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Open mike 10/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 10th, 2013 - 168 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…

168 comments on “Open mike 10/08/2013 ”

    • Murray Olsen 1.1

      Phil Goff – Tory version of John Tamihere? Bugger off to ACT where you’ll feel more at home, Goff.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Or take your reward from the banksters (like other traitorous folk like Mike Moore)… working for corporate interests to create ‘free’ trade deals that destroy countries and communities.

  1. Colonial Viper 2

    Juan Cole writes about the forced shutdown of encrypted email provider Lavabits, whose founder refused to cooperate with demands they betray their users, and provides an historical context of censorship and secrecy enforced by the ruling class.


    • Veutoviper 2.1

      Good article, thanks CV.

      And Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian on the Lavabits close down is also worth reading (from KDC’s Twitter)


      And also the Washington Post – http://t.co/d3mMZuakE7

      On a related note, KDC has said on Twitter that his Mega encrypted email service will be out in 2014, and that he is planning to shift Mega privacy operations to Iceland if the GCSB and TICS Bills pass.

      TorrentFreak link – http://t.co/jXM0qvr6kV

      Hope these links work – grabbed from KDC’s retweets.

  2. karol 3

    Thai Oil spill – didn’t make the front pages:

    There was an un-commented-on video on Stuff.

    The cause?

    At least 50 tonnes of crude oil leaked from a pipeline off Rayong into the Gulf of Thailand on July 27. This oil drifted to Koh Samet the following day.

    Measures taken in response to the spill were stepped up after the oil reached Ao Phrao on the night of July 28, nine days ago.

    An emergency response team from PTT Global Chemical PLC (PTTGC) arrived shortly after.

    As this was an emergency, thousands of personnel from the Royal Thai Navy and PTTGC workers were deployed to help the cleanup mission. But they were not informed about the dangers of crude oil that spread in the sea and onshore at Samet.

    However, workers were given white biohazard suits, face masks, gloves, and boots to protect them from toxic chemicals that had covered the white sands.

    Meanwhile, the official story from PTT’s top executives was revealed to the public on the fourth day after the incident, following an official decision to talk with those affected by the crisis.

    Questions remain, however, about whether the state oil and gas giant used an excessive amount of chemical dispersant to split up the oil as it drifted away from the site.

    PTTGC said it used over 32,000 liters to disperse the 50 tons of crude oil but Pollution Control Department officials said they had allowed PTTGC to use only 5,000 liters. And, there is no penalty for excessive use of oil dispersant.

    To investigate the cause of accident, Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapong-paisal set up a fact-finding committee last week led by Khunying Thongtip Ratanarat, a former executive director of the Petroleum Institute of Thailand. The results of the panel’s inquiries are expected to be released this week.

    This earlier article reported the alleged cause:

    The focus is now switching to how this happened. A PTT spokesman told CNN that the leak on Saturday happened as a tanker was transferring crude to an undersea pipe. A giant flexible rubber hose used to transport the oil began to leak.
    The hose is replaced every two years. This one had been in operation for just one year.
    It’s being sent to the manufacturer, Goodyear, for further tests.
    PTT is also defending accusations that it has underplayed the amount of oil that leaked.
    According to academics at two universities, satellite pictures of the spill, and the amount of dispersants used suggests it could have been twice as big — 100,000 liters or about 26,000 gallons.
    PTT says it is “confident” of its own calculations.

    • muzza 3.1

      PTTGC said it used over 32,000 liters to disperse the 50 tons of crude oil but Pollution Control Department officials said they had allowed PTTGC to use only 5,000 liters. And, there is no penalty for excessive use of oil dispersant.

      Standard Operating Procedure for this type of environmental terrorism!

      Why would they have used over 600% more than they were given permission to use – Who pulls the strings on this type of thing, and which chemical was used?

  3. srylands 4

    Major RMA Reforms

    If this is correct, it is great news for housing affordability. Finally some policies that make a difference!


    The law changes will require local councils to provide a minimum of 10 years of urban land supply to cope with projected population growth. YES!

    It will also allow subdivisions to be non-notified unless they are clearly not the type of developments anticipated by the relevant plan and zoning.

    • muzza 4.1

      Have you supplied the demographic meta data as requested yet?

      I have you in a box, I just like to have you confirm that what I already know.

    • Ad 4.2

      What Auckland needs is a decent sized downwards real estate market correction. A Capital Gains Tax with just the family home carve-out.

      Certainly don’t need another real estate driven sugar-rush with greenfield development.

      We desperately do need Urban Development Authorities to build comprehensive planned developments with good community values and sustainable practices, as supported by both Labour and National in Hobsonville. We can’t let Auckland continue to suck New Zealand dry.

      • srylands 4.2.1

        “A Capital Gains Tax with just the family home carve-out.”

        No we need a capital gains tax with no “carve outs” – A “carve out” is a subsidy. I thought the Left were against subsidies? (The Rio Tinto frothing would suggest so)

        Do you really think you can add a million people to Auckland without releasing new land for housing? I am all for denser urban development if the market demands it. We desperately do not need more any kind of Authorities.

        • muzza

          Pony up that meta data fraud-lands!

        • red rattler

          CGT that worked would force the 40% of Auckland houses that are owned by rack renters/speculators to divest to new settlers.
          Providing decent state rental housing would demonstrate that people can rent affordably without become hostages to the banksters.

          • Ad


          • srylands

            “CGT that worked would force the 40% of Auckland houses that are owned by rack renters/speculators to divest to new settlers.”

            It won’t force anything. With the current rate of house price inflation it will still be profitable to invest in housing.

            Do you think the CGT in Australia has improved housing affordability?

            A CGT is good for tax neutrality. It should apply to all investments, including owner/occupiers.

          • Murray Olsen

            +(-exp(iπ)), or more.
            A capital gains tax that worked would be everything above the rate of inflation, plus a further 20% penal rate for trying to take the piss. I think the housing situation is so crucial that a large state housing program is urgently needed.

            • srylands

              ” think the housing situation is so crucial that a large state housing program is urgently needed.”

              I was raised in a state house. They are essential for the poor. But it is not something I would wish for my children. Hopefully in 20 years we won’t need them.

              • Colonial Viper

                We don’t have any poor in NZ

                State houses are even worse than all those apartments built in Auckland on the cheap leaking and mouldy

                In 20 years time we will all have timeshares on Paratai Drive.

        • Ad

          We need Development Authorities because we have had comprehensive and multiple market failures in housing that have offloaded their liabilities and costs onto citizens, taxpayers and ratepayers for about three decades, and because the GFC pretty much obliterated mezzanine finance for housing. We should stop thinking about the market as the sole arbiter of intervention and start thinking from the basis of human need.

    • millsy 4.3

      So who is going to force rural landowners to sell their land to developers…?

      • BM 4.3.1

        Mr Rates

      • yeshe 4.3.2

        millsy .. I cannot be specific for obvious reasons .. I have a friend who for many dozens of years has owned his home on many dozens of acres of beautiful auckland land in a most highly desirable area where land supply is all but virtually exhausted now. He has been told recently that unless he agrees to open it up for development, he will be ‘rated’ out of existence and forced to give it up for development. (There are more details, but can’t openly offer them as I’m sure you will appreciate.) Want to add it is not rural land either.

        We are living a horror story with this Natzi government.

        • Tim

          I hope he/she stiks phat as long as he/she can. At least long enough for a change in junta. If not tell he/she to let go an eeenzie weenzie bit at a time till the inevitable comes to pass.
          If necessary – they can put it down to ‘come the revolution’ but in any event there are ways of fucking them up.

        • srylands

          ” He has been told recently that unless he agrees to open it up for development, he will be ‘rated’ out of existence and forced to give it up for development.”

          This is both unsurprising, and a good thing. This land is needed for development. It is called land use change. Bloody left are the real conservatives. They want nothing built anytime anywhere while they drink pinot gris in their inner city villa and walk to work (or to wherever).

          Your friend is behaving like a selfish bastard. You should be ashamed of defending him (her).

          • yeshe

            #srylands — Perhaps you could open your mind up for development ?

            • Colonial Viper

              Shitlands is trying to teach us about “selfishness”. We should listen, he is the master of the path to selfishness, after all.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      The law changes will require local councils to provide a minimum of 10 years of urban land supply to cope with projected population growth. YES!

      Won’t make any difference at all. IIRC, Auckland already has about 15 years of land available for development.

      It will also allow subdivisions to be non-notified unless they are clearly not the type of developments anticipated by the relevant plan and zoning.

      And we saw how well lack of regulation went last time. How many billions was the Leaky Building fiasco costing us?

    • Molly 4.5

      For the umpteenth time, “affordable housing” relates to more than just the cost of the build. The communities created need to be affordable to live in as well as purchase.

      No point having cheaper houses on the outskirts, where there are no facilities or public transport. Sprawling infrastructure costs more, transport costs more and if the price of fuel keeps increasing – so does the cost of living in outlying suburbs.

      And that does not even get started on creating social and engaged community life.

      It is not the saving option that National likes to pretend it is, and implemented ham-fistedly as it seems to be, it will create further problems.

      • richard 4.5.1


      • Draco T Bastard 4.5.2


        Exactly, National isn’t about creating affordable housing, their about giving their rich mats who have been land-banking a massive, untaxed, profit.

        • srylands

          “Exactly, National isn’t about creating affordable housing, their about giving their rich mats who have been land-banking a massive, untaxed, profit.”


          “Pressure on land prices needs to be reduced and the Commission has recommended that there be an immediate release of new land for residential development in high demand areas such as Auckland and Christchurch”.

          Yes those evil geniuses at the NZPC are just the same. It is all a conspiracy to assist “rich mates”. Whoever the fuck they are.

          Funny last time I checked in nobody mentioned any rich mates. Not even a hint. Fuck they even actually seemed to be going about their inquiry task with a view to serving New Zealand’s interests. Fuck they were even paranoia free.

          Now back to reality….

          • Paul

            Back on duty, srylands?
            How much do they pay you to clog up debates on this site?

            • Sable

              Poor old Srylands thinks he’s the voice of truth, mindlessly parroting the governments official line. More to be pitied than scorned…..

            • McFlock

              Well, it’s a shitty job but he’s only on $300k a year so needs to scrape for every penny.

            • Tim

              I really don’t know why people even ENGAGE with Gosman/Srylands type trolls on this site (or others). Their agenda is not any sort of life-form intelligent discussion – it’s Slator-Amoeba type ideolgical barrow pushing.

          • muzza

            No conspiracy fraud-lands – The link you posted is a nonsense!

            The Productivity Commission – Yes another unelected gravy boat, designed to ensure the continuation of the opposite of what is actually necessary for NZ, goes ahead, as per the experiment!

            Lets have that demographic meta data boy, see how nice the box fits, chop chop!

            • srylands

              I think you will find that the Productivity Commission will be producing reports to accelerate change. The problem New Zealand has is not enough action on the productivity front. Problem is we have a left wing government that is constrained by what the electorate will accept.

              • McFlock

                That’s not the problem. The problem is that your “solution” (and the similar opinions of other deranged neoliberal dickheads) will only help those hard-done-by folk on $200k or more, because you don’t even think that the poorest 20% of us are even worthy of consideration (let alone help).

                • muzza

                  McFlock, I don’t think fraud-lands believes the comments it posts, in fact, I’m quite sure that it’s not even that interested in being at this site!

                  Productivity fraud-lands, like the IMF comments, the handle has no idea, what it’s posting!

          • richard

            I don’t know why you keep quoting these munters. This is the other report they released…


            “Pressure on land prices speculators profits needs to be reduced and the Commission has recommended that there be an immediate release of new land untested kiwifruit pollen for residential quick dollar development gains in high demand productivity areas such as Auckland and Christchurch the entire New Zealand industry”.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yes those evil geniuses at the NZPC are just the same.

            Apparently so, yes. If they’d been doing their job and checking out the facts they would have recommended the exact opposite.

            Funny last time I checked in nobody mentioned any rich mates.

            Yes, it’s amazing how they don’t go around mentioning the corruption.

            • srylands

              “Apparently so, yes. If they’d been doing their job and checking out the facts they would have recommended the exact opposite.”

              When you write such idiocy I realise that Peter Ruehl was dead right about the left. His description of Lee Rhiannon as a “mental cupcake” was classic. You remind me of Lee.


              I will point out your views to the NZPC. Those guys work hard and they can always do with a laugh.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Still no argument against the facts then, just the ideological drivel you usually come up with.

                • srylands

                  I am sure you are Lee Rhiannon

                  • Murray Olsen

                    I would be proud to be someone as principled as Lee Rhiannon. I would be deeply ashamed to be as shallow and mercenary as a Murdoch columnist like Peter Ruehl. Anyone who can talk about nutcases in Australian politics without looking first at Tony Abbott, Barnaby Jones, Bob Katter and that freak Bernardi is either brain dead or myopic beyond belief.

                • muzza

                  Draco, ignore it, unless you’re throwing some turds at it!

                  You won’t get any facts, its a zombie sitting behind the handle!

          • Puddleglum

            For those interested …

            The New Zealand Productivity Commission was set up in 2011 to report on issues affecting ‘productivity’, usually referred to them by the government:

            Our purpose

            “The principal purpose of the Commission is to provide advice to the Government on improving productivity in a way that is directed to supporting the overall well-being of New Zealanders, having regard to a wide range of communities of interest and population groups in New Zealand society.” New Zealand Productivity Commission Act, 2010

            To fulfil this purpose, we do three things:

            —undertake in-depth inquiries on topics referred to us by the Government (our core business);
            —carry out productivity-related research that assists improvement in productivity over time; and —
            promote understanding of productivity issues.

            It is chaired by Murray Sherwin, who was honoured for the following track record:

            For services as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. He was Director-General of the Ministry from 2001 to 2010, when a cross-agency natural resources management network was established with other border agencies to protect New Zealand’s reputation at home and in the international marketplace. He previously served with the World Bank and was regarded as one of the New Zealanders who has made a significant contribution to the organisation. As Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Mr Sherwin led negotiations with the banking industry on a new approach to banking supervision in New Zealand and led the Bank’s international relationships.

            From the 2013-2014 Statement of Intent (p. 6):

            What is productivity?

            ‘Productivity’ is about how well people combine resources to produce goods and services. For countries, it is about creating more from available resources – such as raw materials, labour, skills, capital equipment, land, intellectual property, managerial capability and financial capital. With the right choices, higher production, higher value and higher incomes can be achieved for every hour worked.

            Why does productivity matter?

            Generally speaking, the higher the productivity of a country, the higher the living standards that it can afford and the more options it has to choose from to improve wellbeing. Wellbeing can be increased by things like quality healthcare and education; excellent roads and other infrastructure; safer communities; stronger support for people who need it; and improved environmental standards.

            And, from page 7:

            How is productivity lifted?

            There is no simple formula. Lifting productivity is ultimately the product of individual and
            organisational decisions about how to generate value.

            There are some general foundations for improving productivity, such as respect for the law and property rights; effective governance arrangements; and an attractive business environment, including a high-quality, low-cost regulatory environment. These foundations require ongoing attention and improvement. A large number of other factors also matter, such as:

             the degree of openness and competition in markets, which is important to incentivise innovation, improve allocation of resources and achieve more dynamic performance;
             investment and other strategic choices made by organisations (eg, using new and smarter technology), which depend on the quality of governance and management;
             the attitude and effort of employees towards ongoing training, finding business improvements and helping implement beneficial change;
             the quality of education and the attitude of students towards the value of learning;
             the quality of government decisions (at all levels), in setting policy and shaping regulatory environments, and deciding where public money is spent; and
             the aspirations of individuals and families.

            So the NZPC’s reporting agenda is set by the government and it is tasked to improve ‘productivity’ for the ‘overall wellbeing’ of New Zealanders.

            Nevertheless, it seems to completely ignore the extensive work on wellbeing that challenges the assumption that wealth and productivity are unalloyed goods (Note the irritatingly misleading graphic on the bottom of page 9 of the Statement of Intent). The relationship is complicated, at best.

            Sorry, but the assumptions about ‘productivity’ and ‘wellbeing’ upon which it appears to have been founded our open to debate – to say the least.

          • Murray Olsen

            NZPC – New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective? Good to see you admitting that you’ll parrot rubbish for money, but have you told the honest workers involved what you actually do?

      • srylands 4.5.3

        “And that does not even get started on creating social and engaged community life.”

        Not everyone wants to be engaged with their neighbours.

        “where there are no facilities or public transport.”

        So nobody is being forced to live there – if there is no PT only people with cars will live there. It is called choice.

        “Sprawling infrastructure costs more”

        So pass on all the costs to the people that live there.

        Stop trying to fucking run everyone’s lives. Let people live where they want. That means they can build homes where they want.

  4. johnm 6

    Climate Change

    “Paul Beckwith ~ Abrupt Transition in Climate to a Much Warmer World”

    “Abrupt climate change. It is happening today, big time. The northern hemisphere atmospheric circulation system is doing its own thing, without the guidance of a stable jet stream. The jet stream is fractured into meandering and stuck streaked segments, which are hoovering up water vapor and directing it day after day to unlucky localized regions, depositing months or seasons worth of rain in only a few days, turning these locales into water worlds and trashing all infrastructure like houses, roads, train tracks and pipelines. Creating massive sinkholes and catastrophic landslides. And climate change is only getting warmed up.”

    • johnm 6.2

      “2012 Proves We’re On A Collision Course With Dramatic Climate Change ”

      My comment: The obvious said many times before, this is the worst catastrophy in human history impacting every living thing on the Planet I don’t mind admitting I find it frightening that our home is becoming more inhospitable for us.

      Also: “How to Fry a Planet
      The Third Carbon Age: Don’t for a Second Imagine We’re Heading for an Era of Renewable Energy”
      by Michael T. Klare


      I can understand the denialists, nothing we can do now why not just pretend it doesn’t exist?

      • johnm 6.2.1

        “The Time Lag of Irreversible Change”
        “by Joshua Headley, Deep Green Resistance New York

        If you’ve been a sentient being for the last few months, you’ve probably been watching some of the most curious weather events happening throughout the world.

        Of particular concern for many scientists has been the Arctic sea ice’s melt, which dropped to its lowest level on record last summer. In the first few months of this year, large cracks were witnessed in the sea ice, indicating a great possibility that it has entered a death spiral and will disappear completely in the summer months within the next two years.

        The rapid melt (and eventual disappearance) of the ice is having drastic affects on the jet stream in the northern hemisphere, creating powerful storms and extreme weather events, largely outside the comprehension of many scientists.”

      • weka 6.2.2

        “I can understand the denialists, nothing we can do now why not just pretend it doesn’t exist?”

        What makes you think there is nothing we can do?

      • Chooky 6.2.3

        +1 thanks johnm..As you illustrate: all other political point scoring pales into insignificance compared with what the Earth currently faces ..(although many choose to ignore or deny it…and even some governments, organisations and individuals who would like to pretend and call themselves Greeny for political reasons!…ha ha)

        That “How to Fry a Planet” article is very interesting!…I have sent it on to various friends

        ….We are brainwashed into getting sidetracked into thinking Hydro-fracking isn’t a big issue because we are entering into an era of renewables energy…eg solar , wind….which we are..

        ..Except it will be over-ridden by big laissez faire Capitalist Corporations that want to make the BIG BUCK (an estimated $22 trillion+ by 2035) out of plundering and trashing the Earth yet again for carbon fossil fuels of oil and gas ( demand expected to rise by 26% by 2035)…by the new unconventional methods

        ….Leading to widespread, long term methane gas release, water contamination and water competition scarcity…..catastrophic climate effects, droughts and intense heat waves becoming the norm.

        We must call out our governments and hold them to account on this issue!…before we all go to hell ….. on Earth

  5. Draco T Bastard 7

    An interesting history lesson:

    Our popular economic wisdom says that capitalism equals freedom and free societies, right? Well, if you ever suspected that the logic is full of shit, then I’d recommend checking a book called The Invention of Capitalism, written by an economic historian named Michael Perelmen, who’s been exiled to Chico State, a redneck college in rural California, for his lack of freemarket friendliness. And Perelman has been putting his time in exile to damn good use, digging deep into the works and correspondence of Adam Smith and his contemporaries to write a history of the creation of capitalism that goes beyond superficial The Wealth of Nations fairy tale and straight to the source, allowing you to read the early capitalists, economists, philosophers, clergymen and statesmen in their own words. And it ain’t pretty.

    Clearly defines why capitalism requires the majority of people to be poor.

    • TheContrarian 7.1

      You do this time and time again, Draco.
      I agree the free market capitalism of Friedman, Rand, Greenspan et al produces greater inequalities and in no way leads to political and social freedoms however not all capitalism is free market capitalism.

      Why do you keep doing this? The Nordic model of capitalism is different from free market capitalism for example and have different outcomes. You can’t just place it all in the same league but you do so frequently. You have been advised of this several times yet continue to make the same error.

      Why don’t you learn something?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        The Nordic Model is just capitalism with a large amount of socialism to offset the massive negatives inherent within capitalism. This doesn’t make capitalism any better.

        • TheContrarian

          You mean:

          “The Nordic Model is capitalism without the massive negatives inherent within free-market capitalism.”

          Not all modes of capitalism are created equal, Draco. The Nordic method of capitalism recognises the failures of the free-market and makes adjustments accordingly. But it is economically capitalist, tempered with pragmatic socialism.

          Your binary thinking hampers the ability for anyone to actually have a coherent conversation with you.

          • Draco T Bastard

            No, I don’t mean that. No matter how much you deny it capitalism has only one meaning: Accumulation of the common wealth into the hands of a few. This process is slowed down somewhat by socialist policies but it is still inevitable and the result will be the collapse of the society.

            • TheContrarian

              No, Draco. This is your binary thinking again. Capitalism is not all or nothing and the Nordic Model works pretty well – better than any other system at the moment in fact…capitalist or otherwise.

              Capitalism is not a single unmoving state.

              • Rose

                Computerisation has also contributed to unemployment, although it has created a growing industry which employs people.

              • I’m not sure there’s a real disagreement here (but that’s only my take :-))

                The capitalist part of the Nordic model does what it does with little regard for human outcomes. The non-capitalist part actively restricts and ameliorates the adverse human consequences of capitalism.

                That means that DTB is correct that the capitalist ‘bit’ does harm and can concentrate wealth. And you are right that it seems that it is possible for an economy driven largely by a capitalist mode of production to be organised, restrained and ‘tamed’ to ensure that most people are able to live relatively decent lives. That ‘taming’, though, is not inherent to capitalism.

                The open question is whether or not the mode of production will eventually overwhelm the ameliorative modifications and lead to human damage in the long run (or, perhaps, currently leads to damage elsewhere than the Nordic countries – i.e., in effect ‘exporting’ the ill effects).

                Irrespective, I do think that New Zealand would benefit from following a more universalist model of social security, as in the Nordic countries.

                • TheContrarian

                  “…it is possible for an economy driven largely by a capitalist mode of production to be organised, restrained and ‘tamed’ to ensure that most people are able to live relatively decent lives.”


                  Draco’s problem is that he sees all capitalism as neo-liberal when in fact it isn’t as black and white as he thinks. There are shades of gray – the Nordic model being one such shade. High taxes, lower inequality (lowest in the world in fact), secure safety net, universal education and health care but with a flourishing private business sphere. You can be rich, and the poor are still taken care of.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Sure, but there are very few countries in the world which have been able to restrain radical neoliberal political economics. NZ has proven to be one of the worst, in that regard.

                    The other thing is – can capitalism adapt to the creation of a steady-state economy which respects both the limits of people and of resources/the environment?

                    It really seems unlikely to me because many of the wealthiest and most influential people around continue to chase maximum yield at any cost.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Sure, but there are very few countries in the world which have been able to restrain radical neoliberal political economics.”

                      Then it comes down to a matter of political will. Draco makes the claim that all capitalism is x and that is that. However, as you have expressed, there is still the ability to make it z and y if it is willed and restrained. It is possible and needn’t be the be all, end all final product Draco says it is.

                      “can capitalism adapt to the creation of a steady-state economy which respects both the limits of people and of resources/the environment?”

                      Yes, it can. I was recently in Europe and while flying over Germany, Belgium and Holland I saw huge wind-farms dotted all over the landscape. These renewable resources are operating in a capitalist system.

                      The innate corruption in people to exploit and garner wealth for themselves at the expense of the environment/others isn’t inherent in capitalism. It is inherent in us no matter what the economic system of the day. All systems are open to corruption. We need to navigate these while still providing open markets for people to trade as well as providing the safety net for those that can’t. Despite what Draco say, this can and has been done using a capitalist model. Though not the neo-liberal model.

                      Neo-liberal is always capitalist…but capitalist isn’t always neo-liberal. DTB fails to understand this. Refuses to understand this.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I don’t have any fundamental disagreement with your points, excepting that I am also very sympathetic to community, non-profit and co-op enterprises and they tend to struggle to get off the ground and stay off the ground in a capitalist environment.

                      Understanding your point that DTB’s arguments can be radical and lacking nuance, I do also think it is important that there be space on the field for radicals (across the political economic spectrum from Left and Right) to be heard and their views considered by the wider public. If only to expand the space and the ideas that the rest of us can consider and debate.

                      Neo-liberal is always capitalist…but capitalist isn’t always neo-liberal.


                    • TheContrarian

                      “I do also think it is important that there be space on the field for radicals (across the political economic spectrum from Left and Right) to be heard and their views considered by the wider public.”

                      At the time, the neo-liberals of the Chicago school were the radicals…

                  • srylands

                    “High taxes, lower inequality (lowest in the world in fact), secure safety net, universal education and health care but with a flourishing private business sphere. ”

                    You are up to play with the massive changes to social policy in Sweden over the last 3 years? Including a massive increase in the use of the private sector to deliver education and health? They want better services for the public while maintaining the core of their safety net. The aim is to reduce the size of the public sector, lift efficiency and wind back tax as a proportion of GDP.

                    They are still socialists but they have grabbed the productivity challenge.

                    I am all for the Sweden model! We could import much of it here.


                    “Welfare capitalism”

                    “Even more striking than the Nordic world’s commitment to balancing its books is its enthusiasm for experimenting with new ideas. The Swedish state now allows private companies to compete with government bodies for public contracts. The majority of new health clinics and kindergartens are being built by private companies, frequently using private money. The state also allows citizens to shop around for the best services and take the money with them.

                    The Swedes have done more than anyone else in the world to embrace Milton Friedman’s idea of educational vouchers—allowing parents to send their children to whatever school they choose and inviting private companies or voluntary groups to establish “free” schools. Almost half the country’s schoolchildren choose not to go to their local schools. More than 10% of students under 16 and more than 20% of those over 16 attend “free” schools, two-thirds of which are run by private companies.”

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Draco’s problem is that he sees all capitalism as neo-liberal when in fact it isn’t as black and white as he thinks. There are shades of gray

                    No I don’t as I see things in the full range of the spectrum and you’re seeing shades of grey that aren’t there.

                    I note that in all this discussion you don’t address what the article said about the need for capitalism to have poverty. Yes, even in the Nordic countries there’s poverty.

                    • TheContrarian

                      There’ll always be poverty, Draco – no system is immune to it. But in the Nordic Model those in poverty have effective social services to help them as well as access to free health and education.

                      And don’t give me that shit about “seeing the full spectrum” and that I am “seeing shades of grey that aren’t there.” because I have demonstrated differing shades of capitalism whereas you continue to apply neo-liberalism to all strands of capitalism. Like I said to CV:
                      Neo-liberal is always capitalist…but capitalist isn’t always neo-liberal.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      There’ll always be poverty, Draco – no system is immune to it.

                      There’s a difference between there always being poverty and a system requiring mass poverty. Capitalism is in the latter category.

                      because I have demonstrated differing shades of capitalism whereas you continue to apply neo-liberalism to all strands of capitalism.

                      No you didn’t and no I don’t.

                      What you showed was capitalism restrained by rules, regulations and with a massive social net. What you haven’t shown is a different shade of capitalism. The capitalism was still the same – accumulation of the communities wealth into fewer and fewer hands.

                      Considering that I define Ancient Sumer, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and Europe’s feudal period to all be capitalist (which you know) would seem to indicate that I don’t see it as all neo-liberal. It certainly doesn’t fit your assertion that I also view neo-liberalism as a cover for the authoritarianism that is at the base of capitalism. It makes it seem that capitalism is about freedom when the truth is that capitalism is about the freedom of the few and the slavery of everyone else. This latter is why we see beneficiary bashing and the forcing of beneficiaries into work – which is what the original article covered and which you’re still avoiding talking about.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “What you showed was capitalism restrained by rules, regulations and with a massive social net. What you haven’t shown is a different shade of capitalism. The capitalism was still the same – accumulation of the communities wealth into fewer and fewer hands.”

                      Really, Draco? Really? That is a different shade of capitalism in respect to neo-liberlaism. For someone that claims that others are delusional and ideologically driven you can be extremely obstinate, willfully ignorant and display a flat-out refusal to even consider POV’s that conflict with you own.

                      “This latter is why we see beneficiary bashing and the forcing of beneficiaries into work”

                      Which you don’t see in the Nordic model but do see in the neo-liberal model. So, once again, your binary view has coloured your ability to actually see the different facets of capitalism.

  6. Paul 8

    The Herald showing how to frame a question to change the debate.
    No longer….an investigation in why we are dropping are standards.
    Instead …’unrealistically high expectations”
    Channeling Tory speak.


    The Herald’s leading question
    Should the 100% Pure slogan go?
    Yes – it’s setting an unrealistically high expectation
    No – it is still an important part of New Zealand’s image
    Not sure

    Where are these options?
    Yes – being clean and green adds value to our exports, gives us a point of difference, preserves the environment for our grandchildren, provides healthier food for our population and creates better quality jobs for New Zealanders
    No – the government needs to raise its game on environmental matters
    Not sure

  7. Paul 9

    Austerity woking in Greece

    Youth unemployment close to shocking 65% in Greece

    “Nothing as devastating as this has ever been seen in my country before,” said Professor Yanis Varoufakis from Athens University. “The spirit of the Greek people has been broken. They’ve stopped demonstrating and are licking their wounds at home or leaving the country.”
    “The manic attempt to keep Greece in the eurozone under conditions that are not sustainable is turning the country into a sort of Kosovo, an EU protectorate that produces little but surplus labour,” said Varoufakis.

    The final sentence of this quote is very interesting.

    • tinfoilhat 9.1

      EU economics chief Olli Rehn said Greek austerity was “difficult but necessary”, and should bear fruit in 2014.

      Liar, the poor greek people have been ruined by their own politicians in cahoots with the Eu central bank.

      • srylands 9.1.1

        They were ruined by 30 years of ridiculous denial and borrowing to fund consumption. A window into where NZ would be now if we had not changed tack in 1984. Thank god for Roger Douglas.

        • muzza

          You corrupted little soul!

          Cough up that meta data, and lets see the fabric of your fibre!

        • Draco T Bastard

          Ah, no, that’s where we’re headed thanks to the scumbag Roger Douglass and all the other governments since 1984. The neo-liberal paradigm has seen a massive increase in poverty in NZ and around the world. It is also the reason why the world economy collapsed in 2008.

        • Colonial Viper

          They were ruined by 30 years of ridiculous denial and borrowing to fund consumption. A window into where NZ would be now if we had not changed tack in 1984. Thank god for Roger Douglas.

          Oh fuck off mate you’re an idiot. Greece has had half a dozen sovereign debt defaults in the last 200 years, just let the bastards default and start over again. They always do successfully when you tell the banksters and the pollies to go stick it.

          A window into where NZ would be now if we had not changed tack in 1984.

          You are an economic imbecile. NZ was not, is not and cannot EVER be like Greece, for a dozen different reasons, but firstly as I pointed out above the Greek government has previously bankrupted itself on a regular basis and the NZ govt NEVER has, and secondly we have our own sovereign currency which we can issue, which the Greeks (thanks to the crims at Goldman Sachs and within the Greek political establishment itself) no longer have.

          As long as most of our debt is denominated in NZD and the NZ Govt continues to issue NZD, NZ will NEVER default.

          • Paul

            He won’t reply…he’s just here to divert, distract and frustrate.
            Best ignore this paid shill.

          • srylands

            “just let the bastards default and start over again. ”


            I’m off for some Souvlaki at the Zibibbo Restaurant. Salut 🙂 🙂

            Goodnight Lee Rhiannon.

            • Paul

              srylands, feel to have a break for a while.
              Your insights would be so much more understood by the ‘readers’ of Whaleoil and KiwiBlog.

            • Colonial Viper

              “just let the bastards default and start over again. ”


              You do know from history where debt peonage in Europe eventually and inevitably leads right? Of course, I’m not surprised that you are that ignorant/psychopathic.

      • srylands 9.1.2

        The IMF 2013 Consultation report is fascinating reading. It explains why labour is bearing the brunt of the adjustment. It is also a frightening insight into what happens when an economy is highly regulated like Greece is. An insight into what New Zealand could end up as if R Norman got his way. A decade of Green policies and this will be New Zealand in 2023. Should be compulsory reading for all the soft Green supporters – the ones that will run screaming when they realise that the Green are not in fact nice people who want to make the flowers grow. Rather they are a menace that would take New Zealand back to an agrarian nightmare. A cross between PNG and Ecuador.


        “Rigid labor market regulations that protect insiders. The labor market has traditionally
        suffered from a closed and inflexible system of collective bargaining, very high firing costs
        (severance payments and redundancy notification periods), a high national minimum wage
        relative to competitors, and high non-wage labor costs.”

        • muzza

          Get in the box – Where is your demographic meta data, i’ll help you out.

          1 – M/F
          2 – In NZ or off-shore
          3 – Ethnicity (usual categories)
          4 – Age (use 9 year increments e.g 20-29)

          Get on with it fraud-lands, oh and leave the IMF out of it, you know nothing about the IMF, or the financial markets, you’re reading off script, more or less!

        • Paul

          Long hours today, sryland.
          Do they pay you double time on a Saturday?

        • Pasupial

          @ srylands

          Fascinating, yes; but we may not mean the same thing by that. More of a “how do we carve up this nice juicy pie” feel, than any particular concern for the Greek People.

          “The rich and self-employed are not paying their fair share, which has forced an
          excessive reliance on across-the-board expenditure cuts and higher taxes on those earning a
          salary or a pension.”

          The IMF solution? Privitise assets, increase VAT (GST) while decreasing upper tax rates, reduce public sector spending, deregulate everything. Sounds more like NACT than the Green Party policy to me.

          • Paul

            You’re wasting your time debating with srylands.
            He’s only here to create white noise.

            • Colonial Viper

              You can see however how this works with government ministers and officials…endless lists of reports, references and research from Right Wing and neoliberal think tanks and organisations.

              No wonder every government ends up doing the same bullshit thing.

        • Colonial Viper

          srylands – the IMF are a core cause of the world financial crisis, and the updraft of wealth from the working class to the already rich.

          Quoting them makes you look like a neoliberal-bankster shill.

  8. Morrissey 10

    How much do YOU know about Saddam Hussein?

    First, read this article….

    Then you’ll be able to answer the following questions:

    1. Who was the politician who offered to be the Butcher of Baghdad’s “fuck-toy” in exchange for world peace?
    (A) Katherine Rich (B) La Cicciolina (C) Nancy Pelosi

    2. U.S. special envoy to Iraq Donald Rumsfeld says he warned his friend Saddam not to use chemical weapons against the Kurds in the late 1980s. In his notes to the State Department, how much evidence is there that this highly moral gentlemen did in fact warn his friend not to commit mass murder?
    (A) Extensive (B) Some (C) Absolutely none; he is lying

    3. Name the Bush administration figure who said soon after the reprisal attacks on the USA: “No one is trying to make an argument at this point that Saddam Hussein somehow had operational control of what happened on September 11.” (Note the phrase “at this point.”)
    (A) Dick Cheney (B) Colin Powell (C) Condoleezza Rice

    4. On 7 November 2002, this politician said of former U.S. protégé Saddam Hussein: “The man is a threat… He’s a threat because he is dealing with al Qaeda… And we’re going to deal with him.”
    (A) George W. Bush (B) Tony Blair (C) John Howard

    5. On 17 September 2003, this politician said: “No, we’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th.”
    (A) George W. Bush (B) Tony Blair (C) John Howard

  9. northshoredoc 11

    “Death by doctor is very common, but thankfully, because of the internet these days, a number of us have educated ourselves. There’s so many other options that we’ve been deprived of, denied. And it’s time for us all to wake up.”


    Time to give up the day job, clearly Dr internet is far more qualified and a safer option for patients

    • Murray Olsen 11.1

      The internet and youtube have made science obsolete, so it’s no great surprise to me that they’re doing the same to medicine. Seriously, those people deserve painful, disease ridden death, but their children don’t. Nor do anyone else’s children. I expect this to get worse if charter schools take off.

      I get all sorts of well meaning people telling me how to cure my cancer. I am finding it increasingly hard to be polite with them.

  10. Sable 12


    I have copped a fair bit of flak on this site for my stated distrust of Labour but when you look at the facts its not unjustified. I see Helen Clarke thinks Keys new spy state is not a bad idea. Sure the old battle axe is no longer in office but I’m still skeptical about where the new Labour leadership stands on this issue. Until I hear Shearer say he will scrap the law and fire the spy’s I’m going to maintain my distrust of this party and so it seems are others based on the migration of support from Labour to the Greens.

    Time to put your money where your mouth is Labour.

    • muzza 12.1

      Of course Helen agrees with the spy state, do some thorough reading into her background, its a natural fit.

      In any case, how else do you think she got the no3 job at the UN, by being a good politician /sarc!

      You don’t get that sort of job, unless you have been a good little spy!

    • srylands 12.2

      “Until I hear Shearer say he will scrap the law and fire the spy’s I’m going to maintain my distrust of this party ”

      It is not going to happen.

      • Sable 12.2.1

        Just for once srylands I agree with you. Question is why would anyone support either of two parties that openly or secretly approve of this blatant invasion of privacy? At the behest of foreigners no less.

        • muzza

          Indeed, its going to be very interesting to see what total % of the voting public vote for a party that supports the GCSB bill.

          That would be all of them, in case any thought they had a choice in the matter – -Yeah some of them might feign being against, but if push came to shove, they would all bend all the way over.

          Speaking of which, Chris Carter must be pulling a tax free salary, along with Helen. Oooh I’m sure the perks at the UN are sooooo good!

    • Anne 12.3

      I see Helen Clarke thinks Keys new spy state is not a bad idea.

      What rubbish Sable. She said no such thing! What she did say is that we need intelligence agencies. She pointed out in simple terms:

      “There are some very bad people in this world of ours”.

      She went on to describe some of the tragic events in recent years that have seen many UN officials killed. She also pointed out:

      “If the UN had had better intelligence, the lives of at least some of those officials killed might have been saved.”

      That is quite different to your claim that she thinks Key’s spy laws are good. She is too diplomatic to offer her opinion on those laws, but I can guarantee you that if she was still PM she would be doing exactly what the Green Party, Labour, NZ First and many of our most important institutions are calling for… setting up a full and independent inquiry into our security services with a view to updating the present laws around them, and ensuring better protection for NZ citizens in this current technological climate.

      • karol 12.3.1

        Matt Robson tends to agree with Sable re-Helen Clark and spying.

        I was also interested in the comments on security of Helen Clark visiting this week
        But sadly her comments were largely in support of the increased surveillance planned by Key in the interests of “national security”.
        I should have known, for in cabinet she was always a supporter of more and more funding for the security services and NZ being part of Echelon. And the reaction to the Zaoui persecution and denial of natural justice to him was a law change, just as with Key and the GSCB, to make it impossible for a future Zaoui to escape his or her persecutors through asylum in New Zealand.

        • Anne

          I accept that Helen Clark’s attitude towards the Zaoui case was puzzling. I have to assume she believed the line that she was given by her intelligence officials who, in turn, had believed their overseas counterparts (in particular the French) and responded accordingly. Not a good look granted. But I think Matt Robson and others have not listened carefully enough to what she actually said, or are reading things into her words that I don’t believe are there.

          A read of Paul Buchanan’s latest post on Kiwipolitico is enlighting. The SIS director at the time of the Zaoui case was Richard Wood who was a well known Francophile, and Buchanan links the persecution of Zaoui very much with this particular predilection.


          • Draco T Bastard

            Actual Link

            • Anne

              Not sure what you mean DTB. It’s the same link as mine.

              • karol

                Anne, your link is to the site’s main page. DTB’s link is to the specific post.

              • Colonial Viper

                Hi anne, your link was to the home page which currently happens to have the Zaoui story on it. As the home page gets updated, the story you want will no longer be visible.

                DTB’s link was to the actual Zaoui story, i.e. it is the permalink.

                • Anne

                  Oh I get it. Well, not quite. I only know how to cut and paste. How do you get a permalink CV? And while I’m here… when you cut and paste an online news video, how do you do you get rid of the pesky adverts?

                  • felix

                    You still only need to copy and paste, but just be aware of the address you’re copying.

                    For example, if I visit the front page of this site and copy what’s in the address bar, I get this:

                    If I click the link to visit the open mic we’re posting in now and copy what’s in the address bar, I get this:

                    Open mike 10/08/2013

                    If I click the date/time stamp under your name in the comment I’m replying to now and copy what’s in the address bar, I get this:

                    Open mike 10/08/2013

                    The last one will always link to that particular comment. The second one will always link to the top of the open mic thread for August 10 2013. The first one will always link to the front page of the standard which changes every day.

      • Murray Olsen 12.3.2

        If Helen had mounted an inquiry into the bad advice given by the spies during the Zouai debacle, I might have more faith in her.

  11. Huginn 13


    ‘Karicare made for the New Zealand market does not meet Chinese standards, but is allowed to enter the former British colony.’


  12. tricledrown 14

    Schriglands you lying bore
    Protecting your goldman sach shares
    Goldman scahs your former employer fraudulently lied to the
    Banks that lent billions to greece believing Golman sachs they lent like their was no tommorow
    The NZ tax payer has had to subsidize goldman sachs fraud to the tune of 360 million dollars that’s the type of person you are schrilands a fraudster!

    • Paul 14.1

      Not worth engaging with srylands.
      He’s paid to be here….he’s not here to engage in rational debate.

    • srylands 14.2

      “Schriglands you lying bore” blah blah

      and the type of person you are is one who cannot or will not use punctuation. Please fix that.

      • Pasupial 14.2.1

        @ Shill-lands

        See to your own grammar before criticising others.

      • muzza 14.2.2

        Fraud-lands, you have repeatedly ignored requests for your meta data, exposing hypocrisy, by putting requests in others!

        Pony up boy!

        1 – M/F
        2 – In NZ or off-shore
        3 – Ethnicity (usual categories)
        4 – Age (use 9 year increments e.g 20-29)

        Your posts as 12.01am are becoming a trend , why is that?

    • Chooky 14.3

      @ tricledrown

      Do you realise the NZ Treasurey had Goldman Sachs do an evaluation of Kiwi Bank this year ?….scarey eh?…soon after this evaluation Kiwi Bank underwent an international downgrade.

      ………Someone or someones should be called to account for this choice of ‘crooked ‘outfit’ to do the evaluation?….Why isnt the Labour Party kicking up bobsy die?….Kiwi Bank does after all hold Kiwi Mums’ and Dads’ hard earned savings and mortgage assets…..I would hate to see the National Government force Kiwi Bank into a sale to certain bankster’s friends and bank associates.

      • Colonial Viper 14.3.1

        Kiwi Bank was never a Labour Party initiative, and left to its own devices, Labour would never have done a thing with Kiwi Bank.

        • Chooky

          @ CV…I know Kiwi Bank was Jim Anderton’s baby …..but i think Labour should take it on now and work out some policies to guarantee it for the next election….it is dear to many NZers hearts and their savings…it could be a BIG vote winner…that and saving the Kiwi Bank post offices.

  13. fender 15

    Saw on One News that the nice Mr. Key would use his one-off opportunity to make any change he could wish for using a magic wand to……change the NZ flag! That’s right he wouldn’t end poverty or unemployment or something important like that, he would change the flag!

    NZs worst PM ever.

    • Paul 15.1

      That’s because he represents Merrill Lynch and his bankster mates.
      He’s been sent to sell off the country to their interests.

  14. weka 16

    Nice chance to the blog feeds.

    • weka 16.1

      And the latest comments list looks longer!

    • lprent 16.2

      Yeah I thought so as well – makes them more useful (and enticing). There are two more fixes that are still due to go in it.

      The comments list is longer. I pulled the skyscraper ad out (seldom has a paying ad) and the old blogroll (this will wind up in the menu at the top). Leaves more room for extending and updating the comments section. It also means that I can have more real-estate

      What is annoying is some of the CSS at the top of the comments sidebar leaving a extra line in. I think there is a jammed cache somewhere. About to reset them all.

  15. This one’s for you muzza

    You have been mentioning geoengineering for a while so I thought I’d watch an award winning doco on it. This doco is going to be shown at the local theatre this week in Golden Bay.

    I’ve seen a few of these type of productions from zeitgeist to loose change to thrive.

    I’m pleased I watched because it bought the arguments together which makes the thrust more understandable for me.

    I was taken aback by the scant mention of global warming as being the cause of local weather events – they just seemed to ignore it completely and stayed on the track of chemtrails.

    The experts and evidence just didn’t stack up – often they do this – pile stuff on top of stuff on top of stuff and somehow that creates a mountain of evidence – it didn’t for me.

    Selected areas of the film were thought provoking such as monsanto and chemical analysis of soils but for me the attempt to pull it all under the umbrella just didn’t work.

    I don’t think it is a threat in the way this doco makes out, but as I say it was good to watch it because I can put it to one side now. It was due to your persistence that I watched it so thanks for that.

    • muzza 17.1

      Hey Marty, good on you, and thanks for the link.

      I have seen that one, although not the first in one, the what.

      You live in an area of NZ, which has a very solid active community. and I’m sure most of them are stable people, not the nut jobs , many like to comfort themselves with, in believing.

      My take on it is not fixed to why, what etc, I’m 100% certain that something is going on, but would not be able to pin down what it might actually be. My certainty comes from first hand experience seeing, filming, observing etc, and combined with my own reading. The film, had no influence on my thoughts, and watched it out of curiosity, much as how I view any of those tyepes of film.

      For mine, I think the movie is a good intro for people, if they’re interested, but it’s not what I would recommend as a starting point. I had already been reading as much material as I could lay my hands on for years, before the what movie came out, and only saw the why earlier this year.

      I’ve made my peace with whatever it is that’s going on up there, it’s not a battle which I can allocate further energy towards currently, and in any case it’s going to come out sooner than later. that’s unavoidable.

      Take it easy Marty, enjoy the weekend.

  16. Greywarbler 18

    I see there is another Rose now. I don’t want to get Rose comments mixed up with my Rosetinted pseudonym so am going to be Greywarbler now. I was listening to an interview about them this morning- this is the bird that the Shining Cuckoo lays its egg in the nest of, and when it hatches it throws the Warbler eggs and little fledglings out. I’m inclined to fight back if any Cuckoos here try and give me the heave though.

    I was wondering if it was possible for TS to run its own poll? Perhaps once a week. Say there were three to five questions with each having a yes, no, maybe answer choice. It would be extra work, and I don’t know how hard or easy it would be.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Depends if there is a polling plugin lprent can use which doesn’t break everything and cause him another hundred hours worth of work…

    • lprent 18.2

      …if there is a polling plugin lprent can use which doesn’t break everything..

      That is exactly what one issue is. I have looked at them since 2011 but I rejected them then for 3 reasons.

      1. The wordpress engine is pretty finely balanced. Adding plugins takes a bit of time to make sure that they don’t cause some unforeseen destabilising effect. Like the odd database lockup I have been chasing for months without success. The last round said that they’d add about ~4-5% extra CPU processing per page that they were on because they aren’t part of the usual optimized post/comment routines. The PHP5-FPM/APC structure we are now using would be better at it because of the caching – but I’d have to test it all again.
      2. People making and processing it.Someone has to make up the questions, and presumably someone has to write some kind of analysis is only to store the results. Who’d want to do it? What happens on the site right now is that authors. moderators, etc are not organised. People do what they want when they have time to do it. They tend to enjoy (in a masochistic way) to write posts or moderate. I can’t think of anyone offhand who’d want to take on
      3. Self-selected samples are not particularly useful.
    • Chooky 18.3

      @ Rosetinted now Greywarbler

      Will miss you Rosetinted ….but Greywarbler is an excellent and distinctive name!….I also heard that radio programme on the Greywarbler and the Shining Cuckoo taking over its nest and squeezing out the Greywarbler’s chicks in favour of its own fat chick ( shades of present NZ politics )… as a child my Mother used to get me to listen to the Greywarbler…and it really is a heartfelt joyful song to life ..or rather , a cascading crescendo of warbling to the skies and this Earth ….a birdie ‘Ode to Joy’

      • Greywarbler 18.3.1

        Chooky I promise I won’t look down from the heights of my tree at you scratching for insects down below! May the force be with both of us!

        I was fascinated at the type of nest that the grey warblers build, I don’t know if it ever had to ask permission through the RMA, but apparently it has instituted a little ledge above its entry door to keep off the rain. And it lines the nest with feathers, what a marvellous piece of work of evolution, both the little bird, what it knows, and how it constructs things. Actually more wonderful and good than we with all our possibilities from our wonderful brains that are often just used for destruction, self-promotion and immediate advantage.

        I enjoy listening to the bird calls on Radionz and can identify some now. The weird eerie screech of the wandering albatross seems to echo the elements it contends and mingles with each day.

  17. Curtis 19

    Can anyone give me a list of websites and Facebook pages of candidates for Local Governments???

  18. Bearded Git 20

    I can’t believe all the discussion and comments on one dumb remark from Goff when the MASSIVE changes to the RMA that have the potential to decimate some of NZ’s most precious landscapes don’t even have a seperate topic/byline in The Standard.

    To win the election labour voters need to concentrate and formulate policy and responses on the key issues of the day. FOCUS FFS!

    • weka 20.1

      Why haven’t you written a guest post then?

      • Bearded Git 20.1.1

        Good point Weka-never occurred to me actually. But Eugenie Sage’s excellent piece on the RMA changes explains it well so I will quote her:

        “At the moment when New Zealand is the focus of international attention over Fonterra’s botulism scare, the National Party seems intent on sabotaging our economy and environment by weakening our environmental laws attacking the Resource Management Act (RMA).
        National’s changes will make the RMA an economic development act at the expense of nature and local democracy.
        The following changes proposed for legislation later this year are anti-environment:
        – Changes to the “engine room” of the RMA- its sustainable management purpose and principles. These will pancake the current hierarchy of matters of national importance and other matters in sections 6 and 7 into a single grab bag of principles of equal weight.
        – Deleting key environmental principles such as the requirements to maintain and enhance “amenity values” and the “quality of the environment” and weakening others such as the need to “protect the habitat of trout and salmon”.
        Many submitters on the February 2013 discussion document opposed these changes as threatening New Zealanders’ way of life and important sectors of the economy including domestic and international tourism.
        – Requiring councils to have identified and specified “outstanding natural features and landscapes” in their plans for these to be considered in any resource consent decision (eg wind farm or mining applications such as Bathurst).
        – Including “the efficient provision of infrastructure” as a new matter of national importance. This means decision makers will have to give the same weight to providing new hydro generation and irrigation infrastructure as to protecting a river’s natural character.
        – Strengthening landowner’s rights.
        The changes to the Act’s purpose and principles are based on ideology rather than any evidence or substantive analysis of the need for change. As the Ministry for the Environment’s on the Minister’s February 2013 discussion document says, “ Submitters were concerned there was an absence of reliable evidence – beyond anecdotes and case studies- on which statements were made. Such concerns were evident irrespective of the submitters’ position regarding the intent of the Discussion Document.”
        Even Todd Energy labelled the content of the discussion document as vague or “nebulous.”
        The RMA is about enabling development while protecting our environment on which we and the economy depend. The Green Party’s plan for our economy is to protect and enhance our valuable “100% Pure” New Zealand brand, not help shred it by weakening our key environmental law.
        More permissive approach to subdivision
        In a major new change to the RMA, the Government plans to allow new subdivision anywhere and everywhere unless a council expressly restricts this through a plan rule. This change is a recipe for urban sprawl and ad hoc subdivision along the coast, and around lakes and rivers.
        Property developers will be overjoyed. So will farmers and other rural landholders wanting a quick profit by carving off sections for sale from a larger rural landholding.
        This change won’t solve our housing affordability crisis. It has the potential to blight some of our most spectacular natural landscapes with ad hoc, poorly planned McMansion holiday home development close to beautiful beaches, high country lakes and other popular holiday spots. It will also risks the countryside being pepper potted with new homes far from townships and essential services.
        The current presumption in the RMA that land can only be subdivided if expressly allowed by a resource consent or a plan rule is based on decades of planning law. It helps ensure that new subdivision is integrated with existing sewage, water supply and other infrastructure, and avoids sensitive landscapes or areas prone to flooding, coastal erosion and other natural hazards.
        At the same time as National is making “the management of significant risks from natural hazards” a new RMA principle, the permissive approach to subdivision proposed will weaken one of the key tools for avoiding development in areas vulnerable to inundation or landslides.
        If the local council plan does include a rule requiring developers and landowners to get consent for a new subdivision, then it appears the public will only be able to comment if the subdivision is inconsistent with the plan objectives and policies. These plan provisions are broadly drafted so expect very few applications to be notified.
        National’s RMA changes will let private property rights trump appropriately sited, and well planned and designed compact urban development.

        Anti- regulation thrust in RMA changes
        The RMA changes further entrench private property rights and will make it more difficult for councils to regulate for clean river for example by controlling land uses such as intensive dairying to protect water quality. This is because of the proposed new requirement in section 7(d) RMA that councils cannot restrict the use of private land unless this is “reasonably required” to achieve the RMA purpose.
        The Resource Management Reform Bill 2012 being debated in Parliament already requires councils to produce a more onerous and extensive cost benefit analysis to justify any new plan regulation. The new section 32 provisions around these cost benefit analyses require councils to consider additional matters of whether such rules provide or reduce economic growth and employment .
        These two obstacles to regulation in the form of regional and district plan rules will make it more difficult for councils to, for example, restrict subdivision close to the coast to protect its naturalness or to control nitrate leaching from dairy pasture to protect water quality. They appear designed to prevent a repeat of the progressive Environment Court decision on the Manawatu-Wanganui Region’s One Plan which upheld the need for land use rules to control leaching.
        Changes attack local democracy and public participation
        As well as being an attack on the environment, National’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act undermine local democracy and citizen participation in decisions affecting their neighbourhoods and places they value.
        The submission summary on the Minister’s February discussion document says 99% of the 13,277 submissions opposed increased powers of Ministerial interference in plan making. There has been a small win here as a result of public comment to allow public submissions. The Minister can still swoop in and direct a council to change a district or regional plan or policy statement. If she doesn’t approve of the changes a council makes, she can then direct an external commissioner to rewrite part of the plan with the council then seeking public submissions.
        Public participation is compromised by the proposed changes around decision making on resource consent applications. Councils currently only notify four to six per cent of applications for public submissions. The following RMA changes will increase the powers of council staff and reduce public participation:
        – New powers for councils to allow activities with no need for a resource consent.
        – New powers for councils and Minister to specify activities which cannot be notified for public comment. (This reverses the public participation presumption in the current Act).
        – New restrictions on who can be considered an “affected party” able to comment on a resource consent application.
        – Limiting the matters that submitters can comment on to the reasons a resource consent is required and the effects that led to it being notified. This fails to recognise that submitters often provide additional information on the effects of a proposal which the applicant and council officer may not have considered.
        – New powers for councils to strike out submissions for being irrelevant.
        Other changes which will benefit applicants at the expense of submitters include:
        – Allowing applicants but not submitters to object to a council decision and have it referred to an external commissioner to reconsider, rather than the Environment Court.
        – Limiting the matters which can be considered at a council hearing to only those which were not resolved at a pre hearing meeting.
        – No restrictions on an applicants’ right to appeal the council decision. Submitters are restricted to issues raised in their submission.
        One of the dumber ideas in the discussion document – for a new Crown body to process resource consents – has been dropped. This would have duplicated the work of councils and the EPA.”

        • Greywarbler

          Bearded Git
          Bet my woman could beat you with one hand tied behind her back and win in the election as well. What are ya?

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Yeah. Most of the environmental/conservation types I know – including members of major organisations – think that large portions of the political Left has lost the plot on what’s important in the nation re: environment issues.

      • srylands 20.2.1

        The changes to the RMA are minimal and not nearly enough.

        • Colonial Viper

          Of course the stripping of the RMA aren’t enough, what we need to learn from the billion dollar rotting leaky building problem is that the market must be allowed to self regulate without interference from government or from local communities – it is the only way ahead.

          Competition in a deregulated free market will create the best housing possible for society while increasing wealth for everyone. It will protect the conservation and environmental values that NZ has recently become even more famous for, and ensure that affordable housing is available from Ponsonby and Herne Bay all the way through to Davenport.

          While we are at it I think it is important that we realise that National Parks hold some of the most fertile and potentially productive farm land in the world. We should begin to carefully assess, using a system of financial costs and benefits, how much of that land we should release to farming to grow the wealth of the country.

          • srylands

            “While we are at it I think it is important that we realise that National Parks hold some of the most fertile and potentially productive farm land in the world.”

            We don’t need to – plenty of land for farming. But the rest of your post is excellent. National Parks are important. I like tramping. I would be happy to pay an entry fee to use them though.

            • Colonial Viper

              Well its not a matter of “need” its a matter of preparing for future growth. We might not “need” the land right now, but we will do in the next 10-15 years. Do think ahead, please.

              One other change to the RMA, we need to give experienced building professionals like Fletchers the right to overrule bad decisions by bodies like Councils and the Environment Court. With their balanced view and nationwide expertise, firms like Fletchers can make far better decisions for communities than some waste of space paper pushing bureaucrat.

              • Greywarbler

                Cunning subversion?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Well just testing out how far we can take the Shitlands model of “society” (i.e. corporate neo-feudalism) in terms of the ultimate conclusions 😀

  19. xtasy 21

    Viva el pueblo, viva la musica del pueblo!


    Illapu – de Chile, at the festival celebrating the 100th anniversary of the PCC, Partido Communista de Chile.

  20. xtasy 22

    One of their best – Illapu:


    Spirit and life, one can only dream of here.

  21. xtasy 23

    Los Jaivas de Chile – Vina del Mar Festival 2011

    Such things are broadcast on national television and radio in Chile, so why do we in New Zealand get fed crap all the time, while we also have valuable popular music, Maori, Pakeha and other created here, and not broadcast to the wider public. Shame on the sell out bastards that run NZ media!

  22. xtasy 24

    Culture mix Europe and Bolivia:


    There is some amazing stuff around!

  23. Greywarbler 25

    This morning Chris Laidlaw on Radionz had a good line up.

    8:12 Insight: The Future of New Zealand Post
    8:40 Judy McGregor – Speaking Out and Getting Heard
    9:06 Mediawatch
    9:40 Sir Peter Gluckman – Wild Weather
    10:06 Ideas: The New Entrepreneurism
    10.55 Today’s Track
    11.05 Down the List
    11.12 Simon Woolf – Life Study
    11.40 Wayne Brittenden’s Counterpoint

    Down the List had fun slicing and dicing Fonterra and their peccadilloes (like olives but with a strong smell like billy goat’s milk?). Just checking to see if your alert.

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