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Open mike 09/06/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 9th, 2015 - 113 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).

Step up to the mike …

113 comments on “Open mike 09/06/2015”

    • adam 1.2

      Come on b wagon you know Key and Co don’t give a rat’s about the majority of NZ business – it jobs for the mates, ideology, then bugger the rest.

      • b waghorn 1.2.1

        I wonder if nz even gets the tax back from that billion ? I doubt it somehow.

    • The Chairman 1.3

      Further returns heading offshore coupled with falling commodity prices will negatively impact our current account, yet the Government continues to seek offshore investment facilitating further profits to head offshore .

    • Sans Cle 1.4

      B Waghorn, what is your take on this?
      From my limited understanding (but may have misinterpreted this), Fonterra have to pick up milk at farm gate, from Fonterra farmers and deliver to non-Fonterra processors (many foreign owned) at same price (for milk) as what Fonterra farmers are given (as this is the legislation and Fonterra cannot charge over and above the farm price).
      In effect, the non-Fonterra processors are free riding on the infrastructure and logistics that Fonterra have built up as a cooperative over years.
      Are we absolutely nuts in this country, as this is the craziest thing I have heard?

      • Gangnam Style 1.4.1

        Same as NZ Post having to deliver DX Mail (In places that DX Mail cannot make a profit).

      • b waghorn 1.4.2

        Yes they are required to supply milk to competition companies at cost , but I’m not involved in dairy (I’m Shepherd) you would have to know how much profit leaves the country and is the tax paid here IMO as to how bad a situation it is. It has allowed more factories to be built without farmers having to stump up the cash which will of helped the massive expansion,.

        • Draco T Bastard

          It has allowed more factories to be built without farmers having to stump up the cash which will of helped the massive expansion,.

          Where did the resources to build those factories come from? If, as I suspect, all those resources came from NZ then foreign money allowed nothing at all.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.3

        In effect, the non-Fonterra processors are free riding on the infrastructure and logistics that Fonterra have built up as a cooperative over years.

        Fonterra was, and is, a near monopoly and thus gets controls that monopolies get.

        BTW, selling at cost should give the farmers more than enough to live on. After all, their living costs are most definitely part of the over all costs of farming.

        • Sans Cle

          Agreed that Fonterra are a near monopoly, and (I think!) I have no problem with that WHEN they were a true cooperative, owned and run by farmers. Collective bargaining for global trade is a logical governance model. However, with the extending of shareholding to non-farmers coinciding with regulation around (farm gate) pricing, especially pricing control vis-a-vis competing processors, the government has given a free pass to these non-Fonterra processors …..and are these not the processors who have special access to China (for milk solids). Draco, do you know which companies these are – is Oravida one of them?

        • Sans Cle

          Draco, regarding selling at cost, the radio snippet said that non-Fonterra processors were offering 10c more per litre. Farmers who are peeved with Fonterra (for selling out on them) are switching to non Fonterra processors -reciprocating a lack of allegiance. If so, it’s a short term gain for the farmers, could lead to a demise of Fonterra. Long term, it’s not good for Fonterra, in my humble understanding of it.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      The simple fact of the matter is that the government should never engage offshore firms to do work as it is the government doing stuff that ultimately builds and develops our economy.

      And FFS, in this case it’s obvious that we have the capability as both Xero and MYOB show. And there’s no way that the could have been cheaper than NZ.

      Short sighted idiots the lot of them.

      • gsays 1.5.1

        hi draco,
        like kiwi rail awarding contracts to chinese companies (coz they were 25% cheaper than a kiwi bid), these decisions are too short sighted and limited in the thinking.

        award the contracts locally and you may pay more but there are lots of tangible and intangible benefits. granted they will not all appear on your balance sheet, however, (especially) the government, are not constrained by greedy shareholders barking for a return on their investment.
        a wonderful oppurtunity to model good community behaviour.

        • b waghorn

          I read once that a dollar only needs to be spent 3 times and it all ends up as tax so awarding contracts to nz companies is almost doing it for free,

        • aidan

          yeah… kind of a no-brainer i would have thought. also not sure if they ended up being 25% cheaper considering the product was substandrd. on the other hand hillside workshops was closed down and sold off, soooo….

