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 ( 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 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 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

    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, 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.

    • 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

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  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    25 mins ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    3 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    4 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    5 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    6 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    10 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    21 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    1 week ago