Open mike 01/08/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 1st, 2016 - 80 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

80 comments on “Open mike 01/08/2016”

  1. Ad 1

    Special place in hell award, voted by everyone who can no longer afford to turn the heater on. The Chair of Australia’s ACCC Christopher Niesche now opposes the privatization of public utilities, after 30 years of advocating for them:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11684826

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The Chair of Australia’s ACCC Christopher Niesche now opposes the privatization of public utilities, after 30 years of advocating for them:

      No he doesn’t. He still favours them but he’s upset with how the government has been carrying them out by not putting in place the correct regulations so as to get top dollar for them. He still believes that privatisation and competition makes things cheaper against all the evidence to the contrary.

      • Adrian 1.1.1

        Exactly Draco, he uses telecoms and airfares as examples but those price reductions are purely driven by technology changes. I’m amazed at at how a French girl staying with us talks for ages to family and friends back home via Facebook for free.

  2. Sabine 2

    oh well nuthing can be dunne about it, cause the free market has spoken and it is good or not

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/299688/uncovered-more-faults-in-steel-testing

  3. dv 3

    I really don’t understand why this is so

    Only 15 per cent of new homes would be priced under $800,000, and less than 2 per cent would be under $600,000.

    A 140 m house can be built in Takaka under 300k (Plus land (100k)

    OK Takaka is not a big city!!! BUT it is over a big hill.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/82670208/few-new-auckland-houses-likely-to-be-under-800k-under-unitary-plan

    • ianmac 3.1

      Yes dv. Would be interesting to compare accurately the cost of same or near same design, same size, same land form, of houses in 4 or 5 places around NZ. It would show up if costs are being inflated just because you can in Auckland. (Take the land cost out of the equation of course.)

    • Craig H 3.2

      A major reason is that because housing costs in some regions are lower, labour costs are lower and businesses can survive/thrive on lower profits. Often council compliance/consent costs are lower as well because there is a lot less NIMBY/NOTE/BANANA going on, so there are fewer challenges/hearings etc.

  4. The Lone Haranguer 4

    Well, Malcolm Turnbull tip toed over Kevin Rudd’s ambitions to be the UNSG. So now its coming back to bite him on the bum. Serves him right.

    Why he didnt jut say “Look Kevin Rudd’s a narsistic prick and the UN despite its many many faults, deserves better than that”

  5. Over the weekend I got that caching system fully operational again, fixed the replies tab to use ajax to lazy load the replies – which meant that the cache system works better, tweaked a number of little bugs, optimised the media library images (still have some of the theme images to do), and generally made the system faster and tighter.

    I also organised to increase the bandwidth uplink for the site.

    What I didn’t do was to get the search working. Lyn is promising to cook tonight, so I I get home from work at a reasonable hour I’ll do it then. I also have to optimise some other images and look at when some of the javascript loads.

    • Halfcrown 5.1

      All I can say is. You are doing a great job and I for one appreciate it.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Cheers for your labour of love, lprent…

    • left for dead 5.3

      Good lad, much appreciated.
      edited
      If I ever get back up your way, and that pub on the north shore still sells Youngs SLA, i’ll love to shout you one at least. cheers

    • Olwyn 5.4

      Thanks lprent for all your hard work.

    • lprent 5.5

      Wow. Just testing from work, and the screens are snappy.

      This comment is purely to see if it is better with saving comments (and going through all of that background checking)

    • Lanthanide 5.6

      Replies tab isn’t working for me today, Chrome on Linux. Was working yesterday at home, Chrome on Win10.

      Edit: after having closed that browser tab, and opened up a new one sometime later, replies tab is now working for me.

  6. adam 6

    Glad we are so far away, but in many ways not really. Is Turkey an expansionist state?
    My Greek friends all think so – in one way or another. My Kurdish friends on the whole loth them with a passion.

    Here is an interesting interview, going to run off and read some of his writing now.

    johnhelmer.net/

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Some elements of the US gov likely provided support to the (presumably pro-US) coup plotters.

