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Open mike 02/12/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 2nd, 2019 - 103 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

103 comments on “Open mike 02/12/2019 ”

  1. Jimmy 1

    Wow …has everyone slept in today?

    Good news about the selection of Claire Szabo as Labour party president. I think she is well qualified to do a great job. She has certainly done good things at Habitat for Humanity.
    She was surely the no.1 choice by far given who she was up against.

    • Climaction 1.1

      Labour’s neo-liberaliam shone through with the election of a CEO over a unionist

      • Kevin 1.1.1

        So, business as usual. No surprises.

      • Jimmy 1.1.2

        I take it you don't approve of the appointment of Claire? I think she will handle things significantly better than the last unionist. The handling of the complaints weren't exactly handled well by the last unionist Nigel Haworth.

        • Climaction

          So a party presidents sole prerequisite to fill the role is the ability to handle complaints?

          Either the Labour Party is expecting loads of skeletons to come out of the closet or you expect the position to be a glorified councillor role

          • Incognito

            Either your reading comprehension is severely lacking, because that’s not what Jimmy said or implied, or you’re simply trolling.

            • Climaction

              Jimmy's only recommendations in favour of Claire so far are

              1) not a unionist and,

              2) should supposedly handle complaints better than haworth.

              can you show me something else i'm supposed to have read in Jimmy's comment that wasn't there?

              • Incognito

                IMO, your whole comment @ was a misinterpretation of Jimmy’s comment @ 1.1.2, in which he highlighted or opined rather that newly elected President will handle of “the complaints” [my bold] better than the previous President, who, of course lost his job for exactly that reason.

                Somehow, you took this to mean that the “party presidents sole prerequisite to fill the role is the ability to handle complaints” [sic] and that Jimmy “expect[s] the position to be a glorified councillor role” [sic]. In other words, you were making it up.

                • Climaction

                  On the lack of any other evidence that szabo was better than phillips in Jimmy’s eyes, I was demeaning of Jimmy's statement that Szabo was the far superior candidate. Apart from Szabo not being a unionist and being able to handle complaints better in Jimmy's eyes, I am yet to be convinced that Jimmy's statement is true

                  edit – or that selecting a CEO over a Unionist a year out from an election was a good thing for the party.

                  [Ok, it seems it is time to wear my Moderator hat.

                  Jimmy opined that she would handle complaints better. That is a strong argument because the previous President lost his job because of his poor handling of complaints. I suppose this assertion by Jimmy @ 1 got up your nose “[s]he was surely the no.1 choice by far given who she was up against.” You reacted to it with and based on your assumptions but did not ask Jimmy for his reasons nor did you give a counter-argument as to why the other candidate was a better choice in your opinion. You were not interested in a debate or a contest of opinions, just in lashing out at Jimmy. As you said, you were “demeaning” Jimmy’s statements and opinions. By extension, you were also demeaning the choice of the successful candidate. Do you think you know better than the LPNZ?

                  Jimmy did not make the comparison between CEO and Unionist. In fact, it was you who came up with it @ 1.1.

                  Lastly, whether or not “selecting a CEO over a Unionist a year out from an election was a good thing for the party” is your question, not Jimmy’s.

                  Please stop demeaning people’s opinions and agree to disagree if you cannot reach a compromise position. Please stop attributing words or meanings to other commenters and stick to what is said, i.e. don’t make up shit. As long as you stick to the simple and lenient rules of this site, you’re free to provide your opinion here – Incognito]

            • cleangreen

              Good one incognito,yes

              Some are very upset at labour shinning again.

          • Jimmy

            Hopefully there are no more skeletons to appear. I think she will be far better than the other candidates at helping them to get re-elected in 2020. She is quite a smart lady……but then…thats just my opinion.

            • Anne

              She is quite a smart lady.

              She is indeed:

              She has a music degree from Auckland, an education degree from Trinity in Dublin, a degree in commerce and administration from Victoria, and a masters in public administration from Harvard.

              At Habitat for Humanity, she oversaw the operations of 11 charities that delivered housing to low-income people in New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Nepal.


        • alwyn

          When was he a trade unionist? I thought he was a retired Professor from Auckland University. He was, about 12 years ago the President of the University Staff Association but that isn't normally anything like a a professional full-time union job

      • Incognito 1.1.3

        Nuance and context are not your strong suits apparently.

        Habitat for Humanity New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation that works in partnership with people of goodwill and families in housing need, to eliminate sub-standard housing.

        Charities Registration: CC28026


        • RedLogix

          We were involved with H4H for a number of years. Like all things human they aren't perfect or above all criticism, but we were impressed at the very real results they could deliver.

          A good organisation, with good people doing mostly good things. Claire's background with them is a positive sign.

          • Stuart Munro.

            She was also involved with Language Partners – another very positive non-profit – the folk who got me into ELT back in the day.

        • Climaction

          The organisation might be an NGO, but blairite neo liberals worshipped NGO CEO's. The perfect meld of Private and Public apparently.

          This is not a criticism of Szabo per se, it's more questioning why Labour would choose a CEO over a Trade Unionist, at a time when Labour is losing touch with largely blue collar working electorates who need the unions more and more to ensure job security.

          • Incognito

            Your framing is a little off, IMO. They chose the better candidate and I’d like to think the reasons and criteria for this decision were broader and more nuanced than your comparison of CEO vs. Trade Unionist.

            I have no idea about who worships whom or what but you obviously know more about this and think this is relevant to the election of President of the LPNZ.

            Not all NGOs are non-profit organisations but that nuance is also lost in your comments.

      • mac1 1.1.4

        Did you notice the two organisations with which she was associated- English language learning for migrants, and Habitat for Humanty New Zealand. Who? Read this.


        She was a CEO and will therefore have top management experience- a good qualification for a party president.

        But somehow, Climaction, to then accuse her election as a shining example of neo-liberalism is a logical jump that you might need to explain more.

        Especially if you are choosing to criticise somewhat egregiously someone with a management report like this.


        • Climaction

          Pronounced shinning according to clean green.

          its not <I>shining</I> paragons I’m after. It’s just not ngo pseudo neo-liberals. Think the blairite third way is good for society? Support Szabo. I’m allowed to reserve judgement

    • Sacha 1.2

      Szabo was mentioned at Te Standard two days ago – were you asleep? 🙂

  2. pat 2

    "Ardern’s experience of the past two years may have changed her perception of the neoliberal status-quo. Like David Lange before her, the Prime Minister appears to have entered office with a belief that economists, like electricians, were apolitical technicians. If the lights no longer come on – call an electrician. If an economy no longer delivers for the poor and the marginalised – then order Treasury economists to fix it. Two years on, there are signs that Ardern is beginning to grasp why “political economy” has always been a clearer term than “economics”. The wisely cynical are forever reminding us that “you can’t keep politics out of politics”. Well, it’s even more impossible to keep it out of economics!"


    They have proven to be slow learners but let us hope that learn they have

    • greywarshark 2.1

      I'm reminded of some matter that Labour brought forward before one election and John Key was dismissive and annoyed because 'they were turning it into a political matter.' The understanding that everything is political, has somehow been disregarded and has slipped away to be replaced by the understanding that economics and business is everything that the country exists for; which is now the agreed axiom.

      • OnceWasTim 2.1.1

        "The understanding that everything is political, has somehow been disregarded and has slipped away to be replaced by the understanding that economics and business is everything that the country exists for; which is now the agreed axiom"

        True. (Hence the Ministry for Everything). And you can't really blame anyone that's grown up knowing nothing else (Jacinda for example).

        It'll take a while for it all to be dismantled but as Rache used to say ….. "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen" (in this space going forward)

  3. Stuart Munro. 3

    The recent death of a black economy construction worker in Auckland highlights how completely out of control our erstwhile immigration policy is.


    The man is dead, but NZ authorities cannot even tell his widow who he was working for.

    Ordinarily, in a country with a non-FITH opposition, Lees-Galloway would be comprehensively grilled about this failure, no doubt largely attributable to the previous administration but clearly not fixed.

    Health and safety, ACC, minimum wage legislation, none of it will survive if this kind of black economy is allowed to.

    • pat 3.1

      Find it difficult to believe that an investigation couldnt identify the individuals involved in the construction of any building if the will was there

      • Stuart Munro. 3.1.1

        Aye, there's the rub.

      • Sacha 3.1.2

        You can imagine the home owner who decided to hire shonky builders may suddenly become uncommunicative..

        • pat

          you can…and then you can imagine the lack of a CCC

          • Sacha

            Yet the article says this one has been sold with nary a mention of missing paperwork.

            • pat

              "The house where Yu died is located in an upmarket new development. A "sold" sign is planted freshly out the front. It has a quotable value of almost $2 million.

              The new owner didn't have any details about the previous work on the house and the agent who sold the property declined to comment."

              None of that BS stymies an investigation….for a property to get a CCC there is a paper trail and for a mortgage a CCC is required …and the real estate agent may not comment to a journalist but he/she should have a harder time denying officials

    • greywarshark 3.2

      NZ isn't short of driven workers with useful skills – train them up in prison, turn it into more like a Borstal with decent facilities and respectful treatment of them as humans who have bad tendencies which need to be watched carefully, but try to get them making things, working under better conditions than this poor dead worker, and give them suspended sentences so they can work for a trial period, say 90 days which the employers are so keen on.

      We regard ourselves as a practical nation rather than an intellectual one, but I fear we have fooled ourselves on the practical, and reject the intellectual. (Citizens who have skills and experience could do as well if they could choose their mix of advisers, not all bureaucrats.)

      There is a better future for these young fellers if someone has the wit to guide and control them along the right path. Try giving them similar training to those given to puppies, who people in general seem to care more about than immature humans needing guidance. These prisoners showed initiative to get to their home-made home brew; puppies will do a lot for treats. Try that psychological approach; set small goal, reward for achievement, then another, same or extra coaching, discussion about why,

      The inmates were meant to be working in the engineering workshop at Christchurch Men’s Prison, where their tasks included filling skips with water to check for holes.

      Chief custodial officer Neil Beales said they were found climbing in and out of a skip on 29 October.

      They were drunk on home-brew, which can be made from fermenting fruit and sugar.

      All five prisoners were sacked from the workshop and three were moved to the Otago Corrections Facility.

      "This is clearly unacceptable. Prisoners who take part in employment activities and industry training are expected to take this privilege and responsibility seriously," Mr Beales said.

      Seriously?? They are dying for some fun, and after a long period of not having any, overdid it. They are immature and need to learn control and with the right training program would go from being puppies to mature dogs with a healthy attitude, keeping themselves and their aggressive urges under control.

      • Stuart Munro. 3.2.1

        Agreed – shouldn't be a big deal – bit of a swim in summer is hardly sociopathy – we had water fights pretty much every day when I started fishing – no-one got hurt.

        If it's rehabilitation they should be learning home brewing – and moderate as opposed to binge drinking culture – they'll want those skills outside.

        Part of it though, is systematic prejudice against employing NZers. The liquor store owner knows no kiwi will accept no or short pay, much less paying their boss for an employment history for immigration purposes. The hort labour contractors know no kiwi will pay them up to ten grand for a job. But the government has fallen down on the job, allowing these rorts to become not merely feasible, but standard.

        So, never mind telling us about all the new cops – how about a few dozen extra immigration and labour inspectors.

    • Wensleydale 3.3

      This shit is rampant. Half the construction sites out in the Eastern Suburbs were populated by imported Chinese labourers (scaffolding in particular), everyone's being paid under the table, there's no discernible chain of command, minimal paperwork, safety is a hilarious joke and whenever an inspector shows up they scatter like cockroaches when someone turns the lights on. My step-son was out there and he said the number of shady operators was jaw-dropping.

      • A 3.3.1

        Aussie is the same and their buildings are falling apart.

        Still, these are workers and should have workers rights, ACC cover, and everything else applicable. The story really annoyed me because I see a scumbag employer flouting NZ law at every turn and getting away with it, while the victim's family suffers and has no recourse unless they have Triad connections. At the very least both ACC and IRD should hammer these guys with ongoing audits, penalties etc and council should do everything it can to ensure the workers are legit and the buildings will not be a threat to life in the future.

        I'm guessing the employer will continue on unimpeded.

      • Kevin 3.3.2

        Paying labourers on $500 a week says to me there is not a labour shortage, just a shortage of labour that is happy to be exploited.

      • David Mac 3.3.3

        If coming down hard on it I wonder if the govt are fearful of generating ammunition for contrary lobbyists. The build rate would slow right down and we might see headlines like 'The coalition oversees a build rate of negative 20 houses.'

        I do agree with contributors above and if a slowing build rate is the price of cleaning up the black economy we should pay it. Officials should walk onto random sites and ask to be directed to the boss, shoulder tap him and advise him he has been selected for an IRD, ACC and employee status audit. I think news of such a program would spread through the black economy operators like an Aussie bushfire and the fines, tax due etc imposed would go a long way to financing such a program.

      • pat 3.3.4

        There is an LBPs name and number tied to the site and that LBP is tied to a company and he/she responsible for subbies re control….there are areas of control and pressure that can be applied IF the will is there.

        • Herodotus

          Nailed in one “ If there is a will”

          someone gets injuries on a major site all hell is released. A little housing site, nothing. Someone died here and from my reading the inaction is at the highest level of concern. And we now have a Labour led govt. 🤢
          what we close our eyes to, we ACCEPT

    • Se 2.1.1 above Stuart.

      Tinkering and 'failed' restructures ain't going to cut it either. I'm not sure I L-G is to blame totally either, other than it's taking a while to realise where the problems lay. I'll not be surprised if he's dropped in the muck again before too long.

      I was amused to look at MBIE's website yesterday (after seeing that link, and knowing the work Anu Kaloti and others have been doing for years now) where they're encouraging people to either ring an 0800 number or Crimestoppers where they see examples of exploitation. It's only recently MBIE have been taking the problem seriously – past couple of years – but unfortunately they can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time.

      (Calls to Crimestoppers often result in nothing happening, and everything to do with INZ and the Labour Inspectorate is now regarded with such cynicism that if it wasn't so serious, it'd be a joke)

      It might actually take a few more cases of Ministers being embarrassed before anything substantial happens.

      • Stuart Munro. 3.4.1

        ILG is to blame in principle, more than in fact. But having inherited a box of bastards – the kind of mess that takes a lot of unraveling – is it too much to ask for clear evidence that the matter is being addressed? We the people pay him pretty well to shoulder that responsibility.

        • OnceWasTim

          /Agree. I'm trying to be as charitable as possible on account of his apparently being a nice guy – or so I'm told. (Probably too nice)

          On another thread somewhere, I think Weka and others were referring to 'low hanging fruit' that could have been picked instead of being left on the tree to burn the coalition's political capital. Things like this are low hanging fruit.

          There are a few things that should've been made very clear from the outset (via channels of course) ….. such as

          Any public servant that thinks it OK to employ the likes of T&C to spy on people isn't suited to the public service.

          Likewise, any public servant that worked alongside the likes of a James Casson and said nothing isn't fit to be a public servant.

          I could go on. But also any politician that thinks the sort of behaviour and pushback we've seen from some in the senior ranks and does nothing about it probably deserves to lose an election

          • Stuart Munro.

            It must be hard to concentrate on doing a good job when your staff are helping run crap like the Sroubeck affair to embarrass you.

      • Herodotus 3.4.2

        Do you mean he is not to blame for "In total, these changes are estimated to reduce net migration by 20,000-30,000. Without these changes there would be up to 10,000 more houses needed and up to 20,000 more vehicles on our roads annually. Our immigration system will be regularly reviewed to ensure it is functioning well." . Given that the last years net increase was larger than before Labour came into govt.

        If you cannot keep a promise DON'T make one. Thanks to this govt. for being the problem AND not the solution.


        • OnceWasTim

          What I do recall of Labour's immigration policy (as opposed to what has been implemented as a coalition), was a third tranche to its policy directed at bolstering the regions.

          I remember making a submission at the time that immigration policy was going to be the bull in the China shop, and when Labour and Greens were formulating policy, and that the system and administrative structure as it stood was not good for purpose – reliant on sustained growth for an economic benefit (and all its associated ticket clippers), rather than sustainable growth for a healthy society.

          You decide which has come to pass

          • Herodotus

            We have this "According to MBIE, a total of 475,920 people were in this country on work, residence or student visas at the end of October, almost 10% of the total population and up 3.6% compared to the same time last year.

            That included 202,917 people on work visas,187,164 on residence visas and 85,839 on student visas."

            As someone earlier here said NZ imports cheap labour to allow marginal business to thrive, and undercut/suppress local wages. So we have business using govt. welfare to allow an increasing large portion of the pop. to only marginally exist/survive.


            • OnceWasTim

              I've always believed that if the only way a business, ANY sort of business can survive is by underpaying people a livable wage, then it is NOT a viable business. And the system we've designed/copied/stolen and continue to operate is reliant on all that (including what's usually an enterage of needless ticket clippers) will eventually fail. In fact the longer it's allowed to go on, the probability of a more disruptive (even violent) outcome is possible.

              You can look at any of them where exploitative practices have taken hold – whether its a Chorus outsourcing to outsourcers, or supermarkets, or restaurant chains, or what's going on in the building sector – the system we've designed/stolen/copied/opted for has been one that enables all that.

              And now that people are beginning to wake up to it all (some politicians included), it's designers/plagiarists/adherents to the current economic orthodoxy are feeling a little uneasy – as they should be.

              It'll have to run its course a little longer however. It's probably a little bit too late for Jacinda to get out her Mark Richardson index finger and wave it the directions where deserved. I just hope she gets another term so that a little more of her transformational ' and 'kind' vision' (Christ I hate that word) is progressed. (I just watched Q+A and the interview with Tame. I think she's got the message)

              There's still quite a bit of that low hanging fruit across various portfolios she'd be able to fall back on, but she better be quick

  4. greywarshark 4

    Brexit –

    Boorish is sugaring the pill before the workers realise just how sick they will be after Brexit.


    Boris was possibly in the drama club when he was at uni. If not he still hankers to perform and clown in the footlights, though not as perceptively as Monty Python. Boris is a snake of a different order.


    22/11 Report on meeting of Parties.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/election-2019-50525245 : General election 2019: Sturgeon says indyref2 needed because of Brexit

  5. greywarshark 5

    Something happening involving building – a step up, hooray! But the Marlborough Council had not been given a handout so they rubbish it. Could that be what is behind the obstacles put this Council put in the way of tiny houses? The Council might like developers with whom they have buddy relationships?


    • A 5.1

      Anyone thinking of building or living in a relocatable home is strongly encouraged to get in touch with council to discuss their options.

      Options = how the council can gouge everything possible from you. Next big issues in Marlborough will be unconsented treehouses and illegal rain water collections.

    • Pingau 5.2

      Building consent rules are there for very good reasons. This guy was a builder so is basically some kind of scam artist if he doesn't think the rules apply to whatever he was building.

      Tiny houses can be great but there definately needs to be some law changes to allow for them without jeopardizing public health or the local communities that they will wind up going into. For example, any log burners should comply with fire safety (indeed the whole tiny house should) and be compliant with the most stringent air pollution standards in NZ (alternatively, compliant within the district or otherwise permanently removed).

      Maybe only one THOW should be allowed on a property at any one time unless at a specified and consented site. Consent fees must be applied to all THOW to pay for oversight and compliance costs but perhaps at a reduced rate subsidised by government and the taxpayer to help get people into housing. Suitable financial or othet deterrents could be applied to deter breaches (e.g. dumping of sewerage or of rubbish, illegal water connections or electrical connections).

      • Stuart Munro. 5.2.1

        Not keen on the most stringent air pollution standards for logburners. It makes them incredibly expensive – not to construct, but for the manufacturer to recover their certification costs. And it's a nonsense, with road traffic contributing a huge proportion of the suspended particulate matter in city air. It's things like this which drive up cost without increasing value that need to justify themselves before being imposed with all the weight of local authority. Because of their small size tiny houses typically use the smallest logburners, and don't make excessive use of them – or the occupants would roast.

        • Pingau

          I agree that having the most stringent air pollution standards would probably make all current tiny log burners ineligible as it is so expensive to get certification. However, in some places (depending on local weather, geography and type and quantity of solid fuel burners) winter air pollution regularly exceeds the WHO maximums for PM 10 particulate sizes in addition to other sorts of air pollution. I think everybody should have some basic constraints on the pollution that they create – whether you live in a big house or a tiny house, similarly for car exhausts or agricultural or industrial or anything else.

          I don't have any references for the above statements about PM10 but the info is easily found on regional council websites such as ECAN Environment Canterbury.

          There are larger size very low emmision burners but no tiny ones yet that I know of in NZ. I don't know what the solution is to heating a tiny home is but if it was to be located in a city or town with winter pollution issues surely they could either go gas or electric heating.

          This leads me back to my main concern – the complexity of regulating for this relatively new type of housing and the unintended problems caused by no or poor regulation.

          • Stuart Munro.

            It's certainly tough in places like Christchurch when there's a temperature inversion layer roofing over the smog in winter. But the vehicle particulates are as much tyre dust as exhausts. Both tiny houses, and larger roads, are better screened by vegetation. Breaks the wind, reduces noise, and soaks up a proportion of undesirable matter.

      • greywarshark 5.2.2

        There certainly need to be rules about tiny houses but you sound too rigid. There needs to be an area where there are allocated places for them to go, perhaps a leased spot where there are services to hook up to.

        • Pingau

          Greywarshark – I was being a bit provocative but I do think there need to be some really well-thought out law changes – in my opinion people with tiny houses should bear some of the cost of compliance otherwise others (ratepayers and the rest of us) will have to bear the burden of any negative effects and the cost for the extra burden on infrastructure etc.

          One of the great benefits of tiny houses is the flexibility of where they can be placed so some THOW "villages" would work and be useful but they could also be placed on private property.

          One of my concerns is unintended consequences e.g. unscrupulous landlords set up multiple substandard THOWs on a property and rent them out at high prices.

          I am actually really pro tiny houses and really want them to work for everybody including the communities that they turn up in.

          • greywarshark

            Well I feel like you but just wanted to emphasise that the approach is too negative at present with some Councils needing to set up reasonable protocols for differing areas and types of scheme.

  6. whetherreport 6

    I BEE

    T(h)e Earl of East Bluff.

    Where the why meets the for sure.

    Firstly, for my First One opinion on hot Mike of the day: Laws and Orders.

    If you, ewes, me, myself and I ain't dun or said nuffin' wrong, we've got nuffin' to worry about.

  7. greywarshark 7

    This from Bowalley Road on P the drug to beat all drugs, that reaches parts of you that other drugs never found. Sounds like shit, but that word isn't strong enough to convey how bad it is.


    For thinking people to read and be aware of. A different sort of setback from what we have encountered so far, which are legion. Those of us trying to keep an overview, can we be as positive as possible, while not ignoring the things going on, or we'll get too cast down; I will anyway.

    • alwyn 7.1

      When I first read this comment I thought that you were replying to "whetherreport" at comment 6.

      It seemed pretty appropriate to that comment somehow.

      • whetherreport 7.1.1

        It could well have applied to me (and my intro post), but I don't know if this was what he (greywarshark) intended his post to highlight.

        Besides, I'm can be a crazy writer without the use of such products, but by comparison you could liken it in a way.


  8. cleangreen 8

    Well Greywarshark

    here's our regional community wish-list for ‘father Grant Xmas’


    Letter to – Grant Robertson Labour finance Minister.
    Dear Grant, – Our NGO has represented the community since 2001 on issues of community environmental and residential public health and wellbeing; quote;
    “In association with other Community Groups, NHTCF and all Government Agencies since 2001.
    • Health and wellbeing.
    • East Coast Transport Project”
    Today 2nd December 2019,
    the Labour Party has announced that a large infrastructure funding will get a big increase now.
    All of the press in in a buzz over the reported infrastructure funding boost that will be made here.
    Our east coast communities also now await the funding boost to our regional Gisborne/HB rail freight/passenger services that need to be made here.
    National had decimated our regions rail services during their time and had left these regions without rail services for 7 long years since 2012.

    So Labour In the year of refection and in mirth we wish you a merry Xmas and a very successful shining 2020.

    • alwyn 8.1

      " a very successful shining 2020.".

      And I'm sure he wishes you the same thing. May any rain that falls on you be golden.

      I’m afraid that any shining that goes on next year will be, for most people like the film of that name.

      • cleangreen 8.1.1

        Gee Alwyn it's not like you to be so negative.

        I usually are the holder of that cup, but we need to believe will get better as the human spirit claims we do or we become despondent disturbed and depressed but I hope this 2020 does become better for everyone.

        Merry Xmas to you too.

        • alwyn

          And thank you kind Sir. And a Merry Christmas to you.

          However I must apologise for the description of the rain. A friend who saw it has pointed out to me the other, rather unfortunate, meaning to "golden rain". I had completely overlooked it and I really didn't mean to wish that on you.

          Still, I am a little cheered by the CB poll that has just come out. I now see why Grant was so keen to get out some "transformational" projects like doing up the toilet blocks or suchlike at the schools. He would have known from his parties own polls what was coming up on the CB poll and anything must look better than the last two years of failure when going into the summer break.

          • Incognito

            I’m always puzzled as to why people seem so easily buoyed or depressed by poll results, particularly CB polls of all things. Seems to me they have a problem. I often wonder whether they also believe horoscopes or read them with slight smile, just in case there’s a kernel of truth in there somewhere 😉

            • McFlock

              The "why" has never bothered me so much as the "how". The rollercoaster can't be healthy.

    • Incognito 8.2

      There we go again 🙁

      Where is that NGO of yours registered and what is the name/URL of its website?

      Do you know that that astroturfing gets banned here on TS? If you don’t know what astroturfing is I’d suggest you look it up.

      • weka 8.2.1

        This? https://www.bizdb.co.nz/company/9429043063611/

        Although lots of community groups aren't registered anywhere (which is valid).

        • Incognito


          I couldn’t find it in the Companies Register of the NZ Companies Office although they clearly claim to be an NGO and a company. I’m probably looking in the wrong place.

          It doesn’t let them off the astroturfing hook; this has been alleged here previously and I think there is an element of truth in it. Apparently, it is just one person and his family, not a genuine community group. All I’m after is evidence to the contrary.

          • whetherreport

            Some people state (in error more usually) that they are an NGO when they actually mean to state that they are a non-registered NFP (not for profit) which as Weka, pointed out, could be anyone or anybody.

            You allude (justifiably) to the expectation by the wider public along with social media contributors and readers that when identifying as an NGO, he/she/it holds him/her/itself out as being an identifiable, non government organisation.

            Indeed, most limited liability companies are NGO's too.

            The issue you raise is quite valid. I just wish that representatives of/from various communities would get their acronyms sorted.

            • Incognito

              Thank you.

              The link that Weka provided suggests that they are indeed registered but I could not confirm that!?

              What you describe is a deceitful online behaviour AKA astroturfing. Politicians are not the only ones who should be held to a high(er) standard.

              • weka

                I'll give you the details in the back end.

              • whetherreport

                As pointed out by Weka, it appears to be a legitimate New Zealand Incorporated Society and where incorporated societies are allowed to be part of (say a shareholder or stakeholder of) another entity such as a company.

                This is sometimes where the NGO expression can be misinterpreted whereby they wish to assert that they are not connected to government (central, regional or local) but that they may still derive some benefit from a commercial operation not being associated with government.

                Most usually, in New Zealand they will simply state themselves to be INC or INCP to avoid confusion. Sometimes the term; “incorporated group” will suffice.

            • weka

              I'm ok with a single person and their family running a community group, but I agree I wouldn't call it an NGO (which has a more formal status).

              However, CEAC is as a registered Incorporated Society, and that means there are rules around members and such. I'm not going to link, but on the face of it, it seems legit to me.

  9. adam 9

    Got an message from a mate in China saying that pretty much every banks in his city is having what we would call a BANK RUN. Traffic is stalled, while people madly trying to get their cash out of their banks. It's been happening for days on end, and now police and military are standing outside the banks. His bank accounts have been frozen and he's been told he can not take any money out of China.


  10. greywarshark 10

    I have been looking into what is being done with recycled plastics now.&nbsp;&nbsp; In the North Island. good for fence posts.

    For instance:&nbsp;&nbsp; https://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/solutions/soft-plastics/products

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