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Open mike 13/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 13th, 2021 - 120 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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120 comments on “Open mike 13/04/2021 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Easily fixed.

    So when will President Biden and the "Democrats" fix it?

    • Sabine 1.1

      At the same time when we could give our empty Ghost Houses to the homeless – or government could instruct Winz to pay weekly rents rather then overpriced stays in slum motels.

      Easily fixed that homeless problem, right? Good grief, Morrissey i get it you don't like these guys, but don't complain about other peoples doorstep when in our country we can't even see ours.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.1

        "slum motels" Sabine? That is a little emotive. You lose the argument when you overdo the invective, though I agree that it is scandalous that so many people are being put in motels.

        • Tiger Mountain

          In Northland some of the motels are not exactly top draw Git. Some are repurposed, worn out hotels which I am not going to name and shame-the North gets enough flak.

          We have good things happening too with Papakainga projects and trusts like He Korowai and others that are supplying housing.

          Sabine is not wrong because units that are designed for short stay, low impact use, by one or two people end up with families in them for months, and can turn into slum like conditions quickly enough.

          • Bearded Git

            Motels are designed to be slept in nightly. Assuming the unit has two bedrooms and a bathroom (usually the case) and is kept clean by the inhabitants, while this might not be palatial, a family of 4 should be able to live reasonably in such a unit. (I accept the this is not ideal-see my comment above)

            To call this a "slum" (def: "a squalid and overcrowded urban street") is invective-go and see the favelas in San Paolo or the slums of Kolkata

            • Cricklewood

              Slum actually isnt to far off, I stayed in one near the airport… feral cats, rubbish overflowing in the carpark, minimal cleaning in common areas, mouldy bathrooms, families of four in 25m2 twin rooms no laundaru facilities…

              Was only one night would never go back… I feel very sorry for the families stuck there its a national disgrace

              • woodart

                nothing stopping the inhabitants from doing a bit of cleaning.I presume they are getting a roof over there heads for free. I rent a house but dont expect landlord to do the cleaning and yardwork. I agree some of these motels are pretty crappy, but a little bit of an effort by some of the inhabitants could do wonders.

                • Sabine

                  IS that the oldopen the bathroom window if you have black mold growing in your 580$ two week bedroom flat. Why don't you clean the house? A bit of bashing down, to feel good?

                  Yeah, woodart, i agree, why not blame the down trotten and poorest of this country for the failure of successive governments.

                  Also. you do realise that people in emergency housing also can have jobs? They are just HOMELESS.

                  Or is that something that would ruin you worldview? That working people, newborn babies, and retirees in New Zealand are homeless because of the last thirty odd years of 'poo poo you so as long as i have mine' mentality of NZ.

                  • woodart

                    get off your high horse.I live in a falling down cottage that had been abandoned for three yrs before I moved in, reroofed half of it, repiled half of it, insulated the ceilings with old real estate signs because there is no roof hatch, painted it, all on MY dollar, cheap rent ,but I have to get off my arse and do these things, not just sit on a forum and whinge. it is MUCH easier to be a victim, but my worldview is that your worldview(constantly looking at others for solutions)is for losers. get off your arse, if there is mould on window sills(a constant problem in my cottage) go buy a cheap bottle of bleach and wipe them all down.

                    • Cricklewood

                      Good on ya, guess its all fault of the people stuck in shit motels cause 'they didnt get off their arse' so I guess lets just forget about em…

                    • Foreign Waka

                      Very soon we encourage young mothers and their babies to live in sheds and insulate the accommodation with straw and old rags…… hang on, was this not something out of the Dickensian times?

                      But who would know that these days, those kids will never get a proper school education anyway…. yeah, let go back to the good ol' 1800's. Maybe some workhouses, we need someone to pick fruit. Yes? Is this where we going and strife for, the brutalization of the human spirit?

                    • RedLogix

                      It doesn't have to be a binary choice between personal agency and collective support – we can and should require both.

                    • Sabine

                      I really hope you own that cottage or are you doing this work in exchange for free living. Cause that would be the only reason for you to do that.

                      If you rent that shitter and get the pleasure to fix it up for a greedy landlord than like with all the other in that situation i have nothing but pity for you.

                • Cricklewood

                  Sure, keep your room tidy, clean a little. But with no laundry, no cooking facilities, cramped space, only outdoor area over run with rubbish and feral cats, living on shit takeaway food it'd be fucking soul destroying after a week or so….

                  • Sabine

                    details details. s/

                  • woodart

                    dont you think theres a link between shit takeaway food, rubbish everywhere and feral cats? have stayed at some shitty motels, havent found one without a powerpoint. get a cheap one ring cooker(or gas canister camp stove) for less than the price of a feed of maccas, go to the sallies, get a couple of saucepans and cook ,instead of wasteing what money you have on takeaways….or you can continue to whine and play the victim. have seen families living in dirt floor huts in the third world who can cook good meals in one pan, AND keep there houses spotless. its all about the mindset, obviously many on here have a "whats the world going to do for us"mindset. yeah right, continue on that way, see how far down you can go, before someone else holds your hand..

