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Open Mike 08/09/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 8th, 2016 - 125 comments
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125 comments on “Open Mike 08/09/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Two things from yesterday I thought I would repost as they appeared at the end of the evening thread and are worthy of a wider audience.

    Another Guardian article looking at the sorry state of New Zealand’s housing.

    So who owns these properties?
    Increasingly, not New Zealanders. Foreign investment in Auckland has boomed under the National party government (this is not confined to Auckland). According to Core Logic in 2012, 37% of buyers were investors. Today that proportion is nearly 50%, a significant number of whom are Chinese.

    What are the downsides of the boom?
    It’s not been called a “crisis” lightly. Just before winter, stories emerged of hundreds of people living in tents, garages and shipping containers because they could not afford to rent, were on waiting lists for a state house or had given up trying.
    Families with newborns were discovered sleeping in cars and under bridges and were taken in by local maraes (Māori meeting houses).
    Homelessness has reached an unprecedented level and it’s no longer just affecting the unemployed. Some families with one or two wage-earning adults (usually in minimum-wage employment, which is NZ$15.25) are unable to afford a roof over their head. Garages with no toilet or cooking facilities are being advertised on Trade Me for NZ$500.


    • Manuka AOR 1.1

      “Foreign investment in Auckland”
      “Investment” is a misnomer. It is exploitation and manipulation that is happening, not investment. Similarly, the “Halo effect” is hardly a halo when it brings homelessness and misery to many.

      • Scott 1.1.1

        The homeless need a rental… they need home owned by an “investor”, be it the state or a private individual. How many of the people living in cars or garages do you think could afford to buy a house even if the price was half that of current levels?

        • In Vino

          Excuse me, Scott, but under current conditions an “investor” is not even a ‘speculator’ (apparently a less desirable term).

          Under current conditions, “Profit-Gouger” is the correct term. Please call them what they are – all of them. Until the current conditions are changed to reduce this ridiculous, unproductive profit-gouging in the property sector, our society and economy will continue to become more blighted than ever.

    • Scott 1.2

      The Guardian need to do their homework.

      We need investors in the market. They are the ones that provide rental accommodation. Take the people living in cars. I doubt they would be in a position (in the near to medium term) to buy a house even if house prices halved. What they need is a rental. So 50% were bought by investors. So what. Why is that a bad thing, and if you think it a bad thing then what percentage would be alright… 45%, 40%, 10%? Why?

      And then “a significant number of who are Chinese”. Leaving aside the implied racist undertone that a Chinese investor is worse than a Brit or a Canadian or whomever, that statement is simply not true. It is just made up.

      In Auckland we know that about 4% are sold to foreign buyers, and about 2% to Chinese buyers in particular. That makes Chinese overseas resident investors about 4% of the total investors in the market (if it is that is half of all homes sold). Since when did 2% or 4% become “a significant number”?

      On top of that, some of the Chinese investors will also be sellers. That is not accounted for by a reduction in the figures above. What we know is a kind of maximum, the figures as if no foreign investor ever sells. For all we know the net number of homes owned by overseas investors is actually dropping.

      • DH 1.2.1

        Seems you need to do some homework too Scott….

        “In Auckland we know that about 4% are sold to foreign buyers,”

        That is false. The correct statement is that about 5% of Auckland property transfers were to foreign tax residents in the period April-June 2016 .

        A property transfer is not synonymous with a property sale and a foreign tax resident is not the only type of foreign buyer.

        • Scott

          I took my stats from this article in the Herald (if there are more current ones I apologize but by the sound of it that does not substantively alter anything I said):


          I hear what you’re saying about the tax status, but the problems with it cut both ways. In any event it is the best (only) measure we have at the moment. If the Guardian based their statement on anything else it is pure guesswork / speculation.

          I’m not a fan of Winston, but I kinda like his call for a foreign buyers register. It may not solve the definitional issues you elude to, but it would at least be a start at accounting for those that leave the register as well as those that join it (getting us to a net figure).

          • DH

            Sure it alters what you said. You denied the alleged scale of Chinese investment using false statistics. It is not the ‘best’ measure we have, it isn’t a measure at all.

