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Open mike 03/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, March 3rd, 2015 - 244 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 …

244 comments on “Open mike 03/03/2015 ”

  1. Penny Bright 1

    Looking forward to Labour and Mana campaigning vigorously on the issues in the Northland by-election, and their supporters serving the ‘national interest’ by voting for Winston Peters and taking Northland off National.

    VOTE Winston Peters for Northland!

    That’s the ‘common sense’ thing I’d do – were I a Northland voter ….

    National will be legislatively ‘lame-ducked’ with only 59 MPs WHEN they lose Northland to Winston Peters.

    Let’s do everything we can to help ensure that happens – if we’re genuine in our opposition to this John Key led National Government.

    Who is the MAIN political ‘enemy’ here?

    Penny Bright

    • DoublePlusGood 1.1

      Do Northlanders get to vote for a non-awful politician at all? Like Willow-Jean Prime?

      • Skinny 1.1.1

        Well they do have other options, especially the farming community since National have chosen to ignore them and appointment a patsy candidate. I figure Peters and
        ACT man Robin Goodgrief will attract their vote. And of course Willow Jean will get her share too.

        • Clemgeopin

          Labour has the unenviable position of having their social and economic policies being STOLEN left, right and centre, by painful parasites, corrupt crooks and tricky thieves.

      • Pasupial 1.1.2


        Little has said that the LP won’t be pulling Prime from the race, so Northlanders will certainly have the chance to vote for her. It’s whether they regard that choice as being in the best interests of the country that is the issue.

        Consider that she can’t expect to pick up much of the Green vote at the moment. Best scenario would be if they voted for Peters, which would go a long way towards ensuring that the two parties could work together amicably in a future government. More likely is that they’ll stay away in droves.

        • mickysavage

          Why not? Her particular world view and her beliefs would fit in well with green supporters. I am sure most of them are more concerned about having a progressive in Parliament than wondering about beltway issues.

          • weka

            I agree. I’m a Green voter and I’d vote Prime over Peters.

            • Pasupial


              I was a Green voter (until I got involved in the abortion that was the IMP alliance) and I would prefer to vote for Prime over Peters too (if I was enrolled in Northland). However that is not the choice.

              The choice is between; NACT retaining a majority in the house with Osbourne, or their having to deal with either Dunne or the MP, and thus slightly curb their rapacity. Peters may be able to win the seat, Prime can not.

              For the Greens to vote for a LP candidate after the spy committee debacle is like; the victim of domestic abuse running back to their partner because they can’t be bothered going the stress of a breakup anymore. Labour does not respect the GP, and never has; they’ve been fluttering their eyelashes at Peters for the last six years themselves.

              At this point, the Greens would be better off; single and looking out for their own interests. Rather than continuing hoping Labour will change if they just try one more time.

              • weka

                “However that is not the choice”

                That depends. If you believe that a slight lessening of NACT’s power over the next 2.5 years is the most important thing, then voting Peters makes sense. It’s a fair enough tactic because it’s likely that more and more pressure will go on National over DP and other fuck ups and there’s a slight chance that Dunne or the MP might get some actual ethics.

                On the other hand, there’s the medium and long term view, which is that Peters is not left wing, he’s consistently opposed the formation of a govt that includes the GP, which essentially means that he is actively working against the left. Him having more power at this point is detrimental and undermines the mahi of shifting NZ left again.

                “For the Greens to vote for a LP candidate after the spy committee debacle is like”

                That’s an argument to not vote Labour, not an argument to vote Peters. If we’re talking about debacles, remember it’s Peters that essentially set the tone for MMP in NZ early on and we’ve never recovered from that. That tone is anti-democratic and has entrenched a power and control model that suits powermongers like Peters.

                Further, there are many things about Labour that I object to as a GP voter. Should I then not support a Labour led govt in 2017? What is the alternative?

                • Pasupial


                  About all Labour have going for them these days is that they’re not as bad as National. You could just about trust them to manage the evacuation of a sinking ship after it’d run onto the rocks – wheras the Tories would be tearing up the decking for liferafts; to sell to the highest bidder (or really; to the lowest bidder who’d promised a lucrative consultancy once they’re back on dry land). Environment being the ship (and dry land gone forever).

                  But for those Green voters who can’t bring themselves to vote for either; NZF, or Labour at this time, there is one alternative to staying home on voting day:

                  …Norwegian company Statoil offers no jobs for Northland. In its home country of Norway 50% of all profits will go back to the Norwegian government. In New Zealand only 6% is awarded to the tax payer and not a cent of that money reaches Northland. The underlying issue here is that Northland is taking all the environmental risk and making no gains.

                  Rueben Taipari Porter is a fantastic candidate representing the Mana Movement and has displayed his leadership abilities in the Stop Statoil Hikoi. His campaign that will be setting the narrative on policy for this By-election while other party candidates will run their campaign based on party reputation or political experience.


                  • weka

                    If what you say is true, how is a strong Peters going to help in 2017?

                  • Clemgeopin

                    “Rueben Taipari Porter is a fantastic candidate representing the Mana Movement”

                    But a wasted vote nevertheless in reality and indirectly helping the Nats although in a small way!

                • Clemgeopin

                  “a slight chance that Dunne or the MP might get some actual ethics”

                  Forget that. Power, position, ego, money and baubles are as powerful, if not more powerful, than sex.

                  It takes people of courage, honour and integrity to to be ‘true to themselves’ and do ‘the right thing’.

                  At the moment, I can only think of Marilyn Waring, Jim Anderton and Winston Peters in that honourable club of guts.

              • Murray Rawshark

                +1 Pasupial
                The only question here should be whether we can do something to slow NAct down for the rest of their term. I think Winnie can possibly win the seat. I don’t think he will drag Winston First over to the government benches this time, given the events in Northland that led up to this byelection. It’s a gamble, but voting for WJP is just throwing money away.

                I note Little has already started saying Winnie is too old. Well, not too old to see the dangers of the Increase in Surveillance Bill and vote against it. I wish a few of the Labour team could have spines as old as Winnie’s.

                • bearded git

                  Tactically a vote for Winnie is obvious for both Green and Labour voters. A Winnie win will stop reforms that will gut the RMA in their tracks for instance something the Greens would love.

                  But do Labour really care about the RMA?? Prove me wrong and vote tactically for Winnie please.

                  • Pasupial

                    With any luck – but that’s only if you believe Dunne when he says that he is opposed to those; “reforms that will gut the RMA”. He might just settle for a cosmetic change in the legislation and a ministerial role.

              • A Voter

                Very good look at the voters position in the Vote for Northland lets hope everyone reads it

          • Skinny

            I would far rather a ‘collective response’ Mickey. The Smart Greens have played their part by sitting this one out. It is a pity going down the throat cutting path. What slim hope of an upset win is pretty much gone now.

          • millsy

            Im not too sure about WJP’s left wing credentials? What was her record on the FNDC? Anyone know?

          • Anne

            The way I see it at present micky is that Labour and Willow Jean Prime are in danger of coming in a distant third and being humiliated in the process. I hope it isn’t going to happen, but it’s possible given people cast their votes for different reasons in byelections. If the fancy takes them they could vote for Winston in large numbers to make some kind of statement, even though they would not dream of voting for him in a general election. That is why I suspect the ‘statistical’ figures are not much use in this byelection.

