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Open mike 01/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 1st, 2011 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike - 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…

78 comments on “Open mike 01/06/2011”

  1. logie97 1

    Apparently Joky Hen’s and Professor Delores Umbridge’s educational philosophies are not home grown after all. Watch this space…


    • ianmac 1.1

      Logie97.Of course the anxiety in the USA is the serious fall off of national standards on the international comparisons. Ever since they started the No Child Left Behind program which is made up of many standardised tests, they have slipped down the rankings. So what is their answer? More testing! They must be mad and you are right. Key/Tolley will be scuttling back and forward gathering “me too” misinformation.

    • anarcho 1.2

      I wouldn’t call these moves to monitor teacher performance “educational philosophies” but rather neoliberal ideology.

      Under the neoliberalism of the ‘Third Way’, teachers are now positioned as productive workers within this new global service industry. We are mere functionaries and in contrast to a educational culture once imbued with critical democratic values, there is now a commercial managerial culture preoccupied with performativity – what is produced, observed, measured. no longer is it process, but rather product and on the global market homogenised out-put is critical.

      As a result of privitisation/globalisation teachers have no control over external (national and international) coercion and pressure – we have become neutral operatives implementing the directives of our political masters – well some still have the nerve to fight as you all know.

      Another factor to consider is the right-wing’s refusal to accept that social inequality is the determining factor of educational success: generally we leave school to fulfil social positions that are similar to our parents. Schooling is all about the reproduction of class. The right-wing refuses to tackle poverty – it is after all a necessary part of capitalism – and insists that educational outcomes are solely down to quality teaching. Research clearly refutes this.

      More of a concern for me is the loss of critical thinking in a curriculum focused on the three R’s. In the need for a healthy democracy, we must move beyond ideology when it comes to education.

  2. Carol 2

    Another spot-on post from Sue Bradford on the government’s approach to welfare “reform” & bennie bashing:


    And includes a link to Rob’s post on The Standard about the mythical 170,000 jobs.

    I hope some of you will join me in asking National a couple of basic questions during this election campaign.

    If your goal is to push 100,000 sick, injured and disabled people – and sole parents – off the welfare rolls, where are the jobs going to come from when we don’t have work for over 271,000 jobless people right now?
    Why are you making ultraconservative welfare reform a key part of your election campaign if it’s not simply to appeal to that old New Zealand love of beneficiary bashing?

    Any pretence that these reforms are about fairness or compassion is nonsense.

  3. vto 3

    So the all-knowing authorities in Canterbury kept the GNS Science information about the 23% chance of another big quake in the next year from the public.

    Yet another evidential example of why nobody should trust authority.

    Just like the authorities in Japan re Fukishima (sp?). Just like the authorities re Pike River. Just like the authorities re search and rescue in the immediate aftermath of Chch quake no. 2 (how many people died from not being found in time because there were nt enough people looking? Not one survivor was found in Chch after 26 hours after the quake – pathetic and deadly)

    It just bloody goes on and on and on and on and on ………….

    Keep the public in the dark and feed them bullshit.

    Fuck the authorities.

    • weka 3.1

      I was really struck by the numbers of searchers at the time too – that there didn’t appear to be nearly enough and they were all in the CBD. No-one talked about it that week. Has there been any actual reporting/writing on this since? Are we training up more searchers now? That quake was a wake up for NZ that we won’t/don’t have the ability to cope with very large disasters in terms of immediate emergency response.

      Re the authorities, I think developping skills at when and where to trust is important.

      Re the 23% chance of another big quake, is that based on past statistics, or on what’s actually happening in the ground?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        That quake was a wake up for NZ that we won’t/don’t have the ability to cope with very large disasters in terms of immediate emergency response.

        And the reason we don’t is because we’ve been cutting government services in favour of the “free-market” which, of course, never plans for a disaster.

        • vto

          Yes Draco. Another example is the disestablishment of undergound mine services (unsure of right name) at the Dept of Labour and the resultant 29 Pike River dead men.

      • vto 3.1.2

        Messrs weka and Critic (below), the question of why no survivors were found after such a short time is a valid and important question. I have not seen it answered, or even asked, anywhere. In fact, when I raise it with people it seems it is not something that has even occurred to most of them.

        It is legitimate to ask it and one way of answering it would be to see the coroners reported cause of death for each fatality. Did they die of force from being struck by something? Did they die of hypothermia from being not found in time? (recall the day and following days were cold and drizzly wet!). Did they die from subsequent fire? Did they die from drowning due to putting out fires?

        I would like to see it asked and answered. I hope my conjecture is wrong but I have some doubts given the fact that usually after an earthquake in a built up area survivors are found days and days after the event. Why did that not happen in Christchurch?

        And re the 23% chance of another big quake imo it will have a dramatic effect on the rebuild timeframes. In fact, if such an event happens I suspect it will be the deathknell for Chch as we know it. Many people will vacate.

        (I sound like such a doomsday addict)

    • Armchair Critic 3.2

      Hang in there vto.
      The 26 hours thing had me scratching my head, too. I wondered whether it might be due to the unusual nature of the earthquake (timing, depth, proximity to Christchurch) and the design philosophy for the buildings. It occurred to me that most of the buildings that failed either killed people or let them walk out. There were, in my hypothesis, relatively few buildings that trapped people alive when they failed. So the searchers had relatively few people to find trapped and alive.
      The other side of the 23% thing is that there is a 77% chance that there won’t be another big quake next year. 🙂 Though the whole unusual nature thing casts doubt on the prediction. I think these earthquakes will result in a rewrite of some of the fundamentals of earthquake theory. Old assumptions may need to be thrown out, based on the data from Christchurch.

      • PeteG 3.2.1

        I think these earthquakes will result in a rewrite of some of the fundamentals of earthquake theory. Old assumptions may need to be thrown out, based on the data from Christchurch.

        I’m sure that’s the case, not just here but also internationally. They will keep learning from major quake events (with all the associated activity), but each is unique and they can never know all the answers.

        They said as time goes on the 23% will gradually reduce, but will never get to 0%.

        • prism

          The scientists need to remind everyone that an earthquake is an act of god and unpredictable. The Italian authorities are apparently confused about this despite being in a very religious country. Because a panel of seismologists agreed that an earthquake was unlikely in the near future, they are being sued for negligence or misleading the public by sounding too confident or something because a serious one occurred a week afterwards.
          The motto is ‘Expect the unexpected, but remember you can’t depend on it’.

          • Armchair Critic

            Parallels with the Lotteries Commission here and my winning powerball ticket? This is the week, evidently. Can I sue them if it turns out they are misleading me? .

          • Vicky32

            The Italian authorities are apparently confused about this despite being in a very religious country.

            Although many people think so, Italy is not as religious a country as you might think… 🙂

  4. vto 4

    Unexpected Earthquake Observation #212;

    Breakfast shakes are a particularly bad way to start a day.

    • prism 4.1

      vto Try smoothies!

      • vto 4.1.1

        ha ha smoothies?? There aint no such thing as smoothies these here parts these days.

        Roads – buckled as all hell. Bodies and souls – all shook up and nervy. Relationships – same same. Houses – out of square and broken. Tolerance – short and explosive. Conversations – jittery, cracked and all over the place.

        But maybe you are right. Maybe some smoothies for brekky are in order. Help to set the scene for the new day.

        • prism

          All the best vto. Hope you have a good day, then month, then year. The settling of the earth after a quake is very unsettling for sure. Are you on the east?

  5. Carol 5

    Strangest media story of the day:

    Hawke’s Bay locals say Mr Hughes stayed for about a week at former Breakfast television host Paul Henry’s beach house.

    Pictures of Mr Henry, Mr Hughes, and Mr Henry’s partner, Linzi Dryburgh, appear in Woman’s Day and were taken at Easter, just weeks after Mr Hughes resigned after sex allegations against him by an 18-year-old man.

    The media stories that construct the politicial-media-celebrity mash-up just gets more surreal.

    • Deadly_NZ 5.1

      And what has happened re the Darren Hughes story ? it was big news, then he resigned and Nothing. When are we going to hear if there is even a story here or is it a storm in a teacup???

  6. PeteG 6

    Fed up with the current political offerings?
    Not commited to Labour?
    Won’t be voting National or Act?
    Uninspired by the alternatives?
    Would you like to see something really different? It could happen with a will to make it happen.
    Welcome diversity?
    Independence from an ideological straightjacket?
    Policies adressed on their merits on an ongoing basis, not set in concrete?
    Individual political leanings don’t matter, representing a democratic majority does?
    The electorate comes first?
    Would you like to inject some interest and passion and people power into your electorate?
    It could happen if you wanted it to. Really.

    • Independence from ideological straight jacket = Peter Dunne.

      You have to be joking.  Without some idea of what you stand for addressing policies on their “merits” = flipping a coin.

      You would be better off with monkeys pulling levers.

      • PeteG 6.1.1

        I didn’t expect you would understand MS.

        It couldn’t be worse than some monkeys trying to always turn the steering wheel right with other monkeys trying to always turn the steering wheel left. In a bulldozer. With the people in front of it.

        • mickysavage

          Ok how should independent merit based leaders adress peak oil?

          • PeteG

            They’d go to the electorate, inform them, discuss with them, try to convince them if they think that is justified, and then act on behalf of them.

            • mickysavage

              What if it is abundantly clear to the merit based leader that peak oil is a crisis but sufficient of the electorate refused to believe in it.  Should the leader act or put his or head in the sand because that is what some of the electorate is doing?

              • PeteG

                Our current leader has a conflict, well, several conflicts. Whose interests should he put first:
                – the interests of the country?
                – the interests of their party?
                – the interests of their electorate?

                Leaders are expected to put the country first, but that can conflict with the party, and the electorate, well, how does that stand a chance?

                And look at the current Minister of Finance, one of the most important jobs in government and lives in Wellington – wouldn’t Clutha be better served by someone who can put decent amount of time in down there?

                Or do electorates not matter to parties apart from being a way of getting seats in parliament?

                In response to your question – leaders do need to show leadership. They have to make decisions on behalf of the country. So do electorate MPs, but to a lesser extent. But they should also enough information and convincing argument to their electorate to take the electorate with them rather than act in isolation.

                Many voters feel like they get some attention during an election year and then get forgotten, unneeded until the next “mandate” is required. I know at least some voters would like to be heard more and talked to more, beyond the election blitz.

                The parties have become far too self indulgent and don’t seem to care about people, they only care about votes when they need them.
                (I know that’s not entirely the case but it’s a widespread perception).

                • felix

                  What the feck are you on about?

                  The Minister of Finance lives in DIPTON.

                  • lprent

                    I think he means that Bill English’s electorate is Clutha-Southland despite his non-resident state there. His family home is in Dipton in the electorate. However he has lived in Wellington for quite some time.

                    Confused? I think that we all are – especially Bill English… 😈 Just look at how much he thinks he can save in a corporate reorganization. I guess that he has never had a close look at the literature on the actual costs… Either that or he still has a touching faith in Treasuries ability to predict anything accurately – just look at the budgets drug inspired growth figures. Now that is a guy who is severely confused.

                    • PeteG

                      I’m just guessing, but he could be saving us thousands by not commuting between work and his more distant home all the time.

                      It would be interesting to know how much time and effort the likes of Key, English, Goff and Hide spend in their electorates.

                      And where do listies spend all their time? Some stand and miss out in electorates, but do they do anything for those electorates?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m just guessing, but he could be saving us thousands by not commuting between work and his more distant home all the time.

                      And it’d be even cheaper if we weren’t paying for him to rent his family home off of him.

                      The cheapest and best option would be to build and own outright a 120 unit apartment block that the MPs can stay in when in Wellington. The entire cost then would be rates, power and maintenance rather than rates, someone’s mortgage, their profits, power and more expensive maintenance (yes, Bill charges us for cleaning his own home).

                      Some stand and miss out in electorates, but do they do anything for those electorates?

                      Yes they do and even when they didn’t stand for an electorate they quite often help out in electorates.

                  • felix

                    No Lynn, he LIVES there.

                    He said it over and over and so did plenty of other idiots.

                    He LIVES in Dipton and I won’t have Pete making a liar of him.

                    • lprent

                      So kind of you to defend double dip’s honor. Personally I think it is a hit of a dead issue, and Bill lost. But guess you like supporting dead causes. If PeteG thinks he is billshitting, then what can us mere mortals do against that certainty… 😈

                    • PeteG

                      I don’t think he’s billshitting, he’s playing by the lose rules bestowed on him by fellow MPs.

                      I suggest that if he wants to look for efficiencies then he could also look a bit closer to home. The allocation of human resources at the top is nuts.

                    • felix

                      Of course he’s not billshitting, he says he lives in Dipton and he does live in Dipton.

                      Everyone seems to accept that except Pete.

                • Deadly_NZ

                  And what is your esteemed leader going to do when he gets the boot??? I know he will piss off back to Hawaii, join a big bank, and ruin NZ from afar by playing with our currency. he is the original bad smell that no matter what you do it keeps popping up in strange places.

          • ZeeBop

            National, and right wing governments, believe the market will solve peak oil.
            No leadership as a government ethos.
            The Central Americian Ancient Maya had the same leadership philosophy.
            Eat the people, because its their fault for not having the backbone to
            oust the elite, since the heavens will bring a good harvest.

            We’re in a commodities boom and we’re going backwards!
            We incentivize welfare sloth that means people give up their
            kids to care and move to Australia. fewer tax payers more
            criminals in a few years! Welfare needs to do no harm and
            incentivize moving OFF welfare, National haven’t got a clue.
            Labour will bring in a tax free threshold on income which
            makes moving into work far less of a barrier (as it is in Australia).
            Why does National whine all the time about the poor state of
            matters yet does nothing to rectify them???

            You owe it to yourself to give you kids up to care when they
            become teenagers and get on a plane to Sydney, its where the
            jobs are, get off welfare you bludger!!! Make its Nationals problem,
            they want you too! They say it every time they open their mouths,
            that you are incompetent, you need to work, you need to change.

        • Deadly_NZ

          Ummm I hate to tell you this PeteG but as usual you have got it wrong. There is NO steering wheel on or in a Bulldozer you use steering rods and pedals to turn the beast. IE stop one track to make it turn. Steering wheels jezuz.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    ’bout time murka. bankers next please.


    Previously, if a company got caught, its lawyers in many cases would be able to negotiate a financial settlement. The company would write the government a check for a number followed by lots of zeroes and promise not to break the rules again. Often the cost would just get passed on to customers.

    Now, on top of fines paid by a company, senior executives can face criminal charges even if they weren’t involved in the scheme but could have stopped it had they known. Furthermore, they can also be banned from doing business with government health programs, a career-ending consequence.

    Sic em pup.

    • vto 7.1

      Excellent, to a degree.

      Where I would like to see that same approach followed is in the New Zealand political scene and government.

      The government should be subject to the Fair Trading Act for a start, so that they are not able to engage in “misleading and deceptive conduct in (government)”.

      And, following your link and opinion p’s b, the people who hold the various offices should be held personally acountable. After all, the sums involved are on an entirely comparable scale to those in that article.

      What is good for the goose is good for the gander, no? Any good reason why the government and personal office holders should not be subject to the same?

      I dear say Bill English and John Key would instantly cease their lies and deception.

      • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1

        I’ve often thought it would be useful to have party leaders put on the spot before elections.

        They like to use a job interview metaphor*, but I think that underplays what’s going on. It’s a unique job. Society seems to need politicians and I think ‘lections are the best way to find them. Part of the ‘job description’ is that these are the people that set the rules. They really do have the power, and we really do give it to them.

        Part of the thing that naturally pisses us off is that they don’t do what we thought they told us they were going to do and we get buyers remorse. There are bunches of reasons here.

        Sometimes the parliament we collectively elect doesn’t have the mandate to do things an individual voted for. If I vote for the greens, I do so knowing that they are going to have to negotiate for the things they tell me they want to do. Seems churlish of me to punnish them for the fact that they can’t deliver.

        Other times, the pollies say things in ways that might me think I’m voting for something that is not quite what they meant, to be as charitable about their motives as I can.

        On this point I have a right to be pissed off at them to be sure, but I think the solution, or a part of it, is to get them to be more clear.

        The way the game is now, we are relying on other politicians to try and hold them to account in the campaign. But all the politcians are playing the same game, and the media are suck at controlling them, for various reasons.

        I’d love to see the stupid ‘leaders debate hosted by a view from nowhere idiot’ aboandoned, It teaches us nothing and plays into the horse race, soundbite, nonsense that is a large part of the problem.

        Replace it with hour long sessions for each leader currently in parliament getting a going over by someone trained in getting answers. I’m thinking here of QC’s. We could even go pomp and circumastance and raise the somber rating of the thing by having them front up to the supreme court.

        “We have a few questions about how you have used, and how you intend to use, this awesome power the people are trusting you with”

        • vto

          That makes some sense but it could be seen through. For example, if the Greens campaigned on something but another thing eventuated then of course a defence for them would be something along the lines of “required negotiations as part of government”.

          What I was more getting at is the simple outright dishonesty, which is perhaps best illustrated by example. Key claimed milk prices in New Zealand were set by international prices and not on a cost basis, yet, when the politics suited Key changed that to milk prices being set on a cost basis and not by international prices. He should be charged under my new Fair Trading Act, because clearly one of those statements is “misleading and deceptive conduct in (government)”.

          What sort of defence would he have to that?

          edit: another recent example is English’s claim that government debt is out of control. He is deceiving with the mixing of private and govt debt.

          • felix

            There’ll be parliamentary questions on that topic next week.

            And Key will lie, obfuscate, and contradict himself. On record.

            And myself and the 3 other people in NZ who listen to parliament will be outraged.

            • Deadly_NZ

              4 I listen and get outraged as well.

              • logie97

                Make that 6.
                I watch and get frustrated – mostly at the opposition’s inability to ask direct questions. Lockjaw constantly chides them but they keep trying to load political clap-trap into the questions. When will they learn to ask questions that cannot be weaseled out of answering directly. Get the Ministers to answer directly and the press will report that.

                Key learned a long time ago that Jo Public is not interested in the “across-The -House” banter and furthermore will somehow make an association with that and MMP for the impending referendum.

            • Jum

              5 I listen to Parliament, and when I get the printouts of the verbals it has to be quick before NAct gnomes get to them to make those ‘infinitesimal’ changes that seem to alter whole meanings sometimes – the scum.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Don’t read the printouts – you miss the tone and body language which makes up a large part of any verbal conversation. Go here if you want to watch the video which doesn’t include the after effects of ministers changing what they said.

            • felix

              Ha, I knew it was me and three others!

              And yes logie I agree they could do a lot better in that regard. Lockwood doesn’t always play straight either but at least if the questions are straight they can pull him up on it.

              • Deadly_NZ

                And you also know when lockwood is going to screw over someone he gets that superior horsey grin, and then starts barking “Order order” like a demented puppy. which he really is, the Nats puppy.

              • Jum

                Felix and Draco T Bastard,

                When I said I listen to Parliament, I actually listen when I’m in the car and watch when I am at home, so like I said ‘5’.

                Maybe they can devise a way to tell the public what the government is up to other than by referencing info through a question and thereby opening it up to Key’s (insulting to New Zealanders) replies.

                Herald, talkback, tv is not on their side.

                It’s all about the money honey – the tax cuts these frontmen get from NAct and the selloffs that the printed media whores’ rich shareholders make money out of at NZ’s expense.

        • PeteG

          I’d like to see something like that, it would be far better than the current circus mentality.

          It may peeve the current media celebrities a bit though.

        • Lanthanide

          “I’ve often thought it would be useful to have party leaders put on the spot before elections.”
          Funny that you say that. My boyfriend identified a couple of months ago what he sees as the only redeeming feature of the American political system: primaries.
          With primaries, you get various luminaries from each party standing up to say what they think on a national platform. Several of these people will be genuine contenders, whereas others will simply be putting their name forward so that they can publicise the particular issue or policy response that they’re concerned with. But each of them get to stand up and address the broader party and the country with their message; something we simply don’t get in NZ politics.

  8. Carol 8

    Future West (the progressive ticket for west Auckland on Auckland Council) dissects Joyce’s pessimistic report on the potential Auckland CBD rail loop:


    The analysis is premised on the belief that we are in business as usual mode and that the use of cars will continue to increase. The greatest driver of growth is thought to be job creation in the CBD rather than the possibility that oil price increases will price most people off the road.
    It did not help Auckland Council’s business case that it also presumed business as usual and a gradual increase in road usage. Essentially both the Council and the Government looked in the rear view mirror and based on past events estimated what would happen in the future. They then measured the economic benefit by assessing “decongestion benefits”. They both thought that in 2041 there would still be thousands of cars driving around and that an improved rail system will allow motorists to get to their destinations slightly quicker. But in looking in the rear view mirror they did not see that peak oil had wiped out the bridge ahead of them and that they should have made dramatical alterations to their plans.

  9. ZeeBop 9

    Cuts, shrinking kiwisaver, and the export dividend on government services when fed up sane kiwis finally jump the ditch. Is National building a warchest? Another tax cut?

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      I caught a snip of John Key, probably on the radio, acknowledging that NZ had one of the lowest average tax rates in the OECD (which he said WFF contributed to). So any further tax cuts would be ideologically driven in the extreme.

    • Deadly_NZ 9.2

      But if he announced yet another tax cut for his rich mates, surely questions would be asked as he has just spent the last year decreasing the ‘in paid employment’ lists and giving more souls to pudding Bennet to make their now bleak lives bleaker.

      And as we all see in the papers ie: Herald and Stuff all the RWNJ’s there that are having fun and bene bashing to their little hearts content, I met a couple yesterday and they were giving it plenty about how me, and all those like me were gonna get it in the next term you know cuts, cuts, cuts. Well I know that 2 of them were public servants, so I happened to just ask how secure did they feel in their jobs now that another Billion has to be cut. That shut them up a bit. But then I had the greatest pleasure of describing to them the hoops and bullshit you have to go through just to get a pittance that is not really enough to live in. And how the standard of living changes completely. I just sat there and watched their superior demeanour just deflate. Shit I even think that 2 of them may just vote Labour this time, because as I said thats your best way of keeping your job.

  10. prism 10

    Someone speaking thoughtfully on the radio recently remarked on how difficult it is for governments, and he was talking of a 4 year British government I think, to look ahead and plan for unproved and uncosted possibilities 20 years ahead. It requires imagination first unlimited, as in brain storming, and then some reference to the past and known behaviours of people and nature.

    This approach that regards 5 years ahead as future thinking could be a fatal flaw in our present form of democracy. Particularly with right wing, status quo or theoretical, nostalgic governments (everything was better decades, a century ago, when we had less bureaucracy, less government welfare etc).

    The authoritarian mindset they have attempts to make illegal the factors they don’t like with punishment and some form of incarceration for infringement. This approach of course is useless and stupid when dealing with climate change, natural events or known human behaviour traits. It is a policy of diminishing options and resources and they don’t have the nous to think of alternate behaviours, even that of considering an opposite approach to their traditional mindset and policies.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      UK governments are elected for 5 years.

      • prism 10.1.1

        I had the idea that they were but thought the guy said 4 years I like four years actually, five is a bridge too far as the saying goes. Any thoughts on the length of time into the future that a politician can imagine ‘going forward’? Three terms at the most?

  11. hellonearthis 11

    National compare unemployment with the 1960’s That seems wrong, because in those days the Government had a much larger railway system with small stations the length of the country with some really big workshops dotted around too (which had quite a few apprenticeships involved).
    There where also hospitals in many of the small towns with a huge number of workers and supporting industries.
    Then there where the ports with there huge work force.
    Also there where more freezing works and dairy factories then than now.
    And don’t for get the hydro dambs that the government was build at the time and the extra jobs related to that.

    In 1960’s it was easy to find work, there where jobs to be had.

    So why does this government think that it’s no different now, can’t they see the world has change and there are not plenty of jobs for all.
    To attack the weakest people at the bottom of the heap, those on sickness and invalid benefits is cruel. I think this governments actions will increase the suicide rates in this area as people deal with every increasing hopelessness. But I guess that will get them off a benefit and that could be good for Nationals sadistics.

  12. weka 12

    Interesting interview on Kathryn Ryan just now – the Copenhagenisation of Christchurch. Looking at cycling within the city as a way of creating physical and mental health, improving the economy, protecting the environment etc. Lots of very good ideas discussed within a Christchurch context. One of the best things I’ve heard about the Chch rebuild.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/20110601 (as 11.47)

  13. toad 13

    Just when I thought the ACT Party couldn’t get more dominated by wealthy, bigoted, elderly white men, Bob “Left Testicle” Clarkson joins up.

  14. McFlock 14

    Apparently, cabinet ministers have been getting all sorts of “hospitality” from Westpac, while a contract between the bank and the government is under review.

    ‘However, a spokesman for Finance Minister Bill English said the ”implication the Government had been influenced by the hospitality was wrong”.’

    Two points: obviously Westpac is just inviting ministers to corporate boxes out of the kindness of their hearts, not because they expect anything. Like the tobacco industry when it said that advertising didn’t encourage smoking, they just liked spending money on advertising.

    Secondly, the “I took the favours, but it didn’t effect my decision” defense was tried by Bacon, and it didn’t work.

    • vto 14.1

      Exactly McFlock,

      Bill English as much as anybody else in the country will know that in the arena of conflicts of interest and justice and fairness perception is almost everything.

      The tenet ‘Justice must not only be done but be seen to be done’ would apply similarly here.

      Very bad form. So bad in fact, on such a simple matter, that his judgment must be called into question.

      This is Taito Phillip Field all over again…

    • William Joyce 14.2

      The altruism of Westpac is admirable.
      We seem to have the same “lobbying as entertaining” culture that surrounds Washington.
      Worse, it feeds the sense of privilege that so many of the pollies have fallen foul of.

      • Descendant Of Smith 14.2.1

        I wonder why we give any government business to a bank that does this:

        The Inland Revenue Department is welcoming a ruling from the High Court in Auckland ordering Westpac to pay $961 million in back taxes.
        In a decision released today, Justice Rhys Harrison has ruled the “structured finance” transactions were “tax avoidance arrangements entered into for a purpose of avoiding tax,” IRD said.
        “The Commissioner has correctly adjusted the deductions claimed by Westpac in order to counteract its tax advantage gained under an avoided arrangement,” he said in the ruling.
        The judge added that the total amount of tax at issue was $961 million including voluntary payments of $443 million made by Westpac under protest.
        Justice Harrison said the bank was lucky IRD didn’t attack other parts of the transactions in dispute.
        “I have rejected Westpac’s primary arguments on all contested issues,” he said.

        Deliberately rip the country off but wine and dine the Prime Minister and still get the government’s business.

        Should all go to Kiwibank.

  15. Treetop 15

    Last Sunday there was some discussion about the Titanic. Today it is 100 years since the Titanic was launched in Belfast.

  16. randal 16

    yes and the titanic was built to pander to the rich. when the ships radio went on the blink the private company who a station on the boat would not let the crew broadcast a mayday.
    truth conquers because that which conquers is truth.

  17. ianmac 17

    That’s interesting. Dr Gluckman reports back that there is no evidence that the Boot camps or Wilderness experiences (and other activities) are effective. The results are not showing effectiveness in helping troubled teens.
    John Key says he welcomes the report but he says, “The Boot Camps are working!”
    Remember that they will not report the results costs re-offending stats.
    So again we get Key denying the science. Instead going for unproven unsupported opinion brought in for political points.
    (Type 9. Play dumb. Deny credibility of Gluckman.)

  18. Huginn 18

    Recommend that you read through this investigation from the pinkos at The Financial Times:

    Britain’s care homes face a deepening crisis as some private-sector companies that piled into the sector struggle with their financial miscalculations amid fresh evidence that they provide worse quality care than their non-profit rivals . . .

    The private sector pays lower wages on average than the non-profit and public sectors and has higher staff turnover rates, according to industry data . .

    The increased financial pressure on the industry coincides with weakened regulatory oversight. The FT investigation found that the CQC, hit by its own financial constraints, reduced inspections by 70 per cent in the six months to March this year compared with the previous six months . . .

    “Fundamentally, it’s now got to a point of being dangerous [for residents] – and it’s going to get worse,” said one CQC inspector, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “If I had a relative who needed to go to a care service, I’d be ­concerned” . .

    “At a time when the private sector is being promoted for its astute business strategies, they’ve made a pig’s ear out of it [residential care]” said Margaret Flynn, a senior associate at social care consultancy CPEA.


  19. jackal 19

    Help the Planet on World Environment Day


    Whether you’re planting trees, cleaning up a beach or just recycling those dusty things stored in the garage, World Environment Day is an excellent opportunity to do something positive for the Earth. Activities take place all year round but culminate in extensive positive action for the environment on the 5th of June each year. That’s this Sunday folks, so get active and organised.

  20. Some very good work done here, by the look of it, on ‘Bankrupt Britain’ – 

    Bankrupt Britain is a unique atlas giving a comprehensive picture of the effect of the recession on Britain. In detailed colour maps, it shows how economic, social and environmental fortunes have been affected in different areas in the wake of the 2007 banking crisis, 2008 economic crash and 2009 credit crunch. It is essential reading for a broad audience with detailed local level data and a national snap-shot of Britain during this time.”

    Also, click the ‘Additional Materials’ link and get, amongst other things, the excel datasheets behind the maps they present.

  21. Colonial Viper 21

    Australia’s economic miracle falters – largest quarterly GDP drop in 20 years


    One more quarter of similar and the knock on effects are going to hurt NZ

  22. randal 22

    left field again dudes but Carterton Post shop is closing for some unannounced reason. now I know there arent that many cow cockies reading this but around Carterton they do contribute more than their share of exports and to foreign exchange and for that effort they need their services to continue and not be taken awayjust because some investor thinks they need more money.

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