Open mike 11/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 11th, 2015 - 132 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

132 comments on “Open mike 11/12/2015 ”

  1. James 1

    Kicking off the day with the latest Roy Morgan:

    National still just shy of that 50% mark, labour and greens pretty static.

    After the reshuffle, prisoners coming ‘home’ etc I thought labour would have wanted to be ending the year at least on 30%. Wondering if the problem is little?

    • Ben 1.1

      Nats 49%, Labour 28%, Greens 13%, NZF 6%.

      National can easily govern alone, even if NZF joined the left coalition. Voters still don’t see Labour as a viable and capable opposition in waiting. No fresh policy, a leader with single figure ratings who prefers a vacuous MP over one with experience and intelligence. Labour’s approach hasn’t changed this year and neither have the polls.

      I wonder what special new Oravida questions Robertson has in store for Collins in the new year.

      • vto 1.1.1

        ” Voters still don’t see Labour as a viable and capable opposition in waiting.”

        Have to disagree on that front fulla.

        Voters still have rising house prices, so all is content on Average Street.

        Just like that.

        • tracey

          The folks most harmed by this Government don’t, as a rule, vote National. That is one reason why they can be harmed. Now, IF (and it is a bigish if) something happens to the property market then white upper middle class starts to get antsy. That’s National-land.

          For example, last week a broker whined because banks were turning down mortgages for children of the welathy because IF the youngins can’t pay the mortgae, neither can their parents (cos of their lifestyles). IF that continues, expect a minor rumbling amongst the property owning classes about the wrongnes sof their children not being able to buy property in Auckland.

          • Colonial Viper

            the reason Labour has zero traction is because it offers an alternative like the one between Coke and Vanilla Coke.

            And if the economy or housing market slows down, voters are not going to place their trust in Labour’s economically experienced and financially unskilled leadership team.

            To be realistic: half way through the third term, a deadly third termitis should have support for National withering, and Labour flexing its polling confidence in the mid 30s.

            National is well on track for a fourth term, even without the voter lolly scramble English is already planning.

        • Ben

          You can still have rising house prices and be a credible govt in waiting. At the moment they are not. That said, the Greens are still tarred with the ‘economic vandal’ tag, so people that are feeling comfortable (in their house equity bubble) will not be keen on the Greens influencing policy.

          Note that not everybody in NZ is benefitting from rising house prices – mainly Auckland & CHCH with a ripple effect north and south. Renters looking to buy form a good part of the voting population also.

          If/when the economy heads south, it will but pressure on the Nats, but again, Labour will have to clearly demonstrate what they would do to correct it. Robertson doesn’t inspire confidence and will struggle on that front.

          • tracey

            The rising house prices give those people who own them a false sense of comfort and security which makes them cling to the status quo, which right now is National.

            Also this government in aiting stuff. national didn’t have rafts of policies or ideas in 2007/2008 they attacked the credibility of the existing government. Such short memories people have.

            • Rosie

              “The rising house prices give those people who own them a false sense of comfort and security which makes them cling to the status quo, which right now is National.”

              Just as an aside. Why does rising house prices give people a false sense of comfort and security? I know it’s a false sense, I get that part but why would they be pleased unless they are planning on selling their house and downsizing?

              We got our QV notice in the mail saying our house had increased it’s value by $30,000. Thats rubbish. It’s an artificial thing. Nothing has changed about our house to increase it’s value. It pissed me off as it means our rates are going to go up at some stage and we barely exist week to week as it is. We will be punished for this artificial meaningless increase in value.

              It also pisses me off that we view housing as a commodity, rather than what it is, a necessity. I wouldn’t care if my house held the same value during the remainder of my life span. We all simply just need some where decent to live. Shouldn’t that be the goal?

              • Molly

                ” Why does rising house prices give people a false sense of comfort and security? I know it’s a false sense, I get that part but why would they be pleased unless they are planning on selling their house and downsizing?”

                I agree. My thoughts are that many – like our household – are just managing to get through the week on their incomes. Regardless of whether it actually improves their lifestyle – the fact that they have a “savings account” in the form of rising equity brings comfort. However false. Because there is no other means of “saving”, as costs rise and wages and incomes stagnate.

                Others have managed to utilise the many provisions government policy has for promoting housing as a commodity rather than a necessity, and find the increasing value – despite little or no inputs – one of the best forms of passive and untaxed income there is.

                Like you, I believe housing is a necessity and ensuring that all NZers have access to affordable, healthy secure housing should be a priority for any progressive government.

                • Rosie

                  Trouble is Molly, I think it’s too late for any future progressive government to develop policy for controlling rising house prices – apart from tinkering around the edges to give the impression that they are “doing something”.

                  Folks over the decades and especially in recent years have been lulled into this “I have a valuable asset” buzz and don’t care about the ones behind them who can’t afford a house or reasonable rent precisely because of house prices going up and up. Are they likely to vote for a party that does care?
                  I don’t know in what way we can encourage folks to be less selfish when it comes to looking at what policy to vote for. We’ve developed this hideous “me first” attitude and dropped the “us together” attitude. It’s hugely detrimental to increasing fairness and well being in society.

                  I think it’s bordering on cruel, to be so selfish that we are happy to scramble over others to get what we want. I really don’t like what we’ve become.

                  • greywarshark

                    What is needed is for government projects carried out by the people as much as possible, creating a little pool of housing, in a planned area close to transport and jobs. The houses could be bought on 25 year mortgages from the state, which might sell them after 10 years to a bank.

                    But at the start they would be affordable and made available to people with families who had passed some sort of test to establish whether they had reliability. No use in having a place ruined because someone is making a drug. And the people would have some work guaranteed so they could pay for the houses.

