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Open mike 12/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, February 12th, 2015 - 220 comments
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220 comments on “Open mike 12/02/2015”

  1. Whateva next? 1

    Any polls coming out any time soon??

  2. Incognito 2

    A “blinding” flash, intense explosion and sonic booms experienced over much of the country last night were probably caused by a John Key’s credibility returning from planet Key to Earth, experts agree.

    About 10 pm, the flash, described by many as a burst of blue and white light, was seen from Whangarei to the upper South Island.

    What else could it have been?


    • gerry brownlee farting..?

      ..i’ve been told that’s been known to light up the wellington sky..

      ..maybe he used a lighter at the crucial/wrong-moment..?

    • Rosie 2.2

      Lolz 😀

      Between crunching on toast and the washing machine going off it’s nut on the spin cycle I thought I heard something on RNZ about a meteor tearing through the night skies last night.

      But your theory is waaaay better Incognito. lets stick with that.

    • greywarshark 2.3

      I think this so-called meteor was a PR trick display organised for the start of the world cricket. We should get kudos from the cricket council who will say Jiminy Cricket those NZs know how to go out and bat for their friends.

      We let off fireworks at the drop of a hat. (Look for that video of a fireworks warehouse explosion in, Holland? Spectacular for the people living nearby!) There was supposed to have been a sonic boom about 10 pm. I never heard it. The fireworks that shoot up and then let out a lot of noisy bangs make a bigger impact. Nature can’t compare.

      I personally want fireworks banned altogether. No public displays appealing to the child in us all, using up money that can’t be afforded for needed repairs and maintenance to infrastructure. (And fancy casinos where the idle rich can spend their ill-gotten gains going to other idle rich.)

      In New York there was a large explosion reported in an old paper. They have pipes that were installed in the 1800s rotting away. needing repair and replacement. That’s what you get when you live in a private enterprise society that goes for the big bang over the well-run provision of needs and services for all its citizens.

    • mac1 2.4

      Just part of the ‘rock star’ economy.

      All flash and boom, and untraceable debris.

  3. b waghorn 3

    Is all irrigation bad??
    In what I can only describe as a scripted “interview” on CH 1 this morning ,with the irrigation lady from south Canterbury making a push for talks on how to fund more dams.
    I personally am on the fence on this one but think a lot of jobs for kiwis would be made building and maintaining large water storage and reticulation.
    Also as a former resident of southern Hawks Bay a nice dam would of been a plus in a area that is devoid of places for a family outing.

    • scotty 3.1

      Of the many dams already constructed.
      Which one do you currently use for your ‘ family outings’ ?

    • vto 3.2

      “I personally am on the fence on this one but think a lot of jobs for kiwis would be made building and maintaining large water storage and reticulation.”

      my waghorn, the line of economic growth is a fallacy because once the community receiving the dam has built it and the land use intensified then the growth due to that stops. Stops. Economic growth reaches a new equilibrium and stops.

      Then the cry goes out again for more growth (growth being necessary to pay for the money system that we currently have). So more taking from the environment occurs.

      If farmers want growth then getting it by taking from the environment has a finitie ability to provide that – all the while fucking the environment.

      Therefore at some point the farmers are going to have to think outside the square for growth as the environment will not be available for that. This means the farmers have two choices right now today;

      1. They can think outside the square for growth now and leave the environment alone; or,
      2. They can carry on fucking the environment and think outside the square later.

      It is bloody simple.

      I thought farmers held themselves out as logical and practical and trying to leave the lands in a better state than when they got them.

      • b waghorn 3.2.1

        I agree on the finiteness of the growth mantra, but as the irrigation advocate pointed out this morning due to climate change we can expect more of these big drought ( and it is a drought by nz standards not Oz’s.) We may have to do some of these things to stay in the same spot production wise.

        • Jones

          Or we adapt to the change in climate and grow/produce what the new ecosystem can sustain instead of forcing unsustainable agricultural and horticultural practices on an environment that’s saying “no more”…?

          I suspect we’ve crossed the Rubicon on climate change, with the damage already done. All we can do now is seek to minimise the impact of it on our society and there’s precious little of that happening at a national level anywhere. Nevermind… nature always bats last and when the time comes we’ll reap whatever we have sown.

    • millsy 3.3

      To be honest, I would support irrigation schemes if they were publicly owned, and strict rules about their usage to stop us from from doing what happened in Uzbekistan during the 70’s…

  4. gsays 4

    hi b waghorn,
    ‘Is all irrigation bad??’
    i suppose it depends from which point of view the question is being asked.

    from the point of view of one who wants to more intensively utilize the land to increase their profit, irrigation and dams are a no brainer.

    to a fish that can no longer return to its spawning grounds, because of the dam,equally another no brainer.

    to the local companies that get business from the install of irrigation, good.

    to the creek,stream, river from which the water is taken i would suggest not good.

    to give some other context i have recently read derrick jensens endgame.

    • b waghorn 4.1

      I have no real love for the ferrat of the water ways that trout are .
      If strict rules around pollution are in place how can it be bad to move water from tekapo to South Canterbury.

      • gsays 4.1.1

        fair enough the trout coz you dont like them,
        koura, eels?

        what i am getting at is a more universal view, not a singular or solely business angle.

        • b waghorn

          Get rid of trout and koura would flourish and I believe byways can be installed for eels and the like.

      • scotty 4.1.2

        ‘If strict rules around pollution are in place how can it be bad to move water from tekapo to South Canterbury’

        But strict rules are not in place – and never will be – if the farming bloc (enabled by the National party) have any thing to do with it.

        • weka

          And the rules that are in place aren’t always inforced eg irrigation takes not being monitored so farmers can essentially take as much as they want.

          Beyond that, it won’t matter what rules are on place, because the rules are for unsustainable practices, not sustinable ones. They mitigate damage, they don’t promote systems that create ecologies instead of destroying them, so there will always be a net loss to the ecosystem over time.

          As well as the economic issue (why create temporary jobs when you could create long term ones?), let’s ask where the water for the dams comes from and how it gets there, and what happens to the water once it’s there. Then what land use the irrigation enables. Once you look at all of that, then irrigation becomes inherently problematic, not because it’s always wrong to work with water in the landscape, but because we are using irrigation to strip mine fertility and export it and that will always be ‘bad’ as you put it.

          This in no way means we can’t farm and have people make a living from it. That is possible, just not the way we are doing it now.

          • b waghorn

            I think with clever people setting up rules and ways to mitigate the damage it could be a win win ( not likely with this gov but they won’t be here for ever)
            A water charge to fund research could be levied on all water use for a start.

            • weka

              What you are suggesting is tinkering around the edges so that farmers can stay involved in industrial (i.e. unsustainable) farming, but it looks a bit better. eg regulate so that all waterways need a riparian strip (and honestly, do you think even that one thing is ever likely to happen in the current environment?). This protects the waterways more, from certain pollutants (nitrate run off, cow shit), and provides wildlife corridors and some erosion protection depending on how it is done, but it doesn’t achieve sustainability. Rivers and creeks exist in the whole valley/watershed, and if you want them to be healthy then the whole watershed needs to be looked at.

              You’re still also taking water from other places, spraying it on paddocks, planting monocrop pastures, cutting down trees and scrub, flattening land, spreading artificial fertilisers etc, all of which damage soil, reduce water in the landscape, and result in increased environmental degradation over time.

              So then you regulate water take, but there are still all those other issues, and all you’ve done is lessen the water take but it’s still too high, and spraying water on a paddock in a hot norwester in north Canterbury is about the definition of inefficiency and unsustainability.

              Oh, and there’s the huge amount of oil and electricity to make all that work, so there’s increasing CC, and increasing need for power network infrastructure, which also increases CC (plus other environmental impacts).

              If you want to do sustainable farming, then do it. It’s being done, there are plenty of successful examples here in NZ now. But the whole we can irrigate/farm industrially if we just regulate it properly fails the sustainability criteria in almost every way.

              • weka

                btw, the GP promotes policy that would support existing farmers to transition to sustainable practice. No other party is offering that.

                • b waghorn

                  Well the greens need to beat the drum a bit louder because down in farm land there seen as anti farming. This west coast guy might get some traction if he gets the nod .

                  • weka

                    Have a look at their policies, that will tell you more about what they think about farming than people who have uninformed prejudices against them (farmers will be listening to people with an anti-green agenda). Of course, the GP doesn’t support continuation of farming doing whatever the hell it likes, so when people say the GP are anti-farming what they mean is that the GP want farming to be sustainable. Fortunately, they’ve been developing policies to help farmers do that.

                    It’s worth going and hearing one of the MPs speak too.


                    • b waghorn

                      Cheers have had a quick look and have saved link to my home screen for later between that and you’re links on the drought post I’ve got a bit to chew on at work this arvo

        • b waghorn

          The nats won’t last for ever I hope.

  5. Skinny 5

    What on Earth is the Auckland City Council up to with the Port of Auckland. By secretly pushing through the reclamation of land down at the wharf. With councillor Mike Lee cut out of the vote. What sort of Banana republic is dirty Lenny running in the city of Sky’s.

    Sounds like this is just the start of major reclamation out into the harbour. Meanwhile John Key is worried about an eyesore of a cheap convention center on the back streets of the city, and is happy enough for the water front to become a larger eyesore.

    Building out into the the beautiful harbour just doesn’t make sense, when you consider the relatively closeness of the deep water port at Marsden Point, which POA 50% own. You would need the rail line North, however its just suffered savage upgrade cuts which if a major slip occured would close the line completely.

    Be very interested in what Hooton’s opinion is on the issues I’ve raised.

    • i am astonished at the apparant lack of outrage/media-silence at this..

      ..and yeah..

      ..fuck len brown..!

      ..don’t stand again..len..

      ..you will be humiliated..

      ..and will hand the city to the right..

      ..but really…could they be worse than you..?

      ..you have underwhelmed/under-performed/under-delivered..

      ..and shepherded thru rorts like this..

      ..some fucken heritage..eh..?

      ..at least banks has the dog-parks..

      ..you..?..w.t.f. have you got to show..?

      ..apart from this latest obscenity..?

      ..should we call it lens’ wharf..?

      • phillip ure 5.1.1

        what else is there..?..len..?

        ..(apart from those stains in that room in the town hall..?..eh..?..)

      • Skinny 5.1.2

        Dirty Len has indicated he will go another round as Mayor, and I hear Goff is going to throw his towel in the ring. I can see Shearer doing likewise, it will be a vote splitting threesome then, with their ego’s not allowing any of them to stand aside. A poor selection prospect indeed. Bent Banksie, Hide, Brash must all fancy their chances.

        • te reo putake

          If Len wants it another term he will get one. He’s actually quite popular, despite his failings. Goff would only run if Len wasn’t in it and Shearer … well, you’re having a laugh, arentcha?

          ps Dirty Len? I smell the stench of the sewer on your moral highground, skinny.

          • Tiger Mountain

            Yes I have long thought Len will get another term if he wants one due to;
            • appalling lack of interest and participation from most jaffa-ites in the postal ballot
            • he has straddled the left/right divide on council and knows how to work the staff backrooms and systems
            • Nat HQ finds him malleable even though they probably would prefer a full on rightie

            personally I reckon he is a low type, he could easily have sat on POA and done the honorable thing by the wharfies but it is not in his makeup.

            Minto for Mayor campaign had great ideas–slashing over $100 grand salaries, free public transport, living wage city etc. If one left candidate with some brand recognition ran on that sort of platform I might get more interested. But Goff, Brown, Pallino, Banksie doesn’t do it for me and I am into politics!

          • Skinny

            Just for you TRP will can add Pita Sharples the former sellout Maori_Tory party leader. Making it a complete choice of sewer rats.

            My morals have been far worst then Lens there are a few ladies that can testify to that. Happy with just the one partner these days 🙂

        • Northsider

          Shearer can only run if Robertson tells him. He is clueless and shallow and too vain to realise his own limitations.
          Labour workers should never ever forgive Robertson for using Shearer in the way he did: nor should they forgive Shearer for allowing himself to be used.
          We havelost half a decade of social advancement because of the antics of the Machiavellian and the Dope.

        • DoublePlusGood

          Exactly why the mayoralty should be decided by preferential voting.

    • Molly 5.2

      Joel Cayford’s blog is a worthwhile read on Auckland planning decisions, and background.

      His last post is on the different approaches of Auckland and Wellington council,
      Narcissism builds narcicity that grows.

      He attends a lot of the smaller (and often important) meetings, and has the historical knowledge to critique them well.

    • rawshark-yeshe 5.3

      @skinny … agree with all you write, but just to correct a detail please:

      What they have ‘pushed through’ is apparently ‘piles only’ and not reclamation from sea-bed, according to the story … that’s how it was done with planners only and avoided whole council. b’stards.

      the issue of new land reclamation comes next …

      • Skinny 5.3.1

        Thanks yes I know, however as you say its the next step that is the real start of building out further into the harbour. This extension is all part and pacel of the reclamation do not be fooled.

    • The Murphey 5.4

      Mike Lee stated during the POA dispute that the agenda to reclaim land was already in play

      The key players names will come as no surprise

    • going on that picture of fenton..

      ..is she doing a bruce jenner in reverse..?

      • That’s a completely unnecessary, sexist, transphobic “joke”, phil. Gross.

        • phillip ure

          why/how is it ‘gross’..?

          ..where is the slur..?

          ..(i’m pretty sure fenton wd laugh at it..wouldn’t take offence..

          .from what i’ve noticed..she seems to have a sense of humour..)

          ..are you now accusing me of being homophobic..?

          ..aren’t you taking thought-police to new extremes..?

          ..if you are offended by that..

          ..there must be a hell of a lot that offends you..

          ..and no..it’s not my best work..

          ..but there is certainly none of the intent you imply..

          ..(in the past you have accused me of being a woman-hater/anti-feminist..

          ..and now homo/transphobic…eh..?

          ..bloody hell..!

          ..and just to head you off at the pass..i was nowhere near dealy plaza on that fateful day..)

          • phillip ure

            the only (to my mind..) no-go area i go near is overweight-politicians..

            ..so the fat gerry brownlee farting-joke passes muster ok..?

            ..i mean..did you even click on the link..?

            ..the photo isn’t actually even of fenton..

            ..did you know that..?

            ..and when i hear a joke is ‘unnecessary’…

            ..my blood runs cold..

          • rawshark-yeshe

            phillip .. it is a very crappy sexist comment. why not request mods to remove it ? it seems an unusual brain fart from you this morning. you are usually a delight to enjoy and astute with it.

            and bringing in dealey plaza in yr defence ? honestly? best you stop digging the hole right now fwiw !

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            What a massive over-reaction. The fact is you’ve made a “joke” which (a) depends on tired, sexist “she looks like a man” tropes and (b) exploits the situation of a person undergoing a very public gender transition for cheap laughs.

            This is basic sexism – implying women have to look a certain way to count as “real women” – and basic transphobia – implying anyone who doesn’t fit gender stereotypes must be trans, making Bruce Jenner’s gender and appearance into the butt of a joke.

            It doesn’t matter who laughs at it or who doesn’t, the joke is gross.

            (And you don’t really seem to understand what “homophobia” is, either.)

            • phillip ure


              ..you could enter the olympics representing nz in jumping-to-conclusions..

              ..and i can’t be bothered unpacking that one..

              ..and i must have missed the apology after you accused me of being a woman-hater-anti-feminist..

              ..and i pointed out i had raised my daughter as a sole-parent (opining that fathering a daughter must make any man with a brain a feminist..)

              ..and that whoar wd be the most complete compendium/cache of international feminist-writing/articles..

