Open mike 10/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 10th, 2011 - 82 comments
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Open mike is your post.

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

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

82 comments on “Open mike 10/03/2011”

  1. Jenny 1

    “Gee I’m dumb” Hone Harawira.

    If you are gonna be dumb you gotta be tough, If you are gonna fall down, you gotta get up.

    Seriously folks – Get that man a good secretary straight away.

    And an organisation wouldn’t hurt either.

  2. Rosy 2

    Instead if tinkering with the Reserve Bank act maybe it’s about time Labour started thinking about a Robin Hood Tax. Specifically aimed at big financial institurions – a financial transaction tax, bank levy a financial activities tax. Not as comprehensive as a full transaction tax, but it will make the banks give up more than the $1m or so in donations out of their billions profit than they do at the moment.

    Who supports it? from the UK site:
    – President Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Zapatero of Spain, among others.
    – FSA Chairman Lord Turner, financier George Soros, entrepreneur extraordinaire Warren Buffet.
    – Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs and 350 other economists from across the world.
    – Over 115 organisations, including charities like Oxfam, Barnardo’s and Friends of the Earth, all the major trade Unions and faith organisations such as the Salvation Army.

    • Agreed Rosy but …

      Don’t we need to persuade the world to agree to the Tobin Tax at the same time? Otherwise won’t the money flood to the untobin countries?

      I am happy if this is not the case and hope to be proved wrong.

      • neoleftie 2.1.1

        the studies undertaken in norway suggest that a Tobin tax doesnt generate that much revenue or stop the unfettered flows of ‘hot money’. .

        • Rosy

          The Robin Hood people seem to think research shows increases in ‘hot money’ are overstated and believe the shares transaction tax in the UK show that a financial services tax can be collected. I don’t know much about finance, but it’s seems to me pretty much the same as I’ve seen written about transaction taxes on this blog, but is focused on a tight section on the finance industry and is an established, co-ordinated campaign so doesn’t appear to be arriving out of ‘left-field’ 😉

          • Akldnut

            I don’t know much about it but this may be a good way to fund the rebuilding of Christchurch, it would be a good way to test the water.

          • prism

            Tobin tax et al would be welcomed by me if I could get rid of the weight of GST, taking it way down to 5% or something (it is a useful embracing tax for all). I believe we should all be contributing something to our society, volunteer if not paid work, some tax paid on a low percentage for low incomes. Then everyone can feel and be viewed as included as citizens who in turn contribute to the maintaining of the country. But let it be proportionate to the resources of the individual citizens.

            I had to get part of my house painted cost $6,000 and GST $900. Why should I have to scrimp on living costs to pay this tax when the wealthy don’t scrimp at all and want quality services from government and the private sector themselves. Why should the government step in with their hand out with every item I buy, charging me at the rate of a luxury tax. Because of its wide-ranging, all-inclusive (nearly) scope. it is a volume tax and therefore should be set low at say 5%.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      Speaking of reforming the RB.,-english-expecting-cut-in-official-cash-rate

      The guvna should publically tell them to STFU, their expectations can go pound sand until they remove his independence. This is co-ordinated pressure from the PM and the finance minister.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        Actually Bollard was just on Nine to Noon this morning. He said that because this is an unusual disaster situation in which the government has a major role to play, he (for the first time) went and talked to the Finance Minister directly to find out what the government’s response was going to be, as well as brief him on their preliminary decisions. He re-iterated that the decision and the responsiblity still was entirely his.

        When asked directly why Bill English and John Key were saying what they said, Bollard said he didn’t think Key knew anything specific (one presumes unless English had told him) and that their statements were about what the financial markets were indicating, rather than instructions or hints as to what the RB should or was doing.

  3. Pete 3

    He enjoyed his relaxation after a hard day at work. The cool beer refreshed, and it felt good unhurriedly repeating another micro dose of nicotine. As he watched TV he wondered if he should upgrade to a 50″ HD like his mate, the split screens on the TAB channel looked so much clearer, and the rugby channel would be even better. He thought he could get enough from selling the old TV to pay for the outstanding balance on that, but he reckoned he should probably wait until the car HP ran out before signing up, that has stretched him a bit – unless he won a decent treble, he was overdue for some luck.

    Unless, unless….if the government put the minimum wage up to $15 that would give him enough to cover the repayments. Surely he deserved that.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      Stuff like this;
      really, really, truly,

      does not help your claims to be anything other than a right winger Pete.

      I mean what, you couldn’t squeeze in the idea that he could impregnate his missus who lives next door collecting the dpb, as a way of getting even more dosh to spend on juicy t-bone steaks?

      • Pete 3.1.1

        Didn’t want to overdo it Pb, there’s plenty more that could be added to that, what about fast food – keep filling your stomachs and landfill with rubbish? It’s got nothing to do with right wing. How many of us are overloaded with fat, sugar, far too much technological junk, too many cars? How many DVDs on your shelves? And we keep feeding the financial corporates ever more willingly, HP and credit card debt anyone?

        The main problem is not the government (of the day). It’s us.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Oh you overdid it all right chump. Don’t kid yourself.

        • south paw

          Minimum wage earners are lazy, smoking, drinking, gambling, obese, addicted losers according to Pete.

          What a narrow minded bigot he is.

          • Colonial Viper

            People who work on wages <$15/hr typically do all the jobs which keep society running, and keep people looked after.

            Pete, being an asshole, doesn't give a shit about any of that, the growing class of working indebted poor in NZ, or their children growing up either in actual or relative poverty.

            • neoleftie

              well under this system we have ‘floated the boats’ some rise, some fall but its not the individual boats we need to concentrate on but who is making the damn waves..

            • M

              ‘People who work on wages <$15/hr typically do all the jobs which keep society running, and keep people looked after.'

              Yes, I have a friend who works in a rest home and has excrement thrown at her on occasion – maybe Pete might like to help her out, but wait, no, he couldn't possibly do that because it would be beneath him, déclassé even.

              News flash, the poor/beneficiaries are allowed to have some form of modest entertainment now and again and if that's an occasional pizza or even a Lotto ticket then so be it – quelle horreur that they should want to participate in life like everyone else.

              After all what's the difference between some beneficiary purchasing the odd Lotto ticket and some rich arsehole like Key gambling on the currency markets and maybe ruining other people's lives into the bargain – sheesh drop the righteous indignation already.

              • Pascal's bookie

                I trust your friend doesn’t clean herself up with anything more than a cup of cold water with 5ml of bleach in it. One mustn’t be wasteful.

            • prism

              I wonder what job Pete does do? He is very self-satisfied about what a fine useful upstanding person he is. Presumably he is in paid work and that makes him automatically superior.

              Superior, unkind and lacking empathy. Like the fire fighter speaking on Radnz a week ago who was berating people for nagging about getting portaloos – they should just get on and dig a hole in the back yard. As if everybody can and don’t have other privations to try and cope with. Such uncaring, selfish people, not interested or concerned about others struggling – they are just warts on society, malignant too.

              • felix

                Pete works for Curia.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Pete doesn’t work for himself, thats for sure, especially with his imaginary life, wife, relatives and nachos for dinner.

                  He also loves to talk about himself as an example everyone else can live up to.

                  That’s called narcissism isn’t it?

              • Pete

                Prism, I’m happy with where I’m at now, but I’ve had some difficult times financially, especially when I had a young family. I’ve picked fruit, poured concrete, been in service and in sales, worked night shift in a woollen mill to try and establish a business during the day, I even replaced lprent once, I’ve mostly been in IT related work, self employed and working for wages. So I’ve had life experience, and I certainly know what it’s like to be hard up.

                M, I have a relative in a rest home and a daughter who has worked in them, I know what it can be like, not enough wages to employ enough staff or good enough staff can result in substandard care, it can be very depressing, it’s one of the saddest underpaid industries around.

                felix, that’s a bit catty – I’ve never worked for a research company.

                I think much of our society has become very inefficient and wasteful (me too) – just expecting the government to throw more money at problems is not always the best way to address them. We need capitalists with money as much as we need ordinary hard workers, most try to do well for themselves and for society, but there are prats at both ends.

                There is far too much “them and us” and not enough individual and joint responsibility.

                • Colonial Viper

                  We need capitalists with money as much as we need ordinary hard workers, most try to do well for themselves and for society, but there are prats at both ends.

                  Why do you need capitalists again?

                  Capital is required yes, but who needs the capitalists which come along with it? What value do they add to the real economy with their labour hours, after you take away their capital?

                • prism

                  Pete You have put your nose to the grindstone indeed. But the them and us is inevitable when there is still the mantra that anybody can get on and prosper in NZ but the government constantly acts to downgrade conditions. The number of jobs (lost manufacturing through abandoning tarriffs), poorer working conditions (more casual labour and no standards such as being paid minimum number of hours for a call-up, having a roster system so casuals know when they might be on call, etc), bringing in 90 day almost open-slather on all employees, making it hard to get stability and surety, and build a good work record and skillset.
                  Then the wages have been trending down for a while.

                  The moaners that you think are not self-reliant enough are just protesting at the bar being raised higher all the time. They are being realistic, not thinking in mythical slogans.

        • mickysavage

          A fact free posting by Pete. How unusual.

          Capcha “unaware” even the computer knows …

    • Mac1 3.2

      Pete, when I read your neo-con crap yesterday I was still fuming from having read another chapter entitled “Republicans by Default” from a 2006 book “Deer Hunting with Jesus” by Joe Bageant. I am glad that I did not respond then.

      If you are as you say not a right winger, Pete, I recommend you get acquainted with Tom Henderson and Nancy, and the rest of the worker underclass victims of the neo-con movement who say just the same things as you, learnt along with the rest of the American Republican dream, from the neo-con Right.

      My capcha is ‘constant’. It reminds me of the song “Man of Constant Sorrow” where the singer is a man of constant trouble all of his days- just like Tom. One paycheck away from poverty, working sixty five hour weeks, travelling hours each day to get to work and never able to get himself out of his condition no matter how hard he exercises his rugged individualism, poorly educated, non-unionised, oppressed in the factory where he works, too poor to get proper and sufficient health treatments for work based ailments let alone in general and proudly nationalistic, a willing soldier in Vietnam and supporter of nuking American opponents, “them”, to get America out its foreign difficulties, happy to allow environmental degradation for poorly paid jobs, and still respectful of the rich and successful of his community who are the community leaders and who provide the propaganda so avidly sucked up by Tom, a decent man who somehow got deceived by constant neo-con deception.

      Your man, Pete, so accurately depicted in #3 above, is like Tom. He has “a plan’, too. But Tom is real, and Tom is a victim of the same neo-con crap now being sold in New Zealand.

  4. logie97 4

    A school in an upmarket area of Auckland had some serious fire damage in January. The Ministry moved heaven and earth and the school has millions of dollars given for renovation.

    The earth moved under many schools in Christchurch, and to enable them to reopen the ministry is sending some Portaloos…

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      1. Dozens of schools in Christchurch are affected all at the same time. It’s difficult for them to find other schools to house displaced students.
      2. There is major infrastructure damage to large parts of CHCH. Even if they wanted to get water and power on in some schools there isn’t much the ministry can directly do themselves.
      3. When a school burns down, it’s principally the buildings that need to be fixed and repairs. When they suffer earthquake damage, there are problems with liquefaction in the land as well as underground services being disrupted (see also #2).

      I would expect in the coming 2-3 years that the ministry will again spend millions of dollars fixing CHCH schools. Your criticism at this point is far too early.

      • logie97 4.1.1

        I take your points. However, the speed with which the Ministry attended to the Auckland school’s repairs has raised many eyebrows. You might find that there are quite a few schools around the country that are awaiting urgent capital work projects and the boards are having to move heaven and earth to get progress. Children are being
        temporarily enrolled elsewhere until repairs can be made – don’t think that was the case in the Auckland school…

  5. Rob 5

    Pete does have a semi-point: personal actions do contribute to personal situations. His original post, a la DonKey’s poor choices comment, is however OTT.

    One thing Pete, a feed of fish and chips is a helluva lot cheaper than a trip to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for a “healthy” dinner. Hell, if I want to make nachos for my family of 4 I’m looking at $8+ just for the mince. Even DPF can’t argue with the fact that the price of a lettuce has gone up nearly 100% in the last 12 months (because that comes from the Food Price Index stats) – salads went off the menu this summer.

    So Pete, you do have a point, but you did overdo it.

    • Pete 5.1

      I thought that using an extreme example to promote discussion was Standard practice.

      I know that low wage rates are a problem for many people. But I also see many people unnecesarily living beyond their means, buying too much crap, loading themselves up on debt and then blame banks and corporates for causing the problems, and expect the government to solve it by giving them more money.

      By coincidence I bought mince for dinner last week, $3.97 worth, added an onion, a capsicum, a can of baked beans, a can of chili beans, a can of tomatoes and a bag of nachos. About $11.50, fed four people easily. Cheaper, nicer and healthier than fish and chips.

      • Olwyn 5.1.1

        Well bully for you Pete! With all that money you have saved, you should go out and get yourself a box of beers for the weekend. Whenever there is an economic squeeze, there are always a few people who trot out arguments claiming that poor people would be less poor if only they put themselves on strict rations, as if simply being poor means that you must automatically be reduced to survival mode, and lose all other human foibles. People are not like that, they are complex, they juggle priorities, and sometimes they do act on whim, even if they sometimes regret it later. We are living in a society shaped by billion dollar errors, but you choose to focus on the error of buying fish and chips when you could have done with baked beans.

        • Colonial Viper

          but you choose to focus on the error of buying fish and chips when you could have done with baked beans.

          Correct. Someone could live on one slice of bread with a table spoon of baked beans on top per day, for months.

          What’s the problem again?

      • lprent 5.1.2

        By coincidence I bought mince for dinner last week… Cheaper, nicer and healthier than fish and chips.

        Not for me. Mince is highly highly contraindicated for people who have recently had heart attacks. In fact all excessive animal fats are. Far too likely to get one. So for that matter is battered fish and chips.

        Now that is an extreme example.

        But your price of mince seems rather low unless you were getting well under 0.5kgs

        • Pete

          It was about $11 a kilo on special so yes, under half a kg – but that’s plenty if you pad it out with beans and vegetables, keeps the goodness up and fat down.

          Nachoes are relatively expensive, cheaper to use pasta, rice or potatoes with it too.

          • felix

            So Peter, if all the millionaire tax-thieves ate like this a few times a week they’d be able to afford to pay their share. Is that it?

          • Colonial Viper

            Now try eating that for 3 months in a row.

            And then having to cover an unexpected dental bill and power bill.

            All on $300 p.w.

      • neoleftie 5.1.3

        so yore saying that its the basic fault of some individuals for making bad choices – well thank god we live in a society where you get choices, bad or good. surely its the states resposibility to ensure those individuals, who are prone to making bad choices, are limited as much as possible to more positive choices. Free credit with no checks just encourages bad choices for example.
        The elite class are trained to seek good or positive choices and have the background, education and connectiveness to maxamise their exposure to opportunity.
        Doesnt say much for a community when the community wont or isnt allowed to look after its more ‘bad choice prone’ members.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.4

        I’m not sure that you can really call nachos significantly healthier than fish and chips, in terms of raw fat. Corn chips have huge amounts of fat, and it doesn’t help if you add any cheese.

    • Rosy 5.2

      “personal actions do contribute to personal situations”
      And the personal actions of profiteers that caused the recession are the ones that I’m looking to attack, not those who may have lost their jobs or have had no wage increases and are struggling to downsize their lifestyles.

  6. Tun 6

    He enjoyed his relaxation after a hard day at work. The sting of Gordon and McPhails helped his mind to wander. He wondered about the carbon footprint of 50 year old scotch. Probably less than the Sprite those on the factory floor would be mixing with their fermented lactose alcohol drinks. He looked out over the estate: the Jag, two Rovers, and now the Cayenne – she must have just got in. All he needed, her worries and his own concerns: how would he get rid of 18 employees without getting caught? Then there was the by-election issue. How did they discover that one? He was sure he’d covered his tracks. He took one last gulp. It was hard after the last firm collapsed. Had to tell Woman’s Day about surviving on $100k.

    Her footsteps fell on the tiles now. He hadn’t seen the kids in nine years, schools had raised them, and for the price he paid they had better have done a good job. I’ve made some great decision, he thought, some very profitable choices. The scotch never quite fills me, though. I have everything, but what is that hollowness? Maybe I should see a doctor. No, it’s just the sunset. The sunset and hardwork. He was overdue for some luck.

    Unless, unless….if the government removed minimum wage that would lift his sprirts enough to think about some time in Italy this year. Surely he deserved that. He’d earned it. He was owed it.

    (too over the top?)

    • Rosy 6.1

      🙂 you tall poppy scyther, you.
      That’s whats wrong with this country, people don’t respect those who go out and do the business… too much time pandering to those who make poor choices. We’re not going to match Australia if some people don’t knuckle down and take one for the team and leave us ‘masters of the universe’ to get on with wealth creation. hmph.

    • south paw 6.2

      You could have included the latest 21 yo blond PA he’s shagging, the risk his wife finds out and takes him to the cleaners. Or the years of creative accounting that has the IRD sniffing around now. All that stress! He deserves all that largesse his bro Smiley Wavey can pass his way.

    • M 6.3

      Luvvit, and certainly not OTT.

  7. weka 7

    Excitement about building with bamboo amplified when a 6.2 earthquake hit central Colombia in January 1999, and 70% of the recently-built concrete and brick buildings failed, while virtually all of the older village buildings, of bamboo, stood strong and un-damaged.

    A review of current bamboo building technology and architect Darrel DeBoer’s work.

  8. Herodotus 8

    To Colonial Viper
    As I have been banned from red Alert for dare questioning Labour on this site. What is worse I did send proof !!! Nice to se that Lab does not believe in being anonymous. They want to know who you are !!!
    “Send proof of identity to or you are banned Clare”

    “Meh. Cullen had 9 years of budget surpluses, used to pay off a huge amount of public debt” In fact I would like to point out that offshore govt debt increased over the Lab years. under my perception (perhaps wrongly) when you pay off debt the debt amount decreases so then how is it that ours increased?

    • neoleftie 8.1

      you got called out in public and slinked off – big deal.
      just like a person gets one vote, they should also get one voice and not have multiple troll voices

      [lprent: H isn’t a troll. Believe the policy when I say that the trolls have a hard life around this site. They usually hit one of our guidelines and get the boot. But we often leave them to the regular commentators to play with (which is some ways is a harsher punishment). But who or who isn’t a troll is a judgement restricted to the moderators because the flame wars from speculating are very boring to read. ]

      • Herodotus 8.1.1

        Read the post- I responded with the info – the 2 Lab MP’s slinked off, even though they had proof of my residence and phone numbers, no Labour rep ever called. So do we see yet again Lab MP’s promising high and yet again failuring to deliver when called on ?
        What is worse of the 2 MP’s this electorate has had, Pansy had more support and (I hope not) will have ahieved more in her time in politics than JLR.

    • lprent 8.2

      Nice to se that Lab does not believe in being anonymous.

      Different site, different rules.

      • Herodotus 8.2.1

        True regarding the rules- But it still hits a nerve when (especially a Politican) calls you out- you then supply the info required and then they still enforce a bully boy tactic. How then can people engage in politics. There was a comment here a few days ago along the lines that part of Nat strategy is to make people dis interested inpolitics then they can act as they want behind the scenes. Well I get the feeling that this is not limited to nat. Some on Labs side also play the same game. They all want to silence examination (no matter how shallow)
        And Rob comment 10. I get sick of how debt was repaid comment (this is becoming a urban legend) – Those with some accounting training know the difference betw operating surplus and cashflow reporting. Esp when there are slights at hand of the likes of $10b in student loans that transfers this “spending” from operating to Balance Sheet. There is still a servicing cost and the expectation that the debt will be paid back. Similar to including NZSF in the calc with reporting gains in investments as part of the surplus. If this fund and others e.g. Quake and War damages do not gain we are stuffed, and poses the question as to the ability of the fund managers.
        The borrowing currently is not the issue it is the ability to service, repay and cover future obligations in NZ e.g. Super,health. Our inability to earn to cover our accepted living standard

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      Thanks for the info

      1) Public debt stayed relatively constant during the Clark government. Adjusted for say 2001 dollars, this is a significant fall.
      2) I presume that net public foreign liability fell over this time. I should really look it up but I’m pretty sure that was the case, when you consider the Cullen Fund etc
      3) As has been pointed out, public debt as a % of GDP is one of the most important measures of debt, not just the absolute dollar value. NZ’s economy expanded but debt did not.

      I am actually surprised that the absolute amount of debt hadn’t clearly and consistently fallen, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      Of course as other commentators have pointed out, the real problem in LAB’s management of NZ’s foreign liability position was in terms of private bank/corporate debt.

    • Deadly_NZ 8.4

      I got banned for a month for asking Trevor Mallard if he was ever going to get up on his hind legs and actually do some work this year IE: better than about 4 comments in parliament and fuck all else. and as I pointed out to him is that the NACTS are winning just through labours silence… Banned, Oh well never mind. And I still see that Mallard is still not doing much this year.. Maybe labour will win the next election, But I doubt it, until when we have got rid of the deadwood in the party. like Dyson, Mallard, Goff. Because on current showing they dont deserve to win..And apart from Cunliffe there dont seem to be any really good politicians there yet.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Awayback in twenty-ought-nine the Dept of Homeland Security in the u released a risk analysis type report on domestic right wing terrorism and the potential thereof. It was commissioned to do by GWB. The report stated, quite sensibly I thought, that the risk was real. That there were, in fact, potential terrorists lurking about the in the murky racist reaches of the USian far right.

    One statement read thusly:

    (U) Disgruntled Military Veterans

    (U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

    The report as a whole was recieved by mainstream rightwingers in the US as being an outrageous slander on both themselves in general, and the US military in particular. This does not of course make any sense, unless these mainstreamers see themselves as being the ‘far right’ that was being talked about. Or if they do in fact see the far right as being their allies.


    An ex soldier with ties to the white supremacist movement has been taken into custody in connection with the planting of a backpack bomb along the planned route of the Martin Luther King Jr. March in downtown Spokane, authorities have confirmed.

    Kevin William Harpham, 36, of Colville, could face life imprisonment on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device, according to documents on file in U.S. District Court. An initial court appearance is scheduled for this afternoon.

    Harpham was arrested this morning during a raid at his home near Addy, Wash. by dozens of federal agents who had been assembling in Spokane during the past few days.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center confirmed that Harpham in 2004 was a member of the National Alliance, which is one of the most visible white supremacist organizations in the nation.

    A coupla points.

    Firstly, and obviously, apologies are due from them what freaked about the findings of that report from 09.

    Secondly, I assume, sadly, that Mr Harpham will be declared an enemy combatant, be shipped to gitmo and interrogated with little in the way of due process. The organisation(s) of which he is a member will be declared terrorist groups and outlawed and have their funds frozen and their members harrassed and arrested. The self declared ideological bedfellows of these organisations shall likewise come under direct surveillance. maybe profiling is in order. Certainly the ‘no fly’ lists will need to expanded, greatly. I can expect no complaints from the Tea Party or from conservatives on this score.



    • McFlock 9.1

      meh – in some ways it’s a reassuring return to business as usual.

      In the late 90s the real RWNJs – militia survivalists ec – were preaching black helicopters, cattle mutilation, and thatthe world govt/federal govt would stage a big “emergency” to take away their guns & freedoms.

      WTC is attacked, and the survivalists began preaching “clash of civilisations”, saying “don’t criticise the gummint in a time of war”, and largely ignoring the Patriot Act. FFS.

      On the downside, there’s a nice new crop of exploited and abused military veterans who would like to buy fertilizer.

  10. Rob 10

    @ Herodotus: thanks for the link. Whether Govt debt increased or decreased over the 9 years of the Labour Govt depends on what start / end figure you use – my interpretation is whatever – it hardly moved, but did decrease from approx. 16% of GDP to approx. 10% of GDP over that time

    More to the point what the stats show is an alarming increasing in the Govt debt since the Nats came in. Your comments are akin to arguing over the level of water in a backyard swimming pool while there’s a tsunami rushing towards the shore.

    • Herodotus 10.1

      ROB – sure there was min change . But to you and CV with 9 years of surplus (operating) it would be interesting to find out how these “surplus” were used. I am sure much of this was the result of increases in investments that were brought back to operating income. This is an accounting treatment and much of the surplus was not available for general use or to be spent, and other outgoings as Student loans as mentioned before were held in the balance sheet
      Also to blame any govt for the books in their 1st year is streaching it. For me the 1st year is still a carry over from the previous admin. The budget has only just been read and enabling law has had no time for the effects to be seen. Except for extreme measures as in 84 when Lab devalued the nz$ by 15% because Muldoon was being a pig.
      But I do agree that there is a very big wave heading our way. Only hope that the 2011 govt deals with it, and does not spend their way to power. At leat our current account will look good, even if it is becasue no one is spending and money being repatriated back from EQC

      • Rob 10.1.1

        Believe it or not H, there are some ppl who comment on this site who do not see the world as black/evil (Nats) and white/good (Lab). Your comments indicate a greater understanding on these matters which I’ll respect.

        I understand your frustration at the urban legend you describe, but the link you provided shows a negligible movement in Govt debt from 1999-2008, thus to argue against one myth with another (“offshore govt debt increased over the Lab years”) is simply my point.

        I will even accept that a new Govt inherits to some extent the actions of its predecessor. Again, referring to the link you provided, Govt debt increased from $23.1 mio. in Dec 09 to $31.6 mio. in Sept 10. Govt debt is at record levels – that, to me, with what is coming up, is worrying. And I make that statement in an apolitical sense.

  11. todd 11

    An Open Letter to the National Party

    Dear John Key, I write to you to express my dismay at your Government’s conduct. This is because I see the effects of your negative policies and lack of proper governance around me on a daily basis. I would also like to request that you undertake yourself in an appropriate manner more befitting of your position.

    • Herodotus 11.1

      Interesting letter- I am sure any response from this will be widely made available and will form topics for discussion.

    • Deadly_NZ 11.2

      What reply,? he will probably just shrug his shoulders and hit the delete key..

  12. lprent 12

    Anyone notice the Online section to the community area (Comment/Opinions)?

    Shows the number of distinct people on the site over the last couple of minutes who are not spammers or bots. Where it can, it also shows the sub selection of people who comment or who are logged in.

    I figure this will help to give readers an idea of when the site is getting loaded. That typically happens when the number of readers online gets up above 80 at once.

    There are some other stats available and I’ll be looking at those to determine how valid they are. No point in putting in the page views etc if they’re full of the bot numbers.

    • marty mars 12.1

      Nice – I tend to use the comments box to see where the action is because there are often multiple interesting debates around and also checking back if anyone has commented on a comment I may have made. Have you had any thoughts around the comments box?

      • lprent 12.1.1

        Yep. This is the comment wsiwyg or the comments community area?

        Code has been sketched out for both. Just waiting for the weekend to have another go at it.

        I’m going to (hopefully) fix the last bugs for the comment editor. It uses NicEdit and is pretty good. The only problems are that it needs a block quote to be added (easy) and the submit isn’t always capturing the data from the javascript (hard). The nice thing about it is that it is a damn sight easier than the two previous pretty editors I have used.

        • Deadly_NZ

          Hi there just to let you know it’s taking the site about 2 mins each to post my last 2 replies.

  13. Rosy 13

    Some good news out of the Middle East
    “King Mohamed VI of Morocco looks like he wants to stay a step ahead of the Arab revolutions. He has announced a constitutional reform process with moves towards a parliamentary monarchy system, giving up the power to appoint the PM to the parliament itself (rather than the monarch)”.

    Meanwhile things just look like going from bad to worse for Libya

    “Al-Jazeera manages to talk to fighters near Ras Lanuf, who speak of a large number of injured after bombing by air force jets. “Right now we are collecting the dead and wounded. We are collecting body parts,” the unidentified fighter said.

    While supplies were reaching the town from the east, the attacks have knocked out the water plant near Ras Lanuf, meaning that drinking water was scarce.

    The same fighter said that the rebels were keen to attack deeper into Bin Jawad but that they are approaching cautiously because Gaddafi’s forces are said to be holding families as human shields.

    • joe90 13.1

      Fisk: Saudis mobilise thousands of troops to quell growing revolt.

      Provoked by the Shia majority uprising in the neighbouring Sunni-dominated island of Bahrain, where protesters are calling for the overthrow of the ruling al-Khalifa family, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is widely reported to have told the Bahraini authorities that if they do not crush their Shia revolt, his own forces will.

  14. prism 14

    I have an old Edmonds cook book and on the front is a photo of their old building. An iconic Christchurch building sadly demolished by the needs of capital long before the quake I think. But this building could now rise again as one of the new structures inner-city. It had red brick vertical facings which could be replaced with different material or be face-only decoration, in between there was cream stone or concrete moulded (not heavily). It had a pleasant, friendly appearance. And Christchurch would like the motto Sure to Rise I am sure.

  15. Armchair Critic 15

    Granny has an editorial on the communications skills demonstrated by the government on the subject of the earthquake. There’s nothing that hasn’t been covered on this site, in fact the editorial could have been written by one of a number of authors or commenters here.
    Unusually for Granny it’s not gushing with compliments, it’s more of a “must do better”.
    The comments on the editorial are worth a read, too. Mostly quite harsh, with one or two heading towards faint praise.
    The politicking over Canterbury has well and truly begun.

  16. joe90 16

    Confirmed, union busting dressed up as fiscal rectitude.

    “this battle” is about eliminating unions so that “the money is not there” for the labor movement.

    edit: the fix is on

  17. Bunji 17

    Interesting: Bennett appoints old boss to AK committee (which will hold meetings in secret – because National love democracy).

    And just a day or 2 after Steven Joyce gives his old company a $43mill loan on nice terms…

    • uke 17.1

      And whatever happened to that speculation a few weeks back about John Key’s shares in Bank of America, which apparently holds a large proportion of NZ’s private debt at present?

    • Carol 17.2

      Mallard grilled Joyce on the “perceived conflict of interest” in question time today. Joyce said he was inflormed that there was no conflict of interets. Mallard questioned (in supplementaries) why Brownlee seemed to take a leading role in the negotiations. Joyce hit back saying it was no more a conflict of intErest than Annette King as an ex-dental nurse, having a health portfolio, or Mallard (I think… someone in labour) being an ex teacher having a portfolio in education. Mallard compared the Mediworks decision with jobs going in TVNZ.

      Probably worth looking at the Hansard transcript to get a correct and detailed version of the qu & a.

    • Deadly_NZ 17.3

      It’s getting like a come one come all to the great national trough, if you believe in secrecy and screwing over the little man welcome…

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    And looks like there may be more corporate welfare from the government for overseas investors.

    The government may cover between 15% and 25% of any shortfalls from defaulted bank loans given for the repair of leaky homes under a financial assistance package, with banks then having to take on the remaining risk.

    The revelation came in the New Zealand Bankers Association’s oral submission on the the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service (Financial Assistance Package) Amendment Bill to Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Select Committee on Thursday.

    So, householders have to take on huge amounts of debt, so do the councils but the banks and developers are being protected from the risk they took by the government.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    Peak Oil Farce from the Reserve Bank

    MPs questioned Dr Bollard about the impact of oil price rises, and he said the Reserve Bank was watching the situation closely although it did not think there was a long term problem.

    FFS people. With friends like the Reserve Bank, who needs enemies?

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  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    6 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    13 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    15 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    16 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    17 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    17 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    17 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    20 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago