Open mike 09/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 9th, 2010 - 63 comments
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Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

63 comments on “Open mike 09/05/2010 ”

  1. Wow, the recriminations start.

    The tories are starting to turn on Cameron for failing to gain an absolute victory. It seems that if you are born to rule you do not expect to have to share the power with anyone.

    The awful Lord Ashcroft is particularly upset because Cameron should have defended him over his tax status. Talk about defending the indefensible. Ashcroft poured 5 million UK pounds into marginals, no doubt this was money he should have paid to the taxman.

    The details are in the Guardian here.

    • gobsmacked 1.1

      Heh, those quotes are brilliant!

      ‘One senior frontbencher rounded on the Conservative leader, demanding that he sack key figures involved in the campaign, including the man who ran it, George Osborne, the shadow chancellor. The frontbencher said: “He ran his campaign from the back of his Jaguar with a smug, smarmy little clique people like Osborne, [Oliver] Letwin and Michael Gove. He should get rid of all of them. The party will settle for nothing less.”

      Another senior and normally loyal Tory MP complained that Cameron’s big idea for the campaign “the Big Society”, under which armies of volunteers would come together to tackle the country’s ills was “complete crap”.

      “We couldn’t sell that stuff on the doorstep. It was pathetic. All we needed was a simple message on policy. We could have won a majority if we had not had to try to sell this nonsense.”


      ‘Smug’ … ‘smarmy’ … ‘crap’ … ‘pathetic’ … it’s not a lefty rant on the Standard, it’s senior Conservative MPs talking to the media about their own party!

      But good on ’em. In NZ, you only get to find out what Tories really think when you read their e-mails.

    • marsman 1.2

      The awful Ashcroft is also John Key’s chum,how much did the National Party receive from him?

      • Something I have been on about for sometime as regulars will know.
        It concerns me that a man involved with Crosby/Textor and the Pacific Democratic Union should be hovering around our Tory government.
        Added to that is his vast interests in Accident insurance and mining . It all adds up . Then remember the overnight stay with Key plus the covert meetings with American Republicans (ie senior members of the PDU)/
        There’s no doubt money was poured in to the Nats coffers ,but how to prove it is almost impossible .Commons sense says that it did.

  2. Tigger 2

    Interesting piece about the Exclusive Bretheren schools and state funding.

    Heather Roy thinks parents choose to send their kids here so it’s okay. That’s all very nice and libertarian but where is the line? If they’re teaching that people with white skin are genetically superior, will Roy still say that’s okay? What if in their contracts they tell teachers you can’t vote for ACT because that party is too immoral? And is that what it will take for her to realise that these schools accept our money and so they’ve got to play by our general rules? She seems to think there is no line that private schools can’t cross. There is. And at some point the weight of public opinion will force Roy to see that.

    • ianmac 2.1

      And I bet that they don’t get to use National Standards.

    • Quoth the Raven 2.2

      That’s all very nice and libertarian but where is the line?

      Not really. What is libertarian is allowing the child to be free from coercion, free from the hierarchical authoritarian nature of education institutions. It’s about children being free to learn for themselves. There have been many ideas and there have been many experiments. See things like Unschooling Libertarian education Taking children seriously Free school
      But don’t mind me continue talking about matters you have no understanding of.

      • uke 2.2.1

        QTR, Quite right.

        Institutionalised schooling is the basis of an institutionalised society.

        In our society “education” works as a wonderful filter system to decide who will work in the factories and who will work uptown.

        • the pinkpostman

          Personally I could not care less if some people wish to send their little darlings to a private school.However I do object to part of my tax going to subsidise privilige.
          There is nothing wrong with our state education ,in fact its repured to be one of the best in the world. Having said that there is no doubt that education needs a lot of money to function properly.

          • prism

            I care what children are being taught at their private schools which are being subsidised by government. I believe it is the local choice option that Tomorrows Schools confer that leads to some schools omitting or giving inadequate teaching of subjects they don’t wish to bother with such as as sex education, our history particularly Maori culture, our society and how it works and even swimming. The curriculum at schools can be so dumbed down that we are not preparing our children to understand their world and future problems.

            The USA mind barriers to thinking about evolution arise when half-educated people are determined to prevent learning that doesn’t comply with their own narrow dogma. Education there is going backwards in some areas, we don’t want NZ private schools teaching creationism or fundamentalism.

      • ianmac 2.2.2

        Not sure about the labelling QTR but their are many teachers who believe that schools are not good for high quality learning. Unfortunately, Government Regulation, (eg Assessment, Nat Standards) Parental Expectation and the belief that Private schools are a model for excellence conspire to make real innovation for constructative learning very difficult.
        Did you know that the development of the enquiring mind is one of the top aims for learners? Did you know that researchers find that in the average classroom, the number of questions that are asked by children in the school day is – zero. Teachers are obliged to set out the lesson plans including what the children will learn. Therefore the child’s question is an impediment to the plan. Sad that eh?

        • Quoth the Raven

          I’m quite sure about the labelling. I understand that on this site some like to willfully misperceive and purposely misconstrue libertarianism to further justify their own authoritarianism.

          Private schools are a model for excellence conspire to make real innovation for constructative learning very difficult.

          Current private schools are generally modeled in the same manner that state schools are. The state being the authoritarian institution that it is is never going to provide children with the kind of freedom they need. The state is not going to deinstitutionalise schooling. It is necessary that free schools and the like to be truly effective be private so they are not beholden to the regulations, regimentation, curricula, bureaucracy, petty demands and irrational and rapacious will of the state. Private meaning non-state not that purposeful misconstrution that private only equals for profit. Just like the state and church have been separated the state and education need be separated.
          This reminds me that one day I need to read Deschooling society it’s been on my list of books to read for sometime.

          • Tigger

            Hey thanks for clearing that up QTR! I am more than happy to own up to not understanding libertarians. And not liking them very much either. It’s for the exact reason you cite against us, I find most libertarians use that primacy of the individual to further their own authority. It’s all very ‘do what I tell you and leave me alone’. If you want to be dictatorial then at least be honest about it…

            • Quoth the Raven

              It’s all very ‘do what I tell you and leave me alone’. If you want to be dictatorial then at least be honest about it

              This is of course bullshit. What was it that I said about purposely misconstruing libertarianism? I see intellectual honesty is not your forte. Libertarianism is about freedom for all. It is about not coercing or aggressing against others. It is about not treating others like you own them. That’s what the state does. That’s what statists do.

              I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.


          • uke

            The complete text of Ivan Illich’s “Deschooling Society” can be found here:


            (& his other books are on the same site)

            Illich is good challenging reading for the Left-wing. He was something of an anarchist – I wouldn’t say a libertarian – but highly critical of the disempowering effects of both commodity-exchange and state-monopoly systems.

            • Quoth the Raven

              Libertarian when first used in a political context was a synonym for anarchist. It was actually first used by an anarcho-communist. If you are an anarchist you are a libertarian. It’s been that way for over 150 years. I want people to move beyond there narrow conceptions shaped by their misunderstandings of libertarianism and their narrow view that all libertarians are just that American style libertarian. I’m an anarchist and I’m a libertarian.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Not all of them are, no. But when most people hear and use the word, that’s what they are hearing and talking about. If you want to reclaim the word, great. But you can’t reclaim it from people here, coz we’re not the ones that stole it.

                If those american style libertarians are a part of what you call libertarianism, then the criticisms you complain about are fair enough, especially seeing they seem to be the major part of modern libertarianism. To make the criticisms unfair, libertarians need to disown and disassociate themselves from the misanthropes, and get those misanthropes a new name.

                Most self identified libertarians today ally themselves firmly with the right. They seem to think that the freedom from taxes is far more important than what they could gain through engagement with the left. That is where the movement is at. Wishing that the leftist branch of the family was dominant, and complaining that leftists don’t speak as if it already is, just gives cover for the misanthropes.

                Your mileage obviously varies.

              • Quoth the Raven

                What I should have said was if you’re an anarchist your a libertarian, but you can be a libertarian without being an anarchist. I don’t want to delimit the word to some historical conception. As I said I want people to see libertarianism as it is, a broad anti-authoritarian movement with, obviously, a lot of conflicting notions. I want people not to have a such a narrow conception of the word. It’s not about reclaiming the word either because it’s already used more in the other way than it is in the narrow way that people here and in the US use it. They’re not the major part of libertarianism the major strain of libertarianism in the world is of course libertarian socialism. So the leftish part is dominant. Libertarian socialism is in itself very broad. Within the movement there are efforts to dissociate from leftists this can be seen in the, I think very promising, strain of thought known as post-left anarchism.

              • Lew

                But anarchists have an even worse reputation for being moonbat crazies than libertarians do. So it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other, far as I’m concerned. It’s a damned shame, since if either of those groups got their philosophical act together and undertook a critique of society’s prevailing political structures which wasn’t complete moonbattery it would have a great deal to offer. But they’re extremists by definition, and so anything useful or important that they have to say tends to get lost in conspiratorial foaming about gun control, taxation being theft, corporate capitalism being not really capitalism, etc. Bah.


                • lprent

                  Agreed. I don’t have a lot of time for either group because they appear to ignore how people actually behave in favour of some abstraction of how people theoretically should behave.

              • Quoth the Raven

                Lew – I’m sure when anarchists were saying ‘this Marxism stuff will only end badly’ you would have been there saying ‘you anarchists are crazy’. When anarchists like Adolf Brand were campaigning for homosexual rights in the 19th century I’m sure you’d have been there saying ‘that’s crazy’. When Gandhi was organising his salt march. I’m sure you’d have been there saying ‘Gandhi you’re crazy’ and ‘you should be happy to pay your taxes’. When anarchists were warning of the coming totalitarianism of the 20th century you’d of been there saying ‘you anarchists are crazy’. I’m sure you’d have been there with the stalinists and social democrats in Spain when the anarchists were fighting fascism saying ‘let’s get these guns off the anarchists they’re crazy’.

                It’s a damned shame, since if either of those groups got their philosophical act together and undertook a critique of society’s prevailing political structures which wasn’t complete moonbattery it would have a great deal to offer</blockquote
                Anarchists have got a critique of society's prevailing political structures which does have a great deal to offer. If you think it's moonbattery that's fine, but don't say they don't have their philosophical act together just because you disagree with it. Anarchists are never going to be doctrinaire leftists, clutching their little red books and toadying the party line.

                But they’re extremists by definition, and so anything useful or important that they have to say tends to get lost in conspiratorial foaming about gun control, taxation being theft, corporate capitalism being not really capitalism, etc. Bah.

                Of course anarchists are extremists. So what? It’s relative isn’t it. Taxation is theft. If you think it’s necessary fine, but don’t argue that it is not theft because you’ll only fail. I don’t really care what some hold to be idealized capitalism. The prevailing state-corporate system is plain to see and what’s a real shame is how so many leftists just don’t see how their economic policies only perpetuate it.

              • Lew

                Heh, knew you’d bite on this one.

                This whole line is just the Galileo Gambit writ large. Coupled with a nice pig-fucker argument. Not even up to your usual standards, Q.

                Taxation isn’t theft; it’s the cost (or rather, a cost) levied by a society for being a part of it living in a given society. Don’t like the cost? Find another society. Can’t find another society? Start your own. Can’t find another or start your own? Your inability to achieve your own social goals is not my society’s problem. That’s your beloved market at work.

                Thing is, revolutionaries of one form or another have been claiming their time is coming since the year dot. And occasionally it does come. But generally not as a result of maintaining their marginalised status as a badge of honour, heckling the remainder of society — upon whose goodwill their nascent revolution will ultimately depend — from the sidelines, or deriding them from lofty dialectical (or etc.) heights as sheeple or feebleminded proles, but getting in amongst society and convincing it to partake in a shared vision.

                So if you’d prefer to be judged by history than by achievement; if you value being right above being politically effective, by all means, keep calling taxation theft if you like. You might be right, in a pure, strict sense — among people who share your founding premises. But for my money, simply being right isn’t enough.


              • Quoth the Raven

                Taxation isn’t theft; it’s the cost (or rather, a cost) levied by a society for being a part of it living in a given society. Don’t like the cost? Find another society. Can’t find another society? Start your own. Can’t find another or start your own? Not society’s problem. That’s your beloved market at work.

                All of your fallacious argument was covered in the video I linked to of course I know you didn’t watch it. I linked to it precisely because I knew I’d hear these tired old baseless arguments. The objections to that classic authoritarian ‘love or it leave argument’ and it the ‘its cost we pay for civilised society’ have been repeated ad nauseum. Watch the video. I’m not going to bother repeating it.

                Thing is, revolutionaries of one form or another have been claiming their time is coming since the year dot. And occasionally it does come — but generally not as a result of maintaining their marginalised status as a badge of honour, heckling the remainder of society — upon whose goodwill their nascent revolution will ultimately depend — from the sidelines, or deriding them from lofty dialectical (or etc.) heights as sheeple or feebleminded proles, but getting in amongst society and convincing it to partake in a shared vision.

                I’m not a revolutionary Lew. Being an anarchist doesn’t make you a revolutionary. Anarchists have always been in amongst society “convincing it to partake in a shared vision”. I’m sorry if reality doesn’t comport to you imaginings Lew. I bet you have never taken the time to look at what anarchists are doing you’d rather argue from your own ignorance.

                So if you’d prefer to be judged by history than by achievement; if you value being right above being politically effective, by all means, keep calling taxation theft if you like. You might be right, in a pure, strict sense — among people who share your founding premises. But for my money, simply being right isn’t enough.

                I can’t help your ignorance of the history of what great things anarchists have achieved and the important effects they’ve had on our society and continue to have. I could go on and on about LGBT rights, sexual freedom, feminism, peace movements, labour movements. But it doesn’t matter you clearly don’t listen you clearly have no wish to engage honestly or do the minimum of independent investigation on this topic.

                As the song says they may not even 1 in 100 but they exist.

              • Lew

                Aww, Q, I watched John and his stein, but this is not the first time I’ve heard his argument. There is (whether you like it or not) a social contract already.

                Arguing with anarchists is like arguing with religious fundies. You just redefine whatever terminology you like to ringfence your precious ideology from criticism. The best example of this is in your use of the terminology which refers to political ideologies — the evils promulgated by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. aren’t “socialism”; and the evils promulgated by Dow Chemical, Monsanto, Bear Stearns, and most recently BP aren’t “capitalism”; etc. But you’re happy to take credit on behalf of “anarchism” for anything you think is valuable. And while I’m not arguing — have not argued — that anarchism/libertarianism has achieved nothing or has not historical value, I lament the opportunity cost which comes from those ideologies’ insistence on responding to how the theory tells them society ought to be rather than how it is.

                Anyway — maintain the certainty of your own unassailable rectitude if you like. Good luck with that.


              • Quoth the Raven

                So you’ll continue with your circular reasoning on taxation with the addition of more circularity in the form of the social contract theory and, if it were possible, an even more condescending tone. Basically it goes a person walks up to you with a gun and demands your money. You say ‘no’ and they say ‘don’t worry this is not theft I have legitimate authority’. Then you say ‘I don’t recognise such authority’ and then the robber puts the gun to your head and says ‘your money now’. You acquiesce and the robber goes ‘see it wasn’t theft you consented to my legitimate authority’.
                As I said Lew I don’t care about how people wish to define capitalism. I personally think there’s something substantive to capital-ism and that’s why I oppose it nor do I care if you want to hold to some completely ahistorical definition of socialism. I don’t go around calling myself a socialist anyway.
                If I could just get a programmer to put a more condescending tone on the pomo essay generator and have it peppered with vulgarities and insults then I wouldn’t even need you around Lew.

              • Lew

                But Q, substructural libertarianism holds that anarchism is part of the failure of truth, which is experiential rather than epistemological. As everyone knows, the misunderstanding of socialism prevalent in Tarantino’s Jackie Brown emerges again in Four Rooms, although in a more mythopoetical sense, to lodge a forthright critique of modern post-left anarchism. That surely has some value; after all, it is a very broad anti-authoritarian movement, and one with an illustrious pedigree among non-American-style small-ell-libertarians.

                As for ahistoricality, one is faced with a choice: either reject libertarian socialism or conclude that anarchism is elitist, although the leftish part predominates. The premise of socialism suggests that narrativity serves to entrench class divisions, and since taxation is theft, economic freedom is fundamentally a legal fiction.


            • Quoth the Raven

              I shouldn’t have shown you the pomo generator. Now you’ll never have to write your own comments again.

              From the outset with your denigration of anarchists and libertarians it was obvious you weren’t going to involve yourself in an honest discussion. So let’s review; with an overwhelming tone of condescension, in lieu of a rational argument you put forth numerous insults to the effect that anarchists are crazy , you made a number of erroneous assumptions, you followed circular reasoning in your defense of taxation, you conflated all anarchists with revolutionaries, you made outrageous claims to the effect that anarchists don’t involve themselves in society to make positive changes, and you gave a wholly ahistorical account of the achievements of anarchists. Really convincing arguing Lew.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    More news of perfectly free individuals exercising their power to make fully informed choices in the world’s only Randian paradise:

  4. Lazy Susan 4

    Great analysis of the LibDem choices by Will Hutton in the Guardian and Chris Trotter on his blog.

    If the LibDems play their cards right they will confine the right wing of British politics to the political wilderness for a generation.The Tories are already getting restless and starting to show their true colours.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5


    Efforts to contain the Deepwater Horizon oil gusher with a 100-ton, four-story concrete-and-steel box have failed, BP officials announced. The giant box, known as a cofferdam, was lowered onto the leaking wellhead yesterday, with the intent of pumping the leaking oil up a pipe to the sea surface a mile above. However, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles announced in a press briefing this afternoon that the dome effort failed. After the cofferdam was lowered onto the leak site, a slurry of methane crystals formed on the inside of the dome’s surface, making it bouyant and clogging the outtake at the dome’s roof.

    The giant box has been moved 200 meters from the disaster site, and is sitting on the sea bed. BP had anticipated that methane hydrates could form within the pipework from the dome to the surface, but not within the dome itself, especially at such a rapid rate.

    Suttles, clearly chastened by this setback, had a much less confident tone about containing the leak than he had at previous press conferences, such as the one attended on Tuesday by the Wonk Room when he announced the cofferdam was being shipped out to the disaster site. “It’s very difficult to say whether solutions will work,’ he admitted.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        Wonder if the CEO of BP was watching Black Books the other night. If he was he might be tempted to try out Fran’s ‘women and gay’s’ secret for messes that she passed on to Manny…a throw over the whole lot.

        I’ll say this for the Chinese state and corporate accountability…..”These fuckers need a bullet.” seems to be an official policy. One I can go for.

    • Bill 5.2

      What I didn’t realise was that BP was responsible for the Exxon Valdez fuck up. Not the tanker, but the lack of response.

      Greg Palast begins his piece on it and the current crap;

      “I’ve seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon’s name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was … British Petroleum (BP)”

      • freedom 5.2.1

        the drunk captain didn’t help much either ;]

      • Quoth the Raven 5.2.2

        After Exxon Valdez the central planners in Washington in their infinite wisdom passed a law limiting damages after cleanup costs to $75 million dollars. The damage to the fisheries, tourism and such could run into the billions. So the American taxpayer will probably be picking up that bill along with all the money the American taxpayer spends on subsidising big oil in the first place. But government can’t , it just can’t, leave the market alone 🙄

        • Bored

          And do tell me Q, would the corporate execs of BP freely and with no coercion, sort of out of responsibility in a libertarian kind of way clean up the mess? Might the market say “naughty BP, we wont trade with you until you do? Or might some coercion from that nasty brutish state be needed?

          • Quoth the Raven

            Tell me bored would BP even exist if we had a free market? My answer no it wouldn’t. The corporation is antithetical to the free market. It is a creature of the state.
            To the rest of your hypothetical there are these things called courts where people go.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Bored – Have a look at this series of posts by Rad Geek it’s shaping up to be good Bits & Pieces on Free Market Anti-Capitalism. It may help you understand different conceptions of the free market.

            • Bored

              Interesting link Q, thanks. Myself I am more to the collectivist end of anarchism as I dont see that individual liberty expressed through the market or property rights is compatable with freedom from exploitation. But then it gets a bit more confusing as you turn away from materialist constructs aswell, and take any sense of mission, progress and other theologies out. One is left with hard reality. Maybe I shoulld change my name to Confused (in a sceptical way) and keep asking the questions.

            • Bored

              Interesting link Q, thanks. Myself I am more inclined to the collectivist end of anarchism as I dont see that individual liberty expressed through the market or property rights is compatable with freedom from exploitation. But then it gets a bit more confusing as you turn away from materialist constructs aswell, and take any sense of mission, progress and other theologies out. One is left with hard reality. Maybe I shoulld change my name to Confused (in a sceptical way) and keep asking the questions.

  6. Dan 6

    I was pleased to see David Beatson on TV1 this morning refute Paul Holmes assertion that you could understand John Key’s difficulties espousing foreign policy in Afghanistan. Beatson stated quite strongly that it is not good enough to be making foreign policy on the fly while those responsible for foreign policy back here did not know what was going on! Holmes has been an apologist for the NACT party for too long, and we need more Beatsons in MSM.

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      Also on Q&A, this real jaw-dropper from our PM, interviewed in Afghanistan:

      Guyon Espiner: Do you think that President Karzai is corrupt?

      Key: I don’t think he personally is corrupt.

      Google ‘Karzai’ and ‘corrupt’ … 200,000 results. Including almost any international media outlet you care to name. A secret, it ain’t.

      Less photo-ops. More background reading, John.

  7. Anne 7

    Yes Dan it was good to see. I was amused by Holmes’ effort to move quickly onto the next subject once he had made the assertion, but David Beatson was too quick off the mark and didn’t let him get away with it. I don’t think Paul Holmes was very happy about it either :).

  8. Jim Nald 8

    “A ‘possibility’ Key code for no certainty”, writes
    Rod Oram in the Sunday Star Times.

    For eg, Oram says:

    “The government talks boldly of changing the tax system to incentivise the nation to borrow and spend less and invest and earn more. But we already know the changes will be minor: closing some loopholes in residential property investment; a 2.5 percentage point increase in GST; and some modest reductions in income taxes. These, it says, will be revenue neutral. In other words, they won’t trigger a rebalancing of the economy from consumption to production.”

    Good piece. I am wishing there are more discerning, intelligent and articulate pieces in the MSM.

    • ianmac 8.1

      Jim. You can see why Rod is non gratis to the Nacts. He is direct and uncluttered and without the political smokescreen like that put up by English/Key.

  9. Quoth the Raven 9

    Check this video on the Greek situation out. It really does put the situation there in context.

  10. lprent 10

    There is a hidden war going on at present in the comments section at present

    Spam detected
    2010-05 903 1/3rd the way through the month.
    2010-04 2,171
    2010-03 1,010
    2010-02 1,062
    2010-01 745
    2009-12 1,010

    We’ve been pretty steady at about 1000 kills per month so far this year. But it looks like there were about 400 kills over the last few days – easily the highest daily peaks since November. Looks like the spambots have made zombies out of a whole lot more machines. The numbers are just the ones that were able to connect and leave a message. There were far more that were unable to get around the anti-spam word.

    The crap that they’re spewing out is really just ludicrous…. Can’t see how anyone can make money off it. Looks like someone is testing their systems.

    Last month wasn’t the highest – the major spike was in August last year at just under 2500 killed comments, and which took the system out. However the server is a hell of a lot more grunty since the change last month. The apache mod that prevents massive numbers of connections from a single IP keeps their worst habits under control. It is barely pushing the server…..

    I just fixed the pingback ‘hole’ that was preventing them from being processed by the anti-spam, leading pingbacks polluting the messages and having to be cleaned out manually. That will be a great relief to the moderators.

    But if you’ve got a owner run blogsite (rather than one hosted on wordpress or blogspot) and have an open comments section or trackbacks/pingbacks, then I’d suggest checking what your traffic is like at present.

  11. SHG 11

    So, Jim Anderton sounds like he’s going for the troughing trifecta – drawing a Mayor’s salary, an MP’s salary, and a party leader’s salary all at once.

    • ianmac 11.1

      As Minister Collins said dismissively, when questioned about her self-drive car having used $400+ petrol per month in spite of usually using the Government chauffeur driven car,
      ” Its within the rules.”
      So Jim would be a silly fellow to quit being an MP before becoming the Mayor and anyway, “Its within the rules.”

    • Bill 11.2

      Isn’t he giving his mayors salary to community groups that have had their funding cut, like Rape Crisis etc?

      • SHG 11.2.1

        Anderton said that if elected he will donate one salary to “local voluntary organizations”. He didn’t use the words “community groups” or “charities” or “groups that have had their funding cut”, although having watched Anderton for many years I’m sure he intends for you to have the impression that he used words like that.

        Put it this way: the Progressive Party itself fits the description of a “local voluntary organization”. If such a generous donation from a Mayor was made, why, then it would be up to the Party Leader to determine how best to use that money.

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  • New Chair for Guardians of NZ Superannuation
    Company director and investor John Williamson has been appointed as the new Chair of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the Crown entity that oversees the NZ Super Fund and the Elevate NZ Venture Capital Fund, Finance Minister Nicola Willis announced today.  Mr Williamson will take up his new position ...
    1 day ago
  • Northland open for business as critical works to repair SH1 Brynderwyn Hills begin
    The Government is encouraging New Zealanders to support, visit, and explore Northland, as the closure and detour of SH1 at the Bryderwyn Hills begins, and critical repair work by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) gets underway, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Many regions across the country suffered extensive and devastating ...
    1 day ago
  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    3 days ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    4 days ago
  • Government grants $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites
    The Government has granted $6.6 million to clean up four historic New Zealand landfill and dump sites vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion. At the BlueGreens Forum in Paihia today Environment Minister Penny Simmonds said that the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund grants will go towards fixing former landfills ...
    4 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    4 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    4 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    5 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    5 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    5 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    5 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    5 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    5 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    6 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    6 days ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    1 week ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    1 week ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    1 week ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    2 weeks ago

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