Open Mike 09/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 9th, 2018 - 203 comments
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203 comments on “Open Mike 09/01/2018”

  1. Ed 1

    It is possible in New Zealand to rent out squalid houses rentals .

    ‘‘Mouldy shoes, dripping windows, chesty colds and tenancy tribunal hearings were what one Auckland couple got with their Orakei rental property.
    Dana Cornes and her partner Jonathan van Campen moved into the house in early August 2017, but struggled to feel at home in what they said were damp, cold conditions that impacted on their mental, physical and financial health.
    Battling constant colds and their landlord’s reluctance to service a ventilation system led the Cornes to leaving in mid-October.’

    In a detailed article by Corazon Miller, some awful statistics are presented, caused by a lack of regulation of our housing rental industry.

    ‘Rental properties tended to be colder, and damper than owner-occupied properties with 56 per cent of rental properties showing mould, compared to 44 per cent among private homes.
    Last year a Herald report showed more children died as a result of diseases linked to cold, damp, overcrowded homes than were killed in car crashes or by drowning.
    An average 20 children die and 30,000 are hospitalised every year from preventable, housing-related diseases like asthma, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, compared to ten who died in a crash or from drowning.’

    I was outraged by these facts.

    Luckily there were enough people outraged by the previous government’s disdain for tenants and protection of greedy and selfish landlords that we voted in a new government who promised to improve rental conditions.

    The Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill is aimed to make homes warmer and drier.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11942791

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      A single quote mark – ‘ – indicates that you are paraphrasing. Since you are quoting directly, indicate it with double quote marks – “.

      Better still, educate yourself about and start using blockquote tags so that your cut ‘n’ pastes are more obvious and easier to parse.

      When you persistently make it difficult to tell which parts of your comments are authored by other people, the suspicion arises that you are doing it deliberately.

      It’s a pity that these serious issues are obscured by your rude sloppy presentation.

      • weka 1.1.1

        I agree, I really wish people would make an effort at this in the interests of communicating clearly (which is what we’re here for).

    • Ed 1.2

      More on dodgy landlords.

      “The country’s student union is blasting Wellington landlords for allegedly taking advantage of desperate students.
      The Union of Students’ Association has had reports of rents being hiked in Wellington after the Government boosted students’ living costs.
      “We have heard reports particularly here in Wellington that some landlords are taking the opportunity to increase rents because of that $50 increase,” says president Jonathan Gee.”

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/01/landlords-reportedly-hiking-rents-after-students-living-costs-increase.htmle

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        Your link is broken. This one works.

        Landlords can hardly deny this is happening…

        816 landlords answered a New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation survey and 73.6 per cent said they would increase rents…

        Pretty sure Twyford said he’d be keeping an eye on this.

        • James 1.2.1.1

          It was always going to happen.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1.1

            The interesting part is to what degree it’s happening. If landlords lift rents above people’s ability to pay, at least some of those people will end up being housed at lower rents by HNZ.

            This (at least in theory) should provide downward pressure on rents.

            There’s also the possibility that these actions, far from being a response to market forces are, as Twyford says, “politically motivated and self serving”. A spiteful reaction to seeing Dear Leader lose the election.

            In any event, at least the National Party won’t be able to simply make people homeless anymore.

            • james 1.2.1.1.1.1

              “politically motivated and self serving”

              I doubt there is much (if any) political motivation in this at all. Self Serving for sure – but its not like they didnt indicate that this would be the response in advance.

              of course it might just be a commercial reaction to this governments plans for rentals and the state of the market – when there are a lot less rentals – you can charge more for them:

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/98941556/wellington-could-be-heading-for-its-worst-rental-crisis-ever-property-experts-warn

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                *fewer

                A self-selected group times a negative – almost retaliatory one might say – press release about NZLP policy one week before a general election.

                Keep telling yourself there’s nothing political about that.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    It’s been one of the problems with accommodation supplement as well.

                    Government says they will increase by $30-00 per week.

                    Landlord puts rent up by $30-00 per week.

                    Tenant now worse off by $9-00 per week because it’s only a 70% subsidy to the person being paid it.

                    The subsidisation of rents should never have been opened up to people not on benefit in the 90’s.

                    Elderly people I know says the same thing happens with the lawn mowing and gardening. The government announces an increase and the person doing the lawns puts their price up to match.

                    In many cases the persons other medical costs have increased as well so the person is again worse off and doesn’t benefit from the increase at all.

                    Profiteering at the expense of the poor and elderly.

                    • Profiteering at the expense of the poor and elderly.

                      That’s always been the case. They just get even more help from the government to do so now.

                      Never mind that it’s the taxpayers paying for their profit.

            • savenz 1.2.1.1.1.2

              @AOB – What HNZ rentals??? Huge waiting list at HNZ which has put low income people into the private sector rentals where they don’t belong or in more costly emergency housing like motels or without a rental at all and homeless. As far as I’m aware most students don’t get HNZ rentals anyway unless they have other issues like being a single parent or disabled.

              New legislation on rentals was always going to increase the cost of rentals. I have an elderly relative who has some rentals and he has them managed. It has cost him hundreds of dollars just on smoke alarms and a firm to manage maintaining them. It’s thousands for the insulation. Personally I think that mandatory smoke alarms are a good idea, but apparently they need to last 8 years etc etc so many people have to throw out the existing ones and redo it. Many of the ideas are ok, until they get to the legislation and practical reality, then it is as cumbersome as possible. Insulation for example – read a new tenancy application and work out how much work it would be to certify the insulation for each room and then do that each tenancy. Then look at the P legislation which is so complicated and impractical it’s causing evictions, empty houses and massive amounts of money and rentals being empty while being ‘decontaminated’. It’s not good for tenants or landlords having it that way.

              They should have incorporated the shortage into the situation like only having rents over $400 p/w have to be insulated etc so that there was still some reason for cheap rentals to be available. The reality is, that if it is too expensive to run a rental for the amount of rent and improvements needed, then the landlord will not rent the property. For most people it is better to have a roof over there heads than not having a roof at all and the “disgusting cold damp” villas seemed to do the job for the silent and boomer generations where nobody have even heard of insulation.

              A lot of people posting seemed to have zero idea the costs of getting tradespeople out to do work on houses (if you can get them) which in many cases will not be worth it for the amount of work required to upgrade them for renting. I think ED posted that 45 – 55% of houses are damp in NZ so that’s a lot of houses that need upgrading and it seems highly likely that the cost will be passed on to renters. If you had a rental in the wops returning a small rent with difficult tenants, would you really want to spend $25,000 on upgrading it, or will you just sell it? Apparently some of the small towns that have the least rentals now.

              One of the most popular houses for renting on bookabach is uninsulated, being a simple log cabin. Not everyone is as exited by insulation as the bureaucrats.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                What HNZ rentals? The ones that the NZLP has promised (and has a track record to match) to build.

                Can they fix the National Party’s deliberate sadistic vandalism overnight? Hardly. Personally I’d approach the housing crisis by declaring a state of emergency and requisitioning ghost houses.

                But I’m not the NZLP, and they intend to increase state housing stock, and this will provide downward pressure on rents.

        • Ed 1.2.1.2

          Thank you for fixing the link.
          I think I accidentally typed the letter e after the link.

        • alwyn 1.2.1.3

          Of course, as you say, “Twyford said he’d be keeping an eye on this”.
          The problem is that the poor fellow hasn’t the faintest idea what he is supposed to do. Life in Government isn’t nearly as easy as it seems from the Opposition benches.

          What Phil is now doing is the opposite of Lord Nelson’s action at the Battle of Copenhagen.
          Phil has raised his telescope to his blind eye and announced ‘Nothing to see here, time to move on’
          Nelson of course did it because he wished to be more aggressive. Phil is doing it because he wants to hide.
          Don’t expect any action out of him.

          I have heard that Phil has been using his time to rewrite the history of the New Zealand Labour Party. I thought that John A Lee was kicked out of the Party for attacking then leader Michael Joseph Savage for not being suitably Socialist. According to Phil it was because “John A LEE must have been Chinese and they didn’t allow Chinese people into the Party”

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.3.1

            I have heard that you and Tanz have animal husbandry sessions together, or is that a flaccid partisan smear, just like yours?

            A piece of dogshit in a suit would do a better job than Nick Smith or anyone else the National Party can muster.

            So Twyford can hardly help but be a vast improvement. It’s just a pity he will have to spend so much time cleaning up the incontinent mess you voted for.

            • alwyn 1.2.1.3.1.1

              I actually find that I agree with part of each of these paragraphs.

              I can agree with “is that a flaccid partisan smear”. Well yes it is but you seem fond of saying such things.

              “A piece of dogshit in a suit would do a better job than Nick Smith”. Certainly. It is long past time for him to go.

              “Twyford can hardly help”. Quite true. He simply isn’t much use for anything is he?

              The rest of the words you used were, I’m sorry to have to say, total rubbish.
              As I’m sure you Primary School teacher no doubt wrote on your Report.
              “Must try harder”

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Yep, but then he also said: “a very lazy person whose true ability is reflected by his exam results.”

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.2.1.4

          Young relatives renting in Nelson have just been asked to front a 16% rent increase after 12 months of renting – and the current rent is by no means cheap. No improvement in the house – just greedy grabbing because they think they can.

          We need to legislate rent controls urgently. I think that allowing this type of gouging does little to encourage people to build more houses – just inflates the price of the existing ones.

      • McFlock 1.2.2

        Student landlords are some of the worst.

        My niece was looking at a campus-area flat, the landlord immediately grew nervous when her parents came in as well. “It’s an old flat”. Fair call – but the mould around the sink bench was pretty old, too. The guy didn’t even clean between tenants.

        Aaaaaand being a kid, the niece still moved in despite advice. Parasites feeding on the young and inexperienced.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.1

          …also, the ways in which inexperience (ie: young landlord) can lead to parasitism, “but I’m a nice person!”

          Predictable outcomes in such an unregulated market.

          • eco maori 1.2.2.1.1

            The first words of this post is to show the trolls who assumed that I got beat when I was a child and that all of us Maori culture people treasure our children and Moko.
            I have never called anyone a white honkey this is what I was called .
            Are your sandfly m8 putting the presser on you trolls to try and damage my Mana .Because all you trolls do is attack my post and everyone else can see this plan as day Ana to kai .
            And it is obvious that the second part is to highlight the plight of OUR ladys and to support the cause of Equality for all . Its good having the trolls this give us all the dum ass neoliberal views. Don’t they know that we can read there intentions just by the way they write .

            I say Opra Winfrey would make a excellent candidate for President big yes from ECO MAORI . Ka kite ano

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.1.1.1

              I have never called anyone a white honkey this is what I was called

              That’s what I thought you were saying – thanks.

              If the ‘sandflies’ (I think that means the cops, or the establishment) start trying to tell me what to do I’ll let you know. Anything else is my own bias.

              I like your comments, although they take a bit of getting used to. So does Shakespeare 😉

            • red-blooded 1.2.2.1.1.2

              Don’t feel hassled, eco maori – those of us who are used to your comments knew what you were saying. James (deliberately?) misunderstood and he has his own motives for that.

  2. eco maori 2

    Now I said that I did not get hit when I was a child our grown ups did not beat our young .But I did see some pissed men beat there partners this upset me I would go hide and when the verbal abuse started white honky I would go hide outside alcohol was part of the equation in both scenarios .
    Many Thanks to Oprah Winfrey for supporting the ladys who have spoken out about there abuse by men and for Equality for all people Ka pai heres a link to her story at the Golden Globes.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11971476
    And heres a link to Natalie Portmans support for the good cause Ka pai

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11971505

    Ka kite ano

    • James 2.1

      You say equality for all people but use a racist term like white honkey.

      • red-blooded 2.1.1

        He also said this was verbal abuse! Read the comment rather than just responding to the two words you find objectionable.

        • James 2.1.1.1

          I did read it. It’s pretty hard to make sense of.

          Regardless – dosnt make using that term ok – or are you ok with people using racist terms?

          [you’re on a left aligned political blog. The onus is on you to (a) make an effort to understand someone’s comment rather than just having a go, and (b) to understand political arguments around issues like race so you can argue against them (if that’s what you want to do). All I see is you trolling. Up your game, because this is getting tedious – weka]

          • solkta 2.1.1.1.1

            Fuck you’re feeble this morning.

          • Molly 2.1.1.1.2

            If it is hard for you to make sense of, why arrogantly assume that you have comprehended enough to make comment?

          • weka 2.1.1.1.3

            moderator note for your attention.

            • james 2.1.1.1.3.1

              Got it – Thank you.

              In fairness – I have tried to understand the original post in which the comment was made. It is hard to understand, but from what I could take out from it it was the ‘white honky’ who was the perpetrator of the verbal abuse.

              There is really no excuse for the term – whilst its no as offensive (or have the same horrific background) as other racial slurs – it is still one.

              Racial slurs against anybody are not OK – and Im kind of shocked that others seem to think that it is OK.

              • Molly

                If you did not understand, then you ask for clarity before expressing your opinion.

                That is, if you are truly engaged in honest discussions.

                You defend bypassing that point – without any self-reflection.

              • weka

                What Molly said.

                Think about it. If you don’t understand someone’s comment how can you reasonably respond to it? Better to walk away.

                And your trolling wasn’t one comment or even one thread.

            • Union city greens 2.1.1.1.3.2

              Surely what ever the context of a post, and despite it being a troll who rightfully in my opinion calls it out, “white honkey” should be treated the same as the N word and other racial slurs.
              It’s going to be a clear double standard in moderating if some idiot uses slope, chink, monkey etc in a post and gets pulled up and banned for it.

              Wouldn’t it just be best to remove the term used above and warn that all racial derogatives are unacceptable in their usage here?

              • One Two

                It is a proverbial fault in the mindset…

                Some slurs are ‘acceptable’…

                Positive change becomes stunted when such mindsets waived on…

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The ‘n’ word and the other epithets you mention do real harm. I’m not sure the same can be said of “honky”: it – like “pale, male, stale” doesn’t exacerbate or validate any systemic disadvantage.

                Can we agree that whether it’s “offensive” or not is irrelevant?

                • Union city greens

                  I don’t doubt that it’s not as offensive, to some, as the N word, but it isn’t meant as a term of endearment.
                  It’s a term that carries a negative impact, based on skin colour, and for me is therefore just as unacceptable to use, especially here where equality should be the goal of all left wingers.

                  Pale, male and stale is not really a concern, but permitting the usage of white honkey, clearly race hate speech, does the standard no favours.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    How offensive it is has no relevance. Some people get all whiny at “wingnut”.

                    According to a strict definition of racism, ‘honky’ isn’t racist, because it carries no implications of biologically determined superiority. Whether it has a negative impact depends entirely on context at the individual level.

                    I’m glad I’m not required to make a moderation ruling on the subject 🙂

                    • Union city greens

                      I get what you’re saying, but honkey was prefixed with white.
                      If that’s allowed, than any insult proceeded by brown, yellow etc are the same.

                      I wouldn’t accept that here, would you?

              • Bill

                I’d remove such comments and possibly ban off the back of it. (It depends.)

                Thing you seem to be missing about racism is that it’s used by the powerful (or those associated with the powerful) against the less powerful or powerless (or those associated with being less powerful or powerless)

                So “white honky” then, is a ineffectual slur. Nothing more.

                • Union city greens

                  I’m not powerful, and you’re not powerless, so Is Irish honkey okay? Or green wog?

                  • Bill

                    You can no doubt make up some combination of shit that is never used that will press a “you’ve fucked me off now” button by and by.

                    Not sure you want to do that, but hey.

                    edit – and if you think power as expressed by the relative position of moderator/commenter on a blog is indicative of social relations, I suggest you go away and have a think about things.

                    • Union city greens

                      I don’t respect you, or accept your authority over me at all.
                      You’ve shown yourself to be biased and unfair on numerous occasions. You’re neither balanced or equitable.
                      You know full well nothing I say or do will have any affect on the outcome you seek whatsoever. Seems like your often observed bias gives you a pre disposition to punish those who you can’t beat or control and protect or gratify those you support or those who pay you lip service.

                      I’m not ceding to you, so do what you want. 🙂

                    • Bill

                      Jolly. Feel all the better for that do you? 🙂

                    • Union city greens

                      Not as good as you, I bet, when you click than ban button and close down debate and silence dissenting voices.

                      Ouch. lol

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    As someone who’s been on the receiving end of Bill’s bans more than once, I sympathise with your feelings, and on this occasion I think you’re flat wrong.

                    I don’t think you’re giving the counter-argument much thought.

                    ‘Honky’ isn’t equivalent to white supremacist rhetoric, because of the power imbalance. The answer to your question is a question: does this rhetoric enable or support white supremacy?

                    Because white supremacy is a thing. Being called a honky isn’t.

                    • Union city greens

                      My opinion on Bill is set in granite. There is no wriggle room available.

                      As regards ‘white honky’ not being equal to supremacist rhetoric, sure, I’ve said as much up thread and accept the distinction.
                      I respect your right to your opinion, for you to call me wrong, though ultimately I do disagree with your conclusion for the following reason.

                      The points being made (obviously unsuccessfully) is allowing race based slurs, what ever the degree of offensiveness, perceived or otherwise, regardless of who posts them, is not a road the standard needs to be travelling.
                      Moderating one instance of race based insults differently from another, based on the skin colour of the victim or abuser, is an ill thought out, backwards misstep and nowhere the predominant left wing site in NZ needs to be.

                      I’m okay with being in a minority (no pun intended) on this issue, but I do ask fellow lefties to think about it before they post any race based insults or slurs.

                      Thanks.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Fair enough: it’s probably easier from a moderation perspective to excise all such terms rather than parsing the context every time. I note that this is exactly what Bill proposes (above at 3:39pm).

                      The context is important to the debate though, especially when the context is James paying lip service to human rights.

                    • Union city greens

                      James is a right wing troll playing games with posters with a paucity of foresight and self control. He’s irrelevant, especially to the topic at hand.

                      I agree it would be best if moderators acted uniformly across the board, but if that isn’t going to happen, as it appears it won’t seeing as the comment is still there and no ‘please explain’ has been issued, then it must be a collective conscious effort to ensure this doesn’t become the norm.

              • Molly

                There has been numerous debates here about context and privilege and racial slurs, and it may be of worth in this discussion if you can go back and read some of them.

                Many regular authors and commenters have comprehensively explained why there is a marked difference in naming racism when it is practiced by those in power, compared to those without.

                Just for ease of search, one of my comments on a December post may give a different perspective to you. (But as mentioned, many others here are very good at explaining. OAB is trying in this thread, but it is not apparent that you are taking time to read and consider what he is saying before hitting reply.)

                Quoting myself – do I use quotes? – 👿

                “I think you may be acutely aware of the “picking on white men”, because it is not often demographics in acknowledged positions of power get to experience what it is to be considered in terms primarily of race or gender – rather than as an individual.

                But this happens consistently for people of colour and females.

                I understand that those who use the term, often use it as a call to those in power – most usually – white males – to consider their privilege.

                When those people in power – or those who are looking to acquire it – lump all women, māori or LGBT people together, they are reinforcing their status – not acknowledging the disparity.

                Both the intent and the consequences are different.

                A child telling their parent to go to their room, has only the words to call attention to bad behaviour. The parent carries the authority, emotional and physical power to enforce compliance.

                Therein lies the difference you seek.”

                • Union city greens

                  I see up thread the white honkey remark has been explained as a received abusive insult, which obviously has had a lasting effect on the recipient. Shame.
                  But regardless of that, thanks for the post.

                  I, like all decent left leaning people, welcome the exposing and eradication of white/male privilege, in fact all privilige. It’s part of the job description, isn’t it?
                  But this isn’t a white privilege type incident, it a race based insult let loose and unchecked.
                  A google search of honky gives “a derogatory term used by black people for a white person or for white people collectively.” and the wiki https://www.google.com/search?q=honky&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b “a racist, derogatory word for white people”

                  I’m happy to let it go, but think there are no valid reasons for allowing or excusing this sort of comment on the standard.
                  Said my bit, so will still leave it up for the community to sort itself out.

                  • Molly

                    Thanks for the reply, unioncitygreens. But a final point to make….

                    “Surely what ever the context of a post, and despite it being a troll who rightfully in my opinion calls it out, “white honkey” should be treated the same as the N word and other racial slurs.”

                    The N word has historical implications of slavery, the regard of people as property – ie. a thing, not human and when used – both emotively and viscerally brings up those associations.

                    The term “white honkey” – even if as you say is a derogatory term, calls to my mind – for some reason – a European guy in flared trousers and a wide brimmed hat.

                    The intent of the first is to belittle and deny personhood. The consequence of universal use of this term can be viewed in history, and it is all bad.

                    The intent of the second is usually to say “your perspective is white, and you are not seeing our lived experience”. The consequence of universal use of this this term is discomfort, which unfortunately may lead to violence. But that violence is often perpetrated by those who feel the discomfort – not those calling them out.

                    I used to have difficulty understanding the concept that racism can not be practised by minorities, and while I still find the phrasing simplistic, I find that it is not as hard to grasp as before.

                    Looking at context, intent and consequences goes a long way to help provide differentiation.

  3. Ed 3

    Climate change is impacting on New Zealand’s weather patterns.
    Expect more storms, expect more flooding,

    But don’t worry New Zealand you’re going to get some nice summers.

    Now go back to sleep.

    Keep buying your iPhones
    Keep eating your steaks
    Keep driving your urban 4wds
    Keep taking your international holidays
    Buy
    Consume
    And go back to sleep.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/100309777/why-extreme-weather-is-the-new-norm

    • Stunned Mullet 3.1

      OK zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Typed that up on a computer you made yourself out of flax, did you?

      • lprent 3.2.1

        Flax? Far too sophisticated, technologically challenging, and quite inappropriate for his profound temporal ignorance.

        I think it was more likely to be of some form of wattle and daub construction with strong (and pungent) glue of his prolific crap to match his sustained DIY effect in constructing his unmatched bullshit.

        //——

        Yeah we are going to get more extreme weather. This will result in some extreme insurance rates. But Ed’s list of woes bears little to no relationship to the actual major drivers of climate change. Where is the electricity generation, the manufacture of concrete, pollution of the oceans causing degradation of the sequestration mechanisms, and the deforestation?

        Instead Ed concentrates on the relatively innocuous (apart from the air travel) because of his unsuspected (ny himself) ideological bigotries and because he is too lazy to spend time to actually understand the topic that he is talking about. Almost a parody of concern….

        • Ed 3.2.1.1

          That hit a nerve.

          If you have read my posts on climate change , you will see I reference our whole economic system as the problem.
          And yes, as a society, we are asleep to the severity of the various crises we are facing as a result of climate change.
          And I fear our reaction will be too little too late.
          Clearly you don’t believe me.
          Listen to Dr Kevin Anderson, Naomi Klein, George Monbiot.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1.1

            Clearly you don’t believe me.

            🙄

            *opens popcorn*

          • Union city greens 3.2.1.1.2

            How do you feel? Knowing the site admin has called you for

            “his unsuspected (ny himself) ideological bigotries and because he is too lazy to spend time to actually understand the topic that he is talking about”

        • francesca 3.2.1.2

          Surely those drivers are underpinned by a consumer society / doctrine of endless growth
          .Plastic (in most cases the detritus of consumer goods packaging) in the ocean, agricultural run off resulting in dead zones, are the major causes of sea pollution
          The vast areas of the Earth now given over to meat production has hugely driven deforestation, soil degradation and erosion, and methane release.
          What is driving increases in energy consumption?
          In a global economy that is dependent on eternal growth, needs are eclipsed by wants, to drive eternal consumption

        • Andre 3.2.1.3

          I always find mention of concrete with respect to climate change an interesting topic.

          At the moment, yes it is a huge contributor to current anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Around 5% by most credible looking estimates. Around half of that is from burning coal for process heat, and around half is the CO2 given off during the calcination process in making the cement.

          But some of the CO2 given off during calcination gets reabsorbed back into the concrete over its lifetime, maybe decades or centuries.

          When we get to the point of requiring zero carbon emissions, the process heat requirements can easily be supplied by renewable electricity. The CO2 given off during calcination should be easy to capture, and hopefully a variety of viable sequestering methods will become available for the various cement-making locations around the world.

          So with a combination of renewables supplying the process heat and sequestering the CO2 from calcination, concrete production has the potential to go from being a large emitter to being a smallish slow-but-steady carbon sink.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.3.1

            Without googling the specifics, the life-span of concrete is something in the order of 50-100 years, which surely renders it useless as a viable carbon sink.

            • Andre 3.2.1.3.1.1

              The CO2 is absorbed as a carbonation reaction in the concrete, so it’s permanently sequestered. When a concrete structure is demolished and crushed, it actually increases the absorption rate by increasing the surface area to volume ratio, and shortening the path length from the surface to uncarbonated concrete.

              http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/cement-soaks-greenhouse-gases

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Aha! Thanks 🙂

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                PS: have concrete manufacturers cottoned on to this? I guess it means their ETS bill is too high…

                • Andre

                  A few thoughts come to mind:

                  On the off-chance they haven’t thought of it, DON’T give them ideas.

                  Going from paying 5/8 of fuck-all to 3/8 of fuck-all is still fuck-all difference.

                  Aren’t they one of the industries that basically got given a free pass anyway?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Don’t think so.

                    …and I think the ETS should be scrapped and replaced by a carbon tax, which should accurately reflect carbon footprints, and that carbon footprints should be calculated according to the facts.

                    If Zhu Liu et al stands up to further study why shouldn’t it be part of those calculations?

                    PS: it looks like leaks from natural gas facilities and fracking contribute a lot more atmospheric methane that previously understood. I think farmers should be making noises about this with regard to their own liabilities too (once they start taking responsibility for them, that is).

                    • Andre

                      Yeah, you’re right. I have a serious kneejerk reaction to industries that are still major coal users.

                      In any case, looks to me like crediting for slow sequestering being done some time in the future at a variable rate is a conversation that can comfortably wait until we have a carbon pricing scheme that’s got enough teeth to actually affect business decisions.

                      There’s gnarly questions like do you apply a different rate to concrete used in a hydro dam that’s tens of metres thick and may be there for centuries and won’t be fully carbonated for millenia, vs concrete used in porous paver slabs where it all happens in years? Whereas the emissions are happening now and affecting people and climate now.

                      But if the industry gets serious about emissions and eliminates fossil fuels, and starts capturing and sequestering CO2 from calcination, then I’ll start getting enthusiastic about crediting them for their product sequestering CO2 into the future.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …and by the time it winds its way through the courts it’ll be 2060 anyway.

                      Which brings us (uncomfortably) back to Bill’s point about time running out.

