Open mike 01/06/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 1st, 2016 - 147 comments
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147 comments on “Open mike 01/06/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, ugly and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    It was 7 degrees in Auckland last night.
    It was 5 degrees in Christchurch last night.
    It was 4 degrees in Dunedin last night.

    Not very warm to be sleeping in a car.
    Not very warm to be sleeping in a container.
    Not very warm to be sleeping in a garage.
    Not very warm to be sleeping on the street.

    ‘More benefit payment issues uncovered
    Payment problems at the Social Development Ministry could be bigger than previously thought, with a review finding more than 30 examples where it was not complying with the law – six of which could require reimbursements’

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/305273/more-benefit-payment-issues-uncovered

  2. Paul 2

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, ugly and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.
    Lucky we have a marae that cares……..

    ‘Homeless newborn baby given shelter at marae
    A family with a newborn baby has been given shelter at a South Auckland marae after spending some of the first days of her life in a tent at Whakatane.
    The Te Puea Memorial Marae at Mangere Bridge, which opened its doors to the homeless last week, has appealed for a house for 14-day-old baby Mereana and her parents.
    “The family was living in a tent at Whakatane. They drove up yesterday to the marae because they had nowhere else,” said marae worker Moko Templeton.
    TVNZ reported that the baby’s mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said they had been sleeping rough for 18 months.
    “The car that we did have got impounded so we were just camping out in a tent in Whakatane but we’d get stopped by the police, we’d get moved on by the police saying, ‘This is a public place not a camping ground’,” Mereana’s mum told One News reporter Yvonne Tahana.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11648248

  3. Paul 3

    Public housing in Austria.

    Gemeindebau is a German word for “municipality building” It refers to residential buildings erected by a municipality, usually to provide low-cost public housing.
    Apartments in the building can be rented from the respective municipality.

    The city of Vienna, Austria, famous for its rich cultural and architectural heritage, is also recognized for its unique social housing program. In practice for nearly a century, Vienna’s social housing system is known as an effective and innovative model for providing superior, affordable housing to the city’s residents.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemeindebau
    https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr_edge_featd_article_011314.html

    Public housing in Singapore
    Public housing in Singapore is managed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB). The majority of the residential housing developments in Singapore are publicly governed and developed. As of 2013, 80% of the resident population live in such accommodation. These flats are located in housing estates, which are self-contained satellite towns with schools, supermarkets, clinics, hawker centres, and sports and recreational facilities.
    There are a large variety of flat types and layouts which cater to various housing budgets. HDB flats were built primarily to provide affordable housing for the poor and their purchase can be financially aided by the Central Provident Fund. Due to changing demands, there were more up-market public housing developments in recent years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_housing_in_Singapore

    Public Housing Works: Lessons from Vienna and Singapore

    • miravox 3.1

      The other great thing that complements public housing in Vienna is that rents are controlled for almost all private housing so if public housing is unavailable, the private housing remains affordable. The controls are based on floor area, not location, so this helps keep mixed social strata as well. It’s not perfect, but housing is cheaper than most developed European countries. Regulations also mean security of tenure, insulation and heating, and relatively high minimum maintenance standards.

      A housing research department is an integral part of the State apparatus and helps ensure that supply of the right type of housing keeps up with demand. Currently there is pressure for smaller inner city units, along with the big brownfield developments that are underway on the edge of the city. Note also that public transport and infrastructure in these developments is in place before the first crane goes up.

      The last housing satisfaction survey I saw (last year sometime) was 97 odd percent of respondents happy or very happy with their housing.

      Political pressure to deregulate housing is strong due to national level politics, but Vienna government remains Red/Green so hopefully the Neolib economics will fall out of fashion before Vienna is required to submit.

  4. mauī 4

    Both Breakfast TV channels especially Henry & Rawdon are going full bore with,
    ~ can’t understand the Lab – Green agreement.
    ~ Is it about the electorate seats, no can’t be.
    ~ Agreement ends on election day, where parties will backstab eachother.

    Nothing positive at all, the media is complicit with National.

    • b waghorn 4.1

      Yep henry s going as far to read out emails from the hateful led denizens of late night talk back.
      Filthy little pig he is , I’m sure a knight hood is coming his way

    • Paul 4.2

      Paid puppets of the transnational corporates.

    • ScottGN 4.3

      Did you really expect any other reaction?

      • mauī 4.3.1

        I’m not used to Henry on a daily basis, gawd how do people watch that day in day out. I was hoping for at least some attempt at neutrality to show some actual journalism was taking place. I should have known better though when they bring on Nats Bishop and Boag for comment on a Lab-Gre announcement and noone from a Green background.. Wtf!

    • Wensleydale 4.4

      Rawdon Christie is NZ’s version of Fox News’ Stuart Varney. Obnoxious blow-hards, the pair of them.

  5. Stunned mullet 5

    Another month and the start of daily Mike seems to be locked in to its usual wails of despondancy.

    • tc 5.1

      Feel free to exercise your right and stop visiting but we all know it’s your role mulleto.

    • left for dead 5.2

      I have a gas operated club for you stunned mullet, to operate just stand under it each morning, self operating.
      Or more simply go else where you add more than nothing to any debate, do what most of your rightwingnut mates do, clip the ticket but actually do nought.

      sell edit and moderation the club is a metaphor, as is stunned mullet.

    • greywarshark 5.3

      “wails of despondency”? You are so right, and they are all from the Right.

      maui
      I know about bog so who’s Bishop. Another Nat pawn no doubt but not a pill I have taken yet. Why is he of importance to Appear before the Nation?

    • Mr Scooter 5.4

      Hosking? Of course, pusillanimous little twerp that he is.

  6. UncookedSelachimorpha 6

    Good article on The Grauniad today – “The Death of Neoliberalism”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/31/witnessing-death-neoliberalism-imf-economists

    Encouraging!!

  7. The Chairman 7

    Cheap Chinese steel certified as strong enough to hold up four bridges has been exposed as too weak, forcing a major fix-up on a huge new highway.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201802845/steel-piles-fail-on-waikato-expressway

    • It’s a known problem with getting stuff from countries where corruption and influence-peddling is endemic, and should have been predictable. I used to see it all the time in Kuwait – all the certification and paperwork completed, none of it worth the paper it was printed on.

      • The Chairman 7.1.1

        Indeed.

      • Molly 7.1.2

        Chinese steel profiles have changed to mimic NZ steel rebar. Now it is not immediately obvious if it is imported or NZ manufactured.

        (Observation from living close to a new-build subdivision area, and having a partner who works with steel going over to check the formwork on the new builds whenever he does his daily walk).

        • The Chairman 7.1.2.1

          “Now it is not immediately obvious if it is imported or NZ manufactured.”

          Stating that it is Chinese steel would strongly suggest so.

          • Molly 7.1.2.1.1

            “Stating that it is Chinese steel would strongly suggest so.”

            Given that my partner is involved in the manufacturing of steel rebar in this country, the initial imports had different profiles and were clearly visible even to non-steel workers.

            Current imports now mimic the NZ rebar profiles and he now has to physically pick up the rebar and check the markers marks on them to tell the difference.

            Does that clarify the comment for you?

            • The Chairman 7.1.2.1.1.1

              It has been reported the steel was imported from China.

              You seem to be the only one questioning that.

              • Molly

                No. I was mentioning how the imported product has duplicated the NZ steel one, so that it becomes harder at a first cursory look to see whether NZ rebar is being used in your building or not.

                About two years ago, the difference was immediately noticeable because the profiles were markedly different. Now, even if you wish to support NZ steel you will have to identify each bar. Many of the houses being built locally have a mixture of both imported and NZ steel.

                I don’t understand your damage Heather.

                • The Chairman

                  You stated above it is not immediately obvious if it is imported or NZ manufactured.

                  Again, it has been reported the steel was imported from China. No one is questioning that apart from you.

                  • Observer Toke

                    .
                    .The Chinese swindle us

                    . I would have thought that steel which makes bridges safe should be of the standards required by New Zealand.

                    The “lowest Tender” and “you get what you pay for” has nothing to do with the Swindle reportedly committed by the Chinese. They deliberately sent us low quality steel, labeled as high quality.

                    Every tender should meet the NZ Standards irrespective.

                    The problem is that the Chinese and other Asian nations do not have a background in Ethics or Western Morals. And this means that everything that Asia and particularly China wants to send us or grab from from us here, must be thoroughly checked by New Zealand Engineers and Customs.

                    In a matter of this importance, a gaol term for the Chinese who reportedly did it would be the proper punishment. Plus restitution.

                    • The Chairman

                      It’s a good bet the swindle allowed them to put forward a lower tender, resulting in the ‘you get what you paid for’ outcome.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The problem is that the Chinese and other Asian nations do not have a background in Ethics or Western Morals.

                      Good thing that a NZ dairy company wasn’t involved in poisoning thousands of Chinese babies, then eh.

                      Or stealing native timbers from protected forests to sell to the Chinese for $$$.

                      Or turning down local NZ steel suppliers and hence putting NZers lives at risk so that they could make a bigger $$$ margin on a government contract.

                      Or happily pocketing massive property value rises even as more and more Kiwis end up living in garages and cars unable to afford accommodation.

                      Or annihilating entire tribes of peoples when they object to you taking their land and clearing it for your own personal profit.

                      By the way, that Ivon Watkins Dow plant down the road is totally safe, the western corporation and the western NZ Government told us so.

                      Those kinds of western morals?

                      You fucking idiot.

                  • Kevin

                    How is she questioning it?

                    She stated that Chinese rebar now mimics the NZ style so anyone on a building site would not be able to tell the difference at first glance.

                    She was adding to the discussion, not questioning anything.

                    Some people…

                    • The Chairman

                      I gathered that (re: Chinese rebar now mimics the NZ style).

                      However, in the context of the discussion I thought she was also implying it wasn’t obvious in this particular case.

                  • McFlock

                    I took Molly’s comments to mean that, put simply, there’s good steel made domestically and shit steel from China.

                    They used to be obviously different, so everyone who worked with the stuff could see whether the rebar was good steel or shit steel. Everyone from pourer to supervisor to manager to truck driver could look at it and go “oh, they’ve supplied the shit steel, the contract said the good stuff needed to be used”.

                    Now, the shit steel looks like the good stuff, and you can’t tell the difference without closer examination or testing.

                    So the number of people who know whether the contractor or supplier is cutting corners suddenly diminishes.

                    • In Vino

                      Yep, I support Molly too, and I move a vote of no confidence in the over-punctilious Chairman.

                    • The Chairman

                      It was initially tested in China, showing it was of merit.

                      Therefore, it wasn’t a case of not being able to tell, it was they were swindled.

                    • McFlock

                      OK, let’s go with the “swindled” idea (rather than poor processes, crap lab, whatever). That’s for contracts and the courts to sort out.

                      You take the crap rebar, stack it in a corner, buy new rebar from NZ that does the job. Stack that in another corner.

                      A week or so later, tell the forklift driver “take the good rebar out from the corner and put it on the truck that goes to the site. Put the good rebar on the truck that goes to the manufacturer”. How do you know the forklift driver got the correct rebar onto the correct trucks?

                  • Molly

                    Late answer, but the point you are missing is that NZ Steel and imported steel is now visually similar, and failures in imported steel is likely to cause some backlash against NZ steel here and overseas.

                    That doesn’t seem to be a problem for you, but it could be for another one of our manufacturing sectors, especially when we have builders mixing both NZ steel and imported steel on building sites. They will both be implicated with any future failures.

                    (Just read further and saw Kevin, McFlock and Invino’s comments – which made the point above. Thanks. Don’t get to the computer much at the moment to get into timely discussions)

        • greywarshark 7.1.2.2

          Old proverb. You gets what you paid for!
          Radio commenter this morning saying that the tender or order for steel tubes for bridge support was given to firm about 20-30% below others, at a time when there was much cheap stuff going because of the downturn in construction in China and elewhere. And the steel was certified in China, checked in New Zealand (I looked at the papers, and looked at the cargo, yes it was steel and as described, says spokesman in a firm, strong voice./sarc) Luckily someone cottoned on and the news got out about the rort. Some was used knowingly, but extra reinforcing and concrete was needed. That will upset the profit dimension! And was that done to specification? People can’t rely on conforming to standard (except here) these days as warned in the clip I’ve included below.

          Steel piles fail on Waikato Expressway
          7:25 am today (on RadioNZ) 4.04m
          Cheap Chinese steel certified as strong enough to hold up four bridges has been exposed as too weak, forcing a major fix-up on a huge new highway.
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201802845

          Industry group warns to watch out for dodgy steel
          8:23 am today (3m+)
          An industry lobby group says the failure of cheap imported steel used in piles shows the need for contractors to be extra vigilant.
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201802857

          One other concern is – what will it be used for now? Will someone responsible from the Engineers and Construction official body keep an eye on that for the people, as we can’t trust this shonkey government to do that. After all they are built on faulty materials themselves. It can be used no doubt, but would need testing like the reinforcing, and be put where though weak, it provides enough strength for purpose, and that process should be followed through by an observer, till the concrete is poured and dries around it. We don’t want more CCTV building collapses, so make that a reputable Civil Engineer, prepared to be rude if necessary.

          It’s an analogy for everything in NZ commerce from RW business these days.
          Looking for cheap, okay if it looks glossy, no-one cares about the substance, the integrity. Cheap shoes, dearer shoes splitting across the sole – goods in general tend to have some cheap component that will ensure they are unfit for purpose in a very short time.

          This is selling out the country, literally because NZ money is taken away from home here to pay overseas for the imported stuff we consume. That money should be going into purchasing NZ goods, employing NZ people now un- or partly employed, likely a bit hungry, surely cold in winter, scrabbling and scraping to manage, homeless.

          Shed a tear and then galvanise yourself and most of us, into NZrs doing something to improve the situation. With every complaint here attach a para about what is being done about it, you, a group, the Council, and what pressure is going on government, and how the public is being informed.
          The Chinese used to put up posters when citizens were trying to reach the populace. That country has risen and they have helped us from falling by making their investments, but we have to, really have to, act strongly for ourselves, for NZ. Social welfare, caring about each other not just our immediate circle, needs more jobs, better wages to diminish the cost to the country and the poor ones suffering, not lower taxes for the wealthy, perhaps bring GST down to 5%. Otherwise more disgraceful conditions. You gets what you paid for, and if you didn’t pay enough, the end result is failure, and this time of a country with respect for itself.
          edited

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.2.1

            Will someone responsible from the Engineers and Construction official body keep an eye on that for the people, as we can’t trust this shonkey government to do that.

            Well, if the Chinese got faulty goods from us there’d be a ban on imports from NZ quick smart. They’ve done it before and they’ll probably do it again. NZ should now be doing the same and banning the importation of steel from China.

            • greywarshark 7.1.2.2.1.1

              Draco T Bastard
              +100
              People should know that the Chinese have rejected NZ stuff. I have heard comment that now we have a freetrade agreement with China that NZ can’t do this as well.. If they can, so can we. What are we, mice.?

    • Halfcrown 7.2

      Yeah I heard that. When are they going to wake up to the fact that the cheapest is not always the best in fact not the wisest of moves.

      As my lovely old boss I worked for many years liked to quote,
      John Ruskin 1819-1900 who said:-

      “It’s unwise to pay too much, it’s worse to pay too little.
      When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all.
      When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, becuase the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
      The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot- it can’t be done.
      If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”

  8. Penny Bright 8

    Seen this?

    http://m.democracynow.org/stories/16256

    It’s Not Just the Speeches: Hillary Clinton Questioned over Son-in-Law’s Ties to Goldman Sachs

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    Not sure if its tactical or just plain old miscommunication but the co-leaders of the Greens should probably nut out the Greens position before contradicting each other

    • KB 9.1

      You mean like how English and Key nutted out the national party’s position on tax cuts so they wouldn’t contradict each other?

      • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1

        Unfortunately its not a case of comparing apples with apples. National is in power and are a known quantity whereas a Labour/Greens coalition isn’t.

        Its also not a good look when announcing a MOU (whatever that means) that the co-leaders are saying different things as it just plays into Nationals hands of saying why they aren’t fit to govern because they can’t even agree with themselves let alone another party

      • save nz 9.1.2

        Or Paula’s announcement of $5000 for the poor to leave Auckland while Bill did not know anything about it on budget day.

    • ScottGN 9.2

      Like how Key, English and Bennett carefully nutted out the government’s response to the housing crisis and the $5000 payment to leave Auckland?

      • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1

        Unfortunately its not a case of comparing apples with apples. National is in power and are a known quantity whereas a Labour/Greens coalition isn’t.

        Its also not a good look when announcing a MOU (whatever that means) that the co-leaders are saying different things as it just plays into Nationals hands of saying why they aren’t fit to govern because they can’t even agree with themselves let alone another party

        • Crashcart 9.2.1.1

          The only difference between the apples and the oranges is your blindness to anything the Nat’s may do wrong. They are clearly examples of the exact same lack of communication. However you are simply willing to let the Nat’s slide because:

          a) They are your team and to admit you may have miss judged them would be an ego hit you can’t take, and

          b) They are an established party in power. Here’s another way to look at it. They have been in power for 2 and a half terms and they still can’t sort out basic communications between ministers on major policy. That seems far worse than your perceived miss communication between the two leaders of a small party.

          • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1.1.1

            You’re missing the point though, National are in power right now and have been since 2008 which means the people of NZ know what National are about and are ok with what National gets up to

            Labour/Greens aren’t in power and have gone through a number of leaders so the people of NZ don’t know what they’re about which means, fairly or unfairly, they’ll get more attention for any minor mistakes they make

            So yes National have had miscommunications but people are used to John Key doing that and so its not a big deal (as borne out by the polling) but the biggest mistake to think is its a level playing field and that what one party does the other party can do, it simply doesn’t work that way

            Yes I do vote National but only because they’re the least worst party for me to vote for. I think National are too far to the left but what are my options? Act, not until they get back to their roots and stop faffing about with inconsequentialities (so basically never again) NZfirst, sorry but I’m not racist so for me I vote National but I would like them to move more to the right (at this point even moving to the centre would please me)

            • Crashcart 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I get your point. You think it is not harmful what ever National do because they are in power and people have come to know them. By that logic Governments never change because they are in power and people know them. Tell that to Helen Clark.

              Her Government pretty much kept doing the same things through out the term. People knew who they were and what they were getting from them. There were a few incidents that got a lot of press (paintings and trips to the rugby) that really did nothing. It was the ability of National to paint Labour with an image imagined or real that finally ousted them. Nanny state was said so often I was waiting for a government minister to come and deliver me my own nappy.

              National not being able to get on message after this long is exactly the kind of thing that could hurt them. Especially if their supports choose it as a point of weakness in the opposition to hammer on. By highlighting it in the greens they provide the opportunity taken above to point out when National do it and the only defence is a simplistic “apples and oranges” that is easily shredded.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Well I like to think of a political party in power being like…I dunno inertia maybe

                Helen Clark had a lot of momentum and was extremely difficult to stop but eventually that momentum slowed and National came to power

                I see the same thing happening here, National is losing support, the momentum is slowing but theres enough momentum in the juggernaut for National to make it over the line in 2017, it might be limping but it’ll still be in power and that’s because of the power built up

                So I actually agree with you on pretty much everything you’ve said, the only difference is when it’ll happen

                • Crashcart

                  That is very true. I do get what you mean. Normally Government benches are lost as opposed to won. I do think if something does not change soon National will show that there is no 3 term rule and that unless the opposition works for it as well they won’t just win in time.

                  It is possible this MOU is the first real step in that direction. I guess we will have to wait and see.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Theres many a slip twixt the cup and the lip or something so nothings set in stone ‘specially with Winston on the scene

            • Wensleydale 9.2.1.1.1.2

              “which means the people of NZ know what National are about and are ok with what National gets up to”

              Lying. Lying. Telling lies. Misrepresenting the facts. Skewing statistics in their favour. Advancing half-truths and misinformation. Being evasive. Forgetting stuff. Oh, and lying.

              And I think you’ll find that increasing numbers of Kiwis are most definitely not okay with “what National gets up to.”

        • Jenny Kirk 9.2.1.2

          The Greens co-leaders weren’t saying different things at the MoU announcement. Metiria led the speaking, after Andrew Little. James Shaw was a bystander, as was Annette King.

          • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1.2.1

            James Shaw said there was a possibility of working with National, leaving the door ajar (pretty smart really, keeping some options open no matter how unlikely) Metiria Turei said no deal with National this morning

            • Jenny Kirk 9.2.1.2.1.1

              so when did James Shaw say that, Puckish Rogue. Wasn’t it some time ago …. things have changed since then, and the Greens are on-side with Labour.

            • weka 9.2.1.2.1.2

              “James Shaw said there was a possibility of working with National, leaving the door ajar (pretty smart really, keeping some options open no matter how unlikely) Metiria Turei said no deal with National this morning”

              You know better than that PR. Cite or it didn’t happen and I get to call you a liar again.

              (btw, as I’m pretty sure you also know, ‘working with’ means something specific for the Greens, which means what you are implying is a crock of shit, but we’ll get to that once you provide the citation).

        • Stuart Munro 9.2.1.3

          More like comparing apples with RWNJ.

  10. fisiani 10

    http://www.prosperity.com/#!/ranking

    Why would anyone choose to believe that NZ is as crap as the opposition claim it is. The evidence to the contrary is clear. This is a great place to live. Stop bagging it.

    • Puckish Rogue 10.1

      I understand why the left is pursuing this line, NZ is going well so theres no need for voters to change the government so if the left can make people think that NZ isn’t going well then that might force a mood change

      The problem for the left is that while National is slipping in support its still strong enough to get (limp) over the line in 2017

      • Crashcart 10.1.1

        For most yes it is good. I am one of those. It doesn’t make me blind to Dairy farmers who have bleak times ahead. I also can’t but feel compassion for working families living in cars in south Auckland.

        It is not a matter of saying NZ has gone to hell. It is a matter of seeing the problems and disagreeing with what the current government believes to be the answers.

        • Puckish Rogue 10.1.1.1

          Heres the thing though, NZ is going mostly well. Our economy is going well, employment is low but there’ll always be poor to look after

          Billions are poured into welfare but it never seems enough and all it seems to be is a political football (well to National and Labour anyway) to be kicked around

          • Crashcart 10.1.1.1.1

            More money is poured into the rich than the poor. For some reason the idea seems to be that the best thing you can do to help and economy get better is to make it easy for the rich to do what they do. This is of course the original trickle down idea. It has lead to well documented inequality and very little trickle down. So giving the rich more makes them better off.

            However when it comes to the poor. If you ever try and argue that you should try and give them more people cry waste. We have been giving them progressively less over the years and that sure hasn’t worked. How about we try treating them like the rich and give them some carrot instead of keeping on hammering with the stick as seems to be the current trend.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1.1

              +1

            • fisiani 10.1.1.1.1.2

              The original trickle down idea was ironic language but the Left still think it is the actual thinking. Point being. Do not be ironic with the Left. They do not understand it. PS John Key eats babies!

              • Draco T Bastard

                So, in your own words, what’s the point of making the rich richer and the poor poorer then?

                BTW, the Left have always known that ‘trickle down’ was a load of bollocks. It was called that back in the 1980s when Roger Douglass introduced it but it’s still the excuse that the RWNJs use to justify the robbing of society.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.2

            Billions are poured into welfare but it never seems enough and all it seems to be is a political football (well to National and Labour anyway) to be kicked around

            Worthwhile to remember that we are pouring billions into beneficiaries and superannuitants yes…but most of that money goes straight to landlords and local businesses. Shop owners, hairdressers and the local lunch bar.

            So its a pretty good way for the government to keep the base economy ticking over.

            And a lot of that money quickly finds its way back into the government coffers via GST and other taxes.

          • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.1.3

            Our economy is not growing above the margin of error. The government is lazy, inept, blind, corrupt and stupid.

            Unemployment is at least 10%, and the property cancer consumes the fruits of any tiny trickle of growth before it can effect quality of life let alone cover the debt incurred by the Key kleptocracy’s manifest economic failings.

            The media now report mostly lies, DOC is poisoning kiwi on a large scale, and lowland rivers have been converted into bovine open sewers.

            Paradise for far right nutjobs – all they’re missing is a nuclear accident.

            Hieronymus Bosch would love this place.

          • McFlock 10.1.1.1.4

            Our economy is going well, and this winter is seeing a bumper crop of homeless. All hail the brighter future!

            • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.4.1

              That’s the trouble with winter. Too much hail on all outside the pale.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        NZ is fucked. That’s not just because of National either but simply because of capitalism. The only reason NZ even has a slight recorded growth is because of the housing bubble we’ve got going. Take that away and the economy goes into recession. Take away the Christchurch rebuild and we’d be in a depression.

        Thing is, this is what always happens in a capitalist society. Recessions and depressions until final collapse.

        • Puckish Rogue 10.1.2.1

          Capitalism may not be the best system of government but its still preferable to any other

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.1.1

            No, really, it isn’t. Hierarchies are never a good form of government.

            Democracy is a far better and more stable form of government.

          • framu 10.1.2.1.2

            erm – capitalism isnt a form of govt

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.1.2.1

              Actually, I’d say it is because it requires the government to form the rules and regulations that allow capitalism to exist. Then, of course, the capitalists buy up the government through donations and lobbying.

          • Crashcart 10.1.2.1.3

            Back in the dark ages I am sure they thought a Dictatorship wasn’t the best but was preferable to any other. Of course that is true until someone actually works out something better. That is how capitalism was developed and I am sure it is how the next system is found as well.

      • adam 10.1.3

        We should change your name to Chief Wiggum, Puckish Rougue.

        Almost ever comment you make when you are on a love national bender is “Nothing to see here, move along”

      • miravox 10.1.4

        Some people get to define what you pay for…

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legatum

        Legatum is a private investment firm headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With a long-term perspective, Legatum invests proprietary capital in global capital markets…

        Legatum was founded in December 2006 in the United Arab Emirates by Christopher Chandler. Previously, Chandler was the president of Sovereign Global, or Sovereign, which he co-founded with his brother Richard Chandler in 1986. Sovereign invested capital in companies located in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and in industries including telecommunications, electric utilities, steel, oil and gas, banking and oil refining.”

    • mpledger 10.2

      NZ is a great place to live for a lot of people – I just want to stop National from destroying it bit by bit by bit as they have over the last 8 years.

      And for the people who aren’t finding it great, I want them to get a fair go.

    • b waghorn 10.3

      This country is leaving tho many behind ,but I expect you know that ,and are going to run the latest parrot lines of , its all good don’t be a downer instead.
      National are incompetent $30 mill trying to sell houses no one wants .
      $26 mill failing to change a flag. More homeless every day the list is endless.

      • greywarshark 10.3.1

        If we need to remind ourselves about National’s faailings look up Blip’s list.

        The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

        Lanthanide pointed out that they aren’t all lies because when uttered they have to be known to be wrong. ‘To be or not to be’? So let’s call them FFs (faux fabrications), AM (artful machinations), DCs (deliberate confabulations). We know what they are, and where they live.

    • reason 10.4

      National under dishonest john have taken us backwards in everything …..

      Inequality —–up

      Water quality ——- down

      Homeless children and families —— up

      World education rankings —– down 7 th to 23rd ….. so far,

      Corruption —– up

      New Zealand is a great place ……………. national have turned it into a overseas speculators paradise complete with a tax haven for rich overseas criminals.

      Did you mean stop telling the truth fisiani??? ……….

    • Paul 10.5

      What would you expect a neo-liberal think tank to say?
      It is not a badge of honour to be told we are a slavish neo-liberal country.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    For that think that industrialisation is going away with the decline of fossil fuels, check out this factory and the renewables powering it.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      How did they carry and lay the thousands of square metres of concrete with renewables?

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Yep, figured you’d come back with that bollocks.

        Two points:
        1. It’s a sign of things to come. That without fossil fuels that factory will keep going and it can be extended to every other factory.
        2. Over time even the production, delivery and laying of concrete will be done with renewables. From the mining of the resources to make it to the earth moving equipment to flatten the ground and lay down the concrete itself.

        You seem stuck in the belief that these things need fossil fuels when all they really need is an energy source and a means to change that to motive force. Electric motors do that a hell of a lot better than combustion engines and they have more torque, more reliability and cost less to run and maintain.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          How about the metal rebar in the concrete, was that made without fossil fuels?

          • Andre 11.1.1.1.1

            Not yet. But it certainly could be. Google something like “electrolytic steel making” and you’ll get all kinds of articles like:

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cleaner-cheaper-way-to-make-steel-uses-electricity/

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              What percentage of last year’s global steel output was made using this new process?

              • Andre

                None yet. Because steelmakers don’t have to pay for disposing of their waste CO2 pollution. But when it becomes too expensive to continue polluting, production will switch over to electrolytic methods rather than do without steelmaking.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Let me know when they convert enough capacity to make 10% of global steel output in this fashion. I am guessing that will take twenty years as it will be more cost efficient to run todays capital equipment into the ground and just wear the resulting carbon charges.

                  • Andre

                    DTB’s starting point for this thread was that industrialisation is not going to go away with the decline in fossil fuels.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      His point was predicated on us being able to lay down massive reinforced concrete pads and build big factories without the use of fossil fuels.

                      I agree it can be done in theory.

                      But my position is that it unachievable in practice today, and for the foreseeable future.

                      ~30 years until access to fossil fuels is restricted to the privileged few.

              • Draco T Bastard

                As I said, you’re stuck in the belief that things need to continue as they are when there’s a huge amount of evidence around showing that that won’t be the case.

                We don’t need fossil fuels to power factories – just electricity.
                We don’t need fossil fuels to do mining – just electricity.
                We don’t need fossil fuels to cart stuff around – just electricity (or a horse and cart).

                And electricity can be generated renewably.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I recognise system inertia Draco. You do not appear to. You say that electricity can be generated renewably and I agree.

                  I also say that 75% of the world’s energy is not generated renewable and it will be decades before even 50% of it is generated renewably.

                  In other words, my position is that we are well run out of transition time.

                  By the way how many mines in Australia or NZ use mainly electric vehicles?

                  • McFlock

                    In other words, my position is that we are well run out of transition time.

                    Transition time from what to what?

                    You do realise that the only thing stopping the transition from fossil oil to substitutes is the current low price of fossil oil? In less than twenty years the infrastructure was developed to the point that cars outnumbered horses in NYC. Hell, how long was it before the vast majority of people had a cellphone?

                    When fossil 91 octane hits $3 or $4 a litre, people will be flocking to build better production sources. And that’s without any significant advances in battery tech.

                    At the moment, only about a quarter of a percent of global fuel production is synthetic, according to wikipedia. But the basic processes are well known, and were developed before WW2. It’s a production problem, not a development problem.

                    • Bill

                      You do realise that the only thing stopping the transition from fossil oil to substitutes is the current low price of fossil oil?

                      Not true. Whether the price is high or low, powerful vested interests protect their interests. In the case of oil companies….

                      And there’s a huge difference between transitioning one aspect of a society (horses to cars, say) than there is in transforming an entire energy system. It’s pretty clear that the infrastructure for energy supply simply can’t be built in the time frame we have left for ourselves in which to deliver an outside chance of avoiding dangerous levels of warming.

                      So we have to crash our energy demand. And on the basis that not a single climate change report allows for yearly CO2 reductions above about 5% when we need yearly reductions somewhere in the order of 15%…hold the economy and burn or burn the economy. Which one of those options do you reckon we’ll choose?

                    • McFlock

                      Those powerful interests are also the ones that are reorienting themselves for post-fossil: e.g. BP’s greenwashing also includes renewables development.

                      But that’s also why I asked “Transition time from what to what?”: if Cv was simply talking about an energy crash caused by a fuel shortage, that’s bollocks. But if he was talking about voluntarily stopping use of fossil fuels in the hope of avoiding climate change, it’s A) too late without active intervention; and B) requires government intervention to either outlaw or make fossil fuels more expensive, thus bringing about the industrial shift.

                      We might heat the planet to the point of routine twisters in NZ, followed by blizzards and droughts, but we’re not going to run out of fossil fuels before that happens. Industry won’t collapse.

                    • Bill

                      Sorry, missed the bit about fossil depletion. I agree it’s not going to be happening and that any ‘peak oil to the rescue’ scenario is woefully wrong headed.

                    • greywarshark

                      Cigarettes are the government’s popular scapegoat for bringing in laws to diminish use. Why don’t they put the price of petrol tax up gradually but inexorably? They can do it with a health issue like tobacco they can do it with a life issue like vehicle fuel. It sends good market signals. More efficient.

                    • McFlock

                      They could tax fuel more.
                      They should tax fuel more.

                      But between the trucking lobby and infantile maserati-driving tv rent-a-rants with insecure haircuts, they sure won’t.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But between the trucking lobby and infantile maserati-driving tv rent-a-rants with insecure haircuts, they sure won’t.

                      QFT

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You do realise that the only thing stopping the transition from fossil oil to substitutes is the current low price of fossil oil? In less than twenty years the infrastructure was developed to the point that cars outnumbered horses in NYC. Hell, how long was it before the vast majority of people had a cellphone?

                      I had to laugh at this.

                      Apparently the right wing has been correct all along.

                      True price discovery and a free market is all we need to save the world from climate change and fossil fuel depletion.

                    • McFlock

                      True price discovery and a free market is all we need to save the world from climate change and fossil fuel depletion.

                      Nope. Maybe read what’s there rather than whatever’s in your head.

                      In fact, the problem is that fossil fuels won’t run out before the climate is fucked (if only because, frankly, the climate is already fucked).

                      Fossil fuel depletion itself will not happen in a technological vacuum. There will be substitutes, because there already are substitutes.

                      Climate change is another issue, caused by fossil fuels.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    In other words, my position is that we are well run out of transition time.

                    We don’t actually need a transition time. We could stop using fossil fuels tomorrow and still be able to build up the factories and other infrastructure to maintain an industrial society.

                    • Bill

                      We don’t actually need a transition time. True

                      We could stop using fossil fuels tomorrow True

                      The rest is off this fucking planet though. The closest that could be achieved with regards maintaining an industrial society would be decades of mothball and a slow rebuild/restart using emerging non-fossil energy sources.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We don’t actually need a transition time. We could stop using fossil fuels tomorrow and still be able to build up the factories and other infrastructure to maintain an industrial society.

                      I like you Draco, but it’s clear that you’ve never been involved in constructing or commissioning any manufacturing or industrial facility in your life.

                    • weka

                      If we stopped using FF tomorrow we’d all be bloody hungry by this time next week.

                    • weka

                      The thing I find interesting about this conversation is that the peak oil theorists discussed all this a decade ago. Much of that conversation included people in the relevant industries including oil and engineers. The main issue is the relationship between cheap oil availability, the economy and eroei. It’s easy to solve tech transition on paper, but once you start looking at real world scenarios it doesn’t look so flash.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The closest that could be achieved with regards maintaining an industrial society would be decades of mothball and a slow rebuild/restart using emerging non-fossil energy sources.

                      Yes and that stops industrial society how?

                      but it’s clear that you’ve never been involved in constructing or commissioning any manufacturing or industrial facility in your life.

                      I’m quite aware of the physical requirements. It’s a major complaint of mine when people go on about getting things done for less when it’s actually physically impossible to do that.

                      My point is that we already have the knowledge to create an industrial society that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. I’ve been trying to make that point for months now.

                    • Bill

                      we already have the knowledge to create an industrial society that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels.

                      Again, you’re saying something that’s essentially true. But…okay, here’s a link to Germany. They’re turning out renewables ‘cheap and fast’…and have to put the brakes on because they can’t upgrade the bloody infrastructure fast enough.

                      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/01/angela-merkel-signs-deal-with-german-states-to-regulate-green-energy-rollout

                      And when you hit on an alternative to cement (a huge source of CO2), enjoy your international fame and what not. But until then, get your head around the fact that on seriously large structures there is no known alternative for foundations and that we have to stop using the stuff…which doesn’t bode well on a whole number of fronts.

                    • Andre

                      @Bill, the CO2 from concrete comes from the heat required to make cement, and from chemical reactions in the production of cement. But the process heat could be electric, it doesn’t have to be from burning fossil fuel. And the CO2 emitted from chemical reactions during the production of cement is mostly re-absorbed as the concrete cures and those reactions reverse. So a zero fossil carbon emissions world does not mean the end of concrete.

                      http://www.concretethinker.com/technicalbrief/Concrete-Cement-CO2.aspx

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      They’re turning out renewables ‘cheap and fast’…and have to put the brakes on because they can’t upgrade the bloody infrastructure fast enough.

                      That’s just it – they probably could if they shifted the focus of some of their economy.

                      And it’s a rather interesting problem there. You’d think that their electricity grid would already be able to take the full weight of their electricity demand. Seems strange that they’d suddenly start having problems just because some renewables were installed. I suspect the real problem is that some others don’t want to take their fossil fuelled generation off line.

                      And then, of course, I was just pointing out that industrial processes weren’t going away with the reduction in fossil fuel use as some people have been predicting on here for some time.

                      And when you hit on an alternative to cement (a huge source of CO2), enjoy your international fame and what not.

                      The fame won’t be mine:

                      Newly developed cement types from Novacem[50] and Eco-cement can absorb carbon dioxide from ambient air during hardening.

                      And I’m pretty sure that there’s some smart materials people around that are looking for even better reductions.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My point is that we already have the knowledge to create an industrial society that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. I’ve been trying to make that point for months now.

                      *Shrug*.

                      We’ve had the means and the knowledge to end world hunger and world poverty for at least 50 years.

                      And that fact still doesn’t mean shit half a century later, except in theory.

  12. save nz 12

    Blair government’s rendition policy led to rift between UK spy agencies
    MI5 chief’s complaint over MI6 role in ‘war on terror’ abductions caused prolonged breakdown in relations

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/may/31/revealed-britain-rendition-policy-rift-between-spy-agencies-mi6-mi5

    • Chooky 12.1

      +100 interesting…who are the terrorists?:

      “It raised 27 questions they said would need to be answered if the full truth about the way in which Britain waged its “war on terror” was to be established.

      The questions include:

      • Did UK intelligence officers turn a blind eye to “specific, inappropriate techniques or threats” used by others and use this to their advantage in interrogations?

      • If so, was there “a deliberate or agreed policy” between UK officers and overseas intelligence officers?

      • Did the government and its agencies become “inappropriately involved in some renditions”?

      • Was there a willingness, “at least at some levels within the agencies, to condone, encourage or take advantage of a rendition operation”? “

  13. save nz 13

    Cutting corporate tax won’t create jobs. It’s yesterday’s solution to our problems
    Wayne Swan
    As a solution to Australia’s jobs and growth challenges, a corporate tax cut doesn’t make it even into the top 10 of sensible policy responses

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2016/jun/01/cutting-corporate-tax-wont-create-jobs-its-yesterdays-solution-to-our-problems

  14. Skinny 14

    So the after last years clear rejection of the Super City model in Northland dirty Natcorp push through Paula Bennett a super city type merger with the councils in Northland.

    A possible 3% saving within 10 years is laughable;

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11647923

    • greywarshark 14.1

      Cripes Skinny. Local feeling, pulling together, is the biggest thing that Northland has got. A bit of judicious hand-holding, swopping ideas and shared projects from Councils talking and working together but no corporate disdain thank you for Northland. That would be bad.

      But Poorer Benefit has the mojo for it or anything. She has the smile, the aspiration, the determination, the teeth to bite with.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Thinking about Northland – in Whangarei the month of June is for thinking about the Hundertwasser flourish of colour that is their planned museum for his and Maori taonga. See if you can help them raise more and make it a challenge to the beige, the grey, the black, the white that I see so much of around me. It’s like the grinch stole all the colouring books and pencils at Christmas and now we have the black and white of the world of the grey corporate soldier. Hundertwasser is a challenge to all that.

    It’s all here – have a look of the extravagantly decorated model of the building.
    http://www.yeswhangarei.co.nz/

    Latest News June is Hundertwasser Awareness Month!
    Posted: 21/05/16
    Help us celebrate this wonderful artist, and his incredible gift to our city with the inaugural Hundertwasser Awareness Month! …

    HQ is full of Hundertwasser-inspired artwork and staffed by knowledgeable volunteers ready to answer all your art centre questions.
    The beautiful Vienna-made scale model of the HUNDERTWASSER ART CENTRE with
    Wairau Maori Art Gallery is on proud display.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    I hate articles like this one:

    “I am very worried about the U.S. conventional advantage. The loss of that advantage is terribly destabilizing,” said Elbridge Colby, a military analyst with the Center for a New American Security.

    Because the US having such a powerful military wasn’t destabilising in the first place /sarc

    The US losing it’s military pre-eminence could only be considered destabilising from the point of view of the US. For the rest of the world life will probably become more stable as unaccountable powerful forces are no longer arraigned against them

    • adam 16.1

      Some in the USA military are freaking over some tech advantages that Russia and China now have.

      The Russian EMP bomb, is really quite good.

      As are the new Chinese backpack launched missiles.

      There is other stuff. My guess as the corporations are off chasing bio-med tech – not a lot of new tech for the USA military.

      Trying to remember where I read this, think it was in the latest Military History magazine

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        the F35 dog is sucking up a lot of the US funding.

        Not to mention actually having much of its military deployed at any one time.

        That having been said, they’ve just launched the USS Zumwalt and the littoral combat ships are coming online, they’ve begun development on a new sub, and laser weapons are close to active deployment. Also some interesting ideas on arsenal planes to support the F35 as a sensor platform, and I haven’t read much on rail guns lately so they probably work ok.

        The army cancelled the BigDog quadriped robot late last year because its engine was too noisy. I would have thought they’d invest in a muffler – it was pretty cool…

        • adam 16.1.1.1

          The USS Zumwalt has been in the pipe line for a while – nice looking boat. Bit much 9.6 Billion for 3 boats.

          Lasers and rail guns have more trials (big ones this year), then been around for a while, just weren’t viable. The Russians been spending large on lasers and rail guns as well.

          Ouch the cost per flight/cost per hour on the F35 is unsustainable. That will bankrupt the air-force. I see why you called it a dog. So much for a vaunted Lightening II.

          Haven’t the US and China both throwing money at exo-skeletons in a big way. Another tech, if put into the public realm would be great. I know NASA is spending big on it, I thought the military were as well.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.2

          I don’t think those Littoral Combat Ships are going to be reliable operationally for another 1-2 years minimum. Significant troubleshooting is ongoing. Reports of major issues arising during exercises and deployments have continued into 2016.

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.2.1

            Have you ever heard of a new ship type not having issues when it’s first launched?

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.2.1.1

              What do you mean, a new ship type?

              What’s new about the Freedom and Independence Littoral Combat Ship classes?

              • Draco T Bastard

                You mean besides the fact that they’re entirely new designs with new specifications to meet new conditions?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Multiple units of each class have been built and are in active service; the first of each class was completed 2008.

                  So why are you calling them “entirely new”? That’s being way too generous to excuse the ongoing problems these vessels face IMO.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I can’t find anything wrong with the ships themselves. There’s some concern that they don’t fill the role that they were envisioned for but they are still capable ships.

                  • McFlock

                    meh.

                    The “ongoing problems” seem to be more related to mission-creep and project oversight than problems with the vessels themselves.

                    It started as essentially a small-operation landing support and patrol vessel with guns, now they want it to be a frigate.

                    They have been platforms for constant innovation, however. Even fielding helicopter UAVs.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Free market fails yet again

    Five hundred tonnes of steel from China has been found to be too weak for four bridges on the $450 million Huntly bypass that forms part of the $2 billion Waikato Expressway.

    Contractors building the ‘Road of National Significance’ chose a very low bid for the steel tubes.

    We’ve got some of the best steel manufacturing here in NZ and our own supplies of iron so how can it possibly be cheaper to buy offshore?

    The answer is that it can’t be unless it’s simply not up to standard.

    The contractors, Fulton Hogan and HEB Construction, have admitted to RNZ News the steel tubes were not good enough. They did not comply with standards for structural steel, which for bridges were very high as they must resist impacts, heavy loads and low temperatures.

    It was only after a third lot of testing that the contractors found out. The first tests were done in China by the steel mill and the tube manufacturer; it is understood the second tests were done in New Zealand on samples sent here from China.

    Both lots of tests said the steel met the New Zealand standard.

    As for the third testing, there are two versions of events. The contractors and the New Zealand Transport Agency say that, following established quality control processes, they tested the tubes after they arrived and immediately found out the steel was no good.

    But RNZ News has been told it was only when workers began pounding the tubes into the ground, and the steel ballooned on the ends, that tests were done by an accredited laboratory.

    Which version to believe?
    The patented Cover Your Arse version of the management or the workers on the job?

    • adam 17.1

      Oh look Hone was right about the roads of national significance, they are producing the exact same results as what happened in Greece. Corruption, more money being spent offshore, and passing the buck culture cemented in place. Oh and debt, more and more debt – which will be lumped onto working people, and the middle class.

      What a truly wonderful national government, I wonder which minister won’t be taking responsibility for this…

    • greywarshark 17.2

      Draco T bASTARD
      I thought I would tell you that I did an extensive piece on the steel at 11.37 a.m. 7.1.2 or something. I put links and everything. Nice if people bother to read what others have written or else what’s the point.

  18. Peter Lewis 18

    By now, we should all realize that we have a major crisis on our hands. Every day the media report harrowing stories of families who are suffering. Mothers and their ragged children look out at us from our television screens and newspaper pages with hollow eyes and pale, drawn faces. Social workers tell us heartbreaking stories and beg for more resources. Each evening news features John Campbell and Andrew Little with tears in their eyes as they recount the latest tales of poverty and want.

    It is not enough, we are told, to leave this tragedy to be resolved by market forces. The politicians must take immediate action. John Key and Bill English can no longer shelter behind their uncaring lack of empathy for the needy and duck away by foisting the blame on local council regulations. We pride ourselves in being a first world country, and it is a disgrace that many of our people are living in such deprivation.

    I am, of course, referring to the supply and distribution of food in this country.

    Do you realize that there are many people making substantial profits out of the food industry? Even worse, some of them not even New Zealand citizens! Surely, in a country like ours, this should not be permitted. Something, indeed, should be done. Why just the other day I bought an apple at a local shop and I’m absolutely sure that the shopkeeper was a Chan or a Singh.

    We also hear that there are a large number of people who set themselves up in business running supermarkets, coffee shops, butchers, delicatessens and fruiterers with the absolute intention of making a profit out of this activity. How dare they take advantage of the public like this. The right to food is implicit within our society, Shocking! Graeme Wheeler, have you ordered a case study on the advantages of restricting the finance that a bank can be allowed to offer to an asian national who sets out to buy a fruit and vege shop in Remuera? That sort of restriction can’t be bad, and may well reduce the rate of price inflation on such places for, um, a few days.

    Having borrowed the money to establish their food business these people then compete with ordinary hard-working kiwis when they get their supplies. It is scandalous that they are allowed to deduct the cost of buying their potatoes, their cabbages and their bananas off their tax bill whereas you and I cannot do that when we buy our own families groceries. Unfair competition in the market. Not only that, but when they pay their rent, their power bill and their insurance they can also claim those costs as a tax deduction. You and I, sitting at home, cannot do that. How can we compete? We are disadvantaged. Mr Little, Mr Twyford, please come to our rescue. It is so unfair. This loophole in the law must be closed.

    Even worse, when these people have built up their business on the basis of all these tax-free perks and they come to sell out at a substantial capital gain, that capital gain is completely tax free! They walk away with many thousands of dollars, all unearned, and do not pay a single cent in tax. How dare they. Tax the bastards till their eyes water and their toenails ache I say.

    The Government must step in right now and do something to relieve this tragedy. We can’t just leave it to the market. At the very least they should set up Government stores where affordable food would be available to those in need. A catchy name for these places would be great – Great Union Markets sounds about right, and GUM would be an interesting acronym, reminiscent of those Soviet Russia food stores of the 1950s who had the worthy aim of “democratizing consumption for workers and peasants nationwide”. Equal lack of choice for all.

    Some people argue, and say that the Government has no business to be in the food business. I disagree. We have many reports from university academics and top public servants saying that this is the way to go. Sure, these people have all spent their entire working lives sheltered on a secure and protected government funded salary, but they have read plenty of books and have lots of letters after their names so they must know what is the right thing to do.

    We then need to set up an affordability benchmark, your weekly food bill should be no more than ten per cent of your weekly income. Any subsidy that might be needed to achieve this could easily be raised by imposing a fair tax on private food suppliers. Sure, what you and I might consider to be a fair tax may well be regarded by them as a punishing imposition, but the Green Party says that our view of what is fair is what counts and anyway we all know that when we levy a tax on anything it always brings the price down, don’t we?

    Should we then allow anybody and everybody to shop at GUM? Of course not. The self employed, the thrifty and the hard-working are all undesirables and should be barred from access. We don’t want to encourage such bad behavior. My suggestion is that there should be a statutory means test, and legislation passed that those who fail the test should have to shop only in the private markets. Naturally, if such legislation is enacted, everybody will obey that law just like they already obey laws like those against using cell phones in cars. We are, after all, a thoroughly law-abiding society.

    Of course, if we look at history, every single attempt to control a market, regulate supply, impose price controls and subsidize everything and everybody has always inevitably lead to failure, shortages, corruption, disaster and eventual collapse. But we are different. From Vogel to Muldoon, we have long history of trying to outfox the market. Admittedly that has never worked in the past. Regulations have always begat more regulations. Subsidies have always become more complex and byzantine. The market has always won in the end. But it might just possibly work next time. Surely we should give it a go.
    After all, King Canute was not a Kiwi.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      ^^ Another moronic rant by a RWNJ explaining why nothing can be done despite it having been done before and worked.

      Tell me, do you know why we have the word Cartel?

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      Of course, if we look at history, every single attempt to control a market, regulate supply, impose price controls and subsidize everything and everybody has always inevitably lead to failure, shortages, corruption, disaster and eventual collapse.

      Why are you so afraid of true competition?

      If Government can source materials and funds to provide goods and services cheaper than you can, why do you have a problem with that?

      Afraid that your personal profit margin might have to be cut right?

    • greywarshark 18.3

      Peter Lewis
      You are a low life. Spending a lot of time writing a long comment that starts off purporting to be about the dire state of things for those at the bottom in NZ. But all the time you are just being a sarky smart-arse, in your own opinion. Keep your trashy thoughts to yourself and your circle of giggling mates and their wives.

      What extensive insight were you intending to demonstrate when you wrote this?
      Do you realize that there are many people making substantial profits out of the food industry? Even worse, some of them not even New Zealand citizens! Surely, in a country like ours, this should not be permitted. Something, indeed, should be done. Why just the other day I bought an apple at a local shop and I’m absolutely sure that the shopkeeper was a Chan or a Singh.

  19. reason 19

    The ‘free markets’ were shown to a nothing more than a scam and looters mandate by the world Global Financial Crisis ……

    Because of the greed and dishonesty of the financial industry they started the collapse of it all ….

    It took about 22 TRILLION of direct government bail outs to stop this ‘free market’ destruction of the worlds financial system.

    ‘Free markets’ types are dishonest or stupid …………

    Peter lewis typed a lot for a stupid person …. perhaps a meth rant?.

    Do you support ‘free market slave labor and tax havens Pete?

    Most failed states in the world are free markets ….. you should move to one.

    Think of the freedom 😉

  20. weka 20

    http://politik.co.nz/en/content/politics/854/Labour-Green-pact-could-see-the-end-of-Dunne-james-Shaw-Peter-Dunne-Andrew-Little-Labour-Greens-Matt-McCarten.htm

    Odd url but the article is positing Shaw standing in Dunne’s seat and winning if Labour don’t stand. I think Shaw got a big vote where he stood last time, don’t know if that translates to Ohariu. Article doesn’t address issue of National not standing and gifting their votes to Dunne but still interesting.

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