Open Mike 12/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 12th, 2017 - 109 comments
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109 comments on “Open Mike 12/01/2017”

  1. Paul 1

    The establishment are clearly determined to either prevent Trump from becoming President or to deligitimise him.
    We are living in an era of fake news run by the corporate media to forward its owners agenda.
    Sadly Radio NZ is also an echo chambers for this propaganda.
    You are being played folks.

    http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/the_real_purpose_of_the_us_governments_report_on_alleged_hacking_by_russi/

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/4chan-claims-have-fabricated-anti-trump-report-hoax

    • The lost sheep 1.1

      After the lying propaganda you put out yesterday Paul, you are complaining about others doing the same thing?
      And maybe you think no one notices how you repeatedly slink away when any FACTS get close to the lies you are attempting to play, like you did again yesterday?
      You are no better than any of the ‘evil’ forces you rant about daily – just as willing to lie and deceive yourself and others in order to push your individual philosophy. A f**ing hypocrite in other words.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Thanks for the ad hominem. I’d appreciate it if you tackled the issue rather than shoot the messenger. I appreciate its a difficult topic to discuss, as it may involve questioning some certainties and preconceptions we were brought up to believe.
        Did you believe the stories about WMD and Saddam Hussein?

      • Paul 1.1.2

        If you don’t trust Cowspiracy as a source, watch Before the Flood. It would appear irrefutable that meat eating is a major unspoken part of our carbon footprint.

        • The lost sheep 1.1.2.1

          Animal Agriculture is not an ‘unspoken’ part of our carbon footprint Paul? It is extremely well studied and documented?

          My issue is that you referred us yesterday to a documentary that claimed that 53% of World Greenhouse emissions were caused by Animal Agriculture.
          I am saying that is untrue.
          I quoted from the IPCC’s 5th assessment yesterday that Agriculture in total provided 14% of Global GHGE.
          That same assessment shows that the burning of fossil fuels for various purposes accounts for over 65% of global GHGE.
          I can find no credible scientific source that disagrees with that basic scenario.

          Can you produce credible scientific evidence that the IPCC is wrong about all that?

          If not, do you have the honesty to concede the ‘Cowspiracy’ documentary is wildly inaccurate, and therefore the claim you made that eating meat is the single most destructive thing you can do to the environment has no basis in fact?

          • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.2.1.1

            And Iv got an article here that says the worlds richest 10% generate half the worlds emissions and that’s low balling https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/02/worlds-richest-10-produce-half-of-global-carbon-emissions-says-oxfam

            So I’ll ask again. How do you tell some one they’re a hoarder

            • The lost sheep 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Send them an email?

              From my analysis of that report it looks highly likely that most people in NZ would be in the top 10% of the Worlds richest people anyway, so maybe talking to the people around you would be a good start?

              What are your ideas?

          • The lost sheep 1.1.2.1.2

            PAUL?
            Scuttled away again to that nice safe place where you don’t have to confront any FACTS that disagree with your lying propaganda?

            • Red 1.1.2.1.2.1

              He is employed by RT to dump and run, code name Paulsky, in spare time glove puppet to grenwald and pilger

              • The lost sheep

                Yeah well now we seen conclusively he is a dishonest pusher of lying propaganda that doesn’t have the guts to back up or withdraw the lying propaganda he pushes…
                He can rest easy. I won’t bother wasting anymore time exposing him for the hypocrite he is.

                It’s all clear Paul, you can go back to deceiving yourself and the other conspiracy theorists in your usual manner.

            • Paul 1.1.2.1.2.2

              I have been busy.
              I have suggested you watch Before the Flood.
              Have you?

              • The lost sheep

                I’m happy to move onto that, once you have dealt with the questions already in hand Paul.

                In 1.1.2.1 above I have asked you to address some specific questions regarding the previous documentary you cited, and the claim you made deriving from that.

                Do you intend to do address those questions?

                • Paul

                  Aspects of Cowspiracy may be inaccurate as you claim.
                  I don’t know.
                  However the film Before the Flood also makes the connection between meat eating and climate change.
                  So clearly there is some consensus on this.

                  • weka

                    Let me guess, they’re comparing feedlot meat with conventional cropping. It’s a nonsense argument Paul, because it’s based on BAU and BAU is killing the planet whether we eat meat or soy. If you are now reading permaculture, you will be getting to some of this. We need polyculture food production, and many of those systems do better with livestock in them.

                  • The lost sheep

                    A ‘consensus’?
                    Two Vegan fanatics that are happy to lie outright, and a Hollywood actor who by his own admission just about killed the planet with his travel carbon footprint in order to make a documentary showcasing his ‘green concern’ credentials?

                    Is that a sufficient standard of proof for you Paul? Are you happy to accept other peoples claims on that level of proof yourself?

                    It ain’t for me, not by a long long shot!
                    What about some credible scientific consensus to back up your claims as I asked for? Find any of that?

        • weka 1.1.2.2

          Hey Paul, cattle can regenerate land, help sequester carbon, and provide food,

          https://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change

          • greywarshark 1.1.2.2.1

            Thanks weka that’s a great link to read and hear. Reminds me of the efforts of Men of the Trees, which included women as well. I think that the UN have taken up the idea and some countries adopted it big time but we need to embrace it desperately now.

            I wonder how soon we can start a target for each one of us to plant a tree once a year, on Arbour Day or some regional anniversary day, and have a mixed landscape not mono-pirad-culture and have some pines that produce pine seeds and so on, hard wood, trees that are resistant to fire destruction all getting a look in.

            A bit of leadership and organisation from good pollies functioning well, not dysfunctional and assymetric.

          • greywarshark 1.1.2.2.2

            Hi weka
            Another idea, using conserved water in lakes etc and at same time limiting evaporation.

            Have floating mats of reeds or such, that wouldn’t leach out unfavourable or toxic substances and have vegetables growing on them in a fairly uncontrolled way, that would draw nutrients needed from the water, so no added fertilisers, and there would be a regular route through them by the farmers or custodians or kaitiaki to pluck out growths that would overwhelm the food plants chosen.

            Fish would feed on the underside of them and it could have many benefits once trialled and the right methods and types chosen.

    • garibaldi 1.2

      We are being more than played. The manipulations and deceptions are burying the truth and it is escalating. It will not end well.

    • Carolyn_nth 1.3

      Glenn Greenwald warns of the dangers (for the media and democracy) of accepting uncritically the alleged (and unverfied) surveillance dosier on Trump (as leaked yesterday). He calls it part of deep state warfare.

      Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.

      Beyond all that, there is no bigger favor that Trump opponents can do for him than attacking him with such lowly, shabby, obvious shams, recruiting large media outlets to lead the way. When it comes time to expose actual Trump corruption and criminality, who is going to believe the people and institutions who have demonstrated they are willing to endorse any assertions no matter how factually baseless, who deploy any journalistic tactic no matter how unreliable and removed from basic means of ensuring accuracy?

      All of these toxic ingredients were on full display yesterday as the Deep State unleashed its tawdriest and most aggressive assault yet on Trump: …

      • Andre 1.3.1

        I gotta say, I’m losing respect for Greenwald.

        When he starts using phrases like “Nobody should crave the rule of Deep State overlords.”, that’s an appeal to pretty base emotion and it’s a propaganda technique, not journalism.

        He also way understates how much caution mainstream outlets are placing around this to further his narrative of trashing mainstream journalism.

        • garibaldi 1.3.1.1

          Andre – I think you should question your faith in the Democrats .

        • Carolyn_nth 1.3.1.2

          Good points about some of the way Greenwald frames his article. It’s a point in favour of many MSM outlets that they didn’t rush to publish about unverified data.

          OTOH, it does seem to me that caution is needed in accepting the dossier. It does seem to me to be part of some covert warfare. I trust neither the CIA nor Putin’s surveillance services and propaganda.

          I also detest Trump and his (often contradictory) policies/agenda, but think the way to counter him is through the kinds of processes Greenwald recommends.

          • Wainwright 1.3.1.2.1

            Thing is, Buzzfeed never said “this is all true”/. They released the full dossier after CNN reported on its existence. Not surprising people took it andf ran with it, with the inauguration looming people needed a goood laugh.

          • Andre 1.3.1.2.2

            Yeah, fact-checking, independent corroboration, and looking at what someone actually does are a lot more important than the entertaining noise.

            To me it’s a really interesting balance on whether to publish the 35 pages or not. That the intel agencies have briefed Obama and Trump about the allegations is a fact, and something I think should be publicly known. Given that the agencies apparently give it enough credence for it to form the basis of the brief, are we better served by seeing the raw data, or by having mysterious allegations floating around?

            I’m curious whether the agencies have other independent corroboration of any of it, but we’ll probably never know since that might expose sources and methods. IMO, if the 35 pages is all they’ve got then it’s another big black mark against their credibility. OTOH, there’s enough solidly documented stuff showing links between Trump and his team and Russian interests, so I’d be surprised if the agencies didn’t have a lot of stuff that’s not public (yet).

      • Bill 1.3.2

        I haven’t read all the way through those 35 pages yet. But as far as I can see so far, a lot of it is…an anonymous person talks to some people and some of them tell them that they heard that so and so said such and such.

        In other words, a fair smattering of hear-say. Gossip.

        A 70 year old business tycoon has contacts in Russia. Big deal.
        He allegedly has some fetishes. Big deal.

        And the stuff about the goings on of oligarchs might, or so I’d think, rub two ways…ie, I’d imagine US authorities would be curious about some of their activities.

        The thing that bothers me is that it seems a fair chunk of the Republican Party is working in cahoots with a fair chunk of the Democratic Party and the Intelligence Agencies; that all the above are using overly compliant mainstream news outlets to swipe the legs out from under the democratically elected President of the US.

        And I’m under no illusions they would have done the same if it was Sanders who was about to be President, just as over the pond, sections of the establishment are working hand in glove with one another and media outlets there to discredit Corbyn.

        I get it that people enjoy reveling in ‘giving one’ to Trump. But there’s something more important going on here that deserves our attention.

        If ‘the people’ were doing something that was gathering steam that might lead to a ‘take down’ of Trump, I’d be right there with them in spirit. But this is an establishment under siege seeking to re-assert itself. And my enemy’s enemy isn’t my friend – I won’t be cheering them on.

    • The establishment are clearly determined to either prevent Trump from becoming President or to deligitimise him.

      Er, what? First, they can’t and therefore won’t prevent him from taking office, and second, nothing they could come up with to “de-legitimise” him could beat the stuff he’s come up with all on his own. Third, in what sense is a billionaire property developer with a private plane and a trophy wife not “the establishment?”

      We are living in an era of fake news…

      Oh, we certainly are.
      This kind of fake news, mostly.

    • Cinny 1.5

      By crikey NZ tabloids are full of Agent Orange today, I’m over it and the shit spinning coming out of his mouth.

      Anti establishment and anti dynasty he said in the debates, he is so full of it.

    • Gabby 1.6

      Hey, waidaminnit – how do I know you’re not a tool of the establishment and Lil Fingers is their boy all along? Why I orda…

  2. Clump_AKA Sam 2

    I’m staying up in protest over media miss handling of information

  3. Cinny 3

    Last week I had a house full of visitors, it was awesome. Anyways some of my visitors had stopped in at Kaikoura to visit family before coming up here. Family that are heavily involved in earthquake recovery and rebuilding there.

    Turns out Brownlee was very arrogant when he visited, he was very angry at the public for embarrassing him in front of the media, and that’s coming from someone that attended the meeting and I was told is not a fan of the farmer that had a go at Brownlee. It’s always good to get the facts from those whom were there rather than the media spin. Doubt Brownlee will be back in Kaikoura anytime soon.

    Guess that’s why they sent Mr Dildo this time, no public meeting, just a swift visit and meeting with selected local businesses.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/88310224/road-access-issues-harbour-still-top-of-the-list-for-kaikoura-businesses

    • Wensleydale 3.1

      A cursory examination of Brownlee’s history reveals it doesn’t really take much to make him angry. He has form for getting all bent out of shape whenever anyone questions him, or disputes his statements. He’s basically an ill-tempered bully with a chip on his shoulder.

      • tc 3.1.1

        The opposition dont focus enough on the born to rule arrogance that exudes from most nat ministers in their treatment of joe public.

        • Sacha 3.1.1.1

          Best answer for them is probably to be extra-respectful all the time in their own dealings with citizens – that is, show not tell.

      • Sacha 3.1.2

        Treats his staff like crap in front of media too, I’ve heard. Funny how it never comes up.

  4. Andre 4

    An interesting read. Who wants to bet various people in government haven’t “taken out insurance” by doing things like making copies of his tax returns?

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/how-trumps-attacks-on-us-intelligence-will-come-back-to-haunt-him-214622

  5. Siobhan 5

    Just purchased a copy of Chris Trotters ‘No Left Turn’ from the discards table at Hastings Library. Nice copy, 50 cents.
    Leaving one copy available between the 3 Libraries (Flaxmere, Hastings and Havelock North). All areas that, for very different reasons, could do with some political education.
    WELL DONE to those responsible for the gutting of our libraries, and their fine contribution to dumbing down and keeping the population as ill informed as possible.
    Specially noted is the fact that you sold off a large number of Shakespeare books on his anniversary, and gutted the politics section in the year leading up to the Elections.
    How very timely.

    • tc 5.1

      Yup and did any hawkes bay local govt figures get a new years honour shower from shonky central ?

      • Siobhan 5.1.1

        Well, Foss got a little reminder not to slam the door on the way out, and that’s good enough for me. Now we have the prospect of the residents of Havelock North rewarding their poisoner, the ‘humbled’ Lawrence Yule, with a position in National. Maybe.

  6. Pat 6

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11781033

    50 shades of grey?…..or am I mixing that up with Trump?

  7. joe90 7

    Good news, I hope.

    President Barack Obama has put Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material, on his short list for a possible commutation, a Justice Department source told NBC News.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/army-leaker-chelsea-manning-obama-s-short-list-commutation-n705441

  8. Morrissey 8

    Dear weka,

    Yesterday, after I pointed out that two of my comments on the “Obama’s last speech” thread had not come through, you replied:

    there were 2 comments in the Trash, I’ve released them now.

    Could you tell me where they are?

    • weka 8.1

      The longer one keeps cycling back into Trash. I can’t do anything about that sorry. Here’s what it said,

      In reply to Sacha.
      What inspired you most, Sacha?

      [1] The way he linked the destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq with the brave resistance struggles of Stonewall and Selma?

      [2] His irony-free condemnation of Russia while stating, with a straight face, that the U.S. is not a “country that bullies smaller neighbors”? ,

      [3] Was it his canting about Islamic terrorism—which the United States supports both diplomatically and militarily in Syria—while remaining silent about Christian and Israeli terrorism?

      [4] Or perhaps you were inspired by his praise of “those who marched for justice” while his henchmen pursue and traduce Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, and while Chelsea Manning rots in solitary confinement.

      You could try taking out the number formatting, it looks odd in the original comment so maybe that’s why it’s going to trash. Or it could be the random bug.

      I can’t remember what the shorter one was, so can’t find it. It doesn’t look like it’s in Trash, and I’m guessing from memory that it was in the same Obama’s last speech thread.

    • adam 10.1

      Yeah I liked that from Chris.

      I wonder when the bubble crowd will get it, just jokes. I know they never will – they will take it as personal abuse, be offended, then look for someone to blame for them being offended.

      May as well be me today.

      The labour party in a liberal party and voting for them is a waste of time if you are actually interested in the rights, and needs of working people.

      Plus they really do need to get off there high horse and accusing people of giving up on civil rights. Civil rights is a given, we just think your kidding yourself for thinking that we can get civil rights under a liberal system.

      A wage slave who thinks they are free – is a simpler slave to deal with, than a slave who knows they are under the yoke of wage slavery.

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        Adam
        Then again slaves in other places have at times been well treated, some have been able to buy out of their servitude.

        At present we are in a culture that doesn’t even want slaves, it wants to deal with people who have money which is an artificial way of gaining credits. , But it doesn’t want to buy into the economic circle of employment, earnings, spending on things from human employment.

        We are all under the yoke of our basic needs, and wage slavery can be viewed as security if one has decent wages and is respected in society and can have a full life. Bob Dylan sings it – You’ve got to serve someone. The plumber and his client, the grocer and his customer, both need each other. But with the damned talent we have for trying to break the human circle and play with our cunning machines, we humans collaborate to make our race redundant and base.

        • adam 10.1.1.1

          Trying to justfy your bondage does not mean you are not a slave.

          We may not like slavery, but as a culture we tolerate it on so many levels. Never have we had so many sex slaves, never have so many women and children been held in such open bondage.

          Let you onto a secret – Being anti-authoritarian means embracing freedom.

          Servering unto others by free will is human, service to others to survive, is slavery.

          • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.1

            Adam
            Let you onto a not-secret but still not admitted by many – freedom espousing people often become authoritarian.

            There are no perfect approaches to living ‘right’ in human society, just a constant effort to maintain a balance, at the top end of a sliding scale, with freedom at the high end and subjugation at the other.

  9. Jenny Kirk 11

    A state house has been unwrapped on Auckland’s waterfront, but its not for living in – its a million-dollar sculpture. Is this irony, or not ? Maybe its a memorial.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/322216/controversial-artwork-unwrapped-on-auckland-wharf

    • Andre 11.1

      It’s not irony, it’s taunting.

    • Sabine 11.2

      nah its a statement to greed and stupidity.
      and all the nice polite society will come and ohhh and aahhhh and get pictures taken for the gossip sites sipping champagne and wearing fancy dresses.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 11.3

      Michael Parekowhai, who lived in Northcote which contained a large state housing area, obviously understood the importance for a family of a place to call home. The house is a monument to a kinder era when the state understood the importance of providing housing to the people who needed it. Children could grow up in an area and complete their schooling at the local high school. Stability was valued.

      In my view this Parekowhai house is also a monument of shame for this government.
      Today’s precarious families are temporarily housed in motels, cars, and garages and made to feel like losers while the government flicks off the old state houses and tenants are forced to leave their communities, disrupting schooling and fracturing social links.

      If the building highlights this government’s failure in social housing enough to incite voters to dump this government, then perhaps it will have fulfilled a greater purpose than that envisaged by the real estate firm donor.

      • Jenny Kirk 11.3.1

        + 100% Tautoko Mango Mata. I had similar thoughts when I first viewed this sculpture, and wondered if it was also some kind of political statement (to be expected from Michael Parekowhai) .

  10. joe90 12

    Explains the Putin boners.
    /

    Ultra-conservative Russian lawmaker Yelena Mizulina is a senator in the Federation Council, Russia’s upper chamber of parliament. She successfully campaigned for anti-LGBTQ legislature against “gay propaganda” which has made homosexual relationships and people subject to fines and punishment, and has been connected to a rise in anti-gay violence in Russia. She is now working to make domestic violence more acceptable.

    The Guardian reported in August that Mizulina had introduced a new bill to the State Duma, which would decriminalize violence within families, subjecting perpetrators to fines rather than jail time. She stated at the time, “Battery carried out toward family members should be an administrative offense,” adding, “You don’t want people to be imprisoned for two years and labelled a criminal for the rest of their lives for a slap.”

    http://jezebel.com/russian-parliament-passes-law-decriminalizing-domestic-1791076784

  11. Andre 13

    Fake news? That’s soooo yesterday. Get yourself some fake books to read on the subway.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fake-books-for-the-all-too-real-trump-era-crack-up-commuters_us_58764eabe4b03c8a02d4512b

  12. Sabine 14

    I have just been reading this, – real news and important news for a change.
    but hey, i guess its not Sharia Law.

    ” Judge O’Connor ruled that doctors can refuse to treat transgender patients and women who’ve had abortions—all in the name of “religious freedom.”

    https://health.good.is/articles/ruling-denies-medical-treatment?utm_content=inf_10_81_2&utm_source=TSE&utm_medium=FB&utm_campaign=pd&tse_id=INF_ef448940d82311e6a03c354c456e1db2

    • weka 14.1

      Well those women and transgender people can just go to a friendlier state can’t they, and be grateful they don’t live in Syria while they’re at it.

      /extreme sarcasm

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        i told a friend in the US today to stock up condoms, morning after pill,and so on.

        She laughed and said she had closed shop a while ago. I reminded her that she had one boy and two girls in their midteens and they have not even opened shop yet.

        but nevermind. i am just showing my privilege of being a first world woman.

        fwiw i have run out of sarcasm and fucks.

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          Fair enough, and we’re just getting started with this shit 🙁

          For those that don’t quite get it, women in the US are stocking up on birth control because access is expected to get harder. Transgender people who use hormones likewise, and other people who need meds for health reasons because they think they’re going to lose their health coverage.

    • Pat 14.2

      and how does that square with hippocratic oath?

      I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:…

      I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

      I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

      I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

      I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

      I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. Above all, I must not play at God.

      I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

      I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

      I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

      If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

  13. Pat 15

    and back in NZ, own own debacle continues…..

    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/85456/eqcs-unaccountable-actions-see-christchurch-woman-wrongly-accused-fraud-and-left

    this from a Gov dept overseen by a Minister…..defies belief.

    • weka 15.1

      fuck that’s bad. End of the empire stuff.

      • Pat 15.1.1

        an appalling organisation that has run roughshod over particularly the elderly and vulnerable (though not exclusively)…..and the CEO gets a bonus and a nice new job and the Minister remains at head and unrepentant.

        • Rosemary McDonald 15.1.1.1

          “EQC suggested she make a complaint to the Ombudsman as a last resort. But Mrs Jones has lost all faith in the system.

          How many people have been wrongfully accused of serious criminal offending by a Government organisation that is supposed to step up and help people in a time of need? ”

          Damn them for their ‘kick them when they’re down’ culture.

          Thanks Pat for bringing this to our attention. Clearly some outfit had a contract with EQC to assess for eligibility and install the heat pumps and were way too quick off the mark… maybe to jump start their revenue stream?

          Was this heat pump thing some sort of ‘aren’t we being so nice to the poor folks of Christchurch’ PR exercise?

          • weka 15.1.1.1.1

            I’d be more cynical than that and guess it was how do we tick off this quota on our job sheet exercise, while spending the least amount of time on it.

          • Pat 15.1.1.1.2

            ‘Was this heat pump thing some sort of ‘aren’t we being so nice to the poor folks of Christchurch’ PR exercise?”

            It was painted as that at one stage…..however this particular incident and heat pumps in general are but a microcosm of the whole EQC experience for thousands…..the advice to refer to the Ombudsman is farcical (as the aggrieved party probably well knew) as those that appealed to the Ombudsman were not served at all and the office themselves stated no ability or desire to rule with regard EQC.

            • Rosemary McDonald 15.1.1.1.2.1

              “…but a microcosm of the whole EQC experience for thousands…..the advice to refer to the Ombudsman is farcical…”

              We were travelling in the SI in February 2011, and again in 2013, and spoke with hundreds of people affected by the ‘quakes. Many we have spent time with literally fled Christchurch, never to return, such was the trauma not only of the big ‘quakes but the thousands of aftershocks.

              Without fail, all have had negative experiences with EQC and their contractors.

              For most of these people, having to apply to EQC for compensation for damage to their homes was the first time they had ever had to go cap in hand to a government agency to get the assistance they believed they had paid for via levies and taxes.

              Extremely sobering process, and it was not only the sense of betrayal they felt at how they were treated, but absolute shock that fellow Kiwis, employed by this Government agency, could do their work with seemingly cheerful disregard at the devastating effects on the lives of these citizen users.

              And accounts such as this indicates a level of almost sociopathic dedication to their appointed tasks.

              The other day Bomber Bradbury, in an article endeavoring to instruct Gareth Morgan on how to create a better ‘anti-establishment’ party, made an interesting statement…

              http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/01/09/tdb-summer-election-special-is-top-real-or-a-gareth-morgan-vanity-project/

              “Labour can’t criticise what those Government Departments do to the poorest and weakest members of society because they are beholden to the PSA…”

              And when I think about it…has Labour actually kicked up the appropriate amount of shit when stories like this make it into the light of day?

              Because if any one incident over the past 8 years of this mob’s rule has galvanised the general public into criticism of government departments it is how EQC shat all over the Canterbury claimants.

              • Pat

                Don’t think being beholden to the PSA was the issue…..many of EQCs employees were contractors and were unlikely to be members. Labours lack of advocacy was noted and grates with many, though a couple of MPs did extremely helpful work, but at an individual case level (still believe time will show a grand coalition immediately after the second quake)…..like WINZ the culture is driven from above.

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6584422/Review-of-nepotism-at-EQC-had-gaps

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/71891130/daughter-of-eqc-executive-being-investigated-again

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “…like WINZ the culture is driven from above.”

                  Hmmm….my thoughts are tending in the direction of comparing this situation with what happened with the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services and the Carer Support Subsidy.

                  (http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/disability-services/types-disability-support/respite-and-carer-support/carer-support)

                  MOH:DSS, almost immediately upon its inception in about 2000, contracted out almost every aspect of support for disabled Kiwis who are not under ACC, including the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination service…through which those with disabilities have to traverse in order to access any funding for supports.

                  Because of the overriding emphasis placed on only funding ‘unmet needs’ and hugely emphasising the requirement for only funding what family won’t or can’t do, many families living with disability found that the only government funded support available was CSS…which because of the punitive restrictions around who can be paid for what and the fact it is funded at $3 per hour (already financially struggling families simply cannot afford to make up the shortfall to meet minimum wage) those of us who were allocated Carer Support days found them very difficult to utilise if we kept strictly within the rules.

                  I was allocated 110 days in late 2002 after having tried and failed to find ‘formal’ care for my man so I could address a health issue. This large allocation was made by the NASC (who assesses and coordinates services under contract for the MOH DSS) and because of the large allocation was approved by MOH head office.

                  When I phoned our NASC (remember, a contracted provider for the MOH) and said this didn’t solve the problem (of needing carers) and was not enough to actually pay for care through a provider, I was told by the NASC to be “creative” with the funding.

                  The last thing anyone can accuse me of is creativity, so I was not caught up in the pogrom instituted by the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services in 2010 and 2012 against disabled people and their chosen family carers committing Carer Support fraud.
                  http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/3418235/Care-support-fraud-hits-1-million

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10807955

                  (Those with a decent memory will remember that publicity around these pogroms coincided with the Human Rights Tribunal decision saying the family carers should be paid a wage in January 2010 and the Appeal Court decision upholding the HRRT decision in May 2012)

                  And ironically, there was little if any acknowledgement that the hundreds of family carers who were getting paid (in breach of the discriminatory policy) were being paid under ‘arrangements’ facilitated by the contracted providers…who were never publicly investigated for this.

                  At no time was there any public acknowledgement that Carer Support funding was only allocated after an assessment by a MOH contracted provider…who was also charged with ensuring that the allocatee was appraised of and followed the rules for use.

                  At no stage was there any public acknowledgement that NASCs were instructing disabled people and their family carers on how to “be creative” in order to access this very limited and inflexible support funding….and hence placing these families at risk of prosecution.

                  (Bear in mind, that CSS is allocated on a kind of pro rata basis…so many days CSS for so many hours per week of unpaid care…in my case…the $8200 per year CSS was instead of the MOH funding $80,000 for ‘formal’ care. )

    • joe90 16.1

      Pricks can’t help themselves.

      But as civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis, Congressional Black Caucus head Rep. Cedric Richmond and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker testified that Sessions’ confirmation to head the Department of Justice would set back the cause for universal civil rights, only one Republican on the committee remained to listen.

      “I want to express my concerns about being made to testify at the very end of the witness panels,” Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond said to applause from members of the Congressional Black Caucus seated behind him in the Russell Senate building. “To have a senator, a House member and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus.”

      http://www.salon.com/2017/01/11/watch-congressional-black-caucus-says-jeff-sessions-confirmation-will-set-back-the-cause-of-universal-civil-rights/

      • weka 16.1.1

        They’re emboldened right? More and more I am thinking about how we need to address that here in NZ. Different scale and dynamics but still there.

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