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Open mike 07/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 7th, 2015 - 114 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

114 comments on “Open mike 07/05/2015”

  1. outofbed 1

    Just arrived in London, working for a couple of months
    Here, John Key is a figure of fun and ridicule. it is very embarrassing.

    • in the media there – we have moved from ponytail-pulling prime minister – to dentistry during sex..

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/06/new-zealand-man-found-guilty-of-pulling-out-lovers-teeth-during-sex

    • Hami Shearlie 1.2

      Well of course, they don’t have tame little guinea pigs mascarading as Press over there!!! They tell it like it is, and boy, how humiliating and beyond embarrassing to be known as a weird little fetish-creep, right John?? Wonder if the Queen will invite him back to Balmoral again – she must be wondering what he got up to the last time he was there??

      • cyclonemike 1.2.1

        How tragic. You obviously have not been following the rabid anti-Milliban stuff the Sun et al have been running these last few weeks. Filthy Murdoch media and other Tory press

    • higherstandard 1.3

      People in London know who John Key is ?

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        Tugger Key? Are you unaware that he has been fodder for “odd” news and comedy pieces around the world?

        • higherstandard 1.3.1.1

          I expect if you asked 100 people in the UK which country John Key was the PM of less than 10% would have any idea.

          • Tracey 1.3.1.1.1

            Interestingly recently on the British Show “Pointless” John Key was an answer, but not a pointless one. They asked 100 people to identify as many world leaders as they knew in 100 seconds. From memory over 10% of them named John Key of New Zealand.

            • higherstandard 1.3.1.1.1.1

              I missed that one…..another brit show that as quite interesting (no pun intended)

              • Tracey

                I enjoy it. I note how different it is to US quiz shows. The questions are hard and the prize money is low..

            • mac1 1.3.1.1.1.2

              That would be quite an interesting post,. Questions to which the answer is John Key.

              Mine is, “Who is New Zealand’s most publicly ridiculed PM internationally?”

              I don’t think that even Peter Fraser got such a press from Lord Haw Haw.

              • McFlock

                Clark would probably beat key as “globally most famous NZ PM”, but that might be reversed if we added “for actions performed whilst NZ PM”.

              • Tracey

                Who wanted to be Prime Minister since he was a child but had no political awareness or consciousness?

          • Puddleglum 1.3.1.1.2

            But how many Brits currently think John Key is a clown (irrespective of whether or not they know the country of which he is PM)?

            And of the 10% who you suspect do know he is New Zealand’s Prime Minister the vast majority will presumably only know that from the fact that he is being mocked?

            If there happens to be any future case in which John Key – as NZ PM – makes some serious appeal to the British people (e.g., to buy our products, help us with a natural disaster, support our economic and foreign policy interests, etc.) we can guess that their first dawning reaction will not be sympathy and support but, instead … ‘Oh, so that’s the country that voted in that clown??’

            You seem to be implying that this current ‘anonymity’ concerning Key’s nationality is ‘reassuring’ when it is actually a ticking ‘join the dots’ time bomb (involving, as you imply, far more than 10% of Brits) that, when it goes off, is likely to dampen and subtract from the British people’s support for us in the future.

            And, more importantly, that reaction amongst the British public will embolden those in Britain who might oppose our interests (for political or economic reasons).

            Key has, no doubt unthinkingly, delivered rhetorical ammunition for anyone in Britain – or elsewhere – to use to undermine our interests.

            Rightly or wrongly, that in future will be the public reaction overseas and those will be the uses made of that reaction. (e.g., think about how Fox News might now frame our Prime Minister should he, on a visit there, publicly argue to reduce US agricultural subsidies).

            As right wingers here so often point out when they use Key’s electoral popularity as his ultimate defence against criticism: Irrespective of the reality, perception is everything.

            Unfortunately, the same argument also works negatively – when, on the world stage, Key is associated not with a blokey ‘popularity’ but with idiocy and weirdness.

    • Enough is Enough 1.4

      Whatever, the only thing in the British Media at the moment is the election.

      It is hard to ridicule someone who no one notices.

  2. Ad 2

    Big day for Auckland Council and Auckland’s future. Two related themes.

    Firstly, the proposed rates hike – particularly for transport purposes – is steeper than expected. Government will likely not recognize the political blowback Mayor Brown will get from the public.

    Secondly, the housing crisis is not reflected in Council’s Auckland Development Company proposal. It’s going to be a fairly neutered beast. Back in the day, Auckland Council was the second-biggest housing owner in the country. The days of intervention at scale appear gone.

    Join these two together: can Key, Bennett, and Bridges as pro-Auckland Cabinet Ministers, overcome the anti-Auckland sentiments of Brownlee, Smith, and English? That is, can central government form a stronger and more direct governance instrument for prioritizing transport investment that leads to more affordable housing being built?

    Couple of weeks will tell.

    • Tracey 2.1

      Interesting times indeed…

      Particularly because this government is demanding more homes be built, by necessity they have to be on the outskirts, but won’t put its hand in its collective pocket to fund the infrastructure (particularly transport) required to make it practical for dwellers…

      They also effectively cut the developers cost… so who take sup the shortfall if this is generally used to fund infrastructure for the new properties and research?

      My home has gone up in paper value over 300,000 since October last year…

    • Nic the NZer 2.2

      Something needs to be pointed out about rate hikes all over the country. The basic cause of rate hikes by councils is that the central government is not sufficiently funding these regional councils. This is the underlying reason councils are looking to put rates up or are looking to raise revenue in other ways, or in some cases moth balling development projects. Where we as a country want these projects to go ahead, but rate payers increases would be too steep, the government should simply fund these projects.

      But the tricky thing is that councils funding also adjusts to the economy, when economic activity falls then their rates and other payments (income) fall as well. It can be tricky to understand that due to the recession if the council is going to maintain previous levels of investment in regional development, then either rates need to go up a lot or central government needs to step in and provide the funds and a larger portion of the councils budget. At present the central government is significantly under-funding councils all over the country.

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        Why should central government fund local government?

        • higherstandard 2.2.1.1

          For that matter why shouldn’t local government fund central government ?

          Or alternatively why don’t they all fuck off and stop picking our pockets ad infinitum.

          • s y d 2.2.1.1.1

            seasteader much?

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.2

            It’s comments like this that prove that you, and other RWNJs, are a fucken idiot.

            We need the services that taxes provide and we can’t get them for less than they physically cost no matter what National Act tell us.

            Of course, a large part of your idiocy is due to the fact that we’ve been taught to see our finances backwards. We see taxes as providing an income for government when we should be seeing government spending as the foundation which holds up the economy – especially the private sector.

        • Tracey 2.2.1.2

          Why should central government tell local government where people can build houses without providing infrastructure to support their (central government) decisions.

        • DoublePlusGood 2.2.1.3

          Because they refuse to let local government charge the level of rates that would provide an appropriate level of services, in particular the overarching infrastructure needed to support communities and economic activity.

        • Nic the NZer 2.2.1.4

          “Why should central government fund local government?”

          Because local government can’t afford to raise the necessary funds (It would depress the local economy of Auckland to much if Auckland rates, and other council service charges, were that high) needed to support their local government economy. Duh!

        • Sans Cle 2.2.1.5

          One of the reasons central government should fund local government is that central government make up the laws that local government have to enact, implement, monitor and enforce…….e.g. Building Act, RMA, Health and Safety Act, Weathertight homes resolution services Act, Local Government Act etc etc.
          It’s fine for Councils to pay for bylaws and services that communities want (democratic choice), but why is the burden of cost placed exclusively on rate payers (particularly for expensive infrastructure) when that change comes from central government?
          NZ needs regional development, and significant funding to support regional development.

          Auckland Council had little choice but pay for the changes that were required by the Local Government Auckland Council and Local Government Auckland Transition Acts that were foisted on them by Mr Hyde…….and look at what that is going to cost Aucklanders……possibly their harbour, given the dysfunctionality of the governance that were set up between the Council and their subsidiary entities (Ports of Auckland, Auckland Transport).

      • Jcuknz 2.2.2

        And where does the government get this extra money Nic? I suppose you think it grows on trees for the plucking 🙂

        This is typical NZ, perhaps thoughout the world,where few if any consider the holistic cost as they work out the costs and benefits to their group and their group only … urrrgh!

        • Tracey 2.2.2.1

          Maybe from the real estate agents and developers they are assisting in Auckland?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.2

          I suppose you think it grows on trees for the plucking

          Of course it doesn’t. Private banks create 97% of it ex nihilo.

          This is typical NZ, perhaps thoughout the world,where few if any consider the holistic cost as they work out the costs and benefits to their group and their group only

          Actually, the problem is that we’ve 30+ years of the RWNJs saying that we don’t need to pay for anything and the majority of people seem to have believed that lie. Now our infrastructure is collapsing, our government services are sub par and taxes are having to go up to pay for fixing all the damage that 30 years of neo-liberalism have done and the RWNJs are complaining about it.

        • Nic the NZer 2.2.2.3

          “And where does the government get this extra money Nic? I suppose you think it grows on trees for the plucking”

          From the NZ central governments point of view, it does. All they need to do is write into the budget the amount they are providing to local government and the money is then issued into the economy as it is spent.

          From the point of view of an economist its never a question of funding, but a question of how much this might put pressure on inflation. However there is no threat of an impact on inflation from this until the economy is operating at full capacity (which you will probably observe it isn’t presently). Until such a time the government can simply spend more, creating more real wealth (both goods and services) for NZers to enjoy and income for businesses and their employees at the same time, effectively for free.

          The opportunity cost of not doing this can never be recovered, its clearly a pretty bone headed move by the government to simply leave the additional real wealth available to the NZ economy (at no cost) on the table!

        • mikesh 2.2.2.4

          [And where does the government get this extra money Nic? I suppose you think it grows on trees for the plucking :)]

          They should pluck it out of thin air, same as the banks do.

  3. Skinny 3

    A closer look at big donations to the National Party where Winston Peters sums things up perfectly ” for every thousand dollar donated one hundred thousand is returned.
    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/rich-listers-dig-deep-for-national-2015050707#axzz3ZO8tYPMN

  4. DH 4

    This article in the NZH shows how we’re being manipulated by the self-interested when it comes to housing.

    “Andrew King: Why I think there’s no housing bubble in Auckland”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11444119

    As an investor the author knows full well that the value of an asset is directly proportionate to its yield and that Auckland houses are in a bubble phase.

    Rental properties in areas of NZ with low or no housing inflation, such as the provinces, are returning investors 6-7% from rents. Based on existing interest rates that’s currently about the right return if you’re an investor, you must get at least that much else you won’t invest. You’d be better off putting your cash in the bank if you got any less.

    Auckland properties are lucky to return 4-5% from rents which is well below the return any investor would require. You can’t borrow at 6% and make a buck when rents are only returning 4%. It’s not possible…. unless there’s capital gain or rent increases. That’s a bubble, the income from the asset is not supporting the price.

    Economists & politicians keep bleating about house prices when the real issue isn’t houses. It’s rents. Without rental income an investment property has no value whatsoever. The higher the rent… the higher the value of the property. If rents don’t go up house prices will always fall back to when the bubble started.

    What King has neglected to tell people there is that the longer term investors buy with the intention of increasing rents. An investment bubble can only be deflated if the income from the investment rises to match the bubble price. A higher house price can only be sustained if the underlying rent increases to support it.

    My point in this spiel is that low income Aucklanders can look forward to more grinding poverty with their landlords constantly holding out their hands for more & more filthy lucre. The ‘proper’ rent on a $500k property is over $600 per week and investors who own those $500k properties plan on getting their $600.

    • sabine 4.1

      at that rate pretty much anyone in Auckland is going to be a low income Aucklander, but i guess that is then mission accomplished and we are one step closer to third country status.

      bridges we need to build shacks underneath…

    • Charles 4.2

      “…unless there’s capital gain…”

      and there is. Lord knows I don’t want to be seen as standing up for landlords, but the picture you offer is not quite so watertight. The idea of “proper rent” for a 500K property being $600pw just doesn’t match reality. Rents, depending on area, are closer to half the rate you say they are. Rents here are high, as a percentage of average gross income, no doubt. Neither does the image of landlords being highly intelligent scammers and sharks reconcile with close inspection. Those types exist, but if they were the only type around, there’d be a lot of people, hundreds of thousands, living on the street. The flattering idea of being an “investor” just because someone owns a rental property, isn’t true. Luckily, landlords have as many colours of nutty as anyone else, so a tolerable deal can still be found.
      Cheer up old bean, having to move house because the landlord has an aspirational brain-fart is infuriating, highly stressfull and expensive, and potentially financially crippling, but shit happens, so don’t focus on the shit because it only makes things worse.

      • DH 4.2.1

        Your epistle, Charles, says a lot about you and little about the subject in question.

        It wouldn’t take a stretch of the imagination to conclude you’re an investor and a little bit sensitive about it too huh.

  5. swordfish 5

    Miliband still on target to become British PM according to most pundits. General consensus (give or take a little variation) seems to be:
    – Tories will probably win the popular vote by 1-3 percentage points
    – Tories probably around 10 seats ahead of Labour (but a lot of uncertainty due to very close contest in some of the key marginals according to the Ashcroft Polls)
    – None of which, according to the majority view, will be enough to prevent an Anti-Tory majority (see May2015 website and my comment here…/miliband-kos-johnson/#comment-1006991)

    The only concern:
    – Traditional inaccuracy of UK pre-Election polls. Most notoriously, of course, in 1992 when polls grossly overstated Labour support and under-estimated the Tory vote. Same in a few other Elections – I’ve recently watched a fascinating 6 hours of the 1970 UK Election coverage (complete with some quite extraordinary comb-overs – particularly from the middle-aged political scientists – we’re talking on a Donald Trump scale of grandeur) and most of the polls then wrongly indicated a return of Harold Wilson’s Government.

    Anyone who has been following the New Statesman’s excellent May2015 site will know that, over recent weeks, there has been a serious divide between the on-line and phone polls – the former consistently suggesting a neck-and-neck race, the latter a fairly clear Tory lead. Nerve-wracking – although I see the most recent phone-based polls have mostly re-aligned with the on-line ones, all except the Com Res/Daily Mail now calling a close race.

    • Tracey 5.1

      Thanks for this fish. I wonder what happened in 1970 that led to the first poll?

  6. CnrJoe 6

    Letter to my local Gisborne Herald – they may not publish – being rather chummy with the Tolley. Or at least will hack out the stomach staples to protect her modesty and her image of self responsibility and self-control.

    This paper’s editor considers my letters to be ‘attacks’. So be it.
    Here’s an ‘attack’.
    The Minister of Social Development is now banning beneficiaries – whose care she is responsible for – from getting loans for emergency dental treatment. Loans.
    This is vicious.
    Any dentist or technician or maxillofacial surgeon will tell you those with serious gum disease are 40% more likely to have a chronic condition on top.
    Diabetes, heart disease/stroke risk – infections in the gums release inflammatory substances which in turn increase brain inflammation that can cause neuronal (brain cell) death.
    Bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs where it can aggravate respiratory systems.
    Men with gum disease – 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.
    Women with gum disease took an average of seven months to conceive, compared to five months among their peers without gum disease.
    My surgeon told me I could of died before I spent $4 000 to get the help I needed. I require 3x a year maintenance work. I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t need to go to a loan shark.
    So Tolley has enough clues about the dangers of obesity to spend up to $30 000 to have her stomach stapled (that took some guts) so I assume she is aware of the dangers of poor dental health. Enough to have top-notch dental care for her winning smile – but the section of society that can only dream of her wealth and privilege – and the rude good health it affords her – will now be in pain. They will be in chronic pain and distress and under Anne Tolleys care and on her watch.
    This latest attack – by this government – on the most vulnerable of our community is just vicious.

    • weka 6.1

      Good letter Joe, thanks.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 6.2

      Here’s how to fix it:

      1) Apply for the dollar amount you need regardless of cost (yes, I know…stress, $, and possible humiliation from the dentist who hates beneficiaries). The legislation doesn’t limit it to $300, that is done through policy and they can and do go higher.

      2) Review the decision, and continue the appeal to the SSAA

      An increase in reviews may be more costly than providing the loan in the first place. Good luck.

    • Tracey 6.3

      Good on ya, let us know if it publishes…

      PS

      I didn;t know Tolley had a staple op?

      • CnrJoe 6.3.1

        shes in this story
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3260435/Stomach-stapled-MPs-put-weight-behind-Turia

        from her wiki
        Personal[edit]
        It emerged in 2010 that Tolley had undergone gastric bypass (stomach stapling) surgery in order to lose weight.[14] Tolley joins other current and former New Zealand politicians including Rahui Katene, David Lange, Chester Borrows, Donna Awatere-Huata and Tariana Turia to have had gastric bypass surgery at some point in the past.

        • CnrJoe 6.3.1.1

          Hers one I sent in which the editor took-out the stomach staples reference – completely ruining the gag I set up – (to protect Anne Tolleys modesty?)

          Dear Sir,
          Fresh from the regular ordeal of dry-retching at the horror of witnessing – day after day – people parading massive marlins that they’ve tortured and dragged around with their launches and then murdered, gutted and strung up on the wharf to be photographed for the pages of the Gisborne Herald; I am now implored by John Key, local M.P Anne Tolley and the Gisborne Herald editorial to ‘Get some Guts and get on the right side”, “roll up our sleeves and get stuck in” because “Something has to be done..”.
          So Anne Tolley and the Gisborne Herald Editor got some guts. To drag N.Z onto John Keys sick selfie adventure into Iraq takes guts of steel. über-guts. Tolleys got the stomach staples so she’s got $30 000 armoured guts. The Herald Editor has barrels of ink guts. The printed word handing up to the mighty – the sword.
          So, potentially, Gisborne-born guts will be spilt for John Keys photo-ops in the ‘middle east’ to come but more importantly – what desert-chic number has Anne Tolley picked for her inspection tour in Iraq? Her designers will have such fun with the flak-jackets and bullet proof helmets!
          “Get Some Guts”? If the Islamic Caliphate want to really stick it to N.Z for the National and Act Party’s desire to have our “club” membership validated then any Kiwis they capture for their propaganda murders may well be – gutted.

    • Joe .. a retraction was published for this change in loans announcement .. it was a mikstake. Will try to find the correction link from a day or so ago … brb … but great letter !!

    • From Jan Logie on Tuesday: curious and curiouser ….

      “So it turns out yesterday’s story about WINZ cuts to dental care loans was wrong, and through no fault of Radio New Zealand who ran it.

      The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has today corrected the Official Information Act release the story was based on. The corrected numbers now show fairly steady dispersal of loans and grants for emergency dental care since 2010.

      While this is good news, the situation is still very confusing. I continue to hear stories of people being told they can only get money for extractions, not things like root canals or crowns. I have also heard people being told not to bother applying.

      It’s strange that this doesn’t seem to show up in the statistics. It’s hard to have confidence in the statistics when the Ministry can apparently get them so wrong themselves.

      Beyond this, I must say I think it is just bizarre that alarms bells did not go off in MSD when they found there had apparently been a 99% decline in advance payments for dental care.

      It is even more bizarre that MSD initially sought to explain that drop, in an email copied to me, by saying there had been a policy change in 2012 that precluded the payment of advances for emergency dental care.

      There wasn’t a policy change, so that bit was made up. A policy change of that magnitude would actually have been unlawful, as it would have unreasonably restrained MSD case managers from exercising their statutory discretion to grant advance payments of benefit, but no one involved with this at MSD seemed to realise that.

      Furthermore, MSD has now effectively told the entire country via yesterday’s Radio New Zealand story that beneficiaries can’t get loans for dental care, and have not corrected that publicly.

      The National Government’s welfare reforms have been overwhelming for staff and beneficiaries alike, and the cuts to back room MSD staff significant, but quality of information informs decision making. Mistakes like this matter.”

      https://blog.greens.org.nz/2015/05/06/oia-chaos-in-the-ministry-of-social-development

      • CnrJoe 6.5.1

        Hey thanks. Whenever was I going to hear this. On R.N.Z?

        • rawshark-yeshe 6.5.1.1

          maybe it serves a better AND LIKELY more profitable purpose not to correct it ?? bstds.

          but it’s been there on our right hand links since tuesday which is where I first read it …

          maybe ring RNZ and ask why no correction .. maybe they don’t know either?

          we are ruled by Kaos agents 😥

          • greywarshark 6.5.1.1.1

            Don’t forget that TRNZ are getting a comment option going. Look for comment under the particular items that have been chosen. They are tryng a range.
            Eventually I get to where they have RNZtalk and that takes you past the stats to the cent

  7. arkie 8

    Stephen Franks voices concern over the two-tier justice system. I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with someone from the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

    He also appears to gently hint at recent ‘prominent NZer’ cases.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/273027/ex-mp-claims-two-tier-justice-system

    • northshoreguynz 8.1

      3 tier, IMHO, politicians with name suppression, rugby players, the rest of us.

    • Tracey 8.2

      He prefers a 1 tier system where every decision he agrees with is the one that matters.

      • arkie 8.2.1

        Yes, I really loathe the SST and their inconsistent advocacy.

        • adam 8.2.1.1

          What inconsistency arkie?

          I thought you got the memo – the SST is there for scared white people to vent their spleen about brown people doing crime. Because it’s so scary being white.

  8. Ron 9

    Lucretia Seales who is terminally ill with a brain tumour, is fighting in the courts to have the right to decide when she dies. The courts have allowed two ‘interested’ parties to join the case. One is the Human Right Commision and the other a group by the name of Care Alliance.
    I was curious who they were and a little googling shows that the alliance which seems to be a grouping of organisations all opposed to euthanasia, including some groups that appear to have a vested interest in keeping people alive.

    The group appears to traces back to another organisation called The Nathaniel Centre which turns about to be an offshoot of The Roman Catholic Church and is listed as their Bioethics Centre.

    The Care Alliance was co-founded by one Maggie Barry MP. No prizes for guessing her religion. Its web site has no real details of who they are but refer contact details to one Matthew Jansen, one would could only wonder if this is the same Matthew Jansen on the Board of Saint Catherines College Wellington Ltd?
    http://www.csbl.co.nz/about/shareholders-and-directors

    “The Alliance was established in 2012 in opposition to the poorly written, confusing and flawed End of Life Choice Bill proposed by a Labour List MP which has since been withdrawn following political pressure.”
    http://www.nathaniel.org.nz/component/content/article/19-homepage-slider-articles/330-broad-alliance-launches-to-oppose-legalising-euthanasia

    Is this a case once again of right wing church groups forming defacto front groups to push their narrow view of society.
    http://www.carealliance.org.nz/

    • Tracey 9.1

      I ams ure they will be very upfront about their real driving principles in Court 😉

  9. Philip Ferguson 11

    “The six cops who killed Freddie Gray in Baltimore have been charged.

    “Freddie Gray isn’t the first person that cops put in the back of a van, expressly to injure him. No seat belt, hands cuffed behind his back, feet shackled, he was left to bounce off the van’s walls. Others have been gravely injured, even paralyzed. And Freddie Gray is not the first man to die in Baltimore like this.

    “Protests lead to first cops in Baltimore ever being charged for such killing

    “And yet, this is the first time any Baltimore cop has been charged for the crime.

    “Isn’t it obvious? If young people hadn’t gone out into the streets on Monday night, the cops would not have been charged. . .

    report from Baltimore: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/the-anger-in-baltimore/

    • ianmac 11.1

      It has happened before that though police charged, which takes the pressure off, but the outcome was not guilty. This case will be pretty important.

      • joe90 11.1.1

        This case will be pretty important.

        Special treatment for special people.
        /

        As was true in a spate of recent death-in-custody cases, the Baltimore police department’s seeming reluctance (or inability) to mount a prompt, thorough investigation of its own officers has generated escalating protests, fueled by existing distrust of the police and suggestions of a cover-up.

        But in this case it wasn’t just the thin blue line of solidarity shielding the cops involved from having to testify against themselves or each other.

        The problem, said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is that city officials were unable to “fully engage” with the officers “because of our Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.”

        https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/27/blue-shield

  10. Philip Ferguson 12

    On paper, this country still has one of the most reactionary abortion laws in the world. There are enough liberal doctors that the reality is rather different, so the actual law isn’t especially effective or closely enforced. However it’s still there and the criminalisation of abortion still takes a psychological toll on women who choose to terminate pregnancies.

    Once upon a time there was an active campaign for women’s right to choose; isn’t there still a need for one?

    Abortion: remaking the case for the right to choose: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/ann-furedi-on-pro-choice/

    Getting abortion out the Crimes Act: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/getting-abortion-out-of-the-crimes-act/

  11. Maui 13

    Australian reality show taking the piss out of poor people, surprisingly being shown on the SBS channel (I thought they had a bit more class than that). How long till we get the NZ version, giving the middle-classes a good chuckle and reinforcing what they always thought about the poor.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/68341317/struggle-street-reality-tv-show-has-sydney-up-in-arms

  12. Clemgeopin 14

    Nate Silver inspired result prediction, updated for 6 May.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/uk-general-election-predictions/

    Also see more related info here:

    UK Election

  13. Pasupial 15

    The SDHB public meeting was a bit of fiasco, the Chairman Butterfield was clearly opposed to the idea of public input. There were no microphones, or PA (at a monthly public meeting), which made much of the talk inaudible to those at the back. So after half an hour when it had devolved into the crowd talking over the board to try get their points across he called a recess so the room would clear out. There was another half hour of “public” meeting after that; mainly the board going through the agenda as fast as possible while avoiding eye contact with those members of the public who had stuck around. Then we were turfed out while the board went to the cafe in preparation for the public-excluded session in which they’d record the decisions they had already made.

    Two elected Board Member were good though:

    Some reacted angrily when a bid by board member Mary Gamble to shift the decision into the public part of the meeting was rejected by other board members… Her motion found only one supporter, fellow elected board member Dr John Chambers.

    ”What have we got to hide?” Mrs Gamble asked.

    Some members of the public fired irate comments at the board before filing out of the meeting.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/341408/heat-food-outsourcing-meeting

    Yesterday, I thought that the Union’s offer of matching the Compass Group’s terms (whilst humiliating) would be enough to save the kitchens:

    Open mike 06/05/2015

    Now I’m very pessimistic.

    This one exchange from the second half was worth jotting down (may not be an exact transcription, but as close as I could get):

    Board Member Mary Gamble: “…are we ever going to open the books and see that we are within budget?”
    CEO Carole Heatley: “We have a lot of tough decisions, and not all will be popular; as we have seen this morning”

    Chairman Butterfield: “the 5% cuts are only the start.”

    • All this heartache to save a measly $5million over 7 years and serve pre-cooked frozen- to-be-microwaved food to very sick people ?? ( it’s about $13,500 pw which is likely less than redundancies and Winz benefits will cost them.) And of course, any profit will be leaving the country courtesy of Compass — and where in any universe can you write profit and hospital food in the same sentence and not be ridiculed ? Yep. Auckland and Dunedin.

      Where or where are we headed ?? Toxic food by a compromised toxic British
      company.

      Tony Ryall jumped ship .. or was he pushed for this debacle and the millions that disappeared under his medical revolution? To this day, never accounted for.

      • Pasupial 15.1.1

        rawshark-y

        $7 million over 15 years

        That makes $3.5m over 7.5 years, your figure wasn’t nearly measly enough. Especially considering that HBL spent over $4m devloping the business plan! The money seems to be the justification, not the reason, for the likely adoption of this shortsighted scheme:

        Mary Gamble, of Central Otago, says she is voting against the controversial 15-year deal today, but does not expect much support around the table.

        Board member Dr John Chambers said he was voting against it, and was also pessimistic about the likely outcome…

        ‘‘My main reason is I’m not convinced that we will see the savings promised. I don’t believe Compass is incentivised, the whole way it’s set up . . . to deliver savings to us,” Mrs Gamble said.

        ‘‘My feeling is the majority of [board members] will vote for [outsourcing].”

        http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/341376/dhb-member-speaks-out-over-outsourcing-plan

        When it comes time for council elections next year, I will make a point to proclaim the names of those elected board members who vote for this outsourcing as loud as I possibly can.

        However, from looking about today, it seemed that the; 8 elected Board Members, were outnumbered by the; 6 Executive Directors, plus; CEO, Chairman, & Deputy (plus Board Secretary, but she probably doesn’t have voting rights). I don’t think the Chairman is an elected position (in fact I think Butterfield’s already retired, but is filling in until someone else is appointed – only no one wants the job), I’m not sure about the deputy. So that seems to make 8 elected representatives to 9 appointed, which makes public accountability a farce.

        • rawshark-yeshe 15.1.1.1

          it is a farce, isn’t it ? and I thought on the figures I quoted !! How are they falling for this? Is to just to save face on having spent $4 million on a business plan ?
          ( Isn’t that more than the equivalent of the first 7.5 years savings ???)

          have you seen this report from Oz on the multiple serious failings of Compass … needs to be thrown around the DHB offices asap …

          https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/awuqld/pages/326/attachments/original/1415324859/Compass_group_and_medirest_track_record.pdf?1415324859

          please let us have updates if you can bear to do it …

          • Pasupial 15.1.1.1.1

            Update:

            The Southern District Health Board has announced it is going ahead with a plan to outsource its hospital kitchens.

            The move will see up to 20% of food workers lose their job.

            The board was not swayed by the strong public presence at today’s meeting, at which Grey Power, unions, workers and members of the public implored the board to rethink the proposal…

            A petition with more than 7000 signatures opposing the outsourcing of hospital kitchens was presented at a crowded Southern District Health Board meeting this morning.

            http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/341408/heat-food-outsourcing-meeting

            As soon as most of the public left during the 5min recess, Chairman Butterfield immediately stowed the boxes containing the petition under the table unread where no board member could be reminded of their presence. I remember hearing someone call out; “what is it too far to walk to the waste-paper bin?”.

            Next step is legal action:

            National secretary John Ryall said the union would lodge the a similar case against Southern to the one it is fighting with the Auckland DHB over outsourcing…

            ”We think that there’s major legal issues around pushing people over to a contractor under Part 6A [of the Employment Relations Act], which is meant to protect vulnerable workers, when you know that as soon as they move over they’re going to have their hours and jobs cut.

            ”If Southern go ahead with the proposal to contract out all the work and privatise the services a similar sort of legal action will be taking place in Southern,” Mr Ryall said.

            http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/340039/union-warns-sdhb-legal-action

            BTW/ Thanks to rs-yh for the link, though it’s taking me a while to go through all the relevant footnotes. Page 17 of this ruling has some disturbing instances of Compass/ Medirest being incompetent about freezer storage and out of date food:

            http://www.nzdrc.co.nz/site/commercialdisputes/files/Court%20Decisions/Compass%20Group%20UK%20and%20Ireland%20Ltd%20v%20Mid%20Essex%20Hospital%20Services%20NHS%20Trust%20%5B2012%5D%20EWHC%20781%20_QB_.pdf

          • McFlock 15.1.1.1.2

            What bites my balls is that the union reckon they can put together a plan that will generate much more revenue than the privatisation will save, but the board in its wisdom decided to consider compass without looking for any alternatives.

    • Tracey 15.2

      Thanks for reporting back on this.
      http://www.southerndhb.govt.nz/pages/boardmembers/

      Joe Butterfield, MNZM, FCA, FinstD, CMILT

      Chairman

      Joe Butterfield is a chartered accountant who has spent his working life as a partner/director of the accounting firm Footes Ltd Chartered Accountants (and its predecessors) to which he is now a consultant. Joe, who is from Timaru, is in his second term as Chair of the Southern Board and has a strong interest in health and welfare matters. He is also Chair of Southern DHB’s Hospital Advisory Committee and the Appointments and Remuneration Advisory Committee. He was Chairman of South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) from 2000-2009, until he stood down after his term had expired. He was a member of Health South Canterbury (the predecessor to SCDHB) and served as its Chairman from 1996 until 2000. He has also served on the Ministry of Health National Capital Committee and District Health Boards New Zealand.

      As well as roles in health and finance, Joe has extensive experience in the transport and agricultural sector and has held directorships in companies including Intercity Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries, Ritchie’s Transport Holdings, the Port of Timaru and the South Canterbury Regional Development Board. Joe is also a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport. A lifetime yachtsman, Joe was a member of Yachting NZ’s governance board from 1986-95 and its president 92/95. He was its representative on the sport’s international body 1994-2008 and was an international umpire 1989/05 and is still an international judge.”

      Mrs Mary Gamble, SRM, SCM, B.Sc, M.Sc

      Elected Member (Otago Constituency)

      Mrs Gamble is a retired midwife who worked for many years helping hundreds of Otago women to deliver their babies. She also has a strong background in health management and governance.

      In 2005 Mary wound up her high profile midwifery practice and was recruited as a Research Manager at the University of Otago’s faculty of Health Sciences. After two years she was appointed to the foundation team charged with the establishment of a new medical school at the University of Limerick, Ireland. By July 2011 the Medical School had graduated its first Medical Doctors and Mrs Gamble fulfilled the roles of Research Development Manager and then as the Clinical Liaison Manager ensuring that students were appropriately placed for their clinical training both in hospitals and in GP practices.

      Prior to returning to Ireland, Mrs Gamble was twice elected to the Otago DHB in 2001 and 2007 and so has six years health governance experience prior to her recent election to the Southern District Health Board. She is also serving on the Southern DHB’s Hospital Advisory Committee.

      John Chambers, FRCS (Ed), FACEM

      Elected Member (Otago Constituency)

      Dr John Chambers is a Dunedin-based Senior Emergency Medical Officer who has worked in Dunedin Hospital for over 20 years. John is an active member of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and a member of New Zealand Faculty Board of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, and a member of the Southern DHB’s Hospital Advisory Committee.

      John is also is the Director of a small business Chambers Consultancy (2007) Ltd, and health services consultancy, and is employed 0.05 FTE as an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer of the Dunedin Medical School, University of Otago. He continues to work full time as an emergency specialist seeing and treating a wide variety of patients and has a particular interest in the use of ultrasound in emergency diagnosis and care.

  14. AsleepWhileWalking 16

    Giant hotel chain sends small town sent C&D letter for continuing to use the name “Copthorne” for at least 5000 years:
    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2015/05/06/trademark-terrorism-hotel-chain-sends-cease-and-desist-letter-to-1000-year-old-village-for-using-its-own-name/

    • just imagine what will happen under the TPPA then !

    • ianmac 16.2

      Pity the village of Copthorne cannot sue the hotel company for stealing the village name which they have owned for a thousand years. Justice!

      • North 16.2.1

        Nasty twist on “Rule for a thousand years……….”

        I tell you…….it’s a sign.

  15. Michael 17

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/205289/two-senate-dems-challenge-obama-release-tpp-text

    Senate Democrats write open letter demanding that Obama release the TPP text.

  16. Draco T Bastard 18

    Inside jobs (Economist link so need to register to read)

    Research suggests that government cronyism may cripple Spain’s economy

    Blame has traditionally been pinned on a housing bubble that fostered distorted growth in the construction industry. But a recent paper by a team headed by Manuel García-Santana of the Université Libre de Bruxelles finds that the productivity fall was spread more evenly across all sectors. It had little to do with skills, innovation or debt. “We found that bad [less productive] companies grew faster than the good ones,” says one of the co-authors, Enrique Moral-Benito. Productivity falls were greater when the government was heavily involved, through contracts, licences or regulations. Luis Garicano, the economics adviser of the liberal Ciudadanos party, says this points to an economy dependent on contacts, corruption and cronyism.

    Can anyone say Talent2? How about other contracts that have government funding and close relationships with MPs?

    These aren’t the government doing things themselves but the government contracting out the work that the government should be doing directly. Such a system produces a massive opportunity for graft and corruption that the government doing things directly won’t as they’re actually publicly accountable.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.1

      In many of these countries the differentiation between the top levels of government and the top levels of corporations is simply arbitrary. Welcome to the age of corporate rule.

  17. robertson just did the best i have seen him do up against english..

    ..english just came out of it looking like a total clown..

    ..and nanaia mahuta did well up against flavell..

    ..getting him squirming over whanau ora..

  18. indiana 20

    I want to personally thank Len Brown for allowing me to increase my rents irrespective of what the market rates currently are.

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    This article on NRT has a new Registrar of New Zealand Business Numbers being created and the creation excluding it from the OIA as is expected under this guideline:

    All public bodies should be subject to the Ombudsmen Act 1975, the Public Audit Act 2001, the Public Records Act 2005, the Official Information Act 1982 (or the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987)

    But that is a guideline and not a legal requirement. Obviously it needs to be changed to an actual law so that government departments are automatically included under the OIA. Exclusions would have to be specifically written into the legal framework with reasons for the exclusion.

    Such needs to happen so that we’re not left wondering if an exclusion is incompetence or malicious intent by the people writing up the legislation.

  20. Tracey 22

    Despite 3 major banks announcing increased profits, they will pass on their tax evasion costs to… their customers…

    A GREAT Ad for co-op banks

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/68346946/multinationals-tried-to-defeat-tax-rules

  21. North 23

    Trevette back to her ‘soothing-balm’ styles re Key in The Herald this morning. Warning against peurile motive and spite. Projection-by-proxy of the past and present peurile motives underlying this flag stunt methinks:

    ” ………. trying to influence people’s votes out of puerile political spite is a different matter. It may be true that Key is keen on a legacy, but it should be irrelevant. The referendums are on the flag, not on the political parties or personalities.

    Regulation Trevette – “Time to leave John Key alone now I think……”

    As for “legacy” there is alhairdy a legacy.

  22. aj 24

    History channel on Sky has been screening Ken Loach’s ‘Spirit of ’45’ this week. Highly recommended and with many parallels with the political changes in that period in our own country.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirit_of_%2745

  23. les 25

    Abbott acts on foreign RE buyers..Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced tough new laws for foreign property investors in an effort to ‘level the playing field’ for Australian buyers.

    The changes will see foreign buyers charged a $5000 fee to enter the Australian market, as well as increased fines and possible jail terms for investors who breach foreign ownership laws – and the agents who help them do so.

    The stricter laws follow an investigation by the Foreign Investment Review Board into housing affordability in Australia, which partly blamed foreign buyers for inflated domestic prices.

    ‘The new regime will maximise opportunities for Australians, give Australian home owners confidence and a level playing field,’ Mr Abbott told reporters at a press conference in Sydney on Saturday.

    ‘It’s about giving locals a fair go.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3064941/Australia-crack-foreign-investors-buying-property-revealed-Chinese-owner-buyer-forced-sell-one-Australias-expensive-mansions.html#ixzz3ZQVnid9w
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  24. Draco T Bastard 26

    Investor/State dispute settled Key style:

    ONE News has learned that the Government has spent $6 million air freighting 900 pregnant ewes and farming equipment to Hamood Al Ali Khalaf’s farm in Saudi Arabia.

    According to Mr Al Ali Khalaf’s business partner, Sydney-based George Assaf, everything from the fencing to “the shed and the wool shed and the yards and the drafting machines, the weighing, the scales, you mention it, it’s all from New Zealand”.

    Mr Assaf says the deal was done to “compensate” the pair over a six-year-old ban of live sheep exports in which they say they lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

    He says New Zealand was told “unless you fix that part of it, we won’t sign” the free trade deal between New Zealand and the Gulf States.

    I’m sure that with a law in place to ensure that this type of bribery is legal it’ll just get worse.

    New Zealand will receive no profit from the Saudi farm, which Mr Assaf claims is worth $80 million.

    But, it provides New Zealand businesses with the opportunity to showcase their wares, according to Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

    Asked what return the country should expect from the farm, Mr Guy replied: “Ultimately it may help us land the free trade agreement.”

    Actually, it’s going to help put NZ sheep farms out of the export business.

  25. North 27

    Look at Cameron……..he’s a Key with lashings of Hoorah Henry.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/06/lord-odonnell-leader-of-largest-party-does-not-automatically-become-pmhttp://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/06/lord-odonnell-leader-of-largest-party-does-not-automatically-become-pm

    Then Boris is a weird amalgam of JoKeyHen, Farrar, Hide, and Gerry Brownlee after the Swiss Clinic.

  26. North 28

    Campbell Live tonight…….ChCh volunteer whose Good Samaritanism has come back on his very soul. With no ACC back-up because the damage ain’t physical. Wasn’t there the noted example of the built young Maori or Polynesian guy who leapt in lustily heaving heavy lumps of concrete off trapped people ? Who was honoured with an award ?

    All the proof you need that the editorial of Campbell Live is indispensable !

    Mediaworks should be proud that it’s happening under their banner !

    For fuck’s sake…….what has happened to New Zealand ?

    Campbell Live next clip……the rental-rape of Filipino ChCh reconstruction workers ???

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