    • cleangreen 3.3

      Ed

      Classic troll remarks from James yet again.

      We all must ignore his/her’s input as useless information as usual.

      “ignorance is bliss” is the usual to James and his/her’s ilk.

      • Ed 3.3.1

        I am ignoring commentators like him.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.2

        And yet here you both are, talking about him 🙄

        • patricia bremner 3.3.2.1

          Those remarks are cruel and cutting OAB and Iprent. Where is your meaningful contribution? Or is cutting personal comments it?

          As a concerned layperson I would like to know more than I do about climate change. I notice rude and precious remarks if any but a few comment here about their concerns regarding weather or climate.

          We are all at different levels of ability, and impatient sarcasm is rather grating in this arena. Googling provides a variety of opinions and facts, sometimes leading to more confusion not less.

          Ed is saying we are asleep at the wheel. Well the open letters from scientists warning us of the growing dangers in the human element of climate change seem to support his view. They appear desperate to awaken us.

          So I wonder why you try to close such discussion down with your withering attacks? Now I am probably going to get a nasty spray.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.2.1.1

            I can’t speak for Lprent. For my part, I think that sloppy presentation of dubious assertions is an easy target for opposition talking points and ridicule.

            This obscures and hampers informed argument and opinion, and makes substantive positive change less likely.

            So the reason I give Ed a serve is because I think his behaviour ‘comforts the enemy’.

          • Ed 3.3.2.1.2

            Thank you Patricia.
            I was surprised by the hostility of the comments I received.
            New Zealand is still incredibly complacent about the severity of the impacts climate change will have and seems unwilling to make any sacrifices to mitigate those effects.
            I find quite a few people in this site ( and not just the predictable trolls) seem to want to stop discussion of this subject.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.2.1.2.1

              Red herrings, non-sequiturs, and poorly-presented cut ‘n’ paste jobs don’t facilitate discussion, they obscure and divert it.

            • Wensleydale 3.3.2.1.2.2

              Don’t be surprised, Ed. You’ll swiftly become accustomed to it. A noxious brew of snark and pretentiousness is the beverage of choice for some folk. Once you learn to tune them out, you’ll find your time here improves immeasurably.

              • Ed

                It says Open Mike.
                I am keen to share stories from the news that I believe are important.

                Some of these are

                Climate change.
                NZ’s environment and waterways
                A plant based diet, climate change and ‘speciesism’
                Alcohol’s impact on New Zealand
                The connection between neoliberalism and so many of the crises facing New Zealand – inequality, obesity, housing, ….

                • Wensleydale

                  Sure. It’s Open Mike. Fill your boots, mate. Just be aware the fact it’s Open Mike doesn’t preclude the possibility of you being dog-piled for any one of a number of spurious reasons.

                  Courtesy of Urban Dictionary: Dogpile

                  “A disagreement on an Internet message board wherein one person says something wrong or offensive, and a large number of people comment in response to tell the person how wrong and/or horrible they are, and continue to disparage the original commenter beyond any reasonable time limit.”

                  Welcome to the Interwebs! Have fun and stay safe.

                • cleangreen

                  Please keep on doing that So often I really enjoy your thoughtful agle they are ‘thought provoking.’

                  We all attract viperous comments form the right here as t is hurting them so much they just need to lash out.

                  Consider it a win to provoke the ire.

                  National hate it when the truth hurts and it is a lot now.

                  So National pundits here clearly hate talking about environmental climate change and All related subjects.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.2.1.3

            The best serious source for Climatology is Real Climate, authored by Climate scientists, and presented for more of a ‘lay’ audience than peer-reviewed material.

            If you’re looking for something a bit more in-depth, Prof. David Archer’s free undergraduate level course “Climate 101” isn’t available any more, but all the lectures and course materials are. If you’re interested in the science of AGW I highly recommend having a good look at them 🙂

            • patricia bremner 3.3.2.1.3.1

              Thank you OAB, I will take a close interest.

              • Carolyn_nth

                I do think ed takes up a lot of commenting space, with a lot of comments, without adding a lot of depth to the discussion – just seems like attention getting. I tend to scroll past a lot of them.

                Fewer comments with more thought behind them would add more to the discussion.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Incidentally, some of the early lectures are very good primers on Quantum Mechanics, mostly because Prof. Archer is a ‘layperson’ in QM.

          • Andre 3.3.2.1.4

            Ed irritates the shit out of me, too. Because he keeps spamming us with the same stuff over and over and over again. On the rare occasions he points to something new, he’s generally not particularly discriminating about sources, just copying and pasting screeds of stuff from someone ‘interpreting’ for a wider audience. Usually the new interesting stuff backed by credible science gets posted here by someone else directly watching the credible sources.

            Those links posted by OAB are good. My fave is Skeptical Science, that features in the sidebar quite a bit. They have good easy-to-find sections about the history of understanding climate, faqs about bullshit denier arguments etc.

            • cleangreen 3.3.2.1.4.1

              Hey Ed the trolls are out in force today are they waiting again for another full moon?

  4. Ed 4

    Like Rachel Stewart, I’m as mad as hell about the state of our waterways.

    ‘Can’t wait to see what the new Govt’s gonna’ do about water. Because whatever it is, the public have reached their limit. No bigger mandate for action than that.,’

    I am like 75 percent of New Zealanders , who are extremely or very concerned about the pollution of our waterways.’

    Like Martin Taylor of Fish and Game, I’m outraged by the state of our waterways.

    ‘”When you can’t swim in Lake Taupō because of the toxic alert it remains in front of the public eye.
    “When you have to cancel an international sporting event in Taupō because of water quality, when Lake Ellesmere is so toxic that it’s going to kill your pet – it will remain in the public eye,” he said.
    Mr Taylor said 2018 needed to be the year of change from both the government and the corporate dairy industry.

    https://t.co/wbEq4Et762?amp=1

    • James 4.1

      Jesus a outraged and mad as hell all by 8am – you really did wake up in the wrong side of the bed.

      Try having a nice coffee and a chill pill.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Mr Taylor said 2018 needed to be the year of change from both the government and the corporate dairy industry.

      Those are not your own words, yet you present them as though they are. That’s called “plagiarism”. You may recall paying lip service to IP rights when the National Party stole Eminem’s property the way you just stole RNZ’s

      • Ed 4.2.1

        I missed the quote marks. That was an accident.
        You will note I use them if you read my posts .

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          You know exactly what I think of your lazy, rude, counterproductive attitude to comment formatting.

          • francesca 4.2.1.1.1

            Goodness me!
            Sounds like a parody of a school report
            Ed’s posts can be seen as opening up a discussion about the drivers of climate change.
            You attempt to shut him down on grounds of grammar

            • Ed 4.2.1.1.1.1

              To continue the conversation about what we can do about mitigating climate change.
              My source is Wikipedia.

              “Lifestyle and behavior
              The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report emphasises that behaviour, lifestyle and cultural change have a high mitigation potential in some sectors, particularly when complementing technological and structural change. In general, higher consumption lifestyles have a greater environmental impact. Several scientific studies have shown that when people, especially those living in developed countries but more generally including all countries, wish to reduce their carbon footprint, there are four key “high-impact” actions they can take:

              1. Not having an additional child (58.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent emission reductions per year)
              2. Living car-free (2.4 tonnes CO2)
              3. Avoiding one round-trip transatlantic flight (1.6 tonnes)
              4. Eating a plant-based diet (0.8 tonnes)

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_mitigation

            • james 4.2.1.1.1.2

              or they can be seen as “prolific crap to match his sustained DIY effect in constructing his unmatched bullshit.”

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1.1.3

              I’m not trying to shut him down. I’m trying to get him to format his comments so that they’re clearer and more legible, because right now all they do is get in the way.

            • One Two 4.2.1.1.1.4

              I agree with you, francesca…

              OAB clearly lacks self awareness, self control and self discipline…

              As can be witnessed through the bullying, stalker tactics employed on a daily basis, against ‘the enemy’…

              Despite being banned and called out as an abusive bully on a regular basis, OAB relentlessly continues on, essentially using the same approach OAB accuses and ‘ridicules’ Ed and others for using by ‘stifling debate’

              Projection, hypocrisy and abuse are the primary ‘weapons’ of choice

        • James 4.2.1.2

          They arnt really ‘your post’ are they? They are normally just great big cut and paste jobs of others work or comment with little to no value add.

          • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1.2.1

            Well, bugger me, irritating gadfly James makes lateral slide and supports one anonymous bloke with ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.

            Gonna be a great year!

  5. Ed 5

    On Twitter

    ‘I can’t wait for the @Fonterra tv advert where they mention that they are the 2nd biggest user of coal in #NZ.’

    https://mobile.twitter.com/threeboysbrew

  6. cleangreen 6

    Thanks again Ed for waking the sleepy hobbits up to the reality that we all are wrecking our future and our kids and grand-kids too.

    At least Shane Jones has vowed to reopen the Napier/Wairoa section of our East coast railway again now.

    Reducing many trucks from overusing our energy and polluting our planet with 5 times the emissions that rail would do carting the same freight the same distance.

    http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/3171835-135/minister-promises-talks-with-wairoa-on

    Minister promises talks with Wairoa on rail line
    by Ann Revington, Wairoa Star Published: January 8, 2018 11:00AM

    IT WILL be a red letter day for Wairoa when the Napier to Wairoa rail line is reopened, Minister of Forestry Shane Jones said in Parliament.
    His words came during the second reading of the Wairoa Treaty Settlement bill.
    “For the people of Wairoa who whakapapa to this area, I want to make you this promise,” he said.
    “That the provincial fund regional development minister, delegated KiwiRail authority, is coming to talk with the regional council to reopen the railway from Wairoa to Napier.”
    Mr Jones said when that happened, they would make a tremendous day of it.
    “The challenges for these groups in provincial New Zealand do not diminish just because we are affirming both the ills and the course of our history, but they carry on well after the passage of this legislation.”
    Twelve members from both sides of the House spoke in support during the second reading of Te Iwi and Hapu of Te Rohe o Te Wairoa Claims Settlement Bill.
    The bill’s first reading for the fourth-largest settlement in the country was on March 14.
    The second reading related to the settlement — and an apology — of a treaty claim by iwi and hapu of Te Rohe o Te Wairoa, where the Crown recognised the iwi and hapu of Te Rohe o Te Wairoa had long sought to right the injustices they had suffered at the hands of the Crown, and was deeply sorry that it had failed until now to address the injustices appropriately.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Another one who can’t attribute other people’s work.

      I doubt anyone who reads The Standard qualifies as a “sleepy hobbit”.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        …and the rude lazy ones need to start paying more attention to the reply button, as well as basic facts.

    • Ed 6.2

      Thanks for you support clean green.
      As you say, the sleepy hobbits need to wake up.

    • patricia bremner 6.3

      Great news Cleangreen.

    • Hopefully they’ll reopen it and start the electrification of it as well. If they do that then the boost in employment and training would be massive and hugely beneficial.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    An excellent piece from John King describing the growing (forgive the pun) movement of “Regenerative Farming” in Australia.

    Hard lessons taught by Nature have forced a rethink…

    “Why do farmers leave behind science, support, and certainty of modern advice to do what is considered counter-intuitive?

    Rob Rex charged into chemical farming in the mid 80s when no-till was all the rage in Western Australia. Within 10 years he was fighting new production problems but it wasn’t until he took a break at his holiday house at Walpole River that it really hit home. The family loved to go down and pull mud oysters from the estuary, filling up a super sack in 30 minutes to cook at home. But that all changed in 95 when after a wet winter every oyster was dead, along with freshwater prawns. What frustrates him is how other farmers have a salesman mentality – once anything runs down the creek it’s gone.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/100415866/john-king-farmers-who-flip-back-to-nature

  8. Whispering Kate 8

    Phew this page is doing my head in this morning. Surely all comments about climate change, whether they be academic or emotional should be accepted with the grace they have been submitted. The situation of planet earth is dire and we should be all trying to do our bit to right the wrongs this planet is suffering from.

    Stop trying to interrupt the flow of discussion with your nit picking about cutting and pasting and other such drivel – its counter productive – and it sounds like there are some on this site who don’t think there is anything toxic going on with the climate at all the way they are nit picking which is a real worry all on its own.

    • Ed 8.1

      Thank you Kate.
      I was surprised by the ferocity of the comments I received.
      New Zealand is still incredibly complacent about the severity of the impacts climate change will have and seems unwilling to make any sacrifices to mitigate those effects.

    • red-blooded 8.2

      I don’t think OAB or others are deniers, WK. They seem pretty clued up about climate. They shouldn’t be so negative and personal when responding to someone who’s putting his concerns in front of us, though. After all, that’s what the Open Mike section is for.

      Ed, I do think it would help you to avoid this kind of negativity if you looked at how to give people links without cutting and pasting big sections of text. There’s advice about this on the FAQ section of the site. This can also help with things like using italics (which is a good way of making it clear when you are quoting). I found this sections of the site really useful when I wanted to improve my formatting.

      • Ed 8.2.1

        I know how to do this but I find it hard to do off a mobile phone.

        • james 8.2.1.1

          Ed says “Now go back to sleep.

          Keep buying your iPhones”

          then

          “I know how to do this but I find it hard to do off a mobile phone.”

          The irony is strong in this one

          • cleangreen 8.2.1.1.1

            Go back to sleep James you irritate us all.

            People the temperature in Sydney in the 8th was a record 47.3c

            That is climate change now presenting the truth.

            • James 8.2.1.1.1.1

              He tells us not to do one thing – while doing the exact thing he told us not to.

              That’s not me bein sleepy – that’s just ,well, DUH

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1.2

          …but making it harder for everyone else to read, that’s just fine, eh. Don’t go putting yourself to any effort, whatever you do 🙄

          • Ed 8.2.1.2.1

            I try to use quote marks.
            Any chance you could lay off the aggro?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1.2.1.1

              When you start formatting comments so they’re legible, pertinent and contain some original material, I’ll stop asking you to improve their format, relevance and accuracy. If you find that aggressive I’d hate to think what would happen if I started criticising you, rather than your behaviour.

          • Whispering Kate 8.2.1.2.2

            You speak for yourself, I don’t find him difficult to understand. Not everybody has to be a policy wonk/geek/arrogant academic/pedantic in this world to contribute to this page or people like Ed who contribute.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1.2.2.1

              No-one is obliged to take my advice whatsoever. I’m not alone in my opinion of Ed’s contributions – cf: Lprent Andre and Carolyn’s remarks above, and R/B’s advice to match my own.

              Over the last few weeks, Ed and his groupies have taken to calling me a right wing climate denying troll. If you think that’s going to just pass by unremarked you’re sadly mistaken.

              • I’m not alone in my opinion of Ed’s contributions – cf: Lprent Andre and Carolyn’s remarks above, and R/B’s advice to match my own.

                Add me to that list. If someone’s pasting external content into a comment it needs to be linked and it needs to be formatted so that its clearly differentiated from the commenter’s own words. There should also be some explanation of why the commenter is drawing it to our attention and what their thoughts on it are. If a person can’t be arsed with those courtesies or regards them as a menu of options to choose from, they can expect to cop some flak, especially if they post a lot.

              • McFlock

                If he can cut and paste the content, he can cut and paste the damned blockquote tags.

            • Rosemary McDonald 8.2.1.2.2.2

              “Not everybody has to be a policy wonk/geek/arrogant academic/pedantic in this world to contribute….”

              Thank you WK…I suspect that there is much copy and pasting going on from that crowd…surely they don’t think in ideological dogmaspeak.

            • McFlock 8.2.1.2.2.3

              It’s not pedantry to want to be able to distinguish the cut and paste content that might be interesting from the hyperbolic and often barely related commentary ed likes to add.

    • JanM 8.3

      “Phew this page is doing my head in this morning” Mine too, Whispering Kate. I’m getting really distressed with the appalling rudeness and constant derailment. I value good grammar, but I value good manners even higher. And why oh why do people keep answering known trollers?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3.1

        I’ll answer James when he makes a valid point or engages, as at 1.2.1.1

        As for good manners, Ed has made it clear that he doesn’t want to put the effort into making his comments legible even though he knows how.

      • Molly 8.3.2

        “And why oh why do people keep answering known trollers?
        Occasionally, for the readers who don’t comment. To provide relief.

        Just as you and Whispering Kate have done this morning for me, on addressing the dogpiling disrupting discourse.

    • patricia bremner 9.1

      9 The Chairman. If a politician leaves/ goes against his party he/she was elected to represent without leave, of course they should lose office and have to go back to the voters.

      If I was employed to implement a business programme and ran counter to that I would be sacked. The rest is semantics.

      • Incognito 9.1.1

        But businesses are generally not democratically-run organisations, are they?

        In politics there should be room, a lot of room in fact, for personal conscience & integrity (cue: Jim Anderton). To a degree, this can be seen as ‘self-interest’. The question to me is where self-interest stops aligning with that of the people you’re supposed to represent and becomes more of a solo/egotistical act, for want of a better description. In other words, all actions of a political representative operate within a dynamic continuum (i.e. on a spectrum) of individual/personal & social/collective imperatives. [Yes, I made that up myself in case someone wondered and starts asking for a link 😉 ]

        • red-blooded 9.1.1.1

          Anderton left Labour under FPP. He was elected to represent an electorate, and we continued to elect him as our rep after he left. He was a bloody good local MP and his local electorate supported him.

          Under FPP there was not concept of proportionality – the government was simply formed by the party which had won the most electorates. Sometimes that wasn’t the party which had won the most votes.

          I guess there’s a case to make about treating electorate and list MPs differently if they leave the party – you could argue that electorate MPs have an individual mandate and list MPs don’t. Either way, proportionality is upset, though (particularly if it’s a small party).

          It’s true that there was an irony in Anderton (Labour-New Labour-Alliance-Progressive) championing the last waka jumping bill, but let’s remember the rash of waka jumping that had really distorted those early MMP parliaments (“the Tight Five”, Alamein Kopu… naked self interest and betrayal of the people who elected them). And while the the split in the Alliance was ugly and damaging (and the pretence of staying with the party during the parliamentary term while setting up the Progressives was somewhat shabby), it was more than just one or two MPs going off on their own and I don’t think it was just self interest or egotism. I also doubt that 60% of the caucus would have voted for expulsion (but who knows?).

          • Incognito 9.1.1.1.1

            It seems we’re largely in agreement.

            Proportionality may not be as big an issue as some make it out to be; it comes across as self-serving at times …

            Politics is messy & ugly at times and so it should be. Governments do fall from time to time and so it should be. Countries can and do run themselves while politicians sort out their ‘differences’; often it is down to internal party politics more than anything.

            We (humans) seem to resist change and upsetting status quo and tend to lean towards (wilful) ignorance & indecisiveness, laziness, apathy & lethargy (inaction), and denial to name a few and this is nowhere more obvious than in the so-called public-political realm (cue: Hannah Arendt).

            I secretly (!) admire rebels & renegades although they can be a real pain in the proverbial, especially in the ‘heat of the moment’. When the dust settles it is usually BAU in a slightly different way and/or environment; I think this is o.k. – small vs. big picture stuff 😉

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.2

            …there’s a case to make about treating electorate and list MPs differently if they leave the party – you could argue that electorate MPs have an individual mandate and list MPs don’t. Either way, proportionality is upset, though (particularly if it’s a small party).

            The proportionality of Parliament can be preserved in both cases. A list MP who leaves their party can simply be replaced by another list MP.

            Where an electorate MP switches parties, list MPs could be brought in to preserve proportionality. That would create an overhang, but I think that’s preferable to allowing National Party bribery to carry the day.

            • alwyn 9.1.1.1.2.1

              To genuinely retain the proportionality you would also have to take some other actions when an Electorate seat changes hands in a by-election.
              If a non-MP from an already represented Party wins a seat you would have to remove one of their existing List MPs. Otherwise, not only would that Party get an extra MP but the original Party that lost the seat would lose one.
              If an existing MP won the seat you would have to give the party losing the seat an extra List member but not add a new list one to the party that now held the electorate.
              What should you do if there is an Electoral Petition and an otherwise unrepresented party wins the seat? Do they get a few other List MPs as they now hold an electorate? And do some of the existing List MPs get the chop a year after they took their seats.
              No. I think that you have to have some finality to an election. You can’t just keep changing the MPs for the next three years to reflect odd variations in the events long after the result was “final”.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Waka-jumping is fundamentally different from by-elections, because by-elections invoke the will of the electorate, whereas waka-jumping thwarts the will of the electorate.

                Obviously the best solution would be for the National Party to behave more ethically, and since that’s never going to happen, needs must.

                • alwyn

                  I quite agree that they are different. However the principle of maintaining the proportionality of Parliament still applies. If you believe it matters if someone leaves their party it should also matter after a by-election.
                  You second paragraph is rubbish. They are at least as ethical as any of the other parties in Parliament, and more so that a couple of them.

                  A Waka-jumping law would of course have meant that Jim Anderton would have been kicked out of Parliament in 1989. He couldn’t have hung around for 18 months could he?
                  Winston Peters, and Tariana Turia at least had the grace to resign and run in the subsequent by-elections.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I don’t expect you to agree, but you will nonetheless struggle to provide evidence of anything as perfidious as the behaviour exposed by The Hollow Men or Dirty Politics. Nor will you find the Law Society warning the UN about other parties undermining the rule of law.

                    The principle of maintaining the proportionality of Parliament doesn’t apply in by-elections at all, so that’s a red herring.

                    I think I can probably come up with a more substantive list of “cons” for this proposal than you’re managing.

                    Chief of which is the fact that MPs are elected and laws that interfere with that need a bloody good reason to do so. The National Party’s behaviour provides that reason.

                  • red-blooded

                    alwyn, let’s remember that Anderton left Labour before MMP. Proportionality didn’t apply.

                    There are plenty of discussions to be had about how to ensure that the will of the electorate isn’t subjugated to the impulses/decisions (or even consciences) of individual MPs. It could be argued that after a by-election there is a new mandate (ie, the electorate has had fresh input).

                    OAB, the fact that electorate MPs are counted when overall numbers are calculated means the issue of proportionality remains (mostly if the parties that lose or gain MPs are small).

                    I’m not opposed in principal to a waka-jumping law.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I realise that a by-election can affect the proportionality of Parliament: after all, they’re often regarded as a popularity test for the incumbent government.

                      However, they differ from waka-jumping in one significant respect: the will of (at least some of) the people is involved.

                      I think the case for annulling the will of an individual electorate (to return Ms. Smith to Parliament) is a lot weaker than if list MP Ms. Smith accepts inducements from Stephen Joyce and switches sides.

  9. You_Fool 10

    An interesting opinion in the Herald about Kiwis and our attitude towards free-range breasts.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11971794

    Interesting is the (singular) anecdotal story about the teenage girl in spain asking for a light for her ciggie from a bunch of teenage boys whilst topless; and the boys acted sensibly… It is almost like humans can control their own thoughts and emotions… given the reactions in NZ over “glittertit-gate” you would think us males at least were driven by the need to touch boobies

  10. red-blooded 11

    Interesting to read and hear speculation from the States that Oprah Winfrey may be considering running for President…

    Her speech at the Golden Globes last night was certainly moving. I don’t like the idea that rich amateurs can ride on a wave of fame into the Oval Office, and Winfrey’s TV show was (as I recall) often pulpy feel-good pseudotherapy, but hey – she’d be better than Trump! 🙄

    • BM 11.1

      Personally, I think she’d be a terrible choice for the Democrats.

      After the Trump train weck, I’d say Americans will be screaming out for a stable experienced politician that actually knows how politics/ diplomacy work, not another egotistical billionaire/ TV star.

      • red-blooded 11.1.1

        Hey, I agree with you about rich, famous amateurs, BM. But you and I are not an American voters…

        • Ed1 11.1.1.1

          New Zealand of course elected John Key’s government , at least partly on the basis of his being rich and new to politics – but most New Zealanders would I am sure agree that he was not as obviously destructive to the country and his own party as Trump.

          • tc 11.1.1.1.1

            Too early to tell really, trump may not last a second term and has a difficult legislature to negotiate while on his first term. His damage may be more outside of the USA as it was pretty screwed internally way before he arrived.

            Whereas Shonky/Blinglish had 3 terms of wrecking ball behaviour commencing with their initial 90 days of across the board snip here, cut there, hobble everywhere. Maori Party duly assisted and paid the price at the recent GE.

            Time will tell, particularly the legacy in Health, Education, Water Quality and infrastructure as they started precious little major Infrastructure, except roads for their civil/trucking backers.

            Systemic rail closure/under investment under national including the removal of lines through inaction (Gisbourne). The deliberate use of housing to game the economy has locked out many kiwis from home ownership. There’s a couple of destructive actions for the economy off the top of my head.

            So lets see how it plays out shall we as we continue to discover the reality hidden by an owned media and a cowered public service.

            Oh and please remember they started with nett ZERO crown debt and we grew about 12% during their tenure as context to show why Health is 30% under funded currently as one example.

          • alwyn 11.1.1.1.2

            He wasn’t really that “new to politics”. He had been 6 years in Parliament and had been Leader of the Opposition for about 2 years.
            That was about 1 year less as an MP and 1 year more as Opposition Leader than David Lange. Pretty similar and certainly not what I would call “new to politics”
            He wasn’t like Trump or Winfrey.
            I suppose you would also have to consider that Dwight Eisenhower, in my view the best President of my lifetime, was new to electoral politics when he became President in 1952. Didn’t seem to be a problem there.

            • Ad 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Fair how you rank him highly, but Eisenhower had had pretty good experience ranked just below Commander In Chief , and had commanded the entire allied forces in both war and reconstruction, so had pretty good experience in a core part of the job of President, that of Commander-In-Chief.

      • Andre 11.1.2

        Well, Harding won 1920 in a landslide with a “Return to Normalcy” campaign. While he stayed fairly popular up until he karked it, history hasn’t been kind.

      • When the present system isn’t working then having someone who knows how politics/ diplomacy work and just reinforces the broken system is probably not the best option.

      • Ad 11.1.4

        I would agree with you about stable.

        But there is little public appetite I see for more professional politicians across advanced democratic states right now.

        The USA isn’t going to get another Obama – which is who you really describe.

        This is a great age for outsider aspirants with little experience in the system breaking through and looking at things afresh. Like Trump himself.

        As for polttical values, Oprah has been the patron saint of liberal causes for three decades.

        Plus, to get the job you need a dumptruck of capital and unbeatable profile.

        Oprah has both.

    • chris73 11.2

      Oprah Winfrey is far too intelligent and, more importantly, far too savvy to want to run for president, imho

  11. joe90 12

    heh

    (1/9)

    From @chucktodd's interview with Wolff and other things he's said, it's clear how this book happened— and the way he punked them. 1/— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) January 7, 2018

    https://twitter.com/jayrosen_nyu/status/950048793185210368

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/950048793185210368.html

  12. Rosemary McDonald 13

    Natrad begins the new working year with an engaging interview with Mihingarangi Forbes.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018628166

    Inclusion, education and bridge building….

    (and still some fwit texted in complaining about Te Reo on Natrad and ‘maybe its about time we had a Pakeha radio station’…

    Maybe a good time to reprise this….

  13. Ed1 14

    What will be the visible signs that the new government is making real change?

    I walked along WIllis Street recently above the intersection with Dixon Street. Its an area with some commercial buildings being turned into student flats / higher end apartments, but includes an office for the Ministry of Social Development, with a security guard stoping people wanting to enter until he has checked that they are on alist that he has to allow admission. I gather there is another guard inside to stop problems if they occur inside.

    A little further is a charity shop, then a church, with a container shop in one of its car parks – at the time I walked past there was a queue of people waiting for it to open for free food. In the next block there are a lot of student apartments, and across the road the electorate office of Grant Robertson.

    I don’t think it unreasonable to expect that by the next election (and possibly quite a bit earlier), neither the container food bank or the guards will be needed. The security guards are a symptom of National’s punitive attitude to beneficiaries, and their rundown of services to the unemployed and mentally ill, but also result from poor management – ACC had similar issues (National interpreted that legislation as harshly as they could get awaay with as well), but ACC reconfigured offices to provide protection for staff wthout as many security staff.

    What else can we expect to see from our change in government?

    .

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      Better employment law and practices, more affordable and state houses, significant improvements to water quality practices (the actual water quality to go with them may take a little longer). A more equitable tax system…

    • JanM 14.2

      *Education systems that work more effectively where teachers are treated with respect; collegeality is encouraged and support is adequate. Also teacher training, especially for primary and high school teachers is improved so teachers have a better understanding not so much of their subject matter, but of the children they are teaching. Far too many children are expelled (as in, thrown out onto the streets) because teachers lack the knowledge they need to deal effectively with children who are troubled and non-compliant.
      *Systems that do not see pre-schoolers and the elderly primarily as cash cows.
      *Marijuana is decriminalised and a real effort is made to stamp out methamphetamine use

    • Stuart Munro 14.3

      The windup of certain notorious rorts, including Brownlee’s Southern Response, the soft loans to Mediaworks, and Bill’s wife’s suicide empire.

      Constructive regional development initiatives, especially based on sustainable aquaculture and processing of primary products for domestic markets.

      The windup of the English mills – the fake courses that are in fact selling citizenship in some form or other, and the enforcement of existing immigration law that requires good faith efforts to employ NZ citizens before migrant workers may be accessed.

  14. Stuart Munro 15

    I know people are probably bored with the Rhythm & Vines boob grab, but I had a slightly different interpretation of it, without wanting to derail the rape culture thread.

    I wonder if folk are familiar with dongchim – an activity which is prolific among Korean children (and apparently Taiwanese and Japanese children under the name of Kancho).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9iBXXqP2Bw

    This is I believe a kind of play which is a variation of the mock attacks that can be seen in juvenile mammals of all kinds, but commonly in dogs or primates. As with other primate play behaviours, mock attacks decrease with age (Juvenile Primates: Life History, Development and Behavior, Pereira et al eds), so that dongchim is abundant among elementary school children, decreasing by middle school, and largely absent among high school students.

    Given this context, I’d be inclined to interpret the R&V boob grab as an exhibition of late juvenile behavior, the kind of thing that might be done as a primitive attention grab by someone lacking the skills or confidence to attempt a conventional introduction. If so, the slapping the perpetrator received would be more appropriate than if it were interpreted as a preliminary to rape, which surely ought to attract the more consequential penalties of legal censure. (Which given the availability of the film is surely possible).

    I’m not sure whether interpreting an activity as rape, with its overtones of fear, is more or less of a deterrent than labelling the perpetrator as socially inept and juvenile.

    • JanM 15.1

      I agree that it was ‘socially inept and juvenile’, but in the current social climate where to be female is a fairly risky business, the reasons for the action are rather secondary to the perceptions of the victim (and the rest of us). I am guessing that many, if not most of us deal with some degree of Post Traumatic Distress from our life encounters with inappropriate and threatening male behaviour and this sort of action serves as a trigger way out of proportion to what may otherwise be seen as a relatively minor incident by those unaware of the inherent ramifications.

    • red-blooded 15.2

      I don’t think acknowledging this action as juvenile and attention-seeking is inconsistent with it also being sexist and offensive, Stuart. It seems to me that they guy was using this young woman’s body to show off to his mates and get their approval. He wasn’t seeing her as a person, he was seeing her body as territory to be marked or claimed, or a playground. He was proving himself to be a “real man” in what he clearly thought of as a jokey way, but what he wasn’t thinking about was the actual person whose body was being appropriated to make this statement to the world.

      And in some ways his motivations don’t really matter. You say, I’m not sure whether interpreting an activity as rape, with its overtones of fear, is more or less of a deterrent than labelling the perpetrator as socially inept and juvenile. I think we can certainly label this guy (and others like him) as socially inept and juvenile, but that doesn’t stop his behaviour being part of a spectrum that includes and facilitates rape. And the fear belongs to the victim, but is also inflicted to some degree on women in general. I know it’s something I’ve experienced many times, although I’ve never been raped. It’s something that limits most women’s behaviour and affects our sense of (in)security in the world.

      Thanks for not wanting to derail the other discussion thread.

      • greywarshark 15.2.1

        Thank you red blooded for thinking your way through the posited point and explaining your position so cogently.

    • patricia bremner 15.3

      15. Stewart Munro Many women have experienced grabbing/ checking.

      I did. As a younger teacher, I was grabbed two handed by a senior staff member, who said “Oh they are real boobs. Just checking”

      Three other staff members remonstrated with him. I said “How would you feel if I grabbed at your private areas?” The response was “I’d like it”

      I said “That wouldn’t happen, as it would be unprofessional, and you are not attractive to me”. Those present told him he deserved that reply.

      This man finally did other silly and serious stuff which led to his removal by the then inspectorate.

      Nobody realised how nervous I became about working late, and if he entered a room where I was alone I would leave. Many women have been accosted at their work, and even in the modern world there are predators who treat cornering women as a game of one-up-manship.

      It has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power, or the misuse of it.
      Rape in the technical sense is theft, relating to the old idea of virginity or conjugal rights as being property.

    • Carolyn_Nth 15.4

      Nonsense. It’s not rape, it’s sexual assault. It’s illegal. Being juvenile is no legal defense.

      It is being interpreted as part of rape culture.

      Even pretty young people can understand not doing illegal things.

      We are not animals – we have the ability from a young age, of understanding when behaviour is considered unacceptable.

      End of.

      • Stuart Munro 15.4.1

        The conflict between positions seems to be one of realms.

        The commenting women chiefly interpret the action in terms of threat and a continuing threat environment.

        You have raised the legal environment which is different again. I’m inclined to prefer what the woman did on the spot to the legal solution because legal approaches to sexual offending have their own problems. They often become a contributing oppression on top of the offensive act. And, the success of punishment or rehabilitation approaches to sexual offending is not encouraging.

        I was taking more of a behaviourist approach, and I’d agree with Patricia Bremner that the R&V event was a power play. So I was describing the action as a juvenile behavior in a behavioural sense. The dongchim behavior in the video I linked, though normal between students of a certain age in those countries, would (according to my Korean friends) never be done to a Korean teacher, and is presumably a power play also. Understanding its meaning in context matters however, as neither a slap nor a sexual harassment prosecution would be appropriate to children dongchiming a teacher – though fairly stern deterrence for the disrespectful act would not be out of place.

        In the case of R&V probably the police should prosecute – there seems to be incontrovertible evidence of an offence. A sentence binding over the assailant to cause no more such problems would seem to be appropriate.

        • red-blooded 15.4.1.1

          Stuart, I think I was pretty clear about accepting this behaviour as juvenile, and a display to gain others’ approval. Yes, subconsciously it was a power play. But power dynamics are at the heart of sexist behaviour and sexist power structures.

          I don’t see this action as sexually motivated – he certainly wasn’t overcome by lust. And while what we’ve been calling rape culture is a dynamic that evokes fear and feelings of disempowerment, I think we have to see this as an ugly part of a even bigger issue – patriarchy.

          That word causes backlash sometimes – it’s gained connotations of being somehow anti-male – but the fact is that women have not yet gained equality with men in our society. While we’ve made progress that should be celebrated, we’re not there yet. We all know that women do more unpaid labour, earn less, have less power in the workplace, are subjected to more sexual harassment and violence, are still discouraged from being assertive, are still judged more by appearances… And men are also limited by gender stereotypes (as are people who don’t see themselves as clearly male or female).

          I’m not trying to exaggerate the significance of one incident. It only became a talking point because it was caught on camera, the woman reacted by punishing the guy and then she was criticised for doing so. I do think that a lot of women who wouldn’t think of ourselves as vigilante types did think, “Good on you!” and feel like we should stick up for this young woman because we’ve been there, been grabbed like that. Yes, it’s about fear and celebrating a young woman who didn’t let that keep her down, but it’s also about the bigger picture.

          • Stuart Munro 15.4.1.1.1

            Ok – good point about empowering a personal response.

            Patriarchy is mixed term for guys – it is used as a group noun against us from time to time.

            But the structures of power that are problematic are more greed linked than gender linked – George Carlin’s “big club and you ain’t in it”.

            • red-blooded 15.4.1.1.1.1

              I certainly do not agree that the structures of power that are problematic are more greed linked than gender linked. There are different dynamics that interweave and reinforce each other, but gender power structures (patriarchy) are common across all human societies, have repressed and limited women throughout history and continue to affect how women are seen, see ourselves, are treated and are (under)rated today.

              I see feminism as part of my overall leftist view of the world, but I think a feminist perspective can enlighten any political philosophy and I know plenty of people who wouldn’t regard themselves as particularly left-leaning who have a feminist instinct and plenty of lefties (some of whom comment on this site) who don’t.

    • McFlock 15.5

      Well, if you really want to get into the perpetrator’s head, the thought that occurred to me was “self absorbed and entitled”.

      That’s where the “cup of tea” education campaign about consent falls down (the one the British police came up with: ‘if someone is asleep, you wouldn’t pour tea in their face’, sort of thing): I doubt the question of consent crossed his mind. If it did, it was an extra kick that consent wasn’t there but he would be able to get away with it.

      The focus was on what he wanted.

      So the analogy that came to mind was a stapler on a colleague’s desk. I need to staple something, so I can ask “can I borrow that stapler”. I can just see the stapler and take it without asking, without wondering if they are also about to staple something. Or I can walk over, look them dead in the eye, and take it knowing they can’t do a damned thing about it. The first is confirming consent, the second is being too selfish to notice, the third was a power trip using stapling as an excuse.

      Either way, I’m actually glad he got thumped. Better than nothing.

      • Molly 15.5.1

        Thanks for such a clear example of “stapler culture”.

        • greywarshark 15.5.1.1

          Yes a good way to view the practices found disgraceful, from a distance and see them from a different perspective.

      • Stuart Munro 15.5.2

        I’m not expert in the psychology of boob grabbers, but it seemed to me from the clip that he was acting provocatively, as someone might on a dare. He was not in the least confused as to the wrongness of the act.

        I’m not quite so happy about the thump – not because he didn’t have it coming, but because to the extent that we are a society under the rule of law the victim should not be obliged to exact the penalty for manifestly criminal behavior. That’s a job for the police – and given that this oik not only embarrassed his victim, but also embarrassed NZ internationally, I expect that his prosecution will be pursued. Perhaps the expectation is optimistic – but it shouldn’t be.

  15. Andre 16

    Randall Munroe’s XKCD is absolutely fukn brilliant. Here’s the best map you’ll ever see for understanding the geographic distribution of votes in the 2016 presidential election.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/8/16865532/2016-presidential-election-map-xkcd

  16. greywarshark 17

    John Oliver ‘How is this still a thing?’ going into Ayn Rand and her beliefs and lots of great clips. What does she look like, sound like, attracts so many people who can swallow some of her antithetic ideas to their own avowed ideas.

    • Stuart Munro 17.1

      She has an interesting if unwise perspective. The thing the RWNJ do is to take her out of her context – the survivor of the Soviet misgovernance she details in We The Living, which is no worse than Rybakov’s Children of the Arbat. Barbara Brandon’s biography is surprisingly sympathetic.

      The RWNJ require her for her ability to articulate arguments that they could not readily construct themselves. But when Rand expounds on the evils of socialism she is describing Stalinism, not the benign Fabian version that moved Karl Popper to write The Open Society and its Enemies.

      • adam 17.1.1

        And like most of the right wings, they finally realise somthing about 40 years after the truth came out.

        https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/emma-goldman-my-disillusionment-in-russia

        • Bill 17.1.1.1

          Not quite getting you here Adam.

          Emma Goldman became well fcked off with the USSR as a betrayal of political hope in the early 1920s.

          If you’re going to argue that Rand also became fucked off because of some recognition that socialism was crushed by the Bolshevics, then you’re basically arguing that Rand’s political thought was essentially socialist.

          Which it wasn’t.

          • adam 17.1.1.1.1

            No I’m arguing Rand and her supporters took a hell of a long time to offer up a well rounded criticism of what was happened in the U.S.S.R.

            And poached most of their ideas off Anarchists, then gave it a capitalist spin, to make some money. They also did it 40 years later.

        • Stuart Munro 17.1.1.2

          Popper became disillusioned with Soviet communism well before most of his contemporaries, and his arguments with them became the basis of the falsifiability theory that subsequently proved quite useful in the sciences.

    • millsy 17.2

      Would Rand be regarded as alt-right today? A listing of her political positions sees a lot of overlapping going on….

  17. Ed 18

    “ I’m just running with how liberal media pushes official narratives and kills debate.”

    You mean like how some people on the Standard operate.
    Witness Open Mike today.

    [For FUCK’s sake! Okay Ed. Here’s how it goes. Think about what you want to bring to peoples’ attention and then do that in as brief a way as you sensibly can. Yes. Some of the shit that’s been flung at you is a bit off in my opinion. But the solution is easy enough and in your hands.] – Bill

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      Be more specific please.

      Adding syntax and proper attribution to comments facilitates discussion, as Weka said at Open Mike 1.1.1

      So does accuracy of information. Dry your tears.

      PS: Bill’s moderation note (below) noted. Schtum!

  18. Ed 19

    “Anyone that steps out of line gets hammered”

    Reminds me of Open Mike on the Standard over the past month or two.

    Don’t question the western diet.
    Don’t challenge New Zealand’s complacency about climate change.
    Don’t present an alternative to the corporate media’s narrative about Syria.
    Don’t query the constant propaganda about Russia and Putin..

    Or you will get hammered.
    [Not interested in the tittle tattle of open mike invading this thread. Don’t do it again. Ta.] – Bill

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  19. The Fielding Rattler 20

    Since Climate change seems to be the main discussion point atm.

    I came across this interview of the current MoD Ron Mark https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/12/21/70663/defence-minister-plots-a-war-on-climate-change

    This mean increase to the Defence Budget in the coming years?
    Expand the Regular and Territorial Forces across all 3 services?
    Does this mean $20 Billion Capital Equipment upgrade is too small?
    The Aid Budget for HADR has to increase for the South Pacific and what about the Home Front?
    Do we need to look at re-establish the MoW as a overseer (Mr Trotter has mention this before) to make sure that the Government doesn’t get ripped off by the private sector?
    Does this mean more conflicts in the Future over land, water, fisheries etc and how would future conflicts in the Asia/ pacific region will impact on our trade (our export/ imports especially our POL imports) since we hardly have any heavy industry now thanks to our Neo Lib muppets?
    What about EQC funding since this pot of money is almost empty?
    What about the Antarctic Treaty which is up for renewal?

    This is my second visit here and I have been reading up on ExKiwiforces comments over Christmas as he seems to very knowledgeable on this stuff. But it seems he has gone very quiet here and over at the WONZ Forum site the other place where he hangs out (has a very smart picture or painting of himself with has medals etc). Has his PTSD got the better of him, Is he still banned from The Standard, or has he simply gone fishing/ hunting etc?

    Would like to hear his views and any others who have some knowledge on this subject as to the long term effects to our wee country called New Zealand

  20. joe90 22

    So mad dog said to addled dotard hold my beer, I’m going to poke the bee swarm to intimidate them and hopefully, they won’t turn on us.

    /

    U.S. officials are discussing the possibility of a targeted strike in North Korea that would serve as a warning but, hopefully, not start a nuclear war, WSJ reportshttps://t.co/Yg6bdMGo7M— Axios (@axios) January 9, 2018

    https://twitter.com/axios/status/950536354835943424

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      Is this the second time the White House has flown this kite or am I experiencing deja vue all over again?

      The phrase ‘for domestic consumption only’ springs to mind.

      • francesca 22.1.1

        I wonder if they’re worried that peace might break out between N and S Korea.
        Unification talks have gone on in the past, and the new president Moon takes a much more conciliatory position.
        Nikki Haley has already expressed her derision for the upcoming talks between N and South Korea
        Without threat and tension in the area, the US has no excuse for its Thaad missile battery or bases, very strategic for “containing”China and Russia

  21. joe90 23

    Domestic consumption or not, these fuckers are touting war and if South Koreans die, it’s their own fault.

    It’s true that North Korea could retaliate for any attack by using its conventional rocket artillery against the South Korean capital of Seoul and its surroundings, where almost 20 million inhabitants live within 35 miles of the armistice line. U.S. military officers have cited the fear of a “sea of fire” to justify inaction. But this vulnerability should not paralyze U.S. policy for one simple reason: It is very largely self-inflicted.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/08/its-time-to-bomb-north-korea/

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      Funny how incitement to violence isn’t a crime until powerless people do it.

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