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Open mike 03/05/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, May 3rd, 2019 - 197 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 …

197 comments on “Open mike 03/05/2019 ”

  1. AB 1

    Morning all. Juan Guaido here. That's G U A I D O, in case you're not familiar with the spelling. It's now or never. Operation "Enduring Hydrocarbons" enters a new phase today. Our removal of the illegitimate dictatorship starts at 11.30am outside Devonport Naval Base. Get along there Aucklanders! Bring a packed lunch and a rain jacket. Cash donations also welcome.

  2. Incognito 2

    Avengers: Endgame for scientists.

    Gravitational waves hunt now in overdrive

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Is it even possible for Maori to be racist towards each other? Some folks seem to believe it is: "National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett has accused Minister Willie Jackson of racism, saying he questioned whether she's Māori enough." https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/willie-jackson-paula-bennett-locked-in-fierce-racism-row.html

    And how can we tell if someone is Maori enough anyway? Genetic analysis? Ought there to be a public record of their exact percentage for funding purposes, perhaps part of the census? Interesting road opening up here, but ought we to head down it?

    "Jackson's Labour Māori caucus colleague Peeni Henare went further, actually questioning whether Bennett is Māori enough." Big call, claiming the second question is further than the first, but that's journalists for you. Just questions so far. No actual judgments.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      "I haven't seen her contribution to the community for Māori kaupapa, I haven't seen her on the marae, I haven't seen her dry dishes, I haven't seen her do a karanga – therefore, it should be raising the question," he said.

      Henare manages to tick at least two boxes with this. Bennett (who is a sad apology for a human being) is condemned as being not Maori enough by a Maori male because she doesn't behave the way he thinks a Maori woman should?


      Criticise the woman for her many, many appalling words and actions as a politician, but damning her because she fails to fit his view of an acceptable Maori woman is a sacking offense.

      Stupid men. Poor Ardern having to sort this one out.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Turns out there was context that the Newshub report didn't mention: "How does he [Jackson] determine whether the Māori in the Mana in Mahi programme are Māori enough to be counted?" she asked after Jackson said of the 143 clients have been placed in the programme 75 participants – some 52 per cent – identify as Māori."


        Henare's position is also expanded here: ""blood quantum simply isn't enough" when it comes to being Māori. "I've always felt that you have to reach a threshold of need, participation and contribution in Māori Kaupapa. If you don't, of course, questions are going to be raised." He said he was "more than happy" for those questions to be raised of anybody who claims to be Māori who does not meet that threshold."

        Science would measure the blood quantum via genetics, but he's making it clear that there's a cultural determinant that applies equally. Where does that leave urban Maori who have evolved several generations since the colonial era, many of whom apparently become disconnected from their tribal roots? Required to re-enculture themselves to qualify?

        • solkta

          Science would measure the blood quantum via genetics,

          No, Social Science would look at culture. Biology has nothing to do with it other than the person having a Maori ancestor.

          • Dennis Frank

            You really believe blood is a cultural construct?? Most people believe it is a physical thing. Science usually proves stuff by examining physical evidence. Seems like Henare is acknowledging that via his reference: "blood quantum". He then includes culture as part of identity.

            His application of both/and logic seems appropriate to me, yet your comment excludes the biological part of Maori identity. That seems wrong. Why do you disagree with Henare?

            • solkta

              No, blood is a red liquid that transports oxygen and nutrients through the body.

              Social Science studies the shared ideas of social groups and how people identify as part of a group.

              Maori get to define what "Maori" is not some racist Pakeha prick like you using racist Pakeha ideas about 'race'. To be Maori a person must have at least one Maori ancestor, as i said, and identify as being Maori. That is the way it has always been.

              Henare does not specify any particular amount of 'blood quantum' and i assume this is just a clumsy way of saying some genetic heritage. Henare would be out on a limb with his other comments about level of involvement, i would think. Jackson said as much.

              Again i am not sure if you are being stupid or just the shit stirring prick that you obviously are.

              • alwyn

                "Maori get to define what "Maori" is".

                Fascinating. Does that mean that Bennett is entitled to decide that neither Jackson nor Henare is a Maori? Would that mean that Peeni Henare would be disqualified from being an MP from a Maori electorate seat and that there will be a by-election?

                Or can only a Labour MP make such decisions and what you really mean is that some animals are more equal than others, as Orwell would put it?

                • solkta

                  It is defined in Tikangi. I use "Maori" in a collective sense. You might not know it but we don't say 'Maoris'.

                  • alwyn

                    Even I know that.You surely don't imagine that you are a unique source of knowledge about such things do you? So what? It doesn't change the question. Who get to make the call? You surely aren't going to tell me that it must be unanimous are you?

                    • solkta

                      "The call" was made a very long time ago when Maori first started breeding with Europeans.

                    • alwyn

                      Well that is certainly a masterpiece of Delphic ambiguity. Given the names Jackson, Peters, and Bennett it is pretty clear that they had ancestors who indulged in the activity. The jury is still out on whether Henare qualifies.

                      Doesn't answer the question of course.

      • ankerawshark 3.1.2

        Completely agree Rosemary

      • marty mars 3.1.3

        + 1 yep – willie is a wanker – he needs to decolonise his mind.

        • solkta

          It is Peeni Henare who Rosemary is quoting.

          • marty mars

            Sorry. Both Peeni and Willie need to decolonise their minds – this 'not Māori' enough stuff is colonisation 101.

            • Rosemary McDonald



              I know 'all's fair'etc. but even pakeha me sees this kind of shit as being just what The Man ordered.

              I am disappointed they both fell into it.

        • greywarshark

          Willie doesn't believe in being PC. Sometimes I don't like his approach, but this morning on Radionz he made his point for not being a slang-free society. A bit of to-and-fro is more honest than rigid people complying with the conventions as well as the laws, and being completely shuttered and negative in their minds as to the humanity of the situation.

          • marty mars

            any anti PC person is a wanker too imo – willie loves the sound of his own voice is about his depth

            • greywarshark

              Being PC in everything is just so PC marty mars. Good to keep on going round in circles, keeps you in touch with yourself, otherwise one can get lost in the harakeke.

            • cleangreen

              Oh Marty you are also anti PC all the time !!!!!!
              never; – rubbish;

              So when will we see you as a PC?

              Never in my life.

              • marty mars

                You lost me but it's all okay – I am a full on card carrying believer in political correctness as it is known by its enemies and kindness as it is known by its friends.

                • cleangreen

                  Marty Keep it up and you may join the human race eventually. smiley

                  • marty mars

                    I can say with surety that the word 'race', in all its lurid connotations, is one of my least favorite words – I might even be so bold as to put it at the top of my disliked words or perhaps the bottom depending upon my fickle mood.

    • solkta 3.2

      Obviously being Maori, as with any ethnicity, involves more than just having a genetic component. My grandfather was Scottish but there is nothing in the way that i live my life or understand the world around me that is particularly Scottish. I could not claim to belong to this ethnic group.

      It is always hard to know if you are as ignorant as you pretend to be.

      • greywarshark 3.2.1

        Being in the kitchen helping with the tremendous hospitality that Maori turn out for their cultural purposes is one of the Maori women's cultural activities, and the men set everything up, dig the hangi and set it up etc.

        It's just division of duties for the successful outcome to a function and not to be judged by pakeha women as not coinciding with their efforts to gain mana and standing for women who have had to fight their way up from a lower status than Maori women had.

        • solkta

          I think you meant to reply to Rosemary.

          • greywarshark

            I was just tacking myself on to the end with a general comment. It sometimes interferes with the flow of the comments and replies to come in late and add something a bit different solkta.

            And agree Sacha. I was stating what I have learned from having been on marae helping and been told and observed what I referred to in my earlier comment.

        • Sacha

          Not just women who dry dishes on marae these days. It is being used as a metaphor for humbly serving community.

        • cleangreen

          Well said greywarshark.

          I have been on many marae events and my grandson is of Ngati-porau, of nga whanau me nga hapu o Ngati Porou, so I enjoy Maori serving of food with aroha and hospitality it is very warm.

          I speak very little Maori sadly, but my heart is there but the life is to short.

      • Sacha 3.2.2

        “It is always hard to know ..”

        Ignorance is as ignorance does.

      • vto 3.2.3

        solkta "My grandfather was Scottish but there is nothing in the way that i live my life or understand the world around me that is particularly Scottish. I could not claim to belong to this ethnic group."

        Can I suggest that you have it quite back-to-front.

        It isn't that scots have moved away from scottishness, it is that scottishness has moved forward to new places and cultural activities, thus re-defining that ethnicity.

        This idea that ethnicity has strict rules around what you have to do to belong grates like fingernails down a chalkboard. It makes no sense and I reject it. Humanity and its ethnicities have long been in a state of flux and change – immigrating, colonising, going to McDonalds, it never stops moving.

        Similarly with maori – it shouldn't be that you have to conduct yourself in certain ways to be that ethnicity, it should be that whatever activities you conduct in your life as a maori become a part of that ethnicity. This is, after all, how that ethnicity and its current cultural activities came into being in the first place…

        You have it all backwards imo

        • solkta

          it should be that whatever activities you conduct in your life as a maori become a part of that ethnicity.

          No it should be whatever Maori do as a group. Otherwise you are just talking about 'race'.

          I do get your point that culture is not static, but it has to be morphing from one set of parameters to another. Maori culture is obviously different from what it was pre European contact, but it is still distinct from that of other groups.

          • vto

            "No it should be whatever Maori do as a group"

            But it is being done as part of that group – that was my point and why I said “whatever activities you conduct in your life as a maori”. Whatever one does with one's life is as part of that group. I don't see how one person's life can be separated out from the group like you suggest.

            • vto

              A little more to add:

              The principle I outline above is the exact same principle used by maori for various claims made under te tiriti for matters which maori previously had no knowledge of, let alone activity in. For example, radio waves.

              Willie Jackson is being empty-headed with his claims and he should turn his mind to this principle, which he has supported countless times himself in the past. What a nincompoop

              • greywarshark

                He's a great little talker Willie J is.

                My understanding of the the claims for the Treaty are that the tikanga is not set in stone; the Treaty is a living thing, changing with times, developments, experiences and perceptions. So the Treaty that was perceived at the time that it was signed, is still the Treaty at a different time but with some different perceptions about it. The main one being that there was an agreement made to preserve and maintain elements of life.

                As for being a Maori, my understanding is that it is variable. There may be blood relationships, or it may be acceptance relationships through marriage or even if someone has been accepted as one of the group and become a sister or brother by agreement. This then requires that person to fulfill family duties and responsibilities to that group, hapu or marae, if they want to be fully included. It seems to me that it is a matter of heart, and acceptance, and mutual commitment.

                But all Maori aren't equal; different groups have their own ways and perceptions. One tribe may not accept someone from another. And one of my relatives is both Maori and pakeha, pale skinned, from a South Island tribe. Some of them are not fully accepting because of the pale skin. When in Northland around 1950, that tribe's similar attitudes were isolating which led to loneliness.

        • Skunk Weed

          I am a bit confused I am part Irish/Scottish/Greek/English on my mothers' side of the family, however a family DNA test has come back as mainly Iberian ie Spanish/Portugese and on my fathers side I am mainly Scottish & Maori so what does that make me ?

          Sounds like a whole heap of B/S IMHO ?

          • Halfcrown

            "so what does that make me ?"

            Probably a well balanced decent person.

            Going off to a tangent my wife has done my family tree. There is a bit of Scottish, Irish and German in me. I had to have a Cataract operation a few years ago and the surgeon said he was going to fit a Zeiss lens in my eye. I can now say honestly that there is a bit of German in melaugh

          • BM

            Genetics is a bit of a lottery.

            Your siblings may have common genetic ancestry, but what you end up with could be completely different from what your brothers and sisters have.

            Each individual inherits their own unique mix.

      • greywarshark 3.2.4


        As an example of how threads can be disrupted and hard to follow when the reply doesn't state the original commenter, you at 8.51 am saying about being ignorant comes below mine at 10.15 am so you were not referring to me.

        It seems it was referring to either Dennis F or Rosemary M further up at 3.1…

        • solkta

          The indent shows plus it says in the "Comments" list which is surely where most start from.

      • marty mars 3.3.1

        The non apology – it's attitudes like jackson expresses, those distorted views, that directly contribute to the appalling statistics young Māori are over represented in – disgraceful.

    • Sacha 3.4

      "Interesting road opening up here"

      There is nothing remotely interesting or useful about dinosaur racism. Keep it to yourself.

      • Dennis Frank 3.4.1

        People who think racism ought not to feature in public discussion are rare nowadays. You part of a dying breed??

        • Sacha

          Anyone who uses the words 'blood' or 'quantum' is not adding anything useful. Back under that rock with you.

          • Dennis Frank

            Look, if you want to criticise a Labour MP then do so directly, like Marty. Being so oblique just makes you seem dishonest. And since when have you ever tried to add anything useful to this site?? All you seem capable of is random misunderstandings of the discourse.

            • Sacha

              You have taken Henare's stupidity and run with it. Above you have said things like:

              "your comment excludes the biological part of Maori identity. That seems wrong."


              "Ought there to be a public record of their exact percentage for funding purposes, perhaps part of the census?"

              which is inexcusably ignorant in this day and age. Life is too short to put up with fools polluting the public pool. Such nonsense would be warmly welcomed at Kiwibog.

              • Dennis Frank

                So explain why you disagree with the Labour minister's reference to the biological part of Maori identity, and why you disagree with applying a metric to that. And why you lack a sense of humour. 🙄

                • greywarshark

                  Dennis F

                  You are so sure of yourself. You might remember the quote about who are fools and who are wise. When you start talking about Maori proving that biologically you are going back over arguments made decades ago, even a century.

                  If you know so little about Maori matters better you stay out of giving your opinions – you haven't got up to first base and need to go away, read up and learn. Everybody needs to do some homework for themselves so they can discuss from the point of view of some appropriate authority.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    So does that mean you didn't notice that the Labour minister referred to "blood quantum"?? Or do you think blood is not biological??

