Open mike 04/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 4th, 2011 - 80 comments
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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…

80 comments on “Open mike 04/07/2011”

  1. Information privacy versus right to know?

    Is adding the Salary Police to business administration impositions really a good idea?

    No secrets: bill to reveal pay gap

    The Human Rights Commission bill promoted by Dr McGregor goes further, requiring an employer to disclose, on request from a staff member, what someone of the opposite sex doing equivalent work is paid.

    Dr McGregor said the bill also provided for the worker requesting the information to ask a labour inspector to check its veracity.

    Why just opposite sex?

    I have a lot of reservations about this and think a lot more consideration, information and debate is required.

    • KJT 1.1

      I do not see why wages should be a secret.

      If you work for the public then as your employer they have a right to know what you are paid.

      If you are on a collective contract or a tradesperson it is no secret anyway.

      Knowing how much some of our dodgy managers are paid for spending the day on facebook would add a bit of much needed disinfectant.

      Maybe we should add the taxes paid as in Norway. I suspect that would name and shame a lot of the wealthiest people who use trusts and other dodgy means to avoid tax.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      I think the entire accounts should be open to the employees so they can see what the business is worth, how it’s doing and, most importantly, how much the job that they’re doing is worth to the business. This would allow them the same strength in negotiations as the business owner/manager.

      • grumpy 1.2.1

        “This would allow them the same strength in negotiations as the business owner/manager.”

        And the same risks??????

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          What’s that got to do with the negotiations?

          Anyway, I’d prefer if businesses were self-owned and the people in it working as a cooperative. The capitalist ownership model sux and is the major cause of poverty and suffering in the world.

      • Vicky32 1.2.2

        I think the entire accounts should be open to the employees so they can see what the business is worth

        and how close it is to going under! That’s why I am where I am today, (on UB) because the company I worked for, fell over.

    • ZeeBop 1.3

      Yes! Why just sex? Why not migrants? Why should a kiwi get paid less or more than a recent migrant who is just as capable? National seems to suggest low wages is good for NZ, but that means in order to attract Migrants to fill skills shortages will be hurt.

      Why not also, religion? Do some get paid more or less because of their faith, or lack of faith?
      Why not marriage, and children, do those with kids get paid less, those with mortgages?

      Seems to me there’s a lot of hocus pocus when it comes to which Human Rights the Commission actively seeks to protect, i.e. politically ‘acceptable’ and areas that aren’t.
      Like what about Maori doing the same job?

  2. Good work by Bomber.  He has disclosed that amongst the ranks of members of Vote for Change is a white supremacist.  The person’s membership has been apparently already terminated such is the democratic nature of VFC.

    And Trevor Mallard has again drawn links between the organisation and Simon Lusk while also raising questions about Lusk’s involvement in National’s Epsom selection.  Could the same paid consultant be involved in a National and and ACT campaign for control of Epsom?

    And Cameron Slater has reacted in his usual way.  His comments on Red Alert are interesting to say the least.

    As the saying goes, it should be an interesting day.  Time to get out the popcorn …

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    more Hobbitses,
    what could possibly be in Crown Law’s opinion on independent contractors in the film industry, during the ‘Hobbit’ debacle, that has led two Ombudsmen to find that governement is entitled to maintain secrecy? A tax payer funded opinion, leading to a law contrary to ILO freedom of association norms, seen by Warners, but the public cannot see it.

    • It appears that the Government maintained legal professional privilege and if so the Ombudsman was probably duty bound not to order its release.
       
      Warners may have breached an undertaking not to divulge its contents by referring to it in a press release and this deserves more investigation.
       
      It sucks however that this Government would release such an opinion to a foreign corporate but not to a collective of New Zealand workers or to the National Radio Station. If they want to have a proper debate about the issue they should waive privilege and release it.

      • Jim Nald 3.1.1

        What is the NACT government hiding?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          The fact that it’s a NACT government, ie, working for the betterment of themselves and their rich mates at everyone else’s expense.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Micky is likely correct, that on a ‘technicality’ the Ombudsmen ordered as they have. However it still stinks because even if the opinion does not conflict with what the Natz told parliament it said, us citizens paid for the opinion. Then urgency was applied and Warners got their pay day, again stumped up by the long suffering tax payer.

    Due to the lack of transparency, there is suspicion until proven otherwise, that Crown Law’s opinion included views embarrassing or contrary to the governments stated position on union involvment in the film industry.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The government has been negotiating anFTA with India. This is what the government thinks India wants from the agreement:

    “The good news part of the story is India wants to do the deal, and that’s because they’re very worried about inflation that’s running at about 8%. It’s having a big impact on the livelihoods of everyday Indians, and food is about 43% of their CPI basket,” Keys said.

    This is what India says that they want from the agreement:

    Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma said in the near-term a benefit to India from a trade deal would be for his country to gain better access to New Zealand agriculture technology.

    The incompetence is stunning really. These people are supposed to be good at business and yet they don’t even know what the market is that they’re trying to sell into.

  6. Morrissey 6

    MISPLACED SYMPATHY FOR AN IGNORANT ATHLETE
    Serena Williams was booed at Roland Garros because she was offensive, not because she was black

    There is deep and abiding racism in sports, and especially in the sports media, as will be known by anyone who has any familiarity with the half-witted utterances and barely literate scribblings of (to name only some of the most flagrant) Murray Deaker, Martin Devlin, John Matheson, David Kirk, “Sir” John Graham, Tony Veitch.

    But that doesn’t mean all criticism of black athletes is racist.

    On Friday, one of our respected Standard contributors cited the following item to support the valid argument that the Williams sisters and their father Richard are often the victims of racial abuse….

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1432217/Sobbing-Serena-booed-by-French.html

    This is an extremely misleading article, and it’s not insignificant that it appeared in the hard-right Daily Telegraph. Deliberately left out altogether from the account is the reason that Serena Williams was being booed by the French crowd. The day before Serena Williams’s weeping meltdown on Centre-court at Roland Garros, she had made several bumptious and ignorant remarks condemning the French government for “not supporting” the U.S. aggression against Iraq.

    THAT is why the French crowd was booing her. But the article presents it as though Williams was the unfortunate recipient of routine Gallic anti-Americanism. Which is totally untrue, and exactly what you would expect from the Daily Telegraph.

    We need to always be on guard against the racist bigots who infect the media at every level, but that doesn’t mean we should give a free ride to the likes of Serena Williams when she wades beyond her depth and flounders. A French reporter called her comments “maladroit”. She deserved everything the disgusted French crowd dished out to her that day.

    • D-D-D-Damn ! 6.1

      Yeah, The Telegraph and The Times are the two British papers most closely associated with Israeli and US Neo-Conservative apologetics (although I realise you dispute the latter terminology, Morrissey). Tragically, my local paper – the Dom Post – relies on them almost exclusively for its Middle East coverage. Much of the resulting “news” and “analysis” is simply ludicrous. Pure disinformation.

      I remember that one of the Williams sisters – I suspect it was Venus, but can’t be sure – was one of about 15 US “celebrities” to sign a US Zionist group’s newspaper advertisement that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, blamed the people of Lebanon and Hezbollah for Israel’s 2006 invasion and carpet bombing of that Country.

      Hence, this latest outburst by Serena is by no means surprising.

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        1) …The Telegraph and The Times are the two British papers most closely associated with Israeli and US Neo-Conservative apologetics (although I realise you dispute the latter terminology, Morrissey).

        The Daily Mail, the Guardian and the Observerare equally obnoxious. And I don’t think that “apologetics” is the right word to use here. (I’ll post something at length on this topic in future.) I accept that the small group of PNAC fanatics are called “Neocons”, but it’s a terrible misnomer for them. Conservatism is an honorable tradition, implying prudence and respect for tradition and the rule of law. We are all conservatives to a degree, if we live in the real world. The denizens of Planet Neocon, on the other hand, have nothing but contempt for the rule of law. Everything I’ve read by the likes of Kagan, Kristol, Huntington, Wolfowitz, Perle and Cheney (to name only the most obviously egregious) underlines their ruthlessness and fanaticism. They are anything but conservatives.

        We have a number of them in New Zealand academia too: Stephen Hoadley at Auckland, Ron Smith and Dov Bing at Waikato, and Lance Beath at Victoria are regular commentators on political affairs on National Radio.

        2) Tragically, my local paper – the Dom Post – relies on them almost exclusively for its Middle East coverage.

        The editors on the Dom Post probably don’t know any more about Israel and Palestine than Serena Williams does, and no doubt publish stuff from the Telegraph and Times simply because that’s what they’ve always done. I doubt there’s any substantial animosity towards decent journalism in Wellington; it’s more a question of ignorance. You should ask them why they don’t publish something by Noam Chomsky, or Norman Finkelstein, or John Pilger, or Gideon Levy, or Amira Hass from Haaretz.

        3) I remember that one of the Williams sisters – I suspect it was Venus, but can’t be sure – was one of about 15 US “celebrities” to sign a US Zionist group’s newspaper advertisement

        I think this is the one you mean…
        http://www.israelifrontline.com/2011/03/pro-israel-celebrities-please-scroll.html

        To be fair to Serena Williams, though, I doubt that she is either pro-Israel or anti-Israel. This site claims it is “a list of celebrities (dead and alive) who were/are either definitely pro-Israel or have somehow been associated with a pro-Israel cause.” In other words, if you were polite to an AIPAC member instead of arguing with him, you are pro-Israel. If you say nothing when a pro-Israeli fruitcake like Gene Simmons sounds off in your vicinity, you are pro-Israel. When you meekly put up with your husband’s crazed rants against Palestinian civilians, you are “pro-Israel”. If, as Serena no doubt has done, you say that Israeli tennis pro Shaheer Peer is a nice person, that means you are “pro-Israel”—hence Nicole Kidman is on the list. So, despite not signing anything, Serena Williams has been co-opted onto this mad pro-Israel site—along with Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and other dead people.

        In fact, I’m going to analyse this site a little more fully some time soon. Stay tuned!

        • D-D-D-Damn ! 6.1.1.1

          ***  “The Daily Mail, the Guardian and the Observer are equally obnoxious”.

          I do think The Telegraph  and The Times are the worst offenders, though. Both Murdoch (Times) and Black (until his relatively recent downfall – Telegraph) both had a long history of intervening editorially to ensure a fiercely right-wing Zionist perspective. The Guardian‘s coverage has, I think,  improved over the last 5 years (though it still has some way to go). Of Britain’s major daily papers, The Independent probably provides the most honest coverage of Israel/Palestine and the Middle East in general (though The Financial Times has some quite impressive Editorials that manage to cut-through the usual US/Israeli framing of events).

          ***  “We have a number of them in New Zealand academia too: Stephen Hoadley at Auckland, Ron Smith and Dov Bing at Waikato, and Lance Beath at Victoria are regular commentators on political affairs on National Radio.”

          Yep, Hoadley and Bing – definitely Israeli apologists/propagandists. I’ve heard of Ron Smith but didn’t know his position on this. Never heard of Beath. I’d also argue that, despite often seeming (and, indeed, being) reasonable and fair, Vic’s Religious Studies Professor, Paul Morris has at times tended toward banal Israeli apologetics (particularly during the Mossad Affair).

          ***  Dom Post

          Probably no coincidence that Fairfax are owned by Murdoch. I have to say that as Right-leaning as Old Nanny Herald usually is, its Middle East coverage is far better (greater variety of sources and viewpoints) than the Dom Post’s constant reliance on the official US/Israeli narrative. Over the immediate 16 months or so following the initial Bush/Blair invasion of Iraq, the Dom Post carried weekly – sometimes daily – Robert Fisk analysis. They then quietly dropped him (I suspect due to pressure from the small, local Israel lobby – shades of Cartoonist Malcolm Evans ! Certainly, the paper published a flurry of anti-Fisk letters-to-the-editor from the usual suspects, most of them loony-tune Christian Millenarialists).

          ***  Serena Williams, Nicole Kidman…..

          Interesting and amusing site, Morrissey. But, no, I was thinking of an advertisement placed in the Los Angeles Times in 2006 by a US Zionist group associated with a number of Hollywood movers and shakers. The text of the advertisement was: “We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas…..If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world, chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die…..We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs.” Signed by various sports stars, Hollywood actors and comedians (particularly, as one might suspect, the relatively naff ones, the ones with an overwhelming interest in their own careers), including Serena Williams (was Serena not Venus, I was wrong), Sylvester Stallone, Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Dennis Hopper (known for his right-wing Republican sympathies, despite the Easy Rider Hippy-shite of 1969), Bruce Willis (also a right-wing Republican), Danny De Vito and wife Rhea Perleman, Don Johnson, James Woods (long-time Republican supporter), Kelly Preston, William Hurt, Directors Ridley Scott, Dick Donner, Tony Scott and Michael Mann. Unfortunately, the advertisement was also endorsed by actress Patricia Heaton (who I’ve always fancied – despite her involvement in the ho-hum mainstream comedy Everyone Loves Raymond). I just can’t bring myself to fancy her anymore. For you, Morrissey, it would be like Anna Pacquin joining AIPAC.

          • Morrissey 6.1.1.1.1

            The Guardian’s coverage has, I think, improved over the last 5 years (though it still has some way to go).

            It had nowhere to go but up. Any paper that would tolerate a shoddy and incompetent writer like Emma Brockes is neither liberal nor serious…
            http://www.medialens.org/alerts/05/051104_smearing_chomsky_the_guardian.php

            Vic’s Religious Studies Professor, Paul Morris has at times tended toward banal Israeli apologetics (particularly during the Mossad Affair).

            Yes, he’s a very interesting case. I’ve heard him speak about Jewish religious practice, and he seems civil and rational. What did he say about the captured Mossad agents?

            Probably no coincidence that Fairfax are owned by Murdoch.
            They are?!?!?!? Are you sure about that? If so, things are even bleaker than I thought.

            Signed by various sports stars, Hollywood actors and comedians…

            I wonder how many of those “beautiful people” really believed in what they were signing. At a Hollywood dinner party, which is where AIPAC tends to descend on this tanned, raddled and botoxed prey, you’d kind of feel obliged to sign a petition to “stop terrorism” and proclaim how “pained and devastated” you are. Who could argue with such a sentiment? Especially if you know nothing at all about the situation in Lebanon and Palestine, and you’re just too busy to read anything to find out, even if you did care. And how much time would William Hurt, or Michael Douglas, or Sylvester Stallone spend reading anything, leave alone a book about Israel and Palestine?

            Patricia Heaton (who I’ve always fancied – despite her involvement in the ho-hum mainstream comedy Everyone Loves Raymond).

            It’s mainstream, sure. But ho-hum? Really? I’m not joking here when I say I could watch it all day. I love and adore Everybody Loves Raymond.

            I just can’t bring myself to fancy her anymore. For you, Morrissey, it would be like Anna Pacquin joining AIPAC.

            I’d forgive her.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Pretty sure Fairfax is still Australian owned, and not owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. An old article:

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/fairfax-media/news/article.cfm?o_id=263&objectid=10372643

              • D-D-D-Damn !

                Fairfax/Murdoch
                Oh Fuck !

                Well, that’s my credibility completely down the fucking gurgler then, isn’t it ? Christ knows what I was thinking. Must have been drunk at the time (if the excuse works for Ruth Aitken’s son – “The Urinator” – then it should work for me). Does this monumental faux pas, this utter failure to live up to the high intellectual rigour expected of all commenters on The Standard, necessarily make me a bad man ? Why, yes, I think it does.

                Quality of Everybody (not Everyone – I was wrong once again !) Loves Raymond

                Not saying it’s bad. In fact, I do watch it now and then (and not only because of Ms Heaton) but, you know, nowhere near the brilliance of Curb Your Enthusiasm (or, indeed, The Simpsons) in my view (and a long, long way behind the best British comedies).

                Paul Morris/Mossad Affair

                Much like you, Morrissey, I have a tendency to write transcripts of TV/Radio discussions on the Middle East in general and Israel/Palestine in particular. Been doing so since about 2003. Everything from RNZ to BBC World to Norman Finkelstein’s lectures on youtube (even though the substance of much of the latter ends up in his various publications).

                In the immediate wake of the Mossad Affair (and the vandalism of Jewish graves in Wellington), Morris was interviewed by Maureen Garing on RNZ’s Spiritual Outlook programme. I did a complete transcript at the time but, unfortunately, a number of my transcripts (including that one) got inadvertantly thrown-out around 2 years ago (much to my subsequent upset).

                But, from memory (and, given my monumental faux-pas, above, people are obviously going to have to treat this fairly cautiously, remembering that this is coming from the fucker who thought Fairfax was owned by Murdoch), Morris (1) poured cold water on the (almost certain) fact that a number of leading members of the Auckland Jewish community (not just the one who fled NZ) were deeply involved in the Mossad Affair, (2) suggested the Clark Labour Government was inherently “anti-Israel” because (despite Israel’s demands to the contrary) Foreign Minister Phil Goff insisted on seeing Arafat as well as Sharon, (3) continued to insist that there was no evidence to suggest those involved in the scandal were, in fact, Mossad agents and (4) argued that Clark’s criticism of Israel in the wake of the affair not only revealed “anti-Israel” bias, but also caused the subsequent attack on Jewish graves in Wellington.
                 

    • Vicky32 6.2

      Thanks Morrisey for that clarification!

  7. Morrissey 7

    Yet another third-rate correspondent on National Radio this morning
    Irris Makler jokes about “dead in the water” peace flotilla
    “Nine to Noon”, National Radio, Monday 4 July 2011

    Irris Makler, Lana Shaheen, Rory Carroll, Liat Collins, Dame Ann Leslie, and Jason Morrison are all shamelessly partisan, right-wing shills—yet they are regularly deferred to as regional voices of
    authority on National Radio. This morning, we were subjected to a particularly egregious performance from the obnoxiously glib and light- hearted Irris Makler.

    Disgusted, I sent off a letter to the host Kathryn Ryan…

    Dear Kathryn,
    You said there was “great controversy over the peace flotilla” last year. In fact, there was no controversy over the flotilla, which sought to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza. The controversy was over the Israeli pirate raid on the boats, in international waters, which killed nine peace activists.

    Your correspondent Irris Makler joked that the convoy, stuck in Greece, was “dead in the water”, then sneered at the fact that there are “celebrities like Alice Walker” on board. She could have mentioned that one of the peace protestors on the flotilla is 86-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein. Tellingly, however, Irris Makler did not see fit to mention that.

    What criteria do you use to select your foreign correspondents?

    Yours sincerely,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point
    ——————————————————–

    Keep listening, guys—she might read it out on air!

  8. McFlock 8

    I don’t recall direct quotes of Key in the media being quite so literal when he first started out:
     

    “Obviously, look, it’s totally unacceptable that they’re using child labour but as the (Indian Prime) Minister himself he said they have laws against that, they’re administering that,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast.

  9. vto 9

    Last week’s Waitangi Tribunal findings further cement the view that the Treaty of Waitangi is an out of date document.

    The Treaty, on the basis of their findings among other, clearly provides for one race to have a “special” place in these fair lands, in which many many races and creeds live.

    No lands on the planet can sustain a separate set of laws and arrangements for one race, and another for all the other races. It is a fundamentally flawed approach and will fail. As it has in every other land in the world where similar circumstances are applied. Examples are not even needed to support this as it is so self-evident.

    All points to the Treaty being flawed for NZ today and in the future.

    Yet various in our lands keep their blinkers on and refuse to acknowledge this. They remind me of the three monkeys seeing, hearing and speaking no evil.