                    And for other childless reliable people three storey slab concrete apartments to rent, with an extra payment that went into a loan a/c against the time that they might apply for a house. People would apply, there background would have to be checked for violence, drunkeness, etc. And if they weren’t okay, they could apply after another two years when they had cleaned up their lives and behaviour.

                    It would be a start, and an incentive for young people wanting to settle down to establish a good background.

                    Low loans have been made before and could be again by a people-oriented political party, not one totally profit-oriented.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The houses could be bought on 25 year mortgages from the state

                      Which just continues to propagate the problem of private housing that people expect to be able to get an unearned and untaxed income from either through excessively rising house prices or through ownership of multiple houses and renting them out.

                    • fender

                      “… the people would have some work guaranteed so they could pay for the houses.”


                      “And for other childless reliable people three storey slab concrete apartments to rent, with an extra payment that went into a loan a/c against the time that they might apply for a house. People would apply, there background would have to be checked for violence, drunkeness, etc.”



                    • greywarshark

                      If you have better ideas about fairness of the economic system and housing you should change you pseudo to ‘funder’.

                  • Molly

                    Agree again.

                    Am currently reading Danny Dorlings “All that is Solid” about the housing crisis in the UK.

                    It’s good – worth a read – but also shows how lack of security in housing can exacerbate other problems. And how a series of misguided and destructive policies make the likelihood of solving this issue smaller and smaller.

                    Intrinsic to the housing affordability and access issue is the widening of inequality in terms of income and expenditure. Wealth inequality allows those already with so much to create trusts, companies etc and avoid tax while owning and accumulating property. Those who pay the most in terms of income percentage – and removal of opportunity and other choices – are those who have to pay elevated rents, or who cannot afford starter mortgages. As social housing becomes a transient option – under constant revision – the threat and cost of tenants having to move increases and creates further stress and financial hardship.

                    Banks and the already wealthy are the ones who are able to benefit most from Home Starter schemes, and privatisation of social housing.

                    There are options available in terms of ringfencing social housing from future government policies, and others in terms of suppressing the market. Communities that have residents involved in the housing associations would be a first start. Too many social housing organisations are managed by those who don’t live in them.

                    Where to start?
                    Land tax for undeveloped residential land.
                    Value uplift tax, to all those who have received a capital equity bonus from the land rezoning due the Unitary Plan (paid when the land is sold for the increased value, or the land is developed.) These taxes go into social housing renovation or builds.
                    Allow development of housing that meets need – not profiteering.

                    Along with new builds it is imperative that social housing is retained in all areas.

                    Income equality is not a priority to those who do not have to live with the constant exposure that those on lower incomes can work just as hard, care for their families and friends just as much, and still not get any traction financially because of our failure to address inequality. Those who credit their own success to just themselves, don’t have the imagination to understand others lives unless they witness it – or even better – experience it.

              • Tiger Mountain

                agree, houses should be accommodation not cash generators for the new breed of rentier, then we could get back to affordable rents, lower mortgages and living a life for someone other than the bank, recently it was published that 41% of Auckland house buyers already owned one or more!

              • Draco T Bastard


                A great explanation of why all housing should be state owned.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Rising house prices are the main sign of economic vandalism.

            • Molly


            • Bob

              Yet how many of our politicians from both sides of the house currently own multiple houses? Do you think they are going to try to fix the problem?

              • McFlock

                a bit over half when Duncan Garner counted it before the general election last year.

                I’m not too worried about 2 houses for mps, as they get an allowance for a wellington residence if they’re out of town, but the owners of 4,5, or 6 homes might have a conflict.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Which just indicates that the people should be setting the policies rather than the MPs.

                • fender

                  Might also indicate that MP’s prefer to invest in real estate rather than risk their coin on the often punishing share market.

                  “Which just indicates that the people should be setting the policies rather than the MPs.”

                  Are you suggesting a referendum on the number of houses an MP can own(?) 😈

              • Molly

                … only if we demand it off them.

                If we accept self-interest as a reasonable excuse to not act, then we are lowering the bar in terms of acceptable decision making, which should always be to people they represent, not only those they work with.

      • RedBaronCV 1.1.2

        Maybe not . Elections rarely improve the popularity of a government and frankly NAct are barely hanging in there at the moment. Not that you’d know it from the MSM.
        They can’t even command an parliamentary margin for a lot of legislation at the moment . The overall trend is down. And the confidence rating is slipping too

        • James

          The overall trend is down ????

          You read the link right ? They are on 49 %. How the hell do you call that a downward trend?

          Using your logic labour at 28% are trending how ?

    • tracey 1.2

      Seems odd to thinkit would be little, cos it was sheaer, and cunliffe before him, apparently… seems it’s something different altogether James

      • James 1.2.1

        That is a fair point re Little.

        I’m guessing its Labour. Most of the population simply dont want them in power. Dont agree with them, dont see them as credible,

        Heck if people believed in them then they wouldn’t be languishing in the 20’s for so long.

    • Sabine 1.3

      And the same question already asked needs to be asked again.

      Who was asked. Likely National Voter? Likely Labour Voter? Likely NZ First Voter? Likely Green Voter?
      How were the age groups represented? Home owners vs renters? Business Owners vs workers etc etc.
      See how that could change the outcome quickly?
      So as always, this poll means nothing, and the only poll that counts is the one in 2017, and until then a lot more water will run down the Waikato, more ponytails will be pulled, more people will be offended, and more people will loose jobs and houses.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.3.1

        and yet again the same old excuses are being trotted out that were brought out in 2008, 2011 and 2014

        Always saying the polls wrong and soon, very soon the people of NZ will see the real John Key and that’s when Labour will be returned to power

        Yet the left don’t seem to realise is that we’ve seen the real John Key and that’s why he’ll get another term in 2017

        • weka

          Or, it’s normal for NZers to vote in a government for 3 terms but not 4. And in 2014, it was a relatively close election (despite the spin since). And in 2014, there were 1 million people not voting, so this idea that most Kiwis want a Key govt is false.

          • Puckish Rogue

            You think that makes it better? No it doesn’t, more people want John Key leading the country then want *insert Labour leader de jour here* leading the country

            It doesn’t matter how close it was or wasn’t, theres no second prize you either win the treasury or you sit in impotent rage

            Labour will get their chance in 2020 and not before

            • McFlock

              you either win the treasury or you sit in impotent rage

              only if the “winners” are monomaniacal fuckwits.

              If the government were made of leaders who could be persuaded by evidence and reasoned argument, the entire country wins. Such a pity that has not been the case over the last few elections.

              • The lost sheep

                It’s a pity McFlock, and if things don’t change it will be a pity next election as well.

                What’s your plan for changing the momentum?

                • McFlock


                  What, me single-handedly change the political direction of the country? I didn’t know you held me in such high esteem.

                  By the way, nobody was fooled by you pretending that it’s a pity the current government are a bunch of radicalised socioeconomic vandals. You’re part of the problem, being a tory and all.

                  • The lost sheep

                    I’m not asking you to change the political direction of the country McFlock.
                    It was just your opinion on what the Left could do to change the current momentum I was after?
                    You have a strong opinion on almost everything, so that shouldn’t be too difficult?

                    • McFlock

                      Why the fuck do you care what “the Left” could/should do to change the “momentum”?

                      Frankly, It’s quite possible that any tactical “momentum” is miniscule compared to larger cycles (unless voters have the memory normally reputed to goldfish). Over the last year or so Labour has been pretty solid, and the greens have been more solid for much longer. But then I also know people who voted National in 2008 simply because they felt it was national’s “turn”. The increased numbers of advance votes last year also matched the final tally more closely than I recall from previous years – this might affect campaign patterns.

                      But really, at the moment and with limited IT time, my strongest opinions are about tory shills. And when I feel the need to moderate how I express an opinion, I know I have better things to do.

                    • The lost sheep

                      No plan, no positive ideas, clinging to a few straws, and main energy going into attacking shills.

                      Pretty much sums up the situation on the Left, and why it is polling where it is.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh fuck off.

                      Why the hell should I have or present an itemised plan to bring about utopia (especially as all you’ll do is masturbate all over the place regardless of whatever I come up with)? I don’t pretend to have all the answers, all I know is that conceited slimebags like you are some of the problems that need those answers.

                      I could just as lazily and inaccurately sum up “the right” based on your response, but I’ve got work in the real world to do and I don’t know enough synonyms for the words “stupid”, “slippery”, or “fuckwit”.

                  • ropata

                    sheep shagger seems to be conducting a poll of political bloggers, perhaps DPF is paying him off ??

                    we had a fairly reasoned chat about this last night but it seems to be his mission to hassle everyone on TS asking the same question.

                    don’t tell him the secret plan!

                    • McFlock


                      I love the idea that the left doing badly in the polls can only be because the left isn’t doing the correct thing.

                      Obviously never took the Kobayashi Maru test…

                    • ropata

                      RWNJs seem to have a problem with the concept of “ethics” and “social conscience” and can’t understand why left wing parties don’t pander to the super rich or use RW tactics

            • Draco T Bastard

              I particularly liked this bit from the Rachel Maddow link I posted below:

              Fascist political gatherings tend to encourage or at least expect a little violence around the edges, particularly against counter protesters. Fascistic leaders are aggressively macho and chauvinistic. They are xenophobic about people who they portray as outsiders or some sort of threat to the nation or as weaklings they can denounce. They broke no dissent. They are completely intolerant of criticism and when it comes to policy proposals and governing philosophy, they’re not known for nuance. The great leader just gets it done because the great leader is great, and great men do great things. Trust in the great leader.

              My bold.

              • The lost sheep

                So you are saying the Left needs a great leader? Any suggestions?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No, I was drawing the similarities between what PR was saying and fascism.

                  Nice attempt at purposely twisting my words though.

            • weka

              You think that makes it better? No it doesn’t, more people want John Key leading the country then want *insert Labour leader de jour here* leading the country


              In NZ we have MMP, and we don’t get to vote who is PM. People vote for many different reasons, and people don’t vote for many reasons.

              AFAIK it’s normal for the leader of the opposition to not rate highly in leadership polls at this stage of the electoral cycle.

              It doesn’t matter how close it was or wasn’t, theres no second prize you either win the treasury or you sit in impotent rage

              Labour will get their chance in 2020 and not before

              Lolz, spin away PR, it just shows how worried you are that Key/Nact will have done their dash by the next election.

              IF National get in again, I think far more of a concern than Labour’s popularity will be the fact that NZ has voted in a proto-fascist government. We might have been in denial about that before or not too sure about it, but come the 2017 GE there will be no two ways about what is being voted for. And that should scare real conservatives as much as lefties (although the neoliberal power mongers and their minions such as yourself probably won’t care).

          • James

            How do you know who the 1 million people would vote for?

            You are assuming that they are not representative of the samples taken in polls. Of which there is no evidence of.

            Regardless – which ever way you want to look at it – this just aint good for Labour.

            • The lost sheep

              If a potential voter hated JK and loved the Left you’d think they would vote?

              But it is known why they don’t. So no, they cannot be counted as de facto Left voters. They are non voters and don’t count for anything.


            • weka

              How do you know who the 1 million people would vote for?

              You are assuming that they are not representative of the samples taken in polls. Of which there is no evidence of.

              No James, I suggest you reread my comment. I didn’t say anything about who those million *would vote for. My point was that Key and National don’t have a mandate from the majority of NZers. That’s a fact no matter how you spin it.

              Regardless – which ever way you want to look at it – this just aint good for Labour.

              I’ll take that as evidence that you are still a FPP thinker. We have MMP now.

          • CR

            I think an important factor is the level of data this government has on the population (I’m talking polling, focus grouping and data analysis).

            Imagine how powerful you could be if you had been in power for seven years (long enough to ‘profile’ various population groups and model their voting tendencies and the issues that matter to them.

            You had access to all data possibly available about the incomes, net worth, assets, attitudes, behaviour, things people care about…think Census mixed with IRD mixed with Market Research mixed with what you spend on your FlyBuys and OneCard, and so on.

            Not to mention cyber security tools such as CORTEX.

            National have an enormous advantage over Labour in this area.

            If National perceive they’re falling in the polls, everyone knows they will steal a policy, do a U-turn, ‘tweak a setting’, ‘readjust’ to ‘get the balance about right’. Or throw a dead cat on the table. Whatevs. As long as they are keeping 46-49% of the VOTING population happy enough, they will ride high in the polls.

            Some of the points Muttonbird has been making recently link in with this concept.

            I can’t remember the exact words he/she used, but to me it’s like the government has left the building in a way, and effectively the Combined Opposition is governing by default –

            e.g. with Seymour able to get his RWC bar hours passed,
            Key abdicating to the opposition his decision on the citizen initiated Red Peak petition,
            the ‘bright line’ capital gains tax,
            pressure on Serco,
            rapists and murderers apology,
            miniscule increase in benefits to some, etc.

      • James 1.3.2

        hahahaha thats funny.

        Amazing that most of the polls all trend in the same direction.

        They must all be calling the same white, male, home owning, auckland based, hetrosexual, married, 100k+ earning people each and every time to keep getting such consistent results.

  2. The Chairman 2

    Here are a couple of short interviews that (if you haven’t already) need to be seen.

    Do they resonate with you or do you find them controversial?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • tracey 2.1

      The Chairman

      I got part way through the Pilger interview and then decided I had to get to work. Will watch mre later.

      • The Chairman 2.1.1

        Thanks for attempting to take the time Tracey.

        I look forward to hearing your thoughts when you finally find the time to view them both.

    • gsays 2.2

      thanks chairman,
      nothing controversial to these eyes, more of a reminder as to who we truly are.
      what i find interesting re the john perkins interview;
      the power is in our hands.
      if we act and move as one, we are unstoppable.
      eg, we buy our petrol from bp only for 3 months, then as a group we only buy from caltex for 3 months, watch the price of fuel start to move.

      also the intersection of politics and things of a more etheral nature.
      on john perkins website, some of the places he is visiting , focus on a raising of conciousness.
      with a raising of conciousness (waking up), we can not behave in the same way as we are used to.(exploiting workers or the environment, turning a blind eye, using ‘they did it too’ as a justification.)
      this is not opinion or belief, it is a truth.

      • The Chairman 2.2.1

        Thanks gsays.

        The push to have everything privatized (as discussed in the Perkins interview) must surely be recognizable to most voters now.

        The Perkins interview also helps explain why Labour isn’t providing the difference most would expect from the opposition.

        And the alternative suggested (which you highlighted) is as consumers there is power in our hands.

        • gsays

          re labour not being an effective opposition: time and time again i hear them seemingly miss the mark.
          eg kelvin davis on serco. (btw excellent work by kelvin to put pressure on the government).
          once serco were fired there was no clear statement along the lines that privitisation is a no go under a labour regime.
          they seem to be crippled by internal polling, not wanting to scare the horses.
          unless there is a fundamental difference between the two main parties, why would you support a change?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Labour support the idea that business is the whole purpose of society thus they really can’t say anything different from National and thus they lose support.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        the power is in our hands.
        if we act and move as one, we are unstoppable.

        Which, of course, is why over the last few decades the RWNJs have been destroying society, saying that there is no such thing as society in fact. They don’t want the people acting together.

        eg, we buy our petrol from bp only for 3 months, then as a group we only buy from caltex for 3 months, watch the price of fuel start to move.

        If we acted as one nobody would be buying fuel for their cars as there wouldn’t be any personal cars. Such acting though would destroy the profits that the bludgers claim which is why we have a society that promotes consumption rather than economising.

    • Morrissey 2.3

      I read Perkins’ book nine years ago. It is absolutely chilling, a carefully written exposition of the United States and its destruction of democratic regimes. It’s not surprising that he has been resolutely excluded from the mainstream media.

    • Bill 2.4

      Sad to see Pilger seeming to struggle in terms of articulation and presentation, but hey.

      Didn’t listen to John Perkins yet. Ever since he first popped up I’ve wondered whether his back story is genuine.

    • DH 3.1

      I don’t think he’s f%cked it up so much as planned it this way. The RBNZ are only referring to consumer inflation which is not “Inflation”. We only have low consumer inflation because all the surplus new money being created by bank lending is going into property and causing inflation there. Real inflation is very high.

      These people are economic cheats. They’re ringfencing inflation, isolating it to property, and cynically letting the extra money created stimulate the economy. It’s definitely deliberate and since MPs are all property owners I expect none are going to complain about it .

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1


      • Pat 3.1.2

        when the Reserve Bank Governor PUBLICLY outlines a specific policy prescription for the government ( infrastructure spending , Auckland) it demonstrates a frustration that private advice is not being heeded…..under the 1989 reforms the removal of political interference it the operation of the RB has been reciprocal.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I tend to think that the ministries shouldn’t be giving the ministers private advice. It should be public so that we can read it, asses it and then ask why the minister is following it or not and even have the ability to force one way or the other. But that’d be democracy and the MPs really wouldn’t like that.

      • Pat 3.1.3

        you miss the point…the RBGovernor is promoting policy that is contrary to the sitting government…the RB Gov, not the leader of the opposition

  3. ianmac 4

    Interesting that Felix Geiringer has challenged Tracey Watkins for her misleading take on Judith Collins. Collins was not cleared of anything in Dirty Tricks but Tracey says she was.
    Saw on Twitter.Does this work?

  4. millsy 5

    A dark day for Hamilton, as its council votes to sell the rest of its pensioner housing off to Accessible Properties — an offshoot of IHC.

    And to rub more salt into the wound, they approved a rent rise to boot.

    This is on top of 5 years of slash and burn by HCC.

    Sort of sums everything up really. Councils seem to have no interest in building their communities, all they want to do is close things down and/or sell them off.

    • BM 5.1

      That’s great news, IHC do a brilliant job housing all the people with Intellectual disabilities, Pensioners will be so much better off.

      Less stuff the council is involved in the better, they don’t have the skills, leave that sort of stuff to organizations that know what they’re doing.

      • mac1 5.1.1

        Um, BM, we pensioners are not necessarily all possessed of intellectual disabilities. More care with thought processes and expression please.

        In my area, Council does have the skills to provide pensioner housing.

        It is one of the great canards that private enterprise is good at management, Serco is a good example of a private company I wouldn’t want anywhere near housing- prisoners or the free. Nor would I want let great private enterprise owner/operators near government if for example Donald Trump should possibly be elected.

        It surely would be the Last Trump!

      • CR 5.1.2

        I can’t believe I agree with BM

        In fact I’ve just had to take a few moments to recover from the shock

        mac1 I agree with the point you make, as your first sentence clearly states

        However, on reflection – it could be good. Bear with me.

        Accessibility is a wholly owned subsidiary of IHC, a not for profit that started as a protest group formed by the parents of children with intellectual disabilities in the 1960s.

        Back then, parents of children with intellectual disabilities were advised to put their children in institutions, go home, forget about them and try to have another baby.

        Some parents decided their kids had the right to grow up with their own families, go to school, learn, have a life etc, and IHC was born.

        Anyway – things are run as businesses now of course, with large government contracts already.

        Whether you agree with it or not, this is how our community healthcare sector works. IHC and their services have provided birth to death care and support for people with intellectual disabilities and their families for many years, including housing, and home help.

        As their client base has aged, so has their expertise in caring for the ordinary physical, social, mental, emotional etc needs of the people who use their services, and IHC has also played a critical role in the advancement of their rights.
        (This hasn’t been without controversy or disagreement of course, but no one can say they haven’t been at the forefront).

        People with intellectual disabilities also age in the same way as the rest of us. They get dementia. They get osteoporosis. They get cancer. They get heart disease. They lose mobility. Their social networks decrease as parents, peers, familiar staff die or age & withdraw. So IHC (IDEA Services) has had to become experts in these areas as their client base has aged.

        So if IHC is now branching out to aged care services for the general population, as well as intellectual disability support I think they’re …. well, better than Serco at least.

        There are legal protections for the people who receive health and disability care, which pensioner housing may be able to be classified as…The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer’s Rights. This is overseen by the Health and Disability Commissioner, so if we’re going down this road of further privatisation into NGOs and Corporate Healthcare providers, I’d rather they go to not-for-profit NGOs, and there be strong rights-based legislation and toothy oversight to ensure accountability of the organisations providing the services.

        • BM

          Yep, I had quite a bit to do with them a few years ago.

          Highly professional outfit.

          Love to see them running some sort of operation in conjunction with cyps

        • Penny Bright

          Where is / has been the public debate on whether private NGOs SHOULD take over public services?

          I for one am absolutely opposed to this.

          Seems that there is money to be made from ‘poor people’?

          In my view – it is quite insidious how this has come about – the neo-liberal ‘rogering’ of more public services, with those who once upon a time would have been staunch opponents of privatisation, now supporting it?

          Not impressed.

          Penny Bright

          2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

          • CR

            Hi Penny, in answer to your question, where is/has been the public debate…

            In this case, IHC started out as a protest group in the 1960s. Started by parents who were advocating for their own kids to be allowed to grow up in their own families and communities, to participate in everyday life rather than being shut away in state-run institutions their whole lives. So the public debate has been going on since then among the people the issue affects.

            Grass roots/ not for profit organisations with a strong human rights values base are totally different to share market-listed corporations who exist to make profit and provide a return to their shareholders.

            I would rather my taxes/public money in the form of service contracts went to these kinds of not-for-profit organisations.

            Like you, I am against my taxes/public money being siphoned off by profit makers at the expense of service quality, safety and staff conditions.

        • millsy

          IHC like all of these NGO’s pick and choose who they help. That is the nature of charities, etc.

          The Hamilton City Council had a legal obligation to house pensioners, who met their criteria.

      • Halfcrown 5.1.3

        “Less stuff the council is involved in the better”

        Oh yeah, Why is it then they get involved in non core items like The Velodrome, (regional council) Cycle tracks that no one will use, Hardacker’s makeover of the south end of town. Another make over on top of many costly make overs Hamilton has had over the last few decades by right wing councils that have done nothing to improve the city . The CBD is like a ghost town with ever increasing numbers of empty shops. This has increased the debt burden to the rate payer that has been forced to pay a 3.8 % pa increase for the next ten years, before other increases are added to their rates (a massive 50% increase approx over 10 years). This is to pay down the massive debt for past right wing adventures which have burdened the city, in a time of so called 0% inflation, plus other increases that are bound to occur caused by future visions of grandeur by this present right wing council.

        ” they don’t have the skills, leave that sort of stuff to organizations that know what they’re doing.”

        Funny that mate they have done an excellent job running these pensioner houses for decades.
        No doubt someone like Serco will come and show them how it is done.

    • Tc 5.2

      HCC is stacked with wannabe nactiods led by the divisive hardaker urged on by mcindoe and bennett so no surprises there.

      Her councils record of financial mismanagement speaks for itself, mystery creek events centre, v8s and other vanity projects saddling ratepayers.

  5. Rosie 6

    I’m guessing this is the polite version of how AFFCO workers are feeling about their employer actively discriminating and undermining them after the Employment Court found AFFCO to be in breach of it’s CEA, by unlawfully locking out workers over their refusal to abandon their CEA with the Meatworkers Union;

    “It feels to our members like the company is deliberately flouting the judge’s ruling and is determined to make life difficult.”

    When will the opposition call for Peter Talley to be stripped of his knighthood? Surely they can see how immoral this situation is. Wouldn’t they like to stand with the workers on this high profile case?

    Or have they done this and I have missed it?

  6. cogito 7

    Good effort by Paul Henry this morning in his interview with Jonathan Coleman.

    • Morrissey 7.1

      I find that highly unlikely. Could you explain what was so “good” about it?

    • ianmac 7.2

      Extraordinary excellent interview by Paul Henry! First time Coleman has been kept on track. The Labour plan is to fund melanoma for 2 years while they sort out a solution. Sounds good. Paul described Herceptin was for votes but Coleman conceded that Herceptin for the original 12 weeks was the right call but claimed that it was wrong for politicians to interfere. Tough. Genie is out of the bottle. (Mind you I think politicians should stay out of Pharmac.)

      • Bill 7.2.1

        paraphrasing Coleman- “Nine weeks that were funded previously was just as good as fifty two weeks”…and lessons have been learned/was a long time ago/ a mistake was made.

        So yeah, vote catching. Very cynical vote catching.

        I haven’t been following the melanoma drug thing, but had one of those deep breath, eye rolling moments when I half caught something about Labour wanting the government to fund pembrolizumab. Like I say, I only half caught what was being reported and might have picked it up wrong, but my immediate reaction was to remember Goff’s “Me too!” bullshit over John Key’s sexual attraction for some Hollywood star.

        Pharmac is pharmac is pharmac. And if drug procurement is subject to market related bollocks and bullshit, then our health will be compromised insofar as it’s the availability of $$$ and not really the availability of the drugs that’s going to be the crucial factor in any decision.

        Then I’m remembering a bullshit ‘Ethics 101’ question that ran along the lines that your partner is dying, the drugs are in the facility across the road and you can’t afford them them. What do you do? From memory I was the only one in a lecture of 50 odd people who straight up with a ram raid option. Apparently there were ethical considerations I wasn’t taking into account.

    • Kevin 7.3

      At the time I thought it was a good interview by Henry, but thinking about it later all I could think of was that it was just self-interest from Paul Henry.

      If Paul Henry didn’t know anyone who has suffered from melanoma, would he have been so hard on the the Minister? Would it have gone on as long? Would it have even happened at all?

      It’s nice to know he has it in him, just a pity he cannot point it in the right direction on a regular basis at the people who need to be interviewed like this.

      • mac1 7.3.1

        Good points, Kevin.

        Because illness, especially cancer, afflicts all without care for personal wealth, education or social standing, I have noticed that is one area where social expenditure is never attacked by the well-off.

        Among the many reasons, mostly good, why nearly all NZers support public expenditure on health is self-interest.

        Healthy Food in schools is another matter. Obesity is another matter. These are primarily the afflictions of the poor. These are not supported or funded.

        Sufferers can be blamed by the righteous majority for their self-inflicted dis-ease. Not so with cancer.

        Disclosure: I am at present two thirds through irradiation treatment for cancer. I am glad this pensioner has not had to pay personally for this.

      • mac1 7.3.2

        Good points, Kevin.

        Because illness, especially cancer, afflicts all without care for personal wealth, education or social standing, I have noticed that is one area where social expenditure is never attacked by the well-off.

        Among the many reasons, mostly good, why nearly all NZers support public expenditure on health is self-interest.

        Healthy Food in schools is another matter. Obesity is another matter. These are primarily the afflictions of the poor. These are not supported or funded.

        Sufferers can be blamed by the righteous majority for their self-inflicted dis-ease. Not so with cancer.

  7. Penny Bright 8

    Seems that some of my considered opinions are getting a rather hostile response from some quarters?

    However, I have a proven track record of consistent opposition to the (forced) Auckland ‘Supercity’ amalgamation, literally from ‘Day One’ (5 September 2006 – the date of the ‘failed Mayoral coup’).

    As I understand it Sacha – that was not your position?

    Is that correct?

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • tinfoilhat 8.1

      Quite a lot of people from all sides of the political divide have a track record of opposition to the Supercity Penny.

      What people will be interested in is your policies for actually running the council and the city, and note that opening the books is not a policy for running the council.

      • Penny Bright 8.1.1


        How can you exercise ‘prudent stewardship’ or ‘fiscal responsibility’ and monitor ‘cost-effectiveness’ – if you don’t know where the ‘costs’ fall?

        ‘Opening the books’ and defending citizens LAWFUL rights to ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government will be one of my major Mayoral campaign planks.

        I understand that others are highly likely to pick up this issue, but none have my proven track record.

        I am campaigning for the full and thorough implementation of the Public Records Act 2005, and for citizens to know exactly where every dollar of public monies are being spent, invested and borrowed.

        I am campaigning against the effective mechanism for the corporate takeover of the Auckland region – Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).

        In my view, the public majority, not a corporate minority should benefit from public monies, assets and resources.

        Mine will be a full-frontal Mayoral campaign against the neo-liberal ‘Rogernomics’ model – of which in Auckland – we’ve had two doses at local government level.

        Helped to stop the proposed Wellington ‘Supercity’, by exposing the FACTS about the Auckland ‘Supercity’ disaster.

        What did the other Auckland Mayoral candidates do to help stop the proposed Wellington ‘Supercity’?

        Penny Bright

        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Sacha 8.2

      There are good things and bad things about the amalgamation. Feel free to read my submission on the legislation. I have explained concisely what my concern is about your pattern of conduct:

      • Karen 8.2.1

        Thanks for challenging the ridiculous claims of Penny Bright, Sacha. She may not take any notice, but it is useful for others reading the Standard.

        • Sacha

          Thank you. When it’s something I know is untrue, I’ll continue to link to evidence. But I believe you’re right about Ms Bright being a lost cause.

      • Penny Bright 8.2.2

        Really Sacha?

        Do explain what, in your view, is GOOD about this (forced) Auckland ‘Supercity’ amalgamation?

        Shouldn’t take you long ?

        Unless of course, you’re a private consultant / contractor with your snout in the Auckland Council public trough?

        Are you Sacha?

        Penny Bright

        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

          • Penny Bright

            Have you ever BEEN a consultant for any of the legacy Auckland Councils, Auckland Council, any Auckland Council CCOs or in any capacity employed in that role for any central government department Sacha?

            Research that I have done, if I have your surname correct, and you work in the field related to disability, shows, in my opinion, that is indeed the case.

            If so, in my considered opinion, you have arguably a ‘conflict of interest’, as a private consultant/ contractor whom apparently does NOT want the books open, with details of spending available for public scrutiny?

            Am I correct Sacha?

            So – you prefer to try and undermine me personally, and my factual research, because, in my considered opinion, you apparently and arguably have something to hide regarding the spending of public monies on private sector consultants and contractors?

            Penny Bright

            2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

            • Sacha

              I have been both an employee and contractor to councils in the region, years ago. No conflict there but it does mean I tend to know what I’m talking about.

        • Ad

          You won’t win votes by attacking voters.

          Try charm, if you want actual votes.

      • Penny Bright 8.2.3

        Oh – so now it’s my ‘conduct’ is it Sacha?

        I take full personal responsibility for anything I’ve ever said or done.

        Like to point out where I’ve ever stated anything which is FACTUALLY inaccurate Sacha?

        Penny Bright

        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

        • Sacha

          Heh. What do you think I’ve been doing. Done with expecting you to improve, but others should not have to put up with people misleading them.

          • Penny Bright

            You’re skating on very thin ice Sacha.

            Please provide the evidence that I have ever stated anything which is FACTUALLY inaccurate.

            Penny Bright

            2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

            • Sacha

              I’ll let other people consider previous responses. You have earned nothing further from me.

              • Penny Bright

                Yes Sacha – best for you to quit while you’re behind?

                Penny Bright

                2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

                • Ad

                  Penny you know this is a public site right?
                  Thousands upon thousands of readers, daily.

                  When you attack, you attack potential voters.

                  Forget reading us your media releases with amateur law.

                  Start reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

  8. Anne 9

    ACTION STATION is to be applauded for what it has achieved in such a short space of time.

    • Penny Bright 9.1

      Yes – Action Station have been VERY effective.

      In my view, it was their petition that played a major role in getting the (belated) apology from PM John Key, over his ‘rapists / murderers’ statement.

      Penny Bright

  9. Sanctuary 10

    The current climate change talks in Paris are a clue as to why this government remains so popular in New Zealand.

    New Zealand’s performance is being excoriated and ridiculed and John Key was widely scoffed at as mendacious for his tissue thin spin on our carbon emissions policies.

    None of this is reported in the media here. In fact barely anything about the Paris talks is reported on apart from reports of the adversarial he said/she said and/or will they/won’t they kind.

    What actually happens is Key keeps up his round of jokey and blokey PR puff appearances on commercial radio and TVNZ, the most popular free to air channel by far, runs a 7pm infotainment show whose host uses it as a platform to regularly launch ad-hominim attacks on the governments opponents. Serious jornalism has collapsed and what political coverage there is is of the horse race commentary and opinion pieces by talking heads whose default is to be sympathetic to the government.

    Unemployment, child poverty, the systematic underfunding of core government services, the new, invisible army of desperately poor – none of this is regularly reported on anymore and so it isn’t in the public consciousness or subject to civic engagement anymore.

    All we have left is a society now firmly in the trance-like grip of greed and grimly resenting any intrusion of reality into the ecstatic denial that is at the heart of it’s consumerist reverie.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      All we have left is a society now firmly in the trance-like grip of greed and grimly resenting any intrusion of reality into the ecstatic denial that is at the heart of it’s consumerist reverie.

      It’s probably a good thing the excoriation and ridicule is not being reported much in NZ. I maintain it would only increase Key’s support. Most people resent being told they are fuckwits to their face.

      It’s the same with all addicts; telling them only drives them deeper into denial.

    • Olwyn 10.2

      I largely agree with you Sanctuary, but what should frighten us more than seven years of basically static polls, punctuated by a couple of elections, is the lack of traction on our side. About half of the country favouring National is not all that surprising – what is worrying is that Key’s government is only interested in the people it needs, a group which excludes the poor, the landless and the working class in general. The only use these people have for this government is as prison fodder and as a warning to those silly enough not cooperate with the wealthy. What you have is not merely a balance that leans a little too much to the right, but a deep divide, in which the dominant have almost complete power over the dominated. I am much more interested in seeing a shift in this balance than I am in polls – the PM getting year after year of taking and holding ground against those he does not think he needs is much more worrying.

  10. ropata 11

    Shihad: FVEY

    [lprent: Make it obvious to the moderators why a clip is relevant to the post it is in. We are not going to watch it because we don’t have time. The same rules as links apply. Explain why people should click the video.
    Moved to OpenMike as probably being off topic.. ]

  11. weka 12

    Developer vandals are at it again, trying to cut down the Kauri despite having said they wouldn’t. So the eco warriors are back out in force too,

    Morning Save Our Kauri Supporters

    It’s all on again. Yesterday men with chainsaws arrived to fell the Kauri but our community protested to save the tree again. Today Johno Smith has climbed the tree in case they come back and we are here by the tree in support.

    Come up to 40 Paturoa Road in Titirangi and join us!!

    We need more people to help us make sure this beautiful and ancient Kauri tree stays standing.

    And please keep sharing our petition –

    And make sure you are following us on facebook to keep up to date with the situation.

    Thanks for your support, we hope to see you soon,

    The Save our Kauri Team

    (from email)

  12. CR 13

    [lprent: Make it obvious to the moderators why a clip is relevant to the post it is in. We are not going to watch it because we don’t have time. The same rules as links apply. Explain why people should click the video.
    Moved to OpenMike as probably being off topic.. ]

  13. Draco T Bastard 15

    Is America ready to use the term “fascist” in our political discourse? Rachel Maddow explores how Donald Trump has mainstreamed extremism

    “Here in the United States,” Maddow began, “when the term ‘fascist’ gets used, it’s either talking about other countries, ancient history or it’s used as a sort of insult, right, a sort of generic right wing epithet that people use to criticize politicians who are at most on the edge of mainstream American political thought.”

    “But fascism is not just a word,” Maddow continued. “It’s not just a way to insult someone with whom you disagree. It is a specific thing. It is a specific form of far right politics that involves a sort of narcissistic cult of superman action around the leader of the party,” Maddow explained, alluding to Trump’s campaign:

    In the video she actually describes fascism as ‘the interests of business being the interests of the people’ which is pretty much how the US administration has worked for decades and so has ours.

  14. Penny Bright 16

    Will Judith Collins support a genuinely Independent Commission Against Corruption, now she’s Minister of Police?


    Where was Judith Collins ever held accountable for her ‘conflict of interest’, in helping to organise three separate ‘net-working’ opportunities for her friends’ and husband’s private company Oravida,
    while she was in China as the Minister of Justice?

    Just as well a few of us helped to keep the pressure on, so that New Zealand has now (FINALLY) ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) ?

    Next step – to ensure the anti-corruption measures outlined in UNCAC are implemented.

    First – a genuinely Independent Commission Against Corruption for New Zealand?

    Gosh – I wonder how enthusiastic our newly reappointed Minister of Police and Corrections will be about THAT proposal?

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  15. Penny Bright 17

    If you don’t know your rights – you don’t have any.

    If you don’t defend the rights to which you’re lawfully entitled – you lose them.

    That’s my considered opinion, and I believe it equally applies to International Human Rights Law, especially the UN Charter.

    Here’s what the UN Charter actually states:

    Home Charter of the United Nations Chapter I

    Chapter I


    Article 1

    The Purposes of the United Nations are:

    To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

    To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

    To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

    To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

    Article 2

    The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

    The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

    All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

    All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

    All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

    All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.

    The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.

    Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

    Lest we forget?

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Ad 17.1

      It would take a whole different kind of Parliament to entrench our existing Bill Of Rights Act into a 2/3 or 3/4 majority.

      Hard to imagine happening, whatever international convention we’re signatory to.

      In the meantime Parliament has to make do with the BORA test that attaches to any draft legislation. Far too often just ignored by this government. But nothing anyone can do about it.

    • Reddelusion 17.2

      Pay your rates penny and stop boring us senseless with your dribble

      • ropata 17.2.1

        perhaps she will lose Net access when she gets kicked out of her house

      • Paul 17.2.2

        You are a mean spirited person.

      • Penny Bright 17.2.3

        No one is forcing you to read my considered opinion?

        A pity some of you apparently have so little regard for the LAWFUL rights of citizens to ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ government?

        Then again, maybe you’re just, in my opinion, effectively gutless sheep?

        Just tug your forelocks, do whatever this Auckland ‘Supercity’ (for the 1%) tells you.

        Irrespective of whether THEY are complying with their lawful statutory requirements, pay your ever-increasing rates, and keep whining and trying to undermine someone who has the guts to stand up to them?

        Or, am I apparently the ‘main enemy’ here, because I’m campaigning as a 2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate against neo-liberal ‘Rogernomics’, and you’re supporting candidates who are not?

        Penny Bright

  16. NZSage 18

    Have to say I admire Guyon Espinor’s persistence on this one:

    Not that he got an answer from the slimeball.

  17. Ed 19

    Canadia’s Prime Minister went to the airport to welcome Syrian refugees.–WJx6YssC5ql?utm_source=indy&utm_medium=top5&utm_campaign=i100

    John Key promises an increase in New Zealand’s quota, with some to come from Syria – all a long time before Trudeau was even elected. How many extra refugees have arrived in New Zealand so far?

    (and what is the coding to embed a url in a link?)

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    7 days ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
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    7 days ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
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    7 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
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    1 week ago
  • Charter schools to lift educational outcomes
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    1 week ago

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