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Open mike 03/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 3rd, 2013 - 148 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

148 comments on “Open mike 03/08/2013”

  1. Jenny 1

    John Key goes soft on Terror.

    So suddenly, Soft on Terror John Key can’t bring himself to detain or even name the terrorists, who he says are at large in NZ or in terrorist training camps in Yemen.
    (Something the security services had no problems with in the Ururewa, with even less alleged cause. What was the explanation then? “We have to act before they do, do something.” What did leading police officers say? “The public would never forgive us is something did occur and we had not acted” Blah, blah, blah.).

    If he feels he can’t bring himself to arrest these “terrorists”. There is nothing stopping John Key from acting to name and shame them. It is the very least he could do.

    What is he worried about?

    Is he worried that these “terrorists” might sue him for defamation?

    That in fact they aren’t terrorists at all?

    More likely they are government opponents like TPPA activists and environmentalists acting quite legally within the law to oppose government policies they disagree with.

    If they really are terrorists, (which I doubt). If we all knew who they were. These “terrorists” would be so constrained as to be unable to act or go anywhere without being recognised.

    Probably the worst thing about John Key raising these fear mongering allegations of terrorists being at large in New Zealand without naming them. Is that he is putting many innocent Islamic and Middle Eastern residents and citizens in this country under a cloud of suspicion.

    Come on John Key stop protecting terrorists in our midst. Name Them!

    • Jenny 1.1

      It is a shame that the concern that John Key has for the civil liberties of Terrorists does not extend to the rest of us. The suppression of the right to protest at sea. The plan to allow the collection of Metadata on all New Zealanders exposes a contempt for civil liberties. Contempt for everyone’s civil liberties, except of course for his touching concern for the civil liberties of terrorists.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        Talking about being soft on terror. David Shearer goes soft on John Key.

        With John Key’s allegations of terrorists in our midst. Here was David Shearer’s chance to skewer John Key but he refused to do it.

        The Labour Leader who could be privy to information on whether John Key is lying or not. Refuses to tell.

        Labour leader David Shearer would not confirm whether he had been briefed about an al-Qaeda presence in New Zealand,…..

        Rebecca Quillam, Claire Trevett NZ Herald

        A simple question. It deserves a simple answer.

        What’s with this David Shearer?

        Why is he protecting John Key’s credibility?

        Depending on what he had, or had not been told in briefings, the number of possible options that David Shearer could give to this question, taking into account security matters, are limited.

        No, I have not been briefed on this matter.

        Yes, I have been briefed on this matter, and can tell the public that the Prime Minister is correct there are terrorists at large in New Zealand.

        Yes, I have been briefed on this matter, and can tell the public that the Prime Minister is wrong in saying that there are terrorists at large in New Zealand.

        David Shearer explained his refusal to answer the question, saying his talks with the security services are in confidence and he would not break that.

        What a dereliction of duty as an opposition MP.

        Shearer’s excuse for not answering the question, is so weak as to be no excuse at all.

        None of the three possible answers breach national security. (Though they might breach National’s security)

        If David Shearer has been briefed by the security services, that there are Al Qaeda operatives at large in New Zealand, he would not be revealing anything that the Prime Minister had not already publicly divulged.

        So why can’t he answer the question?

        The only other possible reason apart from national security is, that David Shearer can’t answer. He is incapable of answering.

        This inability to answer even simple questions under pressure, will prove to be disastrous if David Shearer is ever to go head to head in an election debate with John Key.

        • JK

          Jenny – can you put up the link, or URL, to the comments from David Shearer about ………

          ” John Key’s allegations of terrorists in our midst. Here was David Shearer’s chance to skewer John Key but he refused to do it.
          The Labour Leader who could be privy to information on whether John Key is lying or not. Refuses to tell.
          Labour leader David Shearer would not confirm whether he had been briefed about an al-Qaeda presence in New Zealand,…..”

        • blue leopard

          @ Jenny
          Read the parliamentary debate for Wednesday (I think it was), better yet watch it and you will see why Mr Shearer has responded the way he has in the article you link to.

          He stated with a great deal of passion, (that is often sorely missing from his presentations), that if there really were people doing what Key said there was in NZ, that he considered it downright dangerous and irresponsible for Key to have said so. He considered Key’s actions as creating a threat to security to speak, because if such ‘elements’ exist it is giving them information that they are known by the intelligence agencies and being spied on. He said it was an incredibly ‘dumb’ thing to do.

          It is clear, therefore, the Mr Shearer would play down any opportunity to do the same by confirming such threats.

          I agree with a lot of what you have expressed in your comments above, however, take care to be accurate in your accusations, otherwise your position, which I consider to be expressing valid concerns over the motivation of our politicians, can be seriously weakened/discredited by the ‘elements’ in our society that wish to leave us all in a fearful and unquestioning state so that their interests are met and ours aren’t.

          • Jenny

            He stated with a great deal of passion, (that is often sorely missing from his presentations), that ifthere really were people doing what Key said there was in NZ, that he considered it downright dangerous and irresponsible for Key to have said so. He considered Key’s actions as creating a threat to security to speak, because if such ‘elements’ exist it is giving them information that they are known by the intelligence agencies and being spied on. He said it was an incredibly ‘dumb’ thing to do.

            It is clear, therefore, the Mr Shearer would play down any opportunity to do the same by confirming such threats.

            blue leopard

            So David Shearer gets passionate about the need to hide the secret identities of terrorists alleged to be at large in our country. And he would do much the same as Key and play down confirming their identities with the public.

            Ask yourself, Why?

            It doesn’t surprise me that David Shearer supports John Key and the GCSB keeping the identity of alleged terrorists secret. It also doesn’t surprise me that David Shearer gets passionate about this, whereas he has never revealed passion or even joined up thinking about anything else.

            Pardon me Blue but just as Colonel Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson gets passionate about keeping the truth away from the people he claims to be protecting, reveals his contempt for ordinary people. Similarly, so do Shearer and Key.

            They may patronisingly claim that they are the only ones who can handle the truth.

            But the arrogance and contempt they display for the public, the people they are paid to represent is encapsulated in the view ‘that we can’t handle the truth’ and that it best left to them to secretly decide who is a terrorist and who is not.

            Personally I think it should be up to the public and the legal system. Not some secret unacountable bunch of spooks who seem to owe more loyalty to Washington than Wellington.

            Any evidence of terrorism needs to be exposed and rooted out. Not kept hidden.

            Most probably the real truth is that, the epithet of terrorist that they bestow on the people they have been illegally spying on would not stand up to any public scrutiny.
            And that is the truth of why they seek to hide from us, the identities of those they have been spying on.

            John Key and David Shearer may claim that we can’t handle the truth. But from what we have seen, the public could do a darn sight better job of handling the truth than they have shown.

            • blue leopard

              @ Jenny
              I don’t need to ask myself why; I can see the two possibilities for why this information isn’t shared. a. it doesn’t exist b. doing so blows the cover of any surveillance being conducted on such groups.

              And due to the nature of your comments I was under the impression that perhaps you hadn’t heard the more indepth response from Shearer, in which I believe Shearer provided a reasonable explanation for why he wouldn’t discuss such things via the media.

              I agree re legal system needs to decide re terrorists* or not; Do they not?

              *I really don’t consider ‘terrorist’ a useful term at all; it has been well over-used and should have been made obsolete 10 years ago.

              I don’t buy into the whole ‘terrorist’ thing, considering it largely an attempt to keep us all in fear. If there are people out there furious with Western interests, it isn’t surprising; what is more surprising is that there aren’t more of them.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      If he feels he can’t bring himself to arrest these “terrorists”. There is nothing stopping John Key from acting to name and shame them. It is the very least he could do.

      Ever heard of innocent until proven guilty?

      Is he worried that these “terrorists” might sue him for defamation?

      That and the fact that he’d be made to look a fool.

      Is that he is putting many innocent Islamic and Middle Eastern residents and citizens in this country under a cloud of suspicion.

      Divide and conquer – the normal National Party tactic. Pity it works so well.

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        Ever heard of innocent until proven guilty?

        Draco T Bastard

        They are finding these people guilty in secret with no right of response.

        And if they really are terrorists, (which I suspect they are not), they are endangering us all, by hiding them from the public gaze.

        If they had any real evidence that they were terrorists they would charge them. New Zealand’s Suppression of Terrorism law is very wide ranging and comprehensive, with a very low threshold of proof, even allowing “secret evidence” to be produced.

        And by not naming them you admit that they are throwing a cloud of doubt over many innocent people, but you don’t make any point about this, other than it “works so well”. Do you support this or oppose it?

        If you opposed it. You would be calling for the guilty to be named to let the innocent live without being suspects just because of their ethnicity or origin.

  2. Red Rosa 2

    Shearer is the gift to the Nats who just keeps on giving.

    Every time his name is mentioned, Key’s grin just gets wider.

  3. Jenny 3

    Is this a good idea?


    In an age when the icepack is thinning and shrinking due to climate change and opening up large swathes of dark open water where there used to be reflective ice starting a feedback effect. Is it that wise to try and speed up that process, by also physically attacking and breaking up the ice pack as well, exposing even more of the Arctic Ocean’s surface to the feedback effect of dark water over that of reflective ice?

    Surely this is crazy.

    No doubt the dozens of these long lanes of open water pathways cut across the pole, will be widened even further through the actions of storms .

    That this is being done to help the passage of oil tankers seems even more crazy.

    And that’s without even an oil spill. But what if there was an oil spill?

    Would an oil slick stop the ice forming in the first place? And will all that dark oil also attract even more solar heating to the icepack?

    It is like these people are deliberately out to wreck the planet.

    • srylands 3.1

      I would see it more optimistically. Climate change is happening. Attempts to reduce emissions have failed abysmally, which was predictable. We should put more efforts into adapting. Opening up new sea lanes is one of the few positives.

      Luckily NZ is one of the countries set to enjoy some benefits from climate change. Our emissions are tiny. We should do enough cosmetic things to stay sweet with trading partners, and then put our efforts into adapting. The Government has moved in the right direction with the ETS – it is there but it imposes almost no costs on the economy but we can still say to the rest of the world that we are doing something.

      Next step should be more research on impacts on NZ and how we are going to cope. If we can start planning now the costs will be lower. Problem is people are short sighted.

      • red rattler 3.1.1

        Srylands are you going to be the one with the technical fix for humans so they can survive without oxygen?
        You are several hot years behind the endgame. We are headed for extinction, not just in Kiwiland but Earthwise.

        • weka

          rr, I think srylands responding well to McPherson is about as likely as NZ choosing to do something useful about AGW 😉

      • tricledrown 3.1.2

        Srylands its about time you went to specsavers

      • johnm 3.1.3

        Hi Srylands

        Your comment: ‘Luckily NZ is one of the countries set to enjoy some benefits from climate change.’ is completely out of touch with reality! 🙁

        “This is not “climate change”… that phrase is the innocuous little euphemism devised by the M$M to make the deadly threat sound as harmless as possible.
        The name that accurately applies is “climate damage” – as Jeremy Grantham, the British manager of billions in funds has pointed out.
        Remember – “damage” not “change”… this is not a shift in the weather, it’s a vicious disruption in the earth’s climate that is a severe existential threat to civilization as we know it.”

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.4

        Luckily NZ is one of the countries set to enjoy some benefits from climate change.

        Yeah, more drought is such a Good Thing.

        it is there but it imposes almost no costs on the economy

        Except for the few hundred million per year of tax payer dollars that it’s costing us.

        Next step should be more research on impacts on NZ and how we are going to cope.

        Simple, we’re going to cut farming down to the point that we have enough solely to provide for NZers in NZ.

        Problem is people are short sighted.

        Says the person going for short term profits and long term collapse.

        • Jenny

          “Stronger winter winds, heavier rainfall and more droughts, they’re just some of the effects of climate change the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser is predicting by the turn of the next century.

          The report by Sir Peter Gluckman also projects greater acidification of the seas, average temperatures to rise by 2 degrees by 2090 and at least two more droughts a year.

          Now the report doesn’t suggest what should be done to tackle climate change….

          Simon Mercep interviews Sir Peter Gluckman, Morning Report, Radio New Zealand

          Listen to the full audio of the Simon Mercep’s interview with Sir Peter Here

          Peter Gluckman is a public servant. People close to him have told me that he would say a lot more if he could. Specifically; As well as calling for the country to prepare to get ready to adapt to climate change, Gluckman would call for a extreme claw back in emissions.

          Something which his parliamentary masters are deathly opposed to.

          As we all know, both Labour and National are in support of more oil drilling, fracking and coal mining.

          The last thing these political parties would allow, is for their top science adviser to publicly oppose their current policy direction.

          But what Gluckman says on the government website is that New Zealand’s greatest contribution to fighting climate change will be symbolic.

          “New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global greenhouse gases. So anything we do as a nation will in itself have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral and political.”

          Professor Sir Peter Gluckman http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

          That “symbolic” impact, needs to be something big, something great, something that will grab the world’s attention.

          The most dangerous of all fossil fuels is coal. Worldwide coal contributes the largest percentage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide into the atmosphere NASA scientist and climatologist James Hansen famously said; “If we can’t stop coal it is all over for the climate”.

          As both an example and a warning. New Zealand needs to completely shut down the coal industry. Not in ten years not in 5 years. But Now.

          Our biggest contribution to fighting climate change will be to show the world that a modern industrial country can completely rid itself of coal from its economy and still maintain a decent standard of living.

          Of all the industrialised countries we are already the least reliant on coal. If we can’t do it no one can.

          New Zealand needs to be a test bed to show that with the right political will it can be done.

          We once had a large and thriving asbestos mining and manufacturing industry. We successfully closed it down. We need to do the same for coal.

          We led the world on votes for women. We led the world on anti-nuclear and anti-aparthied.

          We need to lead the world on this.

          Coal Kills. Kill Coal.

    • karol 4.1

      So this is how Armstrong explains the way journalists like him have spent a long time cheerleading Key and his government:

      Thrown together in the rabbit warren which passes for the parliamentary complex – a veritable hothouse fuelled by rampant ego, unrequited ambition, never-ending rumour and constant intrigue – MPs and media nevertheless have to establish a degree of trust for their mutually parasitic relationship to function effectively.

      That trust works on many levels, be it MPs feeling they can talk off-the-record confident they will not be shopped to their superiors, to journalists respecting embargoes, to Cabinet ministers not blocking the release of sensitive documents sought by media under the Official Information Act.

      That trust can take a long time to establish. It can be destroyed in a matter of seconds.

      Gotta laugh at the self-serving delusions.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Helping the Nats play the country like a fiddle, not realising that you’re being played too.

      • wyndham 4.1.2

        Nevertheless Karol, an amazing criticism of the Key Party from John Armstrong, don’t you think? Even to the point of saying that Key is not ‘off the hook’ and has been treating matters less than seriously.

        • JK

          Yeah – I thought so too, Wyndham. When John A gets critical of Key, that is really something !

          • Paul

            But Mike Hosking is still a shill for the government.
            His analysis..it’s Dotcom’s fault. Does he have a brain or a conscience?
            Or just an ego?

            • North

              Hosking is a joke…….a made man of class and elegance and mutton dressed up as lamb. Dork !

            • Saarbo

              Yes, regarding Mike Hosking, in his early days on ZB (could be 15 to 20 years ago), he was having a conversation with Paul Holmes and he high lighted the fact that he didn’t believe in reading widely, he simply didn’t believe in reading. I remember Holmes being disgusted by this admission. For me it explained everything about Hosking, I have never wasted my time listening to him, he is as thick as 2 short planks.

              • tricledrown

                hosking is just a snobby egotistical narcissist.

              • Hami Shearlie

                But so overwhelmingly fastidious with his clothes and coiffure, Saarbo – You’re overlooking the important stuff! LOL

            • muzza

              Hosking is married to Hawksby, whose brother is married to the step-daughter of Graham Hart!

              Hosking is playing a role, alright!

      • Blue 4.1.3

        From Armstrong’s article:

        It goes without saying that journalists are by nature deeply suspicious of politicians and the motives which drive them – and vice versa.

        It’s funny, I’ve never seen a NZ journalist who was at all suspicious of John Key. On the contrary, they tend to ascribe the best possible motives to him and cheerfully gush about what a great bloke and talented politician he is.

        I think Armstrong lives in a fantasy-land of his own making where he is a journalist rather than a shill.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I think Armstrong lives in a fantasy-land of his own making where he is a journalist rather than a shill.

          Planet Key.

    • Paul 4.2

      John Armstrong only concerned about the governement when it affects him personally.

      • North 4.2.1

        We can tick them off on our fingers……..the Fart Estate.

        Caught only a bit of it on TV3 News last night but got the sense that even Potty@Gower had the teeth out. The hands were pretty animated too which doesn’t look good for the emperor sans vetements.

        Any impressions from those who watched the whole thing ?

      • marty mars 4.2.2

        He sounds frightened in that article

        to always leave just the tiniest question lurking at the back of everyone’s mind as to who else might be listening, reading or watching.

        There must be a few in the press gallery sweating on this I think

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      It goes without saying that journalists are by nature deeply suspicious of politicians and the motives which drive them

      Says the John Key apologist and National Party spin-meister.

      His reward from Key for making a more than reasonable fist of a job he never wanted…

      Fist? Doesn’t he mean fuckup?

      A head had to roll. The resignation of Geoff Thorn, the general manager of the Parliamentary Service, was deemed necessary to restore confidence in an administrative body which had long ago relinquished any confidence that both journalists and MPs might have placed in it.

      More of the Blame Labour meme. After all, it couldn’t possibly be 5 years of National’s corruption and posting of their mates that could have caused the degradation of the public service.

  4. muzza 5

    How Reuters and AP control global, news/fears on the lates global terror warning

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/02/us-usa-embassies-idUSBRE9710V320130802 – Reuters

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10907672 – AP

    http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/us-issues-global-travel-alert-cites-al-qaeda-threat-5525775 – Reuters

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100935417 – AP

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/10219346/US-issues-global-travel-alert-amid-al-Qaeda-terror-fears.html – Chris Irvive – But AP quoted

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/08/02/us-issues-global-travel-alert-over-al-qaida-threat/2611999/ – Natalie DiBlasio – But an AP quoted

    Just a quick search revels the reach, which extends around the globe via Reuters/AP releases, who now control the narratives globally. Links above simply a brief selection, but the same was seen in OZ, Japan, Canadian press et al!

    • muzza 5.1

      But wait on, what’s all this about, rebels with Imperialist supplied weapons preceding a dog whistle about AQ, regionally linked terror warnings !!! – Oh, I see how this works, and the more it happens, the greater the numbers who also see through this charade of BS!

      CIA to arm, train Syrian rebels;

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/25/us-syria-crisis-usa-idUSBRE96O1H020130725 – Reuters

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10893712 – Daily Telegraph UK


      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/15/cia-will-lead-us-effort-to-arm-train-syrian-rebel-forces-fox-confirms/ – AP

      Did key have a heads up about this latest, warning, which lead to his comments about AQ less than 48 hours ago?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Ahhhh very good question.

      • bad12 5.1.2

        It’s taken the mainstream a while to catch up then, i remember a few bitter little exchanges which took place in the pages of the Standard where some of us pointed out that US armed and funded ”rebels” were being poured into the Syrian conflict from surrounding Gulf states…

    • Of course you are correct – it is ‘good’ to see the machine in action if only to reconfirm the truth of their manipulation and creation of global narratives – thanks muzza.

      • muzza 5.2.1

        Hey Marty,

        While I appreciate that giving it oxygen repeatedly might not be seen as the best approach, it can cause some folk to shrink away and take a defeatist attitude, while others simply shrug it off, as if there is is nothing they can do, and get on with, getting on. Both of these are understandable response mechanisms, but it’s another response which I am hoping will eventuate..

        Myself, I feel its best to keep such blatant activity front and center an often as required to reach as many people as is possible, based on my, still alive optimism in the human condition of “survival”, which will eventually lead to people rising up (peacefully but forcefully), and making it very clear, they will not tolerate the way the world/NZ is being run, we will not tolerate it, and will take back what has been stolen, from all of us!

        That’s the primary reason I post the style of content that I regularly do!

        Have a good one!

    • Populuxe1 5.3

      Goodness me, you mean when the US issues a worldwide terror alert it isn’t world news – or are you really that daft and parochial?

  5. tc 6

    Unrelared techy question. How do you stop mobile devices like my android pad from using the mobile theme as its painful and crashes chrome and samsungs built in browser.

  6. muzza 7

    {Not sure this one requires my opinion]

  7. Rosetinted 8

    I had a wonder this morning – what if a whole lot of once-Labour supporters pulled away at the next election and voted for Winston Peters to get someone who is as centre as present Labour and is a a better and more forceful speaker. Whether Labour won or lost wouldn’t matter, as the end would be the same as they would go into coalition. And it would be an option for those who don’t feel drawn to the Greens.

    Labour is so damned complacent at the top with a reliable bunch of supporters who at present won’t go anywhere else. But Winston is better than what they have now, and No Worse despite any convolutions he may have been involved in. We’ll get as many from Labour elite.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      I had a wonder this morning – what if a whole lot of once-Labour supporters pulled away at the next election and voted for Winston Peters

      Analysis of booth by booth data show that is precisely what many thousands of (usually) Labour voters did in 2011. Those voters thought it through and did not want to see Winston coming in just under 5% again. Hopefully next time around he will have a more solid, less dick head party list behind him.

      • weka 8.1.1

        Labour voters supporting formation of a NACT govt. It’s a bloody weird world we live in.

        • Colonial Viper

          I think the more politically savvy are starting to use MMP in interesting ways. Wait until the threshold gets lowered to 2.5% or 3%. That’s when things are going to get bloody weird 🙂

          • weka

            How so? People that would otherwise vote Labour, but see NZF potentially dropping below 5%, who then vote NZF to keep them above the 5%, because they want NZF to keep Labour inline, but knowing that NZF might form govt with NACT. Bit of a crap shoot isn’t it?

            • Rosetinted

              Don’t like playing with crap weka. But often get that feeling of mixing with the real stuff when reading politicians guff. So if I’m to be covered in it when they follow their preferred routes mixing them up and giving them a scare would be no worse. Getting an agreement from Winston to go to Labour would be necessary. He would consider it because he is politically centrist, doesn’t have to go to NACT.

              • weka

                “Getting an agreement from Winston to go to Labour would be necessary”

                Rt, Peters has categorically stated at every election that he won’t say before the election who he will go with. It’s his special thing. Why would he change now?

            • Colonial Viper

              Brand new players in the political party eco-system (or perhaps ressurection of old ones like the Alliance or Democrats for Social Credit).

              When MMP was first introduced some detractors said that voters would be confused if there were more than two or three parties to vote on. In fact, its now been proven that NZers cope very well with the situation.

              • weka

                Not sure about the CV. Some do, others don’t. I still hear people confused about how their list vote affects things compared to their electorate vote.

                • Rosetinted

                  Someone’s saying – Don’t get lost in the shuffle, shuffle along with the lost. It has to be accepted that a good percentage of people never understand what systems drive the parameters of their lives, and that there are alternatives. A small percentage have little idea at all, just feelings that something’s wrong somewhere and the loudest voice saying the most negative things about some recognisable, and unpopular people is what penetrates their minds.

                  Some vote for National, some for Labour, some dither about who to vote for – of those some genuinely apply their minds to trying to understand what’s best, and some just can’t get their heads around it all and make a snap decision based on their last snap decision, some freeze and stare into the headlights. Some just get on with things as everyday life is something they feel they have agency over, and if they haven’t then they are fully occupied in coping with the consequences.

                  I think that is a masterful summation of the mind of the population if I may say so, and I do!

          • bad12

            Definitely, i would not have described myself as a floating voter until last election, but now that is exactly what i am,

            Mana is the party of interest to me for the 2014 election whereas last time seeing that a very weak Opposition was the likely result of a Parliament without NZFirst, and to a certain extent wanting to give the ‘govern alone’ and ‘a vote for NZFirst is wasted’ crowd a fright, i spent my energy promoting the fact that NZFirst would be in the Parliament after that election,

            Lolz, i think the choice of NZFirst’s List was carefully thought through, by Winston alone or Winston with help, with Brendon Who gone there’s little chance of a leadership coup happening within that Party this side of a government funded walking frame,

            Mana tho has fired my imagination to a certain extent via a couple of simple policy’s which in effect would have in my opinion a relatively large positive effect upon society,

            Of course the ‘numbers’ surrounding Mana’s chances are of definite interest to a floating voter, 1940 votes will get Annette Sykes into the Parliament and Te Ururoa Flavell out should She stand in 2014,

            A few thousand party votes will add a list MP to Mana’s Parliamentary MP’s which isn’t a bad prospect for a floating voter like me,

            Lolz, i like the idea of the the party vote needed to gain MP’s being lowered, the lower that needed party vote is in my opinion translates to a more democratic Parliament from a wider cross section of New Zealand society…

            • idlegus

              yes, i have been a floating voter, but always left parties (labour, greens, alliance, mana & the maori party once when i thought they were left before they joined national & others), but last election i gave my vote to mana & i probably will again next election. they have some great policies, i was drawn to the one that encourages community work as a good way to connect with your community, work for the young unemployed, its just so simple. i was genuinely shocked when i saw the results & only 62 ppl in my electorate voted mana, im right in the middle of south dunedin & i know for a fact there would be more support than that here, so for the next election im going to get way more involved & encourage ppl round here to vote.

              also, a bunch of us have some other ideas, trying to get an guerilla ad campaign down here, got an idea along fo the lines of ‘want to give john key the fingers? then vote!’ kinda thing. but one thing to say about all these govt f*k ups, its certainly waking a few ppl up on the importance of voting (going by social media & the like)

              • bad12

                Yes even in Wellington Mana only has a small ‘presence’, only having one small branch in the City, the Green Party is where the more ‘radical’ in Wellington have gathered,

                My view is that Mana only needing those few thousand votes to gain an MP off of it’s list is also to a certain extent good news for Labour and the Green party as gaining those votes is likely to come from the continuing disembowelment of the Maori Party as their reward for having supported National in two terms of Government,

                Yes leafleting with a message that is starkly different than the normal ‘stuffed shirt party line’ is an excellent means of attempting to ‘switch on’ those who might not otherwise vote,

                Having been engaged in ‘guerilla politics’ befor there is sure as hell a lot of joy in operating outside of the ‘square’ and half a dozen people can cover an electorates letter boxes in a day with a simple message using cheap second hand photocopiers as the printing medium,

                Lolz, i even become quite adept at pulling those machines apart and putting them back together with no previous experience in that field whatsoever,

                If you are going to get your crew together and leaflet whole electorates a good tip is to study the map and use your vehicle to take the crew to the top of all the hills so that they are always walking downhill and never trudging up them,

                Makes the job that much easier and a lot quicker…

      • Chooky 8.1.2

        +1 Colonial Viper… I suspect many voted for Winston last time strategically…because they saw him as possibly winning the election for the Left or Labour in coalition….however ….Winstons MPs are a liability….once people woke up as to who they were and what they stood for ….it could be a reason many may not vote for him again

        • Colonial Viper

          he’ll get access to much better candidates this time around, as a sitting party in Parliament. Well, one hopes.

          • Jackal

            In some respects he couldn’t do much worse if he tried.

            • Chooky

              @ Jackel….agreed…They are shockers ….Lets hope he does better.next time ..ie turfs them for some Greenies ( ha ha)…Can you imagine Winston as a Greenie?!

              • Rosetinted

                Are all the NACT and Labour MPs good ones? What about just the ones at the top of both larger parties? Don’t rate Winston’s against an exemplar standard, cf them to the sitting ducks now in gubmint. Or the carnival heads with big open mouths that have been used as pictures on TS to illustrate Pura Banefit items.

      • Chooky 8.1.3

        @ Colonial Viper …..still doesn account for the approx 800,000 who didnt vote at all for Labour

    • weka 8.2

      “Whether Labour won or lost wouldn’t matter, as the end would be the same as they would go into coalition”


      Peters already gets disaffected Labour voters everytime NZF bounces at election time. And he is likely to go with NACT. How will that help?

      I’d like to know how you see NZF and the GP working in coalition together.

      • Rosetinted 8.2.1

        What’s the GP? Winston could be wooed to the remnants of Labour if he was offered the Prime Minister position. It goes against everything that I have once considered, but what is happening now does also. So going along with what has been done in the past is not the only way – keeping on keeping on over the cliff. Time to consider changing paths. At least scare the smug and self-serving Labour types, by looking at other options.

        • weka

          Green Party.

          Peters ain’t going to live forever, and there is no way in hell that the left would support him as PM. There is a good reason why NZF sits around the 5% mark – Peters betrayed his leftwing voters in the election where he lead them to believe he would go with Labour and then he went with National. Don’t think he ever got those voters back. He can’t be trusted by people on the left.

          • Rosetinted

            All the present leaders are unreliable. Don’t pick on Winston. Make it worth his while to join Labour and shake off all the incumbents sitting on the sheep’s back, or now the dairy one. Mooove them.

            • weka

              If you can’t understand the specific traits that make Peters unreliable compared to other politicians, then you will fail to understand why your suggestion doesn’t really make sense.

              You could list examples where Shearer, Norman and Turei have each betrayed their core voters.

              • bad12

                A list of where Turei and Norman have betrayed their core voters, yes please, please produce said list of betrayals…

            • Draco T Bastard

              Really, you’re better off voting Mana or Greens.

          • Chooky

            @ Weka …I thought that for long time too..(.ie I was duped by Winston because i thought my vote for him was to the left of the Labour Party and against State Asset sales etc)…when he went into coalition with National after the first MMP election I was gutted.

            ….But if you watched the Helen Clark documentary you would realise he didnt go choose Labour to go into coalition with because New Labour under Jim Anderton refused coalition…. and NZ Labour Party didnt have the numbers for leadership….

            Also Winston brought down that first MMP coalition with National by refusing to go along with more asset sales…..so the Nats hate him even more than certain Lefties like yourself.

            He is a brilliant debater and thorn in the side of National….go on admit it!

            • weka

              To be honest, I think politics in NZ will improve when Peters is off the scene (only a matter of time).

              “….But if you watched the Helen Clark documentary you would realise he didnt go choose Labour to go into coalition with because New Labour under Jim Anderton refused coalition…. and NZ Labour Party didnt have the numbers for leadership….”

              Someone with a better political memory than me can correct this, but afaik, Peters wanted power and so chose the deal that suited him best. He could have supported a leftwing govt, but didn’t get the baubles he thought he deserved, so he went right.

              • yeshe

                That’s not what the doco explained for the first time … Labour could not get the numbers to rule when Jim Anderton refused coalition. Peters then went to National. WP always said he would go where the numbers were to create a secure government. IMHO, he only did what he said he would do, though I hated it at the time.

                Also, worth noting Peters’ comments about Helen Clark in Part 2 this week … he openly admitted his admiration of her ethics and abilities and how easy it was to do his work at Foreign Minister. He grew to trust her 100% it seems. Oh, those were the days when we really had a PM !!

                • weka

                  “Labour could not get the numbers to rule when Jim Anderton refused coalition. Peters then went to National.”

                  Would like to see others back up that perspective before I take it as truth.

                  • yeshe

                    weka — I understand that — you could try going to TV3 on demand and watching Part 1 .. and I would think the programme’s producer and/or director would have other footage … most certainly it was presented clearly and as fact in an otherwise careful programme.

                    Actually, both parts are worth viewing .. but here is link Part 1 for you ..


                    And I seem to remember ( but not 100% on this) that Jim Anderton said elsewhere in the doco that he had refused to go into coalition …

                    • weka

                      Don’t have the data to watch that, but even if I did, I’d still want to hear some other credible opinions. You seem to be saying that Peters had no choice. I’m saying he did, and he chose for his own political expediency and this betrayed many of his voters.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Peters is similar, but not the same man today. He has a legacy to think about, and unlike Dunne, that is a thing which actually means something to Peters.

                    • yeshe

                      weka .. maybe write to jim anderton ?

                    • yeshe

                      weka .. it is covered in the first four minutes of pt 2 if you have that much data … it is very clearly stated .. and not in ref to winston, but to anderton.

                    • weka

                      “And I seem to remember ( but not 100% on this) that Jim Anderton said elsewhere in the doco that he had refused to go into coalition …”

                      The bit you refered me to (first 4 mins of part two) says almost in passing that Anderton had refused to go into coalition in the 1996 election. It’s not Anderton saying that, and I’d still like to see some back up for it from another (credible) source that says that it wasn’t down to Peters.

                    • weka

                      In the 1996 elections, the Alliance gained 10% of the vote. Under the new electoral system, this secured the party thirteen MPs. New Zealand First, however, had obtained seventeen MPs, and held the balance of power between Labour and National. Eventually, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters opted to form a coalition with National, leaving both Labour and the Alliance in opposition.

                      The Labour Party, now led by Helen Clark, had moved away from the policies of Roger Douglas – both Douglas and his strongest supporter, Richard Prebble, had left Labour to found the ACT party, and Clark’s more traditional faction had taken over. This allowed a gradual reconciliation between Labour and the Alliance, a process assisted by the impression that lack of cooperation had cost both parties support. Eventually, this led to an agreement between the two parties, with both sides agreeing to cooperate in forming a government should election results allow it.


                    • Colonial Viper

                      But with Anderton, McCarten, Harre et al in the mix, of course it was going to blow into smithereens unnecessarily. As a nation we are much worse off that they didn’t choose to hold the Alliance ship together.

                    • weka

                      “of course it was going to blow into smithereens unnecessarily.”

                      ‘it’ being what? Didn’t the Alliance split happened later after the GP had left.

          • Rosetinted

            Thanks weka my brain couldn’t think of that simple thing – GP Green Party. I was thinking of the USA GOP and couldn’t get past that somehow. I guess they always get called greens for short and I’m not used to GP. Still WGOUH?

  8. weka 9

    Bomber upgrades the Labour Party Coup Watch

    My gut tells me it is left wing because i just don’t think Matthew Hooten, Cameron Slater or David Farrar would know who Billy Brag was. Textor-Crosby maybe, but not our local Death Star residents.

    For the first time in NZ Political history, someone has launched the first social media coup attempt of a Political Party.


    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Fonterra said it first identified a potential quality issue in March, when a product tested positive for Clostridium. There were hundreds of different strains of Clostridium, most of which were harmless.

      “Product samples were put through intensive testing over the following months.

      This is very odd. 4-5 months to get to this result after first noting there may be a problem?

      • weka 10.1.1

        See my comment below. I think the risk was judged relatively low, otherwise they would have been going hard out with the recall.

        • Colonial Viper

          Ahhh I see. Journalists these days simply don’t have enough time and contacts to write a thorough article. Ideally, a food microbiologist from a university etc would also have been asked for a view.

      • Rosetinted 10.1.2

        Botulism is an unpleasant word to hear in the same sentence as dairy and Fonterra. Leaping into fast action would be the best action – red alert straight away. Four months is too long and could lead to concerns about carelessness especially when the stuff has been exported and has to be traced.

        There was something on Radionz the other day about laxness in our bio security and a list of the things that have slipped through. These business-maximisation, regulation-cutting, cost-saving, less-government bozos are ruining our countries natural resources and advantages, one of which is isolation from diseases and organisms.

        The palm kernel remainder that is being imported was mentioned as an important one. The drive to profit from dairy, which may not even be a credit in the nation’s accounts if it is owned by overseas entities, has over-ridden our long, big selling point of natural pastures. Our butter quality has been queried because its yellowness was thought to have been caused by dye, but no. I think it is a result of the type of cow breed, but also I think more vitamins from the green fresh feed. Which is now sullied by this environment destroying palm-feed industry.

        The rabbit calci virus was imported illegally and spread at the wrong time so that immunity was able to build.

        • weka

          Botulism is an unpleasant word to hear in the same sentence as dairy and Fonterra. Leaping into fast action would be the best action – red alert straight away. Four months is too long and could lead to concerns about carelessness especially when the stuff has been exported and has to be traced.

          Only if you don’t know what botulism is. Did you read my comment below?

          When the bacteria are under stress, they develop spores, which are inert. Their natural habitats are in the soil, in the silt that comprises the bottom sediment of streams, lakes and coastal waters and in the ocean, while some types are natural inhabitants of mammalian (e.g., human, cattle, horses) intestinal tracts, and are present in their excreta. The spores can survive in their inert form for many years.[6]

          Toxin is produced by the bacteria when environmental conditions are favourable for the spores to replicate and grow,….

          The spores require warm temperatures, a protein source and an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment and moisture in order to become active and produce toxin.


          Fonterra are talking about whey powder as far as I can tell. So, no moisture and no anaerobic conditions until the whey powder gets made into something else. If we’re talking about infant formula and sports drinks that you make up at home, then I’m guessing that the risk comes from those foods once in liquid form being stored at warm room temperature for a period of time.

          Someone who knows more microbiology than me can comment, but I’d guess that it needs more than a day or so for the spores to become active and toxic. So yes, there is a risk to people who are making up the whey powder and not taking good care of that food (eg drinking it straight away or keeping it in the fridge), but it’s low.

          There is also the issue of how long it takes for the powder to get to other companies to be processed into a product that then goes through the supply lines to supermarkets etc.

          I am guessing here a lot, but it looks like Fonterra assessed the risk as pretty low, hence the length of time. Infants would be most at risk from botulism, so it’s extremely unlikely that Fonterra would not be rushing things if the risk was in any way serious. Had the bacteria been in liquid milk I’m guessing they would have moved fast.

          Is Nick our resident biologist?

          • Rosetinted

            I repeat “Botulism is an unpleasant word to hear in the same sentence as dairy and Fonterra.”

            That is a fact, and the buying public, the consumers and their suppliers, won’t like it and the connection with Fonterra’s name will not be good. Surely you can understand that. No amount of scientific or knowledgable information can stop negative bells ringing in consumer’s heads.

            • weka

              Here’s what you said

              Botulism is an unpleasant word to hear in the same sentence as dairy and Fonterra. Leaping into fast action would be the best action – red alert straight away. Four months is too long and could lead to concerns about carelessness especially when the stuff has been exported and has to be traced.

              Are you suggesting that Fonterra should have leaped into action fastly, because the public are ignorant? Wouldn’t it be better to follow proper proceedure, and to educate people about what the problems are instead of pretending they are much worse?

              The media could quite easily have informed the public about the actual risks (as opposed to perception of risk).

              • Rosetinted

                You haven’t put your mind to the realities of marketing and consumer reaction.

        • srylands

          “The drive to profit from dairy, which may not even be a credit in the nation’s accounts”


          • Colonial Viper

            What’s lol about it?

            The dairy money comes into NZ, and the farm mortgage payments flow straight back out to Australia.

            Grow a brain will ya.

        • Molly

          The PKE/biosecurity issue was also highlighted for me in the June 25th issue of Straight Furrow.
          Front page article “PKE discovery as ‘low’ biosecurity risk claim”.

          Reading past the convoluted headline we find:
          An entire shipment of PKE (Palm Kernel Expeller) should have been recalled after a limb of an exotic animal was found in it, Federated Farmers seed and grain vice-chairman, Dave Clark says.

          The cloven limb, believed to be that of a deer or goat, was spotted on May 12 by a dairy farmer, who immediately contacted biosecurity officials.

          Mr Clark said it had taken the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) until June 17 to confirm the limb was of exotic origin.

          “There should have been an immediate recall of all of that shipment of PKE, but the MPI decided to get it tested… Now that is negligence” the Canterbury farmer said….”

          Article follows on with likely number of dairy farms affected (100) and with the current (and full of holes) procedure for importing PKE.

          Didn’t hear this on any news items or mainstream media over the following weeks, but since I don’t read the print Herald much anymore and avoid the television news, more than likely I missed it. But does make me wonder about the ability of biosecurity to deal with actual potential breaches, rather than the normal standard operating practices.

          • Colonial Viper

            It was also reported on National Radio.

          • Rosetinted

            I think that it was found to be part of a sheep. If so that doesn’t mean that Palm Kernel Extract PKE or whatever the acronym stands for is something that isn’t extremely hazardous. Even worse than falling from the jungle jim at school. Strange how some hazards are to dangerous to contemplate an injury, yet when it’s our national commerce at stake – well for a betting man it’s one in five or something. The casino culture of the RWNJs.

            Samples of recent to months old news. on Radionz.

            Ship crawling with exotic beetles seized – New Zealand biosecurity officials have discovered an infestation of plague soldier beetles on a vessel arriving at Port Wellington from Australia this week.
            Updated at 6:03 am on 24 November 2012
            and more recently
            Signs of resistance to varroa bee mite treatments – assoc
            The National Beekeepers Association says the battle against the varroa mite may cost almost $1 billion over the next three decades.
            Labour calls for new thinking on palm kernel
            The Labour Party says there is now clear evidence that the palm kernel expeller supply chain is broken and that foreign organisms are making it to New Zealand.

    • weka 10.2


      Fonterra said it first identified a potential quality issue in March, when a product tested positive for Clostridium. There were hundreds of different strains of Clostridium, most of which were harmless.

      “Product samples were put through intensive testing over the following months. On Wednesday 31 July 2013, tests indicated the potential presence of a strain of Clostridium (Clostridium botulinum) in a sample, which can cause botulism.”

      “We are doing everything we can to assist our customers in ensuring any product containing this ingredient is removed from the marketplace and that the public is made aware,” Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said.

      “Our focus is to get information out about potentially affected product as fast as possible so that it can be taken off supermarket shelves and, where it has already been purchased, can be returned.”

      Working fast? Seriously? It took them over four months to test the bacteria strains.

      I”m guessing the risk is relatively low. I think Clostridium botulinum spores are not uncommon, but you need specific conditions for them to grow into something that harms humans (anaerobic conditions and warmth I think). Would it have been too much to ask Stuff to report on that rather than just regurgitating Fonterra’s press release?

      • bad12 10.2.1

        Ah that explains why the local supermarket is selling a certain brand of Yoghurt 12 at a time for the price of 6,

        i should flush the lot down the drain but think i might save it for a while to see where this story develops to so i can take it back to said supermarket and throw it all in the Managers face…

        • Rosetinted

          That would be bad12 – why not do it to the checkout operator? But both are not responsible.
          Save your ire for the right person. Yoghurt is good, pie in the face is bad.

  9. aerobubble 11

    So just after the govt backs down on using animals
    to test recreational drugs, and backs off
    recreational limits on snapper, we will have an election.

  10. yeshe 12

    So it can be done … Angela Merkel cancels spying pact with US with power of Germany’s privacy laws …


    Thought .. is the new GCSB bill in breach of our privacy laws in any way ?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      It’s amazing how an upcoming election concentrates politicans’ minds.

    • weka 12.2

      “Thought .. is the new GCSB bill in breach of our privacy laws in any way ?”

      Unlikely. Privacy doesn’t apply when the state grants law enforcement certain rights. That’s why the police can search your bank or phone records, under certain circumstances. The new GCSB law gives spies more circumstances in which it’s acceptable to access information. At least that’s how I understand it.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        That’s why the police can search your bank or phone records, under certain circumstances

        That’s the key. It’s a vital protection from sliding into a police/surveillance state.

  11. http://whoar.co.nz/2013/the-nation-a-review-you-cant-have-it-both-ways/


    “….and what came from that..

    ..is that either peter dunne or the inquiry-head henry are lying..

    ..both of them cannot be telling the truth..

    (ed:..and to be honest..tho’ having a high level of contempt for the man..the facts seem to favour dunne as the truth-teller on this particular aspect of this clusterfuck..)..”

    phillip ure..

  12. Rosetinted 14

    Hadn’t heard much about Helen Clark’s lectures.
    Neslon Mail report –
    The pulling power of former prime minister Helen Clark is so strong a 700-seat venue in Nelson has been booked out within a day.
    It is the second time the full-up sign has gone up, first at the Nelson School of Music and now at the Rutherford hotel conference centre…

    Miss Clark is to give the Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture on August 21. The Cawthron Institute Trust Board booked the Nelson School of Music, which can seat 380. However, within 24 hours of a Nelson Mail story about the free lecture it was oversubscribed by 200…

    Nelsonians will also be able to join Miss Clark for a brunch the next day, to hear how the UN Development Programme is making a difference to people’s lives and support the charity “In the Business of Hope”.
    The charity was formed by Nelson business people and is raising funds for simple mechanisation for the people of Polesgo in Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world. Visit http://www.inthebusinessofhope.org

    The brunch will be held at Trailways, Trafalgar St, from 9 to 10.30am, on Thursday, August 22. Tickets cost $60 + GST with $40 going direct to the charity, contact commerce.org.nz or phone 5481363 or email support@commerce.org.nz

    Looked on google and can’t find anything about this charity In the Business of Hope.

    • Molly 14.1

      Purely NZ charity(?), set up last year by the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce after Helen Clark’s last speech in 2012.

      Their website is here.

      Looks pretty ad-hoc at the moment, one small project. Can’t find the name registered at the Companies Office, Charities Register or Incorporated Societies in NZ.

      • Rosetinted 14.1.1

        Thanks Molly. Thanks for the link. I am curious about charities, like to know about them. If they sound religious inspired, whose? Business inspired who? Why? I think Tindall and Sustainable Business are going in right direction. But good helpful development and charity to the people is not always what is the end result. So I just wondered.

        I like this piece from the Nelson Tasman CofC –
        Throughout the world many families and communities struggle to make ends meet. One such village is Polesgo, in Burina Faso, ranked 191st place out of 197 countries with over 82% of the population living in poverty. Simple mechanisation will transform their lives, freeing up hours of manual labour for education and other economic opportunities.

        Love that bit of fluff, freeing up hours of manual labour for education and other economic opportunities. Might as well sing together “Just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down”.
        Just sounds like snake oil to me. Basic education yes, economic opportunities good, but don’t give up the manual labour folks. And keep your vegetable beds and cows and goats that are your basic providers.

        NZ doing development work in the Pacific, has often had money coming from the country but the materials being bought from us, so nicely balanced so that we did all right. Which was a bit self-interested and may not have resulted in the most useful, suitable assistance.

    • Chooky 14.2

      Re Helen Clark popularity now.
      ….. Remember the “Helengrad”, “Nanny State” and “Time for a Change ” slogans and campaigning ….directed against Helen Clark, as well as the Exclusive Brethren stalking……and the even nastier misogynist ,sexist innuendos……

      I always thought Labour did not value their best asset enough….There was a concerted and disgraceful attempt by the right wing ( and even some notable left wing journalists) to down Helen Clark .

      …well they got their wish….and look what we have now

      …on the positive side …if we had David Cunliffe as leader there is obviously an electorate out there wanting a good left leader of the Labour Party

  13. gobsmacked 15

    TVNZ are releasing their poll results tomorrow, but in a new way.

    The “preferred PM” results will be on Q & A in the morning. Usually they are part of the 6 pm bulletin.

    Presumably they’re doing this to pep up Q & A. which makes you wonder if the results are … interesting.

  14. jaymam 16

    John Key’s artwork needs many captions:

    How many finger joints does he have?

  15. Tigger 17

    Who’s tiny hand is that?

    Clearly he thinks gummint should be small. Problem is it also looks deformed.

  16. jaymam 18

    Does anyone know about the economics of cement production in NZ? How come they can make cement cheaper overseas? Is it perhaps because of a carbon tax that is not payable overseas? (Cement manufacture is one of the largest commercial emitters of CO2).


    Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd will spend more than NZD 100M over the next three years constructing an import terminal and related infrastructure that will allow it to import and distribute bulk cement for supply to the New Zealand market.

    Once operational, cement imported through the new terminal will replace local production at the company’s Westport cement plant. Holcim New Zealand has signaled for some years that the Westport plant was not sustainable long term. The decision also means that the proposal for a new cement plant at Weston, near Oamaru, is on hold for the foreseeable future …

    • NickS 18.1

      Cement requires cheap raw materials (clay + limestone) + cheap power (and often coal) to bake (dehydration + chemically alters) and grind the cement feedstocks, and lax pollution regs also help as cement production is pretty environmentally dirty.

      So given the costs of power here in NZ + lack of cheap coal (most of the stuff here is high grade), plus decent pollution regulations and the RMA act, it’s quite possible Holcim thinks it can increase it’s margins significantly by importing from overseas. Though with longterm projections on the costs of marine diesel not looking good, this may come to bite them on the arse, even if they’re importing it from Australia, or more likely China.

      It also doesn’t help that the Westport facility is pretty damn old and sited at one of the more “interesting” harbours in NZ to get into for large ships.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      Is it perhaps because of a carbon tax that is not payable overseas?

      There’s so many variables that it’s hard to say. That may be one of those variables, another will probably be lower wages and then there’s probably less environmental protection as well. Wouldn’t be surprised if worse working conditions also contributed – keeping the workers safe costs money.

  17. Foreign Waka 19

    I have been asked on a number of occasion’s over the years whether I know why the fascists were able to come to power in Europe as it all was so obvious what is happening (being of European descent seems to provoke this question). By what I see on the news I don’t belief that any thinking person needs to ask me anymore.

    • weka 19.1

      Comment of the month.

    • joe90 19.2

      Same as it ever was:

      A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government, and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. Aboard ship a prominent executive of one of America’s largest financial corporations told me point-blank that if the progressive trend of the Roosevelt administration continued, he would be ready to take definite action to bring Fascism to America.

      William E. Dodd.



      • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1

        I find it amazing that people don’t realize that the people at the top don’t like democracy and will do pretty much anything to stop it. The first that they did to prevent it was to put in place representative democracy.

  18. Pascal's bookie 20

    And now this:

    “Herald on Sunday ‏@HeraldonSunday 11m
    First Jon Stephenson, then Andrea Vance. Now, we reveal a third journalist who has had an entire dossier of text messages seized by police.”

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Fuck. The rot has really set in. On the Fourth Estate’s watch. Looks like they are finally standing up.

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    1 day ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
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    2 days ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
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    2 days ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
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    2 days ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
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    2 days ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
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    2 days ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
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    2 days ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
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    3 days ago
  • New training centre to upskill workers
    A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Government will contribute $10.84 million from ...
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    3 days ago
  • Subsequent children legislation to change
    The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today. “There are times when children need to go into care for their safety – the safety and care of children must always be paramount,” Minister Martin said. “But ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
    A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.  Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
    Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses. The disadvantages that older people face in the workplace was highlighted in the whole of Government Employment Strategy.  In order to address this, a Mature Workers Toolkit has been developed and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
    New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “In these challenging times, our close collaboration with Australia is more vital than ever,” said Mr Peters. Mr Peters and his Australian ...
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    3 days ago
  • Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory
    The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said. “The fifth and last robot ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government confirms CovidCard trial to go ahead
    The Government has confirmed a community-wide trial of CovidCard technology as it explores options for COVID-19 contact tracing. “Effective contact tracing is a vital part of the COVID-19 response,” Minister of Health Chris Hipkins said. “While manual processes remain the critical component for contact tracing, we know digital solutions can ...
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    3 days ago
  • Enhanced process for iwi aquaculture assets
    The government is proposing changes to aquaculture legislation to improve the process for allocating and transferring aquaculture assets to iwi. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has introduced the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Amendment Bill to Parliament. It proposes a limited new discretionary power for Te Ohu Kaimoana Trustee Limited (ToKM). ...
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    3 days ago
  • Bill introduced to fix National’s Family Court reform failures
    The Minister of Justice has today introduced the Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill – the next step in the ongoing programme of work to fix the failed 2014 Family Court reforms led by then Justice Minister Judith Collins.  The Bill arises from the report of the Independent ...
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    3 days ago
  • DOC takes action to adapt to climate change
    A new Department of Conservation (DOC) action plan tackles the impacts of climate change on New Zealand’s biodiversity and DOC managed infrastructure including tracks, huts and cultural heritage. Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage says extreme weather events around the country have really brought home our vulnerability to changing weather patterns. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Reduced international Antarctic season commences
    A heavily scaled back international Antarctic season will commence this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods have confirmed. “Antarctica is the only continent that is COVID-19 free,” Mr Peters said. “Throughout the global pandemic, essential operations and long-term science have continued at ...
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    3 days ago
  • New high performance sports hub for Upper Hutt
    The Government is providing up to $30 million to help fund the NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport in Upper Hutt - an investment that will create 244 jobs. “The sports hub is designed to be a world-leading shared service for a range of sports, offering the level of facilities ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt keeps projects on road to completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today transport projects currently in construction will continue at pace due to extra Government support for transport projects to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. To keep the $16.9 billion 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme going the Government has allocated funding from the COVID Response and ...
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    3 days ago
  • First project utilising $50 million ‘shovel ready’ fund for rural broadband announced
    $50 million for further rural broadband digital connectivity has been allocated from the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the COVID Response and Recovery Fund has been announced by Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure and Kris Faafoi, Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media. The investment will go to boosting broadband ...
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    3 days ago
  • Ultra-fast Broadband programme hits major milestone with more than one million connections
    The Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has congratulated the Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) programme on its major milestone of connecting more than 1 million New Zealand households and businesses to UFB. “This milestone has been 10 years in the making and demonstrates the popularity of the UFB network. “Uptake ...
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    3 days ago
  • Vaping legislation passes
    Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill regulates vaping products and heated tobacco devices. “There has long been concern ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government repeals discriminatory law
    A discriminatory law that has been a symbol of frustration for many people needing and providing care and support, has been scrapped by the Government. “Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill (No 2) was introduced under urgency in 2013 by a National Government,” Associate ...
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    4 days ago
  • More competitive fuel market on the way
    Kiwi motorists are set to reap the benefits of a more competitive fuel market following the passing of the Fuel Industry Bill tonight, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods says.  “This Act is where the rubber meets the road in terms of our response to the recommendations made in the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers on rental reforms promise
    The Government has delivered on its promise to New Zealanders to modernise tenancy laws with the passing of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (RTA) Bill 2020 today, says Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing), Kris Faafoi. “The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 was out-dated and the reforms in the RTA modernise our ...
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    4 days ago
  • New rules in place to restore healthy rivers
    New rules to protect and restore New Zealand’s freshwater passed into law today. Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor welcomed the gazetting of the new national direction on freshwater management. “These regulations deliver on the Government’s commitment to stop further degradation, show material improvements within five years and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister announces new Consul-General in Los Angeles
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced the appointment of Jeremy Clarke-Watson as New Zealand’s new Consul-General in Los Angeles. “New Zealand and the United States share a close and dynamic partnership, based on a long history of shared values and democratic traditions,” Mr Peters said. “Mr Clarke-Watson is a ...
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    4 days ago
  • Rental reforms provide greater support for victims of family violence
    Victims of family violence can end a tenancy with two days’ notice Landlords can terminate tenancies with 14 days’ notice if tenants assault them Timeframe brought forward for limiting rent increases to once every 12 months Extension of time Tenancy Tribunal can hear cases via phone/video conference Reform of New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Apprenticeships support kicks off today
    Two employment schemes – one new and one expanded – going live today will help tens of thousands of people continue training on the job and support thousands more into work, the Government has announced. Apprenticeship Boost, a subsidy of up to $12,000 per annum for first year apprentices and ...
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    4 days ago