Open mike 06/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 6th, 2012 - 60 comments
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60 comments on “Open mike 06/02/2012”


    IMHO it’s divisiveness that send people offshore, or cause them to stay away permanently; if they find it’s just as safe to live elsewhere, they may as well stay there. The whole NZ is the best place to bring up kids is no longer the case.

    [That’s pretty damned close to link-whoring. It’s not welcome anywhere. You get away with it this time because you put into OpenMike, but consider this a polite warning…RL]

    [lprent: It is RL. But if you read the policy, It is exactly within the bounds. Link plus small content saying why people should click it, and OpenMike doesn’t have a topic so it is within context….

    The policy is deliberately set at that level to allow people to promote their sites. That is how the jackal and others pick up readers. If they keep them is up to their writing and moderation skills. ]

    [Errg… too early in the morning to be thinking clearly. You’re right it is exactly in bounds. RL]

  2. I can always go pimp myself elsewhere like Trademe but I figure I might get a decent quality of debate via The Standard.

    Something similar in topic on the herald opinion:

    What is it exactly that Key wants from Gillard given the benefits extended to kiwis thus far. Just askin.What welfare rights exactly.

    • Carol 2.1

      Well the NZ Herald answers some. Kiwis need to live in Aussie for a certain number of years now to be elligible for some welfare, e.g.

      They must stay two years to be eligible for health cards for low-income-earners and senior citizens. And they must live in Australia continuously for 10 years to receive the dole or sickness or disability benefits for six months, during which time they can get state help to find work.

      There have also been well reported issues eg disabled children not getting benefits. Kwis used to be elligible for such welfare immediately before Howard’s government changed the laws.

      The lawsuit comes after a flurry of discrimination cases involving New Zealanders living in Australia, including a nine-year-old autistic boy in Western Australia who was not allowed access to disability services, and Kiwis denied disaster recovery payouts after last summer’s Queensland floods.

      All Australians who intend to live in New Zealand for more than two years are entitled to claim the same social services as Kiwis.

      • jpwood 2.1.1

        The question is of course, what did we give up in order to get any concession from the Australians? Given that this was a joint-cabinet meeting under the auspices of CER what kinds of things could be on the table? Australia has a heap of cashed up pension funds, we have a heap of state assets that need to raise funds from a local populace who simply doesn’t have the cash to pay the sums the current Government needs to make the books balance. Perhaps a loop-hole to the Kiwimumsndads rhetoric based on the claim we cannot exclude equal participation by Australians under our international commitments?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Australia has a heap of cashed up pension funds, we have a heap of state assets that need to raise funds from a local populace who simply doesn’t have the cash to pay the sums the current Government needs to make the books balance.

          Wrong. All that this government needed to do to make the books balance and pay for the needed investment was to raise taxes on the rich. In fact, this is a good example of why we can’t afford rich people.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        6 months worth of unemployment insurance after 10 years of residing there? That’s a tokenistic joke.

      • Huginn 2.1.3

        +1 again, Carol

        Guestworker status – New Zealanders are seen as a disposable reserve of cheap labour.

        • Huginn

          Except, of course our brightest students who are actively courted by well funded Australian universities to re-locate to Australia as soon as they finish secondary school with the promise of residency on graduation.

          • Colonial Viper

            Not just our brightest students, but our brightest postgrads and academics as well.

            40%-50% more pay, far better equipment and more generous research budgets. Only problem is all the Australians.

    • millsy 2.2

      Female version of Pete George……..

  3. Carol 3

    And it looks like more of or productive land is going to a foreign buyer, and the buyer will convert this land from farming to forestry – not the best use of NZ land at a time when the world will be faced with food shortages:

    A mysterious foreign buyer could be just days away from snapping up more than 2000 hectares of eastern Taranaki farmland in a deal that locals fear will destroy their community.

    An application for approval to buy four beef and sheep farms for conversion to pine forestry in the Whangamomona-Tahora area was lodged with the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) in the middle of last year.

    It is believed the office is just days away from deciding whether the deal can go through.

    Colin Couchman, of Shamrock Station at Kohuratahi, is expecting the purchase to go ahead despite offers on at least two of the farms from neighbouring farmers.

    “The only ones that are reasonably happy are the ones trying to sell. A lot of people don’t want it but they don’t want to put pen to paper,” he said.

    “I haven’t got a problem with overseas investors. I have got a problem with them changing the land use. We are a very small community out here. If you let four properties go to pine we lose four families and you need everyone here working just to keep the community going.”

    Mr Couchman said he wanted to buy one of the farms and employ people to run it but his offer could not compete with that made by the foreign investor.

    And not only are we losing productive farm lands, and possibly (not clear from the article), profits going offshore, but wealthy foreign investors (including the likes of James Cameron), push up the price of NZ land, putting it out of reach of large numbers of ordinary Kiwis. And there will be negative knock-on effects from all that on the NZ economy, employment, spending power etc.

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.1

      And just to note I’m as opposed to this land sale as well as all the others to overseas buyers.
      Once again local farmers are priced out of the market to those with bigger overseas wallets.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Exactly. I read the same article with a sinking heart. The thing people must understand is that this land alienation process is not self-limiting.

        The rest of the world is vastly larger than New Zealand, and it’s elites and their corporate vehicles have access to funds far cheaper than us. They can ALWAYS outbid the local buyers if they want, and right now they seem to want to.

        • Colonial Viper

          You can’t build a nation when so many of the leaders and owners of that nation are short term minded sell-outs.

          EDIT the true madness is the selling of our hard, productive, strategic assets for computer generated, printed fiat paper currency which is being constantly debased and devalued. And which will be worthless in a few years.

      • Which makes me wonder once again ,why the hell do those farmers and their under-paid workers vote National. is there anybody out there who knows.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Its hard to say, Postie. There is a culture amongst farmers to see the Tories as their natural political home and the history supports that, as National was formed out of the merger of two conservative parties, one urban, the other rural. And farms are businesses, so the usual business support networks reinforce that link.
          However, their staff are a puzzle. I guess decades of non-unionisation, semi-feudal working conditions and the vague promise of making it as a farm owner themselves keeps them aloof from the alternatives. Certainly, Labour are seen as the party of townies, pooftahs and bludgers (ie anyone who doesn’t do a ‘real’ job).
          However, it is encouraging to see in the small rural town that I call home that the Crafar Farm decision has pissed a lot of them off. They know damn well that the consolidation of small farms and holdings into Kiwi owned dairy conglomerates mean that entering the farming game is going to get harder and harder for individuals. But, even worse is selling our farms off to overseas buyers, because the control of the industry will shift out of our hands altogether in quick time if it is not stopped.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Actually, I think changing to forestry is a good idea as it will help to clean up the pollution from the previous use and the neighbouring farms. Would prefer natives to pines though and a domestic buyer.

    • Hateatea 3.3

      I am opposed too.

      A change to forestry indicates an offset of carbon credits perhaps? 

  4. locus 4

    A recent offshore oil industry disaster which seems to have escaped notice in the NZ MSM is a gas rig explosion and fire off the Nigerian coast on 16 January. Pollution is continuing and the fire is still burning. Chevron says it could be burning for another month before they drill a relief well and hopefully kill the fire.

    This is at the same time as Chevron is being prosecuted for an oil spill off the coast of Brazil last November. Federal police have recommended charges be brought against 17 employees of Chevron and Transocean, including Chevron’s president in Brazil, George Buck. The police found that Chevron and Transocean had committed environmental damage and withheld information, the officer leading the investigation, Fabio Scliar, said. “”I am utterly convinced that the company’s institutional policy is reckless and irresponsible.

    I wonder how these disasters and the authorities’ responses are being viewed by the New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals division, which is actively approaching oil companies (including Chevron) to encourage exploration in NZ’s offshore basins?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      No one cares about Nigeria.

    • muzza 4.2

      “The new policy allowed “shaping of bid rounds over the next decade or more”, and a “mix and match approach for different kinds of opportunities.”

      – Seems like long term plans are already in the pipeline, and more opportunities to rape NZ of its resources

      “That’s the intelligent way to approach the industry,” Clarke said, who said New Zealand’s six million square kilometre Exclusive Economic Zone represented an enormous opportunity, at one-fifth the size of continental Africa.

      – Strategic consultant Duncan Clarke, of Global Pacific & Partners, who also assisted in selecting attendees – So he was part of the team who assisted in “targeting” participants – No chance he could be comprimised (will have to check who he has worked for)

      He (Clarke) dismissed concerns about the environmental dangers of deepwater drilling as “illogical”, saying the same argument could be equally applied to shallow water drilling.

      – So Clarke confirms that drilling of any type is in fact an environmental danger – Thanks, that will help steer our government away from mining!

      The big issue is unlocking national wealth. It’s a vote for poverty not to do it. Maybe New Zealand is rich enough to afford that, but I doubt it. In the developing world, no one is in the position to indulge that view”

      – Clarke again shows his poor selling skills, and corrupted nature by stating “its a vote for poverty (like we will, as a nation be getting rich out of this, and he confirms that stance with his “in the developing world no one is in a position to indulge that view” comments, because of course in the developing world their “natural is wealth unlocked” too for the nations benefit eh Duncan, and like NZ, the opposing voices and views will not be indulged!

  5. just saying 5

    More is revealed of the right’s vision for the poor of tomorrow.

    Now that the plans for reducing wages, benefits, work safety, job security, privacy, human rights, health and education services, are well underway it’s time for phase two.

    As well as being ready at all times, day and night, for the privilege of wiping some rich person’s arse, for a pittance, in any conditions, the poor are to gradually become inured to harvesting their bodies more directly, as crash-test dummies for drugs and medical proceedures they will never be able to afford for their themselves and their families.

    From the herald today:

    The health of patients who take part in treatment trials may be put in danger by Government changes to ethics committees, says a group of academics.

    After a health select committee inquiry last year into making New Zealand more attractive to companies wanting to run clinical trials, .

    Nek minnit they’ll be “relaxing the rules” on selling organs, and other human tissue, and discrete, exclusive holiday resort clinics will start popping up to cater for the uber-rich international elite medical proceedure market.

    The future’s so bright we’ll all be wearing shades.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Yeah and when the drug trials fuck up and our citizens wear the long term injury, its our health budget which will be hit looking after them, while the drug companies go along their merry way making their profits but accepting none of the responsibilities or the costs.

      • Wayne 5.1.1

        Yeah…often these drugs trials are the last hope of some terminally ill patients, you fucken idiot.

        You’d grab the chance too if your doctor told you nothing else could be done.

        Know people who’ve been in the situation….they are desperate to get on one of these trials.

        [Wayne… your constant abuse of other commenters is getting tiresome. No-one is lily-pure in this respect, but there is an upper limit, one that you are treading close to. It’s not that any of us haven’t heard it all before, but that kind of language is nothing more than a crude attempt to derail, shame and shutdown the debate. And that isn’t tolerated here. ..RL]

        • McFlock

          “often”? How often?

        • just saying

          Yeah? What percentage of all drug trials worldwide are for drugs for “terminally ill cancer patients”?

          You do realise that most drug trials are conducted on healthy people who are participating for money? It’s already happening here now. How does undermining our current ethical controls benefit these participants? Who are the main beneficiaries – keeping in mind that just a small percentage of trialled drugs are found to be safe and useful enough to ever hit the market?

        • Colonial Viper

          Yeah…often these drugs trials are the last hope of some terminally ill patients, you fucken idiot.

          You’d grab the chance too if your doctor told you nothing else could be done.

          Know people who’ve been in the situation….they are desperate to get on one of these trials.

          There’s often a good reason why over 90% of drugs which enter phase I human trials never make it to market, or are pulled off the market very quickly (within 5 years) even if they are launched.

          Such as, they do more harm than good. And when they do harm – who picks up the pieces? Why our health service and our health dollars.

  6. Iain Parker from Public Credit or bust got me on to this amazing lecture of a lady called Joan Veon who sadly passed away due to cancer in Oktober 2010 . If you want to understand the evil that is the international banker take over this is what to watch and be in awe of her insight as all she spoke about is unfolding with terrifying speed/
    And let me take this opportunity to say thank you for allowing these links on the open mike because it is one way in which we can all educate each other about the situation we are finding ourselves in and it is much appreciated.

  7. Blue 7

    The Herald’s only real journalist has a good article in today’s paper, about inequality in Auckland:

    It’s kind of funny that Simon Collins is still employed by the rampantly right-wing rag that pushes National lines in every editorial. Good on him, though.

    If I gave out Canon Media Awards he would win one every year.

    • tc 7.1

      Herald have a few, mccarten is another but note the timing, a long weekend, frequency and placement versus those given to shills like Fran, Armstrong, coddrignton etc etc.

      I’d be great to see them alongside each other but that would be balance…..can’t have that now.

      • Ed 7.1.1

        Looking at recent articles by Armstrong, he seems to be having a bit each way.

        At one level “Isaac best candidate for education task force” is bizarre, but possibly it was intended to be a spoof – or at least a demonstration of the madness of the National mindset that only political appointees can implement public sector change. “Private hands will steer mixed-model assets” raises some important issues both aboutthe decisions that are being made and the cynicism of National’s spin machine.

    • LynW 7.2

      +1 Excellent. Simon has written a thought provoking, well balanced article.

  8. Te Reo Putake 8

    Righto, participatory democracy time, Standardistas!
    I’ve been considering changing my handle from The Voice of Reason to something less confrontational. I’m using the te Reo version today (thanks, Hateatea) and while it has the same meaning, it doesn’t seem quite as pompous as the English words, possibly because maori is such a beautiful language.
    I would be interested in the views of my fellow posters. Stay with The Voice of Reason, shorten that to TVoR or go forward with Te Reo Putake? Whaddya reckon?

    • Anne 8.1

      Confound the rwnjs and go with this one. I like it, and it will be interesting to see how racist the responses become. 🙂

      • Jilly Bee 8.1.1

        I like it too. I also think Maori is a beautiful language and I often wish I had taken the time to dust off my Te Reo tutor audio tape and booklet and get stuck in. I vividly recall holidaying in Moorea several years ago and stayed at a Government run hotel, similar to our old Tourist Hotel Corporation hotels. I was totally gobsmacked that the local staff [Tahitian] were fluent in French, Tahitian [Maori?] and English – and I struggle with the intricacies of English at times!

    • Hateatea 8.2

      Te Reo Putake gets my vote but do be prepared for the teko to hit the fan 😉

    • just saying 8.3

      Kapai TRP.
      We can call you ‘TRiP’ for short!

  9. Lanthanide 9

    An attack on government taxation masquerading as home-owners advice:

    • Ed 9.1

      Infometrics does seem to have some very far-right ideas, with simplistic mantra outweighing reasoned argument. One that I do have some agreement with is
      which talks about bail-outs through nationalisation rather than effectively giving money away.

      Again they are too simplistic – such a “single solution” policy could trigger big problems in market confidence; better to require banks to be required to issue shares to the government at a price agreed with the government whenever more than trivial overnight support is required, with the bank being required to re-purchase at market value when they have sufficient capital to make the purchase. That way a small crisis may be able to be covered by a sale of shares at say 90% of market value – and a large crisis becoming effectively a takeover at a much smaller percentage of market value.

      Labour has been calling for more flexibility in the way the Reserve Bank operates – there should be as few restrictions as possible in the way in which they should be able to act in the interests of the country.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      More neo-liberal BS. The taxes are bad, WAAAAGH without any appreciation of the dead weight loss of profit (more accurately described as a tax than actual taxes). Profit* is a direct tax on the work of other people.

      * I view profit as anything above what you need to live a reasonable standard of living.

      I don’t lose any sleep at night because society has voted in governments who spend and tax at a level I personally think is excessive.

      Yes he does or he wouldn’t be writing an entire column in the NZHerald about it.

      Another inconsistent tax policy is Labour’s proposed $5000 tax-free threshold. On the surface it might look like this policy is targeted at low-income earners, but even John Key would receive the full value of the tax cut as the first $5000 of his income would be tax-free.

      And the tax increase on his income over hundred and something thousand which would more than offset the small amount from the tax free bracket.

      Again, this revenue would need to be raised in other ways, unless spending were cut (which would have been unlikely if Labour and the Greens had formed the current government).

      It was more likely than under National or Act. Holiday Highways anyone?

      Tax should be seen as a means to raise revenue and not as a way to deliver welfare or meet political objectives.

      And this is where he really loses touch with reality. Looking after the people in the community is a function of government and the most efficient way to raise the funds (while we’re working in a financial rather than a real system) is taxes, charity doesn’t cut it. And taxes are always for political ends and it’s the people supposedly voting for those ends.

  10. just saying 10

    Seeing it’s Waitangi day it must be time for some infectious pacific reggae, and this seems approriate:

    Kora ‘Politician’

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Len Brown pushes “Equality of Opportunity”

    Commentators above have already noted the Herald article on inequality. But did they see the Len Brown quoted at the end.

    The first draft Auckland Plan, due to be finalised by the council next month, proposes a vision of “a strong and equitable society”. Mayor Len Brown says the plan will aim for “equality of opportunity”.

    “I’m setting a platform in place so that everyone feels included in the city. That in this city, no matter where they are living, they have the very best opportunities for getting an excellent education, then opportunities for jobs, and then opportunities for raising their families and living a great life.”

  12. In todays Herald we read that ardent Royalist John Key has invited the Prince of Wales to a tour of Aotearoa .Bloody hell ! will we never be free from those parasites and upholders of the awful British class system ?
    I expect we all will be embarassed by Key bobbing up and down and touching his forlock . All in the cause of his future knighthood so he can go and live in his overseas mansions and be called Sir John.

  13. Carol 13

    There’s an encouraging post and follow up comments from David Cunliffe today. He talks about the need for sustainability in relation to the rising cost of fuel, the need for getting along side people who make a difference (including the unions) rather than a top down approach:

    Fact is, we live in a poor and divided country.

    So our constituency is not just the so-called ‘underclass’; it is most New Zealanders.

    No-one wants to be poor.

    Every Kiwi kid deserves good fresh food, a few treats and trips to the beach.

    Being poor is grinding and demoralising.

    It takes all your time; and your gut turns when your kids go without.
    In terms of the 1% reference: no apologies – according to Prof Robert Wade of Cambridge University, since the Reagan era the top 1% have appropriated somethinglike 75% of the net increase in GDP in the US in Europe. Also such incredible concentration of wealth correlates with high instability in financial markets, bubbles and deleveraging. In other words, extreme inequality is not even good for capitalism. Free market capitalism eats its own young in the end.

    Hence my comment about getting alongside those in our community that are making a difference – including unions – and being an active but engaging, listening and partnering state.

    Sustainablity (like sovereignty and identity) must be integral to everything we do.

    • LynW 13.1

      Yes I enjoyed reading David Cunliffe’s post too. Good to see further credit to Simon Collins’s article, as already given by Blue earlier today in Open Mike, by both David and Trevor on Red Alert. The reality of how difficult living on low wages is needs to be constantly in the public arena.

  14. Fisiani 14

    Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres criticised those Pakeha who still resisted moves to give “special treatment” to disadvantaged Maori, thousands of whom suffered inequality.
    I am a Pekeha who came to New Zealand in 1986 and became a citizen in 2002. I and my children deserve to be accorded all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. There should only ever be one class of citizenship. I have never and will never discriminate against any of my fellow citizens. I can support “special treatment” for my fellow citizens based on need. In doing so I will be gender blind, religion blind and race blind. I will be blind to any other non-need factors be it hair colour or sexual preference or political persuasion.
    I am one of the Pakeha citizens of New Zealand whom Joris de Bres criticises. I do strongly object and resist moves to give “special treatment” purely due to the race of some citizens. I do so because I believe in one class of citizenship irrespective of race. His racial preference views are incompatible with his role.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Always easy for someone new and privileged in this land to criticise the long standing and under privileged eh. What is the indigenous history of NZ to you? Nothing. And nothing is always easily dismissed.

      In doing so I will be gender blind, religion blind and race blind. I will be blind to any other non-need factors be it hair colour or sexual preference or political persuasion.

      Blind to history, and therefore blind to the present too. Describes yourself perfectly.

      • Fisiani 14.1.1

        Joris de Bres is unlikely to be underprivileged. Your ‘straw man’ argument about indigenous history does you no credit.  Have another try.

        • Colonial Viper

          Oh yeah I was talking about you.

          • Anne

            +1 CV. I sometimes wonder if the Fisianis of this world are deserving of NZ citizenship. Based on his claims at 14, the answer is NO.

      • Hammer 14.1.2

        Hi Viped
        How goes the past? Still there? As you said 27/01/2012
        “My personal hope is that we are able to maintain a 1940′s and 1950′s lifestyle (with specific technical advancements) here in NZ, for the long term.”

        Found a Black&White TV yet? Hope the programs are riveting.

        To us in 2012 – this “world view” is still hilarious.

    • RedLogix 14.2

      There is the rather famous quote from Thomas Jefferson; “There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals” that is highly pertinent here.

      Since Jefferson said this quote the much has changed, making it perhaps a less than helpful guide in modernity. A liberal will see the quote and agree in the name of equality we need to treat people differently since some have been given more than others to start.

      While a conservative will see the quote and agree that nothing is more unequal than punishing the successful in the name of the unsuccessful.

      Strict equality under the law would demand that we treat everyone the same under that law, with no difference shown to the anyone regardless of economic status. This is the position Fisiani is expressing.

      On the other hand equality of conditions, or opportunities, demands that equality can only exist when there is equality at an economic and social level. Colonial Viper responded with this.

      Both are advocating for something they are calling equality, but are working with two different concepts of it.

  15. rosy 15

    Well this will be a challenge for the EU carbon charge for airlines :

    China has banned its airlines from paying the new European Union carbon charge, state news agency Xinhua has reported – stepping up the international battle over the scheme.

    The levy applies to all airlines flying to and from EU countries. Companies that do not comply face fines and ultimately could be banned from using EU airports.

    The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Monday that airlines were not allowed to pay the EU charge, increase freight costs or add other fees, according to Xinhua. It cited authorisation from the state council, China’s cabinet.

    Hinting at possible retaliation, Xinhua added: “China will consider adopting necessary measures to protect interests of Chinese individuals and companies, pending the development of the issue.”

    An opening position for an upcoming EU/China summit? e.g. drop the charge and we’ll give you bailout money? The EU are not going to ground Chinese flights, are they?

    It also opens up a concerted attack on the charges from other opposed nations e.g. the U.S and India.

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    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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