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Open Mike 01/07/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 1st, 2017 - 97 comments
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97 comments on “Open Mike 01/07/2017 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    She said there was an “avalanche” coming of people nearing retirement with debt owing.

    28 per cent of mortgages are now held by people aged 55 and over.

    Aucklanders had the most mortgage debt – those 55 and over with a home loan have an average mortgage of $393,229.

    Currently, 18 per cent of people aged over 55 struggled to make ends meet.



    A lot of attention has been given to child poverty, but are we overlooking this coming “avalanche” ?

    • Sacha 1.1

      Interesting. Nothing in there though about what proportion of those mortgages are for primary residences. What’s the likelihood of over-55s also having ‘investment’ properties?

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Just to background the earlier comments in 1 –

        New data from credit score provider CreditSimple.co.nz shows New Zealanders over 55 are an increasingly large percentage of bankruptcies.

        They now represent 27.8 per cent of all bankruptcies, up from 20.6 per cent in 2010.

        CreditSimple spokeswoman Hazel Phillips said her organisation’s staff had reported from their conversations with older people that many said they were struggling to make ends meet.

        • The Chairman

          “They now represent 27.8 per cent of all bankruptcies, up from 20.6 per cent in 2010.”

          It’s a worry.

          • greywarshark

            Sure is. Perhaps now the olders will start to take real notice of what is happening in NZ to the youngers, because if they don’t the powers that be will come for them and they will feel the same abandonment as the discarded precariat of the young.

      • The Chairman 1.1.2

        “What’s the likelihood of over-55s also having ‘investment’ properties?”

        Around 25% offhand. Nevertheless, the concern expressed largely isn’t about them.

    • savenz 1.2

      A lot of people caught up in the ‘leaky building’ had to remortgage, many lost money in the financial scandals and most banks now are offering 30 year mortgages, so people will have to pay well into retirement a mortgage, in many cases. Not only that, as employee’s head into their 50’s they are made redundant – there is seems zero government controls in place for any sort of stability – most people’s lives now are dependant on market forces and can be bankrupted by unsafe cladding, financial mismanagement, losing their job for no reason and having to be in debt for longer in our low wage economy making it difficult to pay off debt quickly.

      • The Chairman 1.2.1

        “A lot of people caught up in the ‘leaky building’ had to remortgage…”

        From timber through to plumbing, with the horror stories still coming out of the building sector, a good number more will be impacted.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 1.2.2

        Incompetent people in Government and Councils changing the Building Codes and abandoning the Apprenticeship Schemes and guess who the neoliberal National Government ?

      • Grafton Gully 1.2.3

        This is the way I see it too. I wouldn’t mind so much if the people with far more money than they need were not so obvious. I don’t envy them, just feel like they are a different sort of human being, like I have to behave differently around them. I feel uneasy in a way I never did growing up here. People seem separated in some way. Hard to put a finger on it. When I was younger in NZ I always felt we were in it together. Not so much these days. It’s a lonely country. Lonely and anxious.

    • dukeofurl 1.3

      All very well to use averages
      ” 55 and over with a home loan have an average mortgage of $393,229.”

      But what is the median. There are plenty of rich older people in Auckland too For those working , the last 10 years are normally the peak income years.
      In general terms they will be more people retiring with a mortgage than there used to be- when the goal was to reach early 60s mortgage free.

      • The Chairman 1.3.1

        The median or average is largely irrelevant in this instance as it’s the growing amount struggling under the pressure and going bankrupt that is the concern.

        Auckland has 240 residents worth at least $30 million each. So not a large percentage of the population is of high wealth.

    • Sabine 1.4

      child poverty is the result of parent poverty. It’s just that those crunchy do nothing dudes and dudettes that hope that the market will fix it might – might care about children. But then, as the last few years showed there are few in NZ that give a dime about poverty in general.

      More interesting to me would by why do these people own on their mortgage? I know quite a few people that have increased their mortgage to buy stuff that has got nothing to do with the house/mortgage itself, some of them in the over 55 range – as a friend of mine put it while buying a third motor bike ‘ i won’t be getting any more loans as i am getting too old’. Mind this friend is also in a position to keep on working until he drops dead.

      • The Chairman 1.4.1

        “More interesting to me would by why do these people own on their mortgage?”

        As pointed out by savenz. A number have fallen victim to finance company collapses, had to refinance to repair their poorly built home, or have been made redundant. Some have gone through expensive separations, others have fallen victim to bad health or bad luck. And some would have been as a result of poor fiscal management.

        A number have businesses secured against property, which may have not performed too well.

        • Sabine

          Yes, but we don’t have a break down.

          I also know some that have bought several houses in Akl over the last few years – as i was told they want to have a ‘livestyle’ when they are eighty – and these houses will bring them easily to about 2.5 million in mortgage debt. Will they have been able to pay these of by the time they retire? Nope, not a chance in hell. However they can sell one – hopefully make enough cash on that to pay a mortgage or two.

          so we really need a break down to see what the numbers are.
          And i consider anyone who has mortgage debt due to ‘frivoulous’ spending – like my mate with the bikes – or needing several million dollar properties to fund their future lifestyle in that category.
          then you have those that might have gone back into debt due to illness.
          then you have those that might sold a property due to divorce and then bought again a property on their own.

          all these are quite different reasons for being in debt by the age of 55 and over.

          One reason i have not re-started my business is that the bank wants to use my property as a security. The whole loan is literally predatory. So here we go, i don’t work, staff that i would have employed is not working, and i don’t have debt. But the banks are not helpful.

          But essentially we are all guessing as to why people are in debt and by how much and so on.

          We really need better stats in this country.

          • Sacha

            Part of the damage from our economy’s fixation with property has been the narrowness of our financial sector’s ability to manage risk – so the best they can offer is to tie a small business’s potential liability to something they can grasp – a house. Stifles NZ hugely.

  2. It’s been an interesting week for our campaign. I have had dozens of library and ex-library staff communicating privately and confidentially with me. About a week ago I was sent screen shots of a dozen internal emails from library managers seeking relief cover for a total of 71 shifts of 6 or more hours in July. We were also aware that management’s self-imposed deadline of having all staff in new roles by July 1 wasn’t going to be met, that departing employees had been asked to stay on longer, and, unbelievably, some branches were so understaffed Madison Recruitment was supplying temps.

    Apparently the libraries’ computer system is so complicated that temps will struggle to perform even tasks we’d think are straightforward, like shelving.

    Love Our Libraries raised the alarm on Monday by emailing every Local Board in Auckland.

    By the end of the day, management responded to attempt to refute our claims.

    We wrote to the boards again the next day and provided more information.

    We did get management to admit temps were being used: just 20 over July-August (less than 2% of the workforce–not quite if there are ca. 700 staff left).

    The possibility of “rolling closures” hit the media thanks to a piece by James Pasley on stuff.co.nz which has also run in different local suburban newsletters.

    I’m told library managers have cautioned staff ( not for the first time) not to speak to the public, media, or members of Love Our Libraries, especially about staff shortages.

    The emails seeking relief staff have been removed and temps will be used.

    Meanwhile I was sent a cautionary letter by Dean Kimpton, Auckland COO. He was objecting to what he termed “personal attacks” I’ve made in the Libraries General Manager. While I admit on a few occasions I’ve indulged in a catty crack, it is very hard not to absorb and reflect the utter disdain her underlings have for her and I will continue to raise doubts about her professionalism and ability to carry out the Fit for the Future reforms. It’s ironic for Kimpton to ask for respect for her when our city’s librarians have had to cope with a year of uncertainty, secrecy, and paranoia. How is forcing so many workers to reapply for jobs they’ve done competently for years, so you can save a few bucks by compressing and rotating their schedules, not a form of disrespect?

    Our Facebook group is public. Please visit and join. We will continue to document and call attention to the travesty that is Fit for the Future. http://www.facebook.com/groups/loveourlibraries

  3. greywarshark 3

    This morning on Kim Hill interesting on present and future speaker. Audio later.

    8:09 Johan Rockström – Planetary boundaries

    The Hillary Institute recently announced Sweden’s Johan Rockström as the global Hillary Laureate for 2017. The Institute, inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary, aims to support leaders working in the areas of climate change, poverty, disease, peace, and justice. Johan Rockström is the director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and a professor of environmental science at Stockholm University.

    He is recognised for his work on global sustainability, and helped lead the team of scientists that presented the planetary boundaries framework, first published in 2009.

    The nine planetary boundaries are systems that regulate the Earth’s stability and resilience – the interactions of land, ocean, atmosphere and life that together give a ‘safe operating space for humanity’.

    Four of the planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity. Rockström advises several governments and business networks including the UN and the World Economic Forum.

  4. The Chairman 5

    Dick Quax is advocating selling a share of Watercare to the NZ Super Fund and ACC.

