Open mike 13/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, March 13th, 2015 - 176 comments
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176 comments on “Open mike 13/03/2015”

  1. b waghorn 1

    The other day there was a hoo ha about Winston s staffer working on his campaign as it’s not legal for him to use a government played employee .
    It struck me that as there are numerous amounts of national party members heading north to campaign ,is there travel and accommodation costs being picked up by the tax payer or does it come from the nat party funding.

    • tracey 1.1

      The Nats have loads of people working on loopholes… what they do is mostly legal and often questionable (ethically speaking) but I suspect they think ethics are for losers. Fisiani is an example of that.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.2

      I understand the guy is on leave. Even if he’s not, the cost of paying him is just another result of FJK’s enabling of Sabin. We wouldn’t been having a byelection if NAct had some ethics.

  2. Saarbo 2

    Trevatt from NZH has always been a big National party cheerleader, in this article she first attacks Peter’s then does a PR job on Osbourne…The NZH shamelessly biased towards the Nats.

    • tracey 2.1

      Osborne did a Q and A.

      It is now obvious why he is pushing so hard for ten new bridges

      “Will you stand in Northland again in 2017?


      [Q: If you don’t win?] We’d have to cross that bridge if we encountered it but I’m doing everything I can to get elected. We expect … to be elected. So I’m looking forward to that.”

      my emphasis

      And his answer to how to improve Northland? More roads. And when you have more roads, make more roads. Oh and safer roads. And bridges. Lots of bridges.

      • Clemgeopin 2.1.1

        Surely, the Nats selection committee could have chosen someone a little better than this poor choice? Don’t they have anyone else better than Sabin and Osborne among them?

        He isn’t even a shadow of a match to Winston Peters, Willow-Jean Prime or even that chatty ACT dude!

        • ma rohemo

          The committee had six candidates to choose from. You should see the other five.

          • North

            Oh I dunno……that pretty boy (or thinks he is) ex-cop……Matt someone……he was in there……oh shit, sorry…….ex-cop. Forgot. Shame !

      • Skinny 2.1.2

        There is a lot riding on this by election outside the obvious of law changes like the RMA & signing theTPPA. For supporters of the Northland’s rail network expect an announcement the NAL will close within 6 months. During this campaign the opposition party’s need to put the question to Key. As Labours Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford really needs too lift his game, honesty the churhlish pig joke that saw him booted out of the house didn’t serve Labour well. It is surprising the MSM have not pinned Key down on an answer to the future of the NAL.

      • jenny kirk 2.1.3

        Yeah, right. (in response to Tracey at 2.1) And the people of Northland when asked say there are more important things than bridges – sealing the dusty roads for one, assisting people with public transport so they can get to hospital, doctor, WINZ is another, creating projects which provide proper jobs so people can feed themselves and their families, upgrading poor housing, the list is endless.

    • tc 2.2

      Trevitt is an appalling NACT sycophant, her articles appear mostly with no comments section as granny knows she would be hammered on her blatant bias giving their message massagers lots of work.

    • Paul 2.3

      Corrupt lackey working for a sleazy rag.
      What do you expect?!

  3. weka 4

    #saveourkauri goes corporate. Both the council and Vetor rule out buying out the developers. Plus,

    Vector also issued a strongly-worded statement, saying it was “deeply disappointed to have been dragged into the dispute over the Titirangi kauri tree”.

    “After following the media coverage with interest, Vector had a confidential conversation with the property owners to explore ways in which Vector could help to save the kauri tree,” it said.

    “The owners have chosen not to respect that confidentiality, and as a result Vector sees no potential for further engagement with the owners on this matter.”

    Meanwhile, Ms Hulse said the council would look at how it applies its environmental protection laws at a meeting this morning — and hit out at Government ministers for stepping into the kauri tree row when the council “followed your rules”.

    The council had “gone through the process” correctly, she said on Newstalk ZB this morning, but would look at whether it was correctly balancing property rights and environmental protection, saying it was timely given the current review of the Resource Management Act.

    “However, the fact that [Conservation Minister] Maggie Barry and [Environment Minister] Nick Smith have weighed into this as two ministers who are responsible for removing the tree protection rules, and who are now giving us a hard time for it, I’m saying this is a really good chance to get round the table with them and say, ‘you’re reviewing the process, let’s make sure that we’re not opening ourselves up to this in future, have we dialled back environmental protection too far, and are we cutting the community out too much?’,” she said.

    “We followed your rules Nick and Maggie, have we got them right?”


    • I’d wondered how Vector’s name had come into the conversation!

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Vector is the power lines company right? What on earth have they got to do with it, other than being a large company with deep pockets?

      • weka 4.2.1

        Powerlines and trees, it was probably a significant issue on that site.

        • tc

          Lines companies gets hammered on outages by the drones at commcomm so they always look to be proactive in such matters rather than let a storm give them too many issues at once.

          • weka

            plus the logistics of getting power to two houses on a steep site with lots of trees where you can’t just dig big straight trenches.

            • joe90

              It’ll be sewer, power, gas, water and comms, dig it, bore it, thrust it, rip it, do whatever it takes, stacked in the same hole.

      • Adrian 4.2.2

        Vector own a large chunk of Treescape, the conractor that was going to cut the tree down.

  4. les 5

    Stiassney interested in saving trees …yeah right!

  5. weka 6

    Dutch scrap surveillance law over privacy concerns,

    A data retention law mandating that ISPs retain customer data has been struck down by a court in The Hague. Assailed by privacy rights advocates, the dragnet allowed law enforcement easy access to customer records going back 12 months.

    The law violated data protection and privacy rights, the court found, and was more than “strictly necessary” to meet the claimed needs.

    Though the Dutch government claimed the requirements were necessary to fight terorrism, a broad coalition of journalists, activists and lawyers took it to court after the EU Court of Justice struck down the union’s own data retention directive last year.

    Though ministers said they wanted to keep the data retention rules, despite the EU court ruling, the court’s ruling takes immediate effect.

  6. Clemgeopin 7


    John Key is warning voters there is no “free lunch” in the Northland by-election, as National claims major roads and free-trade deals will be in doubt if Winston Peters wins.


    • jenny kirk 7.1

      That’s called blackmail !
      Now isn’t that what Key called the 1080 threat to milkpowder?

    • Kevin 7.2

      Just add spiteful and vindictive to the growing list of undesirable traits Dear Leader has.

  7. Philip Ferguson 8

    Some interesting pieces on the fight for women’s rights in early 1900s, one by Rosa Luxemburg and other about the Militant Women’s Movement (MWM) in Australia in the 1920s and 1930s.
    Rosa Luxemburg on class struggle and the fight for women’s right to vote:
    The working class militants who brought International Women’s Day to Australia:


    • Chooky 8.1

      Dr Rosa Luxemburg …a very well educated feminist and from a very well off middle class family i believe…just as many leaders of the NZ feminist movement have been …ie well educated and from middle class backgrounds…like Helen Clark, Sue Kedgely, Sandra Coney ….

      • Chooky 8.1.1

        …add to this list Marilyn Waring, Margaret Wilson, Laila Harre, Christine Dann, Ettie Rout , Elsie Locke,….all very well educated NZ feminists

        …and OZZy swearing visitor Germaine Greer….and NZ feminists very much influenced by overseas women also well educated ….Kate Millett, Gloria Steinem, Mary Daly, Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Wollstonecraft….

        as well as fighting for equality of opportunity in education and the workforce….these feminists fought for contraception, abortion and control of their own fertility

      • swordfish 8.1.2

        The Equal Pay Campaign of the 40s and 50s = led by women who were well-educated but generally from pretty low income / working class backgrounds.

