Open Mike 08/05/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 8th, 2018 - 185 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

185 comments on “Open Mike 08/05/2018”

  1. Nick 1

    Ata Marie, good morning I hope you all have a great day.

    • patricia bremner 1.1

      Ata Marie Nick. How pleasant to read that. Many of my friends are now living alone. They often comment that cheery morning greetings online or at service centres and food outlets become quite important to them. So thanks for that courtesy.

  2. reason 2

    A few people have started waving around racist and anti-semite smears against english labour leader Corbyn …. and others ,,,,,

    Its a manner of attack which reminds me of John Key shouting “you support the rapists !”
    http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/john-key-using-sexual-violence-as-a-political-tool-says-greens-co-leader

    Antisemitism is the tried and true propaganda tool … used to smear Lorde and her fans … who I presume object to the worst aspects of Zionism…. like Corbyn …

    two docos set about 10 years apart … about messages and public opinion

    Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land

    • Puckish Rogue 2.1

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/10/israeli-labor-leader-cuts-ties-jeremy-corbyn-antisemitism

      The leader of the Israeli Labor party has said he will cut ties with Jeremy Corbyn and his office over the handling of antisemitism, but would preserve the link with the party as a whole.

      Avi Gabbay, the chair of the centre-left Labor party, which is the main opposition to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud, said he would sever all relations with Corbyn on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day.

      Gabbay said in a letter sent to the British Labour party leader on Tuesday that it was “my responsibility to acknowledge the hostility that you have shown to the Jewish community and the antisemitic statements and actions you have allowed”.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        The more they make stupid unjustified attacks on Corbyn, like this one, the more people vote for him.

      • reason 2.1.2

        Righto Puckish …. so a political party in the Zionist state of Israel calls out anti-Semite

        You do know its a neo con zionist strategy to shut down narratives …

        38 – 45 mins

        Anyway Spread the video and support Corbyn, Lorde … and Roger Waters

        Being anti extreme Zionism is not the same as anti Semitic

        • Puckish Rogue 2.1.2.1

          Yeah what would a centre-left party in Israel know about anti-semitism

          • Barfly 2.1.2.1.1

            Perhaps they are happy to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. – is that too hard an idea for you Pucky?

            • Puckish Rogue 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Well thats one way of looking at it

              http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-43523445

              The Labour leader has been criticised for responding to a Facebook post by street artist, Mear One, in 2012, which asked why the image faced destruction.

              Mr Corbyn had written: “Why? You are in good company” – but has now said the image was “deeply disturbing”.

              Labour MP Luciana Berger – who highlighted the post on Twitter – called Mr Corbyn’s response “wholly inadequate”.

              She said: “It fails to understand on any level the hurt and anguish felt about anti-Semitism. I will be raising this further.”

              https://www.vox.com/world/2018/3/29/17168320/labour-corbyn-anti-semitism-mural

              One of the biggest points of tension was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Corbyn, like many on the socialist left, is staunchly pro-Palestinian — which is of course in no way anti-Semitic. But his advocacy on the issue has gone in a direction that many in Labour are uncomfortable with, most infamously inviting members of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah to speak at Parliament in 2009 and referring to them as his “friends.”

              The old-school Labour leadership — along with a majority of the roughly 263,000 Jews living in Britain — worried that this kind of comment didn’t just reflect Corbyn’s politics on Israel, but rather an overall lack of concern for anti-Semitism and the welfare of Jews.

    • Adrian Thornton 2.2

      If anyone should be getting roasted by the media it should be this insane warmonger…
      Netanyahu’s Long History of Crying Wolf over Fake ‘WMDs’ in Iran and Iraq

      • savenz 2.2.1

        +1 – time for the warmonger to go. Sounds like many in Israel and jews around the world, support that just as much as everyone else in the world. Remember how he was politely asked ‘not to go’ to the Paris Memorial March but forced his way in.

        Hollande Asked Netanyahu Not to Attend Paris Memorial March
        https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-hollande-asked-netanyahu-not-to-attend-paris-march-1.5359102

        • Gosman 2.2.1.1

          Why do people on the left focus so much on Israel anyway? There are a lot worse regimes around the World to get all uppity about. Many of them are even fascistic in nature. Yet Israel seems to hold a place dear to the heart of the rabid leftist protestor as a kind of totem evil nation to focus anger on.

          • savenz 2.2.1.1.1

            I think it is because Israel leads international propaganda and many politicians in other countries are following their lead. Aka do what ever you like and say you had to do it to beat terrorism. Even if you become a terrorist yourself and your actions make no sense and you start terrorising your own people as well as the perceived enemy to keep control.

            • Gosman 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Israel does not lead international propaganda. They do spin the case for their actions but so does pretty much every country. Russia claims that it doesn’t send troops to Eastern Ukraine or Venezuela claims it is being targeted by foreign sanctions for example.

              • savenz

                Other countries are using their techniques and it’s turning to mayhem. Personally I think Israel is one of the worst offenders but many other’s may be catching up and I don’t think it is a good thing.

                It’s the boy who cried wolf, soon nobody will believe anything government say.

                Governments need to act respectfully and truthfully to get respect and truth back. If they keep employing an army of people making up messages then eventually, few will believe any message. Just like MSM. Less and less people believe in them.

                Is it is the politicians jobs to represent the government truthfully and to protect their citizens rights and welfare, increasingly it looks more like selling out and outsourcing it to someone else, in return to get individual power and wealth and crossing fingers that someone else will deliver and do their job for them.

                • Gosman

                  ALL countries and ALL politicians are going to try and spin their message to the positive side. Does that mean they are deliberately setting out to tell lies – No. Does it mean they stretch the truth so much it breaks at times – Quite likely.

                  • Cinny

                    So why does the Israel propaganda department screen news about the government before allowing it to be printed or broadcasted?

                    And why do they allow those of Jewish denominations to receive a government allowance to stay at home and read the Torah? But they don’t provide the same for any of any other denominations.

                    Israel jails any whistleblowers or journalists that attempt to hold their government to account.

                    • Gosman

                      “And why do they allow those of Jewish denominations to receive a government allowance to stay at home and read the Torah? But they don’t provide the same for any of any other denominations.”

                      Ummm… because it is a Jewish State

          • Bearded Git 2.2.1.1.2

            @ Gosman
            Not many regimes support a concentration camp with more than a million people suffering within it. (There is a certain irony here.)

            Not many regimes erect illegal settlements for decades in defiance of the UN.

          • alwyn 2.2.1.1.3

            I suspect it is because they have read and believed this book published a little over a century ago.
            Read the book yourself if one of the resident lefties will lend you their copy, suspend belief, and you too will see why the Jews are so bad.
            https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007058

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.4

            Why do people on the left focus so much on Israel anyway?

            Because they keep killing people and committing war crimes in their ongoing invasion of Palestine. And those crimes are supported by the West.

            • Gosman 2.2.1.1.4.1

              As opposed to say Russian military intervention in the Caucasus?

            • alwyn 2.2.1.1.4.2

              I think you summed up what you say here in the comment from you immediately before this one.
              As you put it so succinctly.
              “I suspect that you’re talking out your arse yet again”.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ah, right, nothing to say that won’t come across as defence of the indefensible.

                • alwyn

                  I’m pleased to see that you have been talking rubbish.
                  The anti-Semites you like are certainly in the indefensible category and it is good that, even at a very late stage, you finally recognise that fact.

          • Daveosaurus 2.2.1.1.5

            “Why do people on the left focus so much on Israel anyway?

            Some “people on the left” tend to oppose things such as genocide of indigenous people, such as that which has been inflicted on the indigenous people of Palestine for the last few decades.

            • Gosman 2.2.1.1.5.1

              The Palestinians are not indigenous. Neither are the Jews.

              • Daveosaurus

                Oh, you’re one of those, a believer in the false “land without a people” rhetoric.

                Do you also believe that Australia was “terra nullius” before the English colonised it?

          • Gabby 2.2.1.1.6

            What are these worse regimes that nobody’s getting uppity about gossy?

        • Gosman 2.2.1.2

          I have a feeling it is because it is the closest there is to old school colonialism where lefties can feel morally superior by standing up against ‘white’ oppression against ethnic minorities.

          • tom 2.2.1.2.1

            ‘I have a feeling ‘

            that is where you always go wrong, how about informing yourself by reading widely from all angles about the issue before commenting about your feelings, which really means ‘this is my biased uneducated and ignorant spin’.
            Try Noam Chomsky of American Jewish descent to get the opposite view point of extremist fundamentalist Zionism, but still from jewish people, so you can’t label then anti semitic for speaking facts like you can Corbyn etc.

  3. reason 3

    A very informative talk from Robert Fisk … ISIS 10 mins …Al-nusral ‘rebels 13,mins 30 secs Alleppo etc . ” Listen very carefully to that word ‘Rebel’,,, “….

    A talk about messages and narratives

  4. Ad 4

    In case people were beginning to wonder about the governments’ response to climate change, the Productivity Commission has released a big set of thinking recently.

    For those who haven’t gone through them in detail yet, within this release about the New Zealand policy framework response to climate change are a while series of papers that are worth reading:

    https://www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiry-content/3254?stage=3

    There are papers on:

    – Transition to a zero-carbon electricity system in New Zealand (report by Sapere Consultants)
    – An examination of the UK Climate Change Act 2008
    – A set of models and assumptions about energy and industry shifts to achieve specific targets (report by Motu)
    – The full draft report on transitioning to a low-carbon economy

    In a nice little signal that everyone is talking to each other in Wellington, the EPA who are charged with administering the carbon pricing system among other things, have come out in support of this work.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1805/S00073/epa-welcomes-productivity-commissions-report.htm

    I have a sneaky suspicion that the UK Climate Change Act is going to be an important model for us here.

    You can make submissions on the Productivity Commissions’ thinking here:

    https://www.productivity.govt.nz/make-a-submission

    The final report will be delivered to Government in August this year, in time to influence Minister Shaw’s draft bill.

    Now, I can’t yet figure out how the work of the Interim Climate Commission, the Commissioner for the Environment, the Productivity Commission, all the other quangos, and Minister Shaw’s own thinking will coalesce towards the end of this year. If people want to have a stab at that, do enlighten me.

    But from the government it’s not for lack of thinking and seeking to form broad agreement towards action about climate change at a whole-of-government level.

    Which hasn’t been done before. Which is a good thing.

  5. Jenny 5

    Charged for saving the lives of refugees, fleeing fascism and war.

    “One day it is going to be them. Who knows, one day it is going to be us running”

    Salam Aldeen



    • Jenny 5.1

      Would Lady Liberty be arrested as a people smuggler?

      “Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

      “One man’s freedom fighter, is another man’s terrorist”

      Updated, “One man’s life saver is another man’s people smuggler”

      Charges: “politically motivated” 2:40 minutes

      Greek authorities accuse Aldeen of people smuggling. If he is found guilty, he faces life in prison.

      Rights groups say the arrest is politically motivated to discourage small boats from setting sail for Europe.

      Nationalism, Refugees, Borders, Politics, Paranoia, Racism, War.

      New Zealanders are being led to believe by the Australian Foreign Minister that a boatload of desperate refugees caught off the coast of Malaysia were attempting to get to New Zealand. No doubt we are supposed to be suitably outraged and feel besieged and paranoid at this unlikely news.

      The unspoken message that we are supposed to take on board is that we are being invaded by a horde of foreigners with ill intent, and not desperate human beings looking for refuge.

      What is the purpose of instilling these feelings in New Zealanders?

      Are Peter Dutton’s claims that this boat was on its way to New Zealand also “political”?

      Refugees are often used as political playing cards, to reinforce notions of nation, and war, and racism.

      Could it be that Dutton’s claims are being made to keep us in the fold, tied in together with Australia even more tighter into Western military alliances like 5 Eyes and ANZUS?

      “Was people smuggling boat, intercepted with 130 Sri Lankan refugees, really heading to NZ?”

      We demonise and dehumanise those who flee war and oppression and make it as hard as possible for them to escape. We use this narrative to keep the war fever going.

      Imagine there’s no countries,
      I wonder if you can,
      Nothing to fight or die for,
      the Brotherhood of man,

      Sang John Lennon

      Lady Liberty: People smuggler

      Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
      Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
      The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
      “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
      With silent lips.

      • Gabby 5.1.1

        What can we do to make their homelands more pleasant jens, so they don’t feel compelled to flee?

        • Jenny 5.1.1.1

          The one thing we could do as a nation to show solidarity with the Syrian people suffering under Assad fascism, is throw open our doors to the refugees fleeing the regime.

          The other thing we should do to show solidarity with the Syrian people, is expel the Russian ambassador, not because of some ridiculous alleged failed murder attempt in England, but to show the world that New Zealanders don’t tolerate genocide.

          On the individual level I would suggest to you Gabby that your immediate first task would be to talk to a Syrian refugee. Or invite a Syrian speak to your group or community so as to become informed about the situation there.

          Myself I am currently looking at some sort of fund raising or charity project to raise funds to give to some worthy group on the ground in Syria, to try in some small way to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people.

  6. veutoviper 6

    A couple of interesting appointments were announced yesterday which did not make it to prominent positions in our daily news. As they are unrelated I will cover them in separate comments.

    First, following the expiry of Richard Griffin’s last three year appointment as Chair of the Board of RNZ a week ago on on 30 April 2018, Dr Jim Mather has been appointed to the position for the next three years.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/356822/jim-mather-named-as-incoming-rnz-chair

    Since 2013, Dr Mather has been CE of of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, following nine years as Chief Executive of Māori Television. During his time at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, he “led a multimillion-dollar restructure, streamlined the business, realigned campuses around the country and improved educational experiences for its students.”

    In early March 2018 Dr Mather advised that he would not be seeking reappointment to the CE position in Oct 2018 when his current five year contract expires for family reasons.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/101998077/family-reasons-given-for-not-seeking-reappointment

    It is not clear from the reports I have read to date whether Dr Mather will continue as Te Wānanga o Aotearoa CE until Oct or step down earlier.

