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Open Mike 04/09/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 4th, 2017 - 182 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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182 comments on “Open Mike 04/09/2017 ”

  1. Cinny 1

    English interviewed on newshub this morning… But Prime Minister you have introduced 16 new taxes since national took office…. pause… but that was part of our tax reform…English was also reminded they raised GST and brought in more fuel taxes.

    English, living in a glass house throwing stones

    • Cinny 1.1

      Since taking the reins in 2008, National has introduced at least 18 new taxes and levies – six of them on petrol. Others include:

      raising GST (after promising not to)
      a tax on employer KiwiSaver contributions
      new student loan and Family Court fees
      the bright line capital gains tax on flipping houses
      a border clearance levy
      including GST on digital purchases
      removing tax refunds for kids doing part-time work.

      Link for this mornings interview.

      At 2.30 in Duncan reminds him that national has no credibility when it comes to not introducing new taxes

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        Thanks Cinny. Bill is quick isn’t he. “But Prime Minister you raised taxes 18 times.”
        Pause. No change of expression. Then into deflection and justification. Wow! Would you buy a car from this man?

  2. Tony Veitch (not etc) 2

    Paula Bennett: “Some have fewer human rights than others when they are creating a string of victims behind them … there is a different standard.”

    Where are the howls of outrage from the MSM? This is the thin end of the wedge for ushering in a police state! Of course, if ‘you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,’ Dr. Goebbels.

    Bennett is a threat to democracy and as such, has no place in our parliament! IMHO.

    • Red Blooded 2.1

      Plus being in power with ACT and their education policy that essentially removes the right to freedom of association in the workplace. Hmmm. Democracy at it’s best. /sarc

    • Ad 2.2

      English did a good job on RNZ saying Bennett was wrong, didn’t articulate the policy correctly, and Prof Andrew Geddis noted that clarification.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Are you going to vote for him?

        • Ad

          I will continue campaigning for Labour until the last minute.

          • alwyn

            And at the last minute you will obey Shakespeare’s stage direction.
            “Exit, pursued by a bear”.

            • Antoine

              Where does the bear come into things??

            • AB

              Alwyn – appropriate that you should choose a stage instruction from ‘A Winter’s Tale’.
              As I’m sure you know, the late romances (tragicomedies) are marked by incipient tragedies turned somehow into magical/mystical redemptions. And young women/girls play an important role in that change of fortune in ‘The Tempest’, ‘A Winter’s Tale’ , ‘Pericles’ and ‘Cymbeline’.
              Seems to describe our current political situation rather well?

              • alwyn

                “As I’m sure you know”.
                Then you are a great deal more sure of it than I am.
                I only ever read, and watched, Shakespeare’s plays because they were fun. You obviously know a great deal more about his work than I do.

                I have known cases, and they are the ones I think of, where the words “until the last minute” was used to mean “until disaster strikes and we have to run”.
                As in. “We kept adding sandbags to the top of the levees in New Orleans until the last possible minute”.

                It may not be the standard use of the phrase but it is the one I think of. Hence, when all hope is lost of affecting the result of the election Ad is heading for the hills.

      • Tony Veitch (not etc) 2.2.2

        I didn’t hear the clarification – but what troubles me is the ‘mind-set’ of people like Bennett and Seymour. Their first inclination is to ‘strengthen police rights!’

        The fact that the teacher unions are strong is one reason education is not a complete basket case already, like in some states of America.

      • Muttonbird 2.2.3

        So you’ll admit his deputy is not on top of party policy?

        Pretty embarrassing for him to have to clarify things.

      • Psycho Milt 2.2.4

        English did a good job on RNZ saying Bennett was wrong, didn’t articulate the policy correctly, and Prof Andrew Geddis noted that clarification.

        He didn’t “clarify” his own statement that he’s pleased NZ doesn’t have a constitution to put constraints on his power to decide who has human rights and who doesn’t?

        • Ad

          If any party wants to entrench BORA they should say so. Then say how.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It’s not a question of entrenchment but of making it superior law so that even the government can’t break it.

            And I can’t seen any government doing that.

            • alwyn

              “making it superior law”.
              We don’t have any such concept in our legal system, do we?
              That is a concept in the US system where a Court can rule that an act of the Government is antithetical to the Constitution I would have thought.
              Surely our rule, that a Government cannot bind its successor, would prevent us having anything like these “superior laws”?

              Even an entrenched law doesn’t really mean what it says. Can’t you remove the entrenchment by a simple majority in Parliament and then revoke the law by a simple majority after that?

              Ps. I am not a lawyer, and don’t claim that these suppositions are what the law really means.

              • Tracey

                It depends on how yo entrench it and what, if any ,other legislative provisions it is subject to.

                In NZ we have tended toward things like 75% of parliament or more than 50% in a referendum

              • We don’t have any such concept in our legal system, do we?

                Nope. That is the position that a written constitution would fill and why Blinglish is so happy that we don’t have one.

                That is a concept in the US system where a Court can rule that an act of the Government is antithetical to the Constitution I would have thought.
                Surely our rule, that a Government cannot bind its successor, would prevent us having anything like these “superior laws”?

                That is correct and so we end up with governments that rule against human rights and other stuff that are detrimental to the general populace (but good for business and the rich) because there’s no restrictions on them doing so.

                Can’t you remove the entrenchment by a simple majority in Parliament and then revoke the law by a simple majority after that?


                • alwyn

                  Thank you. I am happy to see that my understanding was correct.

                  That means I am happy I understood it, not that I am happy that it is the way things are by the way.

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.5

        Bennett gleefully supported the idea. Bill’s “she didn’t articulate…” doesn’t erase her delight in what she believed the proposal was.

      • tracey 2.2.6

        Except for the bit when he stood next to her when she said it, and didnt correct her, suggesting he agrees.

