Open mike 06/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, April 6th, 2014 - 101 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

And don’t forget to change your clocks back one hour …

101 comments on “Open mike 06/04/2014 ”

  1. Philj 1

    I wonder when the majority of people will wake up to the reality of increasing misery and poverty. Also increasing migration and population growth, global and nationally ,will only worsen our situation, long term. Who will revolt first? The young, the poor or the increasingly screwed middle class?

    • Ad 1.1

      I am sure it’s an utterly devastating place to be in one’s life. But I believe it has very limited political value in an election year other than on a tiny political fringe.

      People do not want to be told they are weak, or cold, or abject, or hungry. We want to be told that we can succeed, we will find a way out of this, we have people who believe in us, and that there are benign powers who are on our side.

      Personally that’s what I expect of anyone who is selling themselves as the next Prime Minister.

      • just saying 1.1.1


        You’re quite right Ad, “people” don’t want to be defined by the likes of you.
        But when people speak of being cold and hungry they want and deserve to be heard and heeded.

        Your words “weak and the “abject” speak volumes about your attitudes.

        • Ad

          You are welcome to generate an entire revolution about it.
          Sorry about the political reality – Mana Party seem to have a lock on it, and their one vote in Parliament will I am sure be important whether it’s in or out of coalition.

      • ghostrider888 1.1.2

        And who by fire, who by water
        Who in the sunshine, who in the night-time,
        Who by high ordeal, who by common trial
        Who in your merry month of May
        Who by very slow decay
        And who, shall I say, is calling…

        And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate
        Who in the realms of love, who by something blunt
        And who by avalanche, who by powder
        Who for his greed, who for his hunger,
        And who, shall I say, is calling.

        And who by brave assent, who by accident
        Who in solitude, who in this mirror
        Who by his lady’s command, who by his own hand
        Who in mortal chains, who in power
        And who shall I say is calling.


  2. mickysavage 2

    In the SST this morning Stephen Joyce confirmed that the polls during the last election were erroneous. The specific quote is:

    In the 2011 election I think there were quite a few people that thought, certainly erroneously, because of the nature of the polls the election was a foregone conclusion.”

    • Joyce didn’t claim the polls were erroneous, he said people made erroneous conclusions because of the polls.

      It’s impossible to know if any poll was erroneous, they are snapshots of opinion at the time they are taken. None polled on election day and opinions and voting decisions are known to change in the last couple of weeks of a campaign in particular.

      Polls can affect how people vote – I think it’;s fair debate whether this is a good or a bad thing. Do polls adversely influence voters? Or do they help inform voters so they can decide how to vote? Probably both. I use polls to make my voting decisions.

      • karol 2.1.1

        Joyce said the erroneous conclusions that people made were due to “the nature of the polls”. Does that not mean there was something wrong with the polls? and/or the way they were reported?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Of course it does.

          Micky’s point stands.

        • Pete George

          I don’t think it means there was anything wrong with the polls. That a number of polls showed similar results suggests they were around about right at the time, it wasn’t just an outlier or two.

          My guess is they were reported inaccurately or misleadingly as they usually are, so I think “the nature of poll reporting” plus general public ignorance of what polls mean.

          I don’t know how many people think this way, but if I saw polls suggesting one party may get enough votes to rule alone I’d probably vote against that, in general I don’t think single party rule would be a good thing.

          National support dropping late in the campaign would have been due to a number of factors including:
          – complacency of people who might vote National
          – avoidance of letting National rule alone
          – a late swing to NZ First
          – a reaction to the cup of tea fiasco

          • felix

            Fact check:

            “That a number of polls showed similar results suggests they were around about right at the time”

            There is no such suggestion inherent in the results. The facts might equally “suggest” that the polls were all equally wrong.

            “National support dropping late in the campaign would have been due to..”

            The word you’re looking for is “could”, not “would”.

            • Pete George

              “Suggests” is a reasonable assumption. There’s a one in twenty chance of one poll being outside the margin of error. There’s a much smaller chance of several polls being similarly outside the margin of error at the same time.

              Yes, ‘could’ may be better than ‘would’ there but I think it’s very likely some or all of those factors played a part.

              • Pascal's bookie

                There’s a much smaller chance of several polls being similarly outside the margin of error at the same time.

                Unless they are all using very similar methodology with an unidentified bias. One way to test that would be to look at results going back several elections, and ooh, look at what you find!

                What are the odds that over several elections a majority of polls would overstate support for National, purely by chance?

              • felix

                The question is why did the polls differ so greatly from the actual real-world result. Essentially there are two hypotheses being considered.

                One is that the polls were an accurate reflection of voters’ intention when they were taken and that voters’ intentions changed significantly enough in the final week that the polls no longer matched the actual real-world result.

                The other is that the polls were not measuring the voters’ intentions as accurately as they thought.

                I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m saying there’s no way of really knowing because as you point out there is no real-time polling on election day to compare. But there is nothing in the facts that suggests one scenario over the other, the suggestion has come from you.

        • lurgee

          Joyce said the erroneous conclusions that people made were due to “the nature of the polls”. Does that not mean there was something wrong with the polls? and/or the way they were reported?

          I don’t think so. Opinion polls are not presented as definitive, precise measures of anything. They all include margins of error and if people ignore that, and focus on individual polls, then they are reaching erroneous conclusions based on valid polls.

          Bit like climate change deniers looking at 1998 and screaming that temperatures have been falling for 17 years.

          • karol

            And that has nothing to do with the over use of polls and the way they are reported?

            Myself, I’m not a poll watcher. I think they are part of what is wrong with the media and the way politics is portrayed as a game within the public sphere.

            • lurgee

              Overuse and reporting of polls is nothing to do with the polls as such, though. ANd that’s kinda Joyce’s point. People (even reporters count as people) reached erroneous conclusions based on the polls.

