Open mike 12/10/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 12th, 2011 - 92 comments
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92 comments on “Open mike 12/10/2011”

  1. Hilary 1

    A snippet on the business news that Simon Power’s new job at Westpac involves looking after a few very rich customers looking to enhance their fortunes through state asset sales. Seems to go against the mood of the times as the 1% has already got rich enough from the 99%.

    • A natural career path for a tory politician …

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        I really wonder if he sniffed electoral defeat in the air 6 moths ago, and figured he’d send himself out to pasture for a term or two, attempting to parachute himself back in when National were in a better position to win.

        Realistically when National lose an election and Key buggers off and Power took over, he’d be in as weak a position as Goff was and who would want that? Better to repeat Key’s performance and take over from a weak patsy like Brash.

  2. tc 2

    That answers what trough he’s snouting from next… about wodney, how’d they get him to go so quietly. Time will tell. Moods are for the weak Hilary, the nats views don’t bend whatever the climate…..pillage ahoy.

  3. Janice 3

    I imagine that once there was a small office in the Ministry of Marine peopled by grey people wearing cardigans. This office’s job was to hold the contingency plans for a vessel stranding on the New Zealand coast. They worked hard keeping their plans up to date with all the latest information about the pros and cons of each dispersant and methods of alleviating the effects of oil spills and debris washing up on the coast. As they were a “back office” they were considered surplus to the requirements of this government and they were sacked and their careful research and files discarded, just like the DoL discarded all the files on pay equity and disestablished the office when the NATS decided they didn’t want to know. Now all that appears to be able to be done is to fly over (Key did it without wings) and observe the destruction that the Rena is causing. That and meetings and briefings that appear to have no resolution. Please note they are keeping smile and wave well away now.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      As they were a “back office” they were considered surplus to the requirements of this government and they were sacked and their careful research and files discarded,…

      I think you’ll find that any such office was disestablished in the 1990s. It takes awhile, after being a “first world” nation, to silently build down to the level of incompetence that we seem to have achieved.

      Please note they are keeping smile and wave well away now.

      Of course they are, can’t go round tarnishing the brand by associating it with anything bad.

    • McFlock 3.2

      I wouldn’t care if they weren’t “working hard” to keep the plans up to date. Just as long as the plans were kept up to date.
      What we’ve had with mines safety and [possibly] marine, next on the list at the very least is health – MoH has been gutted.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    The Captain of the Rena has now been arrested, this will clearly deter more oil from leaking from the ruptured vessel and stop more containers from sliding overboard.

    • Chris 4.1

      I find it funny that you post this comment then 4 minutes later post a comment saying that Joyce and Key’s heads need to roll. I guess that is because that will clearly deter more oil from leaking from the ruptured vessel and stop more containers from sliding overboard.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        Well, captains don’t generally prang more than one or two ships. But as we’ve seen in the last couple of years, Ministers can foul one thing up after another – and the more capapble ones can organise concurrent foul ups, not just consecutive.

      • Ianupnorth 4.1.2

        I think the word you are looking for Chris is accountability; those in positions of authority (e.g. being able to send in troops, civil defence, the navy, etc) have a responsibility to act – they didn’t, they are accountable – I assume that is simple enough for you to comprehend?

        • Chris

          Where exactly did I say they shouldn’t be held to account? I in no way believe they have done anything right in this situation.

          As such I think they should be held to account just as the captain should be for crashing the ship in the first place.

          I was merely pointing out the difference in Colonial Viper’s two comments which were posted minutes apart and implied that the captain shouldn’t be held to account because it won’t stop the oil and yet Key and Joyce should be rolled although that wouldn’t stop the oil either.

          Yes I am aware that he (sorry assuming Colonial is a guy) thinks Key and Joyce should be rolled for many things and not just this but it looked a bit ridiculous and funny to me in isolation.

          I assume that is simple enough for you to comprehend?

    • Vicky32 4.2

      The Captain of the Rena has now been arrested, this will clearly deter more oil from leaking from the ruptured vessel and stop more containers from sliding overboard.

