Open Mike 09/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 9th, 2017 - 64 comments
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64 comments on “Open Mike 09/03/2017”

  1. amirite 1

    Kiwis wouldn’t recognise corruption if it punched them in the face:

    Grant McLachlan: NZ should raise the bar on corruption http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11814325

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Kiwis wouldn’t recognise corruption if it punched them in the face:

      Pretty much.

      The cash job that they have the builder do. The tax haven laws that this government seems so keen on. Taking side trips for business while on parliamentary business. The list goes on and on.

      Many are small and so engrained in our culture that we simply don’t see it. We really need to start education people about what is corruption.

      • gsays 1.1.1

        Hi draco, I get what you are saying, and have followed yr argument for a cashless society.
        Must confess to doing some of the cash work you elude to.

        For my sins I view it as a little financial ‘lubricant’ that more often than not is keeping the wolf from the door (vehicle rego or repair, child expenses etc).

        Secondly, it could be argued that I am merely following the prime minister’s sterling example of fiscal enthusiasm.

        Generally the jobs (firewood, simple maintenance, lawns) are done for friends or some of my mother’s biddy friends.

        You could also add the times that a business vehicle is used for private use.

        Yes, cashless society could bring big business into line, but we have those rules already, just a lack of conviction from the PTB.

    • Antoine 1.2

      It’s quite a good article but a gripe is that it does use the term ‘corruption’ to cover several different things (fraud, nepotism, organisations closing their ranks, witch-hunts etc) that wouldn’t usually be regarded as corruption..

      • KJT 1.2.1

        Interesting statement.

        What, then, do you consider corruption?

        • Muttonbird 1.2.1.1

          I wondered that yesterday but couldn’t be bothered asking the question of Antoine because if that person doesn’t see fraud (for instance) as corruption then there’s no point in even directing him/her to a dictionary definition.

          • KJT 1.2.1.1.1

            The revolving door where politicians get directorships, or lucrative positions, with corporates they have supported through legislation, after they retire.
            Or, on the other side, legislation favorable to big party doners.

            The “old boy network” where the same people sympathetic to National are rotated around various sinecures, where they usually fuck up mightily.

            In New Zealand that is seen as BAU, not corruption.

            Antoine will tell us, “It is not corruption”.

            • Antoine 1.2.1.1.1.1

              If you get someone to do you favors, in exchange for the promise of a position, then that is definitely corruption and is a Bad Thing.

              Otherwise it’s nepotism, not corruption – I think! It can be either good or bad, it may not always be easy to tell which. It’s not exclusive to the right, either.

              A.

        • Antoine 1.2.1.2

          To me “corruption” simply means bribery.

          All the other things in the article are bad, for sure (*), but they aren’t corruption.

          I guess I’m just splitting hairs.

          A.

          (*) With the possible exception of appointing cronies to posts, which I guess can just be a matter of trying to get people in place that you see eye to eye with and can work with.

          • Muttonbird 1.2.1.2.1

            (*) Like National is doing with the Maori Party.

            • Antoine 1.2.1.2.1.1

              Are you talking about how National tries to get the Maori Party into the Maori seats? That doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable as a way to cobble together 61 votes in Parliament.

              Or something else that I don’t know about?

              A.

          • KJT 1.2.1.2.2

            There is a reason why we say “Bribery AND corruption”.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.2.3

            To me…

            You don’t get to redefine words to suit your purposes.

            1. dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

            Note the word “dishonest”. Note the number of times the National Party’s ministers and MPs have been caught distorting facts. Read Dirty Politics to inform yourself of some the evidence that this dishonesty is coordinated and deliberate. Recall Simon Lusk running his mouth about cronyism.

            Compare this to your own relentlessly dishonest comments.

            The National Party meets the definition of corruption many times over.

            • Antoine 1.2.1.2.3.1

              I still don’t think lying to the electorate counts as ‘corruption’ (in and of itself).

              But haggling over the meanings of words on here isn’t helping anyone, so I’ll let it slide.

              A.

              • When processes decided by law and by agreed convention become corrupted, that’s corruption. Giving lobby groups special privileges; corruption. Using funds for purposes not intended; corruption, a Prime Minister lying in response to fair questions; corruption – that sort of thing. Where the commonsense of “right behaviour” is contravened; corruption, imo.

              • KJT

                “don’t think lying to the electorate counts as ‘corruption”

                Why not?

  2. bwaghorn 2

    given that Ardern will likely pass Little as preferred pm is it time for labour to move to a co -leader scenario a la the greens.

