Open mike 04/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 4th, 2012 - 87 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…

87 comments on “Open mike 04/05/2012”

  1. Bored 1

    The number one reason to keep John Banks on (from todays Herald)….

    Mr Wall said he was a “good friend” of Mr Banks and had little to say. “He’s a patriot who has given 40 years of service to his country.”

    Jeez thats funny! Any advances?

    • marsman 1.1

      Service? Emptying troughs?

    • Jenny 1.2

      “He’s a patriot”

      Any advances? (on this)

      Bored 4 May 2012 at 7:14 am

      Hmm, I think you may get very little response to your challenge, there Bored.

      Banks claimed exactly the same thing for Don Brash during the election campaign. At least once during every public speech in defence of his embattled and unpopular leader, Banks would proclaim that Don Brash is a patriot who loves his country.

      Unfortunately to my ears it sounded like faint praise at the time, and indeed it was, as revealed in the teapot tapes.

      Apart from loving their country, no one, not even their supporters, can point to any other positive quality that these individuals possess.

      When people, start spouting about how patriotic they are, I am always reminded of Oscar Wilde’s statement about refuges and scoundrels.

      I have a funny feeling that ACT might be stuffed full of such patriots.

  2. muzza 2

    Bin Laden’s inner circle also was frustrated when, in 2010, attention in the US shifted to the weak economy without apparently crediting al Qaeda for the economic damage that terrorist attacks had caused.

    Well they certainly got given all the credit for taking out the Seal Team 6, in a “revenge attack”. You simply would never “give” your “enemy” that sort of PR “victory”

    Can’t recall Iran getting credit for taking out the drone, it was deny deny deny!

    Digitized “letters” of OBL “fretting”.

    You could not make this stuff up…woops hold on, they’re digital, of course you can!

  3. Carol 3

    I have mixed feelings about this announcement:

    The scrapped TVNZ7 channel will be replaced with a “plus one” channel that will be a duplicate of TV One run an hour later.

    The new channel will start broadcasting on July 1 and will mirror the equivalent TV3 Plus 1 channel.

    I am glad that the channel remains in TVNZs hands, and hope this means it would be relatively easy to re-purpose it as a PBS channel at a later date….?

    I also like the +1 concept. I use TV3+1 sometimes – e.g. if I miss the news, or there is a clash of programmes on at the same time. Often the small number of dramas I DO watch are all on at the same time, with nothing worth watching at other times – and I can only record one channel showing on Freeview at a time, using my DVD recorder.

    But my much preferred option is for a channel that is developed s a significant public service channel.

    • You like the +1 concept? Man, I think its such a hideous waste of broadcasting time

      • felix 3.1.1


        Those resources would be better put into on demand viewing.

        • Pete George

          Yes, and spreading publicly funded programmes around channels that can attract a few more viewers.

          • Jilly Bee

            OMG – PG your boss has finally said something worthwhile and for once I agree with him.

            • Pete George

              He’s not my boss and I only partly agree with him. TVNZ is terrible and I rarely watch it and they self celebratise far too much.

              But I don’t think TV7 is the best use of resources. If they put some effort into having watchable programs on TV1 they wouldn’t have needed TV7 in the first place.

              +1 is an ok idea for a bit of flexibility in watching, especially for times they have 60 minutes and Close Up (is that what that one’s called?) clash as they make sure they do – but repeating what mostly seems to be repetitive rubbish is a waste of time.

            • Ed

              Its a nice safe protest – pitching as the ‘reasonable man’, that somehow by design sort of can’t in this case actually do anything about it – but its great to be able to pretend to have a different view from National! The question is still whether he will listen to his own poll and vote against the second reading of the privatising of strategic New Zealand assets. . .

              • Carol


              • Yeah, the usual criticised if he says nothing, criticised if he says something. Do you think he shouldn’t comment on anything?

                On asset sales I think he’s likely to listen to his pre-election and post-election commitments. If he didn’t do that he’d get lambasted from certain quarters, who lambast him when he does. At least he’s consistent, the lambast brigade aren’t.

      • Carol 3.1.2

        I would prefer a better ondemand offer, and a bigger, better public service channel. But I do find +1 can be useful sometimes.

