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Open mike 12/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 12th, 2016 - 189 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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189 comments on “Open mike 12/01/2016”

  1. Ad 1

    Good gravy bring on the next 3 day weekend.

    No one at work right now wants to be here.

    • dv 3.1

      NZ debt
      now NZ$ 118,394,102,493

      • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1

        National about 5% higher then they were 3 years ago and Labour about 5% lower over the same time frame

        • dv

          Yep Debt is about $100m higher!!!

          • Puckish Rogue

            You’ve inadvertently demonstrated one of the major issues of the left in NZ and that is to ignore the negative and try to reframe the argument

            Sticking ones head in the sand is not a good political strategy

            • dv

              So what about the debt then?

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s good that NZ government debt continues to increase. It shows that the (Bill) English Government has not gone down the road of austerity that many other western governments have and that they are continuing to spend into the economy.

                People who advocate the government sucking more money out of the community than it spends into the community are openly advocating for austerity policies.

                They are not lefties.

                • Lanthanide

                  “People who advocate the government sucking more money out of the community than it spends into the community are openly advocating for austerity policies.”

                  So you’re saying that during Helen Clark’s government, when we paid down our debt to almost 0, we were actually undergoing “austerity policies”? A time during which WFF was introduced, as well as interest-free student loans?

                  • weka

                    The WINZ hardship benefit Special Benefit was removed and replaced with Temporary Additional Support, which essentially meant that the poorest people in the country had a cap on the assistance they could receive instead of the assistance being needs based.

                    WFF was not available to people who weren’t in paid employment, so again, the poorest people were penalised.

                    I’m sure there is a list we could make of what got cut to fund the Clark govt’s other successes, and who actually paid for them.

                    • Chris

                      The WFF/special benefit debacle is just one example. Interesting it was a Labour government that did this and under urgency.


                      There are a number of other nasty things Labour did to the poor during the Clark years. Importantly though, Labour to this day has given no indication that it’s changed.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “WFF was not available to people who weren’t in paid employment, so again, the poorest people were penalised.”

                      No, they weren’t penalised. A penalty is when you lose something you already had (as in your example with the Special Benefit). Beneficiaries didn’t lose anything by being excluded from WFF.

                    • weka

                      Yes they did. Labour didn’t want to support beneficiaries or be seen to support them, so beneficiaries lost out twice. On the income and on the government of the day reinforcing bludger and deserving poor memes. Both are significant losses. The reason it was penalising is because beneficiaries were excluded specifically because they were beneficiaries, that’s the penalty. This slotted in nicely with the huge cultural shift that’s been happening in NZ that the poor and the weak somehow deserve their fate.

                    • Chris

                      Yes, and I wonder if Andrew Little, Carmel Sepuloni et al have the guts to say that Labour’s approach to beneficiaries and the poor throughout the Clark years was wrong? I’d say no because Labour’s current social welfare policy is exactly the same.

                    • weka

                      Pretty much, although it’s hard to see how they can get themselves out of their fear of being seen to support beneficiaries given they’ve been bene bashers themselves.

                      An apology for Shearer’s painter on the roof story would have gone a long way.

                    • Chris

                      “Pretty much, although it’s hard to see how they can get themselves out of their fear of being seen to support beneficiaries given they’ve been bene bashers themselves.”

                      Sure, Labour has engaged in a lot of bene bashing and, yes, this means that they’ve been bene bashers. But my point is that they’re STILL bene bashers. I hope Carmel Sepuloni and Jacinda Ardern, Sue Moroney and others who try to hold themselves out as being appalled at what Key’s National has done to beneficiaries and the poor read this, and that they understand Labour’s just as nasty when it comes to social security “reform”. They need to go back and familiarise themselves with what their party did, continues to do even when in opposition and know that that position has not changed. Is this what Labour’s about, eh? Attacking the poorest of the poor, making lives that are difficult enough as it is even more difficult? Fuck Labour. Fuck the lot of them. They’re all fucking cowards, too scared to say boo, hiding behind bullshit mantras like “at least we’re better than National”, or “we can’t do anything until we’re in government”. Sorry folks, your time’s up. Come back when you’ve grown some balls. Until then I will treat you with more disdain than I treat John Key. A gutless opposition is doing a million times more harm than Key and his hatred of the poor could ever do, ever.

                    • millsy

                      I rememeber when Special Benefit was chopped, and David Benson-Pope, the minister at the time, said people may be able to access help through other agencies. He never really elaborated what those agencies were or what help they would give.

                    • weka

                      I don’t know what was intended (hard to see what agency would pick up the cost of an emergency car repair or needing to replace a washing machine or getting a root canal done), but in the end the agencies were places like Budget Advice and Mental Health Services. All part of the milieu that says that the beneficiary is at fault and that’s why they’re poor and when they correct the fault they’ll be better.

                    • weka

                      Chris, I can understand the sentiment. I do think that as much damage as Labour did in the Clark years, that the Bennett reforms have taken things to a whole new level that we haven’t seen here before.

                    • Chris

                      “…the Bennett reforms have taken things to a whole new level that we haven’t seen here before.”

                      I think that’s fair to say but only in a sense. Removing the special benefit was one of a number of fundamental changes Labour was responsible for. The special benefit represented the “catch all” aspect to the social welfare system that provided the safety net capable of meeting all sorts of need. It played a vital role and we no longer have that because, ironically, a Labour government removed it. Similarly, the 2007 amendment Act changed the general purpose to the legislation from meeting basic needs to moving people into jobs, again under a Labour government. There are other examples, too, which all have in common a basic cornerstone aspect which once gone set the scene and made things much easier for Bennett et al to bulldoze through the more covert and nasty changes we’ve seen in recent years. And don’t forget Labour has in fact voted with the government on a bunch of these, as well.

                      So given the nature of what Labour’s done when last in government I don’t think things would’ve been much different if they were still the government. Whether that’s true or not we mightn’t ever know but importantly what we do have at the moment is a Labour opposition that’s giving the government a free pass on social welfare matters and that, regardless of anything, is despicable and wholly unforgivable.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So you’re saying that during Helen Clark’s government, when we paid down our debt to almost 0, we were actually undergoing “austerity policies”? A time during which WFF was introduced, as well as interest-free student loans?

                    That’s odd Lanth, it’s almost as if you completely disregard the massive increases in debt owed by the private sector during Helen Clark’s time.

                    This included student loans which went up by roughly $6 billion during her reign.

                    IMO this massive private sector debt increase is real debt which is a real burden upon the shoulders of the people of the nation and cannot be ignored in the way you are doing now.

                    As I have said many times, Cullen was happy to swap public debt for private debt during those years, so that his own Treasury books looked good.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yes, I did ignore it, because you are claiming that *any* government that is not running a deficit, *is* running austerity policies.

                      That claim has nothing to do with running up private debt, because it’s a claim about the government’s actions, not the actions of the private sector.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Allowing the private sector to load up with massive levels of debt feels for a while to everyone like it is a big party where everyone is having tonnes of fun and no one thinks about the long hangover which is inevitably coming.

                      But while everyone is having a good time, how can it be termed “austerity”?

                      However, its definitely a form of austerity if the government is taking more money out of local businesses, out of the community and out of households, than it is putting in.

                      Dollar for dollar, that is exactly what a government surplus is.

