Open Mike 07/08/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 7th, 2017 - 135 comments
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135 comments on “Open Mike 07/08/2017”

  1. brad 1

    sorry if i scared some of the blogers with my last blogs on open mike i have not just crashed this site i have being reading the standard for about a year i have posted blogs on the daily blog about how the justice system is breaching my human rights last year i tried to get help from the human rights commissioner the privacy commissioner no help there maybe it is because i cannot get a lawyer because john key slashed the funding for legal aid so no poor person can challange the system and hold them acountable for there actions

    • weka 1.1

      I’d suggest using punctuation, and in the case of the previous comment, break it into paragraphs. This will make it easier to read and for people to respond.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.2

      The Privacy Commission is a political organisation who would have told you if you were unhappy you could complain to the ombudsman.

      The Human Rights Commission would ignore you unless there were hundreds of complaints along similar lines, even if what you complained about was serious and had a public interest component.

      Been there, done that. Still do it just in case one day someone takes it seriously and there is a written record.

      • savenz 1.2.1

        @ Brad, Set up a Facebook page with all your allegations… otherwise it may look like you are trolling to disrupt posts and doing the opposite of what you might be trying to achieve as it’s not clear what human rights have been breached from your posts but there are a lot of posts on some articles.

        P.S. You will probably get nowhere as National have shut down pretty much all justice for vulnerable people and actually people in general.

    • ropata 1.3

      Try Citizens Advice Bureau perhaps they can put you in touch with a lawyer offering pro bono help. If you find one there will probably be a long queue.

      I don’t know what your issue is but sometimes public libraries can be helpful

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Further evidence of the corruption in the PTE/Immigration rort that is the ‘international student’ education sector which Joyce so vociferously defends.

    NZ doesn’t want this sort of practise going because it damages the country and its reputation in so many ways.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/336615/old-boys-network-suspected-in-indian-student-market

    • Gabby 2.1

      The selfstyled agent of agents is one thing, the personal loan to a tertiary head looks well dodgy.

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    Excellent long read from The Political Scientist: the morality of poverty and the poverty of morality.

    He begins with explaining the evolution of human morality – fit for small hunter gatherer societies but doesn’t work quite the same in today’s context. He quotes stats showing what has happened in relation to poverty in NZ since the 1990.

    He quotes extensively from Metiria Turei’s speech on welfare, in which she made her confession about her time on benefits.

    She uses her own experience to express empathy for some individuals who have been brutally treated by our current benefit system.

    Then TPS turns his attention to media responses to Turei, and to Ardern’s treatment of Turei in the last week.

    He begins his post:

    We are moral animals.

    But, so far as I can judge, in politics today our moral instincts are operating in a way that generates the worst moral outcomes.

    And ends:

    We missed the chance to confront, as a nation, what we have been doing to ‘our own people’ – to ourselves – for three decades.

    But, more importantly, because of how central the treatment of beneficiaries and the poor is to the neoliberal structuring of the state and the economy, we have also missed the chance to confront and weigh in the balance — out loud and with clear and honest eyes — the state of not just New Zealand’s welfare regime but the morality of our direction as a country.

    • Jenny Kirk 3.1

      Yes – its a very good read, Carolyn_nth – but I doubt that many will take much notice of it. We have become a hard, uncaring country over the last three decades.

      • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1

        Well, it’s important to keep this ideas circulating, around diverse networks – however small to start with. Real change is a long hard road.

      • adam 3.1.2

        You mean since the 4th labour government there Jenny Kirk?

    • adam 3.2

      I like it Carolyn_nth. But you are asking people tethered to racism, hate and revenge politics to stop. Not likely when they are encouraged to be amoral actors at almost every turn.

      Plus they are rewarded for their psychopathic behavior to put the boot in.

      Ever since the 4th labour Government gave up on socialism and embraced liberalism, our society has slowly but surly given up on morality as well. Ironically a economic system that preaches individualism is so bereft of morality, which adversely affects the individual.

    • RedLogix 3.3

      @ Carolyn

      Thanks for the great link. I admire Puddleglum a lot and find their ideas very influential.

    • Molly 3.4

      Good read Carolyn_nth.

      It reinforces that to change the government, means not just to change the players, but to change the way it works.

      • Carolyn_nth 3.4.1

        Yes. Changing the government, by reinforcing the neoliberal and individualistic culture that has become entrenched deeply in our society since the 1980s, is no win for the left in the long term.

        I am in despair, because I have seen too much of such appeasement over the last 3 decades, and the left just gets weaker long term.

  4. bwaghorn 4

    on a radio station [some god botherer one] bloke seems to think labour has ripped off beyonce s Rule the World for their back round music.

  5. weka 5

    Can anyone one help me extract text from PDF files? I can’t figure out how to do it on my mac, and apps I am looking at all seem to be OCR converters but this PDF isn’t an OCR issue as far as I can tell. All the new GP policy is in this form. I can cut and paste but the paste is partial and illegible.

    https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/Mending%20the%20Safety%20Net%20policy%20paper%20FINAL_0.pdf

    • ianmac 5.1

      On my Mac perhaps screen capture would help?
      Apple, shift 4. Then drag. Will only capture what is on screen. Should appear on the deck top. Mind you my Mac is a desk top.

    • DH 5.2

      That’s a tricky one. On my windows version of acrobat reader there’s a “save as other” option which lets me save it as a text file or word document. The formatting is lost in the text file but it still appears to save all the content. Need an online adobe account for word conversion so I haven’t tried that.

      • weka 5.2.1

        did you do that with the Green Party PDF above?

        • DH 5.2.1.1

          Yes, only hiccup was it exported the carriage returns as well and it didn’t look too pretty… had to reformat the paragraphs.

          OCR was the usual method for those, don’t know how they did that one.

          • weka 5.2.1.1.1

            Cheers.

            • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1.1

              One thing you can do with unformatted text like that is to use something like notepad++ to change the carriage return and other hidden text patterns into some approximation of decent formatting in one go.

              eg delete all the carriafe returns and line feeds (\r\n) and then replace triple spaces with new line breaks.

    • YNWA 5.3

      Take a snapshot of the text in the PDF do and paste it into a Microsoft OneNote Doc, then select the image that u have pasted and right-click and select “copy text from picture”. This renders the text as editable.

      • weka 5.3.1

        On a mac, but are you suggesting taking a screen shot and then using an OCR converter? That might work. It will be a lot of work on the larger docs though.

        • weka 5.3.1.1

          Just tried that with an online PDF to text service and it gave me a blank document at the end.

          • Rosemary McDonald 5.3.1.1.1

            Perhaps a quick call to GP head office and make them aware there might be a problem with this document. Surely it is in their interests for folk to be able to easily quote their words?

    • Ant 5.4

      Open Word
      Highlight text in the PDF
      Press Cntrl-C
      Press Cntrl-V on the Word page.
      (I found right-clicking on the highlighted text does not bring up “copy”)

      • weka 5.4.1

        Cut and pasting doesn’t work. I can cut but the paste is illegible.

        • weka 5.4.1.1

          Although I would be interested to see if you can do that with the Green Party PDF above, then what system you are on.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.4.1.1.1

            Steps to conversion:

            1. I opened it using “Foxit” pdf, then saved it under a new name.

            2. Upload to http://www.free-online-ocr.com/

            3. Convert to text.

            4. Edit (the time consuming part)

            Having tried various other ways first, these steps got me to an editable text file.

            • riffer 5.4.1.1.1.1

              Okay.

              here’s the text:
              Mending the Safety Net
              For a fairer society
              Green
              GREEN PARTY ELECTION PRIORITY
              Summary
              No one in New Zealand should live in poverty, whether they are working or on a benefit.
              The Green Party will repair the holes that have been torn in New Zealand’s social safety net in recent decades by making major changes to income support – changes that will bring people out of poverty and provide independence, dignity, and choices. We will:
              1. Increase all core benefits by 20 percent
              2. Increase the amount people can earn before their benefit is cut Increase the value of Working For Families for all families who receive tax credits
              Create a non-discriminatory Working For Families Children’s Credit of $72 a week1
              5. Remove financial penalties and excessive sanctions for people receiving benefits
              6. Raise the top tax rate to 40 percent on income over $150,000 per year, and reduce the bottom tax rate from 10.5 percent to 9 percent on income under $14,000.
              Our welfare system should provide effective support for people who need it, while they need it. The social safety net should stop families from falling into poverty and guarantee a basic, liveable income. That’s what it means to live in a decent, compassionate society.
              Punishing people through benefit sanctions, cuts, and investigations has not worked. Rather than giving people ‘incentives’ it traps them in a cycle of poverty and puts children’s wellbeing at risk.
              Children suffer when the welfare system punishes their parents, and in the long term, so does society. In contrast, the simple and stable incomes system the Green Party will implement will provide parents with the support they need to raise their kids and improve their lives.
              The Green Party’s plan will ensure the people on the highest incomes pay their fair share and those that need help are treated with respect and dignity.
              Situation
              New Zealand is a country where everyone should get a fair go at a decent life. But despite years of stories and outrage about child poverty, we are still falling far behind comparable countries in our efforts to guarantee all children their basic needs.
              Inequality in New Zealand rose drastically from the 1980s, a product of the zealous social and economic reforms which saw jobs lost and income support drastically cut, pushing thousands of families below the poverty line. These changes ripped holes in the social safety net that generations of New Zealanders had knitted together. That legacy still haunts us.
              Far too many people in New Zealand simply do not have enough to get by on. Today, 212,000 children live in poverty. Haifa million Kiwis experience hardship in education, health, income, housing, material well-being, or employment.2 Housing in many New Zealand towns and cities is classed as severely unaffordable,3 and one in a hundred people are homeless.4
              Children who grow up poorfind it harderto succeed at school, and as adults, have worse health and earn less than children from wealthier households. UNICEF has calculated that the impact of child poverty on the economy is $10 billion every year.5
              We need to do better for families who are struggling to make ends meet. And we can do better. It is time to mend the social safety net and restore its purpose to provide a decent life for everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand.
              Under National, our welfare system relies heavily on sanctions and unnecessarily harsh obligations, which force people off benefits with no guarantee that they will be able to provide for themselves or their children.
              As a result, families can end up without enough money to make it through the week, or in debt to Work and Income (WINZ) or loan sharks. 6 Forcing people, particularly parents, off benefits and into short term, poorly paid, or precarious work – or no work at all – is not a viable long term solution.7
              Sanctions are also expensive to administer. In the UK, research by the National Audit Office concluded simply that there was “no evidence that sanctions worked”.8
              It is not welfare that causes people to become trapped, it is poverty.
              Single parents – who are overwhelmingly female – are the most likely of any family group to be living in hardship today. Yet they can lose hundreds of dollars a week if WINZ thinks they are in a relationship, even if their partner is not able or willing to financially support them. 9 The impact of this falls hardest on children, and can quickly send families even further into poverty.
              In addition, single parents are punished for not revealing the other parent of their children under a dubious section of the Social Security Act, which involves a weekly sanction of $22 or more, per child. To get an exemption for compelling circumstances (such as rape or domestic abuse), women may have to recount personal and often traumatic details of their lives to WINZ staff members who are not trained to deal with such situations, often in open-plan offices.
              The Green Party will put all that firmly behind us and focus on ensuring that every family in Aotearoa New Zealand has what they need to get by.
              Solution
              The Green Party will rebuild a welfare system that recognises the need for families to live above the poverty line, to access support and advice, and to have the best opportunities to improve their circumstances. The first step is to raise benefits, which have stayed too low for too long. One of the most effective ways to help children thrive in the long term is simply to make sure they have enough money.
              1. Welfare reform
              The simple fact is that benefits should be enough to live on and enough to raise kids on. The Green Party will increase all core benefits by 20 percent: Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Supported Living Payments, and Student Allowances.
              Government should never use poverty as a weapon against people who need help – Metiria Turei
              We will also restore the Training Incentive Allowance, to support people on benefits who want to go to University or attend a course that will help them get secure, well-paid work. At a cost of just $35 million a year, the Training Incentive Allowance is an important tool for people to use to pursue a better future for their families.
              Fixing abatement rates
              Currently, it is too easy for people to end up worse off financially if they work part time, as they lose 40 percent of their earnings after just 5-8 hours work on the minimum wage. This is no help for people who are trying to get back into the workforce, and leaves them exposed if they don’t have regular or reliable income.
              The Green Party will increase the amount that all beneficiaries can earn to $200 a week before any reductions kick in, with a 30 percent abatement
              for weekly income between $200 and $400, and a 70 percent abatement after that.
              We estimate the combined cost of increasing benefits and fixing abatement rates will cost $935.2 million in the first year. However, more generous core benefitsare likely to reduce the amount of money that people need to claim as one-off hardship grants, which cost the Government $70 million in the December 2016 quarter alone.10
              Removing sanctions
              We will remove all the obligations and sanctions that create an excessive burden on people. These include:
              excessive appointment attendance requirements forced budgeting appointments
              work testing for sole parent support, jobseeker support, and disability support
              repeated proof of disability or sickness intrusive relationship investigations.
              Sanctions that take money from beneficiaries will also be removed from the Social Security Act, including the punitive, sexist section 70A which punishes women for not naming the father of their child. Reducing sanctions is estimated to cost just $8.8 million a year.
              This will be more than offset by drastically reduced Government spending on investigations into whether people are meeting obligations, which cost $36.4 million last year.
              A culture of compassion
              Situations change and life can be unpredictable. People move in and out of poverty and on and off benefits through no particularfaultoftheirown. The government’s role is to support people through difficult times and help them make their lives better, not to provide the bare minimum or seek out opportunities to reduce financial support.
              The Green Party will restore an individual case management system to WINZ so that each person on a benefit has a well-trained caseworker who will help that person either find appropriate well paid work, quality
              training or education, or assist that person to live a decent life for the time they remain on a benefit.
              2. Sole Parent Support
              The Green Party will simplify the definition of a relationship in the nature of marriage, to stop the government intruding into the personal lives of sole parents. Currently, WINZ spends an inordinate amount of time and resources attempting to catch people out for being in a relationship. We will make the rules more simple and sensible.
              A person receiving the Sole Parent Support (SPS) benefit will be required to advise WINZ when they enter into an intimate relationship which involves living together in the same household and a financial commitment to each other. They will be entitled to retain the SPS until they marry or enter into a civil union, or once they are entitled to a share of another person’s property under the Property Relationships Act (three years in a de-facto relationship).
              3. Raising incomes for working families
              Working for Families has become less and less effective at helping low-income families over the past decade, as National has frozen the rates while wages and inflation rise.
              In order to make sure that families get the help they need, the Green Party will turn the In Work Tax Credit into a Children’s Credit for all families, which will give at least an extra $72 a week to low income families and help 178,000 children.11
              We will create a Children’s Credit for all low income families, so parents and kids get the help they need.
              To make sure more families get some extra help, we will raise the amount people can earn before abatement rates kick in to $44,800 and lower the abatement rate to 20%. We will also increase all Working For Families tax
              credits to the value of their 2010 levels, to take account of the rising cost of living since then, and tie annual increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
              We estimate this will cost $489.4 million a year. 4. Tax reform
              Taxes in New Zealand should be fair. 64 percent of Kiwis believe that the economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful.12 When it comes to taxes, the evidence for that is clear. Since the mid-1980s, the top tax rate has been halved from 66 percent to 33 percent, making it the fourth-lowest in the developed world. The tax rate for someone earning the median wage is only three percent less than someone earning $200,000 a year.
              The Green Party will reduce the bottom tax rate on income up to $14,000 from 10.5 percent to 9 percent. This will help low and medium income earners keep more of their wages. Everyone who earns less than $150,000 will be better off.
              People on the highest incomes should pay their fair share of tax to help those most in need. We will raise the top tax rate to 40 percent on income over $150,000.
              The net impact of this tax reform is a slight increase in tax revenue of $163.4 million a year.
              4. Raising the minimum wage
              The minimum wage must be set at a level that prevents poverty and enables families to live decent lives.
              The Green Party will raise the minimum wage to $17.75 per hour in 2018, and make further adjustments to ensure it reaches 66 percent of the average wage by 2020. Based on Treasury forecasts, that will mean a minimum wage of $21.25 in 2020.
              Currently, 152,700 people earn the minimum wage.
              What difference will this make for people?
              Reducing the bottom tax rate will see all working people have a bit more in their pocket each week. Families and people on benefits will see significant increases in their incomes, enabling a decent quality of life.
              A sole parent on a benefit, with two school-age children, and no paid employment: $179.62 better off every week.
              2. A sole parent receiving the Student Allowance, with two children, and part time work on just above minimum wage: $176.15 better off every week.
              3. A single person receiving Jobseeker support: $42.20 better off every week.
              4. A two parent family, with one working parent on the median income, with three children: $104.42 better off every week.
              5. Two parents, both receiving Jobseeker support, with three children: $207.46 better off every week.
              6. Atwo parent family, both earning the median income of 48,000, with three children: $130.19 better off every week.
              7. Two parents, one in paid work earning $70,000 a year, with two children: $87.85 better off every week.
              Fiscal impact
              In New Zealand, there is enough to go around if it is shared fairly.
              Costs for these changes to benefits, Working for Families, and the tax system have been independently modelled by BERL.13 This modelling assumes National’s 2017 “families package” does not take effect. While that package included a small step in the right direction, the Green Party’s plan is a much more comprehensive solution to raise family incomes and is designed to replace National’s.
              The total cost of fixing benefits and Working for Families is $1,468 billion, while the tax reform is close to fiscally neutral with a small net positive fiscal impact of $163.4 million. Reducing WINZ’s spending on investigating beneficiaries for not meeting obligations saves a further $35 million.
              The net gain from the tax reform does not coverthe whole cost of this package. Prior to the election we will release our full fiscals which will show all planned spending and revenue.
              Solution Fiscal implication (millions)
              Benefit increase and abatement changes -$935.1
              Working For Families changes -$489.4
              Reinstate the Training Incentive Allowance -$35
              Removing sanctions -$8.8
              Total cost of benefit and WFF reform -$1,468.3