  3. Eco maori 3

    Let’s get this clear not all people whom work in our justice systems are bad most of them work to try and make our society
    Safer but some are bad and Will use any means to get there mark man.
    So this new law Bennett is backing will be used by these bad cops as a tool to manipulate these people lives and could be used to manipulate these people children lives to.

    I have stayed off the topic of our youths suicide.
    Most of our best stars can not see a light at the end of there tunnel they can not see a future they like.
    Yes its our youths that can predict there future and they are intelligent .
    My friend whom was really intelligent his dad had all his financial needs solve for him . But he would take not his money he was like young a brother to me .
    But I was to busie trying to make a nest egg for my family to notice my friends problems he had a lot of school friends
    If some one starts giving away things take note of that person because this is the first sign of that problem.
    Most times our youth just want to be loved and cared for someone to listen to them any life lost is not on.
    But our youth that are the brightest stars that do this are a BIG BAD STAIN ON OUR SOCIETY AND A WASTE OF OUR BEST CHILDREN WTF.

  4. Eco maori 4

    Bennett using Trump tack ticks to stir up the emotional and racial cards in our society.
    Gangs most times pray on the underprivileged the people who are desperate and poor the people they can intimidate they. They could affect our youth.But you won’t see these people harass anyone that will ring the cops on them because they no the people who will do this and who won’t ring the cops on them.
    So don’t let Bennett play with your emotions.

    • Eco maori 4.1

      Now people don’t listen to the lies that have are being spread about me cops lie
      1 when have u heard a cop plead guilty
      2 if you are hearing these lies Somme is breaking the law
      3 If these lies were true I wound not be blogging now to u.
      4 my old clients no that I’m not a threat and Don’t want me to sell my lawn run the cops can’t have the public no there are cheat s in there force enough said the facts of there behaving like this are out there

      • Eco maori 4.1.1

        Now I DON’T believe in fathers day and all that stuff just to get us spend money.
        As I’m a father grandfather 360 days of the year so I would rather save my money and give it to my family in times of there need!!!!

        Now I’m using my position of power to fight the neo liberals that are control freaks and who run our world I’m fighting these people for my HUMAN rights and privacy rights as I am a human I’m fighting for the rights for all the underprivileged in our WORLD

        • Eco maori

          I’m using my position of power to fight for our children our greatgrandchildern future our environment our wildlife all of this will be exploited by the neo liberals if they can make a buck out of them

          • Eco maori

            Some viewers won’t get my last 2 post but some people in NZ will

            • eco Maori/kiwi

              Congratulations to Kenyans for winning the first battle to have a legitimate President elected the people of Kenya will have to keep a sharp eye on every process in the next election .
              Don’t let foreigners advise you on how to run your country as only Kenyans no what is good for all the people of Kenya ALL THE BEST TO Kenya.

        • Robert Guyton

          Great work, Eco maori and if I could grant you five extra days a year, I would!

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    Uruguay has become the first country to legalise marijuana for recreational use but United States banks won’t deal with any Uruguay banks that do business with businesses selling marijuana in that country making it impossible for the Uruguayan banks to accept money from those businesses. Not only does this show how difficult it will be for marijuana to be legalised by countries but also just how powerful the American banking system.

    • francesca 5.1

      All these sanctions are just causing other countries to abandon the American banking system and US dollar as exchange currency , and set up their own systems., with alternative SWIFT arrangements Russia,China, Iran , even Saudi Arabia are using their own currencies for oil trade.
      Despite terrible US sanctions against Iran that went on for decades, Iran survived and even grew by learning to circumvent those sanctions.
      Cuba is another example of successful resistance
      The more desperate the US gets, the more it seals its own fate as more and more countries learn to bypass the US banking system

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        I fail to see what your comments about SWIFT mean.
        SWIFT is not a US organisation and is not governed by US law. It is incorporated in Belgian and is governed by Belgian, and hence EU law.
        It is also only a messaging system and does not hold or transfer funds between banks or other parties, It merely transfers, securely, messages between its banking shareholder members.

      • Eco maori 5.1.2

        + 100 francesca

  6. With reference to yesterday’s discussion on Brodifacoum and the Brook Valley sanctuary, here’s why I don’t take anti-poisoning campaigners very seriously – they tend to make anti-vaxxers and anti-fluoride campaigners look reasonable. These two have managed to inspire sympathy for Nick Smith, a feat I would have considered Herculean up until now.

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      Anti-poisoning campaigners and poisoning campaigns are two very different “things”.

    • Cinny 6.2

      There are many people in Nelson who are so angry with Smith. Most Saturday mornings his caravan is protested at the Nelson market by many different factions.

      What they did with the poison was a bit OTT, but they are at the end of their tether, the Brook Valley Sanctuary is a very polarising issue for Nelson.

      It appears that Nick is looking for sympathy, the thing is I doubt he will find much in Nelson no matter how many newspapers he asks to print his story because Nick being targeting is nothing new for Nelsonians.

      Maybe protestors should looking at getting the fantastic toilet sculpture trucked up here and placed next to Smith as a prop at his street corner meetings and brought to the Saturday market, now that would create a bit of interest and a good reminder to people what he has done.

      Am expecting him to have quite a large drop in votes this election, would be thrilled if he lost. People are talking about tactical voting to get rid of him, my advice vote for the next strongest candidate, Matt Lawrey from the Greens.

      • Psycho Milt 6.2.1

        …they are at the end of their tether…

        That’s one way of putting it. Another way would be that people who feel very strongly about something but don’t have rational arguments to back up those strong feelings should maybe do a bit of self-reflection, rather than just assuming they have to resort to vandalism and assault because it’s impossible their emotions could misguide them.

        • xanthe

          pshcho “people who feel very strongly about something but don’t have rational arguments to back up those strong feelings… etc”

          is ad-hominem … todays reading for you

          • Psycho Milt

            These guys are resorting to vandalism and assault because their various attempts to persuade the courts to agree with them have failed – due to the weakness of their arguments. Having strong feelings about something is never an acceptable substitute for having a persuasive argument, and pointing that out is not ad hominem.

          • Robert Guyton

            xanthe – misspelling names real or ersatz is impolite…”todays(sic) reading for you”

            • xanthe

              Robert – Could not find any reference to misspelling names in the link provided. Did you read it yourself before posting it?

          • McFlock

            It’s actually more of an accurate description than an ad hom. At the very least, the anti-poisoners seem to have some difficulty in expressing a rational argument against the poison drop.

            Some rational arguments might revolve around points such as:
            X is in practise ineffective against the target species;
            X is in practise less effective than other comparable control methods;
            X is in practise more damaging to species we wish to preserve than the pests X is supposed to destroy;
            X in practise presents a realistic danger to people;
            X in practise is less cost-effective than other methods (not just short-term “cheaper”, just literally you get more effect from a given dollar value of X than of Y).

            • xanthe

              And if those rational arguments were presented and then ignored (or ruled secondary to “biggest bang for bucks”) in the appropriate court hearings ?

              • McFlock

                Then, rationally, they weren’t as good as the arguments in favour of X, were they.

                • xanthe

                  ahhh you mean “loudest bang for bucks” ?… seems rational enough if you squint hard and touch your left ear when you say it!

                  • McFlock

                    No, I mean that when the arguments against X were presented for rational consideration, they did not outweigh whatever arguments were presented in favour of X.

                    Their attampts at rational argument having failed, some people (as psycho milt points out) are resorting to vandalism and assault.

                    • xanthe

                      can you perhaps explain to me how you “rationally” compare

                      X is in practise less effective than other comparable control methods;
                      X makes the loudest bang per dollar


                      X in practise presents a realistic danger to people;
                      X makes the loudest bang per dollar


                      X is money paid overseas to produce toxic chemicals that could be paid to NZ residents for meaningful employ
                      but X makes the loudest bang per dollar

                      at some point “rational” has to give way to “whats more important?”!

                    • McFlock

                      It’s possible for something to be cheaper as well as less effective: washing dishes with cold water rather than hot, for example.

                      But that was merely a list of example arguments you might want to explore if you wish the effectiveness of your arguments to match your obvious passion.

                      I don’t know what arguments were presented in court. I don’t particularly care. By and large, courts try to rest on rational arguments, especially in judge rather than jury trials. This is not always the case, but you have not presented any rational argument as to why I should be doubtful about the court’s decision.

                    • If you’re under the impression a court would find it difficult to rationally assess choices like “this one is cheaper but presents a realistic danger to people,” you’re woefully under-estimating the cognitive abilities of the nation’s judges.

                    • xanthe

                      Ah while I do have a very low estimation of the cognitive abilities of the nation’s judges, I think the problem lies deeper than that.
                      It is that the terms of reference for the court are so restrictive that the Judge in the end is not deciding the matter.
                      Perhaps this is why some feel that the minister should be brought to understand his personal responsibility in this?

                    • McFlock

                      Yes. Because tories respond so favourable to being assaulted /sarc

                    • xanthe

                      well its just within the realms of possibility Smith was prompted to search for and read this.
                      which could be seen as a positive?

                    • Perhaps this is why some feel that the minister should be brought to understand his personal responsibility in this?

                      I’ve yet to see any of the Brook Waimarama protesters provide an argument for their objection to this poison drop that made any sense. Their inability to make a compelling case against the poison drop isn’t the courts’ responsibility or Nick Smith’s responsibility, it’s theirs.

                      There are two people out there though who really do need to be “brought to understand their personal responsibility in this,” and hopefully the Police will be assisting them with that shortly.

                    • which could be seen as a positive?

                      Only by someone who’s become a stranger to reason.

                    • McFlock

                      which could be seen as a positive?

                      Well, I’m sure he’d be reassured by his doctor when it’s pointed out to him that the poison is low dose, slow acting, and easily treatable with vitamin K1.

                      He probably faced a bigger risk from the grubby hands of the assaulters.

                  • Andrea

                    xanthe: In the quick scan I gave the wiki link you provided there was nothing about long term soil life impacts, nor on invertebrates.

                    Amongst all the impassioned cries about our wonderful native avians there is remarkably little interest shown in the populations that are far greater in number and importance than the visible few at the top of the food chain.

                    Who, now, is undertaking those lengthy monitoring programs – and where?

                    And, just to be impish – who is monitoring human interference, with a view to curtailing our sense of entitlement and our wish to play ‘god’, now that we’ve played merry hell with the ecologies, ranges and habitats?

                    Can’t be DoC: they’re grossly underfunded and lack the means whereby. Which means that gut-feeling protesters can’t readily refer to pertinent, modern, and local science-based facts to make a case. (Not that science is all that reliable or unbiased…)

                    • One Anonymous Bloke pointed us to the DoC factsheet on Brodifacoum yesterday. It says:

                      However, residues do not appear to persist
                      in arthropods (insects, spiders, crustaceans) beyond a
                      few days. Brodifacoum is perceived to lack insecticidal
                      properties due to the different circulatory physiology of

                      That seems plausible, since Brodifacoum works by by messing with blood clotting.

                    • McFlock

                      Someone did a phd thesis on it. Have fun.

                      And always remember: Google can be your friend.

                    • Xanthe

                      Thanks mcflock, the study seems to show that invertebrates are largely unaffected by the brodifacoum , however they will happily consume the baits and do so ,meaning birds that feed on them are subject to secondary poisioning. they (invertebrates) excrete the toxin rapidly so this risk exists mainly while baits are present. the study is silent on what then happens to the weta shit

                    • McFlock

                      You almost made a rational argument there.

                      I mean, you could have done the math and figured that a bird would need to eat its weight in wetas as they left the bait station. You could have also read the bit about the poison being broken down by soil bacteria – much the same as I assume weta shit is broken down.

                      You could then have googled the department of conservation for native bird deaths, as I doubt they’d differentiate between primary and secondary poisoning. And any analyses on whether bird populations recover quicker than rodent populations – if not, the poison should not occur.

                      As it is, you simply made a pointless statement with no argument whatsoever.

                    • Xanthe

                      Correct mcflock I did not make any argument whatsoever, You are welcome to make assumptions and draw conclusions from them if that seems the rational course to you

                    • McFlock

                      In considering the debate over the last couple of days, I’ve made 2 conclusions:
                      1) the poison seems to be a reasonable choice for air dropping to control rodents and preserve native species, especially avian;

                      2) you have no rational argument against my first conclusion.

      • Ad 6.2.2

        17,000 majority for Smith undiminished.

        The activists did themselves no favours.

        He’s in there for as long as he wants unless they get from angry to smarter

        • tracey

          Will need more than smarts to reduce 17k margin. Is thete a precedent?

        • Stuart Munro

          In truth no-one knows for a few weeks. But the folk who’ve suffered most from Nick Smith – those with housing stress or affected by swimmable bovine sewers mostly live outside his electorate.

        • Antoine

          Would he stay in Parliament if National lost the election, do you think?

          I think he might come under pressure from his colleagues to quit, on the basis that it was in substantial part perceived to be his fault…


          • Ad

            Any of the big engineering consultancies would snap him up if National lost. Almost he alone now knows the new RMA so he could command a high consulting price by himself.

            But it’s a close run thing – they may well have a fourth term so he’s well placed either way.

          • Draco T Bastard

            If he wins the electorate then there’s nothing that they can do about removing him from parliament. They could remove him from the National Party Caucus and have him deselected for the next election.

          • Stuart Munro

            He might, like Mussolini after losing power, be partially hanged then torn to pieces by a mob. It’s one of the endgames for failed anti-democratic officials, like defenestration.

          • Cinny

            Was wondering the same, but then again I think he enjoys the salary and the prestige.

            The Nick Smith taking a crap sculpture is coming to Nelson, woop woop, thrilled about that news.

  7. Carolyn_nth 7

    Newshub reports on Auckland Action Against poverty’s video – the video includes beneficiaries talking about the realities of being on a benefit and dealing with W&I. Video at the link.

    Beneficiaries called for end of the “toxic culture” at Work and Income, and want to raise welfare benefits by hundreds of dollars a week.

    “Overwhelmingly, the responses from beneficiaries we have spoken to are that benefit rates are too low to live on with dignity,” group co-ordinator Vanessa Cole says.

    She says they amassed their demands based on stories and ideas gathered from beneficiaries.

    “[These include] liveable incomes for all, building a culture at Work and Income based on respect and redistribution, a mass build of state housing with secure tenures, and a tax on wealth.”

    • DSpare 7.1

      This twitter feed had a link to the longer version of that video (on facebook). It is also well worth following for the artwork emphasising the written accounts of some other experiences with the; “toxic culture at Work and Income” (though it does make cut and pasting the text difficult):

      [5:15] was told not to go on the housing list because they were accomodated… because they were living in their car they have somewhere to live.
      [speaker changes] We have had people who have wheelchairs that have been sleeping on the street…

  8. Ad 8

    If anyone wants to see a major business leader slam National to their core and request a change of government, check out the interview with Mainfreight CE Don Braid in the NZHerald today.

    National have acquired a trenchant critic in both Braid and O’Sullivan at the worst time, as we go down to the wire.

    • tracey 8.1

      Someone ensuring they get a warm welcome on the 9th floor post election.

      I dont put much stock in the views of a business leader that waits til the polls change to step up.

    • Karen 8.2

      Braid has been making huge donations to the Māori Party – more than $150,000 at last count. Not sure what his end game is.

      • Ad 8.2.1

        A flourishing democracy by the looks of it.

      • tc 8.2.2

        Even higher weights for trucks……traceys right as they’ve done very well out of nationals destruction of rail and allowing even heavier trucks to destroy and clog the roads.

        It’s a pr stunt for the incoming govt…..transparent and disingenuous.

        • McFlock

          Nah they’ve been integrating road and rail for years.

          As soon as you get into depots and transfer stations, rather than point to point, rail makes much more sense. Mate of mine works for them.

          • tc

            Like Gisbourne, Northland etc Heavy trucks are smashing the roads to pieces, we have these ‘safety improvements’ projects now that are filling in the destroyed shoulder as regular maintenance isnt sufficient.

            • eco Maori/kiwi

              To rIght tc these trucks stuff the roads they drive to fast and when accidents happen well what a mess they fuck the roads and then this cause more accidents and more wear and tear to our cars I have to change my lower ball joints every 12 months now use to be every 2 years. I got a good idea lets set up more speed cameras and this will stop all the accidents YEAR RIGHT.
              Just revenue gathering. most of the people paying these fines are poor and on a benefit that system is just a money go round .

  9. Gristle 9

    8am National Radio news had a claim from Bill English that the “Jacinda Mania” momentum had peaked and was diminishing. Interestingly the RNZ journalist did not ask Bill English as to what this opinion was based on. My guess is that his claim is based on wishes and it is the latest National effort to try a and stem the momentum.

    This brings up an interesting (and disturbing) aspect about voter behaviour; namely, the tendency of voters to report voting and voting intentions that places them with the winning party.

    Post-election surveys have shown that the number of people who report that they voted for the successful political party is statistically very unlikely. That is, the if a party achieved 55% of the the vote then you would expect a post-election poll result to show 55% with a margin of error of 3.5% at a confidence level of 95%. Post-election polls can indicate an overstatement at 6% above expected voting numbers.

