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Open mike 07/04/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 7th, 2011 - 111 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

111 comments on “Open mike 07/04/2011”

  1. Peter 1

    A Perspective on Benefit Fraud
    Given the amount of emotive MSM, and political point-scoring, we have whenever there is a benefit fraud case I thought I would take a quick look to see how it compares to other fraud.
    Benefit fraud is about $16 million a year whereas total fraud in NZ is currently in the vicinity of $172 million according to KPMG. A big chunk of that relates to private sector finance companies
    KPMG also point out that the average fraud by managers in recent months is $1 million compared to employees at $0.5 million.
    Perhaps we can guess that Right supporters are responsible for more fraud than Left supporters – no just kidding!

    • PeteG 1.1

      Most benefit fraud will be relatively small amounts. There has to be some scrutiny and action taken when it’s found, it can’t just be let go unchecked, but there has to be some pragmatism about level of policing versus the costs and amounts involved.
      White collar and corporate level fraud will obviously involve larger amounts, there are much larger values available. Cases can be very complex, difficult to uncover and difficult and expensive to prove and prosecute. I think most people would like to see better regulation of finance companies.
      Another segment is tax fraud, that can range from very small to very large scale. Most people have probably let through a bit of “tax advantage” hoping that it wouldn’t get picked up.
      You can guess all you like about who is the worst, righties or lefties (what about middlies) because that can’t be surveyed, who anyone votes for is their own private business. So where to lay blame is open slather – and widely exercised across the spectrum.
      One I’ve heard is that Labour want to allow all prisoners to vote because it’s their constituency – I guess corporate fraudsters are only a minority amongst criminals.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Morning PeteG

        One I’ve heard is that Labour want to allow all prisoners to vote because it’s their constituency – I guess corporate fraudsters are only a minority amongst criminals.

        How about you justify that comment with some actual proof.  And after you discover that there is absolutely no substance to it how about you then apologise.

        Obviously you want another flamewar.

        [lprent: That wasn’t a flamewar. If it had been then I would have curtailed it. It was protracted, quite limited in it’s intellectual scope, and somewhat repetitive and self referentially circular. But it almost reluctantly lurched through to some kind of clarification of the subject. If I wasn’t on the pad, I would dig out some examples of really irritatingto read flamewars. ]

        • PeteG

          There is no proof, as I said lefty/righty tainting in relation to crime is open slather. Just as you can’t expect Peter to provide proof for his tongue in cheek comment.
          FWIW when that has come up on KB I’ve argued against it, my guess is that most prisoners probably couldn’t care less about politics.

          • mickysavage

            So you just repeated something that you know is crap?

            • PeteG

              Yep. Happens quite often here, doesn’t it.

              And after you discover that there is absolutely no substance to it how about you then apologise.

              I’m following your example. No apology.

              • felix

                That comes very close to an admission of your reason for commenting here.
                What ever happened to “Pete George, sensible non-partisan moderate”?

                • PeteG

                  I’ve never described myself like that. Where is the quote from?
                  What sort of admission? That I’ve been corrupted by the The Standard?

                  • M

                    PeteG your comments largely condemn you as a “sensible non-partisan moderate”.

                    I saw a film once where women who might be labelled the blue rinse brigade were running an 0900 sex line and would busily knit away with their headpieces on whilst talking dirty to men to get them over the line and it was all done it a very matter of fact way like you’d be discussing how you do your laundry. This is how I largely perceive your communiques – are you running something similar whilst you type away here?

                    FFS have some definite opinions about something. I’ve been jumped on here about liking incandescent light bulbs even though I’m very left leaning so I don’t follow the party line all the time and yes I do have a thin, some may say right conservative streak about some topics but at least I have some definite opinions and take pride in owning them. It’s very unattractive in my book if you will not stand up and be counted because you may be disliked about something. Do you hold definite opinions about anything or are you completely passionless? Heck, if some guy was attacking your partner would you stand by and give a 20 minute dissertation of the rights/wrongs occurring or would you be decisive and take action?

                    Some phrases for you:

                    A friend to all is a friend to none.

                    Running with the hares and hunting with the hounds.

                    I have righty friends but at least they’re intellectually honest enough to “wo/man up” and state their cases, I know where I am with them and we can have really honest debate.

                    Anti-spam: switches – yeah, you do this effortlessly.

                  • felix

                    What sort of admission?
                    That you’re here to run lines and spin rather than debate honestly.
                    I’ve never described myself like that.
                    You frequently describe yourself like that. You often mention that those on both the left and the right don’t like you so therefore you must be somewhere in the middle. You’ve worked hard to project a “sensible centrist” image for quite some time. Unfortunately you suck at it and you keep blowing your cover.

                    I’d find refs for you but frankly I don’t give a shit what you think.
                    Where is the quote from?
                    It’s not a quote. If it were quoting you, you’d be speaking in the third person. Don’t lawyer me, fucko. Get back to work.

      • rosy 1.1.2

        so that’s the reason NAct removed the vote from people imprisoned for less than 3 years huh? They think they can put poor people in prison is such large numbers that it might affect voting. Not like white-collar criminals – they get home detention.

      • The Voice of Reason 1.1.3

        I guess corporate fraudsters are only a minority amongst prisoners. There, fixed it for you. And thanks for re-Peteing the Kiwiblog line from April last year about voting patterns amongst prisoners, many readers here will have missed that smear when it first came out.

        • Pascal's bookie

          I like how he framed it as Labour wanting to give prisoners the right to vote, as if it isn’t something that prisoners traditionally had in this country.

        • south paw

          “I guess corporate fraudsters are only a minority amongst prisoners.”

          That’s because they are white and wealthy or appear to be.
          Brown skinned Kiwis clinging to the bottom rungs of the social ladder get prison, the John Key clones get tax payer bail outs, knighthoods, and celebrity interviews on tv.

          It only follows the prison population is probably more left leaning.

          • the pink postman

             Well taking into account that a big percentage of prisoners are mentally ill Idubt very much if they  support  any political party .Then there are the drug addicts who have no,idea who they vote for .That leave the real crooks and I bet they vote National like the other silly buggers not in prison.

            • McFlock

              “That leave the real crooks and I bet they vote National like the other silly buggers not in prison.”
              Yeah – they’re convinced they’ll get rich, in which case they’ll need low taxes on their laundromat companies

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.5

        So where to lay blame is open slather – and widely exercised across the spectrum.

        And now ask yourself, Who mostly votes to the right of the political spectrum?

      • Deborah Kean 1.1.6

        Most people have probably let through a bit of “tax advantage” hoping that it wouldn’t get picked up

        Speak for yourself mate! I never have, and I am willing to bet (could it ever be proved) that most people actually haven’t ” let through a bit of “tax advantage”.

        • PeteG

          Maybe you haven’t. But it’s quite common to do a bit of trading on Trade Me, to work for payments under the table or pay someone mates rates under the table. It’s not unknown for businesses to not declare all their cash sales, siphoning a bit tax free. Of being creative how expenses are handled. There’s quite a few ways of getting a tax advantage.

          • Draco T Bastard

            You assertions do not make what you say true. Most people, as shown in research, are actually honest. The people your talking about aren’t and therefore it is not common.

    • Treetop 1.2

      I have heard of many benefit fraud stories.  Today I discovered that the 2.5 % given to people on a benefit on 1 October 2010 to cover the GST increase, this was removed on 1 April 2011.  To me this is a form of benefit fraud instigated by the government.  I need to estabish if this is lawful as the government increase benefits on 1 April every year and this year approx half the increase has been removed so people are not as well off as they expeced to be. 

  2. millsy 2

    Enjoy TVNZ7 while you can folks,
    It gets the chop next year.


    Fuck that Coleman’s such a smarmy git. No wonder he got whacked in that corporate box that time. He must have some incriminating photos of John Key somewhere…why else would he get a cabinet post?

    Anyway, a sad day for New Zealand broadcasting, and no doubt that it will be replaced by wall to wall Snookie, Desperate Housewives and Gordon Ramsay.

    Public Broadcasting, RIP 1960-2012. Welcome to a brave new world of crap.

    • Carol 2.1

      I’m watching overseas news on Stratos more & more & less of NZ TVNews.  Which leaves the web & National Radio for local news.  This closure of TVNZ7 is a tragedy, along with the demise of NZPA.  One way or another the government should be enabling endeavours to provide local news & public service broadcasting, with as much journalistic independence & multiplicity of perspectives as possible.  It shouldn’t be left to the market to decide, which actually means the welthy & powerful corporates try to game the system as much as possible in their favour.

    • Deadly_NZ 2.2

      I reckon, but more like Advertorials and all of these so called Reality shows

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      I’m kinda hoping that when a left leaning government gets back in that they’ll reverse it and we’ll get real news again.

  3. millsy 3

    The good news is, that it doesnt appear that Radio NZ is going to be commercialised after all.

  4. Jum 4

    On kiwiblog they’re attacking Penny Bright.  They’re threatening her.  Here is an example:

    RightNow (2,504) Says:
    April 6th, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    Penny, I think you’ve dragged this thread off-topic. You do this time after time, usually thinly veiled segues into a defence of Winston Peters. In theory you should get pinged 10 demerits every time you do it.
    If you like we can start emailing DPF every time you do it, alternatively you could take the initiative and stop doing it.

    More interesting is the ‘we’.

    • higherstandard 4.1

      Oh noes call the internet police.

    • PeteG 4.2

      That’s hardly a threat, it’s notice that someone may pass on what they think is repeat abuse of the guidelines.

      DPF asks to be notified of potential abuse via email, so this is an accepted procedure, but he has the only say on any demerits or banning. Similar in a way to what happens here, but a one man band makes it harder to monitor everything. It generally works quite well.

    • Carol 4.3

      Gotta admire Bright’s wit, resiliance & consistent ethos when under fire in opposition territory.

      • Jum 4.3.1

        I know it’s clear already to most people on The Standard that higherstandard and peteg are rightwingers, but it’s good to flush out how much they know about pond scum kiwiblog and that higherstandard has a very low standard.

  5. logie97 5

    Party Central is not what is seems.


    After 6 lagers, Taff says to Seamus, “lesh have a look at the …hic … shtate of
    the country’sh agr.. agr… agr..  sheep!”

    • Tigger 5.1

      Ah, the people left out in the cold while those with money party inside…for some reason I’m getting a whole Animal Farm vibe here…

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    Good old heritage foundation eh?

    Everyone in americcy is gettin all het up about a Mr Ryan’s plan to save the republic from the defcit, with the pundits all calling it ‘serious’ by which they seem to mean ‘vicious as a meth addicted pit bull and with the social conscience thereof, too’.

    Serious. It’s serious like cancer, as they say. But in other respects, it’s a joke.


    • uke 7.1

      They have no choice really.
      It is election year, they don’t want to be seen bailing out South Canterbury’s wealthy foreign investors and not the the thousands of Chchians with AMI policies, not to speak of the half million or so other NZ policy holders.

      • Samuel Hill 7.1.1

        Do they wanna bail out all the unemployed students who can’t pay their student loan back too?

        • uke

          Yeah or unemployed anybody who can’t pay their debts. At least there’s no interest on student loans. Yet. It may well be a “nice to have” soon.

          • vto

            Clap your hands folks, its the one, the only, never before seen… (drumroll)… never-ending Business Bailout Government! Nanny state on a scale unimagineable. Come one and all, bring your broken down business, your greedy investment decisions, it doesn’t matter what – just come to the party…

            • Samuel Hill

              I’ve got an idea, lets start a fake insurance company, in the style of Enron, and take all the country’s money, then get a bail out when we say we don’t have the money to pay anyone out!

              Sounds just as likely as me not being charged interest on my loan next year!

            • Jum

              VTO, You forgot to tell big business the address:
              Is it the one on Queen’s wharf in a big plastic waka?  Tell the women not to wear high heels.

      • Carol 7.1.2

        As a double AMI policy-holder, I’m not sure what the government guarantee means.  For instance, wouldn’t a white knight have been better for me & the country?  Or, especially as my premiums are due in the next couple of months, wouldn’t it just be better for me to reinsure with another company?

        • Pat

          If policyholders leave AMI in droves, then the company’s fate will be sealed.  Surely it is better for policyholders to stick with them, as long as premiums stay the same, assured in the knowledge that any future claims will be paid if the government is standing behind them.  

          Also, if policyholders leave them, their credit rating will continue to fall, and their chances of securing re-insurance will be doomed.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Pat, here’s what I don’t get. So any help would be genuinely appreciated.

            If some retired person couldn’t afford to insure their house, then they are shit out of luck, on account of  “poor choices”.

            AMI didn’t have enough reinsurance cover. That sucks of course for their policy holders. So why bother to save the stupid insurance company. Make it pay out everything it can
             and then have the government bailout the policy holders directly who are still out of pocket?


            • Carol

              I must say I am now VERY happy that I didn’t respond to AMI’s repeated invitations to take out a life insurance policy!

            • vto

              Don’t you get it P’s b, “poor choices” only apply to people not corporates.

              No insurance for AMI Stadium grounds (how ironic is that?) yet the govt bails it out.

              No insurance for AMI itself yet the govt bails it out.

              No insurance for people – you are on your own.

              It is very clear how the people in control of this govt think and operate. And it disgusts me.

            • Pat

              Deciding whether to intervene to save it, or simply let if fail, would depend on where the company sits on the OK-to-Deepshit continuum.  Considering it has been down-graded to an A- and not worse suggests there is some chance it could trade its way out if the Govt stands behind it in place of re-insurers until the Chch liabilities are met.  That keeps jobs in place etc and stops a mad panic for Chch householders.

              I’m guessing it must be touch and go, though. 

              Someone needs to look at AMI’s operations to see why they find themselves so exposed e.g. why they had priced their premiums at the low end, their level of reinsurance, and spread of risk (market share in geographical areas).

              • Pascal's bookie

                fair enough.
                Still though.

                poor choices, moral hazard, etc. 

                this bailout stuff needs a robust framework, it’s past time one got developed.

                Mine is:

                If you are too big to fail, and you fail (or will fail) without state support, you just got owned by the state.


                Needing a public bailout is a capital offence for a private corporation.

                Either that or we just abandon this whole capitalism business and go the full marx monty.

                • vto

                  Exactly. The ‘big’ 4 banks in NZ have an implied taxpayer bailout backing right now today. I have been saying for a while that banks, because of this, are quasi-State organisations. The risk is being carried by the taxpayer but there is no return for that risk.

                  The entire capitalism structure has been turned inside out the last three years. It still has a way to go.

                  • higherstandard

                    Isn’t it a mutual insurance company ?

                    • vto

                      Yes AMI is, which may allow the situation to be confused a little in favour of it being seen as a natural person rather than a corporate. I don’t think that would fly too far though, but may be wrong.

                    • vto

                      So where have all the premiums gone?

                      Why wasn’t it done properly?

                      Or is it really the situation that the situation is reasonably beyond a reasonable expectation? And if so, were the policyholders aware?

                      Or is it another finance company-style you get what you pay for thing? Premiums attracted people to AMI like interest rates attracted people to finance companies…..

                    • vto

                      Abandon ship! run for your lives…..

                • rosy

                  Nationalise it

        • Herodotus

          What ever happened to law of the jungle !!! The fit live the weak become food for the strong ????
          How small does one have to be for a bail out?
          Housing permits are done around 14k p.a. from a high of 34k+, retail spending is down. Why not bail out these sectors. National should just come out and Nationalise everything, except for the ppp’s for new schools of course 😉 As some may think of me as being a sometime RWNJ. I am confused as to when Nat are RW and when they are socialist. All I need now is for a post on this site to support a National policy to really confuse me. Help me please with all these bailouts. 
          p.s. the demise of Ch7 is sad, there are some things that were of interest, how did they expect large viewing nos. TV is junk food for the populist now. Perhaps we are not far away for Arnies Running Man being a reality. 

          • higherstandard

            RWNJ and LWNJ are terms of endearment used to bludgeon those fans supporting the opposing team – they mean very little when you have the nats and labour trying to be fence sitting everymen/women and being driven by polling.

            They is mostly infantilised dipshits.. nuff said 

            captcha complaining – yep i do that too much – old age i s’pose.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      It would be a hell of a lot easier if we dropped the insurance companies and just accepted that our society is the insurance. It’s what’s happening anyway.

  7. The Voice of Reason 8

    Oh, oh, I think I know what Paul Henry’s secret US gig is going to be!


  8. Bright Red 9

    just had a listen to Jami-Lee Ross’s maiden speech. What a dork. Just 15 minutes of cliches, often contradictory. Clearly not a thinker.
    Shane Jones is right. Sounds like a Tea Party speech but with less intelligence.

    • lprent 9.1

      Sounds like a Tea Party speech but with less intelligence.

      Is such a state possible? Just been reading about the failure to get a 7th temporary agreement on tiding over the state in the US – due to idiot tea party people.

      • joe90 9.1.1

        The tea party idiots have taken on the Catholic church .

        Republican State Rep. and Tea Party leader Andrew Manuse (R-Derry) told the Catholic League he will be filing legislation in the New Hampshire House to strip the Roman Catholic Church of its tax exempt status because Bishop John McCormack spoke against proposed budget cuts at a recent State House rally, according to Bill Donohue, the President of the Catholic League.

    • grumpy 9.2

      Come on!  Regardless of the politics it was a bloody good speech.  Interesting that National have the only non Maori Seat Maori MPs in the House.

      Both shane Jones and Jamie-Lee Ross are the type of bright articulate representatives Maori need, not the Horomia waste of space types

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1

        Jamie-Lee Ross are the type of bright articulate representatives

        You failed to read this bit?

        Just 15 minutes of cliches, often contradictory. Clearly not a thinker.

        Obviously not bright or articulate.

        • McFlock

          To be fair, maybe he’d just tweaked his speech to the capabilities of his fan base.

  9. vto 10

    Does anyone know if Key has been asked why SCF was brought into the deposit guarantee scheme when he was told on the day he became PM that it was going broke?

    I may have to pen an old fashioned letter…

    • Samuel Hill 10.1

      My thoughts exactly. What other inside information does National have? Bill English’s brother is the Chief Executive of Federated Farmers, Steven Joyce used to own MediaWorks.

      NZ really is just too small. This corruption is simply too obvious. 

      Anyone else know any other connections?

  10. joe90 11

    The non-profit teen pregnancy prevention organisation that Bristol Palin joined in 2009 paid her seven times as much as the organisation actually spent on prevention programmes.  

    Today, the Associated Press reported that the Candie’s Foundation released its 2009 tax information, revealing that Bristol was paid a salary of $262,500.

    But a closer examination of the tax form by ThinkProgress shows that the group disbursed only $35,000 in grants to actual teen pregnancy health and counseling clinics: $25,000 to the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center and $10,000 to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. View a screenshot of Bristol’s exorbitant salary below:

    Here’s the house she bought with her $427,500 remuneration package.

  11. lprent 12

    If anyone thinks that the site is a bit slow today, Well you’d be right.

    It is midday, and we just passed our normal maximum daily page views that we’d get to at midnight. The reason is that I’m testing the effect of facebook on our readership. Which is referring enormous numbers of kiwis and a few others to the site. The CPU usage at the server is correspondingly high as well – so it is ‘real’. 

    I’m still evaluating the results from yesterday to look at the difference between various stats engines. But it looks like I will need the new server sooner than later.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      I had some “no response from server!” errors earlier.

      • lprent 12.1.1

        Yep… So did I. I just ordered the new server, so I guess I know what I will be doing on the weekend if it gets set up fast enough.

        • BLiP

          So how’s that gonna work – two in tandem or just a bigger, faster, better new one?
          Also, thanks for sorting that cdn.topsy wotsit – what a pain in the proverbial that was.

      • Vicky32 12.1.2

        Me also! An ‘invalid anti-spam word’, which was the same anti-spam word I’d been getting all day! (Maybe that’s why it was invalid…) Now I have managed to log in, maybe the problem’s solved?

  12. joe90 13

    Wow!, Robogull. More videos here.

  13. Carol 14

    There’s an online campaign to save TVNZ7.  It includes an online petition & facebook page.

    • Jum 14.1

      NZPA and now TVNZ7.   Cutting off any sort of ethical professional feedback to offset the garbage we are being assailed with on TV and print now.

  14. Herodotus 15

    just a few more $$ out of the state coffers. Why is it that I get the feeling this figure will not diminish !!!! I cannot wait until the IRD is privatised we may need to see some assets !!!
    “..Mr English said it was an ” unusual situation requiring a special response”. Is that not why we have insurance coys to insure us fo an unusual situation. outside a few smaller quakes in Gisborne, BOP etc. Some (not me) could think that to reduce premiums some added risks were taken and covered unbeknownly bythe govt i.e. you and me. 

  15. Carol 16

    Blinglish has just made an announcement of the AMI guarantee in the House.  Cunliffe gave a measured response, with a qualified support for up to $500mill as a last resort in support of the policy-holders in ChCh: eg he wants on-going consultation (in view of the lack of transparency & the blow-out re SCF), and assurances that there won’t be a blow-out & after the $500 mill, there should be re-consideration.  He wants some stronger guidlelines.
    Gareth Hughes (Greens) also supports the guarantee, but made a re-newed case for an Earthquake levy.  Roger D is totally against the guarantee and says he’s warned the government about this kind of things for a couple of years.
    Also support from the Maori Party, by taking a Whanau approach.

    • Samuel Hill 16.1

      Douglas’ response was very interesting. The only one not afraid to stand on toes, it would seem.

      • Lanthanide 16.1.1

        He has merit, but essentially his approach is that you just throw everyone on the scrap heap who is unlucky or makes a choice that turns out to be bad. I had no clue that AMI was a dodgy choice, I would say that most people didn’t – I didn’t even know they were a mutual insurance company and how that differs from regular listed companies (they don’t bother telling anyone that in their advertising for example). Essentially Roger is telling those people that they rolled the dice and came up losers.

        But on the other side of the coin, if companies get bailed out, then all other companies in the same industry of the same size know that actually they too can take huge risks because the government will step in to back them up – too big to fail and all that.

        Unfortunately if you let a company that is too big to fail, fail, the people who will be hardest hurt are often those who didn’t directly make the bad decisions (fallout).

        • Samuel Hill

          So why don’t these insurance companies just buy up all New Zealand shares, driving investment, and then when they fall flat on their face later on, get bailed out by the government???

          Or is that whats already happening???? 


  16. Samuel Hill 17

    Sue Kedgley asking some good questions about Steven Joycescoloni

  17. Samuel Hill 18

    What did I miss????? They’re having a great big laugh.

    • Carol 18.1

      I don’t know Sam, but it had something to do with Linda Lovelace.  Mallard said some of them didn’t catch the crack either.  Sounded a bit like guys locker room sniggering to me.

  18. freedom 19

    i originally posted this new video on John Key in choices choices, then it struck me that a satire post wasn’t the best place to introduce this very honest piece of work
    lest we forget the motivational basis for his choices ?

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    It’s all about the Why!

  20. joe90 21

    The gulf stream could be threatened by a flush of fresh water from the Arctic ocean. 

    A dramatic freshening of the North Atlantic could disrupt the engine of a global ocean circulation system called the thermohaline circulation, or ocean conveyor. This system, of which the Gulf Stream forms a part, is driven by dense, salty water in the North Atlantic plunging to the ocean bottom near Greenland.

    From the New Scientist short sharp science page.

    • ianmac 21.1

      It was suggested that last December the early and prolonged onset of winter/snow in Western Europe, was the result of changes in the Gulf Stream.

  21. prism 22

    joe90  you sure come up with interesting things.

  22. PeteG 23

    AMI isn’t a corporate, it’s owned by it’s policy holders. They are being supported by the Government, with agreement of most parties including Labour, to support the Canterbury clients who could otherwise lose out on their claims.
    By shitting on this you’re shitting on thousands of Christchurch home owners.

    • Pascal's bookie 23.1

      Name one person who has said the homeowners should not be supported. Fucking. one. 

      Then explain why retired people who could no longer afford insurance on a home they didn’t want to leave, won’t be supported. 

    • MrSmith 23.2

      Fuck off pete I’m drowning here and your describing the water.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.3

      AMI isn’t a corporate, it’s owned by it’s policy holders.

      Do the policy holders have a say in how it’s run? Because if they don’t then it’s probably exaggerating to say that they own it.

      • RobC 23.3.1

        Actually you’re both wrong. AMI is a corporate and it is owned by its policyowners.

        in much the same way as citizens own democracy.

  23. Pascal's bookie 24

    tell me again why now is now the right time for sorting out our abortion laws?


    You can bet your left bumcheek that that the people for whom abortion is a vote deciding issue are paying attention, and that the parties are aware of that.

    Which party looks more divided? Which party is more susceptible to wedging?

    • Carol 24.1

      Hmmm, PB. I’ve thought for a while that is where the potential fracturing will happen amongst neoliberals, but not just for abortion issues.  In order to gather widespread support neoliberals courted both social conservatives & social liberals, making for an uneasy alliance.  It takes a particular form in the US where there is a strong religious conservative lobby, from this kind of alliance in NZ.
      However, in many places this kind of alliance has been maintained during the dominance of neoliberalism, but maybe the fracture points will become more fragile as the neoliberal project is exposed as a failure and collapses under the weight of economic stresses.

  24. todd 25

    Asshole of the Week Award


    Is John Key an idiot or a liar? That is the question one must ask when our supposed leader makes incorrect statements that have no basis in reality. I’m not talking about the supposed 10,000 Christchurch houses that were going to be demolished when Mr Key had no intelligence or the BMW claims of ignorance when Key knew all about them etc… I’m talking about being able to get some basics right like measurements, something that any competent leader should be able to achieve without effort.

  25. Jenny 26

    To BiG To FaiL?

    AMI have gambled and lost in a Bernie Madhoff style ponzi scheme, that when it was called, they couldn’t pay out on.

    Instead of spending eye watering amounts of public money to prop up this incompetent, fraudulent, and failing company. The public accounts should only be drawn on to pay out the home owners, with wrecked properties, who have been let down by this company’s failure to properly manage their accounts. 

    AMI should immediately be put into statutory management and all the assets and accounts of this company should be realised, to be directly paid out to those, who in good faith insured themselves with this company and have suffered losses due the earthquake.

    After this, all other outstanding debts should be immediately paid out, and the company should be wound up.

    A public service announcement should be issued, that all customers with current policies with this company are advised to change to another insurer.

    For selling earthquake insurance policies that they can’t honour, (and probably thought that they would never have to)  – All the past and present directors of AMI responsible for this fraud should be charged, and warrants for their arrest issued.

    For the harm they have caused the public, liens should be issued against the responsible AMI director’s personal assets and properties, so that, if necessary, these also can be realised to  recover the debt owed to their policy holders.

    In a bailout AMI directors and managers are protected, while the policy holders and the tax payers carry the can.

    Why should these over paid fraudsters be left free, to swan off overseas with millions of dollars of policy holders money tucked away in their bank accounts, while the taxpayer is left to cover their liabilities?

    We should Hit ’em and hit them hard, I say.

    Let’s take a page out of the book of the Sensible sentencing trust. Let’s set an example, to deter others in the financial sector from repeating this sort of behaviour because they think that they will be bailed out by the taxpayer.

    No more soft options.


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