Open mike 13/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 13th, 2014 - 94 comments
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94 comments on “Open mike 13/04/2014 ”

  1. karol 1

    Some interesting articles in the Sunday news about the NZ of “haves”, “have nots”, inequalities and high end bludgers.

    Colin Espiner (who I always thought leaned to the right), spells out what Bennett and the Nats are doing with their bennie bashing – and compares it with tax evaders, etc.“Beneficiary bashing just too easy”

    It’s estimated welfare fraud costs the country between $20 million and $40m a year. Tax evasion, about which the Government has much less to say, has been estimated to cost the country anywhere from $1 billion to $6b a year.

    Why the double standard? Could it be that beneficiaries are an easy target? I hope it isn’t that simple, because Bennett is a better minister than that, and should have more empathy with those at the bottom of the heap, given her back story.

    So why else shout “look over there!” right at the moment?

    An NZ Herald article on people who have gone bankrupt and headed overseas where they can avoid paying anything back to debtors.

    An article by Morgan Godfery in the Herald on Sunday, on the celebrity royal tour that is a “colonial hangover”. He’s for a republic.

    Also interesting is that at the bottom of the Godfery artilce, is an editorial note:

    • The Herald on Sunday will publish a range of different views “out of leftfield” over the next few months.

    which suggests they don’t usually have many op eds from the left….?

    • Disraeli Gladstone 1.1

      I suspect their a view of an “institutional left” and a “out of leftfield left”. So Josie Pagini, Stuart Nash, these people the Herald regard as being the left they talk to and that people who know. So when they allow Morgan Godfery to write an article (and he is an absolutely brilliant and articulate writer), the Herald gets to feel good about giving these people a chance since no knows of them.

      Except, it’s bullshit, because we do know of them. They just don’t fit in the Herald’s box.

    • Tigger 1.2

      I suspect Espiner is simply trying to look ‘balanced’ due to his new job (cuff the right so he can skewer the left) but I’ll take the hits on National when I get them. Nice closing lines.

      “But the Government doesn’t want you to think about this, let alone get angry about it. No. It would much rather you focused your attention on an ancient, lazy stereotype.

      After all, beneficiaries can’t afford defamation lawyers. And they probably don’t vote National.”

    • geoff 1.3

      Colin Espiner said “I hope it isn’t that simple, because Bennett is a better minister than that,”

      What planet is he on?

      • marsman 1.3.1

        Exactly my thoughts too geoff. She’s incompetent as far as Social Welfare is concerned, she may be good at the neoliberal ‘Welfare is a problem which we need to get rid’ bullshit but she doesn’t give a shit about the real problem which is poverty. She is an arrogant piece of shit to boot.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          It’s not that she’s incompetent – it’s that she’s a psychopath.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        Planet Key.

    • Trying to reduce benefit fraud does not mean IRD are not trying to address tax dodging and repayment avoidance. For example:

      Management of Debt and Outstanding Returns (M57)
      Taking follow-up action where returns are outstanding and where payments are overdue, including providing people with assistance on the actions they need to take to meet their obligations.

      2007/08 Budgeted $85,097,000
      2008/09 Estimated Actual $88,352,000
      2009/10 Estimated Actual $90,335,000
      2010/11 Estimated Actual $100,229,000
      2011/12 Estimated Actual $109,476,000
      2012/13 Estimated Actual $116,874,000
      2013/14 Budget $124,896,000

      http://www.politicheck.org.nz/factchecks/2014/4/9/are-national-doing-nothing-about-tax-fraud

      The IRD annual report details how they address compliance and avoidance.

      • Bill 1.4.1

        What’s your point Pete? You really do need to get a fcking grip!

        No-one is saying or has said that IRD do nothing to track tax. What is being said over and over again is that those on welfare entitlements are being vilified, that the sum totals involved are exaggerated, and that the punishments meted out are far harsher than for tax dodgers – who cost society much, much more money, while enjoying a free ride in the arena of manufactured public opinion.

        • Pete George 1.4.1.1

          Settle down Bill.

          I often hear people claiming National harasses beneficiaries but does nothing about tax dodging/evasion.

          @DavidCunliffeMP

          Welfare fraud, $23 million = National obsession. Tax dodging, $6 BILLION = National doing nothing.

          And that “Tax dodging, $6 BILLION” is at best misleading and exaggerated.

          “those on welfare entitlements are being vilified, that the sum totals involved are exaggerated, and that the punishments meted out are far harsher than for tax dodgers”

          Can you substantiate that? If you can I’ll post on it.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1.1

            And Pete George rushes to National’s rescue – again.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.1.1.1.1

              And once again wastes the Left’s time demanding to be shown proof of long-established facts.

              The sky is blue? Can you substantiate that, it looks grey to me.

              • freedom

                like the srylands the other day, wasting time and saying I had obvious mental health problems because I believed over 200,000 kids in NZ live in poverty.

                (Which I admit I was annoyed by, seeing as he knows full well I have admitted on this blog that I live with PTSD and Chronic Depression. So thought it somewhat of a cheap shot.)

            • lurgee 1.4.1.1.1.2

              There is still a valid point.

              The actual figures for revenue lost through tax evasion are between $1 billion and $6 billion per year.

              (As quoted in the NZ Herald last year: “$1 billion to $6 billion a year – is the amount calculated to be lost to government coffers through tax evasion each year.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10871292)

              By using the $6 billion, Cunliffe immediately gives the other side a ‘Get out of jail free’ card because they can attack the figure, not the point.

              As happened here.

              Just another example of a good idea poorly executed.

              • McFlock

                So if he’d said $1bil, they wouldn’t try to quibble over the number?

                Look, it’s tory playbook page 2: any number the opposition comes up with, no matter how robust, quibble over it and claim that the slightest debatability in the amount negates the entire argument.

                All you can do is let themexhaust the tactic so it no longer works. Getting into a debate about the minutae derails the wider argument.

          • Bill 1.4.1.1.2

            those on welfare entitlements are being vilified

            Just from the past day or so Pete….

            http://www.writehanded.org/blog/2014/04/10/jet-setting-beneficiaries-how-lucky-are-we/
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/9918632/Life-on-the-wings-of-Paulas-dole-is-a-breeze
            http://www.thelittlepakeha.net/2014/04/04/wrestling-with-the-narrative/

            that the sum totals involved are exaggerated

            I’m not about to dig back through the archive for the discussion and the links. Suffice to say that if a person on entitlements is ‘had up’ for fraud, they are done for the entire total of their entitlement and not merely the portion that has been fraudulently claimed. And it is that sum total that is reported in the media.

            punishments meted out are far harsher than for tax dodgers

            There was a lot of commentary on a recent study highlighting the frequency of jail time for ‘beneficiaries’ versus tax fraudsters. Again, I’m not about to run around finding it. I’m sure you can use google search. Also note…tax dodgers who do jail time, do it in lieu of repayment while those of entitlements do jail time and can then be chased up by WINZ to repay the entire sum total of all their entitlements (not just the portion of their claim that was fraudulent)

            • RedBaronCV 1.4.1.1.2.1

              Pete seems to be confusing those who have had an assessment or default assessment issued which gives the figures he quoted (and amounts due as debt) with aggressive evasion where amounts are omitted from returns or schemes set up to gut tax.

              On a completely different angle would Lprent be able to put in one of those thread closers like email inboxes have. Then we could just close Pete’s threads up so we don’t have to read them.

          • NZ Femme 1.4.1.1.3

            “…Can you substantiate that? If you can I’ll post on it..”

            This is substantiated through the research of Dr Lisa Marriott, Senior Lecturer in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Victoria University.

            “Her analysis of court data on the most serious offending from 2008–2011 shows that 22 per cent of people found guilty of tax offences received a custodial sentence while 60 per cent of benefit fraudsters were imprisoned.

            Dr Marriott’s investigation also shows tax crimes are more costly, with those given custodial sentences committing offences valued at just over $800,000. Benefit fraud averaged $67,000 per offender.

            Benefit fraud cost New Zealand $22 million in 2010, or around $5 for each New Zealander. While it is difficult to get accurate figures for tax evasion, the Tax Justice Network estimates New Zealand missed out on more than $7.4 billion of tax revenue in 2011, or around $1,500 per New Zealander.

            “So the figures for tax evasion are phenomenal while they are relatively small for benefit fraud,” says Dr Marriott, “but we have quite different attitudes to the two crimes.”

            http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/research/projects#MarsdenFastStart

            • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1.3.1

              +111

            • Pete George 1.4.1.1.3.2

              Thanks, that’s helpful.

              One issue I’ve seen mentioned is that welfare fraud is often relatively simple and most evidence can be found within Government data from social welfare and IRD, so presumably is easier to detect and easier to prosecute. Tax evasion can be far more complex and easier to hide in private company records (or absence of records).

              It’s more difficult to recover huge amounts of money than small amounts in any sort of fraud case.

              Tax evasion covers a wide range of situations and demographics, from corporate level fraud to individuals failing to report income avoiding income tax and GST, and paying cash for work avoiding PAYE and ACC.

              None of this excuses either type of fraud.

              My opinion is that large scale fraud should result in larger sentences.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It’s ok, National: Petty Officer George has found an excuse: those fruit are just too hard to reach.

              • Poission

                My opinion is that large scale fraud should result in larger sentences

                The use of multinationals by the US and other regimes to make their companies more competitive (read subsdise) is the fundamental cause of financial instability (read minsky instability) and that this is done in plain sight ie not hidden should be ringing alarm bells in every jurisdiction where tax takes are not meeting expectations (read forecasts)

                http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-06/tax-expert-explains-how-apple-pays-193m-tax-on-27b-revenue/5303426

                • This is a world wide problem that needs world wide solutions. We can’t address this on our own.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    No excuses here, no sirree. Just some hand-wringing.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yes we can. Sure, we may see a slight decline in imports but that’s nothing compared to being constantly stolen from. We’d probably see an increase in products made here as well.

                    • srylands

                      No we can’t.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, SSpylands, we can.

                      You can’t, because you’re an idiot.

                    • vto

                      I don’t know if srylands is an idiot mcflock, I think he simply has no ability to think critically, which is a genuine shame.

                    • srylands

                      No we can’t. Forget it. It is not happening under any government. You are an idiot McFluck. And an extremely rude one.

                      What are you going to do that does not breach WTO rules genius? Or our bilateral tax treaties?

                      Grow up.

                    • bad12

                      Sod off SSLands you raving little Nazi…

                    • McFlock

                      SSpylands, I’m sure even you could figure out how to address tax evasion across the board in NZ without contravening the WTO. It doesn’t need to involve access restrictions or subsidies.

                      You pointless waste of space.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      What are you going to do that does not breach WTO rules genius?

                      Drop out of the WTO. Belonging to it obviously isn’t doing us any good.
                      Drop out of the World Bank as well and set up our own banking system thus removing any need for foreign money.
                      Put in place reciprocal tariffs that means that trade is fair.

                      There, done.

                      Unilateral action will lead to us becoming disconnected from globalisation.

                      And this is bad how?

                      Oh, that’s right, it’s not.

                  • Poission

                    We can get our own house in order by eliminating them in NZ (there is no financial advantage for NZ except for the laundromats run by law firms)

                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10844389

                    That you could do it relatively fast,and introduce sunset clauses (event horizon for the black holes) for trusts would show that NZ could by a leader ,Europe would follow very quickly.

              • freedom

                The rate of convictions is one thing, but the regularity of the incarceration of convicted benefit fraudsters compared to convicted Income/business tax fraudsters is eye-watering in its contrasted realities Pete.

                and btw, home detention in the nice house with sky and internet and delivery to your door of whatever you want to buy is hardly what those in stuck in 23 hours a day lockdown would call incarceration.

                Why not get Politicheck to do a little work on that particular subject?

                • That’s why I’m engaging on it here.

                  • McFlock

                    Why should we do your work for you? You’ll only fuck it up later.

                  • Bill

                    No Pete. Going by the nature of your comments, you’re engaging in order to evaluate opinions or formulate opinions of your own. And that has got absolutely nothing to do with facts.

                    Facts do not need to be dressed up. They need to be stated within their correct context – end.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      +1

                    • Bull Bill, you’re making up assumptions.

                      Social media can be an effective way of identifying different angles to issues. Yes facts are facts but finding all pertinent facts can be quite difficult. Crowd sourcing angles can help, sometimes substantially.

                    • Bill

                      Pete. I’m not making any fucking assumptions whatsoever. I’m simply reading the content of your fucking comments.

                      Think about this Pete. Facts are (as you acknowledge) facts. Yet you say you are seeking different angles to issues and that crowd sourcing angles can (sometimes) substantially help in finding facts. I mean, seriously!?

                      If the fact is false, it’s false. If it’s being used in a misleading way, it’s misleading. If it’s being used out of context or being divorced from other pertinent facts, then it’s misleading, yes?

                      What I, or anyone else thinks about fields of thoughts surrounding facts is completely and utterly irrelevant. As I pointed out when you first popped up as being prominent within this fact checking malarky – you lack the critical faculties or approach necessary for such a role. Your latest comment just underlines that contention in big shouty red marker pen.

                    • Bill, I don’t know what you look for on blogs and in social media but I see a lot of very good information and facts, often from experts in their fields. People are often happy to provide information and links to facts if you ask, even here sometimes. Of course it’s not the only place to look but it can be useful – as has been demonstrated above. The more people providing input – and constructive criticism – the better.

                      In politics sometimes the only way of getting pertinent information is if someone tells you. The more people you ask and the more places you look the better the chance of finding out. Especially in a modern interactive world.

                  • Hamish

                    You’re engaging on here because you’re a shameless, attention seeking nitwit.

                    • bad12

                      Lolz, Petes heavily into being transparent you know, that’s why you have just seen right through Him…

    • vto 1.5

      Espiners most interesting comment concerned South Canterbury Finance.

      $1,700,000,000 paid to crappy investors in SCF.
      That is 57 years worth of benefit fraud…. 57 years worth …..
      Key and English knew on the day they were elected that SCF was going to fail. Why then, was the Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme amended by Key and English to allow SCF to continue to participate? THIS IS THE QUESTION FOLKS

      This is the single biggest fraud conducted in NZ – the fraud of Key and English in letting SCF participate.

      THIS IS THE FRAUD

      57 YEARS WORTH

      (apologies for the shouting, but it is needed)

      • dv 1.5.1

        Deposit Guarantee Scheme amended by Key and English to allow SCF to continue to participate? THIS IS THE QUESTION FOLKS

        AND against treasury advice.

      • tc 1.5.2

        Yup, SCF has a stench about it that should be dug up when the opportunity arises.

        Be a good reminder to all NZ what this regime has been really all about and just maybe slap a bit of that gullability out of the sheeple.

        Shonkey and cohorts will have covered their tracks and the trail is cooling but I dont care if noone gets fingered, NZ needs to see how the nact blagged nearly 2bill easy as pie.

  2. Once was Tim 2

    “Colin Espiner (who I always thought leaned to the right)…..”
    I’ve noticed amongst some of my Natzi/right wing acquaintances that they’re becoming a little embarrassed by their own excessive greed and troughing as that gap widens. The other day as I walked through Wellington with one such and we passed a number of closed down premises, I stopped to talk to one of the growing number of ‘beggars’ to learn their story. They had to admit that they’re not the exceptions spin doctors would like us to believe.
    (Btw – not only are they beginning to question their excess, but they profess to hold ‘Christian values’)

    • JanM 2.1

      Though no longer adhering to the dogma, I was raised in a Christian household in which care and concern for others was paramount. This was before that ghastly American religious concept of personal wealth and entitlement crept in to our society – it’s like a cancer, and anything less aligned to the original concepts of Christianity is hard to imagine.

    • North 3.1

      What is painfully clear is that Paula Bennett is by ommission at least, a dirty liar.

      Add to that ‘a bully’. Add to that ‘a sociopath’ who advisedly foments hatred against the weakest and poorest in society. And for what ? For her personal advancement and her personal power.

      I hope there are sermons being delivered around the country this morning which brand her for what she is – a dirty liar, a bully, a sociopath. I borrow JanM’s final sentence in her comment @ 2.1 above.

      • JanM 3.1.1

        I wonder if there are enough ministers with the fire in their bellies to stand up and be counted about how we are treating those of us in need

    • Or you could use the handy RSS feed button on the bottom of the page?

  3. North 4

    Q + A right now – the staggering hypocrisy of Richard Prebble contrasting Hone’s colours when he entered Parliament with MANA talking to KDC now ??????

    Prebble made a career out of scabbery then extended it with scabbery. FFS !!!!!!

    • mac1 4.1

      I have found it true enough in my own life to say that the failings that people despise in others are often what they despise in themselves.

      (Edit: this comment directed at Prebble!)

    • David H 4.2

      Yeah But Cunliffe made good sense. Prebble is just a fool.

      • Anne 4.2.1

        Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, Michael Bassett (and one or two other former Labour luminaries) have never forgiven the left of centre faction inside Labour for winning “the faction war” of the 1980s and early 1990s. I witnessed the bitterness and vengeful attitude they displayed towards Helen Clark in particular during the 90s. It was as if they believed they were the ones who had been betrayed when in reality they did the betraying… of the principles which have always guided the NZ Labour Party. Their sexism, and the degrading way they talked about Labour women MPs behind their backs was awful.