        I watch ondemand a bit, but often find the programmes I want to pick up there aren’t offered – House, lately for instance, and the programmes that run quite late like Damages.

        Also I find TV3s videos often freeze on me. I do find it a better experience to watch programmes on my TV than on ondemand. And there’s been 1 or 2 occasions when I’ve watched the start of a movie on TV3, switched to watch another programme at 9.30pm, then switched onto TV3 +1 to watch the end of the movie.

        I do watch dramas and the best ones always seem to be put up against each other, sometimes on 3 different channels. That doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does +1 can be helpful. Maybe that’s not a problem to people with “my sky” or “my freeview”. But I just have a DVD recorder and a freeview box.

        And it does help with watching some key bit of news on TV3 that was on before I got home, but everyone is talking about online.

    • QoT 3.2

      The +1 concept works when you have content which has value.

      Like Sky Movies running blockbusters at a +1 delay across their channels, because maybe you have something else to watch at 8:30 but still want to catch the movie (or, these days, you’re MySkying too many things at 8:30…)

      I simply cannot name any piece of TVOne content I care enough about to be grateful it’ll be on an hour later if I need it. But at least their utterly pointless “do a news show at 4.30 to prove we’re totally cooler than Prime even though it makes zero sense” news show will be bumped to a more plausible timeslot …

      • felix 3.2.1

        Unless it’s alive broadcast, I find the whole concept of watching something at a specific designated time quite odd these days.

  4. Another disconnect within Labour?

    No Cullen Fund restart until surplus, says Shearer– but did he tell his MPs?

    David Shearer today:

    “New Zealanders told us they were uncomfortable about the rate of borrowing… They saw this as borrowing to invest and they didn’t like that.

    “We have listened.

    “That’s why I won’t continue with Labour’s previous policy to restore contributions to the Cullen Super Fund until I think we can afford it.

    “It wouldn’t have increased net debt because it gave us an asset that matched the liability. However, New Zealanders saw this as borrowing to invest and they didn’t like that,” Mr Shearer said.

    “We’ve decided that until we are back in surplus, any new spending will have to be paid for out of existing budget provisions, new revenue, or by re-prioritising.”

    Trevor Mallard on Tuesday speaking in the House:

    “I note that it has been the policy of the government to not put money into the Cullen Fund.

    “And that, of course, is something that works against the development of capital in New Zealand. I think that has been a short-term approach,”

    Maybe Mallard has since come on board with his leader’s plans.

    • Sam 4.1

      There will not be a reply forthcoming.
      I see a round of Labour party BBQs coming up and Labour’s “Hollow Man” will not be invited.

  5. Rupert 5

    Of course, it was more of a grilling than he gets from the New Zealand media:

    Telling answer here:

    What do you always carry in your pocket?

    Money, “Cause you never know when you’ll need to buy something … and my wife takes the money from my wallet”.

    Let them eat cake, eh?

    • vto 5.1

      ha ha, that is telling. I sometimes purposely take money out of my pockets so nothing can be spent and it is also quite the liberating thing. Try it next time you head somewhere. I do often carry a pocket-knife though.

  6. Blue 6

    National’s announcement around student loans and allowances seems to have hit a nerve, if the Stuff comments are anything to go by:

    It’s an amusing read. So many people who loved National and their cutbacks – until it affects them.

    You might think it would make a lefty happy to see people turning against the Government, but it only made me sad. So many educated people who don’t give a shit about others, only about themselves.

    • just saying 6.1

      Particularly like the 27yo grad earning $110k suggesting that government instead needs to be cutting welfare and raising the retirement age. Middle-class welfare is apparently more productive.

    • Vicky32 6.2

      You might think it would make a lefty happy to see people turning against the Government, but it only made me sad. So many educated people who don’t give a shit about others, only about themselves.

      It makes me sad to see solecisms such as “Pay check” sprinkled in amongst the comments. (That happens here as well, but after being being denigrated for saying anything, had vowed not to express how my head aches so much, seeing American spellings larded in amongst what would decades ago, have been NZ usage. Ah, heck with it, a young Island man once told my brother that his ambition was to “go to the Capital, man”. When my brother pointed out that they were both in Wellington, the youth said “I mean the capital, Washington”. That was 10 years back, and it seems everyone thinks that we live in the USA now.

