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Open mike 07/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 7th, 2015 - 163 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeThe Authors of the Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm. Open mike will continue every day and prepare yourself for some year in review posts and some recycling of old stuff. And as R0b has said be nice to each other.

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

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

Step up to the mike …

163 comments on “Open mike 07/01/2015 ”

  1. adam 1

    Two pieces of international news about workers and workers rights.


    and from China a interesting piece on land – Gets the brain thinking in the morning


    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Thanks a lot for these.

      I find it curious that the Russian article makes no mention of the United State’s influence at all. Or of NATO’s basing encroachment towards Russia as part of Putin’s calculations. We know through leaked recordings and documents (eg of US Ambassador to Ukraine Victoria Nuland) that the US put approximately $5B into funding pro-EU opposition groups in Ukraine, and also supported the downfall of the democratically elected government in Kiev.

      And although a “murderous” war against Chechnya by Putin was so described (and yes anaemic and unprofessional Russian forces conducted many human rights atrocities during that war), the new Kiev government, put in place extra-constitutionally, got off much more lightly. They also ordered a “murderous war” against the Donbas region killing approx 3000 civilians (influenced by the IMF who said that Kiev needed to take those regions back if it wanted bail out money) – but the article described Kiev’s actions in much nicer terms.

      The article also asks why Russia hasn’t moved away from raw materials and oil in the last 15 years. Well, one factor was simple and not directly mentioned – it takes a massive amount of money and investment to do so and Russia simply did not have it. Russia’s financial collapse of 1999-2000 was severe (and engineered by western banking and commercial institutions taking advantage of a bumbling, drinking Yeltsin). So in the last several years, Russia has used the conveniently high oil price to rebuild foreign reserves and get its economy back on its feet from a very low ebb, as a start.

      As for political prisoners…the USA has held in prison or on probation multiple organisers from Occupy Wall Street. And the USA has held in prison from the ***1970’s*** political activists from the Black Panthers.

      • adam 1.1.1

        Could not agree more Colonial Viper.

        I think the scope of the original blog would have been better to just stick to the prisoners and the rise of neo-fascists in Russia. Russia is a giant, albeit a punch drunk one at present, and I think the west is stupid to keep hitting it when it is down – they have long memories those Russians.

        Political prisoners is a global problem. I always raise Russia, as friends of mine disappeared into the Russian judicial system in the late 90’s – They resurfaced in the early 2000’s. It was freighting to not know anything about them for years. It was like they were just wiped from existence.

        • Colonial Viper

          Boy your friends must have had some eye-opening stories to tell…

          Fascinating fact – capital punishment has not been carried out in Russia for 20 years, although it is still on the books. USA and China on the other hand…

      • Murray Rawshark 1.1.2

        Leonard Peltier is also still in prison.

        Thinking about what you said about the US and A funding pro-EU forces in Ukraine. In my opinion, they actually funded fascists who are only pro Europe in their longing for the days when another invader came from the West. The sort of people who make up Svoboda joined with these other Western Europeans against the Soviet Union and against humanity. By funding them, the US could end up helping to destroy Europe. For the first time in quite a while, fascists have access to the mechanism of a state. A reasonably failed one, true, but much more than they had before the US funded coup.

        The US has historically been happy with fascist type regimes in Central and South America. Will it be just as happy if they spread across Europe again?

        • greywarshark

          @ Murray R
          The political gambits seem outrageous and coming from all sides. It seems that some of these regimes of the big powers must have contortionists running them or in powerful positions. When they wake up in the morning they would have to pull their head out of their arse.

          It is hard trying to fight for a return to aspects of the past that were good and repair the bad, without having to deal with people living in altered realities and nostalgic dreams of the past. In Israel they have fundamentalist Jews, in the USA fundamentalist Christ-marketers, fascists, power maniacs, I remember people in Italy being quoted as nostalgic for Mussolini, etc. In every country there are these people who have lucky dip bins of manufactured facts and renovated dreams and black theories. Getting to undiseased brain cells is almost impossible.

          • Colonial Viper

            Good points Murray R, and GWS.

            The American empire is slowly sliding backwards. It can stay top of the pile however, if it keeps kicking down and undermining potential rivals before they grow too strong.

            Joseph Tainter suggests that a failing civilisation tends to double down on the strategies which worked for it in the past even though they are usually the very same ones which has brought it to the brink of failure.

    • Clemgeopin 1.2

      In China, its own government confiscates land by ruthless force. In other countries, their own governments enable China increase its land supply by foolish deals.

      • Miracle Worker 1.2.1

        Crafar Farms went into receivership soon after a video was posted on YouTube, showing images of a small handful of cows in distress, out of a total herd of more than 20,000.

        The video went viral after being showcased by TVNZ news, sparking national outrage on social media and leading to the animal welfare debate, resulting in the bank foreclosing on Crafar.

        Interestingly, the original (aforementioned) video which was posted on YouTube, was posted by none other than Bernard Hickey of interest.co.nz, a well known economics commentator and NZ Herald columnist/contributor on matters relating to finance and the economy – not animal welfare issues (except in this case).

        Crafar Farm’s Wikipedia page refers to this event: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CraFarms

        So, the question which has always burned in my mind over this issue is this:

        What (or who) on earth possessed Bernard Hickey to drive from Herne Bay to South Waikato to film cows on a complete strangers farm when such activity is (and was) so far removed from his area(s) of interest (pun intended) that it absolutely begs this question?

        I note, also, that KordaMentha was appointed as receiver of Crafar Farms.

        One could be forgiven for thinking KordaMentha is a government department, given the controversial cases the insolvency practitioner has frequently been appointed to by this particular government:

        *Sky City – paid to write the report saying the pokies deal was good for NZ.
        *Solid Energy – paid to write the report describing it as buggered.
        *South Canterbury Finance – paid to write the report describing it as buggered.
        *South Canterbury Finance – appointed as joint receiver (with McGrath Nicol)
        *Crafar Farms – appointed receiver, sold it to Chinese interests.
        *TV3 – appointed receiver, gutted the board & changed the editorial direction.

        And the list goes on.

        All high profile and highly political cases.

