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Open Mike 05/04/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 5th, 2017 - 108 comments
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108 comments on “Open Mike 05/04/2017”

  1. See NZ Heralds weekly Basketball Podcast is Double Dribble. This will piss our Double Dipper Dipton pm right off. Name recognition etc,.tut-tut.

  2. Critique 3

    .. they are at it again, but has Deep State trumped Trump or is it the other way around ?

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/jumping-conclusions-something-not-adding-idlib-chemical-weapons-attack/

    Directorial standards are slipping, the plot is getting stale, the script needs radical editing and new perspectives. We have a few writers, directors and operators who can do the job. No hobbits, I promise ..

    • exkiwiforces 3.1

      Evening All,

      This was on the 7:30 report tonight a very good article about this gas attack.

      I’m afraid folks this looks like the real deal and it doesn’t be appear be a VX agent or something similar more off a sarin or mustard agent ,but it might take 1-2 weeks to confirm. I’ll do some digging around tomorrow and see what I can come with.

      Have a watch of this and form you own opinion.

      http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2017/s4648907.htm

  3. Bill 4

    Oh dear.

    The Guardian has given over its opinion column to the leader of the west’s favourite terrorist organisation. Is anyone still singing along to this broken record?

    Here’s the opening verse (you’ve heard it before).

    Yet only this morning we have witnessed a suspected chemical weapon attack – one of the most horrifying in six years of this bloody conflict.At least 60 civilians were gassed to death and more than 300 are still being treated; many are in a critical condition. Members of my team sought to wash the deadly chemical from the eyes of the affected children. Soon afterwards our centre in the town was destroyed, along with all of our life-saving equipment. Then a local hospital where victims were being treated was also bombed. On Sunday, the largest hospital in the region was also bombed, again after treating children affected by Assad’s chemical attacks. Are there no red lines?

    • The offer of an opinion column presumably was prompted by this piece of news:

      At least 60 people have been killed in northern Syria after being exposed to a toxic gas that survivors said was dropped from warplanes…

      The town is also on a crossroads between Hama and Idlib and is considered vital to any regime offensive towards the northern city of Idlib.

      Those damn terrorists!

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Yeah, yeah. I’m fully aware of that report…furnished by?

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1

          The people who live there.

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Many people are there. Not all people there are Syrian. Some people have agendas that are helped along and supported by explicit and direct western government support.

            Do I have to link to the Guardian piece again from a while back that was out of step with their otherwise uniform reporting? The one that perhaps mistakenly or inadvertently, or then again, perhaps by dint of some very cunning work by a journalist or journalists with a conscience, kind of ‘let the cat out of the bag’?

            Here you go. Try reading it critically and a little (just a little) deeper than at a mere surface level. I’ll give you some help. (Think, given their genesis is English, “White Helmets”)

            Contractors hired by the Foreign Office but overseen by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) produce videos, photos, military reports, radio broadcasts, print products and social media posts branded with the logos of fighting groups, and effectively run a press office for opposition fighters.

            • Poission 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The old chemical weapon canard,

              Fisk from 2013 still survives the test of time.

              https://www.democracynow.org/2013/5/7/robert_fisk_on_syrias_civil_war

              • Fisk: “…don’t ask me if they’ve used chemical weapons. It’s conceivable. There really isn’t any proof.”

                Well, exactly. If there was proof, this wouldn’t just be a matter of competing claims in the media. My own view of it is that people who’ve been murdered by their own government no longer care about the weapons that were used (or anything else, for that matter) – but it’s newsworthy either way.

            • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1.1.2

              …supported by explicit and direct western government support.

              Do you know how many revolutionary movements of the 20th Century received explicit and direct Soviet government support? It’s certainly too many for me to be arsed counting them all, but only right-wing propagandists claimed those movements were therefore puppets of the USSR. Governments have interests, and sometimes those interests overlap with other people’s interests – it’s a given, ’twas ever thus, and doesn’t necessarily imply the people who find their interests overlapping with a foreign government’s are tools of a foreign power, terrorists, untrustworthy, or very much else.

    • Bill 5.1

      Mate! you can’t put up links from ‘fake news’ sites! /sarc

      So that you know (for future reference) PM and many others will only countenance news coming from more impeccable sources, the likes of CNN, BBC, Guardian, NYT…because thems is fonts of truth, objectivity, serious investigative reporting and critical analysis.

      What the hell you thinking? Linking to dodgy foreign (non- western) rubbish… 😉

      edit – serious request. Can you please use the reply tabs in future? Thanks.

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.1

        There’s a difference between propaganda and “fake news” – we’ve had that discussion before. This one looks to be a Syrian regime propaganda site, not a fake news site.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          You know I’m of the persuasion that only those desperate to cling to a particular world view divide propaganda into supposed ”fake news” and propaganda, and that they do that in order to justify dismissing out of hand information that might threaten their cotton candy silo.

          And I know you disagree.

          Al-Masdar News is based in the United Arab Emirates, not Syria.

  4. Johan 6

    Fraud sentence a joke, some 11 months of home detention plus 180 hours community work for systematic Filipino work visa fraud. This dual passport carrier along with her family should be sent back to her country of origin.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1704/S00035/sentence-in-filipino-visa-fraud-case.htm

    • The Chairman 6.1

      And Immigration NZ hopes the sentence will act as a deterrent for anybody else looking to cheat our borders. Ha.

    • Janet 6.2

      Totally agree . We do not allow frausters to immigrate to this country. If guilty of it here they should all be sent back to wherever they came from. Same for the Indian shopkeeper found guilty of tricking and exploiting his immigrant workers last week.
      Why have our immigration doors not been closed by now except to the people who have skills not found in our own population. Why ? Everyone I speak to wants this to happen. Where are the ears and actions of the politicians who are supposed to be acting on the mainstream will of the legal New Zealand population. Why ?

      • Graeme 6.2.1

        We got this from the Retailer’s Assn yesterday, about the drop off in Chinese tourists. (separate issue, and quite interesting)
        http://theregister.co.nz/news/2017/04/data-dump-chinese-new-zealand-tourism

        About halfway down there are a couple of bar graphs, in the second, “Average Length of Stay by Market”, Indian and Thai visitors have the second and third longest average stays at 48 and 29 days, something odd going on there. Most Thai, and all Indian visitors I encounter across are finding New Zealand far too expensive for their budget, so month or so stays would be unexpected. For those markets to be staying that long they would have to be working, so probably shouldn’t be on a tourist visa.

        Germans are longest at 49 days which would be right for the backpacker market.

        • RedBaronCV 6.2.1.1

          Mum & Dad coming to stay with the kids to look after grandchildren might explain the length of Indian & Thai stays as they may be largish in proportion to the just holidaying tourist market

  5. greywarshark 7

    NZ news item! Interesting contrast in RadioNZ news items today. And some other titbits thrown in for your info. Enjoy….

    technology life and society
    4 Apr 2017
    Robotics in farming – the revolution begins

    From Nine To Noon, 9:25 am on 4 April 2017
    Listen duration 13′ :46″ http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201839068
    Waikato University’s Mike Duke says robots harvesting fruit in New Zealand orchards could be years not decades away. He’s picking that the technology has the potential to revolutionize all aspects of the horticulture industry as well as forestry and dairy.
    Professor Duke will be giving a lecture on this topic next Tuesday 11th April at the University of Waikato.

    and

    money economy
    4 Apr 2017
    NZ’s homeowners now worth $1.2 trillion
    From Nine To Noon, 9:08 am on 4 April 2017

    Listen duration 19′ :53″ http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201839067
    Kathryn Ryan talks to Bernard Hickey from Newsroom who says figures released by Statistics New Zealand show household net worth has risen from $323 billion to $1.2 trillion in the last 8 years – with most of that increase being driven by rising property prices.
    As a side effect he says its now virtually impossible for children of renters to make their way onto the property ladder unless they marry into what he’s dubbed the new landed gentry.

    The connection here? Who will be buying and living in houses when the robots take the employment from society’s hands, and contain it in their elegantly sculpted fingers? Wot about the workers? Wot’s left for the humans! Oh that’s right the Conchords told us, they’re dead.

    Or soon will be – just wrecks and the nobs left, showing little of our potential to be wonderful creatures living together in uneasy creativity under regularly affirmed and agreed restraints using our rationality.

    Scoop needs money to run an effective campaign in election year. If you can channel some of your spending to a donation and regular monthly payments of even $20 to keep the support, you are doing your best to be a wonderfully creative human. But act now, there will be tipping points where we can stop the run of the dominoes, or alter the flow but they can’t be constantly passed by.

    Finally Schumacher from essay – Technology with a Human Face in Small is Beautiful.
    Technology although of course the product of man, tends to develop by its own laws and principles and these are very different from those of human nature or of living nature in general. Nature always, so to speak, knows where and when to stop. Greater even than the mystery of natural growth is the mystery of the natural cessation of growth…which tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology and specialisation….

    If that which has been shaped by technology and continues to be so shaped, looks sick, it might be wise to have a look at technology itself…if becoming more inhuman, we might do well to consider…better – a technology with a human face.

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      @greywarshark
      Hundreds of thousands of $$ on robots or $15.50 an hour on backpackers/islanders where you can explain the fruit picking job to them in 30 minutes and that’s just about all the instruction they need for a month?

      Robots ARE decades away.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Hooray for decades, then I won’t see them rampant before I die. But AFTER!

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Hundreds of thousands of dollars on a machine that will do the work of two people for twenty years with good maintenance. Against thirty five thousand per person every year for those twenty years.

        Yep, the robot is much cheaper.

        And, yep, hopefully it’s only a few years before they’re available.

        • Sabine 7.1.2.1

          and then you start adding cost of unemployment – yes even a UBI will cost money, and other societal costs associated with long term unemployment and then maybe your robot is not that cheap after all.

          but you make a good point,
          its not that we don’t have jobs that needs doing, its just that we don’t want to pay anyone for doing them.

          Really what do you expect the people of tomorrow to do on their poverty UBI with fuck all to do during the day cause everything is done by robots.

          Oh yeah, they will pick up knitting and drown in jumpers.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1.1

            and then you start adding cost of unemployment

            There shouldn’t be any unemployment.

            yes even a UBI will cost money

            The economy is not money no matter how much the economists and RWNJs insist that it is. It the physical resources we have available at any one time and the people to bring about innovative ways to use them for the benefit of society.

            its not that we don’t have jobs that needs doing, its just that we don’t want to pay anyone for doing them.

            That’s part of it – NZers are generally horribly cheap. But that’s partially because the RWNJs have been saying that taxes are theft and robbery. Now look at what happens when we follow the recommendations of those RWNJs and cut taxes – the people become worse off while a few rich people become much richer.

            In other words the lessons that the RWNJs and the rich have thrown at us are a smokescreen to encourage the people to vote against their own best interests.

            Really what do you expect the people of tomorrow to do on their poverty UBI with fuck all to do during the day cause everything is done by robots.

            Revolution and the permanent removal of rich people.

            • Sabine 7.1.2.1.1.1

              “its not that we don’t have jobs that needs doing, its just that we don’t want to pay anyone for doing them.”

              ” That’s part of it – NZers are generally horribly cheap. But that’s partially because the RWNJs have been saying that taxes are theft and robbery. Now look at what happens when we follow the recommendations of those RWNJs and cut taxes – the people become worse off while a few rich people become much richer.”

              Actually no, its society. We all want shit done for free or for cheap. We use volunteers to not have to pay people a wage. We hold fundraiser for Ambulances and Fire Engines. We have high unemployment while we have high demand for volunteers. Hmmm? Why? Why not pay people money to do that as a job instead and call it working for the UBI. or, you cold condemn people to death by boredom, once all the work is done by robots and most of us live in chicken cages and try to survive of a UBI.

              as for Revolution…sorry mate. Not interested. Revolution generally are not good for women. Especially i have no use for revolutions that involve smashing the lot and replacing it with nothing.

              Its a bit like Trumpcare, all repeal, little replacement but a whole lot of grifting for the rich which – and this is historically proven – you will never really get rid of, you chop the head of one family, other will come and take over. Rinse repeat.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Actually no, its society.

                Yes, it’s society but only because of what society has been taught. Change the lesson.

                Revolution generally are not good for women.

                Depends upon the revolution. Or don’t you think that the actions of the Suffragettes was revolutionary?

                https://www.marxist.com/women-in-the-paris-commune.htm

                • Sabine

                  oh and society can’t unlearn what it has been tought? Seriously?

                  yes, the suffragettes were revolutionary, but getting the right to vote was not a revolution. It was a fight to a particular right and they won, but they did not want to dis-stablilze society in order to burn it down and remake a ‘better and brighter future’ from the ashes. They wanted to vote.

                  But it was not a society changing revolution. It gave women the vote and until the late sixties early seventies that was pretty much what they got. The right to vote. The right to have a bank account and a cheque book came in the 70, the right to the pill came in 1974 and so on and so on, tiny little wars won in a long battle that is still being fought. So maybe this is what you mean when you say revolution? Hundred of years of tiny battle to get a little bit more rights.

                  No the type of revolution that changes a society radically such as the French Revolution or the Russian Revolution are bloody, messy, full of hunger and violence and it is usually the women and children who are at the receiving end.
                  And if there is no music and dance, then i have no use in your revolution.

        • Ad 7.1.2.2

          Mechanical harvesters have been used in the wine industry for many years.

          Despite that, it’s still a massive and growing industry, great productivity, excellent careers.

          The quicker New Zealand gets rid of most of these poorly paid harvesting jobs that few locals want to do, the better.

          • gsays 7.1.2.2.1

            Hi ad, in respect to your last sentence, better for what/whom?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.2.1.1

              Society but we have to stop the rich grabbing all the gains as they’ve been doing for the last 30+ years.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.2.2

            The quicker New Zealand gets rid of most of these poorly paid harvesting jobs that few locals want to do, the better.

            QFT

            And that’s what many people don’t understand. Get rid of those jobs and we have more people to put into the education and health systems and many other jobs that presently don’t have enough people in them.

  6. joe90 8

    Next up, Tiffany Trump’s former babysitter goes to Syria.

    Joining Jared Kushner in mtgs w/ Iraqi officials: @KeithSchiller45, a renowned Middle East expert (JK! he's actually Trump's ex-bodyguard). pic.twitter.com/UrNyS50f4m— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) April 4, 2017

  7. greywarshark 9

    Thinkpiece from Radionz yesterday. This has worried many commenters here.

    media education
    4 Apr 2017
    The Death of Expertise

    From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:10 pm on 4 April 2017
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201839116
    Listen duration 23′ :05″

    Alternative facts did not start with Donald Trump. For years, emotion has played a bigger role than reason in many public debates.
    But the rejection of rationalism and faith in experts is getting worse according to Tom Nichols, a Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College.

    He says an epidemic of narcissism, where no one is ever wrong, is fueling the problem.
    He explores the implications of the ‘post truth’ era in his new book, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters.

  8. joe90 10

    A few minutes after this report North Korea fired a projectile off it’s east coast.

    BREAKING: A senior WH official on the state of North Korea’s nuclear program: “The clock has now run out and all options are on the table”— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 4, 2017

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-idUSKBN1762XX

    • joe90 10.1

      The 20 million souls within range of NK artillery will be pleased to have a man with a steady hand in the White House.
      /

      Secretary of State Tillerson released this statement on Tuesday’s ballistic missile launch:

      North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.

      It would be one thing for the US to simply ignore North Korea’s provocations, but Tillerson’s statement follows this warning from a senior White House official just hours earlier:

      The clock has now run out and all options are on the table.

      https://www.axios.com/tillersons-cryptic-statement-on-north-korea-missile-launch-2345034795.html

  9. The Chairman 11

    We used to be such a caring nation. Is this a taste of our brighter future?

    “One passerby even stopped to take photos before carrying on.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91217934/woman-aquaplanes-crashes-in-waikato-floodwaters-during-cummute

  10. joe90 12

    I guess wee Stevie will be along soon to tell us Co2 is great because palm trees and crocodiles.

    No, the headline is not a typo. Current carbon dioxide levels are unprecedented in human history and are on track to climb to even more ominous heights in just a few decades.

    If carbon emissions continue on their current trajectory, new findings show that by mid-century, the atmosphere could reach a state unseen in 50 million years. Back then, temperatures were up to 18°F (10°C) warmer, ice was almost nowhere to be seen and oceans were dramatically higher than they are now.

    […]

    “The early Eocene was much warmer than today: global mean surface temperature was at least 10°C (18°F) warmer than today,” Dana Royer, a paleoclimate researcher at Wesleyan University who co-authored the new research, said. “There was little-to-no permanent ice. Palms and crocodiles inhabited the Canadian Arctic.”

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/climate-change-unseen-50-million-years-21312

    • greywarshark 12.1

      Where were humans in this warmer age? Anywhere? Living in palm trees because of the crocodiles? What about now? What about the polar bears and penguins!
      Let’s concentrate, and not digress – look here WW1, look here footpaths for cycles and pedestrians walking inside little plastic protective cubes with helmets on, look here pictures from 5 million light years in space, look here implants of stem cells keeping you alive to 200 years. Phooey.

  11. Sacha 13

    More stick, less carrot. Rachel Stewart notes the abject failure of all our environmental regulatory agencies (especially regional councils) to enforce the rules: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11831658

  12. Andre 14

    Strange bedfellows. The alt-right’s enthusiasm for single payer healthcare, explained. UBI gets a look in too.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/4/4/15164598/alt-right-single-payer-health-care-trump

    • Nic the NZer 14.1

      Criticism of UBI here. Its not a progressive policy.

      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=35705

      • gsays 14.1.1

        Cheers nic, plenty of food for thought in that essay.

        I suppose it would depend on the amount of the UBI.
        Enough to take in the concerns weka has expressed.

        It was from an American perspective, where one must spit after implying anything socialist.

        • Nic the NZer 14.1.1.1

          The amount of a UBI is quite important, if its too low (like what TOP is proposing) then it will become a way to undermine welfare.

          But this is not the only problem with a UBI. For example what a UBI doesn’t do is engage people in meaningful work, and as such it doesn’t put any pressure on the nature of work in society. You can find discussion of this among the linked blog posts from that one, but just to highlight one issue.

          Somebody sitting on a UBI for a long time is not too different to somebody being on a benefit for a number of years. What it doesn’t do is give them the job skills which somebody employed over those years will develop. The person unemployed for this period will still no doubt be discriminated against when trying to enter employment from that position, and will likely start at a lower wage rate than the employed person changing work at that point. There are plenty of good economic reasons to favor employment over just income due to similar factors as this (both for individuals and macro-economic outcomes).

  13. Eagerly awaiting the results of the select committee hearings today on Medical Cannabis, in the mean time…
    https://yournz.org/2017/04/05/medical-cannabis-regime-anything-but-compassionate/#comment-177377

    • adam 15.1

      How can Bill English use the word compassionate, when the costs for cannabis products are prohibitive. A total disconnect from reality of the people who need this medicines, and their economic status.

  14. adam 16

    Watching the Hawks

    This show has been running for a while on RT America, and I’ve just got into watching it on a more regular basis – the latest show is rather good.

  15. North 17

    Is it possible to have a ‘Swamp’ on the 68th floor of a 59 floor ‘Tower’ ?

  16. Andre 18

    Trump’s advisory team hard at work. Another little gem for Alex Jones aficionados.

    http://www.salon.com/2017/04/04/infowars-host-alex-jones-threatens-adam-schiff-ill-beat-your-goddamn-ass/

  17. repateet 19

    I just heard the Prime Minister say traffic is so slow in Auckland because of the number of roading projects under way.

    He’s allowed to be a fuckwit. Presuming us to be the same and accept such crap just doubles up his quota of that quality.

  18. roy cartland 20

    I’m glad TS isn’t lowering itself to covering the pathetic story about Andrew in court… is anyone else feeling totally UNsorry for the millionaires who are extracting another $2m because they got ‘hurt feelings’?
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91225586/labour-leader-andrew-little-niue-hotel-comments-aimed-at-government-not-hagamans
    Please!

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 20.1

      Nice one Roy. I’d say it’s not about the money. It’s about getting an unreserved apology for being accused of corruption by someone whose every word is potentially broadcast to 4 million people.

      So it’s not pathetic, it’s a lesson in getting it right and admitting when you got it wrong

      • roy cartland 20.1.1

        “…not about the money…”
        He’s unreservedly, publicly apologised already; but they aren’t having it. Moreover, asking for a bit of sunlight isn’t quite an ‘accusation’ is it?

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury 20.1.1.1

          A year too late. A week before court. That smacks of repentance indeed.

          • roy cartland 20.1.1.1.1

            So it’s worth $2m – TWO MILLION DOLLARS??!!

            Go on, tell me again that that isn’t pathetic.

            Oh and since you’re so in to the legal over the moral, lateness and timing isn’t relevant, right? Right.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1.2

          He’s unreservedly, publicly apologised already;

          IMO, he shouldn’t have done that. He was doing his job and it needs to be done espcially when you consider that National are corrupt.

      • Psycho Milt 20.1.2

        I’d say it’s not about the money.

        Er, hello… rich Nat donors not about the money?

        …it’s a lesson in getting it right…

        He did get it right – there’s a very bad smell about people getting government funding shortly after making a fat donation to the governing party. Unfortunately, under NZ law, being right doesn’t necessarily keep you out of court if you’re right about vindictive Tories with deep pockets.

        • inspider 20.1.2.1

          They didn’t. The money went to the govt of Niue. That’s why Little is in court. The same sloppy attention to detail you’re showing. He pointed to the wrong village same as some other newsworthy individuals.

          • McFlock 20.1.2.1.1

            Thing about smells is that they’re not about details. They’re the general odour, in the general area of something that might be rotten, or just blue cheese.

            When the general picture needs investigating, arguing over details is just weak.

            • inspider 20.1.2.1.1.1

              Smells can also be highly misleading as you point out. Rather than shrieking something is dead and rotting under the bed you should first investigate that it’s not your own sweaty socks.

              Guess which option Andrew chose

              • McFlock

                He said something smelled, and that maybe we should look under the bed and make sure it’s all clean under there. That’s all. And it’s his job to do that.

                • inspider

                  Yes but he also has the responsibility to do so within the law. Do you disagree with the auditor general and his apology?

                  • McFlock

                    meh

                    I think the apology was likely a rational cost/benefit calculation on the eve of the trial. I frankly think the complaint about his comments is bullshit, but whatever. It’s a civil matter, not a criminal case.

                    • inspider

                      He made a very genuine apology in court today and good on him. Par;iamentarians have a huge advantage over the public with almost total freedom of speech in Parliament, with next to no comeback if you are maligned. But they have to use that responsibly and if they don’t they deserve to get stung – though not the $2m being spoken about. That said I would have thought their reputation was worth at least double that of Jordan Williams. Juries can be funny folk.

            • Tuppence Shrewsbury 20.1.2.1.1.2

              And when the investigation is over not fronting and admitting fault and sorting the mess you created out is even weaker. It’s so petulant.

              • ropata

                Horseshit. AL has already apologised and offered a settlement. Why do RWNJ’s always want to investigate the whistleblower rather than the criminal stench that surrounds the Nats dodgy deals?

                • McFlock

                  because those that denied it supplied it?

                • inspider

                  There was nothing dodgy here. Are you in the Labour Research Unit? Because your alternative facts are just fake news.

                  You need to read the AG report and understand the mechanics of what went on.

                  The Matavai Hotel is owned by the Govt of Niue. it had something like 20 rooms. The NZ Govt gave them money to double its size. This process was started before the Hagaman donation and SCenic winning the managment contract, and was part of a long term pattern of NZ support for Niue’s only hotel.

                  Niue only has 1500 people and have shown no real skills at running international hotels. So they decided to contract its management out. There was an open tender run by an expert global hotel consultancy. Scenic was one of two tenders.

                  They get paid a fee to manage a hotel. They don’t own it, they aren’t being paid to build it. do you really think they are making much money managing a 45 room hotel on an isolated island?

          • Ed 20.1.2.1.2

            I had the impression that the money went to the owner of the hotel – do you have a reference for where it was said that the hotel is owned by the government of Niue? I presume it is a franchise operation however, so some of the benefit of any improvement to the property should accrue to the franchise holders – else why would the Hagermans be even slightly interested?.

            I’m not clear on the time line, but there was apparently an assessment process in place which was considering a possible grant – again I don’t know whether the grant had been requested or whether tenders had been called for ways of assisting Nuie, but it seems reasonable to presume that Mrs Hagerman at least was aware of that process. Murray McCully has a reputation for knowing all details of what is going on in his department, so it is possible he knew about the assessment being made. At some stage around then the President of the National Party just happens to turn up to seek a donation to the party – absolutely no link can ever be proved between that chance visit and anything else, and of course the Hagermans cannot be criticised for doing what many other business people engaged in a commercial relationship with the government seem to have done, which is making a donation to the National Party – there is the example of Oravida for example which also coincidentally may have received government assistance around the time of making a donation – just as and that other friend of National, Kim Dotcom, made political donations around the time that a friendly John Banks had been assisting him. No connection at all between donations and services of course – pure coincidence, but it may perhaps be reasonable to call attention to a series of coincidences where business people may have been under the (obviously mistaken) impression that a donation to National somehow may assist getting assistance from some part of government. That is no criticism of people making donations of course, but it may be hard to give an example of a coincidence without mentioning both a donation and a service that just happens to occur in close proximity . . . However the praise that the Hagermans are now getting for their business acumen (they apparently sure know how to invest to make money) is possibly an unexpected bonus for them, particularly as Mr Hagerman is apparently gravely unwell – a reputation for tenacity, an eye to a chance of making money, and for looking after friends is surely no bad thing?

            • inspider 20.1.2.1.2.1

              you had that impression becasue Andrew Little aided by people like Ropata and others, couldn’t be bothered doing proper research. you also were willing to accept their slurs were true because you probably thought they had done their homework. You were misled and you should be angry with the people who did that to you.

              It’s all in the AG report http://www.oag.govt.nz/media/2016/niue-hotel. It’s an easy read. The contract was let by Matavai Niue Limited, a company registered in Niue. directors Of MNL are responsible for appointing the manager of the resort. The premier of Niue is one of the directors.

              It wasn’t rocket science. A few phone calls could have saved them a lot of grief but political grabs were the priority.

        • ropata 20.1.2.2

          There is also a very rotten smell about vexatious litigation against the leader of the Opposition Party acting in his democratic role.

          Potential for a rather chilling effect on free speech and democracy. The court better think carefully, especially given the smog of “dirty politics” is still hanging around the Nats.

          • inspider 20.1.2.2.1

            Really? You think an apology and an offer of $100k in damages is the result of vexatiousness? I suggest you get a new dictionary

            • McFlock 20.1.2.2.1.1

              I suspect $100k is what he suspects this will cost him, whether he wins or not.

            • ropata 20.1.2.2.1.2

              It looks exactly like a dirty politics style smear campaign. Little has apologised and offered a huge settlement, but the litigious twats are enjoying their pathetic revenge by trying to drag AL through the mud. Vexatious.

              • inspider

                He had plenty of time to apologise when the AG report came out. Why do you feel that ordinary citizens don’t have the right to defend their reputations while politicians have free reign to trample on them?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Even Lani (sp?) gave evidence that all she wants is an apology and costs, but somehow her intentions fell right off and she ended up suing for $2M by accident.

                • ropata

                  Bwahaha thanks for putting words in my mouth. The job of an Opposition MP is to question the Government and other powerful establishment figures. I know this seems like treason to RW fucktards (no doubt you are dying to send AL to Guantanamo Bay) but it used to be a democratic norm.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 20.1.2.2.2

            prettt silly comment there ropata. He’s got the right to make those comments, his victims have the right to sue if they are libellous. Andrew little has found out the greatest lesson there is on freedom of speech. Say what you want, just accept the consequences.

            How democratic is it if politicians can wildly spray allegations around without any consequence.

            • ropata 20.1.2.2.2.1

              You mean like the Nat’s campaign of lies against David Cunliffe over a nonexistent 100K donation from Donghua Liu?

              Not very “democratic” was it. I find it deeply concerning that the dirty politics machine seems to be gearing up for another assault on democracy in NZ. And yet unprincipled RWNJ’s refuse to admit their own complicity, and moronically slag off truth tellers like Nicky Hager. Disgusting

              • ropata

                PS: Do you have a problem with Parliamentary privilege?

                • tuppence shrewsbury

                  No problem at all. You would think that the current leader of the opposition would have the wit to use it. Jacinda wouldn’t have made this grievous mistake that is going to cost little and labour a fortune.

          • Ad 20.1.2.2.3

            He shouldn’t have repeated it outside of Parliament.

            Little should blame Robertson internally for researching and raising it.

            It’s going to be a pretty expensive lesson for Little.

            • ropata 20.1.2.2.3.1

              the award should be the grand sum of $1

              • tuppence shrewsbury

                When little has already offered $100k?

                Deep legal reasoning and economic understanding aren’t really your thing. yes little has apologised, but only once he realised that he was deep in the kak.

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury 20.1.2.3

          It may not, you’re right.

          But It certainly won’t keep you out of court if your wrong and refuse to admit that and apologise in a timely fashion. Little is a lawyer, how did he not know this?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.2.3.1

            “Timely”.

            Um, yes. Interesting word, that. Well chosen on your part, although I’m not sure you really thought it through.

    • inspider 20.2

      That’s strange Roy because only a month ago you upticked an idea of taking people to court on charges of hate speech.

      So you want to criminalise people just because they hurt someone else’s feelings?

      • roy cartland 20.2.1

        What’s strange exactly? Having a point of view on two separate issues or…?

        ps – I hope it’s not that “pandering” article you’re referring to… Because conflating those two issues would be vexatious trolling.

  19. Carolyn_nth 21

    Watched a bit of parliament today.

    I was impressed with Michael Wood speaking on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (both parts one and two).

    He looks a more experienced speaker than I would have imagined for a newby.

    Video part one here:

    Trevor Mallard criticised Wood at the end, saying he had been talking about a part of the amendment bill that had been axed. After the next speaker also slammed the amendment, Mallard appologised for getting it wrong, and that Wood had been correctly addressing a part still in the bill.

  20. Janine 22

    Isn’t it strange how National party politicians can overtly slander people (e.g. Nicky Hager is a left wing conspiracy theorist” despite his acknowledged credentials here and overseas), yet Andrew Little can’t ask questions about hotel owners who receive business benefits after donating to National?

    Isn’t it odd that politicians who are a threat to National end up in court? Craig, the Conservative Party leader (taken to court by National Party boys), went to court for speaking out to the media after he’d signed an agreement to keep quiet. He was done on this (it was not actually a court case about the rights and wrongs of his sexual behaviour).

    All National need is a TV appearance of their political foes in court. This is what they are after. Most of the public don’t follow the details; National knows this.

    And the spin doctors above who’ve infiltrated this site know this.

    • ropata 22.1

      Nicky Hager
      Bradley Ambrose
      Ponytail Victim
      Colin Craig
      David Cunliffe

      and now Andrew Little … it smells a lot like another dirty politics subterfuge

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