                    Did you also not notice that I mostly asked questions? Which of my opinions are you actually referring to? Did you notice that respondents failed to address what he actually said? Do you think such evasion of political comments is what this website ought to feature, and if so, why?

                    If you get my drift, it ain't about me at all, no matter how hard some respondents are trying to spin it. It's about the news!

                    • greywarshark

                      It is a good thing for a pakeha to sit back and let Maori sort matters out between themselves. Feelings and tikanga, expectations and resentments may have to be worked through and require a truce between them to their mutual resignation.

                      That is for them to work out. You can't cut perceptions into thin slices and put them under a microscope. Until you are required to make a decision because you are in a position requiring decisions or legality, then it would be discerning of you to remain politely in the background.

                      If as a pakeha, you have seen the strong feelings that can arise after the death of a parent between the various siblings, you might have an idea of the emotional aspect to be worked out in relationships.

                      Who is the she who was trying to boss you?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Sacha @ 3.4 & and she seems to be coming from a pc position, which I'm allergic to. I get where you're coming from. Unfortunately, to me it looks and smells like censorship.

                      So my stance is that I have as much right to comment on cultural & political matters in Aotearoa as anyone else. To the extent that Maori stuff affect us, I comment on that. If it doesn't affect the pakeha world, I don't. This item does.

                      The reason is that a new bit of political culture was invented by the three Maori MPs involved. You will see that I introduced the topic with a question that goes straight to the heart of it. The significant point is that nobody has answered the question!! I've seen that pattern since I was a child in the 1950s. Adults would freak out when I asked a simple question or made a simple comment. They would literally freeze, with a look of fear in their eyes. Somehow, I was born with an uncanny knack of uttering the unspeakable.

                      Nowadays they call it speaking truth to power. When the power lies in social convention, speaking truth shatters it, enabling progress. Those in denial of Maori racism voiced against Maori will studiously continue to evade what has actually happened. It's part of the traditional leftist preference for delusion over reality.

            • cleangreen


              Bossy bossy you.

              • Dennis Frank

                Huh?? Felt like she was trying to boss me, actually. Can't you recognise push-back when you see it?

                • cleangreen

                  Dennis you are very prominent on blogs and that shows you are very opinionated, and 'that is trying to boss' by sheer inference.smiley

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Oh, I see. Could say the same for you, eh? Takes one to know one! smiley

          • Gabby

            Every so often I get just a wee whiff of eau de fascist off ol' franko.

            • Dennis Frank

              And yet I've often mentioned here that my political praxis has been anti-fascist since 1970. Funny, eh? 😎

              • solkta

                Yes it is funny that you are such a fucktard that you don't understand your own ideas.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Leftists thinking centrists are rightists is way funnier. No wonder they struggle to figure out which way is up. Reality is so hard for such dimwits to grasp, as you keep on demonstrating…

                  • solkta

                    You don't seem to even know what you think you are let alone what you actually are. Yesterday you were claiming to be Green, but while the Green Party dose not generally identify as being Left it very certainly does not identify as being Centrist.

                    • Sacha

                      You can imagine how the other Greens felt with a shithead like that in the nest. Fly away, grey cuckoo.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I've told the history of that here several times over the past few years. The Values Party schism in the mid-seventies was caused by the leftists and centrists being unable to do consensus.

                      I was too radical that decade to join either group. I persuaded the Greens to go left in '91 when Jeanette Fitzsimons led a session on the question at our conference. My reasoning was that the Bolger govt had already captured several leading environmentalists, so we had to form a viable alternative. Nobody wanted Labour (due to Rogernomics).

                      There's always been many in the Green Party who prefer non-alignment, but the conference decision was pre-MMP and we had a binary choice only. Russel Norman's straw poll at the 2015 conference (65 in the session) showed the leftists were half the number who put their hands up for the traditional Green position (neither left nor right). I saw that happen.

                      The problem with people like you & Sacha is the perennial one of always operating from the position of ignorance, while pretending to know stuff. Sad the way the leftist belief system makes many adherents delusional.

                    • Pat

                      and yet it is

                    • solkta


                      He likes to pretend that he has some significant history with the Greens but from what he has said on here it seems that had some involvement in the very early years but then left as he was not a good fit at all. The crap that he has talked today about 'race' would have gone down like a lead balloon both then and now, as would most of his ramblings.

                    • solkta


                      Is your reply to me?

                      Yet they are Left or Centrist??

                    • Pat

                      yet they are centrist…as are their voter base…a more middle class party would be hard to find…their one saving grace is in danger of disappearing altogether.

                    • solkta


                      The Greens cannot be Centrist as their policies are more Left than Labour's. Winston is Centrist and he is currently fucking up most Green policy objectives.

                      Centrist does not mean "middle class" and Left does not mean exclusively working class. Karl Marx was very middle class for fucks sake.

                      The Greens come to the same place as the Left on social policy, they just get their by a different route.

                    • Pat

                      "The Greens cannot be Centrist as their policies are more Left than Labour's."

                      Are they?..and even if they are Labour are hardly 'left' as they subscribe to neoliberalism…as stated the Greens are , and are supported by the middle class as their voter demographic displays…but you keep telling yourself otherwise, it may come true one day

                    • solkta

                      To explain it another way, when Greens say they are not Left or Right they mean that they don't really fit on that spectrum. Centrism fits on that spectrum, right in the middle of it.

                    • solkta


                      The Greens have had a policy for Capital Gains Tax longer than Labour and still do. The Greens are responsible through their agreement for the welfare changes announced today. I can't be fucked giving you more examples but there are many. You can go to the relevant websites and compare.

                      Yes Labour are not as left as they once were, the Greens are further left, if measured on that spectrum, like i said. Left and Right are only relevant to the context so in NZ Parliamentary Politics today Labour are still left of centre.

                      And also like i said Centrist does not mean middle class. Have you not heard of Karl Marx? There are huge numbers of lefty middle class people. There is also a significant number of working class people who vote National.

                    • Pat

                      Karl Marx?…wasnt he the brother that couldnt act?

                    • Sacha

                      "He likes to pretend"

                      Yep, a whole lot of figjam pretension.

                    • Pat

                      I have ignored much of the Greens nonsense and voted for them the past 3 elections for one reason only, climate change…if they fuck this opportunity up they will never see my vote again….the question you have to ask yourself is how typical am i?

                    • solkta


                      It will be Winston who fucks the Climate Act if anybody. The Greens could bring the gummint down over it, but that would lead to a hugely messy election and probably a Nact led gummint.

                      No you are not typical of a Green voter. There is about 6% of the vote that is core Green. After that they mostly take votes from Labour. When labour could not find an effective leader people walked to the Greens, and then back again when they finally did.

                    • Pat

                      lf i have voted Green the previous 3 elections im part of that core vote…you cannot know how typical my attitude is…and nor can the party…time will tell.

                    • solkta


                      When i say 6% are "core Green voters" i mean voters who support the Green Kaupapa. By saying I have ignored much of the Greens nonsense and voted for them the past 3 elections for one reason only, climate change you are making it very clear that you are not a core Green voter.

                      I have voted for them in every election where they have been an option as i have always supported most of their policies.

                    • Pat

                      oh dear you are truly delusional…the Greens received approx 6.3% of the vote last election , or 162000 party votes….whats membership?..id suggest significantly less. probably around 10% of that figure….thats your Green Kuapapa, not the votes.

                    • solkta


                      Had you considered that you might be part of the 0.3%.

                      The Greens peaked at i think 12.6% in the polls and that was directly after Metiria's speech. They picked up some lefty vote on the back of that. Then Metiria lost control of the narrative and Ardern became Labour leader and went hard on Climate Change, Fresh Water and Child Poverty. 4-5% (percentage points) went back to Labour and 1-2% of swing voters got the frights. The Greens dropped back to mostly their core vote.

                      If you think you can sort Climate Change without caring about people then best you buy a gun. You will need it. France has started down that road.

              • Gabby

                Don't gnosis all that funny franko.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Don't know about 'facist', but this lefty’s noticed franco’s rather fond of labels.

              It's part of the traditional frank preference for delusion over reality.

    • Grantoc 3.5


      Ask Willie Jackson; he's is the self appointed expert in determining who is or is not Maori.

      Furthermore you could ask him what methodology he uses to make such a determination.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 3.6

      Is Hone Harawira Maori?

      |Is Willie Jackson Maori?

      Of course they are, 100 percent of the time.

      In my opinion Paula Bennet is Maori when it suits her, and not when it doesn't.

      That is, she plays on her heritage when there is a political advantage to be made from it. But mostly ignores it.

      Paula Bennet raises the objection that being Maori is not defined by being able to speak Maori.

      And she is right.

      And I know that for many with all the will in the world, it can prove to hard to pick up the reo, especially if you have been raised exclusively in the Pakeha tradition.

      Bennet has a point there.

      But for anyone who ever wanted to get in touch with their Maori Heritage, surely Paula Bennet has had more than enough opportunity to learn Te Reo, that is, if she wanted to.

      I mean, despite being in a relatively well paid job, (opposition MP), with relatively little to do and able to set her own agenda. And presumably, with the pick of professional support, able and willing to walk her through it. (If she chose to avail herself of it) has she ever tried to learn the language?

      Has she ever taken the time, has she even ever made the effort?

      I think if she did, it would be the making of her.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    "Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has been called upon to lead the war against killer robots." What, harangue them to death??

    "Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, is leading the global campaign to ban fully autonomous weapons… Wareham said New Zealand is the only country in the world to have a Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, referring to Peters. Asked if the world needs Peters to lead the war on killer robots, Wareham responded: "Certainly. I think he would be an excellent leader.""


    Well, okay, Aotearoa leading the way is excellent, but Winston probably ought to delegate the task to Arnie – who knows the scene inside-out. He said he'd be back, eh? Now's the time!

    • Wtf? Haven't they seen those Terminator movies? A war against killer robots is a terrible idea! Humans are squishy and easily disabled, no match for robots at all. Wouldn't it make more sense to just not build the killer robots in the first place?

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    "The Justice Select Committee is currently considering a bill to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which would review convictions and sentences and decide whether to refer them to the appeal court. Currently, if someone believes they have suffered a miscarriage of justice they can apply to the Governor-General, who seeks advice from the Minister of Justice, for exercise of the Royal prerogative of mercy that can be used to grant a free pardon or to refer a conviction or sentence back to an appeal court."

    So a less-paternalistic option. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/112421737/mps-urged-to-not-appoint-judges-to-commission-for-miscarriages-of-justice

    "Nigel Hampton QC, forensic science consultant Dr Anna Sandiford and investigator Glynn Rigby, submitted for the New Zealand Public Interest Project. They endorsed the idea of a Commission, but urged caution with appointing judges and suggested adding a provision to allow an appeal after death. In their experience miscarriages of justice usually revolved around poor or inadequate investigation, forensic science, legal defence and sometimes overzealous prosecutors."

    I'm pleased to see this group lobbying for a body more representative of the public. The legal establishment has often victimised people in the past. I first suggested a public accountability mechanism in 1991 when I wrote the second draft of the Greens justice policy, as convenor of their justice policy working group. Andrew Little's proposal is a weaker alternative, but it will improve the current system. Keeping the judges out of the review group would serve the public interest, but allowing one or two to participate as advisors could also work well.

  6. A 6

    OMG plant based beef has arrived!

    Gluten, soy and GMO, and most importantly meat free burgers are on sale from 7 May at BF 🙂 I can't wait to try it out. Don't think I'll be able to totally eliminate meat (on a keto diet) but every bit counts.

    Now if only we could get rid of packaging.

    • There's no need for meat-free burgers in NZ. Much of our livestock is grass-fed on land that wouldn't be suitable for growing crops anyway. Or should be…

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Business news on Radionz this morning. Investors very interested in new food non-meat business.


        Is plant burger firm Beyond Meat really worth $1.5bn? The US firm, which counts actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio among its investors, will now offer its shares at between $23 and $25.

        The decision to increase the price from the original range of $19 and $21 indicates strong demand for the shares.

        But Beyond Meat is loss-making and does not know when it will report a profit.For its most recent financial results for 2018, Beyond Meat said losses hit $29.9m, slightly below the previous year but above a $25.1m loss in 2016…

        Beyond Meat is one of a number of so-called "unicorn" companies – which are privately-backed firms worth $1bn or more – to sell their shares to public investors this year.

    • cleangreen 6.2

      yes A

      And get the BF foods sent by train not by ‘dirty carbon emissions trucks’ please.

  7. greywarshark 7

    While we discuss politics and racism there is 'humanism' to argue for – us against technology and its weaponisation and the increasing trend of technology to destroy our lives, gradually or suddenly.
    Dennis F at 4 also refers to this.


    And also the denial of rights and robbing of land and livelihood from people inconveniently positioned on land with uses for other people. 19th century the Highland Clearances in Scotland – large scale sheep farming over-turning the people’s smallholding-croft system.

    Today one example is Western Papua bandied around to major powers, with Indonesia hosting and a USA? firm mining copper on West Papuan land with reprisals against protest that have resulted in deaths. A seeker of info trying to find truth jailed.

  8. adam 8

    The empire does this to their own, what do you think your worth…


  9. bwaghorn 9

    I cant reply

    @ pshyco milt

    Better enjoy it while it lasts . They are rapidly planting the hills killing off our way of life and you grass fed beef

  10. bwaghorn 10

    I just watche a vid saying that all methane once its broken down into co2 created from cattle is used to regrow the pasture the cattle grew on . A continuous cyclel that adds nothing new to the atmosphere as long as cattlenumbers dont rise. .

    True ? Or bs ?

    Keep it simple please

    • The Al1en 10.1

      I read that termites produce more methane than the worlds cow herd combined.

      I will do my bit for climate change by eating beef, but those bugs, you're all on your own.

      • Andre 10.1.1

        A quick google suggests termites worldwide produce around 20 million tonnes of methane per year, around half of which is oxidised before it even leaves the mound.

        Whereas cows belch around 150 million tons per year of methane, all of which goes straight into the atmosphere.

        So cows are responsible for around 15x more methane than termites.

        • The Al1en

          I'll have to search for the article I read when I'm home from work, as obviously, I wouldn't have mentioned it if I hadn't read it.

          • The Al1en

            I can't find the piece I read the other day, which would have been mainstream and not dubious, but I had a google, too.

            I found a few things that were roughly stating the same thing, though some looked dodgy, the like 12 posts to back their questionable science, so I won't advocate for them here.

            I'm happy to be corrected by proper scientists and science, so if their consensus is termites aren't heavier methane producers than cows, so be it.

            A few sites put the emissions of termites way above the 20 million tonnes figure, but note the mounds and underground networks act as filters.

            Either way, I'll still eat meat, but not bug meat.

            • McFlock

              Yes, eating insects or larvae is all well and good, but it's not for me.

              edit: unless they’re processed AF and look/taste/feel like fillet steak.

              • The Al1en

                Yeah, nah, I'd rather eat that fake crap in the supermarket which costs twice as much as cow mince but with only half the flavour… Or look at rabbit, dog and cat as a cheaper, tasty alternative.

                • McFlock

                  One thing that revolted me about soylent green was that they took actual meat and made it taste like tofu and lentils.

                  Oh, and the cannibalism, of course…

                • Andre

                  The pigs are still gonna be in trouble though. I'm only gonna give up bacon when they pry it out of my cold dead jaws.

                  Cats- nah. Turning sunshine into protein in plants is horribly inefficient. Taking another step and running that plant material through an animal to make meat protein just compounds the inefficiency. Taking yet another step and running animal protein through an obligate carnivore to produce slightly different animal protein compounds the inefficiency yet again.

                  • The Al1en

                    But there are so many of them in the hood, free range meat and all that.
                    The birds would thank you.

                    Agree about bacon, but I don’t eat it myself any more – Been called a pig so many times it’s like cannibalism.

            • Andre

              Yeah, I can't quite get up any enthusiasm for eating invertebrates either.

              While I eat very little meat, I really can't be arsed with the effort and planning needed to get the full complement of nutrients needed from a fully vege diet. But I'll be quite happy to eat vat-grown animal cells processed into burgers and sausages and mince.

              • solkta

                I can't quite get up any enthusiasm for eating invertebrates either.

                I had a really yummy prawn curry last night. Does that count?

                • Andre

                  Ewww. Prawns inhabit the same ecological niche in the sea that cockroaches do on land. Or is that lobsters? I forget. Not doing filter-feeders either.

                  • McFlock

                    Hmm. the prawn thing is bringing me around to the idea. "Cockroaches: prawns of the basement". "Land prawns", maybe?

                    They did it with canola oil.

                • McFlock

                  Actually, fair point. If cockroaches had a prawn texture, I might try them as long as they were peeled, de-legged and decapitated.

                  But locusts deep fried onna stick would be a bit of a stretch

                  • solkta

                    In this curry they just had the tails still on. It is a little off-putting when they still have a face.

                  • McFlock

                    Thinking about it (close to dinner time, after all), I've squished many a land bug, and none of them looked like raw prawns on the inside. Unless the goey innards turn solid when cooked, like an egg does?

              • The Al1en

                @Andre – See above lol

      • cleangreen 10.1.2

        Allien how can eating meat be good for climate change?

        That just encourages raising more Cattle doesn't it?

        • The Al1en

          Im happy to take a steak or burger for the team to get rid of all those cows, but veggies and veganauts, you animal lovers, if you plan to get rid of all the cows, are you happy to pull the trigger? And if you're not hypocritical about it, ignoring the obvious cognitive dissonance, why can't I eat what you slaughter?

        • Gabby

          I think Al0on was being faecetious cleany.

    • Andre 10.2

      Currently the methane concentration in the atmosphere is around 1900 ppb. Prior to the early 1800s it was very steady at around 700 ppb. The extra methane is responsible for somewhere around 1/4 to 1/3 the global temperature rise since the 1800s, and it's all due to human activities of various kinds, including vastly increasing the global numbers of ruminant livestock.

      Yes, it's true that methane oxidises to CO2 and water in the atmosphere, with a half life of around 8 to 12 years. (Half life means every molecule emitted has a 50/50 chance of surviving one half life,and a 1:4 chance of surviving two half lives, 1:8 chance of surviving 3 etc). But while that molecule of CO2 exists in the atmosphere, it is over 100 times more effective at trapping heat then the CO2 molecule it will oxidise into.

      The relatively rapid decay of methane means there's a fairly good "bucket with a hole in it" analogy for thinking about methane concentration. Imagine a bucket with a hole in it, and a tap filling it with water. The water flowing in represents the methane we're dumping into the atmosphere, the height of the water in the bucket represents methane concentration in the atmosphere, and the water flowing out represents methane getting oxidised to CO2 and water in the atmosphere. The flow of water out of the hole is a bit responsive to the water level, it flows a bit faster with a high water level, a bit slower with a low water level.

      Things were fairly well in balance up to around the 1800s at a fairly low tap flow, and a fairly low level in the bucket, and a low outflow. But when we turned the tap up by finding and burning fossil fuels and increasing agriculture all across the world, the water level rose dramatically. A big part of that turning the tap up was hugely increasing numbers of ruminant livestock. Now, if we choose to turn down the tap a bit, by decreasing ruminant numbers and/or finding ways to reduce methane emissions from ruminants, then the level of water in the bucket/methane in the atmosphere goes down, and the extra global heating reduces.

      • cleangreen 10.2.1

        smiley Yep and stop using vehicles with internal combustion engines and oil derivatives to make tyres, so rail with steel wheels and electric locomotives is our future.

        • Andre

          What is it with you that every topic needs to somehow get turned to trains? Was your childhood spent desperately wanting a train set to play with and you never got one for Christmas?

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Some 'love' trains, others prefer critiquing those with a bee in their bonnet.

            Takes all kinds…

          • greywarshark

            No Cleangreen wanting trains is because of a large part of adulthood petitioning the government to grow some brains, and do the transport thing in a way that is sustainable and provides amenities that Vogel realised in early colonial times..

            If you took any real interest in what people on this blog are really on about apart from just a way to keep you from ennui you would know this. I think you come from the USA and no doubt things are different there.

            You don't get anything done in NZ unless you are prepared to keep on about it for a couple of decades. If you ever want anything done that is good for the country Andre, don't ever think that you will get it for Christmas because Santa will see how good and right you are. Down here in the Southern Hemisphere you have to make sure that you keep asking because your notes to Santa often get mislaid.

            • Andre

              Wags asked about methane cycling in and out of the atmosphere and cows as a part of that cycle. Termites and methane is clearly a closely related topic. So WTF is the story with hijacking the thread to go completely off-topic to trains? It makes trying to follow the original topic and related topics very disjointed.

              Especially when it's so easy to just start a new separate thread about trains. Nobody is going to object to that. But thread hijacking is a really good way to get people's backs up.

              • greywarshark

                You said Andre: Now, if we choose to turn down the tap a bit, by decreasing ruminant numbers and/or finding ways to reduce methane emissions from ruminants, then the level of water in the bucket/methane in the atmosphere goes down, and the extra global heating reduces.

                That caught Cleangreens attention because he always reads your good comments, and then he thought of other ways to help the CC count of whatever go down plus the extra global heating reducing, and then he put in the bit about how using trains would be beneficial for that. So all quite easy to follow when you see the activist mind at work.

                Trains to Gisborne and the usefulness they will have towards saving fuel and carbon credits and so on are top of the bill for Cleangreen and rightly so being more important than lots of things we discuss.

                And because we have to say everything to NZ politicians and planners a thousand times before they ever hear of the idea, Cleangreen is just bringing the count up.

          • BM

            Because trucks are driving past his house and stirring up dust. If I remember correctly a quarry opened up down the road from where he lives.

            Being an older retired gentleman this is no doubt driving him nuts which are leading to the never-ending pro trains anti-truck ranting.

          • gsays

            What is it about trains vs trucks?

            In no particular order: energy efficiency for moving goods up and down this skinny country

            less diesel pollution from the electrified part of the rail network,

            no rubber compound pollution from trains,

            the trucking industry subsidised by the rest of us to pay for the damage the trucks do to roads,

            trucking industry being poorly paid, hardly unionized and often exploitative of its workers,

            the damage done to other motorists when colliding with a truck.

            I am sure there are a few more.

            Nothing to do with wanting a train set.

            • Andre

              Those are all good arguments to use in a thread about transport modes. But what is their relevance in a thread about methane cycles and cows?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                "Another visit from the thread purity police, lol." – yes, it's a thing.

                Events seem to conspire to derail my life – why should a blog thread (on Open Mike) be any different?

                Someone else will have commented (over the years), but why is it "Open Mike" (< 2 million Google matches) rather than "Open Mic" (> 17 million Google matches)? English/US difference?

                [Agree that ‘thread derailing’ is poor etiquette, so apologies for derailing the derail, just for a bit of fun.]

                • Andre

                  The thread's all over the place now, nobody's gonna give a shit anymore.

              • gsays

                Had just finished work and had a cantankerous manager have a crack.

                I picked up a touch of snark in yr comment and that was what I was responding to.

                To draw a long bow, those cows are generally about 'coz A, the are dairy and their milk leaves by truck or B, they are beef cattle and their protein leaves by truck.

                You can't have your methaney livestock in isolation.wink

      • bwaghorn 10.2.2

        Good info but you didnt answer the question .

        • McFlock

          Remember, the (primary) problem is heat absorption. Because methane is 20 times more greenhousey than CO2 that part of the cycle increases global warming.

          But also, some fertiliser comes from fossil sources, so reintroduces more carbon compounds into the atmosphere in addition to the cycle.

          And lastly, there's the "what was the land used for previously" question: burning the rain forest to make a cattle farm releases most of the carbon that was sunk into tree mass.

          So the idea of "continuous cycle" is true to a point, but contributions to GW are often not as simple as that concept would suggest.

        • Andre

          It's a factoid that's been taken out of its relevant context and used to hokey up some special pleading for some that don't want to take responsibility and make changes.

          As a standalone assertion, that methane rapidly oxidises to CO2, and that plants take CO2 out of the atmosphere to be eaten by cows that then belch methane back into the atmosphere in a continuous cycle, is correct. And it is also correct that if numbers of cows do not change (and other methane emissions do not change) then methane levels in the atmosphere won't change.

          But the context needed to understand the significance of that cycle is very important. First, methane levels now are nearly triple what they were throughout all previous human history, and the methane levels we have now are incompatible with maintaining a livable climate.

          The massive increase in ruminant livestock numbers we now have over what was present through all previous human history is a significant contributor to the extremely high methane levels we now have. Reducing ruminant livestock numbers is one of the easiest steps we could take to reduce methane levels.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            A quick Google revealed a recent (2019) paper (in a well-respected scientific journal) that suggests scientists still don't know enough to accurately predict trends in atmospheric methane concentrations.

            Interpreting contemporary trends in atmospheric methane
            Alexander J. Turner, Christian Frankenberg, and Eric A. Kort
            PNAS (Feb 2019) 116 (8) 2805-2813.

            "We show that net-zero cost emission reductions can lead to a declining atmospheric burden, but can take three decades to stabilize."


          • bwaghorn

            Thank you .

            Its important that facts are known and reported as such .

            I run into ranting cockies alot and i want to be on solid ground if im going counter their shit .

            Numbers i believe have peaked and will head down from here .

            • BM

              I'm guessing you saw the same video I saw, have a read of this comment

              Open Mike 04/12/2018

              • BM

                Fuck this new editor sucks donkey dick, it seems to want to truncate the URL, hopeless.

                I'll repost the comment

                I put up a video about cows, methane and surprise, got accused of being a denialist

                I realize this is a touchy subject, but people probably misunderstood where I was coming from, I’m not a scientist or have vast in-depth knowledge of climate change.
                I posted a video which I thought was interesting as it was saying something completely different from what I’ve seen in the media and thought I’d put it up here and get feedback.

                Asking questions doesn’t make one a denialist.

                Now about methane

                Methane concentrations have increased from around 775 parts per billion in pre-industrial times to around 1800 now, due entirely to human activities

                In the video methane and ruminants(cows) was shown to be a natural cycle where methane was endlessly recycled and nothing changed and everything was kept in balance, obviously if more cattle are added then the amount of methane would increase.
                So I went and had a look to see if cow/beef numbers have increased massively in the past 50 years and surprisingly they’ve been rather static.

                That also got me thinking pre-industrial there must have been a shit tonne of natural ruminants like Bison, Deer etc. and before them big animals like mammoths which would have been belching out methane by the tonne as well as many wetlands which have been destroyed due to farming

                I then came across this article which I found interesting.

                The question the author was trying to answer was why methane levels didn’t start to rise until the industrial age.

                According to the author
                One reason methane levels remained flat was that cattle and other ruminants (wild and domesticated) lived in intact grassland ecosystems and helped build healthy soils that contain soil microbes called methanotrophs that reduce atmospheric methane (2). Thus maintained grassland ecosystems function as methane sinks, and bank as much as 15% of the earth’s methane (3) Tillage for crops reduces the soil’s capacity to bank methane (as does exposed uncovered soil) plus also releases carbon into the atmosphere (4). Use of synthetic fertilizers also adversely impacts soil methanotrophs (5). Glyphosate in no tilled systems according to industry funded research doesn’t impact soil microbial activity. Though research by other researchers contradicts this industry perspective and details how herbicides like glyphosate adversely change the makeup of soil microbes (6).

                If that is the case because all our dairy and beef is grass fed we do not actually have that much of an impact on global methane levels? should we even be paying carbon taxes?

                Or if we do shouldn’t it be more vegetable growers and not so much farmers?

                The author points the finger more at natural gas and writes.

                Meanwhile the methane from fracking and natural gas extraction, transportation and refining, in general, apparently has been underestimated significantly maybe by 5 times or 500% per some recent studies on this topic (9). Not to mention China is massively increasing their use of natural gas and fracking. Coincidentally, the largest increases in methane levels occurred in the 1960’s when natural gas use increased significantly- nearly ten-fold.

                • solkta

                  Oh god we have seen that shit on here before. I'm sure it was you who posted it too. It is Friday night, give us a break for fucks sake.

                  Robin Grieve, Act candidate for Whangarei. Act, the only party that has ever argued that buffer zones between GE and organic farms were viable. My suggestion was napalm every 30 seconds.

                • solkta

                  Yeah Bison and Deer all over Aotearoa. We have had that discussion before also. Mindless stuff.

        • greywarshark

          FYI bwaghorn’s question waas:

          <i>I just watched a vid saying that all methane once its broken down into co2 created from cattle is used to regrow the pasture the cattle grew on . A continuous cyclel that adds nothing new to the atmosphere as long as cattlenumbers dont rise. .

          True ? Or bs ? Keep it simple please </i>

          • Pat

            the problem is that there are multiple sources of methane other than ruminants…a major contributor is the gas industry…which is unrelated to the flow argument and growing

    • greywarshark 10.3

      It's never simple bwaghorn – about natural processes.

      What do you mean they are rapidly planting the hills killing off our way of life. Do you mean that hillside pastures are being taken up by tree plantations? Pinus radiata?

      I understand that the idea of planting widely allowing grazing between once the trees have got established is probably the way to go. But don't know for sure, and if so what species? Is it possible for us to not have pinus but another one kinder to the soil.

      Perhaps they should be planting big bamboos – not keeping on the old mousewheel of pinus radiata because – fast and it's what we know. Couldn't there be some R&D money to help with trials for diversification that would be studied and published benefitting all with the information.

      • Graeme 10.3.1

        I understand that the idea of planting widely allowing grazing between once the trees have got established is probably the way to go. But don't know for sure, and if so what species? Is it possible for us to not have pinus but another one kinder to the soil.

        This was put to bed with a lot of trials by the old Forest Service in the 70's.

        Result – crap trees due to the wide spacing leading to too much branch / canopy and crap pasture due to the shading and water draw by the trees. I think most of the trials were abandoned after less than 15 years, at least the one I had a little to do with at Tikitere was.

        • greywarshark

          That is interesting. So can't put trees in for plantation purposes wide spread. What if the trees were like tagstase? and the animals could both graze grass and the tree, and get shade, and the farmer have some advantage from carbon credits from the tree left in situ? Shade is going to be something that cannot be ignored with the advent of CC becoming hot as hell out there, which would be a variable not high at the time of the trials you referred to.

          What do you say about the scenario I put together for possible adoption in the coming years. I guess the old Forest Service in the 70's was still steeped in p.radiata, so different tree – different result perhaps. And edible. And maybe more opportunity for understorey growth with other tree types as I think pinus kills and dries off undergrowth.

          • bwaghorn

            Tagasaste would last 5 seconds around cows.

            Heard of an area that has lost 100 000 stock units to trees lately . At roughly 1 job per 5000 stock units thats a massive whole in the community. Less kids in schools less partners doing other work . Etc .

            • greywarshark

              That's a giant change of finances. Not much coming in for 20-30 years so who would be parking so much finance in the trees for that long, and they might burn down. Would they get insurance in the first place?

              Even when foreign money or aggregation of farms happens, there are managers and workers required. Going into trees like that will certainly take people out of the area.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    British local body election results are coming through: https://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-48131095

    Professor Sir John Curtice, "polling expert": "There have been some remarkably good figures for the Greens so far, who on average are running at 12% of the vote in the wards that they are fighting, up 5 points on their performance in last year's local elections."

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Update from Curtice: "Note that in contrast to the position for Labour, compared with 2015 the Conservative vote is down much more heavily in the south of England (by 8 points) as compared with the north of England (by 2 points). If this pattern continues then Tory losses in the south of England tomorrow could still prove to be quite substantial."

  12. Labour are tanking at the moment, with 2 councils lost and -50 councillors.

    They may yet, even though polling at around 30%, win a general election, though it'll be more down to Farrage and his brexit it party bleeding support from the Tories at about 18% nationally.

    The lib dems are the nights winners, so far, which may also impede on labour in those 3 way seats they need to win to take a majority at parliament.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 12.1

      “Labour are tanking at the moment…”

      Thanks for that BBC link, Dennis.

      As of 6 pm (NZ time): So far the Tories have lost 16 councils and Labour three.

  13. Kay 13

    Welfare working group report just released. Perfectly reasonable recommendations but given this report only exists as part of the confidence & supply agreement with the Greens and would never have happened otherwise, it's safe to say the vast majority of it will be watered down, delayed or totally ignored, especially the raising of the core benefit rates.


    • greywarshark 13.1


      Keep questioning I think and they won't be able to get away with a watered down version. It sounds so promising that i feel tremendously hopeful. If there is a spark of old Labour to be dug around and watered, it might send up shoots and flower. A thing of beauty and a joy forever.

      Beneficiaries who work will be able to earn more before their pay is docked, and the sanction against solo mothers who don't name the father of their children will be scrapped, as the government begins its overhaul of the welfare system.

      If bennies can earn much more, then they can get themselves onto the work train when possible. If they can get child sitting during school holidays then they can work that into an earning scheme that will provide those needed shoes, the sports gear, the inclusion of their kids in events at school.

      And not naming the father gives them the option of not including a ne'er-do-well into the family life the mother is trying to build. He may know himself but won't have the department after him for money and it is better if the aim is to help the mother to become self-sustaining which is a good role model for the youngsters. Not having a druggie, alcoholic or play-acting father around, will make for stability and will be likely to cut into the stats for domestic violence. There is choice involved as to whether to have occasional visits or not if the father is a degenerate or just unreliable. It is a blow to a child if a visit is set up and the child is ready and waiting, and the father doesn't turn up, or is drunk and disorderly, or is subtly demeaning of the mother’s efforts so the child is left idolising the idea of him as generous, and the mother as being unworthy, and not to be fully loved which would cut into the mutual support that builds good family ties and relationships.

      National bereft of effective positive ideas as usual with their usual expressions of negativity. Louise Upston with this one:

      "National disagrees with the bulk of the report, which would see fewer obligations imposed on beneficiaries and fewer incentives to get back into work.

      They still haven't caught up with womens lib yet. To them it was university women's lib, so they could grab the well-paying jobs when available that came with perks like maternity leave. Ordinary women were neither to share this bounty, or receive the respect due to mothers and partners trying to bring up healthy children, with values of honesty and kindness, with hope for a skilled job at a decent wage. 'Dragging up your kids' is the disparaging view of better-off National looking at lower income people's efforts, and they fund to match and perpetuate that malign view.

      • Kay 13.1.1

        @Grey- my view of welfare does tend to be through the illness/disability lens, ie the one that rarely gets mentioned. Incentives to work mean absolutely nothing to a lot of us, but being able to pay for medical treatment without starving, does. That's not to say I'm not interested in what else is happening in general, but we don't tend to rate much of a mention. Besides, it's hard for the bashers to have a direct attack at us so no air time in the media either. I wish I could join you in feeling hopeful. But history dictates that, even if a few positive changes occur over the next few years, as soon as the government changes again- and being NZ it inevitably will- the first thing the Nats will do is attack welfare.

        Something slightly amusing though- I noticed Stuff had opened their comments section for this story, so I posted a comment reminding them about their new policy of not opening stories about beneficiaries for comments, and was the temptation to let back in the bashers too much for them? Funnily enough the comments are now closed 🙂

        • greywarshark


          After reading your and Rosemarys comments i realise that I don't know much about the disability allowance. The welfare net has been set far too high for anyone to be able to fall into it for years. The stupid way that supplements etc were set up should have been adjusted for inflation at the beginning and often were not.

          Anyway here is a cute little UK ad from the past about finding work that the increased front line staff might copy.

          Jobs for women.

          We might get something in the Budget but Ms Sepuloni doesn't sound promising. 'Staged implementation' makes me think of a performance of Shakespeares 'All's Well that Ends Well' .

          • Gabby

            Maybe Robbo will find it in his heart to throw more money at suffering property developers.

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.2

      Announcement made…https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/112435767/government-to-scrap-benefit-sanction-for-solo-mums-employ-263-frontline-staff-to-help-beneficiaries-find-work

      Some improvement…getting rid of the sanction for solo mums who don't name the father and increase the amount earned before abatement but….sweet fa for anyone else.

      However, Sepuloni said the Government had decided against a recommended move to increase benefit levels by up to 47 per cent immediately so Kiwis could "live in dignity", and was instead "looking at a staged implementation" of change.

      It would also allocate $76.3 million for 263 new frontline staff with the sole "focus of helping more people into meaningful and sustainable work".

      So, it looks like more of the arbeit mach frei that the Nats were so fond of.

      When I saw the headline you linked to Kay I thought of you. I've said this before, but when Peter graduated from the Supported Living Payment to the Super we were actually able to save a few dollars while living almost full time in our Bus and largely free camping.

      That is how much difference there is between the SLP and Super.

      Maybe they're saving something for those on SLP as a Budget day headline?

      • Kay 13.2.1

        @Rosemary, I'd like to think so but it seems pretty clear they're not going to increase any of the core benefits. The one thing they could do (and it wouldn't upset most of the voters either) is getting rid of that pathetic cap on the disability allowance, $62/week or whatever it is now. It hasn't been lifted for years. That would help a lot without having to roll things over onto TAS etc, minimise paperwork.

        My rent is now $30/week more than my core benefit so I'm existing entirely off the supplements which I'm maxed out on, and I doubt I'm alone…

        • Rosemary McDonald

          The list of recommendations….

          Key recommendations of the welfare expert advisory group:

          • Increase main benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent
          • Remove some benefit obligations and sanctions
          • Fully index all income support payments and thresholds annually to movements in average wages of prices, whichever is the greater
          • Index accommodation supplement rates to movements in housing costs
          • Consider introducing a living alone payment that contributes to the additional costs of adults living alone
          • Reform Working for Families
          • Reform supplementary assistance and hardship assistance so they are adequate
          • Ensure sufficient resourcing for frontline services
          • Help recipients of sole parent support return to part-time work when their youngest child is six years old
          • Prioritise a reduction in outstanding benefit debt through sustainable repayments and minimise the creation of overpayments, including reviewing recoverable hardship assistance grants
          • Instigate a cross-government approach to managing debt to government agencies

          Seems the government has largely ignored pretty much all of the suggestions.

          Mostly interested in happy- clappy headline grabbers.


          • Ad

            A good Friday afternoon dump – to be expected from this lot, no matter what the party colour.

  14. Fireblade 14

    It will be like a Royal Wedding.

    Congratulations to Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford.


    • Gabby 14.1

      Sweet merciful god.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        You sound very religious Gabby. I guess we will all give thanks and prayers for their happy future together, both trying to multi-task, in a balanced modern relationship.

    • Ad 14.2

      Hopefully next year about 6 months from the election.

      And in the next term, another baby please.

      We're good for 50% plus and governing with either Greens or NZF on that.

      Nice white flowing gown with veil please. Maybe borrow Princess Di's dress.

      • indiana 14.2.1

        Awesome…hope they do it MAF stylze!

        • Ad

          For a third term, third child.

          So much better than any substantial policy at all.

          • Gabby

            Winston might veto a third child.

            • Incognito

              Why? He’ll get to be acting PM again. Don’t they have to make the job permanent of three fixed-term contracts?

              • greywarshark

                Do you mean so he can get his parliamentary super? I think Winston is so super that has been allocated long ago. And I think he deserves it as he has kept on making politics look vital and meaningful, at least some;times.

    • Fireblade 14.3

      I hope someone's printing commemorative mugs and tea towels.

      • Rosemary McDonald 14.3.1

        I hope you're joking.

        • Ad

          It's going to happen.

          Dollar for dollar Labour donations so he can afford a 2 carat e grade vvs1 rock.

          It's all about the rock now people.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            God almighty it just may be so. frown

            I may have to go somewhere else for a while.

            A tune for a Friday, methinks…

          • patricia bremner

            Ad the ring has been photographed and looks a simple tasteful affair. Why so sour?

    • Cinny 14.4

      Congrats to them, that's fantastic news.

      • ankerawshark 14.4.1

        Yes congrats to Clark and Jacinda. Great news.

        I hope they do it their way. Sure they will.

        LOL about the PR opportunities re the next election.

        Wedding 3 weeks out from election???????

        Seriously though, this plus the welfare reforms, very good news.

        I hope they go very very far! And news in now Pike River agency think they have

        identified what has stopped them re-entering the mine……

        • Puckish Rogue

          Except those pesky housing targets won't be met, the trees won't be planted and those child poverdy markers going the wrong direction isn't anything to be pleased about smiley

        • Anne

          They will marry quietly and privately with no fuss. We will probably only find out after the event.

          My reason for saying so is because Jacinda and Clarke like to keep their private lives private and that is the way it should be.

      • patricia bremner 14.4.2

        Thanks Cinny and Anne, for some decency. I am missing veteuviper and find much of the comment on here a little depressing and very sour, so I am on holiday for a while from the Standard, and I notice a few other absences. Cheers.

    • The Chairman 14.5

      It will be like a Royal Wedding.

      Their announcement is a timely distraction from the welfare report.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 14.5.1

        "Their announcement is a timely distraction" – too cynical?

        • The Chairman

          A spokesman for the prime minister said the pair were engaged over Easter weekend.

          Yet, it was conveniently announced today. A day Labour once again fell short on public hope and expectations.

  15. Morrissey 15

    CIA puppet's attempted putsch backed by Trump, Abrams, Pompeo and Bolton fails embarrassingly; U.S. state television (CNN) is flummoxed

  16. ankerawshark 16

    PR you got your Slushies! That would never have happened under Judith. A vote for her may endanger that.

    Yes targets won't be met, but they are at least doing something. If you care about those things PR don't vote for Judiths crowd, join Labour and put pressure on them to go further.

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