      Erdogan is going to take a very unforgiving view of that.

      NB he closed Incirlik airbase down again yesterday, surrounding it with up to 7,000 armed police equipped with automatic weapons and armoured personnel carriers, preventing all movement on and off base.

      Official word is that this was just to provide extra security to a visiting top US admiral, and to conduct security checks ahead of time.

      Which sounds like a PR story to me, given the observed facts.

  7. b waghorn 8

    waghorns conspiracy of the day.
    trump truly is still good friends of the clintons and is doing the ultimate dirty politics play.
    destroying the republicans and getting clinton elected in one foul swoop.

  8. swordfish 9

    She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
    by Jeffrey St. Clair

    One or two highlights from a relatively long opinion piece:

    I want to apologize to the Sandernistas for any impolite things I may have written about you in the past 10 months. I especially want to apologize to those of you who rose up after your leader abandoned you, after Bernie wiped out your votes and muted your voices, after he turned you over to the DNC’s thuggish floor managers and security guards, after he sat passively as your brave chants of “No More Drones” were drowned out by the fascist war-cry of “USA! USA!!”

    I want to apologize for doubting your resolve. I want to apologize without qualification. You didn’t cry when Bernie betrayed you. Not for long. You marched right back into the Wells Fargo Center intent on spoiling the party. You didn’t sour on your ideals. You refused to be domesticated. You pissed on their carpet. You shouted down their war criminals. You made this squalid affair fun for a few precious hours. And that ain’t bad. Somewhere Abbie Hoffman is cracking a smile (though perhaps not at the spectacle of Meryl Streep ripping off his wardrobe during her bewildering performance, an act so incoherent it made one long for the Absurdist theater of Clint Eastwood and his empty chair routine.)

    I woke up this morning with a hangover that has defied the usual remedies. Too much mezcal from the Kaine Drinking Game (one shot for every reversal of a long-held position). Too many hours of tedium, dread and bombast. For relief, I turned to the Holy Text itself, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: ’72 and drank in HTS’s savage denunciation of lesser-evil voting …

    … Trump took to Twitter early this morning, as his hair was being replastered into place, and denounced the All Star lineup at the Democratic Convention last night as an orgy of “empty rhetoric.” He wasn’t wrong. The whole affair had the feel of one of those rock concerts featuring bands from the 1970s. The first few phrases were thrilling, then it all started to fade away into a nostalgic stream of familiar hooks and licks you’ve heard a thousand times before on Classic Rock AM radio. All played very well with magnificent staging and a dazzling light show, yet utterly antiseptic. The curious Tim Kaine interlude was the lone exception. It was hard to tell if his performance was camp or kitsch …

    … The New York Times reports that after spending most of the spring in hiding, mega-donors are flocking back to the Clinton campaign. With Bernie vanquished and pacified, it is now safe for the powerbrokers of the Clinton cash machine to re-emerge, after being asked by the campaign to be discreet during the primaries. Now hedge funders, insurance execs, Big Pharma lobbyists and securities traders can get back to the business of wining and dining the Clinton team with style …

    … Chuck Schumer: “I’m not worried about the white working class voters. For every blue collar white male we lose, we’ll gain two college educated women voters in the suburbs.” I’d put my money on the TPP passing before Christmas.

    What else would you expect from Schumer? The only regular interaction he has with working class people is the elevator operator at Citibank when he rides up to the executive suite to pick up a campaign check …

    … Chris Cuomo is giving a tribute to his father Mario Cuomo, both of whom worked as lawyers for…Donald Trump. Trumps and Cuomos go way back. In fact, Donald encouraged Mario to run for president in 1988 (he hated Bush) and Mario urged Donald to run for governor of NY, after he stepped down. Bi-partisanship you can believe. (See Wayne Barrett’s Trump: the Deals and the Downfall)

    Cuomo is attacking Trump for “selling fear,” as he simultaneously sells fear of Trump. The Republicans sell a dark dystopian fear. While the Democrats sell fear with a smile and a drone strike …

    … Melania Trump’s petty crime of word theft was much less noxious than the Democrats flagrant cribbing of the GOP’s rabid USA! USA!! chants …

    … Nancy Pelosi, defender of the poor & alleged inside stock (Visa) trader. Net Worth: $58 million. Who says West Coast liberalism doesn’t pay ? …

    … Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have shown up to talk about how Hillary practices the “poetry of doing.” Doing what, one might ask? Steenburgen, a native Arkansan, is the woman Bill Clinton reportedly took out to dinner the night he executed the brain-damaged Ricky Ray Rector to boost his poll numbers in the 1992 campaign. There’s ice running through those Clinton veins. It’s one thing to mock the disabled; it’s something else entirely to put them to death for your own political advancement …

    … Yet another cop at the Mic, a moment of silence for the fallen police and speeches from relatives of dead officers. The Democrats have featured more cops as prime time speakers than the GOP, all of them lecturing about how “violence isn’t the solution” to anything. Since January 1, 668 civilians have been killed by police …

    … Trump has really gotten under the skin of the military-security establishment. His repeated swipes at NATO did it. They’ve united behind HRC. You’ve got to give him that. On the other hand, it gives an ominous new meaning to “Stronger Together.” …

    … Two parties, both proto-fascist. How to choose ? …

    … We begin to see the outlines of Hillary’s economic plan: military Kaine-sianism.

    Hillary has already out-Thatchered the Iron Lady and she hasn’t been elected yet. She’s made the complete metamorphosis from a Goldwater girl to a McGovern woman to a Reagan granny.

    Hillary once again embraces Reagan to bash Trump. Reagan left the Democratic Party in the 1950s, but the Party apparently never left him …

    … “How many times will she leave her mark? How many ways will she light up the world?” the disembodied voice of Morgan Freeman asks. Well, how many drones and cruise missiles can Lockheed and Boeing manufacture in four years?

    I’m getting a weird vibe that they might actually bring out Qaddafi’s head on a pike …

    … In her brisk recitation of the Rodham family history, Hillary somehow left out the fact that her father was a John Bircher. Of course, by the end of Hillary’s 2nd term her father may seem as meek as George McGovern …

    Does Hillary cough every time she lies, or does she cough every time she stumbles into the truth?

    Pledge fealty to Israel. Check.
    Defend NATO. Check.
    Bash Russia. Check.
    Destroy ISIS (by funding Al Qaeda?). Check.
    Praise the Generals. Check.
    Hail our military (and its defense contractors) as a national treasure. Check.
    Salute the troops. Check.
    America is great. Check.
    America is good. Check.
    America is not a bully. Check.
    Manifest Destiny. Check.
    God bless America. Check.

    Unlike Hillary’s idol Ronald Reagan, there was no pledge to eliminate nuclear weapons. Just a vow to have a more stable hand on the button than Trump. Like that Harry Truman. Duck and cover.

    People in the audience are crying. I’m crying. I don’t think we’re crying for the same reasons.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/29/she-stoops-to-conquer-notes-from-the-democratic-convention/

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      It’ll be great to have a woman President of the United States, an outstanding woman like this to act as an examplar and role model to all our daughters and sisters and mothers and wives. A new generation of young women inspired to follow her footsteps to success in life.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Better than an oompah-loompah with a chronic inferiority complex.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Great to see that glass ceiling cracking, as per her own words, this is real progress

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1

            I’m sure everyone notes the sincere concern and depth of consideration behind your kind words. Without the intelligent analyses you provide, one might fall into the error of believing an impulsive, boorish, bullying braggart would be a suitable person to have in possession of the nuclear trigger.

      • Sabine 9.1.2

        oh well, you know for a women who has made her life in a mans world you want to blame her for working like a man?

        🙂

        So yes, for the women of the US it is great. Since the inception of ‘all men are equal’ a women has finally made it to be nominated for Presnit.
        And one day, they might even nominate a women that would meet your standard of approval. But for the moment this is as good as it gets.

      • marty mars 9.1.3

        Your role model is trump dick – you are the last one who should cast stones at others.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.3.1

          Of course Trump is my preferred candidate.

          Just read up on how Clinton is a threat to both the national security of middle east nations, and to her own USA

          Clinton flagrantly disregarded highest level NSA “gamma” classification by mishandling emails

          Comments by Bill Binney, NSA whistleblower, former technical director NSA with responsibilities for 6,000 NSA staff

          And the other point is that Hillary, according to an article published by the Observer in March of this year, has a problem with NSA because she compromised Gamma material. Now that is the most sensitive material at NSA. And so there were a number of NSA officials complaining to the press or to the people who wrote the article that she did that. She lifted the material that was in her emails directly out of Gamma reporting. That is a direct compromise of the most sensitive material at the NSA. So she’s got a real problem there. So there are many people who have problems with what she has done in the past. So I don’t necessarily look at the Russians as the only one(s) who got into those emails.

          NB Gamma compartmentalised is an NSA handling caveat for the most sensitive of intelligence materials.

          What other critical national security transgressions will you forgive Hillary for just because she appeals to your sense of gender politics?

          http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-31/whistleblowers-stunning-claim-nsa-has-all-hillarys-deleted-emails-it-may-be-leak

    • Wensleydale 9.2

      That was both hilarious and utterly depressing. I hope Sanders takes his 30 pieces of silver and buys himself a spine, and a conscience to go with it.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Apparently he has been promised the chair position of a major Congressional committee which would confer on him a lot of power to ‘effect positive change’ or whatever it is they say these days.

        • millsy 9.2.1.1

          So he didnt even ask for/get a cabinet post. Given his record as mayor of Burlington, VT, he would have been a good candidate for Housing and Urban Development.

  9. North 10

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11685067

    Trust the nasty old Herald aye ? The headline – “This is how a solo mum feeds her three kids with $81 a week.” The headline implies that it is reasonably do-able. Manifestly it is not. Only a fool would imply that, especially since the $81 must stretch to cover sustenance not just for the three kids but also for her. Besides that, the article doesn’t even purport to show the “how” the headline alludes to.

    I suggest the headline writer be compelled to try it for a month. At pain of heavy sanction for refusal or failure in the task. That’d get the heartless bastard/s pretty quickly into line with common realities.

    I have huge admiration for this woman and the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of similarly placed battlers. Oh that I could I flick a switch and instantly have her with a hundred bucks in her hands, so as to ‘indulge’ her kids (likes of BM and Alwyn speaking) with their first trip to the movies for some years.

    “I can put my hand on my heart and say that the majority of parents I see are not doing drugs, they’re not doing alcohol, in fact they have very little money to be able to afford those things. People need to understand that parents really do love their kids and quite frankly they’re embarrassed that they can’t provide for them, so for us it’s about giving them a hand up so they can get to school in a position to learn and do the best they can.”

    All of this and the Weak Man averts eyes and giggles and sighs. And Paula Bennett defames. And Nick Smith raves in singular, detached, weirdo fashion. What the fuck ?

    • Chooky 10.1

      +100 North…these are the New Zealanders the politicians have betrayed

    • Paul 10.2

      I’d love to see John Roughan try.
      There are words for people like him.

    • millsy 10.3

      The biggest issue here seems to be rent, power and water. Everything else would be more manageable but for the level of rent, power and water she has to pay,

  10. save nz 11

    Get out your wallets, America: It might not be long before we’re bailing out “too big to fail” banks again
    Despite assurances that things changed after 2008, banks are bigger, less transparent and riskier than ever

    http://www.salon.com/2016/07/31/get_out_your_wallets_america_it_might_not_be_long_before_were_bailing_out_too_big_to_fail_banks_again/

    • Chooky 11.1

      +100 save nz…yes I fully expect another banking crisis…especially when they start cold calling you and asking if you want a credit card as ANZ is doing

      ‘The Big Short’ is a great film for describing the last banking crisis

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

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        An awesome movie…and by all reports, the Wall St a-holes are back at it full tilt

        • Chooky 11.1.1.1

          yes I must watch it again

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            If you do a youtube search a lot of the best scenes from the movie are there

            Scary stuff

            Profiting big from the implosion of the economy and people losing their houses.