              Though not hugely erroneous conclusions. national still won handsomely, unless the last 3 years have all been a bad dream. Is Phil goff Prime Minister?

              That might also count as a not-too-pleasant dream.

              Polls can not really be erroneous because they don’t claim to be accurate. they can be ‘more likely to be accurate’ or ‘more likely to be accurate,’ depending on sample size and methodology and so on, but nothing more than that.

              There are a lot of them and they are poorly reported. But I like them. Heck, I check UK Polling Report every day, sometimes multiple times, to see if there is a new one reported …

              If anything, I suspect we don’t have enough polls. If there were more, it might be a bit easier to weigh their merits and the media might get a bit less excited about them.

              Still, with a population of 4 million, it probably isn’t feasible.

              • This is what Colmar Brunton state in their detailed One News poll report:

                The data does not take into account the effects of non-voting and therefore cannot be used to predict the outcome of an election. Undecided voters, non-voters and those who refused to answer are excluded from the data on party support.

                The results are therefore only indicative of trends in party support, and it would be misleading to report otherwise.


                That statement should be learned thoroughly by every political journalist.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Yes, so the reason they shouldn’t be used to predict election outcomes is?

                  that they aren’t an accurate reflection of what is happening. They are a best estimate that will contain errors. Those errors in the poll are why you shouldn’t make absolute claims about them.

                  So making absolute claims about them is wrong, not because making claims is wrong, but because the polls aren’t good enough, ie, there is something wrong with them in that regard.

                • Mark

                  Pete, the polls are a joke. 18% who won’t give an answer coupled with the 15% who don’t have a land line means the Colmar Brunton poll was of 67% of eligible voters. It is just a nonesense to try to make that result anything but a joke. The last two elections the Nats election day vote has been 5/7% below what the polls have been indicating leading up to the election. When you see that the polls published are only how two thirds of the country feel, then that drop seems easy to understand.If the Nats go into the election this year under 45% in the polls as they were in the last Roy Morgan, history would suggest they will struggle to hit 40% on election night

                  • 18% who won’t give an answer coupled with the 15% who don’t have a land line means the Colmar Brunton poll was of 67% of eligible voters.

                    Mark, pollsters say that with cellphone polling or without cellphone polling doesn’t make much difference. And they say that those who don’t know (13%) and won’t say (5% in the last Colmar poll) don’t make much difference either to overall results, they are in similar proportions to the poll results.

                    The last two elections the Nats election day vote has been 5/7% below what the polls have been indicating leading up to the election.

                    I don’t know where you get 5/7% from. According to research by Gavin White at UMR:

                    Take the average (mean) error for these four parties across the 19 final polls included in this dataset. That shows us that the average error is:

                    National: 2.7% too high
                    Labour: 0.7% too high
                    Greens: 1.0% too high
                    NZ First: 1.5% too low.

                    Counting all mainstream media polls since 2005 (i.e. excluding UMR but including TV3 and Fairfax / Research International polls in 2008 and 2011) leaves 14 polls, and an average error of:

                    National: 2.4% too high
                    Labour: 0.5% too low
                    Greens: 1.5% too high
                    NZ First: 1.1% too low.


                    That was then, polling compaigns keep refining what they do to try and improve accuracy. Colmar stated in their last poll:

                    Note: The interview introduction was changed in this poll to remove any reference to politics, and the weighting specifications were updated. This may impact comparability with the previous poll.

                    History is history, polling methods change and the party circumstances this year are quite different to 2011 and 2008.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      What do you think will be the party support for United Future at the election this year?

                    • Unless something significant changes I doubt it will increase much if at all from last election’s level.

                    • Mark

                      With all due respects Pete, I have never heard such self serving crap in my life. 15% of New Zealanders don’t have a landline. To suggest leaving 15% out of the polls makes no difference is total bunkum. You need to take the blinkers off Pete. Roy Morgan includes cellphones and their polls are very accurate where as the Colmar Brunton poll before the last election had the Nats on 52%– they got 47%– By averageing the polls out and including Roy Morgan they don’t look so bad. The reality is they are shite. And then to say that those that don’t know or won’t tell fall in the same proportion as the people who will state a preference is utter rubbish.The polls as they are are crap except for Roy Morgan (cellphones and very small undecided) and no PR spin from the companies can alter that fact.

                • Tracey

                  i cant tdecide if you are being naive or stupid

        • Once was Pete

          Not necessarily, it could mean that some people think that they couldn’t effect the result, or that it was a foregone conclusion, and therefore they wouldn’t vote.

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        Joyce didn’t claim the polls were erroneous, he said people made erroneous conclusions because of the polls.

        So let me get this clear, the polls were accurate but people misread them?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Nah, he means that he’s going to feebly wave his hands around some more.

          Your point stands.

        • lurgee

          People certainly placed far more value on them than was due.

          All polls are an estimation, based on research; they all include a margin of error, typically 3-4%. And even that is only a 95% confidence indicator – every poll essentially admits it could be totally wrong.

          No poll can definitely claim to be accurate, which is a weasel term you’ve decided to introduce, which no-one else has used or claimed is the case. But they can be reported and interpreted sensibly – which did not happen, according to Joyce.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            If that’s what Joyce meant – that the reporting and interpretation was at fault – then he has a point.

            He says people “thought” the outcome was certain. Could this have anything to do with ad nauseam “National can govern alone” stories accompanying each and every one of them, one wonders…

            Perhaps the jonolists that wrote those stories really believed them too.

        • Pete George

          No, polls aren’t “accurate” as lurgee points out at They are an indication with certain defined confidence factors, with a one in 20 chance of being less accurate than a +/- 3.1 margin of sampling error.

          People (and most journalists) commonly misread and misunderstand polls.

