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Open mike 06/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 6th, 2016 - 136 comments
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136 comments on “Open mike 06/01/2016”

  1. gsays 1

    at the risk of raising the ire of y’all…
    i was reading through the comments on the chinese stock market and was surprised by the responses.
    there is clearly some experience of the market with details of gains and losses from investments (lets be honest, they are bets).

    there are also some defences of the whole rigmarole (pyramid scheme; if people stop putting money in, it all falls over), knowing that the markets are rigged and then offering advice as to how participate successfully.

    i think i see a little better why labour didn’t do better at the last election and why largely the left is stuffed politically.

    cgt was aimed at too many of the ‘left’.
    raising the retirement age was not going to fly either.
    i agree both of these things need to be addressed, but not as an election plank.

    how are we to deal with inequality if us on the left are still concerned with investment property(ies) or a stock/share portfolio?

    to have more than your fair share of the pie someone else MUST have less.

    perhaps the world economy going down the dunny will give us a chance of addressing the environment threats we face- climate change, deforestation/erosion, water quality, species extinction.

    this is not meant to be an attack, i understand this is the way the game is played in aotearoa, (get a second mortgage, write off expenses against your tax, get another deposit…..)
    things cant change by criticizing key and his ilk for their greed and lack of compassion, and then behaving in much the same way, just on a smaller scale.

    • Pat 1.1

      no ire….but tis human nature and in that cannot be ignored.
      The fundamental role of a sharemarket could be argued to be socialist or democratic for without it all capital (and return) would only be available to a greatly decreased portion of society…..does that justify the perversion the market has become?…no

      • gsays 1.1.1

        hi pat, that would be an interesting arguement indeed, linking the sharemarket to socialism.

        and yes the market has become very perverse.

        • Pat

          lol….devils advocate….though what are public works and taxation if not a state controlled form of sharemarket?

          • gsays

            thats fine, the benefit of public works and taxation in theory return to the public. as opposed to the me first and the gimme gimme brigade.

            • Pat

              and theoretically the “benefits’ of the sharemarket are available to all of the public….the market cares not where or whom the investment comes from….the fact that some are unable or unwilling (myself) to partake doesn’t remove the availability…the main difference i see is the compulsion and tradability….but that is merely a question of degree…there are other forms in-between i.e. community owned assets that provide a return, local power networks for example.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The biggest problem with the share-market is that it encourages bludging. People get more for doing nothing.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        .but tis human nature and in that cannot be ignored.

        No, it’s not human nature – it’s culture and culture is taught.

        • Pat

          beg to differ….as it occurs in all cultures i submit it is not learned…the only impact of culture is the degree of acceptability of its consequence

          • Draco T Bastard

            as it occurs in all cultures

            Except that it doesn’t.

            • Pat

              name one

              • Draco T Bastard

                Australian aboriginal
                Native North Americans
                Some tribes in Africa

                • Pat

                  native American example is a fail given that they were hierarchical societies that had conflict over resources…that suggests ownership….you may be onto something with Australian aboriginals however although a sparse hunter /gatherer society in a vast environment allows for a non competitive outcome

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    native American example is a fail given that they were hierarchical societies that had conflict over resources…that suggests ownership…

                    I suggest you read David Graeber’s Debt: The first 5000 years where he explains how everything was communally owned and resources distributed via a woman’s council. Not all of them were like that.

                    He lists many tribes the world over that doesn’t have private ownership or competition as the base of all actions the way that we do.

                    • Pat

                      Have just googled David Grabber and I think I shall follow your suggestion (Thanks)….a very interesting (and prolific) sounding character. He will be next on my reading list right after my current tome which I in turn recommend to you.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Was that the right link?

                    • Pat

                      warped sense of humour

                  • weka

                    I think we could also look close to home. From what I understand, traditional Māori systems are based on giving not hoarding. This worked both with physical resources, where giving of gifts placed an obligation on the receiver to give something in return, and with mana which is also something that is given.


                    I’m not suggesting that there wasn’t conflict over resources in pre-European times, that seems inevitable with an increasing population on a set of small islands. But I think there are significant differences in how resources were shared. Land wasn’t owned in any Western sense, but instead there were protocols around occupation and responsibility. So rights to land were based on relationship not absolute entitlement that could be denied to others via the abstract. The establishment of the state in NZ seems to me to be one of the core destructive acts against Māori because it forced land into private ownership and undermined the collective nature of their organising.

                    Concepts of kaitiakitanga in relationship to land and the resources of an area also strike me as demonstrating that greed and the desire to accumulate are not inherent human traits. I do think we are hard wired evolutionarily to make use of resources we have to hand, but culturally there are many examples of how groups have worked together to share.

      • Naturesong 1.1.3

        The sharemarket is diametrically opposite to socialism.

        The share market is where all the advantages of agglomeration and economy of scale end up to be enjoyed be the people who already have the funds to dominate this market.

        • Pat

          “The share market is where all the advantages of agglomeration and economy of scale end up to be enjoyed be the people who already have the funds to dominate this market”
          That is the sharemarket as it operates, no argument…but not as it COULD operate. If the sharemarket was only available to elites (and you could argue it is) THEN it would be diametrically opposed to socialism

          • Naturesong

            These would be elites that spend billions to lobby government to ensure wages are kept low so as to prevent the majority of people participating in any meaningful way?

            Or elites within government who ensure wages are kept low so as to prevent the majority of people participating in any meaningful way?

            • Pat

              “Socialism is a political ideology and movement[1] which has proposed a set of social and economic measures, policies[2] and systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Social ownership may refer to public ownership, cooperative ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.[9] Although there are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them,[10] social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.[“…wiki

              If Socialism is public ownership and control of the means of production (always my understanding of the term in its pure form) then a sharemarket fully participated in and controlled by the public could be deemed socialist

              • Actually socialism is a school or system of economics.

                But I do understand your point about the stock market potentially being a model for redistribution.

                However, it’s not just the stock market itself. The companies within the stock market are psychopathic by design.

                You would have to ensure every business accounted and was accountable for any and all externalities you’d need to revamp a great deal of legislation.

                And that in itself which would go a long way to solving the problem.

                • Pat

                  sadly the reality is like any capitalist system its end game is always a monopoly so the sharemarket as a form of redistribution will only ever result in distributions upwards ultimately to a single entity if left to operate long enough….think the 1%.

                  we constantly come back to human nature and mitigating the impacts of the worst aspects and trying to promote the best aspects….something we appear to have got back to front.

    • amy 1.2

      ” have more than your fair share of the pie someone else MUST have less’
      Ridiculous statement. Are you seriously suggesting that the rising living standards in NZ, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Canada (and so many other countries as well) over the last 75 years is because of ‘someone’ else having less? How about it is because of huge increases in productivity and technological developments, and the ability to trade as distances have effectively decreased?

      You can justly criticize inequality, but this comment is ridiculous.

      And you think sharemarket is a pyramid scheme! If you buy a house and get mortgage, someone invests in you. If you buy a business and get a loan, same thing. Investing in sharemarket just this on large scale and is investing in business, allowing them to buy machinery, provide working capital and so on. This is no pyramid scheme. Only is bad when there is corruption, fraud and so on.

      Do you think that you would be able to post to the internet, own a computer, a cell phone and so on if Microsoft and Apple did not raise funds from the sharemarket?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        Are you seriously suggesting that the rising living standards in NZ, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Canada (and so many other countries as well) over the last 75 years is because of ‘someone’ else having less?

        No, the increasing poverty, stagnating wages of the lower middle class, the disappearing middle class are all the result of a few people having far more than their fair share. The economy really is a zero sum game.

        Investing in sharemarket just this on large scale and is investing in business, allowing them to buy machinery, provide working capital and so on. This is no pyramid scheme. Only is bad when there is corruption, fraud and so on.

        There’s a very good reason why the ancients banned usury – it tips the economy into the hands of the rich and goes on to collapse both the economy and the society.

        Do you think that you would be able to post to the internet, own a computer, a cell phone and so on if Microsoft and Apple did not raise funds from the sharemarket?

        Considering that the ability to do so was solely due to the US government funding its development – yes. You should read The Entrepreneurial State and learn how economic development really happens. It’s got very little to do with the bludgers owning shares. In fact, they seem to be getting in the way.

    • amy 1.3

      And Labour could easily have done much better at last election.

      First, Mr Cunliffe apologizing for being a man alienated many voters (and many would say only served to show that he was anything but a man).

      Most people care first and foremost about their children and family. They want good education, good healthcare, a safe neighbourhood, low crime, good housing.

      And yes, access to opportunity in life, or equality of opportunity and help when needed, like financial assistance when ill or disabled.

      I found and still find very little of that in Labours communications. Attacking Chinese as a cause of the Auckland housing crisis, being diverted by violent NZ criminals being deported to NZ, endless gender and Maori based policies and so on and on and on. These are irrelevant to most people. this is why Labour has done so badly.

      I truly hope that they focus in next 2 years on what matters most to most people.

      • gsays 1.3.1

        hi amy,
        the way things are framed makes a big difference in these discussions.
        you have a point talking about the rise in living standards in those countries.

        who is to say something similar or better wouldn’t have happened under a different system?

        it is perfectly logical that if you want more of a pie (a finite entity) then someone else must have less.
        that is unless the money supply isn’t finite …..

        i am yet to be convinced that the sharemarket is not a pyramid scheme.
        as i said, if money (debt) stops flowing in it will fall over.
        then see what the ‘value’ of a share portfoloio is.

        bill hicks- gifts of forgiveness, on rant in e-minor says it far better than me.

        re labour next election;
        “I found and still find very little of that in Labours communications. Attacking Chinese as a cause of the Auckland housing crisis, being diverted by violent NZ criminals being deported to NZ, endless gender and Maori based policies and so on and on and on. These are irrelevant to most people. this is why Labour has done so badly.”
        if you want labour to stop dealing with gender, indigenous issues and housing, and focus on law and order, and being more manly (less like cunliffe) then you need to check out the national party.

        • amy

          Thank you for good reply.

          No, it is not or should not be a case of ‘checking out National Party’. The things you mention (gender, indigenous issues) are important. Extremely so. But only as a part of the mix, not the dominant theme. Maori, gay and so on have the same primary needs as all of us: health, education and so on.

          And as regards law and order, I do realise there many ways to try and achieve this. Lock them up and forget them certainly not my idea of an answer.

          But honestly, Cunliffe was an embarrassment to all. Labour had no chance with his insincere and platitudinous.

          • Dialey

            Funny how you find Cunliffe an embarrassment, but not John Key who has been and continues to be far more of an embarrassment than Cunliffe ever could be. And if it is insincerity and platitudes you deplore, then direct your comments to the National Party caucus.

            • Chooky

              +100 Dialey

            • One Two

              How long until commenters here realise Amy is taking the piss

              The writing style is a pretence at being foreign

              • RedBaronCV

                I had wondered about that but don’t have the linguistic skills to detect such. I had noticed a lot of random throwaway comments not backed up by any consistent lines of either reasoning or prejudice and if some one refers to them seeking a reason or explanantion there is no answerback. (The DC remarks – whatever happened nationally DC has a very secure vote in his electorate which I assume has a solid immigrant quota and this is true of a lot of other Labour Auckland MP’s).

                Even the average RW tends to go along a rail line of thought – “water charges – why pay maori- treaty of waitangi can be ignored – etc”

            • Draco T Bastard

              It’s the nature of authoritarian types to always defend in their leaders what they accuse others of.

          • RedBaronCV

            Why is Cunliffe an embarassment? The remark was made in the context of domestic violence where the country has appalling statistics. Do you think that it is not manly to draw attention to this?

            “Most people care first and foremost about their children and family. They want good education, good healthcare, a safe neighbourhood, low crime, good housing.”
            ” And yes, access to opportunity in life, or equality of opportunity and help when needed, like financial assistance when ill or disabled.”

            “endless gender and Maori based policies” .Maybe these policies help to provide access to the equality of opportunity that you raise above?

            I was also interested in the “people care most about their family and children”. Yes that would be true but if we are to have the second items like education etc then we all also need to put into the community pot as well so that there is some thing there for those who need it. This sort of stuff doesn’t come out of nowhere.

            • Chooky

              +100…”Why is Cunliffe an embarassment? “…he wasn’t to New Zealand women in the context in which he said this… at Women’s Refuges!

              ( it was a jonkey nact media beat up… and Cunliffe has a proud NZ ancestry and values unlike jonkey nact)

              ….any self-respecting woman and man deplores violence against women

              New Zealand was the first country for women to have the vote and rights to university education…it has a proud tradition of women’s rights…and family planning and birth control by women for women

              …unlike China

      • Expat 1.3.2

        “Attacking Chinese as a cause of the Auckland housing crisis, being diverted by violent NZ criminals being deported to NZ”

        For those who don’t believe that the Chinese were instrumental in pushing up HOUSING prices globally, need to get out of their cocoon they are living in, now that China’s economy is slowing, the global investment in HOUSING has all but ceased. NZ is probably the last cab on the rank. Just look at Canada, in a soft recession after their housing bubble burst.

        And as for Labour being diverted by the so called violent criminals, they’re no more violent than the home grown variety, either way NZ had to accept them, some the deportees didn’t even have a criminal record, there argument was about HUMAN RIGHTS, not JK’s view of NOT standing up for NZ citizens rights when overseas.

        I find your statement as being completely misguided and misinformed.

        • Amy

          I do not disagree that Chinese money was pushing up house prices, my comment was at the way Labour made it a race issue, rather than addressing the ability of foreigners, whether from China, us or wherever, to buy and hold property whilst living overseas. Nz wants mass immigration, and Labour does not seem to be opposed to it, then this is the price that must be paid.

          But no, funds not slowing due to economic situation in China I think, so much as due to extreme pressure being applied by Mr Xi to corruption. Indeed to any funds leaving china in large amounts. Much of the capital from corruption has ceased I would think.

          ‘Misguided’. Maybe that sort of ignorance and abuse displayed by so many Labour supporters is one of the reasons Labour struggles now, despite its great history a dog good intentions. But then again, what would a women, a Chinese women, a person who has taken an extremely extremely difficult decision and process to come here and start and make a life possibly know!

          • Expat

            Yeah, but it wasn’t Labour playing the race card, they simply identified one of the leading causes of the HOUSING bubble, it was JK who play the race card, saying it was racist to identify them, just evidence that JK doesn’t like facts to be used in a political argument, he would much rather be making it up as he goes along.

            I’m not racist, but identifying a group responsible for the housing bubble is not racist either, you seem to imply that I have something against women and Chinese women, incorrect, that is only one person trying to fit into NZ, her interests are not in “speculation” like the majority, you can’t use a single valid reason to describe them all.

            NZ has too many migrants and not enough jobs, 80k migrants into NZ last year, twice as many as Oz with 6 times the population. The real cost of that is yet to be born. Bill E has already admitted that migration has reduced wages, but wait a minute, that was always the intention.

            I don’t necessarily support Labour, but I sure as hell don’t support the undemocratic bunch currently running the country like you appear to, the reality is that no political party is going to please all the people, all the time, sometimes you have to support the one who is the “lesser evil” or vote for the statusquo, who is evil, through and through.

            • Anne

              Thanks Expat. Your comments needed to be said – loud and clear. Normally intelligent people on this site ended up with their knickers in such a twist – over the govt./media smear campaign against Cunliffe and the escalating house prices in Auckland – that some of them lost the plot.

              And the worst example was the way the government/John Key introduced the race card and then projected the blame on to Labour/Phil Twyford for revealing a significant truth about the Auckland situation and so many fell hook, line and sinker for it.

              It tells me the majority of voters are still living in ignorance about the way they are being manipulated and demeaned by this government.

              • Chooky

                +100…Anne and Expat….and the Greens fell for the jonkey nact framing of “race card”…when patently it was not…it is/was a fact …. as admitted by honest Chinese and evidenced in the huge buy up of housing by Chinese in Canada and Australia as well as Auckland


                (and this is another instance of the Greens losing the plot and trying to score petty points over Labour in collusion with jonkey nact


                …another reason apart from the Red Peak flag fiasco not to trust/vote Green imo)

                • Anne

                  Hi Chooky,
                  I don’t distrust the Greens. In fact I’m in agreement with their environmental policies in particular, but I have to agree with you I was disappointed in their attack on Labour over the vexed property market in Auckland.

                  I don’t think they set out to score points off Labour, but actually did fall for the racist angle that John Key so actively promoted. That, in itself, should have caused them to step back and properly evaluate the reality of the situation but they didn’t.

                  Anyone who has had any experience of the Auckland property market knew that Labour was trying to highlight a very real problem and, what’s more, it worked. The govt. has since introduced legislative changes that appear to be starting to help alleviate the situation. And the ethnic minorities – including our newer Chinese immigrants – will be among the beneficiaries. Oh what an irony!

                  • Chooky

                    +100 Anne…they should have known better…but imo it really was petty competitive point scoring by the Green Party …without much research/thought of the real issues underlying the Auckland housing crisis for New Zealanders…and it was disloyal to a future coalition partner Labour ?( as was the corporate Red Peak flag fiasco…which ironically NZers didnt want )

                    …as well the Green Party focus should have been on Jonkey nactional and housing policies letting in overseas speculators at the expense of NZers

                    …as a long time Green Party supporter i am not impressed…and nor are others I know who are environmentalists and greenies at heart …but wont be helping or voting for the Green Party next Election…while I dont think they will choose jonkey nactional as a coalition partner….others I know are not so sure

                    the Mana Party has just as good environmental policies…and it is more socialist than Labour

                    • Anne

                      Fair enough Chooky. I’m a Labour member so no guessing where my vote is going plus I’m impressed with Andrew Little. But I do have a question to ask of him… why did he demote David Cunliffe?

                  • Chooky

                    +100 … yes “why did he demote David Cunliffe?”…that is the crucial question…and he has given no explanation….(arrogance?)

                    Little’s Labour Party shot itself in the foot by demoting David Cunliffe… Labour’s one ace draw card…amongst the Left and Labour voters anyway …and David Cunliffe, the one the Right most fears because he has intelligence, charisma and integrity

                    …can you trust Andrew Little based on the evidence?

          • RedBaronCV

            It’s good that you post on here and I have found some of your descriptions of your lifetime very interesting. The number of replies on here also show that people are reading and hearing you and like me see it as important to understand what you are saying although we may differ as to how much we agree.
            WRT to foreign ownership, whether it is housing in Auckland or farms is Southland, it is frequently not beneficial to the people like you and I who will live and work our lives out here.

            About the Auckland housing bubble, what would you rather have?
            Labour trying to identify the level of offshore ownership using a statistical method or Nact ( who have completely ignored the problem up to then) dogwhistling about racism and then bringing in some limited measures to quell it?
            Do you want people who are at least trying to measure a problem and come up with viable solutions or the crowd who just tell you anything you want to hear and never do anything about the underlying issues?

            My last question also is – do you thing Labour needs a change of core values or does it needs to present them differently?

            • Pat

              the mistake Labour made was making it specific to Chinese nationals….particularly when the same has been occurring in rural productive land from US and europe for decades….the push for a register is valid and needed (long overdue)

              • Ad

                One of its biggest mistakes being that it told all NZ Chinese not to vote for Labour, because in the Labour caucus mind they remain a group that can be humiliated whenever they feel like it.

                It was ugly, and dumb, and pissed a whole bunch of people off. For almost no political gain.

              • RedBaronCV

                No they didn’t. They did a statistical bayseian regression on surnames which included other names e.g Indian. Statistically the chinese surnames stuck out but Nact raised the racist card. If they had done the same analysis by sex and found that women predominate then would it have been sexist?
                Or if the previous home address was somewhere in the ‘naki they could have been accused of provincialism.

                • Pat

                  first I’ve heard of the inclusion of other origin names e.g. indian…it was clumsy though it did at least place some pressure to begin to measure non resident ownership….a little thought would have produced a method with at least the same result with less or no blowback I would suggest.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    If I remember correctly what they actually did was take all the buyer names from the property list. This was then measured against the ocurrence of the name in the general community. Say they took the name Smith from the buyer list and they were 10%. The number of Smiths in the auckland phone book/ electoral roles should also be around the 10% mark.
                    They must also have sourced a data base relating surnames to declared ethnicity (census NZ?) because some surnames appear from more than one ethnic background. (Lee is a % of ethnic chinese and % north european.) These names were adjusted for and the only surnames group that stood out as having far more buyers than the “general living here surnames groups” belonged more than likely to the ethnic chinese group.
                    If your surname was of indian, french, african orig etc etc statistically the living here and buying groups were pretty much the same size.
                    However, the Real estate agents didn’t stint themselves in how they described the lost buyers.
                    The MSM found this much too complicated and repeated the Nact dogwhistle. The government of course could have ascertained the number of non resident buyers from the various records we hold but couln’t be bothered.
                    I doubt there was any way this could have been presented without the MSM doing the NAct dogwhistle for them. but at least there was some shut down action.

                    • Pat

                      understand the simple extrapolation from Chinese (sounding) names in relation to the ratio of resident Chinese NZers….that is somewhat different than the assertion that e.g. Indian sounding names were canvased too….that appears to me to be a misrepresentation.

                    • RedBaronCV

                      Hey Pat
                      Effectively two lists were matched (buyers & general population). The Singhs & Patels etc along with a whole host of other names occured with around the same frequency on both lists- the adjusted ethnic chinese names didn’t .
                      It wasn’t a simple extrapolation but a bayseian regression which is a statistical bridge further.

                    • Pat

                      extrapolation or application of Bayes law the fact remains Labour made a hash of presenting their findings….perhaps a statistical analysis of the probability of how the release in that form would be interpreted should have been performed.

                • Ad

                  And a sexist or provincialist accusation would have been right both times. They could have done the same for Maori, Indians, any group you like. The principle is Divide And Rule. They knew that.

                  There was and is no need for Labour to win ugly.

                  And if they continue to lose immigrant votes, they will continue to lose elections.

                  • Sacha

                    Yep, explain all you like but blaming foreign home-buying on folk with certain-sounding surnames could never end well. If only all parties had people who knew that. Labour seem to love that reliable footpain.

                    • fisiani

                      You might want to Know that in the last 12 months over 2,200 people with “Chinese sounding surnames” have joined the National Party in Auckland

            • Expat

              Hi RedBaronCV,

              My view points to large extent, are from the outside looking in, I also take note of other international trends, ie China’s input into global housing in nearly all major cities. The street that I have lived in for the past 4 Years, has seen a lot real estate activity, the average knock down on a section was selling for around $1.5m, the average time for a property to sell was 5 weeks, 4 weeks of marketing, and then the auction. Up until about 4 months ago, most auctions were represented by about 85% Asian purchasers who seemed to have a bottomless bag of money and simply out bid everyone else, that has now ceased and there are almost no Asians buyers at the most recent auctions, some properties are not selling at all. The Asian influence in the market has “helped” to push up the prices, about 25% last year and 20% the year before. I get annoyed at anyone who denies that they (Asian investors) aren’t partially responsible for the housing boom.
              Foreign ownership of property is a delicate subject, I note that recently the large dairy farm in NZ for sale was restricted from foreign ownership, and I agree, in Au, right now there is a similar property for sale, a massive beef and cattle farm, the land mass alone represents over 2% of Australia (probably about 75% of the size of the north island), the only interested buyer with sufficient funds is a Chinese consortium, the govt doesn’t want it to go into foreign hands, and fair enough, there has been a lot of talk about China trying to secure it’s future food supply, if you sold it to them, there is no guarantee that there would be any long term benefit to Au. The reality is you can’t buy properties like that in China, if your not a citizen.

              Auckland has had many housing bubbles over the years, but none as aggressive as the current one, some countries regulate the market to stop speculation, ie Germany, where housing prices are deliberately kept low so they are affordable for the average worker, they ensure an oversupply as a mechanism for achieving that.

              “Do you want people who are at least trying to measure a problem and come up with viable solutions or the crowd who just tell you anything you want to hear and never do anything about the underlying issues?”

              I would prefer the first not the latter, but failing to recognise that there is a problem to measure in first instance, or too late is part of the problem, how long have people been ignoring it, especially those who have benefited from it, I also know some “local” speculators who have, done very well, thank you very much. Some rellies of mine lived in Devonport for over 30Yrs, they’ve recently had to move out of the area as it is unaffordable now, very sad for them, but that’s progress.

              Your last question, I have to refer to something Draco T Bastard said a few days ago, the values of the Labour party from the sixties, but not the policies, the core values then were easy to recognise and relate to, however times have changed, but as Iv’e said before, some times you have to support the party which is “less evil”, at least if their elected it’s a starting point for change, those on Left need to unite and sing the same tune, otherwise we’re playing into the divisive actions of Key.

              We don’t really get to hear a lot of the policies from Labour for one reason or another, quite often they are presented by Key in a negative fashion, and if not him, the MSM, again negatively, always try to discredit, rather than present a different point of view, they call it bias, and there are a lot people who believe what there told, an example, recently I asked my 65 yr old sister about the $100b debt, and she quickly replied, “oh yes, that was to pay for the ChCh earthquake, I didn’t bother going any further on that, but it describes how easily people are influenced by what they read or hear in the MSM.

            • gsays

              hi red baroncv,
              “My last question also is – do you thing Labour needs a change of core values or does it needs to present them differently?”

              for my two cents, a bit of both.
              core values need a distancing from the reforms of 80’s and an articulate vision of an alternative future (ubi anyone?).

              as has be spoken about here recently it is the framing of the situation that is important, labour always seem to be responding/working within a tory framework.

              eg before serco were fired i seem to recall mr little saying something along the lines of having to look at the contract..rather than a thorough rejection of profit coming out of our penal system.

          • RedBaronCV

            BTW I’m not so sure that large parts of New Zealand are so enamoured with mass migration – it tends to be a feature of RW governments not some thing that the population are consulted about.

          • Chooky

            @ Amy ” Nz wants mass immigration”…I dont think so!…this is a self serving new immigrant myth from grossly overpopulated countries!

            …especially by ethnic colonialist peoples who are ignorant and disrespectful of New Zealand Tangata Whenua and New Zealand history…and New Zealand ecological and environmental values

            ….overpopulation is a no no!……so is becoming a colony of Han China…which is grossly overpopulated and has huge pollution and environmental problems …. the over- running of Tibet is an example and a lesson!





      • reason 1.3.3

        The things that Amy claims to care about for her family are the things the Nats are either wrecking or making worse ………………..

        Nationals backwards policy s on education have seen us plunge in the world rankings from 7th to 23 rd …….. They have lowered standards for early child education and made higher education more expensive which is a barrier for our young………. Country s like Germany who know the true value of education for their nations have free university education and are leaving us behind.

        Health is underfunded and they keep the waiting lists down by not even letting people get on them ……………. The stats are lies just like Judith Collins burglary ones.

        Nationals cow and milk Boom has gone bust and we’ve rooted our rivers which are now dangerous for our kids to swim in …………..

        Crime has been going down worldwide since the late 1980’s and there are many theories as to why ………. easier access to abortion for unwanted children/pregnancies could be one partial explanation, removing the neuron-toxin lead from petrol and lowering the levels in the environment is another possible factor.

        But with National there has been a freeze on police funding and Police stats were cheated in Judith Collins electorate ( and probably in other ) and burglarys were not counted……….. She used to those false stats to tell us how great she was.

        The Nats had a chance to lower our violence, sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence rates which are far to high ………… Simply by tightening our Alcohol regulations and lowering the amount of Alcohol abuse.

        The Nats and in particular John Key + Judith Collins sided with the booze makers and pushers ……………. Those two can take some of the responsibility for New Zealand leading the world in domestic violence rates ….. A world cup for National.

        This country should be utilizing our people and building lots of wooden eco houses to solve the housing crisis.

        The Nats will never do this ………………. it’s probably against the rules of the TPPA which they signed us up for.

        The Nats stand for abuse of power ……protecting rich tax cheats …. exploitation of the environment for short term greed etc etc.

        And while Labor may not be much better if they, Winston Peters and the Greens ever got their shit together and agreed on things like a large scale House building and skills training program to tackle two pressing problems ( housing AND employment) then combined they would wipe the Nats out at election time ………….. and the country would be much better for it 🙂

    • b waghorn 1.4

      “”how are we to deal with inequality if us on the left are still concerned with investment property(ies) or a stock/share portfolio?””
      Because only a fool would not try and give themselves a chance of a secure retirement, with governments systematically turning life back to a survival of the fittest way of life ,if I get the chance I’ll be into a couple of rental/investment houses boots n all.

      • gsays 1.4.1

        hi b waghorn,
        for this i do not blame you as that is the way the game is played.

        till that changes it is just more of the same- child poverty, inequality, low wage economy, evironment degradation….

      • Pat 1.4.2

        ,if I get the chance I’ll be into a couple of rental/investment houses boots n all.

        would make sure you time it right or your secure retirement may be on the street

      • weka 1.4.3

        You don’t need the stockmarket to secure your retirement.

        • b waghorn

          I don’t do stocks apart from kiwi saver although that’s all in cash at the moment. I understand housing better but unless I can get off these crap shepherds wages it’ll be steady as she goes for me.

    • maui 1.5

      I agree, globalisation shrinking is going to have some healing effects on our environment. There is going to be a hell of a lot of other work to be done though. People are going to be angry that jobs disappear, and losing their houses, etc. Discontent will be rife among our still conservative society that is generally self-serving, sexist, and racist still, and the consequences could be far uglier than what we already see on the nightly news. In many ways we haven’t progressed very far at all, globalisation has made some things much worse, like community spirit, roading overridng public spaces that will have to be completely rebuilt and rethought.

    • BM 1.6

      Best thing left wingers could do would be to make money investing/speculating on shares/commodities.

      Think of all that money, that could then be invested in the less well off and needy.

      Pool resources,set up trust any make money, surprised and a bit disappointed none of you lot have actually done it.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.6.1

        The accumulation of wealth and money is the problem, not the solution.

      • Expat 1.6.2


        There used to be welfare system that did that, you no, look after the needy and less well off, but because a lot of people don’t pay as much TAX as they probably should, they’ve had to borrow a billion and cut services.

        • BM

          Got to be a bit more proactive there fella.

          Waiting for some one else to sort out an issue is a recipe for complete fail, the house is burning down, would you wait for the fire service to turn up or would you get out the garden hose and start dealing with it.

          Lefties seem to endlessly moan about the least well off and how they need more money , don’t wait for the government, do it yourself.

          It’s not like you guys lack the intelligence, look at John Key, as it’s being pointed out numerous times on this blog he’s no intellectual power house and yet his net worth is some where between 50- 100 million.

          • Expat

            Yeah, but most Lefties have a few morals, including myself, unlike the person you describe, and furthermore, that same person has tripled their wealth since being elected by people like you, all those years in currency trading and makes more money being in charge, changing the rules for financial gain, reminds me of Muldoon in reverse, when he was PM he only made about 100k p/a, but years later he took on an acting career in the Rocky Horror theatre show, making 30k a week, he also tripled his wealth by changing jobs.

            It’s also ironic that this same person benefited from the same welfare system I spoke of, the same one he has undermined.

            • BM

              So you’d prefer to let the poor starve and suffer because making money offend your morals.?

              Wow, how brutal is that.

              • weka

                But there is already plenty of money being made and still the poor suffer. How does that work?

              • Expat


                No, I’d prefer the govt accepted it’s responsibilities towards society, nearly every other govt preceding this one has managed to do that.

                You may find this difficult to understand BM, but not everyone in the world is motivated to making money, there are more important things in life for a lot of people, I suppose it means they’re not GREEDY bastards.

                10 years ago, there was a guy in the US who had an IQ of over 200, the media were so interested in him, they thought he would running some big company, they tracked him down, and found him living in some mid west trailer park living on a benefit. They interviewed him and found he wasn’t interested in making money, he received more reward and satisfaction solving problems.

                You still haven’t explained why the PM should stop giving the needy the same assistance, he and his family received from the generosity of society.
                In fact, to use your own description of his success as an example, of what is possible if we do look after the people who are less well off.

                • BM

                  Making money and giving it to the poor isn’t what I’d call greedy.

                  • Expat

                    Theirs plenty of philanthropist’s in the world who do that now, even some in NZ, and , yes their not greedy, but you still haven’t explained why the needy shouldn’t receive the same assistance as the PM did.

            • alwyn

              “furthermore, that same person has tripled their wealth since being elected by people like you,”
              You will, I am sure, be able to enlighten us on just what evidence you have for that claim?
              Or not as I imagine you just made it up from an over-stimulated imagination.

              • Expat

                Hey alwyn,

                You could be right, but then you’ll never know if you don’t find out for yourself, I base my claim on information from the “Rich List” released each year and featured in the Herald, if you look at the list for 2015, i think they showed net worth of $150m, and then at 2007, from memory it was $50m, your welcome to prove me wrong, it’s not the imagination, it’s the memory.

                • alwyn

                  I suggest that you refresh your memory. It appears to be faulty. Indeed this item certainly proves that you are wrong, or at least have no evidence for your claim doesn’t it?
                  It says “Quite a bit below them are Prime Minister John Key ($55 million)”

                  I have no idea what they said in 2007, and I am not going to bother finding out. The NBR list is mostly some junior journalist interviewing his or her keyboard in my view. They, like you, have no real idea about most of the people on their “list” anyway.

                  As for “you’ll never know if you don’t find out for yourself”. I am always told that if I make a claim on this blog it is up to me to prove it, not up to someone else to prove it wrong. Are the rules different for you?

      • Pat 1.6.3

        “pool resources,set up trust any make money, surprised and a bit disappointed none of you lot have actually done it.”

        what is the purpose of a trust BM?

    • Nic the NZer 1.7

      No disagreement here. Too many people on the left have bizare irrational beliefs about major capitalist institutions.

      For some its all about collecting as much tax as possible which is odd because govt spending is not correlated with tax collection.

  2. Paul 2

    The Herald is promoting a campaign to protect waterways.
    Wonder whether they”ll apply a blowtorch to Key’s useless government’s vandalism of our rivers and lakes?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      I’d expect them to continue to support whatever Key does by telling us that black is white.

    • ropata 2.3

      Incidentally, after making billions from “The Big Short” Dr. Michael Burry is investing in water… it’s economically as significant as oil

      • Molly 2.3.1

        Interesting perspective on the housing market from the position of those fund managers.

        Really important that people understand how those triple A ratings were given to repackaged loans (the ratings agencies were loathe to upset the big “clients” banks, and rated as asked). And the collusion of all involved to offset the losses as much as possible to the smaller players before letting the pyramid scheme collapse.

        End credits of the film:
        “…When the dust settled from the collapse, 5 trillion dollars in pension money, real estate value, 401k, savings and bonds had disappeared.

        8 million people lost their jobs, 6 million lost their homes…

        And that was just in the USA….

        … In 2015, several large banks began selling billions in something called a “bespoke tranche opportunity.”

        Which, according to Bloomberg News, is just another name for a CDO….”

        Seems the bankers have learned from the 2008 crisis.

        They have learned how to get away with it, and get the opportunity to do it again.

  3. amirite 3

    See, this is why people don’t vote Labour any more, it’s a sad state of affairs when even Winston Peters has more sense than Labour’s David Shearer.
    I voted Labour all these years, the last few years while holding my nose, but after this they’ve lost my vote for good.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesman David Shearer said the government should speak out on human rights abuses, but it should not cut off its nose to spite its face.

      What a fucken idiot.

      If we want to stop human rights abusing nations then we stop trading with them but I suppose that would require having a set of principles and sticking to them rather than selling them out to the highest bidder.

      Of course, if we were going to do that then we’d need to stop trading the UK, US, China, and many other countries and then, shock, horror, we’d be forced to develop our own economy and that’d just costy sooooo much.

      • Ffloyd 3.1.1

        DTB Totally agree with all you say. Very disappointed with Shearer and potentially the Labour Party if they agree with his position on these barbaric murders. IMO there is no way on God’s Earth that ANYONE is going to broker any cessation of these atrocities under any circumstances. Never going to happen. I don’t see that N Z could be any worse off than it is now by standing up for our Human Rights principles and severing ties with Saudi Arabia. Labour at least should take a strong and unequivocal stand against SA’s regime of death and brutality without recourse to any form of humane justice for the victims.

        • Sacha

          “Very disappointed with Shearer and potentially the Labour Party if they agree with his position”

          If he is running his mouth off without approval, that’s just as likely to put people voting for such an undisiplined pack of fools.

          • weka

            It’s still completely beyond me why Labour let their MPs do and say what they want.

            • Sacha

              Lack of basic political nous? Years to fix that. Inexcusable.

              • weka

                Was it like this during the Clark years?

                I wonder if it’s not so much lack of political nous and lack of power or courage. Does Little have the personality to pull them into line? Does he have the support in caucus?

                • Sacha

                  Not him. more like whoever are today’s H2, strategy, comms, party pres, secretary. Feeble. They have all had any number of chances to sort their shit out or get out of the way. Don’t seem to give a stuff about the public they supposedly want to serve. Bad karma all round.

  4. Magisterium 4

    NZ Labour, the party that believes literally crucifying people isn’t a barrier to being a trading partner.

  5. sabine 5

    It actually does not matter if they execute 47 in a day or in 47 days. Saudi Arabia has been given support for various reasons, and as long as we are addicted to their good stuff Saudi Arabia will get support no matter what.
    Fuck they can lash raped women for adultery and no one bats an eyelid. They have what the western power want and for that they get support.
    Maybe it is not them that have to change their ways but us.
    And for what its worth, it is interesting to see what political fall out the execution of the Iranian Shiite Cleric (who was involved in the demonstration in Iran a few years ago as well i anti government demonstrations in Saudi Arabia) and how much this will further destabilize the Middle East. With all presidential contenders affirming that they will wage war…..Iran next? 🙂 Surely the USofA Israel would not have an Issue with Iran being ‘pacified’ by the western Alliance of assorted henchmen.

    • b waghorn 5.1

      “”…..Iran next? “”
      You would have to think that’s the plan, why else would the Saudis deliberately antagonize Iran,??!

  6. savenz 6

    Article from Salon…

    “One of the predominant themes of the 2016 presidential campaign thus far — and one that is unlikely to lose significance once the primaries give way to the general election — is the American people’s exasperation with a political system they see as corrupt, self-serving, disingenuous and out of touch.

    It is not an especially partisan or ideological sentiment; you can just as easily find it among supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders as among fans of Donald Trump. You can even find those who support paragons of the status quo, like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, making similar complaints. It’s about as close to a consensus position as you’re likely to find nowadays in American politics.”


  7. Ad 7

    Hope Corbyn settles his reshuffle down fast.


    I’m not complaining really; in comparison the recent NZ Labour reshuffle was light-handed, therefore trouble-free.

    • adam 7.1

      Apart from the usual torygraph crying.

      Seems Corbyn has done rather well.
      Gender balance and a left wing take over of a left wing party. How can they complain about that, no doubt someone will.

  8. Consider the tweet from ABC Adelaide earlier this week, which declared, “Respected, well-liked: Locals describe father who died with his kids after car went off #PortLincoln wharf”, as if Little had died while trying to protect his children, rather than being the engineer responsible for their demise.

    Community discourse in this country still suffers from an inability to balance what we think we know about family violence with what is actually presented to us. Violence is more often hidden in shadows, primarily because the choice to perpetrate violence is exactly that – a choice. The issue of mental health is always raised. But while men’s mental health is an important issue, it’s also a distraction. Most mentally ill men don’t murder their family members. And all this focus does is continue to position harm to women and children as the sad by-product of the greater tragedy of men’s low self-esteem.

    Family violence doesn’t follow the rules of fairytales, where people are either good or bad. Damien Little was considered to be a good man who was well-liked by his community. Damien Little allegedly drove a car carrying his two little boys off a wharf and killed them. Men who are kind to their friends and colleagues can also be cruel to their families. These are complexities that have to be recognised if we want to change the state of family violence in this country. To prevent these tragedies, we have to understand these crimes.

    Naming them is the first step.


    Very good article about a difficult and complex subject.

  9. fisiani 10

    Roy Morgan are polling tonight. Going to be bad news for Labour. Guess whose cellphone they called so that i know this?

    • Pat 10.1

      so Roy Morgan are surveying known Nat supporters…..theres a surprise

      • James 10.1.1

        By God, now your making excuses (and telling lies) even before the poll is completed. Says a lot about you and labour didn’t it.

    • Sacha 10.2

      they calling mobiles now?

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1

        They’ve been doing so for awhile. Apparently I’ve been called by them a couple of times but as they then ask for my personal details and say that they’ll send a pack out to me to fill in I tell them to fuck off.

    • whateva next? 10.3

      yours? Don’t they always call the same National fanboyz for these polls?

  10. Okay we are making a VEGAN pie – what is most important consideration team? Yep let’s go for it and actually make it VEGAN – yes? no? fucking useless…

    “A customer revealed today that the gourmet Mexican pie – with a spicy tomato, sweetcorn and onion filling – contained E920, a pastry conditioner made from ground-up poultry feathers – meaning the prize-winning baked good is definitely not suitable for vegans.”


    • Sacha 11.1

      Great company response, but:

      “This was an honest mistake which our bakers have fixed. While only the tiniest trace of this product was used in our pies – 0.0023 per cent – we understand the principle here and no future vegan pies, including the ones being baked today, will contain this product.

      To demonstrate how seriously we take this, a production run of these pies using this ingredient are now being donated to charity rather than sold at Z sites. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.”

    • RedBaronCV 11.2

      Chicken feathers even if you are not vegan- uurgh. No wonder I make my own food.

  11. sabine 12

    severe flooding in Argentinia, Paraguay , Uruguay and Brazil. File this under “stuff happens”.


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    3 days ago
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  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
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  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
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  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
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  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
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  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
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  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
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  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
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  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
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  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
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    6 days ago
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    6 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
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    1 week ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
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