Open mike 02/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 2nd, 2016 - 98 comments
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98 comments on “Open mike 02/02/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Industry Lobbyists for big corporates say the TPP is good.

    Hardly news, NZ Herald.
    Why ? Corporations wrote the TPP.

    So who signed the letter?

    Katherine Rich, Executive Director of the Food and Grocery Council, signed the letter.
    One of the Food and Grocery Council’s objectives is to ‘advance the interests of manufacturers and suppliers of food and non-food products sold by the grocery trade.’ The ‘grocery’ companies Rich represents include such quaint Mum and Dad NZ companies such as Coca Cola, Nestlé, Frucor ( owned by Japanese giant Suntory) and George Weston Foods ( a wholly owned subsidiary of Associated British Foods Plc). Rich, the Grocery Council and Coca Cola recently congratulated the government for its form of ‘action’ on obesity.

    NZ Forest Owners Association’s Paul Nicholls signed the letter.
    Close to 1 million ha in plantation forests alone is in foreign hands (either full ownership or management). In 2010, the Forest Owners Association reported that 317,000 ha were overseas owned, with forestry investment and management firms controlling a further 654,000 ha in leases.

    NZ Winegrowers NZ’s Philip Gregan signed the letter.
    Author Peter Howland writes in his book Social, Cultural and Economic Impacts of Wine in New Zealand that more than 80 per cent of New Zealand wine production is foreign-owned. For example, Montana is owned by French giant Pernot Ricard, which had total assets of €25.70 billion in June 2011.

    So the TPP benefits massive multi-national corporations and they get their puppets to write letters to John Key to tell him it benefits the country.

    • Duncan 1.1

      The Food and Grocery Council scares me quite a lot regarding the TPPA. I am not sure small businesses understand how much this will affect them.
      The TPPA will give multi nationals the power to destroy small and medium businesses, the lifeblood of our country.

  2. alwyn 3

    More good news for the diversification of New Zealand export marketing.
    Apple exports, which were worth $341 million in 2012 are expected to top $700 million this year and to reach $1 billion by 2020.

    What a wonderful turnaround from the dire times of a few years ago. I 2011 we were getting stories such as

    I am sure all the doomsayers about National’s economic policy will be suitably contrite.
    With the benefits of the TPPA we can expect even better things in the future.

    • pat 3.1

      thats good news alwyn….perhaps the industry can now afford to pay a wage that attracts resident labour

      • Molly 3.1.1


      • Brigid 3.1.3

        Inbloodydeed!! What do you think the chances are Alwyn?

      • Autonomouse. 3.1.4

        Dang, a raw nerve has been struck, you’re fingernails have raked across my blackboard!

        A considerable number of orchadists pay on a contract basis, so sure, if you’re of a lazy disposition (or more interested in chatting to the female backpackers as many of my friends were) then you’re not going to do to well for yourself, but that’s at the workers discretion.

        I spent many a season in the apple orchards (late 90’s/early 2000’s), set myself a goal of clearing $1,000 per week in the hand, and by gum I’d get there more often then not. Agreed it’s not for everyone (a fair few of my friends used their student loans to head overseas for summer instead, for which they’re still paying today), but if you’re focused and have a desire to work hard, then the reward is there.

        • pat

          “Picking – this is the harvesting of the fruit to the required standard, and again this is physical work. The employee must be able to lift, manoeuvre and climb to the top of a 9-foot ladder. You must also be able to carry the ladders between blocks. The employee must be capable of working long hours and be able to work in the outdoors i.e. in the heat or cold. Most pickers are paid on a contract rate. The rate varies but the minimum bucket rate (5kg) for cherries is $4-40 plus 8% holiday pay. You must be able to pick enough buckets to earn at least the minimum wage in order to retain your position. There is occasionally hourly-rated picking, but this is limited and the pay rate is $14-75 plus holiday pay.”

          lets say your picking cherries for Mrs jones on contract at $4.40 a 5KG bucket…to clear 1K a week you need to work 6 days for 10 hours (hour off for breaks, so effective 9 productive) and average approx 5 buckets per hour (or 25KG)….am sure there are experienced pickers on here who could say how realistic that is but my experience of pick and pay orchards that has me reaching for a Tui

          I note your experience was some years ago….. I don’t imagine the contract rate has decreased.

          • Autonomouse.

            Interesting contribution Pat, refuting my direct experience, considerable time in and around orchards and positive tales of working with the humble apple vs your google search and theoretical analysis regarding income projections associated with cherry picking. Why not go all the way to the end of the grim spectrum and mention Walnut gathering, that’s possibly the worst hourly rate I’ve ever encountered.

            Here’s some further real world orchard anecdotes from someone that’s actually worked with Apples, Cherries, Strawberries, Apricots, peaches and walnuts ……. tasty things cherries (just don’t eat too many unless you want to spend your afternoon in a rather unsavory orchard toilet!), and the monies OK if you want to work hard (and the fruit hasn’t been spoiled by a wet season), but the monies certainly not as lucrative as the Apple industry. (which is the good news story shared by Alwyn and thus the topic of this discussion). From memory my cherry expectations were to clear $100 per day which wasn’t bad cash back in the day, and I’d try and work 7 days a week if I could.

            I agree that it’s unlikely contract rates have decreased, so if I could clear a grand a week 15 years ago, the mind boogles as to what’s possible nowadays. Maybe I should give up the rat race and return to simpler times.

            There are of course rogue orchardists, just as there are any rogue employers/employees within any industry, but the demand for staff within orchards is such that workers can afford to be reasonably selective with home they chose to work for.

            Enjoy your Tui, mine tastes especially delicious cause I’ve earned it 🙂

            • Lanthanide

              So this is from 2011:

              Apple picking starts in March and that’s the best job to make good money. You have to be relatively fit (full bag weighs 18kg and you have to claim ladder) and motivated but the work is not hard. Picking-bags are comfortable and don’t hurt your back at all. You have to fill up your bag carefully and not bruise the apples. One bin takes 36 of your bags and usually they pay again contract rate which is around $30-32 per bin (before tax). At the beginning of the season it’s easy to get 4-5 bins with 8 hours. If you work hard you get 6-7 bins. I use to work with boys from Bali and they picked every single day through the season 10-12 bins with 8 hours. So that shows it`s possible…at the same time there were backpackers who struggled to get 2 bins full. I was happy with my 6.

              6 bins at $30 per bin = $180 before tax per day. Working 7 days is $1260 before tax per week.

              So yeah, it seems that the contract rate hasn’t gone down. But it also hasn’t gone up. Inflation has, however.

            • pat

              the Tui”s metaphorical….but I will enjoy my Harringtons, earned or not….and thanks for the confirmation that market forces have determined that fruit harvesting is not economically viable in NZ without either an imported termporary work force or effective mechanical harvesting….you are right about grim projections.

          • Lanthanide

            Seems like less than 20% of the population would be fit and able enough to meet that work rate.

            • Autonomouse.

              Apple thinning’s the way to go, you get paid per tree thinned and no picking bag required so minimal physical demand. I met quite a few campervan traveling retirees in the thinning gangs & look forward to possibly becoming one of them in the future.

              • Pasupial

                Apple-thinning (or grape-puning) is a skilled job that you can’t just walk into. But combined with picking will see you through a fair chunk of the year. The problem is what to do in the off season. Retirees will have super to get them through the winter. But unless you are a student (in which case you’d miss the thinning) or know someone who is hiring, then you’ll be living off savings during the stand-down for a benefit.

                My main experience was with apricots, and the worst part was; when it rained and you couldn’t pick, but were still paying living costs in Central. If you had a camper, then all well and good (though they’ve tightened up on the freedom camping these last few years). In a tent, or paying the orchardeer to bunk in a shack, it is a bit grimmer.

                • McFlock

                  I always kept taking too much or too little off. Not my forte

                • Duncan

                  That’s a big part of the problem. Why can’t they put in basic accommodation or free campsites for the pickers, with transport to and from the orchards.
                  It could be a wonderful experience for most young kiwis.
                  They charge so much for the accommodation you have to wonder are these people human.

            • pat

              the evidence is in the situation…..if fruit picking was the attractive well rewarded proposition as painted we wouldn’t have the industry claiming they can’t get local labour (Hawkes Bay has over 7% unemployment rate) and cannot harvest without imported labour….the implication is Kiwis are too lazy to work for a crust….while that may be true of some it does not explain the almost complete dearth of local labour…..i accept there are other factors at play including declining rural populations, aging demographic but that simply reinforces the market effect…..and we are all true free marketers are we not?…..especially orchardists

  3. Penny Bright 4

    I do NOT support Auckland Council or Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) using Monsanto’s Round Up for weed control, because of the possible risks to public health.

    Monsanto announced Wednesday that sales in the company’s agricultural productivity segment, which includes its probable carcinogen Roundup herbicide, fell 34 % to $820 million. Monsanto’s shares fell over 2% as a result.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  4. Penny Bright 5

    Business lobbyists show support for the TPPA through an ‘Open Letter’ to the Prime Minister – but where’s the evidence of PUBLIC support for the TPPA?


    Lobbyists plump for TPP in open letter to Key

    Tuesday, 02 February 2016
    The New Zealand Herald

    Proponents say TPP will give NZ better access to globally significant markets to build on the $28 billion worth of goods and services exported to member countries in 2014.

    By Jamie Gray

    Business and industry group leaders have lent their support to the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement in an open letter to Prime Minister John Key.


    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.
    (Who does NOT support New Zealand signing the TPPA).

  5. Ad 6

    For those of you who like the idea of governments printing more money to enable economic stimulus, here’s an interesting recent book from a British Lord:

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      If the government created money and spent it into the economy to utilise our resources why would we need foreign investors?
      If the government created money without interest then the private banks wouldn’t have to with interest.

      The fear that the rich have of the government creating money is that they would become superfluous. They would not be able to hold any nation hostage as they do now.

    • Brigid 6.2

      Good grief “Turner proposes putting money finance exclusively in the hands of independent central bankers.”
      It already IS in the hands of indendent bankers. THAT is the problem FFS!!

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        No, it’s in the hands of the private banks who then charge interest on the money that they create. That is the problem.

  6. John Shears 7

    Article about Jane Kelsey in Monday 1 Feb Herald contains a tweet from Hoots sent last week.
    For those of you who don’t read the print version near the end of the article is the following:-
    “Kelsey was not an academic but an insane embittered extreme left academic who was profoundly dishonest in the promotion of an evil ideology”
    This Hooton Rant has been removed from the on line version of the article, I wonder why? will get you to the print version without the Hooton comment.

  7. Penny Bright 8

    Is it Monsanto’s RoundUp – NOT the Zika virus responsible for Brazilian babies being born with small heads, and brain damage?

    Could glyphosate-based herbicides be responsible for babies in Brazil, being born with smaller heads (microcephaly) and brain damage?

    NOT the ‘Zika virus’?

    How is this not a fair question to ask, based upon the following?

    Here is information from an animal study that implicates glyphosate, the central ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, in microcephaly and cranial malformations.

    Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling

    The research paper:

    ‘Hat tip’ to Jon Rappoport

    Zika? Monsanto’s Roundup associated with smaller heads
    by Jon Rappoport

    January 31, 2016

    Supporting the promotion and protection of public health, based upon evidence-based science.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  8. Dent Arthur Dent 9

    Did anyone else have issues loading this web page or is it just the internet at work?

  9. Puckish Rogue 10

    Anyone else having issues loading this page today?

    • BobInAkl 10.1

      Yes, page loading has been hit and miss over the last 24 hours, nothing would load at all for a few hours early last night.

      • Puckish Rogue 10.1.1

        At least it seems to be working now

      • Pasupial 10.1.2

        I’m still getting some pages coming up as:

        ! Content Encoding Error

        The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression.

        Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

        • lprent

          Looking at it now. It only appears to be hitting certain people rather than being broadspread, which makes me suspect a ISP cache. I have reset the cached items for the site.

          I’ll turn off the compression for a while and see if it makes it correct.

          • In Vino

            No, fair dinks. Earlier today I got hieroglyphics instead of English on several posts, but it is all fixed now. Lprent is a saint.

    • b waghorn 10.2

      Mines fine it must be an extreme left conspiracy to keep you quite!!

      • Puckish Rogue 10.2.1

        You see those black helicopters circling over your house? Don’t worry about them…

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    And another conservative gets in trouble for using songs without permission:

    After several accounts surfaced of Donald Trump playing Adele’s music at campaign events around the country, the pop megastar has finally stepped in to tell the world she never gave the GOP frontunner permission.

    “Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning,” her spokesman told the Independent on Monday, effectively asking the presidential hopeful to stop blasting her smash hits “Rolling in the Deep” and “Skyfall” to fire up crowds.

    Seems that such wrongful use of artists songs runs in the conservative gene pool.

    • pat 11.1

      this is so prevalent that it leads you to conclude it is done deliberately for the subsequent coverage…theres no such thing as bad publicity (in some minds)

    • Kevin 11.2

      Yet the music studios get upset when I download them for free?

    • Magisterium 11.3

      There’s no such thing as “permission”. Trump can do whatever he likes so long as he pays the licence fee. What Adele wants or doesn’t want is irrelevant.

      • joe90 11.3.1

        McCain folded so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

        There were also some questions about whether or not this was fair use since it was ostensibly used for “political speech,” but so far the court didn’t seem too amenable to that. And so, McCain has settled the lawsuit and publicly apologized to Browne, who claims this wasn’t a partisan issue (yeah, right), but about the rights of musicians.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.3.2

        I think you find that Trump doesn’t have the appropriate licence. Same as when National played copyrighted tunes which they didn’t have the appropriate licence for.

        • Magisterium

          Totally different situation. Not even relevant.

          If Trump has paid ASCAP or BMI for a licence to use the song, he doesn’t need Adele’s permission. If she doesn’t want Trump to use it she will have to file suit against Trump and claim that his use of the song damages her reputation, and as she’s not an American recording artist that will be difficult.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Totally different situation. Not even relevant.

            No, it’s exactly the same – conservative arseholes inappropriately using music without permission.

            If Trump has paid ASCAP or BMI for a licence to use the song, he doesn’t need Adele’s permission.

            I suspect that you’ll find that it’s probably more complex than that. After all, any artist probably doesn’t want to be associated with just any candidate and so there’s probably a general clause in any license saying that it can’t be used for political purposes without the artists express permission.

            That’s how it’s reading to me anyway.

            • Magisterium

              conservative arseholes inappropriately using music without permission.

              I hate to bring to bear the cold hard light of reality on your little fantasy, but here’s what happened with the Coldplay song: the owners of the mechanical and songwriting copyrights to the song “Clocks” claimed that a song by an Auckland musician was too similar to “Clocks” to be legally considered an independent work.

              In the meantime the Auckland musician had licenced his song to the National Party for use in an ad campaign. When the owners of the mechanical and songwriting copyrights to the song “Clocks” claimed that the Auckland musician’s song was a derivative work of their work, the National Party stopped using the song and presumably asked for their money back.

              The end.

              • McFlock

                I thought it was a reference to eminem.

                Just how any tunes have the nats ripped off (albeit perfectly reasonably, accidentally, it was the fault of their subcontractors, it was all pretty legal, well at least compared to anything Collins was involved with)?

  11. weka 12

    The United States should consider reparations to African-American descendants of slavery, establish a national human rights commission and publicly acknowledge that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity, a United Nations working group said Friday.

    The U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent released its preliminary recommendations after more than a week of meetings with Black Americans and others from across the country, including Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and Jackson, Miss.

  12. Puckish Rogue 13

    Smart move from John Key, the protestors know they need the PM there so as to get more media to perform to so if they extend the invite they look weak and if they don’t they have less publicity, John Key goes elsewhere and the majority of the voters will back him

    Its ok to not like him but no one can deny that he knows what hes doing

    • weka 13.1

      By ‘protestors’ I take it you mean Ngāpuhi?

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        I mean anyone that turns up just to get on TV and make a spectacle of themselves

        I don’t know if its looking at the past through rose-coloured glasses but Helen Clark had the right idea to not attend after she was abused

        • weka

          “I mean anyone that turns up just to get on TV and make a spectacle of themselves”

          So you think those are the people that invite or don’t invite Key?

          ‘Turns up’, do you mean manuhiri?

          You’re not making much sense.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I mean most of the protestors that turn up are just looking for a chance to feel important and get on TV

            • weka

              Still no idea what you are on about PR. How does that relate to whether Key gets invited or not?

              • In Vino

                PR is trying to dismiss the true concerns of protestors by pretending that they just want to get on TV. Pathetic. So pathetic that one wonders if there might be a deeper, more devious motive. Ah – to undermine all protesting, maybe? (It is not easy being sleazy.)

                • weka

                  Pretty much. And he did it in a weird way as if to say that either Ngāpuhi are all media attention seeking whatevers (seeing as how the link he supplied is about whether Key gets an invite from Ngāpuhi or not), or be believes that people who ‘turn up’ to protest run the marae.

    • b waghorn 13.2

      Acoording to key on henry this morning he only goes because he gave Clarke a hard time for not going during her time.!
      Hardly worth it if that’s his attitude.

      • weka 13.2.1

        Our Prime Minister is a joke.

        • b waghorn

          Yes he is but I’ll hold my laughs for if nz kicks him to the kerb in 2017.

          • Puckish Rogue

            John Key will retire his innings around 2018-2019

            • b waghorn

              Maybe but the way the press are suddenly being a bit nicer to labour makes me think they can smell change coming.
              Ad to that there is unlikely to be the M/IP sideshow to scare the punters I’d have a Bob each way at the moment.

          • weka

            It will certainly be a grand day.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Ok so Weka I predict National will still be in power and John Key will still be the PM after the next election

              Who do you think will win?

              • weka

                Because the last election was so close, I expect either another close election in 2017 (could go either way), or, if Labour carries on with building momentum and Peters doesn’t monkey wrench a left wing coalition, we could end up with a signifcant shift left.

    • Stuart Munro 13.3

      By ‘knows what he’s doing’ you mean culpable right? I agree.

  13. James Thrace 14

    I’m amazed.

    The NZH has finally admitted that Labour are better economic managers.

    • weka 14.1

      Very good, worth posting a bit,

      Labour has been always too easily portrayed as the less fiscally responsible of the two main parties when the truth, more often than not, has been the reverse.

      From the “black budget”, as National called it, of 1958 to the present, Labour has been more careful to balance its spending with revenue and more willing to raise taxes when necessary.

      National, reflecting a business outlook, has been more comfortable with debt than Labour has been.

      National is too keen to offer tax cuts at an election without specifying cuts to expenditure. An authoritative independent evaluation of their fiscal impact would be most useful for voters.

      Also nice to see them making the connection between the GP policy on costings and the Labour party policy announcement this week.

    • alwyn 14.2

      The Labour Party are probably in favour of the Green Party proposal because they are broke.
      This way they would be able to get work for which their leaders budget currently has to pay to spend on other things.
      The editorial is also much more about the Greens rather than Labour. It was primarily about the Green Proposed costing scheme.

      Irrespective of that I think that an independent costing unit is an excellent idea. It should be in Parliament, although it would no doubt need seconded Treasury people.
      One thing it must have however would be properly detailed policies.
      I had a look at the suite of Green Party policies. There are about 50 of them and they all cross reference each other.

      I chose one, which should be close to their leaders heart. This was on “Children’s Policy – Every Child Matters”.
      The problem with it is that it is a collection of warm fuzzy principles. It reads well but there is nothing there that you can get a grip on. I defy anyone to be even able to start costing it from the material here. There is nothing to start with. If it was to be costed it would have to be completely redesigned and rewritten, along with all the other interleaving policies. Is that intended? Are the Greens simply hoping to have Treasury staff develop all the party policies in a rigorous manner for them?

      • Ad 14.2.1

        No point doing Opposition policy costings other than thumb-sucks from consultants until election-year budget is out.

        • alwyn

          I agree. Costing outside of an election year is pointless.
          That policy I looked at was dated 16 August 2013. It was the policy the Greens put forward at the last election.
          I was not asking that it should be costed now. I was saying that a policy of this nature, with almost no specifics, is impossible to cost, at least in my view and as it stands.
          Where on earth would you start?

      • weka 14.2.2

        “I defy anyone to be even able to start costing it from the material here.”

        lolz. If you didn’t have such a chip on your shoulder about the GP you’d know that the Greens are one of the better parties at producing policy detail and costings.

        The page you link to is the overarching policy for children. It outlines a range of interlocking policies that have been developped from the GP values in the context of the situation in NZ. They don’t have to have detail and costings for all of that (no party does). Instead, in 2014, the Greens produced a fiscal plan for their election priorities, one of which was child welfare. You can see the whole package in the link below, but as you have already seen it’s all interconnected.

        • In Vino

          Furthermore, if the policy is to great social good, you charge Treasury to find how it is best implemented, rather than allowing them to put out their usual neo-liberal guff.

          • weka

            Yep, and the unit is meant to be independent within Treasury, so if it gets set up under a left wing govt it’s less likely to be co-opted. It will be interesting to see if National decide to go with the proposal and nobble it at the start or just outright refuse.

    • Puckish Rogue 14.3

      The fourth Labour government was pretty good, so good that basically every other government has just followed in their footsteps

      • In Vino 14.3.1

        That is why people like me who hate current policies are so loathe to vote Labour.

        The fourth Labour Government only stopped the neo-liberal waterflow. But it took away none of the plumbing.

        It was pretty bad, not pretty good.

  14. b waghorn 16

    key truly is a moron.

    I know someone who did four years tertiary and waittessed thee whole time and waitressed for at least a year after finishing training till she could get a start in her favoured field.
    I’m quit sure she wouldn’t have minded a bit of her tax going to reducing her debt

    • joe90 16.1

      Prick was happy enough for me to pay for his education, his home, the food his mother put on the table and the paper he wiped his arse with.

    • weka 16.2

      Puckish Rogue will be along shortly to tell us that choosing waitresses as an example was part of genius Key’s master plan 😉

      • Puckish Rogue 16.2.1

        Its laying the framework as to why its not a good idea from Labour…well its not a bad idea really but just poorly thought out

    • greywarshark 16.3

      Anyone would think that having tertiary education was like receiving some grant from a king by grace and favour. What a lucky person to get a start in life, to learn, train their brain, apply that learning which immediately raises him above the common herd, who are despised or dismissed as worthy.

      It used to be that people were assisted to get to university if they were so determined and get the higher education they desired. And those who didn’t were still considered all right as people, just working at a different level with less skills of an academic kind.

      Nobody should mind paying taxes in a land that has given opportunities to attain a comfortable life, an adventurous life, or whatever the goal is, or who knows there is opportunity to go for that higher education if desired. That was how it was, until Yek’s cohort came along and screwed up our social mobility and our willingness to support each other to greater heights. Now he thinks that waitresses should think like his grasping cohort who want to ring benefits out of the country till our ears pop. His cohort are the ones not willing to pay their fair share of tax easily affordable by people of good means and fair and responsible financial practices.

      The waitresses are already paying 15% in each $ on GST no matter what they earn, plus anything else the government can squeeze. Proportionally they probably pay 80% tax on their discretionary income at least, and perhaps some from what should be disposable.
      Once they may have been able to claim for work clothes required, or personal gear required, or for high transport costs, but in the interests of lazy clerks with computers to calculate and gather and file information, these have been swept away in the interests of a simple tax system (for the poor) and greater efficiency no doubt. The catchworld of our times.

      • b waghorn 16.3.1

        ” Anyone would think that having tertiary education was like receiving some grant from a king by grace and favour”

        They sure as hell help though ,as someone who bombed out at the fifth form the feeling of being trapped in uninspiring jobs is a bummer. I love shepherding but the good jobs go to those with the bits of paper and rightly so.

        • greywarshark

          b waghorn
          I think you reflect the meaning of my comment. We know higher education nearly always helps if you can match the training to the jobs, and across the country higher educated staff will deliver value to business and revenue. And give wider knowledge, a bigger world view.

          I left school in the 5th and had my eyes and mind opened when I took some adult papers though I didn’t finish my degree. (And to anyone reading this, just successfully doing some papers should count as part of a degree when on a CV or forming analysis of achievement of educational institutes. Each paper is a world of learning in itself, and shouldn’t be derided, downgraded if the whole degree isn’t attained.)

          You should be able to go back and retrain, learn more at any time of life, with some input from oneself, or a bond to apply that learning in some part of NZ etc. It should be a right, something encouraged in a modern, advanced country, not treated as special for the children of the advantaged. That retraining necessity has been the recurring theme since decades ago. What do we get though – administrative barriers, lack of living support, costs and cumulative interest which I think has changed now, and wages that don’t keep up with measured inflation, and that don’t allow for the meteoric rise in house prices.

          And the gummint don’t even want to help people extend their knowledge and skills, build community networks, use expensive school equipment and buildings by the taxpayers, at night and summer schools. Let’s face it the gummint isn’t interested in the ordinary citizen any more, they have moved on to more rewarding. extensive projects.

  15. weka 17

    FFS, can someone please tell Labour to get someone to run its website properly. I can’t find any policy there today off the front page, and using google took me to a broken link. It’s like whoever does this currently either doesn’t understand how the internet works or has put the policy at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard.

    If I’m wrong and it is there, can someone please point it out to me? I’m pretty sure that the policies were easily available in the past week, so wtf with changing your website a few days after a SOTN speech when you will be getting additional traffic from people wanting to check Labour out?

    Really disappointing after a good speech and policy announcement.

    • McFlock 17.1

      I tend to agree – for years it’s been well branded at the expense of finding details.

    • Lanthanide 17.2

      Quite clearly, none of the movers-and-shakers in Labour care. If they cared, they’d put the money and resources in to do it properly.

    • Wainwright 17.3

      Excellent Hitchhikers reference and unfortunately accurate.

  16. greywarshark 18

    What is?

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  • Swiss tax agreement tightens net
    Opportunities to dodge tax are shrinking with the completion of a new tax agreement with Switzerland, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash announced today. Mr Nash and the Swiss Ambassador David Vogelsanger have today signed documents to update the double tax agreement (DTA). The previous DTA was signed in 1980. “Double tax ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maintaining momentum for small business innovation
    Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the report of the Small Business Council will help maintain the momentum for innovation and improvements in the sector. Mr Nash has thanked the members of the Small Business Council (SBC) who this week handed over their report, Empowering small businesses to aspire, succeed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Seventy-eight new Police constables
    Extra Police officers are being deployed from Northland to Southland with the graduation of a new wing of recruits from the Royal New Zealand Police College. “The graduation of 78 constables today means that 1524 new constables have been deployed since the government took office,” says Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    3 weeks ago