web analytics

Open mike 05/09/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 5th, 2010 - 20 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

20 comments on “Open mike 05/09/2010 ”

    • Jenny 1.1

      Great stuff.
      Thanks Joe for this link.

      The Unite union and the radiographers by fighting to lift the buying power of the low paid, are doing more to fix the recession than John Key with his gift of $1.3 billion to the multi millionaire investors of South Canterbury Finance.

      By gifting this eye watering amount of money to the already seriously rich, John Key has virtually guaranteed the worsening of the recession in this country.

      Thanks too, to, Robert Reich for explaining in an easy to understand way, that low wages and high inequality are one of the underlying fundamental causes of the recession:

      ….consumers no longer have the purchasing power to buy the goods and services they produce as workers; for some time now, their means haven’t kept up with what the growing economy could and should have been able to provide them.


      The rich spend a much smaller proportion of their incomes than the rest of us. So when they get a disproportionate share of total income, the economy is robbed of the demand it needs to keep growing and creating jobs.

      After all unlike the Christchurdh earthquake, the recession is not a natural disaster. It is an entirely man made event. And as with anything made by humans there is a an element of will. (ie of someone wanting it this way.)

      This is why John Key will tear into the low paid Radiographers like an attack dog while at the same time greasing the path of the rich speculators of the failed SCF.

  1. ZB 2

    The rich spend a much smaller proportion of their incomes than the rest of us. So when they get a disproportionate share of total income, the economy is robbed of the demand it needs to keep growing and creating jobs.

    The first thing Key, and National, wanted to do on entering office was give the few more money.
    Key, and National, ARE THE PROBLEM. The economy is bad because of their politics and
    their policies.

    As the South Island comes out of recovery due to people going back to work cleaning
    up after the Earthquake, boosted financially by the bail out of SCF. Does this point the
    way to how to lift the economy, by spending on jobs, by PAYING people more, having
    them work less, and share jobs more.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Key, and National, ARE THE PROBLEM.

      Actually, it’s capitalism that’s the problem but the psychopaths in NACT don’t help. It’s designed to deliver the wealth to the few while taking it away from everyone else.

  2. U 4 United 3

    Watching the TV coverage from CHCH it seems that the media are being solicitous in their efforts which is to be commended. I suggest that Jim from Wigram should abandon his audacious dream of being the next Mayor of CHCH. Mr Parker has exhibited the decorous leadership for which any city can have gratitude. Jim is out of his depth and should he have any ability to self-assess he’d bow-out with grace. Now!

  3. RedLogix 4

    Thanks joe, a solid and sound read. Just a few years ago that column would have been virtually unprintable in the US. Given that the left, as we might recognise it, is almost completely absent in Washington, and the mindless, no-ideas opposition of the GOP to everything and anything, simply for the sake of saying no… the chances of this kind of sentiment making into policy is zero.

    Just as an interesting complement to this article, here’s an interesting read from Joe Romm referencing David Stockman, ripping GOP policy over many decades and how it directly destroyed the structure of the US economy… purely in the cause of class warfare.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      This growing wealth gap is not the market’s fault. It’s the decaying fruit of bad economic policy.

      Quoted from Stockmans’ piece here

      The market is a social construct that is created through economic policy. If that policy creates the market in such a way that it gives the wealth to the few then it’s the markets fault as the two, the policy and the market it creates, cannot be separated. The policy is the market.

      • Bill 4.1.1


        Where do you get this idea that there are various market types?

        It’s a given that there are different ways to manage the market that will give slightly different results. But it is still the same basic market that is yielding the various and by necessity, limited results. ( In the same way that possible white wines are limited by the possibilities offered by the base ingredients, so possible policy outcomes are limited by values intrinsic to the market. Not the other way around.)

        If we employ radically different values, then we have potentially abolished the market. (Just like if we use hops and barley we will produce beer and not wine.)

        And I say ‘potentially’, because if we use tree sap instead of grapes, we will still produce white wine but won’t be able to produce beer even if that’s what we were aiming for.

        In market terms that would mean (say) aiming for equitable outputs but retaining vertical divisions of labour or private ownership or any other number of market characteristics in our policies and hoping for outcomes radically different to what we would expect from markets.

        Such, arguably, was one of the problems with the soviet style command economy. It retained vertical divisions of labour ( a market characteristic) and didn’t return private property to ‘the commons’, but claimed it all for ‘the party’ as it were (ie moved ownership from one elite to a new elite) . Which produced all types of disincentives for workers and lots of incentives to be an apparatchik which in turn saw basic schisms between haves and have nots recreated.

        btw. I’m not an advocate of command economies. They will always recreate the old divisions of labour and create new elites. That they might have better social provisioning than the less centralised market economies is not, for me, a good enough reason to advocate for them.

        edit. Just thought. Are you equating ‘market’ with ‘economy’?

        Because whereas there are limitless types of economy and they are very definate social constructs, the market has very definable characteristics and is only one type of economy…eg command economy, market economy, participatory economy etc

        • Draco T Bastard

          edit. Just thought. Are you equating ‘market’ with ‘economy’?


          The economy is societies resources (minerals, land, people etc) and the market is how those resources are distributed. Basically, I’m thinking more Political-Economy with the market being a construct of that through the imposition of rules.

          Interestingly enough, Wikipedia has competition as an essential to a Market and the dictionary as merely a place where trade occurs.

          As I said before – we’re talking past each other due to slightly different meanings. It’s one of the problems with language as each word tends to change based upon culture and the culture changes from one town to the next.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Well the nearest NZ equivalent I can think of, off the top of my head, would be if Richard Prebble had written this piece acknowledging that the whole neo-liberal experiment had been a total failure. It’s enough that the man can see the error of his ways to this extent, possibly asking too much for his entire way of thinking and use of language be re-encoded. A lifetime’s full of that kind of thinking is a hard habit to entirely break.

      I guess the point is that while everyone credible now understands that neo-liberal economics is mad, bad and dangerous to know…. the left is failing to fill the vacuum. It’s as if at a very gut level the narrative is; “Communism bad, Capitalism bad….I give up, who cares anymore?”.

      Very recently I heard someone say (forgotten exactly who) … that for all it’s undeniable failings, the worship of God had the merit that it encouraged humility and compassion. Both of which are great antidotes for not caring anymore.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        I guess the point is that while everyone credible now understands that neo-liberal economics is mad, bad and dangerous to know…. the left is failing to fill the vacuum. It’s as if at a very gut level the narrative is; “Communism bad, Capitalism bad….I give up, who cares anymore?”.

        I’d agree with that. ATM, the left have no vision as everything they said would work over the last couple of centuries appears to have fallen down. The first cracks in NZ appeared when the Labour Party brought in free-market capitalism as a panacea for a failing capitalist economy.

  4. The Chairman 5

    Christchurch the possible economic outcomes

    The fiscal response to the disaster in Christchurch will present economic opportunities for some.

    The private sector will be lining up to secure rebuilding contracts and long-term private partnerships.

    Don’t be too surprised if this disaster helps to open the door for Chinese infrastructure firms.

    Future insurance costs (for all New Zealanders) are bound to increase to compensate what is expected to be a massive insurance payout.

    Short-term, the fiscal stimulus will initially create new job opportunities and increase consumer spending, but the delays in rebuilding, coupled with already stretched balance sheets, will see the death of many currently struggling businesses.

    Consumer spending will largely be spent on offshore made goods (imports).

    There have been suggestions there may be taxpayer handouts for those uninsured.

    There could be a short-term residential and commercial property shortage, creating some temporary price distortions in the market.

    The longer businesses are closed and prevented from operating the higher the economic cost to the community and nation as a whole.

    Interest rates, the national credit rating, and value of the currency could all be affected.

    Long-term, there will be an increase in privatised infrastructure, and when added with foreign ownership, the increase in insurance costs, and the increase in imported goods, the benefits of the initial fiscal stimulus will largely head offshore.

  5. Bill 6

    You have to admit there’s a certain degree of irony in moderation existing on something called ‘open mike’.

    Anyway, if one of you admin peoples is reading this prior to one of your trap checks, can you let my comment out?

    [Done..RL. I don’t think the spam trap discriminates between threads.]
    [lprent: it doesn’t ]

  6. NickS 7


    Moral dilemma? For fuck’s sake, it was a major earthquake, in a city where there are quite a few people who can’t afford to get their contents insured, (assuming the land-lord takes care of property insurance), let alone have the income or cash to replace anything majorly damaged. And given this government’s attitude to those with little spare cash, it’s likely many poor are going to be ignored.

    • prism 7.1

      That point about property insurance NickS. It is my understanding that it is the responsibility of the tenant to insure their accommodation and if so, it treats a residential tenant the same as a business tenant, which is totally unreasonable.

      There was a case where (I think) a Dunedin student house was damaged or burnt and the landlord or ins. coy spent a lot of time hounding the tenant for hundreds of thousands. A government that desired fairness and practicality would never have allowed this situation to develop, but we haven’t had noticeably robust ones operating on behalf of the ordinary citizens lately.

      Recently a slightly extraordinary citizen near me, a very heavy woman, suffered a hole in her toilet floor apparently as a result of her weight, and the landlord informed me he was looking to her to make good the damage. He was quite surprised when I commented that I thought that it was most unfair that tenants were expected to insure the landlord’s asset.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        If the damage to the property is caused by action or inaction of the tenant, then the tenant is responsible.

        Tenants aren’t responsible for earthquakes, therefore the landlord’s property insurance will cover the landlords property.

  7. Carol 8

    It looks like a workers’ union has been working hard for its members in negotiating contracts for workers for the new supercity, which, in the first instance, will be under the management of the ATA. And I imagine that many workers are really glad they have the union working for them over this. There’s an article in today’s NZ Herald, about some errors in contracts given to existing staff:


    Some Auckland council staff were offered, and accepted, the wrong job or the wrong salary in the new Supercity this week.

    Auckland Transition Authority HR adviser Laila Harre said that among 2000 letters sent out to staff at Auckland’s eight councils this week were “a handful” that offered the wrong job or salary, because of a data mistake.

    Harre, a former Alliance leader and Cabinet minister, has been criticised by her former union colleagues for “turning gamekeeper” by accepting the role overseeing appointments to the new council. Her contract ended this week. She did not know the number of people who had accepted the mixed-up offers but confirmed some had.

    The Transition Authority is now processing correct offers and trying to explain the mess-up to affected council staff.

    Public Service Association organiser Kerry Davies said the errors were being rectified following concerns raised by the association.

    PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said a review process was built into the offers before the letters were sent out. It covered staff offered a salary below what they should be but Wagstaff was unsure if it applied to people who were offered a higher salary.

    “We have been working with ATA to resolve the issue,” he said. “We do recognise it has been a very compressed time frame and complex experience which contributes to mistakes.”

    The rest of the article is at the above url.

    But it does make you wonder why everything had to be rushed through so quickly. Will there be more errors when the supercity goes live? And I think it’s curious the blame is being put at Harre’s feet. I imagine it wasn’t her idea to rush things so much. I have mixed feelings about her being involved, but maybe it’ll be a better set-up as a result.

  8. AncientGeek 9

    Test comment

    [Test moderation…..RL ;-)]

    [lprent: Test sysoping 😈
    Damn e-mail followup works on the test system. Fails on the target system.. mutter…]

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago