Open mike 08/08/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 8th, 2023 - 34 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

34 comments on “Open mike 08/08/2023 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Does NZ Labour’s leader want to win the 2023 General Election? if so on what terms…even in a good result the outcome will likely be tighter than the proverbial. It is all or nothing for the Natzos and Act with their deep pockets and media channel dominance.

    Free Dental…“won’t be drawn”

    “He accepted the conversation about dental care should be included in the wider discussion on improving health outcomes but would not be drawn on his level of support for making dental care free.” Chris Hipkins Herald Aug.6

    Fer crissakes, all Chippy needed to do was say… sounds good–if we lead the Govt. we will look at how it can be done–hint Chris–wealth tax/Sugar tax…his Cap’n’s call is proving deadly already it seems.

    • Corey 1.1

      the party wants to win but they picked a leader who thinks showing strength is knee capping his own party. It's August 8, we still haven't seen a single policy from Labour.

      He has no idea how to win over middle NZ and centrist voters, he has smugly rejected and ruled out any ideas his party or the wider left has to address cost of living and inequality and while doing so repeats his tired meaningless slogan about "bread and butter" issues while ruling out bread and butter reforms.

      He's demoralised his party and painted into a corner, he has no right to be making captain calls about policy, the party choses the policy not the leader, but he's basically ruled out the party doing literally anything.

      His hero and inspiration seems to be Keir Starmer, apparently his advisors saw the polls in the UK and thought UK labour was doing well in the polls because of its leader, no UK labour is doing well in the polls DESPITE it's leader, the Tory's have buggered the UK so badly UK labour could have a literal pot plant as leader and it'd still be 14% ahead.

      Hipkins has neither the charisma or excitement of Ardern nor the political intelligence or electoral intuition of Clark.

      He's just a third rate Starmer.

  2. Doctor Whom 2

    “First thing’s first, but not necessarily in that order.”


  3. arkie 3

    Labour has announced a partnership with world's biggest asset management company BlackRock:

    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement in Auckland this morning, saying the government is partnering with Blackrock to launch the fund with the goal of making New Zealand the first country in the world to reach 100 percent renewable electricity.

    While the move to 100% renewable is laudable, the involvement of an multinational investment firm with questionable practices is potentially an issue. More PPP means more profits for BlackRock at the expense of the tax payer. So much for ending adherence to Neo-liberalism.

    General BlackRock facts:

    Bivona cited BlackRock’s ongoing investments in fossil fuels like coal, which would undermine the company’s credibility. He also said BlackRock refused to support a Bluebell campaign against chemical group Solvay aimed at stopping the Belgian company from discharging industrial waste from its facility in Rosignano, Italy, into the Mediterranean Sea.

    As a result of these failings, Bivona demanded that CEO Larry Fink be replaced. He also urged BlackRock’s board to ensure the company stays away from ideological convictions in climate and energy policy. “This issue should not be BlackRock’s mission to promote energy policy or to promote any public debate on environmental or social issues,” he told CNBC.

    “Every big problem needs a face and a name,” the speaker said at the private event hosted by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. “The worst offender out there is BlackRock and Larry Fink.”

    Since then, the attacks have been unrelenting. And Fink, founder of the world’s largest investment and risk management firm, has throttled back on the urgency with which he pushes companies to confront climate change. The resolute language in public letters to CEOs is gone. And BlackRock executives have begun waving away the climate targets they once committed to helping the world meet as irrelevant to the current moment.

    the firm props up the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $260 billion in investments in corporations that are propelling our climate catastrophe. It has nearly $6 billion invested in civilian gun manufacturers and retailers and an astounding $36 billion invested in military weapons’ companies.

    • Ad 3.1

      Must surely be a continuity line between this announcement and Prime Minister Ardern and Damien O'Connor met with Blackrock in June last year.

      While NZ$2b isn't more than 3-4 energy projects, it's not to be sneezed at and is a great win for New Zealand.

      Congratulations to Prime Minister Hipkins and to Jacinda Ardern for opening the door to dialogue.

    • SPC 3.2

      They apparently like the financial scene, and think the total required to make us renewable in energy supply is $42B, so its others and or partners for the rest – $2B start-up from them. One wonders if that includes Onslow, or renewables and batteries.

      The play by Labour appears to get buy in from National to make it bi-partisan.

      Their own may be find something of scale, that is realisable.

      • arkie 3.2.1

        Worryingly they include the faux solution of hydrogen:

        Evidence clearly indicates that the marketing hype surrounding blue hydrogen as a clean energy source is based on false and misleading claims – also known as greenwashing – partially based on unproven assumptions about the long-term viability of carbon capture and storage. More importantly, despite the false pretense that blue hydrogen is carbon-neutral, producing blue hydrogen is actually a carbon-intensive process that perpetuates our reliance on fossil fuels, and therefore provides little or no benefit for transitioning to a carbon-free future.

        Most likely due to BlackRock’s substantial fossil fuel company investments:

        The short answer is that the fossil fuel industry sees hydrogen as a way to keep on drilling and building new infrastructure. Friends of the Earth has tracked how the industry has successfully deployed its PR and lobbying machines over recent years to get policymakers thinking that hydrogen is a catch-all climate solution. Research by climate scientists (without fossil fuel links) has debunked industry claims that hydrogen should be a major player in our decarbonised future, though hydrogen extracted from water (using renewable energy sources) could – and should – play an important role in replacing the dirtiest hydrogen currently extracted from fossil fuels. It may also have a role in fuelling some transportation like long-haul flights and vintage cars, but the evidence is far from clear. However, with billions of climate action dollars up for grabs in the US alone, expect to see more lobbying, more industry-funded evidence and more hype.

    • bwaghorn 3.3

      Do they do tunnels??

    • Ad 3.4

      Is New Zealand at the point where we start to accept that we can't bring ourselves to tax more and so not enough tax to fix+build the big stuff, so we are always and henceforth going to need private capital to achieve the big stuff?

      • arkie 3.4.1

        That would also mean we accept the increased inequity and poorer public services because of our reticence to expect those who have financially benefited from society to pay their share. Seems that Labour has made their decision. It is about political will and they don't have it when it comes to legislating fairness. Happy to commission reports on the unfairness, but no will to doing anything about it.

        • Ad

          This governments' practice has been to go into debt instead.

          We can't forget that this has been the most interventionist government since the first Labour government. The key stat is 3.4% and we owe that to government debt paid out as wage subsidy and other benefits at speed.

          • arkie

            Intervention isn't, in and of itself, a good thing, it needs to be targeted well and it needs to have a goal to support everyone, and on this measure this government would get a C. For all the talk when given the option of correcting the adherence to 'free market' and financialised interventions/solutions, this government has preferred to stick with failed neo-liberal thinking and policy.

            In this particular case it will mean significant and essential energy infrastructure will be owned by international investors.

            • Ad

              Is that really true?

              There were very few countries who subsidised their economy as deeply as ours – and they did so because ours is a narrow and small economy with very tight path dependencies, very low private savings, and in all very vulnerable.

              They borrowed deeper than we've seen any NZ government borrow since WW2, in a time of real crisis, a crisis far deeper than the GFC and really only comparable to the Great Depression.

              The only reason we haven't felt a Great Depression take hold here is because of the scale of broadly beneficial redistribution. There are no austerity politicians left; you only find Keynesians in economic foxholes.

              That is the opposite of 'neo liberal' thinking whatever that is.

              • Blazer

                Wondering where to start with this uninformed..drivel.Decided this might suffice-'There were very few countries who subsidised their economy as deeply as ours – '

                No sign of NZ in the top..20!

                Coronavirus bailouts: Which country has the most generous deal? – BBC News

              • arkie

                Subsidising the economy is not the same as subsidising people. One supports individuals, the other, business entities. Income support was administered through employer claims and this led to potential fraud which could have been obviated by directly subsidising individuals via IRD.

                It was a fine enough systems but the usual groups were adversely affected:

                The outcomes evaluation said more firms survived than otherwise would have, had the wage subsidy scheme not been in place, and companies largely complied with obligations to pass subsidy payments to workers.

                It didn’t result in “widespread adverse consequences”.

                However, because it was a firm-based scheme, payments were less likely to reach people in more precarious jobs – “support was relatively low for female, Māori, Pacific peoples, and young workers”.


                Neo-liberal thinking is that which prefers financialised markets, eg Emissions Trading Scheme, over legislation, eg Carbon Tax. It is the kind of thinking that maintains the system of Profit-Seeking supremacy that has got us into this ecological and societal crisis of seemingly unstoppable climate change.

                There were plenty of opportunities for the government to maintain aspects of the COVID response, eg rent freeze, to really help people up and help our society turn towards a more equal one again but they are seemingly happy enough with the status quo of increasing inequality. Happy to rule out restoration of the tax policies or rates of the Keynesian era too I might add.

                • weka

                  It was telling that the initial support from the Labour government excluded beneficiaries, who were basically abandoned going into our first lockdown with no financial support to prepare for the lockdown or the arrival of covid in their community. Not surprising I guess all things considered.

                  I'm gutted by today's announcement, it just feels like cementing in centre left neoliberal denial of the kind of transition we actually need.

                  Really appreciating your comments in recent times arkie, just the consistent analysis and counterpoints.

  4. joe90 4

    Poirot is investigating.


    An Italian man has been crushed to death under thousands of wheels of a Parmesan-style cheese, authorities said.

    Giacomo Chiapparini, 74, was buried when a shelf broke in his warehouse in the Lombardy region on Sunday, firefighter Antonion Dusi told AFP.

    The collapse created a domino effect bringing down thousands of wheels, which weigh about 40kg (84lbs) each.

    It took 12 hours to find Mr Chiapparini's body, Mr Dusi said.

    Some of the wheels reportedly fell about 10m (33ft) and a local resident told Italian media the collapse sounded "like thunder".

  5. observer 5

    A story about an MP who was shot, when a teenager, in a Northland drug deal.

    Nothing there to disqualify him as an MP, or to vilify him in the media. But … imagine if we change one small detail. The MP, the teenager … is brown. I think we all know how that story would be covered.

    • Anne 5.1

      Funny that. Was talking with others today about all the non-news we are bombarded with on almost a daily basis. I consider this to be one of them. I don't know how old Court is but there would be few people under the age of 50 who did not at some time in their youth come into contact with marijuana.

      But yes, racism would have reared its ugly head if he happened to be brown or black.

    • pat 5.2

      It may change things in your mind…it makes no difference to me

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