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Open mike 08/08/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, August 8th, 2019 - 144 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 …

144 comments on “Open mike 08/08/2019 ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Through a recent staff survey, ANZ found that “overall trust” in senior leadership at the bank has fallen to 49 per cent. And only 60 per cent of bank employees said they feel able to raise issues and concerns within ANZ “without fear of negative consequences”.

    That measure fell from 86 per cent before Hisco’s departure.

    Staff satisfaction also dropped to 69 per cent from 83 per cent, while 71 per cent of employees said they would recommend the bank as a place to work to friends and family, down from 87 per cent previously.

    ANZ distributed the results of the “My Voice” survey to staff by email last week; a source within the bank shared them with Stuff, but requested anonymity fearing reprisal. ANZ has warned staff against speaking to the press.

    We've known about the consequences of John Key's “leadership” for some time. Now it looks like the rest are catching up, especially ANZ employees.

    Don't embarrass John Key or you will lose your job.


    • Chris T 1.1

      Are you seriously arguing Hisco didn't deserve to be turfed?

      [I cannot for the world tell how you can read that into that comment and thus conclude that you are twisting and distorting words and effectively putting words into another commenter’s mouth. Your twin-twister was given a week off for this and I like to be fair to you. Take a week off – Incognito]

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        See my Moderation note @ 7:52 AM.

        • Robert Guyton

          No one's going to seriously argue that Chris T didn't deserve to be turfed.

        • Anne

          Thanks Incognito. I'm getting tired of the propensity of a few r.w. antagonists trying to up-end reasonable comments of other contributors. I conclude they are attempting to drive these commenters away from TS.

          The "twin twister" was getting close to stalking me around this site in recent weeks. 🙁

          • Incognito

            As you know, I am a strong advocate of self-moderation. I tend to wait & see, letting things run their course, before I start warning. Rather than stomping around like an elephant with a toothache, I largely rely on the TS community to self-regulate and –moderate; a (fine) balance between top-down and bottom-up moderation. This could mean commenters ignoring certain other commenters rather than giving them attention (oxygen), which literally eats into TS bandwidth. Unfortunately, this does not happen enough IMHO. That said, I hear you and I may become a little more ‘assertive’ as moderator if (my) time allows it.

      • Muttonbird 1.1.2

        Read the bolded bit, TMAB.

  2. Ad 2

    Why is Genter refusing to release the letter to Minister Twyford on Get Wellington Moving?

    The Ombudsman will drag it out of her and she'll just look like more of a dick.

    • She's told you why: communications between parties aren't government documents. Neither party will want inter-party discussions exposed to their political opponents (which will also be why said opponents are making attempts to get them exposed). No doubt those opponents will complain to the Ombudsman, and it will be interesting to see if he finds her mistaken use of parliamentary letterhead outweighs the nature of the content.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        She admitted yesterday she signed it as Minister.

        She has no leg to stand in and must release.

        • Psycho Milt

          I guess we'll find out if she "must" release it. Unless the Ombudsman forces her to release it, she'd be stupid to do so – it would mean voluntarily allowing her mistake to benefit the Greens' political opponents. That's something that should only happen involuntarily.

          • Robert Guyton

            Julie Anne said, in the House, that she would release it, if asked to by the Ombudsman. She also made it very clear that her letter was describing the Green Party's view, not that of her Ministerial office. That distinction will be obscured as much as possible by National, despite them knowing it to be the truth. Using the wrong letterhead was a mistake made by an MP new to office and my expectation is that the Ombudsman will recognise that and rule accordingly. I reckon he/she will not require the letter to be released. But I'm just guessingsmiley

            • Anne

              Agree Robert.
              A storm in a tea-cup by the Opposition trying to create a sense of sinister machinations. Ministers are extremely busy people who don't always have the opportunity to discuss mutual portfolio concerns face to face so they put pen to paper. Of course the Nat minsters did the same thing when they were in government.

              The current furore around the Labour Party staffer who appears to have misbehaved (it's yet to be established how serious it was) is another case in point. I recall a similar situation inside the National Party a few years ago where a National Party activist "misbehaved " at a function. The Nats dealt with the matter internally and no more was heard about it.

              Now they're crying foul – or at least their media lackeys on their behalf.

              It's time for Labour to remind voters about that previous incident and show up the profound hypocrisy of the Nats.

              • Poission

                she signed as associate minister of transport,hence she is the author of her own misfortune.

                • Anne

                  I don't care if she signed it Humpty-Dumpty. So she grabbed the nearest bit of paper which happened to be a piece of ministerial stationary with the official letter head at the top and her ministerial title at the bottom. So what? That doesn't mean it is either intended for… or should be made available for public consumption.

                  In my view it’s a damm sight more important that ministers and co-ministers are able to keep in touch any way they choose to ensure they understand one another and are on the same page.

              • Enough is Enough

                She has been a Green MP a lot longer than she has been a Minister. Surely she has some of those old letter heads laying around somewhere.

                If she does not understand the OIA and her obligations as a Minister, then she is in the wrong job.

          • greywarshark

            I can't understand why inter-government deliberations, discussions and opinions should be made available to the public and the Oppos. unless government chooses. Why should Ms Genter reveal her communications with Mr Twyford? It is unreasonable to demand this.

            • Ad

              OMG you can't remember the PM saying we were going to have a revolution in government openness? Not awake in the election?

              All political discourse between Ministers should be open. The OIA "party" exclusion is mere convention. She never not a sworn Minister.

              JulieAnn should put on her ministerial pants and get it out.

              • Sacha

                OMG you can't remember the PM saying we were going to have a revolution in government openness?

                Please link us to the PM saying that. I can only recall seeing rapidly-fired Minister Clare Curran saying it, once.

                • Ad

                  Better than that you moron it's in the Green-Labour Confidence and Supply agreement.

                  Genter has nothing to hide behind.

                  • Sacha

                    it's in the Green-Labour Confidence and Supply agreement

                    Really? Do point out where.

                    The closest I can see from p5 of the agreement (https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/NZLP%20%26%20GP%20C%26S%20Agreement%20FINAL.PDF) is:

                    20. Strengthen New Zealand’s democracy by increasing public participation, openness, and transparency around official information.

                    This from p6 also seems relevant:

                    It is agreed that where briefings are provided to the Green Party, or where they are involved in a consultative arrangement with regard to legislation or policy, all such discussions shall be confidential unless otherwise agreed.

              • Anne

                All political discourse between Ministers should be open.

                In a democracy such as ours, they have the same rights as the rest of us to 'discourse' in confidence when necessary.

                • Enough is Enough

                  You don't know the law do you?

                  • Anne

                    If a law is an ass then 'eff' the law.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Well this is a first. I have never before heard anyone argue, that the OIA is an ass of a law. From the lunatic right fringe, to pure social democrats, there is consensus that a functioning democracy should have open and transparent government.

                      That principle is crystallised in the OIA, and I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone who believes in democracy would be offended by that law.

                      We could move to a society where the public has no right to question what their government is up to, or just emigrate to China where that is already the case.

                    • Poission

                      The law is a defence to the police theory of government.

                      Huxley's analysis on David Hume where he argues on the governed to see the way opinion is formed is as relevant today as 150 years ago.

                      As Hume says with profound truth in the fourth essay, On the First Principles of Government:—

                      "As force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is, therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and the most popular."—(III. 31.)

                      But if the whole fabric of social organisation rests on opinion, it may surely be fairly argued that, in the interests of self-preservation, if for no better reason, society has a right to see that the means of forming just opinions are placed within the reach of every one of its members; and, therefore, that due provision for education, at any rate, is a right and, indeed, a duty, of the state.

            • Enough is Enough

              Because we live in a democracy

              • Sacha

                That word does not mean what you want it to (though the current expression of it is not the best we can do).

              • greywarshark

                What a load of rubbish. Free and frank discussion between the members of government is necessary so they understand each other's positions. They may need to adjust their own, or seek to do so with others, because of reasons that they explain but don't want to provide to their enemies who will look for anything they can to make a furore about.

                People coming up with simple comments to the negative would not be able to run an open and honest committee for a cake stall.

                And saying 'because we live in a democracy' – so prim and proper and saying the dogma; fatuous when we see democracy decimated every day, a little or a lot. It's an empty word when not backed up with respect and practicality to make it work for and by the people. That includes discussing the problems arising, and about what can be transparent and what should be kept as private discussion.

                • Enough is Enough

                  That's an interesting view. One I respectfully disagree with.

                  We should be promoting and demanding the accountability of Ministers. When one Minister writes to another Minister, Parliament has a right to know what was said.

                  We have an Official Information Act which is one of the cornerstones of our democracy and allows the opposition and the media (or what you have describe as "enemies"), to hold the executive and government to account.

                  There is a clear Principle (that you appear to disagree with) that the Executive Government’s (i.e Ministers) have responsibility to Parliament.

                  They should not be able to hide behind a fictitious claim that their letter written on ministerial letter head, signed as a minister, and sent to another minister, was actually written from a Green party perspective.

                  • Anne

                    We should be promoting and demanding the accountability of Ministers. When one Minister writes to another Minister, Parliament has a right to know what was said.

                    What you're positing comes within the realms of a police state. George Orwell's "Animal Farm" comes to mind. If the day arrives when a minister can't talk/write to another minister in confidence without revealing what was said to a populace who have no more right to know than the ministers have… to demand to know of the conversations of the populace then God help us.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      No – What I am "positing" comes within the realms of the Official Information Act 1982.

                      Its kind of been the law for a while. Some of what I stated was in fact direct quotes from that Act.

                      So I suppose God better help us then right?

                    • Anne

                      In the sense that it is being interpreted by some then yes… God help us.

                    • Wayne

                      A political discussion of this nature should always be oral. She should have simply met the relevant person and discussed her concerns.

                      In my view writing on Ministerial letterhead means it is ministerial. Every MP has MP letterhead, even when they are ministers. They should know when to use the appropriate letterhead. Grabbing the wrong letterhead as Anne suggests is not much of an answer. Letters have a degree of formality. The Minister in signing it will have known which letterhead it was on.

                      We will see what the Ombudsman says.

                    • Anne

                      Yes Wayne… no question she should have been more careful in her choice of writing paper. Is that a crime worthy of the outrage being promulgated by Bishop and friends? No it is not.

                      Are ministers and associate ministers entitled to converse about portfolio concerns and expect them to remain confidential? Of course they are.

                      If, and when ministers are physically unable to compare notes in person (due to external pressures and hectic timetables) are they entitled to thus communicate via letter? Of course they are.

                      That, as far as I'm concerned, is the nuts and bolts of the case and no amount of pontification on legal minutia around how a cabinet minister – or anyone else for that matter- should or should not communicate with a colleague is going to change it.

                  • Sacha

                    The OIA carefully specifies which grounds are acceptable for redacting or refusing release of information.

                    Let's see what the Ombudsman rules about this example.

                    • Anne

                      Sensible response. Thank-you Sacha.

                      My argument was more to do with the insinuation that JAG had committed a serious misdemeanour and that she was guilty as charged without a trial (metaphorically speaking) and all in the name of political gain for the Nats, who were 'guilty' of similar practices when they were in government.

                      Ahhh…but it's OK when the Nats do it. 😈

                  • Gabby

                    All they need is a couple of SirPonyboy's hats nuffynuffy.

                  • alwyn

                    I think the current Government, having to their own surprise been thrust into Office by Mr Peters, are adopting the attitude attributed to Prince Otto von Bismarck. One variant of it is

                    "To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making."

                    The Parties concerned, along with Winston First are adopting this approach rather than what they said before the election. Keep the Public in the Dark is their motto nowadays. Otherwise the Public is likely to take the view of a second variant of the statement.

                    "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made". Respect for the Government will become what they deserve. Nil.

                    If we, as the OIA intends, find out what this Government has been up to the Government parties probably fear that we will follow the admonition of the Bible

                    "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth"

                    Of course what Miss Ardern said, before the election, is readily explained by another aphorism attributed to Bismarck.

                    "At no time there is more lying than before the elections, during the war and after the hunt."

            • Grantoc


              Because she communicated officially with Twyford on ministerial letterhead and in her capacity as the Associate Minister of Transport. Therefore she has an obligation to release the contents of this letter.

              Furthermore the main content of the letter apparently relates to regional transportation plans for Wellington and the Greens position on this and so is absolutely in the public interest (especially Wellingtonians).

              It sounds like Genter may have made some sensitive comments about what she and the Greens might do if her demands re the Wellington regional transportation plan were not agreed to by Twyford and Labour. (see the Dom Post this morning).

              That's too bad. She is better off to come clean. By continuing to refuse to release the letter, the issue is getting legs it wouldn't normally warrant, and Genter is beginning to squirm very uncomfortably.

              And lets not even get started on the hypocrasy of Genter's stance verses the narrative promoted by Labour and the Greens on being transparent and open, especially with the public. Genter is treating us, the public, with arrogant contempt by continuing to not release the letter.

              The pressure is building – maybe she'll release it today before question time in the house; where she'll likely be subject to further embaressment and loss of credibility.

              • Sacha

                the main content of the letter apparently relates to regional transportation plans for Wellington and the Greens position on this and so is absolutely in the public interest

                Totally agree on that.

              • greywarshark

                Okeydoke Grantoc thanks it seems that everyone watches gummint like a hawk these days. The good have to be perfect and the bad.. have their errors float off on the tide.

                No wonder a lot of things are not written down.

                On the other hand it is interesting to see how the Greens stance is being maintained when reality confronts them, how are their promises and intentions standing up. It's hard however to progress NZ with traps laid by people in the Opposition more interested in tripping up government than serving the country.

                But c'est la vie.

      • Peter 2.1.2

        You're likely right about the choice of paper she wrote it on. If that's the difference then Ms Genter and those she works with are very naive.

        While you can't go into such jobs with an over-riding, underlying, all encompassing, pervasive 'fortress' mentality, when missionary zeal should be the driver, that is what is needed. Think and expect the worst of people needs to be the starting point. Throwing away notions of 'everyone wants what's the best for the country' out the window is critical. For god's sake, it's like they've run out on the field expecting a good game, a clean game and there and won't be eye-gouging.

        That said, if the Prime Minister phones, texts or writes to someone on political business should those be public communications able to be accessed by the public? Or does it depend on the particular phone or piece of paper she uses? Or can she say, "It isn't public business, I didn't communicate as the Prime Minister but as an ordinary citizen." (The sort of situation that could arise in dealing with some third rate 'journalist' from some suspect media organisation.)

        No doubt the Ombudsman will deal with the matter taking into account the nuances of the rules and their intent. I look forward to the reaction of a ruling which determines in a scholarly sagacious judge type way that parts of the communication be redacted because while there might be a certain letterhead the clear intent and context of the remarks should see them set aside.

        Then Chris Bishop could have a flurry of fits from here to eternity interrupted by him, in his turn as a Minister, accusing people of playing silly games when they act as he does. Either that or he might get a life and spend his time (and our money) on something meaningful past his ego.

        • greywarshark

          I am being trivial but I think Chris Bishop looks like a basset hound. And that is not right because I like basset hounds, he should impersonate something like a ferret.

          • Ed1

            That is not being trivial, it is just being plain nasty. Argue the politics or facts, keep your prurient fantasies about the physical appeal or otherwise of politicians to yourself.

            • greywarshark

              Ooh dear how delicate. I live in the real world Ed1 and you are a preachy sort, who will always find me unsatisfactory and low. Too bad.

        • lprent

          Hey Peter, and lets make it retroactive. There are quite a lot of paperwork and foot maneuvering around the actual extent that National and Act parties were involved in dirty politics during their term in office. Including things like the real story behind the drive to produce the super-shitty.

          • Peter

            Yes, there was a sort of sanctity around the Auckland convention centre dealings too because St. Steven was involved. Then again he and his boss never ever ever used the sacred words 'open' or 'transparent' so things had to be different.

            • Sacha

              the sacred words 'open' or 'transparent'

              I'm still curious to see how those came to be attached to this government. Got any links to share?

            • Psycho Milt

              …he and his boss never ever ever used the sacred words 'open' or 'transparent'…

              Bill English, 2014: "Mr English said Mr Key ran the most transparent Government New Zealand has ever had."

              Bill English, also 2014: "Hon BILL ENGLISH : The Prime Minister is the most open and transparent Prime Minister we have ever had…"

          • Stuart Munro.

            I imagine some of the Gnat donor concealing contortions would make interesting reading – JLR certainly seemed to think so.

        • Anne

          Then Chris Bishop could have a flurry of fits from here to eternity interrupted by him, in his turn as a Minister, accusing people of playing silly games when they act as he does.

          Thanks for the image Peter. 🙂

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    Earlier this week,‘Te Koiroa o te Koiora’, a Discussion Document for the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (NZBS) was launched setting out proposals for inclusion in a new Biodiversity Strategy.

    The Department of Conservation made a video promoting it (see link below), and highlighting many of the unique species that need looking after. One of them is the tuna tuwharewhare (longfin eel).

    It just so happens that these tuna are exported live overseas, for about $10 or $12 an eel, often ending up in Asian restaurants where they are skinned and cooked alive.

    Tuna tuwharewhare are in very serious trouble and likely to reach a stage of functional extinction within the next few years. The first thing that needs to happen is for all commercial fishing of them to end immediately


    • weka 3.1

      Do you know why are eels not protected? I've never understood this.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1

        Yes I have never understood that either, I have kept eels as pets a couple of times, and keeping in mind I have kept almost every predator fish available in NZ cold and warm water, I can say that the eel is with out doubt the most intelligent fish I have had anything to do with.

        Watching a big eels in their natural environment is really something, especially at night when they are out hunting.

        • weka

          I love eels, have spent a bit of time watching them in nature. How do you keep them as pets?

          • joe90

            My aunt had perhaps a dozen tame eels in the farm creeks. As kids we would follow the chooks around looking for any eggs laid outside the coop to feed the eels. Rotten was best and they were also rather keen on any blood, offal, fat, scraps etc from the killing shed.

            Then we'd call the eels and they'd turn up and follow us along the bank eyeballing us, looking for a feed and a belly rub. They all had names and I'm sure some were more interested in belly rubs than food.

            • weka

              That's very cool. I've done a bit of tickling, but am wary of them because of the stories of them biting people and not letting go.

  4. aj 4

    The National finance spokesman on RNZ this morning, great interview for talking points, little else. On the Reserve Bank's interest rate call yesterday, like a typical conservative, he would prefer the bank to only grab the wheel after the shit hits the fan. "Wait and see", repeated several times.

    It's worth listening to this Q & A report from a month ago. Cameron Bagrie discussed business confidence early in this 9 min clip."Look, thow it in the bin. I ignore it as an economic indicator" and "It is politically biased"

    • Enough is Enough 4.1

      "he would prefer the bank to only grab the wheel after the shit hits the fan."

      I think everyone agrees that a feature of a capitalist economy is there are cycles and there will be recessions or a reasonably regular basis. That is undeniable.

      So yes I would agree that the Reserve Bank should be keeping some powder dry for when the shit hits the fan – as it inevitably will.

      We are a hostage to the global economy. If the the trade war results in a global recession, it would be very nice if the Reserve Bank had some options to help us through. Those options are now running out, at a time when the government is telling us that the domestic economy is ticking along very nicely.

      • aj 4.1.1

        9 to noon.

        Cost of borrowing at all-time low – what next ?

        Listen to this and try understand the need to try to control the wheels at all times.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    Exactly right, and I would like to remind some folk, that as it is we can't even protect our own native fresh water fish today, NZ policy not only allows but encourages an apex predator, namely the rainbow and brown trout to hunt the rivers, steams and lakes of New Zealand, with the obvious catastrophic results on every single species of native fresh water animal..from Kouro through to the beautiful and majestic Banded and Giant Kokopu..why the fuck we would allow and encourage this fierce and super fast growing predator in our water ways is a complete mystery to me.

    From the Fish & Game web site..

    'The brown trout is an introduced northern hemisphere sports fish and can be found in most New Zealand waters excepting the very north of the North Island.'

    So next time you see anyone pointing fingers at the Japanese about their appalling fishing practices, maybe remind them that we really need to be getting our own back yard in order first.

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      How do you propose we rid our rivers of introduced fish?

      And are you certain their absence would help the native fish?

      With eels largely gone, where's the apex predator, needed in every robust ecosystem?

      I have several plump Giant Kokopu living in the spring in my forest garden. They're fascinating fish.

      • Adrian Thornton 5.1.1

        I an no an expert in removing introduced predators from native environments, but I am sure if there is a will there is a way.

        I will also say that I once interviewed Rod McDonald who was by far and away New Zealand's most knowledgeable expert on our fresh water fish, at the time he told me off the record (he was working for NIWA) that large scale extinction faced our native fish by way of habitat loss, and degradation along with loss through whitebaiting and introduced predator fish.

        • Robert Guyton

          Dr R. M. (Bob) McDowall

          • Adrian Thornton

            Yes that's right is was McDowall,…it was quite a few years ago.

            • Robert Guyton

              I was friends with Bob McDowell's fishing-friend, Ian Mathieson (now deceased) and learned a lot from him about native fishes and their habitats. Ian lauded Bob as the main man when it came to native fish. Ian encouraged me to pursue the idea of purchasing a 6-hectare wetland that was about to be "dairyfied" and I did. With the help of various people, some from Fish & Game, we commissioned the creation of ponds in wetland, to encourage native fish; tuna and kokopu especially. There are fern birds and bitterns there also. Marsh crakes too, sometimes. Mostly though, harakeke and mikimiki. Thanks Ian!

      • Siobhan 5.1.2

        Adrian T. is ever the optimist, and as much as I would love to be proved wrong I fear that Introduced fish species will never be eliminated, there are simply too many lobby groups with large financial backing. Its claimed to be atleast a 400 million dollar industry..so yet again The Economy writes the rules.

        However, despite our best efforts there is no reason to claim that 'eels are largely gone', and its certainly not something we should embrace as a foregone conclusion, unless we are happy to wave goodbye to our entire ecosystem.

        These two articles cover a number of relevant studies, including the feasability of making some waterways free of introduced predators and, interestingly, point to the presence of eels being required to achieve a healthy Brown Trout population…"predation by eels can facilitate a trout fishery of greater value by suppressing juvenile trout abundance and indirectly enhancing growth of larger adult trout,"



    • AB 5.2

      It might not be a good idea to take away a fairly cheap form of recreation from a large number of pretty ordinary NZers. Leisure is also a part of the material conditions of life that we should be looking to improve for those without a lot of money – along with liveable incomes, housing, healthcare etc. The trout fishers I know are also champions of freshwater quality.

      Besides that, it's impractical – how do you selectively eliminate only salmonids from waterways where they are self-sustaining (not reliant on stocking)? Absolutely we need to protect the kokopu – reductions in the whitebait take, protection of lowland water quality, especially small coastal streams and wetlands that are too small or short to hold self-sustaining trout populations. The extinction of the NZ grayling was a tragedy that we can't allow to happen with the kokopu.

      • Adrian Thornton 5.2.1

        You realize that you are using the same argument and justification that the Japanese use to hunt whales..

        " The extinction of the NZ grayling was a tragedy that we can't allow to happen with the kokopu."…well it is happening, today, now as we speak.

        In a stream about 40 minutes out of Hasting, I have walked though the shallows one night, the water was so thick with juvenile trout that they were beaching themselves just jumping away from my feet, there were thousands of them…I have been observing rivers,streams and waterways around NZ on and off for over 20 years and I can tell I you that native fish in NZ are under extremely serious threat.

        And it is also worth keeping in mind that the extinction of a fish species wether it be fresh or salt water, doesn't happen when the last couple of fish die, it happens a long long time before that sad event occurs, when a unsustainable tipping point in numbers is reached and natural recovery cannot be achieved.

      • Sacha 5.2.2

        a fairly cheap form of recreation from a large number of pretty ordinary NZers

        Sounds like defenders of urban golf courses claiming it's an everyman's sport.

      • greywarshark 5.2.3

        Oh dear – 'pretty' ordinary NZers. Pretty has acquired a miasma since John Key began to use it.

    • Sacha 5.3


      Got to love those glow-in-the-dark crays 🙂

      • Adrian Thornton 5.3.1

        Yeah love them too, I have seen them crawling up shear rock faces at night,,sneaky little guys.

        I always had a couple in my big Native fish tanks, they have heaps of character but pretty hard on the plants though, and watching them eat a worm is like something out of a horror show.

        • Robert Guyton

          Giant Kokopu like habitats that trout dislike; swampy, turgid, muddy slow-moving. Preserving those places and creating new ones would go a long way toward keeping the population of Giant Kokopu up, imo. They can survive/thrive in conditions trout cannot.

      • Robert Guyton 5.3.2

        Fluoro koura?

        Hot-pink crawdads?

        Neon-yellow yabbies?

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    Nice little interview with Aaron Maté on Iran, Mueller a dysfunctioning and broken liberal media…

  7. Herodotus 7

    OCR cut to 1% and we are told that this is good news. For whom ??

    Those in debt and with mortgages ?

    How about those renters, will we see rents reduce as the landlord will have less costs (Think of Andrew King next time he is in the media standing up for landlords) ?? Yet these same renting families/individuals will be paying more for imported goods (Petrol), not a winner for them 😢

    Then we have rent to buy from the Greens that will help the same subset that can afford Kiwibuild. Student fees Great policy (But benefits same subset as Kiwibuild)

    Why do we pander to this subset and give lip service to the rest ???

    • Sacha 7.1

      They vote.

    • weka 7.2

      "Then we have rent to buy from the Greens that will help the same subset that can afford Kiwibuild."

      Afaik, the Greens' rent to own scheme will be for people that aren't even close to home owning, so not the same subset of people that can afford Kiwibuild.

      • Herodotus 7.2.1

        How will these families be able to service a mortgage maintain the property, insurance, rates etc As currently it is HNZ I understand that cover these (Except Rates which I also understand HNZ do not pay) And if these families do purchase the property there will be no Accomodation Rental Supplement ? – reducing their disposable income even more ??

        But I digress, low interest rates do not help many NZers. The lower down the wealth list I could imagine that they suffer not benefit 😤

        • The Al1en

          Accommodation supplement is still available if you have a mortgage. It's not just for renters.

        • weka

          I haven't looked at the detail, but what I got so far was that the govt and/or an NGO would build the house, a low income family would rent it, part of the rent would go towards a deposit, once that had accrued they could take out a mortgage to buy the house. I assume the mortgage would be in the same range as the rent, and that people receiving accommodation supplement would still get it (as TA points out, AS is available to all low income people for rent or mortgage).

          • Herodotus

            If what you say is the case, there still is other out of pocket costs that a tenant doesn't face e.g rates If rent=mortgage

            I did not not know that an A.S was available to cover mortgages, thought it was only for rent, (That is my learning for the day ticked off 🧐)

            Still nice to hear Andrew King come out and say that due to reduced costs he expects rents to drop 😱

            • Sacha

              You seriously think rates are not factored into rent prices? We all pay them one way or another.

              • Herodotus

                I was referring to wekas comment "I assume the mortgage would be in the same range as the rent", as I cannot see any details other than below regarding the Greens announcement.

                As we have seen with Kiwibuild the details are very important for a successful implementation of a policy.


            • Augustus

              A.S is also available to cover insurance, rates and repairs and maintenance, as part of total accommodation cost calculation.

            • weka

              AS is available to any NZer who meets the criteria (asset and income tests). It covers part of the mortgage/rent but also rates, insurance, maintenance and repairs. Repayable grants (no interest loans) are available from WINZ if people need a chunk of cash up front for maintenance or repairs.

              The main issues I see with the policy are how to keep the rent and then mortgage payments low, whether houses can be owned collectively, and whether they then become part of the property market eg someone is allowed to on sell like normal. Lots of things to be worked out, but I trust the Greens have thought about this long and hard (it's not a new thing for them).

              I understand the next step is to negotiate with Labour and NZF, so I see the policy announcement as a start of that process that involves the public as well.

              snap, what Augustus said.

    • Pat 7.3

      We are told lots of things ….many times the statement needs to be taken in the broadest possible sense as does this one.

      It is good in that it (hopefully) delays the impact of recession…..and that assumes you believe growth is a 'net good'

      • Herodotus 7.3.1

        If we allow pop. growth and that our expectations of the level of delivery in health, education, infrastructure etc are at least status quo then IMO we either need growth or technology advancements to enable these expectations to be met, or "we" need to temper our expectations, unless there is something you can add to my understanding.

        And no I don't agree growth is a net good. Look at the destruction of our environment that has occurred to allow short term growth.

        • Pat

          I wouldnt say I can offer you "understanding", that comes from the self but would suggest if your system requires growth to continue then the maintenance of growth would be considered 'good'……especially if you consider there is no possible alternative as those running things do.

          • Herodotus

            If we allow immigration at 1.5% of our population (plus natural pop growth )how then do we maintain our current living standards and for govts to satisfy our expectations (refer current health and the availability of cancer treatments) unless growth or advancements in tech that allow us to do tomorrow cheaper than today ?

            sure agreed growth has to be tempered with cost/damage to environment, not growth at any and all costs

            • Pat

              'cheaper' has nothing to do with it (though the BAU crowd will cite productivity)….it is simply a question of resources and distribution…we havnt got enough (and its diminishing) and what we do have aint distributed to max benefit…all the finagling in world does not alter that

    • Gabby 7.4

      We don't want house prices to fall do we.

  8. greywarshark 8


    No doubt he was angry at the deliberate attempt to undermine the regular process and got emotionally charged – to him it was analogous to a hack. I imagine he dropped his precision and control of a Treasury official for a moment and let the good bloke pissed-off have a word.

  9. Treaty O'Rome 9

    Both the English Tory Party and English Labour realise the Union is finished and are strategising for a chess table that does not include Scotland and Ireland as well as the EU.
    Johnson's people can count and know that the vast majority of the 59 Scottish seats at WM will aways be anti Tory. The simple solution is to let Scotland go. Loosing 45-59 anti tory seats makes them less needy for 10 DUP "friends". The DUP is only "popular" with Tory members when there is no alternative.

    Labour has no seats from NI and could well have none in Scotland. They have to strategise for a future as an England/Wales party.

    The best Labour can do after the forthcoming WM GE is get support from the possible 59 SNP MPs to form a government and stop the Tory madness. Then get SNP and Lib Dem support to introduce Proportional Representation, That will be the best way of making sure the Tories never have an absolute majority in the English/Wales parliament.

    All changed, changed utterly:

    A terrible beauty is born.

    • SPC 9.1

      A hard border within the Britain instead of in Ireland – and a little England with MMP PR so the days of Tory goverment end forever. Nice.

      Even better – win the election and form an alliance to stay in the customs union and single market. Then install MMP PR to prevent the Tories from being in position to try a no deal Brexit in future.

      A no deal Brexit and a subsequent Tory election win would turn the UK/England into a rival to Puerto Rico as Area 51, a self governing colony taking its orders from Capitol Hill.

      • Treaty O'Rome 9.1.1

        Politics has now moved to a post UK phase. The seat on the UN Security Council will go. The flag will be meaningless. Remainers will correctly be angry with the Leavers. The Leaver will blame everyone else but themselves. They will have their beloved Blue Passports while they join the "Third Country" lines at the airports.

        After its been bad for a while it will then get worse.

        Then the Queen will pass on to the Great Palace in the Sky. King Charles and Boris Johnson leading the Exceptional Ones.

        • SPC

          It might not just be taking the St Andrews blue out of the Union Jack, but consideration given to nationalisation of the royal property in Scotland, or confiscation for the award to a Scottish throne claimant who was not English.

  10. francesca 10

    For those who value a free press and protection for journalists and publishers, the alarm bells are ringing

    And for the Assange haters on this site , whose numbers are disappointingly high…

    You're just about there guys, he's all but destroyed

    You must be feeling great


  11. Exkiwiforces 11

    Here’s a couple of interesting articles from news.com. The first one is a large number of Chinese businesses and companies are using IOU’s to pay bills. Which is not a good look either way for the short term or the longer term as someone will end asking for real money and the whole thing would collapse under the weight of debt etc.


    This one is also interesting over the blame game of currency manipulation in the resulting trade war and like above, it can only lead to another GFC in the medium to longer term unless someone calls a truce.


  12. greywarshark 12

    From SCOOP – Rates Increases – coming to a letterbox near you 5/8/2019 http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=121046

    Talking about projected massive rate hikes for Wellington causes pause. Andy Foster states 'I chair the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee' and looks at the unavoidable costs arising from leaky buildings which exist, and the likely ones still being built, according to knowledgable builders around. Central government action is needed he states and I think that something has been recently announced on that. But I haven't got time to look it up.

    The rates for the regional council are up 15.7%. He starts off backgrounding the situation with his Wellington city rates after recent revaluations.

    I’ll use ours as a ‘modest’ example – city rates up 4.6% and regional rates up a staggering 15.7%. Overall that’s 6.2%. Other people, undoubtedly with greater proportionate rises in Capital Value in the revaluation, have even higher numbers. …

    The bad news is that there is a lot more proposed. The Wellington City Council Chief Executive’s Pre-election Report shows that over the 10 years of our Long Term Plan (LTP) rates are expected to rise by 48.2%. …

    It gets worse. That does not include remotely enough money for Let’s Get Wellington Moving or for Civic Square.

    Based on the information to date, LGWM will cost the city and region in the order of $1.2billion in today’s money, while the Council’s placeholder in the LTP is just $120million. The annual cost seems to be (the LGWM numbers are a bit inconsistent) around $90million of which 62% appears to be expected to be paid through rates.

    Signalling that people need to try to shift from cars to public transport or use their car more efficiently (have a car full of regular fellow travellers).

    The Government appears to have ruled out congestion pricing, and has certainly ruled out fuel taxes. None of these things are popular but if the alternative is a massive – permanent – rise in rates then they need to be explored. Long stay parking levies and congestion pricing in particular also incentivize transport behaviour change and were built into the original LGWM transport models. Without them, and much of the roading originally proposed, of course the model needs changing.

    Thinking for the future with a clear head – needed urgently around NZ.

    • Gabby 12.1

      That'll chip a few more poor folk out of their houses.

    • alwyn 12.2

      We can only hope we get rid of the crazy Mayor and many of the Councillors we have at the moment.

      One can only weep at the insane items that the Council is spending hundreds of millions on. I suppose Mayor Lester intends to be like his equally hopeless predecessor. She fled town and moved up to the Wairarapa, out of the reach of Wellington City, and Wellington Regional Council rates. There she lets scrub grow and claims an income from selling carbon credits.

      Meanwhile we residents of the city have to pay for Lester's brain-farts. One was, of course, $40,000 for a few painted stripes in Cuba Street. Supplying a reserve water supply for the Hospital so that it can keep operating after an Earthquake is not on his urgent list. It would be useful and Lester doesn't do useful.

  13. Puckish Rogue 13


    Oh piss off Winston, we all know this is a non too subtle play for conservative votes and its far too late for that

    If I could choose only one thing to happen at the next election (apart from Jude being proclaimed Queen of NZ) I'd choose the utter annihilation of NZFirst

    • Enough is Enough 13.1

      I very rarely agree with you, but on this I concur 100%.

      The day that NZ First leaves the better

    • Jimmy 13.2

      Hopefully Simon Bridges will rule out working with NZF, and there must be a good chance that Labour / Greens would have the numbers without NZF.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.2.1

        If he shows some back bone and rules out Winston he'll go up in the polls then Act can campaign on keeping National honest and take the protest votes off NZfirst (might even get an extra seat or two out of it) and everyone will be happy because the undead corpse that is NZFirst/Winston will finally be vanquished for good

        • McFlock

          … and the bells will ring out throughout the land as unicorns prance through the woods while farting rainbows and shitting gold, everyone will find their true love(s) and live happily ever after except the evil wizard who will spend eternity in a dungeon covered in leprechaun turds.

          Cool story, bro

          • alwyn

            You really should put that in quotation marks and give a reference shouldn't you?

            That looks as if you have lifted it holus bolus from the Election Manifesto of the junior party in the CoL

            • McFlock

              Words like "equity" and "integrity" might be beyond your understanding, but that doesn't make them as imaginary as unicorns.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Yeah thanks I didn't think it was so bad either

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.3

      I'm not a fan, but this was subtly done by Martin.


      • weka 13.3.1

        She was awesome in what she said, what she didn't say, and how she did. Master class speech.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Yes. It was a very intelligent speech. We all know exactly what happened, the who the when and the why….without her having to state explicitly that at their caucus meetings she's surrounded by dinosaurs. Me? Not so subtle. Bunch of misogynist old pricks. Unless you have a womb, be guided by your female colleagues.

          • weka

            I really feel for her, she didn't deserve this. Appallingly misogynistic and reinforces that NZF is an old boys club. I cannot wait until Peters is out of parliament, but it's not like he is the only one.

            • weka

              Have to say too, being a bit subtle myself, it's all depressingly familiar.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.3.2

        Just to be clear I don't mind if NZFirst survives as long as Winston is removed from parliament

        Pretty brave of her, unfortunately shes probably put a big target on her back, Winston doesn’t seem the forgiving type…shame really

        How Winston (might) a run his caucus:

  14. JohnP 14

    Good news from the whenua, Wally Haumaha has announced the police presence will be reduced.


    Interesting to note Monday's police presence increase was due to a 'miscommunication between police and protestors', which brings into question the claims that kaitiaki had *actually* occupied land they had been evicted from instead of just continuing to maintain a presence on the Quarry Road. Jill Rogers getting nothing from Haumaha there.

