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Open mike 09/10/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, October 9th, 2013 - 122 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 right up to the mike…

122 comments on “Open mike 09/10/2013 ”

  1. James thrace 1

    Each day that passes with the TPPA negotiations is another day in which the horrendous future outlined in the excellent novel
    , Jennifer Government comes to pass. Western countries are states of America with smaller nations being ‘sponsored’ by conglomerates. For example, NZ is the NRA determined nation state. Monopolies run the government and no new businesses start up unless approved by Mattel, Nike and McDonald’s. Terrible future, but coming soon no doubt.

  2. Saarbo 2

    Interesting article by David Byrne, lamenting the impact of the ever widening gap in wealth in New York as it relates to art and culture.


  3. northshoredoc 3

    Ahh the old PHARMAC bogey again.

    You do realise we get very very few new pharmaceuticals funded at the moment ?

    While I’m sitting on the fence regarding the TPPA until it finally comes about (or doesn’t) I can’t really see how anything will change for the better or worse in relation to PHARMAC a QANGO which both of the major parties support because they actually always stay within their given budget and keep a very tight lid on access to new pharmaceuticals and take every opportunity to get savings from changing the availability from one brand to another.

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike as not being in-topic. ]

    • miravox 3.1

      Yes, the old Pharmac bogey…

      “You do realise we get very very few new pharmaceuticals funded at the moment “

      Removing Pharmac’s ability to negotiate down prices of new and expensive drugs means there will be even fewer drugs available to fewer people that there are now. Because what they do get will be costlier therefore the perceived benefit to the health budget costs will be less.

      What is available now has such huge hurdles for some patients to go through that only the very, very badly off (instead of just the very badly off) get them. For some diseases it’s not just swapping between brands, it’s that some drugs allow life changing improvements without side effects, whereas similar drugs do not. But I suspect you know that.

      I’m quite interested to see what comes out of Pharmac’s decision criteria review [.pdf] and what sort of effect that will have on the consent for new pharmaceuticals, along with budget implications and how that works with any TPPA provision that takes away Pharmac’s negotiating position.

      • northshoredoc 3.1.1

        Sorry for the late reply Miravox these posts had been moved for some weird reason.

        “Removing Pharmac’s ability to negotiate down prices of new and expensive drugs means there will be even fewer drugs available to fewer people that there are now.”

        The only thing that could be removed would be PHARMAC’s exemption under the commerce act, as I said before one of PHARMAC’s most effective methods for keeping the drug budget down is stoping funded access to new medicines, this will be even more effective now that they have taken over hospital pharmaceutical purchasing. As you say we often only get access to new medicines now under very extreme restrictions when there are many less extremely unwell patients who could also benefit. quite of few ‘new’ medicines we only get access to after their patent has expired and cheaper generics are available from India or Europe.

        We also have the situation where we have very limited access to different medicines within the same therapeutic area as only one or two are funded compared to the many iterations overseas and even after the patent is gone we are very unlikely to see them in NZ as the cost of registering will be prohibitive for generic suppliers.

        Consent for pharmaceuticals has nothing to do with PHARMAC it is handled by the Ministry of Health. PHARMAC is only charged with purchase of subsidised pharmaceuticals by the DHBs, anyone can still purchase whatever pharmaceuticals they want (if you have a Rx) from the pharmacist – it’s just that it will have a horrendous markup on top off the full price.

        this may sound like i’m having a go at PHARMAC – but not at all I think they do a fabulous job at managing the drug bill and getting lower prices out of off patent medicines compared to our neighbours across the Tasman and will do the same in coming years to equipment such as hip joints etc but they do tend to limit access to medicines which could benefit many patients and have taken the decision about what’s best out of the hands of the health professional to too great an extent in my opinion.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Last time I looked PHARMAC was staffed by health professionals.

          The thing is, we don’t need access to all of the drugs available – just the ones that do the job. Having a “choice” about medicines, like much else really, just makes things more expensive.

          • northshoredoc

            PHARMAC is staffed by health bureaucrats not health professionals.

            I don’t think anyone suggests we need access to all medications available however a wider availability would be quite beneficial across a population both in terms of increased compliance and ability to minimise side effects and tailor the best medications to individual patients.

            • SpaceMonkey

              Semantics. I’m sure many of them are trained-health professionals. It is the same inside the Ministry of Health. Technically they’re all civil servants but last time I was there, there were trained nurses, doctors, psychologists, pharmacists, pediatricians and podiatrists, etc. contributing to policy and the various programmes being run by the Ministry.

              • northshoredoc

                Don’t confuse PHARMAC with the other Ministry of Health entities although they report to the Minister they are quite removed with quite different objectives to many of the other departments you’d find within the MoH.