      Yes, I have thought that myself… But at looks as if something is being done, hey?
      I am literally just now hearing John Key saying, while grinning like an idiot, that the Rena costs will have to be borne by “the taxpayer” (as if there’s only one of them.)

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Joyce and Key’s heads should roll. Now.

    Offer of help to pump oil declined

    It emerged yesterday that on the day the Rena struck the reef, Maritime NZ declined an offer of two inflatable barges which could pump up to 100 tonnes of oil at a time.

    The offer was made by Ronald Winstone, of Lancer Industries, who said the two barges would have easily emptied the ship of toxic oil in the four days of clear weather after the Rena ran aground.

    “It would have taken them 17 trips to pump all the fuel off the ship and three or four days wouldn’t have been unrealistic for that to have happened.

    “It doesn’t make sense why they didn’t start pumping the oil earlier when they had the equipment to do it.”

    A Maritime NZ spokesman said Mr Winstone’s offer was logged with its operations division, and “if they needed it they would have followed it up”.

    • Sheesh CV.  Crosby Textor are going to have their work cut out trying to explain this.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        This disaster is going to climax right around the time of the World Cup semis and finals.

        It will make for an interesting toxic stew for National to drink down.

      • Ianupnorth 5.1.2

        According to the bloke on the radio this morning they needed to heat the oil to pump it and the systems on the ship had failed; the offer was helpful, but they said it wouldn’t work. I would have thought there would have been nothing to be lost in actually trying!

    • insider 5.2

      That could also read: “businessman shamelessly takes opportunity of crisis to promote his product, even though it wouldn’t have worked.”

      How about a bit of critical thinking? It’s bizarre how you usually see government ownership of everything as the saviour of the country yet now uncritically laud the musings of a filthy capitalist. Even if these things were magicked into the water immediately, it appears the ship was incapable of offloading its fuel. This is not a Mr Suckymoto job.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        The rafts would have worked. It’s what they were designed and are used for. Sure, we would also need to get some pumps out there but that shouldn’t have been a problem either.

        It’s bizarre how you usually see government ownership of everything as the saviour of the country yet now uncritically laud the musings of a filthy capitalist.

        The government should have ensured that plans and capability to respond to these incidents was in place. Generally speaking the best way to do that is to do so through taxes and a government department. That may or may not mean that the government should own the factory that makes the equipment (I tend to think that it should with the creative types working in government funded R&D).

        But even that doesn’t mean anything beside the simple fact that we did have the gear to get the fuel-oil off in the first few days while it was still calm – selfish business promotion or not.

        • insider

          Draco I know it sounds easy, but they were dealing with a holed and unstable vessel already leaking fuel, and it is a particulalry difficult fuel to deal with. HFO usually requires pre heating above 38 deg before it can be pumped. Do you know if that facility was available? From what I’ve read it took four days to actually replumb the fuel system to allow offloading. Also, these barges are plastic. How would you reheat the fuel to pump it back off them back at port (I have no idea but it could slow the process significantly as well as risk the barge)?

          These barges would have had to have been taken back to Tauranga for unloading. They are like large underwater balloons and I doubt they can do more than a knot or 2 under tow, so that would have been a couple of hours each way at least making each of the 17 trips including loading and unloading multiple hours. So I’d take the quick fix solutions with a pinch of salt.

          • Draco T Bastard

            HFO usually requires pre heating above 38 deg before it can be pumped.

            People keep coming up with this but it’s really starting to bug me because I’m sure that they didn’t shovel the fuel to the engines. If the fuel has to be heated to 38 degrees before being pumped and it has to be pumped to the engines then the best way is to keep the fuel stored at 38 degrees. So, wouldn’t the fuel be at or near temperature already?

            How would you reheat the fuel to pump it back off them back at port (I have no idea but it could slow the process significantly as well as risk the barge)?

            Plastics can actually take quite a high temperature and, as the barges are designed for this type of thing, then I would assume that they’ve already taken such complication into account.

            They are like large underwater balloons and I doubt they can do more than a knot or 2 under tow…

            What they are is displacement vessels. Flexible admittedly but I’d expect probably closer to 5 or 6 knots. It would still have taken time but 1 or 2 would actually be too slow for them to be effective.

            • insider

              Re heating I agree, but I think the problem is the systems weren’t working. Ianmac confirms that above. If the oil is up to temperature and you can get it off the barge quickly then fine, but if it has to go to Tauranga, it might suffer a loss of heat. Not sure if there is a portable heating unit you can insert like a kettle element.

              They are not displacement vessels. They are inflatable uppers with a big para pool slung underneath, more like an iceberg. 100 tonnes of oil in a big bladder with 95% underwater? It sounds like a big sea anchor to me. you can see one here and look at the heavy heavy line and the way the thing is going through the water.


              PS this is the niche kind of business NZ should be focussing on and exploiting

          • mik e

            Ins the barges are flexible designed for this purpose. @ more have been lent to help with the job

  6. ak 6

    Hmmmm……and no economist owning up to writing the email….looking more and more like a belated “email to self”……rats finally deserting do-nothing Jonah and his slippery sinking ship?

    • Blue 6.1

      What economist would own up to writing that email?

      If you’re offering the PM cute little one liners to use against his political opponents when you are meant to be an independent commentator, then you wouldn’t want to be caught, would you?

      Is anyone surprised that Key has as much of a matey, back-slapping relationship with economists as he does with journalists?

  7. I wonder how big a hit in the polls the government will take when the oil starts washing ashore in quantity and the beaches are black. Such images in the media will have a powerful impact.
    The government will want to frame the debate around how unprecedented and difficult the salvage is, and how we have the best minds on the job. The enormity of the consequences to hide the initial response failure.
    They will also try to use enormity of the consequences to say that we would never be equipped for such a large disaster (which is true) and therefore could not be expected to pay for equipment to just sit in warehouses.
    So we should sell all our fire engines and remove all fire hoses from every office building in the country?
    The debate has to be around those first few days. The issue is not the “salvage” but the first response and its delay. The government needs to be asked:
    Why did the government assure us that

    1) We could cope in a timely manner and with worlds best practice (Hekia Parata)
    2) We can leave such initial action to private enterprise (Kate Wilkinson)

    Why did we not have the resources on hand for an initial response?
    If we did, then why did it take so long to quarantine the area and/or unload fuel?
    Why did the government not brief the Greens when requested and why did Joyce trash the opposition and lie when he said they had not made a request?
    Why did the government not respond to NZdrs who had the products and equipment that, if deployed in the initial response, could have reduced the damage?
    Why are we using a dispersant that other countries have banned?
    Why didn’t Maritime NZ, when there was time, find eco-friendly alternates to this dispersant?
    Why were there no plans to acquire and deploy heavy lift helicopters in the event that a container ship runs into trouble in our waters (a foresee able scenario)?
    Why are the booms deployed, as seen on TV, not adequate for estuaries given that we have so many of them in NZ? Could we not have designed our own to protect our coast?
    Was the delay in any way created by debates about who was going to pay for it?
    Could this explain why the minister responsible has been reluctant to use his sweeping power?
    Given that this is such an obvious potential scenario why were we not better prepared to act immediately?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      They will also try to use enormity of the consequences to say that we would never be equipped for such a large disaster (which is true) and therefore could not be expected to pay for equipment to just sit in warehouses.


      See the response from Lancer Industries above. They could have offloaded all the oil from the ship in 17 trips.

      Would have been all done in 3 days.

      You’re seriously underestimating what we can do as a country should we put as much faith and energy and investment in to ourselves as we do the frakin All Blacks.

    • s y d 7.2

      I thought it very telling that the language used by Joyce and Smith yesterday changed to describing the spill as ‘inevitable’ – something that was going to happen no matter what.
      Being a resident of Mt Maunganui it has been a bit soul destroying to see the half truths and outright lies that have been spread around while very little actually occurs – huge anger and frustration in this community…
      The ship has been sitting off the coast like a loaded gun and no one had the wherewithal to get out there and remove the bullet….too late now…all too late

      • mik e 7.2.1

        Agreed Their are a lot of very angry people and rightly so .When John Campbell had an international expert on hi show on Thursday saying what had to be done it wasn’t till Monday that Maritime NZ that action was taken.Today on Jim Moras show we had a veteran of the gulf of Mexico oil spill on telling the audience that putting dispersant on the oil only makes it worse because it hides the problem.Key was more interested in getting his mug on TV.

  8. randal 8

    Its all the captains fault. everything. put him in the stocks and let the national party candidates throw rotten tomatos at him.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    National Government to VETO protection of Antarctic Ross Sea

    Fuck these guys

  10. Akldnut 10

    I’m really pissed off with these pricks right now – two daughters fired in three weeks, in both cases the companies had written the fire at will be into their employment contracts because they had so many employees.

    1. 90 day trial
    2. No excuse required.
    3. Can’t take industial action.
    4. Can’t take legal action.

    The annoying part is that 1 daughter quit a job she had been at for 5 years to upskill.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      90 days designed to destroy upward job mobility

      I hope your daughters are personally and on social media cursing NATs employment law.

    • Campbell Larsen 10.2

      A lovely quote from new EMA CEO Kim Campbell who is a big fan of Napoleon:

      “…make sure you control your supply line, make sure you concentrate your firepower at your enemy’s weakest point and then once you’ve breached the enemy’s line, consolidate,”

      The employers and manufacturers association – waging a class war since conception – now preparing for a new assault against the working poor of New Zealand.

      • Lanthanide 10.2.1

        Does anyone know if National went ahead with legislating 40 hours sick leave instead of 5 days sick leave?

        It’s the sort of submarine issue that doesn’t get any media coverage and most people shrug their shoulders and say “so what”, but for people who work 4×10 days instead of the standard 5×8, it makes a big difference. It’s all about screwing every last dollar out of the benefits businesses are forced to give as entitlements, so such changes fit perfectly with National’s pro-business agenda.

        • Puddleglum

          Then there are the 12 hour shifts that my Dad used to work in a factory.

          Only having three and a bit days to recover from an illness that probably affects you more because of the long hours you’re working per day is just spiteful.

          • Colonial Viper

            Minimum civilised sick leave is 8-10 days accrued annually. We are way behind Australia.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.2

        The weakest point of all these CEO / EMA types is exactly the same as in 18th century France.

        The neck.

    • Vicky32 10.3

      – two daughters fired in three weeks, in both cases the companies had written the fire at will be into their employment contracts because they had so many employees.

      Shocking! Can the one who quit her previous job, go back? I wish them both good luck…

  11. randal 11

    this is what happens when you headhunt a wall street bond salesman to run the country.
    He runing it all right. straight into the ground!

  12. Corexit Nightmare

    Like many people who care about the environment, I watched in disbelief as New Zealand authorities started spraying the initial 20 to 50 tonnes of heavy oil that had leaked from the grounded ship MV Rena with Corexit 9500…

    • prism 12.1

      The Rena story goes on. It straightened up. now its leaning further. They couldn’t pump the oil out to barge containers without heating it, it isn’t a straightforward project. The containers are 40ft, longer than the normal 20ft. and the ship was packed with them but they have started to dislodge and fall into the sea. There is a special crane being brought from Singapore but it will take some time, say a month, to sail here. There is talk about the oil getting into the water column – I understand that is facilitated by using dispersant. It seems that it is better to not further pollute the water and try and deal with the oil as it presents, as a natural earth substance.

      Fishermen, fish, seabirds, tourists, the environment etc. all harmed by this shipping company and its choice of management of its ship. Apparently the ship is registered in the notoriously lax Liberia. Are the conditions still prevailing for senior crew which was revealed years ago as buying their certificates without studying and working and passing legitimate examinations? The shipmaster is Filipino and has been in Court granted name suppression also no pictures, and he is going to assist with the salvage work.

      We have some small freight shipping, I wonder if we could have more to manage much of the container transfers round the country though we would still need international vessels because of the increased transport required by the globalisation push. It is strange that the global economics approach has resulted in us becoming dependent on others for much of our basic stuff that now has to be shipped to us. If we manufactured for ourselves, that would provide a good base of jobs for many and a financial base for the high-tech and service sector to leverage off.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        If we manufactured for ourselves, that would provide a good base of jobs for many and a financial base for the high-tech and service sector to leverage off.

        Not in our capitalist socio-economic system we wouldn’t. Increasing productivity must result in less jobs unless the excess people are effectively transferred to other work (R&D, Arts & Culture) but that isn’t what happens as those things aren’t guaranteed profit vehicles.

        • Colonial Viper

          other work should also include emotional labour e.g. working in rest homes, social work, counselling etc. Employment which is not created to make a buck for a capitalist owner, but for the purposes of looking after other people.

      • insider 12.1.2

        According to the Wellington Harbour Master the Rena was picking up export cargoes. It’s not just about importing cheap junk for $2 shops

      • KJT 12.1.3

        Our shipping was given up to overseas ships in the 80’s for ideological reasons. The resulting effects on the balance of payments, employment, safety and the environment were, of course, not a consideration.

        Almost all our export and import cargo and much of our coastal cargo is now carried by overseas ships. Mostly registered in places like Panama or Liberia.

        Safety standards have dropped.
        MNZ was told not to make too much of a fuss about the standard of overseas ships, as that could be politically embarrassing. Not to mention, the few remaining, NZ ships also being forced to cut costs to compete. Both with overseas ships and subsidised rail and trucking.

        • mik e

          These ships have brought expensive poisonousness algae blooms in their ballast tanks .
          they have brought seaweed that are taking over our own seaweeds

  13. logie97 13

    Given the quality of investigative journalism we have in our MSM, don’t be surprised if they interview a certain bishop for his perspective, or insight into the Reno’s stranding.

    [lprent: para deleted by request]

  14. Lanthanide 14

    Kiwisaver starts to take off. Just imagine what NZ would be like if we hadn’t had the dancing Cossacks (I still don’t understand what that ad was even supposed to mean, anyway):

    • logie97 14.1

      The Right in New Zealand at the time believed that there were reds under every bed – Muldoon wanted to snuggle up to the bomb, sporting contacts with South Africa and the links to Walvis Bay, the sense that Rowling was going to invite the Soviet Union to run our foreign policy. Having a huge government super fund available for investment in industry was seen as a potential for rampant socialism. Wilson suffered the same angst in the UK – the city did not want the government to have such a lot of money at its disposal.

      • Lanthanide 14.1.1

        Right, I guess that makes a modicum of sense in a paranoid time. I guess the difference here is that Kiwisaver funds are not managed by the government, but by private companies, so This Time It’s Different.

        Probably that’s the only thing that prevented National from out-right destroying it this time around, too.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Probably. Kiwisaver delivers a lot of money into the banksters hands for them to make a profit on.

          • Colonial Viper


            In addition I understand that the bank allocated the worst currency values of the day to the pension funds and kept the best ones for themselves.

            In other words if a fund were buying NZD, the bank would sell it to them at the most expensive price point which occurred that day.

            The bank could then be on the other side of that transaction, allocating itself the cheapest price point which occured that day.

            Free money, ripping off the pension fund.

            (And now you know one reason why all these pension funds now appear to be “underfunded” and calls for retirees pensions to be cut are all over the place).

            • joe90

              Ry Cooder: No Banker Left Behind

              My telephone rang one evening my buddy called for me
              Said the bankers are all leaving you better come ‘round and see
              It’s a startling revelation they robbed the nation blind
              They’re all down at the station no banker left behind.

              No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.
              They were all down at the station, no banker left behind

              Well the bankers called a meetin’ to the White House they went one day
              They was going to call on the president in a quiet and a sociable way
              The afternoon was sunny and the weather it was fine
              They counted all our money and no banker was left behind

              No banker, no banker, no banker could I find
              They were all down at the White House, no banker was left behind

              Well I hear the whistle blowin’, it plays a happy tune
              The conductor’s callin’ all aboard we’ll be leavin’ soon
              With champagne and shrimp cocktails and that’s not all you’ll find
              There’s a billion dollar bonus and no banker left behind

              No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.
              When the train pulled out next mornin’, no banker was left behind
              No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.
              When the train pulled out next mornin’, no banker was left behind

      • Anne 14.1.2

        logioe97 is right. Tom Scott summed it up at the time with a cartoon of Muldoon tucked up in a dinky little bed looking petrified. Leather booted, fur hatted Rusky commies were hanging from the light shade, clambering through the window, huddled under the bed, peering round the door for… God only knows for what reason.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      …the dancing Cossacks (I still don’t understand what that ad was even supposed to mean, anyway):

      Height of the Cold War and the capitalists fear that people will realise that working together is better than competing with each other. In other words it was an OMG, Commun1sm scare tactic. It didn’t help that the USSR had become a totalitarian state while still calling themselves commun1st.

