- Date published:
6:00 am, May 12th, 2021 - 67 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:
Open mike is your post.
For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.
The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).
Step up to the mike …
Big complaints from the capitalists about the capital gains tax rate in Stuff today. Including what seems to be an argument that paying tax under new rules is unfair because they wouldn't have had to pay tax under the old rules?
Easy solution to that complaint – make the new tax rules retrospective. Now that would be harsh.
Boo hooo the landed gentry already well off people paying their share of taxes .
Capital gains income should be no different why does a business and an wage and salary earner have to pay full taxes and a property investor less or no tax.
And then effectively tax the tenant and record rental prices forcing the govt to top up rent through the rent subsidy.
Double dipping welfare for landlords who don't want to pay tax because they are investing in property.
Facts and photos are (yet again) ruining the relentless propaganda of the Israeli regime and its supporters….
Anyone used this line yet, Morrissey? It seems to have become the standard reply when uniformed thugs are filmed in action (at least Aotearoa):
But the Israeli (and Hamas, for that matter – given their rockets' lack of aiming ability) military are certainly engaging in Collective Punishment in violation of International Humantiarian Law. And their own rules for that matter:
There's an old (grim) joke that; a terrorist is someone with a bomb, but no air-force.
Looks like a Hamas advertising campaign to gain popular support to replace Abbas in their next election. Seems to be working well for them.
Also plays well for Netanyahu for the same reason.
Minor skirmishes are excellent retail politics for both.
I guess the Yahoo really doesn't want Yair Lapid forming a government.
Cynicism from someone in a comparative paradise Ad. Palestinians would love to be so hard-stretched as you are. Can you not extend some concern rather than the objective, strong man's overview?
Spare me the usual.
The vote there is in 11 days.
The Hamas candidate list is chocka with convicted terrorists.
This is a pure electoral play.
Maybe they are just filling a void that opens up when things start to crack up, and of course there they have cracked up long ago. So which strongman/group gets in? We have a version of that here. So spare me your world-weary comments. I know a bit about what is going on, though not as much as you. And I feel they are all locked into a dance to the death. We should feel sorry for them and try to keep away from being locked in here. There are enough competing negative shits to watch out for here. What you know about Israel may help you to work out how to keep it at bay here, that is if you don't want army law and government stepping in to run the country that is not managing that adequately.
Missiles are flying both ways; land 'confiscations' are one way – BAU.
A Threshold Crossed
Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution
A couple of opinion pieces.
So nothing to do the IDF attack on Muslims congregating at Damascus Gate? Or the IDF's heavy handed thuggery with worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque? Or the eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers?
I guess the next 48 hours will tell.
The current Hamas rocket bombardment by what are basically glorified sugar rockets is classic asymmetric warfare. A Qassam rocket costs around US$800 to make. An Iron Dome missile costs (depending on source) anywhere between US$40,000 to US$100,000 -most say US$70,000. If Hamas can maintain today's rate of fire of around 1000 rockets for even two more days then the Iron Dome system will most likely run out of ammunition. I would guess this is why the Israelis are currently indiscriminately bombing Gaza – they are frantically trying to destroy the Qassam storage areas. Otherwise, they'd just use artillery.
In 2014 this was one of the reasons Israel agreed to a ceasefire – after intercepting around 780-800 incoming rockets they ran out of Iron Dome missiles. So if that happens and if Hamas have enough rockets to keep up the bombardment they'll start giving the Israeli civilian population a taste of their own medicine. At that point Israel will either have to conduct what will likely be a bloody and costly ground attack on Gaza (the mainly occupation duties of repressing people throwing stones has turned the IDF into a sloppy army heavily reliant of massive firepower superiority and it got a rude shock in 2014, losing 67 KIA in the first two days of their operations in the urban rabbit warren of Gaza and I'd bet Hamas will not care about it's losses and has turned Gaza into a defensive position that would attract the admiration of Vasily Chiukov and the 62nd Army) or back down soon and negotiate before they run out of missiles.
And I would be careful throwing around the terrorist label – these are desperate people kept in a squalid ghetto and driven to the edge of human endurance by a brutal apartheid regime. Mandela, Mbeki, Biko – they were all "terrorists" to an apartheid regime as well. Palestinians have a right to self defense as much as Israel, and if Hamas leads that fight then whose terrorists are they? If all you've got is your courage and stones and home made rockets against all the drones and jets and missiles and tanks and artillery and electronic wizardry of an utterly brutal and violent oppressor then perhaps it might be worth considering you don't have quite the same luxuries of target choice as your opponents. What ever you think of Hamas, those guys who are currently going outside to fight back against the Israelis have got a shit ton of guts.
PS I notice in the Guardian just now that Hamas has in fact laid out it's war aims –
"…In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, had said the rocket attacks would continue until Israel stopped “all scenes of terrorism and aggression in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque”…"
We can all wait and see now as to who comes out on top. If the Israelis want a fight, the ball is in their court.
A minor skirmish.
Where is Seymour or any of our politicians on this issue?
I think I heard Golriz Ghahraman on the radio this morning but that may have been about inappropriate investment spending.
How silent will the uk labour party be.
You may have to ask the leader's wife.
Why didn’t you eat your lunch at school today?
David Seymour and Paul Goldsmith want more bean counters counting leftover lunches at schools. Instead of giving students an education, teachers should be chasing uneaten lunches.
Class won’t start until little Johnny has eaten his lunch!
perhaps Johnny can’t read
Perhaps Seymour and Goldsmith can't read. The poor little men scurrying around like ants looking for crumbs of human leftovers to turn into political hot potatoes. What could they do with polluted water or dodgy chemical stodge or sewage overflows. Gather those together with your enthusiasm for recycling and turn those into hot potatoes you dreebs.
From urban dictionary – 'Dreeb' – someone whos cocky on the outside but insecere (sic) on the inside. They over reate themself and under rate others,
Go to Act's website and check out their education policy. Seymour's not out talking about that. He's not on some south to north crusade selling it so that when he's in coalition government with National after the next election it's a surprise to people. He hasn't despatched his caucus buddies to do it either.
"ACT will give every child a Student Education Account at the age of two. Each year until a student is 18, $12,000 will be placed into that Account. At the age of 18, they will receive a further $30,000 for tertiary education, with up to $50,000 available top (sic) academic achievers through a scholarship program. Over half of students will receive a scholarship."
They have reducing 'the number of back office bureaucrats at the Ministry of Education by 50 per cent getting rid of all the backroom Ministry of Education people' so I guess Novopay will run their "Student Education Account' scheme.
'Morale in the teaching profession is at an all-time low. Teachers feel undervalued and overworked with bureaucratic compliance' so with less bureaucrats and a great funding regime, who is to count the leftover lunches?
Maybe the Epsom two, the innumerate and the dweeb will start up the Great Lunch Counting Company.
Still on vouchers and voucher equivalents, huh. Bloody dinosaurs.
I have put some peculiar settings in inadvertently. I have removed my comment but there is a tail behind. Sorry mods. I didn't know this would happen – weird. Something carried over from a google dictionary listing. It puts a light border around comments.
Someone will be lined up to harvest those vouchers – like the 'free hearing assessments'.
Have Messrs Seymour and Goldsmith considered what would happen if not enough food was supplied due to a too tight supply regime?
$5-$7 per lunch delivered is a good price. I bought my lunch on Sunday during a meeting from a public cafeteria. There was nothing there under $5, except a small pastry pie and a banana. Even a simple sandwich was $5.50, pies from $5.
I had experience of the Japanese lunch in school scheme where a varied and nutritious lunch was provided for a low parentally paid fee which it seemed all did pay. The lunch was eaten in the classroom under the supervision of the teacher. There was obviously left over food as Mrs Mac1 and I both sat with these primary students and ate the same food. Student monitors served and cleaned up. The daily menu was displayed in the foyer with its calorific value of IIRC some 700 calories.
The surplus food in NZ is not wasted. it is given away to students or given to food kitchens. It might be surplus to daily requirements based on dietary preference, absentees and pupils providing their own lunch, but it is not wasted.
In supplication to the great God of Efficiency – I suggest that all leftover lunches are supplied to the patrons of Rosie, a very pleasant cafe in the Epsom electorate and doubtless known to its two MPs. The cheese sandwiches might balance the taste of octopus on the palate, provided one has a riesling with sufficient acidity.
I suggest that the leftovers are sent by courier to Bellamys where the pollies can 'eat cake' like the plebs.
Its a highly effective multi generation Labour vote harvesting machine.
Let them eat cake.
I can just see those too, cane in hand with little hard ons erect screaming at kids to eat there meat if they want pudding.
Wellington City council is now completely in disarray. People are stressed, crying, feeling bullied……I really don't understand this. Why are they stressed? Because its game over with neglecting the basics for which they have been elected? Have they forgotten that they have been voted into the position to represent the ratepayer, who forks out ever increasing amounts that they hardly can afford? Are they having a bit of an entitlement hissy fit?
If any of the ordinary folks in a job would perform as some of these people they would be sacked. Who is holding these overpaid sandcastle players to account?
Maybe they need to be replaced by a interim management team until all the logistics of maintaining a city is being taken care of.
“People are stressed, crying, feeling bullied”
“Are they having a bit of an entitlement hissy fit”
“These overpriced sandcastle players”
“ordinary folks… would be sacked”
You sure do sound like a bully from here.
Well, no. Rates are being increased by double figures because some pet projects have got priority above the basics. You know, drinking water, waste water. Just some fancy stuff that has been invented by the Romans about 800 BC, so not really new technology mind you. But maybe we are travelling back in time? There is no excuse to have basic maintenance that people have to pay for without being able to opt out (compulsion) deferred and instead i.e. put a signage up "Windy Wellington" etc.
If you cant stand the heat go out of the kitchen, we have to stop pussyfooting around drowning in political correctness and achieving nothing. I mean really nothing.
This has nothing to do with being PC. It's just where you aim your wrath. Perhaps I spoke out of turn, but I was thinking of council workers, not council members.
Those calling the shots are the ones calling the shots. The majority of council workers are then obliged to do, or not do, as their masters bid.
All those workers on the frontline can do jack-shit about this, other than vote out the munters failing to address the cities issues adequately. In the meantime, they're getting abuse for things well out of their control.
If you are addressing the office bound idiots making the stupid calls, fair enough, I read it wrong, have at em.
Not the workers, they have bugger all to say. Most would have possibly rolled their eyes when they installed the signage…
Council members seem to be in a different universe e from those who are head down work work work…
I went to some of the plan meetings. As far as I am concerned fixing the pipes is the number one item and there seems to be quite a lot of public realism about that. What was much more interesting though are the figures for population increase which they are still promoting as 50,000-80,000 range over 30 years which after a lot of previous discussion looks like it is likely to be closer to 30,000 . For politics they had grabbed the largest figure they could see and didn't want to answer questions about it although they looked uncomfortable. Why does central government insist of continuing population increases as well as shovelling that population into existing cities. Letting the population drop could be very cost effective.
Even more interesting was that there seemed to be no breakdown of 3 waters costs between new dwellings/suburbs and upgrading/repairing needed for the existing system. And no idea at all of what the government will pay towards 3 waters. The estimates I have seen for fixing? are in the region of $3 billion to $6 billion over 30 years – so $100 to $200 million per annum. I'd actually like to see the 3 waters costs gathered into a group along with possibly the assets and loans that relate to them plus the existing rates used for this-so that we can look at dedicated funding options whether it's higher rates, bulk rates payments in advance at a discount or loans etc to ensure the money does go to the pipes and doesn't at any point get left in the general take forever. It would be easier to fit the government up with their share for new housing too.
I think I would be happier with a one off dob if that meant the pipes in our suburb got fixed.
On a positive note, I really enjoyed reading this about Wellington.
I went looking on RNZ site for an article I heard today about what we have lost birdwise and why.
Came across this which is longer but interesting no less.
Good on you citizen for engaging.
If only there were more.
This is the result of 20 years deferred maintenance and about 30% of the budget being diverted to some projects that was the fancy of the council. There was and is no accountability. The slogan Absolutely positively Wellington turns out to be an absolutely messy (sewage) Wellington.
The only way to get on top of this is to have GST of the rates returned to councils and some reporting on progress and expenses connected made mandatory. This could work for many.
To increase Rates by double digits is just outrageous. People will not be able to afford this and the elderly in particular.
There was a comment by the Union that 60k is not a high wage and makes it difficult paying rent, living costs etc. Perhaps, just perhaps it should be mentioned that a very large section of people do not earn 60K.
Call it what it is, a fucking pogrom.
Palestinian writer Mohammed el-Kurd on the #SaveSheikhJarrah campaign and his family's fight to keep their home in the face of threatened displacement.
Local government official says it out loud.
If the court rules in favor of the landlords, the question remains of what happens to the Palestinian residents, who could be evicted as soon as next week. Israeli law allows Jews to reclaim ownership of land they vacated in 1948, but denies Palestinians the right to reclaim the properties they fled from in the same war.
Mr. Skafi, the Sheikh Jarrah resident, said his family lived in West Jerusalem before 1948, but has no legal recourse to reclaim the property.
“It’s the height of racism,” he said, shortly before the police fired another barrage of skunk water nearby. “Jews can get back their properties, but not the Arabs.”
But Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, a deputy mayor of Jerusalem, said the discrepancy was necessary to preserve Israel’s Jewish character.
“This is a Jewish country,” she said. “There’s only one. And of course there are laws that some people may consider as favoring Jews — it’s a Jewish state. It is here to protect the Jewish people.”
I find it interesting that Labour are looking at the low paid and aiming to improve their lot (Under $60 000)
Yet I have heard all the noise from the secure. Are we becoming self-centered?
Not in the public service, but still below $60k. So not arguing for my own pay here.
But $60k is far too low, taking in midlevel teachers, nurses, and administrators. Expecting exceptional service to get a basic scale increase at that level is taking the piss, especially when for many of them exceptional is the norm.
But the other thing is that this is levelling down, if even inflation adjustments weren't in the plan. Build up the lower paid, but playing the middle against the poor is a dirty move, in my opinion.
Just bloody make a higher tax bracket at a progressive level if the govt really needs the cash.
I'll also say "pay" doesn't mean "security" – eternal restructurings all over the public service. Not just big ones like Health, even smaller units can suddenly get the notice that they'll have to reapply for fewer jobs.
Teaching is a prime example now – so many teachers are now employed on yearly contracts, not on a permanent contract, so they never know from one year to the next if they will still have a job. Easy for the school administration to manage their staffing levels from year to year – but shit for the actual teaching staff.
Exactly! They have the mandate – just do it!
Heck, just make the first 10 – 20 grand earned tax free….that would trickle to all.
But then we tax beneficiaries the full tax rate.
Well, a tax break costs money.
The govt seems to want to make improving the incomes of lower-paid public service workers through some sort of fiscally-neutral policy.
Oh well, nothing can be done than.
Heck yeah, they could increase the taxes at the higher end. And by doing so would not only lift a few select employees from the government up but all of the other low wage workers too.
But i totally understand the government needs money and it needs to come from someone.
My figuring is that they wanted to keep the public service line item static as part of the bigger picture.
But that's a catch-22: increase the public service line item to level-up the lower income workers, the opposition bleats about money for mandarins.
Level-up lower income workers by freezing the mid-to-upper echelons, they're punishing covid workers.
So the alternative to that catch-22 is do a complete tax system overhaul, which would be a gift to the nats. We've still yet to see the fallout from the stumbles the transition to the new health system will inevitably experience.
The world ain't static for a start.
Anyone who rents in either of these brackets will have less money as rents will go up, just to name one. Never mind that interest rates will go up too, and we already have people who can't afford their mortgages.
Cost of living goes up. cost of everything goes up. 60.000 anual is about 28 NZD per hour, for someone who has a degree, student loans, family etc. Not that much if you consider that you now pay a dish washer 20.00 NZD.
So for this supposedly super educated socially woke, but fiscally austere government to come out with such an idiotic blunder – and i am being very polite here – again just shows how out of touch these guys actually are. Maybe half of them have never earned a dollar outside of government, so maybe they really believe that 100.000 per annum before tax is a lot, but it actually is not. Not when you pay up to 2.000 – 2500 NZD per month just to rent a place. (and going up), and probably more to pay a mortgage.
So you can not keep something static by puting a 'hold' or a 'freeze' on it, as inflation keeps going up, and everything else with it. Dumb, idiotic and total shambles from people who really have no clue just what it means to not live a whole working life on the government tit.
As i said, and many others have said before if you really want to move the lower incomes up, make the first 10 – 20 grand tax free and then roll out a meaningful wealth tax to claw it back.
But this was just so dumb, that i ask what they were trying to hide behind this storm in a teapot.
Stuff is always dumb after it fails spectacularly.
The impulse of increasing incomes for the lower-earners in the public service was a good one.
I suspect they were thinking "office workers", not "nurses".
The budget is next Thursday. This was part of the scheduled announcement dribble that always happens before each budget. Whether the response has resulted in a rewrite is another question.
If truly they were thinking office worker rather then nurses why is that different? Oh, the office worker not worth their wages? So let me get this right, the very rich (and all these people are very rich compared to the nurse or the office worker) will play the almost poor against the very poor – while eating the whole cake? Sounds exactly what a kind, gentle, compassionate, socially minded so called 'workers' party would do.
Seriously? the whole idea of setting the income as low as 60 grand, was dumb. The whole idea of believing that someone on a 100.000 is rich is dumb.
The median wage in NZ is about 54 grand per year. So they decided that 6 grand more is gonna make a huge difference? seriously?
And frankly what about all those that are not in government? Can hang on to their 20 NZD for their part time jobs and shut up? You got plenty?
The problem in NZ really is that the government can not increase the wages fast enough to keep up with rising cost of living, rent being one. IT can also not increase wages fast enough to start saving on various WINZ supplements to keep working people in motels while they still have money to pay food.
The reality is that the only thing this government really needs to do, before literally anything is to reign in the housing market. And the little diddling so far has had absolutely no effect, and chances are will not have any effect. Houses are going still up, rents are going still up, tenants are even less likely to complain as they have no option to find something else, etc etc etc.
So yeah, this was the dumbest action so far from this government. And even worse is to blame the news for their own blunder, and i consider that calling it a wage freeze was actually a polite thing, as actually it was a drop in wages, once you factor in raising costs in inflation and rents/mortgages/rates etc.
That is like blame the housing crisis on people wanting to live in houses, if they were happy to live in ditches we would have no crisis.
Never thought i would be happy for a Labour government to just go home, but heck i am almost there. I really can't wait for all of them to join the UN.
But the thing that i really hope about is that next time people might consider voting for some third party so non of these unsinspiring / mediocre large parties ever get majority again.
In case you haven't noticed, a handy scapegoat for all political parties (especially the rightwing, because it meshes with their hatred of democratic government) is the backroom bureaucrat and mandarin in Wellington.
Sure, it's bullshit. But it makes office workers in the public service more vulnerable than the "heroic" public servants. Of the folks you've seen to be outraged at this measure, how many brought up doctors, nurses, cops, and teachers? How many people brought up funding&planning officers or data analysts, content writers or departmental librarians?
About time +1000
The shopkeepers union (Retail Assn.) has been pushing for this for as long as I can remember. Good to see Labour moving to impose something realistic. National just laughed at us.
Can see the banks trying to recoup in other was though. It costs just under $100 / month to have an eftpos machine sitting on the counter with machine rental, Paymark fee and the $20 minimum charge on the interchange. For a lot of small retailers who’d probably be better off out working 40 hrs at min wage it adds up. Some if the larger retail outfits aren’t a lot better either.
Interesting and concerning.
It's not concerning at all. It seems even RNZ employs clickbait
"Small micro-drones could be deployed by Armed Offenders Squads, and police should consider buying one or two much more expensive – and secure – Aeryon SkyRangers or fixed-wing Aerovironment Pumas. The Defence Force has several SkyRangers.
These did not connect to the Internet at all, Shelley said.
"If the risks are controlled, certainly those benefits outweigh the risks.""
If the buyer of the drone has no control over the destination or use of the data collected they'd be fools to buy such drones.
And of course why we should be more worried about the Chinese government having access to data gathered here than the US having access to all our digital communications data is a mystery to me.
Kim Jong Il birdied his way to a world record 38-under, too.
Pooty gone full commodus.
Wow! he is so good.
Lotsa mulligans for Poots.
Just listened to Luxon speak in the general debate: Labour and the left will underestimate him at their cost.
He reminded me so much of Key – glib, shallow but repeating all the cliches which appeal to the shallow-thinking public who will be swayed by his empty rhetoric.
You know the sort of crap Key used to spout – appealing to the hard-working kiwis who just want to get on etc – Luxon has the patter off pat!
God help this country if we get a couple of terms of a Key-clone!
Sounds like fun and games in Parliament this afternoon. How much do we pay these people?
Māori Party kicked out of Parliament denouncing 'racist questions' with rousing haka – NZ Herald
It seems that we do need a government that is actively participating in our affairs on behalf of us all. Leaving it to business is to leave matters to self-interest, unless it is profitable. How could any set of thinking people in Parliament think any differently. Now we are short of vets. Manpower forecasts and adequate training, preferably with opportunities for bonding with government scholarship would provide well. What a pity that thinking and planning went entirely out of fashion!
Veterinary Association (NZVA) chief officer Helen Beattie said the country is between 50 and 100 vets short, which is affecting the well-being of both people and animals.
What do you want Government to do? Take away the passports of vets and vet nurses that get better job offers elsewhere? Or who go to OZ to have a better wage and maybe a shot at a house?
The government could make studies free of charge, it could bond people to the country in exchange for a free education, but it seems that this country is very happy to see its young people be loaded up with debt, education, housing, and so on and then they wave them good bye when they leave.
But never fear, surely we can import some Veterinarian from some third world nations that would work for cheap as chips and not complain either. As we are doing and have done for the longest time.
The output from our university vet schools is about 70 a year I think so we are short two years grads in the workforce. So an over cooked response from the association? Any part time work on offer for older vets – summer placements for the grads in training – maybe if grads want to a slightly extended academic course along with greater placement work?
There aren't many reasons I would voluntarily go into an Anglican church, but if I'd been in Auckland on Saturday, I certainly would have:
So much of the gender-binary normativity has been built on the foundation of christian colonialism, that it just seems peculiar to have such a ceremony in a church. But, I guess, if a type of building is constructed to accommodate a large congregation of grievers, that would be it. It's all just so sad and pointless.
But at least they'll be buried as themselves. Trans/ takutāpui/ leitis aren't often allowed even that much. Which does make it difficult to tell how many of us are being murdered. TGEU puts it at 350 last year, up from 179 a decade before, for; "a total of 3664 reported cases… worldwide between 1 January 2008 and 30 September 2020".