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Open mike 09/07/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 9th, 2013 - 213 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

213 comments on “Open mike 09/07/2013”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Humbug Corner
    No. 14: Charles Saatchi

    “I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way.”

    —-Former Thatcher advertising “maestro” Charles Saatchi, commenting on photographs of him attacking his wife in a London restaurant.

    Humbug Corner is dedicated to gathering, and highlighting, the most striking examples of faux solicitude, insincere apologies, and particularly stupid recycling of official canards. It is produced by the Insincerity Project®, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    More humbugs….
    No. 13 Toyota New Zealand: “The more Kiwis that lean, the more motivated our ETNZ crew will be to win.”
    No. 12 Pem Bird: “We’re there to do the business of advancing our people.”
    No.11 Whenua Patuwai: “They’re my brothers and to see one of them goes [sic]—it’s tough.”
    No. 10 “Sir” Owen Glenn: “I do care that every person, especially children, have [sic] the right to feel safe.”
No. 9 “Sir” Owen Glenn: His abuse inquiry is floundering after revelations he was accused of physically abusing a young woman in 2002.

No. 8 Barack Obama: “…people standing up for what’s right…yearning for justice and dignity…”

No. 7 Barack Obama: “Nelson Mandela is my personal hero…”

    No. 6 John Key: “Yeah well the Greens’ answer to everything is rail, isn’t it.”

    No.5 Dr. Rodney Syme: “If you want good, open, honest practice, you have to make it transparent.”

No. 4 Mike Bush: “Bruce Hutton’s… integrity beyond reproach…such great character…”

No. 3 Dean Lonergan: “Y’ know what? The only people who will mock them are people who are dwarfists.”

    No. 2 Peter Dunne: “What a load of drivel and sanctimonious humbug…”


No.1 Dominic Bowden: “It’s okay to be speechless.”

    • rosy 1.1

      “I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way”

      What’s your job again, Mr Saatchi? You’re not using your professional skills to sanitise your own image because no-one else will do it for you? If so, you’ve lost your touch.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Probably the first one of these that was genuinely worth highlighting.

      • Morrissey 1.2.1

        Probably the first one of these that was genuinely worth highlighting.


        You don’t think it’s worth highlighting a Deputy Police Commissioner who praises the “integrity beyond reproach” of a notorious bent cop? You don’t think it’s worth highlighting a few of the Prime Minister’s never-ending stream of glib and dishonest statements? You don’t think it’s worth highlighting the faux solicitude and appallingly bad method-acting of a cynical and corrupt machine politician paying false homage to a real hero?


    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      The “price” being that wingnut idiots will get themselves very excited over the fact that you got killed, as though they think it’s some sort of extension of their self-image of being big and tough?

    • felix 2.2

      That’s weird.

      Last time this happened all the wingnuts were outraged when I said the police have an unofficial policy of killing anyone who shoots at them.

    • fender 2.3

      “Shoot at the police and you pay the price…”

      Have the decency to hold your celebration party well away from humans grieving please.

  2. mickysavage 3

    For anyone wanting to read an unusual analysis of the GCSB amending legislation Lyndon Hood’s attemptis well worth a read. The only problem is that I cannot be sure if it is intended to be satire or not …

    • karol 3.1


    • David H 3.2

      I had the same doubts, then I noticed NIGEL in a basement in Aitken st. And it seems Nigel is a comedians fall guy name.

      Just ask Billy 1:05 in

  3. logie97 4

    Morrissey, are you tracking brain fades.

    If Stuff is to be believed, here are those magic words again

    “I haven’t actually seen those myself, well I can’t recall them.”


  4. JK 5

    Amy Adams Minister for the Environment is wrong about GMOs.

    She’s trying to stop local councils from making new rules and regulations about GMOs in their own patch, and says only the central Govt can do this.

    But an intercouncil working group say that under the current legislation, local government has jurisdiction to manage the risks from GMOs under the RMA in addition to national regulation under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) provided that the requirements of the RMA are met. And they quote a legal opinion obtained by the working group from Dr Royden Somerville QC, and confirmed by Ministers for the Environment in both the previous Labour led Government and the present National led Government, and further confirmed by Crown Law opinions.

    This is from a media release on Scoop NZ on 5 July.

    • North 5.1

      Amy Adams learning from her boss – “I can find you another lawyer with a contrary view…….”

      So thick ! How do they get away with this shit ?

      “The Earth is not flat” is at risk.

  5. North 6

    Andy Murray the toast of the town hobnobbing with Prime Minister David Cameron after Wimbledon – TVOne Breakfast – Andy Murray for a knighthood ?

    The Artist Taxi Driver is not pleased, in a style. Just as I vomit when I see ShonKey Python crawling up Richie McCaw’s arse.

  6. Rosetinted 7

    Radionz this morning and Simon Mercep trying to pierce the smug veil of Steven Joyce by quoting some findings from the report on ‘possible’ harm from gambling at the increased numbers of pokies at Skycity. Joyce, amused said I can quote a reply from my copy of the report and we could continue like this, but ‘It could affect your ratings badly’. And that’s a telling point of view about questions from journalists, being governed by commercial considerations – which we already know is largely the situation in NZ.

    And Mercep couldn’t get far with this discussion anyway because the report stated that it was likely to cause harm and this is based on observed past experience, but accepting future results based on previous experience is not what this government considers relevant or of importance, hence we never learn anything in this country, about social and many other issues.

  7. David H 8

    Only a few hours until Question time, where David Shearer will rise to his feet and ask the question he has thought about all weekend. Does the PM stand by his statements? The same dumb fucking question, he has asked since he became leader. And the answer will be the same, YES, and a whole lot of crap about the ManBan. ?? Then That fine and upstanding person, the highly impartial speaker will slap the PM down. Yeah Right. I suppose if we are lucky Shearer will be rolled at the Caucus meeting. But unfortunately we are not that lucky.

    • felix 8.1


      It’s a fucking stupid question to ask every single day.

      He might as well just get up and say “Would the PM like to take a free shot on a topic of his choosing?”

      • Jane 8.1.1

        The theory is to prevent the PM from knowing what is coming and gives no time to prepare also enables just about any supplementary question, has been used for many many years, this is the theory but in practice it doesn’t work so well if you have spent the last week with both feet in your mouth while simultaneously kickin your own arse!!

        • felix

          Yeah I get the reason it’s used.

          I just question the wisdom of letting Shearer use it every day. In his hands it’s a gift to Key.

          • David H

            Now when Winston uses it, Key can get worried, because Winston usually has an ulterior motive.

            • Colonial Viper

              You call it an ulterior motive, but I’d say that it’s simply having a plan.

          • Rosetinted

            If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. And to use a word I found today, Shearer’s overweening belief in himself prevents him from ever admitting that the Leadership sitooation is broke, broken, defunct. He’s our Kevin Rudd! Makes bold assertions in a confident voice. Has a pleasantly toned voice, two eyes and a nose – what more could Labour and NZ want?

            • Colonial Viper

              He’s our Kevin Rudd!

              Within a month, Rudd already has Labor slamming Abbott and the Coalition in the polling. Shearer ain’t no Rudd.

              • McFlock

                well, he’s back to where he was when he was rolled.

