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Open mike 09/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 9th, 2016 - 57 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

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57 comments on “Open mike 09/01/2016 ”

  1. John Shears 1

    Here we are at 9.49am on a grey overcast day in Auckland and not a single comment on Open Mike.
    I went to the heading Water, one of my pet subjects
    and this is what I found.

    Categories under water
    No categories

    I am puzzled (that’s not unusual) but whilst there are big discussions going on on TS about TPP and Free Trade ad nauseum, mostly trolls winding up the argument it seems, there is NO category for Water.

    I have commented on other occasions about my concerns and in
    particular the Ecan(Environment Canterbury) has been set up with National Party appointed members and will stay that way for another 3 years at least. This in an area that has huge dairy growth and is a major pollution problem.

    Ensuring that the water quality in Canterbury, is preserved for future generations might just be a more fruitful subject to discuss and argue than the some the other subjects which trolls start and TS contributors perpetuate.

    • weka 1.1

      We’ve had a high number of comments about water quality in the past week or so. In fact I would say it’s been one of the main discussions. Including about Ecan.

      If you want to see posts on water, you can always submit a guest post 🙂

      The water heading under Environment has 80 posts.


      • John Shears 1.1.1

        Hi Weka,
        Thanks for your reply but I am still puzzled or not understanding how the site is set up.
        I got to http://thestandard.org.nz/category/environment/water/
        as you suggested but apart from a good recent article from No Right Turn there seems to be little about water and most of the articles are older rather than recent.
        Time to sort dinner will have another go later.

        • lprent

          Most of them are about politics and water. ie oils spills, political fiddling to Environment Canterbury (which administers water in Canterbury), water pollution standards, irrigation, dams, lack of water, etc.

          9 posts in 2015. It varies according to what is happening and if authors find something they want to write about.

      • John Shears 1.1.2

        Hi Weka,
        Thanks for your reply but I am still puzzled or not understanding how the site is set up.
        I got to http://thestandard.org.nz/category/environment/water/
        as you suggested but apart from a good recent article from No Right Turn there seems to be little about water and most of the articles are older rather than recent.
        Time to sort dinner will have another go later.

        • Rosie

          Hi John.

          A few days ago (?) I read a lengthy thread about water quality and Ecan on Open Mike. It was, as usual for most discussion on TS, a worthy read. I’m guessing this is what weka is leading you too. Sorry I can’t help you with the date.
          I think you can also search the site by the name of the commenter. From memory weka contributed to this discussion (?)

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Helen Kelly’s post is attracting huge attention. I suspect that most people are heading straight there.

    • greywarshark 1.3

      I’m sure we should be thinking about water more. Here is something relevant that was on RADIONZ this morning.

      Choose Clean Water
      8:10 AM. Marnie Prickett is part of group touring around the country to draw attention to diminishing water quality. She is part of the Choose Clean Water tour, traveling down the east coast of both islands, then up the west, finally finishing in Waitangi on Waitangi Day. The group will be filming their travels, engaging with locals to find out about what’s polluting our waterways and what people are doing to restore their streams, lakes and rivers. On the tour she will be stopping to see Jill Roberts in Geraldine. Jill has been a resident in the town for 10 years and has seen the water quality of the river diminish quite significantly.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      If you’re that concerned about it then submit a guest post on it. We’ll all love to read it.

      • Incognito 1.4.1

        Out of interest, how does this work? I recently submitted a Guest Post by e-mail and although I didn’t expect it to be posted, straightaway or at all, I’ve not heard a dicky bird. Just asking.

        • lprent

          The problem is me. A lack of time to deal with the mail queue, and I think that I am the only person left who reads it. The other authors who had logins have long since gone.

          Basically I pick off things that are urgent (problems on the blog, legal threats, etc) and leave the rest until I have time. Because of the time taken to set up a post, that tends to be the lowest on the priority queue, and I used to get around to it every week.

          But these days I seldom have any time. Either work or family or blog or simple exhaustion always seem to get in the way.

          In fact I will be heading back to the chills of a European winter next week for work with some very long days. That isn’t going to help.

          I’ll see if I can get some of the others interested in reading and acting on the mail.

          • Incognito

            Thank you for the reply and clarification, which I (now) fully understand. There are many high-quality posts appearing on TS so my ‘mind-spew’ can wait indefinitely 😉

  2. grumpystilskin 2

    Seen this?
    Another story how a young fellow managed to start buying property so he could play WOW all day. What a great had work story!
    But, read the fine print.
    He started with a $200,00 wedding gift..

  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    Consumer power is a big weapon against corporate power.

    ‘No GMO Soup for You’? Consumer Victory as Campbell Announces New Labels
    Campbell made the announcement on Thursday, declaring its support for “mandatory national GMO labeling.” In addition to disclosing GMOs—from corn to soy—the company said it will also “advocate for federal legislation that would require all foods and beverages regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be clearly and simply labeled for GMOs.”

    The company’s announcement marks a shift from its former policy. Campbell, in fact, was previously targeted by a boycott after brands under its umbrella donated large sums of money to defeat GMO labeling initiatives in different states.

    Campaigners say that the nationwide, grassroots push for GMO labeling played a critical role in pressing Campbell to shift its policy. And indeed, polling consistently shows overwhelming support for transparency measures.

    According to a poll released in June 2015 by ABC News, 92 percent of people in the U.S. believe that the “federal government should require labels on food saying whether it’s been genetically modified, or ‘bio-engineered’ (this poll used both phrases).”

  4. greywarshark 4

    Kiev is having corruption tussles – there is talk about not being a banana republic. There is a familiar ring about their difficulties.

    • DH 4.1

      It has to be viewed in the context of the pre-existing endemic corruption though greywarshark. From what i read it’s not that corruption is getting worse, the complaint is the Govt isn’t doing enough to combat what’s already there

      The ousting of Yanukovich looks to have been largely driven by a population finally fed up with the top-level corruption, he and his cronies alone looted close to Ukraine’s national debt it’s no wonder the country is broke.

      The ordinary people in Ukraine would likely be pretty upset that corruption is still rampant but I doubt many would be pining for the old days of even worse corruption.

  5. b waghorn 5

    Canadian company set to sue USA under NAFTA this is what key the shmuck is signing us up to with tppa.

  6. greywarshark 6

    The Pacific islands will need our attention and concern. Already some have had drought conditions and there is a fear that a big weather depression is going to form early in the season.

    Water rationing introduced as Port Moresby copes with drought.

    800,000 people short of food in PNG
    …A co-author of a compilation of 200 reports from government, NGOs, church organisations and individuals in drought- and frost-affected regions says immediate action is needed to alleviate ongoing suffering.



  7. Rodel 7

    News story-Philadelphia policeman shot by Islam nutter.Policeman survives, defends himself and wounds the nutter.
    Other TV channels report the facts but Fox news (sic) blames Obama. If the policeman didn’t have a gun (because of Obama as Fox implies) he’d be defenseless. Never mind that the nutter had his own (stolen) gun.
    Intrigues me how Fox spins it that Obama wants to take guns away from Police.
    ..Fox republican policy…….More guns = less dead people…WFM

  8. fisiani 8

    I’ve attended lots of barbeques over the last month and negativity to the National government was never heard even once. I sense no mood for change in real people. I honestly do not know what Andrew Little can do to change things.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      You go to the wrong bbqs every one I have attended the feeling is universal …

      • ropata 8.1.1

        fishy probably has a primus set up on his back porch and talks to himself 😜

      • Macro 8.1.2

        I haven’t attended any bbqs – I prefer my meat cooked.
        But the mood I pick up at my dinner parties is also universal and totally opposed to the present govt!
        But then again that’s what happens when like meets like. But Fisi being of little brain wouldn’t understand the error of sampling bias.

        • fisiani

          Polling certainly backs up my BBQ findings.

          • ropata

            yes, we all know there is power in the Dark Side.

          • swordfish

            Polling over last 6 months suggests Govt and Oppo neck-and-neck, if anything with the Oppo slightly in front.

            Or, to put it another way
            2014 Election Party-Vote = NZF nowhere near holding balance of power
            Poll Average over last 6 months = NZF holds balance of power.

            All down to Labour’s 6 point surge since last election.

              • swordfish

                You’re simply pointing to one solitary poll, I’m talking about poll averages over recent months.

                In case you haven’t noticed, a clear gap opened up in 2015 between:

                (1) The TV News Polls (One News Colmar Brunton and 3 News Reid Research) = which, since May, have consistently placed the Oppo ahead of the Govt


                (2) The Roy Morgan and (infrequent) Herald-Digi Polls = Most of the former (and all of the latter) favour the Govt.

                (You’ve simply quoted the latest Roy Morgan)

                Result of this divergence between the 2 sets of polls = Oppo and Govt neck-and-neck over last 6 months, when taking all polls into account.

                • swordfish

                  Take, as an example, Polls since Sep 2015.

                  Average of All Polls
                  Govt 49.9 … Oppo 49.2

                  Average of Colmar Brunton / Reid Research Polls
                  Govt 48.4 … Oppo 51.0

                  Average of Roy Morgan / Herald-Digi Polls
                  Govt 51.1 … Oppo 47.7

          • McFlock

            polling says roughly 50/50, has done for the last 7 years.

            Your bbq was 100% tory.

            So, no, your bbq survey was more shit than what you usually spew out.

    • ropata 8.2

      National rode to power on the coat tails of the GFC promising magic fairy dust to all and sundry. They have a solid bloc of perhaps 30% support from the highly influential upper middle class who also happen to run the elite news media and their sponsors.

      Little and the Left need to engage the “missing million” voters who, if motivated, could easily kick out the incumbents

      • b waghorn 8.2.1

        The missing million was mana territory and their hopes were sold for
        $3 million .

        • millsy

          Mana should have told Dotcom to stick his money up his arse. They may have had a chance.

          • ropata

            yep that was a colossal fuck-up on their part. but Kelvin Davis was a good result for TTT.

            • millsy

              I actually belive that Davis will become leader of the Labour Party and NZ’s first Maori PM.

              Though he and his supporters need to take care that he isn’t placed in the job too soon, like Shearer and Cunliffe were.

          • b waghorn

            I honestly believe the dotcom fiasco gifted key the election and possible the next one to. With no rabble rousing far left party there is a lot of votes going begging.

          • greywarshark

            Money is not to be sneezed at, at election time. Mana should have told Dotcom to keep his mouth shut and breathe through his nose. All election stunts and rallies should have been passed by Leila and her cohorts without putting pressure on her to compromise with what she knew would work best.

            The election push got mixed up with Dotcom’s private fight and the Mana message got overlooked, as it got overshadowed by Dotcom’s grievance and the dirty government spying and secretive message from Julian Assange. That was not the main problem that Mana was wanting to put forward.

      • Grant 8.2.2

        I like this bit of plain English analysis from Bryan Bruce. http://bryanbruce.co.nz/feature/election-2014/voting-and-inequality

      • whateva next? 8.2.3

        If engaged….despondency and fear are the 2 things that stop people voting according to Tony Benn, so National have it sewn up, unless people have hope and stop being afraid!

        • Grant

          Hi WN. Did you read my Bryan Bruce link above?

          It’s worth a look, but you may find parts of it challenging.

          Here’s a taste.

          “One of the things we do know about voting behaviour is that a high voter turn out favours truly left wing governments. Why? Because, in theory, the Left can appeal to a larger number of ” have not” people than the privileged Right. However 30 years ago that pattern was disrupted when a supposedly Left wing Labour government introduced the New Right economics of neo-liberalism. So for 3 decades now voters on the traditional Left have not seen a viable alternative economic policy for which they could vote.

          The result? A general decline in the number of people voting which has increased the chances of the Right of being elected . “

  9. ropata 9

    Could Health Policy be the Nats’ Achilles Heel?

    The Government is proud that it has kept health issues off the front page. It likes to take the credit for this itself. Every year it brags about increasing the health vote. John Key’s administration knows that health cuts and huge structural changes badly damaged a previous National government. The minister of health’s propaganda machine works hard to spread the “good news”.

    All this might change. There is mounting evidence that rises in health spending are failing to meet rising health needs. If this becomes widely known and the bad news outweighs the good, the politics of health will turn toxic.

    The latest (anecdotal) evidence of trouble comes from Christchurch, where elderly people complain they are being refused elective surgery and must continue to live in pain and distress. Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates says the board is meeting Health Ministry targets but acknowledges it should be doing more. This is in effect an admission of unmet need.

    Measuring the shortfall is difficult and controversial. The total health budget has fallen from 6.32 per cent of gross domestic product in 2009 to just over 6 per cent in 2014.
    Meeting the shortfall would cost $750m.As the system creaks under the strain, more stories of pain and suffering are likely.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Talking about the health system. For some months I have briefly chatted to an Indian man who works in my local supermarket. I noticed him limping and expressed sympathy. He said he was waiting for an appointment for treatment for a sore foot.

    I saw him at Christmas and he said he has been waiting to see a specialist, not for the treatment as I had thought. He can’t even get his foot examined and diagnosed, though he has pain as he’s standing and walking all day. He says he has decided to get it done in India, along with treatment to his knee which is also giving trouble. I said that’s no good, it’s a shame that our health system is declining. He made the side to side hand movement of judging on balance, and said that overall NZ was still better.

    But that is based on how we are at present, we are still declining, and the present tranche of politicians and power brokers have no desire or vision to return us to the vibrant, hopeful, socially mobile, modern society that we were.

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