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Open mike 12/09/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 12th, 2013 - 117 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

117 comments on “Open mike 12/09/2013 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    [Bunji: We’ve been approving approving your comments, but I notice you’ve actually meant to be banned until 4 October]

  2. vto 2

    I don’t understand this, perhaps someone can enlighten.

    When a business makes a mistake and that costs it in terms of lost customers and reputation, that business and its owner understands that it must carry that self-imposed burden and deal with it alone with no expectation that the owners neighbour or anyone else should step in and pay to right the mistake. After all, the neighbour has not shared in any previous profits.

    But Fonterra, a private company, after ballsing up its botulism scare left right and centre, is getting taxpayer funding to help correct their self-imposed disaster. A government fund of $2,000,000 has been set up, from which dairy businesses can do such things as get the taxpayer to pay their travel costs to those customers, among other things.

    How does this fit? How does this work? Can any business apply for such assistance when they balls things up? Or is it only certain ones?

    Sounds like more welfare to me. Bludging off the taxpayer. Just like the NZX which after several decades still stutters along wimpering for the taxpayer to support their privately owned business…

    Perhaps Wayne, who comments on here from time to time and posters seem to know who is (is it publicly known, his identity?), would like to explain. Come in Wayne…

    and then you know what….. I turns the next page of te morning paper and what is the headline? Fonterra expanding into China expecting to farm up to 15,000 cows….

    For fucking fucks sake – what a pile cowshit this government is

    • The Al1en 2.1

      And yesterday the cheapest 2 litre bottle of milk went up 30 cents to $3.30 in Glenview New World and 39 cents to $3.39 at Clarence St Pak n Save.

      • felix 2.1.1

        Well (ahem) you must understand there are a lot of (cough) extra costs in administrating all this free money…

      • GregJ 2.1.2

        God you guys a getting ripped off in NZ – I live in the Middle East & I pay the equivalent of NZ$3.20 for 2 litres of fresh milk – all imported. None of my Arab colleagues can understand why New Zealander’s pay international prices for a product they make domestically – we sure as hell don’t pay international prices for petroleum here (we pay about 30 cents a litre – and the locals think that is expensive!)

      • Treetop 2.1.3

        Earlier on in the week on the radio I heard that an 11 year old won a NZ science prize for proving that the triple layer plastic milk bottle does not keep milk as fresh as the regular plastic milk bottle. I will try and find a link.

        Apparently one benefit of the triple layer plastic is that it prevents light from destroying the nutrient content. I would like to know by how much?

        I suppose if you can afford the more expensive container, any waste is not an issue.

        Part of the problem is that regulation is required as the supermarket mark up is a rip off. Watch the cost of anything else with dairy in it rise.

    • Greywarbler 2.2

      Setting up dairy, kiwifruit in other countries is seen as an export – exporting our expertise, our intellectual property, experience. Whether its exxing out some of our interests in the short or long term well I don’t know if that has been examined.

      With the difficulty of keeping quality control over our own stuff, and the harm that we have caused to the respect for our standards, perhaps it would be a good idea to make money from helping countries get established in the market, and then sell out our interests there, and wait for them to screw up. In the meantime we concentrate on making quality stuff, and have policies of honesty and fast response to any problems and have unceasing controls and inspections enforced by the government, as business cannot be relied upon not to slide if its solely responsible for itself.

      And that leads to a news item from this morning. The horrific fuel train explosion in Canada was caused by inadequate measures by the transport company, but the results were ramped up because it was carrying more flammable fuel than the oil it was allowed to transport.

      And the likelihood of government controlling complacent, wealthy, cost-cutting, safety and regulation lax businesses – well the oil spill in the Northern Hemisphere, was it the Exonn or similar, came about after safety measures had not been followed, government controls and officials had been softened up after ‘capture’ by the business, and all along the safety evaluation of the oil gathering and transporting led to an expectation of some event in a 25 year time frame. This then was made more likely to occur by the lax safety standards adopted.
      (Probably Fukushima was similar.)

      • Greywarbler 2.2.1

        My comment has been waiting in moderation now for 40 mins. I think using the term exxing might have scrambled the screen’s dictionary.

        [Bunji: no idea why it was in moderation, but guess no-one was looking at the queue. Approved now]

  3. Boadicea 3

    Audrey Young quotes Roger Douglas’ view on the leadership….as if they are relevant!!

    And she believes the Annette King’s return from holidays overseas will bolster Robertson’s chances. Yeah, Annette is the one to pick winning leaders!

