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Open mike 11/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 11th, 2012 - 51 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

51 comments on “Open mike 11/02/2012 ”

  1. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/foster-friess-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-sugar-daddy-atop-the-horse/

    “…The Republican kingmaker – with his own Youtube channel and obsession with radical Islam – shot in to the spotlight this week on the shoulder of Rick Santorum.

    But who really is he?..”

    [email look alike deleted].

  2. chris73 2


    Whether you like him or loathe him its always interesting when someone opens up like this

    • Bill 2.1

      Not quite as amusing as this though chris73 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eDaSvRO9xA

    • ianmac 2.2

      Yes Chris, a great story well told. But not sure how it helps. I bet many of the writers and many posters here on the Standard can tell of similar courageous climbs. And what you do has much more importance than what your parents did. I am intrigued at the way that children lay claim to their wealth, and their possessions but it is really by the sweat of their mother or father’s efforts.

    • KJT 2.3


      Some of the reasons why it actually costs more to live when you are poor.

    • just saying 2.4

      In which Whaleoil indulges in some public family therapy relating his admiration for the hardships his father had to overcome, to eventually be rich and powerful.

      Interesting for a couple of reasons. W/O says he is answering his many critics who have apparently said his father was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He must be confused. I doubt he could produce even one criticism of him that expresses this. But I’m sure his critics often suggest that W/O himself was born into considerable privilege.

      My own grandparents on both sides (and probably most people’s) had similar stories of women abandoned and imoverished with large families to support, and considerable suffering and hardship. Difference is, their experiences led them to political convictions that no-one should have to suffer similarly unnecessarily, and they actively supported political movements that brought about social welfare provision for people in similar circumstances. Whaleoils’s father seems to have taken the opposite tough-hearted political approach.

  3. Matthew Hooton 3

    For those who were interested in the port debate this week, NBR has now moved my column to this side of the paysall. See http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/wr-opening-salvo-auckland’s-container-port-must-go-108818

    • But Matthew you overlook three rather important aspects:

      1.  POAL is the ideal place to land cargo, right in the middle of the biggest urban centre of the country.  You could land it all in Tauranga and truck it up but you would then have nearly 900,000 significant truck movements a year presuming they transported one container each.  That is 2,500 a day.  Sure they happen already but that many trips from Tauranga to Auckland a day will clog up the southern motorway.

      2.  POAL provides considerable wider economic benefits for the city.  Sure you can turn a blind eye to the greater economic good but why would you.  Shouldn’t a public entity actually try and work for the greater good?  Is you want to see an attempted quantification of these have a look here.

      3.   Valuing the port area at the same price of nearby land is nonsensical.  You can’t build multi high-rise buildings on the wharves.  They have a somewhat limited use and would require extensive strengthening if any sort of construction was anticipated. 

      • willie maley 3.1.1

        micky, Matthew isn’t interested in “the greater good”. Only what’s in it for him and his mates.

  4. Lindsey 4

    I think the difference is in the employment possibilities. At a time of relatively high employment a young person could walk down the road and get that full time job in the butchery or whatever. And be paid at Union rates. Now, if they are lucky, they will get 15 to 20 hours a week at the minimum wage at the supermarket. Can’t keep a family on that! Can’t even keep themselves on that.

  5. Jimmie 5

    A question for lefties. Do you support the right for people to leave an inheritance to their descendants when they die. (Whether small or big) Also do you think that it should be taxed?

    For me who is a moderate RWNJ I think that if a person has managed to save some wealth through hard work, sweat and tears that they should be able to pass it on to whom ever they will.
    But I know some lefties think it is evil or should be taxed.

    I think its good so then the following generation do not have to ‘start again’ but can use the inherited capital to help them in their way through life.

    • Bored 5.1

      We all want our children to inherit what we have accumulated. The difference is that some of us realise that those who have inherited assets etc accumulate faster by dint of the initial advantage. In the normal scheme of things you can pretty much rely on the fat cat psychology that comes with privelege to stuff it all up in a few generations.

      You might be better to ask the question in a different way: perhaps should we tax more in life and have no death duties, or vice versa? Or perhaps when does accumulated wealth become anti social and anti economic (in my mind the same thing), and how can we discourage it?

      As an aside: my businesses pay fair tax, we dont try and avoid. Neither do I. When talking to the accountants I realise what a rarity this is.

    • Descendant Of Smith 5.2

      I’m ever increasingly less inclined to view that it should not be taxed.

      As the right wing premise is that you should be able to accumulate wealth to support yourself and your family independently and not be reliant on the state and therefore the state should leave it alone then the sad reality is, is that many of the wealthy simply do not follow that principle.

      The reality I see is that many well off people arrange their affairs to access state assistance that they do not actually need to access.

      I know millionaires who have community services cards, they wish the state to pay for their retirement, they wish the state to pay for their residential care.

      In my lifetime this access has clearly increased by the well off at the same time as they have reduced the level of tax they pay, removed aspects such as income testing of NZS, tucked more and more money away in trusts so it doesn’t get counted as personal income and assets.

      At the same time businessmen have reduced wages so that those who are working struggle – it’s sad my kids have worse pay and conditions than I had when I started work. They’ve taken more profit and my kids pay the price.

      Wealth is not regarded as evil by the left but the hypocrisy of many of the wealthy who lambast the poor for accessing assistance when they have no jobs, while all the time seeking and obtaining state assistance.

      And of course it’s not all hard work, and sweat and tears – much of it is luck and circumstance, some of it is family support, some of it is not having an accident or illness or injury or not being born with a disability, or not being ripped off by an unscrupulous finance company……

      Lets take the simple example of residential care.
      If I’ve worked hard and saved my money, are these savings
      1. To help me get through my non-working years in a degree of comfort and to provide for my care when I am unable to care for myself
      2. To pass on to my children while the state pays for my care

      Surely the priority should be to take care of oneself first.

    • Tax it over a certain level. Back in the 1980s in NZ it used to be $450,000. Make it a million now and have a sliding scale. But there is truly something wrong with the concentration of so much wealth in the hands of so few and a death tax will help prevent this.

    • Descendant Of Smith 5.4

      BTW I’m never heard anyone from the left say leaving an inheritance is evil.
      Taxed yes – evil no. Conflating the two in the way you do suggests you are trolling to get some sort of reaction.

      • Jimmie 5.4.1

        Nah I was actually interested to hear what you guys had to say – its not really a subject that comes up all that often.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          So I’d be interested in your thoughts back as to whether the first priority of that wealth should be to provide for your own care.

          Secondly should that wealth be then used to provide for your children’s costs while they are alive – is there any reason it should be left until you actually die to provide for your descendants?

          Lets take Social Security as an example:

          The purpose of this Act is—

          (a) to enable the provision of financial and other support as appropriate—

          (i) to help people to support themselves and their dependants while not in paid employment; and
          (ii) to help people to find or retain paid employment; and
          (iii) to help people for whom work may not currently be appropriate because of sickness, injury, disability, or caring responsibilities, to support themselves and their dependants:

          (b) to enable in certain circumstances the provision of financial support to people to help alleviate hardship:

          (c) to ensure that the financial support referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) is provided to people taking into account—

          (i) that where appropriate they should use the resources available to them before seeking financial support under this Act; and

          (ii) any financial support that they are eligible for or already receive, otherwise than under this Act, from publicly funded sources

          How much should one of the resources available to the children of the wealthy who may find themselves out of work or unwell be the use of this accumulated wealth without having to wait until the parent dies.

          Should trusts have to be accessed first where you are a beneficiary of the trust. Should there be a register of beneficiaries so that this can be monitored and enforced?

          (I also think there should be a register of beneficiaries of trusts so that beneficiaries also know they are. A friend I know just dealt with a case where a father left the income of his assets to his disabled son with the money going to his siblings upon his (the son’s) death. The problem was his siblings were the trustees and so weren’t distributing any income so they got it all when he died. The disabled son was living in poverty completely unaware that he could have had an additional income stream of about $20,000 per annum.)

          Does the right wing mantra I started with nothing and only got there because of all my personal effort and anyone else can do the same if they want too – they are just lazy bastards if they can’t) mean that all estates should go 100% to the state? This might ensure the mantra is given full effect?


          • Jimmie

            Well obviously yes it should be used for your care in your old age – I guess means testing is only fair though if I get in that situation it would be nice if I could see out my last days living with family rather than some impersonal rest home.

            As to providing for your children prior to death – I guess it depends on their age and attitude to life. If they are of age and have the right work ethic then I wouldn’t have a problem helping them get started however I have seen a situation that I know of (around 5 years ago) where a wealthy widow had 3 kids who sucked her for $$ left right and centre. None of them had work and felt like they never had to as mama was always there with her chequebook. (She was a hard worker herself – just didn’t have the strength to stand up to her kids)

            Up until recently there were also issues with gift duty liabilities which created a practical limit to giving – however that is no longer the case.

            I believe that the more people in society that can fend for themselves the more productive and independent that society will be.
            I also realise that there are some people often through no fault of their own who do need a helping hand (I have a friend who has suffered from cerebal palsy since he was 14 for example)

            I also know that a fair number of people in society will take advantage of handouts that they are not really entitled to and will chose the easy option over chosing to wean them selves off state dependency.

            The biggest challenge with state welfare ( & I think you need the wisdom of Solomon to do this) is is figure out a system so that those who need help get it and those who are trying to cheat the system and the lazy get told to take a hike.

            Also how do you encourage young people to not look to the easy option as a lifestyle choice.

            If I was the Minister of Education I would change the focus of secondary education to include the following compulsory subjects.

            Budgeting skills, driver licence training, work ethics skills, studies relating to choices & consequences, house keeping skills, basic skills relating to loans & banking, and job hunting skills. Throw into the mix goal keeping and career planning as well.

            From what I have seen over the last 21 years of being in the work force as a worker and an employer is that kids are coming out of school ill prepared for life as a working adult.

            Once upon a time you could rely on parents to teach these basic skills but not anymore in some cases sadly.

            I’m not against genuine beneficaries just those who chose the lifestyle rather than work.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Heres where I think you are wrong:

              I also know that a fair number of people in society will take advantage of handouts that they are not really entitled to and will chose the easy option over choosing to wean them selves off state dependency.

              This is only a small number. The problem when people look at the stats they forget about churn through the benefit system. It’s easy to say there are x number on benefit for 10 years but when you take the number of people who have been on benefit in that 10 years it is miniscule.

              As however we all “know someone” then it’s easy to extrapolate that emotionally to lots of people. Then when you consider that many of those people are in rural areas or have significant disability or are raising children then you need to think about what removing such assistance would do – as opposed to say removing the right of underage partners to be included in NZS many of whom are more than capable of working and will often be on for 10 years or more.
              In reality the vast majority of people go in and out of work and the benefit system as required.

              The biggest challenge with state welfare ( & I think you need the wisdom of Solomon to do this) is is figure out a system so that those who need help get it and those who are trying to cheat the system and the lazy get told to take a hike.

              Nope the biggest challenge is finding productive employment for people. When there are jobs people will work. We are in a recession and people didn’t become unemployed because they wanted to – they became unemployed because their jobs went, were cut down to part time, their firms went bust, export orders were cancelled, bad weather affected crops, work was casualised, etc etc

              What the benefit system also has to find is a balance between ensuring that people are willing to access help when they need it and not being too intrusive in peoples lives to the extent that genuine people in need don’t apply. There’s no doubt in the 80’s when I was an advocate that many women stayed in abusive relationships because somehow the ordeal they had to go through at Social Welfare to apply was just another step in abuse – they used to have staff who would come into your homes, make an excuse to go to the toilet so they could look in your bathroom to see if there were two toothbrushes for instance, male boots at the door and so on.

              Again it seems to me we are heading down the road of being intrusive on the poor but allowing the wealthy to hide their financial circumstances (e.g. the gifting situation you refer to which will also make it harder for women to access their matrimonial property rights upon separation).

              And when you think about where you want the staff at WINZ to spend their time (particularly if you believe the jobs are out there) consider how much you want to resource them rounding up the miscreants versus helping people find the jobs that are there. Consider that each hour they spend interviewing someone who has been on benefit for 654 years is an hour they cannot spend helping someone else find a job.

              Where do we as taxpayers at this point in time want those staff to spend their effort?

              Equally you can’t focus on the benefit system without focusing on employers – if they would take a bit less profit and were prepared to invest in youth then maybe we’d have less of an issue. Ryman for instance could employ more people in their residential homes and pay them more without any undue suffering of profit.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I believe that the more people in society that can fend for themselves the more productive and independent that society will be

              Then you’d be wrong. Not everybody can do everything for themselves and so we live in a community. We are interdependent and that interdependence means that we look out for each other and make sure that everybody in the community has enough to live reasonably. When we try any other way we end up with poverty, crime and corruption – just as we have now.

              The biggest challenge with state welfare ( & I think you need the wisdom of Solomon to do this) is is figure out a system so that those who need help get it and those who are trying to cheat the system and the lazy get told to take a hike.

              The problem is that the system has been designed by those who should have been told to take a hike – the capitalists. Quite simply, the system has been designed so that, if you’re in the right position, you can legally cheat and steal.

              Also how do you encourage young people to not look to the easy option as a lifestyle choice.

              By default, people want to do things and be challenged. The problem comes when they work hard and get nowhere but see other people getting ahead due to their work. As I learned when I first did Amway:
              You can’t get rich by working but only through having others work for you.
              Which is the basis of capitalism – skimming off the wealth created by others.

              If I was the Minister of Education I would change the focus of secondary education to include the following compulsory subjects.

              The system is the problem and yet you want to entrench it forever?

              I’m not against genuine beneficaries just those who chose the lifestyle rather than work.

              Everybody wants to work, the problem is that some want to be rich and in their efforts to become rich they invent reasons for some not to receive anything and others not to receive their due. One of those reasons is that some people aren’t working due to circumstances outside of their control but within the control of the people who want to be rich. Everybody should be able to work and the reason why they can’t is because having unemployment helps keep wages down allowing those few to become richer.

            • Puddleglum

              I believe that the more people in society that can fend for themselves the more productive and independent that society will be.

              I would have thought that someone who believed that would not want to leave much money/wealth to their children.

              People I’ve known who have been well provided for during their upbringing and then have either received or are in expectation of receiving a sizeable inheritance tend to be less inclined to make the most productive use of their capacities or potential.

              That makes sense since there will have been no ‘incentive’ to work actively towards being independent and providing for themselves.

              I can’t remember which ones, but I seem to recall that several very wealthy people have made deliberate decisions not to pass on the ‘family’ wealth to their children, for just these sorts of reasons. 

  6. ianmac 6

    My house + contents Insurance has risen by $195 since last year. Yuck!

  7. Te Reo Putake 7

    Good column from John Armstrong today, examining the noticeable change in Key’s demeanour and apparently confirming that the rumours that he hasn’t got long to go in the job may have some substance. 
    But who would replace him? Despite the surfeit of MP’s, the Tory talent pool is pretty shallow. None of his best ministers (Joyce, Brownlee) are personable enough to take NZ with them and the worst, but higher profile ones, (Bennett, Tolley) are too divisive to win an election. 
    So they may be forced to go for a malleable idiot who can also smile and wave and talk non stop bollocks. Simon Bridges? Nathan Guy?

    • Carol 7.1

      Actually, it looks to me like Armstrong first acknowledges people’s around tghe traps think Key has lost interest and won’t last the term. Then Armstrong gets into apologetics as to why that view is wrong, and Key just has a lot of diffficult things to deal with.

      But the commetns so far are less than enamoured with Key’s performance.

      And as for Armstrong’s comment that Key isn’t as addicted to power as Clark…? Actually, I’d say with Key it’s all about power and status, and little about what good he will do for most Kiwis.

      • muzza 7.1.1

        I was left wondering if Armstrong had infact past his use by date, the article was was full of contradictory statements..

        Key loves the limelight, or is that loves himself – But is now realising that the job is much “harder” than he invisaged, most likely because he was maneuvered into the position using the resistentless paths which saw him elevated effortlessly into the leadership role. Now the gloss has worn off, the smile turned upside down, Key is, like all meglomaniacs, losing patience with it all, as its making him look bad. Simple as that!

        Simone Bridges – 100% Tory Stooge in waiting!

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Hekia Parata. Not just a female PM, but an acceptable first Maori PM of NZ. That will be the pitch.

      BTW Key lost interest after the Royal Wedding and photo op with Obama, i.e. after his scrapbook was full.

  8. ianmac 8

    Just had a thought. Voters feel disengaged with politics and politicians and often don’t vote. Connect that to “consultations” about issues and you get a strong feeling that minds of this Government’s lawmakers are already made up and the “consultation” is just a mockery. For example I believe that the current hui/English Asset sales amounts to an hour talk by English and an hour for opinions of Iwi and then gone with Mr English’s follow up interviews saying exactly the same as before the “consultation.”
    Select Committees? Same. Talk then carry out previous decision. (Reminds me of a boss who used to write up the minutes before the meeting, read the minutes to the assembled people then close the meeting.)

    • Aye the timeframe is that short that the only possible interpretation is that they are going through the motions and have made their minds up already.

      To add insult to injury to choose to announce the “consultation” a week out from Waitangi day was only ever going to cause dissent to occur.

  9. idlegus 9

    A nasty rant from Paul Holmes, I’m wondering if it flies pretty close to ‘Hate Speech’ ? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10784735 I’m also curious that there hasn’t been any comments on this all day.

    • KJT 9.1

      Given up reading Holmes a long time ago.

    • Paul 9.2

      I guess Holmes wants a reaction. Best just to ignore such drivel.

    • felix 9.3

      No comments because no-one cares what Paul thinks.

      Troll-bait fail.

      • idlegus 9.3.1

        ahhh, ok, ignore. Wasn’t quite what I was asking, I just thought it was exceptionally nasty & incredible to be published in the Herald, I understand this kinda thing comes out of his mouth while on the radio but to see it printed just gave me a shake.

        • felix

          Yeah I know what you mean, you’d think writing it down would give him cause to think about it – that’s kinda why I took it as trolling.

          32 comments on the article now, 28 (I think) of them glowing praise, mostly variations on “you’re saying what all kiwis really think” and “finally the rich white man gets a voice in this country, about bloody time”.

          edit: best comment on the article:

          JH (428)
          03:29 PM Saturday, 11 Feb 2012
          Thanks for your insight. Very thought provoking. The main thought that comes to mind is your an idiot.

          • mickysavage

            Good one JH.

            • idlegus


              I always hate the “Its what 99% of kiwis think”. Makes me feel very angry. But yes I agree, Paul Holmes is largely irrelevent.

              • Anne

                Yes idlegus, felt so angry when I read it I considered writing a letter to the Herald suggesting he be tested for dementia. Then I decided a) he wasn’t worth it, and b) it was an insult to those who suffer from dementia.

          • muzza

            I had to read it now, as normally would not bother with Holmes who is the empitomy of whilte middle class, shit doesn’t stink, self righteous hack, my ex wife had a maori name so I cant be called racist, when I blatantly am. who is clearly getting more viscious with age instead of mellowing!

            “I know that later that evening, the news will show us irrational Maori ghastliness with spitting, smugness, self-righteousness and the usual neurotic Maori politics, in which some bizarre new wrong we’ve never thought about will be lying on the table”

            Yes Paul thats right, the media like to frame the narrative in such a way that makes white people tsk tsk at the savages, all the while it means that the real issues (not the ones you mention), but those which the protestors were there because of, such as land sales, asset sales, and the general attack on “lower end ” kiwis, you seem so keen to put the boot into..

            Terrible article, but now seems this is what he is writing….last weeks attack on the warfies showed what he is about!

            I feel dirty writing about it!

    • QoT 9.4

      An excellent response here:

      Māori can be blamed for all of society’s problems. Māori parents are especially at fault. They should follow the example of exemplary parents like myself. The children of perfect, white parents like ME never develop $1000-a-day P habits.

      • Jackal 9.4.1

        Thanks for that QoT. I think this paragraph sums it up:

        I am a washed up, former TV presenter who was fired almost ten years ago but tries to cling to my D-grade celebrity status by writing a column for an even lower-brow news website. I use long strings of adjectives to reach my word count.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Are they paying? If they’re not then don’t do it as you’re being ripped off.

      I do note that capitalist businesses like to use commun1sm to benefit themselves.

  10. Jackal 11

    John Roughan – Asshole of the Week

    The debate concerning the partial privatisation of our state owned assets is starting to heat up, with propaganda and a lack of objective opinion being all too apparent in the MSM…

  11. Colonial Viper 12

    The Listener asks: The new Labour leader says his party is ready for a change, but does that include confronting the union muscle within the party?


    • Carol 12.1

      *sigh* – the article, and Shearer’s comments as reported, seem to be pandering to the old myths peddled by the right and the MSM about Labour – fiscally and economically untrustworthy and too much into irresponsible spending, need to get beneficiaries to be more responsible, pandering to unions and identity politics.

      … so nothing really new about Shearer it seems… still pandering to the neoliberal myths and values. Nothing here to attract me from The Greens or possibly Mana.

      • Blue 12.1.1

        Yeah, another ‘Labour must become National-lite in order to win’ article.

        If we want a party where union is a dirty word and the party is made up of rich, old white men with a few token ‘diversity’ positions, we know where to find one.

        Labour connected with people once, by offering them practical ideas that helped improve their everyday lives. That’s all they need to do. If they can sell Kiwis a vision where they can own their own home, provide for their families and save for their future, then they will win.

        • Bill

          Labour connected with people once, by offering them practical ideas that helped improve their everyday lives.

          Dunno about that ‘Blue’. It was workers who formed the Labour Party and used it as a vehicle to promote and express their interests. So there was absolutely no issue around Labour ‘connecting with people’. The question would seem to ‘when was it that the Labour Party became a ‘law unto itself’ and began preaching back to workers their (supposed) best interests. ‘Cause that’s when they had already lost touch. And the interum between then (whenever that was, but it was certainly pre 84) and now, has been Labour simply riding a wave of nostalgia and ‘what if’s’.

          To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Labour Party was to disappear over the medium term.

    • ianmac 12.2

      Not really about Shearer was it but mostly a vehicle for Ruth Laugesen to express her opinion. Whoever she is.

  12. Jackal 13

    I was wondering if anybody has further information on voter fraud? I recall a comment a while ago on The Standard concerning the matter that outlined a number of instances of personation in the last election, however the Electoral Commission has responded to my OIA saying:

    There is currently no information available regarding fraud at the 2011 General Election as there are no confirmed cases of fraud at this point. The Electoral Commission is still considering whether there are any potential instances of personation that will need to be referred to Police for further investigation. For this reason, your request is refused under section 18(g) of the Official Information Act. You may wish to inquire with Police regarding this information in the New Year.

    Not one case of voter fraud? Seems a bit too good to be true.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago