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Open mike 05/07/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 5th, 2015 - 49 comments
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openmikeOpen 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 …

49 comments on “Open mike 05/07/2015”

  1. Paul 1

    Just another piece of evidence to show how bad the supermarket duopoly is.
    We are being literally and metaphorically being milked.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11475457

  2. les 2

    would blame Fonterra for this.International mkt price down,rinse old faithful domestic consumer.p.s and lay off a few hundred workers…whats the big cheese salary band again?

  3. Morrissey 3

    “Well look this is a tinder-dry area and extraordinarily, errr, ancestral in nature.”
    Winston Peters’ fatuous comments about Gaza

    Native Affairs, Māori Television, Monday 29 June 2015

    Last Monday night, Māori Television’s normally excellent Native Affairs programme did what the other channels here have lacked the courage and the conscience to do: it invited people on to talk about the latest incident of Israeli piracy in international waters.

    It was a promising idea—the programme was, after all, fronted by the excellent Mihingarangi Forbes. Unfortunately, however, after a brief introductory discussion with Kia Ora Gaza’s Roger Fowler, it was all down-hill. The other guests were all politicians, most of whom did not seem more than vaguely familiar with the situation in Gaza. Even the best of the four on offer, Greens co-leader Metiria Turei, resolutely steered away from mentioning that the blockade was illegal.

    Māori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta made some comments supportive of the peace protestors, but neither of them seemed to have much knowledge of the situation.

    At the 6:38 mark, it was the turn of the New Zealand First leader to demonstrate the depth and seriousness of his research into the matter at hand. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have read anything, let alone given it more than a passing thought….

    MIHINGARANGI FORBES: Winston, should New Zealand recognize Palestine as an independent state? Currently around a hundred and thirty-five U.N. countries do; we don’t.

    WINSTON PETERS: Well look this is a tinder-dry area and it’s extraordinarily, errr, ancestral in nature. Uh, there ARE people working on a long-term solution, errr, that wi- would be acceptable to both sides, but in the middle of it has come this event, for which none of us is seriously briefed, and, ahh, I’m not going to jump into an argument without knowing the details on both sides, but this will not be, would not resolve THIS matter. Ahh, there ARE people trying to get past the present impasse that’s gone on now for decades, and trying to bring it to a resolution, and that’s what we in New Zealand First and I believe, indeed, the Government supports.

    After that grim exercise in saying nothing, it was turn of the Labour Party representative. She was almost as mealy-mouthed and vague as Peters….

    NANAIA MAHUTA: Well New Zealand’s long played a role in international peace-keeping and also, ah, supporting humanitarian aid, ah so that’s an important role that we have to continue on the Security Council. On the particular, though, it’s the — the first priority though must go to those who have been detained, and in particular, those New Zealanders who are over there. Ah, and I’m sure that the Government will have eyes on this particular situation. It IS a tinderbox, so we’re going into a live area. It is a sensitive situation, it will require negotiation. But we cannot get away from the fact that an independent Palestinian state, which Labour HAS supported, I think we first voiced it in 2005, is a matter of negotiation, and it will require, uh, an ongoing effort to look for a solution there in Gaza. …..

    http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/national/native-affairs-political-panel-pt1-gaza?utm_source=brightcove&utm_medium=button&utm_campaign=share%20this%20video

  4. Morrissey 4

    Holocaust survivors condemn Israel for Gaza massacre, call for boycott

    In response to Elie Wiesel’s bizarre advertisement comparing Hamas to Nazis, 327 Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants published a New York Times ad accusing Israel of ‘ongoing massacre of the Palestinian people.’

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.612072

    When Elie Wiesel spoke at Saint Louis University on December 1, 2009, three women challenged him to break his silence about Gaza and to travel with them on the Gaza Freedom March to see for himself the devastation caused by Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and the ongoing siege.

    Five years later, and the old hypocrite has still not gone to Gaza.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    It’s time to put some cold, hard cash under the mattress.

    In the 2008-09 financial meltdown there was a deadly serious danger NZ banks would freeze up. We borrow heavily. Two-thirds of the money we borrow comes from outside the country. If NZ banks can’t borrow, they can’t pay us. Funds frozen!

    Let’s assume last week’s 30% crash in Chinese shares and/or the Greek Euro crisis equals a 5% probability international finance markets will seize up, blocking your unfettered access to your bank accounts.

    If the risk is 5%, NZ banks should be paying you at least 7% or 8% interest to risk leaving your money with them. They don’t.

    It’s called risk/reward ratio. Today your risk is hugely greater than the possible reward.

    The logical thing is to withdraw your money as cash . . . . NOW.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      So on the basis of a 5% number you just made up, we should take our money out of the banks?

      What if the chances of this happening is now 0.1%, and previously was 0.01%.

      Then the 3-4% interest the banks are paying is still reasonable reward for the risk, correct?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      NZ banks can always borrow from the RBNZ as the Lender of Last Resort. The problem Greece has is that the ECB is no longer loaning to Greek banks so as to punish the Greeks for what the private banks in Germany and elsewhere did.

      • mikesh 5.2.1

        “the ECB is no longer loaning to Greek banks so as to punish the Greeks for what the private banks in Germany and elsewhere did.”

        And also for having the temerity to elect a left wing government.

  6. FAB Mouse 6

    Joyce on “The Nation” said something like “Dairy is not that big, its 5% … Kiwifruit is 2%”. Paddy tried to say its 20% but Joyce stuck to his 5%. Should Paddy have clarified what it was a percentage of?
    Joyce doesn’t appear to be comparing apples with apples as Dairy is approx $11 billion and Kiwifruit about $1 billion (from a very quick google search). Has Kiwifruit increased recently to $4 billion? Why didn’t Joyce just say Kiwifruit is 30% of GDP (and leave out that that figure is for the Bay of Plenty)? Who would challenge him?

    • AmaKiwi 6.1

      “Who would challenge him?”

      Not the MSM. Spineless, useless, entertainment for profit.

      The entire Washington Press Corps knew Ronald Regan did not have a functioning brain. Questions for his “press conferences” were submitted 24 hours in advance. They were numbered and the “lucky” reporters whose questions had been chosen for an answer were told which number their question would be and told it must be asked precisely as it was submitted. There were never follow-up questions. Then Regan read the answers from a teleprompter.

      20 years later we were told Ronnie is dead. Died of Alzheimers.

      He had Alzheimers when he was POTUS and NO ONE said a word. They didn’t want to be tossed out of Washington for telling the truth that everyone in Washington already knew!

      The so-called “most powerful man in the world” was brain dead!

      John Campbell was lethal because he asked the questions by showing examples, not by confronting ministers head-on.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Amakiwi
        Have you a link to that piece on Ronald Reagan’s head. It always seemed to be that he was a good one liner, or joker, and indeed there is a recurring photo with him and a lot of suits falling about in high glee, or for a photo shoot! That seemed to be his main pulling power.

        • AmaKiwi 6.1.1.1

          “In August 1994, at the age of 83, Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,[289] an incurable neurological disorder which destroys brain cells and ultimately causes death.[289][290] In November, he informed the nation through a handwritten letter.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan#Alzheimer.27s_disease

          Any critical biography of Reagen will cite numerous examples of his diminished mental capacity which became obvious during his second term.

    • b waghorn 6.2

      Dairy is 20% of exports and 5% of GDP is how I understood it.
      The interesting thing I noted is the “don’t talk it down” meme ,Paul Henry was chucking that line about last week , he obviously had been handed his instructions on what to say. just in case we needed more proof of his being a PR man for national.

  7. greywarshark 7

    User-pays for burial costs in Auckland must go up to match the contractors costs. Some well spoken woman explains this in a TINA tone. This should be a service that is subsidised if necessary. When you view it objectively, user cannot pay, and if the family and connections have little money how are they to manage? Cold hearted, money-mad Auckland council. The pits of NZ.

    2009 costs went up.
    (Note the unsuitable council department making cemetery policy!)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/central-leader/2333960/Burial-costs-going-up
    The Auckland City Council’s arts, culture and recreation committee voted last Wednesday to raise the charges over the 2009/2010financial year.
    The three council cemeteries are Hillsborough, Waikaraka and Otahuhu.
    An adult plot now costs $1027, with another $507 in digging fees.
    With the increase, the total cost will go up to $1917.
    There are also other costs to take into account when burying loved ones.
    Being buried on a Saturday can already add $195 to $377, a public holiday burial currently costs an extra $377 and reopening an occupied plot costs an extra $130.
    Those fees will all go up….
    Councillor Cathy Casey told the meeting she was concerned the increase is to be applied to all the cemeteries, when some were “five star” and some were “one star”.
    She moved an amendment for a 2.6 percent price increase instead. A 25 percent increase in the first year is outrageous in the current climate. When someone dies it’s a huge expense,” she said.

    2015 costs go up.
    Fees for burial plots across the Auckland region increased by an average 22 per cent, fees for ash plots by 14 per cent, and internment fees by 132 per cent…
    An example of the impact of the fees rise was at Manukau Memorial Gardens, where a burial plot cost had gone up 15 per cent from $3464 to $4000, plus interment fee of $1072.
    A Papakura burial plot went up 19 per cent from $1678 to $2000 and interment went up by $857 to $1400 or a 158 per cent rise.
    At Waikumete, a fee for the ash plot garden rose 48 per cent from $1708 to $2533 plus interment of $300.
    Funeral Directors Association CE Mrs Shanks said that Work and Income provides funeral grants of up to $2008 to cover burial, plot and cremation charges but this would not cover costs, she said.

    Where is the empathy for poor people in grief from family deaths? Perhaps there needs to be a paupers area as in the past when we actually acknowledged that poverty existed.
    And the recession impacting as much now as then, or worse, while costs continue to rise in excess of income.
    Interesting how culture is against cremation.

    The council has earmarked $46.5 million to expand cemetery areas in the next 10 years in view of more than 70 per cent of people favouring burial over cremation.

  8. Philip Ferguson 8

    Many people are aware of the 1951 waterfront lockout, when the National Party government of Sid Holland brought in draconian legislation and imposed six months of strong-arm state tactics to defeat the wharfies and their allies who comprised the vanguard of the organised labour movement and wider woring class. Much less well-known, however – even though it was very much one of the precursors of 1951 – is the 1949 Auckland carpenters’ dispute in which the union was deregistered by the first Labour government as part of its sustained assault on the most progressive sections of the union movement. . .

    full at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/1949-auckland-carpenters-dispute-labour-bosses-versus-the-workers/

  9. Philip Ferguson 9

    As is usual with lay-offs here, the Fonterra ones seem to be meeting with no opposition. Below are a small collection of articles about when workers actually fight, most particularly a series of workplace occupations. Among the pieces are an interview I did with a spokesperson for the Vio.me factory occupation in Thessaloniki in Greece:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/when-workers-occupy/

  10. Philip Ferguson 10

    Today, Greek voters take part in a referendum on whether to accept or reject the austerity measures the troika (IMF, European Central Bank, and EU Commission) wish to impose on them.

    Below is a summary from information we received from a prominent source within Syriza about where things stand: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/eyewitness-in-greece-we-need-a-no-vote/

    And here’s an article by a central committee member on the way forward in Greece: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/the-road-forward-for-syriza-a-view-from-a-central-committee-member/

    Phil

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    OXI – An Act of Resistance

    The film is a direct response to the current crisis, being imposed on European countries under the name ‘AUSTERITY’. It also addresses many of the misperceptions of Greek culture and history that are promoted as part of a program of destructive propaganda against the country and its people.

    Some people may find it interesting.

  12. Molly 12

    Apologies if I’ve missed any previous comments on this article, but just got back from coffee with a friend who pointed it out from yesterday’s Herald:

    Violence charges against police officer withdrawn

    From reading through it seems that the violence was considerable and on-going for several years. The police officer was one of four family members, and had charges laid separately from the other three defendants.

    The Crown applied to have the officer stand trial with the other three but in February Judge Anna Johns ruled there would have to be two trials because the allegations against the policeman were separate from the others.

    The judge said there was no suggestion anyone else was present during his reported attacks, which the victim said happenned up to twice a week.

    “To have the defendant’s matters heard with the others would unduly prejudice his trial, especially as allegations of prolonged family abuse would lead to feelings of disgust with members of the jury,” his lawyer James Maddox said.

    Judge Johns agreed.

    The trial for the three other accused – on 18 charges between them – will start in November and the Crown eventually decided in May that “public interest points away from proceeding against [the police officer].

    Four charges of assault with a weapon and one of assaulting a child were withdrawn.”

    I’ve ended up posting most of the article, but the reason given by the Crown Prosecutor seem fairly weak, and what has been reported seem extreme to dismiss so cavalierly.

    “”The Crown is of the view the child’s wellbeing may be jeopardised by a second set of proceedings. That is a risk the Crown is not willing to take,” prosecutor Eliza Walker said.

    But both defence counsel and the judge said there was no evidence of any great emotional toll on the young girl.

    “I see keeping [him] separate as not ultimately putting any additional stress on the complainant,” Judge Johns said.

    Court documents alleged that between 2012 and 2014 the cop also used his police belt as a weapon against the girl.

    The complainant told interviewers that in one instance he “whacked” her five times and punched her as she lay on the ground, before dragging her along the floor by her legging and striking her again with the belt.

    But the court recognised the allegations against the other three defendants as being more serious.

    The Crown outlined the most serious incident, which allegedly began with the girl being punched, hit with a stick and sat on.

    The police summary said she was held down while someone grabbed an electric bread knife from the kitchen in a bid to cut off her nipple.

    “Fortunately, the knife did not work.”

    Further incidents allegedly saw the young relative dragged around the house by her hair, with such force clumps were pulled out.

    And she also reported times when she was punched and had her head smashed into a brick wall outside the church they all attended.”

    • Charles 12.1

      Difficult to untangle what legal jugglings went on in that one. The cop had some charges withdrawn, then the story quickly goes into description of someone else’s offences, then jumps back to him. It finishes up by saying although the Crown withdrew charges, the court may re-lay them. My understanding of “In the public interest” is to avoid unsettling the population, e.g. We can’t have cops being seen to be the bad guys, or, to avoid exposing personal details (personal privacy issues) the public don’t need to know. Which is contradicted by the final sentence which says charges may be re-laid. I don’t know how they go about their decisions. From here, the cop doesn’t sound like the kind of guy you want wandering around freely or in the Police, and the court saying “She doesn’t appear to under extra stress…” just sounds ignorant/absurd. Big bad World out there.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Tax: The Facts

    The problem is the sophisticated lobby of the wealthy. American elections are now multi million dollar affairs. Aspiring politicians try to outdo each other in the size of their campaign war chests. Politicians of all shades become beholden to the wealthy who can liberally fund election campaigns. And the lobbying continues right up to the next election.

    Oligarchs keep their riches out of state coffers through what Winters calls the ‘Wealth Defense Industry.’ This is the cadre of professionals hired to lobby government and advise ways of hiding wealth, often through keeping it in tax havens. The Wealth Defence Industry represents an army of lawyers, accounting firms, and high paid lobbyists.

    The same can, no doubt, be said of NZ politics.

  14. Chooky 14

    Some are calling for a new Left Party …as Labour seems to be failing and is not making any headway going it alone… (see ‘Guest Post – What is Little’s vision for New Zealand?’)

    However rather than start a yet another new left party …better and more practical to use the existing ‘left’ opposition parties with their structures and existing politicians but have an overall ‘Left Umbrella Coalition’:

    1.)…so that co-operation is the order of the day and NOT knee-capping

    2.)…the objective being to get rid of this present government …this should over-ride all other objectives!

    ….with Metiria Turei at the helm of this coalition:

    1.)…. Metiria Turei is an experienced Left and environmental politician with an impeccable record.

    2.)…..she has already shown she can work with Mana/Int and Labour and NZF….

    3.)…she is attractive to the 50% women vote and the Maori vote, as well as the Left vote

    4.)… she is fair and balanced and has mana

    • Grant 14.1

      We could call it the Alliance. Oh, hang on…

      • Chooky 14.1.1

        @ Grant…excuse me that is NOT what I meant!

        The Alliance was a new left startup party in opposition to neolib Labour and neolib National

        …I thought i made it quite clear that a ‘Left Umbrella Coalition’ would NOT REPLACE existing parties…rather co-ordinate so they can work co-operatively

        …ie there would be representatives from each of the existing parties who would be part of this organisation…which would work with the objective of collectively ousting this present government…not in competition to knee-cap each other…hence killing the opposition and letting jonkey nactional in

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1

          The Alliance was a new left startup party in opposition to neolib Labour and neolib National

          No it wasn’t. It was an alliance of left parties including the Greens, New Labour and a few others.

          • Chooky 14.1.1.1.1

            yes but they were all newbies…and the Alliance did not cooperate with Labour and Helen Clark to win an election…letting National win…so NOT what I meant

            … i suggest a model more like the FOL ie a loose knit group of unions

    • Charles 14.2

      Sounds like a good idea – present the coalition to the public before the election. Fair, open, no hidden uncertainties. Terribly unorthodox. That’d put the wind up them.

    • b waghorn 14.3

      If you saw Ron marks on the nation I think its clear that the nats are nzfs natural home.

      • Chooky 14.3.1

        @ b waghorn re – NZF’s “natural home” is with National

        1) Ron Marks does not run NZF….Winston does ( NZF on sale of State Assets?…more aligned with Labour and the Greens…as with many other issues eg overseas ownership of NZ land and housing)

        2 ) Ron Marks wants NZ troops withdrawn from Iraq….so questionable “nats are NZF’s natural home”

        3.) NZF has spent more time in successful coalition with Helen Clark’s Labour Party Government than with National …which NZF pulled the plug on and forced out of office after a very short time and on the continued sale of State Assets

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68856819/call-to-withdraw-new-zealand-troops-from-iraq

  15. Philip Ferguson 15

    Just like in New Zealand –

    “Each year, when the Pride march in London comes around, the claims that it has become commercialised and separated from its roots get stronger. This year was no different, with the movement becoming more splintered than ever – the divisions are clearer between its traditional left support and the newer, corporate-sponsored wing. . . ”

    full at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/pride-in-london-lgbt-incorporation-and-commercialisation/

  16. Jenny Kirk 16

    I can’t get over just how trivial both the Saturday Herald and Sunday Star-Times have become. We bought one of each this weekend for the first time in a very long while (we needed them to help light the fire!) and the only decent things I found to read were Rod Oram’s column in SST and John Armstrong in the Herald. The rest was light and fluffy – for a wet weekend, not much reading in ’em at all ! !

    • BM 16.1

      I find paper useless for lighting the fire these days.

      The water proof inks they use now has made the paper pretty much fire proof.

      Best bet is to go get some of those budget fire lighters, so much more effective.

  17. Jenny Kirk 17

    It sounds like you’re saying, BM, that the Herald and SST are of no use whatsoever ? Not even for lighting fires.

  18. Penny Bright 18

    FYI – former Labour Party President Mike Williams view – supporting the Hawkes Bay amalgamation.

    Interesting that Labour MP Stuart Nash is strongly and actively opposing the Hawkes Bay amalgamation.

    Where’s the ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of the disastrous forced Auckland ‘Supercity for the 1%’ amalgamation?

    “What couldn’t be predicted was the release of the final report of the Local Government Commission on the proposed amalgamation of the five councils that make up Hawke’s Bay. You’d have to be living under a large boulder if you don’t know what that was, and what happens next.

    Although amalgamation plans for Northland and the Wellington region were dropped, the Local Government Commission found sufficient local support in Hawke’s Bay to confirm their (slightly) revised proposal.

    From an outsider who grew up in Hawke’s Bay, loves the place and visits often, this seems a very heartening next step and I hope that local people who will make the final decision in a referendum grab the opportunity for unity. …”

    What is needed, in my view, is the proper implementation of the Public Records Act 2005, and the completion of ‘transparency templates’ – which establish ‘costs datums’ available for public scrutiny, so the public can see where exactly public rates monies are being spent on Council services and regulatory functions.

    It’s time to OPEN THE BOOKS so that citizens and ratepayers can ‘follow the dollar’ …..

    Penny Bright

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