  1. Charles 2

    Speaking of “The left” undermining The Left…

    Over on The Daily Blog, Chris Trotter implies Labour could do with a shake up. Why? Oh because they are too rich, not Tongan enough etc etc. He even takes some time to bash beneficiaries, with his appropriation of “a Tongan cleaners’ views”, and purposeful omission of how and why people become unemployed. That’s great Chris, don’t own your bene-bashing, project it onto “a Tongan”. There’s a name for that, you know. For a long time now I have suspected Chris Trotter isn’t left-wing anything, but he sure got a lot of air-time on that ticket.

    Yes Chris, what Labour needs now is a self-inflicted continuation of the problems that acerbated* some poor polls. That’s sarcasm, Chris. No Chris, it doesn’t much matter at this time whether they are rich or not, because they appear to know which way is up, right now, (you see, even fringe lefties can see past “class war” long enough be pragmatic for the good of the wider movement) and if any “shake ups” in senior MP line-ups happen it should happen on the back of electoral success, and to support the direction they say they are taking as outlined in the electoral review that was recently “released”.

    *Yes, that’s right, in hindsight, compared to what NZders have voluntarily supported and have been complicit in since, it is no longer certain that anything Labour did in running their campaign, in changing leaders multiple times, or even in the “Sickness Beneficiary Painting the Roof” moment of stupid, was in any way the reason for poor polling.

    • tracey 2.1

      This is white, male, middle class Chris Trotter, yes?

    • weka 2.2

      Waitakere Man is never unemployed. If he loses his job he gets another one. Never gets sick either.

    • McFlock 2.3

      Wasn’t it Trotter who came up with the “Waitakere Man” dogwhistle in the first place? When did he convert to favouring ‘identity politics’?

  2. The Chairman 3

    Key rejected the idea of a one-off payment for heating, instead backing current provisions despite current provisions attributing the death of Emma-Lita Bourne.

    Under current provisions the family couldn’t afford to heat their home, but apparently it was insulated.

    And while the cost of implementing minimum standards for rentals will be less than the cost of a comprehensive rental warrant, there will still be a fiscal burden that (unless it’s made tax deductible) landlords will seek to pass on.

    • tracey 3.1

      cost, cost, cost. Those poor employers having their profits or investment income eroded for the safety of human beings.

      • The Chairman 3.1.1

        Costs are often passed on, thus would negatively impact tenants. Leaving them with less to heat their newly insulated homes. Therefore, is a problem that will require to be overcome.

        Moreover, the loss of disposable income to higher rents will hurt the wider economy, negatively impacting on consumer demand, business return, thus jobs.

        Heating costs (which also attributed to the damp home, thus death) are largely being overlooked with Key failing to support changes to current provisions.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Everything you say there tells us that what we really need to do is to get rid of private landlords and shift all rental to government ownership and set as a percentage of household income.

          • The Chairman

            It still overlooks a fundamental part of the problem, namely the high cost of heating.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The high cost of heating can only be brought down by the installation of insulation in existing houses and improving the housing code so that new houses meet or exceed the Passive House standard. There is no short term solution.

              • weka

                Might be better to nationalise power rather than rentals. There are advantages to private rentals, a better solution there is to regulate more specifically.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  There are advantages to private rentals

                  Name 1.

                  BTW, I think nationalising power and telecommunications is a must.

                  • b waghorn

                    As a farm worker I’m required to live on the job so we rent our house out so that if something goes wrong we’ve got a home to go to, and its the safest place I can think of to have most of our money.

                  • Rodel

                    DTB-No No! we used to have nationalised power and telecommunications in my parents’ day and it didn’t w ..oh wait…..yes it did.

              • The Chairman

                With electricity costs exceeding the rate of inflation, a number still find the cost of heating an insulated home excessive.

                Subsidies for low income earners is a short-term solution that could be considered.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes, but that doesn’t remove the high costs of heating the house. They’re still there ergo it’s not a solution at all.

                  As I say, once you start thinking in terms of physical resources the economy looks a lot different than it does when you think in terms of money. When thinking in terms of money then what we need is nationalisation of power, have it run as a government service with every household getting a free amount which is enough to run a house for a year.

                  Do that and watch as the bludgers whinge about not making a profit.

                  • The Chairman

                    It’s a stop gap measure to be considered which would protect the most vulnerable in the meantime.

                    Renationalization coupled with providing it as a government service is fast becoming a pipe dream.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Only if we, as a people, allow it to become a pipe dream. We need to change the narrative and tell people how much better it will be compared to privatisation. There’s still enough of us around that remember that it was better. Not perfect but certainly better than the BS that we have now.

        • Tracey

          so we collectively pay for the services these tenants need while the landlord gets to keep making capital gain and or yield. sounds fair given the landlord class seem to hate bludgers off the taxpayers

        • Tracey

          makes you wonder why electricity and water changed to being run on a bottom line profit motive then

    • maui 3.2

      Imagine if you had a system where tenants could dob in landlords for not providing minimum housing standards. Weekly fines could be put on the landlord until the requirements were met and the landlord would be forced to stop rent increases for the next 5 years. You would get a big improvement of housing stock quite quickly!

      • indiana 3.2.1

        There would be no landlords to dob in under your suggested fantasies and the net result more homeless people.

        • Gangnam Style

          Bollocks there would be more homeless, there would suddenly be a glut of houses for sale, & market forces would mean they would go for less, & anyway not all landlords are scum sucking parasites, some are quite happy to have their tenants live in safe houses.

          • b waghorn

            No no gangnam the poor are meant to be greatful they are allowed to live in houses owned by the likes of Indiana.

          • The Chairman

            Creating a glut of poor quality homes for sale merely shifts the problem onto first home buyers, who in the short-term are seldom fiscally better off than tenants.

            • maui

              If you’ve got enough money to buy a crappy overvalued New Zealand house, then you’ve got enough money to factor in doing some basic repairs on the house and bringing it up to a liveable standard.

              • The Chairman

                With house values several times higher than incomes, buying a house tends to stretch revenue streams, leaving little disposable income.

            • Tracey

              do you consider substandard homes and high electricity prices are a problem?

              • The Chairman


                An insulated home alone isn’t a warm home without heating.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.2

        Weekly fines would be sufficient, you don’t need to put a 5 year ‘no-rent increase’ clause, which is stupid.

        • maui

          The “no rent increase” for a set time is to try and stop the transfer of the landlord costs onto the tenants. There’s probably other ways you could do it, but that was my intention.

          • Lanthanide

            Landlords increase rents for many reasons, not just to do (overdue) maintenance on their house.

            I appreciate what you’re trying to achieve there, but a blanket rule banning rent rises isn’t fair.

          • Psycho Milt

            The “no rent increase” for a set time is to try and stop the transfer of the landlord costs onto the tenants.

            I’m interested in this concept that landlords’ costs for maintaining and upgrading rental properties shouldn’t be passed on to tenants. Are you envisaging renting flats to people as a kind of charitable or philanthropic exercise, or is it more that you see being a landlord as such an enjoyable hobby that those participating surely won’t mind paying for the enjoyment they derive from it?

            • weka

              It’s more about the line between making a Lin
              living and greed. There’s also the issue of housing costs in NZ being far too high relative to income. If that ratio was lower, rent rises would be less of an issue.

            • maui

              If you’re remodelling the house’s kitchen to attract different clientele then raising the rent makes sense. But if you’re fixing draughty rooms, leaks coming into the house, putting insulation in where there was none before, repainting some rooms and the exterior and passing those costs onto the renters then you’re not a good landlord in my book.

              • Why? If you’re renting, your rent covers the cost of the property – since when did maintenance cease being a cost of ownership? And if your landlord upgrades the property, eg by putting insulation in the walls or under the floor, or installing a heating system, it’s not because they’re philanthropists who love giving money away, it’s because they can recover the cost of the upgrade via rent. Nobody gets into the landlord business because they love losing money.

                • maui

                  It’s lucky I’ve never had a landlord who thinks like that because I would think they’re an arsehole. As soon as the dishwasher breaks.. up goes the rent. It’s the duty of care of the landlord to look after your tenants and provide what they need in the house. I would like to think that the motivation behind installing a heatpump in a house is because you knew that the house got cold and would be cheaper for your tenants to run, not that you would only do it if your tenants agreed that their rent would go up.

