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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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    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 hour ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    6 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    7 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
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    6 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
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    7 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
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    7 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
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    7 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
    The Government is supporting schools to cut down their energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts, with a quarter of all schools having their lights replaced with LEDs, a sustainability contestable fund and a plan to improve the environmental sustainability of all schools in the future. Education Minister Chris Hipkins and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
    Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis heads to China on Friday to lead the New Zealand Government presence at the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism closing ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Canton Tower in Guangzhou on Sunday 10 November. “The Year of Tourism has been mutually beneficial for both New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Climate change research boost
    Should we plan for drought or deluge and how is CO2 released from the ocean’s floor? Several climate change projects were given a boost in the latest Marsden Fund investment of $83.6 million, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods said today. “Climate change is long-term challenge that requires out-of-the-box ...
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    1 week ago
  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    Leaders of 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have announced the completion of negotiation on the text as well as agreement on virtually all market access issues between 15 countries. The leaders said they will work with India to resolve its outstanding concerns in a way that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare says World Tsunami Awareness Day today (5 November) is a chance for all New Zealanders to learn more about the tsunami risk in our regions and the right actions to take to stay safe. “All of New Zealand’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
    New Zealand’s more than 1000 paramedics are to have their role as key frontline health professionals formally recognised and regulated in the same way as doctors and nurses, Health Minister David Clark says. The Government has agreed to regulate paramedics under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. “Paramedic leaders ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
    Changes to insolvency law announced by the Government today will include requirements to honour up to 50 per cent of the value of gift cards or vouchers held by consumers, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says. “When a business is insolvent, these consumers are often left out of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Outstanding public service recognised
    Six New Zealanders tonight received medals for their meritorious work in the frontline public service. The Public Service Medal, established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is awarded annually. “For the second year this Government has recognised public servants who have made a real difference to the lives of New ...
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    1 week ago