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Open mike 04/04/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 4th, 2012 - 85 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

85 comments on “Open mike 04/04/2012 ”

  1. Bored 1

    I am looking for a piece of Remuera road verge or similar, or perhaps friendly resident who might allow me to ask the Auckland Council for a consent to “frack” on their patch. The interesting bit will be the responses in objection and their reasons. Anybody interested?

    • Uturn 1.1

      haha I think you’ll find that NIMBY! will be the response. But they might invest in your proposal if you do find someone a bit further away.

  2. Is Collins and the ACC just the tip of a much bigger problem? Why not put the blowtorch to the whole Government iceburg? Maybe then David Shearer will be even more “interested to see what actually happens” when it’s politics as usual rather than his short lived “new kind of politics”.

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.1

      It would be much more courteous of you, if you did not link ever to your own website from your posts here.

      I have no desire to ever go there on purpose and dislike going there accidentally because I assume your link is to a newspaper article.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Wave the mouse over the link. The browser will show the address of the link when you hover. Usually in the bottom left of the browser window. Doesn’t work in iPad damnit as it can’t detect my finger hovering.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Apple should fix that – implanted GPS chip in your fingertip perhaps?

          Would save also those fingerprints on the screen as well.

        • Kevin Welsh

          Not if you are on a mobile device. You don’t have that facility.

          Plenty of people here link to their own sites and make it obvious.

          It’s not that hard.

        • Lanthanide

          The solution is what slashdot does: put the domain name in a bracket after the link, eg

          “Is Collins and the ACC just the tip of a much bigger problem? [yournz.org]”

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        I made a fatal mistake and clicked through.  Now my brain really hurts …

      • tc 2.1.3

        Even better just post and comment on your own site PG, you’ll always agree with yourself, you reduce the risk of being seen as a hypocrite with limited knowledge of law and governmrnt process and we’ll never have to read anymore of your banal and self serving comments.

        WIN WIN !

      • LynW 2.1.4

        Ditto DOS and thank you lprent for that very useful piece of advice. Learn something new everyday!

    • Zorr 2.2

      Petey: Small issue of semantics just to start here – David Shearer is part of the body that forms Parliament however he is not part of the body that forms the Government. That would be John Key, Banksie, the MP and the wig.

      When you can’t even get basic terminology right, how can you be expected to be taken seriously?

      • Pete George 2.2.1

        Maybe it’s a small issue of lack of clarity or misunderstanding. Shearer seems to have bought into the blowtorch on the Government approach to politics.

        Could any minister (or MP for that matter) be in Collins’ position simply with a choice hit squad focus and a helping leak or two?

        It would be easy to target someone, blow up a storm, make a range of accusations and see if any chinks appear. With enough exposure, examination, conjecture, misinformation accusation and staring down wouldn’t any MP be vulnerable? Even if there’s nothing to start with they will end up cracking and making a mistake, or “perception of error”.

        All they need o do is blink (like Collins with her questionable defamation threat) and it becomes a possible political victory.

        Is this what people really want MPs to spend a lot of time on?

        • felix

          I agree.

          The whole of the government must be held to rigourous standards.

          I think you’re starting to get the hang of opposition Pete. Is that because you’re quitting United Future?

        • vto

          “It would be easy to target someone, blow up a storm, make a range of accusations and see if any chinks appear. With enough exposure, examination, conjecture, misinformation accusation and staring down wouldn’t any MP be vulnerable? Even if there’s nothing to start with they will end up cracking and making a mistake, or “perception of error”.”

          It would be easy?

          And credible?

          How many times do you think you could do that Pete before people started ignoring you?

  3. logie97 3

    BBC interview has revealed that the intelligence (on which the invasion of Iraq was based) was a fabrication and puts Helen Clark’s stance in an even better light and makes Key’s assertion that New Zealand was “missing in action” even more pathetic, n’est–ce pas?

    • joe90 3.1

      Curveball interview (subtitled Arabic) and transcript here.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      BBC interview has revealed that the intelligence (on which the invasion of Iraq was based) was a fabrication

      AFAIK, it’s a series, and it’s excellent! Many of us suspected as much from the start, but it’s very good to have it confirmed…

  4. Red Rosa 4

    A thoughtful view on the US from a genuinely Liberal Oz politician, ousted by wingnuts himself.


    And as he will be well aware, the prospect of a federal Liberal/NCP landslide, along Queensland lines, seems more likely as time goes on. But is Abbott really The Man? Many Liberals must be wondering.

    Never a dull moment.

  5. joe90 5

    Sounds familiar.

    “Kipper und Wipper”: Rogue Traders, Rogue Princes, Rogue Bishops and the German Financial Meltdown of 1621-23

    Perhaps not surprisingly, the wealthy were the most heavily implicated. Among those who made fortunes from the kipper- und wipperzeit were the Duke of Alva—supreme commander of Spanish forces in the Low Countries—and the Polish Duke Januz of Ostrog, who on his death left a fortune consisting of 600,000 ducats, 290,000 mixed coins, 400,000 crowns and 30 barrels of broken silver. Perhaps the greatest of the profiteers was Albrecht Von Wallenstein, who during the Thirty Years’ War became not only a great prince, but also generalissimo of all the imperial forces in Europe in large part as a result of the fortune he made during the inflationary period. Wallenstein achieved this by investing the fortune he inherited from his dead wife in a mint lease covering Bohemia, Moravia and Lower Austria, profiting hugely from churning out debased coinage and then using those profits to snap up the estates of dispossessed Protestant noblemen after the Defenestration of Prague sparked war in 1618—transactions that were, naturally, completed in dodgy kippergeld. The prince was one of the few nobles able to finance his own private mercenary army at a time when other princes had trouble merely feeding their troops.

    • prism 5.1

      Nostalgia. The honours roll of the scamlist rolls on from way back with additions to this minute.

      I happened on info that the Vanderbilts at the start of the USA had more money than the government coffers. Pretty rich eh! They have lost most of it now through lavish spending apparently. They should have been sent to scamschool or such to learn the basic skills for grabbing and holding their heritage from an early date.

      Overseas, and here?, the wealthy do funny things with their children though, like ignoring them muchly and penning them up in a nursery block with viewings of Mum and occasionally Dad at set times. Ted Turner’s father sent him off to military school at age nine I think, probably one of the older newbies. We don’t breed ourselves to be tough and crafty enough to match the old aristos. No wonder the French used their new humane people dispatcher so readily.

  6. Descendant Of Smith 6

    Following the above links I thought this article also from Oz was much more more aligned to my thinking.

    I would stop shops trading on Sunday and Saturday afternoon in a heartbeat.


    This paragraph sums it up nicely:

    “Why does being able to buy more stuff make up for husbands and wives being able to see less of each other, having less time with the kids, having a lot more trouble getting together with your friends…”

    • joe90 6.1



      * The super-rich will make more, much much more, and the rest of you will scramble for the crumbs that are left.
      * Everyone must work! Mom, Dad, the teenagers in the house! Dad, you work a second job! Kids, here’s your latch-key! Your parents might be home in time to put you to bed.
      * 50 million of you must go without health insurance! And health insurance companies: you go ahead and decide who you want to help — or not.
      * Unions are evil! You will not belong to a union! You do not need an advocate! Shut up and get back to work! No, you can’t leave now, we’re not done. Your kids can make their own dinner.
      * You want to go to college? No problem — just sign here and be in hock to a bank for the next 20 years!
      * What’s “a raise”? Get back to work and shut up!

    • prism 6.2


      “Why does being able to buy more stuff make up for husbands and wives being able to see less of each other, having less time with the kids, having a lot more trouble getting together with your friends…”

      Or, to put it another way, to have a life of his or her own. Having time to be the person you are, or to find out what you could be, and attend to the tasks that person needs to achieve, seems basic to being a human operating at each level of Maslow’s hierarchy.

      • LynW 6.2.1

        Ahh Maslow. So much for self-actualisation (To develop or achieve one’s full potential) when many are struggling to meet the basic necessities of healthy food in their bellies and a roof over their heads. And what about affordable health and dental care? Where is NZ heading? So many stranded on the bottom tiers and more heading that way…not a lot of time for much else.

  7. vto 7

    The Pike River enquiry has heard from CTU that a crime of corporate manslaughter should be introduced in New Zealand. That makes good sense for the same range of reasons that personal manslaughter exists – a duty of care exists to such an extent that if that duty is breached and people die then a conviction of the crime of manslaughter results. Simple.

    And here is something else equally simple and applicable…

    Political manslaughter.

    Applied at Pike River the politics decreed that health and safety mechanisms could be amended to a different and lower standard. They were so amended and this led directly to people dying (this is what people knew before the hearings, this is what the commission has heard and imo this is what the commission will find, among much else).

    A breach of the duty of care at a political level led to death.

    A breach of the duty of care at a corporate level led to death.

    A breach of a duty of care to fellow manwoman at a personal which leads to death is manslaughter.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

  8. fatty 8

    I see National-lite are being as useless as usual.
    The red neoliberials also want to also attack students, but just not hit them quite as hard.
    No wonder NZ continues to be happy to get shafted by the blue neolibs.
    Good luck getting students to vote on election day…why would they bother?


    • Campbell Larsen 8.1

      The charging of interest on student loans is totally wrong IMO as NZ benefits from having an educated society and the scheme when implemented was essentially a transfer of the costs of education from the state to to individual. I would even go further and say that the scheme and the debt needs to be written off and replaced with a universal student allowance and heavily subsidised fees to ensure affordable access to tertiary education and to rectify the historic injustice of the loan scheme. However I do concede that the benefit to NZ is lost if the student leaves NZ after studying not to return – this scenario does require a bit of thought as to how some benefit to NZ may be generated.
      There was no talk in the article that you linked to of Labour supporting Nationals as yet unannounced plan to reintroduce interest on residents loans – nor would I expect there to be when it is announced.
      What I don’t like to see is people pushing the old ‘why bother voting’ BS – voting is the only way we have of getting National out of office and it is National that is the greatest threat to students financial well being at present. You may feel cynical but do us all a favour and keep it to yourself – the rest of us want to get on with the job of getting the Nats out of office and comments like yours do nothing to assist nor do they help the students that you supposedly care about.

      • McFlock 8.1.1

        Funnily enough, if NZ was a country where your kids could get a free education (not to mention access to other social services), fewer people would leave permanently.

      • fatty 8.1.2

        Campbell Larsen:

        “What I don’t like to see is people pushing the old ‘why bother voting’ BS – voting is the only way we have of getting National out of office and it is National that is the greatest threat to students financial well being at present. You may feel cynical but do us all a favour and keep it to yourself – the rest of us want to get on with the job of getting the Nats out of office and comments like yours do nothing to assist nor do they help the students that you supposedly care about.”

        My comment was “why would THEY bother”…I’m talking about the swing voters…the voters who might just flag voting cause a BBQ is on. This is the issue for Labour, they do not need to take many votes from National, they need to motivate their possible voters.

        The so called ‘why bother voting BS’ is real and it should be of major concern to Labour, it is shortsighted to ignore it, its the reason why they continue to be in opposition.
        The article states that Labour was going to agree to lowering it to 2 years, rather than one…so I think my post is fair. 2 years vs 1 year is like horse shit vs dog shit…

        How can you not be cynical after your first paragraph? Trust me, I hate National just as much as you, that’s why I want to see an alternative that will move towards what we both believe in (see your paragraph 1).

        “However I do concede that the benefit to NZ is lost if the student leaves NZ after studying not to return – this scenario does require a bit of thought as to how some benefit to NZ may be generated.”

        McFlock is exactly right…I would throw in house prices there too

        • Campbell Larsen

          fatty – Labour withdrew their support for the Bill. You are criticising wrong people – however I’m sure your concern is noted. The real battle meanwhile is still being fought:

          Open mike 29/03/2012

    • Jim in Tokyo 8.2

      The sound of one worm turning. Or in petespeak, pragmatically reversing a previously pragmatic position in the interests of pragmatism going forward.

      “Mr Robertson poked fun at Mr Dunne because he introduced the three-year holiday in 2007 as Revenue Minister in the then Labour-led Government.

      Mr Dunne referred to it then as a pragmatic way to deal with the problem of the tradition of the OE.

      ‘Mr Dunne has changed his mind.’ ”

      (From fatty’s stuff link)

  9. David Shearer was interviewd on TV3 this morning: .

    The interview of David Shearer by Rachel Smalley on TV 3 this morning had four interesting points. Firstly, Shearer acknowledges that Mallard & Little were acting under his directions and had been since the matter arose. He then stated that there was no obligation on them to “man up” and show what facts they relied upon to substantiate the allegations. He stated that they did not have to do anything unless and until Collins pursued the defamation proceedings. The third point was that if Collins does proceed, every e-mail and every phone call would then be put on record and this is what they wanted from the start.

    These 3 points are significant because they suggest an orchestrated strategy. There is a very strong suggestion that Mallard & Little were motivated by improper purposes. It has been sometime since I looked at the cases relating to the use of documents disclosed on “discovery” but I am quite sure that Mallard & Little cannot use them for political purposes and, I rather suspect, that these documents would never become part of a public record unless they substantiated or refuted the specific issues.

    The interview suggests that Mallard & Little (more correctly, the Labour Party) are prepared to let the defamatory comments stand so that they can extract documentation which they will use to prove political points.

    Shearer said that the proposed proceedings were without precedent. In the sense that few MPs have been stupid enough to repeat allegations outside the house, he may be correct. The interview today however suggests that it may not necessarily have been stupidity that lead them to make the comments but a planned out strategy.

    Is this a fair reflection of the interview? (I didn’t see it). If so then Shearer was obviously at least supportive of the whole orchestrated “gotcha Collins” campaign.

    • felix 9.1

      What’s this “gotcha” meme you keep trying to plant? Is it something to do with the Slater child and his “gotcha” website?

      It seems odd that you, who so often talks about cleaning up politics, wouldn’t want to get to the bottom of this matter as soon as possible. I would’ve expected you to be fully supportive of efforts to hold Collins to account, and to get all the facts on the table and in the light of day.

      Why just this very morning you were suggesting that we “put the blowtorch to the whole Government iceburg”, something I was happy to fully support you on.

      • Pete George 9.1.1

        Shearer started “gotcha” himself:

        Shearer not buying into ‘gotcha’ politics

        “I’m not the kind of leader who believes in rival tribes playing ‘gotcha’, where bickering and partisanship are prized. Of course that’s what a lot of people look for. They want to score the game, give points for the best smart remark in Parliament. But that’s not what most New Zealanders want,” Mr Shearer told an Auckland Grey Power meeting yesterday.

        It’s been mentioned by a number of commenters since then, eg Shearer and “Gotcha” politics

        Even here:

        His consistent line that he doesn’t want to get involved in the usual bickering and partisanship (“rival tribes playing gotcha”) will be going over well with the public – “Shearer not buying into ‘gotcha’ politics“.

        Shearer taking shape

        He’s either finding it hard not to get dragged into the mire, or he just decided to ditch that aproach.

  10. Ben 10

    Anyone else picked up on this press release?
    “John Key’s admission today that he chaired the committee which appointed his own electorate chair Stephen McElrea to the board of NZ on Air directly links the Prime Minister to allegations of cronyism and political interference, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.”

    Bet you won’t read about that in the DomPost.

    Here’s the press release:

    • deuto 10.1

      While I haven’t seem anything on Stuff or the Herald site as yet, RNZ National covered this in its news bulletins last night and it was also one of the top stories on Checkpoint, including an interview with Clare Curran. Here is the 17 minute Checkpoint item


      • ianmac 10.1.1

        Thanks deuto and Ben. Seems very clear and a case to answer.
        Dr Smith tended his resignation for a conflict of interest. The PM accepted that.
        If a conflict of interest is proven, then will the PM accept the resignation of John Key?

    • I heard the item on RNZ. Like most “scandals” this wouldn’t have come to light, except for McElrea drawing attention to himself with his comments. Silly thing to do.

      This might be a valid issue to shine more light on, but how far? Both National and Labour have histories of making appointments that could attract accusations of “cronyism and political interference”.

      A case could potentially be made to accuse the accusers of attempting political inteference.

      Should no appointments be made of anyone who has (or has had) an involvement in politics?

      • felix 10.2.1

        Sure, you could make an absurd reduction of the principle and say that.

        Probably more helpful to look at things that have actually happened though.

        By which I mean yes, politically aligned or experienced people in a small country are inevitably going to be in these sorts of positions, but it usually doesn’t seem to cause too many problems.

        It’s not really a matter of keeping you head down though as you imply. As long as you don’t do anything stupid or potentially corrupt like abuse your position in a public institution and make political decisions to spend public money in ways that favour your own party, you’ll probably be ok.

  11. Jackal 11

    Nats gambling addiction

    The event centre itself may not be viable in the current economical climate, and unless things improve, the costs will outweigh the benefits. The National government should concentrate on fixing the economy instead of making dirty deals with the gambling industry…

  12. bad12 12

    Back befor the House is the Fonterra bill,(sorry we forgot the actual title and are too lazy right now to dig it out),

    There seems on the part of National an unholy haste to have this particular piece of legislation which pits the rights of Productive Capitalists against the wants of Speculative Capitalists,

    The ”Fonterra Legislation” seems innocuous on the surface simply changing the law to allow dairy farmer suppliers to be able to trade shares in the company they own,Fonterra,in a yet to be established market between each other,

    We,along with a large number of the dairy farming shareholders of Fonterra simply see this present piece of rushed legislation as the next attempt in a series of failed attempts to have the shares of the dairy giant Fonterra listed on the NZ Stock Exchange,

    Having been rebuffed in their prior attempts at gaining such a listing of Fonterra by the share-holding Productive Capitalists,(the dairy farmers),the Speculative Capitalists have now opted for the ”new” approach of legislation which will allow those dairy farmers to trade the shares among one another thus we assume trying to create such a trading mentality within the dairy farming community,

    The end game tho is still to have the Fonterra shares listed on the NZ Stock exchange,the Speculative Capitalists now realizing that this will have to be achieved with the slowly slowly approach if they are to have the dairy farming community kow-tow to their wishes of having the control of the company they own wrested from their hands by speculative capital…

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      Letters to the editors in the rural press have been pretty blunt about this. Not happy.

      • Jim Nald 12.1.1

        Sounds like the time has arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand for farmers, townies, tangata whenua, greenies, and leftists together with traditional rightists (ie sans neo-cons) to come together and forge a new social contract for the nation to reject crony and speculative capitalism typified so much by the John Key government.

      • tc 12.1.2

        Smarmy boy Weldon’s NZX went around hoovering up Rural publications a few years back probably to stem this sort of inconvenient opinion as they were attempting to get in on the NZX back then.

  13. bad12 13

    Just when Fonterra,s ”milk in schools” program had us thinking that once they clean up the act around what gets leached or dropped into the waterways we could over time develop a grudging respect for the dairy giant the veil is lifted,

    Here we were telling each other the other night that if Fonterra were to roll out ”milk in schools” nation-wide we would in all probability have forgiven them the over-pricing of dairy products we all here in New Zealand suffer via the forward contracts that Fonterra has with various Speculative Capitalists who have very cleverly,(without publicity),managed to insert themselves into the dairy supply chain between Fonterra and the points of retail,

    There was even the suggestion here that should such a nation-wide milk in schools roll-out occur it would be impossible for any of us to entertain any thought of Fonterra at any time without also having pictures of little floating hearts occupy our minds,

    However,as the cost of legislation for SkyCity to be able to install 500 extra pokie machines at its premises would seem to be the erection of an unwanted convention centre in the city of Auckland we now have to start asking about the price of such legislation as the Fonterra bill now befor the House and is there any connection between the ”milk in schools” roll-out in its oh so pretty small blue cartons…

    • ianmac 13.1

      bad 12. In the nature of trying to help, put a space after each comma.
      And for apostrophes like “Fonterra,s” try using the apostrophe which on my keyboard is up one row of keys and at the end of the row. Thus “Fonterra’s”. OK?

      • bad12 13.1.1

        Umm yeah ok,we give you express permission to reproduce our posts with what you see as the neccessary punctuation to make it intelligble to you,without having changed the meaning and intent of such posts as we produced them,

        However,we write how we write and it all makes perfect sense to us and we dont propose to get into the same old arguments about our treatment of the English language we have had with others on other sites where we have commented,

        We suppose that if the lack of punctuation,or,its over-supply from and by us causes too much angst and heart-ache at our treatment of the English language we will eventually be suitable moderated…

        • Pete George

          What makes perfect sense to you mightn’t appear that way to others. Poorly punctuated text is less likely to be read through and if it’s read it’s less likely to be understood or remembered by the reader.

          • McFlock

            Punctuation: the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit. 

            • felix


              • Vicky32


                And yet, and yet – I get attacked for similar pleas to people about their language usage. How does that work, hey?

                • felix

                  Yeah it’s a hard road being a punctuation naz1 in a world of thumbs.

                  Also related: A wee vodka and soda is not the same as a wee, vodka and soda.

          • bad12

            And we would take the slightest bit of notice of anything you have to say vis a vis our writing style(or lack of it),why???…

            • McFlock

              The natural inference from the fact that you comment at all is that you wish to communicate some idea or another.
              Effective communication requires common language – the greater the number of language features shared between communicator and audience, the more subtle points can be communicated efficiently. This includes not just syntactic consistency in the language (“let’s eat Derek” vs “let’s eat,  Derek”), but also the likelihood of misinterpretation due to poor eyesight, small screens, vibrating vehicles, or divided attention. Particularly as in this medium we already tend to automatically substitute expected words to accommodate typos etc.
              That’s why punctuation is more than just pretty pictures. Just FYI. 

        • felix

          I agree with Pete for the second(!) time today. It’s not a matter of what rules of language and grammer are “correct”, it’s just a matter of whether you want to get your message across.

          • bad12

            Translated would be ”havnt got the nous to enter the debate with anything constructive,(or destructive),concerning that debate,attack the messenger and not the message”…

            • Pete George

              It’s not attacking the messenger/s here, just passing on advice that you can choose to take notice of or ignore.

              How information is presented can make a big difference to how it’s digested (or ignored). Punctuation is a part of that. We don’t read each letter and word, we look at groups of word patterns along with punctuation. If there are unfamiliar patterns it confuses, and distracts the brain from the meaning. Two much clashing and people give up reading. The PhilU style is a good (or bad) example.

            • felix

              You think I’m attacking you, bad12?

              Get a fucking grip.

              (See how easy that was to read?)

              • bad12

                Exactly our point Felix,we have noticed that you and most of those barking in criticism over our use of punctuation post quite frequently but dont actually say anything of interest…

        • prism

          bad12 What’s this royal ‘we’? We are not amused at your intransigence about clarity.

          • bad12

            We have no comment to make on We accept to say that We are here to discuss,politicians,politics and policies and any mention of We in the context of such discussion is limited to having done so to illuminate some point We are attempting to make…

            • Kevin Welsh

              If you want others to engage with you, then take on-board the above comments.

              • bad12

                If that means that you and the others chirping about a missing comma will take a hike and annoy someone else if we dont ”take on-board the above comments” then we definitely choose that option,

                Your wee quisle of a post when translated reads thus,”say what we want to hear in a fashion of type that we want to see or we wont communicate with you”,

                As above,if there,s a price we are expected to pay to enter into conversation with the likes of you then we will happily not engage…

                • felix

                  Oh ffs, no-one’s chirping at you and no-one’s attacking you. You’ve got interesting info to share and that’s great, we’re just trying to help you do that more effectively.

                  Wrong end of the stick buddy.

                  • I agree with felix but i cannot stand the royal wee, nevertheless – wrong end of the stick buddies.

                    • Carol

                      Yeah, bad’s content is interesting, but the royal “we” and “our” gets really irritating to read.

      • muzza 13.1.2

        Was going to ignore it, but this sort of nonsense comment is really not necessary….

        Maybe if you were out contributing to real life, you would not be so rediculously petty over such trivial punctuation issues. The usual predatory, territiorial attack dogs chime in. FFS try focus on some actual problems why don’t you!

        Come on you fullas , you can do better than that surely…maybe not, it’s just a blog site right!

        • prism

          To me this isn’t just a site to go to and fill in time idly speculating about life, though I do sometimes. But I mainly come here to read what people think and what they’ve read and the links they provide to other coherent thinkers. I think people here blog because they want to discuss society with a view to seeing it and the planet going in a direction that leads to good outcomes for all.

          Wanting people to put up something coherent in a way that shows they want their points to be read and understood is not ‘ridiculously petty’. I like to read informed opinions and good rants. If I just wanted to fill my time with others’ half-digested mumblings there is the big wide world for that.

  14. Jackal 14

    Greenpeace wronged by ASA

    Any reasonable person would understand that the Greenpeace advertisement was concerned with total avian deaths from the Rena oil spill, of which only an educated estimate can be provided…

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Rebecca Macfie is live tweeting from the pike river hearing, here:


    Shorter version: PRC lawyer sez not Board or CEO’s fault, it’s his fault and his fault and their fault, also possibly Jesus’ fault.

    Sounds Like Commissioner Pankhurst is none too impressed with PRCs lawyer’s arguments

  16. freedom 16


    We already know the Nats love to mine. The PM recently signaled that as-yet undefined relationships with Google are going to be an ever-increasing part of the Government’s service provider policies. If we consider the proposed Cloud-mining, the recent steps by Facebook and Google to incorporate Suicide Hotline services, the massively intrusive nature of the amended Search & Surveillance Bill, the inflation only increases of Health budgets, the MSD nannystate paycards and the overall lack of human compassion expressed by this Government’s members you may understand how a person could be pressed to highlighting the fact there is a very large information void that begs the question:

    What exactly are the Government plans for dealing with mental health in NZ?

  17. deuto 17

    Auditor-General to audit aspects of ACC governance

    Was half listening to RNZ National 4pm news and heard something about the Auditor-General going to do an audit of ACC.
    The following is now up on the RNZ National website

    The auditor-general is to investigate aspects of how the ACC board deals with risks such as conflicts of interest.

    It comes as a result of the recent release of confidential information and ACCs dealings with a claimant, Bronwyn Pullar.

    The auditor-general will investigate aspects of governance at ACC not currently covered by other inquiries being carried out by the Privacy Commissioner and the ACC board itself.

    Edit: More detail:

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 17.1

      Things just aren’t going the Slippery way are they? “No need for another inquiry” says Slippery. “Yeah right” says the Auditor General.

  18. Morrissey 18

    BBC’s Concept of Balance–“The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this”:

    Or, “The world is considered round under the laws of gravity, though the Flat-Earth Society disputes this.


    3 April 2012 Last updated at 22:58 GMT
    Israeli PM seeks delay of Hebron settler eviction
    Israel’s prime minister has asked his defence minister to delay the eviction of Jewish settlers who took over a house in the Arab part of Hebron.

    Benjamin Netanyahu wants the settlers to be able to stay in the building while they “make their legal case”.

    Ehud Barak had ordered the settlers out of the house in the West Bank city on Tuesday because they had not received the military’s approval to purchase it.

    The settlers say they bought the house from its Palestinian owners legally.

    But local Palestinian police disputed the validity of the deal, saying the building had more than 50 owners, only one of whom sold his share.

    Mr Netanyahu’s move comes a week after his government unsuccessfully sought to delay an order from the Supreme Court to dismantle an illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank.

    About 20 settlers moved into the two-storey house in Hebron on Thursday night, seeking to expand the settlement of some 500 families in the heart of the city, home to 180,000 Palestinians.

    On Monday, the Israeli military told the settlers they had until 15:00 (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday to leave the house or prove it was theirs, after which the authorities would “act to restore the building to its previous state”.

    “After examining all the evidence that was handed over and after considering all the circumstances of the incident, it was decided to return to the situation which existed before,” the military order said. The settlers did not obtain military approval to buy the house and their takeover constituted a provocation, it added.

    But overnight, Mr Netanyahu “asked the defence minister to allow the settlers in the building to have time to make their legal case”, officials in the prime minister’s office said.

    After the deadline passed, Hebron settlers’ spokesman David Wilder told AFP news agency they were awaiting the outcome of Mr Netanyahu’s meeting with senior ministers.

    “There is nothing new, we are waiting for a decision by the ministers,” he said.

    About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.


  19. Carol 19

    This looks promising for those of us who get Triangle…. hopefully the shows will also be put online:


    The Union Report – starts 8pm Monday 23rd April:

    a new current affairs show that looks at the news week through the lens of industrial relations.

    Hosted by blogger and controversial broadcaster Martyn Bradbury, the show will bring together dispute insiders, Union leaders and political commentators and politicians to provide an alternative analysis to traditional mainstream media coverage.

    Council of Trade Union President Helen Kelly, commentators Chris Trotter and Mike Williams will be joined by a changing panel of guests from EPMU, PSA, NZNO, Unite, First Union, SFWU, MUNZ, PPTA and CTU affiliates to discuss the weeks industrial activity from the worker’s perspective

  20. Morrissey 20

    When War Is in the Air on PBS
    Posted on 04/03/2012 by PETER HART

    One of the most troubling aspects of all the media coverage of an attack on Iran is that it can make a radically destabilizing act of unprovoked war seem like just another policy choice.

    I thought of this when I saw a PBS NewsHour segment (3/28/12) that set out to ponder the consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran. PBS reporter Margaret Warner oddly framed Israeli public opinion this way:

    Though the Iranian regime has vowed to destroy the Jewish state, recent polls in Israel show only 19 percent would support their government attacking Iran unilaterally.

    Hearing that, you might wonder why there’s a segment of Israeli society that doesn’t support their own self-defense. It’s not clear what Iranian vow Warner might be talking about (presumably not their pledge to not develop nuclear weapons). It’s possibly a reference to the contested translation of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment about wiping Israel “off the map.” Or it could be a reference to more recent comments from Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He called Israel a “cancerous tumor” in February, and vowed to support those fighting Israel. Given that the Israeli government is openly speaking about the need to attack Iran sooner rather than later, and does not exactly deny a role in the killings of Iranian scientists, one could just easily be talking about Israeli belligerence. But that’s rarely the subject.

    Then look at the experts PBS lined up to talk about Iran: Hawkish Atlantic reporter Jeffrey Goldberg (who served in the Israeli army), a Columbia University defense analyst who speaks of Israeli weapons capabilities (“The Israelis have a really robust military capability”), an analyst from the right-leaning Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a fellow at the right wing American Enterprise Institute (who says that if Iran were attacked it would “depict itself as a victim of Israeli aggression”).

    To the extent that there’s any debate at all, it’s mostly about whether or not Iran will retaliate, and where. And then there is some talk about the technical difficulties for Israel in successfully carrying out this massive unprovoked act of war (something we’ve discussed before).

    Goldberg sees the possibility of an accidental escalation from Iran–”one hyperactive commander acting on his own to ram or try to ram a U.S. ship”–and it is there that the segment closes, with Warner saying, “It is just this unpredictability that keeps Washington policymakers and many Israeli citizens up at night.”

    The calculations and worries of Beltway insiders and Israeli political leaders are well-represented here–but very little else. It’d be nice for discussions about launching a war to include some voices from outside those elite circles–especially when the discussion is happening on public television.


  21. Reagan Cline 21

    John Key: “It (the mental health package) sends a strong message to young New Zealanders : we value you and will help you succeed”
    If I were a young person I would be very suspicious about the intent of a “strong message” from a rich speculator, who’s current hobby (sorry “job”) is playing Prime Minister of New Zealand.
    I would wonder who the “we” are who are supposed to value me so much and I would fight tooth and nail to avoid the kind of success I think they have in mind for me.
    The message avoids the reasons for a lot of mental suffering, which are feeling of not belonging, being sort of separate and not really respected by the people who seem to know so much more than me and to know better than me how to live, and so deserving of their wealth, unlike me.
    The wealth gap needs to shrink – as has been pointed out many times on this site and elsewhere.
    The wealthy in NZ have too much to spend and the poor have too little.
    A real Prime Minister would be devoting everey fibre of his being to trying to fix that.

  22. David 22

    The New Zealand Initiative (the takeover of the mantle of the NZ Institute by utter right wing ideologues) has launched with Oliver Hartwich at the helm. Here’s a little sample of the wisdom this recycled Australian climate change sceptic will be pushing…

    The current planning system is an outdated straitjacket on economic growth, contends Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich of Policy Exchange

    Dr Hartwich:
    “To begin with, “consensus” is a term which is alien to science. It is a
    concept from sociology which describes only that a general agreement
    has been reached, a process of collective decision-making, if you will. In
    science, however, such a process could never be understood as a means
    of establishing “truth”, for it would not only require the individual sci-
    entist to submit himself to a majority view, but it would make that con-
    sensually achieved view virtually unassailable.Thus, establishing a scientific consensus is incompatible with the way that science has evolved,
    from the Age of Reason to Karl Popper’s theory of critical rationalism.
    One would be well advised then to treat the talk about a “climate
    change consensus” as what it is: not as a scientific consensus about climate
    change but at most as a political agreement to act and speak as if the major
    questions surrounding climate change had already been answered. In
    reality, however, there are very few things on which the majority climate
    scientists would readily agree.8
    Dealing with those issues on which there is agreement is very simple,
    for they are few. First, the average global temperature has risen by
    approximately 0.7 degrees centigrade since 1860. Second, an ever
    increasing world population has an influence on the climate through
    increased energy and land use. Everything else in the climate change
    debate is highly controversial. Has the climate of the past millennium
    always been colder than today or not? How much of an effect on the cli-
    mate does atmospheric carbon dioxide have? Do rising carbon dioxide
    concentrations lead us to a point of no return? Or are there self-regulat-
    ing mechanisms which will slow, halt, or even reverse the process? For
    each question one finds much disagreement among climatologists. Such
    disagreement should be welcomed, for it is what science is all about. Far
    from any clear-cut consensus then, there is a debate amongst experts
    about the various aspects of climate change. Puzzling, then, that most of
    what we hear in the public domain gives the impression that the case is
    quite the opposite.


  23. David 23

    More on Oliver Hartwich, quotes he collates on his own webpage. http://www.oliver-marc-hartwich.com/or-loathe-me

    “Hartwich demonstrates his passion for the polemic; he sows the seed of doubt among the populace to ensure the flows of riches to his already wealthy supporters’ remain uninterrupted … Hartwich and his cronies would have us maximise their annual profits at the expense of our grandchildren and then our granchildren’s grandchildren. … Hartwich, the Centre for Independent Studies and other right-wing thoughtless-tanks are working hard to guarantee your children and grandchildren will suffer. We cannot let these (insanely wealthy) people dictate our future.”
    Corey J.A. Bradshaw and Paul R. Ehrlich, 12 November 2010

    “Oliver Marc Hartwich … arguably sets a new benchmark in fact-free opinion journalism.”
    Ken Parish, Club Troppo, 8 November 2010

    “One has to assume that Dr. Hartwich is not stupid, which forces one to accept that he is being intentionally deceitful and misleading.”
    Reader comment on BusinessSpectator.com.au, 7 October 2010

    “Hartwich is just a shill for the old and now totally discredited Neo-Liberal economic theology. Everything he says … needs to be seen through the distorted and now cracked prism of that ideology.”
    “Oliver Hartwich – well known Randian paper shuffler, formerly adviser to a Tory Lord, snout in the trough of a right-wing big-business-funded “think-tank” (read propoganda outlet)”
    Reader comments on the National Times website, 23 June 2010

    oh, so he’s a narcissist as well… uses the the Oscar Wilde quote about the not being talked about at all as his rationale…

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