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Open mike 06/07/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, July 6th, 2014 - 191 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 …

191 comments on “Open mike 06/07/2014 ”

  1. Jane 1

    Wow, quiet here this morning! Did everyone sleep in?

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Veteran CIA officer destroyed by submitting an official information request

    He wanted files which were already declassified by the CIA for release to be actually released.

    Note how they dug up details about him going back decades to discredit him, then threatened him with taking away his pension.


  3. Casual Observer 3

    I recommend the following link:


    It has a US-centric view but is equally applicable here.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1


    • Chooky 3.2

      +100…explains a lot…essentially workers /people should be fighting for laws/rights to allow collective action/bargaining…rights/laws which have eroded in the last 30 years when the unions were smashed

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Dark Snow 2014: Why We’re Here (Video)

      It’s not just dust that’s darkening the snow.

      • ianmac 4.1.1

        My wife and I walked on an Icelandic Glacier a couple of years ago and it wasn’t slippery because it was covered in volcanic ash. A nearby guide was not happy to see two Kiwis just walk up as he was preparing his cramp-ons and picks to take a paying group up.

    • Jenny 4.2

      “Nearly invisible particles of “black carbon” resulting from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels from diesel engines are being swept thousands of miles from industrial centres in the US, Europe and south-east Asia, as is dust from Africa and the Middle East, where dust storms are becoming bigger as the land dries out, with increasingly long and deep droughts. Earlier this year dust from the Sahara was swept north for several thousands miles, smothered Britain and reached Norway.”

      This is only one of the positive feedbacks resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. The others are, methane released from melting permafrost on land and methane released from shallow water clathrates at Sea, the lowered albedo of open ocean over sea ice, and bare rock over glaciers, more warning also releases more water vapor caused by increased evaporation,(Though the jury is still out on this one. Because though atmospheric water vapor is an invisible and powerful green house gas, once condensed as suspended droplets to form clouds, switches from being a positive feedback to a negative feedback)

      But added altogether the positive feedbacks greatly out weight the negative feedbacks and could if they continue much longer even overtake the general background warming due to CO2 pollution leading to an unstopplable runaway greenhouse effect, continually compounding and unknowably catastrophic. A chain reaction that quite possibly has no foreseeable end point. (at least, not as far as higher life forms like us and many others are concerned)

      The message from all this is, is that the burning of fossil fuels must come to a screeching stop, nothing less will be enough. We need to be standing on the brakes right now. No coasting to a slow stop in 2050 or even 2030, (and which are purely aspirational targets, that allow politicians to avoid having to take action in the here and now).

      New Zealand is the best country in the world to lead the way. Just by withdrawing fossil fuel subsidies to Solid Energy and Tiwai we could instantly have a fossil free power grid. As well as that we could become the first country in the world to set an example by becoming completely coal free. We could make these changes almost overnight without hardly any cost in lower living standards.

      We could switch $billions set aside for the Roads Of National Significance into public transport. For the same price as the boondoogle that is the Waterview motorway tunnel we could have funded free public transport for Auckland for the next three decades.

      (overseas examples have shown that providing city wide fare free public transport as a hassle free public service has got people out of their cars like nothing else, with resulting huge improvements in urban air quality and a complete elimination of traffic congestion. This is not even to mention the boon to the climate.)

      • Jenny 4.2.1

        From Fare Free New Zealand http://farefreenz.blogspot.co.nz/

        How mass protest twinned with political campaigning beat back Motorway Madness in Mangere

        Wednesday, September 18, 2013:

        The community will be “consulted” next year but we all know what that means. If the road is to be stopped NOW is the time to do it.

        Mana will not let the tarseal addicts get away with this. Our Mana Mangere team will announce plans to fight the new road at a local body election campaign launch this Saturday 2pm at East Mangere Hall (Metro Theatre) on Massey Road. Feel free to come along and help.

        In the meantime I hope all readers of this blog will know by now that Mana is proposing an alternative to big roads this election. We want to put the big roading projects on the back burner and gridlock free the city within 12 months with fare-free public transport.

        The benefits are these:

        1. EVERY Aucklander will get an extra hour at home EVERY work day. Even those who never use a bus or train will be able to travel a gridlock-free roading network.

        2. It’s cheaper than tarseal addiction – saving hundreds of millions every year.

        3. No extra charges for anyone – no rates increases, no extra fuel taxes, no congestion charges, no network charges, no toll roads, no PPPs. Those are Len Brown’s policies – not Mana’s.

        4. Improved productivity – as I mentioned a government-commissioned report released in March this year estimated lost productivity at $1.25 billion every year from clogged Auckland roads. This policy will release that lost productivity and enable better pay for workers. Note here that Business New Zealand tells us we need higher productivity to get higher wage increases. Here’s a golden opportunity to pass on these big productivity increases to workers in wages.

        5. Faster bus travel on unclogged roads and no time wasted collecting fares.

        6. Revitalisation of Auckland’s inner city as more people travel to enjoy Queen Street and the Auckland waterfront – some kids for the first time in their lives.

        7. Cleaner and greener – this will be the single greenest policy in the history of New Zealand! – less pollution, smaller carbon footprint – big ups to the environment.

        8. Savings for workers – the Mayor of Tallinn calls it the “13th monthly salary” because of estimates the policy saves a month’s pay for workers using the free transport service.

        9. Economic stimulation as workers have significantly more to spend in the real economy.

        10. Tourism boost as tourists use the system to see all parts of Auckland as we sell the city as an eco-friendly city – released from the grip of dull ideas from the middle of last century.

