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Open mike 02/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 2nd, 2015 - 58 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

58 comments on “Open mike 02/11/2015”

  1. Northsider 1

    Trident, a weapon of mass destruction.

    The Labour Party in Scotland votes Yes, No and Maybe!

    “Labour in Scotland has passed a resolution against renewing the Trident weapons of mass destruction, Labour in Scotland is now officially against renewing Trident but its leader is in favour. Meanwhile UK Labour is officially in favour of renewing Trident but its leader is against. It’s perfectly straightforward, and another step backward in Labour’s attempts to make sense to the electorate of Scotland. Labour’s now got all the nuclear bases covered, yes, no and maybe. The party is as all over the place as a hedgehog that’s been playing on the M8, only with rather less integrity. Still, at least their heart is in the right place, splattered on the asphalt and being ground into the dirt.”

    • John Shears 1.1

      As a little bit of history , the base for nuclear submarines in Scotland was first set up by a New Zealander.

    • alwyn 1.2

      I thought that Andrew Little was giving a speech to the Scottish Labour Party later this week.
      I sounds as if he has already done so and that they listened to him. With his “on the one hand this, and on the other hand that” they could hardly help ending up totally confused.
      Is he still opposed to a CGT while the party is in favour? Is he opposed to raising the age for Super, while the party is in favour? Is he in favour of a knighthood for Richie, while the party is opposed to knighthoods?
      If the SLP listened to him it is hardly surprising they are confused is it?

  2. Dialey 2

    Just caught the RNZ interview with Andrew Little about giving a knighthood to Ritchie MCCaw. What is the man thinking?

    Why would the captain of our greatest national team give fealty to another nation by accepting a knighthood?

    These feudal honours were always favours for political support for kings against potential usurpers. It is a corrupt system always has been, always will be.

    To dress it up as “service to the nation” or “outstanding leadership”, or as Little tries to justify it “its what we do now, so we should do it”, is delusion at best or just plain selling out to a despicable system.

    I hope Ritchie shows that he has greater integrity than that, and will decline as he did before.

    • peterh 2.1

      where you coming from John key b
      een saying it for 5 years Ritchie already turned one down

    • Northsider 2.2

      Labour previously abolished these stupid titles and all that went with them.

      If Andrew Little is listening to people who think giving knighthoods is a great idea then we are going nowhere.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        I reckon nowhere is precisely where Labour is going.

        Knighthood for McCaw, no reason to oppose the TPA, amend right to fire to make it fairer.

    • ianmac 2.3

      A pragmatic comment from Andrew. If he said Ritchie should not get a medal, imagine the outcry. He would be damned by thousands who admire Ritchie.

      • James 2.3.1

        He either believes in titles or not – If he doesn’t then he should have said so. If he does, then why not?

        I think Richie will take it this time. He knows he wont be able to lead another world cup.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I suggest you listen to the interview before you go on to demonstrate more ignorance about what he said. What part of ‘recognition’ is hard to understand?

          • Dialey

            What’s wrong with our own NZ honours system? Home grown recognition and none of the obsequious bowing and scraping that Knighthoods entail

      • Northsider 2.3.2

        God forbid that we should say ANYTHING that caused an outcry from Breakfast TV or talkback radio land.
        Do we stand for anything?

        Go grow a pair.

  3. The Fairy Godmother 3

    Looking at my herald this morning pg3 and I see that parata is proposing stricter measures for schools such as closure where outcomes are consistently poor. Scary stuff when no account seems to be made for things such as transience and poverty. I predict that as with the us this will be an attack on the poor with school closures and charter schools to profit national’s rich mates. Oh yes and of course a dumbed down curriculum as schools teach to the test to save their skins. The story of Michelle Rhee in New York makes sobering reading http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113096/how-michelle-rhee-misled-education-reform
    I think parata is of the same ilk – self promoting with a nasty dislike of teachers. Out schools are in deep trouble. I hope we have the guts to do what they did in new york and kick out the politician responsible,

    • savenz 3.1

      Apart from poorly performing Charter schools, because business run schools are exempt.

