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Open Mike 09/07/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 9th, 2017 - 82 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 Policy).

Step up to the mike …

82 comments on “Open Mike 09/07/2017 ”

  1. When frustrated it is easy to go into attack mode, even unreasonable mode, and see others as being some type of target. Sorry to those I’ve been mean to – especially bill and redlogix.

    Anyway I hope these beautiful sounds start your day well.


    All subjective of course but appreciating others ideals of beauty is good practice for pulling together to get the gnats out.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2


    Found this little gem to help people get control over their finances, without coming across as patronising.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Australia prepares to take action against those sneaky cash hording seniors (among others).


  4. The Chairman 4

    Children’s Commissioner is advocating indexing benefits for families with children to address child poverty.



    Will Labour get in behind that?

    And here’s a thought, extending the indexing of benefits to all beneficiaries will help address adult poverty.

    Will Labour get in behind that? Or will their self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules hinder their ability to support and implement this solution?

    • weka 4.1

      Why would the BRRs hinder that?

      • The Chairman 4.1.1

        The initial fiscal outlay of extending the indexing of benefits.

        • weka

          Why would that not be met from within the BRRs and general government budget?

          • The Chairman

            Their self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules leaves them fiscally constrained.

            They can’t even make up the health budget shortfall in the first term, therefore adding this (indexing all benefits) into the mix will further compound their self-imposed fiscal constraints.

            • weka

              Yes, like any government they would need to draw up a budget that takes into account the current balance of books, incoming revenue and the things they want to prioritise spending on.

              Indexing benefits (which I hope would be to all beneficiaries not just those with children) seems a reasonable thing to prioritise.

              • The Chairman

                “Indexing benefits (which I hope would be to all beneficiaries not just those with children) seems a reasonable thing to prioritise.”

                Indeed. The question is, will they?

                • Kay

                  Of course they won’t. They had 9 years to fix it and 9 years to at least speak out about it. The silence is deafening.

                  • Sacha

                    Society needs to change more before increasing benefits is a broad vote-winner. Other things produce more votes per policy dollar. It will take a bit longer to undo 30 years of harm to our sense of what is right and fair.

                    Change the govt first, then push for policy like this.

                    • weka


                    • The Chairman

                      “Society needs to change more before increasing benefits is a broad vote”

                      If sold as merely increasing benefits, I tend to agree. However, as you should well know, it goes way beyond that.

                      It will help to address poverty and in doing so will save millions in health, poor education outcomes, the justice system, etc… and will even help prevent a number from committing suicide.

                      It will also be a consumer stimulus, thus help grow business returns.

                      Therefore, it clearly has the potential to win over a few voters.

                      And oddly enough, one of the quickest ways to help address poverty is government cash transfers.

                      Perhaps if this was Labour policy, more would be supporting them in their effort to change the Government.

                  • greywarshark

                    This is now. Indixing just means fractional shifts each year. They will be able to introduce this without large sums being required straight away. And remember that they have to lef=t out policy piecemeal. Why don’t you write and ask for this, they may want citizen feedback.

                • McFlock

                  Given that the second question was whether the BRR would be an obstacle to that choice (and it seems that this is not the case), the answer is “dunno, but your straw man wouldn’t stop them”.

                  • weka

                    That strawman blew away quite easily.

                  • The Chairman

                    “And it seems that this is not the case”

                    Really? how so?

                    “Straw man”

                    What straw man?

                    • McFlock

                      The straw man was that the BRR policy would hinder the concept of indexing benefits. At the very most, this is merely a question of prioritisation. At the very least, it is completely irrelevant depending on other budgetary decisions. Either way, it’s pretty weak.

                      Do you think indexing benefits is a good idea? I think it’s pretty good. Would you vote for a party that supported it?

                  • The Chairman

                    That’s not a straw man argument. Their self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules leaves them fiscally constrained. Hence, it becomes more a matter of prioritisation due to their self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules.

                    I support the indexing of all benefits.

                    • McFlock

                      The existence of constraints does not mean that it can’t work under those constraints. Labour might find a policy package that has more efficiencies than national’s dumb philosophy and therefore satisfies both requirements.

                  • The Chairman

                    I never said that it can’t work. I highlighted how it becomes more of a hindrance with the BRRs in place.

                    • McFlock


                      The existence of constraints does not mean that it is hindered by those constraints. Labour might find a policy package that has more efficiencies than national’s dumb philosophy and therefore satisfies both requirements.

                      Satisfied, concerno-man?

                  • The Chairman

                    “The existence of constraints does not mean that it is hindered by those constraints”

                    Oh but it does. It would be far less difficult without the constraints in place and it would also allow them more scope to do more.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, bullshit.

                      Which part of the labgrn BRR “hinders” the implementation of indexed benefits?

                      The five points as a refresher:

                      1. The Government will deliver a sustainable operating surplus across an economic cycle.

                      2. The Government will reduce the level of Net Core Crown Debt to 20% of GDP within five years of taking office.

                      3. The Government will prioritise investments to address the long-term financial and sustainability challenges facing New Zealand.

                      4. The Government will take a prudent approach to ensure expenditure is phased, controlled, and directed to maximise its benefits. The Government will maintain its expenditure to within the recent historical range of spending to GDP ratio.

                      5. The Government will ensure a progressive taxation system that is fair, balanced, and promotes the long-term sustainability and productivity of the economy.

                  • The Chairman

                    1, Maintaining a set surplus limits funding for expenditure.

                    2, Reducing debt levels prevents increasing debt as a means of funding and debt repayments reduces funding available for expenditure.

                    3, Prioritising investments could see it miss out.

                    4, Phasing it in extends the time frame for the expected benefits to eventuate and maintaining expenditure within the recent historical range of spending to GDP ratio again limits expenditure.

                    • McFlock

                      Maintaining a set surplus does not limit funding for important projects. It limits funding for yacht races.
                      Reducing debt levels same as above.
                      Prioritising investment: see below.

                      Phasing it in reduces the impact of your contrived 1:3 hinderances, ensures review time to confirm that this solution is actually having an impact without causing too much opportunity cost in the case of a null result, and also see responses to 1&2.

                      Prioritising investment in eliminating child poverty is a stable, long term investment that saves anything from 14 to thirty dollars per dollar spent (depending on point of intervention and individual studies). It is actually an argument in favour of poverty elimination.

                      Additionally, ensuring regular income rises for the poorest people would increase economic activity and the subsequent tax take, so the phased implementation might even be self-funding within the theoretical constraints of surplus maintenance and management of government size.

                      So really, from your BRR boogeyman all I see are a couple of points that are likely irrelevant to elimination of poverty by any competent economic manager, one point that might actually make it funding-neutral (phased implementation), and the long-term investment concept that is an incredibly strong argument for consideration of the idea.

                      Not much of an objection, the closer I look at it.

                  • The Chairman

                    “Maintaining a set surplus does not limit funding for important projects.”

                    Yes it does. Money maintained for a surplus is money not being spent. Just think of all the important things National has underfunded to attain their surplus.

                    Moreover, as highlighted above, less available funding leads to a tighter prioritisation of expenditure.

                    As for prioritisation, keep in mind we are dealing with a party that only last election thought super was unsustainable, so how high they would prioritise a proposal to extend super payments to all beneficiaries is anybody’s guess.

                    As for your assertion (reducing debt levels is the same) it’s also incorrect.

                    While I tend to agree phasing in is generally more prudent, in this instance there are a couple of extenuating circumstances to first consider. One, there is a dire need to act quickly. Two, we’ve already learned a lot from super as a tried and tested template.

                    Moreover, we already know cash transfers are an effective way to help address poverty.

                    I also agree a phase in would reduce the initial outlay and increase the subsequent tax take (but not to the extent that it would be totally self-funded) however it’s difficult to overlook that dire need to act swiftly.

                    “The long-term investment concept that is an incredibly strong argument for consideration of the idea”


                    However, it would be going up for prioritisation against some strong contenders (housing, health, education, etc…). And with Labour struggling just to contend with the health budget shortfall alone, coupled with their previous stance on super, it’s a hard call on whether or not they’d take it on, let alone give it a high priority.

                    But the following may give us some insight as to where Labour may sit. The Children’s Commissioner interview aired on Saturday, has Labour come out (press release, anything) in support?

                    • McFlock

                      Money maintained for a surplus is money not being spent. Just think of all the important things National has underfunded to attain their surplus.

                      Yacht races. And tax cuts for the rich.

                      Using nat priorities as guidelines for what Labour will do is unwise.

                      The Children’s Commissioner interview aired on Saturday, has Labour come out (press release, anything) in support?

                      Have they released their social welfare policy yet? Have you bothered to look?

                  • The Chairman

                    On a side note. Here’s a rough comparison of the potential tax take off a $40b expenditure.

                    Working off a recovery spend of $40b, Canterbury Development Corporation (the council’s economic arm) quantified what the Crown gained in taxes – $11b.

                    Treasury’s estimate was nearer $3b.

                    Either way, the estimated tax generated came nowhere near the initial amount spent.

                  • The Chairman

                    It’s Labour that are largely following National’s (fiscal) guidelines.

                    I was highlighting the mess National have created, thus the many important matters Labour will have to contend with. Hence, while they will no doubt prioritise differently, tying themselves to National’s fiscal doctrine while having to clean up their mess has left them fiscally struggling to cope. There are now too many important matters needing funding and some are going to miss out or fall short.

