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Open mike 02/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, February 2nd, 2015 - 325 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

325 comments on “Open mike 02/02/2015 ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Double standards: Ngati Poaka looking after their own. Be interesting to see how many were on final warnings, and also how many of the resignations were genuine rather than forced.

    Witless ninnies ruining the USA. Measles FFS!

    More positive press for Little. Am I being cynical in thinking that the media is flexing its political muscles? Have they decided it’s Labour’s turn?

    • northshoredoc 1.1

      @OAB …judging from some of the comments on that link and previous discussions on the same subject at this blog we also have our share of witless ninnies.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        Sadly true.

      • alwyn 1.1.2

        As far as vaccinations for children goes, do you know whether the Green Party in New Zealand have any policy on it being compulsory?
        The former MP for the Greens, Sue Kedgley, was certainly opposed to children being vaccinated and spoke out against it in her capacity as an MP.
        Have they decided she was nuts and come out in favour of compulsory vaccination?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Has any party come out in favour of compulsory vaccination, and if not, what’s with a National Party follower holding up hoops for the Greens to jump through?

          Futility, thy name is Wingnut.

        • The Murphey

          Q. Who is for compulsory ?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Not doctors, iirc.

            PS: and it appears I do recall correctly 🙂

            • The Murphey

              Appears I was not specific enough

              Q. Who on this site supports compulsory ?

              • McFlock

                I’m probably the closest, but can go either way on it.

                Although if an unvaccinated child gets a vaccine-preventable disease, in the absence of allergies etc in some circumstances I’d support negligence/failing to provide necessities charges against the parents.

                And I also support the concept that in many circumstances schools and kindies etc have the right to exclude wilfully-unvaccinated kids on the grounds that they are a danger to others, especially if there’s a local outbreak.

                • The Murphey

                  Q. What took you so long ?

                  Q. Could you elaborate on your simplistic and fence straddling middle statement ?

                  • McFlock

                    A) because I only just visited the blog. The world doesn’t revolve around your comments

                    A) this from the person who mostly just asks questions without stating their own position explicitly… so no. See above.

                    • The Murphey

                      My question was in response to the name callers who have yet to respond

                      That you responded was of no surprise any more than the quality of your response which was ladened with glaring weakness which you choose not to elaborate on

                    • McFlock

                      So when you pressed the reply tab under my comment, you wished to communicate with someone other than me?

                      As for the rest, I note that once again I’ve been bold enough to actually make a statement about what I believe, rather than passive-aggressively asking questions and then complaining that the answers were “ladened with glaring weakness”.

                      So, next time, before you bitch that I haven’t given you enough information, ask yourself whether you’ve bothered to contribute any information yourself, or are you just being an information parasite, all sucky no givvy?

                    • The Murphey

                      My original question was not a response to you but it was open to all

                      The subject is complex but there can ultimately be one of two positions taken given the name calling which started above

                      You did not name call

                      Compulsion Yes or No ?

                    • McFlock

                      sorry TM, you seem to have replied to my comment once again, but this is apparently no indication that you are addressing me.

                      is the comment at 3.43pm directed at me?

                      If so, where do you, The Murphey, stand on the issue of vaccination, compulsory or otherwise?

                    • The Murphey

                      There can be only one of two positions that could be exercised based on the question Who on this site supports compulsory ?

                      I do not support compulsory

                      Q, Why have the name callers not stated their position ?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Murphey, I see three positions. Compulsory, voluntary or the current system where vaccines are the norm unless contra indicated on an individual level. I like the current system because it delivers good health for the vast majority. But then, I am a lefty.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I guess I don’t support it either, depending on how you define “compulsory” (e.g. some would say making it contingent on attending school is de facto compulsory). Or I do, but only in exceptional circumstances, like any other drastic health intervention (like quarantine).

                      Because life is not as simple as your false dichotomy.

                      q: who are these “name callers”? Maybe if you asked them explicitly, they will pay attention to you. Or not, because dealing with you takes fucking ages (given that you took how many posts to commit to a “baby’s first medical ethics” position).

                    • The Murphey

                      I doubt you are as doltish as it is easy for me to walk through you the way I have in our exchanges but it is possible

                      That you regressed to name calling and will not answer the question I explicitly asked and then have you suggest I should “ask them explicitly” speaks to your struggle

                      Life is as simple as your methods of diversion are to witness

                    • McFlock

                      Forgive me, I forgot I was addressing you, as opposed to a normal person.

                      q: Who are the people you call the “name callers”?
                      q:Who is it you want to answer your question?
                      q:What are their handles here?

                      And I have now answered your question twice. Clearly. The fact that you keep kicking back an invalid return type error speaks more to your ability to process abstract and complex concepts than any “name calling” ever could.

                    • The Murphey

                      1. OAB – witless ninnies

                      2. northshoredoc – “judging from some of the comments on that link and previous discussions on the same subject at this blog we also have our share of witless ninnies.”

                      3. Alwyn – “Have they decided she was nuts and come out in favour of compulsory vaccination? ”

                      4. DTB – “And yet there are still some really stupid people out there that think vaccines are bad for them”

                      5. McFlock – “it’d be less irritating if tm wasn’t such a fucking moron”

                      My original question was aimed at 1-3 above and none of them have responded. Draco has not come back to qualify his personal comments further down (4) and you decided to go the direct profane insults (5) and diversionary route

                      Not a solitary conviction amongst you ‘tough guys’


                    • McFlock

                      There are a couple of possibilities:
                      maybe none of them responded because you never said it was aimed at them; or
                      maybe none of them responded because you’re not worth their time.

                      My time is pretty cheap for periods throughout the day. I reckon the latter.

                      As for me “going the diversionary route”, I answered your question twice.

                      What else was there? Um, oh that’s right, “profane insults”. The murphey is a pretentious fuck who has no idea how fucking stupid he is.


                    • northshoredoc

                      2. northshoredoc – “judging from some of the comments on that link and previous discussions on the same subject at this blog we also have our share of witless ninnies.”

                      I’m sure you have some point….

                      For clarification I am a strong advocate of immunisation in all those who are able to be immunised. I don’t believe we should have to require compulsion but I would think that all children enrolling in preschool or school should at the very least have to present evidence of vaccination and if not vaccinated the household should be contacted by public health services to ascertain reasons for non immunisation.

                      …. oh and what mcF said

                    • The Murphey

                      Q. With a manner such as you exhibit you’re a doctor of what exactly ?

                      I’ve asked you previously when comments made indicate the handle is a misnomer

                      Echo chambering McFlock indicates a poor level of discernment and propensity for juvenile tendencies supported by a low level of commentary and unsubtle leanings

                    • McFlock

                      Demands personal information, then ignores substance of comment that answers the question s/he’s has been obsessing over for most of the thread, in favour of the last five words.

                      You’re a fucking genius, murphey. /sarc

                    • northshoredoc

                      A) Medicine

                      Q) Why are you interested in the other commenters on this blog’s views on compulsory vaccination.

                      Q) What is your view on immunisation.

                      I do note most have provided a fairly open an honest opinion along with their rationale on the issue of compulsion for vaccination and their support or otherwise for vaccination unrelated to the issue compulsion whereas you have yet to offer anything apart from a simplistic… “I do not support compulsory.”

                    • The Murphey

                      A question is not a demand

                      There was no direct response to the question but there was an opinion which you mistook for substance

                      The opinion mirrors that which you expressed yesterday and both can reasonably lead to conclusions of compulsion with ‘ exceptions’

                      Ultimately the exceptions you each favour lead to exclusion and state interference and compulsion somewhere on the timeline

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Come and see the exceptions you each favour lead[ing] to exclusion and state interference and compulsion somewhere on the timeline inherent in the system.

                      Not if the system attempts to keep ethics 101 in mind.

                    • Q) Why are you interested in the other commenters on this blog’s views on compulsory vaccination.

                      Q) What is your view on immunisation.

                      Q) Are you trolling.

                    • The Murphey

                      @ northshoredoc

                      I am interested in understanding the mindset of those who use derogatory terms when referring to and linking to subject matter

                      In this instance it was vaccination

                      I did not wish to understand the points of view around exclusions or exceptions because there are so many variables and emotive perspectives involved which is why I queried the compulsion angle only

                      There has not been a direct response other than when I offered one and indicated I am not for compulsory which is the extent my view on immunizations for this thread

                      OAB 5.49pm put forward a counter to the conclusions I deduced from the opinions which yourself and McFlock align which indicates to me that OAB recognized how I would arrive at such conclusions

                      Ethics however do not prevent prejudice which are outcomes exclusions and exceptions lead to when discussing the vaccination issue illustrated by the name calling of those I mentioned 10.35am

                      If you are a medical doctor you should adhere to ethics resolutely and name calling something to shun especially around subject matter of this nature

                      That you gave in to name calling brings your ethical standing into question which is precisely what I have been doing

                    • northshoredoc

                      “I am interested in understanding the mindset of those who use derogatory terms when referring to and linking to subject matter”

                      Good o… I’m sure you’ll find plenty of material her and at other blogs.

                    • McFlock

                      And I hope you paid attention to the lecture on ethics, doc.
                      tsk tsk, for shame, such ignorance in the medical profession…

                • northshoredoc

                  @McFlock…. just for clarification.

                  Schools and child care facilities do have the right to exclude unvaccinated persons but only during an outbreak and usually this is undertaken under the auspices of the local public health officials.

                  When these outbreaks occur it is an extreme strain on the schools and public health officials and in vitally all cases could have been avoided if those that were able to be vaccinated were vaccinated.

                  • McFlock

                    Yeah to me that’s the minimum, but I’d be tempted to allow schools and kindies to have that policy before outbreaks, as a preventive measure.

                    But that (the pre-emptive policy) gets into punishing the kids for the idiocy of their parents, so that’s a factor that needs to be balanced against the policy.

                    It’s a thorny one, at that level.

              • One Anonymous Bloke


                Not a solitary atom of an inclination to play twenty questions to win a pat on the head.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        Read Roald Dahl’s Powerful Pro-Vaccination Letter (From 1988)

        And yet there are still some really stupid people out there that think vaccines are bad for them.

        • The Murphey

          Q. Do you believe vaccines are ‘good’ for everyone then ?

          If so that would make your view really stupid in that you’re not using basic logic and reasoning techniques the correct way

          • northshoredoc

            I don’t believe DTB was suggesting that vaccines are good for everyone, there are certainly some people in whom certain products would be contraindicated.

            Why don’t you tell us your opinion.

          • TheContrarian

            The only people who vaccines are bad for are those with specific auto-immune disorders.

            • northshoredoc

              There are others such as allergy to one or more components of the vaccine.

              Immunodificiency/immunosuppression etc, pregnancy if vaccine contains live virus etc.

              The majority of persons not vaccinated tend to have no contraindications.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Q. Do you believe vaccines are ‘good’ for everyone then ?

            No, as the link I provide actually shows.

            Q. Why can’t you read provided links?

            • The Murphey

              Your comment is not the link Draco

              My question was about your comment not the link

              If you say your position is ‘no’ why make statements referring to ‘really stupid people out there that think vaccines are bad for them’ ?

              • Draco T Bastard

                And yet my comment obviously referenced the link.

                • The Murphey

                  Q. Care to point it put where your comment is referenced in the article ?

                  If you believe that article supports your point of view illustrated in your comments then you should consider not posting on the subject

                  My challenge to your words stands

                  • McFlock

                    Q. seriously?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Here’s how this works: The Murphey asks twenty questions, and we have to guess the right answers to get a pat on the head. The game’s called “Lazy, Arrogant, Patronising”.

                    • McFlock

                      it’d be less irritating if tm wasn’t such a fucking moron

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Most of the more modern vaccinations have statistically marginal benefits when considered from a mortality perspective.

                      And this is what the criteria for vaccinations should be: how likely is it to be life saving for the person undertaking the treatment; not is it likely to be inconvenience saving.

                      For instance, the lifetime mortality rate for someone who skips the mandated Hep B vaccination will not be appreciably different to someone who has had it.

                      Simple understandable facts like this should be made clear to parents to enable true informed consent.

                    • McFlock


                      So much wrong in that, I barely know where to start.
                      From the top:

                      first paragraph: Well, no, not compared to rates for each condition before the vaccine was developed. Opting out because current rates are low is like wandering around No Man’s Land because all’s quiet on the front, when the only reason for the quiet was that there was nobody to shoot at. people wander around in the open, someone’s going to call down artillery.

                      2nd paragraph: inconvenience saving, in a health system, is life saving. Lowers the strain on hospitals, so they can treat people who are not suffering from a vaccine preventable disease.

                      3rd paragraph: appreciably? Whatever, dude. I’m sure it’s a doddle. Oh, and you want to say that to parents? How about informing them about the risks for younger children and newborns. Not to mention immune-compromised people.

                      “Facts” my arse. Go read the letter from Roald Dahl before you start blithely assuring people any particular disease is a doddle and the vaccine isn’t needed, and any other “facts” you want to make up.

                    • @ CV

                      Hepatitis B virus is most commonly acquired at childbirth (mother to child) OR from close contact of children in early childhood.

                      There are a wide range of outcomes of the infection depending to a large extent on the age at which the infection is acquired.

                      Overall most people who are exposed to Hepatitis B will become immune. This means the virus has been cleared. There are no problems with health in the longer term.

                      Infection as a newborn (at delivery) or in the first 5 years of life has a high chance of developing chronic (long-term) infection.

                      Most infections are “silent” – not picked up at the time because there were few symptoms. Men have a higher chance of developing chronic infection.

                      If chronic (persistent/ ongoing) infection develops there are two main outcomes.

                      Inactive infection. This can be called a “carrier” state. The virus is relatively dormant. Liver tests stay normal throughout life.There are minimal risks of liver disease over a lifetime.

                      Active infection. There is “active” turnover and multiplication of the virus. There is inflammation in the liver and the potential for liver damage. The body’s immune system is trying to kill the virus (without success). In the process the immune system is causing liver cells to die.

                      For a young adult (less than 30 years) with active disease there is a reasonable chance that the immune system will be able to get on top of the infection. This is called seroconversion because a protective antibody is formed. Unfortunately it is more common that the infection continues to be active and there is slow but progressive damage to the liver.

                      The long-term risk is the development of cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and the risk of developing liver cancer.

                      The risk is 20% over 20 years for active infection. In NZ there are about 10 liver transplants performed per year for hepatitis B. In NZ there are around 200 liver related deaths per year from hepatitis B.

                      Prior to the introduction of the vaccination we had far higher levels of hep B in the community. The Hep B vaccination program has been one of the most successful in NZ medical history and will hopefully lead to a situation in the future where this vaccination can be removed from the schedule interestingly i was one of the first cohort in NZ immunised as health workers were given priority due to the risk of needle stick type injuries.

                      Your comment that….” this is what the criteria for vaccinations should be: how likely is it to be life saving for the person undertaking the treatment; ” is patently absurd and would lead to significant outbreaks of what are now rare infections in NZ such as measles with resultant stress on the health system, significant morbidity and deaths.

                    • Edit … should read one of the ‘more’ successful…. we still have significant issues with Hepatitis B in NZ.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Infection as a newborn (at delivery) or in the first 5 years of life has a high chance of developing chronic (long-term) infection.

                      well, having brought it up, infection at delivery is not going to be helped by vaccination, is it. Babies who are infected at birth by Hep B should not receive that vaccination at 6 weeks as there is no benefit to the vaccination at that point.

                      Your comment that….” this is what the criteria for vaccinations should be: how likely is it to be life saving for the person undertaking the treatment; ” is patently absurd and would lead to significant outbreaks of what are now rare infections in NZ such as measles with resultant stress on the health system, significant morbidity and deaths.

                      Not absurd at all. Why not tell parents the facts as they stand so they can make an informed decision. I have no doubt that most parents will still choose to vaccinate their children, but they should be properly informed as to the actual level of benefit before they do so.

                    • McFlock

                      infection at delivery is not going to be helped by vaccination, is it

                      unless the mother is in the population who can be vaccinated or is protected by everyone around her being vaccinated.

                      After all this time you still don’t get the point that vaccination is not a “me” issue, it’s an “us” issue.

  2. Pete George 2

    An encouraging but early days poll result for Labour, up 4 to 29%. Getting back into the thirties is not far away.

    Greens slipped to 9.3%. After their new co-leader gets into gear they will hope to build back up.

    Also in the 3 News poll:

    Is a capable leader?
    – John Key 81%
    – Andrew Little 54%

    How are the leaders performing:
    – Key: well 63%, poorly 24%
    – Little: well 45%, poorly 24%

    So even National supporters must think Little is capable, and no more than half of National supporters think he has performed poorly. These are the best Labour results since Clark was leader so promising for Little.

    Also worth noting is that despite some views of Key here most think he’s capable and some Labour and possibly also Green supporters think he is a capable leader and not performing poorly.

  3. gsays 3

    hi there all, i am thinking of organizing in a small work place, a rural cafe with less than 10 young staff.
    interested in ideas and opinions from the readership.

    i want this to be win win, with a main objective of the staff/workers experiencing what can happen when we cooperate.
    most have no experience in unions.

    we have a decent employer without any major issues.

    am i obliged to look outside the workplace and join with existing groups?

    any sites that are worth reading.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      “Obliged” – no. Best advised to, probably.

      Why set up (and wear one tenth of the costs of) a union of ten people when you can join one that’s orders of magnitude bigger?

    • Tiger Mountain 3.2

      Try Unite or Service and Food Workers Union, their www sites will give you a good starting point, they have operated for years in fast food and hospitality etc. You are not obliged to take any particular course but why recreate things?

      Good luck, there are definite benefits for employees and employers from an organised workplace.

      • gsays 3.2.1

        hi tiger and oab, thanx for that, i have looked at those sites and have contacted an organizer via email.

        i agree that there will be benefits to both parties.

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.3

      How did your negotiations go?

      • gsays 3.3.1

        hi colonial, good, good, thanx for asking.

        that is why i am now looking at this to help lift the others.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          OK very cool. You need to meet your potential local union delegates before you choose a union to go with. Some are more on to it and better communicators than others. Go with a good one.

    • cricklewood 3.4

      I think it would be worth front footing it with your employer as well, explain what you are thinking and the benefits collectives can bring to them as well. Many employers are wary of unions and bringing one into the workplace can make an employer especially a small one extremely defensive especially if they dont know your reasons for doing so. The friction created can mean the union employer relationship gets off to a bad start.

      • gsays 3.4.1

        hi cricklewood, i absolutely agree.
        communication is very important.

        i do wander whether these big organizations are the most effective way to go.

    • nadis 3.5

      If you have decent employer why bother with a union? And I think you should change your comment

      main objective of the staff/workers experiencing what can happen when we cooperate.


      main objective of the staff/workers/employer experiencing what can happen when we cooperate.

      Set up your own collective and negotiate directly with the employer on the things that matter to you and your colleagues. My experience with unions (both as a member and as an employer) has been positive, but I find it (in a small business) way easier to give people what they want when we negotiate directly and I don’t have to worry that when I give person A something they want and they give me something in return I don’t have to roll the same benefit out to other workers who don’t value it. When the union gets involved I would tend to default to what the industry standard is rather than necessarily what suits individuals better.

      I’ve got people sharing jobs, people starting work at 6AM, people starting work at 930 AM, people working 4 x 10 hour days, people not working school holidays and some working a bit from home. Some people take a health insurance subsidy, some people take the money instead.

      Having said that, when I or my wife had the misfortune to work for a bad employer, the union was very helpful.

      Cue complaints about individual greed and lack of commitment to collectivism…….

      • gsays 3.5.1

        hi nadis,
        what you have suggested is probably more along the line i take.
        and yes i agree with the sentiment of including employer in the cooperation.

      • Murray Rawshark 3.5.2

        How strange that an employer advises against joining a union. Wonders will never cease.

        gsays, being part of a union affects much more than just your immediate work conditions. It also means you get to feed into Labour policy and get to build solidarity and organisation with other workers. These days, when government and employers want to atomise and individualise us, this is more important than ever. Being a member of an active union is like being part of the Standard community, but without Pete George.

        • nadis

          Can you explain how 10 members in a regional small employer would feed into Labour party policy, why that’s important for those 10 people, and how effective it might be?

          Maybe you should think less about ideology and more about what is in the best interests of this partcular group of workers?

          gsays sounds thoroughly pragmatic and I wish him well. If a union is the best option then use it, I suspect however with an admitted good employer and a positive team of employees both sides will do better by negotiating for themselves rather than introducing a third party who has different objectives to the people actually in the workplace. Why should anyone need to join a union to become political. Join the party instead – then we would see grassroots democracy in action.

          • nadis

            I’d add that the Union is just a service provider. You can choose to buy their services or not. If you do buy their services then presumably you have decided the value of those services is greater than the cost. Your choice.

            • Tiger Mountain

              wrong nadis

              the best unions are not an AA (Automobile Association) or insurance company of the workplace, they have a social justice legacy and help empower the oppressed and exploited as part of their brief–ie migrant workers, equal pay etc.

              If everything was reduced to being a transaction employers would tolerate unions, it is the fact they attempt to tackle class power that annoys bosses

          • Murray Rawshark

            “Can you explain how 10 members in a regional small employer would feed into Labour party policy, why that’s important for those 10 people, and how effective it might be?”

            Probably not using any concepts that you would understand. The best interest of any group of workers is to live in a strong and vibrant society that allows them participation. While the Koch bros can manage that in groups of two, workers can’t. Therefore they join together in unions. I do not see how the union has different objectives to the people in a particular workplace. That is just ACT propaganda, workers oppressed by all powerful union bosses. What a joke.

    • adam 3.6

      The best option is to read widely gsays.

      Here is another option


  4. Pat O'Dea 4

    IT’S OFFICIAL – I will be seeking confirmation/selection to stand as the Labour candidate for Northland in the upcoming by-election.

    On the news that that Willow-Jean Prime has announced her candidacy for Northland.

    Congratulations Willow on your new baby and for agreeing to stand, I know this cannot have been an easy decision to make. But with a new baby thoughts of the future must be uppermost on your mind. What sort of world will she grow up in, Will it still have horrendously threatening technologies like deep sea oil drilling and fracking, will the world be suffering through the effects of terminal climate change? I wish you both the very best, now and for the future.

    As a new mother I know you will have to make sacrifices I pray that you don’t have to endure unfair criticism from your opponent for the sacrifices you will have to make on her behalf. Good luck and best wishes

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      Yes best wishes to Willow Jean.

      Despite the initial luke warm approach from Labour tops they should be contesting this seat with some vigour. Nat MPs have delivered precisely nothing to the Far North for decades.

      The Far North has been riddled with failure, corruption and sexual offending from people in some authority lately from schools, churches and local politics, the cops too have not looked good (e.g. raiding evidence drug stashes for re sale). The severe flooding showed up the vulnerability of roading, bridges, power supply and other infrastructure. Air travel needs to be restored to Kaitaia etc etc any number of local issues exist.

      The place needs a good sort out and that could be the basis of a strong effort.

      Labour’s train wreck of an election campaign reached its nadir with the resourcing of Davis in the West Auckland end of Te Tai Tokerau thereby helping scuttle Hone’s chances and that of a change of government. That still rankles significantly, but political life goes on and Sabin’s deserved demise is a fresh opportunity to campaign against this filthy tory govt.

      • phillip ure 4.1.1

        “.. Nat MPs have delivered precisely nothing to the Far North for decades..”

        ..that has long puzzled me..how a region that has long been given s.f.a. by the tories..

        ..continues to re-elect tory mp’s..

        ..is it an antipodean-version of the stockholm-syndrome..?

        ..have they come to love their oppressors..?

        • Tiger Mountain

          possibly Phillip, have lived in Far North for 20 years now, and put some thought into it… some factors like the non vote are similar to any other electorate, as are the motivations for voting against “your own interests”.

          Some North specific reasons imo…
          • geography/isolation–like Chile a long mostly narrow land mass, lightly populated with distinct regions, settler descendants sitting on nefariously obtained land cutting across tribal areas, they grimly cling on in denial to scarce anyway land, by all means possible, which includes racism and hostility towards Māori. Anyone bar Nats are seen as “Māori lovers”. Farmer arsonist Allan Titford was the ultimate ugly expression of this trend.
          • Te Tai Tokerau Māori seat–the existence of which effectively siphoned off 12,339 non Nat votes (National doesn’t stand) in 2014
          • Patronage–Lodges, business and farming associations, Fire and Police stations, etc form a barely disguised tory network that puts pressure on people that want paid work–“we’re blue around here mate”
          • Culture–much of the North is so poor recessions are barely noticed, people are self sufficient the young leave the area after school. The North is still run as if it is 1964 basically, and why that is one reason we like it, it still needs to wake the fuck up! Speaking out until recent years was a no no, but the young and brown have certainly got things rolling with no mining etc.
          • Imports–there is a disproportionate retirement population on the East Coast and lots of comparitievly well off Euro and Saffas around Kerikeri
          • Local government–bent! Another de facto National Party branch and conflicts of interest in all directions.

          • phillip ure

            + 1 to all of that..

            ..+ a really high non-vote…

            ..i think for the bye-election..labour need to get their thinking-cap on..

            ..labour need to develop some concrete-promises for the north..

            ..’if labour win in ’17 we will’ etc etc..

            ..promises that will get that non-vote to the polling-booth..

            • phillip ure

              i think also that because it is a safe tory seat..it has been long-ignored by labour..

              (..this wd also explain littles’ defeatist-comments/seeming ennui at the very idea of a bye-election..)

              ..in fact..after clark was booted out..i was so incensed at that nine long yrs of fucking over/demonising/neglecting the poorest..

              ..and its’ effects particularly in areas like northland..

              ..and at this deliberate/studied-neglect being rewarded with a un position..

              (supposedly working for the benefit of those she had so dutifully ignored for nine long years..)

              ..and after i picked myself up off the floor after the irony-overdose..

              ..i was driven to poetry/prose..

              ..i came up with this:



              (apologies/regards/obeisances paid to the gil scott-heron magnum-opus..’whitey’s on the moon’..the concept of which i have unabashedly ‘stolen’/borrowed/riffed on..)

              the kids up north have still got rotten teeth..

              but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

              ..our forests have disappeared at an ever increasing rate..

              ..but hey..!.helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

              ..our species are dying off..every day..for nine long years..

              ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

              ..our coastal wetlands have been polluted/developed..

              but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

              our rivers and streams are dirtier than ever..

              .but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

              (i then bang on at some length in a similar-vein..)

              ..so clearly the tories and labour have to share responsibilties for the sorry state of northland..

              ..andrew little/labour need to promise to put that right..

              • Tiger Mountain

                Yes Labour can certainly not be left out here. There is a division among the populace along general Northland seat/Te Tai Tokerau Māori seat lines too which is unhelpful in a getting a united anti Nat front happening.

                Dover Samuels had a Kaitaia main street office for a while in 90s but Labour has not had a regular public presence for years, a few ‘blue skies’ merchants in the background, until Willow Jean Prime’s election effort in 2014.

                Hone has a good public profile over the years with main St office and lots of travel in electorate, but in 2014 Winston, Dear Leader, Russell and David combined was too much to surmount, not forgetting his car crash and IMPs campaign going awry half way through.

                The Far North–the land that time forgot.

          • Halfcrown

            Thanks for that Tiger. Have not been up North for years, it is obvious that it is time for a visit.

            If you hadn’t included the word Maori, one could have thought you were talking about certain area’s of the States like the mid west bible belt, and the South. What a sad indictment of NZ today,

          • Molly

            Good points, TM.

            Interested to hear that the young are getting out re mining etc. Was great to see the two young men interviewed on John Campbell’s road trip re GSCB legislation. They were from up North, walking along the streets, dreadlocked and hoodied and were the most informed and articulate members of the public that were interviewed during the whole trip.

            The resource of aware young people is yet to be fully accessed by the left. When it is, it will be a force to be reckoned with.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Man, that’s a great summary, TM. The north could be twinned with the East Coast; both areas of astonishingly persistant poverty and government neglect, both safe Tory seats. Reading your analysis, I now get why.

        • TE

          agree 100% with you there phil … was meant to reply to 4.1.1
          As a person who has lived in northland for a few years I often wondered what the tories are talking about, schools closed, hospitals denied funding, roads worse than some 3rd world countries, ear nose and throat experts operate hundreds of miles from the most people in need, kerikeri and coopers beach hives of rich industry if you have the right smile, small business going broke every day with no real help from any one it seems.
          as George said ..

          “This is the real warning of Nineteen Eighty-Four: The danger comes not from our suppressors but from our ovine willingness to be suppressed.”

          • Molly

            The army used to go up North for annual camp, and perform grommet operations for the children while there.

            The cost of the grommets themselves is less than $1.00, and the medics would line them up and process them as part of the training. At the time, Health Boards would budget $1,500 per operation. This scheme ensured that many Northland children got the help they needed in a timely manner.

            I read a study (a long time ago, and in print) by SmithKline Beecham, where they tracked the incidence of glue ear in Northland children, and followed the negative impact on untreated children in regards to education, communication etc.

            There have been other studies that find in the prison population a high incidence of hearing related problems associated with untreated glue ear. It is one of the most effective and cheapest medical procedures that can have a very high positive impact.

            I don’t know if this is still happening up there.

            • TE

              Hi Molly, I dont know if the army is still doing operations and I had never heard of this till you said.
              When my nephew had glue ear 30 years ago, his parent’s had to go to the GP to get referred to the ENT in Whangarei with a 6 month wait,
              then with another long wait go to Whangarei hospital and have the operation, all this was done on a meager wage with great financial burden to the family, he had this operation 2 times which still left him with a 50% hearing loss, but in no way was it a stumbling block for him.

              Nothing has changed, my 10 year old niece had this same process last year.
              I have heard of some horror stories re grommet ops and the long arduous journey of parents to even get them to an apoinment with the ENT in Whangarei.
              As you highlighted the children with glue ear have lives of conflict and it is still going on up in the Far North.
              Far North is truly a forgotten land … with the high achievers leaving as soon as they can … to leave the poor, weak, uneducated and frail to fend for themselves.
              The only hope being Hone Harawira who was hardly ever at parliment because he was always helping his constituents find a way to get the help they needed.
              John Carter just made phone calls to radio station pretending to be a uneducated Maori … what a waste of space that guy was.
              All Mike Sabin was interested in was how to be the Most powerful ex policeman and that didn’t mean helping the poor and uneducated.

              • Molly

                Hi TE, have friends and family in the armed forces and I know this was a regular occurrence. From memory, I think they were based up in Dargaville during the Christmas holidays – and the army surgical team had them lining up at the door.

                Glue ear is a problem. It was a while ago that I read a specific NZ study on the number of prison inmates who had untreated glue ear, but it was exceptionally high. Google provides some links.

                Untreated glue ear impacts on learning ability, language, communication from a very early age. Which also has an effect on self esteem and social development. I can understand the frustration of children being unable to learn and communicate effectively. If not managed correctly, it would understandably sometimes lead to anti-social behaviour.

                (As an aside: I’ve often wondered about the consumption of milk contributing to glue ear, oftentimes told to avoid dairy consumption when having a cold with sinus or mucus problems as it exacerbates it. That idea will have to wait until I have time to research it.)

                But essentially, the provision of immediate and effective treatment of glue ear would provide a wealth of long-term benefits (including financial) in terms of education outcomes, social benefits, and crime statistics. It is frustrating to read of your family’s lack of access to this fairly straightforward procedure.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.2

        Labour is not looking forward to putting another $10K it does not have into an already lost by-election.

        • phillip ure

          well if labour are that fucked/non-motivated..

          ..maybe they should just get off the pot..

          ..and let someone else have a piss..

          ..and if they are unable to see that this contest is important..

          ..for re-defining..for momentum..

          ..and for showing they can work co-operatively with other parties on the left..

          …they are blind/dead from the neck up..

    • Ew. How about we not impose our own priorities on Prime by exploiting her newborn child’s existence? It’s presumptuous and sexist. No one lectured Simon Bridges on climate change when his newest child was born.

      • Pat O'Dea 4.2.1

        Dear Stephanie,

        To be genuinly concerned about the world that the new generation has to live in, is not imposing my priorities. Nor is expressing my best wishes to Willow-Jean and her new baby daughter exploiting a newborn child’s existence,

        How dare you.

        [lprent: How dare you. Piss off out of my sight you pumped up small minded pathetically limp excuse for an activist. You just lost your ranting rights here for a while.

        Don’t divert posts off topic into your own obsession as you did above, and as you have been doing regularly recently. It is a pain in the arse. Authors write posts for you to concentrate on their content rather than trying to write your own. We provide OpenMike for you to introduce your own content instead.

        Never attack our authors or moderators except on content. In particular, never ever try that dumbarse indignation trick or I will give you something to really be indignant about.

        Don’t try talking down to authors and ‘correct’ their posts (yes I saw those).

        And it always pays to take notice of moderators and authors nicely warning you. Just because some are pleasant people does not mean that we all are. You take potluck with whoever gets to your comment first.