        I am of the view Prebble’s extreme hostility towards Labour – and the Greens by association – has it’s origins more in personal bitterness/hatred towards them than it does in political considerations. Nothing would give him more pleasure than to see them destroyed and he will continue to do his bit to achieve that goal. Very sad because he was once quite a likeable character – its true. 🙂

        • JanM 4.2.1.1

          He probably was – his dad was a lovely man 🙂

          • Anne 4.2.1.1.1

            Think he was more like his Mum. His father seemed a quiet and thoughtful gentleman.

        • Hamish 4.2.1.2

          Very sad because he was once quite a likeable character – its true.

          When? I’m seriously curious.

          What I find intriguing about Douglas, Prebble, Caygill and co is that they likely came from socialist backgrounds. What did/do their families think about their actions?

          • Anne 4.2.1.2.1

            Back in the 70s Hamish. He was a young man in his 20s, but even then he was a bit of a pain in the sense he liked to be the one who had the last say. I remember Labour Regional meetings in Auckland where he would be leaping up and down in his seat being a pain in the neck. But at least he was a Labour loyalist in those days. I don’t think he has any political principles any more. He just goes where he thinks its going to be best for him.

            You’re right. Douglas, Prebble and Bassett (I think) came from strong Labour backgrounds. Don’t know about Caygill but expect he did too.

            • Hamish 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Thanks for the insight Anne.

              Do you know how Prebble was ‘got’ by, I assume, the treasury? Or did Roger get converted first and then he brainwashed Prebble?

              • Anne

                I think it started with Douglas. He was the guru of Labour’s neo-liberal faction back in the 80s. Even had Lange fooled for a while, but he eventually saw the light. And to be fair I think quite a few people in Labour who originally supported Douglas eventually saw the light too.

                Who brain-washed Douglas is harder to ascertain but business tycoon Alan Gibbs was in there somewhere…

                • Hamish

                  Yes and Douglas must have been indoctrinated before the Lange government because he hit the ground running, right?
                  I thought that the treasury in the 1970s had something to do with pushing supply side/neolib on governments?

    • tc 4.3

      Prebble is an a grade trougher now, he is protecting all those baubles just like DPF, hooten etc.

      They are all playing out their little cameos in the msm on cue.

  4. Chooky 5

    Clearly in light of the half billion spent in Britain on useless Tamiflu and useless stockpiling here there needs to be revisions in the health business

    Kim Hill talking to Catherine De Angelis ( Editor Journal American Medical Assn) on transparency in medical research, taking on the pharmaceutical companies and research as distinct from marketing

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2592409/catherine-deangelis

    http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/leadership/biography/CA4A4DEFEE490E350AF86239DE21DA3F/catherine_deangelis

    • Chooky 5.1

      more on Tamiflu

      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/apr/10/tamiflu-saga-drug-trials-big-pharma

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/10/uk-wasted-560m-stockpiling-flu-drugs

      In New Zealand it is all swept under the carpet as per usual by the bureaucracy ….someone needs to be held to account….at very least a review and changes must be made as to how we evaluate big drug company big profit items eg vaccines bought by the government and foisted on the public

      This is taxpayer health money that is being wasted

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Nothing makes the private sector big money like that delicious combination of imagined crisis, fear, hype, and lots of experts saying all this tax payers money must be spent on corporate products, ASAP!

        • bad12 5.1.1.1

          Yep CV, i have posted a comment or two a month or so back relating to Tamiflu,H1N1 and how there is some belief that this whole ‘program’ of pandemic fear was in fact rumored to be a payback to big Pharma for the US CDC,(who decide what the annual flu predominant in the western world will be every year),having got it horribly wrong in a previous year causing big Pharma a substantial loss by having them produce the wrong flu jab in the millions for that year,

          There is of course no ‘proof’ of the truth or otherwise of such a rumor,(can anyone imagine the participants ‘fessing up’)…

          • bad12 5.1.1.1.1

            There’s a lot more to this than meets the eye, i have been digging around looking for something that would indicate a tie in with ‘bird-flu’ that has no means of infecting humans and the ‘habit’ of H1N1 to suddenly reappear as a full on flu in people that years ago during the supposed ‘pandemic year’ had a dose of it,

            Surrounding these re-infections might be a co-dose of the chicken pox and/or a painful bout of shingles,

            Can a flu virus be made that uses another virus to piggy back on where the flu virus may not have the means of infecting the human body from the outside but if it were piggy backed onto an entirely different virus as the means of entry might in turn replicate,

            That’s a good question…

    • Bill 5.2

      The bigger picture is that this tamiflu debacle hat finally opens the door wide on all pharmaceutical research/testing.

      For some time, there has been a wealth of information around regarding the research/testing of psychotropic medication. Unfortunately, a lot of that info is propagated by the scientologists, and so has been summarily dismissed despite of the quality of the information.

      Maybe that will change now insofar as the regime underpinning tamiflu is a mirror image of what some (not just the Church of Scientology) have tried to highlight with regards psychotropic medication. I really do hope so.

      p.s. wasn’t there a scathing article on tamiflu when it was being rolled out? From memory the shelf life and efficacy were being questioned even as governments were stocking up. Also there was concern over the influence Dick Cheney was able to exert given that he was a major shareholder. Was all something like that. My memory gets a bit fuzzy these days, so don’t just take my word for all of that.

  5. tricledrown 6

    Tamiflu is most likey overpriced but is effective in lifethreatening circumstances but only mildy effective in everyday flu’s.
    Given swine flu could have turned out much worse it was a good decision tamiflu is not a vaccine.
    Now the flu vaccine has a swine flu vaccine included.
    Big pharma profited out of ignorance and panic they should be made to pay the price gouging back.
    To say we are getting overcharged in general for vaccines is bullshit.
    Vaccines save us .
    +save $100’s of millions a year in health costs.
    Pharmac have worlds best practice in purchase agreements.
    My children have all been vaccinated and are much healthier than those who weren’t.
    I read widely on health care issues.
    People who believe vaccines are dangerous have no scientific evidence to back their claims other than a retired Pro Wrestler with conspiracy concerns.

    • Chooky 6.1

      Tamiflu “effective”?…it has been proven to be not effective…..and may even be harmful

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/2005-report-japan-links-tamiflu-to-sudden-deaths-in-children/14755

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        The real shocker from that story is that the only way Japan could get health advisories to prescribing doctors was via the mass media.

        Dr. Hama says the health ministry’s initial alert last year received little notice, even among medical professionals.

        “It was not reported, distributed through the mass media, so doctors do not notice that warning,” he said.

    • Ergo Robertina 6.2

      ‘Tamiflu is most likey overpriced but is effective in lifethreatening circumstances but only mildy effective in everyday flu’s.’

      The initial ‘evidence’ furnished to support claims of a reduction in flu complications included trial patients self-reporting pneumonia, with no clinical testing of the diagnosis.

  6. Zorr 7

    Even a stopped watch is right twice a day:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9936129/Judges-handling-of-abuse-victim-slammed

    I actually find myself on the same page as the SST. What a world we live in! >_<

    • RedBaronCV 7.1

      Yep I agree. This judge seems to have the concept of restorative justice totally screwed. She is not the offender’s therapy, she should not be asked if she wants to be and refusal to do so should not be counted against her or even commented on. I saw one survey where around half the people who attended the so called “restorative justice” conferences left feeling worse than when they arrived.

      The sentence seems very light But hey a lot of this isn’t really that unusual I suspect. Time for the Chief justice to have the retirement talk with this Judge and the time is well overdue for all Judges to be sent off for some solid learning about behavioural attitudes and how they represent the whole community not just those with the same prejudices as them and how the judges own prejudices affect them. Justice isn’t just a male view of reasonable. .

    • Rodel 7.2

      The stuff article, headline and opening sentence is dramatically overstated..Judge Saunders was not “slammed”.
      The judges reluctance was successfully challenged by the crown prosecutor, the judge agreed but was criticized by McVicar. No problem there..but”slammed” is sub-editor’s sensationalizing to provoke public interest.All too common in our tabloid media.

  7. freedom 8

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9936792/Dissent-as-Mana-and-Dotcom-draw-nearer

    The spin in that opening line is a fucking disgrace! As if the headline wasn’t bad enough.

    Two political parties had a meeting and now the group leaders want to discuss it all with the grass root members… my god what a travesty.

    Did you know that sort of behaviour was allowed in a modern democracy?
    Imagine wanting to garner informed consent for democratic action, terrible, just terrible.

  8. joe90 9

    Trent Reznor is giving away an album.

    http://theslip.nin.com/

    • freedom 9.1

      ty joe for the goodness
      -when word gets out,
      that only being able to share with three friends is going to need some subtle footwork 🙂

  9. captain hook 10

    didja see paula ‘lewinsky’ beenit on the catwalk. looked more like the baby elephant walk to me.

  10. bad12 11

    ”Gush oh gush gush”, i run into the Woyals this morning on my way home from the vege market, not literally of course, and no the thought didn’t even cross my mind,

    The Spongers in chief had the luxury of crashing the Red at the Kilbirnie lights this morning on their way to the airport,(it takes a ten vehicle convoy to get these sponges from government House to the airport with i presume 5 sets of traffic lights along the way all stopped by the plods disrupting our day while these wastes of space get whisked off for a trip down South),

    We made eye contact, gush, i swear we made i contact, gush, well me and the plod stopping the traffic at the bottom set of the Kilbirnie lights sure did when i started yelling ”why should we be stopped for these spongers”(if looks could kill and all that, haven’t seen one of them since way back when i got the stare of death from John Bank’s pet plod Inspector Sharky as i gave it to Banks about His appearance that day in the District Court),

    i consoled myself with the fact that their Woyal lownesses were being dragged through the back entrance to Wellington airport, and, the prices at the vege market were again good on my pocket and well worth the effort of dragging myself out into a Wellington Southerly,

    18 pieces of fruit, half a pumpkin,half a red cabbage, a bunch of spring onions, 2 avocados, bag of carrots, 2 tomato,2 lemons for 17 bucks,

    Have found that you have to do a circuit of all the stalls befor you buy to check who has the best prices of the week, pity the people selling there weren’t provided with a prominent and permanent space in a central location so they could sell their stuff, would sure as hell fix what ails the supermarkets 40% markups in a short space of time,

    Tonight’s dinner, baked Terakihi fillet(with onion and tomato), surrounded by a vege bake featuring Kumara, Potato, Pumkin,Broccoli, and Carrot,topped off with a thick sauce flavored with peanut,garlic, and ginger along with a side dish of roasted red cabbage basted with clover honey…

    • Anne 11.1

      A ten vehicle convoy? That is absurd. Okay lets do a list.

      Police car in front lights flashing.
      Plain car with DPS bodyguards.
      Official car carrying personal staff – lady in waiting, male equivalent whatever that is, couple of secretaries.
      Will and Kate.
      Another police car lights flashing.

      So who is in the other five? Boot lickers and spies?

      Talk about going the American over-kill way!

      And your dinner sounds delicious Bad12.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 11.1.1

        I don’t know what time Bad12 buys his grocery! According to the now almost sickening media coverage, the royals were in Dunedin at 9:30am. They must have been in the plane by 9am at the latest.

        Buying grocery at 8am, that’s commitment there, I have to say.

        • McFlock 11.1.1.1

          one reason I never got into farmers markets or fish markets. They’re all closing just as I’m getting out of bed 🙂

          • Disraeli Gladstone 11.1.1.1.1

            I’m a morning person. But I’m a “in my dressing gown, breakfast and tea, at my desk writing” morning person. Out of the house on a weekend by 8am? That doesn’t happen too often!

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism

    Advocates see the “neoliberal agenda” (i.e. freeing the market from constraints such as regulations and tariffs) as going hand-in-hand with freedom, even when the results across the world tell a very different tale.

    We barely have to look before finding new new waves of protest (e.g. Turkey, Brazil, and Slovenia) against the intimate connection between neoliberalism, corruption, authoritarianism, and austerity measures.

  12. ffloyd 13

    I was just wondering if the fact that p William being a best friend of d.Beckham makes him thick as batshit. Maybe he should ask p.m.clodhopper! His new bff.

  13. Paul 14

    From the propaganda rag the Herald.
    All Blacks’ great Richie McCaw met the royals, saying they were “just like normal people”.

    Of course they are.
    They lead normal lives.
    They have normal jobs.
    They have normal incomes.

    Who believes this nonsense?

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  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago

  • Government to consult on regulation of shooting clubs and ranges
      The Government is consulting New Zealanders on a package of proposals for simple and effective regulation of shooting clubs and ranges, Associate Minister of Justice, Nicole McKee announced today.   “Clubs and ranges are not only important for people learning to operate firearms safely, to practice, and to compete, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Successful New Caledonia repatriation winds up, need for dialogue remains
    Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.   As of today, seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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