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Open mike 03/12/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:43 am, December 3rd, 2013 - 199 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

199 comments on “Open mike 03/12/2013 ”

  1. john key claims he ‘doesn’t know’ if the american spooks are spooking all over new zealanders..

    ..see john twist…see john squirm…

    ..phillip ure..

    • wow..!..and both the herald..and the paid/compliant-mouths @ tvone breakfast..

      ..are reporting/pro-govt-spinning this ‘don’t know’ story..

      ..as ‘gcsb not spying on us’..reassures key..(!)

      ..is that the most blatant example of both grovelling to govt..and dereliction of basic journalistic ethics/duties..in quite a while..?

      ..i wonder if the opposition parties will do their job in questiontime today..and will press key on this/his (pathetic?) ‘don’t know’ if the american spooks are spooking all over us..


      ..this story/issue has more ‘legs’ than a millipede..eh..?

      ..phillip ure..

      • David H 1.1.1

        Need to have Journalists to ‘journalise’. Not the jonolists we have, that are a sorry excuse for said Journalists.

        And the bailout on the death’s in the forestry industry was just disgusting to say the least.

  2. Tracey 2

    they dont need to spy on us, he bends over and freely gives whenever the US asks.

    • @ tracey..this relates to the snowden-revelations yesterday..that australian spooks/govt offered ..at a ‘five-eyes’ meeting in 2008..(attended by nz)..

      ..the aussies offered the american spooks unlimited access to raw data from australian citizens..for them to do with what they wish..

      ..and this is what key claims to ‘not know’..

      ..this is the question key is yet to answer..

      ..did we/nz match that oz-offer in’08..?

      ..did we offer the american spooks unlimited access to new zealanders’ raw-data also..?

      ..and have they been wholesale spooking over all of us since ’08..?

      ..and are they still doing it today..?

      ..and what is also of interest..

      ..is who was the prime minister at the time of that ’08 meeting/offer..


      ..these are all the questions key/we have to know the answers to..eh..?

      ..key going ‘i don’t know’…just doesn’t come anywhere near cutting it..eh..?

      ..phillip ure..

  3. vto 3

    Why did David Cunliffe let himself be photographed supping out of a beer bottle in celebration of the Chch East by-election?

    Not a very good look, especially in light of the doozy photo of Key with Prince William guzzling away.

    bit silly

    • @ vto…subliminal-message/wink/thumbs-up to ‘waitakere-man’..?

      (..and of course from ‘the bottle’…

      ..beer in/from a glass would be far too herne bay..


      phillip ure..

      • vto 3.1.1

        hmmmm, maybe. Although of course drinking from a 7 oz glass poured from a big bot is the working class, not to mention a vastly superior sup. The stubbie is a yuppie from the past, all fizzed and unsettled…

        • phillip ure

          yr 7 oz thesis has merit..(cunnliffe should take note..)

          ..and yes..’all fizzed and unsettled’..indeed..!..

          phillip ure..

          • phillip ure

            cunnliffe might need to ask his herne bay bottle-shop to start stocking those big bottles of lion red..

            ..(or as i saw/heard it named the other day..’lion-rouge’…

            ..maybe his bottle-shop might like to label it as such..?

            ..some cachet to/for the ‘umble’-brew..?

            ..(and i do mean ‘umble’..)

            ..phillip ure..

            • Tiger Mountain

              lprent may go spare having enough to do but a like button seems good to me, “Lion Rouge”–classic.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Best pronounced ‘lee-on rouge’, of course. Used to have an ace boss back in the 80’s who always referred to Red that way, so it’s been around awhile.

        • Colonial Viper

          Pretty sure in the constitution the Labour Leader is allowed a beer when his party wins a by-election.

        • felix

          “drinking from a 7 oz glass poured from a big bot is the working class, not to mention a vastly superior sup”

          indeed v. Even better (imho) from a 4 or 5 oz.

      • greywarbler 3.1.2

        phillip u
        Are delving into the sociological class propensities of NZs comparing a bottle for imbibing to a glass! I got interested in the class distinctions of things after reading Paul Fussell’s book Class. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Fussell

        In Class he has defined 9 USA strata. Then there is is X-class, separated from other classes, but still definable and on this he says:
        In 1982, these folk were not as political as today, where they now comprise the vocal left. An enjoyable test of X-hood is to say to your subject that you noticed something on FOX news. If your listener, who is ordinarily lucid and tolerant, begins an excited, extended rant about that network being “reactionary”, then she is likely an X. More evidence is if she wears a knit skull cap, dresses down, sports an Obama decoration, drives a hybrid, eschews makeup, or boasts of shopping at Whole Foods to buy “organic” food.

        Here are some of his quotes that will resonate with many commenters.
        “If I didn’t have writing, I’d be running down the street hurling grenades in people’s faces.”
        ― Paul Fussell
        “The more violent the body contact of the sports you watch, the lower your class. ― Paul Fussell
        “If we do not redefine manhood, war is inevitable.”
        ― Paul Fussell
        “The day after the British entered the war Henry James wrote a friend:

        The plunge of civilization into this abyss of blood and darkness… is a thing that so gives away the whole long age during which we have supposed the world to be, with whatever abatement, gradually bettering, that to have to take it all now for what the treacherous years were all the while really making for and meaning is too tragic for any words.”
        ― Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory

        • alwyn

          Are you sure those quotes are by Paul Fussell?
          They sound, particularly the one about “… running down the street hurling grenades …” rather more like Martyn Bradbury.
          Actually Fussell is someone I’m not familiar with but he sounds interesting. Next visit to the library perhaps.

          • greywarbler

            click on the links for an hors d’oevre – spelling?

            • alwyn

              I think it is hors d’oeuvre but I wouldn’t bet on it. Actually I suppose that it should be hors d’oeuvres as there are multiple links
              I have had a look at some of the links and I am definitely going to have a look on my next library visit. Wellington Central has a great range of books.
              On second thoughts, if you are French the plural wouldn’t have the “s” as both the singular and the plural are the same. Oh to hell with it. I know what you mean.

    • TheContrarian 3.2

      Because MP’s, like other people, drink alcohol in times of celebration.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.1

        Well ShonKey (said with a soft ‘H’ like jeanqui) has been celebrating well for a loooooong time then.

    • Dumrse 3.3

      Never mind the drunkeness, what about deliberately flouting the lawWRT telling CHCH East voters to get out and vote…..on Election Day.

      • McFlock 3.3.1

        You’d better make a complaint to the Electoral Commission.

        And get McCready on the case.

        • greywarbler

          McCarthy too – he’d rise from his grave to agitate about a good leftie scare.

          • Colonial Viper

            he was the figurehead for a massive Federal initiative to smash the socialist Left. Teachers, doctors, social workers, university lecturers, turned into the “other” and destroyed. Setting up the massive rise of large corporations and consumer culture replacing American culture in the 60’s and 70’s

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.2

        Uh, you’re allowed to get people out to vote on election day…

  4. Tracey 4

    ” It was slaughter, pure and simple”


    Some of the comments show how well National’s lies about safe seat were… not much mention by pro national commenters on the 4000 party majority for national in 2011

    • swordfish 4.1

      Yep, Tracey, I see in the DOMPOST that both Vernon Small (Dec 2) and the anonymous editorial writer (Dec 3) continue to describe pre-by-election Chch East as “a Labour stronghold.”

      Sorry, esteemed senior journos, but precisely how can a seat in which National (46%) massively out-performed Labour (32%) in the 2011 party-vote be characterised as “a Labour stronghold.”

      I mean it’s not rocket science !!! Under MMP, there is a thing called “the party-vote.” It indicates which party people want in power, thus revealing a seat’s core political allegiance. Largely thanks to a post-quake exodus that clearly disproportionately involved Labour voters from rental accommodation, Chch East went fundamentally Blue in 2011.

      Dalziel’s 2011 candidate-vote does not – I repeat DOES NOT – represent support for a Labour government. It was a purely personal vote for a highly popular long-term MP. Almost two-thirds of it coming from people who, at the same time, party-voted for a National government !!!

      But it’s certainly intriguing to see just how profoundly Farrar and National’s Canterbury-Westland divisional chair, Roger Bridge, have shaped media discourse on this really quite extraordinary result.

      • swordfish 4.1.1

        I should quickly add that the “two-thirds” comment (above) refers to Dalziel’s 5334 majority, rather than her entire candidate-vote.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Hey hey,
    Headline in Stuff:

    Plan to nab benefit fraudsters
    Snoopers could soon be calling on solo parents to check whether they are still living alone.

    Tried to read article but link isn’t working. Hmmm….just what every single mother living alone needs. Campbell Live yesterday demonstrated how easily authority of a vest and simple laminate card can do – what happens when sexual preditors pose as investigators from MSD? They could go door to door and establish the level of vulnerability of each occupant.

    I do wish MSD would think things through more especially given that many of these people will be domestic violence survivors.

    – EDIT –

    Here it is on TVNZ http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/house-checks-possible-solo-parents-benefit-5744488

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      Quote: Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows said the proposal was still being tested and was about “checking in rather than checking up”.

      “I imagine people respond in different ways. Hopefully they will see it as the department being helpful.”

      Actually my first thought was it comes across as the government equivalent of tradesman going through panty draws.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 5.1.1

        Never ever thought we’d see the return of “DPB field officers”.

        Yep we’ve had them before in this country – making excuses to use the bathroom to see if there were two toothbrushes in the bathroom cupboard. Naturally a blue one and a pink one.

        Many were judgmental sanctimonious pricks – much like the ones currently running the country.

        The way this reads they won’t even be public servants either – more money to right wing fascist companies no doubt with little accountability.

        • greywarbler

          Such intrusive officers inspecting people’s lives, homes and stripping them of privacy and respect are far more hostile, discriminating, prejudiced and sanctimonious than the purse-lipped members of government.

      • fender 5.1.2

        When reading this part of the Stuff article:
        “With about 34,000 fresh solo-parent benefit applications a year, officials advised that contractors would need to be hired to handle the workload.

        Those contractors could then report back to Work and Income, which would decide whether to cut payments or lay fraud charges.

        Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows said the proposal was still being tested and was about “checking in rather than checking up”. “

        It seems to suggest that people receiving a benefit will fall into one of two camps; either they will have payments cut or they will face fraud charges. To me that implies that they believe (or want others to believe) none of the recipients are complying with the rules/law. It’s a solo-parent hating dog-whistle from a bunch of nasty pricks.

        • karol

          And it also seems to be partly a make work scheme for the middle classes, while trying to cull the numbers of low income people receiving benefits.

          Serious fraud charges? And would most of the accused have any money to pay fines, or would they be sent to the workhouse (debtors) prison, where they would kept on tax payer money in order to work for private enterprises?

          • tricledrwown

            Karol They would be encouraged to join gangs so national can build more prisons.

          • fender

            National won’t be happy until solo parents, the unemployed and the disabled are going through garbage cans for something to eat and live in shanty towns.

        • Draco T Bastard

          And you can pretty much guarantee that those “contractors” will believe all the myths about those on the DPB that National have been inventing and spreading for the last 30 odd years and thus will find something wrong.

      • greywarbler 5.1.3

        This is just another attack on women and their sexuality. Which is to be allowed strictly to benefit the government’s desires and plans and the established social order. If it breaks out in a non-sanctioned way then help with offspring is to be done reluctantly. Help and respect for the sole parent is retreating back to Victorian attitudes and the latest attack on beneficiaries personal lives and dignity deserving respect echoes earlier responses to women parents receiving financial support as sole parents

    • @asleep..

      ..and of course the fact to hold in the mind when considering this latest round of beneficiary-bashing..

      ..is that benefit-fraud in new zealand is estimated @ $23 million per year..

      ..whereas (recoverable) tax-dodging by corporates/elites in nz..is $2.5 billion per yr..

      ..(that fact/stat from the poverty-doco a little while back..from an ‘industry-expert’..)

      ..i wonder what the gummint-plan is on that..?

      ..oh..!..that’s right..!

      ..that’s john keys’ constituency..

      ..isn’t it..?..

      ..that $2.5 billion tax-dodging corporate/elites..

      ..that’s who he/the national party works for..

      ..but just keep that fact in mind when watching bennett/this govt as they whip up their latest batch of targeted-hatred against beneficiaries..


      ..and ponder on what cynical/evil fucks they are..eh..?

      ..phillip ure..

      • ak 5.2.1

        Ae, right on cue. Borrows-Bennett-Bully-Benny-Bash right in time for Christmas. Scum. Of the lowest, fithiest order.

        • vto


          Maybe we could “dob in a tax cheat” too… after all they cost the country about 100x times more than the occasional silly beneficiary.

          The process could be shortcut by simply sending the National Party membership list to the police

          • yeshe

            VTO — so if we know a businessperson is cheating on tax with an undeclared rental apartment under their house providing hidden cash income of approx $19K p.a., and you know it’s undeclared because they don’t want you to lodge a bond and you have to share power and water meters etc etc … would you dob them in ? Please discuss …..

            • vto


              Almost always no. It is not my business to provide policing to the state. And these things are tricky – he who lives in glasshouse should not throw stones and all that.

              But it is a catch-22 because if it was my money they were defrauding directly from me then most certainly I would launch into it. But given the lack of direct-connection (apparently) and the independence of people from the state in this situation then, no.

              However, I didn’t seriously suggest dobbing people in, if you read closely. I was parroting the bene-bashers. If they want to dob people in for ripping off the state then it needs to be consistent and comprehensive – only dirty evil scum target one lot of thieves while having other thieves to their dinner table.

              The other point is – I would suggest that every single person in business rips off the tax system. Betcha you would never find someone who has declared every single cent of income, not done a cash job, claimed personal phone expenses as business, it just goes on and on and on and on …….. everybody …………. everybody …………
              which is possibly the reason why politicians always turn a blind eye to this kind of thievery and focus on the easy targets such as beneficiaries……..

              What about you yeshe, would you dob them in? Please discuss …..

              • yeshe

                Thx VTO — I was genuinely interested in your thoughts; not niggling at your previous post which I read to be tongue in cheek, or similar !

                Well, I didn’t dob them in. Couldn’t do it. I did leave the property though as swiftly as I could find another — and I’ve wrestled with it since, which is why I asked if you to discuss for me. Appreciate your thoughts and agree …. thank you !

                Toujours le Catch 22 !!!

                • vto

                  Non problema. You know though, there was an instance once where a dobbing occurred. It followed some unappreciated behaviour and actions thrust intentionally in our direction so the motivation of revenge swamped any higher (or lower) ideals (although never found out if the dobbing came to anything…)

                  And that’s it isn’t it. It is not a simple straight forward equation – it involves a balance of many circumstances and principles…. such is life itself..

                  .. and back to the original point. If the National Party members want a formal dobbing-in process for people who rip off the state, then why are they selecting only one type of beneficiary? Why do they not select tax cheats too? (I wonder if there is a National Party member around here who could answer that ….)

              • Draco T Bastard

                Almost always no. It is not my business to provide policing to the state.

                And that’s where you’re wrong. It actually is your business to provide policing for the state. This belief that we should just leave it to the state to find perpetrators is what allows a hell of a lot of crime to go unpunished.

                The other point is – I would suggest that every single person in business rips off the tax system. Betcha you would never find someone who has declared every single cent of income, not done a cash job, claimed personal phone expenses as business, it just goes on and on and on and on …….. everybody …………. everybody …………
                which is possibly the reason why politicians always turn a blind eye to this kind of thievery and focus on the easy targets such as beneficiaries……..

                Yep, can’t go round telling the middle classes and the rich that they’re a bunch of thieving arseholes which, almost invariably, they are.

                • vto

                  Draco, the point around it being our business to attend to matters of crime has merit of course. Our society today is much more disconnected (from each other that is). Because the actions of our neighbour can be ignored to an extent and the problem placed with the state it means that more crime goes unreported.

                  In them olden days when we lived in small communities where everyone knew everyone else and their business it was important to maintain standards of behaviour lest the whole community start unravelling at the seems. So we all played our part. The connection between individual crimes and the quality of our community was direct.

                  Today that connection is seen as less direct. Result equals more crime.


              • KJT

                I wouldn’t say I declared every cent when in business, I don’t know, I get rather impatient with accounting, but it certainly often makes life difficult when almost every one you compete against are doing “cashies”.

                The assumption, that every business does it, worked in my favour when getting a mortgage. The bank manager just assumed my real income was at least twice the declared one.

                I used to tell customers, who made that sort of noises it was a “cash” price despite putting it “through the books”.
                They were happy thinking they were getting a “cheaper” cash price, and putting one across the Government.
                I was happy because “cashie” customers always pay, cash, on time, not dud checks, or “I will pay you next week”.
                And. What people do not realise, with a ‘cashie” there is no guarantee. How can you enforce a guarantee when there is no record of the job ever being done.

                I had to laugh when, a noted, below the counter tradesman I knew, was whinging to all and sundry that his kids lost their student allowances after he declared his real income, for a year, to get a loan.

                Attacking desperate impoverished people over a few hundred dollars when there are people ripping of the tax system for thousands just shows how morally bankrupt National are.

                The IRD published, (It seems to have disappeared, surprise, surprise. So cannot give a link.), that over half of New Zealand’s rich list have a declared income of less than 70 thousand a year.

          • tricledrwown

            ie google $85 million in revenue $15,000 in tax facebook apple all paid virtually no tax.

        • joe90

          Ae, right on cue.

          Well called.

          Brace for one final, desperate benny-bash.

          Axe the Copper Tax wins

    • David H 5.3

      And they rant on about Benefit Fraud and then show some pretty low numbers when you check up, and compare to how much was rorted by the workers there?

      Worker 194k

      Beneficiary 10k

      Worker 210k

      Over payments and supposed fraud 1.1 million 2011 document

    • Tiger Mountain 5.4

      For freaking f***s sake, parenting alone gets a bad rap from many and then if some one tries to take on a genuine new caring participative partner they are likely to get snooped on and cut off. The current policy encourages one nighters, go figure.

      If the old WINZ standard of “living in a relationship resembling marriage” is still around there will likely be less sack action than the one nighters. Though it really comes down to a regular discernible financial input from sleepovers. Talk about nanny state.

      Really if union density rises and people could enjoy a better life a lot of this negative bennie bashing would fade away.

  6. Saarbo 6

    Todays Herald does an article about Compulsory Life Jackets equating to Nanny State.


    But they forget to mention that Compulsory Life Jackets are being strongly supported by Nationals Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga:


    Is naughty granny trying to hide something here???

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1

      Yeah. Because National is all about the freedom…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      The rules will have unexpected consequences like the smacking bill, compulsory bicycle helmets and paddling pool fencing, the 400-strong Hibiscus Coast Boating Club said in a submission on a new lifejacket bylaw.


      Haven’t seen any “unexpected consequences” from any of those. Just the RWNJs whinging again but that’s to be expected.

      The club’s submission said a more effective and efficient way of reaching the target group of new immigrants about safety issues would be through a boat ramp campaign.

      Now that’s probably a good idea. I do wonder, though, if they’re willing to accept the rates rises to pay for it.

      What I’d like to see is a license to operate a boat over 8′. Do that and the boat ramp inspection and we’ll probably see a lot of the drownings and other stupid accidents decrease.

      As a precursor we should probably do a survey of boaties to determine how many of them actually know the rules of the sea. Hell, from reports from my family, there’s a hell of a lot of them out there that don’t even realise that there are rules.

      • s y d 6.2.1

        nah, you’ll just see a shit load of 7’11” dinghies, with 2″ freeboard, a couple of boxes of cody’s, and a banana heading out into the gentle ocean…..

  7. ultra- 7

    Torture hasn’t silenced Tonga’s revolutionary cultural activist Tevita Latu, who leads a movement dedicated to the transformation of his society called the Seleka Club:

  8. Tracey 8

    Cunliffe tweeting to voters to get to the polls in CHCH EAST breaks rules?


    • dv 8.1

      “If you are resident in Christchurch East don’t forget to vote today – for Labour and Poto Williams!” he wrote.

      Don’t forget to vote is possibly OK, for Labour and pogo williams is careless.

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      How could he not be aware of the rules at the time?

      I’m not a politician and I know the rules.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.2.1

        Gee a labour politician breaks the electoral rules again…colour me suprised, the only thing more surprising would be if the electoral commision did anything about it

        • gobsmacked

          Cunliffe’s statement (from Stuff link):

          “I take responsibility for that, the tweet was sent in error and deleted within seconds and it was reported as soon as possible to the returning officer,” he said.

          So, in just one sentence, 3 clear differences between Cunliffe and Key/Banks:

          1) I take responsibility for that – not “I blame somebody else”, “I know nothing”

          2) deleted within seconds – not “nobody did anythng until we got found out”

          3) it was reported as soon as possible to the returning officer – not “we ran away and hid”.

          He’ll be a real Prime Minister, not the fake one we have now.

          • Puckish Rogue

            So you’re happy with someone making such a basic error in the first place because its not like Labour don’t have form in this area…

            Good to know

            • karol

              its not like Labour don’t have form in this area…

              Citation needed

              – and contrasts with Key & Nats not commented on…. why?

            • Lanthanide

              I’m not happy about it and I suspect gobsmacked isn’t either.

              Ok, so now what? gobsmacked has made it quite clear that Cunliffe at least does the right thing after he makes a mistake.

              Are you going to defend Key and Banks? Do you have any other lame angle of attack you’re going to try and trump up?

            • gobsmacked

              So you’re happy with someone making such a basic error in the first place

              Are you saying Key takes responsibility for his Twitter account? That’s new.

              When he tweeted the wrong David Cameron just last week, it was a staffer.

          • Rosie

            well said gobsmacked. It’s all about a leader being accountable and honest about their mistake,(and remedying it) Vs.a leader who can’t and won’t.

            One day, surely, Key will be recognised in our history as one of the most devious and dishonest PM’s this country has ever seen. And remember there’s still more shit to be uncovered once Dotcom gets his hearing, in, when is it, April?

        • fender

          What punishment would you suggest for a tweet that was deleted “within seconds”?
          1 minute in jail, 10 years jail, $50 fine, $50,000 fine, or expulsion from parliament so your beloved shonKey can complete his destruction of our country?

          • Puckish Rogue

            Well Labour (and yes National too) do it far too many times that maybe a deterrence, a massive fine maybe, is needed to make the parties start to obey the laws

            • tricledrwown

              PR A massive fine would benefit the well funded parties over the minor parties.
              In this case a donation to the RedCross would be more appropriate.
              No doubt you would prefer it went to the exclusive bretheren!

  9. CC 9

    Transmission Gully featured on Radio NZ this morning. Who does one trust, Julie-Anne Genter, the qualified and respected road transport expert of Gerry Brownlee? A cursory analysis suggests the former knew what she was talking about and the latter went straight into the bluff, bluster and bull-s**t he is well known for. Seems Brownlee has no costings, doesn’t understand the proposed financing situation, believes there is some congruence between motorway and house prices and he even conveniently managed to make disingenuously incorrect comments about rail disruptions in Wellington.

    • tc 9.1

      Cost benefit ratio of about 0.6 I last recall, so for every dollar spent get 60c back, natonomics at it’s finest.

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        I believe that the Light Rail proposal for Wellington, that the Greens are very keen on has a CBR of less than 0.05. Thats five cents on the dollar! Green economics at its finest?

        • tricledrwown

          alwyn light rail costs 1/3 that of motorways to construct carry 18 times more passenger per km per hr.
          Petrol heads in national prompted by very large donations to their party by oil industry manage to spin a story that small minds like your self will fall for over real research!
          The Tories in the UK have figured it out and canned all Motorway construction except 1or2 connecting junctions.
          New Zealand and yourself Alwyn are behind the times just keep repeating the mantra don’t think good we alwyn pleased to see!

          • alwyn

            The alternative to the light rail proposal for public transport in Wellington is NOT a motorway. It is a bus system using enhanced priority on existing roads and existing types of vehicles or a bus rapid transit system using dedicated lanes and larger vehicles.
            The nearest piece of motorway to Wellington runs north from Tawa and up to Levin. The light rail was intended to run south from the railway station in Wellington toward the Hospital.
            Please keep up with the times. tricledrwown (My God that is hard to type correctly)

            • Te Reo Putake

              “The nearest piece of motorway to Wellington runs north from Tawa and up to Levin.”

              Do you mean the J’ville/Porirua motorway? That’s only 11km long, which leaves it a long way short of Levin. The actual nearest motorway to Wellington is er, the Wellington Urban Motorway (Ngaraunga to te Aro).

              Do keep up etc.

              • tricledrwown

                TRP its hard to keep up when your stuck in a traffic jam.(outdated form of transport)

              • alwyn

                Damn, I missed out a few words intended for that sentence. It was meant to say “The nearest piece of motorway planned for Wellington runs north from Tawa and up to Levin”.
                Planned, planned, planned. Not existing. Write this 100 times Alwyn.
                That is Transmission Gully, McKays Crossing to Peka Peka and Peka Peka through Otaki to Levin bits that have now all been approved.
                The reason I brought it up is because there is no motorway planned within Wellington city as an alternative to light rail as t***d was implying. (not meaning to be rude but I have terrible problems spelling your non de plume.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Fair enough, Alwyn. If I had my way, the highway would bypass Levin to the west as well, joining up again about 10 kms north. Not that I’m a big fan of tarmac, but my job has me on various roads every week and I’ve driven just about every major and minor arterial at some point or other.

                  It’s clear to me that Kapiti is going to get a rapid rise in population over the next couple of decades, so my preference would be a decent rail service from Palmy, through Kapiti and on to Welly. Light rail along the T Gully route would also make sense, as history shows that population growth follows new roads, so that route is bound become urban sooner rather than later.

                  (just for the record, can I just say that not putting passing lanes or at least slow vehicle bays on the Hawkes Bay Expressway is the stupidest bit of road design I’ve ever seen in this country?)

                  • alwyn

                    The viewpoint does make a bit more sense with the correction doesn’t it.

                    I’m not 100% clear on where the road actually goes whan you get up to Levin. Whether you wanted West, or East of Levin would depend on whether you were going up SH 1 toward Auckland (or Whanganui) when west is better or whether you wanted to go to Palmerston or Hawkes Bay when an Eastern bypass would be preferred. I normally go to HB and turn of the road to avoid Levin anyway.

                    Just for the record I think the Hawkes Bay Expressway is one of the most unnecessary roads in the country. It was built to get Hastings people to accept that the Airport should be developed on the barren land at Westshore instead of half way between Napier and Hastings at Pakowhai on the best horticultural land in New Zealand. It is there for perhaps 100 people a day flying in or out of HB and who come from Hastings or south.

            • tricledrwown


              • tricledrown

                with the problems this site has had, having to put in non de plume every time you reply mistakes can happen.
                Transmission Gully won’t be finished for atleast 7 to 10 years the costs will blow out.
                Show me a public private partnership that has worked. In Australia every public private roading project has been an utter failure with the govt having to front up with billions more to cover loss of profit by the private partner.
                Chorus is an example of Joyces folly here!
                Do some Googling on public private partnerships its not good reading especially on infrastructure projects!
                Don’t get me started on schools!

                • alwyn

                  That was a real pain, having your Name and Mail fields being deleted wasn’t it.
                  Spend 5 minutes composing 200 words of immortal prose to compete with Shakespeare at his best, hit submit comment and you get “required fields missing” or whatever. Try and get back to put them in and all you have is a blank comment box. Moan, moan mumble etc. The greatest literary work of the 21st century lost in space.
                  I can’t think of a roading PPP that has worked. As you say the Australian ones, particularly the tunnel in Sydney and I believe the one in Brisbane seems to have been financial disasters. I thought that it was merely that the company involved went bust and the State took over was the result. Have the companies become less gullible?
                  I’m not really sure what the difference would be between guaranteeing a company a certain return and paying interest after borrowing the money yourself would be though.
                  Costs of big projects always blow out of course. The going rate when I was studying Economics was about three times. Didn’t matter who was doing them though.
                  Your ndp is so close to trickledown, intentionally I’m sure, that that is what my typing produces automatically.

        • Draco T Bastard

          [citation needed]

          And, no, I’m not going to ask tc as that particular piece of information has been about this blog ever since the RoNS were put forward by this government.

        • tricledrwown

          alwynger look at how much our balance of payments on our overseas trade.
          Then look at how much we pay for oil / fuel.
          If we electrified our rail and light rail.
          With new induction powered buses and cars our countries overseas debt would disappear!
          Carrying on down the Brownly Joyce National path is going no where except deeper in debt!
          We are going to have a huge surplus of electricity when Tiwae closes we could make ourselves a very rich country.
          But no doubt National will leave it to the blind hand of market forces bribes from the existing powerful corporates.
          Alwyn time to look around for some new ideas and help this country foreward just repeating blindly Nactional party propaganda shows lack of independence and intelligence.

  10. karol 10

    Seen on Al Jazeera this morning (and I see reported quite widely in the news media here and abroad, Amazon has stated it has some drones that could be used for delivering packages.

    There’s a lot of speculation and criticism, about the safety of such uses – for other air traffic, and for people under the drones’ flight paths (package dropped on someone’s head?).

    Not to mention, if commercial drones became common place, how would a citizen know if there were spy or military drones amongst them?

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      A person on the radio this morning, I didn’t catch all of it, but they were suggesting that it seems very unlikely Amazon literally means delivering packages to your door via drone within 5 years. But conceivably they could use drones to transfer items between nearby distribution centres, say a large one outside of town, sending items to a smaller one located inside town, with the items then transferred to regular couriers.

      I would question the point of that, personally.

      • greywarbler 10.1.1

        Having drones in the air would mean more work for airport controls and sky navigation I would
        think. And there would be no pilot with all control done as part of call centres probably. I see problems with externalities that will fall on the general public!?

        Apart from the aspect of vertical integration resulting in less business to other firms that should be playing an interlocking role. More of the takeover by robotised businesses to sell to people whose jobs are continuously being lost to robotised systems. Spiralling down the plughole for people – all that will be left will be a firm called Gurgle.

        • Lanthanide

          “Apart from the aspect of vertical integration resulting in less business to other firms”

          More business for firms developing drones.

          “should be playing an interlocking role.”

          Says whom? Why “should” couriers be involved in this business at all? If an alternative business can actually offer better service at cheaper or similar prices, why “should” the old companies continue to get the work?

          • greywarbler

            Thanks Lanthanide you put a neat. straight line through my suggestions. You love efficiency. I love the idea of people having a place in a thriving, sustaining, prosperous community trading with each other, and one with each person, person! being able to contribute to the human group in their locality and share its societal benefit.

            • alwyn

              That ideal seems to preclude having companies like Amazon altogether. One would have to limit ones choices, for books, to local bookshops and never deal with firms like Amazon at all. After there is no person to person dealing with Amazon.
              On the other hand you can get almost anything and they are generally a great deal cheaper so I’m not giving them up.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Having drones in the air would mean more work for airport controls and sky navigation I would think.

          many years ago I was watching a documentary about air-control and one of the things mentioned in it was a computer that could do most of the air-control over British airspace. At the time some was still required to be done by humans but I suspect that that’s changed or is in the process of changing. I also suspect that it won’t be long before pilots are removed from commercial aircraft.

          More of the takeover by robotised businesses to sell to people whose jobs are continuously being lost to robotised systems.

          Use of more robots to do boring and unfulfilling jobs is good. The problem is with the capitalist system that forces people to work for money to be able to live. Work is, of course, narrowly defined, so as to force people to work for capitalists rather than allowing them to go to university or polytechs or to work from to do R&D or work on art/crafts and culture.

          The system is the problem and we need to change it before it destroys us.

          • greywarbler

            Youre my hero. It would be super if we could all do what we want?

            Many would probably stop having children because they are such a nuisance to get up to in the night, especially if they are vomiting, and it’s boring cleaning their bottoms. Especially if they get nappy rash. Which good parents don’t get. Of course it’s not so easy with cloth naps that have to be washed and sun dried. So boring and smelly, especially if they aren’t tackled quickly and there is no sun. But what we won’t have because they are really part of capitalism and catering to the masses with throwaway products that use resources wastefully.

            In an ideal world I suppose you would let them run round with bare bottoms and not have to worry about the new oppressors, crazy sexualised nutcases who never had good parental training helping them to withstand the problems of lif. Problems of a different order whether under capitalism or whatever system has hegemony.

      • McFlock 10.1.2

        I suppose it comes down to the math: 100 packages in a van with a driver and all that that entails, or 100 <20kg drones that are largely autonomous, and small amazon depots from where you collect or arrange door delivery at a price.

        Given their likely operational range, terrain mapping plus GPS should be fine for tooling around the city. Whack in some basic object avoidance, shroud the props, and have the docking stations that collect the packages out of pedestrian way, and it would be reasonably reliable – safer than many courier drivers I've seen, anyway.

        But I think the other thing they're probably looking for is enough stretch in the drone regulations to enable unpiloted cargo flights.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.3

        A person on the radio this morning, I didn’t catch all of it, but they were suggesting that it seems very unlikely Amazon literally means delivering packages to your door via drone within 5 years.

        The video shows that they already have a working prototype that can deliver to the door within a 16km radius of the distribution centre. There’s probably a few things to work out but my impression from the article is that they’re more waiting for rules from the FAA.

        • McFlock

          The interesting thing about “to your door” is that this actually involves a massive amount of thought and adaptability – what if 15A is around the back? Do you just drop the package there, or how would you alert the occupant? How would you stop an idiot sticking their fingers in the rotors? What about dorms?

          But a sort of reverse post box might work – a safe and clear docking station every couple of hundred metres, and the recipient gets a receipt/qrcode/reference number to collect the package from the station. And a pay-service bike courier does the true “to the door” delivery if required.

          • Chooky

            …what about drone mid- air collisions?… airways congestion?… traffic control?….safety below…it is one thing to watch out for bikes and cars….another to watch out for things falling on you from the sky

            ….sound like a Boy’s Own Biggles dream to me

            • McFlock

              We’re probably close to making them far safer than piloted aircraft, and they are small enough to operate below the minimum heights for piloted aircraft. And we’re not talking 50 tons @ 400kph. Hell, we’re not even talking a lite-ace at 40kph.

              The congestion/traffic control thing is not realistic, imo – three dimensions frees up the maps significantly. 10ft height blocks from 100ft to 300ft (piloted aircraft ground separation is 400ft if I recall correctly) gives you a 20-lane highway over every street.

              • Chooky

                ….where will be the sky?

                ….a swarming of metallic locusts…. of black/red/silver /yellow drones

                ….a ‘Boys Own’ dream of hell

                • McFlock

                  possibly (although I think larger scale efficiencies – i.e. “trucks” or Futurama tubes 🙂 – might flip in at some level).

                  But possibly better than the multilane highways we have today, on all levels from noise to emissions to safety to visual impact.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  ….where will be the sky?

                  Don’t know about your neigbourhood but mine has very few courier vehicles going through it.

                • greywarbler

                  What would the birds think? And drones would be creepy if they silently passed your window, and nasty if they had a whine or some air-induced noise feature. And they could be fitted with cameras and do surveillance work on the fly or sly.

                  Stuff technology rolling on, making life more complicated and individuals more isolated and more dependent on machinery. Has anyone walked into a door expecting it to open and it didn’t?

                  I had a dairy once, with an old till which had an emergency handle like the old starting handles for cars. If the electricity went off, in went the handle and manually you operated the till. There was an option. We weren’t helpless, completely wiped when piped energy or battery energy wasn’t available.

                  Time for a Russian poster celebrating the muscles and hard work of the proletariat!

          • felix

            “The interesting thing about “to your door” is that this actually involves a massive amount of thought and adaptability – what if 15A is around the back? Do you just drop the package there, or how would you alert the occupant?”

            I note that these issues haven’t been entirely resolved with human couriers either…

            • McFlock

              yeah – but at least you have someone to complain about.

              That’s also one of the big issues with autonomous anything (e.g. driverless cars) – who’s accountable if it fails? Currently if someone follows applemaps off a boat slipway because the gps said it was a road, the driver is still accountable. But a self-teaching, auto-updated car? A massive case of OEM vs third-party vendor vs vehicle occupant vs maintenance contract vs network provider…

              And no accountability means a shitty system that has a much higher likelihood of dystopic outcome, imo.

              • felix

                Yeah the human is still my preference. Or a pneumatic tube. Never liked those creepy little flying droids.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That’s also one of the big issues with autonomous anything (e.g. driverless cars) – who’s accountable if it fails?

                The owner?

  11. Bill 11

    Curiosity. Using Firefox. In the address bar, I’m informed that ‘Skeptical Science’ is asking to store info on my computer for off-line use. Never seen such a notification before. Anyone got any idea what it might be about. (I don’t get the same notification if I open their website)

  12. lprent 12

    Drat lost two web servers. Started them again.
    Looking at why they didn’t restart.

    • Anne 12.1

      Yes, me too and it’s still happening. Isn’t Skeptical Science that bunch of nutbars/pseudoscientists who are really CC deniers? The sort of place Leighton Smith sources his deranged diatribes?

      • greywarbler 12.1.1

        Deranged diatribes. So apt. Just change a letter and he would deal himself a deserved end if he pressed his hands to his chest. A new app of value. Just a conundrum for the day.

  13. Ake ake ake 13

    Catching up with news about the John Key government’s Ultra Fiasco Broadband project. This was meant to be their flagship project that has been handled incompetently and resembles more like shipwreck cock up.

    • Ake ake ake 13.1

      Great informative and evaluative piece by Chris Barton:

      “… The slap in the face to John Key is particularly significant, because it was the PM who hatched the corporate welfare plan to artificially inflate copper access prices to subsidise Chorus. …

      ” … With Hooton there, not to mention other telcos which had made significant investment in an unbundled, competitive market, this was a campaign that couldn’t be dismissed as left wing bleating. …

      “… But great as the outcome is for New Zealand consumers, the copper tax debacle reflects three disturbing trends. The first is the aberration of democracy … The second is that influencing this government seems directly correlated to financial muscle, and while on this occasion Chorus’s buying power was circumvented by a collective consumer will, the situation suggests a corruption of democratic process. Thirdly, you have to ask whether, without the Coalition’s campaign, any of the information needed to reveal the truth about Chorus’s and the PM’s claims would have been exposed.

      “On this front, the story is far from over. Look at what the PM said in September – that if the Telecommunication Commissioner’s wholesale pricing ruling stood, there was chance Chorus would go broke. We now know that wasn’t entirely true. …

      “… In the real world such a stuff-up would cause heads to roll. Taxpayers could rightly point the finger at Chorus’s chief executive, but also Steven Joyce the architect of the UFB and the Chorus partnership. But rather than accountability, we get: “Oh dear, we’ll have to bail Chorus out.” ”


  14. captain hook 14

    somebody here compared doncoyote to piggy muldoon but there is no comparison.
    mulddon payed his dues but coyote was and is a ring in jacked up by boagey and hootone and will vanish as quickly as he appeared next year.

  15. greywarbler 16

    Gavin Ellis on Radionz this a.m.
    Some notes –
    More than half shares of media now in the hands of financial institutions who have no interest in the topic of the business – providing news and information.
    Are paywalls viable?
    Blogs – whaleoil top with 3/4 million visitors a month. He has broken news stories. Blogs as legitimate forms of news.
    Law Commission report should have been adopted in full. Good one – suggested one regulator and Blogs could opt in if they desired.

    Reporting of crime – when editor did a search and found that crime stories on every page so he grouped them in a special crime page.

    • karol 16.1

      It seems the financial institutions are taking over everything, including the media.

      • alwyn 16.1.1

        Once you get things like Kiwisaver you are going to see financial institutions appearing to take over everything. After all the organisations that run Kiwisaver are by definition Financial Institutions. It is them that show up as the owners of the assets, not the people who have put up the money in the first place.
        I think, although I’m not certain that something like the Cullen Fund would show up in the same way. The pass the money on to financial institutions to invest and I would think it is them who would show up as the ownwers of shares, not the Cullen Fund.

        • karol

          I’m not talking about the likes of Kiwisaver. the evidence points to corproate finance companies taking over NZ media and other things here and overseas.

          The AUT media ownership report (published in the last week or two, lays out the sort of finance institutions taking over NZ media.

          Financial institutions take control of Sky TV and MediaWorks

          Full report here PDF.

          This New Zealand Ownership Report 2013 published by AUT’s Centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD) outlines how the financialisation of New Zealand media intensified as News Limited pulled out of Sky TV, and as lenders took 100 percent control of MediaWorks.

          See also details p8 onwards.

          The financialisation of New Zealand media ownership has been noticeable since 2010. Over the last three years stock market listed financial institutions such as major banks and unlisted financial institutions such as private equity firms, have increased their ownership shares within New Zealand based media companies. This is a worrying development since the financial owners “have no inherent interest in any particular media industry or sector.” (Hope & Myllylahti, 2013).

          In other areas of enterprise, in the news today – I think i saw an article about Fletchers’ losing out in an NZ deal to a Japanese investment company – can’t find the article now.

          • alwyn

            I had a look at this report, although I confess that it isn’t easy to follw,
            I don’t think it is in disagreement with my premise. The ownership figures for Fairfax list a number of the Australian banks as major shareholders. I would suggest that the investments are not being made by the banks in their banking capacity. They don’t invest in such long term, and inherently variable value proposals. It is the Superannuation funds that the Australian, and on a much smaller scale New Zealand banks manage. that are making these investments and which show up as the owner of the shares.
            In Australia, in 1990, the total amount in Superannuation was about $80 billion. It is now something like $1500 billion. Where people used to save, and may have invested as individuals they now do so almost entirely through superannuation, with the majority of the money being invested through funds managed by Financial Institutions. It is this enormous amount of managed money that is showing up in the shareholder lists as being shares owned by Financial Institutions. After all, they have to invest it somewhere.
            There is some concern that these organisations have no inherent interest in media organisations. There are plenty of left wing commentators who are thoroughly in favour of this. See the screams when major shareholder in Fairfax, Gina Rinehart, flexes her strength and threatens to sort out Fairfax operations.

            Regarding your comment about Fletchers, you are probably thinking of the preferrd group named for Transmission Gully. They were part of the Group that missed out.

  16. ak 17

    Ardern leaving.

    Don’t panic.

    Just another totally useless retarded rat ordered off the sinking ship…..

    • tricledrwown 17.1

      part of the rights long term agenda to bounce back quickly from defeat and continue privatization path

    • Ake ake ake 17.2

      Oh, you mean Shane.

      Changing of the puppets. New ones to be brought in.

    • alwyn 17.3

      He wasn’t totally useless. I remember when he drove a tractor partway up Parliament’s steps. He could actually drive it.
      Years before, for some reason I can’t remember, Bob Tizard tried to do the same thing. Not being a farmer he didn’t actually know how to drive a tractor and he stalled and darn near tipped the thing.
      So put him down as an MP who could handle an important tool in New Zealands major industry.
      When are the Labour Party going to start getting rid of their has-beens and never-weres by the way?

      • Murray Olsen 17.3.1

        Norman Kirk could drive a train. Key could probably pull one.

        • felix


        • mac1

          Norm Kirk was a stationary engine driver at Firestone in Papanui, Christchurch. That means he operated a boiler producing steam for pressure-cooking tires etc. in a factory. I worked in the same boiler room as a Varsity holiday job as a coal trimmer.

          I doubt whether Norm Kirk could drive a train.

          But who needs facts when a joke is a good one!

      • Te Reo Putake 17.3.2

        Yeah, nah, alwyn. Tizard drove it up the steps without a problem. Weirdly, the National party’s nanny-state do gooders only complaint was that it didn’t have a roll cage. PC gone mad, I tells ya!

        Just for the sake of accuracy, it’s worth noting that Bob made it all the way to the top of parliament’s steps; Ardern chickened out halfway.

        • alwyn

          For the sake of accuracy a rather spoil-sport security guard asked Arden to stop when he was half way up. Arden did as the security man asked. If that is what you call “chickened out” you have a different interpretation than I do. Your memory of Tizard is a bit more flattering than mine. I do remember Lange and Palmer standing, laughing,, way out of the danger area in case he rolled.

  17. Tracey 18

    Mps don’t have to buy shredders

    ” Parliament’s privileges committee has slated as “unacceptable” a prime ministerial inquiry being handed private information, including a journalist’s records, despite having no formal powers to demand it.

    In its report to Parliament today, the committee slated the failure of those handling the information to consider the role of MPs, and the important role particular groups such as journalists might play “in our democracy” was worrying.

    “That such an intrusion has been allowed to occur does not reflect well on the agencies responsible,” the report said.

    The privileges committee was asked to investigate by the Speaker David Carter after it was revealed emails, phone and swipe-card records belonging to Fairfax Media journalist Andrea Vance and MP “

  18. tricledrwown 19

    MOBIE’s investigation into immigrant seasonal farm workers found 1/3rd of all farm workers not being paid for extra hours worked slave labour !
    No records of hrs worked kept on these farms!
    My own research would suggest the problem is far worse with bullying and abuse as well!
    Animal abuse is also common right up their with titford!
    A lot of farmers are taking advantage of the isolation of workers coercing them to to work long hrs with no pay.
    Beating and neglecting cows is also more widespread than fonterra nactional would have you believe.
    Farming is being let down badly by this very large portion of rogue operators.
    in my investigation over many farms farm workers farm advisors.
    Its widespread.
    You will find the same farmers are polluting as well.
    Productivity is also poor because what happens when these abuses continue over a period of time s that workers don,t do their job properly are not trained by cheapskate farmers.
    Neglected and abused cows don’t produce as much.
    The list goes on !
    Safety is also compromised.
    Cows that should be isolated are left in the herd.
    Cows are supposed to be rotated from paddock to paddock so they don’t pass on diseases.
    Cows left out pregnant in winter with little or no feed in muddy paddocks just to save on feed.
    This industry is as bad as the forestry industry if not worse!
    Nactional a sleep at the wheel again.
    Fishing industry not fixing slavery on ships till 2016!
    forestry 5 years of free-market self regulation!

    • Chooky 19.1

      @ trickledown

      …my son is a farm worker and he is treated very well

      ….the cows are also treated well

      ….while I dont deny what you say is true….can you be more specific?….what areas was your survey conducted in?….how many farms? …how many workers?….how many cows not treated well?…does the SPCA know?….the SPCA is very proactive in this area

    • Rosie 19.2

      “Beating and neglecting cows is also more widespread than fonterra nactional would have you believe”

      I’m waiting for the day when there will be a formal government inquiry into the welfare of dairy herds but am not holding my breath given the amount of influence the farming lobby have upon government and having a derp like Guy running the MPI.

      Chooky, thats good to hear that your son is doing well working on a dairy farm and that the animals aren’t neglected but you know, I’ve found several articles, this year within the “farming” section of stuffed.co.nz of prosecutions against farms hands and managers on dairy farms. I don’t have any links sorry but one example that springs to mind was of a dairy worker who broke the tails of several cows. He also hit them with piping. He left them in pain and distress. His reason was that he was stressed. I recall the vet said she had never seen such cruelty inflicted on farm animals.

      Another case that went to court was similar in that cows tails were broken through a common practice of twisting the cow’s tail to coerce them into the milking shed. I was so stunned at the attitude of the prosecutor for the MPI, Grant Fletcher, that I wrote this down on my file of “bad people doing bad things”

      “The prosecutor for the MPI, Grant Fletcher, said there was an industry understanding that a degree of force was used to put cows into dairy sheds”. (I’m guessing I also got that quote from stuffed). As a result the sentence for the pain and suffering that was caused to these animals was light.

      I have heard of several other cases, some of which have been on Campbell Live. I also have a cousin and a friend who grew up on dairy farms and have told me the stories – not to mention the vegan kid I used to work with who grew up on a dairy farm who was so horrified by the industry that he quit dairy products. It’s my guess only but I would think dairy cow cruelty is far more widespread than we know. We often think of sow crates for pigs and battery cages for hens (and now the no-improvement colony caging system) but the day needs to come where we focus the same amount of attention on our darling dairy cows.

      • Chooky 19.2.1

        @ Rosie….yes that was a notorious case which hit the front pages down here!….but I had never heard of this practice before ….certainly it is outrageous and it has never been a common practice! …down here you are likely to get reported….and have the SPCA check up on you …. if you have a dead sheep in your front paddock or your cows look a bit thin to a passing car load of city slickers

        Yes I really like cows too…and my son is a vegetarian……our piggy and chooks and sheep…are all free-range and we dont eat them….but I cant help myself, I do get meat from the supermarket in a package … which is hypocritical because really if one eats meat one should be prepared to kill the animal…..this I could not do and would be a vegetarian if required to do so

        I am appalled by sow crates and battery hens and buy NZ free-range ( overseas meat should be banned imo…there is no need for it)….also I would hate to see cows and cattle barn- farmed as has been suggested by mainly new immigrant farmers where it is common place in Europe

        ……I am all for as many govt inquiries as it takes to treat animals well and give them a good quality of life!!!! ( also I applaud academic animal studies on consciousness /intelligence etc) ….but I dont think animal cruelty is commonplace amongst NZ farmers …not the ones i have ever known , anyway

        I also think young NZers should be given jobs on farms rather than immigrant seasonal workers

        • Rosie

          Hi Chooky. Can I ask, where’s “down here?”

          I don’t think you are being hypocritical. You have a conscience. It sounds like you are of aware of the human responsibility to keeping farmed animals humanely.We all have our own different needs and as a vegetarian of 30 years I’ve never judged others for their food choices. (I’m no longer a vego though because I now eat one fish meal a week so I would be the one to be a hypocrite if I were the one to point the finger! I also got involved in that discussion last week so no need to go there again)

          My judgement lies with the scale and intentional and unintentional cruelty of industrial farming and our reluctance to regulate to a higher standard of care of animals first and foremost but also to our reluctance to regulate for the best environmental protection.

          As for individuals, personally I think it would be awesome if they learnt about where their meat and dairy comes from and think about the part they play in the food chain and maybe consider dropping their intake to ease up on the demand and the environment.

          And yeah, something has gone quite wrong somewhere along the way that we require (or prefer?) immigrant seasonal workers to work on our farms.

          • Colonial Viper

            cheaper more compliant work harder, is the usual refrain.

          • Chooky

            Hi Rosie

            Answer to your first question: “down here” is the South Island…”up there” is the North Island….where everything happens.

            …I think in the international scheme of things NZ is pretty good regards animal welfare ie lots of free-range and space….. at least for sheep and cows and cattle… not over-farming

            ( free-range farming for chickens and pigs is improving and the consumer demand is increasing for this…good on the animal rights activists!).

            Like you I believe in the absolute importance of quality of life for an animal…just as for humans!…ie not overpopulation…. which causes stress and viruses and disease ……and this is also absolutely crucial for the environment (where farming must be regulated to prevent stress on the natural landscapes and waterways).

            As regards random incidents of systematic cruelty to animals… there will always be aberrant psychopathic humans who ill-treat animals, just as they do other humans…(usually they have been abused by other humans themselves)

    • Draco T Bastard 19.3

      Nactional a sleep at the wheel again.

      I doubt that. They probably know about these things but won’t do anything about them as it’s against their ideology of owners always do the right thing.

      • Colonial Viper 19.3.1

        against their ideology of slave owners always do the right thing.

        with your permission.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Brings back what Adam Smith said in the Wealth of Nations about slaves and the difference in treatment between the French and USA slave owners.

          The French were massively regulated requiring fine clothes, good meals and good accommodation – effectively, they had to be treated as humans. Owning a slave was status symbol simply because no one who couldn’t afford it would ever own one.

          In the USA there was no regulation as it was believed that the state shouldn’t regulate how people treated their property. This resulted in large land owners owning lots of them, keeping them in atrocious conditions and abusing hell out of them. In the USA the people owned slaves to get work done and so the more they owned and the less they paid to take of them the more the land owners could appropriate for themselves.

          We see the same types of abuse here in NZ now from the farmers and their abuse of the land causing massive pollution of our waterways, the abuse of employees and their tax avoidance.

          Smith almost, almost, saw the problem with the capitalist ownership model in that part of the Wealth of Nations.

  19. Has this incompetent government made another balls up. ?
    I refer to the TV .digital change over , how many people especially the elderly have found that there
    g,boxes and video are out of date .Some only a couple of years old.

    • Te Reo Putake 20.1

      I think you may be right that many have missed out, though the freeview boxes can be had for around $100 I think. Factor in another $100 for someone to set it up, get the aerial right etc.

      From here on in, I imagine it won’t be possible to buy a TV that doesn’t have freeview in it anyway, so for some getting a new telly might be just as cost efficient.

      btw, anyone got Igloo? I’m thinking of giving sky the flick once the darts finishes on New Years day and $30 a month for a scattering of sky channels seems a reasonable compromise.

      • felix 20.1.1

        Get a dog. Throw a stick and watch the dog chase it. Try to get the stick back. Repeat.

        Costs a bit more than 30 bucks a month but it’s far more entertaining.

      • Hayden 20.1.2

        From here on in, I imagine it won’t be possible to buy a TV that doesn’t have freeview in it anyway, so for some getting a new telly might be just as cost efficient.

        A fair few of us can’t get terrestrial Freeview, so require a satellite dish and a separate box.

  20. It not the free view TV ,T reo its the recording boxes, Bought in good faith for the introduction of digital TV . In fact ours is just 3 years old able to hard drive record digital until the change. Informed by Panasonic that it is unable to now record . My enquirers indicate that this is all over,
    Of course the TV is receiving the channels but no recordings . I suspect this is another National Party blunder ,

    • karol 21.1

      TPP, is your hard drive recorder High definition? If not, is that the problem? I gather from this page on the freeview site, that it’s not only a switch to digital, but to high definition on freeview terrestrial – but not via satellite.

  21. greywarbler 22

    I looked up my comments and have none showing since Nov 30th. Has there been a group of these lost? I think here should be something from yesterday 2/12 at least.

  22. Morrissey 24

    “The world is full of internet tough guys!”
    Kiwi comedian comes out swinging

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Tuesday 3 December 2013
    Jim Mora, Andrew Clay, Susan Hornsby-Geluk

    Today’s episode of the Panel was generally mild and unmemorable—but it sprang to life during the “Soapbox” segment, when the professional comedian and co-opted spokesman for the New Zealand Army in Afghanistan, Andrew Clay, suddenly climbed up on his high horse and started shouting insanely about the likes of Te Reo Putake, Anne, McFlock, Tim, North, felix, Queen of Thorns, and this writer, i.e., moi….

    ANDREW CLAY: The world is full of internet tough guys! Internet tough guys sitting in their darkened rooms! They have no life!
    JIM MORA: [mockingly] The world is full of haters!
    ANDREW CLAY: [fervently] Their comments are vicious, pointless, inane! They are weaklings and cowards!
    SUSAN HORNSBY-GELUK: They should get out into the sun!
    ANDREW CLAY: Ha ha ha! I agree! Get a life!
    SUSAN HORNSBY-GELUK: Yep. Get a life. Get a life.

    Meanwhile, over in Blighty another Andrew has been sounding off in similar fashion, portraying bloggers as “inadequate, pimpled and single”, and citizen journalism as the “spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night”.….

    More by and about Andrew Clay….

    Open mike 18/10/2012

    Open mike 28/03/2013

    This is the kind of blog posting that riled Andrew Marr, that fine, serious and brave BBC journalist….

    • gobsmacked 24.1

      Given your definition of “meanwhile”, we can safely assume that there is the usual gap between what you claim and what is said.

      • Morrissey 24.1.1

        Given your definition of “meanwhile”, we can safely assume that there is the usual gap between what you claim and what is said.

        What I wrote was pretty much exactly what poor old Andrew Clay said. I didn’t use a tape-recorder, so I have no doubt missed a few more choice epithets he hurled at the likes of me and you.

        Your rather hostile post does raise a couple of interesting points, viz. (1): If you don’t know what “meanwhile” means, could you consult a dictionary? and (2): Could you point to one instance of a “gap” between what I have claimed and what has been said?

        And a word to the wise, my friend: minor discrepancies like the odd missed or gratuitously inserted “ummm”, “ahhhh”, or “ha ha ha” are just that: minor discrepancies. Your job is a bit more difficult than seizing on insignificant transcription errors: you have to back up a rather extravagant accusation.

        • Te Reo Putake

          “Could you point to one instance of a “gap” between what I have claimed and what has been said? ”

          Jebus wept.

          • Morrissey

            Jebus [sic] wept.

            That’s not an intelligent answer, my friend. Surely you’re not back on that discredited jag of picking on minor transcription errors and shouting about that forever?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Poor sad, moz. No self awareness whatsoever. No honesty, no ownership. Makes me sic to my stomach..

              • felix

                Oh come on TRP, you know Moz only changes little things.

                Like words.

                And sentences.

                And context.

                And tone.

                And chronology.

                And sometimes the identity of the speakers.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yes, quite right, felix. As you were, everyone.

                • Morrissey

                  1.) Oh come on TRP, you know Moz only changes little things.
                  Correct so far, felix. Good going. So far.

                  2.) Like words.
                  Yep. As we all know, my transcripts are often done hurriedly, on an envelope, or a piece of wrapping paper, or whatever is to hand, and therefore minor errors are inevitable. I need a secretary. Mary Rose Woods, where are you?

                  3.) And sentences.
                  Yep. Happens occasionally. See previous excuse.

                  4.) And context.
                  Wrong. You know very well that one of my strengths is that I contextualize the ravings and witterings of the likes of Andrew Clay or Dr Michael “Bonkers” Bassett or Nevil “Breivik” Gibson. I show, or attempt to show, that what they say has roots, and is not just some random inanity (Clay) or casual lie (Bassett) or insane racist opinion (Gibson)

                  5.) And tone.
                  Again, you are out of your depth here. I get the tone of these often depraved conversations just about right every time, as many people have attested. The fact you appear to be tone-deaf, and unable to gauge just how pompous and nasty and irresponsible some of these media commentators are is a reflection on you—and not a very flattering one, I’m sorry to say.

                  6.) And chronology.
                  Minor errors occur when doing a rush transcript. See No. 2 above.

                  7.) And sometimes the identity of the speakers.
                  That’s very unusual, but it is possible. For instance, it would be easy to accidentally transpose the words of John Key, Bill English and Steven Joyce: all of them are glib, smooth and practised dissemblers. They all stay resolutely on message and doggedly parrot talking-points. Similarly, I have no doubt I have occasionally put inane laughter into the wrong mouth in a transcript, and attributed an inane comment to the wrong guest on the Panel. It happens.

        • sockpuppet

          Ah Morrisey what wit, it beggars imagination that dubious personages on this blog seem to have their own particular personal issues with your most excellent reconstructions.

          • Morrissey

            Ah Morrisey what wit, it beggars imagination that dubious personages on this blog seem to have their own particular personal issues with your most excellent reconstructions.

            It’s not a problem at all, my friend. To quote the great Jonah Lomu, it comes with the territory.

            (In fact, to employ a sporting analogy, I must admit I rather enjoy dispatching the likes of “gobsmacked” to the boundary. Is that petty of me, I wonder?)

        • gobsmacked

          “Meanwhile” implies that it is happening at the same/similar time.

          You told us that Andrew Marr “has been sounding off”, which – along with “meanwhile” – suggests a recent piece by him.

          This was a surprise, since in 2013, Andrew Marr has been recovering from a stroke …


          But in fact the piece you linked to was from 2010.

          Misleading, at best. So … I don’t know or care what Andrew Clay said today, but I won’t be relying on your version as fact.

          • Morrissey

            “Meanwhile” implies that it is happening at the same/similar time.

            The term “meanwhile” was perfectly acceptable. If you prefer, feel free to replace it with “three years ago”. Whether Marr wrote that three years ago, or three days ago, the import is the same: he was having a go at people who have assiduously recorded and critiqued his government-friendly, biased and often dishonest political witterings. (In other words, he’s been a dependable State TV operator.) Here’s an open letter by an English writer, confronting Marr on his hypocrisy and his lack of empathy for poor people who suffer from strokes…

            Misleading, at best.

            Nonsense. I compared the anti-blogger ranting of a second-rate comedian with the anti-blogger ranting of a second-rate State TV journalist.

            So … I don’t know or care what Andrew Clay said today, but I won’t be relying on your version as fact.

            My version was perfectly accurate, as you’ll quickly ascertain with a quick listen….

            Off you go now…

    • Murray Olsen 24.2

      Who is Andrew Clay and should I be worried?

  23. gobsmacked 25

    Well, I did try and warn our rightie friends up-thread …

    John Banks is going to trial, for electoral fraud.

    Key to dump him and ACT in 5,4,3,2,1 …

    • bad12 25.1

      YE-EES, John Banks is to stand trial on a date next year yet to be set, just caught the tail end of the story on RadioNZ,

      The news just keeps getting better, a small vision just sprung into my mind of Bank’s sharing a jail cell with Blubber Boy and Alen Titford, a match made in heaven…

      • Ad 25.1.1

        Parliaments’ Hulk Hogan finally steps out of the ring and into the street:
        Togs, togs, togs, togs, undies, undies! Undies

    • McFlock 25.3

      The trouble with Banks being an entitled smart arse is that it caused him to play silly buggers with the paperwork, silly buggers with this review and he’ll play silly buggers for the case next year – and the longer he plays silly buggers rather than accepting the most likely outcome, the worse it will be for him.

  24. felix 26

    One of the people in this exchange looks and sounds like a Prime Minister.


    • mickysavage 26.1

      Yep I thought David nailed Key today. Key obviously knows what the revised figure for asset sales is but did not want to say it. Tomorrow should be interesting. This is the first time in 5 years that I have seen the leader of the opposition consistently beat the Prime Minister at question time.

      • felix 26.1.1

        And notice how Key’s repeated attempts to change the subject – the only defense he could come up with – just fell so flat?

        He’s been getting away with the exact same tired and transparent tactic for years, but it’s just not working anymore.

    • Murray Olsen 26.2

      At least Key mentioned a Scissors Initiated Referendum rather than pretending it was just a stunt by the Greens. Is that progress?


    Here we go again folks!

    The 2013 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’, has New Zealand and Denmark tied as 1st-equal.


    Pity about the CORRUPTION REALITY?

    If New Zealand was truly the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ – wouldn’t you think we would at least have ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption?

    New Zealand can’t ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption – because our anti-corruption domestic legislative framework is not yet in place.

    (Germany hasn’t yet ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption, and that’s where Transparency International is based!)

    In my considered opinion, Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ is not worth the paper upon which it is written.

    For a genuine New Zealand anti-corruption / pro-transparency framework – try this:


    I look forward to debating this on mainstream media.

    Penny Bright

    Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference Brisbane
    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference Bangkok
    Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference Sydney

    • Are we allowed to swear ? Cos the word fudge just came to mind. So is New Zealand the least corrupt, or the most corrupt – my money’s on the latter with old snake oil in charge. Anything for a dollar, preferably U.S.$$$$!!

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