        Despite the fact that contractors had already started some of the preliminary work on this proposed motorway project, under intense public pressure the tarseal addicts had to back down.

  4. Ron 5

    Well day three of congress is off to a good start. Only thing that worries me is that singing of songs of praise to The Judeo Christian God of antiquity. I cannot understand why a political party feels the need to carry out this activity
    Maybe its time to move away from such outdated actions.

    • freedom 5.1

      The Houses of Parliament would be a good place to start.

      Speaker: We are honoured to be here in this House to represent the people of Aotearoa New Zealand and pledge each day to commit to the values and the responsibilities of that endeavour. So say we all.

      The House: So say we all.

      Is it such a crazy idea?

      • freedom 5.1.1

        Naturally the pledge would also be said in Te Reo Maori and MPs can respond in either or both.
        If someone can add a Te Reo Maori translation it would be appreciated.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        So say we all

        Well, I could definitely get in behind this 😈

        More seriously – some elements of tradition, incorporating symbolism, continuity and collectivity are necessary secure anchors for a steadfast and outward looking national identity. We need it.

        • ianmac

          My Mother was an atheist so for her funeral I suggested avoiding hymns but caved in for the sake of the others who were attending. Compromise? Some hymns do have great music though, but the sentiments I can do without. And the sonorous voice of Mr Speaker intoning rubbish irritates.

          • Molly

            Went to a young man’s funeral this year, that followed his belief in non-Christian values, and was amazing in it’s recognition of his individual personality and energy. Was appalled to witness a(nother) Maori attendee use the introduction of giving a gift of waiata – to introduce the song “Yes, Jesus loves Me”.

            There are so many different songs that acknowledge loss and grief without recourse to any specific religion.

            (In saying that I recognise my hypocrisy, one of my internal refrains when dealing with loss comes from the vocal chords of Aaron Neville – a more Christian message is hard to find….)

            • tinfoilhat

              Hi Molly

              Just as a matter of interest what are “non-Christian values”.

              • Molly

                Trying – obviously inaccurately – to describe how the memorial service was specific to the individual – who was not Christian – but was a keen boater, and involved in a lot of community learning. His parents read out a letter of reference that they had recently sent off for their son, outlining his learning and achievements over the years. People who had been in contact with him over the years recalled their interactions.

                One of the songs was “Sailing” by Rod Stewart – which actually was really lyrically appropriate, and a couple of poems about journeying etc.

                It was obvious that care was taken in selection of readings and items, to reflect the beliefs of the young man – which interestingly enough was not the same as his Christian mother. She had in her time of grief, the strength of respect to deliberately choose a memorial service that reflected “his” beliefs and not her own.

                The trite offering – of “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” was ill-considered in my mind and the one jarring note of the service. An imposition of personal faith on another’s service. Especially considering the acquaintance of the singer was minimal, and not close.

                (Non-Christian was just meant to refer to a lack of Christian references during the service – which probably would have been a better way to refer to it)

                • Ron

                  That is a pretty bad song in any setting, It certainly would be disowned by many religions with its line ‘The Bible tells me so’ Many Christians would not find that statement very good Theology.

                  The trite offering – of “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” was ill-considered in my mind and the one jarring note of the service. An imposition of personal faith on another’s service. Especially considering the acquaintance of the singer was minimal, and not close.

          • Murray Olsen

            I got a mate who’s a Presbyterian minister to do my wedding, but told him I didn’t want any god stuff. He thought he’d get around that by mentioning Atua all the time. I wasn’t particularly worried because my atheism is more casual than militant. However, in the procedures of government, I don’t think it has any place at all.

        • freedom

          something more like this perhaps ?

          We are honoured to be here in this House to represent the people of Aotearoa New Zealand and pledge each day to the values and the responsibilities of that endeavour. We commit to govern Aotearoa New Zealand with dignity justice and humility, to respect its past, to work together for its future and to enrich and protect all its people. So say we all.

    • TheContrarian 5.2

      Cunliffe is pretty open about his Christian beliefs.

      Was at a networking breakfast a couple months back and the speakers were Cunliffe and Parker. Cunliffe spoke at some length about his faith while Parker basically started with “I’m an atheist”

      • freedom 5.2.1

        It is my opinion politicians should not try to present other than what they believe, especially their religious views and that is how having a choice of parties in a democracy accommodates religion and its influence upon society. How parties internally and externally deal with religion in that democracy is for them and their members to work out.

        I am also strongly of the opinion that Parliament should not, in the administration of its duties and protocols, be seen to show preference or allegiance to one set of beliefs over another.

        • Colonial Viper

          The protocols of Parliament should reflect the beliefs and traditions of many different groups of NZers.

          • TheContrarian

            I’d say the protocols of parliament should leave religion, of all stripes, out in its entirety.

            • miravox


            • Draco T Bastard


            • freedom


            • Colonial Viper

              Why would you respect the practice of only the atheists and agnostics in society?

              • TheContrarian

                Removing religion from politics =/= atheism.
                Politics can’t represent the beliefs and traditions of everyone because some of them are in direct conflict with one an other.

                • blue leopard

                  +1 CV @

                  Another way is to include the many beliefs – rather than ignore them all. We need more inclusion rather than further exclusion.

                • felix

                  I am part of a long standing tradition of ignoring long standing traditions and I insist that my tradition be represented along with all the others.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Fine, we’ll have the polies only standing for the first half of the oath.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ Felix lol oh dear me no you kind of explain the point pretty succinctly there.

                    …how about only drop the beliefs that refuse to tolerate others’ beliefs? A government needs to incorporate all of society – a belief that excludes some isn’t one a government can pursue. A belief that aims at forgiveness, nonjudgmental-ness, love and compassion – for example Christianity before the twerps start re-interpreting it – seems pretty compatible with community spirit – which is really what government represents isn’t it? Most religions can be interpreted in similar ways – and then most religions have intolerant offshoots created by small-minded bigots – so should the religion be interpreted with the best interpretation? Or simply be characterized by the way The Bigots reinterpret it?

                    I like the prayer at the start of parliament.
                    I am not a Christian.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “A government needs to incorporate all of society”

                      And it does so by not weighing any particular religious belief against any other. It does so by being secular and by making no ruling in favour of one religion over another.

                    • lprent []

                      Do you mean like the conservatives don’t expouse Christianity and impose it on national?, or an actual secular society?

                    • blue leopard

                      Hi Contrarian,

                      You can ignore the arguments I provide – yet I would prefer that you admit that is what you are doing. I am stating that the best way to be impartial is not to ‘make everything secular’ it is to be inclusive of all the beliefs that exist in our country.

                      I have already provided fairly long comments as to why I believe this is the better way to be impartial.

                    • TheContrarian

                      So in the case of Northern Ireland – should the state come down on the side of the Catholics or the Protestants? New Zealand now has a majority of people not identifying with Christianity – where should the state stand in relation to this?

                      The state cannot endorse, promote nor ban any religious belief. The only way the state can be an impartial judge to all of its citizens is to hold all views as equal, therefore having no view itself.

                    • blue leopard

                      Well like I said above – I really wasn’t arguing re the state – I was arguing re parliament. And if you were reading my comments you might have been able to work out that I would view that Irish parliament would have to acknowledge both beliefs – if the formal version of those beliefs were prepared to be tolerant of the other.

                      The state cannot endorse, promote nor ban any religious belief. The only way the state can be an impartial judge to all of its citizens is to hold all views as equal, therefore having no view itself.

                      Sure a state can. It can endorse one religious belief over another by acknowledging one over another. It can promote a belief by doing much the same – such as promoting valuing money over any other belief by ignoring all other beliefs other than that of valuing money or being aggressively neutral on the matter apart from that of the value of money. And a state can certainly ban a religious belief by creating laws that deal out punishments for certain beliefs – such as the one about believing it is o.k. to kill others. (Such a belief incurs punishment) If a state had knowledge of only one belief – it would not be capable of being impartial because those with that one belief would immediately receive more understanding than those of other beliefs.

                    • TheContrarian

                      So which belief do you think parliament should endorse? Which one of the 41000 denominations of Christianity should the state support? Which of the three major Abrahamic religions should the government judge to be more important than the other? Christians the world over eat beef but Hindus would find the idea repugnant. Should we ban bacon? How about Leviticus? Do we ban the wearing of mixed cloth? Or the eating of shellfish? Is polygamy is acceptable? How about death to homosexuals? If the parliament endorses Christianity say good-bye to your freedom of speech.

                    • blue leopard

                      Gees Mary (she was quite contrary, so I thought that name might fit),
                      Inclusiveness doesn’t require judging or endorsing one belief as better than another it simply requires acknowledging it.

                    • TheContrarian

                      So now we hit the same quandary I have mentioned several time now – the state/govenrment/Parliament (whatever you like) cannot include every religious viewpoint because some are directly in opposition to others. Therefore the state/govenrment/Parliament must be a-religious. Only in being a-relgious can it be just to all viewpoints, and inclusive of all view-points.

                    • blue leopard

                      I don’t think that is a decision for you to make Contrarian, I think that is up to the religious belief’s organisation to decide whether they are prepared to value intolerance over all their other principles. I do not believe that every religious person is intolerant of other religions – only some sects of certain religions are that hung up on intolerance.

                    • Ron

                      Well if not a Christian why on earth would you want an Anglican Prayer out of BCP that is Three hundred 70 years old.
                      or for that matter why any prayer. A Prayer by its name is a plea or petition to the almighty God. If he listened at all it would be surprising he certainly has given no evidence that he has ever acted upon the petition.
                      Leave him out, replace it with a statement similar t what we proposed earlier in discussion or just say This session of Parliament is now open

            • Vicky32

              “I’d say the protocols of parliament should leave religion, of all stripes, out in its entirety.”

              I have just been reading the last 10-15 or so comments and feeling that the left really wants to exclude people such as me…

              Thank you for reminding me why I haven’t read the Standard for over a year… 🙁

              • blue leopard

                Is good to see you back, by the way, Vicky32.
                Considering I have been arguing to include all beliefs – I can’t understand where you are coming from in your comment here. What do you mean?

                • Vicky32

                  I made my comment before seeing yours, Blue Leopard… as a Christian, I felt very excluded. It’s always bothered me that Standardistas seem to, most of them, despise religion. They also seem not to understand that many leftists are Christian (or Muslim) and conversely, many Christians and Muslims are left leaning – as this is absolutely NOT the USA! (Where you would never find that)

                  • blue leopard

                    Yes, it is a shame re people ‘despising religion’ – it would appear also that some such types do not see the detrimental effects of ‘aggressive secularism’.

                    Interesting what you say because I have a relative who is a strongly committed Christian and I was discussing how I didn’t understand why Christians are voting right in US (I see left-wing values as far closer aligned with Christian beliefs – or any religion I know of – for that matter!) this conversation informed me how off-putting the secularism expressed by Helen Clark was for that person- (she did something like cancel Christmas carol singing in schools?). I can’t say I think this was a good move for any reason – yet especially not if it alienates good people.

                    Perhaps what you express is more widespread than ‘secularists’ would care to believe?

                    • Vicky32

                      “Perhaps what you express is more widespread than ‘secularists’ would care to believe?”

                      I think so! (This board used to have a good quote function, it’s a pity it’s gone). I remember being very surprised when I saw my non-Christian son say on a website called h2g2 years ago, to a person in the US or UK, I can’t remember which, that the religious right scarcely even existed here, and that most religious people here are leftists. I was surprised, because I had taken him to church with me until he was 17 and didn’t want to attend, and I didn’t think he had even noticed! But he had…

                    • KJT

                      I think you are talking about the “aggressive intolerance” that many people seem to think their particular beliefs, or lack of them, justify.

                      It mystifies me how many otherwise intelligent people believe in things when their is absolutely no evidence to support their belief, but I accept it as one of the mysteries of life. And there are many religious people who do a lot of good. Equally there are many who are intolerant and “holier than though”.

                      All of the worlds religions have similar positions on how to treat others, as do atheists and humanists.

                      It is a pity that many “Christians” “Muslims” and others do not listen to their own religions teachings.

                      I do not have a problem with inclusiveness, just bigotry and intolerance.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “It is a pity that many “Christians” “Muslims” and others do not listen to their own religions teachings.”

                      It is also a pity that some of them listen to their own religious teachings. For example the 10 Commandments explicitly reject freedom of speech, association and expression – fundamental human rights.

                  • Ron

                    Mmm Considering the Anglican Church is often called the Tory Party at Prayer it is understandable that many people of the left do not want a religion associated with all that things that they want to escape from. Yes you could replace the C of E with some other brand of religion but then you come up with which one? Someone once showed me some stats about the number of Catholics as a proportion of population as compared with their representation in the House. It was way way out of whack and one would have to wonder why so many of that religion find them self elected to parliament. I do not imagine that the situation has improved which may indicate why we have been so slow to make changes to legislation that catholics are opposed to. Eg Birth Control, Abortion, getting the taxpayer to fund their brand of religious schools for starters.
                    The only answer that I can see is that we remove all religion from Parliament and the School system. If people want to follow a certain religion that is heir business but not via tax funded institutions. We now have reportedly the Conservative Party Owner holding prayer meetings at work. I wonder how many atheists he employs. We have the Sallies now deciding who will get housing assistance. This organisation that presented a very large petition that wanted Homosexual people to continue to be imprisoned and punished for falling in love with a same sex person. I wonder how many gay people will get housing assistance from Salvation Army.
                    OF course I could be just paranoid but I would prefer that all dealings with the public social welfare or education or whatever be handled by public servants and not religious groups.

                    end of rant


                    • Vicky32

                      “The only answer that I can see is that we remove all religion from Parliament and the School system”

                      AFAIK, it’s already been removed from the school system – unless there’ve been changes to the Education Act that I don’t know about!

              • Colonial Viper

                Nice of you to pop by Vicky32. It appears that some cannot accept the importance of spirituality and/or religion and/or faith in the life and wellbeing of a healthy people.

                • Vicky32

                  Yes, you are right, Colonial Viper… I am back as the election is coming up, and I am on tenterhooks! 🙂

                  • freedom

                    Good to see you again Vicky32, like many here, I will be looking forward to your thoughts as the election lumbers near

                    p.s. you made a comment above about a quote function
                    – what function do you refer to?

                    • Vicky32

                      “p.s. you made a comment above about a quote function
                      – what function do you refer to?”

                      Something for the non-html users among us, it was a clickable set of quote marks that would but what one cited in an offset box…

                • TheContrarian

                  It also appears that some cannot accept that others don’t require spirituality and/or religion and/or faith in order to be healthy people.

                • felix

                  Oh yay vicky is back. I guess it’s time to start the countdown.

              • freedom

                Exclusion is never part of my general outlook on life so don’t give up just yet Vicky32.
                The reach of the idea’s intent is not to eradicate peoples’ beliefs from NZ politics.

                I have written a more complete explanation of the off the cuff comments that appeared to be the catalyst of this interesting little excursion people went on today.
                I am awaiting some Te Reo translation work and should have it all ready for general consumption later in the week. I will submit it as a guest post and if those that decide these things toss it back, I will put it into Open mike in the near future. Not exactly a topic that is critically urgent but still ….

                Sooner or later this country will be having the big Republic dialogue for real and this very topic is going to be a part of that discussion. No reason we can’t jump a little ahead on the agenda 🙂

          • freedom

            CV, how does the current House Prayer [not sure of its title] that is read in the House every sitting day, achieve that?

      • JanM 5.2.2

        I didn’t hear that interview, but would I be right in thinking that his emphasis would be on the ethical and humanitarian teachings that are a part of a religious upbringing? That’s what I hear coming from him – a position, as a minister’s kid myself, I can clearly identify with. He is certainly not, if you look back at the way he has voted and the liberal beliefs he espouses, a conventional, moralistic and conservative christian in the way right-wing god-botherers have taught us to think is normal nowadays. It’s hard to think of anyone furtherer away from the likes of, say, Colin Craig or Brian Tamaki.

      • Chooky 5.2.3

        @ TheContrarian…..Christianity can be pretty broad …from the right wing war mongering , sexist , homophobic ,fascist fundamentalists to the liberation theologians …to the postmodern symbolic and non- literalist Gnostic mystic Christians…to the atheist humanist Christian theologians and priests like Don Cuppitt and Lloyd Geering…to the eco-theologians like Catholic Priest Thomas Berry and postmodernist Carol P. Christ…to the radical feminist gay theologians like Professor Mary Daly…to the Pacifist Christians

        ..Christianity is a broad church…and I would think that David Cunliffe would be of the enlightened liberal end of the spectrum

        …i have huge respect for some Christians…so good on David Cunliffe for being open about his beliefs!…i doubt he will try and impose them on people

  5. ffloyd 6

    How low can Paula Bennett sink. She now wants all women who have been abused by Rolf Harris to come forward and lay a complaint because she wants them all ‘to feel safe’. Maybe she could refer them to a Rape Crisis Centre. There is nothing sincere about that woman. Fancy trying to use these women for political gain. She is an absolute poor example of womanhood. Nothing to recommend her at all.

    • Anne 6.1

      She’s milking it – ie. Maggie Barry’s experience – for everything she can. Disgusting!!!

    • Chooky 6.2

      hasnt John Key’s National destroyed a lot of financial support for counselling services for rape and sexual abuse victims, particularly child victims?

      …this would be a good question for Paula Bennett in the House ?…she needs to be put on the spot over nationals record here!

      • ffloyd 6.2.1

        Chooky. Yes, that was going to be my point in my comment above but forgot in my anger. Christchurch closed for want of $30.000.00!

        And is she going to extend her ’embrace’ (spit) to include the girl attacked by the Malaysian ‘Diplomat’. Or any of the hundreds of women who are living in terror on a daily basis.
        Or is her help only being given to victims of attacks by celebrities.

        And how is she going to ‘keep them safe’. Perhaps because it’s easy to say that when he is already in jail. Anyway, what did she think he was going to do. Stalk them all???

        Sorry…………… She makes my blood boil.

        • Chooky

          ffloyd +100…it is deserving of great anger

        • miravox

          “Or is her help only being given to victims of attacks by celebrities.”

          Too broad a category there, ffloyd, clearly it’s only for women who can connect with Maggie Barry.

          As for those who have put themsleves in the path of non-famous abusers – well, it’s far too expensive and time consuming to deal with their experiences! /sarc.

    • greywarbler 6.3

      Poorer Benefit is amoral. Her type of thinking has just closed a rapeline in Christchurch, the suffering city. Her type of behaviour has caused suffering to thousands of women and men under punitive stupid policies still called ‘welfare’ I think.
      Now Rolf Harris is to be a focus of blame and a deflector of attention while she goes on her merry way doing with legislation and systems what Rolf Harris did with his eager fingers, and both blatant abusers of people.

    • Once was Tim 6.4

      “How low can Paula Bennett sink.”? Bit of a silly question really. She can go totally subterranean. It’s only a load of sorta spin sorta doctors and sorta re sorta imagers that sorta keep her above ground (sorta) giggle giggle.

    • Murray Olsen 6.5

      I think half her problem is that she makes pigshit look gifted. The other half is that she is nasty to the core. Once she’s surrounded by the intellectual prowess of the NAct caucus, this type of garbage will flow freely.

  6. Ron 7

    I can go with that. Would like to say something along the lines of ,,, and govern with justice and humility to enrich and protect all people of New Zealand.
    I would like to see a statement that is inclusive and binding on such governments.

  7. millsy 8

    A minute of silence. That IMO is probably the best way to open Parliament.

  8. North 9

    McIvor nee Woodham – I salute thee for your opinion piece Herald online this morning, part of which reads:

    “And it’s appalling McCully’s first call was to grovel to John Key for putting his boss in it, rather than apologise to the alleged victim of the sexual assault. Typical, but appalling.”

    Appalling ? Too right ! But “Typical” ?

    Typical – of McCully ? Can’t be. McCully’s not alone in this.

    Typical – of Key ? “First, you’ll apologise to ME”. Well, it’s been happening.

    Conclusion – McIvor nee Woodham, your “Typical” points up that the first imperative in addressing dysfunction in governance is grovelling, abject mea culpa before the very man whose conceited distaste for “higher standards” founds that very dysfunction. And while we’re on the topic of immunity – for GodKey, immunity from any responsibility ever.

    McIvor nee Woodham, you nearly cracked it mate but a mere Freudian slip does not merit a 21 gun salute. That said I appreciate how the prospect of the 22nd gun terrifies the shit out of you. Sterling jono’ you.

    • Once was Tim 9.1

      @ North
      McIvor nee Woodham (aka goodtime gal-oh-but-that-was-a-long-long-time-ago) replies: ‘ How very dare you call me “mate”! I’m ABOVE you and don’t you EVER forget it or I’ll just have to show you who’s boss’ (Hog).

      McIvor nee Woodham says that because she has a platform to do so (now). She was hideous (before ‘now’), and she’s hideous now.

      ooooo Tim – you pig! No – it’s just that there are some (Kerry, Pulla Bent, and others) that will get my respect the minute they show respect for others. So far, they’re incapable, and I don’t hold out much hope for their future. Usually I ignore them and thank Christ I haven’t had the displeasure of having had to listen to McIvor (nee Woodham)’s voluptuous presence (in body and spirit) for fekkin years
      sauce for gooses, source for ganders and all that

      • North 9.1.1

        The gal’s a riot ! Bubble Bubbles Bubbles…….of the cheapo variety Richmond Road Countdown. Except when she’s at the BBQs in Parnellynellynelly.

  9. Anne 10

    Q&A has just finished.

