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Open mike 11/03/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 11th, 2019 - 112 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

112 comments on “Open mike 11/03/2019 ”

  1. WeTheBleeple 1

    Superyacht owners are people of principle apparently. The principle being they don’t like to pay their own way.

    Some fantasists have conjured the figure of 1 million dollars – this is how much money a Superyacht is said to generate in our economy per day. I know right – we need more red carpet. Cash is trickling down off the yachts. Open wide.

    Likewise the latest Bugatti coughs fiddies out its exhaust.

    We are lucky to have these people.

    Now bow and scrape.

    • Chris T 1.1

      “Superyacht owners are people of principle apparently.”


      Neither of which will be taxed in Labour’s proposed CGT, for some odd reason

      • Barfly 1.1.1

        I really don’t believe super yachts gain in value.

        Bugattis – yeah I can see classics appreciating – newer ones…….. nah

      • bwaghorn 1.1.2

        So you are pro cgt then??

        • Chris T

          Not particularly worried either way, given how much they are bound to either tone it down or not actually do it.

          Just seems strange they would want to exclude rich boys toys, like boats and art.

    • soddenleaf 1.2

      Status is causing the extinction of our species.

    • Gabby 1.3

      The mill. may include the street value of the drugs smuggled in.

    • Skunk Weed 1.4

      Yep taxpayers pay for the dredging and dump the toxic waste in the pristine waters off Great Barrier Island = Fuzzy Logic IMHO ?

  2. Incognito 2

    Marama Davidson speech to Green Party Summer Policy Conference in Wellington.


    • WeTheBleeple 2.1

      Highlighting that we are obsessed with growth and GDP is a fair call. Showing no understanding why is a problem.

      Feeling good won’t pay the bankers the interest they believe they are due on the loans they majicked out of promised economic activity (for a business, a home…). As GDP goes down total money in circulation might pay the debt but not the interest. The interest is calculated above and beyond todays wealth, it is a projection for tomorrow – where all your tomorrows are bound by debt to banks. Interest made of thin air, now choking the life out of the planet.

      Who are we defaulting? Who owns so much the whole world owes them? And how is it we’re all now beholden to banks who make money out of thin air?

      Something is seriously rotten.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        “Our goal shouldn’t be to tinker around the edges of a broken system. We need to reimagine a world where everybody thrives.”

        Is this what The Greens are doing?
        Marama says, “shouldn’t” be…, “We need to..”
        I hope they are .

        • soddenleaf

          Nats vision. Paying more, for less, for longer, so that his voters can feel better about their financial rorts.

    • Poission 2.2

      Read the link party attribution hilarious.

    • Wayne 2.3

      Having read the speech I get the impression that Marama Davidson has no idea how the economy works.
      She wants everything for everyone, a better education system, better healthcare, more opportunity.
      All these things have to be paid for, yet she seems opposed to most of the ways New Zealand makes its income (to be fair she doesn’t say that in this speech, it is implied for all her other statements on the economy).
      Of course as a 5 to 10% party it is not really necessary to provide the answers since they will never actually be needed.
      It seems to me the difference between Labour and the Greens is that Labour does have a coherent understanding of the economy, they have to since they are the core of the government from time to time.
      In a recent Spinoff article I said that I hoped that Jacinda would use her authority and popularity to lead more on climate change. To set out goals and policies that would be both uniting and would make a difference. Unlike Marama Davidson, it seems to me that Jacinda has the ability to integrate lofty goals with practical policy.

      • WeTheBleeple 2.3.1

        Hell freezes over, and I agree. 😀

        Not that Marama isn’t capable of learning how it all works. I’d hope she’s doing that.

        National don’t have a coherent understanding of ecology, but one might hope they are capable of learning too. You chaps’ll trash your economic engine if you’re not careful, huge lack of understanding. But, the Greens could help you to stop shooting yourself in the foot.

        Next door the water we just had is undercutting the path. Soon it will be a large polluted problem and require men and machinery to fix it. It was merely a bit of grass on a path. The grass was sprayed for weeds but now the entire soil structure is collapsing and part of the hill starting to go with it. This is a perfect analogy of National methodology.

        No foresight, ignore the science, do the cheapest and most convenient, wreck the place.

        • Robert Guyton

          Wayne said:
          “Labour does have a coherent understanding of the economy”
          WTB said:
          “National don’t have a coherent understanding of ecology”

      • Stuart Munro. 2.3.2

        Well of course what seems to you is often patently absurd – like your completely arbitrary assertion that government spending should rest at 30% of GDP. And they gave you a PhD? Must have been a sympathy case. It’s not as if the Gnat policies you chose to enable have done us a lick of good – which rather deflates your pompous myth of economic competence.

        • Wayne

          Stuart Munro

          Dial back on the insults, and actually engage in debate.

          New Zealand gets it international income from three main sources, primary exports (about 50%), international tourism (about 20%) and other services and specialist manufactures. These pay for all New Zealand’s imports. Marama Davidson did not indicate at all in her speech how her policies would affect these. She just ignored them. However, all her previous statements would indicate she wants less of all of them.

          That is why her speech is fundamentally deficient. She wants more money for a wide range of public services, but seemingly wants to drastically change the activities that generate that money.

          Not just modify them, but fundamentally change them, and in some cases eliminate them. More than opposition to FTA’s but a revolution in the basic system of ownership in the economy. Without actually spelling out what the new mode of ownership would look like.

          And as for the “patent absurdity” of 30%, well I suggest you take this point up with Grant Robertson, since he has adopted it.

          • Pat

            you conflate again Wayne….export receipts are not necessarily tied to the provision of domestic services

            • Wayne


              However (as I stated) export receipts are broadly co-related to imports. Yes, you can have a current exchange deficit, even a structural one if your economy is growing. But there is a relationship between the two.

              That is why I have focussed on this issue. As far I can see Green policies (at least as stated by Marama Davidson) would severely reduce New Zealand
              ‘s receipts of foreign exchange. That means less imports, a smaller economy and less ability to get public goods (education, health etc).

              I have recently had radiation treatment from some very expensive electron beam machines. These are the newest models and cost $6 million each. They cannot conceivably be made in New Zealand, even if they could be, almost all the components would be imported. Hence the need for a substantial export economy, which is New zealand’s case is around 30% of GDP, way higher than say the United States or most larger European economies.

              If a small nation like New Zealand wants first world living standards, it inevitably means a high dependence on exports. We simply can’t make most of the things that exist in first world economies. That takes an advanced economic machine of 500 million people or so (North America, the EU and China/Japan).

              • Pat

                All of which is irrelevant unless there is an import component in the domestic provision…and depending on the case that may range from zero.

                • Gosman

                  Importing is the purpose of foreign trade. You want to be able to encourage people to import if they so desire.

                  • Pat

                    Might pay to start at the beginning Gosman and then you may understand the point under debate.

                    “Having read the speech I get the impression that Marama Davidson has no idea how the economy works.
                    She wants everything for everyone, a better education system, better healthcare, more opportunity.
                    All these things have to be paid for, yet she seems opposed to most of the ways New Zealand makes its income (to be fair she doesn’t say that in this speech, it is implied for all her other statements on the economy).”

                    Wayne 2.3

              • KJT

                A more relevant figure would be “net” exports.

                How much of our exports, depend on imports. And money for services going overseas.

                For example, if dairy exports are 17 billion, but we import 10 billion of feed, fertiliser and oil for dairy farming. Net dairy receipts around 6 billion, from memory? Take away net interest costs, imported equipment, finance costs, and profits going offshore from FDI in farming.
                Then. Take the long term costs of pollution, land degradation and water usage.

                Is dairy, to take just one example, giving us net positive earnings, to buy imports?

                How long is swapping milk powder for short lived plastic junk, going to last?

                It seems to be a right wing failing, for all their memes about being “good economic managers”, that they cannot comprehend basic accounting. A ledger has two sides.

                • Pat

                  not at all…a more relevant figure would be the import component of the service provided….take education for example, what proportion of the education budget would be spent in overseas currency?…id suggest rather little, which then begs the question what improvements could be made using our sovereign currency?

                  • KJT

                    I think that is what we are getting at here.

                    Are some of our exports even a net gain for NZ, if you take out all the overseas currency, inputs?

                    Looking at the overall balance of trade, we may even be better off without some of our export industries, before we even take into account the internal costs.

                    Import substitution may be a better way, for many things?

                    Wind power replacing some of the 4 billion in imported hydrocarbons, for one.

                    • Pat

                      not even talking about import substitution (although thats a possibility as well)….Wayne wished to tie our ability to improve the likes of ‘health, education, more opportunity ‘to export receipts which is disingenuous as the link between the two is tenuous at best, especially as the bulk of it is funded in NZD.

                    • KJT

                      Wayne was/is a National party politician. An expert at only giving half the story.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      The Korean take on import substitution is that it’s a born to fail strategy, that what’s required is to develop products for the local market which can then compete effectively abroad and be exported. NZ primary producers don’t really pay much attention to the local market, preferring to fail big abroad when products aren’t up to scratch.

                      That dynamic may need to be diluted as a carbon reduction strategy, but it is noticeable that NZ’s largest corporations produce, not the value added products, but the gross commodities that more astute companies turn another buck on – milk powder, raw logs and fillet block – a damning indictment of the governments of the day.