    • Jenny Kirk 3.1

      Yes, Boadicea – wouldn’t you think the Labour caucus – especially the ABCs – have the message by now that Rogernomics didn’t work and new thinking on economic development is needed?
      But No – they’re still tied to that old drum ….. Mr Rogernomics telling them “the two main contenders, Mr Cunliffe and Mr Robertson, have had been advancing policy “that would set New Zealand up to become another Spain or Greece.”
      Ironical, eh ?. Following the Rogernomics track has set NZ up to become “another Spain or Greece”.
      And it will be more than disappointing if the current Labour caucus cannot see that.

    • miravox 3.2

      Roger Douglas? – he’s still around! The land of the living dead.

    • Bearded Git 3.3

      Even the Herald now gives Cunliffe 12 first preference caucus votes (Audrey Young today). With 60% of both the unions and the members he will be the leader. Too easy!

  4. amirite 4

    Mallard, on a junket in San Fran, promises further taxpayers’ funding for EMIRATES Team NZ if they win the America’s Cup.
    Nothing’s changed.

    • David H 4.1

      Maybe if we are lucky he will see the writing on the wall and stay there.

      • phillip ure 4.1.1

        don’t they need some more ballast for the boat..?

        ..for once..he could be a bit useful..

        ..which would make a change..eh..?..

        ..phillip ure..

      • risildowgtn 4.1.2

        I actually HOPE that Cunliffe sacks him ( Mallard)…… and the rest of the ABC group who want to stay to their neo liberal sellout path.

  5. North 5

    I’m heartily sick of hearing from worn out scabs and turncoats like Douglas and Prebble.

  6. Tautoko Viper 6

    The latest Greenwald information shows that NSA is sending raw data to Israel. Read (c) of the memorandum for reference to NZ. Are we collecting any of this information at Waihopai? Do our MPs know?

    • Huginn 6.1

      So wrong in so many ways. What the fuck were they thinking?
      There’s enormous scope for industrial espionage as the Israeli military/industrial complex commercialises its opportunities.

      Here’s an example:

      On the day Raphael Ouzan finished five years of service in an elite intelligence unit, he decided to start his own company. The night after his release from the IDF he met with a good friend, Yaron Samid, and together they resolved to build their own startup.

      In the first days they had only five employees—two from the same intelligence unit as Ouzan. Last year their company—BillGuard—raised 3 million dollars in funding and won second place in the startup competition Techcrunch Disrupt.

      BillGuard is, essentially, antivirus for your credit card. The software scans credit card transactions and finds technical errors or fraudulent deals. This is accomplished with a unique algorithm which scans forums, social networks and websites, and analyzes transactions for “suspicious” behavior.

      What’s the link between credit card protection and the IDF? Raphael Ouzan, now BillGuard’s CTO explains:

      “I learned a lot about this type of work from my military service . . .


  7. miravox 7

    Reframing the economy – The new economics foundation writes about the differences between the austerity framing and a new story the shows a difference side of the economic policies of austerity and the type of society that we want to progress.

    when a frame is strongly held we tend to ignore facts that do not fit with it. The austerity story is a powerful narrative that is embedded in public consciousness. It cannot be challenged with facts. Only with new frames and a different story about the economy can it be dislodged…

    To win, they will need to do more than find their frames, they will need to be more coordinated, responsive to public opinion and find more credible messengers.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    New iPhone 5S with fingerprint sensor is a neat way to add your fingerprint to the NSAs Databases.

  9. risildowgtn 9

    For sure this happens esp when you have a Govt who introduced YOUTH rates……


  10. tricledrown 10

    Amirite NZ has built a boat industry up from $120 million a year to over $2billion a year.
    On the back of our sucess in the Americas cup!
    Leading edge world beating technology has been developed + the publicity NZ gets from the cup.
    Even in the bottom of the south island many boat building companies have hugely benefited .Companies that were employing a couple of employees are now employing well paid engineers welders etc,
    Formerly these companies were making cheap aluminiun tinnies runabouts and dingies they are now making large ocean going high end cruisers at $150,000+
    Before $1200 dingies.
    These are exactly the value added exports we need in this country.
    If we don,t keep supporting and investing in this industry we will fall behind and china will take all these high paying jobs.
    The cost at less than $8 million per year is a fraction of what farming and other industries receive from govt!

    • Poission 10.1

      You can only invest in industry from your profits.NZ is always constrained by the value of its currency which is subject to the gamblers perception ie a higher official interest rate.

      Wheelers statement had an immediate effect,reducing the profits for exporters in the upcoming export season.


    • Bill 10.2

      So you agree that (generally) underpaid work forces should produce luxury goods for wealthy foreigners to consume?

      How’s about value added ‘everyday’ products that workers (foreign or domestic) can afford?

    • Ron 10.3

      Who gives a stuff about boat builders when we cannot even construct moderate price houses.
      When we can house, feed, educate, and provide good health care for all New Zeal;anders then we can start worrying about building rich men’s toys

      • Greywarbler 10.3.1

        Ron We need skilled people making physical things for everybody – making things, yachts, boats, railway carriages, steel workers etc. Also needed is regular work for builders, not on-off cycles of boom and depressed demand, and real assistance to the building community from a real hard-working government agency.

        It would have model plans that used good and modest priced materials with acceptable building methods. Some might use some steel and wood. They would inform on whether boron treated studs and joists would be better than untreated. It would be in plain language so that interested people could get leaflets and read reports on line. If we had had a working agency like this it would have put a stop to the building of housing that was proving to be unsatisfactory and even dangerous, overseas.

        Most of our poor leaky housing would never have happened if BRANZ or whatever it was called was working well for our benefit. When we are decrying the housing deficit, don’t forget the setback the leaky, fungussy homes caused and the heartache and physical sickness as well as the mental stress for people involved in the losses.

        I hope we will never get to the stage where we become so angry that violence and retaliation break out against the perpetrators of these predatory shonky financial and political schemes.
        There is only so much that people can put up with – too much and the chickens will come home to roost.
        (expressed in print as early as 1390, when Geoffrey Chaucer used it in The Parson’s Tale:
        And ofte tyme swich cursynge wrongfully retorneth agayn to hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest.)

      • tricledrown 10.3.2

        Ron This is a good way to take money back off rich people.
        Oracle paid NZ boat builders to build their boats because we had the best technology and skill in the world.
        we will never be a bulk mass producer like China Indonesia or any large industrialized country ever again we can only succeed in niche markets.
        Its not just rich mans toys we make huge numbers of small boats as well.
        This is one area in manufacturing where we are leading the world!
        We can construct cheap housing its just that existing monopolies have the govt in their back pocket !
        Education world leading software is being developed in NZ by Taylor made for television, apps for smart phones and then the on board software for Team New Zealand Aotearoa designed and developed in Good old NZ!
        Larry Ellison (oracle yes Oracle) World leading software designer and supplier is getting beaten by some very smart high paid by NZ standards home grown Kiwi software designers that will make software designers sit up and take Notice the world over that has got to be good for NZ!
        Reality check needed Ron in fact its been nearly seven years since the Labour Govt put up the $36 million for Team NZ thats less than $4 million a year.
        How much did the country put up for the world cup for a negative return, nearly $1 billion dollars which local councils are still in debt up to their eyeballs from and have caused a lot of job losses because councils have had to sack staff to pay for under used stadiums while the Americas cup has turned a $120 million a year boat industry into a $2 billion a year boat industry employing 100,s if not thousands of full time workers!
        If I had my way I would have put that rugby money into the boat industry at least we would have some return for our investment .Instead we have a bunch of empty stadiums and the loan shark big Aussie bankers Are smiling!

  11. Greywarbler 11

    NZ Defence has been found to be just a tad careless in training its workers, apparently on the basis that because they are going into dangerous theatres of whatever, they need to be toughened and man-up to danger, before they are properly trained and instructed to deal with such dangers in a manful and knowledgable manner. Man what a bunch of clods and impractical managers in Defence. The authoritarian power with absolute power to ignore morality and fair behaviour and respect for the troops and their welfare is on the way to losing his, or her, humanity.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Not just training, but the basic activities of equipment and maintenance. I’m thinking of the poor guy who fucking drowned because his life vest wouldn’t inflate.

      For a while back there the NZRAF had more “Wing Commanders” on the payroll than actual physical wings flyable in the fleet. Don’t know if it’s still the case.

    • Greywarbler 11.2

      Now I don’t have permission to edit with 5 minutes left to go. I was going to express my thinking better but you’ll just have to unscramble the code that attempts to convey the message! /sarc

      • Greywarbler 11.2.1

        Perhaps those wing commanders spent their spare time, instead of ensuring proper training and usage standards be met to prevent loss of human capacity and expensive capital equipment, developing the game Icarus. It sounds interesting and maybe challenging for a grounded sky pilot.
        (Itching to dive-bomb a rival guild’s castle from dragon-back? It will be possible in the upcoming fantasy game Icarus Online.) http://massively.joystiq.com/tag/Icarus-Online/

        (Icarus, son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax. Daedalus had been imprisoned by King Minos of Crete within the walls of his …)
        Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology

      • lprent 11.2.2

        odd. Notes it down.

    • chris73 11.3

      So what is the rate of accidental deaths for members of the NZDF v comparable civilian occupations? Do you know or is this just a rant based on ignorance and perception?

      • Greywarbler 11.3.1

        Do your own work if you are interested in gaining the information. But then if you were you would have some stored in your own mind and would have an idea of what I was referring to. Trouble with you RWNJs is that you are information beneficiaries too lazy to do your own amassing of stats and background.

      • McFlock 11.3.2

        What civilian occupations are comparable to NZDF functions?

        • chris73

          Off the top of my head:

          Firemen, truckies, carpenters, mechanics, storemen, administraters, doctors, nurses, medics, teachers, pilots, cooks, stewards, plumbers, gym instructors, dentists, pet ops, move ops, divers, psychatrists, builders and of course after the winds the guys were out with chainsaws but thats not a core function…

          Theres probably more but thats enough to go on for now…

          • McFlock

            But there’s one overall function of NZDF that is in none of those trades. The clue is in the name.

            Unless stewards routinely have light machine guns to carry around, of course.

            • Colonial Viper

              They have accountants in the NZDF, therefore the NZDF are just like KPMG!!! And look, 4 letters as well, that’s not just coincidence!!!

            • chris73

              Soldier first and trade second but that wasn’t the question was it, the question was: “what civilian occupations are comparable to NZDF functions?”

              Now while I am pretty damn awesome I do have to admit that reading peoples minds isn’t one of my particular talents so if you want me to answer a question make sure you phrase the question properly

    • tricledrown 11.4

      The forestry Industry makes the defense force look good who needs enemies when we are more dangerous with self inflicted losses even in Afghanistan Key Turned down amoured vehicles and refused to use light amoured vehicles because they were to expensive to take to that theater of war!
      nationals cost cutting at work again down grading our armed services while Poncekey takes all the limelight for being the US,s lapdog is criminal negligence.
      National can.t help themselves cutting forrestry inspection from 1,000 down to 220 a year has lead to a massive increase in deaths negligence the minister Joyce should be put on trial for manslaughter!

  12. captain hook 12

    It seems as if the GCSB is the only government department that will listen to you.
    over and out.

    • joe90 13.1

      WRT things Chilean:

      Two nations were influenced by our thinkers and example:
      Finland and Chile. Finland learned its lessons from John Dewey. Its
      schools are child-centered. It prizes the arts and physical
      education. It has no standardized testing. Its schools are noted
      for both excellence and equity. It is a top performer on
      international tests. Chile learned its lessons from Milton
      Friedman. It has vouchers and testing. Its schools are highly
      segregated by social class. The quality of education is highly
      dependent on family income. Students in Chile are rioting to demand
      free public education. No one considers Chile a model. Which
      direction are we going? Why? Whose ideas are dominant


    • vto 13.2

      Yep. A side tangential issue to that touches on some comments on this site lately about the loyalty of the armed forces and who they actually belong to and act for.

      As is shown by the Chile coup, the Fiji coups, and many other examples, armed forces do not belong to the people and neither are they loyal to the people, nor even the government. They act for and belong to others. They do what they are ordered to – such as bomb and kill civilians and others living in their own country (Egypt), murder politicians (Chile), act for the Crown (British Crown) to protect the Crown (reason for ignoring Lange in first Fiji coup)

      Militaries are for these purposes, which are quite contrary to the popular understanding of the wider public who assume that they are on “our” side. Especially in NZ where, you know, nothing like that ever happens, couldn’t, nah, that happens overseas….

      Some posters have highlighted these realities recently and it has left a chill in the air ……….

      be very afraid of all militaries

    • Rosie 13.3

      Thank You for posting these links joe90. Will make some time to watch, read and absorb.

  13. Red-Green, my first upload for a while.
    I’m guessing it’s the DC effect and lots of coffee. 😉

    https://soundcloud.com/theal1en/red-green or via my widget affected site http://www.al1en.org

  14. vto 15

    Here is an example of setting yourself up for problems. Relying too heavily on man-made things for your business when you operate in a non-man-made environment.


    Rely on power for your dairy shed – what happens when the power goes out?

    Rely on external water supply for your grass – what happens when the external water supply dries up?

    Rely on mechanical means to feed the animals – what happens when nature tips it upside down?

    Too much reliance on non-natural items. Too intensive. Too clever for our own good, methinks

    One other too – Canterbury used to have large hedges planted all over to protect from the wind and stop the earth being blown away (this was learned from when the land was stripped and early weather blew the dirt away). When these hedges began being flattened about 15 years ago many old-timers said strongly that they would rue the day. The winds would return and wreak havoc they said. And looky at that – the winds came screaming down through the mountains and instead of screeching across at the height of 10m hedges it screeched across at the height of 1cm blades of grass.

    I have too many digs at farmers and this is not intended as another. It is a dig at humanwomankind and its tendency to always forget the lessons of the past. Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them. Voila.

    • Greywarbler 15.1

      Good points.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      Correct. You point to an economy predicated on fragility.

    • jcuknz 15.3

      The problem is that they listened to the anti global warming sorces and didn’t buy generators to run even just one machine to relieve the suffering of their animals. Personally I have changed to all electricity but I have not sold my gas .. that is in reserve for when the power fails …. if a townie with just himself to think about can do it why not the farmer with hundreds of stock their responsibility.

    • JK 15.4

      Yep – vto – we were sitting there watching the TV news about all the mangled irrigation pipes wondering why the heck they had’nt laid them down, dismantled them or done something else to protect them when they had plenty of warning those high winds were coming. And maybe those irrigation contraptions could be replaced with sprinkler pipes laid in the ground ?
      And now you’re talking about the removal of the shelter hedges. Hadn’t realised that had happened. Why did the dairy farmers or whoever think they were there in the first place – as decoration ? Farmers don’t do decoration.
      Amazing lack of thought on the part of whoever is in charge of the dairy farms in Canterbury.

      • Colonial Viper 15.4.1

        And maybe those irrigation contraptions could be replaced with sprinkler pipes laid in the ground ?

        That’s what K-line is for.

  15. bad12 16

    One more time in the ghetto, yes, yet another comment on the question: Does raising the minimum wage lead to more unemployment, the answer so far from what i have posted has been a resounding and emphatic NO,

    This link is pretty looo-ong and may have your eyeballs sliding out of their socket and off down your cheeks if you try and read it all at once, it does tho present the argument from both sides, a couple of salient points when we consider what is the American experience and how the template is more or less a mirror of our own,

    Paul Krugman: ”The current level of the minimum wage is very low by any reasonable standard”.

    In a New York Time op-ed piece Noble Prize winning economist Paul Krugman argued that raising the minimum wage was both good politics and sound policy. Moreover, He argued in favor of increasing the Federal baseline to keep up with inflation,

    ”For about four decades increases in the minimum wage have consistently fallen behind inflation, so that in real terms the minimum wage is substantially lower than it was in the 1960’s, meanwhile, worker productivity has doubled”, (New York Times 2/17/13).

    Starts to make the USA sound like a small country located in the South Pacific Ocean doesn’t it, and then there is this:

    ”If the minimum wage reflected worker productivity it would be nearly $22 per hour”.

    Citing a study done by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Huffington Post explained that the current minimum wage lags far behind what it should after accounting for productivity increases,

    ”The minimum wage should have reached $21.72 an hour in 2012 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity according to a March study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research”,

    ”While advancements in technology have increased the amount of goods and services that can be produced in a set amount of time wages have remained relatively flat the study point out”, (the Huffington Post 2/13/13).

    Not here in little old Noo Zealand tho right, the robber barons wouldn’t whip us into productivity increases while not passing on a fair share of such increases as wage rises, or would they???,


    This would tend to suggest that the US experience of the Neoliberal experiment matches our own,

    ”Out-put growth in the measured sectors averaged 2.6% per annum from 1978 to 2007, the main driver of this out-put growth was labour productivity of +2.0% per annum”.


    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      The studies are nice but also irrelevant to our specific conditions, we can get the economic and social outcomes we want in NZ via innovative fiscal means.

      • bad12 16.1.1

        Yes i am sure the Treasury info is irrelevant to you, please expand upon these innovative fiscal means…

    • jcuknz 16.2

      The most interesting and thoughtful article by Krugman was quite recentl;y where he wrote about the wonk factor and related it to the Republicans which I don’t particularly dis-agree with … they are a festering sore on American politics …. HOWEVER when I come to The Standard I see evidence of a similar problem.
      Wonk Factor = a habit of only reading sources that you agree with.
      I wonder if I suffer from it too since I only read Krugman becuase I agree with him and cannot be bothered with the RW crap.
      PS. I never considered Sir Roger RW, that was the journalists and Alliance idiots bellyacheing.

      • bad12 16.2.1

        The Standard is a left wing site in case you havn’t noticed, given that, i am hardly going to give oxygen to the rights politico/economic agenda,

        They have the mainstream media happily doing that for them…

      • Greywarbler 16.2.2

        Are you into studying the cosmos. Because you don’t seem to know much about what is going on down and around here on little ole NZ. Sir Roger not RW? That joke won’t fly.

        Here’s a jolly little poem by AA Milne just right for Sir Roger…It may seem silly, but not very.
        Bad Sir Brian Botany

        Sir Brian had a battleaxe with great big knobs on;
        He went among the villagers and blipped them on the head.
        On Wednesday and on Saturday, but mostly on the latter day,
        He called at all the cottages, and this what he said:
        I am Sir Brian, as bold as a lion –
        Take that! – and that! – and that!

        Sir Brian woke one morning, and he couldn’t find his battleaxe:
        He walked into the village in his second pair of boots.
        He had gone a hundred paces, when the street was full of faces,
        And the villagers were round him with ironical salutes…

        Sir Brian went a journey, and he found a lot of duck-weed:
        They pulled him out and dried him, and they blipped him on the head.
        They took him by the breeches, and they hurled him into ditches,
        And they pushed him under waterfalls, and this is what they said:
        You are Sir Brian, as bold as a lion –
        Sir Brian, the lion, good-bye!

        And now he goes about the village as B.Botany, Esquire.
        I am Sir Brian? Oh no!
        I am Sir Brian? Who’s he?
        I haven’t got any title, I’m Botany –
        Plain Mr Botany (B).

      • lprent 16.2.3

        I considered him to be seriously unwise and in way too much of a hurry. The over-regulated state with a habit of hiding unemployment in the farming sector, forestry, the post office, railways, etc was never going to survive because it simply wasn’t economic. Nor was the tariff system that resulted in the first corporate I worked with having a larger lobby group in Wellington protecting the tariffs than their head office and sales force combined.

        Problem was that it’d gotten to the point of collapse as the NZLP took power and literally found that they couldn’t pay for it any more. Inflation was already out of control so they couldn’t print their way out. That allowed border-line hysterics like Douglas, Prebble, Moore, etc way way too much power to make completely bad through to simply shoddy deals. Problem was that the Labour MPs including the backboners were so used to only have 3 years that they tried to do everything in 3 years – and it made the economic reforms completely desperate and dangerous. It takes time to change economic systems safely.

        Nett result of doing sudden change like that was that we wound up with a rump of people with few skills in the wrong parts of the country who went on unemployment for far too long. Go to somewhere like Rotorua or the old tariff factories and you can see the generational damage that fell out of that. National unfortunately usually come around just often enough to kill those regional towns whenever they start getting better off.

        It also made it freaking hard to get capital for anything productive in this country for decades after the ’87 crash when the ponzi cowboys tainted the finance markets and killed all of the pre-existing capital outlets.

        Of course if Muldoon hadn’t been such a diehard conservative screwing the pooch in the decade before trying to prevent change, then it’d have been a whole lot easier.

        • Greywarbler

          That’s really good summary of post-Muldoon lprent.. It is understandable the way you explain it. Muldoon may have been the right man for the job for a while, but after two terms leaders need to be put out to grass, otherwise they get stuck in the dried cow pats and have to be prised up. I also think that the terms should be for four years. You refer to three and it does seem that it is just too hard to plan, implement and monitor results within that time. Hence the shonky legislation we get.

          Muldoon right to the finish sang the song ”I did it my way’ and wanted to take It with him when he went. Lange said that before Muldoon officially handed over the keys to the hope-chest we had a capital flight so bad that Labour had to call up all the diplomats overseas and sequester their credit card balances.

          What upset me was the flamboyant way Douglas et al closed down businesses which were really operating, even with some assistance, and then they replaced them with slogans which weren’t as useful at the supermarket. First pain, then gain for instance. Unions bad, business sanctified. Tariffs and subsidies gone altogether. Nudity was de rigueur to all trade talks so that it was plain to all that we didn’t carry any concealed weaponry, even dicks. New business was going to spring up, vigorous from all this fertiliser. But in fact, if it did it tended to be shopworn old business recycled, carrying out previous government activities.

          And the new floating exchange rate and foreign ownership seem to have creamed off
          financial successes with keen assistance from inflated financial speculators, inflated property speculators, inflated importers, and the naivety of us all. We have reacted similarly to the people of Albania when stripped of the restraints of communism and exposed to sharp teeth of capitalism. Where they were fleeced by ponzi schemes and fulsome promises from money sharks. Who was that sneaking round the corner – Mac the Knife! Our theme song.

          Time for We Got Talent and let’s get a new song!

  16. jcuknz 17

    The problem with increasing the minimum wage is that all wages would rise accordingly and this would promote inflation … which as a superanuient relying on an annual re-adjustment is likelly rather tough on me …. however Krugman also pointed out that inflation makes it easier for a country to retire its debt which is a good thing instead of the RW going on about living within your means like a household. But a country is not a household and if you stiffle the ecconomy with austerity measures it is going to take a hell of a long time to get out of the poo. In this respect I think the National Governmeent over the past five years has steered a good course between the camps … austerity v. stimulous.
    So I think many writers here are living with ideological blinkers which say “left good – right bad” when it is not a clear cut black and white situation.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      The problem with increasing the minimum wage is that all wages would rise accordingly and this would promote inflation …

      Income for the top 10% have been skyrocketing just fine without inflation.

