Open mike 05/11/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:43 am, November 5th, 2014 - 144 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Grant Robertson by WebbOpen mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

144 comments on “Open mike 05/11/2014”

  1. can anyone else hear the drums of war..?

    • b waghorn 1.1

      Was there every any doubt with key back in

      • BM 1.2.1

        Good sensible precautions.

        Sooner ISIS is crushed the better.

        • phillip ure

 also have supported invading iraq..and the overthrow of gaddaffi..that much we know..

          ..thus showing by yr previous words/stands..what an unthinking-fool/rightwing-tool you actually are..


        • Paul

          You should research ISIS’s origins.
          Your take on foreign affairs appears both uninformed and naive.

        • politikiwi

          Have you learned nothing from the failures of the last ten years?

          This is a bit like the war on drugs, or neo-liberal economics: “If we just keep locking up addicts / deregulating markets / dropping bombs, our theories will be proven right.”

          The West created the situation which gave rise to Isis. It’s a big problem, but following up with more of the policies which resulted in the creation of Isis in the first place isn’t going to fix it.

          For fuck sake, many of the people who now make Isis were children when the US started dropping bombs on Iraq ten years ago. Are we really all that surprised that watching their families get blown to bits has “radicalised” them?

          And why do we think that dropping even more bombs will now solve the problem that the bombs themselves created? It’s fucking lunacy.

          • BM

            ISIS wants to fight, that’s the problem. They want to turn the middle east into one big caliphate.

            Bit rough for all the people living in the middle east, they don’t get a choice, it’s either join us or we’ll cut your head off and stick it on a stake.

            How do you negotiate or discuss with that?

            • phillip ure

              this is a religious/sectarian/tribal war..on the other side of the planet..

     we have to stop them there..before they get here..?

              ..(where have i heard that before..?..)

              ..and i’m presuming you know of our long history of this war-justifying hysterical-bullshit..?

              ..with perhaps the earliest extant-example being the gun-placements on north head..

     do know they were hastily-built to stave off an impending invasion from russia..?


              ..sounds about as silly as the caliphate soon to be seen off our coasts..

              ..when you think about it..

              ..key is just a modern-day gun-placement peddler..

              ..and a cynical war-monger..

              • BM

                Not much of a humanitarian, there Phil.

                Other side of the world, not our problem who the fuck cares about those people.

                I find your attitude surprising.

                • felix

                  1. We must do something
                  2. (x) is something
                  3. Therefore we must do (x)

                  Very weak thinking there, Blood Money.

                • oh..!..i didn’t realise..!

        ’s going to be a ‘humanitarian-war’..?

                  ..well that makes it ok..then..

                  ..and it will be the ‘humanitarian’-bullets fired by our ‘humanitarian’-soldiers/sas..

                  ..that will be doing the killing..?

         our name..?

                  …that makes it ok

                  (‘hello..!..i’m here to help you..!..we ‘care’…but first..wear this bullet..!’..)

                • Matthew Hooton

                  BM: morals do not and should not drive foreign policy – interests, in particular the search for security, do. Read The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by Mearsheimer. A decision to intervene needs to be based on more than caring about a situation – that is an argument to give money to World Vision or something similar. Rwanda was very sad, but would NZ be safer had Clinton intervened and Bolger decided to support him? In a very imperfect world, that is the true test. Note, the answer to an ISIS intervention, including NZ involvement, may be yes but beheadings on TV and other human rights atrocities do not make a case for intervention on their own.

                  • politikiwi

                    ^ this.

                    It’s a very hard problem, I agree. It’s also clear that continuing to beat the drums of war is actually what Isis want: Aggression from the West is their best recruiting tool.

                    I find it extremely disingenuous that the “need to protect the people of the Middle East from Isis” is used to justify invasions, and yet the killings of innocent civilians by the US, it’s allies and private defence contractors is considered “collateral damage.” Being dead is being dead, whether you’re hit with a drone strike or have your head severed.

                    The true genius of 9/11 was to bring the United States onto the ground in the Middle East. al Qaeda could not fight the United States on US turf, so they needed a way to bring them into the Middle East. 9/11 achieved that in ways bin Laden et al could not have dreamed of, and it’s given the radicals a perfect recruitment tool, which they’ve now turned into Isis.

                    Why do we think that continuing the failed foreign policy in the Middle East is the way to fix the results of the failed foreign policy in the Middle East?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Rwanda was very sad, but would NZ be safer had Clinton intervened and Bolger decided to support him?

                    NZ would be safer if it didn’t support the creation of failed and failing states – a hallmark of western imperial and corporate interventions.

                    • The Al1en

                      How many of the 500,000–1,000,000 murdered Rwandans would still be alive today if they weren’t abandoned to their fate by the world is the bit I focus on, just like how many women and children won’t be sold in to slavery, raped and tortured as already declared booty of war if they aren’t protected now in their time of need.

                  • Tom Jackson

                    That’s nonsense, Hooton. Mearsheimer is just pushing his own realist cart on that one. There’s plenty of room for disagreement.

                    • tc

                      Whilst matthew pushes his cart labelled ‘diffuse and distract ‘ with a comparison to Rawanda and some opinionted tome from the bloke who would be essential reading for the right.

                      Especially Mearsheimer’s 2011 ‘Why Leaders Lie’ that carries the lesson “Lie selectively, lie well, and ultimately be good at what you do.”

                    • swordfish

                      National has always tended towards the so-called Realist school of Foreign Policy , whereas Labour, since its creation in 1916, has – given those original Socialist principles – aligned itself more with the Liberal Internationalist school.

                      Before 1935, New Zealand’s foreign policy had been entirely of a Realist bent, the First Labour Government then introduced elements of Liberal Internationalism – enthusiastic support for international organisations, international law, democracy, self-determination and human rights – albeit while still continuing with a number of Realist policies as well.

                      So, I think it’s fair to say that although this mix of (I) Moral Internationalist Idealism, emphasising the similarities between countries and people and (ii) a Self-Interested Realism, stressing natural antagonisms (albeit with a strong practical element of Whatever-the-US-and-Britain-say-goes) has set the pattern for New Zealand foreign policy ever since 1935, Labour has always tended toward the former, the Nats toward the latter.

                      It’s really interesting to see what the Nats do when the US tries to mobilise by stressing some sort of moral element to their planned foreign intervention. Do they go for pure Realism or practical Realism ?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      US always justifies their bombing with a moral superiority element as it is a key component of successful propaganda to shift public opinion.

                      Bombing Afghanistan villages for womens rights
                      Bombing Iraqi towns to stop Islamic barbarity.
                      Torture and secret prisons to protect freedom etc.

                    • swordfish

                      Yep, CV, particularly so since Clinton. Some have called it “the weaponization of human rights”. The US attacking/intervening/occupying in its own interests, dressed-up as some sort of noble, liberal humanitarianism. This extraordinary idea of the US as a benign giant, pursuing its rightful role on the World Stage by vanquishing evil (no mention of America’s active role in various post-war genocides).

            • DoublePlus Good

              If Iraqis and Syrians aren’t being bombed or elsewise messed with by the west, all of the actions that perpetuate hatred are gone. Their support would slowly dissipate.

        • Clemgeopin

          Shouldn’t such an action be sanctioned by the UN first, before other nations such as NZ, unconnected with the region, be involved?

        • DoublePlus Good

          You know that military action created the environment for ISIS to form in the first place, right? And that further military action will just make things worse?

      • phillip ure 1.2.2

        i just remember how enthusiastic so many were to ‘get’ saddam hussein..

        ..and then the aftermath..?..oh shit..!

        i just remember how enthusiastic so many were to ‘get’ gaddaffi..

        ..and then the aftermath..?…oh shit…! we ever learn from these outbursts of war-lust/fever..?..and then the hangovers..?

        ..shit no..!

        “..The West is silent – as Libya falls into the abyss..

        ..In 2011 there was jubilation at Gaddafi’s demise.

        Not any more:

        – the aftermath of foreign intervention is calamitous and bloody..”


        and back at the time of that ‘get-gaddaffi’ mood/fever..i was really surprised at how so many on the left here in nz were so ‘relaxed’ about the cia/america deposing who was the most secular of all the arab-leaders.. many of them so eagerly/happily gulped down that cia-kool-ade..

        ..especially surprising from people who should have known

        ..(not their finest hours..

        ..and they know who they are..)

        • wyndham

          Not to mention that we haven’t paid, in cash that is – – – not lives, for WW1 yet !

        • Skinny

          American propaganda, as you point out every ‘so called evil dictator’ taken out by the yanks leaves the Country in a mess. It’s all about the money generating war machine. All the weaponry produced needs manufactured wars to keep the juggling pins in the air. Innocent civilian’s are a casualty of American wars.

          • phillip ure

            and once again..we are signing up to be eager spear-carriers..

            (for economic reasons..?..or because our prime minister is americas’ ‘man-from-the-fed’..?..their ‘man’..?..)

            ..and key is so jonesing for war..

            ..he is like a smack-addict on day three of withdrawals..

            • phillip ure

              and you can expect the corporate-media to just fucken nod along…

     they always do..

              (..’oohh!..local-terror-threat..? that what he said..?’..)

              ..key plays them like a fucken tin-whistle..

              • Here are my two cents on it. Written by a group of Israeli political insiders in 1982. It seems they are following the exact same script. But conspiring? Neh, Never!

                • higherstandard

                  Even by your standards that’s some nuclear strength tinfoil hat stuff.

                  • From Bomber I might add. 😆

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    On the contrary, it’s the most sensible thing she has ever posted. Eretz Israel used to be everything west of the Jordan and north of Suez. What Begin used to call Judea and Samaria. By Bibi’s liebensraum loving standards, Begin was a peace loving moderate. Now they openly say they want everything from the Nile to the Euphrates. What’s worse, they go further than that. They say their invisible sky friend has given it to them and it’s their destiny. Chosen people is now equivalent to master race, which is a filthy contradiction of the original teachings.

                    But yea, lower standard, I don’t expect you to see past slogans about freedom and that curled up snake thing that looks like a piece of dogshit.

                  • Oh, wrong answer to the wrong link. Thought you where responding to the 101 questions from Bomber about 9/11 which I posted elsewhere but it goes to show that you really don’t ever read any of my links>

                    If you had you would have known that it was a paper written by an Israeli think thank tasked with lining out how Israel could continue to exist rather than me just coming up with some harebrained theory.

                    These are their recommendations and every thing you see happening in the Middle East is following these recommendations.

                    Whether John Key knows this or not is neither here nor there as I said in my post. In his capacity as prime Minister and the one who will lead us to war if he chooses it is his responsibility to ask serious questions about why and for who Kiwi soldiers are asked to die.

                    When crimes are committed investigators try to find Qui Bono (Who benefits) as an indicator of who might have committed the crime. I think it’s time we do the same.

                    By the way, Millions of Jews around the world are brave enough to do just that. Many of them feel their identity as religious people of peace has been stolen by the Zionist gang on the loose in Israel

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.3

      The drums beat with every strategically placed IS story. I’ve made a commitment not to read them.

    • joe90 1.4

      can anyone else hear the drums of war..?

      With so many to options….

      Central African Republic

      Democratic Republic of Congo








      South Sudan



      …sigh…what’s a warmonger PM to do.

    • greywarshark 1.5

      @ phillip ure
      A good chance to hear from Les Mis

    • lurgee 1.6

      Sometimes it is the wrong thing to act, sometimes it is the wrong thing to do nothing.

      In the case of Iraq in 2003 (which I opposed) it was the wrong thing to act. In the case of Syria, and now ISIS, I think it was the wrong thing to leave the opposition and war to be colonised by terrorist fanatics.

      It is too easy to say intervention = wrong and John Key / USA = wrong. Sometimes there are evils that need to be confronted and this looks like being one of them.

      That said, there’s no need for NZ to be involved in this mess and the new anti-terror laws are a groteque obscenity masquerading as public interest.

      • phillip ure 1.6.1

        how about ‘confronting the evil’ of america blowing innocent men/women/children apart with their drones..?

        ..yr definition of ‘evil that must be confronted’ seems somewhat selective..

        • lurgee

          Grow up. Unfortunately, fighting and war means innocent people will get hurt. It’s miserable, nasty reality. Is the USA DELIBERATELY seeking to kill innocent people?

          There are plenty of examples of the USA being genuinely evil. Why did you choose such a stupid one?

  2. does everyone know that there are hipster-equations..?

    ..that adding together the number of times a ukelele is played.. the number of socks owned..

    ..tells us something important..?

  3. North 3

    A committee of “Free Thinkers” ? No.

    More an expanded access for the Prime Minister to the ‘top-drawers’ of a deemed elite resulting in a qualitative/quantitative expansion of Dirty Politics.

    The incidence and level of ‘threat’ to New Zealand, viz. the incidence and level of threat to the elites who are defined and lead by the Prime Minister, will be whatever the Prime Minister and his elites pronounce them to be. Non-elite views marginalised. And where necessary, signs of vehemence in the the non-elite view painted-up as marking the ‘threat’ within. Assisted by a neuter MSM. We live in dangerous times tending to fascism.

    Still……fabulous moves whereby the term “free-thinker” is colonised by the modern day robber barons. Someone is due a fat bonus for this Goebels masterpiece.

    • we can also look forward to a clampdown on the media..(for security/terror-reasons..)

      ..(as has happened/that little tory-rat in australia has just done..)

      ..the right further clamps down/plans war..

      ..the left stand by ineffectually waving their hands..

      (‘we’ve got a leadership race on..!’..)

      ..(and in the case of shearer/goff..becoming pimps for the war-mongers..)’s all kinda both inevitable and fucken depressing..

    • miravox 3.2

      “The 10 include Fisher & Paykel Appliances chairman Keith Turner”

      Yeah well, Fisher and Paykel would know – giving that it it upped sticks from NZ 2008 to set up operations in Reynosa, Mexico with the drug cartels, murders and mass graves and all that.

      I wonder why the coalition of the willing aren’t all over the place…

    • Molly 3.3

      Since we are all now familiar with “John Key’s office”, I suppose it is well past time to meet “John Key’s Ethics”.

      Brings to mind a very bizarre picture similar to clowns in a mini, along the lines of –
      “How many people can fit into John Key?”

    • RedBaronCV 3.4

      I’m sure they will be given an agenda with conclusions dictated by John Key. War wash also known as blue wash.

      How could anybody intelligent even put their name down for this crap? I predict some resignations in the near future.

    • Murray Rawshark 3.5

      The single biggest threat to Aotearoa is the TPPA. I wonder what they’ll do about that.

    • Raa 4.1

      “The main responsibility for the low ebb of Democratic fortunes belongs to Obama. The only way to defeat Republicans is by fighting them on the basis of a strong populist economic program designed to help struggling working families at the expense of Wall Street interests. But the position of the Obama administration in the second term has been the foolish assertion that the depression is over, the recovery is in full swing, and that therefore a job program or credit stimulus program is no longer necessary. Instead, Obama has given great attention to the Republican War on Women, and to Republican hostility towards immigrants and immigration. Because of this misplaced emphasis, Obama’s occasional attempts to gain traction on the minimum wage and the related issue of income inequality have not been successful. Notwithstanding this, the Democratic campaigners who have done best in the current environment are those who have built their own efforts around anti-Wall Street economic populism.”

      Tarpley, November 3, 2014, see link above.

    • halfcrown 4.2


      • Raa 4.2.1

        Thanks for telling us something about your interesting world view.

        As described in

        “1984 is possibly the definitive dystopian novel, set in a world beyond our imagining. A world where totalitarianism really is total, all power split into three roughly equal groups–Eastasia, Eurasia, and Oceania. 1984 is set in Oceania, which includes the United Kingdom, where the story is set, known as Airstrip One.

        Winston Smith is a middle-aged, unhealthy character, based loosely on Orwell’s own frail body, an underling of the ruling oligarchy, The Party. The Party has taken early 20th century totalitarianism to new depths, with each person subjected to 24 hour surveillance, where people’s very thoughts are controlled to ensure purity of the oligarchical system in place. Figurehead of the system is the omnipresent and omnipotent Big Brother.”

        It sounds uncannily like the NZ National Party. Are you a member ? Are you Winston Smith ?

    • Karen 5.1

      Giovanni Tiso asked Labour leader candidates about their stance on TPPA yesterday. Only Andrew Little has replied so far.

      Andrew Little @AndrewLittleMP
      @gtiso Signed petition 2 years ago opposing investor/state dispute resolution clause as it is understood. Still opposed. Need to see text

      • Skinny 5.1.1

        Little would be naturally opposed to the TTPA being the former GS of the EPMU. The Americans will be using John Key’s eagerness to sign and lock New Zealand in to it as a glowing endorsement. I don’t believe our third biggest trading partner Japan will be overly impressed. They won’t be signing in a hurry, and by printing more money the Jap’s are gearing up to do the opposite. Good bloody job!

        • s y d

          this question was raised at the hustings meeting last night.
          Interesting answers, all well thought out with convincing discussions of what it may involve…..but for my money Nanaia Mahuta had the best answer – a straight out NO to the TPPA, as trying to explain the finer points is a losing battle.

          Take a position and state it.

          As slater is so fond of saying, explaining is losing…..

          • Karen

            So what did Robertson and Parker say?

            • s y d

              Whew, let me think.

              Robertson was pretty much along the same lines as Little, that needed to look at particular issues such as IP, sovereignty of states vs corporates property rights etc etc but I felt, largely uncommitted to TPPA.

              Parker was more pro the agreement – saw the drawbacks, but also saw some positives. Interestingly noted that there may be big problems for some workers/industries in NZ if it went ahead and NZ wasn’t a signatory.

              All 4 were OK with FTA’s (e.g. Labour gov’t agreement with China) where they benefitted NZ….(not going in to arguments about who gets the benefit!)

              But I still stand by my comment above – with issues like the TPPA I think the message needs to be simple and clear.

  4. Ad 6

    I’ve just finished reading the autobiography of Salman Rushdie -all 700 plus pages. It documents in detail the moral morass of confronting an Islamic state intent on crushing freedom of expression and other liberal-democratic virtues we take for granted, and its huge personal cost, just supporting one good author.

    The question I can’t get away from is: is any further NZ intervention in Iraq be a necessary stand against intolerance, and so entail all the risks of making a stand? Or should we stand back because its “not our war”? The rise of militant Islam is accelerating, and I don’t think there is any part of the world that is isolated from engaging about it, anywhere.

    • will you be playing the indonesia-card soon..?

    • JanM 6.2

      Interfering in other people’s worlds because we don’t like their ideas mostly makes the whole situation a great deal worse. In any case we in the west, led by the US, usually pick our fights based on some economic advantage to ourselves, not on any ethical grounds. To think otherwise is somewhat naive

    • minrach 6.3

      ” I don’t think there is any part of the world that is isolated from engaging about it, anywhere”

      Dues Vult !!

      you can go free the holy land from the Moors first eh…

    • joe90 6.4

      The rise of militant Islam theocracy is accelerating, and I don’t think there is any part of the world that is isolated from engaging about it, anywhere.



    • Murray Rawshark 6.5

      Salman Rushdie stirred things up to make money. He’s a total douchebag who doesn’t give a damn about intolerance. He profits from it.

  5. Dont worry. Be happy 7

    John Key plunging NZ into yet another war made in America. A “meat” for meat deal. A blood for milk agreement. And who has the clot got looking out for us in times of pandemic (animal and/or human) none other than the head honchos of the spook industry, the cow shit in rivers crowd and some dude whose company makes dud home appliances. Yep the little financial trader sure knows how to run a country….into the ground. We deserve better. This planet deserves better. And our grandchildren deserve better.

  6. Clemgeopin 8

    i asked this question yesterday as I am keen to hear your views on this subject. But none responded.

    Why doesn’t the Kiwi bank cut its charges, expenses and profit margins and give these excessive profit making foreign owned banks the run for their money? Wasn’t that the goal of the Kiwi bank when it was initiated by Jim Anderton?

    And another point: I think that all the government’s business as well as all the NZ companies should operate through the Kiwi bank as far as possible to support our local bank. What do you think?

    • JanM 8.1

      Kiwibank seems to be in the grip of 20th century Public Service mentality – at least that’s my impression when I deal with it.

      • Clemgeopin 8.1.1

        Thanks for your response, though it does not really answer my questions. I wish some people in the know could respond. I wonder if Jim Anderton reads TS and would respond!

    • Rosie 8.2

      Don’t know the answers Clemgeopin but have exactly the same questions myself – both points puzzle me but the first especially as a KB customer, whose been with them since they first opened.

      In regard to what they offer they are no different to other banks and in recent years have been cutting back their services as their profits increase.

      I am only with them for two reasons:
      1) We own it
      2) I can’t get a cheaper home loan anywhere else – on this they need to to do way more though, back to your first point

    • framu 8.3

      re: I think that all the government’s business

      i asked the same a while back and someone stated that kiwi bank dont have the capacity or capital (or something) to manage the govt accounts

      how true that is – i dont know, but that was the explanation given

      • Rosie 8.3.1

        Yes, I heard that too framu – but wasn’t that some time ago, as in approximately 4 – 5 years ago? If that is the case I wonder if Kiwibank are now big enough to handle to govt accounts?

        • Nic the NZer

          Commercial banks are not capital constrained, whoever said that didnt know what they are talking about. They can always borrow the reserves they need off the RBNZ at the OCR if they need more. It might have been their technical capacity at the time but that would not be an issue now. Not that this account will make much difference to their performance. The govt account is segregated from the rest of the bank by the RBNZ. They probably get something out of the account in transaction fees or a management fee or something.

      • RedBaronCV 8.3.2

        Sounds like rubbish to me. the govt banking is transactional – not like they have term deposits and mortgages down there.

  7. So they won’t be able to get insurance but the ‘tipping-point’ line caught my attention.

    “New Zealand’s population is located in coastal areas and beside rivers,” the report says. “As more people live in our largest cities, more lives and assets concentrate in disaster-prone areas. By 2050 about one million older New Zealanders will be living in areas vulnerable to severe flooding, coastal storm surges, land slips and wind storms. Often, developed cities suffer from under-investment and poor maintenance of infrastructure while the interdependence of digital infrastructure increases vulnerability.

    These conditions can put cities close to a tipping-point of disaster from hazard events…”

    …Kelvin Berryman, director of the Government-funded Natural Hazards Research Platform, which is dedicated to increasing our resilience against natural hazards, backed the paper’s conclusions, saying he would only buy a coastal bach “rather carefully” and warned people to consider tsunamis, coastal erosion and rising sea levels.

    Not prepared yet we know these severe weather events are coming – it also is sobering for those living in our cities – would you really want to be there when the tipping point tips? The many discussions here on this site have highlighted the fact that you have to get ready before it happens – get ready, think about what you are doing, where you are doing it and make changes while you can, while you have choices – when the shitstorms occur it will be too late…

    • Bill 9.1

      The rich get out (New Orleans, etc), the poor perish. Actually, given the global context, I’m not so sure where the rich think they will ‘get out’ to.

      Regardless, Governments and most AGW report authors are still talking 2 degrees C in spite of the scientific data pointing to 4 degrees C on current trends. (IPCC report stating 2 degrees on a ~60/40 punt and assuming efficacy associated with Carbon Capture and Storage)

      And governments prepare (barely, if at all) for 2 degrees while 4 degrees is on the cards by 2040 -50ish, and nothing they are doing will withstand the effects of 4 degrees, and that is while ignoring the potential for sub 4 degrees tipping points for the sake of optimism and sanity.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        @ Bill
        What you have said seems to be the case. The theme seems to be that countries can’t afford it, and it doesn’t seem propitious at the present time (for us pollies and our mates.)

        Such as in places like Oz and NZ who will bu…er around diminishing the government packages before they are screened through a measuring card like NZ Post use to make sure they aren’t too wide for The Sorting Machine to handle. Government shrinks package width regularly. Shrinks from the health service are needed now!

      • phillip ure 9.1.2

        @ bill..

        “..I’m not so sure where the rich think they will ‘get out’ to..”


        ..isn’t that obvious..?

  8. TheContrarian 10

    So someone attempted that catcall video in Auckland with completely different results:

    • felix 10.1

      All good then.

    • CnrJoe 10.2

      A Bradley Ambrose production.

      scroll, down the comments start riffing on
      “To be fair, the NYC actress was a lot curvier than this woman”
      “What she was wearing wasn’t even cute and she had a boy figure. Of course she wasn’t gonna get hit on lol ”
      “Woman walks down the busiest street in downtown Auckland and receives no cat calls. Should be a victory for New Zealand society, but instead lets objectify the woman in the video and say that she’s not attractive enough”.
      “Just to clarify – I’d hit it”……

      • Murray Rawshark 10.2.1

        Those videos give the commenters an opportunity for racism and sexism at the same time. They must think all their birthdays have come at once.

        I do wonder if it’s the Italian influence in NY. I’ve seen more yelling at women in Italy, Brazil, and Chile than I ever have in Aotearoa, Australia, or northern European countries. Maybe we have to be drunk first?

  9. millsy 11

    As the Republicans look set to gain control of Congress (something the Democrats only have themselves to blame for), New Plymouth’s council, controlled by its own version of Tea Party fanatics, elected last year on the back of this strange idea that charging people to attend the local art gallery would pull our city/district back from the edge of financial ruin, look set to impose harsh austerity measures on New Plymouth, cutting services that benefit the poor and working classes.

    The New Plymouth District council have voted to approve a draft proposal to cap rates for 10 year, in spite of officials warning that it would lead to the cutting of library hours, closure of pools, and the local petting zoo.

    Any changes will have to make their way through the usual consultation process but, it doesnt look good as it stands. This time next year, we are going to have slash and burn frenzy.

  10. Karen 12

    ‏@dazzabrazza asked the Labour leadership candidates this a couple of days ago

    @DavidParkerMP @NanaiaMahuta @grantrobertson1 @AndrewLittleMP
    Will your focus be on state housing or $400,000+ middleclass housing?

    Andrew answered state housing, David sent a youtube clip of himself talking about building affordable houses for people to buy.

    The other 2 haven’t replied yet.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      @ Karen –
      So Andrew Little likes state housing. Providing that, would give the economy a boost with jobs and training doing something useful and tangible, would limit the churning of children in and out of schools as parents look for something affordable and secure, would limit the spread of infections, flu – should be served by mobile health board vans looking after the children’s health where there isn’t a GP near. And house prices would start to come down, as the supply side would increase and desperate demand decrease.

      What a boon from just one initiative. Have the others the ability to count up boons, I think we should have a measure of health, wealth and happiness called a boon. (Then being born in the boondocks on ‘that’ side of town would be a good thing.)

      • Karen 12.1.1

        +100 Greywarshark.
        You have summed up the benefits of increasing the number of state houses very well. So why wasn’t that a major election policy for Labour?

        • greywarshark

          @ Karen
          I got confused about what was going on in election policies in the end. I got a bad cold and lost energy and heart for participation in the pre-election process. So can’t give facts about housing and Labour – but they had a grand scheme which got poo-pooed by Nat, dirty lot, and I think they were going to build a large number of houses in quick time which sounded more asperashunal than possible. And I think that unfortunately stepped on the trash button and went in the bin. People just thought it was an impossible dream. But they did offer policy and it would be on google.

          Sigh, they wouldn’t have been perfect, but small parts of Labour would have been excellent, and the rest would have performed fairly creditably. with improvements for all of us.

          Someone has done a study of utopianism and I seem to remember that newish countries like USA and NZ, are shown to suffer from it. And apparently it is something that you suffer! I feel I have experienced it. Try starting up something and getting it going in a practical way if all the bright eyes push their utopian ideas that will fly for no more than a few months!

          • Karen

            Well, they had the Kiwibuild policy, which was a good idea as a way of increasing the number of affordable homes, and they did have a policy to ensure all rentals met certain healthy home standards. Not so much about building state houses for all the people who have no show of owning a house in the foreseeable future.

            I don’t expect utopia, just a fairer society that doesn’t have families living in cars or kids having to change schools every few months because their parents can’t pay market rents.

            • McFlock

              yeah, but ISTR the greens had a good state house policyu that dovetailed with labour quite nicely.

              Well, with any luck labgrn can get themselves together within three years. And I know people who in 2008 voted national “because it’s their turn”, so some of them might be flipping next time, too.

              But then the Treasury will be predicting that NZ will finally reach surplus in 2017/18, with 170,000 new jobs… /sarc

            • greywarshark

              @ Karen
              By the way when I said ‘you suffer’ from utopianism I was talking generally not at you. I would have thought it was rather a grand desire but the view is that utopianism tends to drive people to go beyond the practical.

          • b waghorn

            The head of the builders association said it was quiet possible to build those number of houses with a couple of years to get there

  11. Chooky 13

    On naughty London bankers who need a whipping ….corruption…the emerging post-dollar order… and the new Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank

    For economics made fun for dummies …see the Keiser Report

  12. Why is it that horse racing is considered okay – apart from the horses ‘like’ it and they live longer than in the wild.

    • joe90 14.1

      Indeed marty – dollars to donuts if the role of abattoirs in the industry were exposed and broken down horses euthanised without screens racing would wither and die.

      • marty mars 14.1.1

        joe your links often make me cringe and cry – that one did. Thanks mate.

        • joe90

          I won’t link to the travesty that’s greyhound racing – a gambling game masquerading as sport, where 35% of animals whelped don’t make it to the track, around half of euthanised dogs are under three years old with the majority disposed of in ‘on stud’ offal pits.

    • Rosie 14.2

      Don’t know why we are still racing horses in the 21st century marty mars. It is an incredibly cruel practice (as is the greyhound racing Joe90 talks about) but you know, money.

      I spent years around horses in my teens and used to ride almost every day. When you get to know the nature of horses you find they are highly sensitive and emotional herd animals and are capable of very strong bonds with humans if they can trust them. It surprising they do given the centuries of abuse we have given them, and still do.

      I recall one racing trainer said on telly that even the training is cruel. As a prey animal they are terrified into running as fast as they can, with the rider whipping them hard – to them it is like having a lion on their back and they are doing their best to get away.

      We used to get burnt out race horses grazing in the paddocks we rented, the ones that weren’t shot. They were wrecks. Some were vicious as a result of the way they had been mistreated, some were unable to be ridden because they freaked out at everything as their nerves were so jangled and some just seemed broken spirited.

      Watching the Melbourne cup news on 3 news was really depressing last night. News was that one horse collapsed in it’s stall after the race and died. The money that we squeeze out of these poor animals is sick.

      Don’t start me on rodeo’s.

      • marty mars 14.2.1

        “We used to get burnt out race horses grazing in the paddocks we rented, the ones that weren’t shot. They were wrecks. Some were vicious as a result of the way they had been mistreated, some were unable to be ridden because they freaked out at everything as their nerves were so jangled and some just seemed broken spirited.”

        So sad Rosie – and these are animals we humans profess to love and care about. I hadn’t thought about a prey animal being forced to run as fast as they can before – thanks for that insight.

        and yep money – it is all down to that money – that curse has been with us for a long time and it has just about destroyed us and our world.

        • Rosie

          Sigh. Sometimes, far too often in fact, we just don’t get it right as humans, on many different levels, social, environmental and with our treatment of other species, as well as our own.

          Sometimes “I’m sorry for being a human”. Feel a bit that way today.

      • Mark 14.2.2

        “I recall one racing trainer said on telly that even the training is cruel. As a prey animal they are terrified into running as fast as they can, with the rider whipping them hard – to them it is like having a lion on their back and they are doing their best to get away.”

        What an absolute load of crap. How do you explain the jockeys that don’t carry a whip. Just a whole lot of generalisations that are so far from what happens I don’t know where to start.
        Not sure if we should be racing horses in 2014 but the emotive and misleading crap written above harms the case instead of helping it.

      • greywarshark 14.2.3

        There was a piece on Oz and NZ racehorse treatment this morning I think Kathryn did it. They had 129 deaths in a year, we had four, of race horses. The one that died was from a burst aorta – that thing about a horse running hard till its heart breaks.
        NZ is saying they have good controls. But we don’t have as many races.

  13. Penny Bright 15

    Ok folks – you have until 5pm TODAY to give feedback on proposed changes to ‘the Government’s Rules of Sourcing’.

    “How to provide feedback?

    You can provide feedback on the proposed changes by completing this survey or Consultation closes on Wednesday 5 November 2014 at 5pm.”

    I for one, want it to be a MANDATORY requirement (not just ‘best practice’), for the ‘devilish detail’ to be given on ALL private sector contracts that are awarded by central government / Crown Entities / State-Owned Enterprises.

    The model that I recommend is that provided by Auckland Transport, with the proviso that it applies to ALL awarded contracts – not just those valued at more than $50,000:

    “Awarded contracts
    Auckland Transport is committed to ensuring its procurement activities are undertaken in an ethical and transparent manner.

    The attached lists detail all of the contracts awarded in the previous six months that are valued over $50,000.00. Details include:

    the contract number,
    the contract name,
    the supplier, and the
    award value.

    View the latest awarded contracts list (PDF 64KB)

    Disclaimer: we endeavour to list all contracts awarded above the value of $50,000.00 in the previous six months. Whilst all possible care and effort has been taken to ensure accuracy in this list, we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Accordingly, this list should be used for reference only.


    “What are the proposed changes?

    Changes include aligning Extended Procurement Forecasts with government’s four year planning cycle (Rule 18.2) and modifying the scope of the opt out rule to strengthen good practice (Rule 13.3).

    Other proposed changes are mainly for clarification or to reflect the Government’s decision to make the Rules mandatory for 103 Crown Entities.”


    The Government Rules of Sourcing

    Rules Review October 2014

    MBIE invites feedback to proposed changes to the Government Rules of Sourcing from Wednesday 15 October to Wednesday 5 November 2014 from interested parties. We expect to launch a revised version of the Rules in February 2015.

    To view the proposed changes read the Government Rules of Source Third Edition Consultation [3.18 MB PDF]. Tracked changes within the consultation draft are intentional.

    How to provide feedback?
    You can provide feedback on the proposed changes by completing this survey or Consultation closes on Wednesday 5 November 2014 at 5pm.

    What are the proposed changes?

    Changes include aligning Extended Procurement Forecasts with government’s four year planning cycle (Rule 18.2) and modifying the scope of the opt out rule to strengthen good practice (Rule 13.3).

    Other proposed changes are mainly for clarification or to reflect the Government’s decision to make the Rules mandatory for 103 Crown Entities.


    The Government Rules of Sourcing

    About the Rules
    The purpose of the Rules
    Applying the Rules
    Changes in procurement practice
    The Rules and our international commitments
    Your transition to the Rules
    Rules Review October 2014
    More reading/FAQs
    Archived material

    About the Rules
    The Government Rules of Sourcing (the Rules) [1.1 MB PDF] represent the government’s standards of good practice for procurement planning, approaching the market and contracting.

    Cabinet has endorsed the Rules (CAB Min (13) 10/4A) and they came into effect on 1 October 2013. The Rules replaced the 2006 Mandatory Rules for Procurement by Departments.

    The Rules were launched on 24 April 2013 and the first edition came into force on 1 October 2013. The Rules were amended in May 2014, to implement Cabinet’s decision to rescind rule 67, which required agencies to source cleaning services only from members of the Building Services Contractors Association. The second edition came into effect on 26 May 2014.

    Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce announces the Rules of Government Sourcing

    Cabinet Minute for Government Rules of Sourcing (CAB Min (13) 10/4A) [54 KB PDF]

    The purpose of the Rules
    The Rules give us the foundations to:

    support more productive relationships with businesses as suppliers
    deliver innovative and effective solutions that get the best value for New Zealanders
    help our suppliers become more competitive in international markets.

    Applying the Rules
    Applying the Rules help us to:

    strengthen our accountability
    promote our values
    design robust processes that build:
    confidence in government procurement practices
    greater trust that our spending is well planned and executed
    deliver better public services
    support economic growth.

    Changes in procurement practice
    The Rules encourage us to:

    use more strategic approaches and commercial expertise eg e-procurement
    engage with the market early to stimulate competition and innovation
    work with suppliers to create better solutions.

    The Rules and our international commitments
    The Rules are the single source of all New Zealand’s commitments on government procurement, including international agreements and treaties.

    The Rules align with international good practice and show that New Zealand:

    is a desirable trading partner
    has a competitive productive supply base
    government is open, transparent and accountable.

    Your transition to the Rules
    To help you transition to the Rules, the following resources are available:

    an internal communications pack
    Communications guide [111 KB PDF]
    Presentation: 15 minute summary [756 KB PPTX]
    Presentation: 1 hour overview [1.3 MB PPTX]
    Training module: 3 hours training presentation [4.5 MB PPTX]

    Rules Review October 2014
    MBIE invites feedback to proposed changes to the Government Rules of Sourcing from Wednesday 15 October to Wednesday 5 November 2014 from interested parties. We expect to launch a revised version of the Rules in February 2015.

    To view the proposed changes read the Government Rules of Source Third Edition Consultation [3.18 MB PDF]. Tracked changes within the consultation draft are intentional.

    How to provide feedback?
    You can provide feedback on the proposed changes by completing this survey or Consultation closes on Wednesday 5 November 2014 at 5pm.

    What are the proposed changes?
    Changes include aligning Extended Procurement Forecasts with government’s four year planning cycle (Rule 18.2) and modifying the scope of the opt out rule to strengthen good practice (Rule 13.3).

    Other proposed changes are mainly for clarification or to reflect the Government’s decision to make the Rules mandatory for 103 Crown Entities.

    What won’t change?
    Open tender thresholds and requirements, and how the rules apply to different tiers of government are outside the scope of the review.

    For more information read the Government Rules of Sourcing Review 2014 Frequently Asked Questions [255 KB PDF].

    We expect to issue a new edition of the Rules in February 2015.

    The Rules reflect government policy, which may change over time. After completing this review, MBIE will check the Rules annually so they remain current.


    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption whistle-blower’

  14. greywarshark 16

    Northland was devastated by floods earlier this year. Transport Minister Brownlee was on top of it though. But the road damage and the promise of assistance has entered the stream of consciousness and got drowned. A suggestion of help at the time, once, well time has moved on, other priorities, huge concerns. Not a Colossus who stands astride NZ from north to south, from Kaitaia to Christchurch. That would split you up the middle heh heh.
    The Editor of the Northland Age muses wryly:

    less than three months ago from then [the general election, by] Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee to the damage that was done to roads around the Far North by an exceptionally wet and stormy winter of 2014. …now calls into question whether there was ever any intention of displaying such largesse, and whether the Far North’s ratepayers have the friend in Wellington that he led them to believe they did.

    Mr Brownlee said the taxpayer might pick up as much as 90 per cent of the cost of repairing slip-damaged roads (apart from state highways, which are not the ratepayers’ responsibility), the only proviso being that the NZTA would whip out its chequebook only if the damage was bad enough. How ‘bad enough’ might be defined is open to question, but few who live and pay rates here would doubt that the damage done meets that benchmark.

    At the time that Mr Brownlee made his promise the bill was expected to be in the region of $27 million. Since then it’s risen to close to $40 million, but now political enthusiasm for providing assistance above and beyond what might be regarded as a minimum is waning.
    Unless the council can effectively bring pressure to bear on the government, it seems likely that the taxpayer contribution will be less than $10 million, leaving ratepayers to find the rest.

    This man is too big to fail!

  15. whew..!..that’s a relief..!

    ..labour are fully onside with key..

    ..we march to this new long-war with a unified voice…!

    ..just like we have done so many times before…

    ..we’ll save the regrets for later..shall we…?

    ..and anette king gets a special groin-stretching long-bow-award..

    ..for quoting ghandi in her pimping for war..


    • to their credit..the greens are speaking against going to war..

      ..and the increase in spooking-powers..

      ..(it is actually one of the greens’ a long time..)

      • phillip ure 17.1.1

        armchair-warrior peters is fair bristling with/from war-fever…

        ..and gives a rambling/incoherent-rant..

        ..blustering/fulminating on matters only clear to him…

        (his followers are watching him with wrinkled-brows..

        ..obviously also wondering what the fuck he is banging on about..)

        ..and he finshes with some old-skool peters.. anti-immigrants rant..

        ..(ah..!..the memories..!

        • phillip ure

          flavell uses the platform to give a powerful speech on state terrorism..(parihaka..)

          ..and dunne proves again what a shallow war-mongering prick he is..

          ..and the dweeb from act toadies right on cue…

          • phillip ure

            and then brownlee plays the gun-emplacements-on-north-head-to-protect-us-from-russian-invasion card..

            ..saying the government is doing all this..’to protect us here in nz’..

            ..(interesting way to do it..painting a big bullseye-target on the country..)

            ..and isn’t this humanitarian-aid/training-bullshit the same chimera clark/goff used to get us into that ten-yrs long afghanistan war..?

            ..this all seems so familiar..somehow..

            • phillip ure

              shearer gives perhaps his most literate/coherent speech..

              ..where he seems to be taking an anti-stand..

              .with his best line being pointing out/questioning just what good will our ‘training’ do..

              ..when america has just spent billions and ten yrs training/building an iraqi army..

              ..only to have them fold like over-creased/used origami -paper..

              ..’what good’..?..indeed..!..

              ..(‘origami’ is my simile..not his..wd hate to mis-quote him..)

  16. hi ho..!..hi ho..!..and it’s off to war we go…!


    ..what’s that over there..?..body-bags..! say..?..)

  17. lusk/slater acolyte/rightwinger nash is having a very bad hair day..

    ..clearly showing that his fop-hairdo..and his scalp..

    ..will soon be parting company..

    ..i must confess..there is a soupcon of schadenfreude to be had with/from that observation.. he won’t be taking it well…

    ..this countdown…

    ..we all know that..

  18. Weepus beard 20

    This is the guy who would stop at nothing to get those miners back to their families.

    Guess he stopped…at nothing.

  19. Penny Bright 21

    Ok folks – keeping the pressure on for genuine transparency and accountability – which you cannot have without full and accurate records which are available for public scrutiny?


    5 November 2014

    Feedback from ‘Anti-corruption Public Watchdog’ Penny Bright to improve transparency and accountability re:
    ‘The Government Rules of Sourcing’.

    ( I am the person who has recently received a lot of publicity in my stand against Auckland Council, who have failed to follow statutory provisions for ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local government, regarding rates spending).

    As an ‘Anti-corruption Public Watchdog /whistle-blower’, I want it to be a MANDATORY requirement (not just ‘best practice’), for the following ‘devilish detail’ to be given for ALL private sector contracts that are awarded by ALL central government / Crown Entities / State-Owned Enterprises and the like.

    The model that I recommend is that provided by Auckland Transport, with the proviso that it applies to ALL awarded contracts – not just those valued at more than $50,000:

    “Awarded contracts

    Auckland Transport is committed to ensuring its procurement activities are undertaken in an ethical and transparent manner.

    The attached lists detail all of the contracts awarded in the previous six months that are valued over $50,000.00. Details include:

    the contract number,
    the contract name,
    the supplier, and the
    award value.

    View the latest awarded contracts list (PDF 64KB)

    Disclaimer: we endeavour to list all contracts awarded above the value of $50,000.00 in the previous six months. Whilst all possible care and effort has been taken to ensure accuracy in this list, we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Accordingly, this list should be used for reference only.


    Taxpayer money is PUBLIC money, and under the Public Records Act 2005, members of the public are entitled to:

    17 Requirement to create and maintain records

    (1)Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

    (2)Every public office must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all public records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act or required by or under another Act.

    (3)Every local authority must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all protected records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act.


    public record—

    (a)means a record or a class of records, in any form, in whole or in part, created or received (whether before or after the commencement of this Act) by a public office in the conduct of its affairs; and

    (i)a record or a class of records declared under section 5(1)(a)(ii) to be a public record for the purposes of this Act; and
    (ii)estray records; but

    public office—

    (a)means the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Government of New Zealand; and

    (b)means the agencies or instruments of those branches of government; and

    (c)includes (without limiting the agencies or instruments)—

    (i)departments as defined in section 2 of the State Sector Act 1988; and
    (ii)Offices of Parliament as defined in section 2(1) of the Public Finance Act 1989; and
    (iii)State enterprises as defined in section 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986; and
    (iv)Crown entities as defined in section 7(1) of the Crown Entities Act 2004; and
    (v)the Parliamentary Counsel Office; and
    (vi)the Parliamentary Service; and
    (vii)the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives; and
    (viii)the New Zealand Police; and

    3 Purposes of Act

    The purposes of this Act are—

    (a)to provide for the continuation of the repository of public archives called the National Archives with the name Archives New Zealand (Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga); and

    (b)to provide for the role of the Chief Archivist in developing and supporting government recordkeeping, including making independent determinations on the disposal of public records and certain local authority archives; and

    (c)to enable the Government to be held accountable by—

    (i)ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are created and maintained; and
    (ii)providing for the preservation of, and public access to, records of long-term value; and

    (d)to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public records and local authority records; and

    (e)to provide an appropriate framework within which public offices and local authorities create and maintain public records and local authority records, as the case may be; and

    (f)through the systematic creation and preservation of public archives and local authority archives, to enhance the accessibility of records that are relevant to the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand and to New Zealanders’ sense of their national identity; and

    (g)to encourage the spirit of partnership and goodwill envisaged by the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi), as provided for by section 7; and

    (h)to support the safekeeping of private records.


    In parallel with ensuring that information on awarded contracts is available for public scrutiny – the directly-related issue is ‘cost-benefit’ analysis, which PROVES that all this contracting out to private sector consultants and contractors is a more ‘cost-effective’ use of public monies (and this equally applies to local government contracting), than ‘in-house’ provision, under the public service model.

    Research that I have independently carried out has proved that once central and local government get into contracting out of services formerly provided ‘in-house’ by directly employed ‘public servants’, then the contracts have to be ‘managed’.

    What I have discovered is that because ‘public servant /’bureaucrats’ are seen to be ‘too dumb’ to know how to do contract management – this is then contracted out to private consultants, who then ‘project manage’ the works contractors.

    So – a single layer of directly employed, ‘not-for-profit public service bureaucracy’ is replaced by a double layer of ‘for profit, private sector contractocracy’.

    If there is no ‘cost-benefit’ analysis which PROVES that this ‘contractocracy’ is more cost-effective for the public majority of taxpayers – then how is this not ‘corporate welfare’ on a grand scale?

    In order to ‘follow the dollar’ – we first need to know EXACTLY where this public dollar is being spent …..

    FYI – here is a Press Release that I wrote on these matters back in November 2011:

    “PRESS RELEASE: Independent Candidate for Epsom Penny Bright:
    “How many billion$ of public monies could be saved by ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?

    3 November 2011

    Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?

    Which of the maor political parties are pushing for ‘corporate welfare’ reform and shrinking the long-term dependency of the private sector on our public monies?

    Where is the ‘devilish detail’ at both local and central government level – which shows EXACTLY where our public rates and taxes are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors?

    Why aren’t the names of the consultant(s)/ contrators(s) – the scope, term and value of these contracts, published in Council or central government Annual Reports – so this information on the spending of OUR public monies is available for public scrutiny?

    Where are the publicly-available ‘Registers of Interests’ for those local government elected representatives, and staff responsible for property and procurement, in order to help guard against possible ‘conflicts of interest’ between those who ‘give’ the contracts and those who ‘get’ the contracts?

    Where’s the ‘transparency’?

    Given that New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world – along with Denmark and Singapore, according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index – shouldn’t we arguably be the most transparent?

    Going back a step – where are the New Zealand ‘cost-benefit’ analyses which prove that the old ‘Rogernomic$ mantra – public is bad – private (contracting) is good’ can be substantiated by FACTS and EVIDENCE?……………………”


    Penny Bright

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2013
    Attendee: G20 Anti-Corruption Conference 2014

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes)

  20. Aerobubble 22

    Councils have to legislate smoking of pot in public. Yet they cannot as its illegal. Summer is coming on, and again I find a nice bench to sit on, and once again a disheveled person rocks up and lights up, upwind from me.

  21. Manuka AOR 23

    Gough Whitlam Memorial today.

    “Noel Pearson’s eulogy for Gough Whitlam praised as one for the ages”

    “Indigenous leader Noel Pearson’s powerful eulogy for Gough Whitlam at his state memorial service is being hailed on social media as a one of the best political speeches of our time.

    “The chairman of the Cape York Group paid tribute to “this old man” Whitlam, praising his foresight and moral vision in striving for universal opportunity in Australia.

    “He even channelled Monty Python as he listed Whitlam’s achievements, saying: “And what did the Romans ever do for us anyway?”, to laughter and clapping from the audience. He then answered his own question, reeling off a great list of Whitlam’s achievements, including Medibank, the abolition of conscription, the introduction of student financial assistance and Aboriginal land rights.

    “Mr Pearson said as a person born into poverty and discrimination, he spoke of “this old man’s legacy with no partisan brief”. ”

    Video at:

  22. Ad 26

    Looks like Labor Australia, Labour New Zealand, French Socialists, US Democrats, German Social Democrats, and practically every other similar party have got similar lessons to learn together. Time to compare notes!

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    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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