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Open mike 03/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 3rd, 2010 - 73 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

73 comments on “Open mike 03/12/2010 ”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    It’s really shocking and bad about them there wikileaks. That AsStrange fellow sure is like unto a terrist. Leaking these sensitive and confidential documents is a a crime against law and order. How can civilisation be protected from evil doers if governments cannot be 100% sure that their sensitive and private communications will not be smeared all over the front page of the muck rakers braodsheets?

    Take the citizens of Spain and the United States of America for example. How can their respective governments work shit out if their people were privy to what the fuck.

    http://harpers.org/archive/2010/12/hbc-90007836

    The cables show that the embassy was briefed in detail about the pending cases, receiving information that was not publicly accessible and would have been known only to the prosecutors and the magistrates handling the cases. The embassy engaged Spanish authorities in detailed discussions about the specific judges handling these cases and on at least one occasion extracted a promise from prosecutors to seek to have one sensitive case—in which former U.S. attorney general Alberto Gonzales, former vice presidential chief of staff David Addington, John Yoo, Jay Baybee, Douglas Feith, and William J. Haynes figured as potential defendants—reassigned to a judge they considered friendlier to the United States. In fact, around the time of the cables in question the prosecutors acted just as the cable suggests they would.

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/12/wikileaks-cable-obama-quashed-torture-investigation

    Back when it seemed that this case could become a major international issue, during an April 14, 2009, White House briefing, I asked press secretary Robert Gibbs if the Obama administration would cooperate with any request from the Spaniards for information and documents related to the Bush Six. He said, “I don’t want to get involved in hypotheticals.” What he didn’t disclose was that the Obama administration, working with Republicans, was actively pressuring the Spaniards to drop the investigation. Those efforts apparently paid off, and, as this WikiLeaks-released cable shows, Gonzales, Haynes, Feith, Bybee, Addington, and Yoo owed Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thank-you notes.

    Leaks are bad for diplomacy mmkay.

    Mood: sick of this shit.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Ah, Don’t you just love the smell of corruption in the morning?

      I do hope that the USAsians are waking up to the simple fact that they can’t trust their government.

    • ianmac 1.2

      But but but… They do these things for our welfare. They have the foresight and the vision for things that rilly rilly matter. And you peasants just don’t know! Trust them because their god is guiding them for a wonderful heaven on earth.

  2. BLiP 2

    BELLYACHING BY BLiP

    So, here I am stuck in my corporate cubby hole in an office stacked wall-to-wall with typical torpid tories. Smokos Tea breaks are a bit nuisance these days in that I have had to learn to bide my tongue for fear of startling the drones by accidentally kick starting their brains. Just to make sure that doesn’t happen today, I’m going to have to get a few things off my chest. Where to start . . . hmmmm . . . I know:

    John Fucking Key – what hollow, nasty, grubby, money-changing, venal excuse of a PM he really is. These days, one can almost expect vested interests to exploit the Pike River tragedy, but his speech yesterday really was disgusting. There he stood, before the people of The Coast telling them that the children who have lost their father will be okay because he lost his father and he turned out alright. What the prick didn’t point out is that when his mother was widowed, the benefit levels were sufficient. There was no under-pressure, half-trained, underpaid, overworked public servant whipping her arse into a minimum wage, unsuitable job. She didn’t have to wait 2 years to get a state house. There wasn’t a government in power demonising her “bludging” and trashing her privacy for political ends. School fees . . . ha bloody ha!! Fucking rich pricks soaking of the benefits offered by New Zealanders only to pull the the ladder the moment they get their manicured hands on the levers.

    And then there’s Peter Bloody Jackson. His Hollywood mates score $550 million for their mediocre movies yet the world acclaimed NZSO has to “make do”. You gotta wonder about the average Kiwi; Are we really a race of uncultured pop-corn munching knuckle-draggers? Chris Finlayson and his Cabinet mates certainly seem that way inclined.

    As for National Radio – sssup with today’s Morning Report? Of all the stories in all the world, the best they can come up with for the lead item is a sports story. Even worse, its soccer. Who really gives a single flying fling where the next soccer world cup gets held and, even for the half a dozen Kiwis that do, why isn’t the story tucked into the sports bulletin at the end of the news where it belongs. Right before the weather.

    Anyone getting a bit worried about our primary industry? News last week about the kiwi fruit industry doesn’t look good, it would appear oyster farming is in real trouble, there’s still an international glut of grapes so the wine industry is left to rort the locals as overseas returns continue the downward spiral. What, with the millions and millions of dead fish turning up in Northland, news that a third of our lakes are poisoned, the summer droughts coming early, and initial moves towards the wholesale privatisation of our water, things are not looking good. Would climate change have anything to do with it? Nick Smith wouldn’t have a clue.

    And the Labour Party – do they want to win in 2011 or not? I sometimes get the feeling the MPs have given up and are just going through the motions waiting for the lolly scramble for positions when Goff and Cunliffe resign to accept some Board of Directors’ sinecure. Pull your finger out, you lot!! BIG improvement required.

    The missus. I told her that the world is going to end on December 21 2012 , but do you think it got me out of painting the house over the Christmas Break? Yeah right.

    Whew!! All better now. Thanks for listening. As you were.

    Regards

    BLiP.

    • r0b 2.1

      If it’s any consolation – and it probably isn’t – that beautiful rant has made my day! You know what? I think I’m going to try that trick on painting the house too…

      • BLiP 2.1.1

        heh! Cheers mate. I think I might have said it before but The Standard is my de facto support group while I’m at work. And, look . . . its nearly morning tea. Okay, let me see:

        – false bonhomie programmed . . . ✔

        – fixed grin in place . . . ✔

        – remembered to ask the boss to borrow the site waterblaster over the weekend . . . ✔

        – prepared for the usual jokes about my preference for herb tea . . . ✔

        . . . should be sweet now ; )

    • With you there most of the way Blip …

    • ak 2.3

      Rant ‘o the week! made my day too, onya BLiP!

    • Tigger 2.4

      Why wouldn’t you want your house looking good for the apocalypse, BLiP? Remember, God is watching. I believe his favourite colours are white, off-white and eggshell…

      Great rant, rather stirring even!

    • just saying 2.5

      12:41 am, November 19th, 2010

      As key might say, it’s funtastic stream of conshitness (Nald, J. 2010).

      That little beauty just had to be resurrected!

      Kudos Lprenet for the brilliant search engine.

      You write so well I’m often green with envy as I LOL (even when you are accusing me of being a jandal worshipping yoghurt mucher or some such).

      Far be it for me…. but have we uncovered the Standard’s new columnist?

      ps there’s only one solution when the house needs painted – you gotta move!

      • lprent 2.5.1

        Not mine. It is a program called Sphinx that does the legwork as a daemon, and a plugin called Sphinx Search that does the interface. I hacked Sphinx Search to remove its ability to actually control Sphinx for extracting the data because I found it was too simplistic – it was easier to set up cron jobs. I also changed the display interface a little. (And I really should get these up on the net as a plugin and instructions).

        But it is awesomely fast and doesn’t chew much of our scarce resources. The previous search engine was starting to kill the server as the posts and comments kept increasing.

        I do need to actually put in some instructions about how to really use the engine.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.6

      Who really gives a single flying fling where the next soccer world cup gets held and…

      More people in NZ play and watch soccer than those who play and watch rugby. Considering this fact chances are there’s more people in NZ that are concerned with where the SWC is played than where the RWC is played. Other than that, yeah, sports is not news and shouldn’t be a lead item.

      Hmmm, look at that Dead Zone that just so happens to cover the north of the North island. Time to look for a primary industry that doesn’t damage the environment so much.

      • prism 2.6.1

        Sports in the news this morning – FIFA seem to have the world soccer by its short and curlies and decided that they would extend their tender touch right through till 1922 and Qatar, where outside the playing stadiums the temp will be 50o C! They have a strong religious bias against alcohol but the journo informs us, FIFA has the right to over-ride a nation’s laws on such social behaviour and immigration. I wonder when an Indian-cricket-offshoot organisation will seem a good idea for soccer bodies?

        • Jeremy Harris 2.6.1.1

          Are we really a race of uncultured pop-corn munching knuckle-draggers?

          In the choice between a boring 3 hr movie watching trees walking next to elfs carrying rings and a boring 3 hrs watching a fat guy play a tuba, I’m a uncultured pop-corn munching knuckle dragger…

    • ianmac 2.7

      Blip you sure can sort the wood from the trees.
      “There he stood, before the people of The Coast telling them that the children who have lost their father will be okay because he lost his father ……………”
      You surely don’t think that this was a crafted comment to connect all those nice West Coasters with the theme of State House fatherless kid made good as in the theme for the 2008 election? Surely you are not suggesting that there is a cynical advantage taken of a tragic event as a bit of electioneering for the 2011 election? No way! No way???

    • BLiP,

      Hot damn mate, I finally understand my husband about them smoko’s and the thundering stupidity surrounding him. He just had a weeks holiday and is dreading to go back to what we call the other paradigm.

      For what it’s worth any plans I had about getting him to paint anything this Christmas I will postpone awhile so you saved at least one poor bugger from that this summer.

      Thanks for the rant.

      Cheers

      Trav

      Captcha: CONTRIBUTION. And yours surely is.

    • bobo 2.9

      Great rant thanks blip 🙂 shame you didn’t cause an awkward outburst at the watercooler would have made for good viewing. Careful mentioning the NZSO.. finlayson might outsource it to a cheaper eastern block countries orchestra.

    • LynW 2.10

      Wow, it is said ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ but my afternoon just got a whole lot heavier! Being reminded of all that in one go ( but grateful I can minus the house painting, which is one thing I personally don’t have to worry about!) really is such a downer! TGIF!
      Seriously though, I do wonder what the tipping point will be?

    • Vicky32 2.11

      “Of all the stories in all the world, the best they can come up with for the lead item is a sports story. Even worse, its soccer. Who really gives a single flying fling where the next soccer world cup gets held and, even for the half a dozen Kiwis that do, why isn’t the story tucked into the sports bulletin at the end of the news where it belongs. Right before the weather.”
      Seconded!
      Deb

    • M 2.12

      BLiP

      I salute you! Didn’t have a chance earlier to check in.

      Adored your spleen venting on Key – [deleted, not a wise comment — r0b].

      All that shifty SOB needs is a trenchcoat, gaaa, he makes my flesh crawl.

      Anti spam: crashes – with Key helming the country that is what will come to pass.

  3. Red Rosa 3

    Go BLiP! TGIF….

  4. Tigger 4

    Famous Aussie cook on the Oxford dictionary’s claim that the pavlova was invented in NZ “most Australians would agree with me that the true pavlova belongs to Australia,”

    So what, our pavlova is ‘false’? Damn Aussies. Why do they remind me of torys? Oh, because no matter what evidence you throw at them they still think everything is theirs by right of birth.

    • prism 4.1

      I didn’t know that early on there was some jelly concoction called pavlova. Discussing it on radio it was pointed out that meringue has been around for yonks but we know that our version called pavlova is NZ as it is made with good NZ cream and topped with good NZ kiwifruit (an immigrant once called Chinese gooseberry). It’s an icon and it’s ours!

  5. Anne 5

    Parliamentary Service’s report on Pansy Wong is due to be released today. Will it be a whitewash?
    Will she resign from parliament? Will there be a byelection? Maybe we’ll have the answers by the end of the day.

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      I’m told that, despite the rumours, Wong has not been ordered out of the country by Key. Her absence is apparently entirely due to shame and her unwillingness to be publicly ridiculed in the streets of Howick. She has agreed, however, that her resignation will be announced during the Xmas/New Year snooze fest. The by-election will be in February and National’s candidate will be AK councillor Jami-Lee Ross.

      • prism 5.1.1

        JL Ross would seem an appropriate facsimile for that NACT position.

        • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.1

          I gather there’s some debate in Labour as to who their candidate should be, given that a by-election in a National held seat can genuinely be seen as a referendum on the Government’s performance, unlike Mana. Raymond Huo ticks a lot of the boxes and may be capable of pulling off an upset. Actually, it’d be funny if Labour win on the night by 1080 votes; imagine the frantic spinning from the right of how that’s really a major victory for them, just like in Mana.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.2

        Doesn’t sound like she’s going to be resigning.

        • The Voice of Reason 5.1.2.1

          Not yet, anyway! I have to say this report is a surprise, Lanth. My Tory mole told me that there were so many trips, both in Government and opposition, that it was near impossible to determine what was legit and what was shameless moneymaking. Perhaps the fog of confusion has saved her, but, like Worth, there may be more to come that will eventually see her off.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      One rule for politicians, one for the rest of us
      It appears that it was a whitewash.

      • Jim Nald 5.2.1

        Can’t trust whatever comes out of either end of the donkey

        Wong can return to multi-tasking. Business as usual

        • Jim Nald 5.2.1.1

          To clarify, that second line of my 2:18pm comment is not at all an endorsement of the latest news.

          The report is here.

          Can someone explain more about the form, manner, process, etc adopted for the investigation? I was under the impression the Speaker himself would conduct the inquiry. Looks like jonkey and him have just kicked the ball to touch, passed it to someone else, and then have the ball handed neatly and easily on a plate. Who is “Hugh McPhail, Consultant” re first thing that can be read on the first page? Why him? Why the choice of doing it this way? How can this be acceptable? How can the public be confident whether there was robust questioning, examination, investigation or scrutiny? What other public offices or officers are there who can do an independent job of inquiring into the issues? How can folks trust that the matter has been investigated properly?

        • Irascible 5.2.1.2

          The “double-standard” machine has rolled out its findings on the Wongs’ business & politics mixing and discovered surprise, surprise low level malfeasance and, therefore, a possibility of Pansy being rehabilitated into the Cabinet of double diptons and associated rorters by the member for Hawaii when he returns to his postal address in Helensville.
          The discovery that it’s OK for the Wongs to use a taxpayer funded office as their business address is another of example of Key allowing a generous abuse level for his MPs as a mark of transparency… the “findings” don’t add up although they do reveal Pansy as being damaged goods and a “confused” representative of this present government.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2.1

            Wow, Wong must really be a big money earner for the National Party.

            But that is all history now.

            I don’t think that Key has figured out that with her mana publicly tarnished, a lot of Chinese business people are never going to go near one of her fund raising events again.

  6. just saying 6

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/

    ‘The Unlucky Generation’ – the latest from Trotter is worth a read IMO

    • Jum 6.1

      “This generation’s curious passivity has opened a yawning gap between the rapidly ageing rebels of the 60s and 70s and the generation of young New Zealanders only now entering their 20s. Not even the threat of global warming or the biggest financial disaster since 1929 have been able to shake the Rogernomics Generation’s conviction that all intervention is futile.

      But, if the dangerous fatalism of this zombie generation isn’t overcome, then very soon the luck will run out for all of us.”

      Such an accurate assessment of my two.

      ‘Jennycide’ LOL

      • prism 6.1.1

        There have been such amazing gadgets invented in Generation X’s time, first you buy them, then you find out how to use them, then you get addicted to using them. Or you go on magical journeys and fight little wars facing your computer and you are wholly involved with what you are doing in a more self-indulgent way than ever before.

        Young people tend towards a preoccupation with self and sorting a life. And getting a credit card and having the consumer life you want to have Now. (That was before things went pear-shaped, and now they are treading water.) None of this stuff leaves much time for individual thought about wider issues that aren’t summarised and triviallised by mouthy but charismatic media personages.

  7. After my personal re-evolution, where on my birthday of 20/12/2012 i withdraw my money from the bank, cancel my AP’s and close my account.

    I will travel to Farewell Spit to see in the new age. I hope no one else is there.

    where do you plan to be BLiP ?

    • BLiP 7.1

      At the end of the world?

      Southside, bro. Playing pool, winding up me mates, casting fond glances over at Mrs BLiP as she nails another triple-twenty trio of arows to gales of laughter and hearty cheers from her crew, keeping half an eye on the barbie as the young uns cook our dinner whilst flirting amongst themselves in anticipation of the arrival of the band booked to party us on into the wee small hours. Same ole ; )

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Likelihood of Govt cutting KiwiSaver contributions increasing, NBR says.

    It is becoming increasingly likely the Government will cut state KiwiSaver contributions as it looks to get its books under control, the NBR reports this morning.

    What a surprise, more financial mismanagement from those idiots in the Beehive.

    • BLiP 8.1

      Its like they’ve all inherited their money or made their fortune via leveraging. None of them at all seem to value the idea of saving for the future. Its all about now, now now. I’m beginning to wonder about the three-year parliamentary term. Does its relatively short period engender a sense of “hurry-up” about the actions of a Tory crew who are prepared to do anything for power? Would five or even six years make a positive difference, or is it better for democracy that “the people” maintain a veto over the short term??

      Questions, questions, questions . . . hmmm . . . any good links in this regard?

      • prism 8.1.1

        Don’t know links Blip but I think we should trial having a four year term, gives long enough to introduce policies and evaluate them. Looking at 100 years we would go from 33 elections to 25, not a great difference. A 5 year term would cut numbers severely.
        But as commentators say that many politicians are in constant election mode, going to a four year term would give them more time to concentrate on working for the country not just furthering their own, and party interests.

        We could also set a two-term rotation of leader. This is used elsewhere and it stops accretion behind a vote-winner who can get concreted into a holding position favourable for the party rather than dealing with the country’s needs and problems.

        • Lats 8.1.1.1

          I agree Prism. A 4 year term would mean that govt might actually have to achieve something in order to get re-elected, rather than spend the first 12 months blaming the previous administration, and the rest in the build up to the next election. Or it might not, that really depends on how good their spin doctors are I suppose, and how gullible the sheeple are towards leaders like our “beloved” Mr Smile-and-wave.

          The only downside to the idea of restricting terms for leaders to 2 is that should we ever get a truly visionary leader who succeeds in uniting the people and actually serving the country exceptionally we would be forced to abandon said leadership after 2 terms. I think Helen is probably the closest we’ve come to that in my time as a voter, and after her the cupboard looks a little bare. So I think this is a sufficiently unlikely occurrence that it isn’t really worth worrying about.

          I also think it is high time we broke out of our fixation with the 2 party system. Looking at the MSM you’d hardly know sometimes that we have more than 2 parties. I suspect that constantly referring to Labour (or Nat when Labour holds the reigns) as “the opposition” reinforces this view in the public’s mind that only 2 parties really matter. I understand that currently Nat and Labour garner the vast majority of votes, but there really is no good reason for this. Under the old FPP system this made sense, but MMP allows for much greater flexibility in voter preference.

          • prism 8.1.1.1.1

            Two party fixation is likely to continue in NZ I think. In other democracies too the public can’t seem to go beyond dual thinking and I note closely balanced percentages amongst the mass of voters.

            And what other parties? Greens are an important minor vote, Jim Anderton seemed to me to be as close to true Labour as any but his party wasn’t able to get traction apart from his Sydenham electorate. Then the Maori Party tries to find its point of leverage. Then there are race and culture connections such as P.I. or Asian.

            As for the two-term rotation I thought someone would refer to Helen Clark. She was good but I think she had done most of her dash in the first two terms, certainly if those amounted to 8 years she would have had a good opportunity and perhaps more stability in numbers to advance useful policy. Going back further if Muldoon had been rolled earlier we would have lurched on successfully, fine-tuning as we went. Probably without the cleansing of the stables approach of the Neo-Labourites we would have achieved the necessary change following the Oz example and stayed closer to their various economic trend lines.

            Lanthanide – I thought that 4 years would be about right – 5 years is such a long time and only gives 20 elections a century rather than the 33 we have now.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.2

        My aunt who lives in the UK and works in the public health system over there was very disparaging about their 5-year electoral cycle. She says that all the current government has done is decided to do the austerity pain in one big hit for 4 years in a row, so in the last 6 months before the election they can have a lolly scramble to encourage the punters to vote for them again.

        She also said that the propaganda coming out about the health budget not being touched is a load of rubbish – she has to cut her department’s expenditure by 25%, which because her costs are 95% wages means her team is going from 5 members to 4, and none of them are getting pay rises for the foreseeable future, compounded with having to pick up the slack because the workload isn’t magically going to decrease by 25%.

        I think any length of term that you go for is going to have it’s advantages and drawbacks, as long as the people you are electing are human and therefore afflicted by the human condition.

    • KJT 8.2

      It would not be a bad idea if the money was reinvested in a sustainable energy saving future for New Zealand.

      The idea that we are going to get endlessly compounding interest for our monetary savings is impossible in a finite world.
      Savings invested in US dollars are going to disappear when they have to crash their currency to pay their debt’s anyway.

      We are just investing in a monetary bubble. We all know what happens to the small investors when it bursts.

      Have a think to what will happen when all the boomers retirement assets worldwide are liquidated over the period of their retirement. How large the NZ economy would have to be to allow that spending without inflation eating up the savings.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        It would not be a bad idea if the money was reinvested in a sustainable energy saving future for New Zealand.

        It’s being used to “save” more. In other words, the NACTs are seeing it as spending rather than saving.

        The idea that we are going to get endlessly compounding interest for our monetary savings is impossible in a finite world.

        Yeah, I know. The present financial system doesn’t work but, while we’re still within that paradigm, we have to play by it’s rules. I’d much prefer to see the government issuing money at 0% interest instead of borrowing and defining the Renewable Resource Base so that we could get to being sustainable and equitable faster.

  9. The Voice of Reason 9

    Roy Morgan Poll:

    “The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government has risen to 55.5% (up 1.5%). Support for Prime Minister Key’s National Party is 51% (up 1%), the Maori Party 3% (up 0.5%), ACT NZ 1.0% (unchanged) with United Future 0.5% (unchanged).

    Support for Opposition Parties has fallen to 44.5% (down 1.5%) with Labour Party 33% (up 0.5%), Greens 7% (down 2%), New Zealand First 3.0% (unchanged), Progressive Party 0.5% (up 0.5%) and Others 1% (down 0.5%).”

    One interesting aspect of the poll is that the number of respondents refusing to name a preferred party more than doubled to 4.5% of those canvassed. That indicates a growing ‘undecided’ camp, which must be encouraging to Labour.

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4610/

  10. felix 10

    So much for frickin aliens. Another bug hunt.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Those that have enjoyed the dubious delights of anti-malarial drug mefloquine (Lariam) might like to imagine getting a massive dose in a time frame when one is also subject to sensory deprivation, solitary confinement and intensive interrogation with no prospect of being released.

    http://www.newshoggers.com/blog/2010/12/gitmo-residents-routinely-given-psychoactive-drug-study.html

    people got themselves hanged for doing this sort of shit during wwii.

    meh.

  12. bobo 12

    So Pansy stays and pays back a few hundred, nothing to see here… move along now..

    • gobsmacked 12.1

      That month-long investigation, in full:

      “Sammy Wong, did you, by any chance, conduct any private business at all, on those many taxpayer-funded trips to China?”

      “No.”

      “Well, sir, that’s all the evidence we need! Sorry to have bothered you.”

      • Tigger 12.1.1

        If it was this cut and dried why couldn’t she confirm all this weeks ago? But happy to have her hanging around. Like Lee, Wong is damaged goods – keeping her in the party does National far more harm than setting her adrift…

        • bobo 12.1.1.1

          Yep I raise my glass to Pansy may she live wong and prosper in National. Look forward to more of her incoherent rants in the house.

        • Lanthanide 12.1.1.2

          Damaged goods in the public eye, perhaps, but if she’s still pulling in all those large donations, ultimately she is still of great benefit to the party.

          captcha: philosophy

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    No time to take in the view on Waterview

    Local people found out on 18 September that they had 20 working days to put in a submission to the project,

    The umbrella group representing local interests managed that significant hurdle, and are now obliged to present their expert evidence to the Board of enquiry no later than 17 December.

    The Waterview community group has applied for funding from the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund, but because the application and approval time lines for that process are typically (at least) some 4 -6 weeks,

    Sounds like what I was expecting from the NACTs EPA. It’s not there for environmental protection but actually stopping such protection so that the capitalists can make even more profit without accountability.

  14. Santi 14

    Any comments about this article in todays Dominion Post? http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4418030/Union-asked-to-explain-36k-debt

    Why the silence from the left?

    • just saying 14.1

      Quite right Santi.
      Let’s have a whip round eh?

    • lprent 14.2

      I’m puzzled why you (or the DomPost) think it is an issue of much interest.

      The IRD has rather a large amount of power to collect anything that is owed. It is clear that they’re aware of it from the mention of accumulated penalties. That is why they have penalties and I can’t recall a business or organisation that has employees or revenues that I’ve been involved with that hasn’t picked up a few at some time or another for late payments.

      It isn’t like unite is doing a Pansy and misuses money from taxpayers (ie me).

      Just looks like another boring dogwhistle to me. It may make you salivate but I can’t see anything newsworthy or even discussable about it.

  15. john 15

    UK being hit by climate change big time its getting the worst winter in 100 years and its only just begun.

    Millions endure second nightmare journey home from work as forecasters predict EIGHT INCHES of snow tonight In London for Pete’s sake!

    * Woman dies after falling into freezing lake in West Yorkshire
    * Body of man in his 50s pulled from stream in Surrey
    * Eight inches of snow forecast tonight for London and South East
    * 900 flights cancelled as Gatwick and Edinburgh airports close
    * Shops running out of basics as lorries struggle to deliver
    * Passengers stranded overnight on freezing trains in South East
    * Police advise people not to go out unless absolutely necessary
    * Temperatures set to fall to -6c, with winds making it feel even colder

    Refer link for report:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334410/Snow-frozen-Britain-grinds-halt-57-workers-arrive-late-work.html

    [lprent: Off topic. Weather is not climate, the topic was on climate, and this is a weather report. Moved to OpenMike. ]

  16. Vicky32 16

    What gives with Julian Assange? I don’t trust the old American reporter woman on TV3….
    An article I am reading about it all..
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26963.htm
    Deb

  17. outofbed 17

    wiki leaks is back up http://213.251.145.96/

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  • The Duke of Edinburgh
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time.  On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express ...
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    1 day ago
  • Five Country Ministerial Communiqué
    We, the Home Affairs, Interior, Security and Immigration Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (the ‘Five Countries’) met via video conference on 7/8 April 2021, just over a year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Guided by our shared ...
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    1 day ago
  • Inspiring creativity through cultural installations and events
    Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni has today announced the opening of the first round of Ngā Puninga Toi ā-Ahurea me ngā Kaupapa Cultural Installations and Events. “Creating jobs and helping the arts sector rebuild and recover continues to be a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 response,” Carmel ...
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    1 day ago
  • Drug-testing law to be made permanent
    Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Research by Victoria University, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, shows that the Government’s decision in December to make it legal for drug-checking services to operate at festivals ...
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    2 days ago
  • Better rules proposed for freedom camping
    Public consultation launched on ways to improve behaviour and reduce damage Tighter rules proposed for either camping vehicles or camping locations Increased penalties proposed, such as $1,000 fines or vehicle confiscation Rental companies may be required to collect fines from campers who hire vehicles Public feedback is sought on proposals ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government backs Air New Zealand as Trans-Tasman bubble opens
    The Government is continuing to support Air New Zealand while aviation markets stabilise and the world moves towards more normal border operations. The Crown loan facility made available to Air New Zealand in March 2020 has been extended to a debt facility of up to $1.5 billion (an additional $600 ...
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    2 days ago
  • Building gifted for new community hub in Richmond red zone
    Christchurch’s Richmond suburb will soon have a new community hub, following the gifting of a red-zoned property by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to the Richmond Community Gardens Trust. The Minister for Land Information, Damien O’Connor said that LINZ, on behalf of the Crown, will gift a Vogel Street house ...
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    2 days ago
  • Pacific languages funding reopens
      Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Languages Funding in 2021 will make sure there is a future for Pacific languages. “Language is the key to the wellbeing for Pacific people. It affirms our identity as Pasifika and ...
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    3 days ago
  • ERANZ speech April 2021
    It is a pleasure to be here tonight.  Thank you Cameron for the introduction and thank you for ERANZ for also hosting this event. Last week in fact, we had one of the largest gatherings in our sector, Downstream 2021. I have heard from my officials that the discussion on ...
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    3 days ago
  • Strengthening Māori knowledge in science and innovation
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has today announced the 16 projects that will together get $3.9 million through the 2021 round of Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, further strengthening the Government’s commitment to Māori knowledge in science and innovation.  “We received 78 proposals - the highest ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government delivers next phase of climate action
    The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s ...
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    3 days ago
  • Continued investment in Central Otago schools supports roll growth
    Six projects, collectively valued at over $70 million are delivering new schools, classrooms and refurbished buildings across Central Otago and are helping to ease the pressure of growing rolls in the area, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. The National Education Growth Plan is making sure that sufficient capacity in the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Two more Christchurch schools complete
    Two more schools are now complete as part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme, with work about to get under way on another, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Te Ara Koropiko – West Spreydon School will welcome students to their new buildings for the start of Term 2. The newly ...
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    3 days ago
  • Independent experts to advise Government on post-vaccination future
    The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination strategy which has been successful in keeping our people safe and our economy ...
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    3 days ago
  • Supporting Māori success with Ngārimu Awards
    Six Māori scholars have been awarded Ngārimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial scholarships for 2021, Associate Education Minister and Ngārimu Board Chair, Kelvin Davis announced today. The prestigious Manakura Award was also presented for the first time since 2018. “These awards are a tribute to the heroes of the 28th ...
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    3 days ago
  • Global partnerships propel space tech research
    New Zealand’s aerospace industry is getting a boost through the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), to grow the capability of the sector and potentially lead to joint space missions, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced. 12 New Zealand organisations have been chosen to work with world-leading experts at ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government backs more initiatives to boost food and fibre workforce
    The Government is backing more initiatives to boost New Zealand’s food and fibre sector workforce, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “The Government and the food and fibres sector have been working hard to fill critical workforce needs.  We've committed to getting 10,000 more Kiwis into the sector over the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister welcomes Bill to remove Subsequent Child Policy
    Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill in the House this evening. “Tonight’s first reading is another step on the way to removing excessive sanctions and obligations for people receiving a Main Benefit,” says ...
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    4 days ago
  • Mental Health Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Government has taken a significant step towards delivering on its commitment to improve the legislation around mental health as recommended by He Ara Oranga – the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment ...
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    4 days ago
  • Whenua Māori Rating Amendment Bill passes third reading
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill passing its third reading today. “After nearly 100 years of a system that was not fit for Māori and did not reflect the partnership we have come to expect between Māori and the Crown, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman bubble to start 19 April
    New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the conditions for starting to open up quarantine free travel with Australia have ...
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    4 days ago
  • Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little welcomed ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi to Parliament today to witness the third reading of their Treaty settlement legislation, the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill. “I want to acknowledge ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown negotiations teams for working tirelessly ...
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    4 days ago
  • Independent group announced to advise on firearms matters
    Minister of Police Poto Williams has announced the members of the Ministers Arms Advisory Group, established to ensure balanced advice to Government on firearms that is independent of Police. “The Ministers Arms Advisory Group is an important part of delivering on the Government’s commitment to ensure we maintain the balance ...
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    5 days ago
  • Kiri Allan to take leave of absence
    Kiri Allan, Minister of Conservation and Emergency Management will undertake a leave of absence while she undergoes medical treatment for cervical cancer, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I consider Kiri not just a colleague, but a friend. This news has been devastating. But I also know that Kiri is ...
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    5 days ago
  • Excellent progress at new Waikeria prison build
    Excellent progress has been made at the new prison development at Waikeria, which will boost mental health services and improve rehabilitation opportunities for people in prison, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Kelvin Davis was onsite at the new build to meet with staff and see the construction first-hand, following a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Expert panel proposes criminal limits for drug driving
    To reduce the trauma of road crashes caused by drug impaired drivers, an Independent Expert Panel on Drug Driving has proposed criminal limits and blood infringement thresholds for 25 impairing drugs, Minister of Police Poto Williams and Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill ...
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    1 week ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Covid-19 imgration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • More support for mums and whānau struggling with alcohol and other drugs
    The Government is expanding its Pregnancy and Parenting Programme so more women and whānau can access specialist support to minimise harm from alcohol and other drugs, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “We know these supports help improve wellbeing and have helped to reduce addiction, reduced risk for children, and helped ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition Field Day – Tātaiwhetū Trust at Tauarau Marae, Rūātoki
    *** Please check against delivery *** It’s an honour to be here in Rūātoki today, a rohe with such a proud and dynamic history of resilience, excellence and mana. Tūhoe moumou kai, moumou taonga, moumou tangata ki te pō. The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition is the legacy of a seed planted ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts again better than forecast
    The economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to be reflected in the Government’s books, which are again better than expected. The Crown accounts for the eight months to the end of February 2021 showed both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal ...
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    1 week ago
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup to open in New Zealand
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash have welcomed confirmation New Zealand will host the opening ceremony and match, and one of the semi-finals, of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. Grant Robertson says matches will be held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin, ...
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    1 week ago
  • 1 April changes raise incomes for 1.4 million New Zealanders
    Changes to the minimum wage, main benefit levels and superannuation rates that come into force today will raise the incomes for around 1.4 million New Zealanders. “This Government is committed to raising the incomes for all New Zealanders as part of laying the foundations for a better future,” Minister for ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu approved for fast track consenting process
    The New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu has been approved for consideration under the fast track consenting legislation.  The decision by Environment Minister David Parker signifies the importance of the project to the health of the people of Otago-Southland and to the economy of the region.  “This project ticks all the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Auckland light rail
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is getting Auckland light rail back on track with the announcement of an establishment unit to progress this important city-shaping project and engage with Aucklanders. Michael Wood said the previous process didn’t involve Aucklanders enough.                       ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tourism fund to prioritise hard-hit regions
    The Minister of Tourism is to re-open a government fund that supports councils to build infrastructure for visitors, with a specific focus on regions hardest hit by the loss of overseas tourists. “Round Five of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund will open for applications next month,” said Stuart Nash. It ...
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    1 week ago
  • Governance Group to lead next phase of work on a potential new public media entity
    A Governance Group of eight experts has been appointed to lead the next phase of work on a potential new public media entity, Minister for Broadcasting and Media Kris Faafoi announced today.  “The Governance Group will oversee the development of a business case to consider the viability of a new ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New funding to keep tamariki and rangatahi Māori active
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today helped launch a new fund to provide direct financial support for tamariki and rangatahi Māori throughout the South Island who is experiencing financial hardship and missing out on physical activity opportunities. “Through Te Kīwai Fund, we can offer more opportunities for Māori to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Single tāne, sole parent dads supported into papakāinga housing
    Six whānau in Pāpāmoa receive the keys to their brand-new rental homes today, in stage four of a papakāinga project providing safe and affordable housing in the regions. Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson congratulates Mangatawa Pāpāmoa Blocks Incorporated on the opening of three affordable rentals and three social housing ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to Disarmament and Security Centre
    Kia ora tatou. It’s great to be here today and to get a conversation going on the disarmament issues of greatest interest to you, and to the Government. I’m thrilled to be standing here as a dedicated Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, which I hope reinforces for you all ...
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    2 weeks ago