was a vehicle as a matter of fact (i.e the witness refers to the car as a vehicle), but his testimony is interpreted within the context of law, which looks to the intent or the intangible aspect of things. The judge will not permit cross-examination of the witness on matters of law, and since in the court room context a vehicle is an intangible, you can’t cross-examine the witness to make the ambiguity apparent to the court.

                      There’s plenty of case law which explains what a vehicle is within the context of public roads, but it’s of little use because of the nature of the prejudice of court.

                      The outcome was that the person was convicted, time already served was not taken into account, and the minister of justice refused to settle for wrongful imprisonment.

                    • Arfamo

                      OK. Thanks UT. Call me when the revolution’s underway. I’ll lend you a tumbril for the judge.

                  • xtasy

                    Ugly Truth: A former “mate” of mine got involved with this common law line of thinking and tried using it before the courts.

                    There are some propagators to this kind of legal approach, using common law principles and angles to deal with the statutory and other law we nowadays have, naturally made by the legislative and upheld and enforced by the executive of the state. Some also adhere to conspiracy theories.

                    This guy I knew was also getting into books written by a Mary Croft (from Canada, I believe), same as a few others. As he had some mental health issues, did not have much of an education, and was from troubled background, he was happy to use common law to help him deal with the justice system. In the end it did not do him much good, and he was even institutionalised again, for a period.

                    I believe you may be coming from a similar line of thinking as the publishers found under these links are:


                    Click to access mary-book.pdf

                    Yes, I understand that applying and using common law principles and arguments, you can in some cases challenge existing institutions, including the courts, but it is not easy, and in the end they tend to keep the upper hand.

                    I am yet to see a landmark case won that is based purely on common law and that has led to radical changes anywhere, as an alternative to an informed, alert and determined public casting a decisive, smart, progressive vote, or a revolutionary protest movement getting things changed by mass rallies, pickets and what you have.

                    • handle

                      This sounds like a big win: “The outcome was that the person was convicted, time already served was not taken into account, and the minister of justice refused to settle for wrongful imprisonment.”

                    • xtasy,
                      When it comes to learning about the common law, there really is no substitute for spending the time checking your assumptions rather relying on some legal incantation that you read on a website somewhere. I’m not overly concerned about winning a landmark case because I think that a more effective strategy is to develop the alternative rather than participate in a system which is fundamentally broken.

                    • handle, sure, the legal outcome doesn’t look like much of a win. The win for me was proving to myself that I understood what was going on for the most part, and being able to force the judiciary out of their comfort zone. There were other benefits from the experience, but the X-File factor probably wouldn’t mean much to you unless you had already experienced that sort of thing. All I’ll say is that there was a surge is psych admissions in Nelson at the time.

          • Jenny

            It’s unlikely that such facilities would be put to use for a local issue like a mine protest as it would raise the question of why they were not in use already.

            Ugly Truth

            Anti coal mining protests don’t happen every day.

            If the police and the State had had an empty prison that they could have filled up in 1981. To Effectively quell – anti racist protests, they would have done so.

            Now they have.

            • millsy

              “If the police and the State had had an empty prison that they could have filled up in 1981. To Effectively quell – anti racist protests, they would have done so.”

              There are whispers that the army/navy was on standby at stages to step in if the police couldnt handle things. I read that the Unimogs were ready to roll at one stage.

    • North 5.2

      Ha……..that would soon explode Poncey Wee Simon’s fantasy governance world.

      Collins: “Bring in the Specials……….!”

    • Jenny 5.3

      Simon Bridge’s corporate sponsored anti mine protest laws – Not needed if there are no contentious schemes in the works? But way to go at the very real prospect of political prisoners in 2013 NZ.


      Today may be the last day to legally protest outside a coal mine, without being jailed.

      • The Al1en 5.3.1

        Yep, like the playing field was level to begin with, they tilt it a bit more just to be certain it’s not.

  6. (Not the real) Pete George 6

    I have decided to end my self imposed exile from commenting here,
    I’ve put a lot of time into thinking about it – at times and have made the decision to become a full time blog commentator. I can fit in a lot more now as I usually get up early, it’s when I enjoy doing most online, and then dabble during the day when I feel like it. But in the main I am needed to bring balance and fairness throughout the blog-sphere.
    I can no longer stand by and watch the Standard become an echo chamber, Standard moderators keep shutting out diversity by banning anyone who blinks out of step with the comrades and the blog risks becoming further unbalanced. I for one gave some very fair comments that added a lot of balance, without which The Standard has become hopelessly left leaning and I for one can’t stand by and let that happen. As I like to say if you don’t let shit happen shit happens.

    [r0b: OK – quite funny – but please no impersonating other posters.]

    • The Al1en 6.1

      I would never have come back. You must have very little pride and self respect.
      Enjoy your reformation.

    • r0b 6.2

      And Easter too – how appropriate for the second coming of the saviour.

    • QoT 6.3

      The Standard has become hopelessly left leaning

      The horror! The horror!!!!!!

    • just saying 6.4

      laughed out load.
      Parody gold.

    • geoff 6.5

      Must be an April fools joke.
      Well done, pete. Now go away.

    • karol 6.6

      Is that you Imperator Fish? Enjoy your April 1st fun.

    • One Tāne Huna 6.7


    • handle 6.8

      “I am needed to bring balance and fairness throughout the blog-sphere”

      Did god tell you that? Or a lesser power like Farrar?

    • felix 6.9

      Aaaaaand Pete making a long-winded post on his own site about this in 3… 2…

      • handle 6.9.1

        Only if you forget the date.

        • felix

          I mean I’m expecting him to post about the prank and how low the standard has sunk that they would allow it and how inaccurate a parody it was anyway and how he knows it was actually perpetrated by a standard author etc etc etc.

    • cricklewood 6.10

      seems I caught a few out…. would have been nice if it stayed a bit longer tis april fools in all…

      • r0b 6.10.1

        April fools – sorry yes so it is (I’m not in work mode and didn’t notice the date) – perhaps I should have left it alone – it’s nicely done!

    • North 6.11

      AAA+++ for earnest pomposity Petey. Spoken like a true Dunny Brush.

    • ianmac 6.12

      But Mr George I see that you have United with Scott over at Imperator. Being with such a team you will be far too busy to be here as well.

    • Jenny 6.13

      Pete George the scourge of the Liberal Left.

    • xtasy 6.14

      ‘(Not the real) Peter George’ logically cannot be the “real” one if such a name has any validity.

      So this must be an April Fools Day prank comment, right?

      Otherwise one may perhaps feel tempted to give you a benefit of the doubt. Perhaps – in that case – my comment 7 on Peter “Dunny” (aka Dunne) in this following thread may have upset dear PG, feeling an irresistible urge to defend the much adored “master”:

      Open mike 30/03/2013

      I called that very “balanced” indeed, what I wrote.

    • Mary 6.15

      “The Standard has become hopelessly left leaning and I for one can’t stand by and let that happen.”

      No, I think you should. Otherwise you’ll be stuffing around with the “diversity” you seem to crave so much.

      • xtasy 6.15.1

        Peter Dunne, Pete’s “master”, who once was Labour (believe it or not) has shown to be traitor to the disadvantaged and sick, so I think he will feel happy in his parliamentary retirement, while others suffer and contemplate perhaps even suicide.

        The “chosen” few I suppose, again feeling they are “more worthy” due to having held “high office”.

  7. geoff 7

    Fuck off pete

    • ianmac 8.1

      An Tracy Watkins has somewhat ambivalent positions regarding the Government’s position on the smelter as well. From 30th March though.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Referencing Article:

      It is not average costs but marginal costs which set prices on the wholesale electricity market.

      It is the cost of the most expensive generation which has to run in any half-hour to meet demand that sets the spot price all the generators dispatched get, and all the electricity retailers pay.

      That would still be a fuel-burning power station a lot of the time, and particularly when demand is heavy.

      Now, if electricity was still a state monopoly it would be the average price we would pay and not the most expensive price. It would be cheaper for everyone. This is, of course, why we had a state monopoly in the first place and one of the reasons why, since the imposition of a faux market by National in the 1990s, prices have gone up.

      Calculations on the effect on prices of the smelter’s closure would also have to consider commercial responses from other generators.

      Only because the government is too stupid to take it back to being a state monopoly and thus getting rid of the added expense of complexity added by competition.

      For fiscal conservatives such as Finance Minister Bill English, that is all the more reason to get such risk off the Crown’s books.