    • RedBaronCV 3.2

      Idiot territory really – what are the kids and parents going to do – waste a lot of money travelling to the next school- overcrowd that school results reduce – original school sold off to developers – oh there’s a motive
      However we are fast approaching a point where we should pool our taxes locally, stuff paying it to this mob and we get better paid people and better outcomes

    • Rodel 3.3

      Parata and co want a few think big mega schools like factories churning out products… put in excessively paid sycophant principals, sorry..Chief executives .. big classes-saves money- more efficient -forget all this rubbish about schools being focal points for communities.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      You think you’re upset about it, imagine what it was like for all your STASI mates when their authoritarian wet dream ended.

    • savenz 4.2

      Yes we don’t want to encourage Internet Entrepreneurs in NZ. If only Dotcom had just bought up our real estate and paid zero taxes like all the other corps – he would be sitting beside John Key with a smile on his face instead of being persecuted for having smarter technology platforms than Hollywood.

    • James 4.3

      There is one reason he is trying this and one only – and thats to get money.

      Lets look at his other examples – Baboom – total failure.
      MEGA – another failure – only kept alive by by $$$ coming from Bill Liu – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11340600

      This time he will be taking $$$ off individual investors by crowd funding. Rest assured it will be as successful as the other ideas and yet again the $$$ will end up in his back pocket.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.1

        LOL what would you or the NZ Herald know about Dotcom’s personal situations.

        • Rosie

          Oh, hey CV, sorry to butt in but are you going to around for a bit? I need to ask you a question about a topic we briefly touched on months and months ago – raising the issue of the abolishment of GST at your local LEC meeting.

          • Colonial Viper

            yes will be checking in to The Std through the afternoon 🙂

            • Rosie

              Thanks CV. This might be a bit of a drag because GST is a totally off the radar topic and there are so many other pressing topics that overwhelm such a yawn inducing one, such as GST.

              So, I think I recall you mentioning quite some time ago that you were going to raise the idea at a LEC meeting of abolishing GST and introducing a FTT in it’s place. If you got enough support at a vote that you would take it further and introduce it as a remit (remit?) at the next Labour Party annual conference.

              I am unsure of several of those statements so please correct me.

              As a new Labour member who knows very little of the structure of the Party, I am really wanting to know how ideas from ordinary members get to make it into the light of day and to the attention of party officials.

              I also want to see GST abolished for many reasons, which I’ve covered before.

              Part two of my question is how successful were you in raising the GST abolishment issue and will it go further?

              I won’t be able to attend the conference in Palmerston North coming up soon. It would have been good to see how the Party functions at a structural level.

              • Colonial Viper

                Typically, members at a branch have to formulate and word policy remits which are then considered and voted on at Regional Conference. If the policy remit passes at Regional Conference, it is then put forward to be considered at NZ Conference.

                However, the overall process is extremely clunky and leads to mechanistic and narrow consideration of policy.

                For instance, to solve the housing crisis in Auckland would require a comprehensive programme of policy measures – it is impossible for such a systematic programme to be developed and considered via this remit process.

                Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that the remit process is largely a diversionary waste of time. Even if NZ conference passes a remit there is no guarantee (or mechanism to guarantee) that caucus will act on it or act on it as intended.

                In other words, caucus can and does go off and do its own thing all the time.

                We can discuss the GST issue further – essentially I think our branch submited a remit which said that GST should be raised to 20%: but the first $100 of any item or service would be excluded from GST.

                In this way, GST becomes a de facto luxury living tax, since the vast majority of items bought by the vast majority of people come under the $100 or $50 threshold.

                • Rosie

                  Thanks for your response. The remit process was explained in a helpful way. Seeing as we are on a thread about Dot Com I will restart the GST discussion below as a separate post………….

  4. savenz 5

    A pre-hearing demonstration to voice our dissapointment that Craddocks are still considering building this factory farm both in Patumahoe or at all. If you have time you can then join us at 10am in the court room for the hearing directly after the demonstration. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us. Bring your best placards to help get the message across. We want to be heard!


    Does anyone know about this? Is this the case where the commissioners have approved a massive battery chicken farm about 30m away from residential housing citing no effects?

    • Molly 5.1

      Yes. My neck of the woods actually.

      The local residents have done extremely well in bringing this to the community’s attention, and have been supported by animal welfare organisations and many in the immediate community. There has also been the expected backlash from the “farmers are the backbone of this country” crowd who don’t know details about the issue, but back “their” team.

      Unfortunately, the animal welfare issue cannot be a reason for denying resource consent, but the failure of the applicants to credibly demonstrate the issue of mitigating air quality adverse effects has led to the initial application being turned down.

      The appeal has redesigned the air stacks in increase the height (and dispersion), so that’ll be interesting.

      The residents have had to fund their experts regarding air and water quality independently, and it will cost them in the region of $80 – $100K to see this through.

      They have been subject to small degrees of harassment, outright lying about the resource consent conditions and no small amount of emotional stress. The arrogance of the Craddocks organisation – who were offered the opportunity to onsell when the public reaction became known – has been ongoing and revealing of how our current system rewards the morally poor.

      Auckland Council however, has dipped a toe in the water, and have decided to make submissions to oppose the updated application in the hearing – which is some progress.

      However, until Craddocks onsells the property or indicates that they will not develop in this particular way on this site, they are in the bullying position of resubmitting applications and forcing residents to continue this fight for a long time.

  5. Puckish Rogue 6

    Wow what a weekend, can’t believe I managed to drag myself to work but there you go…


    The best NZ has to offer whether it be sporting, military or political…makes you proud to be a kiwi!

  6. ianmac 7

    It is reported that Sonny will be given a replacement medal for the one he gave to the boy. Seems wrong somehow. He gives and the lad feels great. We feel great. Somehow diminishes the generosity to replace the medal.

  7. Chooky 8

    Episode 830


    “In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss how a service driven Chinese economy could spell bad news for Western economies but how a two-child policy could save the global property ponzi for another generation. In the second half, Max interviews Dan Collins of TheChinaMoneyReport.com about the latest news with the Chinese economy, its crackdown on corruption and its increasing role in the global economy.”

    Questions: from a Labour, NZFirst and Green perspective ,what are the implications of more Chinese overpopulation and the Chinese ecological disaster for New Zealand?

    …it seems to me that the NZ housing and property bubble is NOT going to burst as Bill English claims…eg.as Max and Tracy state “how a two-child policy could save the global property ponzi for another generation”

    …hence no relief for young New Zealanders and future generations of New Zealanders wanting to buy their own home from scarce New Zealand housing stock ….which is being bought up by overseas investors and escalating house prices

    …also the pressure on immigration to New Zealand will continue

    ….unless curbs are put on both overseas ownership of NZ property and immigration by the foreign wealthy fleeing their own environmental and overpopulation disasters

  8. NZSage 9

    As if more proof were needed that MSM has completely gone down the gurgler…

    A dose of man flu for an ‘entertainer’ with a narcissistic personality disorder (aka Mike Hosking) hits the Herald headlines. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11538804

    • veutoviper 9.1

      Hosking is probably upset that he is no longer Key’s favourite and has his nose out of joint over Key’s bromance/obsession with Richie McCaw.

  9. John Shears 10

    This is a pretty disgusting story about dairy pollution that is not being
    officially charged by the appropriate govt. authority it seems.


    • Das 10.1

      Hundreds of Cantab dairy farmers caught out over breaking effluent discharge rules in the past year. Profits are the priority!
      Do the individual or company owners have Chinese-sounding or Kiwi-sounding names??

  10. Coffee Connoisseur 11

    From a Systems Analysis point of view. The current system is a very broken beast. For a system that should be for everyone, it works for less and less especially in so called first world countries and fails to deliver anywhere near the outcomes that it should, especially given our level of technological advancement in society.

    To fix it?
    Well, that’s the big question.

    Consider this first and foremost. A man or woman cannot hope to fix the world unless his or her future has been secured.
    (And yes the Irony is that the world must first be fixed in order to secure anyone’s future).
    But that is also the key.
    The technology we need to fix things has been developed.
    That starts with
    The internet for freedom of information.
    Product Hubs to deliver goods anywhere in the world.
    And finally service hubs or platforms to be able to access services.

    One of the key things that people don’t have enough of is time due to the demands of the current system.
    In fact when you compare hours worked during Slavery in the US vs Capitalism now….. well let’s just say that if we are interested in outcomes it doesn’t paint a very pretty picture. In many ways, the hours are the same or similar. Sure you get to choose your master under Capitalism or you can even choose to be your own master and if you’re lucky (and statistically probably exceptionally lucky) you won’t have to work as much. But on the whole chances are you, your kids and everyone around you will have to work in order to survive in some way shape or form for the rest of their lives.
    What’s worse is that as more and more roles are automated (45% in the next 10 years) this will be the case more and more. It would all be fine if wages kept pace with prices, but they aren’t going to. But the Market will correct right!? Well maybe one day but only after a crapload of people are made homeless and can’t afford to put food on the table. In fact, many will actually starve to death before the market corrects.
    Why? This is because ‘The Market’ only needs a single willing buyer and a single willing seller to agree on price, for the market to appear to be working. Bob Jones bought himself an aeroplane earlier this year for a cool 2 million. Hey presto the market works, but most people reading this could never afford to buy one in their lifetime. You might shrug your shoulders at that example, but the same concept applies at a much lower level including things such as basic essentials. Things like food, a home, electricity, clothing and so on.
    Take the example of a simple kebab shop. It can continue to make and sell kebabs and stay in business frequented by a few hundred customers per week at the very same time tens of thousands can’t afford to buy one. So the market correction theory doesn’t happen fast enough in the real world for it to make a difference. This becomes a real problem. Unfortunately, this is also what is happening right now.

    That old poem written by Pastor Martin Neimoller on the principle of not speaking up…

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    ….Applies to Capitalism in a similar vain.
    There is only something wrong with Capitalism when it doesn’t work for you, but at that point its too late. But just so you know Capitalism doesn’t care that you can’t afford essential items like food and housing and nor do those at the top of the food chain so long as the profits keep coming and the money keeps rolling in.

    Climate change and Capitalism? Well the long and the short of it is that fixing Climate change is simply incompatible with a system that requires continual extraction and consumption of resources to obtain profit which is under Capitalism required in order to survive.
    You will never fix climate change whilst we have Capitalism.
    (yes you could add in the true cost but by the time you get all of that sorted we will be living in a wasteland and there are far simpler and much more effective ways that solve many of the other problems we face at the same time.
    It really depends on whether the best we can come up with, is a system that requires people to work similar hours to slavery). Capitalism doesn’t care about the environment and nor do those at the top of the food chain so long as the profits keep coming and the money keeps rolling in.

    Capitalism doesn’t have boundaries. Capitalism doesn’t care about your sovereignty not in the slightest. It cares about one thing. Ownership or control of resources and Capital. Can no longer afford to live in your own country? Capitalism doesn’t care and nor do those at the top of the food chain, so long as the profit keeps coming and the money keeps rolling in

    Capitalism doesn’t care about whether something is legal or illegal. You might, but Capitalism doesn’t and nor do many other people in this world. Something being illegal just means that it gets assigned a higher price tag under Capitalism. Whether its drugs, human trafficking and slavery or something else illegal like not paying your taxes or seeking to avoid them as many corporations do.
    No Capitalism doesn’t care if something is illegal and nor do those at the top of the food chain, so long as the profit keeps coming and the money keeps rolling in.

