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Open mike 04/09/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 4th, 2019 - 80 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

80 comments on “Open mike 04/09/2019 ”

  1. Ad 1

    All the best to the government today in their relaunch of Kiwibuild.

    A very interesting test for the new Minister.

    • SPC 1.1

      While more state houses is the priority (greatest need) there are budget cost barriers to this being the sole emphasis.

      Kiwi Build is limited by lack of demand – how many first home buyers are there and how many of them can afford new homes?

      They can fix this by extending it to those whose first home is a flat or apartment and who intend to start a family – equity into a first family home. Also rent to buy and shared equity (debt is cheap and people are paying the money back – so the cost is an asset in the books) – which gets around people struggling to get a deposit together.

      They should also consider

      1. those unsold being used as emergency housing for those on state house waiting lists

      2. the empty nesters looking to downsize before they retire (but these should be considered only if there is not sufficient uptake from first family home buyers – behind them the landlord class).

      • Siobhan 1.1.1

        Or they could say…

        "KiwiBuild buyers of studio and one-bedroom homes will be able to sell or rent their property after one year instead of three.".

        .so not really a Home..more a nice opportunity for investors, who may well be couples who then want to move on to a family home. However what is even the point of the government encouraging this sort of thing? How is this helping anyone struggling to find secure housing? How is this recalibration an out of control housing market.

        This is simply stoking the fire of NZers obsession with making money via property….

  2. Rapunzel 2

    There are two of us older folk who can't see how this is right, I haven't re-watched it having seen it last night but there seemed to be "reasons", rather than need, that means tax payer monies are off, eventually, to various people's pockets from housing.

    While there will be cases that are genuinely deserving the principal and immediate aim looks to be retain a home and preserve as much capital in it to hand out in your will.

    Specific steps look to have been taken to achieve eligibility for a housing benefit. How many of these "arrangements" either similar to this, or via trusts to retain property ownership, are there that keep tax payer funding away from the most vulnerable NZers?

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/meet-papamoa-pensioner-rebelling-against-mortgage-free-mindset

    • aj 2.1

      Yes that was a curious item. Not enough information to make is possible to deduce exactly what other options were available to this person as his circumstances changed in the last few years. I suspect a range of options, which would not have needed housing assistance.

      The principle of needing to be mortgage free at retirement, if at all possible, should still be the goal for all New Zealanders. This will not be impossible for a large cohort both today and into the future.

      • Rapunzel 2.1.1

        I agree after watching that item it was possible to concoct a number of ways to make that something some people would choose to do over what most only think of and that is to rid themsleves of the mortgage.

        We live in Tauranga and have witnessed a number of ways that those in the building sector used their access to "land" that was more than the normal plot "size" to maximise gain, pre there being any curbs on that, and how a "family" situation was exercised to exploit it. In short a lot of "young" people have "built" and sold property since 2015-16 or have occupancy and/or ownership, pending possible sale.

        This has probably given people ideas, and also trusts pre elders moving to rest homes is another way that the tax payer can be funding some people's "inheritances".

  3. so..helen clark has confirmed (on rnz/m-report) that she was unable to move on reforming cannabis laws in 2002/05 gummints – 'cos they both had a coalition agreement insisting on no reform –

    this at the insistance of peter (fucken) dunne..

    let's not forget that fact..eh..?

    and maybe the next time the media wheel him out as some elder-statesman/expert on cannabis – he could be asked about that..?

    and of course clark is gilding the lily somewhat here..

    as she didn't have to go with that toe-rag..

    she shafted the greens – remember..?

    'history' is such a moveable feast – isn't it..?

    • Jimmy 3.1

      Why do these people keep coming out of the woodwork? Both Peter and Helen should disappear from the public eye. They both left politics.

    • Peter Christchurh nz 3.2

      Yep, Dunne is a repulsive creature. I well remember the time he even said there was no way whatsoever even medicinal use of cannabis would be considered, EVEN IF THE EVIDENCE SUPPORTED IT.

      Classic stupidity from a classically stupid little man.

    • bwaghorn 3.3

      Old dunny had to clear the way for his sons synthetic drugs imports . Lest we forget.

      • phillip ure 3.3.1

        yep..!..his cynicism is/was breathtaking…

        and now he dares to come out and fucken pontificate on the subject..

        and the media afford him gravitas..?

        (i’m looking at you – radio new zealand – you of all people – should bloody well know better…eh..?

        just-stop-it..!..)

    • McFlock 3.4

      Anderton was also a bit of a dick about drugs, as I recall.

    • marty mars 3.5

      I agree about the selective memory. She made her choice and it was known.

  4. another interesting historical-fact that came out of morning report..during a discussion on kiwibuild..

    is that post ww2 – facing a similar crisis from returning soldiers needing housing –

    nz built 10,000 state houses a year..

    the obvious question being – why the fck can't we do that now..?

    and an obvious answer would have to be that curse of neoliberal incrementalism – which is the philosophical-under-pinning of this govt..

    and why does every ‘fix’ from them have at least a year to wait before they happen..?

    the latest example being the (so-called) crack down on the money-lenders…

    the usury they practice will be curtailed a bit (but not until next yr..(!)

    what the fuck is up with that..?

    • WeTheBleeple 4.1

      The illusion of change: Put a future time stamp on promises and hope they are forgotten as the news cycle changes multiple times before the dates hit.

      • phillip ure 4.1.1

        there is some truth in what you say..

        • phillip ure 4.1.1.1

          and of course the apogee of that delayed-gratification tactic from labour was their first announcement of free uni-study..

          dunno if ppl remember – but that first iteration of this – the policy was to kick in in their second term of gummint..

          we had to elect and re-elect them first..

          at the time i remember falling on the floor – laughing at their cheek/nerve..

          and wondering if they could top that..

    • There were a couple of OK suggestions coming in on MR feedback this morning @ Mr Ure.

      Things like standard pre-consented designs (which would have to have a variety of foundation types associated with them depending of terrain/geology etc.)

      But also things like prefabrication, modular designs, council control-freakery over things like tiny homes, container homes, etc.

      But you know ………. "Rome wasn't built in a day". It'll need an "emergency" rather than a "crisis" probably. On one of my regular jaunts north, I did notice how quickly new housing sprang up around Waiouru Army base not so long ago.

      • phillip ure 4.2.1

        yep..!..and it is all do-able..

        all it takes is the political will to make it happen…

        waiting….waiting…

      • Adrian 4.2.2

        I think the critical thing was that mum and dad paid only 20 or 25 % of dads income for his State Advances loan for a new house in 1946 as limited by law. It was a quinea a week or 21 shillings and when they eventually paid it off 30 years later it was still only $2.20 cents a week.

        It had only 3 power points, an attached but " öutside "toilet, with night cart collection for the first few years, it was 1954 before the street was tarsealed , 2 bedrooms and a "sunroom ", no insulation ( in the SI at that ) and only 62 sq metres, about the size of a double bedroom these days. OMG, how would a snowflake millenial cope with such appalling conditions now. They were just so proud and glad they had a house. Before the war it was almost impossible to get such a thing as a mortgage. The section cost 80 pounds, the house 450 pounds, and his pay was 5 pounds about the same as 80% of the population and the whole lot cost 106 weeks gross pay. Try doing that today, the equivilant would be about 600 weeks pay.

        And more importantly the Govt of the day did not have to cope with every permanently aggravated dickhead who could climb on a social media soapbox berating everything they tried to do.

        • OnceWasTim 4.2.2.1

          Ah yep ….. thems were the days eh? Me dear ole dad used to have to walk five miles to school everyday, and five miles home again. We were lucky to have shoes when I was a kid, and when we did, mum would have to put cardboard in them when the soles wore out.

          Oh how things have improved with the advent of consumerism and the cheap imported multi-plug box. (as it happens, I'm just reconditioning one in between comments)

          But yep, I do take your point.

          • alwyn 4.2.2.1.1

            "Me dear ole dad used to have to walk ……".

            He lived in very easy times didn't he? My dad had to walk 10 miles uphill to school and another 10 miles uphill on the return trip. That was while he milked 90 cows both before and after school. He then did his homework by the light of a candle. They bred 'em tough in those days.

            • Cricklewood 4.2.2.1.1.1

              hmm reminds me of something my Gran used to say… 'when men were men and woman chopped the firewood' she was a tough nut bringing up a bunch of kids in the back of Apiti…

          • Dukeofurl 4.2.2.1.2

            "the cheap imported multi-plug box. (as it happens, I'm just reconditioning one in between comments) "

            You should become one of TS authors ! I love that sort of stuff

        • phillip ure 4.2.2.2

          @ adrian..

          'only 62 sq metres, about the size of a double bedroom these days. OMG, how would a snowflake millenial cope with such appalling conditions now'..

          um..!..how does the burgeoning tiny-house movement fit into yr 'snowflake' thesis..?

          and no..in those days critics actually stood on soapboxes in public places..

          which is where much of the political dialogue we have online now happened..

          yr point was..?

          • OnceWasTim 4.2.2.2.1

            I think his point was something to do with how tough parents had to do it, and we don't know how lucky we are these days – probably as some sort of justification for our children having to be worse off than we were.

            Not sure. Perhaps Adrian should answer for Himself.
            I don’t suppose he’d be prepare to take any responsibility for the inevitable outcome of the consumerism and ideology that’s now in play.
            (God, when I think back, and in the context of history, OH how I did it so bloody tuff! – We really DON’t know how lucky we are eh?).
            Where’s Wayne when you need him to offer us all some sage advice

            • Adrian 4.2.2.2.1.1

              The point being that it was a lot easier for a government to get a roof ( and thats about all ) over a familys head and huge subdivisions could be commandeered into existance and fuck all nimbys in sight.

              And as for the current generation as any real estate agent or builder will tell you a large proportion of them today want everything right now with flash as rat with a gold tooth kitchens and bathrooms or two. No wonder houses are bloody expensive.

              Also as far as I can remember councils were really glad to have houses being built and families moving in so the council paid for all the services as well as roading and reserve contributions etc and not lump the full cost of such on to the price of a section inflating its price by astronomical amounts. Councils were content to get that stuff paid for over the following decades.

              They might have been cold and small on barren sections but they were pretty bloody good for the day and bugger all people were whinging who got into one and most are still standing today.

              And Phillip, there is no burgeoning small house movement, it is a tiny proportion of the housing market, its size inflated by dopey TV programmes. and BTW, try and get one through any mad controlling rapacious bloody council.

              • there are also a lot of the younger generation who are quite happy to live in apartments/studios – near city centres – rather than being in some blighted suburb..

                what you say was true a cple of yrs ago – but change is happening fast in that area..

                and tiny/pre-fab etc have a whole new appeal/audience..

                • Adrian

                  Interesting that you mentioned pre-fab, thats as old as European settlement , a lot of the mid to late 1800s post offices, police stations, schools and even churches were prefabs cut and made near where the timber was milled and even shipped between islands. Apparently the kitsets for the Police station in Havelock and a church in Stoke got mixed up in transit from the middle of the North Island . Its obvious when you look at them.

                  I was under the impression that a lot of the very small apartments in Auckland in particular are inhabited by uni students and new young immigrants from Asia where apartment living in cities is the norm. I don't think people live in them for long when families start to grow.

                  • lprent

                    You’re a bit behind the times. Something like just a third of all households have children and it is falling.

                    Increasingly young adults are intending to not have kids and this has been a trend for a very long time.

                    Census figures show that 15 per cent of women who were born in 1965 had not had children by the time they were 40.

                    Allowing for about 7 per cent of women who are biologically infertile, Statistics NZ experts Bill Boddington and Robert Didham estimated in 2007 that voluntary childlessness increased from less than 1 per cent of women born in 1936 to almost 10 per cent of women born 30 years later.

                    “For those born just 10 years later in 1975, indications are around one in four may remain childless,” they said.

                    “Studies suggest that few women consciously make the decision to remain childless early in life. On the contrary, deciding not to have children happens as a consequence of other life events, like education, career, mortgages, change in family and partners.

                    This is pretty much what I observe in my apartment block. Most of the people amongst the 61 apartments are singletons or couples. There is just one child that I’m aware of.

                    Obviously I don’t know everyone in there. But the turnover of renters and owners-occupiers is pretty low these days. But of the 30% of under 35s that I know in there, very few are planning on having kids. The people over 35, couples or singles (including me), simply haven’t had kids and aren’t planning to. They also decided that quite some time ago.

                    I was under the impression that a lot of the very small apartments in Auckland in particular are inhabited by uni students and new young immigrants…

                    The average age of people in my block would be late 40s. The apartments are about 51 square metres. This isn’t abnormal for single room apartments. Single bedroom small apartments from what I have seen tend to be owner-occupied by older people and couples – not younger people. It is a life style that allows you to spend a lot of time working and doing your own thing(s).

                    Most of the 2-3 bedroom small apartments are usually younger people flatting. You still do find younger couples in one bedroom apartments, but increasingly they’re being priced out.

    • Anne 4.3

      Phillip Ure @ 4
      They also commandeered existing homes (most built between the two wars) and gave some servicemen the chance to purchase them over time by way of a rent subsidy. My father was one of them. He secured a 4 bed-roomed bungalow in Mt Albert and it became the family home. It's still standing and looking better than ever.

      So, the idea of a so-called rent to buy scheme is definitely not new.

      • phillip ure 4.3.1

        cool..!..thanks for that historical background..

        so of course we can do all those things here/now..

        (dunno about you – but i am so tiring of the hand-wringing/meaningless-emoting..and s.f.a. actually happening..)

    • Gosman 4.4

      Most houses built in the 1950's would likely fail to meet building requirements now days. Also many of the houses may have been commissioned by the Government but they were built by the private sector.

      • McFlock 4.4.1

        Depends which requirements you're talking about.

        Insulation would be a fail, but most houses from that era were solidly built. Sure, there are materials differences and maybe some new structural or fire requirements, but they weren't slapped up cheaply. Before the days of nail guns and suchlike, too.

      • Brigid 4.4.2

        "Most houses built in the 1950's would likely fail to meet building requirements now days"

        So why are people still living in them, buying and selling them? As McFlock says the only thing these houses would fail on is insulation, and that's easily remedied.

        They will still be standing long after your modern chip board / custom wood abomination that was built yesterday has degraded into a pile of mush.

        So what is they were built by the private sector? Are you claiming that's a bad thing?

        They were built by the private sector – Keith Hays, Neil, et al and financed through state advances loans from the government.

        Do you have a reason why this couldn't be done today?

      • Molly 4.4.3

        Currently renovating a circa 1910 bungalow, including removing gib and retrofitting membrane and installing insulation. Desconstructing the house in this way allows you to see how very skilled the original builders were. Using the same wood for weatherboards, architraves, scotias and windowsills. Barge board and window design, allowed for window flashing to be a flat, easily installed piece of metal. Nothing overly complicated, but very professional simple design. With the installation of R3.4 insulation in the walls, ceiling batts installed in the roof, and underfloor installation, the use of floorlength thermal curtains and pelmets should do the job of making this a home warm enough to live in without excessive heating use.

        Since we are trying to do this on a limited budget, are also buying materials from TradeMe. Recent purchase was wooden cabinets for the kitchen, purchased from a property in Epsom due for demolition. Built 16 years ago, and needed to be demolished, it was an impressive spectacle, but one where the bones were riddled with materials utilised badly and unable to be rectified at all.

        The old houses that are still standing, are the ones that managed to do so for fifty to a hundred years.

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    @ Robert – do we have working examples in NZ of swale/small earthwork systems for drought and flood prevention? Work similar to the Mulloon Institutes Natural Sequence Farming

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7abgyVMMHA

    Or Jeff Lawton's Zaytuna Farm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcgHvYWLs-Q

    Or the earthworks projects cropping up in arid/semi-arid regions all over, as illustrated by John D Liu.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDgDWbQtlKI

    Am finishing up on an article about water and hoped to find some localised examples if they are there…

  6. Ad 6

    Great to see Shane Jones going for a much stronger government response to the DIRA legislation and the Fonterra mess.

  7. Pat 8

    If this is the quality of thinking (as expressed in the attached 'debate) then there is no wonder the world is as dysfunctional as it currently is….'heavyweight' my arse.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/09/02/785708/the-economic-heavyweight-bout-of-the-year

    We can ignore physics because of an ever hopeful 'innovation'

  8. cleangreen 9

    Does National deserve to win 2020 Election?

    No!!! as the new Government are being ‘stymied by National planted stool pigeons inside our agencies.

    Why? – firstly because National wanted to ruin every plan the Labour coalition had set up to benefit us all and look ‘winnable for the 2020 election’.

    National had a dark plan as they have quietly ‘collectively been sabotaging’ and undermining the Labour/Coalition Government for the last 20 months with ‘every underhanded scheming’ to have those planted bureaucrats to wreck every plan labour/coalition had used that had even looked viable, that may have helped labour look good.

    The obvious use of “bullying by Steven Joyce has been employed now, shows that Joyce has been the architect of this undermining of Government by acting against the citizens interests while also destroying the well being and health of the majority of the people.

    It was only a matter of time before the rot had to show as coming out of the old rotting carcass of the old National Party as we all knew instinctively that putting Simon Bridges up as the “temporary leader was just a ploy when the big leader was lurking behind the curtains, that is Steven Joyce all over again.

    • SHG 9.1

      the new Government are being ‘stymied by National planted stool pigeons inside our agencies.

      Wreckers everywhere. Time for a purge.

    • Dukeofurl 9.2

      Good example was the Cancer Agency release a few days ago . This was a policy in Labours manifesto at the 2017 election.

      As a government they took until now to come up with a workable policy and funding.

      National knew about the election promise and their mates in the public service would have passed on the outline earlier this year.

      So the Nats play politics with cancer sufferers, try to steal the thunder – and this was after doing nothing for 9 years, indeed scrapping their own plan back in 2013

  9. Herodotus 10

    https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/tomorrows-schools-review/
    28 June 2019 Taskforce reports back to minister – 2 months ago and nothing has been released into the public domain that I can find

    • alwyn 10.1

      I see, from the Economist, that the development of infrastructure projects in the UK is nearly as stuffed up as are the ones the current New Zealand Government is proposing.

      "HS2, a planned high-speed railway between London and Birmingham, faces delays of up to five years, Britain’s transport minister said. Britain’s biggest infrastructure project may now not move passengers until 2031. The expected cost has risen from £62bn ($75bn) to £81bn-88bn. A second phase, reaching Manchester and Leeds, has been delayed too; patient commuters can expect services in 2035-40."

      Sounds about what we can expect from the hypothetical rail service being talked about from Auckland to Wellington, or the roads around Wellington that Twyford was gaily announcing the other day had been "approved" but that work couldn't possibly be started until at least 2028. Even the local Labour MPs were a bit shocked by that announcement apparently.

      https://m.newsie.co.nz/news/153707-hutt-council-jumps-on-nztas-delayed-melling-interchange-project.html

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/114989445/chris-hipkins-pushes-for-melling-planning-and-consenting

  10. marty mars 11

    fake news – workers or executive? cos they ain't the same in my book

    headline

    Pay freeze for 6000 Fonterra workers

    story

    Embattled dairy co-operative Fonterra has slapped a pay freeze on its top-earning executives.

    Chief executive Miles Hurrell has emailed staff that all salaried employees on individual contracts earning more than $100,000 will not be getting annual pay increases in the year ahead.

    According to the 2018 financial report, more than 6000 of Fonterra's 22,000 staff were on salaries of $100,000 and over.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/dairy/pay-freeze-6000-fonterra-workers

    • 'more than 6000 of Fonterra's 22,000 staff were on salaries of $100,000 and over.'

      bloody hell..!

      what am i missing here..?

      fonterra is a company that collects milk – turns it into milk powder..

      and sells that in bulk to the world..

      so how the fuck do they justify having 6,000 top-feeders earning a hundred grand + a yr..?

      (tempted to go and force-march them all to some milking sheds – to work for minimum wage – as so many workers these top-feeders leech off do..)

      • lprent 11.1.1

        Perhaps you haven’t realised that engineering staff are in very short supply throughout the economy? Fonterra employs a shitload of engineers – probably about half of their staff are engineers of one form or another. It is all of that having to keep food carrying and processing equipment clean as well as dealing with high temperatures and a awful lot of equipment.

        But no of course. You’re probably not really aware of anything at all about the working economy… Not something that I have ever noticed you having any understanding of.

        I guess I should head off to work rather than commenting on that topic further.

  11. Gabby 13

    Lianne Dalziel's doing just fine, thought you'd like to know that.

  12. joe90 14

    Did any of these people watch the original Terminator flick?

  13. joe90 15

    Consecutive weeks of marches and protests and now they fold? The cynic in me says this is a sop and the PRC will carry on disappearing whoever they think is a trouble maker.

    Hong Kong’s chief executive is to announce the formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill that sparked weeks of unrest, finally meeting a key demand of the protest movement.

    Carrie Lam has called a meeting of pro-Beijing politicians for later on Wednesday afternoon, at which she will describe the full withdrawal of the bill as “a gesture… to cool down the atmosphere”, the South China Morning Post quoted a source as saying.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/hong-kong-extradition-bill-china-carrie-lam-protests-latest-a9090966.html

  14. Macro 16

    A ray of hope on the Climate Action front in the US:

    Elizabeth Warren Unveils $3 Trillion Climate Plan, Embracing Inslee’s Goals

    Ms. Warren’s new climate plan explicitly adopts ideas from Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, who focused his presidential campaign on combating climate change but dropped out last month after it became clear he was unlikely to qualify for the next primary debate.Ms. Warren met with Mr. Inslee last week in Seattle, according to two people familiar with their discussions.

    “While his presidential campaign may be over, his ideas should remain at the center of the agenda,” Ms. Warren wrote in her new climate plan.

    Mr. Inslee released six detailed climate plans, totaling over 200 pages, which were widely praised by environmental policy experts for their rigor. He said he hoped they would help “raise the ambition” of other candidates’ climate policies, and he has since had conversations with several candidates about how to incorporate his ideas into their plans, said his former campaign spokesman, Jared Leopold.

    In her new proposal, Ms. Warren adopts Mr. Inslee’s plan to eliminate planet-warming emissions from power plants, vehicles and buildings over 10 years, and adds an additional $1 trillion in spending to subsidize that transition. The spending would be paid for, she says, by reversing the Trump administration’s tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations.

    Currently Elizabeth Warren is running neck and neck with Bernie Sanders in Second place behind Joe Biden. She has been gaining in popularity across the board and on a favourability score she actually leads Biden and Sanders with a rating of around 55%. Head to head with Trump the polls show she would win the must win States as well. Certainly with the current Trade War Trump is shedding support from his base – particularly in the Farming States where farmers are now overall Billions in debt – despite his $12B handout (mostly unsurprisngly going to large corporate farmers and not the smaller farmers who are now in serious strife).

    Elizabeth is on a par with Sanders wrt progressive policies and stands out as having a well developed policy package. This latest announcement simply underlines her determination to initiate positive change in America if given the chance,

    • gsays 16.1

      I wouldn't put too much faith in the polls.

      There have been lots of good examples of them being useless.

      • Macro 16.1.1

        Whilst I would tend to agree with you and I have used many examples of such in my statistics classes of yore there is growing realisation that Trump – despite an election war chest of around $24 Billions is steadily loosing favour across the country. Daily, GOP representatives are standing down, and will not seek reelection in 2020. That is not the behaviour of politicians who can see an easy run for the next hurdle.

        Furthermore, there is polling being carried out almost every day by a variety of pollsters. For the past 2 years Trump's approval rating has remained fairly steady at a tad over 40% while his disapproval rating hovers at around 53 – 54%. That means his favourability rating is negative and at least -10% to -14%. That is not the rating of a successful politician, and in most circumstances does not auger well for reelection.

        His Trade War with China is also not going well, and with rising prices on many commodities, that is not winning him any favours, There is also the fear of an imminent recession, and the majority of Americans think that should such occur it rests solely on the "policies" of Trump – at least 60% think he will be to blame. The average American has not had any substantial benefit from his tax cuts to the rich, so that has not curried favour either, and his inability to build even 1 mile of new Wall shows him to be incapable on that front as well. There is also growing resentment on the treatment of undocumented migrants, many who have been in the country for many years, raised families, and are productive law abiding members of society with natural born US children or partners. The breaking up of such families is seen now by many in the rural communities in which they live as highly unjust and is only cheered on by the ultra -right factions who are not representative of the majority of fair minded Americans who are appalled by the current ICE raids.

        Sure he drags in his faithful followers at his incomprehensible rallies – but time and again crowd sizes are over reported and now he simply preaches to the faithful, He is not gaining support, and what support he had is slowly draining away as the reality of his bluster sinks in.

        BTW I don't comment on here as frequently as I have in the past because, most of my on-line time now is spent following American politics.

        • gsays 16.1.1.1

          Cheers for your analysis, Macro clearly more thought than I have given it.

          Part of Trumps success first time round wasn't so much folk voting for him, but against his opponent.

  15. Drowsy M. Kram 17

    When might the government reinstate funding for night classes & other adult community education programmes that the former National-led government canned ~10 years ago?

    "Last year 200,000 people attended subsidised night classes in schools, but only 25,000 places were subsidised this year."
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3323417/Cuts-end-popular-night-classes

    Ideally get this done before the 2020 election. Wouldn't cost too much; annual budget's likely less than the cost of the flag referenda.

    "Reinstate funding for programmes – like night classes – that support adult learners to adapt to the changing world." https://www.labour.org.nz/education

  16. joe90 18

    This diplomating business is as dangerous AF.

  17. Rosemary McDonald 19

    Oh dear. Sometimes, Winston, a simple 'yes' or 'no' would suffice.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12264368

    TRANSCRIPT OF FINAL MINUTES OF CALL BETWEEN HERALD REPORTER MATT NIPPERT AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER WINSTON PETERS:

    MN: So, to the best of your knowledge, New Zealand First have not talked with Lang about him donating? Is that what you're saying?
    WP: [Pause] Well, look, if a member of my party was at the racecourse one day, interpreted a conversation with him it's quite possible. But to the best of my knowledge the course on which you're going at the moment is fruitless: We have not received any money from the Wolf, as I know him as.
    MN: I guess the outstanding question remains is: If this donation were offered by him, would you accept it?
    WP: An outstanding question? Who do you think you're talking to? You're going to have a hypothetical, and put it to me as an outstanding question? Bulldust mate. Where do you get off? Where do you get off with that arrogant attitude? "The question remains". For you?
    MN: He says he's considering donating to NZ First. Would you accept the donation? It's pretty simple.
    WP: You're going to slide mate, from facts to bullshit. Right? You're not going to be able to slide from facts, with a modicum of detail, to flat-out bullshit and speculation.
    MN: So you would take the money? Or you wouldn't?
    WP: Get a brain mate. That's not the alternative answer, is it?
    MN: It's a very straightforward question, Winston.
    WP: It's not a straightforward question. It's some silly, smart-arse question by somebody who should know a whole lot better.
    MN: I'm just trying to figure out where this is going.
    WP: It's not going anywhere, because it started nowhere. It's built on the premise you're going to write an article, based on nothing. Because you've got a charade of details you're going to put out there. That's what it's based on.
    MN: It's based on Mr Lang telling me he was planning to donate to you.
    WP: Good god, what a flimsy peg you're trying to hang your story on. God.
    MN: Well, I'll flick it to my editors and see if they agree with me.
    WP: They probably will, the bloody morons.
    MN: Winston, are you hanging up on me?
    [CALL TERMINATED BY WP]

  18. SHG 20

    I wonder if Neve is up to date with her shots.

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