    By selling an ownership stake in Watercare, the council would not lose any dividends. Watercare is currently prohibited by legislation from paying a dividend.
    However, doing so would establish a dividend stream for itself and it’s stakeholders.


    Which brings us to the pitfall. The increase in water charges required to produce this new revenue stream would effectively fall back on ratepayers, effectively making it little different than a rates increase, thus defeating the objective.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Water, dividend streams, the language is liquid, the thinking is languid, the zeitgeist is addiction to money; squeezing the public until all their money sources dry up.

      • The Chairman 5.1.1

        Hardly creative juices flowing. Just another way to drown us in bills.

        • savenz

          Unlike a business, rate payers are FORCED to pay. So council’s are not really a business more a monopoly that is becoming less and less democratic.

        • Tamati Tautuhi

          Just another method of skinning the cat.

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      Of course you can apply as much creativity to this problem as desired, there are simply no cleaver ways of arranging the accounts which don’t have this flaw. In order to increase the available finance either the public sector needs to run a deficit or the private sector needs to run a deficit, there is no other possible way to increase finance.

      The problem for the Auckland council being its beholden to central government in many ways for any deficit spending it wants the public sector to undertake.

      What Watercare is trying to explain with its accounting is that its not a profitable business undertaking. Auckland can have access to water at a reasonable price, or it can have a profit making water enterprise. Its impossible for it to have both.

      Here is a discussion of Stuart Chase which explains how Auckland should look at the question, should Aucklanders have public access to water.

  5. greywarshark 6

    Interesting take on NZF and Winston Peters by Chris Trotter.

    Peters in particular, has always taken care to offset his ferocious rhetorical forays into such fraught areas as Maori-Pakeha relations and Asian immigration by offering the public his most mischievous of conspiratorial grins. As if to say: “What did you think of that? Impressive? Good. Just don’t take any of it too seriously!”

    As the years have passed, however, New Zealand’s “populism with a smile” has become increasingly difficult to sustain. In relation to the rest of the world, the Alliance and NZ First were movements ahead of their time. Over the past two years, however, the global populist herds have overtaken us with a feral strength not encountered since the darkest years of the 1930s. And, while anger has always driven populism forward, today’s populists are super-charged with unreasoning hatred and rage.

  6. savenz 7

    Not a good week for human rights…

    Trump’s next attack on democracy: mass voter suppression


    ‘We wanted democracy’: is Hong Kong’s two-systems experiment over?


    U.N. human rights experts on Friday said the trial of a prominent Vietnamese blogger did not meet international standards and appeared to be aimed at intimidating environmental activists.


    • Gabby 7.1

      Can’t help feeling the vehement opposition to voter i.d. by the democrats is a bit of a free shot for the reblubiblubs. Though demanding individuals’ vting histories is sinister. I guess they mean whether someone voted rather than for whom but still..

  7. Jonah from Tonga – blackface shit

    Maori tv – bullshit rationale, ratings chaser. Letting Pacific and Māori people down. Disgrace and sad.

  8. Tamati Tautuhi 9

    Jones is right ACT is the human form of the fungal pathogen myrtle rust.

  9. rhinocrates 10

    Pizzagate? That’s nothing! NASA has child slave camps on Mars!

    At least according to Alex Jones, so beloved of some pro-Trump commenters here.


  10. joe90 11

    Damn shame Stanley’s no longer with us.



    edit: @ rhino

    Mr Steele himself has had a few mention on TS

    • marty mars 11.1

      Ha Alex Jones needs real help imo. Anyone who is into him or icky or any of these extremistists shows their deficiency. Sad. Funny. Sad. Nah, funny.

    • rhinocrates 11.2

      Stanley Kubrick did indeed film the moon landings, but he was such a perfectionist that he insisted that all the hardware worked and he filmed them on location. 🙂

  11. Blade 12

    Oh, Dear.

    Is this stance an offshoot of critical thought by Young Nats regarding

    Or would many of these younins qualify for the 20% of university students needing remedial studies before they can pursue their chosen course?

    People say the Left are powerless. Well, control education, and you control the coming generations.

    As the Jesuits said: ‘ Give me the child, and I will show you the man.’

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • In Vino 12.1

      I assume that is what happened to you, Blade.

      • Blade 12.1.1

        No, I didn’t go to university. A waste getting UE back in the day.

        What a worthless post. It’s obvious you are still in need of remedial work.

  12. Stunned mullet 13

    As the Stunned mullet said: ‘ Show me a comment from blade, and I will drop a flatus in response.’

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  13. Classic – found some anti jokes the other day

    ‘A horse walked into a bar. Several people got up and left as they spotted the potential danger of the situation.’

    Put this up to remind us to keep thinking outside the square – got an election to win and anti jokes could help.

    What about this one.

    ‘What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?’

    • weka 14.1

      😆 Very good.

    • Ed 14.2


    • Blade 14.3

      Yes, Marty, Labour needs to punch above their weight by dropping Andy.

      • marty mars 14.3.1

        Why did Bill English lose the election?

        Because the majority of people didn’t trust him or his party national, because of all the lies he told on tv about his cover up in his old electorate, and they therefore voted for labour and the greens instead.

        • Blade

          Marty, for such a switched on guy, given the current scandal around Labour that may blow sky high, you should hold off crystal gazing.

          But seeing we are crystal gazing, I expect Andy to tender his resignation of the Labour Party on election night. Unless he is a masochist, of course.

          One last prediction: if Andy doesn’t step down after losing the election, the bloodbath that follows will have the National Party moving from being a political party to a National institution.

          Get to know the voters in the ‘real world,’ not the rhetorical world.

          • marty mars

            Yep I’m switched on and you should listen to what I’m saying.

          • Ed

            You’re a Tory, right?

            • Blade

              No, the Tories are old Labour. Handouts for everyone.

              • savenz

                @ Blade, So are you supporting the the third Tory way – neoliberalism – handouts for corporations and money for the most greedy not matter what gender or race.

                or the current fourth Tory way aka Trump style handouts for corporations and cronies, reduce democratic rights and have a war on race, money, religion and gender (kinda DUP + UK conservatives as well as Trump when you think about it).

                P.S. What are your thoughts on Billy Boy’s chances of being rolled before the election – I’d say 30% chance of Billy being rolled – he’s not a good liar which does not help the Nats chances.

                Billy’s much more likely to be rolled than Andy.

                • Blade

                  ”Blade, So are you supporting the the third Tory way – neoliberalism – handouts for corporations and money for the most greedy not matter what gender or race. ”

                  No, but you are right about corporate welfare. Hence my previous comment:

                  “No, the Tories are old Labour. Handouts for everyone.”
                  Substitute State organisations for corporations.

                  Look, I will let you in on a secret- if you continue to talk of the greedy rich, Labour will have no chance of re-election. Real world voters aren’t interested in the greedy rich…they want to know what’s in it for them. They accept-unlike folk on this site- that some people will always be privileged. Fact of life.

                  That’s why they call Labour the party of envy. You guys can’t get past believing the world should always be fair.

                  Bill has no chance of being rolled unless he is caught importing cocaine. Voters like his steady hand. However, I believe Paula Bennett maybe the next leader off the rank, sooner rather than later.

                  • savenz

                    Blade – I never mentioned the ‘greedy rich’ only the ‘greedy’.

                    I have zero problem with wealthy people , only with Greedy people.

                    Huge difference.

                    And I do agree with you about those banging on about greedy rich will not help Labour in the election because being wealthy is desirable by many including the poor and wealth means something different to everyone.

                    I certainly don’t envy people who work hard and are successful and become wealthy but I do despise those that are too greedy. I think good on corporations and individuals that create well paid jobs and treat their staff fairly and pay their taxes fairly.

                    Handouts for billionaires are greedy. Corporations not paying local taxes are greedy. Corporations and the individuals closing down factories and putting people out or work are greedy especially after sucking the company dry with personal renumeration payments.

                    The National party has become a party for the Greedy not the wealthy and that is why NZ First and Labour and Greens will win the next election if it is run in a fair way.

                    As for Bill, I think he’s Natz best bet but has the odds against him cleaning up Key’s dirty tricks, but relying on ex Benny Bennet who’s sucked off the state her whole life is not exactly a roaring CV for the National voter – so good luck there – having her succeed Bill!

                    Face it, the Nats have less talent in their MP’s than Labour.

                  • Tamati Tautuhi

                    I think Paula has a lot more credibility than Bill especially after the Ranfurly Rabbit Saga in Clutha-Southland ?

                    • Blade

                      Sorry bro, I skimmed your name and though it was Tamati Tutae. My apologies…by the way, what the hell are you on about?

                  • McFlock

                    That’s why they call Labour the party of envy. You guys can’t get past believing the world should always be fair.

                    Firstly, that’s not what “envy” means.

                    Secondly, why shouldn’t people want the world to be fair? Sure, we should all recognise the world is a brutally unfair place, because the benefit of recognising that is that it shows us where to improve it. But why should we be satisfied with a world that is unfair?

                    Why should we surrender our empathy and humanity in order to thrive in an unfair, unjust world? Because the strength of humanity is that we have the power to affect the shape of that world – so why not aspire to fairness?

                    You’ve put your finger on the difference between the politics of the left and your politics – and you’re the baddie in this movie, the agent of darkness, chaos, and the carrion-eaters.

                    • But why should we be satisfied with a world that is unfair?

                      Well, in Blade’s case it comes down to whether the unfairness works in your favour or not.

                    • Blade

                      ‘Firstly, that’s not what “envy” means.’

                      Ok, so what does it mean? Oh, it means this.

                      ”A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.” Ironically, its that latter that’s killing Labour.

                      ”Secondly, why shouldn’t people want the world to be fair? ‘

                      They should want the world to be fair…or more fair. The trouble starts when they make no progress, and become bitter and twisted like many on this blog.

                      ‘You’ve put your finger on the difference between the politics of the left and your politics – and you’re the baddie in this movie, the agent of darkness, chaos, and the carrion-eaters.”

                      Surely you are having some fun, and taking the piss. It’s hard to tell on this blog.

                    • McFlock

                      They should want the world to be fair…or more fair. The trouble starts when they make no progress, and become bitter and twisted like many on this blog.

                      Oh, so the problem isn’t that they think the world should be fair, it’s just that your side keep preventing this from happening.

                      ‘You’ve put your finger on the difference between the politics of the left and your politics – and you’re the baddie in this movie, the agent of darkness, chaos, and the carrion-eaters.”

                      Surely you are having some fun, and taking the piss. It’s hard to tell on this blog.

                      Not really. If you’re not on the side that wants the world to be less unfair, that only leaves two unpalatable options that speak poorly of your character. Try breaking it down into some of the ways the world is unfair, and you might get it. Children dying, that sort of thing.

  14. Crunchy 15

    Sorry, are you denying that there are kiwi’s without a roof over their heads?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  15. joe90 16


    That moment you realize "The Beatles" is a pun. pic.twitter.com/O7PhM4TtzP— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) March 1, 2017

  16. Crunchy 17

    Surely you are not denying the bit about the campaign workers being a Labour scheme?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Ed 17.1

      Can you stop trolling please?

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        It’s Crunchy short for Crunchy the Clown. Don’t even reply – you know that clowns have a tumbling routine that people fall for.

  17. Ed 19

    Stuff we should be focusing on.

    1. Climate change.

    Temperatures in Iranian city of Ahvaz hit 129.2F (54C), near hottest on Earth in modern measurements.


  18. greywarshark 20

    Alert tomorrow morning Wallace Chapman Radionz – good stuff
    on Insight and Max Rushbrooke.

    8:09 Insight: trade deals and balancing power
    8:40 Max Rashbrooke: towards a truly open government

    • Cinny 20.1

      Thanks for that, tuned in now and learning/listening 😀

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        Glad you did. I started listening to the trade treaty thing and realised that I would just end up despairing at the unequivocal approach to our business enterprise future.

        I did hear interesting bit about how we are making relationship with something Pacific and Mexico, Columbia, Chile and somewhere. It might be a good move.

  19. Andre 21

    Heh. The Chump appoints Kris Kobach (who’s been been crying about voter fraud despite all the evidence showing it’s a negligible problem) to his voter fraud commission. Kobach issues a letter to all states requesting all info on state voter rolls. Quickly swaps his Kansas Secretary of State hat back on and says back to his own commission fuck off you can’t have it.



    • joe90 21.1

      Insecure, too.

      The letter asks that the information be submitted to the email address “ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov,” which does not use basic security protocols.

      The email address is assigned to the EOP—the Executive Office of the President. Secure email tests confirm that EOP email addresses don’t use STARTTLS, a protocol for encrypting email while it travels across the internet so it is less likely to be snooped on while in transit.


  20. ScottGN 22

    I see Winston’s having a grand old time on Facebook, touring around Northland and highlighting each of the one-way bridges National had promised to double-lane.

  21. adam 23

    Some great TV

  22. Muttonbird 24

    All Blacks lose. What will be Bling’s social media respose?

    • In Vino 24.1

      Maybe he’ll sing that nice ‘Sorry’ song by Tracy Chapman. I can almost hear it now…

    • Editractor 24.2

      If the ref had kept his mouth shut, Sonny Bill would have been able to see the game out.

    • mauī 24.3

      Blinky Bill meets Sonny Blill and they all laugh because they have more likes than Andy.

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