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Open Mike 11/04/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 11th, 2018 - 90 comments
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90 comments on “Open Mike 11/04/2018”

  1. Ed 1

    Craig Murray, in three brief paragraphs, explains the strategy being played by the US/UK establishment.
    And now it looks like the UK, the US and France will attack Syria.
    Scary times.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/10/russia-hits-back-over-syria-chemical-attack-with-call-for-un-inquiry

    I have never ruled out the possibility that Russia is responsible for the attack in Salisbury, amongst other possibilities. But I do rule out the possibility that Assad is dropping chemical weapons in Ghouta. In this extraordinary war, where Saudi-funded jihadist head choppers have Israeli air support and US and UK military “advisers”, every time the Syrian army is about to take complete control of a major jihadist enclave, at the last moment when victory is in their grasp, the Syrian Army allegedly attacks children with chemical weapons, for no military reason at all. We have been fed this narrative again and again and again.

    We then face a propaganda onslaught from neo-con politicians, think tanks and “charities” urging a great rain of Western bombs and missiles, and are accused of callousness towards suffering children if we demur. This despite the certain knowledge that Western military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have had consequences which remain to this day utterly disastrous.

    I fear that the massive orchestration of Russophobia over the last two years is intended to prepare public opinion for a wider military conflict centred on the Middle East, but likely to spread, and that we are approaching that endgame. The dislocation of the political and media class from the general population is such, that the levers for people of goodwill to prevent this are, as with Iraq, extremely few as politicians quake in the face of media jingoism. These feel like extremely dangerous times.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/04/the-rush-to-war/

    • tc 1.1

      Prime had a seventies doco series on last night which had Vietnam.

      The parallels in terms of the narrative are there IMO, commies v Ruskis and saving kids v saving democracy with the usual suspects cheering on a conflict.

      I think we all know how it ends

      • Ed 1.1.1

        Sadly yes.
        I am so glad, though we have journalists and reporters like George Galloway and Craig Murray.
        Without them we would know so much less.

    • Wayne 1.2

      He has no plausible alternative. Only Syria has helicopters dripping barrel bombs, the insurgents don’t. And in any event why would the insurgents kill their own people. Although as a conspiracy anti west theorist I imagine you think the UK or the US did it.
      Why would the Syrians do it? To underscore to their opponents that will never be coming back.
      No-one in western capitals now seriously believes Assad can be defeated, so drumming up a continuing war against him serves no purpose.
      But he will be punished for using gas. Probably an airfield and command centre will be bombed.

      • Ed 1.2.1

        Good on you Wayne.
        Using the ‘conspiracy theorist’ line to silence dissent. I don’t know who did it.

        But I do know it makes absolutely no sense for Assad to. He is not a nice guy – but he is not stupid.

        But don’t take my word for it. Read Craig Murray’s work. I would suggest he knows a lot more about this subject than either you or I do. You should look up who he is and was – check his credentials.

        I also recommend you read and listen to George Galloway, Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn and a whole raft of independent journalists.

        The other option is to ask no questions and blame Russia, Syria, Iran, whoever……

      • AsleepWhileWalking 1.2.2

        Conspiracy
        kənˈspɪrəsi

        noun

        a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.

        – dictionary
        ……
        ……

        “Conspiracy theorist” is a term popularized by agencies wanting to discredited anyone questioning the official line.

        • Ed 1.2.2.1

          Yes, it is used to shut down dissent.
          Galloway predicted Iraq, he predicted Libya and sadly what is saying now is going to be correct.
          And that means we are in the worst crisis since the Cold War.

      • spikeyboy 1.2.3

        Jaish al Islam are a terrorist organisation known to chop off the heads of “their own people” and keep them in cages on roof tops and the backs of cars to deter the Syrian Army from attackingg. This is the sort of people you think we should trust. Give us a break!! On the point of victory the Syrian Army use chemical weapons? I dont think so. Trump signals a desire to leave Syria and next thing you know is chemical attack?

        https://gowans.wordpress.com/

        • Ed 1.2.3.1

          That was the key trigger.
          Trump saying he would leave Syria.

          Just as JFK saying he’d pull out Vietnam got him killed.

          As the legendary Bill Hicks said, Go back to sleep America.

  2. Ed 2

    Martin Lukacs writes an excellent article.
    I wonder if this cold be made into a post -such an important message.

    Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals
    Stop obsessing with how personally green you live – and start collectively taking on corporate power

    These pervasive exhortations to individual action — in corporate ads, school textbooks, and the campaigns of mainstream environmental groups, especially in the west — seem as natural as the air we breathe. But we could hardly be worse-served.

    While we busy ourselves greening our personal lives, fossil fuel corporations are rendering these efforts irrelevant. The breakdown of carbon emissions since 1988? A hundred companies alone are responsible for an astonishing 71%. You tinker with those pens or that panel; they go on torching the planet.

    The freedom of these corporations to pollute – and the fixation on a feeble lifestyle response – is no accident. It is the result of an ideological war, waged over the last 40 years, against the possibility of collective action. Devastatingly successful, it is not too late to reverse it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2017/jul/17/neoliberalism-has-conned-us-into-fighting-climate-change-as-individuals?CMP=share_btn_tw

    • AndrewMurray 2.1

      this is a really good post Ed. the psychological influences at play here need to be recognised….as people move to defend their and their families efforts. This has the effect of defending current actions and closing minds to needed criticism.

    • andrew murray 2.2

      This is a really good post Ed.
      The psychological impact of this can’t be overstated as people move to defend theirs and their families/groups/associations actions in recycling.
      This has the effect of making them complicit/defensive of the efforts at an individual level. This is, in turn, an essential aspect of the corporate strategy.

      • cleangreen 2.2.1

        100% I agree. The corporates divide and rule firstly.

        They seek to weaken opposition is their game.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Brrr…

    This morning the Pak n Save noticeboard had a note looking for a space to park a caravan for a couple with a dog.

    As I hopped in the car the wind slammed my door on my leg. No biggie, but made me really hope the caravan couple + dog get a nice big reinforced shed in which to park.

    • patricia bremner 3.1

      I do too, it is very cold out there.

      • cleangreen 3.1.1

        patricia,

        Shit it is freezing up in the gisborne hills as it only got up to 5% celsius all today and begun with snow flacks at dawn.

        No accumulative snow left behind yet..

  4. Hillary 4

    Interesting new study out from Germany taken over multiple decades.

    “Organic agriculture is not as good for the environment as commonly believed, according to a new scientific study reviewing multiple lines of evidence over more than two decades.
    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-resource-100517-023252

    The study was conducted by German researchers Eva-Marie Meemken and Matin Qaim from the University of Goettingen and published in the journal Annual Review of Resource Economics.

    They do make clear that the scientific evidence shows that organic is better in some specific situations, and that the best strategy overall may be to combine conventional and organic approaches.

    In general, the study concludes that while organic farming is more environmentally friendly per unit of land than conventional approaches, it is not better for the environment when assessed in terms of units of output.

    This is because organic farming generally has lower yields — between 19-25 percent, on average.”

    • Ad 4.1

      Do a post on it.

      About time we had the food productivity argument.

    • Agriculture itself is the issue. “Organics” is a nebulous term, difficult to pin down, therefore easy to dismiss if you don’t favour it. Once we’ve realised that agriculture’s the core of the problem, we’ll be getting somewhere.

    • patricia bremner 4.3

      The environment is key though!!

    • cleangreen 4.4

      Yes Hillary, but…….

      The Firman Bear report from Rutgers University shows the difference between organic and conventionally grown produce:

      But a study from Rutgers University in USA says that organic vs conventional produce shawed in their study that only organic had sufficient quantities of all trace vitamins and minerals to sustain us whereas the conventional produce only had less the 10% of the trace vitamins/minerals that was measured in organic, so I would be interested in this study from Germany if they also measured the content of the important amounts of vitamins/minerals in both organic and conventional products to adequately quantify the effectiveness of both growth systems.

      https://swansonhealthcenter.com/topics/organic-vs-non-organic-mineral-and-antioxidant-content/

      “A recent four-year European Union study, funded at a cost of $25 million, raised fruits, vegetables, and cows on adjacent organic and conventional fields at a 725-acre farm near Newcastle University in England and other places in Europe. Researchers found that the: 1) organic fruits and vegetables contained up to 40% more antioxidants; 2) organic produce had higher levels of iron, copper, and zinc; and 3) milk from organic herds contained up to 90% more antioxidants.”

      • mikes 4.4.1

        If only organics had “…sufficient quantities of all trace vitamins and minerals to sustain us..” and conventional produce had only 10% of those quantities..

        Then how is it that those of us who can’t afford organic have managed to be sustained by food that has only 1/10th of the amount of nutrients needed to sustain us?

  5. savenz 5

    Scary that so much damage to Auckland because we don’t expect gale force winds like Wellington… another chapter in Auckland’s building woes…. we build them, but not so well and the wind can blow them down… likewise disruption to our electricity system, our rail system.. our ferries…

    You’d think storms would be built into how the city runs… because with climate change and warming water it is anticipated that cyclones will become more frequent.

    Live: Auckland assesses the damage: Trees down, 140km/h winds and thousands without power

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12030156

  6. savenz 6

    Maybe this headline could better be explained by thinking about what has got NZ into this bizarre place with our Met service that see’s storms where there are none and not when they come…

    “Weather forecaster to review processes after storm battered Auckland”

    Apparently the Metservice not only reports to the ministry of transport???? but also is expected to invest in oil forecasts to somehow try to turn a profit….

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/05/21/so-who-funds-metservice-the-weird-madness-behind-the-20-meter-wave-story/

    Bit like Middlemore spending money to extend some of it’s building’s because that part was artificially ‘profitable’ but the actual parts that housed the unprofitable sick children were full of mould and did not qualify for funding under the government’s and neoliberal rules.

    Before complaining about all the money and why nothing works anymore, unwrap where the money is being siphoned off into non core activities out of government funded departments…

    • Muttonbird 6.1

      Our Met service that sees storms where there are none and not when they come…

      That is so true. Those useless pricks couldn’t predict Tuesday follows Monday.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        Sorry muttonbird and savenz but you are completely out of line.

        As one of those former “useless Metservice pricks” who has been out of the game for more than two decades but who tries to keep up with the latest techniques, I have news for you:

        NZ meteorologists and climate scientists are among the most respected in the world. The primary reason being NZ is one of the toughest countries on the planet when it comes to weather prediction. This is due in large part to it’s marine status in an area plagued by storms coming at it from both tropical ocean zones and polar ocean zones. In other words they get a great deal more weather experience than their counterparts from countries with more predictable weather patterns.

        Having said that: our Metservice forecasters accurately predicted yesterday’s weather days in advance and they began to issue preliminary warnings late last week and official warnings over the weekend and on Monday. They made it clear there was a strong potential for extremely damaging winds in all their forecasts – particularly between Taranaki and Northland. However it was impossible to pinpoint exactly where the worst of those winds would eventuate because that was dependent on where the centre of the deep low would finally cross over the country. It turned out to be between Waikato and Auckland from all accounts.

        That their warnings were not taken seriously enough is the fault of the populace – not the forecasters.

        • In Vino 6.1.1.1

          Well said, Anne. Having lived in Europe for a while, I saw upon returning here how much more unpredictable our local weather is. More importantly, I noticed the warnings that were issued about Tuesday’s weather.. Who are these numbnuts pretending that Met Service gave no warnings?

      • mikes 6.1.2

        Their 3 day rain maps are excellent. I couldn’t do without them in my line of work and they are usually very accurate. Maybe they need some computer models, coz they’ve all been really accurate so far…

    • cleangreen 6.2

      100% saveNZ

      National = austerity first.

      National was a right wing robin hood for the rich not the poor.

      • mikes 6.2.1

        National wasn’t an austerity government, they borrowed (and presumably spent) shitloads of moolah. It’s just that their spending was all about benefiting mainly their business and elitist interests rather than all New Zealanders.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 6.3

      Thanks for this. Must have been posted during one of my TDB sabbaticals.

  7. JohnSelway 7

    I’m watching Mark Zuckerberg in front of the senate hearing currently. Very very interesting to watch.

    • Treetop 7.1

      Do you know if he can be sued?

      Americans are big on suing.

      • JohnSelway 7.1.1

        Probably not from what I saw – the senate didn’t seem to know how Facebook actually worked

        • Treetop 7.1.1.1

          Does Zuckerberg know how all of face book really works?

          Just heard on RNZ that Zuckerberg’s account was used to gain information.

          I elected to not be a facebook user due to my privacy not being assured.

  8. savenz 8

    China revealing it’s military strategy in the Pacific, if nobody saw this coming… SURPRISE!

    Chinese military expansion into Vanuatu aimed at Australia and NZ

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/04/10/chinese-military-expansion-into-vanuatu-aimed-at-australia-and-nz/

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Yep. We need to desperately build up our defence capabilities including producing our own weapons/ammunition/vehicles.

