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Open mike 04/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 4th, 2015 - 170 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

 

 

lprent: There was an minor outage last night (yawn).

170 comments on “Open mike 04/05/2015”

  1. i find it both fascinating and weird –

    – how labour seem to have decided that they have found the reason for their ’14 defeat..

    ..they have found their scapegoat..who/what to blame..

    ..and apparently it was their capital gains tax policy..(!)

    ..and before they start burning effigies of this policy..at their conferences..

    ..can i suggest the reasons for that defeat were a tad more complicated than that..

    ..and that this manic waving of crucifixes by anyone in labour – when that policy-idea is raised..

    ..is both overwrought – and unjustified..

    ..and a tax on speculators/investors/trust-funds..(what most mp’s are/have – funny story..!..self-interest rules..eh..?..)

    ..such a tax must be part of any labour policy prescription..

    ..end of story..

    • Can you point to anyone, anywhere, actually saying the capital gains tax policy was the only reason for Labour’s election result, much less “burning it in effigy”?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        It may not be the only reason but Andrew Little indicates that it was a major reason.

      • phillip ure 1.1.2

        i am going on the reactions by/from little – when the capital gains tax option is raised..

        ..(i’m paraphrasing here) – he says ‘we’ve already tried that twice – the voters don’t like it’..

        ..that added to little whinnying in terror on the tv talkshow @ the weekend – at any suggestion of piketty-stylings solutions to inequality/poverty that so blights us..

        ..these lead me to believe their is a firming of that attitude within labour..

        ..and an apportioning of blame where it is not due – and a subsequent erroneous closing off of policy-options..

        ..and i don’t actually recall using the word you highlight – ‘only’..

        ..and going by yr question – are u accepting the contention from little – that the capital gains tax was (shall we say ‘a’) reason..?

        ..and just arguing there are more reasons..but that is definitely one of them..?

        (‘cos i wd disagree with that – i think other factors far more serious did that job..)

        ..and i fear the scapegoating of that policy will lead to no action in that area..

        ..and an ignoring of what really counted/mattered..

        ..just trying to head that off at the pass..

        • “they have found their scapegoat..who/what to blame..

          ..and apparently it was their capital gains tax policy”

          Sure looks like the “only” reason you give.

          I have heard more than enough Labour campaigners and MPs say that they received massively negative feedback on the capital gains tax policy. I’ll take their word over yours.

          • phillip ure 1.1.2.1.1

            but i didn’t say it was the ‘only’ one..did i..?

            ..there is a difference..

            ..it was a comment – not a thesis..

            so..from yr words.. i am correct – ?..you also oppose the cgt..?

            ..and that ‘negative feedback ‘ wd be more due to the crap way it was ‘sold’ to the electorate..

            ..labour let national drive the conversation on that one..

            ..their whole election campaign message was half-arsed/woeful..

            ..but of course they do have that underlying issue..

            ..in that if you look at an ideological-spectrum of the worlds’ govts/main political parties..

            ..there are two obvious surprises..

            ..one is that the national party is more ‘left’ that the american democrat party..

            ..the other is how you cd barely sllde a cigarette paper between national and labour..on that left/right spectrum..

            ..the tweedle-dum/tweedle-dee syndrome..

            ..labour are just so fucken lost…

            ..banging around up the end of some dead-end neoliberal cul-de-sac…

            ..and not knowing which way to turn..

  2. Paul 2

    ‘Foreigners buying houses in Victoria will be subject to two new taxes as the Australian state tries to cool the property market.’

    Maybe we could follow their line, so this does not keep happening.

    ‘The Salvation Army says housing problems like overcrowding, previously seen mainly in the country’s big cities, are spreading to the provinces.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/272709/oz-housing-tax-move-eyed-up-in-nz
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/272678/housing-pain-spreading-sallies

    • alwyn 2.1

      But this story is ridiculous.
      After all Victoria, like all of Australia, has a Capital Gains Tax. There cannot possibly be an overheated property market if you have a CGT can there?
      At least that is what the Labour and Green parties both claimed last year during their election campaigns.
      Surely they weren’t wrong. After all they were the claims by those great thinkers Cunliffe and Norman.
      Alternatively they were nuts and so were their claims that a CGT would solve New Zealand’s housing problems and stifle an overheated Auckland property market.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        And a RWNJ steps in with extreme BS and lies to try and discredit a policy of the Left.

        After all they were the claims by those great thinkers Cunliffe and Norman.

        No they weren’t. They both said that a CGT was necessary to help rebalance ‘investment’ but that it wasn’t a silver bullet and other policies were also needed.

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.1.1

          Don’t be too hard on Alwyn. He wants citations for fairly obvious jokes, like Michele Bachelet advising Chilean schoolgirls to not have lunch with FJK.

          • alwyn 2.1.1.1.1

            Dear dear, diddums.
            I forget that you are a residence of Oz, and very easy to upset.
            Like all residents of the Western Island I suppose you also love telling sheep jokes do you?

            • Murray Rawshark 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Haha. You lot are losing it, and making it so obvious.

      • millsy 2.1.2

        Those poor poor property investors. God forbid if they get slapped with a CGT. They might have to ditch Rarotonga and go to Rotorua for holidays instead…

      • dukeofurl 2.1.3

        Really do you know anything about what they have done.

        Its a limited CGT. ie only those with more than one home pay it, and only then id they dont have children as they buy houses in their name.

    • vto 2.2

      Taxes will never work completely, they are just one of a set of tools.

      The only, and appropriate, solution is to only allow those who live in certain lands to own those certain lands.

      This leads to stronger communities
      This avoids more transient and less-at-stake tenant communities

      This should apply in all lands on the planet.

  3. felix 3

    Saw this earlier (non-twits: start at the bottom and read upwards 😀 )

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEGRdCYWIAAP_BJ.jpg

    • vto 3.1

      Yep, doesn’t surprise me at all. She should note that the ‘jokes’ that go around in them circles often get at all sorts of people so she is not alone. There is a technique though – refuse to partake, turn the corners of the smile up just a teency tad and avert the eyes waiting for it to pass. Works for me anyway…

      • Molly 3.1.1

        Thanks vto. My occasionally successful response is to say honestly in a sincere jovial manner “Stop. Stop. Don’t keep going, I still like you all at this moment”.

        The verbal “stop” interrupts the flow, the following sentence draws gentle laughs. But importantly, the conversational flow redirects.

        This has worked a few times.
        (Maybe later, the discussion continues, but if it does it is without me anywhere around.)

        • vto 3.1.1.1

          Hmmm, good one. We have a situation where one of a team is rabidly racist and flicks eyes around to see who is laughing with him at his ‘jokes’….

          … thing is I detect a very strong pulling back on this bigoted manner the last decade or so or more. Next generation are hopefully much better (they are).

          But yep, can be very difficult when people toss their baggage into the supposedly professional arena when you are trying to get some work done.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.2

          good one.

          I once had a colleague who was prone to making some pretty extreme racial generalisations until I outright said (after pointing out every single error in his latest iteration of “the Chinese are…”) that if he kept it up I’d make a formal complaint.

          All well and good, but a couple of days later my supervisor made a wee comment in a similar vein, with a “pregnant pause” afterwards. I got the impression tht my colleague had made a little pre-emptive comment/complaint to the super, and the super was feeling me out to see just how sensitive I was.

          As it was, I never had to escalate because my colleague got a little too close to the folk we were protecting and got his ass fired. But fair warning of a jerk’s behaviour can simply give them an opportunity to prepare a defence.

    • miravox 3.2

      Culture is created at the top huh? Maybe a few Key people in public ‘service’ should be informed of that.

      I do agree that there is very much the unspoken challenge to disagree with racist and sexist jokes in some work environments (personal experience in warehousing and IT ) and accepting it leads to judgments that affect working relationships for a very long time. These challenges usually go unremarked on by management.

    • Charles 3.3

      Pity she contradicts her argument. Friend of mine was recently doing her best to avoid promotion, in an effort to remain free of the hellish environment she’d have to work in, and retain the work she loved. There was no bonus to climbing, for her, or anyone else. In the end she got more money, same responsibility, more informal power and no extra hassle. Culture isn’t always controlled by the top. Life is full of oddities.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        Pity she contradicts her argument.

        No she doesn’t. Just because your friend did something else doesn’t mean others have to do the same as your friend.

        Culture isn’t always controlled by the top.

        I suspect it depends upon the place. In a small workplace then culture could be directed from the top down whereas in a large place culture is more likely to drift up.

      • McFlock 3.3.2

        I tend to view workplace cred as a bank balance – if you don’t want to save up for a promotion, you can spend it on all sorts of other stuff, like cash or turning up late every so often.

        No point in building up a rep if you aren’t going to spend it 🙂

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      Sexism in Engineering and Science – you only know what you know

      Studies show that 40% of females who have engineering degrees leave the profession or never enter the field, and that seems like a terrible waste of resources for me as an educator, and for you as a taxpayer.

      In a recent study, psychologists found that the biggest pushbacks female engineers receive come from the environments they work in with an “old-boys club” still existing in many engineering organizations with many calling the engineering workplace unfriendly and even hostile to women.

    • Clemgeopin 3.5

      She makes good points. Thought provoking and behaviour modifying.

      I have a question though and I do not know the answer to this. Do women gossip concerning men’s private lives, make sexist jokes about them or make demeaning comments about men, among themselves? If yes, is that Ok?

    • Murray Rawshark 3.6

      I usually play dumb (not hard) and ask for the “joke” to be explained. It seems to work.

  4. Paul 4

    Why is it that RNZ only uses the high priests of neo-liberalism ( the banks’ economists) as their commentators in the Business instead of more independent thinkers?

    • felix 4.1

      Yeah it does seem like endless free promotion of the banks’ interests.

      Rod Oram seems an independent thinker. It’d be nice if they could use him in the business segment of the news as well as in the more in-depth Nine to Noon business bits.

    • Sirenia 4.2

      Because they are on speed dial and always available. Left needs some similar people.

    • philj 4.3

      Because they don’t contact academics from our universities. RNZ is not balanced any more, and here is another example.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Talking about the high priests of neo-liberalism:

      Neoliberalism has spread relentlessly, from free-trade agreements and the World Trade Organization, to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its sibling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), bearing the promise of fool’s gold – with carefree financial markets and banks in the lead.

      Paradoxical as it may seem, financial meltdowns have been part of the process. By one estimate there were 147 banking crises worldwide between 1970 and 2011, ever more frequent and extreme as they headed for the Great Recession1, but always with the same desired result – public bailouts followed by some form of neoliberal ‘structural adjustment’.

