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Open mike 06/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 6th, 2016 - 110 comments
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110 comments on “Open mike 06/04/2016 ”

  1. Ffloyd 1

    Is the Speaker on a promise? All that smirking, sly little smiles and glances of admiration to John Key who was as usual impolite, evasive, insulting, abusive, unable to answer perfectly coherent questions but instead goes into incandescent, incoherent rants. Carter did everything but spring up and high five Key at one point. Absolutely appalling. Have noticed a lot less tittering and clapping of flippers from the trained seals lately. Novelty of key’s wit and wisdom wearing off perhaps. Carter is letting our yapping pm away with too much. Bit of man love there.

    • TC 1.1

      Watched a section of it last night and in oz such a blatant abuse of the position would be broadcast on primetime news as time and again they behave like juveniles to prevent the govt being made to answer opposition questions.

      Carter is a disgrace and has childish tantrums but then none of the nats give a F about democracy so they love it.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1

        You’ve obviously forgotten what Wilson was like.

        • adam 1.1.1.1

          Pathetic was Wilson, I agree.

          But you really get the feel that Dr Smith raised the bar back, which was good.

          Then we get this guy, who actually makes Wilson look not that bad – That makes me shudder, as I agree with you The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell, Wilson was awful.

          Begs the question, is it a race to the gutter with this lot?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            Begs the question, is it a race to the gutter with this lot?

            The populace thinks so:

            Our least trusted groups are bloggers and MPs, with only 5% and 8% of New Zealanders expressing complete or lots of trust in them.

            Trust in MPs and government ministers appears to have fallen over the last three years, with over half of respondents saying they trust them a lot or a little less. This is followed by bloggers and the media, with net losses of 43% and 40% respectively.

            And talking about the media:

            Only 9% of adults find the newspapers and magazines they use totally credible: there is a nett credibility gap overall of -16%.
            Only 36% feel their newspapers and magazines are doing as well as they possibly can, and there is a large number planning to stop buying them or who will definitely or might stop using them – equivalent to an audience loss of another 447,785 New Zealanders nationwide.

            Can’t say that any of that really surprises me.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Lockwood was the best we ever had. Given their experience under Wilson, I think the Nats were pissed off at how even-handed he was. So, they weren’t going to make that mistake again.

              PS. “Begs the question” does not mean what you think it means.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Lockwood was the best we ever had.

                Don’t think he was the best but he was pretty good.

                PS. “Begs the question” does not mean what you think it means.

                Although you’re right, that was a quote.

                But then again it’s language and language, just like culture, changes over the decades.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  Maybe. Best that I can recall, then.

    • Smilin 1.2

      Yesterdays bias and abuse of the speakers position by Carter was appalling and he should be removed
      Key and his shitty liver ,the white coats should have been taking him to detox

  2. Penny Bright 2

    Who is next???

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11617590

    Iceland’s embattled prime minister has resigned amid a controversy over his offshore holdings, a Cabinet minister said as outrage over the accounts roiled the North Atlantic island nation.

  3. Paul 3

    Susie Ferguson conducts another miserable interview where she fails again to hold the government to account.
    Instead she simply allows Joyce to blather on without questioning the bs he spouts.
    How does she let him get away with the lies he says?
    RNZ. Not good enough.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      Yeah, very poor interview. At the end of it, all we got from Joyce was platitudes, when what we need is jobs.

      • Paul 3.1.1

        I once thought she was quite good, but she’s now obeying Griffin’s dictats.

        • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1.1

          It really is kind of sad at the moment, but I hope that as we get nearer to a change of government, National Radio will put their teeth back in and start biting the arse of the likes of Joyce and Key. Somebody in the msm has to hold National to account, and if not RNZ, who?

          • adam 3.1.1.1.1

            The corporate media, are being exposed as a lost cause, I do love how the RWNJ scream there is a liberal bias. And RNZ is just not enough, I gave up on them when they started to use PR sniper Hooton. Actually, there is another problem, there are more PR people than there are journalists – no wonder no one knows what truth looks like.

            That said, more and more people are getting their news off the internet, and checking there sources. OK maybe not the second part. But I know I check way more now.

          • Ad 3.1.1.1.2

            +100

    • Reddelusion 3.2

      What lies?

  4. Paul 4

    RNZ providing as lot of misinformation today.
    Now propaganda about Sanders and Clinton being disseminated.
    The ‘Democratic strategist’ Mary Anne Marsh was simply appalling.
    Why can’t RNZ do some simple research on the US election rather than relying on such shills for the establishment?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201795934/chaos-expected-as-us-primary-circus-hits-wisconsin

  5. Penny Bright 5

    Is this true?

    I for one am looking forward to an official statement from the OECD…..

    ” Woodhouse and Prime Minister John Key had said the OECD had “looked at our foreign trust rules in the past and had no concerns”. ”

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/78585843/foreign-trusts-hiding-darker-secrets-than-tax-avoidance-says-expert

    “…Pol said criminals involved in drugs and human trafficking generated the greatest amount of illicit funds.

    But the criminals who had set up trusts in New Zealand were more likely to be involved in large-scale cartels, corruption and professional “trade-based” money-laundering.

    One New Zealand trust has already been associated with Unaoil, a Monaco company under investigation for helping multinationals bribe oil ministers and officials in the Middle East.

    Woodhouse and Prime Minister John Key had said the OECD had “looked at our foreign trust rules in the past and had no concerns”.

    Labour leader Andrew Little said an OECD report published in 2013 showed that was incorrect.

    The report said improvements might be needed to laws and regulations to ensure that people who owned shares in companies could be identified where those shares were held by nominees.

    The OECD in Paris has been contacted for comment.

    …..”

    _______________________

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  6. Whispering Kate 6

    Corin Dann on TV1 breakfast news this morning has stated that Australian journalists perusing these Panama files has discovered there have been 60,000 mentions of NZ in the files. That is a hell of a lot of mentions for a supposedly squeaky clean tax regime country. Also he said, more worrying for the Government was that we are the only OECD country to provide the services of tax trusts for overseas customers in the manner the files are disclosing.

    Maybe if the Gods smile on us, we may see a resignation of an important public servant in the near future.

    • adam 6.1

      I would have thought the whole cabinet should resign over this one.

      Individual responsibility and all that…

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        I’m thinking that the whole cabinet needs to be jailed over this one.

      • Wayne 6.1.2

        Adam,

        And therefore presumably anyone who was in the last Labour govt should also resign, given that the current regime is nearly 30 years old.

        Having said that, the zeitgeist moves on. What was OK once may not be OK today.

        And there is no doubt a lot more concern about corporate tax avoidance than there used to be.

        An interesting aspect is that Europeans seem much more caught up in it than Americans.

        I have always thought this is a response to uncertainly about govt trustworthiness, which has much deeper well springs than we can really imagine In New Zealand. Fundamentally we know that our govt, over many decades, is inherently trustworthy.

        For instance if your country has been invaded, subject to revolution, people persecuted and subject to pogroms, and property confiscated, either by outright govt theft or by extreme taxes (north of 70%), then you might want your assets in a place that is not accessible to govt.

        A large number of European nations have suffered one or more of these fates in the last hundred years. But we have never had experience (in New Zealand) of any of these things, and I would also say neither are we likely to. But many migrants to New Zealand certainly understand these risks.

        So the reason why people act in the way they do is not just about avoiding legitimate taxes, there may be much deeper reasons, which are in part sociological, to use offshore havens, or for that matter Swiss bank accounts.

        • Poission 6.1.2.1

          the implications of the panama papers are significantly deeper then tax avoidance and asset suppression,they are the transfer of sovereign power and oversight under the guise of FTA.

          Sanders for example railed against the FTA with Panama in 2011

          “In fact, combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a violation of this free trade agreement, exposing the U.S. to fines from international authorities,” he stressed.

          http://www.salon.com/2016/04/05/sanders_ardently_opposed_the_trade_deal_that_helped_make_the_panama_papers_scandal_clinton_supported_it/

        • Stuart Munro 6.1.2.2

          Gnats – consistently defending tax-evading drug cartels since Key took power.

        • Poission 6.1.2.3

          The problems that arise from the panama papers are not only about tax avoidance and asset obfuscation ,but also the transfer of sovereign ownership and legislative oversight as Sanders correctly identified with the Panama FTA.

          “In fact, combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a violation of this free trade agreement, exposing the U.S. to fines from international authorities,” he stressed.

          http://www.salon.com/2016/04/05/sanders_ardently_opposed_the_trade_deal_that_helped_make_the_panama_papers_scandal_clinton_supported_it/

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.4

          And therefore presumably anyone who was in the last Labour govt should also resign, given that the current regime is nearly 30 years old.

          But the bit that allows secretive tax avoiding trusts is only 4/5 years old and passed by this government.

          What was OK once may not be OK today.

          Actually, it was never Ok – it was always immoral but the government tried to persuade people that it was fine and dandy so as to help the rich people steal from everybody else.

          An interesting aspect is that Europeans seem much more caught up in it than Americans.

          The US seems to have a few internal tax havens which means that they don’t have to go offshore for them.

          Fundamentally we know that our govt, over many decades, is inherently trustworthy.

          Wrong. We don’t know that at all and trust in government has been falling.

          For instance if your country has been invaded, subject to revolution, people persecuted and subject to pogroms, and property confiscated, either by outright govt theft or by extreme taxes (north of 70%), then you might want your assets in a place that is not accessible to govt.

          You don’t have that right. If you don’t want to pay the taxes of a particular country then your only option is to leave. Anything else is sociopathic BS.

          But we have never had experience (in New Zealand) of any of these things,

          I think you need to speak more to Māori who do have direct experience of these things over the last century or so.

          • Wayne 6.1.2.4.1

            Draco,

            I was simply pointing out how trust in the government being able to protect civil and economic rights (at a fundamental level) will influence behaviour.

            For instance could you blame people in Eastern Europe getting as many of their assets (and indeed themselves) out of their countries following the communist takeovers of the 1940’s.

            As for Maori, the issues you refer to primarily relate to the activities of the Crown in the nineteenth century. Since 1893 New Zealand has been a continuous democracy where everyone has had the vote. And a robust respect for the rule of law.

            Is it perfect, no. But compared to most of the world, yes.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.4.1.1

              I was simply pointing out how trust in the government

              And you were wrong as this government rapidly erodes any trust that the people once had in government.

              As for Maori, the issues you refer to primarily relate to the activities of the Crown in the nineteenth century.

              Maybe primarily but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t occured this century as well.

              Basically, you seem to be making shit up and re-writing history to fit your belief of how things are rather than accepting things as they are.

            • maui 6.1.2.4.1.2

              I think it’s fair to say there are countless examples of Māori having land taken off them in the 20th century too. So much for the rule of law Wayne.
              Here’s an example from the 1940s in Waiwhetu: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/hutt-valley/69662452/Confiscated-land-returned-to-Waiwhetu-Maori

              Then there was Bastion Point in the 70s where hundreds of police surrounded the rightful owners and went on to evict them.

              Then when the rule of law compensates an iwi like Rangitāne o Manawatū through the treaty they get given back the Manawatu river, now one of the shittiest, polluted rivers in the world. The few million dollars they get back in the treaty claim was worked out by Metiria Turei as “$27 an acre” for the land taken from them. Sweet deal for over a century of settler profiteering?

        • Bill 6.1.2.5

          Christ on a bike Wayne!

          But we have never had experience (in New Zealand) of any of these things, and I would also say neither are we likely to.

          Those things being

          … people persecuted and subject to pogroms, and property confiscated, either by outright govt theft or…

          Speechless.

          • Wayne 6.1.2.5.1

            Bill,

            A fair point about Maori, particularly in respect of actions in the nineteenth century.

            But as a broader point, my perspective is not an unreasonable view of New Zealand in contrast with most other nations in the world, given that we been a comprehensive democracy since 1893.

            Continental Europe has obviously been less stable than New Zealand throughout the twentieth century. Ask the people of the former Yugoslavia as recently as twenty years ago.

            • vto 6.1.2.5.1.1

              Sheesh Wayne, you’re out there.

              Clearly the ONLY reason those things have not happened here yet is the time factor…

              …. have you noticed the prevalence of European heritage among our citizens? The very same Europeans that you refer to above?

              that really is a Wayne’s World moment for you Wayne

        • adam 6.1.2.6

          Sure why not, I’m all for the labour MP who helped pass these acts resigning as well. Individual responsibility and all that.

          Notice how you avoid that one, and went on some lame anti communist rant, fear murmuring is so last century.

          So this is the defence for defrauding other people of tax revenue, I think you may have to come up with something better than that paranoid delusion. You might convince the public here, but the Aussies I’m talking to – just think we are a bunch of “thieving w*&^%rs”. Other people are look at us with disgust now. Go on, view some of the message boards across the globe. Wake up man, it ant pretty.

          “Fundamentally we know that our govt, over many decades, is inherently trustworthy.” And it took the Tories to tear down that edifice. I think maybe you living in a wee bit of a bubble Wayne, I get it. I’m white, it’s easy to indulge in that privilege.

          But the reality is really quite different.

          Politicians are despised, people don’t vote and then people like you come here and spin. The sociological spin was deeply ironic, considering Marx was one of the founders of sociology. And by the way, I’m anti-authoritarian. So no great fan of Marx or communism myself.

    • maui 6.2

      It looks like NZ could be up there with the likes of British Virgin Islands as a tax haven. Redlogix posted this fascinating ABC documentary (45 mins) yesterday about how it all works and some of the major players, although it doesn’t focus on NZ so much.
      http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2016/04/04/4434529.htm

      • Reddelusion 6.2.1

        People need to get across this debate here, a tax haven is where you choose to pay your tax or no tax as the case may be as your your centre of business. interest or business domicile re world wide income. In essence you structure your affairs legally to choose a domicile to pay the minimal tax, your legal and democratic right In NZ case people are just parking money here in trusts not using NZ as there domicile or centre of business interest , NZ tax rates, laws etc are not beneficial like the virgin island, Ireland etc that are real tax havens. I am not sure what the big issue is here, if money is been laundered or hidden here to avoid tax NZ is party to multiple tax treaties and international convention. if there is suspion A NZ trust is been used to evade tax by an offshore tax regime the NZ tax regime won’t protect you

        • Bill 6.2.1.1

          Uh-huh. So some people are far too rich. A mere millionaire probably wouldn’t go to all the cost and bother of squirreling several hundred thousands away out of sight….and out of reach of the tax regime that fills the public purse, that provides the infrastructure and services that society needs.

          Any info on any of this money that’s been squirreled away being put towards bettering the common good? I mean, that’s what free market fundamentalism suggests should happen. Don’t need any pesky government determining public expenditure; the rich, using market mechanisms that are their exposal, will see us right.

          • Reddelusion 6.2.1.1.1

            Not disagreeing Bill I am just highlighting that NZ is not a tax haven ( that keeps been thrown out) , ie it’s not about paying tax in NZ or NZ attracting business as a center of interest due to its low tax regime or that NZ law will protect offshore illegal tax avoidance should a tax avoider be pursued here. it’s simply a story that some people are using our trust regime ( and innovation and benefit of English law separating ownership and control of assets) to potentially hide money

        • maui 6.2.1.2

          Ok it appears people are parking money in New Zealand companies to avoid tax in their own country. How is that not a tax haven or a form of one?

    • TC 6.3

      Watch that angle as Oz still posess an independant media, unlike here.

  7. Today I will be on the Raglan Radio Morning Show with host Aaron at 9:35 AM I will be talking about the Panama Papers, John Key’s MO and Soros among others!

  8. Sabine 8

    people from overseas not paying tax? Not my business.
    People from NZ not paying tax? Only my business if they are middle to lower class people without trusts. Rich people with Trusts? Thats not my business.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/300718/overseas-trust-activities-not-nz's-concern-minister

    Quote: But Mr Woodhouse said that was wrong.

    “Well, there are two features of a tax haven as far as I’m aware.

    “One is a very low, or no, tax base and the other is secrecy. We have neither of those things, we have a requirement for all people who earn income in New Zealand to pay tax and we share with other jurisdictions.”

    Mr Woodhouse said as these were overseas trusts, they had overseas settlors, assets and income and the New Zealand Inland Revenue (IRD) had no interest in their obligations to pay tax overseas.” Quote End

    • saveNZ 8.1

      @Sabine – don’t forget the beneficiaries who are constantly being surveilled in case they might have, shock ‘a relationship’ and apparently 50% of WINZ debts are overpayments by WINZ. The government went to extreme lengths to avoid paying beneficiaries their underpayments however.

      Sounds like corporations are also underpaying holiday pay etc etc…. Kiwis are being ripped off constantly, just an accident apparently. Look a panda everyone…

      Avoiding and hiding millions or billions via trusts is fine for Key’s Government, (in fact encouraged). Don’t forget the tax payers union are also ‘relaxed’ about multinationals not paying the same tax as NZ based companies. Free market does not seem to matter if the 0.0001% can profit. Paying tax in NZ by the rich listers is now a voluntary exercise.

      Love how for years Natz have pitted the middle class against the beneficiaries as ‘taking their hard earned savings’ and all along making NZ a secret tax haven mentioned 60 times in the Panama leaks. Co incidence (and that John Key trained as an accountant – I think that is his sole qualification). Does not sound like it.

      Yep it’s just like the financial melt down again, when the dodgy high flying CFO’s often with accountancy qualifications pushed entire countries into crisis and then still managed to get their bonuses with taxpayers money… Meanwhile the middle class are homeless, job less and pensionless or without security …. and told lucky they don’t have to fill out the 70+ pages of unemployment benefit application when for example Fonterra lay off 100 workers (while CEO receives 4 million salary).

      At a time where our state houses have just been tendered off cheap to offshore companies and corporations… MSM blackout while the Bachelor makes headlines each day… Oh what a joke we have become in NZ!

      Someone has posted this…
      http://www.theguardian.com/news/commentisfree/2016/apr/05/millennials-rent-trap-panama-papers-british-property-housing-young-people

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        (and that John Key trained as an accountant – I think that is his sole qualification)

        IIRC, he trained as a financier which is a different thing altogether and far more dangerous as they seem to believe that you can make money from money and not have to produce anything.

  9. Penny Bright 9

    FYI – tomorrow I have been given 30 minutes by the Local Government and Environment Select Committee to give evidence in person to support my petition calling for an urgent inquiry into Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).

    Thursday 7 April 2016
    9.30 – 10am.

    Select Committee Room 2.

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • saveNZ 9.1

      Good Luck Penny.

      After trying to illegally steal our Harbour in cahoots with Auckland council Planners, it is pretty clear these COO’s answer to nobody but themselves.

      Apparently in a free market companies are supposed to answer to the shareholders (who in the councils case should be the ratepayers) so why are they not accountable to ratepayers?

  10. Whispering Kate 10

    It sounds like, from what Mr Woodhouse says that we NZ are supplying and allowing a conduit to facilitate these trusts and buggar the morality of it, but yes, that’s okay it’s legal for this country. Now wasn’t that what Kim Dot Com was arguing, that he was just providing the conduit to access entertainment media and that he couldn’t be blamed for people using it in nefarious ways. Look what it has done for Kim Dot Com, extradition probably on the way, this Government doesn’t and isn’t seeing it for being legal at all. How do they explain their hypocrisy over this situation? Pity we don’t have an impeachment mechanism here.

    • Graeme 10.1

      “Pity we don’t have an impeachment mechanism here”

      But we do have question time, the General Debate and a media of sorts…

      Our government may have a bit of trouble explaining that juxtaposition. In the same way they are going to have to explain to other governments why our trust ownership and taxation rules are out of phase with other jurisdictions allowing tax evasion and laundering.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        But we do have question time, the General Debate and a media of sorts…

        And that gets on prime time news when?

        Our government may have a bit of trouble explaining that juxtaposition.

        Well, they would have difficulty explaining that if it go several weeks of prime time news with the journalists asking hard questions. Instead we’re likely to get a few minutes worth, a bit of a giggle between the host and the PM and that will be it.

    • ianmac 10.2

      Good point Kate. Good for the goose but…

  11. adam 11

    A couple of quick videos from vice news. Both are shorter than 2 minutes.

    I’d be impressed if the Russians keep their word on this. Wouldn’t Princess Diana be proud.

    Any chance we can support the Kurds against ISIS yet?

    • Bill 11.1

      The people of Rojava…we could open a kind of book on who gets to take them out in the end. Will it be the US, Russia or Turkey? Maybe a combined NATO thing? Maybe Syrian armed forces after the country regains some stability?

      I’m picking a slow brutal demise at the hands of Assad’s forces, while the west and Russia sit back and either inform their respective audiences (us) that their hands are tied due to whatever settlement has resulted in Syria, or that Assad is just clearing away the last of any terrorist presence from the country.

      Who’d be a fucking democrat?

      btw. The Kurds in the vid are all about an independent Kurdistan. That’s inimical to the democratic aspirations in Rojava.

      • adam 11.1.1

        I’m picking Turkey. Look how fast they are to blame them for anything going wrong in Turkey. My guess it will be sold to the west as dealing with Terrorism. The Turkish government is using drones on them daily as it is.

        I’m hopeful that the rest of the Kurds will engage with the people of Rojava, I hear they have been. These women were in Iraq, and the Iraq Kurds are talking to the Rojava Kurds. They know the history of the West and Turkey lying to them. That they won’t get an independent Kurdistan, it just won’t happen, they can not be that stupid.

        OK believing in Masoud Barzani, is that stupid. Oh crap – I despair.

  12. ianmac 13

    Panorama BBC have an edition,
    “Tax Havens of the Rich and Powerful Exposed
    Panorama
    The rich and powerful have hidden billions of dollars in tax havens. They thought their financial secrets were safe, but now a huge leak of documents has revealed a world of secrecy, lies and crimes. ”
    Explains with case studies how the money laundering/tax evasion works in Britain.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b076vwwy

  13. Bill 14

    Nice to see at some reporting from this Panama stuff move beyond the stupid shallow gasping over the fact that rich pricks are doing rich prick stuff with regards tax avoidance.

    From ‘The Guardian’

    Revealed in the leaked documents was the fact that 2,800 Mossack Fonseca companies are connected to more than 6,000 UK title deeds, worth at least £7bn

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/commentisfree/2016/apr/05/millennials-rent-trap-panama-papers-british-property-housing-young-people

    Maybe Phil Twyford (or who-ever…probably best if it’s ‘who-ever’) would like to get on to it and see how many title deeds in NZ are linked back to Mossack Fonseca companies?

    • saveNZ 14.1

      +1

    • joe90 14.2

      how many title deeds in NZ are linked back to Mossack Fonseca companies

      According to this, 47 entities have been created in NZ.

      https://mobile.twitter.com/AFP/status/717200510902734853

      • saveNZ 14.2.1

        +1 Joe. Shocking. Lets have the trust owners names and the addresses of the NZ property!

        • adam 14.2.1.1

          Can’t do that saveNZ,

          It would go against david seymour as the defender of the weak and helpless.

          I love politics from the ACT party, it’s so obviously dirty these days.

          • saveNZ 14.2.1.1.1

            Well as one Troll has pointed out in defence of the 0.0001% who control 50% of the world wealth.

            They are just being sustainable – because imagine the consumption if 50% of people had a fair share of wealth.

            My God, we might have to radically shift how we use resources such as housing and water and power and transport and food!

            So the right wing discourse is that 0.0001% are taking 50% of the worlds assets for ‘environmental’ reasons apparently.

  14. greywarshark 15

    From book Affluenza by Oliver James I’m reading.
    On today’s democracy:
    Dunn asserts that the age of democracy has actually entailed a far greater control of citizens by governments: ‘The world in which we all now live is governed more extensively and more intimately than it has ever been before.’
    (Cambridge political theorist John Dunn.)

    Democracy, in English-speaking nations today has come to mean the handing over of a vast number of decisions and powers to rulers in return for the freedom to pursue egotistical, hedonistic consumer choices (as Herbert Marcuse predicted it would, back in the 1960s).

    I recommend this book, which has theory, ideas and anecdotes with something for everyone to agree and disagree with, which is good mind exercise fodder!

  15. Jenny 16

    “The World’s Biggest Oil Bribery Scandal”

    In an age of potentially catastrophic climate change, where the future survival of civilisation and even humanity itself depends on cutting back on fossil fuels, this scandal makes the current tax avoidance scandal that the world seems to be concentrating on, seem petty by comparison.

    “The publication of the report, putting Unaoil at the very center of a massive international bribery ring, was met with head scratching by many energy analysts. Despite its seemingly crucial role in so many oil and gas contracts awarded around the world, very few have heard of the company.

    The alleged operation was relatively straightforward. The clients – exploration companies, construction and engineering firms, and oilfield service contractors – would pay Unaoil large sums, and Unaoil would secure contracts for them by bribing government officials in the country of interest. Many of Unaoil’s clients claim that they did not know that Unaoil was bribing government officials on their behalf, but the report asserts that some were either willfully blind or were fully aware of the corruption.”

    http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/04/biggest-oil-bribery-scandal-unaoil/

    The fact that Unaoil’s “ownership” can be traced back to a shell company registered in New Zealand; Warrants investigation to determine if the Unaoil “Bribe Factory” was one of the “lobbyists” used by the “exploration companies, construction and engineering firms, and oilfield service contractors” in this country?

    And further; Were Unaoil one of the oil industry lobbyists that persuaded the National government to pass special laws targetting anti fossil fuel protesters?

  16. saveNZ 17

    Just noticed this statistic.

    We have more migrants arriving than children being born in NZ…

    Estimated resident population at 31 December 2015: 4,649,700 P

    Births December 2015 year: 61,038

    Deaths December 2015 year: 31,608

    Net migration February 2016 year: 67,391

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/snapshots-of-nz/top-statistics.aspx

  17. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18

    Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Given his answer to Oral Question No. 1 yesterday, how does he stand by his statements?

    Winston obviously has thought of a zinger to the answer he got yesterday. Never works once the moment has passed.

    • McFlock 18.1

      zinger? Nah.
      Probably followup along the lines of “if NZ isn’t a tax haven in accordance with the pm’s assertions, why are there 60,000 references to NZ in the internal documents of a company that specialises in sheltering clients’ money in tax havens?” and moving on from there.

      Winston likes tax evaders. Lots of paperwork to table in parliament…

  18. Stuart Munro 19

    Sanfords used to register their fishing boats in Panama.

  19. Lanthanide 21

    Ongoing trial of the Prominent New Zealander: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/78618365/prominent-new-zealander-trial-cross-examination-reveals-inconsistencies

    Starting to look like there might have been more smoke than actual fire. Or at least, not enough evidence / certainty for a conviction.

    I suspect if he is not convicted, the suppression orders won’t be lifted.

    • Puckish Rogue 21.1

      This is quite distasteful stuff, heavy suppression orders in place yet almost salacious reporting allowed

      In this cases it should be name suppression of the accused, suppression of any and all details of the victims and then, if found guilty, name the offender but leave all details identifying the victims in place and, if found not guilty, leave all suppression orders in place

      But this whole reporting from the trial is just sleazy imho

      • vto 21.1.1

        Nowhere near as sleazy as the deception of ordinary New Zealanders by your hero Key on the sale of KiwiBank..

        • Puckish Rogue 21.1.1.1

          The government still retains 100% ownership vto, don’t let emotion and hyperbole get the better of you

          • vto 21.1.1.1.1

            what a pile of deceptive bullshit

            by your reckoning the government owns everything in the whole country by dint of its over-arching sovereignty

    • Anne 21.2

      The fact that the complainants were afraid no-one would believe them lends credence to their claims. Women/girls of any age who have been victims of violence where there is no visible or physical evidence available, knows there is a strong chance they will not be believed. It happens all the time.

  20. Chooky 23

    https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/338447-episode-max-keiser-897/

    “In this episode of the Keiser Report Max and Stacy discuss the curious case of Putin’s photo being used to sell #panamapapers when his name is allegedly not even mentioned in the 11 million pages of documents.

    They also look at #WikiGreeks as someone leaks the transcript of a conversation between IMF officials hoping for a ‘credit event’ to ‘resolve’ the ongoing Greek tragedy.

    In the second half, Max interviews Joel Benjamin and Jamie Griffiths of Debt Resistance UK about the LOBO loans pushing local UK councils to the brink of insolvency.”

  21. Bill 24

    I see the mainstream is poo poo-ing another Sander’s victory again.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/05/ted-cruz-crushes-donald-trump-wisconsin-primaries

    • gsays 24.1

      just heard on the tranny, sanders beats clinton in winsconsin by more than 10 points.

      nothing to see here, move on.
      just the sixth straight victory for sanders.

      i wonder if ther panama papers release is likely to hurt either of the democratic candidates?

      • Bill 24.1.1

        Yeah. That news was politely buried in the article I linked. As one comment below the piece noted on the language used by ‘The Guardian’ Cruz apparently “crushed” Trump while Sanders’s bigger percentage win over Clinton was merely Sanders “beating” Clinton…with, I’d add, all the usual qualifiers politely explaining how he’s a lost cause just wasting everyone’s time.

        • maui 24.1.1.1

          Sanders – 56.5% he wins 45 delegates
          Clinton – 43.5% she wins 31 delegates

          I read Sanders will need to win by roughly this margin in the all of the remaining primaries to overtake Clinton and beat her with total no. of delegates.

          The big one is going to be New York in 2 weeks where 247 delegates are up for grabs. Feel the Bern!

        • Lanthanide 24.1.1.2

          Sanders needed to win by 16% in order to be on track to beat Clinton. He only won by 13.5%, so he’s still going backwards. Hence why he didn’t “crush” Clinton, whereas Cruz has landed a heavy blow at Trumps chances of winning.

  22. Ron 25

    Has anyone ever wondered why Auckland does not have a public/community Television station. A quick count of other areas gives me:
    Cue Television
    TV Central
    Dunedin TV
    Canterbury Television
    TV Rotorua
    Info-Rotorua
    East Coast TV
    Channel North
    Television Hawkes Bay
    Mainland TV
    South TV

    I may have missed some I think Nelson has their own channel.

    The one thinsg all these channels can do is show stories of interest to the people that live in the area.
    For some reason Auckland misses out. I am sick of commercail TV1,2,3,prime etc with their one size fits all for all of NZ. I want to see stories about Auckland.
    In the past TVNZ did their best to stop local TV in Auckland by buying out stations and then closing them down. Remember Max and Horizon Television?
    Just wonder if anyone else in Auckland would like to see programmes about Auckland.

    • gsays 25.1

      hi ron, you can add tararua television to yr mix, too.

      a friend and i were talking about the potential of a true local newspaper, as our one here in feilding is being “improved” and folded in with two other ‘local’ papers.
      kinda like how the evening standard is 3/4s of the dominion.
      slightly different real estate ads though.

  23. North 26

    This one never was a Kiwi ! You reckon you could ever have a truly satisfying beer with this simpering, effete, lying, never was a Kiwi ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11618024

    • BM 26.1

      Are you a true Kiwi, North.?

      A good beer drinking, rugger bloke, the real men of NZ?

      • North 26.1.1

        Well who knows dog ? I’m not a liar, I’m not an effete simpering dick, I don’t lappishly colonise Richie’s arse to compensate for a lack of testo’, I don’t make giggles about child rapists and murderers, I don’t repeatedly assault young women, I’m not illiterate and most of all I’m not a troll backing an embarrassing disgrace. Quite the reverse of your spectacular fetidness Bowel.

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