Open mike 13/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, May 13th, 2014 - 286 comments
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286 comments on “Open mike 13/05/2014”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    4 out of 4 stories in the politics section of today’s Herald are authored by John Key. This absurd and unprofessional level of media bias needs to be stamped out.

    • Paul 1.1

      Looks like North Korea

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        Our opportunistic ‘Dear Leader’ Key has certainly put several hundred thousand New Zealanders on inadequate diets while oppressed by authoritarian bureaucracy (WINZ).

      • ffloyd 1.1.2

        He’s got the haircut.

    • MaxFletcher 1.2

      You mean actually written by John Key our about John Key?

    • Zorr 1.3

      He is coming off utterly rabid now…

      Definitely proving that he is now Ol’ Yeller…

    • Colonial Viper 1.4

      This absurd and unprofessional level of media bias needs to be stamped out.

      That’s what gutsy public broadcasting and well financed but small independent media should be for…

    • Tracey 1.5

      leading up to abudget… pm getting coverage…

      quel surprise.

    • greywarbler 1.6

      Stuart M
      Why not actually put samples of what you are talking about – otherwise why rush to be first on the thread. Just meaningless comment.

      I am not sure what drew your eye but here are some that caught mine.

      1 Key creating controversy where there is none. Past Radionz interviewer is now giving media training to David Cunliffe. Quelle horreur. I wonder who is kissing Key now – Crosby Textor or some other alluring political machiavellis. Linda is sunlight incarnate in comparison.
      But he was also surprised to learn that journalist-turned-lawyer Linda Clark, who appears on The Nation, was providing media training to Labour leader David Cunliffe.

      2 Battle lines over affordable homes
      The battle between National and Labour for the political high ground on housing affordability is a battle fought in large measure with statistics, writes John Armstrong…

      3 Key puts All Black dream on hold in attack over jobs
      Prime Minister John Key says it is all very well Labour setting a new target of 4 per cent unemployment but policies were more important than targets, and Labour’s policies…

      4 Govt awards $20m in research funding
      More than $20 million in government research and development funding has been awarded to 15 technology firms.

      These are four possibles that Stuart Munro might have seen. No.4 looks okay.

      One RGOTIJ (really good one that isn’t Jokeyhen’s).
      $120m ‘Green Investment Bank’ plan for clean tech projects
      The Green Party says it would set up a $120 million “Green Investment Bank” to fund green tech projects, with the money…

      A great step for common sense! Which in this country is never common.
      Shut bars at 3am: top cop
      Auckland’s top-ranking police officer has criticised a proposal that would allow some bar owners to get a two hour extension…
      One proposal which rewards “best practice” operators with trial trading hours extensions of up to two hours was criticised by Superintendent Mike Clement, the district commander for Auckland City.

      He said this had the potential to extend some bar closing times to 5am in the central city and to 3am in the outlying metropolitan centres.
      “We have always been of the view that nothing good happens on city streets after 3am and that comes from experience.” Mr Clement said if the council was serious about reducing harm, it must be true to the intent of the legislation….
      …since tougher powers under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act came into force on December 18.
      There was a 45 per cent drop in assaults in public places over a 24-hour period, from an average of 85 to 47. There had also been a 40 per cent decrease in assaults – from 45 to 27 – between 8pm and 8am….

      Last night, Councillor Cathy Casey released a copy of an email sent out by the Auckland branch of Hospitality New Zealand to members seeking “mass representation” at the committee “to show support for the hospitality sector to be counted as an important part of Auckland’s vibrancy and see which councillors support this madness”.
      Possibly Hopsitality NZ could cite that this will lead to an ‘anxiety disorder’ as womanslaughterer Piss Stories is apparently resorting to. That leaves a field for all of us who have terrible anxiety, about what is going to happen in our next election for instance, to go off our heads and shoot somebody or at least at a poster of your least favourite politician. I suggest you use dummy bullets as most appropriate for this purpose.

      Expert: Pistorius has ‘anxiety disorder’
      A psychiatrist has told Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial the athlete has an anxiety disorder that may have contributed to the fatal shooting of his girlfriend.

      • Stuart Munro 1.6.1

        I didn’t link it because I thought most folk would find it without effort.

        I live in another time zone – so I didn’t ‘rush to be first’.

        They have since been rearranged but the top was Key labelling the 4% unemployment target as fanciful.

  2. jamie ‘just do nothing about climatechange!’ whyte had better get that new seawall-building business up and running soon..

    ..and the walls will need to be at least four metres

    “..Western Antarctic ice sheet collapse has already begun – scientists warn..

    Two separate studies confirm loss is inevitable –

    and will cause up to four metres of additional sea-level rise..”

    ..whoar..!’four metres’.. long before key puts his beach-house on the market..?


    ..pretty soon..i reckon..

    ..he’ll want to cash up before the waves knock it over..

    • the new comedy/news show from daily show alumni john oliver has much to recommend it.. he covers how fucked the media are in their coverage of climatechange..

    • RedLogix 2.2

      That Guardian article is actually rather conservative. Here in NZ Professor Tim Naish who had led various ANDRILL expeditions (ie done real field work) has observed good evidence that the WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Shelf) has broken up numerous times in the geological past.

      What is alarming is that he sees evidence that sometimes it breaks up extremely rapidly, over a period of less than a decade – rather that the centuries suggested in the article above.

    • NickS 2.3

      My take:


      Short version – rapid mass loss from West Antarctic ice sheet now very highly likely, resulting in 2m+ sea level rise by the end of the century with more dialled in as the West Antarctic ice sheet continues to melt. Destabilisation of other Antarctic ice sheets lying below current and future sea levels also highly likely.

      Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck.

      See flood-maps for rough picture of impacts:

      But in short, hundreds of millions of people will be displaced (add on top of sea level rise tides, storm surges etc) and major ports will need to be modified or abandoned, disrupting ocean trade networks vital to global economy and food security. Political impact – likely cause rise of conservative or far-right movements beyond current level, with ethnic conflict from refugees and economic downturn the drivers, increasing risk of nation-states going to war against each other at cold war+ levels.

      Significant impact on rainfall and land temperature highly likely to occur, with unknown level of impacts on economic and political stability. Will also disrupt ocean ecologies, and unknowns on how quickly vital nursery and feeding areas will adjust (estuaries, sea-grass meadows, coral/rock reefs, cold current upwellings) with loss of major protein sources.


      • RedLogix 2.3.1

        Yes. I’ve personally known, as friends, some people involved in this research since my University days.

        What they’ve sometimes told me is that there is a considerable gap between what they personally expect to happen – and what is publishable.

        Otherwise yes – fuck.

        • Colonial Viper

          And all our politicians rabbiting on about “getting a surplus” blah blah as if that’s what leading the nation is all about this century.

        • Murray Olsen

          RL – is what they personally believe better or worse than what’s publishable?

      • Bill 2.3.2

        The only bit I scratch my head at is the prediction of disintegration taking hundreds of years or as long as a thousand years. How can anyone say that in the same breath as saying it’s very complex and (always) worse/faster than expected? And that constant, negative re-evaluation is across the board, on all aspects of AGW from what I can see.

        Anyway, is there any physics that successfully predicts the melting of ice under a range of different conditions/environments? Are there any previous events of melting glaciers, that had a buffer situated in water, that anyone can point to, to give an indication of time scales involved in melt?

        As for the authoritarianism riding on the back of catastrophe, I’m not as pessimistic as you Nick. It could happen. But a hell of a lot of infrastructure, rather than being open to control, will be gone. And we tend to ‘rediscover’ our cooperative nature in times of crisis. Of course, we could pre-empt any potential authoritarianism by bringing down the likely ascendents now, which…yeah, that post – must get on to it 😉

        • Ad

          Well said. Generous.

        • karol

          Thing is, small local groups can be a mix of collaboration and authoritarian leadership.

          I’ve seen it in small community and political groups – claiming collaboration, while some members increasingly become dominant.

          I imagine a planet in resource decline, and/or climate chaos being something like on the TV programme “Revolution” – some groups being more collaborative, and others hoarding resources and technologies, and developing militaristic, authoritarian and colonising tendencies.

        • NickS

          Ice doesn’t flow like water and the West Antarctic ice sheet contains a lot of ice, so it will take a long time by human standards to flow out into the sea.

          And in geological time frames, that’s near instant, and during the end of the last ice age, the record shows even faster increases in the sea level, but you’ll need to hunt that info down thyself as I’m pooped. Physics is pretty “easy” too.

          • Bill

            Ice doesn’t flow like water..

            The point i was trying to make is that completely land locked ice acts very differently from land ice that is held back on the land by the presence of (melting) sea ice.

            Don’t know how useful physics of melting ice is beyond very simple scenarios. Glaciers and the complex systems they are a part of and the multiple, interacting factors acting on them…yeah, can’t see physics altogether getting to grips with that and suspect it can only offer a broad brush understanding.

      • joe90 2.3.3


        .This animation shows glacier changes detected by ATM, ICESat and ice bridge data in the highly dynamic Amundsen Embayment of West Antarctica. Integrating these altimetry sources allows us to estimate surface height changes throughout the drainage regions of the most important glaciers in the region. We see large elevation changes at the coast on Thwaites glacier, at the center of the images, and large and accelerating elevation changes extending inland from the coast on Pine Island and Smith glaciers, to the left and right of the images, respectively.


        “This is really happening,” said Thomas P. Wagner, who runs NASA’s programs on polar ice and helped oversee some of the research. “There’s nothing to stop it now. But you are still limited by the physics of how fast the ice can flow.”

        edit: this too

    • NickS 2.4

      NZ wise – considerable disruption to any infrastructure within 3m of current sea level (tides + storm surge), loss of parts of State Highway 1, Kaikoura area, Kapiti highway, Canterbury@Kaiapoi, southern part of Taieri Plains etc. And obviously significant works would be required at every deep water port in NZ to rise wharfs and transport infrastructure above future sea levels.

      With loss of eastern suburbs of Christchurch, Kaiapoi, Dunedin city centre, west Invercargil, coastal strip of Hokitika Greymouth, Westport, Nelson etc in the South Island.

      Unsure of exact impacts on centres in the North Island (flood maps is running really slow), but Wellington, Manawatu, Hurauki Plains, Coromandel, low lying parts of Auckland and Northland are all at obvious risk.

      Rainfall changes are probably similar to current NIWA and IPCC models, with East Coast, Northland and Waikato agriculture facing more droughts and higher day/night temperatures.


      • weka 2.4.1

        Nick, if your timeframes are the right ones, I don’t see that scenario as that bad for NZ. Yes, it’s a big change to housing and infrastructure, but going into a resource depletion world, there are other ways to see this. We need decentralised, localised economies esp around food production anyway because of Peak Oil and Peak everything, so adapting around loss of the coastline can be part of that. You are talking about loss of cities, but we aren’t going to be able to sustain cities as large, perpetually growing entities anyway.

        Where it will get really bad is if the climate changes big enough and fast enough that we can’t adapt our food growing practices. That would put us well and truly in the fuck, fuck, fuck category.

        • Draco T Bastard

          You are talking about loss of cities, but we aren’t going to be able to sustain cities as large, perpetually growing entities anyway.

          We’ve had cities longer than we’ve had oil. They are an incredibly efficient form of housing and industry. Chances are that we’ll keep them.

          • weka

            Not all cities are the same. I didn’t say we would be getting rid of cities.

            “They are an incredibly efficient form of housing and industry.”

            Depends on how centralised they are. And what resources you have to overcome the negatives. I can see many NZ cities doing well if they decentralise and relocalise. But that’s all by the by. Nick was saying that loss of coastal cities is the big issue re AGW in NZ. I don’t think it is (and I think most of those cities will adapt in place).

            • Draco T Bastard

              I can see many NZ cities doing well if they decentralise and relocalise.

              That still makes no sense. A city is, by definition, a centralisation.

              Nick was saying that loss of coastal cities is the big issue re AGW in NZ. I don’t think it is (and I think most of those cities will adapt in place).

              Oh, yes it is. A 2m rise in sea level will drown half of Christchurch, swamp Greymouth and Westport…etc, etc. A city can’t adapt in place when it’s under water.

              • Colonial Viper

                That still makes no sense. A city is, by definition, a centralisation.

                Think outside the box Draco; in NZ there is only one main city that we need to urgently decentralise and that is Auckland. Having a third of the country living in 0.2% the land area while many small towns deplete and empty out is ridiculous.

              • weka

                “That still makes no sense. A city is, by definition, a centralisation.”

                No it’s not. We’ve seen the loss of some localisation within cities in my lifetime – think the local grocer, post office services, retailers in suburbs etc. That’s alongside the loss of community, families living close to each other etc.

                Have a look at David Holmgren’s work on retrofitting the suburbs for a good view on how to shift cities to post-peak oil. One way to think of this is many villages within a larger area. You can think about this at many levels including economic and social.


                “Oh, yes it is. A 2m rise in sea level will drown half of Christchurch, swamp Greymouth and Westport…etc, etc. A city can’t adapt in place when it’s under water.”

                You’re not really reading what I am writing. I’m saying that we can adapt to sea level rise, but adapting to not being able to grow our own food is the real potential problem. If we have o move people out of Greymouth we can do that. But if we can’t feed them, then we are really fucked. Few cities will be completely inundated, and yes we will adapt in place in many instances. Learning how to live with water and integrate it into our lives will be part of the AGW world.

                Obviously Chch being half flooded, leaves the other half. What will happen to that? I agree with CV, you’re not thinking outside the box here.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No it’s not.