  7. muzza 7

    The New Zealand dollar fell below 80 US cents for the first time since January after weaker-than-expected US data and a surprise gain in local unemployment stoked bets the Reserve Bank may cut interest rates

    Yup, just like I said 2 days ago!

    2 May 2012 at 9:23 am
    So the $NZ rises when the US data is bad, or they “QE”, and the $NZ also rises when the US data is favourable

    “The New Zealand dollar rose after better-than-expected US manufacturing data reignited investors optimism that the world’s largest economy is on track, boosting demand for growth-linked assets such as the kiwi”

    So in the next day or so, look out from data which obcures, or confuses sentiments about the “investors optimism that the world’s largest economy is on track”

    —So predictable once you know the playbooks!

  8. weka 8

    Are SOEs covered by the OIA? Just been told by one that they’re a private company and therefore an OIA request won’t do any good.

  9. McFlock 9

    So now if you go to a rugby match there’s always the chance that some security camera operator is reading your texts. Apparently a police officer who saw it happen thought there “might be privacy issues” (considering the source, that’s a major flag).
    Unlawful interception of a communication, anyone?

  10. captain hook 10

    I dont think the cops are very interested in anything I have to say.

    • McFlock 10.1

      A variation on the “nothing to hide” argument in favour of big brother?

      The point isn’t whether they’re interested – the point is whether you’ve got a right to sext your boyfriend or say the game of rugby is shit, without becoming the next target of a club bouncer who wants to get on tv.

      Coupled with that is the fact that the harm of invasions of privacy isn’t the objective, in context meaning of the full text message, it’s the partial snapshot out of context that is used to colour in a pixelated image that exists solely in the mind of the privacy intruder – whether that being a camera operator taking home a copy to stroke off to, or an armed police officer operating under a misapprehension and shooting a Brazilian electrician in the head.

      • muzza 10.1.1

        Anyone worried about their privacy has not been paying attention over the past 10-15 years primarily, but in reality its much longer than that…

        Your privacy is not a consideration, in fact your privacy, and protection of your data is , not only for sale, but publically available freely, thanks to social networking!

        We lost that battle long ago, and most had no idea it was even happening.

        Too busy lusting after the “amazing gadgets”

        • McFlock

          There’s a lot of difference between anonymised aggregate data and random datapoints being permanently and possibly erroneously attributed to an individual.
          It’s like pollution – yeah, it’s all around, but that doesn’t mean we can’t clean up the worst bits to a reasonable standard. 

        • weka

          “Your privacy is not a consideration, in fact your privacy, and protection of your data is , not only for sale, but publically available freely, thanks to social networking!”

          Sorry, but that is such a crock. RNZ’s tech expert said the other day the old chestnut about how unencrypted emails are just like a postcard. If that’s true that means that the staff at vodafone can read my emails in the same way that the sorters and posties at NZPost can read a postcard I send. Is that true?

          Do you know who I am? No? Then I have a degree of privacy that I enjoy and want to keep. How is my identity “publically available freely”?

          I agree with you that many people have made choices about technology without understanding the implications very well. But that’s completely different than saying that we have no privacy anymore. Privacy is not an absolute.

          • McFlock

            The thing is that the postal worker sorting a postcard does not automatically store the entire contents and file it with every other piece of data that travelled through the sorting room that day. Then another dude runs a search and finds something to sell to an insurance company, or put on the interwebz, or decides that “great cocktails” was a reference to an improvised munition so puts you on a watch list / raid list.

            • weka

              No, that’s right. So the analogy (and the fearmongering) is wrong (or at least, it’s the wrong fearmongering). Worse than people not knowing what is going on, is people who do know putting out misleading and confusing information that makes it impossible for lay people to make good choices.

              So who is storing my emails and then using them to spam me?

              • McFlock

                Well, facebook for one – only they call it “targeted advertising”.
                But I’m not sure who mentioned emails. But I have been in CCTV ops rooms where the operator has cycled the monitor to the camera which shows the hot woman in a low-cut top. And then there’s the entire pan/tilt/zoom issue. ISTR Princess Diana had an issue with that on more than one occasion.

                • weka

                  Do you mean that FB has the ability to collect email content that has nothing to do with FB, from people with FB accounts?

                  • McFlock

                    Nah. Just that large-scaledata-matching is their business, often in ways that aren’t plainly obvious to their users.
                    What’s the line – “if you’re not paying for their product, then you are their product”?
                    For email intercepts, most intelligence organisations do that as a matter of course – e.g. Echelon.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    weka – Facebook app on smartphones IS accessing your personal txts.


                    I don’t see why they would stop there. Facebook of course denies they are using the functionality even though they designed it in. In other words, they are saying that they did not inhale.

    • Captian Cook
      That exactly what the unsuspecting Jewish people said in Germany in he 1930s

  11. Sam 11

    So what about your leader announcing that a future Labour government would freeze payments to the Superfund?
    How about that for copying National after all the protests that Labourites and its MPs hurled at the government?
    And how about his private dinner with that SKY lobbyist?
    Clare Curran must be spitting chips!

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      I’m glad. It was a stupid policy, especially when National were beating the drum about fiscal competence.

  12. captain hook 12

    so what about it?
    do you think other people are mindreaders or your own prose is so riveting that the menaings are clear and evident to anyone with an iq under 70.
    yah yah yah.

    • weka 12.1

      Try replying to the post you are referring to and then we might know what you are talking about (or maybe not).

  13. Anne 13

    Wow! Peter Dunne has come out spitting tacks and I agree with every word he says. Why didn’t he say it sooner.

    • ianmac 13.1

      Oops Anne. Mr Key reckoned to a bunch of 10year olds yesterday, that his best channel was TV 1. Perhaps Pete and John could have a quiet cup of tea and agree.

  14. vto 14

    Huge moon this weekend. One such that the moonman said would create another time of increased risk of earthquake activity. Let’s see what happens this time. Put the breakables away and fill the car with fuel Cantabrians…

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      I predict no big earthquakes, here or anywhere else.

      • vto 14.1.1

        That’s bold Lanth. Even bolder then the moonman. Remember he got the March 20 ones.

        If the moon’s extra gravity can pull giant oceans that much further than it usually can surely there is substantial increased force exterted on everything upwards and sideway? After all, the oceans can react to it. We will probably all weigh both less and more this weekend.

        • Lanthanide

          It’s not bold. It’s an understanding of science and statistical probabilities.

          • ianmac

            Size of moon. It is a strange thing that again an astronomer says that a moon at moonrise is the same size as the moon high in the sky. He said this morning that it is just a trick and he can’t explain it. He says that high tech measuring gear shows that the moon is the same at rise as high.
            Another astronomer reckoned that it was an illusion because at rise, there are land based things like hills and buildings for the eye to measure against and they are missing high in the sky.
            Place your bets. Moon @ rise same size as high in the sky? Yes. No.

            • weka

              I think the moon is the same size all the time 😉

            • Lanthanide

              This is a well-known and well-studied phenomenon, and it is true that astronomers, and more relevantly psychologists, cannot adequately explain why the human brain interprets a moon low on the horizon as being apparently larger than one up high in the sky. There are many many theories for it, but as I understand none of them has been conclusively shown to be the best description. Most likely it’s a whole bunch of different factors all playing different roles.

            • John72

              I did not see anyone mention a Sextant. It is a hi-tech instrument that has been used by navigators for measuring celestial objects for 100’s of years. I believe James Cook was skilled at using it. It was still being used 30 years ago. Nor did anyone refer to the refraction of light. A beautiful example of this is the primary and secondary Rainbow. In the case of the moon, light from a rising moon is travelling at an angle from space into the atmosphere. From a “less dense” to a “more dense” medium. In doing so the light changes direction. Something Navigators, Astronomers, etc. can measure. This does have an effect on the observed diameter of the moon when it is close to the horizion.
              Regarding the possiblity of an eathquake, I will not be sleeping under the table but I do have an Emergency Kit at the end of the bed. Baden Powell’s motto for the Scouts.”Be Prepared”.