      • joe90 14.2.1

        My recollection of the dancing Cossacks ad is that it was short hand for ‘Labour’s proposed super scheme will put all the money you saved into the governments hands’, just like the USSR.

        • mik e

          Singapore does allright and Australia doe much better than us on that front if Piggy hand’t wrecked the savings scheme NZ wouldn’t be a financial disaster it is today just the tax from invested earnings would be enough to fund government without borrowing the balance of payments would be positive, because the amounts of returns on investment would be bigger than our import bill thank you J90 you little muppet so has john or jerry got his hand operating the strings.Its suck a disaster we are going to need InterNational Rescue joe [Finacial that is IMF ,World Bank]

  15. Lanthanide 15

    It seems like we’ve had a rather large influx of new commenters on this site in the past few weeks, and most of them seem to be anti-government.

    I wonder how many of these people are simply first-time-commenter-long-time-lurker folks, or new followers of the cause, or even people who voted National in 2008 who are seeing this government in a new light.

    • Joanne 15.1

      Can’t respond for anyone else but for me, I posted a couple of times then went into lurk mode for quite a while. Just recently I’ve started contributing again.

    • lprent 15.2

      No easy way to tell the mix (the stats engines don’t really break down comments & would you want them to do so?),

      But eyeballing it, the number of new people reading the site has jumped by nearly a third over the last two weeks above our average for the last couple of months (which was itself close to double last years average in the same time period), while the total increase in visitors is up by about a quarter.

      Of course about half of the new visitors are part of the visit once normality (typically search engine driven), but there are a considerable number that wind up in the other normal peak of 200+ visits per month.

      From my previous sampling (SQL on commenting against IP’s on logs), characteristically 10-20% of high hit newbies will write a comment within the first month of arriving (it varies quite a lot depending on what the posts are about and what OpenMike is discussing). So I’d say that the bulk of the new comments are probably lurkers, with a good proportion of newbies because of the numbers that are being referred to us at present.

      It has been quiet because of the RWC, but the last couple of weeks have started to look like election time is breaking through.

  16. randal 16

    The fact of the matter is that National is a bad luck government and no amount of fiddling with the brand is going to turn it around.

  17. Good to see  John Key is beginning to come under pressure and as he does it will become more clear he does not have hard working NZer’s at heart
    A ditty for John Key

    I’m a millionaire and I’m okay
    dont ‘have to’ think about anyone else
    I sleep all night
    I’m PM by day
    and Crosby and Textor tells me what to say

    Just last year we introduced
    government blockers on the internet
    they are only there to stop the porn
    so you can ‘trust me’ when I say
    we won’t use them for anything else.

    We will crush those unions underfoot
    and arm the police for their protest
    If we  push those wages down again
    we can ‘indenture, Kiwi workers’ for years and years.

    I’m a millionaire and I’m okay
    I don’t ‘have to’ think about anyone else
    I sleep all night
    I’m PM by day
    and Crosby and Textor tells me what to say.

  18. joe90 18

    Rivers of ice: Vanishing glaciers.

    Between 2007 and 2010, David Breashears retraced the steps of early photographic pioneers such as Major E O Wheeler, George Mallory and Vittorio Sella – to try to re-take their views of breathtaking glacial vistas.

    Also: #GlacierWorks.

    • Galeandra 18.1

      3 minutes 59 sec– far too long for the avarage climate denialist troll to invest in saving the planet.
      Hang in there, Joe90

  19. McFlock 19

    If I believed in portents or divine messages, I’d be taking a hint.

    Nine years of Labour: not much, a few unexpected snows for farmers, a few floods, one or two algae blooms, basically the norm.

    2 1/2 years of National: Tornados and snow in Auckland, multiple earthquakes, groundings with oilspills, and lethal mine explosions. 
    Get the impression God is pissed about something? Another term and we’ll have an asteroid strike 😉

    • King Kong 19.1


      Maybe that could be the lefts campaign slogan for this election…”If you vote National God will punish you”

      It is certainly more credible than some of the rubbish I have seen.

      [lprent: You should also look at these troll style statements when you can comment again next week – see my previous note. ]

  20. Armchair Critic 20

    Drove along the Waikato Expressway yesterday and was surprised at the conspicuous absence of National election billboards, in what should be strong National party country. Only two billboards, compared to 20+ for the previous two elections. And both of those were on properties that previously had ACT billboards. Is this extreme confidence, or are peokple less confident (more ambivalent) in their support for the current governmen?

  21. randal 21

    In the wairarapa you would be excused for thinking that John Keys is running here himself.
    Hayes wont even allow his own billboards to be put up.
    Oh and the cheapskates are using the same ones they used three years ago.

  22. Vicky32 22

    Hil’ry Berry is in Tauranga, looking at the Rena, and saying in a tone of shocked surprise “It’s now an election issue!” (Well, no sh*t, Sherlock…) She’s nothing if not quick, our Hil’ry… 😀

  23. More asset sales planned? This time in Christchurch.
    Press release from Christchurch Central MP Brendon Burns covered on Scoop
    12 October 2011

    Government’s velvet glove submission to council over asset sales
    The Government’s submission to the Christchurch City Council’s draft recovery plan for the central city is an ultimatum framed around forced asset sales, Christchurch Central MP Brendon Burns says.
    The 20 page submission includes two references to the likely role of public/private partnerships for existing and new council assets.
    “That’s code for selling down council assets – including the Orion lines company, Christchurch International Airport and the Port of Lyttelton – after the election.
    “All are currently majority owned by Christchurch City Council and their returns help hold down rates,” Brendon Burns said.
    “Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has refused to confirm or deny that the Government is looking at installing commissioners into the council after November 26, forcing the sale of Christchurch assets to help pay for the city’s earthquake recovery.

    I guess it’s not just national assets they want to flog.
    I wonder what assets the people of the Bay of Plenty will have to sell to pay for their disaster?
    Somebody had better tell them that there is more shit out at sea and it’ll come ashore November 27!

    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      I guess it’s not just national assets they want to flog.

      Oh hell no, it’s all of them. If we’re left owning anything then we may be able to get out from under their domination.

    • Campbell Larsen 23.2

      The framing has already swung into action – specifically around the supposed liability of the council for issuing consent well building permits – well, its always 20/20 vision in hindsight – quite obviously the incidence of earthquakes that Canterbury experienced and is currently experiencing was unexpected – with earthquakes it’s always a probability equation – just look at Wellington – big quake…f*#ked.
      Make no mistake – this is an asset grab, and a continuation of the great earthquake rort in Christchurch.
      How is it that costs are unquantifiable and ongoing? If ballooning cost are an issue then surely the first task is accurately chart these and not just put a line in the next five years (or more) budgets that says Ch-Ch Earthquake $$$$$$$$$$?
      WTF why doesn’t the taxpayer just write out a blank cheque to Fletchers?
      This is totally wrong – first their homes and city are rooted by a large earthquake and now the National government does SFA to help them, implements a dictatorship and then sells their city out from them.
      FFS if I was conspiracy minded it would not be unreasonable to conclude that Jabba is really after the oil that is buried under Christchurch (note: unsubstantiated speculation)
      Disaster politics, who needs economic policies when you have disasters to blame?

  24. ropata 24

    The End of the New Zealand Dream

  25. just saying 25


    Peter Leitch aka ‘the mad butcher’ will be the subject of the upcoming ‘This is Your Life’

    The corporate media is not finished with its (undisclosed) election campaign on behalf of the right. In fact it has hardly begun. I’ll eat my hat if I’m wrong. I may have to bake a chocolate one.

    *Apologies if this has already been precdicted elsewhere

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