                    • KJT

                      South Korea has done the same thing with their manufacturing we did with dairy.

                      Lots of state funded support, research and development.

                      Our hands off Governments, have killed any other than commodity industries. Sacrificing nascent industries, on the alter of FTA’s for agriculture.

                    • Stuart Munro.


                      Yes, I think a lot of that development is achieved through education sector work – fishery and agricultural and textile institutes, usually government backed but supported through local government and considered to be indispensable parts of regional development/antipoverty strategies. I visited a few in Daegu.

                    • KJT

                      One of our family cuzzies, is Korean.

                      I was there in the 80’s. In Ulsan.

                      It is informative that they are going in the opposite direction to us. More State involvement and redistribution policies than their past.

                      Almost like they are looking at Scandinavian socialism.

                      Including workplace safety and human rights.

                      And doing well at it. See their minimum wage rises.

                    • Poission

                      Korean minimum wage is less then someone on super gets here

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Well it’s all a commitment to superior government – a late Confucian ideal, I believe it’s part of the symbology of Baekdusan among other things.

                      The Gnats want to make government small enough to drown in a bath tub, and Labour, post Rogergnomics, refuse to state what their objectives are. But we’re going backwards, and have been for thirty years. Hordes of Chinese (or any other nationality) will not save us, we must work our own way out of the holes dug for us by the blithering incompetents that pretend to govern us.

                    • KJT

                      The point is the rate, at which it is being raised.

                      Korea has come a long way from a low base, on workers rights.

                • WeTheBleeple

                  Modern agriculture uses more energy than it provides.

                  • KJT

                    Well. Everything does really. 🙄

                    It’s called entropy

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Not talking about thermodynamics here, but the processes in which we make our calories uses far more calories than we provide due to burning oil. I can produce more calories than I burn gardening, as I give food to others, feed chooks, and keep myself running. No oil required.

                      Sweat and planning – more efficient than machines.

                  • Skunk Weed

                    F#%ked all the rivers in Canterbury.

                • Gosman

                  You are focused on Exports when the point of foreign trade is imports. Selling more items via Exports than we Import doesn’t really help us become wealthier in the long run.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    It’s better than a trade deficit – which ends up being balanced by migrant capital that inflates our property market, imposing massive deadweight costs across the board. But you knew that, it is merely your role to advocate for economic policies that pauperize New Zealanders.

                    • Gosman

                      The ideal situation is where exports receipts equal import costs. However the next best situation if where Imports exceed exports on a long term basis. This is becuase it means someone else is subsidising your economy.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    I suppose that explains some of your lousy advice Gosman. So much for cultivating a degree of independence and self-sufficiency – one little global financial hiccup and your model parasite state will be obliged to do for itself, or do without.

                    You idealize economic weakness – advisers like you are not helpful.

          • Stuart Munro.

            Wayne, you’re a joke.

            How about you substantiate your folly by supporting your arbitrary figure of 30% of GDP? I guess Labour did it too is the best you can come up with – ie the reasoning quality of a badly brought up six year-old. You’re just not used to actual debate, as dependent as a six year-old on the utterly false narrative of National economic competence.

            Absent migration the previous government oversaw nine years of stagnation. A party that was actually economically competent would have done something else. Diversification and regional development as we see under Jones is difficult and subject to risks – but we’re playing catchup due to your laziness. We should be doing considerably more.

            Davidson doesn’t have responsibility for developing the new capacities we will need as yet, but it’s quite proper for her to talk about them. And if it upsets deadwood like you, that’s a sign it’s probably moving in the right direction. We’ve seen the crap your lot come up with in power.

            • Wayne

              I didn’t know Grant Robertson was a six year old.

              • Robert Guyton

                Wayne said:
                “Dial back on the insults, and actually engage in debate.”
                Wayne said:
                “I didn’t know Grant Robertson was a six year old.”

                • Gosman

                  He’s not insulting Grant Robertson. He’s throwing back Stuart Munro’s words in his face. It is highlighting the ridiculousness of his statements.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    No, Wayne’s just doubling down on his original “Labour did it too.”

                    Wayne is far too stupid to come up with anything better – there really is no justification whatsoever for his 30% figure, and he really did get that PhD out of a weeties box.

                    Points for loyalty though Gosman – what a faithful lackey you are.

              • Stuart Munro.

                If you had a bit more perspective you might’ve noticed. And he’s eating your lunch, because, infantile as he is, he’s more mature than you.

                Where do you come up with this 30% figure, Wayne? Why 30 not 31 or 29? Because it’s a nice round number? Ad hoc bullshit like this underlies all your fucking stupid policies that gutted our public services and filled them with expensive and unreliable faux corporate weasels.