    • weka 14.1

      I didn't realise that. The camp is on the road and not on the Fletchers' land?

      • JohnP 14.1.1

        Well, the front line that was cut off by the influx of police on Monday is on the Ihumatao Quarry Road – which is the public access road to the Otuataha Stonefields site. Some kaitiaki have camped on the adjacent field which is part of Fletchers land, but the police did not attempt to break up that campsite on Monday.

        Some interesting info here from the Kaitiaki Police Liaison, https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/08/09/742193/soul-searching-fireside-following-ihumtao-gaslight about the discussion that took place on Monday afternoon.

        I think the cops have miscommunicated the discussions with the camp, which has led to someone in seniority making a really really bad call.

        • weka

          Monday was a mess for sure. I just had no idea that the camp was on the road and not on the land. Kind of mind blowing that I didn't know that, and I'm wondering if I just missed that important point of if many people don't realise this.

  15. That time again where it's play the 'what party the local candidates support' game.

    I won't vote for a non labour or green aligned candidate, but as they don't usually declare a party affiliation, and often they don't door knock these days, it's all a bit hit or miss.

    Does anyone know the left leaning candidates for council and mayor in Hamilton west?

  16. Buster12 16

    Well done to this young man, at his age was more worried about buying piss and cigs then buying a house. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/latest/114704069/on-the-ladder-teenager-working-two-jobs-signed-up-for-first-home-at-18

    • Brigid 16.1

      Did he pay his parents board while he was living with them? The article doesn't say does it. We can only guess that he didn't. Therefore he didn't 'do it all on his own'

      The other thing of course is that all the people in the country who want their own home cannot go and work on fishing boats.

      Typical msm garbage propaganda.

  17. greywarshark 17

    Noticed that a book of Trump's tweets had been published. Could be good Christmas present for someone who knows how to read. By Christmas it could be redundant if someone files for impeachment or something, or apricot perhaps.

  18. greywarshark 18

    The Abbotsford disaster in Dunedin is old history. And probably forgotten by most. But I see that RadioNZ has brought it forward and I just pop it in here so you can see the problems from shifting soil,. landslides can do. The problem here was that Dunedin had information about the soil instability but lost it in the files, and when they bulldozed the 'toe' away from a hill with houses on and around it, they started movement that was very frightening and destructive.


  19. Puckish Rogue 19

    For something a little bit different and if you have a spare 6 and a half hours, definately themes that will/should resonate with old school Labour


  20. R.P Mcmurphy 20

    the only solution is grow more acorns.

    Seven years ago the impressionist Rory Bremner complained that politicians had become so boring that few of them were worth mimicking: “They’re quite homogenous and dull these days … It’s as if character is seen as a liability.” Today his profession has the opposite problem: however extreme satire becomes, it struggles to keep pace with reality. The political sphere, so dull and grey a few years ago, is now populated by preposterous exhibitionists.

    This trend is not confined to the UK – everywhere the killer clowns are taking over

    This trend is not confined to the UK – everywhere the killer clowns are taking over. Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Jair Bolsonaro, Scott Morrison, Rodrigo Duterte, Matteo Salvini, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Viktor Orbán and a host of other ludicrous strongmen – or weakmen, as they so often turn out to be – dominate nations that would once have laughed them off stage. The question is why? Why are the technocrats who held sway almost everywhere a few years ago giving way to extravagant buffoons?
    Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate – sent direct to you
    Read more

    Social media, an incubator of absurdity, is certainly part of the story. But while there has been plenty of good work investigating the means, there has been surprisingly little thinking about the ends. Why are the ultra-rich, who until recently used their money and newspapers to promote charisma-free politicians, now funding this circus? Why would capital wish to be represented by middle managers one moment and jesters the next?

    The reason, I believe, is that the nature of capitalism has changed. The dominant force of the 1990s and early 2000s – corporate power – demanded technocratic government. It wanted people who could simultaneously run a competent, secure state and protect profits from democratic change. In 2012, when Bremner made his complaint, power was already shifting to a different place, but politics had not caught up.

    The policies that were supposed to promote enterprise – slashing taxes for the rich, ripping down public protections, destroying trade unions – instead stimulated a powerful spiral of patrimonial wealth accumulation. The largest fortunes are now made not through entrepreneurial brilliance but through inheritance, monopoly and rent-seeking: securing exclusive control of crucial assets such as land and buildings privatised utilities and intellectual property, and assembling service monopolies such as trading hubs, software and social media platforms, then charging user fees far higher than the costs of production and delivery. In Russia, people who enrich themselves this way are called oligarchs. But this is a global phenomenon. Today corporate power is overlain by – and mutating into – o

  21. sumsuch 21

    What matters. Climate change. Democracy a long way second. The pricks around us , pleasant but irrelevant.

  22. sumsuch 22

    Great letter column here.

  23. Jenny - How to Get there? 23

    Anti immigrant bigots often claim New Zealand is 'over populated'

    Yeah right


    • Muttonbird 23.1

      The French railway network, as administered by SNCFRéseau, as of June 2007, is a network of commercially usable lines of 29,213 kilometres (18,152 mi), of which 15,141 km (9,408 mi) is electrified

      As of 2015, Germany had a railway network of 33,331 km of which 19,983 km were electrified and 18,201 km were double track

      The New Zealand rail network has around 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles) of line, of which about 506 kilometres (314 miles) is electrified.

      You're right New Zealand is not as populated as Europe but neither do we have the infrastructure to support such a population.

      We don't even have the infrastructure to support the population we've got.

  24. It's worth seeing (and reading) the new style http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/

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