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Open Mike 05/06/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 5th, 2017 - 95 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

95 comments on “Open Mike 05/06/2017”

  1. James 1

    Well done Sir John.

    While some on here are all bitter and cannot say anything but negative and pathetic insults – there are a lot is us who think you were a fantastic PM.

    • 808state 1.1

      He did nothing for Auckland – infrastructure still not good enough, housing bubble went on for years, only now taking a breather. All under his watch.

      Those knighthoods are a joke.

    • dv 1.2

      Counter the list with Keys achievements James.
      (On mickys Post).

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        James’ I know what it is like to be in receipt of a smile and wave of an august personage. When I was young I got a wave from the Queen all to myself as I trudged alone up the road on my paper run and she and the Duke motored past to their next engagement.

        Tell us your story of when John Key (Sir KCMGABCDand BAR) similarly looked at you and conveyed his magic influence that has inspired you ever since to be a great and better person eager to make NZ and yourself great again?

    • AB 1.3

      I had completely forgotten him until this morning. Such was the scale of his achievements. The temporary unpleasantness of being reminded he existed will rapidly fade

    • mauī 1.4

      Who is John Keys?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      We’re bitter about the reality of the damage that John Key and National have done to NZ to make a few pathetic and psychopathic people richer.

      The fact that you think he was a ‘fantastic PM’ just makes you one of the gullible authoritarian followers that is the hallmark of National Party voters.

    • Gabby 1.6

      He did wonder when he gets the pony.

    • Rosie 1.7

      Can you name these “services to the state” James?

      Or is being responsible for overseeing increasing poverty, increasing environmental destruction and an increasing inequality gap now considered a service?

  2. James 2

    Most frustrating. Up at 4:30. Make a nice flat white on the coffee machine. Turn on the fire and the lights – then the blinking americas cup racing get delayed due to lack of wind. Grrrrr.

    • AB 2.1

      1st world problems James

    • Turn on the fire sounds almost cavemanish lol

      • AB 2.2.1

        Nah – cave-men light a fire. (with twigs then increasingly bigger bits) People who “turn on a fire” are soft ACT voters who like to boast of their imagined self-reliance.

    • mauī 2.3

      Sounds like you’re all set up to do a early morning coffee run downtown for the homeless.

    • Foreign waka 2.4

      James, enjoy the day off work, weather is not too bad to watch sport all day.
      But if you are interested, there are many various art exhibitions on. Look up the site http://www.eventfinda.co.nz/exhibitions/events
      I am sure you will be enthralled 😉

    • swordfish 2.5

      What the Crapping Christ !!!


      then the blinking americas cup racing get delayed


      It’s not often I see “blinking” employed as a euphemism these days, James – wonderfully polite and old-fashioned of you.

      Instantly reminded me of Rick to Neil in The Young Ones

      “Oh, stop being so blinking Bore-joy-zee* !!!”

      * as in the bourgeoisie

  3. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 3

    I wonder if it is possible to sponsor a private bill through parliament undoing the return of knighthoods and backdating it to 2008 – so we don’t reward plonkers for fucking the country?

    • Carolyn_nth 3.1


      But also because we could do without endorsing the association with the imperialistic values of autocracy and inequality.

      End imperialistic gongs in NZ!

      Julie Christie a frigging Dame! The people making these awards are taking the piss! Surely that’s a joke?

      • Ed 3.1.1

        Services to Empire.
        Distracting and dumbing down NZ’s citizens.

        • Stunned mullet

          Appears to have worked a treat in your case and in that of the beloved troll Paul.

      • Karen 3.1.2

        Yep, I was expecting Key but discovering Julie Christie had been made a Dame made me want to throw up. She is a greedy, vindictive, nasty person through and through.

        • One Two

          It serves only to highlight that the world constructed for the masses is built on a foundation of lies and deceit

          The more Keys and Christies are held up as becons of the establishment, the greater numbers of those who will turn their backs

          Leave them to it, and take it as a positive…

        • Karen

          This tweet sums up Christie perfectly:

          Francis McRae‏ @FrankMcRae 2h2 hours ago
          “Julie Christie trash tv peddler is a notorious work place bully who delights in destroying people’s careers. Today she received an honour”

        • Draco T Bastard

          Sounds like a perfect National Party person – no wonder she got rewarded.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.1.3

        It is a insult to all of New Zealand, imagine a country where someone with the depth of humanity like Helen Kelly is not honored in any way..yet a vacuous reality star is…is that the level we are at…really?

  4. Ad 5

    All of you pop over to Boots Theory and check out the UK Labour adverts:


    The Foreign Affairs guy is excellent.

    • Anne 5.1

      The Foreign Affairs guy is excellent.

      I even thought he was for real at the start. 🙂

    • weka 5.2

      Very good. I like the bit about Labour understands that Britain only works if working people are ok. I don’t get the reaction I do with NZ Labour when they focus on work, because I know that Corbyn’s Labour really do mean to work for the wellbeing of everyone, whereas NZ Labour are still prevaricating about the beneficiaries and others seen as lesser than hard working Kiwis (as if beneficiaries don’t work hard). I think Little wants to run the country for everyone, but I don’t think NZ Labour are there yet. Those videos show the difference.

      • Karen 5.2.1

        Maybe you should do a bit more research on the UK Labour Party and the criticisms of their policies for those on low incomes before you make use them to attack the NZ Labour Party.

        • weka

          Can you give a couple of examples?

          btw, I’m not attack NZ Labour, I’m critiquing one aspect of what they are doing. I like what Labour are doing here generally, although I’d prefer to see them going further left at some point. I just think that the ‘don’t talk about the benes’ thing is still a huge problem (one they share with the Greens).

          • Karen

            It seemed to me that instead of just saying what great ads (as they are) you were using to opportunity to slag off NZ Labour without doing any research to back your claims up. Corbyn is great but his voice is still a minority one in the British Labour caucus. Hopefully, if they do manage to pull off a win, his hand will be strengthened.

            In spite of what many here seem to think the NZ Labour Party has moved leftwards – not nearly as much as I would like but there has definitely been a shift, and there will be even more of a shift after the election because of some of the new candidates.
            A couple of links for you:
            NZ Labour
            Look at page 14

            UK British Labour Party

            • weka

              Thanks, those are both interesting links.

              I’m not sure what you see as my beliefs about Labour, but I spent a lot of time last year pushing back against Labour bashing on TS. I already think that Labour is moving left, and my comments of late haven’t been suggesting otherwise.

              In this instance, I think it’s still a valid view that UK Labour are going to be better for beneficiaries than NZ Labour. I’m also open to Little proving me wrong. The problem is that I’ve seen things improve for beneficiaries under Clark’s Labour but they also did some really shitty stuff to beneficiaries. I don’t expect Little’s Labour to do the shitty stuff (I believe him when he hints at doing well by everyone), but until they are in a position to speak up for beneficiaries, I don’t expect there to be much improvement for the non-working poor. Not no improvement, but probably not enough to redress the shit that’s gone down both structurally and within the culture. So I notice how NZ Labour won’t talk about beneficiaries, but UK Labour will and for me that makes a huge difference.

              I appreciate your comments on commenting on Labour, and I am thinking through how I am commenting myself, more so about how to critique constructively rather than stopping critiquing at all.

              • Karen

                I don’t think you should stop critiquing at all, but IMO your comment came across as both ill-informed about the British Labour Party and an unnecessary attack on the NZ Labour Party that was based on a general impression that was not not backed up by any examples from current direction and policies.

                For me, Clark government’s two major failings were the S & F legislation and not reversing the benefit cuts. There were some improvements made for beneficiaries but they were not adequate.

                Unfortunately beneficiaries have been demonised in the media for so long now that it would take a very brave party to say, in an election year, that they will increase increase benefits substantially. Do I wish they were braver? Absolutely. If they were in a stronger position then they may take more risks, but they are not in a strong position currently.

                I believe that the majority of probable Labour MPs do want to increase benefits and change the WINZ culture, and if they don’t then I will be campaigning to change their minds.

                • weka

                  The other major things Clark’s govt did re beneficiaries was to scrap Special Benefit and to exclude non-working beneficiaries from WFF. So it wasn’t just a failure to reverse something National did, it was actual benefit cuts of their own and building financial and cultural prejudice into the structure of welfare.

                  I feel better informed from your links, but I still feel there are important differences between the two parties that is worth commenting on. I’m not sure about most NZ Labour MPs wanting to do right by beneficiaries, but hope you are right and certainly with people like Shearer no longer there it seems more possible. I agree about the difficult position Labour is in (and have mostly been arguing this for a long time).

                  • Karen

                    Shearer had the awful Paganis as his advisors. They are well gone.

                    There are only also 4 from the Clark government era standing this year: Ruth Dyson, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Trevor Mallard. If Mallard does scrape in (he is well down on the list) then he will be speaker so have no influence on policy.

    • swordfish 5.3

      Unfortunately, although she suggests: “Just some brilliant stuff coming out of Team Corbyn this week” ……. dare I say it ……. two of the vids are from the 2015 General Election Campaign, when Corby was still in short trousers, politically-speaking ……. (specifically the Steve Coogan and Martin Freeman ads)

      (Getting around to answering your question here, Ad https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04062017/#comment-1336484 … probably tomorrow – like to do these things properly, so need a bit of spare time)

  5. Ad 6

    As a mild political junkie I am thoroughly enjoying all the machinations between the Trump White House and the Russian government. And the results of all the investigations will be thrilling politics.


    Those Labour 2017 adverts Boots Theory has collected is a good reminder that maybe the Democrats are focusing too much on historical issues and not on the actual stuff that will give people something positive to think about the Democratic Party.

    I have to respect Corbyn for putting on a terrific campaign that’s really rallying hearts and minds.

    Maybe Corbyn should just take a breath while the investigations roll on, and leave Trump to his own sky-falling flame-ball of orange shit. Maybe I’ve enjoyed Trump too much, for the same reasons I like James Bond movies: action, hot girls, cold-war rhetorical worlds, and perpetual intrigue. But together with the super-cycled media, the media and the investigations can be comfortably left to get on with joining Trump in that great sky-falling flame-ball of orange shit.

    The adverts UK Labour have done show me it’s not that hard to see fresh political reality. To get to the why of politics. What is Labour’s why?

    Corbyn’s team are answering.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      …the Democrats are focusing too much on historical issues…


      The Democratic National Committee has been pushing its hypocritical “Russian meddling” line, which nobody outside of the Clintons and their small clique of diehard admirers cares about.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Most of the US-based MSM seems to care about it quite a bit.
        And the results of the investigations will be perfectly newsworthy.

  6. James Shaw calls this “one of the most on-the-money insights into the @NZGreens political positioning in relation to other parties I’ve yet read”.

    From Alex Braae: Greens would be fools to court National

    Such calls look at politics as a game in which one less valued policy can be traded away for a ministerial role, where politics can be modelled, sculpted, and scenarios of the perfect parliament simulated as if it were a computer game. Intricate coalition negotiations! Data driven policy formulation! Political junkies love it, and many love the idea of a smart, new, technocratic centrist party of government. Could the Greens not occupy that space?

    The reason why they couldn’t is about the people that actually elect governments.

    Like it or not, they are about purism over politics.

    That purism over politics would suggest they couldn’t negotiate with Labour or NZ First either. You can’t get away from politics – negotiationism and pragmatism – in politics.

    To borrow one of their favourite words, the only sustainable option for the Greens is to simply continue doing what they’re doing. Keep growing slowly, keep the base happy, keep winning the odd skirmish from opposition.

    Green MPs may not get a chance to ride in ministerial limos this time around, or even the next. But if they are careful, by the time they do get there, they’ll be big enough to actually wield power. Only then will the party be able to survive government. ​​

    That sounds like they are virtually conceding this election, and any election until they get into power without having to negotiate their policies politically.

    It’s almost as if they fear what will happen to the party if they get into government.

    With this approach it’s unlikely the Greens will ever be big enough to actually wield power.

    Perhaps if Labour+Greens get enough votes to put together a viable coalition the attraction of power will override Green purism, but they won’t help their chances if they appear to fear what will happen if they get there.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1


      “Getting elected: a candidates guide”, a self-published novella by Peter George.

    • BM 7.2

      The greens have less political nous than Donald Trump.

      They’re just idealogical morons with no idea how to achieve anything, what a waste of time they are no wonder Gareth Morgan set up TOP.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1


        The Greens fail to pick up the raving bigot vote yet again!

        • BM

          The Greens are never going to achieve anything until they work out how MMP operates,

          MMP is all about negotiation, bartering, trading etc, does this deluded little minor party think Labour and NZ First are just going to be there to rubber stamp all their policies? that the next government is going to be a green government only?

      • greywarshark 7.2.2

        This 3 day break from norm has given you time to recharge your batteries.
        Now you can batter the Greens severely with your virtual brain from the game where you build communities and political parties and direct them at your will.

        Luckily the real ones will survive and find ways to connect to those people who still have a thinking brain and don’t operate out of an amygdala that flashes on and off like a traffic light, changing standards, methods and values in the direction of the perceived flow of major traffic.

      • mauī 7.2.3

        BM craps his pants = the Greens are on the right track.

        Another Green policy win, harnessing the methane from Jamie Whyte and the ACT voters.

        • BM

          If the right track is achieving nothing but providing Turei and the rest of the Green MPs a salary miles above their true paygrade, then yes they’re on the right track.

    • Ad 7.3

      We never get this ‘purity critique’ about the Maori Party, Act, or United Future, because they are happy to go into coalition with National.

      But the right-hand side of New Zealand politics has zero fresh ideas.
      It’s not up to me to determine whether it’s time for fresh ideas – the electorate will.

      But the real surprise when they do get into government is that their ideas will appear fresh and clear and real.

      Don’t you worry Pete – they’ll be worth waiting for.

      • Pete George 7.3.1

        Labour doesn’t get associated with purism either, in fact I see a lot of complaints here about their lack of it.

        Greens can’t maintain purism in a coalition with Labour. They will be lucky to be given a significant role by Labour, who seem to view the Greens like they view their Moari support, a one way street.

        • Ad

          I am sure you are aware Pete, the Greens are not required to go into power with anyone.

          I have never got a sense from the Greens that they aspire to power.

          If they come to acceptable coalition terms with Labour, great.
          If they don’t, Labour is more the loser.

          The Greens just need to keep on doing precisely what they are doing.
          They are solid for 10%, not much more.
          They are designed to be pure.
          There is no need for them to change that brand at all.

          The reaction to their vote with National will have told them that, loud and clear.

  7. Adrian Thornton 8

    Bernie Sanders Endorses Jeremy Corbyn…..
    Has Andrew Little given his thoughts about Corbyn yet?

  8. Karen 9

    Very moving article from the wonderful Harry Leslie Smith, aged 94, on the importance of young people voting in the UK election.


    • greywarshark 9.1

      This is a telling argument for making the change and voting to get Labour on the road again. The old vehicle needs a push, it may have to be cranked but by God we can do it if we have half the passion and persistence and ideals of old Harry!

      Labour’s message in 1945 was a bold declaration that society must be about fair play, decency, merit and compassion to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

      It is why on June 8th, you have to rise up and be counted because you are worth more than flat wages. You are worth more than eternal austerity. You are worth more than hard Brexit. You are worth more than student debt and zero hour contracts. You are worth more than the greed of the 1% and the incompetence of the Tories.

      Within you is the blood of your grandparents and great grandparents that sacrificed their lives on the battle fields of Europe and Asia. Within you is the DNA of all your ancestors who fought for the rights of women to vote. Within you is the echo of all those who battled for their right to an NHS that provided health care to all not just the well to do.

      Within you is the spark to become the greatest generation of the 21st century. So, I ask you as a very old man who has seen Britain at its worst and greatest to stand strong and send the Tories Packing because you deserve a future that has hope, prosperity and purpose.

      • exkiwiforces 9.1.1

        Christ, I had visions of my late grandmother saying almost the same thing to me just before 91 elections while I job hunting in Nelson and now wished I had taped it among other things like singing the old workers songs etc. My grandmother was hard core labour to the day she died and she was never scared to say anything about any tropic incl LGBT issues. As one person from the LGBT branch found out to their discomfort after a lecture from her on LGBT rights and had the nerve to ask who was Noel Pearson then she went off belt feed mortar again.

        BTW for those don’t know who Noel Pearson was? He was primary school treacher in Blackball during the 30- 40’s who was a gay, because of his sexuality he given refuge by my great grandparents and like him were follow socialists. Noel Pearson wrote a book called ” Coal Flat” which is based around grandmothers family in Blackball. Because of Noel’s sexuality and the way he was treated by members of the Blackball community and also no doubtly being associated with my great grandparents he got transferred out of Blackball through my great grandparents contacts within Labour Party at the time.

        • greywarshark

          Hi I found copies of Coal Flat on Trademe. I’ll see if I can get an affordable one, let you know when I do if you would like to read it again. Might have it in stack at library too.

          • exkiwiforces

            Dear ma’am or sir, thank you for kind offer on a copy of Coal Flat. I believe my parents got a copy while they were waiting for the ferry in Picton as my father had renew his Australian passport last month. I’m hoping to re read it again when I get back to warm sunny Darwin in a couple of weeks.

            Kind regards Ex.

  9. Bearded Git 10

    Excellent article on the Pt. England Development Enabling Bill in the Herald today here.


    This Government bill that steals a valued public reserve for non-affordable housing speaks volumes as to how this government thinks and acts. Surely all the other parties will vote it down in parliament? Or will the useless Maori Party screw this up too?

    The Auckland Plan now permits massively denser housing development in many zones-that should be the priority.

    Meanwhile the Special Housing Area along Ladies Mile at the entrance to Queenstown rammed through by Nick Smith and the QLDC to satisfy developer mates (when in fact there is plenty of other land zoned for residential use) is now causing ructions. Read it in the ODT here:


  10. johnm 13

    Nature issues statement saying climate change cannot be negotiated with

    Your header is precisely accurate!

    CC is now beyond human amelioration. In other words it’s doing its own thing and is accelerating. We are not invited to a negotiating table to protest this fact.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    [for future reference, I consider lines of “it’s too late” to be a form of climate change denial. I don’t allow denialist lines to be run under my posts. If this bothers you, I suggest you read the Policy – weka]

    • johnm 13.1

      We wanted endless growth. CC is mirroring our desire, just not we expected! 🙁 🙁

  11. greywarshark 14

    This look interesting.
    Heading – Let’s build our own internet.
    We don’t need 5G. We need a resilient, community-owned internet that uses less energy.

  12. Glenn 15

    Jonathon Pie…Hate and Anger

  13. AsleepWhileWalking 16

    OMG this looks so good….

    • RedLogix 16.1

      I worked in Russia for a short period some years back. Absolutely fascinating experience and I’ve very loosely followed Putin with some interest ever since. When you live and work with people for even a short while it becomes very hard to see them as enemies.

      And it also gives a glimpse into their different history and how their viewpoints are shaped. From that perspective Putin is by far the very best leader the Russians have had since probably Catherine the Great.

      Absolutely he’s no great left wing socialist reformer, he doesn’t lead a government of angels. Judged by our western ideals he’s no hero; but then again how well do we measure up either?

      Yet he’s unquestionably a very intelligent and connected leader very much in touch with the huge nation he leads. He remains very popular with ordinary Russians, and over the past almost 20 years he has transformed an economy that was utterly crippled at the turn of the century into a reasonably modern and thriving place.

      For instance the city I was working in which looked like the administration wing of a monstrous gulag at the time, when I look at on google maps now , I barely recognise the street views. Huge reconstruction and modernisation everywhere. Rows of the old soviet apartment blocks I stayed in are gone, replaced by modern attractive buildings and parks.

      We like to demonise Putin as some kind of Uncle Joe-lite; remote and imperious, issuing death orders from behind some impenetrable Kremlin desk. Yet the truth is he’s a remarkably accessible and transparent leader; long in the habit of giving long form interviews and remarkably forthright statements that address issues thoughtfully and in depth.

  14. greywarshark 17

    Just a little item from Brit as I looked up latest news.
    A wildflower centre with building and cafe, promoting flower growing, seeds, interest in gardening had found costs too high and had to close. Another centre had taken an interest but hadn’t been able to pick up the task, and six months later it is unused and being vandalised.

    “The Court Hey Park attraction closed in January despite two petitions to save it attracting thousands of signatures between them.”

    The Cornwall based famous Eden Project had made a bid to keep it open but it wasn’t successful. It had been open since 2001, and possibly needed some new ideas. There was a comment made that the local bus wouldn’t provide a bus service so presumably that limited the number of visitors.

    My comment is that it takes a lot of effort and thought starting up what are useful community facilities and that investment in time and charitable or government funds is just thrown away as being without value if the support is not continued, and not aided with some business mentor advice. Some things are worth having as beneficial in themselves, in this case for encouraging gardening and biodiversity and probably flowers which are used by bees and are untainted by insecticides.)
    Sport can be funded, and gardening is important too. Perhaps it needed excitement, interest, competition – growing the biggest, flower fights, a day to create flower pictures with judging in the afternoon and prizes?

    A few commenters, sounding young asked where the lottery money had gone, and that it should be pulled down.
    (I have noticed lately that many young adults seem quite separated from community, and working for something beyond immediate gratification and instead for services or attractions beyond their interests.)

  15. repateet 18

    “Can bullying behaviour be eliminated from our schools? Probably not, people being what they are. But, with the right culture, schools can make it very hard for bullying to flourish.”


    The extent of the problem is measured by how bullying in schools is seen to be a dilemma yet bullying ON schools is accepted. Whether the levels of that will lessen with Hekia Parata gone remains to be seen but Nikki Kaye has been inculcated into a system in which bullying is de rigueur. Angela Fitchett, the author of the piece, refers to the lip-service paid to safe environments in Ministry of Education policies.

    While the focus of her article is on different aspects of bullying, Ministry and Ministerial bullying has to be acknowledged and the irony of them expecting schools to deal with bullying in their realm.

      • greywarshark 18.1.1

        I have a relation who tries to bring out the best in the kids she has at primary fairly low decile, but she doesn’t stand for much rubbish. And she reports as they are, not as it is convenient for the school and parents. She has a couple of children who know their parents can be relied on to come down and chew her ear off if the kids complain about her. She heard them one day planning to make up a story about her to get her sacked. She cares about the children, they do a wide range of things, and she has mostly successes.

        She has to put up with bullying from some of the children, and manage that. Also
        bullying from some of the parents and stand firm against that. And bullying from the sometimes management oriented principal and deputy principal who are trying to get all their boxes ticked off, and wonder why she gives low marks for reading compared to those carried forward from last year, given in desperation.

        A teacher’s life is not a happy one when ruled by industrial-plan government, with their targets. So many fish fingers pass along within a set time, and get packed into the same-sized boxes no matter what their shape, readiness or attributes. Not time to bring out the inner genius or lurking enthusiasm under the neolibs.

  16. A great day because a very positive step reached to ensure the protecton of te waikoropupu – yay!!!


    • greywarshark 19.1

      Great news marty mars

      And this – being dealt with urgently?
      High levels of E coli found in creek near treasured springs’ reserve

  17. Tautoko Mangō Mata 20

    Middle east- UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt sever ties with Qatar.

  18. David Mac 21

    I know little of macro finance, I’m flat out keeping fuel up to my outboard and the lights glowing.

    As I understand it governments with a rating like ours can access money at a pretty handy rate.

    Currently our home buyers are depositing billions with companies that have their primary ownership in Australia.

    This might be a really dumb question but wouldn’t our country be a whole lot better off if we said “Sure you can have a mortgage, the great news is that you get an ace rate through Kiwibank and that’s the only option. Mortgage profit steered back into NZ.

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  • Infrastructure to transform Omokoroa
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  • Funding boost for Community Law Centres
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