Open mike 11/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 11th, 2016 - 184 comments
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184 comments on “Open mike 11/02/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    The economic tsunami will affect us.
    NZ’s media wakes up at last.
    The RNZ’s business staff still seem remarkably unaware.

    • vto 1.1

      I wonder how many people have already run to the bank to withdraw their deposits?

      How many will do so today?

      Remember that in the prelude to the current financial system’s meltdown, the GFC, there were runs on banks here and in Australia. It was little known.

    • tc 1.2

      Dude RNZ is effectively radio live without the ads and talkback now with the cutting edge blunted by griffin and cohorts long ago.

      As designed to not scare the sheeple with pesky facts and exposing a corrupt govt flogging nz bit by bit.

      • Chooky 1.2.1

        Well if RNZ will not disturb the “sheeple” with “pesky facts”…try Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert who get stuck into Goldman Sachs and other banksters ( and more entertaining than RNZ)

        In this episode : Bankster Monkey Business

        * Goldman Sachs bankers are not happy with the way capitalism is going!…in particular they are not happy with Bernie Sanders but have paid Hillary Clinton $675,000 for speeches to end ‘banker bashing’.

        * Via government political cronyism Goldman Sachs bought up social housing in Spain and on- sold for a profit! The people have been protesting. Need for a ‘Rule of Law’ to reign in banksters who are serial law breakers . Greece tried to take Goldman Sachs to court for cooking the books ( lessons for New Zealand)

        *Ponzi schemes China / Wall Street /government…people questioning bankster tricks …alternatives to banksters tricks

        * Max ice challenge Putin ….and plug for RT plugin

    • Grey Area 1.3


      Having vacated the National Party propaganda wasteland of commercial radio and returned to RNZ in the mornings during breakfast I now find myself being treated to the business news theatre of the absurd.

      Unfortunately it’s on at the time that I’m normally most active in the kitchen when I like to listen in to hopefully learn something about the country and the world I live in.

      It’s like they are in an echo chamber as they blabber on about the money markets, share markets, share prices, profit forecasts, annual meetings of shareholders, blah blah blah …

      What’s missing are what for me are the important bits – critical analysis, intelligent questioning and helping listeners gain insight.

      As soon as I hear Giles Beckford or his clone now I switch the radio off until catching the news at 7am.

      • Gabby 1.3.1

        I find I’m distracted by whatever unspeakably awful thing is happening in the back of Giles’ throat. If he started ‘golluming’ it would be less disturbing.

  2. Paul 2

    Stephen Joyce’s argument seems to be based on bad mouthing Jane Kelsey.
    When you are reduced to insults, rather than making reasoned evidence based points you are losing the argument.

    Some rebuttal for Mr Joyce

    • vto 2.1

      Dildo Joyce’s “arguments” wouldn’t pass a Primary School test.

      He says this, for example, “People like Jane Kelsey would roll back the China FTA, the Korean one, the South East Asia one, any one of them. Because they just really don’t like trade for ideological reasons. ” This is clearly wholly incorrect and he knows it but ignores it. No wonder politicians like him come to be loathed.

      He also says this “There are those who say it sacrifices our sovereignty. Well, how can that be so? We have the sovereign right to withdraw from any trade agreement at any time. There is no one holding us to any of them. ”

      Again, he makes no argument. Foreign business interests gain an increased stake in our law-making system. That is a change/sacrifice to our sovereignty. He completely ignores this.

      Such a shallow man. His open letter gets a 1 out of 10 for fronting up to the real arguments.

      Maybe he has been playing with the toy.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.1.1

        Steven Joyce “more Kiwis will have jobs”

        Tufts University Study 10 year employment change -6000 jobs

        • BM

          No one has any idea what’s going to happen to employment in 10 years, to say it’s going to decrease by 6000 is ridiculous.

          Can’t believe people take this stuff seriously.

          • vto

            Like you are an expert. You seem to have no idea how these things are researched and what they are based on.

            No wonder nobody takes your stuff seriously lol

          • dv

            Can’t believe people take this stuff seriously.

            Yep just like the predicted increase in GDP by 0.7% by 2030!!!

          • pat

            so in effect yore saying the MFAT analysis that the TPPA is on balance in NZs best interests is based on wishful thinking……couldnt agree more

            • BM

              Economic modeling is a waste of time, I don’t know why they bother.

              What’s far more important is this:

              How many of our trade agreements have worked out badly for NZ?

              • vto

                ask the Mexicans and Canadians about theirs with the US.

                Really BM, you need to get better informed.

              • Colonial Viper

                How many of our trade agreements have worked out badly for NZ?

                Better to ask the question – how have the costs and benefits of these trade agreements been distributed throughout NZ society.

                Some sectors of society have done very well out of them, some sectors have been fucked over.

    • ianmac 2.2

      One of the comments to Joyce by rosselliot (well down the comments page) tells how the ISDS can be circumvented by Phillip Morris or others.
      “……the Most Favoured Nation provision which says that an enterprise from any of the signatories can pursue the government of any other signatory using the ISDS mechanism of ANY other trade deal that the target government has entered into. This means that provisions in the TPPA offering specific protections (eg from big tobacco, or of the Waitangi treaty) can be circumvented if that protection in missing from some other trade agreement. Following a defeat in the Australian courts, Philip Morris recently moved its Australian operation to Hong Kong so that it can sue the Australian Government over expected losses (indirect expropriation) from the plain packaging legislation using the ISDS of an Australia – Hong Kong treaty.”…..

      • greywarshark 2.2.1

        That ianmac is a really BIG factor in the legislation that we should understand.
        Each of of the clauses of the TPPA may seem straight forward or have some other aspect to it that needs understanding. Read through them all and think you understand all – but no – it comes with extras like the clause you have mentioned above.

        Just reminded me of a bit of Oz black humour. John and Brian making the comedy series on the Oz Olympic Games where the 100 metres was actually less, came up with some wonderful double talk. The TPPA is the subject of such potent black humour that it would suck us into the TV screen and into a hole in space.
        Clarke and Dawe

  3. Muttonbird 3

    The problem the ADHB faces is but one real consequence of the current govt’s open tap immigration policy. While immigration is essential, no thought appears to have been given to the rate at which Auckland infrastructure can cope. It’s the people of Auckland who are left to pick up the pieces.

    • tc 3.1

      That and they’ve underfunded health by 25% now with Ryall long gone having played his part in asset sales also.

    • Paul 4.1

      It’s Our Future – Kiwis against the TPPA

      What happens next?

      In terms of the official process, the National Interest Analysis (a biased sell job, prepared by MFAT) has been tabled in Parliament. It’s Our Future responded calling for evidence not spin.

      MFAT is holding TPP Roadshows

      MFAT says: “The roadshows will present the outcomes of the TPP negotiations. Members of the public are welcome. The roadshows will also help businesses prepare to take advantage of new opportunities presented by TPP’s entry into force. The morning session of each roadshow will provide an overview of TPP, and afternoon workshop sessions will have a more technical focus.

      · Auckland, 7 March, Rendezvous Hotel, corner Mayoral Drive and Vincent St, Auckland Central

      · Christchurch, 11 March, Rydges Hotel, 30 Latimer Square, Christchurch City

      · Dunedin, 14 March, The Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Street, Dunedin

      · Wellington, 18 March, Westpac Stadium, 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington

      Registrations close on 1 March 2016. More roadshows will be held in other regional centres in the coming months. Locations are likely to include Hamilton, Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson, Palmerston North, Tauranga, and Whangarei. Updates will be published on this website, or you can contact if you would like to register to be updated.”

      It’s Our Future will provide fact sheets and questions for those who want to attend the meetings.

      • weka 4.1.1

        How nice of the govt to provide a schedule and location for the next series of TPPA protests 😀

      • savenz 4.1.2

        Who’s paying for it? The public of course!!

        Another absolute waste of tax payers funds by the government in their arrogance aka flag referendum!!

        If it was about debate, why not debate before they signed. After signing is more like PR.

  4. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 6

    It seems to me that a lot of commentators on the TPP are missing an essential point: that this agreement is not, in fact, between twelve countries, but is between an amorphous global corporate entity and twelve nation states.

    We are rightly concerned in this country with the ISDS association and 1600 litigious United States corporations, but the country of origin of those same corporations is largely irrelevant. Just as Phillip Morris transferred some of their office staff to Hong Kong in order to take advantage of an ISDS clause in an agreement between Australia and Hong Kong, so other corporates will do the same if it is in their interests.

    The TPPA and TTIP are an attempt by the 1% elite to impose their authority on a globalised world where nation states will largely become irrelevant.

    So, we are essentially engaged in a struggle for the type of world we would like our grandchildren to grow up in (always assuming that climate change doesn’t make all the above superfluous!)

    • ianmac 6.2

      TV Your comments re Philip Morris is the same one as @ 2.2 above. Pretty ominous isn’t it? Let alone Key saying a year or so again that NZ would not try plain packaging till after the Morris case in Australia.
      Thus our Government scared to act for fear of ISDS. Won’t sue good ole NZ? Huh!

    • weka 6.3

      “It seems to me that a lot of commentators on the TPP are missing an essential point:”

      I guess for me the corporate capture nature of the agreement is a given. There are others here who feel similarly. Interesting observation if it’s not being talked about.

  5. tangled_up 7

    Apologies if a repost:

    Google Trends prove TPPA protest impact

      • weka 7.1.1

        Now that’s interesting. I hope some of the ts geeks can run an eye over it and comment.

        One of the great things about modern technology is it’s ability to help us take a pulse on society, nearly instantaneously.

        As Google Trends shows, starting during the protest and extending into the long weekend following, “tppa” was one of the most searched for terms in all of New Zealand. In fact, more people wanted Google to tell them what the heck the TPPA was than how to get from point A to point B (with “maps” being one of the top search key words, this is a pretty big win).

        Second, and perhaps more interesting is how the spike for “tppa” searches is much higher than that which is for “tpp” searches. The reason that’s interesting is the NZ government and media often refer to the Trans-Pacific Partnership as “TPP”, while protest groups almost universally call it the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPPA”). So if you want to know who is winning the media war, this chart shows it all. The score is 5 to 1, and the people on the streets waving the anti-TPPA signs are winning.

        Good video of the blockade from Real Choice too.

        • Magisterium

          Now that’s interesting. I hope some of the ts geeks can run an eye over it and comment.


          • weka

            Yes, you are and so is your comment, please go away.

            • Magisterium

              There is absolutely no connection between his data and his conclusion. You can either take the word of someone who works professionally in online data analysis and who makes his living from interpreting Google activity stats that it’s meaningless, or put your fingers in your ears.

              • weka

                Oh fuck off. You can expect me to mind read (comment one), or expect me to take your word for it, because (comment two), but this is a political debate space that requires people to be meaningful in their communication or get slammed.

              • McFlock

                take the word of someone who works professionally in online data analysis and who makes his living from interpreting Google activity stats that it’s meaningless

                I like analysis work that isn’t meaningless. If I thought my role served no purpose, I’d feel guitly taking money to do it.

  6. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    q and a currently running on reddit
    “So we’re here today to answer your questions about everything TPP—the secret negotiating process, our analysis of the provisions, and how this agreement is a corporate wish list for big multinational companies. We’re here to share what we know about this agreement so you can help us stop it.”
    Those of us answering questions today:
    Evan Greer (Fight For the Future) – evangreerfftf
    Ilana Solomon (Sierra Club) – IlanaS
    Lori Wallach (Public Citizen, Global Trade Watch) – LWallach
    Maira Sutton (Electronic Frontier Foundation) – mairaEFF
    Meghan Sali (Open Media Canada) – om_meghan
    Steven Knievel (Public Citizen, Global Access to Medicines) – citizen_steve

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 8.1

      interesting point from above q and a session

      Pro TPP commenter
      “I understand trade opponents don’t like gross foreigners, but we haven’t lost any ISDS suits because we generally are fair and don’t discriminate.”

      Anti TPP response
      “This is not necessarily the case. Oftentimes before a case even goes into arbitration an offending law or public policy is changed.”

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 8.1.1

        TPP and it’s effect on the internet. (Link from current reddit q and a)
        Excellent resource, broken down into specific sections for different types of internet user.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata

          Good resource on Investor-State Dispute Settlement

          • Tautoko Mangō Mata

            Another interesting comment from Maira Sutton (Electronic Frontier Foundation) – mairaEFF in the q and a session.

            Does it make sense that the TPP obligates countries to make it a crime to tinker with or jailbreak your phone, car, or any number of digital devices? Does it make sense that you can be sent to jail or sentenced to pay debilitating fines for sharing a file for no financial motivation, that did not even impact the commercial interests of the artist or the copyright holder? Just as I think legislative riders are dishonest, I think it’s utterly disingenuous to put these sort of policies in a “trade” agreement.

  7. Rosie 9

    Re local body elections, Wellington.

    Does anyone know if or when deputy mayor and mayoral candidate, Justin Lester, (running on the Labour ticket) plans to declare a conflict of interest, as an avid promoter of both residential and commercial development when he sits on the executive of the NZ Property Council – the lobby group for residential and commercial property developers and owners?

    I spent the last year battling with the developer of the neighbourhood where I live and and the WCC over breaches of consent and ongoing anti social and criminal behaviour by development staff and their contractors. The criminal aspects were handled in a sub standard way by the Police, which of course is nothing to with the WCC however despite meeting with council officials and managers and trying to get Justin Lester on side, as he is the councillor in our ward, nothing was resolved, there were no apologies and life on the development continued in a toxic way.

    The only answers I got was “my hands are tied” and “it fits with the district plan”.

    I discovered there is a questionable relationship between developers and the WCC One other conflict of interest in relation to that managers connection with a developer (former husband) was declared but nothing yet from Justin Lester?

    It’s very important this is known to the citizens before they vote given the ongoing mass scale development of the northern suburbs (both MDH and regular housing) and the planned MDH projects in existing burbs. It’s highly inappropriate that Justin Lester is chairing community meetings on this topic when people don’t know he sits on the executive of the Wellington branch of the NZ Property Council.

    • Petertoo 9.1

      Hi Rosie – sounds like par for the course. The subdivision concerns and compliance problems you are experiencing exist in pockets throughout the Wellington City. The Council planners and compliance staff maintain very unhealthy relationships with some developers (and their ex-Council advisors). These parties have become very adept at joining forces to game the RMA and District Plan and at over-riding the legitimate (and legal?) expectations of local communities. Ratepayers now routinely have to finance Court proceedings to have restraints put on the excesses of speculators. As for Justin Lester, it seems at best, he has a tenuous grip on ethical matters. Demonstratively, he has no difficulty in expecting ratepayers to subsidise any big ideas that are proposed by the private investment and commercial sectors and has no qualms about increasing inter-generational debt without clear recourse to competent independent business cases. Unfortunately, the Deputy Mayor is probably representative of a number of the current Wellington City Councillors.

      • Rosie 9.1.1

        “The Council planners and compliance staff maintain very unhealthy relationships with some developers (and their ex-Council advisors). ”

        Exactly. I won’t name the high up planning manager of the ex wife developer but he has been there since 2000 (You may be able to guess) and all the consents for this area went through while he was married to the developer. All on a non notified basis, just an absolute carte blanche approach. He has at least declared a conflict of interest.

        Regarding the compliance staff. It’s a real worry. I don’t have anything to pin on them but their shrill defensiveness of the developers, and the way council gossip gets back to me via other officers, in my on going dealing with them, creates suspicion about their links with these particular developers.

        “Demonstratively, he has no difficulty in expecting ratepayers to subsidise any big ideas that are proposed by the private investment and commercial sectors and has no qualms about increasing inter-generational debt without clear recourse to competent independent business cases.”

        The convention centre is a good example of the above. We are a single income household with a huge mortgage. I’m ok to do my bit and fund projects such as social housing upgrades, infrastructure upgrades and community events but I draw the line at funding private business for a venture that has no sound business case put forward as yet and we already have adequate venues.

        And I’m a Labour voter. How can I be expected to vote for a candidate who openly champions private business over and above the needs of the people of the city?

        Their argument is that we need more houses. I don’t think they have taken a trip to the northern burbs to see all the farmland gobbled up for housing over the last five years, and the sea of roofs that exist in the place of that former farmland.
        The affordability argument is flawed too. All thats selling around here is houses in the average of the $730K range. The MDH housing, one project in particular has only sold 2 overpriced tiny 2 bdr units on no land, out of 30 units, in one and half years. You will pay $494K for one of these units.

        So, the people are not benefiting from this development. Only the WCC and the developers.

  8. Pascals bookie 10

    Usefull piece here collecting Trumps foreign policy positions, such as they are, into one place

  9. Chooky 11

    ‘Assange: Vote for Hillary Clinton is ‘vote for endless, stupid war’ which spreads terrorism’

    …”Stating that Clinton went above the heads of Pentagon generals when it came to Libya, he wrote: “Libya has been destroyed. It became a haven for ISIS. The Libyan national armory was looted and hundreds of tons of weapons were transferred to jihadists in Syria.”

    He went on to state that Clinton did not learn from her mistakes, and set out to repeat history in Syria.

    “Having learned nothing from the Libyan disaster Hillary then set about trying do the same in Syria. Hillary’s war has increased terrorism, killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians and has set back women’s rights in the Middle East by hundreds of years,” he wrote.

    Referring to a CBS interview with Clinton in 2011, Assange expressed his disgust with her after she became “wild-eyed” and “publicly took credit for the destruction of the Libyan state,” gloating that “We came, we saw, he (Muammar Gaddafi) died!”

    “In the momentary thrill of the kill, she had aped, of all people, Julius Caesar,” Assange wrote.

    He concluded by saying that Clinton “shouldn’t be let near a gun shop, let alone an army. And she certainly should not become president of the United States.”…

    • Olwyn 11.1

      “We came, we saw, he (Muammar Gaddafi) died!”

      That statement alone would make it impossible for me to vote for Hillary Clinton if I lived in the US. In a statesperson, it betrays jaw-dropping vulgarity, and if someone wants to say that Gaddafi was no angel himself, well so what, that is not invitation to abandon our own standards of respectfulness. Moreover, her indifference to the blood bath over which she has presided betrays a callous indifference to those outside of her own circle. Along with her vile statement about Gaddafi, it suggests a belief that such callousness shows political maturity, with “the courage to make the hard calls” being its hallmark, so long as the attendant suffering falls on others.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Gaddafi was certainly no angel, but he had created a socialist state with one of the highest per capita income in all of Africa. Free education, free healthcare, women professors in universities and women ministers in his government.

        Hilary and co. fucked all of that, quite deliberately, for oil, and to eliminate a threat to US financial hegemony as Gaddafi had plans to trade oil for a gold backed currency.

        Now we have a failed state in northern Africa, a source of arms for the Syrian conflict (theory is that the CIA was involved in channeling Gadaffi’s military caches to anti-Assad fighters in Syria, hence the US debacle in Benghazi), and a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists.

        Thanks USA.

        • Olwyn

          Nothing shows an attachment to the political/corporate establishment that goes beyond all decency like the compulsion to bring home new scalps for them, whatever mayhem and destruction this involves.

          • Colonial Viper

            (CNN)Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, combined to earn more than $153 million in paid speeches from 2001 until Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign last spring, a CNN analysis shows.

            In total, the two gave 729 speeches from February 2001 until May, receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address. The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, collecting at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks.


          • Colonial Viper

            Pan Am flight 103?

            You would destroy an entire country and the lives of millions of Libyans, AFTER Gaddafi had agreed to all international reparations over that incident?

            Just remember, the US has shot down an Iranian airliner before.

      • greywarshark 11.1.2

        You explained that well Olwyn. It seems a valid point about Hilary Clinton’s thinking and behaviour. It does seem that to rise to the top in leaderhip among the powerful most have soaked in the koolaid so are immune to any sensitivities of good, ethics and just basic human decency, and women have to be especially conditioned.

        Luckily in NZ we have had Jeanette Fitzsimons as a stand out example of the opposite to that, and there are others in the Greens, with wide understanding and principles. Also no doubt in Labour, and Maori Party, Mana….I think I read someone praising one of the USA politicians.

        • Olwyn

          Thanks greywarshark 🙂 And yes, Jeanette Fitzsimons is a wonderful example of a decent and principled politician.

    • savenz 11.2

      +1 Chocky

      Good news from New Hampshire though!

      Maybe the NatLites can learn from this!

      “Clinton is hoping that she doesn’t meet the same fate, and she probably won’t, but the scale of her defeat in New Hampshire was quite a thing to behold. This is where the particulars of who is running begins to matter very much. She lost to Sanders in virtually every demographic category, including women—and the mix of voters who powered her 2008 victories deserted her as well. Young voters went for Sanders by a crushing 84-15 margin. Most damning, 91 percent of Democrats who told pollsters that their top concern was honesty and trustworthiness voted for Sanders. Those are bruising, brutal numbers.”

  10. Undecided 12

    Good on him for opening up but a cynical part of me can’t help but wonder if this is leading up to something

    • Hami Shearlie 12.1

      I get that feeling too – why suddenly start talking about this out of the blue ? Will some pending charges for violence be revealed very shortly? Odd!

  11. ianmac 13

    Two not-positive items on Key in the Herald:
    Claire Trevett: Unlike Key to throw toys over dildo incident

    and Fran O’Sullivan: “Time for serious rethink on dairy.”
    “Judging by results, you wouldn’t hire John Key as a dairy futures trader.”

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      “Judging by results, you wouldn’t hire John Key as a dairy futures trader.”


      Dear old Fran doing her annual piece critical of the government in order to appear balanced.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        As a futures trader John Key would have bet against the NZ dairy industry, just like he bet against the NZ dollar, and made a fortune for his bank.

        • Muttonbird

          As a futures trader John Key would have bet against the NZ dairy industry.

          I’m sure his blind investment portfolio managers have been doing just that.

      • savenz 13.1.2

        Too late for Fran and her Shrilling. Business readers clearly not reading the herald anymore. Their most popular list today shows no news readers are going to the herald news anymore! No one getting “NZ” news from there either, by the look of it!

        In their no 1 Liam Neesons new girlfriend
        no 2 A storm
        no 3 freezing night in bush – talked to dog
        no4 Taylor Swift ‘freaked out’ on NZ beach
        No5 10 year old modelling deal

        Couldn’t happen to a worse propaganda publication!

  12. Graeme 14

    I hope some sunshine gets shone on the real background to Selwyn Clarke’s predicament. Especially now the warrant has been dropped.

    • weka 14.1

      And why was the warrant dropped?

      • Graeme 14.1.1

        Exactly. Something’s not right with this.

        The episode is just getting smellier and smellier, like a dead whale on the beach.

        A good outcome for Mr Clarke, the proper one would be back-paid with interest, but sounds like back-paid is in train.

  13. r0b 15

    I’m away until 1st March. Don’t have too much fun without me!

  14. greywarshark 16

    We’ll try, but it won’t be the same.

  15. I’m interested in others views on this – i’m just not sure where i sit with this

    “The authority hosted a workshop last week with DOC, Tourism New Zealand, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to start brainstorming ways to address the impacts on conservation from increasing tourism.

    A key topic was considering ways to charge tourists so that taxpayers or DOC did not have to foot the bill for managing more tourism on conservation land.

    Options included charging for car parking, a border tax, or fees to access national parks.”

    • savenz 17.1

      Have a $2 tourist charge on accommodation – they do this a lot overseas.

      Or a small charge on entering the country.

      a TXT amount you can call on your phone to donate $3 for the national park.

      Thought tourists were supposed to help the economy not take money away!!

      That is what all these neolibs don’t understand. You might benefit in one area of gain but it is negative in another.

      One thing to think of though. Is that NZ is obsessed with user pays. It is getting ridiculous if you live here. Try not to drive away the tourists too with too many charges.

      • Craig H 17.1.1

        Agreed with the last statement especially – tourists pay GST and excise taxes for services they don’t really use (other than roads and other transport infrastructure), so it’s not like they aren’t paying taxes.

        • savenz

          Don’t have parking charges!!! NZ governments and businesses obsessed with them.

          You can’t even shop in the main cities anymore in Auckland, have a relaxed coffee or visit a friend without having to pay some ridiculous charge for parking. 10 years ago made the mistake of watching Lord of the Rings and parked at Aotera car park in Auckland City. When I got the bill thought it was for the whole day as some sort of penalty as it was more than the movie, something like $17 for the parking for 3 hours. How much is it now I wonder for 3 hours parking???? $50??

          Not only that, took my child to a local hospital for a check and was there 1 hour. Cost me $4 for parking for the ‘free’ check. Wondered how many kids don’t get to their appointments because families can’t afford to park at the hospital and how much time is wasted for doctors because of this. And how much more it costs the health system when people can’t afford to go to the hospital for check ups due to parking charges.

          Yep health is technically free, but with NZ user pays, $money for parking, $money for prescriptions, $money for A&E, I got charged $49 for a kids doctors appointment the other day. Yep really believe in the kids free doctors visits… read the fine print… only in some areas… Got charged $125 for taking my family to A&E to check for measles last year. Only wanted to get a blood test for one member who was going to fly (the blood test was free) but the centre went crazy and charge us all $125. We only needed to visit to get the paperwork for the ‘free’ blood test for one member. Nope none of us had measles – and I would think twice about going there again to check. This is how epidemics startI

          All the ‘free’ stuff in NZ is so expensive though a process where some business has been sold rights to exploit the public.

          Most people are short of time and want to just take their kids to the doctor & A&E closest to them not have some sort of research on charges!!

        • Draco T Bastard

          tourists pay GST and excise taxes for services they don’t really use

          You do realise that they can claim them back on their way out don’t you?

          • Graeme

            The GST thing for tourists is a tricky thing for us retailers. It’s payable (the sale goes on the income side of our GST return) on all goods and services delivered in NZ. If we deliver outside NZ, as in ship the goods to the customer’s home, the amount becomes zero rated and is deducted from our total income. On higher value items the GST more than covers the courier, so our zero rated can be significant.

            The airport duty free is airside, so technically outside NZ. The AIA link is quite misleading in saying that’s the only way to not pay GST.

            It seems well accepted now by tourists that they pay GST, I haven’t been asked for a GST receipt for ages. Often they are quite complementary about it and find it a painless way making the wheels go round. Not having this tax and that added on is appreciated.

            The hard part is getting central government to spend it back in the tourist areas.

          • Craig H

            Maybe in Australia, but they can’t here.

    • Rosemary McDonald 17.2

      We often stay in DOC camps….being semi permanent Bus dwellers… and we pay an annual fee to stay at the vehicle accessible camps in our vehicles through the NZMCA. Our pass does not apply during the busy holiday season.

      What disappoints us is that many overseas vehicle based travelers seem to think that the DOC camps are free. They know they have to pay…because they will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid payment.

      The only way to avoid this non -payment is to charge the buggers when they enter the country.

      Me…I’d make it a $200 per head charge. Give ’em a DOC Pass and let ’em go for it.

      • Graeme 17.2.1

        Careful there, it’d be seen as something to be used to the maximum possible, and by people who otherwise wouldn’t.

    • weka 17.3

      Charge tourists, yes (I’d prefer at point of entry or at the rental vehicle/accommodation point rather than putting another layer of infrastructure in to get people going into National Parks). But the real issue is that we’ve passed capacity not just of infrastructure but of space and meaning, and the only solution to that is to cap numbers. If we don’t, then we are sacrificing the very nature of the National Parks that we value.

      In that article they talk about Milford Sound. From what I remember DOC in the past recommended a daily cap on numbers. Sounds like that was never done. It should be, with an allocation kept for Kiwis.

      Of course, this means that NZ has to stop considering tourism a perpetual growth resource, it’s not. It’s finite. The idea of another million international tourists per year is ridiculous. Yes we can charge them and build more infrastructure but what that does is develop the wilderness and we should be resisting that as much as we can.

      It’s the same old thing, worship of the almighty dollar over what is real and sustaining. And going for the cheap and damaging buck instead of using our brains and generating more income out of less but more targeted tourism. These aren’t new ideas, it’s just not enough people are saying no to the chance of making more dosh than they need. Another thing neoliberalism has to answer for.

      • greywarshark 17.3.1

        I agree weka.

        I remember hearing about Venice. Beautiful, fascinating, sinking city built on mudflats or reed islands or something, and then they have a rising tide. Their main square is flooded in high tides. The Pacific Islands should visit them for ideas, two different worlds with similarities.

        Venice was suffered from bus loads of impecunious young tourists who lay around in the sunshine, visited all the free spots of high historic value, littered and didn’t frequent their businesses. The cost was too high for the Venetians, I think they did something to limit it. The backpackers were probably of the sort that I struck in the 1970s. Trying to get by on the cost of cheap transport and two burgers and a bottle of water a day. And they can become skilled con people in getting others to pay for them. Gypsies got a bad name for being too quick on the take, but they have a lifetime of being separate and living from day to day. Many of these young tourists in the 70’s came from wealthy homes, lacking nothing, but would bargain the pants off someone who really needed their buck, and then no doubt skite at home how they travelled on $20 a day.

        Our go go moneymakers are so stoked about upping our tourists. Soon they will pay us to leave our homes and live on the Auckland Islands so they can fit more tourists in. A Southern Seas Highland-clearing venture. Get those NZ sheeple out of their cottages and send them far, far away so we can pack tourist sheep in and fleece them.

      • Graeme 17.3.2

        The Milford visitor cap came out at the top of last cycle (and it might have had an outing at the cycle before) when the issue was getting operators to stump up for more / better facilities. Worked, then cycle went through and numbers dropped down. Then the excess demand was from bus tours.

        Now it’s from independent travellers in cars and campervans so there’s not really a small group of operators who can be targeted to fund better facilities. This one’s predominantly landing on DOC’s budget.

        One thing that can be done is to remove the impunity that visitors have to infringement fees and fines. At present vehicle hirers refuse to pay these of pass them on, saying they can’t. Visitors also escape fines and other court orders by leaving the country, although judges are waking up to this. QLDC’s outstanding parking fines go well into millions alone.

        Allowing agencies to effectively recover these infringement fees through hirers, or at the border as they leave, would go a long way to moderating behaviour.

        • greywarshark

          What we want is to stop the behaviour. So charge them somehow before they go in like a deposit on a key, when they come out with no bad news attached to them, give them it back less a $20 admin fee but then use that to give them a free souvenier of NZ, nice photo book, or a pendant that they can wear or something. It would help to form a good reciprocal feeling between tourist and NZ, enjoying and conserving the country together.

          And i want them charged for an insurance against having to be rescued, and if they do need a rescue then a small payment to those involved, even just paying for their petrol and a cup of coffee. Tourists can be such bleeders instead of adding value to the community.

          • Graeme

            The freeloaders DOC and councils have to deal with have seen other get away with not paying fees, fines or infringements. They know there are no consequences, social media broadcasts this loud and clear.

            As for SAR costs, yes, attempts are made to recover costs. It helps if ACC become involved because that brings their travel insurance into play. But the big ones are still allowed to leave the country. Unless Police issue a warrant they can just walk on the plane.

            This lot cost local ratepayers $16K and skipped the country

            News of a detour to the cells until payment has been made will soon get around and behaviour and compliance will improve. But I gather there needs a bit of legislative adjustment to allow this.

    • Undecided 17.4

      Then you get pricks like this and you wonder what else DOC will need to implement:

  16. savenz 18

    Robbing the kids again!

    It is happy times at the Ministry of Education. It has just spent $20 million refurbishing its office, including a $2.5 million staircase.

  17. The Chairman 19

    Little did not say whether he would pull out of the TPPA if he failed to win changes–andrew-little


    • Undecided 19.1

      A bob each way springs to mind

      • savenz 19.1.1

        I just hope Bernie wins, to chuck out TPPA. I think if Trump wins he’s chucking it out too.

        Left and Right united!!

        Yep, Little needs to get up to speed real quick. Can you imagine the debate before election with Key goading Labour about their weird stance on TPPA. Yep, Shearer supports it and Goff support it like National and Little supports it enough not to pull out but to ignore it and renegotiate it. Yep will make Little and Labour like like idiots and untrustworthy and not capable of running the economy.

        If they can’t get rid of TPPA for the right reasons like most of the population are against it and it is a terrible deal with huge risks for NZ, then at least go with the marketing argument – Labour looks stupid in debates with their odd stance and may lose credibility in the election.

        Someone get the anti neoliberal brainwashing squad to use rendition to free up the Labour party of their cult like members to Rogernomics?

        I’ll givealittle for that.

        • The Chairman

          Key was rubbing Little’s nose in it (their weird stance on TPPA) the other day

        • Rosie

          “If they can’t get rid of TPPA for the right reasons like most of the population are against it and it is a terrible deal with huge risks for NZ, then at least go with the marketing argument – Labour looks stupid in debates with their odd stance and may lose credibility in the election.”

          Try telling them that saveNZ. Listening to Grant Robertson’s regular Thursday morning radio interview this morning, and he was, again, asked about the ambiguity of their position on the TPPA.

          His response with my paraphrasing (because this morning ages ago) was “I know a lot of people are wanting us to say we’re either for or against. I always say we are a party of free trade but this is not like any other trade deal we’ve seen…………..” then I thought I heard him say something like “we vote on the TPPA as an omnibus (?) but then there are parts that we do support that are beneficial to NZer’s like the lifting of tariffs in some areas”

          and ” What we feel about this agreement is sorrow. For most people they feel anger but for us it is sorrow”.

          After he got off air the DJ said to the scoop editor “So I’d call that a bob each way”.

          I think this is how it will always be for them, it will never be a defining yes or no, no matter how strong the voice of the public and their membership may be. I don’t know if they realise they are risking a lot by continuing to plough through with their fingers crossed that everything will be ok and that they must stick to their free trade guns.
          They may think they are being true to their principles but there are other higher principles at stake, like the need of the public for them to be definitively clear on this or risk losing the next election because they are exposed to attack by the nats and like you say, at risk of losing credibility.

          • savenz

            Labour are just arrogant and self obsessed.

            They would prefer to lose the election for themselves and split the votes for the left than to actually grow a brain and do something electable.

            Hello even the right wing world bank has said TPPA does not deliver anything economically (or at least below margin of error in 25 years or something).

            Whoever is feeding Labour the line – “we believe in free trade therefore we can’t say NO to TPPA” for the media are stupid and probably influenced by the Natz. This is an agreement to sign or not sign. It is not a debate about free trade. The deal does not deliver. period. It will lose 6000 jobs. It will increase medicine. It will increase copywrite times. It will mean NZ could be sued. It undermines the NZ people.

            But Labour, still not sure about it.


            I guess someone fed Labour the line that if they did not agree surveillance without a warrant then ISIS might rush out and get them and then the public might blame Labour.

            If they don’t agree the TPPA then someone might accuse them of not being for trade.

            Labour just look like trembly naive frightened party that can’t stand on its two feet and is arrogant and out of touch.

            National are a unscrupulous corrupt party that will sign anything for a photo op and a donation. Their strategy seems to be, party hard for their mates, run up a huge bill for the country and then leave individually rich while gaming the system via their mates at MSM and public relation hounds. (who they are destroying at the same time).

            sigh again.

            • Colonial Viper

              Labour are just arrogant and self obsessed.

              They would prefer to lose the election for themselves and split the votes for the left than to actually grow a brain and do something electable.

              Well I am glad you are saying this now, saveNZ, because every time I make these comments Labour Loyalists come out of the wood work and call me names for stating the bleeding obvious.

            • Rosie

              Well summed up savenz (and the chairman and CV below on both posts).

              You know, you get a glimmer of hope, like Labour announcing the free tertiary education policy, something so deeply beneficial to all, and a return to their roots but it all goes up in a puff of smoke because of that massive dark TPPA cloud hovering above. I agree, they are completely out of touch and inward looking.

              Kind of like the return of the X Files. “I want to believe”. But it isn’t happening.

      • The Chairman 19.1.2

        @ Undecided

        Labour’s failure to commit to withdrawing comes at a risk to the Party while presenting an opportunity for NZ First or the Greens.

        There are a good number of voters opposed to the TPP, thus, by taking a harder line, there will be votes to be won.

        This hard line position (opposed to Labours bob each way) could see Labour taking a further hit, while pushing one of the other two into the forefront. To become the leading opposition Party.

        Voters are tiring of Labour’s National lite position.

        • Colonial Viper

          Voters are tiring of Labour’s National lite position.

          I believe this will be expressed in 2017 by an election result around, or below, their miserable 2014 result of 25%.

          Also I reckon NZ First will be the only party to win significantly more seats in 2017. Greens might gain one or two more (best case).

          • The Chairman

            Their handling of the TPP will impact negatively IMO.

            Labour will continue to express their discontent loudly in an attempt to appease the left (yet they won’t commit to withdrawing) but the left are starting to see straight through this ploy.

            They’ve seen Labour do it before, surveillance bill, welfare reform, etc… Ultimately, it’s going to end up costing Labour.

        • Undecided

          I will say this, I’d rather have Little say hes either for it or against it not because I’m for it or against it (I’m somewhat on the fence about it) because then I at least know what hes thinking

          • Colonial Viper

            As I have been saying, Little and Labour are being thoroughly insincere about their position.

            There are even people on The Standard hoping against hope that Little has some special secret legal interpretation of the TPP which will justify why he is sitting on the fence.

            Personally I think its because Labour is a party of the anglo power establishment.

            • te reo putake

              Actually, what is insincere is bagging Labour constantly while remaining a member. Your hypocrisy knows no bounds, Tat.

              • John Shears

                Well said TRP I get sick and tired of the vapid comments some so-called Labour supporters manage to scrape out of their keyboards,

              • The Chairman

                It’s healthy for party members to question and challenge the Party’s position.

                A Party’s position should be able to withstand being challenged.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  With an ongoing campaign of character assassination?

                  • The Chairman

                    When called for, yes.

                    For example, Goff and Shearer’s behaviour of late.

                    • Indeed. And Goff and Shearer were roundly criticised here at TS. CV’s hatred of Labour is irrational and not based on a desire to see the party improve. It’s simply passive aggressive bullshit. Nobody in Labour listens to him, which winds him up. Failed candidate, failed coup leader, failed branch leader.

                      All he’s got left is posting negative bollocks here, which is occasionally applauded by TS commenters from the right and from the Labour hating left. It’s sad that he is reduced to abusing the party and the fine, fine people who make up its membership.

                      It’s clearly hypocritical that he stays a member of a party he loathes, though it’s a credit to Labour that his ongoing membership is not under threat. But then Labour’s always been on the side of those doing it tough.

              • The Chairman

                I can’t speak for CV but I respect the fact he took it upon himself to bring about improvements.

                IMO, in many instances CV’s comments often ring true and resonate with a number in the left camp.

                I haven’t seen him abusing party members unless initially provoked.

                If Labour were genuinely onside with those doing it tough, they would have restored/increased benefits long ago.

                The TPP has highlighted the divide within has not been settled. Shearer and Goff should have been shown the door.

                Until this divide is settled, the direction of the party will continue to be compromised, thus more often challenged.

                • ” … he took it upon himself to bring about improvements.”

                  Cite needed! CV is entirely negative, which is understandable given that he has failed over many years to convince anyone within Labour to take his rubbish seriously. Within Labour it’s a reasonably easy process to get ‘improvements’ in policy or rules discussed and agreed. You’ve just got to have a reqsonable argument, convince your fellow branch members to support it, then speak to it at regional and national conferences or policy council. That’s democracy. It works well if you’ve got a good policy that resonates with members.

                  Being a self obsessed wanker on a website doesn’t work quite so well, but that’s what he’s reduced to. Seriously, would you have someone in your favourite sports club who spent every waking moment publicly rubbishing the club, it’s ethos, administrators and members?

                  I help run a footy club and every couple of seasons we have to deal with a bitter player who is past their best, won’t listen to the coach because they think they know better and try to poison other players against the club. We move them on nicely, generally trying to find them another club where their ‘special talents’ might be appreciated. But we get them out fast because poisoning the well hurts all the players.

                  Personally, I think the LP member we know as CV wants to be expelled so he can experience the masochistic thrill of being a martyr. If that’s the case he should just say so and I’ll help bring it about.

                  • The Chairman

                    I was referring to his personal effort – i.e. his candidacy, branch leadership etc… thus his pro-activeness.

                    Not many members are prepared to put themselves up for candidacy to bring about change. Therefore, I respect him for that.

                    I don’t find him to be self obsessed. But some seem to be obsessed with him.

                    Labour is not a sports club. It’s a political party and like any political party should be able to withstand having their position challenged.

                    However, in saying that, I concur some associate being a member of a political party with being in a sports club, thus find it difficult accepting criticism of their own team.

                    • No worries, it’s OK if you don’t get the point, but it might help if you remember sports clubs and political parties are both voluntary associations who expect reasonable behaviour from members.

                      You could also think of it in employment terms if it will help. How long would keep a staff member who spent all day going on social media bagging their workplace and workmates?

                      It’s really simple; if you can’t work within the organisation and actively run the organisation down, you should not be a member of that organisation. A person of principle would leave. A hypocrite would stay.

                  • The Chairman

                    I got your point. However, I didn’t find it valid. While the two are both voluntary associations, a political party is not a sports club. Therefore, should able to withstand having their position challenged.

                    As for your other analogy, an astute employer would first ascertain if the criticism being made is valid.

                    In CV’s case, while I can’t speak for his overall intention, I believe he often makes valid points.

                    • Nope, you’re apprently still missing the point. I guess that’s probably deliberate on your part as it’s not hard to understand.

                      As for your astute employer, even if, as in your example, some valid points were being made, the method chosen to make those points would lead to warnings, then dismissal. There can’t be many bosses or workers left in NZ who don’t understand that bagging your joband workmates in public is career limiting, but you may be an exception.

                  • The Chairman

                    Nope I got it alright. Moreover, this (below) is why it continues to fall apart.

                    While the delivery method chosen is not considered acceptable in most jobs, political blogs are another kettle of fish.

                    Political blogs strengthen our democratic process. They are where politicians, the general public and party members can openly converse and express their ambitions, ideas, concerns, disappointment or discontent.

                    Additionally, from what I gather, CV has attempted to bring about change from the channels within. You conceded above no one took him seriously.

                    • Seriously? I’m not sure all political blogs enhance democracy. The largest one (allegedly) took money to help destroy democracy 😉

                      But again, you miss the point. This behaviour is not acceptable just because the organisation concerned is a political party. It would be entirely weird if it was. When you ask to join an organisation, whatever kind it is, sports, work, politics, you agree to abide by the rules of the organisation. If you find you don’t like it there, you leave.

                      Having an ongoing public tanty because you can’t convince enough people of the strength of your ideas is seriously bad form. The LP is democratic and it’s really not hard to get ideas into remit form and discussed at branch, LEC, regional or national level. But the ideas have to be good, have to gain popularity and, ultimately, have to get majority support in a vote.

                      CV has not got anywhere, failing to get beyond the branch level. So now, he’s saying fuck democracy, it’s all about me.

                  • The Chairman

                    Like a number of things of benefit, they can also be misused.

                    Overall, they’ve been of benefit boosting political discussion, the sharing of ideas, concerns and different perspectives, thus strengthening our democratic process.

                    This is where we once again disagree You see CV’s behaviour as an ongoing political tanty. I see him often making valid points on ongoing political policy and positions.

                    As for getting ideas into remit, a number of those new ideas and supporting arguments could have quite possibly stemmed from comments made on a political blog.

                    • Those ‘valid points’ are consistently in opposition to the party of which he is a member. Nothing positive, all negative.

                      Do you see the problem? He won’t work inside the party and instead exclusively attacks the party. There’s no way round this, it actually is an ongoing tanty.

                      And to repeat, it’s to Labour’s immense credit that despite his visceral hatred of everything Labour stands for, he is still allowed to be a member. Mind you, the party needs every dollar it can get, so that could be why he’s still on the books 😉

                  • The Chairman

                    Labour’s positioning often leaves supporters (and potential coalition partners) finding themselves in opposition with the party.

                    Which, of course, is a major problem. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the party’s position is challenged from within and from the left overall, which, generally I don’t see as an attack.

                    I’m surprised (as are a number of others) Labour were so forgiving of Goff and Shearer’s misbehaviour.

                    Their opposition to the party’s position was reported within hours of Little stating he opposed the TPP. Undermining Little, the party’s TPP position and the perception of a united party. Moreover, giving Key the ammo to fire at Little the other day.

                    People were even more surprised Little was prepared to risk losing support for his own position (as party leader) for the sake of going soft on the both of them.

                    • I don’t think Little was soft on Shearer, just the opposite, really. Shearer had to go and apologise to caucus. That does not happen often, especially to ex-leaders.

                      Goff’s position was different because he approached caucus asking for dispension and only spoke after it was granted. At least he followed a process.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Shearer got the wet bus ticket punishment, and was ultimately vindicated by Little as Labour will clearly stay inside the TPP now matter how shite it turns out to be.

            • The Chairman

              The fact Little won’t commit to withdrawing if Labour fails to win changes will result in more party supporters questioning Labour’s sincerity, thus their continued support of the party.

        • greywarshark

          Labour remembers its glory days of the bold rise from the Depression, and are prepared to let us sink to those levels so they can rise again like the Second Coming, or the golden phoenix, and dazzle NZ and have their photos hung on every, nearly, wall like Mickey Savage’s. (I have one owned by my elderly aunt or socialist miner uncle.)

  18. Draco T Bastard 20

    Turned Away in a Crisis

    “The guy said ‘I’ve said to you before, you don’t come here, you ring St Lukes Mental Health. This is how it is, you don’t come to hospital every time you are suicidal’,” says Lynda.

    “But we’d been ringing St Lukes for more than a month. They never helped. After that, I think he just had enough.”

    On 17 August, Warren asked Lynda to go to the supermarket to get him some chocolate, leaving him under the supervision of his grandmother. When she arrived home he was dead.

    Lynda says: “The mental health team rang on Monday to ask how Warren had gone over the weekend and mum answered ‘well he didn’t, he took his life’.”

    Auckland District Health Board has since apologised in a letter for their substandard care, she says.

    “I don’t think they’ve learnt, though, or our suicide rate wouldn’t be so high. I don’t think help is out there for these kids.”

    Our health services across the board are breaking down due to lack of funding but we really do need to increase the provision of mental health services.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      We are letting a lot of NZers down, and badly.

    • greywarshark 20.2

      I think a lot of these people with depression need to talk things out of their heads and find ways to see a better future for themselves. But I understand that gummint thinks that talking therapy is too expensive, and they are more likely to give pills instead that stop you thinking. It isn’t a big step to have a vague thought like what’s it all about anyway if this is all there is for me. The human psyche can only take so many whacks before it subsides.

      • Chooky 20.2.1

        +100 greywarshark…”I think a lot of these people with depression need to talk things out of their heads and find ways to see a better future for themselves”

        given the shortage of psychiatric trained professionals….maybe many lay people ( eg. retired) could be trained to act as listening counsellors ( an extension of Lifeline or Youthline)…at places designated sounding posts ….mind you it would be demanding

        …ooops isnt this what Relationships Aotearoa used to do?!!!

        Question: …are we seeing the results of jonkey Nactional axing
        counselling services?'s-badly-run

        • Chooky

          i note also the young guy was crazy about cars but didnt have a driving license, which is essential for access to jobs

          this jonkey Nact government has made it very difficult and expensive for young people to get a driving license, especially if they have solo parents or unemployed parents or just working parents

          imo this government has young peoples’ hopes and dreams dashed.

          out of affordable reach for many youth is tertiary education, housing, driver’s licenses, jobs , mental health and counselling services …they are trapped

          …this governement has blood on its hands

          • greywarshark

            The present governments don’t have aspirations to help people be prepared so they can do well in life. That’s too much trouble, they don’t care, they can buy what they want, and what others want, actually need, is a matter of no concern.
            It’s not a country going forward together. it’s a bunch of very rich dudes presiding over a society with a number of fairly rich dudes, and they are all so cosy together. The rest can slot in where they can find a key that will open the door to better things, or make do.

    • Rosie 20.3

      Thats tragic Draco. A potentially avoidable death. It really does pain me that we don’t treat mental illness with the same level of care and resources that we do for physical illness, even it those resources are dwindling over the years.

    • Chooky 20.4

      that is so tragic !

  19. greywarshark 21

    I hope that Chris Trotter does not resent me copying a number of paras from his recent piece on the latest political Table Talk at the Ika Bar in Auckland. He gives a sketch of Matthew Hooton which is very revealing, very thorough. Chris’ judgment is sound I think. As Matthew drops in her to add his unfailing wisdom quite often, it is good to have a wider viewpoint of his propensities.

    Those skirmishing skills were displayed to considerable effect from the get-go on Tuesday night (9/2/16) when Hooton accused the writer of seeing the 4 February anti-TPPA demonstrations as “the beginning of a revolution”. It is precisely this acidic mixture of smile and sneer that makes Hooton such a formidable opponent. That, and his ability to master a complex political brief very quickly and then fashion it into a political argument that is at once simple and subtle. Hooton, when he’s in control of himself, is both a superb manipulator of the truth and a master at identifying his opponents’ weak spots.

    Out of control, Hooton can be rabid. One of the reasons the numbers were down for Ika’s first Table Talk for 2016 was that many people simply refused to be in the same room as the man who has constantly and viciously impugned the integrity of Professor Jane Kelsey. This penchant for abusing progressive New Zealanders publicly has turned Hooton into something of a hate figure, and it seriously undermines his political credibility. If he ever learns to control it, he will instantly become an even more deadly opponent of the Left….

    … What distinguishes the Left from the Right is its belief that the world should be – and can be made – a better place. Against all the contrary evidence that the cynics and trimmers delight in throwing in their path, the world’s progressives must somehow continue to muster the faith, hope and love to continue fighting. That’s why Laila Harré’s gatherings at the Ika Seafood Bar & Grill are so valuable. They provide an opportunity for the beleaguered Auckland Left to recommit itself to a more just and equal future….

    Chris uses a theme drawn from a Nietzsche saying that persons fighting dragons must watch that the result is not that they become dragons themselves, and queries that affect on Labour. Thoughtful and entertaining writing, Chris shouldn’t be missed.

    • weka 21.1

      I think it’s a mistake to have Hooton at such things. His involvement in dirty politics means he is tainted as a matter of course and giving him a left wing venue to practice his manipulation in is just wrong. Likewise in neutral settings like RNZ. He should be pilloried not invited along for dinner and entertainment and good vibes. There are plenty of right wing people around to have in such a discussion without using ones that are being paid to damage the left at any opportunity they get.

      • Magisterium 21.1.1

        Yes, only ideologically pure Labour members should be allowed to attend.

      • Matthew Hooton 21.1.2

        What was “dirty politics”?
        What does it mean to have been “involved” in it?

      • savenz 21.1.3

        Agree with Weka. Think it is a mistake to have Hooton at these events. Can’t the left just have a normal debate without PR people paid to support whatever? Not wonder the discourses are so limited.

        In addition can’t remember but Fran O’Sullivan was also invited to one of those events could be the Dotcom thing. Why????

        Prefer to see real journos with proper research that don’t sell out at those events.

    • Paul 21.2

      Mistake to invite Hooton.
      His spin needs no more publicity.

    • Chooky 21.3

      +100…thanks greywarshark….couldnt agree more with Trotter on Hooton!

    • Gabby 21.4

      Surely Trots didn’t think it was the beginning of a revolution? I mean, he can float away on clouds of his own poffpoffing, but surely not.

  20. greywarshark 22

    Chris Trotter had some thoughts like that too.

    • weka 22.1

      Now the more hard-headed leftists amongst us would no doubt say that Tuesday’s Table Talk was an important wake-up call for the Left. Unused to the punishing performance that Hooton excels at delivering, an hour-long pistol-whipping at his hands might be exactly what the Left needed if it is to muscle-up and become politically competitive.

      That’s the only thing that even comes close to explaining why he was there. Perhaps the usual crowd at Ika aren’t very savvy about what what’s going down politically in NZ.

      I don’t agree with the tactic, or the framing of political competition and violence, but I do agree there are people that need to be woken up and fast.

      • BM 22.1.1

        That’s the only thing that even comes close to explaining why he was there

      • greywarshark 22.1.2

        Perhaps it was a tactic of know your enemy. Trotter said that Hooton and Simon Wilson kept up an onslaught that had the lefties sighing and squirming.
        At the beginning Trotter says that the effect of the evening was depressing. – so better early in this important year, than late. At least know what you are up against. This is Trotter’s first para:

        I left the first Ika “Table Talk” for 2016 feeling very down – and I know I wasn’t the only one. The panel discussion, on “The Year Ahead”, could have been an enlivening rehearsal of the challenges facing the New Zealand Left in 2016 – but it wasn’t. Instead Ika’s patrons endured an hour-long demonstration of the Right’s remarkable skill at kicking the Left’s ass.

  21. Cowboy 24

    Just heard Gareth Hughes properly lay into John Key in general debate. Worth a listen or someone with more time that me at present might like to post the link…..

  22. The Chairman 25

    Anybody else seen this one?

    Credit Ratings Agency Blackmails Christchurch City Council

    Hat tip to the Daily Blog

  23. logie97 26

    Common outlets for bile between The Herald and NewstalkZB (and TVNZ?)

    It seems now ex traffic officer Larry Williams, as with Hosking, gets to peddle his opinions on more than one media outlet.
    Columns in the Herald as well as their own regular radio shows.
    How long before Williams gets a position on TVNZ as well?
    Are there other Herald journalists who appear to have this privilege?

  24. Morrissey 27

    Unmitigated ignorance, shameless bias, and non-news:
    Is NewstalkZB the worst media outlet in New Zealand?

    NewstalkZB, Thursday 11 February 2016

    Other news media have their weaknesses, as we are all well aware. But when it comes to sheer sustained mediocrity, crass offensiveness, and lumpen stupidity, no other media outlet in this country has a lineup of hosts as bad as NewstalkZB. I made the mistake of listening to it for a few minutes this morning…

    After seven o’clock, Hosking conducted an admiring interview with Jake Bailey, the 2015 Christchurch Boys’ High School head boy who, despite suffering from cancer, late last year achieved brief celebrity by delivering an emotional speech at the school prizegiving, urging young people to be “gallant, great and gracious.” Connossieurs of black humor no doubt savored the brutal irony of this fine young man being interviewed by Mike “Contra” Hosking, who, as a self-aggrandizing liar, a toady to the powerful and a fiercely on-message National Party place-man, is the very antithesis of “gallant, great and gracious”.

    After eight o’clock, things took an even more dismal turn. Hosking’s interlocutor was the dreadful, unfunny Tim Wilson…..

    MIKE “CONTRA” HOSKING: It’s 8:20 and time to talk to Tim Wilson about what’s coming up on Seven Sharp tonight. You’ve got a story about Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—the two most EXTREME candidates have won in New Hampshire.

    TIM WILSON: Yes, indeed! The Rug rises!

    MIKE “CONTRA” HOSKING: They’re outsiders. People are sick of Washington.

    A little later, Hosking mused on the decision by Environment Canterbury to not prosecute business icon Hugh Fletcher and his wife Chief Justice Sian Elias after they let their cattle bathe, illegally, in a freshwater stream….

    MIKE “CONTRA” HOSKING: It makes you wonder what Environment Canterbury actually DOES. Remember, this was the organization sacked by Margaret Bazley because it was INCOMPETENT…..

    The 8:30 “news” began with the woman news slave intoning in high seriousess: “Christchurch Boys’ High School’s head boy in 2015, Jake Bailey, has urged young people to be ‘gallant, great and gracious.’ Interviewed by NewstalkZB’s Mike Hosking, he said…..”

    But, incredibly, it got even worse. At the end of the sports news and weather came the following classic sentence, in which, quite unwittingly, the otherwise unexceptional and unexciting Matt Brown gave Alejandro Jodorowsky a run for his money….

    MATT BROWN: Great conversations start here. ….[pregnant pause]… Leighton Smith is moments away…..

    • North 27.1

      You never disappoint Morrissey. As I started to read about halitosis brain and putrid morals Larry Williams in Logie97’s comment, the word “Lackwit” came to mind. Then scrolling down……The Morrissey !

  25. Penny Bright 28

    Auckland Council’s ‘out of scope’ amendments to the Unitary Plan are causing a LOT of concern to a significant number of citizens and ratepayers.

    (700+ people at the Kohimarama Public Meeting held on Tuesday 9 February 2016, was a SIGNIFICANT turnout, in my opinion.)

    This is what I’m doing about it:

    The video coverage of my presentation to the Auckland Council Development Committee meeting today, Thursday 11 February 2016.

    Covering the Auckland Unitary Plan, and my petition calling for an urgent Parliamentary investigation, regarding Auckland Council’s ‘out of scope’ amendments, and the alleged failure to consult with and involve the ‘communities of Auckland’ as required under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009.

    (Starts 27.30 (mins) and finishes 36.30 )

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  26. Penny Bright 29

    Where do the other Auckland Mayoral candidates stand on this BIG Auckland issue?

    (Only Mark Thomas and myself attended the Kohimarama Public Meeting on the Unitary Plan, which attracted over 700 concerned citizens on Tuesday evening 9 February 2016.)

    Auckland housing rezone loses support

    Thursday, 11 February 2016
    The New Zealand Herald

    A man takes pictures of planned zoning changes at a public meeting in Kohimarama earlier this week. Photo / NZ Herald
    By Bernard Orsman

    Auckland Council’s proposal to rezone thousands of homes for more intensive housing and apartments has lost the support of a majority of councillors, with councillor Sir John Walker today speaking out against the changes.

    “If the mayor wants my vote we are going to have to come to a compromise,” said Sir John, who did not spell out what that solution would be.

    “I’m on the residents’ side. I don’t want to see high rise buildings towering over Auckland.

    “I don’t trust the town planners. They present one thing and change their mind and do another,” said the Olympic gold medallist.

    Sir John said he supported calls to withdraw the changes, which see large swathes of suburban Auckland rezoned for multi-storey buildings, terraced housing and apartments in the council’s latest submission to the Unitary Plan.

    Under the “out of scope” changes to zoning, meaning no residents asked for them in the proposed Unitary Plan, there is no formal right of reply for affected property owners.

    Sir John’s position means 11 of the 21 councillors want the council to withdraw the out of scope changes from the Unitary Plan process.

    The other 10 are Cameron Brewer, Cathy Casey, Chris Fletcher, Denise Krum, Mike Lee, Dick Quax, Sharon Stewart, Wayne Walker, John Watson and George Wood.

    Mayor Len Brown, deputy mayor Penny Hulse, Arthur Anae, Bill Cashmore, Ross Clow, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina and Calum Penrose told the Herald they support the changes proceeding through the Unitary Plan process.

    Councillor Penny Webster has not responded, but is believed to be in Brown’s camp.



    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  27. greywarshark 30

    Garth McVicar with his usual mix of common sense, nonsense and authoritarianism. on 10 February 2016.

    “What kids thrive on, and in fact what many of their parents could do with as well, is a good dose of A B C D, Accountability Boundaries, Consequences and Discipline.
    ABC – you can see he didn’t get far in school. And I don’t think that schools are very good at teaching kids how to relax, concentrate and learn. Then they would come out better educationally equipped to form judgments about themselves and how crazy the world is.

    He was lambasting the no smacking rule. He quotes stats that look bad, and I presume they do show the real situation. I never thought that the rule would help much. There would still be violence just as there are still murderers even though its well known that it isn’t the right thing to do!

    Kids need love and firm guidelines and a bit of forgiveness when they go wrong. Parents need to learn how to parent and also need the same things that I’ve listed for children. There is no let up on parents – there is always somebody bashing away at them. Even when they are trying to be perfect, they are terrible, i.e. USA helicopter parents. No parent should be able to claim amnesty from the law because they are parents, and say it is right to beat their children. They need to go to remedial behavioural programs, and have to attend and pass a scratch test and demonstrate with a role model activity how to manage difficulties. If not let them go to jail for a week.

    On the other hand the anti abortionists can’t bring themselves to really help the children who are suffering bad conditions in Nz because they are too busy mooning over those who were aborted. This is from Right to Life press release of 10 February 2016 is named Where Have All the Children Gone.

    It’s just as well they don’t take note of all the children who are potentially lost each month as unfertilised eggs. The authoritarians want to force women to have children they aren’t ready or able to care for, like breeding animals. They make a true point that it is a hard decision and may be regretted throughout life. But having the child would have the same effect on a mother who is too mentally or physically unwell. It is a very demanding role and not one to take up with a she’ll be right attitude. Even adoption can be bad for the child, emotionally and/or physically.

    This is part of The Right to Life item. They go on about the children’s possible attributes. The young man who committed suicide referred to earlier in the post had real and present attributes, but society through its government services, wouldn’t provide those that the young man needed. The religious baby adorers find older children less attractive. Don’t grow up you Peter Pans because then no-one except a few struggling carers, will sob for you.

    Nearly 50,000 5 year olds commenced their schooling in the first week of February, happy and laughing with the joy of living. Sadly there were 15,863 5 year olds missing. These are the children who were considered of little worth and whose lives were terminated by abortion in 2011. They are nameless and are recorded as a cold statistic in the Abortion Supervisory Committee’s annual report to Parliament in 2005.

    Their absence is mourned for they were created with many talents to enrich our society. Our society is impoverished by their absence. We should also have deep sympathy for their mothers who will be mourning the loss of their children. Mothers who so often were coerced in to an unwanted abortion because of the abandonment of the mother and child and because of pressure from family and friends.

    And so it goes.

  28. North 31

    Good fucking job Lambo’ (and Merc’ for that matter) owners. Shit happens darlings. Even to Hard Working Masters Of The Universe.

    If the Merc’d been a punk in a dropped rough az purple metallic ’83 Holden from Manurewa/Mangere/Ranui/Massey it’d be breath screener out and 8 hundies of infringement notice. Then if absent of sufficient ‘respect’ he/she’d be face down on the tarmac quick smart.

    Arrested and ‘cuffed for scandalous driving causing injury to an appallingly ugly, for ‘The Worthy’ only, vehicular representation of a ridiculously blood sapping stiff cock. The facsimile necessary apparently. This public service performed by 111 responsive constabulary only 600 metres away on Mayoral Drive/Pitt Street.

    But no. Not in this case. Mr Plod – “You have this under control gentlemen…..insured both ways I take it ? Very good then job done order restored”.

    Me cynical ? Noooo ! This is Mr Key’s New Zealand after all. Ask all the office workers down from their desks. Darting in with the quick jab, the well directed boot for the scum whose kidneys already suffer Mr Plod’s well trained hurt tool, his bulky knee.

    Kidding am I ? No. A good 35 years ago witnessed not dissimilar scenario only metres away from the very same car park. Nearly got a hiding myself when I remonstrated at the baying of numerous “Hard Working But Thuggish Hugh Wright Suited Folk” who’d poured with vengeance in mind onto the street from the formerly John Banks owned restaurant where I too was consuming a scotch fillet lunch and too much vin rouge.

    Which like the Lambo’ owner I’d worked so fucking hard for……ha ha ha !!!

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