                  • The motivation behind installing a heat pump is to see that the tenants have a relatively cheap means of heating the place, sure. But if you don’t recover the costs of doing things like that via the rent, you’re a philanthropist, not a landlord.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith

              So as you believe there’s a strong causation effect to actual costs and rents charged no doubt you’ll believe that landlords reduce rents when their costs decrease eg interest rate drops, paying the mortgage off.

              I know several landlords who have no mortgage on their rental properties yet they still increase their rents when the “market” moves.

              The profiteering in Christchurch has showed some of our landlords at their very bastard worst. Rents there increased well beyond any actual increase in costs.

              Tenants have been lining landlords pockets for years and now they are crying because they might have to meet some habitable standards.

              What about all the excess rent they’ve got over the years.

              What about all the personal tax they didn’t pay cause they could offset their losses against it. I couldn’t do that with my house but I’ve spent a darn sight more than most landlords to maintain and insulate my home to keep my family warm and healthy.

              What about all the tax free capital gains many have made.

              Bastards lots of them.

              They’ve been subsidised by both tenants and the tax system for years.

              • You know some bad landlords? Funnily enough, lots of landlords know some bad tenants. If only our Lord would return and bring the day of judgement upon us, then all this wickedness would cease.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  So we should only subsidise good landlords then.

                  You know like there’s good beneficiaries eg superanuitants and bad beneficiaries eg sole parents.

                  But what’s a good landlord – one that has maintained his property well, ensured it is repaired and suitable for habitation. One that would meet the warrant of fitness maybe.

                  And therein lies the difficulty – you’re arguing for a subsidy for those landlords that have reaped the profit and the tax advantages. but not invested back into the property.

                  Saw the same thing with commercial buildings. Conscientious landlords not touching buildings that clearly needing strengthening or paying for the strengthening work out of their rentals only to find those that didn’t bother or bought cheaply then asking for a handout to do so.

                  What has happened to the mantra of self-responsibility or caveat emptor in this situation?

                  • Molly


                    And the number of landlords who own houses for capital gains rather than to generate income, would be a big percentage now compared to a decade ago.

      • Weepus beard 3.2.3

        The tenant who dobbed in the landlord would be given notice immediately for having the temerity to complain.

        There’s a disincentive to do so right there.

        It’s all the same in New Zealand: renters are powerless and second class citizens.

  3. Chooky 4

    Andrew Little on form today on Morning Report

    Labour has waded into the broadcasting debate saying it wants a a new public-service television broadcaster if it becomes government


    ( keep it up Labour Party ….we need one of these Labour Party policies every day on Morning Report and/or an attack on this jonkey nact government policies)

  4. Molly 5

    We can only hope that Julie Christie does not think to duplicate this idea in NZ.

    Russell Brand reviews the US reality show: The Briefcase, and just when you think it doesn’t get any worse than The Bachelor, you really have to ask yourself: WTF?

  5. ianmac 6

    Mihingarangi Forbes was on Native Affairs last night for the last time I think. She traversed the mis-spending of funds

    but of special interest was an interview with a tired fearful looking John Key.

    He didn’t relax until the last few moments.
    Every time he diverted she quietly politely bought him back on task. Re the first-refusal of land for housing. A first rate interview and no wonder pressure has been brought to bear to eliminate Mihi. Not online yet but repeats on Wed at 10:30pm.
    A masterful interviewer!

    • Chooky 6.1

      look forward to seeing it…hopefully it will be linked here

      imo jonkey nactional is trying to kill off any media that asks the hard real questions of him and his government…he is very fearful of this!…he much more comfortable with infotainment

      ….this is why jonkey’s friend Slater is now turning his attention on attacking blog sites like this ….where the hard questions are asked and the real news is discussed

      jonkey nactional is trying to bring in thought control …in other words fascism by stealth

    • Hateatea 6.2


      Interview with the PM starts 12.30 – 27.20 approx

      He seemed not to be able to grasp the difference between a collective set up to deal with 3 specific issues and the iwi most involved, Ngati Whatua and Tainui but Mihingarangi politely and firmly brought him back several times.

  6. freedom 7


    [lprent: Why? All first (ie pseudonym + email combinations) comments have to be approved by a moderator. Silly comments like this either get spammed or passed with probation. We view them identifying you as a person of suspicion. And if you are doing it on a post then make sure that the comment relates to either the post of the content of the whoever you are replying to. Otherwise use Open Mike. Read the policy. ]

    • freedom 7.1

      apologies lprent, I obviously wasn’t paying attention as to what post i was on – see 8.1

  7. freedom 8


    [Letting this through. You might have changed a login detail – MS]

    • freedom 8.1

      I was battling some very pernicious malware. I had done a re-install of OS to try to remedy the situation and the above was me entering the wrong email.

      New OS Didn’t solve it though 🙁 Which is odd as I am on Ubuntu and never really have to bother with viruses etc. So anyway, after lots and lots of reading what other similarly frustrated people had written, a solution was found. A new router.

      If anyone else has met “Ads by Lu” you may want to save yourself the headache and replace your router before attacking your OS

      – there are some &*%$* advertisers out there

      As well as throwing popups everywhere, (adblockers don’t have any affect btw) it really loves to insert itself into news articles by replacing words in the article with hyperlink advertisements. Just nasty and basically a big frikkin headache, but all better now after finding a replacement router 🙂

  8. Philip Ferguson 9

    In the late 1990s and early 2000s I was heavily involved in a NZ-based marxist magazine called ‘revolution’. We had readers all over the world and quite a range of people wrote for the mag at various times, including the moderator of this list and (then) up-and-coming sci-fi writer Ken MacLeod. Ken is now well-established as a sci-fi novelist.

    I have put up on Redline blog a couple of pieces Ken wrote for the mag. There’s a very short piece on cultural dumbing down based on comments he made as part of a panel at the 1998 Edinburgh Book Festival. It’s here: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/ken-macleod-on-the-cultural-dumbing-down/

    The more substantial piece is on Science fiction after ‘the end of history’, which he wrote for the mag the same year. It’s here: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/from-the-vaults-science-fiction-after-the-end-of-history-1998/

    It was quite strange re-reading these and doing them up for Redline, 17 years later. They still ring very very true.


    • Tracey 9.1

      today i was reading parts of interview with waterside workers from 1951. some of the stuff including references to company profits while crying poor put me in mi d of POA dispute… 60+ years later

  9. Clemgeopin 11

    An excellent article about two great ideas for the Labour party: How to select their candidates and about their take home pay.

    I agree with its implication so much, I will link it here for your views and debate regarding the pros and cons of the idea.


    • Clemgeopin 11.1

      By the way, Trotter’s stupid comment about ‘‘beneficiary tucked up warmly in bed’ was a crap of a shallow comment.

      However, I liked the two ideas, attributed to Danyl McLauchlan, mentioned in his article. [ How to select Labour candidates and about their take home pay].

      Any comments on these two ideas and the possible immediate and long term implications for the Labour party?

      • te reo putake 11.1.1

        No to mention the dismissive ‘Tongan cleaner’ line. Trotter’s a bourgeois prat.

      • Olwyn 11.1.2

        I thought that Chris raised questions that need to be raised. If we think that MP’s are there to robustly represent constituencies, then we should be shocked at some of the findings of the Labour Party review – most particularly the undermining effect of disunity within the caucus. Can you imagine National losing an election partly due to open caucus disunity? It is hard to imagine because National’s constituency has the power to scare its MP’s into line. We have come to think and behave as if we cannot expect much better – to wearily hope that things will improve now that we have Andrew at the helm.

        Labour voters are not powerful enough to scare Labour politicians into line. In fact the people who can scare Labour politicians are exactly the same ones who can scare National politicians – the powerful (who can withhold or give donations) and their media mates, (who are able to build or destroy reputations). However, many of these people benefit from the very injustices that Labour exists to challenge. Even if Chris’s suggested solution does not prove to be workable, he is spot-on in identifying the problem, and the two qualities that he is indirectly pointing to, conviction and real solidarity, are much needed parts of its solution.

        • Clemgeopin

          Well said. If the two ideas are implemented, it will serve many purposes, such as…

          The members will be the ultimate judges of the type of candidates they want the Labour party to be represented by. There is a greater chance that good people of quality will get selected as our MPs. If the MPs are not good enough, it is easy for members to replace them or rank then lower at the next candidate list selection. It is more likely that we will get more patriotic, more intelligent, more idealistic and more caring MPs representing the party.

          It also means that the MPs are there for the right reasons of working selflessly without excessive greed, for the people and the betterment of the country rather than for personal benefits to themselves.

          Keen to hear your varied views.

        • Tracey

          said white male middle class trotter in his all knowing what the “others” need

        • McFlock

          I fail to see how the damaging effects of disunity in caucus would be shocking – they’ve been evident for years. And has the discunity in the party membership, and the friction between factions in membership and factions in caucus, and vice versa…

          But while it’s been bad over the past few years, it’s improving. I see it as repercussions from the departure of a particularly strong and disciplined leader and some of her caucus stalwarts, like water rushing into a vacuum. And then the membership and affiliates took some control of the caucus leadership from caucus itself, and that caused waves as well (but made the seabed more stable).

          Quite frankly, “shock” leads to searches for explanation, which leads to witch hunts, which leads to more division and disunity.

          Labour in general seem to have a pretty good response to the review: it is what it is, and we’ll learn the lessons.

  10. ianmac 12

    Testing after change of email.

  11. Chris 13

    If government wants to do this in the health system how about doing the same in the social welfare benefit system where benefit numbers are dropping without any information about what’s really happening to the people behind each statistic?


    There’s a ton of anecdotal evidence about what’s really happening which is that people are being turned away at the counter without proper assessment, MSD are making decisions that ignore medical evidence, the whole process is made deliberately onerous to create a “can’t be bothered appyling” attitude amongst the poor and so on and so on.

    How about some proper information, Anne Tolley?

  12. Potato 14

    Woohoo, a new replacement for Campbell Live has been announced.
    After being forced to get our daily dose of empathy and human kindness from Roadcops, from next week we now will be able to witness genuine suffering and human interest with…… Come Dine With Me.
    I can’t wait. Err, no, yes I can !!


    • Potato 14.1

      Of course, its produced by Eyeworks Touchdown. Started by Julie Christie, now owned by Warner Brothers.

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        her name sprung instantly to mind… the queen of imitation. makes you wonder whose flag she wants us to copy.

        • Potato

          I’m surprised the flag roadshow wasn’t turned into a reality programme.
          Each week the viewers could have voted off a contender and at the end the winning designer would get to have their flag used for the next 100yrs, free movie passes (only Warner Bros films) and a signed poster of John Key. (Txts cost 99cents per minute).

          I should be quiet, they might still do that.

    • Philip Ferguson 14.2

      I quite like ‘Come Dine with Me’ – watching the dynamics of personalities and interactions on it can be fascinating in a sort of appalling way.

      But if this is the replacement for Campbell Live, it’s a massive dumbing down and the viewing audience will be down as well.

      CDWM is an amusing little diversion, but people who have just watched ‘news’ that consists of soundbites about serious stories and fluff about ‘celebs’ want something a bit meatier afterwards, like a chunk of the stories that appeared on ‘Campbell Live’, not more vacuous ‘entertainment’. And five nights a week?!!!

      Mind you, some of the opinions expressed around the dinner table on CDWM are probably better-informed than anything out of the mouth of that little airhead with the spikey hair over on TV1 at 7pm.

    • Reality 14.3

      Good grief, could TV3 dumb down any more? Obviously yes they can, and will. I once spent 5 minutes watching the British CDWM which was excruciatingly ghastly. Campbell Live is sorely missed.

    • McFlock 14.4


      So having lost a ballpark competitor to seven sharp, they’re trying to compete with Shortland St.

      Good luck with that. Meanwhile, seven sharp seems to have picked up quite a few viewers from somewhere…

  13. Philip Ferguson 15

    American singer and actor Ronnie Gilbert, of the legendary folk group The Weavers (blacklisted during the McCarthyite 1950s) died on Saturday. The inspiration for a string of female folk singers from Mary Travers to Holly Near, Ms Gilbert was in her 89th year.