    So having established that part of the electorate will incorrectly report themselves’ as being part of the “winners”, the question is how much of the voting population identify with the “momentum party” prior to the actual vote occurring due to the likelihood of the that party being the “winning” party? Is policy irrelevant to this type of voter?

    • AB 9.1

      His opinion was based on one poll giving Labour 43%, then a completely different poll giving them 39%. Note – this was not a change in the SAME poll, but from different ones. And the trend in both polls was for Labour to be rising fast and National to be falling slowly. I guess Bill hasn’t learnt to treat data with scepticism yet – or he was trying to make something happen by claiming that it was already happening, or he was just billshitting again.

    • Bandwagon Effect

      Some people actually do go simply with the way the winds blow. It’s why I think polls should either be banned in the run up to the election or simply not published.

      • timbeau 9.2.1

        The Radio New Zealand article explaining their poll of polls makes the point that the Colmar Brunton poll was taken later than the Reid Research one, even though the CB was released earlier. As a result, it’s disingenuous to deduce from these two polls that the momentum is slowing


        • DSpare

          I entirely agree that there should be a moratorium on publishing polls after writ day. Not just because of the bandwagon effect, but also because of the amount of limited political reporting space they take away from other events. However, I am not so much behind banning them from being conducted – although there is the problem of push-polling.
          What I’ve found most interesting about that RR poll is just how different the headlines for exactly the same thing have been: From the rather bland RNZ one you link, to Newshub’s (who paid for the poll); “National and Labour in one-on-one fight for power”, Scoop’s grammatical peculiar; “Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows Gap tightest”, and finally NZH’s; “New poll: Has National halted Labour’s rise? “.

  10. Bearded Git 10

    Don Braid nails Bill English to the cross and slips the knife in for good measure:

    “In a video interview for the Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom Election Survey, Mainfreight chief executive Don Braid said the country was “being run by a couple of accountants, rather than visionaries”.

    Braid said National’s sudden decision to invest in the country’s infrastructure after three terms and just ahead of an election looked unconvincing to voters.”


    The “do-nothing” government ‘s chickens are finally coming home to roost. I almost feel sorry for Bill because Lord Key should be taking most of the blame.

    • Ad 10.1

      Thanks I just count figure how to add the link from my mobile.

      If they make it, hope Labour court him well. Hes a big “integrated rail+road” believer.

    • Nick 10.2

      Yes that’s right, key stuck it to the Natz as he slithered out the back door.

      • rhinocrates 10.2.1

        Standard management practice – polish your reputation by leaving your successor knee-deep in shit and making it look like their fault.

    • tc 10.3

      Blinglish deserves this…..a dishonest man who gladly peddles his christian values whilst punishing the vulnerable.

      Let the hypocrisy burn nationals vote down, they’ve certainly worked hard on it.

      • adam 10.3.2

        Ask yourself this, why did the right put up bill if he is not the best choice?

        Why did they go for someone recognisable as a Christian conservative?

        hint: quick exit…

        • tracey

          They thought they were more than the John Key party even though they created the John Key facade. They thought they could remake steady billy a bit…

          • DentArthurDent

            Well Bill does have some good points but he should have stuck to being finance minister

            • Tracey

              If we follow the logic of the Right, Bill’s biggest problem is he has never had a real world job. University, some farm work and then Treasury, then an MP.

              But National do not apply the rhetoric of their attacks to themselves

              • DentArthurDent

                Bills biggest problem (imho) is that he comes across as a bit boring, a bit dull

                • Stuart Munro

                  Bill’s biggest problem is he never learns from his mistakes. He’s still pretending everything is working wonderfully when he knows that a lot of his crap has never worked.

                  If he’d actually grown the productive economy or achieved low unemployment (now around 11%) he wouldn’t be on the way out.

                  • Chris

                    He’s a fucking liar. Just hope whoever in the media attempts to expose tonight’s lies gets cut through.

        • ianmac

          And as Bill is “On the List” he can exit stage right on the 24th September.

        • tc

          Imo bill gets to play PM then sling his hook if they lose as hes a list MP. They didnt have a plan if they won last time but they seem to have this one all sorted.

          Leave pullya, crusher and the others to it whilst a progressive govt rebuilds….so nz can vote them back in to plunder all over again as the electorate has the memory of a ZX80.

  11. Gristle 11

    With the NZ population growing at over 40,000 each year (or the equavalent of over one new MP per annum), sooner or later the size of Parliament will need to grow.

    Back in 1993, prior to MMP being introduced, there where 99 MPs and the population was 3.57m people (or about 36,080 people per MP). When MMP was introduced there were 120 MPs for 3.68m people (or about 30,700 people per MP). It’s now 2017 with 4.60m people in New Zealand. Currently the average number of people per MP has grown to 38,358 people.

    If the initial MMP ratio of MPs to people was implemented today, then we would be looking at 150 MPs.

    If the last FPP ratio was used (36,000 people per MP) as a guide we would see the current Parliament re-sized to 128 MPs.

    Sooner or later increasing the number of MPs will need to be addressed. Any thoughts on how big Parliament should be?

    • Robert Guyton 11.1

      Needs a bigger heart than it has presently.

      • rhinocrates 11.1.1

        I think it was a joke told in the film Brassed Off: On the eighth day of creation, one of God’s angels came to Him and said, we’ve run out of brains, hearts and backbones, but we’ve still got a lot of arseholes left.” “I’m sure I can do something with those,” God said, and Lo and Behold, He created the Tory Party.

    • Any thoughts on how big Parliament should be?

      Is that the right question or should we be asking if representation levels be maintained?

      Which brings up another question: Are our MPs actually representing us or are they representing business and rich people?

      The evidence is that they’re representing business and rich people.

      • Gristle 11.2.1

        The cited article refers to the US situation and is examining plurality with particular reference to what happens when election funding constraints are removed. Does this biased plurality occur in NZ? Yes, but not to the same extent.

        I prefer tight election funding rules that limit individual and group contributions and where contributions sources have to be revealed.

        One model for decision making is that everybody gets a vote. Everybody is asked to pass that vote to a proxy whom they respect as a “wise and trust worthy” person. These first level proxies are then asked the same question and they pass on all their proxy votes to a second level proxy. Rinse and repeat until you get to a sufficiently small group of proxies holders to run the country.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Does this biased plurality occur in NZ? Yes, but not to the same extent.

          I’m in two minds about that actually. The sale of our assets over the last 30 years to the private sector against the will of the people tends to indicate to me that they’re acting for business rather than the people. Even if it isn’t to the same extent as the US the fact that we seem to be following their footsteps in many ways isn’t a good indication either.

          One model for decision making is that everybody gets a vote. Everybody is asked to pass that vote to a proxy whom they respect as a “wise and trust worthy” person. These first level proxies are then asked the same question and they pass on all their proxy votes to a second level proxy. Rinse and repeat until you get to a sufficiently small group of proxies holders to run the country.

          I’ve been tending towards a parliament the same as we have now. It does everyday government business but the policies are decided by referendum – and voting in them is compulsory.

      • ianmac 11.2.2

        After the last UK Election we were surprised to see that Labour was supported largely by educated socially aware people as opposed to the ignorant. (Suppose the latter voted Tory?)

    • alwyn 11.3

      Why should we decide that the average number of people/MP in 1993 in New Zealand was the optimal ratio?

      For example the US has 435 members in the Lower house and a population of about 330m. That is about 750,000 people/congressman.
      India has about 1,500,000/representative. That would be 3 people for the whole of New Zealand. Sounds pretty good to me. 2 in the North Island and 1 in the South. It would be easy to decide what was the majority view.

      Small countries, counting only sovereign states are Nauru and San Marino at about 500 people/rep.
      The ultimate is apparently Vatican City with 114 people/rep.

      Please explain why you think that 36,000 is optimal and any other value is wrong.

      • Craig H 11.3.1

        Under FPP, there was a legislated ratio of registered voters to MPs, being the average number of registered voters per South Island electorate. Thus, as the population expanded, the North Island added electorates and Parliament got bigger.

        We still have that system for the electorates under MMP, but Parliament itself has not added MPs, so we have gone from 64 electorates to 71, but still have 120 MPs. This will have to change at some point, or MMP will become Supplementary Member instead.

        • alwyn

          That is true. There must be 16 General electorates in the South Island. I don’t really see why that number is so sacred. I believe the reasoning is that otherwise electorates could get too large. I can’t see it would be a problem if the number were to drop to 15 or 14.
          After all one of the Maori electorates covers the whole of the South Island.

          Even that is a midget of course compared to Durack in Western Australia. That covers 1.63 million km2. That is 6 times the area of New Zealand.
          Apparently there is an even bigger one in Canada. Nunavut is about 2.1 million km2.
          Imagine going door knocking in one of those babies?

          That is a digression of course. I don’t see why we need as many MPs as we have. One excuse given is that it gives more people from whom to pick a Cabinet. That is a furphy. It is the number of MPs in the Government that determines the size of the Cabinet, not the other way around.
          In order for the Cabinet to control the Government caucus, and prevent them over-riding the Cabinet there must be about half the Government in Cabinet, or at least be Ministers.

          That is why we have about 20 of them in Cabinet and 7 Ministers outside Cabinet. Back in the 1950s, when we had 80 MPs there were only about a dozen in Cabinet. They did just fine. Doubling the population doesn’t double the work to be done.

      • Gristle 11.3.2

        I am disinclined to use the electoral system in the USA as anything but a cautionary tale.

        The Senate system sees 2 US senators per state. So Californa has two for 40m people and Vermont has 2 for 0.67m.

        US Congressmen and Congresswomen are shared by states on a more proportional manner.

        Your count of elected officials missed the gubernatorial and state legislatures. This would add thousands of people to your count. ( Though not in the District of Columbia, where the US Congress has taken on itself to be the state legislature.)

        As to how much representation do we need, my answer is:
        1. It has to maintain the capability of list seats to create proportionality. Currently the list seats are being converted into electorate seats and as CH notes, this means we have gone from a 60:60 split to a 71:49 split. Population growth being focused in the Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga triangle will see continued trend of losing list seats and electorate seats being created in these areas. My preference is to ensure that at between 50% and 40% of the total number of MPs come from the list before triggering automatic growth. So right now we are one seat away from that threshold being reached.
        2. The electorate seats continue to be driven from maintaining a minimum number of seats in the South Island due to size v’s representation issues. Reducing below the existing 16 is impractical and the argument of growing it by a 2 or 3 can be strongly mounted.
        3. Given the population diffences between North Island (3.596m) and South Island (1.043m) the number of electorates in the North Island would need to be increased to 62 to match 18 in the South Island. This gives 80 electorate MPs.
        4. Having 80 electorate MPs then means that there would be between 134 and 160 MPs in total.

        • alwyn

          Yes I left out the Senate but we don’t have any form of Upper House and the House of Representatives seemed to be the most relevant comparison.
          We also don’t have a State Government system. Perhaps we should adopt the Texas approach. We could have Parliament sit for 60 days every second year. I’m sure that would be enough.
          Or as a Texas friend of mind proposed. They should meet for 2 days every 60 years. That would be perfect.
          You don’t need a particular ratio of Electorate/List seats to maintain proportionality. You only need to have a very small number of overhang seats. There was only one of those in the 2014-2017 Parliament. Apart from that one seat we had perfect proportionality. The Green Party for example would have exactly the same number of seats whether we had 50 or 90 list seats.
          I can see no reason at all to prefer some rather arbitrary number of list seats.
          I cannot see any reason why we cannot reduce the number of South Island seats. Why do you say it is “impractical” to go below 16? If you think a few seats are to large would you prefer the old country quota?
          Even if we did have 80 electorate seats we wouldn’t necessarily have a non-proportional status. It would just mean that neither National nor Labour would have as many list members as they do. The NZF and Green parties would still have exactly as many members as they do now.

      • Gristle 11.3.3

        Having talked to both Cabinet and other MPs they all talk about the high demand local meetings and consultation puts on them. This is how it should be and fobbing constituents off with local office managers leads to the sort of events seen in the Southland electorate.

        So more people does mean more work for MPs to do.

        • alwyn

          “So more people does mean more work for MPs to do”.
          That may be true. However it is a very good argument for a greater proportion of them being Electorate rather than List MPs. It shouldn’t really matter unless we start getting a whole lot of overhang members. I haven’t done the calculation properly but 40, and perhaps even 30 list seats would still allow all the parties currently in the house to have exactly the same number of MPs as they do now.
          It is possible that having only 30 list members, and inflating the number of electorate seats for each party in proportion to the larger number of electorates would mean some overhang Labour MPs. It is almost impossible to work out what would really happen without nominating new electorate boundaries and looking at last elections polling place results.

    • Stuart Munro 11.4

      We have a significant corruption problem at present – it wouldn’t hurt to replace up to half of MPs with randomly selected citizen jurors who would serve for a month or so. You’d see a bit more common sense.

  12. DentArthurDent 12

    I have to say that I thought 2014 was as interesting as an election in NZ would be especially since the Lord, High Commander, Doctor and Sir John Key announced his retirement

    Well in this instance I’m glad to be wrong, this election is going down right to the wire 🙂

  13. DentArthurDent 13

    To the moderators, Weka asked for a more appropriate name so hopefully I’ve chosen better

    • DSpare 14.1

      You could try reading the thread up at comment 6,

    • bwaghorn 14.2

      na its allgood because according to the nats some people have less human rights than others , and obviously the attackers decided nick is one of them

      • weka 14.2.2

        very good b.

      • tracey 14.2.3


      • DentArthurDent 14.2.4

        The left go low, the right go high 🙂

        • bwaghorn

          yet the left is still miles above the right.

          • weka

            you’re on form today matey.

            • bwaghorn

              got a knee that resembles a football so lots of time to sit and think. in voltaren we shepherds trust

              • greywarshark

                Don’t know much about herbals, just read that comfrey ointment is supposed to be good for sprains etc. Anyone know about that?

                • bwaghorn

                  i believe science when it comes to global warming etc why would i not believe science when it comes to healing

              • Robert Guyton

                Boil up some comfrey leaves, soak a crepe bandage in the cooled liquid, wrap it around your knee – Voltaren begone!

              • Andrea

                Or wintergreen: Wintergreen Oil Benefits. Research shows that wintergreen oil has the ability to act like a natural analgesic (pain reducer), antiarthritic, antiseptic and astringent. Wintergreen oil primarily contains the active ingredient methyl salicylate, which makes up about 85 percent to 99 percent of wintergreen essential oil.

                Your visitors will probably stay upwind, however…

              • McFlock

                Voltaren’s my go-to for leg sprains and inflammation. I could have kissed my doctor when he said I could do up to 150mg a day.

                Also a good prophylactic when I feel my ankle starting to get gouty (although when I started allopurinol that one seems to have been put under control).

  14. DSpare 15

    This was supposed to be out in April, but it took the Green Party to release it (and I imagine, someone in the Environment Ministry frustrated with the long delay to leak it to them). It is long (284 pages, though the last 26 are references – I’ve copied it over as a pdf, but don’t have the software setup to extract text from that), however what I’ve read so far depicts a daunting future:


    The report estimates that property and infrastructure lying 1.5m below the high water spring mark would face ‘higher levels of coastal risk exposure’.

    And it estimates risk exposure in those low lying areas would affect:

    133,000 people (resident population)
    43,680 residential buildings
    5 airports
    More than 2000kms of road
    46kms of railway

    It puts replacement costs for buildings in coastal areas lying 1.5m below high water spring mark at $19 billion.

    “Bill English, as Finance Minister, has previously dismissed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s findings on the impact and cost of coastal risks from climate change as ‘speculative’…

    NIWA research in 2015 estimated that if a climate change sea level danger zone was doubled to 3.0m below the high water spring mark, total replacement costs for buildings alone would be $52 billion… based on 2011 building costs.


  15. rhinocrates 16

    Fox News poll of their own viewers on Der Orangegropenfuhrer’s performance:


    More than half describe him as a ‘bully’. 44% think that he’s ‘unstable, barely over a third think that he’s ‘competent’. Less than a third think that he’s a ‘problem solver’, ‘knowledgeable’, ‘honest, ‘steady’ or ‘compassionate’ (and only 26% for the last). Only a quarter think that he’s a ‘moral leader’ or ‘presidential.’

    A clear majority of polled voters said that the terms ‘presidential’, ‘moral leader’, ‘compassionate’, and ‘steady leader’ do not apply at all.

    Moreover, over half – 56% – say that he is ‘tearing the country apart’ rather than almost a third who think that he is uniting the country.

    Again, this is a poll of Fox News viewers, the group most likely to support him after people who keep the Reader’s Digest abridged edition of Mein Kampf as bedtime reading.

    Supposedly only 1 in 18 Trump voters say would change their vote (https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2017-07-20/do-over-1-in-8-people-who-voted-for-trump-want-to-change-their-vote-reuters-ipsos-poll), but I think that a defining characteristic of these people, and what made Trump appealing to them, is a defiant attitude. Asking a direct question will get a defiant ‘NO!’ These are people who get tattoos saying ‘No Regerts’ after all. Questions about specific personal and moral qualities will get different answers with a different cumulative result. This is why psychologists routinely use multiple indirect questions about individual circumstances when assessing personality instead of one big question.

    Now the next Presidential election is in 2020, but the congressional mid-terms are next year and a lot of Republican congresscreatures are going to be thinking about rats and sinking ships.

  16. bwaghorn 17

    Going to channel my inner paddy gower and demand a simple yes or no from one of the labour heavies that lurk her,
    Is labour’s water tax going to be 100% spent on cleaning up rivers?????

    i will start shouting it if i get no answer

    • xanthe 17.1

      less processing and packaging of course. 🙂

    • DentArthurDent 17.2


      Labour candidate Jo Luxton told the crowd that during a recent meeting with Ashburton councillors, the possibility of using the revenue generated for projects such as roading, rather than solely for environmental purposes, was raised.

      Labour’s water spokesman, David Parker, was at that meeting, and said he would be open to discussing that possibility, Luxton said.

      When contacted on Friday, Parker said revenue would primarily need to be distributed to regional councils to clean up waterways.

      However, money left over could be given to local councils, which would “decide what to do with it”, he said.

      • tracey 17.2.1

        If money were to be “left over” then the levy is too high. It will take a long time to sort so it shouldnt be a problem. Now, where a road might be needed is getting access to areas to carry out the “cleaning”

        Or “left over” goes to DOC for that area?

        • DentArthurDent

          Well I’d say the farmers being charged probably think its a bit of a problem especially if the money used goes elsewhere (Auckland roads for example)

        • bwaghorn

          my suspicion is ‘wedge politics’ as farmers are an easy target for townies to hate on as the have no idea what’s happening in rural nz , and it stinks,

          • Jimmy

            Bwaghorn, you seem to be one of the more sensible commentators on this site.
            I’m also farming, and just can’t be involved with Labour or the left anymore, so antagonistic to farming and farmers.
            I’m wondering why you support the left?

            • greywarshark

              You poor farmers. You don’t understand what is going on. There are a number of different farming sectors actually, so are you into industrial farming, capital accretion farming (buying up farms to create a huge block like Crafar who had eyes bigger than his gut.)

              2012 http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/6323850/Crafar-farms-sale-to-Chinese-group-approved (Government got away with selling for $14 million
              by bringing in Landcorp)

              2017 https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/94279420/oxford-dairy-farm-sold-to-overseas-interests-for-182m

              We alert townies try and keep up with the numerous dodges that farmers and their support businesses adopt. And of course as I pointed out there are Queen Street farmers whose dream is to sit in their leather office chair watching their computer screens, electronically opening and closing gates, and using low-price, high-volume third world labourers while ignoring the NZs who would like to have an opportunity.

              You make me weep with your simple-minded talk about antagonism to farmers. The facts about irrigation drying up rivers, nutrient seepage and animal pollution are out there.

              Stop feeling sorry for yourselves and man up to the problems.

            • Robert Guyton

              Jimmy – what reason do you think “the left” have or give for being antagonistic to farming and farmers?

              • greywarshark

                Jimmy has had to go and attend to lambing? Rescue animals from flood waters. We will never know what sort of farmer he is or what his ‘beef’ with townies is as he is a Southern man and has an allowance of 100 words a day!@

                How many different sorts of farmers are there?

                1 Dairy
                2 Dairy/beef
                3 Fattening bobby calves
                4 Sheep and wool
                5 Slinks?
                6 Family farm/mixed
                7 Farms Amalgamated with managers
                8 Corporate

                • Jimmy

                  Had to go and calve a cow that was having an extremely difficult breech birth.
                  I never said I had a “beef” with townies, I said I found the left too be antagonistic to farmers.
                  I’m more Northern than southern, and dairy is the farm type.

            • bwaghorn

              many reasons but the biggy for me is the depths that the right will plumb to stay in power , also as we saw with the barclay stuff the first instinct of a cornered nat is to lie , the same as they are doing with the 11 bill fiscal hole lie they are touting now , any party that thinks key shipley or brash are fit leaders i could never support, also collins as an mp defies belief .
              in saying that i like top but unless i see him getting close i’ll hold my nose and vote labour despite their water wedge politics

        • Andrea

          If they stop at ‘rivers’ then they’ve barely begun.

          Aquifers are also at risk and it takes time for leachate to percolate. More time than a parliamentary term. Mapping and monitoring are both long term basic management work.

          Nor have we begun to look at long term harms and changes in soil populations or effects on DNA and resilience to viruses and fungal outbreaks.

          The levy won’t be ‘too high’. Probably grossly underfunded and at risk from a scare that shifts people away from bottled and back to tap.

          (Whoever thought water in plastic was a ‘good’ idea, anyway?)

  17. Ric 18

    Good piece inspired by AAAP at
    It claims that “NZ First has not made any promises on welfare except to “ensure that benefits (and abatement levels) are inflation adjusted” and I can find nothing to the contrary on their website (http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/policies)
    If indeed they have no policy to increase benefits above the rate of inflation I am appalled.

    • tracey 18.1

      They are going to recriminalise prostitution so what did you expect.

      • alwyn 18.1.1

        I think that Seymour had the best comment on all the promises and demands that Winston First has been announcing.
        “Winston has more bottom lines than a 100 year old Elephant”.

        I ignore any claims The Right Honourable Winston Raymond Peters makes. Any similarity between what he says and what actually happens is entirely coincidental.

        • Craig H

          ACT is also offering a serious increase in benefits, although I don’t think Seymour realises that.

  18. joe90 19

    Assange goes full Islamaphobe.

    Happening in England right now as Muslims protest for implementation of #ShariaLaw. @TheDemocrats want this in US. pic.twitter.com/ABAg2Qyss6— Julian Assange 🔹 (@RealAssange) September 3, 2017

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