        Let’s remember too that blue collar Socialist and Trade Unionist women were active in feminist politics of one sort or another within the early NZ Labour movement.

        • Chooky

          yes agree totally…but I am really countering Philip’s impression on other threads that it was working class socialists who were the leaders of feminism ( many working class women were NOT socialist)… and that bourgeois, middle class, educated women like Helen Clark were Not the leaders of the feminist movement and have in fact undermined feminism for working class women…when in actual fact ….well educated middle class women absolutely were leaders for women’s liberation !…and most of them were also egalitarian with socialist sympathies …

          …as I recall it the equal pay for equal work issue really got underway in the 1970s…as a teenage university student I leafleted factories where I had worked with another university student ( we roared up on her motorbike at lunch time and delivered the leaflets to the women as they were leaving for lunch) …the women workers there several months later picketted the place and had stop work meetings…eventually they got equal pay

          • swordfish

            There was a vigorous and highly successful PSA Equal Pay Campaign in the 40s and 50s. Achieved Equal Pay in the New Zealand Public Service by 1960. Tends to be either downplayed or completely ignored by most (though not quite all) Boomer historians in favour of the late 60s/early 70s campaign (associated more with the sort of elite women you’re talking about).

            The activists of the 40s and 50s were the wrong Generation (and probably wrong class) for the middle-class Boomer-centric narrative that constitutes the prevailing historiographical orthodoxy. They’re an inconvenient truth. Undermines the mythology that ex-boarding school Boomers were the true pioneers of liberal/progressive thought – A New Generation with a New Explanation and all that sort of self-indulgent tosh.

            • Chooky

              …i was brought up by the women activists of the 40s and 50s and they were well educated ….some went to boarding schools and to state schools but they were by no means wealthy…so that equation boarding school =wealth is wrong for a start…however their families believed in their girls and their girl’s education ( bourgeois ?…possibly ….certainly by British standards)

              ….the feminist activists in my experience were/are not the most downtrodden working class women ( no fault of their own) who usually did not have education and often did not work ( remember the Catholic Church, a very strong working class socialist force in those days, did not believe women should work…and did not believe in feminism or birth control…let alone abortion or equal pay for equal work) these working class women stayed at home and dutifully looked after kids and their husbands and if they had jobs , they were menial jobs)

              …. NZ feminists and activists were often well educated , some teachers college , nursing , or university educated. They often had professional jobs like teaching…and hence they had independence and could think and act for themselves

            • Murray Rawshark

              Some in the union movement also liked to downplay the role of women. I remember in the 80s, hearing militant “socialists” talking about how women could come along to meetings because scones needed making, etc. Some of them also thought Maori should stick to playing “Ten Guitars.” There was a lot of forgetting of what had done by anyone who hadn’t looked a hell of a lot like the blokes telling the story.

              • Chooky

                +100…thanks for that MR…I never saw it that bad myself but can believe it….old habits died hard even among male socialists and trade unionists…in the end women and Maori have to liberate themselves and tell their own story …and for 50% approx of the world’s female population there is still a long way to go…increasingly i see war as a feminist issue

              • Philip Ferguson

                Murray, I think that was much more common in the Labour Party than among any militant socialists.

                When I was at high school I briefly joined the Labour Party. This was back in the 1970s. It was in a very working class constituency, the old Avon electorate (now Christchurch East). I recall being mystified when at about 9.30pm, all the women suddenly disappeared from the room.

                A while later, supper was served and I realised where all the women had gone. They had all gone into the kitchen to make the supper. Those were the days of “Ladies, a plate please”, which meant women were expected to bring food and then prepare it in the kitchen as well, while the men carried on with the political business.

                I had been going to all kinds of left-wing and militant socialist meetings at the time, and I’d never seen anything like it. The women never disappeared to make the supper. There was no “Ladies, a plate please” and so on.

                I think some people have forgotten how socially reactionary the Labour Party was.

                For myself, I left the LP shortly afterwards. I was a radical young person; I wasn’t interested in their archaic practices.


                • Murray Rawshark

                  I’m talking specifically about the Auckland Trade Union Centre and the Socialist Unity Party. They weren’t all that bad, but quite a few were. They were militant and called themselves socialists. I called them “socialists” for a reason. There were also Labour people whom I found just as bad.

            • Philip Ferguson

              Yes, working class activists and unions fought for women’s rights all the way through.

              In Britain, the new women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s even arose out of three working class women’s struggles, the most prominent probably being the struggle by women in the Ford car plant at Dagenham for equal pay. (The other two were the struggle by London bus conductresses and by Hull fishermen’s wives around trawler safety.)

              See, for instance,


          • Philip Ferguson

            Chooky, you still haven’t explained what Helen Clark did for working class women.

            She kept the cuts in social welfare benefits and she declared that employer-funded paid parental leave would be introduced “over my dead body”.

            Helen Clark wasn’t ever prominent in the women’s liberation movement.

            I never gave any impression that working class socialists were the leaders of *feminism*. You’re conflating women’s liberation with feminism. Many people fought for women’s liberation who were not feminists.

            I think you’re (unintentionally) writing them out of the picture.

            Most of the activists in the early women’s liberation movement in NZ (early 1970s) were militantly socialist, some came from middle class backgrounds, some from working class backgrounds. Same with the early gay liberation activists. Indeed, in Auckland Gay Liberation in the early 1970s a swathe of the activists were members and sympathisers of the Socialist Action League, the LP being pretty virulently anti-gay at the time (although this wasn’t true of younger LP people like Clark, Goff etc).


      • Philip Ferguson 8.1.3

        Rosa wasn’t a feminist and consciously chose not to be; the vast majority of revolutionary women of the Second International made the same choice.

        She was a communist fighter for the emancipation of the working class and women.

        Helen Clark wasn’t a leader of the feminist movement; I doubt she ever belonged to a feminist organisation. That’s not a criticism of her, just a statement of fact.


        • Chooky

          debatable as to whether Dr Rosa Luxemberg was a feminist or not…most Marxists would like to argue she wasnt …and subsume any feminism and fight for women’s rights to Maxism…others hold a different view…her closest friends were feminist friends and women’s liberation activists

          Helen Clark was and is a feminist and a leader of the feminist movement by her example

          I object to how some males ( hardly ever females) of Marxist/ Socialist Left persuasion like to rewrite history. They try to subsume the fight women made and won for women’s rights to Marxism or discount non Marxist feminist activists altogether . Lets face it Marxism is run by men like yourself

  8. swordfish 9

    Standardista 1: Well, looks like Winnie’s got the Tories on the run in Northland. At the very least he’ll give them the fright of their life. Meanwhile, Labour’s up in the polls, Little’s almost universally regarded as a more serious proposition than the last 3 leaders and Key and the Nats are displaying all the symptoms of Third Term-itis. And yet the Tory poll ratings are still high. We’ve got two and a half years. What kind of strategy can we pursue that unites us all together and makes the most efficient and effective use of our collective energy ?

    Standardista 2: Here’s an idea. How about we indulge ourselves every 3 or 4 days on Open Mike by channelling all of our time and energy into a never-ending, highly abusive and completely fucking futile debate on the merits or otherwise of homeopathy ?

    Let’s get, oh I dunno, say 10 or so Left-leaning activists with entrenched positions on the issue, people who are never going to be convinced by the other side, and let them spend all day from 7am to midnight going hammer and tongs, dominating three-quarters of the thread, racking up 200+ angry comments and basically treating each other with complete and utter contempt ?

    Standardista 3: Genius. Sheer Genius. If that doesn’t have the Tories quaking in their boots, I don’t know what will !

    • tc 9.1

      yes PG would’ve been proud of that thread yesterday

    • Karen 9.2

      +1 Swordfish
      So much scanning, so little worth reading ….

      • jenny kirk 9.2.1

        + 100%

      • swordfish 9.2.2

        I wouldn’t mind but my scrolling finger gets sore after 2 minutes and still no end in sight.

        I was a young man barely out of my teens and with my whole life ahead of me when I started reading yesterday’s homeopathy thread. By the time I’d finished at comment 32,057, I found I’d grown a long white beard, witnessed the birth of my great-grandchildren and was having more than a few senior moments.

        • Colonial Viper

          There’s a vaccination for that. Maybe even a homeopathic one.

          • swordfish

            😀 ….. (or do I mean 😈 )

          • Chooky

            lol…who brought up the homeopathy thing in the first place anyway?….i suspect it is a diversion introduced by…..that and vaccination ..and 9/11…..and Truthers….throw in a few insults… and any other arguments a person makes they are branded for life as a nutter….which is exactly as the want it

            • Colonial Rawshark

              The Contrarian has a bee in his bonnet about homeopathy. Claimed that I champion homeopathy which is weird because it’s not actually one of my favoured approaches.

              Basically, there are some people with a very tight, rational, intellectually framed view of how things work. I reckon they make up between 5% and 10% of the general population. And they can get severely fucked off with people who think the world works differently to what they personally believe. In fact, they are often what I would describe as “secular fundamentalists” and are damn self-righteous about it.

              In previous centuries, they might have laid charges of heresy against people like me and had me slowly dessicated in an outstretched position.

              • Chooky

                +100 CR….we seem to agree on so many things! ….sigh….lol…as my Mother used to say “All the world is mad except for me and thee…..and sometimes I even have some doubts …about thee”

                ….no really a good scrap is quite enjoyable …especially when you have allies…however I do wonder sometimes if an attempt is being made by some to put us “free thinkers” into a box labelled “nutters” …..when of course we are not!….as long as the “nutter labelling” does not succeed!…but what the hell…let the fight commence…bring it on homeopathy

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Heh 🙂

                  Modern medical establishments are going to go into a noticeable decline and reconfiguration with the end of fossil fuels (along with all other features of modern civilisation that we take for granted). That means in the next 20-25 years. There won’t be any choice around it because the money, physical overheads, international logistics and general complexity required to keep the whole medical machine going will be inherently unsustainable.

                  As a chiropractor using very simple tools, most of which are home repairable, to get my work done I can see myself being very, very busy at that time.

                  • Chooky

                    CR +100…my partner sees a chiropractor regularly and swears by it

                    ….and years ago when he was on morphine for severe sciatica and he was advised to have back surgery by Western doctors and specialists… he took the advice of a Chinese acupuncturist that it wasn’t necessary … with acupuncture and Shiatsu his back muscles were realigned , re-balanced and the problem went away without surgery….i know other people and family who have been helped with acupuncture and Chinese herbs…I am one of them

                    ….so like you Western medicine is not necessarily my first port of call….and I am pretty cautious about the Big Pharma drugs dished out

                    …..homeopathy is just one alternative medicine ( although since the debates here i am getting quite interested in it again…i must say)

                    ….another medical tradition I am interested in is Ayurvedic medicine…and imo nutrition is crucial…the first medicine

                    • Chooky

                      Taoist medicine is also very interesting…moving energy around the body with Taoist yoga meditation , especially so

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Great to hear! Ahhh i am a big fan of Chi Kung and the likes, strengthening and balancing the energy of the organs, bringing the mind back inside to the body.

                    • Chooky

                      yes this could be the future of medicine…at least preventative medicine ….when the medical establishments go into decline …or are forced to change to an emphasis on prevention of health problems in the first place

              • TheContrarian

                ” And they can get severely fucked off with people who think the world works differently to what they personally believe.”

                That’s hilarious! No one is “fucked off” – it’s that the world actually does work differently to what you personally believe because despite your personal beliefs, they actually conflict with every thing we know about science and medicine and your personal beliefs have shown time and time again to be false. Where as my beliefs are based up predictive and objective evidence, yours are based on personal anecdote – despite pretending to be interested in evidence, which you clearly aren’t.

                And you fail to address any of it.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  You know how the world works? You believe that science and medicine combined know what there is worth knowing about how the world works? Good for you.

                  You’re in a small minority.

        • greywarshark

          rip van winkle indeed.

    • weka 9.3

      Fair point swordfish. Although I will say this. The standard is essentially an argument based culture. We rarely strategise or do activist work within the community here. There’s some very good actual work being done by Bill and OAB on the Rojava thread over the same time period as the homeopathy conversation, but it looks to me like no-one else is engaging, not even the people that aren’t arguing about homeopathy. Just saying.

      The politics of science, and of health rights, are just as interesting to me as the politics of the Northland by election or Labour winning the next election. I’d be happy to put aside the former in favour of activism and strategising, but not sure about putting it aside in favour of just arguing about something else.

    • Anne 9.4

      And throw in the fluoride debate for good measure….

      Who else is getting turned off TS by these interminable and thoroughly boring tirades?

      Edit: @ weka
      Your ‘arguments’ and questions are worth a read because they are invariably based on sound thinking. You don’t indulge in mindless abuse and/or one-up-man-ship.

      I think it’s the latter swordfish is talking about.

    • + 1 Yep it was dire yesterday – “entrenched positions, never going to be convinced by the other side” – I’d be interested to know if any participants adjusted their thinking even a little by it all.

      • McFlock 9.5.1

        Sometimes I learn interesting things, or even find that a certain level of self-reflection in a new direction is prompted by debates that themselves might be intractable.

        A recent example was my attitudes towards Bain as opposed to Pora, and whether the contrast was due to my bias or a real difference between the cases. I actually ended up mulling over the contrasts, and whether my views were consistent, for a couple of days.

        And the background reading the debates bring up are often interesting. I learnt a bit more about the placebo effect, for example.

        But yeah, all that being said, point taken.

        • marty mars

          All good – I like a good debate too 🙂

          Some though are indeed intractable but at least you weren’t debating the dress colours…

    • Murray Rawshark 9.6

      Sometimes I despair.

  9. Philip Ferguson 10

    Capitalism’s hacks are always looking for someone else to blame when the system has problems. One that has been doing the rounds for some years now is that the baby boomers used up all the money.

    Capitalist ideology usually coincides in some way with reality, albeit in a highly distorted form; otherwise it wouldn’t work.

    The element of reality in this crock is that the baby boomers were a ‘lucky generation’ in that their early lives coincided with something quite rare in capitalism – a massive economic boom that was real (ie it was based on the real economy, not paper ‘values’) and it lasted about a quarter of a century.

    However, that boom ended in the early 1970s and the system is so clapped out now that it hasn’t been able to produce another boom like it. Booms these days are based largely on paper ‘values’ and centred in the artificial economy, so when the boom turns to bust there is a massive debt overhang.

    The exhaustion of capitalism means that the generation after the baby boomers had a more difficult time, while that generations’ children have the increasingly casualised and precarious work of today inflicted on them.

    Interesting article that looks at what has happened in Britain, but highly relevant to NZ, is by the excellent Mike Roberts:


    • Philip Ferguson 10.1

      And on the subject of scapegoating, here’s a big piece on the first anti-Chinese exclusionary legislation which began the White Zealand policy, later, after WW1, so favoured by the LIberals, Reform and Labour.


    • Sans Cle 10.2

      Phil – what is the neo-Marxist (not sure if that is the correct term to use) critique of different forms of capital? Can you point me to any good writing on the differentiation between natural, social, cultural and financial capital from a holistic perspective (i.e not each one taken as its own sub-discipline, which I am familiar with). I am looking to see whether there is an integrated or integrating theory of capital (from a 21st century perspective), but which retains the premises of Marx’s labour and capital distinction. Thanks in advance.

  10. alwyn 11

    Wellington’s Green Mayor Wade-Brown is totally losing the plot. In order to get a photo-op with New Zealand’s current favourite cricketer Brendon McCullum the Wellington rate-payers have been forced to cough up $5,750 for a piece of junk.
    I am sure McCullum will do his best to “accidentally” lose it at the first possible opportunity.
    Where do these politicians get the habit of regarding rate-payers, and tax-payers, money as something they can throw around on anything they feel like?
    That was OUR money Celia, it isn’t yours. I suggest you apologise to the Wellington public and pay up out of your own pocket.

    • b waghorn 11.1

      I wouldn’t say it has any thing to do with her greenness, the ability to waste public money seems to over come most as soon as they get near a cheque book.

      • alwyn 11.1.1

        I totally agree. It is a common trait.
        That is the reason for the general complaint in the third para “Where do these politicians get the habit … “, and the reference to tax-payers as well as rate-payers.
        It is just that this one is an example of hers and she has to cop the blame.

        • b waghorn

          I see it in farming the people who I have worked for that have some skin in the game are cautious and strategic in there spending but the couple of managers I’ve worked for that hold the purse can waste money in ways that just make me shake my head.
          You can’t beat someone who has run projects with there own money to know the value of a dollar.

      • North 11.1.2

        Like ThePMONZKey and his huge band of what Bronagh apparently calls “John’s Boys”, The DPS who go everywhere with him……even Hawaii……even the shitter I’m told. Just you know, to make sure he don’t end up down the dunny case of mistaken (perhaps not so much) identity.

        Didn’t their budget blow out in the last year or so ? When are we gonna see AirForceOneKey ? So TheChildKey can be like BFBarak ?

        Be a bastard won’t it when at the end of 2017 (sooner maybe) he has to hire Blackwater and pay for his vanities himself ?

        • Murray Rawshark

          Shearer likes mercenaries. Maybe he can get FJK a discount from Blackwater, or Xe or whatever it’s called now.

    • millsy 11.2

      From the looks of it, CWB seems to be hell bent on turning Wellington into some kind of hipster capital of NZ.

    • swordfish 11.3

      Happened a couple of months ago and looks like the decision had very little to do with Wade-Brown (she simply presented it as Mayor).

      So, no, not “completely losing the plot in order to get a photo-op”. I realise, of course, you Tories are still bitter about John Morrison’s defeat.

      • alwyn 11.3.1

        Do you have any evidence for your attempt to clear Celia of involvement?
        After all, if she really had any recognition at all that this was a total waste of money, (and it is one hell of a lot of money for a piece of rubbish isn’t it?), there would be a record of her voting against it and there would certainly have been an excuse of being out of town so she didn’t present it while dressed in the full robes of office.

        You also seem to “realise” things that are only your delusions don’t you.

        • swordfish

          You’re the one that needs to stump up with the evidence to back-up your sweeping assertion, alwyn.

          • alwyn

            Why don’t you just read the story I linked to.
            She sounds extremely enthusiastic about the whole thing.
            No hint there that she thought it was too much is there?
            She goes on and on about how appropriate it is doesn’t she.
            As a direct quote “”We’ve got a wonderful template for future honours” and “The chosen key was an appropriate recognition of a notable achievement for Wellingtonians and cricket fans everywhere, balanced with the prudent use of ratepayer funds” Direct quotes

            Now evidence that she just went along with it and only presented it because she was the Mayor, please?

        • Murray Rawshark

          “there would certainly have been an excuse of being out of town so she didn’t present it while dressed in the full robes of office.”

          No. Presenting it would be a mayoral responsibility and she takes her responsibilities seriously. Not like FJK who denies he’s PM at the Prime Ministerial press conference. Take some time over it, because the idea might be a bit novel.

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.4

      That was OUR money Celia, it isn’t yours. I suggest you apologise to the Wellington public and pay up out of your own pocket.

      It’s not your money, it’s the government’s money. Only the government gives it value, only the government issues it, only the government controls the acceptability and supply of it.

      You’re only a user of the money that the government approves of and creates.

  11. Philip Ferguson 12

    My last plug of the day.

    Excellent little piece by veteran leftie Don Franks:

    Every morning we get up and switch on the radio or tv or computer to see what’s happening out there.

    On a good day, the big national news will be just some harmless shite about a celeb gaining a kilo, or a cat stuck up a tree, those days are getting fewer.

    These days the sun is more likely to rise on a story of some workers getting shafted in a horrible way.

    Like the Auckland wharfies being pulled down by a boss who earns $400 an hour.

    Or some teachers, rest home workers, firefighters, cleaners, public servants – all the folks who make society function – being laid off, casualised, or forced to kiss arse and reapply for their positions, at worse pay and conditions.

    The prevailing social reaction to this brute manipulation of decent working people’s lives is, at best, a craven plea for sympathy. “Vulnerable workers should not be so treated”.

    I would so like to find the well-meaning union office idiot who coined the phrase “vulnerable workers” and kick their sorry arse until their nose bleeds a bucket.

    Pleading the case for “vulnerable workers” is on the same loser page . . .
    full at:

  12. Morrissey 13

    Could Mike Hosking’s NewstalkZB show be any more vacuous or witless?
    We need new people in media, they’re all out of touch plain stupid now.

    NewstalkZB, Friday 13 March 2015, 8:15 a.m.
    Mike Hosking, Toni Street, Tim Wilson

    A long, appalling record of making racist comments on air; chance after chance after chance; followed by more racist antics: any New Zealander will recognize Jeremy Clarkson‘s irresponsible, provocative, inflammatory behavior as a crass Essex yobbo version of the behavior of the former NewstalkZB breakfast host—and Mike Hosking’s predecessor—Paul Holmes. If Hosking, Toni Street or Tim Wilson had any gumption, they would have drawn that glaringly obvious comparison. But none of these people has any gumption; it’s as absent on this station as is courage, or honesty, or integrity, or wit….

    MIKE HOSKING: Okay: Jeremy Clarkson. Should he be fired or not?

    TIM WILSON: [speaking slowly, with gravitas] If his name was Charlie Hebdo, we wouldn’t even be asking that question.

    ….A genuinely baffled silence descends for a few moments. Even in the notoriously bewildered and determinedly ignorant confines of the NewstalkZB studio, that was one of the more bizarre statements to ever be uttered. Its crazed quality was only enhanced by the sad fact that Tim Wilson, who has written a “serious” novel and clearly fancies himself as an intellectual, was trying to be deadly serious….

    MIKE HOSKING: Hmmm. Mmm-kaaay.

    TONI STREET: You know what the whole Jeremy Clarkson affair reminded me of?

    MIKE HOSKING: No, what?

    TONI STREET: Jesse Ryder. He’s been given chance after chance after chance. And one of these days he’s going to do something really bad. Is the BBC prepared to risk it?

    MIKE HOSKING: Hmmmm. But Ryder amounted to nothing, whereas Clarkson has made something of himself.

    TONI STREET: Yes but…..

    … cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam…

    Commenting on this sort of vacuity, albeit in an American context, someone on the excellent Gawker site summed it up perfectly the other day….

    “What da fuq? Like I said, we need new people in media, they’re all out of touch plain stupid now.”

    • millsy 13.1

      Clarkson can be quite hardcase, but he ruins it by putting the boot into minorities, etc.

      • Morrissey 13.1.1

        He has also made some deeply offensive–and violent—comments against political dissidents.

        I agree he is often very funny, and a talented broadcaster.

        • Jono

          He is always punching down, thats the problem. Just like our own Henry and Hoskings, and most of the others we are subjected to on a daily basis.

          • Morrissey

            Punching down, and kissing up. He’s absolutely slavish in his displays of prostration before the wealthy and the powerful.

          • North

            If that “punching down” is yours Jono then how do I say perfection ?

            Isn’t that so true ? The ones we’re told are our media leading lights are so fucking into ‘punching down’. I personally couldn’t give a fuck about their need to ‘kiss up’ (thanks Morrissey). That’s their self-esteem and brown tongue burden. But the punching down. Bloody unforgivable !

            For my faults and I’m not really proud of it ssometimes I just lust for the cardboard people, the Holmes’, the Hoskings, the Henry’s to find themselves in places like the Timberlands Public Bar in Tokoroa (gone now) or the East Tamaki Tavern in Otara (also gone now)…….and have the guts (no) to serve up their shit to those fullas……

            When I talk cardboard people I do equally refer to John Phillip Key of course.

            Apropos whom Campbell Live tonight and the father of the triplets who died in Doha……asserting that John Phillip Key might care to “get some guts”. Funny how words can come back what ?

            • Murray Rawshark

              I have the same sort of lustful feelings, North. Those pricks should be ashamed of how they inspire them in us.

  13. jenny kirk 14

    The Nats have made another “blue” with their 10 bridges proposal for Northland – and I’m not sure if anyone other than Campbell Live has really picked up on it.

    One of the 10 “bridges” is the one-way lane between two magnificent kauri called Darby and Joan on the way to the Waipoua Forest. There’s no way this tiny bit of the road could be widened to make way for a two-lane “bridge”. And nor is it necessary. Driving between these two magnificent trees is a crucial part of the tourist experience in this forest.

    • b waghorn 14.1

      Awksuully there just old trees

      • jenny kirk 14.1.1

        yeah, right !

      • John Shears 14.1.2

        b waghorn. So they are old trees so what does your post actually suggest?

        • weka

          That John Key is ecologically illiterate.

        • b waghorn

          It was a poke at key s comment the other day about the waitakiri trees being old I should of put SARC or something after it.

          • greywarshark

            Yeah definitely put sarc – sometimes one feels raw after listening to and reading political bozos – the sense of proportion and humour just goes.

            • b waghorn

              I kind of thought that mangling the word actually was a give away that I was channeling key,but with my spelling I guess people might be forgiven for thinking that I’d spell it that way. 😉

          • North

            Do you HAVE to be such a sensitive wee sausage Mr Shears ?

            Those kauri are safe. It’s TheBigTreeKey who’s on the way out.

            • John Shears

              Mr Shears was my Fathers name my name is John.
              I was simply asking bw what he meant and he explained , thanks bw.

      • Scintilla 14.2.1

        Thanks for that, weka. I see further down that twitter thread that Patrick Reynolds, photographer artist dude , says there is 300 kauri in the path of the Holiday Highway. Oh Dear……

        Quick, someone bring the smelling salts for John Boy!

    • Lanthanide 14.3

      “and I’m not sure if anyone other than Campbell Live has really picked up on it.”

      Actually it was raised in Parliament first, and Campbell Live followed it up after that.

      “There’s no way this tiny bit of the road could be widened to make way for a two-lane “bridge”.”

      Having a two-lane bridge is cost-effective. Of course there’s no reason you can’t have two single-lane bridges, going in opposite directions, if you have a good reason to build it that way.

      • weka 14.3.1

        “Having a two-lane bridge is cost-effective”

        How so?

        • Lanthanide

          It’s cheaper to build 1 larger bridge than 2 smaller ones.

          Nippon Clippon for Auckland’s bridge, for example.

          • weka

            Ok, but what does that have to do with this conversation about an existing one lane bridge that Key wants to make into a two lane bridge that would involve cutting down 2 kauri trees?

            • Lanthanide

              I would have thought that would be fairly obvious.

              • weka

                huh, then why would I be asking? I don’t understand the point you are trying to make. Will you clarify?

                • jenny kirk

                  Lanthanide hasn’t clarified, Weka – but I’m wondering if he means that having a two-way bridge being more cost-effective is anything to do with logging trucks which I’ve seen trundle up the road past the Waipoua Forest and over that tiny one-lane strip between the two kauri trees.
                  ie it being more cost-effective to chop down two old kauri to make way for two-way road for logging trucks. Is this what you meant, Lanthanide @ ? ?

                  • weka

                    Thanks jenny. I’ve been assuming the widening of the bridges is mostly bribe and not something that’s really necessary, but then I think one lane bridges are normal even on quite busy roads. I don’t know the area though.

                • Lanthanide

                  If instead of tearing down the current bridge and replacing it with a 2 lane bridge, they build another single lane bridge, they won’t have to cut down or affect the trees in any way. This solution would ultimately cost more.

  14. Ennui 15

    Who out there is constantly seeing reality butt up against fiction? Headlines and opinions going contrary to what your senses tell you?

    Today’s Stuff editorial comments on keeping inflation at bay. Given the depths of recession the world economy really is in who honestly believes the official numbers? Recessions are by definition deflationary. There’s some trickery afoot however because somehow wages and prices do go up but purchasing power goes down. Inflation and deflation all at once. I can’t help but think that we are getting so detached from reality that we cannot accept the validity of anything our “leaders” and their media tell us.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      all these media outlets are fundamentally ignorant. Mix that in with needing to project and repeat the fashionable narrative of the day from the power elite, and you get stupid situations where a story on desperate homeless families is placed right next to one on the positive wealth effect of ever increasing house prices and how to make use of the market to secure your financial future.

  15. greywarshark 16

    Kerry Anne Walsh talked, in her regular report from Oz this morning, about the young jihadist from Australia. He had lost his mother recently and appeared to be a bit lost and with no firm beliefs.

    So perhaps he was someone open to a strong message and a feeling of belonging to something definite, and rather mysterious, both tangible and intangible.

    It reminded me of the magnetic attraction of many cults in past decades, particularly in the USA. Well-off parents virtually lost their children who stopped communicating and isolated themselves from their parents. They then had to hire people with experience to kidnap their children from the cults, and de-program them. Ones I heard about may have been professed Christians, some Catholics I think, but the children didn’t feel their faith strongly and meaningfully in their lives, and it almost seemed that having been part of a religion made them more usceptaible to be won over by another sect.

    It was an unpleasant cultural phenomenon which I haven’t heard much about recently, but no doubt is still continuing. There were the Moonies, the Jones group that went to South America, Charles Manson’s ‘family’ amongst many others. The thing that recurs in explanations seems to be that these are young people who don’t feel they have some firm path and moral life as a basis for their life, and are attracted to join a ‘gang’ where they will be accepted, follow rules, join in a united enterprise of some sort. This is the explanation given for many Maori gangs,

    I think this viewpoint gives a very valid explanation for recruitment of western youth as well as Muslim youth into this new wr of minds and power.

  16. So, our war effort in Iraq will be training Iraqis.

    This came up on my twitter feed this morning: US-Trained Iraqi Forces Investigated for War Crimes

    I wonder if any of the NZ press will pick it up – looks timely and extremely relevant to NZ’s current position.
    So probably not.

  17. An eye-opener this one

    The edible rubbish was uncovered in a national study Nelson City and Tasman District councils were involved in, surveying exactly what food New Zealanders were tossing in the trash.

    The study surveyed 1365 people and 1402 rubbish bins nationwide and discovered the average New Zealand family throws away more than $563 worth of edible food each year.

    In Nelson and Tasman, 19 families were chosen to take part in a kitchen diary project where they had to record all their food waste in a week. An average of 3.3kg of edible food was binned by each family during the week.

    What to do – I think we need to make it easier for people to get unwanted food to where it is wanted. Plus composting, worm farms, feeding pigs and chickens – all of these can make use of discarded food and recycle it back rather than just be biffed.

  18. Lanthanide 19

    Less than a week to go until “a prominent New Zealander” loses name suppression:

    Anyone know if “APNZ” has lodged an appeal?

    • rawshark-yeshe 19.1

      no, but I am happy to place a bet Key is pulling every trick out of his top drawer to ensure suppression continues.

      • Murray Rawshark 19.1.1

        I was thinking that a judge from the Whangarei High Court could be up for a knighthood soon, or maybe elevation to the Supreme Court? I don’t think there’s much FJK wouldn’t do.

  19. Lorraine 20

    Cameron Slater calling uninsured people in Christchurch “scum”.
    Maybe he should look in the mirror and see what that definition truly means. According to the urban dictionary definition. – It is hard to define the word, but it is basically used to describe someone so disgraceful that they are seen as the lowest form of life. “Worthlessness”, “waste of skin”, “dirt”. “Nothing”.

    Sounds very like Cameron Slater. So disgraceful i.e. a person with no ethics, compassion, a highly manipulative malicious person that is completely obsessed with their own self interest. Like the froth on the top of the contents of a sewer pipe. That description fits him like a glove.

    • vto 20.1

      Not only that but the fool is pig-ignorant wrong on the point he is making. 100% wrong.

      The issue of whether having private insurance should affect redzone offers from the crown was something looked at by the high court just 3-4weeks ago.

      Mr Blobby is flat out wrong.

    • North 20.2

      And……you know……issues not essentially physical which we’re not allowed to identify with any particularity.

    • millsy 20.3

      I hope Ryder pounds the shit out of him. It will make up for him choosing to perfect his drinking skills at the expense of his batting skills.

      • b waghorn 20.3.1

        I saw Ryder and the slug face up for one of those pre fight things they do in boxing ,Slater was in my opinion shifting him self I reckon Ryder will do him like a dinner.

  20. greywarshark 21

    @ Lorraine
    But I fear that only adds to his vanity. He has been very screwed up while growing up. There was a book called The Bad Seed in the 1950’s along the lines of people being ‘born bad’ but I don’t believe it. It’s children not taught how to deal with feelings of anger, failure or other’s taunts. They are not taught how to deal with them calmly but learn the art of bouncing them on to others. And then attack first before the others get a chance. Thus you get Slater. His parents and schooling have a lot to answer for.

    • Naturesong 21.1

      We were in the same class at intermediate school.

      I didn’t know him well, but I remember him as being well adjusted, not stupid, didn’t need attention, wasn’t a bully.
      I took me a while to reconcile the kid I remember with modern day Slater. I refused to believe it initially.
      It bothered me enough though that I sat down and worked out his age, and the school he was most likely to go to at that time.

      • greywarshark 21.1.1

        @ Naturesong
        Didn’t need attention etc. Was he one of those youngsters who are a bit repressed which is apparently the case in the bad violence in schoolkids in USA. Something triggers it off. Perhaps he needs a school environment to stay on the straight and narrow. It’s a puzzle.

        • Naturesong

          Nope, seemed like a perfectly normal kid.

          He didn’t seem repressed, but we did have different circles, I hung out with the other kids that liked cricket, no idea who he spent his time with.

          My guess is that the cause of a change that fundamental is likely to very close to him, likely family or loved one – be it a death, or abuse or whatever, who knows.

          But something clearly changed him. May even be the cause of his depression.

          Anyway, enough time spent on speculation about Slater.
          While I’m sorry that he’s suffered in his life, I am resolutely opposed to the poisonous influence he has on public discourse in NZ (which mostly involves debunking the WO lines my brother repeats)

          • greywarshark

            @ Naturesong
            That’s a bummer. Trying to insert a little reason into the mess of stuff being transmitted by WO is a dirty job so thank goodness you are trying to do it.

  21. greywarshark 22

    On the news this morning – Otago hospital meals may be prepared in Auckland and trucked or flown down to Dunedin! This is another sign of the crazy economic system we use. Cheapness and efficiency is all. And presumably they have got a cheaper price in Auckland. I wonder what nutritional food will be left off to allow the decent profit margin.
    Or which possible local company in Otago is being undercut in order to create a monopoly..

    Recently Orwell and Huxley were referred to here in the context of efficiency.
    I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency.

    More thoughts on efficiency. and decision making.
    Seek out critical thinking and diverse skill sets. “To avoid misinterpretation means valuing not only math and engineering but also social sciences and humanities. … Without a balance of critical thinking, business knowledge and smart analytics tools, we’re in danger of making the wrong decision much more efficiently, quickly, and with far greater impact.”
    Insist on ethical data use and transparent disclosure. “As organizations become more data centric, for their own benefit as well as their customers’, they must also look closely at the affirmative and passive decisions they make about [how they use and analyze data] and how transparently they disclose these actions.”
    Reward and reinforce humility and learning. “The world is just starting to come to terms with the impact of data ubiquity [the most difficult impact of which] is that it radically undermines traditional methods of analysis and laughs at our desire for certainty. [Enterprises must develop an appetite for continuous learning, whether the goal is to sell a pair of shoes or to help prevent cancer.]

    • Pasupial 22.1

      The Southern District Health Board is yet to decide whether to approve the proposal. The meals on wheels would be frozen, and reheated in local hospital kitchens.
      Patient meals would be prepared on-site, using components driven ”around New Zealand” in trucks…

      Asked how often the meals would arrive in trucks, Compass said it was yet to be determined.
      Asked what contingency plans were in place for adverse weather, Compass said it was part of planning work that would happen with the health board…

      Service and Food Workers Union organiser Anna Huffstutler, of Southland, said producing meals on wheels in Auckland reduced the amount of work available for local staff.
      She also questioned the logistics of transporting meals during a civil defence emergency.
      ”What’s the back-up plan?”

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        What do the evidenced based conventional medicine types say about this move? Where is the evidence for and against in terms of patient health outcomes? Anything?

        • freedom

          healthcare supplied by the lowest bidder – what could possibly go wrong 😉

        • McFlock


          • Colonial Rawshark

            traditional Chinese, Maori, Indian (including Indian Nations) and other healing traditions have plenty to say on the importance of food and its correct contents and preparation for people recovering from illnesses and injury. Just saying.

            • McFlock

              Yes, “conventional medicine” completely ignores the importance of nutrition. /sarc

              Thankfully, all we need to do is dilute one meal 30 times and we can feed the entire hospital.

            • Chooky

              +100 CR…”traditional Chinese, Maori, Indian (including Indian Nations) and other healing traditions have plenty to say on the importance of food”…. …Western medicine has a lot to learn from these traditions

            • Psycho Milt

              traditional Chinese, Maori, Indian (including Indian Nations) and other healing traditions have plenty to say on the importance of food and its correct contents and preparation for people recovering from illnesses and injury.

              If only western medicine had grasped the idea that nutrition could have effects on health, eh? What a shameful fucking lost opportunity right there…

              • weka

                The fat hypothesis hasn’t worked out too well though has it.

                Tell me how many hours of a medical degree are spent on nutrition.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I suspect the decisions at this level are made by MBAs and accountants. Money is the only outcome they recognise.

      • weka 22.1.2

        I’d like to know if they intend to remove the hospital kitchens and then what they will do in 10 years time when the transport costs make Aucklad meals not cost effective due to Peak Oil

        • McFlock

          If the kitchens are any decent size, they’ll probably be stripped for space. Which will almost certainly involve blown costs when they find asbestos or something else that wasn’t factored into the equation. And then eventually they’ll have to build a new structure anyway, so it’s all for nought.

          Then the board will be locked in to contracting for offsite cooking, be it in auckland or dunedin. But the annual sticker costs are cheaper, so they’ll do it.

          And meanwhile otago continues to be fucked by an idiotic per capita funding system (as well as a sociopathic IT fraudster).

  22. Pasupial 23

    Now there are four contenders, but I’m still picking Hague (even though my personal preference is for Hughes, Tava is even more unlikely now that the Blue-Green vote will be split):

    A first-term MP with a corporate business background has joined the race for the Green Party co-leadership.

    James Shaw promises that despite his inexperience as an MP, he is the “right person at the right time” for the job.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      This contest will be a great measure of the blue green sentiment in the GP.

      • The Chairman 23.1.1

        @ Colonial Viper

        And a concern for the left if that sentiment is shown to be strong.

        The Greens help to keep Labour left, thus moving further right will remove that handbrake, allowing Labour to move further right.

    • Naturesong 23.2

      I’m glad Shaw is running, I’d like to have a better look at how he conducts himself and the way he approaches policy discussions.
      He may be a good leader in the future, he’s signalled that he wants to be.

      Although I identify more with Hughes than Hague, I wont be voting for him.

      Hague has a long and honerable history, and to my mind it the most able of all the condenders to lead the Greens at this time. He currently has my vote.

      But …. if Graham put his hand up I’m done. I wouldn’t be able to choose between those two.

      • Pasupial 23.2.1

        The Shaw camp’s position seems to be that:

        He wasn’t an MP when he ran in Wellington Central last year yet more people there voted Green than any other electorate in the country. The Greens need to grow their vote if they’re going to break out of their marginal position in Parliament, and James can do that. Some of the other candidates in the race have (many) more years of Parliamentary experience than him – but the Greens already have a very experienced co-leader in Metiria Turei.

        The graph showing the Wellington Central vote is quite impressive – outperforming even Rongotai (Norman) and Dunedin North (Turei). However as the first commentor to the post (phil) says:

        that’s a very poor starting point for a data-based argument. Wellington Central is choc-full of green votes because the demographics of the seat heavily lean to young urban liberals.

        It also disregards the work that Kedgley and her team did in growing the GP vote from; 6,530 in 2005, to; 8,494 in 2008. Shaw, and his team, did fine work in building upon this in; 2011 to 10,903, but frankly stalled in; 2014 at 11,545. Meanwhile Shaw’s own electorate vote dropped from; 5,225 in 2011, to; 5,077 in 2014. By comparison, Kedgley’s EV in 2008 was; 5,971.

        • I feel cagey about giving Shaw too much credit for the Green party vote in Wellington Central. Based on nothing more than having lived there a few years (and been a Robertson/Greens split-voter in 2008) I’d assume a much bigger factor is the number of students/young liberal folk who either couldn’t bring themselves to party-vote Labour for whatever reason or who wanted to ensure that a Labour government, if one eventuated, needed to go into coalition with the Greens rather that, say, Winston. (This may reflect my own thinking at the time!)

  23. Colonial Viper 24

    billions of litres of Calif. fracking water full of hazardous chemicals

    • rawshark-yeshe 24.1

      and coming to a fresh water table near you … courtesy of the lovely boy bridges.

    • greywarshark 24.2

      And while I was looking at the unpalatable drinking water piece I saw a bit on Russian fighter cowboy-style off Norway. From December 2014.

      Two top guns came into very close contact when a Russian MiG-31 aircraft overtook a Norwegian F-16 fighter and cut practically in front of it, forcing the NATO pilot to veer away sharply.
      The Russian jet passed the F-16 within a mere 20 meters, causing the Norwegian pilot to exclaim, “What the hell!” before darting away hastily.

      Norway’s Air Force had to scramble Russian military planes 43 times this year and 42 times in 2013. The number has been consistent over the last five years.
      When NATO fighter jets intercept Russian bombers and other warplanes, or vice versa, pilots are usually polite and keep their distance. The previous incident with hazardous proximity took place back in 2012, when a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet intercepted and approached “uncomfortably close” to a Norwegian Orion reconnaissance aircraft over the Barents Sea.

      The Mikoyan MiG-31 (NATO code name Foxhound) is a Soviet-design supersonic interceptor, the world’s fastest aircraft in service today.

      After the US Air Force decommissioned Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft, which achieved a speed of slightly more than Mach 3.2 (3,540kph), the MiG-31 with its 3,000kph remains the world’s fastest manned aircraft in service.

      Further headlines for March 2015:
      * Russian battleships in the English Channel, say they’re training
      * Argentina and UK Falklands spat spiced up by Russian jets.
      * Long range air patrols put Russian strategic bombers near Guam
      * Northern Europe beefs up air patrols to oppose “Russian invasion”
      * Russia to expand aviation patrol mission to Gulf of Mexico – defence minister
      plus another six items all about Russian defence moves

      This blog is called RT Question More – it’s strange that all the items were about Russian behaviours. It’s the general news. There was little about NATO moves to be aggressive. I question whether it’s a Janus-type blog, looks one way to me.

      • Colonial Rawshark 24.2.1

        Hmmmm, RT receives most of its funding by the Russian government. If there is news on some Russian military exercise or introduction of some new weapon system, I presume it means that they want the west to know about it.

        For more than 10 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russians could no longer afford to conduct regular nuclear submarine or strategic bomber patrols. They relatively recently restarted those patrols. Its been portrayed in the west as being “provocative” or “unhelpful.”

        What is very rarely mentioned is that AFAIK the Americans never stopped doing their strategic nuclear patrols through that entire time.

        • greywarshark

          Well that’s interesting. I wondered at the heavy coverge of Russian stuff. But I was not able to look further, so thanks for info. Perhaps they are going to report their own stuff so that the west doesn’t only look at their own biased news wfor updates and background.

  24. Morrissey 25

    Mora and Moffett’s nasty double-act today was like something out of Maoist China.
    Lisa Scott’s vacuous laughter played an important role too.

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Friday 13 March 2015, 3:45 p.m.
    Jim Mora, Steve McCabe, Lisa Scott, Julie Moffett

    Regular sufferers of this dismal chat show will probably have gritted their teeth listening to Lisa Scott before. She never has much to say, but she is adept at laughing supportively—no matter how depraved the discussion gets….

    Open mike 11/12/2013

    Open mike 04/12/2013

    Open mike 19/07/2013

    Today, she was even more inane and giggly than normal. But her empty-headed snorting was important to offset the nasty political smearing that the host and his producer were engaged in….

    JIM MORA: What the World is Talking About with Julie Moffett shortly. WHERE ARE OUR UNIVERSITIES on the latest reputation rankings? Good question. The sexism of opening doors for women. More bad news about smoking weed when you are young; you end up with part of your brain bent. The biggest fish ever bent by a rod! Ever caught by rod. The new stand-alone Star Wars film gets a title. To what extent nutrition can prevent dementia: new findings. And what we’d call products if we named them literally. On the Panel today, Lisa Scott. How would you BE, Lisa?
    LISA SCOTT: Really incredibly caffeinated. Ha! How are YOU?
    MORA: You’re highly caffeinated as you join us!
    LISA SCOTT: Highly! I could be toxic. Don’t draw my blood at any stage, Jim!
    MORA: And Steve McCabe, who’s usually here at this juncture, but not today. The possibilities with Cyclone Pam, ahhhh, Terry Pratchett’s thoughts on aging, the subject is revived of the effects on the young of music videos, especially violence in music vids, and, errr, who’s saluting as we run the new ideas for our national symbol up the flag-pole? With Lisa and Steve, after four. ….

    For a couple of minutes, he reads out some listeners’ correspondence about homeopathy, which was discussed yesterday, then a poem and a letter about the Titirangi kauri controversy. Lisa Scott giggles winsomely several times….

    MORA: But it’s ten to four, and Julie, I think we’d better unleash your stories.
    JULIE MOFFETT: Well, THIS one has got Russia’s internet abuzz. People are questioning: is Vladimir Putin DEAD?
    LISA SCOTT: A ha ha!
    MORA: How long since he’s been sighted?
    JULIE MOFFETT: It’s been eight days.
    MORA: Has it really?
    JULIE MOFFETT: Eight days now! And the last time he was seen—I think this could be a clue!—the last time he was seen was with a group of women at the Kremlin on March the eighth—
    LISA SCOTT: [snickering] He, he!
    JULIE MOFFETT: That’s not eight days, is it?—celebrating International Women’s Day.
    MORA: It’s FIVE days!
    LISA SCOTT: He he!
    MORA: He’s only been missing five days!
    JULIE MOFFETT: Still quite a long time though!
    MORA: So the last time he made a public appearance was on International Women’s Day.
    LISA SCOTT: He he! They knocked him off! That’s brilliant!
    MORA: A hur hur hur hur hur hur hur!
    JULIE MOFFETT: Possiblyyyyyy… Ah, yeah, apparently there’s a huge stir in, ahh, Russia. Aaahm, “Путин мертв”—“Putin is dead”—is a trending search across Russia.
    LISA SCOTT: He he!
    JULIE MOFFETT: Ahhh, “hashtag Putin is dead” is ex-PLODING on Twitter—
    LISA SCOTT: He he he!
    JULIE MOFFETT:—and blogs have been posting serious claims about this as well.
    LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha!
    JULIE MOFFETT: One says that, ahhhh, Putin’s, ahhhh, actually suffered a STROKE and he’s in a Moscow hospital—
    MORA: They’re interviewing their typewriters, we know this don’t we!
    JULIE MOFFETT: Ha ha ha ha! That’s right! And, ahhhhmm, other people are saying that he’s got advanced CANCER! So this is really, a bit like the Paul McCartney Abbey Road conspiracy.
    MORA: Which he developed in the last five days. This advanced form of cancer.
    LISA SCOTT: He hasn’t come and said “Rumors of my demise” at any point?
    MORA: He’s just gonna stage a big, you know—
    JULIE MOFFETT: Comeback.
    MORA: Yeah. Bare-shirted.
    LISA SCOTT: A ha ha ha! Yeah, it always is!
    MORA: Is there any–I mean, are there any complicating factors which add any credence to the supposition—
    JULIE MOFFETT: Well, he HAS been canceling meetings! So he’s, ahhh, cancelled a meeting with the new, ahhhh, head of the office that used to be the KGB, ahmmmmm, and he has also cancelled a trip to, errr, Kazakhstan as well.
    MORA: Oooohh, that could be serious, ‘cos of course we know that he likes to go to Kazakhstan.
    JULIE MOFFETT: [chortling] He’s DYING to go to there! Literally.
    So there’s nothing to it really.
    JULIE MOFFETT: N-n-no, it doesn’t SOUND like it, but hey! You never know! Maybe he’ll come back and he’s had a facelift!
    LISA SCOTT: A ha ha!
    MORA: Interesting. But five days, I suppose, for Vladimir Putin is a long time.
    JULIE MOFFETT: Mmm, mmmm. Mmm.
    MORA: Okay.


    JULIE MOFFETT: Ummmmm, the top one hundred universities in the world by reputation has been done.
    MORA: Interesting way of ranking it. This is the Times Educational Supplement one, isn’t it.
    JULIE MOFFETT: Yeah. And there are no New Zealand universities in it.
    MORA: Yeah what’s happened to our varsities?

    ….et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam….

    I didn’t have the stomach to listen to any more of this crap, but I note that later in the program they were scheduled to feign seriousness and “discuss” the effects of music videos on young people. Perhaps Mora, Moffett and Scott would have been better to examine themselves instead, and consider whether New Zealanders’ brains are rotted by listening to the kind of nasty and moronic banter they served up on The Panel preshow this afternoon.

    • North 25.1

      Steve McCabe (was it?) wasn’t bad though Morrissey. Had a bit of a spray about ThePonceKey……to be answered, mockingly, patronisingly by Mora with “Well YOU”VE nailed your colours to the mast Steve McCabe !”

      Whereas in response to Key worshippers like that insufferable political science graduate now Beer Expert Neil Miller Old Suckarse Jimmy just goes on being The Nicest Man In The World.

      • Morrissey 25.1.1

        Steve McCabe (was it?) wasn’t bad though Morrissey. Had a bit of a spray about ThePonceKey……to be answered, mockingly, patronisingly by Mora with “Well YOU”VE nailed your colours to the mast Steve McCabe !”

        Thanks for that, North. I listened only to the part I transcribed, and Steve McCabe had not arrived in the studio at that point. I have generally been most impressed with his contributions in the past. Like Dita Di Boni, he is not afraid to speak clearly and honestly, and has a limited tolerance for fools.

        Whereas in response to Key worshippers like that insufferable political science graduate now Beer Expert Neil Miller Old Suckarse Jimmy just goes on being The Nicest Man In The World.

        Yes, his bias is irrefutable. He told me in an email a few years ago that he lets “both sides have their say.” That was untrue then, and it’s even more untrue now.

  25. greywarshark 26

    Morrissey you deserve a medal. This is light magazine stuff for airheads. They should stick to it and not get into grown up matters. It’s dinner table chat stuff as no doubt heard at their houses, and not taxing on people who don’t like to be taxed. Hah,hah…laughs winsomely.

  26. Clemgeopin 27

    John Key is NZ’s ‘number one eco-terrorist’, says campaigner.

    Read more here:

  27. Hateatea 28

    And New Zealand wins the cricket! 🙂

  28. Lorraine 29

    Auckland Council’s poor judgement on what it wastes ratepayers money on.
    It infuriates me to hear of another complete waste our rates money on something that provides no benefit to ratepayer. i.e. the thousands wasted on an image consultant to teach staff to dress better.
    They don’t seem to think they are accountable to us at all.
    Who makes these stupid decisions. They should be sacked.

  29. the pigman 30

    It seems surprising that no-one has linked to this yet:

    When I saw this, I assumed it was from some satirical news website like the onion *snicker* or the civilian. How wrong I was.

    Definitely Abbott’s “presenting snapper in Parliament” moment.


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    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
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  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
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  • Exclusive language
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  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
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  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
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    16 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    17 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    17 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    19 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
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  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
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  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
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  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
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  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
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  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
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  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
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  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago