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Open Mike 02/09/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 2nd, 2017 - 135 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

135 comments on “Open Mike 02/09/2017 ”

  1. Ad 1

    OMG NZHerald’s John Roufhan supports change of government with Ardern.

    • ScottGN 1.1

      I read that Ad. The mood for change is strong in the papers this morning.

      • Roy 1.1.1

        Glad about that because I was just about to moan about the opposite. Looked at Stuff’s politics section and it’s all:
        English won; Bill is back; Nat finds Lab’s weak spot; etc etc. Seemed like the sugar hit they got from Jacinda was over and they were now back in blood mode.

      • lurgee 1.1.2

        The media will bend whatever way they think the wind is blowing. They are no longer the fourth estate, they are just PR and revenue source for their owners.

    • Cinny 1.2

      It’s fascinating how so many people are jumping ship this election from media commentators to the general public.

      I listen to a lot of talkback radio and the volume of people ringing up saying they have always voted national but this election are voting for Labour is staggering, it’s a beautiful thing when people finally ‘see the light’.

      Link to the John Roufhan Herald article that Ad mentioned http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11915370

      Also in the Herald this morning from John Armstrong..

      ” What on earth does National do now? It is now crisis time in the governing party’s camp, pure and simple.

      National’s election campaign strategy is in desperate need of a rethink after the party found itself on the receiving end of a morale-crippling double-whammy on Thursday evening.”

      • lurgee 1.2.1

        Sorry to be Grinchy but I don’t think they are ‘seeing the light’ – they are excited by a new shiny object. For a lot of the electorate, Jacinda Ardern is a sort of adult fidget spinner – must-have object of fascination for six weeks, then completely forgotten about.

        I suppose the question is, will the fad last up to election day? And are we cynical enough to celebrate an election that is won on ephemeral froth, not policy?

        • Muttonbird

          But you celebrated when John Key won on froth.

          • DSpare

            Really? You think calling Adern; “a new shiny object”, is less objectifying than; “a sparkly young thing”. Wow – just wow! As for; “adult fidget spinner”, you do get just how obscene that sounds, don’t you? [this paragraph then continued into pornographic territory which I opted to delete, along with the links]

            I still contend that Ardern’s greatest virtue is that she allows the public to hear the policies that Labour has largely been advocating all along (with a few tweaks), briefly clear of the attack lines around; “unelectable Angry Andy”. You are probably right that six weeks is about how long it will take for focus testing of new Nat attack lines on Ardern. By which time the media will have played out the rise of Jacinda storyline, and be grateful to switch to a downfall narrative. Whatever fill (shows and articles) sells the content (ads).

            • lurgee

              Really? You think calling Adern; “a new shiny object”, is less objectifying than; “a sparkly young thing”. Wow – just wow! As for; “adult fidget spinner”, you do get just how obscene that sounds, don’t you? [this paragraph then continued into pornographic territory which I opted to delete, along with the links]

              Well, if your mind immediately connects the term ‘adult fidget spinner’ with porn, that says something about where your mind is at.

              On this blog, it is considered acceptable to refer to David Shearer as ‘Mumblefuck’; I don’t recall people getting up in arms about that. And that was Labour supporters commenting on the Labour leader … so I’m not going to treat your OUTRAGE over my mild disdainful comments about how facile and superficial our political culture is with too much seriousness.

              [lprent: All part of our decade long culture of robust debate. Treating politicians or the behaviour of the voting public with respect is a purely optional activity. 😈 We are more concerned with behaviour on site, and I think that you and DSpare are merely continuing the long tradition here of mutual incomprehension – to every one eases amusement.. ]

              • DSpare

                It is strange how; “adult” has come to mean; juvenile titillation, for example; “adult films” which are only watchable by adolescents. That’s not your fault of course, but it does mean that the phrase; “adult fidget spinner” is an unfortunate one to apply to any person. I find it easily amusing, even if everyone else doesn’t.

                It was; “Captain Mumblefuck”, (I think that is was QoT who invented it, but it quickly caught on), so combined respect as well as disparagement – which is why it was so funny. Your; “sparkly young thing” is simple dismissive objectification. rather tedious, and assumes that your bigotry is shared by a large proportion of the electorate.

                I’m not really outraged by your disdain for the positive reaction to Ardern, certainly not to the level of SHOUTING about it. More embarrassed to be sharing a comment thread with such a lumbering dinosaur. If you need a dismissive metaphor, surely you could do something with her being a casual DJ (“voters rushing to chase the pied-piper beat of a fashionable new dance track” or something like that).

                Look at your children
                See their faces in golden rays
                Don’t kid yourself they belong to you…

                • lurgee

                  It is strange how; “adult” has come to mean; juvenile titillation, for example; “adult films” which are only watchable by adolescents. That’s not your fault of course, but it does mean that the phrase; “adult fidget spinner” is an unfortunate one to apply to any person. I find it easily amusing, even if everyone else doesn’t.

                  Like I said, if you immediately link the term ‘adult fidget spinner’ with porn, that tells us something about you but not much more; though I’d observe it puts your ability to interpret other people’s meanings and intentions into doubt.

                  It was; “Captain Mumblefuck”, (I think that is was QoT who invented it, but it quickly caught on), so combined respect as well as disparagement – which is why it was so funny.

                  Plain old “Mumblefuck” on plenty of occasions, usually coupled with calls for him to resign. I think the apogee was when someone (Rhinocrates?) was complaining on one thread about use of abusive language and ranting about “Mumblefuck” on another. No self awareness, some people.

                  You really think continually referring to someone as “Captain Mumblefuck” can be read as showing respect? If anything, the bogus rank adds to the contempt. Instant credibility collapse.

                  I thought we were having an adult debate.

                  Oh, shit, I see how you’re going to interpret that …

                  Your; “sparkly young thing” is simple dismissive objectification. rather tedious, and assumes that your bigotry is shared by a large proportion of the electorate.

                  I’m not really outraged by your disdain for the positive reaction to Ardern, certainly not to the level of SHOUTING about it. More embarrassed to be sharing a comment thread with such a lumbering dinosaur. If you need a dismissive metaphor, surely you could do something with her being a casual DJ (“voters rushing to chase the pied-piper beat of a fashionable new dance track” or something like that).

                  Why would I poke fun at Ardern’s dablling in DJing? My target was not her and never was.

                  All this is in your head. Just admit you went off half-cocked (n.b. that is not a porn reference, but describes flintlock pistols misfiring) because you thought you saw something that wasn’t really there.

                  • DSpare

                    You don’t see the problem , nothing I’m going to type can convince you. So I can’t be bothered with this anymore: Whatever.

                    • lurgee

                      I don’t see how anyone okay with ‘Mumblefuck’ could object to anything I said, without being a massive hypocrite.

                    • lurgee

                      I can’t see how there is a problem if there isn’t a problem with ‘Mumblefuck.’

                      Edit – weird double post phenomenon and now the goblins won’t let me edit my first effort.

                      Give ’em a good thumping, Lprent. Disobedient tykes.

          • lurgee

            But you celebrated when John Key won on froth.

            Care to back that up with some evidence?

            I’m about as leftwing as any here.

        • Cinny

          Lurgee… Don’t know about you but I’m voting for policy.

          I know the teachers at school are voting for policy as they asked me about it and I gave them the printed info on education policy.

          I know the parents around the corner are voting for policy, the are interested in free tertiary education and cheaper doctors visits, clean rivers to swim in.

          I know the oldies next door (both sides) are voting for policy home heating among other things.

          I know the latest leaders debate had huge viewing numbers, no doubt those viewers will be voting for policy too.

          I also know that people are finally understanding just how bad things are in NZ, especially since Key has exited, and rosecoloured glasses are removed.

          I do know people have had a gutsfull of the old boys club and old ideas.

          It’s amazing that in the darkest room, that one glimmer of light changes everything.

          Analytically the numbers/dates/reoccurances etc tell a fascinating story

          Muttonbird… ROFL !

          • alwyn

            That sounds great.
            Can you please help me by telling me where I can find the Labour Party policy on taxation?
            In particular the CGT they are talking about bringing in before the next election.

            I heard a rumour that the water charges were to be on polluters and were to be spent on cleaning up rivers but since then there have been other stories about them being levied on non polluting water users such as horticultural businesses.
            There also seems to be a proposal to spend the money on new roads rather than on cleaning up rivers.
            Where is this material about policy documented?

            • red-blooded

              Who told you horticulture didn’t produce pollution, alwyn? Check out this link to NIWA and pay particular attention to their comments about the effects of chemical runoff on water quality in rivers (and consequent loss of fish species, invertebrates etc plus increased algal, water turbidity…etc).


            • reason

              National support loop hole tax Alwyn ….

              where 4 Banks try to drive off with $2.2 Billion of Government revenue ….. 100 X more than Benefit fraud in the same year …. John Key rewarded the accountant behind it …. John Shewan

              Tony Molly QC : ” the IRD’s December 2009, NZ$2.2 billion settlement with ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac over structured finance tax disputes, or as he puts it: “The four major New Zealand banks’ multi-billion dollar assault on the New Zealand tax system.”

              Molloy notes that the settlement saw the banks agreeing to pay 80% of what IRD said they owed, and that prior to settling the IRD had won two High Court cases, one against BNZ and the other against Westpac. He suggests the full amount IRD could have sought from the banks, if penalties were included, amounted to about NZ$2.75 billion.

              “(So) effectively a gift was being made to the banks of at least three quarters of a billion dollars.”

              Yet Russell described the settlement as a very good result for New Zealand taxpayers.

              “The ‘taxpayers of New Zealand,’ for whom the Commissioner was arrogating the right to speak, might have differed from his view that rewarding this anti-social assault on the New Zealand economy with a gift of three quarters of a billion dollars at their expense had been a ‘very good result’.”

              “It is the sort of thing Dr Goebbels might have said,” Molloy adds”. http://www.interest.co.nz/news/56209/finance-companies-collapsed-because-regulators-courts-lawyers-and-accountants-were

              and the other rich free loaders … stealing from ordinary honest Nzers and other people in the world … and the NActs help them do it ….

              “a New Zealand Herald investigation revealed that Apple had paid zero tax in New Zealand in the past decade, despite selling billions of dollars’ worth of products to New Zealanders.

              Oxfam New Zealand Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier said: “New Zealand and many other countries around the world are missing out on crucial tax revenue from companies like Apple; money that could be invested in education, healthcare and infrastructure…. ” https://www.oxfam.org.nz/news/us-companies-stashing-16-trillion-shore

              There is enough revenue …. But National undermine it ….

              • alwyn

                You quote the Herald as saying that
                “a New Zealand Herald investigation revealed that Apple had paid zero tax in New Zealand in the past decade, despite selling billions of dollars’ worth of products to New Zealanders”
                There is an alternative interpretation of this story which was explained in the DomPost.

                The problem is that although a lot of Apple goods are sold in New Zealand they don’t actually do any real business here. They completely manufacture the goods overseas, bring them here and simply sell them on. Their transfer price to the New Zealand market is just about what they sell them for.

                I am not going to get into a debate about Apple’s tax affairs though. I would warn you though about what might happen if we allow Governments to arbitrarily decide what tax a multinational company should pay and what taxable income the business makes in “their” country.

                The Chinese Government could simply decide that all the Fonterra sales made in China should be taxed in China. At the moment Fonterra makes nearly all of its income in New Zealand and pays its tax here. That is because there business is based here. Do you really want the Chines Government to simply decide that all Fonterra’s profit was really made in China and to slap taxes on them?

                Taxation of multinational companies is a multinational problem and a standard method of allocating the profits will have to be developed and agreed by all the counties we trade with.

                • lprent

                  Their transfer price to the New Zealand market is just about what they sell them for.

                  In other words, they are running all of their sales and distribution to NZ from offshore. So if they want to sell their physical devices from here, then they must use a local company with local storage and distribution – like everyone else does. We just need to put in proper border controls to prevent direct distribution – the way that the Chinese do.

            • tracey

              I think you will find it in the same place you would have found National’s promise of no new taxes… and then raised GST with heaviest impact on lowest earners.

              Funny how so many care about their policy now. Last election they released shitloads and almost no one bothered to read it despite railing against them for not having any. Given that experience I can hardly blame them for not bothering as much with detail this time.

              Funny how National suddenly thinks homelessness, housing, the environment, education and health have problems… and let us not forget alwyn, their great policy of using invisible language teachers in primary schools to improve children’s maths. Joyce has spent 9 years driving down staff and funding in Humanities in tertiary and polytechs and now they have to produce heaps of language teachers!

              If you want a party with detailed policy and costing, vote Green but do not go to Labour or National websites. You will not find what you seek.

              • alwyn

                The last sentence is the only one that makes any sense.
                It also conflicts with Cinny’s story about everyone voting on policy.
                How can we when they won’t tell us what it is?

                Your first paragraph is simply false. If you look at what was said you will find the statement was that taxes would not be increased. You, like everyone else may have interpreted it as being that each individual type of tax would not be increased. The alternative, that the total tax burden would not increase is equally valid and the one that Key said he meant and which he honoured. What does that have to do with anything, anyway? It was long, long ago and was said by someone who has retired from politics. It is about as relevant as anything David Cunliffe told us about.

                I don’t think I bothered reading all of Labour’s policies last election because I never though they would be in a position to form a Government and I wasn’t going to vote for them anyway. Why waste my time? I am much more interested today because, in general, I do not believe that any Government should go for more than 3 terms. The problem is that there has to be a competent alternative which has well thought out plans. Labour has had 9 years to come up with some but they don’t seem to have anything they have actually thought through.

                As far as reading the Green policies goes I think that is a waste of time. Firstly I don’t think they will have any MPs after the election and secondly, even if some miracle was to occur and they scraped back in, they won’t be in the Government. Any Government will either be National/NZF or Labour/NZF.

                • If you look at what was said you will find the statement was that taxes would not be increased.

                  That would be a lie. John Key said that GST would not be raised:

                  In the video, taken during a press conference in 2008, Mr Key was asked to rule out a hike in GST after suggestions the next government would have no choice but to raise GST to 15 per cent, and raise taxes.

                  Mr Key’s response to the question was: “National is not going to be raising GST.

                  He then went on to raise GST which is a regressive tax mostly affecting the poor while cutting taxes for the rich.

                  The problem is that there has to be a competent alternative which has well thought out plans.
                  Dude, you vote National who simply should never be in government because of their general psychopathy.

                  Labour has had 9 years to come up with some but they don’t seem to have anything they have actually thought through.

                  Except for the fact that they have which means that you’re lying again.

            • Cinny

              Sure Alwyn, no problem at all.

              Here is the link to ALL of their announced policies so you may browse at your leisure. Please note… “More policy to be announced as we get closer to the election.”


              As well I am happy to ask at the office next time I am there, just let me know. Alternatively you could contact your local Labour Party office.

          • lurgee

            Lurgee… Don’t know about you but I’m voting for policy.

            I know the teachers at school are voting for policy as they asked me about it and I gave them the printed info on education policy.

            I know the parents around the corner are voting for policy, the are interested in free tertiary education and cheaper doctors visits, clean rivers to swim in.

            I know the oldies next door (both sides) are voting for policy home heating among other things.

            I know the latest leaders debate had huge viewing numbers, no doubt those viewers will be voting for policy too.

            That’s all very nice but do you really think Labour’s 15% surge is about policy. Like I said earlier, to the despair of DSpare, people are simply excited because they have a new toy that looks fun to play with.

        • Sumsuch


      • Bearded Git 1.2.2

        “It feels like time for a generational change because the present Government’s big failure has been housing. It waited too long to do anything to dampen the demand that sent house prices through the stratosphere and has deprived too many of the younger generation of much hope of home-ownership. The Government left it to the Reserve Bank to eventually introduce loan-to-value restrictions, and left it to Labour to utter the once-unspeakable phrase, capital gains tax…Now Labour not only plans to extend the bright line to five years, but tax negative gearing (which I hope means remove interest deductions), remove urban limits and establish a $2 billion state corporation to build houses for sale at cost to first-home seekers.”

        That is from the Roughan article, and it is what will win Labour the election.

        • mikesh

          Getting rid of interest deductibility is an excellent idea, and one which I have advocated myself in many a comment; (though I´m not sure if that is what is meant by ¨taxing negative gearing¨).

      • tracey 1.2.3

        OR it shows how much we have become voters who want to be on the “winning” team and the polls direct us to who that will be. I still advocate abolition of polls from 3 months prior to an election. We might force our media to educate us rather than pontificate

    • AB 1.3

      That’s a bad sign. Clearly Roughan thinks such a government can be relied on to largely maintain the status quo.

      • North 1.3.1

        Agreed AB. A powerfully bad sign what Roughan thinks. Reckon I’ll just not vote. Much wiser to connive in present misery than risk disappointment.

        • AB

          Hey North. Putting words in my mouth there. I don’t advocate disengagement at all. I like Ardern and hope she is PM for three terms. I just don’t trust Roughan and I have a pretty clear picture of how he will start sniping away at a new government.

          • SpaceMonkey

            That’s easily solved by Jacinda… she just gets Roughan to write her biography as well.

        • Bearded Git

          Better vote Green if you want real change.

      • SpaceMonkey 1.3.2

        Because they will. There will be a slight lean leftward but nothing fundamentally will change.

    • Anne 1.4

      I guess it’s a case of… if you can’t beat em join em.

    • tracey 1.5

      They are so fickle.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Large 1.8 tonne WW2 bomb found right next to Germany’s gold reserves.


    “The Bundesbank headquarters, less than 600 meters from the location of the bomb, stores 1,710 tonnes of gold underground, around half the country’s reserves.

    “We have never defused a bomb of this size,” bomb disposal expert Rene Bennert told Reuters, adding that it had been damaged on impact when it was dropped between 1943 and 1945.

    Airspace for 1.5 kilometers around the bomb site will also be closed.”

  3. Cinny 3

    Really looking forward to the Health Debate on the Nation this morning.

    Coleman spins the same old crap everytime, it’s almost worthy of a bingo board.

    Hand picked stats followed by blaming a government from nine years ago, or blaming hospital health boards, blame blame, that’s how coleman rolls, he offers no hope.

    NZ Health sector is seriously broken we hear so many stories about it, stretched services, over worked staff, equipment from bunnings, people suffering and dying due to an over burdened system.

    Any comment on the hospital changes in westport coleman? Staggering that half the population of that town is attending protests against it.

    • DSpare 3.1

      I can’t see a link on the Newshub/ Nation site, may check again at 9:30 to see if it is livestreamed (no TV unless I go visiting which mightn’t be appreciated this early on a Saturday morning). Hopefully, someone (probably Clark) asks Coleman about this:

      National disclosed this week it had budgeted nothing for the estimated $1.4 billion project because of its intention to agree a public-private partnership (PPP).


      And this from yesterday:

      Mr Macpherson said “It was agreed at this workshop that we (Waikato DHB) could not achieve all of the $32.5M savings needed in the first year…

      “Therefore, I think it is totally wrong for him [Coleman] to have gone on National media to say that Waikato DHB will have a break-even budget; he knows this is not possible in the 2017/8 year, and he knows that we have not agreed on any position yet.”


      Also, there was a good Campbell piece on the health system a couple of days ago which I haven’t seen discussed here (though I might of missed it):


      • DSpare 3.1.1

        I missed the start, but it is on now – Clark vs Coleman (Gower moderating, but seeming more at home in studio than hall):


        • Cinny

          Cheers for the link for the article DSpare, much appreciated.

          Laila summed it up beautifully on the panel, Compassion v’s Complacency

          The link for the full debate is up now

          Here’s the link for the panel discussion

          • DSpare

            Thanks for the panel discussion link, I turned off after the debate. Had caughtup on the starting few minutes of the debate already, but good to get the timecode for Gowers smirk to the camera (at 14:55) after his; “good ideas don’t cost money” line. That really sums up his style of trying to insert his own ego into the story, which was further on display in the panel discussion.
            I thought Harre looked a bit out of practice and got talked over a bit by others more used to speaking in soundbites. She did have interesting things to say that’d better suit a longer speech format.

            Heather Roy was dangerously plausible. And while Newshub are happy to let us know she was a; “former Associate Health Minister”, this does not seem to be accuarate. She was a minister (& associate minister) outside cabinet in Key’s second term, but not for health. Later, she was demoted and for one year made the ACT party spokesperson for health (amongst other things). I personally wish that a political news program during an election would have a greater regard for accuracy.

            Roy is currently chair if the pharmaceutical lobby group; Medicines New Zealand , who had this to say in one of their press releases:

            “Already some pharmaceutical companies choose not to register medicines in New Zealand due to either the unlikelihood of funding approval by PHARMAC, or current Intellectual Property laws in New Zealand making the products not commercially viable. This is a statement of fact, not a threat. For this to be raised as a “threat” ahead of the US Trade Representatives’ Office visit is at best mischievous, and at worst a blatant misrepresentation of our position.

            Medicines New Zealand supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its potential economic benefits to New Zealand.


            • Cinny

              Thank you again Dspare for the info, I knew I had heard her name somewhere else before, so she’s a lobbist, explains her ACT outlook.

              Cheers for the link

      • eco Maori/kiwi 3.1.2

        Jonathan Coleman could not keep his head up strait its because he knows that everything in his scripted statements are a fascicle lies.
        Lisa and Paddy are finally treating all there host with a unbiased manner which is the way we should demand that all our media reports our news.

        And that story on children in state care you could see the people who were interviewed that were in the state care were devastated by what they experienced
        while in state care you can see it in there eyes to.

        This is one of the reason why I say that the state is to blame for all the gangs in OUR
        country . One other reason is state targeted unemployment by killing of our union.
        Union are designed to protect the vulnerable people whom do not no how to negotiate a fair deal for there employment.These people would and are being ripped off because unions have been shut down and demonized by the neo- liberals . Gangs are a product of our society gangs are a infection in our society which could infect any of our youth in many ways!!!!!!.
        So lets come up with policy’s to cure this infection lets reward people who are in our justice system to stay out of jail . Lets reward employers to train employ and help give them self esteem self worth and a work culture a life worth living for
        The carrot always works beter than the stick it is a much more intelligent humane and cost effective way to cure our society illnesses using policy’s based on this method.

    • SpaceMonkey 3.2

      We haven’t heard half the stories. I’ve said it here before but our entire public health system is in such a state and so chronically underfunded, it is now relying heavily on goodwill. Diabetes podiatric services, for example, are in dire need. Some DHBs can’t even afford to purchase consumables and basic equipment, and because of the resourcing issues the system cannot cope with the demand. Intervention is not happening early enough and diabetes-related amputation rates, for example, are increasing.

  4. popexplosion 4

    If fat is now back. Can we buy chip cooked in lard, tallow, or whatever. These oils they use now just make people fatter. Chips was a filling meal before the oil revolution.

    • You won’t be able to any time soon. Science progresses one death at a time, but the social sciences are even slower. Nothing to stop you using lard, dripping and butter for your home cooking, though – roast potatoes cooked with lard or dripping are awesome.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 4.2

      Its healthier than that disgusting canola.

    • weka 4.3

      “If fat is now back. Can we buy chip cooked in lard, tallow, or whatever. These oils they use now just make people fatter. Chips was a filling meal before the oil revolution.”

      Depends on how much you eat over time. The issue is insulin resistance (one of the underlying reasons for heart disease, stroke, diabetes etc), and this naturally increases over time so the older you get and the more refined carbohydrates you’ve been eating the less refined carbs it takes to push insulin resistance further.

      I’d have my chips fried in fat, but I wouldn’t rely on them for a meal that often.

      • popexplosion 4.3.1

        Agreed. Lard is much more consistent than Canola, tastewise. I believe that we like consistency, our bodies want to be able to get a nutrient and so find the taste that gave them that nutrient. But as foods become commodities, they can taste the same but come from a totally different nutrient niche. So our bodies are forced to eat more to find again the same amount of nutrient. It’s pregnant mothers eating cravings. Health food is locally sourced, not some industrial canola. So even if it’s better for us, it ain’t cos it’s making us fatter.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Hope this link works…should show number of election debate viewers compared with other years


  6. popexplosion 6

    China’s fooling itself.
    NK fires and detonated a nuke in outerspace, would cause a economic depression.
    China needs to remove those nukes, like USSR from Cuba, NK is its sphere of influence and makes us all concerned about Chinese threat to the world.
    Grow up China!
    NK is full of people who want change, they get their hands on the means to cause collapse of NK, like it isn’t already! It’s not going to bother them if a global depression ensues. All it takes is Kim to put a nuke on a missile any it’s a lottery.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Do you think the tension would be considerably lessened if the United States and its vassal countries stopped carrying out the ceaseless provocations on the border?

      How do you think the United Kingdom, for instance, would react if an aggressive nuclear power staged “war games” in the Bristol Channel with half a million troops?

      • adam 6.1.1

        Or flying nuclear capable aircraft over your country on a regular basis.

      • greywarshark 6.1.2

        Ceaseless provocations. Good catch.

      • popexplosion 6.1.3

        Provocative? Gulags. Forced Starvation. S.Korea look north and see their relatives…
        We should not cease until regime change, oh and more pointedly, they sign a peace treaty bringing the Korean war to an end. Forgot that too.

  7. Ethica 7

    David Clark was very good in the discussion on the Nation this morning. He has only been in the Health role for a few months, since Annette King stepped down from it, but he is clearly on top of the issues. His background is as a Treasury economist but also a Presbyterian minister. I hear he also has a large and efficient electorate organisation in Dunedin North and has been campaigning on the shocking Government neglect of Dunedin hospital for a long time. He would be a very competent Minister of Health and wouldn’t run away from the difficult issues like the current one.

    • DSpare 7.1

      Clark was good, Coleman seemed a bit rattled (or maybe; ironically, had a cold – something was off with his voice anyway), but he’s never been good at fronting up to the camera. One thing you missed about Clark’s history is that he was Associate Spokesperson for Health from 2013 until March of this year when he took over from King ; so he has the depth of knowledge to back up his new role. The link for the debate is now here:


      • Stuart Munro 7.1.1

        The interventions Clark was talking about seemed a bit top down to me. Three of the guys I started deepsea fishing with took their own lives – I suspect the causes were more socioeconomic than psychological or neurological. In our society the expectation is that men shall work and buy a home – in a society with 11% unemployment, significant housing inflation, and wage suppression from cheap migrant labour, this expectation is increasingly unachievable. Life in the precariat is not conducive to achieving eudaemonia.

        • Sabine

          the socioeconomic becomes psychological and if untreated becomes neurological.

          at the end of the day fear of not being able to provide, of not being able to give your family a decent stable live is still fear or anxiety if you rather call it that way, and that is deeply psychological. Also many that are highly successful are often also very high strung, and we all know that the hardest healthcare to get in this country is mental healthcare. Even if you have the several hundred dollar a week it would cost you to see a Doctor. Not everyone that commits suicide starts out with a nicely diagnosed mental illness. I think for men socioeconomic reasons are more often then not the trigger to mental illness.

          • Stuart Munro

            Agreed – I saw an attempted suicide when I took my father in to casualty for a broken arm a few months back. Economic factors were not insignificant in her life either.

  8. Tony Veitch (not etc) 8

    Please, someone, tell me I misheard!

    The 12 o’clock news reported that Bill is throwing more money at the pest eradication programme and (this is what I heard) the total eradication of pests is ahead of schedule and will be complete in 2048, two years early!

    Hell’s bell – are we meant to swallow this bullshit?

    • greywarshark 8.1

      @Tony Veitch (not etc)
      I think we are expected to swallow this rat. Indeed I believe it is a brilliant Malthusian recipe for a couple of problems.

      The poor will be forced to get off their butts /sarc. and do something, ie to go and trap rats, and recipes and training will be given in how to hygenically prepare and cook rats with the appropriate herbs and spices.

      Alt restaurants will spring up supplying this delicacy and national trials will be televised to find the most way-out raving chef and recipe. A TV show will be made showing the best, most talented rat-catchers, admiringly displaying their prowess and process from hole to bowl of juicy stew.

      Don’t under-estimate Gnashional. They make their money from food obtained from the grassroots, and their whole intellect and intelligence is centred down there. They may be rats but specially cunning, so there never will be a problem of them getting caught and ending up in a bowl, though they might be drawn to the lights and fame in the Hollywood Bowl. But there be dragons, as well as rats.

    • Stuart Munro 8.2

      Probably just a bone thrown to a particularly corrupt crony.

  9. The Chairman 9

    I see Jacinda highlighted the importance of her “values” in the first leaders debate, to which English responded, “people can’t go shopping with your values.”

    I think it’s important as voters (and especially for those from the left) we delve a little deeper into her values.

    Here are a few questions we should be asking about her values.

    What does maintaining a surplus while rejecting increasing core benefit rates imply about her values?

    What does implementing a flat regional fuel tax, hitting lower income households the hardest, akin to GST (opposed to utilizing progressive income tax) imply about her values?

    What does Labour’s policy of building 10,000 homes a year, yet only a 1000 state homes (when we clearly require more) say about her values?

    At a time when the bottom end is doing it hard meanwhile CEO salaries are outrageously high. What does her rejection to increase the top tax rate say about her values?

    Although Labour are a party that believes in full employment, what does her unemployment target of 4% imply about her values?

    • tracey 9.1

      Do Labour, National and NZF have written values?

    • Whispering Kate 9.2

      I’m with you there The Chairman, that’s why I am voing for the Green Party to keep Labour honest – they are the only viable party which will.

      • The Chairman 9.2.1

        Going off the last poll, the Greens will be lucky to get over the line. They tend to poll higher than what they get on election day.

        And if Labour continue to grow their support, I have a feeling the Greens will be shut out.

        • tracey

          The Green at 15% when Labour was at 24% spoke volumes. I agree Greens poll higher than on the day. I do not know if this was the case when the Greens were first getting in to Parliament?

          While some is natural return to Labour of disgruntled. But some of Labour’s strategy to bleed as much as they can may yet backfire if Greens get less than 5%. The “answer” would be to assist Greens to get a seat but that is not going to happen.

          Maybe, but not likely, Turei knicks te Tai Tonga. 😉

          • The Chairman

            Despite the Green’s current polling, left voters need to snap out of falling for our new cult of personality, look and question the values (my post at 9) Labour are revealing, and decide if they merely want a change of Government or do they want a Government that will do more?

  10. Pete 10

    John Armstrong asks, “What on earth does National do now? It is now crisis time in the governing party’s camp, pure and simple. National’s election campaign strategy is in desperate need of a rethink …”

    Well John, National needs to invent a time machine, take the world back years, get brain and heart transplants and work from there.

    A rethink of the election campaign strategy may be a desperate need but the far more desperate need was years ago.

    • tracey 10.1

      Well John, they do not know how to operate other than to lie and dupe fellows like you to spread their lies. What do you propose they do?

  11. Siobhan 11

    “And Labour diehards with a long memory are starting to whisper the name David Lange and the year 1984.
    That’s the last time they truly felt this buzz and momentum for a leader who went on to be the PM.”

    Is that a happy memory or a subtle Garner dig at Labour and neoliberal dreams of change??


    • tracey 11.1

      It was a mixed article. The headline did not really convey the gist of his story. BUT it served an editor’s purpose of making it seem like Labour are bad.

      • Siobhan 11.1.1

        I must confess I tried not clicking on it all morning as I saw it climbing up the Herald ‘chart’ of popular stories, but…Garner…who can resist..but yeah, the article was totally flat after the promise of outrage in the heading.

        • tracey

          It was practically pro-Labour but you wouldn’t have known from the headline.

          It was a good reminder about National’s no increase in taxes promise that saw GST go up

      • Keepcalmcarryon 11.1.2

        Bang on, tracey.

  12. Graeme 12

    Another nail, poll this week in the local paper asks the question “Has Prime Minister Bill English done enough to get your vote?” Yes 51%, No 49%


    This is Queenstown, last election National got 63% of the vote here, and if you add in the Cons it goes to 67%. So at least 12 point swing away from the dills

  13. adam 13

    Larry King, not awed by Game of Thrones star

    Does beg the question here though for progressives and people on the left. Prison reform – why are we not hearing about it?

    The Greens have this http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/Justice%20Policy.pdf

    Labour not so much – http://www.labour.org.nz/search_results?cx=004900272430260552334%3A1tkq9uj3igu&cof=FORID%3A11&q=justice

    Not a bad piece by Andrew “I lost my job in coup” Little, that tops the list. Forget the link at the end of Andrew “I lost my job in coup” Little piece, does not work.

    So prison reform, I would have thought with the Kelvin Davis all up in Aussies face their justice policy, with what 28 days or so, that it would be out by now.

    Just so we clear the Tory’s have a justice policy all over the place, and verging on utter incoherence. With no prison reform. Plus as an added bonus, the usual attacks on the weakest in society as a center piece, coupled with failed polices discredited by both the left and the right. https://www.national.org.nz/national_s_plan_for_serious_young_offenders

    • Pretty sure that’s illegal as it goes against Freedom of Association, freedom to negotiate and probably against several articles in the BORA.

      But, hey, we can’t really expect anything else from the ACT Party – the party of freedom for rich people and no one else.

  14. Against Empathy

    Paul Bloom, psychologist and Yale professor, argues that empathy is a bad thing—that it makes the world worse. While we’ve been taught that putting yourself in another’s shoes cultivates compassion, it actually blinds you to the long-term consequences of your actions. In this animated interview from The Atlantic, we hear Bloom’s case for why the world needs to ditch empathy.

    Short video at link.

    He may have some valid points. Will have to wait and see once he publishes his book.

    Addendum: Effective Altruism

    • Incognito 15.1

      Thanks for that; I went on to read a little more by Paul Bloom.

      If you haven’t read it yet, try this link: http://bostonreview.net/forum/paul-bloom-against-empathy (September 10, 2014). In it, he makes well-considered points supported by science when possible. I was pleasantly surprised to see the familiar name of Matthieu Ricard pop up too in regard to scientific research into compassion (and meditation).

  15. Brendan 16

    From my semi-infrequently updated blog. Might be some formatting glitches.


    With all the water that has passed under the bridge in the last month or so of New Zealand’s election campaign (and it’s been a torrent), I thought I’d offer some strategic insight if I was in the captain’s seat looking change the government and offer New Zealand a genuine progressive alternative to the last nine years of selfish soul-crushing neoliberalism. This strategy will be brief and not necessarily analyse in depth parties, or policies. Many others have done this so I wouldn’t be offering anything new. I’m by no means an expert of New Zealand politics, but I read about it a lot. This is based entirely on where things are now, and what’s currently on the table. I’ve looked at voting data from the previous election and compared it with more recent data.

    So what do we know so far?:

    — National’s support under Bill English is slowly eroding. The emphasis being slowly. They are no longer at the dizzying Key era heights of 47% polling. However they have still regularly been in the mid-to-low 40s. That’s not a bad place for them to be in, and governments can still be formed on those numbers. But inevitably they will need a coalition partner. The Labour leadership change might entice some centrist voters back from National, especially middle-class and educated women, and some might switch to Labour. The trend: a slow leak, but not necessarily in a dire position thus far. The latest Colmar Brunton poll that put National at 40%, 3 points below Labour, can’t be taken as a done and dusted sign. However, if the current trend continues I think this is where the result might settle. This is unless, they do something chronic which could see them dip into the 30s, but not by much.

    —Labour’s rising star also must be taken with a grain of salt for two reasons. In order for a strong result they need those young, poorer, and non-voting types to actually turn up or the flashy gimmicks will all be a waste. Despite the latest poll that has them just in front, National could pip them at the post if they get their voters mobilised because of the threat of losing out on the coveted fourth term. But secondly, and more importantly, the need to adhere assiduously to the strategic importance of the Green Party as a valuable support partner. They signed the memorandum of understanding with the goal of changing the government to a real progressive alternative. The data from Horizon released this week suggested that 70% of voters who have switched to Labour have done so on the basis of Labour’s new leadership rather than the Green Party’s own internal strife. A little bit of switching was always expected, but if Labour starts sending the message that it no longer needs the Greens they risk losing this partner if they fall below the 5% threshold. Of course they will be flirting with the idea of New Zealand First, but strategically speaking the more coalition options the better. New Zealand First are a risk: they could join a Labour government that shuts out the Greens like 2005, or they could choose to support National. The point is, if you are someone looking for a strong progressive government, New Zealand First are not reliable in the same way that the Greens are. To me, a Labour-New Zealand First government is more tolerable than a National-New Zealand First Government (with or without the Green Party in Parliament). Even if Labour are still looking towards Winston and co., it would be strategically unwise for them to strangle the Greens out of Parliament as they could offer supply and confidence without being in coalition.

    —Which brings me to the next party that Labour needs for a viable progressive coalition: the Māori Party. Party President Tokoroirangi Morgan has suggested that the party, on advice from members and constituents is open to working with Labour again. This certainly works well with kaupapa Māori of always having a seat at the table. On current polling the party still needs electorate seats to remain in Parliament. Labour has suggested it wants to hold all Māori seats, which is a dangerous strategy, because National has proven time and time again the importance of coalition partners. Labour seems to forget it is entitled to seats based on the party vote (unless of course you are a minor party that has a good chance of winning an electorate seat). If the Māori party could hang on to a couple of seats that would be strategically beneficial for Labour.

    So what does all this mean? Well here are some things if I was Jacinda Ardern I would be thinking about with regards to forming a government on current number, as well as my prediction.

    Here’s where I see the number’s settling. Below I will offer a bit more explanation as well as some basic MMP strategy.

    Party vote (%) Electorate seats List seats Total seats
    Labour 42.5 29 23 52
    National 39.5 39 9 48
    NZ First 9 0 11 11
    Green 6 0 7 7
    TOP 1.5 0 0 0
    Māori 1 2 0 2
    ACT 0.5 1 0 1
    United Future 0 0 0 0
    100 71 50 121

    I know there’s probably a certain degree of optimism, and therefore some bias, but I have tried to generous to even the right block parties.

    The electorate seats here are based on my belief that Labour can win back the Maungakiekie, Ohāriu, and Christchurch Central. United Future is at a loss without Dunne, and National voters in Epsom smart enough to give ACT the tick. New Zealand First will pass the Greens as the third largest party, and the Greens themselves will just hang in there. On current polling in the Māori electorates, if Te Ururoa Flavell can hang on to Waiariki, and if Howie Tamati can pick up Te Tai Hauāuru from Labour, then that’s two seats Labour ought to take advantage of. Given these numbers Labour can put together what I believe can be a working coalition of Labour, Greens, and Māori to provide a one seat majority of 61. The remaining parties would add up to 60. In this scenario New Zealand first could offer confidence and supply. This also means National’s chances of coalition forming are seriously diminished because not only would they be the second largest party (Winston goes to the largest first), a coalition with ACT seems unworkable.

    If Labour was serious about using MMP to its utmost advantage it would have to think like National. It needs coalition partners. If too many Green voters jump to Labour, say 1-2 %, it will make the Labour-New Zealand First scenario inevitable. To anyone putting together a real progressive coalition this is massive disappointment, as the Green Party wouldn’t even be in Parliament as a cross-bench or confidence and supply party. Labour can guarantee support partners by allowing the Māori party to retain its current numbers and one other radical strategy: withdraw Grant Robertson from Wellington Central to guarantee the Green Party an electorate seat in the event they fall below the 5% threshold. This is of course a risky strategy and the backlash from National and the media would be phenomenal. Electorate deals are acceptable for National but not Labour would be the message. However, I see the probability of both Labour and Robertson giving this seat to the Greens (even given its strategic value) as a snowball’s change in hell.

    Whatever happens, Labour needs to be pragmatic rather than attempting to have its cake and eat it too. Don’t campaign at the expense of allies, because it’s going to be a tight one.

    Post script: Here’s the “Wellington Central” strategy numbers adjusted from the above table.

    Party vote (%) Electorate seats List seats Total seats
    Labour 44 28 26 54
    National 39.5 39 9 48
    NZ First 9 0 11 11
    Green 4.5 1 4 5
    TOP 1.5 0 0 0
    Māori 1 2 0 2
    ACT 0.5 1 0 1
    United Future 0 0 0 0
    100 71 50 121

    • That’s impressive, Brendan. Your research and conclusions are to be admired.

    • Janet 16.2

      — National’s support under Bill English is slowly eroding. The emphasis being slowly. They are no longer at the dizzying Key era heights of 47% polling.

      Thats unfair on Bill, it was eroding under Key and Key was savvy enough to get out before too many started to vocalise that fact. I say poor Bill. nice man.

  16. mpledger 17

    David Seymour wants to give private schools 50% of the per-pupil State funding to private schools. I’ll agree to that if the private schools give 50% of their tuition fees to their nearest state school.

    Private schools want it both ways – they want to be sort of state integrated so they can get state money but not enough state integrated so that they have to do without the resources that they get through making parents pay through the nose.

    Private school parents shouldn’t get a hand out from the state when they chose to send their kids to private school. They put a burden on the state system by not contributing to the state system through their social capital – they shouldn’t be able to walk away and get funded for it. Walking away should come at a cost and high private school fees are that cost.

    • ianmac 17.1

      But there is a catch: “The ACT Party says it will give schools nearly $1 billion more, so long as they abandon national union contracts.”
      Hope that they don’t give on Union. Individual contracts are cruel.

      • Pete 17.1.1

        Seymour’s thinking is perfect Act thinking – people will do anything for money including not be in unions.

        If being paid a lot inevitably meant people improved, tried harder and excellence came, how come the Warriors are so often so poor?

  17. rod 18

    John Armstrong asks, “What on earth does National do now

    I think Joyce will do a massive u turn on his, no personal tax cuts this election, pledge.

    • ianmac 18.1

      I think he has done that already.

    • ScottGN 18.2

      They’ve ditched further tax cuts I reckon, they’ve realised there’s no appetite for them and in fact NZers have cottoned on to the whole tax cuts equal degraded government services trick that National has been pulling all these years.

    • Stuart Munro 18.3

      If they had any morals they’d go quietly into that good night.

      Being the Gnats, Bill may disappear in a frenzy of backstabbing.

      The thing to fear is a Mandelson-like revenant, the Key to National’s long and inglorious kleptocratic misrule, suddenly standing where Barclay once sat.

  18. patricia bremner 19

    What we on the Left need to be aware is that
    a wounded National Party is a dangerous beast.

    They will try to “white ant ” Jacinda by finding a weak inside link.

    Bill will be “damning her with faint praise”

    or, more likely, causticly dripping mantras which will rain on her parade.
    e.g. “only doing one event a day” (can’t keep up?)

    Pressure on perceived points of public concern. ” Tax.”

    Labour now needs to ask what areas Bill is not coping with, and use that knowledge.

    Keeping the tide running in for us is crucial. Let’s do this.!!

    • Anne 19.1

      Labour now needs to ask what areas Bill is not coping with, and use that knowledge.

      In many of the sciences a positive has to be balanced by a negative. For example in the planet’s atmosphere, an intense high pressure system will be balanced by an adjacent deep depression. Climate Change is causing these two extremes to become even more extreme but that is another story. Imo, it’s an hypothesis which can also be applied to politics.

      To be relentlessly positive is fine but in order to balance out the equation the political party – and in particular it’s leader – must also address the negatives associated with it’s opposition political party or parties. Jacinda and her senior Labour MPs have to also constantly point out the weaknesses and the wrong footed actions of their opposite numbers. A failure to do so will eventually tilt the balance back in favour of National.

    • Muttonbird 19.2

      “Only doing one event a day”, was coined by National Party embedded journalist Stacey Kirk at the end of the week and it was plainly false because I know Ardern did three that day.

      It looks like they are trawling their partisan media allies and repeating what they say in the next stand up. This manifested itself with Bingles attacking the Labour machine today (instead of the leader, specifically) using the same line.

      Another criticism of Ardern by the National Party aligned media in Henry Cooke, Stacey Kirk, Jo Moir, Tracey Watkins, Claire Trevett, and Audrey Young is that she only goes to schools where hard questions won’t be asked.

      Funny then that Bingles has done Whangarei Boys High, a sports institute, and an Ocean sports club in consecutive days. Is the Nat machine taking its cue off their media friends and the Labour Party?

      • Pete 19.2.1

        I read so often of teachers brainwashing kids and how politics should not intrude into schools.

        Why are school boards of trustees allowing their schools to be used for politicians to push their barrow?
        Would the new buildings being promised for Whangarei Boys High School not come about if their board had said to the Prime Minister, “thanks for the needed buildings, we don’t need a big announcement, put it in a letter, we’ll tell our community about it and how grateful we are” ?

  19. Muttonbird 20

    There’s no byline on this article but I did enjoy that Jonathan Coleman aka, Dr Death, was referred to as ‘National’s heath spokesperson’.


    Also, as is the way with the National Party and their pollster, Dr Death threw the same numbers around which mean nothing without reference. He says there’s 50,000 more operations a year but, since when?

    • ScottGN 20.1

      And what sort of operations Muttonbird? National have been shameless at counting the most basic procedures while cutting back on all the harder stuff.

      • Muttonbird 20.1.1

        I don’t know enough about health but I do know the Nats use stats to promote themselves rather than to help ordinary people.

    • Ms Fargo 20.2

      I loved that Coleman said twice in a row in answer to two different questions “after the election – if we’re elected”…
      Those words weren’t in their lexicon 4 weeks ago.
      Bout bloody time!

    • Cinny 20.3

      ROFL that’s his go to line, don’t forget the appointments lmfao. Was cracking up this morning hearing him say it over and over again, it’s all he’s got, uses it in Parliament repeatedly. Just did a search on Parliament and his go to line.. check out the result lolololz Results 1-10 of 9536 for 50,000 more operations


  20. dv 21

    See Eglish

    on the “stardust” around Ardern.

    Two point I prefer stardust to biildust.

    Didn’t he say Key was sorta like stardust too – leaping from cloud to cloud?

  21. AsleepWhileWalking 22

    She’s stardust. You know who. The one who’s name they dare not speak.


  22. Xanthe 23

    Here is a balanced view of the protest in nelson today

  23. lurgee 24

    Anyone feel like nailing colours to the mast with some predictions, this far out?

    NAT – 42%
    LAB – 39%
    NZ1 – 8%
    GRE – 6%
    TOP – 2%
    MAO – 1.5% (With electorate win(s))
    MAN – 0.5% (With electorate win)
    ACT – 0.5% (With electorate win)
    UNF – 0.5%

  24. ScottGN 25

    Labour/Greens/Māori Party is just 2 seats adrift of a bare majority in tonight’s Reid Research/Newshub poll.

    • Muttonbird 25.1

      That’s encouraging but from what I saw last week Marama Fox was not interested in working with Labour. She still has Stockholm syndrome after being slave to National for all these years.

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