          There’s an excellent discussion with polling expert input on this here –

          • One Anonymous Bloke


            Micky’s point stands.

            • lurgee

              Not really, as no-one other than the Legal Eagle has claimed polls are ‘accurate’. He’s introducing a straw man. He is the only claiming the choice is a zero-sum game between the polls being accurate or people misreading them.

              The polls do not claim to be definitive – they merely report the findings of the research, and acknowledge the possibility of error. And people still misread them.

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          I have to admit I read that line as Joyce not saying the polls were erroneous but that people made wrong conclusions based on them.

          For instance, a person going “the polls show National on 50%, the election is done I might as well not vote.”

          Whether the poll was right or wrong doesn’t matter, people made the conclusion that their vote didn’t matter. And that’s what Joyce was saying was the erroneous conclusion.

          Also, grammatically speaking, that’s what the sentence says.

          • kenny

            Based on what the polls said!!! FFS.

            Polls should be banned for the 3 weeks preceding election day.

          • Tracey

            “Joyce not saying the polls were erroneous but that people made wrong conclusions based on them.”

            Of course he leaves the bit out about how they come to draw the wrong conclusions. Through carefully crafted campaigns, slogans, hot button phrases, PR strategy etc… and he is at the core of National strategy and has been since the days of Brash and the hollowmen…

            It’s like advertisers putting subliminal messages into their advertising and expressing surprise people took the main ad the wrong way.

      • Rosie 2.1.3

        Pete says” I use polls to make my voting decisions.”

        Wow. So you can’t think for yourself? You want to follow the sheep?

        You’ve just summarised the perfect argument against polls right there.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Not to mention validated the ubiquitous contempt he generates.

        • alwyn

          I can’t really be bothered tracking down examples but I have seen quite a lot of comments from people on this and other blogs saying exactly the same thing.
          It is generally when they are talking about tactical voting considerations and the certainly aren’t “following the sheep”.

          They tend to say things like, and the party chosen here is only to give an example, “If the poll says that NZF are on 4.8% I’ll vote for them to try and get another centre-left party into parliament as an ally”, as opposed to “NZF are only on 2.0% and have no chance. I’m not going to waste my vote”.

          If you are thinking along those lines it makes a great deal of sense to take note of the polls before voting.

        • lurgee

          While it is a very odd comment, it isn’t inherently insane.

          If the Greens were polling at 4.9%, I might vote for them to help get them across the 5% line. If they are looking healthy at 10%, I might be more inclined to vote for Mana in the hope of getting Annette Sykes into parliament.

          too many people seem to be letting their visceral dislike of Peter George could their branes.

          • Rosie

            ok, get your points alwyn and lurgee re tactical voting, but really how often would that consideration arise? I can’t say I have ever been influenced by the polls in my voting decisions, but then again I’d be happy if we never had polls again, no matter who was in power and who was in opposition. I simply don’t pay any attention to them.

            I agree with what karol said above:

            “Myself, I’m not a poll watcher. I think they are part of what is wrong with the media and the way politics is portrayed as a game within the public sphere.”

            I’d rather voters consider Parties policies that ally with their own values rather than jump on board with some manufactured media “race”.

            And as to” too many people seem to be letting their visceral dislike of Peter George could their branes.” I was a bit confused on the “could their branes” “cloud their brains” perhaps? In all honesty I’ve had about 5 exchanges all up with Pete over the last 3 years and I can’t say I have a visceral dislike of the guy – he did get banned for a reason though and it’s those reasons that make me apprehensive about taking him too seriously. I just find it a bit alarming when folks say “I use polls to make my voting decisions”. I think using your noggin would be more helpful.

            • alwyn

              “how often would that consideration arise?”

              If your basic support was for the policies of a small party it might be more often that one might imagine. Would many people I think that ACT, when Rodney was leader, would have got a lot less party votes if people didn’t think that Rodney was safe in Epsom and their vote for a party polling about 3% would not be wasted.
              When Rodney was dumped I think a fair number of their voters decided “to hell with it”.
              I think the same might apply to Mana. You think that they are well down in the polls but that Hone, if he can hold his seat, has coattails.

              As far as I am concerned I’m not bothered. I can’t see either National or Labour dropping out of Parliament. The Greens won’t either as long as they are never in a Government. If they were though, all bets are off. Every minor party that has been part of a Government gets massacred very soon thereafter.
              Only NZF managed to stagger back with more than a token presence. Whatever did happen to The Alliance? What happened to those people in United Future?
              If the Greens were to form part of a Government they would catch all the flack for the unpopular decisions and get none of the credit for the popular ones and they to would be out the door.

              • bad12

                The Green Party tho is its own thriving entity with an electoral base over 5%, with the exception of ACT and NZFirst all the other parties that have not fared well in Government under the MMP system have usually been those which are established by a defector or defectors who quit their parties while still being MP’s,

                i would suggest that it is this that voters punish as opposed to dishing out such electoral punishment for having been part of a Governing coalition, the lack of defections and new parties springing up during the past two Parliaments would suggest that MP’s themselves have come to realize this,

                i am sure a 14–15% Green party in a Government will get to deliver enough clear Green Party policies to its supporters to satisfy them and once such a Government,Labour/Green were established it would be stupid for the larger side of the coalition to starve the large but smaller coalition partner of visible policy victories…

          • Clemgeopin

            I dislike Peter Dunne more for his support of this government and many of its stupid and evil policies such as Asset sales, Private charter schools with public funds, GCSB spying legislation without thorough review, Tax cuts and GST that helped the wealthiest the most and affected the poor the most, Cutting of various public services and jobs, Killing of community education night classes etc

            • alwyn

              The first “Charter Schools” in New Zealand were brought in by a Labour Government.
              They were introduced by the Kirk/Rowling Government during their 1972-1975 term.

              These were the “Integrated Schools” and many still exist. They were introduced mainly because the Catholic school system was about to collapse under the burden of having to hire more and more lay teachers with the reduction in the number of people entering such orders as the Marist Brothers. (Society of Mary is it?). The way they were set up was quite tricky and was designed in such a way that only Catholic schools found it easy to qualify. Kirk, et al, didn’t want to support the other private schools and he really wanted to get the Roman Catholic vote. The continued fall in “Religious” teachers meant the model had to be opened up a bit later on though.

              You can call them something different but it is very hard to distinguish them from the “Charter School” model isn’t it?

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s completely different you moron. The integrated schools (which I think we should stop supporting) at least have to maintain the national curriculum and trained teachers. Charter Schools don’t.

                • Clemgeopin

                  And integrated catholic character schools get equal (if not less) per pupil amount compared to Charter schools.
                  The integrated schools are finding it very hard to manage economically because they get much less finding than state schools and their fees are low compared to purely ‘private’ schools.
                  Charter schools are a swindle by this government to private individuals/entities at huge public cost, in terms of pupil-teacher ratios, lax teacher qualifications and open accountability as well as per pupil based funding. It is an unfair crooked con.

          • Tracey

            did we not have polls pre MMP?

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    Reading up on ‘social banditry’ : Hobsbawm before giving time and consideration to Changing the world (not Gangnam Style). 😎

  4. Jenny 4

    The Western World’s sanctions against Russia in the Crimea, are proving so far to be laughable.

    Mac Donalds Hamburger chain and microstate Tuvalu express their displeasure with Russia.

    Let us pray for the sake of peace between the super powers, that international action, continues to remain in the farcical zone.

    • tc 4.1

      I find those sanctions are for theatrical purposes, all part of the big show put on to give the illusion of concern.

      Putin considers all those firmer ussr countries his domain and the rest can do sfa about it except put on a show.

  5. Morrissey 5

    “I’m so sorry, I truly am.” …[choke, sniff]
    Rachel Smalley earns her patch for radio’s most obnoxious gang

    NewstalkZB, 3 April 2014

    Over the last twenty years, NewstalkZB’s early morning show has been the venue for not only inane and dreadfully ill-informed comment but also some of the most despicable and brutal behavior. The most infamous example is Paul Holmes’s wandery, barely coherent attack on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2003; Holmes raved for several minutes that Annan was “a very cheeky darkie” for refusing to support the United States’ illegal invasion of Iraq.

    That was probably the nadir, but nothing at all changed on that station. NewstalkZB has continued to be the vehicle for loud-mouthed support for torture (Holmes again), for the destruction of hospitals and schools and the mass killing of civilians in Gaza (Holmes again, amplified by Leighton Smith and Larry “Lackwit” Williams) and for the thuggish aggression by Chinese “security” guards against Russell Norman in front of our parliamentary buildings (Holmes, Smith and Lackwit Williams). And, of course, NewstalkZB was also where Leighton Smith called Muhammad Ali a “nigger”, and where the victim of a frenzied knife-killing in South Auckland was demeaned and defamed round the clock for several months, and his killer praised as a “decent man” who had been driven over the edge.

    Last week, NewstalkZB’s new morning “talent” Rachel Smalley continued this ignoble tradition. Smalley read out a news item about how New Zealand women are getting fatter. Foolishly–or was it accidentally on purpose?—she “forgot” to turn off her microphone before muttering that they were “heifers” and “lardos”. The usual furore ensued, and next morning Rachel Smalley uttered a tearful apology….

    RACHEL SMALLEY: It was stupid, it was judgmental and offensive. It was not made as a statement of fact and it was in no way representative of any opinion I have ever held, ever. And I’m so sorry, I truly am. …[choke, sniff]…. My role as a journalist has always been to inform and not to offend and yesterday I crossed that line. …[blub, choke]…I’m so very sorry that I said what I did and I’m very sorry for the hurt that I caused and the many people that I let down, not least my self, my friends and my family …[sniff]….

    Of course, the question that has to be asked is: if Rachel Smalley sees her “role as a journalist” to “inform and not to offend”, what on EARTH is she doing working for NewstalkZB?

    • Rogue Trooper 5.1

      I don’t love Rachel (in that ) way, anymore!

    • Once was Tim 5.2

      I’d say she’s caught in the culture.
      Plus she has a mortgage to pay – probably one larger than she actually needs, and there’s always twee little cafes and restaurants whose custom she needs to maintain.
      It’s a bit like Lianne Malcolm having to slum it on the Paul Henry Show as a reporter (she might even think he’s a bit of a laugh).
      Mortgages and debt trump principle – and prostitution is becoming semi-normal these days anyway.
      But I mean Christ!!! Paul Henry!

      • Rogue Trooper 5.2.1

        I choose not to watch that fool on principle, despite the ads touting his nonsense in prime-time; and Hosking’s round-up at the end of Seven Sharp…well, I ask you Tim. 😉

    • Tracey 5.3

      how can it no represent an opinion she has ever held?

      • Murray Olsen 5.3.1

        The only explanation I can think of for that is that she was being sarcastic. In my opinion, it is not a reasonable explanation. We seldom blurt out things we have never thought.

  6. geoff 6

    John Armstrong says Key is dopey and Cunliffe is clever:

    • Bearded Git 6.1

      Yes geoff National may have shot themselves in the foot with the “Rockstar” stuff. Not only does this leave them open to the argument that they are not spreading the goodies to the less well off but it also gives Labour the ammunition to argue that some spending is justified. And with Parker (otherwise known as joe 90) the smart accountant in charge Labour will be able to offer goodies while still forecasting surpluses.

      I’m convinced that Key has blown this by having a 6 month election campaign-it gives the opposition parties masses of exposure.

  7. RedbaronCV 7

    Seen the bit over in the Herald where maori tv is goimg to be passed to iwi control. Does this mean no more pesky investigations that hatm someone’s Mana?

    • Tigger 7.1

      This is the important quote: “The Herald on Sunday has seen draft Cabinet papers that confirm the two agencies would “cease to be Crown entities” and would be reconstituted as companies, subsidiaries to the new iwi organisation.”

      So they will be beholden to corporations, not the public. A desperate move by Sharples to save his party. Even worse, the ‘racism’ charge. Harawira thinks it’s a bad idea, Pita. So he’s racist too?

      • tc 7.1.1

        A clever way of gagging maori tv by getting your mates in the iwi to do it for you. Cant have that pesky native affairs and decent informative shows now can we.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    FYI – seen this?

    Journalist Jane Burgermeister played a HUGE role back in 2009 in helping to expose the $WINES INVENTED FLU scam, and I have great respect for her considered opinion and gutsy investigative work:


    by Jane Burgermeister

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has admitted that a man was infected in a laboratory with Ebola, fuelling fears that the Guinea outbreak of the deadly virus could be orchestrated.

    WHO Fact sheet °103, updated in March 2014, says:

    “People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Ebola virus was isolated from semen 61 days after onset of illness in a man who was infected in a laboratory.s

    In Guinea, some people clearly believe they are the victims of a biological assault. The Telegraph reports that angry crowds attacked an Ebola treatment centre in Guinea, accusing staff from Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) of bringing the deadly disease to the town.

    The Handelszeitung notes that the US Military has been conducting research on the Ebola virus. Also, a company belonging to Glaxo Smith Kline is engaged in developing an Ebola vaccine.

    This begs the question as to whether the man was infected with Ebola in a GSK or US bioweapons research laboratory and also whether he was the only one infected?

    MSF — accused by angry crowds of bringing the Ebola — is currently conducting a mass vaccination campaign in Guinea.

    Five hundred thousand children have been vaccinated ostensibly against measles even though MSF admits that a mass measles vaccination campaign in Chad brought no decrease in the disease.’djamena-not-decreasing

    Penny Bright

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Go and check the medical facilities for corruption. Make sure to interview victims.

  9. captain hook 9

    has leighton smith choked on his sausage roll yet?

  10. Penny Bright 10

    FYI – although New Zealand is ranked as the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark) according to Transparency International’s 2013 ‘Corruption Perception Index’ –

    according to the ‘Financial Secrecy Index’ – NZ ranked 48th out of 82 countries surveyed by the Tax Justice Network:

    If New Zealand was truly the least corrupt country in the world – wouldn’t we be the MOST transparent, and the LEAST secretive?

    Report on New Zealand

    New Zealand is ranked at 48th position on the 2013 Financial Secrecy Index.
    This ranking is based on a combination of its secrecy score and a scale weighting based on its share of the global market for offshore financial services.

    New Zealand has been assessed with 52 secrecy points out of a potential 100, which places it in the lower mid-range of the secrecy scale (see chart 1 below).

    New Zealand accounts for less than 1 per cent of the global market for offshore financial services, making it a tiny player compared with other secrecy jurisdictions (see chart 2 below).

    Next steps for New Zealand

    New Zealand’s 52 per cent secrecy score shows that it must still make major progress in offering satisfactory financial transparency.

    If it wishes to play a full part in the modern financial community and to impede and deter illicit financial flows, including flows originating from tax evasion, aggressive tax avoidance practices, corrupt practices and criminal activities, it should take action on the points noted where it falls short of acceptable international standards.

    See below for details of New Zealand’s shortcomings on transparency.

    See this link for an overview of how each of these shortcomings can be fixed.

    (Database for information relied upon for New Zealand’s ‘Financial Secrecy Index’ position of 48th out of 82 countries surveyed:


    Anti-Money Laundering: Does the jurisdiction comply with the FATF recommendations?

    New Zealand does not comply with international anti-money laundering standards

    So – how truly SHONKY was the New Zealand International Convention Centre (or, as I prefer to call it – the Sky City MONEY-LAUNDERING) Act 2013?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog

  11. aerobubble 11

    Key was wrong about Coal, and he’s wrong about future
    returns from oil.

    Everyone knows oil is high density fuel, and there are huge
    demands to replace said fuels as their carbon cost is too large.
    Knowing how much of the resource remains is essential to add into the
    debate over climate change. Knowing how much means we know
    how long we can cling onto petroleum for (and so move faster
    to ditching) since once we are in the mindset of reduction the
    reforms will accelerate. Also economically once we make the decision
    to shift away from such fuels, the cost of using those fuels
    will rise (and from lower demand the price of the fuels will lower
    and the taxes on top adverse to their use).
    So it makes sense to look for them now, while we are still
    locked into the petroleum paradigm and the oil discovery technology is
    peaking. So as a Green I have no problem with looking, and
    essentially the three reasoned positions political are,
    i.) continuation of the petroleum paradigm, the delusional
    head in sands position, National. You can tell National understand
    this as they are calling Greens delusional,
    ii.) linear switch over to low carbon economy, Labours position
    which ignores economic shocks from markets downgrading huge
    wealth as energy intense processes become worth much much less,
    iii.) the Green position, that we should get out in front and
    secure the benefits early, and consider that National are
    either lying or are just delusional about the high prospects of
    a oil money rush, like usual National have missed the boat
    on the economic gains of petroleum, building roads now and
    not thirty years ago (it always cost too much to National,
    so they get away with do nothing policies, until too late).
    iv.) the completely unreasonable ACT position based solely
    in calls to ideological prayer, about the true economic faith
    in free markets according to the obnoxious perfect view of
    economics that doesn’t discuss specifics and denies inevitable
    consequences (as if it were purposed for the sole end, to
    avoid democracy).
    As to NZF, whoever wins Winston Peters will be our next foreign
    minister should he be return to parlliament, he will bend
    accordingly. Naff said.

    So looking ain’t a problem, Greens know the inevitability of Climate
    Change will make profits from any discoveries a pipe dream.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    BitCoin’s fatal design flaws

    The fanaticism of some BitCoin enthusiasts, along with the claims that BitCoin – specifically – will become the currency of the future, is a bit like someone in 1902 insisting that in the future we’ll all be flying across the Atlantic in individual gliders that look like this: [pic of Wright Brothers glider]

  13. captain hook 13

    has pete geroge got one of them?

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    try putting these prophecies back in the lamp. (Hi Draco, and one and all).

    • Rosie 14.1

      Always nice to see you when you ride back into town Amigo.

      • Rogue Trooper 14.1.1

        gracias; may return this way again. (sat huffing a short fat cuban (cigar) after church before walking with mate and dog to the Bluff lookout). Right back at ya’ shining one. 😀

        • Once was Tim

          Far be it from us to judge if the bracketed “(cigar)” was missing.
          We’re from a ‘broad church’ after all – judging by the various comments and the intent of this site

          • Rogue Trooper

            very clever, no, it was a real cigar; close though, with the observation. Anyway, all hands to the pump, there’s fire at the well!

  15. bad12 15

    Doesn’t seem like the Brits restrict the travel of their beneficiaries, a couple of really overpaid ones are dropping in tomorrow to sup at the trough here and provide support for their favorite charity,(the National Party), and its re-election hopes…

  16. Bearded Git 16

    Wonderful images just on TV3 news of Young Nats quaffing champagne on the balcony while Sue Bradford et al protested against poverty below.

    • ffloyd 16.1

      Saw that. Looked very Tory. Feel very sad for those little nats. Life ahead of them and all that. Did they have artful images of steffi key adorning the hallowed walls. Acceptable because daddy said ‘we are so proud’.

    • ffloyd 16.2

      Saw that. Looked very Tory. Feel very sad for those little nats. Life ahead of them and all that. Did they have artful images of steffi key adorning the hallowed walls. Acceptable because daddy said ‘we are so proud’.

  17. Philj 18

    Mike could be the smartest man on TVNZ. He’s a total nitwit. Doesn’t reflect well on NZ’s state broadcaster.

  18. joe90 19

    Sunday evening smiles.

    “Bad news, detective. We got a situation.”

    “What? Is the mayor trying to ban trans fats again?”

    “Worse. Somebody just stole four hundred and forty-seven million dollars’ worth of bitcoins.”

    The heroin needle practically fell out of my arm. “What kind of monster would do something like that? Bitcoins are the ultimate currency: virtual, anonymous, stateless. They represent true economic freedom, not subject to arbitrary manipulation by any government. Do we have any leads?”

    “Not yet. But mark my words: we’re going to figure out who did this and we’re going to take them down … provided someone pays us a fair market rate to do so.”

    “Easy, chief,” I said. “Any rate the market offers is, by definition, fair.”

    He laughed. “That’s why you’re the best I got, Lisowski. Now you get out there and find those bitcoins.”

    “Don’t worry,” I said. “I’m on it.”

  19. Clemgeopin 20

    Kim Dot Com to speak at Mana rally.

    To me it seems like the Mana.Com Alliance is a goer.

  20. Ergo Robertina 21

    Financial writer Michael Lewis’ new book Flash Boys, previewed in the Guardian, delves into the complexity of stock trading computing systems and how it evades regulation and skews the market. Lewis is a very good writer.

    ‘These people are called high-frequency traders – “high-frequency” because they are incredibly active (they submit almost 99% of the orders on US stock markets) and buy and sell shares in milliseconds. They are not really “traders” in any normal sense of the term, but software algorithms, and they now dominate the most important stock markets in the capitalist world.

    Most of us knew that, sort of. We knew about computerised trading and probably naively assumed that it was more efficient than the old system of guys in coloured jackets bellowing at one another on the floor of an exchange. Well, it is more efficient – for some. But the significance of Lewis’s book is that it explains in user-friendly terms how the colossal profits of high-frequency traders really amount to an unconscionable tax on the ordinary investor, or at any rate on the pension funds and other financial institutions on which our livelihoods depend.’

    • RedLogix 21.1

      A ‘modus’.

      During the story, many characters come to believe that the punch cards are a gambling “modus”, a programme that would allow the user to place consistently winning bets.

      Of course a modus always destroys the very system it preys upon.

  21. Draco T Bastard 22

    Sony claims a copyright it doesn’t have, Google complies without question

    This is the sad state of creativity in the world as the governments kowtow ever more deeply to the psychopathic corporations.

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    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
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  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 17, 2023 thru Sat, Sep 23, 2023. Story of the Week  Opinion: Let’s free ourselves from the story of economic growth A relentless focus on economic growth has ushered in ...
    6 days ago
  • The End Of The World.
    Have you been looking out of your window for signs of the apocalypse? Don’t worry, you haven’t been door knocked by a representative of the Brian Tamaki party. They’re probably a bit busy this morning spruiking salvation, or getting ready to march on our parliament, which is closed. No, I’ve ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Climate Town: The Brainwashing Of America's Children
    Climate Town is the YouTube channel of Rollie Williams and a ragtag team of climate communicators, creatives and comedians. They examine climate change in a way that doesn’t make you want to eat a cyanide pill. Get informed about the climate crisis before the weather does it for you. The latest ...
    1 week ago
  • Has There Been External Structural Change?
    A close analysis of the Treasury assessment of the Medium Term in its PREFU 2023 suggests the economy may be entering a new phase. Last week I explained that the forecasts in the just published Treasury Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU 2023) was similar to the May Budget BEFU, ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Another Labour bully
    Back in June, we learned that Kiri Allan was a Parliamentary bully. And now there's another one: Labour MP Shanan Halbert: The Labour Party was alerted to concerns about [Halbert's] alleged behaviour a year ago but because staffers wanted to remain anonymous, no formal process was undertaken [...] The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ignoring our biggest problem
    Its that time in the election season where the status quo parties are busy accusing each other of having fiscal holes in a desperate effort to appear more "responsible" (but not, you understand, by promising to tax wealth or land to give the government the revenue it needs to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • JERRY COYNE: A good summary of the mess that is science education in New Zealand
    JERRY COYNE writes –  If you want to see what the government of New Zealand is up to with respect to science education, you can’t do better than listening to this video/slideshow by two exponents of the “we-need-two-knowledge-systems” view. I’ve gotten a lot of scary stuff from Kiwi ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Good news on the GDP front is accompanied by news of a $5m govt boost for Supercars (but what about ...
    Buzz from the Beehive First, we were treated to the news (from Finance Minister Grant Robertson) that the economy has turned a corner and New Zealand never was in recession.  This was triggered by statistics which showed the economy expanded 0.9 per cent in the June quarter, twice as much as ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • The Scafetta Saga
    It has taken 17 months to get a comment published pointing out the obvious errors in the Scafetta (2022) paper in GRL. Back in March 2022, Nicola Scafetta published a short paper in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) purporting to show through ‘advanced’ means that ‘all models with ECS > ...
    Real ClimateBy Gavin
    1 week ago
  • Friday's Chorus: Penny wise and pound foolish
    TL;DR: In the middle of a climate emergency and in a city prone to earthquakes, Victoria University of Wellington announced yesterday it would stop teaching geophysics, geographic information science and physical geography to save $22 million a year and repay debt. Climate change damage in Aotearoa this year is already ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Calling the big dog’s bluff
      For nearly thirty years the pundits have been telling the minor parties that they must be good little puppies and let the big dogs decide. The parties with a plurality of the votes cast must be allowed to govern – even if that means ignoring the ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • The electorate swing, Labour limbo and Luxon-Hipkins two-step
     Another poll, another 27 for Labour. It was July the last time one of the reputable TV company polls had Labour's poll percentage starting with a three, so the limbo question is now being asked: how low can you go?It seems such an unlikely question because this doesn't feel like the kind ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • A Womance, and a Nomance.
    After the trench warfare of Tuesday night, when the two major parties went head to head, last night was the turn of the minor parties. Hosts Newshub termed it “the Powerbrokers' Debate”.Based on the latest polls the four parties taking part - ACT, the Greens, New Zealand First, and Te ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • New community-level energy projects to support more than 800 Māori households
    Seven more innovative community-scale energy projects will receive government funding through the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund to bring more affordable, locally generated clean energy to more than 800 Māori households, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. “We’ve already funded 42 small-scale clean energy projects that ...
    2 days ago
  • Huge boost to Te Tai Tokerau flood resilience
    The Government has approved new funding that will boost resilience and greatly reduce the risk of major flood damage across Te Tai Tokerau. Significant weather events this year caused severe flooding and damage across the region. The $8.9m will be used to provide some of the smaller communities and maraes ...
    2 days ago
  • Napier’s largest public housing development comes with solar
    The largest public housing development in Napier for many years has been recently completed and has the added benefit of innovative solar technology, thanks to Government programmes, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. The 24 warm, dry homes are in Seddon Crescent, Marewa and Megan Woods says the whanau living ...
    3 days ago
  • Te Whānau a Apanui and the Crown initial Deed of Settlement I Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me...
    Māori: Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me te Karauna te Whakaaetanga Whakataunga Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me te Karauna i tētahi Whakaaetanga Whakataunga hei whakamihi i ō rātou tāhuhu kerēme Tiriti o Waitangi. E tekau mā rua ngā hapū o roto mai o Te Whānau ...
    4 days ago
  • Plan for 3,000 more public homes by 2025 – regions set to benefit
    Regions around the country will get significant boosts of public housing in the next two years, as outlined in the latest public housing plan update, released by the Housing Minister, Dr Megan Woods. “We’re delivering the most public homes each year since the Nash government of the 1950s with one ...
    6 days ago
  • Immigration settings updates
    Judicial warrant process for out-of-hours compliance visits 2023/24 Recognised Seasonal Employer cap increased by 500 Additional roles for Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement More roles added to Green List Three-month extension for onshore Recovery Visa holders The Government has confirmed a number of updates to immigration settings as part of ...
    7 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Tā Patrick (Patu) Wahanga Hohepa
    Tangi ngunguru ana ngā tai ki te wahapū o Hokianga Whakapau Karakia. Tārehu ana ngā pae maunga ki Te Puna o te Ao Marama. Korihi tangi ana ngā manu, kua hinga he kauri nui ki te Wao Nui o Tāne. He Toa. He Pou. He Ahorangi. E papaki tū ana ...
    1 week ago
  • Renewable energy fund to support community resilience
    40 solar energy systems on community buildings in regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and other severe weather events Virtual capability-building hub to support community organisations get projects off the ground Boost for community-level renewable energy projects across the country At least 40 community buildings used to support the emergency response ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 funding returned to Government
    The lifting of COVID-19 isolation and mask mandates in August has resulted in a return of almost $50m in savings and recovered contingencies, Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Following the revocation of mandates and isolation, specialised COVID-19 telehealth and alternative isolation accommodation are among the operational elements ...
    1 week ago
  • Appointment of District Court Judge
    Susie Houghton of Auckland has been appointed as a new District Court Judge, to serve on the Family Court, Attorney-General David Parker said today.  Judge Houghton has acted as a lawyer for child for more than 20 years. She has acted on matters relating to the Hague Convention, an international ...
    1 week ago
  • Government invests further in Central Hawke’s Bay resilience
    The Government has today confirmed $2.5 million to fund a replace and upgrade a stopbank to protect the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant. “As a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, the original stopbank protecting the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant was destroyed. The plant was operational within 6 weeks of the ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt boost for Hawke’s Bay cyclone waste clean-up
    Another $2.1 million to boost capacity to deal with waste left in Cyclone Gabrielle’s wake. Funds for Hastings District Council, Phoenix Contracting and Hog Fuel NZ to increase local waste-processing infrastructure. The Government is beefing up Hawke’s Bay’s Cyclone Gabrielle clean-up capacity with more support dealing with the massive amount ...
    1 week ago
  • Taupō Supercars revs up with Government support
    The future of Supercars events in New Zealand has been secured with new Government support. The Government is getting engines started through the Major Events Fund, a special fund to support high profile events in New Zealand that provide long-term economic, social and cultural benefits. “The Repco Supercars Championship is ...
    1 week ago
  • There is no recession in NZ, economy grows nearly 1 percent in June quarter
    The economy has turned a corner with confirmation today New Zealand never was in recession and stronger than expected growth in the June quarter, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. “The New Zealand economy is doing better than expected,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s continuing to grow, with the latest figures showing ...
    1 week ago
  • Highest legal protection for New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs
    The Government has accepted the Environment Court’s recommendation to give special legal protection to New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs, Te Waikoropupū Springs (also known as Pupū Springs), Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   “Te Waikoropupū Springs, near Takaka in Golden Bay, have the second clearest water in New Zealand after ...
    1 week ago
  • More support for victims of migrant exploitation
    Temporary package of funding for accommodation and essential living support for victims of migrant exploitation Exploited migrant workers able to apply for a further Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa (MEPV), giving people more time to find a job Free job search assistance to get people back into work Use of 90-day ...
    1 week ago
  • Strong export boost as NZ economy turns corner
    An export boost is supporting New Zealand’s economy to grow, adding to signs that the economy has turned a corner and is on a stronger footing as we rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle and lock in the benefits of multiple new trade deals, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The economy is ...
    1 week ago
  • Funding approved for flood resilience work in Te Karaka
    The Government has approved $15 million to raise about 200 homes at risk of future flooding. More than half of this is expected to be spent in the Tairāwhiti settlement of Te Karaka, lifting about 100 homes there. “Te Karaka was badly hit during Cyclone Gabrielle when the Waipāoa River ...
    1 week ago
  • Further business support for cyclone-affected regions
    The Government is helping businesses recover from Cyclone Gabrielle and attract more people back into their regions. “Cyclone Gabrielle has caused considerable damage across North Island regions with impacts continuing to be felt by businesses and communities,” Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds said. “Building on our earlier business support, this ...
    1 week ago
  • New maintenance facility at Burnham Military Camp underway
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has turned the first sod to start construction of a new Maintenance Support Facility (MSF) at Burnham Military Camp today. “This new state-of-art facility replaces Second World War-era buildings and will enable our Defence Force to better maintain and repair equipment,” Andrew Little said. “This Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister to attend United Nations General Assembly
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will represent New Zealand at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this week, before visiting Washington DC for further Pacific focussed meetings. Nanaia Mahuta will be in New York from Wednesday 20 September, and will participate in UNGA leaders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Midwives’ pay equity offer reached
    Around 1,700 Te Whatu Ora employed midwives and maternity care assistants will soon vote on a proposed pay equity settlement agreed by Te Whatu Ora, the Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (MERAS) and New Zealand Nurses Association (NZNO), Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Addressing historical pay ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides support to Morocco
    Aotearoa New Zealand will provide humanitarian support to those affected by last week’s earthquake in Morocco, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We are making a contribution of $1 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help meet humanitarian needs,” Nanaia Mahuta said. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in West Coast’s roading resilience
    The Government is investing over $22 million across 18 projects to improve the resilience of roads in the West Coast that have been affected by recent extreme weather, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today.  A dedicated Transport Resilience Fund has been established for early preventative works to protect the state ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in Greymouth’s future
    The Government has today confirmed a $2 million grant towards the regeneration of Greymouth’s CBD with construction of a new two-level commercial and public facility. “It will include a visitor facility centred around a new library. Additionally, it will include retail outlets on the ground floor, and both outdoor and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nanaia Mahuta to attend PIF Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will attend the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in Suva, Fiji alongside New Zealand’s regional counterparts. “Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply committed to working with our pacific whanau to strengthen our cooperation, and share ways to combat the challenges facing the Blue Pacific Continent,” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PREFU shows no recession, growing economy, more jobs and wages ahead of inflation
    Economy to grow 2.6 percent on average over forecast period Treasury not forecasting a recession Inflation to return to the 1-3 percent target band next year Wages set to grow 4.8 percent a year over forecast period Unemployment to peak below the long-term average Fiscal Rules met - Net debt ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New cancer centre opens in Christchurch
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall proudly opened the Canterbury Cancer Centre in Christchurch today. The new facility is the first of its kind and was built with $6.5 million of funding from the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group scheme for shovel-ready projects allocated in 2020. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government invests in top of the south’s roading resilience
    $12 million to improve the resilience of roads in the Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions Hope Bypass earmarked in draft Government Policy Statement on land transport $127 million invested in the top of the south’s roads since flooding in 2021 and 2022 The Government is investing over $12 million to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealanders continue to support the revitalisation of te reo as we celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Mā...
    Ko tēnei te wiki e whakanui ana i tō tātou reo rangatira. Ko te wā tuku reo Māori, e whakanuia tahitia ai te reo ahakoa kei hea ake tēnā me tēnā o tātou, ka tū ā te Rātū te 14 o Mahuru, ā te 12 o ngā hāora i te ahiahi. ...
    3 weeks ago

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