      The inflation thing is just a myth. Under Helen Clark the minimum wage went from about $8 to about $12 and inflation was fucking low.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 17.1.1

        More of the economy in wages and less in profit is a good thing.

        Reducing private taxation (profit) and giving people more return for their labour should be supported.

        I can’t see how people can argue for reduced public taxation without also arguing for reduced private taxation.

        Profit is a tax on the cost of production.

    • miravox 17.2

      Why should all wages rise accordingly?

      The gap between the top and bottom earners has been growing rapidly wider over the years, it can just gradually narrow over the years.

    • bad12 17.3

      ”All wages would rise accordingly”, not necessarily and really only at the behest of employers, and what you say would insinuate that there is plenty of fat on the employers bulk to be able to raise all wages…

    • tricledrown 17.4

      jacknuts even treasury disagrees with you they said at the last election that raising the minimum wage would not lower employment or increase inflation in this economic climate!
      In the 1930’s countries that increased their minimum wage came out of recession much faster than the countries which didn’t!
      It would be an idea to do some research on the history of economics before you start your rant on chicago school propaganda.
      Just repeat the mantra of chicago school of colonial extractive economics there is no other way there is no other way thats chicago school of cultonomics!

  17. Morrissey 18

    Mediocrity Watch: JORDAN WILLIAMS
    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Thursday 12 September 2013
    Jim Mora, Jordan Williams, Scott York

    Following the absurdly substandard, dishonest performance by Professor Robert Patman on yesterday’s show, longtime sufferers no doubt thought it unlikely that The Panel could sink any lower. After all, who could possibly be more dishonest than Patman, or Garth “Gaga” George, or Nevil “Breivik” Gibson, or Christine (Spankin’) Rankin, or Dr Michael Bassett? Well, step forward Jordan Williams, right-wing agitator, lawyer and junior colleague of that preposterously pretentious Panel pontificator, Stephen Franks. Presumably the producers formulated a cunning plan that Williams would act as a counterweight to the sensible and well informed Scott York. Bad idea. Very, very bad idea. As listeners no doubt picked up, Jordan Williams knows fuck-all about anything, but doesn’t let that stop him from engaging in highly incendiary political rhetoric. It doesn’t however, make the show one whit more interesting….

    JIM MORA: [brightly]Syria, gentlemen. What do you think?
    SCOTT YORK: Obama has got himself in a hole. He’s still using belligerent language, but that won’t achieve his goals. Bombing Syria would stir up a hornet’s nest.
    JORDAN WILLIAMS: [quietly and deliberately, to indicate thoughtfulness] The line should never have been drawn. The real problem is Iran.
    JIM MORA: Do you think it’s do-able, extracting the chemical weapons out of Syria?

    Scott York says something vaguely sensible and non-controversial. Jordan Williams, on the other hand, sees this as a teaching moment; only problem is he doesn’t know enough about the middle east or about American history to teach anybody anything. Embarrassingly, he attempts to draw a parallel between Obama and earlier U.S. presidents. He blithers about how the Soviets “treated Roosevelt and Kennedy with contempt”, but not Eisenhower—“because they knew he wasn’t going to mess about.” This is a remarkably foolish, vague and uneducated statement, even by the dismal standards, or lack of standards, at Radio NZ National. Williams clearly knows nothing about Eisenhower, or the Cuban “missile crisis”, and has probably read not a single book about either. As usual, however, his blithely ignorant comments go unchallenged by either Mora or the ostensibly liberal York.

    Scott York makes some interesting observations about the Labour leadership contest.

    Jordan Williams has a spray at Grant Robertson—“my good friend”— for suggesting rent controls in Christchurch. “We have a far further left Labour Party than we realized,” he foams. “Capping rents seems like a recipe for disaster.” This goads the abnormally mild and tolerant Scott York into actually saying something that might upset someone: he points out that the market has clearly failed. Mora, uncomfortable, agrees with York, and Williams starts to make a lame and incoherent rejoinder before being saved by the bell. It’s five o’clock, and the imperative of the News means that another right wing chatterbox gets away without having to defend his half-baked views.

    • Te Reo Putake 18.1

      Nice summary, Moz. I came in late and only heard the Chch discussion, but ‘saved by the bell’ indeed. 5 more minutes and Scott Yorke would have had the odious and dull witted Williams on the canvas. For the benefit of readers, Williams was saying the rent caps proposed by Grant Robertson would mean landlords would have less incentive to build properties. That might be true, but the answer is obvious; ignore the private sector and build communal housing in partnership with the Council. It is the People’s Republic of Chch after all.

      • bad12 18.1.1

        Yes being able to rack-rent people for what are essentially wrecked houses will be sure to have the rack-renters falling all over each other to build 1000’s of rentals so that people will pay far less rent,

        The Landlords are all laughing up their sleeves why would they introduce more rental stock when they are ‘creaming it’ renting out the wrecks,

        i gave Grant Robertson a + for after having a good look at the situation down there saying Government edict should set the rents where double garages are now considered luxury accommodation…

      • Morrissey 18.1.2

        Scott YORKE. Of course! A while ago, you got me for carelessly mis-spelling Mai Chen’s name. This is yet another point for you, my friend.

        Just the other day that terrifying force of nature Queen of Thorns got me for writing Grant Robinson instead of Robertson.

        One more slip and Mr Prent will no doubt slap another month-long ban on me….

        [lprent: I don’t do it for typos. I’d have to ban myself. ]

  18. Paul 19

    You deserve a medal for listening to Mora’s programme.

  19. weka 20

    The Green Party has decided to contest the Christchurch East by-election that will be held in November as a result of sitting MP Lianne Dalziel’s decision to run for Mayor in the Christchurch local body elections.

    Nominations for the seat open today and close 5pm Tuesday 17 September. A candidate selection meeting will be held in the electorate on Saturday 28 September (time and venue to be confirmed). The results of the meeting will be publicly announced by the end of that weekend.

    Prospective candidates must have their applications processed and accepted in accordance with the Party’s candidate selection rules to be eligible for nomination. Please contact george@greens.org.nz for more information.

    Press Release doesn’t appear to be online yet.

    Press Release: 12 September 2013

    Green Party to contest Christchurch East by-election

    The Green Party has confirmed it will contest the Christchurch East by-election and opened nominations today.

    The by-election will be held in November following the expected resignation of sitting Labour MP Lianne Dalziel who intends to run for Christchurch Mayor.

    “The Green Party is keenly aware of the issues that people in Christchurch East face and we relish an opportunity to put those concerns under the public spotlight,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

    “The people of Christchurch East deserve a strong Green candidate to connect with and speak out on education and housing and other key issues they face.”

    Green Party Co-convener Georgina Morrison said nominations will close at 5pm next Tuesday. A candidate selection meeting will be held in the electorate on Saturday, September 28, with details to be confirmed. The results of the meeting will be publicly announced by the end of that weekend.

    Prospective candidates must have their applications processed and accepted in accordance with the Party’s candidate selection rules to be eligible for nomination.

    • Ron 20.1

      Why oh why cannot the left wing groups get their act together. Having two left of centre parties contesting the seat could let National take the seat. There is little point in both Labour and Greens both contesting except to make it easier for National to win

      • GregJ 20.1.1

        Totally – Labour should step aside and let the Greens run the only Left candidate – Mojo Mathers should stand again – she will be an excellent MP for Christchurch East.

        Oh wait – perhaps that isn’t what you had in mind? 😯

        Perhaps National can put up a candidate of Aaron Gilmore’s quality again.

        • Ron

          I would have no problem with a green candidate if that was what the two parties agreed. I just don’t want to see two similar parties dividing the left vote.
          The only people that think it is ok to do that appear to be National

          • Mike S

            Why should either party step aside? They are different political parties, not two parties in coalition.

            • Colonial Viper

              To prevent a vote split which lets National through the middle to take the seat.

              • miravox

                I can’t see a reason why the Greens shouldn’t put up a candidate – it is a fully-fledged independent party after all.

                I think you have to trust people to vote strategically. They’ve managed it in previous elections and there’s no reason to expect them to split the vote this time.

        • pasupial


          All of National’s candidates are of Aaron Gilmore quality; it’s just that some are better at concealing it.

      • QoT 20.1.2

        Are you familiar with the concept of MMP? It might help.

  20. Huginn 21

    Gower showing that he still doesn’t understand how preferential voting works:

    After three weeks of street-fighting, Mr Jones is still likely to come third in this race. But he’s a likely kingmaker for the other two, and can expect a senior role.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Voters-dont-think-Jones-has-changed/tabid/1607/articleID/312976/Default.aspx#ixzz2egDoC4Km

  21. Colonial Viper 22

    Why NZers did not vote

    – They felt that the election was a foregone conclusion, thanks to many polls pointing to a National win.
    – They did not trust politicians.
    – They had other commitments on the day.

    Most people who decided not to vote, made that decision on the day.


  22. jcuknz 23

    My thoughts about an extra rise in inflation is that employers would raise prices to cover wage rises but I know from my personal experience over the years that the more dollars you have the greater is the persons discretion in what they spend on. My only reservation is the stubborn antipathy to organising a system of adjusting pensions more frequently than annually. Governments have mini budgets so likewise they could have six month budgets which would help somewhat instead of annual events.

    My views come from my experience and I do not see any need to study the egg heads of whatever perswasion

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