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Open Mike 07/11/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 7th, 2017 - 95 comments
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95 comments on “Open Mike 07/11/2017 ”

  1. Gristle 1

    Thinking about lost causes, what’s happening with the the prosecution of Kim Dotcom?

    We have had:
    ~ Search warrants found to be defective and then reinterpreted to be constructive.
    ~ The GSCB shown to have acted unlawfully by spying on him.
    ~ illegal bugging of him after his arrest that was said to have stopped, and then latter it was reavealed not to have stopped and continued for another month.
    ~ The then-police commissioner Peter Marshall sign an Agreement which would allow Dotcom to sue New Zealand if it emerged the FBI case against him was unfair and unfounded. (Dotcom has claimed the loss of Megaupload cost him more than $2 billion although others have argued the impact is far less…)
    ~ Dotcom has spent at least $10m on his legal defence so far, and the NZ Police will probably have spent at least $15m.
    ~ 5 days ago the NZ Police have backed down and reached a confidential settlement with Dotcom over their use of excessive force in undertaking the arrest, paying a six figure sum as settlement to him.
    ~ His arrest occurred in 2012: it’s now nearly 2018.

    And remember, this is all about deporting him for a crime that is not a crime in NZ. (Whereas the USA will not deport a US citizen Dean Fletcher to Tonga for a very real crime. Fletcher is the murder suspect for the killing of his wife on his yacht there. It stinks of being a case of “him white ‘merican, them not white and foreigners.”)

    Dotcom may not be the most likeable of people, but at what stage does the Government say to the NZ Police that there is a budget cap on this particular little cluster fuck. Is it time to say “Find a deal and get it done?”

    • Wayne 1.1

      This case has its own life, essentially independent of politics.

      I can’t imagine the Attorney General interfering in the case at this stage. That would be a blatant political interference in the independence of the police and the courts. Besides New Zealand, as a state party to an extradition treaty with the US, has formal obligations under the treaty to do everything to facilitate extraditions. Not the reverse, which is what you are proposing.

      The Court of Appeal is currently considering KDC’s appeal against his extradition, which was ordered by the District Court and which decision was approved in the High Court when KDC appealed.

      Whoever loses in the Court of Appeal is likely to go to the Supreme Court.

      If ultimately KDC’s extradition is confirmed, say around 2020, then the Minister of Justice has to actually decide to extradite. He/she, I am sure, will just go along with the court decision.

      But that ministerial decision is also judicially reviewable. So another round of proceedings, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court (if the SC agrees to take the case). So lets say another 3 to 5 five years beyond 2020.

      However, it is not appropriate to give a particularly well heeled litigant the advantage of them spending money and getting hearings at every possible point on every single arguable issue, to be able to say, “stop the proceedings, it has taken too long”. That would be justice for sale.

      So no-one is going to give up now. Both parties, being KDC and NZ/US, have way too much invested in the case. And for the US, it is a case of “the FBI always gets its man” (even though they often don’t).

      The case will simply go through to its final end, even though it is likely to be a 12 to 13 year long legal saga.

      The benefits of unlimited resources (on both sides)!

      • Gristle 1.1.1

        Jennens v Jennens is not a situation that should be encouraged: 117 years of litigation before a draw was declared (due to insufficient funds.)

        NZ’s big investment in this case is in the political relationship with US. Having a new Government does create the opportunity to reset the situation.

        As to having a formal obligation to do “everything possible” to facilitate an extradition, this obviously does not mean everything. Anticipating this type of objection I had pointed to a very recent situation where the USA didn’t do go anywhere doing enough to to facilitate an extradition.

        Sooner or later this becomes a political decision in that the Minister has sign off on the extradition. Discretion is available at this point.

        • Wayne

          It would be very inappropriate for a Minister to cut across a decision of the Supreme Court (because if KDC is to be extradited it will be the result of a SC decision) and effectively block a extradition on political grounds.

          The only legitimate question for the Minister would be whether a person will get a fair trial. I can’t see a Minister suggesting US Federal courts are not independent courts applying the rule of law.

          So I would be amazed (and frankly appalled) if a Minister of Justice exercising an extradition authority acted in such a manner. It would make a mockery of his/her duty to uphold the law.

          • Wayne

            I would also note that KDC might win in the Supreme Court. In that case it is the end of the matter, and he gets to stay in New Zealand.

            So that is how the issue should be resolved; in the Supreme Court. If he wins in the SC he stays. If he loses he goes. A simple resolution to the case.

          • Gristle

            Spoken as a Law Commissioner. Just looking back at Parihaka and the actions of the Judiciary to accommodate political outcomes.

      • Wayne 1.1.2

        I would also note that it would be much harder in the US for a litigant as well heeled as KDC to delay the main proceedings by the number of interlocutory matters that KDC had. In the KDC case the various procedural hearings and associated appeals delayed the actual extradition hearing held in the District Court for 5 years.

        In the US the judge has much more control over what happens in the court, and unhappy parties just can’t go and appeal procedural decisions of the judge they don’t like. They have to accept the trial judges decision on such matters, and proceed with the substantive hearing. Only after that has happened can they appeal.

        I think that is because the US system is much more accustomed to dealing with very rich defendants, and doesn’t really let them game the system. That is why the the various criminal trials in New York following the GFC were all dealt within a year or so after the GFC. And most of the people charged were convicted and did jail time. As with New Zealand once convicted you immediately start your time, and have to appeal from inside the prison.

        In NZ the cases arising from GFC issues typically took a at least one or more years longer than in the US before they happened.

        • Gristle

          Enron collapsed in 2001. Ten years on US prosecutions were still being litigated.

          Other cases of well heeled defendants pushing cases out are easy to find with a Google search.

  2. Carolyn_nth 3

    Excellent news from Carmel Sepuloni – reported on RNZ:

    The government has confirmed it is dumping National’s controversial data-for-funding plan that would have forced groups like Women’s Refuge to hand over personal client details.

    Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said she was scrapping the plan because it was dangerous and unnecessary.

    Under the policy, which was meant to be in place from July, the National government made it a contractual requirement for providers to hand over the personal details – such as the names, birth dates and ethnicities of their clients.

    • Kay 3.1

      Excellent indeed. All small steps to overturn dangerous and petty (well it is petty, and just plain nasty) Natz policy are more than welcome. Keep at it!

  3. Carolyn_nth 4

    I submitted a comment under weka’s “Guns don’t shoot people…” post. It disappeared into the ether. Are comments under that post being fully moderated?

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      Oh. A second attempt to post a comment under that post went straight through. Don’t know what happened to the first one.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Did the lost comment begin “Thanks, weka. I think there have been one or two women killing multiple people. But when I looked …”

        I just newly found it sitting in “trash”. I can’t send it back to Weka’s post, but can cut and paste it there if you want. (Don’t know why it would have gone to the “trash” folder btw)

        • lprent

          Probably got bumped in auto-moderation because Carolyn has a login as a subscriber on TS. Any comment that she writes when not logged in shows up as a probable attempt to impersonate a author and goes into auto-moderation

          Can I reiterate. If you have a login to the site, then please login. It causes issues for moderators if you don’t as they have to release all your comments. If you don’t know your password, then slip me a email with your handle and a valid email, and I’ll reset and send you a new password via email.

          Otherwise create a new identity

  4. odysseus 5

    If you have a bucket nearby , you could try this…

  5. eco maori 6

    In my view the best gift the world should give all Our small Island nations
    Is renewable energy and with this energy they will be able to have safe drinking water they could grow vegetables hydroponicly there are many low costs systems out there this could miter gate salt water leaching there land. And give them the research information to survive climate change humanly. With the education thing with OUR Australian cousins well the cost of living is so high here and the lack of houseing In my view coming here won’t be attractive.
    Ka pai

  6. Ed 8

    Kim Hill had English on the ropes this morning…..

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Looks like he makes her skin crawl. Or something.

      Still skewered the lying scumbag though.

  7. veutoviper 9

    Today is a Big Day …

    1. It is the Commission Opening of Parliament starting at 11am (with the State opening tomorrow at 10.30am – could be fun seeing Trevor Mallard being ‘reluctantly’ dragged to the Speaker’s Chair.

    “The opening of Parliament consists of two ceremonies – the Commission Opening on Tuesday 7 November and the State Opening on Wednesday 8 November.

    The Commission Opening will take place at 11.00am on Tuesday 7 November. The Chief Justice, acting as a Royal Commissioner, will open Parliament so that members can be sworn in and a Speaker elected.

    The formal State Opening will be on the next day, Wednesday 8 November at 10.30am.

    The Speech from the Throne takes place at the State Opening when the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy sets out the Labour-led Government’s intentions for the next three years.

    The public can watch both ceremonies in Parliament grounds or live on Parliament TV and RNZ.”

    2. Then the Melbourne Cup at 5pm – Jacinda is apparently having a bet according to Morning Report …

    3, If you have not had enough, then Jacinda Ardern on TVNZ1 at 8.30pm in The DNA Detectives finding her ancestors.


  8. veutoviper 10

    Manus Island Update

    On a much more serious note, than my earlier comments here today, it is also a Big Day for the Manus Island refugees.

    The PNG Supreme Court (which in March this year ordered the closing of the Centre) is to rule today on the resumption of supplying power, food, water, medicines etc to the men remaining in the Centre. An application filed by a lawyer last week was heard by the Supreme Court yesterday. More here:


    In the meantime the health of the men is deteriorating badly


    RNZ is doing a good job of keeping up to date with the situation IMHO.

    Yesterday, I also found a regularly updated resource on Facebook for “from the horse’s mouth” reporting well worth reading – somewhat surprisingly the PNG Govt Today site.


    This contains a number of local PNG media reports yesterday on the situation – eg



    It also contains this PNG govt photo and statement that did not give me much comfort re the refugee’s safety …

    IMHO this is a disaster in waiting which needs to be sorted urgently – regardless of ideologies, rights and wrongs etc.

    • james 10.1

      “cause international embarrassment” to Australia if they do not accept an offer for New Zealand to take up to 150 people a year from offshore detention centres, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

      “If the Australians aren’t going to cooperate and allow New Zealand’s offer to assist – which is the right thing to do – then John Key should cause international embarrassment to Australia,” Little said today.

      “This is a time to step up and say, in an age of world wide humanitarian crises, one that is on our doorstep, one that involves our nearest neighbour physically and diplomatically then we need to be applying a bit of a stiff arm on it and say, ‘we can help.”

      So where is Labour on this now.

      Seems like Jacinda just rolled over and said “OK” – there certainly (as far as I have seen) been anything else she has done.

      Where is Andrew Little on this now? Kelvin Davis? nothing from them – do they find this acceptable now Jacinda is leaving the government.


      • Johan 10.1.1

        James you are an idiot for making up stuff. Get your facts straight, what Ardern said about the Aussie rejection, was ” our offer is still on the table”.
        I do realize you are not a fond Labour supporter, but stop lying.

        • James

          Where have I lied. Where is the fight that labour had before on this issue ?

          Are they doing anything about it?

          • Johan

            “Seems like Jacinda just rolled over and said “OK” – there certainly (as far as I have seen) been anything else she has done.” As I said Ardern did not roll-over, the offer is still on the table. Australia don’t wan’t any detainees in New Zealand simply because they may end up across the ditch, some time in the future.

      • patricia bremner 10.1.2

        Bit of a “tell’ there James. Now Jacinda is leaving ? (leading)? government.

    • McFlock 10.2

      fingers crossed for them.

  9. eco maori 12

    Yep that pissed them off LOL you no what they can go and do

  10. And with that I’d say that you’re talking out your arse.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Puckish Rogue 13.1

      You, of course, have a much better idea than I so as such your opinion must be more valid than mine

      • Well, you’re the one who made the assertion in the first place – now you need to back it up.

