Open mike 11/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, April 11th, 2014 - 190 comments
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openmike Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

190 comments on “Open mike 11/04/2014 ”

  1. saarbo 1

    It sounds like Espiner has brought with him the Galleries obsession with coalition deals…Boring bloody sheep.

    Why has it taken this long for Espiner to interview DC?

    DC very sharp and spot on the mark on RNZ this morning.

    • Tc 1.1

      Yes but I don’t feel RNZ plays that big a part, he needs to get this into granny and tv appearances.

      Short snappy slogans at the start and end of each answer book ending the solid logic and message within.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        No, Espiner has not. Espiner is reacting to the legitimate story of a strong pre-election coalition with the Greens. Cunliffe was quite unconvincing this morning.

        I am surprised at the cack-handed handling of this by both Greens and Labour. Long before it came to the political surface, this proposal should have been shuttled by political messengers to test its feasibility. This is like proposing than Telecom and Vodafone, or Team New Zealand and Oracle, will merge. You would do it in incredible secrecy, and if it didn’t work mumble something to camera with a face-saving handshake.

        Instead, the “Labour leadership team” (whoever they are because they ain’t caucus) have determined to slap the Greens down nice and public. So every other party gets to spray the paint about.

        Instead of starting the election season around Budget, like you should so we can get to actual policy points of difference, we have a weeks worth of bullshit. Caused IMHO by amateur political management from both sides. Dorks.

        • Ant

          Why do you assume it was Labour who leaked it? Got any proof for that? Labour (and specifically David Cunliffe) have been unequivocal about leaving coalition negotiations until after the election. There’s just as much chance that the Greens leaked it as part of a play.

          • Colonial Viper

            Ad’s main point is the political testing which should have been done beforehand, far in advance of any thing getting to this stage. At this point, ‘who leaked it’ is an irrelevancy.

            • Te Reo Putake

              I agree, CV. The Greens should have tested this proposal ages ago. Bloody amateurs.

              • bad12

                ”70% of left leaning voters want a Labour/Green coalition”, i would suggest that is test enough,

                Burning the candle at both ends for too long eventually will burn Labour’s fingers, my view as a Green Party member is that it looks increasingly like the best strategy for the Green Party is to sit on the cross benches offering Labour nothing unless they pay for every piece of Labour Legislation the Green Party helps pass into Law with the passing of a like piece of Green Party Legislation…

            • Ant

              CV, Then why tar Labour with the same brush? It’s a bit of an ask to expect Labour to politically test a Green party play before the Greens actually execute it…

              From the hooting and hollering around the traps about how the Greens are awesome and Labour are a bunch of dicks, I expect whatever they were planning had the desired outcome and it wasn’t a serious approach anyway – more of a slightly cynical piece of win/win political positioning by the Greens because there is no way Labour would go for it, and the Greens aren’t stupid.

            • Anne

              According to Brent Edwards on RNZ this morning there has been political testing (presumably internal polling) that has shown centrist voters in the provinces are falling for NAct’s Labour/Greens coalition = extreme left in large numbers. These are people who voted Labour from 99 to 05 and Labour wants them back.

              I think there is over-reaction to Cunliffe’s recent statement.There will be a Labour/Green coalition govt. and both parties know it. But Labour doesn’t want to scare the gullible small town horses which makes sense. They could be the difference between winning and losing. To rely solely on getting out the non vote is nowhere near enough to beat the Nats and their media lackeys. The Greens on the other hand are indulging in a little politicking to win over more of the so-called hard left vote and that’s an equally ‘sensible’ strategy to follow.

              Good luck to them. I hope both parties succeed and then we’re all winners.

              • freedom

                “Its these ignorant, gullible idiots who live in small town NZ who should take the blame.”

                Are you being serious, or is it just a bit early in your day to notice how insulting that comment is?

                My my, that was a quick edit Anne

                • Anne

                  Bit quick off the mark freedom. Edited out that comment. I wasn’t talking about ALL small town residents – just those who have a propensity to fall for blatantly obvious Tory propaganda – and plenty did in 08 and 11.


                  My my, that was a quick edit Anne.

                  It was already edited – having time consuming probs. Think its the mouse and a new one too.

                  • freedom

                    Just so we all know, how long should people wait before replying to your comments?

                    • Anne

                      Gotta friend popping in to sort out the bloody mouse (or whatever is wrong) over the weekend so it will be normal transmission by Monday. In the meantime gimme 5 mins. at least. 😀

                    • freedom

                      maybe if you did the typing instead of the mouse then such silly word-strings would not appear 😉 then again, left as is, we might get some handy insights into why cheese is so favoured ?

                    • Hayden

                      It’s a myth, propagated by Big Dairy through their New-World-Order pals Big Animation.

                    • McFlock

                      isn’t the edit countdown 8 minutes?

              • Chooky

                +100 Anne ….agreed ” over-reaction to Cunliffe’s recent statement”…and bugger the polls…both Greens and Labour need to dis the polls and emphasise how well they work together despite not having a formal agreement before the Election

                interesting article by Miriam Pierard from the Daily Blog on this issue and the absolute need for a united Left front!


                • blue leopard

                  Yes, particularly this bit:

                  “Labour MPs report National’s scaremongering is working among centrist voters, particularly in provincial New Zealand. Those voters worry a Labour-Green Government, as portrayed by National, would put a brake on economic growth, putting pressure on their jobs and incomes.

                  In the past two elections those voters have supported National. For there to be a change of government Labour needs to persuade at least some of them to change their vote. It does not believe that likely to happen if centrist voters believe they are voting for a Labour-Green Government.

                  The Greens dismiss that analysis and say National has been given great power by letting it dictate Labour’s political strategy.

                  They argue that National’s scaremongering has no merit and Labour should be prepared to counter it rather than run scared.

                  I particularly like the comment I have put in bold.

                  No mention in this analysis, however, of those who are right put off voting due to the belief that ‘the two main parties are too similar’. I posit that the way to deal with this group, also, is by supplying information that counters the misperceptions.

                  Labour are in a difficult position – having to appeal to a wide range of people. It would seem that clear, simple messages that are informative and dispel misperceptions repeated ad infinitum are what Labour need to be focussing on.

                  • greywarbler

                    blue leopard
                    Well Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington Christchurch would have to be regarded as major urban areas where there is business growth. Tauranga might be regarded as part of the north powerhouse of business. It could be thought of as the cities that have the big jets and cheap air fares while the rest have to pay big to get their share of flights if at all.

                    I think then most of the rest of NZ is provincial as applied to NZ political thinking. Another way to define the areas being talked about as possibly fearing Labour-Greens would be those with big farming involvement. And particularly big dairying interests as irrigation and dairying go together more and more. They would be worried that Greens might try to prevent that and want money spent on cleaning up rivers and reducing nitrogen and even stop palm kernel waste importation.

                    How would they vote in Gisborne? Would they vote for National after having their rail withdrawn. Would Picton be grateful that the Seddon earthquakes have resulted in the dropping of Clifford Bay? I suppose Ashburton and surrounds will be National – with the propping up of their business ventures from government guarantees. In Nelson with a lot of retirees I can’t see Nick Smith being ousted if Labour is upping the pension age. Northland have trepidation about being amalgamated over a big area, though some South Island bodies have long boundaries.

              • blue leopard

                @ Anne,

                Your comment is the most informative in explaining where Labour was coming from when rejecting Greens coalition proposal, thank you.

                Brent’s information leads me to wonder, however, what ‘provincial’ means?

                This Wikipedia link on NZ demographics citing the 2013 census data says this:

                “New Zealand is a predominantly urban country, with 86 percent of the population living in an urban area. About 72 percent of the population live in the 16 main urban areas (population of 30,000 or more) and 53 percent live in the four largest cities of Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Hamilton.”

                I realise that ‘urban’ doesn’t necessarily translate into ‘not provincial’ and am left wondering what ‘provincial’ actually means in relation to NZ towns and what sort of numbers we are dealing with? Is Hamilton still considered ‘provincial’? If not, then perhaps that last bit of data (‘53% live in the four largest cities’) is an indication of ‘non provincial’ areas – but then what about Dunedin? Tauranga? Perhaps even Whangarei and Nelson? Are they ‘provincial’?

                I’m just a tad suspicious that this decision is based on a type of hearsay and not an accurate assessment of the pros and cons* of Labour making clear their relations with Greens. This is only a suspicion and you make a fair point as to the crux of why Labour might have refused to make a formal arrangement with Labour

                *The other section of NZers that have to be addressed re the election is those that don’t vote because they think National and Labour are much of a muchness perhaps this group is smaller than those living in ‘provincial NZ’ and this is what I am trying to work out. It would appear that these two groups ‘provincial dwellers being sucked in by National party propaganda’ and the ‘Labour and National are much of a muchness’ group are mutually exclusive – to address one of these groups, switches the other group off.

                • Ant

                  Maybe we need to think about the actual pros for Labour of a potential campaign coalition? No one really seems to have outlined why this is such an awesome idea for them.

                  It looks like there is zilch in it for Labour beyond that which they can already achieve themselves, and from the reports of the what the proposal entailed it seems like it would have been all give to the Greens.

                  • Olwyn

                    One pro would be the potential for getting an absolute majority as a unified team, thus robbing other potential coalition partners of the claim that they must support National as the party with the highest overall vote. I do not say there are no cons, only that this is one pro.

                  • blue leopard

                    As I have said elsewhere, Labour could have countered the offer of Greens by stipulating what areas they were prepared to share on and what areas they weren’t. For an example, and an example only; as I understand it finance is one of the biggest fears people have about the Greens – Labour could have stated yes we agree but we are not sharing finance (- or another example – mining) in this way it would have worked well for Labour because they would send a clear message out to the voters of their boundaries between them and the Greens. To do this would have served to dispel fears in those that have them on what type of influence the Greens would have on the next government under Labour.

                    Had they done this and Greens rejected it, there would be a different story going on right now.

                    Additionally, an overall advantage for Labour in that coalition is one of transparency toward the public. The fact of the matter is Labour are going to work with Greens in one way or another unless something changes severely – to make some type of formal arrangement with the Greens would be a transparent move. They are going to be working with the Greens in some way, shape or form and making a coalition outlines that if people wish for a Greener government they need to vote Greens, if they wish for a less Green and more Labour government they vote Labour.

                    This business re who you vote for is going to shape the new government is the case anyway – yet a formal agreement would have highlighted this and Labour would not necessarily have lost votes to Greens under these conditions and had they included some stipulations – they would have addressed the ‘centrist green fear’.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  but then what about Dunedin? Tauranga? Perhaps even Whangarei and Nelson? Are they ‘provincial’?

                  Apparently but that could be wrong.

                  • blue leopard

                    Oh dear lol

                    In other words – when there is an attempt from Labour to deal with ‘those from the provinces”, does this mean Labour are attempting to appeal to those:

                    a. “having or showing the manners, viewpoints, etc., considered characteristic of unsophisticated inhabitants of a province; rustic; narrow or illiberal; parochial: a provincial point of view. ” (One of the definitions in Draco’s first link)


                    b. “from the provinces: the parts of a country outside of the capital or the largest cities.” (Draco’s second link)

                    • s y d

                      Bring me your bumpkins, chawbacons, churls, clodhoppers, cornballs, hayseeds, hicks and rubes and you will see the ‘centrist voter’ and they shall and have always voted Bridges, Clarkson, Peters, Allen, Walsh, Doidge*

                      regards from the provinces.

                      *or similar, contents may vary.
                      (1935 excluded)

              • Saarbo

                ” According to Brent Edwards on RNZ this morning there has been political testing (presumably internal polling) that has shown centrist voters in the provinces are falling for NAct’s Labour/Greens coalition = extreme left in large numbers. These are people who voted Labour from 99 to 05 and Labour wants them back.”

                I think this is spot on, many people I know who have voted National in the last 2 elections are scared shitless of the Greens, the fact is most people don’t follow politics closely and their views of the greens are wildly inaccurate, but, it still affects Labour negatively…so what Labour is doing here may not be popular amongst those of us who could swing between Labour or the Greens, but I reckon it will have the desired affect of swinging voters from National to Labour…which scores double points.

                • RedBaronCV

                  So the correct response to these people who are scared of the greens “so you’d rather have JK borrowing, putting it in his mate’s pocket’s and then get you to pay it back “

        • Jim Nald

          Looking ahead, it would be good for regular weekly or fortnightly meetings to be held at least at two levels beginning now and right through in the run-up to September: meetings among leaders of Mana-Greens-Labour, and among the Chiefs of Staff.

          Strategic cooperation versus competition, policy differentiation or synergies, and the timing and pitch of policy announcements, as well as many tactical matters, can be raised and coordinated at such meetings.

          Winston will be Winston, he will take care of himself, and he will attempt to soar as high as he can regardless of how strong or weak the right winds or left winds blow. So, at the same time, Labour and Greens should take charge and own the messaging/positioning possibilities and bargaining power that a so-called kingmaker can leverage upon, on this side of the election.

    • Not a PS Staffer 1.2

      for the Cunliffe interview

      • Jim Nald 1.2.1

        What can be taken from that:

        Too many words … it would be unsurprising if many listeners may have tuned out part way through the clip, as well as (rightly or wrongly) getting the impression Labour is not that well grounded.
        A bit complex and sounded like different subtle signals were being sent through various frequences; if that is the modern day Delphic Oracle, then that should earn a well-deserved A+.
        So Labour wants to retain the phrase used in the past, i.e. “Labour-led”, but why is there attachment to that phrase or concept? A LabourGreens-centred Government or another turn of phrase, signalling a new, alternative government (and not one relegating the Greens to the arrangement involving Jeanette Fitzsimmons a few years back*) would mark a change from the 1999-2008 Labour-led business as usual.

        –> There’s room for Cunliffe and the Labour team to do better.

        *Times have changed and the Greens’ party vote is significantly higher now – what was the percentage of the Greens then (also in comparison with NZF) as compared to the Greens support close to the mid-teens now (while NZF remains pretty much where it has been and has not increased substantially like the Greens)?

        • Jim Nald

          hmm, there were three numbered points in that paragraph but the numbering has not come through.

          • blue leopard

            I had the same problem a while back re numbering and although I haven’t tried it out since, lprent told me this:

            ” When creating a list in a word processor and wanting to have extra space between items, it pays to use “shift-enter” rather than just “enter”. It distinguishes line feed from a paragraph end. ”

            Link to that comment

        • Ant

          Maybe they want to keep Labour-led because he is the leader of the Labour party and his job is to maximise the Labour Party vote and it isn’t his job to campaign on behalf of the Green Party…

  2. This surprised me. David Parker claimed in Parliament yesterday there was “rising inequality under National” while Minister of Finance Bill English claimed that inequality was “flat or slightly dropping”.

    Parker quoted a Herald opinion poll, but English referred to the 2013 Household Incomes Report (revision, 27 February 2014, Ministry of Social Development) that uses statistics and the Gini measure (the OECD and others use the Gini as the main indicator for international comparisons).

    1996 – 32.5
    2007 – 32.5
    2012 – 32.4
    (there’s a blip in 2011, and a new report is due in June).

    • karol 2.1

      Yet, there’s this from Stats NZ, showing Parker is correct. The line is fairly flat, and the biggest rise in inequality was from the late 80s to the 1990s. But it did indeed start to come down under Labour, then rose again under National.

      So there’s no way to comment on the fact check article on the politicheck site?

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        What you’re referring to is one of a series of charts using “BHC income inequality in New Zealand: percentile ratios, 1982 to 2012, total population”.

        It immediately precedes the Gini chart in 2013 Household Incomes Report (revision, 27 February 2014, Ministry of Social Development .DOC):

        Gini includes more factors and is used internationally as an inequality measure.

        In contrast to the percentile ratios the Gini coefficient takes the incomes of all individuals into account. It gives a summary of the income differences between each person in the population and every other person in the population. The OECD and others use the Gini as the main indicator for international comparisons.

        English seems to have been referring to the Gini chart, that’s what he describes.

        Parker didn’t support his claim with any data, he chose to use an opinion poll instead.

        • McFlock

          So one indicator out of several is flat, therefore Parker is wrong, according to PG.

          For pete’s next trick, he’ll be Carter’s stand-in as speaker…

          • Mary

            His offer of publishing all of his posts here as articles for The Civilian was turned down. What makes you think he can manage standing in for Carter?

      • lprent 2.1.2

        Perhaps we should add a column specifically for fact checking the factchecker site?

        PG has spent the last few years criticising this site for what he perceives to be its failings. It isn’t something that we have particularly bothered doing in his obsessive systematic way.

        I’m not adverse to spending some effort to facilitate an environment of open criticism. 😈

        • Pete George

          I’ve also praised this site’s strengths lprent.

          Politicheck is not being designed as a blog or forum for discussion, it’s a controlled dynamic library of issues. It’s aimed at complementing social media forums.

          So a fact checking column here would be welcome, it would be great for input both ways. The more facts that are added to the discussions the better, it’s not always easy to find them so crowd sourcing facts is excellent way to do it.

          If we think we have enough to post an issue on we’ll put it up as an interim finding and then look for more input from the MPs and from the public.

          We will also have issues with insufficient facts, so if the facts can crowd sourced we’ll be able to build a case.

          Scrutiny of what Politicheck does (fact checking the fact checker) is also welcome. We won’t always find all the facts and we won’t always get things right, so any additions or corrections are welcome. If we’re found to be wrong or lacking in facts we’ll put it right.

        • karol

          There’s some discussion of the inequality measures re GINI coefficient here.

          It is a response to this NZ Herald article about the latest Census, in which Bernard Hickey claims that the income gap in NZ is widening.

          Financial commentator Bernard Hickey said the contrast between the median income and the sharp increase in those earning more than $70,000 suggested the gap between rich and poor was widening.

          “The total number of people earning [$70,000 or more] is relatively few; their incomes have risen much faster than those at the bottom end … it appears people on higher incomes have done much better,” Mr Hickey said.

      • Pete George 2.1.3

        So there’s no way to comment on the fact check article on the politicheck site?

        No, articles are closed for comments.

        David Parker and David Cunliffe have been advised and have been invited to comment.

        I’ve posted here (and elsewhere) to get feedback and discussion.

        Anyone can submit to Politicheck by email or here:

        All posts will be linked on Facebook where comments can be made:

        • karol

          Not all of us use Facebook.

          Then there’s this paper of 2012 by the CTU which disputes some aspects of the GINI coefficient claiming that:

          The report on household incomes, inequality and hardship prepared each year by the Ministry of Social Development was released this month. It showed that income inequality rose again in the year to June 2011, and is now at its highest level ever in New Zealand.
          Nonetheless these latest studies demonstrate again the high and growing income inequality in New Zealand, the failure of the market to provide decent incomes for very many families and a majority of households, the continuing importance of the income tax system for redistribution of income, and the value of public services.

          I’ll be interested to see if/what parker has to say about it. I’m not a great Parker fan. But, from what I’ve read about him, I doubt he would have made a statement based on just an opinion poll, without some significant stats to support his claim.

        • karol

          PG, for a fact checker, sticking toi the facts, you are headlining your fact checking with spin.

          On Facebook you promote the politicheck article thus:

          Income inequality is flat according to MSD/Gini and Bill English, and David Parker using an opinion poll to support his claim inequality is rising is very questionable.

          The original politicheck article starts off OK as a coverage of the issue, kind of – accept you foreground it with reference to an opinion poll. The second sentence is fair enough:

          A recent NZ Herald/Digipoll found that 74% of people think that inequality is rising with 44% thinking the income gap had got a lot bigger over the last six years.

          In Parliament on Thursday Labour finance spokesperson David Parker claimed there was “rising inequality under National ” while Minister of Finance Bill English claimed that inequality was “flat or slightly dropping”.

          The article later goes on to saying this:

          David Parker: “The entrenched inequality that comes from long-term income inequality gets worse every year…”

          David Cunliffe: “It’s borne out in all the data and there’s no hiding it…”

          For the spokesperson for finance and deputy leader of the main opposition party, and the Labour Party leader and others in the party, to use an opinion poll to argue against an official annual report using a measure that “{C}{C}OECD and others use the Gini as the main indicator for international comparisons{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}” is concerning.

          Now this is starting to spin. Labour are claiming “all the data” shows it – the opinion poll is used to highlight that most Kiwis perceive something similar to “all the data”.

          The article then goews on to focus on the GINI coeficient.

          But Patker and Labour were ststing that there is evidence of a grwoing inequality gap well before above cited opinion poll was published.

          For instance, in Jan 2014:

          “Inequality is on the rise in New Zealand and National’s policies simply make it worse. It is no use saying that workers would like to see a greater share of growth without offering any solutions.

          “It is embarrassing that our Finance Minister will go to a Davos meeting that is focussed on inequality with his lamentable record at home,” David Parker says.

          And on 6 March 2014:


          blockquote>Company profits are increasing much faster than the wage rates of working Kiwis, showing the gap between the haves and have-nots is increasing, said Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

          “The vast majority of Kiwi families are just treading water. Wage rates have increased in the past year by just 1.6 per cent[1] which is exactly the same as the inflation rate. >blockquote>

          For me, the most glaring thing shown by the stats is that income inequality grew by a big amount in the late 80s and 90s, and has not come down significantly since then. There is also the issue of the signifcance of wealth inequality (eg ownership of assets, etc), that are as important as income inequality.

          I’d like to see some stats on thta.

          But Politicheck is not doing itself any favours by spinning the results of the fact check by claiming Labour’s evidence of growingin inequality is an opinion poll – that is pure spin.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Can’t say that I’m surprised to find that the fact check site led by Pete George is just another spin machine to support National.

            • karol

              Well, I haven’t looked at what else they’ve written on. But, the inequality one is hardly showing them to be at the forefront of “fact checking”

              I’ve found several sites and news articles that have stated the same – GINI coeifficient rose vastly in the 90s, and has pretty much flat lined since. Flip published an artilce on TS about the GINI and the argument for UBI – he included the GINI NZ flatline since the end of the 20th century.

              And some have done a bit more in depth analysis, including some of the pros and cons of using the GINI coefficient. Also, some went further and stated the same stats still show a high or increased level of Kiwis living in “hardship”. There’s also the issue of the fact that inequalities have been lessened by redistributive policies like WFF. And rather than looking at just a mean/media/average of all incomes, to look more closely at those at the top and bottom levels of the income hierarchy – then there’s the issue of asset consolidation, and the issue of the impact of long term being at the bottom end…. and wealth vs income inequality.

              Labour and Parker and the CTU have been on about the rise in inequality for some time, using various measures and, the CTU provides some in depth analysis.

              Inequality has become an election issue. The politcheck article works to undermine claims of inequality, and especially to discredit Parker/Labour’s use of stats.

              It remains to be seen whether politicheck will cherry pick the data they focus on to descredit some parties and not others.

          • Pete George

            The check was not on the history of inequality, it was on the exchange in Question 2 in Parliament yesterday with some background on the poll.

            Parker said:

            Hon DAVID PARKER (Deputy Leader—Labour) to the Minister of Finance: Does he believe that the Government’s policies have reduced income inequality; if so, does he agree with the IMF that rising inequality slows economic growth?

            An odd double question. English responded:

            Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) :The evidence shows that inequality in New Zealand has been flat or slightly declining since the mid-2000s.

            That description matches the MSD Gini.

            Hon David Parker: Is he so out of touch that he thinks that inequality is not getting worse, when 74 percent of New Zealanders believe that the gap between rich and poor has increased under his Government, or does he side with the 3 percent who think that the gap has narrowed?

            That proposes that English is out of touch if he thinks the gap has not increased, using a poll as evidence.

            Parker tries to push the poll point:

            Hon David Parker: I seek leave to table the results of the Herald-DigiPoll, which showed that 74 percent of New Zealand…

            Mr SPEAKER: Order! The point has been made.

            Then he said:

            Hon David Parker: Why can the Minister not see that rising inequality under National goes against the egalitarian values that New Zealanders hold dear, is making educational outcomes worse, and is holding back economic growth?

            That’s a clear suggestion of “rising inequality under National” following his use of the poll several times to suggest that inequality was rising and that English was out of touch if he didn’t agree that it was rising.

            Parker used an opinion poll to try and argue against English, Gini and the MSD statistics.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Anything that shows up the Left as being iffy will be used as proof as bias against the left and completely disregarded, anything that shows up the Right as being iffy will be praised and lauded

              Hope that helps you in your posting here

            • wtl

              Surely the fact being checked is simple whether or not the data supports English’s assertion that inequality is “flat or slightly declining”. To do so you should look at a range of measures, including the Gini coefficient, but not EXCLUSIVELY the Gini coefficient. From the above discussion (Karol’s comments), it appears that some measures do support Parker’s point.

              The part about Parker citing an opinion poll is largely irrelevant. You are nitpicking about a small aspect of the inequality argument (a particular exchange during question time) rather than looking at the issue as a whole. If some other data support Parker’s point, than these data are obviously a lot more relevant to the “fact” in question, rather than what Parker might have said during that exchange in question time.

            • McFlock

              Parker used an opinion poll to try and argue against English, Gini and the MSD statistics.

              Nope. The poll was used to point out that English is out of touch. Parker didn’t argue about gini or MSD stats (most of the latter agree with parker, but what the hey).

              Basically, You’re arguing that because Gini is fairly flat, inequality is not increasing under national. What about after-tax Gini? Or other, more precise, measures of income distribution? International measures are chosen because they are internationally-comparable, not necessarily because they are the best national or sub-national measure.

              • I’m not arguing about whether Gini is the best measure of inequality or whether inequality is increasing, flat or decreasing – I expect statistics can be found that apply to all possibilities. I said that Gini is an accepted international comparison.

                English looks to have based his claim on the MSD Gini, which would base his argument on official published statistics.

                Parker seems to be trying to argue against English/MSD/Gini and promotes public opinion as more pertinent and more in touch.

                I’d be worried if our Minister of Finance based his position on a single opinion poll rather than on official statistics complied over decades – that would be seriously out of touch with reality.

                • McFlock

                  So you’re checking the facts without actually checking the facts?

                  You seem to be missing the point about why Parker used the poll.
                  Parker’s position seems to have been that inequality is rising, and most people know it.
                  If most people can see it, but English can’t, then English is out of touch with most NZers.

                  The only way for English to counter this is to argue that inequality is flat or decreasing, i.e. that he knows something that most NZers do not.

                  BTW, why is “international comparison” needed when we’re only looking at conditions within NZ? That’s like arguing that PISA scores are the only valid evaluation of education in NZ.

                  • You seem to be missing the point, and reinforce the folly of using an opinion poll to make an argument.

                    English indicated he accepts that people can have the opinion that inequality has increased but he says the accepted measure says otherwise.

                    Hon David Parker: Is he so out of touch that he thinks that inequality is not getting worse, when 74 percent of New Zealanders believe that the gap between rich and poor has increased under his Government, or does he side with the 3 percent who think that the gap has narrowed?

                    Hon BILL ENGLISH: That member may be a stranger to the facts, but I am not. The measuring system of the previous Government, which, I understand, was a Labour Government, was such that regular reporting on inequality was carried out by highly qualified professionals. That is the information on which we relied for the statement that inequality in New Zealand has not got worse in the last few years.

                    Grant Robertson: Everyone else is wrong.

                    Hon BILL ENGLISH: I accept that some people believe that. The fact is it is not correct.

                    The last Labour Government’s system of measurement (Parker was in that Government) and the National Government’s system of measurement says that inequality has flat lined since 1998.

                    Taking the side of the majority in one poll, whose opinions are contradicted by the official system of measurement over many years, seems out of touch for an MP doesn’t it?

                    Can someone ask David Parker if he intends running the country’s finances by opinion poll?

                    • wtl

                      Can someone ask David Parker if he intends running the country’s finances by opinion poll?

                      This is being disingenuous to an extreme. You are taking a single example of an argument by Parker and extrapolating it to mean that Parker ALWAYS and ONLY uses such arguments to guide his reasoning. He NEVER said that the opinion poll was the ideal basis for running the country’s finance. He simply used the opinion poll as EXAMPLE of where English was wrong. It might not have been an ideal argument but it is only an EXAMPLE, and nothing more.

                      See also my comment below.

                    • McFlock

                      You seem to be missing the point, and reinforce the folly of using an opinion poll to make an argument.

                      It’s not a folly if the argument is that English is out of touch.

                      The last Labour Government’s system of measurement (Parker was in that Government) and the National Government’s system of measurement says that inequality has flat lined since 1998.

                      One measure says inequality has flatlined.
                      Several other measures of inequality have not, e.g. the <50/60% median, BHC/AHC.

                      Taking the side of the majority in one poll, whose opinions are contradicted by the official system of measurement over many years, seems out of touch for an MP doesn’t it?

                      If there were only one perfect measure of inequality, you might have a point. It’s not, you don’t, and most New Zealanders know it (as demonstrated by parker’s poll).

                      Can someone ask David Parker if he intends running the country’s finances by opinion poll?

                      Can someone ask politicheck if they’ll keep a tory propagandist as editor?

                    • srylands

                      Yes but it wa a ridiculous and invalid example and indicative of an approach to reasoning that should be scrutinised by the public.

                      There is no problem with inequality in New Zealand that is not being aggressively addressed by the current government. What do you want? Higher taxes and more welfare? Because that works brilliantly.

                      We need efficient markets, better education and better parenting.

                      What do you want to “fix” inequality? There will always be inequality. It is a good thing. If the plan from the left is higher taxes, a baby bonus, and a living wage (sic) we will simply go down the Argentinian road. Some Government regulator will decide what wages should be instead of the market!!

                      If we want a prosperous future there really is no alternative to the current policy settings. My suggestion would be to deepen them much further.

                      Mcfluck – I suggest for your next holiday you take a world tout encompassing Argentina, the USA, the UK, Greece, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sweden. It will be time well spent. You seriously have no clue about economics, life, poverty, or anything except poisonous envy.

                    • McFlock

                      SSpylands, if inequality is “being aggressively addressed by the current government”, why is English’s own most favourable estimate of it that it’s static?
                      They’ve had almost 6 years to address it.

                      What do you want? Higher taxes and more welfare? Because that works brilliantly.

                      yes, yes it does. Alongside more education, healthcare, and other social services.

                      As for the TINA bullshit, that’s just more religious dogma from our resident retard.

                • wtl

                  I’d be worried if our Minister of Finance based his position on a single opinion poll rather than on official statistics complied over decades – that would be seriously out of touch with reality.

                  I too would be worried. But Parker has not done so. He simply used the opinion poll during a question in parliament. Perhaps he didn’t have the facts at hand to counter English’s statement (e.g. those pointed out earlier in this thread). Perhaps he did have the facts but chose a different approach and decided to use the opinion poll instead, rightly or wrongly. But he has not said that his position is ENTIRELY based on a single poll, he simply cited the poll as one piece of evidence in support of his position.

                  You seem to be “fact checking” the quality of English’s and Parker’s debating skills, rather than “fact checking” the facts themselves. Here is a simple question for you:

                  Is the Herald digipoll (cited by Parker) the only piece of evidence that supports the assertion that inequality in NZ is growing?

                • wtl

                  I’m not arguing about whether Gini is the best measure of inequality or whether inequality is increasing, flat or decreasing – I expect statistics can be found that apply to all possibilities. I said that Gini is an accepted international comparison.

                  This is an extremely troubling assertion to be coming from a “fact checker”. You seem to be saying that statistics can be found to support any position. But instead of reviewing a large number of statistics to determine their relative pros and cons and citing a number of such statistics to present a balanced view on the topic, you will simply pick one in a semi-arbitrary way and base your whole argument on this single “fact”.

                  • It shouldn’t be troubling if you understand statistics, They’re not facts. You can say different things with different sets of statistics.

                    If you compare the 1978 Gini with the 2012 Gini it can show that inequality is flat (on those two years down 0.1),

                    If you compare the 1985 Gini with the 2011 Gini it suggests inequality has risen significantly.

                    And that’s using one measure, when you measure and index something as complex as income variations across a country’s population there are many factors that can effect different outcomes.

                    I had no intention of doing an in depth analysis of different ways of measuring inequality. If someone wants to attempt that then go for it. It’s not for me to say if one measure is better or worse than another.

                    The point on this issue is that I haven’t picked one “in a semi-arbitrary way”, I picked the one the past Labour Government, the OECD and many countries use, the one that uses decades of data, and deduced that was the one Bill English used.

                    And I pointed out that David Parker picked a one off opinion poll and seemed to be using that to argue against it.

                    Don’t you think one official measure, any credible statistical measure, would be more sensible for a finance spokesperson to use than a one off opinion poll?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      How many times will you attempt to get this lie to stick, Petty George? Parker used the opinion poll as a measure of whether English is in touch with the electorate. If you’re going to tell lies in public this will reflect poorly on your employer, as though the choice to employ you wasn’t enough of a pratfall.

                    • wtl

                      It shouldn’t be troubling if you understand statistics, They’re not facts. You can say different things with different sets of statistics.

                      No, it is very troubling and I do understand statistics. They are facts, insofar as you are aware of the limitations imposed by the way they are measured. If you really think statistics are completely subjective, as you seem to be implying, you have no business being a “fact checker” of any kind.

                      If you compare the 1978 Gini with the 2012 Gini it can show that inequality is flat (on those two years down 0.1),

                      No, it shows that the 1978 Gini is similar to the 2012 Gini. It says nothing about the trend for the years in between.

                      If you compare the 1985 Gini with the 2011 Gini it suggests inequality has risen significantly.

                      Yes, it shows that the 1985 Gini is lower than the 2012 Gini. But it says nothing about the trend for the years in between.

                      And that’s using one measure, when you measure and index something as complex as income variations across a country’s population there are many factors that can effect different outcomes.

                      Yes, which is why it is important that one understands the way the statistics were measured and their likely flaws and benefits when interpreting them.

                      I had no intention of doing an in depth analysis of different ways of measuring inequality. If someone wants to attempt that then go for it. It’s not for me to say if one measure is better or worse than another.

                      Isn’t this the role of a fact checker?

                      The point on this issue is that I haven’t picked one “in a semi-arbitrary way”, I picked the one the past Labour Government, the OECD and many countries use, the one that uses decades of data, and deduced that was the one Bill English used.

                      Yes, exactly. Semi-arbitrary. Other people have used it so you used it as well, without evaluating whether or not it is the best measure. Doing the latter would be non-arbitrary.

                      …deduced that was the one Bill English used.

                      So when you went looking for “facts”, you decided to pick the piece of evidence that agrees with Bill English’s view?

                      And I pointed out that David Parker picked a one off opinion poll and seemed to be using that to argue against it.

                      Don’t you think one official measure, any credible statistical measure, would be more sensible for a finance spokesperson to use than a one off opinion poll?

                      Yes, I agree that other measures would have been more appropriate than an opinion poll. David Parker’s argument was not a solid one. I did not say otherwise. To be clear, I have no issue with you deciding that an opinion poll is not a reliable source of evidence for this issue. But I do have an issue with you focusing on the opinion poll as the only piece of evidence that supports Parker’s position. It is not the only fact that supports his view. I do not agree that he is basing his position solely on that opinion poll. To suggest he is doing so is extremely disingenuine. And you refuse to even look at any evidence to prove that English might be wrong.

                      I honestly cannot believe what I am reading from you. Are your colleagues aware of these views? If I was one of your researchers, I would quit if I heard this from you.

                    • I think you’re trying to make much more of this than it warrants.

                      There was no need to evaluate whether the measure English uses is ‘the best’ or not. That’s a pointless exercise in fact checking, in fact it’s impossible. It involves judgement, balancing many factors and coordination with other countries if it’s to be any use.

                      If you think it would be a good thing to ‘fact check’ then do it. Let us decide what we want to check.

                      In my opinion the measure English should use is the one chosen by our Governments to use in conjunction with other countries. For him to base his argument on something that he personally thinks is ‘best’ or you tell him might be better is ludicrous.

                      Parker only used the poll in his argument in Parliament yesterday, and as that question in Parliament is the issue we covered then of course we should focus on that.

                      I also emailed Parker and asked:

                      Do you think an opinion poll is valid evidence?

                      Do you have anything else to support your claims?

                      So he has the opportunity to widen it to other factors if he wishes. That’s up to him. Otherwise I have no idea what he was thinking about when he ran his line of questioning yesterday.

                    • weizguy

                      “If you compare the 1978 Gini with the 2012 Gini it can show that inequality is flat (on those two years down 0.1),

                      If you compare the 1985 Gini with the 2011 Gini it suggests inequality has risen significantly.”

                      That’s not saying different things with different sets of statistics, that’s arbitrarily choosing datapoints and claiming that the difference between them is somehow meaningful.

                      I’m not sure you’re the right guy for this fact checking stuff.

                    • I didn’t explain that example very well, but it was a comment on a blog, it wasn’t a fact check.

                    • weizguy

                      “I didn’t explain that example very well, but it was a comment on a blog, it wasn’t a fact check.”

                      And yet, you appear to be claiming that misrepresenting the facts by reference to a misleading use of statistics is the same as “say[ing] different things with different sets of statistics.”

                      If the above is what you believe (and I can only take your word for it), you don’t know the difference between “fact” and “spin.” This must make it very difficult for you perform the role of “fact checker.”

                    • freedom

                      but Pete, you based the entire Politicheck article* on the premise the data Bill English used is accurate.

                      to quote weizguy
                      “that’s arbitrarily choosing datapoints and claiming that the difference between them is somehow meaningful.”

                      Your entire argument is based on ignoring this premise, this reality, this FACT. Politicheck is running out of credibility faster than you can post apologist blather. And then you have the temerity to bitch about having to do it. These are comments you would not have to post here if comments were allowed on your new blog, but then you couldn’t romp around posting replies on everyone else’s blog thus creating the very distraction that I suspect Politicheck was set up to be. Not to mention artifically creating interest in Politicheck by appropriating readerships built up by the hard work of others.

                      is there an explanation coming to explain the difference between a “pending” verdict and an “interim” verdict, because I admit I am a bit confused there.

                      *Is there some special name are we meant to call them?

                    • I thought engaging might work. If it’s going to end up in pointless nitpicking and irrelevant criticism here then maybe not but it was worth a try. If it’s going to be be overtaken by negativity then I’ll direct my efforts elsewhere.

                      In politics there are always some who, if they don’t like an outcome, will do anything to discredit. I knew that before deciding to give this a go.

                      If you want it done differently then do your own.

                    • miravox

                      Why the Gini? Why not the decile dispersal ratio? I mean, if you’re fact checking you don’t want to rely on something just because it’s popular when something else might actually uncover the facts?

                      Personally I’d like to see a distribution of wealth (not income) trend line for NZ.

                      As for Parker – Fact Check – it was pretty clear he was making a statement about English being out of touch with the general public, with an opinion poll to illustrate that, not making a statement about inequality based on an opinion poll.

                    • McFlock

                      In politics there are always some who, if they don’t like an outcome, will do anything to discredit. I knew that before deciding to give this a go.

                      That’s where “facts” are supposed to come in.

                      What claims were made, and are they true?

                      Claim:Most people think inequality is getting worse.
                      True/false: Parker cited a survey that suggests this is true

                      Claim: English does not think inequality is getting worse.
                      True/false: True – he cited Gini to suggest that inequality is static or slightly improving.

                      Claim: English is out of touch from most people because he disagrees with most people about current trends in inequality.
                      True/false: English disagrees with most people about current trends in inequality.
                      If inequality is getting worse, then “out of touch” is a reasonable description of having opinions that diverge from fact and common perception.
                      If inequality is improving, then he’s just smarter than most people.

                      Is inequality improving?
                      Most official measures listed here suggest that inequality is getting worse. Before-tax Gini is trending flat.
                      Conclusion: Bill English is probably out of touch

                    • freedom

                      ” pointless nitpicking” ??
                      I have seen a string of very valid questions about process, research methods and integrity of data. What did you expect in your little engagement fantasy?

                      As for my own nit picking…Asking for clarity of the site’s vernacular is not pointless when the site is a FACT CHECKING SITE. Don’t you want people to be able to discuss accurately what is posted there?

                      So sorry you feel that the list of valid questions raised these past two days is not what your cunning plan imagined.

                      As for the “don’t like an outcome” drivel. I believe, based on comments these past 48 hours, that what people don’t like is the lack of difference between what is happening on Politicheck and what you do everywhere else.

                      Hope next week goes better and I look forward to your budget for poor people too.

                  • blue leopard

                    Hi Pete George,

                    Perhaps you might take a look at the graph in this article?


                    The graph illustrates that the gap has been widening.

                    The source is cited as from Treasury (although this might have been before the correction to their numbers were made, therefore the situation might be worse than this chart indicates)

                    • karol

                      Also, it’s not hard to look back at some of the things Dabvid Cunliffe and Davide Parker have said, to find the kind of statistics they have been referring to re- their statements about increases in inequality.

                      Parker has made several short press releases in which he talks about both income and asset inequality, as though they are related.

                      He referred to this in the House on 29th January:

                      Hon David Parker: Does the decline in homeownership to the lowest level in six decades demonstrate rising inequality in New Zealand; if not, why not?

                      On 30 January:

                      3. Hon DAVID PARKER (Deputy Leader—Labour) to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree that asset and income inequality have increased over the past 30 years; if not, why not?
                      Hon David Parker: Does he agree that existing income inequality leads to ever-increasing asset inequality; if not, why not?
                      Hon David Parker: Thank you. Does the measure of income inequality that he relies upon include all capital income?

                      And the differences between Labour and National’s claims about inequality were addressed in this NZ Herald article of 28 January 2014:

                      In their respective state of the nation speeches, Prime Minister John Key said income inequality in this country was declining while Labour leader David Cunliffe yesterday said there was an increasing gap between the haves and have-nots as the wealthiest continued to do well, those in the middle struggled to stay there and those at the bottom went backwards.

                      Analysis from the Ministry of Social Development, which Mr Key’s comment was based on, does little to support either claim.
                      With no clear trend, the ministry analysis doesn’t support Labour’s view that inequality is increasing but Labour argues that work doesn’t tell the full story. It argues the data it is based on doesn’t include much of the income more well-off New Zealanders get from realising assets. It is exactly that income Labour would target with its capital gains tax.

                      What the ministry’s analysis does point out is that wealth is distributed more unequally than income.

            • Puddleglum

              Pete George,

              From your quotes it looks very clear to me that Parker was not using the poll to provide evidence of inequality (that comes from many other sources, as I’m sure your research will confirm) but, rather, to provide evidence that Bill English is “out of touch” with what most New Zealanders think.

              That is the obvious meaning of Parker’s second question that you cite (and that mentions the poll). It is not a difficult meaning to parse Pete George, so why did you miss it?

  3. amirite 3

    It’s OK for our national hero and government subsidy recipient Sir Peter Jackson to own Nazi memorabilia, but Kim Dotcom’s own collection has caused a massive general outrage. Racist much?

    Scroll down the page to see the Nazi plane pic:

    • bad12 3.1

      Of course Sir(spit)Peter Jackson wouldn’t have bought these pieces of memorabilia as an investment because He has a fascination with war now would He,

      Can we expect Blubber boy over at ‘wail oil’ to start screeching any moment alluding to Jackson’s Nazi sympathies,

      The politics of hypocrisy are rampant…

      • Populuxe1 3.1.1

        I wasn’t aware Jackson was running an ambiguous political party in the next election.

        • bad12

          You give every appearance of being supremely unaware of a hell of a lot of stuff, DotCom was not running a political party when He purchased the investtment either…

        • Te Reo Putake

          National aren’t ambiguous Pop. Just flexible with our money and our laws.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.2

        Oh, hey. I can repeat my comment.

        “The article also commented that Jackson collects WWI memorabilia. WWI predates the Nazis.

        Do you know any history? Because that’s an appalling understanding of world history you have there.”

        • Rob

          That is just classic, so Bad12 & Amiirite maybe you can elaborate on the ethics of collecting WW1 Nazi memorabilia, we are all eyes.

          • bad12

            Rob, sorry to see you join the coalition of the brainless, If the plane in question is a world war one fighter plane why then does the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre with Peter Jackson as the Chairman choose to display it with a Nazi Swastika on the tail…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      There’s no indication that that is Peter Jackson’s plane.

      • bad12 3.2.1

        Draco, you are indeed correct, my apologies to Sir(spit)Peter Jackson for any illusion created toward Him for owning Nazi war memorabilia,

        Sir Peter(spit)Jackson being a Knight of the British realm and chairman of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center seemed perfectly happy to have on display a Swastika bearing Nazi era air-plane for both the public and He and she who would be King and Queen of that British realm,

        it appears that another member of the Omaka Aviation Heritage center may own the plane that bares the Nazi Swastika on its tail…

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          British war museums frequently have German equipment on display. It’s important historical context for a museum. I know the RAF museum in Kent has a German plane or two.

          As far as I’m aware Kim Dotcom is not a museum.

          • bad12

            And nor is the private owner of the swastika emblazoned world war 2 German fighter plane ”a museum”, the fact is that it is displayed at a museum which Jackson is the Chairman of with a gratuitous and unnecessary display of the Nazi emblem flashed across the world by the press contingent following the Woyal spongers…

            • Disraeli Gladstone

              God, you’re hopeless.

              • Draco T Bastard


              • bad12

                God your a form of bottom feeding swamp amoeba who having run out of argument resorts to insult as the currency of discourse and then whines like a beaten dog when the insults are returned in kind…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Hey, did you know that the swastika is an ancient symbol of good luck and good fortune?

                  • McFlock

                    not the way H had it pointing 🙂

                  • aerobubble

                    Nazism believes in purrity of the race. DotCom is not married to a blonde ayran. Hitler would be turning in his grave that Dotcom owns his book.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What we must fear now is not “Nazism” or even violence from radical right wing skinhead types (a la Ukraine) unpleasant as that is; it is corporate-surveillance state totalitarianism which is going to shape the next 10 years of global government. And it is something which we can see already morphing into it’s final form – a kind of anonymous corporate run neo-feudalism where 5% of the population get very special privileges and the other 95% are serfs and proles.

                • The Al1en

                  To lift the tone a Futurama reference, which coincidentally, P Jackson s.o.b also doesn’t own 🙂


                  Project Satan (2019 to 3001) was built by humans in the past, as a military project to create the most evil car possible. Project Satan, the original were-car, was built from parts of other evil cars, of which the following was identified:

                  The steering wheel from Adolf Hitler’s staff car
                  The left turn signal from Charles Manson’s Volkswagen
                  The windshield wipers from KITT, the car in Knight Rider
                  The electric motor from Ed Begley Junior’s car

                • Disraeli Gladstone

                  I honestly don’t have the time to continue arguing your straw-men, so yeah, I just kind of just gave up. I don’t argue with small children either and they seem more coherent than you.

                  I like The Standard. There’s a lot of insightful opinions here. Yours isn’t one of them and I feel like I just get sucked in trying to educate you. So from now, I’ll just be ignoring your comments.

                  • bad12

                    Lolz, what a toy toss, what’s this the second time in a month that you are going to just ignore my comments???,

                    Strawmen???that argument or is it simply a limp wristed attempted insult got tired years ago,

                    If you want a real ”strawman” have a look at your comment below claiming the plane in question is a world war one fighter plane,

                    If that were true it would be totally a gratuitous and unnecessary display of the Swastika to the world press…

                • srylands

                  I think you are simply being rude.

    • Disraeli Gladstone 3.3

      … it’s a museum.

    • Disraeli Gladstone 3.4

      Furthermore, it’s a plane that was used by the Germans in WWI. It wasn’t a Nazi plane at all.

      The article also commented that Jackson collects WWI memorabilia. WWI predates the Nazis.

      Do you know any history? Because that’s an appalling understanding of world history you have there.

      • greywarbler 3.4.1

        Thinking about history. lprent commented yesterday on the difficulty of introducing worthy policies incrementally when there is no spur of disaster or tragedy or threat to provide impetus. At least that’s my interpretation of his thinking.

        I thought about the quote of politics and what is possible so looked up Wikipedia and got German political history and Otto von Bismarck. Which has something to say to us here and now I think.

        Good stuff to note. Goodreads gives quote –
        Otto von Bismarck
        “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best”
        (Other quotes stop halfway at possible – which doesn’t offer the fully rounded thought.)

        Looking at Wikipedia.
        Interesting man von Bismarck. He formed a unified Germany after a series of short , sharp wars then everything settled down between 1870-1880 and one historian says “Bismarck was an honest broker of peace; and his system of alliances compelled every Power, whatever its will, to follow a peaceful course. ”

        So he became an honest broker of peace. Maybe his path can teach us something about the difficulty of playing politics. Sort of like chess with ten side games all at the same time.

        “He was the master of complex politics at home. He created a new bureaucratic, efficiency-oriented nation-state. He created the first welfare state in the modern world, with the goal of gaining working class support that might otherwise go to the Socialists he opposed.

        He allied himself first with the Liberals (who were anti-Catholic) and fought the Catholic Church in a culture war (the Kulturkampf). He lost that battle as the Catholics responded by forming a powerful Center party and using universal male suffrage to gain a bloc of seats.
        Bismarck then reversed himself, ended the culture war, broke with the Liberals, and formed a political alliance with the Center party.

        A devout Lutheran, he was loyal to his king, who in turn gave Bismarck his full support, against the advice of his wife and his heir.

        While Germany’s parliament was elected by universal male suffrage, it did not have real control of the government. Bismarck distrusted democracy and ruled through a strong, well-trained bureaucracy with power in the hands of a Junker elite that represented the landed aristocracy of the east.
        Bismarck, an aristocratic Junker himself, had an extremely aggressive and domineering personality. He displayed a violent temper and kept his power by threatening to resign time and again.

        He didn’t do all possible though. He was a monarchist and did not take steps to strengthen constitutional control over the Emperor. The Emperor in the end did not reward him with the lands and standing that he felt he deserved and had earned.
        And his attributes were built into a myth of him as an uncompromising powerful figure ‘the man of blood and iron’ that influenced people’s thinking between 1918 and 1933.

        Gerwarth (2007) shows that the Bismarck myth, built up predominantly during his years of retirement and even more stridently after his death, proved a powerful rhetorical and ideological tool.

        The myth made him out to be a dogmatic ideologue and ardent nationalist when, in fact, he was ideologically flexible. This myth proved to be a weapon against the Weimar Republic, and exercised a destructive influence on the political culture of the first German democracy. Frankel (2005) shows the Bismarck cult fostered and legitimized a new style of right-wing politics, and made possible the post-Bismarckian crisis of leadership, both real and perceived, that had Germans seeking the strongest possible leader and asking, “What Would Bismarck Do?”

        So I think that people who don’t really understand what is going on and have no vision of what they want and how to get there, are clearly vulnerable to propaganda which goes against their best interests and prevents their otherwise proper, sensible behaviour.

        That I think seems to fit NZ’s position and direction at present.

      • Hayden 3.4.2

        There’s a nice big swastika here:

        And apparently someone can’t spell “swastika”.

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          Yes, but that’s in the museum.

          The comments of amirite and Bad12 are being directed at Jackson’s own Nazi memorabilia. Which is bizarre because:

          A: It’s a museum. Nowhere does it say Jackson own the museum (and if he does… it’s still a museum).
          B: The article specifically mentioned he owns WWI memorabilia. Which predates Nazism.

          • Hayden

            I’m just pointing out where the “Nazi” plane idea came from, not that it’s necessarily correct.

          • Hayden

            …and that’s some cheeky framing from the photographer.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Let me help you out here: Sir Peter Jackson = Bad and KDC = Good therefore any mud flung at Sir Peter Jackson is good because hes bad especially if it can take the heat of KDC who is good

            Cleared that up?

        • bad12

          Lolz if you Google ”planes owned by Sir Peter Jackson” there is a link to a page full of pictures including one of Sir Perter(spit) Himself with the swastika emblazoned fighter plane as the backdrop,(about three quarters of the way down the page),

          There is no indication that Jackson owns the plane but as Chariman of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre seems happy enough to display said plane complete with swastika to the Woyals,the world press and the public…

          • greywarbler

            Jackson might take you on as a lackey bad 12 – you have so much spit available, you could spit and polish his planes and his boots as well.

            • bad12

              Good to see you believe that people should ”spit and polish the boots of other’s” greywarbler,

              Whats next??? a demand that You be provided with a peasant to lick your boots

              • greywarbler

                It would be a better use of said peasant’s time and energy than sitting writing much of the dross that is seen on here. Some people have too much time on their hands. They would be better to have a rag in their fingers and be cleaning something.

                • Mainlander

                  Comment of the day Greywarbler, it actually saddens me when people cant even have enough respect for themselves, the people they are referring to or the readers here to correctly use someones name without the bullshit name calling

                  • greywarbler

                    We aren’t playing cricket here. More beach rounders. And even if it were cricket there are always the unfair moves, the underarm bowling, the nose-breaking fast-ball bowling. Now that’s not cricket! That’s not playing the game fairly.

                    We actually are quite good natured towards those we basically respect even if they are lacking in some important features, and offer relatively mild expletives in discussing those. We don’t respect those who don’t give a stuff about anyone but themselves and their own interests. They get the message that they are vicious low lives. From me anyway.

                • bad12

                  It is obvious to me greywarbler which appendage of the Sir in question you would like to polish with your spittle…

          • Draco T Bastard

            Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

            Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

          • lurgee

            So we can all agree your earlier comment, “Can we expect Blubber boy over at ‘wail oil’ to start screeching any moment alluding to Jackson’s Nazi sympathies” was a waste of pixels?

      • bad12 3.4.3

        If the plane bearing the Nazi insignia was as you say a world war 1 fighter then it is an even more utterly gratuitous and unnecessary display of the Swastika by an organization headed by Sir(spit)Peter Jackson…

        • McFlock

          just to clarify, according to the report the toff was touring PJ’s aircraft collection.
          Toff sat in a british WW1 fighter.
          Toff declined to sit in german WW1 fighter (no swastika).
          Toff photographed walking past WW2 german plane, tail swastika in frame.

          Take-home message: PJ, a rich NZer, buys lots of war shit. Because his collection is so large he can open it to the public, tories think it is defensible because it’s a “museum”.
          KDC, a rich NZ resident, buys a lot of war shit. Because it’s not a collection of planes, tories think it’s indicative of a character failing.

          I reckon both are indicative of someone having more money than impulse control.

          • Puckish Rogue

            If KDC only had a signed copy of the book then fine but its not just the book, its the helmet and the flag plus the comments by his friend and the rumours are swirling theres more to come

            Sir Peter Jackson may have a plane with a swastika on it.

            Theres quite a bit of difference but being from the left you’re probably thinking (wishing, hoping) that KDC can “get” John Key

            If a National MP owned a signed copy of Mein Kampf would you lot on the left let it go or defend it?

            Yeah right…

            • McFlock

              Theres quite a bit of difference but being from the left you’re probably thinking (wishing, hoping) that KDC can “get” John Key

              What about churchill’s cigar holder?
              Actually, what I’m mostly doing is laughing at how desperate you tories are to discredit the guy.

              If a National MP owned a signed copy of Mein Kampf would you lot on the left let it go or defend it?

              I suppose it depends on how much it looks like the national mp is using it as a policy template. At the moment they’re just using Rand.

              • RedBaronCV

                I’m not sure they are using either book. I don’t think being able to read is a requirement for being a Nact MP or supporter. Would also help to explain some of those terrible ministerial gaffs. Unread briefing papers.

                • McFlock

                  That’s just them boldly claiming what they want, without listening to the bleating of the weak.

            • ffloyd

              Have read on line that John key’s paternal grandmother bought Herman Goering’s bedroom suite at an antique sale. Wonder if it is still in the family.

            • Jackal

              It’s somewhat amusing that the deluded right is harping on about somebody owning a book. Perhaps they might be happy if every copy of Mein Kampf was put in a pile and burnt?

              If that knowledge was destroyed, how exactly would people learn about the mindset of one of the most dangerous men to ever live in order to hopefully prevent history from repeating itself?

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                Let me copy my post to someone else who said the same thing a few days ago:

                “Oh for crying out loud. This is the argument that most frustrates me. It’s like we lose all concepts of subtleness when this type of conversation comes up.

                No one is saying that Kim Dotcom can’t own the book. We’re not saying that it should be burned. We’re not saying that people who own Mein Kampf should be thrown into prison.

                All that is being said is that people should perhaps judge a person who decide to buy a signed copy of it for something besides being a historical researcher. Just as Dotcom has the right to buy it, we have the right to judge him for it.

                But no, there’s a lot of crows flying around in the sky, you keep building that straw-man.”

                • Jackal

                  Yes! Let’s all judge people for what books they have in their libraries…you’re onto a real winner there Disraeli Gladstone /sarc.

                  • Disraeli Gladstone

                    As a lot of surveys have found, most people will judge a person’s bookshelf. From friends to dating prospects to strangers.

                    I don’t see why politicians get a free ride (and Kim Dotcom now is in that arena).

    • Murray Olsen 3.5

      The only WW2 plane there, a Fw190 in the colours of Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe, does not belong to Peter Jackson. Jackson collects WW1 aircraft. In WW1, the royal families of England and Germany were very closely related, so Wills could have hopped into a Fokker Triplane that flew in the service of great uncle Wilhelm.

      I have no time for the royal family, the smelly bearded hobbit called Jackson, or Key, but in the absence of real fact checkers in this thread, I thought I should point this out.

  4. philj 4

    xox I never considered that a trade deal with China would have ended up with NZ being corrupted. Reminds me of when I witnessed a recent Chinese migrant scraping out his wok in the tennis club car park!

    • bad12 4.1

      What has what you claim to have witnessed got to do with corruption or the trade deal with China…

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      I never considered that a trade deal with China would have ended up with NZ being corrupted.

      I did. In fact, I thought it was inevitable that it would and that we should be questioning the effects of other trade deals including relationship with the WTO.

  5. Awww 5

    I really think it is time to revisit abortion laws, particularly with regard to welfare dependency.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      What a nonsensical comment – the article has nought to do with “welfare dependency” and everything to do with a doctor going completely off the reservation.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        She broke the law (a law that happens to be wrong) but I don’t think it could be described as going completely off the reservation.

        • marty mars

          “going off the reservation” is a term that imo shouldn’t be used because of the historical weight behind what happened to the people on and off the reservation.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Our abortion laws do need to be improved so that a) abortion is no longer a crime and b) so that it’s easier to get.

      • McFlock 5.2.1

        damned straight.

        This is a bit further along the wedge into DIY abortion territory, and all the harm that involves.

      • Puckish Rogue 5.2.2

        I agree

      • nadis 5.2.3

        and as importantly, education and contraception needs to better delivered to those who are potentially sexually active, therefore reducing the demand for abortion.

  6. Wyndham, George 6

    The Greens knew what the response would be. It was a bullshit approach to smear Labour. Norman and his white middle class NIMBY party are worried that LABOUR will regain the social democrats that drifted away under Goff n Shearer/ Robertson. It was a drliberate attempt to put Cunliffe in a negative light.
    At local level some Greens operate with a sense of entitlement toward Labour, expecting Labour to collaborate with them in one way relationships. Good on them if they get away with it. Labour people should be a lot sharper in dealing with the Greens.
    After this effort by Norman to damage Labour we should appoint stronger spokespersons in the environmental and transport portfolios. We should never leave such critical areas to the Greens.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1


      Cunliffe could have skittled this dastardly plot by saying:

      “Yep sure; it’s obvious that Greens and Labour will have to work together to form the next government, and fair enough that the executive reflect the support each party has. If voters porefer that the next party be more Labour than green, then that’s how they should vote.”

      But no, his brains trust advised him that the best thing to do was to hint to the 70% of his own voters who prefer a green partner to a NZF one, that he kinda disagrees, and is more concerned about what tories think than what his own voters prefer.

      Everyone who can count to 50 knows G and L will have to work together. Pretending otherwise makes Labour look like they aren’t ready to do that and that the relationship won’t really work. That leaves centrists who just want competant government voting National, and Green leaning labour voters moving to the Greens to force labour’s hand.

      Nice work morans.

      • Jim Nald 6.1.1



      • Ant 6.1.2

        Cunliffe has pretty much said that at every opportunity, but carry on…

        • Pascal's bookie

          Didn’t say it yesterday or this morning though, which is what we are talking about.

      • Murray Olsen 6.1.3

        But, but……..
        Bradbury thinks Cunliffe is doing the right thing in pinning his hopes on Winston and should cuddle up even more. Whether this is happening or not, I have no idea, but I know I’ll save at least an hour a day not reading the Daily Bog. Lately, it seems to be a mixture of Bomber’s latest nonsense and a dozen or so hard working right wing trolls. At least here I get some good articles, a wider variety of rubbbish, and fewer right wing trolls. I have never really understood why anyone on the left has ever aligned themselves with Bradbury, and time has not been enlightening.

    • felix 6.2

      “At local level some Greens operate with a sense of entitlement toward Labour, expecting Labour to collaborate with them in one way relationships.”

      Examples please?

      Seems odd because at a national level it’s traditionally been NZFirst (and Dunne) who have insisted on having a relationship with Labour that excludes the Greens.

      Not the other way around, chum.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Read this and this and then wonder just who the people at NZTA are actually working for.

  8. joe90 8

    It’s not who you know – it’s who you own.

    NO WONDER David Cameron has been slow to follow President Obama’s call for economic sanctions “imposing a cost on Russia” over Ukraine: not only does he have to worry about the City’s enthusiasm for Russian money, but Putin-friendly businessmen are among his party’s biggest donors.

    Ian Taylor, boss of giant oil-trading firm Vitol, gave the Tories £134,000 last year, a sum which buys him private meetings with the prime minister. His donations since 2006 total more than £600,000.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      And that is the real problem with representative democracy – it’s far too easy for the rich to buy the representatives.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        that’s half the story; the other half is that the workers and peoples movements who had the leverage to force politicians to act in the interests of the many have all been systematically undermined or co-opted.

        Like the unions who gave the OK to the Labour caucus to raise the retirement age if the MPs wanted to. Good one, guys.

        • blue leopard

          @ CV
          Are you moving away from Labour or going to keep persevering?
          (Obviously you don’t have to answer that)

          Can you make sense of this latest refusal of Labour to make a formal agreement with the Greens?

          • Colonial Viper

            I’m going to stick with Labour; the party needs an active and radical left wing element to stir up it’s overly centrist, short time horizon and Thorndon focussed outlook.

            I just read this article on how drought and disease is destroying major agriculture producing areas of the USA and Brazil. Change is coming, and NZ must be ready for it. This endless talk of “growth” and “balancing the budgets” is utter bullshit and someone at the top needs to start saying so ASAP.


            • blue leopard

              That is both good, yet a shame.

              Good that you persevere.

              A shame because perhaps your energies might be better spent on parties that have more focus on issues and less focus on capturing the centrist vote. (?)

              • Colonial Viper

                BL, thank you. In truth I suspect the genuine shame is in working with any political parties whatsoever. There is a strong case that our personal energies should be diverted away from Thorndon bubble hunger games and back into building constructive initiatives right in ones own local community.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  That really is an interesting thought.

                  We need decent people doing both types of political work, though.

            • Draco T Bastard

              That’s actually a concern. Under the present free-market ideology that would push up prices for food produced here which means more would be exported which would increase food poverty here. We’d probably see an increase in deaths from malnourishment unless the government stepped in to stop exports.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    A good article on why we should take care of our world and put tariffs back on imports:

    This means we have a moral duty to adopt the golden rules. Fouling one’s nest is a ‘race to the bottom’ type of behaviour. Further, we have a moral duty to maintain the integrity of our capitalist system to ensure that the costs associated with market activities are paid by the parties to those activities. Taxes (or other ‘cost internalising’ mechanisms) should be used to both compensate third party victims and to disincentivise fouling activities.

    Even srylands should be able to agree with it.

  10. greywarbler 10

    This morning’s Radionz news. Deja vu all over again. Piss stories and David drawing back from the taint of future thinking, goodbye hopes for Labour moving forward. He is settling into sensible Helen mode. I suggest that any young people eschew the names David and Richard and John. Look for more inspiring and attractive names. It’s into the bin with these ones.

    Helen saved Labour till it was ready to move on up but now it lacks the map, it’s groping in the dark with the old walls gone that you could follow to guide your way. We now need someone bold like Sir Edmund Hillary, like Shackleton able to hold his team together, his talented men with skills to overcome odds and the internal fortitude to keep going in difficult and dangerous times to reach a defined goal, able to adapt to overcome obstacles.

    But Labour is flopping like a beached whale coming back on who knows which directional signal, but ending up in the same place no matter what effort helpers exert to set it free. But then why should we be different than other country’s left Labour lack-of-movements. Oz right, UK right. The dingy dinghy bobs along behind the big boys. Keep bailing you down there, we red pollies want to keep our perches and sit and jabber the lines we have learned but we don’t understand.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1


    • Not a PS Staffer 10.2

      Well balanced greywarbler: a chip on both shoulders.

      • greywarbler 10.2.1

        Yes it does weigh me down on both shoulders, the sadness that we are faced with in our pathetic political party poltroons. A little alliteration lightens the load temporarily. But it is no joke, and not to be dealt with by smart comments, a quick slur or sneer from NotaPsStaffer.

        • Not a PS Staffer

          I’m feeling remorseful greywarbler. Your writing is beautiful and your heart is good.

          Good men are gruff and grumpy, cranky, crabbed, and cross.

    • Murray Olsen 10.3

      I suspect it’s no accident that the beached whale is blue.

  11. Not a PS Staffer 12

    Russell Norman committed the stupid sin of going like a supplicant to KimDotComs Mansion in Coatesville. See the posts on the 13th -15th February.

    This latest play by Norman is not just stupid. It is a deliberate attempt to embarrass Cunliffe.

    Precious Norman had a free run in Parliament when Shearer/Robertson failed miserably to make Labour a strong voice of opposition to the government.

    Cunliffe is the Official Leader of the Opposition. That is his title. Now Labour has a leader who is also the leading voice of opposition in Parliament. Norman can’t hack it and is paying games.

    I hope Cunliffe has a witness and a note-taker with him any time he meets with Russel Norman. Norman has shown the capacity to be stupid and nasty, a dangerous mix for a party leader.

    • Ad 12.1

      A key audience for such amateur House of Cards behaviour is the Governor General, who will have his choice of an unstable amalgam with 80% chance of exploding in a term, or a massive single party supported (probably) by Confidence and Supply.

      It would be tricky, but I could see him offering first bid at forming government to Key in that situation. The GG in fact implied as much. – see old Bowalley Rd post on his speech last year.

      Hopefully Cunliffe and Norman know they must learn lessons from this week.
      Since Easter slides us into May, it’s 5 months to go.

    • Jim Nald 12.2

      I do not disagree with you (Not a PS Staffer) here but, there is a but, the Official Leader of the Opposition (as you say) and his team still have their own options of responding in a way that sidesteps, confronts or diffuses any potential embarrassment (whether intentional embarrassment, or unintentional as the case may well be, and whatever the good intention or sinister motivation might possibly be). How difficult would it be for that OLotO to say something such as has been suggested by PB @ 6.1?

      Friday today and with the weekend coming up, it is quite questionable what has been achieved the past week and particularly where things the recent few days have put Labour especially for Labour’s 70%, how much has been done to bring out the so-called million M.I.A. (missing in action) from the previous election, and to what extent the pronouncements of recent days have chipped away at Nats support. If it feels like Labour is still treading water, being in a state that feels like there have been some motion but with little distance being made, why are people not surprised?

      I have a lot more to say but will have to address my work-weblife balance in favour of the former this afternoon.

      Looking forward to posting and sharing some curry recipes on Weekend Social that I indicated I was going to do a few weeks ago.

      edit: and yes, Ad adds very important points that I agree.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      Cunliffe is the Official Leader of the Opposition.

      Then perhaps he should start acting like one.

      • Jim Nald 12.3.1

        At the very least, people can presently say: imagine what the OLotO might be like now if the Membership did not have the opportunity to have a voice and DC’s predecessor had not ‘predeceased’?

  12. Penny Bright 13

    Collins’ defiance over Oravida upsets Speaker

    John Armstrong: Labour keeps heat on Collins over companion

    In my considered opinion, Minister of Justice Judith Collins is CORRUPT and should be sacked forthwith.

    What training , knowledge and understanding of CORRUPTION has the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson?

    What training , knowledge and understanding of CORRUPTION have the (anonymous) Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) staff purportedly dealing with CORRUPT conflicts of interest?

    Have they received anti-CORRUPTION training from the (in my considered opinion) CORRUPT Auditor-General, Lyn Provost, whom apparently wouldn’t know a corrupt ‘conflict of interest’ if it leapt up and bit her on the backside?

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright and 13 others

    That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into why New Zealand Auditor-General Lyn Provost did not disclose that she was a shareholder in Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd at the time she declined to conduct an urgent investigation into the failure of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand to carry out ‘due diligence’ on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the New Zealand International Convention Centre (Bill) 2013.

    Petition number: 2011/101
    Presented by: Denis O’Rourke
    Date presented: 12 March 2014
    Referred to: Finance and Expenditure Committee

    Have they received anti-CORRUPTION training from the NZ Serious Fraud Office, who deal with bribery and corruption complaints as ‘serious and complex fraud’ complaints – and then do nothing, as they did with a bribery and corruption complaint against Auckland Mayor Len Brown?

    Have they received anti-CORRUPTION training from the (in my considered opinion) hopelessly conflicted and compromised Transparency International NZ?

    “Transparency International New Zealand

    Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) is the recognised New Zealand representative of Transparency International, the global civil society organisation against corruption. We are a not-for-profit incorporated society with charitable status. We are non-political and non-partisan.

    Our Vision
    A world in which the institutions of government, politics, business and civil society are built on strong integrity systems and the daily lives of people are free from corruption.

    We Are
    A caretaker of New Zealand’s high trust, high integrity society
    Author of the “2013 New Zealand Integrity Plus National Integrity System Assessment”
    The local chapter of Transparency International, the world leading anti-corruption agency and publisher of the Corruption Perceptions Index ”

    Check out their ‘sponsors’!

    Note – who is their Cornerstone Platinum ‘sponsor’?

    Oh dear – The Office of the Auditor General ……………………….

    Seriously – you couldn’t make this sh*t up!

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polling 4th with 11,723 votes, campaigning against CORRUPT corporate control of the Auckland region)

  13. freedom 14

    Not sure what to do with your Friday evening?

    Just got told that there is a fundraiser on tonight in the Ellen Melville Hall.
    I know nothing about it apart from it starts at 6pm (and there are tickets at the door?)

  14. Weepu's beard 15

    “It may make them look financially responsible but there’s no point if they’re not being socially responsible at the same time.” – NZ First Spokesperson for Social Policy, Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor.

    A nicely put thought from Mrs Lole-Taylor today on the subject of the National Government’s blind obsession, a budget surplus.

  15. greywarbler 16

    Haven’t heard about the latest from MH370 what with all the carryon from South Africa.

    This from CNN 11/Apr/2014

    As planes and boats scoured the Indian Ocean for more signals and signs of wreckage, a senior Malaysian government official and another source involved in the investigation divulged details about the flight to CNN on Thursday, including new information about what radar detected, the last words from the cockpit and how high the plane was flying after it went off the grid.
    So yet new information being revealed at this late stage. Why the delay?

    Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from military radar for about 120 nautical miles after it crossed back over the Malay Peninsula, sources say. Based on available data, this means the plane must have dipped in altitude to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, a senior Malaysian government official and a source involved in the investigation tell CNN….

    “The real issue here is it looks like — more and more — somebody in the cockpit was directing this plane and directing it away from land,” said CNN aviation analyst and former National Transportation Safety Board Managing Director Peter Goelz. “And it looks as though they were doing it to avoid any kind of detection.”
    More paranoia from the USA. It wuz hijackers, the pilot etc. It sounds as if it is a response that reflects the person’s Safety Board job, rather than an opinion considering the facts. Then in contrast, what sounds like a voice of reason from former US Dept of Transportation Inspector who offers a theory that has some reasoning behind it.

    But former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo was not convinced. She said the reported dip could have occurred in response to a loss of pressure, to reach a level where pressurization was not needed and those aboard the plane would have been able to breathe without oxygen, or to get out of the way of commercial traffic, which typically flies at higher altitudes.,,,,

    The sources also told CNN that Malaysian air force search aircraft were scrambled about 8 a.m. March 8 to the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca, soon after Malaysia Airlines reported that its plane was missing. The aircraft took off before authorities corroborated data indicating that the plane turned back westward, a senior Malaysian government official told CNN.

    But the air force did not inform the Department of Civil Aviation or search and rescue operations until three days later, March 11, [Tuesday] a source involved in the investigation told CNN.
    Can a country’s armed forces be trusted to tell the truth about their activities? First they didn’t tell their own Civil Aviation for 3 days. Then two days later another government entity denied it happened.
    Later Thursday, communications officials from Malaysia’s Transportation Ministry denied that jets had scrambled shortly after the plane went missing, calling that claim a “false allegation.”

    And Abbott today is gurgling on about a fifth ping that he says is definitely of value, while other sources say not. We can all be sure that the international airline system has reached its highest level on the Peter Principle.

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    The Government is encouraging New Zealanders to support, visit, and explore Northland, as the closure and detour of SH1 at the Bryderwyn Hills begins, and critical repair work by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) gets underway, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Many regions across the country suffered extensive and devastating ...
    5 days ago
  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    6 days ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    7 days ago
  • Government grants $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites
    The Government has granted $6.6 million to clean up four historic New Zealand landfill and dump sites vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion. At the BlueGreens Forum in Paihia today Environment Minister Penny Simmonds said that the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund grants will go towards fixing former landfills ...
    7 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    1 week ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    1 week ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    1 week ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    1 week ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    1 week ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    1 week ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    1 week ago

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