Open mike 12/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, April 12th, 2014 - 215 comments
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openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

215 comments on “Open mike 12/04/2014”

  1. bad12 1

    Fran O’Sullivan describes ex-National/ACT leader Doctor Dullard Don Brash as ‘Principled’, really???,what ‘principles’ has a man that cheats on His wife with the secretary???,

    None i would suggest…

    • greywarbler 1.1

      Oh stick to politics bad 12. Don’t do a Brown on Brash. This is the sort of things that the RWT do and brings the private into public when it isn’t the public’s business.

      • bad12 1.1.1

        Brash made it ‘the public’s business’ by declaring such principled infidelity in His book greywarbler, the fact that you are way too blind or dense to see the hypocrisy inherent in the scribblings,dribblings of O’Sullivan vis a vis Her treatment of Brash’s infidelity and Brown’s doesn’t surprise me at all…

        • greywarbler 1.1.1.1

          You don’t need to be jerked about by just anything that a big man says.
          Brash was a big man in NZ with everyone looking at him, so just think – if the people are going to pay more attention to infidelity than the nationwide policies and practices the pollie employs, infidelity might be a valuable tool to use to divert people’s attention from the rorts and mismanagement that should be noted.

          Don’t throw round your specious ramblings bad12, you have no idea of what I think or would do so don’t attribute anything to me that I haven’t written. And even that might be satirical, not fact. So control your finely honed critiques mate.

          • bad12 1.1.1.1.1

            From where i sit greywarbler it is you who is being ”jerked” around here, firstly by me who with deliberation left out the salient point of O’Sullivans hypocrisy vis a vis the Brash/Brown infidelities from my original comment, simply setting my hook knowing that someone easily ‘jerked around’ couldn’t help but bite which you did,

            The rorts and irrational along with the racism of Brash have been more than noted here and elsewhere for years and there is no need for me to create any list of length to detail these,

            The only things i have attributed to you greywarbler is an ability to be both dense and blind in the one comment, i see nothing about the scribble you use as the currency of your raving as having been wrongly ascribed by myself to you,

            Making shit up, as if i have attributed something to you that i havn’t simply has me adding to your list of propensities bullshit along with blind and denseness…

            • srylands 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The reality is that Brash promoted principled effective economic policies to help the disadvantaged by raising growth. Those policies are impossible right now in New Zealand because the population only elects left wing governments – and make no mistake the current government is a centre left very cautious government.

              If we want higher growth there is no alternative but to adopt many of the policies Brash proposed in his taskforce report on closing the gap with Australia.

              He is a principled guy. Just a terrible politician.

              • bad12

                About as principled as you are SSLands, your main stay of ”principles” being those of the Liar and Coward,

                Thank you for coming, now F off back to the kiddies play pen and let the adults continue their conversation without being subjected to your drivel…

              • Colonial Viper

                The reality is that Brash promoted principled effective economic policies to help the disadvantaged by raising growth.

                LOL

                Not only is “economic growth” history, but the kind of “growth” that Brash promotes is actually “uneconomic growth” where the vast share of proceeds goes to the top 10%, and the bottom 10% who really need it, just get more kickings.

                • bad12

                  If we could vote on the subject, i would vote that every comment SSLands makes be run by Pete George for ‘fact checking’ befor it was published…

                • Tracey

                  yup, brash had the disadvantaged in mind when he was rbg, and most recently when he wrote his book and when on a media frenzy

              • vto

                Growth is not needed for prosperity for all in NZ, you fool. NZ is one of the world’s wealthy lands and there is currently more than enough to go around.

                The problem is the current wealth distribution policies which concentrate that wealth at the top, as the evidence shows.

                It is not growth that is needed it is new wealth distribution policies.

                Growth is needing for one sole purpose – to pay the interest on the printed paper money that is called debt, and which now makes up a very substantial proportion of our economy – to no benefit.

                Of course you wont see this srylands. You think that people are a tradeable commodity and should be placed in the same sorts of policy straitjackets that tend to the manufacture of plastic buckets. You need to get to first base first, before your mutterings can be considered in anything other than a rabid extremist light.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The reality is that Brash promoted principled effective economic policies to help the disadvantaged by raising growth.

                Hasn’t worked before so I doubt if it’s going to work now.

                Those policies are impossible right now in New Zealand because the population only elects left wing governments – and make no mistake the current government is a centre left very cautious government.

                Two things:
                1.) If we only voted for left wing governments then we’d have a better living standard now
                2.) This present government is radical right-wing while pretending to be centre-right

                If we want higher growth there is no alternative but to adopt many of the policies Brash proposed in his taskforce report on closing the gap with Australia.

                We don’t want more growth as it’s unsustainable. What we need is better use and distribution of our resources. Time to stop giving them all the a select few.

                • Disraeli Gladstone

                  It’s not really radical right-wing. We haven’t got a flat income tax, the dissolution of welfare, vast privation of schools.

                  It’s right-wing. But we should probably save “radical right-wing” for when we need it. Possibly next term.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What it’s done or hasn’t done doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a radical right-wing party and what it would like to do. We know Bill English wants to sell Kiwibank. I’m reasonably sure that, if they though that they could have gotten away from it, they would have sold all of our power companies.

              • greywarbler

                bad12
                Thanks for the sparring session. I will now leave you to apply your mind to the real problems we are facing in NZ which you do well. So have a good day. We have some sunshine, after rain, so all is well around here. There may even be a transient rainbow. I will attend to some useful tasks. Enjoyed talking to you.

                • bad12

                  Always a pleasure greywarbler, the cut and thrust of this morning’s first conversation aids in cutting away the fat of the nights sleep allowing the addressing of further topics to be seen and commented upon with renewed clarity,(i hope)…

              • Georgy

                The type of policies that Brash promoted have never ever helped the disadvantaged by raising growth. Never. And certainly Never Ever in New Zealand. The inequality between the richest and poorest has grown and grown and grown since Rogernomics, except during the Clarke years when it was pared back. Brash and his ilk are a disaster for a country that should have its government centred in social justice.

    • Murray Olsen 1.2

      I’m far more interested in the unprincipled stand he took for or against the invasion of Iraq, or the filthy way in which he played to racists’ fears of not going to the beach than anything that he may have done with any number of secretaries. A lot like Brown and his stance on the port, really. Or the ethnic cleansing in GI. The more time they spend exercising their one eyed trouser snakes, the less they have left to screw the rest of us.

  2. JanM 2

    Or deliberately whips up racial intolerance with populist speeches?
    The fact that Fran O’Sullivan bats for the neoliberals tends to suggests she has a shaky moral compass herself.

  3. felix 3

    There was a lot of absolute bullshit written on this site the other day about Don Brash.

    It tends to happen once politicians are out of the public eye for a while. People imagine that they were actually good people who deserved respect despite their political differences.

    No. Don Brash was and is a lying, deceitful, dishonest, duplicitous prick. And that’s AS WELL as his disgusting disgraceful political beliefs.

    Anyone suffering under any illusions about him should listen to him talking to Kim Hill just now, he hasn’t changed a bit.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      My abiding memory of Don Brash is, and probably always will be, in the 2011 election leaders debate where he was talking about climate change and CO2. He made the comment that putting agriculture under the emissions trading scheme didn’t make sense, because when a cow eats grass and then farts, the “CO2” being emitted is only the CO2 that had been taken up and stored by the grass anyway, so clearly there’s no net damage going on. Russell Norman was quite surprised that Don was so ignorant about methane, and earnestly went over to him during the ad break to tell him what the actual science is.

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        So many moments of Brash fuckwittery.

        The time he was on Native Affairs, I think, talking about his one law for all stuff, and displaying his lack of clues in regard to what the Treaty says. At a suggestion that he might be pandering to racists, or that racism played a part, he talked about how there was no way he was a racist, not even ow, pulls out a Hundred Dollar note and says ‘See I put a Maori on the biggest dollar bill when I was Guvna of the RB’

        Some of my best monies are maaaaries mate.

        • miravox 3.1.1.1

          maaaaaries… yeah, well, they’re not “mainstream” either…

          Just a reminder of from No Right Turn of what Brash was willing to campaign on in 2005. Mr Bl**dy principled … a social liberal, he called himself.

          Morning Report:

          PRESENTER: Okay. Let’s have a look at some of the other things you said over the weekend. You talked about mainstream New Zealand. What does that mean precisely?
          BRASH: It means the large number of New Zealanders whom this Government has neglected for the last six years. This Government has been trying to work hard for minority groups, small parts of the community…

          PRESENTER: Which minority groups, which minority groups are we talking about?

          BRASH: Well we know, for example, that the Government has been funding Maori programmes more generously than non-Maori programmes…

          So if you’re Maori, you’re not a “mainstream” (meaning “real”) New Zealander in Dr Brash’s eyes. But it doesn’t stop there:

          PRESENTER: Okay. So Maori is one of the minority groups. What other minority groups?
          BRASH: Well we know also that Government has been focusing on prostitution legislation, civil union legislation, all that kind of stuff, which caters for a small minority of people, while neglecting…

          In other words, this is about social liberalism, “political correctness”, Labour’s efforts to expand opportunity and erode privilege, and ensure that every New Zealander is treated fairly and equally, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. But its clear that Brash doesn’t agree with that struggle, because he doesn’t see gays as real New Zealanders:

          PRESENTER: No, I just want to pick up on something else here. You talked about civil unions. Does that mean you do not regard gay people as mainstream New Zealanders?
          BRASH: Well they’re clearly not, they’re a small minority of people, but let me be clear. I made it very clear in the debate on that issue that I thought this should be dealt with by referendum because it’s a big change in the civil institutions of society. I also said that in the referendum I would vote for it because I have no problem with same sex couples committing to live together faithfully as heterosexual couples do.

          PRESENTER: You simply don’t regard gays as part of mainstream New Zealand?

          BRASH: Well they are clearly, by definition, a small minority of New Zealanders…

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.2

          Haha.

      • miravox 3.1.2

        My abiding memory of Don Brash is watching him lose the 2005 election debate (and election) when bumbling through describing who was and wasn’t a mainstream New Zealander, looking at Helen Clark and telling her she wasn’t one.

    • Georgy 3.2

      About the only good thing Muldoon did for NZ was to stop Brash from standing in and gaining a seat for the national party – somewhere on the North Shore I think, in the mid 70’s.

    • Tracey 3.3

      what fran meant by principled is that she agrees with his views.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    John Roughans piece of obsequious forelock tugging actually made both utterly contemptuous of his mind numbing weak willed desire to adore figures of authority, angry that his idiocy and authoritarian idolatry gets a regular platform and quite sick to my stomach that I had to see such nonsense.

    It certainly helps explain his sado-mascochistic love of authoritarian capitalism. He gets off on being bossed around by those he thinks are his betters.

  5. Morrissey 5

    Don Brash’s incredible ignorance
    Radio NZ National, Saturday 12 April 2014

    That silly old goat Don Brash has a book to sell: it’s called Incredible Luck. Earlier this week, on Jim Mora’s Panel show, Michelle Boag claimed, preposterously, that Brash was “incredibly honest”, and “the most honest politician New Zealand had ever seen.” She repeated that silly lie—“Brash is honest”—at least ten times. Her fellow Panelists, Brian (“Boag’s Bitch”) Edwards and host Jim Mora did not even so much as demur as Boag raved on about the superlative qualities of her good friend. In fact, Mora asked, in apparent high seriousness: “WHY is he so honest?”

    This morning I listened, in ever mounting horror, to Brash being interviewed by Kim Hill, who struggled throughout to conceal her disdain for the old bigot. Amongst all the other nonsense, there was one thing above all else that the old racist said that highlighted the poverty of his “thinking”. I sent off an urgent email to Kim Hill….

    Incredible Stupidity

    Dear Kim,

    So, according to Don Brash, Māori “didn’t have a written language”, they “worshipped rocks and stones”, they “didn’t invent the wheel” and were “a primitive stone-age people”. Those are inflammatory, ignorant statements of the type that one might hear on a particularly dire talkback radio show in the small hours of the morning.

    He clearly knows next to nothing about Māori culture, and he hasn’t the slightest interest in learning about it.

    Brash is more than an embarrassment; he’s a national disgrace.

    Yours in disgust,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Cheers, Moz. Just for the record, Edwards did point out that a serial marital cheater can’t be considered honest.

      Re: your email, aren’t the first 3 of Brash’s claim actually facts, even if delivered in a facetious manner by Orewa Man? Happy to be corrected, it’s not an area in which I can claim any expertise.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        All 4 of them are actually facts. It’s not Brash’s fault that the vast audience hearing these statements thinks they’re racist.

        These sorts of statements are usually made by people trying to be racist and divisive, so people hearing them assume that anyone speaking them must be racist. That’s really not the case for Brash, I don’t think.

        • Morrissey 5.1.1.1

          Yes, they are facts. It’s also a fact that ancient Britons were animists and didn’t have a written language. And it wasn’t an ancient Briton that invented the wheel. Does that mean that British culture is less valuable than other cultures?

          According to the cutting intellect that is Don Brash, that is exactly what it means.

          • vto 5.1.1.1.1

            Morrisey you will need to show where Brash placed a lower value on maori culture. For credibility purposes of course.

            • Morrissey 5.1.1.1.1.1

              He actually SAID it, when Kim Hill pursued him on that very point. Listen to the tape.

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1.2

              You are of course correct, vto. Having not heard the interview myself, all I can rely on is Morrissey’s email. But as we all know, Morrissey routinely takes things out of context and has trouble separating his imaginings of what was said vs what was actually said, so it’s impossible to know why Brash was bringing these points up and what point he was trying to make in doing so.

              As it stands, they are facts.

      • greywarbler 5.1.2

        Good points TRP but you are attempting to interfere with the fluid flow of a good tirade. It’s the way it sounds that’s important, not every little detail, so we shouldn’t be picky about facts, they spoil the effect.

      • Morrissey 5.1.3

        You’re correct, Te Reo. It’s not the facts, but Brash’s spin on those facts that is offensive.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.1.3.1

          Fair call, Moz.

          I think the fourth point (stone age) isn’t factually correct anyway. Maori society was well along the usual continuum in terms of cooperation, agriculture etc. The use of stone tools has more to do with what resources were available in aotearoa, rather than as a marker of development.

          • Lanthanide 5.1.3.1.1

            Good point on the stone age thing, although I think you need to be a bit broader: it’s a reflection of the resources available within the pacific as well as Aotearoa.

            It took Europeans (and other cultures) thousands of years to move beyond stone, and Maori certainly weren’t in Aoteroa for that long, and their antecedents in the pacific simply didn’t have the resources available.

    • vto 5.2

      Yeah, and don’t forget that Brash is also just an old white male too.

      Let all the bigots out ….

    • Good one moz

      ‘didn’t have a written language’ yet somehow could remember the multiple strands of whakapapa for numerous generations, the uses of materials and plants and so on. And could convey that information between generations.

      ‘worsphipped rocks and stones’ yes so unlike worshipping a dude on a cross that lived in the middle east.

      ‘didn’t invent the wheel’ yet used wheels such as logs for rolling waka into the water and so on but no axle or cart – wouldn’t be too easy to move them around this land now would it.

      ‘primitive stone-age people’ who lived within the boundaries of sustainability, caring for nature and a sophisticated social interaction system used as a model by some today.

      So yes all facts from brash but in the way they are used they are supposed to show the inferiority of tangata whenua and the superiority of those that arrived here later.

      • The Al1en 5.3.1

        Stone age warriors to once were warriors with the internet.
        Progress, you just got to love it 😉

        • marty mars 5.3.1.1

          What’s your point allen?

          • The Al1en 5.3.1.1.1

            Just a bit of a lol at your expense getting all precious, but more as in to say no need to make spurious argument to counter what a silly old tory man says, and start worrying about Hone selling his/your mana for .com’s beads and blankets this weekend.

            • marty mars 5.3.1.1.1.1

              Oh english humor – how droll and excruciatingly boring.

              Don’t worry about Hone and Mana – everything is sweet there mate very sweet indeed. Best you watch out for pox ridden blankets that might come your (political) way eh.

              • Bless you for getting butt hurt, but worry not, every one has standards, maybe that’s why you have two. 😉

                Now write something about anglo saxons, or normans, or romans or celts and make me cry like a baby 😆

                .

                • ‘butt hurt’? Oh dear that was a flop.

                  I don’t have two standards allen just one very clear one but please don’t let that stop your roll of lols.

                  I don’t want you to cry allen – man you are projecting this morning – too many weetbix perhaps?

            • bad12 5.3.1.1.1.2

              There are no worries about Hone ‘selling’ anything, the alliance being proposed does not require the Mana Party to alter any of its policies and i would suggest the same will be the case for the Internet Party…

      • felix 5.3.2

        I don’t think he said maori “worshiped rocks and stones”. He did say maori were animist in religion and ascribed spiritual value to rivers.

        The “worshiped rocks and stones” bit is Morrissey’s invention, but I gotta say three out of four ain’t too bad for Mozza.

    • Saarbo 5.4

      Well done Morrissey, that response from Brash was sickening and highlighted the enormous ignorance and social ineptness of the man. Very strange man, they seem to gravitate towards Act…and National.

  6. JanM 6

    He’s just another boring old fart, really – full of crap and with a hugely over-inflated sense of his own importance, What gets me exercised is how these silly old twits gain such traction politically. It’s fairly depressing when you think about it

    • vto 6.1

      Yeah but I gotta tell you something JanM – have you ever listened for any length of time to anyone aged under 30 about any serious subject?

      Sheeeesh ……..

      Honestly, dumb-arse young people, they just don’t have the experience in life or the developed mind and soul, to be worth listening to. That is a fact.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 6.1.1

        Weren’t you telling Eleanor Catton off for being a bigot a few weeks ago? And now you’re just gone and said all young people aren’t worth listening to. What a terribly close-minded view. I listen to some young people and they’re far more insightful and intelligent than a lot of people my age.

        • vto 6.1.1.1

          Yes I was doing that and we had a bit of an exchange over it disraeli. My post immediately above was, I thought, clearly tongue-in-cheek and written in order to expose the bigotry shown by JanM. That was the purpose. To hold a mirror to her.

          Curiously, JanM’s bigotry is eerily similar to Eleanor Cattons. It is common in NZ – bigotry against the aged. Others with a similar penchant include Michelle A’Court and Beck Eleven, two women with something against old white males.

          Not only is it bigotry, it is also foolish. In my experience those with the most years typically exhibit a wisdom far more advanced than people with less wrinkles. (and of course the young are worth listening to – to understand their concerns and thoughts. Less so for solutions though, imo)

          • BM 6.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, Like all the oldies who vote for Winston Peters. 🙄

            • vto 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I did say “typically”, not “always”.

              But look, if the older are not worth listening to and the younger are also not worth listening to then clearly age is not an issue ………. which was the point of my point! Age should be left out of these things. But it is difficult to wean people from their bigotries.

              It is like the erosion of a riverbank, is bigotry, bit by bit, crumble by crumble, swing by swing of the river, until one day the landscape formed by the river is very different from what it was in the past.

          • JanM 6.1.1.1.2

            Ok, vto – perfectly happy just to call him a ‘boring fart’ and a ‘twit’ and leave the ‘old’ out of it. Jamie Lee Ross on Native Affairs this week managed to provide clear evidence that indeed the young can be boring farts and twits too.
            I think in part we emphasise the age thing because there is an idea that with age comes wisdom. However, in my experience (and I am nearly the same age as Don Brash, by the way) most of the time a silly young thing grows into a silly old thing.

          • Disraeli Gladstone 6.1.1.1.3

            There are clever old people and stupid young people. There are clever young people and stupid old people. I agree. Age shouldn’t come into it. However, I actually don’t think that last paragraph of yours is true at all. For instance, a recent US survey showed that young Americans were twice as likely than older Americans to know where the Ukraine is.

            Famously, IQ has risen for the last thirty years. Now, IQ is no real marker of intelligence or wisdom, true, but it does show that each generation seems to be more switched on than the last.

            By suggesting that older people are “far more” advance than young people with wisdom against evidence to the contrary does exhibit an actual discrimination on age. The exact thing you were trying to reflect on someone else.

            • vto 6.1.1.1.3.1

              hang on there, you are tripping yourself up. You confuse facts (where is Ukraine) with wisdom. That patently does not follow. I know a 10 year old who knows more about cellphones than I. On your reasoning that makes him wiser in all things …………..

              And then you acknowledge that IQ does not equate with wisdom either, but then immediately claim that higher IQs (and particular knowledge) are evidence of greater wisdom.

              You are all at sea Mr Gladstone.

              • JanM

                What we call ‘wisdom’ is emotional intelligence (EQ) and is easily as important as intellect, although rather undervalued and infrequently assessed.
                I agree that the knowledge of facts is fairly meaningless in itself, although a more in-depth evaluation of those youngsters may indicate that a knowledge of where the Ukraine is may also involve greater awareness of the world order, which would not be a bad thing considering the undue influence that America wields

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                We can’t really measure “wisdom” it’s an intangible buzzword. We can’t really measure intelligence either (those IQ does at provide a slight attempt). What we do see is that young people seem more aware of the wider world and are seem to have higher average IQs.

                Also, agnosticism and atheism rise the further you get away from the older sections of society.

                All signs of a generation that are just as attentive and intelligent as older people. Now, does that make them as wise? I’d say yeah, sure. You might say no. I’m basing my opinion on the above, that they seem aware of the wider world, they seem intelligent, they seem to challenge opinion and make their own decisions based on research.

                What are you basing your opinion on that older people are “far more advanced” than younger people in terms of wisdom?

                • vto

                  Too many years on the planet, that’s what. And that for ‘wisdom’, experience and time is one of the main drivers imo and that simply doesn’t exist when there is a lack of that experience and time.

                  But yes, I agree that the oncoming generations will be very interesting to watch as to how they deal with life’s turmoils and testings. They already have a different approach to many things, compared to generations recent. They revert less to the older generations than past ones, and seem more than happy to carve their own path and find their own feet.

                  One problem is, I guess, that time and history is well worn and proven. Will the next couple generations really be superior in these areas to those past? History suggests not, but it has been on my mind that it will be interesting to see…..

                • felix

                  “We can’t really measure “wisdom” it’s an intangible buzzword.”

                  Just because you can’t measure it doesn’t mean I don’t know it when I see it.

        • The Al1en 6.1.1.2

          Indeed, some young people are surprisingly switched on, though I wouldn’t give 16 year olds the vote like the snp have in jockland in order to win the yes independence vote.

      • JanM 6.1.2

        Goodness, vto – you obviously mix with the wrong people!

  7. greywarbler 7

    Making oil from plastic bags. Innovative entrepreneurship. NZ would be doing this if we had a Party that pushed new modern business and wanted to develop those making resources like oil.

    Instead we are going from farming as a family business, very traditional, to factory farming and landlord farming and overseas landlord robotised industrial farming. Not a healthy direction for our major industry, not even providing much employment, and with a tendency to turn workers
    into serfs. Soon we will be treating people as they did when the Tolpuddle Martyrs in South England formed a small union to change the unfair conditions experienced in the 1800s.

    The business making oil from plastic –
    http://www.pkclean.com/press.html
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865598981/Utah-firm-making-crude-oil-from-discarded-plastic.html?pg=all

    In fact, a Salt Lake City-based entrepreneur and her partner have developed a proprietary process that turns recycled waste plastic into crude oil that is so advanced that it can be made into gasoline, kerosene and diesel easier than the oil that comes straight out of the ground.

    When Priyanka Bakaya, CEO of PK Clean, was a young girl growing up in Australia, she became fascinated with science, chemistry and the environment through her interactions with a family friend and “grandfather figure” named Percy Keen.
    “He spent his whole life working on clean energy solutions,” Bakaya explained. “He converted his whole house into this giant laboratory.”

    Over many years, Keen developed complex formulas for converting waste into viable fuels, but he never made them public. Upon his death in 2007, Bakaya, 31, felt compelled to do something with those formulas and bring her friend’s innovative ideas to fruition.

    Radionz Kim featured a man who was a political correspondent and is now taking people on political tours instead of scenic tours.
    Sat 12/Apr/2014
    8:45 Nicholas Wood
    Nicholas Wood is a former Balkans correspondent for The New York Times. He created Political Tours in 2009, with the aim of giving people first-hand insight into some of the most critical regions in the world, and is currently leading a tour in Ukraine.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Should be ‘recovering oil from plastic bags’.

      • greywarbler 7.1.1

        Thank you Lanthanide, I am pleased to be corrected by someone more knowledgable.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          Just pointing out that plastic comes from oil. A lot of people don’t realise it.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        And we’ve got lots to recover it from.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.2.1

          Most of the plastic in there are tiny particles suspended in the upper few feet of water, rather than being actual plastic objects floating around. It degrades due to sunlight as well as microbes that eat it.

          It’s unlikely trying to convert that plastic into oil would be cost effective, once you factor in transportation and running costs of an operation in the middle of the pacific ocean. I guess if you had some unmanned robotic ships, there’s a chance it could make sense, though.

          • vto 7.1.2.1.1

            If you were going to make a machine to do that, would you not be better off making the same sort of machine to pull out the one part in a million in the sea that is gold?

            • marty mars 7.1.2.1.1.1

              “Gold in the ocean is so dilute that its concentration is on the order of parts per trillion. Each liter of seawater contains, on average, about 13 billionths of a gram of gold.”

              http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/gold.html

            • Lanthanide 7.1.2.1.1.2

              To filter elements out of seawater fundamentally requires a huge amount of power (typically electricity).

              I think recovering oil from plastic is probably less energy intensive than filtering raw seawater.

              Also the US navy has a prototype system of converting seawater into jet fuel (but again, requires a lot of electricity – provided by the nuclear reactors on their carriers).

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1.2

            Automated with it being wind and solar powered.

            To be honest, I’d view it more as cleaning up our bloody mess.

    • RedBaronCV 7.2

      The story about the plastic bags commercialising feels like something has been left out? Feels a little odd.
      The CEO was only 24 when Keen died and who knows there may have been at least a shortish period of slow down before death. The CEO would barely have had time to complete an advanced science degree if that was necessay to understand what he had developed. This is now being developed in the USA but why not Australia? So who actually owned these formulas when he died, presumably the estate so the estate is receiving royalties? Was this a part time interest or a full time job funded by ? when he was alive?

  8. ianmac 8

    We cannot uninvent stuff but maybe a society that was operating effectively was to be admired.
    “So, according to Don Brash, Māori “didn’t have a written language”, they “worshipped rocks and stones”, they “didn’t invent the wheel” and were “a primitive stone-age people”.
    I somehow think that Australian aboriginal society was very sophisticated to manage in that environment.
    Maybe a society that lives in harmony with the environment is the sophisticated one rather than the current society which is tearing down the environment?

    • vto 8.1

      Exactly, kind of. Measuring the value or sophistication of a society on the basis of their consumer goods is pretty weak. Like zero.

      Like the constant invention of comms today – doesn’t do anything at all to advance the good and essential qualities of humankind. Those measures are an entirely different type.

  9. bad12 9

    From the DomPost via Stuff:

    ”Doctors and nurses accepted drug company funded trip,meals and gifts worth almost $170,000 last year amid growing concern about the freebies potential to influence medical decisions”

    ”The declared gifts are likely to be only a fraction of the total spent by pharmaceutical companies,as gift registers(cover DHB’s but),do not cover private Doctors”,unquote,

    the question needs be asked, ”Should not this behavior be outlawed”, it seems from where i sit to be a simple recipe to corrupt the ”medical profession”, and i am left wondering if the escalation of type 2 diabetes to epidemic level in this country is in fact partly fueled by big Pharma’s gifts,

    There could of course be many other areas of medicine where for the reward and considering the ‘harmlessness’ of the particular drugs doctors may be tempted to prescribe,

    Diabetes i have mentioned in this instance because there doesn’t seem to be a wide range of ”side effects” to the prescribed drugs,(the blocking of the livers ability to disperse vitamin B12 into the blood stream being the only negative i have so far found)…

    • Chooky 9.1

      freebies from drug companies to doctors has been a long standing practice….this is why the whole business is so corrupt ……and some of the presents are not small eg holidays …i doubt very much the figure of $170,000….multiple that by many many times

      • bad12 9.1.1

        Yes Chooky, the figure of $170,000 of gifts from big Pharma to the medical profession is probably a hopeless understatement as it does not include ‘private practice doctors’ and while all the DHB’s have some form of required reporting of such gifts they all have different requirements of what has to be reported and what doesn’t…

    • northshoredoc 9.2

      “Diabetes i have mentioned in this instance because there doesn’t seem to be a wide range of ”side effects” to the prescribed drugs,(the blocking of the livers ability to disperse vitamin B12 into the blood stream being the only negative i have so far found)…”

      Well that and death from hypoglycaemia as well as GI complaints and occasional allergic reactions.

      As for your idiotic assertion that the medical profession is corrupted on the back of a few funded trips to international conferences which saves the DHB funds that would otherwise be paid out of the medical specialists award I suggest if you feel strongly about it you should say no next time you’re offered Antibiotics, Anaesthesia, Cancer Drugs etc etc.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1

        As for your idiotic assertion that the medical profession is corrupted on the back of a few funded trips to international conferences which saves the DHB funds that would otherwise be paid out of the medical specialists award

        I’d rather that we paid for such trips through our taxes rather than having the doctors obligated to the pharmaceutical companies.

        • northshoredoc 9.2.1.1

          “I’d rather that we paid for such trips through our taxes rather than having the doctors obligated to the pharmaceutical companies.”

          How are NZ Drs obligated to pharmaceutical companies ? Most Drs I know prescribe (or don’t) what they think is the most appropriate thing for the patient in front of them.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.1

            The acceptance of gifts infers an obligation. This has been true forever and there’s no way that you would have been unaware of that.

            • northshoredoc 9.2.1.1.1.1

              You really do talk a load of pompous claptrap DTB.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Yeah, after all it’s only the perception of a conflict of interest and the Minister of Justice gets away with worse, so it couldn’t possibly cause problems for the profession. No sirree.

                • weka

                  Perception is a big part of it. I’ve heard people talk about how uncomfortable they feel when their GP opens a drawer and offers them drugs that are obviously pharma giveaways. The trust between the patient and GP is critical to health.

                  But I think it goes further than that. To suggest that virtually no doctors in NZ are influenced by drug companies (promotion, funding, relationships etc) is to suggest that doctors are either not human, or are above usual human concerns. We’re well past the days when doctors were taught they were special humans, so let’s just be honest here. The only way that we can ensure that medicine as a profession remains professional, is to build protection in. If you leave it up to individuals (or even groups), there is too much failure.

                  • northshoredoc

                    sigh……..

                    Drs GPs in particular have what is called a PSO (practitioners supply order) whereby they can keep a supply of some of the most commonly used medicines within their surgery for supply to patients.

                    Yes pharmaceutical companies sometimes supply samples to GPs such as e.g. simple dermatological creams which are then given to patients to save them the price of a prescription if the patient is unhappy with this they can always say ‘no write me a prescription’

                    All pharmaceutical samples supplied by pharmaceutical companies are regulated and recorded by Medsafe.

                • northshoredoc

                  Seriously, what’s the conflict of interest ?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean to say that it’s not there nor that people aren’t going to perceive it as being there.

            • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1.2

              Just fyi, to “imply” is to hint or suggest, to “infer” is to conclude or deduce.

            • Chooky 9.2.1.1.1.3

              DTB +100 ….agreed “The acceptance of gifts infers an obligation. This has been true forever and there’s no way that you would have been unaware of that.”

      • weka 9.2.2

        Are you suggesting that there aren’t serious problems within medicine with regards to big pharma’s reach? (am thinking its influence on research, but the backhanders of trips etc seems to be well out of hand as well). Or that over-prescribing isn’t an issue?

        • northshoredoc 9.2.2.1

          “Are you suggesting that there aren’t serious problems within medicine with regards to big pharma’s reach?”

          Not in NZ, what exactly are you thinking of ?

          The vast amount of research in NZ is independent very little big pharma stuff here at all, in relation to the trips you will find most if not all of these are part funding of medical specialists to the major overseas clinical meetings, there is far far far and maybe even far less funding from the pharma industry than there was when I was just starting out so not sure where you get that it is well out of hand ?

          Or that over-prescribing isn’t an issue?

          Certainly there are issues in some areas but i’d hardly point the bone at big pharma as most of the over prescribing that i’d point to would be of the medications and areas where they’re not even active in promotion in NZ.

          • weka 9.2.2.1.1

            “Not in NZ”

            The drugs that NZ doctors prescribe are based on research culture that is globally flawed. Unless NZ doctors are somehow overcoming that by doing their own research, or even by weeding out the flawed and corrupted research (which I think would be nigh on impossible), then NZ doctors are affected.

            Over-prescribing… just off the top of my head… psychiatry, HRT, antibiotics, statins…

            Are you saying that big pharma has no influence on that? Seriously?

            • northshoredoc 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Research culture is globally flawed ?

              Please expand

              Overprescribing in terms of those products you mention doesn’t really apply in NZ they are apart from a very few exceptions generic in NZ and many of the western jurisdictions so are not promoted by big or indeed any pharma companies.

              I’d agree that some of the psychiatry medications (anti depressants and anxiolitics in particular) are over prescribed in comparison to CBT and other non pharmaceutical interventions but this has more to do with the lack of CBT practitioners and funding thereof than big pharma.

              There’s be as big a part of the scientific community suggesting statins are under prescribed as overprescribed and the algorithms followed when prescribing are supported by very strong scientific data. Over prescription of HRT and antibiotics isn’t much of an issue in NZ with both declining in light of clinical best practice.

              • bad12

                So speaks the quack, Statins, its what they dont tell ya about these things that’s a real killing joke,

                The quacks happily prescribe statins to people while in the same breath dishing out diabetes meds they assure you you need to get the blood sugar under control,

                Laughable, as soon as you start swallowing the statins, among other things that get ‘blocked’ is the ability for the liver to deliver magnesium to the body,

                Anyone with half a brain, quacks excluded, will tell you that to balance the blood sugar there has to be a balance of calcium and magnesium in the blood stream which of course just can’t happen while your swallowing statins, what does quackery then say about the blood/sugar question after ya next blood test indicates no change, double the diabetes meds that”ll fix it, pfft a recipe for an early trip to the embalmer is what the quacks are selling,

                That’s not all of statins crimes, and for the quack that says they are under prescribed, how long have they been dishing out this shit in the US and why have they made not one iota of difference to the rate of death from heart disease,

                • northshoredoc

                  “Anyone with half a brain, quacks excluded, will tell you that to balance the blood sugar there has to be a balance of calcium and magnesium in the blood stream which of course just can’t happen while your swallowing statins, what does quackery then say about the blood/sugar question after ya next blood test indicates no change, double the diabetes meds that”ll fix it, pfft a recipe for an early trip to the embalmer is what the quacks are selling,”

                  …….. strange then that so many type 2 diabetics in NZ are on statins and yet manage to control the glucose levels…… honesty I think they were talking about persons like you and chooky when they say ‘ a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.’

              • Colonial Viper

                Research culture is globally flawed ?

                Please expand

                Sure, no problem. FYI:

                Oftentimes, medical journals or pharmaceutical companies that sponsor research will report only “positive” results, leaving out the non-findings or negative findings where a new drug or procedure may have proved more harmful than helpful.

                A new review of research about this problem points to hidden or misleading studies for all sorts of conditions, including depression, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, menopausal symptoms and cancer, said researchers at the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) in Germany.

                “You can’t say this is an isolated problem,” said Beate Wieseler, deputy head of IQWiG’s Drug Assessment Department. “It’s widespread, and it affects drug companies, universities and regulatory authorities.”

                Much of that problem arises from financial conflicts of interest when pharmaceutical or medical device companies fund the studies, according to Wieseler and her colleagues. They pointed to past research showing an association between industry sponsorship and positive outcomes or conclusions in studies.

                http://www.livescience.com/8365-dark-side-medical-research-widespread-bias-omissions.html

                • northshoredoc

                  That’s just silly to suggest that the early paroxetine studies by the pharma company which didn’t disclose their lack of efficacy (and danger) in teens extrapolates to a flaw in global medical research.

                  Even someone such as yourself must acknowledge that the global medical research over the last fifty years has lead to massive gains in healthcare in areas as widely removed as vaccination to oncology.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I’m saying that there is a proven, widespread and internationally recognised problem in publication/non-publication bias, some of which appears related to drug company funding or sponsorship, which affects even the best peer reviewed journals and academic centres in medicine.

                    It’s a bit surprising that you aren’t aware of these issues.

                • Chooky

                  +100 CV

                  ….imo the only good doctor is a humble doctor who listens to their patients….and lets them take control of their health decisions without putting them down

                  …doctors can only make collegial suggestions to their ‘patients’…..laced with a heavy dose of skepticism about their own training and received information and in particular the pharmaceutical industry

                  • miravox

                    “the only good doctor is a humble doctor who listens to their patients….and lets them take control of their health decisions without putting them down”

                    I’m not sure you realise quite how many patients want their GP to ‘take charge’ – often times because they see the GP as the expert and not themselves (sometimes that can be pretty scary for the GP!). There are plenty of cases where the ‘good doctor’ is the one who listens to a patient needs and then takes control.

                    These patients’ health needs can be seriously compromised by the notion of patient-led medical care when their fears or life stresses mean they will take a ‘do nothing’ approach. As well, they simply don’t have the funds for non-GP care. I wish some of the articulate activists for patient-led healthcare would realise that being able to vocalise health beliefs, health needs and health priorities is not easy for a lot of people, and they’d prefer to hand over.

                    Shared decision-making is a wonderful ideal, imo – and something that I try to aspire to when I’m managing my own health needs. It’s an advantage that CAM practitioners have over traditional GPs, because it requires time that GPs often don’t have in the current health set-up. I sometimes feel sorry for GPs – having to work out in an instant which sort of patient is sitting there and to then responding appropriately.

                    • Chooky

                      @ miravox…what is a CAM?

                      ….well imo GP’s should resist ‘taking charge’ and being ‘the expert’ and encourage their ‘patients’ to listen their own intuitions and come to their own decisions based on the ‘knowledge’…experience /advice the doctor puts before them …they should also be encouraged to do their own research

                      …doctors should admit that there is a lot they do not know ….and a lot they can not do….and that much so called medical research is flawed and not scientifically valid

                      …if the patient still wishes to hand over their life ….then they should be warned about this!…..lol

                    • miravox

                      CAM = complementary and alternative medicine.

                      Yes, I know that’s your opinion.

                      However, for a person doing manual work in a couple of minimum wage jobs, who has a couple of kids to care for, no internet access or time to join discussions on health care beyond an immediate need the opinion can be a little more likely to be one of constrained pragmatism and reliance on mainstream health advice.

                    • Chooky

                      @mirovax…agreed it would be difficult in that situation…however i think it is more a question of attitudes….even if the ‘patient’ is stressed and wants a ‘quick fix’ it is important that the doctor does not allow themselves to be the ‘quick fixer’ God …but encourage the ‘patient’ to think around the issue for themselves….and become responsible and independent as regards their health … imo really it is the quality of discussion, respect, egalitarianism and warmth of communication that is most important and should come first …except in an emergency…(but emergency medicine is not usually GP medicine)

                      .

            • srylands 9.2.2.1.1.2

              What is your evidence for statins being over prescribed? Their use in NZ is on the low side with middle aged men in particular. Because they don’t go to doctors when they should.

              Antibiotics have been over prescribed but that is driven by patients. They are all generics anyway.

              Seriously this big pharma thing is childish. As is the use of the term “corporate” implying evil.

              I encourage you to stop using such terms in a negative context.

              • bad12

                Hope your swallowing plenty of them SSLands…

                • McFlock

                  Hesitate to diagnose over the interwebs, but he needs something 🙂

                  • Chooky

                    you might need more of “something”….there is nothing wrong with bad12s head…it is very sharp ….i know of at least two people who have had bad side effects with statins and discontinued use …no thanks to their doctors though …just warnings from other people and a bit of research on the internet….

                    • McFlock

                      replying to bad talking about sspylands.

                      If you weren’t such a deranged obseesive you would have ascertained that before jumping the gun.

                    • Chooky

                      @ McFlock …..you should make yourself clearer…if anyone is trigger happy around here it is you McFlock ….calm down

                    • McFlock

                      Riiight.

                      Because if I’m replying to someone, I must be talking about them. Even if using the third person.

              • Colonial Viper

                Seriously this big pharma thing is childish. As is the use of the term “corporate” implying evil.

                Corporate systems aren’t just “evil”, they are inhumane and destructive. Chris Hedges states that from a theological perspective, they are systems of death.

                Corporate priorities and profit margins have far too much (negative) influence in the shape and quality of our economy, society and interpersonal relations today.

                Antibiotics have been over prescribed but that is driven by patients. They are all generics anyway.

                Huh? I thought it was qualified doctors who prescribed the drugs, and qualified pharmacists who dispensed them. What do “patients” have to do with the inappropriate and dangerous over prescription of drugs?

  10. @TheNationTV3

    MPHoneHarawira says Hone Heke tax & ACC savings will be able to pay for policies costing several billion per year. Affordable?

    Affordable? isn’t the right question. Would Labour ever agree to pay for Mana policies by spending the ACC ‘Cullen’ fund?

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      Why are you calling the ACC investment fund the ‘Cullen’ fund when it has nothing to do with it?

      • Pete George 10.1.1

        Ah, yeh, wrong fund. Same question applies. Using the ACC fund will be difficult to get wide agreement on.

        • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1

          The point of the ACC fund is to make ACC fully-funded and not a pay-as-you-go system. Accounting-wise there’s no compelling reason that it needs to be fully-funded (that I’m aware of), but it seems to be something that both Labour and National have agreed on, so I don’t rate Mana’s chances of reversing that decision.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1

            Accounting-wise there’s no compelling reason that it needs to be fully-funded (that I’m aware of), but it seems to be something that both Labour and National have agreed on, so I don’t rate Mana’s chances of reversing that decision.

            There’s actually no logical reason for ACC to be fully funded.

            • RedBaronCV 10.1.1.1.1.1

              One of the reasons I can think of for making it fully funded is where a company sets up in NZ makes something and lots of profit for overseas shareholders and then moves on leaving behind a large ongoing liabilty for the damage it did to people on the production line. Similar to miners not cleaning up their mess.

          • Pete George 10.1.1.1.2

            His chances might be better than you think (and I thought).

            David Parker: ACC levy equals 350 years of Govt funding for food in schools

            “The Government is taking $700 million more than is needed from New Zealanders through ACC levies over two years. That’s a stealth tax, pure and simple. They’ve been advised to reduce it but are still overcharging New Zealanders.

            “That money is enough to cover the Government’s new role in feeding the kids for 350 years. That’s how badly Kiwis are being ripped off.

            “The Government is using ACC as a political jelly bean jar, overcharging New Zealanders to fill to the jar to overflowing in order to dole out lollies in election year for political advantage.

            “This isn’t prudent financial management, it’s taking directly from New Zealanders’ back pockets to try to win an election,” says David Parker.

            https://www.labour.org.nz/media/acc-levy-equals-350-years-govt-funding-food-schools

            Mana are trying to win an election by promising to spend from the ACC fund.

            Sue Moroney: ACC levies higher than they need to be

            “Money collected in ACC levies can’t be used to fund anything else, as it is ring-fenced for injuries resulting from accidents, so its use to prop up a sham surplus is misleading.

            “That money would be better off circulating in the economy, than being tied up in an ACC’s coffers where it is not needed,” Sue Moroney said.

            https://www.labour.org.nz/media/acc-levies-higher-they-need-be

            This is just opposition and election rhetoric, there’s no guarantee Mana would get a say on use of the ACC fund and there’s no guarantee Labour would substantially change how ACC operates and is funded.

            • marty mars 10.1.1.1.2.1

              you hating on Mana pete is typical – pity you didn’t put that notverysharp mind of yours towards your right wing mates and their lies masquerading as their facts. Don’t want to upset the donKey cart i suppose.

              • I don’t hate Mana. I hope Hone keeps his seat. I think it’s good that his constituency us represented.

                I’ve been jumped on at Whale Oil this week for criticising National – no party should be exempt from reasonable criticism. Not even Mana.

    • Affordable is exactly the right question – your priorities are skewed.

      • Pete George 10.2.1

        Ok, lets look at affordable. Mana policy is to increase ACC costs.

        Key policies include:

        – Government to return to ‘pay as you go’ for ACC, rather than expecting ACC to collect enough money to cover all future costs in each year.
        – Make health and wellbeing the priority, rather than forcing people off ACC as quickly as possible.
        – Get rid of the vocational independence (work capacity) test which is unnecessary and is often used simply as a way of forcing people off ACC at the soonest possible opportunity.
        – Ensure that people who suffer from work-related gradual process injury, disease or infection, including from chemical poisoning, and from hearing loss induced by industrial noise, receive full cover from ACC.
        – Require ACC to continue cover as long as an injury remains a cause of a person’s current condition, rather than using pre-existing conditions or age related degeneration as an excuse to withdraw support.
        – Remove the inequity in access to services and healthcare between ACC and Ministry of Health clients, bringing all recipients to the higher level of access to resources.

        http://mana.net.nz/draft-acc-policy/

        Mana want to spend from the ACC fund. Labour want to reduce levies. Mana want to increase payouts.

        Is that affordable? If so who should pay?

        • marty mars 10.2.1.1

          Which one of those policies don’t you like pete? Which group of people will you throw into the heap to sort it out themselves – why the hell don’t you care about people?

          • Pete George 10.2.1.1.1

            You said “Affordable is exactly the right question” but now you ignore it?

            Caring about people includes considering sustainable funding and costs.

            • marty mars 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Priorities pete it is all about priorities – think about that for a bit.

              • You’re still avoiding the “is it affordable” question. Shouldn’t affordability be a priority? otherwise it can’t be sustained.

                • It is not the right question pete. Affordability is subjective based upon the prioritisation of some things over other things. That concept is not that complicated pete.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Define “affordable”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Shouldn’t affordability be a priority? otherwise it can’t be sustained.

                  Huh?

                  We can “afford” to let big corporations take $10B p.a. in profits offshore, but spending a few extra millions to help our own people isn’t doable? Huh?

        • Lanthanide 10.2.1.2

          Unfortuantely like most things about the health system, it’s simply not as simple as they’re making out.

          My brother in law, a clinical psychologist, has worked with a lot of people in the ACC system, particularly around chronic pain. He says that a lot of the time, people prefer to stay on ACC because it’s an easy life, and end up malingering in the system as a form of learned helplessness. Sometimes the only way for people to actually get better is to force them off it so they must fend for themselves, discovering that actually their injury isn’t as bad as they thought it was, and in many cases getting out and working improves their health anyway. And just incase anyone tries to accuse him of being a tory (as always seems to be the case when someone says these sorts of things) he’s far more liberal than I am and votes Green.

          • Pete George 10.2.1.2.1

            Similar for general unemployment. There’s a shortage of jobs and it can be very difficult finding suitable employment, but some people get stuck in an unemployment rut which is easy to remain in but not good for self esteem. My wife worked for ten years in second chance learning which morphed into job broking for people stuck in unemployment.

            People who were encouraged and pushed and found jobs were very grateful for being nudged into the world of employment.

            • bad12 10.2.1.2.1.1

              What a load George,”there’s a shortage of jobs” simply means that forcing people into jobs, a lot of which are as you say inappropriate, adds more spin to the rotational employment economy that is being established…

          • bad12 10.2.1.2.2

            Considering that it is not your brother-in-law who is the actual sufferer of ‘the pain’ can you enlighten us all as to how He arrives at a measure of how much pain an individual,(remembering we all feel pain differently), is actually feeling befor He forces them out into the workforce(for their own good of course),

            i wouldn’t attribute the word Tory to someone employed to use their ”opinion” as the judgement of pain an individual is feeling, Fascist seems far more appropriate…

            • Lanthanide 10.2.1.2.2.1

              can you enlighten us all as to how He arrives at a measure

              Through his years of training in clinical psychology as well as being an expert in the field of chronic pain.

              Also he’s not the person that forces someone back into the workforce, but one of the specialists that people are sent to for their cases to be reviewed. He also makes recommendations about how to help people cope with their pain etc. I should actually clarify to say that he no longer is doing this particular job, he’s moved elsewhere now.

              He’s told us quite a few stories of people who have been clearly faking their issues, eg a guy saying he can only walk with crutches, who is clearly seen to tuck his crutches under his arm and stroll to his car once he thinks no one is watching, etc.

          • Ergo Robertina 10.2.1.2.3

            Well, some clinicians are guns for hire, enabling ACC to rort the system by denying claimants their rights. Paid handsomely for their lack of empathy, in some cases they’re flown all around the country to do the work. They can be ideologically driven (I’m not talking about party politics), and some are just psychopaths.

            https://www.greens.org.nz/oralquestions/kevin-hague-questions-minister-acc-about-independent-medical-assesor-fees

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7637014/ACC-pays-millions-to-send-its-hatchets

        • freedom 10.2.1.3

          Pete, ACC’s 2013 report showed a net surplus of $4.9 billion, which was $3.6 billion ahead of budget.

          Call me weird, but I reckon there is some definite wiggle room there to help the thousands of taxpaying kiwis who were, are, and will be denied the proper services they are fully entitled to from ACC.

          [Expletive]s like you think it is much more important to just give away the ACC excess, to stuff like roads and smelters and yacht races. Who cares about sick injured people or victims of rape or those recovering from violent assaults or survivors of childhood abuse. They are just good for nothings, supping on some imagined largesse.

          I believe “malingering” was the word your mate Lanthanide used.

          All I know is it cannot be healthy, having that deep rooted sense of entitlement mixing with your hypocritical calls for a just and reasonable society.

    • Transcript now available:

      Lisa Owen: So, to be clear, you think you can cover several billion dollars worth of spending through taxation?

      Hone Harawira: That’s one of them, there’s another one as well. Did you know there’s 22 billion dollars sitting in the hands of ACC, simply amassing wealth, amassing wealth through the corporatisation of injury? There’s something wrong with that notion. That money should be spent on the needs of New Zealanders, not on investments which are aimed at maximising the wealth of the corporates that are running it.

      http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/nation-lisa-owen-interviews-hone-harawira/5/187533

      It’s supposed to be there to pay for the needs of people requiring ACC payments.

      • marty mars 10.3.1

        “That money should be spent on the needs of New Zealanders, not on investments which are aimed at maximising the wealth of the corporates that are running it.”

        What don’t you like about this statement pete?

        • Pete George 10.3.1.1

          Then there’s no funds to pay for ACC payments to people.

          The investments are designed to benefit ACC recipients. What don’t you understand about that?

          • Jackal 10.3.1.1.1

            “Then there’s no funds to pay for ACC payments to people”? What do you think the ACC levies on just about everything are meant to pay for then Pete George?

            Your lack of knowledge concerning recent ACC history is telling. ACC recipients don’t receive additional assistance just because there’s a good return on investments. Those funds are simply transferred to the government to waste on things like highways of little significance and tax cuts for the rich.

            However, when ACC loses billions of taxpayers dollars on dodgy investments it’s the long term claimants who end up paying the price. That’s what the stricter regime that ensured many thousands of valid claims were denied was all about. That’s why the amount of court cases concerning ACC unjustifiably dismissing claims increased dramatically.

            ACC hasn’t changed their policy now that their investments are making money again. Therefore the investments are clearly not designed to benefit ACC recipients.

            But don’t let reality get in the way of your deluded existence there Pete George…god knows you never have done so in the past.

          • freedom 10.3.1.1.2

            Pete, what part of $3.6 billion ahead of budget confuses you?

          • Jackal 10.3.1.1.3

            Pete George, a guy who’s the editor of a website that purportedly is concerned about political fact checking, can’t even get the basic facts right. Instead, he drivels some inane rubbish and then scuttles away when people refute his claims.

            It’s a pity there is no real credible voice for the right wing anymore…just a bunch of discredited hacks who’s only trick is to make shit up. The Nation today was a prime example of just how pathetic the right wing and their media lackeys have become and if that’s their game plan, National will assuredly lose the next election.

  11. Chooky 11

    Where is philip ure?…his time out must be up by now…..i miss his long, good humoured witty, sometimes pertinent and spot on, rambling comments….come back philip ure…we need your unique perspective….i know you are around because i have seen you on the daily blog!!!

    …chooky misses you and your Vegan sausages lol

    …and also where is xtasy?

    • bad12 11.1

      i could comment on Phillips absence, but i dare not, one persons witty comments being another’s raving junkies drivel means i am enjoying the break…

      • Chooky 11.1.1

        bad12…you just keep away from my philip…i want him back

        • Belladonna 11.1.1.1

          I am missing Phillip too, enjoy his posts and his vegan promoting makes me feel less of an outcast on this site!

          • bad12 11.1.1.1.1

            Why do you feel an outcast Belladonna, it’s hardly a daily discussion of roast meats on a daily basis here at the Standard, and, promoting your vegan diet would interest many of us,me in particular,

            Where i do disagree with the strict vegan diet is that the body must have ‘fat’ to carrry many of the essential vitamins and minerals around the body to where they are destined for use, without such ‘fats’ as the mode of transport ingesting these necessary vitamins and minerals becomes a waste as they are simply ingested and end up without the transport mechanism as waste products sent down the toilet,

            To access enough ‘fat’ to transport these necessary vitamins and minerals around the body would require the vegan diet to be at least 20% nuts and avocado’s by volume of the daily diet…

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1.1.1

              [citation needed]

            • Belladonna 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Bad, I am vegan primarily for animal welfare reasons but the health side is an added bonus.
              I dont really follow a strict low fat plant based diet i.e. I eat nuts, avocado etc but compared to the average meat eater it is probably a low fat diet. I have rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosed as severe and was told I would probably be in a wheelchair within 5 years of being diagnosed, that was 15 years ago and while I am not completely cured am nowhere being in a wheelchair.
              I have had friends with RA, the same age as myself who didnt believe in a plant based diet and tried all the orthodox treatments available, too many of them have died before their time so I do believe my diet has helped heaps with my disease.
              Dr John McDougall has a very informative website. He promotes a low fat vegan diet, as does Dr Joel Fuhrman. Also Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, a well respected heart surgeon puts his very ill patients on a low fat vegan diet and has remarkable results. If you are interested I would check out their websites and also watch the film Forks Over Knives which will probably be available through your library as well as being available online as far as I know.
              They all seem to have a lot of success with converting people to a vegan diet with both weight loss and chronic disease issues. Dr McDougall has an extensive list of video clips from these people on his site and I do think the results are impressive. There are many recipes on his site also.
              There is also the PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine site) which you may find interesting.

              • bad12

                Tah for that Belladonna, definitely will have a look at the PCRM site later, have been on the veg diet since Christmas purely on a health basis but have included fish for variety and for the omega oils only to be found in my fishy friends(rewarding such friendship by eating them, just not nice),

                Lolz, against doctors orders i recently ditched ‘statins’ as from what i have read, their use along with diabetes medicine simply aggravates the problem in a merry-go-round of further complications, after my next blood test the diabetes meds are likely to end up in the bin as well,

                The WHO recommends 10 teaspoons of sugar max per day, so, it seems easy enough for those who care about their health to re-arrange their diet to be able to come in under that recommendation simply by cutting down on more sugar judged against the amount of fruit eaten daily,

                Lolz my way might kill me but i am sure it will be a lot slower than what is likely to occur should i keep taking meds that target one problem while exacerbating another…

                • Belladonna

                  Bad, am fairly sure if you look through Dr McDougall’s site, possibly in his newsletters that are available from that site you will find a rant from him on stents. He is a qualified medical doctor and has been in practice for 40 years. He apparently answers emails so you could email and ask his opinion on vitamins needing fats in the diet.
                  You would be aware of course that Bill Clinton has become vegan, he went to Dr Esselstyn after his problems with stents I believe. He is doing very well on the diet.

                  • bad12

                    Belladonna, thanks, but, the word doctor has little meaning to me when i am reading up on diet,

                    My point on fats is that there is enough written stuff online,(including from doctors) that pretty much points out that fats are necessary to transport and/or dissolve quite a lot of the major vitamins,

                    Not that this has me running out to secure a couple of lamb legs for roasting, there are good fats and bad fats, good apparently being olive/soy oil in moderation of course,

                    i am happy with the diet i have come up with which does include fish and oils for cooking along with avocado which has replaced butter on my toast, 3 different pieces of fruit a day and more veg in a week than i have eaten in a lifetime..

          • marty mars 11.1.1.1.2

            I miss phil too

        • bad12 11.1.1.2

          Lolz Chooky, i am not sure if i could join the ‘bring back phill campaign’ with any level of honesty,

          i think He may have taken to ‘the Daily Blog’ as the medium of His daily ‘ummm’ comments in the vein of ”i will show them”, any bets on the longevity of His ability to remain commenting over there…

  12. dv 12

    Interesting piece in Interest.co
    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/69431/murray-grimwood-thinks-current-political-leaders-will-be-turned-when-voters-realise-wh

    “Let’s put two plain facts on the table.

    Opinion Murray Grimwood renewable energy energy GDP growth Sustainability
    Fact 1: you can either be sustainable, or you can be unsustainable. There is no third option.

    Fact 2: Growth, if it is based on use of a finite planet (housing, dairying, resource extraction, pollution, degradation) is unsustainable.

    If something – growth in this case – is unsustainable, there are only two valid questions: When will it cease? And: What then”

    The whole article is worth a read.

    • bad12 12.1

      A lot of the ‘growth’ we measure tho is simply ‘inflation’ and to a certain extent if we keep measuring inflation as growth then growth as we measure it is infinite…

  13. Not a PS Staffer 13

    “You can say it’s all harmless fun, no one got hurt and so what if the media chooses to go into women’s magazine circa 1955 mode. Or you can ask what it says about us that we cling like timid children to this aristocratic family on the other side of the world and descend into infantilism every time they grace us with their presence.” Paul Little in the NZ Herald.

    What is missing in the soul of Kiwis that otherwise intelligent self-confident people would belittle themselves so publicly. I don’t get it!

    • bad12 13.1

      Perhaps we should examine your portrayal of ”Kiwis as intelligent self confident people” to find the answer to the question you propose,

      There is a whole sub-culture of New Zealand society that thrives on the ‘ogling of’ and the uplifting of ‘star culture’…

    • JanM 13.2

      What on earth makes you think that a population that is full of ‘intelligent self-confident people’ would even contemplate being led by a pillock like John Key (who , by the way appears to be one of the worst sufferers of this ‘infantilism’)

  14. beatie 14

    A relative of mine and her partner have 4 kids, the oldest being profoundly disabled and reliant on an electric wheelchair. They live in a Housing Corp house which is modified for wheelchair access. Recently HC decided to charge them market rent of $350 per week and they were presented with a bill for $2000 arrears. They took the case to the Tenancy Tribunal but lost and were given a week to pay, or face eviction. In the meantime both parents had lost their jobs. They borrowed the $2000 and took it to HC only to be informed that the arrears were now $2500. What a cruel place NZ is becoming!

    • vto 14.1

      Indeed it is.

      Wait for the debtors jails to pop up again.

      If all members of our community are not going to be provided with the base provisions of life then those members should start taking it.

    • bad12 14.2

      Yep, such cruelty is becoming more apparent in public as well as evidenced by the story in the Herald’s online version this morning where the majority of those who came across a body floating in the Auckland Harbor found it an object to be photographed as opposed to feeling any necessity to inform the relevant authority,

      i feel definite sympathy for you rellies, they will have, along with being lumped with the ‘market rent’,been included on Nick Smith’s list of those who will be in the first tranche of 800 HousingNZ tenants to be evicted by Smith,

      We have to remember here that the staff of HousingNZ are simply doing as they are told by Smith as employees,(yes it would be nice if they all en masse refused to carry out such orders,but, Smith would then simply sack them and find worse to do His bidding),

      Along with the announcement of the proposed first tranche of 800 evictions came what resonated in almost a boast in the vein of ”look at this you lefties, no-one gives a shit”, was the announcement that 1 in 4 of those to be evicted will be over the age of 60,

      Hell why wait for the oldies to perish in their own time, better to rip them out of their homes and kill em quick with the stress of trying to find somewhere affordable in the private sector….

      • bad12 14.2.1

        A PS here, as far as Smith as Minister of un-HousingNZ goes finding ”worse to do His bidding” goes, he has, it is now WINZ who get to decide who will and will not be a tenant of the State’s Housing stock,

        beatie’s comment above exposes the other unaddressed issue within Smith’s ‘plan’, that is the rotational nature of employment faced by certain sectors of our society,

        IF beatie’s rellies remain unemployed they are likely to be able to, based upon their income and their child’s profound disability, keep their State House tenancy,

        IF they however find new employment they will again face eviction from their home into the private sector rental market where no account of their child’s disability will be considered,

        What then becomes of them when through no fault of their own ”rotational employment” again leaves them unemployed,

        What beatie describes is a truly sick society brought to us all by Nick Smith and this National Government…

        • Tony Parker 14.2.1.1

          Here’s another example. At my school there is a 5 year old who is a P baby. Grandmother (53 yr old living by herself) has custody and looks after him and his 3 yr old brother and is doing a good job considering the circumstances. WINZ have just told her she has to find work or she loses benefit. She is distraught as she finds it hard enough just caring for these kids. Surely it is better she is full time caring for these kids to give them a better chance.

        • Tony Parker 14.2.1.2

          Here’s another example. At my school there is a 5 year old who is a P baby. Grandmother (53 yr old living by herself) has custody and looks after him and his 3 yr old brother and is doing a good job considering the circumstances. WINZ have just told her she has to find work or she loses benefit. She is distraught as she finds it hard enough just caring for these kids. Surely it is better she is full time caring for these kids to give them a better chance.

    • ffloyd 14.3

      Beattie. Sounds like a job for John Campbell.

      • beatie 14.3.1

        @ ffloyd; that’s what I thought, but the parents are scared that publicity would make the situation worse and at present they are busy dealing with Winz. Apparently the benefit application process is horrific, eg they insist on being provided with the kids birth certificates despite the fact that they are already on file.

    • freedom 14.4

      yup,
      Housing NZ, hang your heads in shame.

      Housing NZ say they will let these guys stay in the garage as long as they give up their place on a waiting list and Brownlee says everything is just fine in CHCH/ Someone want to remind him that it is three years since the earthquakes and we still have elderly people in garages facing another winter.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9933882/Car-replaces-garage-home

  15. tricledrown 15

    5spylands He is a confused dinosaur.
    Dirty old dinosaur Don.
    Double dealing exclusive Bretheren deal.
    Philanderer.
    Washed up sulker.
    Spylad don’t forget the productivity commission came out with evidence that more cheap housing needed to be provided so our work force can have a decent standard of living.
    Act which is promoting your policy – legalizing pot.has consistantly polling at less than 0.5%.
    So spyman your an extremist very likely to be suffering an undiagnosed mental illness.
    Get help soon denial won’t fix your problems.

  16. captain hook 16

    poor don. he didn’t really have a clue abut anything except how to slice luncheon sausage.
    the rest was just baloney.

  17. Martyn Bradbury is reporting from the Mana Party conference and on Hone Harawira’s speech.

    …he addresses the MANA AGM, and he presses them on taking an opportunity on like the alliance. He gets strong applause.

    “When Kim says he is against the TPPA, I listen”.

    “When Kim says he is against the GCSB, I listen”.

    “When Kim says he wants this Government out, I ask, ‘why isn’t he a member of MANA’”?

    “I would be a wretched leader if I didn’t at least bring this to the table.”

    Much applause.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/04/12/mana-agm-when-hone-met-kim-update

    There’s obvious interest in an alliance (Dotcom wouldn’t be at the conference if there wasn’t.

    I don’t know if a Mana/Internet Party alliance would be good for either but it’s up to them to decide. The proof will be in the election.

    • bad12 17.1

      Once i see the proposed split in representation between the two Mana/Internet based around the various percentages of likely gain at the upcoming election i will be more than likely to vote for it than not….

      • Pete George 17.1.1

        That’s going to be interesting. Mana are in a strong position because the IP needs their electorate seat to coat-tail on. They will want to make sure they benefit from any arrangement so they will want to make sure they get at least one in on the list, otherwise there’s no point.

        I don’t think 2-4% would be hard to achieve if the alliance is solid. Possibly more but that won’t be easy. Butthere’s quite a risk for Harawira if it backfires in his electorate.

        • bad12 17.1.1.1

          Actually i see all the publicity surrounding the proposed alliance as only being good for Hone’s position in Te Tai Tokerau,(on last election’s figures he needs a boost),

          i also see Annette Sykes winning the contest in Waiariki this time round and it was smart of Mana to hold the AGM this year in Rotorua,

          i expect Mana to benefit further from the dissolution of the Maori Party, while most of these voters are probably off back to Labour a fair few of them will back Mana…

  18. karol 18

    Helen Clark interview in Aussie – 20 minute video

    Plus Stuff report on it here.

    She talks about ringing her father in NZ every day. About the last years as PM – politics is like a commodity that people think the governing party needs to be changed every so often, the sexism, her application for her UN job……

  19. Clemgeopin 19

    WATCH PAULA BENNETT practice for her future post Sept 20 new career here:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9935788/Paula-Bennett-struts-her-stuff

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