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Open mike 06/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 6th, 2012 - 60 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

60 comments on “Open mike 06/02/2012”

  1. http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/02/hullo-waitangi-day-then-goodbye-new.html

    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:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10783660

    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.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6297643/Disabled-teens-family-sue-Aussie

      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 2.1.1.1

          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 2.1.3.1

          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 2.1.3.1.1

            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:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/6370358/Taranaki-foreign-farms-buy-up-nearer

    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 3.1.1.1

          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 3.1.2.1

          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 5.1.1.1

          “often”? How often?

        • just saying 5.1.1.2

          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 5.1.1.3

          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:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10783636

    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.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/john-armstrong-on-politics/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=1502865

        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:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion/6364712/To-DIY-or-not

    • 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
      http://www.infometrics.co.nz/article.asp?id=5709
      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.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10783692

  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:

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/2012/02/06/feeding-our-kids/

    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 14.1.1.1

          Oh yeah I was talking about you.

          • Anne 14.1.1.1.1

            +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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