                • weka

                  “People who advocate the government sucking more money out of the community than it spends into the community are openly advocating for austerity policies.”

                  That may very well be true, but your first bit about English is wrong. You can still keep the country in debt and be practicing austerity.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yes National have cut back spending around the edges but that’s just National being National. What they haven’t done is austerity European or US style – slashing basic benefits, raising the retirement age, closing down whole government departments, big programmes to get rid of schools and hospitals etc.

                    • Lanthanide


                    • weka

                      If you’re going to use that definition CV, then Clark’s Labour govt doesn’t fit it.

                      Your point here is getting muddled.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      To summarise:

                      the Clark Government took more money out of the community than it spent – that is the very definition of a Government Surplus.

                      They were able to do that and not have the private sector squeel much because the economy was being flooded with a ‘wealth effect’ from massively rising levels of private debt.

                      TL:DR Cullen swapped public sector debt for private sector debt in order to make his own books look good.

                    • weka

                      thanks, although to be fair, it’s not only Cullen that’s driven the swapping public debt for private. The big problem is that, again, it’s some from an alleged left wing government.

                • Expat

                  Hi Colonial Viper
                  “It’s good that NZ government debt continues to increase. It shows that the (Bill) English Government has not gone down the road of austerity that many other western governments have and that they are continuing to spend into the economy.”

                  Your kidding, yes it has (applied austerity), but had to borrow to pay for the shortfall in revenue after the tax changes introduced in 2010 and been borrowing ever since, you know that, even after a number of years of good commodity prices for primary products, still borrowed, as pointed out below (DV 10:57), the cost of interest alone from income tax revenue equals $1400 per person, I’m sure that $5b would go along way to improving education, health or any other public service that has been trashed. You say that it is the national way, but this govt is the worst of them all when you consider the ratio of “job seeker” benefits paid, and the number of unemployed, 20% a historical low, that’s not good for the economy or society, every other govt has maintained a higher level than this.

                  Explain how a govt can acceptably reduce or stop private debt, have you compared the current level of public debt to that of the Clark govt, you seem to be comparing apples with pears, where, low unemployment, high govt revenue, low welfare spending, and contributing heavily to the “super fund” under Clark, compered to now, High unemployment, low revenue, higher welfare payments and not contributing to the “super fund” at all for seven years, this is not a govt that has a long term plan for the future prosperity of the all NZers.

                  Remember, NZ came from a very healthy economy under the Clark govt, the likes of which haven’t been replicated since, and probably won’t be till we see a change of govt.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You don’t seem to understand that a major source of the money flooding into the Clark Government NZ economy was sourced from private debt: mortgage debt, credit card debt, student loan debt, etc.

                    And with all that debt based money flooding in, of course there were jobs and unemployment was lower.

                    Explain how a govt can acceptably reduce or stop private debt

                    Cullen used massive increases in private debt to provide the money that he then raked in to make his own books look good.

                    But your question points to the nub of the issue: both Labour and National Governments use the creation of more and more debt as the main source of extra money the NZ economy needs to bridge our ever bleeding current account deficit.

                    yes it has (applied austerity), but had to borrow to pay for the shortfall in revenue after the tax changes introduced in 2010 and been borrowing ever since

                    Yep those income tax reductions have hurt the government’s books and gifted more money to the top 10%.

                    So what.

                    If Cullen and Clark had done the same earlier on maybe they would still be the ones in Government.

                    • Expat

                      Hi Colonial Viper
                      “You don’t seem to understand that a major source of the money flooding into the Clark Government NZ economy was sourced from private debt: mortgage debt, credit card debt, student loan debt, etc.”

                      Yeah, but as I pointed out, those citizens who chose to borrow money, for any reason, were doing so on the basis of having a secure job, unemployment down to 2.7%, none of these borrowers were doing so because Cullen commanded them too, it’s just that so many had paying jobs and so few drawing a benefit, you can blame the banks I suppose for making money available (lowering the lending criteria), but they run their businesses the same way as any one else, in a robust economy, they lend to anybody who has a job (able to make the repayments), and even if they borrowed the money, and then spent it, they are still contributing to the economy, more jobs. You can’t blame Cullen or any govt for private debt, the only way they can stop it is to put the majority out of work so they can’t afford the loan.

                      CV, a lot of the people at that time hadn’t had a secure job, and when they did, they found they were able to “buy” those things that they could never afford before, like things for their kids, a new TV and so on, problem was the GFC coupled with Tax changes that were introduced which the country couldn’t afford at that time, bought high unemployment, and the economy dropped into a big hole, a double wammy, and still trying to recover 7 years on.

                      “Yep those income tax reductions have hurt the government’s books and gifted more money to the top 10%.

                      So what.”

                      Those tax deductions have hurt a lot of people, especially the ones who used to have a job and now don’t, and no net to save them, competing with 80k migrants, reducing wages, all these things lead to a poor performing economy.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Nope – in Bill’s case he is not spending into the economy – or not responsibly. We didn’t get 300 000 kids in poverty (never mind the parents!) without sustained ideological viciousness on the part of Bill. The $100 billion represents his incompetence at what is supposedly his best game. The truth is that he is shit at economics, has produced no tangible growth, and those impoverished by the Key government are suffering for no good reason at all.

                  The shortest answer is to reverse his tax break, and add a surcharge on high income receivers (they are mostly not earners) until his prodigality is repaid. Or we could just have a CGT – even the rightwing economists have been begging for one.

              • Puckish Rogue

                If I was someone like Paul I’d suggest you’re trolling to try to derail or change the thread but I’m not so instead the debt, in regards to the polling, doesn’t appear to be doing anything so its a non-issue

                • Grant

                  You can’t derail a thread on open mike. Keep up. /open-mike-11012016/#comment-1117142

                • dv

                  Non Issue huh

                  Interest $5,742,808,406 py
                  Or approx $1400 per person per year.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    It appears to be a non-issue in regards to the polls as it hasn’t had an effect on them, it might in future but it hasn’t the last three years

                    • Muttonbird

                      It won’t be you paying it back, it’ll be your kids. I take it that’s why you and the polls don’t have a problem with it?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Define paying it back, does that mean they’ll work out how much we all owe and send me a one off bill or will it just come out of the taxes I pay in which case it makes not a jot of difference

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Kim Jong Eun is also a high performer in the polls – something to do with his creative use of ordnance on dissenters. But he’s not a moral man, or a good governer of his country.

                      Like Key is not a moral man or a good governer or a good economic manager or a good role model or a good person – merely rich enough to buy the services of MSM prostitutes and trolls.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Sticking ones head in the sand is not a good political strategy

              And yet National do that all the time. Telling people that they don’t have to worry about things that are destroying our society.

              • Puckish Rogue

                That’s true and while its working for National now I don’t think its a good strategy for them either

            • Once was Tim

              Christ! Pot. Kettle. Black much? (i.e. the left ignoring the negative).

              Admitedly that ‘hard’ right are expert at reframing arguments – usually by way of diversion: the GFC; flags; Rugby World Cups; manipulation of language – including words that don’t even exist; ETC.
              I notice that since the right has completely run out of ideas – EVEN after sharing ideologically driven snippets amongst CT disciples, they’ve adopted the notion that attack is the best form of defense.

              (It hasn’t gone unnoticed, for example that the social housing polsee adopted by the Natzis in NZ (going forwid), is now being offered under the Conservatives in the UK). Expect something similar in Straylya soon (going forwid).
              When’s the next meeting of State and Territorial heads of gummint over there btw @ PR? I think they call the talk-fest CHOGM where a coarse NuZull hes reprizzentayshun – and whilst we hev the Lubrills fawning all over our supposed suksessss (going forward). I’m sure Cruella de Ville and that Hooten equivalent blonde haired boi will be following it in earnest – as will you.
              Ez a metter o’ fek, ekshully, I’m looking forward to the learnings going forward, en eve-in betta, oil look forwid to the kick-stard on the konomy ‘on the bek of the soshul hezzing polsee, speshly givin the turmoil an feks o’ the Choineze stok markut

        • Graeme

          And mostly due to one result at each end. Take those of everyones back where they started.

          What’s more obvious is Labour’s decline up to Oct 14 and recovery from there, with a spike in Green Party support around Oct 14

    • fisiani 3.2

      How dare you point out the polls. Don’t you know that the Gospel here is that the polls are neck and neck. Have faith.

      [lprent: Most of the discussion I have seen has been pointing out the obvious closeness of the polls. What appears to be an issue is conservative FPP idiots who seem to think that we didn’t shift to MMP back in 1996.

      I think that 20 years is long enough to get used to MMP. In fact this particular meme is starting to become so ubiquitous as a trolling meme, that I’m going to treat it as a deliberate flame starter and thoise arguing like that as being trolls by definition. I think a mandatory 12 week ban would work.

      After all if you can’t discuss polls in terms of coalition politics after 20 years, then you are obviously too stupid to comment here. I have changed the policy to reflect this. ]

      • Puckish Rogue 3.2.1

        That’s true, our internal polling which we won’t publish or even show tells us we’re neck and neck 🙂

        • fisiani

          At some point the Greens will have to realise that being saddled up to Chicken Little just means at least another 5 years in Opposition. The Greens are the only party in Parliament that has never been in government. Already 17 years in Opposition. Do they really want another 5. Does anyone think they want the Labour vote to rise at their expense? I suspect that Turei will be replaced by Julie-Anne Genter later this year.

          • Puckish Rogue

            They were founded in 1990 so its 25 years and counting at the moment but yes if the Greens concentrated more on the environment and divorced Labour (lets face it if Labour and the Greens were married Labour would have been arrested for their behaviour towards the Greens) and suggested they could go into a coalition with National then they’d get more votes and actually make a real difference

            • You_Fool

              The greens have always left the door open to go into coalition with National, pending agreement by the party faithful. They even provide handy checklists for national to allow the blue party a nice easy way of knowing what to do to get the green support. It’s not hard even, basically stop being a dick and put the ladder back down, understand that our children (and their children, etc..) need a planet to live on as well so lets not rape and pillage everything like shortsighted idiots, and lets ensure everyone has a level playing field to excel from and not be born into it…

              Once National pick up those basic ideals then I am sure the Greens will welcome them with open arms…

              • Puckish Rogue

                When one party constantly polls over 40% and the other polls just over 10% its the party that polls lower that has to make the bigger change

                Unless your first is Winston of course

                • Sacha

                  Unless you have principles. Remember those?

                • reason

                  The greens will never go into coalition with National unless filling our rivers with fecal matter and degrading our environment become acceptable to the green movement……. do you have inside information they will accept this.

                  On present political settings and polling it would be a tight election.

                  If the opposition parties got together and changed the settings as they did in Northland …….. then National would be swept away.

                  It was interesting in Northland how the ‘Key Factor’ had no impact on the electorate when he was wheeled in ………..

                  Winston hammered him.

                  Which is exactly what would happen again to the nats if the Greens,Labor and NZ First could work together for the good of the country …. it’s called mmp

                  • weka

                    Good point about Northland.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    If the opposition parties got together and changed the settings as they did in Northland …….. then National would be swept away.

                    Labour only ‘co-operated’ in Northland once they saw the media polling which said that their own candidate was going to be thrashed.

                    • lprent

                      Huh? What makes you think that a Labour candidate EVER had a chance in Northland? Because they haven’t in the last 70 years. The electorate is a classic rural electorate without large towns in the electorate (Whangerei being a separate electorate). see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northland_(New_Zealand_electorate)

                      No-one who knew anything about the electorate expected a Labour candidate to win there. But like all electorates, Labour stands a candidate at elections and by-elections. Offhand I can’t think of any election where they haven’t selected a candidate. I can think of a couple over decades where that candidate withdrew because of personal reasons.

                      That political parties stand candidates appears to be a concept that the lazy have difficulty grasping – like those in Mana in 2014 for instance.

                    • Expat

                      Colonial Viper
                      If the opposition parties got together and changed the settings as they did in Northland ……..

                      I think the slogan had more to do with it, SEND THEM A MESSAGE, which they overwhelming did, didn’t they.

                      That’s my electorate up there, and I’m hoping to see a few of the “one lane bridges” are now two lane bridges when I return in a few days, or was that just another LIE.

                      During the Clark years, the party vote for Labour, was over 60% for that electorate, the Nats still voted for John Carter as the rep, but gave Labour the party vote, and who said they weren’t popular.

            • maui

              If the Green’s logic has been so flawed, where has the Blue-Greens movement been for the past 25 years? Nowhere, and I doubt most people have even heard of it. People don’t buy into tearing into the environment and trying to patch it up at the same time.

              • Puckish Rogue

                The Greens logic is flawed because after 25 years in the game and constantly polling above 10% they’ve yet to have anyone in cabinet

                Until they rid of themselves of the perception of being Labours doormat they simply won’t get into real power

                • mpledger

                  The coalitions parties get trashed with National – they become zombie parties. If the Greens want power than they may as well go with anyone. If they want to last as a viable option than National is the last thing they need.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I thought the idea of politics was to get into power and use the treasury to implement the ideas you think will benefit the country not just to sit around in opposition drawing a massive wage and generally being negative

                    • weka

                      Yeah, but your idea of politics is daft and ignorant. I know you’ve had this said to you before, the GP don’t want power they want change. Hard for you to understand I’m sure, but not everything is about who has the biggest stick.

                      Put up some evidence that the GP will consider a coalition with National in 2017, or you’re just a fantasist (you too fisiani and co).

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I know you’ve had this said to you before, the GP don’t want power they want change. Hard for you to understand I’m sure, but not everything is about who has the biggest stick.

                      See I’m from the school of thought that thinks its easier to effect the change you want when you control the treasury benches or are at least in cabinet

                      I mean don’t get me wrong I’m quite pleased the Greens (in their current form) will never see power, ever but after 25 years out of office you’d think someone would suggest trying something new

                    • maui

                      You have a win at all costs mentality though, seems to defy logic and accountability a lot of the time. The same logic is used by drug cheats, fraudsters, narcissists and the like.

                    • weka

                      Sure PR but you have a blind spot on this. Not that I mind as it renders your fantasies about the GP even less relevant to political debate.

                      So glad Lynn has changed the rules on commenting in the MMP age. That should enable a much better standard of debate.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The 1970s Values Party was more visionary and radical than today’s mainstream middle class Green Party.

                    • Expat

                      “Until they rid of themselves of the perception of being Labours doormat they simply won’t get into real power”

                      You might just want to remember the issues that saw Labour lose the 2008 election, both of these policies were Green policies, and had a dramatic effect on the electorate, both issues, caused an up roar in the wider community and JK made a lot of ground out of it.

                      Greens and National in a coalition govt together, NZ would be the first country in the world to have Green party attached to right wing govt, I don’t know if that would be very good for their credibility. If they did support National, then they’d be Nat’s doormat instead and have to completely sacrifice all their values and principles just to exist.

                    • weka

                      “The 1970s Values Party was more visionary and radical than today’s mainstream middle class Green Party.”

                      Of course, and the reason that we have the GP in parliament and not the Values Party is because NZers will vote Green far more than Values. It’s pretty simple. If you want the GP to be more cutting edge, try voting for them.

                      btw, if you look at the GP charter and policies, the Values are still all there. Just waiting for NZ to get some courage.

                  • alwyn

                    It isn’t just getting trashed with National. Coalition parties get smashed with any larger party.
                    In New Zealand you can look at smaller parties who went into Governing coalitions with either National or Labour.

                    Consider each MMP election. Here are the Government coalition parties, their seats in the election and then the number they got in the next one. You can read it as election year/Party/seats in this election year/seats at following election. I’ve only included real parties. Zombies like Jim Anderton’s mob and Peter Dunne’s lot are ignored once they reach vanishing proportions.

                    1996/NZF/17/5 (ie NZF dropped from 17 in 1996 to 5 in 2002)
                    1999/Alliance/10/2 The 2 is JA and 1 sidekick

                    It doesn’t matter who is the Major party or who is the small one. Go into Government and you will get smashed next time around.
                    I haven’t checked this thoroughly. I might have left someone out.

                    It applies in other countries as well. Look at the Liberal Democrats in the UK. They dropped from 57 in 2010 to 8 in 2015.

                    I think that the only reason the Green Party has survived in the New Zealand Parliament is that they have never been invited into Government rank

                    • alwyn

                      Actually the first line is read as NZF dropped from 17 in 1996 to 5 in 1999.

                    • Tautuhi

                      National did the dirty on NZF and almost buried them, a number of NZF MP’s were coerced into jumping ship over to National. They have all disappeared now.

                    • McFlock

                      Personally, I reckon a lot of those are due to the foibles of the smaller-party leaders over the years rather than an inevitability of being in a coalition, as well as some of the churn of the move to MMP.

                      The ACT ones are just nutty, Dunne was happy selling out to anyone, winston went through the baubles stage, and Anderton fucked the negotiations for the left in 96 and shot his own party in the head when its democratic structures became inconvenient so he ignored them. As for the Maori party, any organisation that claims to want to help some of the poorest and most vulnerable in the nation loses all credibility when they shake hands and sit down with the nats.

                    • alwyn

                      “the foibles of the smaller-party leaders over the years”. There will be some of that of course. However it doesn’t really explain away the fact that it seems to be only the parties that went into Government who get totally wiped out.
                      ACT were badly hurt when Don Brash became the National party leader but they still had 5 MPs after the 2008 election. It was only after they were in Government for a term that they fell out of contention.

                      It would also be necessary to explain what happened to NZF.
                      In 1996 they were riding high. In 1999 they got hammered. They recovered in 2002, after being out of power and then got hammered in 2005 and went right out in 2008. They managed to get back in 2011 and are still there.
                      They had the same leader throughout and it really seems that the only significant factor was the Government involvement. I really don’t think that Winston has changed that much over the years. Be in Government and you crash. Stay out and you recover.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, it does – ACT became a joke over several elections, in and out of government.

                      ACT were badly hurt when Don Brash became the National party leader but they still had 5 MPs after the 2008 election. It was only after they were in Government for a term that they fell out of contention.

                      Except for dropping to 1.5% in 2005 when they weren’t within a mile of government, and slightly increasing their vote 1996-1998 when they supported Shipley.

                      NZ1 got bollocked in 1999 because people were under the impression winston was not going to support national in 1996. He did. Apparently that was because Anderton wouldn’t commit to Labour to guarantee a majority anyway, but it still looked like an outright betrayal. After 2005 Winston then tried a weird “minister for foreign affairs outside cabinet” arrangement that looked for all intents and purposes like a rort.

                      And the Greens have generally increased their support from election to election regardless of how close they were to the government on confidence and supply – although when relations with the clark government suffered 2002-05, their vote dropped slightly.

                      Basically, a coalition deal needs to be expected by all party supporters to avoid “new coke” outrage effect. The smaller parties also need to maintain party identity, which is not the same as party-leader identity (even if it’s a one-MP party). The minor party in particuar can’t be seen as “selling out” to a major party that is the antithesis of core beliefs of the smaller party’s supporters.

                      I think the issues are considerably more complex than “Be in Government and you crash. Stay out and you recover.”

                • Macro

                  Ever heard of S59 of the Crimes Act?
                  You don’t actually have to be on the Treasury benches to actually achieve significant change.
                  Here is a list of the achievements by the Green Party in 2013 alone. The Green Party continues to pressure the Govt and bring to the attention of the public many issues including sea bed mining, the stupidity of charter schools, polluted rivers, and the Govt actually taking action on the most serious issue of this Century – Climate Change. Unobserved by many – but achievements none-the-less – on many of these issues the Govt has been forced to make changes which they then hail as their own initiative. Ok, so you might say that they would be more signficant if they actually had some power. That may be true, but the fact remains that for the Greens even some little advance is better than no advance what so ever.
                  The Greens time in Parliament has not been wasted, it just operates in a way you obviously do not understand.

                  • alwyn

                    There is nothing there that they couldn’t have achieved as readily without being in Parliament is there?
                    If they really want to actually achieve any of their own desires they really do have to be part of a Government. As the Maori Party leaders have demonstrated they have achieved much more that the Greens, haven’t they.

      • Muttonbird 3.2.2

        Hmm. Not allowing fisiani and puckish rogue to link to Farrar’s polls will take away half their material.

        That’s a win for all concerned I think.

      • fisiani 3.2.3

        My point was the same as yours!! I pointed out that the polls were neck and neck.

        [lprent: In an ironic way… yeah right. Pull the other one. I can actually read and I ignore whatever people do to try to prevent being challenged.

        But that note wasn’t especially aimed at you, it was after reading most of days worth of comments where the false equivalence meme kept popping over and over again, presumably for the idiotic post that Farrar wrote about a FPP centric view of the current polls that PR linked to. I was looking at the date and realized it’d been nearly 20 years that I’d been putting up with this kind of political stupidity. ]

    • DH 3.3

      To be honest I think that says more about the appalling state of the media than anything else.

      We can only formulate our opinions from the information we receive and for the average citizen what we know about the governance of our country is received pretty much entirely from the news media.

      If the media paint the Government in a positive light the polls will also. The converse also applies.

      • You_Fool 3.3.1

        Shhh, the right wingers think the media does show the government in a negative light and is somehow a bastion of left-wing propaganda. You wouldn’t want to shatter their precious fantasy planet-key delusion would you?

        • DH

          I’m a bit of an old cynic and little surprises me but I’m still left gobsmacked when I hear flag waving National supporters call the Herald biased towards the left.

          Both sides do have a habit of claiming the media favours the other but some of them, such as the Herald, are so blatantly promoting National they may as well do our voting for us.

    • Paul 3.4

      How dull

  2. greywarshark 4

    RADIONZ has political commenters this morning Claire Robinson Massey Uni and Bronwyn Hayward Uni of Canterbury. Good stuff. I’ll put up audio later if available.

    Bronwyn Hayward and UC is involved with CUSP which sounds promising for good analysis and ideas.
    UC team is partnering with CUSP: international Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity at the University of Surrey

    CUSP will establish a five-year multidisciplinary research programme commencing in January 2016. The overall aim of CUSP will be to explore the complex relationship between prosperity (our aspirations for the good life) and sustainability (the social and environmental constraints of a finite planet).

    As part of her role as a co-investigator in this project, Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward will be responsible for a partnership between CUSP and UNEP to develop a major global study of young people’s lifestyles in cities across the world.

    “This is a once in a generation investment in new sustainability thinking” said Assc Prof Bronwyn Hayward, it is tremendously exciting to be contributing to CUSP, which will engage in fundamental research aimed at rethinking our core ideas about “the good life”, economics and democracy, so they are fit for the future”

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    “Faked X-ray reports. Forged retinal scans. Phony lab tests. Secretly amputated limbs. All done in the name of science when researchers thought that nobody was watching.”

    This is, says Charles Seife in a Slate article titled Are Your Medications Safe?, the dark side of modern science. Data are falsified. Study results are tweaked. Biases are unconsciously (or even consciously) used to morph and twist reality into false conclusions.


    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      “Big Pharma, Bad Medicine

      In May of 2000, shortly before I stepped down as editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, I wrote an editorial entitled, “Is Academic Medicine for Sale?” It was prompted by a clinical trial of an antidepressant called Serzone that was published in the same issue of the Journal.

      The authors of that paper had so many financial ties to drug companies, including the maker of Serzone, that a full-disclosure statement would have been about as long as the article itself, so it could appear only on our Web site. The lead author, who was chairman of the department of psychiatry at Brown University (presumably a full-time job), was paid more than half a million dollars in drug-company consulting fees in just one year. Although that particular paper was the immediate reason for the editorial, I wouldn’t have bothered to write it if it weren’t for the fact that the situation, while extreme, was hardly unique.

      In my view, drug companies often pay expert biostatisticians a lot of money to make drug results look better than they are, and to bury any research which makes their treatments look bad.


  4. greywarshark 6

    RADIONZ political discussion – http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201785333
    0907: Professors Claire Robinson and Bronwyn Hayward
    Political panel. For the last week of the show we’re spending time every morning looking at some of the issues that affect us all. Today we have two well respected political minds from Massey and Canterbury universities joining Noelle to discuss what might in the political year ahead.

    Also interesting report from UK. They have a petition going for Britain to drop supplies to besieged Syrian cities. Recent videos show emaciated suffering people and they have 40,000 signatures of the 100,000 needed for the petition.

    Also Cameron is talking about having parenting classes in Britain. A good idea, and accepting how important parents are, and its difficult research has found (I cant give link) for parents to influence children because of outside influences such as from television, films and support for good parenting should be freely available, and carefully planned to be appropriate.
    (In NZ we have schools having religious instruction slipped in though parents supposed to have right to withdraw, and rightly so because some of the most fervent broadcasters of religion are not Christian at all in my opinion.)

    • Molly 6.1

      Parenting classes.

      The value lies completely in the quality of delivery and content.

      Some parenting classes are reassurance based for the understandable concerns of new parents.

      But there are many parenting classes that are unable to provide practical skills to those families who are struggling with very definite issues. Which is – really – where help is most needed.

      A close family friend was continually advised to go to parenting classes by CYFS, after accepting permanent placement for a child that had severe psychological and trauma issues. Advice given was “boundaries” and “consistency”, grossly inadequate for a family dealing with a child diagnosed with PTSD, and FASD.

      I am wary of the type of government sponsored parenting classes that are likely to be funded by the existing Conservative government of the UK.

      They have shown very little knowledge or empathy in any of their policies, and instead of this policy being of any benefit, I tend to think it will just be another bloody great big stick.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Molly you are so right and while I was writing my comment I was thinking of what I wanted and what might be dished up. That’s why I put in appropriate classes and used the words supporting parents. If done properly it would be marvellous.

        Perhaps best parents nominate problems, then listed on board, then the way round that problem, or how to solve it done in a clear way and with perhaps some role play. Then a discussion of the age group involved and the propensities of children at that age (this would cut out smacking babies for being naughty. Smacking may be a no-no now but the feeling that the child is deliberate in its negative behaviour can crop up and leave the parent frustrated and angry.) Also the behaviour of the tutor would be pleasant and respectful and not preachy or patronising, and use accepted and respected social policy methods.

        The children with the parents could have a health check, the parents could be registered for contact when there were special giveaways, free tickets to things, advice on opportunities – perhaps free travel in buses during low-use hours etc.
        And there should be a registration for a weekly or fortnightly child care payment
        to those who attended, renewed each year after the next annual class. Also both parents should be able to attend classes free at polytechnic institutes on child rearing and house maintenance, so building capacity in both partners and which would earn them an ncea level.

        Love our parents! Help them to start well, and then give them the right to ask for further help and courses so they keep up with the ability to do the job. And reward them with a place in a free family weekend camp when they successfully finish their course in whatever. To people on low incomes that would be a memorable occasion in their lives.

        But this won’t happen because our two main parties have finished with the idea of serving the people, helping fellow citizens get started well and have a bright future, and now look on the population as a work force to serve the wealthy as efficiently (cheaply) as possible. Anything provided is just to maintain social calm so that ‘the cow can be milked more efficiently.’ It’s management of the economy now that is the main purpose in life for our pollies, money, and the people if they don’t please the power brokers, will be replaced by more manageable bods from overseas.

        • greywarshark

          I was going to tidy up my wording but with 7 minutes still to go the editor won’t let me make changes. Blast.

          • lprent

            It is usually the javascript on the client side. Just close the browser and reopen it.

            • Lanthanide

              In my experience, if you click on the edit link and it refuses to work, reloading the page will not display the edit link at all.

              It seems like there’s something that prematurely times out the edit privileges for particular comments.

        • Molly

          Agree, with your sentiment on supporting parents and families.

          From experience, the best parenting advice and practical information I have seen comes from other parents, who have the same issues and concerns and are willing to share.

          But – and this is a clincher – it has to be delivered in a non-judgemental environment for it to be heard correctly and acted on.

          I recall being so clear and concise about parenting, and could have – if anyone had asked me – provided such quality information and help that all would be solved. Then I had the fortune to become a parent myself, and the consequence of that humility and reality smack has thankfully stayed with me.

          Re: access to free activities and resources – it has been a recurring thought in my time, given that I have been involved with home education for many years now. But my idea would be creating some kind of system that would be able to be accessed by all, not just home educators, although we are adept at finding local and free resources.

          For a model of parenting assistance – Facilitation of locals into parenting communities would be my ideal.

          Provide the information regarding local resources (health, assistance, local resources etc), but start and encourage connections between local people that is non-judgemental, resilient and long-lasting.

          A harder to define outcome, but a more long-lasting and effective positive benefit long-term.

          • greywarshark

            Your ideas are inspiring.
            But a group of mothers passing on their expertise and inexpertise, mightn’t know which is which. I think an experienced facilitator would probably ensure that all knowledge is passed on, as what we don’t know, we don’t know that we don’t know etc. And that list is massive!

            I say this after reading some of the moms forums on google. And they would drive me into depression if I was hoping for answers from women like these.

            • Molly

              Agree, the experienced and knowledgeable facilitator is a must!

              I’ve been around too many groups where the idea of “helping” those in distress, consists of making those in need feel inadequate and would not want to inflict those kinds of opinions on others.

              But I have also seen how a culture can be developed in similar toxic circumstances, that provides a welcoming and non-judgmental environment for people to share. Took years though.

              Funnily enough, was just speaking to another parent about how we have acquaintances that will get back in contact when they are in distress, but return to their other more constant (but less accepting) family friends when all is well.

              Making us “foul-weather friends” I guess.

              So, yes x 100 – you need a great facilitator and communicator to set the climate of any group, and who can also identify those within the group who can develop and maintain a positive culture longterm.

              Quite often, they are not the movers and shakers, but the ones who are better at listening.

      • millsy 6.1.2

        IMO parenting classes are the rich telling the poor how to bring their kids up.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Andrew Potter from UK on RADIONZ.
      0945: Andrew Potter
      UK correspondent. He has the latest on reaction to the death of David Bowie. There are make shift shrines popping up and tributes flowing.
      Andrew also has the latest on the sex attacks in Germany and the wider implications for the country’s immigration policies.
      (Plus other reports on structural problems.)

  5. Karen 7

    On Sunday I alerted Standardistas to a documentary commemorating the 1975 Land March being shown at 10.10pm on TVOne. It is now available OnDemand for those interested in NZ history and/or Māori land issues who may have missed it.


  6. DH 8

    I hope people don’t mind me getting off topic a bit… would appreciate some feedback.

    How does everyone buy online these days? Trademe are putting up fees again(*) and it may be time to look elsewhere for business. I’m aware Trademe has been losing favour with many people and they must be shopping somewhere. I’m curious to know where.

    (*) It’s a very big hike in fees on larger ticket items of more than $200. They had a tiered fee structure with fees reducing as the price got higher. Now they’re bringing in a flat fee at the highest rate of 7.9%.

    • BM 8.1

      Ali Express is where every one is buying these days, we’ve brought heaps of stuff, everything arrived and only had one dud product, which they promptly sent out a replacement for.

      Like trade me you can leave feed back so you get a good idea what product is good and which ones suck.


      Free shipping as well

      • DH 8.1.1

        Thanks but that’s imported goods, I was interested where people go for locally sourced products… in particular buy & sell second hand stuff and larger goods too heavy to ship from overseas.

      • weka 8.1.2

        aliexpress uses US dollars, I can’t imagine it’s that popular in NZ.

        • BM

          it’s incredibly popular.

          When every thing is quarter the price of the same stuff that’s in all the shops, the difference between the US/NZ dollar is completely irrelevant.

          And shipping is free, the only down side is that some products can take a while to get here.

          • weka

            How do you know it’s incredibly popular?

          • greywarshark

            sounds like nz has developed into a cargo cult country.

            • BM

              It’s the same stuff that’s in all the shops as well as products you can’t get here.

              What you’re doing is cutting out the multiple layers of extra cost.

              • greywarshark

                That’s very efficient BM. But each layer handled part of the transaction before it got to you and provided someone with a job, who saved to buy a house, paid taxes and on….There is no such thing as a free lunch, and if it is much cheaper than the usual – what has been missed out?

                In a country town the shops will close down if everyone starts shopping at the shed distant from the business area. They get a bigger choice, and more cheaply. But ten shopkeepers can’t then employ their family and others, and only half of those young people find employment in the sheds, and their parents have lost their business. The cost is great so that people can save a $ or $10.

                And it’s no use shrugging and saying that’s how it is these days. Because that doesn’t allow society to keep supporting itself, to keep going along in a healthy fashion. People just can’t live while hanging around being virtually spat on by the snotty public with skewed social attitudes, who become worse with a little authority and incentives to be tough on the poor. Ghastly to think that NZ has come to this. There needs to be some hard thinking about priorities and other people, not just me going to great lengths (even to China) to save some $ that are needed to oil the works or they will seize up.

                • BM

                  A lot of these shops are stocking the same stuff but with a huge mark up.

                  If their business model is to solely provide over priced Chinese made goods than they’re had it, because you can now buy direct.

                  They’re about to go the same way as video stores.

                  • DH

                    You’re right on the markups but there is also a reason for at least some of the extra margins.

                    NZ resellers have to comply with NZ consumer & safety laws and compliance is not cheap.

                    AliExpress is very much caveat emptor and while most people who use the site are happy to accept the risks it doesn’t change the fact that local businesses face much greater costs to supply the same product.

                    • BM

                      Truth be told , with big barn retail/mall shopping and now easy on line purchasing, the days of the small shop are well and truly dead.

                    • DH

                      Quite possibly. These characters who claim foreign investment has been good for us really are full of it. Foreign money has pushed up the price of commercial property massively and with it commercial rents. As a percentage of gross profit rents are just getting stupid now for most businesses. Service industries can cover it by upping their charges but few commodity traders have that luxury.

                      Next time you buy a $10 beer at the local watering hole trying thinking about the fact that a good quarter of your cash you hand over is likely paying the rent on the place.

    • Rosie 8.2

      Hi DH. I’m on this lame site called neighbourly.co.nz. It’s meant to be a community centric site for neighbourhoods all around NZ but then it got highjacked by fairfax, has been corporatised, is loaded with adverts, and now has stuff.co.nz level type commentary, ie, ignorant and intolerant.

      I notice in our area the greatest activity isn’t around community issues and events, it’s around buying and selling stuff. It’s free to join and list your goods. I’ve noticed a real jump in the number of classified in the trading section in the last 6 months. Everything from cars, furniture, household appliances, hardware to clothes and shoes. It’s quite a relaxed online environment as far as buying and selling goes.

      It also has a free stuff section which I admit to using, both for listing and for receiving.

      • DH 8.2.1

        Thanks Rosie. Had a brief look & must admit I hate sites that make you sign up just to browse them & see what they’re about. Can’t really make much of it unless I join.

        Something I miss from the old Trade & Exchange is wanted ads, Trademe always hated those they can’t charge fees on them. We’re all sometimes after something and a well visited site where we can post our requests would be a boon. I’m presently after some new premises and I’m pretty much stuck with dealing with agents which irritates the hell out of me.

        • Rosie

          Re the signing up. I think it’s designed to be “private” in that people’s privacy is an issue on a site about a physical neighbourhood. Members addresses have to be “verified” before you can use the site. I don’t how the verification process works.

          I’m happy with that level of security. Even in our own neighbourhood there exists a couple of nutters who have bullied me and another who told me leave the neighbourhood because I had the audacity to run an informal survey about peoples perceptions of development plans – crazy right wing residents I might add, who have some kind of bizarre Stockholm type Syndrome going on with the developer. You need to be protected from that to feel safe, hence the signing up palaver, other wise anyone could have access to your home address (I choose to have our street name only, and not the house number, given the experience with the nutters)

          I have noted that people on the site have placed “wanted” ads for business premises as well as rental accommodation. One person was looking for a commercial kitchen and managed to get one through the neighbourly site.

          It might not be worth it for you though and you may be lumped with the agents. Good luck finding a place.

          • DH

            That does make sense Rosie, it may be worth signing up I’ll give it some thought. Thanks. Pity about the Fairfax involvement, I guess they need funding for the site but their interests may not be that compatible.

    • millsy 8.3

      I looked into listing a service on TM’s service section — looking at doing freelance data entry/admin stuff from home to pull some extra $$ in, but it costs $39.

  7. grumpystilskin 9

    Did anyone hear Wallace Chapman’s IV with Alan Gibbs on RNZ last night?
    Gibbs came across as an arrogant fool and old timer harping on about the good old days. Actually just listen to it, words can’t describe his appalling attitude.

    Bugger, no audio online yet.

  8. greywarshark 10

    First you aren’t getting off topic. That is why Open Mike is so good. If something should be mentioned to others, here is the place to do it.

    I have been trading on Trade Me in books mainly and have noticed their service deteriorating and standards inconsistent. Even had them remove one of my little auctions on some spurious grounds. And they are slow to assist users when requested, and probably refuse, or put up unconvincing arguments, generally unhelpful and unsupportive to small users.

    I was looking for another site myself early last year and looked at Wheedle which oddly named and distantly run concern got into trouble through inadequate programs, and then tottered on until it went belly up about six months ago. I looked at another one which seemed a possibility but hadn’t caught on and seemed a bit sleepy. Just tried Swap or Trade it and they have wanted ads for various items from August 2015. These sites need regular weeding or they don’t inspire confidence.

    One started in August 2015 called OnOffer –
    http://www.onoffer.co.nz/hot-offers but seems for bigger ticket items, and the section I was looking at has lot of boating equipment.

    Apart from that Buy Sell and Exchange is a possibility, but is not an auction site, http://www.bse.co.nz/.

    This is a big price hike you mention at Trademe.. It seems to me that Trademe is a classic case of a good local business that worked well for us, was growing and profitable, so was a plum and got sold offshore. It went to Fairfax that are a media company in Oz, which decided it didn’t want this useful little trading concern and sold it off to some crowd that just maintain it with limited customer interaction, and seek methods to squeeze this lemon till its pips squeak.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      TradeMe has become a standard rentier monopoly. It really needs to be run by the government as a public good funded via taxes.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        No, keep the bloody government bureaucracy out of it as they and the politicians will strangle it to death within 5 years.

        A not for profit co-op of private citizens is the way to go.

        • greywarshark

          Interesting idea. I think co-op – that’s the only way to go after experiencing Trademe’s decline,and drain of money to overseas interests.. Anyone interest in helping a co-op direct your telescope to Nelson organics co-op at info@nelsonorganiccoop.nz

        • Draco T Bastard

          No, keep the bloody government bureaucracy out of it as they and the politicians will strangle it to death within 5 years.

          You mean like the way the corporate bureaucrats are doing now? Never mind the fact that they’re using it to skim far more money out of the economy than it’s worth. Give it another year or so and TradeMe will be worth significantly less than DSE is worth now.

          A not for profit co-op of private citizens is the way to go.

          Why is a private group of citizens any better than a government paid group of citizens?

          It’s not the people but the rules that it’s run by. If it was run as a government department then one of the rules would be that the government would have to keep its nose out of it.

          • weka

            I think the point is that the government doesn’t keep it’s nose out of it. The big problem with the idea that govt can do things better than private (something I agree with theoretically in many instances) is that the NZ govt is now as corrupt as big business.

            I think CV was suggesting a third alternative.

          • weka

            A big part of the problem is that the business models are all based around increasing growth whether it’s needed or not. A few years ago I came across a small/med sized business in Chch that was selling specialty foods. I rang to see if they would retail in my nearest town. They said no, they had retailers for all their products and they were a big enough business already and didn’t want to grow. They pointed out that this left room for another similar business to start up and fill the need. It was incredibly refreshing and made total sense, but I suspect it’s completely contrary to what small/medium businesses are being told.

            The constant need to rebrand and get bigger is what drives something like TM to go from being a great service to being a greedy fuck behemoth. Ihug were the same. It seems to happen to many companies when they hit the big time and just can’t help themselves. I don’t know if it’s inevitable and built in, or if it’s a choice.

            Social enterprise of the kind that CV is talking about is one way out of that model.

            • Molly

              Small Giants – Companies that choose to be great instead of big is an interesting book to read on the decision of small business owners to remain small. However, most of these remain in private hands. (I note that there in an online community for businesses that choose this model).

              However, for a co-operative approach to business ownership, the B-corp framework in line with sustainable size is possibly a better way to go. Although worker ownership, and direction is not a requirement, there is a framework there to support it, and businesses get more points the more co-operative it is.

              • weka

                Nice links!

                • Molly

                  Browsing the B-corp site is how I discovered Better World Books.

                  A great site for old and used books, particularly overseas older editions that are hard to find here. Though they are connected to new booksellers as well.

                  Their B-Corp score is not too bad either. The B-Corp scorecard is apparently quite stringent, and gives biliophiles a great alternative to Amazon.

                  • greywarshark

                    Not to overlook Abebooks. Great booksellers to the world.
                    At present they are featuring David Bowie’s top 100 books.
                    Celebrate the life and music of a man who read a book each day.

        • Graeme

          I think you’re on the money there CV.

          The model that takes TradeMe on will be something very different to TradeMe, all the attempts up to now have been trying to be the same as TM, so not a hope, and brutally so.

          The co-op model is very common around farming. CRT (Farmlands now) are huge, every farmer and contractor is a member, and it’s really worthwhile provided you pay your bills on time. They’ve got incredible collective clout and can really make suppliers bend over. (As an aside, it’s fun pointing out the collective nature of Farmlands to the ones that bang on about “the unions”)

    • DH 10.2

      Thanks for the feedback greywarshark. From a business perspective they provided a platform for selling and the fees were much the same as an advertising budget so it wasn’t too onerous. But as the fees have crept up they’ve started becoming a penalty or tithe and the site itself isn’t attracting more business to justify the higher advertising costs…. bit of a law of diminishing returns really.

      The US has Craiglist which is more in the style of the old Trade & Exchange and offers an alternative to Ebay. We could do with something similar here.

      I dislike the new listing format too, if they ever make it permanent I can see people leaving the site in droves.

  9. Draco T Bastard 11

    Dave Armstrong: Poverty’s real in New Zealand

    A fact that would make poverty deniers choke on their flat Whytes is that our homeless temporary neighbour owned a cellphone. I know this because we could overhear his desperate efforts to contact Work and Income as he tried to find out when his next benefit payment would be made. Unlike The Warehouse, Work and Income doesn’t do Boxing Day.

    Does ownership of a cellphone, which can cost very little, preclude one from living in poverty? Try getting a benefit or a job without a phone number, email address or bank account.

    Despite being an opinionated Lefty, I get irritated by constant requests from beggars.

    I don’t think it’s healthy for homeless people to live in areas designed for public recreation. Yes, I’m selfish. I don’t want to take personal responsibility for people living in poverty but I’d love it if my taxes did.

  10. greywarshark 12

    Good info. I dislike the new listing format too, and have read others find fault with it.
    That seems par for present Trademe. They do something and tell you how great it is, but aren’t interested in what users actually think overall or actually want. I think the programmers are paid to be doing something so they keep themselves busy looking at appearances.

    Their help site has never impressed me for instance, under the old system it was just advice gathered in one place, not much order to it, and you couldn’t even sort it alphabetically to assist with scanning for key words. I think it is different now but not improved.

    • DH 12.1

      You’re probably right in that they do things simply because they need to keep busy, few of their changes have improved the site that I can remember. They are still better than Ebay though, that’s an awful site and their fees with Paypal fees included are nearly 15%. (Ebay 10% plus Paypal 3.9% plus Paypal exchange rate conversion of about 1%)

      Trademe no doubt have their spreadsheets telling them where their profits are coming from but I do wonder at their actions in turning against sellers who have paid them over $100k in fees over the years.

  11. Paul 14

    Brilliant film

  12. Paul 16

    Great article for you to read today

    Martin Thrupp: Why has NZ society become so hard-hearted?

    ‘Recently a group that brings together various organisations concerned with poverty and inequality in New Zealand society sent out an invitation.
    The Equality Network announced a day hui in March on the theme ‘Talking so that people will listen’. Some of New Zealand’s most indefatigable campaigners against poverty and injustice have issued the invitation.
    What struck me about the planning is that it involves ‘a draft communications resource that will draw on the latest research about framing, political communication, and what works and what doesn’t when it comes to changing people’s minds’.
    In a country that once prided itself on social mobility for ordinary people, it is telling that we now need such concerted efforts to get the public to care enough about inequality. Yet as the invitation explained, ‘we’ve convinced a growing number of people that income inequality is one of New Zealand’s biggest problems. But if we’re going to turn that concern into the momentum for real change, we’re going to have to persuade a whole lot more people’.
    So what has caused today’s hard-heartedness?
    Three decades of neo-liberal politics has changed Kiwi outlooks. There is also the greed and fear of the housing market, distractions like the flag campaign and Mr Key’s personal life, compassion fatigue brought on by 24/7 media and probably many other factors as well…..’

    for more, read


    • BM 16.1

      Ugh, Another at the trough leftie berating the people that keep him in the top 10% wage demographic.

      Personally I’d prefer to sack all these ivory tower pointy heads, take the money saved and spread that among the less well off.

      • weka 16.1.1

        I’m sure if we got rid of academics that NACT would be more than happy to use their salaries to help the poor.

        /dripping sarcasm.

        NZ as a country isn’t poor. Your alleged compassion for the less well off is made a mockery of by who you vote for.

      • Paul 16.1.2


  13. Paul 17

    Something to concern us in 2016

    Mark Lister: China and oil driving the dive
    ‘It has been a terrible start to the year for share markets around the world, with the US market down 6.0 per cent in the first week of 2016, the worst opening week in history. Pinpointing the reasons for the sell-off is pretty easy.
    There’s a long list of things to be worried about at the moment, all of which are somewhat intertwined, so you can take your pick of just about any combination.
    For me, the two key issues are China and oil prices. Some might also choose to cite disappointing global growth, the end of easy money from the Federal Reserve, geopolitical tension and markets that are priced to perfection after a six-and-a-half year rally.’

    for more, read


  14. Molly 18

    Herald provokes anti-Maori sentiment with unverified story, and then repeats it when veracity comes into question:

    Te Reo assault: Court says she pleaded guilty; she says she didn’t.

    [lprent: fixed the link. ]

  15. If the Labour Party want to win the next election it needs to too stop attacking Teflon John and concentrate on the incompetence of the Nat’s front bench.Lets highlight what these front benches are really like. Was Paula Bennett really a “poor solo mum ‘ as we are often reminded because she certainly has a number of very rich friends,
    How many more balls ups can we expect from Nick Smith . What is Maggie Barry doing for the environment and is English still rent racking. Lets get stuck into this nasty lot show the public what they are really like and highlight just how much contempt they have for working class people .Lets keep pointing out the facts about the working poor and the divide between the very rich and the working poor.Instead of giving Key more publicity lets ignore him ,which will really harm his narcissistic ego,


  16. Paul 20

    Puppet state of the US used as base for US corporate trade takeover.
    First acknowledgement by the corporate media.


    • Puckish Rogue 20.1

      another feather in the cap for NZ and John Key, thanks to him NZ is really punching above its weight

      • Paul 20.1.1

        Like Ion Antonescu, Miklos Horthy and Nguyen Van Thieu punched above their weight?
        As enablers and the underlings for the power of others and the loss of sovereignty of their own country.
        As if that’s something to be proud of…..

  17. Once was Tim 21

    Expect the Proim Munsta to make an announcement soon on his sorrow at the passing of David Jones. He was of course a huge influ -once on ear First MAN when he wuz grown up, en he’s rilly rilly saddened at his passing.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      I’d take it as confirmation that Saudi Arabia oil reserves are in decline and the Sauds are looking to get out while the goings good.

      • Pat 22.1.1

        I don’t know that it is so much a decline of reserves(crude)…but i wonder what their advisors know that we don’t re the ability in the near term to move those reserves

        • Draco T Bastard

          I was watching a documentary a few years back. In it it was mentioned about how unreliable SA’s numbers about reserves were because they’d tell people that they had x amount of reserves the year before, pumped x number of billions of barrels and at the end of the year had the same amount of reserves.

          When asked about this they replied that it was their policy that they would have the same number at the end of the year because of new discoveries and technological development of existing fields. They, of course, never actually told anyone of the new discoveries/technology and so it couldn’t be confirmed one way or the other.

          That said, a few years ago one of the greats in the oil business estimated that the Gawar Field had hit peak and was now in decline which meant that SA had hit peak and was now in decline or would be shortly.

          • Pat

            I recall articles along those lines as well, but even if in decline they still have substantial reserves by all accounts so why a step change in control of those assets and why now?…..if anyone knows the state of expected energy demand and where and how that demand will be met it would be those the Saudis pay for that knowledge…..if you thought oil was a reducing part of that mix you may wish to divest while it was still worth something,so does that mean carbon energy is going to disappear sooner than we thought…and if so have we time to transfer, what of the impact of stranded assets?….It raises so many questions, and i can’t see this change as a mere capital raising exercise, particularly when they were in a position to cut production and push up the price of crude so recently…and they have reserves (financial) to cover them for years at current spending levels already.

    • b waghorn 22.3

      Good way to stop people from trying to cut the use of fossil fuels, having wealthy influential people owning shares in the production of oil.

  18. North 23

    E! Channel-Herald online right now:

    “BREAKING NEWS Richie McCaw announces engagement to long-time girlfriend Gemma Flynn……read more”

    “BREAKING NEWS……” ? No. Breaking wind I think.

    Anyway, good wishes to the couple. Shouldn’t slam them cos’ of the trashy old Herald.

    • b waghorn 23.1

      Same on stuff . I imagine keys cutting his holiday short to rush home and congratulate him on getting a fiancé with such a lovely pony tail.

  19. Pat 24


    something for Wayne to ponder next time he’s discussing with his mates what to offer up to the market (God) next.

    • whateva next? 24.1

      Thanks for link, I know from UK friends that NHS is being eroded by stealth, and this wonderful man, who you may have already seen, says it all.

      • Pat 24.1.1

        I recall that from the UK election campaign….very moving. Sadly the electorate HAVE forgotten the lessons from the recent past and we appear doomed to make the same mistakes….god people are stupid.

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