          • McFlock

            I predict at least one mag6.0 or greater somewhere on the Pacific Rim within 5 days of perigee. 

    • Why Cantabrians? They’re not the only ones with a moon this weekend. Why doesn’t everyone hop in their cars and get away to somewhere safe from the moon?

      Where would you go? About the furthest from anywhere is the middle of the Southern Alps, why not try that?

      • weka 14.2.1

        Don’t want to be too close to the coast though, or somewhere with lots of hills (sorry Pete). They reckon Invercargill is one of the safer places to be in an earthquake (despite being near the sea) – it’s flat, not too many big buildings, not too close to major faults.

      • felix 14.2.2

        To the centre of the earth!

    • weka 14.3

      I was looking at the moon last night, high in the sky, and thinking shit that’s big this month, imagine what it will look like on the horizon when its full. It will be worth going out for.

      • Lanthanide 14.3.1

        I saw it about a week ago on the horizon and thought it looked unusually large then.

  15. captain hook 15

    ipredict that mathew hootn will take the elevator lifts out of his shoes when john banks leaves parliament.

  16. ianmac 16

    Key will front on Campbell Live tonight. He must be worried!

    • Carol 16.1

      Under what conditions? That Campbell rolls over and treats Key “nice”?

    • bad12 16.2

      I lost the piece of carpet from just inside my front door the other month,a close up of Slippery’s nut on Campbell live tonight tends to suggest that Slippery has glued it on to hide a bad spot of hair loss,

      When asked if He knows anything about the missing carpet piece or anything else, Slippery sez He doesn’t know…

  17. bad12 17

    I am back to thinking that Labour should roll Shearer sooner rather than later, I look on today’s granny Herald and hello here’s a story of Dave having dinner with Rupert Murdoch’s paid mouth-piece in New Zealand, business as usual obviously,

    Next I turn on Prime and catch the Labour leader on the news there,Shearer sez that under a Government He lead the Cullen Super fund was a dead duck until such time as it was affordable to put money into it,which under the current tax regime that Dave doesn’t appear to be about to change will be like the Minister of Guessing Bill English’s balancing of the books, the stuff of fairy tales,

    Gets better tho,Dave is going to look for cross party support to raise the age of national super to 67, I doubt that one Dave, not that you and the Treasury want to raise the age of the pension to 67 instead of raising the taxes to pay for it,

    I doubt with such policy Labour are going to be governing any time soon…

  18. Jimmie 18

    Shearer’s change of policy on Cullen fund contributions may end up being a millstone around his (and Labour’s) neck. (even though it needed to happen)

    The difficulty with him accepting the need to with hold payments until the country returns to surplus is that it is accepting National’s argument that the budget needs to be balanced before new spending can be promised.

    The difficulty is that from now on National can hold this principle against Labour every time they come out with a new policy. They will be asked, ‘where is the money coming from?’, ‘what are you cutting to get the money for this new policy?’.

    It will be a lot harder for Shearer to come up with an answer that satisfies his own supporters and the general voter. (It is a realistic policy to have – he had no choice)

    This will make the 2014 election very interesting – how will Shearer (if he is still the leader) differentiate himself from Key with economic policy? If the economy does start to pick up in 2013 & and early 2014, Key will be able to say, ‘ I told you so. We have seen NZ through the tough times, and now economic growth is returning.’

    How will Shearer (or Cunliffe/Robertson) counter this?

    • bad12 18.1

      Needed to happen???dont think there is any such need, Nationals wonky tax changes simply make the Cullen super fund unaffordable even if economic activity was to pick up to 3% growth,

      Instead of manning up with a realistic progressive tax policy Shearer is playing lets not scare the horses hoping to ride high in the polls off of the back of Slippery and Nationals sleazy behaviour,

      Dave thinks He can sleep walk the Labour Party into Government to implement an economic policy written by the Treasury…

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      If the economy does start to pick up in 2013 & and early 2014, Key will be able to say, ‘ I told you so. We have seen NZ through the tough times, and now economic growth is returning.’

      How will Shearer (or Cunliffe/Robertson) counter this?

      There will be no sustained per capita economic growth. Ever.

  19. james 111 19

    Labour has finally admitted today that it wont put contributions into the Super fund it has done a Flip Flop on its election promise. As John Key said it has only taken them 3 years to work out that its not good fiscal management to borrow money to invest it on the share market. The rest of New Zealand worked that out straight away .Good to see Labour admitting they were going to make yet another economic blunder if the did do it. Must be a sign of things to come under New Labour. The capital gains tax will be gone next

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      Labour has finally accepted that it will always be NACT Lite and continue to push the unsustainable Ponzi scheme that is capitalism.

  20. Reagan Cline 20

    The shareprice of infrastructure companies Infratil, Contact Energy and Trustpowerare probably lower than they otherwise would be, given the appetite for low risk investments stemming from global financial unease.

    The explanation given by a sharebroker is that the prices are down due to a reduction in demand from potential infrastructure investors who are waiting for Mighty River Power shares to be available to them at a discount.

    This would mean investors are expecting to buy Mighty River Power shares on the cheap.

    The Government, I suspect is going to sell them cheaper than they are worth to encourage investment away from residential property and to stoke confidence in the NZX.

    The Government is appealing to investor’s greed, where they should be encouraging them to take a longer view and forego the chance of a quick buck.

    I suspect they have swallowed the false doctrine that “greed is good”.

    Encouraging long term investment in companies that are good employers and produce goods and services that are beneficial to people and not irreversibly harmfull to the environment should be the basis of goverment policy in this sphere.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      I suspect they have swallowed the false doctrine that “greed is good”.

      Swallowed it? The government and their ilk are the type of people who invented it.

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    Now this is interesting:-

    “If someone were to give you an assignment and say, ‘Go write a guide book on how to drive from San Francisco to Monterey,’ and everybody could sit down and write their own two-page thing on that, there would be some similarities. But the idea is not protected,” Alsup said in court last Friday.

    “Implementations are not derivative works. They are independent works, that simply start with the idea of the specification,” he argued. “When somebody looks at a specification, and says, this is the input, and these are the outputs… programmers each use their own creativity” to implement it. This line of argument may lead Alsup to conclude that the “sequence, structure, and organization” of APIs are not copyrightable.

    Such a finding could possibly break open software monopolies such as Windows.

  22. Te Reo Putake 22

    Labour absolutely smashing the Tories and the Lib Dems in the council elections. SNP also looking solid north of Hadrian’s Wall.

    Jack Straw:

    “It is a matter of record that I didn’t vote for Ed Miliband for leader but I think he is doing increasingly well. But I also think the scales are falling from people’s eyes about Mr Cameron, who has enjoyed quite high ratings above his own party for some time. But since the budget people have seen the real David Cameron and the real George Osborne and they are not terribly keen on what they see.”

    • rosy 22.1

      Labour will be doing well if they manage to hold Glasgow. All the talk was that it would fall to SNP. So far 9-7 to Lab. It’s being seen as a key indicator after the debacle of the general election.

  23. Te Reo Putake 23

    Overall, it looks like the Lib Dems are the biggest losers, Wales in particular going red again. Good job, too. They did have the option of going with Labour once Brown said he wouldn’t carry on, but they chose Cameron. So yah boo sucks to them.

    • rosy 23.1

      +1 I think the true understanding between the 2 Oxbridge boys decided that set of negotiations.

      It looks as if SNP has conceded it cannot win outright in Glasgow. Labour will be relieved and hopefully it won’t harm the independence vote ( keep your feet on the ground Alex Salmond).

      Boris will win the London mayoralty it seems. He’s done well to position himself as a Cameron dissenter.

      Edit: from the Guardian – “1.12pm: Labour have now won so many seats that the number (1,404, since you ask) is having trouble fitting into its box in our graphic.” 🙂

  24. lprent 24

    We had a unexpected glitch last night with adding new posts. I’m trying to find out what the problem is. FYI: it uses all available memory when putting up the page before dying – classic bug.

    In the meantime OpenMike for today will be delayed.

  25. prism 25

    5 May
    A pleasure to listen to Radionz interview Kim and documentary maker on our economics which has a go at the mess. On now till about 8.40 am Ross Ashcroft: renegade economics.

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