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Open mike 12/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, May 12th, 2014 - 270 comments
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270 comments on “Open mike 12/05/2014 ”

  1. there is a medical-emergency @ tvnz breakfast..

    ..rawdon christies’ lips have frozen..

    ..locked onto/in keys’ lowest-orifice…

    ..the call has gone out for ‘zambucks!’..

  2. “..Act leader produces alternative budget..” (+ comment:..ed:..d’ya need a laff..?..d’ya need a laff..?.)

    ..i understand whyte/act favour building that (long desired by eastern suburbs residents) ‘berlin’-wall through the centre of the auckland region…

    ..that wall to ‘keep the poor out’..to stop them disturbing/annoying/intruding into..

    ..the lives of the rich..

    ..the proposed wall will roughly follow the gt sth rd..

    ..and then loop out to include that recent luvvie-haven..pt chevalier..



    • Aux 2.1

      Any word on exactly what Whyte calls his philosophy? I’ve heard that he calls himself a philosopher, but can’t place the philosophy by his reasoning. Does it mean he’ll argue for anything he wants, or is there more to it. Judging by the link at whoar.co.nz. above, he isn’t an economist. Using his economic philosophy everyone except a few entertainers and electronic technicians would be unemployed and if you needed important medical attention you’d probably die. I’m guessing what he meant was he is politician. It’s an easy mistake to make, they both start with P, but unfortunately even politicians have an ideal of something. He doesn’t even fall into that category. Corporate Manager, might be closer. Corp managers only need money and place to escape to later.

      Re: wall separating rich Orcs from poor Aucks. Dang, it’s pretty tempting. But only if the rich aren’t allowed out to leech off the poor (personally, or for their newspapers) or gentrify areas that are doing perfectly fine without them.

      • phillip ure 2.1.1

        “..Any word on exactly what Whyte calls his philosophy?..”

        .it’s f.r.l.t…far-right-loony-tunes..

        • aerobubble

          He’s a financial supremacist. He’s after the fascist vote. Sorry, the dumber end of the fascist vote. He’s also a poor intellectual, since he regards anything his opponent says, values, beliefs to be irrelevant. And that’s foolish, as to enter a debate you have to do so in good faith, and that means being open to being influenced, and so means walking a tight rope between keeping your opponent onside, with the potential of influencing you also. Nobody believes a person who says they must agree with that person, and then anything you say is irrelevant, you just frustrate, and then leave the impression of a guy who a nasty piece of work. Whtye is a cretin, and highlights the collapse in our education system.

          • phillip ure

            i’ve heard the act-‘candidate’ (what’s-his-name?) has been spotted in epsom..

            ..jumping out from behind hedges/hiding-places..

            ..and scaring people/innocent punters/burghers…

            ..and videoing the results..

            ..(he is also very ‘up’ about the wall-plan..

            ..promising epsom/remuera-ites an electronic numberplate recognition system..

            ..and this would block those from ‘the other side’…

            ..from even taking the epsom motorway off-ramp..

            ..he talked to a recent meeting of locals about this..

            ..and a large number of them rattled their zimmer-frames in unison in support of ‘the wall’..

            ..they are happy the ‘wall’ will not only be economic..

            ..that it will also have a physical manifestation..

            ..one designed to keep what ayn rand called ‘the unworthy’ at bay..)

            ..for them..what’s not to love..?..

          • Gosman

            “And that’s foolish, as to enter a debate you have to do so in good faith, and that means being open to being influenced, and so means walking a tight rope between keeping your opponent onside, with the potential of influencing you also.”

            Pretty sure that is not what most people on here do.

            • McFlock

              speak for yourself

            • aerobubble

              Its a test, people who aren’t open, or at least don’t look open to seemingly to being turned, are less capable debaters and so it follows their ideas aren’t tested. Whyte is supposed to be from an academic background, so either his institute/department is crap, or he’s entered politics thinking he can take all the nuance out and just blast people with his dogma. Thinking that particular dogma was still apt. No matter how hard the right ignores it, the GFC changed politics and exposed the dinosaurs for their extinction politics.

      • phillip ure 2.1.2

        “..Dang, it’s pretty tempting..”

        ..no more nouveau-riche/hooray-henry/henrietta shoreites..?

        ..no more braying parnellites…?

        ..we can but dream…eh..?

        ..(maybe i will vote act…just for the wall-plan..

        ..the more you think about it..

        ..the more the benefits are becoming more and more apparent..

      • Chooky 2.1.3

        he went to Cambridge University….does that help?

        • McFlock

          depending on which era, wouldn’t that make him a commun1st? 🙂

          • Chooky

            something strange has been going on at Cambridge University …maybe they have been taken over by Reptiles?….come to think of it, he does look a bit like a reptile!

      • amirite 2.1.4

        Aux – I guess it’s “objectivism” by one Ayn Rand, the toxic philosophy of selfishness, self-interest and disregard for society and altruism.
        Yet the great champion of personal responsibility was more than happy to receive social welfare under her husband’s name when she got cancer.
        As Michael Ford of Xavier University’s Centre for the Study of the American Dream wrote, “In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest.”

        • phillip ure

          and john key is an admitted fanboy of rand..and her twisted/sociopathic-philosophy..

          ..you will find if you scratch any rightie..a rand-abcess will appear..

          ..so of course whyte is an objectivist..a rand-ite..

          ..i would like to see the corporate/access-media quizz him on that….what his exact philosophy is..

          ..what are his objectivist/rand-ite belifs actually based on..

          ..aside from self-interest/greed/fuck-the-poor!..?

          ..he is a self-proclaimed ‘philosopher’..after all..

    • ianmac 2.2

      The Whyte Budget is of course a signal to the far right of ACT supporters and to the far right in the National Party and all those supporters. What he advocates can’t happen but it gives ACT a platform to garner 4% of the vote and a seat and therefore a role in a National lead government. So Mr Key won’t be rubbishing it any time soon. He will give it tacit approval over a cup of tea.

      • phillip ure 2.2.1

        and we must not forget that these act policies (as noted) are also those of the far-right in national..

        ..the collins..and that bag-carrier/stand-behinder for disgraced ministers..(what’s his name..?..young/dimple on chin you could park in..used to be auckland city council something-or-other..?)..being just two examples of these creatures..

        ..(they would both be (closet) wall-believers..)..actites in national-drag..both of them

        ..and when you put that together with the fact that if key/nact do get back in..

        ..that’s when it starts to get really scary..

        ..this will be their third term..and they are smart/cunning enough to know that they will have a snowballs’ chance in hell of getting a fourth term..

        ..so they would go gangbusters…

        ..it’ll be scorched-earth up and down the line/country..

        ..the mines/drilling minister will get r.s.i. from signing off on mining/drilling-permits..

        ..everything that is and isn’t nailed down will be sold-off..

        ..poverty/inequality/pollution will all get markedly worse..

        ..that huge sell-off of state housing stock uncovered by that o.i.a. from labour – that came to light over the wknd..

        ..that plan that national planned to keep secret until after the election..

        ..that is just the tip of the iceberg..

        ..if they get back in..there will be nothing left to save..

        ..and ..(adding in the climatechange-imperatives)..

        ..all of that makes this election the most important/crucial for a long time..

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      If we followed Acts diagnosis and prescription the entire economy would collapse within five years. Of course, what we’re actually doing at the moment is following a slightly more benign form of the same prescription that will crash the economy slightly later.

      Both Act and National have failed to learn anything about economics and hold firmly to their ideology. Their ideology that only the rich matter.

    • Will@Welly 2.4

      “Law of the jungle”. Arm yourself if ever they take over. Last man standing wins.

  3. ffloyd 3

    So the new mantra from key is that “the gov’t has done brilliant work”to bring us back from the brink of the financial disaster that they “inherited from Labour”. Just heard him mention it a few times while he was having a wee chat with Susie.

    • vto 3.1

      He is clearly referring to his work in increasing debt by $50billion during his time, compared to Michael Cullen paying debt down to about $10billion.

      Why would Key think borrowing more than any government ever has be “good work” though?

      • phillip ure 3.1.1

        “..Why would Key think borrowing more than any government ever has be “good work” though?..”

        ‘cos that is an essential-ingredient of the big-lies/myths he peddles..

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.2

        Aren’t we falling into the neoliberal trap that “debt is bad”? People seem so eager to score a free hit on Key’s government that we’re forgetting the fact that Keynes’s theory has been textbook by the combination of Cullen and Key. You pay the debt in the good times, you’re willing to build debt to increase demand in the bad. The alternative is austerity. So I don’t think we should criticise the government on increasing the debt.

        • freedom

          50 billion dollars plus of new debt Disraeli, in only five and a half years..
          Fifty thousand million dollars

          Even if the Government has borrowed two billion a year to compensate for the tax loss from the cuts it implemented and added another 2 billion a year as a buffer, once added to the CHCH 15 billion costs, that still leaves 20 billion dollars of debt that is not adequately explained. 20 BILLION, this is not chump change.

          I have seen people talk about Rena and Pike River as if they contributed in some massive way. Rena was 36 million, Pike river was 12 million, (the compensation payment of 3m was not paid by the Govt) These items are barely relevant to the scale of the debt. I have also had people tell me to my face that the Asset Sales paid off all our debt. yes, all of it. This most recently by a business person who employs 5 people and believed NZ was debt free after the sales.

          Bill English in the House, just last week, confirmed CHCH is costing 15 billion. I am not saying things have not been difficult, because yes I definitely know how tough things are right now. Especially for kiwi businesses. Export sales (especially in some areas of manufacturing) are improving in volume but profit margins are decreasing because of a high dollar and the associated interest rates. Import prices are dropping, but people’s ability to finance purchases also declining because of the uncertainty created by the high dollar scaring off banks – We do not know how much credit is paying for groceries any more because the debit and credit card use is all bundled together now (which is as patently absurd as it sounds)

          It is because things are so difficult that honest facts need to be addressed by our Government, our media and most importantly by the voters.. On RNZ this morning after six years in power, our PM still placed all the responsibility for current issues on Labour. http://www.radionz.co.nz/…/budget-surplus-stands…

          A couple of months ago the PM said Labour’s 10 billion dollar debt of 2008 was “dangerously high” What describes a debt north of 60 billion?

        • Draco T Bastard

          The government should never be in debt. Deficit maybe but not debt. The government can create money and thus should never borrow.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        Because that’s anther $50 billion that the banksters can make and charge interest on.

    • mickysavage 3.2

      Yep on planet Key the Global Financial Crisis never happened and it is all Labour’s fault. This is so childish and such a blatant lie. I wish the media had higher expectations of its leaders and caned anyone who said anything like this.

      • karol 3.2.1

        Yet, Key and his ministers have said many times that it’s Labour (and the Greens) that have been ignoring that the GFC ever happened.

        • Jackal

          Yes! I’ve even heard a few National Minsters claim the Greens were in government with Labour, and therefore it’s all their fault. The complete idiocy of John Key’s failed government would be laughable if we weren’t talking about $61 BILLION WORTH OF DEBT.

      • freedom 3.2.2

        sarc- (sort of but not really)

        • An unreported short interview on Government debt

        Int:Q1: Prime Minister, what was the debt when you took power in 2008?

        PM: I am glad you asked that question because I can tell you ‘it was a “dangerously high” 10 billion dollars’.

        Int:Q2: Prime Minister, what is our current debt now in 2014?

        PM: Bill English’s surplus will show that this Government has acted responsibly and delivered NZ out of the troubled days of the last Labour Government. The last Labouor Government had irresponsible policies where taxes were climbing and excessive borrowing built a massive debt that National has expertly managed over the past two terms and has actually produced a booming economy. At the end of the day that means a brighter future for all New Zealanders.

        Int:Q3: Prime Minister, I asked if you could tell us what the current debt is?

        PM: ? I don’t have accurate figures to hand but I can tell you it would have been a lot bigger under Labour. Have you seen my daughter’s wonderful art?

        Int:Q4: Can you explain, and rounded billions will do fine, how the current debt which is over 60 billion dollars has been spent?

        PM: That is an operational matter and the GFC is still hitting us hard and Labour’s dangerous ideas delivered so much debt and Christchurch is a massively expensive operation.

        Int: In the House last week Bill English said the cost to the Government for rebuilding Christchurch was 15 billion dollars.

        PM: He did? Well Bill is a good bloke so I am sure he has it all under control and that figure probably didn’t include all the infrastructure costs – Did you see my bach on TV?

        Int: the costs being met by the CHCH ratepayers you mean?

        Int: Prime Minister ? Prime Minister ?

        Int: Prime Minister ? please don’t run in the hallways

        • phillip ure

          @ freedom..that’s good..

          ..i have long been surprised our corporate/access-media has neither the wit nor the intelligence to run that basic-math past key..

          ..followed by a ‘please explain..’

          ..i live in hope..

        • Will@Welly

          John Key’s speech writer makes an appearance – welcome.

  4. bad12 4

    25,000 people with earnings of over $70,000 annually are receiving the full entitlement to NZ superannuation,

    Half a billion dollars+ annually is paid out in superannuation to this category of high income earners,

    Source: Stuff.co.nz,

    Having looked at ”the numbers” from 1980 to the present and extrapolated those ”numbers” into the future i believe that superannuation in the future is affordable and can see no sound reasoning behind the Labour/ACT policy to raise the age of entitlement,

    IF there need be changes to the superannuation payments system then my belief such changes have to be based upon fairness, Socialism would dictate that such fairness base any such changes upon ”NEED”,

    ”NEED” would dictate that people earning $70,000 or more annually do not ”NEED” benefit payments from the State and such monies, approx half a billion dollars annually should be diverted by the tax system into the Cullen Super Fund,

    Those responding to the ‘Stuff.co.nz’ poll on the issue disagree with me by a huge margin voting for the staus quo of universal payments,

    Labour i would suggest, (again), are onto a ”loser” with the policy to raise the age of entitlement with none of it’s probable coalition partners supporting raising that age,

    Are Labour prepared to put Legislation befor the house to interfere with the current superannuation regime supported by National/ACT…

    • vto 4.1

      Why do all those people who don’t need it get it?

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        You may want to consider that if they are earning $70k plus then they are also paying at least as much tax as they are receiving Super.

        Bet that wasn’t mentioned in the article.

        • vto

          That is a slippery answer there redlogix, which is in fact not an answer to the question.

          • Colonial Viper

            Do we really want a whole lot of the top 20% of society to say – I pay more taxes than anyone else, yet you are going to cut me out of every Kiwi’s birth right of Super?

            Further, let’s not fall for the bullshit premise that we “can’t afford” super. Of course we bloody can, it’s only electronic currency units which can be created by key strokes – the real challenge is ‘will we have a productive, value producing, skilled economy with which to spend those currency units into.’

            • vto

              Yes I understand the politics is impossible, but my original question remains unanswered, namely “Why do all those people who don’t need it get it?” I would suggest the answer, if you listen carefully for the grey-haired murmur in the ether, is … “because we bloody well can. We will vote you lot out if you take it from us”. That is all. It is intense self-interest and nothing more.

              But to your point CV, what you outline also establishes the credentials for a UBI as promoted by Gareth Morgan. The conversation must head in this direction, and the self-interest of the wealthy elderly provide the platform for that conversation (probably to their horror).

              • weka

                “Why do all those people who don’t need it get it?”

                Do you mean why are they allowed to get it, or do you mean why do they claim it when they don’t need it?

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Same old, same old idiocy that always happens when tax/welfare is targeted.

      Targeting always creates distortions, disincentives to do the right thing, and incentives to do the wrong thing.

      Gareth Morgan made a valiant attempt to push for universality as logical, fair and cohesive. The left really should have made more of an attempt to back him.

      (I won’t be around for this evening’s DC thread – could someone do me the favour of putting a question to him around universality and the possibilities of a UBI please?)

      • Chooky 4.2.1

        RL+100…agreed…”Gareth Morgan made a valiant attempt to push for universality as logical, fair and cohesive. The left really should have made more of an attempt to back him”

        It is pointless pitting Labour voters against each other….It is the very wealthy oligarchy like John Key and his mates who are warping and loading the economy for themselves and their mates or overseas wealthy immigrants…..that we should be gunning for

        (Key is putting the social and financial burden and debt onto ordinary New Zealand workers, unemployed and young ….particularly the young trying to get an education or a house)

        • weka

          We had gross income and standard of living inequality long before Key came on the scene, including during Labour govts. Key and co are ramping it up to a whole new level, but let’s not pretend everything was ok before them.

          Red, I can ask the question, although I don’t understand fully the bit about targeting always being unfair and creating problems (I say that as someone who would still need targeted funding even with a UBI).

          • RedLogix

            Thanks weka – appreciated.

            I’m out the door to work right now – maybe others could elaborate on the problems that targeting always creates.

            For a start though – you cannot just have a straight cutoff at $70k otherwise someone on $69,999 gets all the benefit of Super and someone on $70,001 gets none. You have to have some sort of progressive rebate. But then effective progressive rebates always introduce very high marginal tax rates (same effect occurs when ordinary benefits are rebated against part-time income.

            From our earlier conversations I agree a UBI would still need some form of targeting. But with a sufficiently decent UBI any specific needs targeting might only need to be quite modest in the big scheme of things.

            • Colonial Viper

              And the more complex a system is, the more it can be gamed, and the more resources and energy have to be sucked up into administrative overhead and punitive enforcement.

              It is the wrong road to go down, especially during this phase of long term energy and economic depletion.

          • Tracey

            people who think labour has any intention of swinging far from the current ideological position we are subject to, are ignoring the past from the 80’s onward and the policies already announced. perhaps they will do something wildly leftfield once elected but they will be doing it not having campaigned on it.

        • Draco T Bastard

          (Key is putting the social and financial burden and debt onto ordinary New Zealand workers, unemployed and young ….particularly the young trying to get an education or a house)

          That’s what the rich always do – it’s how they get rich in the first place.

    • karol 4.3

      I heard a report on RNZ National this morniNG where Brash was complaining that he was getting super he didn’t need and that it was unaffordable to pay wealthy 65+ers super. Duh! if he cares so much, why is he getting super? A person doesn’t get it automatically. You need to fill out a detailed form, declaring all income, earnings (in NZ and from outside), assets etc in order to claim super.

      And if Brash cares so much amount the affordability of super, why not just raise the taxes of high earners during their working lives?

      Stuff article.

      Susan St John

      “There is a case for redesigning the tax system to gently claw back NZ Super, at the top end – without affecting the living standards of the bulk of people who might genuinely only have small amounts of additional supplementary income.”

      Jan Logie:

      Green Party MP Jan Logie said introducing means-testing for the wealthy could end up hurting the poor

      And don’t the wealth 65+ers, with continued high income from work and/or investments etc, lose as much in extra taxes as they gain from (for them) the meagre super payment?

      • weka 4.3.1

        Imagining now a campaign of voluntary refusal of Super by those that don’t need it 😉

        Would be interesting to know if there are people already not claiming. Brash is a wanker of the highest order. What was going on in his head when he was filling out the forms?

        • Tracey

          he probably thought

          ” i dont need this. its stupid, but if i dont take it they will never change it. and it needs changing. im doing this for the good of the country. amen”

        • Draco T Bastard

          I believe Bob Jones doesn’t get it and refuses to apply for it. He’s the only one I know of though.

          • Tracey

            id rather he took it in return for never again writing an opinion piece for a printed publication.

          • Will@Welly

            When National Super came in, I can recall some older guys I worked with, in their 60’s who refused it, because it would push them into the next tax bracket and they would lose more than they would gain. The other thing at the time, Muldoon introduced ‘compulsory’ retirement at 60, but that really only applied to wage and salary earners. Many of the older fellas I worked with told the bosses to mind their own business.

      • bad12 4.3.2

        Do they??? those over 65’s with income of $70,000 or more ”lose as much in extra taxes as they gain from,(for them) the meagre super payment?,

        Only the slow ones Karol, most of these people will have their affairs filtered through accountants and tax lawyers enabling them to escape a large part of the tax burden on the $70,000 of income,

        i would suggest also that the identified 25,000+ who fall into the category of $70,000+ of earnings while also collecting the pension is only the tip of the iceberg as ”trusts” can be used to hide income as being of direct benefit to those who wish to,

        Note that i use the word ‘IF’ in capitals for a reason, that reason being that i support no change to superannuation because i believe from looking at the previous 30 years of GDP growth from 2012 backward and then applying that same rate of growth in dollar terms to the next 30 years as GDP growth that National Superannuation is sustainable at its current rate applied to the proposed doubling of the numbers of those receiving the pension,

        Yep, rather then interfere with any of the welfare benefits including the pension Government should raise the rate of taxes collected from the wealthy, ensure ALL due taxes are collected via a proactive prosecuting tax agency and introduce a Financial Transactions Tax that targets spending of any amount of cash over $500 weekly with mortgage payments being exempt…

        • Bearded Git

          Agreed Bad12. Until NZ’s ridiculous trust laws are changed the rich will get richer.

          This is a major problem that a party such as the Greens or Mana should be targetting.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Actually, under the present system the rich will always get richer while everyone else gets poorer. That, quite simply, is how the system is designed.

        • Chooky

          +100 bad 12

        • Tracey

          my brother in law is physically and mentally disabled. when his mother died the estate, her modest chch home and some deposits went into a trust for him and my partner. the reason was to avoid the money going directly to him and having soneone take advantage of him.

          we pay his health insurance, his clothing and all stuff he needs, outings, dentist, and repirs to his electric scooter and so on.

          we have not moved our affairs into the trust, altho friends suggested it when we had a low value leaky home.

          imo trusts are for people like my brother in law who needs protecting and support, not to find clever ways to reduce tax liability or to escape accountability for wrong doing.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.3

        And don’t the wealth 65+ers, with continued high income from work and/or investments etc, lose as much in extra taxes as they gain from (for them) the meagre super payment?

        Probably not. If they did then they wouldn’t be applying for it.

    • Roflcopter 4.4

      Means test Super… should have been done decades ago.

      • Bearded Git 4.4.1

        Rof-this won’t work until you change trust law.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yeah like means testing kids parents for the student allowance – spot all the rich farmers kids on the full allowance and loans package at Uni

          • Chooky

            how about overseas trust funds?…..now that is getting really difficult…full disclosure ?

            education for New Zealanders should be free as it is in Germany and France and other countries which care about looking after their own youth and their own culture

            • Colonial Viper

              The fact of the matter is that we live in a society where those who hold the majority of the wealth and the power in our society i.e. those over 50, are quite fine with 300,000 Kiwi kids living in day to day poverty.

              However, these are the same people who would cause a political riot if mortgage rates went up on their own kids by 1% tomorrow.

          • Chooky

            @CV…re your comment…”spot all the rich farmers kids on the full allowance and loans package at Uni”…I dont think it is fair to single out farmers….many of whom vote Labour and are not at all rich

            New Zealand was built up on the work of frugal Calvinist living farmers…they worked bloody hard and some scrimped and scraped to send their kids to boarding schools …others sent their kids to the local state high school…I know far more of these than the very wealthy new- comer corporate dairy ‘farmers’…many of whom were not born in New Zealand ….. and are not real farmers at all but get managers to do the work…they are here for the BIG Bucks….

            …I did know one wealthy cattle and sheep and mixed crop farmer….and largely wealthy through personal effort , making use of ag scientists and living very frugally…when they went on holiday it was camping in the outbacks of Australia …this farmer lived far more modestly than many who now control Auckland….this farmer bequeathed everything to Lincoln College and charity…(family members much to their chagrin were left completely out…lol)….the Minister who conducted at the funeral said that this farmer was a “very good person”…this sounds trite …but I have to agree!…..how many nouveau rich, who have got rich by exploiting others would do this?…or have lived like this farmer?…

            • Colonial Viper

              Well a lot of farmers are asset rich but cash poor, and also live very fiscally conservative lifestyles that is true.

              I’m just pointing out that the student allowance scheme hits those wage earning parents on a good PAYE income but then lets many who are wealthy in terms of net assets but who shelter their income in trusts etc, through the loopholes.

              • Chooky

                yes well i would agree with that…but probably more non farmers hide their assets in trusts and off shore

                • Tracey

                  hmmm, my gut tells me a higher percentage of farmers have trusts than non farmers. have no proof.

                  • Chooky

                    small family ones with a local lawyer to protect the small family farm ….or large off-shore ones?

                    • Tracey

                      what does the family farm need protection from that a trust legitimately addresses?

                      offshore owners are likely to have axcompany structure nit a trust structure.j

                    • Chooky

                      @ Tracey…i don’t know because i don’t have one…however i am sure there are good reasons for them, just as there are for your family having one

                    • Tracey

                      you know, truly, amongst my friends and family, we are the only one with a trust due to a disabled beneficiary… the ones in the family are asset protection and tax reduction, same with legal colleagues. not saying people dont have them, just saying in the circles i move, we are the only ones.

              • Ennui

                There are a lot of people who chose the moral low ground on the basis of not being particularly honest about their circumstances. I can site some real examples….

                One person I know of went through Uni on a hardship allowance because his asset rich mother was on DPB, and his “no income” father who owns (through companies) rental assets with huge rents had paid no PAYE for years (so was adjudged to be below the threshold).

                Another I can cite is one of the richest people I know who again can hide his income in a maze of companies….his offspring are eligible for allowances the poor might envy.

                All I can say is that fair and money do not coincide. I have a theory that honesty diminishes with wealth (in aggregate…there are lots of honest wealthy).

                • Tracey

                  imo there has been a deliberate move away from ethics as a yardstick for behaviour toward if its legal its ok. the law sets a minimum level of behaviour only.

                  john roughan today stated he thought collins breached the xabinet manual, so the manual needs changing.

                  i know a guy who constantly moans about paying too much tax and bloody bludgers taking all his money. his son when to otago uni, got the living away from home allowance, maxed out the student loan to buy a property, waited til he graduated, sold the house, pocketed the equity increase.

                  his father and his fathers friends saw nothing wrong with it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    imo there has been a deliberate move away from ethics as a yardstick for behaviour toward if its legal its ok. the law sets a minimum level of behaviour only.

                    And then they change the law even further to allow even more egregious behaviour by the 1%. Plus enforcement of said laws is curiously lackadaisical most of the time.

                    • Tracey


                      who has fastest access to the lawmakers to promote or oppose law changes, it aint me cv.

                • Chooky

                  re- “honesty diminishes with wealth”….crucial proviso being depending on HOW the wealth is made…and that applies to the less wealthy also

                  ie …not everyone who is wealthy is a cad ….and not everyone who is poor is a saint

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    re- “honesty diminishes with wealth”….crucial proviso being depending on HOW the wealth is made

                    I posted a video a few months ago about studies showing the opposite. The rich always justify the wealth that they have to show that they deserve even when that wealth was, quite literally, handed to them with the rules of the game biased in their favour.

                    • Chooky

                      so on that account John Lennon was an arse-hole and David Cunliffe , who many poor NZers would regard as being wealthy, should not be leader of the Labour Party ( a really self -defeating argument imo)

                      ….i guess you will be voting Mana ( smirk)…but then again if Dotcom gets affiliated it would rule Mana out for you too

                      …..i guess the Greens will also be ruled out…because many of them will be in the ‘wealthy ‘ bracket as judged by a poor beneficiary

                      ….so i guess that leaves….?…a Communist Party? ( but not many truly Communist Parties left…certainly not in China….where many in the higher echelons are the wealthiest capitalists of the lot)

                      …it is an absurd reductionist argument ie the poorest are the mostest virtuous

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      …it is an absurd reductionist argument ie the poorest are the mostest virtuous

                      Good job I didn’t say that they were then.

                    • Chooky

                      ok…but do the poor also justify their poverty ?…seems to me that it is part of the human condition to justify where you are at, one way or another

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I don’t believe so.

          • Bearded Git

            +100 CV. This is the problem exactly.

    • Disraeli Gladstone 4.5

      I think there’s a societal important in keeping super universal. At the moment, it’s universal, we all expect to get it, it is our right after a long life. If we start means testing it, the conversation will change.

      Suddenly, super isn’t a right, it’s a benefit. Maybe these people should have saved more money during their life? We did and we’re not getting super now. It’s not our fault they’re too stupid to save. They should work longer. Make them jump through a load of hoops before you give it to them. My taxpayers money is going there. And so on.

      With the removal of universal super, the hateful language of the beneficiary would probably move over to the area within fifteen-twenty years.

      • vto 4.5.1

        How is it a “right after a long life”? As far as I can tell, the ones getting universal super now voted for governments like Muldoon who made no effort to provide for government provision super. They actively voted in governments who did nothing about it. In fact worse, they got rid of the super scheme. Talk about greed back then and greed now..

        And how is it a right? How does merely making it a certain age equate to a right?

        And further Disraeli, your point about super becoming a benefit rather than a right, … well that is interesting isn’t it, because I would have thought that a state provided income when without a job qualifies far more as a right than a universal state provided income on reaching a certain age is. Yet the unemployment income is not seen as a right is it, yet it should be. The conversations need lining up imo.

      • lprent 4.5.2

        The difficulty is with the statement

        At the moment, it’s universal, we all expect to get it, it is our right after a long life.

        It isn’t a right, in fact I’d argue that there really isn’t any such thing.

        It is an entitlement based on what has been done in the past. Specifically my parents and me and my siblings paid for my grandparents superannuation, my siblings and I and some of my siblings progeny are currently paying for my parents superannuation. I expect to have my retirement (if I have one) partially paid for by the younger taxpayers from my family.

        However if it has been underfunded into the future, then it winds up as being an imposition on younger taxpayers. Quite simply there is no reason for younger taxpayers to pay more than their parents did to support their parents. It is what I argued with my parents back in about 1980, so you can’t exactly say that the funding crunch was unexpected. What I said was that I’d wind up paying for other peoples superannuation throughout my life, and the system would be bankrupt when I needed to use it because the taxpayer base would be too low.

        Now because of the bulge of older people going through and the increases in life expectancy, then that should require a reduction of what? Something 40% or so for the duration unless we preload enough through something like the Cullen fund, or reduce the age of entitlement. In other words push the excess burden back on to those receiving the benefit.

        There is absolutely no morality in over burdening the children with carrying the cost for the bloated geriatrics who refused to look forward and to prepay for a known problem with the scheme.

        But it isn’t a right. That is just the muttering of the morally repugnant old parasites who want to crush their children’s lives with their parents debt gained from a greedy lack of prudent foresight. They aren’t entitled to more than they have provided themselves.

        • Pete George

          There is absolutely no morality in over burdening the children with carrying the cost for the bloated geriatrics who refused to look forward and to prepay for a known problem with the scheme.

          But it isn’t a right. That is just the muttering of the morally repugnant old parasites who want to crush their children’s lives with their parents debt gained from a greedy lack of prudent foresight. They aren’t entitled to more than they have provided themselves.

          Do you mean that no one deserves more in their retirement than they have prepayed? Or just those who have “refused to look forward” – as opposed to those unable to look forward and prepay?

          So how do you determine who has refused to look forward? What do you do about them, just let them beg on the streets or try prostitution?

          • lprent

            It is a generational issue. The current generations heading into retirement haven’t paid enough to fund their expected superannuation needs.

            There is no way the younger generations should pick up the extra tax burden because of the selfish fuckwit voters in our generation.

            Or perhaps you think that they should boost their tax payments by the amount required to carry the boomer generations who paid a substantially lower tax for their parents?

            • Colonial Viper

              There is a huge difference between “can’t afford” and “won’t afford.”

              I’d like to ask, why is the focus still on electronically created currency units, magicked up by a keyboard at will, instead of focussing on the real, physical economy?

              We’ve had 300 years straight of economic expansion powered by fossil fuels which gave the human mind the ability to extract the guts out of the planet and realise many economic and technological wonders. But we are now 75 minutes into that beautiful game and the whistle is about to go.

              Our money system is not a monopoly board with a set number of $100 notes, $50 notes, $20 notes which have to go round and round in circulation. The bank has a printing press, and the country as a whole has hundreds of billions in financial assets and credit on hand. But this “money” is simply a claim on some real world resource and energy, which everyone assumes will be there in the future. What are these on-paper and electronic financial assets actually going to be worth in the real world once climate change and energy depletion bite deeper and deeper.

              That’s a system-breaking question, and it’s the one that we need to be asking right now.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’d like to ask, why is the focus still on electronically created currency units, magicked up by a keyboard at will, instead of focussing on the real, physical economy?

                Because real physical money is still just fiat currency and there’s a hell of a lot less of it which results in deflation which is aggravated by the excess accumulation of the rich.

                There’s nothing wrong with digital money. The problem is that it’s created essentially without limit and carries interest. Fix that and it would work fine.

                What are these on-paper and electronic financial assets actually going to be worth in the real world once climate change and energy depletion bite deeper and deeper.

                Nothing but there’s only one thing we can do about that – destroy all that paper ‘wealth’.

            • Ennui

              I get a little bit angry with a number of assumptions I hear on superannuation like “children should not be paying for their parents retirement” and “they should have saved harder” etc etc.

              Lets cut the bullshit here, as soon as universal superannuation was introduced (anywhere) it had to be funded without any savings schemes, so via tax. Tax paid by current wage earners for current beneficiaries. Prudent governments and individuals save, but who is to say if their savings will be eaten away by inflation or untoward events like politicians raising the fund?

              Meanwhile those current taxpayers also pay taxes for their childrens’ education, healthcare for all etc. They spend their own cash bringing up said children as well. Sooner or later they get old and their children take over the burden (if it can be called such, obligation sounds preferable).

              I reckon this one comes down to the hoary old favourite of “I pay too much tax, and you buggers don’t deserve my money”. When a whole generation starts saying that, blaming another, all I hear is selfish rejection of society, community and family.

              • greywarbler

                There is a problem with relying on private super. If a big scheme is built up through the work place, the boss can dip into it and decimate it or his mates. I think Conrad Black disappeared over the side of his yacht for that reason didn’t he, newspaper magnate wasn’t he? Financial firms supposed to be honest honourable and highly effective can go bung or boing, bounce anyway.

                We forget that good people can do bad things with money that is supposed to be sacrosanct, and bad people can give us the fingers and stow some stuff away in case the first heist doesn’t work out, and go to jail and come home and live in the Bahamas and I hope it chokes them.

                But that doesn’t help said retirees who imagined they were being self reliant and obeying all the good fiduciary rules they thought would save them from poverty and needing pensions. So some savings is a good thing, and the rest out of taxes is affordable and helps stabilise the economy doesn’t it. It isn’t money that is all put into a casino, or a sports stadium or one or two expensive things, or even roads of notional importance. It gets spread throughout the economy and has a ripple effect, the multiplier where every dollar delivers some tax and the remainder gets spent, with the same result, until it comes to .001.

                So super is affordable I think, and I don’t think that those in high financial chairs of learning know more than children in high chairs, going by the bloody poor results we have seen over the last 30 years. So let’s feed Treasury and economists porridge, and we’ll sit in their leather chairs at their well-polished and well-designed desks and formulate a heap of good policies including super. For which we olders will do a minimum amount of volunteer work, showing that we care about our country and our fellows, and just aren’t whiny demanding self-centred oldies.

            • Ennui

              lprent, I agree that the current generations have been selfish fuckwit voters for low taxes etc. I don’t agree however that younger generations should not pay (see above). At the top end most of todays youngsters will probably end up inheriting the Herne Bay mansion or similar tax free, so whats their beef?

              • Colonial Viper

                At the top end most of todays youngsters will probably end up inheriting the Herne Bay mansion or similar tax free, so whats their beef?

                The younger generation of the top 5% is also going to inherit their parents’ helpful tax dodging accounting/legal firm. But forget them, they are a small privileged minority.

                The younger generation of the bottom 50% on the other hand has been fucked by a hollowed out economy, impossibly expensive housing, 300,000 kids in poverty, minimum wage and conditions which are a total joke, massive education fees those over 50 never paid but exist now because those over 50 want low taxes, and a chronic 30% youth unemployment rate that the older generation don’t appear to give a fuck about.

                Given that about today’s youngsters, do you think you can now answer “what their beef” is going to be about?

              • lprent

                You are assuming a number of things that are wrong.

                1. Taxation is currently just about the best contraceptive device I know of. All you have to do is to look at the number of childless couples like Lyn and I. I know of many people in my generation who aren’t having kids because of the cost. Hell that was a good part of the reason I didn’t have kids.
                2. Now that student debt and ever increasing housing prices are impacting directly on the young they’re often infertile by the time they can even afford to have kids. So this is an ongoing issue. As it is, the average for having kids is about 30 amongst , and if you look at the whole population

                3. Even if your idea was correct, exactly how old would people have to be to receive any such benefit for inheritance? The elderly don’t die often enough 🙂 My grandparents generally died at over 90. Their parents died at over 80. I’m personally expecting my parents to die at over a 100. By that time they’d have nearly 40 years on super and steadily getting rid of the money from the mansion. Assuming that I or my siblings survived that long, then the likelihood of anything left will be close to zero.

                4. Not to mention why in the hell would I want to inherit from them then anyway? To be useful, it’d have been helpful in supporting them with super, if I’d been in a position to have kids, you know, like been able to afford to buy a house 15 years earlier rather than ……

                Basically if I had my way, I’d have killed “universal” superannuation back in the 70s because it was perfectly clear then that the whole thing was a joke. It was unlikely to be viable when I got old. In the meantime I’ve been forced to pay for it by the selfish dickheads who are on it now or are about to receive it.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Taxation is currently just about the best contraceptive device I know of.

                  It’s not taxation but the high cost of living.

                  Now that student debt and ever increasing housing prices are impacting directly on the young they’re often infertile by the time they can even afford to have kids.

                  Better taxation would address that as there would be no student loans.

    • lprent 4.6

      “Need” complicates the system way too much. For instance are you going to insist that if people people are unable to pay for food, that they sell their homes before they can receive a superannuation that they paid for all of their working lives? Then extrapolate the same kind of issues through the other assets of the elderly.

      But at a more basic level as a taxpayer I can’t see a reason to pay for something that I’d be unlikely to receive myself. I can look at most benefits of the welfare state and think that they are an insurance policy that I may need need myself against misadventure. But given a choice between paying for others and saving for myself in my old age, I’d go for saving for myself and vote accordingly.

      The advantage of the current system is that we look at it and see that we (at least in my case) are or have paid for our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents and various other relatives who are receiving it. The problem is that under anything like a ‘need’ basis then all of them are sitting on assets that means that they don’t ‘need’ the superannuation if they converted everything to cash, lived off that for their long lives until they dropped to the poverty line where they could get superannuation. Of course they won’t be happy living like that and would probably die a lot faster – which would make me really unhappy about supporting the silly edifice at all…

      The only reason that there is any support for a global superannuation system that pays people enough to live on is because it is universal. The existing clawback happens for people who have income in addition to superannuation via taxes. It is foolish to wish for something else because every other alternative is punitive and will decrease support for the whole system.

      The only real problem with the system is that it is underfunded to pay for the baby boom bulges and the increasing life expectancies. It needs to have the funding increased now to pay for that. In other words, the Cullen fund and/or age.

      Wishing for anything else is more likely to lose support for the whole thing.

      • Colonial Viper 4.6.1

        “Need” complicates the system way too much. For instance are you going to insist that if people people are unable to pay for food, that they sell their homes before they can receive a superannuation that they paid for all of their working lives?

        This basically happens with paying for rest home care now. What a great little society we have created. If we look back, will we find that it was a Labour Govt who introduced this neat little gem?

        • RedLogix

          And when the family home is sold to pay for elder care – guess who misses out on their inheritance?

          Or who finishes up paying cash or raising a bigger mortgage to get Dad out of care (as I have)?

          And what of the elderly whose children have all buggered off to Aussie (a highly mobile labour force being of a great benefit to employers)?

          This inter-generational argument is more complex than you’d make out Lynn.

          • Colonial Viper

            I’ll tell you one irony I see – those over 50 now hold the economic and political levers of this country. And they are screwing the youth, really bad, in a dozen different ways. From unaffordable housing to massive student fees to high unemployment to low wages etc.

            But what do you think is going to happen in the next 20 years when the tables are finally turned?

            There are a lot of stories of elder abandonment out there, by kids who don’t have the same resources or smarts as you RL, or who frankly are so self centred that they don’t give a shit.

      • bad12 4.6.2

        Yes true LPrent about ”Need”, if we were to switch the system of superannuation payment to one based upon need then rules of what constituted ”need” would have to be fair,

        i have muddied the waters to a certain extent this morning by introducing ”need” into a debate that i view from a more fundamental position believing that there is no financial imperative to raise the age of entitlement,

        What have we got from those proposing the age should be raised, ???, from David Parker we have ”there is no alternative”,( now that’s a sure means of provoking support, not), where is Parker’s figures which go to prove His contention that ”there is no alternative” ???, the fact is we are being fed ”a line”, treated like dummies with the provision of no proof what-so-ever,

        ACT’s Jamie Whyte, gave as part of His speech to the ACT conference, ”since 1980 the number of those collecting superannuation has doubled, in the next 30 years those numbers will double again”, or words to that effect,

        Ok, putting aside the GFC for the moment do we agree that at the present time the cost of National Super in its current form is affordable, ???, if the answer to that is in the affirmative then by what mechanism can anyone claim that it will not be affordable in 30 years time, ???,

        IF, the numbers collecting National Super in 30 years doubled as is the current belief then am i correct in saying that to afford that as a country our GDP would have to also double in dollar terms in that 30 years into the future, ???,

        IF, the above is correct, then how do we ascertain what the dollar value of our GDP as a country will be in 30 years time, gaze into a crystal ball, ???,

        i would suggest the only logical means of gauging what that GDP in dollar terms will be in 30 years time is to take the growth figures in dollar terms from the previous 30 years and project that onto 30 years ahead,

        Having done so i come to a figure that is close to double the present GDP in dollar terms, which leads me to oppose both the ACT and Labour Party’s plans to raise that age of entitlement….

        • Draco T Bastard

          Ok, putting aside the GFC for the moment do we agree that at the present time the cost of National Super in its current form is affordable, ???, if the answer to that is in the affirmative then by what mechanism can anyone claim that it will not be affordable in 30 years time, ???,

          Because the population is going to be decreasing. All the far more lax immigration policies that both Labour and National have tried over the last 30 years or more have failed to change that. Hell, IIRC, our present superannuation was built on the assumption that we’d have 20m people by 2000.

          People talk in terms of money but it’s all about actual physical resources.

        • lprent

          Right now the super is affordable but barely. It won’t be in the future only if it gets pre-loaded or taxes get raised or the cost of it diminishes by changing the entitlement.

          The reason for that (as Whyte said or implied) the proportion of the superannuitants to taxpayers will nearly double by 2040. Currently the two biggest costs in our social welfare system are health care and social security/welfare. The majority of the latter is superannuation.


          Both of these costs are set to increase massively as our population steadily gets older. Simply ignoring it isn’t an option.

          Personally I’d prefer raising tax rates amongst everyone, but especially in estate taxes (there is a severe problem there with the concentration of capital over generations) now rather than raising the age of entitlement. The money raised to get forward loaded into Cullen’s superannuation scheme.

          However if that isn’t achievable, I’d prefer that the age got raised.

          What I don’t want to see happen is that the scheme gets abandoned within the next 15 years because it has thrown so much burden on taxpayers that they simply vote it out of existence one way or another (avoidance in particular). There are simply too many people who have paid for their parents, grandparents and don’t have the required savings to pay for themselves.

          Basically Muldoon and National were complete arseholes for putting this scheme into place in 1975. It only worked then because he had a wide taxbase of mid-income taxpayers. But this disaster that we are now facing was completely obvious then.

          • Tracey

            couldnt we increase younger migrant entry?

            • lprent

              That would do it, but only if we let in people who can make significiant contributions to our economy. Since that means young well-educated people with viable careers who have pretty good english, then we are directly competing with virtually every other western country. We’re well down the pecking order.

              At present we don’t fill all of the current places for that type of migrant.

          • bad12

            Draco, the population is going to be decreasing, says who, ???,

            The question you havnt addressed is the one of GDP, is GDP growth in terms of billions of dollars going to be less or the same as the past 30 years…

            • Draco T Bastard

              the population is going to be decreasing, says who, ?

              Demographics. The baby Boomers are a massive bulge in the population, Before and after that period (1945 to 1965) there was less population growth. Once they start dying off the population will decrease. Simple fucking physics.

              The question you havnt addressed is the one of GDP, is GDP growth…

              GDP growth is immaterial. Productivity growth may have an impact but it needs to flare massively over the next 20 years which is why more farming is essentially useless.

          • bad12

            LPrent, here’s what Whyte said about superannuation, ”Since 1980 the number of people over the age of 65 has doubled. StatisticsNZ predicts this age group will double again by 2036. In that time the cost of NZ Super is projected to increase from 9 billion dollars a year to 20 billion dollars a year”.


            The first point i would make is that IF in 30 years time superannuation cannot be afforded because of a lower growth rate of GDP,(be that for lack of taxpayers or anything else), then NONE of it from health to education to superannuation to general welfare payments will be affordable,

            Then there is this, in dollar terms from 1980–2012 GDP grew from 22,976 billion dollars to 208,688 billion dollars,(in amongst this, the share market crash and various economic downturns),

            That is growth in dollar terms of 186 billions of dollars, a simple piece of riffmatic would have us add that 186 billions of dollars to the 2012 GDP figure of 208,688 as a predictor of what future GDP in dollar terms will be,

            That figure in 2034 i would suggest is in the realm of 394 billions of dollars of GDP in the year 2034, 14 billion dollars shy of doubling the GDP from 2012,

            Remember that this 14 billion dollars isn’t a shortfall across any one year of GDP it is the estimate across 30 years or less than 500 million dollars annually, and, that shortfall of 500 million in the estimate, (remembering Governments get to tax and spend 30% of GDP) then amounts to 150 million dollars a year across the whole of Governments tax and spend,

            i have lost my figures for the current value of the Cullen Super Fund, 24? 25 billion??? the current amount in that fund easily covers,(using GDP estimates), the whole of the 14 billion dollar GDP shortfall across that 30 years without taking into account that the Governments share of that shortfall is actually 30%,

            This makes a mockery of what ACT’s Whyte has claimed with his ”from a 9 billion dollar cost of super payments to a 20 billion a year cost,

            Obviously if anyone truly believes that the countries rate of GDP growth in dollar terms will markedly drop lower than that between the years 1980–2012 then they could argue what is now being argued by those who support raising the age of entitlement for super payments,

            But, i would suggest if that is to be the case then none of what Government currently funds through taxation and expenditure will be affordable,

            Befor i forget the link to the GDP figures came from,


      • Draco T Bastard 4.6.3

        The only real problem with the system is that it is underfunded to pay for the baby boom bulges and the increasing life expectancies. It needs to have the funding increased now to pay for that. In other words, the Cullen fund and/or age.

        Won’t work. Having money available isn’t going to magically make the actual resources available. The resources to support those older retired people will be provided by the younger generations. Can’t get away from that as it’s a simple physical reality. The only thing that would have been provided, to some extent, will be housing and we’re still struggling to provide that as well but as the Boomers die out we’ll start pulling the older, less efficient houses down,

        • Descendant Of Sssmith

          State and councils should be building brand new two bedroom units for the baby boomers to move into and simply swapping them for their existing older three and four bedroom homes.

          New for old. Either convert the old into state housing or demolish and build more units.

  5. Once was Tim 5

    Anybody else seen this?


    It all appears rather complex and a little redious to read, however am I alone in thinking there are some pretty clear conflicts of interest here?

    At the very least you’d think that a Senior Police Officer from another Police District should be overseeing/handling things.

    • freedom 5.1

      I have lived in the district for a few years now and heard many various opinions. My only lasting impression is Lake Horowhenua is at the centre of a very long and very messy situation that is not easily explained, understood, or resolved.

      The recently secured funding of $1.27m to address some of the Lake’s issues might at the very least deliver a pathway to resolution, but I am yet to met anyone who can fully explain what those resolutions might eventually look like.

      The Lake’s pollution is (belatedly) the obvious priority, and ownership is an integral factor in that equation. When history and agriculture meet with differing views of both, it is often an impossible situation. Add the potential of tourist dollars and it is a mess as polluted as the lake itself.

      • Once was Tim 5.1.1

        Yep @freedom – I understand …. especially since my daughter is a sporty-spice surf life-saver; competitive rower; avid user of the public’s resources that are being polluted/privatised/commoditised daily – including those where there are (other?) indigenous and legitimate claims , AND has to co-exist with some of the dolts that are the protagonists in this little drama.
        (Despite her heritage – she’s also very ‘big-boned’; outrageously tall; very blonde and has a bit of Honkey and a bit of Murray in the DNA/RNA.
        ….so although that maybe the basis of various potential conflict in a case such as this – it doesn’t alter all that constructed ‘legality’ whereby various agencies of state are not practicing what they preach.