                    Labour don’t currently have a full welfare policy.

              • The Chairman

                “Yes, like any government they would need to draw up a budget that takes into account the current balance of books, incoming revenue and the things they want to prioritise spending on.”

                Yes, however, you overlooked the fact that their self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules leaves them fiscally constrained. Hence, their ability to go further into deficit (even if it will produce long-term savings) is now limited.

                • weka

                  So? If the policy is a priority then they’re prioritise it financially.

                  • The Chairman

                    Many policies are a priority, health, education, housing, etc… hence it now means something else will have to be cut back or deferred to fit within their self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules.

                    • weka

                      I think you are just trying to run an argument about the BRRs. Personally I don’t think it’s an issue. NZ is a wealthy country, we can afford these things.

                    • The Chairman

                      “I think you are just trying to run an argument about the BRRs”

                      Really? Clearly I’m highlighting the pitfalls of having it, hence the wider concern and disappointment its generated.

  5. The Chairman 5

    Greens appeal for the progressive vote

    The Greens want all progressive voters to vote for them to ensure they are the strongest party (representing the progressive voice) in a new Government.

    And they’re promising more progressive policy to come in their coming campaign (stated on Q&A today).

    • The Chairman 5.1

      It will be interesting to see what new progressive policies the Greens will unveil.

      Will this be a game changer?

      Will the Greens satisfy the appetite of the progressives Labour is failing to full?

      And if so, what will become of Labour?

      If Labour lose their more progressive support to the Greens, will the centrists left behind be more inclined to move right, treading into National’s support base?

      And how will that impact upon National? Of late, they’ve been treading into Labour’s territory. The other day (on the Nation) National challenged the Greens to consider working with them.

      Or will Labour work with the Greens and appease the right’s concerns by highlighting less inequality and more environmental care results in a less volatile, more sustainable and prosperous economy overall?

        • garibaldi

          To the Chairman. The answer to all your inane questions is “der”. You might as well ask “how long is a piece of string?”

          • The Chairman

            I’m sorry to hear “der” is all that your brain could muster.

            • In Vino

              It is all your concern troll questions deserve. D’uh might be even better. At least you have given up that stupid habit of asking, “Thoughts?”

              • The Chairman

                Shame you couldn’t express any ‘thoughts”on the subject at hand.

                But thanks for showing everyone you like to play the man and not the ball.

                • In Vino

                  You provide no balls to play: you simply try to disrupt and upset. If I could play your balls it would be with a hefty softball bat.
                  Now let’s hear more pretend distress from a genuinely concerned troll..

                  • The Chairman

                    “If I could play your balls it would be with a hefty softball bat.”

                    I see you’ve gone from playing the man to threatening violence.

                    Best you take some time out before you blow a fuse.

            • greywarshark

              The Chairman
              You present yourself as wise and thoughtful. Then you seem to troll to undermine the left and divide.

              • The Chairman

                “You present yourself as wise and thoughtful”


                “Then you seem to troll to undermine the left and divide.”

                How so?

  6. Muttonbird 6

    The 0.69% party is in turmoil. Deputy leader resigns in a huff about his list placing and instantly their token attempt at diversity is destroyed. I wonder if this will get the same attention from the media as did Labour’s list release?


  7. Ed 7

    ‘It’s too late’: Seven signs Australia can’t avoid economic apocalypse.
    ‘Sign 1: Tightening Monetary Policy
    Sign 2: Inverted And Flattening Yield Curves
    Sign 3: Sovereign And Corporate Defaults
    Sign 4: Falling Confidence And Credit Downgrades
    Sign 5: Emerging Chinese Credit Crisis
    Sign 6: Significant Growth In Value Of Crypto Currencies
    Sign 7: Discredited Australian Fiscal And Monetary Policy’


    Australia On The Verge Of Recession in 2017

    • greywarshark 7.1

      And John Clarke is dead leaving Brian Dawe to carry the elucidation of the Ozzies without him.

  8. Ed 8

    Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – which has 296 times the global warming potential of CO2!


  9. james 9

    So funny – Labour and the greens will need NZ first to make a government.

    Them go calling his policies racist.

    “”Don’t call NZ First racist – an allegation that is spurious – and think there won’t be consequences.” – Peters


    Do Labour actually think he will choose the greens and 26% labour over National – you are delusional if you think so.

    • Ed 9.1

      What is the point of this post?
      Is is to start an argument or upset people, by posting inflammatory messages in an online community?

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.1

        I’m sure James is trying to encourage a spirit of amity between the Greens and NZF that will consign this vile and dysfunctional government to the holding cells where they belong, to await judicial review of all their pecuniary decisions, for evidence of corrupt practice.

        • McFlock

          Yup. And all he’s doing is saying that a vote for nz1 is a vote for national, so if you want a better government….

      • James 9.1.2

        It has more point than the majority of your post calling people trolls or questioning about what others post in open mike.

        Gee you sound like paul.

    • Cinny 9.2

      Nah James funny is people thinking NZ 1st will go with National.

      How about that ACT party huh? Their deputy leaving the party due to his list placing.

      Was rather humorous hearing Seymour on the wireless re his deputy quitting saying no one is indispensable. I guess Seymour would do best to remember that too.

      When I heard Winny speak the other day he only had a couple of jabs at greens and labour, but dang he sure had much to say about the useless outgoing government, none of it good. FYI People attending were mostly rightwing, including a leading rightwing nz business person. Interesting huh? I thought it was.

      • BM 9.2.1

        When I heard Winny speak the other day he only had a couple of jabs at greens and labour, but dang he sure had much to say about the useless outgoing government, none of it good.

        Put on your thinking cap for a second Cinny and tell me why he’s doing that?

      • weka 9.2.2

        I think it’s entirely possible that Peters will choose National. The argument used to be that he wouldn’t because of Key, people were so sure of this. I used to argue that Key could well be gone before the 2017 election 😉

        But ultimately it doesn’t matter what we think. The only sure thing is that NZF could go either way and they won’t say prior to voting. Changing the govt requires voting Labour or the Greens. NZF is roulette.

        • In Vino

          Peters has done it before – he clearly stated that a vote for NZ First was a vote against National, but after the election chose to govern with National. Cinny – Winston is the nearest thing we have to another Muldoon. He will cynically collect protest votes, then use them to support status quo. He has a history for doing this.

          • Karen

            Yep, and now Shane Jones has joined NZF they are even more likely to go with the Nats.

            Party vote Green or Labour if you don’t want another 3 years of a National led government.

            • Cinny

              I always do 😀 re Party Vote.

              But I really don’t think Winny will go with the Nats.

              Another Muldoon… gulps… NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

              Winston is a clever bugger, watched and listened to him work it. And yes Winston you are correct we do have bigger fish in motueka than in the far north,(just like the one in the audience). I understood that metaphor at the end of your ‘question time’.

              I’d much prefer Christmas come early, red and green just like Christmas.

      • James 9.2.3

        “Nah James funny is people thinking NZ 1st will go with National.”

        Mwahahahaha ha. In that case it’s Hilarious not just funny – because it’s the most likely outcome.

        But let’s have this conversation after the election because one of us is really wrong. I’m pretty sure it’s you 😉

        • Cinny

          Yeah let’s have that conversation after the election James 😀

          We can be like kids and say… told ya so.

          One thing is for certain the 2017 election is the most exciting and important election NZ has seen in a very long time.

    • BM 9.3

      That woman is a political moron, I bet most on the left will celebrate when she retires, she’s nothing but a giant spanner in the works.

      Great for National though.

      • weka 9.3.1

        I watched the interview, and she knows what she’s doing. She’s not after voters like you at all BM.

        • BM

          I watched it too, hopeless.

          It’s like she really couldn’t give a damn if the left wins or loses this year.

          From a right wing perspective, I think she’s great but I find her self-centered incompetence very annoying.

          • In Vino

            Maybe you had better start looking at your own

            • McFlock

              nah, BM’s totally converted me to vote National on several occasions. God bless the dollar, might is right, dairy uber alles.

              In fact, he’s convinced everyone here that the left is a losing proposition and I’m sure we’ve all voted tory in at least the last three elections lol

          • weka

            Lol, pretty sure it’s not just your vote that doesn’t count but also your concern trolling.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Commenters today needing WOF.
    The Chairman

  11. greywarshark 11

    This link was above and looking at it, I found among the comments this, which presents starkly the situation:


    I am reminded of what reporter Ron Suskind said he was told by a Bush, Jr. aide (but I think it carries over to the current administration as well:

    “The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism.

    He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, [now?] and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

  12. joe90 12

    BLM responds.

  13. Many years ago I supported the Socialist Action Party based on Ponsonby Road and went through the usual support for Bastion point, abortion law reform, Homosexual and prostitution law reform etc. But now I am inclined to favour the opinion of Don Brash regarding cannabis law reform and no further race based discrimination on account of race. It must surely be a principle of socialists that there be no discrimination on the base of colour, race etcetera.
    Shame on Helen Clark for introducing the concept of the treaty of Waitangi as being our founding document, it was nothing more than a temporary scrap of paper to appease the [r0b: deleted – mind the insults please] and like most treaties intended for a short life span. I just happen to be a socialist that does not like pandering to 15% of the population and race based representation in parliament

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