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Open mike 06/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 6th, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

57 comments on “Open mike 06/03/2012 ”

  1. tc 1

    No politics section in today’s online Herald, of course nothing of merit to report at all so replace it with fluff and other passing issues. Are their shills struggling to create content and spin around the latest blatant ‘ f you’ to the electorate by the NACT.

    • ScottGN 1.1

      Further to this did I miss the Digipoll the Herald usually runs to coincide with the start of the new parliamentary session or did they not bother this year? Also (though it’s hard to believe it’s possible) TVNZ’s political coverage seems to be even more useless than it used to be.

      • Ianupnorth 1.1.1

        This is on their web page – must relate to national’s tough stance on crime and their investment in justice?

        Police bosses are considering laying off staff and closing some stations in an effort to save $360 million over the next three years.
        The staff cuts would include police officers and non-sworn staff.
        Commissioner Peter Marshall is not commenting on the proposal, but says frontline policing resources will not be reduced.

        Oh good, frontline services will improve with a slashing of support! Yeah Right….

  2. Carol 2

    Meanwhile Stuff has a few significant articles today:


    accompanied by a poll asking if this trip is worth the money

    A very significant artilce of asset sales:

    and another artcle on, what amounts to, the Maori Party major sell-out on asset sales:


    • Tigger 2.1

      What a shameful end for the Maori Party. 

    • johnm 2.2

      Hi Carol Re asset sales and the general picture worldwide:

      The decline phase of I.C. (Industrial Civilisation) sounds momentous eh!? continues to collapse to a simpler less rich for the 99% level while the 1% aided by the likes of shonkey and dunny paper shore up their nests with aquiring real assets rather than paper junk!

      More Proof the World Is Going to Hell
      Get a Proper Job, Says Michael C. Ruppert

      By Andy Capper

      money is only a symbol for what energy can do.

      Michael C. Ruppert: The only education worth taking a loan out for now is a practical trade. Do something that will help you stay alive. Industrial society is collapsing and there will be no recovery. We are past peak oil and nobody can deny that.

      There is a 96 percent correlation between GDP growth and greenhouse gas emissions, which means there can be no [economic] recovery without burning oil and coal. China is scrambling all over the world for coal because their factories are closing down because they rely on coal for energy.

      There are reports that the British police are starting to militarise. More weapons and armoured vehicles (like the Jankel Guardian pictured below) are being acquired, and officers are receiving SAS training tactics. The mainstream press says this is to protect people from a Mumbai-style terror attack, but the concern at ground level is that when the UK’s economy really hits the skids there is going to be a new form of extreme rioting that the country has never seen before.
      That is going to happen all over Europe. There is a catch-22 in progress for police departments who are being cut back globally due to budget issues, in places by as much as 50 percent, yet still have the mandate to keep order.

      Link: http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/news-alerts/item/6773-get-a-proper-job-michael-c-ruppert

  3. Arthur 4

    Doesn’t Phil O’Reilly know that workers may also be “mums and dads”.

  4. Richard Boock posts the obvious truth about the keyman

    “every time Key opts to avoid what the rest of us regard as the blindingly obvious, he becomes a little more of a hollow man; a PM without answers, a leader without a vision. A bloke who’s just realised the world he once knew doesn’t exist anymore. And that it won’t be returning.

    A complete banker, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”


    • rosy 5.1

      A work of beauty, that article. Thanks for linking it…

      Yes, some folk will point to Key’s comments over the Government’s “sinking lid” policy for pokie machines. They need to think more about that. If the numbers of machines are being forced to decrease nationally, yet SkyCity’s are allowed to increase, then not only is Key selling policy advantages to the casino, he’s also selling a competitive advantage. The rules will be bent in return for a favour. Not much different from the days of brown paper bags filled with money, really.

      I was having a real rant about this to my partner. Great to see it articulated so clearly.

  5. Can anyone tell me why Statistics NZ’s series on work stoppages stops in December 2010.  There is no 2011 data.  Have they stopped collecting or posting the data?  Or am I missing something?
    This year’s spike will make fascinating reading.

    • andy (the other one) 6.1

      May be quake related. Stats NZ building was stuffed quite early on and seem to remember that loads of info and data were trapped in red zone and not backed up off site.

  6. gareth 7

    We don’t know how lucky we are as workers in NZ and it’s easy to forget gains hard one by our forebears through unions and sacrifice. Without them we would no doubt be in a similar situations to the people outlined below…

    My wife is from eastern Europe and her family still live there so often I here first hand how bad things are getting employment wise.
    Her father who is relatively high up the chain as a head engineer at a heating plant was told if he takes a holiday this year not to come back because he won’t have a job to come back to, It seems that the company owner is insisting that all workers give up their paid holidays for the foreseeable future.
    Her Mother works for a company doing work related to EU funds she is a project manager on @ 500nzd per month working 60 hour weeks, Her boss recently awarded himself a $100,000 euro bonus on winning a multi million dollar contract
    The other common theme is that people just aren’t getting paid at all or only a fraction of what they should be.
    Unfortunately with no protection, no help and desperation people are to scared of losing what little income they have they put with this shit. I get the impression tensions are rising and the shit may really hit the fan over the next few years with corruption endemic and poverty ever increasing.

    Also of interest French banks are moving there labour force over to her country as someone will do for $250 nz per week that someone in France was doing for $1500 nz and thanks to the wonders of the internet and call centre tech to the average customer you would assume you were dealing with someone in France.

  7. freedom 8

    Whilst everyone looks over their neighbour’s fence and belatedly wakes up to the Asset Sales debacle, we miss the dissembled denial of everyones’ right to a safe and just society. There are thousands of books that have been written which speak most plainly how freedom of the press is all that stands between society and slavery.


    • Uturn 8.1

      Freedom of the press: perpetrate creation and maintenance of stereotype; support free market ideology; embark on trial-by-media circumventions of justice; publish distract and delay, designed to be addictive, badly researched, unprofessional, opinion as fact, racist delusions on a daily basis.

      Yeah, don’t really think our media needs any more “freedom”. They seem to be complaining that one of them might have to find some courage, stand up for what a real fourth estate might be and risk going to prison.

      I can see it now, the office-bound hero abandoned by shameful doe-eyed collegues and editors- in-chief, betraying them and shrugging their shoulders; all of them more interested in selling the story of the persecuted journalist than the story the journalist was chasing. Bunch of jackles and weasels the lot.

      With our imaginary fourth estate gone, finally, and good riddance, something new can take it’s place, most likely beginning in the blogosphere; but if laws change to stop that, then maybe a return to printing presses and community meetings.

      • freedom 8.1.1

        I completely agree what we currently consume is the editorial equivalent of fast food. I sincerely wish people would walk away from the neon lit queues of factless fodder and head home to a table laden with the real food our forebearers had so earnestly fought for. Even if most of the ideas they were fighting and fighting for, were themselves myths and lies.

        That does not alter the stark reality that this shift is designed to silence those who may speak out. It is not about the Journalist. They gave up any right to be respected long ago. It is absolutely about the whistleblower. The single voice that has the strength to speak truth to power.

        The threat of exposure and the ensuing melee inevitably extinguish the career the health, at times the family and even the very life of the whistleblower. This course of events has regularly been shown to be a very effective muzzle in despotic regimes and free democracies alike. The idea that secrecy is only for Governments has been and continues to be a core poison to the consumers of real and true democracy.

        Truth is now a minuscule smattering of seeds left on a vast banquet table of frozen TV dinners.
        Seeds that every corporate owned government on this planet work so diligently against propogating. Simple seeds that they never again want to see planted in the rich soil of freedom.

  8. rosy 9

    Good to see Rush Limbaugh getting his comeuppance for his word vomit at Sandra Fluke, after she testifying in Congress to support access to contraceptives under medical insurance.

    Advertisers began pulling their support immediately after the comments. Limbaugh apologised over the weekend for the attack, but immediately ran into more trouble as critics charged that his apology was insincere.

    “I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress,” he wrote on his website. “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologise to Ms Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

    Fluke told ABC’s The View that Limbaugh had been trying to silence her. She rejected the apology: “I don’t think that a statement like this, issued saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything. Especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from his sponsors, who have begun to pull support from his show.”

    Hopefully he’ll be taken off air, given his track record.

  9. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/spying-on-the-koch-brothers/

    “…Inside the discreet retreat where the elite meet to plot Barack Obama’s defeat…”


    • Uturn 10.1

      … however they have yet to come up against Stan the man with the tan van who has the golden an…

  10. Morrissey 11


    Affco workers air safety concerns
    Posted at 11:45am Tuesday 06th Mar, 2012

    Meat workers at the latest Affco plant to be locked out are concerned new workers’ safety is being put at risk to undermine the union.

    Talley’s locked out 200 workers at the Rangiuru freezing works near Te Puke at 5am, taking the total number of locked out meat workers nationwide to 1000.

    There are 150 workers striking in solidarity with the workers outside the plant with over 750 striking at the company’s seven other North Island plants. The company locked out 750 workers last Wednesday and previously said it wouldn’t lock out any more workers.

    The Rangiuru site president for the Meat Workers Union is Kaipara McGarvey, 47, from Tuhoe, and he is a lamb cutter. “This dispute isn’t about pay or anything like that, it’s about getting rid of the union,” he says. “Talley’s is a well-known anti-union company and we all feel it’s pretty low that they’d stoop to putting new workers’ safety at risk just to undermine us.”

    Rakai Tamihana, 39, from Nga Tamanuihiri, is a boner in his third season. He joined the union when he started in 2010 and was quickly approached by the company. “The company pressured me out of the union and put my safety at risk to undermine union workers,” he says. “They took me into a room and offered me $1000 and three per cent pay rise to pull out; then they put me on the slaughterfloor without any training where I got an electric shock from the railing.

    “I felt like a guinea pig – they only put me there to create division with the skilled workers who were all in the union.”

    Rariri Potaka, 48, from Ngati Waitaha, has worked at the plant for 18 years. He is a supervisor (leader hand) on mutton slaughter.

    “I was threatened with disciplinary action for refusing to put a new starter who had only been at the plant four hours on the chain,” he says. “Mutton slaughter is a dangerous job and we don’t wear protective clothing or mesh gloves because of contamination issues. I was willing to put my job on the line so I wouldn’t risk the workers’ safety.”

    Potaka says new staff are labourers and usually work up to skilled jobs through years of training.


    • Vicky32 11.1

      Potaka says new staff are labourers and usually work up to skilled jobs through years of training.

      Good on him! But the whole thing is evil…

  11. For those that can get past the fact this is about something on Kiwiblog and involves Judith Collins this is well worth noting.

    It also involves Charles Chauvel:

    It is clear that this is a much better bill. There are significant modifications to the proposed surveillance device regime, better regulation of the more intrusive forms of surveillance that were originally proposed, a reduction in the warrantless surveillance period, better rules over the retention of data, stronger reporting requirements for surveillance device warrants, and better controls over examination and production orders.

    So it is absolutely the case that Parliament did what it is expected to do via the select committee process on this measure. It did look at the detail. The parties worked together and they did produce a better bill.

    High praise for the side of parliament we don’t hear much about – where much of the actual work is done.

    Charles also says:

    The Minister and I met yesterday. She wrote to me today, and I accept her good-faith attempt to try to resolve these problems, and in passing I should say that, in respect of at least two other measures I can think of, I appreciate the approach she has already shown in this portfolio.

    She is willing to stand back and take a look at whether a measure is really necessary and whether or not it really commands stakeholder support, and if it does not she is willing to give it another look, and that is something that ought to be said for the record.

    And David Parker:

    I repeat the thanks that have been expressed by my colleague Charles Chauvel for the way in which the National Party conducted itself at the Justice and Electoral Committee. The committee was chaired by Chester Borrows.

    The Search and Surveillance Bill is one of the most complex and difficult pieces of legislation that I have considered in any select committee since I have been in Parliament. It is one in which the select committee took very seriously the proper balance between the protection of civil liberties and the necessary powers to be afforded to State agencies to investigate criminal conduct.

    Sounds like it’s well done by all involved, on a very tricky and contentious bit of legislation.

    DPF calls it Rare Praise. I hope we can get to see this approach as normal.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      In response to the concerns of some groups, the 7-year threshold means that examination orders are not available to investigate such crimes as protesting, trespass, disorderly behaviour or unlawful assembly. -Judith Collins

      such crimes as protestingThat’s a hell of a freudian slip.

  12. Professor Longhair 13


    Iran – Next In Line For Western ‘Intervention’?
    Media Lens, March 01, 2012

    What would it take for journalists to seriously challenge government propaganda? A war with over one million dead, four million refugees, a country’s infrastructure shattered, and the increased threat of retail ‘terror’ in response to the West’s wholesale ‘terror’? How horrifying do even very recent experiences have to be, how great the war crimes, before media professionals begin to exhibit scepticism towards Western governments’ hyping of yet another ‘threat’. Why is warmongering the default mode for the corporate media?


    [lprent: We’re not a cut’n’paste site. We’re interested in what you have to say and you appear to be somewhat laconic. It’d pay not to be in the future. We boot people who are incapable of expressing themselves.

    If you are going to quote something, then use blockquote or italics to make it clear what is yours and what is someone elses. Only quote small relevant section(s) and as you did, put a link in. Then people can go to the link if you have interested them enough. And read the policy. ]

  13. vto 14

    The question has been quietly asked in Chch about the efforts of rescuers following Feb 22 and whether mistakes had been made that resulted in deaths. It is hoped the Royal Commission is considering this (which is not an attack on the rescuers, merely a legitimate questioning of the methods, policies etc which guided them).

    This article http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6530540/Inept-rescue-effort-blamed-for-deaths appears today which clearly indicates the question is real and serious.

    • vto 15.1


      The needs of the people come before the desires of the money-lenders.

      It is this concept which is strangely alien to Key and corps.

  14. Peter 16

    NACT Budget Blow Out

    “Treasury says the government’s corporate tax take may miss forecasts for the rest of the financial year, leaving the Crown vulnerable to a bigger-than-expected annual deficit. : Todays NZ Herald

    Hang on, Key and Co have done all they can to shrink Government and lay the conditions they believe support the business sector. When are the corporates going to contribute their fair share?

    • Ianupnorth 16.1

      Never whilst key is in charge

    • Herodotus 16.2

      And from this http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/nz-corporate-tax-dwindle-2012-214756006.html
      “…and the Debt Management Office has slipped behind the run-rate needed to meet this year’s bond programme to raise $13.5 billion”. We ae having sporting slang now being applied to the govts finances. Next there will be the required run rate graph, when we are well behind the required rate worry as then it will be obvious that no one will want to loan to us and our only option will be asset sales …… mmmmm
      I gather this deficit is whythere is such a slash and burn attitude towards govt departments- refer to the rumoured cutting of the police budget and the resulting loss of front line staff- Cannot wait for SST outbusrts to follow 😉

  15. Ianupnorth 17

    Here’s another National mistruth blown out of the water

    Unpaid interns are among the 800 extra doctors the Government says it has hired since taking office, with a union calling the figure “misleading”.
    The Resident Doctors Association says Health Minister Tony Ryall’s figure for the number of doctors hired since National took office in 2008 includes house surgeons, house officers, probationers and interns.
    The union’s national president Curtis Walker said it was wrong for the figure to include interns, who were in their last year of training at university and were not registered doctors.
    “To include interns as new doctors is incorrect and misleading to the public,” he said.

    So those frontline staff are actually unpaid students, thanks Tony Pink Tie!

    • Ianupnorth 17.1

      And another – 2000 more nurses!! Another lie

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        And pretty outright lies, too – doctors and I believe nurses need not only to have completed specific qualifications, but to be registered as well.
        That’s just desperate. If he repeats the claim in the House, it would be contempt or whatever MPs get done for.

        • tc

          Under Lockwood they get a stern look at a see me after sitting note whe they probably get told off for making his job tougher.

          And the MSM sit by and do jack along with the opposition who are paid to front up and call him out of these lies…..a sense of futility grows.

    • Vicky32 17.2

      The Resident Doctors Association says Health Minister Tony Ryall’s figure for the number of doctors hired since National took office in 2008 includes house surgeons, house officers, probationers and interns.

      I was reading Ryall’s excuses in the Herald last night.. Disgusting!

  16. burt 18

    Stuff: Wharfies ordered to unload ship

    OMG – Told to do their job…. where will it end !

    But seriously, what has happened in the past when a ship has arrived from a port that didn’t have union workers affiliated to the NZ Labour party ? Has it been unloaded or do these guys really have the mafia style control they think they have ?

    • KJT 18.1

      Once upon a time workers had a legal right to withdraw their labour. A right which still exists in the rest of the “free” world.
      In NZ even the industrial action taken by Sam Purnell in Wellington for a 40 hour week would be illegal today.
      Why should they work a ship loaded by scabs?
      A ship which is itself manned by scab labour. Undercutting NZ rates of pay and taking NZ jobs. Without even getting into the safety issues and risks attached to Flag of Convenience shipping.

      • burt 18.1.1

        Once upon a time workers had a legal right to withdraw their labour.

        Nothing stopping them withdrawing their labour – they can resign !

        Why should they work a ship loaded by scabs?

        I though their job was unloading ships not playing Labour party politics…..

      • burt 18.1.2


        May I suggest the best course of action would seem to be for the unions and their associates to setup their own port. Purchase their own port infrastructure and staff it. They would then have full control over which ships come and go via that port.

        • rosy

          Isn’t work a transaction between the owners of financial capital and the owners of work capital, based on an agreement? If that agreement is changed don’t both parties have the right to withdraw from the transaction? – Owners of financial capital can sack bad workers, or if they can’t pay for work agree on terms to cancel the contract (redundancy). If the owners of work capital find the agreement is being broken by the owners of financial capital they have the right to withdraw their work in the same way. It’s not a subordinate relationship – it’s an agreement.

          As for a setting up their own port, why don’t the owners of financial capital do their own work then they wouldn’t have to worry about agreements with the owners of work capital? Better still why not both sides come to an agreement to set up a cooperative?

          • burt


            Yes there is an agreement between the owners of capital (the port) and the owners of labour (the workers). It’s called an employment contract. It’s the thing the employment court has ruled on.

            Now if the employment contract explicitly said the workers were withing their rights to pick and choose which vessels they work on based on the work place associations of the people that loaded them – then I suspect the employment court would have ruled in their favour.

            If the owners of labour (the workers) don’t like the work they are required to do under their contract then they can certainly withdraw their labour. But to do that, they need to actually withdraw their labour – resign. They can’t simply tell the owners of capital (the port) that they have made up a new employment condition and expect it to stand. This is evidenced by the employment court ruling that they must get back to work… or I guess resign.

            • rosy

              Resign? It’s just as easy to say that if Employers can’t manage a dispute they could sell up to more competent providers of capital or the management could resign – It depends on whether the workers and businesses would prefer that to renegotiating the agreement. Generally I’d expect both employers and workers would work on the principle that they would prefer an agreement with the current workers/businesses Often it suits no-one for any other outcome.

              The only reason the employers are trying this on is because of high unemployment, in a tight labour market I doubt you’d see the same thing happening. And before you say it… yes workers should maintain the principle of negotiating a fair agreement in a tight labour market, and in the past there have been some occasions when they haven’t. This is not a case of holding port management to ransom – it’s fighting to maintain conditions from a base of proven productivity.

              And in terms of the Wellington port workers & the Employment Court (a different, albeit related issue), I don’t see that workers are being unreasonable.

              This morning, Maritime Union Wellington secretary Mike Clark said workers would comply with any court ruling. “You can’t disobey a court order.”

              • burt


                You can’t call their tactics fair and honourable when they are overturned by a court as being illegal. The union have lawyers – they must have know they were acting illegally.

                How would we be talking about the port if their actions were thrown out in a court – we would call them scum…

                • rosy

                  I didn’t call the actions fair or honourable, I said not unreasonable…and who’s ‘we’? I don’t think I’ve read you using the word ‘scum’ in the context of poor employers. And It’s not a word I use.

                  The situation with the Auckland port management actions is completely different, btw.

                  • burt

                    Yes the situation with Auckland is entirely different. So WTF did the Wellington workers think they were doing ?

        • KJT

          They did.
          Once upon a time. It was called State ownership.
          Like the power companies, our roads, NZ rail etc etc. the Unions and their associates, the former Labour party, paid for and set up.
          Unfortunately, we did too good a job and made them too attractive to RWNJ thieves.

          Those who are too incompetent and gutless to start a real business for themselves want to steal ours!

          • burt

            Once upon a time. It was called State ownership.

            Yes in a fairy tale the state was the union….. And they all lived happily ever after….

            The state isn’t one-in-the-same as the trade unions. The trade unions may be the funding arm of one political party – but they are not the state.

            Those who are too incompetent and gutless to start a real business for themselves want to control someone else’s….

            • rosy

              Those who are too incompetent and gutless to start a real business for themselves want to control someone else’s….
              Jeez, I’d Love to hear you say that to the next engineer or doctor you meet.

              • burt

                Sure, if I meet a Doctor that decides that they won’t treat me because I’m not a union member or an engineer who refuses his services because I’m not a union member then I’ll certainly tell them they have crossed the line. I’ll find another doctor or another engineer. In the case of the doctor I’d also lay a complaint.

                Doctors take an oath to preserve life – they put that ahead of all else. Engineers are required to act within established standards and guidelines…

                I’m not sure what your point is – the port workers have in this case decided that their employment contract terms can be varied based on something the port has no control over – how is that even comparable to an engineer or a doctor ?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Doctors are smart and have their own unions you moron, very effective unions they are too.

                  • burt

                    So when did the doctors union insist that doctors classify patients according to their union affiliations…. of that’s right – DR’s are smart and don’t make up the rules as they go along…. The patient comes first – their disputes second. Shame you couldn’t find a better way to make yourself look like a tool.

                    Bringing the doctors union into this really isn’t helping the port workers…..

                    • Colonial Viper

                      True. Smashing the Board and POAL management is the only thing left at this point.

  17. Jim Nald 19

    Has Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia sold their souls? To John Key? How much? And for what end?


    Gee, Pita, can you really hear yourself these days? And actually even believe in what you say?

    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20120306-0812-harawira_urges_maori_party_to_quit_government_over_asset_sales-048.mp3" /]

  18. logie97 20

    Power sharing.

    Apparently we are being offered something we already own and given that the government is responsible for getting a best possible return on its revenue for its citizens, ummm now, if the assets are really such a good buy and investment, can one assume that the government will be first in line to buy them when they offer them for sale … duh

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