        Read the policy and obey our rules on this site so I don’t have to notice you here again. Banned 4 weeks. ]

        • Ross

          lprent, what am I missing here?

          “Don’t divert posts off topic into your own obsession as you did above…. We provide OpenMike for you to introduce your own content…”

          This is OpenMike.

          “Never attack our authors or moderators except on content..”

          Isn’t that what he was doing? The author was replying to what I thought was an unwarranted attack by a moderator.

          &lt:paraphrase>Congratulations on your new baby and take care of the little one’s future&lt:/paraphrase>. How is that exploiting, presumptuous, lecturing or sexist?

          The author may be a devious prick but I don’t see that he crossed a line on this post.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            It might pay to read my *entire* comment, Ross. Presuming to tell a new mother what is or isn’t best for her child is presumptuous. Exploiting a new mum’s anxiety about the future of her child to push a political bandwagon is exploitative.

            And it’s sexist because Pat O’Dea would never presume to give the same kind of smug, patronising lecture to a man who’s just become a father. Our society puts huge pressure on mothers, specifically, as the parent who’s expected to be nurturing/protective/thoughtful.

            Pat O’Dea does not get to lecture Willow-Jean Prime on “what must have been uppermost in her mind”. It’s plain bloody rude.

            • Ross

              Stephanie, I read your entire post, and every other post in the thread to get some clue to the ferocity of your response (and lprents banning). I remain mystified. No other reader considered his comments to be “bloody rude”. There is obviously some back story that I’m missing and frankly don’t care. What it looks like to me as a relatively new participant on this site, is that you get to elevate your opinion to the level of fact and then to act as if it were true. From the actual contents of the post there was no sexism, lecturing, presumption or exploiting IN MY OPINION. Clearly we disagree. So ban me for 4 weeks.

              [lprent: Ok. Add an extra 4 weeks for a total of 8 weeks. Hasn’t anyone told you what I do when people request extra bans? ]

              • You’re entitled to your own opinion, Ross, but you’re not entitled to use “it’s my opinion” as an excuse when you’re trying to make statements of fact.

                In fact other people did object to Pat’s comments – I was not the moderator who banned him, for a start. And I reject the idea that my response was in any way “ferocious”, even from the point of view of a “relatively new” participant to this site.

                You are welcome to disagree. Disagreeing doesn’t get people banned from TS, no matter what the rightwing trolls try to claim. But making personal attacks against moderators and ignoring moderators’ clear guidance probably will.

                • Ross

                  “Disagreeing doesn’t get people banned from TS”


                  [lprent: Pat O’Dea had been riding for moderation for some time because of his behaviour. He just happened to trip over the rule that said do not attack authors personally. Just as you just did. ]

                  • That is not “exactly what it looks like”. lprent’s judgement is very clear and backed up with links. You are, again, welcome to disagree with his interpretation of Pat’s behaviour, but he is still a moderator here and he gets to decide when people get banned.

                    Accusing me of having an agenda is silly – I said everything I had to say in my comments. Invoking the name of journalists who were literally murdered by terrorists for their work is simply contemptible.

                    • Ross

                      [deleted] lprents reasons for the banning are everything but clear which is why I’m mystified. He begins with:

                      “Piss off out of my sight you pumped up small minded pathetically limp excuse for an activist..”



                      And the links are irrelevant when the issue is with this post here.


                      Banning Pat O’Dea is murdering his voice on this forum.

                      [lprent: Pat O’Dea can write whatever he likes elsewhere. His ability to write comments here will be turned back on (from memory) on the 2nd. He may or may not use it. I simply don’t care unless he violates another policy. Then I start doubling up bans until his behaviour improves.

                      The rules are quite clear, and absolutely consistent with the same moderation policies I have run since early 2008.

                      I’m always offensive to anyone that I have to ban. The lazy dickheads caused me extra work, like you not reading the links.

                      But the rules are pretty basic. Don’t attack authors. Listen to moderators. Don’t bore the crap out of moderators with trolling. Don’t imply that machines have intelligence etc etc. Read the policy. Clearly you have not.

                      I also have one that says if you don’t like it and want to argue about it, then you either have to come up with an original approach (you haven’t so far), or just state your position *once*.

                      Or I start banning people for tiresomely trying to tell us what we should do on our site. They don’t do the eternal legwork here that we have done for more than 7 years. You will find telling us what to do is also listed in the policy. I don’t care if you are indignant about it – it really doesn’t concern me. And I really can’t be bothered repeating myself. So I dispose of the problem. 😈

                      Banned for 4 weeks because you are whining about the rules of this site – and clearly you haven’t read them. 😈 ]

                    • There is literally no “history” between me and Pat O’Dea. I don’t know him outside comments on The Standard. Your continued implication that some dirty, shady business is being played out here is baseless. One might even wonder if you have some weird agenda against me, except that would be ridiculous.

                      “Murdering his voice” is utterly irrational and establishes you are not interested in serious discussion.

                      I’m done with this thread. Please note: you still haven’t been banned for “disagreeing”, because that doesn’t actually happen here.

                      [lprent: He did get banned for wasting my time and wanting to change the sites policies that he’d clearly not read. He then picked up an extra ban by requesting it. That is always a bad idea. I might read it after handing out a ban since I read them backwards, and then just adding the requested extension. ]

                    • weka

                      “Banning Pat O’Dea is murdering his voice on this forum.”

                      Cool. We can expect the second coming in about 27 days then.

        • Ross

          lprent, it has just dawned on me that you may have deleted part of PO’s response to Stephanie because it contained the personal attack. If so, could you be more explicit in future. I have been going on at Stephanie for being precious when she may have had very good reason to be upset. That upsets me. A note like [offending material deleted] at the beginning will help newbies like me to understand what is going on. Thanks.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    I’m being “exposed” apparently, over at Yawns 😆

    I don’t suppose there’s any way to prevent Pete George plagiarising material wholesale from The Standard.

    So here’s some music 😈

    • Pete George 5.1

      It’s simple – if you don’t play dirty then there won’t be anything to expose.

      You didn’t link to the actual exposure:

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.1

        Pathetic. Yawnz.

      • Tracey 5.1.2


        OAB is a commenter not an author so to label it the standard style could be misleading.

      • cricklewood 5.1.3

        “This week as Little railed against Key’s refusal to show any accountability, it became clear Key’s chosen moniker was “Angry Andy”.”

        A quick google found this in the herald… or does that not count Pete?

    • vto 5.2

      Like sands through the hour glass ………..

      some more music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-Zgtm-g4Co

    • Sanctuary 5.3

      Pete George is that guy who waged a 25 year campaign for a recount for the position of chief fancier in the local pigeon fanciers club on the grounds that the count took place after rather than before the bring and bake sale and was thus highly irregular since all previous counts were done before the sale.., so don’t expect the obsessive concern to let up anytime soon.

    • The lost sheep 5.4

      Congratulations OAB!
      Great to see you getting the national recognition you deserve.

      Now you’ve made the big time, I guess we won’t be hearing so much from you on TS?

    • TheContrarian 5.5

      Regardless of Pete – seems you’re full of shit.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.6

      Congrats, OAB! Welcome to a rather exclusive club. Lprent has been beige bombed quite a few times over at YawnNZ and I’ve had the Pete George political placebo thrown at me a couple of times too.

      He positively simpers with hatred when anybody correctly identifies his conservative tendencies. He likes to say that the right hate him too, but that’s only coz he is so fucken hopeless at expressing his true values that they despise him for being so dismally weak.

      At the end of the day, PG is hooked on The Standard. Without us, his site has nothing to offer. Less than zero.

      • Pete George 5.6.1

        Strange comment, but not surprising to see you championing OAB. You can have similar approaches, as evidenced here.

        Hatred isn’t something I feel at all on blogs so you’re way wide of the mark there. I think you’re trying a bit too hard and over-reaching.

        Of course I’ve got some conservative tendencies. And some radical tendencies. Haven’t you TRP? It’d be surprising if you haven’t.

        I think you’re over-rating your importance just a tad. There’s quite a bit going on outside the TS bubble.

        • marty mars

          “There’s quite a bit going on outside the TS bubble.”

          You are hooked though surely you can admit that.

          • Pete George

            It can be useful but I can take or leave it. I read and comment at quite a varied bunch of blogs, There’s actually quite a lot of choice out there, Have you been too stuck in the bubble to notice?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The small-spotted catshark or lesser spotted dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, is a catshark of the family Scyliorhinidae. It is found on the continental shelves and the uppermost slopes off the coasts of Norway and the British Isles south to Senegal, including the Mediterranean between latitudes 63° N and 12° N.

        • Te Reo Putake

          “Hatred isn’t something I feel at all on blogs …”

          Well, that’s bullshit for a start. You seethe with loathing, Pete. It’s why you troll so vehemently. Underneath your deadly dull exterior is a conservative full of spite for the majority who won’t take you seriously. As someone almost sung, when you pull your frilly nylon panties right up tight, you feel a dedicated follower of fascism.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.6.2

        Partick Thistle 0, Rangers 3

  6. Plan B 6

    Great article on housing. Proving that the market will provide!

    Provide what, is of course the question.

    • vto 6.1

      Of course Plan B. The market commonly fails to provide what people need, contrary to what Rodney Hide and gosman claim, and housing is one of the best evidentiary examples……. housing of course being pretty much the most basic component of human survival alongside food.

      Even this most basic of human needs is not served by neoliberalism and the “free market”. The “free market” is good for plastic buckets and undies from the warehouse and that is all.

      Not sure how much more evidence is needed for fools like Hide and gosman on the failures of their ideology. It must be quite galling for these people to see their failures in such bright lights.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Even this most basic of human needs is not served by neoliberalism and the “free market”.

        And neither is food as we know from a quarter of our children going to school hungry.

      • Gosman 6.1.2

        I don’t think I have ever stated that the market is able to provide everything that people need to everybody. Nor have I seen or heard Rodney Hide claim the same.

        • vto

          It clearly cannot provide housing or food.

          What else can it not provide gosman? It would be interesting to see your list ….

          • Paul

            Cheap electricity and power.
            Full employment

          • Gosman

            By design any market is not going to provide something to everybody. If you want it to then you will need to provide external assistance to the market participants at some level. What is generally not advisable is for the State to attempt to replace the market in trying to provide something to the majority of the people who need it. The State tends not to be very good at doing this. Certainly that is what the evidence from states where this occurs shows.

            • vto

              lol, a fantastic attempt at the split of a hair. nice try but no cigar

              words and actions from the likes of your lot

              miles apart

              no wonder failure is everywhere to be seen

              • Gosman

                Not splitting hairs. You asked a question around the market providing housing and food. I answered by stating that the market is not designed to provide housing and food for everyone. There will always be some people who require a degree of assistance. That does not mean the Market has failed and the State should replace the provider role.

                • vto

                  No, you are struggling, so avoiding. I asked this “What else can (the market) not provide gosman? It would be interesting to see your list ….”

                  It would be good to see your list, given you have admitted that housing and food are not provided adequately by the market (which then you curiously amend to “…the market is designed to provide housing and food for everyone.”)(also curious that your “some are not provided for” is such a collosal part of the “market”)

                  Why are you not willing to provide a list of those things, like housing and food, that the market has failed to supply adequately?

                  Also, why the change in ideology from “the market will provide everything for which there is a demand” to “the market will only partly provide everything for which there is a demand”?

                  swiss cheese mate swiss cheese

                  • Gosman

                    A list of goods and services that cannot be provided via a pure market mechanism to everyone who wants them would include everything that could be provided via a market mechanism. It is not the point of a market. If you want goods or services to be provided to everyone then that is the role of social policy.

                    • vto

                      ” It is not the point of a market. If you want goods or services to be provided to everyone then that is the role of social policy.”

                      You see gosman …… that is so very far from the reality of what has been sold to NZ by the likes of Act and National (and earlier Labour) under the neoliberal / libertarian banner that the credibility of your words are just not worth anything…….

                      I also suggest that your words are those of an ideology in retreat …… having failed spectacularly in the hard cold of battle

                    • Gosman

                      I disagree. I have yet to see major policy where someone claims that leaving delivery purely to the market will lead to all people receiving goods or services that they need, It can be used to improve service delivery to more people but never all people. People who claim otherwise are either lying or don’t understand the point of a market.

                    • vto

                      sure gosman, sure….

                      I will let the facts of the last 30 years stand in testament…

                      Electricity has been left to supply the whole market
                      Housing is being reduced to let the market be the sole supplier (Nats selling of housing)
                      Food is left solely to the market.
                      Shoes are left solely to the market
                      the list is endless fulla, but keep splitting them hairs and denying the past

                    • Gosman

                      Electricity is a good example. When it was provided by the state with a large social component involved in the pricing NZ went through periods where demand was higher than supply and the country suffered brownouts. I have yet to experience a significant shortage of electricity in the Wellington region for the past 10 years. That is unlike when I was growing up.

                    • vto

                      pffftt…. try getting out of Wellington…

                      ask Aucklanders..
                      ask rural users ..

                      another fail there mister

                    • McFlock

                      yes, because it’s all about you, and nothing would have happened if it weren’t for the market, blessed be the name of the market

                    • Gosman

                      This report gives a good run down of the state of play in the electricity market especially since it was deregulated and opened up to competition.


                      Figures 3.17, 3.19 and 3.20 are especially pertinent to this issue as it highlights a steady drop in both transmission charges and outages experienced since the reforms of the early to mid 1990’s.

                    • McFlock

                      although there’s a middleman between transmission charge and the householder, so yay, irrelevant.

                      And as for 3.19, where did “system minutes” spike up from in 1991? Hell, I’d be asking why the chart only goes to 1990, when figure3.7 goes back to 1974.

                      Was the 1992/93 spike due to a spike in infrastructure improvements done at public expense prior to the sell-off plan, like the investment before the telecom sale?

                    • Gosman

                      Speculating about it is pointless. If you wish to find out why don’t you do some research on the topic?

                    • McFlock

                      lol but you’re the one who made the assertion, knob-head.
                      I provided alternative explanations for the evidence you brought up to support that assertion, including the explanation of “irrelevance”.

                      So once again I have no reason to believe any damned thing you say.

                  • freedom

                    Re Gosman’s comment at: http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-02012015-2/#comment-961760

                    In 3.17 – Like a thorn in the fleece you fail to point out that graph says the Transmission Charge was unbundled from the energy price yet the graph continues mapping the unbundled line as if it has some relevance with the line showing the price prior to unbundling. I looked but could not find anywhere where it said the Transmission Price prior to the period of unbundling was mapped using the same systems that created the post unbundled transmission price.

                    As for 3.30 +3.31 +3.32, they are very interesting also, mainly because they show how the residential sector has been a steady and consistently minor consumer of the power generated by a network that was built by the people of New Zealand, but somehow it is also that same residential sector [only] that has had the most consistent and the largest increases in charges for that power since the assets they built, were sold off.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  There will always be some people who require a degree of assistance. That does not mean the Market has failed

                  Actually, we’ve been assured (by politicians and economists) that the market can provide everything that we need and so the market failing to provide what’s needed is, as a matter of fact, the market failing.

                  • Gosman

                    Who has assured you that?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That has been been the refrain from politicians and economists since the 1970s. It’s the drive behind the reforms of the 4th Labour and subsequent governments. It’s why they sold our state monopolies off despite them being natural monopolies and it is, again, what we were told when this government sold off our generation assets and put in place charter schools.

                      Now you’ll come back and say that they didn’t actually say that but that would just be you splitting hairs and trying very hard to deny the truth.

                • tricledrown

                  Gooseman Electricity infrastructure was run down so quickly and badly after mad max bradford reforms.
                  You still haven’t grown up.
                  The Clark govt had to virtually upgrade the whole national grid after years of no growth under National.
                  The Network around Auckland was knocked out for months because of no plan the market will sort it out.
                  Laissez faire bullshit!
                  The Cooks straot cables were buggered the National grid was run down barely able to cope.
                  Gooseman you are a naive idiot.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The State tends not to be very good at doing this. Certainly that is what the evidence from states where this occurs shows.

              The research coming out lately shows that the state is far better than the private sector. Cheaper isn’t better and the private sector’s not even cheaper anyway.

  7. Skeptic 7

    Is Mr George the most verbose blogger ever? I wonder.

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 8

    Is there any doubt whatsoever that our Prime Minister operates a system of plausible deniability?

    To the best of my recollection*, the first that I knew about it was that last week of 2014, of the Parliamentary term…

    *translation: I’m a lying weasel.

    • BLiP 8.1

      John Key has, for years, displayed the politician’s habit of prefacing comments with “outs” like “as far as I know” and “to the best of my recollection”. But, yeah, John Key is being particularly slippery on this issue, even more so than that Failfax link suggests. Check out his actual words as spoken and you will see that John Key has admitted that he first became aware Sabin was having “personal difficulties” in December. The question that should have been asked is “when did you become aware that the police were investigating Sabin?” because a police investigation is a different thing – semantically speaking – from having “personal difficulties”.

      Tricksy John Key is tricksy, alright.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.2

      How can he have known about something that was only rumours a few days ago?

    • Tracey 8.3

      so when sst published the article on 21 dec 2014. hmmm what happened to the no surprises policy.

      • rawshark-yeshe 8.3.1

        this has a slow burn potential I think … any woman voter in the north is going to be so angry that Sabin was allowed to stand again … and men too, of course. And then he was apppointed chair of the Law and Order Committee and kept there until Friday !

        Key runs his cabinet the way Basil Fawlty ran his hotel. And it’s more deserving of a cheap reality show than a way to run a decent country.

  9. BLiP 9

    Ummm . . . why hasn’t the retail price of milk come down?

    • neoliberalism/the market rules/what the market will bear/profit-taking/greed/fuck-the-customers/mug-punters..!

      ..for starters..?

      ..not that it effects me..of course..(save for surliness at the exploitation inherent..)

      ..but as an ex-addict..(in my prime i cd mainline a block of cheese in one sitting..)..

      ..i do have sympathy/empathy for those still hooked on the white-death..

      (and i wd advise to wean..and then cut..)

    • GregJ 9.2

      Because the sleepy hobbits on NZ continue allow themselves to be ripped off under spurious arguments about exports prices etc. etc.

      I live in the Middle East and I pay the same and often less for NZ dairy than NZers, as well as NZ Lamb & Beef. And I can guarantee you we sure as hell don’t pay export prices for petroleum (and there would be a bloody riot if anyone tried to impose it as well).


    Last night on 3 News, Patrick Gower referred to Andrew Little for the THIRD TIME IN A WEEK as “Johnny Come Lately”.

    What does he mean by this? Does he know what “Johnny come lately” means? What is Andrew Little late for? Is Gower just making weird insults and saying demeaning things whether they make any sense or not? Do words even have any meaning any more?

  11. Paul 11

    Slippery Key is back again.

    Prime Minister John Key has confirmed he knew of former National MP Mike Sabin’s personal matters last year, but says he had confidence in the MP up until his resignation.
    Key rejected any suggestion he knew of the issues plaguing Sabin before the election.
    “To the best of my recollection, the first that I knew about it was that last week of 2014, of the Parliamentary term,” he told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report.

    “To the best of my recollection.”
    What a joke.


  12. logie97 12

    Why isn’t Tertiary (University) open ended entry?
    It is almost totally user pays these days – (not incidentally as it was for the Petulant Bean or Joky Hen and their ilk who got it free.)

    Students are promoted socially through all levels of Primary and Secondary on the criteria of age, regardless of whether they are ready but then apparently Tertiary is on academic testing.

    Universities could advise some prospective students that they might struggle, but if the student is prepared to pay the costs, at least give them the opportunity.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      Far too many people go to university already, and far too many take courses which are entirely harmful to society (finance, banking and economics being amongst the leaders).

    • Gosman 12.2

      Only about a third of the cost of Tertiary education is paid for by the Student so your claim that it is totally user pays is erroneous.

      • BLiP 12.2.1

        logie97 did not claim that it was totally user pays.

        • alwyn

          That is correct, logie97 did not claim it was “totally”.
          What they did claim was that “It is almost totally user pays these days –”.
          Do you really think that if, as Gosman claims, “Only about a third of the cost of Tertiary education is paid for by the Student ” the claim of “almost totally” is distinctly misleading?

          • weka

            I’m of the generation where your costs were a few hundred bucks at the start of the year, plus materials. So I understand logie’s hyperbole to be appropriate to what they were actually talking about.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Its usual for the older generation who are now NZ’s leadership class (and got their uni educations for fuck all) to make the younger generation pay through the nose, in order to cut their own taxes.

            Baby boomer and middle aged takers.

          • BLiP

            That is correct, logie97 did not claim it was “totally”.


          • Gosman

            Almost totally user pays is also incorrect. It is less than a third user pays.

          • Murray Rawshark

            The rest is largely paid by the taxpayer and a good argument can be made that the taxpayer uses and benefits from tertiary education, except for the harmful courses that CR mentions.

            • Gosman

              The numbers involved in those courses are incredibly high.

              • Murray Rawshark

                So are the mountains of Mars. Why is that relevant?

                • Gosman

                  It suggests to me (if you are right that those course off no social benefit) then are large amount of Tertiary education is not almost totally user pays as stated in the original comment.

                  • McFlock

                    Why do high numbers of students in harmful courses suggest anything to you about what percentage of those courses are user pays?

                    • Gosman

                      Because I pointed out that the Student funded component of Tertiary education only made up around 30% of the total cost of education hence why the Tertiary education sector is not almost totally user pays. The response to this is that society pays for training in subjects that benefits society so therefor it is user pays because society becomes a user. This was a pretty poor argument but one that I indulged by pointing out that subjects that people deem to be not useful to society are therefore by definition not user pays. The point being Tertiary Education is by whatever definition you choose is not almost totally user pays.

                    • McFlock

                      What, you’ve never used a net-harmful thing before?

                      Millions of drug users can’t be wrong, and a BCom is the meth of education.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Oh I forgot to add Public Relations and Media Communications to the list of EVIL courses.

              • Murray Rawshark

                If I get in as Minister of Education the evil will be uprooted by lunchtime.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Good stuff. Expect a call in due course, mate.

                • Gosman

                  Luckily there is little chance of that happening. At least we know that you want to interfere politically in the education system which is what the right always suspects the left of wanting to do.

                  • McFlock

                    charter fucking schools
                    national fucking standards

                    fuck off. One or two blog commenters do not equal enacted government policy, you hypocrite.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      Especially not when at least one of them is joking. RWNJs sure do have a sense of humour bypass.

      • logie97 12.2.2

        You do not appear to oppose open ended entry?

      • McFlock 12.2.3

        Mighty victory there.
        It’s still fucking expensive.

    • RJL 12.3

      University does have open ended entry.

      If you don’t have University Entrance (UE) from your high school work, then all the universities offer Certificates in University Preparation (called something slightly different at some universities). If you pass this, you can progress to normal study.

      Also, if you are aged 20 or over you can enrol regardless of whether you have UE or not.

      Of course, some programmes have limited numbers and/or have specific expected prior knowledge, so even if you have UE that may not be sufficient for entry to those programmes.

    • As RJL points out, universities already have open entry. However, there are good reasons for universities not to encourage attendance by people who shouldn’t be there:
      1. As Gosman points out, students pay a third of the costs of study, which means taxpayers are up for two thirds of the cost if it turns out to be wasted.
      2. The government applies performance measurement to universities that includes the success rate, ie what proportion of the students succeed in completing degrees in a timely manner. Which means, taking chances on people unlikely to succeed is a risk for a university.
      3. Failing at university is a misery-inducing process intensely harmful to people’s self-esteem. Universities shouldn’t be inflicting it on any more people than is absolutely necessary.

      • Colonial Rawshark 12.4.1

        Nothing like failing (or even passing), being unable to get a significantly better job, and having a tonne of student debt to deal with.

      • RJL 12.4.2


        I don’t see point 1 as being especially relevant. I wouldn’t categorise any particular study outcome as “a waste” for “the taxpayer” (i.e. society). If someone has enrolled and been given the opportunity to engage with new ideas, then the course was successful. Whether the student has made the best use of the opportunity and whether or not the student passed some assessments is not especially relevant. The goal is a society where education is valued and there are plentiful opportunities for everyone to engage in education.

        Point 2 is a problem. The problem extends down to individual papers, as TEC makes frown faces at individual papers with high failure rates. Although having said that, the universities can be sensible about this. The university can direct apparently marginal students initially to programmes that have low marginal costs. Sure, the university loses an opportunity for revenue if the student then fails, but the university is not out-of-pocket. And apparently marginal students can turn out to be really successful.

        Point 3 is also a potential problem. On the other hand, this is something that both the universities and broader society can manage better. Failing university courses (assuming that the student attempted to engage) just means the student failed to understand something or failed to complete assessments adequately. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, and nothing wrong with the university and student needing another attempt, or several more attempts (if the student still wants to).

  13. Tracey 13

    am out of town and cant make a separate post.

    Julie Anne Genter MP
    Kia ora Tracey

    I’d like to invite you to the Climate Reality talk I’ll be giving at AUT.

    Last year I was lucky enough to attend a training by former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore to educate about climate change.

    As part of the Climate Reality Project conference in Melbourne, I spent three days learning how to provide a deep understanding of the latest science of climate change.

    As a Climate Reality Leader, I’m sharing my learnings about the global climate crisis and its solutions. Community by community, we are demanding action on climate change.

    When: 7:30pm, Tuesday 10th February
    Where: AUT Lecture Theatre WA220 (Click for map)(Campus map)
    RSVP: julieanne.genter@parliament.govt.nz

    Please join us, and bring along any family, friends or colleagues you would like to see better informed and inspired to help solve the climate crisis. …”

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      Solving the climate change problem is pretty easy: western countries need to drastically cut their consumption of energy, materials and highly manufactured products, while large developing countries need to ensure all their infrastructure investments are in renewables.

      Problem is, politics and short/medium term vested interests will prevent these answers from being implemented.

      • Tracey 13.1.1

        you know that solving it involves shifting peoples perspective to get the change. not everyone but more than today. that is what she is trying to do. give people a reason to give shit.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          To solve the issue requires rapidly transitioning away from global corporate capitalism and consumer culture, and replacing it with quite a different kind of civilisation and economics. No political party or politician is going there. They are all talking about relatively small variations to today’s modern lifestyle as being the answer, which of course it is not.

          Personally I think fossil fuel depletion, while coming far too late, is the only thing which is going to force us into a low carbon economy.

    • weka 13.2

      Genter’s been doing these all over the country. Would love to hear from someone who’s been to one what it was like.

  14. Philip Ferguson 15

    A bit late, but here’s a piece on the death of the Saudi tyrant and the hypocrisy around it:


  15. BLiP 16

    New Zealand teen star Lydia Ko became golf’s youngest-ever world number one Saturday even though she only settled for a share of second at the season-opening LPGA tournament in Ocala, Florida . . .

    Good for her. All she has to do now is remain grateful for all New Zealand has done to help, and keep her opinions to herself.

    • Murray Rawshark 16.1

      I expect a story soon that she only took up golf out of personal admiration for FJK and out of respect for the work his regime does.

      • logie97 16.1.1

        We should just appreciate the talents of this young golfer and not get too nationalistic. So far it would appear that her public statements have been purely golf related and not giving an indication of her pride in where she has come from. Apparently she has already enrolled in a Korean university. And several U.S, commentators on the LPGA have already referred to her as being Korean.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I don’t care either way. I just hope she has a good life. Golf talents are not something I can appreciate and neither is nationalism.

      • rhinocrates 16.1.2

        But of course – she learned her craft from a wise and kindly blue unicorn on the golf courses that cover the edenic Planet Key.

  16. weka 17

    Key on Catton and NZers,

    “Eleanor Catton’s comments shouldn’t be taken differently to any other New Zealander, she has no particular great insights into politics,” said Mr Key.


    • OK, avoid the issue – that’s obvious, but a in particular, in pretending that everyone has a right to speak, no-one is significant. Chilling.

      They do not want to hear from you (except through the GCSB).

      More broadly, it illustrates the devaluation of culture that Eleanor Catton speaks of, the devaluing that reduces art to “entertainment”, something ephemerally gratifying and disposable.

      There’s a quote, more of a proverb really since it’s achieved such broad use and variation, that art makes sense where life does not. Art is an attempt to make sense of life, to frame it and clarify it.

      Naturally, politicians want to cram artists into the role of entertainers and punish them if they step outside of that role, while universities see their humanities departments funding frozen or cut while money is diverted to the utilitarian sciences and technology aimed at commercial ends (even at the expense of basic science).

      So far, all the attacks on her simply prove her point.

    • Macro 17.2

      Well speak for himself! As a politician Key has made our country poorer. So much for his political insightfulness.

    • weka 17.3

      It’s alright folks, Catton doesn’t really exist. The Prime Minister,

      “She has no particular great insights into politics, she is a fictional writer. I have great respect for her as a fictional writer.”


      • marty mars 17.3.1

        lol – keep talking key you plonker – shame to all those that voted for this cardboard cutout dim

      • freedom 17.3.2

        “I mean, if it’s Corin Dann, and he’s the chief political reporter, then his comments carry more weight because that’s what he does for a job.”

        Good news for stable-hands everywhere!
        They finally can speak out as the ultimate authority on politics.
        Is there anyone more qualified to talk about shovelling shit? 🙂

  17. Bitter Lake, a new documentary from Adam Curtis looking at the use of – and breakdown of – “good versus bad” narratives to justify Western intervention post-911.

    On Curtis’ own site here:


    Free to download from Youtube here:


    An article here to get you started:


    Bitter Lake argues that the war in Afghanistan affected the West in ways that it’s only beginning to understand. To Curtis, the most important is that it eroded the West’s ability to hide behind a simple narrative. “Underneath, we believe in nothing,” he says.

  18. Gosman 19

    Here is The economists take on what options there are in regard to the situation in Greece.


    Please note that nowhere in that list is an option that the Syriza party can claim satisfies their pre-election promises. Either they accept slightly better deal for debt repayments or they leave the Eurozone and likely the EU.

    One thing I can predict with a high degree of certainty is that the left is going to be sadly disillusioned on what happens in Greece.

    • freedom 19.1

      Before we pay any attention to another of your predictions on economic theories, their impact upon Greece and the readership of The Standard, would you mind explaining your statement about how ‘supply not keeping up with demand can dampen demand’ ?

      I suspect supply and demand are somewhat critical factors to whatever devices Greece deploy, so an explanation of your reasoning behind such a statement would of course be relevant to peoples’ consideration of your predictions on matters of economics.

      The exact quote from you – “Supply not keeping up with demand does lead to increased prices but can have multiple solutions including dampening of demand.”

      I asked about it here but as usual you declined to offer any explanation.

      • Gosman 19.1.1

        I believe you are either willfully or mistakenly misinterpreting what I stated. Either option is a little strange as you have actually quoted what I wrote so it is hard to marry that up with your views on what I stated. However I will indulge your question to resolve your misunderstanding.

        As you helpfully posted this is what I wrote –

        “Supply not keeping up with demand does lead to increased prices but can have multiple solutions including dampening of demand”


        ‘supply not keeping up with demand can dampen demand’.

        What I meant by this is solving a problem of supply of housing not increasing as fast as demand for housing can be resolved by a number of options. One of these may be to dampen demand (e.g. like trying to discourage speculators with a CGT).

        This is as opposed to a situation where supply of housing is falling. This may not even be a problem if demand for housing is also falling at the same rate. However if it is deemed a problem then a fall in supply is usually resolved by fixing up the problems related to supply not in trying to influence demand.

        Do you now follow what my point was?

        • freedom

          I do
          and I always did, the paraphrasing was a wee bit mischevious i admit 🙂
          which is why the full quote was included.
          What I wanted was an answer from you.

          Now you have actually stated what you meant, how does that relate to the situation of the government selling state assets that people need to live in and your unbridled support of the government selling state assets that people need to live in, as some sort of solution to the problem of Social Housing in New Zealand?

          Your own words state clearly that in order to soften demand we must increase supply! How does NZ best achieve that?

          Suitability of existing stock is not an issue as Housing NZ ‘s own figures have repeatedly shown the figures the Minister released, to justify the sale of assets people need to live in, were categorically false.

          The problem is as we all know, building new houses, fixing up existing stock and putting people in need into those houses.

          How is the market, whose only goal is profit, going to assist in providing ‘Social Housing’ in New Zealand? “Remembering of course, we are discussing Social Housing, not cartel strategies for selling cereal.”

          • Gosman

            One player in the market selling a portion of their stock (in this case a very small portion) to other parties is not impacting on the overall supply in that market one little bit. I am not sure why you think it would.

            Now will you address my post about Greece? Do you agree that the new government has little choice but to break one or more of their election commitments?

            • freedom

              When it comes to social housing, the Government are the market. Either through Housing NZ stock or accommodation support payments in a wide variety of forms. This is the point Gosman. If the business world thought that they could have made a profit from Social Housing, do you not think they would have gone in guns blazing a long long time ago?

              All ‘the market’ have done (and ever will do) in regards of supplying accommodation to those in need at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, for decade after decade after decade, is supply low quality [often highly subsidized] accommodation that only reinforces many of the problems that such Social Housing need stems from in the first place. You only see the physical properties being bought and sold, and that is 99.99% of why you will never get what is so wrong about the disparity between what reality could be and the deepening tragedy that is modern New Zealand.

              As for Greece, (it would be rude of me not to answer)
              no matter what they try, the Central Banks will create a maelstrom of apocalyptic scenarios, then run around screaming about the exceedingly
              hypocritical problems that will eventuate if Greece does anything close to jeopardizing the status quo for the EU’s manipulators, sorry I mean mediators. They do not want Greece to think for itself (might be catching) and together with all the subtlety of a herpes sore at a photoshoot, the ‘powers that be’ will openly assassinate any and every honest opportunity for new stratagems to be be investigated, let alone enacted.

              Greece could up come up with a singular answer to cure all the world’s poverty, hold back the approaching tsunami of financial disaster and create a market model which brings wealth and prosperity to all…. it still wouldn’t get past the Central Banks. But you will defend them, I will attack them, that’s life huh! I’ve mentioned before how my dear old Dad was a banker and we only ever agreed on a couple of things, one was Sid Going was a genius. The other was “debt is not wealth”. Greece has debt, certainly, but it also has a wealth of ideas and what is worse, it is apparently willing to let its peoples’ voice play a part in deciding what forms those ideas become. Is it any wonder that they are being touted as destroyers of the EU’s fiscal landscape and a threat to the stability of our world’s economy?

              • Gosman

                No the market is for Housing accommodation. Social housing is required as there is a section of society which finds it cannot pay the market price for a suitable house and society has decided that they should be housed with the help of the State. In essence the State is focused on resolving the demand and supply imbalance at the bottom of a supply and demand curve.

                • McFlock

                  In essence society is focused on helping people in desperate need.
                  Translated it into hu-mon for you.

            • Skinny

              You have been use to Key for too long Gosman, that’s the sort of shit he does.

              For sale 2000 state houses
              All purchases must be financed by Australian banks
              Contact John or Bill @ Snakeoil Reality

              • Gosman

                There is nothing stopping any of the social housing providers from using a NZ based bank to fund the purchase of the houses. It is irrelevant to the discussion anyway as the Government most likely funded the houses in the first place by borrowing from overseas.

          • Gosman

            One player in the market selling a portion of their stock (in this case a very small portion) to other parties is not impacting on the overall supply in that market one little bit. I am not sure why you think it would.

            Now will you address my post about Greece? Do you agree that the new government has little choice but to break one or more of their election commitments?

      • tricledrown 19.1.2

        Gooseman your goose is already cooked.
        The Greek ACT party are in C
        Assets sale have been stopped where is The promise on any reforms in the next 18 months!
        Now Spain and the UK are heading left.
        your claims are delusional
        Now Russia has chimed in with a loan.
        Greece can Veto EU action in the Ukraine.
        Greece has alot of bargaining power.
        Time for you to honour your promise

  19. Penny Bright 20

    With all due respect – I think banning Pat O’Dea for 4 weeks is a bit harsh.

    Isn’t this supposed to be ‘Open Mike’?

    Penny Bright

    • lprent 20.1

      Hey Penny, You know the absolute cardinal sin on this site?

      Making it harder to attract and retain authors, and having that kind of carping on authors is exactly what makes it harder.

      Yes this is Open Mike. The links show the ones I had seen when I was backtracking through the weekends comments (bloody Auckland weather was putting me to sleep when I was moderating). You will note that Stephanie gave him a clear warning. And that it was his response to Stephanie here that caused me to finally decide that he was deliberately baiting her.

      I *always* want to make that memorable for anyone who makes my recruitment and retention of authors and moderators harder.

      I tend to start at 4 weeks and shovel on the bile whenever I detect anyone doing it. That makes it memorable.

      It is a really bad idea to attack a author or moderator personally when I am around. You have to be really secure on your ground and treat them with respect even when telling them they are being a fool on this occassion. If they aren’t there, then I have to do more substantially more work. People that cause me work will tend to find that I am as deeply ungrateful as I was to Pat

  20. Good article from Catherine

    Last week, another dairy farmer, this time in Taranaki, was fined $66,000 for recidivist water pollution when he discharged cow effluent into groundwater and a stream. The judge said the farmer’s offending was “wilful, blind and his attitude was negligent in the extreme”. Despite Federated Farmers saying this was terribly unusual, this farmer is not alone in his repeat offending. Those who deliberately dump waste undermine the work of many farmers who do the right thing and manage their effluent with fencing and planting waterways.


    6,000,000 cows in this country @ 16 human equivalent poos to 1 cow = 96,000,000 humans pooing – is it any wonder the rivers, groundwater and aquifers are filthy.

    This ‘negligent in the extreme’ farmer should have his farm confiscated and add a zero to the fine.

    As an aside – I wish the Greens would consider having 2 female joint leaders.

  21. bye-election on march 28th..

  22. freedom 23

    Spend a while with a smile from the 8 Mile pile

  23. Morrissey 24

    “Our centre-right government—or let’s call it what it is, our CENTRE government”;
    Matthew Hooton continues to run rings around Mike Williams

    From the Left and Right, Radio NZ National, Monday 2 February 2015
    Kathryn Ryan, Mike Williams (“The Left”), Matthew Hooton (“The Right”)

    This is a time of crisis for the right wing in this country. From the most depraved and uncouth (John Ansell, Blubberguts Slater, Carrick Graham and co.) to the respectable and media-friendly (Colin James, Fran O’Sullivan and most National MPs) the right wing in New Zealand knows that it is not immune to what is happening overseas. The stunning electoral victory of Syriza in Greece was a worrying shot across the bows for the National Party in this country just as surely as it was an affront to Angela Merkel and her gang of grey-suited, funereal-looking thugs.

    Then this weekend, with the right still trying to process the significance of the Greek election, the extreme right Newman regime in Queensland was unceremoniously tossed out by an electorate that seems to have been shaken out of the deep sleep it has been in for several years. Labour’s victory in Queensland follows Labour’s recent return to power in Victoria. And New South Wales appears to be next.

    So they’re desperate. If ever there was a time to take advantage of this and put right wing commentators on the defensive, this is it. If only someone had the wit and the wherewithal to actually challenge some of the glib right wing “pundits” that dominate public discourse in this country.

    It can, after all, be done; all it needs is a clear head, a bit of gumption and the courage to withstand a persiflage of harrumphing, inarticulate spluttering, outraged snarling and dyspeptic choking. Listeners to Jim Mora’s light chat show The Panel have occasionally been treated to the on-air dismantling of, inter alia, Richard Griffin, Mike Moore, Nevil “Breivik” Gibson and Michelle Boag. Their on-air spankings were delivered by, in order, Gordon Campbell, Chris Trotter, Gordon MacLauchlan, and Bomber Bradbury.

    On September 3rd last year Dita Di Boni memorably reduced that insufferable bag of wind John Bishop to resentful silence simply by pointing out that virtually everything he had said was nonsense. And, of course, last week we heard Eleanor Catton’s father deal to the hapless Sean Plunket on Plunket’s own radio show. [1]

    Sadly, though, on Kathryn Ryan’s show on Monday mornings, the “Left” is not represented by Dita Di Boni or Gordon Campbell, but by Mike Williams. We looked at Williams’ inability or reluctance to do his job last week. [2] This morning he was equally somnolent. No listener will have been surprised by this; Williams routinely lets Hooton get away with the most provocative remarks. Hooton worked out long ago that he can almost always say what he likes, without fear of being challenged by either the host Kathryn Ryan or by his ostensible opponent, Williams.

    This morning, following a discussion about Queensland election, Hooton decided it was time to see how outrageous a statement he could get away with this week….

    MATTHEW HOOTON: The lesson here for New Zealand is that our centre-right government—or let’s call it what it is, our CENTRE government—is the way to go….

    He said this on a day when twenty pathologists have written to the Minister of Health to protest against plans to privatize pathology services in Wellington, and a few days after the Prime Minister announced his ideologically-driven plan to cut state housing services even more than they have done.

    The Key government is selling our publicly owned assets, and radically attacking our health services, our education system, and our carefully built up system of public housing. Hooton’s decision to define this sustained right wing assault on our way of life as “centre” government, implying it is moderate or centrist, shows an almost limitless level of audacity.

    But, of course, he knew perfectly well that he would be able to slip that one past Williams and Ryan. And he was absolutely right: Mike Williams, like Kathryn Ryan, said nothing. As usual.

    [1] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11394100
    [2] http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-26012015/#comment-957078

  24. adam 25

    I’m loath to put this all here, as some may find annoying.

    This is Paula Bennett Propaganda – sent to all national party supporters – Sent to me via a friend who is sickened by this policy. I’ll quote here – “Paula was a narrow minded lazy thinker when we went to Uni, nothing has changed, except she has improved her smile when she shits on people”

    “New Zealand’s social housing system is not working well enough for those most in need.

    Currently, just under 5000 people are on the register for social housing. They are waiting because available stock is not in the right area, is not of the right size or configuration, or because – without the right support around them – families can end up stuck in the state housing system for too long, locking others out of the opportunity. That’s simply not good enough.

    So we want to make changes in five key areas to deliver better social housing for families in need:

    We’ll support more New Zealanders in need with housing that meets their needs, and increase the number of social housing places.
    We’ll help more social housing tenants to independence to make sure that available housing is being provided to those who are most in need.
    We’ll ensure that properties used for social housing are the right size, the right configuration, and are in the right place.
    We’ll increase affordable housing supply, particularly in Auckland, by redeveloping suitable land for affordable private housing.
    We’ll encourage more diverse ownership of social housing by inviting iwi and community housing providers to purchase some state homes, helping them grow and increasing the supply of social housing. These homes will have to remain as social houses and existing tenants will continue to be housed for the duration of their need.
    While Labour and the Greens are focused on playing politics, we’re focused on getting the best results for tenants and delivering value for hardworking New Zealand taxpayers.”

    Spelling mistakes are her’s. Also I like the were doing politics, but bad opposition for doing politics that does not agree with us line. If this women ends up PM, I’m picking civil war.

    • weka 25.1

      Millsy posted this the other day, they’re talking about state houses.

      Just read this off a Facebook group that I belong to:

      “….I heard a rumour this morning, and would like to know if theres any truth to it,if there is, then its an outrage.

      Ok, the rumour is…. that all those 3 bedrooms that people are being kicked out of,and extra bedrooms added are not for larger families at all.They are ‘social housing’ in the broadest sense of the word,meaning they are to be ‘shared; in the same manner as a boarding house,anyone single without dependants is to be put in this ‘shared social housing’ the small ablution block style houses reserved for those with dependants.

      If theres anyone on here thats matey with a local MP, could they please get that MP to check and see if this is correct,as my old neighbour was offered a place in one and was told this was the arrangement for adults with no dependants nowadays by her tenancy manager…..”

      Open mike 31/01/2015

      • adam 25.1.1

        Yeah read Millsy – Just got this official piece from Bennett’s office today.

        This is policy – well how national do policy anyway – via a press release.

      • vto 25.1.2

        That is appalling… the National Party and its supporters are less than human. It is they who should be penned up. What a bunch of complete and utter wankers.

  25. Morrissey 26

    Why won’t “comedian” Bill Maher take up George Galloway’s challenge?

    George Galloway on Frankie Boyle and Bill Maher….

  26. Northsider 27

    Meanwhile Labour in Scotland goes from farce to tragedy.

    50 days into his leadership Jim Murphy is leading Labour backwards in the polls: all the polls, consistently and continually. SNP is forcast at over 50 of the 59 Scottish seats. Labour will loose all but a handful of their current 41.

    Now they are dragging the corpse-like figure of Gordon Brown back onto the stage to try to appeal to those party faithful who have not yet gone accross to the SNP.

    Read some of the comments here:


    • Te Reo Putake 27.1

      The ‘corpse like figure’ of Gordon Brown helped convinced Scotland to stay part of the UK. He may have been a pretty average British PM, but he still has significant influence north of Hadrian’s Wall. While I do expect Labour to lose seats in Scotland, it’ll be nowhere near as many as the polls say. The chance to see off a Tory Government will see many Scottish voters in two minds about whether to vote SNP or the more practical option of Labour.

      • phillip ure 27.1.1

        if the snp clean-up..as expected..

        ..snp will be the third largest party in the british parliament..

        ..a position of some power..

        ..how is labour ‘more practical’..?

        ..for an increasingly nationalist scotland..?

        ..the electoral-mood in scotland is clearly ‘a pox on both their (lab/tory) houses!’..

        ..gazing at the world thru yr labour-tinted lenses again/still..eh..?

        • Te Reo Putake

          Sorry if I’ve deciphered your gibbersh incorrectly, Phil, but even if the SNP are the third largest party, they will have no influence at all. Like mana in NZ, they are effectively powerless because their position will always be to deny the Tories another term, so, by default, they must support (or at least tolerate) a Labour led Government.

          Labour will probably need a coalition partner, but they will have options other than the SNP. Sadly, one of those options will be the Lib Dems, who truly deserve to be wiped out, but will probably survive with less than half their current number of seats.

          Even if Labour go with the SNP, there is no guarantee that the SNP will get anything much out of it (though Labour are far more likely to deliver on the establishment promises made in the week before the referendum).

          If you’re interested, here’s a couple of forecasting sites, who both suggest Labour are going to be the biggest party, but still short of the 326 seats they need to win outright:



          • Northsider

            SNP have ruled out coalition.
            They will only do confidence and supply.
            There are multiple quotes from the SNP on this.
            You have informed yourself poorly.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Not actually correct, Northsider. In fact, the new leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, has said in recent days that she will personally lead the coalition talks, if any are required. That was in response to Alex Salmond suggesting he might have a role in coalition building when he is elected to Westminster at the election.

              edit: an article in the Scotsman about the matter: http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/nicola-sturgeon-will-lead-snp-coalition-talks-1-3672325

              • Northsider

                “Ms Sturgeon also said she did not want to form a coalition but would prefer an arrangement where SNP MPs “vote on an issue-by-issue basis.”

                Read below the sub-editors headline.

                Line 16

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Already read it, doesn’t change anything. The quote merely confirms the leader’s preference (spookily like Hone’s before our last election, as I said). The article (and many, many others in the last few days) confirms the SNP are willing to talk about a coalition, if the situation arises. If you have info that suggests they have now ruled out a coalition feel free to post it.

  27. adam 28

    Just to lighten you all up if you need it – and yeah it’s the bad boy’s of NZ hip-hop @peace

  28. a nice graphic of our adorable pm forgetting stuff


  29. Penny Bright 30

    I agree with Pat O’Dea – whom I’ve known as an activist since 1981 – regarding his comments on Willow-Jean Butler.

    (In saying this, I don’t agree with Pat on everything, but do on this one.
    Pat stood for Mana in 2011 in the Epsom electorate against John Banks at the same time I did as an Independent- in order to try and help the re-election of a National/ACT coalition.)

    His comments about upcoming Labour Party candidate for Northland, Willow-Jean Butler, in my opinion, were genuine and well-meaning, and I for one don’t blame him for giving Stephanie a ‘how dare you’ bit of biffo.

    Fair enough, in my view.

    You may not know that Pat O’Dea was one of the six Kia Ora Gaza members in 2010?

    Stephanie Rogers on the other hand – I don’t know from a bar of soap.

    (Not meant in a disrespectful way – just being upfront).

    I understand she has a ‘communications’ role in the Engineers Union.

    My background in the Engineers Union is extensive.

    Ask Greg Presland.

    His dad, Don Presland, was the National President of the Engineers Union during the time I was active as a ‘shop steward’, Wairarapa Branch President, Wairarapa Branch Secretary, Metal Trades Representative on the Wellington District Executive, Engineers Union National Conference Delegate, Engineers Union at the FOL National Conference in 1980, where I was one of those who helped in getting the ‘Working Women’s Charter’ passed, and was an International Metal Workers Conference NZ representative in 1980.

    Weren’t so many women active in the Engineers Union in those days 🙂

    I’ll call it as I see it – some of you may not like it.

    So be it.

    Penny Bright


    • The Al1en 30.1

      I think pat’s posts adequately explain his number 15 position on his 0% party’s list, sort of like act’s gary mallet but not as wealthy or electable to council when he fails at national level.

      I don’t like SR much as a commenter, contributor, blogger or otherwise, though I did enjoy her ‘fat bird in diets don’t work’ expose the other day, but I totally agree with her pointing out the lameness of the original post this morning. I was going to write something myself at it’s bad taste but got up late for work so didn’t.
      Well done to her for that.

    • Colonial Rawshark 30.2

      Thanks for the backgrounder.

    • Tiger Mountain 30.3

      Fair enough Penny, not that many here I imagine would have been active unionists in the early 80s, but add me and TRP to the list. What was your position on the Nissan Way out of interest? I remember you from those days and it still takes guts to be a woman at the EPMU.

      Re Pat, anyone that went on the Kia Ora Gaza trip is very far from a “limp” activist imo.
      But blogs are another world.

    • Your comment is incredibly “disrespectful”, Penny, and I cannot think why you want to pretend otherwise. Referring to Pat’s comment as “giving me a bit of biffo” is simply gross.

      I encourage you to look at lprent’s moderator comment again and remember that personal attacks on TS authors is against the policy.

    • lprent 30.5

      Penny, I call them as I see them. You have to remember that I don’t know POD from a bar of soap either. I also don’t know much about the EPMU or any other union except from the other side of the desk. I’ve met Stephanie twice and once by skype, but we disagree more than we agree online. Much the same as with other authors.

      All of these things are rather irrelevant. I look at behaviour on this site. I have been noting Pat’s behaviour and contemplating warnings.

      Having a personal go at an author and ignoring a friendly warnings just happens to be the very fast route from me contemplating an intervention to getting a long ban. Anyone who has been around this site for a while has to be aware that is exactly how I operate.

      Sure it is probably unfair. But frankly I don’t give a damn because in the end I am looking at my workload. I always prefer losing commenters to losing an author.

      This is a fact of life on blogs. Writing coherent posts is a artform requiring some talent and lots of persistence. It is also real pain to do. You’d be amazed at how little personal attack is required for post authors to lose heart and just stop producing content – after all they don’t get paid for it. Ditto for people trying diversions on posts that they have slaved over – especially with that fucking awful “rewrite” tactic that Pat was using.

      But authors usually like it when people discuss or disagree with the content of the posts. So when commenting people should always be aware of that. And if they aren’t then I will make them aware of it.

      • weka 30.5.1

        I’ve only just seen this, but it has to be the best explanation of ts moderation policy so far. I’m bookmarking it.

  30. Autonomouse 31

    And now for something completely different, Rugby League and its parallels with the Labour Movement.

    In 1895 the sport of Rugby League became distinct from that of Rugby Union, with one of the main drivers being the working class could not afford time off work to participate in Rugby Union with its “amateur” status.

    Coincidentally, this period of history saw the expanse of the Labour movement with the foundations of the British Labour Party (1899), and Australian Labour Party (1891).

    It would be fair to surmise that for many years, those associated with Rugby League would have identified with the Labour Movement, and visa versa.

    Fast forward to today, where Rugby League remains predominately the domain of the working class, but can the same be said for the Labour movement within NZ? Does the labour movement still walk in the same metaphorical shoes as the working class, or has it unintentionally left the working class behind as they no longer fit within the ethos/direction of the modern labour movement and its supporters.

    The rationale behind this rambling comment being the weekend extravaganza that was the Auckland 9’s which was enjoyed by literally hundreds of thousands of those individuals that would once have been the backbone of the labour movement, yet the tournament did not so much as raise a mention within these pages, not the “weekend social”, nor “open mike”, nadda, zero, zip (not that I could see anyway).

    I agree that this is primarily a political site and politics is serious business, but I was surprised that participants within the site proclaiming to be “the voice of the labour movement” appeared to have no interest whatsoever in the sport as enjoyed by its supposed working class brethren.

    There has been considerable discussion within these pages as to how Labour can win back their voters, perhaps it’s just a simple case of trying to get its members to reconnect.


    • One Anonymous Bloke 31.1

      Nope. Can’t stand league. Love Footy.

    • swordfish 31.2

      “one of the main drivers being the working class could not afford time off work to participate in Rugby Union…” More like, they couldn’t afford enforced time off work due to injuries. They needed (1) a sport that allowed them medical insurance and (2) a sport that minimised the chances of severe injury.

      ‘I agree that this is primarily a political site and politics is serious business…”
      Yeah, but you’re right to raise the issue. Politics and Sport have always been inextricably intertwined. Identity / Sub-Culture and so on…..

      You’re essentially raising the whole Identity Politics Vs Class Politics debate (including the question of whether these are mutually exclusive in the first place)

      • Murray Rawshark 31.2.1

        That’s not what I’ve read, swordy. League developed in the mining areas, where they couldn’t get time off to travel south to play the leisured gentlemen of union. It was originally called the Northern League. Back then, what sort of medical insurance was available? I also don’t see how league minimises the chances of severe injury compared to union, especially in the early days when there was no limited tackle rule, and head highs and spear tackles were allowed.

        League has a proud tradition of working class action and resistance to fascism. The league clubs in Vichy France were centres of the resistance and as a consequence had their property and bank accounts confiscated by the Vichy government. League was banned and union was officially encouraged, until today we see FJK as captain of the All Blacks. No league team ever came back from Seth Effrika with bags full of krugerrands.

    • les 31.3

      the nines is just entertainment.The womens games were the best.

  31. Weepus beard 32

    Key equates literary thinking with rugby and selling cheap meat…


    Apologies if a re-post.

    • Murray Rawshark 32.1

      “Key told Television New Zealand, adding he had read some but not all of “The Luminaries”.”

      FJK went on to say that he had so far only read four of The Luminaries, but would read the other eleven once he got time. He thought the books about the Rubber Wool Cup winning All Blacks were a great idea, but suggested that Catton should write a sixteenth book about his role as inspiration for the team.

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