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Open mike 07/11/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 7th, 2011 - 57 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

57 comments on “Open mike 07/11/2011”

  1. Carol 1

    Stuff asks, what about the workers? … in the election campaign. Particularly they highlight the rising cost of living, not compensated for by National’s tax switch for a large number of workers. With half of workers earning under $41,000, Labour’s policy for GST off fresh fruit and veges is very popular with the staff “Stuff” talked to at Mainfreight, Bayleys, Vodafone, Mars and Ports of Auckland.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/business/5917949/Election-2011-Daily-issues-not-highlighted

    Labour’s policy of removing the GST on fresh fruit and vegetables is an extremely popular one.

    “Even things like milk are ridiculous,” Ange Quedley, cargo operations worker at transport and logistics firm Mainfreight, says.

    “It’s so expensive to feed your kids healthy food at the moment,” Stacey Young, a sales executive at food products company Mars, says.

    She also talks about daycare subsidies: “Not just for over threes, because a lot of parents have to go back to work after 14 weeks these days.”

    Chris Barraclough, at telecommunications company Vodafone’s escalation team in downtown Auckland, is concerned about talk of cutting the subsidy. “It would be awful for people who can’t afford to send their kids to daycare.”

    […]Auckland University Emeritus Professor Barry Gustafson says
    […] “There are a large number of people who find that they don’t have much discretionary income over, particularly if they’re working.”

    Robert Reid, general secretary of the FIRST Union which represents 28,000 workers in the finance, industrial, retail, stores and transport sectors, confirms the view.

    “When we have meetings, the two key things that people always mention are the cost of petrol and grocery prices.”

    Good article, although Maria Slade also manages to slip in a quote from a Bayleys’ marketing exec planning to vote STV, without any context with respect to the Stuff investigation.

  2. tc 2

    RNZ this morning, blinglish didn’t front allowing Cunliffe a free run so Simon Mercep attempted to turn it into a what about those polls eh, and cut him off at one point…..ah that helping hand.

    Cunliffe needs to be concise and make more of their dodgy double count of dividends off sold assets.

  3. Yesterday’s debate about the financials concerning the SOEs due to be partially flogged off is driving me to distraction because a morass of conflicting figures are being cited.

    A starting point should be what was paid in dividends? My reading of the various SOE Annual reports suggests that the dividends paid were as follows:

    Mighty River Power
    286,000,000

    Genesis
    0

    Meridian
    683,644,000

    Solid Energy
    54,000,000

    Air New Zealand
    57,000,000

     
    Total is $1.08 billion.  Privatising would reduce this figure by $516 million.  There is the treatment of the sale of the Tekapo Power station that causes some distortions but if this is a starting point Labour’s figures look perfectly appropriate.

    • I mentioned Tekapo’s effect.

      Genesis paid no dividend and the year before paid $39 million.  Also Meridian made a trading profit of $384 million so was able to pay a reasonably significant dividend.

      • Reality Bytes 4.1.1

        I believe it’s quite likely, that if it comes to pass that Nats win and 49% of these assets get sold, we’ll likely see greater dividends from the 51% share compared to what we currently get. The Nats will heap great praise on the ingeniousness and guiding light of their free market philosophies, and remind us that they always knew what was best for us.

        But of course those increased dividends will have to come from somewhere…

  4. Jenny 5

    “ACT have been very stable”

    John Key TVOne Breakfast today

    You have to wonder about John Key’s judgement when he comes out with statements like this

    I wonder what sort of behavior from ACT that John Key would consider “unstable”

    ACT seem to have done done it all.

    • coolas 5.1

      Right on Jenny – as quoted in the Herald – “And Act has been very stable so Act returning to Parliament is something I would like to see as opposed to something I wouldn’t like to see.”

      Jeez – talking about living in a parallel universe. Opposition parties have to jump on this. Hide the gouger, gone. Garrett the piss-head fraudster, gone. Boscowan, gone … and that’s what MonKey thinks is stable!

  5. Jenny 6

    Amazing!

    Protests voice of wider unease

    In an Editorial that would not have been out of place as a post on ‘The Standard’ – ‘The New Zealand Herald’ praises the Occupiers of city squares around the country, (and around the world). The Herald in defending the Occupiers, takes apart the critics specious argument, that for wearing modern clothes and using modern services, in particular for using the latest communications devices to get their message across, the Occupiers are hypocrites.

    The Herald mocks those who have made this attack on the Occupiers saying: “….to suggest that the way we organise the creation and distribution of wealth is both corrupt and unjust does not carry with it an obligation to abjure frozen vegetables and health care.”

    Some criticism has concentrated on protesters’ perceived double standards, charging them with enjoying the fruits of capitalism (because they wear clothes and shoes and eat food manufactured by global corporations) while presuming to deride it as unsustainable and corrupt.
    “We all know now that no self-respecting Occupy Wall St protester would be caught dead without his or her hand-held device, preferably an Apple iPhone or iPad,” wrote William Cohen, a former investment banker, and the author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World.

    The profound cynicism that underlies that observation probably reveals more about the writer than the subject, but public opinion is more sympathetic. Surveys by major publications have shown support for the protests running at 2 to 1 in the US……

    …….It’s an idea that would have many New Zealanders nodding sagely. Deeply embedded in our national discourse is the idea that it is illegitimate to criticise without offering an alternative.

    Yet it is not incumbent upon the protesters to redesign the world’s economy and social organisation on the fly and while sitting in public parks. Indeed, the very idea that there can be a quick fix to the economic problems that beset the world should be vigorously resisted.

    Presuming to suggest that the way we organise the creation and distribution of wealth is both corrupt and unjust does not carry with it an obligation to abjure frozen vegetables and health care.

    The groundswell of opinion that is shaking the entire planet is not against the existence of capitalism but against the greed of those who pull its levers. In America, the after-tax income for the top one per cent of households has almost tripled since 1980.

    New Zealand Herald Editorial, Sunday, Nov 6, 2011

    The Herald also attacks those who try and put conditions on the Occupiers.

    The greater danger that those clamouring for change face comes from powerful public figures who profess support but then make it heavily conditional.

    New Zealand Herald Editorial, Sunday, Nov 6, 2011

    To my mind this is a warning to the likes of Dunedin Council who are trying to move the Occupiers to some other less central place and/or demanding that their occupation is not a 24 hour one. ie not an occupation.

  6. vto 7

    Fancy us having a money trader as our country’s leader….

    If ever there was a sign that we are now in the end-game ……..

  7. Winston Peters has effectively conceded all but defeat – which has promoted United Future.

    It’s worth noting that United Future has more government experience in it’s list top three than the rest of the minor parties (including Greens) combined.

    • Ianupnorth 8.1

      Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer
      Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
      I said dreamer, you’re nothing but a dreamer
      Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
      I said “Far out, – What a day, a year, a laugh it is!”
      You know, – Well you know you had it comin’ to you,
      Now there’s not a lot I can do

      Dreamer, you stupid little dreamer;
      So now you put your head in your hands, oh no!
      I said “Far out, – What a day, a year, a laugh it is!”
      You know, – Well you know you had it comin’ to you,
      Now there’s not a lot I can do.

      Well work it out someday

      (Supertramp)

  8. Ianupnorth 9

    Go Robyn Malcolm
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10764316
     

    The Prime Minister and his party had “an inability to follow through on promises of any kind … and now a determination to sell a percentage of our strong revenue returning assets”.
    But National would “make anything up for a Hollywood mogul should they happen to come down this way” – a reference to employment law changes made in response to Sir Peter Jackson’s warnings his Hobbit films would not be made here.
    New Zealand was “fast becoming one of the most inegalitarian and backward countries in the OECD” but “we have a leader who seems to be more interested in talking about his cats on the radio, being seen at the rugby and getting on the cover of the Women’s Weekly”.

    Can’t disagree with anything she said!
    Also, on the radio this morning was an election advert for Key talking about ‘inheriting a big deficit’ – can I complain to the advertising standards authority, because as far as I see it they have created a bigger deficit

    • Anne 9.1

      Congratulations to Robyn Malcolm. We need the likes of her in parliament.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      Damn, you missed off the stinger:

      “we have a leader who seems to be more interested in talking about his cats on the radio, being seen at the rugby and getting on the cover of the Women’s Weekly”.

      “I thought that was my job,” said Malcolm, who last year was at the forefront of opposition to National’s plans to open conservation land to mining.

  9. Immune to John Key’s charm

    But something about him just doesn’t sit right. He comes across, especially in that Press leader’s debate, as smug and smarmy. Show me the money? Gross. Tom Cruise’s version was greasy enough. Key’s repeated, “that’s cool, that’s cool” also failed to get me on board. Even I could see that actually, that was not cool.

    By Catherine Woufle

  10. randal 11

    john key and his government are plastic people of the universe.
    they all nylon underwear and lots of perfume to cover up any smell from plastic shit interacting with organic process.
    they think they can buy perfection and anything else.

    • AAMC 11.1

      Or to paraphrase Hunter S Thompson..

      “It is Key (Nixon) himself who represents the dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American/NZ character….. Our Barbie Doll Prime Minister, with his barbie doll wife and his box full of barbie doll children is also New Zealand’s answer to the monstrous Mr Hyde, he speaks for the werewolf in us”

  11. tekapodreaming 12

    RIP Alan Peachey.

    Flags at Rangitoto college will be at half mast.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5919855/Tamaki-MP-Allan-Peachey-passes-away

    • Kevin Welsh 12.1

      “He passionately believed in education [and] made a remarkable contribution to education through his whole life,” (Key)

      Then how the fuck did we end up with that intellectual giant Tolley as minister of Education?

  12. The education debate on Radio New Zealand is a mess.  Tolley keeps overtalking the others and seems only intent on creating confusion.  They need to be moderated better than this.  And there should be a rule that if someone persists in overtalking the others they should be red carded.

    • Deuto 13.1

      +1. A total mess with Kathryn Ryan just standing back and letting Tolley get away with it.

      • tc 13.1.1

        yup those ‘editorial guidelines’ the nats man at the top maybe had something to do with sure are good value at ensuring your inadequate ministers can shout their way through what would otherwise be an embarrasing exposure of just how clueless and barking mad aya tolley is.

    • Willie Maley 13.2

      Politics is just as bad, Hooten just resorts to abuse and Ryan lets him talk over Pagani. She did, however threaten to put music on if they did not stop talking over each other.
      No wonder we cannot have any debate in this country, as the commentator from the right in variably interupts and deflects the debate onto other subjects.

  13. AAMC 14

    This is a funny story… “he has a right to speak” said the cop to the banker, don’t like it “move to another country”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/02/1032624/-UPDATE:-Join-Action-He-has-a-right-to-speak,-said-the-cop-to-the-banker

  14. just saying 15

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/at-my-signal-unleash-hell

    Andrew Geddis has a little bit of a go at Bill’s post on the Dunedin occupy movement, and I thought he might like to respond.

    Also, the legalitites he raises are quite interesting.

  15. NickS 16

    We’ve had an influx of crap for the minty new Conservative Party, featuring highly simplistic arguments with +2 shiney-advertising-sheild-of-hiding tricks designed to appeal to the thinking impaired via leaving out various bits. Amongst all that shit, the latest one featured a highly amusing and not entirely obvious bullshit graphic about the social cost of drinking.

    First problem: 1 beer does not get you drunk, and for binge drinking you’re talking multiple beers or hard liquor. Both of which rapidly rack up in price, making the price quip of $1.33 for beer vs $1.84 in social costs rather suspect. They claim it’s from 2010 Law Commission Report “Alcohol in Our Lives” + a BERL report, but having dealt with creationists, I know all to well how easy it is for morons to selectively quote mine, or even cite something without actually paying attention to anything in the source.

    Second problem: What they compare teh booze to. Which is a heavily overpriced bottle of milk and a way too cheap bottle of water, claiming there’s no social costs with either. Disingenuously ignoring the massive waste that is bottled water and all the expensive externalities therein, and for the milk, there’s the usual issues with it being unaffordable and thus lowered calcium intake with all that that entails in broken bone risks. Plus the social costs of dairying in terms of the pollution of water ways by runoff.

    Third problem: The selection is utterly non-objective and ignores other substances and other wider social problems, with a solution that will no jack all to fix the NZ drinking culture.

    But like I said, they’re aiming for the thoughtless wonder vote usually sucked up by law-order-n-spam kneejerk crap, or the usual anti-humanist, lightly-populist shit that ACT spews, NZ First burps and National mumbles softly-ish ever since it’s gone after teh centre.

  16. joe90 17

    Tunisian constitution will make no place for faith.

    “There will be no other references to religion in the constitution. We want to provide freedom for the whole country,” said the Islamist leader, who will not take any official role in the new government. The new constitution is due in about a year.

  17. Fortran 19

    I pay $3.50 for my milk at both my local dairies. Cheaper than the supermarkets. At that price I am content to pay, shopping at both.

  18. Keys Impoverished Excuses

    John Key makes a number of excuses for why child poverty has increased under National including an inference that the Greens insulation scheme has somehow absolved National from their track record…

  19. lprent 21

    …only in election season…

    could I look at the graph from yesterday and start getting worried about possible server problems because of a sudden decrease in page views. Closer inspection shows that at 13k odd page views it was higher then all but a very few weekdays from 2009 until earlier this year.

    We hit over 400k page views last month despite the RWC which was a third increase over September. Looking at the trends without the RWC interfering I suspect we’re going to get between 500k and 600k page views this month.

    Now I’m worried about peak loading again…

    • Ianupnorth 21.1

      Another (non-political) group I belong too has similar issues with capacity and they have to limit access at peak periods.

      • lprent 21.1.1

        I try not to limit access. I merely get paranoid about it. The main server is starting to touch over 25% capacity during the day. That is the level where I start looking at alternates.

        There is another warm server sitting behind this one for rapid switchover on a periodic update, and I have it setup (and tested) that I can run in tandem if required. Either should be able to handle the full load.

        There is an additional hot backup with a lot less bandwidth also available.

        Biggest hassle at present is people. I am on the release week of a project, so we are on a pretty solid test and fix….. You can see others doing more moderating as I run out of time…

        • Reality Bytes 21.1.1.1

          Doing a great job either way! Nice interesting site running here thanks to you+friends efforts. Better & more thoughtful discourse and opinions being shared on here than most places. Cheers 🙂

  20. The Voice of Reason 22

    Key’s been getting a hard time in the ‘naki. First, the local Labour party take to the skies to have a dig at the Nats’ failure to fund the hospital redevelopment, then a pissed off ACToid spills the beans on the underhand deal to pull Paul Goldsmith out of Epsom.
     
    Love this quote from the drunken monkey:
     
    “ACT have been very stable, so ACT returning to Parliament is something I’d like to see as opposed to something I wouldn’t like to see.”
     
    So stable they’ve got rid of all of their 5 current MP’s in just one term!
     
     
     

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      So stable they’ve got rid of all of their 5 current MP’s in just one term!

      Hey, it’s the “liberal” party, their members can go do whatever they like, whenever they like just so as long as it’s not part of the new, improved, much more stable Act (aka, National Radical Branch).

  21. Ianupnorth 23

    Now who’s starting to get worried http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10764359
     
    Greens vote could put Labour in Government – Key
    Hope they do!

    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      Quoting Jonkey:

      “They are socially quite a long way to left and economically they want to put a lot of costs on businesses…

      It’s not so much in wanting to put costs on business but realising that those costs exist and that they need to be accounted for whereas NAct still want to believe that those costs don’t exist and thus don’t need to be accounted for.

      • ropata 23.1.1

        More specifically, they want to lump carbon taxes onto everybody else, and let their polluting pals in farming and heavy industry continue crapping on the environment.

  22. randal 24

    re editorial control of Radio New Zealand. there is none. If there was they would not get away with the dishonest and disrepectful use of interrogatioves all the time would they.

  23. AAMC 25

    Stiglitz radio interview, time to evolve from a consumer economy which is dependent on the bottom 80% spending more than 110% of their income – borrowed from Asian savers – to maintain growth, and for Government and business to step up and drive growth through investing and retrofitting with clean technology in preparation for a peak oil, climate change world…

    http://www.kuow.org/program.php?id=24990

  24. logie97 26

    See Crusher has drip-fed a little more Lora Norder.
    Strange how this bit missed the urgency of the first 100 days – remember those dark days.

    So they have only appeared to get tough enough on crime and left tidbits
    to use on some more election mileage.

    If they get another three years, expect them to
    reword another aspect of it in the build up to 2014.

    • Ianupnorth 26.1

      On the evening news she was hovering over Key’s right shoulder; I can clearly see what Cunliffe was on about – who the hell paints on her face, the ghost of Picasso?

  25. aj 27

    Close Up had an interesting segment tonight on the drain to Aussie, then and interview with Peter Conway and Don Brash.

    Don says the prime reason for the gap is the size of government. If this determines wage growth, why do I see some wealthier oecd countries with a higher % of general government expenditures as a percentage of GDP and some poorer ones with a smaller %.
    There doesn’t appear to be a clear relationship Don.

    http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/9789264075061-en/images/graphics/g04-01.gif

  26. logie97 28

    Just when are Ryan, Espiner, Armstrong, O’Sullivan et al going to put the blow-torch on Key’s statements? Seems at the moment they are doing his bidding …

    I thought, just maybe, just maybe, they saw through his obfuscation over the “email from a trusted source” and S&P. I even heard Soper’s voice sounding incredulous. But no, a false dawn. Of course pigs might fly

  27. ropata 29

    Excellent piece re:Asset sales, by Tim Hazledine, professor of economics at the University of Auckland. Also author of “Taking NZ Seriously: the Economics of Decency

    Tim Hazledine: Keep the house – we’ll still eat
    Suppose you and your family are failing to make ends meet. You are consistently spending more than your household income. But you have some equity in your house. Well, you could extend your mortgage and use the money to fund the shortfall.

    This practice is called “eating the house”, and, packaged up into millions of sub-prime home loans, it was the kicker for the global financial crisis that engulfed us after the bursting of the US house price bubble in 2006-07.

    This particular “house” is a portfolio of income-earning assets – big companies returning solid dividends to their shareholders, being us, the general public.

    These SOEs all compete in their markets with private sector companies, and they all do it very well. Air New Zealand has been a brave and brilliant performer in the difficult world airline industry; the energy companies at least hold their own or better with their privatised counterparts, here and abroad.

    This means asset sales are unlikely to have any fundamental effect on the public sector’s true financial position. We wouldn’t be capturing a “privatisation premium”, because it isn’t there to capture. We would just be replacing one type of asset on the balance sheet (profitable companies) for another (cash).

    The proposed asset sales are extraordinarily unpopular with the general public. People who would not dream of petitioning the Government to nationalise the production of cars, clothes, TVs, haircuts – just about anything we consume – are nevertheless determinedly opposed to even a partial sell-down of these particular enterprises.

    So are we just stupid, or inconsistent, or do we know something the Government doesn’t?

    I’d say we do know something. The key difference between Air New Zealand and the energy companies on the one hand, and the folk who make our cornflakes on the other, is that the SOEs truly merit the designation of being “strategic” businesses for our country. The airline is our proud national carrier, and the single most important player in our largest export industry – tourism.

    Would we want new private sector shareholders – possibly being other airlines – press to pull it back from its flagship long-haul routes or worse, expand with rash acquisitions of the sort that brought the airline to the point of bankruptcy under its private owners in 2001?

    Electricity is an essential part of our economic and social infrastructure, depending still on very low-cost hydro power that is most vulnerable to “cash cow” plundering, as we have suffered before in New Zealand, in the privatised telecommunication and rail sectors.

    Economically, this is nonsense …

  28. McFlock 30

    I can just imagine the “informal negotiations” ACT had with National.
    ACT obviously wrote a letter along the lines of “Dear Mr Key, how about this? We won’t run electorate candidates in around 5 marginal electorates, if (some time closer to the election) you will have a cup of tea with whomever happens to be in charge of our party at the time”.
     
    Yeah, right. It looks like Key lies to other tories, too.

    • logie97 30.1

      … and Key must be dreading the need to have Brash inside the tent.
      He is hoping to govern outright without having to be burdened with Banks either.
      Wonder who will get John and Bronaghs’ ticks.

  29. FYI……………..

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/key-begins-mmp-shuffle-towards-endorsing-act-epsom-rh-103846

    How come ACT’s ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ hasn’t applied ( yet ), to Don Brash and John Banks, as former fellow directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd?

    How come only Peter Huljich was ever charged, when all three Directors signed the same ‘Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme’ Registered Prospectus dated 18 September 2009, which contained the ‘misleading’ graphs which purported to ‘compare the performance of the Huljich Kiwisaver Funds to other Kiwisaver funds from the start of Kiwisaver to 9 September 2009’.

    Tomorrow, 8 November 2011, I shall be requesting, in writing, that the CEO of the Finance Markets Authority treat Don Brash and John Banks equally (ONE LAW FOR ALL) and file the same criminal charges against the now ACT ‘Leader’ and ACT candidate for Epsom under the Securities Act 1978 as applied to former fellow Director Peter Huljich.

    When it comes to ‘white collar’ crime – will the ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ preached by the leadership of ACT – equally apply to Don Brash and John Banks?

    If not – why not?

    Where will National’s Prime Minister, John Key stand on ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ – when it comes to ex-National Party Leader, now ACT Party Leader Don Brash, and ex-National Government Minister (of Police), now ACT Party Epsom candidate – John Banks?

    I’m sure this will be of some considerable interest to members of the voting public – not just within the electorally-pivotal Epsom seat?

    Penny Bright
    Independent Candidate for Epsom.
    Campaigning against ‘white collar’ crime, corruption (and its root cause – privatisation), and ‘corporate welfare’.
    ([email deleted])

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  • Better hospital care for Northland babies and their whānau
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