                    • greywarshark

                      woodart you have a point. People don't realise that they have abilities to help themselves even in dire surroundings. But I think it may be less helplessness or laziness, but a feeling that this is slipping back into the 19th century past and ‘I don't want to go there. I want to progress and move ahead and if I accept these conditions and manage at this level, the authorities will be prepared to leave me here saying 'Oh they're all right'.’

                      For years people were not able to get a state house with its affordable rent and security of tenure unless they were living in a draughty garage. Now I think that might be regarded as suitable accommodation of a long-term temporary nature.

                      Life is quite complex when you are struggling. What seems straightforward behaviour to adopt can actually not be the best if you know how the system works. For instance it may seem good for someone on a benefit to get some work. But it won't pay much, involves the cost of travel, and the authorities take away the grant that you rely on, by a dollar for every gross dollar you earn, which then has tax taken out and the net amount received leaves you worse off overall. It can be brutal when you are up against the mindset of judgmental people who condemn others' humanity who have less, regarding them as scruffy rejects of society when all have their gifts as well as their lacks.

                    • Cricklewood

                      Think you'll find the motels dont allow in room cooking… and I am well aware that what we regard as poverty in NZ is comparativly wealthy compared to many other countries. Ive seen that first hand living in a falling apart communist era tower block in eastern Europe.

                      We just dont know how lucky we are?

                      I just dont accept that as an arguement as to why we cant be doing much better than we are currently given the living situation for many is steadily worsening.

              • Treetop

                When it comes to a fridge I expect the old bar style fridge is still used in a motel. Those in emergency housing need to apply every 7 days to MSD and the occupant can be disrupted if the unit is required for a booking due to the amount of guests.

                Even if there was a fridge freezer to hold a week of groceries some of the groceries would spoil without refrigeration and go to waste. Carting around open packets of staples would be annoying.

            • RedLogix

              I find this darkly ironic because 'end of life motel' is an accurate description of exactly where we're living at present.

              It's not so much the fact of it being not an ideal home, but we're OK with it we're doing this as a short term measure and we have some control and choices. Being trapped there long-term with little prospect of change would be quite different – and very corrosive on family life.

            • Sabine

              they are slums. if only because no money is spend upgrading and actually making them fit for purpose.

              they are slums because we dump people there without any access to mental health, protection from crime, and even help to the motel operators who suddenly have people on home D there, people with addiction health issues, people who are gang involved / related and no help from government, winz, or any other services.

              the Favelas and the slums of kolkata are different because here in NZ our homeless have yet to take to the hills and just start building shanty towns, And personally i wonder just how far away we are from that.

              • Um Sabine, if you check my comments above you will see that I said it is scandalous that we have to resort to putting people in hotels. My problem is people overstate how bad the conditions are-I repeat that they are not close to being slums.

                Re the comments above-surely a launderette would be walking distance from most motels. And even when you pay to stay in a motel you are expected to keep it clean.

                We all need "protection from crime", not just the people housed in motels. Similarly mental health is not just an issue related to people staying in motels.

                • Sabine

                  again, why don't you come and visit.

                  and bring a duffle bag of dirty clothes and linnen and then we walk to the next laundromat hang out there for the time your clothes wash and dry and then we walk bac. and if you have a toddler or two bring them too, just so that we can experience the awesomeness of poverty full throttle. But in syaing that, you need to have the ten bucks it would cost you to not only wash the clothes but to also dry it. And people who recieve tens of dollars in benefits may find that hard to afford.

                  Poverty is very expensive. Just saying.

        • Sabine

          I live in Rotorua, come for a visit and check out the slum motels that we house the homeless in – in fact the government is currently financing the landbanking of businesses that should have gone out of business a long time and if only because they are not fit for anything else then house some stag party where then no one cares about the damage.

          Once you did, come and visit and we go have a chat about the substandard accommodation that we shove these people in, out of sight out of mind, and btw, in which newborns are shoved into too – and in which babys have died (can't think of a most wasted life there, born into poverty, three days old in emergency housing) , cause we as a country really don't care.

          I don't care about the polite society in NZ, they are for the most part responsible for the misery that is happening across NZ in motels called 'emergency accommodation' for which the tax payer forks out a million + a night.

          So yeah, if my emotive comment upset you, just drink a glass of 'she'll be right, lucky it ain't me' and you will feel better in a second.

          • Cricklewood

            Very much a case of 'out of sight out of mind' remember how fiercely the Nats were casitgated for using hotels as emergency housing, politicans having sleep outs in solidarity with the homeless … strangely quite now and the problem is getting steadily worse… but its ok now cause 'kindness'

            Its a disgrace and pressure on politicians needs to be immense, how are babies, children growing up in the places going to go in later life. We are busy building massive societal issues and not many people seem overly bothered.

            • Sabine

              yep, that is what i am pointing out every now and then, ]

              i am still making the same comments i did under National. Nothing, absolutly nothing has changed, other then Covid we are were we were in 2016.

              • Cricklewood

                I would argue its far worse than it was in 2016. Next to nothing has actually been achieved ie completed to alleviate the issue.

                Lots of talk fuck all action and spare me the it's less worse than it would have been under National brigade.

              • Sabine:"Nothing, absolutely nothing has changed,"

                This is simply wrong Sabine. National sold off state houses, reducing the stock in NZ. This government has increased the number of state houses and is further increasing numbers. Search the Standard for the total number of state houses-this is an issue that has been much discussed.

                Try to include facts and a sense of perspective in your comments.

                • Sabine

                  i do.

                  But when it comes to our homeless nothing has changed.

                  Don't look at it from our comfortable view, look at it from the view of the guy who lost his job, who is trying to survive on unemployment benefits. Look at it from the view of the women on a fixed benefit that will have a rent increase soon, another 80 – 100$ and who will end up in emergency housing or a ditch near anyone of us.

                  Rents sky high. Mortgages so out of reach that the government increases help ot first home buyer who are trying for an affordable house of around 700.000 + .

                  Look at it from the view of the kid that goes from unsecured rental to car to motel to car to motel to maybe an unsecured rental. And who can't get on with schooling cause they move every few weeks/month.

                  One could call it the emergency housing to prison pipeline.

                  Nothing much has changed.

                  I include facts often enough, in fact i am a stickler for links to support my argument. And currently a fact is that the first three years of Labour were to some extend squandered, and the Covid housing boom made it worse for everyone. These too are facts.

                  The grand housing plan from Grant Roberston is well nice, but lacks in teeth.

                  and I don't need to again rehash what national did not do, and chances are will not do next time they get in again, as they are currently not running the show. I will moan about them when it is their turn, i am bipartisan that way.

                  And for those in emergency housing, for those fearing to end up in emergency housing nothing has changed.

                  From January this year


                  dead baby in emergency housing – reason may not be known for month!


                  from March this year


                  For the poorest and most ignored in our country, women and children on social beggar benefits, retirees that can't afford rent on their fixed income, working poor who can't afford a house / flat/ditch even with an accom benefit there is no discernable difference between National Housing issues and Labour Housing issues. It is them that will always pay the bills of the failures of successive governments. And that is my opinion, nothing more nothing less.

                  Just a few facts.

                  • Sabine: I agree with you that the level of poverty in NZ is totally unacceptable-we are not so far apart at all on this issue. I am looking for a major increase in benefits in the upcoming budget.

                    But if you look back over my posts you will see that I have said many times that I support the Green Party's Wealth Tax which is specifically designed to make serious inroads into poverty (or even eliminate it) by taxing only rich people-couples who have net assets over $2 million.

                    Until we have a quantum shift like a Wealth Tax, which in the case of the Green Party proposal is estimated to raise $7.9 billion annually, poverty will continue in this country.

                    • Sabine

                      again, this is not a failure of one party vs the other. Its a failure by Government. I go to great pains to call for 'government' action ,not party action.

                      It does not matter atm which party to support. Everyone here was scared into voting for Labour cause Judith!!!!!! Never mind she could not get elected dog catcher ourside her own electorate. And all the third parties suffered and here we are.

                      And now we have a party in majority and they squander every bit of their advantage and only the gods know why. but it certainly not to our benefit.

                      I guess i am moaning again.

        • Foreign Waka

          BG at 1.1.1 – I hope this is not a measure we want to put on the table. I mean, substandard conditions are a health hazard and really trap families in a hopeless situation. You can use these accommodations temporary but not instead of housing. And talking about housing….

      • gsays 1.1.2

        On a recent holiday, we stayed in a campground north of Thames.

        Another aspect of children living in a motel/campground is the places to play, socialize, ride bikes. Most surfaces are concreted.

        Also having yr neighbours change every day or other day. Not good.

        Impose squatters rights on the 40,000 ghost houses in Auckland as a start. Then move to the other 60,000 in the rest of the country.

        I disagree that it is a financial constraint, it is a lack of will.

      • Morrissey 1.1.3

        Fair point, Sabine—however it's not a case of me "not liking these guys"; I was simply reminding everyone of where public money is going, as opposed to where it should be going. In this case of course, it is the USA, but obscene mis-prioritizations of funding occur here as well, although not on the same scale.

    • Macro 1.2

      You obviously haven't been listening. Biden has a 1.9 trillion infrastructure proposal before the Congress right now. That proposal includes funding for housing the homeless as well as many other social justice issues. If only our government was as proactive.

