Open Mike 04/01/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 4th, 2019 - 208 comments
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208 comments on “Open Mike 04/01/2019 ”

  1. SaveNZ 1

    Global construction woes…

    Empty Homes and Protests: China’s Property Market Strains the World

    Australia’s house price bloodbath

    Auckland tower builder slammed over cracked Sydney apartments

    As Market Cools, Median Price for Manhattan Apartment Drops Below $1 Million

    (One has to ask why should people in NZ and China be paying 1 million for a 2 bedroom apartment, a similar price to New York, and our government Kiwibuild is touting $500k for a 1 bedroom in Onehunga, approx 1.5 hours commute from CBD, possibly government too close to the construction industry lobbyists and using them as their “advisers”. )

    Then wonders why people are not taking them up on it?

    The wrong types of houses are being built, overpriced and not reflective for (low) Kiwis incomes and families. About $90 p/w will got straight to Auckland council on the Onehunga example for rates and transport alone, on top of the mortgage repayments and then there is insurance and body corporate payments on top of that.

    That is why not content to make the poor homeless, they are also raiding the pockets of the middle classes for overpriced ‘affordable’ apartments with high on going costs benefiting, mostly banks, construction and councils.

    • james 1.1

      “The wrong types of houses are being built, overpriced and not reflective for (low) Kiwis incomes”.

      Thats because its not Kiwibuild – its Kiwi buy and the developer is building what he was always going to do. Unless he was building the “right” kind of houses for low kiwi incomes – they were never going to sell to them.

      Kiwibuild is shaping up to be a huge stuff up – far from what was promised:

      “KiwiBuild will deliver 100,000 affordable houses over ten years for first home buyers. Half of these will be built in Auckland. That is a ten-fold increase in the number of affordable houses being built in Auckland each year, from 500 to 5,000.

      The stand-alone KiwiBuild homes in Auckland will be priced at $500,000-$600,000 with apartments and terraced houses under $500,000.

      • SaveNZ 1.1.1

        To be fair James, the National party were the ones to create the housing crisis fiasco, Labour’s issue is that they failed to understand what was really going on (aka discrepancy of incomes vs living costs in NZ) and seem to get their policy ideas from the MSM, Nat lite policy and industry and social housing ideologists at conferences and think tanks (aka we all live in high rise apartments that in some woke left “woke Green” world, apartments don’t leak or need constant remedial work, are close to the city or with fabulously cheap, fast, transport links with non corrupt, efficient, in touch with reality, transport bodies running them, pollution is not an issue, nor is waste water or sewerage, nobody has any children and if they do they wants to raise them in a high rise, body corporate fees don’t exist, kids don’t need gardens, nor do increased insurance and council rates and high rise building costs exist).

        • Ad

          this government has oversold its ablity to tilt the housing market.

          Key’s Bright Line test has made the biggest public sector difference so far.

          Twyford will do well to hold both Transport and Housing in the reshuffle

          • Nic the NZer

            I totally said, Labour had oversold its ability to effect house prices, before it happened. Its time most people, the government in particular, realized the housing market does not work according to simplistic supply and demand theories (the implications of this are actually quite far reaching). This also applies to the notion capital gains taxes will drive profits down (and so cool house prices down). My conclusion is based on other countries which have capital gains regimes also having some of the largest housing bubbles at the same times (Australia and Canada in particular). That policy does not work the way its touted either.

            • Draco T Bastard

              realized the housing market does not work according to simplistic supply and demand theories (the implications of this are actually quite far reaching)

              No market does:

              In the first half of this lec­ture, I show that even if all con­sumers were util­ity max­i­miz­ers whose indi­vid­ual demand curves obeyed the “Law of Demand”, the mar­ket demand curve derived from aggre­gat­ing these con­sumers could have any shape at all. This result, known as the “Son­nen­schein-Man­tel-Debreu Con­di­tions”, is actu­ally a Proof by Con­tra­dic­tion that mar­ket demand curves do not obey the “Law” of Demand, and there­fore that Mar­shal­lian par­tial equi­lib­rium mod­el­ing of indi­vid­ual mar­kets is invalid–let alone the Neo­clas­si­cal prac­tice of mod­el­ing the entire macro­econ­omy as a sin­gle agent in “Dynamic Sto­chas­tic Gen­eral Equi­lib­rium” mod­els.

              • Nic the NZer

                True. Probably our inability to understand the housing and jobs markets are the most important policy consequences of this.

            • bwaghorn

              Bullshit if you build heaps prices will fall . Labour is in government. Change the laws take the land build the fucking houses.

              • Nic the NZer

                You might want to look at the embedded youtube video in savenz’s comment below. It appears heaps have already been built in Auckland.

        • DJ Ward

          Rubbish SaveNZ it was Labour. To drive the economy Cullen flooded the market with foriegn money using our banking system, plus immigration.

          • SaveNZ

            Don’t agree on that one DJ Ward. For a start the increase of house price changes in 2002 was also due to many Kiwi’s returning from overseas after 9/11 in 2001 and will probably happen again if there are any major terrorist attacks. That is why so many super rich have a holding in NZ as a 30 million bunker or bolt hole. Also why NZ should be very careful because we are having so many residents and citizens who actually don’t live here but still get access to all the free services available to people who do live here and pay proper taxes here.

            However your graph shows (the blue) a huge rise in value of housing stock under the National party reign, in particular after 2016

            In my view one of the best ways to control property is to have a ‘wealth’s stamp duty and any assets including business, farms, assets or property over 5 million being bought should have a 1% stamp duty to stop so many luxury developments being built in NZ for people as ‘gold bricks’ or only used occasionally and also a way to charge multinationals and non residents and residents equally a tax that is not linked to income and therefore impossible to avoid.

            By only targeting super rich purchases for a tax, it evens up equality and keeps developers in the price point for Kiwis who actually live here and earn NZ wages.

            Like the bright line it also stops speculation and financial dodging as each time the asset is transferred, tax is payable.

          • greywarshark

            I think this link from stuff puts the house price rises in perspective.
            Economist Shamubeel Eaqub agreed it would be incorrect to tie the fortunes of the housing market to the political leanings of the government.

            “Government policy on housing has not changed markedly since the 1980s. The bigger drivers of house prices have been liberalisation of finance, falling cost of borrowing, and slow supply of housing. Correlation with government terms is spurious – conflating correlation with causation.”

            For those who want to refresh on what they know about the effects of deregulation of the financial system in the 1980’s this seems a balanced and informed piece, as far as I can tell.
            by Carl E Walsh, Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of San Fransisco.

            • SaveNZ

              Remember Shamubeel Eaqub is ex Goldman sacs, hardly an independent commentator and told everyone that they should rent, as owning a house is a bad investment (in the mid 2000’s). He is an industry puppet, trotted out regularly even when his advice is so incorrect that in the US he would probably be facing law suits.

              Apparently immigration also has nothing to do with the housing crisis (see his reasons do not add immigration when even now the banks acknowledge it is a huge factor to housing prices) because artificially adding 70,000 new residents and giving out 200,000 work visas a year, for the last decade, does not effect housing at all…. sarcasm. obviously adding more population does not effect schools or hospitals, super or jobs either apparently… sarcasm

              All the new people just live in a magical economic world of his own ex Goldman sacs and government magical thinking universe…

              • greywarshark

                So you can not agree with Eaqub’s summation that neither government has had a bigger effect on rising house prices than the other levers he mentions?

                Migration and Macroeconomic Performance in New Zealand:
                Theory and Evidence
                NZT Working Paper 14/10 April 2014 Julie Fry
                Some interesting background on possibilities produced by Treasury with some conclusions that don’t seem to have been noticed by government, such as that about the level of immigration. It makes the point in 3.4.2 that more densely populated centres are supposed to bring both greater productivity and wealth but studies don’t bear this out. (I think I’ve got that right).

                See information under –
                3.4.2 p.15 Large Population increase?
                4.2 p.24 Housing market impacts.
                Nice graph – Figure 3 on P25 on rising house prices and immigration figures match.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Can you put an actual definition to productivity? I have been thinking about this recently and find its not a well enough defined term.

                  You might use the ILO definition, but that is basically productivity is hourly wages, and this is simply not suitable for some important contexts (e.g productivity of a financial investment).

                  Michael Reddell likes to go on about NZ’s productivity but I have not seen a solid definition from him or anywhere relevant of what is being targeted and measured. Additionally some of his suggestions, such as reducing minimum wages and employment protections, seem likely to harm things and be of a similar vein to other developments since the 1980’s so I don’t think I would want his policy choices to be followed through.

                  • greywarshark

                    I was reading a report that I put up recently and I think it referred to productivity in terms of immigration having an effect and I didn’t think it was based on whatever wages they were likely to be earning. (It was in 3.4.2 in the Treasury working paper 14/10 in comment above at 1.15pm.)
                    In theory, a high rate of immigration over an extended period could greatly increase New Zealand’s population, allowing productivity gains from economies of scale, both from conventional sources and the particular effects identified by economic geographers.

                    Also thinking ‘productivity’, just now the Productivity Commission are carrying out an enquiry paper about local body funding.
                    Closes February, public submissions sought.

                    The NZ Herald says this by Northern Advocate
                    By: David Wilson and Patrick McVeigh.

                    Productivity is a key determinant of economic growth, so New Zealand’s poor performance in the regions and more so in its largest city Auckland, is a real concern.

                    One of the key outcomes expected of the new $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund is to raise productivity; however, productivity is a complex issue with no quick fix. Part of the challenge is translating complex economic reports into simple meaningful messages that businesses can respond to.

                    The New Zealand Productivity Commission, established as an independent Crown entity in 2011, has undertaken excellent analysis of the causes and consequences of New Zealand’s low productivity growth and published reports that have both informed the debate and influenced government policy.

                    However, much of the language is technical and contains many of the disclaimers and assumptions typical of economic analysis, making it hard to translate into action.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Bit problematic all this. I have some further ones,

                      “Productivity is commonly defined as a ratio between the output volume and the volume of inputs. In other
                      words, it measures how efficiently production inputs, such as labour and capital, are being used in an economy to
                      produce a given level of output.” –

                      “‘Productivity’ is about how well people combine resources to produce goods and services. For countries, it is about creating more from available resources – such as raw materials, labour, skills, capital equipment, land, intellectual property, managerial capability and financial capital. With the right choices, higher production, higher value and higher incomes can be achieved for every hour worked” –

                      Seems that productivity is so fuzzy one should not be comparing two countries across it (because its invariably an apples and oranges comparison). From the definitions you might be able to talk about productivity of a particular factor input, but not relative to another input (say labour vs machine productivity), or add them together.

                      Other things I find weird about this, apparently the NZ work force is one of the most highly skilled around, but with poor productivity growth (whatever that actually means).

                    • greywarshark

                      Nic the NZer
                      I have noticed that we are always being bashed for low productivity though long working hours – sounds like us knuckledraggers are slackers wanting to spend all day sleeping
                      in the sun and singing manana!

                      While at the same time our employment rates are tip-top – like the ice cream they are not quite definite about where the figures belong and who they relate to.

                      Statistics and economic language – once you can speak that lingo the Rosetta stone would be easy peasy.

                • SaveNZ

                  Immigration has the biggest effect on prices in NZ. The problem is that no economists were prepared, or too stupid to mention it, so for nearly a decade the immigration debate was stifled and scams encouraged to keep the economy going, rather than using productivity or innovation.

                  Remember for approx 7 of the last 10 years people like Shamubeel Eaqub told the public that house prices were going to fall based on low wages and cost of living.

                  The issue was that economists were determined to ignore immigration figures of people coming into NZ and given work permits and citizenship and permanent residency like lollies. Those migrants with money to buy citizenship had a massive advantage as they did not have to rely on local wages to afford a house.

                  As we can see by all the sob stories people are coming to NZ paying around $30 – $50k for an overpriced ‘degree’ and then getting that job for residency such as working in supermarkets and food stores on low wages (and probably paying all their wages back for the job plus the taxes) so that they can get residency into NZ when they actually don’t have any skills we actually need here and could be easily done by a local if the wages were on par with the cost of living and the cost of a degree.

                  Meanwhile the scams are driving down wages and skilled people from the country including migrants and next generation children.

                  Another myth spread by economists and MSM is that there is a housing shortage and a land shortage. Again wrong. There are plenty of spec houses being built for the migrant middle/rich class who come to NZ and expect to pay $100k for a fake job and fake degree and then buy the million dollar house.This is hiding the issue that Kiwi’s can’t afford to buy million dollar housing on local wages and actually driving up the cost of housing overall. Aka $500k for a Kiwibuy 1 bedroom apartment 1.5 hours commute from the CBD.

                  Meanwhile the roads are clogged and locals are living 10 to a house miles from anywhere and can’t even afford to work with the low wages and petrol taxes (to solve the congestion that the spec houses are creating).

                  Have a look, video evidence of what it is really like in Auckland, empty speculative houses and apartments and congested roads with Ponzi schemes operating and that is before the houses get occupied! What is the congestion going to be like when the housing estates are full and one road in and out and no public transport.

                  There are plenty of houses and plenty of land in Auckland and NZ. What is the issue is that first home buyers can’t afford a million dollar house on wages of $50 – $100k… nor can they afford to rent those houses either… We built the wrong houses in the wrong locations and are bankrupting locals to pay for the infrastructure of a folly and profits for developers.


                  The government could have regulated to create affordable housing and concentrated on closing off immigration scams and increasing wages, but instead have added fuel to the fire, more houses being built that are not what people want or need in the country but based on construction profits.

                  Construction will then be going wah, wah during the down turn they created and will the government be stupid enough to try to prop them up with more lazy immigration just like the Natz?

                  • greywarshark

                    Yes savenz
                    I didn’t know the details of all that. But I have seen rows of two storey semi-majestic houses with porticoes/ over their front door, all painted the same, all lined up like army huts and about as interesting in South Auckland and all appearing to be empty. The government needs to tax empty houses? What about that, have an inspector look at these houses before and after they are built, and if they can’t sell them locally, force a Dutch auction system with the price going down every month?

                    These speculators need to be tickled where they don’t like it. But any Minister bringing in such stuff needs to watch for hie/her and family’s safety because the claws would come out when the property people got crossed. It’s a jungle out there, it’s just that we don’t really know it.

                    The government probably had to go forward with their promises and to ensure continuity of even inadequate supply and hopefully they have a cunning plan coming up for Stage Two!

            • Nic the NZer

              Agree with this conclusion. This is still a government responsibility, but its one which both sides of the house have been wedded to for a long, long time.

              Arguably John Key did the most about this with the introduction of loan to value ratios.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yes, best thing that the government could do is a complete ban on offshore ownership followed by bringing back tight monetary controls.

          • Craig H

            Net migration was much higher under National than Labour.

        • Nic the NZer

          I think you actually hit the nail on the head with “discrepancy of incomes vs living costs in NZ”, but in NZ we have a long standing policy of successfully suppressing income, specifically median incomes (called inflation targeting), and unsuccessfully failing to suppress house prices (also called inflation targeting).

          The discrepancy is due to the level of success at targeting either inflation targeting has on the wage market vs the housing market and some of the simultaneous policies (such as financial de-regulation) impacts here also.

          In theory the economy (due to equilibrium dynamics) will neutralize these changes in the actual economy. In practice all that has been neutralized is a widespread understanding of what has been happening.

        • OnceWasTim

          ……………..”and seem to get their policy ideas from the MSM…………”
          True, and/or policy analysts and their managers that still haven’t come to terms with their being a new junta in town.
          (The expectation that a new ‘kinder’ government would mean some pretty bloody radical change in attitude and public service culture might take a while to gain acceptance from within) – and it isn’t going to come from purchase agreements, KPI’s and Ministers repeating the mantra: “I have complete confidence in my officials” – that’s almost like saying “Beat me! Beat me!! – harder, HARDER, oh yea baby H A R D E R!)

      • Gabby 1.1.2

        It’s Chinabuy jimby. Twyford’s been told he can do what he likes but if property values drop he’s dog tucker.

    • soddenleaf 1.2

      don’t forget supermarkets. standing over suppliers who then reduce quality to reflect the profit gouging of supermarket. Trading off the lack of competition in food retail.
      Labour may think country of origin labellin, good, may change the profit gouging since the heavily imported items will be fresh… much for climate change. Increase the supply, by introducing a Bill that mandates all large towns have a dedicated covered farmers market in cuty limits central to public transit, where local growers can bypass the supermarket duopoly.

      National neolibs want less government and more private taxes, by corps for corps.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        Soddenleaf that sounds interesting. Local markets good.

        The local New World – a nice place to shop – but unfortunately is replacing so many brands with Pams – it’s own brand – so achieving vertical integration and forcing individual brands to their knees. The chemist buy up by Life, is limiting individual brands also and dropping small suppliers, the Health Foods franchise the same.

        The opportunities to make your own stuff and have a wee or mid-sized business and create your own productivity, jobs etc with thriving micro NZ businesses trading heavily in their area, buying and selling, but with opportunities to attract buyers from the rest of NZ, is a dream under the present system.

        The idea of having local areas where people are committed to buying locally made goods is I think the only way we can survive. And i would like to see areas build up skills and a brand for certain skills and trades that reflect the resources in their area. We need to aim at self sufficiency within our country, though not for all things within an area. Slow buying, like slow foods has a following, needs to be our attitude, save, buy on hp for a dearer NZ thing, that will last the distance expected.

        We import so much stuff on the spurious basis of being cheaper and that they are more efficient overseas. Our own people can’t compete,; are cast aside and out of work on the malicious meme that we are slack and not as hard-working as the workers in the poor countries. And we import piles of non-essentials which have to be paid for, and are likely to be used for short duration anyway – clothes, toys come to mind. Wastrels we are! And it is time that we stopped being teenagers in the reality of living in this stupid era,
        and grow up.

        • soddenleaf

          Yes. And you’d think the internet would destabilize the supermarket duopoly. But big retail property has long since locked out entrepreneurical capitalism. Take parcel delivery, along side data housing, there is a huge demand for a post office like shopping experience. Where as you gone into town, you’ve picked a parcel dropped off at a shop, where you also handed over a dongle where you store you own private data in a usb socket at the store, thus bypassing big Corp data with you own web service, site. Nobody owns your data, anyone with it stole it…

          We are living in a era where the Lucite are forced to march again for a piece of the new growth, as we’ve seriously been locked out by the big end of town.

  2. SaveNZ 2

    While I’m no fan of the Egyptian government, not a bad idea to have a campaign to try to curb families to 2 children to help poverty, increase education in particular of women, curb overpopulation and resources issues like water before their problems become even more extreme.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      This is the Guardian, which has got thumbs down recently. But they often have useful reporting. Are they worth supporting overall despite their failings?

    • DJ Ward 2.2

      I linked to this yesterday. Got Morrissey doing the but it’s from the enemy thing.
      Good on Egyptian government for taking the real issue for them, population growth seriously. Imagine if China didn’t go down the same path decades ago.

      There is a big issue for Egypt in a few years in regard to fresh water, and since it gets power from its dam the greatly reduced flow of the Nile is going to cause major problems.

      • Morrissey 2.2.1

        You fool. Are you a member of the Unification Church?

        You’re certainly fanatical enough.

        • DJ Ward

          No. Plus no idea why you think I am a religous person. Pro abortion, pro palistinian, believe in science, evolution of mankind. Plus once in a while I use the term sky fairies. That’s not to say there isn’t some good philosophy from all religions, as well as the crazy stuff.

          • Morrissey

            I don’t think you’re religious. I think you’re extremely naive and easily led. You quoted a notorious Moonie rag, apparently without understanding its provenance.

    • McFlock 2.3

      The basic problem much of the ME faces is that the elites have managed to hold on as modernisation and oil money boosted populations. The mixture of poverty and social conservatism has resulted in ISTR half the population of some ME states being aged under 25. The overpopulation problem being addressed by a two-child policy is too little, too late (how will they run that by the religious elites as well as the capitalists who don’t want to fund cheap healthcare for women is another matter entirely).

      There will be more Arab Springs (and African Springs) as resources become more stretched, and water wars.

      Populations created by oil will end up being destroyed by lack of water. A lot of the ME is as fucked as a low-lying atoll nation.

  3. Ed 3

    Climate crises and catastrophe is the most serious issue facing the world right now.
    It would be good if we used this meeting place to put pressure on the New Zealand government and all politicians to act as if it is the most serious issue.

    Daily threads.
    Daily recommendations.

    Idea 1 .
    Make public transport free in February.

    • SaveNZ 3.1

      Not a bad idea, Make public transport free in February. Pity we have privatised all the transport in many cases so hard or expensive to make this happen as profit is the over riding agenda in NZ businesses and propped up by taxpayers instead of social good…

      • Ed 3.1.1

        So renationalise public transport.
        In January.

        • DJ Ward

          With what money? Let me guess. ED gets his economic philosophy, and asset purchasing from the Cuba example.

          • Draco T Bastard

            That’d probably be better than the Western capitalist example.

          • Ed

            Cuba is a fine country, managing very well despite an illegal blockade by the U.S.

          • Ed

            Appropriation is perfectly fine if the government sold away our assets illegally and without our consent.

            • solkta

              Eh? the current owners should be punished for something the gummint did in the 80S?

              • Ed

                Yes. It was an illegal sale.

                • solkta

                  What was an illegal sale? Doe this what still have the same owners? And even if they got it cheap why do you now get to steal it ?

                  And what would you do once our economy has collapsed because no one else will trade with us because we steal stuff?

                  At least you are now saying what you mean by “nationalise”.

                  • Ed

                    The theft already occurred.
                    We are simply taking back what is ours.

                    History shows that countries who repossess their assets thrive because they are no longer serfs in their own land.
                    The only New Zealanders who will suffer are the parasitical class who have served overseas corporations.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        AT have been changing the system. It used to be that the buses were profit driven and kept most of the fares that they collected as well as getting subsidies.

        That has changed. Now the bus companies are contracted to do the runs that AT design for a fixed price and AT gets all the fares.

        This makes changing PT to a free service quite easy but it does mean that the council will have to sign off on it because the money to pay the bus companies has to come from somewhere.

        Of course, the next step necessary in how the buses are run will be in removing the bus companies altogether and doing the whole lot in-house. This will save quite a bit of money that could be then be used to up the drivers wages.

        And there’s a problem with making the service free – getting the necessary statistics to design the routes. I’d go for a nominal $1 charge, hell, it could be 50c. We just need the stats that are provided when people pay.

        • Sacha

          The main barrier to making PT free is the lack of vehicles, drivers, and separated lanes to cope with increased demand.

          • Ed

            Solutions- to do in January

            Make a massive order now.
            Pay drivers a lot more to entice drivers inyto this work.
            Make left lane of all motorways and dual carriageways in cities bus only.
            Make city centres open only to buses, bikes, scooters, motorbikes and taxis ( btnot Uber)

    • DJ Ward 3.2

      It’s already heavily subsidised. How more free does it need to get. Shouldn’t the users pay for there own transport choices.

      • Ed 3.2.1

        No. Saving the planet means incentivising a low carbon world.
        We need to get as many people as possible out of cars.

        • DJ Ward

          When we shift to EV cars your argument is irrelevant. Unless the bus is full it’s not like they are efficient vs a car. Buses are more about reducing congestion. Trains etc simply fail to connect A to B 99% of travel.

            • DJ Ward

              Well obviously buses full use less space. But if you have ever looked at most buses traveling around they are often far from occupied. The original comment was about climate change. You just shifted your argument to something else because your comment didn’t stack up. Like I said it’s more about congestion not climate change.

              • Ed

                They would be full if they were free.

                And electric cars are not the magic bullet for the environment.

                “Electric cars won’t eradicate gridlocks and air pollution, but carbon footprints could be cut by favouring pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit.”

                Walking and cycling is one important solution.

                “Electric cars move pollution from our cities to distant power plants. For big benefits we need carbon-free electricity. Most studies focus on average driving and average electricity generation. Instead, if we consider real urban driving and off-peak charging, electric cars are already a low pollution option for Belgium, where over half of electricity comes from nuclear power, and for Beijing, where more efficient gas-fired power stations are rapidly replacing old coal ones.

                A quarter of England’s car trips are less than two miles. We can be more ambitious. Replacing petrol and diesel cars with electric would miss the opportunity to save the NHS around £17 billion over the next 20 years by swapping short car journeys for walking or cycling.”



              • Sacha

                The electric vehicles that will make the biggest difference are called scooters.

                • Ed

                  Electric bikes even more so.

                • DJ Ward

                  Yep there has been a lot of affordable purchasing options for a while. Males who tinker around in there sheds are pushing the tech with high power motorcycles as well. I can’t imagine it being attractive in places like Canada in winter. In nations like ours we should see more of that travel method, scooters. Our issue is how far we live from work combined with far too many days amongst OK days, that are too cold and crapy to want to use a scooter.

                  • Sacha

                    The scooter is only for short distances – around your neighbourhood or to the nearest PT stop. Easier to take on a train than a bike, and with some interior redesign, buses too.

              • Draco T Bastard

                When we shift to EV cars your argument is irrelevant.

                No, it will still be relevant as cars are still less efficient that public transport. They simply use more resources to achieve the same thing.

                To put it another way: Private cars are far more expensive than public transport.

                It’ll be electric public transport once we get electric vehicles. We shouldn’t even be considering electric private vehicles.

                Unless the bus is full it’s not like they are efficient vs a car.


                Full auto v. transit life cycle. Even starting from scratch, transit’s environmental efficiency fares well compared to that of cars. If you consider greenhouse gas emissions from the full life cycle of each transport mode — including operations, construction, and maintenance — the only mode that does more harm than cars is a bus with about five passengers. As soon as you reach the average of nine passengers the benefits become clear (via the 2009 F.T.A. report):

                But if you have ever looked at most buses traveling around they are often far from occupied.

                All buses on the road at rush hour (although it’s more like two hours now) are full up to the point where some buses are actually leaving people at bus stops because they’re too full.

                You just shifted your argument to something else because your comment didn’t stack up.

                It’s your arguments that don’t stack up so we can only assume that you’re talking out your arse.

                • Ed

                  This is unanswerable Draco.
                  Thank you.

                • DJ Ward

                  As soon as it reaches 5 passengers. But that’s for ICE vehicles.

                  We have a completely new argument when one or both are EV without emissions. If you look at the Cuban extension of a vehicles lifespan which should be far easier with EV, renewables powering vehicle use, production, metals making, bio plastics, then really there is little issue.

                  The only real issue here is the desire of climate change paranoia to remove people from the car. To remove freedom from them. All on an argument that everything other than time, has essentially solved.

                  One way of taxing travel could be as a per Km levy based on the number of humans in the car. The more people the less the levy per km. Smart car obviously. Maybe a discount for pet owners taking the dog to the park. Maybe higher Levis in certain places, or times of day. Encourage wise use of the car. Banning it will result in revolution.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    We have a completely new argument when one or both are EV without emissions.

                    No we don’t. Private vehicles are still less efficient and cost more. On a per person basis:

                    They use more resources to make.
                    They use up more, very limited, space for both travelling and for parking.
                    They use up more time as they use up more drivers.
                    They require more mechanics.
                    They require more charging stations.
                    They require more rubber for the tyres.
                    They create more congestion which loses even more time.

                    Private vehicles have always been highly expensive. It’s why only the rich could have them throughout the centuries.

                    Through the teachings of economics we’ve come to the delusional belief that if we just make more cars they get cheaper. They don’t. They still cost the same amount and that is significantly more than public transport especially when you add in all the extra costs.

                    We never thought economically about cars. We just wanted everyone to have them and it seemed to work. The more cars there were the more mechanics needed, the more fuel was used producing even more employment and all the rest and all of it produced more profit.

                    And there we have the proof that the profit drive brings about the worst possible result. More profit = more resources being used.

                    • DJ Ward

                      Its not without some losses or sacrifices.

                      The argument could apply to toasters. You could toast bread in many ways. The toaster using electric power like an EV car uses resources. A community toaster would be more efficient, resources, space, and even vs one user toasters everywhere. You don’t actually need to toast bread.

                      So since everything has that argument, and there is nothing that doesn’t have its losses or sacrifices, it’s not about harm of cars.

                      It’s about what cars give to improve the lives of people. How much inevitable loss and harm we can acept. The best we can aim for, with the biggest positive change is conversion to EV as its the easiest win for today’s political enviroment.

                      Ethiopia goes, what do we desperately need. A: A great big hydro dam for energy security. Say $5 billion. Hardly a dent in Nationals borrowing.

                      Jacinda, hyperthetical scenerio.

                      Labour has announced a 1 off investment. The investment is for a factory to create an affordable, safe 4 door EV. The production line allowing a few uprade options. The factory, like the railways did will help train apprentice engineers, electricians, technicians. The steel and Ali will be NZ made.
                      The factory will then expand into retrofitting kits for an existing ICE SUV, Ute, van, truck. Also rebuild kits, parts for the EV we produce.
                      Labour acknowledges we can’t compete with foriegn companies and the aim is only 5% of car trade. While crown purchases can be a good part of that we expect good sales. The aim is that numbers of this car build over years until the Buisiness becomes self susianing. Off shout maintenance companies etc.

                      The government accepts that subsidies will be required for a number of years. However economic activity and taxation returns fron that activity should cover costs. The enviroment and social gains from our current behavour is large. Large family friendly apartment complexes built near the factory will be made available to the workers.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      A community toaster would be more efficient, resources, space, and even vs one user toasters everywhere.

                      Unlikely as it would require more time.

                      You don’t actually need to toast bread.

                      How else are you going to get toast?

                      So since everything has that argument, and there is nothing that doesn’t have its losses or sacrifices, it’s not about harm of cars.

                      You’re just trying to build up a strawman argument because you can’t refute mine.

                      We’re talking economics and the economics tells us that we can’t afford cars. We can afford toasters.

                      It’s about what cars give to improve the lives of people.

                      They don’t.

                      That’s a large part of the argument against them. Using public transport removes the stress of actually owning a car:

                      The best we can aim for, with the biggest positive change is conversion to EV as its the easiest win for today’s political enviroment.

                      No, that’s not the best we can hope for. That’s about the worst we can hope for. Cars are expensive and highly stressful.

                    • DJ Ward

                      Absolutely correct that the birth of our modern consumerism has major events like the introduction of cars. Only a century ago there was virtually no cars on the planet. It’s had major effects on people’s lives. The distance they travel in there lives. The least free being a prisoner in 24 hour lockdown.
                      How do I go where I want, for what ever reason I want, when I want, carrying anything legal that I want to carry. Including children who’s freedom is taken from them too.

                      If the car cost us money and we didn’t get something in return then we wouldn’t use them. Many of us have no choice about using cars because of where we live.

                      Personally I buy used cars that are efficient fuel wise. Pay around $4,000 and get an extra 200,000 km out of it. Selling it to the Recycling industry when I’ve finished with it. So it’s cheap per km.

                      How do remove cheap? It’s like physics. We know it’s possible to build very cheap cars, and pay taxes that build the roads. Physics is something that’s hard to ignore.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      How do I go where I want, for what ever reason I want, when I want, carrying anything legal that I want to carry. Including children who’s freedom is taken from them too.

                      1. Nobody’s freedom is taken from them. That’s just a lie.
                      2. Public transport

                      Pay around $4,000 and get an extra 200,000 km out of it. Selling it to the Recycling industry when I’ve finished with it. So it’s cheap per km.

                      And public transport is cheaper.

                      That’s the bit that you don’t seem to be understanding.

                      Owning a car is expensive. Public transport is cheaper.

                      How do remove cheap?

                      Private motor vehicles aren’t cheap. You believing so is part of the delusion that you’ve been sold over the decades.

                      It’s like physics. We know it’s possible to build very cheap cars, and pay taxes that build the roads. Physics is something that’s hard to ignore.

                      Physics is something that you cannot ignore but you’re doing your best to do so.

                      Cars aren’t cheap – ever.

                      We cannot build them cheaply. A tonne of material is a tonne of material and it represents all the labour and machinery that went into producing it.
                      We cannot support them cheaply. The added labour costs are a problem.
                      Running them costs us in many ways. Congestion, ill-health (and not just from pollution), and other forms of unnecessary death.

                      You’re ignoring all of these very real, very physical points to hold on to your hope that the private motor car isn’t finished when it obviously is.

          • McFlock

            When we shift to EV cars your argument is irrelevant. Unless the bus is full it’s not like they are efficient vs a car.

            Given that we’re unlikely to transition to EV by February, what’s your argument against getting people out of fossil cars and onto buses this February via free public transportation?

            Currently, in my region buses barely compete with fossil cars from a price perspective, even with parking charges included. Make it free and fill the buses.

            • DJ Ward

              Nothing’s free. How you getting the money for this. We all have to make a contribution in some form of tax or currency devaluation.

              Maybe the next question would be if it was “free”, would the use dramatically increase. Or would the costs dramatically increase due to new demand. I’m struggling with this free thing becoming so free the taxpayer has no freedom left.

              • McFlock

                Dude, it’s a month. If it works, it’ll lower traffic congestion, lower emissions, lower infrastructure costs, boost economic activity, and help us work towards deserving our “clean&green” global brand.

                The penalty for failure is… probably less than a flag referendum. Wellington currently spends about $4mil a month on the subsidy, so if it’s 50% that’s 4mil additional costs for a free feb for Wellington. I figure larger sum for auckland, smaller sums elsewhere, CHCH is already very cheap.

                If you can show that it’d cost like a billion dollars even if it didn’t increase patronage, you might have a point. Until then, I’ll ignore your cries of tyranny.

        • greywarshark

          Cripes don’t go on Ed. Saving the planet is one thing held in one hand. Keeping NZ going and transport running so people can get where they want to be is another. The two hands can see each other, are communicating, but must keep separate until they can combine on one project satisfactorily then another. It won’t be seamless, but it can work. Wanting and demanding instant change won’t serve the people. You want to save the planet and possibly the people; they want to get to work so they have food and rent for the next few days and are able to make small plans for their future.

      • Gabby 3.2.2

        You mean employers jocks? Good luck with that.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        The users do – through rates.

  4. Andre 4

    I think we should all take a moment to celebrate Nancy Pelosi’s re-ascension to the House Speakership. Two geologic eras after she first took the gavel.

    • DJ Ward 4.1

      I like your all comment. Even Trump is celebrating.

      • joe90 4.1.1

        Pelosi’s second in line to succeed to the presidency.

        • DJ Ward


          • joe90

            Pence is first in line.

            • DJ Ward

              While a guy Trumps age could fall over at any time with a heart attack I can imagine the best lifesaving gear is always somewhere nearby. Plus apart from his weight he has had a very clean living life. Apart from wild women which is actually healthy until you apply our sexist veiw of red blooded males, and patriarchy veiw of relationship responsibility (oh no I said Patriarchy like it exists. Ms Ford will be proud of me, agreeing with her. It harms men) and the psycological harms men experience. The other option is he gets a diagnoses with a short life expectancy which is common at his age. Generally that’s at least a few years warning. Or at least the medical professionals could keep him going long enough. I however think Trump will be enjoying being president so much he will refuse to die.

              The Darth Vader conspiracy theory.

    • One Two 4.2

      Celebrate that…


    • bwaghorn 4.3

      I heard a snippet all she babbled is how great the middle classes are and how those who arnt should aspire to be . Fuck your fat lazy middle classes I like it down here.

      • Andre 4.3.1

        Oh good. Coz the way things are going, that space will continue to stay there or even go a little further down. Be ready for a lot more people coming to join you, tho.

        Pelosi’s not one for big visions and ideas and strategies, her talents are in the tactics and maneuvers to get an inch here and another inch there. But fuck me, she is damn good at that tactical stuff.

  5. joe90 5

    Breaking!. The right has outed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    • Sacha 5.1

      Teen dancing is the devil’s work, sir!
      We’ve all seen Footloose ..

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.1

        How does one “act” like the clueless nitwit one is?
        Surely being ones self isn’t acting.

    • Morrissey 5.2

      You’ll be buying into it, Joe? Like you buy into the demonization of Russia.

    • DJ Ward 5.3

      I don’t see anything wrong with having a bit of fun. Good on her.

      The right should just stick to reporting on her insane thinking, as criticism of her very natural personality and charm will backfire.

    • greywarshark 5.4

      Gosh this commie thing seems fun. Lead me to it.

    • OnceWasTim 5.5

      Given the above, I think maybe we need a Phil Ure to ride in on a moped and mediate.

      Ain’t The Standard the most brill thing you ever stumbled on?!
      Filled with a broad church with so many desperados doing their best to push back (often on shift work it seems), the truly dedicated, the spray and walk aways, and the politically connected elite as well as the frustrated disconnected from all.

      Fucking wonderful!

      • Gabby 5.5.1

        Must we join the UreNation extimbo?

      • greywarshark 5.5.2

        Oh the wonder, the rapture!

        • OnceWasTim

          Either @ greywarshark, or @Gabby, or others (Robert Guyton maybe),:

          I’m semi-interested to know whether Pete George – aka the beige badger – and aka a few other things is the same Dunedin (area-based) fella that once stood for Council and was in a past life someone that amounts to a software salesman?

          Anyone that can confirm my suspicion, I’ll give Pete a reality TV show with Him as host (though I can’t guarantee the producers won’t want to dress him in once of those short-sleeved safari/liesure suits).
          If it’s THAT Pete George, it’ll probably explain to me why people like Lprent know him as being such a wanker

          • Robert Guyton

            Hi Once Was Tim – firstly, Phil Ure – Phil visited me here in Riverton some years ago; he was touring the country along with his 3 beautiful, vegan dogs. He’s a lovely man, with a kind heart and a wicked sense of humour. I loved his on-blog work, especially his use of ellipses, something others seemed to struggle with…
            The description you give of the beige-one sounds accurate to me. He stood as the UnitedFuture candidate in that area and those other descriptions seem fitting. I think he wears such suits as a matter of every-day-wear, keeping the pith helmet for special nights-out at the local milk bar, but that might just be supposition/speculation :-).

            • OnceWasTim

              Yep @ Robert. It’d be 30 or 40 years ago that I met Phil in passing – my brother more his vintage but what I remember of him is as you say (kind heart and wicked sense of humour). These days, a friend of a friend kind of thing.
              Re PG. mmm OK i t figures, and fits with my various prejudices.

      • bwaghorn 5.5.3

        Mr ure there’s a man for a rant lots of energy in a ball of fury . Wore the mods out daily . Miss you phill

        • OnceWasTim

          As it happens, so do I. I have a lot of admiration for people that (not sure how to put it but…..) stay clean using whatever God or belief system they hold dear.
          Too many good people have fallen while too many complete wankers prosper and reek/wreak havoc

    • McFlock 5.6

      For as little as a dollar a day, you can help give a dour monomaniac a sense of humour. An open-minded perspective, actually thinking about someone else’s comment before criticising their political inadequacy, a fresh appreciation of irony, even letting an unrelated thread go by without mentioning Russia, all of these basic abilities are sadly out of reach of the humour-impaired.

      Please, help change the world. End everyone else’s suffering. Bring humour to those most in need. Your dollar will go towards dictionaries, study materials on identifying when humour might be occurring, and crowbars to help extract the heads of the most deprived from out of their own arseholes.

  6. soddenleaf 6

    So democrats finally have power in Washington… …theyhare too blame for Trump not using Congress to pay for the wall?!? a wall Mexico was supposed to. So now Democrats are either going to let migrants in or pay for a wall, like the media is so gormless backing all the fake news for trump. Do they honest believe anyone dares if the wall isn’t extended….

    • DJ Ward 6.1

      The Democrates are powerless. They only have 1 of the 4 branches. The house vs the senate, president, Supreme Court. Anything the do will be blocked in the Senate.

      Backing the fake news for Trump. Didn’t get that?

      • soddenleaf 6.1.1

        Yes, no.. …The press too. If they had a free press they’d be running scare stories abround two years of federal shutdown. How, for example, business can’t get passports and other federal docs…

        ..but the press ain’t free, that’s why every story is Trump said this or that irrelevent thing, that swings markets artificially, landing someone a bonanza.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Could you image the screams of communism and revenue gathering if the government tried this here?

    NYC marks 5th straight year of declining traffic deaths

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is touting the reductions as a victory in the city’s Vision Zero plan, which involved lowering speed limits, redesigning streets and upping enforcement of traffic laws.

    All the things that, from what I can make out from their insistence on MOAR ROADS, their preference for higher speeds and insisting that speed cameras are for revenue gathering, National is against.

  8. Morrissey 8

    Latest Daisycutter Sports Inc. series off to a rocky start

    Our new series, entitled They gave that a**hole a KNIGHTHOOD?!!?? got under way this morning on Kiwiblog. Unfortunately our friends over there took to it like a cat to water, and it was soon “disappeared.”

    But, oh my friends, and ah! my foes, it is still alive and viewable here….

  9. greywarshark 9

    And they claimed Musk’s statements were “imaginative attacks” which were protected by US free speech laws. Expressions of opinion are protected under Californian law….

    In a statement to Business Insider, Wood said: “Mr. Musk does not let the facts or law get in the way of his novel but inaccurate contentions in his motion to dismiss…

    Vern Unsworth is one of the cave divers who helped in the effort this summer to rescue 12 Thai boys and their football coach from a network of caves in Thailand, where they had been stranded thanks to floodwater…

    After the rescue, Unsworth appeared on CNN and dismissed Elon Musk’s mini-submarine, stating that the Tesla CEO could “stick his submarine where it hurts.” He criticised the plan as a PR stunt.

    This prompted Musk to describe Unsworth a “pedo guy” baselessly on Twitter. He later apologised and deleted the original tweet, but then revived the feud in August by asking why Unsworth hadn’t sued him yet. He then doubled down on his original pedophile comments in an email to BuzzFeed, suggesting Unsworth was a “child rapist”, again without offering proof.

    Unsworth then sued for libel.

    When you look at the simplest diagram of the cave situation you can see that the
    submarine idea should have been sunk from the first. But when you are super rich no-one should stop you elbowing your way to the front for selfies and such.

  10. The Chairman 10

    Some food for thought.

    How Singapore Fixed Its Housing Problem

    • Ed 10.1

      Thank you.
      So the first thing that needs to happen is to get rid of any foreign control and then have a nationalistic and proactive socialist government.
      And a philosophy that puts the needs of the collective above the rights of the individual.
      Agree with all of this.

      • The Chairman 10.1.1

        Labour’s shortcoming to totally exclude or discourage offshore demand is counterproductive to building up net housing supply.

    • DJ Ward 10.2

      You can see in this long term graph how home ownership reacts to some events in history in NZ.

      So I’m seeing the end of WW1, Great Depression, Labours first housing policy, WW2, introduction of cars and TV etc, Lange government, 1987 crash, Debt driven housing. Placing home ownership rates as the intention of policy would be a big winner for Labour. Just a labour did in the thirties. They used the options available to them.

      Options are building up by adding high rises at the town centres and boardering industrial parks. State run first home financing, increasing intensified rural housing based on small block enterprise. Fruits, vegetables, livestock, flowers, hemp, oil crops, stock feed, pay to visit private enterprise parks, etc.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        Urban Development Agency legislation is draftwd and ready to ge introduced after Easter.

        it wont be Singapore-authoritarian but it sure will do highrise.

    • greywarshark 10.3

      Singapore has been tightly regulated for decades. I would imagine that those high rise places didn’t develop cracks shortly after they were completed. They need to build high because they are small. Abour four or five stories is fairly satisfactory for general housing including family units. It is very isolating being high up in tower blocks, and the elevators are conduits that can become congested or foul, or mechanically faulty or vandalised. Steps down are a chore, but up may be like climbing a mountain for the mid to upper floors.

      • Bruce 10.3.1

        Look at South Horizons Hong Kong , maps or Wikipedia over 30,000 people in small space , but good walking spaces, nice outlook and generally good living, in my opinion , I would have no problem living in such a development.

        • greywarshark

          Good for you Bruce. But not so good for families who get bunged up in them. There are very bad reports of the results in Britain. They are effective for parcelling up individuals and childless couples though, and enable living near the job if working in the city.

  11. Andre 11

    Why Bernie won’t be prez: he might not be an actual Bernie Bro but he sure as shit has no clue how to deal with them and the problems they cause.

    • joe90 11.1

      he might not be an actual Bernie Bro

      1972 sez he’s the original.

      • Andre 11.1.1

        He seems to have learned something since then. Dunno whether it’s an actual attitude adjustment, or just to keep some things to himself.

        • Ad

          im struggling to cheer for any Dem in the likely Pres nomination field.
          some for having had their shot, some for inexperience and lack of muscle, some for humourless idealism.

          hopefully it winnows quickly after the Trump family indictments.

          • Andre

            Of the current lot, my first pick is Harris, then O’Rourke, then Klobuchar, then Brown. Sadly, there’s no next Obama there.

            None of them are likely to satisfy the purity moonbats, either. But if Sanders had had a full workover from a motivated opponent, there’s plenty in his background that should have put off the purity moonbats as well.

  12. Sabine 12

    cause the speaker is a lady
    and we are all buckled in for the ride

  13. Hell yáll arguin’ about?

    Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins – Cotton – YouTube

  14. Pat 14

    3rd worlds inability to adapt to climate change.

    “A near absence of inflows into the valley’s two major dams – Split Rock and Keepit – in the past 18 months has resulted in Keepit Dam storage falling below 1 per cent of capacity and ceasing releases,” he said.

    The final release from Keepit Dam into the Lower Namoi was some 30km from Walgett and “there is some likelihood it could reach the town in the next eight to 12 days”.

    • Exkiwiforces 14.1

      Walgett isn’t the only place in a crap place atm IRT water. There is a wee town in the Hunter Valley Region that has about 5% of usable water left and the scary thing is that the Hunter Region doesn’t usually get affected by drought. If this drought keeps going it’s current course it well start affecting other regions and towns etc that don’t usually get affected by drought.

      Here in Darwin we have had the driest December since 1991 where we should at least 400mm plus atm and the temperatures in central Australia nudging the high 40’s! Out west in the Iron Belt some areas are hitting above 50 degrees.

        • Exkiwiforces

          Penny did affected us in Darwin when it was in Gulf as it suck all the moisture to the east which resulted In dry westerly winds instead of our northerly winds which brings the monsoon rains.

          Depending on how Penny tracks atm and what Cat it is once hit land. It could dump a lot of rain in the channel country which feeds in the Darling and Lake Eyre Basins. There is a good chance would swing through the parts of western, southern/ sout east parts of Qld. Before heading back through northern NSW in a South easterly direction the prevailing winds in the greater of Australia go from west to east hence all the heat waves across the eastern/ southern parts of Oz atm.

      • Pat 14.1.2

        begs the question what happens as the glaciers disappear around the world?

        • Exkiwiforces

          Yes that’s an interesting question Pat?

          The other question is what happens when the Tropical Areas failed to get their annual Monsoon rains over a extended period and the effect of water and food security? No Cocoa, coffee, tea and rice etc.

      • te reo putake 14.2.1

        Apropos of nothing, many years ago, I spent a couple of weeks weeding cotton fields in Collarenebri, a town near Walgett. The temps also got into the 40’s most days. After a while, I got acclimatised and would put on a jersey when it dropped into the thirties. Great memories of swimming in the Barwon with Koori kids. Learned a hell of lot about the life of aboriginal people from that experience. It started on day one, when the boss of the weeding gang told that there were two boozers in town. The RSL for ‘us whites’, the pub for the blacks. I’ve no idea what the RSL was like, but the pub was friendly as hell.

        • Exkiwiforces

          The RSL and/ or sports clubs were and are still today to some degree in some small country towns are a close shop/ tight run organisations. You probably could throw in the old CWA and that’s one organisation you don’t want to upset or get offside with.

          When as local Pub/s were and are still a fun place to find some real characters whatever your race, colour, religion you are. Called into a outback QLD pub in the GAFA and finding old Bob Katter holding court with a well known black fella from the Labor Party who’s tribe comes from that area and that was an interesting day to say the least which coved a lot of tropics.

      • Pat 14.2.2

        “It may be more technical than that. But we need to ensure in the future that there is back up for these unforeseen circumstances.”

        from your link.

        Id suggest these circumstances are anything but ‘unforeseen’…..except by the deluded

        • Exkiwiforces

          It’s the gap between a good growing season and bad season getting smaller with the droughts getting longer and starting to effect areas/ regions that normally or don’t get effected by drought which is starting to scare/ concern everyone atm.

          The last big drought summit in Canberra late last year, there is now some serious talk about abandoning/ retire areas to farming and in other areas change the way they growing crops and farming stock. Which both have cross party/ bench, CSIRO (like the old NZ DSIR) and NFF.

          • greywarshark

            I guess you have seen the vids that I put up about Australia and the extremely hard work put in by an old guy on water trapping after rain to stop it running away, so that there was always water running on his property wet or drought. His neighbours didn’t like him, the politicians hedged, and finally a Korean mining company bought up his neighbours properties for a coal mine. It still works but these farmers and their at-bottomed, thick-headed sales reps in government like to ignore anything new that could help.

            This from USA? Permaculture that WtB put up. Damned clever, well thought out and each property needs its own plan I think. But once they know what to look for and methods, many of these poor beggars with smaller operations could improve. I wonder how many of the big runs went out and planted groves of trees with safety fences around them.
            Once you get some basic areas going they can self-seed.


            • greywarshark

              Hey found the Great Australian Conquering Drought Story.

              How Peter Andrews rejuvenates drought-struck land | Australian Story

              ABC News (Australia) Published on Oct 29, 2018

              Is “natural sequence farming” the secret to restoring our water-starved continent? For more than a decade, two farmers have shown that parched landscapes can be revived. And finally, Canberra’s listening.

              Australian Story explores the potential solution to Australia’s drought crisis.

              Read more here:

              (One comment that was interesting:
              This same phenomenon of water retention and land rejuvenation was observed in the USA when beavers were reintroduced to parts of the country where they had been wiped out by fur trapping 100 years prior. The beavers build dams of wood and mud to create habitat they can live in and as in this documentary, the land could hold water again and desert became oasis.)

              And a comment from Wethe Bleeple – Note how this useful stuff we are collecting is immediately seen to be applicable if noted and used by those struggling. This is what we can do good in, apart from anything physical we might tackle. Be a repository for the numerous good keen men and women who think, research, present possible practical systems and are go-to people for those not wanting to wait for the fat-bottomed politicians, and I’m not talking about Queen’s song.)

              WeTheBleeple 34.1
              13 December 2018 at 7:56 am

              “63% increase in production in the hydrated portion of the valley”.

              That’s something Farmers can understand loud and clear. Now imagine having the advantage of plenty of water without the public outcry.
              Probably worth doing.

              Keyline systems. Swales and ponds. Or stream works like above. The options are interchangeable and have the same goals.

              Keyline is amazing, and the yeomans plow something of a legend. I’ll get into that before too long plenty of our farmers would already know about subsurface ripping. But how many know they can push water towards their ridges using it?

              • greywarshark

                Natural Sequence Farming is apparently the name given to this managed water harvesting system. There are two books Back from the Brink, and Beyond the Brink.
                Place – Malloon Creek, Bungendore NSW


                Link showing some diagrams of how it works.

                A Christmas and New Year greeting for 2019 from the man still going.

              • Exkiwiforces

                I first heard about this bloke and what he was doing, when the ABC’s Landline did an article before it appeared on Australia Story and I thought this is cool, then I started to wonder this is so simple why the heck other farmers haven’t taken this up. Having been posted to Canberra in the past, it can get very hot and dry during summer and bloody cold and very dry during winter with a bit of rain or snow. Had have I known about the tours conducted at this farm I would’ve pop over the hill and payed a visit.

            • Pat

              when i saw that I wondered if it was this fella id read about….its not.


              • greywarshark

                That blows me away. How great. How can we get started in NZ? It is exciting when he says it could start and be effective within a few years. And the Right Livelihood Awards – Nobel alternative – perhaps even more noble, now those are something to take an interest in. There is a whole world of activism out there with go-ahead people whose brains haven’t been milk-fed for too long.

                The root system of the chopped down trees remained alive under the ground – Rinaudo describes it as an “underground forest” – it just needed to be pruned and allowed to grow.

                “Nature would heal itself, you just needed to stop hammering it.”

                Thirty years on, his technique – he describes it as akin to pruning a grape vine back to just one or two stems each season – has a name, farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR). It is, Rinaudo says, an “embarrassingly simple solution” to what appeared to be an intractable problem.

                But it involved overturning generations of accepted wisdom, and a resistance to giving some land back to nature.

                That is what the Australian man Peter Andrews has found. He was doing things that were the opposite of what their Ministry was advising I think.

                I think I’ll have to start paying The Guardian to some extent. They are producing enough things that are of value.

  15. Eco Maori 15

    It give Eco Maori A sore face to see our buisness leader are starting to see the reality in what we will leave te mokopunas if we don’t change the way we live our lives to combat human caused climate change. Yes we need ALL our buisness leaders to join in and make changes to the way we think and live. Also I thank all the people who have been fighting climate change deniers now and the last 30 years we are winning finally.

    I was a late convert to being a climate change leader for business, and I’m not alone
    All this is positive. Many business leaders are taking a strong personal interest and leadership. For myself I admit to being a late convert to the need for such action and to according it a high priority. The fact that I am not alone in that is no excuse, and the best I can do is not compound the mistake by continuing with it.
    As in so many areas of social change it is those at the edge who drive it. The activists who are so often derided but are later seen to have been prescient. As business adopts the talk and increasingly the walk of facing climate change we do well to remember this, and value activism not simply as a past warning bell but as a present and future monitor, prodder and if necessary – enforcer of action To those activists I say keep up the pressure. Do not rely on business to continue the progress itself. We in business have many competing pressures and influences. We are easily swayed. Our current positions are determined strongly by how our communities of investors, consumers, employees, suppliers and voters think and act.
    If their views show any wavering it would be very foolish to expect business to keep up the fight.
    Many business colleagues will not welcome me saying this but it is also true that legal instruction is required. We in business all like to talk of freedom to act but mostly this is about our own freedom to act as we see fit.
    We are not slow to seek legal protection when it suits us or when the actions of others do not suit us. Similarly most businesses or people do not object to paying taxes at some level (usually lower than whatever is their current level) The successful reaction to climate change will dramatically impact what we do and how we do it. Much will be destroyed and much will be created.
    The important thing is that it is not the planet which is destroyed, and that a system where people can prosper together is created. That will include thriving businesses.
    Best be quick about it.
    Rob Campbell is chairman of SkyCity, Tourism Holdings, Summerset and Wel Group.
    Ka kite ano links below

  16. Eco Maori 16

    The Racism in Aotearoa is built into the system over 200 years these old white men who have a war going on against Eco Maori think all maori are savages and should be locked up in jail .
    ‘I didn’t take the easy way’: Curtis Cheng’s son on fighting hate with tolerance
    Suffering the reality of extremism has made Alpha Cheng more determined to stand up to racism. He reflects on his father’s murder, Fraser Anning’s speech and the close Muslim friend who helped him through his darkest hour .Three years after the worst day of his life, Alpha Cheng picks his words with care.
    The 31-year old schoolteacher speaks out – sometimes. He talks about what he knows: racism, his friends and what happened to his father. In October 2015, Curtis Cheng was leaving work at Parramatta police station when he was shot and killed by a 15-year-old boy claiming to act for Islamic State.
    In the years since, there have been trials, inquests and people telling Cheng – in what they think is a compliment – that they could not have done what he has done. In 2016, he wrote to Pauline Hanson and told her to stop using his father’s death to attack Muslim migration. This year, after senator Fraser Anning called for a return to the White Australia policy, he did the same.
    “If anyone should be spiteful at Muslims, many would say that it would be me,” he wrote.

    Curtis Cheng’s son calls for end to political ‘scapegoating’ of Muslims
    Read more “If anyone should be spiteful at Muslims, many would say that it would be me,” he wrote.

    Curtis Cheng’s son calls for end to political ‘scapegoating’ of Muslims
    Read more

    “[But] I am tired of needing to explain to adults that the actions of these individuals cannot be attributed to an entire group of people.”
    One of his closest friends, Qais Mohammed, is a Muslim. They became friends the same way anyone does in late-stage university life – a friend of a friend needed a housemate.
    They discovered they had done the same course at uni, and were big history buffs, both nerds who liked to talk about ancient geopolitics.

    “[But] I am tired of needing to explain to adults that the actions of these individuals cannot be attributed to an entire group of people.” Ka kite ano links below.

  17. Eco Maori 17

    I” OUR Tangata Whenua of Australia have it a lot harder than Tangata Whenua O Aotearoa but there still is ingrained raceisem in the NZ systems.

  18. Eco Maori 18

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute.

    • greywarshark 18.1

      I wish that some of the thoughtful people who come here would respond to eco maori. He is full of thoughts and trying to work out ideas in his mind and I think would like a few comments to bounce off. He is trying hard to work out how to go about things, view things, move forward holding on to the good past etc. Stream of consciousness stuff I think, but you get that as you start digging deep into your head and joining up random thoughts. Writing them down gives them form.

      Finding out how different people think, it gives a rounded picture of them, sometimes a bit different than you imagine.

  19. Eco Maori 19

    Kia ora Newshub The fire risk is very high with the wet spring and the temputres spiking fast becareful people fires can get out of control real fast.
    All the people around trump look like they are very nervous.
    Chrismas puts a big strain of a lot of people and there realationships I see it all the time we need to give to the poor hear and overseas that would be a great socity .
    That was the old maori way was one gave and tryed to give the best to the neighbours and needy a beautiful system.
    Bill Connelly is a great man who is handling his problems very well kia kaha.
    The Popup globe Theatre for Aotearoa storys and actors in the Theatre is going great in Australia it looks well run all the best to everyone in the team making it run smovely there are a lot of maori storys to chose from .
    Ka kite ano

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  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    13 hours ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    2 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    2 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    4 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    6 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    1 week ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    3 weeks ago

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