    Didn’t catch his name but was disgusted at the panel member who was supposed to be championing the Left. He spent the entire session rubbishing Labour. His analysis was shallow and stupid. Not once did he acknowledge there had been a smear campaign against Cunliffe and Labour… he just blamed Cunliffe for everything. He chastised Cunliffe for not talking about policy during his interview with Corin Dann – ignoring the fact the interviewer sets the questions and naturally all Dann wanted to talk about was moas, being sorry for being a man and the West Coast tree felling controversy. He also dammed Cunliffe for not discussing Labour’s Education policy during the interview. Isn’t Cunliffe announcing a major Education policy plank this afternoon? Did he expect Cunliffe to reveal it on Q&A?

    Add the voice of the woman standing in for the Right and a fence sitting “political scientist” and it was one massive anti-Labour talk-fest. The worst I’ve seen thus far!

    • North 10.1

      To the point where I’m satisified that it derived from a determined, unabashed editorial pose.

      Who was the putative lefty ?

    • tinfoilhat 10.2

      @ Anne I think they said he was a Labour party communications expert… and then he went on the entire time about how appalling labour’s communications strategy and delivery was.

      I agree it was astounding.

      • Anne 10.2.1

        I didn’t hear anything about a L.P. communications expert, but the opening claim was that he is a Labour Party member. That being the case, I am considering a formal complaint to the NZ Council with a view to having his membership suspended at the least…

        The worst experience was the look of joy on the faces of Susan Wood and the wholly unlikable right wing panel member. They couldn’t wait to make the most of it. Wood made no attempt to balance any of his claims which is part of her role as the Current Affairs host. She’s a disgrace!

        • blue leopard

          Actually Wood did mention to Quin words to the effect of: ‘you are supposed to be hear to stick up for/ speak for Labour/Left’. (shoot – I can’t remember it very accurately, sorry)

          It was pretty good that she said that – at least she provided a heads up that something was imbalanced about the discussion because the person put on to speak ‘for’ left wing interests wasn’t doing much other than shaft Cunliffe.

          • Anne

            Yes, she said that blue leopard, but from recollection she gave him one of her “lovely” smiles as she said it.

    • blue leopard 10.3

      His name is Phil Quinn, (am just watching the hour-later version)

      A google search on that name brings up a website for an Irish Medium with the same name …(who looks a lot like the guy on Q&A 😐 )….and also lots of Kiwiblog pages that quote someone of that name….

      • Anne 10.3.1

        Thanks blue leopard. I’m going to see if I can find out more about who he is, but if anyone knows anything could they let us know? Thanks in advance.

        • blue leopard

          Sorry Anne I spelt that wrong – it is Quin (not Quinn) here are some links, which I presume are written by him:



          and Q&A facebook refers to him as @philquin

          • Anne

            That’s enough for me. Left wing commentator? My Aunt Betty’s bloomers!!! He’s an arrogant right wing hack who pretends to be left wing. That explains his anti-Cunliffe tirade on Q&A.

            North is right. A determined, unabashed editorial pose. Who is the Q&A producer? Think he/she may be going to get an earful from me.

            • blue leopard

              Yeah its getting a bit much – starting to feel I won’t be bothering with watching political programs and even the cheap criticisms here on the Standard toward Labour are starting to get my goat; criticisms of Labour are increasingly appearing like direct reflections of the tone being set by the massive spin in the media.

              People need to really check what their views are based on with the level of unadulterated propaganda going on in this country just now.

              This is exactly how it works isn’t it? Poor political commentary full of bias and exaggeration puts people off politics so much that they neither feel like becoming more informed (if they do there is nowhere to go without having to trawl through mindless critique from people who have been brainwashed) nor do many people end up feeling like voting at all.

              • JanM

                I agree, blue leopard, I can see no point in watching/hearing any more of it unless it’s to follow a variation of ‘keep you friends close and your enemies closer’. I just find it depressing that their are so many stupid or naïve journos and commentators around prepared to sell their souls in this way. You can see how easy it is for dictatorships and other obnoxious regimes to rise up, even in so-called first-world countries, when there are so many sycophants around prepared to make the outrageous seem normal in this way

                • blue leopard

                  +100 exactly JanM exactly!

                  When I was younger, after reading books about/set in the war, I was particularly fascinated with what you just mentioned – how obnoxious leaders/regimes got the support they did… like in WWII Germany – I guess I’ve witnessed the answers to my childhood curiosity. It is atruly sad spectacle to behold.

                  • JanM

                    Yes, I hesitated to give that as an example in case it seemed overly dramatic, but it is what I had in mind, of course. Scary really – shows just how thin the line really is!

                    • blue leopard

                      I am glad you persevered in using that example – because for me it nailed it. And you expressed something that has been bubbling under the surface of my awareness for a while – and reading what you wrote cheered me up…as perverse as that may sound.

                      Hmm to put it another way – I think you provided astute and insightful analysis to what is occurring by using that example – and I enjoy when people share their insights. 🙂

        • Karen

          This article may help.

          Looks like he is a a bit of a Rogernome that worked with the right wing of the Labour Party in the 1990s.

          • Anne

            OMG Karen. Just read it. Am in the process of putting my eyes back into their sockets.

            You’re dead right. And they have him on Q&A representing the political Left?

          • swordfish

            Yeah, Phil Quin was active with the Right-leaning Mike Moore faction during the 90s. Very much supportive of Rogernomics (at least in his younger days). Ran Phil Goff’s numbers for him during various attempts to topple Clark as leader before the 96 Election.

            Also champions the idea that the NZ Labour Party should adopt the formal factionalism of their Aussie counterparts. I think it’s fair to say that Phil does enjoy – possibly revels in – having a bit of go at the Left of the Party (as well as the broader political Left outside the Party). So, I think there’s quite a bit of antipathy there.

            From memory, he worked for a while as an advisor to Aussie Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans. Very much at the Establishment/Neo-Liberal end of the Party, although, to be fair, he has, at times, sounded quite progressive and Social Democratic – particularly when having a go at the Nats.

            The one thing I will say for him is that he knows his shit when it comes to the dark arts of extracting a winning strategy from a few shavings of the electoral vote. He has that gut instinct – from organising local campaigns in Aussie Elections, particularly, it seems, in Victoria – about what gets the punters into the polling booths. And, along with my good self, he was the only one that realised things were gonna be close in the 2010 Mana By-Election. So, he’s a long way from me politically (in fact, I seem to remember at one point he called me “a Trot” because I wasn’t entirely ruling out voting Matt McCarten in the Mana by-Election), but I do have a certain amount of respect for his campaign nous.

    • Linz 10.4

      Who is this Phil Quin?

      According to the National Business Review Phil Quin is “ a former adviser for the NZ and Australia labour parties and a strategic communications consultant”.

      Some of his work:
      NZ Herald: The anatomy of a failed Labour coup
      9:22 AM Saturday Apr 2, 2011 Fifteen years ago, Helen Clark stared down a party coup mounted by her eventual successor, Phil Goff. But her victory came at a huge price for Labour. Phil Quin, one of the plotters, offers an insider’s account.

      Phil Quin: Jump to left puts Labour on rocky road


      National Business Review: OPINION: Thirty Percent Doctrine dooms Labour


      He says he’s a member of the Labour Party. Not for long, I hope.
      He calls himself Phil Quin. I call him Phil Quisling. I also call him Scab.

      Here’s his twitter thingie: @philquin

  10. Just Julie 11

    Exactly, Anne!

    I was strangely propelled into some kind of alternate reality between how composed, assured and articulate Mr Cunliffe was during a provocative, hostile interview (not designed to shed any light on policy whatever) and the panels’ summation.

    Can someone please explain? (seriously) !

  11. greywarbler 12

    How can a duplicate comment show up? Usually a wee sign pops up and prevents.

  12. mm!!..cruelty-free cheese..!

    ..there’s a winner..!

    “..Biohackers making ‘real vegan cheese’..”

    “..Real Vegan Cheese is a not a cheese substitute!

    It all begins with regular old baker’s yeast.

    Through synthetic biology – we engineer our yeast to become milk-protein factories –

    • churning out real milk proteins (known as caseins).

    These milk proteins are then combined with water – vegan sugar – and oil –

    • to make a kind of milk which is ultimately converted into Real Vegan Cheese –
    • using the age-old cheese-making process..”



    • bad12 13.1

      Was it the ‘bio-Hacker’ title that got you drooling Phillip, flew straight into your little fantasy world imagining a secret group of underground cheese makers did you,

      Why not just make vegan cheese out of soy milk and save all the absolute frigging bullshit, don’t even need get into any of that cloak and dagger bio-hacking stuff,

      Just Google for the recipes…

    • Dave 13.2

      What is vegan sugar? I could google it of course, but where is the fun in that?

  13. Chooky 14

    Dr. Margaret Sparrow is a very great New Zealander !…along with Elsie Locke who fought for Family Planning and Ettie Rout


    Margaret Sparrow chronicles the experiences of 19th-Century New Zealand women who had managed to obtain abortions. Her new book ‘Rough on Wimmin – Abortion in 19th Century NZ’ explores the dangers, risks, prejudices and pre-conceptions of the day that befell those women who became pregnant out of wedlock.

    Feminist and academic Rachel Brown also needs a mention for her research on which Margaret Sparrow bases her book





  14. greywarbler 15

    I heard that interview Chooky, Margaret Sparrow has done much for NZ women and the country and the brave and determined doctors and supporters of abortion rights, men and women.

    • Chooky 15.1

      thanx greywarbler…she is a wonderful woman doctor for her compassion and resilience and intelligence and her fight for justice for all women to control their fertility and determine their lives ….. a truly great New Zealander!

  15. fisiani 16

    just back from door knocking in karori. actually being positive and not just a crappy slogan. Surprisingly strong support from people who say they used to vote Labour but cannot vote for a man who is ashamed to be a man. This. is the show me the money turning point of 2014. Bring back Shearer.

    • McFlock 16.1

      more fake twitter followers for the keyster, eh…

    • Rodel 16.2

      just back from door knocking in Epsom actually being a crappy slogan and not just positive; Surprisingly strong support from people who say they used to vote National but cannot vote for a man who is ashamed to be honest. This is the show me a perk busting turning point of 2011. Bring back Rodney Hide.What???

    • North 16.3

      I see your arse not working all out your mouth again FazzyUnus.

  16. Jrobin 17

    The turning point Fisiani is, imo, cutting class sizes. This has mass appeal. Men who react like that were probably not left voters anyway, concern troll, not convincing.

    • fisiani 17.1

      Actually all the comments regarding distaste for The Cunliffe’s false shame came from women in West Karori.

      • Rodel 17.1.1

        Actually all the comments regarding distaste for Key’s lack of shame came from men in West Epsom

      • Chooky 17.1.2

        find that hard to believe…sure you weren’t just visiting your NACT friends ?

        • blue leopard

          lol! that sound like it would be closer to the truth Chooky!

        • North

          He’s got no NAct friends. They all facepalm whispering asides about what a try hard he is. I got lots of NAct friends. They all tell me that. Laughing stock. They’re glad we got him here on TS.

  17. dimebag russell 18

    sunday morning funnies.
    prove you were in Karori this morning.
    You are just a figment of Hootons imagination.
    here to make trouble.
    you worse than a moran!

    • felix 18.1


      “fisiani” has never left the office.

      • Te Reo Putake 18.1.1

        Given that proven liar fisiani claimed the other day to be doorknocking in Hutt South, his move to Karori strongly suggests that National are desperate for activists. Or he’s lying again. Or both.

        • swordfish

          Still, you’ve got to admire Fizzy’s strenuous attempts at authenticity. He knows that Labour strategists know that Karori West is the ( slightly ) Left-leaning area of the otherwise relatively Blue suburb of Karori. He’s clearly determined to get under Labour’s skin any way he can. The bloke’s displaying a certain amount of tenacity on this. My guess is he’ll be talking about a middle-of-the road suburb in the Mana Electorate next – I’m picking Linden or possibly Pukerua Bay.

    • fisiani 18.2

      What’s a moran??????

      [lprent: that… ]

  18. lprent 19

    At the Labour conference afternoon session. There are about a thousand seats in the floor of the Michael Fowler, According to the Labour staff here, at least 800 seats are filled. Looks about right.

    • ianmac 19.1

      A great speech from David. Mr Key and Whaleoil will be scratching in their dirt piles to try and negate David’s message. Fat hope!

    • lprent 19.2

      That was a very good speech by David Cunliffe. Most of the policy has been previewed earlier.

      But he announced that the money that National was putting into overpaid part-time principals will go instead into employing 2000 more teachers. That will reduce class sizes.

      Everything that I have seen says that smaller class sizes works.

      Good. Paying people more for just doing their job seems like a useless idea to me. If there are cruddy teachers out there, then they just need to be either taught to do better or they should leave the profession. If they are burnt out, then just reducing the class sizes will help.

      Dropping National’s pointless paperwork nightmare of “National’s standards” will help a lot in reducing the amount of burnout.

      • phillip ure 19.2.1

        and timely..re dropping of national standards..

        ..that is also about to happen in britain..

        ..for the self-same reasons..

  19. Jester 20

    Just wondering if Billy Shorten was the right person to cuddle up with so close to David’s meeting with Women’s Refuge.

  20. Draco T Bastard 21

    US profoundly upset about this but what are they doing about this?

  21. Jenny 22

    How to offend friends and influence politicians


    “Mr. Holdren’s zeal, and his tendency to present somewhat alarming visions of the future, have stirred controversy….”

    “He’s somebody that people want to hear from,” Mr. McDonough said. “And even if he weren’t, he’d be sure he was heard from.”

    Mr. Holdren, whose views and pivotal role in the administration have put him in the cross hairs of critics, also spearheaded the most recent National Climate Assessment report, which painted a stark picture of the impact climate change is having on the nation…..

    ….But even some people who admire his intelligence and ability to explain the science of climate change say his passion for the issue can work against him.

    “He is a zealot,” said John W. Rowe, the former chief executive of the energy company Exelon, who was a co-chairman with Mr. Holdren of a panel on energy policy in the 2000s. “If you start off skeptical of his science because of the eminence of his zeal, you can be confirmed in your skepticism.”

  22. Draco T Bastard 23

    Maori stuck in protest mode — Sharples

    He said the loss of support for the Maori Party was due to Maori being in “protest mode” and not understanding “what parliament is about”

    Wow, the arrogance in this one is strong.

    • North 23.1

      Gimme protest consciousness ahead of lazy biddable fat arse at someone else’s tepu. This is how Peter Peter ShonKey Eater rationalises his abject failure ? More sneering at Maori ? Incredible !

      • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1

        Yeah, that’s how I read it. He’s been fèted and dined at National’s table and now thinks that the way thing are is fine – no matter what damage it does to his people.

  23. Colonial Viper 24

    WTF Paddy Gower interview of Cunliffe from earlier on in the Labour congress – just saw this – that Jonolist is a horrible little NAT weasel completely uninterested in serving the public. Hope he loses his access to the PM’s office in September.

    Paddy’s tactics appears to be make Cunliffe focus on the small picture, the minutiae and the trivial


    • Rodel 24.1

      Poor Paddy is still obsessed with trivia like tongue in cheek Moa humour and his imaginary past Abcs. There are bigger issues but he doesn’t seem to understand why we have elections.

    • Anne 24.2

      Actually I think Cunliffe enjoyed it CV. Paddy Gower was playing the devil’s advocate and Cunliffe knew it. There was a 12 minute sparring match and David won. His best line was quoting Gower’s producer who was complimentary about Labour’s policy planks and that left Paddy chortling.

      • Colonial Viper 24.2.1

        Yeah I noticed that one. And I was very interested that Gower questioned Cunliffe on being too light blue. But Paddy missing all those chances to put PM aspirant Cunliffe on the spot about serious stuff, instead of trying to force DC to stay on small picture soap opera dramatics.

  24. dimebag russell 25

    a moran is something that begins with f and ends with i and votes national.

  25. Paul 26

    Such a pity that the New Zealand government does not take the same care for its citizens as the Japanese government.

    Herald bias watch.
    Note is is the Japanese who are accused of taking ”the hard line” rather than New Zealand as they slavishly follow the neo-liberal policies of large corporates.

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