    • Anne 2.1

      If Ardern passes Little it will based on the shallow premise of “looks”. It wouldn’t surprise me because a large section of voters are very shallow when it comes to politics. For Little to be forced to act if it happens would show just how low and base politics has become in NZ.

      Don’t forget Helen Clark dropped to 5% after about 2 years into her leadership and look where she ended up…

    • Carolyn_nth 2.2

      Little is much more of a capable manager of the caucus. Ardern does not have the same sort of experience in leading.

    • saveNZ 2.3

      @bwaghorn – Nope – Little seems to be pulling Labour out of the hole they sunk themselves in, so not a good idea to rock the boat.

      Agree with the comments about Clark, popularity polls don’t mean anything.

      Key, disappeared very fast and after NZ were “told” how popular he was for years!

      • Given the media hype about Key’s level of popularity across the nation, I was expecting weeping and wailing from the Cape to the Bluff when Dear John “resigned”, but nix, nada, nowt, nought, nuffink, save gales of sobs from Fisiani, Dave C, Puckish Rogue et al! Seems we weren’t in love with John after all, we were just being sold a fairy tale.

        Question: what has happened to Key’s Goon Squad, famously swollen in number and status by our fairy tale PM’s “popularity? Have they latched on to English? Are they still shadowing Key?
        Anyone know?

    • Rightly or Wrongly 2.4

      Initially it will just give the media hacks something to annoy Little with at various media interviews.

      The difficulty may arise if Labour’s party vote doesn’t rise in the polls over the next 3 months.

      As the election draws closer unconscious pressure may come on Labour to do something/anything to change in order to increase the vote.

      Perhaps Labour’s best option is to keep Little and Ardern as a combined tag team at various events over the coming months.

      If they campaign separately I guarantee that some in the media will try and write up comparisons between both of them which may cause a perceived popularity contest between the two of them rather than a combined team against the Nats.

    • “So Ardern can become as popular as Princess Diana and it will still be no skin off Little’s nose. He’s auditioning for the role of New Zealand’s prime minister – not for the next series of The Batchelor.”
      Chris Trotter dismisses your idea, bwaghorn. Quite rightly too, imo.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    This shared equity home ownership idea seems like a great idea for Labour to pick up for the super fund, especially as an aid to ethical investment. Win win!

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/a-shared-home-equity-scheme-will-put-roofs-over-more-peoples-heads-20170307-gut1lp.html

    The guts of it is: “…institutions be encouraged to enter into silent partnerships with homebuyers where they would own, say, 20 per cent of a property and allow the homebuyer to live in it in return for, say, 40 per cent of any increase in price when it was eventually sold. They could bundle the contracts and sell them to super funds…”

    • mikesh 3.1

      A better idea might be for the government to purchase the land and lease it back to the homeowner, leaving the latter only needing to purchase the house.

      • saveNZ 3.1.1

        … or we could stop selling off NZ assets and concentrate on raising wages so that people could afford to own their own house again and encourage Kiwis to invest in their own country’s businesses.

        If all the profits are going offshore, NZ as a country is getting poorer and losing control of it’s own resources.

        One of our biggest exports is now ‘profits’.

        “Who Owns New Zealand? CAFCA Releases Latest Key Facts

        The main trends are:

        · A sharp increase in the proportion of overseas ownership of shares listed on the share market from 33% of listed shares in 2015 to 36% in 2016, reversing a trend that had been falling since 1997.

        · An even sharper increase in the estimated proportion of the value of all privately owned shares (included unlisted shares) from 37% of shareholdings in 2014 to 47% in 2015 – a rise that began in 2012 when it bottomed out at 30%.

        · In 2016, the Overseas Investment Office approved the acquisition of 465,863 hectares of interests in rural land by overseas investors, of which 362,132 was freehold, 103,731 other interests in land (e.g. leases), and all but 39,971 hectares was from one overseas investor to another. The 465,863 hectares compare to 79,897 hectares in 2015.

        · Once again the statistics show a significant ownership of New Zealand companies by investors using tax havens.”

        http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/03/08/who-owns-new-zealand-cafca-releases-latest-key-facts/?utm_content=buffer0457f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

        • mikesh 3.1.1.1

          … … all true, no doubt … but … … whatever.

          • saveNZ 3.1.1.1.1

            Well we actually need those lost profits to fund the health, education and social services ….

            If our Governments sell off the assets… then government income is less.

            If Kiwis don’t own and are not profiting from their own businesses then they can’t spend the money they don’t have anymore…

            so not whatever, it’s important

  4. Keith 5

    The parallel universe of New Zealand’s media.

    Stuff.co headline, NZ unis fall in rankings. A lack of funding is behind a slump in university rankings, days academic organisation, but it’s not all bad.

    NZ Herald – Revealed: New Zealand’s best universities. New Zealand universities have scored high rankings in the annual QS World University rankings.

    The Fact is it appears we consistently underfund our uni’s and as such our rankings continue to decline. Some are not flash at all and with the exception of hospitality courses we aren’t that good.

    Another stuff up by National.

    The Herald are certainly in election mode worried for National and the illogical good news headlines announced daily are making it look like a North Korean daily.

  5. Chris Trotter makes great reading today – weep, James and co, into your cold Nescafe!

    “For Little, himself, it’s as if the impenetrable fog blanketing Labour’s leadership since 2008 has suddenly lifted, revealing a clear pathway to victory. From being ham-fisted and flailing, Little’s gestures have become purposeful and precise. For the first time in nearly nine years, Labour appears to have a leader who sees where he’s going, and knows what he’s doing.

    Just as suddenly, the same fog of misfortune which had formerly enveloped Labour has wrapped itself around Bill English and the National Party. The self-assured political touch of John Key has been replaced by ill-considered improvisation and counter-productive communication. English cannot seem to avoid either insulting or upsetting the electorate. If he’s not dismissing young New Zealanders as drug-addled layabouts, he’s informing them that they’ll have to wait an additional two years before becoming eligible for NZ Superannuation.

    From having a National prime minister who worked tirelessly at being “Everyman”, New Zealand finds itself saddled with a prime minister who appears to have it in for every man, woman and child unfortunate enough to have been born outside the top 10 percent of income-earners.

    Have New Zealanders told the pollsters this? Not yet. But that’s probably because they have yet to admit to themselves that their love affair with National is over.”

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2017/03/a-gut-feeling.html

    • Alan 6.1

      yeah, because Chris Trotter is always right about everything

    • james 6.2

      Im a Nespresso not a Nescafe kinda person.

      I like his writing, he is very good. However – personally I disagree with that column.

      Stil not weeping.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        Will take some pretty sustained polling trends to persuade that the consistent and nine-year-long “honeymoon” is really over.

        It’s a long, hard road to September and Trotter would do well to breathe through his nose for a bit.

        • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.1

          To persuade who, Ad?
          Not me. I look for signs of intent at a level deeper than “the polls”. Trotter just provided one and I believe he’s genuine in his reporting. Those in National who recognise those pathways to future events will be chewing on their beards right now, just as I am chuckling into mine.

      • “Personally disagree” – ‘course you do, james. You won’t see it till it’s all over you, like an avalanche.

    • saveNZ 6.3

      Well it seems like nothing works anymore and nobody can get anything done.. there’s growing frustration all around…

      $443k spent on cathedral working group, with no result
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/326158/$443k-spent-on-cathedral-working-group,-with-no-result

    • Red 6.4

      Chris trotter is the devil incarnate to most on this site? Now Roberts a fan boy on one article I think poor Chris is getting a little carried away, albeit I like his writing and Chris as a commentator

      • “Carried away”, Red?
        Trotter titles his piece, “A gut feeling”; he’s put his usual grey-matter-centered thinking and is describing a deeper “radar” that comes from his solar plexus and from there he gets a message that perhaps surprises him and certainly frightens you – that Labour and Little are headed for victory and National and English, defeat. Trust your gut feelings, Red, as obviously Trotter does his. And make preparations for the change of government to come.

        • james 6.4.1.1

          You can trust a blogger and his “gut” – I prefer to trust in the polls – and they just arnt showing Labour doing that well (really bad in fact).

          But hey – time will tell.

          • Robert Guyton 6.4.1.1.1

            Yes, I do “trust what Trotter reports in his most recent article. A long-time political commentator “feels” the shift, feels the tide turn, feels the rise and feels the fall; you’re a fool not to notice the value of such a report, James. Stick with your faith in the polls, but I reckon you’re unsettled by Trotters comments; you don’t understand them but your gut tells you something else again. Try Eno, James, if the feeling persists (and it will).

  6. joe90 7

    Meet the new Reichsführer-SS change agent.

    (1/2/3/ of 9)

    1. Trump who is repeatedly dismissive of US intelligence community has tapped a billionaire buddy, Stephen Feinberg, to help with its purge pic.twitter.com/iG6YYGMyoK— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) February 16, 2017

    2. There's a reason Feinberg of Cerberus Capital is "reclusive" and "shy"–as news reports describe him–he also runs private military bases pic.twitter.com/Btxu162Ldp— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) February 16, 2017

    3. Feinberg is literally the "Lord of War"–his Cerberus Capital-run Freedom Group is also the biggest supplier of arms and ammunition pic.twitter.com/5RJZLaXRlu— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) February 16, 2017

    https://twitter.com/Khanoisseur/status/832284686223187968

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Interesting choice of corporate name – Wikipedia –
      Cerberus “often called the “hound of Hades”, is the monstrous multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving.”

  7. james 8

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/m-ori-king-to-publicly-endorse-m-ori-party-candidate-in-hauraki-waikato.html

    Maori King to endorse the Maori Party candidate

    He said Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta “To me, she’s got no mana in there now”.

    “The strategy could also have strong influence over the entire election. If the Māori Party can secure two or three seats and the National Party polls well, it could see them edge across the line to form a government without Winston Peters.”

    Nice!

    • Ski 8.1

      Hey Robert, what has Chris Trotter got to say about this????

      • Don’t knowski, but he does comment on the Ardern-will-topple-Little fairy tale being pushed by trolls here;
        “So Ardern can become as popular as Princess Diana and it will still be no skin off Little’s nose. He’s auditioning for the role of New Zealand’s prime minister – not for the next series of The Batchelor. ”
        He’s hitting his straps right now, is Chris Trotter!

  8. greywarshark 9

    Good comment from Slavoj Zizek about the man we love to hate.

    That is what horrified left liberals really fear: that Trump will somehow not be a catastrophe.

    We should not succumb to such panic. Even if Trump will appear successful, the results of his politics will be ambiguous at best for ordinary people, who will soon feel the pain of this success. The only way to defeat Trump— and to redeem what is worth saving in liberal democracy—is to detach ourselves from liberal democracy’s corpse and establish a new Left.

    Elements of the program for this new Left are easy to imagine. Trump promises the cancellation of the big free trade agreements supported by Clinton, and the left alternative to both should be a project of new and different international agreements. Such agreements would establish public control of the banks, ecological standards, workers rights, universal healthcare, protections of sexual and ethnic minorities, etc. The big lesson of global capitalism is that nation states alone cannot do the job—only a new political international has a chance of bridling global capital.

    An old anti-Communist leftist once told me the only good thing about Stalin was that he really scared the big Western powers, and one could say the same about Trump: The good thing about him is that he really scares liberals.

    There are as many different takes on Trump as there are plastic bags in the ocean.
    This one offers some ideas. Any thinking politically-connected lefties interested to comment?

    • Morrissey 9.1

      Glib “liberals” like Zizek said the same things about Hitler in the 1930s: he’d shake up the system, which could only be a good thing.

      Zizek is a fop, a fool, and a poseur. He’s nothing more than Sam Harris with a funny accent and extravagant hand movements.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Link for above for Slavoj Zizek – it takes so long for my comments to come up that I usually miss the edit button, if there is one.
    http://inthesetimes.com/article/19918/slavoj-zizek-from-the-ashes-of-liberal-democracy

  10. Morrissey 11

    She’s a Trump supporter

    • reason 11.1

      She may well be a Trump supporter ….But shes an American above all …. and cruel racism against Mexicans is well worn ground for them https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/28/forgotten_history_in_1930s_us_deported

      her demographic remember when the u.s.a was great https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of-eUSyjuEg *

      … a time honored delusion for ‘nationalists’ including ours.

      The truth must be denied …. for any nation to be great or special…

      ” Wayne Mapp. On the same Morning Report interview, immediately before he made his embarassing and inconsistent comments about secularism (it applies to Maori, but not to Christians, it seems), he provided the following example of a “politically correct” body in need of eradication:

      [The] Waitangi Tribunal would be another good example. There’s a mixture of remaking our history” ..

      ——————————————————-

      Trump like our Nacts in particular( iwi/kiwi), is tapping into and fanning prejudice and bigotry which is already there …

      In the democracy now link, they also show how the poor Mexicans cop the blame and pay for the crimes of the rich (wall st ) ….

      Which reminds me of New Zealands Dawn Raids https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/dawn-raids-2005 …or ongoing Govt attacks on solo mums/the poor ….

      ——————————————————————

      * that racist war was also our war.

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    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
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  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
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    3 weeks ago