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Open mike 07/12/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 7th, 2022 - 67 comments
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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 …

67 comments on “Open mike 07/12/2022 ”

  1. Tony Veitch 1

    If you are a bottom-feeder (or even swimming slightly below mid-current) then Natz and Act are not your friends!

    This point needs to be shouted loudly all over this country, and repeated ad nauseam until it becomes, like all lies repeated and repeated, accepted truth.

    One of the myths (lies) that Luxon is perpetuating, is that Natz are better managers of the economy.

    They are not: Key’s so-called ‘rock star’ economy was based on a house price boom, almost unlimited immigration and little expenditure on infrastructure.

    Labour (I’d like to think, hampered by the dead anchor of NZ First in their first term), had much to do to remedy the harm caused by Natz.

    Under Luxon, the Natz will just be ‘managers’ not in any way innovators.

    Management will centre around cutting spending, ‘to balance the books.’

    This approach will, inevitably, play right into the hands of their coalition partners – the ultimate, failed neo-liberal, small government party – Act.

    Under Key the Natz did very little to ‘improve’ NZ as a place to live – our rivers became ‘wadeable,’ our education system was downgraded to ‘national standards’ and charter schools, our hospitals were underfunded, our public housing stock was sold off, or ‘methed’ out of use and police stations were closed.

    Key sold off our assets to so-called ‘mum and dad’ investors (read large overseas hedge funds) and even tried to set NZ up as a tax haven for the ultra-wealthy.

    Luxon hasn’t Key’s ‘vision,’ though he’s still to the moral right of Genghis Khan.

    The real agenda will be Acts, and their agenda is frankly frightening.

    Their cuts to public services include:

    • Climate Change Commission, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Freshwater and Land Use Programme, Forestry Programme
    • Climate Emergency Response Fund's operating and capital expenditure
    • Contributions to Superannuation Fund halted, and the age of eligibility increased at a rate of two months per year until it reaches age 67, at which point it would be indexed to life expectancy
    • Human Rights Commission, Office for Crown-Māori Relations abolished
    • Ministries for Women, Māori Development, Pacific Peoples and Ethnic Communities abolished
    • Fees-free programme for university
    • KiwiSaver subsidies removed
    • Winter Energy payment would be restricted to beneficiaries and Community Service Card holders
    • First Home Grants and Progressive Home Ownership schemes
    • R&D Tax Credit, Callaghan Innovation, Covid-19 Horticulture Subsidies, Growth and Development Spending, the Provincial Growth Fund, the Cultural Sector Regeneration Fund, New Market Operations Spending, Cultural Sector Regeneration Fund
    • Domestic and international film subsidies
    • Jobs for Nature, Biodiversity Jobs, Pest Control Jobs, Waterways Jobs, Pine Control Jobs and He Poutama Rangatahi
    • Regional Skills Leadership Groups
    • Workforce Development Councils
    • "Shovel-Ready" infrastructure projects
    • The party also proposes selling off 49 percent of shares in various government state-owned enterprises, including New Zealand Post, KiwiRail, Transpower, Kordia, KiwiBank and its subsidiaries, and food testing and inspection organisation AsureQuality.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/466730/act-s-alternative-budget-cuts-to-taxes-and-public-services
    And make no mistake about this – Act would ‘privatise’ water – in the form of that failed model – private-public partnerships.

    This country (as with the rest of the world) will face increasing and escalating crises in the coming years. The absolute last thing we can afford is a ‘hands-off’ ‘small government’ sort of administration.

    Natz and Act would/will be a total disaster (as they would have been had they been in power during the covid pandemic!)

    We must do all we can to make certain there is no change of government next year!

    • ianmac 1.1

      Good work Tony. Thanks.

    • Shanreagh 1.2

      Ta da!!!!

      And the 'upside' for the demolition of all the agencies, the great trickle up (sorry I mean flooded river up) of $$$$ to those who need this the most, according to ACT.

      Clue: it ain't life's battlers.

    • MickeyBoyle 1.3

      When you can't defend your own record, attack the opposition.

      Great strategy that I'm sure will resonate…

      • Louis 1.3.1

        MickeyBoyle Is that why Luxon always attacks Labour, even when asked what will National do?

        • MickeyBoyle 1.3.1.1

          That's his job. He doesn't have to defend a record. He just needs to shit on the governments record and offer an alternative that he believes kiwis will buy into.

          25.5%… wake up to reality. The status quo, "we know best NACT will suck" isn't working.

          • Louis 1.3.1.1.1

            That's my point though, Luxon, (who has been a leader for a year), and National don't have an alternative, there's nothing for kiwis to buy into, hence the deflection.

          • Corey Humm 1.3.1.1.2

            "25.5% wake up to reality" yep, Jacindas labour party is now polling like labour did under Cunliffe and Shearer.

            Labour is totally out of touch with mainstream New Zealand and has been all year and instead of listening Labour and it's supporters block their ears.

            Instead of defending every dumb move Labour makes Labour members and lefty's should be self reflecting on why that is and then using their platforms to pressure the govt to be more focused.

            Instead we get tribalists doubling down.

            I like the standard, it used to give loads and loads of constructive criticism when labour was in opposition and polling like it is now, it should start giving the govt constructive criticism.

            A lot of the parliamentary party reads this blog and they are the people who need to hear constructive criticism from the center left, not just endless defense.

            • RedLogix 1.3.1.1.2.1

              Instead we get tribalists doubling down.

              It would not matter if Labour crashed below the 5% threshold, the tribalists would still fail to reconsider, still keep telling us how wonderful this govt is.

              The core problem is that Labour has failed to deliver effectively on it's core mission – inequality, housing, tax reform and sustainable prosperity. Instead it has been captured by elitist woke agendas the public distrusts.

              Literally 1 in 2 of the people who voted for them less than three years ago now regret that decision. That is a stunning loss of confidence.

              Right now the most rational (yet I realise least likely) option, is for Labour to ditch it's woke and ethnic separatist activists, refocus on it's the core economic mission to save what they can – and then reach out to National after the election to form a centrist coalition govt that is not shackled by extremist agendas of both the left and right.

              The activists and tribalists will of course hate this suggestion – even if it it might be the best option for the country.

              • pat

                I suspect it is all too late

                • RedLogix

                  The historic parallels between Ardern and Lange are stark; both came to power as charismatic and effective leaders – both undone by radical agendas in their caucus.

                  It would not surprise me if Ardern also resigns if the polls do not improve early in the New Year.

                  • pat

                    Not sure but she certainly sounded over it on the radio a few minutes ago.

                    She is undoubtably an effective leader but has been badly let down by the the policy formers and implementation…..5 years and apart from most of the covid response they can show little successful implementation and a myriad of failures…….the latest being contaminated aviation fuel.

                  • Louis

                    "The Prime Minister says she has no plans to quit her job ahead of next year's election after rumours began swirling"

                    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/10/prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-responds-to-quitting-moving-to-new-plymouth-rumours.html

                    • Mike the Lefty

                      Not like John Key who quit because the job wasn't fun anymore.

                    • Louis

                      Jacinda Ardern is not John key, she wouldn't do a runner mid term like he did and if you really believe he ran away because the job was not "fun" anymore, then I guess you believe in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    "The historic parallels between Ardern and Lange are stark"..yep, and I bet both will be remembered fondly, instead of taking the full brunt of the blame for their own records…look at Lange, most lay the blame of the disaster that unfettered Free Market Liberalism has been for our communities and the country as large at the feet of Douglas, and let Lange walk away still with his reputation largely intact..apart from her initial Covid response, Ardern would have to be regarded as one of the most ineffectual political leaders in New Zealand’s modern history…more of a manager than leader really.

              • swordfish

                .

                Captured by an affluent, profoundly un-democratic & (despite all the ostentatious moral posturing) ruthlessly self-interested Pakeha Woke cadre … together with an equally ruthless & authoritarian ethno-nationalist Maori caucus.

                The phoney virtue-signalling isn't working anymore.

                Two major parties are simply rival factions of the same self-interested Establishment.

                One’s keen, as always, on making life economic hell for low & low-middle income groups in general … the other’s very excited about viciously scapegoating the Non-Maori majority within that social strata, formally transforming them into second-class citizens, seemingly with the hope that large numbers will start dying early … thus achieving the enormous moral victory of evening up the life expectancy stats.

                • RedLogix

                  ruthlessly self-interested Pakeha Woke cadre … together with an equally ruthless & authoritarian ethno-nationalist Maori caucus.

                  Not however confined to just the Labour and Green parties. The same cadres have over the past two decades steadily infiltrated and entrenched themselves in all of our key institutions – education, law, media, public service and increasingly various power nodes in our commercial world.

                  No ordinary govt can effectively defy this. Which is why I suggested above – despite some obvious objections around why National might be motivated to co-operate – an extraordinary coalition as the alternative.

              • AB

                Labour has failed to deliver effectively on it’s core mission – inequality, housing, tax reform and sustainable prosperity.

                Setting aside the meaningless word "woke" and the exaggeration of "ethnic separatists" in the rest of your post – I agree totally. Public broadcasting and 3 Waters are worthy but peripheral objectives. The pandemic was an opportunity to initiate a radical and colour-blind downward redistribution of wealth and power. Do things that are popular with the public and that National loathe. Then do more of them.

                • RedLogix

                  The terms woke and ethno-separatist are I accept, jargon words that are useful in that they concisely convey a complex political meaning. I can though understand your discomfort and objection to them. Yet I absolutely concur when you say:

                  The pandemic was an opportunity to initiate a radical and colour-blind downward redistribution of wealth and power.

                  The problem is that no-one really has a clue what the root causes of inequality is, and thus have failed to deliver convincing cures. And the more radical the proposal, the less people will trust it.

                  • gsays

                    I have a bit of a clue as to one of the drivers of inequality.

                    Landlording.

                    If someone wants a bigger piece of the pie, someone else must have less.

                    • RedLogix

                      Free houses.

                    • gsays

                      If that can work, great. In the meantime a downward redistribution of them.

                      I struggle to use the term resource as, like water, homes are so much more than that.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes I fully understand the emotional attachment people have to their homes. Yet somehow the resources needed to provide them still need to be allocated somehow. And that means free houses is a delusion.

                      Meanwhile back in the real world, very few people are fortunate enough to be able to pay cash in full for their first home. They have to borrow a large fraction of the money needed; and it is all the same whether they do that directly from the bank, or indirectly via a landlord who has provided the equity and credit worthiness the tenant lacks.

                    • gsays

                      In the real world, homes are way more than an emotional attachment.

                      They are building blocks of communities.

                      A tuangawaewae.

                    • RedLogix

                      A tuangawaewae.

                      Unless you can translate that into something concrete, we are back to the free houses fantasy.

                    • gsays

                      Oops.

                      Turangawaewae. I don't know how to do the macron over the u.

                      " It literally means standing place (tūranga) and feet (waewae); and is often translated as 'a place to stand'. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel empowered and connected."

                    • RedLogix

                      I am very familiar with what the word means – I have had it explained to me first hand. I recognise the ideal it represents.

              • Louis

                Why have an election at all then? It is not just Labour that wouldn't form a govt with National after the election, National wouldn't hear of that either.

                • RedLogix

                  Why have an election at all then?

                  As long as you are going to confine the definition of an election as a contest between a left and right wing block – this is a valid question.

                  What happens though when the contest shifts to become one between the centre and a swirling mess of extremists?

                  • Louis

                    "election as a contest between a left and right wing block" that's the way it has always been.

            • weka 1.3.1.1.2.2

              would you be able to write a Guest Post Corey?

            • weka 1.3.1.1.2.3

              A lot of the parliamentary party reads this blog and they are the people who need to hear constructive criticism from the center left, not just endless defense.

              Are you talking about commenters here or authors?

    • mary_a 1.4

      100% Tony (1). Cheersyes

    • Ad 1.5

      Yes agree it will be worth the fight.

      Quite a few of those entities mentioned would not be missed by the public if they fell off a cliff.

      Most however you'd miss when a bank closed, or a SuperFund went belly up, or the grid blacked out, and the regulators are effectively only open to the very rich who can afford High Court proceedings.

      If Labour manage to get back in we are well overdue to have the nationalisation+recentralisation debate that Labour forgot to have over the last two terms.

    • Louis 1.6

      yes Tony Veitch

    • Thanks Tony for a clear call to action.

    • Tony Veitch 1.8

      Andrew Little summed the situation up very nicely in speech 1 General Debate today!

      https://ondemand.parliament.nz/parliament-tv-on-demand/

    • Bearded Git 1.9

      Brilliant post Tony….pls repost every month updated for more Luxon/Seymour lies.

  2. pat 2

    A tad of clarity in an opaque pool.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/qa-who-should-pay-for-desperately-needed-three-waters-work

    "And to a degree, the distinction between taxpayers or ratepayers being responsible for Three Waters debt overlooks an important feature of the reforms: the defining shift to a commercial utility model."

    It is worth noting that nobody has any idea of the cost or even the functionality of this proposal as it enters its final reading in Parliament. Hardly the basis for good decision making.

    • Shanreagh 2.1

      Despite the cherry picked sentence from Pat the report is an interesting and informative read, especially the discussion on the type of structure that is most supported by capital markets etc

      'And again, let's be blunt. The reduced influence of local politicians and civic managers is not an unfortunate effect of balance sheet separation, as far as the capital markets are concerned. It the whole idea. Given local authorities track record in under-investing in water infrastructure, they won't trust any new utility that has too much council control.'

      To that extent, 50/50 iwi membership of the regional representative bodies is seen as commercially desirable, because it lessens the influence of councils, with the perverse, short-term political incentives described by Hamiora Bowkett.

      It will be difficult to reassure investors and the ratings agencies, though, when the water assets are still wholly owned by councils, and when councils are expressing their intent to influence the new water entities as much as possible through representation on the regional bodies, appointing the directors and scrutinising the strategic plans.

      That's why ultimately, the Government will ensure its bottom line of balance sheet separation is achieved through legislation. Councils will be prohibited from providing any financial support to the new three water entities and constrained from selling or transferring their shares. Three water entities will not be able to pay any dividends to shareholders. This makes the council ownership structure more nominal than real. In essence, councils' only input will be through the regional representative group.'’

      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/qa-who-should-pay-for-desperately-needed-three-waters-work

      And as an extra, we get to see that Pat's support for a govt department like the old MoW is a take from TOP policy. smiley

      'So there's something more – and this reinforces Hamiora Bowkett's point at the start of this article. These reforms are not just about who picks up the tab; fundamentally, they're about ensuring critical work is actually done. Because in many parts of the country, for many years, it hasn't been.

      Amelia East says extensive overseas experience shows that the utility model enables operating and investment efficiencies, and opportunities to spread the burden of debt among customers, that are not readily achievable under a council-operated model.

      So to reduce the Three Waters debate to a question of who services the debt would, she says, completely overlook the fundamental need to provide better, safer, more efficient water services.'

      Well worth the read if just for the plain, not pushing a political barrow writing that has passed for discussion recently in media.

      • pat 2.1.1

        "And as an extra, we get to see that Pat's support for a govt department like the old MoW is a take from TOP policy. smiley"

        One should never assume Shanreagh….it was a pleasant surprise to read that. I will now have to look more closely at TOP's manifesto.

      • pat 2.1.2

        A few more cherries for you (and anyone else interested)

        "The status of the Three Waters Reform and its final features, in terms of the timing of the execution of the reform, asset transfers, relative impact across local government bodies and funding responsibilities, remain unclear," says John Manning, the Vice President and Senior Credit Officer for Moody’s Investors Service."

        "These issues won’t be solved only by improving access to finance," he warns. "It’s a lack of preparedness to charge sufficiently for the cost of delivering services, and a tendency to shift the cost of infrastructure upgrades onto future generations."

        "As inflation soars and interest rates rise, Cymru’s experience is again educational: Its financing costs leapt from £134m to £277m in interest payments this year, because of its inflation index-linked debt. Its auditors say increasing costs and inflation are the risks most likely to adversely affect the company’s liquidity.

        This just highlights the extraordinary cost of a nation's public infrastructure."

        If the good people of NZ were unwilling/unable to fund the required 3 waters infrastructure under the existing model what makes anyone think they will/can when the the costs have been increased?

  3. ianmac 3

    Shanreagh re Amelia East :

    So to reduce the Three Waters debate to a question of who services the debt would, she says, completely overlook the fundamental need to provide better, safer, more efficient water services.'

    And strangely this is what Council reps believe too. McNulty said he asked over 100 councils if they saw a need to reform Three Waters. They all said, "Yes."

    • Incognito 3.1

      And strangely this is what Council reps believe too. McNulty said he asked over 100 councils if they saw a need to reform Three Waters. They all said, "Yes."

      I’m not entirely sure what is meant with “Council reps” given that we had a change of the guard in October. However, not everything that is going or has gone wrong can be fully pinned on Government:

      “There’s been a number of elements where it’s been easy, I think, for the issue to be muddied,” Ardern tells Newsroom.

      “We have to accept where that may have been [and] where our role is.

      “But equally, just this morning I had someone say, 'local government doesn’t support it' – well actually, local government has supported reform, it’s just had different views on what that looks like. There’s been lots of parts of this debate for lots of reasons that have been very fraught and difficult.”

      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/thats-on-us-too-ardern-accepts-blame-for-info-vacuum-on-govt-reform

      This interview with Ardern has attracted an uncharacteristically high number of comments of uncharacteristically low quality and reads more like the ‘discussion’ you’d expect to find on some of the NZ political blog sites with even a Mod giving a warning shot.

    • Mike the Lefty 3.2

      I suspect the councils want the government to hand over the billions of dollars without any scrutiny on what the money will actually be spent on. In other words "just give us the money and then p… off!"

      If the Labour government hands over vast amounts of money to fix public services then I think it has a right to make sure the improvements stay in public ownership and not sold off as a NACT government would very likely do.

  4. Adrian 4

    in reply to Shanreagh, last weeks announcement that the Christchurch rebuild entity, I also can’t remember what name it goes by this week either, but it has been morphed into the new role which is essentially the old MOW so as not to lose all the skills and knowledge contained there. It may well be aTOP idea, just the same as most peoples on here and elsewhere.

    I can’t even remember where I saw or heard or read it but it disappeared without comment. Shit no, we can’t have any Labour good news out there.
    I suspect it is going to have large roles in water infrastructure rebuilds and the construction of Lake Monroe and other big energy projects like the old MOW did.

  5. Jimmy 5

    "There was no shock-horror, or surprise. Associate Local Government Minister Kieran McAnulty could be seen smiling at the successful vote."

    Even David Parker did not agree with it.

    This mess will probably start showing up in the next poll.

    Make no mistake, Labour knew it was passing controversial Three Waters entrenchment clause | Stuff.co.nz

  6. aj 6

    McNulty is always smiling. So what.

  7. SPC 7

    The threat to academic freedom.

    https://twitter.com/colwight/status/1599692059127865344

    In any case, institutions are not censoring because they are true believers but because they are frightened.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/a-culture-of-fear-has-taken-over-academia-and-the-arts/

    • Anker 7.1

      Thanks for posting SPC. The same thing is happening in NZ. Look what happened to the Listener 7 when they wrote a very respectful letter to the Listener about Maturanga Maori and Science.

      And of course Gender Critical feminists having their meetings shut down and having to go to the High Court so their meetings could proceed.

  8. SPC 8

    And so begins the process of a litany of convictions for the favoured GOP nominee for POTUS.

    Donald J. Trump’s family real estate business was convicted on Tuesday of tax fraud and other financial crimes

    The former president’s company had been accused of providing off-the-book benefits to executives. The testimony of its former chief financial officer proved crucial to the case.

    https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/12/06/nyregion/trump-organization-trial-verdict

  9. dvT 9

    Even day there several ads on face book

    'Musk launched a new project that promises to help families become wealthier.

    Turn 400$ into $11,000 mthly

    and other similar schemes

    SOUNDS SCAMY

    Not prepared to link to it.

  10. SPC 10

    Once upon a time in a strange land there was a referendum because of a widespread fear that parents would be criminalised. 87% of those who participated wanted government to prevent this by changing the law. The government said there was no need to, they were paranoid.

    https://teara.govt.nz/en/cartoon/36965/the-anti-smacking-referendum-2009

    And in that same land, now an even stranger one some might say, history records that they were indeed paranoid without merit/cause.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/eight-prosecutions-for-smacking-in-six-years-of-law/OEQKBZA4EMNOHIBMOQMJA7UYAU/

    Does history repeat ….

    • AB 10.1

      History does repeat – baseless hysteria over 'anti-smacking' in 2009 was itself a repeat of baseless hysteria over homosexual law reform in the 1980's. Rinse and repeat.

      But the lesson will never be learnt. There is always baseless hysteria over even the mildest forms of progressive (i.e. humane and balanced ) change – because so much of what so many of us have internalised as 'common sense' is vicious, authoritarian bollocks.

      • Belladonna 10.1.1

        However, Louisa Wall gave a lesson in how to build consensus across political parties, and across the country, with her Same-sex marriage bill.

        But she says there was also disagreement within the caucus about the way the bill was promoted.

        She says she wanted a simple message about discrimination and to seek cross-party support and to talk to all opponents, including churches.

        "If I'm really honest, I think there were some Labour colleagues who were really upset I didn't leverage off civil unions, for example. I didn't emphasise it, I didn't highlight it, I didn't promote the work."

        Wall says civil unions had been a compromise and she was selling equality and taking the time to build coalitions had been important.

        "It wasn't just about achieving the law reform, it was how we did it. It was also about cementing it so that a political party in the future wasn't ever going to change it.

        "I think I have challenged what Labour wanted me to do and it was right at the beginning.
        "They tried to tell me how I should narrate it, what are the lines. I wasn't interested.

        "In the end, the leader's office said, 'You either do it our way or you're on your own.' That's exactly what happened and I said 'Okay, I'm on my own.'"

        It's a lesson which appears not to have been learned….

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/louisa-wall-on-quitting-politics-labours-tribalism-and-the-grief-of-leaving-parliament/RLFXSHDPWL7P4LFGKBX5FGAYRQ/

  11. Jimmie 11

    The question I have is this. Are Iwi part of the public sector or private sector? If part of the public sector (and subject to government accountability rules) does this mean the Government is using this law to assume ownership over Iwi?

    If Iwi aren't part of the public sector, and should be considered private entities, isn't the result of the Three Water's Legislation as effectively privatising 50% of NZ water? What if you have an Iwi that falls into financial trouble (separate from Three Waters Co-Management).

    As a result, their creditors chase them for repayment and use overt pressure for the Iwi to use their Co-management shareholding to increase financial return from the Three Waters entity to help finance their way out of trouble?

    Isn't this effectively allowing rate payer/water users to pay for financial liability of private entities? Is this acceptable? I wouldn't have thought so.

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