                I’ve never yet seen a credible response for why it’s ok NZ fisheries employ and return 1% of what Japanese fisheries do on a roughly equal resource. That’s not a winning performance. Maybe cutting fisheries to the bone & giving Tangaroa up for oil exploration was less than entirely clever eh? But you could never perform that analysis on your own because you have this tragic illusion of competence.

                • Pat

                  the 30% (or any other figure) is arbitrary and is designed to maintain widespread misunderstanding of the system….if the bulk of voters understood this sufficiently then there are risks to its continuance….depending on the outcome this may be viewed as a positive or a negative

                  • KJT

                    Now they have sold most of the Government assets, and got the well off used to not paying taxes, getting the size of Government up to a Functioning level, is going to be very expensive and difficult.

                    One of the very many unfortunate results of our “Unfortunate experiment”, Governments have embarked on since 1984.

                • Wayne

                  Tell Grant that he has ‘fucking stupid policies”.

                  Obviously 30% is chosen because it is an easy number to understand. It is necessary to have such a figure to easily explain policy, not just to the public, but also to officials. 20% of GDP as a debt figure is in the same category, which figure was also accepted by Grant Robertson.

                  The reality is that you need clear targets if you are to have any hope of achieving them.

                  In fact central govt expenditure has got down to 28% of GDP. Local govt adds another 5%.

                  Many would argue that 28% is too low as evidenced by the gaps in public expenditure. At 30% there is an additional $5 billion of public expenditure.

                  Obviously you can nominate any target you want. In large part it depends on the balance you want between public expenditure and private expenditure, but it also relates to economic efficiency. At around 30%, it means people keep the bulk of their income for their purposes; living, investment and enterprise. If the government takes too much, the result will blunt enterprise and initiative. Which is why over the last 25 years New Zealand has had better growth rates.

                  There is no magic formula as such, it is a matter of judgement.

                  It seems that for both National and Labour, the judgement is that 30% is about the right size of public expenditure.

                  • KJT

                    Which is actually arbitrary and not supported by evidence.

                    The evidence shows countries with a much greater Government share of GDP, doing much better than us in a whole range of measures, including innovation and, if you must, GDP, growth.

                    It appears to stem entirely from the ideological beliefs in “Small Government” and “private always does it better”. Neither of which, are supported by evidence.

                    GDP growth, caused by immigration, earthquakes and disasters, cannot be credited to small Government,

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    Yes, and given the meteoric rise of negative social statistics like homelessness and suicide, the inability of immigration to control scams and whatever the MBEI agriculture successor calls itself’s failure to contain Mycoplasma Bovis, it’s fair to say your cheeseparing was cost negative – your judgment failed us, as it has so often before.

                    Robertson was a poor choice for economic policy – far better than English of course – but he does not possess the depth and control of his portfolio to innovate with confidence. Replicating the failed policies of the last thirty years really won’t cut it any more, you clowns have put us so far behind that we need more assertive change.

      • soddenleaf 2.3.3

        Please. Even the National believe that we are getting better at everything and extrapolate this out, in a free market will solve it philosophy. It’s no surprise parliament is filled with idiots, they honestly believe nobody notices most have multiple houses, and huge pensions coming their way. The question is why with all this progress things are getting more expensive not less, that calls globally on future wealth are unrecoverable, that were eating several planets while limited to the one. Which is it? Shake the system to match what we can afford, or continue the distorted economy that makes everything too hard to change?

    • Chris T 2.4

      James Shaw must have his head in his hands shaking his head.

  3. James 3

    Jones must be fired


    According to David seymore anyway.

    Will be interesting to see how the government manage this. – sunny holds waaaaaaaay to much power for labour to do anything.

    • Wensleydale 3.1

      David Seymour says a lot of things, most of which are of no consequence. He’s a man struggling for relevance on National’s dime.

      I’m happy to admit Jones is a pretentious blowhard though.

      • Peter 3.1.1

        Seymour works by a sort of clock which has him making periodic forays into the media to keep his name out there. He could soon be onto some New Zealanders not being able to watch the Rugby World Cup live, but then again they won’t be in his electorate so maybe it’ll be something else.

        Could be about Winston Peters or Minister of Sport Robertson wasting taxpayers’ money by going to Japan to see the rugby.

        • greywarshark

          Seymour’s clock says ‘Cuckoo’! But I want him in until he gets his euthanasia Bill through. That will help the people in pain and terminally ill. One day we might have an enlightened and truly democratic parliament that listens to what people want and will implement it if it is reasonable and limited in its flow-on effects.

          I looked at an excerpt from a book on surgery and what doctors thought was fit to do to even high social class people and their practices weren’t to a high level of concern for the patient. And I wasn’t surprised to find that many in the medical profession did not believe in interfering with nature and giving woman aids to wellbeing when in childbirth. It takes a person from a fringe party to get leaders to step out of the square of BAU.

    • dv 3.2

      Link doesn’t work.

    • Robert Guyton 3.3

      ““Based on both the information and advice I’ve received, the conflict of interest was managed in accordance with the Cabinet Manual so therefore I would have no cause to sack Minister Jones”, the Prime Minister said in a statement.”

      • AB 3.3.1

        Yep. And if it turns out it wasn’t handled in accordance with the Cabiner Manual, and Jones has been behaving like a self-seeking Tory, then he has to go.
        I’ve always thought the National Party was his natural home.

        • greywarshark

          Jones might be a blowhard, but he’s our blowhard. If he looks like National Party fodder perhaps we should keep him and use his natural slant for the Labour Coalition’s advantage not strengthen the Gnats machinations.

          • Stuart Munro.

            He’s not mine by any stretch of the imagination. But regional development is going to require taking some risks, and that means there will be some mistakes and failures. The test of the coalition’s seriousness will be whether they refine and expand the role that is presently his, or treat it as a one-off vote stimulus for which they will be roundly condemned.

    • Jimmy 3.4

      Shane Jones is a bufoon but can we take anything David Seymour says seriously?

    • ianmac 3.5

      A comment on RNZ this morning was very apt. Ha ha.
      “If a conflict of interest bars people from speaking then most of the National MPs should be barred from speaking on CGT.”

      • OnceWasTim 3.5.1

        Indeed, or which citizens constitute being “hard working [or average] Kiwis”, or commenting on anything to do with ethics or morality.
        We might have to exempt @ Wayne from that judgement though even though his ideas on morality and ethics appear to be like something out of the 1950s (an old school Skeith Holyoake type gNat without the suspender belt).
        Lucky the neo-liberal ideology came along allowing its adherents to assuage their social consciences

      • Peter 3.5.2

        That comment from Jones is appropriate. This morning he referred to the “perception of there being a conflict.”

        In his relationship with the group involved in the present fuss he registered a conflict of interest, ‘just in case’ I suppose.

        I’m sure there are many in the public who have the perception of conflicts of interest with the CGT. They should be barred from rooms where discussions are taking place, registering a conflict isn’t good enough for Jones, it isn’t good enough for them.

        Of course they and their idiot supporters will say, the tax report’s only a discussion document, nothing’s decided and officially introduced. What? That hasn’t stopped their boofhead behaviour and scare-mongering as if it’s all a done deal .

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Workers fighting for higher wages is SO yesterday, according to someone who should be fighting for higher wages for workers.

    “…Public Service Association secretary Erin Polaczuk recently argued that as unions today had become more feminised and mature, they had increasingly avoided “stupid oppositional behaviour”…”

    Or maybe workers are learning they need to avoid electing stupid collaboratists as leaders, like, oh I don’t know, Erin Polaczuk.

    Since when did the union movement become just another career vehicle for the middle class?

    • alwyn 4.1

      “Since when did the union movement become just another career vehicle for the Middle class?”.
      Probably about the same time as the Labour Party did.
      Union Officials, like Labour MPs, started being University educated products of the middle class about the late 1970s. The have slowly taken over all the positions. Now they all are products of the Middle class..
      I would say the last Union representative from the Working class in New Zealand was Ken Douglas. Just compare him with Andrew Little.
      Just like comparing Jacinda Ardern with Mike Moore.

  5. Jimmy 5

    A good article on police pursuits in the NZ Herald today.

  6. Ad 6

    Impressed to see Huawei firing up a global publicity campaign and taking the US government to task over the arrest of its CFO.

    None of that would be available to any foreign company in China.

    Huawei and other Chinese-origin corps need to pressure their government for due process rights and freedom of expression in China. Trust requires common accountability.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Good points RL – kindness and practicality work together. This freedom word is one of those that has to bow to the apparent absoluteness of another set of words –
    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely’.
    That is seen so often that, given the fact that it disavows 100% truth on absolute power, it is inescapable. Absolute freedom is impossible to achieve, it must always be hedged around.

    Better education for the future in being able to distinguish how far is too far when allocating and demanding freedoms is necessary if the country is ever going to mature. At present it shows the maturity of teenage boys from a good Christchurch college who against the rules, played on the baggage carousel at an airport. The freedom denabded by some of us as bold NZs must be what we are naturally; ‘boys will be boys’ etc.?

    So education should be useful in teaching pupils to discriminate in decision making. I found an Atlantic link link that Stuart Munro put up in Daily Review 2018 on educational research and the question as to whether it is a top feature in social mobility in the USA. It depends was the answer.

    Daily Review 26/07/2018

    AB 7.1 commented further referring to The Spirit Level.
    26 July 2018 at 10:08 pm

    “and studying, for the first time, the direct relationship between a child’s earnings and that of their parents”
    One of the analyses in The Spirit Level was to look at the incomes of fathers and sons as markers of upwards (and downwards) mobility. They focused only on males to remove the confounding effect of time out of the workforce for childbearing for women.
    The conclusion – though it wasn’t one of the strongest correlations in the book – was that social mobility (up and down) was greater in countries that were already more equal. Or put another way – for genuine equality of opportunity to exist, it requires relatively high levels of pre-existing equality.

  8. Anne 8

    This is the sort of behaviour which is becoming all too common in NZ.

    A Swiss couple purchased a property in Paihia around 30 years ago. Apart from one other, they were the only house in the area but since then it has been taken over by top-end housing.

    They poured their passion into the property and planted among other things a variety of trees including several tall trees. When they returned recently from a trip overseas they found the trees and creepers dead or dying. Someone had taken advantage of their absence and drilled holes into the bark and poisoned them.


    This is the level of gross entitlement of the rich prick Nat.Party voting NZers who think the world owes them a living and who care not one tot for their neighbours or the environment.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      It’s fences too. Such people want to have everything way and not to fit into the community and agree with their neighbours.

      So in Wellington a couple on a hill had lovely views over the sea from their verandah. Until the Council granted the new owner in front the right to have a back fence and i think to have it above the usual 2m high. He built it 12 feet high as part of an agreement that he could build a fort for some reason. I think that was the story. Then all the people on the hill could see was fence, no view.

      It went to Court and I think it has cost $100,000 to fight it. There was an unclear Council by-law to contend with and then the OTT imposition of this unpleasant neighbour. It is hard when preparing legislation to prepare for the possible meanness and pettyness that people will descend to, and the rich are worse than the poor at being mean.

    • alwyn 8.2

      I’m sorry Anne but do you have any evidence at all that it was the people you blame who had anything at all to do with this? Anything at all to justify your diatribe about what sort of people you think they are?
      Thought not.

      Actually I am surprised that it is not the couple the story is talking about who are being abused here.
      They are Foreigners (Swiss) who spend a great deal of their time living overseas (9 months recently) and who have bought a house in New Zealand that is depriving a New Zealand citizen living here of a home.

      After the comments about that sort of person that is so frequent on this blog I am surprised you aren’t cheering that they are being picked on.

      • Anne 8.2.1

        They are Foreigners (Swiss) who spend a great deal of their time living overseas (9 months recently) and who have bought a house in New Zealand that is depriving a New Zealand citizen living here of a home.

        oooh… talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

        Foreigners? They have been living here for 30 plus years. Just because they went away for nine months doesn’t mean they spend a great deal of time living overseas. My parents went back to England after 30 years for eight months in the 1970s. It was their first trip back to see family and friends.

        So, every person who migrated to NZ and bought or built a home is a bludger depriving NZ citizens of a home? 90% of them are NZ citizens too, but just don’t happen to be born here. I wasn’t born in NZ but was brought up here. Does that make me a bludging foreigner? According to alwyn it does.

        • alwyn

          Not in the slightest Anne.
          However you have no evidence at all as to who poisoned the trees.
          You just choose to blame people you don’t know and assume, with no evidence at all that they are, horror of horrors ” rich prick Nat.Party voting NZers who think the world owes them a living and who care not one tot for their neighbours or the environment.”.
          You don’t have any reason at all to justify that. Why do you say it?

          • McFlock

            I think you’ll find that Anne merely said it was the level of gross entitlement of rich prick Nat.Party voting NZers who think the world owes them a living and who care not one tot for their neighbours or the environment.

            A crowd well known to some people. They also tend to treat hospo workers like shit. And I doubt it was a Green who poisoned the trees. And the houses new to the area are apparently quite posh, which increases the likelihood of the poisoner being a nat voter.

          • ropata

            a) Wealthy neighbours had the most to gain from killing trees
            b) Nat voters are generally selfish arseholes who hate nature

            therefore, tree killers are probably Nat voters with baches

            seems plausible

          • Anne

            It is clearly the belief of the Swiss couple (and others) who know better than you or me because they know what has been going on in their part of town.

            Btw, you have no evidence whatsoever that this couple are spending a great deal of time overseas as if that justifies a person or persons – probably living in one of the top-end houses – poisoning their trees and foliage. They are the victims alwyn dear… not the perpetrators.

            • alwyn

              Why don’t the last 3 commentators, McFlock, ropata and Anne all reread what they have just written.
              None of you have the slightest evidence for your claims. They are all just bitter attacks on other people whose imagined views they do not like.
              I could make the same claims about the imagined failings of Green, Labour, NZF or any other parties supporters. I won’t because I think it is insane to make such silly claims without any evidence at all.

              ropata has probably made the wildest one.
              “b) Nat voters are generally selfish arseholes who hate nature”.
              What complete and utter rubbish.

              It also might be an idea if you also come to some sort of agreement on where these proposed “enemies of nature reside”.
              McFlock says “houses new to the area are apparently quite posh”
              Anne seems to agree ” living in one of the top-end houses ”
              But ropata seems to have a different view of the matter. “Nat voters with baches”.
              Make up your minds. Clearly none of you have any idea of the facts of the matter.

              I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you tell us the street that is involved. You all seem to know everything that goes on. You should be able to tell us something as simple as that without having to do any further research.

              And for God’s sake stop making up fantasies. Are you trying to forment the class madness that we saw for so long in the Southern Stares of the US?

              • ropata

                Simon Bridges is “fomenting class madness” with his bitter attacks on an imaginary CGT that doesn’t even exist

                Landlords are “fomenting class madness” by threatening tenants and trying to force them to vote National https://is.gd/JYsWI6

                They don’t care about humans, so trees are even less likely to survive the National plague

          • In Vino

            alwyn, being the punctilious know-all that you are, I am sure that you know the famous Ciceronian ‘Cui bono’?
            Do we have savage groups of anti-tree terrorists here in Godzone that we did not know about?
            Can you suggest who else would benefit from the poisoning of the trees, and then bother to go about doing it?
            I look forward to some excellent creative thinking, but expect a negative vituperation.
            I just might add that the situation of the house suggests that it was not many impoverished lefties who bought the sections around and then built upon them. It seems to me that Anne is right in assuming that the majority of house-owners behind the objectionable trees would not be Greenies or Labourites.
            ‘Top-end housing’, Alwyn. I suspect that Anne’s cap fits the culprits.

            • alwyn

              “Do we have savage groups of anti-tree terrorists here in Godzone that we did not know about?”
              I don’t know whether it has happened in New Zealand but it certainly has in the United States. They drive large nails into trees to make it very dangerous to fell them.

              I do’t know how you would describe the idiot(s) who sat in trees in the Waitakeres to prevent people who wanted to build on their own land. Terrorists is perhaps a bit harsh but arse-holes seems to be appropriate.

              • In Vino

                Total non-sequiturs having no relevance to the main question I put.
                The people who sat in trees in Waitakeres were trying to save the trees, not destroy them, as you well know. Cherry-picking and nit-picking as usual.

  9. WeTheBleeple 9

    Yep. Landlords are notorious for poisoning trees. One fucktard bought the house two doors down, poisoned the trees, cut down the shrubs, then onsold it only weeks later. POS!

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      “Landlords are notorious for poisoning trees”
      Given the destruction of most of the forests in agriculture-based societies, it could be that we agriculturalists believe that we are all … landlords?

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        More disrupted land problems.

        “So it’s had the top soil stripped off and it’s in big piles either side.”

        The fire break excavation has also damaged water lines, irrigation lines and fences but the greatest expense will be in reinstating the pastures.

        Pauline’s insurance covers the infrastructure but not the land disturbance – “there never would be on any insurance cover”, Simon said.
        “That’s what I’ll be looking to the mayoral relief fund for.”

        With the no time to delay in sowing new pasture, he said they would have to act now.
        “I think we’re just going to have to move ahead and front the cost and hope that the government will pay for it.”

    • alwyn 9.2

      Landlords don’t buy and then sell houses within a couple of weeks. Landlords hold onto houses and put in tenants. Whatever sort of person you seem to be talking about they certainly don’t fit the definition of a landlord.

      • In Vino 9.2.1

        Just to be fair in view of my above criticism, that is a fair point.

      • WeTheBleeple 9.2.2

        I know. But it’s always nice to identify the nit-pickers.

        Actually he’d planned to bulldoze the existing property and turn the site to units but something put him off. Maybe he’d not read his bylaws properly. Maybe he knew I had photos of his (then) illegal activity. Maybe I walked up to the fence line and snapped him drilling holes in a tree from feet away. Maybe he was told to fuck off.

        Last illegal builder on the street – it cost them $15 000 for poisoning the stream. He came at me with a spade then realised I was smiling at him and not moving an inch. He was seconds from a very bad situation. Tucked tail and went back inside.

        I love the fact we’re all carrying cameras and recording devices today. I had him to rights cursing me out and coming at me.

        And I am only one of SO many kiwis who’ve had enough of self entitled pricks.

        Want to be an eco-crim in my hood, lol, we’ll eat you alive, then the courts will get a piece. No more warnings.

  10. greywarshark 10

    We have been so wrong in this country to adopt this fraudulent contracting system and without protections and harsh oversight to stop employers rorting the lives of innocent people. The companies and their hard eyes measures aren’t innocents.


    One man – who RNZ has agreed not to name – has been a linesman for more than 20 years. He worked for Downer until the lines contract in his area went to Visionstream in 2009.

    Visionstream uses contractors, not employees – so to keep working, he spent over $50,000 buying and fitting out his own van.

    “I’m thinking, maybe next week, maybe next month, maybe I might make it… I’m trapped in this vicious circle. A lot of guys have gone bankrupt … and a lot more will close,” he said.

    Visionstream pays a set price for each job, he said, regardless of how long it takes or how far away it is. Pay is then deducted if something goes wrong.

    Isn’t this the powerful having their cake and eating it too? Trying to have firm contracts and then not fulfilling their responsibility to ensure they contain clauses relating to unexpected difficulties. They surely have a contract that the work can be done, and there should be payment if the workers are there ready to do the work. If the work cannot be accessed then it is the firm’s problem and the workers should not be at risk. That should be covered by insurance.

  11. ropata 11

    Vodafone wants to sack 2800 Kiwis and outsource everything to India

    All hail our job and wealth creators and their kindly trickles upon the peasants.

    Fuck them. Glad I switched to Spark last year

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Wasn.t Spark Telecom. Which came, saw, bought up, profit-stripped and also asset-s, our asses?

    • dv 11.2

      Apparently Vodaphone wanted/required the current employees to train the Indians!!!

      • ianmac 11.2.1

        If so how rotten is that! Suppose the bosses have a redundancy clause to hold over them or else they would all walk off en masse.

        • WeTheBleeple

          “While our CEO [Jason Paris] has said as a proud Kiwi he would love to retain all jobs in New Zealand, we need to make tough choices as a business.”

          Proud Kiwi – fuck these guys.

      • David Mac 11.2.2

        Mafia tactic, don’t mess up your suit, have them dig their own grave.

    • One Two 11.3

      Paris said earlier that his brief as incoming CEO was to get Vodafone NZ into shape for an IPO in early 2020.

      Smoke and mirrors for ‘share price’ purposes…Paris took the role for 30 pieces and ‘Pre IPO’…he knew the gig…

      Offshoring (which can include bringing foreign resources inhouse as required)’services’ and ‘cloud automation/virualization’ will lead to downgrades in service, and push publicly listed Voda Nz share price financially towards a cliff…shortly after the big players have extracted their cut from an IPO…

      The only action which prevents this happening is for customers to walk away…cut mobile services usage to the bone…and live life outside the digital trap…

      Jobs will be gone either way…ending the relationship sooner will be less painful long term…

      Switching have/are/will be doing exactly the same …5G architecture is exclusively virtualized…which is part of the huge push behind the tech…

  12. One Two 12


    the total cost of lost growth potential for the UK caused by ‘too much finance’ between 1995 and 2015 is in the region of £4,500 billion. This total figure amounts to roughly 2.5 years of the average GDP across the period.

    The report provides the first ever numerical estimate for the scale of damage caused by the UK’s finance sector growing beyond a useful size. Of the £4,500 billion loss in economic output, £2,700 billion is accounted for by the misallocation of resources where resources, skills and investments are diverted away from more productive non-financial activities into finance. The other £1,800 billion arises from the 2008 banking crisis.


  13. WeTheBleeple 13

    Ha! It’s the Y2K bug of GPS systems. Apparently, the calendars are going to run out. 😉


    I can picture it now. All these folks who’ve never learned to read a map, clogging all the roads while doing endless circles in their cars.

    “Siri, what’s happening? Siri, what’s happening?”

    • One Two 13.1

      W2K was about getting next generation Microsoft products into production environments…essentially to assist in further cornering markets…

      This will be something similar…

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.2

      “All these folks who’ve never learned to read a map, clogging all the roads while doing endless circles in their cars.”

      Hah! I have often seen the consternation on the faces of the tech dependent as they frantically tap and swipe. Lost, they are, in a cell phone black spot which still exist in the hinterland here in Godzone. We will produce maps…like printed on paper with scales and everything…. and they think we’re joking. “Nein, nein! (Or “non, non!”) they say as we try to explain that Taputoputo to Taupo is a journey of slightly more than four hours….. Tap , tap, swipe, swipe……

  14. Jenny - How to get there? 14

    “Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote. “According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people – and only it.”

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, March 11, 2019

    What would the people of the world think if a German leader, ever made a statement like this?*

    “Germany is not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote. “According to the basic nationality law we passed, Germany is the nation-state of the German people – and only it.”

    *They would think, and rightly so, that, that German leader was a genocidal fascist


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