                Mildly interested to see how long it lasts.

                • fender

                  He wants to change the rules now.

                • Colonial Viper

                  well, he’s back to where he was when he was rolled.

                  If it was David Shearer, you’d be celebrating how much of a lift to the party’s polls he’d accomplished.

                  • McFlock

                    you suck at mind-reading – I’d be worried that Rudd’s popularity could wane as quickly as it did last time (which gave Gillard the opportunity).

                    Easy come, easy go.

      • phillip ure 8.1.2

        that question is a standard…because it gives the person being questioned absolutely no idea what the subject they will be questioned on is..

        ..hence they cannot prepare an answer beforehand..

        ..and it heightens the gotcha!-possibilities..

        ..far be it from me to defend shearer..but this question is not an example of a ‘stupid-question’..

        ..it is an opposition ‘standard’..

        phillip ure..

        • David H

          But you only use it every now and again, as it looses it’s power if used too often, and also it seems to me that the Caucus don’t trust Shearer with a really serious question.

    • TighyRighty 8.3

      It’s quite a clever narration trick by shearer. It enables a story to build within a story. If ever labour do discover a winning blow on jk, the can then say he lied in parliament by using ll of David shearers ” do you stand by all your statements”

      Just got to find that hidden gem now. Good luck.

      • karol 8.3.1

        Well. Whateverz. It’s Shearer’s question for today, amongst more specific questions form various opposition MPs.

        And what’s the bet that the PMs answer will include the neologism, “manban”?

        • TightyRighty

          I don’t know why you keep blaming the manban on slater, DPF, the MSM and national. Why can’t you just accept that labour fucked up with this. Just because people don’t see it your way, doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Trying to claim the moral high ground on an issue that smacks of alienating slightly under half the electorate reeks of desperation.

          As high and mighty as you believe your aspirations to be, if you can’t achieve them or back them up in the face of criticism, then they reveal that the proponents are nothing but flakes. this isn’t the media’s fault, it’s not nationals fault, it’s not the VRWC’s fault. it’s labours fault for being completely pathetic on this issue.

          • Colonial Viper

            As high and mighty as you believe your aspirations to be, if you can’t achieve them or back them up in the face of criticism, then they reveal that the proponents are nothing but flakes.

            That’s a piece of valuable political advice, Tighty.

            That Labour did not realise it was walking into a lose lose scenario of its own creation over a proposal which if applied today would give it just 1 or 2 more women MPs in caucus – can the public imagine a more hopelessly token blow for gender equality because I can’t – is indeed “completely pathetic”.

            And that various Standard commentators would cheer the proposal on with absolutely no insight into how poorly it was being received by left leaning women in the community, in particular those ones who don’t know what “intersectionality” is, was very concerning.

            • stargazer

              what a load of nonsense. there were plenty of policy proposals put up, it’s up to the membership to debate them & up to the parliamentary leadership to defend our right to debate them.

              there have been many examples of effective responses the leadership could have made in various comment threads here. but a very simple one would have been to attack the opposition instead of the membership. come out strong, repeating 15/59 as often as you can, support the need for more women in parliament, support the right of members to debate various options, and this could have been a whole different situation.

              but what you’re asking for is a shutting down of ideas & debate, because i suspect you’re not prepared to support any measures to improve women’s representation in parliament. i haven’t seen anything from you so far supporting any kind of measure, or saying “that proposal won’t work, but here’s a better one that has been shown to work in other situations”. even that level of response from our leadership would have been a better response than the crap we’ve had so far. only sue moroney managed to put forward something like it. and the fact is that the proposal at it is has been implemented in UK & australia, to the extent that david cameron is forcing his party to follow it.

              when MPs & the leadership turn on their own party members instead of the opposition, the resulting mess is exactly what you can expect.

              • Colonial Viper

                but what you’re asking for is a shutting down of ideas & debate, because i suspect you’re not prepared to support any measures to improve women’s representation in parliament

                I’m interested in anything which makes Labour look like it is fit to govern and ready to sort the crises facing NZ. If it doesn’t fall into that category AND simultaneously looks like it is a disaster with natural Labour voters then yeah, I’m happy for a blowtorch to be put on it until the fucking thing melts.

                By the way, who in the electorate gives a flying damn whether or not today’s Labour caucus has 14 female MPs for a 41% ratio or 15 female MPs for a 45% ratio? Anyone?

                Labour is caught up trying to make miniscule symbolic differences which are only measurable in beltway metrics. The whole time voters up and down the country watch the party race around in circles chasing its own tail.

                there have been many examples of effective responses …one would have been to attack the opposition instead of the membership. come out strong, repeating 15/59 as often as you can

                What will that achieve? NZers don’t give a damn about 15/59. They voted National in after all, this is what they asked for. Did voters care in 2008 that the first woman on the National List was preceeded by 6 men and she was at no.7? Nope. With the 15/59 line they’ll just hear banging on about an out of touch proposal making a grand difference of 1-3 female MPs in todays caucus but a big fat zero in peoples every day lives.

                Voters slid out Helen Clark and put in a National Government which had 4 women in their top 25 party list places. That’s the way the electorate chose, and after the fact, the opinion polls showed that they were completely fine with the situation.

                You can’t craft a PR message if you don’t understand the priorities of the audience. 15/59 FFS.

                • karol

                  15/59…. and look what they’ve delivered for women, especially low income women who are taken the biggest share of the bennie bashing.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    so you believe that the NATs would change their bennie bashing ways if only they had a 29/59 ratio in caucus?

                    Personally, I think they can find another 14 Rebstock, Rankin and Wong clones who are just as happy to maintain the status quo patriarchy, albeit with a few more women at the table.

                    • karol

                      To an extent I agree. I also do think things won’t change while the most powerful positions in the Nat Party are held by men. And, it doesn’t just require something close to gender balance in a party, but diversity on other counts, especially for Labour, more people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

                      But I also think these are important debates to be had, and shouldn’t be pushed aside.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I also do think things won’t change while the most powerful positions in the Nat Party are held by men.

                      Is everyone suffering a kind of collective myopic amnesia today? Ruth Richardson? Jenny Shipley? I think Richardson was the first female Finance Minister in NZ, and Shipey the first female PM.

                      How would you characterise those governments for women in poverty and beneficiaries?

                    • karol

                      I wasn’t referring to one or two women amongst a bunch of men at the top table. Such women are only there because they play the games of those with most power – largely men.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I know plenty of men who are judgemental money driven elitist pricks and I know plenty of women who are judgemental money driven elitist pricks.

                      The problem with these kinds of “leaders” is what they have in common, not their difference gender.

                • stargazer

                  “They voted National in after all, this is what they asked for.”

                  oh good, let’s shut up shop and go home then. stop the asset sales petition, don’t worry about any workers rights legislation, forget about doing anything at all then, because the electorate voted national in, so that’s what they wanted. let’s stop wasting our time talking about climate change, capital gains tax, more progressive taxes or any other proposal, because the electorate chose national so none of it matters. at least according to your reasoning here, which is some of the weakest i’ve seen.

                  yes, keep telling us that our priorities are out of touch, just like the marriage equality people were told, just like any other group that deals with issues of marginalisation are told. we’re constantly told: you’re not important, nobody cares about you. don’t ever try to change anything because you’re issues aren’t my issues, i don’t care about them & i don’t care enough about you to stand beside you to fight for them. you make me look unpopular, so just shut up and let me decide what’s important, because you’re too stupid to know.

                  the PR message is simple, but it wasn’t used. because you don’t care about the issue, you decide it should have no priority & everyone should just accept the status quo. luckily activists around the world over and through the ages have never accepted that as an argument. it’s a pretty tired & useless one.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    oh good, let’s shut up shop and go home then. stop the asset sales petition, don’t worry about any workers rights legislation, forget about doing anything at all then, because the electorate voted national in, so that’s what they wanted. let’s stop wasting our time talking about climate change, capital gains tax, more progressive taxes or any other proposal, because the electorate chose national so none of it matters.

                    Now you’re trapped in the Labour Party vortex of “if only we can find the right combination of policies, voters will finally choose us” world view.

                    Both the Greens and Labour had policy documents for Africa in 2011 while National barely bothered. In fact National chained itself to the most devastatingly unpopular policy of the entire campaign (asset sales) and still won ~47% of the vote.

                    yes, keep telling us that our priorities are out of touch, just like the marriage equality people were told, just like any other group that deals with issues of marginalisation are told. we’re constantly told: you’re not important, nobody cares about you. don’t ever try to change anything because you’re issues aren’t my issues, i don’t care about them & i don’t care enough about you to stand beside you to fight for them. you make me look unpopular, so just shut up and let me decide what’s important, because you’re too stupid to know.

                    Gods damn it, do you really think that’s the issue? When I have female office workers, administrators, managers, lawyers, comms experts who are all current or recent Labour supporters come to me and say that the 50% proposal is utterly shit, I pay close attention.

                    • stargazer

                      “In fact National chained itself to the most devastatingly unpopular policy of the entire campaign (asset sales) and still won ~47% of the vote.”

                      yup, and tony blair’s government won 3 elections using the women-only candidates selection policy. david cameron managed to win one with the same policy as well, & has now made it compulsory. so what’s your point? that policy doesn’t matter? in which case it doesn’t matter that we have this particular one either, because as you argue, no-one pays attention to policy anyway.

                      “Now you’re trapped in the Labour Party vortex of “if only we can find the right combination of policies, voters will finally choose us” world view.”

                      bullshit. i’m saying that we should stand up for the values we claim to hold, and be ready to put up the arguments. and the arguments are there, the media response could have been clear and simple, and could have landed some clear hits on the right wing. i’m saying that you don’t ever accept your opponent’s framing, you reframe the argument so that you’re talking about it on your terms, not theirs. if you’re not prepared to do that, then there’s no point in being in politics at all. just agree with everything the opposition says, and go home.

                      “When I have female office workers, administrators, managers, lawyers, comms experts who are all current or recent Labour supporters come to me and say that the 50% proposal is utterly shit, I pay close attention.”

                      and when you hear women who are current or recent labour members who tell you that it’s important (and believe me, there are plenty, i’ve been talking with many of them), you ignore what they say, tell them they’re out of touch, tell them nothing they do can make a difference. funny how you only choose to pay attention to the ones who already agree with the way you see the world.

                • karol

                  It has long been argued that there needs to be a “critical mass” of women in any parliament/legislature for their be significant change for the benefit of women. Internationally that critical mass has been put at 30% (of the whole House). Actually, at 51%, Labour is doing reasonably well. National, not so much.

                  However, some also argue it needs to be a higher proportion than that. And there is some international evidence that quotas have helped women in some countries get closer to a critical mass.

                  And yes, there are selfish men and women. But, there tends to be a slightly different focus on issues and ways of doing politics, if there is a higher proportion of women.

                  I have said before, I think there are other things that need attending to rather than straight number counts. But it is part of a wider issue on the way politics is done and on the priorities given to some issues. And I think debates on women’s representation in politics are important ones that shouldn’t be marginalised.

                  • karol

                    their be significant change

                    there to be significant change

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I don’t buy into “critical mass” or “tipping point” arguments on the sole basis that no one can tell ahead of time whether such a critical mass or tipping point is at 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, etc. and so you cannot tell if it has anything to do in actual fact with the positive outcomes you are seeking.

                    But, there tends to be a slightly different focus on issues and ways of doing politics, if there is a higher proportion of women.

                    To me the bottom line is that the agents in the system, male or female, act on the basis of the incentives and structures of that system, which today is profit driven, asset speculative, individualistic free market capitalism.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Generally agree with your viewpoints on this topic, CV.

                      The interesting point about this ‘manban’ is that it came up so shortly after Gillard over the ditch made such a stinking big deal about being a woman, for a couple of weeks. They even had a picture of her knitting.

                      I’m sure that particular nuance of timing didn’t help NZ Labour out at all, either.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The example of Gillard being deposed, Rudd taking up the helm and Labor jumping up in the polls as a result won’t be doing Shearer much favours either.

  8. fender 10

    Shearer bans the suggestion

    • McFlock 10.1

      yep. Unimpressed.

      And the bold Waitakere Men will now be outraged by the antidemocratic move in 3…2…1…

      • fender 10.1.1

        Those ‘bold’ are too busy ‘focusing on the important issues’, they no longer view democracy as important.

        • fender

          ..even that pillar of democracy Claire Curran and some office ‘girls’ didn’t like it.

        • McFlock

          I gotta say, this is the first time (I can recall) that shearer has actually pissed me off.

          • fender

            I know…. you are so tolerant 🙂

          • Just do It

            Now, McFlock, you might be able to empathise with those of us who predicted Shearer’s poor performances right from November 2011.

            Have a look at some of the Standards’ blogs from the Leadership selection stage.

            We are watching the last stage of a train wreck. Rather than a tragic explosion, let us hope it is a non-fatal de-railing from which there can be a quick recovery.

            • McFlock


              Being annoyed at a specific choice a politician makes is one thing.

              Whining like babies because my candidate didn’t win, then nitpicking every minor flaw and imperfection for the rest of the term is another thing entirely.

              Note, for example, my lack of “Labour is doomed! DOOOMED!!!” utterances (although I think that this was a polling error, as well as the wrong decision). Or how I refrained from calling for shearer’s resignation at the first disagreement. Or how I avoided using violent, even apocalyptic, imagery (train wrecks, explosions, etc).

              Let me be clear: just because I disagree with Shearer on this issue does not mean that I no longer regard chicken littles as spoiled brats and fucking morons.

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s entirely your right to continue to believe Shearer has the goods to deliver in 2014, and that he will bring home the bacon on E-Day.

              • The Fan Club

                Yeah, I think Shearer’s fucked this one up, and I think we all got played by the ol’ boys club in caucus. Who can suck my clit, quite frankly.

  9. James 11

    Man Ban, Ban, Man.


    Thanks Labour for a thoroughly hilarious couple of weeks in politics.

    Do you guys even have press advisers, or could it actually be games being played getting to roll.

  10. Santi 12

    Bye, bye man-ban: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10895712
    A stupid idea gets the boot. Good on Mr Shearer, great Labour leader.

    • karol 12.1

      Yeah, great leader – panders to the right wing propagandists, and over-rides party democracy. How much longer are we going to be subjected to this right wing apology for the leader of a (alleged) left wing caucus?

  11. Pete 13

    I’m attending nethui today. There was just a fantastic keynote from Quinn Norton, a tech journalist from Wired. The event is streaming at http://nethui.org.nz/videos

  12. NickS 14


    Is the United Kingdom a one party state?

    (You might be forgiven for thinking this is a joke question, but please bear with me.)

    Three main political parties have substantial representation in the House of Commons in Westminster; there are a handful of independent MPs and members of regional or minority parties, but in general governance is in the hands of the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, and (to a lesser extent) the Liberal Democrat Party …

    It’s fairly clear that, in addition to having rich tribal identities going back centuries, the individual members of these parties hold very different beliefs about how the UK should be governed. It would be hard, for example, to find much in common between the beliefs of my local MP (an old school Labour Fabian Society member) and those of the conservative back-benchers who lately thumbed their nose at the Prime Minister by sneaking an Alternative Queen’s Speech motion into Hansard, calling for various policies that surprise no-one (“bring back hanging” being about the most progressive of them). Scratch a Liberal Democrat and, along with a lot of hand-wringing, you’ll get broadly socially liberal policies (and, unless they’re an Orange Book type, broadly socialist ones as well)…

    I’ll just leave this here (me too tired, alarm-cat woke me up early and took ages to get to sleep last night).

  13. David Shearer finally does something right and shows courage.

    • karol 15.1

      Yes, that sounds like a right wing MO: cheer a weak leader suppressing democracy.

    • fender 15.2

      Yes he tied his shoe laces, if you get lucky he’ll teach you how it’s done.

      Stale Bread with mango skins for supper.

  14. felix 16

    Has anyone ever asked why Shearer wants to be PM?

    It’s not hard to see what motivates most people into that position. It’s often a genuine desire to serve society, an effort to shape the nation in some way, a personal ambition to fulfill, or some combination of those.

    Shearer has always reminded me of one of those kids who plays sport because their parents want them to. You know the ones?

    They’re not usually great at it, and not always awful either, but they have this look about them that says they don’t really know why they’re there.

    • Saarbo 16.1

      Yes Felix, you are right.

      Another thing is many of the Political Scientists come out stating why the “Man Ban” was such a terrible thing and defending Shearer’s stance on it and yet somehow can justify having an ignorant, bumbling, nervy, un-inspirational, inexperienced, un-intelligent leader of the Labour Party…that’s OK.

    • Just do It 16.2

      +1 felix
      David Shearer would do well to look at this web site. He might find something that better suits his skill set and ambitions.


    • TheContrarian 16.3

      “Has anyone ever asked why Shearer wants to be PM?”

      Look at his history. He wants to make a difference.
      But it might be he is better on the coal-face as opposed to directing the miners if you follow me.

  15. lprent 17

    Back in Apia for Lyn to get some better anti-mosquito stuff. She attracts them like ummm me! But she also swells and itches, whereas to me they are just annoying. But now she has better mozzie repellers, I’d better start using them as well. All I have had to do so far is to stick close to her…

    Fixed the heading stories.

    I presume that someone has suggested that pakehas in the pakeha party should have their convictions and prision time increased? And that maybe it should be retrospective

    • Rosetinted 17.1

      Sounds hot and sticky in Apia lprent. And I guess that suits you fine. Time for a dip and a pina colada?

  16. NickS 18

    Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students
    Moss-Racusin et al 2013


    Despite efforts to recruit and retain more women, a stark gender disparity persists within academic science. Abundant research has demonstrated gender bias in many demographic groups, but has yet to experimentally investigate whether science faculty exhibit a bias against female students that could contribute to the gender disparity in academic science. In a randomized double-blind study (n = 127), science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student—who was randomly assigned either a male or female name—for a laboratory manager position. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant. The gender of the faculty participants did not affect responses, such that female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student. Mediation analyses indicated that the female student was less likely to be hired because she was viewed as less competent. We also assessed faculty participants’ preexisting subtle bias against women using a standard instrument and found that preexisting subtle bias against women played a moderating role, such that subtle bias against women was associated with less support for the female student, but was unrelated to reactions to the male student. These results suggest that interventions addressing faculty gender bias might advance the goal of increasing the participation of women in science.

    Another bit of evidence to add to the pile of papers on this saddening issue…

    • Murray Olsen 18.1

      I can give myself a little pat on the back here. Two young women have told me that they only stayed in science because they had me as a supervisor, and would have left otherwise. It’s not a friendly environment for young women, or can even be over friendly in a creepy way. I don’t know what the solution is except to support the ones I come across as much as I can. The preexisting biases are not always subtle at all. I have a passion for Physics and wish it were a more inclusive discipline, but women and minorities are vastly under represented, particularly in the English speaking world.

  17. Saarbo 19

    From Gareth Morgan in todays Herald


    “New Zealand has had a housing bubble for over a decade, the fizz went out during the global financial crisis but it is back. Not only is National pretending the world doesn’t know their dirty little secret (“we won’t tax you even though we know we should”) the tax policies the Labour and the Greens propose – capital gains tax with exemptions for owner-occupied housing – are too timid to be our ticket out of this mess. Not a capital gains tax but a wealth tax which includes owner-occupied housing and is integrated with income tax would do a far better job of meeting those tenets of good tax policy.”

    Add to that a reduction of the GST rate back down to 12.5%, or even better 10%…would fix Housing and reduce inequality in one hit. We need to be seeing more of these ideas.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Gareth Morgan has got the guts to say what NZ needs.

      At least partly because he’s not pandering for the votes of upper middle class NZ.

      • yeshe 19.1.1

        Silly shame he lost all the cat owners’ support in the meantime .. how to be so smart and so stupid all at once !

  18. NickS 20


    You’d think after a decade+ of research showing the radio wavelengths cellphones use have no statistically significant health effects it would have seeped into the public conciousness….

    • yeshe 20.1

      what planet do you live on Nick ? I’ll post something for you when I can find it …

      • yeshe 20.1.1

        stopped me editing for some reason, so please try this Nick … if you can get youtube on yr planet ..

        a long watch, but worth the time investment if you have the stomach for it.

        The veritable horse undeniably has bolted, there will be no closing of stable doors anywhere on our lovely earth. we are such silly and stupid bastards, really we are.

        • yeshe

          I apologise .. that is a busted link.

          Please try this one:

          • NickS

            🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

          • NickS

            Oh lordy, high-derp radio/wi-fi woo…


            Come back when you’ve got some actual science research and not a load of bullshit masquerading as a documentary. i.e. try looking in these things called “science journals” particularly big ones like Nature, Science and Cell which often publish cancer research and then hunt through the citation chains to put the info in it’s full context.

            Note – for utter, complete, fractal stupidity, the fifty 🙄 post is now standard 1st response.

            • McFlock

              I think I did a hundred rolly for pete george, once 🙂

            • muzza

              Nick, hows about you strap a smart phone to your head, leave it there for the rest of your life, film yourself, upload it regularly live from your head, making sure you use the full spectrum, so we can all track your progress. Lets get some science, going on here…

              Who knows, it might even cure your mental issues, or it might create some more, get into it if you’re so convinced of the, science!

              Don’t forget to turn it on, and leave it on, with an active connection!

            • yeshe

              wow, you are some arrogant nutter aren’t you ? (can’t believe you wanted to flutter your eyelashes at me so many times.) fractal stupidity ? so what do you think the phones are operating on if not on a resonating wave ? so what do you think is your personal OS ? and yet you can see no conflict ? maybe that’s why your eyelashes have such serious flutter problems ??

              I’d flutter back but I would hate you to get the wrong idea.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Wow, The Ignorance is strong in this one.

              • NickS

                Or maybe some of us know this thing called “science” very very well, and also have a background in biochemistry, which leads us to seeing the big flaws in the EMF cause’s harm argument. Namely that there’s a very significant lack of both lab (animal and cell culture models) and population evidence that indicates that EMF radiation emitted from a variety of human tools and tech causes any harm at levels it’s encountered.

                And resonate frequency? Lolwat? Your brain doesn’t operate on EMF, it uses pulses of ions to communicate along nerve axons to synaptic junctions. There’s no real electricity involved, nor wires in which EMF can induce current but nerve impulses can be triggered by electrical and very strong magnetic stimuli. So then, by all means, show us the evidence.

                We await with cynicism, sure that you’ll fire off a bunch of pseudoscience rather than anything from the literature.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The more you learn, the less you know.

                • UglyTruth

                  The hubris of scientism. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Oh look, a talking parrot.

                  • NickS

                    The hubris of scientism. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


                    Unless that is you’ve ruled out every plausible* mechanism via experimentation and done tons ecological studies, using the same methodologies used to beautifully detect the sometimes subtle effects of other carcinogens etc and come up with nothing. Then the bayesian chances of there actually being something are down in the lands of the very highly improbable, with things like boltzman brains and russel’s teapot.

                    For in the sciences, absence of evidence, after you’ve searched out the landscape of where your target should be, usually indicates it probably doesn’t exist. See “luminous ether” for the ur example, vaccine-autism for the most recent and string theory for the most mind-warping.

                    *translation – has some evidential backing or fits with the rest of the wrap and weft of that area of science.

                • muzza

                  Namely that there’s a very significant lack of both lab (animal and cell culture models) and population evidence that indicates that EMF radiation emitted from a variety of human tools and tech causes any harm at levels it’s encountered.

                  So what it reads like you’re saying, Nick, is that there is, NO real idea of what the damage, may/may not be, based on lack of understanding?

                  Which, given the new-ness of the technology, is hardly surprising!

                  • NickS


                    Once more muzza shows how much of a muppet he is.

                    • muzza

                      Thinking about it, Nick..
                      In order that you keep your idendity schtum, while filming your contribution to the “significant lack of population evidence”, strap a comms enabled tablet to your skull, enable the wifi/3g/blue tooth, and get to work!

                      Be sure to announce when you’re set up, and ready to help will the “sigificant lack”!

                      Start with a video upload per day, and take it from there…

                    • NickS

                      🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

              • Murray Olsen

                Please begin by explaining to me what a resonant wave is. Feel free to be as technical as you like.

  19. Poission 21

    Last weekends aurora from Dunedin amazing photo.


  20. Rosetinted 22

    David Shearer was reported today as saying that pushing for more women in parliament was not the most important thing to the public at present. But then he starts talking about targets which I have come to hate as a screwy political ploy and way of setting ideological and aspirational goals. He’s talking about 45% by… and then perhaps more than 50% by… I like the idea of a minimum such as Maori in parliament having a definite four and given opportunities to increase that. So perhaps setting a floor number as an at least aspiration, which then will remain merely as a reminder of the importance of women being at the decision making table.

    I’m more concerned about the class system (and as someone recently attested, the increasing ‘caste system’) affecting the sort of representatives we get. Labour needs to aim for a third to a half of working class MPs and try for 50% in the lists if there is to be a target for change.
    It would require candidates to declare their backgrounds and incomes, and facing up to the over-supply of middle-class, educated, ideologically-inclined who generally come from ‘comfortable’ backgrounds. And recognising that just because someone is from the ‘working class’ would not mean they got priority and they must have the required amount of nous – understanding of social, economic and power levers on the country. They might have a tendency to adopt unsuitable pragmatic methods or ideas that would then be balanced by discussion with the more highly educated ideological members who could provide counsel as well as ideas. Similarly those with working class connections would counsel on whether positive outcomes would result from idealist policy suggestions.

    There needs to be methods of advancing those from ‘ordinary’ backgrounds but who have good ideals mixed with practical experience at grassroots, perhaps more junior labour party activities, of a social type also with regular meetings giving the opportunity to hear and personally talk to leaders in political and economic thought. A day spent with the local council perhaps as part of school curricula if there is room after studying for National Standards to learn about our real world.

    • karol 22.1

      I agree that the Labour Party needs more MPs from low income backgrounds. But that should also include fairly equal numbers of men and women from those backgrounds, plus some ethnic diversity. Under NAact low income women are particularly suffering. however, the present Labour caucus seems to be romanticising a bit about their roots amongst working class men. They seem to be targeting working class men.

      Curiously, the Labour MP who has made the most explicit public statements in favour of quotas, is Louisa Wall. Here is what the Labour Party website says about her background:

      I am the eldest of 4 children. My parents Les and Josie came from large families and left school without formal qualifications. Education was very important and my father particularly had an aspiration for me to go to university and to have a better life than he did. When he was a child my dad lived in a hut with a dirt floor. Dad died 4 years ago when he was 63 from a heart attack. He had the works – gout, diabetes, sleep apnoea. I want to be part of a Labour team that addresses these diseases of poverty. Not of the heart and mind, but the body, because we don’t have access to good housing, education and the health care that our families deserve.

      It is not necessary to pit gender (in)equality against other inequalities. They are all part of a larger whole that needs to be addresses. And the original Lbaour Party remit addressed all those forms of inequality.

      • Rosetinted 22.1.1

        Good on Louisa Wall. From my other comment – she is self balancing – working class background who has gone to university and now has perspective from both sides. So should be good.

        But Labour women sometimes get all starry eyed about making the world a better place, so she has to know about economics and power as well as social aspects. And human psychology.

        And coming from a poor background doesn’t always provide an understanding of the better way to follow. (I saw in a 2005 Listener in a thumbnail bio that he had a state house childhood. It’s become something to boast about – Look how I’ve pulled myself up by my bootstraps. And now I’m far above that sort of thing.)

        Women often feel the compassion and go for an ideal, without seeing the whole background and consider what’s pragmatic. Too inclined to be obedient to the particular ideology they are on, and often that’s not just following the money like the majority of men.

        • karol

          Rosetinted, now you are making my head spin. I’m not really sure what you are trying to say.

          In essence I agree with you that there needs to be more Labour MPs from lower income backgrounds (or “working class”) as you stated. When I say say this also should be ethnically diverse and fairly balanced gender-wise, giving an example of a very competent MP, you then start to get patronising about people from working class backgrounds, and about women in particular.

          And this statement just has be befuddled:

          Women often feel the compassion and go for an ideal, without seeing the whole background and consider what’s pragmatic. Too inclined to be obedient to the particular ideology they are on, and often that’s not just following the money like the majority of men.

          Now I do agree that there are general tendencies towards different approaches to politics by men and women. However, these are not the ways I see it happening. You seem to be saying women politicians can’t really think for themselves but blindly follow some impractical ideology.

          And yet, there’s women like Helen Clark and Louisa Wall who have been very pragmatic and have tended to approach policies in ways that step “outside the box” in order to implement their policies.

          • Rosetinted

            I am not being patronising because I don’t think all women are great, neither do I think that of Maori, or other ethnic backgrounds. It is my considered opinion, it cannot be a case of all being equal, and I think it’s a reasonable approach even if it isn’t P.C.

            It is interesting how many women are in roles where they are prepared to do the dirty work of bashing people round, figuratively speaking. They have worked their way up from just being carers and typists and the other mainly-female work classifications, but often don’t seem to have much integrity at the top. People like Jane Kelsey and Anne Salmond would be better names to give me to disprove my lowering doubts. And quoting the few who stand out can just be regarded as the exception proving the rule.

            Also there is nothing wrong with people honestly naming others – the ‘working class’ is an honest connotation and studies have identified certain behaviours to occur within that class culture, so it has an identifiable flavour.

            • karol

              They have worked their way up from just being carers and typists and the other mainly-female work classifications, but often don’t seem to have much integrity at the top.

              Who are all these women, and how do can they be any different from men from lower socio-economic backgrounds?

              Metiria Turei is one such woman, for instance. Louisa Wall first went to a technology institute (usually a route for those from lower income backgrounds, before going on to Uni.

              I am wary of the term “working class” (separated from the precariat) in relation to the Labour caucus leadership’s current focus. They use it in a way that separates the “deserving” (people in paid employment) from the “undeserviing” beneficiary bludgers. I would rather talk about the working class + the precariat. And women are a major section of the precariat in paid and unpaid employment.

              just being carers and typists

              So how is that any different from any other working class occupation?

              • Rosetinted

                just being carers and typists
                Have been traditionally the few openings for women workers (plus teachers and nurses, who have been able to improve their salaries and respect for their expertise.) . Karol perhaps you are too young to remember. this. Also they are semi-skilled jobs with limited wages and seniority options.

                If Labour use working class as a form of denigration then that says more about their mixed up class pretensions than anything I can say.

  21. Rosetinted 23

    70 oil filled cars in Canada have somehow been able to go on fire then get away from the controls of their braking system, fly down the track and incinerate a town, some saying like a huge crematorium. I thought I heard a report that it was left unsupervised on an incline. This is what happens when companies set up a dangerous practice – all care and safety will be attended to. Right!

    Consideration will be given to producing a manual that stands as high as its writer, or fills 10 CDs. And the fact that something will go wrong sometime, somewhere, and then there is so little margin of error between that and a disaster will probably be acknowledged! And then there will be a risk ratio applied to it, as if that puts it in an acceptable rationale. And Canada has been run by right wing politicians for some time with the same overweening pride in their rightness and smarts of the methods and decisions that RWNJs have everywhere.

    Disasters waiting to happen! I’ve read report on all the controls set up to prevent something like the Exon oil disaster. They were circumvented at every critical point. Result…. Drilling in deep, deep, cold water where important life for us all and the animals that have evolved to live there exist. What do the bloody businesses and infatuated businessmen and women care, about the future, about beyond their comfort, pleasure and bank balances. The smiling assassins, if not immediately, then they have laid the path.

    • yeshe 23.1

      I read the fire was small, and the engineer left an engine running to maintain the air brakes while it was ‘parked’ at the top of the incline … but the just-arrived fire officers turned the same engine off to help put out the small fire because no-one advised them not to… and then yes, everything you have said, just as you said it.

      • Rosetinted 23.1.1

        That sounds like a train of events that is understandable, no pun intended. What a horrible lot of mishaps. The engineer should have had all communications needed so he could stay in charge. And how many people were running that train? Surely the firm hadn’t been so stupid that they hadn’t left one man with the whole weight and responsibility. On the other hand I hope that they hadn’t taken time off to go and get a beer if there was a crew. Certainly someone should have had control over the whole thing.

        • yeshe

          The engineer did apparently leave the train and go away somewhere nearby. No other crew was mentioned in what I read. The train ran downhill absolutely out of control for 10 kms before it derailed right in the middle of the town which is completely destroyed. Staggering mistakes.

  22. Poission 24

    Farrar bungles statistics again eg

    So we’ve had politicians complain for the last year that the exchange rate is too high and that the NZ Government must either print money or spend billions intervening in the exchange rate to lower the dollar.

    he then uses the US$,as evidence that doing nothing is an option.Which is an incorrect metric the Trade weighted index being weighted as suggested in the trading currencies that are used such as yen OZ etc.

    There we see in May 2012 the US dollar was similar,but the TWI was around 70,which is why it is difficult for NZ exporters to supply in our closest and simplest market Australia.


  23. Yorick 25

    I think the only NZ politician capable of a Rudd revival in NZ is Grant Robertson, but the odds are against him given the current ruling Goffian cabal. Too many time-servers .. is it any wonder many people (present blog excepted) are so generally apathetic ?

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      I think the only NZ politician capable of a Rudd revival in NZ is Grant Robertson

      Find a politician who has no trouble winning in his own electorate first, is my recommendation.

      • Saarbo 25.1.1

        Yes, it would be a miracle if a politician lacked the popularity to win their own electorate and then somehow managed to gain nationwide popularity to become PM….doesn’t make sense Yorick? First look at the Politicians that are increasing their electorate vote…its just logical.

      • DavidC 25.1.2

        Sexist much CV ?

        • Colonial Viper

          Are we worried about style or substance in the writing here? Might there be a female version of Kevin Rudd doing a Rudd revival? I suppose so but my imagination didnt take it that far.

          • DavidC

            CV I dont give a rats arse about the twat that Mr Rudd is.

            I read your comment as you applying a sexist double standard WRT the potential leaders for the NZLP.

            • Colonial Viper

              I read your comment as you applying a sexist double standard WRT the potential leaders for the NZLP.

              because you think that expecting a potential leader to be able to win their own electorate seat is unreasonable and a sexist double standard?

              Please explain that to me.

              • DavidC

                I consider that your idea that a potential leader must win his own seat a sexist double standard CV. Simple really.

                • McFlock

                  CV doesn’t care for identity politics – he’s a “Waitakere Man”.

                  • DavidC

                    WTF has identity to do with sexism?

                    But its great you stoop to his level and defend him.

                    • McFlock

                      lol, nah I was being sarky.

                      The idea that equal representation and rights shouldn’t be persued because it might endanger the (as Trotter put it) “Waitakere Man” vote is the suppression of “identity politics”. CV follows that, which is why they don’t see the point of using more inclusive language.

                • muzza

                  DavidC, what are you actually on about…

                  This is what your comments read like, to me….wah wah wah, sexist, wah, sniveler, wah!

                  You’re wanten craving to throw an, “ism” accusation of some sort out there, comes screaming through your words, so much reek/desperation, you interpret something that was not even there!

                  Confirmed by McFlocks support for you, as he just could not wait, to get a return dig in, at CV. Your spurning his support, will sting however!

                  • DavidC

                    muzza…dont worry your pretty little head.
                    CV knows and will or wont come back to me as he/she sees fit.

                    Sounds like tomorro may be an interesting day so beddie byes for me.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I consider that your idea that a potential leader must win his own seat a sexist double standard CV. Simple really.


                      You’ve explained nothing about why you “consider” this a sexist double standard. You repeating the word “sexist” over and over again means nothing as you cannot back it up with a realistic explanation of why it is sexist.

                      But allow me to explain my viewpoint: any MP who doesn’t know how to organise, win and keep an electorate doesn’t have the experience and knowledge to deserve to be leader of the Labour Party.

                      Any such an MP who does become Leader, but who has no demonstrated ability to organise, win and keep an electorate, is most accurately thought of as a civil servant staffer.

    • Yorick 25.2

      If not a Rudd revival, then a *Rude* revival .. shock therapy may be needed to revive the patient .. heh.

  24. gobsmacked 26

    This is the FULL press conference by David Shearer today. Approx 15 minutes:


    If anybody thinks he can survive an election campaign as leader, please listen.

    (audio downloads quickly, even on slow connections)

    • karol 26.1

      *sigh* democratic party….. blah blah…. gender equality only an internal party matter… blah blah affordable homes, electiricty prices, jobs….blah blah” = all about appealing to the middle-class vote.

      And what about low income people, affordable rents, beneficiaries, and NActs’ policies that add to the burdens of women on low incomes?

      Way about being able to think on his feet and show some motivation on principle, rather than merely repeating the lines prepared for him by his team?

      • Winston Smith 26.1.1

        How about the number of polls that thought it was a bad idea, the editorials, the tv news, talk back etc etc I’m assuming Labour want to be in power…

        How about the number of people worried about where it would end if Labour came into power, quotas in govt positions anyone?

        This was the correct and only position Shearer could take though if I was him I’d get rid of Robertson as soon as possible…

      • Adrian 26.1.2

        A party cannot win Government without winning the ” middle class”, Helen Clark knew and preached this often.

        • Colonial Viper

          if you abandon the three quarters of a million working class and underclass who do not vote then of course, you end up having to grease up to the “middle class” = top 20% of NZ society.

      • bad12 26.1.3

        Labour Yawn, can i correct you slightly Karol, it was affordable home ‘ownership’, today’s Labour Party has become and remains part of the mechanism to protect and bolster the living standards of the ‘middle class’,

        Shearer’s oft repeated ‘affordable home ownership’ as we have discussed here many times, is only ‘affordable’ to the children of the middle class not ‘quite’ able to afford to buy into today’s housing ‘market’,

        i could write a very long discourse about the role the parents of these middle class kids played in making that ‘first step’ on the ‘property ladder’ unaffordable, but seriously, what would be the point,

        What Labour have become from where i sit is a Party of and for the middle class happy to use the tax base to shoe-horn the children of the middle class into ‘home ownership’ so as they can continue to play the monopoly game on the ‘property ladder’ just as their parents have,

        What Labour think of the thousands of Mene Mene’s who daily toil in the economy is hidden within the vows of silence seemingly adopted by Labour in it’s failure to address the in-equality of it’s housing policy where Mene Mene, 3 children and a wife as far as i can ascertain can stay there, the whole family confined to 1 room in a boarding house, while Labour blindly continue on with what is best described as a middle class ‘protection racket’,

        The 1000 upon 1000’s of Mene Mene’s in our society ‘trapped’ in the same situation of ‘working poverty, that to all extents and purposes simply equates to modern day slavery without the chains and whips would rather not vote than vote for a Labour Party that has so far offered them NOTHING…

        • Rosetinted

          i could write a very long discourse about the role the parents of these middle class kids played in making that ‘first step’ on the ‘property ladder’ unaffordable, but seriously, what would be the point,

          There was a discussion on Radionz this morning about the bad time that many Christchurch people have as they fight to find a place to live in and keep warm over winter.

          I was thinking in reference to the piece I have quoted from you and the housing problem started way back, the reasons –
          1 that the government refused to have a sensible system of providing state homes with new regular building,
          2 that didn’t help young people into their first homes,
          3 that didn’t encourage saving with something like a scheme where regular amounts saved over two years entitled them to a modest home loan,
          4 that taxed savings heavily and from the first little interest that the low income people earned.
          5 that encouraged rentals to be provided by private property owners,
          6 that paid accommodation supplements to assist beneficiaries,
          7 that allowed these owners to offset losses while at the same time allowing them to sell with no tax demand, ie no stamp duty and such little tax on quick turnovers coupled with the agreement that they could offset losses against profits elsewhere so that they had no incentive to sell anyway. Private rental owners were encouraged to buy houses at high prices (thus whipping them out from under needy homeowners noses), with no great concern about whether there was a profit on rentals, and the already mentioned ability to take losses and deprive the government of tax on profitable ventures, then sell with a good capital gain and still pay no tax. So the government lack of responsibility for providing state housing and by paying subsidies to beneficiaries started or fuelled a housing bubble.

          The idea of Capital Gains Tax on a market with these characteristics probably would tend to discourage private renters from making improvements as the houses would probably sell readily even if they were run down, so why spend more and raise the tax to be paid, the effort wouldn’t pay extra. At present that applies in Christchurch where renters are afraid to ask for repairs, either they will be put out or the rent will go up, the whole stock gets run down. Some landlords are discouraged because of the feral nature of some of their renters, some renters are depressed and sick because of the state of their dwellings, and the lack of security of tenure that this volatile market causes them to suffer.

          • bad12

            Yes i agree with you whole-heartedly, the numbers tell the story, with a population of some 3.3 million souls there were 75,000 State rental houses of various shapes and sizes,

            Fast forward to today, that same population has multiplied to 4.4 million and the number of ‘usable’ State houses has plummeted to 67,000 and falling,

            What the Labour KiwiBuild proposal is in terms of those most in need in our communities is simply SAD,

            I can understand how the Labour Party has reached this point in it’s long history as the working class families of the 50’s and 60’s wanted and got a better life for their kids and those children have moved into the positions of power throughout our society, including all levels of the Labour Party, have then moved to ‘protect’ what they have and attempt to provide the same for their children,

            Thus Labour have become more the party of the ‘white collar’ leaving today’s manual labour at best under-represented in Labour’s Parliamentary make-up and at worst a mere after-thought in the political process,

            The broad church then appears to be severely tarnished if not irrepairably broken needs get back to its roots, ditch the ‘new’ ideas and deliver a large dose of ‘bread and butter’ socialism for the electorates to digest and vote upon…

    • Saarbo 26.2

      OMG….I’m sorry, but Shearer is NOT PRIME MINISTER MATERIAL!

      He simply can not think on his feet.

      • Santi 26.2.1

        Quite possibly one of the worst interviews given by a political party leader in NZ for the last 40 years. In fact, its absolutely laughable. Shearer has been set up by Roberston, who was at the original meeting, and hung out to dry.

        Shearer also needs to figure that most people don’t actually think that power prices are a major issue. I’m very surprised he did not mention the exchange rate crisis. Probably be because its corrected itself by dint of the USA economic numbers getting slightly better, as predicted by most people with half a brain.

        • karol

          Shearer also needs to figure that most people don’t actually think that power prices are a major issue. I’m very surprised he did not mention the exchange rate crisis.

          erm… I think more Kiwis are worried about electricity prices than the exchange rate. The exchange rate is a focus of a section of the middle classes. It’s far removed from most Kiwis daily lives, even if they need to be more aware of it.

          You’d have to be pretty well off not to think about power prices.

  25. Santi 27

    David Shearer, a giant of a leader, a true Napoleon and Churchill combined.

  26. yeshe 28

    and Collins ensures the languishing of yet another, almost certainly, innocent Kiwi imprisoned by serious police behaviour …


    • UglyTruth 28.1

      “When I discovered that the mystery man the police had sought was commonly described as having ‘hooded eyes’ the reason why the police chose the blink photo to insert into their identification montage became both clear and, in my mind, monstrous.”


    • dumrse 28.2

      “…almost certainly, innocent Kiwi…”. How come the highest courts available to your dear friend dont agree with you ?

      • yeshe 28.2.1

        What a fine and excellent question, and how much evidence was not presented do you think ? Btw, he is not ‘my dear friend’. Rather, I am but a citizen who thinks he was cooked up to suit the police menu of the day.

    • Murray Olsen 28.3

      I tend towards thinking Scott Watson is innocent as well. He was another easy target and the case was built around him.

  27. yeshe 29

    watching parliament tv … poor gerry brownlee, he looks very unwell indeed.

    • Yorick 29.1

      What’s up with Gerry ? I thought he was supposed to be the Henry XIII of Christchurch. Was he one of Parker’s lot ?

    • Tim 29.2

      here’s hoping!
      That may seem cruel – until you realise there are others running out of life as a result of Gerry and his mates.
      Sorry if it offends – but the sooner the better.

      • Yorick 29.2.1

        No offence, it was just an innocent question. I passed through once or during enrolment at Otago and have a memory of smog hanging over the whole city during a thermal inversion, and due to considerable use of coal fires. I don’t know if that still applies. I prefer clean air, even windy ..

        As for Gerry, he was described as ‘decisive’ in the earlier phases of crisis recovery – but there are always power plays by vested groups in post-crisis scenarios. I suggest, for anyone who may be interested, in going to the local public library and asking for a history of the San Francisco earthquake ..

        In those days London insurance firms were largely involved which simply refused to pay .. as time went on local real estate interests took over, declared a ‘Pacific Century Exhibition’ and proceeded to build even taller ‘skyscrapers’
        on the known earthquake faults in the CBD which had caused so much carnage.

        Those buildings are now old ..

  28. captain hook 30

    The tories have brought down a perfect shitstorm on their own heads and the smell isn’t about to go away.
    they really have’t got a clue about anything except what flavour hairconditioner to use!

    • Alanz 30.1

      Thank goodness they have Shearer. And, with every passing day that takes a Shearer-led Labour Party closer to polling day, they should grow increasingly confident that they will have a third term.

      Last month it was “terrorise” Maori, this month it is “man-ban”, can’t wait for next month .. and another month … and then see him going on stage for the Leaders’ Debate with his two feet, well and truly shot, in his mouth.

    • Yorick 30.2

      Please explain ..

  29. rod 31

    Labour’s ManBan gone, but National’s One Man Band show, rolls on. Just saying.

    • Santi 31.1

      I think David Shearer looked positively like a Prime Minister in waiting, in his handling of the man-ban. The wait might be 9 years, though.

  30. Pascal's bookie 33

    Jon Stephenson’s defamation case: looks like the Army is going to have to be pretty convincing not to get whacked:


  31. gobsmacked 34

    Can’t vouch for the source, but could Shearer be gone?

    • Jimmie 34.1

      Well if its anything like the last week’s mess it will be a good month or so before we get a definite answer.

      Who’s going to be the successor? Will the ABC’s be rolled?

      If so I can see mass retirements coming up next year.

    • weka 34.2

      Looks like someone has been yanking Garner’s chain.

      • Colonial Viper 34.2.1

        A Labour MP by the sounds of it.

        • weka

          Interesting move.

          • Alanz

            Garnering synthetics is not good for the mind. Lots of shadows and a letter jumping from out of every dark corner 🙂

            • McFlock


              • Alanz

                @ 5’23”:

                “I can definitely feel the impacts of it. If I was going to have another one and then another one and then another one, you might get quite addicted to it if you don’t have a job and you’re bored and whatever … or if you do have a job and you’re bored or whatever … y’know … you might j-u-s-t get addicted to it …”

                “Do you like the effects of it?

                “Arrrrrr ….”

  32. Jane 35

    Is there a coup underway?

    Good source. Coup on in Labour. Letter of no confidence being circulated. It’s over for Shearer. Watch for his resignation.


    • Sam 35.1

      Apparently being driven by Shane Jones – aiming to get Little in, with him as number two. Egos over brains! That’s going to be just what the party/ country needs!

    • Alanz 35.2

      Shearer can go up in Labour’s history by doing the best thing for the party: back the best candidate who can take the fight to National.

      Btw, Labour caucus – don’t fark it up again. You need to get things sorted before Christmas to campaign strongly in the new year.

      Talented Shane Jones should find a new job, outside the House.

  33. Anne 36

    But what happened to the coup in November? There wasn’t one then? My oh my, you could knock me over with a feather.(sarc)

    If they put Little in at this stage it could be going from the frying pan to the fire for the same reason as Shearer hasn’t fired. Not seasoned enough yet despite his background.

    • Just do It 36.1

      Little is wrong for similar reasons to Shearer being wrong.
      Not Forged sufficiently in the Parliamentary Smithy.

      It can only be Cunliffe.
      The membership will have it no other way.

      I heard Garner on radion this pm. What an ARSE. Give a boy a microphone and a smal room and they are omnipotent.

  34. gobsmacked 37

    Watch TV3 Nightline tonight. Shearer is gone.

    Issue now is proper contest versus caucus stitch-up (by the ABCs). Hope Labour are smart enough to choose the former.

  35. Ron 38

    Apparently Paddy Gower has copy of the letter. Watch nightline for details

  36. Sam 39

    Interesting that David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson are very quiet – smart. Not surprised Shane Poppa Porn Jones is being so stupid though. He’s all ego that man. And why on earth is Little aligning himself to the Right of the Party, can someone explain?

  37. McFlock 40

    Stuff picked it up – at the moment still in the “reporters agitated at rumours, scared of not reporting something that might not happen” style.

    What’s interesting is that the entire caucus seem to be clear, explicit, unequivocal, and firm in saying the rumours are full of crap. Maybe it’s a teambuilding exercise? 🙂

    • bad12 40.1

      The New Zealand Labour Party should be making a video series out of all this titled ‘how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory’,

      Gower,Garner, Slater,Farrer,Hooten et al must be laughing fit to choke, i am no fan of the man, Cunliffe, but, it’s obvious that the Labour Caucus had better soonish install him as the leader because the one they have at present just isn’t f**ing doing it…

    • Santi 40.2

      David Shearer MUST be kept as Labour leader at any cost. It’s the only way to victory.

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