                  Yeah it is.

                  1.) As the rural sector can no longer provide work under a capitalist system people migrate to the cities.
                  2.) Due to the infrastructure needed to support agriculture centralisation of people is needed.

                  We’ve seen the loss of some localisation within cities in my lifetime – think the local grocer, post office services, retailers in suburbs etc.

                  That’s not due to cities but the monopolisation of services by capitalism.

                  Obviously Chch being half flooded, leaves the other half. What will happen to that?

                  I expect that it will turn into salt-water swampland along with a large chunk of the farmland surrounding it.

                  I agree with CV, you’re not thinking outside the box here.

                  Thinking outside of the box only works if it’s not contradicted by reality.

                  • weka

                    I’m talking about centralisation within the city footprint. How about you try engaging with what I am talking about instead of using it to make your own separate points?

          • Colonial Viper

            We’ve had cities longer than we’ve had oil. They are an incredibly efficient form of housing and industry. Chances are that we’ll keep them.

            Yeah. Instead of running on oil, these cities were run by servants, slaves, serfs and indentured servants. Just look at Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Medieval Europe etc.

            • Draco T Bastard

              And modern cities will be run by renewable electricity.

              • Colonial Viper

                In NZ that may be possible, just, but certainly not in cities like Shanghai, London, Washington DC or Delhi.

                BTW the slave/serf economy is all around us today, the global economy already depends on it to function.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  BTW the slave/serf economy is all around us today, the global economy already depends on it to function.

                  Yep, I know and the neo-liberal globalisation has increased its incidence.

        • NickS

          The problem however is we are not isolated from what happens in other nations, and we are dependant on foreign natural resources (metals mainly, we have no local deposits of copper for example) and certain manufactured goods like anti-biotics and integrated circuits. While migrations induced by increasing sea levels and other climate change impacts will affect us by destabilising our regional trade partners. Which carries significant issues for our nations own situation economically and socially.

          Although given much of the country is well above sea level our internal population movements we’re not to heavily pressed for space, it’s just a matter of economic resources to undertake the population movement out of the flood zones and building of new urban infrastructure. We do however need to take the long view and build to deal with future sea level rises, rather than just move above the 3m ASL (average sea level) height.

          On food – heat stress reduces crop yields on core grain crops, with increased CO2 not helping, me too tired to go reference hunting/expand on it though :/

          Anyhow, I have to be up @5am (construction course @SIT CHCH, starts @8am, I really need a bloody car…) so I’ll try and expand on this later-ish depending on how damn tired I am.


          • weka

            Go and rest 🙂

            I agree with much of what you say there, esp around planning long term, and how the global context will affect us.

            The food thing… well fortunately we don’t have to rely on conventional annual grain cropping (which won’t survive AGW in its present form, nor peak oil), because we have farmers in NZ already growing food using polyculture and other sustainable techniques and thinking about this in AGW terms, esp about change and unpredictability. These people are ahead of the mainstream science and their skills and experience will be available when the rest of us catch up*. The real issues are going to be things like how much damage we do to the land in the meantime, esp via industrial dairying and mass irrigation. Lack of forestation is a big issue too, and whether when things get hard we will be tempted to deforest for short term gain. Getting our sovereignty more firmly established and shifting the culture back to one focussed on fairness and community seem imperative. More important I think than what happens to infrastructure.

            *this assumes conservative outcomes of AGW rather than catastrophic ones of runaway climate change.

          • Draco T Bastard

            (metals mainly, we have no local deposits of copper for example)

            Really, I expected better of you:

            Although the known copper deposits in New Zealand are all small, the varied geology and number of copper shows offers some potential for future copper production, possibly as a by product of mining other metals

            certain manufactured goods like anti-biotics and integrated circuits.

            And we’ve made anti-biotics here (probably still do) before as well as ICs (I went for a job once at a place that had just imported a fab plant).

            • Colonial Viper

              Electricity/energy generation and transmission, transport/logistics, food, accommodation, trauma and infection care, community building, education/training, machinery maintenance and conversion, creative and artistic pursuits – these are the only things we need to focus on.

              Building CPUs etc, seriously, who gives a fuck, just import 1M ARM-9 2.0 GHz quad core CPUs i.e. enough for a century’s usage, put them in storage until they are needed and move on.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Building CPUs etc, seriously, who gives a fuck, just import 1M ARM-9 2.0 GHz quad core CPUs i.e. enough for a century’s usage, put them in storage until they are needed and move on.

                That many CPUs wouldn’t last ten years. And I seriously doubt that a CPU would last 100 years sitting on a shelf – things move even when they’re sitting still.

                The thing that you seem to forget is that the computers make all those other things easier and cheaper to provide. Which means that there’s really a hell of a lot of people who really do care about having those computers available. Basically, the entire population in fact.

            • NickS

              My bad I forgot completely about Tui Mine and assumed we didn’t have much in the way of mass production infrastructure for complex organic molecules and integrated circuits due to poor local investment in those areas. Also I forgot we have abundant deep sea resources in the form of black smoker fields which are rich in metal ores.

              Thanks for the info though, it indicates we might be a bit more resilient than I first thought if global trade is significantly disrupted.

      • RedLogix 2.4.2

        @Nick … The point that is that the WAIS is grounded below sea level. As warm sea water gets under the ice it will become buoyant and lift off its bedrock – potentially with catastrophic speed.

        The WAIS doesn’t have to flow anywhere – it will simply start floating.

        • NickS

          Only the bits close to the ocean will float, the shear weight of the ice cap is what generally keeps it grounded, with any water in the system usually under high pressure at the bottom. That doesn’t stop the upper layers from flowing though 😛

          • Bill

            I’m sure I read – in reference to the Greenland ice sheet – that scientists were perturbed to have discovered that surface melt water was getting under the sheet and acting as a lubricant…causing the sheet to slip ever faster towards the sea. By my understanding, all that keeps such ‘lubricated’ ice on land is the weight or ‘back-push’ of the sea ice it’s pushing against.

          • RedLogix

            OK so the term ‘floating away’ is a bit loose. The way it was explained to me is more in terms of ‘being melted away from underneath’.

            The WAIS doesn’t have to ‘flow’ anywhere in order to melt – all a warmer ocean has to do is get at it from underside.

    • NickS 2.5

      And cue Jenny et al coming to tell us it’s all wrongzors by the end of the day /sigh

  3. we can but

    “..Switzlerand: referendum may herald world’s highest minimum wage..”

    • vto 3.1

      Well would you look at that …. do you imagine there is any correlation between giving such power to the people and the success of their country?

      And if there is, why would we not do similar here?

      What would Jamie Whyte think of that? It is the ultimate undoing of state power. He should be all for it. I wonder what people here would vote for which may upset the Crazy Act Party Pill People?

      • phillip ure 3.1.1

        @ vto..

        ..referendums are a double-edged sword..

        ..good for the above..

        ..but if referendums ruled here..

        ..we’d have capital punishment..

        ..and parents/teachers beating children at will..

        ..and we would likely have regular public-whippings/stonings of ‘misbehaving’-beneficiaries..

        • Tiger Mountain

          Similar to electronic voting phillip, it is theoretically easier and might get a higher turnout if we can trust the tech heads, the main thing is how informed will new or previous non voters be when tapping or clicking?

          Maybe no more informed than now, but physically going to a voting place or returning a postal requires at least some engagement.

          Agree on referenda, Section 59 would sit unchanged if subjected to public vote. Referenda can deliver the tyranny of the majority. The right of children to go unassaulted trumps the desire of many kiwis to kid whack or at least endorse the practice.

          • Colonial Viper

            Similar to electronic voting phillip, it is theoretically easier and might get a higher turnout if we can trust the tech heads, the main thing is how informed will new or previous non voters be when tapping or clicking?

            Gosh, it’s like Edward Snowden and his revelations that all your internet communications are monitored and perpetually stored by Five Eyes infrastructure never happened.

            • Draco T Bastard

              And we could stop that to.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh of course, just like we could transform the global economy to being mostly fossil fuel independent within 20 years.

                But it’s never going to happen that way.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We don’t need to stop it globally, only locally.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    That’s not going to happen in time at a national level; some communities might make the transition more successfully though.

          • lprent

            Personally I wouldn’t trust electronic voting. You’d really have to worry about people like me.

            • karol

              But, also with the kinds of offline checks that are done with online systems these days, it ends up being a pretty time consuming and fraught process. Some to do with my banking experiences, plus online application for super (involved ID verification, queuing up at the post office after registering online, having to make phone calls and getting put on hold, some gltiches in the IT systems, etc.)

              • vto

                Exactly Karol. Doing many many things online is slower and more laborious than it used to be and as such is just a big pain in the arse. So so painful in the arse.

                Register for this, punch in a password, oh, and a username, write them down somewhere you wont forget, then lose it, go back online, email new password, reset password, log in, log out, required fields, start up the phone or computer, stare at a bloody screen instead of lovely personal interaction, go google-eyed, get an ‘error’, get another ‘error’, and finally worst of all phone the call centre. Then it is all over.

                The entire system is a crock.

                Illustrated by the fact that the online / phone corporates selling their wares sell it by explaining the benefits are being able to work 24 hours a day and work everywhere you go. Really. Go figure ….

                let alone it all being recorded forever for when the fascists come knocking to take you away for things done online

                • karol

                  Hilarious thing recently – my little Aussie super scheme (from living there a couple of years) has registered my latest postal address incorrectly. Fortunately a letter from them eventually got forwarded to me by the post office.

                  So I went online to see if I could correct my address. I had to register online, which I proceeded to do. Then I got a message saying that in order to complete the process, they were sending me a verification code to my postal address…..

                  • vto

                    ha classic.

                    Gave up on the IRD system and another government system a couple days ago. Wrote each a letter. Took about two minutes per letter – job done.

                    So much easier.

                    • karol

                      Yes. But that’s the way online security is these days – they have to build in some offline verification and/or logon procedures, because those damn hackers and crackers are so good.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If they were sooooo good then nothing online would be safe.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Take it you haven’t used RealMe yet then.

            • freedom

              vote flipping being the most well known incident

              • Colonial Viper

                Votes being flipped, votes not being recorded, votes being altered in the database, the way that hundreds of thousands of people voted being published online, etc. the list goes on

                E-Day has to become more of an event, something the whole community gets together and does, not something that gets done by isolated individuals at home from in front of a screen or a smart phone.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I’m sure if we looked we’d find the same arguments put forward against democracy itself. The same way that Plato made the same arguments against abolishing slavery as the southern US states did.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Electronic voting makes the manipulation of democracy easier, allows the surveillance state to know instantly when you vote and how you vote, and devalues the community participation aspects of democracy.

                    Our paper system is fast, efficient, auditable and hard to manipulate on any kind of scale.

                    Dance around with Plato all you like until you can address those points.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Electronic voting makes the manipulation of democracy easier,

                      Huh? Democracy is manipulated through advertising and marketing – not through how people vote.

                      allows the surveillance state to know instantly when you vote and how you vote,

                      Get rid of the surveillance state.

                      and devalues the community participation aspects of democracy.

                      Actually, IMO, it would increase it as people would actually be engaged with their community rather than just passing by.

                      Our paper system is fast, efficient, auditable and hard to manipulate on any kind of scale.

                      It’s not bad for a manual system but it’s not as good as an online system could be.

                      Oh, and do try to address the point that I made.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Actually, IMO, it would increase it as people would actually be engaged with their community rather than just passing by.”

                      Nothing says “community” like sitting at home in front of a screen rather than visiting a local polling booth, perhaps meeting your neighbours/local election observers/nearby families.

                      Unless by community you mean ?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Haven’t met my neighbours while voting at a polling booth yet and I’ve been voting since 1987. To try and say that voting at polling booths is social is really, really, really stretching it.

                      Whereas having a discussion online about your local community would actually be engagement and could even lead to friendships.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Loomio handles national elections now?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Get rid of the surveillance state.

                      Nice wish. However there are no means available to do that. As I understand it, every serious senatorial and congressional candidate in the USA becomes a major surveillance target from the time of their nomination. This makes co-opting, pressuring or plain blackmailing them when they are in office, a piece of cake.

                      This is what the system was put in place for, after all: eliminating the possibility of true democratic representation.

                      Oh, and do try to address the point that I made.

                      Which point did you think was even vaguely relevant to discussing the vulnerabilities ofonline voting? Your Plato slavery comment or your comment on southern slave plantations?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Loomio handles national elections now?

                      The possibility is certainly there. It could certainly handle local elections.

                      However there are no means available to do that.

                      Oh, there’s a way – we just haven’t found it yet. Personally, I don’t think the surveillance state is that much of a concern when it comes to voting.

                      Which point did you think was even vaguely relevant to discussing the vulnerabilities ofonline voting?

                      The point that the same arguments against online voting are probably some of the same arguments against democracy.

                    • weka

                      Loomio is a very exciting innovation. It’s new and has a long way to go before we should even consider putting something like elections into its frame. There are good reasons for being conservative about change. Elections as we do them now are stable. Don’t want to mess with that unless there is a bloody good reason.

                      btw, loomio has the obvious problem of access to participation. It’s a good tool, but it’s not accessible to everyone and it’s not a panacea for community involvement. How to integrate it with other, existing tools will be one of its challenges.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh, there’s a way – we just haven’t found it yet. Personally, I don’t think the surveillance state is that much of a concern when it comes to voting.

                      Oh of course you are fine with the surveillance state knowing how each person votes the moment that they do vote. You must be OK with getting blacklisted from all civil service, public sector and corporate sector jobs for the rest of your career. Good luck.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Oh of course you are fine with the surveillance state knowing how each person votes the moment that they do vote.

                      The present system already allows that knowledge as I’ve pointed out before. The real trick is preventing it from getting outside of the server – for both systems and that can be achieved.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You say it can be achieved, I say bullshit, maybe theoretically, possibly in an absolutely ideal world where you have complete control over system microcode, network firmware, OS and application source code, all hardware and accessories, and of course all the sysadmins of the Edward Snowden ilk which are needed to run the operation.

                      Face it, the NSA can’t pull off a completely secure system yet you talk about it like it’s oh so do-able, no problemo.

                      Good luck.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      There’s always some risk. I happen to think that the risk of an electronic system is acceptable because of the advantages that it brings. But, then, I want a referendum on every policy going through parliament/local government and you can’t do that with a manual system.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But, then, I want a referendum on every policy going through parliament/local government and you can’t do that with a manual system.

                      In that case you better put down online voting as your number 1 referendum issue to take to the electorate. And I’ll be campaigning against it 100%, every step of the way.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Of course you will as you fear democracy.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Either you believe in issue by issue referendums being taken to the electorate or you are paying lip service and don’t actually.

                      Remember, this was your democratic idea and your democratic ideal, so you should be supporting the activity mate.

            • Draco T Bastard

              So, you’ve been breaking into banks and siphoning off a few million into Swiss bank accounts? No? Then we don’t have to worry about people like you.

              What we do have to worry about is the few psychopaths/sociopaths that have a similar skill set that they’ll hire out to the highest bidder but they make up a very small amount of the population. The people who would hire them make up a slightly greater part of the population and they already own our MPs.

              I also think we could protect against them anyway. The massively distributed voting infrastructure of online voting would itself be part of the protection – it would just be too big to effectively corrupt.

              • Colonial Viper

                So, you’ve been breaking into banks and siphoning off a few million into Swiss bank accounts? No? Then we don’t have to worry about people like you.

                Corporations get hacked and lose millions of credit card numbers and personal details on a routine basis nowadays.

                The fact that you are ready to ignore how easily that happens and that there is a whole underground industry specialising in that work demonstrates how unable you are to let go of your fetish with bigger brighter shinier technology.

                What we do have to worry about is the few psychopaths/sociopaths that have a similar skill set that they’ll hire out to the highest bidder but they make up a very small amount of the population.

                Huh? Breaking into a database and changing stored values is not sociopathic behaviour.
                A bunch of kids might simply deem it fun to crash NZ’s General Election and give Daffy Duck a million votes. No one is being killed through that action.

                But these specialists are around; the NSA has 60,000 employees many of whom do this kind of work. Edward Snowden was an infrastructure analyst who explored and exploited weak spots in the IT systems of foreign countries (like NZ is) and corporations.

                I also think we could protect against them anyway. The massively distributed voting infrastructure of online voting would itself be part of the protection – it would just be too big to effectively corrupt.

                That’s an incredibly technology ignorant statement and shows you have no idea how every level of hardware, firmware, network, OS and application has usable exploits – some commonly known some completely unknown to the general public – that you cannot easily protect against.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Corporations get hacked and lose millions of credit card numbers and personal details on a routine basis nowadays.

                  [Citation Needed]

                  Breaking into a database and changing stored values is not sociopathic behaviour.

                  Yes it is. And Edward Snowden told us all about it because it is sociopathic.

                  That’s an incredibly technology ignorant statement and shows you have no idea how every level of hardware, firmware, network, OS and application has usable exploits – some commonly known some completely unknown to the general public – that you cannot easily protect against.

                  And you’d have to exploit all of them. As I said, the distributed size itself is part of the protection – but only a part.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That tells me of a few security breaches which I know happens but it tells me nothing of them being routine. I also note that they’re all breaches of private corporations that have a reputation of cutting corners to save on costs. I don’t see a single government breach in there.

                      So, yeah, citation still needed.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Errr, no –
                      “Corporations get hacked and lose millions of credit card numbers and personal details on a routine basis nowadays.”

                      I just gave you several citations of corporations. Who said anything about governments? Oh, you were just moving the goal-posts?

                      “I know happens but it tells me nothing of them being routine.”

                      How far back do you want to go? They have been routine for years.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Who said anything about governments?

                      Well, considering that we’re talking about voting then it can be expected that it would be done by government rather than a private company. Of course, as has been proven, governments do seem to be stupid enough to outsource this stuff.

                      How far back do you want to go? They have been routine for years.

                      No they aren’t. They happen, yes, but not routinely. If it was routine then the entire global financial system would have fallen over several times over the last few years alone. We wouldn’t just be getting isolated cases here and there which is the only evidence you’ve shown.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Well, no – you asked for a citation about corporations being hacked, I gave you many. And there are many, many more. It happens frequently:

                      This graphic shows the biggest in recent years (these are just the largest – there are many 100’s more).
                      That is, on sight, an average of one a month. A these are just the largest ones.

                      Then you have the Stuxnet worm which attacks nuclear facilities, Heartbleed, all the anon attacks, the NSA hacking every fucking government in the world and on and on and on…

                      We wouldn’t just be getting isolated cases here and there which is the only evidence you’ve shown?

                      Don’t be fucking daft.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Well, no – you asked for a citation about corporations being hacked,

                      No I didn’t. I asked for evidence that it was routine and you replied with anecdote.

                      This graphic shows the biggest in recent years (these are just the largest – there are many 100′s more).

                      Now, that’s better. Unfortunately for you, more than 50% of the ones I randomly clicked on were lost in transit which is obviously something that could also happen to paper voting systems.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      DTB you have a fetish for fragile, breakable, technologies which are deliberately riddled with vulnerabilities and purposefully engineered insecurities.

                      Get the fuck over it.

                    • McFlock

                      Unfortunately for you, more than 50% of the ones I randomly clicked on were lost in transit which is obviously something that could also happen to paper voting systems.

                      Anything that can be done to paper can be done to bytes, and vice versa.
                      But paper requires someone physically taking possession of it. Which means people can be filmed while burning or padding or forging ballots. One by one, over hours.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But paper requires someone physically taking possession of it.

                      The same is true of electronics as well. They have to go through the portals to get to the information and the portals can detect everything going through them 24/7 and can watch where it goes as well.

                      Can it be done? Yep, but people can break buildings too.

                    • McFlock

                      seriously? You think that because firewalls exist that’s the end of unaudited changes to an eVoting system? As opposed to signed/countersigned transfer of sealed boxes and scrutinised public hand counting?

                      We’ve argued about this before I think, and frankly it still strikes me that your argument is along the lines of “but computers… [hand wave] … secure”.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’ve always maintained that computers can be made reasonably secure same as buildings can be made reasonably secure. You seem to think that computers are always insecure but buildings are fine.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      People need to ditch their naivety and fully familiarise themselves with the true extent of the methods the NSA uses to compromise networks from the ground up. Jacob Appelbaum’s presentations on Youtube describe some of the ingenious ways used, as does this following Greenwald piece.

                      Right down to intercepting packages containing routers, keyboards and cables, and modifying/compromising them in impossible to detect ways to send messages back to the NSA.

                      But while American companies were being warned away from supposedly untrustworthy Chinese routers, foreign organisations would have been well advised to beware of American-made ones. A June 2010 report from the head of the NSA’s Access and Target Development department is shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers.

                      The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users. The document gleefully observes that some “SIGINT tradecraft … is very hands-on (literally!)”.

                      Eventually, the implanted device connects back to the NSA. The report continues: “In one recent case, after several months a beacon implanted through supply-chain interdiction called back to the NSA covert infrastructure. This call back provided us access to further exploit the device and survey the network.”

                      It is quite possible that Chinese firms are implanting surveillance mechanisms in their network devices. But the US is certainly doing the same.


                    • McFlock

                      buildings aren’t completely fine, but fabricating 300,000 false paper ballots and an audit trail is more time-consuming and has a bigger footprint than fabricating 300,000 false eBallots.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You seem to think that computers are always insecure but buildings are fine.

                      Oh FFS DTB, computers facilitate electronic voter fraud on a massive and instantaneous scale.

                      To break in and do that to 100,000 paper ballots stored at an electoral office would take a large team of people a full week of altering or falsifying the paperwork AND SOMEONE WOULD NOTICE THAT

                      McFlock – exactly

                    • TheContrarian

                      So what if it could also happen to paper voting as well as electronic? Fact is it happens and happens with extreme regularity – something you keep insisting doesn’t happen.

                      And you ignored serious problems like Stuxnet, the NSA hacks, Heartbleed, ILOVEYOU etc etc etc.

        • vto

          Maybe, maybe not. If you trust in yourself, and certain other aspects of referendum then why not the lot? Eh? This is the weak spot in your point there – you imagine that in certain subjective subjects people are not to be trusted, decided by your own opinion.

          As for capital punishment … whoop de dooo. The state does capital punishment already and sanctions murder with its armies, so wtf. Current thinking on capital punishment (e.g. smashing children, oops, I mean, smacking) is out of whack with the history of humanity anyway and I predict it will fail.

          So where is your consistency on referendums and giving the power to the people? Like they do in Switzerland? Or is it just the ones you personally approve?

        • Stuart Munro

          There’d be a lot of MPs in prison too. Prebble & Douglas for starters…

        • Draco T Bastard

          but if referendums ruled here..

          ..we’d have capital punishment..

          ..and parents/teachers beating children at will.

          Doubt it. The people were already against corporal punishment at schools before the government actually changed it and they’re also against parents abusing children. The reasons why the referendum on should parents who smack children be criminals got the response it did was because a) people had been misled about what the legislation was doing and b) it was a leading question designed to get that response.

          We may get capital punishment back but I doubt it would last long.

      • Tracey 3.1.2

        not bad for a country that didnt let women vote til 1970

  4. philj 4

    So indicative to hear from Ozzy bankers, coming and going, talking about NZ housing market. We are banked by and milked by Ozzy, Ozzy..!

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    TVNZ has used Shane Taurima’s poor judgment to ban political involvement by employees and force disclosure of any party memberships.

    Which is a bit rich given the tory love demonstrated already by the majority of TV presenters and executives. The subtext is that Labour, Green, Mana supporters may henceforth be victimised (add ‘further’; according to my union sources a real witch hunt was conducted of other employees at the time of Shanes sacking) at TVNZ and Nat, ACT, Conservatives given under the table encouragement.

    • this lefty-ideologues witch-hunt @ tvnz is beyond irony..

      ..when the list of their media-enties/luvvies who are upfront about their rightwing-ratbaggery.. a very long one..

      ..and is the rule..

      ..rather than the exception..

    • bad12 5.2

      A good look tho from Labour to decline to waive Taurima’s 1 year membership status which effectively made Him unacceptable as a candidate for Tamaki-Makaurau,

      ”A” discussion has apparently been held with Maori Television’s Julian Wilcox about standing in the Auckland Maori electorate and time will tell if the nomination will be re-opened,

      Wilcox has a cutting intellect whether used in Maori or Pakeha realms and may well be what Labour needs to secure the Tamaki-Makaurau seat being vacated by Sharples…

      • karol 5.2.1

        A good decisive response from Labour. Taurima was cleared of political bias in his on-screen work. But he was pretty stupid about using work time and resources for his political activities – shows a bit of an entitlement attitude that is not welcome in politics, especially not in left wing politics.

        Right wing media bias is another matter. It is largely practiced by right wing political has-beens, or failed wannabes, or never-have-been (politicians) – Henry, Woods, Guyon, Tracy Watkins, Audrey Young, Armstrong, O’Sullivan….and more

        • Ant

          Good on them, don’t know Taurima but he has already demonstrated poor judgement before even starting, too much baggage for an important seat. Did he have the opportunity to withdraw from selection? I assume since the national council took this action the LEC were still backing him.

        • RedLogix

          While I agree that Taurima could not stand for all the reasons you outline – it’s worth thinking a little deeper on this.

          I’d argue that there are some types of job these days where the boundary between the personal and employer ‘space’ has become very blurred – if not entirely eradicated.

          Many employers expect you to be available 24hrs, and the job follows many people home. Right now I’m typing this on a work computer, while sitting at home and having gotten up at 5am to knock of a few more routines of code.

          Am I mis-using my employers resources? Or is he misusing my life?

          Secondly – I’d suggest Taurima was following the example being set by others within TVNZ. Paul Henry has been mentioned as one. Clearly he made the mistake of thinking that because it was tolerated when Tories do it – he’d be allowed to do it for the Left. Very naive.

          • karol

            When I worked in teaching I was on the job well outside my official teaching hours: doing research, responding to student queries via email, etc. In my current job I also deal with work emails (on my work email account) and some phone calls from home.

            But, I certainly wouldn’t use my work email account for any political activities, nor conduct political meetings on my work premises. I gather that Taurima did such things. That is what seems stupid to me. And it seems especially stupid given that anyone who has been following NZ politics should know the right would pounce on any such uses of work resources and premsises.

            • RedLogix

              Yes I’m not quibbling or trying to justify Taurima’s actions.

              But the point is that they did not occur in a vacuum. Just invoking the ‘entitled’ explanation does really cover why he did these things.

              They may seem stupid to you and I, but Taurima is not a stupid person – and it’s worth looking at the context in which he did these things. One thing for sure, he didn’t get out of bed thinking ‘how can I fuck up my political career and embarrass the Labour Party today’.

              So it’s worth asking how come boundaries got so blurred.

              • Colonial Viper

                My theory: the Tories in the organisation gave him all the rope he wanted and then waited for him to hang himself.

              • karol

                Well, my conclusions as to such behaviour was partly in answer to how such boundaries got blurred.

                Whatever the processes, he was more in touch with goings on within TVNZ and/or the media, than with perceptions and practices outside those circles. I think Bradbury and/or commenters under his post on it have a similar view.

                I am not keen on the number of politicians, especially those on the left, that go into politics via working in the media and/or PR. That is a world of it’s own with its own sense of entitlements.

                I’d like to see more candidates going into politics via on the ground activism and/or community work.

                I also think TVNZ have fucked up, and their rear-guard policy changes are poor. Drinnan indicates a major problem:

                Taurima’s second candidacy was common knowledge to many in the media but nobody at TVNZ.

                Worse, TVNZ had suffered major problems in the recent past under Taurima’s predecessor, Paora Maxwell.

                TVNZ will tighten rules for staff declaring political affiliations involving party membership and activism, said Kenrick.

                But the changes around staff declaring conflicts of interest will not require any declaration to the political bent of presenters with no party affiliation.

                Kenrick said the issue is over TVNZ staff involvement in political parties and not their voting preference or political stance.

                In terms of political bias in the media, I think journalist and editors’ undeclared political biases are a major problem.

                • Tracey

                  kenrick said shane couldnt work in a story input role in news again…

                  paul henry?

                  tv3 going to announce their policy anytime soon?

        • Bearded Git

          You forgot Mora, Ryan, Crump…..

          • karol

            too many to remember first thing in the morning, BG.

          • felix

            What’s the backstory on Mora and Ryan? Can’t say I’ve noticed either of them to be biased politically.

            Mora may be vacuous, and tories will fill a vacuum, but that’s another matter.

            • Bearded Git

              Sorry but you have to listen a bit more carefully felix.

              You may not have heard Chris Trotter’s tirade against Ryan a couple of years ago where he said she would NEVER have him on her show with her views.

              Can’t you hear how happy Mora is when (yesterday) he had 2 right wing commentators, Miller and Krebs, on the Panel? And he banned Bomber.

              • felix

                Mora is always happy. He treats all his guests with respect.
                No he didn’t ban Bomber, radionz did. And good on them, he was a terrible guest.
                I think I’ll stick to assessing people by what they actually say, not by what someone on a blog half-remembers an opinionated old man ranting about two years ago, thanks.

                • Anne

                  Agree with felix.

                  Bomber Bradley made a bombastic ‘speech’ (he was reading it so it was premeditated) and it put Mora in an invidious position. Once you let one person get away with that kind of raving then you open the floodgates for others to do the same. Radio NZ had no choice but to ban him. I often agree with Bomber’s comments but he sure needed to learn to moderate his delivery.

      • Tracey 5.2.2

        I hope its less about the look than ethics. shane and others used their employers resources without disclosure or payment.

        on the flip side tvnz said shane couldnt go back in any news role involving content due to his party associations… how do they explain paul henry for all those years…. and tv3… should be a statement b4 everyshow. paul henry stood for national in the …. election…. every time.

      • Rosie 5.2.3

        “Wilcox has a cutting intellect whether used in Maori or Pakeha realms and may well be what Labour needs to secure the Tamaki-Makaurau seat being vacated by Sharples…”

        Wilcox would be excellent. He is sharp as a knife but also very engaging and warm just going by what I’ve seen of him on Maori TV over the years, when he was there.He strike me as one who would be a good and inclusive leader.

        Did I hear correctly on RNZ this morning that nominations have in fact been re opened for Tamaki Makaurau?

        • bad12

          Listening to the Party Prez i get the feeling that that is being left up to the committee charged with overseeing the nominations for Tamaki-Makarau…

    • Ed 5.3

      It will be interesting to see if that ban on belonging to a political party extends to the whole public sector. National has always been a party which has criticised any appointment of members of (other) political parties to government enquiries or boards of government organisations – while at the same time encouraging the appointment of “right minded”, “business people.” In local government, we have had the “Cit-Rats,” carefully pretending that they are “independent”.

      I recall talking to a friend who was a public servant. He was clearly a National supporter, but had never joined the party as that may have affected his career – but he donated to the party, took people to the polls with a blue ribbon on his car . . . If asked, he was able to proudly say ‘I have never belonged to a political party; it is important to be able to take an independent view’

      Such a pervasive attitude that party affiliation is wrong is not only hypocritical, I believe it is dangerous for the future of our country – we need open and honest discussion, we need to encourage real alternatives, we need to be able to be honest to voters about the policies that they can expect from those they are voting for.

      As far as broadcasting is concerned, it should be possible for bias to be assessed within the organisation – and either balanced or those no able to display impartial interviewing and reporting either moved or balanced with other staff with different views.

      We can sometimes speculate as to political views of Morning Report presenters – one went on to advocate libertarianism after he left the programme, but generally it has been hard to detect bias while they are working. Maggie Barry’s affiliation may well have been a surprise to many, but on TV3 Paul Henry flaunts his bias – even telling David Cunliffe that he will never vote for Labour.

      As always with National form is more important than substance – bias is expected and encouraged, but on a ‘don’t ask don’t tell” basis. That is no way to run a country.

      • Tracey 5.3.1

        lets not forget the once stood as a national party candidate paul henry framing viewers perceptions on tv1 for a decade and now tv3.

        wheres the on screen disclaimer before every appearance he makes.

    • Rosie 5.4

      Interesting inside information you have there Tiger Mountain. It really put TVNZ’s “political neutrality” hypocrisy/bs into sharp contrast.

    • NickS 5.5

      Likely there’ll be a challenge under the Human Rights Act on the ban, as freedom of association is protected and this ban impinges on it as it affects them outside of work.

    • David H 5.6

      Here’s hoping they do it at Radio NZ too. Shut up gluer eschew hopefully.

  6. Olwyn 6

    According to this article, New Zealanders are less supportive of redistributing income from the rich to the poor than people in any other nation, including the US.

    The valorisation of selfishness is not enough to explain this, since all the Western countries have gone that way, but we alone are at the top of the list.

    • @ olwyn..

      ..30 yrs of brainwashing’ll do that for ya..

      ..both national and labour have fostered/promoted the idea of the poor being ‘the other’.

      ..and as such not worthy of the same considerations/rights as the rest of ‘us’..

      ..that it’s all ‘their own fault’..etc..etc..

      ..and as a recent example of those-who-should-have-known-better..

      ..we have the forever-shame of the clark labour govt really ramming that difference-fostering-uncaring-about meme/dose of brainwash .. with their total ignoring of the poorest..and their continuing the tearing away of support from them started by previous national/labour govts..

      ..clark just stuck her boot on their throats..and ground…

      ..for nine long years..

      ..which brings us to their ‘working for (some) families’..

      ..clark kinda set in stone the societal/media beliefs of those in need as being second-class citizens..

      ..and her preaching were pure ayn rand..

      ..the dividing of society into the ‘worthy’..and the ‘unworthy’…

      ..the ‘deserving’/hard-working’ families..and the feckless-‘undeserving’..

      ..the beneficiary-families..

      ..those now in their 30’s have had that brainwashing all of their lives..


    • Bearded Git 6.2

      The more they talk about him, the more votes the IP gets.

  7. Disraeli Gladstone 7

    Such a nice guy. I’m so happy he’s going to be involved in the political discourse of the country. So on top of white collar crime, distasteful use of wealth, questionable piracy activity and Nazi memorabilia, we now have a healthy dose of “racist day”.

    And I reckon half of the replies to this post will still be people defending him (‘it was all fun’ ‘no offence meant’ etc), which ignores the underlying damage of casual racism. Can’t we just agree that Mana really should let him go?

    • did you actually read that new benchmark in beat-ups..?


      ..and you really are showing yr rightwing fears over the potency of a mana/internet party alliance-lite

      ..i agree..they could well go gangbusters..

      ..and echo the success of that other ‘catching-a-popular/populist-wave’ party/success..

      ..that bob jones rolled out way back then..

      ..i an see/understand why you are so nervous..

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        One person expressing displeasure over Kim Dotcom is showing rightwing fears over the potency of a mana/internet party alliance-lite deal are they?

        Hmmmm….what are all the voices here complaining about various right wing people like Cameron Slater indicative of then?

        • phillip ure

          talking apples and oranges gossy.?

          ..and do i really need to answer yr second question..?

          ..i’m sure others will be able to do that better than i..

        • captain hook

          what sort of nonsense is that gosman. dont you read the crap you spout before you press the print button. that last post was meaningless.

      • bad12 7.1.2

        Pfft indeed Phillip, the bloke complaining is using the ”racist tag” to gain attention to an entirely different perceived slight from DotCom,

        Gallstone seems to have seen an ”opportunity” having no understanding of those subjected to racism simply taking the slurs into their culture as a means of generating humor,

        My comment at (10) explains it to Him but we might have to wait a day or three for His knee to stop jerking uncontrollably for Him to be able to take on board the nuances of what is and isn’t racism…

      • Disraeli Gladstone 7.1.3

        Ignoring the fact that I don’t regard myself as right-wing (and indeed, my positions are mostly on the left for about 80-90% of issues), look at it this way. Morgan Godfery, who’s an incredible young, left-wing writer has also commented his dislike at Dotcom’s actions about “racist day”. Along with people like Danyl Mclauchlan (a Greenie these days) and Giovanni Tiso (a Marxist) have also voiced disapproval of Dotcom’s actions amongst many others.

        I assumed all of these committed left-wing people are just showing their right-wing fears?

        The fact of the matter is you were unable to really say anything of note so you threw out some dribble to hide the fact.

        • phillip ure


 dotcom..given the racial-background of his wife/children..

 a ‘racist’

          ..this is just part of an ongoing smear-campaign by the right..

          ..(pictures of a..semi-clad wife of dotcom..?..really..?..)

          ..a total beat-up..

          ..and you aren’t rightwing..?

          ..just going on yr postings had me fooled..

          ..and godrey supports the maori party over mana..

          ..the greens are terrified if the mana/internet alliance-lite eating into their support..

          ..and surely marxists oppose everything..?..bless them..!

          • Disraeli Gladstone

            It took you two posts to resort to “but he’s not a racist, his wife/best friend/etc is…!”

            I thought you would have probably survived a little longer than that. Racism is a complex, societal problem. You can be racist and be in love or friends with people of different skin colours. Racism is not just KKK members waving pitchforks. It can be institutional or personal. It can be overt or subtle.

            I’m not going to debate someone who doesn’t understand that.

            • phillip ure

              i can totally understand that..those complexities..

              ..(you wouldn’t believe how much i can’t stand being around ‘racist white-trash’

              ..i fucken loathe them with a skin-crawling intensity..)

              i repeat..did you read the whole fucken article..?

     it seems.. just the opening paragraph..?

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                Yes. I’m aware that it’s described as “banter” and “jokey fun”. That doesn’t change my opinion of the matter.

                And again, I stress, this is just another incident of a long-running list of questionable behaviour.

                • MaxFletcher

                  I’m fairly sure Phil would be shouting about it from the rooftops if Dotcom was supporting a right-wing party.

                  • Disraeli Gladstone

                    If it wasn’t for the raid at his home, it’s very easy to imagine Dotcom and John Key pulling “duck faces” together at some sort of meeting.

                    • i agree the recent circumstances of dotcoms’ life have seen him go on a political-journey..

                      ..a journey he may not have undertaken had those ‘circumstances’ not come about..

                      ..and that he has been a total dick a lot in his life..

                      ..haven’t you..?

                      ..i know i have..

                    • MaxFletcher

                      Serious question for you Phil, if it had been John Banks behaving in the same fashion as Dotcom in this instance would you blow it off like you have above?

                    • and my first hint of that ‘journey’ undertaken by dotcom came at that ant-spooking meeting at the ak town hall..

                      ..i positioned myself in the best observing-position..

                      ..front row balcony..just above where they sat on the stage..

                      ..and the person i watched pretty much fulltime was dotcom..

                      ..and going on what i saw there..if he was a far-right-racist-nazi..

                      ..and only ‘acting’ what he was showing/saying..

                      ..he deserves a fucken oscar..

                    • MaxFletcher

                      That doesn’t my question – if John Banks acted in the same fashion as Dotcom above, what would your reaction be?

                    • @ max..

                      ..i am finding it hard to imagine john banks being in a recording studio laying down some tracks with a wisecracking african-american/international crew..

                      .a crew used to working together..

                      ..i just cant see banks fitting in ‘there’

                      ..let alone bantering along..

                      ..i am sure banks is wound up far too tight to be a

                      ..that’s a stretch far too far…

             try to imagine that..

                    • MaxFletcher

                      nice dodge, but still a dodge.

                      Would you be as dismissive of such behaviour if it were someone from the right wide of the fence?

                    • what ‘behaviour’..?

             i said in my first reaction..’ppfftt!!’

                      ..there is no ‘story’..

                      ..this is a total beat-up..

                      ..and as a banks aside..

                      ..i ;m sure banks has said much worse/more offensive to many..


             perhaps an unfortunate comparison-figure for you..?

                    • MaxFletcher

                      Dodge and weave, slippery Phil.

                      You hypocrite – if Simon Bridges left little golliwogs for his black friends you’d be all over it.

                    • the pigman

                      Did you even read the article you linked in full? Or did just resort to namedropping condemnation by left-wing bloggers? Serious question.

                      Get off the grass.

              • vto

                phil ure: “..(you wouldn’t believe how much i can’t stand being around ‘racist white-trash’”

                That would have to be one of the funniest things I have seen written in a very long time ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …… but very quite typical of NZ styles …. so shallow … so brainless … so sheltered …. so … racist

                this site is a constant supply of larfs … eh

    • Tracey 7.2

      and people called him a nazi and made the heil hitler salute…

      clearly everyone involved was being peurile which is hardly what you want from politicians or parties.

      fortunately he isnt standing for parliament.

      interestingly when turei called collins racist, slater laughed and mocked and said she couldnt be cos her husband is samoan. i assume he will run the same logic for this dotcom idiocy.

    • Bill 7.3

      Well Disraeli, like you say, the issue is complex. And I think you might be missing some of the subtleties of the situation – such as, that it was in a private space where (apparently) all people of all ‘marks’ participated and jibed others on their ‘mark’ (ie, fatness, colour or what not).

      The crucial bits are private space and willing participation by all. That, by the way, is utterly different to a room full of white guys gayfully slamming women or who-ever who are not present.


      Mana partnering with the IP is way more preferable to their former (still current?) partnership with the assorted Stalinists, Trots and Leninists who make up Socialist Aotearoa. I mean, even if all the fears about Dotcoms supposed prejudice prove to be true, and even if those permeate the IP, at least those aforementioned fuckers (fascist communism/ communist fascists are term that should be resurrected imo) will be gone from the political arena.

    • David H 7.4

      Oh really and it was only released why??? Spite that’s all he was beaten to an idea so he spat the Dummy tossed his toys out of the cot and called the media whoop de do!

      “Tokona said he decided to talk about his experiences with Dotcom after receiving an email.

      “Tom Scott of HomeBrew, with the help of musicians around New Zealand, was organising a series of concerts up and down the country called Vote, to get people motivated to take part in the election,” Tokona said.

      “But Kim Dotcom has directly stolen this idea and is doing the same thing.””

      An unfortunate title but as is also in the article it was started by two African American muso’s tyo blow off steam. Yet another beat up piece.

  8. RedLogix 8

    If anyone thought that maybe we were imagining things take a look at this graph Herald article.

    Some interesting points fall out. Some countries with very real extremes of inequality like Portugal and Russia for instance – have very high degrees of support for tax redistribution.

    Others like Japan have much lower levels of support because the achieve redistribution without the need for tax intervention. The graph clearly represents some complex, nuanced causes and effects.

    But WTF are we to make of NZ? Rapidly growing levels of damaging inequality – and yet we love it. Seems like we cannot get enough of it. Have we been the ‘proving ground’ for yet another mass experiment in social engineering?

  9. fambo 9

    Interesting story on The Herald website about teeth being the new benchmark for inequality. Only thing it doesn’t mention is that you know you are poor when you have a toothache and can’t afford to go to the dentist.

    • the gap-toothed smile is a poverty-marker…

      ..that has developed over the last 30 yrs..

      ..(i guess we could call it neo-libitis..?..

      ..a disease of/from poverty..

      ..and surely a clear marker of how much a country ‘cares’..

    • Jilly Bee 9.2

      Hi Fambo – I put up a comment on this subject on yesterday’s Open Mike – number 17.

      • fambo 9.2.1

        Hi Jilly – in case you read this – that’s exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about. Luminos was featured on Campbell Live doing free dental care for one day and it was appalling but not surprising to see how many people came forward. This is a huge and hidden issue for a lot of New Zealanders on low incomes. I don’t want to say “the government should pay for this” but I think recognising the issue to start with would be good, followed by some sort of ways to help people on low incomes (and not just families) who can’t afford the large upfront sums, like small repayments over time.

    • Murray Olsen 9.3

      Getting rid of student loans would give us better smiles. By the time a student has qualified as a dentist, if they’ve taken out student loans, they owe a hell of a lot before they even start. The Rogernomics lies about user pays means that the dental student and the person who can’t get their teeth fixed both pay. We’ve got the worst of both worlds. Gee, thanks Labour.

  10. bad12 10

    Clutching at really thin straws here Gallstone, the African-American producers of DotCom’s album brought with them a custom where dissing each other in any terms they want to bring into the session as a means of generating humor and letting off steam and all you see is ”i hate DotCom”,

    Lolz, you should get out and about from inside you ‘Pakeha middle class bubble’ more often round here the above behavior is the norm with every racist slur the rednecks can dream up becoming part of our ‘culture’,

    i can well imagine that the African-American producers would have had great fun calling He who was paying the bills a ”fat white nazi mother-f–cker”,

    The riposte of the golly-wogs must have been a gut buster, and, you can bet the bloke what’s now doing the moaning DIDN’T walk out of the sessions in disgust,(i would suggest He happily joined in),

    Notice down the bottom of the article you link to the real nature of this persons complaint, NOT about any racism, simply pointing the dark stick of racism in the direction of DotCom so as to gain Himself publicity about another perceived slight,

    Pretty lame really, just as your leaping aboard the same donkey is…

    • bad12 10.1

      Ooops, must have forgot to press the reply tab…

    • Disraeli Gladstone 10.2

      Essentially, you’re argument is “racism is okay as long as everyone laughs.” Alternatively, “racism is okay as long as the target is cool with it and going to hit you back.”


      That’s not a sentiment I’m happy to have as a part of the left-wing, liberal conversation. Furthermore, this isn’t like it’s a one-off bit of behaviour that I’m judging Dotcom on here. If he was a little angel and this came to light, sure, I could go “well, it’s not very becoming, but maybe he was just joining in.”

      But this isn’t one-off behaviour. We’ve had white collar crime, rape joke concerning Hilary Clinton, distasteful comments about Stephanie Key, questionable privacy activities, Nazi memorabilia, and now we have a willingness to throw around racist jokes and gollywogs.

      The fact you’re willing to defend this guy does not reflect well on you.

      • Tiger Mountain 10.2.1

        More to come Gallstone apparently…

      • Aux 10.2.2

        So you’re saying context doesn’t matter, you’ll just apply an ideology methodically and mindlessly and punish/threaten everyone or anything you see as less than adhering to the one true truth? That’s not a conversation, period. Context is everything. Real life trumps theory.

        • You_Fool

          Also he doesn’t blame anyone else, this was entirely KDC’s fault and all blame rests on his shoulders.

          Gladstone: I actually agree with you on the just because the black guy started it doesn’t make it not racism. The whole thing was racist as hell, but at the same time it isn’t just KDC’s fault. It was the entire recording teams fault, including KDC, if fault is the right word to use. Using this (like the Mein kampf and German helmet ownership ‘controversies’) to heap scorn on KDC comes off feeling very fake and beat up like.

          I think the point here is that saying racist things doesn’t necessarily make you a racist. Like owning Nazi memorabilia doesn’t make you a Nazi sympathiser, sometimes it just seems like the cool thing to do and you show a lack of judgement or get caught up in the moment.

          Please note, once again, I actually think that KDC and the others involved in saying racist remarks were in the wrong, and nothing excuses saying racist things.

      • bad12 10.2.3

        Your last line Dismalraeli is a real pearler, i had to keep reading up thread so as to contain my gut busting reaction,(i will Defiinitely be bookmarking today’s Open Mike for the next time there’s a free for all discussion going on here at the mansion involving the usual suspects from our multi racial street, they will be well pleased to have found something with which to cane me over, especially not being reflected well upon),

        It could well be a painful malady Gallstone, not being reflected well upon, although i dear to suggest diversion and dissemination as you use in debate are definitely more of a pain, specially when the eyes are subjected to a far too copious amount of it,

        Your argument fails at the first hurdle, you know this, refuse to address it and then run the straw-men up the mast in a futile attempt to hold to a point you have abandoned by the diversions you import to the debate,

        The hurdle you fail to overcome is explained clearly in the story you linked us to in your haste to screech racist, the two African-American producers of DotCom’s music? were the importers of this style of racist jibe, and in that story is their reasoning for doing so,

        i can well imagine Gallstone you in such a situation producing an effete ”oh no i couldn’t possibly partake in such jibing its racist” refusal to join in such role playing? which would simply have you being portrayed in even harsher tones by those African-American gentlemen,

        i doubt you will ever understand ‘real’ racism, we grew up with it, from which kids were forbidden to play with what kids by their parents for no expressed reasons to the ‘streaming’ that occurred,(perhaps in a different form still does), in our education system through to that which exists glaringly in our system of (in)justice,

        Now what am i having for dinner tonight???…

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          This is simple. Even though the “racist day” was imported by people other than Kim Dotcom, I don’t think his behaviour (particularly gollywogs with their horrible history) is fitting for someone who wants to play a political role (even if he can’t be an MP). Even Russell Brown who agrees with your “it’s not actually Dotcom’s idea” said that Dotcom still should not have acted how he did.

          Furthermore, the lack of decorum in his actions is increased by the fact that left-wing, liberal parties should act by example (like New Zealand should act by example on climate change) by being as inclusive and as non-racist as possible. Racist jokes may be harmless amongst friends when everyone is involved but it still reinforces negative stereotypes. Meanwhile, to use gollywogs highlights either an ignorance or an indifference by Kim Dotcom to their historical position.

          You, further, refuse to address the fact that this is just another incident in a long-running list of objectionable behaviour by Dotcom. And then somehow suggested I’ve never faced “real racism” despite not knowing anything about me. I’m fortunate. I have been mildly privilege and have never been the subject of “real racism”. I have seen wonderful friends (particularly in the UK decades ago) who were. So I am aware of “real racism”. Also, I find the term “real racism” just as problematic as say “real rape” because it trivalises other forms of racism that may not be so overt and obvious.

          But I’m hardly surprised. Like I predicted in my post, people will flood to defend him because it appears that a lot of people buy into “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Which is rubbish. People are willing to throw away their liberal, left-wing values over Kim Dotcom.

          • bad12

            🙄 🙄 🙄 ,actually Disraeli the Golly-wog in the context of what must have been some extreme humor from the African-Americans who imported the Dissing along the lines of what is described in the article you linked to was what i would call a gut busting master stroke of lampoon,

            i bet those two African-American producers found it as gut busting as i do, you can’t get past your pathetic nasty little hatred of DotCom can you, face the fact it was the duo of African-American producers who in FACT set the paradigm in which this lampoon was acted out by all those involved,(funny how you do not accuse the duo who imported the alleged racism into the paradigm of any racism, i can only assume the reasoning behind this is that you are to all extents and purposes an absolute Wanker,but, that’s an examination for another day),

            Funny ae, i see a Mana/Interent alliance as the key to a Labour/Green government in September, including but not needing NZFirst, full stop,

            Oh and please don’t call me a fucking Liberal…

            • Disraeli Gladstone

              You’re not even addressing any points anymore.

              • bad12

                Exactly Gallstone, addressing the ”point” you make over and over again would be much less fun that say pissing in you pocket, which is why you are addressed with 🙄 ‘s,

                The point you are making is that You dislike DotCom and therefor every action you can chisel some support to validate your dislike of Him will be argued ad nauseum in a repetitive rant from you that simply leads to this 🙄 ,

                Face the fact Gallstone, DotCom did not instigate a custom of ”Dissing” into the workplace, two African-American music producers did, the fact that you chose to NOT level the finger of an accusation of racism at them instead singling out DotCom to vent you bitter vetch upon simply makes you a Hypocrite 🙄 🙄 …

                • Disraeli Gladstone

                  I never even argued he did instigate the custom. Maybe read my posts a little.

                  • bad12

                    For Gods sake one spurious little hair splitter is removed in the form of ‘Petty G’ and another steps up to the plate,

                    Your argument for want of a less polite term springing immediately to my mind is pathetic, my only consolation is that the ad at the top of the page must seriously tear at your nether regions,

                    🙄 🙄 🙄 …

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      Again, zero reply to the point I made. There’s a different between Pete George’s hair splitting and completely ignoring the point I wrote -several- times.

                      Anyway, I’m off for the night. Places to be.

  11. karol 11

    Thanks Lynn for responding to PG on his site. You explain it well, as posted on yesterday’s open mike – run out of reply buttons there.

  12. karol 12

    Jane Kelsey explains the absurd levels of secrecy around the NZ government’s participation in the TPPA. She has to use OIA requests to get any kind of confirmation that meetings are happening.

    Officials are negotiating again in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam this week before a meeting of ministers in Singapore on 19-20 May. As Professor Kelsey observed ‘no one would know. There has been no public announcement and nothing on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.’

    Five days ago the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade responded to another urgent request from Professor Kelsey, dated 15 April, advising which negotiators working on what issues would be at this week’s meeting.

    ‘But they have refused to tell me the dates when the particular groups will be negotiating, despite me explaining that I am only able to be in Vietnam later in the week and want to know which groups would still be meeting then.’

    Their justification was ‘privacy and security’. ‘Since when has the dates on which officials will be representing the government in negotiations been a matter of privacy? Who and what are the potential threats to security?’, Kelsey asked.

    • Ennui 12.1

      Karol, there are other issues at play which would tend to lean toward disinformation and secrecy.

      I have been watching several commentators (I gave some links on a prior posting) who in effect say that the TPPA is the commercial arm of the US Asia Pivot strategy that Obama has committed to. This strategy is a continuation of the Neo Cons much cited Project for New American Century.

      In this strategy China is the “enemy”, as they pose both a threat to US economic interests and to US global interests via such things as the Shanghai Cooperation agreements between India, China and Russia for a “pan-Asian” trade block. In short the TPPA is an attempt to isolate China (and any others the US needs to) from transacting commerce in any way which threatens US corporate interests.

