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Open mike 10/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 10th, 2012 - 199 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

199 comments on “Open mike 10/05/2012 ”

  1. Can someone tell me where the name “Alistair Bell” appears on the leaked National Board minutes?  I cannot see it anywhere and I think their claim the papers were stolen is spin.

    And before Pete George comments receiving requires someone to have control of a stolen item and not a photocopy of an (allegedly) stolen item. 

    • I thought you were a lawyer.

      What is a breach of confidence?
      1. the information is not in the public domain; and
      2. it is confidential – that is, it was passed on in circumstances that made it clear it was to be treated confidentially; and
      3. it was disclosed (or is about to be disclosed) without authorisation.

      When is information “not in the public domain”?
      This essentially means that it’s inaccessible to the public. If it’s known to a limited
      group of people for a limited purpose, that doesn’t mean it’s in the public domain.

      What if a source leaks confidential information
      If a recipient – including a journalist – knows, or ought to know, that the information is confidential and its disclosure is unauthorised, then the courts will probably hold the recipient bound by the confidence, too.

      What if the journalist simply receives information “off the back of a truck”?
      If information is obviously confidential, that obligation of confidence is likely to be held to apply to anyone into whose hands it falls. For example, if you were given a copy of Colonel Sanders’ 11 secret herbs and spices, or you found on a park bench a business plan labelled “CONFIDENTIAL”, it would almost certainly be a breach of confidence to publish it.


      Do you disagree with this?

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Petey my comment clearly referred to “receiving”.  Your definition is of “breach of confidence”.

        They are two different things.  One is a crime, one is not.

        Mallard has been accused by you and others of committing a crime.

        Now you are saying that I do not understand something when clearly it is you that is either:

        1.  Confused
        2.  Deliberately misleading and confusing the issue.

        I would invite everyone to have another Petey free day and I am interested in someone commenting on where Bell’s name is on the documents to signify that they are indeed his copy of the minutes.

        • Pete George

          I haven’t accused Mallard of committing a crime. It has been reported that someone may have stolen the documents, that is unlikely to have been Mallard.

          I have accused you and Mallard of very poor political ethics. And it appears there could be possible breaches of confidence.

          I’ll accuse you and Mallard of something else too – bringing the Labour Party into disrepute. What you are promoting seems completely at odds with David Shearer’s clearly expresseed ideals.

          Shearer said:
          “I’m not the kind of leader who believes in rival tribes playing ‘gotcha’, where bickering and partisanship are prized. Of course that’s what a lot of people look for. They want to score the game, give points for the best smart remark in Parliament. But that’s not what most New Zealanders want.”

          I agree with him on this. You’re acting like you disagree or don’t care what he thinks.

          • lprent

            Pete is so full of shit today that it is getting cloying.

            I can feel a post coming on called “The hypocrisy of Pete ‘ethics'”. But I’d better head to work and do something productive.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          Bell’s name isn’t on these documents.

          +1 for a Petey free day.

          • Frida

            +1 Can we all just agree to ignore him and then he might get bored and go away. I note no one bothers responding to him at the Sewer (where, incidentally, he likes to boast about stirring things up at the Standard) which negates his repeated denials that he is nothing but a rightwing troll.

    • And it’s worth noting public interest defence:

      How does the public interest defence work?

      This defence applies only to matters of legitimate public concern: things that may affect the public or a decent slice of it, and not things that merely titillate the public.

      The courts look for proportionality: the greater the harm that’s done by the invasive story, the greater needs to be its genuine usefulness in telling the public something important to their lives. Judges may ask what other steps the media took to verify the information they are claiming is in the public interest.

      The fact that the story as a whole might be in the public interest does not provide an excuse to throw in confidential details that are merely juicy.

      There’s as much juice (and substance) in this story as there is in a watermelon.

      • deuto 1.2.1

        Warning – as I refuse to reply directly to PG himself, be aware that he has selectively cherry-picked from Steven Price’s notes on the link. you need to read the actual link to get the full picture of Price’s full opinion.

        For example PG has omitted the following (and other bits/qualifiers etc in the bits he has quoted )

        Are all leaks breaches of confidence?
        Potentially, most of them are. Leaks will almost always concern the unauthorised disclosure of confidential information that is not in the public domain. Still, lots of stories contain leaked or otherwise confidential information, and lawsuits for breach of confidence are rare.

        Why’s that?
        There may be many reasons: plaintiff s figure the cat’s out of the bag; they don’t want to draw attention to it; they don’t understand their rights; they can’t afford a lawsuit; or don’t want to run the risk of losing; they don’t want to appear to be attacking free speech. Even successful attempts to suppress confidential information often end in PR disasters.

        Note: bold is mine, not Price’s.


        Do the same rules apply to the revelation of government documents?
        No. The publisher doesn’t have to prove that the disclosure is in the public interest. Instead, the government will have to prove that it’s in the public interest for them to be kept secret – that is, that revealing them will actually cause harm. This is because it’s generally in the public interest to be able to discuss, review and criticise government action.

        This can become a balancing act: will the harm caused to the conduct of the government by allowing disclosure outweigh the benefit to the public in knowing it? Courts are fairly ready to find that disclosures by intelligence agents or diplomatic
        staff will impair the functioning of government and therefore hurt the public interest. Similarly, they are likely to be sympathetic to arguments that revelations that impair trust in key government staff , or hamper commercial or policy-making activities will cause public harm.

        I see MS has now responded but suggests another Petey free day – I agree.

        • Pete George

          I posted part of the linked information becasue it was too large to post if full here – but I provided a link to it so you could read the whole thing. Which you have. That’s how it usually works.

          I don’t care if “lawsuits for breach of confidence are rare”, I’m not suggesting or considering a lawsuit.

          “Even successful attempts to suppress confidential information often end in PR disasters.”
          – I’m not trying to suppress anything, it’s not my information, and I don’rt care about PR. It’s possible National may want this to fade quickly, but I’m not National.

          I’m questioning the political behaviour of some people. That they may not get slapped with a lawsuit isn of no consequence to me. How they are gutterising politics, and how they are acting agaiinst the clear views of their party leader, are important to me.

          I want better political behaviour (as I believe many of the public and David Shearer want).

          And I want a better Labour Party.

          • tc

            Wah wah wah wah……..carry on to an engaged audience of one Petey.

          • Pascal's bookie

            so you’re just playing gotcha then. Fir enough.

            What do you think about the fact that Lusk is running campiagns, described as negative by senior National party figures?

            Does that concern you at all?

            How does it fit with the PMs stated political approach?

            Are you at all consistent?

            • Pete George

              If it’s a fact – if it’s negative for National, that’s not my concern. If Lusk promotes negative political tactics that is my concern and I’d be strongly against it, as I have been against some of Whale’s (and some Standard poster’s) tactics.

              • Pascal's bookie

                You are aware that he literally wrote a book about Negative campaigning? And that he works closely with Whale?

                It’s certainly a fact that he is organising and promoting people within National, and that the leadership told MPs not to associate with him, and yet they do.

                How os this different from your oft stated issues with mallard/Shearer?

                How is what Mallrd is doing in bringing this to light, any different from what you are doing?

                Because he’s Mallard perhaps?

                Are you certain, in your heart, that you are not letting your feelings cloud your judgement?

                • rosy

                  You are aware that he literally wrote a book about Negative campaigning?

                  That’s something I’ve found highly amusing while trying to avoid PGs attempts to smear. Supporting an acolyte of Karl Rove against negative campaigning! Funny.

                • You could have a point, but…

                  Mallard campaigning against negative tactics to try and improve political behaviour? It’s not like this is an isolated incident that happeend to fall into his mailbox. He appears to be running a sustained negative campaign.

                  It’s not just me that thinks this. Garner said “Mallard is on a dirty mission though isn’t he? ”

                  Do you think Mallard is campaiging for the good of the National Party, and for the good of democratric proccess, and for the good of Government? He said recently something like he hopes Banks stays on to keep showing National in a bad light which will help Labour’s chances.

                  mickysavage and Eddie (and Mallard) have been trying to promote “civil war” within National, that doesn’t sound like their primary motivation is to sort out someone promoting negative politics. Does it?

                  • deuto

                    Please DNFPG

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    No Pete, Mallard et al are not running a campaign saying that negative politics must be stamped out.

                    That’s precisely why they are not hypocrits.

                    Mallard thinks that this government is bad for NZ, so he is trying to hobble it.

                    That is what oppositions do. Always. Garner said so too, as it happens. It takes time, but it works.

                    You think this is awful, and that’s fair enough.

                    But you won’t be taken seriously unless you stop doing exactly the same things they are doing. Especially if you just ignore one team.

                    But even if you were even handed about it, playing gotcha politics will not defeat gotcha politics.

                    If it’s so terrible, why are you using it?

                    If you can’t think of a better way, why criticise others for using the very tactics to effect the changes they want to see, that you use to effect the changes you want to see?

                    If you can see a better way, use it.

                    • Mallard thinks that this government is bad for NZ, so he is trying to hobble it.

                      I agree that it looks like he’s trying to hobble the current Goverment, but I question his main motivation. I suggest it may be closer to “power by any means”.

                      Should an elected MP be actively trying to hobble our Government, by running a negative campaign using any means possible to disrupt parliament, any means possible to try and end the careers of fellow MPs, and ignore the expressed preference of his leader?

                      I think many people will see that as throwing shit hoping a bit will stick, plus shitting in his own nest.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Pete. I’ve been pretty nice to you today. I’ve assumed that you have been acting in good faith. I’ll continue to do so for at lest this last comment.

                      I agree that it looks like he’s trying to hobble the current Goverment, but I question his main motivation. I suggest it may be closer to “power by any means”.

                      What basis do you have for ‘suggesting’ that? I asked before if your feelings about mallard might be clouding your judgement. This is what I’m talking about. If you assume that very worst about people, then naturally enough, it will look like they are bad eggs.

                      Should an elected MP be actively trying to hobble our Government, by running a negative campaign using any means possible to disrupt parliament, any means possible to try and end the careers of fellow MPs, and ignore the expressed preference of his leader?

                      An elected MP should try and represent and bring into reality the things they campaigned on and that people voted for. For an opposition MP this means trying to bring down the government. Otherwise, the nearly half of the voters who don’t like what the govt is doing, are not represented.

                      Your overwrought description of this is ridiculous. No one is being shot. No bombs are going off. Mallard is just asking questions, and not doing things that government mps ( and yourself, I'll add) are not doing with regard to Labour. How many times have we seen Labour's leadership questioned? Is this not an issue?

                      I think many people will see that as throwing shit hoping a bit will stick, plus shitting in his own nest.

                      Kind of like how people see you here you mean? Oh yes, but you are trying to affect the non commenters aren’t you? See how that works?

                    • Anne

                      It could also be pointed out when it comes to negative politics that the National Party reign supreme. With the help of ACT, they embarked on a programme of denigrating every Labour decision/action – every mortal word spoken – and it continued without let-up for the nine years of the Labour govt.

                      They lied, cheated, misrepresented, defamed in a particularly obnoxious way (think Helen Clark) and they got away with it. They indulged in some of the worst dirty tactics seen in this country since the days of Rob Muldoon. Now the boot is on the other foot (without the lying, cheating and extreme tactics of course), tory boy Pete George cries foul.

                      Well, I can’t speak for other long term readers on this site but I’ve had enough of Pete G. I come here to read intelligent views from the many very intelligent people who frequent this site. I’ve learnt a great deal from them. I may not always agree, but their views are invariably worthy of respect. But it’s getting harder and harder wading through screeds of shallow, mish-mash from P.G.

                      How about granting him a nice long holiday? Say two to three months? He may even discover there’s also life beyond blog-sites, and mend his nefarious ways.

                    • Anne, I’ve also argued against dirty tactics used by National and Act and their supporters, going back a decade.

                      Do you realise that most of the “screeds of shallow, mish-mash” associated with my comments are moanfests from other people, make pointless comments, personal and unrelated criticisms?

                      Can you suggest how MP and party behaviour could be improved?

  2. Paul 2

    Radio New Zealand: “We asked the Tourism Minister to comment, but he declined.” How many times does John Key decline serious interviews?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Approx 8-9 times out of 10.

      • felix 2.1.1

        I think it would be a LOT higher than that. RNZ have been consistently inviting him to discuss important topics since he became PM.

    • Frida 2.2

      I actually can’t remember the last time I heard him on National Radio. You can actually hear the smirk these days in Geoff’s and Simon’s voices when they say “we asked the PM to come on the programme but he declined.”

      He has no qualms about appearing on TVNZ or RadioLive however where he knows he is preaching to his converted.

      • Vicky32 2.2.1

        He has no qualms about appearing on TVNZ or RadioLive however where he knows he is preaching to his converted.

        Oh and 3News too!

        • Frida

          True Vicky. Although John Campbell was more probing of him last week than the fawning I see on TV1

    • prism 2.3

      On Key not fronting up, he apparently does to school children, the rest of us just see his back. Perhaps somebody with time should keep count and could run a monthly performance (or rather non performance score) and then annually convey something like the Roger award to the worst at this practice, with runners up so we know who the other time servers are.

      • Paul 2.3.1

        Maybe RNZ cold keep a count …or Campbell Live…or maybe the Standard could run a story on this?

  3. rosy 3

    Desperate times

    Prime Minister John Key said yesterday National would review its ban on working with New Zealand First before the next election…

    But New Zealand First leader Winston Peters scoffed at the notion saying the Government was dysfunctional and he did not think it would would make it through to the 2014 election.

    Way to go Winnie – and don’t forget what happens when a small party betrays the voters (although National seem immune to that effect, for now).

    • deuto 3.1

      Tracey Watkins on Stuff also refers to this in her article on whether Key has the second term blues.


      Now Mr Key may be contemplating the previously unthinkable and yesterday refused to close the door to a deal with NZ First leader Winston Peters.

      If that wasn’t already enough to leave a bitter taste in Mr Key’s mouth, the sight of Mr Peters later crowing at Mr Key’s plight would have been.

      “They, in two elections, ruled NZ First out on the most specious of grounds … and he can live with it now,” the NZ First leader triumphantly proclaimed.

      Hope Peters sticks to that… In the House, he certainly seems to be enjoying going for Key whenever he can, at the moment.

  4. Duncan Garner on Labour’s gotcha…

    Comment From Pete George
    What do you think of the contrast between Shearer’s views on better politics, eg ““I’m not the kind of leader who believes in rival tribes playing ‘gotcha’, where bickering and partisanship are prized.”, and Mallard’s campaign of gotchas?

    Duncan Garner:
    Gidday Pete,

    Gotcha politics has been part of opposition politics as long as I have been there and well before that. Shearer in my view may have wanted to be a different kind of leader – but they all get dragged into it. Mallard is on a dirty mission though isn’t he? Does he know this is the end – so he’s going out with a mission to be as dirty as ever? Who knows but Shearer certainly isn’t pulling him back.


    Because it’s been a part of politics for yonks doesn’t mean we should just sit back and keep accepting it.

    • Tigger 4.1

      Where are these quotes even from? My god, enough PG, go get a fucking life.

      • tc 4.1.1

        This is his life, the myopic view, the spirited defence of the coiffured one, the endless pointless verbal jousts. Then there’s that site of his which I think the design is nice pity about the content.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.2

      So you’re carrying on a huge gotcha campaign against Labour and mallard and Shearer, to hopefully end ‘gotcha politics’ once and for all.

      Gather everyone, and sign up for the gotcha campaign to end all gotcha campaigns! Your Country needs you!! Huzzah!


      • Pete George 4.2.1

        There’s a major difference between practicing politics at gutter level and speaking up against it.

        Are you suggesting everyone should just leave them to fight like children? According to Shhearer, ” that’s not what most New Zealanders want.” I agree, and I’m prepared to have a go at doing something about it. And have the support of MPs (Green, NZF, UF).

      • Te Reo Putake 4.2.2

        The bore to end all bores?

      • Pascal's bookie 4.2.3

        I’m saying you should be the change you want to see Pete.

        All I’m seeing from you, is a long running gotcha campaign against gotcha campaigning.

        The essence of gotcha campaigning is saying:

        ‘OMG, You said this, but now you’re doing that! Gotcha!!’

        Is this what you are for, or against?

        Is it bad?

        Do you have any self awareness at all?

        • Pete George

          Do you have any understanding at all? Lobbying and pressuring for change is not initiating crap politics, it’s acting against it.

          Do you eliminate crime by doing nothing?
          Do you eliminate disease by doing nothing?

          Or does someone actually have to do something about it?

          • Armchair Critic

            That’s the best argument for banning you I’ve seen yet.

          • Pascal's bookie

            ” Lobbying and pressuring for change is not initiating crap politics, it’s acting against it.”

            But if your means of lobbying against gotcha politics, is to use gotcha politics, then what have you gained?

            You haven’t adressed this point all. You are advocating against a tactic, by using the very same tactic. I am saying that if you really don’t like the tactic, and think it is unethical, then you shouldn’t be using it. If you merely think it is an ineffective tactc, then again, why use it?

            Do you eliminate crime by doing nothing?

            No. But it’s a bad analogy in many respects. Firstly, the police do not just go out and punch people in the head to deal with assaults. Secondly, gotcha politics is not a crime. Do you think it should be one?

            Do you eliminate disease by doing nothing?

            A better analogy, but you don’t fight desease by spreading pathogens aabout the place. You seem to be trying to fight syphilis, with syphilis. I am asking why are you doing that?

            Or does someone actually have to do something about it?

            Of course, like I said, be the change you want to see.

            • Lanthanide

              “A better analogy, but you don’t fight desease by spreading pathogens aabout the place. You seem to be trying to fight syphilis, with syphilis. I am asking why are doing that?”

              I know I know! I’ve got the answer! Pete George is a political homeopathist!

              He waters his politics down so far that it can mean whatever he wants whenever he wants, even though really it’s just the same as what he derides and claims it’ll solve everything.

              • felix


              • Yep, that’s funny (genuinely) – and in other ways too.

                I get criticised for being very vague and “watered down” – funny why the attacks swarm when I raise touchy subjects. If what I said was that unimportant it would be ignored, wouldn’t it?

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s not the touchy subjects which get you the swarm attacks. It’s the blatant insincerity in your positions.

                  • If that’s what you honestly think then you totally misjudge me.

                    Perhaps it’s my sincerity and determination that some of you find it hard to deal with in a normally shady political world.

                    Sure I make a few mistakes, sure I waffle a bit much at times, but I’m deadly serious, three years in to a deliberate campaign. It’s slow, but progressing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I don’t know about any of that. I’m just enjoying watching you back away from the political party you stood for and espoused the values of.

                    • I’m not backing away from anything. UF and I decided to work together last election to see if we could get some mutual benefit, that will continue as we see fit. I’ve been asked about UF stuff here and have done my best to respond, including asking Peter Dunne for clarifications (I don’t think I was very popular with one of those).

                      But I think some here have substantially overestimated my level of involvement with UF. I’ll probably keep things ticking away there but until 2014 that’s all I see a need for.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You see, this is what I am enjoying. I’m waiting to see whose political arms you do decide to lurch into.

                    • Do you want to help set up a party based on sound democratic process and quality of input, and where independence is valued?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What makes you think that you have the credibility and sincerity to be involved in anything like that?

    • ianmac 5.1

      I visited it BLip. Wonder why PG did not get elected? Inspiring?

      • ropata 5.1.1

        At least PG is giving it a go, and making a decent effort to argue his POV. It takes guts to do that.

        • Colonial Viper

          So +10 points for persistence, but minus several million for likability, sincerity and credibility

        • lprent

          Yep, and despite my often caustic tone* to him, that is why we tend to ignore the frequent cries for Pete George holidays.

          * Actually I’m pretty bloody caustic to most people periodically. Of course with some people you have to go back years to find it, while others discover it in Oscar sized doses. It is just part of my charming personality 😉

  5. Colonial Viper 6


  6. Carol 7

    How to misrepresent a crucial petition and possibly influence public opinion in doing so! Stuff has an article about Shearer taking to the streets with the anti-asset sales petition.

    It has an accompanying online poll, asking “Would you sign Labour’s petition against partial asset sales? ”

    And yet, the article beside it attributes the petition to selection of groups.

    The petition – which will need at least 310,000 signatures – is being promoted by Grey Power and is supported by the Council of Trade Unions, a coalition of community groups and opposition parties.

    • Carol 7.1

      Ha! I posted a comment complaining, and now the poll has been changed from calling it a “Labour” petition to calling it a “Grey Power” petition.

      • deuto 7.1.1

        Good on you, Carol. Pity they just shifted the title to on other of the many groups behind the petition!

        • Draco T Bastard

          It’s the MSM – they get confused if there’s more than one group supporting something.

        • Carol

          Indeed. And it’s incorrect to call it a petition against asset sales, rather than a petition for a referendum on asset sales.

          I’ve posted a further comment on the poll in the comment box.

    • The petition uses an oddly worded question – quite clear and concise, but asking if you “support National selling…” – if you don’t support any sales should you not sign? Weird.

      • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1

        Pete, the petition is asking whether or not we should have a referendum on the stated question.

        its’ not difficult mate.

  7. Uturn 8

    A disclaimer, first. Unions are necessary. Everyone should join one, but there is a problem, illustrated last night on The Union Report.

    Both of Bomber’s guests uttered the same sentiment about receiving tax cuts under National, “I don’t need it… I didn’t want it…”

    Something wrong with that. It’s too close to “let them eat cake”. It sounds like, “they could have some of my cake.”. Of course, no one can take up the gesture, genuine or not. How can they, it just signals intent under best-case scenario. The cake crumbs are too few, and if humans picked them up it wouldn’t be much of a meal.

    If the cake maker is unrestricted in his cake making and only handing it out to select customers; and some of those customers are concerned about the dirty faces pressed on the window of the cake shop; then wouldn’t it be better for those customers to refuse to frequent the cake shop, rather than believe they are compelled to patronise the cake maker?

    Even if, during a particularly cold winter, the concerned customers gave all their surplus cake to their friends outside the shop, there wouldn’t be enough. And what about those who were in a different town, or those who were not friends, but engaged in a worse struggle for existence?

    The comment of “I didn’t need or want it” as a stand-alone explanation, when said in regards to a tax cut that increases a union member’s already comfortable income, risks negation of the concept of solidarity that unions generally observe.

    So, future Union Report guests, please take note that some people are listening closely and the message you’re sending – while well-intentioned, welcomed and long overdue in the format of the Union Report – needs careful definition. It must be as sharp, precise and poignant as it ever was. Do not assume that idioms and colloquialisms are sufficient. Be aware that the fright or thrill of TV cameras, the rush of organised televised camaraderie, when left unchecked, could blunt the message you have chosen to uphold.

  8. Reagan Cline 9

    NZ Government is reviewing the future role of government backed insurance against natural disasters.

    Homeowners will probably end up with higher insurance costs long term.

    Adding to the premium paid to live in NZ, on top of cost of transporting imported goods, international travel costs, less than ideal internal transport routes (two long narrow islands), supporting a large poorly educated, low skilled group of people, having to find capital from overseas to finance new firms and to grow existing firms.

    Staring to look like a revisit of the open invitation to join the Australian states in a wider Australasian Federation might be in order.

    • Campbell Larsen 9.1

      Reagan Cline: ‘Star[t]ing to look like a revisit of the open invitation to join the Australian states in a wider Australasian Federation might be in order.’

      Are you serious? Yuck, just Yuck.

  9. John72 10

    May I revive views on moral standards and the importance of a Father in a child’s life?
    I was taught, constantly, to accept responsibility for life. My life and others. Be careful when swimming, riding a bike, driving the car, etc. Always there was the risk of taking a life. Eventually I was going to take a girl to the school dance and a new risk appeared.
    In it’s own way, creating a life is just as important as destroying a life. Any child you create will always be part of your life, it is not something we can walk away from, so when we create a new life it is not something to be done casually. It is not an unfortunate side-effect of self satisfaction. This observation is not new but individual youths needs to have to have it spelt out to them. An increasing number are reluctant to accept it or believe it because they do not want to forsake the pleasures of sexual intercourse. They have not been taught self-discipline and respect for others.
    Creating a life is just as serious as destroying a life, but in a different way.
    We are all going to die so we all have to face it one day. However, we did not ask to be brought into this life and so much of the life we get depends on the first 10 years that our parents give us. They choose to bring us into the world and in choosing to give us a good childhood, they too will mature. Something they will only understand after they have experienced it.
    The youth are not qualified to debate the issue. It is only when they have agreed to battle with the hardships of bringing up children that they are qualified to try and start. Only then are they ready to mature from the exercise. TV does not explain this.
    Bringing up children is a learning experience for the children and the parents. It is not just free sex, as portrayed on TV
    Abstinence is the only solution to birth control and while it is far from perfect, it has many advantages, including a respect for all parties involved. Life is difficult, and in acknowledging this we are another step on the road to maturing and enjoying life. There is a lot of fun in life but not everything is fun. Not like TV.
    Being a child’s father can be deeply satisfying, even after 50 years. Note, the conception of a child is only satisfying for 50 minutes.
    Each generation comes to realise that it is continually learning as it matures. Even afer 72 years. You never “know it all”. Many famous people were still humble to some degree. Budda preached humbleness and has millions of followers.
    Creating a life is just as serious as destroying a life,but in a diferent way.

    • millsy 10.1

      Piss off you filthy god botherer. People like you have inflicted untold misery on this world because you wish to kick down the bedrooms of consenting adults in the name of a fairy tale book.

      Sex is awsome. I dont know why bible bashing bigots want to make out that its disgusting and filthy.

      PS: “God” doesnt exist. Nor does magic.

      • muzza 10.1.1

        “PS: “God” doesnt exist. Nor does magic”

        — I always get a good laugh out of both sides of this debate. Its not easy to prove either way, so its a dead end topic, facinating though!

        Always better to err on the side of humility when making such sweeping statements, because I would be disappointed to find out we are the top of the food chain. What that might mean is up for discussion, but what we have in this world, to me is the rather distasteful!

    • Reagan Cline 10.2

      “we did not ask to be brought into this life”

      So what ?

      • ianmac 10.2.1

        I did. I did. I distinctly remember……

      • John72 10.2.2

        I have a confession to make. You have been baited.
        You have risen to the bait. Note, you stooped to personal abuse because you could not defend the main point. Creating a life is just as important as destroying one.

        • McFlock

          Creating a life is just as important as destroying one.

          Philosophically I dunno. If you kill someone you can never bring that person back to life. But on average you’ve got maybe 50 years to get rid of your offspring. Or as my mother said “I brought you into this world, kid, so I can take you out” 🙂
          Secondly, (to quote Eastwood) if you kill a man “you take away everything he’s ever had, and everything he’s ever gonna have”. A kid, on the other hand, has the net bonus of existence even for a limited time.
          And then of course the net growth in global population suggests that procreation is much easier to do than elimination.

        • ropata

          What do you think Jesus would do? Condemn the person who slept around? Let her children starve?

          FFS man I dont know where some people get their morals from

    • ianmac 10.3

      Denial denial denial.
      Denial will make you stronger.
      Deny those sexy urges.
      Deny the curves as she walks on by.
      Deny the images that haunt your daily and nightly dreams.
      Deny your wicked wicked thoughts.
      Deny the flush as she accidentally brushes past you.
      Read the Bible hourly and your Denials will be rewarded.

      There you are John72. I have done god’s work and yours for you. OK?

      • prism 10.3.1

        There was an interesting interview on animals and the sex life of monkeys in particular this morning on Nine to Noon. They are very social, like us, but they regard sex as part of life and regularly participate not as we do separating it from everyday stuff. Can’t see that suiting us but why can’t we regard it as part of life too and not turn it into a name and shame ritual?

        They have one interesting way of choosing their leader, the alpha male. One way is for a lesser male to quietly get to know the females, groom, hold the children and get into a favoured standing amongst them. Then its easy peasy to slide into the top guy seat.

        • KJT

          🙂 Sounds like Key.

        • deuto

          I also heard that at the same time as I was cleaning my Parrot Room. My pair of sun conures were “at it” the whole time in front of me and the other parrots. Having not produced any eggs all summer (despite a lot of sex), they have produced two eggs so far this week, so there goes the heating bill over the next few months!

          • John72

            No one will address the point made in post 10.2.2
            Therefore I assume I am correct.

            • Draco T Bastard

              What point was that? Because all I got out of it was that you’re an ignoramus.

              • McFlock

                the point I’d responded to in an hour before he reckoned nobody had even tried to address it – apparently creating kids is just as serious as killing people.
                I think he was saying nothing while trying to appear profound, but whatever gets him off, I guess.

          • prism

            Deuto What colour and what are sun conures? Are they a bit like budgies or some bigger Oz bird? When will the eggs hatch and you become a godfather/mother?

            • deuto

              As this is a political, not a parrot. website, will reply on the weekend page tomorrow.

              • prism

                Hi deuto – On open mike you could probably give a brief parrot report. It does say that the subjects are ‘open’.

        • Reagan Cline


      • muzza 10.3.2

        @ Ianmac. Actually denial makes makes everybody collectively weaker, but it depends if people are being honest with themselves or not. Most are not even capable of telling the time with integrity, as as such being able to self asses in order to keep ones “urges” in check is simply out of the question!

        How we view eachother, as opposed to how we view “objects” which are there as a service mechanism only, is part of the puzzle leading to overall weakness. Overloading of stimulation is a key ingredient to breaking down communities etc, via controlling the mind. The casino expansion is an example of another piece of the puzzle, there are so many!

        Integrity and internal honesty are the only ways to self respect, and therefore the respect of others. Without a sudden turn around in self respect, the steady decline will continue, while people believe they are “experiencing life”, they are in fact experiencing the life, that others want you to believe its all about!

        You can’t lie to yourself for long, and getting on top of any denial/bad habits etc is very empowering, and will be the way to turn the downward slide around!

        • prism

          muzza I think alcohol and drugs help to mitigate against any deep and meaningful thoughts about life and how profound and wonderful and awful it can be. No it’s drink up and hysterical laughter and shouts emerge from bars into the street. Later on to be followed by people who are primed ready for sex or whatever. Hey we’re having a good time here.

          • prism

            My 4.19pm piece went into moderation. What was it that prompted the scrutiny. Was it the words sex, alcohol and drugs, hysterical laughter and shouts, bars. Meaningful thoughts about life? I know those are dangerous and have led to depression and suicide. What? Is this going into moderation too?
            [Bunji: I don’t know what the moderation words are, but repeating suspected ones was always likely to result in the next message ending in moderation…]

            • prism

              Bunji I might test the words individually when I have time as a matter of interest. I’ll start with ‘sex’.
              edit – Not it.

          • John72

            The people who were Alcoholics but have conquered it, (with the help of AA?) are on a new level of spiritual growth. A higher level. Something somany readers will not believe or understand until they experience it. Life is difficult. There is a Welsh saying “It is the fire that tempers the steel.” It is often in hardship that people grow. So often you are not helping youth by pandering to them. I am sorry if this sounds sanctimonious but I am talking about other people.

        • ianmac

          If we have a choice choose one who has Integrity for he can be reasoned with.
          To choose one who has only Faith cannot be reasoned with.
          (Up for debate my wife says! :))

    • Vicky32 10.4

      Abstinence is the only solution to birth control and while it is far from perfect, it has many advantages, including a respect for all parties involved.

      Agreed, at the risk of a flaming! 🙂

      • Descendant Of Smith 10.4.1

        Oral and anal sex works quite well, as does homosexuality.

        Abstinence is not always a solution however – Mary found that out.

        Being impregnated by a holy goat / ghost ( I get the tonal nuances between the two confused sometimes) must be quite disturbing.

        Thankfully it’s only happened once that we know of.

  10. They’ve marched in huge numbers in Auckland, Wellington and this Saturday, in Invercargill. There is no mandate to sell our assets Mr Key!

  11. Jackal 12

    John Key international embarrassment

    Somebody needs to ask whether the Prime Minister is playing with a full deck of cards?

    • ianmac 12.1

      Could Mr Key really believe his spin about record numbers of job seekers? Weird. Again.

  12. So no posts about President Obama, supporting gay marriage today? The first US president in history to do so, this is a historical day, thought you guys would’ve put the chip off your shoulder about the usa down for one moment, and mention this.

    Has any labour party leader ever come out and supported gay rights? Lange?

    • muzza 13.1

      Possibly because it is not a surprise Brett.. BO’s orientation is obvious, as are many others!

      Its all about creating an environment of confusion, where nobody actually understands whats what anymore, nor where they fit into society, and the continued dissolvement of nuclear family.

      The people running the show are not what they appear to be, and this also serves as an attack against the church, its multi faceted!

      The real trick is to get people to think that they are the way they are because, “thats how nature intended it”

      Note: Not in any way an attack on orientation, I take no position on that! People just need to understand there is an underlying agenda!

      • Te Reo Putake 13.1.1

        Er, are you saying your finely tuned gaydar has identified Barack Obama as homosexual, Muzza?

        • Colonial Viper

          Gay marriage is beside the point, is the point. Gay couples are going to be just as jobless and impoverished as everyone else in the new economic kleptocracy.

          • Vicky32

            Gay couples are going to be just as jobless and impoverished as everyone else in the new economic kleptocracy.

            Sadly true…

        • muzza

          Voice I’m saying that there are many people in various positions of “authority” around the world who are in fact, not at all what they are sold as!

          Media embargos are great at supporting/controlling people, lets put it that way!

          Keeping people running around in a state of individualism is simply more divide and conquer, among other things!

          • John72

            Spot on. At a University meeting AFTER the last election, the speaker pointed out that the Prime Minister was only there because of his public appeal. His ability to win votes. When the speaker was asked “Who is the power behind the throne?” the questioner was told to sit down and shutup.

        • Pascal's bookie

          A homosexualist lizard, is what I heard.

        • yeshe

          and does Michelle know ??

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.2

        …and the continued dissolvement of nuclear family.

        I’d be quite happy to see the end of the nuclear family. Humans aren’t supposed to be that isolated as we evolved in extended family groups and communities. As far as I can make out, the nuclear family is a fabrication made to break community spirit so that the capitalists have an easier time exploiting people.

        Other than that, I agree with what you said.

        • muzza

          Hey B, I hear what you’re saying, and that could be a conclusion to draw..

          The “nuclear family” , and really it could be the “extended family or community”, was were the foundations for the stability and solidarity of used to be bred, and since then, outright attacks on it via the feminist movement as the most recent obvious start point, there has been a breaking down effect.

          The “nuclear family”, was what had to be broken because it had too much ability to positively influence, and nurture without the reliance of state interference. I do agree that it could have been a contruct, but none the less, it had to be broken down, one could argue that the state doubled its capture, and the capitalists doubled their consumer capabilities in unison. My assertion is that these two happenings were not mutually exclusive, but worked together for the same aims, breaking down “society”. What the ultimate outcome of it is, is up for debate, safe to say , the direction its heading is bad news for us all.

          • Draco T Bastard

            outright attacks on it via the feminist movement as the most recent obvious start point

            I’m pretty sure you’ll find that feminists have neither attacked the nuclear family nor the community.

            The “nuclear family”, was what had to be broken because it had too much ability to positively influence, and nurture without the reliance of state interference.

            Wrong, it was the community that had to be broken and thus we first got the nuclear family (initial family against family competition) and then individualism (all against all). And you’re doing the same thing as the libertarians and viewing the state as always bad when it could be a force for good once we get it out of the hands of the capitalists (We actually do need that level of administration).

            • muzza

              “I’m pretty sure you’ll find that feminists have neither attacked the nuclear family nor the community.”

              — I said via the feminist movement..which was the “arab spring” of its time!

              “The “nuclear family”, was what had to be broken because it had too much ability to positively influence, and nurture without the reliance of state interference.

              Wrong, it was the community that had to be broken and thus we first got the nuclear family (initial family against family competition) and then individualism (all against all).

              —As I said, I hear what you’re saying. See my expansion of nuclear family, to extended family/community!

              And you’re doing the same thing as the libertarians and viewing the state as always bad when it could be a force for good once we get it out of the hands of the capitalists (We actually do need that level of administration).”

              —The state first had to be captured in order to serve its purpose. take the “trusted democratic system”, co-opt it, corrupt it in various ways, then use it to enforce objectives under the guise of “democracy”
              I agree the state can be a force for good, as you put it…we have not had that for quite some time as you know, and we are a very long way from that every happening again!

              The more that people become entraulled with technology, the further we get from any chance of returning to the “level of administration” , that would be the “force for good”!

      • prism 13.1.3

        the continued dissolvement of nuclear family.

        I don’t think homosexuals and gay marriage can be blamed for that. Actually many homosexuals want to be in a committed and legal relationship. What’s wrong with people recognising their sexuality and finding a way to manage it legally, without some porno person getting promotion for finding bad sex (because Paul said something about it in the Bible)?

        • muzza

          No blame, they are being used as much as any other group!

          Probably should not haves used the term, “nuclear family”

    • Te Reo Putake 13.2

      Its such a normal position to take these days, Brett, its hardly worth commenting on. Even in the States its the majority view nowadays. And, re Labour, I think you’ll find all the leaders in recent decades have been in favour of gay rights and, importantly, so have the membership.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        I think you’ll find all the leaders in recent decades have been in favour of gay rights and, importantly, so have what remains of the membership.

        Just a point of clarification.

        • Te Reo Putake

          On behalf of the membership, can I just say that each and every one of them contributes more to our society just by being a member of the Labour Party than you ever will in your splendid, and splendidly bourgeois, isolation, CV.
          Every contribution you make here is tainted and diminished by the fact that you are a sad, spineless poseur, bought and sold by your partner’s parents’ wealth. You could be volunteering at a food bank. You could be helping on a picket line. You could be doing a host of things that would give your comments meaning and substance, but instead you bludge off others and demean the efforts of others who do give a damn.
          Wake up, Brick. It’s not too late to redeem your worthless life.

          • Colonial Viper

            every one of them contributes more to our society just by being a member of the Labour Party than you ever will in your splendid, and splendidly bourgeois, isolation, CV.


            I happen to know, in rough terms, how many financial members the Labour Party had in 2011, and the trend over the last ten years including changes to current day.

            Nothing to get on your high horse about, is it. Which is why I remarked on what remains of the membership.

      • Brett Dale 13.2.2

        Goff was asked before the election, was he for gay marriage and he didnt say yes, Helen Clarke never said yes either.

        • millsy

          Thats because they were too worried about the god-botherers. Especially in the Labour South Auckland electorates.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Hi Brett, it’s been a while. Good to see you.

          Here’s the latest answers on this from NZ political leaders;


          Russel Norman (Co leader, Greens) :

          “If gay people want to get married then they should be allowed to.

          “Seriously, it’s pretty straightforward. I don’t see why your sexual preference should be any barrier to marriage. It’s no big deal.”

          David Shearer (Leader, Labour party):

          “I fully support marriage equality in principle but would like to see the detail of any legislation before giving formal support”

          John Key (PM, Leader, National Party)

          “I’m leaving it until my book. I know the answer, but just wait until my book”

    • felix 13.3

      Hi Brett.

      Why are you comparing the Labour Party to the U.S. President?

      John Key, John Banks & Peter Dunne are the leaders of the governing parties of the day. Ask them.

  13. prism 14

    A song for our times sung to the chorus of Vaya con dios (which means go with God) whom we do need at this point in time.

    Bio security NZedders
    Bio security has gone
    Economy all is in tatters
    Democracy now is the same.

    Our high risk import procedures
    Trash our natural land
    Infect our growing crops
    And profit trickles from our hands.

  14. r0b 15

    Calling Pete George…

    The requests from other commenters here to give you a holiday from The Standard are reaching critical mass. I’m reluctant, because you don’t obviously violate the policy here, but on the other hand I can’t ignore the sheer number of people who are expressing annoyance.

    With my moderators hat on, can I ask you to be careful to restrict your general comments to Open Mike, and to stay very strictly on topic if you comment in other posts. I’ll be watching your comments from now on, and will move those that look off topic to Open Mike.

    Anthony / r0b

    • Carol 15.1

      Thanks.  It’s no so much the (insubstantial) content, as the sheer number of comments cluttering up discussions.

      • Pete George 15.1.1

        Most of those comments aren’t mine, and I wouldn’t comment anywhere near as much if I didn’t respond to highly questionable comments directed at me. As it is I ignore a lot of crap directed at me to keep the numbers down.

        • dd

          Do you work at all? Not that I’d hold it against you if you were unemployed but then I’d question what you do with your benefit money. I’d hope you don’t take it given your stance on such things.

          I’m just curious because you seem to spend an excessive amount of time posting nonsense.

    • fatty 15.2

      I don’t see what the problem with Pete George is…this is a site for discussion and people are wrong to dismiss him as a troll. Pete George exemplifies NACT logic…nothing more and nothing less. When he tries to subvert the conversation, this is nothing more than neoliberal ideology in its purest form.

      Long live Pete George and his wisdom…because every time his fingers touch his keyboard, we all become more sure of ourselves.

      • TheContrarian 15.2.1

        “I don’t see what the problem with Pete George is…this is a site for discussion and people are wrong to dismiss him as a troll.”

        Agree with Fatty – just because you don’t like what he says doesn’t make him a troll 

      • Campbell Larsen 15.2.2

        Fatty: “Long live Pete George and his wisdom…because every time his fingers touch his keyboard, we all become more sure of ourselves.”


        That just comes across so wrong I need to go scrub myself clean

    • No problem Anthony. I appreciate that you’re willing to discuss it so things are open and clear.

      I accept that I push the boundaries at times. I note your comments. I also try to “encourage” thought and discussion outside the square here, some people don’t seem to like that, I can’t help that, I can’t model all comments so they piss no one off, some complain regardless of what I say..

      I presume you notice that it’s often not my comments that cause the problems, it’s the frequent off topic attacks and moans that fill the threads with often far more dross than what I’m doing. Except for the occasional reaction I’m mostly attempting to contribute to discussions, and others some here actually manage to discuss with me civilly.

      One example that raised considerable consternation today was in fact me making an insert from another blog directly related to someone else’s comment, it wasn’t my comment at all. Go figure.

      I’ll do what I can to contribute on topic without disruption or personal abuse – and I hope others who may react are held to the same sort of standards.

      • r0b 15.3.1

        Yes I think the reaction to your comments is out of proportion sometimes, but I can also understand why people get frustrated at your debating “style”, and you do comment here a lot.

        So, you’ve agreed to try and stay on topic, hopefully that will help to calm down the responses. Let’s all get back to “robust debate” between consenting adults, and play the topic not the person.

    • Please don’t count my comment as asking for PG to be banned.
      While it’s not my place to make the rules I think (blatant linkwhoring) he should be dealt with in other ways, not banned.

  15. muzza 16

    What assets does Dunedin have that it can flog off?

    McFlock you would be impressed with this wouldn’t you!

    • McFlock 16.1

      Every time I think of that fucking stadium I want to drink myself into oblivion so yeah – it’s had a significant impression on me.
      The only good thing about it was that last council elections something like 3 of the 4 major backers for this vanity purchase were kicked from office (including the struck off lawyer). They don’t even know how much it cost yet – the newish council have paid consultants to tell us costs will be in the region of $400million. To support a dwindling sport that has been managed more by a sense of entitlement than fiscal common sense.
      It ties my nuts in a bow, it really does. 

  16. Carol 17

    OH MY GOODNESS!  I usually don’t comment on politicians appearance, but, who is that leopard lady assaulting my eyeballs in the House today, and can she ever change her spots?
    PS:  The content of her comments is pretty offensive to believers in social justice as well.

    • Jackal 17.1

      Yeah! State of it! She looks like she’s been murdering animals on safari. What a fashion disaster!

    • Anne 17.2

      Was that green nail polish she had on her clip-on finger nails?

      She responded to Jacinda Ardern’s question with the claim that the member’s questions don’t make sense.

      Jacinda should have included in her supplementary the words… I understand why the Minister is not making sense of my questions because it does take a degree of intelligence which she clearly doesn’t possess.

      She would have had to withdraw and apologise of course but the truth would be out there for all to see. 🙂

      • Carol 17.2.1

        Yes. leopard Lady should be arrested for an (inadequate) attempt to impersonate a Westie, at the same time as undermining the lives of many low income Westies, and Kiwis everywhere.

  17. Jackal 18

    Twitter defends subscriber rights

    Twitter has asked a judge to block a subpoena that would force the company to turn over the data of an Occupy Wall Street protester. It’s good to see that Twitter is willing to go into bat for its users and try to uphold its agreement with them. They have a strong case, being that Twitter’s terms of service unequivocally state that its users retain their rights to any content submitted, posted or displayed…

  18. Will Colin Craig amount to anything in a socially liberal NZ?

    Or does Social conservatism not stand a shot in these Isles? 

  19. weka 20

    Re adventure tourism and drug use.
    Am I missing something, but since when was a positive THC blood test proof that someone was stoned when an accident happened? Is the media being pig ignorant on this issue, or did the coroner suggest that people were actually affected by cannabis at the time of the accidents?

    • Not sure myself – but there must be a way of telling how fresh the ingestion of THC was. 

      • McFlock 20.1.1

        Bit like alcohol, really. 
        On another note, the family of another British tourist who died is calling NZ “unsafe“.  
        To be honest, the fact that they were paying to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft somewhat moderates my concern that the aircraft wasn’t actually all that good. 

        • weka

          While there are blood, urine and hair tests that can track marijuana’s main ingredient in the body, the fact remains that marijuana lingers around for too long a period in order for one of these tests to determine the actual intake time. Also, the variation between different metabolisms makes an objective cannabis intoxication test very difficult.


          I’d like to see something more reliable than wiki, but I’m not convinced that it’s possible for a post-mortem to determine that someone was stoned at a certain time.
          I’m finding the perjorative use of ‘drug users’ by the media hypocritical. What they need to determine is if the people involved were abusing drugs in the sense that they were actually high or impaired while doing their job. That they had a joint the week before is fairly irrelevant.

          • McFlock

            Well, it would be like alcohol in that there should be a blood volume median level above which most people are impaired – if it’s in the blood it’s getting to the brain, because the primary purpose of blood is to get to the brain.
            Whether anyone has bothered to calculate such a level is another thing – it’s too easy for employers and prosecutors to come back with a basic “present” test which can be used to impugn the character of the defendant/employee. Getting into the debate as to whether it was at a level to be at all relevant would be too much opportunity for the defense. 

            • weka

              Alcohol clears the system pretty fast (within 24 hours I think). THC doesn’t (it takes days or weeks depending on how often one smokes). I think this is the reason you can get a reasonable idea of intoxication from alcohol testing but you can’t for cannabis – the alcohol in your blood is the thing making you drunk and once it’s gone you’re not drunk any more. With cannabis, they’re measuring metabolites that stay in the system long after you’ve stopped being high.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Fair Work Australia has recently ruled that the presence of THC in the blood is not sufficient evidence to prove impairment and therefore a dismissal based on a failed drug test would not be lawful. A pretty common sense decision, I reckon.
            ps 31st anniversary of Bob Marley’s death tomorrow. The colly weed didn’t seem to stop him doing his job effectively, seen?

        • Draco T Bastard

          On another note, the family of another British tourist who died is calling NZ “unsafe“.

          Interesting article. It appears that self-regulation was to blame.

          TAIC found the engineering company that modified the plane did not follow proper processes required by civil aviation rules, but due to a “flaw in the regulatory system” were able to use an internal inspector to oversee and sign off the work.

          Every time I hear about self-regulation it’s usually in association with something that wouldn’t have been allowed to happen under correctly enforced government regulation and yet we keep hearing from the faithful (Act, Libertarians, National etc, etc) that regulation and oversight needs to be removed.

  20. vto 21

    The wildfire continues to spread with more buildings in other parts of the country being condemned as being subject to massive failure in an earthquake. Which they are of course. Stay away from them. Think about where this will end, or rather how much further it has to go in order to consider every building in the country. The leaky homes cost is getting dwarfed in comparison.


    • McFlock 21.1

      While I am concerned that it’s simply an opportunity for developers to replace protected buildings, in this case I reckon it’s fair that a building should be able to withstand strong winds without killing anyone.

      • vto 21.1.1

        mr mcflock, if you are concerned that one particular sector is trying to create a business opportunity then I am surprised.

        Put it this way – at some point in a significant proportion of people’s lives in NZ they will experience a large earthquake resulting in things above falling down on them. Do the stats.

        We might be running scared down here, but from the other angle we are simply recognising that the most simple of things will, when that large earthquake arrives, save lives. Such as staying away from dangerous buildings or making them safe. As I say, this is going to dwarf the leaky homes cost.

        Perhaps we could place a wager.

        • McFlock

          I’ll wager neither of us will die in an earthquake – we’re probably 70 times more likely to be killed in a car crash (figure 2-400/yr for 70 years, as opposed to a few hundred every seventy-80 years).
          The fact is that many older buildings use space less efficiently than developers would like, both inside the structure and within the plot of land. Having seen many 6-8 bedroom villas condemned because of “structural integrity” (i.e. a lack of maintenance over the previous 10 years) well before the earthquake, only to be replaced by tilt-slab mouldy apartment blocks of thirty or more rooms for students, forgive me for thinking that some developers are keen to destroy our heritage buildings simply to increase their bank account rather than any real concern for safety.
          Besides, reinforced concrete balconies need to be replaced/refaced every few decades anyway – lumps start falling off, even without earthquakes or wind. The rebar in the concrete rusts expands and cracks tennis-ball sized lumps of concrete off – which then falls five or ten stories.

  21. prism 22

    Having cannabis in your blood is not a good look for someone who is piloting or driving people. Tourists come for adventure that is managed by so-called experienced people, they take the risk of broken bones but don’t expect they might die. And they expect that care and controls will be taken by professionals.

    Joky Hen is being forced into action on regulations, monitoring, even licensing perhaps by the British chap Coker who has started a negative campaign. Great. But nothing gets done until someone makes a fuss. People have been dying but it is far fewer than the figure in the thousands that Coker has tossed around, it is more like 80 in five years, Joky Hen says. Only 80 which is small compared to the road statistics, miniscule compared to the dead of WW2. But it is eighty people we have killed here with adventure tourism – a disgrace. To paraphrase Lady Bracknell “To lose one outdoor adventurer, Mr Key, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose nearly a hundred looks like carelessness.”

    I remember a NZ schoolchild and his/her mother on a school camping trip being overridden about getting some river kayak experience and then being pinned under it and dying. That epitomises to me the casual way that some outdoors/adventure people think about danger and making sure that all precautions are taken. There is a dangerous group-think that can develop in any coterie which takes the attitude that dodgy behaviour is acceptable if no-one has been badly injured or killed. Corners are cut, protocols are fudged or ignored.

    • vto 22.1

      I agree prism. It is the same as the attitude around water.

      If there is a body of water around and young toddlers around then a certain level of care is exercised.

      If there is a mine shaft with a 200 foot vertical drop to death around and adults around then an extreme level of care is exercised.

      But to a toddler, a body of water is a 200 foot drop to death.

      go figure ….

      leads to death all the time …

    • weka 22.2

      Prism, many people who work in adventure tourism are also recreational cannabis users (it’s part of the lifestyle). This doesn’t mean they are stoned at work. See my comments above.
      I’m not surprised by the news that adventure tourism is dangerous in NZ (we’ve always had alot of people dying in the great outdoors). I’d like to see some intelligent analysis about whether this is part of kiwi macho outdoors culture, the she’ll be right culture, or if it’s a more recent thing of people getting into the industry without the necessary common sense and experience.

      • prism 22.2.1

        weka I didn’t say they were stoned – you are inflating a sober statement that it isn’t a good look that marijuana showed up in samples. And I know that marijuana still registers many hours, a day? after using it.

        I’m not surprised by the news that adventure tourism is dangerous in NZ (we’ve always had alot of people dying in the great outdoors)

        This sounds suspiciously like the sort of she’ll-be-right attitude that worries me about NZ and taking care with the safety of adventure tourists.

        • John72

          You are on the right track prism. When involved in any activity with an element of risk, some outside supervision is needed. It is so easy, after surviving a few near-misses to start to think “I am fire proof”.
          You might even stop thinking about the near- misses. Eventually you become compacent and start to cut corners. After a while one does not realise how much safety has been sacrificed. Every now and then we need a fresh look, a voice in the wilderness.

        • weka

          “weka I didn’t say they were stoned”
          that’s true, you didn’t. But you mentioned THC tests in a paragraph about risk and it seems reasonable to assume you are making a connection between positive THC tests and accidents (certainly the media are making those connections). I don’t see the connection unless the person was actually stoned at work i.e. the THC test is not relevant or useful.
          “.And I know that marijuana still registers many hours, a day? after using it.”
          More like days or weeks i.e. it may have absolutely no bearing on the person’s ability to do their job.
          All other things aside, if Key introduced mandatory testing (which I seriously doubt he will, it’s all just bluster to detract from the real problems in adventure tourism), lots of people are going to lose their jobs 😉

          • prism

            weka I think you were replying to another comment and thinking it was mine. I didn’t say anything about THC tests. Perhaps your thinking is a bit muddled for some reason. I’m sorry my comments do tend to be long as I try to give reasons for my concerns and possible lines of action. But they do take a bit of reading I know and probably don’t get digested well.

      • millsy 22.2.2

        “Prism, many people who work in adventure tourism are also recreational cannabis users (it’s part of the lifestyle).”

        If I ever go bungy jumping I will feel so much safer knowing that the instructor is some wanna-be California ‘surfer dude’ who was probably up all night making love to his bong.

        • weka

          That’s stupid. I take it you don’t know much about who works in the industry. I’m sure there are people who are irresponsible, and we should definitely look at changing that. But the people I know who work in the industry are generally careful, conscientious, and fully aware of risk and safety issues. Most of them do outdoor adventure in their non-work time and have developed alot of skills around assessing risk and managing safety, often because their own lives depend on it. 
          I also think it’s unlikely that many adventure tourism employers would keep on staff that consistently turned up for work the worse for wear from partying too hard.
          You also seem to have pretty retarded ideas about who smokes cannabis, how it affects them and what that means. Yes, there are plenty of pot heads in the world who smoke enough to have negative effects on their lives, but there are also plenty of recreational users who smoke responsibly. Just like not everyone that drinks alcohol is a binge drinker or abuses alcohol, there are people that use other drugs in moderate and low risk ways.

          It’s the latter people that will be unfairly penalised by mandatory drug testing.

  22. Jen 23

    I want to understand why all the left parties voted against the unions secret ballot bill today. I can understand that a lot of unions already do it but what is the problem with formalising democracy? I don’t get it.

    • Te Reo Putake 23.1

      Perhaps if it wasn’t a brain dead and irrelevant attack on modern unions by a former union official they might have been more sympathetic, Jen. Still, I’m sure they’ll vote for the part of the bill where employers are required to subject themselves to democracy before they lock workers out. That is in the bill, isn’t it?

      • Jen 23.1.1

        whatever we think of the Nats there does seem to be a fairly big principle at stake here that I thought Labour as a pro worker party would support. The unions are the workers servants. Surely those workers deserve to cast their vote on their own situation?

        • Te Reo Putake

          “Surely those workers deserve to cast their vote on their own situation?”
          Exactly! This bill takes away that right.

          • Jen

            Sorry, I’m not with you…. I confess I haven’t looked closely at the legislation but I thought it was about each worker deciding for themselves whether to strike and voting on that and the union following the vote of the members. How does it take away the right?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Sorry, Jen, I was assuming you knew how unions operate when you commented, I shouldn’t have jumped to that conclusion.
              As the largest democratic organisations in NZ, unions have more than a century of deciding for themselves how to ballot their members. These decisions are enshrined in each union’s rules. However, this bill forces unions to only have one form of ballot, removing the choice the union members previously had.
              Most unions do have the secret ballot option when industrial action is being considered, and in some its compulsory. But it should be the democratic right of union members to choose their own path. Tau Henare’s bill removes that democratic option.

              • Jen

                Ok, understood your point about taking away the unions right to decide how to ballot. And since unions are no longer compulsory you don’t have to join if you don’t want to join and abide by those rules. Nevertheless I am still a bit suprised that this bill isn’t seen as an ‘enhancement’ of the law though. It references an extreme situation that hits every worker in the hip pocket so to speak and it does seem there are a lot of workers hurting at the moment. I can’t help feeling that some of the union decisions are cutting against the members and at the very least should test that they are in touch?

                • felix

                  I can’t help feeling that some of the union decisions are cutting against the members

                  The unions are the members. That’s what a union is.

                  • Jen

                    Maybe I need to understand more about unions. I thought unions were a group of workers in a particular industry who paid people paid to represent them. If those representatives get out of touch with the people (still at the coal face who are paying their wages), and there is no secret ballot, then how can they be sure that they are representing the members?

                    • felix

                      You said: “I can’t help feeling that some of the union decisions are cutting against the members”

                      That’s not possible. A union is a group of workers, i.e. “the members”. A “union decision” is by definition a decision made by a union, i.e. “the members”.

                      You’re talking about “unions” and “members” as if they were separate entities.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  In all the unions I was involved in only one person had to ask for a secret ballot and it was held.

                  As a union delegate we were always prepared beforehand with ballot papers in case someone requested this.

                  In my experience the closer the vote was likely to be the greater the likelihood of someone asking for a secret ballot.

                  On average I would say about 70% of the time secret ballots were asked for.

                  Not once, and still today, I have ever seen anyone criticised for asking for a secret ballot or asked why they did this. All union members understood it was any members right and no one else’s business why they might want one.

                  Union members understand democracy much much better than this government ever did.

                  Also note that when these members are on strike they are being supported financially by other union members as much as they can can be within the constraints of funding and resource.

                  It’s a united effort and all do share the pain.

                  Seen your next query:

                  No industrial action is taken without members voting on it and having a majority vote yes.

                  No contract changes or pay increase are accepted without the members voting yes.

                  No union delegates are elected without members nominating and then voting for them.

                  The members make these decisions.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Cheers, Jen. I think you’re probably labouring under the common misapprehension that union officials just tell their members that they are on strike. Doesn’t happen. The members decide these things, not the officials. 

                  And as you noted, if a worker disagrees, nowadays they have the option of walking away from the union.

                  • Jen

                    OK, thanks for your explanations. Getting the picture now.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    Also worth noting that motions and voting follow and conform to standard democratic procedures.

                    All motions are positive, voting results are by a simple majority, constitutional changes are by a 75% vote or thereabouts.

                    Funnily enough exactly how councils and parliament are supposed to work.

        • Pete George

          I’m interested in hearing what the oppsitionn is to it too. Secret ballots are are basic democratic principle.

          I juest had a look:

          Labour’s labour spokeswoman Darien Fenton said the legislation change was frivolous because most unions allowed secret ballots: “[Union members] have freedom to strike or not strike, they are not

          marched out the door with their arm behind their back and told to strike.”

          Mr Henare said even if his bill was for the 5 per cent of workers who didn’t have a secret ballot, it was important.

          Green Party MP Denise Roche felt the bill meddled with a process that did not need to be fixed. “This is a solution looking for a problem.”

          She argued that Mr Henare’s bill intervened on the way unions functioned and was therefore undemocratic.


          • Te Reo Putake

            Half right, new improved Pete! Ballots are a basic democratic principle. But their form should be up to the people involved to decide, not the Gummint.
            And I’ve already mentioned the lack of balance elsewhere. I don’t see this being extended to shareholders meetings, do you?

          • felix

            Do you think there should be legislation to require all political parties to conduct secret ballots?

            What about Parliament?

            What about cabinet?

            What about juries?

            What about boards of directors?

            What about shareholders?

            What about councils?

            • Pete George

              I’ve been asked not to comment so much here 🙂

            • mickysavage

              Hehe felix

              The basic problem with these debates is that some who are so insistent on change have no idea of the history of trade union activity or the stuff that has been thrown at the trade union movement in the past.  For those with an understanding of history current proposals are a further attack using the same techniques that were used in the past.

              Of course when you argue with someone who has no comprehension of history their lack of comprehension means that you cannot persuade them.  This is especially so if they indignantly believe that their point of view, ill informed that it may be, is just as relevant as yours … 

  23. Jen 24

    Moderation? Crikey! I haven’t come to this site before but you moderate open mike????????

    [Everyone goes in to moderation on their first comment – it lets us cull spam bots. Now your comments should go straight through. — r0b]

  24. Jackal 25

    Bomber hits another home run:

    So what is the Lusk/Whaleoil ideology? If you look at the manner in which Whaleoil now posts daily proverbs and appears on hard right Christian talkback to muck rake against Unions, the strategy isn’t difficult to divine. They want to Republicanize National with populist right wing raw meat rhetoric. God, guns, climate denial, anti-Maori, anti-union, bennie bashing right wing morality will be served up with all the righteousness of a Fox News broadcast. Expect pro Police, death penalty type of law and order sentiments mixed with work for dole old testament posturing.

    Can’t think of any rightwing blogger who can write with such eloquence.

    • Carol 25.1

      Sometimes I agree with bomber, sometimes I don’t…. actually I probably agree more than I don’t.

      But he does have an engaging and interesting way of expressing his views. I think he’s an important part of the left blogosphere.

    • Descendant Of Smith 25.2

      Hmmm having posted similar thoughts nice to have a kindred spirit.

      Seriously extreme and nutty

  25. felix 26

    Just watching Backbenches from last night. The new Nat MP, drawling bogan Mark Mitchel, was asked by a (possibly hypothetical) viewer when the (definitely hypothetical) brighter future would be arriving.

    He replied, and I quote:

    We’re well on our way to it. She’s gonna see some benefits by the end of the year for sure

    Oh dear.

    • Descendant Of Smith 26.1

      Never a truer word spoken.

      Yep we’ll some some benefits – it’s a pity they’ll be more unemployment benefits.

      • Descendant Of Smith 26.1.1

        That of course should say:

        Yep we’ll see some benefits – it’s a pity they’ll be more unemployment benefits.

        Purring cats on keyboards are not helping my typing and editing.

    • Anne 26.2

      One of Simon Lusk’s former pupils?

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