Open mike 06/04/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 6th, 2013 - 112 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…

112 comments on “Open mike 06/04/2013 ”

  1. And the word of the day is …


    • Jenny 1.1

      Would you like to expand on this statemment Micky?

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Sure Jenny. It is the word that marks the changing of the media’s attitude to Key.

        They will no longer see him as the friendly jokester sort but rather as a cut throat merchant banker sort willing to do anything to divert attention away from his misdeeds.

        • Jenny

          But surely this change in perception by the media is more rational than knuckleheaded?

          • karol

            Did you not see that yesterday Key said MSM journalists (who dare to ask him searching questions) are “knuckleheads”.

            Edit: “searching” may be a bit of an overstatement. Maybe just political journalists doing their jobs and asking questions, sometimes critical.

            • Jenny

              Ah, I understand the reference now.

              Micky meant knuckleheads, in a good way.

              Good on the media. Keep asking the hard knuckle questions of Key. (And all politicians).

              Maybe for journalists, from a term of abuse, knucklehead could transform into a term of respect, a compliment of a job well done.

              • The Al1en

                “knucklehead could transform into a term of respect, a compliment of a job well done.”

                Who ever wrote John Campbell’s opening line last night must think so.

                • Jenny

                  Jarhead a term that when used by civilians to describe Marines is considered derogatory. But when used among Marines is a sign of respect.

                  “Oorah jarhead, semper fi!”

                  Oorah knucklehead, semper fi (stay loyal) to the best traditions of the journalist ethos.

                  • The Al1en

                    I get you, I’m just having a dig at JC’s script writers.

                  • Rhinocrates

                    IIRC FYI FWIW, the “Jarhead” moniker comes from their regulation haircut – an extreme short back and sides that makes their heads look as if they have lids like jars.

                    • freedom

                      like our PM says, there are other opinions though

                      “It refers to the Marines propensity to follow orders, regardless of consequences or personal safety. Because of their single-minded willingness to put their duty before themselves, Marines are said to have jarheads…hard on the outside and empty on the inside.”

                      There is a well known phrase from the Second World War when the Marines, a formidable foe, cemented their authority as the best on the ground that the US had:

                      Running up a hill to take a machine gun nest is not something that most people would do, but a jarhead will do it every time he is ordered.

                      a contemporary account would be written as:

                      Running into a village full of families and throwing white phosphorus grenades whilst screaming flame-throwers eradicate all they touch is not something that most people would do, but a jarhead will do it every time he is ordered

        • aerobubble

          Key is a dick. Oh, yeah, sure, he’s got the shop front down to fine art, but when it comes to back office, the guy is a dick.

          SCF, Pike River, ChCh (half price govt buying land, etc)…

          But what happened to the media?

          Key knew this great bloke. Welcome to glass ceiling 101.
          Its the only way a white male without security or military
          backgrounds can be the top spy master.

          Where is the media?

          Any CEO that would have done that, shafted the process, and had his own man put in place would have fallen on their sword.

          Sure we could see it as an unruly spy agency who saw the flaw decision, who saw the empty seat, and decided from the US to call in a favor… …what a dick of PM to leave such an opening.

          But its worse!

          Its the giant revolutionary conservative pyramid scheme, if you buy into the Thatcherite excuses then eventually you’ll be rich too. Look how that turned out. The oil wealth squandered on climate destruction, debt mountains and three decades of lost
          opportunities to more with the wealth than panzi around. They weren’t invincible, they didn’t create the boom of the last thirty years, in actual fact it was just dicks sings the same tune, we won it, we won it, enough to get most people half believing it.

          Now that the GFC has occurred, things aren’t so easy, people aren’t incentivized by the promises of wealth to go the extra mile for their revolutionary conservative leaders. In
          fact they are finding that dicks like Key are just fun to trip up.


          Our PM is a dick.

          • dumrse

            “Our PM is a dick”. So, what does that make the opposition ? Shearer, Robertson, Mallard, Cosgrove……. You tell me when to stop.

    • Morrissey 1.2

      Actually the knucklehead journalists are the ones who have been Key supporters ever since he rolled Brian Neeson. He’s always shunned the smart ones—he rarely has the courage to come on National Radio’s morning programme. Now even the slavishly pro-Key journalists are turning on him, as was painfully obvious at that press conference the other day.

      Muldoon declared himself the enemy of journalists a generation ago; that did him no good at all. In fact, it was disastrous for him. Key has miscalculated, disastrously—for the National Party, anyway.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.3

      From wine to whine, from plonk to plonker! Oh how Key must be wishing for those halcyon days when the entire parliamentary media could be bought off for the price of a bottle of pinot.

  2. joe90 2

    Former Reagan cabinet member David Stockman: We’re Going to Have a Crisis’

    So what happened in Kemp’s meeting with Reagan?

    Jude Wanniski and economist Art Laffer went to that meeting with Kemp, too. They persuaded Reagan that the old linkage — balanced budget first, tax cuts later — was invalid. They told Reagan that the Republicans would never get to the tax cut because it was too hard to balance the budget. They argued that the tax cut would cause so much growth that it would be easier to balance the budget. So they said, “Reverse the order, don’t keep tax cutting hostage to first balancing the budget.” That was the big change.

    And that marked a major change for Republicans.

    It was the Rubicon. Once the conservative party said, We don’t have to balance the budget first in order to earn a tax cut, then it just became a bidding war as to who could come up with the greatest gimmicks to stimulate growth

  3. Morrissey 3

    Is this the end for the S.S. Trust?

    In 2008, a man chased down a boy on a South Auckland street and knifed him to death in public. The Sensible Sentencing Trust, which was, and still is, in the habit of calling itself a “victims’ advocate”, came out on the side of…. the (Pākehā) killer, not the (Māori) victim. For weeks and months after the killing, the S.S. Trust led a sustained campaign of denigration of the victim and the victim’s family. The S.S. leader, Garth McVicar has defiantly refused to apologize for his incendiary and contemptuous statements.

    The S.S. Trust has since been de-registered as a charity, but it is still deferred to with respect by many in the media. Instead of being shunned, the S.S. Trust has continued to be approached for quotes. Even on National Radio, it is still referred to as “a victims’ advocacy group”.

    Now it looks like they might have, finally, taken one step too far….

    Trust prosecuted over pedophile’s details
    NZ Newswire April 6, 2013, 7:52 am

    The head of the Sensible Sentencing Trust reportedly says it is “namby-pamby nonsense” that it could be prosecuted for publishing a pedophile’s details on its website.

    The Human Rights Commission is filing court papers against the group, which advocates for tougher sentences for criminals, saying it has breached the man’s privacy, Fairfax Media reports.

    The 58-year-old was jailed for a year in 1995 on five counts of committing indecent acts on two girls aged 10 and 14.

    The commission says the man, who was promoted to be a Wellington-based chief executive, lost his job and suffered significant loss, humiliation and harm when his past was revealed, despite having name suppression.

    However, there is no court record of the man’s name suppression.

    “This is namby-pamby nonsense, with the state having a crack at a voluntary organisation trying to balance a crazy offender-friendly system,” trust spokesman Garth McVicar told Fairfax.

    The trust removed the man’s details from the website in 2009 when it was first alerted to the possibility of name suppression, but is declining to promise it will never publish his name.

    • tinfoilhat 3.1

      Perhaps the Human Rights Commission should concentrate their efforts on more worthy causes, it pains me to say it but in this instance I am 100% on the Garth McVicar’s side.

    • McFlock 3.2

      And yet wasn’t it mcvictim who supported name suppression for that nice mr garret who stole the identity of a dead baby ?

      • Morrissey 3.2.1

        Indeed it was. McVicar has also repeatedly insisted that he thinks Garrett is an outstanding person, who has been treated harshly.

        • Tigger

          SST lose their moral high ground if they won’t follow the law. Hopefully this is a nail in their coffin.

          • Morrissey

            SST lose their moral high ground if they won’t follow the law.

            The S.S. Trust has moral high ground to lose?

            • Murray Olsen

              On the off chance that your question wasn’t rhetorical, no. 🙂
              The Nonsensical Sentencing trust exists purely as a racist hangover from the colonial days, when Maori were to be moved out of the way or exterminated. You have to understand that only Maori (and a few feral whites) actually commit crimes. People like Garrett and that rock spider ex prosecutor just get caught up in circumstances beyond their control.
              I can’t figure out why they’d go after a chief executive though. Maybe he paid all the company taxes, or paid above the minimum wage?

    • millsy 3.3

      No one likes peadophiles, but if the SS Trust carry on the way it is going, we will be having lynchings in the street.

      If this man is dragged from his house and lynched by an angry mob…??

  4. Descendant Of Sssmith 5

    Half the comment was missing.

    Not all police are pigs

    Next to that was another story about yellow carding tenants.

    I’m not sure which story is more farcical but the Monty Python crew would never have thought this stuff would ever come to be.

  5. tc 6

    Could this finally be the start of some long overdue persistent questioning of the shonkey one and his crew. FFS he would’ve caved in if they done similar over Tranzrail and blind trusts to name a few of his many deceptions.

    ‘Knucklehead’ shows he really has lost his cool at a time he needed to be hunkering Down for the usual goldfish brain MSM to move onto something else like a pisshead AB or similar.

    Could we see the same exposure of appointments such as Susan devoy, blinglish’s brother, Rebstock etc etc please.

  6. How we can STOP the sale of Mighty River Power!

    Pick out all the info in this Mighty River Power prospectus – which you believe to be ‘misleading’ – and send it back to me.

    ASAP 🙂

    Mighty River Power prospectus:

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    • freedom 7.1

      This story highlights nothing but what a clusterfuck the Asset Sales are.

      Our Government have just told us citizens that lower electricity prices are a bad thing. Ummm not for most citizens billy boy. The Government say this fundamentally anti-New Zealand statement whilst releasing data reporting hundreds of milllions of extra dollars will be winging their way to the pockets of investors when that same money could be going to further secure the development and growth of New Zealand

      are we citizens or chattels ?

      • ghostrider888 7.1.1

        “lower electricity prices as a result of Tiwai closure are a lie.”-Tim Shadbolt. hmmm…?

        • Murray Olsen

          I think Tim Shadbolt lost whatever credibility he ever had about 1970. He was never much more than a one man circus act.

          • ghostrider888

            yes, find the south may be crutching at stalls.

          • Colonial Viper

            Nah, you may be underestimating Shadbolt. He’s run some outstanding initiatives for generating economic growth in Invercargill and Southland.

            • ghostrider888

              yes, yet, what are the odds of a provincially based / biased initiative altering the run of play regarding the global smeltering of aluminium.

  7. Purple Scottie 8

    Hi Penny,
    It won’t open for me – the link goes to the gmail login page.

  8. johnm 9

    “”I find it difficult to believe, living in New Zealand, that I can’t receive the assistance I need to pay my bills and support my child when I’m a victim of a crime,” he said. ”
    “He is now in the South Island, living with his ex-partner and baby. He is still on crutches and is being cared for by his former partner, but cannot get financial assistance from either ACC or Work and Income.”
    “”I’ve never been on a benefit before this and have always worked, and now I can’t get any help when I really need it.”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 9.1

      Some thoughts from a partially trained benefit rights advocate (only just started!) who thinks Work and Income is screwing these people:

      – DPB CSI (domestic purposes benefit for care of sick and infirm) for the ex (article states she is caring for him and the child)
      – Sickness benefit (for him as he is unable to work temporarily)
      – supplements including accommodation supplement, TAS, Disability allowance (cash asset test must be passed)
      – the ministry doesn’t appear to have taken into account individual circumstances which they are required to do
      – the relationship is not in the nature of marriage (we haven’t covered this part yet….)
      – possibly a relocation grant (depending on circumstances and considered on a case by case basis)

      I’m always dubious when Work and Income says they have internally reviewed something. That makes it look as though they have sincerely tried….if only the public knew how often things are missed or the decision not to assist someone is overturned at a Benefit Review Committee or at SSAA level.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 9.1.1

        Good on you for moving into advocacy work. NZ needs good advocates who can work through the legislative and policy and practise that others struggle with. It’s particularly hard if you are tired and hungry to work through obstacles.

        ’twas one of the most satisfying periods of my life and one I may return to in more than an ad hoc way one day. I have noticed a significant increase in the recent twelve months with neighbours, friends and family asking and needing advice and support.

        For benefit stuff WINZ seems to be the only department that has it’s internal policies and staff instructions on line. Make use of that.

        This case based on the news information you’ve linked to raises some interesting questions but you would need more information.

        There has certainly been previous cases where care is required and has been provided by an ex-partner that is has been determined that a marriage type relationship didn’t exist and individual benefits have been paid.

        The nature of their previous relationship will play a part as there are different rules for married and defacto to relationships. For a married couple you have to be living apart from though in the case above that was a married couple who had been separated for 20 years previously. The husband had become very unwell and his ex was the only one was prepared to care for him.

        For DPB CSI he would have to otherwise be hospitalised from memory and being on crutches would not be sufficient to qualify for DPB -CSI. It is a relatively high level of care that is needed.

        ACC would only apply if he was working at the time. You can’t get 80% of your earnings if you had none. If working as indicated by the article the issue then would be if he was fit to return to work but wasn’t able to because of the safety concerns rather than actually being unfit. ACC wouldn’t pay in that case.

        As for the pricks that have done that to him a pox on them all.

        • Colonial Weka

          Re the DPB, I’m guessing the issue is that they share a dwelling AND he contributes financially and in other ways to the raising of the kids. It’s got nothing to do with whether they have a sexual relationship or not. It’s a pretty fucked up policy, because the best thing they could do financially would be to live in separate houses, which creates a set of other problems including financial ones.

          On the other hand, I don’t know how you make this fair. I’ve asked this of UBI proponents as well – how do you set rates for people on low incomes that make it fair for single people, couples, and people with dependents?

  9. Morrissey 10

    “Ahhhh, ummmm, ahhhhh, look, ummmm”
    Those razor-sharp New Zealand business commentators

    Susan Wood, in for Larry Williams Drive, NewstalkZB, Thursday 4 April 2013

    More than a decade ago, Susan Wood made herself into a national laughing-stock when she flirted live on television with the sleazy Irish-American dancer/impresario Michael Flatley. She was filling in for Paul Holmes on that occasion; Hawkes Bay’s finest was off work, busy trying to salvage his disastrous first marriage. Wood has made substituting for unpleasant males her stock-in-trade: she often covers for Larry “Lackwit” Williams when he is absent from his pisspoor Larry Williams Drive show.

    Let’s cut to the good news first: at least Larry “Lackwit” Williams himself was not on his eponymous show this afternoon. Otherwise, though, it’s strictly bad news. Wood is still playing the dim blonde to a succession of slimeballs and second-raters. But none of the men she interviews now has the saving grace of being able to dance….

    6:30 P.M…..
    SUSAN WOOD: [tones of jubilation] It’s finally happening! Mighty River Power shares are going on sale at last! Patrick Smellie from Business Desk joins us! Patrick, there’ll be a lot of relief that it’s finally happening!
    PATRICK SMELLIE: Yes, they’ll be pouring a few glasses of champagne at the offices of Tony Ryall and Bill English this evening!
    SUSAN WOOD: Rio Tinto is on the back foot, isn’t it!
    SMELLIE: [soberly] Yes I think the government is not going to be intimidated.
    SUSAN WOOD: Mighty River Power boss Mark Binns—we know him from when he was with Fletchers! He’s one tough cookie! He and the Prime Minister—they’re BOTH a couple of TOUGH negotiators aren’t they!
    SMELLIE: Yes, that’s correct. Mark Binns is a real head-knocker.

    6.35 P.M…..
    SUSAN WOOD: All right, we’re joined by Rob Hosking from the National Business Review! Ohhhhh, the GCSB row! It feels like it’s been going on in my head for MONTHS now!
    ROB HOSKING: Look, ahhhhhhmmmm, as I wrote in my column today, ahhhh, ummm, this is a Bowen Triangle story.
    SUSAN WOOD: He he he he!
    ROB HOSKING: The Bowen Triangle is like the Bermuda Triangle. Ahhhhhmmm. There’s this small area in the middle of Wellington. Ahhhhhmmmm. You’ve got Parliament, the Beehive, the Public Service Tower, and Treasury over the road. It’s like the Bermuda Triangle. It’s an alternative reality.
    SUSAN WOOD: He he he he!
    ROB HOSKING: Common sense disappears there.
    SUSAN WOOD: He he he he!
    ROB HOSKING: Look, the right guy got appointed.
    SUSAN WOOD: Yeah!!!
    ROB HOSKING: And the thing is, who cares HOW he was appointed?
    SUSAN WOOD: Yeah!!!! So who cares? That’s the thing!
    ROB HOSKING: And it all amounts to a huge fuss over one phone call—or a couple of phone calls.
    SUSAN WOOD: Exactly! And I still have not heard one person who thinks that the appointment of Ian Fletcher was a bad idea!

    [Several seconds of silence follow as Wood and Hosking, and no doubt the few sentient listeners in their audience, ponder the absurdity and brazen dishonesty of that assertion.]

    SUSAN WOOD: I like the name “Bowen Triangle”! Like it! Anyway, they’re off to China next week and the news agenda will change. They’re going to announce a whole lot of good things!
    SUSAN WOOD: The dairy payout announced today means more good news for farmers!
    ROB HOSKING: Ahhhhhhmmm, I think we’ll have good news this coming week.
    SUSAN WOOD: Well, hallelujah! It’s about time! Rob Hosking, thank you! Liam Dann next!

    6:45 P.M…..
    SUSAN WOOD: Liam Dann, business writer for the New Zealand Herald joins us now. Liam, the death of 2 Degrees boss Eric Hertz was a TRAGEDY wasn’t it!
    LIAM DANN: Yeah, ahhhhhhh, a real loss, ahhhhh, I guess, ummmm. Ahhhh, ummmm, ahhhhh, look, ummmm, he was a very good CEO by all accounts, ummmmm…..

    …et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam, ad absurdum….

    One of NewstalkZB’s slogans is “Tune Your Mind.”

  10. NickS 11

    The threats against the United States by North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, are “probably all bluster”, said Gary Samore, until recently the top nuclear proliferation expert on President Barack Obama’s national security staff.

    The North Koreans “are not suicidal. They know that any kind of direct attack (on the United States) would be end of their country,” he added.


    You’d think analysts would know by know the numerous failure states of the M.A.D. Doctrine, particularly the rather real problem that the humans who make decisions at the state level can be rather irrational in their choices…

    In the case of NK, we are very much not dealing with a system that could be called “rational”. For decades it’s starved it’s civilian population in order to continue to maintain and increase it’s military capabilities, all the while pumping out levels of state propaganda that would embarrass even zombie Stalin with it’s severe detachment from reality. Then there’s the chronic use of threats and military posturing, along with maintaining a rather stupid amount of artillery pointed at Seoul. And to boot we have little information on whether or not the military leaders believe their own lies about NK’s capabilities. Furthermore, I suspect not even China has sufficient intelligence gained via human intelligence resources on the actual mentality of the NK state leadership. Thus assuming rational actors lead NK strikes me as somewhat faulty reasoning.

    Will it end in some form of military conflict? Probably, but the scale of any conflict(s) is rather difficult to determine, especially as China’s interests are mainly focused on stopping a flood of NK refugees over it’s borders, along with maintaining it’s usual trade interests with SK. Which in the event of a large scale military conflict would likely be severely disrupted by NK attacks on SK economic infrastructure and/or the likely flood of NK refugees to SK. Thus I think China will likely use a range of bribes, threats and promises of military retaliation on NK in order to try and force the NK leadership to back down. The outcome of China’s efforts thus will likely determine the level of conflict that will occur.

    Worst case scenario? NK drops a nuke with destructive capacity similar to the Fat Man bomb used on Nagasaki on a high value target, along with saturation artillery and missile attacks. Targeting firstly SK govt, but primarily military infrastructure with in SK in order to limit the capability of SK and US military forces to mount a counter attack. Along with targeting civilian centres to split off remaining SK-US forces to deal with refugees and the injured.
    – Given the lack of a suitable delivery platform, NK would likely use it’s sole nuke close to the DMZ, or may try dropping it after hitting SK-US air-defences with artillery (NK lacks tech-base to accurately hit things with missiles, artillery on the other hand is well within their capacities…). HV targets could include any invasion attempts, but suspect NK relying on first strike tactics, rather than deterrence.
    – Missiles will mostly hit SK, with some overseas targets for propaganda reasons in Japan and other US military bases.
    – China likely to lock down their border with NK, or depending on what the Chinese leadership decides, invade NK to “stabilise” it and maintain NK as a buffer state. While SK-US fight off NK troop surge with low-ish causalities and deal with a refugee surge.
    – Unlikely that small scale nuclear exchange will occur, due to change in nuclear doctrines of cold-war actors.

    Best Case Scenario?- NK fires off some artillery rounds in a similar display to the shelling of Yeonpyeong in 2010. Resulting in low civilian causalities, highly likely though they’ll try for a small SK or US military site to really “show” they’re a threat.
    – This however assumes business as usual within the leadership of NK, which per prior reasoning is somewhat problematic…

    Current Projection – NK hits multiple, low value civilian targets close to it’s border with SK, with the aim to force concessions from regional powers, who do not retaliate fully and evacuate civilian were need be. Likely to cause further sanctions rather than remove them, could very likely result in the current Kim becoming merely a figure head. Civilian reaction in SK rather muted after the shock wears off, rather than revenge minded.
    – Likely small scale retaliation against NK military assets, targeting artillery emplacements and any naval forces close to NK’s maritime borders.
    – Possible strike on NK nuclear assets, but only if China and Russia agree to it.
    – Probable China will move more military assets to it’s border to put more pressure on NK leadership to behave.
    – Low-ish chance NK may air-test a nuclear weapon as a display of power, but due to low capacity of it’s nuclear infrastructure, it’s unlikely they have a another device ready.

    • ghostrider888 11.1

      not an equilibrium then

      • NickS 11.1.1


        Pretty much, if there was better HUMINT on NK’s plans etc, or they weren’t so secretive it’d be easier for planners to know wtf NK is up to and plan accordingly, heck even the USSR got this and usually “co-operated”. But what we seem to have is a deformed workers republic leadership that believes it’s own ideology and thinks threats will always work, with a young, untested hereditary leader.

        Luckily this isn’t the cold war and the US government at present dislikes getting involved conflicts (if it was Bush….), while China is ruled by plutocrats those main aim is teh monies and so while they’ll posture to keep the proletariat happy and stay regional hegemone, war tends to fuck up trade badly.

        • Colonial Viper

          The problem is international debt levels. When debt levels have been this high historically, war has always been a factor.

          • NickS

            Except in this case the nation actors involved have very, very deep trade ties (all bar NK) trade ties which if disrupted would lead to major socio-economic issues*, along with lacking the ideological excuses for justifying major conflict. Although yes, with increased debt levels, there’s greater social stress, so smaller ethno-religious conflicts tend to have a nasty habit of breaking out and right-wing/authoritarian fuckwits have greater political appeal and in order to maintain power, stupidly start conflicts they can’t win e.g. Falklands War, Georgia’s incursion into Sth Ossetia.

            *r.e. The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention, it doesn’t apply universally though, as ethno-religious/nationalist and treaty obligations can bring otherwise developed, economically close states into war. Albeit in the case of Russia attacking Georgia, it’s more short term, quick strike conflicts. Resource issues can also trigger them, but risks negative international reaction.

    • muzza 11.2

      Nick a couple of things:

      1: You have no idea who has been controlling NK, nor from reading your comment, are you aware of the historical formation of NK, and the various parties which had hands in it.

      2: Have a look into the relationship development betweeen NK/SK/Japan, then guess who might have the most to lose by not having that wonderful *boogie man*, North Korea, in such a *convenient location*

      • NickS 11.2.1


        You’re a person-non-gratis in my view, so you’ve been shit-binned into my “skip comment” mental list and given recent info about your aims, it’s richly deserved.

  11. ghostrider888 12

    just o change the subject, or maybe not…
    Five Freedoms
    Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare

  12. Polish Pride 13

    Can anyone point me in the direction of the impressive post on here that details all of nationals lies and failings. – the very long (and growing) list that it is?

  13. freedom 15

    I feel a bit sick, Tracy Watkins just dumped ten deaths in Helen Clark’s lap,
    “This is the world she has thrown Kiwi troops into – a war zone that will ultimately claim the lives of 10 New Zealand soldiers, and end up being our longest-ever combat mission – longer by far than either of the two world wars. ” no mention that the reason they are dead is that John Key kept them there far longer than necessary ( regardless of whether they should have been there at all). Tracy Watkins goes on to further encrust the pants of platitude with a boy’s own “ain’t he a hero” line.

    ” IF the war defined Helen Clark’s early years in power, it has had an equally personal impact on John Key. He has never known a time as prime minister when New Zealand wasn’t at war. “

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      yeah, a real crappy dishonest attitude from Watkins there.

      • Pascal's bookie 15.2.1

        That agreement is what it is, but it isn’t NATO, ffs.

        For starters, members of NATO have mutual defence obligations. If any member is being attacked, they can invoke NATO clauses that deem the attack to be on all NATO members. That’s the foundational purpose of NATO, and there is nothing like it in our agreement with the US.

        • muzza

          Yeah ok mate…

        • travellerev

          Shill. More and more… You are getting to be quite desperate aren’t you?

          Just waiting to find out if and when we will be supplying cannon fodder to the illegal invasions of Syria and soon Iran!

          • Pascal's bookie

            Not seeing any where in that piece, or the one of yours you link to in comments over there that says we are members of NATO.

            I’d would be very disturbed to see such a thing if it exists.

            The so called Washington Declaration does no such thing of course, it is a weaker agreement even than ANZUS, which was itself a much weaker agreement than the one binding NATO countries together.

            I’m sorry that I keep asking for evidence for the stuff you claim to be true, but I have my reasons for that, based on your reliability in the past.

    • karol 15.3

      It seeems that like Jane Clifton, Watkins is selectively re-writing history – see Trotter on Clifton’s shocker.

      Now, maybe Watkins needs to be reminded of a few things – as shown in this Scoop 2007 copy from Hansard in 2003, re NZ sending troops to join the coalition of the willing’s front line forces in invading Iraq:

      Hon BILL ENGLISH (Leader of the Opposition): The National Party will be supporting a coalition of the willing. We believe that it is in the interests of global peace and the long-term interests of New Zealand to see Saddam decisively disarmed. National has supported the United Nations process up until the time that it has failed. Along with the Government, we supported Resolution 1441. More recently, we supported the moves by the United Kingdom, Australia, the US, and others, to bring forward a second resolution to the United Nations. We did so, not in the belief that war could necessarily be averted, but in the belief that if there was a war, it should have the broad support of the international community. There is now no second resolution, and we believe that in the absence of such a resolution, it is the correct choice for New Zealand to support the coalition of the willing, which includes our traditional allies the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia….

      And Matt McCarten on John Key’s 2007 Uturn:

      But in 2003, as a newly elected MP, he boasted that National would indeed be sending troops to Iraq, in defiance of the United Nations.

      At that time, Key attacked Labour’s disloyalty to the United States and proudly offered to send our young men and women in uniform as part of Bush’s invasion of an innocent and defenceless people.

      He got rather carried away, espousing all sorts of nonsense, including that blood was thicker than water when it came to supporting the United States over the United Nations.

      • felix 15.3.1

        Yeah he’s quite the patriot. Just has trouble remembering which country…

    • millsy 15.4

      “” IF the war defined Helen Clark’s early years in power, it has had an equally personal impact on John Key. He has never known a time as prime minister when New Zealand wasn’t at war. “


      Excuse me but I dont recall the economy being directed to focus on the war effort, with factories being retooled to make munitions and tanks? I dont recall seeing footage of towns farewelling all their menfolk as they march off, or households encouraged to preserve food for the war effort? Anyone recall blackouts being imposed, or being issued with ration books? Travelling being restricted for essential purposes only?

      I would hardly call a deployment of a handful or personnell to a UN sanctioned military operation being ‘at war’.

  14. ghostrider888 16

    got off lightly, considering, unlike the US Forces…unlike the nationals who remain. Been a few analyses of likely Afghanistan future; Iraq anybody? Power loves a vacuum, ain’t that the Ugly Truth.

  15. johnm 17

    Heresy. I’m getting the feeling that The Standard is becoming not much more than a middle class ineffectual protest outlet managed by the traitorous Labour party. A carousel of meaningless protest! 🙁

    • tc 17.1

      Nice day under the bridge is it.

    • freedom 17.2

      I call this piece The Mirror Thought and dedicate it to johnm

      • ghostrider888 17.2.1

        “emergent service worker” ackshully; at your service, well, on call -houses moved, gardens turned, hungry fed, cats adopted, causes concerned, words wound, commentors admired, or not, *sighs* loaned…sigh “As Good As It Gets” and Puddleglum come to mind…

  16. BLiP 18

    John Key’s lies . . . UPDATED

    – I promise to always be honest

    – We’re not proposing to change the Employment Relations Act in a way that weakens unions

    – we are not going to sack public servants, the attrition rate will reduce costs

    – we are not going to cut working for families

    – I firmly believe in climate change and always have

    – We seek a 50% reduction in New Zealand’s carbon-equivalent net emissions, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2050. 50 by 50. We will write the target into law.

    – National Ltd™ will provide a consistent incentive for both biofuel and biodiesel by exempting them from excise tax or road user charges

    – I didn’t know about The Bretheren election tactics

    – If they came to us now with that proposal [re trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods regime], we will sign it

    – I can’t remember my position on the 1981 Springbok Tour

    Tranzrail shares

    Lord Ashcroft

    – National Ltd™ would have sent troops into Iraq

    Standard & Poors credit downgrade

    – I did not mislead the House

    – I didn’t say I want wages to drop

    – the real rate of inflation is 3.3 percent.

    – the tourism sector has not lost 7,000 jobs

    – I won’t raise GST

    – the purchase of farmland, by overseas buyers will be limited to ten farms per purchase

    – capping, not cutting the public service

    – raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour will cost 6000 jobs

    north of $50 a week

    – privatisation won’t significantly help the economy

    – wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones

    – I never offered Brash a diplomatic job in London

    – Tariana Turia is “totally fine” with the Tuhoe Treaty Claim deal


    – National Ltd™ is not going to radically reorganise the structure of the public sector

    – tax cuts won’t require additional borrowing

    – New Zealand does not have a debt problem

    – New Zealand troops in Afghanistan will only be involved in training, not fighting

    – 14,000 new apprentices will start training over the next five years, over and above the number previously forecast

    – Our amendments to the ETS ensure we will continue to do our fair share internationally

    – we are committed to honouring our Kyoto Protocol obligations

    – any changes to the ETS will be fiscally neutral

    – we [NZ} have grown for eight of the last nine quarters”

    – National Ltd™ will tender out the government banking contract

    – we will be back in surplus by 2014-15

    – Nicky Hager’s book “Other People’s Wars” is a work of fiction

    – unemployment is starting to fall

    – we have created 45,000 jobs

    – we are likely to create 170,000 jobs in the next 4 years

    – I don’t know if I own a vineyard

    – I did not mislead the House (again)

    – the Ma href=> Isreali spy killed in the Christchurch quake had “only one” passport

    – the Police will not need to make savings by losing jobs

    – GCSB re Kim Dotcom x 3 (that we know about)

    – I did not mislead the House (again)

    – I voted to keep the drinking age at 20

    – New Zealand is 100% Pure

    – I’ve been prime minister for four years, and it’s really 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year

    – baseball in New Zealand is attracting more government support

    – I wasn’t told thatMinisterial Services, which I am in charge of, was going to buy brand new BMWs

    – the public demanded that we change the labour laws for The Hobbit

    – “The Hobbit” created 3000 new jobs

    – we have delivered 1000 extra doctors in the public service

    – I wasn’t working at Elders when the sham foreign exchange deals took place

    – I was starting School Certificate exams in 1978

    – I don’t know who arrived on the CIA jet to visit the spies I am responsible for

    – reducing barriers to property developers will increase the availability of affordable housing

    – Labour left the economy in poor shape

    – forecasts show unemployment will fall

    – we have closed the wage gap with Australia by $27

    – I have met with Ngati Porou and Whanau Apanui representatives and they reiterated they were not opposed to progress or mining

    – I have not had any meetings with Media Works

    – our [NZ’s] terms of trade remain high

    – the TPP is an example of democracy

    – National Ltd™ will use the proceeds of state asset sales to invest in other public assets, like schools and hospitals

    – New Zealand troops will be out of Afghanistan by April 2013

    – overseas investment in New Zealand adds to what New Zealanders can invest on their own

    – overseas investment in New Zealand creates jobs, boosts incomes, and helps the economy grow

    – National Ltd™ will build 2000 houses over the next two years

    – there are only 4 New Zealand SAS soldiers in Bamiyan and all working in the area of logistics and planning only

    – selling state assets will give cash equity to those companies

    – the Sky City deal doesn’t mean more pokies

    – there was nothing improper about the Sky City deal

    – my office has had no correspondence, no discussions, no involvement with the Sky City deal

    – SkyCity will only get “a few more” pokie machines at the margins

    – any changes to gambling regulations will be subject to a full public submission process,

    – Sky City has approached TVNZ about the purchase/use of government-owned land

    – the Auditor General has fully vindicated National over the Sky City deal

    – there’s a 50/50 chance the Hobbit is going off shore unless we do something

    – David Shearer has signed up for the purchase of shares in Mighty River

    – Solid Energy asked the government for a $1 billion capital investment

    – fracking has been going safely on in Taranaki for the past 30 years without any issues

    – no front line positions will be lost at DoC

    – Iain Rennie came to me and recommended Fletcher for the GCSB job

    – I forgot that after I scrapped the shortlist for GCSB job I phoned a life-long friend to tell him to apply for the position

    – I told Rennie I would contact Fletcher

    (Respectfully request crowd sourcing here – I can see there are few that didn’t come out due to my poor typing but now I can see them, I’ll fix them. If you’re in the mood, please click a couple or more of the links and let me know if there are any duds. If lots of people click a few random ones, should get through them all. Thanks in advance.)

  17. prism 19

    Who pays for this expensive recovery of bodies from the deep sea? The poverty-stricken government? And how sad that a quick response can be made to mount this recovery operation while Pike River workers’ families wait and wait.

    Was all the high-tech stuff that presumably is available used for exploring the Pike River mine? Weren’t there small radio-controlled planes that could be mounted with a camera sort of like DOC does in surveilling their areas of responsibility?

    People using private boats and planes should have to participate in some insurance scheme that helps to meet the costs of search and rescue, or be faced with a set charge per day that might have to come out of their estates. The government can weigh people down with heavy fines for being lax or stupid and someone who had a road accident was being charged for assistance rendered, which if it was an accident is a burden on a low income person. Is everybody paying their fair share for rescue services?

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      User pays?

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      People using private boats and planes should have to participate in some insurance scheme that helps to meet the costs of search and rescue…

      I’ve been thinking of boating licenses and boat registration. Admittedly, that’s from listening to my family and hearing the stories of people out driving boats who obviously have NFI what the give way rules are but it would still apply.

      • Murray Olsen 19.2.1

        Boat licences would be a great idea. I can’t remember the number of times I was almost run into rocks crossing river bars by clueless idiots in expensive boats. I’ve also had to pull the pick up more than a couple of times to avoid getting run over by gin palaces on autpilot between Auckland and the Bay of Islands. They seem to think that once they get past Kawau, the sea a few miles offshore will be empty until they hit Cape Brett. While we’re at it, make them start with nothing more powerful than 25 hp and outlaw jetskis altogether.
        Offshore rescue responsibilities are also something I’ve thought about, without reaching any conclusions. We are responsible for a huge area, so that if someone from Europe sets off in a leaky boat and makes it into the Southern Ocean somewhere south of the Auckland Islands, we can be responsible for rescuing them. It doesn’t seem quite right that we should pay for that while we can’t put lunches in front of kids at school, for example. It also doesn’t seem right to leave them to drown, but……..

        • prism

          We can’t afford to look after NZs properly Murrayv O. This high seas bit – who pays for the container ship rerouted to save some unfortunate or stupid people ‘out of their depth’ in the southern waters. We need to help boat people, and make them an important priority, and can’t afford to be the back-up. People are being run down at night by computer driven container ships on top of the increased rough weather that is going to be a continual problem to sea travellers.

          Two men had to take a lifeboat after the sinking of a fishing vessel from Nelson that was trying to get a haul of fish but keep the location secret. The skipper took on some guys who didn’t have much work. The boat went down, the skipper with it, and the two men drifted lost till they died of thirst and starvation I think. We need to help the unfortunate and then look at some recovery of expenses if they can afford it. By no means should they be expected to pay all recovery costs though. At present a teenage girl can determine to sail round the world in the knowledge that she can be sure of rescue as the world’s media spotlights her every move.

          The sea and also the wild places in NZ are not places where one can easily survive when weakened or under attack by natural forces. Expectation of reimbursement for say half of the rescue costs must be made in NZ and an insurance scheme set up to cover such costs. It wouldn’t even be complete user pays, it would be a contribution. But those who had big assets would pay above their insurance payout for advanced services if they had been called on, such as provided to the alcohol magnate Michael Erceg in his helicopter and now these wealthy people on the seabed.

          Then perhaps some compassionate care for injured and dead workers could be afforded.

  18. Murray Olsen 20

    The leader of the Australian opposition is an incompetent, inconsistent, blithering idiot who can hardly string a coherent system. He’s widely predicted to win election to PM by a landslide. One difference is that he has virtually all the media promoting him and denigrating the government. Is this what Labour will be counting on with Shearer? Now that Shonkey has called journalists knuckleheads, is their secret plan working?

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Sorry Murray, but Gillard hasn’t shown the guts and the principle that the electorate has been looking for. Tony won’t win the election; Julia is going to lose it.

    • Murray Olsen 20.2

      My English is getting worse. “Coherent system” should be “coherent sentence together.”

      In reply to CV: Gillard has shown plenty of guts and ability. She’s held a minority government together despite everything that’s been thrown at her. It’s her principles that are suspect. She stands somewhere close to Key on the political spectrum.
      If there is a serious point to my post, it is that the Australian media is deciding the election. They do it in a far, far more blatant way than the Kiwi media, but subtlety probably would go over the heads of their readership/audience. The “respectable” newspapers publish stuff that makes WhaleSpew look balanced, and the shock jocks make Michael Laws look like a proponent of Tino Rangatiratanga.

      As to losers: the Australian workers and anyone without a Southern Cross tattooed on their scrawny bicep will be the ones who lose. And they will lose big time.

  19. xtasy 21

    Does anybody remember JANET GROSSMAN, the hot shot cut and slash manager hired to become Work and Income’s Deputy CEO in July 2011?

    This is what the NZ Herald reported on her sudden, unexpected resignation in June last year, barely a year in her senior job then. Rumours had it, that she was furious about a so-called Welfare Board, set up or led by Paula Rebstock, to oversee her work to “reform” the department and “improve” their systems.

    She left within days after announcing her return to the UK, supposedly to attend to family matters there.

    Now that seems rather ODD now, since her newly update Linked In profile and CV reveal some NEW information.

    According to that she was officially employed by WINZ until August 2012. So she got paid for the notice period that is likely to have applied, plus probably for her return move to the UK, by the public purse. No wonder Paula Bandit (aka “Benefit” or “Bennett”) did not front up with any figures, nor the state services agency that looks after paying public service CEOs.

    AND to make it all more interesting: GROSSMAN apparently had a new senior job LINED UP in the UK. She did already in September 2012 take up a new senior position as ‘Non Executive Member of the Board’ for the UK Ministry of Justice, Public Guardian Office!

    A month later she took on a second appointment, yes a SECOND JOB, which she does besides of the one just mentioned, at Her Majesty’s Royal Customs – Valuation Office Agency!

    Now if she had some serious family matters to attend to, how could she then so soon take on two important jobs of that calibre?

    Hence THE TRUTH IS OUT, Grossman left, because Bennett and the government p***ed her off something HUGE, and in some ways apparently must also have breached her employment contract (by not disclosing others would interfere with her job, or changing the terms without consultation), which gave her a good, justified reason to THROW IN THE TOWEL WITH MSD AND WINZ!

    Interesting stuff, is it not? Why are the MSM not delivering us such news???

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