    It is also not clear whether his impending appointment to Chair of the RNZ Board had already been decided/agreed prior to the 5 March announcement that he would not be seeking reappointment to the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Chief Executive position.

  7. Adrian Thornton 7

    Hillary Clinton ends her NZ tour of shameless lies and double standards..

    ‘2006 Audio Emerges of Hillary Clinton Proposing Rigging Palestine Election’
    http://observer.com/2016/10/2006-audio-emerges-of-hillary-clinton-proposing-rigging-palestine-election/

    Clinton…
    “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”

    Why any thinking citizen would pay to hear her talk bullshit right into to their faces is a real mystery to me, different strokes for different folks I guess.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      At a talk in Auckland on Monday night, the former first lady and secretary of state said she had received invitations from many Kiwis to come and live here following her loss.

      She “gave them some thought”, she said, but decided to stay in the US as there was work to do.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/103707777/hillary-clinton-considered-moving-to-nz-after-loss-to-trump

      Does anyone really think or believe that HRC would seriously consider moving to NZ, its such a cheap pop even Mick Foley would have balked at doing it

      I suppose its more a complaint about the media reporting it I guess

      • savenz 7.1.1

        According to Patrick Gower, Clinton was much better value than Obama and the $500k probable fee was overpriced (especially since Air NZ owned 50% by taxpayers who didn’t get to say boo). Well Gower is probably right on that one.

        Scary stuff, post political career the usual gravy train of copious amounts for speeches and influence by bankers and corporates to ex politicians.. I guess it’s we were never going to see them actually doing social good and be a change maker and voice of reason, when there is more money to be made.

        • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.1

          Was there ever a time when leaders just sort of went away and were barely heard from again except for a quote or two every now and then?

          • savenz 7.1.1.1.1

            Yikes, scary stuff I agree with the taxpayers union. At least Obama isn’t milking millions from small countries for cash for their ‘foundations’. (or maybe he is?)

            “This week the Taxpayers’ Union revealed that the new Government is set to continue taxpayer-funded payments to the controversial Clinton Foundation affiliate, the “Clinton Health Access Initiative”. $5.5m will be given in 2018/19. This is on top of the $8million already forked out.”

            https://www.taxpayers.org.nz/clinton_petition

            • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I always suspected that National would be considered to be to the left of the Democratic party

          • alwyn 7.1.1.1.2

            Most of them simply cannot give up the limelight. They have become so warped in their thinking that they simply cannot accept that their time has gone and they were never as important as they liked to believe.
            John Key has done pretty well in withdrawing from the spotlight. His predecessors in Clark and Bolger simply couldn’t accept that nobody gave a damn about them.

            The best of course was George Bush senior. He never even published a fictional account of his presidency, calling them memoirs, showing how wonderful everything he did was, as most Presidents come out with.
            If you want truly stupendous volumes on how great they were try those by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Volume after volume after volume. Of course if you want real history they don’t provide it.
            The only really great Presidential memoirs were written by Ulysses S Grant and published in 1885. If you can obtain a copy it is well worth reading.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Half a million for a couple of hours work. Few million for the post election/term books.

              I wouldn’t really count the ones published while campaigning – it’s an easy way to get media time “outside of” campaigning.

              Been meaning to look for the Grant memoir. Didn’t he finish writing them as cash for his family while dying, then drop dead immediately after?

              • alwyn

                ” Didn’t he finish writing them … “.
                It was actually even more poignant than you say. He had got involved in rotten investments and was basically broke when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1884. He settled down, apparently in terrible pain, to write his memoirs to try and provide some money for his family after his death. The disease was quite incurable of course at that time.
                He died from cancer in, I believe, March 1985, shortly after the memoirs were published. He didn’t drop dead precisely. His death was expected and basically he spent the last months of his life doing something for his wife future support.
                They are worth reading although you have to have a reasonable grasp of US history before and during the Civil War to really follow them. That or Google of course.

            • savenz 7.1.1.1.2.2

              I agree they can’t give up the limelight. But Key reasons are different, my guess is that firstly he was never really interested in the public anyway just wanted the power rush and have PM on the CV and secondly he has skeletons in his closet and doesn’t want anyone digging through it and thirdly I think even many in the National party had had enough of him and he knows not to push his luck too far. He’s considered teflon for a reason.

              • Puckish Rogue

                “secondly he has skeletons in his closet and doesn’t want anyone digging through it”

                What skeletons pray tell or is this just more rumour mongering?

                • alwyn

                  “more rumour mongering”.
                  How could you even consider that possibility?
                  If “savenz” says this it clearly must be true. He is of the left and they never ever tell fibs. At least that is what they claim.
                  Don’t be mean and ask him to divulge the source of his fantasies. It isn’t very pretty in there. He has a very bad case of Key Derangement Syndrome.

                  • savenz

                    Well maybe KDS is better than KAS (Key Adoration Syndrome) that you seem to suffer from Alwyn.

                    Look at the state Key left the country, his obsession with the 0% tax havens, blind trusts, ponytails, mass surveillance, if his private life is anything like NZ accounts then keeping a low profile fits.

                    Even the state he left the National party, I mean Simon Bridges is the best they can do and MP’s leaving like rats deserting the sinking ship?

                    I’ll put in money for crowd funding for a Nicky Hager biography of Key…. see what falls out.

                    • alwyn

                      Well, you are clearly aware that you are suffering from KDS, as you admit you are affected.
                      That is the first step on the path to being cured. There is hope for you yet I would say although for a dose of it as strong as yours it may take some time.

    • savenz 7.2

      She is an example of a career politician, who seems to have stopped believing in anything…. yes she is polished and probably a nice person, but lost touch (like many) with reality and how normal people live and what is right and wrong rather than what power to get and what power to take and who is important and who is not.

      • Anne 7.2.1

        I know some on this site are convinced she is an evil witch, but I think Hillary Clinton’s warnings about the spreading influence of China in Australia and NZ is timely.

        https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/356850/nz-should-heed-warning-on-china-influence-clinton

        Now I will await the accusation that I am a racist. Hello Phil Twyford….

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          It’s been two years and some folks still think she’s more corrupt than what even Trump’s lawyers say about him 🙂

        • Gabby 7.2.1.2

          I wonder if she’s buying any real estate while she’s here.

      • indiana 7.2.2

        Yikes, its like you were describing Jacinda…I had to read the thread twice over!

      • Mikes 7.2.3

        “…probably a nice person…”

        yeh nah.

        • savenz 7.2.3.1

          I mean nice, like grandma loves her grandkids, but not so nice what has been allowed to happen around the world under her and people like her that are supposed to be better and different from the republicans, and what is fair and right, gone out the window.

      • savenz 7.2.4

        Similar to this heavy weight, with the same sort of affliction, seem to have a complete lack of understanding how Trump got there. Clue, if a person has lost their job as it has been outsourced offshore or to a cheaper worker, telling them how great everything is and how great America is under that system, is probably not going to work and they will stop voting for you.
        https://www.salon.com/2018/04/07/trump-fascism-and-democracy-heres-what-madeleine-albright-cant-or-wont-say/

        Another interesting point, is Clinton reportedly warning NZ against China, but American helped make China powerful by building all their factories there to save money… contract for building UK’s nuclear power stations, infrastructure etc now American’s don’t have jobs but Chinese do and can come and buy up bits of other countries…. and other politicians and have money for influence.

        The US has lost touch with reality and their super capitalist individual structures of people competing against each other and nationality being meaningless as one worker is the same as the next and their laws allow predatory behaviour against their own residents… like zombie debt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c

  8. Rosemary McDonald 8

    Yesterday on Open Mike there was this post….https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-07-05-2018/#comment-1481992

    …really struck a chord with me. I hope my replies to Fireblade conveyed my deep anger at this….within days of WINZ being told by the PM to be kind.

    I emailed Carmel Sepuloni asking her to contact this particular WINZ office and remind them of the PM’s instructions.

    I got a prompt response saying the email had been passed to Brendan Boyle, the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development, for his attention.

    I sent another email saying that I anticipated this situation will be rectified today, and that to morrow I will be onsite with a camera.

    I understand that culture change takes time…but I also understand that rot is best excised promptly to allow the new flesh to grow.

    If others are concerned about this Sepuloni’s email address is c.sepuloni@ministers.govt.nz

    • Fireblade 8.1

      Hi Rosemary. We haven’t made a complaint, as we find dealing with Winz quite intimidating and stressful enough.

      I appreciate your concern and admire your resolve. Thank you.

      • savenz 8.1.1

        Shocking way to treat people.

      • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.2

        Yep. WINZ has been developing it’s current culture for the past 20 + years and while change takes time, this kind of treatment is simply not acceptable.

        I truly get about the intimidation and stress after some years of being the fulltime caring partner of someone on the Supported Living Payment.

        The day he turned 65 and graduated to the respectable National Super he was directed to a separate area of the Dinsdale WINZ office reserved for ‘Seniors”.

        We both decided, without discussion, to remain in the general seating area…refusing to cooperate with their divide and rule tactics.

        Firebrand….rest assured that there are increasing numbers of Kiwis having to approach WINZ for assistance they are entitled to who are finding out what utter shits WINZ can be. These new WINZ clients,on an increasing number of occasions,are extending their outrage to include those who in previous times they might have viewed as ‘bludgers’.

        While some feedback might indicate that there is little public sympathy for those on benefits, in my experience this is not generally the case.

        The tide has turned.

    • DH 8.2

      It may be a deeper rooted problem Rosemary. WINZ have considerably tightened security since that dreadful shooting a few years back and this looks to be a consequence of that. I doubt there’s any intent or desire to cause grief, I’d expect it’s a security issue.

      With managers now being potentially liable for any harm that befalls staff many are going to extreme lengths to protect their staff (and their own asses). Can’t really blame them either, the penalties are pretty severe.

      • savenz 8.2.1

        Wins could have reacted by ensuring homeless and mentally ill were housed after the incident, instead of employing security guards and not letting their ‘customers’ into the building or to park there. Crazy reaction at odds with the root of the issue. Very American.

        • DH 8.2.1.1

          I think it’s more to do with law changes after Pike River. I can only go by what I’ve read but I understand that management can now be held criminally liable for any harm that comes to staff they’re responsible for.

          In theory I expect they’d only be liable for acts of negligence but the whole health & safety in the workplace thing has got the point where ‘negligence’ is so subjective it can be seen in any scenario now.

          If you were a senior manager and you faced the prospect of going to prison, or seriously penalised financially, for any hurt that befell employees under your watch what would you do?

          • savenz 8.2.1.1.1

            Natz altered the law to make being a public servant difficult and putting power back to big business. Similar to Kinder surprise being considered harmful to children in the US but Guns for Kids are ok.

            • DH 8.2.1.1.1.1

              I doubt it makes their job more difficult. Bureaucrats have got deep pockets of other people’s money, they just hire consultants to develop comprehensive safety plans that guarantee their arses are covered.

              You might picture how it’s unfolded. One safety plan goes a bit overboard but any bureaucrat who ignores it risks being seen as negligent so they come up with their own plan which is even more paranoid and another sees that & comes up with their own….. until you end up needing a security guard to watch you having a crap in case you get a paper cut from the bog roll.

              • savenz

                It’s crazy takes money away from the core issues, aka teachers and teaching, now they have to waste time and money. for example many schools employing private firms to scare the wits out of kids in case some armed gun man pops up! The psychological damage is probably great. AKA WINZ, if you were border line mentally ill and forced to wait outside and not be able to access your benefit for example to buy food, maybe that might send you over the edge!

                They are creating problems and ignoring the main risks!

          • McFlock 8.2.1.1.2

            Except that an unarmed guard will do piss-all against a gunman.

            “Safety and Security” is a great reason to introduce barriers and intimidate people you don’t want to deal with. Used by more folks than social warfare, too – look at workplace drug testing (rather than impairment testing).

            • savenz 8.2.1.1.2.1

              If you wanted to go wild with a gun, you could just wait outside WINZ at 5pm! Crazy logic.

            • DH 8.2.1.1.2.2

              That’s true McFlock, it may also not be what’s actually happening. If we want to see the worst in people we’ll always find it but is that what we really want?

              I’ll wager that if Rosemary does get a reply & explanation security will be one of the excuses, if not the excuse. Excessive security measures could create the same antagonistic environment as deliberate obstruction. The motives for each are a bit different and the actions you’d take to resolve them would differ too.

              • McFlock

                I’ve generally found that suspecting the worst in people was the safest way of dealing with them.

                • DH

                  Hard to argue that but I could opine the senior managers of WINZ might view their ‘customers’ that way too…. and thus the onerous security measures.

                  • McFlock

                    If they did, those offices would be closed and there’d be bland little doors in anonymous bland buildings, and everyone would have to go through the call centre and face to face meetings would be almost impossible, and security would be worse than airports.

                    But they don’t really think most people want to hurt staff. I suspect that the extra barrier helps their stats, though.

                    • DH

                      By all accounts it’s not far off that, realistically what they do now is probably the limit of what they think they can get away with.

                      They only need to think that some might hurt staff to enact universal security measures, it’s not about expecting the worst of everyone. Without the ability to profile exactly who might hurt someone they’d (likely) think they need to treat everyone the same.

                      Safety plans are pretty extreme these days. Managers are expected to anticipate all the possible causes of workplace injury and take steps to prevent them before they (might) happen. If they miss something, and later someone gets hurt as a result of that lapse, they can be in big trouble.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, I’m in a position to write and review them.

                      Risk aversion at the expense of reasonableness is not the aim or the content of the legislation, but it is a handy way to be a jerk or not bother with something.

                    • DH

                      Who’s at fault for it though? In the past the test was whether a person had taken reasonable care and acted in good faith. The law now is pretty unforgiving and it’s hard to judge harshly those who take extreme steps to prevent themselves from being prosecuted for ‘failures’ in the workplace.

                      Workplace safety has turned into a bit of a mess really. If heightened security was causing angst at WINZ it would only make things worse. People would get more pissed at WINZ staff for the holdups and ‘rude’ treatment. That would increase the risk of the staff being attacked. They’d increase security further to address that heightened risk which would piss people off even more… and so on.

                    • McFlock

                      You still have to take reasonable steps, not unreasonable ones.

                      The difference is that higher-echelon managers are also liable, not just individuals and the companies they work for.

                      Amazing what a little “personal responsibility” does, lol.

                    • DH

                      Yeah. The thing about people at many levels of management now is they’re there because they’re ambitious. And ambitious people are by nature pretty self serving; they’ll look out for number one. The further they climb, the more they have to lose.

                      It’s a nice thought that a big cleanout of WINZ bigwigs will make things better but I do have my doubts.

                  • tracey

                    I suspect they think their customers are the Ministry and Minister, from the way they act

              • Gabby

                I wonder how they’d justify creating a helfinsafety risk for the public outside their offices in that case. Angry beneficiaries milling about in the street what.

      • Rosemary McDonald 8.2.2

        Yes, I get that. Yet on that day it was not only Sue Bradford wondering why WINZ never saw that coming.

        If you treat people in an inhumane way is it surprising when someone finally responds in an inhuman way?

        The surprising thing is that there have not been more incidents…especially with the the number of clients for whom mental stability is a real issue.

        “With managers now being potentially liable for any harm that befalls staff many are going to extreme lengths to protect their staff (and their own asses). Can’t really blame them either, the penalties are pretty severe.”

        In an ideal world, it should have been the Government of the day that was prosecuted for entrenching the culture that drove a desperate person to commit such a desperate act.

        Having said that, the PSA is one powerful union, and I heard nothing from them to say their members working at WINZ had concerns or objections about the policies they were ordered to enforce.

        • savenz 8.2.2.1

          Well, they rob banks and people can get hurt, but I don’t see private practise removing their customers, more fake ‘we want to protect our staff’.

          Also time to clean up this pathetic laws that make people like teachers, principals and public officials responsible for accidents completely out of their control. It is an absolute curse and ruining education and stopping places like WINZ being functional for what their purpose is.

          Funny enough when workers are harmed aka Pike River, no one held to account. Time workplace safety or whoever these idiots are, are overhauled. They pick on the little guy and easy targets and give the abusers a free ride.

      • savenz 8.2.3

        Also with the shooting I think the guy that did the shooting went to great effort to try to get help before hand such as going into interviews, writing to MP’s etc. It was not some beneficiary who just shot them out of the blue. If he had got the help, who know the WINZ people might be alive today. They are looking at the incident all wrong.

  9. veutoviper 9

    Another interesting appointment also announced yesterday was the appointment of Andrew Campbell, currently chief strategist and communications director for the Green Party, to the position of Chief Press Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/103692680/prime-minister-appoints-new-chief-press-secretary-andrew-campbell-from-the-green-party

    “The Prime Minister’s office has hired Andrew Campbell as its new chief press secretary.

    Campbell is currently the chief strategist and communications director for the Green Party.

    Campbell has worked for the Green Party for a number of years on and off, including as the chief of staff and communications director. He began his latest stint in December, and was a part of the Green Party’s negotiating team going into Government.

    Campbell has also worked for NZ Rugby and teachers’ union NZEI.”

    Rather than rewrite what has already been written about the interchange of staff between the Greens and Labour over recent years, I am going to take the unusual step (and to some here on TS possibly the unforgiveable step – LOL) of linking to a post by Pete George on YourNZ outlining this – eg prior to Campbell, Leah Haines, and of course Clint Smith some years ago.
    https://yournz.org/2018/05/08/greens-staff-loss-is-labours-gain/

    This post also mentions David Farrar’s reaction – a smart appointment but “Another former student president, which almost completes their takeover of Labour – Robertson, Hipkins, Kirton and now Campbell.”

    [As an aside to the above, I noticed a few weeks ago that Stephanie Rodgers, former author etc here, started work in early April as Press Secretary to Jan Logie. ]

    • Anne 9.1

      I liked James Shaw’s response to the Campbell appointment. It shows that while elements within the MSM are peddling stories of supposed discord between Labour and the Greens, they are actually working well and collaboratively together:

      Green Party co-leader James Shaw said it was a great appointment and Campbell was “one of the best in the business.”

      “He and the Prime Minister have my full blessing. He’s an enormously talented strategic communications person,” Shaw said.

      “I think he’ll make a fantastic difference in the PM’s office.”

      • veutoviper 9.1.1

        As you say a good response by Shaw. I debated whether to mention that but am trying to shorten my comments.

        WO of course is trying to stir things by OIAing the recruitment process, claiming a conflict of interest of some sort (unspecified) in the PM’s Office using JacksonStone & Partners as the recruitment agency for the position, costs of using an agency etc etc.

      • Bearded Git 9.1.2

        Agreed +1000 Anne

    • alwyn 9.2

      “Another former student president, which almost completes their takeover of Labour – Robertson, Hipkins, Kirton and now Campbell.”
      Did you notice that he had forgotten about Andrew Little? Poor Andrew. Gone and forgotten.
      “Sic transit gloria mundi”
      Or in the vernacular. Yesterday’s news is todays fish and chip wrapper.

    • tracey 9.3

      Thanks for the heads up re Rogers now working for Logie.

  10. savenz 10

    From Greenpeace..

    “The Black Stilt or Kakī, is endangered – there are just 100 or so of them left. Most of them live in the Mackenzie basin.
    But soon, they’ll have new neighbours. 15,000 cows are planned for a new dairy conversion near Lake Pūkaki.
    This is madness. Putting cows in the Mackenzie is like mining in a national park.
    But together, we can take it on. Please join the campaign today.” http://greenpeace.nz/black-stilt

  11. dv 11

    See the banks made $400 PROFIT from EACH person in NZ.

    • Gosman 11.1

      And?

      • dv 11.1.1

        Did you want to say something?

        • Gosman 11.1.1.1

          You seem to think making profit is a bad thing. I am unsure why you think that. You haven’t explained it.

          • dv 11.1.1.1.1

            Nope, just an interesting factoid.

            • Gosman 11.1.1.1.1.1

              So you decide to post on a forum dedicated to political debates just a fact about Banking in NZ and expect no further discussion?

              • logie97

                What is the point of bank profit?
                Is it to make a return to some of its investors so they can afford to sit on their chuffs instead of doing an honest day’s work?

                • Gosman

                  What is the point of ANY profit logie97?

                  Your arguments against it would apply equally to others.

                  • logie97

                    The captains of Industry tell us that they plough their profits back into the business. Much of a bank profit appears to be creamed off by the master banks and salted away in bullion for a rainy day.

                    • Gosman

                      I don’t think I have ever seen “Captains of Industry” discuss ploughing back all their profits back in to the business. Indeed that would be a fundamentally foolish idea in the long run. The whole point of profits is to recompense the owners for the use of the capital.

                  • logie97

                    Do the directors fees and salaries and overseas junkets come out of the bottom line, or have they already been written off further up the accounts?

                    • In Vino

                      Back in the 80s and 90s the New Right’s chant was: “Profit is not a dirty word.”
                      Ever since then the profiteers have been profit-gouging, which is in fact a dirty word.
                      $400 from each person constitutes profit-gouging by an oligarchy in a failed market.
                      Is that what you wanted someone to say, Gosman?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.2

            You seem to think making profit is a bad thing.

            It is as it’s simply bludging.

      • Zorb6 11.1.2

        and-they don’t produce anything.
        And are bloodsucking parasites that create digital credit and charge interest,anduse fractional reserve banking to multiply their capital.(create money out of thin air)
        Not forgetting there is a tacit agreement that they are too big to fail.
        It won’t take you long to find they are involved in fraud,money laundering and misfeasance of every kind,and usually just fined when they are brought to account.

    • Stunned Mullet 11.2

      Don’t lend so much from them then and you might be able to make a profit from the bank.

      • Gosman 11.2.1

        Apparently DV doesn’t mind they make so much profit.

      • savenz 11.2.2

        On the banking note, would be nice if Kiwibank wanted to compete more on service. Not everyone wants to queue up at Postshop (especially around Christmas). Funny all these business folks love this idea of customer service but somehow have not really evolved beyond being a place for customers who have few banking needs to maybe look at growing customers with more complex banking needs or just much better customer service.

        Now the OZ banks have cost cut customer service to the bone, time for Kiwi banks to actually try to compete a bit more on service.

        • Gosman 11.2.2.1

          Ummm… what sort of services does Kiwibank not offer?

          • savenz 11.2.2.1.1

            I tried to change to Kiwibank and they were very bureaucratic. Did not give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Saying that, I’m with an OZ bank and their customer service is getting worse and worse and I don’t even trust them to do basic stuff. I even caught them charging me the wrong interest rate (higher of course) yep they paid if back but no apology or even understanding that’s quite a bad mistake to be making in banking. I’m sure if a financial auditor went through people’s banking they would get interesting results of over changing being the norm, because one small computer change can do a lot of damage. $400 profit is just the tip of the iceberg.

            But hey all of NZ has headed that way. Look at the holiday pay issue, it’s normal now for big business to just stone wall paying it even though it is illegal or small business to now charge people for their own job while immigration turns a blind eye as it does not meet their Kafka criteria for investigation.

    • Bearded Git 11.3

      So from a family of 4 the banks make $1600 profits, or more likely they are making profits of $600-900 each from a person who is single/each person who has an account.

      • Gosman 11.3.2

        Banking (like many businesses) follows an 80/20 rule when it comes to profit. What this means is that the rule of thumb is that 80 percent of the profit comes from just 20 percent of the customer base. The rest of the customers are extremely low value usually.

    • logie97 11.4

      Here’s a thought.
      What if the Government was to direct all government agencies (starting with schools) to bank with Kiwibank – that any tax payer funding they receive must be through Kiwibank. Cannot see any reason why Westpac or BNZ et cetera should be making capital gains out of this money.

      • Gosman 11.4.1

        Kiwibank couldn’t cope. The infrastructure just isn’t in place.

        • logie97 11.4.1.1

          Lofty oaks from tiny acorns grow …
          What infrastructure would that be then?
          Seems a pretty simple bit of capitalistic behaviour wouldn’t go amiss.
          Just poach the staff from the existing banks who handle the various schools accounts already.

          • Gosman 11.4.1.1.1

            More behind the scenes infrastructure. Their IT system is a dog.

            • logie97 11.4.1.1.1.1

              And on what source/authority do you make such a statement?
              I’ll bet there would be a queue of IT developers offering their systems.
              That’s how free enterprise works isn’t it?

              • Gosman

                Because I work in IT and everyone knows the mess their system is in. They recently had to write off 90 million dollars from an attempt to upgrade their core banking system. They actually spent 100’s of millions on this.

                https://billbennett.co.nz/kiwibank-wastes-90-million-software/

                • savenz

                  Have to agree with Gosman about Kiwibank IT, but they are not the only ones in banking who can’t do IT. When who ever decided to lower wages to ridiculous levels for experienced IT people forcing a lot of them overseas and replacing them with level 5 IT staff or grads, there are implications…. one is there is a big gap in capability because NZ IT is pretty unique in the sense that we don’t have the billions to spend of IT like bigger countries but expect things to work well while paying pauper rates and thinking staff turnover and proven experience is irrelevant… then thinking of filling the gaps up with Morons from overseas at massive rates… aka the place where everyone gets a bargain got more than they bargained for with a recent overseas hire….

                • logie97

                  cannot dispute your superior knowledge there as someone who works in IT. Begs the question how you can spend so much time on this website.

                  However, more to the point, Gosman, you don’t disagree with the premise that government money should be handled by Kiwibank.

                  Nice one … thanks for that.

                  • Gosman

                    Where did I agree with that premise?

                    • logie97

                      11.4.1 – by default. Your only concern appeared to be infrastructure.

                    • Gosman []

                      Your assumption is wrong. I was merely pointing out that your proposal is impractical at this stage. It is also undesirable in my opinion but that is a separate debate.

  12. bwaghorn 12

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz
    I would suggest the eds and Wii should take planting a piece of farmland to hide the track on Te Mata peak as a win.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Anybody can be tempted to behave badly if completely trusted to do the right thing, and not monitored. This is like the problems that occur with Enduring Powers of Attorney.

    A brother and sister and others made trustees after the Maori Trustee passed control in 2012, to manage a block of trees on behalf of other Maori left only $13.41 in the working a/c by 2014. They may have what they consider good reason, but they were given powers with obligations and have not met those. The Court case was reported in October 2017, and now in May 2018 a judgment has been made, nearly six years from the action in dispute. That is slow legal action, which exacerbates the matter.

    Woman pleads guilty to defrauding Far North Māori trust of nearly $1 million
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/103705306/woman-pleads-guilty-to-defrauding-far-north-mori-trust-of-nearly-1-million

    In June 2012, Dixon, along with her brother Stephen Henare and and five others, were appointed as trustees in place of the Māori Trustee.

    In August 2012, about $1.1 million, intended primarily for the management of the land and the forest for the benefit of the owners, was transferred from the Maori Trustee to the Parengarenga 3G Trust bank accounts.
    A further $54,480 was also obtained by the trust from the sale of carbon credits.
    The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said Dixon intentionally failed to deal with $934,270 of the trust’s funds in accordance with the Parengarenga 3G Trust Order.
    She facilitated the transfer of a “significant amount” of the trust’s money into various other bank accounts, including personal accounts and family trusts, the SFO said.
    That left debts due for the care of the forest unpaid, and by January 2014 there was only $13.41 left of the funds.

  14. logie97 14

    Kiwi fruit industry experiencing a super bumper year.
    Top Dog at Apata packing house crying shortage of labour.
    “… culture of benefit dependency is a major problem in hiring staff… they’re just not prepared to take work on offer …” And you are going to have a bumper year?
    That suggests the bank balance is going to look very healthy.

    Here’s an idea – pay more / take a slight cut in your bottom line.

    How about you offer these people permanent positions – run cadetships to get them into the industry. Yeah nah – got those off season cruises to consider

    • Gosman 14.1

      They are paying more

      • mac1 14.1.1

        What are the rates of pay? What are the guaranteed hours of work? How long is the season? What accommodation is provided?

        • Gosman 14.1.1.1

          Why don’t YOU find out?

          • mac1 14.1.1.1.1

            “The reason I ask the question is to highlight the fact that the person making the claim has NOT provided any supporting evidence.

            You understand the concept of burden of proof I presume. Apply the concept here.”

            Now, which wise man wrote that?

            • Gosman 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I thought you would have heard about the increase in the minimum wage by now.

              • logie97

                … perhaps you didn’t read my initial suggestion (13) that the kiwifruit/avacado barons could invest in these people and create 365 day employment, rather than the piece work bit on the minimum wage rate. Your 13.1.1.1.1.1 says quite a lot about you really.

              • tracey

                Read below Gosman. It seems having laws doesnt stop half of growers ignoring them

              • mac1

                So that’s why pay has increased?

                Not supply and demand? Not equity? Not decency?

                But because it’s the least they have to ……………

                And even then the law is disobeyed.

              • savenz

                I’m not sure many can plan a 3 month career around the minimum wages, might be why the industry expects the tax payers to subsidise them and why they are getting so profitable especially where there are cases of underpaying migrants or even having to pay for a job.

                I mean sounds so perfect for Kiwi residents, (sarcasm) give up your accomodation, find a few thousand for travel and expenses down to the farm in the back of beyond and time to find accomodation, then work for minimum wages for a few months with no guarantees and then at the end of the season a stand down period to get back on the benefit and then costs of bond/expenses and time of finding a new tenancy and job back where you came from.

                What a great work opportunity! But financially you are probably worse off than if you had not picked Kiwifruit.

        • Cinny 14.1.1.2

          3 weeks work, at around $20 an hour so I hear.

          • savenz 14.1.1.2.1

            Gosh and I thought it might at least be 3 months work, but no 3 weeks, really worth it going off the dole for that and then trying to get back on. Could take longer to get that interview with WINZ! No wonder Kiwis are not doing it. Can’t we expect industry to actually try to do something themselves and spend their own money fixing up their worker problems?

            • Cinny 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Exactly.

              Also when accommodation is provided it’s often not that great, but the accommodation deduction from someone’s wages is.

              Orchards are mostly rural, so if one doesn’t have any transport, no bus route etc it makes it even more problematic.

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.3

          They have to pay for their accommodation while on site for the job, I think $120 which is not much BUT they are on the minimum wage. Meanwhile they will need to keep their own, hopefully permanent, accommodation in town. So what about giving them accommodation free, you dork of a manager. Also there may be a stand-down period after the work. There is no such thing as a free lunch says WINZ, – and getting to the stage of saying there Is No Lunch.

          Also there may be a grant which could be lost $ for gross$ received before tax, which can sometimes mean that the person ends up working but receiving less than the benefit which they can only just survive on with some help from friends and food bank. Oh why don’t they line up to come and work and get better off. They are so lazy, it is generational laziness and softness etcetc etc etc …. (And indeed there is that, but it induced helplessness impressed on them by the dastardly government and its machinations of hate and spite.)

          (Manager used to be a worker and has got all the way to manager. Always said, without thinking that he must be slightly different in some way and is fortunate for that. If as is so often said, why can’t everyone do this,? the person who has achieved would not because he would have been overwhelmed with competition.)

          This is what has been trialled since 2014 – just needs more government money for training, some support instead of smarmy put-downs.
          2014 – do more of this with thousands!
          https://www.eit.ac.nz/2014/02/eit-and-hort-industry-combat-labour-shortage/
          2015
          http://www.bostock.nz/new-horticulture-industry-initiative-helps-combat-labour-shortage/
          2018
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12011672
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12011680
          People give up and have a sniff, drink, prick?
          https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/social-issues/meth-on-demand-getting-hold-of-p-in-20-minutes-or-less/

          Wouldn’t a rational, effective government have organised teams of seasonal workers who could sign up to travel round the country, and be available for most of the year doing something useful and which they could earn good money at? Trouble with politicians is they come from the class that hates manual work. They pretend they are strong and outdoorsy by rushing round on mountain bikes and going on marathons but ask them to do sustained hard physical work as a way to earn their living and they won’t do it because they are too good for that, and it doesn’t pay enough..

          Their attitude is classist and if they respected all work and paid reasonable wages for physical and manual labour, without swingeing stand-downs because of an accumulation of peanut amounts compared to the fat cats on contracts over $100-$800 hourly, they would get people lining up for it, enjoying the life and the status of being on one of the fit permanent teams of travelling seasonal workers.

          • savenz 14.1.1.3.1

            Great points greywarshark

            • Cinny 14.1.1.3.1.1

              +++

            • greywarshark 14.1.1.3.1.2

              Thanks savenz Cinny
              I heard something good on the news about plans to do something good for bennies getting jobs.

              http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018644011/govt-may-remove-benefit-stand-down-for-seasonal-workers

              • mac1

                Good comments, greywarshark. The work has to be done, and good sense and good management, with leadership in the right places might get them there.

                I’ve always believed that people will ethically pay a little more for a product if they know the workers who produce it are paid fairly.

                I read a quote from Norman Kirk today, which might as easily apply to business and agriculture as it does to politics.

                “What is morally right is likely to be politically right.”

              • Cinny

                Grey, that’s excellent news, hope it happens. I know they are looking for pickers around these parts. Good on Willie Jackson for trying to do something about the obstacles.

                • greywarshark

                  This is the link to what Carmel Sepuloni said this morning. (Wed)
                  http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/356954/labour-shortage-prompts-govt-to-rethink-abatement-rates

                  Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said in a pre-Budget announcement that government was committed to lifting the abatement rates for kiwifruit-picking workers within the next three years.

                  Abatement rates are the amounts cut from a person’s benefit because of income that they receive.
                  “We stated clearly we will be looking at lifting abatement rates. It will happen,” she said.

                  But so far it is just talk without urgent action being even promised.It should be we will have this fixed by lunchtime but nothing that gets to the heart and needs of people on the edge is to be hurried.

                  But – its not that urgent, we’ll get round to it soon. There are many problems and we can’t wave a magic wand you know. This is the attitude that I draw from the pollies and the civil servants!

                  Instead the industry spokesperson is making statements about what the problem is. This is carrying on with the theme that has been current since neolib came in – that government steps back and industry knows what it wants and organises the workforce to where the jobs are.

                  Industry and business are totally unsuitable to do this on their own, government should be watching, meeting and talking with them all, drawing up demographics, analysing workforce availability, flexibility and flow, ensuring that there is accommodation for the workers required, and that they are supported when they can’t be earning because of cessation through machinery breakdown, bad weather, injuries, illness, outbreaks of violence, drug and alcohol presence etc.
                  Providing accommodation – get the tourist drivers off the road doing their freedom thing, and have the vehicles for accommodation for the workers.?

                  (They rental firms would have to have a big clean up, but theycould pay for that out of their profits., just a necessary part of doing business. NZ would have less easy-riders on $10 a day or whatever. I hear how expensive we are compared to other countries for ordinary people but the young ones from overseas can be very canny at travelling on the smell of an oily rag.)

                  Our horticultural business is working with fragile, perishable produce – it has needs and time limits, and babysitting by responsible, intelligent, enterprising government is required to
                  get the good outcomes from good product delivered in a timely fashion.

      • tracey 14.1.2

        All of them Gosman?

        ” Labour Inspectorate operation audited 62 labour companies and interviewed nearly 700 workers over three months last year. They found 53 per cent of employers failed to meet minimum employment standards, and almost all of these employers were using migrant labour.

        Inspectors uncovered 94 breaches of the standards, and issued 20 improvement notices and six ‘enforceable undertakings’. Two of the employers given improvement notices were also fined $1000 each. ”
        https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/country/335331/half-of-audited-kiwifruit-companies-underpaid-workers

        • savenz 14.1.2.1

          Truely shocking. Why nothing done about it! I’m sure adding a few zero’s on the fines and actually saying to industry no more migrant work permits, would do the trick and actually get some of our own underemployed into the work force. Picking is hard work, but it’s not rocket science, most people can do it!

    • AB 14.2

      Those who work the kiwifruit orchards should own them.
      Otherwise the luxury of the few is predicated on the poverty of the many.

  15. DB Brown 15

    I worked kiwifruit. We did 14 hour days for minimum wage in the packhouse. Not much better pruning or picking – the contract rates are long gone, they’ll give you as little as possible, those landowners with their large houses and multiple vehicles, boats, etc. And they’ll complain, oh how they love to complain.

    This is standard fare. Critics of wage increases are moronic in their utterances. Poor people spend all their money, poor means you got nothing but bills in my experience. This money then, is immediately circulating in businesses. But no – it’s the Reds under the bed, calamity!

    Common sense is not a right wing characteristic.

    • tracey 15.1

      I hear you!

    • not really that old 15.2

      Also worked in a kiwi fruit pack house, in the school holidays. This was before schools moved to four terms so I guess a term break must have been in May back then. At the time any work I could get was snapped up. This was before student loans were introduced of course.

    • savenz 15.3

      Back in the day, they got local teenagers to do a lot of harvesting, also taught them good work skills for later on. They also employed backpackers and students who were already in the area as well as local unemployed who did not have stand down periods at WINZ.

      You have to wonder how bringing over someone for $1000’s in flights and then bringing them into NZ can work out cheaper.. unless there is something else going on there with exploitation and residency or both.

      • tracey 15.3.1

        And they used the local teenagers as cheap labour

        • savenz 15.3.1.1

          Yes, but teens wanted the pocket money and got good experience. I’m not against teens understanding hard work. Then they understand that hard work is hard later on and are not snobs, they got money to save for their tertiary fees or what not and also message to work hard at school cos being farm hand is probably not a great career move. The teens got something out of it, the farmers got something out of it and the country got something out of it. All good.

          Not sure why you think cheap labour from migrants or grown ups might be better than local kids getting work experience and pocket money and also less carbon footprint due to getting locals working locally and also not needing so much accomodation for short term bursts of work.

    • Bewildered 15.4

      Pay more prices also go up for joe consumer, likewise people employ less, similarly business has less to reinvest and attract future capital as low returns, likewise business will be higher risk as as if leveraged eneanigs / interest ratio falls etc etc To simply say pay more and all will be rosy is very simplistic

      • In Vino 15.4.1

        But underpay people who work hard with no palpable reward, and you create a hell-hole of a society where the poor see no point in taking the work available, and crime flourishes. We have been doing this ever since Rogernomics, which claimed that a high-wage economy was a good thing, but then did all it could to force low wages further down. Look at what we are creating to date, Bewildered, and think again. Nothing will be more pernicious than where we are currently heading.

      • DB Brown 15.4.2

        Money circulating is money well spent. It is not that all is complex and I, simple minded humanitarian, do not understand.

        Honest work for honest pay is a concept lost to an entire generation. For the honest pay is gone, contract rates no longer No more are workers paid for achievement, but given as little as possible.

        I/we broke all manner of picking records on all manner of farms. And for being a freaking legend – pittance. They want workers now, poor landowners and all their hardships. Did the least they could possibly do for workers and many times over did even less than that minimum requirement. How bizarre people don’t want a bar of it.

        It’s about squeezing all you can for yourself, grasping tightly. There’s a car to update, a party frock to purchase. More vino darlings.

        A real mans reach exceeds his grasping.

    • Bewildered 15.5

      Pay more prices also go up for joe consumer, likewise people employ less, similarly business has less to reinvest and attract future capital as low returns, likewise business will be higher risk as as if leveraged eneanigs / interest ratio falls etc etc To simply say pay more and all will be rosy is very simplistic I do agree though, supply and demand here, you want workers pay more and make it attractive, can’t be a capitalist in the good times and socialist in the poor

  16. tracey 16

    Former AG in the news.

    Why didnt they ask Finlayson while he was chatty about his deliberate breach of the OIA to deprive someone of evidence in their court case?

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/103716999/botched-legislation-left-spies-without-some-powers-for-six-months

      • tracey 16.1.1

        Too late. They got the powers from misleading and deceptive conduct. Expected from spies. Not from AG and PMs.

        “If the SIS could live without these powers for six months, it suggests at the least that there was no case for urgency, and possibly no case for the powers at all (DPMC certainly didn’t bother to make one in their shoddy and unprofessional Regulatory Impact Analysis). There’s a lesson here both for future attempts to expand spy powers, and for abuse of urgency, and it is one we should heed. Our spies are power grabbing liars, who use fear to boost both their powers and their budgets. And this is not behaviour we should tolerate.”

        • Anne 16.1.1.1

          I think the original article by David Fisher paints a more accurate and factual picture as to what happened and how the various parties responded:

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12046732

          • tracey 16.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for this link Anne

            It just annoys me that Finlayson is available to comment on this but NO heat has been put on him over the OIA debacle. Where is the pressure from Brudges to remove him as Shadow AG and the media pressuring Brudges to remove that portfolio. You know, like they all did with Turei

  17. savenz 17

    Now this is scary stuff for the poor Chinese citizen wanting an education.

    Also totally recommend the black mirror episode they talk about in this article on Netflicks. Do we want to go there! Nope hopefully not!

    Thought getting into an NZ school was hard? China’s taking it to the next level

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/05/thought-getting-into-an-nz-school-was-hard-china-s-taking-it-to-the-next-level.html

  18. mac1 19

    And this is partly what you get with a contract system that rewards companies for cut-throat tendering- poor wages, quality services threatened and upheaval.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/05/go-bus-criticises-striking-bus-drivers.html

    It happens in so many public service fields.

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