        Just saying…

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s possible that there was some other family or personal link to Crafar Farms, for Hickey, perhaps to one of the workers or managers. (We could simply ask him, he is quite approachable).

          Regardless, on investigating MAF found serious animal welfare issues on several of the Crafar Farms, so it wasn’t just an isolated case of a few animals on one farm.

          • Miracle Worker

            @Colonial Viper:

            In the interests of accuracy and fairness:

            1: I stated facts and asked questions about them – you suggested theories in response.

            2: *Bernard Hickey* reported that MAF found animal welfare issues, not MAF, the difference is quite clear.

            3: Context is important, in a herd exceeding 20,000 animals, a small handful in distress can hardly be described as “serious issues” with the whole operation. Any farm that has herds that large of any type of animal will always experience some animals in distress at any given point in time.

            I am happy to be convinced there are no questionable coincidences here but not when your argument stretches those coincidences out like a shangeye.

            • Colonial Viper

              Come now, if you are interested in the truth, you should be interested in checking out various theories to see if they match the facts available, no? Or have you already decided on what the truth is?

              As far as I know “hundreds of charges” of animal cruelty and mistreatment were laid as a result of the MAF investigation, and those charges covered multiple of the Crafar Farms not just one farm.

              2: *Bernard Hickey* reported that MAF found animal welfare issues, not MAF, the difference is quite clear.

              Do you deny that hundreds of criminal charges were laid on the basis of MAF investigation evidence?

              That doesn’t sound like an isolated incident of animal welfare deficiencies on one property, does it?

              • Miracle Worker

                Where is your evidence?

                “As far as I know”?

                Are you serious?

                • @ m.w..

                  ..it wasn’t just the one crafar farm..

                  ..the neglect was systematic/endemic..

                  ..and in an industry based on ‘neglect’..

                  ..the crafar farms really stood out..

                  ..(tho’ i don’t doubt there is as bad or worse out there..)

                  ..and that you defend them..based purely on a pleasing-to-you social-encounter u had with the crafars..

                  ..does yr credibility no good..eh..?

                  • Miracle Worker

                    Actually…..it was a formal interview.

                    More assumptions.


                    As I keep saying……where……

                    Your opinions are not facts unless you can prove them.

                    All I see is an animal lover desperate to hate humans who happen(ed) to be farmers.

                    And lots of clutching at straws.

            • Murray Rawshark

              “2: *Bernard Hickey* reported that MAF found animal welfare issues, not MAF, the difference is quite clear.”

              Did Bernard Hickey write this and put MAF’s name on it?


              “A number of properties were found to have significant animal welfare issues. Action was taken at some others to alleviate immediate problems.

              “On the properties where a response was necessary, MAF had issued explicit directions of what is needed to remedy particular problems such as under weight animals with underlying health issues, inadequate feed, overstocking, and lack of shelter for calves. Regular and consistent input from veterinarians and farm consultants has also been instructed and organised.”

              And this one?


              In the interests of accuracy and fairness? Not according to my definition. You seem to have some emotional interest in this, judging by your response to CV. His suggestion was to ask Hickey. I don’t see how this is stretching any coincidences.

        • Chooky

          Miracle Worker …interesting points! ( and not all humans are healthy either…and they die of natural causes, not necessarily or often by neglect)…were the Crafar Farm sales a setup?…and Not in NZ’s interests?…the Maori wouldbe buyers would say so!

          • Miracle Worker

            And completely factual…

            • phillip ure

              the neglect is ‘factual’..

              ..yr bullshit/spin is more ethereal in nature..

              ..more orifice-plucked..than anything..

              [lprent: And as MW points out, this comment appears to lack a point. You know the policy right? ]

              • Miracle Worker

                I am surprised the moderators here tolerate your type of abuse. I have provided nothing but verifiable facts, and you have resorted to nothing but name calling, swear words, and slander. You have not provided one single verifiable fact to support your claims. If I was moderating this site, you would be gone in a heartbeat. If your standard is *the Standard* I am happy to leave you to it. I have no need to win arguments with people who carry on like you do. It’s simply pathetic. No wonder the right is winning.

                [lprent: We tolerate quite a lot under the ‘robust debate’ provision, limited mainly by the ‘pointless abuse’ and anti-trolling of the policy. philu does wind up with the odd ban when he walks too consistently over the edge.

                Do what everyone else does. When it gets too stupid. Make a comment and start ignoring. ]

                • puffed-up..?..much..?..

                  ..and you have provided a fact-free defence of rhe animal abusers..

                  ..and the ‘facts’ are the systemic-abuse/neglect found on the crafar farms..

                  ..these are the ‘facts’..

                  ..not yr whipped up defense of the indefensible..

                  • Jimmy

                    Bro chill, no really, CHILL.
                    Relax Phillip, your over the top.
                    Ive read some of your …………… stuff…………….. you know……….
                    ……………….your a fun guy…………………..just a little………………discombobulated………….

                    try to see it this way, farmers are just ordinary people trying to make a living……………………….. 99% love and look after……………..stock the best they can.
                    It is essential the stock are treated well and in prime condition, for their own good and the farmers.
                    Below average condition animals only created problems for the farmers.
                    If you want too be a vegan, be one, no one cares.
                    If you want to smoke pot, nice.
                    In NZ unless you are a dealer or an indiscreet dickhead you can do so with most likely no interest from the law.
                    So shut up and be yourself, no one cares.

                    • nah..!..i want the law to change/prohibition to end..

                      ..and re shut up on arguing for the animals..?


                    • Jimmy

                      Why do you want the law to change?
                      If your smart it will never effect you, a private citizen smoking a joint quietly in his garden is never going to attract the ole bill.
                      So why worry??
                      And you advocate for the animals, nice, just remember the problem is not as large as you think.

                    • mainly i want it to change so those who will receive medical-relief/help from it..

                      ..will be able to easily access that help..

                      ..and no..the animal problem is not ‘minor’..

                      ..aside from what is done to them to turn them into food..

                      ..there are also the hundreds of thousands of animal tortured/killed by the vivisectors..every year..

                • Chooky

                  @ Miracle Worker …dont let pu drive you away…pu has been banned before for short periods….he quite often goes rabid…( Hitler also was a vegetarian)…sometimes however pu says interesting things… so this is probably why he hasn’t been “gone in a heartbeat”….

                  You are not the only one that thought there was something very shonkey about the Crafer Farm sales….most of NZ farmers would be with you on this ….and the new owners were NOT farmers !….but are using NZers to run the farms

                  • factcheck:..going on the writings of eva braun talking about the special late-nite snacks she and hitler shared most evenings..

                    ..and on the writings of his long-time chef..

                    ..hitler was not..a vegetarian..

                    ..and/but even if he was..

                    ..what exactly is the comparison between me and hitler you are making..?

                    ..(are you very old..?..)

                • Ad

                  Only engage with the ones who are worth it.

                • b waghorn

                  Hickey is a farmers kid from Galatea don’t know if that means anything in this context .

        • Ross

          Thanks for saying, MW. I also find it (shall we say), interesting, that someone like Bernard Hickey took it upon himself to raise these suspicions about Crafar Farms. Has he ever posted ninja videos of battery chooks? or dodgy vets? Is there any other evidence, anywhere, of his intense interest in animal welfare?

          And were Crafar ever actually prosecuted? I agree with you that in a herd of 20,000 there will always be some animals in distress. I also wonder how any farm in New Zealand would stand up to intense investigation by MAF. What you describe sounds (lamentably) like normal farm practice to me. The wiki page mentions 50 calves over 5 farms needing to be put down. As you say, in a herd of 20,000 that sounds reasonable (0.25%). The wiki goes on to say that some people associated with one of the (many) farms pleaded not guilty to 714 charges. Whether these people were staff or owners isn’t clear – besides, TLDR.

          I for one would be interested in a follow up to this story.

          • Chooky

            +100 Ross…a followup would be good as MW’s post raises some very interesting questions

          • Sarah

            Without getting in to a heated debate in researching another matter which related to Mr Hickey and accusations I found a comment section around a month or so before Crafar Video emerged where a Andy (letter for last name) ? commented on dirty dairying and alluded to a farm, Hickey became very interested but I searched out and found no more comment made by Hickey and the next thing his video emerged.

            I would determine or (guess) that Hickey and commenter had a wee chit chat, the danger here would be a bias approach , shit stirring , or other motivation. There is clearly something not quite right in the way this panned out and as always KM appear to be around. That in itself does allow for non transparency within Govt Dept’s when you use the same old same.

            Don’t forget Landcorp ended up in the loop here and Hickey’s “cup of tea” (coffee) mate MOF was on the peripheral wasn’t he? with Crafar and SCF along with Mr PGC Carter MAF? just my opinion based on what I saw and see and how these groups slither around interesting places.

  2. Pat O'Dea 2

    Computers can be useful. A powerful word search of John Key’s speeches reveals a lot of what he really thinks.

    In these uncertain time, playing on Kiwis nationalism has been a big part of John Key’s appeal.

    So it should come as no surprise that the country is the most common word that comes from his lips, dropping the country’s name about 23 times per speech

    Things like poverty, or climate change not so much.

    Since 2007, poverty is barely mentioned twice a year. On several of those occasions, Key was claiming an absence of poverty in “New Zealand”.

    See the pattern, relentless positivism tied to national identity.
    Even flying in the face of the facts.

    The same with climate change.


  3. Ad 3

    Another 8 straight days forecast without rain for the North Island.
    That dairy industry reliance risk is tracking upwards every cloudless day.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 3.1

      No sign of rain expected for a while, said my good friend at the Metservice. The coming months might be some of the driest that we have ever seen.

    • b waghorn 3.2

      The creek on the farm I’m on is already lower than it got last summer starting to look like my 3 red drought in a row since moving to the formally summer safe king country . Its lucky us farmers are all stubborn buggers.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      the sanctions that the US has pushed for, is mainly hurting two parties.

      1) Russia.
      2) The EU.

      It almost appears that the US is intent on weakening potential economic rivals. Whether they are conveniently labelled as “enemies” or as “allies.”

  4. “..All Forms of Life Are Sacred..

    ..What gives man the right to kill an animal –

    – often torture it –

    – so that he can fill his belly with its flesh..”



    • Miracle Worker 5.1


      No disrespect intended but I am absolutely flat out not interested in engaging with anyone moralising about animal welfare when doing so detracts from the issues I raised, which are arguably massive for this country, by implication and comparison.

      I have met Allan Crafar and his wife in person and sought their side of the story and can get them to confirm that if need be.

      That immediately puts me one step ahead of Bernard Hickey or any other so called journalist or commentator who seeks to capitalise or moralise on this case.

      I am satisfied with Crafar’s defence of his position on the matter, something I will add that he has been categorically denied any media opportunity to state.

      Animals die every day, for god’s sake.

      So do people.

      Your morality on it suggests we should hang every doctor and nurse out to dry because x number of people died in distress of cancer in the last week and weren’t able to be saved.

      Where do you want to draw the line here?

      Selective morality is for simple minds.

      Give it up.

      • phillip ure 5.1.1

        i didn’t realise you get to dictate the content here..

        ..as in who the fuck made you hall-monitor,.?

        ..and i am sure many are able to entertain more than one thought in a day..

        so..u have gone into bat for the animal-exploiters..

        ..and as one who eats them..with nary a care..

        ..you are hardly one to judge the rights and wrongs of that torture/killing..

        ..(all just so you can eat flesh..)

        ..so you clearly have no empathy towards those animals..for that suffering undergone in yr name..

        ..you are like key on poverty..u just don’t fucken care..

        ..and if u think our reliance on this environmentally-dirty/animal-slavery/exploitation ‘industry’..

        ..is not a ‘major issue’ for nz..with major changes..none of them good..on the horizon..

        ..you clearly have yr head stuck up a cows’ arse..

        ..and you are the one..

        ..who should..’give it up’..

        • Miracle Worker

          Have you considered an anger management course?

          If you are really lucky they might even teach you how ignorant that making glaring assumptions makes you look.

          If you love animals that much why not devote your life to opening a new age house of the rising sun mung bean centre instead of attacking anyone who doesn’t agree with your moralistic sermonising views?

          I love eating meat, by the way.

          Especially barbequed and roasted.


          See how much I care what you think?

          • phillip ure

            not feeling particularly ‘angry’..

            ..and you clearly have an over-healthy sense of self-worth..eh..?..

            ..i mean..what on earth makes you think i give a flying fuck about what you think about what i think..?

            ..(were you an only child..?..sometimes such self-obsession can be explained by that..)

            ..i think you need to go on an ego-management course..eh..?

            ..(see..!..i do ‘care’..)

          • greywarshark

            When phillip ure put up a comment on killing animals, he didn’t mention your name. He also did not put it up in the thread you were originally commenting on. So it isn’t correct for you to take him to task about it. You are free to disagree, but on that comment, not carry forward your hectoring from the earlier one.

    • McFlock 5.2

      because it’s better than pricing quinoa out of the range of a;ready malnourished peruvian peasants.
      Now fuck off.

  5. KJS0ne 6

    So my family friend got a knock at the door the other day, and this person asked if she would like to take place in a survey, it would only take 10 minutes. So my friend invited her up, the person sat down at the table and whipped out her laptop and said they were with statistics nz and this was a labour force survey, and then started asking some questions my friend was uncomfortable with.

    My friend stated she didn’t want to answer these questions and would like the person to leave, the person then said that the survey was compulsory, and that my friend didn’t have a choice. My friend repeatedly asked her to leave and the person said they couldn’t because they had already opened the file and that they needed to complete the survey, if my friend didn’t she would be fined. My friend tried to call her lawyer friend (who wasn’t home at the time), because this just seemed too strange to be true. The stats person said fine call your lawyer he’ll just back up what I’m saying… It took a grand effort to extricate this person from my friend’s house.

    The lady with statistics said her pay would be docked if she didn’t complete the survey, and that nobody in her 10 odd years in the job had ever refused her. My friend was stunned, how could it be that the government can fine you for not wanting to take part in the Labour force survey?

    I personally think this isn’t right. The census is understandable, but coming to someone’s home and then telling them they must take part in a compulsory survey or receive a fine really presses my ‘flagrant abuse of privacy’ button. To me it is part of a wider issue of the government not respecting it’s citizens.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Statistics Act 1975, S.43 (1):

      Every person commits an offence who fails to produce any books of account, vouchers, documents, or other business records when lawfully required so to do, or who neglects or refuses to fill in and supply the particulars required in any schedule lawfully left with or sent to him, or who neglects or refuses to answer any question or inquiry lawfully addressed to him by the Statistician, or by an employee of the department authorised in writing by the Statistician, and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $2,000.

      My bold.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        So the best thing to have done would have been to decline the person entry at the door and walk away.

        • One Anonymous Bloke


          I tried that once: they left the survey with me. You’ll note there is a requirement to complete it.

          Edit: these days I think they leave you a card with a web login that links you to the survey. Again, participation is compulsory.

          • KJS0ne

            Thanks for quoting the relevant passage from the act. I didn’t suspect she was lying or anything, I just don’t think it’s right that citizens are required by law to answer any questions government statisticians put to them, or receive a fine if they refuse.

            This really doesn’t sit right with me.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Well, is it ok for the government to demand business records from bankers, then?

              Put it another way: what will the bankers do if we give them a loophole?

              • KJS0ne

                Ok so you rewrite your legislation and make it waterproof. I don’t see why your average citizen has to be forced to give up their personal information at a statisticians request under threat of fine just so we can ensure that the bankers give statistics NZ their business records on time. Surely the two can be separated.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Well, if you can think of a way to define “private citizen” so as not to provide a loophole for bankers and other criminals, I’m all ears.

                  I empathise with your friend, having been through a similar process, and I can still see why it’s illegal not to answer.

                  • Ross

                    What’s difficult. Limited Liability entities are not people, easily differentiated and happen to have way more rights, privileges and State assistance. Are you a LLE? No, and easy to see. Is a bankster? Hell yes, and obviously so.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So people who work in banks, and relatives and associates of people who work in banks, and lawyers of people who work in banks, are all going to be subject to different laws than everyone else.

                      That’ll work. On Planet Ross?

                      Perhaps I’m being too obscure. Private individual who (on paper) owns bank exploits loophole in statistics legislation. Rocket science?

                    • Ross

                      OAB, are you saying that you don’t understand the difference between a private citizen, who may be the owner of a bank, and a bank? One is owed respect and courtesy when dealing with government, the other owes it.

                      I notice that you are plowing into this thread with, um, unbridled enthusiasm. Care to share why?

          • RedBaronCV

            Note the requirement to use your personal computer plus your paid for internet for government purposes. No doubt you have to surrender your private email address as well.

      • Murray Rawshark 6.1.2

        It’d be worth taking that to court and making a fuss. The libertarians of the ACT party would help defend our right to intrusions from an overbearing government. Hmmm. They’d probably want to swap the fines, to $500 for a corporate and $2000 for a citizen. But I’m sure plenty of people would be interested.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Imagine the possibilities available to organised crime if individuals could escape statisticians. But why would the organised criminals divert funds to ACT when they have a perfectly compliant National Party?

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Sounds like a private contractor who gets paid per successfully completed survey response they get. Extremely unethical from the way you described the behaviour, and certainly worth following up on.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1

        A private contractor who’s been employed by the Department of Statistics for the last ten years?

        • Colonial Viper

          Pretty gutsy for a statistics interviewer to go into someone’s home and then start threatening residents with fines and legal action.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Ah, so they should just back off and send a court summons in the mail instead?

            • Colonial Viper

              If you think you can get quality information from householders by threatening them, good luck.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                And if you think statistics researchers deliver that information in a threatening manner I expect you find lots of other things* threatening too.

                *stop signs, for example, or health and safety certification.

                • weka

                  we’re talking about one researcher, who probably overstepped the bounds.

                  Let’s just hope no-one in her department reads OM at the standard.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  Argumento ad absurdum, or whatever they call it. There are a whole heap of “coercive” actions taken by state agents. These range from beating confessions out of suspects to requiring a licence to drive a vehicle on the roads. Accepting one requirement does not mean accepting them all.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    When they came for the statisticians, I did not speak out, because I was not a statistician.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      When they came for people who didn’t want agents of the state requiring them to answer uncomfortable questions, I did speak out, because I am one of them.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Right, and I expect you would lobby, therefore, for checks and balances to be imposed upon statisticians.