        And, as always, No, you’re not entitled to your opinion:

        Secondly, I say something like this: “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Well, as soon as you walk into this room, it’s no longer true. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.”

        A bit harsh? Perhaps, but philosophy teachers owe it to our students to teach them how to construct and defend an argument – and to recognize when a belief has become indefensible.

        You may be right, I don’t know, but mere conjecture isn’t good enough.

  11. ScottGN 14

    Radio NZ reporting in the news that the government didn’t have enough MPs in the House today to ensure the election of Trevor Mallard as Speaker? A deal had to be cut with National, trading off the number of Select Committee places from 96 to 108. Pretty messy stuff.

      • Pete 14.1.1

        I was watching and guessed what was unfolding.

        It wasn’t just pretty messy stuff. I wasn’t just a big whoopsie. It was diabolical, inexcusable, it was beyond amateurish. The fact that so many weren’t there was inexcusable. Nothing at all should have had precedence over being in the House, anywhere in the world.

        They were expecting to kick the conversion when they hadn’t even scored the try.

        If the level of awareness is so low of what is likely to happen with that Opposition they may as well resign now.

        • weka


          Was that Hipkin’s fault? Or the MPs who weren’t present?

        • Robert Guyton

          Mallard’s Speaker…but the Government has crow for dinner tonight.

        • ScottGN

          I’m trying to figure it out. Reports say the government was down 5 MPs (from 63 to 58) and Opposition was down 1 (from 58 to 57? So technically the government still had a majority?

          • veutoviper

            You are right – see my comment at 14.2.

          • Freddo

            That’s right Scott. I hate to say it but Bridges and the Nats bluffed and it worked. Jacinda and Hipkins were quite simply panicked possums in the headlights. They are going to have to do about 1000 percent better than that from tomorrow onwards or we are all in for some miserable times when parliament is sitting. Talk about amateur hour. And the Nats got the select committee MP numbers increased to 108 from 97 in the on-the-spot deal they talked Hipkins and Jacinda into on the floor of the house as a result of their bluff.

        • McFlock

          geez, chill, dude.

          Yeah, the whip screwed up. But it’s not like it was budget day or something.

          • weka

            You don’t think the numbers on select committees is very important? How come?

            • McFlock

              Did I say that?

              • weka

                I thought you implied that it wasn’t such a big deal, which is why I asked for clarification.

                • McFlock

                  It’s not a deal that was diabolical, double-inexcuseable, yadda yadda, no.

                  It was a fuckup that might make things more difficult in a select committee or two, but everything needs to go through the House anyway, ministers will still be able to regulate, and if the committee is particularly obstructive then urgency still exists.

                  It’s not the end of the government, and frankly I doubt it will particularly affect the government’s agenda.

                  On the flipside, if it had been a vote on welfare reform, or getting rid of the fire at will act or hobbit law, that would have been a major blow, delaying any reintroduction of that bill for the remainder of the year.

              • veutoviper

                No you did not say that! However, in fact, the small increase in select committee numbers from 96 to 108 will not make much difference as National are not the sole beneficiary of the 12 places. The increase is split almost evenly between National on the one hand, and Labour, NZF and the Greens on the other hand.

                As you said it was not like a vote on the Budget, or vote of confidence, and Mallard was still elected to Speaker unopposed. But several lessons learnt today, for example:

                1. The Labour, NZF and Green whips need to work very closely together to avoid a repeat.

                2. Check everything National says before accepting it.

                • McFlock

                  Exactly – it was a slap and a rude awakening.

                  Although too many of these oversights will be a rust on the government. Someone needs to pull finger.

                  • veutoviper

                    I suspect the PM will pull finger – three strikes? . Hipkins and she go back a long way but I have no doubt that she will pull the plug if necessary.

                    Re my comment above, I have now checked and the 12 extra select committee places will be split evenly – 6 to National/Act and 4 to Labour and 1 each to NZF and Greens.

                • weka

                  There’s a new post up too,

                  Build a bridge and get over it

                • ScottGN

                  Great fun for National no doubt. You’d have to think though that pulling a stunt for no more reason than trying to embarrass the government is likely to wear thin for the general public pretty smartly.

    • veutoviper 14.2

      Yes, that certainly was messy.

      The MPs not present were David Parker (L) , Winston Peters (NZF) , Poto Williams (L) , Priyanca Radhakrishanan (L), and Gareth Hughes (G).

      I wonder whether Parker (as Trade Minister) and Winston Peters (as Foreign Minister) were tied up with MFAT on TPP negotiation matters; or have already left for the APEC meetings which start in Vietnam tomorrow (8 Nov) with TPP negotiations happening on the sidelines. They were due to fly out with the PM either tomorrow night or Thursday morning.

      English and Co may have won that small concession on select committee numbers; but good ole Peters has today filed legal action against English, several other National Ministers, a couple of beaurocrats, and two journalists re the leak of information on his having been overpaid his superannuation.


      UPDATE – RNZ is now reporting that Labour DID have the numbers to elect Mallard as Speaker but fell for National telling them that they did not have the numbers…. Dirty Politics anyone?

      • McFlock 14.2.1

        lol nah, fair cop. Someone’s in the schtuck.

        My guess is that the whips were looking to their own parties, and not too closely with their colleagues.

      • Whispering Kate 14.2.2

        If the Government carry on like this they won’t last to the end of their first term. They deserve this – Winston and Parker were valid absentees – where the hell were the other two that supposedly were missing – if they did have the correct numbers then surely they can tell National to get stuffed over the 108 select committee members they had to negotiate over – lying in the House surely is against the parliamentary laws.

        Cringe making – sorry folks but it just won’t cut it if they think they’re going to be able to combat the evil bastards on the other side of the House. They will be mincemeat.

        • James

          They didn’t lie – read the news reports. Labour just didn’t count their people.

          It’s hilarious.

        • Robert Guyton

          Gee, Whispering, you’re quick to doom-monger! Does getting caught out by National’s sneakiness really bode so ill? Mincemeat Nah!

          • McFlock

            Well, Kate is right, and so are you. It’s one of those “if these trends continue…” things.

            Unlike AGW, we have little reason to assume that these trends will continue. But then… Trump. So who knows?

            I suspect it was Hipkins who made the fuckup, because Hipkins seemed to do the negotiating. But maybe Hipkins wasn’t the one supposed to count. Either way, someone needs to stand up and take a rap across the knuckles, and smarten up. They’re in government now, they need to get up to speed quickly.

            I doubt it was habitual incompentence, probably more a change in pace that caught them wrong-footed. But still…

      • James 14.2.3

        That’s not dirty politics- it just labour cannot count. By god it’s laughable.

        • Robert Guyton

          It’s a passing giggle compared to the belly-laugh the election brought.
          Did Bridges play sneaky today?
          Or was it a genuine mistake on his part, claiming Labour had too few MPs in the House?
          Ummmm… I’d say, sneaky going by a number of indicators.

          • james

            “Or was it a genuine mistake on his part, claiming Labour had too few MPs in the House?”

            citation that he made that claim Robert?

            “However, in what is an embarrassing oversight for the new Government, at least five of its MPs were absent and things threatened to go pear-shaped when National MP and shadow leader of the House Simon Bridges raised a point of order, querying whether MPs who weren’t sworn-in could participate in the vote.”

            I cannot see anywhere that he made the claim you stated?

  12. Peroxide Blonde 15

    And incorrect…*

    “I, Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern, solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors, according to law.”

    Did we campaign and vote for our Labour PM to swear allegiance to a foreign monarch rather than than The People of New Zealand?

    When can we stop this trite insulting infuriating shite?

    I look forward to Labour immediately scrapping the knight and dame garbage that the Natz reintroduced.
    I look forward to Labour declaring Aotearoa an Independent republic with an elected Head of State.

    *NZs current head of state is the monarch of the UK. There was no Queen Elizabeth the First of the United Kingdom. There was one for England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603.

    • Enough is Enough 15.1

      “I look forward to Labour declaring Aotearoa an Independent republic with an elected Head of State”

      Yeah because Labour has the mandate for that tiny constitutional change???

      Are you going to consult one of the two signatories to the treaty before doing so. I think Maori may have a fairly strong view on your republican opinion.

  13. This is what happens when vaccination levels aren’t good enough:

    A runaway mumps outbreak in the Auckland region is likely to continue into next year, as plans are put in place for a nationwide response.

    Low vaccination rates, particularly among 10-29 year olds is fuelling the sky rocketing numbers.

    This is a good article on the added costs of measles:

    On that FB thread about dropping vaccination rates in New Zealand, one commenter proudly proclaimed that she and her four children had all had measles. Over in a week, no problems, stop yer whining.

    Well, lovely for her – and if the illness indeed lasted only a week per person then they were lucky; 7-10 days is the norm for uncomplicated measles. But measles infection carries a range of costs and risks, about which she seemed blissfully ignorant. Or couldn’t care less; on that thread, it was hard to tell sometimes.

    It then goes on to detail all the added costs of having the measles.

    • Stunned Mullet 16.1

      All still fall out from that fraud Wakefield.

      • Andre 16.1.1

        There was a pretty hard core of anti-vax kooks long before Wakefield’s lies. But fuck me, Wakefield certainly managed to inflate it from a minor lunatic fringe nuisance into a full-blown public-health problem.

  14. James 17

    NZ Herald on how the new government looked today.


    Guess the news tonight will be the new government looking stupid on day 1.

    • McFlock 17.1

      once bitten, twice shy.

    • Robert Guyton 17.2

      Or National looking sneaky. Either way, it’s unbecoming. Minor glitch though, like getting stung by one hornet and noticing the nest you were about to step on. I guess we should thank Sneaky Simon 🙂

      • james 17.2.1

        Its not looking sneaky – its just shows when there is such a large opposition how they can make life difficult for the government, and that they really intend to.

        • blueyed1

          maybe it’s about time James the national party grew up and realize they are not in high school anymore, they are a party of has been’s so desperate to cling to power, it is not about people at all but there own ego’s and what they get out of it, Collins and Bennett people loath those two, I personally loath the whole party actually, none of them of them have any scruples

          • james

            No – not in high school – agreed.

            However if Labour was smart enough to count to a high school level – then they wouldn’t have made this stupid mistake.

            Now National have the majority in 7 of the 12 select committees.

        • Sacha

          It is not a “large opposition” – actually one seat smaller than in the last term. However a govt that cannot count looks foolish, yes.

      • blueyed1 17.2.2

        simple simon met a pieman

        • james

          “Simple Simon met a pieman”,
          trying to elect a speaker;
          Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
          Ill take all the select committee seats we want”

          It dosnt rhyme, but its the end result.

  15. Morrissey 18

    Ten Reasons We Got Rid of National
    No. 3: Dr. Jian Yang


  16. mary_a 19

    Being a strong opposition for Natz, is playing dirty politics. It’s all it knows.

    As it is now a proven fact government did actually after all have the numbers over Natz for the Speaker vote, why isn’t it possible to withdraw the select committees deal?

    Today’s events I’m sure will be a wake up call for the government to be even more alert for the expected Natz cesspit of murk and filth to raise its odorous stench to score points.

    Sore losers Natz obviously still stinging badly about being sent to the opposition benches!

    • james 19.1

      So Mary_A – nobody said that they didnt have the numbers, so nobody has ever disputed the fact you are pointing out.

      Bridges asked if people who were not sworn in could vote.

      Labour are bumbling idiots, who couldn’t count and panicked. But at no point in this did Bridges tell a lie.

      So no dirty politics – its incompetence.

      But a great result on the select committee seats !

  17. mauī 20

    Mediaz having a poor property investor moment saying they might not be able to afford to stuff some basic insulation in a house and provide just one source of heating for their tenants.

    No talk of how a family could be freezing to death in there, no just how the investor could shock horror lose everything with these additional costs and how the bastard investors would make the tenants pay for it.


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