      It’s long but well worth reading.

  5. Paul 5

    Pity Kim Hill is still not on Morning Report to ask Key some searching questions about his harassment of the waitress.

    • Skinny 6.1

      Tomorrow’s NZH headlines should read ” John Key tells Aucklander’s to get real the port expansion is going ahead.”

      That’s right National is behind destroying the harbour. You can bet behind the scene large amounts of political donations are being channeled through into the National Party coffer’s. The broker is a former Nat MP Ms Young who is both a lobbyist and executive director of the Shipping Federation. If you join the dots here you can see the connection;

      Young as lobbyist smears taxpayer owned Railway as a bottomless pit.

      National are all about roads and forge ahead with an unessential Northland toll road.

      North Port buys 50 million dollar crane so they can increase container loading.

      Port of Auckland build out into harbour so they can accommodate larger shipping vessels.

      Shipping line ships containers from North Port on small ship to load onto large vessel at Port of Auckland.

      If only we had a MSM that investigate dirty deals!

  6. are labour caucuses like prayer-circles..?

    ..where they all sit/holding hands – and pray to a (non-gender-specific) god that key will screw up some more..?

    ..is this their grand-plan for ’17..?

    ..is this all they’ve got..?

    • Incognito 7.1

      Labour is no worse than National; Bill English is like a gambling addict playing roulette in the casino who keeps stubbornly placing his chips on Number 13 while incantating “the surplus will come, the surplus will come”.

      • phillip ure 7.1.1

        “..Labour is no worse than National…”

        i agree – but is that really ‘enough’..?

        • Molly 7.1.1.1

          “…is that really ‘enough’..?”

          +100

        • Sabine 7.1.1.2

          in absence of better it might have to be.

          and no I do not see the Greens as an alternative that would be better than Labour.

        • Incognito 7.1.1.3

          Enough for what exactly?

          A lift in the polls?

          Winning a by-election?

          Winning the General Election in 2017?

          It is not clear to me what Labour should be gunning for in your opinion …

  7. Key’s squirming away on Morning report. “We live in a global world” (the earth is spherical, fancy that!), “we live in a tactile world”, “we live in a world where people have broad family” are about the most coherent statements he’s made. We live in a world where the rest is also eminently gigglesome.

    • Paul 8.1

      Key is in real trouble based on that interview….

    • Incognito 8.2

      Key lives on Planet Key.

    • wyndham 8.3

      If David Shearer has been classified as Dr. Mumblef**k what on earth was Key on about this morning ? The man was almost intelligible.

    • felix 8.4

      Oh gawd.

      Espiner: “Would you have done it to a man?”

      Key: “I could have, yup.”

      Key just went from David Brent to Gareth Keenan.

      • Exactly my thought, felix! Foxholes ahoy!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4.2

        ‘We take conflicts of interest seriously because we know Labour will criticise us.’

        Yeah, conflicts of interest are screaming Lefty conspiracy theories.

        • felix 8.4.2.1

          Yeah that was very revealing.

          Guyon asked what he’d done about a serious issue of process, and he answered unprompted that he’d done everything possible to cover his ass politically.

    • rawshark-yeshe 8.5

      any link pse ? thx

    • weka 8.6

      He can’t remember what hat he was wearing when he got legal advice 🙄

      He regrets that the incident occured. I suppose that means it was something that happened to him rather than something he did.

      • felix 8.6.1

        Yep.

        He has gone to great lengths to explain that we’re not allowed to criticize him in one role for something he did in another role.

        If he expects that to fly, he really has to be be able – at all times – to answer the question “what role are you in?”

        • weka 8.6.1.1

          One of his problems will be if he used that cafe to entertain in his role as PM. Lots of grey areas there though.

      • Anne 8.6.2

        I suppose that means it was something that happened to him rather than something he did.

        Of course something happened to him.

        Key; Well, this young woman kept pushing past me with a pony-tail that bobbed up and down all the time. What was a fun-loving laid back person like me supposed to do? Ignore it? No. I pulled it just like very other “fun loving” man would do.

        • weka 8.6.2.1

          She was asking for it, right?

          • rawshark-yeshe 8.6.2.1.1

            Can’t wait for him to try it on a man or perhaps even an All Black with a pony tail … especially while humming the theme from Jaws as his own is cracked as he falls slowly to the ground with his lights going out.

            • weka 8.6.2.1.1.1

              I can see him doing it to a male waiter who he decided was heterosexual, who was smaller in stature than him, who had a pony tail and who he knew as much as he knew Bailey. I think there would be an element of joshing, you’re weird as a man for having long hair thing, which in some situations would be part of that Kiwi blokes giving each other a hard time thing but ok. But in a work situation with these kind of power differences it would just be about shaming him. Which has some similarities to what he did to Bailey.

              The other thing I haven’t seen mentioned is that the back of the head is a vulnerable area of the body. Someone sneaking up behind you and pulling on your hair is likely to trigger a stress response in many people. Given he was doing this repeatedly and sometimes from behind when she was unaware of him, it’s probable that each time he came into the cafe she went on the alert automatically, which is horrible and stressful enough without then having him touching her as well.

              • CnrJoe

                And in Maori culture the head is tapu.

                • Molly

                  CnrJoe, I posted on that thought a few days ago.

                  Seems like a major cultural faux pas for the PM of NZ. And definitely something surely that would have been mentioned to him at some time in his 53(?) years.

                  • Yes I have also mentioned this tapu nature of the head but it doesn’t count for key imo because he is a total know-nothing on Māori culture, ethics or belief systems. He has zero personal mana imo, the office of PM has some mana but that has diminished considerably and is only endowed by Māori and Māori are very generous in general.

          • Anne 8.6.2.1.2

            She was just asking for it, right?

            Key: Well, if she wasn’t then why did she keep pushing past me? What did she expect? That I’d turn the other way with her pony tail flapping in my face?

            Bystander: Perhaps she was just doing her job Mr Key. She’s a waitress after all.

            Key: Well (or should I say weel) if that was the case she should have gone and done her waitressing elsewhere.

            Bystander: I believe she tried but you kept following her around.

            Key: I dunno about that. Its just that I’m the sort of guy everyone wants to talk to so I move around so they can talk to me. That’s not my fault.

            and ad infinitum…

  8. rawshark-yeshe 9

    A compassionate animal lover leaves thousands over years to SPCA .. but look at the perfect nominative determinism of the man who managed her estate at the Public Trust.

    “Several SPCA kittens have been named Molly, Alberta, Beebe and Wyatt after their generous benefactor. One tabby was named Owen Whisker after the Public Trust staff member who had managed her estate for a decade, whose real name was Owen Whisker.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/68227041/wellington-cat-lover-leaves-400k-to-the-spca

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Would have been a lot simpler if you’d just put in the link, a small quote of the article and then you’re own comment. Save having to waste time going to your website first.

  9. Michael 11

    Sen. Bernie Sanders Says America Needs ‘Political Revolution’ in 2016

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sen-bernie-sanders-america-political-revolution-2016/story?id=30771426

    • Maui 11.1

      Interesting, I was going to post a comment like “Good luck with him beating Hillary..”

      But by going on facebook likes alone I’m impressed. Hillary Clinton has 800,000. Bernie Sanders has a not insignificant 365,000. I think he could cause her a bit of a fright, go the truth talking people’s champion!

      America is showing the signs of wanting change with the recent huge marches on minimum wage and the shooting of blacks.

      • Michael 11.1.1

        And he raised $1.5 million in 24 hours, all from small individual donations, nothing from corporations. He beat some of the Republican Party challengers who receive huge amounts of corporate money. True grassroots support.

  10. Sable 12

    Interesting article on the trashy UK MSM. Seems our bunch have something to aspire to:

    http://rt.com/op-edge/255273-uk-election-media-politics/

  11. Kiwiri 13

    Coming to New Zealand, thanks to TPP?

    OceanaGold sues government with the aim to push ahead and dig for gold and silver near El Salvador’s last clean water source:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/254710/nz-warned-over-goldmine-legal-action

    Protests being planned for Washington, Sydney, Ottawa and Vancouver.

    OceanaGold owns the Reefton, Macraes and Frasers gold mines in the South Island and is listed on NZ’s sharemarket.

    Where are OceanaGold’s offices in NZ?

  12. Gosman 14

    Looks like Greece is entering the end game in terms of trying to have their cake (stay in the Euro) and eat it (ditch Austerity policies) too.

    When will leftists realise that you can’t beat the market?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11576465/Greeces-endgame-heres-why-it-could-be-forced-to-capitulate.html

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      When you get a time machine and make everything Alan Greenspan told Congress in 2008 disappear.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      When are the RWNJs going to realise that ‘the market’ is a human construct?

      • Gosman 14.2.1

        The market reflects fundamental human instincts and behaviour. You alter that then you can get your “new” system. Unfortunately for you altering basic human behaviour on a long term basis has proven difficult.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          The market reflects fundamental human instincts and behaviour.

          No it doesn’t as shown by the existence of successful societies throughout history that didn’t have one (see Debt: The first 5000 years by David Graeber).

          Also, if it was “instinctual” then we wouldn’t have to be taught it.

        • McFlock 14.2.1.2

          Upgrading from a warped mirror isn’t changing the object that is being reflected. Just reflects it more accurately.

      • The lost sheep 14.2.2

        When will Left Wing Idealists realise that all human constructs are human constructs?

        • McFlock 14.2.2.1

          We do. That’s why we realise humanity has the ability to change them, rather than having blind faith in their immutable perfection.

          • The lost sheep 14.2.2.1.1

            Absolutely McFlock.

            The test of the validity of a human construct is whether or not the human creators of human constructs collectively support it to continue, or they develop the collective will to change it.

            As a lost sheep, I’m just bleeting into the wilderness that the Left is doing an unbelievably piss poor job of putting up a compelling argument for change.
            Hence the lack of anything remotely like a realistic threat to the free market that you despise.

            But apologies if i am distracting you from much more vital issues like the totally obsessive cult of character absorption with the intellectual and political lightweight John Key.

            • McFlock 14.2.2.1.1.1

              Well, at about the time you posted I was watching GoT.

              But thankyou for descending from the heavens to waft your enlightenment upon us, oh great one.

    • vto 14.3

      the market? as in the free market? in the monetary system?

      planet key

    • adam 14.4

      Gosman I know you belive in medieval economic voodoo – You just don’t understand that t.i.n.a is the mantra of ideological bankruptcy.

      And by keeping pushing t.i.n.a you look more and more like a vulgar marxist.

      Rather than someone who is looking for economics as a tool to work for the society.

      That said, you’re welcome to embrace a bunch of tired mantras – just stop thinking that they are the truth.

  13. Pasupial 15

    I had family obligations, so didn’t make it to the SDHB food outsourcing Octagon protest on Saturday. It looks like it went fairly well, good to see the Labour electorate MPs turned up:

    About 200 people packed the terraces in the Octagon on Saturday to demand the Southern DHB keep meals in house instead of following through with a proposed move to outsource them…

    ”The main point of the protest is to raise awareness and empower people to sign a petition and also lodge submissions for the DHB board meeting on May 7.”

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/340987/many-turn-out-protest-meals-move

    Does anyone who went have submission info for the SDHB meeting? The only upcoming meeting I can see on their site (http://www.southerndhb.govt.nz/pages/boardmeetings/) is on July 7th.

    Also, unless there is a different one, this seems to be the online version of the petition:

    https://www.change.org/p/southern-district-health-board-we-are-calling-on-the-southern-district-health-board-to-retain-our-food-services-in-house?recruiter=275172661&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=mob-xs-no_src-no_msg&hc_location=ufi

    • Potato 15.1

      I believe the paper petition is being presented to SDHB at a meeting at Wakari Hosp on Thursday morning. (9am I think)

  14. greywarshark 16

    I had a little brainfart about an allegory for our economy. In Peter Pan, Tinker Bell the fairy becomes weak and listless and all the children in the world who believe in fairies are asked to clap their hands which will make Tinker Bell strong again. I suggest that our economy is in itself a matter of imagination, kept in place by the willingness of believers in the fairy framework that makes the financial fangdango to keep it blooming and floating.

    And Nz is a separate flimsy floating entity attached by visible and invisible strings. Sometime it is going to take a huge effort of will and positive affection from believers in NZ, with commitment to our country to stop it going down. And if not forthcoming NZ will end up like a squashed deflated balloon that cannot be mended, but can only provide some small residue to be recycled into something viable for the future. We have to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, it is poison!

    Captain Hook, who also tries to poison Peter’s medicine while the boy is asleep. When Peter awakes, he learns from the fairy Tinker Bell that Wendy has been kidnapped – in an effort to please Wendy, he goes to drink his medicine.

    Tink does not have time to warn him of the poison, and instead drinks it herself, causing her near death. Tink tells him she could be saved if children believed in fairies…. Peter turns to the audience watching the play and begs those who believe in fairies to clap their hands. At this there is usually an explosion of handclapping from the audience, and Tinker Bell is saved.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_and_Wendy

    • vto 16.1

      Yep it surely is when it comes to the fairytale part of the economy e.g. ‘house prices’.

      But it aint when it comes to the heartland of any economy which is the daily activities of inhabitants i.e. buying the milk, driving the car to work, watching the tele, doing the washing etc etc etc

      One of those parts is fluff. The other is real.

      • greywarshark 16.1.1

        Trouble is vto, we don’t have our own currency. And the whole exchange system is only as strong and continuing as the international system lets it be. If we had our own exchange system we would probably suffer quite a recession until we persevered and got the mainly localised system established and everyone did some free things for the community to make sure we covered services.

        The cost of being part of the international game, is that big boys with bigger marbles can hit ours out of the ring. Or to make the point on a more adult level, we have joined a poker game played by professionals where they will always win except when they are setting us up.

    • weka 17.1

      That’s kind of funny (couldn’t happen to a nicer species). Strange headline from the Independent though, it’s not the UK’s power supply that is reaching its limit from internet use.

  15. Gosman 18

    Here is another analysis of how the Syriza government has screwed up badly since coming in to power.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/03/100-days-of-solitude-syriza-struggles-as-greeks-once-again-stare-into-the-abyss

    It is much easier to get elected on a policy of ‘Screw the powers that be” than actually try and govern in a sensible manner.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      ‘Screw[ing] the powers that be’ is governing in a sensible manner. Nobody should have to live in a dictatorship ruled by the rich for the rich.

  16. Charles 19

    Anyone who hasn’t already seen it, or knew about it, can have a look on The Daily Blog site for the link to the latest “How not to be an Asshole” podcast.

    They’ve done quite few now, and they’ve managed to avoid being blantant assholes so far. I haven’t learned anything from them in that respect.

    Today’s podcast is the first time I’ve seen/heard their mask slip, and this podcast is the best I’ve heard, for interviewing prowess rather than content, although content is good too – or at least relevent to the concerns often talked about here. This week was a guest spokesperson from AAAP.

    Those two guys doing the interview take good cop/bad cop to a whole new level. Sharp as ghost-knives! It’s nice to know that there are people out there who are better at interviewing than any of the big name stars on TVNZ et al.

    It really is a shame that NZ still thinks that “if it isn’t on TV, it isn’t any good”. Probably if these guys became employed to do their thing on nationwide TV it’d be the end of them. But since so many people now have access via the web, what’s the excuse for TV to hold such a cultural stranglehold in the minds of people? None.

    Podcast total time takes about an hour.

  17. felix 20

    Matthew Hooten on John Key’s embarrassing, bumbling, inarticulate, blatantly self-contradictory, legal-weaseling, undignified, weak, quivering interview this morning:

    If it was a minister, that minister would’ve been fired.

    Ouch.

    • Gosman 20.1

      Aren’t you going to start looking for some hidden subtext in what he was trying to state? Surely he can’t be giving his honest impression of the affair as he is part of the VRWC against the left / sarc

      • McFlock 20.1.1

        What, the vast right wing conspiracy that was thoroughly documented using their own fucking emails? Nah, not a bit of it /sarc

        Tories eat their weak. And Key is weak.

        • Chris 20.1.1.1

          Considering Little is looking like being over taken by Winston as preferred leader I wouldn’t get too excited

          • McFlock 20.1.1.1.1

            oh okay I’ll just go looking over ther- waaaaiit a minute!!!

            Nice try /sarc

            The thing is that Little and Peters have over a year before the campaign to scrap it out without looking like their parties are falling apart. If the nats lose 5% due to internal warfare, they’re out of total power, even if winston decides to support neolibs on confidence and supply (rewriting the deal every budget).

            The only question is whether the caretaker pm the other parties face is Collins or some other numpty.

      • weka 20.1.2

        Are you referring to Key or Hooton?

      • emergency mike 20.1.3

        What, you mean like Matthew ‘DP crew 4 life’ Hooton could have some political angle he’s playing by announcing that Key has jumped the shark every five minutes?

        Sounds a bit far fetched /sarc

    • Kiwiri 20.2

      How about John Key try pushing this line?

      That he has been fondling girls’ hair in his capacity achually as Minister of Tourism. And in his capacity as Prime Minister, he will be firing John Key the Minister of Tourism.

      Done and dusted.

      /sarc

    • rawshark-yeshe 20.3

      on twitter or where felix ? thx

      and Hooton has to be on Collins payroll, doesn’t he ??

    • greywarshark 20.4

      He must know that there is a determined group with someone else in mind, so he is prepared to drop his fawning support for Key and just leave the hole lightly patched at present, ready for a new plant to push through.

  18. Chris 21

    Anyone mentioned Little looking like a deer caught in the headlights every time he got asked a question on where Labour are heading, on Q&A

    • b waghorn 21.1

      Little said he was going to spend the first year listening talking and learning to find out what nz needs. I’m happy to wait ,although with the imminent collapse of the national party possible , little might need to speed it up.

  19. Clemgeopin 22

    Three figuratively and literally piss-taking news links :

    Key taking the piss:

    Politician taking a piss:

    An annoyed bite stopping a piss:

    • ianmac 22.1

      Hooten reckons he has been to most of the cafes in question and has never seen any “horsing around” in any of them. Only people drinking coffee, reading and chatting. Funny that.

      • Clemgeopin 22.1.1

        May be Hooton should try pulling Bronagh’s hair in fun when they are there just to horse around a bit.

  20. Draco T Bastard 24

    I think this may be the perfect symbol of consumerism:

    If you want to understand the latest trend in craft cocktails, you could do worse than to listen to Outkast. What’s cooler than being cool is indeed ice cold. Specifically, it’s stored at minus-2 degrees, sculpted with a Japanese band saw, and retails for $1 a cube.

    Costs a huge amount, causes environmental damage, is completely useless and melts away in minutes.

    • McFlock 24.1

      and all so that you can’t see or taste it.

      Besides, ice waters it down anyway.

  21. Bill 25

    Oooh. Quake. (tremor) Dunedin.

    • Kiwiri 25.1

      Anyone in Wanaka? About 6 there?

      • weka 25.1.1

        Just txted some friends close to the epicentre, seems all ok, but I bet the people at Treble Cone got a fright. Looks like it was up the Matukituki Valley in that mountain range.

        Geonet have it as a 6.0/severe, US Geological Services as a 5.6 (but they also think it was near Queenstown).

        edit, btw it’s worth bearing in mind that quakes in the mountains are different than the ones that Chch had, so a 6.0 is big enough but not like what Chch experienced.

        • Kiwiri 25.1.1.1

          cheers.

          did you mean that at the same measurement, a quake in the mountains would be felt less severely than on the flat?

          • weka 25.1.1.1.1

            the richter scale doesn’t reflect people’s experiences very well, I guess because of the different geology (mountains of stone vs plains of alluvial gravel). It will be interesting to see what the intensity scale measurement ends up being, Chch2 was very high from what I remember despite the Richter number not being that high.

            Here we are,

            Wanaka http://geonet.org.nz/quakes/region/newzealand/2015p332712

            Chch2 http://info.geonet.org.nz/display/quake/M+6.3%2C+Christchurch%2C+22+February+2011

            Both at a similar depth, although the Chch one was very close to lots of people, whereas the only people likely to be that close to the Wanaka one would be climbers or farmers, and probably no-one, so it will be hard to compare.

          • lprent 25.1.1.1.2

            It depends on the type of weathered material around. If you had (as they did in Nepal) a lot of loosely compacted material on the mountains, then you’d feel the resulting avalanches of snow and rock more severely than you would with the liquefaction and jiggling of sediments on the flat.

            The energy measurement of the earthquake matters a lot less locally than the type of earthquake (extensional, compression, strike slip or combinations of those), the local geological structures and the types of buildings that people have. They also depend on the amount of surrounding faulting and what stage the stresses in those are.

            Mountains generally have smaller effect earthquakes than plains simply because they get triggered by other faults earlier. But it is a bit meaningless as an idea if a fault there triggers a series of immediate secondary earthquakes that carry on from the original one.

  22. Clemgeopin 26

    Nate Silver’s UK election prediction: May 3

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/uk-general-election-predictions/

    • if it follows that – the likes of sinn fein will be in a box seat..

      ..to reach that needed 326 for a majority..

      ..and it looks like miliband + snp + incidentals..

      ..once again..going on that poll..i cant see the tories being able to pull together that magic number..

      ..the lib-dems have lost a lot of support..

      ..it’s good news..

      ..bye bye tories..bye-bye…

      • te reo putake 26.1.1

        Yep, looks good. Regarding the majority, while 326 is the target for Labour, anything above 275 will almost certainly see them form a working minority government. They won’t need the SNP for C&S at that point (assuming of course that the SNP abstain and don’t deliberately bring them down). Tories + Lib Dems + DUP can’t muster a majority, so they would be immediately sunk on C&S if they tried to cobble together a minority coalition of their own.

        My pick is Labour + SDLP, with an outside chance of the Lib Dems joining them.

        • Bill 26.1.1.1

          Reads as though you’re looking at this through the lens of Parliaments as they were before the Fixed Term Parliaments Act?

          Labour don’t need the SNP, or any one else for Confidence and Supply at any point because… The Fixed Term Parliaments Act. There will probably be no coalitions formed by anyone for the same reason…they aren’t needed. And so, the principle party (the one that presents a Queens Speech that receives 50%+ backing) doesn’t have to enter into horse trading over cabinet posts or anything of that sort.

          The SNP have openly stated, as have Plaid Cymru, that they will vote against any budget containing austerity measures. That doesnt bring the government down. At that point Labour will simply have to rewrite and re-table to get 50% +…just as the SNP had to do with one of its Holyrood budgets.

          All in all, and rather oddly, a far more open and transparent Parliament than anything we can hope for from the Beehive.

          • felix 26.1.1.1.1

            How does the Fixed Term Parliaments Act work and why does it mean no coalitions?

            • Bill 26.1.1.1.1.1

              Essentially, once a government is sitting, it’s kind of ‘locked in’ bar a 3/4 majority voting to dissolve Parliament after a no confidence vote.

              I’ve cut and pasted from the Act, then altered it a bit to read a bit closer to plain English and highlighted a couple of obvious bits.

              The link to the Act (it’s very short) is here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/section/1

              Early parliamentary general elections

              An early parliamentary general election is to take place if the House of Commons passes a motion “that there shall be an early parliamentary general election”. That motion must be passed by a number equal to or greater than two thirds of the number of seats in the House (including vacant seats).

              An early parliamentary general election is also to take place if the House of Commons passes a motion ““That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.” andthe period of 14 days after the day on which that motion is passed ends without the House passing a motion “That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”

              edit. The PM then recommends a date to the Queen…blah, blah

              3Dissolution of Parliament

              The Parliament then in existence dissolves at the beginning of the 25th working day before the polling day for the next parliamentary general election as determined under section 1 or appointed under section 2(7).

              (2)Parliament cannot otherwise be dissolved.

          • te reo putake 26.1.1.1.2

            Cheers, Bill, correct as usual. As I understand it, it’s only votes of confidence (or no confidence) that can now bring a Government down. The change was brought in by the Lib Dems as part of their coalition deal in 2010. However, coalitions are still the best way to avoid that happening, where there is no outright majority available. The more votes in favour, the less likely a Government will fall.

            I think the process is now that the German woman in Buckingham Palace asks someone to have a crack at forming a Government and if they survive the confidence motion, they’re in power until for 5 years or until they lose a no confidence vote. Presumably Queenie will ask the biggest party first, but I suppose if a clear majority of smaller parties is available, she’d go with the largest of those. Probably Labour this time around.

            • felix 26.1.1.1.2.1

              Cheers. How did it work before 2010?

              • If memory serves, a Government could be bought down by losing C&S, or a (no) confidence vote or if the Queen’s speech was not adopted by Parliament. A simple majority against was enough. The Lib Dem’s change thinned down the options and lifted the majority needed to scupper the PM.

            • Bill 26.1.1.1.2.2

              Got to do more than simply lose a no confidence vote.

              If the Tories put up a Queens Speech, it will be voted down by (at least) Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. That gives Miliband 14 days to put a non-contentious Queens Speech together that the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens will vote for. And a Labour government comes into being.

              After that a specifically worded ‘no confidence’ motion has to be backed up further by a 3/4 seat majority for dissolution.

              Now, the SNP and others will vote against Labour on some stuff…including budgets. But then all they (the SNP etc) do is not vote that vote of no confidence and Labour have to go back to the drawing board.

    • millsy 26.2

      Labour wont get in. I just dont see them getting there. Narrow victory to the Tories I am afraid. Ed to become a page in someone else’s history book, as he is ousted from the leadership by autumn, the Blairites, led by Chuka Ummana (sp?) taking back control…

      Liberal Democrats wiped out to less then 10 MP’s including Clegg, and UKIP a complete fizzer, getting a number of thirds, but no seats. Greens to get 2 or 3 seats. Scottish National party will do well, but not as much as expected.

  23. Weepus beard 27

    Who is the “prominent New Zealander?

    Who is the Minister?

    Do they both involve children?

    If not, why are we not allowed to know?

  24. Iron Sky 28

    Some positive news for a change

    Tesla unveils batteries to power homes

    http://m.bbc.com/news/technology-32545081

    The rechargeable lithium-ion battery unit would be built using the same batteries Tesla produces for its electric vehicles, analysts said.

    The system is called Powerwall, and Tesla will sell the 7kWh unit for $3,000 (£1,954), while the 10kWh unit will retail for $3,500 (£2,275) to installers.

    Energy comparison firm USwitch estimates that one kWh can power two days of work on a laptop, a full washing machine cycle or be used to boil a kettle 10 times.

    Mr Musk said the company would partner with SolarCity to install the home batteries, but there would be more companies announced.

    Mr Musk is SolarCity’s chairman and largest shareholder.

    • Murray Rawshark 28.1

      They now have a partnership with Vector. The batteries will be expensive in Aotearoa.

      • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1

        They’re going to be about half the price of using lead-acid batteries, use significantly less space and hopefully they’ll come with a predetermined recycling process (lithium is both dangerous and scarce).

        • Murray Rawshark 28.1.1.1

          Are you including the Vector markup?

          • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1.1.1

            Yes.

            Last I heard, to get enough storage using lead-acid cost over $10,000 compared to ~US$3500 for the Tesla battery. Even with a high mark up I doubt it’ll come to NZ$5000.

            • Murray Rawshark 28.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s $4,600 already. I think they’ll probably charge between 6 and 7 grand. We’ll see. It’s a real shame no one more socially connected doesn’t have the partnership.

              A Harley Ultra Ltd costs $41,495 in Aotearoa, and $26,999 in the US and A, or $NZ35,785.55. This is a ratio of 1.16. That would make the battery $NZ5336, but I expect Vector to be more predatory than H-D because they will factor in that they will be losing other custom every time they sell one.

              I think my real worry is that they won’t be cheap enough for a lot of people to change over. Not many people change to a bank of lead acid batteries, although there are other reasons.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That would make the battery $NZ5336, but I expect Vector to be more predatory than H-D because they will factor in that they will be losing other custom every time they sell one.

                Vector is a lines company which means to say that they own the lines that delivery power to the house. As long as houses are still connected to the grid, and I suspect most would stay connected for times when solar doesn’t provide enough, they’ll get their monthly fixed charge. On top of that check out their solar plans. They’re obviously looking to get residual income from solar installations.

                I think my real worry is that they won’t be cheap enough for a lot of people to change over.

                It’s not going to be cheap enough for the majority of households and probably won’t be for some time.

  25. SPC 29

    Andrew Little is showing poor political judgment.

    He should be exploiting the PM’s position on the flag (alienating some conservatives in the centre and a lot of older voters who have voted Labour), thus when commenting about head of state matters saying that arrangements under Labour would be based on what the people want.

    Offering his personal opinion on having a New Zealander as head of state does nothing to broaden support for Labour in the centre.

    • Draco T Bastard 29.1

      What are you referring to?

      • SPC 29.1.1

        The interview at the weekend in which he said he wanted a New Zealander as head of state – that is no way to get older voters to return to Labour.

  26. rawshark-yeshe 30

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/concern-over-chinese-developers-million-dollar-northland-resort-6306920

    TVOne News tonight … Northland becomes a Chinese tourist paradise .. 1700-1900 visitors a week, and all run by CEO Mike Sabin. What could possibly go wrong. Yuk.

  27. Vaughan Little 31

    My comment here only tangentially relates to your post.

    why the hell are you still in the politics game? if I’d been thru the same florid surfeit of bullshit that you seem to have witnessed over the decades, the last thing I’d want to do for a HOBBY (defined as optional shit one gets up to in one’s free time) is driving a politics blog with open comments.

    or is the answer simply that you still give a shit…

    [lprent: Yes. But this looks diversionary. OpenMike. ]

    • lprent 31.1

      I have parents, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, great nephews, great nieces and a pile of friends. I also hate arsehole bullies of all types.

      No difference to the way that I volunteered for the army, worked for the politician(s) of my choice for decades, and now spend time on a blog.

      So I always give a shit because if you don’t hammer the arseholes they’ll gut your friends, family, and anyone else. They will do this to crawl over them to money, power and money. It is part of the sociopathic profile that is the similarity between Cameron Slater or John Key and some pissant warlord on the Somali coast.

      If not me, then who else. If you don’t understand that, then I suspect you’re reading the wrong blog.

    • RedLogix 31.2

      Speaking just for myself – it is because I am old enough to remember growing up in a New Zealand before Rogernomics .

      Nope the ‘good old days’ were not all that good. Plenty of shit went down. Plenty of narrow-minded, petty little bigots and boofheads to be found.

      But the difference was that we had a political system that was anchored somewhat to the idea of ‘giving a shit’. Since we let idea go there may well be more bling and shiny toys for some people in evidence – but us ordinary people have been erased from the political map.

      If that makes me a pompous old dinosaur wallowing in long-irrelevant nostalgia from his boyhood – then so be it. But then I cannot blame you for not missing what you never knew. I’m genuinely sorry for that.

  28. Vaughan Little 32

    I mean, you seem to be in an interesting zone between believing that conventional party politics is well and truly broken, and believing that open debate about the same has some kind of merit…

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    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    12 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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