        All that aside however – it does look like the Polis aren’t doing themselves any favours (rather they seem to be contributing to a public’s perception of them that is one of declining confidence in their competence.). They need someone at the helm who (once again) is able to state the bleeding obvious and tell them WOI!

        I’m not sure though that the loiks of Greggy-boi as their Chief Unionist-in conflict is actually capable of understanding many of the issues – or indeed half the Polis heirarchy and its Munsta.

        (Just as well I’m considering a move to the 3rd World if we have to put up with Bennets & Bridges & Paratas & Keys & Joyces – among others, after the nex lekshun)

    • jh 6.1

      The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

      The Other! 🙄

    • karol 6.2

      I’m not into targeting politicians’ families.

      • Red Blooded 6.2.1

        Judging by Stephanie Keys artwork she is certainly old enough to be critiqued on this site. It is hardly targeting the PM’s family when she is putting her tacky, dull and unoriginal artform in the public.

        • karol

          The apple tree metaphor and the linked article, make it about her being Key’s daughter.

          • Red Blooded

            Fair enough, however, don’t you think the only reason the article exists is because she was Key’s daughter, hence fair game. You clearly are a more decent and forgiving person than me. After the years of watching Key etc nastily attacking Clark for not having children or more recently Maggie Barries ridiculous attack on Adern I am less inclined to be so magnanimous. I bow to your decency.

            • freedom

              and talking about her link to the PM at least stops people talking about her art because that would be a much shorter discussion

              • karol

                I do have criticisms of the colonialist misappropriation of (in this case the US-based) culture of a colonised people.

                Too many people do it – not just the daughter of our PM.

      • Tracey 6.2.2

        i agree unless they politicise their families… by releasing photos of their family with royalty or presidents, then they have left open that possibility.

      • Once was Tim 6.2.3

        Me either …. but I am into ‘what’s source for the goose is sauce to the gander’ as long as its non-violent, not based on innuendo, and morally justified (my morals of course) – as well as any of it not being used as the basis of personal self-aggrandisement (Thinks WhaleSludge)
        If others were of such a like mind, I doubt we’d have seen creatures such as Bennett or Bridges (or even Mallard or Dunne) with the profiles they have.
        Somewhere over the past 30 or so years, not only has that ‘greed is good’ culture emerged, but also smutty little potties calling slightly tarnished kettles black; desperadoes (including ‘have you stoppped beating you wife yet MSM Jonolists and trendy hotel owners) manipulating the ‘spun’.

        Bullshit needs to be challenged at EVERY opportunity – which really is the beauty of this (and a couple of other) sites – and its why the current right wing junta fear, and actively dismantle things such as PSB and any democratically founded institutions (e.g. ECAN).

        As far as the Natzis go – I sometimes wish I were as dignified as the likes of Jim Bolger or Doug McKinnon – among others – even though I’ve never agreed with their politics.
        Sometimes things just need to be said – especially regarding egotists that pop up from time to time who purport to be our ‘representatives’


    • “..The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree..”

      sheesh..!.. rodel..!

      ..early front-runner for fucktard-comment-of-the-week..eh..?

      ..and let’s not go near yr epic logic-fails..eh..?

    • Daveosaurus 6.4

      It doesn’t matter who does it; it’s inappropriate to attack politicians by proxy through their families. Just as it was inappropriate for the Tories to attack David Cunliffe’s grandfather’s war record. Unfortunately it seems the floodgates have now been opened. Now any aspiring politician should make sure that not only they themselves, but also their families, are squeaky clean. So, for example, in a purely hypothetical case of a candidate’s son dealing in drugs, that should be a warning for said candidate to step back from the limelight in favour of someone else.

  6. jh 7

    Fast food Real estate worker strikes planned in 150 cities
    Mc Donalds business model is ultimately a real estate model.

    and if you look at Queenstown, service workers are (sort of) serving the realestate sector.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      We have created an economy where a relatively small number of asset owning speculators are highly advantaged, and large masses of service workers are shat on easily replaceable labour units. Talk about the character of a society being a reflection of ourselves.

      • Tracey 7.1.1

        and where this govt decided builders and designers have to take personal responsibility for their work, no hiding behind companies, but developers dont.

        developers determine that quality of a building from their budget and spec and oversight. but they are a protected species under this govt, and twyford has shown no indication labour will change it.

        the corner cutting cowboy developers would be gone with this provision.if you are an overseas based developer you pay a large bond, non recoverable until the ten years is up. and overseas based means spening more than three months a year overseas…

        • Draco T Bastard

          and where this govt decided builders and designers have to take personal responsibility for their work, no hiding behind companies, but developers dont.

          Yeah, I’ve noticed that. Licensed builders in my family refuse to sign off the work unless they’re the contract holder. Rational thing to do when you consider the average builder isn’t paid anywhere near enough to cover the costs if anything does go wrong. The legislation seems to have dumped more costs on the builders while protecting the developers and allowing them to make even profits.

          And it’s still the developer telling the builders how to build and supplying the materials.

          • Tracey

            …and taking the profit and closing the company and starting again.

            i know a couple of builders in mid to late 20s looking to go out on their own. i ve told both of them to not be a lbp unless they control the material choice and construction.

            some developers are paying a premium to these guts to be their paperwork lbp, and i tell them its not worth their home in ten years time.

            • Colonial Viper

              Nassem Taleb has discussed this very issue

              For bankers, it is the opposite: a bonus if they make short-term profits and a bailout if they go bust. The question of talent is a red herring: Having worked with both groups, I can tell you that military and security people are not only more careful about safety, but also have far greater technical skill, than bankers.

              The ancients were fully aware of this upside-without-downside asymmetry, and they built simple rules in response. Nearly 4,000 years ago, Hammurabi’s code specified this: “If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction firm, and the house which he has built collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death.”

              This was simply the best risk-management rule ever. The Babylonians understood that the builder will always know more about the risks than the client, and can hide fragilities and improve his profitability by cutting corners — in, say, the foundation. The builder can also fool the inspector; the person hiding risk has a large informational advantage over the one who has to find it.


  7. SPC 8

    While I support a compulsory 2% level contribution to Kiwi Saver. And say 1% from employers and a voluntary 4% rate with 2% from employers – I am wary of moves for a high compulsory rate.

    As this enables the replacement of tax paid New Zealand Super – and this tax paid super scheme is the reason for our low rate of poverty in old age (that and home ownership, that is on a trend downward)

    At the moment there is widespread support for tax paid super, the last bastion of socialism. The lack of means testing allows the middle class who own homes and savings and secure jobs they can continue with beyond age 65 get as much as the poor.

    Those wanting to get the middle class to support reform will promote the cause of a pay in and pay out system where the middle class get super at their former wage level and beneficiaries keep getting the benefit level (meaning they will be in poverty in their old age). Those posing this change will call for the Cullen Fund to be dispersed into compulsory Kiwi Saver accounts – thus piggy backing off Labour Party moves to do the poor in.

    The old age poor of the future may bear the price of current proposals to use Kiwi Saver to provide an alternative to raising the OCR.

    • karol 8.1

      I think a universal basic super, ensures all the elderly get a minimum income. Our social security system should ensure that all residents/citizens in NZ get cared for from cradle to grave. Thus, UBI is an even better system than universal super. Pitting young against old masks inequalities within each major demographic sector – and both demographic groups contain some of the most vulnerable and insecure people in NZ.

      Any system based on people taking individual responsibility for preparing for their retirement, ignores the inbuilt inequalities in society. And any of the current ways of doing that, buy into the bankster-dominated speculative finance industry – whether it be savings schemes, home ownership, investment schemes, pension schemes etc.

      I am fortunate to be benefiting from the UK pension schemes I paid into while living there (both the state pension scheme and a teachers pension scheme) – fortunate in that what you get as a pension, is based on what you paid into each scheme. But that is influenced by the kinds of jobs people have been able to get, whether they took time out for parenting, etc.

      And people like me benefit the NZ universal super scheme, because my UK state pension is deducted from my NZ super entitlement.

      Ultimately, though, I think the NZ super scheme is a fairer one. People who worked hard for low pay don’t do as well out of the UK state pension, as those in the middle and upper classes. And most of the middle and upper classes were born into relatively privileged circumstances.

      • SPC 8.1.1

        Yes, as you note the pay in scheme disadvantages those who spend periods not working – such as when parenting, those who retrain to re-enter the work force and those who take up voluntary work.

        Thus they could be at risk if high rate compulsory super is used as a opportunity to change to a pay in scheme.

      • Tracey 8.1.2

        i agree. those who earn more grow bigger private super schemes.

        people earning minimum wage are fucked every which way. no health insurance, bugger all super, little or no house and contents insurance…

        getting a better job is axcrock of shit from those who claim it as a solution. if all minimum wagers got a better job tomorrow… just how would toilets get cleaned, rubbish swept, groceries collated and so on. the system depends upon and wants a low paod workforce.

        the govts education fiddling isnt to create free thinkers and individuals…

        joyce basically wants technical institutes to provide for particular industries but those industries dont have to pay for the education, we do. they even get free interns as part of the qualifications.

        if you want to think outside joyces square you xan find the money and go search for someone to teach you.

        • Draco T Bastard

          the govts education fiddling isnt to create free thinkers and individuals…

          Nope, it’s to create more obedient serfs. National must be really getting upset with people who actually question the wisdom passed on by the wealthy.

  8. ianmac 9

    What What What is this all about?
    Prime Minister John Key will make a public apology if new information about Justice Minister Judith Collins emerges and forces her out of the job this week.

    Mr Key made the promise on TVNZ this morning in response to a claim made by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

    “Judith Collins will not survive next week with what I know,” Mr Peters said during a debate on the network’s Marae programme yesterday.
    “I will personally come into this studio if Winston Peters is right,” he told TVNZ.

    “He won’t be right, he’s never right.”

    And did you know that Judith is only back for the Budget then:

    Ms Collins is due to return to Parliament for the Budget this week, before resuming leave.

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      Wait and see ianmac, but Key’s attitude to Peters is hardly conducive to successful post election coalition talks.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      And did you know that Judith is only back for the Budget then:

      Ms Collins is due to return to Parliament for the Budget this week, before resuming leave.

      She probably needs to be there to pass the budget else it fails and we get a snap election because of the collapse of the present government.

      • Tracey 9.2.1

        so if the mp and

        for sale to the highest bidder

        voted against the budget it would fail?

        snap election?

      • MaxFletcher 9.2.2

        Nope. Like when the Asset Sales legislation went through, Dunne voted for it despite not being in the house

        • Draco T Bastard

          Proxy voting requires that the person who holds the vote be on the premises or away for a >legitimate reason:

          (3) Any member absent from the parliamentary precincts—

          (a) attending a meeting of a select committee held outside the Wellington area with the agreement of the House or the Business Committee, or

          (b) on official parliamentary travel funded by the Office of the Clerk, or

          (c) attending other official business approved by the Business Committee—

          is regarded as present for the purposes of paragraph (1)(c).

          Which, by my reading, means she actually has to be there.

    • Bill 10.1

      So the guy with (how many?) millions does a quick calculation on the impact of his unfair competition, subtracts some obscure overheads from the final amount, factors in a subjective evaluation on the appeal of the competing product (another minus of course) and hands over a whopping $60 as full and final settlement. Gee.

  9. ianmac 11

    Snap Weepu.
    Probably accidental but National gathers big money by selling favours then curries favour by giving away free sausages. I reckon John Key should learn to cook more than a few sausages after his infamous Cambell Live effort.

  10. Draco T Bastard 12

    University economics teaching isn’t an education: it’s a £9,000 lobotomy

    Last month the Post-Crash members published a report on the deficiencies of the teaching they receive. It is thorough and thoughtful, and reports: “Tutorials consist of copying problem sets off the board rather than discussing economic ideas, and 18 out of 48 modules have 50% or more marks given by multiple choice.” Students point out that they are trained to digest economic theory and regurgitate it in exams, but never to question the assumptions that underpin it. This isn’t an education: it’s a nine-grand lobotomy.

    That’s exactly what it was like when I was at uni studying economics. I doubt if its changed.

    • cardassian 12.1

      This was what it was like when I studied it too (finished degree in 2005).
      I got laughed at and ridiculed for saying that building our economy on credit would lead to a collapse.
      Evidently the speed at which the markets operate would stop it being able to collapse.
      Thanks lecturers you were so smart 🙂

  11. Mary 13

    Hooton on From the Right and From the Far Right this morning said that Labour should concentrate on taking Hone’s electorate seat. Surely Labour needs all the help it can get to form a government so taking Hone out of the game’s pretty risky. More crap analysis from Hooton.

    Edit: Make that deliberately disingenuous analysis from Hooton. But if that’s wrong and he was being honest then crap will do.

    • Tracey 13.1

      cos hootOn has labours best interests at heart.

    • Bearded Git 13.2

      Quite right Mary. Complete bollocks from Hooton, but then that is hardly surprising.

      Labour simply needs to give Kelvin Davis a good list spot and then make some subtle hints that it would be better to electorate vote Hone-nothing too obvious. That will see Hone home.

    • bad12 13.3

      Strangely i also heard Hooton say this morning that it would be smart for Labour to give Kelvin Davis a high enough placing on the Party List and give Him the nod to canvas the electorate for the Party Vote only,

      i think i might have added the last bit as the ‘logic’ to what wee Matty said, it would tho be ”smart” for Labour to do exactly that as well as being smart again in the Waiariki electorate where a strong Labour candidate vote probably wont win the electorate but would make it a toss up between Flavell and Annette Sykes…

      • Mary 13.3.1

        I’ll have to go back and have another listen. I’m sure he said that Labour should concentrate on taking Hone’s seat but then rely on Annette Sykes to take Waiariki in order to wipe out the Maori Party. Dumb logic because Labour should be doing everything it can to boost the chances of having not just coalition partners but strong coalition partners. There’s no guarantee in either of those seats. It would also be consistent with Hooton’s world view to want to have both Hone and the Maori Party gone. I agree with the latter but Labour should be doing all it can to strengthen the Mana presence, and not take silly risks like trying to take Te Tai Tokerau.

      • Mary 13.3.2

        It’d be worse than a toss up. A strong Labour candidate in Waiariki would give it to Flavell.

      • Bearded Git 13.3.3

        I’m with Mary on this bad. Without relistening I am sure he said Davis should try and beat Hone.

  12. Colonial Viper 14

    How is it that the virtually bankrupt Ukrainian government, which needs IMF funds just to pay its gas bills, can afford hundreds of highly skilled and experienced Blackwater mercernaries to fight on its behalf? Who is paying this bill for the Ukraine?


  13. thechangeling 15

    Here’s Liam Hehirs weekly extreme right-wing commens in the Manawatu Evening Standard with my bite back. Usually I just ignore his insane rant but this time I bit back: http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/opinion/10034543/Deals-keep-the-grassroots-tilled

    More neo-liberal right-wing extremism from our friendly local madman Liam Heir brought to you on behalf of the National and Act political parties. Why the Evening Standard lets you print this extreme rubbish you write every week makes me think they have a vested interest in letting you write it. Are you Cameron Slater in disguise?
    The Labour Party was a Trade Union created political party hence the very close affiliation and association that party has with Trade Unions. Trade Unions were enacted to bargain collectively for the wages and conditions of workers that had been living in poverty like conditions prior to their formation. Sound familiar? It’s all happening again today because of the sinister suppression of collective bargaining in employment legislation such as the Employment Relations Act which had reverted to Employment Contracts Act provisions in that workers once again have no power in their employment relationships with their employers.

    The National Party and their corporate mates, cronies and their vested interests however are only interested in suppressing democratic institutions such as Trade Unions in order to control the wealth that is generated during the business day by workers. They don’t want to share any of the profits with the people that actually generate it in the first instance hence the need for Trade Unions in the first place.

    The current National Government is the most corrupt government this country has ever seen and has extreme right-wing views that they hide from the public because if they were ever honest about what they really want to do nobody would ever vote for them. Don’t forget their legacy so far: selling off state owned assets to the private sector, selling off state housing to the private sector, corporatising the Conservation department, attacking collective bargaining for workers, 90 days fire at will for employers…….the list is endless. And it’s all about the transfer of power, wealth and control from the public to the private sector.
    Hehir you’re truly insane and/or deluded if you believe that stuff is good for wider society.

  14. Bill 16

    Pinching myself having just read this in, of all places, the Guardian.

    It falls to the left, then, to roll back the state. The state dependency of poverty-pay employers and rip-off landlords could be reduced with a living wage and by allowing local authorities to build homes. State powers that intrude on the civil rights of trade unionists, protesters and ethnic minorities could be repealed. A new federal Britain could take power away from the central state in favour of regions and local authorities. Public ownership is often caricatured as being about as statist as it gets, in large part because of the postwar model pioneered by Peter Mandelson’s grandfather, Herbert Morrison, who introduced the Attlee government’s top-down, bureaucratic form of nationalisation. Instead, the left could propose a form of democratic social ownership for rail, energy, water and other utilities that hands management to workers and consumers.


  15. Jilly Bee 17

    I have just read the attached link and sadly agree with it – my daughter and son-in-law badly need some dental work done, in my son-in-law’s case he will lose a front upper tooth if neglected for much longer, which won’t do a lot for his looks and probably future employment prospects and he probably won’t do anything until the pain takes him off to Waitakere Hospital for the inevitable extraction. They are on fairly low wages and don’t have much left by the time each pay day comes around. Even I only front up to our local Whitecross Dental Clinic when a filling falls out. I visited a Dental Centre when I first shifted out to West Auckland 7 years ago and was quoted $20,000 to make my mouth look as if it was 20 something again. I was working at the time but didn’t bother. I’ve now retired and unless I win Lotto or something similar replacement fillings will have to do. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11253595

    • Chooky 17.1

      @ Jilly Bee….i so, so empathise!…dental health affordability is as important as doctor visit affordability, if not more so…and in many cases poor dental health causes poor physical health

      ….what are the political parties’ policy on it?…maybe a question for David Cunliffe tonight

      …..the only thing i can suggest which helped me a lot ( hardens the teeth and reduced dental decay enormously in my case..i havent had dental problems since using it) and which is affordable is Xylitol ( half a teaspoon last thing at night, taken dry like sugar around the teeth)


      …you can buy it by the bag..about $20( much cheaper than Health shops) from:

      Xylitol Products Ltd, 291 Ody Rd, RD4 Whangarei 0174.. (Tel )09 4340640


  16. Tracey 18

    The report finds that Shane Taurima, former General Manager of TVNZ’s Maori and Pacific Programmes department, failed to adequately disclose extensive party political activity during his final year with the company. However, it did not find any evidence of bias in any TVNZ programming.

    has shane actually apologised for misuse of his employers resources?

    • sweetd 18.1

      Now that that pesky matter is out of the way he can go ahead and get selected as the Labour candidate for the upcoming election. Opps, I mean he can go ahead and be one of those seeking selection, its not as though his selection is done deal already is it? (insert Tui ad here)

  17. Plan B 19

    I realise that no one will ever actually read this but here goes anyway, regarding Political donations- and who pays.
    If it turns out that because the donations are tax deductible which they probably are then actually the taxpayer pays for politcal parties right now through taxes not collected. Actually there is little difference between the two ways of paying
    1. Parties are funded through taxation
    2. Parties are funded through taxes that do not have to be paid because they are deductible ie it is still from taxes!!!!

    trouble is I have not explained it very well- John Clarke did it better

    • karol 19.1

      One News item tonight on the issue of whether to have taxpayer funded election campaigns.

      Jordon Williams said, “Why should New Zealanders be taxed to fund political causes they don’t believe in?”

      But I thought this cause was the funding of a democratic election. Does that mean Williams, and/or some Kiwis, don’t believe in democratic elections?

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1

        Does that mean Williams, and/or some Kiwis, don’t believe in democratic elections?

        Pretty much. They like the fact that the rich can bring more wealth to bear to influence the election and want to keep it that way.

  18. mickysavage 20

    Argh I am just watching Key’s post cabinet press conference.

    Did you know that the Labour Party receives hundreds of thousands if not millions from the trade unions and that the unions select the leader?

    Where is a decent fact checker when you need one?

    • You get me the facts and I’ll post them.

      Some unions do help select the leader don’t they?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        Labour’s donations are a matter of public record. So is their relationship with the affiliates.

        The Editor of Politicheck needs to have his hand held before he’ll check anything John Key says though.

        • Tracey

          Union helps select = the unions select

          on planet fact checker…

          its also clear exactly how much they donate…

          • Pete George

            If “the unions select the leader” is what Key said then it’s factually incorrect. I haven’t heard the media conference.

            If Key said something like “the unions decided the current leader” he would be less incorrect, because I believe that the vote from the affiliates’ 20% was a deciding factor in the result, although so was the vote from the members’ 40%.

            But to determine facts you need to start with the correct facts about the claim.

            • mickysavage

              If Key said something like “the unions decided the current leader” he would be less incorrect, because I believe that the vote from the affiliates’ 20% was a deciding factor in the result, although so was the vote from the members’ 40%.


              By definition unions do not choose the leadership. A weighted vote of Caucus (40%), members (40%) and affiliates (20%) select the leader. Therefore Key is wrong.

              • It depends on what Key actually said. I agree with your claim that technically he is wrong and if that stacks up I’ll post on it. All of the Caucus, affiliates and members decide the leader.

                But in practical terms it’s possible the unions determined the likely Caucus vote (it was openly discussed what that was likely to be), worked out what the range members’ vote was likely to be in, and came to Caucus+members < 50%.

                So they could have been in a position where they (and probably Cunliffe as he would have presumably been doing the numbers too) knew that the affiliates (union) vote could in effect decide the outcome.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Is he really entertaining the possibility of membership-wide inter-union collusion during the NZLP leadership election? Or is that simply too fuckwitted for words and more likely to be yet another example of casual weasel dishonesty?

                  I’m going with dishonesty, given his reputation for lying.

                • lprent

                  It could also be that the union members and delegates weren’t happy with where Labour was at and didn’t like the other two candidates much either. Based on the unionists around here and that I know elsewhere, that seems like a much likely proposition.

                • Paul

                  It depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends….it depends

              • Parse Pete’s statement, micky. Apparently the voters (affiliate and member) who make up 60% of the vote “were a deciding factor” in the result. Shocking, isn’t it?

            • lprent

              Huh? Both of you are wrong. Look it up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Labour_Party_leadership_election,_2013

              It isn’t like that was hard to find. Even a internet illiterate like Key should have been capable of that much

              It required the amount in all three parts of the electoral college to ensure that Cunliffe won on the first ballot. You could equally argue that the deciding vote was that out of caucus or out of the members.

              Candidate Caucus (40%) Members (40%) Affiliates (20%) Total
              David Cunliffe 32.35% 60.14% 70.77% 51.15%
              Grant Robertson 47.06% 26.71% 17.30% 32.97%
              Shane Jones 20.59% 13.15% 11.92% 15.88%

              If you figure it through, it needed all three parts of the college to give Cunliffe his first round majority.

              But I guess you’re just numerically illiterate as well. I seem to remember you writing about these results.

        • Pete George

          Total donations are on public record. And all donations over $15,000 have the donors identified. But most aggregate donations are under $15,000 and therefore the donors aren’t identified.

          Labour’s 2013 return shows 114 donations not exceeding $15,000 for a total of $483,506.26

          The amount if any of that from unions is not identified so it’s not possible to determine how much could be from trade unions.

          In 2012 there were 73 donations worth 240,430.97 where the identities did not have to be revealed.

          Unless Labour state what if any trade union donations were among those amounts then just as people speculate what type of donations are made to National, people can speculate about what might make up the Labour donations.

          • mickysavage

            Unless Labour state what if any trade union donations were among those amounts then just as people speculate what type of donations are made to National, people can speculate about what might make up the Labour donations.

            Key said it as a fact. He was not speculating.

            Do you think that our leader should be permitted to pull facts out of his arse?

            • Pete George

              Key said it as a fact. He was not speculating.

              I think you might be speculating there. He stated it for sure, but “as a fact” is debatable in a context of political banter. This is what was said:

              Question: On state funding of election campaigns, Labour and the Greens say we need to have a conversation, a public conversation about that. What do you think about that idea?

              Key: Well I think it’s actually really healthy that they’ve come out and said what the real agenda of last week’s attacks were, because the reality is that Labour and the Greens fund raise extensively.

              In the case of the Labour Party they get hundreds of thousands if not millions from the unions. The unions select their leader, and the unions have clear influence on their policies on labour and education.


              You’d probably have to go back quite a few years to get “millions” of union donations but as I’ve already pointed out, this total is impossible to determine. In $2011 Unions donated $105,200 in donations over $15,000.

              In the last three years unidentified donors added up to about $1.4 million. It isn’t likely any union breakdown would ever be available from that.

              So I’d say Key’s claim was a deliberate exaggeration in response to exaggerations and speculation about National donations.

              The unions don’t “select their leader” on their own, they have 20% of the vote for the Labour leader so jointly select the leader with others. It can reasonably be claimed that they can have a deciding vote.

              If National leaders were selected 20% by, say, an Employer group or groups that also donated sizable sums I would expect speculative claims by Labour on that.

              Political exaggerations.

              I think that probably “unions have clear influence on their policies on labour and education”, or at least they should have influence. They should also have influence on National Labour and education policies too if the consult properly.

              [lprent: “It can reasonably be claimed that they can have a deciding vote.”

              No it cannot be reasonably be claimed as has been pointed out earlier. It simply makes absolutely no mathematical sense. Not to mention that the published second vote preferences in caucus clearly make it complete crap. That is a deliberate repeated lie and one that there is no absolutely basis in any fact for.

              Banned for four weeks so we can talk without an idiot astroturfing. ]

              • What a weak excuse. Again.

                [lprent: Whatever. I suspect it will be in your sole opinion. It is exactly what others have been stating for some time.

                You simply do not check your facts and when presented with facts, links to facts, and other interpretations you simply ignore them. In this case what you are saying is simply mathematically impossible especially since it was a three horse race in an electoral college. I’d suggest that you read up on how they operate because it is quite clear that you don’t have the faintest idea.

                Instead you just repeat crap rather than listening. That is either gross stupidity or astroturfing. I really don’t care which. The effect is that it clogs the comment stream from any chance of real debate because you simply aren’t listening when people tell you why you are wrong. Hell you don’t even seem to pretend to listen to them… ]

                • McFlock

                  go bleat about it to the tories, they’re waiting for you.

                • bad12

                  Excuse me Petty???, 🙄 🙄 🙄 the sniggering up my sleeve as you demand to be spanked is about to turn into LOL’s all over the floor…

                  • weka

                    Might be time for a small celebration 🙂

                    How long until Petty puts up a post on his blog about his ‘mistreatment’?

                    • miravox

                      “Might be time for a small celebration”

                      I’m in for that weka.

                      Thanks lprent. I could just see what that thread was turning to turn into – it had petty written all over it.

                    • lprent

                      He did.

                      My <a href=http://yournz.org/2014/05/13/cabinet-club-kock-up/#comment-25385″ rel=”nofollow”>response was:-

                      Of course you never considered that you were just acting like an old arrogant fool, and that you might routinely be wrong eh? I have no idea why you never listen to other people explaining where you’re wrong and why, but that is exactly what you repeatedly do. It is exactly what you did on karol’s post. Effectively you thrashed the comments section for everyone else reading that post by simply not listening and then making up a varying range of meaningless objections that mostly showed you hadn’t read the post in any detail.

                      No amount of selective quoting will prevent others from drawing that opinion. I guess you know that and that is why you didn’t link to the relevant comments and just selectively quoted instead.

                      The reason you got banned by me was because you kept repeating a straight lie that unions were the only crucial vote in the Labour leadership election last year. The small number of affiliated unions had 20%. That was a simple lie, one that only required a minute of calculation to disprove*, and which you were fully informed about when you proceeded to repeat the claim.

                      It started like this


                      Argh I am just watching Key’s post cabinet press conference.

                      Did you know that the Labour Party receives hundreds of thousands if not millions from the trade unions and that the unions select the leader?

                      Where is a decent fact checker when you need one?

                      You responded

                      You get me the facts and I’ll post them.

                      Some unions do help select the leader don’t they?

                      To which you got many replies explaining the 40% 40% 20% split between caucus, members, and affiliated unions and the percentages in that leadership vote. Not that this is exactly hard to find. The 51% odd the Cunliffe got in the first round of voting required support from all three branches of the electoral college.

                      Which you pretty much ignored and started waffling on about donations and how we don’t know who they are from and how they must be from unions and perhaps that explained the vote. That of course was an outright lie since the unions typically declare all of their donations in their own books which are audited, open to members, and are declared in the parliamentary

                      FYI: Much of the “anonymous” donations for Labour come from people like me who long ago signed up for monthly or weekly direct debits, and who put in other donations to the party when asked. There are hundreds of members who do the same thing. They show up in the annual accounts for the NZLP which are given to all delegates at conference (I haven’t been a delegate for some time).

                      My basic donation is about $300 per year and matches my monthly donations to Unicef and St Johns. I’ve been known to give donations to various parts of the party for several thousands of dollars, especially heading into elections.

                      You got banned after I saw that you’d ignored a number of people giving you the basic facts, and asking you how you could keep asserting crap without any basis in fact. You just kept repeating the bullshit without variations. That is the classic technique on blogs of astroturfing. Just keep repeating bullshit while not really engaging with others telling you the errors in your facts or opinions. I quoted your repitition…

                      [lprent: “It can reasonably be claimed that they can have a deciding vote.”

                      No it cannot be reasonably be claimed as has been pointed out earlier. It simply makes absolutely no mathematical sense. Not to mention that the published second vote preferences in caucus clearly make it complete crap. That is a deliberate repeated lie and one that there is no absolutely basis in any fact for.

                      Banned for four weeks so we can talk without an idiot astroturfing. ]

                      You wasted your final comment with this

                      What a weak excuse. Again.

                      [lprent: Whatever. I suspect it will be in your sole opinion. It is exactly what others have been stating for some time.

                      You simply do not check your facts and when presented with facts, links to facts, and other interpretations you simply ignore them. In this case what you are saying is simply mathematically impossible especially since it was a three horse race in an electoral college. I’d suggest that you read up on how they operate because it is quite clear that you don’t have the faintest idea.

                      Instead you just repeat crap rather than listening. That is either gross stupidity or astroturfing. I really don’t care which. The effect is that it clogs the comment stream from any chance of real debate because you simply aren’t listening when people tell you why you are wrong. Hell you don’t even seem to pretend to listen to them… ]

                      The comments after that were full of rejoicing.

                      *On the first round their actual vote for Cunliffe in the final count for the electoral college was about half that of the members, and similar to that of caucus. All three groups were required Cunliffes 51.15% first round victory. All three groups were crucial. But obviously the members at about double the other two groups were the most crucial.

                      If it had gone to the second round as it so nearly did, then the caucus vote would have been close to double that of the affiliated unions.

                      But hey, lie away about our site as well. I’m sure this will keep increasing our readers if they know for certain the site will be a Pete George free zone.

                      Ban doubled.

                    • felix

                      “How long until Petty puts up a post on his blog about his ‘mistreatment’?”

                      Not long at all, weka. He says

                      Their blog, their rules, but I think debate on the left is the worse for it.

                      Not even kidding.

                    • Tracey

                      debate is the worse for it.

                      he doesnt debate. he avoids answering inconvenient questions, ignores requests for clarity and repeats himself ad nauseum.

                      kiwiblog and wo will be ok with him though, yeah?

                    • NickS

                      Wow, PG doubled down on the stupid in his reply O_o

                      Heh, it’d be fun to see how he’d manage in parliament, namely how long it would take the speaker to eject him from the house or get dumped from United Future.

                    • felix

                      He already got dumped from United Future.

                    • NickS

                      He already got dumped from United Future.



                • Paul

                  Yes, he’s been sent off.

                • veutoviper

                  Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Four whole weeks without PG, and his derailing etc etc etc.

                  Pity it wasn’t four centuries.

              • Matthew Hooton


                If Labour’s rules provided only for the caucus to have a vote, Cunliffe would have lost to Robertson, 32.35% to 47.06% (on first ballot anyway, with Jones winning 20.59%).

                If Labour’s rules provided for the caucus and members to have equal say in the Electoral College, with no union involvement, then Cunliffe would have beaten Robertson 46.25% to 36.89% (on first ballot, with Jones winning 16.87%).

                I think it is a reasonable assumption that Cunliffe would have picked up enough of the Jones vote to get to 50% on a second ballot (he would only have needed 22.26% of Jones’ vote to prevail), especially as at least some of Jones’ supporters (admittedly, I’m thinking my old mates Willie & JT here and extrapolating) were strongly homophobic.

                So, in the end, the unions did not have an impact on the leadership vote – it was the move to the membership vote that was decisive – which is not to say the union vote may not be decisive in the future.

                This doesn’t take much research, fact-checking or debate – just a bit of 4th form maths.

                A decent independent fact-checking service would be useful for the election, but you need to try harder.

                • karol

                  For once I agree with you, Matthew.

                • Hayden

                  Could you also inform John Key, please?

                  It’s gone so far that the unions actually picked David Cunliffe as their leader.


                • captain hook

                  why dont you let the elastic out of your underpants hootn.
                  the blood is going to your head

                • lprent

                  The 60+% in the membership 40% was about half of what Cunliffe needed in total for a first round win.

                  If it had gone to a second round with Jones knocked out, the second ballots in the caucus favoured Cunliffe. I got that originally via the Labour newsletters. But I also linked to a Audrey Young report on it around this thread somewhere.

                  Where are union votes likely to be decisive is where it was more of two way race, the affiliated unions agreed to back a single candidate (the word is that didn’t happen this time), and the between the other 80% it was closely balanced.

                • Tracey

                  and you will call john key on it in an article, on air next monday and so on?

      • mickysavage 20.1.2

        Members of affiliated unions have a say in 20% of the vote to elect the leader.

        Slater claims the donations from the EPMU are as follows:

        $40,000 in 2011
        $60,000 in 2008
        $20,000 in 2007
        $40,000 in 2005
        $70,000 in 2002
        $100,000 in 1999 (80,000 + 20,000)

        The EPMU Is the largest and by far the wealthiest of the affiliated unions.

        • Tracey

          dont waste your time. chief fact checker claims to be for honesty and integrity in politics and then mount a defence of keys deliberate statements with 1.5 meanings… but intending one meaning only.

      • Anne 20.1.3

        If they are members of the Labour Party they get an individual vote just like any other member. If they belong to a union affiliated to the Labour Party then that union gets to select delegates (the number depends on how many members they have) who vote on behalf of their members. Some unions conduct a ballot of members in advance to guide the delegates… some (usually the smaller unions) leave it up to the delegates themselves. It’s an open and transparent process and always has been. My understanding is the percentage share of the union vote is around 20% of the vote. The other 80% comes from individual members.

        I can’t confirm exactly how the National Party conducts their voting, but I can confirm they too have their equivalent to affiliated unions – eg. Federated Farmers – but in their case the ‘affiliations’ are managed behind closed doors and therefore cannot be scrutinised by the public. In other words their process is not particularly open and transparent.

        edit: oops, I see you have answered our self proclaimed fact checker Micky. Well, he’s got the real goods now hasn’t he…

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.4


        The whole point of a fact checker is that they check the bloody facts themselves.

        • Pete George

          I’ve done some fact checking and explaining, but my comments have been held in moderation so you can’t see them.

          I presume mickysavage was expecting me to respond to his initial comment, but under the current comment vetting regime it creates timing problems.

          [lprent: Released. I was having a watch after the fuss on and after saturday.

          I would strongly suggest that you limit your comments on karol’s posts. She is rather pissed off with you. She really doesn’t like wasting the time that she could expend on research for another post simply saying “you’re wrong and here is why” on her posts without some actual useful discussion ensuing. For that matter neither do I, her posts are invariably interesting because of the research she puts into them (even though I seldom agree fully).

          I think she was of the opinion that it was simple deliberate diversion trolling. I was of the opinion that you were being your usual crass and rather unthinking self. However she didn’t offer the fateful words taht would cause me to just accept her opinion as fact. But whatever it was, I suspect that you will be a short shift next time and I will have the pleasure of seeing karol do her very first ban. 😈 ]

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Take your time. Several decades ideally.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I’ve done some fact checking and explaining,

            Well, after reading your ‘facts and explanations’ it appears that your role as ‘fact checker’ is to lie outright.

    • Tracey 20.2

      dont do it to yourself mickey.

      the emperor has no clothes and no principles. lying has worked so well hes not going to stop anytime soon.

      • McFlock 20.2.1

        I watched Joyce on Q&A last night – and I became very angry at his deflection, conceit, and defense of outright corruption.

        I don’t think my blood pressure can take a repeat of that. Not so much the “banality of evil” as the “barefaced gall of evil”. Not even the slightest blush at the size of the bullshit sandwich he gave us to eat.

  19. Paul 21

    No bias at TVNZ apparently…

    Guess they didn’t look at the practices of Susan Wood, Rawden Christie and Mike Hosking then….
    Neo liberal ideologues the lot of them.

  20. Paul 22

    The Herald puts forward 7 documentaries ‘to change the way you think’

    This might prompt an interesting post..what documentaries have made readers on this blog change the way they think.

    I’ll start the ball rolling..
    I agree with Mind the Gap and An Inconvenient Truth
    Haven’t seen Earthlings, but it sounds good.

    I would say these 3 films made a massive impact on my thinking..
    Century of Self by Adam Curtis
    The Corporation

    What do other readers think?


    • mickysavage 22.1

      Inside job. I challenge anyone to watch it and then not feel the urge to shout at a merchant banker …

      • Paul 22.1.1

        Yes Inside Job was another brilliant documentary that showed up the greed of the banking system for what it is. I learnt the most about the corruption of tertiary education from that film. Economics department of Universities are sadly unthinking outreaches of the financial sector now.
        I learnt more about the machinations of the system from the Corporation and Century of Self was eye opening in showing how we were manipulated from thinking about others into being the commodified consumers that corporations desire.

        • freedom

          “I learnt more about the machinations of the system from the Corporation”

          Paul, if you have not already seen it, here is a short animation you will probably enjoy.

          and this is just a fun way to tell a story about money

          • Paul

            Have seen the second one..thanks for the video about Serco. Very interesting.
            This one is also funny

    • freedom 22.2


      A recently released documentary on 9/11 that contains over four hours of facts, delivered in detail, eviscerating the Official Story. I know of no-one who continues to support the Official Story after viewing the entirety of this film.

      This film does not attempt to state what occurred, it is to prove that what is stated in the Official Story did not occur and a full and complete investigation of the facts is required.

      • Paul 22.2.1

        Haven’t seen it but sounds very interesting.
        Best 9/11 documentary (part from Zeitgeist, which covers it in part) that I’ve seen is Zero: An Investigation Into 9/11

        • Descendant Of Sssmith

          “The House I Live In” finally convinced me that decriminalising (and I’m almost convinced of legalising) marujjuana.

          I’ve always supported more drug addiction treatment and less imprisonment but this documentary was the one that finally pushed me past the unsure.


          “All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace” showed me how fucked up Ayn Rand was and highlighted her direct links to those who were espousing her policies.


          Recently “These Birds Walk” which reminded me of some of the children from violent families that I’ve seen and the anger, the violence, the despair, the sadness, the wanting something different and better, the desire to escape and the sad recycling of the behaviour when they can’t. It reminds me that kids are the same the world over and what happens to them when they are young is so very important.

          Violence oft begats violence and one of the reasons I find the right’s framing of people as losers and bludgers and non-deserving is that, that approach is simply another form of violence. How they ever think you can help someone through such abusiveness is bizzarre.

          • RedLogix

            Thanks for the drug link DSS.

            The ““All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace” is perhaps one of the most extraordinary docos ever produced. Still lingers in my mind several years after I first watched it.

    • Ergo Robertina 22.3

      Planned obsolescence is something that really bothers me, and this film covers it well:


      Most recently, Utopia by John Pilger revisiting his work on Australia. So little had changed in some aboriginal communities since his first film in the 1980s he says he nearly mixed up some of the footage.

      Also: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
      – Silence in the House of God.
      – Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price.
      – Inside Job.
      – The Century of Self and other Adam Curtis films

    • Ergo Robertina 22.4


      The documentary Hot Coffee exposed some of the fallacies around the USA culture of litigation, in which the reality may be rather different from what we’re trained to believe.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.5

      The Money Masters
      Aaron Russo’s “America: Freedom To Fascism”

      Disclaimer: I don’t agree with everything in those docos.

  21. lprent 23

    People may have noted that the Internet Party is advertising here. That is a purely commercial deal that was checked through me and Mike.

    It will be interesting to see what other political advertising we pick up here. It all helps to keep the servers running.

    A few years ago we even briefly had some Act advertising..

  22. captain hook 24

    national is supposed to be the party of business so where are the jobs?

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      No, they’re is the party of profits and hiring people cuts profits. Of course, they don’t tell the people that instead they tell them that they’re the party of business. Amazingly enough, people actually believe them.

    • Colonial Viper 24.2

      In take it you are being facetious, but for the sake of clarity

      1) National are the party of big business and corporates. SMEs and family farmers can go get fucked

      2) National are the party of ‘doing business’ i.e. cutting sweet heart deals and crony capitalism.

      3) National are the party of ‘making business cheaper’ e.g. cutting wages, increasing redundancies and casualising jobs.

      In summary – jobs and wages are a business expense and National is all for cutting expenses for their big business mates.

      Edit – what Draco said

  23. karol 25

    John Campbell seems way more interested in Cunliffe’s wife than in Cunliffe – she is impressive though. A pilot, eh?

    • mickysavage 25.1

      She is really formidable in a Hillary Clinton sort of way.

      • karol 25.1.1

        Actually – that does not do Karen (Price is it?) any favours. Can’t imagine Clinton down among the bees and animals, doing climate change lawyering, nor piloting a plane.

        • mickysavage

          Not sure … it was certainly meant to be a compliment.

          • karol

            I realise you meant it as a compliment. But actually Karen seems more worthy.

            • mickysavage

              They are one of the most balanced happy political couples I have ever seen. Politics can be really cruel on family life but David and Karen have worked it out as well as possible. I can guarantee that you will never see a picture of David planking with one of his boys or washing their car but that is the standard he has set.

              • Ad

                100 Mickey

                A strong model for what is possible.
                And I can guarantee David and his boys would operate the fish filletting knife after a days’ catch with a whole bunch more skill than John Key’s fake attempt at a barbeque.

        • Ergo Robertina

          +1 karol. A spurious comparison. Karen Price seems practical, likeable, intelligent.

  24. odysseus 26

    I’m voting for Mrs C

    • ianmac 26.1

      Yes odysseus. What a great woman. And what an interesting family. Nothing superficial about them.
      And if the bees trust them so do I.
      Imagine the team of the Normans and the Cunliffes. I am glad I watched that (though John should keep his eyes to himself 🙂 )

    • Ad 26.2

      Karen is the under-appreciated force for the Labour leader; deeply committed, deeply analytical, principled, a fierce defender of family, and committed to privacy in an otherwise glaringly public life.

      There are plenty of comparisons to make – sustaining a strong legal career with blue chip clients both public and private while your husband is in politics is possibly reminiscent of Cherie Blair. But the comparisons are unhelpful as well. She stands as herself; powerful in her own right and highly respected in her own field.

      That menagerie that they operate in the back yard displays an intense need for grounding for the whole family, but particularly for David and Karen. It was a very rare moment in which that shielded world became visible.

      • Ergo Robertina 26.2.1

        Oh dear, now we have Cherie Blair. That is indeed unhelpful.
        In the past two days on The Standard, New Zealand women have been compared with Pauline Hanson, Cherie Blair, and Hillary Clinton, to chastise or elevate as required.
        It’s somewhat reductive and patronising to compare well-known women with other women based on gender, status, and marriages, rather than the issues and principles with which they have been associated.

        • Colonial Viper

          Take it how you want “reductive” “patronising” whatever, and maybe you prefer to focus on the more impersonal issues championed ticket if that helps you locate things better, but the fact remains that Karen would sit right at home in the top tier of the most powerful and capable political women in the world, and that is what Ad is saying.

          • Ergo Robertina

            ‘Issues’ are not impersonal by definition, and it says something about your world view that you see them as such. Principles and issues take precedence over marriages, status, or money, and I certainly don’t need your slimy permission (take it how you want…) to express that view.

            • Colonial Viper

              Principles and issues take precedence over marriages, status, or money

              That’s to you. Not to everyone else. You don’t think politicans line up with their kids up for election year photos by accident, do you?

              Karen Price is, IMO, of the calibre to fit in with the top tier of political women globally, that’s all I am saying. If you’re opinions are so strong and so right, maybe next time you can do the interview.

              and I certainly don’t need your slimy permission (take it how you want…) to express that view.

              Where did I imply you needed permission from me? I disagreed with your perspective, I don’t need YOUR permission to do so, get over it.

              • Ergo Robertina

                Ah, very perceptive of you CV. I disagreed with another commenter, and told them why. Not exactly rare on The Standard though.
                You don’t actually have anything to add on this do you?
                Just slimy aggression and hostility.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You don’t actually have anything to add on this do you?
                  Just slimy aggression and hostility.

                  And now you’ve started throwing around personal accusations and innuendo. Which is very interesting for someone whose basic (but increasingly bullshit) premise and claim was that “principles and issues” were what was most important to them.

                  Now, please answer my question – where did I state or even imply that you needed “permission” from me for anything?

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    There is no innuendo or personal accusation in my comments CV.
                    You substantially edited your comment two above, which is now quite different from what I replied to.
                    Re the principles/issues stuff, you’re shifting the goalposts or confused about the argument.
                    It applied to the relative merits of the great and the good, and to whom strong New Zealand women should be compared, or indeed whether they should be compared at all.
                    Yes, realpolitik means politicians must sometimes show their ‘real’ side, or family life, as appropriate. But that is a different matter, and was not what was being discussed.
                    You also have suggested that my comments were critical of Karen Price (‘perhaps you could do the interview better…’), which is completely false.
                    My comments were not critical of Labour, Price, or Cunliffe; indeed, I described Price as practical, likeable and intelligent.

    • Ad 27.1

      I understand they will be launching their economic development policy tomorrow as well.

      Lyn, just wondering if Mr Norman might possibly be invited to do a guest post here as well?

  25. joe90 28


    More than $60bn (£36bn) has been illegally siphoned out of Uganda, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania over 10 years, with most of it squirrelled away in tax havens, according to a report by financial transparency campaigners.

    Washington-based group Global Financial Integrity (GFI) said the “enormous amounts of money” drained out of the countries equates to more than double the international aid money they receive and is stymieing efforts to lift millions of people out of poverty.

    GFI’s report, published on Monday, said most of the funds are lost through multinational companies illegal misinvoicing the value of imported or exported goods. It means that importers pretend to pay more for goods than they actually pay and the extra money is slipped into offshore bank accounts. In one notable case an American company invoiced for plastic buckets at $972 each.


  26. Jagg 29

    Little bit quiet here on the issue of Shane Taurima aren’t we?

    Not so much wailing of a right-wing bias in the MSM now is there.

  27. vto 30

    It just occurred to me.

    Jamie Whyte and the crazy Act party pill people should follow their daring leader’s enhanced trajectory.

    On top of selling everything, and leaving everything up to the will and free hand of individual people when it comes to pretty much everything, they must also cease all laws to apply. This will be the ultimate realisation of their philosophy as the community will become an absolute and pure result of individual people and their free expression.


    No more laws.

    Just the law of the individual without fetter. Just as Jamie Whyte expressed last weekend on the Nation programme. Just as he wants.

    No laws.

    Act at its peak.

    (lordy I would love to see it. Cameras on hand at the gates of Whytes and Banks homes to record the carnage. Ha ha, how just. He he, such fools. How bizarre how bizarre)

  28. karol 31

    Very good comment, Puddleglum – one that will be lost in the ether as it’s in an open mike from a couple of days ago. The person it’s addressed to, probably want attend to it, and will run exactly the same arguments he began with, at some future date.

  29. Hami Shearlie 32

    Jamie Whyte – the missing Beige Telly Tubby! I struggle to believe he is of this planet!

  30. shane taurima has been told to take a hike by labour..

  31. captain hook 34

    no he has not. Shane Taurima is a fine person but the fleas from the national party who have no policy no direction, no morals, no ethics will just get their buddies in the media to give then time to badger and hector him so I hope Shane is having a good time away from the tory bloodsuckers and leeches.

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