Open Mike 10/07/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 10th, 2017 - 255 comments
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255 comments on “Open Mike 10/07/2017”

  1. garibaldi 1

    What a delight to tune in to Kim Hill this morning. Nine to noon was so good when Kim ran it….good memories.

    • Ed 1.1

      National ministers used to a gentle touch from Espiner and Ferguson will be scarce.

  2. james 2

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11888165

    Andrew Little piggy in the middle.

    Reading the comments on twitter last night – NZFirst are really angry about what the greens have said.

    I dont think the greens have clicked as to how bad the consequences will be for them (and labour by association and MOU) will be.

    Taking into account that Key has gone, Shane Jones is in and Winston’s loathing of the greens a National / NF1st for government is almost a certain now.

    • And the Mighty All Blacks will win the series 3-0, I just knows it!!

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        yeah james don’t care one way or tother – yeah, nah. Funny how he is going off and fizzing so much about this BIG issue lol.

      • james 2.1.2

        Yep – But I have gotten the elections right for the last few – so Im happy with my track record.

        So How do you see this as being good for Labour / Green government?

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1

          “Despite Peters’ reaction, Turei was sticking to her guns a few hours later. “I’m telling it like it is.”

          I like a political leader with courage and conviction. It bodes very well.

          • james 2.1.2.1.1

            Yeah – this is the right thing to double down on. hahahahaha

            Bodes well for 3 more years in opposition.

            • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Yeah, Metiria should have flip-flopped, denied saying it at all, claimed to be misremembering, or wearing her non-Green hat when she (didn’t) say anything about anything.
              As perfected by John Key and attempted by Bill English, your men, James.
              Nope, I go with courage and conviction, thanks Metiria.

              • james

                Whatever Robert – My point was:

                “Taking into account that Key has gone, Shane Jones is in and Winston’s loathing of the greens a National / NF1st for government is almost a certain now”.

                I know you don’t want to address that – because you know its true.

                Watching you spin for some moral high ground is hilarious.

                • Read the thread, “Peters posturing”
                  “A minor blip on the electoral radar this weekend as Metiria Turei called out Peters’ “very racist approach to immigration”, and Peters responded with denials and warnings of “consequences”.

                  Before anyone gets too excited about this friction between possible coalition partners, do recall that in the last few weeks Winston Peters has laid a Parliamentary complaint against Bill English, and called on him to resign. In his turn English has called Peters “irresponsible” and “misleading”.”

                  So, James, NZF and National are “at each other’s throats”.

                  No chance of a marriage there then…

            • Johan 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Still baiting James, you sound desperate. How about some logical sound reasoning.

        • reason 2.1.2.2

          How were your predictions in the Northland bye-election James ?….

          Do you agree that Winston is a king and knight slayer ????

          That Johnny Made off …. to avoid the humiliation of his head being displayed in a wine box 🙂 .

          Its quite funny how Winston from the knights watch got Keys scalp in the end ……

          Especially as Key effectivly revived his political career with first the tea-pot tapes shit show …

          and then next election the Dong Liu dirty politics smear on Labour/Cunliff….. with Winston coming through and picking up the ‘pox on both your houses ‘ voters.

          John Keys legacy ……. reviving NZ First from the dead.

    • The decrypter 2.2

      I’m sure you are just as bad at picking political outcomes as rugby results james. ps- don’t poison your kids attitude over such matters.

      • james 2.2.1

        Im sure you are wrong. I have predicted National the last few elections – which puts me in a position of being more right on election outcomes that a lot on here.

        But how about trying to comment on the point as opposed to making it all about me – some people on here – or do you have nothing to say on it?

        • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1

          “I predicted National the last few elections”

          “O” for oarsome!

          How ever did you manage that, James? Against all odds!

          • Psycho Milt 2.2.1.1.1

            Come now, Robert. Picking that the party massively ahead in the polls would win has to be recognised as an expertise-based, risk-assessed gamble, surely?

            • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1.1.1

              James – living on the edge!

              • garibaldi

                James can’t put a foot wrong with the media on his side, but of course the totally stacked media has nothing to do with it (sarc).

            • james 2.2.1.1.1.2

              Yet so many on here still though Labour would win them.

              Not looking good this time either is it PM – esp with NZF and Greens at each others throats.

              So how is that good for labour?

              • Enough is Enough

                This is good because people will know that to the change the government you can’t rely on NZ First. That realisation will result in support moving to the Greens and maybe Labour

                That is good for Labour James

              • Not looking good this time either is it PM…

                Well, yeah – same party’s still way ahead in the polls.

                …NZF and Greens at each others throats.

                So how is that good for labour?

                Looks to me more like the Green Party disagreeing with NZF’s xenophobia.

                Everyone who wants a change of government this year should be pleased to see it made clear that voting NZF is not a way of achieving that. The clearer Lab/Green can make it that a vote for NZF is a vote for maintaining National in power, the better.

                • james

                  Indeed – but when they do this – they will be making it harder to get NZF in a collation with them – and they look like they are going to need them.

                  • Personally, I’d rather that if it came down to a government having to rely on NZ First, National got to be the ones picking up that particular gross, sticky tarbaby. NZF has been the kiss of death for every government they’ve been involved in and there’s an excellent reason for that (actually, with Shane Jones on board, there are now two excellent reasons).

          • james 2.2.1.1.2

            How did so many on here get it so wrong should be the question.

            • Cinny 2.2.1.1.2.1

              James, I’m a numbers person, numbers are like a binary code for events.

              I’m not talking about poll numbers, I’m more into Tesla, 3,6,9, galactic numbers and events.

              There will be great change. I’m ready, I hope you are.

              I’ve already made a bet with Red re either of us not commenting for a set period of time dependent on the outcome of the election.

              Won’t make that bet with you, because am looking forward to your comments when National loses and they will.

              I expect that Winstons target market is National party voters, easiest way to get those votes is to have a crack at the Greens when they speak their mind.

              PS I predicted two of Muldoons wins in the ’80’s. Should have been given a fortune telling certificate when I was five for that.

              Did you get a certificate for your two election prediction outcomes?

        • AB 2.2.1.2

          But James – I picked the outcome of the rugby much better than you and I really don’t like the game much and didn’t bother watching most of it.
          I think I said it would be “very close, probably 2-1 either way”
          You don’t really engage in ‘predictions’ as such James – just utter boosterish inanities in support of your desired outcome.

        • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.3

          Leave off talking about yourself for a minute, James, and have a read of this:
          “The disturbing truth about the Green Party” – I know you’ll be all a-quiver from the title, James: read on:

          “The disturbing truth about the Green Party (for any detractors or National supporters) is that it is a growing political force, part of an expanding global movement, and is here to stay. When more and more people around the world are embracing green solutions for our very real global challenges, it surely makes sense to put those who really understand what what needs to be done in charge. The Green Party leaders front an organisation that has substance and integrity and will continue strongly if they step aside, what other party can claim that level of proven stability and resilience?”

          http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2017/07/the-disturbing-truth-about-green-party.html

    • bearded git 2.3

      nope james ….the obvious thing that will happen is nzf will go with labour but insist greens not part of coaltion.

      • Ad 2.3.1

        Which is great because then the Greens get to keep their Purity Ring shiny.

      • Psycho Milt 2.3.2

        …nzf will go with labour but insist greens not part of coaltion.

        In other words, NZF will ensure National remains in power, either by joining them in government or rendering a Labour-led government impossible.

    • Gabby 2.4

      It’s a cunning plan to share out nuttyanal voters who want something a bit more racist, or a bit more wet.

    • Takere 2.5

      The sibling rivalry between the Greens, the “ingenue” & the much “older brother”, Peters is a bit pathetic from both sides! FFS!

      Yes the Greens polling is tanking, RNZ’s PoP & Pundits PoP are reliable.Pundits PoP removes “Don’t Knows” RNZ doesnt, and polling sources look the same?

      The ingenue(s) should just focus on their own shit & stop poking the monster because between the pair of them, theyre jeopardising a change of Government! FFS!

      Need to accept that the kids arent going to get on, theyre from different (adoptive) parents, generation and experiences! FFS!

      Get on with it! FFS!

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    Geoffrey Palmer’s op on Newsroom, about the decline in democracy in NZ.

    He gives 4 main reasons based on some recent Massey Uni research showing large numbers of people left and right have no faith in our political systems or politicians:

    1. Lack of information. Need more and better civics education.

    2. Decline of party membership.

    3. Long term decline in political media.Too much infotainment in mainstream media. A lot of info available online, but people don’t know how to understand it, and don’t have time to work it out. Politicians go to a lot of effort to get and control media attention.

    4. Rising influence of money and professional lobby groups. Not to tighten regulations on this.

    The article ends:

    One of the principal aims of the codified constitution that Dr Andrew Butler and I have proposed (which we have called A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand) is to strengthen understanding of New Zealand’s system of government, by gathering all of the main laws in one document which people can easily find.

    A second aim is to promote discussion and debate. Do you agree that New Zealand’s democracy could be made stronger? If so, how? What should change?
    Tell us your views at http://www.constitutionaotearoa.org.nz/.

    • millsy 3.1

      Palmer carries on about infotainment yet he was in the cabinet that signed off on the corpriatisation of TVNZ and RNZ as well as the deregulation of broadcast media.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        IIRC, he’s recently said that he regrets his then support for neo-liberalism.

        • Sacha 3.1.1.1

          Wasn’t it Bolger who said that?

        • Incognito 3.1.1.2

          Shits sticks and forever leaves a stain except in the case of Sir John; he didn’t stick at all but did leave a bad smell that’s still emanating particularly strongly from the ninth floor.

        • Sumsuch 3.1.1.3

          After ‘Reform’ ? Deserves another book then. If you could point to evidence?

    • Gabby 3.2

      As arguments for a written constitution go, that’s pretty piss-weak.

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    Barry Soper shines a spotlight on the reality of the National Government’ track record on trade

    Trade Ministers are a curious bunch. They’re usually articulate, well educated, are generally self obsessed about their ability to cut a deal and are forever lauding their successes, or at least taking about the potential.
    But in recent years blathering on about success has been misplaced. Our success in doing trade deals in recent years has been woeful, in fairness with the Trans Pacific Partnership not helped by the current occupant of the White House.
    National Ministers have been strong on rhetoric but short on delivery.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11888206

    • Gristle 4.1

      IMO the opportunity for new trade agreements that have a substantial impact on the economic activity between the parties has diminished. This is what you should expect after (insert management speak) the “low hanging fruit have been picked.” The economic impact of the TTP Agreement was so low that the it Zero was as good a place holder any other number.

      Unless you are going for customs and currency unions there is not much left on the table. And of course Brexit is likely to negate moves in this area for a long time to come.

      While not trying to excuse Nationals gap between rhetoric and delivery, I think we should not expect much, and not invest much in the process. McClay has been doing the diplomatic/trade jaunts around the world: may as well park him up in that Scenic Circle resort in the South Pacific.

    • Ad 4.2

      It all looked pretty hard when Helen Clark first came to power.
      Why should a tiny country ever succeed in bilateral trade deals? Our only real success in the previous multiple governments had been CER with Australia under Muldoon. Whereas Clark – by spending much of the hard-won soft power New Zealand had accumulated over previous Labour governments – hooked multiple deals.

      Check out the post on the Rainbow Warrior today – we garnered massive international goodwill by turning the Rainbow Warrior into a moral crusade about nuclear war, culimating in our anti-nuclear legislation. We gained profile and respect far beyond our trade or GDP worth. Labour governments consistently understand the effect that soft power has for advancing our interests.

      On all diplomatic fronts, including trade, this government has delivered us three terms of nothing.

      • greywarshark 4.2.1

        I’ve got plenty of nothing that’s the song for NZ today when looking at our politicians achievements.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      That article carries the normal false assumption that trade deals are a good idea. The TPPA and our FTA with China (Sub par steel) have now proven that they’re not.

  5. Pete 5

    Bill English lying about his part in the Barclay situation was one thing but you’re unlikely to hear any more bullshit in one place than I heard from Bill English this morning.

    It was a session of, “I’ll ask questions you have no rational answers for and listen to what you have to say.”

    It’s embarrassing hearing a plonker trying to obfuscate, determinedly trying to not come across as a plonker. And coming across as a plonker.

    • In Vino 5.1

      If this was the interview with Kim Hill, I totally agree. Incoherent floundering.

      • bearded git 5.1.1

        kim hill missed a trick though…when double dipton said house prices in Auckland had stabilised in the last 9 months she should have asked ‘so you think average prices of a million is affordable do you?’

        • In Vino 5.1.1.1

          Kim was maybe a bit aghast – but she needed only to let him speak.. He would have pointed out that ‘affordable’ is not necessarily the average price.
          I think it went well. English needs to speak as often as possible. 2005 was a good year…

    • Cinny 5.2

      Thanks, am guessing it was from this morning, watching and listening to the link now. Gosh the outgoing PM is stiff, defensive and unenthusiastic, he should have been a horse racing announcer.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/334786/video-bill-english-on-affordable-housing-in-auckland

  6. ianmac 6

    Penny Bright gets a column from Damien Grant. A colourful woman.

    “I don’t share many of her views but I am impressed by Penny Bright’s courage and willingness to take a principled stand; a truly rare thing….”
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/94437519/damien-grant-im-in-awe-of-this-recklessly-defiant-nonratepayer

  7. Andre 7

    Couple of good articles about placebo effects. One of them make the good point that all the disclaimers and warnings about side-effects has the result of lessening the efficacy of modern medicine. In contrast, it’s well known all the cheery nonsense spouted by the woo-merchants really reinforces the placebo effect.

    http://www.salon.com/2017/07/09/the-wonderful-placebo-effect/

    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/7/15792188/placebo-effect-explained

    • One Two 7.1

      ‘A good point’…

      No, it’s not!

      Misplaced belief in toxic chemicals masquerading as ‘health care’

      By those who NEVER read the listed side effects nor are talked through them by ‘sponsored doctors’…

      Does the toxic placebo effect apply to those people? Would it be lessened or highteneded, in your opinion?

      You’re absolutely one of the weakest commentators at this blog

      • Andre 7.1.1

        Well now, that’s a truly devastating evidence-based and referenced critique of the points raised in those articles. I’ll go scuttle back under my rock in shame at your overwhelmingly superior logic.

        Or not.

      • reason 7.1.2

        The drug companies are an impediment to affordable health ….. the TPPA exported the usa model …… with extended patent lengths / profit gouging

        Studies funded by drug companies are scientifically unreliable … often showing pro-drug bias .. and non-repeatable results/statistics when later studies are done by independent scientists and researchers.

        Side effects is a euphemism for ‘other Effects’ ….. or ‘unwanted effects’….. Its the sales people and marketing that want to push these real but unwanted effects off to the side.

        Finally the secrecy behind developing modern drugs …… to protect profits …. shows a gaping flaw when medicine is run by corporations and neo lib capitalism.

        If medical research was open source and available knowledge was accessible to everyone … advancements and cures for cancers and disease would be much more advanced.

        Simple logic

    • Editractor 7.2

      This is the part I found most intriguing:

      What this showed was not that the drugs were getting worse, but that “the placebo response is growing bigger over time,” but only in the US, explains Jeffrey Mogil, the McGill University pain researcher who co-discovered the trend. And it’s not just growing stronger in pain medicine. Placebos are growing in strength in antidepressants and anti-psychotic studies as well.

      It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the construction and marketing of mental disorders and overdiagnosis in a country with a privatised health care system could it?

  8. james 8

    Mark Dunajtschik – Top Bloke !!!!!

    Donates $50 Million for a children’s hospital.

    That is awesome !!!!!

    • Enough is Enough 8.1

      Tory Charity

      • james 8.1.1

        When you cannot be positive for someone donating $50 million for a children’s hospital – then you really need to look at yourself.

        • garibaldi 8.1.1.1

          I’m sure that $50,000.000 is but a drop in the bucket for him. How did this wonderful squillionaire make his money is more to the point. The joys of Capitalism……. one in a million is a winner.

          • james 8.1.1.1.1

            How did this wonderful squillionaire make his money is more to the point.

            How is that more to the point?

            Some people just cant stop being haters.

            I know nothing of the guy – but what he is doing is a great good for the community.

            • indiana 8.1.1.1.1.1

              I think the point trying to be made is that this wealthy person should have been taxed so highly to the point that they could not have possibly been so charitable. The taxes collected should have been used by the government to build this Children’s hospital not due the generosity of an individual. Perhaps this guys should have kept his donation anonymous to avoid coming to attention of social justice warriors, the Twitter-sphere and blog commentators.

            • AB 8.1.1.1.1.2

              How many diseases in children would have been prevented if the community’s wealth was more evenly (i.e. rationally) distributed among its members?

          • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1.2

            “Dunajtschik said he was often asked why choose to build a hospital.

            “It is no secret, nor commercially sensitive, that a large part of my income is from government departments as my tenants.

            “One particularly large department punctually pays their rent every month throughout the year, but they have the curious habit, at the end of the year they ask for one-third back. It is not called a rent refund. It is a three letter word.

            Tax!

            “Needless to say, thoughts had crossed my mind – how to stop this money-go-round?

            “Suggestions like contacting some creative accountants in Panama were quickly dismissed…the suggestion [of a hospital] appealed to me on the spot.”

            Kiwiblog rejoices in the great switcheroo

            • Molly 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks Robert.

              Interesting in the disconnect shown that his income is derived from other people paying their taxes – yet he wishes to avoid paying his.

              ““Needless to say, thoughts had crossed my mind – how to stop this money-go-round?”

              I have friends that have this disconnect, and sometimes struggle to excuse their contradiction and keep them in affection.

        • Enough is Enough 8.1.1.2

          It is no different that me donating 50 bucks, but he will try and make us all bow to him

          • james 8.1.1.2.1

            Actually – its a lot different.

            For starters $50 does very little. Its just over 3 hours at minimum wage.

            He will be remembered for doing a great good – and hopefully he will help save many childrens lives.

            I guess his contribution in life will far outstrip anything you will ever do. And you seem bitter about it.

            • james 8.1.1.2.1.1

              What else has he done?

              He is a long-time benefactor of charitable causes.

              His financial help enabled Wellington helicopter pilot the late Peter Button to set up an air rescue service, now called the Life Flight Trust – a service that has been credited with saving 22,000 lives.

              Bloody Tory bastard !!!!!

              • Draco T Bastard

                Again, something that should be done fully by government and not have to rely upon the charity of the rich.

            • Enough is Enough 8.1.1.2.1.2

              There is no need to be nasty about it

              • garibaldi

                I wonder how much he donates to the National Party so that his wonderful generosity can continue to impress the likes of you James.
                Meanwhile the rest of society suffers from the excesses and greed of free market Capitalism…….

                • james

                  I dont know if he even donates to National.

                  But again if you cannot be impressed with a man who has donated a hospital for children – then that says more about you than anything else.

                  • McFlock

                    Well, there are two types of people in the world, I guess.

                    When presented with an amazing soup made from a pig’s ear, the first type marvel’s at the ability of the chef and eats the meal.

                    The second type of person appreciates the skill of the chef, but also wonders at the social and living conditions of a culture that had to invent such a dish. Who consistently got the rest of the pig?

                    • Molly

                      “Who consistently got the rest of the pig?”
                      🙂

                    • weka

                      McFlock, why are you not writing for The Standard?

                    • McFlock

                      Short answer: because I plagiarise from Terry Pratchett too much and it would eat into TS trust’s legal fund 🙂

                      Longer answer: I’ve done a couple of posts, but it requires an attention span I don’t really have time for when my brain is awake. Writing to a word count is also a discipline I lost shortly after graduating.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Why should I be impressed by someone who’s actions to enrich himself are detrimental to our society?

                    • Crunchy

                      Yeah, he should have spent his life’s energy being a bitter & twisted commentator at TS.
                      If you ever need someone to put you out of your misery DTB, I’m your gal.

                  • McFlock

                    ^and then there are the type who are damned sure that the only reason they’re eating pig’s ear soup is because the chef had bacon for breakfast 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.3

          Two points:

          1. He shouldn’t have had that $50m – we cannot afford the rich
          2. The children’s hospital should have been built by the government

          It’s highly probable that him having that $50m was what prevented the children’s hospital from being built in the first place.

          • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.3.1

            I/S sums the property developer’s donation thus:
            “Which is great news for Wellington kids. But its also a sign of the failure of National as a government. Building hospitals is a core function of the state in New Zealand, so having to rely on charity to do it means the government is simply failing to do its job. Ultimately, this comes back to taxes: National’s obsession with cutting taxes for its rich mates starves the government of the revenue needed to perform core functions like schools, hospitals, and state housing.”

          • Wayne 8.1.1.3.2

            Draco,

            I presume your solution is to tax the rich so highly so that they are, well not rich any more.

            Has worked well in Cuba and Eastern Europe prior to 1990.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.3.2.2

              I presume your solution is to tax the rich so highly so that they are, well not rich any more.

              Legislate them out of existence assuredly but not necessarily tax them. After all, the richest people aren’t even in the top tax bracket.

              Has worked well in Cuba and Eastern Europe prior to 1990.

              Last time I looked Cuba has a functional health that’s better than the US’s, produces huge amounts of necessary drugs, and other essential services. That’s because it’s actually invested in developing its own economy. Something that NZ isn’t doing enough of as we try to stay as a commodity exporting country.

              in fact, NZ is failing quite badly as the ever increasing poverty caused by capitalism shows.

              • David Mac

                After free training Cuban doctors are paid $70 per month. Cubans are all equally miserable. Modern documentaries feature the fledgling green shoots of capitalism. A rural woman that came to Havana to sell chickens and now selling apartments.

                It was all one way traffic at the Berlin wall. Hey Draco, you could of made history as the only man trying to sneak into East Germany.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I didn’t say that they were perfect just that they’re getting similar or, in some cases, better results than we are.

            • reason 8.1.1.3.2.3

              I see Wayne Mapp as a dishonest helicopter trophy hunter ……

              For years he was telling us he’d got the head of a Bull Thar ( taliban ) …. But in reality he’d killed a little kid nanny goat (an infant female … named Fatima )

              Wayne is known for bending the truth and blaming victims ….

              So for some context on Cuba ….. the side of the story that helicopter hunter wayne won’t mention ….

              “After the Cuban Revolution in January 1959, we learned that there are also good and bad hijackings. On several occasions Cuban planes and boats were hijacked to the United States but they were not returned to Cuba, nor were the hijackers punished. Instead, some of the planes and boats were seized by US authorities for non-payment of debts claimed by American firms against the Cuban government. ”

              “Bombing and strafing attacks of Cuba by planes based in the United States began in October 1959, if not before.6 In early 1960, there were several fire-bomb air raids on Cuban cane fields and sugar mills, in which American pilots also took part—at least three of whom died in crashes, while two others were captured. The State Department acknowledged that one plane which crashed, killing two Americans, had taken off from Florida, but insisted that it was against the wishes of the US government.”

              ” In March a French freighter unloading munitions from Belgium exploded in Havana taking 75 lives and injuring 200, some of whom subsequently died. The United States denied Cuba’s accusation of sabotage but admitted that it had sought to prevent the shipment…..

              8 And so it went … reaching a high point in April of the following year in the infamous CIA-organized invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs…. ”

              “The Bay of Pigs assault had relied heavily on the Cuban people rising up to join the invaders,10 but this was not to be the case……. As it was, the leadership and ranks of the exile forces were riddled with former supporters and henchmen of Fulgencio Batista, the dictator overthrown by Castro, and would not have been welcomed back by the Cuban people under any circumstances.”

              ” Despite the fact that the Kennedy administration was acutely embarrassed by the unmitigated defeat—indeed, because of it—a campaign of smaller-scale attacks upon Cuba was initiated almost immediately ”

              ” Throughout the 1960s, the Caribbean island was subjected to countless sea and air commando raids by exiles, at times accompanied by their CIA supervisors, inflicting damage upon oil refineries, chemical plants and railroad bridges, cane fields, sugar mills and sugar warehouses; infiltrating spies, saboteurs and assassins … anything to damage the Cuban economy, promote disaffection, or make the revolution look bad … taking the lives of Cuban militia members and others in the process” …”

              pirate attacks on Cuban fishing boats and merchant ships, bombardments of Soviet vessels docked in Cuba, an assault upon a Soviet army camp with 12 Russian soldiers reported wounded ”

              “The commando raids were combined with a total US trade and credit embargo, which continues to this day, and which genuinely hurt the Cuban economy and chipped away at the society’s standard of living. So unyielding has the embargo been that when Cuba was hard hit by a hurricane in October 1963, and Casa Cuba, a New York social club, raised a large quantity of clothing for relief, the United States refused to grant it an export license on the grounds that such shipment was “contrary to the national interest”

              .14 Moreover, pressure was brought to bear upon other countries to conform to the embargo, and goods destined for Cuba were sabotaged: machinery damaged, chemicals added to lubricating fluids to cause rapid wear on diesel engines, a manufacturer in West Germany paid to produce ball-bearings off-center, another to do the same with balanced wheel gears…

              —”You’re talking about big money,” said a CIA officer involved in the sabotage efforts, “when you ask a manufacturer to go along with you on that kind of project because he has to reset his whole mold. And he is probably going to worry about the effect on future business. You might have to pay him several hundred thousand dollars or more.”15

              quoted from killing hope by William Blum …

              Not killing three year olds by wayne mqpp.

          • Karen 8.1.1.3.3

            +1 Draco.

          • David Mac 8.1.1.3.4

            Wealth is mobile. When the tax hooks get too sharp, Mr Dunajtschik need not sell up his NZ assets, merely move head office offshore. In France hefting up taxes on the wealthy saw the actual tax take go down.

            Most of those in Mr Dunajtscik’s club are picking out rosewood veneers for the grand saloon ceilings in their 200 footers. As with the retired judge that recently made a substantial donation to the Labour party campaign, I’m grateful they have chosen to spend their money in this way, thanks guys.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.3.4.1

              When the tax hooks get too sharp, Mr Dunajtschik need not sell up his NZ assets, merely move head office offshore.

              A reasonable change of law would prevent his profits following him without them being taxed. Which is, of course, what a lot of political parties have been promising for awhile now because the international corporations are ripping us off.

              Of course, I tend to think that offshore ownership should be banned anyway and that businesses should be self owned and run by the workers. This way he wouldn’t have any NZ assets when he left and would thus end his exploitation of NZ.

            • McFlock 8.1.1.3.4.2

              According to the OECD stats tables, the personal tax revenues rose. It was the corporate taxes that decreased post-2012.

              Interesting argument that increases in personal taxes result in decreased corporate tax revenues. Probably some tax dodge that’s as trivial to close as the secret trust loopholes.

        • adam 8.1.1.4

          The real issue, if they can do charity, then they can do more taxes.

    • That is awesome !!!!!

      It’s really not. Why are children’s hospitals having to rely on charitable handouts from rich people? All this says to me is that there isn’t enough tax being paid, and people like this guy have a lot of spare cash lying about. Vote for a government that can/will join those two dots.

    • millsy 8.3

      So what conditions has he placed on this.

    • Macro 8.4

      Luke 21: 1 – 4.

      21 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

      • Elegant, Macro.

      • James 8.4.2

        Careful or you will get called a god freak by someone on here.

        • Robert Guyton 8.4.2.1

          Yet no one has…
          Macro’s comment and quote is apt, James, isn’t it?

        • adam 8.4.2.2

          Vulgar and a tad desperate there james.

          • James 8.4.2.2.1

            Adam – I was referring to other standard commenter using the term god freak in another thread – where no others called them up on it (I’m assuming because they don’t like the target of the abuse)

            It seems that abuse like god freak and tub o lard is allowed to be used against people that some in this blog disagree with.

            Of course should it be used back at them then people start calling it vile.

            • ropata 8.4.2.2.1.1

              Seems to me that insults around here are usually earned by the insultee, and you are a worthy recipient James

              • james

                I wasnt on the end of either – Do you think its appropriate to call Plunket a tub o lard?

                Are you happy for us to call other overweight people this?

                Simply question

                • You’re saying, James, that Sean Plunket is “overweight”.
                  That’s very judgmental and hardly kindly of you to make such a comment in public. What’s next from you: a comment about John Key’s nose?

                  • james

                    Honestly – your fetish for following me around is at an all time low on this one.

                    So – do you think that the term is OK to use?

                    • You offer such great material to work with, James – one of the best in the business, you. I don’t think you should be commenting about the physique of other people, except perhaps if you are complimenting them, but of course, it’s up to you what you do here.

            • McFlock 8.4.2.2.1.2

              Tend to agree on the tub o’ lard line, but “god freak”? The use a couple of days ago that you took exception to was related to people who felt that teaching sex ed and evolution was so bad they had to have their own schools that didn’t deal with such trash.

              Slightly different to merely mentioning an appropriate tract from a particular magic book.

              • adam

                I took the meaning of God-freak in that context to be an attack on fundamentalists. Fundamentalism or Christian Fascism is a real worry, and we must be all vigilante to stop it from stealing the reigns of power.

                I would have thought the Daesh would have opened people eyes, both left and right to the horrors of fundamentalism, plus the pitfall and failures of any theocracy.

                • james

                  The thing is using a term like that without any context other than christian charter schools leave it wide open.

                  • McFlock

                    Not really, given that a “Christian Charter School” would be for sects that find the already existing school types insufficient to teach what they believe should be taught (or not).

                    What advantages does a charter school have over the mixed model, for the educators? Other than disproportionately large per-student funding, of course?

            • adam 8.4.2.2.1.3

              Standard practice is to put a link to it james, as you know.

              And yes I have been abused for being a Christian on this site, but turning the other cheek is how it works. Not some fundamentalist clap trap of living in the past, and attempting to pull down a point, because it does not fit with your greed theology.

              Now back to the point, your comment was desperate and vulgar because no one accused Macro of anything. All I saw was Robert Guyton agree with it, plus I found it very good as well, but then I have a lot of time for the Gospel of Luke.

              • james

                Adam,

                OK – I will withdraw and apologize to all (esp Marco) – who took offence to my comment – I can see how offence was taken to that particular post.

                But – my point about abuse using terms – and for this example ‘tub ‘o lard’ are leveled at people generally that people on this blog do not agree with.

                They are terms that would (I assume) never be tolerated in other forums.

                If (and Im not – this is just an example) someone called Metiria Turei a tub ‘o lard – do you think people would simply let it pass?

                Is tolerating this kind of language supportive of it?

                • Name calling? James said, ad nauseum ,
                  Angry Andy, Angry Andy, Angry Andy.
                  Hypocrite.
                  Or are you a “born again” champion of those who get called names, James?
                  Have you had a “Road to Damascus” experience?
                  Tell us about it, friend!

                  • james

                    Dear Stalker,

                    You may have noted that since that was pointed out (which I acknowledged) – I have not used it again.

                    • Ever done a count up of how many times you did use it?
                      Guess you’re all clear now and can chastise others for their sins.
                      That said, you did own your behaviour straight off and I admire you for that; you made Key and English look like crooks. I may tease you a bit, James, but I respect the way you sometimes front-up.

        • Robert Guyton 8.4.2.3

          The Mighty All Blacks are winners!!!
          National are the only game in town!!!
          Team NZ – Oarsome!!!
          Mark Dunajtschik – Top Bloke !!!!!

          Anyone see a pattern here?

        • Macro 8.4.2.4

          Savage’s – and Labour’s – opportunity came in 1933 with the death of its leader, Harry Holland. Whereas the hard-line Holland had scared middle-class voters, the gregarious but soft-spoken Savage personified Labour’s diluted socialism, or ‘applied Christianity’. As one historian said, Savage ‘smelt of the church bazaar, not at all of the barricades.’

          https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/michael-joseph-savage-biography

      • Ad 8.4.3

        The parable of the Widow’s Mite is great as a symbol, but it’s not going to build a whole hospital.

        Jesus never had to deal with philapthropy, and could be argued that he made a pretty clear distinction between tax contributions and the stuff you could do for the service of God:

        “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”

        It’s very rare in this country to see philanthropy in action at that kind of scale in New Zealand, and we need more of it.

        • In Vino 8.4.3.1

          We would have more philanthropy in action if the people earning those huge amounts paid a fair amount of tax in the first place. Conscience-salving charity afterwards reeks of egotistic smugness. That rat-bag Carnegie was a classic case.

          • Loop 8.4.3.1.1

            In Vino
            “Conscience-salving charity”. I think not. Just like sirjohn few of these people have a conscience, it is purely driven by bang for your buck, another tax dodge. Better return for his $$ than just paying straight taxes.

      • Peter 8.4.4

        Stupid idiot, church’s have been taking from the poor for a long time and it’s never enough.

    • Molly 8.5

      ““Mr Dunajtschik has said his philosophy is that people blessed with a sound mind and body can look after themselves, but those born with or suffering illness and disability need our support.”Jonathan Coleman – media release.

      It is good that there is funding for a hospital, (as long as it is spent efficiently and on target to reduce waiting times and improve health care – Good luck with that).

      Myself, I would prefer that sufficient funding for health care – in all sectors, including mental health and ACC – was adequately funded by the state. (Let’s give up a frigate or two to get it done.)

      The emphasis above, highlights the problem with relying or utilising private donations (and charities) to meet the responsibilities of state and society. It always – always – comes with some form of judgement and prejudice.

      Despite the admirable human intention of doing good, this donation does come with stings.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.5.1

        (Let’s give up a frigate or two to get it done.)

        Different resources so that makes no sense especially when you consider that we do need to be able to defend ourselves. We could, and should, have both.

        • Molly 8.5.1.1

          “Different resources so that makes no sense especially when you consider that we do need to be able to defend ourselves. We could, and should, have both.”

          Yes, you are right. But we don’t have the same public discussion about defence spending that we do on issues such as health, education, welfare, environment etc. That leaves us vulnerable to overspending on defence for little or no benefit to NZ.

          There was a good post on TDB, from Keith Locke regarding the defence capabilities of NZ, and how they are adequate for defence and civil emergencies excluding the frigates.

          Te Kaha and Te Mana are used for foreign engagement – mostly for the benefit of the US – and cost many millions to maintain and upgrade. I would agree with him on this.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.5.1.1.1

            There was a good post on TDB, from Keith Locke regarding the defence capabilities of NZ, and how they are adequate for defence and civil emergencies excluding the frigates.

            I seriously disagree with Keith Locke. We could not defend NZ from an invader. If the US or China decided to invade NZ we couldn’t stop them and the world is moving into a position that we need to consider that.

            Te Kaha and Te Mana are used for foreign engagement – mostly for the benefit of the US – and cost many millions to maintain and upgrade.

            That doesn’t mean that we should have them but that we should consider and discuss their use more openly.

            And, again, money isn’t the issue. It’s more a question of resources and we have those resources. Even a 100,000 strong well equipped defence force wouldn’t stop us being able to have a fully equipped and staffed health care system.

            • DoublePlusGood 8.5.1.1.1.1

              New Zealand will never have the resources to stop a superpower invasion.
              We’d have to rely on kiwis doing some number 8 wire guerrilla warfare.

              • Draco T Bastard

                We could stop an invasion fleet, sink it before it came even close. We probably couldn’t stop them if they decided to continue sending them. Eventually their ability to manufacture weapons and send personnel would overwhelm us. But we need to be able to stop that first one so that they decide not to send it.

                • Yeah we could make shields and really polish them and then aim them so the sun is reflected into 1 point and use that to annihilate the enemy. Plus that big hollow horse thing.

                  • Molly

                    I’m guessing you saw Mythbusters a couple of nights ago?…

                    • No i didn’t – isnt it true?

                    • Molly

                      Don’t know… didn’t watch it through to the end. Just saw it as my son was flicking through the channels.

                      Here we go – looks like it was busted – twice.

                    • McFlock

                      Three times, they also looked at it in the president’s episode.

                      Thing is, they couldn’t do it but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done or was otherwise ineffective. It’s been reproduced with very mixed results over the years, mythbusters was just televised.

                • McFlock

                  Sink it? With what?

                  Helicopters and 45 year old missile types? Two frigates?

                  The British invaded the Falklands with 127 ships. Even twenty, and flying the rest in, would be too much for us.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Sink it? With what?

                    However many missiles with satellite guidance it takes.

                    • McFlock

                      Which satellite guided missiles do we currently have in inventory? Even if we had them, GPS is easily countered. Even satellites are becoming vulnerable. Star map navigation isn’t precise enough to target vessels. And besides, anyone with the logistics to invade us will have actual jets that could easily wipe our choppers (oh, and whatever the poseidon can drop) off the board well before our lot get into firing range.

                      We could probably repel an invasion by Tonga. Anything more than that, we’re fucked.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Which satellite guided missiles do we currently have in inventory?

                      That would be why we need to develop the ability to produce them.

                      Even if we had them, GPS is easily countered.

                      GPS isn’t the only option and I’d probably develop our own one of those as well.

                      And besides, anyone with the logistics to invade us will have actual jets that could easily wipe our choppers

                      That would only work if those aircraft could get into range which they shouldn’t be able to due to decent missile defence systems.

                      We could probably repel an invasion by Tonga. Anything more than that, we’re fucked.

                      Well, gee, what was this conversation about?

                      Oh, that’s right – the fact that our defence force can’t actually defend us.

                      That’s not a dig at the personnel either but the ridiculous decisions by our governments since WWI.

                    • McFlock

                      Even if we mobilised the entire population to developing and operating a defence system, we’d not match the capabilities of a global power with less than 1% of the impulse to attack us as we have to defend ourselves.

                • We could stop an invasion fleet, sink it before it came even close.

                  From his involvement in the attempt to defend Sicily against Allied invasion in 1943, Von Senger und Etterlin took the valuable lesson that it’s impossible to prevent a seaborne invasion by a force that has naval and air superiority. That was reinforced by subsequent invasions at Anzio and Normandy. If more senior German commanders had figured that lesson out the war might have finished sooner.

                  Bottom line: the defenders don’t get to sink any of the invasion fleet without a sizable fleet of their own and the ability to protect it from air attack, and they don’t even get to put up much of a fight against the landing forces if they’re busy getting turned into mince by sustained air and naval bombardment. New Zealand lacks both the means to prevent a seaborne invasion and the ability to get and sustain the means.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Bottom line: the defenders don’t get to sink any of the invasion fleet without a sizable fleet of their own and the ability to protect it from air attack, and they don’t even get to put up much of a fight against the landing forces if they’re busy getting turned into mince by sustained air and naval bombardment.

                    That may have been true in WWII when they couldn’t see or fire beyond the horizon. Not true any more.

                    New Zealand lacks both the means to prevent a seaborne invasion and the ability to get and sustain the means.

                    We presently lack the means but we have the ability to produce and sustain those means. Rocketlab is proof of that.

                    • alwyn

                      “That may have been true in WWII when they couldn’t see or fire beyond the horizon”.

                      That was no longer true in WWII by about midway through 1942.
                      In the battle of Midway the fleets were never within sight or gun range of each other. They were always at least 200 km apart and all the attacks were being carried out by aircraft.
                      That wasn’t that different from today, in my opinion.

                    • The principle still applies. Modern navies have anti-missile defences, so there’s nothing decisive about being able to fire missiles at an invasion fleet. Apart from which, without an air force to protect them your shore-based defences have too much on their plate to be targeting ships off-shore.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Modern navies have anti-missile defences, so there’s nothing decisive about being able to fire missiles at an invasion fleet.

                      there is if you fire enough missiles.

                      Apart from which, without an air force to protect them your shore-based defences have too much on their plate to be targeting ships off-shore.

                      Who said I’d be missing out an air-force or ground based air defence?

                      And then there’s the fact that I’d go for a 2000km curtain. Nothing above the surface of the water to be able to exist within that radius without our express permission.

                    • McFlock

                      oh, ok.

                      Yes, if NZ had a substantial air wing, massive amounts of surface to surface and air to surface missiles, an integrated air defence system running surveillance out to 2000km with a parallel satellite surveillance system, a standing patrol of picket ships and sonar bouys, and about 50,000 people in uniform to operate it all, then we could probably repel almost any invading force.

                      Although I’d be wanting some Romulan disruptor beams and a photon torpedo bank, too, just to be safe. /sarc

                    • In Vino

                      McFlock – You forgot the force field. That would really help, until we were forced to divert energy to the phasers.. Oh dear…

                    • Stuart Munro

                      If we faced a conventional invasion we wouldn’t be able to stop it. But we could and would make it expensive – we could give the invaders our supermarket chains intact and watch their ground forces go broke and morale plummet before our IED campaign really got underway. If we really hated them we’d gift them Treasury.

                • Crunchy

                  Or we could have strategic alliances with friendly countries that guarantee our borders.
                  Oh, hang on.
                  Or we could use trade to gain defensive weaponry.
                  Oh, hang on.
                  You embarrass yourself sometimes.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Only if you’re happy to find that we can’t defend ourselves because those ‘friendly’ nations are the ones invading.
                    And trading for defensive weaponry won’t be possible once the trade routes have been cut.

                    And I’ll note that Britain’s guarantee of Belgium’s neutrality didn’t work too well when Nzai Germany decided to invade France.

                    • McFlock

                      So we sit in the middle between two major powers and juggle it so that an invasion is more trouble than what they’ll get from trade.

                      As soon as the decision is made to invade, they’re basically on our shores. We just need to make it more attractive for them to decide to do something else.

                  • In Vino

                    I think you may be way out of your depth here, Crunchy. Do you know any history?

              • exkiwiforces

                We did once the ACF A-4’s specializing in Martime Strike with the P3’s and Frigates providing the C3 ( Command, Control and Commutations). If the Argies went for the RN Landing Ships and Support Ships instead of the Combat Ships the Falkland’s war would’ve ended before it started. BTW the Land forces almost ran out of ammo, if the Argies had put a fight the Pom’s would have been in a rather tight spot at the ass end of the world in the middle of the winter and the 83 election could’ve a British Labour party victory.

                Logistics win wars.

            • Molly 8.5.1.1.1.2

              “We could not defend NZ from an invader”.
              I agree, which is why the justification for the purchase and continued use of these frigates is nonsensical.

              “And, again, money isn’t the issue. It’s more a question of resources and we have those resources. Even a 100,000 strong well equipped defence force wouldn’t stop us being able to have a fully equipped and staffed health care system.”

              A few years ago – our defence force sent a team to assess damage in Samoa after Cyclone Evan. Usually as a precursor to rebuilding efforts. After a couple of weeks of assessment and partaking of hosting from already devastated communities, or Defence Force had to tell Samoa that NZ did not have the budget to assist. That year, they undertook a series of exercises alongside the US – which continues.

              It depends on values and ideas of security. I believe a greater value in gained in helping local nations in our region repair and rebuild, than in playing war games with others with big toys and budgets.

              Especially, when we are actively inviting economic “invasion” and ownership of land and resources with government policy.

              And the lack of public discussion about resources and priorities is a problem.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I agree, which is why the justification for the purchase and continued use of these frigates is nonsensical.

                No, it means that we need to build up our defensive capability to be able to do so.

                After a couple of weeks of assessment and partaking of hosting from already devastated communities, or Defence Force had to tell Samoa that NZ did not have the budget to assist.

                Which is a load of bollocks caused by our capitalist system.

                I believe a greater value in gained in helping local nations in our region repair and rebuild, than in playing war games with others with big toys and budgets.

                I think we should be doing both and that we have the resources to do both.

                Especially, when we are actively inviting economic “invasion” and ownership of land and resources with government policy.

                And that needs to be stopped ASAP.

                And the lack of public discussion about resources and priorities is a problem.

                And that particular discussion has been diverted through the discussion of money. As a nation we don’t really know what we can do because we don’t know the resources we have available.

          • exkiwiforces 8.5.1.1.2

            You forgot about East Timor during INTERFET Molly, The Frigates, Canterbury F421 a Type 12 class and Te kaha ANZAC class provided over watch (Air Defence, Naval Gun Fire Support, Anti Surface and Anti Sub Surface warfare and C3 support) to the Peacekeeping Forces. Both NZ Frigates did contact a TNI Sub operating inside East Timor waters and on both occasions they tracked the Sub to a point where they hit the Sub with active sonar and pinged it to death until it left East Timor’s waters.

            We never head from the TNI Sub’s again after what RNZN did to them. Also the mock air attacks conduct by TNI Airforce ended the same time against INTERFET sea lane’s of commutations as every Combat Naval Ship hit their aircraft with radar they had.

            As my grandmother once said, the Locke family do love the sound of their own voice when their head up own asses.

            • Molly 8.5.1.1.2.1

              What little I know of East Timor – I have from reading John Pilger’s reporting.. Australia does not come out of that area with much honour from that perspective.

              I didn’t know we were part of the peacekeeping force there. I’m not sure if peacekeeping is the right word, if the intention was to secure access to natural resources.

              I’d have to look into the political aspects before commenting further. If you have any links to direct me to, that would be great.

              I have family in active duty, and take care to differentiate the difference between criticism of decisions at higher levels, rather than those who perform their duty with capability, integrity and service. Particularly, decisions made from behind nice safe desks that send our troops in to unsafe areas to support “allies” for trade benefits, or create situations where they and/or our nation becomes more unsafe.

              “As my grandmother once said, the Locke family do love the sound of their own voice when their head up own asses.”
              Interesting sounding lady, your grandmother. Don’t know if I agree, but she sounds like a character.

              • Molly

                Reading further, I do remember our involvement in the deployment, with the loss of Private Leonard Manning, being the reminder.

                • exkiwiforces

                  I have a good story a about my mate Lenny and the cover up after wards. I’ll tell it tomorrow. We were Both Tankies, did crewman’s case together before he transfer to 2/1 Battlion, B Coy and I was in 2Troop NZ Scots,1 Recon SQN Burnham as of part 3 Land Force Group in the 90’s and this will tell you why I the Tories and pro defence in what happen to Lenny.

              • exkiwiforces

                Just been reading your link. John seems to skip over the INTERFET bit, but I can you from most the of us INTERFET vets now felt we were righting a wrong since the 75 invasion by the TNI. I was back there again in 06 to stop the civil war from breaking out, but that tour did leave me along with a couple of INTERFET vets in our SQN few unanswered questions. What other INTERFET vet’s piss us of the most is the way the Australian government still treats the Timor Leste atm, but that’s not only thing that us going!! It’s what happening in West Papua ATM that gets us going off like a belt mortar because the bloody TNI are doing the same thing over there as what they did to East Timor and that was not pretty to see or witness.
                Then you get dickheads like Locke saying we don’t need frigates, a Air Combat jets and Christ know’s what else he and his muppets friends want to rid of within the NZDF? When we came so god damm close to have an all out shoot war with those TNI bastards during INTERFET and We know if do end up freeing the people of West Papua from TNI rule in the future, we are going to need every tool in our tool box because the TNI may not make the same mistake again.

                It’s a shame I can’t find diary from INTERFET and my orders notes, to share with everyone on the Standard. But only i’ve my memory to relie on, but the other to that is my emotions and PTSD goes into overdrive.

                Hence I’m Pro Defence and can’t stand 2 face peaceniks idiots like the Locke family who campaign for the Dutch to give up West Papua only to handed over the Left wing Indonesia government at the time and want us to go into West Papua to sort this bloody mess with no tools in the tool
                box?

                My grandmother said be always watch your back with the Locke family as they make other people to do their dirty work for them or fell you under the bus if you tell the truth just like you great grandparents did back in Blackball in the 30’s. In other words they are parasites my grandmother said.

                • Molly

                  Thanks exkiwiforces. Sorry to hear that you lost a friend, there. Pvte Manning is only a name to me, but you have a loss of a person with whom you shared memories and experiences.

                  My family is involved in the forces – my parents met there in fact, many, many years ago.

                  I’ve never joined (too much of a pacifist) – only been on a couple of weekends in my long ago youth. But had friends and family that were (and still are) long time TF, or RF. From my personal experience, the defence forces attract people with a clear idea of service, and train them well. The camaraderie of the armed forces seems to stay with them in their civilian and family life.

                  The issue of deployment and changes are ones I watch from the sidelines. I don’t want our troops deployed for trade reasons, or access to resources disguised as human rights. It is the responsibility of those who do not serve – to ensure that those who put themselves at risk – do not do so unnecessarily. (Of course, that might be in conflict with troops themselves who may look forward to deployment in order to put their training into use).

                  The failed civilianisation project, seemed to me to be less to do with the unachieved savings but more to do with changing the culture within the defence forces. Which to my mind were markedly different (and superior) to the US, UK and Australia. 🙂 And from what I hear, there have been noticeable changes.

                  Will read with interest your posts on the situation – when you have time. (I usually take care to do so, just because it is good to hear that experience. I don’t know if you realise, but conversations like that usually happen within the forces – not out of them so much.)

                  (Note: That is just the one article, Pilger has written a few. He has also done a film regarding the backstory of East Timor – The Death of a Nation – before the INTERFET and an hour long review of the original documentary in 1999.)

          • Macro 8.5.1.1.3

            Actually NZ spends very little compared to other countries on Defence.
            $2.2B out of total Govt Expenditure of $74.4B is around 3% of total Govt Expenditure, or in terms of GDP it is just under 1% of GDP. (The Chump has been admonishing European countries at the NATO conference for not spending 2% of their GDP on defence.)
            The frigates are an integral part of NZ defence policy, which until 1985, was based upon the ANZUS alliance. As NZ depends upon shipping for its economic survival, frigates such as Te Kaha and Te Mana are essential elements in protection of shipping should there ever be a threat in the South Pacific. They are specialised vessels with emphasis upon Anti Submarine warfare. Obviously such a limited force is unlikely to be sufficient for the protection of all shipping visiting these shores, and alliances with Australia, and in the past the US, were the basis for the need for interoperability. It still is, perhaps to a lesser extent.
            As to which Service gets the most – it may come as a surprise to Keith but the Navy receives the smallest share of Defence funding:

            As usual, the New Zealand Army leads with $543 million, followed by the Royal New Zealand Air Force with $517 million and the Royal New Zealand Navy with $308 million.

            http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/international/asia-pacific/2016/06/03/new-zealand-defense-budget/85286358/

            • exkiwiforces 8.5.1.1.3.1

              I fully concur with your comments Macro. New Zealand is a sea based nation that’s relies on it ability to trade in order to generate wealth for the nation and if those sea lanes of communication are cut in some ways then NZ’s economy head south and some sectors of the economy will go down faster than a sinking ship. And thanks to theses Neo Lib Muppets, NZ has very little slack now weather it the NZDF, its Manufacture sector, it reliance on Petrol, Oils and Lubricate products (POL) and many other sectors that have hit by these Muppets with their stupid economic polices.

              In other words: if you can’t import, you can’t export and if you can’t export then your economy tanks. We all know what happens the economy goes tits up.

              I leave you with this quote from Sir Walter Raleigh:
              ” Whoever’s commands the sea, commands the trade, whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.”

              • McFlock

                Nice quote.

                400 years later it succinctly explains why the US are driving ships within 12km of artificial islands in the South China Sea, and why the islands were built.

                • exkiwiforces

                  I’ll drag up the figures on how much trade goes via the Singapore hub to the north east Asia nations and it will you an idea on the effects if war broke out on the New Zealand economy. There is nice article about South China Sea and its northern neighbors in the Australian Navy League magazine. It’s worth a read.

                • exkiwiforces

                  I agree with those comments, but you forgot to add the “one road- one belt” as over the over arching strategy that the Chinese are pushing ATM. This strategy that the Chinese are pushing will enable them to isolate the 3 major economies in North East Asia which in turn will effect just about every economy within the Asia/ Pacific region if the not world if war broke out.

                  Anyway, as promise from last night here are the maritime trade figures via the Singapore Hub.

                  Two- thirds of the worlds oil shipments transits the Indian Ocean, with more than 15million barrels of oil transiting the Malacca Strait daily in 2014.

                  30% of the global maritime trade transits through the South China Sea annually, including $1.2trillion in ship- borne trade bound for the USA ports.

                  Developing East Asian economies- responsible for about one-third of the world’s GDP growth – the prosperity of the world hinges, in large part, on freedom of navigation through the Asia- Pacific region.

                  Source:
                  “The Navy” The magazine of the Navy League of Australia, Jul- Sep edition.
                  Page 11, Dealing with Two Superpowers: Australia must understand what China and the United States want.
                  By George Galdorisi

    • RRM 8.6

      Wow.

      A successful elderly guy gives away most of his money to build a childrens’ hospital, no doubt as a final thank-you to his adopted country for offering him a chance at a good life.

      And the standard hates him for being successful and making money.

      This is one of the least impressive things I’ve ever read on here. I’m embarrassed to call you lot my fellow New Zealanders.

      He could have done absolutely anything he wanted with his money, he chose to donate a new childrens’ hospital to the people of New Zealand. The only thing we need to say is thank you. I certainly will be.

      • mauī 8.6.1

        Before that he spent years trying to demolish a listed building so he could build his own pet project. That alone should tell you he doesn’t give a shit about the public good.

        • RRM 8.6.1.1

          There should not BE any listed buildings in NZ.

          We can’t even afford to build new stuff we need, there is no way we should be squandering money on embalming old, unsafe, dysfunctional relics of the past that no longer serve a purpose.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.6.1.1.1

            We can’t even afford to build new stuff

            Nonsense.

            False premise, false conclusion.

      • In Vino 8.6.2

        I repeat what I wrote above:
        “We would have more philanthropy in action if the people earning those huge amounts paid a fair amount of tax in the first place. Conscience-salving charity afterwards reeks of egotistic smugness. That rat-bag Carnegie was a classic case.”
        Study the tactics Carnegie used to become an oligarch in the USA, then rate all the ‘charitable’ things he did.
        When a broken society starts to rely on rich people’s charity we know that the society is broken. The charity should never have been needed in the first place.
        But you are so overwhelmed with gratitude, aren’t you RRM?

        • RRM 8.6.2.1

          Shit yes I am!

          If I had 50 million I wouldn’t give it away to ungrateful envious people like you just want to assassinate my character. I’d be driving a 1960s Ferrari around Europe eating and sleeping at 5-star and up places every night!

          • In Vino 8.6.2.1.1

            That is a dumb reply, RRM. The money is not being given to people like me – I am too old to get into a children’s hospital. And I am not envious. I have had a good life, and spent 5 years working and living in Europe, but no Ferrari, and a 5-star meal on one occasion only. I doubt that you have any idea of what living in Europe means, and your character remains as poor as you have already displayed it.

        • RRM 8.6.2.2

          Labour should definitely campaign on this in 2017 using the arguments you have just put forward.

          FILTHY RICH PRICK GIVES THE COUNTRY A $50M NEW CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL.

          THIS WOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN UNDER A LABOUR GOVERNMENT.

          VOTE POSITIVE!

          • In Vino 8.6.2.2.1

            Truly moronic.

            • RRM 8.6.2.2.1.1

              I know you are, you said you are, so what am I?

            • Robert Guyton 8.6.2.2.1.2

              But revealing. RRM typifies a ‘sort’ or thinker that is genuinely moved by something and can’t or won’t tolerate discussion outside of the simplest description of what he or she supports. Here, commenters think, yes, but what about…and are, in the minds of RRM, James et al, “haters”. You mustn’t question these things; they’re obviously beyond criticism, ’cause. Those who do want to tease apart the fabric can be, and often are, careless in their choice of rejoinders, forgetting how reactionary the JamesRRM-crowd is. It’s a tribal split that never seems to mend.

          • DoublePlusGood 8.6.2.2.2

            Labour would have already built the hospital, so the rich dude wouldn’t have even thought of it as a potential charity project.

  9. Molly 9

    Apologies if posted beforehand but a good (short) interview with Naomi Klein and Owen Jones that articulates how I respond to a lot of the coverage of Donald Trump.

    How when all the focus on on his not-unexpected, or not-out-of-character behaviours – issues of real importance and concern for Americans – and the wider global community – are being pushed through by the Republican party.

    Good sum up near the end.

    “… and it is also the urgency of the climate crisis, that we have so little time left on the climate clock to reverse the trends and get our emissions radically down which is entirely in conflict with neoliberal economics.

    We need to so radically reverse the logic of austerity.

    We need to massively reinvest in the public spirit in order to re-invent it, in order to fundamentally change where we get our energy from, how we move ourselves around our countries – our cities, how we live in our cities. So we are talking about huge investments in housing, infrastructure, energy, transit, rail.

    So where’s the money going to come from? This is a redistribution project, right…

    …But it is fundamentally in conflict with our economic paradigm.

    So we have that urgency of the rising right, we have the urgency of the climate clock, we are out of time on all these fronts, but yet, on the other hand, we are also realising it’s within our grasp.”

  10. Enough is Enough 10

    More Fake News and Dirty Politics coming from Kiwiblog today

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2017/07/66_more_jobs_an_hour.html

  11. Sanctuary 11

    An interesting snippet from Russell Brown today :

    “..Shortly after the recording, Sean Plunket, the new comms chief for The Opportunities Party,…”

    Ah yes, the chain smoking, hard right, tub ‘o lard himself.

    Do you need any more proof TOP is just another eccentric old white millionaires “neo-liberalism needs to be done properly” vanity project?

    • garibaldi 11.1

      Spot on Sanctuary.

    • Ad 11.2

      It would be pretty obvious in political performance if any of the current opposition had been able to attract top communicative talent.

    • James 11.3

      Tub o lard ?

      Is it acceptable to abuse people based on their weight now ?

      Is it ok we we do that to female politicians as well ?

      • ropata 11.3.1

        Have you seen his antics on twitter? What a disgrace. Brings himself into disrepute mare than any random insults in a blog comment

      • In Vino 11.3.2

        Poor diddums James. It hurts me so to see the anguish you are suffering today. Normally your glass is always half-full, and the world is a beautiful place to live in. But you waste your time trying to troll this website with deliberate provocation, and the replies have finally got under your precious skin. How sad. You could always solve the problem by just buggering off, you stupid egg.

    • bearded git 11.4

      agreed sanctuary …great descrption of TOP

  12. Anthony 12

    WHAT HAS NATIONAL DONE?

    In 10 full years?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Fucked over the poor so as to enrich the already rich.

    • Cinny 12.2

      Watched on while near on 1,000 teenagers (that we know of) have taken their own lives

      • indiana 12.2.1

        http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/snapshots-of-nz/nz-social-indicators/Home/Health/suicide.aspx

        To me doesn’t look like much has changed from the previous government.

      • Anthony 12.2.2

        Here are the NAtiona Mps and the money we ghacver given them or cost use since thet giot into office. bILLIONS

        Did we get a good result for our money.

        Did they make our country better ?

        I think they make have acted to make it worse, selling those state assets at that time seemed economny a bad decsion for us.

        They tax system has ment housing is the only way for people to get rich. they do wierd things like tax tobbacsoo so much there are deaths , tax aclohold so low there are deaths dont tax sugars at all so there are deaths diotn tax natural resources like water so there could be deaths

        They spent billions on a motorway to taurnag ?

        OI mean if they had styayed hoime for last 190 years we could al be fincvally better off?

  13. Anthony 13

    Money huh… So lets buy more houses and more houses and build more houses and more houses and make money out of renting houses and selling houses and making painting houses, lets all do houses make houses sell houses look at houses. Lets increase prices of houses lets let over seas people come and pay more than the locals can afford for houses. lets do this lets do it again and again and again and lets the media talk about cricket and cooking shows and then talk about suicide as some weird thing once and a while and lets back to making houses again lets sell houses lets pay the council money to let use build the houses lets build houses lets make more more and more houses and lets rent the houses to make money to build another house or paint our existing house lets make a new roof colour for our house lets put a fence in front of our garden lets make another house lets build houses, lets get money from a bank on a loan $600,000 dollars in dollars to buy a painted house a white one. Lets make and sell houses lets put them fro rent to sell to others to make more hoses and then lets paint them again and again and again lets paint our house blue this time and sell it again and lets rent it and sell it an mow the lawns and then lets talk about it and publish a magazine on houses lets make a coffee table for our house lets do this make a house make a house make a house make a house make a house. rent a house rent a house,. rent a house, paint a house, rent a house, money lets put a pink kitchen in the house to rent the house for more it now has a pink kitchen lets rent rent rent rent rent the houses and now lets buy the house an lets loan some money to purchase a house and then rent the house and loan money for the house and loan money and loan money and rent a house and pain the house again. So this is New Zealand.

    • ropata 13.1

      Idolatry, Avarice, Envy, Theft… collectively Kiwis are committing some deadly sins against the (working) poor

    • Gabby 13.2

      Sorta lost the will to follow that Ants. You got something against houses?

      • ropata 13.2.1

        Rugby is a national obsession but Houses are our true religion, the objective of our lives, the subject of our conversations and TV programmes and the substance of news and advertising and the basis of our bubble economy. A false religion of greed that is causing massive inequality and misery.

        In a healthy society housing is a human right and available to all citizens at a reasonable cost. In NZ the housing market is a plaything of the rich putting the entire economy at risk

        • mauī 13.2.1.1

          Nicely said, you wonder why each say 1-5% price increase in housing and all those rent hikes aren’t reported like a financial earthquake that reverberates right through our towns and cities.

    • bearded git 13.3

      brilliant..just brilliant stream of conciousness stuff but so true

  14. greywarshark 14

    This morning on Rnz about retirement. Only about 3 mins and full of very problematic figures. With low wages all your life, not owning a home with the mortgage paid off, very gloomy. Looks like many of us won’t be able to work and earn enough to live on, and won’t be able to live in any sort of comfort with visits to family or treats or little pleasures. But what expectation of retirement are these assessors working on, there isn’t a scale as there was when I heard the Otago University measures of cost of a food basket, I think they had three levels?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201850483/retirement-to-cost-a-lot-more-than-a-half-million-in-future
    life and society
    8:48 am today
    Retirement to cost a lot more than a half million in future
    From Morning Report, 8:48 am today
    Listen duration 3′ :24″
    At the moment, retirement is estimated to cost the over-65s a half a million dollars each, but experts are warning that figure could rise drastically as fewer people own homes and more rent.

    On looking for work. From Bay of Plenty Times.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11508459

    New service – some practical help.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1702/S00885/wise-ones-launches-to-connect-older-workers-to-jobs.htm

    I can’t see why the attitude to retirement payments can’t change at political and advisor level. Volunteer work as return for the old age benefit should be de rigueur, so helping the country tick on, and doing all sorts of things including mentoring the young and making up for the lousy education many children are receiving under the cookie cutter model. Further education so that older people are in a place where they understand politics and economics and not be the retired children that seems the meme for so many smarmy young and middle aged people. Money created by government is already being talked about by deeper thinkers than those we usually hear from. The inflationary and unbalancing effect can be limited in various ways according to the economic innovators.

    And last not least an extension of hospice so people can be cared for as they totter off to the great beyond when their bodies break down and they can’t have extensions of life every year, they may be in the care home for a year or so, able to walk and take an interest and enjoy end of life in comfort. And legally devised, carefully considered and consulted with people who care about euthanasia, so after the decision and legal steps taken, people can be free to relax and life to the full for as long as they can and wish.

  15. Ad 15

    Careful this is is a longer read from Richard Rorty, with useful historical back-and-forth that you may recognise from debates here:

    “Advice for the Left on Achieving A More Perfect Union”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/advice-for-the-left-on-achieving-a-more-perfect-union/531054/

  16. Molly 16

    Keep forgetting to revisit ICIJ, but did this morning and it always worth the time.

    Good article(?) on a couple of incidents involving Australian mining companies in Africa.

  17. gsays 17

    i have gotten an e-mail purportedly from inland revenue saying i had a refund and to use a link to claim.
    the address that pops up at the top of the page is luckycatmob.com/ird….
    all looks legit, however that address is concerning.

    is this a scam?

    • James 17.1

      The URL would indicate yes. You can go directly to IRD and see for yourself. Quick / easy and free.

      • gsays 17.1.1

        chees james,
        what has gotten me engaging with ird is setting up a ‘myIR’ account to enable a few refunds over the last few financial years.
        i assume this is the quick/easy/free you are referring to.

        • In Vino 17.1.1.1

          gsays – IRD announce on their website (somewhere) that they NEVER send out emails such as you got. Any such email is definitely a scam.

        • Craig H 17.1.1.2

          As someone who used to work at IRD, myIR is great for working out if you are owed a refund.

  18. Cinny 18

    Just reflecting on the change to decimal thirty years ago in 1967, before I was born.

    In the early 80’s Muldoon was in power, I’m still at primary and ended up writing a letter to Merv Wellington, the then minister of education complaining that our maths text books were still in imperial measurements. We eventually received decimal math’s text books.

    Around 15/16 years after the decimal system was introduced, kids didn’t have up to date text books (schools must have been underfunded, because that should not have been happening) and there were around 40 kids in a classroom.

    Lolz flashbacks

    • ianmac 18.1

      The infamous Minister Merv Wellington tried to get every school to salute the flag and pledge allegiance every morning. He also started a project to remove any books that showed any form of nudity such as in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Some schools started going though such library books using a black felt-tip pen or ripping out such awful pages. Weird times.

  19. AsleepWhileWalking 19

    Pedo takedown…Elysium website. Of course the 87000 “busted” aren’t actually arrested necessarily. Justice is iffy.
    https://youtu.be/Bu5-tge2EiM?t=1m30s

  20. Stunned mullet 20

    A generous donation of $50 million and many on here rush to declare the donor an asshat…good grief..

    • In Vino 20.1

      Many here rush to point out that the state should already have provided that hospital anyway, but our current govt. is too busy talking about tax cuts while underfunding state services in order to create a false budget surplus.
      I suggest (as above) that you read some history and find out how Carnegie became an oligarch in the USA, then used his millions for ‘charitable’ purposes. An egotistic, smug hypocrite. Don’t rush to fall to your knees and cross yourself, Stunned mullet. That man has probably ‘avoided’ paying more than $50 million.
      Good grief..

    • gsays 20.2

      The gist of the ‘donation’ seemed to be that he expected to build said hospital too.
      Less an asshat (cool term, very south park) more of a me, me, me.

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