Open Mike 04/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 4th, 2017 - 138 comments
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138 comments on “Open Mike 04/02/2017 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Europeans are surprisingly cool about Trump making America First. They all just want to be second, ok?

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    Yes Trump is a crazy and possibly insane lose cannon, who should to be fought at every turn.
    Yes Bill English is scary ideologue, a true believer.
    But until the Left addresses it’s own part in Trumps ascension,and Nationals continuing popularity, looks hard at it’s own failings in addressing the needs of average working class and poor citizens in both the US and here in NZ, then what would we be fighting him for?… so our own (left) centrist parties can continue on their neo liberal free market march off the inevitable cliff? fuck that.

    Witness Labour this week, Greg O’Connor and Willie Jackson, invited into the party.
    You might have thought Labour would have taken notice of the DNC’s disastrous concessions and shift to the right in the US election…but no.

    It speaks volumes that Labour hasn’t sought out a couple of progressive left candidates to give those on the left in NZ something to hang on to…but no…and so their neo liberal centrist ideology becomes clearer and more transparent every day.

    • Andre 2.1

      Adrian, what policies would you like Labour to have that are different to what they are proposing?

      You put out a lot of vague general negativity about Labour, but you’re very short on any specifics of positive things you think Labour should do differently.Who are the progressive left candidates you think Labour should be inviting in? Names please.

      From my personal sense of where people are at politically from conversations with people in the manufacturing workplaces I’ve been at, I really don’t think Labour would net gain votes with a big shift to the left. For every vote they might gain on the left and from the disaffected, they would lose a centrist vote. And the centrists are the more reliable voters.

      • Adrian Thornton 2.1.1

        I would like to see Labour demand a living wage.
        I would like to see Labour have a comprehensive plan around the rental market, and all it’s current and up coming implications.
        I would like to see Labour not encourage and promote temporary foreign labour into NZ.
        I would like Labour to forcefully put a stop to, or at least drastically slow the the fetish of trading housing as commodities in New Zealand, and half a million dollar affordable housing isn’t going to do that.
        I would like to see Labour kick for profit prisons out of NZ
        I would like to see Labour re-establish night classes.

        I do especially like Labours, Our Work Our Future plan.
        I do like Labours post school education plan, it is a good start, but doesn’t go far enough.
        NZ should have free University education, and forgive all student debt.
        I do like Labours , Young Entrepreneurs Policy.

        Look I am not a politician, nor a policy maker, but I am a Labour supporter, and I know what I want from a labour party, I think they have some good stuff in the manifesto, but they, and we need to aim higher, a lot higher.

        I don’t want to be negative, and I am the first to admit I don’t have the answers, but at the moment it seems as if Labour just has no real passion for a fair and equal country for all NZ…. John Campbell often sounds like he cares more about that project than Andrew Little, and I guess I just wish it was the other way around.

        BTW I don’t know if you have noticed, but the strategy of western centre left parties chasing that elusive centre/ centre right vote is fast becoming the death nail for all of them.

        • Andre

          Then we’ve got a lot of common ground.

          I think you’d be a lot more effective in shifting the positioning by moving from a negative frame (Labour are useless out-of-touch neoliberal elites for thinking $600k is an affordable house) to a goal oriented frame ($600k is a step in the right direction. But what’s the plan to get that to $300k, which is closer to being affordable?).

          • Adrian Thornton

            In the past I would have, and generally have agreed with your “goal oriented’ philosophy in regards to Labour, but after so many years of following that rabbit down it’s hole, and being constantly disappointed, it looks to me now, like that hole is most probably a dead end, even in the long term.

            I have always regarded my vote for a party as a vote of confidence, even if that has only expressed itself in a vague hope that there would be a slow moving ideological shift from within Labour, but you would have to admit that with the news of Greg O’Connor and Willie Jackson this week, and two weeks ago Nash banging on about gangs like some sort of deranged Michael Laws, along with Labour’s unseemly obsession with the centre, things aren’t looking all that positive for any sort of change, even slow change.

        • Carolyn_nth

          Adrian: I would like to see Labour have a comprehensive plan around the rental market, and all it’s current and up coming implications.

          Yep. And I’m turned right off by Labour’s Kiwibuild policy beginning with backing the Kiwi Dream of home ownership.

          It begins:

          The Kiwi Dream of homeownership is slipping away. Only a quarter of adults under 40 own their own home, compared to half in 1991. Too few houses are being built, which is helping to drive up prices beyond the reach of middle New Zealand, and too few of the houses that are built are affordably priced for new home buyers.

          Meanwhile, Labour’s home page has the slogan We’re backing the Kiwi Dream

          And their housing policy focuses on home ownership plus state housing. But there’s nothing there about renters of private housing. Furthermore, state housing is kind of the fall back position for those who can’t achieve the Kiwi dream of home ownership.

          The values and cultural focus are totally at odds with mine. I just read this November 2016 article on Huffington Post today, which spells out the problem with the primary cultural and institutional focus on home ownership in the US – also called the “American Dream” – so not really a specifically Kiwi Dream, just an idea borrowed from or echoing the alleged dream in the primary capitalist country of recent times.

          The HuffPo article, by Abraham Guttman, states that 41% of people in the US live in rental accommodation. Guttman explains that:

          In American society, the institutionalized means are study hard/work hard (and maybe go to church every so often), and the cultural goals are accumulate wealth and own a house.

          The first sentence in the quote is confusing. It should be read as “study hard or work hard”…. Actually, i think the hard work thing is a cultural value. the institutions, as argued by Guttman, favour those that have the means to by a home, by giving financial subsidies to home buyers – while renters get no such finanical favours:

          If one of the American cultural goals is homeownership, the mortgage interest tax deduction is a tool to maintain this social order.

          That tax deduction is actually an institutional means.

          Guttman says that many people follow the institutionalised means of study hard-or-work hard, but never achieve the cultural goal of home ownership. Nevertheless, they keep doing the hard work or hard study like some kind of morally upstanding ritual. By doing that, they maintain the social order.

          Guttman argues that the way forward is for renters to rebel against this social order, by not conforming, and campaigning for a system that doesn’t favour home buyers over renters, institutionally and culturally.

          So enough of this talk about home ownership being the Kiwi Dream.

          • Andre

            Just a note that the mortgage interest tax deduction is worth a hell of a lot more to high income/big mortgage types than those on a lower income or smaller mortgage. Because the US has a fairly large fixed “standard deduction” to cover things like state taxes, mortgage interest deductions etc, and it’s only worthwhile claiming itemized deductions for mortgage interest etc when you go over the standard deduction.

            Also, when I was in Wisconsin, they had a “renter’s credit” tax deduction as a partial even-up for those that couldn’t take advantage of the mortgage deduction. Although no doubt Scott Walker has canned it by now.

          • Incognito

            Meanwhile, Labour’s home page has the slogan We’re backing the Kiwi Dream

            Particularly politicians love to talk ‘dreamy’ stuff and “aspirational” things, all very vague and vanilla but always aimed to raise a feel-good sensation, a promise that the grass is greener at the other side, and a glimmer of hope for a brighter future even. Talk about greatness, etc., or Utopia (e.g. Peter Thiel) or the “Athens of the modern world” (Richard Dawkins). I am not trying to be cynical – I’m a cynic – but I believe this is a distinctly human trait that we all share.

            Labour and National are the same when it comes to this dream-weaving; I’ve written about this before here on TS.

            And their housing policy focuses on home ownership plus state housing. But there’s nothing there about renters of private housing. Furthermore, state housing is kind of the fall back position for those who can’t achieve the Kiwi dream of home ownership.

            I don’t read it quite the same way but obviously the MSM does and focusses on home owners and first-home buyers although plenty of stuff has been written a WOF for rentals, for example. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma attached to renting, suggesting (stereotyping) that renters are unsuccessful or not successful enough, unproductive or not productive enough, and worse … Labour must control the narrative, especially its own!

            • Carolyn_nth

              Yes, Labour does WOF for private renters – but nothing about rent caps/regulations. Nothing about security of tenure for private renters. And nothing about keeping private rents affordable for low-middle income households (especially in the bigger cities).

              Accommodation allowances are a subsidy to landlords, who then continue to put up rents for those without accommodation allowances.

              High rents may be partly countered by tackling housing speculation. But needs much more than that.

              Plus, it is not necessary to play the game of mythical dreams, especially when they harm the less well off. Time to change the values, and stop using right wing propaganda techniques.

              • Incognito

                Some want Labour to go (much) further than its current policies and announcements. Some want Labour to “turn left”. Its Housing policies are just one prong for changing things, over time.

                The main task now is to change the Government without becoming more like it! To achieve this Labour has to come with better narrative, and it has been improving, I have to say (Yay!), and control it, own it, by consistently repeating it (and removing any real or perceived inconsistencies in the message but also the messaging and possibly also the messenger, which does not mean “shoot the messenger”).

                The question seems to come down to whether Labour can be trusted or not. Do we believe that Labour will deliver on its policies and more or not? Do we think that the less-well-off will be better off under a Government that includes Labour? Do we think that all this and other important issues are essentially a zero-sum game and changes thus come at the expense (!) of the well-off? The (some) rich also appear to be struggling; it is not the same as the struggles of the Precariat (by definition) but to the rich it feels real and causes a lot of stress & anxiety – they will generally not take kindly to Labour and its policies if they are told, rightly or wrongly, that they will “have to pay” for it. Just saying.


                Each of us has many questions and no answers because even hope is taking a punt on the future while we live in the here & now – do what you can do and don’t focus on what you can’t control right now.

                I hope I don’t sound too wishy-washy 😉

            • Olwyn

              Ours is a low-wage economy, accompanied by preternatural property prices. Under such circumstances it is insulting to go along with a stigma against renters. Moreover, “dreamy stuff” works for people who either see the proffered dream as a natural extension of where they are now, or who want to be reassured that the hardship of others isn’t all that hard or all that permanent. But when people are actually hurting, and can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, dreamy stuff increases their frustration and anger. In that position, you don’t care about dreams, you just want the assurance that reality is going to get a bit easier. When Helen Clark was first elected as PM, the strength of the Alliance, along with the Labour pledge card, gave people that assurance.

              • Incognito

                Thank you for your comment.

                In European countries renting is generally much more socially accepted than here in NZ. Interestingly, rentals over there also tend to be institutionalised and owned by large super funds, for example. I do wonder whether mum-dad investors and landlords do play a relatively large role in the stigma here.

                The issue that I have with “dreamy stuff” and also Labour’s Kiwi Dream is that is too vague, too unspecific, too polytelic, if you like; it means different things to different people but it remains largely unspoken and thus unspecified even at the individual level. Often “dreamy stuff” is very closely linked to emotions and emotive behaviour. So, yes, anger and frustration fit in there quite well.

                If Labour is going to give “reassurances” AKA “election promises” they’d better be clear, specific, and feasible. However, that would also give their political opponents something to either copy or attack. But if Labour does not have the confidence and conviction to stand up for what they believe in, for their values, and defend these regardless then they may have to resort to vague emotive slogans just like National, or, God forbid, semantic trickery combined with selective amnesia.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Yes it really is a huge and embarrassing hole in Labour’s 2017 campaign, I think Socialist Aotearoa are the only political organization that takes this issue seriously.
            Labour would be far better off having input from Joe Carolan, than those idiots Greg O’Connor and Willie Jackson.

          • Draco T Bastard

            So enough of this talk about home ownership being the Kiwi Dream.


            Much better to shift to a nation of renters with all houses being state owned.

            • McFlock

              lol good luck with that policy.

              It might be something other than laughable in, say, twenty years. In the meantime, any ideas on policies that would get a party elected?

              • Draco T Bastard

                With home ownership dropping and with many of those who do own in strife I think it may be more popular than you realise. With life-time lease and full maintenance from just a small percentage of household income – I think the majority would jump at it.

                • McFlock

                  Not after the nats tell several hundred thousand homeowners “labour want to steal your home”.

                  Even if that’s not a fair summary of your plan, it’s the headline that will be repeated incessantly.

                  • weka

                    Out of curiosity, what would happen to existing home owners’ property rights?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And one that would be counted easily with the fact that market rates would be paid – if they decided to sell.

                    The reverse, and accurate headline, would be to use the word liar every time National tried it. Make people aware that they are lying. ATM the Left politicians seem not to want to do that.

                    • McFlock

                      So they’d have a choice about selling to the government?
                      What about to someone else?
                      What about bequests?
                      What about family trusts owning homes?

                      It seems to me that to achieve your goal of all houses being state owned, sooner or later it’s going to be against the wishes of someone who’d be an owner under the status quo. And then you’re stealing homes.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The status quo is the problem. It’s going to take awhile to change but we do need to change it.

                      And I happen to think that getting rid of home ownership is actually both the easiest to do and the place to start. Removing that stressor for so many so quickly will be a major plus.

                    • McFlock

                      So your policy is actually to steal homes and the nats wouldn’t be lying if they said it?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, it’s to buy them.

                      Those who want to keep them can do so.

                      They’ll just find that it will cost them more to do so.

                    • McFlock

                      Cost them more to keep a home they already own?
                      So the nats correct themselves from”theft” to “extortion”.
                      Either way not much of a vote catcher

    • gsays 2.2

      Hi Adrian,
      I largely agree with the second half of yr opinion.
      Laila Harre joining the party gave hope for a wee while, but talk of Greg O’Connor and Jackson has given reason to curb the enthusiasm.

      • Andre 2.2.1

        I have huge respect for Laila. She’s a fighter. She says things that need to be said. When shit gets thrown at her she lets it slide off so she can throw it straight back. I strongly agree with many of the goals she fights for.

        But, eyes firmly towards the most important goal of changing the government later this year, she really hasn’t had much success at attracting votes, has she?

        • The decrypter

          Yes agree. “Eyes Front”

        • gsays

          Well I can only speak personally, she has attracted my vote. Mana/internet crowd.

          Labour is in an awkward spot.
          Looking at UK and the labour party there,
          the ‘left’ in the US,
          the question of relevance comes up.

          The mou with greens can’t hurt their chances.

          The greens seemed to have moved to more centrist position, with the moving on of Nandor Tanzcos and Sue Bradford, and the quiet approach to social justice issues,
          eg relative silence on the recent talk of decriminalising pot.

          The Tories are fine, the nats exist only to negate any moves to the left.

          • Andre

            Personally the positioning I would like to see is Greens being loud about the environment and talking up the benefits of a green economy in a clean healthy environment, and willing to work towards those goals with whoever forms the government. That focus more naturally aligns aligns with left/progressive policies in other areas, but I prefer it when the Greens signal willingness to work with anyone, which positions as centrist.

            I cheered when Little said something like Labour wants to work for those who work for their money, rather than those whose money works for them.That strikes me as a good principle for informing positions on unions, taxation, education etc etc.

            I would like there to be a third “left” party like the Alliance or Mana focused on those marginalised by current society.

            In most areas there’s a natural alignment. But it some areas the natural priotrities would conflict. Then the vote share between the three parties would give a big hint to the priorities of the electorate.

            • weka

              “I cheered when Little said something like Labour wants to work for those who work for their money, rather than those whose money works for them.That strikes me as a good principle for informing positions on unions, taxation, education etc etc.”

              My heart sinks when I hear that, not because it’s not good, but because in the absences of strong, or any, message about how people who cannot work will be supported I see Labour’s potential to harm beneficiaries. Again. I trust the Greens more on this, but mostly because they don’t have a history of actively impoverishing vulnerable people, but they’re still relatively silent too.

              I don’t know why they can’t say the above and something about helping people with disabilities or full time care obligations.

              • weka

                As an example, tell me how this couple would be helped by Labour’s policies. See if you can be specific. I’m not talking about the hospital issue, but once the person is already dying.


                • Andre

                  I see this situation as one where if there were a party like Alliance in a coalition government, they would be able to argue for this couple as part of their core constituency, and Labour would find it easier to sign off on improving the policies that apply on the grounds of it being necessary for the coalition.

                  Whereas if Labour tries to improve the applicable policies it risks getting attacked with the argument of “workers taxes going to pay for bludging benes”. Which does actually work on a lot of the workforce.

                  I see it as learning the lesson of how National uses ACT as cover for implementing policies it knows won’t be very popular with the electorate.

                  • weka

                    Hmm, I take it then that beneficiaries are screwed unless we get a party like the Alliance back in govt, which obviously isn’t going to happen any time soon. Not good enough.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      Hi weka, I was following a thread you started a few days ago “Then hope” and so thought of you when I was listening to this interview with Political economist David McNally talking about The Working Class and Anticapitalism at work this morning…


                      It is one of the best conversations I have heard on western left resistance movements for a long while..very informed, insightful and quite inspiring.

                    • weka

                      “Political economist David McNally talks about the past and future of radical class-based politics.”

                      Is he looking at all classes or focussing on working classes?

              • Andre

                The problem I see is that people in the workforce are easily led into perceiving their interests as conflicting with those who really do need extra help from society. So in a big-tent approach it’s a very tough balancing and communication job to help the different groups see they’ve got more interests in common than differences.

                Whereas it looks to me that if a sufficiently strong Mana or Alliance type party emerged, then the natural response to someone using a wedge issue trying to stir up worker/beneficiary hostility would be to leave it as an area where there will be tough negotiations between the parties. I think it would reduce the likelihood of Labour blurting out really dumb shit shit like Shearer’s roof-painting beneficiary.

                • The land is barren and salted to the left of labour – that is why 2 prominent Alliance people namely Harre and Jackson are coming back inside the labour tent. And it is also why Harawira is buddying up with The Māori Party. There is no ‘left’ party or position left. So that ain’t going to stop the dumb blurts from Labour. And it is also going to stop the romantic and utterly unrealistic ideal that Labour will go ‘left’. They won’t because they don’t need to.

                  This imo is the hard lay of the land from an activist leftie.

                  • weka

                    Yep. Less hard if one sees potential in the Greens, and the sooner we get to working with the reality of the situation the better.

              • saveNZ

                The issue with that is that there are going to be fewer jobs…
                “Labour wants to work for those who work for their money, rather than those whose money works for them”

                I’d like to see more a French system where full time hours are lowered to a 35 hr working week and people have time to enjoy their lives.

                But I also see NZ future in areas like new patents, the arts and new technology. But avoiding agreements like TPPA that is protecting out dated and powerful interests and old technologies.

                NZ is relying on commodities, tourism and building jobs while selling off those land and assets offshore is not going to create enough wealth for NZ to be able to run a functioning social welfare system… we are turning into a banana republic.

                More jobs if they are low paid or polluting and subsidised by tax payers are not going to work long term. So I am not in favour of jobs for jobs sake.

                We are in a punitive system that seems to be suppressing people’s joy of life in favour of making them work harder and longer. Ruining the environment so that someone can make a profit short term. Punishing those who are not in traditional work but rewarding those like Peter Thiel.

                So I am slightly worried about the idea of work that Little is talking about. Some work is not paid like raising a family and looking after the elderly or environment.

                Work is not everything and not everyone works for money either.

                • weka

                  Labour want to raise wages too, and improve employment conditions, so it’s not like they’re just focussed on more jobs and nothing else.

                  The things you’d like to see still don’t solve the problem of people who can’t work. It’s not just Labour, it’s lefties who support this whole framing of better jobs and pay will solve our problems. But that’s not inclusive, it’s exclusionary.

        • Wayne

          Laila would loose Labour votes. She has too much history in too many parties. That will dog her.
          Willie will appeal. He has a big following on radio, and is a really interesting person.
          The votes Labour needs to win are currently with National, not in the so called missing million. Centre National voters who are presumable are hardly going to moved by a hard left message, or hard left personalities.

          • Andre

            Remind me again Wayne, whose side are you on?

            • Once was and others etc

              I think if you were to hear Geeze Wayne on RNZ this past week, it’d be pretty obvious whose ‘side’ he’s on. I.e. he’s on the side of Geeze Wayne and anyone that fits his narrow ideological view (going forward, of course).
              Like Groser and others, Wayne’s a real hero and a legend in his own mind.

              It’s a damn shame we don’t have satirical comedy on television anymore – you could do a whole series on Wayne Mapp without much difficulty

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Satire is wasted on people who herald a new “Anglo” (he means white men) alliance.

          • Adrian Thornton

            @Wayne, Paul Henry and Mike Hoskins have large followings on the radio, would you vote for them?..maybe you would.

            You are obviously completely out of touch with international politics, all western left leaning ( neo liberal) parties that have succeeded on that centre demographic in the past, and chase them obsessively still, are being destroyed one at a time.

          • The decrypter

            I.m gonna tell the herald what you said-I really am.

    • Redbaiter 2.3

      Mark Latham knows what Labor needs to do in Australia. Where’s his NZ equivalent? These policies, adapted to NZ and promoted by NZ Labour, would immediately drive National into political obscurity. Where they deserve to be.

      You guys will only become effective again when you understand that the Nats have stolen your political market, and you adopt a strategy to counter that theft.


      1 Big cuts to the Federal Government’s annual 200,000-plus immigration and refugee program, ending the major-party consensus for a Big Australia. Slower population growth would take the pressure off local employment, urban congestion, housing prices and environmental sustainability — a massive win-win-win-win in public policy.

      2 An end to social engineering programs, with the abolition of Safe Schools, Respectful Relationships, university safe spaces, Section 18C and man-bashing government agencies such as Our Watch and the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).

      3 Democratising the ABC, making it a clearinghouse for citizen-based broadcasting. Any Australian should be able to post their blogged, podcast or webcast material on its platforms. The most popular contributors would then be promoted to appear on the ABC’s radio and television programs — breaking the longstanding Leftist monopoly.

      4 Reforming the Human Rights Commission so that it serves the public, not political correctness. The Commission’s charter should be recast to promote community building, Australian values and the virtues of Western civilisation. It has an important role to play in pushing back against the spread of radical Islam — the greatest human rights threat to our society.

      5 Ending the era of big government. To reboot economic growth and international competitiveness, Australia’s top marginal tax rate should be cut from 49 per cent to 35, with other income brackets also receiving tax relief. To increase the disposable earnings of hardworking Australians, the Federal Government needs to make us a low-tax regime.

      6 Big cuts to wasteful Federal spending, especially in transport, higher education, energy subsidies, corporate welfare, Canberra’s defence and foreign policy establishment, arts funding, public broadcasting and mental health rorts. Entire departments and agencies need to be abolished, bringing the size of government back to pre-2000 levels. The profligacy of the past 17 years has given Australia the worst of both worlds: bloated bureaucracies and stagnant economic growth.

      7 Slashing regulation on business, especially when it holds back the development of new industries. For instance, Australia should be a global energy superpower with a dynamic mix of coal, renewable, CSG and nuclear energy. But the dead hand of government has knocked out the latter two. With the recent weakening of the economy, we can no longer afford to turn away new sources of jobs and investment.

      8 Urgent school education reform, fundamentally changing the face of Australian teaching. On the international league table of academic achievement, we have fallen behind Kazakhstan — a national embarrassment. The top performer, Singapore, has based its success on a highly selective process for teacher recruitment. We need to do the same, increasing salaries for high-quality teachers and weeding out under-performers.

      9 A new war on poverty, creating economic opportunity for all Australians. Non-viable indigenous settlements and public housing estates need to be closed down, with residents moving to areas where they can access jobs and services. The intergenerational poverty cycle also needs to be broken through improved teaching and learning programs in disadvantaged schools.

      10 Genuine reform of parliamentary entitlements to make rorting impossible. The Turnbull Government’s recent proposals are no more than window-dressing. Entitlement amounts should be bundled together and capped, with travel funding released only after MPs have demonstrated the primacy of parliamentary work in their itineraries. An Anti-Corruption Commission is also needed to guard against the corrosive influence of machine politics and paid lobbyists.

  3. Paul 3

    Not good.

    Billionaire Peter Thiel makes fortune after ‘sweetheart’ deal with Government

    A scheme funded by New Zealand taxpayers netted billionaire Peter Thiel tens of millions of dollars while his publicly-funded investment partner barely broke even.

    The partnering of Thiel’s Valar Ventures and the government-owned New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) was launched by Minister Steven Joyce in March 2012, nine months after Thiel took his oath of citizenship at the New Zealand consulate in Santa Monica.

    Joyce said at the time the venture was “part of the Government’s comprehensive business growth agenda,” but a Herald investigation has discovered the arrangement was quietly ended in October when Thiel activated a generous buyback option allowing him and his private partners to claim all profits from the venture by cheaply buying out his public co-investor.

    • Paul 3.1

      Rod Dury appears to have his fingers in the pie as well.

      “Xero’s founder and chief executive Rod Drury wrote a letter in 2011 supporting Thiel’s citizenship. He said Thiel’s investment in, and championing of, his firm had been instrumental in the Xero’s succces.

      During the period Valar Ventures was buying up the company’s stock, its share price soared from $3 to as high as $45, making the Xero-dominated fund extremely valuable. By mid-2016 its stash of Xero shares was worth $43m, representing the vast bulk of the funds value.”

      Dodgy business.
      See it’s made the front page of the Financial Times.

      • Pat 3.1.1

        “Xero has also received funding from various investors. In 2009, it closed a $23 million (NZD) round of funding led by MYOB founder Craig Winkler.[11] It raised an additional $4 million (NZD) in 2010 from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures,[12] who also invested an additional $16.6 million (USD) in February 2012.[13] It raised $49 million in a funding round in November 2012 with the largest amounts coming from Peter Thiel and Matrix Capital. It was reported by PandoDaily that the company has raised more than $100 million and had a valuation of approximately $1.4 billion on the NZE as of May 2013.[4][14] This was prior to the company receiving an additional $180 million (NZD) from Thiel and Matrix in October 2013, bringing total funding to more than $230 million.[15]”

        well he would say that wouldn’t he…….

      • saveNZ 3.1.2

        @Paul – shocking!

        not to mention Scenic hotels getting millions from the taxpayers after donating to the National party and millions going to the Clinton Fund.

      • saveNZ 3.1.3

        I bet people like Thiel love dealing the National local yokels and making a killing from them… brains are not really the Natz forte… especially not their ‘brilliant’ mind (sarc) Joyce… likewise Sky City… Warner’s… all the rest of them getting tax money and concessions from the eager Natz brokers…

        • Pat

          Gov incompetent and/or complicit….probably both

          “Joyce said at the time the venture was “part of the Government’s comprehensive business growth agenda”, but a Herald investigation has discovered the arrangement was quietly ended in October when Thiel activated a generous buyback option allowing him and his private partners to claim all profits from the venture by cheaply buying out his public co-investor.”

    • tc 3.2

      You didn’t think he was just here for the clean air did you, national love making friends using public money.

    • smokes kreen 3.3

      Could this possibly be one (of many) reasons why Key suddenly resigned?

    • mlpc 3.4

      What were Labour thinking when they granted this guy residency in 2006?
      Bet they didn’t imagine he would invest in the development of a Kiwi business that now employs around 1,500 people.
      Disgraceful, I say.

      • Pat 3.4.1

        “Xero is a dynamic, progressive and expanding global SaaS company with offices in New Zealand, Australia, United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore. Today we employ a world-class team of more than 1500 Xeros in 20 offices around the globe.”

        you wouldn’t be trying to suggest those 1500 jobs are NZ based would you?

        “Both Xero and Orion are resorting to hiring overseas staff for jobs they would rather fill locally. When Xero’s search for New Zealand candidates for software quality assurance positions last year drew a blank, it found one overseas, and of last year’s roughly 200 hires, 70 came from outside New Zealand.”

        HOW MUCH?

        • Permanent staff salaries
        From: $40,000 (average for bottom quarter of hardware engineers, help desk/support staff, web/multimedia designers)

        To: $136,500 (average for top 25 per cent of software architects)

        • Contract rates
        From: $14/hour (bottom quarter of data record management staff)

        To: $160/hour (top earning 25 per cent of software architects)


        • mlpc

          Of course Xero has offices all around the globe.
          How else do you try to develop a global market presence?

          And what’s wrong with hiring staff from overseas? You’re not going to tell me that the sorts of skills they require are freely available in the pool of unemployed in NZ.

          And what if only 1,000 of the 1,500 are in NZ? They’re probably earning an average of around $100k and paying an average of around $25k in income tax alone.

          • Pat

            Nothing wrong if the claim (or inference) is not otherwise…and…

            “They’re probably earning an average of around $100k and paying an average of around $25k in income tax alone.”….you did see the industry scale attached??? …

            “And what if only 1,000 of the 1,500 are in NZ? They’re probably earning an average of around $100k and paying an average of around $25k in income tax alone.”

            how much do you think the taxpayer has lost in the Valar deal?…almost all of which was invested in Xero.

            Think theres enough disingenuous BS coming from the gov without adding to it.

            • mlpc

              “how much do you think the taxpayer has lost in the Valar deal?”

              Oh, do keep up! The original story from the Herald, posted by Paul, said that the gov’t barely broke even. i.e. it lost nothing.

              So, back to my point, it looks like NZ is still $25m ++ to the good each year.

              • Pat

                “Oh, do keep up! The original story from the Herald, posted by Paul, said that the gov’t barely broke even. i.e. it lost nothing.”

                misrepresenting again….unrealised return is still a loss, the NZ taxpayer essentially donated in excess of 13 million to Thiel.

                “So, back to my point, it looks like NZ is still $25m ++ to the good each year”……you continue to make unsubstantiated assumptions,you have no idea of the number of NZ employees, what their employment status (salary or contract) or their salaries and what tax they pay…we do know however Xero runs at a net loss and a consequent negative tax position.

                • mlpc

                  Admit it,you despise successful enterprise.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I am engaged in successful private enterprise and I despise you and your beliefs,

                • mlpc

                  You didn’t read the article properly, did you, Pat?

                  “The NZVIF, by contrast, confirmed in a statement to the Weekend Herald that it received just $10.2m following the October move after having earlier contributed $9m.”

                  I’ll tell you what. I’ll give you $9m and you give me $10.2m, and you’ll come out ahead in the deal, right?

                  • Pat

                    and you haven’t calculated properly have you mllc?

                    the value of those shares was 40.2 million when sell down occured …given the original investment was 15.8 million then Thiel with an initial investment of 6.8 million should have received less than 17.3 million…not the 30 million he did….a 13 million taxpayer gift. The NZVIF simply received bond rate yet carried the majority of the risk.

      • Cinny 3.4.2

        When things aren’t looking great for the Tories, change the conversation, quickest way to do it, blame Labour.

        Geez MLPC is that all you have?

        By crikey I would be more concerned at the what Thiel has been up to under the National Party regime, seems he has been making money thanks to the National Governments “comprehensive business growth agenda”.

        • mlpc

          I was responding to the anti-enterprise sentiment that pervades The Standard.

          The economy is always going to be high up there when it comes to determining how people vote, and Labour supporters are doing nothing to persuade people that the party is a better bet than National in this regard.

          And climbing into bed with the Greens doesn’t help.

          • Cinny

            MLPC, there is not an anti-enterprise sentiment on TS as you claim.

            Rather there is a wealth of ideas here, and a lack of tolerance for personal greed and selfish people.

            With ten national party MPs not seeking re-election, and an election date set already, is there any word from the Tories on whom will be standing to replace them? I’ve not heard much in the media, do you have any information to share on that please MLPC?

            • mlpc

              Sounds like you are trying to deflect attention from the point.

              Why would I have any information to share?
              I don’t speak for National.

              • Cinny

                I just thought you may know something about it, it’s something I’ve been wondering about of late.

                What was your point again MLPC?
                Was it to blame the opposition parties about the Thiel matter?

                • mlpc

                  Goodness, Cinny, you must have the attention span of a goldfish.
                  My point was the anti-enterprise sentiment that pervades The Standard.

                  • Cinny


                    Insults are the last resort of an insecure person with a crumbling position trying to appear confident. JS

                    I read further down that you’ve come here to argue, personally I’d rather debate than argue.

                    Arguments involve emotion, debates involve logic,
                    Arguments are about winning, debating is about finding the truth
                    Arguments often involve name calling, name calling in debating is admitting defeat

                    Not into playing those kind of games, so I’ll walk away and leave you to play with yourself.

              • Paul

                No you speak for ACT

              • greywarshark

                I wonder about why you speak so much mlpc seeing you don’t have any information to share, anything? You haven’t taken long to start putting down sincere commenters like cinny.

      • Ed 3.4.3

        “What were Labour thinking when they granted this guy residency in 2006?”
        I haven’t seen any evidence of that – is it true?

        This whole deal seems to be radically different that the original intention behind the NZVIF – do we know of any agreements made before 2008 under the scheme, and how they turned out?

        Certainly the net economic benefit of this deal, and possibly of Xero generally, does not appear to have accrued particularly to New Zealand

        • mlpc

          “Immigration New Zealand area manager Darren Calder confirmed that Thiel was granted residence in 2006 under the investor category, and became a permanent resident “after satisfying the conditions of his visa”.

          • Once was and others etc

            and just by the way …. that ‘investor category’ is measured in terms of money rather than value.
            It’s why the whole system is fucked.
            An extremely talented, but poor would-be ‘investor’ doesn’t stand a chance against a very wealthy, amoral ‘investor’ of average intellect who hasn’t come to terms with what’s ethical and what is not .

            • Wayne

              Do we really want officials conducting ideological tests on immigrants?

              Provided the person doesn’t have criminal convictions, then their beliefs (obviously not support of ISIS or of Nazism) is pretty much their own business. So if a person is a socialist or a libertarian, so what? Thats their view and they are entitled to it.

            • mlpc

              Extremely talented, but poor investor is really an oxymoron.

              If you truly are extremely talented you will make money starting with nothing.

              • Cinny

                I think what makes people lots of money is greed..

                Most people can make money starting with nothing. It’s easy to get ambition and greed mixed up, just as easy to get skills (education) and talent confused.

                However, it is greed and ego which drives people to amass vast wealth.

                • mlpc

                  Actually, I think most people who amass vast wealth are not all that bothered by the money. It’s doing the deals that count for them.

                  But, hey, if they create jobs along the way that keep families fed and generate taxes to pay for all the stuff that socialists like, that’s all good, isn’t it?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That’s just like saying individual bad choices lead to poverty.

                  Greed can make people cling to vast wealth, but it’s accumulated by chance.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                If you truly are extremely talented you will make money starting with nothing.

                Bollocks. You might, you might not: it’s down to chance and nothing else.

                • mlpc

                  I wonder if One Anonymous Bloke (4.20) would agree that the success of his enterprise has been nothing to do with him, his talent and his hard work.

                  In your words: “it’s down to chance and nothing else.”

                  That’s kind of insulting, isn’t it?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Not at all: I count my lucky stars. Several random events and circumstances have contributed far more than my personal qualities. Many others are blessed with more talent, work harder than I do, etc.

      • Paul 3.4.4

        You have come here to troll.

        • mlpc

          No, I’ve come here to argue, and a few people have argued back.

          I thought that was how Open Mike worked.

          There’s no point preaching to the choir or arguing in an echo chamber.

      • Craig H 3.4.5

        I doubt the Minister of Immigration had anything to do with the grant of residence, unlike citizenship which must be approved by the Minister of Internal Affairs.

  4. Foreign waka 4

    Why are we deporting those Indian students? An amicable decision could be that they finish their study and, if the reason they are here were on grounds that the government advertised this as a “pathway” to residency” than there are reasons to belief that we have an obligation to solve this. Some emotional intelligence is called for as the students will loose face back home. Their culture is dramatically different and one needs to take this into account. Perhaps an extension could be to have a maximum of 1 year “praxis” as part of the education offered. Maybe with government contracted providers? This would also be great as it would provide day to day dealings in business matters in a foreign language that for the students is a great way to create their CV for future employment back home. An added bonus is that it creates good will for future generations.
    Access to unemployment benefit would not apply and basic health insurance would need to be obtained.
    The government and the educational institutions have a legal (consumer guaranty) and ethical obligation to honor any advertised proposition, if indeed this was done.
    To do otherwise would just create the impression that the swindle is on both sides and the winner is the one who hold sway over the process.
    Naturally, permanent residency is quite a different issue and any applicant has to follow the same regime as it cannot be that anyone can come and by just sitting for a few papers in an institution is automatically accepted – no country on this planet would allow that.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      The saga of the foreign students is complicated by the laxness of our own government in monitoring the so-called agents that process their applications some of whom are fleecing them. Apparently government has been advised of fraudulent practices by certain agencies back many years, and have done little to prevent this and nothing to close them down. I don’t know if there is no accredited registration system or one run on a shonky laissez faire approach as is normal with New Zealand government these days.

      Our governments are just like any third world governments with corruption eating away at its systems, and papered over with imported dollars ours backed by borrowings at 7% or such on the world stage. We of course are leaders in the neo lib world for our economy based on selling ourselves to the world of finance which wants their pound of flesh (they aren’t metric in the USA.)

      We want the foreign students money in NZ but don’t promise to deliver a fair product.
      I am ashamed on behalf of my country. These conmen and conwomen in government who have oversight of everything, and are paid well to do so, have no shame about stripping poor people of their money and hopes for a future beyond the poverty line by denying them the goods that they have paid for in the free market that costs us so much.

    • gsays 4.2

      Hi fw,
      The reason they are being deported is because they are brown and foreign.
      Hard on certain ‘crime’.
      I agree with the rest of yr comment.

      Where is the protest, agitation and organizing around these victims of a zealous state?

      Easier to get outraged, upset and to rant powerlessly about something over there than get involved and DO something about a local injustice.

  5. Paul 5

    Lester Levy being interviewed by Kim Hill this morning.
    Sounds like someone who never be let near a public health organisation.
    He is getting worse….quite scary that a crazy like this has control of the finances our health.

  6. chris73 6

    “The four soldiers first tried to fight off the attacker before opening fire, said Benoit Brulon, a spokesman for the military force that patrols Paris and its major tourist attractions. President Francois Hollande praised the troops’ “courage and determination.”

    Good on them but no doubt someone will complain that they opened fire rather then subdue the scumbag

    • North 6.1

      Thank you Kellyanne Conway masquerading as Chris73 above.

    • North 6.2

      Thank you Kellyanne Conway masquerading as Chris73 above. Fake news to reinforce, quite needlessly, the real news passed on.

      • chris73 6.2.1

        In what way is the link or the quote fake pray tell?

        • North

          You didn’t read my comment did you Kellyanne ?
          All you did was give more Chris73. Perhaps I should have said “fake ‘extra’ added to the quote.”

  7. greywarshark 7

    There is much talk lately about how images can be altered now, the media is fluid and flexible, effects so lifelike they can’t be detected as fake.

    Well I have just been watching the Outkasts made in 2000. And what artists at effects they were then.

  8. greywarshark 8

    NZ Herald covering Thief (sorry thiel, so similar aren’t they), and here is the juicy latest.
    Email Matt

    Matt Nippert is a business investigations journalist.
    Billionaire Peter Thiel makes fortune after ‘sweetheart’ deal with Government
    6:17 AM Saturday Feb 4, 2017

    I couldn’t possibly understand this sort of thing, being just a simple citizen able to be manipulated into thinking red, white and blue is white, so I suggest you have a look and make of it what you can. Sounds dodgy to me though. Duh!

  9. Carolyn_nth 9

    Continuing a discussion begun yesterday by Bill at this link:

    Bill linked to this article by Neil Postman’s son, saying that his father had predicted the “amusing ourselves to death” context of the 21st century.

    Ad replied with this:

    Sooner or later Critical Theory will catch up with the fact that we are beyond oligopolies of opinion from newspapers and television, and we are also well past the historical conditions for fascism. This era needs newer, fresher theorising.

    Well, I don’t think so. Critical theory has a long line of research and theory around the seductiveness of the image, it’s use in 20th century propaganda in pre WWII US, the Third Reich, and it’s expansion throughout the media and communications post WWII.

    From the article, commenting on Neil Postman’s reflections in the 1980s:

    But it wasn’t simply the magnitude of TV exposure that was troubling. It was that the audience was being conditioned to get its information faster, in a way that was less nuanced and, of course, image-based.

    As my father pointed out, a written sentence has a level of verifiability to it: it is true or not true – or, at the very least, we can have a meaningful discussion over its truth.

    One never says a picture is true or false. It either captures your attention or it doesn’t.

    In yesterday’s open mike discussion, Ad dismisses the relevance of fascism today. In the above linked article, Andrew Postman says:

    For all the ways one can define fascism (and there are many), one essential trait is its allegiance to no idea of right but its own: it is, in short, ideological narcissism. It creates a myth that is irrefutable (much in the way that an image’s “truth” cannot be disproved), in perpetuity, because of its authoritarian, unrestrained nature.

    Andre P also provides some counter measures for today’s context:

    1. treat false allegations as an opportunity. Seek information as close to the source as possible.

    2. don’t expect “the media” to do this job for you. Some of its practitioners do, brilliantly and at times heroically. But most of the media exists to sell you things.

    3. Links to a site that gives suggestions for journalists doing “public journalism” – here.

    4. Teach children to treat information with skepticism, and to understand out information environment, and to check sources.

    In short, it’s not so much about the democratic potential, or autocratic uses, of our communicative technologies; but about all of us taking responsibility for how we use them.

    • Ad 9.1

      Carolyn I’ll have a go at a post myself on this, unless you want to have a go.
      Might take a week for me though.

      Postman was only a shade away from Kenneth Clark’s Civilisations, bemoaning the rise of the trite and ephemeral. It only worked when tv was king.

      It’s incredibly lazy for the left to reach back to either 1930s Critical Theory, or to Orwell’s anti-Soviet thing, when there’s plenty of capacity to do fresh work now.
      The conditions we are in now are not those, not by a long way. Anthony Burgess did this little thing called 1985, which was essentially a parody of the UK under Labour in the 1960s and 1970s, where rebellious teenagers roamed the land and huddled around fires quoting Marlowe and Euripides and practicing Socratic discourse, and the rest of the world was as grey as the dishwater in the bar of Coronation Street.

      When the facts change, you have to think.

      • Carolyn_nth 9.1.1

        Oh, how condescending to present a dismissive statement of ennui with critical theory.

        Like any theoretical school of thought, it is a blanket term that covers a diverse range of research and theory. And it continually gets cross fertilised with diverse strands of theory, research and experience from elsewhere.

        Critical theory arose from Marxism and in a particular context – as did the work of other researchers and theorists, who have also been influenced by post structuralists, post marxists, etc.

        And this involves continual re-evaluations, and new directions, most often in order to understand changes by digital technologies and neoliberal politics.

        For myself, following the development of the internet, online videos, trans national corporatisation of the news and entertainment media and platforms, the work of Walter Benjamin still has value, and continues to have explanatory power: the aestheticisation of politics.

        Ideas about the move to dominance of visual technologies in digital culture is of major significance. Look how much money and consideration has been put into how political parties represent themselves visually – eg the Natz new logo.

        And the intertwining of marketing, entertainment and political representation and debate is of pressing concern.

        Thanks for the suggestion of writing a post. I’ll leave you to it.

        I write for another site but have been somewhat blocked in writing posts of late. Partly distractions from other areas of my life; plus I have so many issues I wish to write about, I don’t know where to start – have research folders for background to posts on a couple of topics.

    • Cinny 9.2

      Would love to see a post on that topic.

      This bit… for me personally, it’s so important..

      4. Teach children to treat information with skepticism, and to understand our information environment, and to check sources.

      Have tried hard to make sure my kids are aware of the tricks of advertising, I figure once they have their heads around that they can make better decisions about other choices, by understanding the psychology of marketing and mass manipulation.

      It’s important to me that their choices are well informed, they are aware of photo manipulation etc and are slowly learning how to research something to make sure the information is correct or fake.

      It’s amazing how easily a child believes so much of what they see on a screen.

      Would be wonderful to see some documentaries on such subjects that were specifically designed to be viewed and digested by kids. I wonder if there are any out there?

      • Carolyn_nth 9.2.1

        Agree, more information for kids about being critical of information, in a form they’d respond to is required.

        I also have just ordered this book from the library by Sherry Turkle: Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

        More on the book at the link.

        I have followed Turkle’s work for many years. Initially she was very optimistic about the potential that new digital technologies provided for democracy, and for children learning to be creative and critical. She has gradually become disillusioned, is still focused on researching digital culture, but wants to revive the old art of face-to-face or maybe person-to-person conversation; and part of that includes time alone for critical reflection.

        We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.

        The virtues of person-to-person conversation are timeless, and our most basic technology, talk, responds to our modern challenges. We have everything we need to start, we have each other.

        • Cinny

          Hey thanks Carolyn for mentioning the book you’ve ordered and the author, have just found a TED talk she has done, so will check it out.

          “Connected but Alone”

          • Carolyn_nth

            Thanks, Cinny. I’ve read a fair bit of her stuff, but never seen Turkle talk.

            In that video she raises questions about our love affair with technology, and how we can make better use of it, to reflect on ourselves, empathise with others, and also talk more and listen to others.

  10. aom 10

    Question in DomPost regarding high cost of fuel, “Why have profit margins for fuel companies risen, consistently, for the best part of a decade, including this year?” The simple answer is that it was predictable in 2013 when the government financed (NZ Superannuation Fund) sharks at Infratil got hold of Shell NZ.

  11. joe90 11

    Thiel gets a finger on the trigger, too.

    National security adviser Michael Flynn has hired four top deputies, including an executive for venture capitalist Peter Thiel — a top supporter of President Donald Trump — and former intelligence and legal officials who will manage broad portfolios, the White House announced.


    …. Kevin Harrington, most recently the managing director and head of research for Thiel Macro LLC, a San Francisco-based global macro hedge fund. Harrington will be responsible for strategic planning.

  12. weka 12

    Those pesky women’s problems. I guess I should try and explain the short and long term consequences of allowing husbands or fathers to control women’s bodies, because apparently it’s not self-evident, but maybe I’ll just hope that Sabine turns up instead 😈

    A new law in Arkansas bans most second trimester abortions and allows a woman’s husband to sue the doctor for civil damages or “injunctive relief,” which would block the woman from having the procedure.

    The “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act,” signed into law last week by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), bans dilation and evacuation procedures, in which the physician removes the fetus from the womb with surgical tools. D&E procedures are the safest and most common way women can end their pregnancies after 14 weeks of gestation, according to the American Medical Association.

    A clause buried in the legislation states that the husband of a woman seeking an abortion, if he is the baby’s father, can file a civil lawsuit against the physician for monetary damages or injunctive relief ― a court order that would prevent the doctor from going ahead with the procedure. The woman’s parents or legal guardians can also sue, if she is a minor. The law states that the husband cannot sue the doctor for money in cases of “criminal conduct” against his wife ― namely, spousal rape ― but he could still sue to block her from having the abortion.

    • joe90 12.1

      In another century on a 6000 year old planet.


      Repeal of the Blue Laws in North Dakota has hit another roadblock. The House of Representatives voted against getting rid of them.

      But, what’s coming to light now are the comments made by male house members on the chamber floor. Their argument for keeping the law? So wives can use that time to make their husbands breakfast in bed.

      It was only by a thin margin repealing North Dakota’s Sunday closing law failed in the house.

      One lawmaker in favor of keeping the law in place feels Sunday mornings should be used for your wife to make you breakfast in bed.

      “Spending time with your wife, your husband. Making him breakfast, bringing it to him in bed and then after that go take your kids for a walk,” says Representative Bernie Satrom.

      Another feels his wife spends all his hard earned money the rest of the week and his wallet needs a day off. “I don’t know about you but my wife has no problem spending everything I earn in 6 and a half days. And I don’t think it hurts at all to have a half day off,” says Representative Vernon Laning.

    • The Fairy Godmother 12.2

      Where to start. Grrrrr. I thought that the idea of women and children being chattels owned by husbands and fathers went out a long time ago. It looks like its making a comeback in the US. In any relationship worth having the decision to have a child should ultimately rest with the mother. It is her body! How awful to be pregnant and not want to go through with it but have to because a husband or father has power over you and says you have to. Unbelieveable – unfortunately in this unfortunate age maybe not. Women have died because of dangerous pregnancies and legal/religious impediments to abortion.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Speed talking about today’s fun problems.
    David Mitchell on there being a lot wrong with the world

    How to be a female popstar in this modern age (though age is a naughty word)

    • joe90 13.1

      Hey grey, thanks for yesterday’s invite but having the attention span of a sand fly and not being much of joiner I’m afraid I’m not prepared to commit myself to participating in anything organised.

      But I’m certainly going to work my way through Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        Great joe90 you be in just as much as you have time for. This is organised individuality, just whay you say – reading through Small is Beautiful – and then feel free to check in to the post and put up some of your incisive comments. And I mean that sincerely, no sarc. Cheers.

        • marty mars

          me too grey – appreciate being asked and will read the book – can’t guarantee I will be available to discuss but I endorse your idea and I think reading books is cool. Kia kaha

          • greywarshark

            marty mars
            arohanui. The more the merrier, and I appreciate you joining in as you can.
            And what about you turning over in your mind some book for later (I think a book or long article promotes, encourages a thoughtful reception.) The idea is to have something on the back burner about each month, six weeks. For next unless anybody is strongly for something else, Rosemary McDonald’s idea of looking at Marilyn Waring’s Counting for Nothing is top of the list.

            But I have the feeling that you might have some Maori thinkers that would come to mind.

            By the way have you seen the film Poi E. Lovely little gem, very warm and full of keen people who could be NZ renaissance mascots and coach us how to follow the way to success from the doldrums, thinking what would Dalvanius have done.

      • weka 13.1.2

        cheers for the link. There are a few free copies floating around, including an audiobook. I won’t be able to link to them in the post though 😉

        Would love to hear your thoughts in the book sometime.

  14. joe90 14

    In 1989 Bob Crumb published Point the Finger, labeling the pumpkin pinochet one of the more visible big time predators who feed on society and one of the most evil men alive.

    • greywarshark 14.1

      Interesting that everything comes round again sometime. I saw an arthouse film about Crumb decades ago and never anything else have I come across. Some people’s perspective is so different, but I seem to remember he had an unusual family.

  15. joe90 16

    Not sure which is funnier – bullshit bylines or the fact that bogus news site CGS Monitor puts material from globalresearch on their facebook page.

    Bruce Riedel is a widely known expert on the Middle East who helped guide U.S. policy in the region as a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. So he was more than a little surprised recently when an obscure website ran an article about Saudi Arabia he had never seen before — with his byline.

    Riedel wasn’t upset just because he hadn’t written the piece, which appeared under his name on the website of something called the “Center for Global Strategic Monitoring,” or CGS Monitor. The phony piece espoused views — about an alleged Saudi role in the 9/11 terror attacks — that he has publicly rejected.

    “It was very disturbing,” said Riedel, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington think tank. “The article was entirely fictitious. This attacks the whole basis upon which our press works.”

    In effect, Riedel said, the website had lifted his name and attached it to someone else’s opinions. “It’s reverse plagiarism,” he said.

    It turns out Riedel wasn’t alone. Yahoo News has documented multiple other examples of phony advocacy and analysis pieces on CGS Monitor, appearing under the names of other well-known scholars who had never written them or even seen them.

  16. joe90 17

    Sticking it as many people as they can as fast as they can because fraud, waste and abuse.

    But peanuts!.

    Regulators are telling nine companies they won’t be allowed to participate in a federal program meant to help them provide affordable Internet access to low-income consumers — weeks after those companies had been given the green light.

    The move, announced Friday by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, reverses a decision by his Democratic predecessor, Tom Wheeler, and undercuts the companies’ ability to provide low-cost Internet access to poorer Americans. In a statement, Pai called the initial decisions a form of “midnight regulation.”

    “These last-minute actions, which did not enjoy the support of the majority of commissioners at the time they were taken, should not bind us going forward,” he said.

    The program, known as Lifeline, provides registered households with a $9.25-a-month credit, which can then be used to buy home Internet service. As many as 13 million Americans may be eligible for Lifeline that do not have broadband service at home, the FCC has found. Roughly 900 service providers participate in the Lifeline program.

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    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    22 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024
    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 day ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Tobacco First
    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.
    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024
    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    2 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.
    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    2 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.
    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    2 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again
    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?
    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket. to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    2 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network
    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!
    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat
    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Some changes are coming
    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • About fucking time
    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking
    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.
    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?
    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.
    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent
    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac
    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation
    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...
    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz
    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again
    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister
    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    4 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.
    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won
    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16
    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16
    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother
    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?
    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    6 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    7 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago

  • Update on global IT outage
    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership
    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    15 hours ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns
    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    17 hours ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'
    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    18 hours ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs
    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    21 hours ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals
    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    2 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    2 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset
    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    2 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase
    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    2 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    2 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights
    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    3 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language
    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    3 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery
    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    3 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    4 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    4 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    4 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    5 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    5 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers
    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    1 week ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    1 week ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    1 week ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government creates MAG for retail crime victims
    The coalition Government is establishing a Ministerial Advisory Group for the victims of retail crime, as part of its plan to restore law and order, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says.  “New Zealand has seen an exponential growth in retail crime over the past five ...
    1 week ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    1 week ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    1 week ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    1 week ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    1 week ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    1 week ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    1 week ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    1 week ago

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