              Tax reform (net) $163.4
              Savings from changes to sanctions and obligations14 $35
              Total revenue $198.4
              Sources
              1 $72 a week for the first child
              2 SuperU ‘Familes and Whanau Status Report 2017’
              http://www.superu.govt.nz/publication/families-and-whanau-status-report-2017
              3 The Economist ‘Global House Prices’ March 2017 https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/03/daily-chart-6?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/
              4 Dr Kate Amore ‘Homelessness accelerates between censuses’ 3 June 2016 http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago613529.html
              5 https://www.unicef.org.nz/learn/our-work-in-new-zealand/Child-Poverty-in-New-Zealand
              6 Simon Maude’Emergency housing choices often limited, costly, says ministry’ June 25 2016 http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/national/80363283/Emergency-housing-choices-often-limited-costly-says-ministry
              7 Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty http://www.occ.org.nz/assets/Uploads/EAG/Working-papers/No-3-Causes-and-consequences.pdf
              8 Rajeev Sayal ‘No evidence welfare sanctions work, says National Audit Office’, The Guardian, 30 November 2016
              https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/30/no-evidence-welfa re-sanctions-work-says-national-audit-office
              9 SuperU ‘Familes and Whanau Status Report 2017’
              10 https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/index.html
              11 $72 a week for the first child
              12 Henry Cooke ‘Over half of Kiwis think politics and the economy are rigged against them’, July 3 2017.
              https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/94335554/over-half-of-kiwis-think-politics-and-the-economy-are-rigged-against-them
              13 The BERL model does not include changes to the minimum wage.
              14 Estimate, based on recent years. Most recent annual figure is $36.4 million.
              http://www.greens.org.nz/ families-package
              Green
              Authorised by Metiria Turei, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

            • riffer 5.4.1.1.1.2

              Looks like I can’t copy and paste the text, but I’ve used ABBYY Finereader to OCR the PDF and export to TXT.

              You can grab it from here:

              https://1drv.ms/t/s!AmYFbYF_zxe3rGwf7JbQJPf43N0V

            • riffer 5.4.1.1.1.3

              Here’s my version Weka.

              I used ABBYY Finereader to OCR it.

              https://1drv.ms/t/s!AmYFbYF_zxe3rGwf7JbQJPf43N0V

              • weka

                thanks! that looks like an easy to use form too.

                The OCR online services I used and one downloaded app, seemed to decide it wasn’t an OCR issue (as in, it hadn’t been scanned).

            • weka 5.4.1.1.1.4

              ta, just waiting. Foxit is taking a massive amount of time to download a rather small file.

    • Hanswurst 5.5

      Open the PDF file at http://www.newocr.com and do an OCR on it page by page (you can flip through the pages on the webpage). You get a direct on-screen output on the webpage that you can copy and paste directly, or you can save each page individually. The paragraphs are retained fairly well.

  6. patricia bremner 6

    We need a Truth and Reconciliation session for WINZ / MSD

    The wrongs done, and the survival outcomes. (or not)

    I signed the petition.

    I signed for a friend asked to work 15 hrs a week when dying of cancer!!

    Paula exposed helpless people for her own ends in her role and still lives well.

    I wanted her to feel a weight of anger.

    Perhaps that makes me human …. not necessarily a hypocrite.

    It is so hard for “Clients” to get cut through, I am not amazed at the reaction.

    • savenz 6.1

      +1 patricia bremner

    • aerobubble 6.2

      Family benefit for the in work, how many do you think let people rent a room or do cash jobs. Got to be huge. So those who recieve the smallest amount, on the lowest income get the most onerous oversight. Thats seems wrong to me, we need to widen the debate out some family benefit over claimers.

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    Great policy announced by TOP today – bringing in the German tenancy model, with much greater rights for tenants:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/336605/give-up-on-home-ownership-strengthen-renters-rights-morgan

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      Don’t you just love the right wing media language around this? Read the headline if you want to know the positioning of Henry Cooke.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95505946/gareth-morgans-rental-policy-would-make-it-far-harder-to-kick-out-tenants

      To me this New Zealand is one which desperately needs to be united not divided like it has been by the current government and which is obvious in the speak of people like Henry Cooke. Paula Bennett says it’s Bill English which has the brain to unite New Zealanders but all he’s done is bring about the New Zealand we have today which, imo, is heading down a steep cliff to class division and warfare, if we are not there already.

      In the real world, as opposed to Paula Bennett’ ladder-kicking world, it is Jacinda Arden who has the better mind for uniting New Zealand again. To do this she’ll need the full support of the Greens, the Opportunities Party, Winston First, and the Maori Party, and all their supporters.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1.1

        I almost completely avoid the commercial newz media in nz now…. And your link is a good example of why.

        The nats are anything but unifiers. More like divide and conquer.

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.1

          More like cut into and mince. Throw the gristle away. That’s anyone who happens to be completely unable to gain large sums of money and property and assets through any means not noticeably unlawful for a sufficient time to complete the transaction.

    • Carolyn_nth 7.2

      Sounds like TOP is going for private rentals only. The Green Party has a policy on rent regulation, and for long term tenancy.

      Plus they have a policy to increase state housing.

      • Muttonbird 7.2.1

        The Greens policy on rent regulation is good and looks like the French model. Long term tenants with families just want to be able feel stable like home owning families of New Zealand and not worry about a letter from the agent arriving in the mail.

        They want to be able to make their place a home and make minor changes like home owning families do. They even want to be able to do this without asking the landlord to pay for it, but they can’t because they literally don’t know when they are going to be ‘kicked out’.

        They want to contribute to their communities and schools but are always afraid of what’s coming next because of the whim of an amateur landlord.

        I’ll be looking for Labour’s rent regulation policy to be very close to the Greens and perhaps TOP’s too. It’s probably the biggest issue for me in terms of voting.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.2.2

        I haven’t read the detail yet – but it should obviously apply to all residential rentals, regardless of who the landlord is.

      • RedLogix 7.2.3

        Again TOP strike out in an interesting and radical fresh direction:

        Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party (TOP) wants to make it illegal to kick out a tenant for any reason other than lack of payment or damage to property.

        Morgan’s policy would move New Zealand to a German-style rental system where tenancies are much more secure and long-term.

        He would also introduce rental warrants of fitness and donate the government social housing stock to non-profit social housing providers.

        The key piece of the policy package is greatly strengthened tenancy rights through a radical rethink of the Residential Tenancies Act.

        ….

        “What we are trying to do is turn these rental houses into homes. The biggest problems we have here is the huge instability caused by kicking low-income families pillar to post as they change rentals, and have to change their kids’ schools,” Morgan said.

        Two main components; greatly strengthened tenant rights and housing standards. Something the left has been demanding for ages. TOP look like they want to deliver on this and more.

        But the other component, increasing non-profit involvement in the sector while winding back state involvement will have the the statists frothing. Regardless that the non-profit housing association model is generally very widespread and successful in many other countries (including even here in Australia), the principle will be reflexively rejected.

        • Regardless that the non-profit housing association model is generally very widespread and successful in many other countries (including even here in Australia), the principle will be reflexively rejected.

          That’s because it’s rather stupid even if it is ‘successful’.

          It increases the bureaucracy and thus the costs associated with housing for no benefit.

          • RedLogix 7.2.3.1.1

            Not really. What they effectively do is replace large state bureaucracies, with smaller, more flexible entities that can be both more localised and more responsive to people’s needs.

            Many have the long term goal of transitioning people from tenants into owners where they can meet the requirements.

            By contrast state housing locked people into a ‘one size fits all’ mold that has it’s own limitations. Note I’m not bashing the concept of social housing at all, just pointing out that the state does not need to be it’s monopoly provider.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.2.3.1.1.1

              What they effectively do is replace large state bureaucracies, with smaller, more flexible entities that can be both more localised and more responsive to people’s needs.

              That’s a belief, not a reality. As an example, Telecom when it was still part of the Post Office, ran the cities and regions locally. It wasn’t top down control as many people assume. It was local people seeing what was needed locally and responding to that and doing so quickly.

              And those smaller, more localised bureaucracies need a bigger state bureaucracy to manage them. So we end up with more bureaucracies at the local level which requires more people and we have greater bureaucracy at the state level as well also boosting the number of people needed. Those people really could be doing other stuff that really is more important.

              There’s a very real cost to increased competition that gets hidden by the ideology that more competition is good.

              Many have the long term goal of transitioning people from tenants into owners where they can meet the requirements.

              Private ownership of housing is Bad Thing™ as it encourages the rentier and speculative behaviour that we see in the housing sector.

              By contrast state housing locked people into a ‘one size fits all’ mold that has it’s own limitations.

              I’ve been to many state houses in my life and none of them were all exactly the same. Two, three and four bedroom designs and all with different characteristics.

              And don’t tell me that they’d all be the same design either. I can go all over Auckland and even the country and find entire subdivisions built by the private sector that are built all on the same design. Town houses, apartments, flats and standalone.

              Amazingly enough, there really isn’t a hell of a lot of difference to peoples needs.

              • RedLogix

                All through the UK, Europe and Australia the whole non-profit housing association model existing in many successful variations.

                It’s NZ that’s fallen well behind the innovation curve.

                • And they’re providing different houses how?

                  What innovation are they actually providing?

                  How are they reducing the number of people needed to provide those houses?

                  But they’re doing it over here, and over there isn’t valid reason to do the same thing here.

                  Yes, we have more homelessness here than over there but that seems to be because we stopped doing the state thing and started doing the private provider thing instead.

                  • Molly

                    The non-profit provider often still pays extremely high salaries and benefits, and also pays a board of trustees.

                    The creative accounting team can do their work and provide a non-profit accounting, but the incentive and directive of a non-profit is also different to a state-owned housing provider.

                    A state housing provider needs to find you a home even if you are unable to raise credit, have a mental illness or for some reason are unattractive to private or social housing providers.

                    A well-designed government housing department would have access to the resources and connections needed to house all NZers appropriately and securely. This will never be achieved by a non-profit housing provider.

        • weka 7.2.3.2

          “Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party (TOP) wants to make it illegal to kick out a tenant for any reason other than lack of payment or damage to property.”

          So landlords can’t evict if they want to sell or live in the house themselves?

          No more fixed term tenancies?

          • RedLogix 7.2.3.2.1

            Lease terms would essentially be abolished, with the assumption that all tenancies are long-term.

            Selling a rental property would not be a reason to get rid of tenants – any new buyer would need to take them on.

            Landlords would only be able to kick out a tenant for not paying rent or damaging the property. Even then, the length of notice that landlords must give to tenants would be based off how long the tenant had lived in the property.

            Rent increases would also be restricted so tenants could not be priced out intentionally.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95505946/gareth-morgans-rental-policy-would-make-it-far-harder-to-kick-out-tenants

            And note carefully … as a responsible landlord I am happy to vote for this. (What I would like to see is some balancing rules to ensure bad tenants can be dealt with quickly and efficiently before the damage they’re causing escalates.)

            • weka 7.2.3.2.1.1

              There needs to be an out for renting out the family home. Holiday homes might need some thought too.

              • RedLogix

                True. This sort of informal tenancy already exists with ‘house sitting’ being common enough when people travel overseas for months or more, and plenty of baches are rented out with no problem. My memory is flakey on this, but I think current rules cover off these short-term occupations without any problems.

                But for the vast majority of tenants who want a home to live in, this policy ticks some pretty big boxes.

                • weka

                  I’m on a year long lease that rolls over if the landlords don’t want to come home. It’s not informal (is covered by tenancy law) and not short term.

                  I don’t know what the landlords would have done if the law said the tenant had right of occupation, probably would have either sold it (most like to non-renters), or made an off the books arrangement (rental black market).

                  I support the law changing to give tenants right of occupation where the property is primarily for rent, but I think there needs to be specific law written around home rentals, not just doing that casually. Maybe home-owners can register a property with Tenancy as a home rental, and there is a specific rental agreement for those properties. The notice required from landlords would still need to be quite long (current 6 weeks if ridiculous).

                  Holiday houses are a bit different because they are often short term. There is also an emerging issue of them being used as AirBnB accommodation now, which has taken them out of the rental market and created housing shortages.

                  • RedLogix

                    Well if you are renting someone else’s family home for say six months or more, and the owner intends to return and re-occupy at some time, then as you say, set up a contractual provision to cover that off. Dead easy if both parties are aware of the potentially limited term of the tenancy at the outset.

                    The big deal here is the vast majority of tenants get exactly what is needed; the opportunity for a decent, secure home.

                    • weka

                      It’s not dead easy though, it’s something that needs consideration and to be written into law well, not casually.

                      “The big deal here is the vast majority of tenants get exactly what is needed; the opportunity for a decent, secure home.”

                      Sure, but there are lots of variations in ‘normal’ and it’s good to explore that particular from the tenant’s pov.

                    • RedLogix

                      It’s not dead easy though,

                      If you say so, although current rules seem to be able to handle these variations readily enough. I would expect if it ever came time to draft TOP policy into law, a Green party policy partner might well ably assist in getting these details right 🙂

                      The big problem with the current rules though, is it lets landlords deceive tenants into thinking they can have an open-ended lease, when they have no intention of doing so. That creates horrible problems for tenants, and TOP’s policy by default slams the door on that practice.

          • savenz 7.2.3.2.2

            Personally feel TOP rental policy gone too far. Big problem in NZ is that there is a shortage of tenancies. So anything to stop people renting, i.e. not being able to sell it or move back in would mean many rentals are not rented.

            Short term rental are particularly desirable as everyone is now ‘on contract’ so nobody even knows how long they might have their job for, renter or landlord.

            I rented out my place for a few years while overseas and would not do that if I was unable to move back in myself when I returned. I had quite a few problems from people selling drugs from the property, non payment of rent or just bizarre expectations.

            However I had terrible experiences as a tenant as well.

            Moved into a rental in the CBD, for example an asked the rental agent if it was a long term rental – they said yes and also if it was going on the market and they said no. So I paid by letting fee + GST, then put a lot of effort into making the place look great, literally one month later, got a letter saying that the place was going on the market for sale.

            As the place was leasehold I thought, at least it would not sell. Nope, it went within 3 weeks and I only had 6 weeks to find a new place. A member of my family was seriously injured at the time, and we had to literally move out while they were in immense pain.

            Would like to see reform on the rental agents, if they sell or market the house within a year of your signing the lease you get your rental fees back.

            Also 10% discount on the rent if the property is for sale.

            I think the TOP long term rental thing is a red herring because many people have the opposite problem and they are constantly moving because their work keeps changing and it’s going to exasperate the rental shortages as people just sell or leave properties empty instead of renting them.

            • RedLogix 7.2.3.2.2.1

              I think the TOP long term rental thing is a red herring because many people have the opposite problem and they are constantly moving because their work keeps changing

              The policy allows tenants to move with 90 days notice. In practise most landlords will be quite happy to let the tenant move on much sooner if they have someone else lined up.

              We never bother with enforcing lease terms. If a tenant needs to move they need to and demanding they stay on just creates issues. Although here in Australia it’s quite different. If you want to leave a fixed lease, you sodding pay the rent until the landlord finds another tenant. Period.

              As for landlords giving up and selling their properties, isn’t that exactly what you want? And leaving a property empty is precisely the behaviour TOP’s CCT is designed to address.

              What does baffle me a bit. This is EXACTLY the tenancy policy lefties have been asking for here for ages. And yet when Gareth Morgan delivers …. suddenly all those progressive urges abandon everyone. Weird.

              • weka

                as a leftie I think there are probably good parts of it, but I’m betting the Greens already have it covered 🙂

                But it’s also important to take the time to critique policy and get it right.

              • Union city greens

                “The policy allows tenants to move with 90 days notice”

                I believe that’s in the current tenancy agreement. Which also affords landlords the same 90 days to quit provision. I think that’s fair enough for both parties involved.

                This is a stupid policy from Top. There’s nothing wrong with rent controls being brought in, and I expect labour and the greens to both be interested in doing something like that, keeping rent rises to once a year and under the rate or pegged to inflation, but ‘for ever lets’ is whack, like making home owners pay capital in advance of selling up or on.

                • RedLogix

                  This is a stupid policy from Top.

                  That’s interesting. It’s exactly the same ‘stupid policy’ the Germans have and the same ‘stupid policy’ lots of lefties here have been demanding for ages.

                  The real problem you have isn’t with the policy.

                  • Union city greens

                    I get it, you’re the resident Top fanboi. Awesome.

                    It’s still, in my left wing, green tinged, non German opinion, a stupid policy that isn’t needed here.
                    Doesn’t mean the tenancy agreement doesn’t need work, so I’ll be waiting for policy releases from the proper left of center parties, that ones who will actually be in government after the election, to see how they can make changes.

                    And yeah, it’s the policy, but of course the party too. That’s why I’m also not interested in whatever the nats or act come up with.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK so I’ll wait for the ‘proper centre-left parties’ to get around to mentioning it. It will be interesting to see just how much political capital they’re willing to put on the line for it.

                      Funny though how lots of people like demanding change, but when offered something really interesting, they come over all conservative for some reason.

                      Oh and are you arguing the German’s are both stupid and unsuccessful? Or are you just xenophobic?

                    • Union city greens

                      “are you arguing the German’s are both stupid and unsuccessful? Or are you just xenophobic?”

                      No to all three, and I’m a little surprised, or perhaps not really, that you’ve made that connection from what I posted. Can you not just accept my opinion the policy isn’t a good one for NZ is different to Morgan’s, now yours, lots of lefties and Germans?

                      As for the other bit, I’ve never made that demand, don’t think the policy interesting, and am certainly not conservative for any reason.

                      Finally, for this part of the discussion at least, being aware you’re a moderator here, I’ll just leave it at that and wish you a good evening. I’ve no desire to infringe, especially over a policy from a party that won’t be in a position to do sod all about their policies anyway.

                    • RedLogix

                      First of all … in almost 10 years participating here I’ve categorically never moderated anyone in a conversation I was participating in. Especially just because they attacked me or I disagreed with them. Period.

                      The Morgan Foundation made their case in some detail here:

                      http://morganfoundation.org.nz/german-house-prices-flat/

                      Feel free to debate their reasoning, but mere tribal, reflexive opposition to an idea because “it wasn’t invented here” really doesn’t impress me much.

                • Craig H

                  The current tenancy law is 21 days notice for tenants, 90 days for landlords.

                  • RedLogix

                    Good point. I should have remembered this.

                    Of course it makes sense that if tenants get to enjoy unlimited security of occupancy, that landlords should get some extra protection in return.

                    As I said above, in Australia the norm is 6 or 12 month leases. In our case once it expired the landlord was happy to roll it over monthly. But as a rule, if you leave before your lease is up, you WILL pay the balance of rent until the landlord gets around to placing a new occupant. As a result it’s a much more stable business over here.

                    In our experience NZ’s rental market is very immature and absolutely could look to implement better practice from other nations.

                  • Union city greens

                    Thanks for the info, Craig.
                    So tenants at least have that in their favour now.

                    My view is that fair contracts be honoured unless unforeseen circumstances intervene, be that six months, a year or even longer, with exit clauses in case of bad landlords or tenants.

                    • RedLogix

                      That’s OK. You should have said at the outset that you think tenants should not have security of occupation. That landlords should be able to throw tenants out pretty much when it suits them for no reason.

                      I’m impressed at a leftie standing up for the rights of landlords like this. It doesn’t happen often and as a landlord myself I appreciate the concern.

                    • Union city greens

                      “You should have said at the outset that you think tenants should not have security of occupation.”

                      That’s unfair and you’re being quite disingenuous. I’ve not said that at all, in fact, honouring fair contracts with tenant get out clauses for unforeseen events or having a bad landlord is almost the exact opposite of zero security.

                      “That landlords should be able to throw tenants out pretty much when it suits them for no reason.”

                      See above except swap tenant with landlord and landlord with tenant. I’ve not written, implied or ever secretly conservatively desired anything like you’ve insinuated 🙄

                      I reckon you’re just on one now. Your reply must come close to the biggest misrepresentation of a comment I’ve ever seen on The Standard. That’s OK. I’m done with you here, mate. I’ve no time that sort of underhand debating tactic bollocks.

                    • RedLogix

                      What you asked for was this:

                      My view is that fair contracts be honoured unless unforeseen circumstances intervene, be that six months, a year or even longer

                      I don’t regard six or twelve months as ‘security of occupation’. It falls well short of being able to settle into the place and make it your home, become part of the community, plan for the kids to go through school and so on. It’s this instability which is deeply disruptive to people’s lives.

                      I think tenants should have the right to stay as long as they want, as long as they pay the rent, don’t cause a nuisance or damage the place.

                      So if you want to stay long-term, can you see anyone committing to say a five year lease? With the attendant risk of having to fulfil your part of paying off the balance of five years rent if it doesn’t work out for any reason? It’s just not feasible.

                      And if you think tenants should be able to get out of a fair contract due to unforeseen circumstances, why would you deny landlords the same right?

                      So in effect you’re reduced to business as usual with no real security of occupation at all.

                    • Union city greens

                      “I don’t regard six or twelve months as ‘security of occupation’.”

                      Contracts of six month, a year or even longer, broken by unforeseen circumstances. You exactly get full security for the length of the negotiated contract. The rest of what you’ve written may well be true, but in this instance, not relevant to the point made.

                      “if you want to stay long-term, can you see anyone committing to say a five year lease? With the attendant risk of having to fulfil your part of paying off the balance of five years rent if it doesn’t work out for any reason? It’s just not feasible.”

                      Who said that would be the rule? Not me. With a fair non penalised notice period, that scenario wouldn’t ever be the case.

                      “And if you think tenants should be able to get out of a fair contract due to unforeseen circumstances, why would you deny landlords the same right?”

                      I don’t. The post you replied to states exactly that. 🙄

                      Open Mike 07/08/2017

                      And with that I really am out. I don’t want to debate you for said reasons.
                      Good night.

                    • RedLogix

                      So at the most you’re allowing for fixed 12 month lease, and acknowledge that longer isn’t generally feasible. And if either party wants out they can give fair notification and quit.

                      You haven’t really explained how that’s much better than the current situation.

                      Still if you don’t want to discuss it further that’s fine. In my experience here that’s usually because someone has a stake in the issue they’re not disclosing.

                      Cheers

                    • Union city greens

                      “Still if you don’t want to discuss it further that’s fine. In my experience here that’s usually because someone has a stake in the issue they’re not disclosing.”

                      Nope, it’s because of the underhand debating tactic bollocks like that. 😉

                      Cheers

                      [RL: Your argument makes no sense, you say you are in favour of better security for tenants then present a solution that’s objectively little different to the current situation. Clearly you are not a stupid person, so your inability to present a coherent case strongly suggests an conflict in your thinking. That’s not underhand, it’s an observation from many years of being here.]

    • DH 7.3

      I don’t agree with giving up on home ownership. The difference between rent and mortgage is not large when there’s only minimal (long term) housing inflation.

      From an investment risk perspective property needs to return around 2-4 percentage points more than bank term deposits. Mortgage interest rates run at 1.3-2 points more than term deposits so the difference between rent and a mortgage should really only be the principal. If renters can save for a deposit then they should be able to pay off the principal.

      The Government should be putting an end to housing inflation IMO. Do that and the rest should look after itself.

      • I don’t agree with giving up on home ownership.

        I do but it shouldn’t be handed over to private landlords as that just encourages the rentier capitalism that we see today.

        From an investment risk perspective property needs to return around 2-4 percentage points more than bank term deposits.

        The government doesn’t have to pay any costs for money and so there’s no risk involved at all.

        If renters can save for a deposit then they should be able to pay off the principal.

        very few renters can do that these days.

        The Government should be putting an end to housing inflation IMO. Do that and the rest should look after itself.

        Do that and the rentier landlords will be complaining that they can’t compete with the government rentals set at 25% of income or less.

        • DH 7.3.1.1

          The current problem is largely that property investors are buying future rent increases Draco. They’ll moan that houses aren’t providing a good return from rents but they’re comparing it against current property value and not what they actually invested (paid) for the property.

          if you look at the investor who has owned his property for more than a few years the returns on the actual investment will have turned pretty positive due to rent increases. Ending housing inflation will pretty much end rent increases too which IMO is the real objective. Investors are buying with the intent to raise rents over time.

          What’s been killing the poor is real living costs going up faster than their income and housing is the biggest culprit.

          Labour’s homebuild policy is a better approach than Morgan’s scheme IMO.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1.1

            The current problem is largely that property investors are buying future rent increases

            What they’re doing is buying the ability to bludge off of others and then complaining that it isn’t enough.

            What’s been killing the poor is real living costs going up faster than their income and housing is the biggest culprit.

            Yeah, that’s what being able to bludge off of others does. The bludgers simply decide that they want more and put the rents up and the ones that they’re bludging off don’t have a choice.

      • AB 7.3.2

        “I don’t agree with giving up on home ownership”
        I tend to agree because giving up on it will lead to capital accumulation in fewer and fewer hands.
        One possible approach – if there is any mortgage owing on a house then any rent paid to occupy it should be regarded as mortgage repayment and confer rights of partial ownership on the renter.

        • Sans Cle 7.3.2.1

          Trying to get my head around that idea. Initial question: would this logically lead to residential property ownership concentrating in large capital and investment funds? (What you are trying to avoid?).

        • I tend to agree because giving up on it will lead to capital accumulation in fewer and fewer hands.

          That’s what we’re seeing with private ownership of housing now.

    • savenz 7.4

      I guess Gareth is safe, as he famously said he does not rent out his rentals as the tenants might spoil his carpet.

  8. Herodotus 9

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899540
    Whilst Mike H@#$%@@ maynot be to everyones liking, I was taken back by his Greens led by a “Crook and a fraud”. I thought that this would be breaching broadcast standards – as her actions whist being polarising, as MT has not been charged let alone convicted of anything.
    NZ is too small for this man he needs to be head hunted for Fox USA.

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      I’m a Green voter and love MT-but she has to go. The pro-Right MSM will use to “crook and fraud” label until 23rd Sept.

      Marama Davidson or Julie-Anne Genter are ready-made replacements and will give a “Jacinda” effect.

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        yes, and if NZ’lers fall for it they deserve everything they get.

        again, is the Media in NZ the ones that decides the colours and the people in government or is it the People?

        Fuck it, at this point or better with the point you make its better to not vote at all, in fact, lets stop the pretense and abolish voting altogether.

        the media, can tell us the great unwashed masses every few years with whom they would like to work and whom they would like to aks about breeding, with whom they would like to have a drink and a bbq and who they prefer as a sports team.

        the media in NZ has power because people will fall over and do as they are told.

        • Bearded Git 9.1.1.1

          @ Sabine Agree about the media, but thinking people will see through their BS and it is ALWAYS better to vote. Not voting is what the Right wants.

          • Sabine 9.1.1.1.1

            well, let me put it this way, like so many others i seem to be running out of people to vote for. and for the life of me i ain’t v oting for Patrick Gower and his mates.
            and that is what this election seems to boil down to.

            • weka 9.1.1.1.1.1

              yep. The Greens should stand their ground on this, otherwise it’s all over for the left.

        • the media in NZ has power because people will fall over and do as they are told.

          QFT

      • savenz 9.1.2

        Loads of people, are #iammetiria – she’s increasing the Greens votes, if they abandon her, then it will do the opposite and disappoint those demanding welfare reform and they will not vote.

        It’s like giving National a gift of less voters voting, by getting Metiria to step down.

        I really think many underestimate the amount of people in NZ who have been humiliated or refused help by WINZ.

        Many relationships split up and WINZ can be the first court of call, if one in the relationship refuses to pay child support which is pretty common.

        It’s not just the desperate poor, it’s more people than you might expect.

        Then there is the next generation of kids now in their 30’s and 40’s, that grew up with the WINZ parent, but under the old system that Paula is now unravelling pulling up the ladder after her, similar to John Key selling off the state houses.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Bean instead of Bef. The Atlantic has a great article on what value this action would have.

    These paras talk about Brazil which has specialised in beef cattle. NZ has specialised in milk-bearing cattle. We are over-exposed in terms of what is a balanced business approach with risk spread intelligently.

    To understand why the climate impact of beef alone is so large, note that the image at the top of this story is a sea of soybeans in a silo in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. The beans belong to a feed lot that holds 38,000 cattle, the growth and fattening of which means dispensing 900 metric tons of feed every day. Which is to say that these beans will be eaten by cows, and the cows will convert the beans to meat, and the humans will eat the meat.

    In the process, the cows will emit much greenhouse gas, and they will consume far more calories in beans than they will yield in meat, meaning far more clearcutting of forests to farm cattle feed than would be necessary if the beans above were simply eaten by people.

    This inefficient process happens on a massive scale. Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of red meat, holds around 212 million cattle. (In June, the U.S. temporarily suspended imports of beef from Brazil due to abscesses, collections of pus, in the meat.)

    According to the United Nations, 33 percent of arable land on Earth is used to grow feed for livestock. Even more, 26 percent of the ice-free terrestrial surface of Earth is used for grazing livestock. In all, almost a third of the land on Earth is used to produce meat and animal products.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/08/if-everyone-ate-beans-instead-of-beef/535536/

    • NZ beef is from grass-fed cattle, so the above is of academic interest only.

    • greywarshark 10.2

      That is not correct PM. It is of more than academic interest, and why only academics? Are they the only ones who spend some time thinking and examining important matters to NZ?

      The piece touches on the amount of land used for grazing animals to be used for meat (and dairy) when beans could provide alternative protein and fibre and the land could be used more effectively for that.

      I made the point of how we are using this industry as our major earner, and are overexposed to risk. When things go wrong as in Brazil, it would mean an immediate halt in the required level of business and probably a downgrading in our credit-rating with a rise in interest for borrowing, at a time when we could least afford it.

      • Psycho Milt 10.2.1

        In the sense I used it, “of academic interest” means an abstract discussion without direct practical relevance, rather than something that’s of interest only to academics. The lack of direct practical relevance arises from the fact that we generally feed cattle on grass in this country, not beans or grains (which ought be a “well duh” since feeding cattle on human-edible crops is stupid even on the face of it and only becomes more stupid on further investigation).

        The idea that grazing land would be more productive if crops were grown on it is an article of faith among vegetarians, but by no means an undisputed fact. Even if it were a fact, it has the fairly obvious problem that most people prefer to eat meat for protein, not beans. The fact that something is more efficient doesn’t necessarily mean it’s preferable – for example, it would be more efficient for us to turn human corpses into fertiliser rather than burn or bury them, but it won’t happen because people don’t value efficiency more highly than they do honouring their dead – food may be a lesser example of that effect, but is nevertheless an example of it.

        • Craig H 10.2.1.1

          I’m vegetarian, but there is obviously land which is totally unsuitable for crops while being perfectly adequate for grass, whether that is then used for meat or milk. Sheep are quite good mountain animals, for example, so grassy hillsides are fine for sheep, while being largely useless for crops.

          • Andre 10.2.1.1.1

            The indonesians and incas managed to grow crops pretty well on steep hillsides. Might be a bit labour-intensive for us soft lazy westerners, tho.

        • greywarshark 10.2.1.2

          PM
          You are making perfect sense to me. But still I don’t think you should be so dismissive. We choose to eat beef but can down the beef and up the beans, though not perhaps soy beans as they are practically bound up under the control of Monsanto or some other conglomerate, We have to change, so learning to eat more beans would be comparatively easy.

          As for vegetarians only believing that beans are more efficiently grown food = the article seemed to have some good facts in it that appeared to support the case.
          https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/08/if-everyone-ate-beans-instead-of-beef/535536/
          This means much less deforestation and land degradation if so many plant crops weren’t run through the digestive tracts of cattle. If Americans traded their beef for beans, the researchers found, that would free up 42 percent of U.S. crop land….
          (And then there is the large amount of ruminant gas given out by all those animals.)
          Recently Harwatt and a team of scientists from Oregon State University, Bard College, and Loma Linda University calculated just what would happen if every American made one dietary change: substituting beans for beef. They found that if everyone were willing and able to do that—hypothetically—the U.S. could still come close to meeting its 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals, pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009.

          That is, even if nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changed—and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese—this one dietary change could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target.

          “I think there’s genuinely a lack of awareness about how much impact this sort of change can have,” Harwatt told me. There have been analyses in the past about the environmental impacts of veganism and vegetariansim, but this study is novel for the idea that a person’s dedication to the cause doesn’t have to be complete in order to matter. A relatively small, single-food substitution could be the most powerful change a person makes in terms of their lifetime environmental impact—more so than downsizing one’s car, or being vigilant about turning off light bulbs, and certainly more than quitting showering.

          So if someone is agonising that they are doing nothing, here is a simple thing that you could do, eat beans 6 days and beef on one day a week for a very good outcome, and that makes no account of chicken or lamb.

          And I thought that our animals would always eat grass. But the changes that going global has made results in us bringing in feed for the dairy herd, palm kernel offcuts and feed lot systems so so-called farmers can fatten their beasts under cover and in greater numbers than the land can bear. For the straight beef-product I think the same would apply.

  10. repateet 11

    Just listening to Matthew Hooton crapping his pants over the coverage that Jacinda Ardern has had. And at the other end spewing out crap too.

    • mac1 11.1

      And also Hooton’s cheap shot at one presenter over the coverage of the ‘baby’ issue, when in fact several commentators and interviewees from Jackie Blue to ordinary panellists had made similar points.

      Another right wing blame job on the ‘left-wing’ media.All this “Jacinda effect” is down to the media?

      “Cometh the hour, cometh the woman.” I have been amazed at the response which I’ve been seeing on Facebook, from friends, family, and commentators alike.

      • Carolyn_nth 11.1.1

        Another quote seems apt to me. From Audrey Lorde:

        For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.

      • savenz 11.1.2

        Maybe Hooton works on commission and he just missed his target for last week.

  11. garibaldi 12

    Stephen Mills is proving to be as nearly as big a twit as Hooten on RNZ politics this morning.

    • Bearded Git 12.1

      @garibaldi Mills certainly seems not to be a supporter of the MOU-blinkered Labour. But Hooton saying the Greens will probably stay above 5% when they are polling about 14% takes the cake.

      Unfortunately Hooton is probably right about Metiria-see my post above.

      My prediction for this week’s poll:

      Lab 35 Green 12 NZF 10 Nats 39 TOP 3

      • garibaldi 12.1.1

        Dump Metiria and you dump the whole beneficiary issue, which is what National (and Labour for that matter)want. Pushing a low wage economy and denigrating benes is what neoliberalism wants. Shame on those who won’t front up to the issue, and that includes Stephen Mills..

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1

          Pushing a low wage economy and denigrating benes is what neoliberalism wants.

          It’s what capitalism, in any form, needs to keep the rich getting richer. The inevitable result from this is increasing poverty and the eventual collapse of society.

      • tricledrown 12.1.2

        labour 33 greens 12 NZF 10 NATIONAL43 ALL OTHERS <1%
        National will empty the lolly jar now.

  12. Ffloyd 13

    Lol Snap repateet. Nearly got smacked in the head by a flying dummy. Had to be Hootens. He actually sounded genuinely angry. Had my first big laugh of the Day. Thank you Matthew.

  13. Adrian 14

    How on Earth can you be that pissed by 11 am on a Monday?.

    • ianmac 14.1

      I think Matthew sets on one truly derogatory message per outing and goes for broke on that maybe repeating it several times. Then apart from that he can appear logical and even reasonable.

  14. ianmac 15

    One on one DEbate:
    “This is your one chance to see the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Bill English, and the Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Jacinda Ardern, face off ahead of the General Election.

    The debate will be held on Thursday, 7 September at the La Vida Centre, and will be moderated by the Editor of The Press, Joanna Norris. It will be an unmissable opportunity to hear Bill English and Jacinda Ardern answer the hard questions and debate the current issues facing New Zealand………Entry to this event is by ticket only. Admission is free, but because of limited seating, tickets will be issued by ballot…”

    Oops. Might be for Press Subscribers only? Wonder if it will be broadcast?

  15. greywarshark 16

    Just looking at Yes Minister showing how The Rhodesia Solution can be used. Have National used this recently? It sounds like something that John Key used .

  16. Muttonbird 17

    Expect a John Key story to be released each week before the election by the National Party machine. Perhaps two or three a week if it’s looking bad for them.

    • adam 17.1

      Your pulling my ponytail…

    • bearded git 17.2

      already happened today…key granted honary doctorate by canterbury uni…..presumably for his services to clean rivers on the plains and his services to democracy at the CRC ….sarc

      • marty mars 17.2.1

        A mockery – ‘we are not like other unis who chuck them out like confetti – oh know we only give away 3 or so a year’ – lol – up there with knighthoods for irrelevance and in your face arrogance – dr sir John key ffs

  17. Muttonbird 18

    Seymour would not take a cabinet post if he is offered because he wanted to remain independent and “keep alive” his euthanasia bill.

    Lol.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95518305/tick-party-vote-for-act-to-bring-quality-candidates-into-parliament-leader-says

    • Cinny 18.1

      Lmfao re keep alive

      Would it be correct please, to call him a ‘right wing conspiracy theorist’; seeing he’s released a book, just before the election with some scathing remarks about the government?

      • Muttonbird 18.1.1

        Yeah, he’s trying to cash in on the election period but no-one will read it so a fail there.

        Also, the ‘no dickheads and prima-donnas’ policy must have come in after he joined the party.

  18. Cinny 19

    New political poll coming out tonight, newshub releasing sound bites about it, no info about the parameters yet.

    • Carolyn_nth 19.1

      Whatever the results, Gower will push it as good news for Labour/Ardern and bad for the GP/Turei.

  19. Pete 20

    English has come out about his texts to Glenys Dickson.

    “However, he rejected the suggestion that his regular communication with Dickson meant he was more involved in the controversy than he first let on.

    He was also asked about his claim that he knew little about the controversy when he had texted one of the key players 450 times at the time.

    “What I said was I wasn’t involved with and didn’t know about the nature of the employment settlement,” English replied.”

    Does anyone have transcripts from the times he said he didn’t know what was going on? The times other than those when he said he did not know about the nature of the employment settlement, when he said he didn’t know anything. I think that is coverup / lying / disingenuous any way. I can play semantics as well as him. He did know of ‘the nature’, it is implausible he didn’t. He may not know the exact specifics, as in having seen actual documents with the specific details written down.

    Even when he comes clean he’s dirty.

  20. ScottGN 21

    There’s about 7 weeks until election day and there’s still no National Party hoardings in my electorate of Clutha-Southland. Have they not managed to find a replacement yet for Todd Barclay?

  21. mac1 22

    I haven’t seen any comment on English’e report on RNZ this morning where he said that National would not be involved in personality politics but rather in policy.

    He said they would not be diverted by the “new toy”.

    That was a reference to Jacinda Ardern?

    As a friend said when told of this, “Who would call a male politician a “new toy”?”

    I may have misheard and misreported what English actually said. He will say of course it’s all to do with context, and he was only speaking as “Bill English, private citizen” and they do it too.

  22. ianmac 23

    Breaking News: Green MPs threatening to walk out!
    Update: “Two Green Party MPs have quit politics in protest at co-leader Metiria Turei’s decision not to step down.”

    Update further”http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899846

    OOps there is a post up already.

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