  11. Chooky 12

    This is very good on dealing with stress and post -traumatic stress, dealing with crisis situations and the importance of empathy and communication

    ‘Behind the police tape, crisis negotiations’

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201810373/behind-the-police-tape,-crisis-negotiations

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Marama Fox: “She [Helen Clark] didn’t want to sign up to the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People under the United Nations, she resisted that strongly. Also with the foreshore and seabed we saw that as the largest modern day confiscation of land for Maori. And then there was her support in the Tuhoe raids.”

      • b waghorn 13.1.1

        With hindsight her time as pm seems only about building her cv for bigger things, steady hand on the tiller and all that, one also wonders if she shafted labour over the tpp to garner support from the US.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          See below b waghorn. 143 countries signed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

          4 countries were against.

          NZ was one of the four. I hadn’t known that.

          Not surprised now that Labour under Helen Clark put forward the Seabed Foreshore legislation.

      • millsy 13.1.2

        The F and S act was absolutely nessesary to ensure that the right of New Zealanders to access the beach was preserved. Iwi control of the beaches would have led to severe restrictions of access and curtailment of recreational options.

        • adam 13.1.2.1

          *yawn* Oh that right reactionary delusional paranoia is alive and well.

          *chough* instead, if you bought it and if you white, restrict away…

    • Bearded Git 13.2

      It is a bit more complicated than you and Marama Fox are implying Chris.
      The reason Labour felt it couldn’t vote for the declaration is explained in this Herald article of 2007:

      “Explaining that vote, New Zealand’s then permanent representative to the UN, diplomat Rosemary Banks, said one article in the document gave indigenous peoples the right “to own use, develop or control lands and territories they have traditionally owned, occupied or used”.
      She said the entire country was potentially caught within the scope of that article. “The article appears to require recognition of rights to lands now lawfully owned by other citizens, both indigenous and non-indigenous …
      “Furthermore, this article implies indigenous peoples have rights that others do not.”
      New Zealand’s “explanation” also saw major problems with the declaration’s provisions on redress and compensation for indigenous peoples. The declaration also implied that indigenous peoples had a right of veto over Parliament and management of national resources.”

      Meanwhile National has only ever given conditional support for the declaration as the same article explains:
      “National appears to have given its backing to the declaration on condition a proviso is attached saying that progressing Maori rights occurs within New Zealand’s “current legal and constitutional frameworks”.

      So in practice you could not get a cigarette paper between the position of the Nats and Labour.
      Michael Cullen and others have have admitted that Labour got it wrong on the Foreshore and Seabed Act. That was 12 years ago-Marama Fox seems intent on remaining bitter and twisted on this issue when Labour has done so much for Maori. Who started the Treaty Process that will transfer perhaps $4 billion to Maori (justifiably) for instance? From memory Helen Clark was part of the government then.

      • Anne 13.2.1

        So Tariana Turia’s childish venom towards Helen Clark is still holding sway with her Maori Party brain-washed minions? All because Tariana thinks Helen organised for someone to take a photo of her hiding in the back seat of a limousine after leaving Vogel House one evening.

        • Anne 13.2.1.1

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11685387

          New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Maori Party is being “treacherous” in saying it does not support Helen Clark’s bid to become UN Secretary General.

          “It is petty grand standing without any principle,” he said. “the reality is the Maori Party is desperately appearing to be relevant.”

          “It is treacherous in the extreme,” he said.

          All of Helen Clark’s opponents would be listening and the criticism would now become part of their campaign, although she had bigger problems than that.

          Labour Party leader Andrew Little said the criticism of Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox “stinks.”

          Intro to item.

        • adam 13.2.1.2

          Anne, should I rustle up some sheets for ya?

          Some rope?

          A burning cross maybe?

          I’ve avoid responding to your comments because I find you a swooning sycophant for labour. Now you prove my fears of labour being a safe place for anti-maori sentiment it has morphed into.

          Harry Holland would be rolling in his grave at your comments.

          I’m pretty sure Peter Fraser would have kicked you out of the party.

          But the party has changed, I get that, it’s OK to join in Maori bashing now ah Anne?

          As for you lies about the formation about the Maori party, you’re the one talking personality politics, not the party. They were driven by ideas, for example Maori representing themselves and their own issues. Plus a distinct feeling, and proof that Maori were no better off under labour or national – for Maori – neoliberalism sucks, no matter who is the master.

          • Anne 13.2.1.2.1

            I’ve had enough of your hysterical nonsense Adam. Most regulars here know I’m none of the things you claim. As for my supposed Maori bashing… you have seen no evidence of that whatsoever. The Maori Party betrayed their own people when they joined forces with NAct. In doing so, they were instrumental in supporting – even voting for – legislation which has had a detrimental impact on so many of their own people – a “fact” which has been well and truly canvassed on this site over the years.

            Oh and btw, I retracted my comments about Tariana Turia yesterday. It transpires she has been big enough to move on from the F&S days. A pity Marama Fox didn’t do the same.

            • adam 13.2.1.2.1.1

              Your comments once again show how little you understand Māori politics, or the Māori Party, or indeed want to take the time to know.

              The Māori Party have not betrayed their own people. They were mandated to sit at the table, you might not like that, but that is what they were asked to do by their people. With the bad, as well as the good. I think Marama can list the bad, and has listed the bad quite clearly every time she has been asked.

              But, what I really don’t like about what you have said is try to equate the Māori Party as some sort modern day kūpapa party for Māori elites, it’s dishonest, plus it insults Māori and their choices. It demeans the choice to sit at the table, and that the only option you deem acceptable, is to be in perpetual opposition.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.2

        It is a bit more complicated than you and Marama Fox are implying Chris.
        The reason Labour felt it couldn’t vote for the declaration is explained in this Herald article of 2007:

        Bearded Git. 143 countries signed on to the Declaration. 4 did not. Yes, NZ was one of the 4.

        143 member countries of the UN signed the declaration. Third world. African, South and Central American, coloured formerly colonised countries were prominent amongst them.

        4 very white countries which massacred native tribes on their own lands opposed the declaration: New Zealand, Canada, Australia and USA. (Four of the FVEY nations).

        Anne, any comments on this? Why did NZ under Helen Clark hold out alongside a few other white dominated former European colony FVEY nations?

        • Anne 13.2.2.1

          Not interested in your political games CV. I was responding to Marama Fox’s misrepresentations. For example, the Tuhoe raids. The Minister of Police was advised of the operation (out of courtesy), iirc, a matter of hours before it occurred. As it turned out the raid was based on faulty evidence and police over-kill and the attempt to blame Helen Clark was yet another strand of Dirty Politics – this time being indulged in by the Maori Party.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.2.1.1

            Got one better for you – NZ under John Key subsequently endorsed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

            And settled Tuhoe’s treaty claims.

            The Minister of Police was advised of the operation (out of courtesy), iirc, a matter of hours before it occurred.

            Do you actually believe this? As I understood it not only were up to 300 cops involved, but it was said that both the police anti-terrorism squad (Special Tactics Group) and members of the SAS were around (possibly just in an observational role?).

            The only way Cabinet members were not briefed on the biggest police operation of the year, an anti-terrorism one no less, would have been if the police were setting a political trap for the Government of the day.

      • adam 13.2.3

        Really your argument comes down to Maori should be grateful to labour, and why are they complaining?

        Thanks Bearded Git, that went down like a pile of puke.

        Let me ask you a simple question. If I came and took your house, or car, or indeed everything you had and left you with a tent, how would you feel? If I or my representatives then did little or nothing about that for – let’s say 150 years – you’d be ok with that? Then when I or my representatives did do somthing about it – I gave you back 5% of what I took, with the proviso that you should be grateful to me or my representative for having done so?

      • Chris 13.2.4

        That kind explanation is often used by governments that simply don’t want to even think about providing guidance or redress in relation to issues that negatively affect a particular minority group. The reality is that the UNDRIP is not binding on states that sign it. It’s aspirational in nature, which doesn’t mean it’s worthless because it still focuses on important ideas and tells government which policy direction it should be taking. But signing it doesn’t mean the instrument takes precedent over domestic law or gives “a right of veto over Parliament and management of national resources.” That’s just not true. In 2008 the Labour government gave the same reason for its initial refusal to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Disability groups were angry because New Zealand played such a major role in the convention’s creation so saw the refusal as exposing a lack of real commitment to the convention’s principles. The Labour government eventually ratified it, but only after a lot of pressure from the disability sector pointing out that ratification wouldn’t mean what the government was saying it would mean. Clark and the Labour government claimed wrongly that nations would be bound by the UNDRIP and used this to justify actively voting against even adopting it. Quite sickening for a government that held itself out as progressive.

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.3

      I’m late to this, (having had a longish day indulging in a spot of disability activism) but I’d like to add my two pennyworth…
      Marama Fox on Natrad…http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/309918/maori-party-refuses-to-support-helen-clark's-un-bid

      “”The Labour Party refused to sign the Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is a part of the UN agenda.

      The Labour Party in its time saw the Tuhoe raids and of course also there is the Foreshore and Seabed amendment which took the rights of Māori away to go to court.””

      Now hold on just one cotton picken minute Marama…don’t be so hasty in slamming others for doing exactly what Turia, Sharples and Flavell did in May 2013 when they voted with their National bedmates on the Part 4 amendment to the Public Health and Disability Act.

      Andrew Geddis explains the outrage here…http://pundit.co.nz/content/i-think-national-just-broke-our-constitution… much better than I ever could.

      But when disabled people and their family carers go in good faith through the Human Rights Tribunal, the high court and the Appeal Court over the issue of the proven discrimination against them by the Misery of Health, and then the government responds by retrospectively making the discrimination legal AND, AND removing the rights of disabled people and their chosen family carers to ever take the case (that they have won X 3 btw) back to the HRC or the courts…well, what the fucking fuck I say.

      Turia denied to my face in mid 2014 that she (as also Minister for Disability Issues and a noisy supporter for paying family carers) voted with her National buddies on this. Flavell also denied he voted with National on this Bill later on at a ‘meet the candidates’ meeting for the disability community in the run up to the 2014 general election.

      Either they are both stupid. Or they both think they can lie and go unchallenged.

      Whatever the reason…the Maori party did do this…voted for an amendment that removed the rights of people to take an issue to court…an issue they had already taken through the system and WON. And the legislation was passed under extraordinary conditions and with an outrageous lack of transparency.

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/ris/pdfs/ris-moh-fcc-may13.pdf

      WARNING…do not attempt to print the above document …the redacted sections are blacked out…guaranteed printer- killer.

      I believe they sold their honour that May, for $1.2 billion in funding from the Budget for Maori Initiatives…a three times increase from the year before.

      Hypocrites.

      And barefaced cheek from Fox for calling the pot black.

      (I am no particular fan of Clark…but I cannot abide fucking hypocrisy)

      So…Marama Fox…what do you say???

      Come on…I’d really like to know how your Party could ever claim to respect Human Rights when you were a party to this.

      Here endeth the rant…

      • Anne 13.3.1

        And how many other pieces of Govt. legislation have they supported that was NOT in the interest of the poorest and most needy people? (Bearing in mind Maori are over represented in these statistics.) Dozens of them. The hypocrisy of their stance is overwhelming. This Fox woman claims Labour has never apologised for the F&S Bill. Wrong!! I recall them making several admissions of “getting it wrong” and “being sorry” over that affair.

        The Maori Party was founded on vengeful and petty minded hatred of Helen Clark and it looks like nothing has changed. Any political party founded for those reasons isn’t going to survive. It’s only by the grace of the NAct govt. they’ve lasted this long.

        • Chooky 13.3.1.1

          +100 Anne

        • Rosemary McDonald 13.3.1.2

          “Bearing in mind Maori are over represented in these…”

          Interestingly with the PHDAct amendment, the definition of ‘family member’…and as a consequence a person who cannot be a paid carer of an eligible disabled person (unless its under the equally discriminatory Funded Family Care Policy) is…

          ““(a) spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner; or
          “(b) parent, step-parent, or grandparent; or
          “(c) child, stepchild, or grandchild; or
          “(d) sister, half-sister, stepsister, brother, half-brother, or
          stepbrother; or
          “(e) aunt or uncle; or
          “(f) nephew or niece; or
          “(g)first cousin

          Now, take yourself to the Far North, or to Ngati Porou or Tuhoi territory and the chances are that a fair few of the available potential carers would fit the definition of ‘family’.

          On the surface, this could potentially have led to a considerable saving for the Ministry as now those Maori Contracted Disability Providers, who were routinely employing family members as carers, could no longer do so.

          Hmmm…it never happened, and to my knowledge Maori and Pacifica Providers are still flouting what is now law, and paying family carers )including spouses and partners which are expressly and emphatically excluded from any (transparent) Funded family Care policy.
          The redacted sections of the RIS linked to above…does it hide provisions to allow these Providers (under Whanau ora, perhaps?) to ignore the intention of this amendment?

          This would be the only circumstances I can think of why the Maori Party voted with the Government on this….especially after Turia fully supporting the payment of family carers up to the passing of the legislation.

          We will never know.

        • Gabby 13.3.1.3

          Well that Clark woman doesn’t make a habi of apologising. Generally it turns out someone else was wrong.

  12. Paul 14

    The banality of evil persists amongst us.

    Read this article about WINZ in NZ.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/08/01/film-review-tale-of-two-films/

  13. Xanthe 15

    Really upset that the police are digging up CTV site looking for someone to blame while the Christchurch City Council gets off scott free.

    Bottom line NO ONE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THAT BUILDING. This was the direct responsibility of CCC . They are criminally liable and yet they are home free.. why?
    Why?

    • weston 15.1

      Not just council the designer and the consultants who no doubt ok.ed the design for the council who then rubber stamped its construction actually i would say these consultants were more to blame than anybody because theyre supposed to know what theyre doing unlike councilers who are mere lay people if thats the right term and who pay to be advised by “experts”.

      • b waghorn 15.1.1

        I think Xanthe is referring to the fact that even though the building was made unstable after the first big shake , the council oked workers going back into the building .

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Yeah, that’s a massive f**k up.

        • Xanthe 15.1.1.2

          Yup thats it, the council signed off that it was safe to occupy when there was ample evidence that it was not, how are they escaping any liability?

          • b waghorn 15.1.1.2.1

            If I was investigating ,I’d be looking for links between the owners of the building and the relevant council staff that made the call.

        • weston 15.1.1.3

          Yeah but someone must have assured the council that the building was safe who was that person or persons ? logically it was the same person or persons that said it was safe in the first place .I seem to remember reading that the designer was known for some sort of unusual design features of a structually minimilist nature so being as this apparent departure from the norm would have had to be signed off on …..

  14. Chooky 16

    Why we should be scared of Hillary Clinton winning the Presidency…

    ‘Bullhorns in overdrive’

    https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/354108-russia-american-politics-turkey/

    “Is Russia meddling in American politics? Also, are we witnessing another crucial tipping point in Syria? And, has Turkey’s Erdogan turned his back on the West?

    CrossTalking with Dmitry Babich, Mark Sleboda, and Xavier Moreau.”

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