      What risk? There isn’t any in owning the electricity generators and lines as a state monopoly. These things only come about with the market and privatisation.

      • geoff 8.2.1

        Yes that was the piece that I found the most interesting. No wonder we are getting ripped off. At least a dusty old, ‘inefficient’ electricity board would only be charging what the actual costs of production were.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 9.1

      Ewww…..from drains to streams.
      Didn’t know they transported oil via pipeline through residential areas.

  8. millsy 10

    Today, April the 1st marks 25 years since the 4th Labour government abolished the Ministry of Works and Development, robbing the public sector of much needed in house engineering expertise, and leaving us reliant on private sector contractors to deliver it.

    Though no one would like to admit, we could sure use something like ‘Auntie MOW’ during the earthquake rebuild.

    • Jenny 10.1

      No doubt of it. All MOW assets which the government once have brought to bear. Are now in the hands of private corporations.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Notice also how there hasn’t been a whisper of bringing back the state as a major operational ground breaking force in the Christchurch rebuild.

        Labour believes just as much as National that the job can be done, and should be done, largely (though not entirely) by providing public funds to private profit making companies. Same applies to providing affordable housing in Auckland.

        The idea that the government can get out there and build 5,000 houses a year itself, better and cheaper than the private sector (including in regard to financing the build), doesn’t seem to have crossed Labour’s mind. Too unorthodox and an anathema to the all important marketplace.

        • millsy

          To be fair, the costs of rebuilding a new MOW from scratch would be prohibitive, and would fiercely opposed by the construction/contracting lobby (as well as the editorials). Even if it was just a design bureau type setup.

          • felix

            Yes, it costs money to employ people.

            But seeing as the alternative is to give the same money to Fletcher’s in return for fewer houses, what of it?

          • Draco T Bastard

            To be fair, the costs of rebuilding a new MOW from scratch would be prohibitive,

            No it’s not. Print the money and raise taxes – especially on the rich. It’ll be far cheaper than getting the private sector to do the job.

  9. Colonial Viper 11

    Claims Cypress President and family transferred personal millions offshore days before banks shutdown

    Surely this couldn’t be true – ha. What a rotten plutocracy.


    • halfcrown 11.1

      Yeah, and I would not put it pass that fuckwit English to “advise ” all his spiv mates to get their money out of NZ before he introduces the OBR

    • infused 12.1

      no one reads your blog.

      • felix 12.1.1

        I tried…

        … eh?…

        fuck me what the hell…

      • phillip ure 12.1.2

        who are you..?..infused..?

        phillip ure.

        • infused

          I’ve been commenting just as long as you buddy. Although, I seem to be able to structure my sentences together a bit better than yourself.

          • phillip ure

            you must be confusing me with someone else..

            ..my commenting here has been sparse…at best..

            ..so..;sentence-structure’ is very important to you..?..eh..?

            ..(psst..!..that last one of yrs is a bit clunky/clumsy..eh..?

            ..one almost has to endure it..

            ..just saying..!..)

            ..phillip ure..

    • Clockie 12.2

      April first… 🙂

      • Colonial Weka 12.2.1

        ..April first..


        Never understood why some people go out of their way to make their communications less accessible. It’s like white text on black background websites.

        • Clockie

          Sorry orificer, I won’t offend with gratuitous smiley usage again.Never been pulled up by the emoticon police before.

  10. freedom 13

    I am sure it is all about safety and security but aside from the anti-democracy issues there is a bigger one in this article, namely the toxic pollution escaping from the Minister’s mouth

    “There was huge potential for New Zealand’s underexplored petroleum and minerals. The Crown received millions of dollars a year from minerals royalties, which paid for services such as schools, hospitals, roads and broadband.

    With a 50 per cent increase in royalties and tax, that would increase to $12.5 billion a year, he said.”

  11. Chris73 14


    You guys are doing better then Red Alert (which must be a worry to C. Curran and T. Mallard)

  12. vto 15

    pop winter is here

    banging at the southern door

    get the wood in luv

  13. While as a nation we have some huge economic, environmental and social crises that past Governments have been determined to pass on to following generations, we do have some extremely capable young people who are more than equal to the challenges ahead. http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/easter-chickens-and-political-youth.html

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