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Open Mike 04/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 4th, 2016 - 74 comments
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74 comments on “Open Mike 04/12/2016”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Did Little stop to consider laughing off the suggestion of moving the party further left would be akin to a kick in the face for those wanting Labour to move further left?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Doesn’t Petty George have a monopoly on looking for things to be offended by?

    • Ad 1.2

      Little stopped to consider opening a cold beer as he took the last two weeks of commentariats, and smiled like he earned it.

      • The Chairman 1.2.1

        It’s no time to be complacent. He’s going to have trouble trying to reconcile this gaffe.

        The media will hammer any attempts he makes to appease the left. But failing to will also cost him votes.

        • Jenny Kirk

          I’m left, and I thought Andrew’s response was both funny, and appropriate, Mr Chairman.

          • The Chairman

            Why did you find it funny?

            With the Party struggling in the polls, one didn’t think the Party could afford to so easily write off their left-wing voting block.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I’m sure they are grateful for your concern. Or Green voters.

              • The Chairman

                I’m sure a number of left leaning Green supporters won’t be impressed either. Coupled with the reported division within Labour over working with the Greens, it will have more voters questioning how stable will their relationship be?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Perhaps, like me, they won’t read so much into it.

                  Or maybe they’ll think Little was laughing at the absurdity of the question, or the entire narrative, as being so obviously the sort of irrelevant cak that seems to pass for political journalism these days.

                  Or perhaps the journalist intended the question as a sort of post-truth joke, and Little found it funny.

                  I don’t propose to concern myself with it any further. Perhaps you and Pete…?

                  • The Chairman

                    What’s so absurd about asking a Labour Party leader if he plans to take the Party further left?

                    The question may have seemed absurd to right-wingers but to a number on the left, we were keen to hear a truthful answer.

                    There has been a lot of speculation on what direction Little would take Labour. And with Little laughing off moving further left as if it were crazy, he effectively gave his hand away.

                    • lprent

                      Have you ever heard of caucus or members? A leader of a party doesn’t operate as an absolute ruler or even as any kind of autocrat. They have to carry a fair chunk of support or at least resigned acquiescence from a lot of other people. The voters get a say on if they approve when elections arrive (polls are rather useless), but caucus and members are required most of the time.

                      Really you are just being foolish. The problem you have is that in the Labour membership and caucus there is a limited enthusiasm for moving left or right or too far away from the centre. Having impatient idiots demand immediate change just makes many of us treat such strident and clarion calls to move in a bleeding hurry as being a good enough reason to slow down. If you (or Chris or Quin or Pagani) can’t argue your case about why it would be a good idea, instead calling for revolt and revolution – then clearly you don’t appear to have an argument.

                      [lprent: For those of you getting caught in whatever is causing comments to go to spam. I just had to release this comment dispatched from Frankfurt airport. You are not alone 😈 ]

                    • Anne

                      What’s so absurd about asking a Labour Party leader if he plans to take the Party further left?

                      Has anyone ever asked John Key if he plans to take National further right? No, they haven’t. But if they did, I’m betting he would laugh for the same reason Andrew Little laughed.

                      Its a silly question to ask and no political leader is going to answer it for the simple reason that everyone has a different perspective on what is “left” and what is “right”. Andrew Little knew it was just another attempt to throw him off balance and he didn’t get sucked into responding. He laughed it off instead.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ Anne

                      The manner in which he laughed it off suggested the notion was ludicrous. He did make a comment after that, but I don’t have the full clip on hand.

                      As for anyone asking Key, I’m pretty sure they did when he first became leader and was relatively unknown.

                • Gabby

                  Does that mean the green supporters won’t vote labour??

                  • The Chairman

                    A number of left leaning Green supporters initially switched from Labour to the Greens. This will no doubt entice more to make the move. They will want to ensure Labour get the least seats possible, giving the Greens more power if the two come to form a coalition.

                    Labour’s biggest concern will be if the Unions also make the shift. A number of members have been questioning why the Unions remain with Labour.

                    • KJT

                      Then we will have a Green led Government.

                      No problem.

                    • Pat

                      “As for anyone asking Key, I’m pretty sure they did when he first became leader and was relatively unknown.”

                      and being Key he wasn’t to be taken at his word so it was a pointless exercise.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ Pat

                      His cups of tea with ACT showed us he’s willing to accommodate the far right.

                    • Pat

                      actions speak louder than words…especially mendacious words

    • Sigh 1.3

      Don’t be ridiculous. This was a stupid media attack line and he treated it with the contempt it deserved. Their framing is an attempt to paint Little and Labour as on the fringe and out of touch wth “the everyman” (as Garner puts it).

      Little is running a progressive agenda targeting working class and middle class New Zealanders (not the mythical political centre, note) on core Labour issues of housing, jobs, health, education and community safety. And that’s what won it in Mt Roskill. We should be getting in behind him amd laughing at the media’s bullshit.

      • The Chairman 1.3.1

        It may have been a media attack line but it was also a leading question.

        Therefore, while his response was designed to appease the media (laughing off the suggestion as if it were crazy) they suckered him into disappointing those hoping Little would move the Party further left.

        As for running a progressive agenda, Labour’s policy is failing to reflect that.

        Take the Future of Work for example, apparently Unions have no role to play in Labour’s Future of Work.

        • Jenny Kirk

          It really is not worth the effort bothering to answer The Chairman, but just to set the record straight – Chris Trotter talks a lot of nonsense, he doesn’t like Labour though he purports to be left, and he doesn’t have any idea of what Labour is doing, at the moment, especially with union workers, or others.

          • Nick

            “it really is not worth the effort bothering to answer The Chairman”……..+1

          • The Chairman

            “He doesn’t have any idea of what Labour is doing, at the moment, especially with union workers, or others.”

            Feel free to enlighten us, Jenny.

            Has Labour countered his assertion? Surely they would want to set voters straight?

        • Sigh

          Rather than quote the hysterical Chris Trotter, you should read the actual report, which has a section on collective bargaining.

          • KJT


            Some people should read the originals before commenting rather than rely on Journalists, of any type.

          • KJT


            Some people should read the originals before commenting, rather than rely on Journalists, of any type.

            Journalism seems to be a lost profession these days.
            Rather than reporting to us. They now seem to think their job is telling us, what to think.

          • The Chairman

            Seems I should of. There is a section in there.

            Nonetheless, a number of Labour’s other policy also falls short. Such as their youth employment scheme (a short-term scheme providing the very basic in skills). Their willingness to continue heavily taxing smokers (resulting in a crime wave, damaging properties while putting lives at risk, hence the need to hire more police and build more prisons) Foreign investors in the property market (with new builds driving up the demand for land, hence adding to the overall cost of housing). Education (only providing 3 years of free post-school education for a person’s entire life) as they admit workers will continually require to be retrained.

        • Incognito

          Future of Work is not (Labour) policy, it is aimed at developing policy.

    • gsays 1.4

      Sorry chairman,
      I am next to disagree with you.
      I am sick to the back teeth of responses that have a Crosby textor feel to them.
      His laughing, at a stupid question, was human and resonated.

      • The Chairman 1.4.1

        Why do you believe it was a stupid question?

        Little’s response reinforced the notion that Labour moving left was crazy.

        • gsays

          Don’t get me wrong chair, I would love to see labour move left (and accommodate parties further left).

          The reason it was a stupid question was that it was based on a leggett utterance. (Leggett, like dunne finds a home in labour or nats… Yuk.)
          Not worthy of anything more than a hearty chuckle.

          • The Chairman

            While it was sparked by a Leggett utterance in part, it was also related to the MOU with the Greens. Nevertheless, it was a valid question.

            As for Leggett, Labour were still keen to welcome him back into the fold, despite him quitting Labour, standing against Lester and Little calling him a right-winger.


            • Muttonbird

              You and Leggett need to get together and decided just exactly where Labour is. He says too far left, you say not left enough.

              Seems then they are just about right where they should be.

              • The Chairman

                If you consider National lite is where Labour should position themselves (I don’t of course) then I guess you’re right.

  2. Janet 2

    Can someone help me understand why MFAT give 6 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation? Mentioned in Fran O’Sullivan’s op ed in the Herald yesterday.

    • Blackcap 2.1

      Isn’t that about pay for play? Ie a foreign entity gives the Clinton foundation money and then gets favours from the secretary of state or Madam President. Oops looks like that is money down the gurgler now that Trump won. Not a good look from MFAT whatever the outcome.

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.1

        Isn’t that about pay for play? Ie a foreign entity gives the Clinton foundation money and then gets favours from the secretary of state or Madam President.

        If it was that straightforward the people involved would be pondering how to rebuild their lives after they’re released. It’s actually just about engendering vague feelings of goodwill and the impression of dealing with someone you know because you’ve had previous dealings – there’s no actual quid pro quo, but like advertising, people wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.

        Also, it won’t be money down the gurgler because the effect of the above is on a lot more people than Hillary Clinton, and all of them are influential in one way or another. We may find it annoying, but until someone comes up with a way to run the planet that doesn’t involve humans, we’re stuck with it.

        • KJT

          In the real world this is called bribery.

          But corruption is fine when National do it.

          • Psycho Milt

            Like I said, if it were bribery, the participants would be in prison. There’s no quid pro quo. Get on your high horse if you want, but high horses are easy to get on when you’re not responsible for anything. A Labour government will do as much of this as a National one.

            • KJT

              They did it to, is not an excuse.

              • Governments don’t need an excuse to act in the national interest – it’s what we elect them for.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  One wonders if such a donation is ‘acting in the nations’ interest’. In fact, the only way it could be construed as being that is if they expected to get something back from it which would make it a bribe.

                  • McFlock


                    Hell, it could just come under NZ’s general overseas aid package if it goes to things like quake relief or AIDS treatment. In other words, the “bribe” is to the charity so that good works get done in (partially) our name.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Giving to the charity simply as part of our general aid package makes more sense than acting in the nations interest.

                      Of course, the problem is the shadow that’s now been cast over that particular charity.

                    • McFlock

                      The imaginary shadow cast by weavers of bullshit and hoaxes.

                      Hey, it might be the most corrupt organisation since the cosa nostra began, but that is completely unrelated to anything said about the Clinton Foundation during the election campaign. Just noise, independant of reality.

                • KJT

                  Some people think that ethics should go out the window when politics or business are involved.

                  I am not one of them.

                • Fortunately, neither governments nor MFAT are populated with literalists such as yourselves, as it would make diplomacy a fraught business.

                  …the only way it could be construed as being [in the national interest] is if they expected to get something back from it which would make it a bribe.

                  Wrong. First, the payment was to a charitable foundation, so went towards “good works” of various descriptions, which means it didn’t benefit some individual and falls within the kind of charitable expenditure we expect our government to make; second, that kind of charitable giving improves foreign diplomats’ perceptions of NZ, which is in our interest; third, it’s human nature to prefer to deal with people you know or have some connection with, so this helps make it easier for MFAT to deal with influential people in the USA, which is beneficial to NZ but doesn’t involve the kind of quid pro quo that could be called a bribe.

                  Some people think that ethics should go out the window when politics or business are involved.

                  There’s nothing unethical about donating to a charity, but there is something stupid about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    First, the payment was to a charitable foundation, so went towards “good works” of various descriptions, which means it didn’t benefit some individual and falls within the kind of charitable expenditure we expect our government to make;

                    True – to some degree. I expect our government to provide aid. What I don’t expect them to do is to give to foreign private charities.

                    second, that kind of charitable giving improves foreign diplomats’ perceptions of NZ, which is in our interest;

                    Except the only diplomats that would have been aware of that particular giving would have been the Clintons. It wasn’t general knowledge – We certainly didn’t know about it.

                    it’s human nature to prefer to deal with people you know or have some connection with

                    Maybe so but giving to a charity doesn’t engender any such connection.

    • Gabby 2.2

      They didn’t want a sheep farm.

  3. The Chairman 3

    The Commerce Commission is warning women to steer clear of the circles, which claim to be women’s empowerment groups that have the power to transform lives.


  4. Ethica 4

    The National Party and its allies have just voted down a bill to help NZ businesses. Andrew Little’s bill to give preferred procurement to NZ companies for government contracts was defeated by the National block including Peter Dunne. Just think what a boost this would be to local businesses and employment. But did anyone see headlines complaining about this in the media business pages? This government is not local business friendly.

  5. Andre 5

    Looks like we’re all going to find out what happens when the US president can’t be bothered with the advice of thousands of career experts and just follows his whim of the moment that happens to align with his business interests.


  6. Morrissey 6

    Great Moments in Broadcasting. NOT.
    No. 3: Kevin Roberts’ performance on TV3 chat show The Panel, late 2001.

    Anyone with a taste for the absurd, the creepy and the pretentious should check out the “inspirational” website of Saatchi advertising supremo “Doctor” Kevin Roberts. The man who has, to this writer’s knowledge, never uttered a sentence that is not complete and unmitigated bullshit, offers up, for our edification, the complete list of his public speeches and his exciting, radical and deep personal philosophy, which can be summed up thusly: New Zealand is “on the edge”, and we’re all CRA-A-A-A-A-A-AZY, ma-a-a-a-a-aan, and that’s COOL. That, and something even dopier, about “love brands”.

    In 1999, Roberts attracted almost universal condemnation and ridicule by somehow persuading Air New Zealand to have one of its jumbo jets painted with a huge, grotesque, distorted mural of the All Black front row. This mortified, shamed and humiliated the players, angered the All Black coach John Hart, and disgusted the fans. However, Roberts, having clout because of his inordinate influence and power on the NZRFU board, forced it through, and the jet was daubed with the atrocity.

    Two years after that, on September 11, 2001, Roberts watched the WTC collapse from the Saatchi offices, in a nearby building. Undaunted by any notions of common sense or legality, he then wrote an open letter to the New York Times urging the governor George Pataki to suspend the law and extend the reign of the criminal, Mafia-connected mayor Rudolf Giuliani. Of course, Governor Pataki ignored the inane petition.

    Shortly after that embarrassment, Roberts was back in New Zealand, appearing as a guest on the dismal TV3 chat show, The Panel. Even his half-drunken fellow-panelists were visibly shocked by Roberts’ performance that night: putting aside such troublesome notions as restraint, sensitivity or decency, Roberts said this:

    “You know what New Zealand should have done after September 11? We should have sent a planeload of soldiers in an Air New Zealand jumbo jet, all dressed in black bomber jackets with a silver fern on them, and taken them to Ground Zero, because we’re good at urban disasters. And they would have danced a haka on the site and then started digging. The WORLD’S MEDIA would have filmed this, and the publicity would have been absolutely PRICELESS.”

    At this point, there was utter silence on the set. The usual guffawing and chuckling had stopped. You could truly have heard a pin drop. Every panelist, including the inebriated Pam Corkery, was struck dumb.

    Eventually one female panellist spoke up: “Isn’t that…. isn’t that a bit…..cynical?”
    The normally smiling Roberts mien clouded over wrathfully: “No, it’s not cynical,” he snarled, clearly angry that anyone had had the temerity to question his brilliance. “It would have been a massive gesture of LOVE.”

    Read more, if you can bear Kevin Roberts a second longer…

    Open mike 06/09/2013

    Great Moments in Broadcasting. NOT is an occasional series highlighting some of the worst moments in our pretty shameful history of broadcasting mediocrity and downright failure.

    N.B. Loath as I am to advertise anything on TV1, keen Roberts-watchers will be eagerly awaiting tonight’s edition of Sunday at 7 p.m. It is billed thusly: “Advertising guru Kevin Roberts on the scandal that brought him down. Dying prisoner Vicky Letele on how she was really treated in prison.” So that’s two fraudsters in half an hour—good value, kind of.

  7. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    A look at things to come Nationwide? Or just a precursor to the privatisation of our police force? Either way pretty disturbing stuff going on in our Far North.


    • Rosemary McDonald 7.1

      Yep. Kaitaia has this….http://www.kaitaia.net.nz/bid.htm

      “The BID is designed to improve CBD business and amenity through agreed regular improvements to the town’s physical, operational or security infrastructure within the town centre. The BID is a partnership between local government (mainly through regular liaison with the Community Board) and local businesses funded through a quarterly levy, by way of an FNDC targeted rate.

      Local businesses within the BID area (or those outside the area who choose to join) contribute an amount of money each year through a proportional system which is determined by BID regulations via their rateable property value. The average BID levy for a Kaitaia CBD business is about $200 per annum; but smaller businesses may only be levied a $100 (or so) rise in rates, larger businesses (such as the JNL mill) have proportionately higher levies.

      Projects currently undertaken by the KBA are:

      Community Patrol New Zealand – Working in conjunction with the Neighbourhood Policing team Kaitaia to improve the safety and security of our town. There is currently a Community Patrol vehicle which is policing our CBD, with a rotating roster of volunteers;
      Kaitaia CCTV Cameras and monitoring upgrade – The previous CCTV system funded and installed by the KBA 10 years ago at a cost of $140,000 has become outdated and nearly unusable. The KBA, in partnership the Kaitaia Police, are looking to increase the system’s coverage to eventually include the entire BID area, with upgrades to newer technology, which are anticipated to cost in excess of $250,000.00;

      Hasn’t been altogether successful…


      But a number of locals who struggle to get full time work have been employed by a local security firm…


      ..although, I hear that wages are low and hours are long, often in areas with poor cellphone cover…..

  8. adam 8

    Standing Rock, still going…

  9. adam 9

    More updates if you missed it – Standing Rock

  10. Foreign waka 10

    New valuation papers were sent out and Wellington/Porirua with very high council housing suburbs and low income family dwellings were waked with an average of 24 %!
    This does smell fishy. I don’t have to join any women spiritual movement, this alone will just give me a rush for all the wrong reasons.
    Aotea, the new suburb with new build houses and a footprint of 2 council dwellings was “booming” with 23%. So how on earth can the old weatherboard houses rise 24%. Or is this done so that the council houses getting more interest in the market? They say it will not impact the rates but it will and always does. Porirua has already one of the highest rates in the country.
    Can someone enlighten me what is going on?

    • Craig H 10.1

      Rates are based on the relative values of property, so if property values are up 24% on average, there will be no impact on rates. If property values are up 30% on average, your rates will probably drop, or remain static.

      Rateable Values are calculated by QV based on general property changes in the same area. If you think it’s wrong, challenge it.

  11. joe90 11

    Solar, huh.

    In fact, if anything, my forecasts were too conservative. The solar prices I expected have been smashed by bids in the Middle East and in Latin America. I will need to update the model above in a future post.

    The latest record is an incredibly low bid of 2.42 cents / kwh solar electricity in Abu Dhabi. That is an unsubsidized price.

    Let me put that in perspective. The cost of electricity from a new natural gas powerplant in the US is now estimated at 5.6 cents / kwh. (pdf link) That is with historically low natural gas prices in the US, which are far lower than the price of natural gas in the rest of the world.


    Nor is it limited to just Abu Dhabi.

    In Chile, just a month ago, a new record low price for solar was set, at 2.91 cents / kwh. That record lasted less than 5 weeks.

    In Mexico, the average price of new solar bids in April was 5.1 cents per kwh, and the cheapest solar bid in Mexico was 3.5 cents per kwh.


    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      It’s not a surprise really. Renewable energy doesn’t destroy anything the way that fossil fuelled generation does and so it must be cheaper.

  12. Whispering Kate 12

    Have just been watching Q & A which I had taped. Jessica Mutch interviewing Andrew Little was a disgrace. Such a biased interviewer, prattling on about polls (as if they matter) and not acknowledging the victory in Mt Roskill. Attacking his personality and him lacking in charisma and not being a “show pony” like the outgoing PM – as if that mattered for Christ’s sake, his antics are a disgrace and cringe material for all of us.

    After the litany of botch ups the outgoing PM has done over the years and his mangling of the English language it is absolutely disgusting that our interviewers keep criticising Andrew Little and cannot be impartial and actually conduct an intelligent interview. They are all paid monkeys doing what the right wing political masters require of them.

    If this is all MSM can offer with talent and calibre with their interviewers then we are all the poorer for it. I haven’t watched Q & A and The Nation for weeks now and I wish I hadn’t watched it tonight.

    Celebrate the Mt Roskill win and give a decent interview and acknowledge the win – not be an attack dog negative interviewer with a bad loser attitude.

    Also – Michelle Boag should be released from her contract – what a nightmare of a woman and the convener of the panel needs to learn to keep her under control and not allow her to dominate the panel like the witch that she is. She is enough to keep one awake at night.

  13. Muttonbird 13

    Anti-democratic Fiji strongman Frank Bananarama has been scammed by a Las Vegas conman. I wonder what Frank’s friends John Key and slug-boy have to say about this?



  14. Muttonbird 14


    The Horrid has posted yet another story on MH370 – a plane crash which cannot be found despite several hundred million dollars having been spent on the effort. A crash involving one New Zealander who was on his way to work in a Mongolian mine – wtf?

    Contrast this with the zero dollars having been spent on a Pike River mine rescue where the 29 victims of corporate greed and government incompetence still wait for justice.


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