Open mike 02/04/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 2nd, 2011 - 101 comments
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Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

101 comments on “Open mike 02/04/2011 ”

  1. logie97 1

    So Henry is back on the Radio.
    (Does Joyce claim to have divested all interest in that network?)

    Still have the feeling that the other party in that disgraceful “Governor General” episode got off lightly – the interviewee’s lack of nouse and presence to recognise insult was appalling.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      Hurray ! Best meeeeeeedia personality NZ’s produced in years. I’ll be listening to him and guffawing regularly, if you don’t like him clearly you aren’t a real NZer.

      • Tigger 1.1.1

        Then I’m proud not to be a real NZer.

      • Armchair Critic 1.1.2

        I must be an unreal NZer, then. I’ll express my appreciation by continuing to not listen to whatever station it is that has employed him, ever.

        • ianmac

          It also seemed to show that he is going to be on TV3. Read that this morning I think on the Herald.

    • Deborah Kean 1.2

      Right now I am wondering whether I actually saw what I thought I saw this morning when I went down the dairy for a chocolate bar…
      One Sunday paper had a picture of a grinning Paul Henry and a caption that said something like ‘Oh, no! Not again!’
      I have to have imagined that, surely? (I won’t waste the money on Sunday papers, so I don’t know.)

  2. HoneMeke 2

    If anyone here uses facebook, here’s a vote out national event page:

    Over 7,000 people have joined, however, the place is currently being overrun by several holier-than-thou RWNJ’s. It’d be good to have some more people from this side of the fence come in and add their two cents…

    • Jum 2.1


      Consider me voted to out National i.e. out National from government and out National on its dirty tricks.

  3. MikeG 3

    Why did our PM commit $4.1million to fixing up the turf at AMI Stadium before the cost of fixing up the stands is known?

    Anti-spam word: confuses

    • William Joyce 3.1

      Good question. The Govt wont payout to people who did not have insurance on their house because of the Moral Hazard of it setting an example that others don’t need to get insurance because the govt will always bail out the uninsured.
      Yet, the owners of AMI stadium get money equal to 32 plus houses for being stupid enough not to insure what it a absolute essential necessity for their business.
      A multimillion dollar asset that is absolutely useless unless there is a field to watch.
      The govt has given you and my hard earned money to rescue people from their own stupidity with multimillion dollar consequences.
      We may not have an aristocracy as such but we do have a privileged class for whom the normal rules don’t apply.
      – Entitlement to new expensive car rather than old expensive cars.
      – Golden parachute payments even if you have done a really bad job of being a CEO.
      – Large payoffs from you job as a supreme court judge so you can get out of an inquiry to you conduct.
      – If you steel a TV you get prison – if you steel millions held in trust you get home detention.
      and the hits keep on coming.

    • tsmithfield 3.2

      “Why did our PM commit $4.1million to fixing up the turf at AMI Stadium before the cost of fixing up the stands is known?”

      Because the stadium structure was insured but the turf wasn’t. The rational for contributing funds is that AMI stadium brings a lot of income to Christchurch, so getting it operational as soon as possible is good for the city generally. Ordinarily I would agree that we shouldn’t be rescuing people for not being insured though. Moral hazard and all that.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Ordinarily I would agree that we shouldn’t be rescuing people for not being insured though. Moral hazard and all that.

        What a load of bollocks

        Bail outs for special interest groups. Nothing for everyone else.

        The rational for contributing funds is that AMI stadium brings a lot of income to Christchurch,

        Stupid. You must think we are idiots. Continuing payments to abandoned workers and distressed businesses will bring a lot of income to Christchurch. Right now. But the Government doesn’t actually give a shit about bringing a lot of income to Christchurch so those are getting cut ASAP.

        As if people are going to go to matches in a city which smells of sewerage.

        The NATs have no plans, and no priorities – that is, short of what they always do, favour special interest groups at the expense of the many.

      • MikeG 3.2.2

        ok – so how much is it going to cost to fix up the stands etc? Shouldn’t that be known before the Govt promises taxpayer money to fix up the turf? Not much point in having a great playing surface if no one can watch the games on it.

        • William Joyce

          “Shouldn’t that be known before the Govt promises taxpayer money to fix up the turf?”

          You would think so. I suspect that it was a promise made (like all National decisions) in a dark smoke filled room and on the hoof.
          When you are under pressure and you don’t put much thought into it, you are more likely to act according to type and according to your hidden values.

          “Of course you can have the money! Supporting rugby will make me look good. How ’bout a new Bmer as well, we have some coming.”

      • vto 3.2.3

        “AMI stadium brings a lot of income to Christchurch”

        Bullshit it does. It needs topping up by us and our kids (rates) each and every year because it makes a loss. A few people from out of town who occasionally come to see an event may stay to spend some money in town (which is then of course lost to their home town, which equals nil overall gain).

        The stadiums expenses have so far exceeded its income to the tune of about $75million, of which $45million was to be stumped up by us and our kids pre-earthquake. We and our kids pay for sportsmenwomen to play games at AMI Stadium (and what a dumb-arse name too).

        What a crock of shit.

        And then on top of that it gets a govt payout for an uninsured pitch. Total incompetence. What a farce.

        • logie97

          Typical of the NZRFU. Has its hand out for any moneys going. About time user pays was practised by one of the nations biggest “beneficiaries”.

          Am sure that the RFU is organised such that it enjoys charitable status, probably has a heap of trusts and therefore pays a minimum of dues to IRD. And if only a smidgeon of their profits was to go to grass roots sports… nah, too many players being bankrolled in the professional arena.

          As an aside, the RFU has come up with this “brilliant” idea that schools should study the World Cup participant nations. They have even produced some form of education pack. Wow, who would have thought of such a brilliant idea. Must have been eons since an Olympic or Commonwealth Games or World Cup of Soccer tournament.

          And its cheerleaders will no doubt denigrate any school and teachers who will not do its bidding over the World Cup – a profession that has been straight-jacketed recently to delivering some nebulous Standards in the curriculum.)

          • Jum


            Yes, yet someone has already pointed out that the rugby ‘pack’ has more info in it than the national ‘standards’ pack – obviously a political tool to divide the teachers/parents/principals/boards/pupils and it worked beautifully.

            Yes, yet the National Council of Women, NZ, that helps to protect the rights of women, subject to domestic violence when the game score goes wrong, and the refuge numbers increase overnight, is no longer listed with charitable status, removed last year by this government – more evidence of NAct’s misogyny.

            I shall be encouraging the NCWNZ to publically out this government as a misogynistic, narcissistic authoritarian boys’ club. This will probably get a good percentage of the male New Zealanders all excited since the rugby player/columnist (whatsisname) once wrote that men hate women. Key is playing the ball to that crowd of cavemen and that is what all New Zealand men will be recognised by, domestically and internationally. Take that ball and run with it real men who aren’t afraid of accepting women as equals.

          • RobC

            NZRU (they’ve dropped the F) has an exemption from income tax (in the Income Tax Act) as do all sporting organisations and clubs. I work in the sport & rec sector, and for quite a few years I also had a “problem” with this “commercial entity”, especially when they received Govt handouts.

            But at the end of the day, NZRU is a non-profit organisation. I have seen their annual accounts, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much they spend on “grassroots”. The amount they get from the public purse is not huge, and tagged for specific things like women’s rugby. Cycling and Rowing (and other sports) get more money than Rugby from the taxpayer.

            NZRU is not perfect, but over the years I have appreciated the difficulty they have as a non-profit organisation, to balance the commercial and amateur interests of their sport under the one roof. It is not easy.

            Having said all that, there is no fucking way the Govt should have paid $4.1 million to fix the turf at AMI. And I think it would not have been at the suggestion of NZRU, more likely a “good idea” from the Govt. This is the same Govt who gave NZ Soccer $300,000 (from memory) on a whim to (in part) employ a media manager when they qualified for last year’s World Cup. In their shoes, it is hard to turn down “free money”.

            • Jum

              Um, RobC

              When did we have a women’s rugby game on free TV in full – any game will do…?

              • RobC

                Sporting organisations do not get money to entertain the masses through any broadcasting medium. It’s either for high performance or direct participation (in the main).

                I don’t mean this in a nasty way, but if you really want to watch a game of women’s rugby, don’t rely on the TV; find out where they are, go and watch live, and you probably don’t have to pay any money to watch!

                • Jum

                  Well, sorry, RobC but I do take it in a nasty way.

                  Internationally, women have won world cups when the guys were sweating it out in noneth place. Yet, obviously, the population and tv controllers prefer to televise loser male rugby players than they do winner female rugby players. What a great look for New Zealand.

                  • RobC

                    You don’t get any argument from me about the treatment of women’s sport. It is a different issue – as you say, it is “the population” and “tv controllers” who you can point the finger at, not the NZRU.

                    Please, I was responding to a point Logie97 made where he implied NZRU went cap in hand to the Govt for $4.1 mill to fix AMI where I don’t believe that is the case. I mentioned women’s rugby as an example where they receive (or have received) taxpayer funding, that is all.

                    • logie97

                      You will know that you cannot separate Rugby and Politics in this country. The RFU does not officially have to go cap in hand – it has a bevvy of shareholders and stakeholders in government circles at any one moment. A nod and a wink is all that it would have been needed (notwithstanding the fact that members of government would have been well aware of a “need”.)

                      And just how much money trickles down to junior level development – that is debatable – just look what is happening to the Air New Zealand Cup – going bust – provinces merging.

                      (Incidentally, the same thing is happening to that other sacred cow – cricket.)

      • Janice 3.2.4

        ……and if there is a spare $4 million going why do the Auckland ratepayers have to pay the $3 million for the extra games?


        • grumpy

          Because Auckland wanted those quarter finals right from day 1. Canterbury had to fight like hell to get any of them and even before the tremors had finished, Auckland were crying out for them.

          That’s why – they should also be paying the $4m to repair the AMI pitch….

  4. RobC 4

    Quiz time. Who said this?

    “We have a plan for this economic problem; we will reach through the recession. This is not a time for slash-and-burn; this is a time for the Government to show some strength”

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    COIN is hard, still.

    It is harder yet in a country that is not your own, as all the locals will be reflexively distrustful of your actions. It is especially hard in a country that has a radically different culture than your own.

    When a large section of your own country is fearful and mistrustful of that other culture, then being successful at COIN becomes, I suspect, impossible.

    That we should fight apparently impossible-to-win wars of choice is difficult proposition to defend.

    • RobC 6.1

      I’ve been mulling on this today. A couple of articles in the media helped …

      The Dom Post in a rare piece of investigative journalism used the OIA to find out benefit fraud amounted to $15 mill in 2009. Earlier last week, KPMG put out their fraud indicator report that totted up $100 million due to corporate fraud in the last 6 months of 2010. Most of it committed, they said, due to management (i.e. abuse of position)

      I really hope the RWNJ’s sing from the top of their lungs about benefit fraud. ‘Cause the reality is white-collar crime costs this country far more than benefit fraud does.

      And don’t get me started on the inequity of sentences handed down by the courts between the two …

  6. tsmithfield 7

    I look forward to seeing a few articles here on the crime stats, considering the interest it attracted in terms of articles and comments when the previous stats were released. Some enthusiastic praise for the government perhaps given the dramatic reduction?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Hey TS stop backing an outfit which is selling out future generations of NZ’ers.

      By the way, the crime stats are down because the economy is so shithouse, even crime doesn’t pay these days.

      • Gus 7.1.1

        Thats an insightful summary of the situation Viper. Perhaps you could share your analysis of the crime stats to allow us to understand your thinking, or are you simply allowing your own political views cloud your judgement?

      • tsmithfield 7.1.2

        “By the way, the crime stats are down because the economy is so shithouse, even crime doesn’t pay these days.”

        So when crime stats aren’t falling its the government’s fault, and when they are falling, its the criminal’s fault?

        • Colonial Viper

          Police association president Greg O’Connor said the gains were down to extra investment which has seen 1000 extra police officers added since 2006.

          “For the first time in many years, police are now able to act proactively across a range of areas including organised crime and methamphetamine, instead of being constantly short-staffed and able to do little more than rush from one emergency call to the next.”

          However, those gains were “extremely fragile” and could be reversed if a razor was taken to the police budget, he said.

  7. NickS 8

    Not entirely surprising actually, in the 3rd year course Kelly’s head of, the literature he gave us indicated that plant-pollinator relationships often weren’t as tight as fruit/seed dispersal relationships. i.e. other native, or introduced species could take over vacant pollinator roles except where a high degree of specialisation had taken place (i.e. Yucca plants are only capable of being pollinated by one species of moths) and in NZ’s case, while nectivorous birds are common, generally flowering plants can also be pollinated by insects.

    Dispersal relationships however often rely on the disperser being able to ingest large fruits, case in point the extinction of many pigeon species in the pacific islands caused by human and kiore predation has lead to plant species with large fruit becoming either poorly dispersed, or close to extinction, with only adult trees present. Secondly, this relationship also can involve modification of the seeds outer coat by digestion processes and without seeds may not germinate, but also via digestion seeds acquire a nice bundle of nutrients.

    Anyhow, what this indicates is that kereru probably cannot be replaced by other endemic fruit eating birds for some species, but also that the presence of some kereru in a forest fragment or park isn’t enough to maintain dispersal alone. There needs to be a significant population level for ecological functions to occur, as without competition for fruit resources, often less rewarding fruits will be ignored.

    As to what can be done, well we already know that rats, possums and cats are major predators of eggs, nestlings and nesting adults and that poison bait stations and 1080 drops can prove effective, and coupled with captive breeding and release programs could probably bring kereru numbers up to functional levels. However, as always funding is limited for all parties involved and while there are already groups working towards protecting kereru, this new research suggests that a rethink of current strategies might just be a good idea. Personally, I’d like to see a similar nation wide program to that for the kiwi, but any new program also has to recognise that kereru require healthy forests to successfully breed, i.e. larger scale pest control and replanting efforts.

  8. joe90 9

    More stupidity, atheists die first.

    Best take on this comes from YouTube commenter jacobryanball10: “very true, just the other day I was being chased by a bear. Then I realized I should stop and pray. I did just that, then Jesus came down, killed the bear and said “Hey see you again on May 21, or December 12th, or some other time, I haven’t quite decided yet.” I said “Sweet, I’ll bring the water, you make the wine” Then he rode a flying donkey into heaven while waving the American flag chanting “USA USA USA!” I’d like to see THAT happen to an atheist.”

  9. Jum 10

    Nick S

    If this government stopped thinking about building all over the green belts with crazy paving housing, it would prevent future human/rat, feline and canine encroachment on our fellow creatures’ back yard.

    But that’s exactly what National/Act’s 19thC thinking on ‘urban form and land use’ for Auckland will create – a wasteland for any birds in any areas, the Wenderholm Regional Park included.

    Len Brown must be listened to with his Auckland Plan; this government has no clue or plan to care for the wants and needs of the living forest and birds.

    It’s 2011, year of the forests; go and hug a tree before some developer cuts it down. While I’m writing about developers; country-wide laws should force developers to lose the land that harboured the tree they felled illegally. Maybe then they may have some respect for heritage.

  10. RedLogix 11

    The ultra-slow moving train wreck that is Fukushima reaches yet another tipping point; various sources are now pointing to the probability that there are now ‘localised criticality’ events occuring which emit intense bursts of neutrons and gamma radiation…killing anyone exposed.

    If this is re-criticality confirmed then even sending workers in on suicide missions becomes pointless. At that point it’s game over … the site will simply be abandoned and left to spew intense amounts of contamination into sea and air for decades if not centuries.

    Ground contamination at sites well away from the plant continue to rise…in some locations it’s already higher than the Chernobyl exclusion zone.. and this is after just three weeks. What will happen after months, years and decades of this is unthinkable.

    This has to be the end of nuclear fission. All 450 commercial reactors operating in the world now must be decommissioned urgently… and no new ones ever built again.

    • MikeG 11.1

      But I read on Kiwibog a couple of weeks ago that there’s nothing to worry about – it’s all a media beat-up. Are you trying to tell me that increased radiation levels in and around the power plant are an indication that something is wrong? I’m sure that in about 300+ years it will be safe to live in Fukushima again – you just have to take a long-term view!

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        If this is re-criticality confirmed then even sending workers in on suicide missions becomes pointless.

        If this is happening it is definitely Oh shit.

        This now has the potential to be much worse than Chernobyl, where the initial explosions blew apart the fissile material and AFAIK prevented ongoing criticality.

  11. Colonial Viper 12

    Christchurch casino put on chopping block

    The axe hasn’t fallen yet but preparations are there. Interesting, because it means that highly professional analyses from the casino and its parent company show that they will not be able to open anytime soon (in the next 1-2 months) and if they do reopen recovery of customer and business numbers will be slow.

    I personally dislike casinos but this is another blow for Christchurch and a reminder of how serious the city’s situation is when major employers like this start to buckle.

    Thanks for your help, Key and English. Lookf like your decision to phase out income support for Christchurch workers was the last straw.

    Economic vandals.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      I get the impression that the Casino wasn’t eligible for the subsidy. Otherwise they would be saying “we will pay you the government subsidy for the next 8 weeks, then you can choose to be redundant”, not “choose redundancy on Monday”.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Ah right because they are a big employer not based in Christchurch. So Key and English figured that its more OK for the Christchurch economy to lose workers from those places.

        • Lanthanide

          News report on TV confirmed they aren’t eligible for the existing government subsidy.

          A union representative said that SkyCity, now 1/2 owner of the casino, is on track to make $130-140m profit this year. So they don’t really have any excuse to stop paying staff – it’s just the richest people wanting to maintain their incomes.

          Really I think we can slate everything back to the law that requires companies to maximize profit for their shareholders, and if they fail to do so, they can be sued. It leaves no room for compassion in these situations.

          • Jum


            Tell me a little about the ‘law that requires companies to maximize profit for their shareholders, and if they fail to do so, they can be sued.’

            Is that a weaker law to the TPPA taking over NZ later this year?

            • Lanthanide

              To be honest I am not sure if such a law exists in NZ or not. From the tone of your post, I guess it doesn’t. I do know that such a law exists in the US, though.

              Even if there is no specific law for it in NZ, the mentality is still the same – all companies put their shareholders ahead of everyone else, including their customers and the public at large. Telecom is a prime example (particularly under Theresa Gattung).

              Did find this though:
              “The primary legal responsibility of the directors is to ensure that the Companies Act 1993 and the company’s constitution are followed at all times. Directors must act in good faith and in the best interests of the company.

              The Code of Proper Practice recommends that directors:

              decide on steps to protect the company’s financial position;”

              “The Act clarified that the company means the enterprise itself as contrasted with the existing shareholders. This clarification did not introduce additional stakeholders to whom directors would owe duties.

              The power to take enforcement actions against directors for failure to comply with their duties lie with both the company and its shareholders. The company may take action to remedy or prevent breaches of the Act or its constitution. Shareholders may bring a personal action against directors for a breach of a duty owed to them or, with High Court leave, may bring a derivative action in the name of the company.”

              • Jum

                Thanks Lanthanide,

                I’ve got some interesting little snippets too, which would make most people ashamed to be in business with these people. The2001 Gaynor column is so today with this 19thC government:

                I remember $3m Gattung..”Telecom has used confusion as its chief marketing tool, and that’s fine…”, (I wonder where Roderick Deane – NZbusinessrotundtable – was in that little picture?)


                I also remember Joan Withers, ex-Director of ‘failed’ Feltex.


                (“Having said all of that, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the Feltex situation and the Feltex experience. Because being involved in a company where, for whatever reason, shareholder value is lost is deeply disturbing to any director worth his or her salt.”
                Withers, who was re-elected with a 99.5 per cent vote, said one benefit was what could be learned from such experiences.
                “I have to tell you that those learnings continue to inform my performance as a director,” she said.)


                There are probably not many company directors living in South Auckland, but there are advantages to living away from common company director habitats.
                “We like it here. We do our shopping in Papakura and I suppose you probably get to see a side of life you would not see in Remuera or Takapuna,” Withers says.

                It makes me sick to my stomach that these creatures think they are somehow classy. TVNZ loves her; I’m not surprised.

                • RedLogix

                  Cripes… that Brian Gaynor article is an absolute public caning of the Business Roundtable. Not that he’s saying anything new to the leftwing, and it’s all far too late… but hell it’s good to read someone at least taking to these parasites.

                  • Jum

                    Yes, RedLogix,

                    It’s the Brian Gaynor’s who should be knighted not the sheep shit in his 2001 column.

                    Arise Sir Gaynor! It has a nice ring to it. The People’s Knight.

                    What a shame NZers forgot over the next 8 years what had been done to them. We wouldn’t be faced with PM Collins or Joyce.

  12. chris73 13

    This has made my respect for Dear Leader go up (never thought I’d be typing that)

    • Carol 13.1

      As far as I have seen, this idea of a conspiracy to topple Goff was all generated by the right. Its done with, and still they’re trying to keep alive the leadership issue in the MSM (with a little support from some disgruntled lefties)…. all in an attempt to distract from the real political issues that need to be front and centre of the up-coming elections.

      moving on……

  13. Jenny 14

    viable alternative to petrol being tested

    Instead of the terribly dangerous and still experimental technology of deep sea oil drilling. This is what we could be doing.

    Why should we risk our marine environment to be a a guinea pig for Big Oil’s deep sea oil drilling experiment, when New Zealand could be the world’s test board proving ground for rolling out this alternative fuel?

    Just switching off Comalco would give us the electricity for a massive replacement of petrol with this handy renewable substitute.

    The carbon credits alone could be enormous. (Maybe even enough to cover some of the changeover costs)

    capcha – “mixes”

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      I’d take that report with a huge grain of salt, both from journalists not knowing anything about science in general, and also from scientists who always paint their discoveries in the best light, especially those in the energy industry.

      It does sound promising though – a liquid carrier for hydrogen.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Pie in the sky tech is not going to be here quick enough to save us from $4/L petrol, sadly.

        • ianmac

          Watching Tv3 News tonight as they yet again made a meal of the Hughes affair and the supposed challenge to Mr Gough.

          Then it hit me.
          The stories are rumbling around the longevity of Key’s leadership. Two highly placed National insiders tell me that Key is failing to address the problems nor managing to please the Right wing of National or the Moderates.

          There is talk of rolling the Leader. If not before the election then straight after. Mentioned as a possibility is Mrs Collins. When asked she kept a very blank face and denied that she was considering leadership today.

          When Mr Brownlie was asked about the rumours he looked decidedly unsettled and as he walked away he said “No Comment today.”
          Enquiries addressed to the National Party spokesman David Farrar brought a “No comment today also. Mr Farrar has gone to ground.

          Mr Key uncharacteristically dodged waiting reporters but looked unsmiling and stressed.

          • Lanthanide

            Ian, is this actually true, or are you concocting a “National party version” of the recent events?

            • ianmac

              Does it matter Lanth. It seems to me that it is just as credible as the Phil scramble. Neither confirm or deny. 🙂

            • grumpy

              Hi Lanth,

              I’ve got a bloody good bridge for sale, currently located Sydney.

              Signed: Queensland Harry

          • Anne

            Yeah Ianmac, I’ve heard that story too. In my case it came from a Labour source who has his ears very close to the ground. I don’t know about Farrar going to ground, but Hooten has apparently shot through to Australia and there’s talk of it being permanent. What makes me suspicious is that there’s been no photo ops this week. Must be the first time since he became PM. All very intriguing.

            oops… delete ianmac!

          • Jum


            LOL. I love this site.

            Sitting there in its little box, in bright blue capitals – GONE

            Key gone – By lunchtime d’ya think?? Huh, d’ya think?

        • Jenny

          “Pie in the sky tech is not going to be here quick enough to save us from $4/L petrol, sadly.”

          Colonial Viper

          Yes, that’s true Snake. But a change in orientation away from fossil fuels could save us from this

      • Jenny 14.1.2

        Hi Lanthanide -Talking about replacing petrol how about this for a ‘proven’ alternative to coal.

        – Biochar or Bio-Coal – an appropriate and practical substitute for high value anthracite coking coal, which is typically used in metallurgical applications such as iron and steel production (The coal being mined at Pike River).

        video: A New Way to Make Coal

        With our huge renewable exotic forests, New Zealand is perfectly placed to replace coal with Green Coal.

        There is no need for anyone to risk their lives underground to pad the profits of the coal mining lobby.

        Not only is biochar an exact replacement for coal in power generation or coking coal for steel smelting. it is also a clean green soil enhancement which in huge part would replace imports of oil based artificial fertilisers.

        A field trial, here, showed an increase in crop yields of 800%, described by the experimenters as miraculous.

        The only thing preventing us from implementing these sorts of technologies is the political will to do so.

        • William Joyce

          Jenny, to add an other dimension to this wonderful idea…..

          I saw a doco on the islands of fertility that the pre-Columbian inhabitants had deliberately created in the Amazon forest/wetlands using charcoal. Then I saw a news item of research being done (I think at an institution in the SI) to use a giant microwave oven to reduce vegetable matter into masses of charcoal/carbon.
          We could harvest all sorts of trees that have sequestered carbon, microwave them into carbon (and release the oxygen etc) and then bury the residual carbon under our farms to increase fertility. Increase fertility/production and off set other emissions through credits.

          Of course, short of finding some venture capital, you would need a government brave enough to take a punt and that was not ideologically opposed to getting off it’s arse.

          • RedLogix

            All this is possible. I did some reading around biochar and it’s astounding implications a while back.. huge potential.

            But sadly it would take a leap of faith to go there, and the so called ‘free market’ is far too risk-averse. It’s the sort of thing that some govt research insititute would need to take the initiative on and that’s exactly the sort of thing this govt doesn’t believe in.

  14. Whispers 15

    Yeah imac. I heard that in Wellington this morning but it is probably baseless. Unless of course the sight of Act crumbling is a worry that wanted the National Party to get stuck in against the trendy-wishy-washy lefties.
    I reckon Crusher Collins would be great. No nonsenseCollins. Yeah Collins would do it.

  15. Bruvver 16

    What crap you guys write. The idea of a change of National Leadership is not down for months yet and anyway it is not Collins you should be asking so get stuffed!

  16. burt 17

    Ok I know not a lot of people here don’t like the big blubbery sea mammal guy, but this is funny.

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    Our most spoken Pacific language is taking centre stage this week with Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa – Samoa Language Week kicking off around the country. “Understanding and using the Samoan language across our nation is vital to its survival,” Barbara Edmonds said. “The Samoan population in New Zealand are ...
    6 hours ago
  • Nationwide test of Emergency Mobile Alert system
    Over 90 per cent of New Zealanders are expected to receive this year’s nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert system tonight between 6-7pm. “Emergency Mobile Alert is a tool that can alert people when their life, health, or property, is in danger,” Kieran McAnulty said. “The annual nationwide test ...
    7 hours ago
  • Whakatōhea and the Crown sign Deed of Settlement
    ENGLISH: Whakatōhea and the Crown sign Deed of Settlement A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Whakatōhea and the Crown, 183 years to the day since Whakatōhea rangatira signed the Treaty of Waitangi, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Whakatōhea is an iwi based in ...
    1 day ago
  • New Chair appointed to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO
    Elizabeth Longworth has been appointed as the Chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Associate Minister of Education Jo Luxton announced today. UNESCO is the United Nations agency responsible for promoting cooperative action among member states in the areas of education, science, culture, social science (including peace and ...
    2 days ago
  • Tourism transformation starts with people
    Tourism and hospitality employer accreditation scheme to recognise quality employers Better education and career opportunities in tourism Cultural competency to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces Innovation and technology acceleration to drive satisfying, skilled jobs Strengthening our tourism workers and supporting them into good career pathways, pay and working conditions ...
    2 days ago
  • Tourism transformation starts with people
    Tourism and hospitality employer accreditation scheme to recognise quality employers Better education and career opportunities in tourism Cultural competency to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces Innovation and technology acceleration to drive satisfying, skilled jobs Strengthening our tourism workers and supporting them into good career pathways, pay and working conditions ...
    2 days ago
  • Te ao Māori health services more accessible for whānau
      Greater access to primary care, including 193 more front line clinical staff More hauora services and increased mental health support Boost for maternity and early years programmes Funding for cancers, HIV and longer term conditions    Greater access to primary care, improved maternity care and mental health support  are ...
    2 days ago
  • Te ao Māori health services cheaper and more accessible for whānau
      Greater access to primary care, including 193 more front line clinical staff More hauora services and increased mental health support Boost for maternity and early years programmes Funding for cancers, HIV and longer term conditions    Greater access to primary care, improved maternity care and mental health support  are ...
    2 days ago
  • Government’s work for survivors of abuse in care continues
    The Government continues progress on the survivor-led independent redress system for historic abuse in care, with the announcement of the design and advisory group members today. “The main recommendation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Abuse in Care interim redress report was for a survivor-led independent redress system, and the ...
    2 days ago
  • Two brand new mental health facilities opened in Christchurch
    Health Minister Ayesha Verrall has opened two new state-of-the-art mental health facilities at the Christchurch Hillmorton Hospital campus, as the Government ramps up its efforts to build a modern fit for purpose mental health system. The buildings, costing $81.8 million, are one of 16 capital projects the Government has funded ...
    3 days ago
  • Government invests more than $24 million in regional projects
    The Government is continuing to invest in our regional economies by announcing another $24 million worth of investment into ten diverse projects, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan says. “Our regions are the backbone of our economy and today’s announcement continues to build on the Government’s investment to boost regional economic ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget 23 supports the growth of Māori tourism
    An $8 million boost to New Zealand Māori Tourism will help operators insulate themselves for the future. Spread over the next four years, the investment acknowledges the on-going challenges faced by the industry and the significant contribution Māori make to tourism in Aotearoa. It builds on the $15 million invested ...
    3 days ago
  • First Bushmasters ready to roll
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has marked the arrival of the first 18 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles for the New Zealand Army, alongside personnel at Trentham Military Camp today. “The arrival of the Bushmaster fleet represents a significant uplift in capability and protection for defence force personnel, and a milestone in ...
    3 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for the people of Sudan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing NZ$3.5 million to help meet urgent humanitarian needs in Sudan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The severe fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces has had devastating impacts for civilians. At least 705 people have been killed and 5,287 injured. ...
    4 days ago
  • Clean-up at Hawkes Bay facility to help region deal with cyclone waste
    Repairing a Hawke’s Bay organic composting facility devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle is among the latest waste reduction projects getting Government backing, Associate Environment Minister Rachel Brooking announced today. “Helping communities get back on their feet after the devastating weather that hit the northern parts of the country this year is ...
    4 days ago
  • 8% pay boosts for GP & community nurses
    About 6,100 more GP, community nurses and kaiāwhina will be eligible for pay rises of 8% on average to reduce pay disparities with nurses in hospitals, Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. The top up comes from a $200 million fund established to remove pay disparities between nurses ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt turns the sod on new Jobs and Skills Hub for Hawke’s Bay
    New Jobs and Skills Hub to begin construction in Hawke’s Bay The Hub will support the building of $1.1billion worth of homes in the region and support Cyclone Gabrielle rebuild and recovery. Over 2,200 people have been supported into industry specific employment, apprenticeships and training, by these Hubs across NZ ...
    4 days ago
  • Community Housing Aotearoa Conference Speech
    Tēnā koutou e nga maata waka. Kia koutou te mana whenua tēnā koutou Ngā mate huhua o te waa, haere, haere, haere atu ra. Hoki mai kia tātou te kanohi ora e tau nei, Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Tēnā koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te ...
    4 days ago
  • New mental health tool launched for small business owner-operators
    The Government has launched a new tool to help small business owner-operators manage and improve their mental wellbeing, Small Business Minister Ginny Andersen announced today. The Brave in Business e-Learning series is another tool the Government has delivered to support small businesses with their mental health and wellbeing. “A pandemic, ...
    5 days ago
  • TAB partnership helps secure future of racing industry
    Minister for Racing Kieran McAnulty has announced the approval of a 25-year partnership between TAB NZ and UK betting company Entain that delivers at least $900 million in guaranteed funding for the racing industry over the next five years. Entain, a UK based group that operates multiple sports betting providers ...
    5 days ago
  • Government project delivers more reliable and resilient water source to Northland
    The Government has delivered the first of three significant water security projects in Northland, boosting regional business and climate resilience, with the opening of Matawii reservoir today, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan announced. A $68 million Government investment supported the construction of the reservoir, along with two other water storage ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade Minister to US to attend Ministerial meetings
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor will travel to Detroit tomorrow to represent New Zealand at the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting from 24 – 29 May. Whilst in Detroit, Damien O’Connor will also host a meeting of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Ministers ...
    5 days ago
  • Murihiku Regeneration energy and innovation wānanga
    I want to start by thanking Ngāi Tahu and the Murihiku Regeneration Collective for hosting us here today. Back at the  Science and Innovation Wananga in 2021, I said that a just transition in New Zealand must ensure Iwi are at the table. This is just as true now as ...
    5 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Mongolia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of diplomat Dr James Waite as Aotearoa New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Mongolia. He is currently the Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing, a role he will continue to hold. “New Zealand and Mongolia share a warm and ...
    5 days ago
  • Government commitment to Māori Education continues
    Biggest-ever investment in property with more money for new sites and modernisation Roll-out of learning support coordination in kaupapa Māori and Māori Medium Schooling Boost in funding for iwi and schools to work together on Local Histories content Substantial support for Māori Education has continued in Budget 2023, including ...
    5 days ago
  • More students to benefit from next round of Creatives in Schools
    Applications for the next round of Creatives in Schools will open on Friday 16 June 2023, Minister of Education Jan Tinetti and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today during a visit at Te Wharekura o Mauao in Tauranga. “The Creatives in Schools programme funds schools and ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to WasteMINZ conference, Hamilton
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you all for being here and welcoming me to your annual conference. I want to acknowledge being here in Tainui’s rohe, and the mana of Kingi Tuheitia. I hate waste. So much so that when we built our home in Dunedin, I banned the use ...
    5 days ago
  • Extra boost for Southland’s Just Transition
    Southland’s Just Transition is getting a further boost to help future-proof the region and build its economic resilience, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods announced today.  “This Government is committed to supporting Southland’s just transition and reducing the region’s reliance on the New Zealand Aluminium Smelter at Tiwai Point,” Megan ...
    5 days ago
  • PM concludes successful Pacific visit, confirms intention to visit India
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has concluded a series of successful international meetings with Pacific region leaders in Papua New Guinea. Prime Minister Hipkins secured constructive bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, PNG Prime Minister James Marape, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown and United States Secretary of ...
    5 days ago
  • Agreed statement from NZEI, PPTA and the Minister of Education
    On Friday 19th May, Minister Tinetti facilitated a meeting between NZEI and PPTA with the Ministry of Education to discuss options for finding a way forward in the current stalled collective bargaining. The meeting was constructive, and the parties shared a willingness to work towards a solution. The following was ...
    6 days ago
  • Five community energy projects kick start
    Eighty-nine households will soon benefit from secure, renewable, and more affordable energy as five community-level energy projects are about to get underway, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods announced today.    Five solar projects – in Whangārei, Tauranga, Palmerston North and Christchurch – are the first to receive funding from the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand confirms recovery support for Cook Islands
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed New Zealand will provide NZ$15 million in emergency budget support for Cook Islands in its ongoing recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. New Zealand’s support was confirmed during a meeting with the Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown in Papua New Guinea today. “New ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget 2023 provides significant investment in kapa haka
    The Government’s continued recognition of and support for the important place Kapa Haka has in Aotearoa was evident today at a celebration at Te Wharekura o Kirikiriroa Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Willow-Jean Prime said. “Our investment of $34 million over two years ensures that this kaupapa is ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ’s biggest ever emissions reduction project unveiled
    The Government is partnering with New Zealand Steel to deliver New Zealand’s largest emissions reduction project to date, with half of the coal being used at Glenbrook steel to be replaced with electricity to recycle scrap steel.  Prime Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement alongside Energy and Resources Minister Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Government welcome Waitangi Tribunal Wai 2750 report into homelessness
    The Government has welcomed the Stage One Waitangi Tribunal Wai 2750 – Housing and Housing Services Kaupapa Inquiry report into homelessness released today. Minister of Housing Hon Megan Woods and Associate Minister of Housing (Māori) Hon Willie Jackson as Co-Leads for the government, with Associate Minister of Housing (homelessness) Hon ...
    1 week ago
  • PM confirms details of Papua New Guinea visit
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed his upcoming visit to Papua New Guinea. The Prime Minister travels to Port Moresby on Sunday May 21, and will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PNG Prime Minister James Marape and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown. He has also been invited ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill ensures ongoing reporting on tax system fairness
    A Bill requiring facts about the fairness and efficiency of New Zealand’s tax system to be reported and published annually has been tabled in Parliament today. Revenue Minister David Parker said the Taxation Principles Reporting Bill would ensure that tax information is reported against a set of fundamental tax principles. ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax bill improves fairness at home and abroad
      NZ joins global effort to ensure multinationals pay a minimum rate of tax Tax on ACC, MSD lump sum payments changed to reduce amounts owing for some KiwiSaver topups for child carers taking paid parental leave Implementing changes to trustee tax and tax relief for flood-hit businesses Several measures ...
    1 week ago
  • New approach on law and order delivers
    Successful ‘circuit breaker’ pilot targeting repeat child offenders to be expanded to Hamilton, Christchurch and Auckland City Funding to maintain Police to population ratio achieved after 1800 extra Police officers added Creation of NZ’s first comprehensive digital Firearms Registry Modernising frontline police processes to free up time for officers Budget ...
    1 week ago

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