      • cleangreen 8.1.1

        We should be warry of small Island nations as the Chinese have large bullying power over them and some will render themselves to caving in to some excessive pressure fronm a big power like China just look at that China has done in Africa.

      • Sanctuary 8.1.2

        Well, the benign environment is coming to an end and with it the decades long free ride we’ve had defense wise.

        I took the trouble last night to read up on the Australian military build up. it is quite astonishing.

        For the Navy – 12(!) x short fin Barracuda advanced attack submarines, 2 x 30,000 ton helicopter carriers capable of operating STOVL fixed wing aircraft, 3 x Aegis equipped Air Defense Destroyers, 9 x 7,000+ ton general purpose “frigates”, 24 x Seahawk helicopters plus the 8 ANZAC class frigates and whatever of their existing fleet will stay in service.

        Air Force – 98 x F-35B Lightning II plus the current force of 106 F-18 Hornets, a dozen P-8A Neptunes, AWACS, 8 x C-17 Globemaster III, plus 33 Hawk trainers and lots of modern PGMs plus UAVs, etc.

        The Australian Army has 22 attack helicopters, 60 MBT and 700+ other AFVs and plans to buy 3,000+ new armoured vehicles of all types, new MANPADS and Medium range SAM systems, new long range rocket artillery, new ATGW systems, etc etc etc.

        The time for scrimping on our defense is almost over. The 20 billion re-equipment program we have planned should probably be tripled and plans put in hand for registering military age men and women for rapid conscription.

        • Exkiwiforces 8.1.2.1

          At the time the service heads of both RNZAF and RNZN along with a few other want the Government of the day to keep 14Sqn as a going concern and even at reduce state in case something like this did pop up, but the certain members of the back bench made sure that the former Strike Wing would never rise again out of the ashes like the phoenix.

          As the original plan was to disband No’s 2 and 75Sqn, but retain 14Sqn in a reduce state to maintain a cadre of trained pilots and ground crew should the need a rise in the future.

          Should ring my uncle and ask for his comment? Ex- 14 and 75Sqn and was both teams for the Macchi and twice on the F-16’s 83-84 and the last one before it got kicked in to touch.

        • Exkiwiforces 8.1.2.2

          Further to your reply about the current and future Order of Battle (ORBAT) of the ADF. There has been some major changes within the Army like plain Beersheba which would an extra SQN of 30 odd M1 MBT’s, a ready Arms Battle Group from the Army reserves to attach to the 3 Combat Brigades and to 2RAR, the Hawkie and Boxer vehicles to replace the LAV’s and Landies in the Cav SQN’s and some of the M113’s.

          The RAAF has seen a major re-structure of it Airfield Defence Sqns and other Airforce Security Units within the RAAF, which from my POV has cause us endless headaches for us Rockapes as the AFSEC muppets don’t want to step up to plate. To a point that CDF has now crack the shits with it, saying his Rockapes aren’t meant to the guarding the Flightline, as its a AFSEC job and he needs them outside not inside the wire also he wants at least another two SECFOR SQN’s.
          A theatre base Air Defence System which we haven’t seen since the 60’s when the RAAF had the Bloodhound missiles,
          UAV’s for the P8’s and possible armed UAV’s down the track at a later stage.
          Addition tankers and AEW/C aircraft

          And the Navy which you have already mention, apart from the Patrol Boats that are no longer fit for purpose after only 10-15yrs of service being replace with a Ocean Combat Vessel in other words a up-gun OPV or a light frigate depending on how one gets out of bed in the morning.

          Then there is the talk of rebasing assets to the northern bases and some the bare bases being full maned which raise’s all sorts of questions.

          Massive funding for the JRON radar upgrade’s and the setting up a Joint Cyber warfare unit.

          Its all go here atm.

    • patricia bremner 8.2

      Vanuatua has stated they are not interested. End of.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Vanuatu won’t be the only ones that China has made advances to and some will accept.

      • Exkiwiforces 8.2.2

        Have you seen what they did Sri Lanka when they couldn’t repay their debt to China?

        China just walked in and tooked over the Port and the Airport for its own use and brought in its own worker as well and sacked the local work force, also they try to pull one over on the Maldives of late. But the Maldives courts put a stop to that, but how will that last is anyone’s guess atm. They also did the same at port of Gawler as well.

        Half of Vanuatu’s debt is owned by China,
        About 3/4 quarters of Tonga’s debt is owned by China and if we go back to 2006, this was one of the leading causes to the riots.
        PNG and Fiji’s debt over half of that is owned to China.
        A of other SP nations also up to their eye balls in debt to China

        You can see a wee tend starting to appear here.

    • Exkiwiforces 8.3

      I’ve brought my comments over from the TDB site for readers who visit there for whatever reason.

      Yes Martyn is correct on his assumption; it changes everything from a NZ military, Foreign Aid and NZ trade POV. There has been talk of a possible Chinese bases in Tonga, PNG and Fiji though work at open and closed circles.

      It really makes a mockery of Auntie Helen’s assumption when she disbanded the Air Strike Wing, reducing the Anti Surface/ Anti Sub Surface Capability of the RNZAF and RNZN and refusing the Navy to have more capable ships under Project Protector.

      I wonder you are the idiots now for not listening to the Chiefs at the time and this what’s happens when you get involved in silly little wars in the MER and you forget your backyard NZ/ Oz.

      Chinas maritime doctrine is base around Anti Access and Anti Denial. The best way to achieve this through the use of Submarines and long range Maritime Aircraft in both as Maritime Strike or as a ISR platform. It’s their subs, Coast Guard ships (they are more capable than our own sub- par OPV’s) and their fishing fleet that I’m worried about atm. Their surface fleet though capable on paper is still small operate affectively outside the first chain island for combat operations but give them a few yrs and they have carriers with cats and traps not STOBAR carriers then start to worry.

      The best way to sink a ship is a submarine or mines laid by a submarine or by a converted fishing trawler when the ship is not alongside in port.

      NZ economy is a export led with over 90% of NZ exports going by sea and over 90% imports coming by sea. Cutting off NZ Sea Lanes Of Communications (SLOC) during a state of war would cripple NZ economy and likely to cause great social unrest along the way.

      NZ’s Governments consisted running down of the NZDF since 1991 is looking a bit foolish now. Neutrality to Asian eyes is a sign of great weakness, unless of course you carry a bloody big stick like Finland Sweden or Switzerland. Adopting Neutrality would mean some serious coin being pour into the NZDF or we team up with Oz and all the trappings that they bring. The so-called $20B earmarked for defence by No Mates National Party is small fry now to what could be in the future and sticking one’s head in the sand is no longer an option of NZ now.

      With possible Chinese subs, surface vessels or even their H6 nuclear capable/ maritime strike bombers operating out of Vanuatu and that’s not including its fishing fleets that will rape pillage the Southern Ocean, but rape and pillage of the Antarctic mainland as well. Means they could achieve there overall mission objective in their doctrine of Anti Access and Anti Denial.

      Food for thought

      • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1

        Neutrality to Asian eyes is a sign of great weakness, unless of course you carry a bloody big stick like Finland Sweden or Switzerland.

        Yep. We need that bloody big stick and we need to stand up for ourselves. Neither of which have or do. China blocks our goods at the wharf and we kowtow real fast rather than dropping the FTA as we should be doing.

        • Exkiwiforces 8.3.1.1

          Yes DTB,

          China has little old NZ by its shorts and curlicues and its shows that NZ hasn’t learned from its past aka “being the UK’s farm” that putting all your eggs into one basket isn’t the wise thing to do in the long term.

          I think the old Silver Fox is on to something?

          • Ed 8.3.1.1.1

            The key is trade with Russia.

            • joe90 8.3.1.1.1.1

              The key is trade with Russia.

              For what, crude petroleum oils, potassium fertilisers, copper?.

            • Exkiwiforces 8.3.1.1.1.2

              Sorry Ed,

              But we need to trading with everybody and also not Just in low end raw products like we do now, but high end value added products, banking etc etc which we have done in the past before the 1984 coup. When the Neo- Economic Lib Muppets then ransack the country in a rape and pillage orgy that would’ve Stalin, Mao, Hitler’s SS and Pol Pot proud.

              My case study is to have a look at how Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal conducted themselves during WW2 and post war. These four countries did in fact made themselves quite rich and further strengthen their hand post war supporting the mainland Europe unlike Ireland.

              NZ could do the same, but a lot of money has to be pump into the NZDF, Foreign Affairs, Trade, Aid, and STEM to make this work.

      • Treetop 8.3.2

        Too costly for NZ to maintain aircraft fire power.

        It would not take much for fighter jets from overseas to be stationed in NZ if really necessary.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.3.2.1

          Too costly for NZ to maintain aircraft fire power.

          How come?

          It would not take much for fighter jets from overseas to be stationed in NZ if really necessary.

          Why would we want to?

          • Treetop 8.3.2.1.1

            How come?
            The health system needs every dollar it can get.

            Why would we want to?
            Not a case of want,it would be a case of need to give security.

            Being nuclear free is a different reason when it comes to security.

        • Exkiwiforces 8.3.2.2

          Actually it didn’t cost that much maintain the Air Strike Wing in the overall scheme of things. Where it fell down was the short term view taken of Defence by both sides of the Beehive and the what happen to the NZDF during the 90’s under the No Mates Party (National) in which everything was run in the ground.

          When in the 90’s Units/ SQN’s/ Bases/ Depots/ Ships were disbanded, shut down/ closed or worn out equipment wasn’t replace and the only time it was replace was either it fell out of the sky aka the Strikemasters in 14 SQN or during Bosnia even then about 90% of the kit issued was borrowed from the Ozzie Army or leased from NATO aka the British Army and the short notice deployment to the Gulf under Op Dessert Fox which apart at the seams for the NZDF.

          The F-16 lease deal has been describe as the deal of the century in most quarters and the books I have read what my uncle said at the time and he stills say its today the F-16’s was a good deal. He still says today, if the No Mates Party weren’t a bunch of cheap ass ****s when we replace the old Bunty we would be in the fast jet business as the BAE Hawk would’ve been far easy to re-generate than the Macchi both in terms of cost and manpower as there was still a lot of corporate knowledge around until about the 2 term of the No Mates Party.

  9. patricia bremner 9

    Vanuatua has stated they are not interested. End of.

  10. Cinny 10

    Wooo hooooo THANKS GOVERNMENT.

    There WILL be an inquiry into Operation Burnham, conducted by Geoffrey Palmer and another person.

    Will post a link when one comes up. Super happy about this news.

    Edit… link added

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/04/hit-and-run-government-launches-inquiry-into-alleged-afghan-civilian-deaths.html

    Edit again… just found a live stream of questions happening now….

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/04/livestream-attorney-general-makes-announcement-on-operation-burnham.html

    • cleangreen 10.1

      Good news there Cinny.

    • Monty 10.2

      That is great news needed to happen for clarity.

      If found that the book is right. There should be action to hold those to account I suspect most Kiwis would find that too much and want action.

      On the flip side if it’s found that NZDF is correct and the book discredited will that be accepted or as I fear the inquiry will be called a farce and only the facts in the book are correct.

    • roy cartland 10.3

      Excellent, and may the villagers’ lives be honoured with a steely justice.

  11. Ed 11

    George Galloway explains why this is the most dangerous moment since the Cuban Crisis.
    You will hear stuff that you won’t hear anywhere else.
    There is no evidence of a chemical attack.
    It is a lie.

    Like Iraq.

    Very scary.

    Listen to the first 10 minutes.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • JohnSelway 11.1

      I can think of reasons why you won’t hear this anywhere else

      • Ed 11.1.1

        Rather than making wisecrack comments and not even bothering to listen to the show, I recommend you actually listen to the words of Peter Ford, ex British ambassador to Syria on the matter.

  12. Muttonbird 12

    I don’t think this Simon Bridges has the goods.

    Reading this article it seems JA completely dominated him in question time with clean but brutal smack-downs.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/04/jacinda-ardern-v-simon-bridges-fiercest-question-time-debate-yet.html

    The Nats and their supporters must be getting worried – he’s an odd and scrappy little man and just doesn’t have what it takes.

  13. Ad 13

    Great to see Parker standing up again. Reeks of competence as AG.

    Very good signal to NZDF that he is not going to take any shit.

    One of only two really competent Ministers in the pack at the moment.

  14. Anne 14

    One of only two really competent Ministers in the pack at the moment.

    That’s not true Ad.

    1) Jacinda Ardern.
    2) David Parker.
    3) Phil Twyford
    4) Winston Peters
    5) David Clark
    6) Megan Woods.
    7) Grant Robertson – whose chance to show his true mettle is coming up soon.

    All of them are showing they are well informed and on top of their portfolios despite attempts by opposition and their media acolytes to paint them otherwise.

    Waiting in the wings to join the above group are imo:

    Chris Hipkins,Tracey Martin and Ian Lees-Galloway.

    Not a bad outcome in less than 6 months in office.

    • newsense 14.1

      Missing Andrew Little from that list, somewhere very near its top. Clark is on the wait and see list so far IMO.
      and no point playing a good game early in the term and failing later for what ever reason.

      • Anne 14.1.1

        Oops… bad error. Andrew Little. One of the best. They’re not in any sort of order btw.

        Oh and Julie Anne Genter is rapidly earning her stripes. And yep. David Clark should be on the wait and see list. He’s inherited a massive problem – not his fault – but he’s going to have to prove he can solve it.

        All in all I think Ad is a little out of order on this one. ::wink:

    • veutoviper 14.2

      Definitely Tracey Martin. She owned Alfred Ngaro in QTime yesterday with an impressive list of what is happening in the Children portfolio – and with a sense of humour!
      https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=199841

  15. newsense 15

    What’s ‘Dodgy Dick’ Griffin playing at not releasing the voicemail?

  16. Newshub Many thanks to our Goverment for stopping off shore oil drilling Ka pai
    As for replacing jobs Te Taranaki oil barons should not swim against the RIP Tide they should swim with it or they will——. like my Tipunas did 200 years ago Kohere Mokena and Ropata Wahawaha they sided with the Queen of England and avoided 100 years of WAR .
    They prouduce energy we need energy why not use Taranakis natural resources the wind build wind mills or have water turbines in the sea I always find a positive thing in every situation . YES We are going to LEAD the world into a bright energy transition into renewable energy with our European cousin . This is not a ban there are just no new oil drilling permits also OUR precious Maui Dophins Ka pai E ho.
    That oil baron you were you have interviewed is crying he wanted the Government to get in a big room for consultation so he could try and con them into changing there minds OUR MP have had enough of being in a room with OLD —— MEN who think that there opinion is the only correct opinion . Ana to kai Ka kite ano P.S Duncan it must been blowing hard at your place the other nite A

    • eco maori 16.1

      Newshub Tikapa my Marae has no power this is the reason I have study Solar power for years its light the fire turn the generator on solar power is that cheap now that the residents of Ruaturia would save big in switching to solar power as there power is so expensive I seen when I was there that optical fiber broad band was there..
      The amount of oil we burn is small on the World stage but New Zealand has been a Leader on the World stage on many issues ladys voting ECT so the big picture is we are joining two other Countrys in starting the trend for the Whole World to change there attitude and think about the future of the Planet we leave behind for OUR mokopunas . We are leading the world into a carbon neutral economy’s.
      Ka kite ano . P.S I ‘m not going anywhere till I get what is owed to me for this harassment

      • eco maori 16.1.1

        The Am show in the near future your car will be your back up power supply Marks hows your son we will be always digging up our tipuna intentionally or unintentionally archaeology helps us find the true history that the victors distort all the time in there favor this is fact books burned all evidence of some cultures burnt. This tactic is used to suppress others who could topple the victors.It is happening in New Zealand at the moment . Ka kite ano

        • eco maori 16.1.1.1

          Newshub the engineers in Taranaki could retool and make wind turbines geothermal turbines ect. Thats exactly my argument against trying to eat vegetables only a vegan diet this is why we must thank our farmers who produce OUR protein it keeps us healthy Ka pai to Australians for apprehending these parents for not considering the effects there belief of a vegetable only diet had on there child and publicizing the case .
          Mike OUR sports stars are doing excellent in Australia a bit of drama on the bikes P.S I’m going to watch The Crowd Goes Wild on Prime TV I gave those people who are on 3 after 7 friends the pukana today they did not like it Ana to kai lieing———?
          Ka kite ano

          • eco maori 16.1.1.1.1

            The Crowd Goes Wild Mulls and James Angus is a good rugby player .
            The front row in Rugby Union is hard work I take my hat off to all of the front rowers last time I was scrumming I stuffed my neck up a bit wrong technique .
            Wairangi is a good role model for Maori Ka pai he was a mean League player in his day. It was humerus watching Wai and Josh hosting the Crowd Goes Wild .
            Must be some intense competition in the American base ball league. P.S you have given me a sore face again Mulls good one
            Ka kite ano

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    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
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    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago