Open mike 13/02/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 13th, 2020 - 84 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

84 comments on “Open mike 13/02/2020 ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Govt unimpressed: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/409412/rio-tinto-behaviour-disgraceful-environment-minister-david-parker-says

    Environment Minister David Parker says he has had enough of Rio Tinto and is considering legal action against the owner of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter over its failure to deal with its hazardous waste.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    I am off work unwell at the moment so I had occasion to read the Herald this morning. I must say, it is impossible to work out if Mike Hosking is serious or satire. If it is satire, he knocks it out of the park.

    Otherwise, saying you are going to leave Auckland because you had to walk 20 minutes to your hairdresser one day? I am just not feeling it for you Mike.

  3. Robert Guyton 4

    "People advised to not swim or collect shellfish

    This is an official message from Emergency Management Southland.

    People are advised to stay out of the sea in the area around the Invercargill estuary, including Oreti Beach, for the next few days as floodwaters flush out of the river.

    People should also avoid an area at the Dunns Road entrance to Oreti beach, where dead burrowing sea cucumbers and shellfish are lying.

    The fresh water in the floodwaters are believed to have caused the burrowing sea cucumbers and shellfish deaths on the beach. Only one or two toheroa have been seen. People are advised not to eat any of the shellfish and not to harvest for others either.

    Environment Southland staff have gone out to check out the beach and have only found the shellfish in one area.

    “Staff are collecting samples for analysis, but in the meantime please stay out of the water, don’t harvest shellfish and avoid the area where the dead shellfish are.”"

  4. Sacha 5

    Chair tells select committee it was just a misunderstanding between RNZ and Minister about timing: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/119479670/misunderstanding-with-minister-meant-rnz-thought-it-had-goahead-for-concert-consultations

    Mather said RNZ had briefed Faafoi on its new music strategy "and the potential impact upon RNZ Concert" in August, October and most recently on January 29.

    "We believed the minister had agreed to RNZ not delaying our internal staff consultation on potential changes to RNZ Concert whilst the Ministry of Culture and Heritage explored the review of the FM frequency.

    "There was clearly a misunderstanding as the minister thought that our consultation process would be halted whilst the ministry looked into the FM frequency availability as they were tasked to do at that meeting," he said.

    Chief executive Paul Thompson also told MPs that RNZ had been "clearly given a steer" by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage last year that it would be very difficult for it to get an additional FM frequency for its planned new youth radio station.

  5. Sanctuary 6

    Melanie Reid, Dr Emily Keddell, assorted Maori radicals, Andrew Becroft, Bomber etc etc are remarkably silent all of a sudden.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/119478733/flaxmere-councillor-urges-public-to-let-police-do-their-jobs-in-finding-4yearolds-attacker

  6. Chris 7

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/119479099/pm-jacinda-ardern-announces-300-million-funding-boost-to-prevent-homelessness

    This is all well and good and, moreover, difficult to criticise outright because it's likely necessary.

    The question is whether these kinds of "transitional" houses will become a permanent fixture on the social welfare landscape?

    Emergency measures in the past like benefit cuts and food banks were alway touted as a temporary fix until so-called wider problems were dealt with. The benefit cuts of 1991 were never removed and Labour very quickly backtracked on its promise back then to reinstate previous benefit levels. And as for food banks, they've been wholly co-opted into our social welfare system where it's quite acceptable for MSD to refer people to charities rather than pay a benefit under the Act. The very existence of food banks and the legitimisation government gives to them is a clear admission that our social security system is broken.

    So too is use of motels and this so-called "transitional housing" lark an admission that our state housing system is broken. Placing homeless families into motels and the provision of 'transitional housing' is necessary to address immediate need. The problem the govenment faces is will they do enough to get to a point where they're not spending millions on motels, and that 'transitional' houses don't become such a hugely entrenched intitution that we don't care that they represent our failure to provide adequate housing for everyone.

    • Nic the NZer 7.1

      Govt paying for these measures still seems better than the alternative. I don't see a similarity with 90s benefit cuts which involved taking away entitlements and later making that more permanent.

      • Chris 7.1.1

        Of course government paying for these measures is better than the alternative. That's part of my point.

    • McFlock 7.2

      I thought motelling was already endemic in the social services?

      But at least Labour are boosting the non-transitional state housing stock every quarter.

    • Sacha 7.3

      From the sidebar, I/S sees a glaring flaw in their cunning plan: http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2020/02/labours-festering-neoliberalism.html

      The one problem with it is that they're going to start charging people in emergency accommodation in motels.

      What stinks is the reason for it: if you read the Cabinet Paper (paragraphs 63-68), its intended to "support a reduction in the reliance on motels" and produce "behavioural changes" which will supposedly reduce the cost of the programme.

      And it suggests that Labour's hallmark "kindness", supposed to be at the core of everything they do, is turning back into the usual Neoliberal bullshit policy elites have been infected with since the 80's – bullshit which imposes deliberate hardship on the poor and vulnerable to "incentivise" them not to use government services which could help, all in the name of keeping costs – and taxes on the rich – down. And I don't think that's what people voted for in 2017.

    • Macro 8.1

      Democracy died last week in America – and no one seems to notice>

      Trump's Purge

      President Trump’s interference with Roger Stone’s sentencing shows the real lesson he took from impeachment: that he has impunity.

      “If American democracy were to collapse,” Cornell political scientist Tom Pepinsky recently wrote, “you almost certainly wouldn’t notice it.”

      The past week has been a testament to just how right he was.

      While much of the country was preoccupied with the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, something remarkable happened: Every single prosecutor working on Roger Stone’s case resigned in protest. The apparent reason: Attorney General Bill Barr’s intervention in the case on behalf of the president leading the government to file a new sentencing recommendation, one that contradicted the seven- to nine-year prison sentence request for Donald Trump’s political ally that prosecutors had initially asked for.

      The four prosecutors who resigned — Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed, and Michael Marando — are career officials, not political appointees. They had worked diligently to prove that Stone had made false statements, obstructed justice, and tampered with witnesses in relation to the Russia scandal and Robert Mueller’s investigation, and secured a conviction in November. Now Trump and Barr are trying to get Stone off easy.

      This kind of presidential interference with the Justice Department is hardly normal; one former Justice Department official called it a “break-glass-in-case-of-fire moment.” Yet President Trump is publicly reveling in this brazen attack on DOJ independence, tweeting “congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr” on Wednesday morning “for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.”

      This is not an isolated incident, but rather part of a new pattern of politicizing the federal bureaucracy. Since his acquittal in the impeachment trial last week, Trump and his staff have been on a personnel replacement tear — firing and threatening officials across the government they see as disloyal with almost no pretext. The examples that we’re currently aware of:

      • The White House removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified during the House Ukraine scandal hearings, from his post on the National Security Council. Trump called on the military to begin disciplinary hearings against Vindman and removed his brother from his NSC post.
      • Trump outright fired EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, another key impeachment witness.
      • Trump personally ordered that former US Attorney Jessie Liu’s nomination to be the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial crime be withdrawn. In her last posting, Liu had supervised the prosecution of Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort.
      • A White House staffer told the New York Post that they’d be pulling the nomination of Elaine McCusker, a career Defense Department staffer who had challenged the administration’s block on aid to Ukraine, to be Pentagon comptroller. “This administration needs people who are committed to implementing the president’s agenda, specifically on foreign policy, and not trying to thwart it,” the staffer said. (McCusker’s nomination has yet to be formally withdrawn.)

      The real illness of American democracy

      One of the central pillars of democratic government is that the law remain as independent as possible from the political interests of those in power. What unites Trump’s actions of this past week is that they each represent an assault on this general principle.

      If the president and his allies are above the law, attempts to punish their crimes undermined at the highest level, then he can engage in whatever lawbreaking he wants with impunity. If the staff of the government need to be loyal to this leader, or else risk job loss or even (in Lt. Col. Vindman’s case) threats of prosecution, then the state becomes a vehicle for advancing the president’s crass political interests rather than the good of the people.

    • Macro 8.2

      President Donald Trump’s post-impeachment acquittal behavior is casting a chill in Washington, with Attorney General William Barr emerging as a key ally in the president’s quest for vengeance against the law enforcement and national security establishment that initiated the Russia and Ukraine investigations.

      In perhaps the most tumultuous day yet for the Justice Department under Trump, four top prosecutors withdrew on Tuesday from a case involving the president’s longtime friend Roger Stone after senior department officials overrode their sentencing recommendation—a backpedaling that DOJ veterans and legal experts suspect was influenced by Trump’s own displeasure with the prosecutors’ judgment.

      https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/12/trump-roger-stone-justice-department-114684

  7. Poission 9

    Hubei health authorities announce an order of magnitude increase in detected cases of coronavirus, and a doubling of deaths.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3050354/coronavirus-hubei-province-reports-sharp-spike-new-confirmed

  8. pat 10

    Technology cant save us…..growth cannot continue…..population cannot be ignored….current economics (as taught) flawed and must change.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018733957/putting-a-dollar-value-on-biodiversity

  9. Sacha 11

    Dirty politics again. And somehow the copy of Whaleoik is still online despite the receiver supposedly going after the theft of its IP.

    https://twitter.com/BenThomasNZ/status/1227810283621535749

  10. ianmac 12

    Poll coming on TV1 at 6pm!

  11. Eco maori 13

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    That's good we have to protect our Kai Moana from the greedy for our future generations.

    The Wahine and tamariki suffer the most from wars.

    It was slow going into Tamiki Makaru from Huntly on a 2 lane road cutting the time to get into Tamiki Makaru will be great with the new 4 lane highway.

    Ka kite Ano

  12. Eco maori 14

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    That's awesome that the Iwi Morriori have received and apology a whenua back from the Crown.

    Ka kite Ano

  13. Eco maori 15

    Kia Ora Newshub

    I don't think Peter should be able to speak in Aotearoa. We have a lot of brilliant people who were disabled Stephen Hawking being one.

    Its good that water is being trucked into those comunitys during the droughts

    Awsome that those people are cleaning up the Waitemata harbour from all the waste and plastic that ends up in it. We need to stop the crap getting into our environment

    Condolences to Allen whanau for their loss.

    Ka kite Ano

  14. Eco Maori 16

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    That's Te Waharoa looks awesome.

    '' I'' you must be prepared for all sorts of weather and be of good health to walk Tongariro tracks.

    Its good our firefighters are home from Australia safe and sound.

    Ka kite Ano

  15. Eco Maori 18

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    That was lucky.

    Of course the putea should go to the people who losted their whare in the Australian Bush fires.

    Cool New Zealand testing there bug trapping device in country's that have the pest in them.

    Ka kite Ano

  16. Eco Maori 19

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Cool building opened in Kapiti

    Ka pai Te Kaumatua having a big Kanikani in Foxton just like the old days.

    Formula E is great those Electric cars are quick as the way of the future Ka pai.

    Ka kite Ano

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