      • Sabine 1.2.2


      • Nic the NZer 1.2.3

        "If only our government was as proactive. "

        Is this in any way serious? NZ is so far ahead of the US in handling the pandemic that we don't have remotely similar problems. The US stimulus will allow further housing of people in motels, something which NZ is already doing.

        • Macro

          You do realise that there was a change of govt in the US on 20 Jan 2021. Up until that time, the do nothing Chump was in charge. Since that time (in 83 days to be precise) the country has been rolling out vaccines at a phenomenal rate. The rate of infection, while still high, has dropped and has steadied at around 70,000 cases per day from a peak of over 225,000 cases per day under Trump in Jan this year. Half of the adult population (150 million) have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

          The stimulus package (which has been approved) is not the same thing as the Infrastructure Package which is aimed not at housing people in motels – but in building homes.

          • Nic the NZer

            You thought the clear difference between the challenges faced by the US and NZ should be highlighted?

            And if you think housing people in motels is not an outcome of the infrastructure proposal then you should read the WaPo link.

            • Macro

              Just as in NZ, in the US there is a lack of suitable social housing, and the initial stimulus package included funds to immediately house homeless people, as explained in the WaPo article.


              It then goes on to explain further the initiatives that are also included in the Infrastructure package that has just been revealed a week ago.

              Fudge said Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, unveiled last week, would bring additional funding necessary to address homelessness and housing instability. Biden’s jobs and infrastructure plan would include $213 billion for housing programs, including $40 billion to improve public housing.

              my bold.

              • Incognito

                Where’s Mossie gone?

              • Nic the NZer

                Sounds like you want Kiwibuild to be given another crack. But as far as I am aware the govt is building and running the state housing stock, reversing a prior National govt sell off. I just can't see how its possible to claim our govt is not proactive with reference to policies well under way in NZ.

                • Macro

                  But as far as I am aware the govt is building and running the state housing stock, reversing a prior National govt sell off. I just can't see how its possible to claim our govt is not proactive with reference to policies well under way in NZ.

                  It is true there are some steps being made by the current govt here in NZ to reverse the damage done under previous administrations, but it is far too little IMHO. The emphasis on Kiwibuild is fine for those who might be able to afford to buy a home, but there are many others for whom that vision is simply out of the question. The reliance on private developers to do the work is also a problem. Having worked for a time in the civil construction industry, developers are only in the game for the end dollar. "Cheap" is not an attractive option for them. The money is always in the middle to upper end of the market.

                  Furthermore for many they are really not interested in 3 bedrooms 1 bathroom and garage, even if one was offered. I work on a voluntary basis here with a group of rough sleepers, and all they want is someplace to have a shower, go to the toilet, cook a meal, and have a chat if they feel the need for some company. When it is raining they would like a dry place they can doss down for the night. We have around 20 -30 rough sleepers in our town right now. I have written to the Ministers for Housing, Social Development, Maori Housing, and Associate Minister for Homelessness, outlining a proposal for a Hub providing such amenities, and ongoing staffing through an acceptable NGO. I have not had the courtesy of a reply.

                  • Ad

                    Every commentator on the MSM whether from real estate or developers or advocacy groups all say that the government should just embark on a massive house-building programme. The leftie ones continue that sentence … "just like Michael Joseph Savage".

                    This government has found that the states' capacity to execute policy anywhere let alone in housing construction is far, far weaker than they imagined.

                    The amount of support that Minister Twyford got for trying to start such a programme was next to zero including from his caucus and his PM. They let him swing on the manifesto promises they all signed up to. And he was the only one in this government with enthusiasm for forming anything new that would deliver. So no other Minister is going to try that again.

                    Good on you for your volunteer efforts that's more than I do. I'd recommend the staff of Megan Woods. She's a solid unit, and about as active as this lot are going to get.

  2. Incognito 2

    Directly engaging with politics at a young age like this will also have long-term impacts, Hayward says.

    That’s just one impact of the School Strikes for Climate Action.


  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    It has been said that I am always negative on TS (not actually true) however here is a little something to give readers a few laughs…a great look back at some of the funniest and most over the top anti Russian Mccarthyite hysteria headlines to come from the Liberal press over the past few years …enjoy

    • Bill 3.1

      What a wonderful world we live in when a pot head comedian is regularly more switched on, informed and informative than flagship liberal media and their vast readerships …

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Word for the day: Running dog is a pejorative term for an unprincipled person who helps or flatters those more powerful and often evil.

    • francesca 4.1

      But that's not what's going on in that video

      No flattery of Putin whatsoever, rather criticism of the soviet type propaganda exercise , taken up by corporate news media in the west ,blaming outsiders for internal dysfunction, and amplifying secret "intelligence" allegations

      Anybody disputing the official govt story is promptly gaslighted as unwitting Kremlin dupes, or "running dog"losers .What a brilliant way to cower people into keeping their mouths shut for fear of being cut loose from the pack


      • Stuart Munro 4.1.1

        Oh, get off the grass.

        It is only the raging Putin dupes who find it necessary to impose their lack of judgement upon us, day in, day out.

        Let us be explicit here, your fellow travelers are promoting a murderous kleptocrat and former head of the Stasi, on a leftwing site, and for some reason expect not to be greeted with universal contempt.

        How's that working out for you?

        • Morrissey

          Putin headed the Stasi, did he? Where did you learn that—from Rachel Domdaw?

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.2

        criticism of the soviet type propaganda exercise , taken up by corporate news media in the west ,blaming outsiders for internal dysfunction, and amplifying secret "intelligence" allegations

        Were you not Putin dupes, menkurt dependents of his propaganda sources, you would find yourself a few eastern European sources, folk who suffered the Soviet occupation for preference. People from Byelorussia or the Ukraine would soon put you straight about the crap you regurgitate here ad nauseum. The style of that propaganda is instantly recognizable – and often relies on drawing false parallels between less compromised organs like the NYT, and fully compromised ones like RT.

        In your naivete, you are dangerous. Do some homework – get the real story on the monster whose work you are doing.

        • francesca

          While you amplify hegemonic US talking points

          You are dangerous for any journalist who speaks out against a war mongering western elite

          • Stuart Munro

            While you amplify hegemonic US talking points

            The funny thing, ma petite choux choux, is that I don't. It's not me that, day in, day out posts pathetic drivel in support of a genocidal sonofabitch – that would be you Putin dupes.

            America doesn't talk about Chechnya – it coincided with and took advantage of the US invasion of Iraq – it's not a US talking point at all. But I imagine, to the tragic pawn of a murderous despot, that level of compromise must seem natural, even inevitable.

    • francesca 4.2

      My reply is "awaiting moderation"

      • McFlock 4.2.1


        I mean, we could all try a bit more moderation in some way or another 🙂

      • Morrissey 4.2.2

        Same thing just happened to me, francesca. I challenged Mr Munro over his remarkable claim that the President of one country ("R") headed the spy agency of another ("E.G.") and I asked him if he had received that information from a particularly foolish and discredited MSNBC commentator, and provided a clip of that commentator insanely repeating the name of the country "R" and its President.

        Lo and behold, I found my post marked "awaiting moderation."

        • Stuart Munro

          There's a lot of it about.

          Ok KGB, not Stasi – though these despotic intelligence organizations are very alike and cooperated – sharing files and methodologies.

  5. Pat 5

    Advocates and journalist calling for even greater property inflation….what the hell are they thinking?


    • Sabine 5.1

      maybe this is the problem?

      Not any more. Over the past few months as house prices have continued to rise, the $500,000 price limit for a home to qualify under the FHL scheme has basically shut out all but the scummiest do-ups in Hamilton.

      Oh, but of course do-ups don’t qualify either. Any house with a building report showing more than $5000 of remedial work needed, is automatically ineligible. Too risky for first home buyers.

      • Pat 5.1.1

        And increasing the thresholds simply puts a higher floor under the market….as they should all understand.

        • Sabine

          still, why exclude do-er uppers. Maybe really that is an issue, specifically if that is the only house you can buy for the money the government thinks is the amount you could buy for in any given area.

          You get nigh to nothing in Rotorua for 500.000 grand. Before covid no issue, but thanks to a year of low interest rates and cashed up 'expat' kiwis coming home, no longer. Just to show you how obscene it is, the property that i bought 4 years ago for 200.000 grand is now worth over 500.000 grand. And between Christmas and March it increased almost 100.000 in value. I did put in heatpump, insulation, bathroom fan etc – yes this was a rental property – but nothing that would allow for that type of increase other then speculation and desperation. Sad thing, well funny too, if i were to sell, i could not afford a new property. Luckily, this is my forever home, and hopefully i can keep it.

          Maybe the inflation is driven by desperation.

          • Pat

            Excluding doer uppers is indeed foolish but I guess if you are promoting 'healthy homes' allowing it gives opposition voices a stick to beat you with…politics trumps common sense.

            I suspect the thresholds were set with one eye on where they would like the lower quartile to settle…..maybe inflation is set by expectations.

            • Sabine

              i bought an 'unhealthy home' and fixed it for about 6 grand to make it healthy and that includes a heat pump.

              that should not be a reason.

              Inflation currently is set by desperation. Not expectations. Heck, i have yet to do the driveway. lol……………………… But i got the drain dudes in last week and i dug out hte broken piece of drain and fixed it! Woot.

          • Foreign Waka

            And just wait until the rates increases are coming through. Porirua, one of the poorer areas around Wellington except Aotea, has been told to expect 8% increase. On top of that they talk about a separate levy for waste water pipes maintenance. Yep, I am sure the council staff is well heeled whilst the rest will be loosing their roof over the head. Why is inflation being said to be low? There is a 10% increase of rates which represents some 30-50% of your living costs. No longer, its then 40-60%. I know that supermarkets have increased their pricing in the last 12 months and judging by my weekly bill that hasn't really changed in terms of product bought, I look at 7-8% minimum depending whether I allow myself some meat.

            Maybe inflation figures assessed are of all those who can deduct GST, this would be 1-2% inflation alright.

    • AB 5.2

      "what the hell are they thinking?"

      They are obviously thinking about themselves and their business models. A bigger government subsidy to 1st home buyers, means more people knocking on these guys' doors looking for the balance of the purchase price. That this increases demand and will likely push prices still higher, they don't give a flying f*ck about – it's all about them and the perpetual drive to make even more money. There are so many bad faith actors in this scummy little thing called a 'housing market' that it's hard not to puke.

      • Pat 5.2.1

        Sadly I fear you are correct….though why the journalist didnt ask those questions is disturbing.

  6. Tricledrown 6

    Macro you think Biden's 1.9trillion package will solve the US "s homeless problem you are joking .

    When you look at where it's going to be spent and the fact that it could be filibuster by the GOP .

    • Sabine 6.1

      look up the term budget reconciliation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconciliation_(United_States_Congress)#:~:text=The%20Senate%20filibuster%20effectively%20requires,majority%20support%20in%20the%20Senate.

      The Senate filibuster effectively requires a 60-vote super-majority for the passage of most legislation in the Senate, but reconciliation provides a process to prevent the use of the filibuster and thereby allow the passage of a bill with simple majority support in the Senate.

      Man what could our people here – those who don't work from home, and who are not rich, and who have lost their jobs and who live of begger welfare payments – do with a bit of a stimulus payment. Lol….our people did not even get a christmas bonus payment for some slices of Pams Ham. Go figure.

      Just a little trickle down to the people rather then shoveling money to connected people and their 'shovel ready' projects.

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.1

        While its clear that the democrats control the US govt to the extent they can pass as much legislation as they want, they also already managed to reneg on the $15 federal minimum wage which was a campaign promise. It will hardly be surprising if such a large spending bill gets markedly reduced while negotiating it through government, especially with the corporate tax hikes coupled with it.

        Of course as Mozzy highlighted no similar scale military budget has such problems passing (or changes corporate taxes by a cent).

        • McFlock

          Repugs will vote for aircraft carriers and filibuster wage increases.

          It's that simple. For the dems to pass legislation in the Senate they need to change the filibuster rules or get 60$% (the dollar sign was a typo but was too appropriate to leave out, lol) of the seats.

          • Nic the NZer

            The democrats could easily have avoided the filibuster in the minimum wage case, using the same procedure Sabine highlighted. They decided to make it a problem which makes one think they also didn't want the minimum wage increase to go through.

            • McFlock

              They tried that procedure. It didn't work.

              • Nic the NZer

                Yes, I am well aware that the democrats have been telling everyone just how incompetent they are at passing legislation.

                On the other hand say an unelected office holder stood in the way of govt policy, say the reserve bank governor refused to reimplement LVR restrictions, do you think they could keep their position?

                • McFlock

                  If they are doing their job, yes.

                  Especially if that job includes the function of ensuring that the legislative body follows the legislative process as defined by law, in this case the Congressional Budget Act (section 313).

                  What next, firing judges who hold that the minimum wage law was illegal because it didn't follow the legislative process?

                  • Nic the NZer


                    Sticking to your gas lighting I see.

                    Of course the Republicans have previously fired the senate parliamentarian. Not that it would have come to that had they made it clear that $15 was expected to be in there.

                    • McFlock

                      It's not gaslighting to actually focus on the case in question.

                      What is your argument that the Senate Parliamentarian made the legally incorrect decision? Was the minimum wage change an intrinsic part of the budget legislation, or was it being piggy-backed onto budget legislation in order to bypass the legislated process?

                      In your opinion, is the issue of minimum wage "extraneous" to a budget bill?

                    • Nic the NZer []


                      This went through that process in 2010.

                      No, a minimum wage increase will quite clearly effect the budget. Boosting both income tax collected and the pay of some federal employees.

                    • The Al1en

                      A number of democrat senators didn't support the $15 minimum wage rate Biden wanted, so it still wouldn't have passed if they sacked they senate parliamentarian and put it to a vote.


                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Agree. This could have made things difficult for democrats who were against the increase in their electorates.

                    • McFlock

                      A bill that (by your link) changes specific federal budget expenses and taxes/charges is not extraneous to a budget, no.

                      The closest you could get to that with minimum wage is to itemise how many federal employees are on the minimum wage, if any.

                      Just saying that the downstream economic effects would affect the budget in some unknown way would make everything from the death penalty to speed limits non-extraneous to the budget.

                      Just pretending words mean whatever they want so they can avoid legislative restrictions was the hallmark of the orange regime, not rule of law.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Yes, its just a fact that the govt budget and the economy are intertwined. There are clear reasons why treasury produces a forecast as part of the budget and when its not accurate then the deficit is off budget to the tune of a billion dollers (within 6 months). Same with the CBO, but with bigger numbers.

                      Unless you can propose a more accurate way of forecasting I see little way of splitting impacts up by budget impact, but the minimum wage clearly will impact the federal bottom line.

                    • McFlock

                      There is a fundamental interconnectedness of all things, but minimum wage increases are not connected to the budget in as direct a way as e.g. a clause explicitly increasing specific tax credits.

                      The bottom line is that the "parliamentarian" has a statutory role to ensure the legality of the process by which legislation is enacted. If that role was demonstrably performed incompetently or in bad faith, then fine, fire them.

                      But firing officials because one doesn't like their impartial, competent decisions about the legality of what one wishes to do is exactly the sort of presidency from which the USA needs to move away.

              • Sabine

                Yes, it did not work thanks to

                moderate Democrat Jo Manchin from West Virginia

                and moderate Democrat Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona.

                As Dr, King once said, its not the radicals that he fears, the KKK's and the likes as they are open in their attitude, it is the moderates that he fears, as they have no issue with the status quo and thus are happy to maintain it to the detriment of everyone else.

                A pox on the house of all moderates that hide among so called liberals and progressives.

                The 15 min wage was killed because of these two Democrats. Sinema even tried to pull of a little John McCain, and did a little curtesy when she gave it that thumps down. Sounds a bit like the moderates in our so called progressive party.


                and funny it is these two that are upset that they have to give up the fillibuster for their friends in the republican party.


                With friends like these who needs enemies. But it would really help if people actually looked a bit further.

                So for the moment budget reconciliation it is and sometimes that is what one needs to do to get something done. That is still better then do fuck all, and state before the election that 'the beneficiaries will get nothing more then what we gave them'. Moderates. Just no.

                • McFlock

                  But even without those two, it did not work because minimum wage levels are extraneous to the government's budget reconciliation process.

                  However, there is more than one way to skin a cat, especially with the repugs beginning their own little civil war. Dems have the moderate bloc and the coastal lefties, but the repugs have the magamob vs the corporate shills.

  7. Cricklewood 7

    Thinking back over the years it used to be people became politicians and get into govt because they wanted to enact real change ie the Labour movement but with the rise of the career politician we are seeing a change where the aim is to become the govt for govts sake ie reach the top of the career ladder….

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      I'm not sure you'd pick it for a career. Doesn't pay that much and it looks very stressful.

      I think politics picks them. They all seem to have an intense belief their opinion matters. Unfortunately, most are of the opinion that the boat shall not be rocked.

      • Johnr 7.1.1

        It may not pay much, but think of the ego trip these people relish. Not sure politics chooses them rather they choose politics cos no one else would employ them, sure, there are exceptions to this rule.

    • Foreign Waka 7.2

      I think unlimited sick leave, guaranteed wage increase, a pension after just 3 years etc… helps. All financed by those who have a battle on their hands to keep afloat.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Gee, that was quick.* Why didn't we do something sooner?


    *I doubt they are telling the truth, they are not the type.

    • Sabine 8.1

      They will invest in commercial property – not restrictions of any kind there. A person i know asked for a pop up shop here and was quoted i kid you not, 4500NZd plus GST, plus outgoings, plus insurance – a month. And we wonder why our towns are dying.

  9. Sabine 9

    Obviously not a shovel ready project.


    The principal of Hutt Valley High School is blaming the Ministry of Education saying officials have known about the problems for years and failed to act.

    From next term, Year 12 and Year 13 students will have to do their work from home for two-and-a-half days a week because there's not enough room for them at school.

    Two weeks ago teachers were given 30 minutes to clear their desks before a whole building was shut down and sealed off.

    Thirteen classrooms, three bathrooms and a dance studio have been deemed unsafe.

    This left the school struggling for space to teach its 1700 pupils and it resorted to holding multiple classes at a time in the hall and library.

    On Monday it decided it would have to send at least 500 senior students home.

    Parent at the school, Miranda Cross, was furious……………..

    Cross said parents were asked to pay an infrastructure donation on top of other fees because of the underfunding………………….

    Acting principal Denise Johnson has been at the school for nine years, and stepped in to the role after former principal Ross Sinclair died in December.

    She said Johnson had spent a decade fighting the ministry for more funding and officials knew millions were needed to fix the leaking roofs.

    "The ministry have a company that they engage to do an assessment of a school, and that company determines what are the critical infrastructure needs of the school going forward, which would include things like roofing and aged piping and electrics I suspect, all that sort of really important stuff.

    "That company assessed the school as needing $10 million… We weren't given $10 million."

  10. greywarshark 10

    The UN comes to the rescue, it is so good that we have it.


    Last week’s eruption of La Soufrière volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,has left the entire population of the main island without clean water and electricity, the UN Spokesperson said on Monday.

    Emphasizing that access to the island is limited, Mr. Dujarric said that along with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the UN has mobilized pre-positioned water and sanitation hygiene supplies, currently stored in nearby Barbados….

    “Explosions and accompanying ashfall of similar or larger magnitude are likely to continue to occur over the next few days”, according to the UN humanitarian office.

  11. greywarshark 11

    This is a government managing a country that has good financial standing, oh yes. It's just that a lot of people living in this country are being rorted by a system that no-one has the guts to change because it would involve some very wealthy people getting really pissed off. I'm doing all right, if other people did this…. or that…. (various well-worn recipes for cakes that won't rise) – that is why we are like this. But hey look over here, there's a tv celebrity with white teeth and wearing a Trelise Cooper or such, to take your mind off the probs.

    Ordinary people at state schools have to put up with underfunding and not just plain and basic surroundings but neglected buildings that bureaucrats wouldn't work in. Cold, unpleasant and unhealthy.


    From next term, Year 12 and Year 13 students will have to do their work from home for two-and-a-half days a week because there's not enough room for them at school.

    Two weeks ago teachers were given 30 minutes to clear their desks before a whole building was shut down and sealed off.
    Thirteen classrooms, three bathrooms and a dance studio have been deemed unsafe…

    [Acting Principal Denise Johnson]… Johnson told Morning Report the ministry has known about these issues for years.
    She said it's only now that "we're in a crisis" that the ministry's response has been brilliant.
    "This was a train wreck waiting to happen."

    The building in question is 50 years old and ventilation is minimised by the design, being surrounded by other buildings, Evans said. ( (Ministry of Education's head of property delivery and infrastructure services Scott Evans)

    In Nelson the Min of Ed refuse to provide extra classrooms for the nearest co-ed school and so people are forced to send their children to either of the one-sex schools in the city, though everybody wants choice. It certainly is not good for those who would benefit from a mixed gender environment such as the children of single parents, or those who want education amongst average society.

  12. Muttonbird 12

    True to form, MediaJerks says: Nothing to see here.


    This despite multiple complaints about workplace culture.

  13. greywarshark 13


    Can't an empty or underutilised stadium be found for them? They have a doubtful productivity record and we can't afford to build another hive for people who have proved to be drones.

    I say stop these expensive building plans that the creme de la creme are dreaming up around the country*; put a moratorium on them. We have to get basic matters seen to first, and Parliamentarians should just have to double-bunk if necessary.

    Also remember the Parl.. part of their name, they are talkers, and how. But we now need doers of practical things more than chewing gum and advancing exciting ideas at the same time.

    I am serious in this concern. I believe that many others will also feel the same way. Should we start a movement about it?

    • Christchurch stadium that will never pay for itself – $400 million. But can't afford to maintain swimming pool with proud community use and is doing away with mobile library bus to save money!!
      Plus another moan – school buses are being run on such a lean budget that pupils who need it, are being refused transport even when it goes past their properties. Education was always the way that countries were told to increase to lift them up in the world, standards of living. So we no longer want to do that? Is that part of why NZ is diminishing?
    • Nelson which has an attractive library but talking up $44 million for another one at same level on side of river which would be affected by rising sea levels probably needing flood protection in future, costly. I think that the words – Better or as good as the finest, or world standard et al might have been mentioned. Something to beware of, this chest-thumping.

    Education was always the way that countries were told to increase to lift them up in the world, standards of living. So we no longer want to do that? Is that part of why NZ is diminishing?

    All over the country I think we would find feverish plans to do this or that new mainly to cater for the tourists they hope will come, when they have present attractions that could be flossied up and the emphasis should be on local performance which gives work to people, and advances skills, and which is unique and ihas the multiplier effect on the local and national economy.

  14. Muttonbird 14

    Gawd, how pathetic. JuCo has a cry because old racist Phil Glücksburg Battenburg the Greek had such a hard time growing up.


    Silly old bat.

  15. Muttonbird 15

    What a surprise.

    Boomers lose what remains of their teeth when their two favourite shows Fair go, which which is about other Boomers being ripped off by brown people, and Casketeers, which is about the coffins they will soon be in…

    …temporarily make way for a show about emerging young talent.


    • Muttonbird 16.1

      Yes, it's good the whole industry is under the microscope now. The growers were complicit in this and a bit of sunlight is doing everyone some good.

  16. RP Mcmurphy 17

    andrew little is acting irrationally in his opposition to fixing the cannabis laws.

    to date 17 American states have legalised cannabis with the latest being New Mexico just yesterday.

    His refusal to do anything is more or less archaic and comes with no explanation except his other irrational fixation which is he is going to mend and repair the mental health of the whole nation in one budget.
    does he come by this fixation by himself or who is feeding him his lines?

    well there goes a big delusion right there.

    as they say over there either shit or get off the pot!

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