                There is considerably less input from the medical (drs, nurses and pharmacists) profession both internally and externally into PHARMAC’s decisions than there is from pure functionaries (bureaucrats) and the pharmaceutical industry.

                • McFlock

                  Well, that’s what I’d expect.
                  Pharmac is a purchasing agency, not a treatment agency. I’d imagine a medical consultation group, but surely the bulk of staff would be funders&planners and purchasing officers?

                  • northshoredoc

                    Yes absolutely in relation to the bulk of the staff.

                    In relation to the medical consultation group these are co-opted in by PHARMAC not employed by them and do tend to be a bit stacked in their favour although not quite as badly as ACC.

                    • McFlock

                      seems to be a reasonable organisational design, then.

                      Leave doctors to the doctorin’. Functionaries aren’t paid as much.

                      From what I gather the funding decisions are based on a cost/QALY calculation, so changing the model would seem to be a deviation away from the ideal outcome.

                      Although I must say I’m leaning towards the (Labour?) idea of a separate “low occurrence / high consequence / high cost” funding agency as a supplemental body – I can see how strict bulk “cost/QALY” analyses might have some of the faults common to purely utilitarian ethics, e.g. the “lynch an innocent man to prevent a riot” scenarios.

                    • northshoredoc

                      Yes it is the correct design.

                      In relation to the QALY issue it is very complex and does tend to be used by PHARMAC in a rather negative manner compared to comparable health funders in other jurisdictions such as the UK and Australia.

                      More often than not to gain access to a new medication in NZ it has to pass the test of incremental benefit compared to projected cost of existing medications into the future. This is why we are increasingly only getting access to medications years after they’re available overseas and when they are just about to have there patents expire.

                      Still as I have said above the do a very good job with the taxpayer dollar in terms of the subsidised pharmaceutical spend – although that’s of cold comfort if you’re a patient suffering from a side effect that another medicine could remove or can’t afford to pay for a medicine that is not subsidised that could improve your condition. What’s for certain is that with an growing and ageing population there’s not going to be any let up in the rationing of access to health services and governments looking to save money wherever they can… except in election year of course !

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, well everyone in govt’s on a squeeze.
                      Personally, I reckon the government should get more income from higher earners, that way more than just Pharmac will be able to do what they do better.

                  • northshoredoc

                    I agree.

          • miravox

            “The thing is, we don’t need access to all of the drugs available – just the ones that do the job. Having a “choice” about medicines, like much else really, just makes things more expensive.”

            Sometimes there are conditions where the efficacy of a drug wears off and another of a class (or brand) of that drug is required to do the job. Same with side effects – one drug will cause side effects that are serious enough for the drug not to be used by some patients, yet another in a similar class won’t cause those side effects in that patient. Pharmac processes doesn’t recognise this very well.

        • miravox

          “Consent for pharmaceuticals has nothing to do with PHARMAC it is handled by the Ministry of Health. PHARMAC is only charged with purchase of subsidised pharmaceuticals by the DHBs”

          I should have been clearer – I meant consent in terms of MoH subsidisies not consent as in the drug is safe and can be used.

          “The only thing that could be removed would be PHARMAC’s exemption under the commerce act”

          If that is what gives Pharmac it’s negotiating power then that’s exactly the problem – we don’t know if Pharmac’s purchasing power will be curtailed (it’s exemption removed) under the TPPA. I reckon Pharmac will make the hurdles even higher for people to access some expensive meds to make up for the higher prices. This is also one of the reasons why I’m interested in the decision criteira review – specifically whether the responders think Pharmac
          should take into account the whole cost to the government of not providing a drug, rather than only the cost to the health system (e.g. will providing an expensive drug enable a patient to work).

          I agree with you about limiting access is a serious issue in some cases/ for some conditions. There’s a trade-off between cost and access to new medicines and Pharmac tend to miss the importance of a variety of options to treat some conditions. I guess because Pharmac works on a ‘whole population with condition x’ basis rather than tailoring to individual needs like a medical practitioner can. This, in itself can be a cost to the health system as the efficacy of some drugs wear off and other drugs are not accessible that could prevent a patient deteriorating, and/or prevent side-effects.

    • lprent 3.2

      I mentioned pharmac as an example of a minor legislation that would require changing. If you want to argue about that, then you can do it in OpenMike.

      The post is about the procedure of passing treaties rather than particular minor sections and aspects.

    • NickS 3.3


      And if you were actually keeping up with drug discovery and development, you’d know that the R&D companies have been hitting the wall when it comes to finding new and actually effective drugs, that have a better cost/benefit ratio to currently available ones. Along with occasional fuck ups on the clinical trials side or long term issues (hello Vioxx) that don’t show up in Phase III and so take monitoring in the population of users to pick up. Combine this with the very high price of new drugs, it’s rather rational for Pharmac to check each new drug, especially as well already have a large suite of drugs, surgical interventions and physical/mental therapies available that may end up being more cost effective than newer drugs.

      I thus suggest you start keeping an eye on http://pipeline.corante.com or doing some refresher courses @uni to build yourself a better knowledge base on drug R&D.

      Not that all new drugs are poo mind you, some show extremely good promise:
      Though this particular family of compounds might not work on chemo resistant cancers, as they have high expression/copy numbers of anti-oxidant proteins that protect those cell lines from oxygen radical-triggered apoptosis :/

      • miravox 3.3.1

        “Along with occasional fuck ups on the clinical trials side or long term issues (hello Vioxx)”

        I think the problem with vioxx was they hadn’t realised was that other NASIDs that have been in use since way back when also caused heart problems. Vioxx is allowed back on the market but Merck won’t do it, I guess the brand is toxic now.

        I’m not suggesting vioxx is good – but now we have patients stuck on long-term NSAIDs that with probably cause stomach problems and may have cardiovascular risk and no alternative like vioxx that may causes heart problems but not stomach problems. It’s all quite unfortunate for people who need a NSAID because they can barely function without it but their stomach is not coping, and Pharmac hasn’t funded a med that will actually resolve the condition that is creating the need for the NSAID.

        Lucky Pharmac funds omeprazole to be handed out like expensive lollies ae? 😉

        • northshoredoc

          Actually PHARMAC is now thinking of funding celecoxib now that the patent has expired.

          You’re also absolutely correct in relation to rofecoxib in relation to older NSAIDs.

        • NickS

          Well, we could just legalise medical pot 😛 Far less side effects than COX-2 targeting NSAIDs.

          Though I’d love to see some movement on cannabinoid receptor type 2 antagonists as they’re more suitable for people who are still working. But they don’t seem to have really gone past animal models.

      • northshoredoc 3.3.2

        Thanks for the tip Nic, however, I do think that the lectures I give at uni probably require me to be reasonably up to date in this area.

        • NickS

          And yet your post showed rather a lot of ignorance on the current state of the drug market.

          • northshoredoc

            And judging by yours you’re expecting to get pubic hair sometime soon.

            • NickS


              Say something ignorant, expect to get the #cluebat and perhaps you’d like to try a more substantial reply or is that just a mite to hard for your ego?

              And the age bias is oh so “cute”.

              • northshoredoc

                Yes almost as cute as your little yellow chaps, not really age bias though just a bias against persons who think they know it all.

                If you’re really interested in anything other than tr0lling perhaps you might like to look into the recent pharmaceutical advances in hepatitis C medications, biologics for lymphoma and B cell proliferative disorders for a start and then consider the utility of combination therapies and long acting formulations which we don’t have access to in NZ which would all positively impact on compliance.

                • why is it either/or doc..?

                  ..i am a recent beneficiary of those advances in hep c cures..(thank you very much..)

                  ..and as you lecture @ university..on this subject..?

                  ..surely you must be aware of the advances on so many fronts in research into the medical uses for cannabis..?

                  ..you aren’t just stuck up a narrow intellectual alleyway are you..?

                  ..and i was lectured to by so many idiots when @ university..(hi steve..!..)

                  ..that the title of university-lecturer doesn’t easily fill me with respectful/deferential awe..


                  ..phillip ure..

                  • northshoredoc

                    Yes indeed cannabis and its derivatives look to be quite useful in the treatment of many ailments.

                    We already have Sativex (Cannabidiol, Tetrahydrocannabinol 27mg/mL = Cannabis sativa extract 38mg-44mg) registered and available on prescription in NZ for patients with NZ.

                    … and yes fair point in relation to the university lecturer thing, the 30 odd years clinical practice might be a bit more relevant…. but then again there’s people around with that amount of experience that I wouldn’t trust to look after me ……

  4. North 4

    PEOPLE – time to stand up and say “NO NO NO !” to the cruel disgrace that is ACC –

    AE MARIKA! – A column published in the Northland Age by Hone Harawira MP for Te Tai Tokerau – 08 OCT 2013

    ” When the chairwoman of the Accident Compensation Corporation, Paula Rebstock, announced that ACC had made a $4.9 billion surplus from “better performance by its rehabilitation services returning claimants to fitness” and that ACC was in its “best shape ever” I almost cried, because of the horror stories I have heard since National decided to privatise ACC and reduce what was once a world-leading accident compensation system to a corporate entity where profits have become more important than people.

    I recall a couple of years ago, helping a guy in Kaikohe after an ACC doctor had recommended he be sent back to work.

    This chap, a married man with children, had suffered a serious head injury in an accident while working in the forestry. He’d been laid up for months, he’d lost much of his co-ordination, he couldn’t drive any more, he’d lost touch with his workmates, he struggled to complete even the most simple of tasks, and he’d become seriously depressed. He’d been working through rehabilitation but often got frustrated and angry with those around him when he couldn’t do what his mind said he should be able to do.

    National’s new ACC focus “on investment returns on $24.6 billion reserves, higher interest rates to reduce the current value of the future cost of claims, and new investment strategies” however, meant that this poor bugger was about to get a real shock.

    ACC hired private medical consultants charged with “reviewing claimant histories” who had determined (without even the decency of discussing the case in depth with his doctor, or his therapist, or his family), that although this poor chap would never be able to return to full-bodied employment, he was fit for certain types of work and therefore he could be returned to the workforce.

    But what sort of work was this guy now suitable for? Carpark Attendant. Carpark Attendant … in Kaikohe for god’s sake!! Except there are no jobs for Carpark Attendants in Kaikohe – or Kaitaia, or Taipa, or Kerikeri, or Kawakawa, or Dargaville, or Whangarei, or Wellsford or Warkworth for that matter.

    ACC of course, didn’t care. They’d made their assessment, the guy was “fit for work”, and he should move to where he could find work.

    Great … the guy’s struggling to cope with the basics of life and they expect him to up his family and move to Auckland – pull the kids from school and away from the friends and the community they grew up with, try to sell the house, pay off any outstanding debts, organise a removal truck, find a house in Auckland they can afford to rent (yeah right), find a school for the kids, find a therapist, find out where the Carpark Attendant jobs are … and then get in line with the thousands of others lining up for the same job!

    Under the 1972 Accident Compensation Act New Zealanders gave up the right to sue for personal injury, in return for a government-funded 24-hour, no-fault insurance programme, paid for by all taxpayers and employers. 40 years later, Kiwis still aren’t allowed to sue, so how come government can walk away from their part of the deal?

    AE MARIKA is an article written every week by Hone Harawira, leader of the MANA Movement and Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau. You are welcome to use any of the comments and to ascribe them to Mr Harawira. The full range of Hone’s articles can be found on the MANA website at http://www.mana.net.nz. ”

    QUESTION – Is it churlish to ask how much Rebstock is paid to play National’s social terrorism games ?

    • greywarbler 4.1

      Government Mercenaries home and imported –
      1 Paula Rebstock
      2 Margaret Bazley
      3 David Caygill
      4 All ACT
      Others? Can’t recall names just now.

    • Rosie 4.2

      Thank you for sharing the article North. Like Hone I almost cried when I heard about the ACC surplus. It’s vulgar that there should be a surplus when ACC isn’t in the business of being a profit centred organisation.

      I know first hand about the loss of service within ACC since National came along and fucked it up. I’ve been left with an un-diagnosed foot injury for almost two years now. They gave up on me fairly early on and my only option is to have steroid injections for the pain. Eventually the steroid breaks down the bone so you will be left with an injury with more damage than when you started. The injury has affected my fitness levels and enjoyment of living. No more long bush walks or dancing.

      I’ve heard the horror stories from others too, people whose experiences are far worse than mine, who have lost mobility due to being turned down for absolutely necessary surgery. You can only hope that National and Co will lose the election next year and that service and a client centred focus will be restored to ACC, once again. Once again because almost every time National get in they come along and mess with ACC (remember the early ’90’s?) because they can’t handle that it isn’t (yet) a fully privatised provider. They are ideologically opposed to the concept of ACC and aint bovvered if people suffer while they try and dismantle it.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        Once again because almost every time National get in they come along and mess with ACC (remember the early ’90′s?) because they can’t handle that it isn’t (yet) a fully privatised provider. They are ideologically opposed to the concept of ACC and aint bovvered if people suffer while they try and dismantle it.


        National are always the worst thing to happen to NZ. They concentrate on destroying government service so that the private profiteers, who can’t actually compete with government efficiency, can make a profit as people lose faith in government and so move on to private providers.

      • Murray Olsen 4.2.2

        Even when ACC was reasonably good, it was very much a parson’s egg situation. I waited 15 years for back surgery and then had to pay half the cost myself, which came from money I managed to save from a student loan. During that time, I knew three people who mutilated themselves expressly to get lump sum payouts, which they received relatively quickly. It never worked as well as it was intended to.

    • karol 4.3

      Oh, thanks, North. I usually just look at the Mana website for the latest press releases. I hadn’t realised the articles were on the site. Links down the bottom left under “Recent Pānui”

      Here’s the link to the article above.

      • North 4.3.1

        I regularly get Hone stuff, press releases, articles etc by email. Can’t recall how I subscribed. Sign-up’s probably available on the Mana website.

    • NickS 4.4


      Bring on the court cases and the harrowing of the minister responsible for this shit.

    • thanks 4 the link..

      ..i’ll use it tomorrow morn..

      ..what fucken america..(with the support of far too many local leftists..)

      ..what america destroyed..

      ..america..that sick/corrupt dystopia…

      ..phillip ure..

  5. Puckish Rogue 6

    So how long before T. Mallard gets his marching orders…and will there be any fallout?

      • Te Reo Putake 6.1.1

        Good call, Paul. A different matter and far more relevant if PR had asked ‘how long before John Key gets his marching orders …’

        • Puckish Rogue

          Thats easy to answer: If he loses the next election he’ll stand down/get fired

          Now about Mallard not being at the labour meeting in Dunedin when everyone else was, does this mean hes close to getting the shaft and if so what will his reaction be?

          • Te Reo Putake

            That’s not what my Tory mates tell me. Weeks, rather than months. That noise you hear is knives being sharpened.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Oh well in that case my socialist mates tell me Cunliffe has weeks rather than months until hes knifed especially if he continues making amateur stuff ups

              Gotta be true

    • North 6.2

      @ Puckish Rogue……..what’s this smirky Shouty Hootonesque mock-pregnant crap about ? –

      “So how long before T. Mallard gets his marching orders…and will there be any fallout ?”

      Very tired stuff as a distraction I guess from the ludicrous spectacle of The Little Churchill ShonKey Python stroking himself as Barack Obama’s alter ego.

      “I AM Kaiser Bill’s Bat(Shit)Man !” Hahaha.

  6. karol 7

    I tried responding twice to Jenny’s latest rant on TDB open mike today. I tried to provide some added links to add to her selective linkings, and show explanations have already been given, so why give more? Both my comments disappeared.

    Maybe it’s for the best.

    • lprent 7.1

      I may be a awful author of posts because I only seem to write text when annoyed. But at least my comments on TDB don’t get moderated. I can’t see any comments from you there unless you’re using a different handle. There are 13 sitting in moderation.

      Oh – there are a couple from earlier today.

      • karol 7.1.1

        I don’t know what happened. I’m logged in. I typed, with links, clicked on post comment – long delay, finally resulting in a blank web page & know backwards recovery of what I typed.

        I was trying to add these links to balance Jenny’s selective TS links:

        Rob Gilchrist on Sunday

        Open Mike 06/10/2013

        Open mike 05/10/2013

        Open Mike 07/10/2013


        PS: You mean a couple from me?

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.2

        Hmmm. I replied (politely) to Jenny’s comment this morning on TDB’s Open Mike and went to moderation, presumably because it was my first ever comment there. The comment now seems to have vanished into the ether.

        Just as an aside, TDB has an awful layout. It’s a very difficult site to read and navigate. And hiding the Open Mike post down the page also strikes me as (unintentionally?) undemocratic. If TDB wants input from readers they need to publicise the fact.

        • karol

          All TDB comments go through moderation. But you still should be able to see your own comments while they are waiting for moderation.

          I think the likes of Jenny don’t realise that a blog that allows instant commenting, like TS, requires some moderation of potential diversions, tr0lling, flaming etc. That’s not about “free speech” or ‘censorship”, but about maintaining a blog where discussion is possible. TDB goes for blanket moderation – easier for the blog managers, but acts as a dampener to discussion.

          TS keeps a good balance, IMO.

          Discussion in a democracy is a two-way interaction and requires some effort to understand what other people have written and to present credible and verifiable evidence for your views. That is what communication is about. The notion of individualistic, unrestrained “free speech” is overly simplistic and ignores the complexities of the real kind of dialogue that is necessary for democratic process.

          • Te Reo Putake

            My comment, and a few others, have just been published. I guess I’m just used to the immediacy of TS.

            • lprent

              It took a bit of work (and a few years) to develop a system that didn’t require people to login, mostly avoided having to enter a captcha, still caught and killed the spam, and tended to hold up for human perusal new commenters and the few comments that looked suspect.

              The other side was to develop a culture where people don’t exhibit behaviours that make moderators warn of ban them.

              Generally it works pretty well with a fairly light workload (except when the systems jam).

              I’d expect over time that TDB will tend to loosen up as they develop their style. But as it is at present too many trolls just like attacking Martyn

        • Rosie

          To TRP: Apologies for repetition. One of the main reasons I stopped commenting on TDB was the fact that every time I would go into moderation for hours. The fastest time I have got a comment posted in was an hour. One time I was in moderation for over 7 hours. I did contact them a few times to ask why the moderation – I would like to know if I genuinely had been outside the policy – but I never got a response. In the end I couldn’t bothered mucking around.

          Maybe your comment will come up in a while……check back later.

          • weka

            As far as I can tell everyone goes through moderation (it’s nothing to do with content), and I guess each post gets released when Bradbury or whoever has the time to read it and release it.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Hi, Rosie, it’s up now. But the delay kinda ruins the point of Open Mike, imho. It’d be much better if they allowed comments to go up immediately, then moderate en masse.

            • weka

              Yeah, everyone was writing as if there were no other comments, but now there are. Weird.

        • Lanthanide

          wtf’s the point of having an Open Mike (sic) post where all of the comments are moderated?

    • jaymam 7.2

      There seems to be something wrong with the thumbs up/down on TDB. It gives a +1 for a thumb down, and -1 for thumb up.

    • weka 7.3

      I’ve posted there now too.

      “Just to be clear, Jenny didn’t get banned from the standard for talking about Climate Change or politics. She got banned for ignoring multiple moderation warnings about her behaviour.

      If anyone wants to know more detail, feel free to pop over to the standard and I’m sure that any number of Standardistas who are thoroughly sick of Jenny’s antics will be happy to point out what the issues were 🙂 (can’t see the point of getting into it here, not least because I don’t wish the same level of drama onto TDB’s new Open Mike).”

    • Rogue Trooper 7.4

      I generally find comments that I make on TDB released from moderation within 15 minutes; there have been occasional exceptions, yet no complaints from me. 😎

  7. greywarbler 8

    My page has reverted to normal without half of it being in bright blue and underlined but I notice a long time to get to my chosen place when I click on anything on the site especially if I want to look back on past comments. How long should I be waiting 10,20,30 seconds? Often I give up and can’t finish a piece or get information.

  8. greywarbler 9

    IRD setting up mega system and making it so big that NZ companies can’t compete. Everything must go global to get cheap except for the people running the outfit. NZ may get some small tasks thrown their way. I can’t see how these people in power think that they will have anything much of an economy to run and tax when they do this. Perhaps the idea is to run it all down and then apply for foreign aid which will be channelled through whatever government is in power. Hey I had a thought – we have something like that now.

    Internal Affairs (they’re gut wrenching) have put passport controls on line and are closing more offices. Now I feel so happy that we are going to get this modern streamlined service so efficiently, just like Novopay. And so easy to tap into for Big Brother, which despite the name, hasn’t any kindly family feelings.

  9. karol 11

    Hmmm. i see that Grey Lynn residents are protesting about the proposed building of a Bunnings Warehouse in their hood. I am also aware that some New Lynn residents are not happy that a Bunnings Warehouse is going to be built in new Lynn – they say that there are better uses for the land.

    So what’s going on? The NZ Herald article on Grey Lynn protests, says:

    Shale Chambers of the Waitemata Local Board and councillor Mike Lee addressed the crowd at the edge of Aotea Square, expressing support.

    Lee said Auckland had a secretive planning process where about 98 per cent of resource consent applications were non-notified.

    Lee asked whether planners were public servants.
    At the hearing, Alan Webb, acting for the residents, said they had not expected such an intense commercial activity on such a massive scale.

    Roads would be used as Bunnings’ own private service lane, he told the independent hearing commissioners.

    Webb said residents had been regarded as “little more than irritants to get around rather than having their legitimate concerns taken seriously.”

    Great North Rd could become one of Auckland’s great boulevards and the residents wanted a liveable city.

  10. greywarbler 13

    Shaanxi in China is in the news with about 42 recent deaths. Climate change is having an effect on large hornets which are breeding more rapidly without cold winters to control them.

    The pictures of hornet stings are horrific and they are very large insects and extremely aggressive. Their venom can dissolve tissue and can produce anaphylactic shock. People have bullet wound size wounds that look as if they are necrotised. Kidneys can shut down and death occurs. Hospitals have said come in if you have more than ten stings so one imagines that they are really stretched to manage the outbreak.

    A Chinese mayor ans his local helpers are true humanitarians and heroes.

    The crisis has exhausted Gong Zhenghong, the spiky-haired mayor of Hongshan township in rural Ankang. Since September, Gong has spent nearly every night wandering the township exterminating nests. He says there are 248 hornet nests in Hongshan, with 175 close to schools and roads.
    Gong and his team survey nests by day; once the sun sets, they dress in homemade anti-hornet suits made from rain jackets and canvas, and burn the nests with spray-can flamethrowers. “They don’t fly around at night,” he said. Sometimes the team begins work in the late evening and doesn’t finish until 2am. “We’d normally send the fire squad to do this, but this year there were too many nests….
    In southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, a swarm of hornets attacked a primary school in mid-September, injuring 23 children and seven adults. The teacher, Li Zhiqiang, told pupils to hide under their desks and tried to fight the creatures off until he lost consciousness, state media reported….
    The Ankang government says it has removed 710 hives and sent 7m yuan (£707,000) to help affected areas. “We’re doing everything we can, but there’s only so much we can do,” says Deng Xianghong, the deputy head of the Ankang propaganda department. “God has been unfair to us.”

    And set this against the news of the trilion debt that the USA owes to China. The Chinese have not been able to apply the good practices that came from Communism together with the money that has come from capitalism to helping the farmers as was a chief communistic goal. There would have been more organisation to prevent such a high nest situation. They would be hard to eradicate but severe limitation could be achieved.

    And the similar thing in the USA you can bet. They have problems that wealth should be able to deal to, but chooses not to.

    • Treetop 13.1

      I heard about this at the weekend on the radio. The hornets are 5 cm long, just awful.

  11. bad12 14

    David Cunliffe speaking to the Combined Trade Unions Conference today,

    ”Immediately raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour”,

    ”Support the ‘Living Wage”,

    ”Paid Parental Leave up from 14 weeks to 26”

    ”Scrap all National’s unfair employment law changes within 100 days”,

    ”A RED Labour Party rather than a pale blue one”,

    Gleaned from the Herald online,(there is probably a live stream somewhere)…

  12. NickS 15



    Silly silly Dunajtschik, if you buy a heritage building or one that could fall under being a heritage protection, you’re buying something that you have an obligation to do work on.

    Instead, he’s just going to let it rot, and another slice of NZ’s architectural will likely fall and be replaced with another glass, steel and concrete monolith.

    • McFlock 15.1

      And only a tory cabinet minister could call the owner of a multistorey central-city property (derelict or otherwise) ” this poor guy”.

      And one thing I’ve thought should have been done years ago is compel owners of heritage buildings to maintain the structures. If the fuckers want to knock something down and build a utilitarian block of cubby-holes, they shouldn’t buy our heritage.

      $10 mil to do up? On a building that has rates of $250k/yr?
      It’s called an “investment”.

  13. richard 16

    Commonwealth chief is stooge of Sri Lanka regime – Canadian envoy

    Canada has launched a direct assault on the authority of the Commonwealth secretary general, attacking him as a stooge for a Sri Lankan regime it accuses of serious human rights abuses.

    On Tuesday Hugh Segal, Canada’s special envoy to the Commonwealth, accused Kamalesh Sharma of “acting as a shill [a stooge] for the Sri Lankan leadership, defending their every mistake”.

    His remarks intensified the row over the Commonwealth’s decision to host its biennial heads of state meeting in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo next month. Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, announced on Monday that he would boycott the summit because of alleged human rights abuses by Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, which until 2009 was engaged in a brutal civil war.

    Meanwhile, Keys shows where human rights is situated in his priority list…

    John Key, New Zealand’s prime minister, confirmed his attendance last month at a meeting in which he also asked for Sri Lanka’s support in its bid for a seat on the UN security council.


  14. Rogue Trooper 17

    “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate
    Some men you just can’t reach…”

    • Puckish Rogue 17.1

      I prefer Cool Hand Luke myself…

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        I bet you do.
        Editing Judith Collins’ face over The Captain’s when he says it would be your way of combining your preferred public policy with grade-A stroke material.

        Somehoe I think you missed the point of CHL in much the same way as you missed the point of 1984.

      • Rogue Trooper 17.1.2

        not Long John Silver?

      • ghostrider888 17.1.3

        “Nah, calling it your job don’t make it right Boss”.

  15. Colonial Viper 18

    TPPA: NZ makes it into The Guardian for all the wrong reasons

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), warmly backed by Australian prime minister Tony Abbott and New Zealand, is just the latest example of US client states allowing US multinationals far too much influence in their markets in a futile attempt to challenge ever-increasing Chinese business ties in Asia.


  16. Morrissey 20

    Stephen Franks lost for words twice in one hour
    Stopped in his tracks during anti-Māori rant

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Wednesday 9 October 2013
    Jim Mora, Stephen Franks, Chris Wikaira

    Extreme right wing Hastings journalist Mike Butler is a crony of the notoriously racist National Party activist John Ansell. This disreputable pair has been active on the fringes for a long time, publishing virulent anti-Treaty, anti-Māori diatribes in some of the scruffier provincial papers. Occasionally Ansell, being a National Party heavyweight, manages to get his ugly mug onto television; earlier this year he enjoyed several uninterrupted minutes on TV1’s Breakfast show to inform viewers why he has no respect for Māori tradition, Māori haka or Māori language. Butler, on the other hand, has largely remained under a rock, but for some reason his latest diatribe was been featured in today’s edition of the Otago Daily Times.

    Butler and Ansell are shunned by serious and moral people and their views are not respected or taken seriously by anyone with a lick of common sense. But that didn’t stop Jim Mora’s producers from hauling their foulness on to Radio New Zealand National’s Panel this afternoon. With the guests being the right wing ACT/Sensible Sentencing activist Stephen Franks and the National Party-aligned Chris Wikaira, the producers must have figured it would be another easy demolition job. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the quality of the discussion, they evidently failed to consider two complicating factors about Chris Wikaira: although he might be a member of the National Party, he (a) is Māori and (b) has a brain….

    JIM MORA: I’ll be interested to get your thoughts on THIS story: Hastings journalist Mike Butler claims the Crown should receive a refund from Ngai Tahu rather than having to pay out more and more. This is a story that is gaining more attention, particularly in the southern papers—-
    CHRIS WIKAIRA: [sardonically] Now THERE’s a surprise!
    MORA: [nervously] Ha ha ha! Yeah but he has a point, surely. Whatever happened to this idea of “full and final settlements”?
    STEPHEN FRANKS: Well this is what happens with these things. It never ends. The Tainui claim was settled by an emotional minister—
    MORA: Doug Graham.
    FRANKS: Yes, an emotional minister who didn’t give them something meaningful like land, but instead gave them “co-ownership” of the rivers and lakes, so that now the only way they can make their presence felt is to irritate people and make a NUISANCE of themselves whenever you want to do anything.

    [As usual, Mora sits blankly and says nothing during this wandery and spurious rant. Then again, he was the one who encouraged the rant by citing the ridiculous Mike Butler article in the first place. Chris Wikaira, on the other hand, is not prepared to put up with such truculent ignorance any longer….]

    CHRIS WIKAIRA: The facts are completely contrary to what you are saying. Ngai Tahu land was taken under false pretences by the government and sold to settlers without permission of the Ngai Tahu owners. Ngai Tahu were coerced into signing agreements.

    ……[Extended awkward silence]….

    MORA: Okay, so it wasn’t all fair and above board and not everybody was happy—

    CHRIS WIKAIRA: And you do know, don’t you, that all of the Treaty settlements put together amount to less than one point four billion dollars, which is a fraction of one per cent of the government’s expenditure for one year.

    Mora begins to say something light-hearted then thinks better of it. Franks, chastened into silence, says nothing more. Interestingly, earlier in the program, Franks was unable to counter Duncan Webb’s forceful but polite demolition of some derogatory comments he (Franks) had made about the New Zealand decision to dispense with Privy Council appeals.

    By politely and firmly speaking the truth in the face of one flippant and one obstinate enemy of the truth, Duncan Webb and Chris Wikaira showed us all an important truth: we should always challenge and stand up to bullies, including self-important and pompous lawyers who speak in soft voices; their outward show of power and authority is usually a flimsy covering for nothing more than pure wind.


    Have a look at this site to get an idea of the mischief Butler and Ansell get up to….

  17. leftriteleft 21

    For the 1st time in my life (66+) I have just been polled on my landline.
    Must be a new poll coming out.
    It all went the Left way. Hope it helps.

  18. North 22

    A great heap of pathetic shit from some second rate jonolist. Focused on a first rate, indeed truly phenomonal athlete, Sonny Bill Williams. I’ve no particular brief for him, admiration for his rare talents yes, but no particular brief.


    What has me take up a brief, quite wholeheartedly actually, is the extraordinary bleating and clutching of the pearls as in this article when Williams starts reflecting Big Sport. Good onya Williams. Likewise the young Samoan World Cup player who basically told the IRB they’re a bunch of using, racist old dorks. And got disciplined for it. I prefer both of them to a bunch of fucked, dictatorial old fogeys sitting on the International Rugby Board in London. Also their equivalents in other codes.

    Yes this is league but that’s irrelevant. I’m talking about the various oligarchies that comprise Big Sport, and the Monday morning quarterbacks of the so called sports press. Nothings trying to be something.

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