    She certainly had a long and fruitful life, even remarrying in 2004, second time round to her manager and longtime partner Donna Korones, during a short period where the mayor of San Francisco had instructed the city clerk to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples.

    There’s an appreciation of Ronnie Gilbert by veteran Wellington folk musician (and political activist) Don Franks here: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/ronnie-gilbert-singer-with-social-conscience-1926-2015/

  14. Rosie 16

    In the feeds, to the right of the page is the news of the death of Peter Conway.

    Sincere condolences to the family and to all that were close to him. Strength and love to all.

    A sad day.

    • Bugger. That’s so very sad. Pete was a great guy, always so kind and generous and very forgiving of economic illiterates like myself. He had a real strength to him, but didn’t need to shout to make that apparent. I really can’t believe it. Crying now. Shit.

      • Tracey 16.1.1

        and no knighthood…

        • Anne

          Of course not. First and foremost you have to make money (lots of it) at what you’re doing and all he did was sit around and think about the workers. In other words a bleeding heart. (profound sarcasm)

      • Rosie 16.1.2

        Sorry for your tears trp, let them flow though.

        I’m on the periphery of workers rights these days and never knew Peter Conway personally but was very aware of his presence and effect within the movement.

        It really is a great shock.

    • Clemgeopin 16.2

      That is a very sad news, Rosie. I admired him from a distance and corresponded with him once.

      It is people like him that needed to get the New Zealand awards.
      Incidentally, Helen Kelly is another leader that highly deserves a high award.

      My heartfelt condolences to his family and to all the people who knew him in the Union movement.

      RIP, Peter.

  15. emergency mike 17

    I don’t know if this has been covered or not, but Peter Dunne has, after dragging his feet as long as he could during petition signing and protests, made a call on which way the wind is blowing and allowed the family of a young man in a coma to import and try a medical cannabis product. (The product is coming from the US, the original home of Nixon’s quaint old ‘war on drugs’ vote winner).

    The comments below are pretty unanimous. Isn’t it time we joined the 21st century on this issue?

  16. ianmac 18

    The Native Affairs link is up:
    Interview with Key after 15minutes. Key looks tired and very wary of Mihi.
    Mihi is the quietest and most effective interviewer.
    A must watch – I think.

    • Rodel 18.1

      tried to watch but can take only a minute of Key’s obfuscation.

    • Scintilla 18.2

      Thanks, ianmac. Quite right re: Mihi and she wouldn’t let Johnboy off the hook either, no matter how much he slithered. I suspect he has the emotional quotient of a 15 year old.

    • Chooky 18.3


  17. Phillip Nottingham 19

    Good Morning Mr Prentice, Your site and its contents have been brought to my attention yesterday. Your posts concerning me are malicious and deliberately false. I was not present in the High Court in the Blomfield matter and certainly did not take pictures of you. I have absolutely no interest in your narcissistic delusions of your own self importance. I have written to the High Court requesting details of any security footage of that day, if it exists. I suggest you do the same. I was not there so do not know the date. It might assist if you contact the registry and request details and supply the dates. Your mendacious malevolent threats of ongoing abuse have been taken seriously. Please desist from your conduct and the promotion of the nonsense on the web site Lauda finem scam. I have emailed you and cc Mr Matt Amon of the High Court Registry. I will be filing a copy of your posts and my response with the District Court this morning. Continued conduct will result in legal action Lyn ( apologies if that is not how you spell your name ).

    [lprent: Bullshit. Go ahead, make my day. I do so love the concept of discovery and the court ordered allocation of costs.

    BTW: for others reading this, the Nottingham brothers are highly likely to be the blowhards who run Lauda Finem and who delight in attacking anyone that Cameron Slater dislikes.

    Prior to my appearance on The Nation, I’d deliberately avoided leaving images of myself as an adult on any part of nets, and have done so for more than 3 decades.

    These clowns took the photos of me in the high court on the net and then published them on Lauda Finem. Needless to say, I was and are still rather annoyed about that.

    Since I appeared on The Nation, there is no longer a reason to maintain a neither confirm nor deny policy on those photos, nor to refrain from naming the arseholes who did it. ]

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