Open Mike 12/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 12th, 2017 - 53 comments
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53 comments on “Open Mike 12/02/2017”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Very good article by Rob Stock on housing afforability:

    Nails shonkey

    Speaking in 2007 Key when he was bidding for power, Key told the electorate: “Housing affordability is a big deal. It used to be the Kiwi dream that every New Zealander would be able to buy the house, the quarter acre pavlova paradise and that dream is diminishing.”

    Key was “very optimistic” that National, if voted into power, could make a difference. Then the median house in Auckland was selling for just over six times the median household income.

    Ten years later progress has been “by and large, extremely muddled and slow”, says Pavletich.

    “In many ways Labour is more advanced than the government on these issues.”

    Stock provides a link and refers to the Briefing Paper on the issue. That shows the value of solid, and concise articles on issues, that will maybe only be read by a minority. But it is a source journalists are likely to read and possibly draw on occasionally.

    I think the comparison between the main parties totally ignores Green Party policies on state housing.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      @Carolyn_nth, while it is a pretty good piece, it only shows the lack of long term vision from all parties to deal with the obscene specter of commodified housing, which is ripping community cohesion and the country apart.
      “Restoring the ability of young New Zealanders to buy a home is being tipped as a defining issue of the upcoming general election”. You see the obvious class war in that sentence? media commentators and politicians can only get their head around housing affordability if affects their own children/grandchildren, what about the 100,000’s of adult workers who have effectively been shut out?
      Class war is so normalized now that it not seen for what it is, even on a left wing forum.

      No mention that Labours housing plans have no plan built into them to protect the whole strata of workers in jobs like , cleaners, elderly care workers, factory workers etc, where the average wage is around 32-35,000 P/A, so can’t afford to buy into Labours affordable housing scheme, there by consigned to life of renting, with no long term security…no it seem that Labour really are what they profess they wanted to be, the party of the centre (exclusively)…….what about a real living wage for these workers now (and not some fantasy future) and higher interest rates for the little money these workers can save?
      Where is Labour on that conversation?

      • Molly 1.1.1

        ” You see the obvious class war in that sentence? media commentators and politicians can only get their head around housing affordability if affects their own children/grandchildren, what about the 100,000’s of adult workers who have effectively been shut out?”
        Agree with you there Adrian.

        The “affordability” – approach to housing misses the most important aspect to providing everyone with secure, healthy, really affordable homes (owned or rented) in non-transient connected communities.

        The value of that approach to housing impacts on many aspects of our lives: health, education, work-life balance, community etc.

        All the issues you relate in your last paragraph are pertinent to a long-term solution.

        • AB

          “really affordable homes (owned or rented) in non-transient connected communities.”
          A good friend of mine with multiple rentals (not in Auckland) likes to argue that we don’t need a culture of home ownership, that lifelong renting is fine provided there is some security of tenancy
          It’s fine in theory – but in low-wage NZ, with few alternative investment vehicles that are not scams, lifelong renting is a recipe (in most cases) for lifelong poverty and a desperate old age. Whereas owning houses is a recipe for wealth and a comfortable retirement because the tax situation so favours this form of unearned income from capital.
          Before we can have lifelong renting in NZ there are some fundamentals to be fixed.

          • Draco T Bastard

            A good friend of mine with multiple rentals (not in Auckland) likes to argue that we don’t need a culture of home ownership, that lifelong renting is fine provided there is some security of tenancy

            Yep, people like that love the idea of long term rentals as they get to bludge off of other people securely.

            Whereas owning houses is a recipe for wealth and a comfortable retirement because the tax situation so favours this form of unearned income from capital.

            For a few people. I think you’ll find that the majority still end up in poverty. In fact, that seems to be a major issue with old people not being able to afford power for heating, not being able to afford food, etcetera.

            Private home ownership is a recipe for poverty as the few who own the homes bludge off of the rest of the population.

            • McFlock

              I think you’ll find that the majority still end up in poverty. In fact, that seems to be a major issue with old people not being able to afford power for heating, not being able to afford food, etcetera.

              Actually, the majority of people age 65+ are not below the poverty line, although there is some veriation by type of housing tenure Table G.7b.

      • Sacha 1.1.2

        “the lack of long term vision from all parties to deal with the obscene specter of commodified housing”

        Not ‘all’ parties. Didn’t the Greens get slagged for promising exactly that? – to act to reduce house prices over a decade, to fix the tax/finance incentives that make houses an investment rather than a place to live, and to strongly regulate rentals to provide an option for people who will never afford to buy.

        • Antoine

          Yep. Is not very popular with the electorate. Homeowners vote, and don’t want the market value of their house reduced


      • Carolyn_nth 1.1.3

        Agree with what you say about the approach to housing not focused primarily on the needs of low income people, whether in paid work or not. It is all about the desires of the better off, and better off wannabes.

        I read the article fairly quickly before going out this morning.

  2. Janice 2

    I would like to say how much I admire the people who have put their lives on hold to attempt to save some of the whales stranded on Farewell Spit. They are truly awesome, thank you for your efforts.

    • Cinny 2.1


      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        Next thing I would like to know – what can we do to prevent this happening? It was about 300 pilot whales I think. There must be something that scientists have developed or would like to trial. Some sort of pulse which the whales will recognise as indicating land or shallow water. Apparently sound waves travel well through water. We can send complicated machines into outer space just because we want to, not because it is of true service to the planet. NASA could stand for Necessary Action to Sort our Attitudes.

        Can we apply science and money where it is most needed? Can we please…can
        we plese…cn w plse…shrinking but still shrieking.

        • Cinny

          We were talking about that last night. Some sort of frequency sonar, on a buoy.

          R&D we need so much more of that.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Perhaps we should stop doing what’s causing it?

          The impact of sonar on whales has become an increasingly fraught issue in recent years, with submarine exercises being linked to several high-profile mass strandings. The US Navy has admitted concerns over sonar’s effects on marine mammals, although actual evidence for harm has been in short supply.

          But military-sponsored tests now suggest that low levels of sonar, which do not cause direct damage to whales, could still cause harm by triggering behavioural changes.

          And it’s not just the military that carry sonar.

          • greywarshark

            It’s heartbreaking when so many go off beam. If we could do something as civilians here now, we could help with this. Trying to find, blame and clear up the
            original cause would take too long. Just another one of those unintended consequences we are running into more and more as our planet gets too crowded with us – we’re everywhere.

            Commercial and military sonar may be affecting tuna as well.

            • Macro

              From The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species media release:

              The oceans and seas in which marine mammals like whales and dolphins live may be getting noisier. Increased levels of shipping, seismic sounds from activities such as oil and gas exploration may be to blame. Ocean noise can travel over long distances and affect waters outside the control of individual nations. Given the fact that such noise is transboundary – and that some marine species relying on sound for orientation, communication and feeding migrate across hundreds of miles – this is an issue that calls for international regulation. High noise
              levels can cause disorientation, exclude cetaceans from habitats and even directly cause physical injury and death. Propeller-driven ships have become the most dominant human-induced low frequency noise
              . A new concern are rising concentrations of C02 which may be making sounds waves travel further and faster, as a recent study suggests,
              demonstrating the link between climate change and this conservation issue. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) and some of its agreements have identified ocean noise as a potential threat to migratory species and support action to reduce its impact.

              Noise pollution in the oceans has been estimated to be increasing at a rate of around 6db per year mainly due to the increasing number of super cargo ships and expanding world trade. Sorry can’t find the link for this – read it in the Science section of the Guardian a couple of years go.

              • Cinny

                Ocean noise pollution, that would be horrid.

                And again the planet suffers because of humanity

                Thanks for the info Draco and Macro, really interesting

  3. Penny Bright 3


    Pullya Bennefitt is now famous

    (One way of getting around the effective mainstream media ‘censorship’?)….0…

    (Authorised by 2017 Independent candidate Mt Albert by-election, 86A School Rd, Kingsland, Auckland 1021.)

  4. repateet 4

    Farrar on his blog is really into election mode.

    It must be tough work searching each day for the stories to feature – a labour MP sneezes in UK without putting his hand over his mouth becomes an implicit condemnation of left politicians in NZ.

    A company in Temuka taking on an employee in Temuka is an utter triumph for the government’s employment strategies. Someone arrested for jay-walking is massive credit to their law and order policy. Some Nat backbencher helps a constituent get their cat out of a tree is some sort of Nobel prize candidate.
    A green MP puts out rubbish in a plastic bag and they’re all the biggest hypocrites since hypocrisy was invented.

    Fortunately the polls are unlikely to show National at risk, imagine him then.
    Look forward however to anti Ardern stuff even though they are not standing. That’s the way it is.

    • tc 4.1

      National went into election mode once Blinglish replaced shonky.

      They know it’s an uphill battle but the war chest is deep with the shills well placed and briefed. DPF will be a lot busier with Cammy making himself hotter than usual to handle.

      So along with all the usual dirty tricks that are stock in trade national party standard operating procedure and a date announced its game on.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Reading group – E F Schumacher Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.
    Sorry, sorry, I didn’t make the deadline though got most of it together with some that Weka needed to tidy up and insert. So will be all ready to present to next Sunday.

    But in the meantime I have looked up availability of book, I suggest you check your library on line and if available, put a hold on it for yourself, or ask them if they will obtain it on inter-loan for you (has a cost), as a number of NZ libraries have copies. (I think not every library is in inter-loan.) It can be bought to go on Kindle from Amazon about $10 don’t know whether that’s USA or NZ$, the site didn’t provide that information.

    It can be bought new as hard copy on Trademe but look for one that says available in NZ, Hamilton based, and should get delivery in week if pay immediately. Otherwise you may be waiting three weeks from overseas. There are pdfs available so you can start reading directly on your computer – presented clearly but without much formatting.

    The more I have read about E F Schumacher, the more sure I am that he is going to be a great and valuable read.

    • Olwyn 5.1

      I have a copy of the book from the local library, and will start reading it this week.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Me too Olwyn. What a great guy, reviews from newbies to him say it is dry. Perhaps they suffer from Trump syndrome!

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 5.2

      I too have a library copy, and also downloaded the .pdf above so I can make notes, and am reading it. Most impressed so far – lots of food for thought!

  6. The Chairman 6

    Capuchin monkeys reject unequal pay

  7. joe90 7

    Tracking bullshit more recycled speculative bullshit put out by……

  8. greywarshark 8

    How to do something good from your computer chair. Donate to Riverton environment centre. They need to buy the building to give them a secure home so they can invite us in to have some green tea and fairy cakes! Seriously folks, 11 days to go to raise $20,000 and they are almost to $10,000 so see if we can get them up there by tonight. All those rounded 0’s are so sexy and smooth Mmmmm.

    Pledge Me

  9. The Chairman 9

    Is Labour planning on entering this election with the same radical changes to KiwiSaver it had last election?

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      Firstly the proposals were not all that radical-take a look at the contributions they make over in Oz-and secondly there has to be a party that takes the retirement funding crisis seriously rather than the Nats “head in the sand” approach.

      • The Chairman 9.1.1

        In context, the changes are radical to what we currently have.

        Moreover, it planned to go far beyond retirement funding, substituting interest rates with Kiwisaver as a means to control inflation.

        Hence, there are concerns with the uncapped scope of the variable savings rate potentially pushing those already struggling into further hardship.

        Thus a number were hopeful the policy would be dropped.

  10. Tamati Tautuhi 10

    Labour, Greens and NZF have to go into this Election with a concise plan that they can govern constructively as a coalition Government anything whacky and most New Zealanders will stick with what we have got.

  11. Herodotus 11

    There are a continuation of stories regarding the record level of building permits “Auckland fell just short of the 10,000 market with 9930 consents, a 7 per cent increase on 2015. ” , this does create a huge amount of construction work – Some of which the industry is struggling to meet.
    “It’s no surprise to anyone Auckland is the worst affected, with about four to five years of backlog based on historical build rates.” & “The number of homes being built in 2016 – 29,970 nationally and 9930 in Auckland “.But what has not been talked about is the number of dwellings that have been demolished, should you travel thru Glen Innes you will see many high density houses being build on old State house sites. These new dwellings are recorded in the permit numbers below but this is a gross number, and no mention of the lower net number of dwellings that has been added to the Auckland housing stock, so the level of activity is producing a lower number of dwellings than is implied by the quoted permit data.

  12. joe90 12

    Calamity, here we come.

    While much of the Northeast was forced to batten down the hatches this week against strong winds, heavy snow and other icy conditions, the usually frigid Arctic experienced the opposite – a period of unseasonably mild weather and high temperatures, for at least the third time this winter.

    A powerful low-pressure storm system in the northern Atlantic has helped carry warm air up to the frozen north this week, sending temperatures in the Arctic soaring. Data from the Danish Meteorological Institute suggests that, as of Thursday, temperatures in the area above 80 degrees north latitude were already more than 20 degrees warmer than the average temperature for this time of year. As a graphic from Climate Reanalyzer shows, the most unusually warm region is right over the North Pole.

    It’s at least the third such extreme winter-warming event for the Arctic this season – temperatures skyrocketed on two occasions in November and December as well. Similar incidents also occurred in December of 2015 and 2014.

  13. Sacha 13

    Ex Police union boss Greg O’Connor confirmed as Labour candidate for Dunne’s Ohariu seat:

    Hopefully offended caucus members can keep their wailing and gnashing in-house this time.


    • weka 13.1

      “Hopefully offended caucus members can keep their wailing and gnashing in-house this time.”

      Is that how you characterise Williams’ speaking out? Really?

  14. nzsage 14

    Yes another Trump news bite but if you have 10 mins to spare this is well worth watching.

    • Anne 14.1

      My god! Thanks nzsage. I’ll bet my every possession this is true.

      • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 14.1.1

        It may be true, it may be fake news! Nine ‘anonymous’ informants. And the presenter kept repeating, as if it were proven fact, that Russia interfered in the US election. Lots of innuendo and assumptions.
        Or it just may have been a smart move by Putin to not retaliate – he really caught the US napping!
        On the other hand, I could easily credit any stupid thing Trump and Co. get up to.

  15. North 15

    I’d be favouring my ‘other hand’ if I were you Tony Veitch.

    Just the possibility also that Putin (not exclusive to him I grant) is a murderous KGB monster. That’s how TS ended up in measure a bugle for fucking Trump. HRC, Obama were horrendous etc etc etc……..thus (so indulgently and utterly counter-intuitively)…….”Trump can only be better…….”.

    When’s Archie ‘CV’ Bunker back ? He’s got a lot of explaining to do. Which of course he won’t do, Such is Child-Trump-Hubris.

  16. “A person who undertakes to grow a garden at home, by practices
    that will preserve rather than exploit the economy of the soil, has
    set his mind decisively against what is wrong with us. He is
    helping himself in a way that dignifies him and that is rich in
    meaning and pleasure. But he is doing something else that is
    more important: he is making vital contact with the soil and the
    weather on which his life depends. He will no longer look upon
    rain as an impediment of traffic, or upon the sun as a holiday
    decoration. And his sense of man’s dependence on the world will
    have grown precise enough, one would hope, to be politically
    clarifying and useful.”

    Wendell Berry – Think Little

    • mauī 16.1

      Regarding preserving soil.

      Patrick Whitefield (british permaculture teacher or what some would call a teacher of ‘mumbo jumbo’ 😆 ) “If everybody stopped ploughing and digging it would probably sort out global warming.” Makes his point from 4:55

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