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Open Mike 05/05/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 5th, 2017 - 37 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

37 comments on “Open Mike 05/05/2017”

  1. Graeme 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11848425

    The Herald is continuing it’s campaign on tourism funding, with todays online editorial. It’s pleasing to see this being made an issue and they are starting to get it, particularly around how the move to independent, self drive visitors deprive DOC of concession funds.

    The bit they are not getting is that the industry’s current issues are really around numbers and value, not really funding. We could have the same returns and profit from less, but higher value visitors. The highlights in the video are pretty much all high value events, nothing about cut price Chinese tours on the Sky City – Waitomo – Rotorua circuit or the Korean debacle in late 90’s.

    One thing that surprised me in their figures was the very high precentage of domestic travellers. Traditionally this has been around 50% depending on NZD value. Low NZD we holiday at home (and are better value to overseas visitors), high the opposite big time. This seems odd with a slightly high dollar from a tourist perspective (below 0.65 USD is the nice bit, first number 5 yeehaaa) and constrained discretionary spending in NZ. Also not what we are seeing over our counter, we would put it the other way around, 1/3 domestic at present. Maybe granny stuffed the figure up or there’s something odd being included in the domestic figures, but it undermines the case for government funding a bit.

    I won’t be able to reply until tonight, got to go out and work to keep the cashflow positive.

    • Rosemary McDonald 1.1

      “…particularly around how the move to independent, self drive visitors deprive DOC of concession funds.”

      Yes. It is most definitely the opinion of many overseas independent travelers that DOC camps are free. I have personally had many ‘conversations’ with members of this group who will wave their smart phone and insist the ‘app’ is right and the sign in the camp is wrong.

      Also, they are in communication with each other and exchange tips on the best camps to visit to avoid paying the fees, the camps with no ranger close to hand to collect fees and even the times that DOC staff usually visit particular camps. (Avoiding camp fees seems to be another one of those ‘fun’ activities to participate in…almost like a competition.)

      Some of the larger rental motorhome companies issue DOC Passes to their customers (at a similar price to what we members of the NZMCA pay) but I am not sure if this is compulsory. It should be, IMHO.

      Nightly camping fees have been raised in many basic campgrounds (DOC and Council owned) which has just about put this holiday option out of reach of Kiwi families.

      And onto domestic tourism….the NZMCA has just about doubled it’s membership in the past 10 years. We joined in 2007 and our number is 32000….we are seeing new vehicles with membership numbers in the 70000. In fact, with attrition, (older members falling off their perches etc) those of us lower than about 40000 are in the minority. I’d be lying if I said that the culture of the club had remained the same. There is much emphasis placed on how much members are spending in various regions to convince councils to be more welcoming, rather than us being seen as fellow Kiwis exploring other parts of the country.

      Lobbyists have asked the Government to impose a levy of $20 per head on tourists to help fund infrastructure, especially in regions of low population and rates base.

      Predictably this was rejected by Bennett and co.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/92187391/Southern-mayors-write-to-PM-calling-for-tourism-levy-to-help-with-campers

      • Graeme 1.1.1

        I don’t think Bennett will be able to pull off the Minister for Wicked with quite the finesse that Key showed. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out as the tourist numbers, and dollars slow down as the cycle goes off. Can see a few hissy fits coming up.

        Fortunately the vermin have sort of bypassed Queenstown this year, the council has been fairly staunch at moving them on, and the place is a bit expensive for them. There’s a designated site by the Shotover River but it mainly gets the more mature vanners. It’s right by the main road and shit ponds, which have just been done up and don’t always work right, so people only stay one night there. But there’s several MCA sites that are well used.

        Also seen MCA stickers on backpacker vans, really beat up old Hiaces, are these legit, or is someone taking the piss?

        • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.1

          “Also seen MCA stickers on backpacker vans, really beat up old Hiaces, are these legit, or is someone taking the piss?”

          Hah! We can be a snobby bunch, us indigenous motorhomers. My man and I gad about in a 20 odd year old converted Bus, so we tend to have a little more in common with the budget vanners than the well financed Boomer Brigade in their slab sided, characterless mobile tupperware containers. ( I did admit to snobbery. 🙂 )

          Yes. Due to the negative attention from council staff, MCA members and the general public…some of the budget overseas travelers are making the effort to upgrade their wheely home to Certified Self Contained standard. One of the easiest ways of achieving this is to fork over the $$$ and join the NZMCA. The club has member CSC officers who not only check and certify vehicles but will offer (usually free) advice on achieving self containment standard. Making a vehicle CSC is easier and cheaper than you’d think….just requires a tad of ingenuity and a genuine desire to do the right thing environmentally and socially.

          We had a young UK couple rock up to our place a while back (we have a member only parkover) in such a beat up old Nissan…proudly flying the red wings and a CSC warrant card on the windscreen. (NB The blue CSC stickers mean NOTHING…always check for the warrant card.) Anyway, to my shame I kinda gave these kids a bit of the third degree…spent a lovely evening with them talking over the politics of everything (including free and not free camping!) and exchanging journey tales.

          They tried to avoid the crowds of young (mostly German) school leavers who congregate in their hoards in all the popular spots. And they agreed there should be a surcharge/levy to help fund vital infrastructure.

          They also commented on how folk make assumptions about their characters based on what kind of camper they have….

          • Graeme 1.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for that Rosemary, i couldn’t figure out what was going on with them. The ones I’ve seen have been a bit more on to it than the typical German schoolie, like no rubbish in the gutter and don’t turn up down my driveway trying to tell me it’s a legal road ’cause it’s on google maps, despite the gate and private road sign. Some of them need a lesson about living in a civil society and I wonder what has happened to Europe.

            Bonus question. What happens when the young UK couple sell their van at hte end of their trip? Does the MCA membership and certification transfer to the new owners, or do they have to re-certify?

            • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “Bonus question. What happens when the young UK couple sell their van at hte end of their trip? Does the MCA membership and certification transfer to the new owners, or do they have to re-certify?”

              The CSC warrant is valid for three years…then a recheck needs to be done.

              If they sell the van they must remove the “wings” and their current membership card from the van…this is one of those hard and fast rules of the club and we are led to believe that failure to do this results in wrath of god type punishment. Breach of club rules allowing non financial members access to ‘our’ parkover properties and other membership perks.

              In reality, many vans both grand and humble ,are sold with ‘wings’ (and membership no.) attached and folk have been known to cash in on the remainder of the membership. So far, the gods have smote no one…so I guess its not such a big deal after all…

              The club is encouraging these young travelers to become CSC and join up…much to the discombobulation of our more conventional member!
              We have MCA owned or leased properties all over the country and we pay about $3 per night to parkover. If a few of the young ones are parking with us…its one or two less pissing off the natives.

  2. Ad 2

    With National signalling tax threshold increases and Working for Families changes, they are truly stealing a major plank the Opposition would have had open to them.

    • The Chairman 2.1

      That’s another problem with Labour not formulating policy. It allows National the opportunity to fill that void. Leaving Labour looking rather vacant when asked what will they do differently.

      It’s extremely difficult to challenge the Government and muster voter support when one can’t offer an alternative.

  3. james 3

    Hooton is saying that Labour are on 28% in the latest UMR poll (down 2%).

    https://twitter.com/MatthewHootonNZ/status/860037948573601792

    Cannot imaging many in Labour being happy with that.

    • Johan 3.1

      Who gives a hoot about this ACT minnow.

      • James 3.1.1

        I was looking at the figure – not worrying about the messenger.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.1

          Thanks for your concern.

          Meanwhile, the nat trend decline seems to be pretty consistent. And, of course, last time around Labour had a pretty steep slump from January 2014 – that seems to be missing this time. Maybe it’s just late. Maybe it’s a solid foundation for the campaign…

          • james 3.1.1.1.1

            Im not concerned.

            Agree – Nat trend is not as good as I would like by any show. But if National should be concerned about that – then Labour should be absolutely shitting their pants at 28%

            Ironically at this time before the last election the poll results were

            45.5 Nats 30.5 Labour 13.5 Greens

            National went up.
            Labour dropped – a lot.
            Greens dropped.

            If things played out in a similar fashion – Labour could end up being worse this election than last.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1.1

              last time, the Labour swoon started in January. It would be well evident by now if you could reasonably expect a repeat performance. But it’s pretty constant, despite a bullshit defamation trial in that period.

              Oh, Labour could go down to 11%. Or double-dipton might lead the nats to a stunning defeat (he’s got form). The trends don’t suggest either yet, except that nat support is slowly sliding ever since the dilletante fucked off – and the pressure isn’t even on, yet.

              Nobody should be shitting themselves at this stage. The campaign has barely begun. But nor should tsetse-tory flies be “messaging” about individual margin of error poll results and expecting anything other than scorn.

        • Johan 3.1.1.2

          James, you need to learn how to join the dots.

          • james 3.1.1.2.1

            Or you need to stop linking dots that are unrelated.

            Given the assumption that it is true – my comment “imaging (not) many in Labour being happy with that.” is perfectly reasonable.

            Or have Labour supporters expectations sunk so low that they think this is a good result?

            • McFlock 3.1.1.2.1.1

              James, you well know that Labour only needs to be in the mid to high thirties in September to have a realistic shot at government.

              one datapoint at 28% doesn’t really matter a damn. 20% would be disconcerting, although likely an outlier/polling fuckup. 26-28% for the fifth poll in a row would be very concerning. 28% by itself is a dust particle.

              • james

                Its not “one data point” of course.

                And you are right – mid to high thirties would give Labor a good shot.

                So using Loads and loads of datapoints (from the link you provided) – lets see how many data points put labour in this range …34 – 36 being mid 30’s 37-39 being high 30’s shall we?

                Labour reached the mid 30’s exactly zero times in every publicly released poll. But hey, thats only datapoints going back to the 2014 election.

                So lets go back further …there were a few mid (even high) 30;s results back in 2013.

                So far from being an outliner or a dust particle, it is the long established polling norm for Labour. There is not a single data point (that I can see anyway) that points to Labour being in the mid to high thirties.

                • McFlock

                  Sigh.

                  1: yes, a single datapoint is the subject of the tweet you magnanimously brought to our attention.
                  2: Indeed, Labour did not win last election. But nor has it started plummenting this time around the way it did last time, and nor has national been gaining support.
                  3: when you look at the trends, 28% is the outlier on the polling “norm” for Labour. 32%, or only a couple of points off government, is the other side of that field. I mean, I respect your desire to sow alarm and despondency, but you guys are the ones who really need all the votes you can get. And you’re losing them.

                  • james

                    “3: when you look at the trends, 28% is the outlier on the polling “norm” for Labour. 32%, or only a couple of points off government, is the other side of that field. I mean, I respect your desire to sow alarm and despondency, but you guys are the ones who really need all the votes you can get. And you’re losing them.”

                    Really – because if we look at the trend of all polls for 2017 – Labour adv 28.97 , so 28 is hardly an outliner on polling.

                    As for 32% being the other side of that field – you have to go way back to September of last year to pull that outliner.

        • North 3.1.1.3

          Yeah……’not-boverred-James’ but certainly gladhanding yourself…….as always.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    Clearly universal income will not work.

    What NZ should do is encourage adaptation into AI. The idea of jobs for everyone is outdated….we need to look at income for everyone, generated not by UBI but each individual and their associated tech.

    • AB 4.1

      “Each individual and their associated tech”
      What does that mean?
      If someone has no ‘tech’ what happens to them.
      Oh and I’d add that many of the IT people Ive worked with are some of the most uneducated and one-dimensional I’ve met.

  5. saveNZ 5

    More bad news. On top of the PSA virus, the Kauri virus and now this….

    There used to be proper protections at the border in NZ to safe guard NZ from these risks. Now like everything else – lost in the pursuit of a short term dollar.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11850757

    • McFlock 5.1

      Hopefully the fungus is contained to that nursery. Fingers crossed

    • james 5.2

      Thats not good news. Hope that they get this localized and sorted as quick as possible.

    • mauī 5.3

      No point in worrying about it, it was always going to happen as its been blown over from aussie.

      What’s interesting though is the panic from the people making money from things like manuka. Not much talk of what these species mean to kiwis outside of an economic point of view however.

      • james 5.3.1

        “Not much talk of what these species mean to kiwis outside of an economic point of view however”

        You are of course right to a point – but I do believe that the Bio protection departments truly do try and protect all our species – not just the ones generating a $. But if they have to prioritize (and this is where your point is accurate again), Im guessing they will pick the species with the greater economic impact.

  6. adam 6

    So people are going to argue over polls, and ignore North Korea and the saber rattling by trump and co.

    Like polls actually matter tomorrow, or maybe it will take to the next day.

    In the mean time, North Korea knows not to bow to the USA in anyway – remember Gaddafi he ended up being kill by a mob, and his country now in a long protracted civil war with head coppers of the same ilk as in Syria. What a Joy.

    So missile tests over the last week , and is it just me or the U.S. 7th Fleet Conducting Joint Exercises With Japan, South Korea seem perpetual at this point? So we have North Korea run by an unstable collective being put through the wringer – yeah that sort of politics has been a winning formula in the past.

  7. Morrissey 7

    What’s Greek for Judas?

    The Greek “leftist” government votes against a resolution that condemns Israeli violations in the Occupied Palestinian territory….

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2017/05/04/whats-greek-for-judas/

  8. Morrissey 8

    Trump is a pile of filth, but his predecessor
    wasn’t exactly a moral paragon either

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2017/05/03/stupefying-narcissist-you-heard-it-here-first/

  9. rhinocrates 9

    Some pragmatic tips on how the left can make progress in the polls.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/why-cant-the-left-win/522102/

    Plus video:

    Precis:

    The Limits of Opprobrium and Stigma – sanctimonious finger-wagging wins no friends. Referring to Lincoln, the writer suggests proving that you sincerely have the concerns of your audience at heart. Empathise with those who have turned to your opponents.

    Forget What Is “Normal” or what “should be”, leading to:

    Stop Rejecting the Ordinary Work of Politics – get off your high horse, do the tedious but real work

    Call Out Hate, Not Faux Pas – nitpicking and language policing neither reduces hate (the opposite in fact) nor gains allies from across the divide

    Make Organizing About Effectiveness and Winning – the best organizing is that which achieves ends in the real world, not that which most defers to or elevates the traumatized

    Participate in Local Politics – self-explanatory

    The Perils of Privilege – The privilege framing, with its focus on unearned advantage rather than unjust disadvantage, doesn’t fit with situations where even the “privileged” person is still quite screwed. Arguably, the Democrats lost the white working class over this and critiques of privilege can seem particularly offensive coming from people who are themselves privileged. Joe Biden has recently pointed out that they can gain by attacking the abuse of power.

    Quote from the video:

    “One reason it’s so hard to reach across the ideological divide is that people tend to present their arguments in a way that appeals to the ethics of their own side, rather than that of their opponents,”

  10. North 10

    Strangely…….and thankfully it’s previously unseen from you Morrissey, you really do scrape the bottom of the barrel in 8 above. Being a pile of filth with a long history of it, and failing to present as a paragon of virtue sometime in life are mutually exclusive. If not God protect us all. Go grab a pussy if you can take time out from inane, ‘tut tut tut’ gossiping. Bit stunned actually. Not at all like the Morrissey I’ve seen.

    • Morrissey 10.1

      Sorry to upset you, North. Like you, I realize that Obama’s personal life is far, far superior to the present incumbent’s. However, I think we need to avoid falling into the trap of retrospective hagiography of the Hopey-Changey regime.

  11. JC 11

    Donkey Deep! “To quote Winston” (and Carol Rose), the mother of one of the Pike River 29 and took notes of all the meetings in the months following the disaster, says families were never shown footage of men in the drift.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201842837/pike-river-families-never-shown-video-of-men-in-drift-mother-says

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