            I don’t trust Winston Peters but he hates this current mob with a vengeance (and with good reason) and I can’t see him cuddling up to them in any shape or form – not any more. Also, his political career is coming to an end. At 70+, I can’t see a future ahead of him but I can imagine him wanting to indulge in a bit of utu before he finally hangs up his political hat.

            The harder we can make it for this government to continue to play dirty – and emasculate the economy in the process – the sooner we can be rid of them. It has to be the top priority of the opposition parties at this point in time. Labour has no hope of ever retaining the treasury benches on it’s own. It must work as a team across the spectrum of opposition parties from left to centre-right, before there is any chance of it happening. This byelection was an opportunity to see a cooperative effort begin to emerge which would ultimately see a change of government, and set in train the desperately needed more progressive policies of Labour and the broad left.

            That’s the way I see it anyway.

            • weka

              I don’t think concessions should be one sided where there is something significant being given up. The GP aren’t really giving up much by not standing someone. Labour would be.

              No-one knows what Peters will do. That’s the point.

              My own thinking is that Peters will again actively work against the formation of a left wing govt and will try and either form a govt with Labour that excludes the GP and pulls Labour to centre, or National will clean house before 2017 and Peters will go with them. He sure as hell won’t say pre-election what he will do. Labour and the GP pre-election should make it clear that they are willing to work with NZF in coalition building, but that it’s NZF that is unwilling to let voters know their intentions before the electio.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Winston’s a social conservative. Now, having got that out of the way, his economic, employment and infrastructure policies are often well to the left of Labour’s.

                • weka

                  So? My comment wasn’t about Peters’ politics (although I’d guess you are talking about NZF policy), it was about his behaviour.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    So you’re a mind reader then? You know Peter’s intentions and plans? You might not like the man but that’s not the same thing as having insight into what his motivations are entering into this race.

                    • jenny kirk

                      Entering this debate late – having just come home from delivering a load of pamphlets for Willow-Jean (and getting caught up in the traffic jam caused by accident in Whangarei).

                      I don’t trust Winston either, Weka . He is too likely to be persuaded by the Nats – with a nice little bauble – to go with them and not the Opposition. This has happened in the past with Winston : he likes to play games, and tease, but underneath all that charm and smile – he is a basic National player.

                      And if any of you have read Andrew Little’s State of the Nation speech you will see that Labour is on the verge of change, and Willow Jean Prime will help bring about that change – for the good of the environment, the economy, the workers and people needing employment – so don’t write her off yet.

                      And don’t assume that Winston will do what he says he might do !!

                    • b waghorn

                      @ j kirk I don’t trust Winny either give heaps up north ,people are sick of political games labour needs to play it straight and go for the win.

                    • weka

                      “So you’re a mind reader then? You know Peter’s intentions and plans? You might not like the man but that’s not the same thing as having insight into what his motivations are entering into this race.”

                      That also doesn’t have anything to do with my comment. I haven’t said anything about Peters’ motivations (others have). I’ve talked about his behaviour to date and why I think it’s foolish to believe he is reliable.

                      It’s nothing to do with liking/not liking the man (like others, I find admirable things about him). It’s the cold hard fact that he will never let anyone know ahead of time what he will do. I’M not the one claiming I know his intentions, I’m saying that he never tells anyone what his intentions are. That’s one of the reasons he can’t be relied on.

                      Sure Labour and the GP need him as an ally. But the left should be honest about what that means, not engaging in fantasies of Peters’ being left wing. People can work/vote to increase his power, but let’s not pretend that we know what that means for the future. Let’s be honest about the risk.

                    • weka

                      thanks Jenny. I don’t hold a huge amount of hope, but am still willing to give Little and Labour the benefit of the doubt that they can change.

                • Skinny

                  +1 CR
                  And as a unionist I will add a couple of things I like about Peters. If there is an important industrial issue that I want raised in the House Peters will take the issue up “email me the details,” 48 hours time bingo. Where as over at camp workers party the wheels turn slow, a maybe a maybe not, a reply a no reply. Lets hope Little will sort this out. The Greens are good too and deliver, either leading questions or adding sups working with Peters in an attack. Don’t forget the opposition were woeful till Peters returned and gave some bite.

                  • Chooky

                    Peters was also a very good Minister when he was in Parliament…he treated senior public servants and advisers with respect and listened carefully to their research and advice….he did his background homework and asked intelligent questions…the implementation of policy was efficient and fast….I am told he was one of the best Ministers to work with

                    He also worked very well with Helen Clark and her Labour Government …and of late there has not been any conflict with the Greens

                    • jenny kirk

                      to b waghorn – Yep –
                      Labour IS giving it heaps here in the Northland electorate. We’re all out – we want to WJ to win – everyone is doing their bit for Willow-Jean – Labour MPs, Leader and activists – and none of it hits the media – but we’re going all out for W-J and Labour !

                  • Hmmm, excuse my cynicism, but can you give us some examples of Peters raising industrial issues in the house on your behalf, Skinny?

                    • jenny kirk

                      + 100% te reo putake

                    • Skinny

                      * how rude of me, on behalf of the membership and public/taxpayer.

                      Due to events currently unfolding where Winston’s assistance will be required, it would be totally inappropriate to potentially reveal his source.

                    • Ok, then. Any example of times where Winston has raised such issues. His previously unknown support for the workers can’t be just restricted to your industry, surely, so there must be heaps.

                    • Skinny

                      Well he did fight for the racing industry which was in serious trouble, 20,000 jobs there. Bit of a double edged sword tho.

                      You got to hand it to him, he knows how to campaign. I see tomorrow he is has his campaign bus tour from one end of the electorate to the other. He has targeted any soft votes in Willow Jeans home patch for his major launch.

                    • weka

                      Skinny, I don’t think anyone is arguing that Peters is not an astute and powerful politician. That’s not a good enough reason to vote for him in this situation.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Where as over at camp workers party the wheels turn slow, a maybe a maybe not, a reply a no reply.

                    Yep. I’ve known subject area experts quite trying to give Labour help and hints because too often Labour don’t give enough of a fuck to either recognise the value of what is being given to them on a plate, or can’t be organised enough to use it in anything resembling a timely manner.

                    The Greens get the expert help instead, now.

          • Clemgeopin

            If wishes are horses, we (Labour) would have won and in government now.

    • Atiawa 1.2

      On this matter, your “common sense” ain’t mine. Winston is a disgruntled tory and is not to be trusted with the balance of power.

    • Lanthanide 1.3

      Why can’t Winston stand down, and just leave it as Labour vs National?

    • esoteric pineapples 1.4

      I don’t know … I was just listening to a doco on National Radio on the move to introduce a Maori ward seat on the New Plymouth council where Winston was attacking the plan which is supported by the mayor Andrew Judd. It reminded me of how unpleasant he can be.


    • Chooky 1.5

      +100 Penny…Winston Peters, MP for Northland !

    • GregJ 1.6

      You know all this pissing around and navel gazing would be reduced if we simply adopted Instant-runoff voting (aka Alternative Vote) in our electorate seats and required a majority rather than a plurality.

      Then everyone can run, parties can campaign properly on their policies and the local issues and you can put your support behind an alternative if your first choice doesn’t make it.

      Sheesh! 😡

  2. miravox 2

    Yesterday’s discussion on roading infrastructure in Venezuela was interesting, but I find I’m particularly taken with the user-pays road repairs in Honduras (amongst other things) in this politically innovative Central American country.

    • McFlock 2.1


    • joe90 2.2

      If you have the stomach, SOA stories from Honduras.


      • miravox 2.2.1

        Jeez joe,

        Chile (or is that Colombia?) MkII. Another wasted decade and terrorised population in another American country the US got involved in.

        • GregJ

          I’m beginning to think a real secure border fence between the US and Mexico is a good idea – to keep the f&*king USA out of Mexico, Central and South America. 😈

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Why would you do that?

            …lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups.

            Hodson & Busseri 2012

            My bold: only ~25% of US ‘citizens’ even have a passport, let alone travel overseas.

          • miravox

            “I’m beginning to think a real secure border fence between the US and Mexico is a good idea”

            This has some merit – if it were a financial fence that kept greedy randist republicans out of Latin America’s infrastructure & businesses.

            Apparently the US officially backs the ousted president.

  3. ianmac 3

    “The cost of implementing a new child support system has rocketed to $163 million – a blowout that dwarfs the bill for fixing the controversial Novopay school payroll system.

    The new figure has been described as “gobsmacking” by a former top Government executive who was in office when the cost was originally put at $30 million.”
    What a clumsy fellow Joyce is?

    • tinfoilhat 3.1


      What a mind numbing waste of money, just think of what impact those funds would have had if actually spent on child support itself rather than a fancy computer system.

      As always no one will be held to account and the consultants will all be able to buy themselves new mercedes.

  4. Chooky 4

    imo this interview with Allan Gibbs by Wallace Chapman is a shocker…it starts off ok with references to art…hobnobbing with the likes of Ralph Hotere , visits to Cuba with artists, flirtations with socialism, the life of hippies, wife swapping … and entrepreneurship, …. and critiques of economics degree youngsters running the public service ….and ends with a Ruth Richardson adoration piece and a diatribe thunder and brimstone from the pulpit …. Old Testament morality ….shades of old Salvation Army morality….not getting your girlfriend pregnant unless you are going to marry her !…..reminded me of the 1970s…(.what about contraception and aborton….and doesnt the woman have a say?….what about issues of education ,employment for women ?…all around the world where women are educated and have jobs and contraception and abortion there is no unwanted pregnancy or over population ) scary patriarchal Old Testament stuff .

    Great interview by Wallace Chapman!


    • framu 4.1

      basically GIbbs is just a crazy old man, with enough money for people to pay attention to what he says

      The weird bit is, its not that hard to find old people ranting about some perceived injustice or whatever – i know, i do it myself 🙂 (and im not THAT old)

      • Rodel 4.1.1

        At first the interview with Gibbs seemed weak with a few mild questions and prompts from Wallace Chapman allowing Gibbs to pontificate.

        Then it became apparent that Gibbs was being played like a fish with Chapman baiting him until the ranting reached near fever pitch.

        A perfect example of a typical card carrying ACT member.. ‘intoxicated with his wealth and inebriated by the exuberance of his own verbosity. ‘ (Apologies to Disraeli)

        Well done Wallace- but where ‘s Wayne Brittenden?

  5. Pascals bookie 5

    First big test of the anti-IS plan in Tikrit is unfolding


    Lots of things to watch. The Iraqi PM says its all sweeteness and light, and that the first priority is to not harm innocents, and that Sunni tribal fighters will be shown mercy if they surrender. Bit quioeter on what happens if they don;t surrender, and what surrending would actually mean.

    The Badr guy largely running the Op is framing it as revenge for previous IS war summary executions of Shia soldiers.

    • Pasupial 5.1


      I wouldn’t be too optimistic on that mercy:

      Reports of attacks by the militia on Sunni civilians – including accusations of mass executions – have increased in recent weeks, as they battle to retake control of towns and villages that were under Isis control… some, like the large Badr Corps, say they want to avenge the Camp Speicher massacre in Tikrit last year, in which Isis reportedly killed more than 1,500 Iraqi armed forces cadets… the volunteer fighters, who are part of the Hashd al-Shaabi (“Popular Mobilisation”) were seeking greater political influence through a victory against Isis in Tikrit…

      [T]he likely destruction of the city may benefit Isis in the long run.

      “If pro-government militia succeed, it will probably be after the complete destruction of the city and it will be credited to Iranian-backed militia which will further alienate Sunnis and make Isis’s hold on larger cities in Iraq and Syria even firmer,” said Hassan. “It is clearly a chance for these militia to score points and project power, which the US should keep in mind if it plans to provide air cover for these forces.”


      Look at the pic in that article, that is a; Shia militia parade, but all the soldiers are wearing balaclavas or other cloth masks. It looks like a group of people who are on their way to commit a righteous cleansing, to avenge the despicable massacre perpetrated by their enemies (who will be sure to reciprocate in due course).

    • GregJ 5.2

      The Badr guy largely running the Op is framing it as revenge for previous IS war summary executions of Shia soldiers.

      It’s not just Hadi al-Amiri (nominally the Iraqi Minister of Transport). He’s been joined by Qassem Suleimani aka “the Shadow Commander” (the Iranian Major-General and the commander of the Quds Force – the special forces division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard primarily responsible for extraterritorial operations since 1998 and who provide support and training for most of Iran’s proxies, from Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, to the Houthis in Yemen). He’s been rebuilding and reinforcing the Shia militias for the past year.

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1

        Great that our troops have picked a side (had a side picked for them) in the Iraqi sectarian civil war. This is going to go well.

        • GregJ

          But CR – we must do something. We must. John said so (and so did Tony & Barrack). And sending troops – it’s our only option. It is, really! 😥

  6. The liberation of Tikrit is underway. The city, Saddam Hussein’s home town, is on the main road to Mosul and has both military and propaganda significance. As one of the larger cities under ISIS control, it will be interesting to learn after it’s freed just how much support ISIS actually have in their conquered territories or whether the local populations are just subdued by fear.


    This article is a good background to the current Pentagon plan. Big emphasis on training the locals.


    Edit: Snap, P’s B!

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.1

      The liberation of Tikrit is underway.

      Thanks for the propaganda line.

    • Pascals bookie 6.2

      That Time piece is pretty hilarious in light of today’s events;


      The Baghdad govt and it’s Iranian allies don’t give many fucks about the Pentagon’s timetable. It’s like they’ve got their own plan or something, the bastards.

  7. Sable 7

    Censorship anyone. Googles plans to “define” the “truth”:


    • grumpystilskin 7.1

      And on that note, read this article from ARS technica about the future of the internet.
      It’s not good news. Specifically, read the 2nd page listing the 5 internet futures.


    • Chooky 7.2

      +100 Sable…interesting ‘New Scientist’ is going to help define a new method for establishing “truth”…recently ‘New Scientist’ has carried some dubious articles itself imo….eg 6 September 2014…SPECIAL REPORT ‘END OF THE NATION – The Old world order is dying. What comes next?’….and another issue carried a large feature on Bill Gates special advanced education programme using computer learning instead of teachers….Bill Gates is investing heavily into privatised Charter Schools…taking education away from state and democratic control

      …in other words ‘New Scientist’ is getting into promoting right wing corporate politics

      “The search engine currently relies on a system that ranks websites based on how many times the page has been linked to – which means that even fake information has a way of making it up the chain of search results.

      According to a New Scientist report, the new model developed by a Google research team would count the number of incorrect facts on each website to establish a Knowledge-Based Trust score for each site – an overall rating of trustworthiness”.


      ( personally i prefer the wisdom of crowds for debating/establishing “truth”….who wants to be spoon fed ‘truth’ from those who think they know it all?…and usually in the pay of corporate oligarchs and political /religious right wing patriarchal dictators)

    • The Murphey 7.3

      Indeed Sable – This from a few years ago

      Q. Does the internet need a Ministry of Truth ?

      One is to train our browsers to flag information that may be suspicious or disputed. Thus, every time a claim like “vaccination leads to autism” appears in our browser, that sentence would be marked in red—perhaps, also accompanied by a pop-up window advising us to check a more authoritative source. The trick here is to come up with a database of disputed claims that itself would correspond to the latest consensus in modern science—a challenging goal that projects like “Dispute Finder” are tackling head on.

      The second—and not necessarily mutually exclusive—option is to nudge search engines to take more responsibility for their index and exercise a heavier curatorial control in presenting search results for issues like “global warming” or “vaccination.” Google already has a list of search queries that send most traffic to sites that trade in pseudoscience and conspiracy theories; why not treat them differently than normal queries? Thus, whenever users are presented with search results that are likely to send them to sites run by pseudoscientists or conspiracy theorists, Google may simply display a huge red banner asking users to exercise caution and check a previously generated list of authoritative resources before making up their minds

      Q. Is Google the Ministry of Truth ?

      THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free “news” stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness.
      Google’s search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.

      A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team (arxiv.org/abs/1502.03519v1). The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.

      The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings

      Q. GSK mined discussion boards for more sales revenue ?

      GlaxoSmithKline PLC scoured parent sites with text analytics software to learn more on the concerns parents have about vaccines.

      The U.K. pharmaceutical company used text analytics to analyze public discussion boards on BabyCenter.com and WhattoExpect.com, to learn what factors motivate parents to either go ahead or delay vaccinating their children for diseases like measles and mumps, said Dominic Hein, executive director of the company unit that plans new vaccines. The two month project, conducted last year, collected only anonymized excerpts and topics from posts, and no user identities, the company said

      Neither parents nor administrators of these sites were aware that Glaxo was monitoring their conversations, but the pharmaceutical company says it needed to learn which concerns were causing parents to delay vaccinating their children – a key factor in the rise in incidences of these childhood diseases, it said. “When you go into the public forums, that’s where this conversation is taking place,” Mr. Hein said. “And by listening to what our customers say to each other we can better understand their needs.”

  8. Philip Ferguson 8

    Throughout it’s entire history as a country, dating from 1776, the US has been at war all but 21 years.

    Quite an impressive achievement.

    Make war, not love!


  9. Philip Ferguson 9

    There is a certain logic to NZ involvement in Iraq.

    This country’s ruling elite have always been aggressive little imperialists – in fact in the late 1800s NZ had a reputation as the “little Prussia of the South Pacific”.



  10. Philip Ferguson 10

    Excellent left economist Michael Roberts examines the state of the world economy and suggests it’s not going to get better:

    In New Zealand, this seems the ‘best’ that is on offer: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/low-pay-longer-hours-and-less-social-mobility/


  11. The Murphey 11

    Drug makers control the data derived from the efficacy and safety studies that they fund

    In the last three decades, the FDA has become increasingly dependent for its continued functioning upon user fees paid by the very drug makers it’s meant to regulate. Meanwhile, a lack of government funding for research and development has made consumers entirely dependent upon private industry for new drugs — which means that safety and efficacy standards are perennially weighed against the demands of a corporation’s bottom line

    Drug makers control the data derived from the efficacy and safety studies that they fund (making the suppression of unflattering data all too easy), and have, for well over a decade now, had a government-facilitated way to communicate directly — and, again, selectively — with the public through direct to consumer advertising. Not only is the United States all but alone in the world (along with New Zealand) in permitting direct marketing of prescription drugs to consumers, it actually encourages such commercially-biased public “education” through tax breaks.

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.1

      I’m sure this complex highly monied system has patients and practitioners best interests at heart through the incorruptible virtues of science, why be so concerned? /sarc

      • The Murphey 11.1.1

        Financial ratings companies rely on fees from financial institutions for thier existence while the regulatory agencies funding is cut and staffed with insiders

        Q. What could posaibly go wrong with that model in healthcare ?


      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.2

        Still humping that strawman?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          None so blind as the truly faithful.

          • One Anonymous Bloke


            The reason we have peer review is because there is no such thing as incorruptible virtue. I note that GSK were fined for marketing drugs for “unapproved uses”. I further note that the case against them was the result of whistleblowers coming forward, and also relied heavily on scientific evidence.

            You might as well blame corruption on the water in the swimming pool. After all, people swim in it!

            • The Murphey


              Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The article only deals with the process of peer review as a guide to whether a paper is worthy of immediate publication.

                It takes longer than that. Publication fosters debate, time degrades generational prejudice, bias and other corruptions. For example, Gravity Probe B supports the theory of general relativity, and a quantum eraser shows that Einstein was wrong to oppose Bohr.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Hold the faith, hold the faith, hold the faith

                  BTW physics is an actual science; medicine is largely commercially applied for-profit technology. World of difference.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke


                    I’ve experienced good results from Chiropractic treatment. Your drivel makes me wonder if it was all the placebo effect.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Could be. If the placebo effect helps someone’s condition, then it is not something I shy from. Over half the effect of any medical drug can typically be ascribed to the “placebo effect” (whatever that actually is).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Do placebos normally make that much noise? Is it like Pavlov? A secret machine that makes a large cracking sound and that relaxes the piriformis muscle?

                    • McFlock

                      even if that were true, it’s the other half that doesn’t depend entirely on faith. That’s what the placebo does.

      • Murray Rawshark 11.1.3

        It’s buggerall to do with science. It’s corporate behaviour and the corruption of political representatives.

        • weka

          Are you suggesting that scientists are more virtuous than other groups of humans?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The scientific method is an attempt to counter the fact that they aren’t.

            • weka

              I don’t believe that and I’d be surprised if you do.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Let me be clear: scientists are no more virtuous than other people.

                The requirements that they propose falsifiable hypotheses and must be able to produce replicable results, are an attempt to counter that fact.

                cf. Pauli, Popper.

                PS: why be surprised? It would only indicate that I am ignorant. A condition we all share, etc etc.

              • Murray Rawshark

                He’s right, whether you believe it or not. What do you understand by “the scientific method”?

                Science is not the people who do it. The people who do science are living in a fucked up society, just like everyone else. They have therefore thought up an imperfect framework to try and preserve science from their own baser instincts. Pharmaceutical company executives have done no such thing. They profit from giving free reign to their baser instincts and must be constrained by heavy regulation.

  12. Molly 12

    Tom Englehart has a post worth reading on alternet.org:
    10 Things America Must Do To Stop Ruining the World.

  13. John Key’s banking history is a gift that keeps on giving!

    Merrill Lynch And HSBC Have Been Advising On Derivatives, Pioneered By John Key, Since 2000. Yep, While He Was Still A Banker with Merrill Lynch!

    • Gosman 13.1

      And what is wrong with advising on derivatives?

      • vto 13.1.1

        Jesus Christ had something to say about that

        • travellerev

          vto 😆 yep! Read the article cowboy hat boy!

          • Gosman

            I did. Despite it being quite impeneratable as far as I can tell it made no link to derivatives and tax evasion or John Key.

            • travellerev

              For those of you who want a fully linked and well documented post on the subject of NHBC and their criminal activities go to either my blog or too corp watch were I found the article on the subject.

              Also I never suggested that John Key was up to his neck in this shit as I have no proof and don’t want to be taken to court for libel or other nasty stuff. Neither would I want to subject the Standard to any risks.

              [lprent: Thank you.]

              • Gosman

                You at least accept you have no evidence linking John Key to this. Which I suppose is a start. However I am not seeing any link between tax evasion and derivatives either so the rest of your post is just as flimsy.

                • Key’s PR says he had nothing to do with it, even though he was in senior management, in the same office, at the same time as the wolves of wall street were pillaging Main St and plunging the world into the GFC

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    It isn’t Key’s fault: his invisible ethics are the reason he was promoted.

                  • b waghorn

                    Key the man may not of been involved but key the trader or key the dodgy guy in the next office may of been it would depend on which hat he was wearing.

                • I do have proof that John Key was lying about his involvement with the attack on the NZ in October 1987 and was working with Andrew Krieger while doing so and that he was involved in the “new” financial products now collapsing the system. I saved the archives pieces and the paper trail proving these issues.

                  I send them to Eugene Bingham and the NZ Herald and called Eugene Bingham a liar and a disgrace to journalism. I hoped they would start a libel case on that bases but instead they removed all reference or five online pages of the “unauthorised” biography detailing his banking career. The attacks on currencies, being the boss of the department developing all those new products, him gallivanting around the world selling this shit to pension funds all the while knowing it would one day collapse. All gone from the mainstream media. I wonder why?

        • Gosman

          No he didn’t.

          • travellerev

            Yes, he did. He threw the bankers out of the temple and a week later they crucified him!

            • Colonial Rawshark

              I’m sure that derivative traders would have been kinder than the money lenders /sarc

            • Gosman

              No, he threw the money changers out of the temple presinct.

              Jerusalem was a major pilgrimage site (in fact this was the reason Jesus and his disciples were there for the passover). As a result there was a need for people to exchange various currencies. This is not the same as banking.

              The temple presinct was a large space that was dedicated to religious tourism. Indeed it was one of the reasons Herod the Great massively expanded it. Only the temple itself and especially the holy of hollies was deemed completely sacred.

              • Oh my God, You’re an Hasbara shill!

                Usury was the basis for Jesus’s calling the money changers thieves: “The commerce of the world is conducted on principles as much at variance with the teachings of the master, as are the practices of a sneak thief or burglar. So the Master taught, as with whip of cords, he indignantly drove its representatives, from the sacred precincts of the Temple, denouncing them as thieves. Every well-informed mind knows that the money changers in the Temple, on that startling occasion, were at the very centre of the Jewish Banking system, and of the pitiless and grinding commerce of Palestine.”

    • Murray Rawshark 13.2

      I don’t think FJK pioneered derivatives. They have been around in various forms since ancient times. He may have been a pioneer of their misuse and giving bad advice. He’s more like a conman than a pioneer.

  14. Good news for IT contractors in Wellington
    New child support scheme blows out to $163 million

    This dwarfs Novopay, INCIS, Auckland Supercity.

    How does the Nactoid government make such enormous screwups?
    By slashing “back office” staff who had the institutional knowledge to prevent these sort of disasters!

    PS: More mismanagement at the Commerce Commission, screwing us again

    • vto 14.1

      The same way their philosophy and policies led directly to Pike River deaths, Solid Energy failures, GFC disaster, leaky homes, the list is endless ………..

      I think they all make the mistake of believing their own bullshit.

      • As commented above by tinfoilhat
        just think of what impact those funds would have had if actually spent on child support itself rather than a fancy computer system.

        As always no one will be held to account and the consultants will all be able to buy themselves new mercedes.

        Nactional has a real cultural problem of forcing through quick and dirty changes without proper consultation, planning or quality control. Witness Christchurch CBD, SkyCity/Nat HQ, jumping in to Iraq, and any number of their rushed half-arsed projects and obnoxious legislation.

        See also:

        National’s ICT failures.

        • Draco T Bastard

          As the saying goes: There’s always a simple answer that’s wrong.

          National always goes for that simple answer.

      • rawshark-yeshe 14.1.2

        and we are supposed to trust them with a TPPA and RMA reform … ha bloody ha ha.

    • RedBaronCV 14.2

      Not to mention that one of the amendments to the Child support act and the calculators is to exclude mony in trusts and companies ( although they are included for such things as working for families) so that they do not go into the calculation. So wealthy people can continue to hide money from their kids in trust and companies and the rest of us wind up paying. I’d like to see that one voted down in parliament.

      and the blow out is about 3 times the annual child support collected.

  15. Colonial Rawshark 15

    Former UK diplomat: western media propaganda over Nemtsov assassination

    Dr William Mallinson PhD speaks to Russia Today:

    RT: How come most of what we are hearing from Western media is directed against Vladimir Putin while the probe is barely two days old?

    WM: Exactly, such headlines…can’t be credible. That is clear propagandistic bias. Then interviewing people like [former Georgian President Mikhail] Saakashvili who has been an international playboy now I think proves that. The most serious thing which I must say, I noticed that he [Nemtsov] doesn’t appear to have a bodyguard. He therefore did not consider his life to be under any serious threat and he was therefore a soft target. I haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere. Another thing I should mention is what I call a “Becket syndrome” when Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. That was by some enraged people who thought that they would please their boss Henry II. But in fact he was furious about it and made similar statements.

    NB Russia Today is (well) funded by the Russian Government.


    • Gosman 15.1

      Funnily enough a correspondant on Morning Report today suggested something very similar in that he thought that Putin wasn’t behind the assasination as it didn’t suit him to get rid of this person in such a blatent manner. The correspondant agreed that he has encouraged a political environment where people are likely to take matters in to their own hands.

      • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.1

        That’s about right; not only are murder rates the highest in Europe, corruption is rife in Russia and corrupt officials or jilted business associates could easily have been involved in the killing. The smooth audacity of it just outside the walls of the Kremlin leads one to think it was a professional hit. And the young woman he was walking with survived without a scratch. Very unusual.

        • greywarshark

          And he was thinking of getting a taxi, but she wanted to walk across the bridge.
          They shot him in the back so he never got to see the whites of their eyes, and neither did she. But what a convenient choice to perambulate, for the purpose eh? And an ambulance ride after.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            She also said on Russian TV that she was walking in front of him and didn’t see anything about the shooting or the shooter.

            I agree with your implication however – the killers knew that he was going to be at that location at that time. You don’t shoot someone just outside the Kremlin walls on happenchance.

      • vto 15.1.2

        Who would benefit from seeing Putin portrayed as he is being portrayed over this murder? …. that be the direction to go in ….

        • Chooky

          +100…my thoughts too ….and Putin has plenty of enemies ….some of whom want Russia’s oil corporatised by Western companies

        • Colonial Rawshark

          I think western governments need to rapidly ramp up defence spending in light of the new ‘Russia threat’ and Putin’s “volatility”. Whoops answered your question.

  16. Sacha 16

    This forum is so much more rewarding without PG Tips. thank you.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      Wow,time for a change. I’ve been wanting to try Fairtrade – tea.

    • weka 16.2

      +1 Sacha. We should try and do some good with the month.

    • Murray Rawshark 16.3

      What happened to his royal greyness?

      • weka 16.3.1

        Banned for a month for giving TRP shit as an author. Would have gotten a longer ban but TRP was winding him up.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I must remember to only give TRP shit as a warmongering lackey of imperialism. As an author, he is beyond reproach.

          • lprent

            Actually a pretty good summary of the basics of how it operates.

            I don’t like the personal attacks because that is what drives authors from writing posts. It tends to be like doing a thesis or a program. If people have been having a go at you then any distraction will stop you. Sometimes you just give up.

            But you can have a go at what they write. Generally that just encourages them to write more effectively next time.

            You will note that when I have to intervene, I try to ensure that the commenter causing me the aggravation gets exactly the same kind of in your face unfair crap that they have been handing out. I find that this dissuades them from wanting to write that way again as well. Unfortunately they seldom seem to get the irony.

            • Murray Rawshark

              I love the Russian saying that every joke has a grain of joke in it.

          • te reo putake

            Ha! Get a haircut, hippy 😉

            To be fair to PG, he hasn’t overreacted to the ban. Just the three posts on the matter so far today over on YawnNZ.

            • ropata:rorschach

              PG’s nactoid mates are over at YawnNZ helping to reinforce his confirmation bias and martyr complex.
              “TS is teh suck bro!” “ya bro they is all rude and stuff” etc.

              • McFlock

                reddelusion comments at the beige corner? I never knew…

                • at least “redelusion” makes a slight effort to see what those mad Lefties are raving about (and share his/her dubious wisdom). PG’s cronies are too bigoted and lazy to make any effort whatsoever, or have an original thought.

                  • UglyTruth

                    At least PG is sane enough not to buy into the left/right puppet theater like you do.

                    At the end of the day they all swear or affirm allegiance to a foreign Commander in Chief.

                    • “PG is sane enough…” – say what?!

                      yeah maybe I am a sucker for thinking democracy might actually work. whereas (judging by your link) you seem to prefer theocracy?

                      newsflash: your ideology failed 600 years ago, thank Voltaire.

        • te reo putake

          Weirdly, weka, PG, who claims to be not the least bit bothered by the ban, has written a fourth post on it. In it he writes:

          “TRP wasn’t winding me up.”

          Given that admission, I guess Lprent’s generous decision to make it only a month instead of a year should probably be reconsidered 😉

          • adam

            Thanks te reo putake – best giggle of the day

            ““TRP wasn’t winding me up.”

            Given that admission, I guess Lprent’s generous decision to make it only a month instead of a year should probably be reconsidered 😉 “

          • marty mars

            I think the dim loser may get to double figures on this series of pathetic posts – really pete is so useless only pity can help him. onya TRP 🙂

      • Sacha 16.3.2

        “his royal greyness”

        beige, please 🙂

  17. greywarshark 17

    It’s good to see Greypower behaving responsibly and giving thought and taking part in public policy discussion and action on matters affecting all NZs. This link is on getting better public transport around Auckland on the front desk and putting on the bac desk, autobans and flash new roads.

  18. weka 18

    Rachel Stewart asks whether Little and Labour will make the paradigm shift required to create jobs that work in a sustainable future.

    What’s missing though is that the world is changing all around them, and us. The “economy and jobs” he purports to maintain are in dire need of a paradigm shift, and quickly.

    Little’s union credentials are central to the conviction of maintaining jobs at any cost. That’s what unions are for. They do good work. We need them now more than ever. I don’t deviate on this point.

    Where we do part company is in his refrain of keeping jobs at any cost. For example, is the ongoing employment prospects of oil riggers, miners, or anyone else involved in the extractivism field worth it given we know fossil fuels must be immediately ditched for our species to have any chance of survival?

    What is his, and Labour’s, vision for a sustainable future? Is it really any different from National’s? Or is it just an outdated modus operandi that’s always worked for them in the past? I haven’t seen anything to get excited about yet.

    All I know is the world’s changing fast, and in more ways than one.

    The political climate needs to change as fast as the planet’s climate is.

    Over to you Mr Little.


  19. Michael 19

    What does everyone think of compulsory voting in NZ like Aussie has?

    • Lanthanide 19.1

      I’d prefer it if voters had to pass some sort of test to prove they were competent.

      • Colonial Rawshark 19.1.1

        Yep. How about a historically proven tried and true test for ‘electoral competence’.

        1) White.
        2) Male.
        3) Christian.
        4) Owns at least an acre of property.

        • Lanthanide

          I was more hoping “people that are smart enough not to vote against their own best interests”.

          • sabine

            so none of the national voters get to play next time around? Same counts for
            Act and the those that voted for Peter fukcn Dunne?

            i am cool with that.

    • weka 19.2

      I’m provisionally supportive as long as its applied to local body elections, and is accompanied by serious effort at education and outreach eg civics classes in schools, free civics classes for adults, much better access to how our political processes work etc. It would need to be promoted in ways that enabled people to engage where they want to, otherwise it’s just a stick.

    • Adele 19.3

      Kiaora Michael

      I have a problem with compulsory voting. It generally means fines having to be paid by those that can least afford to pay them – the disaffected, the dispossessed, the disenchanted, and the disenfranchised. From my understanding of the Australian system, its mandatory to turn up to a polling booth but there is no requirement to actually vote.

      The main argument for mandatory voting appears to be that it will increase the level of participation by the the disaffected, the dispossessed, the disenchanted, and the disenfranchised so that their views will filter through into policy decisions and make for a stronger democracy.

      I have yet to see that happening in Australia which continues to have a significant minority of the disaffected, dispossessed, disenchanted, and disenfranchised especially amongst aboriginal peoples. Australia is regarded as one of the most racist countries in the world so hardly a model of virtue for us to follow in terms of democracy.

      • A Voter 19.3.1

        Yes and you can see daylight thru Key on that one

      • te reo putake 19.3.2

        Adele, bugger all Aussies get fined and the fines are small, from memory, $20-200 depending on the circ’s. Only a small percentage get prosecuted and it’s usually political activists with an axe to grind who have publicised their refusal to vote.

        • Adele

          Kiaora, Te Reo Putake

          $20 is actually a lot to someone who doesn’t have any money. But regardless of the amount of the fine why do those who espouse a war on poverty readily endorse a punitive regime which just creates more crap for poor people to contend with.

          We are also basically saying to the disaffected, the dispossessed, the disenchanted, and the disenfranchised that they are to blame for the failure of democracy. I rather think that democracy has failed them.

          • te reo putake

            Seriously? In the modern world it is ridiculously easy to register and a matter of minutes to vote. It’s not a poverty issue. Should we also make registering cars optional? Dogs? Voting is no harder than those compulsory things and a lot cheaper.

            Weird how you think democracy is just more crap. Should it be restricted to just the middle class and above?

            • Adele

              Kiaora, Te Reo Putake

              Yes, seriously.

              I live in the Eastern Bay of Plenty which has a deprivation index of 10, alongside Northland. People live without power here, so getting “online” is a really big issue for some. They also drive warrant-less and unregistered cars, and have unregistered dogs.

              And yes, people much like you, with no understanding of how the other half live, continue to view them as dysfunctional and stupid people. Do fines change behaviour? No, they simply extract $5 a week from a benefit.

              There is a huge cohort of people that cannot engage with the modern world because the modern world is far too expensive, exclusive, white, and populated by the ignorant, arrogant and mean spirited.

              My point is, if we want to improve voting, give them something to vote for. Don’t immediately resort to creating another law which will most likely punish only those at the sharp end of a sanctimonious rod.

              • What a load of pompous tosh, Adele. Your patronising attitude toward the poor, suggesting they are incapable of even getting registered let alone voting is hopelessly bourgeois. They actually have plenty of disadvantaged people in Oz too, y’know, but they’ve made it work.

                But keep on telling yourself you know best. The poor can keep themselves protected from the chill this winter by snuggling up to the warm glow of your smugness.

                • Adele

                  Kiaora Te Reo Putake

                  The only pompous tosser in this conversation is you. I suppose your idea of a poor person is someone that can’t afford a holiday to Hawaii.

                  They actually have plenty of disadvantaged people in Oz too, y’know, but they’ve made it work.)

                  Yes, we have some of those people here too. Paula Bennett and John Key readily spring to mind.

                  You are such an ideologue that you’d happily piss on the dignity of the disaffected, the dispossessed, the disenchanted, and the disenfranchised – all for their own good, of course.

                  Its your type of thinking that is killing any good notion of democracy. Bashing the minority over the head with your moral rigidity and rectitude – all for their own good, of course.

                  I thoroughly recommend that you pack your rectitude in a leak proof nappy and visit firsthand how mandatory voting works for aboriginal peoples in Australia. Go to the back-blocks and preach to them how they can “make it work.”

                  • Adele, you’re are talking absolute bollocks. Middle class know it alls like you are despised by the people you talk down to. People can and do make up their own mind about whether to vote no matter what pseudo intellectuals like you think their situation is and what their response should be.

                    As for Koori culture, I’ve lived it. I know a fair bit about it from having lived in their communities in both urban areas and the bush. That includes a relationship with someone most white Aussies wouldn’t even share a table with. That doesn’t mean I have a right to speak for them, but it sure as hell gives me more insight than you’ve shown on this thread.

                    Your ignorance is matched only by your superciliousness. Get your head out of your arse.

                    • Adele

                      Kiaora Te Reo Putake

                      As for Koori culture, I’ve lived it. I know a fair bit about it from having lived in their communities in both urban areas and the bush. That includes a relationship with someone most white Aussies wouldn’t even share a table with.

                      I would have been more impressed if you had simply said, “I know what its like to be disaffected, dispossessed, disenchanted, and disenfranchised as I regularly volunteer at the local soup kitchen once a month.”

                      Instead, you drag a relationship with an aboriginal woman into the limelight as a beacon of light onto your virtuous nature and innate understanding of their circumstances. That is hugely disrespectful to her.

                      And by doing so you are implying that your knowledge is tainted with expertise on aboriginal matters. A Tui moment..

                      That doesn’t mean I have a right to speak for them, but it sure as hell gives me more insight than you’ve shown on this thread.

                      It gives you no such insight as you still come across as profoundly ignorant. Within my worldview there are non-Maori who have lived amongst us mai rānō, yet they still remain as ignorant as Cook, on the day that he landed.

                      It also beggars belief that you can live amongst peoples so wounded by legislation and regulation and yet still say that “it works for them.”

                    • Yeah, more middle class bullshit, Adele. You clearly haven’t got a clue what its like to be disaffected, dispossessed, disenchanted, and disenfranchised, but you don’t mind being patronising about it. I guess you’re not going to take your head out of your arse because you admire the view.

          • Molly

            Perhaps if we could include in the voting – a “None of the above” option. Those who are not represented can meet their civic requirement without having to officially support a party that is not representing them.

            Like you, would not like to see the coercion of a between a rock and a hard place in terms of voting choices, or a punitive consequence for those already vulnerable and hurting.

      • Adele 19.3.3

        Kiaora Te Reo Putake

        Yeah, more middle class bullshit, Adele. You clearly haven’t got a clue what its like to be disaffected, dispossessed, disenchanted, and disenfranchised, but you don’t mind being patronising about it. I guess you’re not going to take your head out of your arse because you admire the view.

        Again, you are showing your profound ignorance. If I am middle class what does that make you? Landed gentry? However, I won’t resort to your tactic of pulling an aborigine out of a hat to prove that “I really do know what I am talking about”

        By and large, Māori, predominantly, are the disaffected, dispossessed, disenchanted, and disenfranchised minority in this society.

        I am Ngāti Awa. We had our lands confiscated in 1866, something like 245,000 acres. The economic base that we had established for ourselves was completely destroyed due to land loss and deliberate destruction by Crown forces.

        Our people were robbed and left landless, homeless and in poverty. Many still exist today in this oasis of bleakness. And everyday we bear witness to our disenfranchisement and dispossession when walking, driving, or being towed past, the flash homes built on stolen coast lands.

        But by your reckoning mandatory voting will make everything sweet again. True democracy will reign supreme. Te Tiriti o Waitangi will drive legislative changes. Indefeasibility of Title will be overturned. And Stolen lands will be returned.

        I would offer another Tui but the beers of choice here are Lion Red and Waikato. And my arse does in fact have a very nice view as it is sitting on the whenua of my whakapapa. I am indeed privileged in that respect.

        I won’t comment further on this matter.

  20. Puckish Rogue 20


    Heart Foundation head of marketing Vanessa Winning said employees and volunteers were upset the billboard has been used for political protest.

    “It’s really disappointing that a charity is being targeted to score political points,” she said.

    “I find it unthinkable that someone would vandalise our billboard, and consequently mock a seriously crippling disease, just to make a political statement.”

    The left back up to its usuall tricks again

    [lprent: Haven’t I seen you in previous comments in years past complaining about the left’s “lack of humour” when those scallywags of the right attacked Helen, Cunliffe, Turei, and just about everyone else for things like signing paintings for charity.

    Yet here you whine about something that is genuinely funny, probably pretty difficult to do, and you whining for what are transparently simple political motives.

    Go figure. Just another hypocrite? Or have I confused you with someone else?

    But I will put the image up…]

    • Puckish Rogue 20.1

      You think its funny, I don’t and thats cool but in this instance don’t you think its a bit shitty to do this to a charities billboard?

      Or is it ok they may get less donations as long as it attacks John Key?

      • Chooky 20.1.1

        lol…biggest laugh i have had all day!….and I support the Heart Foundation…i am sure this won’t hurt them !

      • weka 20.1.2

        What makes you think it will get less donations?

      • Murray Rawshark 20.1.3

        They might get more donations. I feel inspired by the poster.

        • Hateatea

          Me too 🙂 Possibly not the intended reaction but well worth a few dollars for the chuckle alone

      • Colonial Rawshark 20.1.4

        If the Heart Foundation intended on being apolitical, they wouldn’t have put up a 2m tall picture of John Key.

      • wtl 20.1.5

        Why would they get fewer donations? I thought everyone in NZ loved John Key and therefore a billboard with his picture on it will surely result in more donations?

        • ropata:rorschach

          How do we know that it wasn’t Key himself who plastered his face up there?
          This is free election advertising! Will Key stop at nothing to spread his personality cult!?

    • Anne 20.2

      The left back up to its usuall tricks again.

      Oh the irony… Dirty Politics anyone?

    • Totally agree, Pukish. ACT on Campus really need to stop their childish pranks. It’s not big and it’s not funny.

    • sabine 20.4


      the truth shall set ye free

    • sabine 20.5

      considering that Dear Leader cut funds for the Obesity Action Foundation in 2009 to 0 this billboard is actually very acurate.

      Quote from our favority stenographers the Herald:

      The Government has lopped another limb off Labour’s “bureaucratic” public health tree, ending state funding for the Obesity Action Coalition.

      The coalition, created under Labour in 2003 to promote measures to reduce obesity, confirmed yesterday it would close within months of its state contract ending on June 30, unless it could find new sources of cash.

      This follows National’s permission to schools in February to resume regular sales of unhealthy foods and drinks, overturning a rule introduced last year by Labour. The new Government is also scrapping the roles of district health board staff who helped schools and early childhood centres implement the healthy food and drink guidelines underpinning the Labour rule. Quote end.

      Quote: The Health Ministry is the main source of income for the Obesity Action Coalition, which represents more than 70 organisations, including the National Heart Foundation and the Cancer Society. Quote end.

      actions and consequences…..:)

  21. tricledrown 21

    Puckish Rogue.
    Light hearted humour.
    This has probably given the heart foundation a lot more free publicity no doubt Key will benefit as well.

  22. weka 22

    It could be made better. Lots of reasons why it’s not, including long standing denial from the science heads.

  23. Starts tomorrow – be amazed, be proud, be there – if you can

    Te Matatini Kapa Haka Aotearoa and Waitaha rohe are proud to present Te Matatini 2015 – Christchurch.
    Every two years, Te Matatini organises the Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, where top kapa haka teams from New Zealand and Australia compete for the honour of being crowned the best of the best. The festival started in 1972 and is now the world’s largest celebration of Māori traditional performing arts, attracting over 30,000 performers, supporters and visitors.

    The festival is a whānau friendly, smoke, alcohol and drug free event. It is an opportunity for all people, regardless of culture, background or age to come together, to share and celebrate the richness of Māori culture.

    Over four days audiences can witness the best kapa haka in the world, taste Māori and local southern delicacies, shop for Māori arts and crafts and experience cultural exhibitions and workshops.

    We invite you to come celebrate the 22nd Te Matatini festival and experience the power and grace of kapa haka.


    This is us – the real Aotearoa, the people, the place and the history – this is the real us.

    • Hateatea 23.1

      I am hoping to be there for at least part of it, Marty but some child related issues may nix it.

      Kia kaha Otautahi, me nga roopu no Te Wai Pounamu hoki. Karawhuia 🙂

  24. A Voter 24

    Wimpo Key does it again from guts and glory to “I dont think tourists should have their Keys taken by another driver” he forgot to qualify his position that the incident was directed by the police for it to be done
    How you going to slip out of that one Key? whose fault is it now? got you

  25. adam 25

    Just saw this and thought I’d shear a very funny trademe listing.


    So body will complain and have it taken down soon – but worth a good giggle – the title anyway.

    • Chooky 25.1

      lol…looks like a good game to play with kids or after a party (instead of scrabble or monopoly)

  26. BLiP 26

    Teina Pora’s conviction has just been quashed by the Privvy Council.

    • Molly 26.1

      Just saw that. Good news to end the day with.

      Hope his compensation process is dealt with speedily and compassionately.

      • McFlock 26.1.1

        Well, there’s a process to go through, but there does seem to be a pretty good case that he had absolutely nothing to do with it (and that between unrecorded conversations,, 14th-hour “confessions”, and paid witness testimony, he should never even have been charged). That, and the actual murderer was found, usually acted alone, and was in an opposing gang so they were hardly likely to be buddies.

    • Colonial Rawshark 26.2

      Thanks for that BLiP. There’s some good news there. But so many years of life wasted.

    • Murray Rawshark 26.3

      Great. I don’t see how they could have done anything else. This episode shows that we still need the Privy Council because we can’t get over our own systemic racism.

      In a just world, the cops who I believe fitted him up should go to jail. I know he made it easy for them, but the prevailing attitude at the Otahuhu Station was that two people getting done for a one man crime was better than only one getting done, and three would be even better. They would have creamed their knickers when they saw how suggestible he was. They played him like a fiddle.

      As for Malcolm Rewa, my understanding is that he was a police informant and not a lot of effort was put into trying to apprehend him as long as he kept informing on his mates. I suspect that more than a few women got raped and Susan Burdett was raped and killed because a free Rewa was useful to the police. This was negligence of the first order and heads should roll. In fact, I think we need a Royal Commission into how so many unsafe convictions were entered in the last 30 years.

      I also think we should have a prosecutions service independent of the police and our magistrates should be inquisitorial rather than just choosing between two sets of lies. We need to do a lot better, especially when we look at what some cops and ex cops have been getting up to.

      Kia kaha, Teina Pora. May we stop such injustice from happening again.

  27. Reddelusion 27

    Good to see the incompetent and complete waste of time training Iraqi army with pro Sunni tribes and Shia militias working together to thow isis nut jobs out of tikrit. Only a week ago on this site this would never happen and training and supporting Iraq to free themselves of this inhuman cult was a complete waste of time to the so enlightened on this site. Boy I am glad you guys can get your rocks off here in virtual reality and are nobodies in the real world

    • Colonial Rawshark 27.1

      You little stupid chicken hawk chicken shit head, you just defeated your own point. If What you are saying is true then clearly NZ is not needed in the area to defeat ISIS, we are being lied to, so why the fuck are we going.

      • McFlock 27.1.1

        lol I’m glad you could figure out what rd’s point was – to me it just seemed to be a pastiche of random rabies-froth.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          I had to turn off 3/4 of my brain and contort what was left of it back to front in order to do so; am glad you appreciated the effort.

          We seriously need better wingnuts.

    • I am glad you have the guts to save us Redelusion. Have you seen American Sniper yet? It will be so cool to go back to Iraq and blow away the ragheads!! Rah rah #teamkey we want drones, bombs, and blood spatters all over the Middle East.

      You’re a fucken hero Red.

      (/sarc, fyi)

    • PS: If anyone’s getting their rocks off it is morally retarded warmongering dickheads like you, who think going to war is an XBox game.

    • UglyTruth 27.4

      You left out the Iranians, Reddelusion.

      Iran took a leading role in the Iraqi military’s largest offensive yet to reclaim territory from Islamic State, throwing drones, heavy weaponry and ground forces into the battle while the U.S. remained on the sidelines.


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