      None of the above is “conspiracy theory”, it is all well documented. It might well explain the “privacy and security” around the TPPA. As the Chinese curse goes, “May you live in interesting times”!

  13. Native Affairs documentary exposes the links between neo-Nazi pseudo-historians who deny Maori status as tangata whenua, a convicted rapist and arsonist, and ‘mainstream’ right-wing politicos like Muriel Newman and Alan Gibbs:

  14. Bearded Git 15

    Now Key is attacking Linda Clark. WTF?

    He is losing it fast-he looked completely knackered at his press conference yesterday-a huge contrast to fit energetic Mr. Cunliffe at home on Campbell.

    • karol 15.1

      And Paul Henry, Michelle Boag, etc, etc?

      • Bearded Git 15.1.1

        You said Henry above. At least he admits it. And we forgot Hooton.

        That political scientist, I think from Victoria Uni (?), is one of the worst. Can’t remember her name.

      • Tracey 15.1.2

        tats different cos the right assume everyone knows their past party connections… but they dont.

    • karol 15.2

      Well Key is saying Clark’s training to Cunliffe should be public knowledge. But we also need all mainstream journalists, radio hosts, columnists, political commentators & panelists, etc to state their political leanings.

      • Tiger Mountain 15.2.1

        The torys must be rattled if Dear Leader has to deliver the attack lines on Clark himself. Beyond irony again for a PM with admitted links to Whale Spew and “Bee fooked”

        • Kiwiri

          Yup. This is National’s second week with their second shot at the media – embattled Minister last week, embittered Prime Minister this week. National Party’s politicians are descending into pettiness and vindictiveness. More evident by the day that they are running out of messages with real substance, so they fire shots at the media messengers.

    • ianmac 15.3

      I think that a ban (dubious?) is for NZBC news staff. What other stations do is irrelevant. As is say Newstalk ZB. Otherwise there would be hell to pay. Duncan Garner the Right wing pundit for example, would be gone by lunchtime.
      Or into Newspapers so Audrey and John Armstrong would be also gone. only Brent Edwards would be left as the most non-partisan newsman.
      A Fijian cull would be at hand. Get Frank in to help.

  15. NickS 16

    Open mike 12/05/2014

    Banned for four weeks so we can talk without an idiot astroturfing.

    If I have the money, I am so buying some beer to celebrate the brainless one’s demise, which will probably become permanent given he can’t but help be an idiot and piss off everyone.

    • Bearded Git 16.1

      +100 NickS.

      And if PG starts again in the same manner after 4 weeks elapses he should be banned till Sept 21st.

      • karol 16.1.1

        8 weeks now – doubled due to his post on his own website misrepresenting why he was banned.

        • lprent

          I got irritated by his habit of doing that elsewhere. Resolved that this time I’d just treat it as it it was here whenever I saw it.

          • Kiwiri

            How about the next time if and when that one is back, put him on a specified trial period and if his behaviour does not change (perhaps apply the ‘three strikes’ rule), he can be celebrated with the award of an indefinite ban.

            • karol

              I think automoderation is a useful tool in his case as well. Most of PG’s comments would pass in isolation. The biggest problem in diversion of discussion is the amount he comments, while never actually responding to the counter arguments and evidence presented.

              Notice that some other right wingers, who are pretty skilled communicators (eg Hooton, Mapp, etc), don’t keep on with large numbers of comments without any serious attempt at engagement or taking note of counter evidence.

    • Rosie 16.2

      Oh that’s a relief! Thanks for the news NickS, I wasn’t around to witness that. And thanks LPrent for implementing a ban (again).

      Some days I would begin to read a post or open mike and see the massive PG schamozzle thing going on and just go “fuck” and give up and close the page. Will be good to read peoples comments without the disruption. Even the “scroll on by” technique I had given up on in the end as it became an effort to pick out the genuine comments.

    • NickS 16.3

      Mac’s Sassy Red obtained thanks to the boss paying me early, and drunk to celebrate a long, and hopefully permanent ban for Pete George, ye shall not be missed.

      And no problem Rosie, tis but by sweetish pleasure to spread the good news that the crap-flood of PG stupidity is stopped 😀

  16. Penny Bright 17


    NZ First leader Winston Peters is claiming he’s got new information that would see Justice Minister Judith Collins “gone by Monday”.

    But Prime Minister John Key was challenging Peters to put up or shut up.

    “As I said yesterday, if he’s right and she’s forced to resign or is sacked as a minister, I’ll be going on public television to apologise. Of course, it’d be fantastic to see Winston Peters apologising if he’s wrong by next Monday as well.”

    “Like it is with all of these occasions, it’s bound to be his interpretation of something.

    “It’s pretty simple isn’t it?One of us is right, and one of us is wrong.”

    Key was reluctant to give absolute confirmation that he had full knowledge of Collins’ dealings with Oravida, but said anything new would be a surprise to him.
    …….. ”

    So – the MFAT briefing of the Oravida visit/tour which PROVED it was pre-planned as opposed to just calling in for a cuppa on the way to the airport wasn’t NEW information for Prime Minister John Key?

    Justice, Minister—Statements

    [Sitting date: 19 March 2014. Volume:697;Page:16818. Text is subject to correction.]

    Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Minister of Justice: Does she stand by all her statements regarding Oravida Ltd because she asserts they are true?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS (Minister of Justice) : Yes, to the best of my knowledge. If I make an error, I face up to it. I correct it, and I apologise.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: If her explanation yesterday for the circuitous route to the airport—that is, she did not know where she was—is true, then why did she say on 4 March that she just popped into Oravida to have a cup of tea on the way to the airport; which statement is true and which one is false?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Of course, they are both correct. To use the term “pop in” is not a statement of fact; it is an opinion. But I can tell that member—

    Hon Member: It’s called a colloquialism.

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: It is a colloquialism. But I can tell that member that not only did I speak with the China Executive Leadership Academy in Pudong for about 2 hours, I also had a meeting with the Shanghai Municipal Discipline Inspection Commission, plus there was a lunch, attended by many guests. Then there was a call on the Director-General of the Shanghai Justice Bureau. The only other choice was either to go to the airport, or to go to Oravida and then to the airport. It was always planned that if there was not time, we would not bother going to Oravida.


    Raw Documents: MFaT OIA Release on Collins’ Oravida Dinner

    Monday, 5 May 2014, 12:17 pm
    Article: Scoop News

    On Friday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released documents on minister Judith Collins’ October visit to China. During the visist Collins had dinner with Stone Shi, owner of NZ food company Oravida, and an unnamed Chinese offical. She also visited Oravida headquarters, an event which the company used in promotional material. Collins’ husband is a director of Oravida and the company has made substantial donations to the National Party, which had led to allegation of conflict of interest.

    The following document was released to activist Penny Bright. It includes 102 pages of scanned documents and correspondence (with redactions) related to the dinner, the Oravida visit and Collins’ trip to China.

    On page 85 the purpose of the Oravida visit is described as “To increase the profile of a successful importer and distributor of New Zealand products into China”.

    Full document: OIA release on Judith Collins’ dinner with Oravida [PDF, 6.52MB]

    Does THIS look like a ‘cuppa’ on the way to the airport?

    Oravida photo – STILL on their website

    “NZ’s Minister of Justice and NZ’s China Ambassador visit Oravida Shanghai”

    Is this apparent ‘wilful blindness’ by Prime Minister John Key, exhibiting the highest ethical standards to which he is supposed to hold his Ministers accountable?

    Conduct of Ministers

    2.52 A Minister of the Crown, while holding a ministerial warrant, acts in a number of
    different capacities:

    (a) in a ministerial capacity, making decisions, and determining and promoting
    policy within particular portfolios;

    (b) in a political capacity as a member of Parliament, representing a constituency or
    particular community of interest;

    (c) in a personal capacity.

    2.53 In all these roles and at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in
    a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards. Ultimately,
    Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour

    In my opinion, expecting the highest ethical standards from John Key, ex-Wall Street banker who helped to set up the dodgy derivatives market is probably a VERY BIG ask?


    Investment banker, New Zealand for 10 years
    Investment banker, Merrill Lynch 1995-2001
    Member, Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York 1999-2001

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption/anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

  17. Paul 19

    “John Key questions broadcaster Linda Clark’s work to Labour”

    Think Labour should frontfoot this and ask Key about the placement and bias of Hosking, Christie and Wood in TVNZ

    • Aux 19.1

      Don’t need to ask Key about Hosking’s placement. He’s a turtle on a fence post, a poster-boy and Shepard for dim-wits everywhere. Last night on that terrible seven sharp he said NZ law makers weren’t bias and didn’t make laws to annoy any particular group of people. Laws, to him, or the character he’s paid to play, are Gospel.

      NB: Don’t watch that show, not even by mistake. You’ll end up feeling dumber inside of two minutes.

  18. Paul 20

    Wonder how much the hospitality/supermarket/liquor industry pays him to say this stuff.
    The right wing are hostages to corporate vested interests.

  19. greywarbler 21

    Putting money into R&D that will give us a leading edge that’s sharp and bright not dull as our polluted dairy ditchwater. Hey that would be a good name for an ecology queen in a rural town parade Daisy Dairy Ditchwater. Float decorated in didymo, on browny camouflage colours for the river with white and yellow daisies floating on top hiding the muck.
    Leave it with you – anyone who is inspired can have it.

    The government has just made a grant under the Callaghan fund idea. But there is also another fund the CoRE which has left many of our best scientists bereft of money and presumably up the creek without a paddle. Will their petri dishes die? Watch for the next exciting news from Idiot Central c/- the Beehive, Wellington. Sponsored by The Treasury.
    More than $20 million in government research and development funding has been awarded to 15 technology firms in the latest allocation from Callaghan Innovation’s Growth Grants programme.
    Those companies include steel framing systems provider Howick, health and wound care product exporter Manuka Health and wireless-charging technology developer PowerbyProxi.

    The Growth Grants were introduced by Callaghan – the Government’s high-tech business development body – last year and provide 20 per cent funding of research and development expenditure, capped at $5 million annually, over three years.
    Eligible companies must spend at least $300,000 and 1.5 per cent of their revenue annually on R&D conducted in New Zealand. After two years of funding businesses can be granted a two-year extension.
    Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said the grants allowed high-value manufacturing and services firms to innovate and grow faster.
    “That in turn will help lift New Zealand’s export revenues, job numbers, and the incomes of Kiwi families,” he said.

    Immunodiagnostic technology developer Pictor, Pultron Composites – which manufactures reinforced fibreglass products used in the construction sector – and gas analysis device maker Syft Technologies were also allocated funding.
    A total of 65 companies have been approved for Growth Grants, worth around $220
    million over three years, this year.
    The firms
    Advanced Management Systems, Connexionz, Howick, Manuka Health New Zealand, Millar Instruments, Nexus6, Pictor, PowerbyProxi, Pultron Composites, Reckon Accountants Group, Sika Technology, Syft Technologies, Trends Publishing International, Truescape, Vynco Industries

    CoRE funding is doled out to various entities like fish food sprinkled on a tank.
    Some get it, get into good outcomes, and then lose it. Where are they then to go to advance their work? Look to our richest to put their money where there isn’t immediate gratification and advance of personal wealth and power?

    Two Palmerston North research institutions ranked among the best in the country have missed out on millions of dollars in government funding.
    The Riddet Institute and the Allan Wilson Centre, both based at Massey University’s Manawatu campus, have been cut from the Tertiary Education Commission’s list for renewal as a Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE).

    CoRE funding is designed to bring together leading scientists across institutions to deliver strategically-focused research.
    In the latest round 27 applicants made bids for a slice of the $210 million six-year operating expenditure, which would have given centres $35m on average between January and 2020.

    The Riddet Institute, considered a world leader in food science, became a CoRE in 2007 but was one of four dropped from the draft renewal shortlist in March.
    The Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, which has had two CoRE funding terms since 2003, was reeling at the announcement it had missed out yesterday.

    “We’re bitterly disappointed, we’re really gutted,” director Professor Hamish Spencer said.

  20. Jackal 22

    It was amusing to see a National Party tweet the other day about something the so-called Economic Development Minster, Steven Joyce, said:

    Joyce: “Next week’s Australian budget will show what would have happened if we had followed the Labour-Greens prescription for our economy.”

    One could hardly argue that Australia has been following a “Labour-Greens prescription” for the economy. In fact this was succinctly refuted by Toad’s reply:

    Actually, it will show what happens when you base your economy on extractive industries.

    The investment into outdated technologies hasn’t paid off for Australia and it isn’t paying off for New Zealand. Being that Joyce is clearly so desperate to attack the Greens and Labour with his delusions, let’s have a look at the real reason behind Australia and New Zealand’s economic woes (ie National has never posted a surplus).

    Back in February, 3 News reported on a love fest between Australian PM, Tony Abbot and our equally deluded neoliberal Prime Minster, John Key.

    The real unfortunate thing here isn’t the fact that Abbot is employing many of the socially destructive policy’s that the National party have inflicted upon New Zealand (albeit faster), nor the cringeworthy compliments these two idiots are sharing…it’s that these two old men are clearly living in the past.

    “I do welcome Prime Minister Key not just as a brother, but as a soul mate.
    “Not just as a friend, but as a mentor.”

    Mr Abbott said the relative size of government in New Zealand had fallen to 30 percent of the economy, down from 35 percent.

    “As governments get smaller, citizens get bigger,” he said.

    Sadly Tony Abbot is relying on theories developed in the eighties and nineties. There are more current studies that indicate the previous research made a considerable over-statement of the effect of government size on growth. Here’s the conclusion from one of them:

    Our reworking of the GHL analysis suggests that size of government per se has at most only a minor effect on long-term growth outcomes. This conclusion represents a considerable diminution of the effect derived in the GHL study. Consistent with the findings here on the impact of government size on growth, recent disaggregated studies suggest that the structure of the government budget has much more impact on growth outcomes than does the size of the budget.

    Based on up-to-date comparable international fiscal information for general government, New Zealand has a relatively small government sector. To the extent that government size has a negative effect on GDP growth, this feature should be a positive for New Zealand’s growth prospects relative to the OECD average.33 However, the disaggregated data indicates that the structure of fiscal flows in New Zealand may have a negative effect on growth in this country relative to other OECD countries. New Zealand has a comparatively heavy reliance on individual and corporate income tax to fund government and has relatively low investments in productive government expenditure categories. Both aspects may be negative for New Zealand’s growth prospects. Accordingly, the structure of New Zealand’s fiscal expenditures and revenues warrants significant attention in any policy package designed to return New Zealand’s per capita income to the top half of the OECD.

    So the two main things this pre-Global Financial Crisis study outlines are over-reliance on individual and corporate income tax and low investments in productive government expenditure categories. National has only acknowledged one of these…tax cuts for the rich and this has had an overall negative impact on growth. The rich aren’t investing into businesses that support growth, but instead investing their tax cuts into things like houses.

    New Zealand’s current government has completely ignored increasing investment into more productive areas (like green technologies), which because of the GFC, would have been a far better choice to make to increase growth. The problem is that if we don’t increase growth, we will never hope to pay back the $61 billion debt people like John Key and Steven Joyce have mismanaged New Zealand into.

    As long as we have politicians relying on outdated research, neither Australia or New Zealand will progress to anywhere near our potential. We will languish at the bottom of the OECD stats, and be the laughing stock of more developed nations.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1


      Not that the more developed nations are doing all that well either. The wealthy nations percentage of global productivity is seriously declining as the so-called third world nations catch up (Capitalism in 21st Cent, Piketty). Won’t be too long now before international trade grinds to a halt due to the simple fact that there won’t be an export market left.

    • Colonial Viper 22.2

      New Zealand’s current government has completely ignored increasing investment into more productive areas (like green technologies), which because of the GFC, would have been a far better choice to make to increase growth.

      What’s this pathological fixation with economic growth? Growth is at end peeps because affordable fossil fuels are in permanent decline, growth regardless of the colour red green or blue is now a mirage, even all the market and money manipulation TPTB can muster only keeps things crawling along, and our political leaders better start admitting the fact.

      • Jackal 22.2.1

        Have to agree with you there. The problem is that its the main measure being used to determine success and its accomplice, Gross Domestic Product, is directly related to our ability to service debt. There’s some good research about debt as a percentage of GDP not exceeding 22% for a country to be able to function economically. New Zealand government debt is currently running at around 36% of GDP, so unless we have a sustained period of exceptional economic growth we’re pretty much stuffed! We could do a Gaddaffi and say ‘I’m not paying that much interest on debt’ but look at what happened to him and Libya.

  21. karol 23

    Question Time now has an on-screen signer.

    All waiting to see Winston’s Question2.

    Say what? MPs not allowed to raise questions of corruption on floor of the House – must be done through privileges letters. – gospel according to Carter.

    • karol 23.1

      Toby Manhire Tweet (with David Clark running cover for Key and Joyce and ruling out Winston Peters’ supplementaries to Qu 2.

      What’s the bet that by the end of #nzqt the sign interpreter is just banging her head repeatedly on the desk, like the rest of us?

      An Key telling Peters to speak more clearly – so media and all of us can understand him….?!

    • fender 23.2

      Yep, it’s an attempt to shut down exposure of corruption on the 6pm news; they’re running scared..

      • karol 23.2.1

        Winston gone – Carter takes of specs trying to show headmaster still has authority.

        • Tracey

          winston waiting til budget day to drop his info?

          • karol

            No, he promised info today. According to tweets by Jessica Williams, it was about

            Winston says Judith Collins received support, transport, accommodation from the Chinese govt while in Beijing.

            .@winstonpeters claiming Judith Collins told the Cabinet about benefits she received while in China – but were not disclosed to pec register

            And Tova O’Brien Tweet shows Peters now talking to media:

            • Tracey

              well, it wont be news to key if cabinet were told…

              • karol

                Peters Press Release on this.

                Justice Minister Judith Collins concealed payments made by the Chinese Government for her travel, accommodation and other costs during her trip to China and the Prime Minister was aware of this, claims Rt Hon Winston Peters.

                He says the minister deliberately failed to record the benefits in the Register of Pecuniary Interests and New Zealand First is asking for the case to be referred to the Privileges Committee.

                Also, Nats and opposition are debating whether ministers are required to decare such things.

                • Zorr

                  That’s bloody significant.

                  Interesting how it has yet to appear on either Stuff or NZ Herald and they are still running the “put up or shut up” line from Key…

                  I think Peters has put up. Maybe now it is time for Key to shut up?

                  Also, if this is true. What ramifications does this hold for the PM considering he stated very publicly that there was nothing left on Collins that would surprise him? Is he going to eat his words and apologize to Peters on live TV like promised? 😛

                • Seti

                  I don’t believe Collins is required to declare a pecuniary interest

                  (2) The information referred to in subclause (1)(a) does not have to be included in the return if the travel costs or accommodation costs (as the case may be) were paid by the following or any combination of the following:

                  (e) any government, parliament, or international parliamentary organisation, if the primary purpose of the travel was in connection with an official parliamentary visit.

                  Peters has overstretched on this one.

                  • Tracey

                    tend to agree, except for any gifts… he is going for perception big time but hopefully it reminds those who want a change of govt not to vote for peters..

                  • Enough is Enough

                    I disagree

                    This is the final straw. Her corruption is now evident to all. Notice that no one is denying what Peters has claimed.

                    She is gone.

                    Well done and Thank You Winston.

                    The country as a whole salutes you for removing this evil witch.

                    • karol

                      Adam Bennett at NZ Herald reckons otherwise:

                      However, even if it was found that Ms Collins should have declared the support from the Chinese Government, it is unlikely to trouble the Government unduly. Omissions are made commonly without any penalty.

                      But it has been referred to the privileges committee. Is not a good look for Collins, even if it doesn’t cause her to be ousted from cabinet.

                  • Tracey

                    it will be good to watch nats and supporters quote the cabinet manual over this one with so many finding it ellusive and irrelevant until now where collins is concerned.

                  • Tracey

                    peters says she disclosed aussie govt contribution last year… havent seen proof, havent looked at her pec int declaration from last year

                  • Tracey

                    8 Contents of return relating to member’s activities for period ending on effective date of return
                    (1) Every return must contain the following information for the period specified in clause 9:

                    (a) for each country (other than New Zealand) that the member travelled to,—

                    (i) the name of the country, and

                    (ii) the purpose of travelling to the country, and

                    (iii) the name of each person who contributed (in whole or in part) to the costs of the travel to and from the country, and

                    (iv) the name of each person who contributed (in whole or in part) to the accommodation costs incurred by the member while in the country, and

                    (b) a description of each gift received by the member that has an estimated market value in New Zealand of more than $500 and the name of the donor of each of those gifts (if known or reasonably ascertainable by the member), and

                    (c) a description of all debts of more than $500 that were owing by the member that were discharged or paid (in whole or in part) by any other person and the names of each of those persons, and

                    (d) a description of each payment received, and not previously declared, by the member for activities in which the member was involved, including the source of each payment, except that a description is not required of any payment that is—

                    (i) paid as salary or allowances under the Civil List Act 1979 or the Remuneration Authority Act 1977, or as a funding entitlement for parliamentary purposes under the Parliamentary Service Act 2000:

                    (ii) paid in respect of any activity in which the member concluded his or her involvement prior to becoming a member (that is, before the commencement of a period set out in clause 9(2)(b) or (d), as applicable).

                    (2) The information referred to in subclause (1)(a) does not have to be included in the return if the travel costs or accommodation costs (as the case may be) were paid by the following or any combination of the following:

                    (a) the member:

                    (b) the member’s spouse or domestic partner:

                    (c) any parent, child, stepchild, foster-child, or grandchild of the member:

                    (d) the Crown:

                    (e) any government, parliament, or international parliamentary organisation, if the primary purpose of the travel was in connection with an official parliamentary visit.

                • Tracey

                  peters is right. in 2012 she declared overseas accomodation contribution from aust govt, same year bridges and coleman and others declared overseas contribution to travel from other countries and bridges and others did in 2013.

                  havent gone past the c’s.

            • freedom

              Maybe Collins used a Chinese official vehicle/mode of transport to go to the “private dinner”?

              Arrival via helipad perhaps?

              • Tracey

                now THAT would be interesting, if they supplied the car for going to oravida or dinner.

                im just not sure this is a knock out blow like he promised… unless he has something else planned for budget day?

                • karol

                  I stand corrected. Peters originally claimed Collins would be challenged this week and would be gone by next Monday, not this Monday – according to what I heard on RNZ in the last half hour.

                  So, maybe he does have something planned for Thursday…. or not. Mary Wilson called today’s effort by Peters a damp squid.

    • Seti 23.3

      Karol, your 4.27 – “But it has been referred to the privileges committee. Is not a good look for Collins, even if it doesn’t cause her to be ousted from cabinet.”

      It hasn’t been referred to the Privileges Committee. Peters wants the Speaker to but there’s every chance he’ll rule no case to answer.

      • Tracey 23.3.1


        read the pecuniary interests register.

        i have read 2012 & 2013and 2014

        collins declared overseas contribution for travel from aust govt, so bridges and coleman also declared contributions to their travel by foreign govts. i only looked up to c’s.

        gosh in the 2014 register two or three colleagues in xabinet declared overseas travel contributions from the chinese govt…

        so, its a fair question, why didnt she declare the china travel contribution?

        on the face of it, it is the practice of john keys ministers to declare such contributions.

      • karol 23.3.2


  22. joe90 24

    A brighter future.

    Castlecliff North

    Deprivation Index (2013): 10
    Deprivation Index (2006): 10

    Deprivation Index Score (2013): 1140
    Deprivation Index Score (2006): 1130

    • The Al1en 24.1

      Bright futures shaded brown.


      Deprivation Index (2013): 9
      Deprivation Index (2006): 8

      Deprivation Index Score (2013): 1058
      Deprivation Index Score (2006): 1038


      Deprivation Index (2013): 9
      Deprivation Index (2006): 9

      Deprivation Index Score (2013): 1095
      Deprivation Index Score (2006): 1090

      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1

        That’s an interesting way to put the dates. I suspect that it will cause most people to misread the information as it’s essentially put it backwards compared to what people expect.

        • The Al1en

          Read left, right or up and down, the numbers in the index aren’t pretty.

          • Draco T Bastard

            If people read it top to bottom, as I suspect most people will due to that being how pages are usually set out, then they’ll have the impression that things have actually gotten better rather than worse.

  23. karol 25

    So Nick Smith says overseas landlords of NZ rental properties is ONLY 11%. That’s seems a lot to me, and enough to have a significant impact on NZ house prices, etc. He reckons it’s good because it’s low compared with ststs for other countries.

    It showed that out of 199,000 taxpayers who reported rental tax returns, 11 per cent were non-residents and 1 per cent were of unknown residency.

    The briefing said it was important to note that the “non-resident” category included New Zealand citizens who lived overseas.

    The data did not distinguish between expat New Zealanders and foreign buyers.

    The non-resident category was rising more quickly than the resident category since 1997.

    • Ennui 25.1

      I recall in the days of my youth that even getting enough money that you had saved out of the country to do an OE was a major task. Times have changed!

    • freedom 25.2

      “It showed that out of 199,000 taxpayers who reported rental tax returns, 11 per cent were non-residents and 1 per cent were of unknown residency.”

      Two thousand people can buy a home, collect rent, pay rates, pay tax, be landlords or employ property management services, pay bills and do all of this via banking services and we don’t know what their residency status is?

      Am I the only one a bit confused by that?

    • Tracey 25.3

      11% seems high to me. how would their tax on rental be treated?

      • karol 25.3.1

        Don’t know. Twyford has just done a couple of tweets on it:

        IRD says 11% landlords are offshore. Deduct non-resident Kiwis. Potentially still significant. National refuses to even collect decent data.

        @tslumley says IRD’s 11% offshore landlords could mean 4% homes owned offshore. If anything like 4% of sales are offshore that is signficant

        • Draco T Bastard

          National refuses to even collect decent data.

          That’s the big one. Without that data we can’t find and stop the corruption nor make reasonable estimates of what’s happening in our country.

          We can only be certain of one thing: We are being ripped off and this government is supporting that.

    • Pete 25.4

      We need more information. How much property do they own? How many are holding companies?

    • vto 25.5

      Our business takes us into this kind of territory (size of market and market movement effects) and 11% of a market is huge. I know this – our livelihood depends on it.

      11% sucked out of the property market would have a very substantial effect. Nick Smith knows this – I hate it when they lie so blatantly. Nick Smith is a liar.

      11% is massive.

      This should be shunted along and kept front page by the parties who want to take out foreign ownership.

      Note also, that I would expect that 11% to have been 4-8% merely 10 years ago. The trend is upwards.

      Note also again, that that is an 11% average, so in some parts of the country (e.g. Auckland parts) you can expect that % to be substantially more, like 20%.

      11% of the property market is huge and the difference between boom and bust, in normal swings.

      Jump on it. Jump on the 11%. Ignore the dishonest Nick Smith.

  24. Penny Bright 26

    Grant Robertson to the Minister of Justice:

    Does she stand by all her statements regarding her relationships and interactions with Oravida Ltd – 6 May 2014

    Raw Documents: MFaT OIA Release on Collins’ Oravida Dinner

    Monday, 5 May 2014, 12:17 pm
    Article: Scoop News

    On Friday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released documents on minister Judith Collins’ October visit to China. During the visist Collins had dinner with Stone Shi, owner of NZ food company Oravida, and an unnamed Chinese offical.
    She also visited Oravida headquarters, an event which the company used in promotional material.
    Collins’ husband is a director of Oravida and the company has made substantial donations to the National Party, which had led to allegation of conflict of interest.

    The following document was released to activist Penny Bright. It includes 102 pages of scanned documents and correspondence (with redactions) related to the dinner, the Oravida visit and Collins’ trip to China.

    On page 85 the purpose of the Oravida visit is described as “To increase the profile of a successful importer and distributor of New Zealand products into China”.

    Full document: OIA release on Judith Collins’ dinner with Oravida [PDF, 6.52MB]

    How is a Minister of Justice who lies to the House and the public ‘fit for duty’?

    Why does NZ Prime Minister John Key continue to defend the indefensible actions of HIS Minister of Justice Judith Collins?

    Because, (in my opinion) , John Key, as an ex-Wall Street banker who helped to set up the dodgy derivatives market clearly lacks a moral and ethical compass, and is not himself ‘fit for duty’ in his major ‘public service’ role as NZ Prime Minister.


    Investment banker, New Zealand for 10 years
    Investment banker, Merrill Lynch 1995-2001
    Member, Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York 1999-2001

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption/anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

  25. karol 27

    Now Brownlee wants to censor what MPs tweet during Question Time – eg tweeting comments critical of Carter.

  26. Penny Bright 28


    Key Covers up Collins’ Cover up of Chinese Support

    Tuesday, 13 May 2014, 3:03 pm

    Press Release: New Zealand First Party
    Rt Hon Winston Peters
    New Zealand First Leader

    13 May 2014

    Key Covers up Collins’ Cover up of “Substantial” Chinese Support

    Justice Minister Judith Collins concealed payments made by the Chinese Government for her travel, accommodation and other costs during her trip to China and the Prime Minister was aware of this, claims Rt Hon Winston Peters.

    He says the minister deliberately failed to record the benefits in the Register of Pecuniary Interests and New Zealand First is asking for the case to be referred to the Privileges Committee.

    “This is the latest episode in a string of cover-ups around her trip to China, which she used to help her husband’s company Oravida when its milk exports to China were stopped.

    “The three Oravida contacts were a conflict of interest and therefore a breach of the Cabinet Manual. Her deliberate concealment of payments from the Register is another clear breach of the Cabinet Manual.

    “Prime Minister John Key was well aware that the Chinese Government was supporting the Minister.

    In the confidential Cabinet Travel Report that is only circulated within Cabinet, Minister Collins stated that she was “provided substantial support for all meetings, accommodation in Beijing and transportation and facilitation throughout the visit”.

    “Why did the Prime Minister then allow his minister to conceal this ‘substantial support’ from the Chinese Government by not listing them in the Register of Pecuniary Interests that is on public view.

    “Minister Collins did declare a set of books as a gift she received from the Chinese Government but failed to record the other contributions made by Beijing.”

    Mr Peters says he has asked the Speaker to refer the case to the Privileges Committee to enable all the facts to be disclosed.


  27. Karl Sinclair 29

    Great speech David.

    A David and Goliath battle for hearts and minds no less.

    Up until recently National have seemed to own the airwaves (media) showing themselves as the pragmatic party, the farmer/business mans friend, the can do party. I feel that maybe the tide is beginning to turn.

    From your speech David I feel that labour is certainly becoming the solution focused party, well done.

    David, in Philip Mirowski book:

    “Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown”

    I feel he has defined a serious problem that the left has been struggling with, that is:

    Cognitive Dissonance

    “He concludes that neoliberal thought has become so pervasive that any countervailing evidence serves only to further convince disciples of its ultimate truth. Once neoliberalism became a Theory of Everything, providing a revolutionary account of self, knowledge, information, markets, and government, it could no longer be falsified by anything as trifling as data from the “real” economy.” End quote. (work and consumption; neo-liberal economics)

    Mirowski then highlights certain elements of the left have failed to craft a serious political opposition.

    What do you think David? How do you address this?

    I feel your party is now crafting a serious solution focused party that benefits workers, businessmen, farmers etc.

    To me there is a perverse double bind being played. It’s illustrated in the phrase “Too big to fail” when describing banks or companies propped up by the public. I feel National are playing a similar game. Propped up by Big Money, commercial media etc, how can any other ideology cut through the false rhetoric? People need a means to get out of this physiological trap.

    The media/national up until now has seemed to have the left caught (only because they are funded by big money and blanket media coverage). If the left wants to improve workers conditions this somehow automatically transforms to Labour doesn’t want business or farmers to succeed. Which is rubbish. Nationals spin doctors are trying to make Labour appear one sided.

    I note that Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, (subtitled “Why more equal societies almost always do better”, will present this year’s Sir Douglas Robb Lectures at the University of Auckland from May 19-23. Will you be attending?

    I wish you all the best.

    Ps maybe their is something to be learned from this movie?

    “How Chile’s ad men ousted Pinochet: the real life story behind new
    film ‘No’

    [lprent: That is a speech – moved to OpenMike from David’s post. ]

    • blue leopard 29.1

      bloody good speech though! +1

    • Colonial Viper 29.2

      Mirowski then highlights certain elements of the left have failed to craft a serious political opposition.

      What do you think David? How do you address this?

      A serious alternative political-economics needs to be presented to the electorate. Not alternating versions of a softer corporate capitalism then a tougher corporate capitalism, then back to a softer corporate capitalism.

      Democratising the ownership of the economy, how work places are run, what gets funded and what does not, the directorships of businesses, is I believe the sea change needed.

  28. Jenny 30

    Lights out

    We predict that blackouts will occur with greater frequency and greater severity due to trends in both electricity supply and demand. Supply will become increasingly precarious because of the depletion of fossil fuels, neglected infrastructure and the shift toward less reliable renewable energy. Demand, meanwhile, will grow because of rising populations and affluence.

    Resource depletion is already having an effect on countries that rely on fossil fuels such as coal for electricity generation. Countries with significant renewable resources are not immune either. Weather is not predictable and is likely to become less so, courtesy of climate change: in the past decade shortages of rain for hydro dams has led to blackouts in Kenya, India, Tanzania and Venezuela.

    Deregulation and privatisation have created further weaknesses in supply as there is no incentive to maintain or improve the grid. Almost three-quarters of US transmission lines and power transformers are more than 25 years old and the average age of power plants there is 30 years.

    The looming threat of blackouts cannot be solely blamed on vulnerabilities in generation, however. Overconsumption is also a factor. Between 1940 and 2001, average US household electricity use rose 1300 per cent, driven largely by growing demand for air conditioning. And such demand is forecast to grow by 22 per cent in the next two decades.

    Hugh Byrd Professor of Architecture at the University of Lincoln, UK.

    Steve Matthewman Associate Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

    Wait there’s more

    The American Society of Civil Engineers has warned that without an investment of $100 billion, the US power generation system will collapse by 2020. In the UK, the National Grid, Ofgem, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Royal Academy of Engineering have all warned that the system’s integrity could be seriously reduced by the winter of 2015. Societies need to heed these warnings, or face a very dark future.

    Hugh Byrd Professor of Architecture at the University of Lincoln, UK.

    Steve Matthewman Associate Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

    (From the paper in the journal Social Space under the headline “Dark future”)

  29. The Peanut Monster 31

    The bias displayed by David Carter in the House today was disgusting.

    He set the tone with his pre-emptive strike – disallowing any corruption allegations during question time. Merits of this rule aside (I’d be interested to know the historical reason for such a bizarre rule) – it provided the basis for his unleashing an “out of order” frenzy.

    The Nats must be congratulated though on this master stroke – with the pressure mounting on corruption claims (substantiated or not) getting the speaker to barricade any potential in roads before Peters’ “announcement” was smooth. A total misuse of the office, but smooth.

    For me, this is one of the biggest abuses of power in the present term – Carter’s partiality in regularly snuffing what in my view are legitimate points of order, and allow a litany of perverse responses in question time from his side of the fence.

    Most disturbing is that this can only be a result of two things: 1) emergency measures by National or b) standard operating procedure. It’s probably a question of subjective judgment but for me its the latter: it wasn’t a problem with Lockwood, these days, its too long in power and a weak speaker. A new, and disturbing normal.

  30. Weepu's beard 32

    Question for the owners of this forum/blog:

    Did you enter The Standard at the Canon media awards for best blog? If not, why not?

    The Standard has high traffic, many informed contributors, and discusses the very relevant issues of the day. You have just had a guest appearance by the leader of the opposition. These things meet the criteria for a good blog/forum and I wondered why The Standard wasn’t represented at those awards.

    • lprent 32.1

      Mostly because we’re too busy / lazy / uninterested (take your pick). At least that is my take on it.

      Most of us work and so adding extra things to do on top of work + blog + family + friends + teh rest of life is always a decision that the usual answer to is “I really don’t have time”. Not to mention that none of us are exactly well known for being that interested in personal fame or egotism (don’t believe me? Just try and find a picture of me on the net).

      So we never get around to entering in any of those kinds of things.

      Besides, we kind of have the fun of watching the site steadily growing organically by essentially word of mouth and all of the quality of commenters that brings. As you are probably aware we do that without ever bothering to do too much work. We must be one of the most productive sites around in terms of return vs effort… So you could also say that we’re kind of lazy in a good way.

      • Weepu's beard 32.1.1

        I agree it’s a great quality about the work that goes on here not being for fame or profit as such. I do know that publicity requires a whole lot of extra work in an area that those involved might not be familiar with, nor believe is a primary objective.

        Was just thinking that with blogs on all subjects becoming more popular, a heavy hitting forum like The Standard might in future be a vehicle for getting the stay-at-homes to vote, etc.

        I remember that a big part of Obama’s first success was a huge volunteer phone campaign urging people that they could make a difference and change the government. It worked and that’s the sort of thing we need in NZ.

        • karol

          But the Standard would also have been put up to be judged by the sole judge, Deborah Hill Cone.

          • Weepu's beard

            Yes, that is a problem in terms of winning the thing. Also, who would want to be in the same room as Slater if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

            Still, The Standard has a much higher level of debate and just as high a post count as Slater’s tabloid site. It would be nice to have that recognised if blogs are to be recognised at all.

          • lprent

            Urrhggh I’d reject going for the award purely based on the judge’s writing. Must have been a very shallow talent pool.

            • karol

              Yes. And then, just to increase her credibility, she gave the award to WO.

  31. One Anonymous Bloke 33

    Treasury makes the case for a CGT:

    …in 2011, just over 199,000 taxpayers had reported rental income of losses through personal tax returns.

    Of those, 11 per cent, or about 22,000 people, were non-residents…

    So they get a tax rebate on the property for years then get a tax free capital gain? Nice work if you can get it.

    • bad12 33.1

      Yep, 200,000 of them sucking at the teat for that extra tax cut, what started this little rort happened in the 1990’s where this little tax rort was imported from Aussie and applied by the smart tax lawyers here,

      Those same tax lawyers, along with posses of real estate agents then went up and down the country ‘selling’ a how to get in on this,at guidance seminars for up to 3 grand a head, where losses on rental properties could be written of against other income,(including wages),

      The treasury says that 200,000 homes in that 20 years turned into 200,000 rental investments, and i would suggest that this was and is the one of the major drivers of house price inflation in Auckland,

      Hopefully the next Government closes down this rort in its first 100 days of office…

  32. Pete 34

    I know the number one rule of The Standard is to avoid ascribing it any editorial position, but I did double-take when I saw prominent ads for the Internet Party, especially when their platform is still in gestation. It seems to be sailing too close to an endorsement, at least for casual readers of the blog – and I imagine there’ll be more of them as the election approaches.

    • lprent 34.1

      Just ads. We have had ads here for various parties and campaigns over the years. We seldom get too interested in them simply because the ones that we don’t want seldom want to be on this site. The ones that do pay for the servers to keep the site running.

      In this case we got asked, but couldn’t see a good reason to turn down server money.

  33. Jackal 35

    Australia’s cost-cutting new budget revealed

    Parents, pensioners, public servants, the unemployed, retirees, university students, and anyone who happens to get sick are all in for a tougher time as cuts to government spending bite, particularly in the areas of social welfare, health and education.

    Looks like Tony Abbot is following the same poisonous prescription that John Key has used on New Zealand, just a bit worse. I guess they’ll have a few years of blaming Labour before the changes really start to bite. Good luck with your Tory government Australia.

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  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    12 hours ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    17 hours ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    22 hours ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    1 day ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    2 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    2 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    7 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    7 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    16 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    18 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 ...
    19 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, ...
    20 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 ...
    21 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    2 days ago
  • 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    2 days ago
  • 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    2 days ago
  • 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • 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 ...
    3 days ago
  • 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 ...
    5 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