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Open Mike 05/05/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 5th, 2018 - 125 comments
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125 comments on “Open Mike 05/05/2018”

  1. Ed 1

    New Zealand wakes up to the noise of the wholesale slaughter of ducks.

    • James 1.1

      You do know that it’s the best way to get free range duck for the table.


      • trey 1.1.1

        And then James there are all the birds maimed and left to die slow painful deaths by this “sport” as shooting results in high rates of wounding and crippling.
        I take some of these maimed birds from bird rescue and rehome them on my pond and wetlands but most don’t survive.
        We currently have 5 swans, 3 with a wing missing and two with a leg missing as well as 7 maimed ducks that will never fly again.
        It is heart breaking to watch a swan or duck flapping one wing, not being able to fly .
        So ask yourself is the harm caused worth it.
        Hope you enjoyed winding Ed up this morning.


        • James

          Indeed some will be wounded. It the majority are killed and eaten.

          It is nice to have people like you looking after those that you can.

          Regardless it is something that a lot of people enjoy – it gets the duck numbers down (they are a real pain around here) and it puts delicious meat in the freezer.

          Some people will always find any kind of killing of animals unacceptable – others don’t have an issue with it (and always try to ensure little to no suffering- I have posed before the lengths we go to with our homekill to look after it).

          For the record – whilst I have no issue with duck shooting. I don’t partake – simply because there are too many people out there who shoot once a year and don’t take adequate safety precautions and end up shooting someone.

          Luckily I have friends who are kind enough to drop a few around – and duck freezes well so you don’t have waste.

          • mauī

            Yeah ducks can be a real pain there’s that extra chance of soiling one’s boat shoes on the way to the marina boardwalk.

            • bwaghorn

              there are a lot of wet lands fenced off mainly because of some peoples love of shooting ducks ,

    • mary_a 1.2

      Agree with you Ed (1).

      Absolutely sickening that this barbaric activity is considered sport! Worse still, it’s acceptable! I was out walking this morning and heard gunshots. Vile!

      We live on an inlet from a lake and this morning, lots of ducks of various species have gathered, obviously for their own protection.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Happy 200th birthday Karl Marx!

    The bad news is communism hasn’t quite taken off like you hoped it would; the good news is the capitalist running dogs are still busily booking their inevitable appointments with the firing squad!

    • tracey 2.1

      Was he a proponent on Communism?

    • millsy 2.2

      The problem was is that power hungry maniacs got too impatient and wanted to impose it at the point of a gun. Lenin knew that it would take several decades to implement, which is why the New Economic Plan was developed. Moderates in China, such as Deng Xiaoping and Chao En-Lai also favoured a gradual approach, but we’re overruled by Mao.

      • solkta 2.2.1

        The problem was that a dictatorship is a dictatorship irrespective of its supposed class base. The concept of the Dictatorship of the Proletarian was in fact Marx’ great brain fart.

    • solkta 2.3

      The good news is that he remains till this day the greatest mind to have ever studied human society.

    • McFlock 2.4

      He nailed in minute detail exactly what was wrong with capitalism.

      The use of the thesis/antithesis/synthesis as a way to figure out how the problems would be solved was a bit bonkers, though.

  3. Ad 3

    This is a really good longish article about how the west Auckland licensing Trusts treat their thousands of workers.


    Here in Auckland’s west we have been told for decades about how the Trusts make us special, and that this monopoly is in the end worth it for all the benefits that it brings.

    Now we see the reality of their commitment to the Living Wage despite it being Chaired by Ross Clow, who is a Labour Councillor on Auckland Council as well.

    Between the Trusts management and their politicians, they have a lot to answer for when their governors are Labour-dominated, and those same people are elected to Council as well.

    Would be very keen to her of any E Tu members who are aware of the activities mentioned in the article.

    • Zorb6 3.1

      Has been an absolute gravy train for the old boy network out west for decades.Even running a virtual monopoly, they struggle to make a good R.O.I.
      Spend millions telling ratepayers how they benefit the community,without highlighting the fact that most funds for charities come via poker machines.
      Quite surprised that Clow’s salary has been revealed.
      Remuneration to management has always been a closely guarded secret.

      • Sanctuary 3.1.1

        I live out west, and as a bit of a counter-point I have to say that general public order is noticeably better here than where I previously lived in Sandringham, something I put down largely to the much greater control on the supply of liquor out West that the trust has.

        • Sacha

          It’s less troubled because places like Glen Eden and Te Atatu are not nightlife destinations. 🙂

    • millsy 3.2

      It doesn’t look like the licencing trusts are doing a very good job of justifying their existence.

    • savenz 3.3

      Interesting perspective and unfortunately probably typical of how hospitality staff.

      Anyone who thinks you are going to get reliable workers in Auckland and increasingly many parts of NZ on close to minimum wages is dreaming because it would be near impossible to survive on it.

      I’d say the standard of hospitality has been going down in NZ over the last decade, that is because they have refused to upgrade to a higher service level, mostly based on the Kiwi ‘low wage’ cut cost at worker levels and the reliance of exploiting migrant workers to keep staff at unliveable wages. The sooner they put minimum wages up to $20p/h the better. For a start it would lower the WFF and other top ups and emergency food parcels, people need to survive as increasingly employers such as these with $14m in the bank are only going to raise wages if they have to. Yep no doubt we will be inundated with crocodile tears, wah, wah, when they have to pay that extra, but the majority can afford it.

      I think the idea of the trust to run liquor is a good one, but it sounds like the usual – it’s turned into a little cash cow that has become about maximising profits to themselves and not sharing it to all workers and the community. It’s conditions of the trusts operations that should change, not the concept.

      • solkta 3.3.1

        But if the minimum wage was raised that much without WFF being adjusted then a lot of families would be no better off.

        • greywarshark

          Raising to a living wage would be a wake-up call to the moneyed, a first step for the government to enable people to receive a living wage.
          It would not solve problems straight away but there is a journey of a thousand steps to traverse here. And uphill all the way because of the long-term latitude to business and the disgraceful way that NZ has been turned into a poverty- ridden copy-cat third-world economy.

          • solkta

            Hey, I’m all in favour of raising the minimum wage. What i was objecting to was savenz suggesting that this was a way to effectively cutting WFF. Children are a public as well as a private good. From a left wing perspective, those who choose not to have children or have high incomes should help pay for the costs of raising the next generation.

    • phantom snowflake 3.4

      Great to see Chloe Ann-King’s writing promoted here. She’s an absolute champion as far as advocacy for hospitality workers, the precariously employed and beneficiaries is concerned, and her activism spreads into other areas also. This piece of hers from 2016 is timely:

  4. Observer Tokoroa 5

    Ducking for cover

    I notice that during the murder and slaughter of living creatures known as Ducks Season – that no protection is provided for these animals. An animal being roughly 99% human.

    The dirty murderers are equipped with all manner of sissy protection but not the other living animals.

    Ducks being Living Creatures and 99% human, have as much right to life as any sissy coward with a gun.

    I therefore propose that armed drones equipped with Russian Fire Arms (NZ guns are not reliable) fire down on the humans who are doing the slaughtering. The drones equipped with infrared will operate from 32,000 ft.

    Having been slaughtered by the drones, – the humans should then be skinned and sent home to their families and with a tag on their cowardly ears. The tag would say “Eat this!” Sissy.

    • James 5.1

      I would say that’s one of your more rational post.

      Ducks might be 99% like you or people you know – but I think most people would agree there is quite a difference.

      Yeah and I know that most creatures share a high %age of DNA.

    • ropata 5.2

      My ancestors didn’t fight, scratch and claw their way to the top of the food chain just to eat veggies. We are apex predators

    • tracey 5.3

      I live near a protected wetlands. In the last week the duck numbers have swelled. Enormously.

    • Antoine 5.4


      You are a traitor to your own species!


    • solkta 5.5

      Do you have other suggestions about how the duck population could be controlled? Should we introduce a predator? If we did, would this predator kill them in a more humane way?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.5.1

        Does the duck population need to be controlled?

        • In Vino

          Avian botulism has actually reduced by a little the numbers on Hamilton Lake compared the 1970s, but by and large ducks breed too quickly. And a serious predator would probably enjoy (just for a change in menu) a few of our endangered species as well.
          So maybe it is a good thing that we have a number of humans stupid enough to see as ‘Man against Nature’ a contest between one of the less intelligent bird species and themselves – less intelligent humans using weapons they themselves did not invent, to prove something to their tender egos.

          • Draco T Bastard

            but by and large ducks breed too quickly.

            Ok. Now, is it actually the hunting that’s keeping the numbers down?

    • greywarshark 5.6

      I think you are being satirical, ironic, and amusing yourself today. I have the feeling that if not a duck hunter, some of your best friends are. Quack, quack. You have just decided to shoot off your mouth at home and let the others sit in their mai mai in the wet and by the way they can dress, or undress rather, the duck they give to you.

    • millsy 5.7

      With modern technology, there is no need for people to take a single animal’s life for sport. Having a laser gun that would use a computer to register a ‘hit’ would enable hunters to enjoy their hobby in a human manner.

      • James 5.7.1

        Thanks for telling us how other people can enjoy themselves in a manner that suits you.

  5. Ed 6

    Co2 levels over 410mm.
    And we prevaricate to close down the fossil fuel industry.

  6. James 7


    Way to stand up coromandel. Like Taupo they need a rescue helicopter. Not having one in these regions will cost lives (even if they are 99% duck)

    • millsy 7.1

      It was National that kicked off these proposals. Anyway, a bit silly to have charities running these helicopters anyway. Rescue helicopters should really be run as part of the Air Force or Navy.

      • james 7.1.1

        If it was National that started this – I would still be against it.

        and I agree with the Air Force or Navy running them – same with coastguard.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Civil Defence would probably be the better option.

        • Macro

          No – it is an ambulance service so it should be run by a Nation wide ambulance service.

          • Draco T Bastard

            But one with a fairly limited demand and Civil defence needs heli’s available for other emergencies.

            Airforce and army should have dedicated medical heli’s as well so areas around those bases won’t need civilian craft for it.

            It’s a case of getting the most use out of them while also having them available when needed.

            • Macro

              I live in Thames and we have the Westpac chopper in almost on a daily basis. The local ambulance here is also in constant demand.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Which has nothing do to with who’s operating it.

                • McFlock

                  It sort of does.

                  You’re not talking one or two choppers that have stretchers instead of seats. They’re dedicated machines. To keep one 24/d operational you need two or three actual aircraft (ISTR Southern has three). And they can’t be transferred to other duties or deployed overseas, because we need them here.

                  So a national organisation might be a good idea, but it needs to be separate to other services, otherwise its resources would be leeched to other dutires under the next tory government.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Probably part of the funding cuts that National did to health.

      Hopefully, this government will do something about it. We most definitely should not have private company advertising on government services.

    • Macro 7.3

      It certainly will. My grandson was born in Thames a few years back. Unknown to the midwife at the time was the fact that he had transposed major arteries. ie his aorta and pulmonary were transposed. After a perfectly normal birth he began turning blue. He had to be flown to Waikato Base Hospital where the condition was diagonsed and then flown to Starship where a tube was run up into his heart and a small hole made between the two top ventricles so that his blood could become oxygenated. Four days later the surgeons were able to perform open heart surgery and correct the problem.* He is now a strong young lad and very active.
      Had there been no air ambulance he would not have survived.

      *I understand that this operation is carried out around 4 – 5 times per week at Starship. 30 years ago he would not be alive.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      this is interesting:

      He also said the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter was important for places like Great Barrier Island.

      “Whitianga is the closest base to Great Barrier.

      “It’s all about time.”

      Which it is. Auckland to Gt Barrier is 25 minutes. All I can find for Whitianga to Gt Barrier indicates that it’s about the same or perhaps longer. So, no time benefit there and thus not a selling point.

      The permanent base for the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter was funded entirely by the community, he said.

      So? Just because the community funds the heli base doesn’t mean that it’s the best option.

      He said he could not figure out how removing the rescue helicopter from the area would give them a better service.

      That’s actually quite easy to do. Choose your spot and compare flight times as I did above which indicates that Auckland based helicopter service is better for Gt Barrier than a Whitianga based service.

      Petition creator Simon O’Neill said it was “necessary to get a bigger movement going that the ministry will have to pay attention to rather than fobbing off small attempts”.

      This is something that needs to be done by logistics and not by movements and feelings.

      One woman who had used the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter, Jo Burton, said for her, its use “was essential” for getting her to Waikato Hospital.

      In January 2015, Burton put her hand through the glass of a window. She required repairs to five tendons and her superficial radial nerve.

      “They knew to get me to Waikato Hospital as soon as possible because of the damage.”

      She said she has full use of her hand now, but “if I’d been any longer I might not have full use”.

      Actually, a couple of days would have been fine.

      • JohnSelway 7.4.1

        I’m sure webmd knows better about the woman’s injuries that she or the hospital does.

        Next time I’m bleeding from an injury I’ll be sure to check with you before calling an ambulance.

        (What I’m trying to say is you don’t know shit about what kind of care she needed)

        • Draco T Bastard

          Weren’t you doing me the favour of ignoring me? I’m certainly ignoring you.

          And what the medics are saying is that tendon repair can be left for 24 to 48 hours so time wasn’t an issue.

          BTW, I had the same injury.

          • JohnSelway

            I told you to ignore me if you wanted, I need do no such thing.

            But yeah – you don’t shit about the situation about from a brief news synopsis, you’re personal experience doesn’t mean shit either so you are in no position to say it would have been fine when the patient, who was actually there, and the hospital, who looked after injury, say different

          • McFlock

            What the interwebz says. What does it say about nerve damage? Was there maybe something else not mentioned in the report that cumulatively might have cause actual doctors to say something like that?

            A bit like comparing fixed wing flight times from an aerodrome to a dedicated helipad, but whatevs

            • Draco T Bastard

              What does it say about nerve damage?

              My bad. I should have looked at that. It seems that some new process has come out in the last few years that helps with the nerve regeneration speed reducing it from months to weeks that’s time dependent.

          • JohnSelway

            “BTW – I had the same injury”

            Here’s how stupid that is. I suffer pancreatitis and have required hospitalization 3 times (alcoholism is a bitch). My dad also suffers pancreatitis but has never been hospitalized.

            We both have the same injury but have very different medical needs. Hope this helps

  7. tracey 8

    I see Farrar claims he banned some commentators over the PMs partner rumour but the journalist scanned his site and found alit left up. Farrar then said with 2 million comments he cant get to them all.

    1 it is not 2 million comments a day

    2 you decided to run a blog

    3 after DP you committed to cleaning up your blog

    So suspended some but not enough to stop the rumour getting good, long, airing.

    Hard to avoid the notion that Farrar tried to tell a porky and a journo investigated rather than just take him at his word. Oops.


    • Bearded Git 8.1

      Farrar deleted the thread only after Stuff contacted him…not good enough….he really shouldn’t be allowed back on The Panel after this…Jim Mora take note.

      • OnceWasTim 8.1.1

        Don’t hold your breath @BG. Jim is too busy rehearsing his lines for Monday to ensure he’s able to keep sitting on the fence and remain NZ’s nicest ‘radio bloke’ (going forward).
        Of course it’s possible he’ll fuck up and need a locum to fill in – and there’s one or two who’re only too happy to oblige. And generally, they’re a fucking sight easier to listen to when you’re trapped in a lift or on one of the remotest places on Earth craving a bit of western MSM for a bit of a laugh and a Subway roll

  8. Observer Tokoroa 9

    @ Ropata

    Nice to see You. Your ancestors and mine ate according to need and season. Harvested accordingly.

    We now have to rid ourselves of those ugly poisonous fungi, called capitalists; called wealthy; called abominable, money afflicted; ruthless; unredemptive and endlessly brutal. Poison is as poison does Ropata.

    We will get helicopters when the capitalists are drowned and droned out.

  9. James 10

    “We now have to rid ourselves of those ugly poisonous fungi, called capitalists; called wealthy; called abominable, money afflicted; ruthless; unredemptive and endlessly brutal”

    And how do you intend to do that ?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1


      Which is why we have Representative Democracy actually. The rich were afraid that the rest of us would legislate them out of existence and it was the rich calling the shots at the time.

      Thing is, we can now probably start to implement full Participatory Democracy which really wasn’t possible 400 years ago.

    • ropata 10.2

      Marx taught that the revolution would only come when the oppression of the masses became unbearable. Guillotines worked OK in the past. But I prefer the way of peace. On an individual level we make the world a better place in our own way, Ardern suggests Kindness, and I’m happy to go along with that

  10. Jenny 11

    I notice that a lot of mention is made of Palestinians directed at me, accusing me of not being interested in the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli Zionists.

    But usually only in relation to my posts on the situation in Syria, and in my opinion only as a diversionary tactic.

    Prove me wrong.

    To all those people who make these accusations, I challenge you to front up today at the rally in Aotea Square at 2pm in support of the ‘March of Return’.

    The ‘Right of Return’ is a right written into international law by UN, for all refugees. But it is a right that is steadfastly denied to the Palestinians by the Zionists, an illegal position in defiance of international law, which the Zionists enforce with state sanctioned racist violence and apartheid like segregation and pass laws.

    Rally in support of The Great March of Return – Gaza

    May 5 · 2pm · Aotea Square · Auckland, New Zealand

    • Cinny 11.1

      Teleport please.

      Thinking of all who are able to go and show their support, with you in spirit.

    • Bill 11.2

      I notice that a lot of mention is made of Palestinians directed at me, accusing me of not being interested in the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli Zionists.

      Really? On this blog? Because I’m pretty sure that would have jumped out at me, and I haven’t noticed anything along those lines. I just did a quick search too. And nothing.

      Maybe you could link to the comments that have laid these accusations at your feet Jenny? I suspect this just yet another piece of vacuous nonsense on your part along the same lines as that previous ‘They’ve called me a head-chopper’ accusation that you threw out there.

      Hope the rally’s well attended and productive by the way.

      • Jenny 11.2.1

        I notice that a lot of mention is made of Palestinians directed at me, accusing me of not being interested in the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli Zionists.


        Really? On this blog? Because I’m pretty sure that would have jumped out at me, and I haven’t noticed anything along those lines. I just did a quick search too. And nothing.


        I think it was Fransesca or someone, But Bill, in the same vein, weren’t you the one giving support to Ed about me not caring about what is happening to the people of Yemen and Afrin and other such Whataboutery?

        In my opinion, you and Ed are only feigning concern for these terrible crimes against humanity committed by the Saudis, Zionists, the US etc. to divert attention away from your support and covering for mass murder committed by the Assad regime.


        Hope the rally’s well attended and productive by the way.


        You would know if you had attended Bill. And no it was not well attended, Maybe you would like to show your concern by giving the next rally a headline post. The next rally in support of the ‘March of Return’ will be held on the 19th, same time, same place. Visiting Palestinian scholar and activist Ramzy Baroud will be addressing this rally, prior to the talk he will be giving at the Freeman’s Bay Community Centre the following day. Maybe you would like to give this event a headline post as well. Or maybe not. In which, case do not ever again accuse me of not being concerned about these other cases of injustice and persecution in the world, to divert attention away from your support and propagandising for Syrian fascism and genocide.


        [The game a bogey Jenny. If in the future you submit comments that are baseless accusations that constitute attacks other contributors, bans will result] – Bill

        • Bill

          For the sake of drawing your attention to the above Jenny.

          • Jenny

            Hi Bill,

            I look forward to your post in support of Ramzy Baroud’s New Zealand speaking tour. Especially in light of your good wishes for the rally in support of the ‘March of Return’ last Saturday, because there is another one planned for the 19th same time same place at which Ramzy Baroud will be making an address.


            Cheers Jenny

            AUCKLAND: FRIDAY 18 MAY
            9:35am: Listen to 95bFM radio for Mikey Havoc’s live studio interview with Ramzy Baroud

            10:30am book signing event at UBIQ Auckland University Bookshop, 2 Alfred Street, Student Commons (off Princes Street, City.)

            Ramzy will speak at the Nakba Rally,

            2pm Aotea Square, Queen St, CBD.

            AUCKLAND: SUNDAY 20 MAY
            Free public talk: 7pm Sunday 20 May

            Freemans Bay Community Hall,

            52 Hepburn St, Auckland.

            HAMILTON: MONDAY 21 MAY
            Free public talk: 7pm Monday 21 May

            Wintec, Room A2.05, City Campus, Hamilton.

            Access via Gate 3 or Gate 2 on Tristram Street. Free parking.


            Book signing 22 May from 12pm to 1pm

            The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story

            Vic Books

            Easterfield Building,

            1 Kelburn Parade,

            Wellington 6012

            0800 370 370

            Evening event: 6pm Tuesday 22 May

            Free Public talk

            St Andrews on the Terrace,

            30 The Terrace,

            Wellington City 6011.

            Free public talk: 7pm Wednesday 23 May

            Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral,

            234 Hereford St,

            Christchurch 8011

            DUNEDIN: THURSDAY 24 MAY
            Free public talk: 5:15pm Thursday 24 May

            Burns 2 Lecture theatre,

            Ground Floor Arts Building,

            Albany Street,

            University of Otago.

  11. cleangreen 12


    We could be reaching the end of the relatively cheap oil era. Prices of Brent Crude, the global benchmark have been rising for the past seven months, and are tipped by most observers to continue to remain at high levels through 2019. Alarmists are talking of $80-100 a barrel.

    Peak oil now again?

    Bring back rail.

    Rail uses only one fifth the fuel per tonne carried per KM of road transport.

    Rail saves us all from climate change.

    And road deaths.

    Lower rapidly rising cost of road maintenance.

    Less trucks in our cities will make public health and air quality better.

    Whats not to like about that?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Rail uses only one fifth the fuel per tonne carried per KM of road transport.

      And, if electrified, doesn’t even use that.

      Getting all the traffic off our roads will do wonders for us. More cycling and walking will (apparently) make us all younger.

  12. Cinny 13

    Just listened to the Northcote candidates on The Nation.

    This bit was a wtf, loololollllz moment for me…..

    The national party candidate says something like… “it’s not about national it’s about who is the best person to serve the electorate” crikey…. he’s a party faithful bahahahahahahahahaha. Back your organisation dude, or stand as an independent.

    The nat candidate was also quick to shut down any mention of coleman.

    My thoughts…. Northcote will change colours.

    • Incognito 13.1

      A potential waka-jumper?

    • veutoviper 13.2

      I take it that it was just the National Party and Labour Party candidates, Cinny?

      ACT and NZF have both announced they won’t be running a candidate.

      The Green Party have said that they will be running a candidate but do not yet appear to have selected and announced their candidate although the by-election is only 5 weeks away.

      Although this is intended to emphasize that the Greens and Labour are not joined at the hip rather than win the electorate, this is likely to split the left vote and destroy any change of the electorate changing colours.

  13. greywarshark 14

    Chris Trotter in The Daily Blog on Friday on Trump. He gains oxygen from all the hullabaloo is I think Chris’s point.

    And when you read through Chris’s collection of groupings behind the yellow-fellow one sees that there is a mighty mountain of unreason to surmount. Same here on a smaller scale.

    …It doesn’t matter that Trump’s electoral base is composed of racists, homophobes, misogynists, fundamentalist Christians, Islamophobes and out-and-out fascists; as well as hard-line neoliberals, climate-change sceptics, union-busters, flat-taxers, economic nationalists and Ayn Rand libertarians; so long the dearest hopes and darkest fears of each component of this bizarre coalition continue to be encouraged by their President.

  14. greywarshark 15

    Interesting idea – a breath of fresh air from an entrepreneur educationalist.
    science education
    9:43 am today

    David Klein – Plant Man
    From Saturday Morning, 9:43 am today
    Listen duration 15′ :17″

    David Klein is a science communicator based in Wellington. Last summer he cycled around the country presenting Tour de Science – a show that explained how all the big things in the universe are made of lots of little things. It was performed in more than 50 towns and cities to rave reviews.

    More recently Klein has been thinking about what it would like to be a plant – making food from sunlight, dealing with all those bugs, the strong connection to the ground, and time passing really slowly. Plants, he says, aren’t brainy but they are clever and successful.

    Klein combines his love of science with his love of storytelling in his new children’s show, Plant Man, which he is performing at the Hutt Stemm Festival – celebrating the multi-million dollar science and innovation industries in Lower Hutt – on May 6.

    (Incidentally it is very difficult, impossible so far, for me to find out what STEMM stands for. The love of acronyms and hatred for actually being clear and fully explanatory for those not in the know is again, rife. However there are clever little icons with pictures that probably explain the meanings. We are drifting towards a pictogram-heavy and abbreviations, skeleton-thought basis of written language!)

    • Rosemary McDonald 15.1


      Science Technology Engineering Mathematics …trying to find out what the other “M” stands for.

      There you go…http://www.huttstemm.nz/

      Resident scientist tells me this is about ‘hard’ as opposed to ‘soft’ subjects and encouraging students towards the same.

      • greywarshark 15.1.1

        Thanks Rosemary
        My point: Science is definite, correct, informative. So it is unscientific to advertise and advance an educational program under the heading of an acronym without informing what it stands for.

        We have enough problems from our economic system making up models which are not totally thorough, without defining them fully, testing them, proving them, spelling out exceptions etc. Having to guess what something means is not scientific. Many problems already are stemming from this tendency in tertiary studies of importance and from people falsely adopting the authority of tertiary studies relied on for excellence by others needing their skills.

        • Incognito

          I respectfully but also strongly disagree because Science is most definitely not “definitive”! Whether it is correct is a moot point and this appears to be based on a perception that Science can or does somehow unveil The Truth. Yes, Science is informative and useful 😉

  15. alwyn 16

    Did anyone really believe that Labour would implement their election promises?
    National promised and had in fact implemented a scheme that would have meant a $680 increase in the National Super.
    Labour then promised to outdo this and would provide a $700/year “heating allowance”.
    Except it isn’t, at least not this year.
    Please raise your hand if you still believe the things that this Government said before the election. What, nobody will admit they were that stupid?

    • Ad 16.1

      That’s a good hit from Janine Starks.

      Labour could lose the election in 2020 with the tilt of just a few retired people.

      Very interested in the budget commentary from the Minister of Finance on that one.

      • Barfly 16.1.1

        Shrug they will see the full amount in 2019 and 2020 – so unlikely to be a problem IMO. National weren’t going to anything for me except probably more demonization and harassment – this winter payment may be a new pair of glasses for me so 🙂

        • alwyn

          Perhaps they won’t notice.
          On the other hand the National payment would have provided you with both a new pair of glasses AND a spare pair in case you broke them.
          Keep the faith though comrade. The Party may lie to you but you will still follow them till the end. Marching to the strains of the Internationale will help keep you warm, even if you can’t keep your home warm.

    • The Chairman 16.2

      Of the half a million or so that can’t afford to visit their GP, a number of them will also be struggling with their power bills. Hence, how many will fall ill and perhaps die from this shortfall and delay?

      The price of Labour’s Budget Responsibility Rules?

      Oh well, at least Labour managed to balance the books eh?

      Labour, the party the left can count on to let them down.

    • Gabby 16.3

      Not fair is it wynny. Next thing you know, someone might notice that people who are still working don’t need handouts.

    • SPC 16.4

      Funny how National are running two attack lines at the same time.

      The winter payment was not means tested/the amount is less than National’s tax cuts in the first year.

      • alwyn 16.4.1

        Which National people are you referring to?
        For the umpteenth time I am not now, never have been in the past, and never will be in the future a member of any political party.
        I am a pure swinging voter who was quite happy to say that National should be replaced at the last election but was of the belief that there was nobody capable of taking over and providing a stable sensible Government. The last six months have demonstrated the my view was absolutely correct.
        A tired National would be better than the current Ship of Fools.
        So, my friend, who were you talking about when you posted this reply to me?

        • SPC

          ha ha, a third term government is tired, but there is/was no one better to take over is what someone part of stream b would say on a pro left blog.

          • alwyn

            Why didn’t you answer my question?
            “Which National people are you referring to?”.
            I am curious who in National might be offering similar arguments to myself.

    • greywarshark 16.5

      Does anyone believe that anything useful will ever result from your memos on this blog? I would put the likelihood of useful from you at 95% against.

      • alwyn 16.5.1

        Your estimate of 95% is probably about right. I would say that 5% of the questions I ask get an intelligent reply from people who have actually thought about the topic and are willing to provide some reasoned arguments for their views.
        The rest are like you. You come out with comments without any justification at all for making them. When questioned on the reason for the statement you either ignore the question or complain that anyone who dares to question your views should be banned.
        C’est la vie. At least I can try and make you see the error of your ways.

  16. Rosemary McDonald 17

    Natrad’s Country Life outdid itself this morning with a follow up of the ‘growers unable to find enough pickers’ item from an earlier program.


    They interviewed two Kiwi workers and apart from their take home pay of $600 pw clearly rattling the interviewer they hypothesized that the growers were pleading shortage of staff to i gain an increase in the number of RSE workers…who it appears are cheaper.

    The other segment looked at organic vegie growers….the brother gave up his work as a contractor on ‘conventional’ farms after a head injury but noted that some of his previous clients would not eat their own commercially grown carrots because of the agrichemicals used in the growing.


  17. cleangreen 18

    Ad; – “Labour could lose the election in 2020 with the tilt of just a few retired people.”

    My response is;

    ‘Labour/NZF had better make all our oldies health better during this time’ as we need to be alive in 2020 to vote for them again otherwise this 74yr old and our senior comrades will perhaps not be around then to save the labour/NZF parties then, and give us subsided dental please..

    • greywarshark 18.1

      And give us all old, terminally ill, or limited for life and wanting a demise option the benefit of chosen euthanasia from options properly drawn up with wide consultation with those having thought through its use, and after considering arguments against are dealt with.

      I see the 104 year old eminent fully capable australian has to travel to Switzerland with his family to carry out his wish of a legal death of his own choice amongst loved ones.

      We older NZs trying to be rational, good citizens doing the right thing for us and limiting our otherwise mounting health costs just to keep us alive and breathing, become targets for police raids as if we were under authoritarian rule. By the way we aren’t are we? Perhaps it has been quietly announced and I missed the death sentence to democratic respect and individual choice in the news that day.

  18. The Chairman 19

    John Milford, Chief Exec Wellington Chamber of Commerce is advocating for Wellington to consider selling its stake in the city’s airport.


    Good to see a number of commentators (in the comments section following the article) telling him what’s what.

    I’m with manifest: “Cutting out the corporate welfare projects like the film museum, convention centre and indoor arena unless they provide a realistic return would be sounder economic policy.”

    • alwyn 19.1

      Consider selling?
      They shouldn’t need any time to do that. “Just do it”.
      Wellington is cursed with Local Body politicians who are really only interested in their feel-good exercises. That and pretending that they are only in it for the public good.
      Our current mayor announced that he didn’t need a Council supplied, and ratepayer paid for car for his use.
      That’s fine if he believes in it and it should certainly save the ratepayer money. The problem is that he didn’t not spend the money. He gave it as a grant to his arty-crafty friends. Then to get around he uses another Council owned car which is no longer available for Council employees doing useful work. So he ends up costing us more than if he hadn’t gone in for his grandstanding and taken the car in the first place.
      Meanwhile we still have no emergency water supply for the Hospital and if there is an earthquake the Hospital will be shut down completely within about 3 days. To supply a reservoir would be something useful you see and our Council doesn’t do useful things. Spending $40,000 painting a patch of Cuba Street in bright colours is much more their style.

      • The Chairman 19.1.1

        Why do you think they should just do it, alwyn?

        Where do you think the money would be better invested?

        • alwyn

          The first thing they could do is stop borrowing.
          At the moment they plan to increase borrowing by around $600 million over the next 10 years. That is about $3,500 per resident.
          Then they could repay the existing debt. Then they could spend it on necessary infrastructure, which does not, in my opinion, include restoring the old town hall. Let’s face it. I was closed in 2013, will probably not reopen until 2023 and I don’t think anyone has missed the old barn.
          How is that lot for a start.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The first thing they could do is stop borrowing.

            Selling their shares in the airport would immediately increase the councils borrowing. It’s the nature of removing an income stream.

            At the moment they plan to increase borrowing by around $600 million over the next 10 years. That is about $3,500 per resident.

            Which tells us that they’re not charging enough in rates.

            • alwyn

              The average rates bill in Wellington on a house is about $3,500/year.

              National Super for a couple is about $35,500/year before tax or about $32,000 if taxed at the lowest rate. A lot of the elderly live on that pension and nothing else.

              At the 2013 Census the median income for people over 65 was only about $20,900. At hat time the New Zealand Super for a person living alone was $21,300/year. It was about $16,100 each for a couple. Those were pre-tax numbers. About 90% of the people over 65 got National Super so you can see roughly how many have very little else
              Figures from the latest Census are not available and accurate ones covering the whole population may never surface.

              What do you think is a reasonable rates bill Mr Plutocrat? Would you think 20% of your pre-tax income would be about right?

              • Draco T Bastard

                The average rates bill in Wellington on a house is about $3,500/year.

                National Super for a couple is about $35,500/year before tax or about $32,000 if taxed at the lowest rate. A lot of the elderly live on that pension and nothing else.

                And a lot of them are free-hold and so the rates bill is all they’re paying.

                Compared to, say, an unemployed person on 12000 (including accommodation) and who’s paying $6000/year in rent.

                Which do you think I have more sympathy for?

                What do you think is a reasonable rates bill Mr Plutocrat?

                Somebody a few years ago calculated that the amount we pay in rates is, across all of us, was about 1.5%. So, maybe 3%?

                But, of course, there would still need to be the lease charge of ‘owning’ the land which should be set at a square metre rate. $1/m^2 sounds about right.

            • The Chairman

              “Which tells us that they’re not charging enough in rates.”

              Or they are spending far too much.

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, a lot of the issues we have is because they’re not spending enough as they do stuff on the cheap which results in a shit job which, inevitably, results in costing more (see Leaky Buildings, Leaky Hospitals, Rena grounding, the list goes on).

          • The Chairman

            “The first thing they could do is stop borrowing”

            Depends what they are borrowing for. Nice to haves can wait till we can afford them.

            Additionally, borrowing can help spread costs out reducing the quarterly burden on ratepayers.

            The return the airport generates can help to pay of debt or reduces the need for it. Thus, if they sold it to fully pay off their debt they’d lose that ongoing revenue stream going forward. As the airport is largely a monopoly, it’s a good investment to hold onto.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.2

        They shouldn’t need any time to do that. “Just do it”.

        Yes, because making the city worse off so that some rich bludgers can be richer is such a Good Thing™ to do.

        • greywarshark

          Don’t forget to put the /sarc in when you are being ironic. We have a number of deadheads here who would take your wry comment at face value.

          It is amazing that in the 21st century with so many loose brains haring off into space or creating avatars AI algorithms etc., we still have the same sort of comments that would have been uttered when NZ was young. I am sure that The Chairman and Alwyn would have said similar when Vogel was going to raise money for the NZ railway project in colonial NZ.

          We have the example of living dinosaurs coming on TS all puffed-up and pompous while we try to face a future that will become ever more problematic. I have been reading about Thomas Hobbes thinking in his book Leviathan that we will have to give up our individuality under the iron stamp of a despotic sovereign.

          And here is an item from The Statesman showing some who illustrate how short and brutal life can be. https://www.thestatesman.com/opinion/citizenship-tangle-1502631775.html
          Are we on the way to that life with people being hounded to work where there is no work, forced to sleep in virtual caves (garages etc) while surrounded by houses, forbidden to ask for food from agencies whose work of providing food aid is limited and controlled by government. Is it Hobbes that has an answer, does Kafka’s view of twisted bureaucracy tell us anything?

          The economist Hayek had a number of ideas: He used the term catallaxy to describe a “self-organizing system of voluntary co-operation”. Hayek’s research into this argument was specifically cited by the Nobel Committee in its press release awarding Hayek the Nobel prize. That seems a good word or bone for the busyheads to chew on. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catallaxy

          We are so clever, but can’t find a thoughtful, kind and practical way to handle old, basic problem, trying a method that looks at physical remedies that suit, and then forms a theory to explain the method. Perhaps we don’t want to find an answer, we enjoy the argumentation while the needy wait sadly. Would we rather spend our time doing puzzles? Kindness is limited in much of the discussion on politics it seems.

          Well, here was a problem that was exercising the brains of the intelligent throughout the 1700s and didn’t finish until 1882.

  19. Morrissey 20

    Our globe-totting media darling of a prime minister should go there too.


  20. The Chairman 21

    “The Northcote by-election is an opportunity for the Green Party to promote our early successes in Government while highlighting our points of difference,” Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said.

    Did the Nation snub the Greens today?

    Hard to promote successes and points of difference when one isn’t given (or fails to utilise) the air time.

    • Incognito 21.1

      You do realise that the Greens have not yet nominated their candidate, yes?

  21. Good God, I’ve just watched a Hudson Institute discussion on Chinese policy in Xinjiang!

    We should not be doing business with China! The information given is bloody frightening,

    A long watch, but disturbing, very disturbing! 1 hr 40 minutes.

    For instance, blood testing of all Uyghurs for organ matching with countries along the road of the One Belt, One Road – feeding China’s organ harvesting industry.

    We should be BLOODY SCARED OF CHINA!

    • Bill 22.1

      Well, I guess it’s a bit scary to take splab from the Hudson Institute seriously 🙂

      • Well, I didn’t know all that about the Hudson Institute and I agree, funding from the Koch Brothers is a big red flag.

        However, much of what is talked about is corroborated by Radio Free Asia and other sources.

        With a Chinese spy inside the Nats and in our parliament, we should be scared of China!

        • Bewildered

          Not a great recovery your last paragraph probably did more damage to your arguement than Bill questioning your source

          Likewise leave the light on if your scared of China 😊

          • greywarshark

            Are you not scared because you are the Chinese spy Bewildered?

  22. SPC 23

    The new Director of the CIA has form for torture in Thailand.

    Giving head in Bangkok to get ahead in the company
    Getting ahead by inducing confessions
    Inducing confessions by puting people to sleep
    Living the dream of rendition to the land of the Green Card

    Will all future directors require this on their resume, will it be the new normal for promotion to this level of leadership?

  23. ropata 24

    Austerity is a failure, Keynes showed that governments ought to run deficits to keep the wider economy afloat. National wasted the opportunity to take advantage of very favourable conditions for borrowing instead cutting contributions to Kiwisaver and cutting services. Government surplus = social deficit.

    (We won’t even need to run deficits if we implement positive money)

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