            If you’re genuinely interested you can find a copy of the last Linz report by googling this;


            Anyone reading it with an open mind should absorb the bit in the intro that says Linz estimate roughly half of property transfers involve a residential sale Despite this their statistics are for all property transfers and not the (estimated) half which are residential sales.

            If you’re any good at maths you’d then realise the statistics are worthless for measuring anything except property transfers … you cannot extract any useful information on property sales from that data.

            • Scott

              What then do you get your data from? [Chinese] sounding names?

              The report you cite says in Auckland 5% of purchasers were foreign tax national and 3% were Chinese tax nationals. Not the 4% and 2% I had from the old stats.

              And sure, that is not a complete picture, but neither is ignoring the sellers. That report says nationally 3% of vendors were foreign tax nationals, and 3% of purchasers were. The net change was zero (or negligible at least).

              [Leave the racism out, Scott. Only warning. TRP]

              Apologies TRP, it was not meant as racist but rather to mock the racism on those that tried to collect their “data” in such a way – I’ll be more careful.

              • DH

                You might want to ask yourself why you persists in talking about buyers & sellers Scott. The Linz report contains no statistics on property sales or property buyers & sellers. It is a record of property transfers.

  2. Paul 2

    The second thing.

    Solutions to neo-liberalism.

    Yesterday evening I challenged CV to come up with some solutions as he has tended to be very critical of everything at the moment.

    His response.

    Slash NZ herd sizes by 75%, reduce international air travel to ten 747 arrivals a week and ten 747 departures a week, add a $5/L levy to all liquid fuels and put all the funds into sustainable low carbon public transport and freight, pursue a policy of massively onshoring technological, engineering, scientific and manufacturing capabilities, double the size and reach of the NZDF and reorientate it for a relevant future.
    Put the retail banks under clear central control and take back the authority for the government to issue funds that it requires.
    Make moving to Auckland a highly restricted activity requiring a quota limited permit, and give 200,000 people clear ways to move out of that city.
    Give every adult NZer a UBI of $60/week on top of whatever other income they currently have.
    Enforce penalty rates for anything over 37.5 hours/week work, as well as any work on Sunday.
    You guys want anything else? Just ask.

    CV, I agree with almost everything you say. Controlling the banks is very important.

    I am interested to know 2 more of your ideas:
    1. how you plan to control multinational companies who, in many ways, are more powerful than nation states.
    2. how you plan to create a more diverse media, less controlled by financial interests.

    Thanks CV.

    • weka 2.1

      I like CV’s ideas too, and good idea to lay down that challenge to say what we want not just what we don’t want.

      I also think we need to talk about *how these things could happen. Talking about ideas is important, but on its own it keeps us in a cull de sac. We need to look at how we get there from where we are now.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Well that’s also a very important point weka. And this answer might explain to you a bit of of my contemporary “anti-everything” attitude.

        My first step to understanding “how these things could happen”, has been to stop pretending that any of the current political parties or any of their current political policies provides NZ with anything more than a C minus in terms of what the nation actually needs.

        This harks back to MS’s question of me last night – which Parliamentary Party should the “collective left” support.

        To me the answer is none of them, because all of one’s energy should be going into political activity which talks front and centre 24/7 about the actual answers we need, not into organisations and parties determined to keep presenting diluted watered down shadows of those answers.

        • Draco T Bastard

          My first step to understanding “how these things could happen”, has been to stop pretending that any of the current political parties or any of their current political policies provides NZ with anything more than a C minus in terms of what the nation actually needs.

          You’re being generous. IMO, most of the policies of most political parties are still the absolute fail as all they’re doing is maintaining the same system that has failed badly throughout history.

          To me the answer is none of them, because all of one’s energy should be going into political activity which talks front and centre 24/7 about the actual answers we need, not into organisations and parties determined to keep presenting diluted watered down shadows of those answers.

          Which means getting rid of the status quo.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes it does. As you have noted for a long time, the status quo is now, to anyone willing to open their eyes, very clearly a very fast drive off a very short pier.

        • Scintilla

          Coalesce around one issue – water. Everybody understands at a visceral level that we need water – good to drink, swim and fish-in water. No other political engagement necessary. Just take that issue and go for it, no holds barred until we get it. Take control of the media process, don’t be deflected by the “but,but what about roads, houses, fur-knuckled MPs …”, and make the story only about water.

          Local body elections right now – demand to know what the candidates are going to do about it.

          This is a huge opportunity to make big, bold capital-C Change.

          • Colonial Viper

            water is a good one. A critical part of maintaining a habitat and an ecosystem which can support healthy life.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      1. Don’t allow multinational companies to operate here at all – comes in with the banning of offshore ownership really
      2. A UBI @$400/week and a state publisher that will support anyone who wants to be a journalist by providing them with the needed resources to investigate and report on whatever they choose to

    • Slash NZ herd sizes by 75%, reduce international air travel to ten 747 arrivals a week and ten 747 departures a week…

      Make moving to Auckland a highly restricted activity requiring a quota limited permit…

      Leaving aside for a moment the question of what percentage of the party vote a party proposing to follow CV’s advice could expect to receive, any government that would be willing to grant itself the powers to issue decrees like the above is one that should be kept from power at all costs.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        Sometimes people need to do what needs to be done rather than wringing their hands declaiming that nothing can be done.

        • Psycho Milt

          Just needs a good old dictatorship of the proletariat for a bit, huh? No thanks.

          • Draco T Bastard

            So, we just continue on with the present dictatorship of the corporations?

            And a democracy is, by definition, not a dictatorship. And, yes, I think a majority of people would look to limiting tourists and immigration. The people in the communities are seeing the damage that they’re doing while the people in ‘government’ keep telling us it’s all good.

  3. Paul 3

    And a final question…..
    Would Mana be a suitable party to vote for to get at least some of these outcomes?

    • weka 3.1

      Depends on what Mana do between now and the election. There is a case to be made for building a movement over a long period of time so that eventually Mana has more influence. I have my doubts about this because of what happened at the last election, but I would love to see Harawira back in parliament. That’s a Maori voter issue though, Harawira getting back in.

      In terms of the wider party vote, the issue is what % has to be gained to get past the gain of the electorate seat. If one votes for this election, rather than long term movement building, then there is a risk of lost votes. Likewise if Harawira doesn’t get TTT. Those are votes that could be better in Labour or the Greens in a tight election.

  4. Paul 4

    More extreme weather.
    More reporting of that by the corporate media without the context of climate change.
    What a sad little country we are becoming under Key.

    I loved this description of Key I read in the Guardian.

    “New Zealand is an increasingly dysfunctional and bizarre country, which seems to think it’s going to get rich building houses for immigrants. John Key, our PM, is an appalling man; a self-made multimillionaire from his arch skill at gambling with other people’s money in one of the most useless jobs invented by mankind, that of currency speculator, who treats his job as PM like the sort of insouciant hobby a man who needs nothing more in his life might take on as a pleasant interlude before retiring. He suffers from a pathological intellectual rigidity that straight-jackets his and his government’s actions; perish the thought that this man might stoop to intellectual enquiry and rational action.”

    • alwyn 4.1

      Congratulations Paul. The Guardian published the letter you wrote to them did it?
      Now you can quote it.

    • Olwyn 4.2

      Here is another one that was also pretty succinct and on the money: from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/06/new-zealand-needs-migrants-as-some-kiwis-are-lazy-and-on-drugs-says-pm under the name spike91nz:

      It is abundantly clear that John Key does not place the concerns of the citizens, or the future wellbeing of the country, as central to his neoliberal politics. He shamelessly pursues a neoliberal agenda, in service of the wealthy, that is even now crumbling upon its global overreach and reductionistic algorithms. He is, and has always exhibited, an envious eye to the powerful and would, it seems, ingratiate himself to them at the expense of the country he has been elected to serve. He imagines a new citizenry of the wealthy elites who can control economic realities and already exhibits distain for those upon whose backs he has ridden to power. Now in power, he is embarrassingly indifferent to the suffering his policies are creating and strikingly unaware that the model he has been sold, and is attempting to sell to New Zealand, is already considered obsolete by the world economic powers he embarrassingly,and so desperately, desires to be considered a member.

      • Scintilla 4.2.1

        My favourite is short but sweet:
        “Key is a fuckwit of the highest order, but nowhere near as dense as his cabinet.”

    • Bob 4.3

      “He suffers from a pathological intellectual rigidity that straight-jackets his and his government’s actions”
      Huh, I thought he steals Labour’s ideas, apparently not. Either that or the person that wrote this tosh suffers from a pathological intellectual rigidity that straight-jackets their ability to rationally critique John Key’s Prime Ministerial style?

  5. Cinny 5

    The description of the outgoing PM that you found is brilliant Paul ty for sharing 😀

  6. b waghorn 6

    the standard is coming through in a very strange format this morning , no boarders and no side bars at all .

  7. riffer 7

    Indeed. I fear the css have gone walkabouts.

  8. Mr Righty 8

    [you are currently banned. See https://thestandard.org.nz/anti-corbyn-media-bias/#comment-1205982 I suggest when you return that you pick a consistent handle. Using multiple names is likely to get moderator attention, as is continuing to comment when you are banned – weka]

  9. left for dead 9

    Good morning folks,
    If that telco Telcom offers you lightbox with your plan,needn’t bother, if you run on linux.

    Just a heads up.

  10. ianmac 10

    Yep b waghorn but still readable on my Mac.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Hi Paul,

    This reply might appear in the wrong place as the formatting of the Open Mike web page isn’t working for me at the moment.

    1) Controlling foreign corporations: transnational corporations have access to some technologies, personnel, contacts, resources and abilities that can be highly useful. We set out to them (the Boards of Directors) very clearly what we want to achieve as a country, and seek strategic corporate partners who can help us reach those goals.

    2) A more diverse media: a three pronged attack – on the quality front we leverage up TVNZ and RNZ in a big way. In a diversity front we create structures which support small scale independent media, publishing and blogging. On a corporate media regulatory front – we set clear regulatory standards for what can be called news, current affairs, etc.

    Re: Mana. They can support some complementary positions but IMO they are not radical enough nor do they have a good/broad reach across the country.

  12. lprent 12

    Well that was odd. It looks like there was a problem at AWS cloudfront ??

    Anyway, I turned off the CDN, forced some cache reloads and now we appear to have a good front-end again

    Just checking that the $25(ish) bill was paid…. They should have been. It is automatic

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      Yesterday the standard wasn’t working for me from work, just got a blank white page. It happened again this morning, so I shift-F5’d the page and I got a certificate warning from Chrome. I selected to continue to the site.

      So it seems like there might be an expired certificate of some sort?

      • lprent 12.1.1

        I think that I had a cert that wasn’t fully trusted (trying Lets Encrypt). I replaced it with a multi-domain Comodo one last night. But it looks like that isn’t covering the SSL out to the CDN.

        I’ve simply set the site to not use CDN on SSL for now. Higher load on the server…

        Looks like some bits of js aren’t working for the comments. That is freaking odd.

  13. lprent 13

    Yep. $31.87 on the 3rd September.

    Ok, I’d class that as just outright weird

  14. Manuka AOR 14

    Jeremy Corbyn commits to banning fracking.
    We, in earthquake- prone Aotearoa, where uncontaminated water is becoming increasingly hard to find, need to do the same: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/07/jeremy-corbyn-pledges-fracking-ban-energy-co-ops-green-labour-agenda

    • save nz 14.1

      +1 – Fracking and earthquakes go together.

      • Andre 14.1.1

        I don’t care about the earthquakes, fracking-induced ones don’t get big and will mostly stop soon after the fracking stops. I care about the contaminated water and the greenhouse gas releases, which will cause problems for generations.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Lisa Marriott to Deliver 2016 Bruce Jesson Lecture
    Monday 10th October, 6pm
    All New Zealanders are Equal, but some are more equal than others

    Due to limited seating, REGISTRATION IS ENCOURAGED

    Why are those less advantaged in New Zealand society treated differently from those who are in relatively privileged positions? Why are white-collar tax evaders treated differently to welfare fraudsters? This talk will consider circumstances where this occurs, aiming to highlight and challenge issues of equity, privilege, and the construction of crime and criminals in New Zealand.

    The presentation will cover:
    Investigation, prosecution and sentencing of tax evaders and welfare fraudsters;
    The sentencing of serious white-collar financial crime;
    The individual treatment of taxpayers and the collective treatment of welfare recipients;
    Different treatments of debtors to the Crown (taxpayers, welfare recipients and students);
    The introduction of legislation that provides for more punitive treatment for partners of welfare fraudsters than the partners of those engaging in other financial offending; and,
    The preferential treatment of the wealthy in the tax system

    Monday 10th October, 6pm
    Room G36, OGHLecTh, Old Government House (Building 401), University of Auckland

    Dr Lisa Marriott is an Associate Professor of Taxation at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Accounting and Commercial Law. Lisa’s research interests include social justice and inequality, and the behavioural impacts of taxation.

    Lisa has publications in a range of refereed journals and is the author of The Politics of Retirement Savings Taxation: A Trans-Tasman Perspective. Her work is interdisciplinary covering disciplines including sociology, political science and public policy. Lisa was awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant to investigate the different treatments of tax evasion and welfare fraud in the New Zealand justice system.

    Lisa has worked in the private sector in the United Kingdom and in the public sector in New Zealand. For the past ten years, Lisa has worked in academia.

    Due to limited seating, REGISTRATION IS ENCOURAGED

  16. joe90 16

    drip drip drip…..

    Trump didn’t just donate, he hosted a fundraiser for Bondi at Mar-A-Lago after she passed on investigating Trump U https://t.co/H25aFUAx1r— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) September 7, 2016

    Looks like Trump tried to bribe NY AG, then accused him of soliciting a bribe while simultaneously bribing Pam Bondi https://t.co/T8RAWa9aB9— Laura (@SheWhoVotes) September 7, 2016


  17. Puckish Rogue 17


    Whether he is right or wrong (hes wrong) why didn’t use the protection that was enabled for mps to say stuff like this without getting sued?

    • framu 17.1

      because he didnt say any thing that was illegal.

      • Puckish Rogue 17.1.1

        Seems a pretty interesting way to determine that when he could have said it in parliament instead and not have to bother with all this

        • McFlock

          But if MPs were to live in fear of whatever some rich doofus might take offence at and decide to sue over, the House would be the only place an MP would ever open their mouths.

          On the surface this is appealing, but in the long run it would get in the way of mps doing their damned job.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Well no, I thought the reason mps had the protection of the house was so they could say stuff like this and not have to worry about it

            Are you saying that if they say it in the house its not as important or as valid as saying it outside of the house?

            • McFlock

              No, parliamentary privilege is so they can make explicit allegations and statements of fact in the House. You know, actual controversial shit, rather than requesting that public funds are disseminated in a demonstrably impartial and uncorrupt manner.

              • Puckish Rogue

                He said the timing stinks to high heaven, if I was Earl then I’d be suitably miffed at what Little said and want either proof or an apology because it sounds like Little is saying Earl bribed (or doing something dodgy) his way to a contract

                So yeah that sounds like a pretty explicit allegation

                • McFlock

                  lol no it’s not.

                  The timing did fucking stink. Little was right to demand that the processes be examined to ensure it was nothing more than coincidence that a nat donor’s company gets a contract so soon after a large donation. That’s just stating the bleeding obvious.

                  An explicit allegation would have been a direct claim of quid pro quo contracts-for-donations arrangement. This claim was never made. What was made was a demand that public money be spent in a demonstrably clean manner.

                  Anything’s litigable. Whether hagaman gets a penny remains to be seen.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    The mechanism is there for Little to say this without getting sued, why not use it?

                    • McFlock

                      You’re not asking why he didn’t raise the issue in the House.
                      You’re asking why he dared raise the issue anywhere else.

                      Goff, shearer, Twyford and James Shaw all raised different aspects of the affair in the House.

                      It is difficult to imagine how Little could make a formal written request to the AG for them to investigate solely using the debates with the house.

                      Basically, the thrust of your argument seems to require that Little make noises in the House, but actually do nothing. ever. For fear that some jerk takes offence and sues.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Hey if he wants to spend his money on lawsuits then good on him

                    • McFlock

                      If little wanted to defend a lawsuit, he’d have made an explicit allegation.

                      If Hagaman’s just throwing money at a lawsuit in the hope that it inconveniences or intimidates MPs, screw that guy. They’re our representatives, not his lackeys.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      So who decides if what someone says is defamatory then?

                    • McFlock

                      The courts have the final say.

                      But that doesn’t mean that most people wouldn’t have a fair idea going into it what the result will be. Case law is public record, after all.

                      Funnily enough, one of the first things a lawyer told friends of mine when they were considering legal action was to writer out a budget of what they wanted vs what they were willing to spend. It that’s the opening advice for a minor retaining wall dispute, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hagaman received similar advice, and Little. So someone’s basically decided that they can afford the costs regardless of the poor likelihood of outcome.

        • framu

          the only thing that wasnt determined was how vindictive and petty someone who wasnt even criticised would be

          and frankly – if thats the bar then we should all cease saying anything, ever

          • Puckish Rogue

            You might think its not a big deal but Earl obviously didn’t like being smeared and so take what he considered appropriate actions

            He gave Little ample time to withdraw the comment but Little chose to get some publicity

            • Psycho Milt

              Why would Little withdraw the comment? The deal was suspicious, did need investigating, and in fact was investigated, albeit not by someone with the authority to actually find any evidence of wrongdoing if it exists. We’re not allowed to state the obvious now, or something?

              • Puckish Rogue

                I’m saying if theres a mechanism where a minister can basically say what they like without repercussion then, unless they’re after some free publicity, why wouldn’t they choose to use it?

                • McFlock

                  Because that would make it the only place that they could ever say anything.

                  No comments to media. No public speeches. No party conferences. Because who knows what someone with more money than self esteem would take offence at – if demanding the AG do their job is defamatory, everything’s defamatory.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    So Little was doing this for everyone and not just trying to garner some free publicity?

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, he was acting in his role as a public representative. I know that this might be a difficult concept for you to grasp.

                      But also he simply asked someone to do their job because he probably has a pretty damned good idea about what is likely to be successfully actionable and what is not. Whereas Hagaman has probably already decided how much he’s prepared to spend out of pure petulance, actual verdict be damned.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      The only person in parliament prepared to get things done, everyone else hides behind parliamentary privilege

                      What a guy

                    • McFlock

                      He didn’t say anything much more extreme than what any other politician has said outside the House. Winston being a prime example.

                      Little was just unlucky enough to piss off a rich dude with money to burn. Occupational hazard.

            • framu

              how was earl smeared? – only by association as far as i can see

              IMO you have to stretch what little said to quite a degree to get to the conclusion that he was talking about the hagmans actions and not the govts.

              im not saying its not a big deal – im saying that the case against little is nothing more than spite and an attempt at attrition via legal threat

              • Puckish Rogue

                In your opinion you see it that way but in Earls opinion he obviously saw it differently and I don’t blame him for that either

                • framu

                  what exactly did little say that defamed the hagmans?

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I suppose if we’re going to go down that road then Little has said nothing that defames them until a judge decides otherwise

                    • framu

                      thats some mighty back pedaling mate.

                      cmon – seriously? – you’re going to spend all these comments basically saying the hagmans are right, then bow out now?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Ok when Little said the deal stunk to heaven he was inferring the Hagamans were corrupt because they were giving the government a donation in return for being awarded a contract

                    • McFlock

                      Ok when Little said the deal stunk to heaven he was inferring the Hagamans were corrupt because they were giving the government a donation in return for being awarded a contract

                      No, he was explicitly stating that the coincidence of the two events (donation and contract) was suspicious. His request to the AG was to allay that suspicion.

                      Suspicion is not a crime, or even defamatory. Otherwise every complaint to the police is defamatory.

                  • lprent

                    Yeah. PR is talking poor quality horseshit, probably because he has a very poor understanding of what the actual law defamation requires. The decision is made on any distortion of facts, not on the damage to reputations – which is what PR in his ignorance clearly expects.

                    But the facts appear to incontrovertible, so there was no reason for Andrew Little to make them in the house.

                    The implication by the Hagaman that thsoe facts taken together may have damaged their reputation is completely irrelevant in defamation except at the last stage AFTER a judgement is made. What their lawyers have to show is that Little invented or distorted facts.

                    However Andrew Little didn’t as far as I can see because he merely stated facts about a political donation and a government contract that were already on the public record. That those facts taken together throw a lot of questions about the morality and use of political donations to tap government funds with this government is rather incidental.

                    However as far as I can tell Andrew Little only pointed to those facts and asked if there was a cause for public concern. Perfectly legitimate at every level in the circumstances. The Hagamans (and McCully) answered, but hardly (in my view) in any kind of adequate manner because they didn’t dispute either of Little’s two facts.

                    Basically, if you want to make political donations and don’t want questions about what expectations you or the political party may have of the result of that donation, then it needs to be damn clear that there aren’t any personal expectations. That was in this case, that simply was not clear.

                    Unless there is something that I don’t know about it, I think that the Hagamans are simply doing some rather stupid legal grandstanding

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Tell you what, if Little apologizes (which is him basically admitting he screwed up) and/or this goes to court and Little is found guilty (however you want to legally put it) you apologize to me

                      If the opposite happens and Little is found not guilty (again however the courts decide) I’ll donate $5 to the Labour party (or apologize to whoever)

                      Sound good?

                  • “what exactly did little say that defamed the hagamans?”

                    He said they were chummy with National. That’s a serious insult these days.

    • McFlock 17.2


      Authority without sufficient power to gather evidence finds no evidence of wrongdoing. Fair enough.

      As for “saying stuff like this without getting sued”, it seemed pretty reasonable to me. He didn’t make an allegation, he wanted demonstrable evidence that the job of sorting the contract had been done correctly. By Hagaman’s logic, all auditors are defaming the people they audit, simply by doing their job.

    • b waghorn 17.3

      Unless every meeting between a national party member and the hagamans was being recorded it would be impossible to find evidence of A Nod And A Wink, which is the standard way of arranging dodgy deals.

      • Puckish Rogue 17.3.1

        Which you’d expect a lawyer like Little is to know that and so should have said it in the house

        Little obviously wanted some media attention over this and hes got it, not sure its the type of attention he wanted though

        • whispering kate

          Like Commissions of Enquiry with Terms of Reference which are narrow and useless, it seems the AG is also limited in what she can deliver without sufficient access to information – our watchdogs are being fenced and muzzled methinks.

        • Gabby

          You see what it is really is Earlie’s the sorta bloke who likes to dole out money to pollies and he’s the sorta bloke who governments like to chuck money at. Just one of those things.

  18. Well, with all the worrying situations above its lovely to see “the ghastly political Right fight in public and extra satisfying to have Craig and the awful Rankin fighting in public . Its better than a Tom Sharp novel. I wonder what the next revelation will be.

  19. mauī 19

    So the “independent” inquiry into the Chiefs scandal never interviewed the victim, while the “independent” witnesses were at the same bar earlier they may not have even been present where the incident took place 🙄

  20. Puckish Rogue 20

    Also well done to Lynn for fixing whatever needed to be fixed

  21. William Joyce 23

    David Bennett seems incapable of distinguishing between peaceful acts of protest in a free society and acts of terrorism. So anyone protesting the visit of a warship, a la 1980s protests, will soon be charged with terrorism?
    Yes the distinction will need to be defined in law, which requires some brain work but to ignore the distinction is an act of laziness and/or blind conservative toadyism.

    • Chooky 23.1

      +100…obviously David Bennett is a numpty w..ker who requires “brain work ” and is a “blind conservative toady”

      …lets hope he goes out next Election

  22. Chooky 24

    The Empire vs Kim Dotcom ( entrepreneurs and govt law)

    First Amendment violated. Shining a light on government abuse

    Episode 962


    “Every week Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert look at all the scandal behind the financial news headlines.

    In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the mega week in the news: from Apple’s mega tax bill to Trump’s ‘yuuuge’ visit to Mexico. They also discuss Mark Carney’s warning about “dishonest bankers” and their “misconduct” threatening another mega disaster in the financial markets.

    In the second half, Max interviews MegaUpload.com founder, Kim Dotcom (@kimdotcom) and his lawyer, Ira Rothken (@rothken), about MegaUpload 2.0 and Bitcache. They also discuss his ongoing trial against the might of the Hollywood copyright industry and the US government.”

  23. Rodel 25

    I inadvertently saw bits of Hosking and co. tonight. Some ‘prank’ about one of them having birthday. Honestly ..Do they think we are interested in their celebrity birthdays or their silly in house kiddie games? It’s so shallow and trivia driven.I want news stuff or intelligent comment about real issues..

    Personally I don’t give a toss about their self obsessed pretensions except it annoys me is that I’m paying for it. And is he still wearing those whatever splattered pants?

    I’m starting to sound Morrisyish. Grrr ..go read a book.

  24. Infused 27

    Learn to ssl

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