    Under proper systems analysis, Capitalism fails dismally. I won’t bore you with the details but it is basically determining what a system designed for people should do vs what Capitalism achieves..
    If you want to go through it for yourself, systems analysis asks certain questions of the system.
    & How?
    These are the questions that are asked of any system, whether you are fixing a broken one or designing a new one. Done correctly it should be solution agnostic. That way you can determine a true set of requirements for any system no matter how big or how small.

    Spoiler alert: it all comes down to the delivery of goods and services to meet needs and wants.
    The question is what is the best way to do this for everyone given the available technology we have today.
    For Needs, they are predominantly the same from one person to the next (Maslow’s Hierarchy Pyramid is a good place to start for this).
    Wants – vastly different but the reality is you only need a system that enables people to obtain their wants and we can already do that provided you can overcome the barrier that is put in place called price.
    For anyone about to lose the plot over the resources used to enable everyone to meet their needs, consider the concept of owning versus using. As an example, Under owning we have the humble lawnmower. You buy one to use on average 6 – 12 hours a year and you have to pay to maintain it. Not exactly a great use of resources now is it.
    Under ‘Using; (coupled with technology of course) you can order a lawnmower via your smartphone that is delivered to your location by drone and mows your lawns automatically….. because its a robot. When it’s finished, it sends a signal to the drone which comes and picks it up to deliver it to the next location. We don’t have to do it that way, but that’s what is possible with technology from today.

    The best part is it is all in place, we just need to change the way things work together and the way we work together coupled with a healthy dose of common sense.
    Example: Capitalism a system where you compete against 7 billion other people for the resources you need in order to survive. Does that sound like common sense to you?
    Add to that that we are facing challenges on a worldwide scale that in order to overcome, require us to work together more so than at any other time in the history ofr the human race.

    How we fix things is interesting, because when you look at the monetary system and the problems it was introduced to overcome, those problems no longer exist to a large degree. I imagine the same would be true for Capitalism.
    Capitalism has worked in the past, granted. In fact Capitalism has largely built the world around us today. The question is when do we begin to use what it has built in the most efficient and effective way for us, for everyone. Given that Capitalism is no longer delivering the outcomes we need it to both at an individual and at a societal level the time to relook at this has never been better or for that matter more important.

    Imagine a world, where people had freedom. Where they could obtain basic essential items such as food and a home when they needed one.
    Imagine a world, where you only had to work half of the time that you do now. Imagine a world, where the media once again just reported the news.
    Imagine a world, where Science just gave us the facts without the corporate interference.
    Imagine a world, where the systems we had, worked with nature rather than through the exploitation and destruction of it.
    Imagine a world where no man held dominion over any other man woman or child.
    Imagine a world, where the goal of the system was to enable you to live a happy and fulfilled life full of positive experiences in so far as you choose to do so.
    Imagine true freedom.
    Imagine a world, where our future was secure.

    Again a man or woman cannot hope to fix this world whilst their own future is insecure.

    In order to fix things we first have to secure everyone’s future.

    That means we need to first and foremost decouple work from wages.

    We need a new Financial system (only because most people would freak out if you removed money) This could and should be automated. It should be a highly secure crypto currency and should be used for enabling a Universal Basic Income for everyone thus largely securing everyones future.

    We need a system that uses the internet, product hubs and service platforms to work for us and not simply to add to the profit of the corporate bottom line.

    We need a system that automates people’s roles as much as we possibly can with a view of freeing them from having to work for the rest of their lives simply in order to survive.

    At that point we can begin to really fix things, But only then.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      so how do you shift power and influence away from that top 0.1% who are currently major beneficiaries of the existing order?

      • Coffee Connoisseur 11.1.1

        Show people an alternative vision of the future they can themselves imagine. The biggest barrier to changing things right now is the lack of any real alternative.
        Show them what the alternative is and how we would get there from where we are today.
        What Is being proposed is in many ways no different than the sort of shift that took place when everything went from public ownership to private ownership (well sort of).
        Govt already provides services to people. There is therefore justification to build a service hub using taxpayer funds. This is the start. Then as more and more essential services are not being met, public alternatives can fill the gap in an efficient manner using software automation.
        The Crypto currency takes care and actually sidelines the powers that be to a large degree.
        As has been said before the best way to change the system is to create a new and better one from within.

        Thinking outside the box It could also be done by two or three key individuals (although they don’t realise it) with the help of Government through UBI. Elon Musk, Richard Branson and someone with access to a service hub. Would you or many others not support such an alliance with your dollar if this was the vision and the world that they stated up front they wanted to build? I now I would.

        • Colonial Viper

          If democracy actually worked to disempower the 0.1%, it would have been outlawed ages ago.

          • Coffee Connoisseur

            The masses have only just started to wake up. Many know something is wrong and parents are worried about their children’s future. Show them a better alternative and they will take the chance.
            The pieces can be put in place without unvielling the full picture. There is justification to build a service hub in order to gain efficiencies in delivering govt services to people. The rest will take care of itself as things continue to get worse.

            The alternative is to stick with the status quo and simply do nothing. Sounds like an interesting choice for people.

  11. Chooky 12

    Will the royal visit influence flag choices in the first flag referendum as James Shaw and the Greens argue ? (….or WTF…the strange case of James Shaw and the NZ flag)


    James Shaw helped John key make sure that the existing NZ flag with the Union Jack ( the most popular choice for New Zealanders) was excluded from the first referendum, which is when the royals turn up…but the corporate logo Red Peak flag, James’s favourite, is in the first referendum

    ….. James and the Greens went against Labour Party and NZF wishes ( their future coalition partners?). The Labour Party argued having the existing NZ flag in the first referendum would have saved a costly second referendum and in any case NZers dont want to change their flag. Winston Peters and NZF also argue this.

    ….so if the flag with the Union Jack is NOT to be in the first referendum when the royals arrive….how can the royal visit influence NZers voting for the Union Jack in the first referendum?

    ( or am I missing something here?)

  12. ianmac 13

    Preparing for NCEA exams?
    “The letter bearing the college masthead and its official phone numbers claimed that senior students would have to undergo full body check – including their bare bottoms.”
    What will they get up to next?

  13. Rosie 14

    Picking up GST discussion with CV above on altogether unrelated thread…………

    I agree with the taxation of luxury goods. (and also alcohol and tobacco) You suggested that an increase to 20% GST with an exemption of GST for the first $100 of a purchase would in effect be a de facto luxury tax.

    However, when we are paying $250 in one go for groceries, paying our rates, paying for expensive car repairs, paying power bills etc we’re not paying for luxury goods, we’re paying for essentials.

    These essentials, shouldn’t be taxed for moral reasons. For me, the idea of GST is a moral one as it places an unnecessary financial burden on many people. If GST were removed tomorrow, depending on your financial circumstances you’d see a dramatic improvement in your financial health. The less wealthy you are the greater the improvement as your little budget is unfairly weighted down by GST compared to the wealthy person’s budget.

    From a business point of view, scrapping GST could be seen as beneficial. A reduction in financial stress in a household could see its members spending more on things they could never afford before. Money saved from GST could go into the tills of retailers.

    (An aside. A former customer of mine, from my days as a sales rep, was a retailer who had a successful business. It had been going for 30 years. He had owned it for the previous 10. He suffered through the GFC, was partially affected by public service cuts, as some Wellington retailers were, but he said it was the increase in GST that the Natz brought in that was the last straw for him. They way we saw it was that not only does a consumer harm households, it harms business).

    I’ve got more points in my abolishment of GST argument but this would end up a very long post and rehash old ground. Happy to discuss if others are interested though.

    One final point I will cover again is Labour’s opportunity to address past wrongs, eg, being the ones to introduce GST in 1986.
    Next year is the Centenary celebrations for the Labour Party. It will be a great time to highlight and celebrate the very proud history that the NZLP has, and how they led and shaped NZ into a decent and fair society through the introduction of the welfare state.

    They will have to face their dark past too. GST was part of the neo liberal reforms. It has no place in the unequal society that we have become.
    This is a good opportunity for them to abandon the tax policy they introduced. It would be a hugely bold move, but we need bold, not bland.
    In 2011 Labour tinkered with the idea by having an election promise to remove GST off fresh fruit and vege. It didn’t gain any traction and seemed like a random policy out on it’s own, not in context with anything else.
    In 2014 NZ First said they would exempt GST from council rates. Again, no traction with that one.
    2016 is the right time to stand up and say GST, you can just f*ck off, and demonstrate to the voters how their lives will be improved for it.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      There is no single item in a standard grocery shop which is over $50 or over $100.

      Therefore under our branch’s remit, your entire grocery shop would be GST free.

      See how it works?

      Removing GST from rates is also a good idea. BTW I don’t think your conclusion that NZ First got “not traction” on that was correct: out of all the opposition parties they were the only one which GAINED MPs.

      • Rosie 14.1.1

        Yes, ok, the grocery shop would be GST free, because each single item is under $50/$100. I was thinking total shop.

        But what about power bills? You would have to be a single person living on your own with extremely minimal use of power to get to the GST free threshold of $100. What about car repairs and servicing? Nothing much there under $100. Our head gasket blew and we had to borrow $3K for repairs. This has a GST content of $450, which is being paid off with interest over 18 months. Interest on a tax, hardly fair. Have to buy new tyres for the car? Not cheap either.
        Need to get an electrician or plumber in? Have never seen a bill that would meet the GST excluded threshold you propose. Chimney sweep? same thing. Have to see the dentist? You’ll be paying that off on the credit card, and like the mechanics bill you’ll be paying a massive chunk of GST with interest added.

        And you are proposing we add another 5% to that cost! Sorry CV, only the wealthy can afford that.

        The only way people would benefit under the 20% GST with a threshold of $100 as GST free would be for food, weekly public transport costs, a small top up of petrol for the car and sundry items. I think this policy, rather than being helpful would cause even greater hardship. It’s a messy option. Any short term savings you make on the small things will get gobbled up on the larger living costs, and even worse than before. Things also need to be kept super simple for voters. Just get rid of GST altogether.

        Thats without going into the logistics for wholesalers and retailers who carry a variety of lines some of which fall into the GST excluded zone. For example, what happens when a retailer purchases an item from the wholesaler and pays GST on it, but then the item won’t sell, even after markdowns. Eventually they have to sell below original wholesale cost, and lose not only their profit but they directly lose the 20% tax they had to pay?

        Re NZ First, I was referring to the GST off council rates policy getting no traction in the form of generating public discussion, not the success that NZ First had last year. Labours GST off produce in 2011 only generated a bit of confusion.

        • Colonial Viper

          applying the GST correctly is very simple in the age of computerised inventory and sales systems.

          Wine and beer sold in supermarkets have varying alcohol excise tax applied in addition to GST. No one complained it couldnt be done.

          Also the 20% GST only applies to each dollar above say $100. So a $150 car tyre or dentists check up will only have $10 of GST added: which is less than you are paying in GST today.

          A unit of power is only 20c. No GST applies.

          Our branch worked all this out in detail.

          • Rosie

            Thanks. I do appreciate the time you have taken to explain your proposal. I’m still uncomfortable with it, and I do think it’s messy.

            The big thing for me is that GST is a neoliberal tax, it belongs in the past. I have a moral issue with it. Transfer the tax burden to the wealthy and introduce a Robin Hood style tax.

            • Colonial Viper

              I have no probs with that. Especially since I am of the school which says that Government does not need to raise all its revenues through taxation and that taxation can be used to achieve many different purposes other than to raise revenues.

          • weka

            “Our branch worked all this out in detail.”

            Any chance you could put this in the public domain (or would that hobble the process within Labour)?

            I also appreciate the explanations and would love to see more.

            • Colonial Viper

              Since the in-house Labour technocrats are utterly disinterested in all these ideas I might as well find alternative avenues to put these non-orthodox ideas out there.

  14. rod 15

    Aussies dumping Knights and Dames as inappropriate in this day and age. Is Turnbull trying to upset his new pal John Key?

  15. Mike the Savage One 16

    Good on the All Blacks for winning the Rugby World Cup. Many will have celebrated their victory and much has been reported and discussed in the MSM of course.

    Let us perhaps focus on some important stuff that matters. I did already post this link under Open Mike for 01 Nov. last night. It deserves some attention.

    The Office of Ombudsmen is conducting a survey on experiences with and satisfaction with OIA requests and responses:


    This should be of much interest to readers here, especially those who care about transparency of government, of ministries and agencies. The OIA process is supposed to strengthen our democracy, but as we know, things have gone downhill with it for some time.

    I encourage all to participate in their survey, those that care about improving the OIA process, and especially those that have had experiences with OIA requests and replies.

    Sadly it does not seem to get much attention by our media.

    Here is more info on all this on the Ombudsman’s website:

  16. Penny Bright 17

    Seen this?


    Crucial protest on 14 Nov

    By Prof Jane Kelsey / November 2, 2015

    This is no time for surrender or fatigue. Other countries are fighting to ensure the political price is too high for their governments to do so and that opposition parties make an uncompromising commitment to reject the still-secret

    The fact many people think the TPPA is a done deal and there’s nothing we can do shows how effective the government’s propaganda campaign has been.

    That’s what they need people to believe so they can kill off one of the most effective public campaigns to oppose a core government policy for several decades.

    And they have done so despite conceding the deal would deliver almost none of the gains they made a bottom line, and keeping the text secret so no-one can categorically rebut the content or omissions in their ‘fact sheets’.

    The truth is that the TPPA can’t be signed for at least another three months.

    Until then New Zealand has not been committed in any formal legal manner to the political deal. Even then, the country won’t be bound irrevocably to the TPPA for probably another two years.

    This is no time for surrender or fatigue.

    Other countries are fighting to ensure the political price is too high for their governments to do so and that opposition parties make an uncompromising commitment to reject the still-secret deal.

    We need to do that here, starting with a mass turnout to the protests around the country, especially in Auckland and Wellington, on Saturday 14 November.

    The Fast Track legislation said Obama must give 90 days’ notice before he can sign the TPPA. The text becomes public no longer than 30 days into that 90 days, which means two months to debunk the pro-TPPA lobby’s spin.

    Obama has not given that 90 days’ notice yet.

    The officials have been in Japan doing what we call the ‘legal scrubbing’ of the text. That should be a purely technical task, but reports suggest there are many problems emerging about interpretations and some countries are only just finding out what others have agreed between themselves in side-letters.

    The legal officials’ meeting has finished. They will try to sort out the remain issues by internet, but they are likely to have to meet again.

    The longer this takes, the further away those 90 days become and the more time we have to make it clear to the Key/Groser government that we don’t believe their snow job and will make any attempt to sign it politically toxic, and to the opposition parties that they have to

  17. Logie97 18

    Seems Crosby T advisers have got to key. Haven’t seen the same fawning photo ops. Guess they have said, “let the country revel in it John, and we’ll step it up a notch when everyone’s home. Plenty of time yet!”

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