    I wonder when this will be honestly acknowledged by those who benefit from being “special”?

    • vto 9.1

      Meant to add before ….. the Treaty was probably quite appropriate for the times back then and up until some recent later point in time. However the use-by date is up. Time for it to be redrawn.

      • Jenny 9.1.1

        VTO Read this book by David Slack NOW!

        • vto 9.1.1.1

          Thanks Jenny but no thanks. How about you get an appreciation of history, NOW.

          • Jenny 9.1.1.1.1


            VTO I try to get a balanced view on most subjects and I find reading books helps.

            I may have been a bit excited in demanding that you read this book NOW! but it was because I sincerely believe that David Slack’s book about the Treaty of Waitangi in today’s world, deals with the issues you are raising.

            David Slack makes a particular point of challenging the issue which you raised in your comment, “the Treaty was probably quite appropriate for the times back then. However the use by date is up….”

            He also looks at the issue of, as you put it “a separate set of laws and arrangements for one race”.

            This is why I thought this would be such a good book for you.

            I think you may be pleasantly surprised to find yourself agreeing with some of the conclusions in this book.

            Apart from this, David Slack’s book is packed full of interesting facts, from our past history and our recent history, and how we came to be in the position we are in today.

            Some of David Slack’s facts and figures on the Treaty, historical as well as recent, are really quite startling.

            I didn’t know for instance that the first ever land settlement made by the Waitangi Tribunal was relating to compensation to Ngati Whatua for land at Basstion Pt. and the Orakei reserve, the last of which was confiscated without reparation from the Ngati Whatua as Recently as the 1950s by the Auckland City Council. And which was the setting for an unprecedented protest occupation by Ngati Whatua and their supporters in the late ’70s to stop this land being subdivided by private developers for a tidy profit.

            The Tribunal found that it was irrefutable that this alienation of Ngati Whatua’s last remaining piece of land in the Auckland region, which had been termed inalienable in previous enactments, was against the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi. I dare you to say it wasn’t.

            VTO you told me, ‘How about you get an appreciation of history, NOW.’

            I would be more than happy to read any written contributions suggested by you on this topic.

            I look forward to receiving your suggested reading list.

            Yours sincerely J.

    • pollywog 9.2

      The Treaty, on the basis of their findings among other, clearly provides for one race to have a “special” place in these fair lands, in which many many races and creeds live.

      NO… the treaty clearly provides for independent tribes, acting as sovereign nations, to have a special place in these fair lands. That “special” place being their ancestral homelands, fisheries and resources of which iwi, like Tuhoe, were illegally displaced from.

      Simple fact is, until you and Maori get your head around the “race” framing of any argument being irrelevent, you’re not really going to get anywhere. And until all treaty claims are settled there won’t be any other binding agreement drawn up any time soon.

      What i hope to see drawn up in a post treaty settlement era is a constitution for something akin to Hone Harawira’s idea of a pan iwi Maori Parliament that has the Mana and authority to speak on behalf of all Maori about all things Maori.

      Then while were at drawing up constitutions, let’s fully and finally cut the apron strings to wrinkly old Aunty Britannia, crawl out from under her colonial nightie and stand on our own 2 republican feet.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Would it still be necessary to crawl out from under Princess Di’s nightie, or could we stay there?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2

        Two separate sets of laws, two parliaments and what you end up with is civil war.

        Maori don’t need more representation than anyone else and as long as you keep asking/demanding it you’ll keep putting up the divides that keep us apart. You want people to treat everyone fairly and equally? Then stop asking for one race to be raised above all others.

        PS, IMO, written constitutions aren’t all that great as they have a tendency to stop change when it becomes necessary.

        • Jenny 9.2.2.1

          Draco, I think you need to read David Slack’s book too. Cos’ you really don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

      • vto 9.2.3

        Polly, you miss my point and agree with it at the same time. And I wasn’t actually framing it in race terms if your read carefully. It applies whether the separatism is created by race, class, gender, age, etc… Heard of the provisions of the Human Rights Act? – try applying those principles to the Treaty and its big picture. The treaty creates effectively two separate sets of rules for two different groups of people in one land. That doesn’t work. Never has. Didn’t work when the whiteys were “special” and wont work when the brownies are “special”.

        Sure, the Treaty may say this and that, but I contend that the this and that, while perhaps suitable in the past circumstances, is entirely unsuitable for today.

        And it is nothing to do with racism against maori or etc etc etc, it is to do with two separate sets of laws in one land. Doesn’t work. I would contend the same thing were it in Russia, Mongolia, USA, Fiji, South Africa, Lesotho, Christchurch, anywhere ….

        Easy to attack this sort of view as some sort of out-of-date colonial throwback view but I contend that the separatism view is the out-of-date throwback view. They need to take their blinkers off and answer this issue instead of ignoring it

        (btw, this aint nought to do with righting past wrongs, whether by crown or maori)

        • Jenny 9.2.3.1

          Sure, the Treaty may say this and that, but I contend that the this and that, while perhaps suitable in the past circumstances, is entirely unsuitable for today.

          VTO

          Oh really?

          Ask yourself VTO,

          If it had not been for the Waitangi Tribunal allowing Ngati Whatua to get redress not available to them in any other court, where would Ngati Whatua be today?

          Bastion Point would have been built over with luxury homes and Ngati Whatua would presently be facing eviction from the state rental homes they were forced into when the council bulldozed their homes at Okahu Bay.

          Despite discharging Auckland City’s sewer system into Okahu bay the council refused to let Ngati Whatua connect their waste water to to the council system. Then demolished their Marae at Okahu Bay as being unsanitary.

          Their last remaining bit of land was confiscated and those not driven off to South Auckland or further afield, were shoved into government owned state housing on Bastion Point as tenants on their own land.

          As most of Ngati Whatua are gainfully employed, many with good incomes, they no longer meet the criteria for staying in the state housing on Bastion Point under the government’s new regulations for state housing tenants.

          No doubt VTO you have nothing to say about this sort of present day injustice.

          There is a name for people like you. Can you think what it is?

  10. RobC 10

    (NOT) PAYING FOR DISABLED CARE
     
    A recent newsletter from the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) details an offer from the Government to settle the pay issue with disability care workers that arose from what is commonly known as the “sleepover case”.
     
    In both the Employment Court and the Court of Appeal, it has been found that these workers on sleepover shifts are entitled to the minimum wage. Despite these rulings, no employer or their funders (a.k.a. the Government) have made any attempt to abide by the Court decisions, instead (in the case of IHC) employing workers through a subsidiary company to protect their large asset base (residential properties), placing companies into statutory management and lodging an appeal to the Supreme Court (due to be heard in September).
     
    The probability that the Supreme Court will confirm earlier court rulings forced employers and the Government to the negotiating table. At issue are both putting these workers onto their lawful wage and backpay.
     
    The Govt has offered to stagger the implementation of the minimum wage over four years. Audacious in the extreme, given the rulings clearly explain there is no ability for employer and employee to contract out of the Minimum Wage Act, even if they wanted to. This is as about as cut and dried as it gets, if you are working you must be paid no less than $13/hour. Apparently, despite this issue having dragged through the courts for over 3 years, employers and Government need another 4 years to be able to abide by legislation and the court’s interpretation of that legislation.
     
    In respect of backpay, pleading poverty the Government has offered 25% of what is owed, only to workers still employed (former workers can go and get stuffed) and subject to a cap of $45 million. Oh, and they’ll fund half of it, the employers have to find the other half.
     
    The amount of backpay has been approximated at $300 million, a quarter of that is $75 million. Even taking off an amount for former workers, I think describing the offer as “25%” is disingenuous. So, workers who have been frustrated by the intransigence of their employer and the Government as funder, patiently waiting for years to have this issue resolved, should now forego 75% (plus) of what has been accruing through no fault of their own.
     
    The Union, to their credit, suggested 50% of backpay (plus interest) as a compromise. An entirely reasonable stance I suggest, cutting the bill by $150 million in an attempt to resolve this and move on. But no, that’s not good enough. I wonder what the reaction would have been had the Government, when bailing out SCF depositors, told them there was not enough money in the piggy bank and they could only have 25% of what they were legally entitled to?
     
    In a final display of arrogance, the Government has given the Union until 15 July to advise whether the offer is accepted or rejected. One month to arrange meetings, votes etc, after the Government has pissed around for 3 years ignoring the issue until it could no longer do so.
     
    This whole sorry saga continues to lurch towards an inevitable conclusion where no-one wins. Not surprisingly, the Union is recommending to its members not to accept the Government’s offer and given that likelihood, the parties will see each other at the Supreme Court on 13 September.
     
    No-one wins because even if the Supreme Court overturns the earlier court rulings, the result may well be a mass exodus of current workers who have had a gutsful of this issue dragging on (first raised in 2001). Where I live, anecdotal evidence suggests 40% are ready to walk. The care of the disabled in our communities will be compromised.
     
    If the Supreme Court does confirm earlier rulings, employers can choose to go bankrupt when the 5000+ claims that are waiting on this test case get filed in the Employment Court. Another possibility is retrospective legislation. Again, the care of the disabled is put at risk.
     
    And that’s what’s so fucked up about this whole episode. The one’s who will ultimately suffer are the intellectually disabled members of our community. This is not an employment issue, it is a societal issue. When disability care was deinstitutionalised many years ago, huge cost savings resulted as Kingseat, Templeton et al became relics and disabled people were integrated into the community. Now, when workers attempt to re-address some balance into working conditions in this sector, no-one wants to cough up, forgetting the large cost of the alternative – professional care in expensive institutions.
     
    I believe how we treat and care for those less fortunate in society is a reflection of society itself. In this area, society is failing.
     
    Footnote: The Sleepover allowance paid by IHC when this case went to the Employment Relations Authority in 2008 was $34.00. In 2011, the allowance remains at $34.00.

    • ianmac 10.1

      I guess that since the recipients of care in this case are not significant voters then Government can wait it out. You are right about the social and economic reasons for abandoning the institutions. What should happen is that the money saved should have been diverted to proper community care. Underlines the importance of unionism as well.

  11. jackal 11

    New Zealands Crap Water

    The Ministry of Health annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand 2009/10 shows 72,000 New Zealanders are drinking faecally-contaminated water. MOH found unacceptable levels of E.Coli in the water of 2% of the population. However the true number of people drinking faecally contaminated water may be 10 times higher than the MOH figure.

  12. Jim Nald 12

    What is NZ’s next sacrificial lamb to be led to the Free Trade altar for slaughter?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10736183

    Surely the National Government won’t trade away Pharmac?

  13. SBW 13

    What a load of shit drawing inferences between one racist pig and the rest of Vote for Change’s founding members. Sure, they F’d up by not doing a background check on their founding members, but to infer that the rest of the members have white supremacist values is plain bullshit.

    Furthermore, we’re yet to hear a debate playing the game, rather than the man, from pro-MMP supporters. While Fogerty is the extreme exception – but how about the pro-MMP campaign actually start debating the issues, rather than mud-slinging.

    [lprent: this sub-thread is a complete diversion from the content of post – sent to OpenMike. ]

    • pollywog 13.1

      Now now Sonny Bill…

      …you just worry about putting Quade Cooper on his arse and bringing home that Super 15 cup for the meantime yeah ?

      theres a good lad, now run along…

      • Gosman 13.1.1

        And right on target pollywog provides an example of this stupidity in action.

        Do you bother to use your brain sometime pollywog or do you prefer to substitute insults or reason?

        • pollywog 13.1.1.1

          hmmmm…trick question eh Gosman ?…Imma hv ta fink bout dat 1 eh

          but just off the top, do you know what the proportion of rich old white men comprising the VfC board compared to any other demographic is ?

          • Gosman 13.1.1.1.1

            Who cares?

            What was the proportion of radical lefties like Rod Donald in the original pro-electoral reform movement in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s?

            Did that somehow mean that MMP was tainted by leftist politics?

            • pollywog 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Likewise who cares…the 90’s were a bit of hazy decade for me.

              …but let me get this straight. You’re comparing Rod Donald’s involvement with pro electoral reform in the 90’s with Alex Fogerty’s pro reform involvement now ?

              No respect for the dead even. Jeez, how low will you screwed up right turning nutjobs go to smear a guys rep ?

              but of course the 90’s reforms were about getting a fair deal for the under represented by left leaning politicians just as much as this bottom feeder Fogerty wants to protect his white male privilege in the right leaning politically and financially over represented.

              • Gosman

                Nice attempt at diversion and trying to grab a moral high ground that isn’t there. Rod Donald was a radical lefty. That is a fact that does not alter regardless of him being dead. His prominent role in the pro-electoral reform movement should not preclude people of a Right leaning persuassion from looking at the merits of MMP.

                • pollywog

                  Despite your feeble attempt at misdirection Gossy, it still stands to reason that we need way more political activists like Rod Donald RIP in this world than we do bottom feeding right wing scumbags like Fogerty and maybe your self ?.

            • Blighty 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Of course movements are rightly associated with the political leanings of those involved in them.

              The simple difference between Rod Donald’s involvement in getting MMP and Alex Fogerty’s involvement in Vote for Change: Rod Donald wasn’t a white supremacist, nor were his views the leftwing equivalent.

              The mere fact that Donald didn’t have to quit the movement when people knew about his political views tells you that there is no moral equivalency.

            • lprent 13.1.1.1.1.3

              What was the proportion of radical lefties like Rod Donald…

              Ah I can see you’re a ignorant innocent. Rob Donald was never a “radical leftie”. If you think that then you have been truly shielded from reality.

            • Vicky32 13.1.1.1.1.4

              of radical lefties like Rod Donald

              Radical leftie? I am reminded of Jeanette Fitzsimon’s answer to Leighton Smith in 2002, that as the mainstream moved further right, the moderate left became the extreme left by default.

    • Gosman 13.2

      Apparently SBW the debate was done and dusted 15 odd years ago so there’s no need to engage in civilised debate anymore.

      Imagine if that sort of perverted logic applied to all political discourse. There’s no need to discuss the ins and outs of Employment law because the National Party won the 1990 election on a platform of more flexibility in employment practices.

      The stupidity behind the logic in that thinking staggers me.

      [lprent: Moved as it referred a comment that has also been moved ]

    • Puddleglum 13.3

      Hi SBW, what yourself and Gosman miss when you invoke the ad hominem fallacy (in your different styles) is that there is good reason for people to be concerned with others’ motives – it works. That’s why, presumably, humans’ inordinate concern with motivation evolved in the first place.

      It may not follow the strict cannons of Enlightenment rationalism, but it remains a rough and perfectly adequate approach to making decisions – once again, because it is likely to be adaptive in the long run. At a guess, I’d say that following strict logical guidelines in decision making about social and political issues – and ignoring information about speakers’ motives – will probably mean that you end up as a first rate mug.

      Consideration of motives also encourages you to think about possible arguments that have not been mentioned (e.g., like ‘What would happen under a less proportional system if someone with, for example, a white supremacist agenda gained more than their fair share of representation?’). Thinking about motives, that is, raises concerns that are not part of the anemic, ‘motivation-less’ analysis that a pure rationalism might evoke.

      Of course, in a perfect world in which everyone acted hyper-rationally and never used strategies such as ‘bait and switch’, never attempted to advance their agenda through sophisticated arguments and were always cognitively transparent we could all agree with you. But I don’t think that world is coming anytime soon.

      • pollywog 13.3.1

        Word PG. Motive and intent are everything in my books.

        I expect we’ll see a lot of Key and English playing the ball come election time, ‘cos their motives are 100% pure and their intent noble. They have nothing but the best interests of ALL NZers at heart eh ?.. especially the mums and dads.

        …yeah right

      • wtl 13.3.2

        Well said. In my view, human behaviour is profoundly governed by motivation and it is often easy to see why people say and do certain things when you understand their motives. It also helps you predict their desired ‘endgame’, and determine whether or not you should support them. That is, it is important to understand ‘why’ someone is doing something, not just ‘what’.

        The influence of motivation on behaviour may be concious, for example, people may support a certain cause because they stand to directly benefit from, but it can also occur at a subconcious level – which can easily be seen through a bit of inspection.

        In saying that, however, questioning other’s motivation must of course be done in an honest manner, which of course means we should not make false accusations and ensure we properly ascertain how relevant it may be.

    • Deadly_NZ 14.1

      Yeah well as long as the Commerce Commission is bought and paid for by big Business then you have no chance of a fair go for all.

      • come get some 14.1.1

        not to mention petrol is only going to go one way in price

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1

          And once the US and other countries stop releasing oil from the emergency reserves watch as prices spike upward again. Price of oil in US$ may be down ATM but the general trend over the last 5 years is upwards.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1

            It’s awesomesauce.

            The G7 drain their Strategic Reserves, make a big fuss about it and manage to lower oil prices.

            Speculators buy up their cheap oil like crazy. And 6 months later, sell it back to the G7 at a 50% mark up.

            Bloody brilliant.

  14. uke 15

    These are truly great days to be a wealthy American CEO:
     
    CEO pay in US soared 23 percent in 2010

  15. jackal 16

    National Abusing Parliamentary Services

    I received correspondence today from the National Party re Private and Personal Address Details. I had written to question how the National Party was able to gain the names and addresses specifically for pensioners for John Key’s letter dated 22 June 2011.

  16. NickC 18

    Talk about Crosby Textor…

  17. felix 20

    Speaking of racism, wasn’t that some bullshit from Don Brash today? Did you you see this?

    Brash was throwing all his toys this morning, all angry about them uppity darkies. Maarees get too much white money he reckons, and they need knocking down a peg or two.

    The trigger for his tantrum of race-hate? The Wai 262 report. He said parts of it are too extreme, give waaay too much stuff to maori, and the govt has to rule it out.

    Of course he later admitted (by lunchtime) that he hadn’t read the report and therefore had no idea what was in it.

    Is Hoots writing scripts for him again or something?

  18. jackal 21

    The Politics of Misery

    Today it was reported that the Pike River Coal receivers cannot make recovering bodies a condition of the Pike River mines sale. Apparently they cannot force potential buyers to carry out the recovery without a guarantee the operation would be safe and feasible. If it wasn’t achievable, why was it started in the first place I wonder? National’s Acting Minister of Energy and Resources, Hekia Parata then contradicted the receiver’s statement…

  19. Morrissey 22

    1.) this utter failure to live up to the high intellectual rigour expected of all commenters

    Next stop for you on your downward slide: a talk show on Radio Live.

    2.) …and a long, long way behind the best British comedies

    We presume you are a fan of The Inbetweeners.

    3.) a number of leading members of the Auckland Jewish community (not just the one who fled NZ)

    Who was this person who fled New Zealand? I remember reading about an Auckland ambulance worker who used to constantly disturb his colleagues by vehemently ranting about subhuman Palestinians. He went to Israel to join the IDF. Was it him, by any chance?

    4.) …transcripts of TV/Radio discussions on the Middle East in general and Israel/Palestine in particular.

    Good. Please publish them when you can. I have also recorded and transcribed a lot of TV and radio “discussions” (that is too charitable a term for most of them) and I will post more when I find the time. The other day, I dug up a transcript I made a few years back of a particularly foolish and incompetent Harriett Gilbert interview with Joe Sacco on the BBC Radio programme “The Strand”. I’ll post it up soon.

    Your observations on Morris are interesting. I haven’t actually heard him say anything unfair or prejudiced, so far anyway. He is a civil and cultured speaker, at least, which makes him a contrast to such shameless pro-Israel propagandists as David Zwartz of Wellington, Dov Bing of Hamilton, and Michael Nathan of Auckland.

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