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Open mike 04/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 4th, 2012 - 120 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

120 comments on “Open mike 04/07/2012 ”

  1. ropata 1

    The same people live in the same houses but the banks now own them.
    The world financial crisis will continue until governments take control of the money. Money should be a catalyst to create wealth, not an imaginary commodity used to trick and enslave us.

    In New Zealand, house prices doubled between 2002 and 2007 and households added about $100 billion of foreign debt. This was virtually ignored by the Reserve Bank, which stuck to its knitting of keeping consumer price inflation between 1 and 3 per cent a year over the medium term.

    Young Kiwis can’t afford to buy their own home … because of an explosion in prices. Poorer families are now paying higher rents because of the huge inflation in asset prices. Exporters are driven out of business because the kiwi is overvalued by 15 per cent, as measured by the IMF. Our current account deficit is growing, despite nearly six years of slow-to-low growth. Our GDP per capita is lower this year than it was in 2003.

    • DH 1.1

      The RBNZ is equivalent to the lunatics running the asylum. Most people know of the OCR through hearing about it ad-nauseum in the media but I doubt even 1% of the population know what it is & even fewer know why it is meant to keep inflation down.

      The biggest irony of the RBNZs use of the OCR is that it’s intended to control the amount of money that banks lend by soaking up excess bank reserves. The reality was the banks just kept borrowing more from overseas when they ran short of reserves, the OCR never really affected their lending. We had low inflation but not for the right reasons. House prices aren’t part of the CPI so the massive inflation in the housing market didn’t show up as inflation.

      The RBNZ have dug a huge economic hole for the country and none of the beancounters know how to get us out of it.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        The RBNZ have dug a huge economic hole for the country and none of the beancounters know how to get us out of it.

        I think that they do know how to get us out of it but they won’t as it means that the free-market is a failure and they can’t admit that even though the GFC is proof positive of that failure. There’s only one way to get us out of the hole that free-market economics has put us in and that’s to restrict money flows and that they just won’t do as they keep harping on about needing foreign capital to use our own resources.

        • mike e

          DTB have a capital gains tax on currency speculation

        • DH

          Nah, they’re just stumped don’t credit them with abilities they don’t have. Inflation was kept down because we imported deflation, the reducing price of imports kept the CPI artificially low. Imports got cheaper because the overseas borrowing pushed the $NZD up, plus China started powering up with cheaper manufactured goods. NZ manufacturers couldn’t compete & started closing down so we imported more & more which kept the CPI down even more.

          The problem now is that we rely on imports for just about every sector of the economy. Any attempt to drive the $NZD down will lead to high inflation in consumer goods and the RBNZ have to keep inflation below certain targets. They don’t know how to get the $NZD down AND keep inflation down. They steered the country down a no-exit road. Useless gits.

          • bad12

            My take on the inflation targets,purely political, the middle class who hold the bulk of the votes in saying who will be the Government and who also happen to be the bulk holders of home mortgages or wanting to will not tolerate high interest rates and will vote accordingly,

            My view is that the inflation target should stay, smart economics says that there can be inflation of 3%, a lower valued NZ dollar, increased employment and lower costs to housing both in the rental and sales markets,

            Produce the monies to seriously increase the number of State House rentals, spend those monies into the economy at a pace that leaves the inflation rate at 2.5-3%, dilute the value of the NZDollar by having expanded capital, lower unemployment with an ongoing building program, take the steam out of all areas of the housing market by markedly increasing the housing supply,and, increase activity in the local economy which is driven by household spending simply by having produced more households…

          • Draco T Bastard

            Imports got cheaper because the overseas borrowing pushed the $NZD up…

            The NZ$ was driven up by the high interest rates that the high OCR used to reduce inflation as people overseas were buying heavily in NZ$ denominated bonds sold by the banks. These bonds increased the banks capital ratio and thus allowing them to increase the lending that they could do which meant that the market was flooded with hot money – lots of hot money. A lot of that hot money went on houses pushing the price of houses up and the rest went on spending binges as people realised that they could re-mortgage and buy boats, cars, stereos etc etc which pushes the CPI up forcing the RBNZ to put the OCR up…rinse and repeat.

            Now, according to the delusional free-market theory the people overseas should have looked at the massive amounts of private borrowing that NZers were doing and stopped buying NZ$. This didn’t happen because 1) the people with the money were greedy and went for the high returns and 2) a lack of investment options.

            And, yeah, the deflation that was caused by China becoming a massive, high tech exporter. Increased productivity must result in deflation. This is something else that the mainstream economists get wrong. They tell us that increased productivity results in increased wages yet when we look over the last few decades what we see from increased productivity is stagnant and/or decreasing wages and boosted profits.

            Any attempt to drive the $NZD down will lead to high inflation in consumer goods and the RBNZ have to keep inflation below certain targets.

            Reduce the OCR to zero, stop the banks selling NZ$ denominated bonds, and have the government start printing money to fund building state houses and factories. This should drop the NZ$ making imports more expensive while also boosting NZ manufacturing. Yes, there will be some inflation but NZ will survive it and be stronger afterwards.

            None of this will happen though even with a left-wing government because they’re to infatuated with the failed free-market and so we’ll continue our march to the sea cliffs.

      • bad12 1.1.2

        The relatively easy ‘fix’ to the problems within housing are the same as circa 1930’s, Government simply need print enough monies into circulation so as to dilute the value of the New Zealand dollar,

        The monies so produced need be spent by the State in the construction of low cost rental housing owned and rented out by the State on the basis of 25% of income for the tenant(s),

        Part of the structural fault within the NZ economy lies in the fact that as ‘Rogernomics’ built a new class of poor beneficiaries who were then the most ‘needy’ in terms of State Housing those employed at the minimum wage and up to the point of ‘Rogernomics’ were those traditionally housed by the State at rentals of 25% of household income,

        As this change in the structure of the economy took place minimum wage workers were forced to spend more than 25% of their income on private rental accomodation thus seriously curtailing their ability to have and spend into the economy disposable income,

        A large number of structural economic issues along with a wide range of social needs can be addressed simply by dramatically increasing the number of State House rentals…

    • John72 1.2

      House prices doubled between 2002 and 2007.
      Would you be kind enough to define your source of information?

      • DH 1.2.1

        Try here;


        The RBNZ note there that not much of the increase in housing stock was new houses and even that was subject to increased prices as well so a doubling of house prices between 2002 & 2007 looks about right.

        • John72

          Thank you DH. You have not commented on the sharp drop in House Prices after 08 and the “negative” increase about 2009. It would enhance your credibility if you gave us the full picture.

          • mike e

            Auckland prices didn’t suffer a sharp drop in 2008 unless you call a 5% decline a sharp drop and since then risen consistently because of shortage of supply.

          • McFlock

            It would enhance your own credibility if you addressed the points raised.
            Even if the GFC (which just might have temporarily affected house financing) resulted in a cumulative drop of around a fifth of peak prices, that’s still a five year increase in housing prices of 40%, most of the credit for which is purchased from overseas because most of our banks are foreign owned.
            Thoughts, John? 

            • John72

              Fair Comment McFlock. I am not an accountant, nor do I have any deep understanding of the country’s economy so I am dependant on the wisdom of others for guidance on this subject. But, when some one says “prices have doubled in 5 years”, the question arises, is this the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
              DH offered a web site to support this statement(rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/fig4.html Fig. 4) and out of courtesy to DH, I called it up. The Graph consists of 2 data bases overlaid and is titled “House Prices and Value of Housing Stock”.
              The independant variables for one data base are,(a) Annual % Change, (b) Date
              For the second data base they are (a) Value of Housing Stock, (b) Date
              Now the “…% Change” shown changed steeply up over the 5 years mentioned BUT, there were other, just as dramatic, changes in the down direction afterwards. Why were the changes down not mentioned?
              Is the subject too complex for a simple soul like me to understand, am I looking at the wrong data, or is someone pulling a “Snow Job”.

              • DH

                You’re trying to make an argument out of nothing there. The drop in prices in ’08-’09 is not dramatic in the slightest and the cause is well known. The graph also shows that the ‘dramatic’ fall was cancelled by an equally dramatic increase not long after. It also doesn’t change the fact that house prices doubled in five years and that $100billion was borrowed from overseas in that period.

                • John72

                  DH, we seem to differ in our understanding of what the Graph is portraying.
                  As I visualise it, at any point in time the graph is showing how fast house prices are changing. The slope of the line shows how fast the rate-of-change is changing.
                  The rate-of-change of the rate-of-change.
                  In Calculus it would be a 2nd order differential?
                  Also, since 08 the 1st order rate-of-change has been drifting between -10% and +8%, comparitivly stable since it has averaged out at zero to +1.
                  Prices rose rapidly over a 5 year period and have been stable since then. is that correct?

                  • DH

                    The OP made the correlation between house prices doubling between 2002-2007 and the accompanying buildup of foreign debt to pay for the splurge on houses. That the increase in prices had a hiatus in 2008 is irrelevant, it doesn’t change the past does it. It wouldn’t surprise me if the amount of overseas borrowing stalled in 2008 too.

                    The only reason I linked to the RBNZ chart was because you asked for evidence that prices had doubled in that period. That chart shows it did.

                    The OPs post raises a reasonable question; what would house prices have done if the banks didn’t have access to cheap overseas funding? Few houses were bought for cash, buyers had to borrow to buy a house, so what would house prices look like now if there had been $100billion less money to lend in that five years?

              • MrSmith

                John72 you smell a rat and rightly so, I am sitting here reading the property section of my once local paper from 1978 , I could buy my house for 22k then on a quarter acre and basically properties in NZ have doubled in value every 7 to 8 years since the turn of the last century, it’s called inflation, something if you look into it the present monetary system can’t survive without.

                But back to the 22k in 1978 if you add 10% every year from there you get roughly todays value so basically the doubling in value in 5 years is nothing unusual as since 1978 property has doubled in value every 7 to 8 years and people wonder why New Zealanders invest in property. 

                • DH

                  And the point is that back in the ’70s and early ’80s we had high inflation on everything, it wasn’t uncommon for annual wage increases to be 10% to keep up with inflation. Now we don’t have high inflation, or at least the pompous wankers at the RBNZ say we don’t have high inflation.

                  But the rest of us see house prices increasing +10% a year and know damn well that we do have high inflation and more importantly we have high inflation without the wage increases to pay for it. It’s just asset inflation and since that isn’t counted in the CPI as consumer inflation the RBNZ ignored it; played the three monkeys & pretended it wasn’t happening while the low/medium income earners in the country were bled dry. The beancounters have a lot to answer for.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    increasing house prices are driven by increasing debt; you explained it very clearly – if house prices are advancing way faster than incomes where does the difference come from?

                    Only one place, its got to come from banks lifting individuals property purchasing power through the injection of debt based money into the economy.

                    • DH

                      Aye, and when you follow the trail back to its source you hit the RBNZ. The big inflation fighters are the direct cause of the massive inflation in the housing market. It’s enough to make you weep.

                  • John72

                    DH, you have not addressed all the points that I made, only those that you thought that you could defend.and even that was not successful. The graph that we have been refering to shows that the growth in house prices over the last 4 years has fluctuated between -10% and +8%.. I will refrase this for the benefit of those readers who are not happy with mathematics.
                    Sometimes, over the last 4 years, house prices have decreased and some times house prices have increased. The end result is that over the 4 year period prices have increased slightly. Probably about 1 or 2% in 4 years, NOT 10%.
                    DH, thank you for your posts,”Your actions (and words) bear witness to your thoughts”.

                  • MrSmith

                    Yes DH the poor get poorer and the rich get richer = National Ltd, just keep asking the friends you suspect voted for this lot, “how’s you brighter future going” .

    • Fortran 1.3


      Are you aware that only 31% of houses in New Zealand are mortgaged ?
      That’s about 700,000 over which the banks fight to fund.

    • Lanthanide 1.4

      Just wait 5-15 years when the baby boomers try to cash in en masse for their “retirement” and discover that there’s a glut of supply and the price plummets.

      Asset bubble, like many before.

  2. freedom 2

    TPP item: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl112aNNTbo
    this little bit of The Alyona Show has a very interesting line (at about 3:12) regarding the extraordinary level of secrecy attached to this document. A document that increasingly appears to be the victors’ presentation of our terms of surrender. Always remember, POW’s were largely unwilling captives, it was the Generals who surrendered.

    The Alyona Show is covering the TPP this week, so hopefully a few more lumens into the shadows.

  3. GlaxoSmithKline dirty global drug corporate caught lying and probably causing the death of a number of people. Who can we trust?


    • mike e 3.1

      The Standard should start a blog of shame with the global Corporates and the henchmen named and shamed.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      When a story like that emerges what we should be seeing is the close down of the corporation (assets seized by the state) and the CEO, directors and probably other upper management types jailed. None of this paying a fine BS.

    • muzza 3.3

      Lets see who we can trust…

      Politicians – any level
      Banks(ers) – Central, Investmen, Retail, the lot
      Big Oil
      Big Pharma
      Big Finance
      (anything that has initials, and is sold as being “there to help)

      NONE, cant trust anything you hear, that you read, therfore what you think, and how you act…

      People have to learn that they are being farmed, that there instincts are being removed, so that they no longer see the danger in front of them..

      Listen to your instincts, trust humanity, they are there, they are buried under the lies which have been sold to people, as truth, or as what life is!

  4. Logie97 4

    Dotcom – Top brass in the US admin involved yet the leadership of that “preddy liddle oudpost in da Soud Pacific (where it’s all to happen) wasn’t briefed.

    Perhaps we should start up some billboard “Yeah rights!”


  5. Dr Terry 5

    How concerned should we be about poll results in yesterday’s Herald? Are they trustworthy? If they really are accurate, I guess we will have to try hard not to despair! A huge number of people like the direction this Government is taking. It blows one’s mind! Possibly it is due to a still ineffective Opposition? (Rather than to any particular virtue of National). Naturally, the Herald is now longing (editorial) for a three term government. On the basis of this survey, we remain in for a long, hard slog. It almost seems that this Government would be forgiven even genocide!!

    • Kevin Welsh 5.1

      I have a wide range of friends of various political persuasions, and I am struggling to find ONE that likes this current sack-of-shit government. A few tolerate, the majority have given up.

    • McFlock 5.2

      What results?
      As far as I see, the polls are generally trending well for the left, given that national has no friends to speak of (and them that exists are on borrowed time). 

  6. I think I should be allowed back here by now. With a pledge for a reduced presence – that will be dependent in part on whether the discussion-less niggles and attacks on me also reduce.

    • McFlock 7.1

      Love that you left it a few hours just to make sure.

    • Te Reo Putake 7.2

      It’d be nice to know if you’ve learned anything from your ejection, Pete, though the whinge you had on your own site immediately afterwards suggests not.
      Still, I imagine what you describe as niggles and attacks will indeed reduce if you stop being a prat. Like mike e, I accept it is good to have commenters here from the right and I genuinely look forward to having quality debates with you in the future. Kia waimarie!

      • Pete George 7.2.1

        I did learn (or had confirmed) that rules are applied unevenly here.

        And maybe you could have a wee look in the prat mirror yourself. You often don’t attempt any sort of ‘quality debate’ – there are many examples of that. But if you genuinely want quality debate I’ll do what I can to play my part.

        How can we improve the referenda process? I think both government and Citizen initiated referenda have scope for improvement.

        [lprent: Rules are always applied unevenly here. A moment for reflection would have told you why. It isn’t exactly rocket science…

        1. We moderate on a voluntary basis and all the moderators work*. Most of the comments come in during work hours. So it is whatever time we (and our employers) can spare. So mostly we scan the hundreds of daily comments and pick out whatever we notice. Mostly what that means is that each moderator scans for destructive patterns of behaviour in what they have read and takes action on that. Consequently the moderating will always be uneven – it depends on what time we have available. People can take all the risks they like with behaviour, but one day they’ll hit a moderator who sees the wrong patterns from someone…. The uncertainty is pretty good at making people who are aware of how we work to stay well within the bounds.
        2. The site is set up mostly for discussing the politics of the broad left and for the activists on the broad left. Our about leaves absolutely no ambiguity about that. We don’t pretend to show any kind of balance in out opinions. We also give less leeway to those who’d like to discuss stuff outside that broad area. Consequently we welcome people from the right and purported ‘centre’, but only whilst they add to our discussion. So there is a selective bias in the moderating because what the moderators are concerned with is that the site performs its intended function. When the debate diverges too far from that outside of openmike we tend to get irritated.
        3. Any of the moderators will tell you that there is a distinct difference between the behaviour of commentators on the broad left and the broad right on the is site. Mostly we only have to express a minor warning to get lefties to change behaviour because they’re pretty understanding that we are the ones making the effort to run the site. But many on the right appear to value their contributions to the site above the efforts of the moderators and authors. Rather than feeling grateful that the site is there, they frigging whine about it and want to run it by some kind of inane proxy control. For some strange reason the moderators can’t be bothered with it…

        Life is ‘uneven’ whenever you try to set your own policy on the work of others. It is commonly called the backseat driver effect, and generally the right is full of it. They like telling others how they should live their life.

        We don’t. We just tell you the bounds of how you will act here. Just live within our policies and guidelines and stop whining about it.

        * To me it is rather noticeable that working seems to be somewhat more optional for most of the blog authors on the right…. One day I’ll have some time to pursue an enquiry into that observation… ]

        • Te Reo Putake

          Well, you are clearly going to give as good as you get, Pete. No problem there!
          But I disagree that the rules were applied unevenly. You were chucked for a particularly lame bit of linkwhoring, posting a comment well below your usual semi-topical links to your site. I guess you need the click throughs from here to big up your own page, but you actually got bounced for not putting enough effort in to disguising it as a genuine link. That’s not the mod’s fault and I see you’ve at least put some sentences around today’s readership boosting attempt to make it seem valid. Shame you didn’t notice that there has already been a post here about the minimum pricing proposal, where all your questions are answered.

          • Pete George

            You don’t seem to understand what the ban was for, it wasn’t about moderating. Links are common and rarely reprimanded.

            I did notice a post on the minimum price for alcohol, but that was a day or two ago. I thought it was something that warranted further discussion, especially on how high the price would be likely to increase, but now it’s probably moot:

            If Labour’s minimum alcohol price amendment depends on my vote, it is doomed.

            So that pretty much dooms it. Just as well, it needs far more consideration than a last minute SOP.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Just to refresh your memory:
              [a week ban for attempting to derail the thread with off topic link whoring. Eddie]

              [lprent: bit harsh bearing in mind that it is OpenMike? ]

            • McFlock

              And yet the asset sales are not his responsibility at all, but national’s…

              Anyway, three cheers for Dunne cosying up to the alcohol industry. A most unexpected turn of events [sarc] 

            • mike e

              Not again we’ve had 12 years of no action so do nothing
              Great policy
              Pontificating george.
              Fiddle while Rome burns

            • mike e

              God pete after a hugely expensive enquiry into the industry .
              The recommendations were pretty damning and very clear Shonkey Banksie and hairpiece have ignored just about all recommendations. This is a $ 6 billion a year dragon our economy from a legal addictive drug You and unbridled fuckwiits by doing nothing are neglecting the problem.
              Therefore part of the problem.
              Just spieling off Nactuf spin boring brainless and dunneb. s
              Do some research pete and come up with some truth and originality.

        • ad

          I just wonder, Dear Modeartors and LPrent, how long you plural will be able to sustain this on an “after-work” basis. You are far and away the most powerful left of centre site. Surely it dserves some advertising income to be able to sustain one of you to work on this site semi-professionally?

          Why not reward yourselves for this success?

          • lprent

            We have advertising income, but it is somewhat too erratic to sustain anyone in employment. We run as a coop with a wide range of people dropping in and out depending on what we’re working on. It spreads the load.

            Besides we all have interesting jobs…

        • Pete George

          [ Just live within our policies and guidelines and stop whining about it.]

          I generally do live within your policies and guidelines and I make more of an effort than some at doing that.

          But it would be a bit stupid not speaking about things for fear of being labeled a whiner, wouldn’t it? You dish it out with a decided advantage, but do you really expect no one to give a bit back? It’s a bit of an odd situation here, a bit like if the speaker was the PM or leader of the opposition, but most of the risks are known – except the odd time that newbies get a bollocking.

          Your blog, your rules, your control, no argument with that. But it would get a bit boring if no one every challenged prescribed behaviour, wouldn’t it?

          • lprent

            We seldom do much about whining.. Apart from getting irritated and whining about how damn pointless it is. Provided it doesn’t get to the stage of trying to tell us what to do or wasting too much time to write notes we’ll usually just be sarcastic

    • Logie97 7.3

      …sheesh PeteG. and your first thread back adds nothing to current debate but is all about you.

    • QoT 7.4

      that will be dependent in part on whether the discussion-less niggles and attacks on me also reduce.

      See, guys, Petey can’t be held responsible for his own actions, his own rate of posting, his own linkspamming … it’s our fault for being such meanies.

      And to think someone with such a fantastic lack of self-awareness or sense of personal responsibility missed out on being a Member of Parliament …

  7. mike e 8

    pg stop blindly defending and following nactionals own spin and admit your wrong from time to time.
    In politics less is more.

    • mike e 8.1

      By the way its good to have you back its a bit boring now all the other right wingers gos gavid garett etc have gone to ground since the libor scandal as they have nothing to defend any more.

      • Pete George 8.1.1

        Something I suspect many on the left will have concerns with (as well as on the right) is Labour’s proposal to impose minimum prices on alcohol.

        This is potentially a major proposal with potentially wideranging effects, and it will impose increased costs on the majority who can handle their booze.

        I have seen very little relevant information on this. How much would alcohol prices increase? Has that been answered here? A small increase would have negligible if any effect. So would we be facing a big bump? Half as much again on the price? Double?

        There’s little time to inform and discuss this properly.


        • dd

          I reckon they should just target those pre mixed drinks…..

        • McFlock

          actually Labour’s proposal is to allow minimum prices to be imposed. Not impose them. If passed, that would still be up to Key. And it could be tweaked via order in council at any time.

        • ad

          Note to self: Must find my father-in-law’s old still from up there in Ettrick, give it a real clean and get him to teach me how.

          • QoT

            Apparently beer homebrewing is pretty easy (but then my mate who’s into that, and has made some truly amazing homebrew, is a chemist by profession …)

            • Draco T Bastard

              Brewing beer is fairly easy. Brewing a good beer is a little more difficult although the kits you can get can help with that if you’re just starting out.

              Really, all beers started out as a home brew at some point.

            • Vicky32

              Apparently beer homebrewing is pretty easy

              It is indeed… my alkie father did it in the 1960s…

        • MrSmith

          Pete you are nothing but a concern troll, here is a little snip from the rationalwiki.org/wiki/Concern_troll
          One common tactic of concern trolls is the “a plague on both your houses” approach, where the concern troll tries to convince people that both sides of the ideological divide are just as bad as each other, and so no one can think themselves “correct” but must engage in endless hedging and caveats. This preys on a willingness to debate critics and allow dissent; everyone wastes time discussing the matter and bending over backwards, so as not to appear intolerant of disagreement, all to the great amusement of the troll.
          Does this remind you of anyone we know?
          Can have a referendum on banning Pete for life.

        • mike e

          The tobacco Industry bought the right wing off for years then Hone Harawira held UF and nactional to account increasing the price has worked so Peter Dunne has voted for it .
          PG back to old tricks spieling out Nacts propaganda again .aaaaaaaa how much does national get in donations and special hospitality treats from the alcohol industry PG.

          • Pete George

            Nothing to do with ‘old tricks’. Except having concerns about the old trick of penalising everyone to try and address the problems of a few.

            If the price of alcohol goes up substantially I don’t think it will be just National and UF voters who get a bit grizzly about it. And I don’t think it will be just National and UF voters who lose their jobs.

            Ramping the price up has many rammifications, and it’s not likely to cure a few alcoholocs and binge drinkers.

            I think it needs a lot more public discussion and consideration. One key question is how much would then price be likely to go up when there is a Labour or Green minister making the decisions. I think it’s reasonable (essential) to have some honesty and openness on this.

  8. Over three years down the track and National Standards are even being described as “ropey” by the Prime Minister. Rather than spending more tens of millions in trying to make them work, why don’t we chuck them altogether and get back to teaching and learning!

    • John72 10.1

      Pete, look at history. The world is constantly changing. Have you learned to speak Mandarin yet? Be prepared.

    • bad12 10.2

      Aha, along with the European and US economy’s which are also producing negative figures, something i just caught on RadioNZ this morning was a further fall in the prices of dairy products as supply increases and demand weakens,

      Manufacturing figures for NZ are up 1% as the abundance of milk caused more butter, cheese, etc to be made, however, prices for dairy in the same period fell 400 million dollars,

      Running into a brick wall at an ever increasing speed still results in brain damage…

      • ad 10.2.1

        The article on the Chinese economy wasn’t as catastrophist as I expected it to be. I have no economic forecasting expertise, and as much patience for pollyannas as I do for those willing a Great Leap Backward. I have however heard descriptions of New Zealand as in a “sweet spot” for an even more sustained global recession:

        – strong Australian banks sustaining our credit
        – a growing class of slightly more wealthy Chiense and Indian families seeking to buy our exported food and beverage into the foreseeable future
        – local real estate demand and values perhaps sustained under the existing tax structures

        Naturally I would not dare attribute any economic management virtue to our Government. Nor dare call so many among us in poverty as lucky by dint of “you could be worse”. Only that perhaps our global economic positioning may be about as good as it could be.

        Any views?

        • Colonial Viper

          Well, it turns out that China IS lying about everything. Even how much electricity they are using.


          – strong Australian banks sustaining our credit

          You should read up Steve Keen and his view on how strong Australian banks are, particularly with regard to the hyperinflated Australian property bubble.

          Also bear in mind that Australia is a two product-two country economy. And with China stumbling, you can expect Australia to follow with a 6 month lag.

          – local real estate demand and values perhaps sustained under the existing tax structures

          sheer madness. This will not translate into any jobs or productive economic activity even if it occurs. And forget tax structures as secondary; property price expectations fueled by debt acceleration is the most crucial factor for determining change in house prices.

  9. vto 11

    Earthquake Observation #312.75;

    When you thence hear of a seven you wonder how many deaths just thence occured.

  10. Vicky32 12

    Oh TV3 News is just like Radio New Zealand… More on the seemingly endless Scott Guy trial – Guy’s parents whinging for Africa that McDonald was guilty, dammit, and why did the police fail? Really?
    McDonald will not be welcomed back in town, says the reporter. Srsly, who cares? New Zealanders are very vengeful people.
    Then they mention the earthquake… IMO, much more important and interesting than an endlessly rehashed murder involving the wealthy and white..

  11. Half Crown Millionare 13

    On One news tonight after the item on the Scott Guy murder AGAIN that took up one hell of a lot of time, there was a news item that the Kiwifruit PSA virus may have come from pollen imported from China.


    a) Was this a bit of sabotage by the Chinese or,
    b) It managed to get into this country owing to the lack of border security now this pack of shit we have as a government has reduced the number of front line security staff.

    • Jim Nald 13.1

      Can’t wait to see John Key shrugs and being dismissive.

    • prism 13.2

      When it comes to biosecurity there is this ERMA outfit.. The RM stands for risk management. The government and its agencies are prepared to take the risk and run a lottery on us not letting nasties into the country – I don’t know whether they publish odds like bookies.

      The pollies can’t be bothered about the precautionary principle – it interferes with the making and implementing of their plans to squeeze all heads of departments into a telephone box and when it’s full, that’s the number of departments they’ll have.

      For goodness sake, I heard how very focussed Muslims in Mali are destroying grand and ancient images of the past because of a new ideology. We have our own militant iconoclasts right here in River City, or Strait City if you prefer, yes sirree.

    • mike e 13.3

      HCM and they all get their own reality program

  12. Te Reo Putake 14

    God’s dead. Or did He create the Higgs boson?

    • The Higgs-Boson has nothing to do with God. The ‘God Particle’ is just a catchy name.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        I’m fascinated – how can you be so sure?

      • TheContrarian 14.1.2

        Ummm, because it is called the Higgs Boson and the ‘God particle’ is just a catchy name.

        • TheContrarian

          Lawrence Krauss, cosmologist and particle physicist, says:

          “it [the higgs-boson] has never been called the “God particle” by the physics community. That moniker has been picked up by the media, and I hope it goes away.”  


          • Te Reo Putake

            Indeed you are right, TC. The scientests are not trying to disprove God. However, the link to religion is that the discovery removes a significant layer from the belief that some iteration of celestial superbeing created life and the universe.
            All that is left now is blind faith and that leads to this sort of madness.

            • TheContrarian

              Na, they can always hide god somewhere. Who created the Higgs? God of course.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Well, yeah … that’s what I said at the start of the thread. But one more pillar of irrational belief has fallen and the human race takes a further step toward maturity.

        • prism

          TC But that catchy name of God particle may contain an unrealised truth. Nobody knows.

          • TheContrarian

            Na, the catchy name is media invention. It is no more the ‘god particle’ than the ‘up’ quark

            • Te Reo Putake

              You’re missing the point. The Higgs boson now replaces ‘god’ as the driver of the universe, the thing that gives life its substance and objects their mass. Much like The Dude’s rug, it ties the room together. 
              That doesn’t mean that creationists can’t still claim that God started the process, but it significantly narrows the claim down from ‘in the beginning God created …’ to something like ‘in the beginning God caused to happen’. In other words, the conventional understanding of God’s works is inexorably slipping away as science exposes nature’s hand in making the universe.

              • The higgs boson is not the driver of the universe and is as important as every other particle in the standard model in driving the universe.

                It does not give life substance and while it may ‘tie the room together’ all the particles in the standard model tie the room together.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  You underestimate its importance, TC. The Higgs boson is the missing link. Without it, there would be nothing but particles whizzing about randomly at light speed and nothing of substance, including ‘life’ would exist. It is to the univese what the sea is to fish, the air to birds.
                  However, there is still much to be discovered and this really only applies to the universe as we currently understand it. Things may change. But it is the most important discovery this century, by a significant distance, and probably science’s greatest achievement since the moon landings. And, in terms of the human race’s understanding of itself, its a significant marker on the road to intellectual and, yes, spiritual, maturity.

                  • I do not underestimate it’s importance, you underestimate the importance of everything else in the standard model.

                    Without the electron there’d be no life, without all the other boson’s there’d be no life. Without the leptons or all 6 quarks there’d be no life. The Higg’s in but one of all these. Finding the higgs is like finding the final piece of a puzzle – but that doesn’t mean those other pieces are not just as important.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Ok, I’ll stick with the scientists, you stick with your understanding. Let me know when the Nobel people call, I wanna be there when you get the medal.

                      Edit: cheers, felix, very witty.

                    • Umm, what? The Standard model of physics relies on many different particles of which the higgs is but one.
                      Without the leptons, for example, the standard model would be false and life as we know it wouldn’t exist. 
                      The fanfare is due to the Higg’s being the final piece of the puzzle, not the puzzle itself.

                      Here look:

                      Without leptons there’d be no electron, without the electron, no life. As important as the Higg’s.

                    • John72

                      Am I still able to say “The more we learn, the more we realise how little we know”?
                      All these discoverys, over the last 100 years plus, are fascinating but they still seem to leave some unanswered questions.
                      1. Time, as we know it, seems to have had a begining. Who started it ticking? Who “pulled the trigger” for the for the Big Bang.
                      2. The Universe, as we know it, is a beautiful and imaginative structure. Who designed it?
                      3. The Earth we live on is also a beautiful and imaginative structure. Who designed it?
                      4. Go to the internet and find a photo of the Earth, taken from the Moon. If you had a free hand, could you improve on what we have?
                      5. Accepting that the Earth had a begining, WHY was it created?
                      6. Is time, as we know it, total reality? Is it possible that there are other dimensions around us that we are not priviledged to experience or understand?
                      7. Higgs is another step in the adventure of life. I do not think anyone (except the media) is presenting it as the final answer.

                      If questions 1-6 upset you, good. Read them again, and ask yourself why they upset you.
                      Perhaps there is a GOD and you are not yet ready to admit it. In every religion you will see examples of the Church becoming too self-important. This is unfortunate because some people use this as a reason to stop thinking. There are a multitude of humble people and genuine churches in so many religions, but they are often unnoticed.
                      Life is an adventure. Go out and enjoy it. Start in your own neighbourhood.

                    • McFlock

                      1: Shit just happens.
                      2: see 1.
                      3: see 2.
                      4: vibrating couches that grow on trees. Human testicles would be encased in protective shells (or at least less things would be at nut height). Coconut milk contains 40% ethanol. IT folk irresistible to opposite gender. Beef fat would be healthier than lentils or chickpeas. Watching TV or reading a book would be an effective cardiovascular workout.
                      5: see 3.
                      6: no. yes – see 5.
                      Not upset by your questions. Surprised you think I might be. 

                    • 1. No ‘who’. The laws of physics allow for the creation of a universe
                      2. No one designed it
                      3. No one designed it
                      4. No, fine the way it is
                      5. The earth wasn’t created for any reason
                      6. Indeed, according to string theory there 11 dimensions
                      7. The final answer is possibly unknowable


                    • ropata

                      1. Physics has no say in the matter. Some philosophers make a good case for a Creator. And there are other pieces of evidence. A God hypothesis is just as valid as other theories such as PUG, MWI, the eternal or oscillating universe.

                      2/3. Design in nature is fascinating. Examples: Smolin, Feynman, Wigner

                      4. Looks like the work of a supreme and subtle intellect…

                      5. Here’s part of the answer. See also “The Reason Why” by R.A. Laidlaw

                      6. Only a few iconoclasts really think that the laws of physics == total reality

                      7. 42

  13. mike e 15

    Cont I thought god created everything.

  14. lprent 16

    Wow.. Chrome for the iPad is very clean and stable. Love the mike on the address bar. Takes whatever you say and googles it. And it understands my raspy post cold voice…

    Try saying “the standard” or “John key is a dork”. The latter takes you to Cactus Kate ….

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