              ..from the last ten yrs..that u wd find here in nz..

              cd u link me to that apology/mea culpa plse..

              • You’re seriously going to demand apologies after making the most obvious, shitty-gender-stereotype joke imaginable about a woman looking like a man?

                You boggle the mind, phil, you really do.

                • the photo is not of fenton..

                  ..i repeat…the photo is not of fenton…

                  ..therefor..the joke is not about fenton..

                  ..so how can it be..what u claim it is..?

                  ..and no..i am asking for a link to yr apology for calling me a woman-hating/anti-feminist…

                  ..this one i just view as a thought-police spike in activity..

                  ..no apology needed/expected..

                  • freedom

                    “the photo is not of fenton..

                    ..i repeat…the photo is not of fenton…

                    ..therefor..the joke is not about fenton..”

                    what then did you mean when YOU said
                    “going on that picture of fenton..” ? ? ?

              • greywarshark

                This is a nice blog phillip u. We watch our language, aim for a high standard in our speech and behave properly at all times.
                The Spectator brought its mind to the problem of improper language.

                However its RW isn’t it. A left-wing publication would be much more sympathetic to all the possible butts of someone’s facile, mistaken idea of humour and ridicule.

                (What has happened to thefreedictionary.? It used to be excellent, then it changed its format. Now it is only in encyclpaedic format. And the other dictionaries only gave one meaning of the word butt when I looked it up. Except for what I presume is google which gives a box if you put word meaning in together. It drops down to provide huge information, but free dictionary is not there.)

          • Skinny

            Phil I’m looking for the sheep of the day award so will follow the flock and admonish you also. Your a naughty boy and should know better.

            • vto

              Yes Phil is naughty and should know which parts of humanity can and cannot be laughed at around here…

              • 🙄

                It’s simple enough, vto. Don’t shit on oppressed groups and expect not to have your shittiness pointed out.

                I’m dying to hear anyone’s explanation of why “lol I can pretend I think this photo is of Darien Fenton and she looks like a man lol Bruce Jenner in reverse” isn’t a cheap shot about gender stereotypes.

                • do you want to post a list/guide..?

                  ..of subjects/topics that cannot be mined for any (accidental or otherwise) humour that might be present..

                  ..i’m picking it wd be a pretty long list..

                  ..but we’ve already established that fat-tory-politician-farting- jokes don’t offend you..eh..?

                  ..so i can keep on doing them/the brownlees..?

                  ..but funny story..!

                  ..i wd shie away from from powerless-fat-people jokes..

                  ..and i am irish/scots/welsh…

                  ..so we’ll have to excise all those comedy-genres..eh..?

                  ..given they are all/have been ‘oppressed-groups’..eh..?

                  ..so best not ‘shit’ on them..eh..?

                  ..i mean..are you listening to yrslf..?

                  • DoublePlusGood

                    You could always, you know, try for a sense of humour that doesn’t involve insulting the appearance of women.

                    • A radical notion, DoublePlusGood. But it reminded me of the final lines of Gosford Park:

                      Wiseman: You Brits have no sense of humour.
                      Elsie: We do when something’s funny, sir.

                    • Tom Jackson

                      You appear to be an extraterrestrial interloper.

                      Much of our species humour revolves around making fun of other peoples’ appearances. Like most things in human life, it can go too far, but generally it doesn’t and those among us called “grown ups” manage to deal with it just fine.

                    • @ double-plus good..

                      you will no doubt be shocked at my piss-take on parker..today/in q-time commentary..

                      ..it involved/revolved around purely his ‘appearance’

                    • “Much of our species humour revolves around making fun of other peoples’ appearances.”

                      Bullshit. The world moved on from black face and jokes about the mother in law’s arse decades ago. We’re now in a comedic era where we make jokes about people with attitudes like yours instead.

                • Skinny

                  Darien can hardly be compared to a bloke that was the joke to me, we are quite good friends and her great taste in fashion always gets a comment from me. She is doing a fantastic job for the meat workers union which is great.

                  • missing-the-point award for you..

                    ..if you know fenton..

                    ..cd u plse ask her if she is ‘offended’…

                    • weka

                      Seeing as how you didn’t make the joke to Fenton, it’s largely irrelevant whether she was offended or not, and focussing on her offense completely misses Stephanie’s points.

                    • and if accusing me of being anti-fenton..as well..

                      ..i wd note i have sympathy for fenton for having been a labour mp..

                      ..and also for the shared experiences of her also being an ex-junkie..


                      .stick it in yr pipe..!..skinny..

                • “..“lol I can pretend I think this photo is of Darien Fenton and she looks like a man..’

                  and a special twisting my words award there..

                  ..the ‘joke’..as it is..is of confusing-expectations..

                  ..it’s as simple/basic as that..

                  ..none of what you extrapolate it out to be..

                  ..and..um..!..can we do ‘gender-sterotyping’ jokes about heterosexual-males..?

                  ..or wd they be on the list too..?

                  ..it might be easier/quicker to make the list of what is allowed to be joked about..


                  ..and f.w.i.w..

                  ..in my early junkie days in auckland..

                  ..i wd have counted ‘sally’ and ’tilly’ as friends..

                  ..’sally’ and ’tilly’ were two famous ‘outrageous’ transexual junkies of the time..

                  ..i loathe racism/sexism/all of those ‘isms’..

                  ..as you were proven wrong with yr woman-hating/anti-feminism accusations..

                  ..here also you are barking up the wrong tree..

                  • anyone got any good junkie-jokes..?

                  • Skinny

                    Haven’t spoken or seen herv since before Xmas, not a great way to start new year is it. Philip, geez ya must be smoking cabbage today.
                    Na mate I don’t for one second believe you have a bad bone in your body. Besides you give me a 1 in 10 laugh, tight I know.

                • Tom Jackson

                  Have you seen Polythene Pam? Next you’ll be banning Abbey Road.

                  As someone who actually deals with transgender people on a fairly regular basis, most of them aren’t anywhere near as precious as you and other members of the foghorn class.

                  • “..the foghorn class..”


                    ..but are they an oppressed-minority..?

                    ..or an oppressor-minority..?

                    ..that ‘foghorn-class’..

                  • I post *one sentence* pointing out the issues with phil’s shabby little joke and this gets blown up – by you and others – into a grand feminist conspiracy to destroy all men’s freedom of speech.

                    But of course it’s feminists who go around looking for things to be oppressed by, right? 🙄

                    • Tom Jackson

                      This has nothing to do with the rights of women or men and everything to do with the fact that you didn’t hear the word “no” enough as a child.

                      You didn’t find Phil’s joke funny. I wasn’t in stitches myself, but I’m not so utterly po-faced and witless as to declare it a crime against humanity.

                      [Stephanie: You are perilously close to crossing the “personal attack against an author” line here. Do not comment on my childhood, do not make assumptions about my motives.]

                    • weka

                      So Stephanie is a spoilt brat and her politics are meaningless? All I can see in your comments are hyperbole, position twisting, and ad hominems (plus the bit about knowing what transgender people want). Hardly the politically astute comment of the day.

                    • David

                      Oh of course, it’s teh feminazis at work again 😛 Phil, your jokes was nowhere near funny. I’ve heard funnier sentences uttered by Key. Pull ya head in and have another cone buddy

                    • @ david..

                      ..i wd agree with tom jacksons’ rating of/on the ‘joke’..

                      “..You didn’t find Phil’s joke funny. I wasn’t in stitches myself, but I’m not so utterly po-faced and witless as to declare it a crime against humanity..”

                    • @ s.r..

                      “..by you and others – into a grand feminist conspiracy to destroy all men’s freedom of speech…”

                      in this case..that you are a female..has absolutely nothing to do with it…

                      ..it is more a gender-neutral thought-police matter..

                    • 🙄

                      That’s the second time I’ve been called the “thought police”. Over a single sentence pointing out the shittiness of your stupid joke. I think the “grand feminist conspiracy” characterisation of your reaction is spot-on.

                    • so..yr again accusing me of being anti-feminist..?..



                    • I don’t know, phil, you’re the one who makes jokes about women’s appearances and trans people, can’t stand women paying other men attention, can’t handle women disagreeing with you, and think a woman criticising your terrible joke is “thought police”. You tell me.

                    • throws hands in air..

                      ..walks away..

                      (from my feminist-cache..)


                      “…Carol Adams’s The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory is a pivotal feminist text-

                      – in which Adams calls upon her readers to see the exploitation of women – and the exploitation of animals – as part of the same system of oppression.

                      This is an analysis that is still as crucial today as it was two decades ago – when the book was originally published..”

                      ..speaking of ‘oppressed-minorities’…

                      ..and their ‘oppressers’..eh..?

                    • in this case words are not the cruelest-cut…

                      ..are they..?

                      ..the ‘cruelist-cuts’ are the animals you get someone else to torture/kill for you..

                      ..just so you can (unthinkingly) eat them..

                      ..are you blind to the ‘oppression’ inherent there/in those actions..?

                      ..are you unable to hear the cries of the animals above the sound of ‘the foghorn’..?

                      ..you preach to me about ‘oppression’..?

                      ..when you do that each/every day..

                      (now i’m getting pissed-off..so..given the power-imbalance..

                      ..i cannot still my tongue any more..

                      ..so must withdraw..)

                • tracey

                  opolice fail a woman who told them she had been sexually assaulted and by whom…

                  just like they lied and failed in roastbuster case

                  we keep being told the police have learnt…

                  and yet…


                  I am sure this has nothing to do with the turn this thread took. 😉

                  • ‘I am sure this has nothing to do with the turn this thread took’

                    how exactly..?

                    ..what dots are you attempting to join there..?

                    ..’cos i looked…and i couldn’t see any relevant dots..

                    (warning:..your answer will determine whether or not you make the shortlist for todays’ groin-stretch-award..

                    ..as it looks so far – at the very least you are up for an opportunism-certificate..)

                • vto

                  Stephanie Rodgers “Don’t shit on oppressed groups ”

                  But shit on others? Why do you limit shitting so? That is what gets me – if not part of some oppressed group then shit away… splatter those people with crap.

                  explain yourself

                  • Oppressed people are oppressed. Powerful people are powerful. You harm oppressed people with nasty jokes at their expense more than you can harm powerful people with nasty jokes at their expense. I’m not sure why this is rocket science.

                    • The lost sheep

                      By that logic it would be o.k. to make a racist joke about President Obama?

                    • weka

                      are black people oppressed? Then don’t make jokes about their ethnicity.

                      Is the president of the US oppressed? Have at it in making president jokes.

                      Want to make a racist joke about a black US president? Consider how much shit Obama has had thrown at him while he’s been president but because he is black. Consider how many obstacles there are to a person of colour in the US getting to be president. (and thus don’t make jokes).

                      I also don’t understand why this is difficult to grasp.

                    • The lost sheep

                      It is commonly accepted that Humour traditionally can step a very fine line between between commentary and offense Weka, but if we have a degree of tolerance for the risk involved in flirting with the line, that is where humour can be most valuable?
                      It allows us to explore territory that might be difficult to do so otherwise.

                      What I find difficult to understand is that some people might not understand that the line is far from clear, and so a culturally healthy sense of humour can only exist if we have some tolerance for the occasional overstepping of the mark.

                      I personally think some of you are a little intolerant at times….and a good example of the result would be the conversation you had with that very erudite and thoughtful poster Red Logix a while ago, that was very similar to the one above.

                      I don’t think RL has been back since then? Can’t re-offend if he is not here i guess.

                    • Skinny

                      Yeah my mother taught me stick & stones when I got teased for being skinny at school. I’ve never taken a backwards step since. I know what you mean though.

                      I went on holiday to Aussie once and vowed to never return after having to suffer very racist and sexist conduct. Actually I gave the offending Aussie males a far bit of stick talking derogatory of females in front of females. They turned on me like a pack of dogs calling me all sorts of names that I won’t repeat.

                      Kind of hopeful Miss Rodgers umm that you would put a nom in for me to receive the Trish Bartlett gold medallion for taking one for the sisters award.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It isn’t rocket science.

                      All jokes are nasty to someone in some way. That doesn’t mean it’s cool to join in: pick your targets. The Right certainly will.

                    • weka

                      @ the lost sheep,

                      For me it’s not about offense. It’s about politics and understanding power. I wasn’t offended by what phil said (I thought it was stupid). But I understand what Stephanie is talking about, that ridiculing people who are already hugely undermined because of the class they belong to makes them more vulnerable.

                      As for Red, yes he has been here since our fight and now he’s not. I don’t know why, but I know it’s not unusual for him to take breaks from ts for periods of time. The fight he and I had was dissimilar to this in that he used a sexist slur to teach me a lesson, intentionally give me a slap down, and IMO it was personal. It wasn’t a joke, it was serious (Red acknowledged this).

                      Phil made a stupid joke about someone not here, and it wasn’t even really about her, it was just about trying to get a laugh at the expense of women who look like men and transgender people. The two situations aren’t the same in any meaningful way apart from they both involved sexism (and possibly they both involved a ts author with moderating powers, but you’d have to take that up with them not me).

                      “What I find difficult to understand is that some people might not understand that the line is far from clear, and so a culturally healthy sense of humour can only exist if we have some tolerance for the occasional overstepping of the mark.”

                      This is a left wing political discussion space. Of course racist, sexist, transphobic etc jokes are going to get called out. Had it happened down the pub, I might have said something, in a lighter way that made the problem with the joke visible but didn’t start a long debate about it. But we’re not down the pub, we’re on ts and this is what we do.

                      As for the line, if you mean that some people misjudge what is appropriate, then I agree. But look at how many people think that phil got it wrong and look at phil’s response. He thinks he’s on the right side of the line and is defending that position, so what’s wrong with challenging him on that?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A racist joke and The National Party walk into a bar. The barman says “you all look the same to me”.

                      PS: and what Weka said: I’m constantly goaded by witless male petals: the uber-sensitivity of privilege. Look at the kerfuffle at Stephanie’s remarks: she’s a moderator. You speak to Lprent that way around here? Come and see the privilege inherent in the system.

                    • @ weka..

                      “..it was just about trying to get a laugh at the expense of women who look like men and transgender people..”

                      that is an outright-lie..

                      ..the photo-claim cd have been made of anyone..

                      ..and the (albeit weak) joke wd still stand..

                      ..it is the gender-surprise..not the physical-appearance of fenton or anyone..

                      ..it is the expectation of one thing..and then something different being there…

                      ..that was the ‘joke’..

                      ..it was not a manifestation of my trans-phobia…

                      ..the only people i don’t like..am ‘phobic’ about..

                      ..are fucken idiots..

                      ..does the cap fit..?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      PS: and here’s another thing, Tom Jackson, you’re always one to talk about how you can know the Right by their accusations. Take a good look in the mirror. No, and I do mean no.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Personally I reckon the best rule is to err well on the side of tolerance. Je suis Charlie and all that.

                      I squirm enough at the idea of someone (Who?) setting themselves up as the moral arbiter of where the line of offense shall be drawn, but doesn’t it all get so much more fraught when we start splitting hairs on who is fair game for what degree of humorous offense?

                      So Obama is the most powerful man in the world but he is black. Andrea Merkel is a Woman. Elton John is gay. Brian Tamaki is Maori. Who can we throw shit at without implying offense to someone……if we have our sensitivity turned up high enough?

                      I know what, lets just have two rules?
                      It’s a jab you would take at anyone regardless of their situation, or you would not take the jab.
                      And any jab you were willing to swing, you would be willing to receive?

                    • vto

                      Stephanie Rodgers: “You harm oppressed people with nasty jokes at their expense more than you can harm powerful people with nasty jokes at their expense. ”

                      Oh really? I call bullshit on that. Complete bullshit. How often do you see people hurt by jokes at their expense? Why does their identity matter? At a personal level it doesn’t. Not one little bit. In fact not at any level.

                      But thanks Stephanie, you have confirmed what I have long seen around here. Namely that it is ok to make jokes at the expense of certain types of people but not others.

                      You shouldn’t make fun of anyone if it is hurtful.

                      This is basic human manners. Imo you have failed some basic understandings. Poor showing.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes, Sheep, it’s a jab. An attack.

                      Let’s attack the weak, eh. After all, they’re just sitting there. And we’re strong. Let’s make up jokes that celebrate strength, to show how strong we are.


                    • The lost sheep

                      No OAB.

                      If you read carefully, you would have discerned that I was advocating for not attacking anybody, unless it was on terms you were comfortable to be attacked yourself.

                      And your use of the abusive and nonsensical term ‘wanker’ as a substitute for what you would like to be taken as an ‘argument’ just makes me laugh.

                      Oh. I’m being too serious. You were intending to make me laugh!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I was advocating for not attacking anybody, unless it was on terms you were comfortable to be attacked yourself.

                      Yeah, that’s why I called attention to your masturbation: it’s all about you.

                    • How often do you see people hurt by jokes at their expense?

                      Jokes reinforce stereotypes which lead to measurable, concrete harm against people. Rape jokes, for example, make rapists think everyone agrees that their violence is okay.

                      And jokes about women’s appearance – when women are still systemically discriminated against, often with their appearance used as a weapon against them (she was hot so he couldn’t help attacking her, she didn’t wear enough makeup so I had to fire her) – reinforce sexist attitudes against women. Jokes about trans people’s gender identity reinforces the dehumanizing treatment many trans people face which leads to massively increased rates of murder of trans people, suicide, and self-harm.

                      So I call “bullshit” on your little temper tantrum, vto.

                    • vto

                      Well as oab says above in hisher typical white middle class male-hating fashion, you poor precious uber-sensitive petal

                      You mis-read the line of mine you have quoted. The true meaning being that everyone, no matter their identity, is worthy of the same standards of decency and manners when it comes to humour, whereas you split people out for different treatment depending on their race, gender and the like

                      here endeth, as the points I made have skimmed over your head unaddressed.

                      edit: and your “temper tantrum” call is funny given it was your own kneejerks which kicked off this mini-thread.

                  • greywarshark

                    World War 3 is about to start. Oh sorry almost all of you are having an argument about whether someone should not have made some passing remark about someone’s silhouette that appeared to be someone that a number of people know and who has never dealt with the public before so would be totally devastated to find that someone actually said something that might have been about her. The whole of Open Mike has been dominated by this conflagration. Pointless and unworthy of intelligent adults.

                    I saw a video of a young man the other day who does need protecting. He is a blind savant who has an extremely advanced sense of tone and can play the piano amazingly, and seems so vulnerable I hope that he can be helped to live his life to the full and yet be watched over and protected at all times. He does need to have wrap-around protection as he goes about his affairs. The rest of us, male or female, are a bit more robust. Can we stop all this female victim stuff. The feminists of the 1970s have already achieved much in treatment of females as equals and the improvement is measurable.

      • Murray Rawshark 6.1.2

        That’s a pretty fucked thing to say. Some people learn from their mistakes. Some are better at digging holes than Gina Reinhardt. We get to choose which we are.

      • JanMeyer 6.1.3

        If it bends, it’s funny …. if it breaks, it’s not funny …

    • Chooky 6.2

      whoever that is they look quite sexy…in a countryish sort of way….i can imagine them chasing cows

  6. freedom 7

    Like most of us, I am not an expert in international law so can anyone answer this question.

    If Iraq needs help from the international community in its fight against ISIS, why has it not made a formal request to the UN for military assistance?

    • Iraq doesn’t have to go via the UN. However, a UN mandate is seen as a moral authorisation for multi state action. To use another example, in Africa, several countries have got military support from their neigbours when fighting various rebellions without going to the UN.

      • freedom 7.1.1

        But we’re not talking about neighbours helping fight a scrub fire are we?
        -and I am not meaning to trivialize the very serious nature of the less well known conflicts around the world, but few of those have the potentiality of real global escalation.

        ” a UN mandate is seen as a moral authorisation for multi state action”
        That is how I see it, and not to do so simply raises questions as to why they won’t.

        When your coalition reads as a UN list anyway not having put a request to the UN just exasperates the suspicions of duplicity surrounding the actual reasons for escalation of the war.
        http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/11/12/who-has-contributed-what-in-the-coalition-against-the-islamic-state/ ( hyperlink get breaking 🙁 )

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.2

      If Iraq needs help from the international community in its fight against ISIS, why has it not made a formal request to the UN for military assistance?

      Because it is embarrassed that it can’t handle fewer than 10,000 largely informally trained ISIS fighters by itself, and it would be an admission that the northern areas of Iraq have effectively chosen to succeed from Baghdad.

  7. philj 8

    Great idea Skinny. Change the National flag and rename Auckland to SKY City! Brilliant. 😉

    • Skinny 8.1

      If the SkyCity convention center goes ahead in effect that is exactly what Auckland will become known as, from a tourists point of view at least.

      I see the problem gambling watch dog has issued SkyCity a improvement notice after a undercover sting revealed they failed miserably in helping the plant who was showing classic signs that she had gambling/addiction problem. I hear the assistance provided was leading the hapless punter to an ATM to ensure all accounts were cleaned out.

      Seriously conducting a few filmed undercover hatchet jobs on SkyCity is a fantastic idea as part of an overall campaign to close these blood sucking leaches out of New Zealand completly.

    • Philip Ferguson 8.2

      I’ve often thought that all these sports teams that have company logos on should be called by the company name, rather than their own. So sports commentary would be like, “AIG have just scored” and so on.

      It would be honest and transparent.


      • And society always loses.
        The social costs of gambling include:
        * crime,
        * business and employment costs,
        * bankruptcy,
        * suicide / illness related to pathological gambling,
        * social service costs,
        * direct regulatory costs,
        * family costs,
        * improperly obtained money (not reported as theft).

  8. Philip Ferguson 9

    “Why, then, have we come to imagine that we are living in particularly plural societies, in which our cultural identities are all-important? The answer lies in a complex set of social, political and economic changes over the past half century, changes that include the narrowing of the political sphere, the collapse of the left, the demise of class politics, the erosion of more universalist visions of social change. Many of these changes helped pave the way for multicultural policies. At the same time, the implementation of such policies helped create a more fragmented society. Or, to put it another way, multicultural policies have helped create the very problems they were meant to have resolved. I want to demonstrate this through two examples. The first is a riot in Britain, of which you may not have heard, the second a cartoon crisis in Denmark, about which everyone has heard. . .”

    From Kenan Malik presentation,
    full at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/whats-wrong-with-multi-culturalism/

  9. KJS0net 10

    So Obama has now officially requested authorization from Congress for the use of force against ISIS. And the forever war continues.

    He’s just playing into the hands of the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us of, the same complex that demands constant war to fill it’s coffers and make influential people’s careers.

    He’s also playing straight into the hands of ISIS, who’s popularity is starting to flag. Nothing will help ISIS’ s propaganda and recruiting more than a non Muslim army on Muslim soil.

    Obama is a complete sellout, and has continued the horrendous foreign policy kicked off by Bush.

    True conservatives and liberals alike should agree on this, the Middle East is too fucked up to go about having wars and nation building, you do so and you put everyone’s security at risk in the name of protecting it. No, if you want to destroy ISIS, which the West created by the way via their handling of matters in Iraq, get the Muslim countries to unite against them and fight their own bloody battles.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      And in Eisenhower’s original speech he had wanted to say military-industrial-congressional complex.

      Today it is the military-industrial-intelligence-congressional complex.

      It’s big $$$.

  10. “..Four of the Major Fear Campaigns That Helped Create America’s Insane War on Drugs..

    ..The techniques of fear and manipulation are nothing new.

    Here’s how they’ve been applied with great success in crafting our harsh drug policies..”



  11. The Murphey 12


    Q. Who believes there are ‘big’ industry’s that don’t lobby overtly or covertly ?

    Q. Which industry do you believe to be ‘clean’ ?

    Q. Why ?

    • aerobubble 12.1

      So a country that most of their drinking water comes from is sue by a gold company for stopping them from mining, and claim future profits as damages. Not consider all the damage from waste pollution and distruption to the dwn river population, safe guards to water the state must install extra.

      So i want to know if ngos can use the same trade agreements to sue for their losses when an govt allows an oil company to kill off rivers, hectors dolphins, or whatever, for the future potential profits lost because of the activities allowed.

      I want to know why investors cant sue govt for the lost profits from a likely
      housing collapse because it has not built enough homes and housing nz homes,
      foreign property developers are losing by payig more for housing and will
      lose when finally govt bursts the housing market by building them finally,

      I think govt sucks, so what anal rententive cheers on the ability to sue govt, well the
      act leader, sole mp, leader of none, of course. What person supports a policy of holding govt to account when they dont believe in any govt, and hat govt is crap and liable to payout big when sued.

  12. greywarshark 13

    Here is a good link for getting clever quotes. Keep a copy of this and have it handy when the opinions here appear to be approaching critical mass and you need to think along someone else’s wavelength.

  13. Morrissey 14

    British Foreign Minister Hammond savages Israeli ‘murder’ of ‘thousands of innocent civilians’

    Commenting on Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks today, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

    “Netanyahu is deluded or lying when he says his military are not murdering hundreds of innocent civilians with the use of US-UK supplied weaponry. His regime has waged a brutal campaign against the Palestinian people, using crude and indiscriminate weapons and prevented access to life-saving humanitarian assistance. …. Netanyahu’s forces have systematically murdered, tortured, raped and imprisoned Palestinians. There can be no doubt that he is the problem, not part of the solution. The UK’s position has now fundamentally changed, we will have no more political, ideological and economic support and cooperation with Benjamin Netanyahu; there must be a political transition to a future in which State terror and Apartheid has no part.”



    • ianmac 14.1

      Crikey Morrissey! Seems so unlike a politician to let strip like that. Good man then?

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        As anyone who observed Phillip Hammond during his recent visit to this country, he is the very antithesis of a good man.

      • tracey 14.1.2

        i thought a major step forward had been taken… am sorry it was not.

    • freedom 14.2

      From your first link it is clear they are comments about Assad not Netanyahu. The quote has obviously been rewritten for unknown purposes by the people who posted your second link.
      If one had to choose which of the two quotes were legitimate, I would go with the quote stating the comments are against Assad seeing as a link supplied in the second link goes back to the first link where the comments clearly state they are about Assad.

      “FCO: Foreign Secretary condemns Assad’s comments on barrel bombs and calls for political transition in Syria.
      FCO press release

      Commenting on Bashar Al Assad’s remarks today, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
      Assad is deluded or lying when he says his military are not murdering hundreds of innocent civilians with the use of barrel bombs. His regime has waged a brutal campaign against the Syrian people, using crude and indiscriminate weapons and prevented access to life-saving humanitarian assistance.

      “Assad’s forces have systematically murdered, tortured, raped and imprisoned Syrians. There can be no doubt that he is the problem, not part of the solution. The UK’s position has not changed, we have no dialogue with Assad; there must be a political transition to a future in which Assad has no part.”

      P.S. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-condemns-deluded-assad

      • Morrissey 14.2.1

        From your first link it is clear they are comments about Assad not Netanyahu.

        Well spotted, my friend.

        The quote has obviously been rewritten for unknown purposes by the people who posted your second link.

        For “unknown purposes”? The purpose of the exercise is perfectly clear: to show what a British minister would say, if he were anything other than a sanctimonious, inconsistent, murderous creep.

        • freedom

          Morrisey, are you saying you altered the text and set up the fake second link in order to deceive the readers here, so as to make a point about the sorry state of international politics when addressing the problems of the Middle East?

          • Morrissey

            I simply reprinted something from the excellent Media Lens site.

            Unless one were utterly bewildered, one would be aware that neither I nor the poster on Media Lens was trying to deceive anyone; we were simply highlighting the murderous hypocrisy of the British government.

            I provided links to the spoof AND the disgusting original. How is that deceptive?

            • freedom

              This may not help but what the hell
              “deceive” was a tad strong Morrisey. Apologies for that. What would you use in that context?

              However, if you were not familiar with Media Lens and read the homepage to familiarize yourself with its nature

              Welcome to the Media Lens Message Board. This is an edited forum providing up-to-date information and resources in support of Media Lens Media Alerts and other activism. Our aim is to provide media activists with free and easy access to high quality information, articles, links and other resources.

              you might be forgiven for not immediately noticing, or indeed be on the lookout for, satirical content.

              If it makes you feel better to think of people as bewildered when they fail to immediately unravel the intention behind a post which presents itself exactly like your more serious posts, then not much I can do about that… but be alert. And as we know the world needs more lerts.

              Not sure I would say ianmac is easily fooled though, he obviously took it as a real quote. Or do we assume everyone is communicating in a permanent state of unassigned sarcasm these days and no one makes straightforward comments any more? Although that would be some comfort if true, at least it would help us all understand the actions of governments the world over. 🙂 Peace be with you.

              • swordfish

                At the risk of sounding like an outrageous smart-arse (but then again, what’s new ?), I’d have to say that the chances of any British Foreign Secretary taking that sort of honest and moral stand – and, in the process, implicitly rebuking the US administration – are somewhere close to well below zero.

                I thought it was pretty obvious right from the start that Morrissey was posting a satire/spoof with a clear moral message.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  It was reasonably clear to me as well. My arse is fattish, but hardly smart.

                  The double standards are obvious when put this way.

                • greywarshark

                  @ swordfish
                  I read the statement that Morrissey reproduced and thought OMG something has happened to turn the Brits around. For a moment I had hope. I unfortunately am not tolerant of BS that is possible to misunderstand. I want to be able to be naive and trusting like a child occasionally, and spoofs should be labelled clearly at the bottom.

                  I suppose it is impossible for clever smart-arses to comprehend what I am talking about. Everyone must be all-knowing and cynical and see through everything as a con. The sort of people who would do this would tell three-year olds that there is no Father Christmas, it is all done by a hospitality agency who buy the presents also.

                  Trust is the glue that holds us together, and it must be preserved by people who we believe to be on our side, or else they fall into that unpleasant group of spies like the French Intelligence on Rainbow Warrior duty. UOr undercover spies which are, hopefully rare. I already hardly believe anybody at face value these days. So be careful what you do that will pervert and dilute so-called facts or we may decide to rely on nobody and believe nothing.

        • freedom

          I seem to have misplaced my sense of humour today 🙂

          will go on a snark hunt and see if it can be located – sorry Morrisey

          • Morrissey

            I seem to have misplaced my sense of humour today

            will go on a snark hunt and see if it can be located – sorry Morrisey

            Not at all, my good man. If it’s any consolation, I myself was bewildered for a few seconds when I saw that headline on the Media Lens site.

            And then reality intervened.

    • Jones 14.3

      Ah! I see what you did there… thought it was too good to be true: a western politician finally denouncing Israel’s genocidal campaign against the Palestinians.

      • Morrissey 14.3.1

        Many Western politicians have indeed denounced Israel’s crimes. Here are half a dozen of the outstanding ones….

        Tony Benn

        Gerald Kaufman

        George Galloway

        Sir Alan Duncan

        Clare Daly

        Dov Khenin

  14. questiontime looks like it will be a snooze-fest..

    ..wall to wall patsy-questions..

    ..this one being the only one of much/any interest..

    “..Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Police: On how many occasions, if any, has he alerted the Prime Minister or his Office to a matter of significant public interest which he has been briefed on by his officials since his appointment?..”

    • ScottGN 15.1

      Labour and the Greens each have question on the SkyCity Convention Centre debacle and Denise Roche’s is directed to Stephen Joyce. Any time he has to stand up and try and explain away his total incompetence in negotiating the deal has got to be a good thing right?

      • phillip ure 15.1.1

        as it turns out..not really…



        ‘….(parker is having a bad-hair day..his comb-over has lost all/any coherence…)..’

        • Skinny

          Don’t be too hard on Percy Parker, we all have a bad day don’t we Phil lol. I like Parker he has good intentions knowing our future young will be lumbered with Nationals incurred debt. At least he was open to my idea of primary election contests amongst the opposition party’s, actually going further and mooting they get a relatively unopposed run at some electorate seats.

          I like that earlier on pre politics he successfully ran an indi movie theatre down south.
          I know him well enough to have a beer and chat together and he does call me and answer my texts, which is more than I can say for many other labour MP’s.

          • phillip ure

            he was also the most insistant that labour ’14 offered nothing to the poorest…

            ..that..with his previous neo-liberal record/history..

            ..give me a more jaundiced view of the man..

            ..tho’ he can be quite effective in questiontime..


  15. freedom 16

    Would you like a glaring example of the manipulation of information taking place in the world today. No matter who you believe, no matter what you think you know, this is an indisputable WTF moment.

    Q: How can a child reported to have been killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, be killed in Pakistan in December 2014?

    Photo manipulation of a still image is one thing and and fakery is often used in those instances, as is alteration of text, as I highlighted on Morrisey’s post above, but the video segments in the following two links are where the question of what is and is not real, gets very interesting indeed.


    Here is Noah’s facebook tribute if you still doubt they are the same child.

    I know officer, move along, move along, nothing to see here 😉

    • Morrissey 16.1

      Photo manipulation of a still image is one thing and and fakery is often used in those instances, as is alteration of text, as I highlighted on Morrisey’s post above…

      The example I posted is obviously to highlight the calumny of a particularly loathsome hypocrite; it was not “fakery” in the way you seem to mean.

      • freedom 16.1.1

        “as is alteration of text” was in reference to your post Morrisey. Perhaps i should have bracketed the reference to your post to ensure clarity. The fakery comment was [clearly] regarding the aforementioned photographic manipulation.

  16. Morrissey 17

    The Shame of US Journalism is the Destruction of Iraq, Not Fake Helicopter Stories
    by CHRISTIAN CHRISTENSEN, Common Dreams, 5 February 2015

    The news that NBC’s Brian Williams was not, in fact, on a helicopter in 2003 that came under fire from an Iraqi Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) should come as a surprise to noone. Williams had repeated the lie on several occasions over the course of a decade until a veteran, who was on the actual helicopter that was attacked, had enough of Williams’ war porn and called the TV host out on Facebook. In a quite pathetic effort to cover his tracks, the anchor—who makes in excess of $10 million per year— claimed that his fairy tale was, in fact, “a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women” who had served in Iraq. Twelve years, it seems, is enough time for Williams to confuse being on a helicopter that came under fire from an RPG with being on a helicopter that did not.

    Given that Williams works for NBC, his participation in the construction of a piece of fiction during the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is apt. US network news, together with outlets such as CNN, aggressively cheer-led an invasion predicated on a massive falsehood: the Iraqi possession of WMD. What is jarring, however, is the fact that Williams’ sad attempt to inject himself into the fabric of the violence is getting more ink and airplay than the non-existence of WMD did back in the early-to-mid 2000s: a lie that provided the justification for a military action that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

    From embedded journalists to ultra-militaristic news logos and music, U.S. television news media were more than willing to throw gas on the invasion fire. “Experts” in the studio were invariably ex-generals looking to pad their pensions, while anti-war activists (who spoke for sizable portions of the US and UK populations back in 2003) were avoided like the plague. …..

    Read more….

  17. especially heavy-duty monarch-butterfly action today..

    ..they are swarming outside my window..

    ..must be something to do with the swan-plant trees..

  18. Penny Bright 19

    Hopefully – this (and other significant developments upon which I shall report shortly), will help to STOP the proposed Wellington ‘Supercity’ (for the 1%).

    After ‘cold-calling’ the Local Government Commission yesterday (I’m currently in Wellington), to find out what had happened to my ‘Open Letter’ / OIA request to the Local Government Commissioners, today I received this formal acknowledgment and update from Donald Riezboz, now ‘Principal Advisor’ to the Local Government Commission:

    Dear Penny Bright

    This is to acknowledge your e-mail below requesting information from the Local Government Commission.

    The Commission is not subject to the Official Information Act. It does, however, endeavour to provide information in the spirit of the OIA. We will provide a substantive reply in due course.


    Donald Riezebos | Principal Advisor

    Local Government Commission Mana Kawanatanga a Rohe
    Level 10, 46 Waring Taylor Street | PO Box 5362, Wellington 6145 | http://www.lgc.govt.nz

    You can read a copy of the my above-mentioned ‘Open Letter’ / OIA request here:


    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

  19. aerobubble 20

    Noise. Since its the obligation of local noise officers to investogate the source of noise, and the fact that microphones, amps, speakers can be brought and left on, ready for noise offenders to start up, so pick up, amp, and then direct noise back to offenders.causing noise to be well over the allowed limit, and noise officers cannot remove equipment that is not the source, and i have every right to have feedback on bird and other natural noise that wil not get amplified to excesive limits.

    So why cant the newly founded anti social noise charity, than lends out nature amplify equipment to select homes nearby noise polluters send me the equpiment damnit.

  20. Northsider 21

    Payday Loans are a scourge of the poor.
    It is a very profitable business: even more profitable than those Shop at Home operators in trucks who “sell” cheap stuf on rip-off credit. Shame that Labour never addressed this when in power.

    A number of churches have come together with community organisations and credit unions to take on the rip-off merchants in England and Scotland..

    An idea well worth considering here.

  21. Penny Bright 22

    In case you missed this yesterday folks – FYI


    Auckland Council in court over rates stoush
    Last updated 16:16 11/02/2015

    Auckland Council has asked the Auckland District Court to “strike out” evidence alleging past rates invoices did not comply with the law.

    The application has is part of the legal jousting in the fight by Auckland Council to get transparency activist Penny Bright to pay over $30,000 in unpaid rates and rates penalties.

    Bright refuses to pay, and is arguing the council’s rates invoices did not comply with the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, and are therefore unenforceable.

    In October last year Bright’s case was adjourned to allow her to prepare a file of evidence so the court could consider those allegations.

    Bright handed that to the court in late December, and the council has now filed its response, and instead of seeking to rebuff Bright’s allegations, it has asked the court to strike the evidence out.

    The council told the court in its application: “The newly raised matters relate to the validity of the rates the Auckland Council said she (Bright) owed, based on alleged errors in Council resolutions and statutorily required documents referred to in the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002…”

    But, it said, that evidence should not be heard as part of Bright’s case.

    It said Section 60 of the Local Government (Rating) Act says a person can’t refuse to pay their rates on the ground that they are invalid.

    Section 60 does give people the right to go to the High Court to challenge the validity of the rates, but it said: “For the purposes of this submission, the key point is that arguments as to that invalidity of any rate could not prevent recovery, but such arguments could be raised in a separate action…”

    It quoted the 1881 case of Hendrey v Hutt County Council in support of its case.

    If rates were invalid, there were mechanisms available to councils to set rates again, and provide for the replacement of invalid rates, the council said in its submission to the court.

    Bright said Auckland Council had not answered her evidence that the council’s rates were invalidly set, which she had been asked by the court to provide, and all of Auckland should “raise a howl of protest”.

    Bright noted that the council had been late in its submission, and she had agreed to give it a five-day extension of the deadline for getting its submission in.

    The council had told the court that had run behind schedule as its lawyers were too busy working on the defamation case Bright is taking against council chief executive Stephen Town.

    Bright said that making defamatory comments about her was not part of Town’s duties as chief executive, and that he should pay the costs and any award out of his own money.

    The council would make no comment on either case.

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright


  22. Tautoko Mangō Mata 23

    In RNZ news today
    “Four years after a petition was tabled in Parliament calling for more transparency around the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement the Council of Trade Unions has appeared before a parliamentary select committee to discuss it.
    But delegates were told by the Foreign Affairs and Trade select committee chair Mark Mitchell there had been plenty of public consultation about the trade negotiation.”

    Have I been asleep for the last 4 years? I can’t recall all this public consultation!

    “European Ombudsman launches public consultation in relation to the transparency of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. (TTIP is a parallel to the TPPA but with the EU.)

    “On 29 July 2014, the European Ombudsman opened an own-initiative inquiry towards the European Commission concerning transparency and public participation in relation to the TTIP negotiations (OI/10/2014/RA). The present public consultation concerns that inquiry[1].
    The outcome of the TTIP negotiations could have a significant impact on the lives of citizens. The aim of the Ombudsman’s inquiry is to help ensure that the public can follow the progress of these talks and contribute to shaping their outcome.”

    Is this a sudden ruse on the part of the Govt to give the appearance of having consulted after the EU Ombudsman took action?

    To be truly consulted as a public, we need to see the text BEFORE it is signed so that we can “follow the progress of these talks and contribute to shaping their outcome.”
    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?

  23. AsleepWhileWalking 24

    PLEASE LISTEN – Prof Emitrus of Russian History, New York University Stephen F Cohen talks about Obama’s recent provocation of Putin that is likely to lead to outright war.


  24. for those who may be interested

    Baby boy born wed morning, vbac, no drugs, all well – I’m a happy daddy and so amazed by the birthing process and the power of women.

    • rawshark-yeshe 25.1

      congratulations marty mars and new mum mars and welcome healthy baby mars !

    • joe90 25.2


      (news about the arrival of a brand new person always makes me happy)

    • freedom 25.3

      congratulations marty mars –
      here’s a little ditty i adapted just yesterday for someone
      who recently started on the same big adventure

      (put Fresh Prince of Bel Air in the earworm slot)

      Now, this is the story all about how
      Your life got flipped-flopped upside down
      And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
      I’ll share a little ditty about the joy and the fear

      In each little step that the little ‘un takes
      It’s heart in the mouth hoping he’s got brakes
      On the playground is where you mainly feel the craze
      Spinning things swinging ringing try to look cool
      checking every second if he plays in the pool

      When a couple of times the balance seemed no good
      You wanna rush right over then you doubt you should
      He has to find his own way as he stumbles along
      But know that when he needs it that your arms will be strong

      You sing a little ditty if the mood is glum
      Soon enough he’s sleeping long before you’re done
      You still sit watching for another hour
      Even though you’re never left alone in the shower

      Pulling up the covers at the end of the day
      Adventures and disasters and the things they say
      You look across the duvet at your smiling friend
      Knowing that the wonder of it all never ends

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 25.4

      Congratulations. Baby Mars has a father who will be a good role model for him/her.

    • my ‘baby boy’ is now 20..

      ..and raising him was one of the best things i have done in this worthless-life..

      ..make the most of it…it goes real fast..

      ..all the best to all of you..

      • marty mars 25.5.1

        thanks phil – don’t use that ‘worthless life’ line again mate – I admire what you’ve done and everyone can have a bad day – kia kaha!

    • vto 25.6

      Good for you and your whanau mm. Don’t you already have some children I seem to recall??

      The planet certainly moves on its axis when these events occur and I’m sure on Mars too.

    • weka 25.7

      Congratulations marty, well done and best wishes to all 🙂

  25. media heads-up..

    ..there is a cool doco on muhammad ali on maori tv @ 8.30..

  26. greywarshark 27

    This is an account from a Canadian scientist and teacher Andrew Robinson about the low value Ontario state puts on its educators and researchers. The system is screwed in the same way that ours will be. The link is to one of the various posts he has made on the continuing story of trying to get a fair deal for himself at the university, bearing in mind that others are in the same position.
    View at Medium.com
    He says:
    If the province forced them to pay contract teaching staff an equitable wage, they would have to adjust their current financial models, but it would not be the apocalyptic, “sky falling on our head” situation which is always invoked.

    The universities are actually addicted to cheap contract instruction. They can’t get enough of it, and crave more. And of course, like most addicts, they are in denial that there is a problem. The sensible thing would be rehabilitation. This will almost certainly require an outside intervention.

    A junior professor doing a set amount of work – would cost the University $32,000.
    If the University pays a contract instructor like me to teach them, then it costs them only $20,100. You can see why they just love contract instructors, so cheap, so easy to get rid of, no permanent commitment required from them.

    This is where getting the much vaunted higher education gets you when neo libs get claws into your country.

  27. joe90 28

    The sharing economy.

    Here is the future: nobody gets any job security. Nobody gets a fair wage while they have a job. Nobody gets a retirement fund or even any guarantee they’ll be able to eat tomorrow. And almost everyone is doing everything they can just to get by—and paying some substantial portion of their earnings to a pimp or “platform” which controls the business they are in. And ain’t life a grand adventure? Isn’t it all so fun?

    Welcome to the Sharing Economy.

    This is the model of the new economy, where anyone with a car ought to be a Lyft contractor (your fare pays what he or she thinks is right but the company is tweeting out “we’ve slashed prices 20 percent”) and anyone with a house or apartment is renting it out on Air BnB and crashing at their boyfriend’s parents’ place.


    How would you like to live in an economy where robots do everything that can be predictably programmed in advance, and almost all profits go to the robots’ owners?

    Meanwhile, human beings do the work that’s unpredictable — odd jobs, on-call projects, fetching and fixing, driving and delivering, tiny tasks needed at any and all hours — and patch together barely enough to live on.

    Brace yourself. This is the economy we’re now barreling toward.

    They’re Uber drivers, Instacart shoppers and Airbnb hosts. They include TaskRabbit jobbers, UpCounsel’s on-demand attorneys and HealthTap’s online doctors. And they’re Mechanical Turks.


    • greywarshark 28.1

      Thanks so much joe 90 for giving that bloody awful information. I just need a strong dose of bitter medicine. You have to suffer before you can get better they say.
      This is the stuff we need to know, and I don’t want to know, and don’t want to know that most people don’t even know the information is there and they need to know.

      I’m beginning to think that Donald Rumsfeld was the seer of our century!
      “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
      We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

      Also some completely gratuitous trivia (as is all of this but hey enjoy anyway):
      “Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.”

      “I believe what I said yesterday. I don’t know what I said, but I know what I think, and, well, I assume it’s what I said.”

  28. Rodel 29

    TPPA -Chomsky quote from

    “There is a Trans-Pacific Partnership, so-called, a huge commercial treaty, designed to incorporate the Asian countries, not China, but the other Asian countries, crucially not China,”

  29. Rodel 30

    Sorry meant to say – about the TTPA- Chomsky quote from …Chooky’s link :
    http://rt.com/news/203055-us-russia-war-chomsky/ – a wide ranging interview covering ISIS to Ukraine.

    “There is a Trans-Pacific Partnership, so-called, a huge commercial treaty, designed to incorporate the Asian countries, not China, but the other Asian countries, crucially not China,”

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  • One way to solve the housing crisis
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
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  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
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  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
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  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
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  • All aboard the Covid Train
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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
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  • We are all socialists now
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    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
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  • Enlightenment when?
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  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
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  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    3 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago