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Open mike 04/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 4th, 2016 - 143 comments
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143 comments on “Open mike 04/04/2016 ”

  1. vto 1

    How does a sugar tax stop the kids for who money is no object getting fat?

    ditto smokers

    or do we pick on the poor the most again

    • weka 1.1

      From a public health perspective, most kids don’t fall into the category of ‘money is no object’. That’s the point.

      I agree there are significant problems with not penalising low income people. Sugar consumption is a major public health issue. Those two things need to be reconciled.

      They should stop with the focus on obesity too, it’s misleading.

      • vto 1.1.1

        Sure, but that means only those in the middle are affected by a sugar tax as intended. Means the ‘public health perspective’ is a bit useless in these circumstances.

        Could ban the sugar. Or limit it in drinks. Limit it in bread. Limit it in all food. There are countless examples of products being limited in our food – just add sugar to the list.

        This government will never do anything about it though. This government I think is the very most conservative government that New Zealand has ever had.

        • weka

          Why only the middle? Low income people will be affected top.

          The problem isn’t sugar so much as refined carbs. They’re picking on soft drinks because it’s a relatively easy target and one achievable fairly immediately as compared to say getting refined sugar taken out of processed foods.

          The really big problem is they’ve spent 30 years telling people to not eat fat and to limit protein so if they now tackle the problem of refined carbs people won’t get enough calories.

        • gsays

          i think rosie came up with a good idea- remove gst from the foods we would like people to be eating more of and keep it on the fizzy, durries and grog.

          simple really.

      • RedLogix 1.1.2


        Being overweight or obese is the main modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes. In England, obese adults are five times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than adults of a healthy weight. Currently 90% of adults with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. People with severe obesity are at greater risk of type 2 diabetes than obese people with a lower BMI.


        Deprivation is closely linked to the risk of both obesity and type 2 diabetes. Prevalence of type 2 diabetes is 40% more common among people in the most deprived quintile compared with those in the least deprived quintile. People from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are at an equivalent risk of type 2 diabetes at lower BMI levels than white European populations.

        Health impact

        People with diabetes are at a greater risk of a range of chronic health conditions including cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation, kidney disease and depression than people without diabetes. Diabetes leads to a two-fold excess risk for cardiovascular disease, and diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of preventable sight loss among people of working age in England and Wales. Diabetes is a major cause of premature mortality with around 23,300 additional deaths in 2010-11 in England attributed to the disease.

        Economic impact

        It is estimated that in 2010-11 the cost of direct patient care (such as treatment, intervention and complications) for those living with type 2 diabetes in the UK was £8.8 billion and the indirect costs (such productivity loss due to increased death and illness and the need for informal care) were approximately £13 billion. Prescribing for diabetes accounted for 9.3% of the total cost of prescribing in England in 2012-13.

        Future trends

        In England, the rising prevalence of obesity in adults has led, and will continue to lead, to a rise in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. This is likely to result in increased associated health complications and premature mortality, with people from deprived areas and some minority ethnic groups at particularly high risk. Modelled projections indicate that NHS and wider costs to society associated with overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes will rise dramatically in the next few decades.


        • Psycho Milt

          Being overweight or obese is the main modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

          The fact that they use the term “risk factor” is itself an admission of failure. Obesity is indeed strongly correlated with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease of insulin, and lipogenesis (fat creation) is controlled by insulin. Armed with that info, which do you think more likely: that obesity causes diabetes? Or that obesity and diabetes are results of some third factor that involves insulin? The idiots peddling obesity as a “risk factor” for diabetes have put their money on the first one, hence my use of the terms “idiots” and “failure.”

          • RedLogix

            Or that obesity and diabetes are results of some third factor that involves insulin?

            Well of course. Not all obese people get diabetes. I thought that was obvious?

            The idiots peddling obesity as a “risk factor” for diabetes have put their money on the first one,

            But I don’t think that is what ‘risk factor’ means. For instance being an skier is clearly a risk factor for being killed in a avalanche. But skiing by itself is not the root cause of avalanches.

            Probably this is one of those conversations that pivots on being crystal clear about what your terms mean.

            • Psycho Milt

              It’s more that calling obesity a “risk factor” and suggesting that “modifying” it would change the level of Type 2 Diabetes means either that they believe obesity causes diabetes, or that they really have no clue and are just hoping that modifying the one might affect the other. There is no interpretation of that statement that fits the actual situation: that obesity and Type 2 diabetes are both effects of some third thing.

              A reductio ad absurdum analogy would be calling the inability to talk properly a “risk factor” for numbness down one side of the body, and deciding that speaking ability is modifiable so we should find ways to improve these patients’ speech and that might improve our “knumbness-down-one-side” rates – without considering the possibility that maybe these patients have had strokes.

    • It doesn’t stop anybody getting fat, unless we’re thinking of taxing sugar at the kind of levels we’ve seen for tobacco (and tobacco tax is now at the level where it’s apparently worthwhile to carry out armed robbery for cigarettes, so be careful what you wish for). The demand for a sugar tax isn’t about stopping people getting fat, it’s an admission of failure and generally-not-having-a-clue by the various flavours of expert calling for the tax..

      • weka 1.2.1

        Getting fat isn’t the problem. Getting rotten teeth and insulin resistance it. A sugar tax on soft drinks just for dental health alone makes sense, but it should apply to fruit juice too.

        It’s also not about individuals. They will be looking at the problem across the whole population.

        A sugar tax on its own is not enough. Reducing smoking related illness took a whole range of strategies. The biggest value of a sugar taxis it might make more people pay attention. I don’t trust public health officials to get that right until they sort their shit out around dietary fat.

        • Psycho Milt

          I don’t trust public health officials to get that right until they sort their shit out around dietary fat.

          Yep, same here. I also agree re the dental health thing, but it would have to be one hefty motherfucker of a tax rate, and it would have to extend beyond sucrose (to capture fruit juice, and to prevent manufacturers swapping out sucrose with high-fructose corn syrup or similar shite).

          I actually don’t mind dealing with this issue in terms of getting fat – as long as said incompetent public health officials claim diabetes is “caused” by obesity, their interest in sugar tax amounts to fat-shaming. Let’s keep that right out in the open.

        • gsays

          and what say we reinvest the sugar taxes in to free dental care for all?

          • weka

            Good idea. Although there is something odd about paying for dental care by taxing something that creates dental problems 😉

      • Puckish Rogue 1.2.2

        I agree, adding a 20% tax (just as an example) to a drink won’t stop anyone buying it. $2.00 + 20% = $2.40 just isn’t going to make anyone wanting a coke deciding to have a drink of water instead.

        Water is free and theres things you can buy to add flavour or you could buy the diet versions or you could buy a soda stream

        But simply adding a sugar tax won’t stop people from buying fizzy drink

        • Psycho Milt

          Yeah, I can’t see any point beyond revenue-gathering to a tax of less than 100%, and even 100% would have pretty minimal effect. Then there’s the devil in the detail – would we be taxing just sucrose, or anything ending in “ose?” Just added “ose” or or all “ose?” If it’s just added “ose,” manufacturers have a shitload of highly intelligent product development scientists standing ready to minimise the amount of sugar that needs to be added while leaving the drink just as sugary. If it’s all “ose” content, how does applying this level of tax to fresh fruit sound? It’s just the usual dumbassery from people who should know better.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Theres a part of me that would absolutely love to see what would happen if Labour or National proposed a 100% tax on Galactose…

            I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment:

            “The demand for a sugar tax isn’t about stopping people getting fat, it’s an admission of failure and generally-not-having-a-clue by the various flavours of expert calling for the tax..”

            That people think something should be done and the only thing they can think of is…a tax

            I personally think that the only way to go is education, greater resources for dental nurses in school, fluoridation in all water supply, greater emphasis on sports in schools and have all government departments, maraes, hosipitals etc etc remove fizzy drinks from sale

    • Rosie 1.3

      Sugar tax is pants. Full stop. Last decade it was fat tax, now it’s sugar tax. To a large degree I see food tax as fat phobia dressed up as a public health issue. In the meantime serious public health issues like the damage alcohol does to individuals and society (via family violence and crime) and our record high suicide rates don’t get a look in.

      And you’re right vto. It’s picking on the poor. Obesity rates have risen with increasing poverty rates. Improving health outcomes means improving economic inequality, not punishing people.

      A few of us had a long conversation about it yesterday. Original point in response to adam who kicked it off.

      Open mike 03/04/2016

      • Craig H 1.3.1

        Hang on – if sugar consumption costs the health system, and that cost isn’t built into the cost of the products, then it’s Economics 101 to tax the externality until the true cost is reflected.

        Likewise excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco and petrol.

        Carbon tax is along the same lines, and I look forward to it being introduced.

        • Rosie

          As mentioned on yesterdays thread, regulate the industry. When you apply a food tax you are punishing the victims of the market. Begin at the core of the problem. Stop the advertising, stop the sponsorship, stop the cost cutting. Reduce the influence of the product. When the promotion of the product is diminished so are it’s sales. Regulation is something we didn’t used to be afraid to do. Now we let corporates run amok.

          Also, get rid of GST on food (on everything in fact, it is a completely immoral tax) but maybe leave it on unhealthy items like booze, fags and highly processed foods and drinks. People need to access to healthier foods. Then they have a choice.

          Can’t compare carbon tax and sugar tax. One is necessary to reduce carbon consumption for environmental reasons. The other is an idea for finger wavers who can’t tolerate the eating habits of others. Sugar tax as a response to increasing type 2 diabetes and it’s associated health risks is incredibly patronising, judgemental and authoritarian.

          • Bill

            Begin at the core of the problem. Stop the advertising, stop the sponsorship, stop the cost cutting. Reduce the influence of the product. When the promotion of the product is diminished so are it’s sales.

            Nothing to add to that – a sugar tax is indeed pants.

            But stacking common sense rules on production and distribution against the likes of the TTPA…

  2. Sabine 2

    well file this under stuff no one talks about, or Water who the fuck needs it?


    oh lookit over there ….a sugar tax.

    • locus 2.1

      If this government is going to sell our most valuable natural resources then how about they show an ounce of economic sense and charge a royalty of say 10 cents on every litre extracted

      Oh and maybe hold the extractive industries responsible in perpetuity for remediating any environmental damage that may result from that extraction. I’d say a 1% bond of the value of total sales would be about right.

    • Jenny Kirk 2.2

      And its happening up here in the north as well, Sabine. Clear spring waters at Poroti – a place few have heard about, but Nestles knows about it and has obtained resource consent to set up a water bottling plant. What is even more annoying is that the application was non-notified and approved by the regional council before anyone knew about it.
      If we’re going to sell our fresh water overseas, why isn’t our government setting up NZ companies to do this, and keep the profits in NZ ?
      oh, I forgot …. our govt panders to the big overseas corporations and lets ’em do what they like . Sickening.

      • BM 2.2.1

        I don’t want the government selling bottled water that’s not their job.

        • North

          That’s not what Jenny Kirk said you dishonest troll Bowel. Your non-sequiturs are ridiculous.

        • Molly

          I don’t want anyone selling bottled water. It is an environmental disaster whenever/wherever it happens.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Actually, bottled water should be banned.
          Export of water should be banned (actually, export of raw resources).

          It’s the governments job to:
          1. Make sure that drinkable water is available to the community and
          2. Protect the environment

          Instead they’re abrogating both of those responsibilities simply so that some bludgers can get richer.

          • Wayne


            Are you actually serous, banning people selling bottled water?

            Why not all soft drinks, or indeed anything that you personally don’t like.

            One of the greatest advantages of democracy is that people have the freedom to do things they want (within limits) even if their leaders disapprove.

            And look what happened to Labour when they got distracted by shower heads. Of course they were on their way out anyway, but it was confirmation why they had had their run.

            • RedLogix

              Freedom to do what they want within what limits?

              Because very often what is perceived to be in the interests of the individual, comes at cost to others.

              Bottled water is a stupid, grossly overpriced product that comes with an insane plastic waste cost, while providing very little social benefit at all.

              So yes I’m quite happy to put limits on it.

              • Lanthanide

                I think bottled water does serve a societal need. Clearly in the aftermath of disasters it is invaluable. Giving people an alternative to juice and soft drinks is a worthy aim. Obviously people could just buy their own re-usable drink bottles – but they clearly aren’t doing that and many are willing to pay the price of a disposable bottle (I personally am not, and do not).

                The trouble is these companies are making obscene profits off it. I think if you put some sort of nominal price limit, like no more than 50c per litre retail price, that none of the companies would be interested in supply the product at that price.

                Maybe this truly is an industry that the government should operate directly, and sell the product at-cost.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Clearly in the aftermath of disasters it is invaluable.

                  After a disaster we ship in water via tankers. We don’t use bottles as they’re highly inefficient form of transport.

                  but they clearly aren’t doing that and many are willing to pay the price of a disposable bottle

                  Obviously those bottles aren’t priced high enough as they’re not paying for the clean up that’s going to be required because of all the added waste.

                  • Lanthanide

                    After a disaster we ship in water via tankers. We don’t use bottles as they’re highly inefficient form of transport.

                    And yet, when I went to the supermarkets after the Christchurch earthquakes struck, do you know what was sold out? Bottled water. That is even after they’d put in rationing for 2 bottles per customer. Clearly people *needed* access to clean water, and bottled water in the supermarkets that they had to pay money for is what was available at the time. They couldn’t wait 2-3 days before the tankers with free water showed up (even assuming they knew tankers were arriving, or could arrange transport and a container to collect water from them).

                    Obviously those bottles aren’t priced high enough as they’re not paying for the clean up that’s going to be required because of all the added waste.

                    The bottles are recyclable.

                    • weka

                      Commercial bottled water and recycling of the bottles are both not viable in a post-carbon world. We should stop now for obvious reasons.

                      No reason to not have emergency water systems put in place.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Clearly people *needed* access to clean water, and bottled water in the supermarkets that they had to pay money for is what was available at the time.

                      Yeah, the Christchurch earthquakes weren’t well handled as the government took absolutely no responsibility for ensuring that the people were taken care of. Leaving it instead to the ‘free-market’ so that a few people could get super-profits on the backs of those suffering.

                      The bottles are recyclable.

                      But are they actually recycled?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    After a disaster we ship in water via tankers. We don’t use bottles as they’re highly inefficient form of transport.

                    Water via tankers is fine. If you have roads. How do people transport the water to and from the tankers for distances of up to several km?

                • Expat


                  Bottled water also has no added chemicals, if you live in a town or city with reticulated water, the chemicals used to cleanse the water can be harmful to your health, whether fluoride or chlorine or the anticoagulants and water quality does vary by location, none of these are in bottled water.

                  In the sixties and seventies, people would have laughed at you for purchasing bottled water, but, the advent of bottled water has led to healthier lifestyles and yes, the bottles are recyclable.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Are you actually serous, banning people selling bottled water?

              Environmental protections should automatically prevent bottled water even being an idea.

              One of the greatest advantages of democracy is that people have the freedom to do things they want (within limits) even if their leaders disapprove.

              That’s not actually democracy but tyranny of business over the wishes of the people.

              And look what happened to Labour when they got distracted by shower heads.

              Which will be brought back shortly because of declining water resources.

              It wasn’t that Labour got distracted by shower heads but that National saw a loss of profit in the future for the corporations if they privatised the water supply. So National attacked a valid policy that we need and ignorance won.

              • McFlock

                Two or four litre bottles is ok – that’s more household use for cups of tea in areas where the chlorine level has to be high after a drought or something, but where filters aren’t the go for some reason.

                The main environmental problem is the 300-600ml drink-and-throw bottles.

            • KJT

              Freedom to do what they want so long as they do not reduce the profits of the National parties funders, and after Parliament employers of retired MP’s.

              Fixed it for you.

          • Ovid

            I think it would be better if there were more public drinking fountains.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yep, that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking.

            • Rosie

              Wellington city council is particularly mean about providing public water fountains. They need to be in every public space, squares, parks, beaches etc. That would eliminate the need for carrying around a plastic bottle. Even if its a reused bottle you filled up at home before you went out, it’s still annoying to have to do this. Or you forget to do this and grudgingly have to BUY an expensive bottle of water.

              Water bottles and phones are the new appendages to humans.

              • Lanthanide

                A lot of people don’t want to use a public drinking fountain. Also if you want to drink water while driving your car, a public drinking fountain won’t help.

                Yes, they will reduce the desire for water bottles. But thinking it will eliminate the need entirely is foolish.

                • Wayne

                  Why on earth would you want to regulate bottled water, other than it being safe?
                  If people want to buy bottled water they should be able to, there is no need for busybodies to decide whether they should or not.
                  That is what I mean by free choice. I have zero interest in interfering with people’s choices on such an inconsequential issue, but apparently others do.
                  Ideology is no doubt part of the reason, but that hardly explains the level of reaction on the issue.

                  • weka

                    I’ll stake our environmental ideology against your libertarian one any day.

                    Try arguing the actual issues. Try taking environmental concerns seriously. Google the pacific plastic island for a start. Then think about carbon emissions, cradle to grave, for bottled water.

                    • Wayne

                      The environmental issues of bottled water are trivial. I appreciate that in the developing world there seems to be no effective disposal system for the bottles, but that is true of virtually all waste disposal in the developing world.
                      In NZ there seems to be no litter problem with the bottles. I would also note they actually use very little material and their value is only a few cents.
                      So no I don’t rate bottled water as an environmental problem. In NZ there are many more serious environmental problems, particularly around river water quality.

                    • weka

                      No, you just trivialised the issue because you ‘don’t like it’ (as you like to frame such things).

                      You’ve ignored the two main points I made: Cradle to grave pollution and climate change. If you think they’re negligible, you’re showing how ignorant you really are on environmental issues.

                      “In NZ there seems to be no litter problem with the bottles”

                      Recycling is energy intensive and has a carbon footprint. Not all plastic bottles are being recycled. What do you think is happening to the rest of them?

                      “In NZ there are many more serious environmental problems, particularly around river water quality.”

                      They part of the same problem. We treat water as a commodity and that leads us to abuse it, whether it’s industrial dairy farming or shipping water overseass.

                    • pat

                      “in NZ there seems to be no litter problem with the bottles. I would also note they actually use very little material and their value is only a few cents.”

                      You really must engage a little grey matter before you espouse Wayne

                      “Our previous work had suggested that bottled water production was an energy-intensive process, but we were surprised to see that the energy equivalent of nearly 17 million barrels of oil are required to produce the PET bottles alone,” Cooley told PhysOrg.com.


                      We can’t burn the fossil fuels we have and you wish to waste that dense energy on unnecessary items like bottled water….brilliant

                    • weka

                      Good points. To which I guess Wayne will respond by saying but individual freedom! as if anything that interfers with this is heresy. And as if climate change isn’t going to severely limit personal freedom.

                  • Lanthanide

                    I agree Wayne, people should be free to buy bottled water – at a price that adequately reflects the value of that water and the costs and harms the water and the production of it will have on society.

                    At the moment, the cost borne by the producers are too low, and the prices charged to customers are too high – giving a very fat wad of profit to the owners of the bottling plant, while society subsidises the losses.

                    • weka

                      By that argument people are should be free to drive cars even if it means catastrophic climate change that wipes out huge parts of life on earth. I know what you are trying to say (we can have freedom if we put the right systems in place to make the market accountable). Problem is, it isn’t working and we’ve run out of time.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “By that argument people are should be free to drive cars even if it means catastrophic climate change that wipes out huge parts of life on earth.”

                      Yes, of course, so long as the petrol was accurately priced to account for that cost.

                      Given “planetary annihilation” is a pretty big cost, petrol should be priced somewhere in the vicinity of $10,000 per litre.

                  • KJT

                    Bottled water is a huge contribution to waste, fossil fuel use (Both to manufacture and transport) .
                    In countries like New Zealand, with high quality town supply, totally unnecessary.

                    One of the advantages of a UBI is it makes a sustainable (Steady state) economy possible. As we will no longer have to find ever more elaborate ways of ripping off our neighbours, to survive.
                    Bottled water being just one of many useless products people buy, because of deceiving advertising.

                    The contribution of trillions of bottles of water to carbon emissions and rubbish pollution, world wide is far from trivial.

                    • Molly


                      Cost to consumer of bottled water.

                      Against that backdrop, ConvergEx Group Chief Market Strategist Nick Colas highlights a few eye-opening statistics on bottled water consumption in the United States this morning.

                      Perhaps the most incredible number: at an average cost of $1.22 per gallon, consumers are spending 300 times the cost of tap water to drink bottled water.

                      In fact, that number could be even higher, writes Colas in a note to clients.

                      “The [bottled water] industry grossed a total of $11.8 billion on those 9.7 billion gallons in 2012, making bottled water about $1.22/gallon nationwide and 300x the cost of a gallon of tap water,” Colas says. “If we take into account the fact that almost 2/3 of all bottled water sales are single 16.9oz (500 mL) bottles, though, this cost is much, much higher: about $7.50 per gallon, according to the American Water Works Association. That’s almost 2,000x the cost of a gallon of tap water and twice the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline.”

                      Cost to environment (which includes aforementioned consumer) of bottled water.

                      Why is bottled water a concern? Here are just a few reasons…

                      – Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year1. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation.
                      – The energy we waste using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes2.
                      – Last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38.3
                      – Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year3.
                      – The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.
                      – Antimony, which is found in PET plastic bottles, in small doses can cause dizziness and depression; in larger doses it can cause nausea, vomiting and death.

                    • Wayne


                      As I said the amount of material in the bottles and the energy used is actually pretty small. In a country the size of the US, 190,000 houses is actually not that many, where there is probably 200 million dwellings, so it is around 0.1% of household power use (one tenth of one percent).

                      I personally don’t buy bottled water, except for camping or similar. I simply can’t see the point, and in that I agree with many other commenters.

                      But I also don’t think I should stop others buying it. If thats what they want to do, that is their choice.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Why on earth would you want to regulate bottled water, other than it being safe?

                    I think that question has been adequately, and quite comprehensively – answered.

                    Now, Wayne, why don’t you tell us again why manufacturers and investors and retailers and indeed, buyers, should not be held personally responsible for our contributions to this mess?

                    Is it because your personal responsibility is a vacuum – an empty slogan?

                    PS: What about that Mossack Fonseca eh! I’m glad I’m not intimately involved with making NZ tax laws. Oh. Sorry.

      • Skinny 2.2.2

        Disgraceful! Nestles those greedy pricks who dried up a vast reserve of under ground spring water in the States.

        The rot of greedy Corporations influence in Government must be halted.

        Don’t worry Jenny I will organise a campaign to drive them out of our land.

        • Jenny Kirk

          + 100%, Skinny ……. see ya tonite !

        • alwyn

          This is absolutely disgraceful.
          New Zealand will run out of water if this is allowed to go ahead.
          Do you realise the amount they are allowed to take is 1/15000 of the average flow in the Clutha? A whole one part in fifteen thousand!
          It is a mind blowing 1/5000 of the average flow in the Rakaia, which runs into the sea a few kilometres north of where this water is coming from.
          We are all going to die of thirst I suppose.

          • McFlock

            And yet it’s still another draw on an already over-allocated water resource.

            Oh, and rivers running into the sea aren’t wasted water. They’re very important for our fishing and tourism industries, and, like, nature and shit. They’re just not useful for the crippled and obtuse dairy industry, so nats and their lying shills like you don’t like them..

            • alwyn

              You realise of course that they are planning to take it out of the aquifer so worrying about the rivers isn’t truly relevant.
              On the other hand I find it very hard to believe that the fishing and tourism industries would be damaged if the flow in the Rakaia was to drop from an average of 203 cum/sec to 202.955 cum/sec.
              Do you think anyone would notice?

              • McFlock

                Sir Mark Solomon, chairman of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, said it was “disappointing” the iwi had not been informed.

                “Twenty years ago the Ashburton region had reasonably good water quality, but it is now an over-allocated catchment and faces some of the most pressing water quality challenges in our takiwa [tribal region],” he said.

                You brought up the rivers running into the sea. As part of your distraction attempt to feed us horseshit.

          • locus

            alwyn your sarcasm is misguided and misplaced…. nobody has suggested the extraction rate is a threat to new zealand’s water supply.

            imo the sale of rights to aquifer extraction raises several very serious issues:

            firstly the scientific naivety of allowing a precious natural resource to be extracted at rates which could take hundreds of years to replenish;

            secondly the economic incompetence of not charging a royalty on the volume of aquifer water extracted….. at 10 cents per litre that would be worth 4 billion dollars in royalties;

            thirdly, there is no legislation in NZ protecting against contamination of groundwater which means that companies will do as little as is necessary to get water to the surface as cheaply as possible. In my experience a lack of well informed legislation inevitably leads to badly constructed wells, poor material selection and inadequate maintenance to prevent long-term degradation of pipes, valves and pumping equipment. The end result is a high risk of leaks in casing and well pipes, cross contamination of aquifers, seepage of sewage, infiltration of nitrates from fertilisers, biocides from sprays, etc.

            Given it’s extremely difficult to clean up a contaminated aquifer, I think the government should seriously consider imposing strict design and operational safety standards for aquifer extraction, plus an environmental bond or insurance scheme to enable full remediation of any resulting degradation of the aquifer

      • saveNZ 2.2.3

        +1 Jenny Kirk

        The reason that the government wants to change the RMA is to make sure everything is secret and can not be stopped. How can you stop something wrong if you were never allowed to know what is going on in the first place.?

        Now it turns out that John Key is actually trying to turn NZ into a money Laundering machine and secret off shore trust mechanism, as well as sell of all NZ assets and F-up our environment and social system. Who Knew??

        “Just weeks earlier, Muscat’s chief-of-staff, Keith Schembri, and Malta’s energy minister, Konrad Mizzi, had used New Zealand’s secrecy laws to set up two offshore trusts. These were to be linked to a secret Dubai bank account and to two Panama companies that Schembri and Mizzi had set up in 2013 through a Panamanian law firm.” (from The Financial Review).

      • The Chairman 2.2.4

        “Why isn’t our government setting up NZ companies to do this, and keep the profits in NZ ?”

        Indeed, Jenny. And if not the Government, councils.

        Most councils and the Government could do with broadening and increasing their revenue streams.

    • maui 2.3

      What’s the bet that within a few years large companies are not bottling, but shipping out 1000L tanks of water to countries in desperate need of water exacerbated by climate change. I can see this being a growth industry…

      • alwyn 2.3.1

        1000L tanks you say.
        We could ship out 614 of them every second if we took the average flow of the Clutha. Or 5.3 million of the tanks/day if we limited ourselves to 1 percent of the flow.
        What do you think we could sell it for?

    • Rosie 2.4

      Yes, totally insane. On a par with the coca cola water swindle in Kerala, India, in the 2000’s but this time a local council in NZ is doing it to it’s own people. That can only be considered as reckless environmental behaviour.


      Hope those Ashburton residents aren’t on water restrictions. That would be the last straw.

    • saveNZ 2.5

      +100 Unbelievable. And here is what is happening under everyones eyes and in plain sight. Taking Chch residents democratic rights away by appointing a government body “Environment Canterbury”. Getting consents under false pretences or not allowing for situational change in the resource consent. i.e. given for farming but then the farmer sells it as it is more valuable now due to the consent, so lost for farming and then the site is sold overseas with the water consent. Lose lose local people, lose lose NZ, lose lose other people who rely on water, lose lose environment and lose for anyone who may need water consents in the future as ‘environment Canterbury’ has already sold off the water supply and killed the golden goose. And lose, lose, for ratepayers who may need to litigate to even get the conditions of the consent upheld. How do they know that the water is being replaced? Is there fail safe technology measuring the inputs or is it rubber stamp stuff that will never be measured or enforced?

    • b waghorn 2.6


      It would make more sense to allow what was proposed in the above link than to take water from under a dry town.

  3. miravox 3

    The Panama Papers

    Surprise! Panama Papers highlight NZ determination to become a tax haven.

    New Zealand’s 12,000-plus offshore trusts pay no New Zealand tax on foreign earnings. Their beneficiaries are not registered and their accounts are not filed with any public body. New Zealand regulators may demand this information, but it is not disclosed to foreign governments

    New Zealand’s 12,000-plus offshore trusts pay no New Zealand tax on foreign earnings. Their beneficiaries are not registered and their accounts are not filed with any public body. New Zealand regulators may demand this information, but it is not disclosed to foreign governments.

    A bit like the Unaoil Papers

    Seems like MSM news outlets are competing to break major fraud by the ptb. Long may this continue.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Yep, NZ is becoming hugely corrupt. And, no, there is no other way to put it when a nation is purposefully helping criminals hide their earnings that they should be paying tax on.

      • miravox 3.1.1

        Yup. People were trying to raise this issue a while back. E.g. in 2012

        Tax avoidance is where you use perfectly legal structures and legal transactions which have the net effect of reducing your tax bill in a way that Parliament didn’t intend,” explains Nightingale. “In that case we’ve got a general anti-avoidance law which says if that’s the outcome, Inland Revenue can come in and ignore those legal transactions and recreate it in a way that restores tax.

        If these schemes are not illegal, this is because the government intended the outcome to be that the super-rich can avoid tax.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If these schemes are not illegal, this is because the government intended the outcome to be that the super-rich can avoid tax.


          Our governments over the last thirty years have been catering to the rich and, it appears, that means helping them avoid paying the taxes that they should be.

          • Stuart Munro

            Imagine the yield when these companies have proper taxes applied to them.

  4. Sabine 4

    this might be something interesting……:)


    the panama papers…..data leak, shell companies and stuff

  5. Jenny 6

    When I first read the news of the Unaoil corruption scandal, I was sceptical, The accusations were so extraordinary, I thought that someone was trying to pull my leg, that this was an April Fool’s joke.

    I am still a little sceptical, the sheer scale of the corruption, and the fact that it was so calculated is almost unbelievable.

    This is huge, this is big.

    If the news reports about Unaoil really are true, then this would rank as one of the biggest corruption scandals of all time.

    So I was surprised to see how quickly this major story has dropped out of the news cycle.

    Will we ever hear of it again?

    Will the oil industry drop their financial support for Unaoil?

    Will Unaoil executives be arrested away from the media spotlight, to quietly serve out their time in some medium security prison?

    Will the fossil fuel industry be left free to continue business as usual?

    Burning up the bio-sphere, free to find some other agency to bribe their way to do it?

    And what about the New Zealand angle?

    “New Zealand shell company linked to Unaoil scandal”


    Will there be any investigation of this?

    On their own webpage, Unaoil describe themselves as working with experts in “emerging markets”.

    ”WHAT WE DO”
    “Unaoil invests locally in frontier markets to provide local capabilities at international standards using leading technology.
    This has made us as the local partner of choice for larger international companies who are looking to execute projects where we are established. We pride ourselves on delivering local content whilst minimising local challenges.”

    I wonder whether New Zealand’s nascent deep sea oil drilling industry is one of the “frontier markets” where Unaoil “provide local capabilities…” “whilst minimising local challenges.”
    New Zealand’s protest movement is one of the local challenges that deep sea oil specialist, Petrobras, bitterly complained about saying that they had faced nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
    It would certainly help explain the resulting extraordinary deep sea oil anti-protest law.

    “This amendment fills a gap in the existing legal framework and provides clear expectations and penalties for the new offences,’’ (Simon Bridges) said.

    “Assurance that lawful activities can be carried out without interference is a necessary part of establishing a predictable investment.”

    Labour MP Ruth Dyson said she was “outraged at the breach of process”


    Are there some things that our media know not to cover?

    The comparatively small (by comparison) Winebox Scandal was in the headlines for months.

    Is this how low our democracy guarded by our fourth estate has sunk?

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
      Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
      Everybody knows that the war is over
      Everybody knows the good guys lost
      Everybody knows the fight was fixed
      The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
      That’s how it goes
      Everybody knows

      • Jenny 6.1.1

        And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
        There will be no white flag above my door
        I’m in love and always will be

        I know I left too much mess and destruction
        To come back again
        And I caused nothing but trouble
        I understand if you can’t talk to me again

        And if you live by the rules of “it’s over”
        Then I’m sure that that makes sense

        I will go down with this ship
        And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
        There will be no white flag above my door
        I’m in love and always will be


  6. Petertoo 7

    Just when you thought Labour couldn’t do much worse, it is now proving its dysfunctional nature in its support of a neo-liberal Wellington mayoral candidate. Their man – Justin Lester, is a less than living wage paying employer, a supporter of secretive grants of rates money to the likes of Singapore Airlines, an advocate for funnelling $900m into Infratil for the dodgy runway deal and all for privatising public assets. His election bribe is to give a $5000 rates rebate for first home builders. Even the most clueless know that this will end up as a subsidy for developers, some of whom already have the Council planning and compliance staff in their pockets. Why would Justin Lester propose this? He is on the executive of the Property Council!

    • weizguy 7.1

      Jesus Christ, neo-liberal? You’ve clearly never heard the guy speak.

      The rates rebate is for people who want to build their first home here. The difficulty is always in designing the detail of the policy, but your comment reads like a rant from someone who hasn’t bothered to try to understand what’s being proposed. Seriously, at least read his speech before commenting.

      I know it bothers me when progressive policy gets misrepresented, maybe it bothers you too. If so, maybe do your due diligence before writing off an idea.

      • Once Was Tim 7.1.1

        I’ll tempt a comment (Recently I’m given to reading only and refraining from comment, and quite possibly I may already have been banned for stating the bleeding obvious in an un-pc fashion – can’t even remember when), and just like many are not wedded to their cell phones, neither am I wedded to TS in all its glory and good intentions.
        “Jesus Christ, neo-liberal? You’ve clearly never heard the guy speak.”

        I’m sure you’ll pardon Petertoo’s cynicism given what’s become a fashion amongst the right of the left – that is that a branding of neo-liberal leanings needs to be avoided at all costs. Usually (IMO) they have the ability to sympathise, rather than empathise with neo-lib outcomes, and I’d suggest that the guy you’re so willing to jump up and down about might just fit that bill.
        (It’s probably Phil fucking Goff’s greatest worry, tho’ no doubt he’ll survive on the basis of longevity, general apathy in the electorate, and the state of the alternatives (we’re back to that shit of having to vote for a least worst candidate – actually we’re NOT)

        Justin should actually come out and nail his colours to the mast. IF he recognises the damage done by the past 30 yrs of bullshit, PR spin, MSM dysfunction, suppression of democratic principles et al – he should simply just say-the-fuck-so. Otherwise there will be a substantial portion of the electorate that will be questioning his motives and his intentions.

        Justin (to me) has a CV that suggests we should be suspicious – just as the Green James does – and my suspicions come from having worked in the banking/corporate/new-wave corporatised govt sectors. The bullshit; the crap; the ideology; the spin; the dishonesty – all the rest of it, dressed up in drag is why we are where we are today.
        I’ll probably vote for Justin – the MINUTE he disavows adherence to that neo-lib ISM. I don’t mind if he meanders into one or two things that could be labelled unfavourably and unfashionably – just so long as he is prepared to call time for a cuppa tea and a lay down when it veers towards the obviously damaging.

        So far, he needs to put ALL his shit out there – human shit, not bullshit

    • Ffloyd 9.1

      Appalling interview. Could be avoiding Susie for while.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      About half of the population are authoritarian and support authoritarian leaders no matter what (while declaiming support for democracy of course).

      • alwyn 9.2.1

        Can you enlighten us on where you get this fascinating statistic?

        • Draco T Bastard

          The 44% voting National are authoritarians 😈

          But seriously, here. Haven’t read the book in awhile but IIRC it’s a pretty even split. Of course, some people are more authoritarian than others even within authoritarians and even some liberals have an authoritarian bent.

  7. Ovid 10

    Obama to visit New Zealand after he leaves office.

    That’s got to hurt Key. He’ll miss the pageantry of greeting Air Force One and obviously Obama won’t have the pull he enjoys as president. And there’s no set time for him to come. Heck, even Jenny Shipley could get Bill Clinton to visit in 1999.

  8. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    Our future corruption ratings will reflect these.

    1.”Unaoil bribery scandal: New Zealand shell company linked to Unaoil scandal”

    2. “The Panama papers: NZ – the quiet tax haven achiever”

    Also worth another look in retrospect

    “John Key Hypocrisy re New Zealand as a tax haven”

  9. Sanctuary 13

    Has Kiwiblerg gone offline?

  10. Sabine 14

    and a jury is selected in Whangarai. 6 men and 6 women.

    interesting times.

    • Rosie 14.1

      Where did you hear that Sabine? I thought the case was so heavily suppressed that there wasn’t even going to be a mention of it in the media, for the duration of the trial…….?

      Sorry mods, not sure if I’ve crossed the line or not.

      • veutoviper 14.1.1

        I am not sure where Sabine got those details, but the case is certainly being reported by various media, including RNZ News and Newshub to date.

        In fact Newshub’s website (old TV3 News website) is currently reporting in quite some detail the contents of the Crown prosecutor’s opening address as this happens.

        I certainly have not found anything that said that there could be no mention in the media for the duration of the trial. The court decision reported in the Herald last week simply clarified that the suppression of the name of the accused was to continue for the duration of the trial.

        Last year the whereabouts of the trial was also subject to suppression. Hence my surprise to see the case listed in the Ministry of Justice’s online Daily list of High Court fixtures for today, which I posted on Open Mike yesterday. These lists are legally public documents, so presumably the location suppression has also been formally lifted – otherwise the MOJ is in big trouble! Not me or TS.

        My apologies for not replying to you and others yesterday, and to Paul for missing that he had posted on this subject the previous day on OM.

        BUT as RedLogix cautioned yesterday, we still need to be very careful as the suppression limitations still seem to be somewhat unclear and/or fluid.

        For that reason, I will not post the direct links to the RNZ News and Newshub articles on this case – but here are the links to their overall news websites. People can then look for any articles.



        • Rosie

          Thank you vv for the clarification around reporting this trial. I’ll go check it out now. Always appreciate your thorough investigative ways 🙂

      • veutoviper 14.1.2

        “I thought the case was so heavily suppressed that there wasn’t even going to be a mention of it in the media, for the duration of the trial…….?”

        The case (other than the name of the accused and those of the victims) is being reported on RNZ News and Newshub, and their websites. Newshub are actually reporting details of the Crown Prosecutor’s opening address to the jury.

        I did an earlier reply to you but that seems to have gone into moderation or into the ether – so this is a bit of a test to see whether this one gets through …

        Update – Stuff and the Herald are now also reporting online.

        • b waghorn

          Yip tv3 just did a feely in depth piece with Lisa Owen on the job, I bet there is some furious wrangling coming to make the suppression permanent.

          • veutoviper

            Just watched that online and was surprised to see Lisa fronting it. IIRC TV3 attempted last year to have the trial brought forward in the public interest but failed in this, meaning that it is now 11 months since the last DC hearing last April.

            I am sure that there are many people hoping that suppression will be permanent, but my gut instinct is that this may not happen on this occasion. But the trial has only just started and is set down for two weeks, so a lot of water to go under the bridge yet.

            The fact that Justice Geoffrey Venning is the judge (although it is a jury trial) is interesting. He has an interesting history, not always smooth. He was appointed to Chief High Court Judge last April by the Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson, when Justice Helen Winkelmann was promoted from that position to be a Court of Appeal Judge.

  11. ianmac 15

    The choice will between the Devil and another Devil. Lucky Americans.
    “Cruz is a religious absolutist and an anti-Federal Government ideologue, while Trump is primarily interested in ‘the deal’.” -Richard McLoughlin.
    “……Americans are pretty well evenly split on whether Jesus Christ will return to earth in the next 40 years. Twenty three per cent say He definitely will, and 18 per cent say probably. Among white evangelical Christians, 58 per cent believe this will happen.
    …72 per cent of all Americans believe in Heaven as a place where “where people who have led good lives are eternally rewarded.”
    58 percent believe in Hell as a place “where people who have led bad lives and die without being sorry are eternally punished”.
    The figures for this belief in Heaven and Hell are 85 per cent and 70 per cent for Christians generally, and 88 per cent and 82 per cent respectively for evangelical Protestants.”

    • John 15.1

      John the Baptist isn’t a devil, he’s the Son of God.

      And the future God.

      • ianmac 15.1.1

        Who would you vote for John?
        Cruz the deeply religious mortal who wants USA to have a religious Government, an absolutionist, or the weird Trump?
        Cruz might be even more dangerous than Trump. (Be interesting to ask Cruz what he thinks about abortion.)

      • John 15.1.2

        John the Baptist holds up one finger, He is Number One, whereas jesus holds up two fingers (he is number two). This is well-known symbolism.



        John the Baptist Baptised jesus, if jesus was the real Son of God, why would he need an earthly Baptisim, from John the Baptist?

        John the Baptist had to Baptise jesus, a Baptisim is the way in which a child is saved, or protected or given a place in heaven, if jesus needed to be Baptised, then he probably wasn’t of a divine origin in the first place, otherwise he wouldn’t have needed it, would he?

        So then John the Baptist must have a high standing, to save or protect jesus, it is John the Baptist who had the power to save and protect, to administer the Baptisim, of jesus.

        All Baptism’s protect ALL children ON EARTH….named after not jesus BUT ‘John the Baptist’.

        John the Baptist is the Divine Child.

        • Anne

          Talk about conspiracy theories.

          • John

            Ok Anne,

            1) Why did jesus NEED to be Baptised, if he was already divine, saved and had a place in heaven, already?

            2) Why are all Christian children protected by a Baptism, named Not after the Holy Trinity or jesus But after “John the Baptist”?

            3) Why are ALL Christian children protected by a symbolic ceremony (at birth) named after “John the Baptist” – Surely the virgin mary or jesus could protect these children, but it seems that “power” belongs to John the Baptist?

            • McFlock

              Well, from a lapsed religious but now agnostic ort of perspective – i.e. I don’t have a monkey in this circus:

              1) because although son of god, JC was born human therefore had the original sin from Adam. Although the other possibility is that it was a formality JC chose, rather than necessary.

              2) that doesn’t match my recollection, ISTR it being done in the name of the holy superteam. Got a link?

              3) see (2)

              • John

                Who needs ‘Link’, when you can ‘think’ (yourself?)

                Why is jesus being baptised, a baptism is to save a child, to protect them, and a door to heaven, at the end of your life? Why would jesus (God incarnate, God’s Divine Child) need saving, protection and an open door to heaven? This is ridiculous; surely jesus out of all people would ‘be’ SAVED already?

                For jesus to be saved, protected, and given an open door to heaven, it is John the Baptist who bestows this divine privilege TO jesus, how does John the Baptist ‘appear’ to be a lot more powerful than jesus, as it is through the Baptism jesus ‘is’ saved, protected, and given a place in heaven?

                How is it John the Baptist has this “extraordinary power” to save, protect, and to send jesus to heaven, and why doesn’t jesus have this same “extraordinary power” ?

                Jesus doesn’t have this same ‘power’ if he did he wouldn’t of had the Baptism from John the Baptist in the first place, would he?

                • McFlock

                  lol sorry, I thought you were talking about something more fundamental than just the name, I thought you were referring to the contents of the ceremony.

                  Did it occur to you that “Baptism” is not named after “John the Baptist”, but that “John the Baptist” was called such because he was known for doing a lot of baptising? He’s just very lucky he wasn’t well known for shagging goats.

                  Theologically speaking, I’ve already given you two possibilities as to why JC would have a bath. Neither requires JtB to be more powerful than JC or another son of G.

                  Another possibility is that JC, as the product of adultery between mary and god, needed to be baptised to wash away that sin before he could become a spiritual leader, then he had to die to save everyone else and that gave him the power to walk through walls. ISTR shit got weird after the Mel Gibson highlight reel.

                  • John

                    Yeah well it’s just a “coincidence” then, your probably absolutely 100% correct, the word “Baptism” wouldn’t have originated from John the “Baptist” who “Baptised” jesus…. how silly of me?

                    But hey I reckon “Baptisms” would have become highly fashionable after the “FAMOUS” initiation ceremony of jesus’s Baptism – all the rage I reckon…….

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      John probably got his powers from the local Rabbi: the Jews had already been practising Tvilah for ten centuries.

                    • John

                      “Did it occur to you that “Baptism” is not named after “John the Baptist”, but that “John the Baptist” was called such because he was known for doing a lot of baptising?”

                      He was probably doing all the Baptisms, because no one else could? I wonder what jesus was up to, too busy to Baptise people himself…….or never had the authority to do so.

                    • John

                      Tevilah doesn’t SOUND like the word “Baptism” ………and it isn’t Christian.

                      The word “Baptism” has stood the test of time, and made famous by the greatest Baptism ever….

                    • McFlock

                      ISTR JC was touring the sticks, getting the band together, catering weddings, that sort of thing. Getting baptised was his sort of coming out ceremony, after which he did the stadium crowds (fully catered) and hit capital city for his big show.

                      Now, if the other guy were called “John the dude who invented baptism”, you might have a point. But I think you’re reading a bit much into it all.

                    • John

                      Yeah alright John the Baptist was probably just a nobody….but if jesus does return we can just get another nobody like Mcflock to Baptise jesus…………………….

                      I’m sure another ‘nobody’ would be highly accepted by jesus.

                      And I wasn’t saying John the Baptist invented water bath rituals, but what do ya reckon the name/word Baptism is descended from John the Baptist himself?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The Qumran sect, who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, are the most likely candidates, since John operated in roughly the same territory.

                    • McFlock

                      Jesus wasn’t known for being a dick to underlings. And anybody can baptize anybody and the mojo will stick. But I won’t give him a bath, because my bread isn’t buttered in that direction.

                      You’re the only one who says people need super powers to baptize someone, anyway.

                      But do us all a favour – don’t let your church of one launch a crusade against us heretics and apostates. The world has enough trouble already.

                      edit: oh, and Edward the Confessor did a lot of confessin’, but that’s about it. He got the epithet from what he did, not anything deeper.

                    • John

                      Baptism is a symbolic Christian ceremony for newborns, mainly, it is not called a “jesus ritual” it is a Baptist Ritual, it seems John’s legacy is going great guns……

                      Anyone can Baptise, sure, but the word Baptism has profound meaning, and spiritual beauty.

                      If through Baptism we go to heaven, who the hell needs peter, that misogynistic loser has keys, but through John – the door is already open.

                    • McFlock

                      I know a bloke with the last name “Smith”. at one stage his ancestor might have been called “John the Smith”.

                      Was the function named from the man, or the man named from the function he fulfilled?

                    • John

                      “Was the function named from the man, or the man named from the function he fulfilled?”

                      Both – but the name of the ‘ritual’ changed to “Baptism” after John.

                    • McFlock

                      the name of the ‘ritual’ changed to “Baptism” after John.

                      Fuck, it really was lucky that the guy was called “John Washing“, isn’t it.

                      If he’d been called “John Cockburn” Christians would all be “Cockburned” shortly after birth.

                      Edit: see what I did there? It’s called a “link”, so you can check to see whether my assertions are true.

                    • McFlock

                      Sorry, that should be “John the Washer”. Conjugation or some such grammatical bollocks.

                    • John

                      Ok then is the actual “word” Baptism used before jesus’s Baptism, in the Bible?

                      And there is no evidence John the Baptist was Baptised himself – poor jesus needed help, I think.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes. Read the link. Only for three or four centuries before JtB/JC.

                      And absence of evience isn’t evidence of absence. Maybe he baptised himself? Or someone else did? It doesn’t matter.

            • Psycho Milt

              Interesting questions. How about these?

              1. Why couldn’t Harry see the Thestrals when he’d seen death as a baby?

              2. Why didn’t they use Veritaserum to prove Sirius Black’s innocence?

              3. If Grindelwald was the true master of the Elder Wand, why was he defeated by Dumbledore?

  12. Sacha 16

    “The Government is about to endorse an international report calling for a sugar tax, despite insisting there is no evidence it will do anything to curb childhood obesity.

    The World Health Organization Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, chaired by the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman, has recommended a tax on sugary drinks as its second-highest priority. ”


  13. Herodotus 17

    Our next PM anyone ?
    There would be a seamless transition, and he has a wider scope of knowledge and wisdom than our incumbent.

  14. ianmac 18

    On Stuff and more:
    “A prominent New Zealand man has gone on trial accused of committing indecent acts on two girls.”

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  • Speech at 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
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  • JOINT PR: Trans-Tasman Cooperation on disaster management
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  • More transparency, less red-tape for modernised charities sector
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  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
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