                      I’m pretty sure you can see why it doesn’t make sense to hand loopholes to bankers (for example) on a plate, too.

        • greywarshark

          Why would you believe anything this interviewer said? If she did say, would you like to participate in a survey without saying it was compulsory that would be a fraudulent entry right away.

          I didn’t realise you were so thick. These days the government seems to be looking for ways they can diminish citizens – and giving statistics personal information on employment problems may be shared with DoL or whatever its called. I have heard that they are cutting off peoples’ benefits regularly on veryy minor grounds.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Greyrawshark, why would you believe KJSOne’s account is entirely accurate? After all it’s hearsay. I didn’t realise you were so humanly fallible.

            • greywarshark

              Indeed OAB I am fallible, therefore I am human. Such a comfort to know.
              I passed what I think is a Christian ministry today advertising itself as Help for real people from real people. You never can tell apparently there needs to be some test to check realness. Possibly a lot of Aliens about. Beware.

              But though your info was spot on, thanks for that, I think that having that amount of a coercive approach for getting stats is too much for the private individual. Especially when gummint is outsourcing, presumably for cheapness and because they don’t want to be bothered to preside over the whole process. Who knows who is being let into the house then, could be a very uncivil servant.

            • KJS0ne

              OAB, why do you think me or my friend are exaggerating things? What possible purpose does that serve?

              FYI apparently they left things on somewhat civil terms in the end, the person conducting the survey explained that their pay is dependent upon getting the numbers so perhaps that explains her behaviour somewhat. My friend thinks the situation is crap for both parties.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The fact that they left on good terms confirms my instincts. “Threatening” it wasn’t.

                • weka

                  CV used the word ‘threatening’, not KJS.

                  It’s entirely conceivable that there was a disagreement and then a coming to terms. Happens all the time.

                • Colonial Viper

                  the person conducting the survey explained that their pay is dependent upon getting the numbers so perhaps that explains her behaviour somewhat

                  OAB: so I was fucking right about the pressure of being a private contractor (comment 6.2), eh.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Perhaps you should re-read KJSOne’s OP, as they never said anything about their friend feeling threatened.

                    The fact that you projected that says what about me?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Regardless, the government agent was a private contractor as I guessed, being paid piece work, hence the undue pressure on the householder.

                • KJS0net

                  Perhaps you should re-read my op, as weka rightly points out I never said anything about my friend feeling threatened by the stats nz person

                  • greywarshark

                    @ KJSOne 7/1 6.14pm
                    My friend repeatedly asked her to leave and the person said they couldn’t because they had already opened the file and that they needed to complete the survey, if my friend didn’t she would be fined. My friend tried to call her lawyer friend (who wasn’t home at the time), because this just seemed too strange to be true. The stats person said fine call your lawyer he’ll just back up what I’m saying…

                    That sounds like threatening a fine (of an undisclosed amount) but when low-income having to pay a fine can be a big burden and could result in not having enough for ordinary living.

        • Draco T Bastard

          A private contractor who’s been employed by the Department of Statistics for the last ten years?

          Yeah. What makes you think that there’s any competition?

          Private contractors doing government work is pretty much guaranteed employment for the contractors and essentially free money. The government could do it better and cheaper in house but our government got bitten by the neo-liberal snake and thinks that private is better.

          • One Anonymous Bloke


            I’m not sure you have any more idea of how Lab5 employed statisticians than I do. If you do, put up.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I wasn’t specifically commenting on statisticians but on contractors doing government work. Due to the nature of the work it’s often simply that there isn’t enough to support multiple contractors and so there’s no competition. Ergo, the contractor ends up with the contract by default.

    • Mainlander 6.3

      Should have called the cops, once you have asked someone to leave your property and they dont for whatever reason they are officially trespassing, regardless of any stats act or sob story, lesson learnt though eh.

      • weka 6.3.1

        I agree, I would have called the police. And asked for ID. And written up notes on what just happened.

        Am willing to bet that the legislation doesn’t allow for harassment, or for a timeframe that doesn’t work for the interviewee.

        • Anne

          Precisely. Sounds like an up-herself Public Service subordinate who likes the power trip. I met plenty of them in the PS.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I’m willing to bet that someone has taken more umbrage than was entirely justified, or inflated the “threat” level a little.

          • The Al1en

            Whether they have taken offence too easily or not, refusing to leave someone’s home when asked is still plenty to be critical about.

          • weka

            “I’m willing to bet that someone has taken more umbrage than was entirely justified, or inflated the “threat” level a little.”

            Maybe, but I’d expect to ask someone to leave my house twice. First time they get to repond, second time they have to leave having had their say. After that, umbrage is entirely justified.

            As Mainlander said, the stats legislation won’t trump tresspass legislation. If the person had been doing their job properly, they would simply have explained what the consequences were, offered the woman another time or means, and left. If the issue for the interviewer was docking or performance quotas, she should take that up with her union, not harass someone in their own home.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              The fact that they left on good terms confirms my instincts.

              Authoritarian statisticians? Seriously?

      • Murray Rawshark 6.3.2

        I’d rather have the survey taker in my house than the cops. Optimally, I’d want neither.

        • b waghorn

          I’m interested to know if you anti the police types have a better solution than having a police force.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            I bet statisticians have done more good than the police ever have.

          • Murray Rawshark

            Having a police force that obeyed the laws and their own rules would be a great start. A police force that acted on the theft of Bloomfield’s property and the hacking of Whalespew’s computer in an equal manner. Police who didn’t punch a young Maori in the head for saying they were on their way to work, because “Mowries don’t work, you lying little shit.” A police force that didn’t arrange narks to inflitrate law abiding protest organisations. A police force that held Dotcom’s property rather than disobeying a judicial decision and giving it to the seppos.

            If you don’t consider that to be an effective police force, that’s hardly my problem.

    • Rosie 6.4

      Interesting KJSOne.

      Last year I applied for a position as an interviewer for the household labour force survey. The employer was Statistics NZ. At that time, it was not outsourced to a private company. It’s curious that the interviewer would say there was a risk of her pay being docked if her participant didn’t complete the survey. Unprofessional (and untrue?)

      Also curious that the interviewer didn’t make clear the purpose for her visit from the moment of introduction – that would seem like the most appropriate and fair thing to do.

      The job description laid out the personal requirements for the interviewer. You had to be able to show discretion towards and respect for your participant and demonstrate to Stats NZ your skills at conflict resolution, as part of your application process. Maybe this interviewer managed to fluff through the requirements section or maybe they didn’t have one ten years ago, when she said she started out. Maybe she was having a bad day. Either way it sounds like an over the top experience for your friend. Are they going to take it up with Stats NZ?

      Last word. Don’t ever let anyone into your house if you are unclear of their intentions and if they don’t have ID. It’s too risky. Call me cynical, but I don’t trust anyone.

      • RedBaronCV 6.4.1

        If the current household survey is the same as previous ones then its both
        -pretty intrusive
        -has to be completed several times over a period of time – it is a longditudinal survey relying on a lot of data over time from a relatively small number of people?

        Older ones were also wildly unpopular with the participants both in terms of time involved in being surveyed and privacy.

        If she was saying it would affect her income then she may have been talking about a bonus attached to wages depending on sucessful completion – even the government does that.

        I suspect the reason that she wasn’t too upfront is that if people were leaving the country or would be out of it for a large part of the year then they were not suitable. I believe that a lot of people were suddenly on the move when faced with the stats wanting to survey them- bit like jury duty – it was a reasonable excuse.
        As for the barging in, I don’t have any issues believing that , I’ve known them to peer through the bedroom windows, and swear at householders. And its a waste of time complaining.

        Also they take the big brother role real seriously
        Try this for size – its about integrating government data bases -don’t be fooled by the title it’s kinda scary that anyone thinks this is okay.
        longditudinal information

        • Rosie

          HI RedBaronCV.

          “-has to be completed several times over a period of time – it is a longitudinal survey relying on a lot of data over time from a relatively small number of people?”

          Yes, according to the job description, the survey was longitudinal. The interviewer would be returning to the same participants for ongoing follow up.

          I don’t doubt there may have been bonuses offered to meet targets. I have heard of this practice for various govt agencies. (Also, had a friend who quit ACC in the 90’s in protest for the bonus scheme paid to ACC staff who got their clients off compensation).
          I wonder about the exact wording of the stats interviewer re “docked pay”. It just doesn’t seem right. So yes, perhaps bonus is what she meant.

          Thanks for the link. I think that would be useful reading for those interested in this thread. I’m just a bit too fatigued for a 32 page document tonight, or to even look for the relevant section on integrating govt data bases 🙂 Will have a proper squizz tomorrow hopefully.

          • RedBaronCV

            Hi Rosie, I just scanned it briefly as yes it is rather a long read. but as a glimpse of what statistics think might be okay – it’s a bit creepy.
            The other issue that none of the stats collectors ever seem to address is – future use of the data being wider than stated. And as a social punishment tool.
            The classic here is vaccination of children where the parent is on the DPB but not if the household is on unemplyment?
            At one stage for heavens sake the hospitals where collecting the education status of the mothers and relating that to breastfeeding but not collecting the height weight and age at birth.

        • McFlock

          actually, if it was any organisation other than statsnz, I’d have an issue.
          But those guys take information security damned seriously.

          • RedBaronCV

            Not that I’ve noticed. At one point I was pretty identifiable in my mesh block and, along with a small number of others, pretty identifiable in my ‘burb.

            Nor does it stop the law on data matching being changed for a government to retrospectively troll what people say. And Paula Bennett released personal detail from WINZ – lets hope she doesn’t get stats.

            And they do other departments dirty work for them. In the second to last census a lot of the questions around home ownership, trusts came from the IRD ( who I think were behind a large number of the discretionary questions asked) and if the mesh block showed certain results then the investigations would not have been far behind.
            Also try the link above 6.4.1 they are trying to run all sorts of data sources together – sod how people feel about it.

  6. Al1en Earth


    ” Among eight new planets they have spied in distant solar systems, astronomers say one in particular has usurped the title of “most Earth-like alien world”. “

  7. philip Ferguson 8

    And now for something completely different. . .

    ‘Nu Folk’ is a label applied to a swathe of the folk music produced in Britain in the past decade (or a bit longer). It is clearly British folk, but it incorporates elements of other forms of music – reggae and dub (Imagined Village’s work with Benjamin Zephaniah, for instance), rock sensibilities (I think this applies to a chunk of Seth Lakeman’s work) and also stuff like electronica.

    My favourite nu folk figure, in fact he’s probably my favourite working musician at this point in time, is Seth Lakeman:


  8. (i moved this from the john key thread..)

    “..northshoredoc …
    7 January 2015 at 6:09 pm

    @ phil, public hospital most of the time these days…. so no consultation fees.

    In relation to pushing big pharma products – you really do have little to no idea….all the funded products we have discretion to prescribe are on the pharmaceutical schedule which is decided upon by PHARMAC based upon scientific evidence/cost effectiveness…although I know scientific evidence is a completely foreign concept to you.

    The products we prescribe most often these days are generic copies manufactured in countries such as India.

    The number of trips financial incentives I’ve accepted from pharmaceutical companies in the last five years or so is a big fat zero as is the case for the vast majority of my colleagues….there is little to no presence of your fabled big pharma in NZ. …. we also are funded for educational seminars as part of our collective contract.

    As always it is a amusing to read your fact free fancies..”

    phillip ure …
    7 January 2015 at 6:13 pm

    so all that evidence about big-pharma influences over doctors and their prescribing-practices..

    ..all false..a fantasy..eh..?

    ..whew..!..that’s a relief..!

    • The Al1en 9.1

      For fairness you should have posted the proceeding exchanges for context.

      northshoredoc …
      7 January 2015 at 12:37 pm
      “..and.. i do not just make shit up..eh..?..”

      🙄 😆

      and i sure as hell don’t push big-pharmas’ products for them..

      ..addictive-products..at that…

      (and seeing as you are accusing..care to point at an incident..?..where i have ‘made shit up’..)

      ..and i should warn you..a pill-pusher attempting to take the high-ground on anything..really..

      ..isn’t really believable..

      ..and north shore doc..$50 or $75 for a 15 min ‘consultation’..?

      ..and care to list the financial-incentives/trips etc. you have accepted from big-pharma in..i dunno..the last couple of yrs..?

      ..companies whose addictive-products you now push onto yr hapless patients..

      ..mind you..u cd be pulling our legs..and it’s a phd..

      And you missed the best bit of Doc’s slam down in your haste to engage until you disengage…

      “In relation to pointing out an incident for where you have made things up .. I believe most people could type your name in the search engine for this site and >75% of your dribble would qualify as making stuff up.”

    • northshoredoc 9.2


      Indeed I would’ve hated to be the one to drive you to your usual method of relief ..


      • phillip ure 9.2.1

        a medical non-sequitur..!

        ..they are falling like snowflakes tonite..

        ..those non-sequiturs..

        • TheContrarian

          My father is a doctor, and in the short 34 years of my life I can say the greatest gift my father got from pharmaceutical companies was a branded pen and pad set. Quite a number of them in fact

          • phillip ure

            wow..!..u only 34..(!)

            ..i had u down as being about chookys’ age..

            ..regularly phoning talkback..and the like..

            ..how did you get to be such a young-fogey..

            ..so young..?

            ..and..clear evidence of corruption/ing by ‘branded pen and pad sets’..eh..?

            • TheContrarian

              Ahhh phil, pitching your utter failure to provide citations for any of your claims as an insistence that I provide citations for the most mundane of statements.

              You are fucking pathetic.

          • Molly

            Worked briefly for a pharm company in accounts and saw numerous incentives for doctors. Some small items, but collectively quite a substantial amount was spent over time. Magazine subscriptions, provision of annual medical compendiums, various branded medical supplies and tools, fishing trips, conferences, and the universally accepted morning or afternoon tea provision when the salesperson had the appointment are the ones that come to mind immediately.

            There are a multitude of ways that pharmaceutical companies can provide indirectly.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.3

      I know a medical doctor very well. Back in the 90s he got quite a few goodies from drug companies. One time there was a trip to the Bay of Islands, including boat and train trips. Another was a driving course at Pukekohe racetrack, ostensibly so GPs could learn how to drive faster to emergencies. He loved that one, because he likes driving fast, and they did.

      He was a GP, not a hospital doctor, but have things changed since then?

      • northshoredoc 9.3.1

        Hi Murray

        Yes things have changed substantially.

        I think that any form of entertainment from companies is now banned under their code of practice ?

        • Murray Rawshark

          I don’t know. He retired and now earns three times as much as he ever had before, as a fly in specialist in NSW. Good to hear it’s changed, even though I doubt he ever prescribed something because he’d caught a nice snapper.

        • phillip ure

          “..Yes things have changed substantially…”

          but..didn’t u say to me..?

          “…there is little to no presence of your fabled big pharma in NZ..”

          ..which is true..?


          ..and the evidence of others is the truth..

          ..not your ‘there is no big-pharma in nz!’-bullshit..


          • The Al1en

            “..Yes things have changed substantially…”

            but..didn’t u say to me..?

            “…there is little to no presence of your fabled big pharma in NZ..”

            ..which is true..?

            Erm… It’s quite plausible that both statements are correct.

          • northshoredoc


            As i said before there is little to no presence of big pharma in NZ.

            Not sure why you find this surprising when our entire population is the size of a medium city in many countries and as i pointed out to you before PHARMAC is the primary gatekeeper in NZ.

            Feel free to produce your evidence to the contrary you seem to be very sure of yourself…what is the particular company(s)/product(s) that have got you so piqued. Perhaps I could allay or confirm your worst fears if you shared whatever evidence you have at hand ?

            • phillip ure

              what about what molly and murray said…?

              ..and no thanks.. i don’t need you to patronise me..

              • northshoredoc

                Phil you have repeatedly made accusations that clinicians in NZ and myself in particular are offered all types of inducements by ‘big pharma’ and have also repeatedly cast aspersions regarding our independence when it comes to making clinical decisions on how to treat patients…. please either put up or for once and for all shut up.

                • i repeat..

                  ..what about what molly and murray said..?

                  ..why won’t you answer/address that..?

                  ..and are you saying big pharma reps currently don’t compete to get quacks to push their product..?


                  • northshoredc

                    What about it ?

                    ..and while you are at it ..

                    …you have repeatedly made accusations that clinicians in NZ and myself in particular are offered all types of inducements by ‘big pharma’ and have also repeatedly cast aspersions regarding our independence when it comes to making clinical decisions on how to treat patients, you have provided no evidence and as usual obfuscate to the extreme.

                    Come on Phil it should be a rather simple exercise for you to provide something more than ellipsis babble.

                  • northshoredc


                    Molly and Murray said nothing that was at odds with what I posted, regardless of the fact that those are just comments on a blog (as are yours and mine).

                    What products are you thinking of ?.. we very very seldom see pharma reps these days, why do you continue to suggest that medical professionals push products ?

                    Are you ever going to produce any evidence of that ‘pushing’ or of which products/group of products you take issue with or are we to be subjected to this ongoing non specific use of ellipsis babble ?

                    I do understand that you have zero respect for medical professionals but I can assure you that they have provided far more substantive curative assistance than your favourite herbal salve.

              • The Al1en

                “what about what molly and murray said…?”

                One gave an example of a DR retired from NZ, which easily fits in with “Yes things have changed substantially”
                And one is an unsubstantiated post on the internet without a time frame attached that neither contradicts or disproves northshoredoc.

                Is that your proof?

                What about what northshoredoc said?
                Do as the DR says, put up or shut up, or in my opinion, keep looking like a poor loser with a grudge.

                I’m hoping for the latter by the way 😉

                • northshoredc

                  Unfortunately Phil’s modus operandi is to neither put up nor shut up.

                  • The Al1en

                    No citation needed for that Doc. 😆

                  • i asked the google machine..

                    ..and this was the first result of many..

                    ..from april ’14..

                    “..But increased awareness has far from outlawed commercial conflicts of interest.

                    Drug companies in New Zealand still sponsor medical education –

                    – pay for doctors to fly business class to attend overseas conferences –

                    – hold dine-and-learn symposiums at swanky venues –

                    – and pay ‘‘key opinion leader’’ specialists to give talks –

                    – and sit on advisory boards that debate how best to use a new drug. .”

                    yr comment..?

                    ..i mean..graft-doors big enough to drive an ambulance thru..eh..?

                    ..(this was the question i asked google..

                    ‘do doctors take inducements from big pharma in NZ’.

                    ..try it yrslf..!

                    ..you may find it to be quite educational..

                    ..as you are either lying..

                    ..or are eyewateringly naive as to the realities of yr ‘profession’…)

                    • The Al1en

                      Google search link? Ah, saw the edit.

                      And the stuff article is the second link.

                      From memory you have an issue with links from stuff proving points. Do you remember that?

                    • northshoredoc


                      You really should post the link


                      Yes I’m sure the dwindling companies that are left still do some sponsorship to justify there existence, the organisers of such conferences still get the odd company to provide money to run the conference in return for the company having signage..meh ?

                      As i have also stated it is insignificant and we hardly ever see reps anymore and NZ prescribing is constrained by both PHARMAC and best practice as it should be.

                      Still waiting for you to provide some evidence of those in the medical profession pill pushing on behalf of big pharma……come on just one medicine … can’t be all that difficult.

                      I’ll start you off Celecoxib and Valdecoxib.

                      Or do you just want to rail against the unfairness of no splifs being included on the pharmaceutical schedule.

                    • oh..ok..u ask for evidence..

                      ..u sneer @ evidence..

                      ..u really r a fucken idiot aren’t you..?

                      ..either an idiot or a total dupe/mug..

                      ..and/but u r in such good company…

                      ..aren’t you..?

                      ..’and then there were three’..

                      ..alan..sacha..and ‘doc’..


                    • The Al1en

                      Here are the current rules from the NZMA.

                      Relevant info – MEDICINE AND COMMERCE (recommendations 58 – 66)


                      Do you know of anyone in the medical profession that have breached these rules? If so, who? When? And what rule?
                      Any examples? Or are you just orifice plucking and hoping something sticks to your typing finger?

                    • northshoredoc

                      @phil an opinion piece in the newspaper is not evidence.

                      Once again you have provided no substantive evidence and have resorted to abusive ellipsis in extremis.

                      Surely there must be widespread evidence of vast upsurges in prescribing of certain medications linked to this pharmaceutical company chicanery and the easily duped medical profession ?

                      Here I’m sure pHARMAC will have noted it in their annual reviews …


                      Am still very interested to hear which product/s you are concerned about the medical profession in NZ pushing for big pharma.

                      Edit .. very good point Al1en, Phil as a good citizen has a duty to report and and all he suspects to the NZ medical council toute suite !…. or should that be sweet toot !

                    • ok..the article in stuff is a total bunch of lies..eh..?

                      ..there are no trips/conferences/dinners/speaking-fees..

                      ..all the fevered imagination of that reporter..eh..?

                      ..(is it part of a conspiracy..?..or just a lie for the hell of it from the writer..?..do tell..!..)

                      ..and the other 1,400,000 + links/answers to that question aren’t ‘evidence’..

                      ..so what exactly wd u accept as ‘evidence..?

                    • The Al1en

                      “Edit .. very good point Al1en, Phil as a good citizen has a duty to report and and all he suspects to the NZ medical council toute suite !…. or should that be sweet toot !”

                      Phillip thinks like a dog with a sniff at a bone sometimes. Best way to deal with his rabid nonsense is to ask direct questions with no wriggle room until he takes himself off for walkies.

                    • The Al1en

                      “ok..the article in stuff is a total bunch of lies..eh..?”

                      Open mike 27/06/2014

                      “heh..!..that’s stuff for ya..!..about the nearest we get to the trashiest british rags..
                      ..i look at it early each morn to see if there is anything worth linking to….and more often than i should..i can’t even find one that makes the grade..

                    • northshoredoc


                      There are plenty of conferences, as I previously said part of our collective agreement is that we are reimbursed to attend our college conferences. it is also a deductible business expense if we attend more than our fair share.

                      Conferences invariably have trade displays from companies who pay for the privilege of being able to attend – these trade displays are far larger and more common at the large international conferences which are very vert very few and far between in NZ.

                      Again I ask what are the medicines/companies/health professionals that your are concerned about from an NZ perspective ?

                    • The Al1en

                      I wouldn’t be a good Doctor – I haven’t got the patients ( patience ).

                      Off to play some xbox. Watching the slow demise of pu is getting quite boring.
                      Good on-ya Doc.

                    • @ doc..

                      ah..ok..u r now admitting/(justifying/excusing) the all expenses paid ‘conferences’..

                      ..anything else you’d like to come clean on..?..

                      ..the/any paid-dinners…?

                    • McFlock

                      I got a bottle of wine at an education conference once. That’s about the best thing in a conference baggie I’ve ever had, for national and international conferences in a number of disciplines (including medical).

  9. lprent 10

    Fixed my left-over error from xmas eve. php5-fpm is now running the site again. It gives faster responses, a markedly reduced CPU footprint, and a massive reduction in RAM usage.

    I had to go to bed on xmas eve before I got it fixed after shifting servers. I was kind of aware of the 6.5 hour drive we were doing to Otaki on xmas day as we transitioned from one family to another.

    I also figured that no-one would really notice as the page views and comments went down during the break.

  10. North 11

    Gentle query, or to avoid the charge of mealy-mouthedness, aggressive interrogatory – WTF has The New Year done to your respective demeanours PU/The Al1en ?

    Was TS conceived as a vehicle for scroll down, scroll down, scroll down – “God They’re Still At It” – of PU/The Al1en, pistols drawn at dawn ?

    PG’s self-centred, distracting, annoying is he…….?

    • b waghorn 11.1

      I reckon “the natives got restless” due to there being less meaty posts to feed on so started trying to eat each other.

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