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Open mike 13/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 13th, 2012 - 87 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

87 comments on “Open mike 13/06/2012 ”

  1. BillODrees 1

    “The sprawling political refugee camp that Labour is busily turning itself into will find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between the “No Discussion of Beliefs Permitted” rule it is currently enforcing in order not to upset its National refugees, and a position which denies the importance of espousing coherent political beliefs altogether.”
    Chris Trotter in a thought provoking mood in his Bowlalleyroad blog.  Have a read.


    • NickS 1.1

      I’d rather rub ground glass into my eyes than read Trotter’s “dudes only!11!!” centred bullshit.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      Chris Trotter in a thought provoking mood in his Bowlalleyroad blog.  Have a read.

      I like it! Thanks BillODrees…

  2. Dh 2

    Not really political but that shouldn’t stop a good moan. Who is sick of the media running their own trial with these high profile court cases? Every day we get the media version of the Guy/MacDonald saga; a days court proceedings condensed into a few column inches of ghoulish voyeurism. The media take a sick delight in parading the private lives of the participants, gorging on gossip, innuendo and rumour. There’s no justice in it, they’re neither judge nor jury, its all about ratings and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

    • just saying 2.1

      If it’s not that it is disgusting grief-porn. All cheap copy that sells newspapers and apparently that’s all that matters.

      Speaking of the Guy case, I’ve been interested in the number of workers on that farm who were not being paid, and were doing some kind of “work experience”. More agrarian welfare for the rich.

    • Carol 2.2

      Who is sick of the media running their own trial with these high profile court cases?

      *Raises hand*

      • Anne 2.2.1

        Raises both hands! The second the latest gruesome details of the latest murder trial comes on TV
        it is the OFF button for me. If everybody did the same thing they would soon stop. It is the victim’s families who must stand to be the most affected by this media obsession with murder and mayhem. What long term damage is being done to them I hate to think.

        Another hazard that is often overlooked… I know there are many parents of young families who can no longer watch the 6pm news because they will not allow their children to be exposed to the daily diet of murder trials with all it’s attendant blood and gore.

    • prism 2.3

      Dh I agree. A brief mention of the progress of the Guy case would be satisfactory not all this background about what the farm worker said and thought, family feelings and on. One thing emerges – the emotional pull to farmland is strong here. There was a murder of a wife in a divorce who in wanting her half share of property was forcing the sale of a hard-built farm and the husband reacted against her.

      My moan is about the extensive coverage, with money wasted on USA commentators, of the USA political circus. Let them ride their roundabouts there, with again, brief updates. But the fight for presidential candidates, the ridiculous manipulated party addresses and loud cries of approval from their fans, we don’t need this. It’s a waste of money. There are 172? countries in the world. When is there time to hear about the others with the USA crowding out other news?To get any airtime they have to have riots or disasters yet they lead very interesting and internationally important lives.

      • Vicky32 2.3.1

        When is there time to hear about the others with the USA crowding out other news?To get any airtime they have to have riots or disasters yet they lead very interesting and internationally important lives.

        Exactly! What really irks me is when a grinning Hil’ry Berry or Mike McRoberts, plays some trivial local American item, the sort of thing that would be a paragraph in a local newspaper.. it’s not as if there isn’t plenty else to discuss!

    • SamHall 2.4

      We gave this trial matter some thought recently; DYNASTY or DALLAS comes to mind.Having worked for and socialised with sectors of our glorious rural community over the decades can advise that the sorts of dynamics being revealed in this publicised expose are very common between family members, families, neighbors, managers etc. It is not so bucolic amongst the california thistles, mastitis and mongrels. ENVY and GREED reeks from a lot of these people, and yes, getting paid like getting blood out of pumice.

      Emmerdale on steroidal hormones.

      Well, with corporate farming expansion, falling commodity prices, reduced commodity orders, devaluation of the dollar likely, interest rate rises, increased regulation and environmental requirements, Trading in Fonterra shares, fuel price and ruc increases etc….

      Good Luck to Them. NOT.

      • prism 2.4.1

        Interesting comment which I understood this time. You sound as if you are well-versed in the healthy country lifestyle. By the way who are ‘we’? Do you arise from a think tank or is it the royal we? Haha.

    • freedom 2.5

      Lets not forget it is always handy to a Government that is dealing with sensitive and/or volatile policies to have a juicy murder to distract the public with. This was highlighted for me this morning when National Radio had an interview about Australia and How The Dingo Did It. The commentator mentioned how the whole Azaria case came to light and began its protracted media prescence just as the Mabo land case was gaining traction.

    • Vicky32 2.6

      Who is sick of the media running their own trial with these high profile court cases?

      I absolutely agree! The Guy/McDonald saga is particularly boring/annoying… Said about Kylie Guy “she still wears her rings” – well, most widows do! What was their point?

  3. RedBlooded 3

    With the increase of Road User Charges I assume we will have John Banks encouraging the roading industry to block Auckland Roads with trucks again in protest as he did when the Labour Party were in Government /sarc. He was so enthuisiastic over the protest then. Hypocrites.

  4. Sorting out Super – what now?

    We should start the discussion now. National may choose to stay out of it for now, but they will have to join at some stage.

    Suggested progress:
    – Involve all willing parties and any groups and organisations with an interest in the future of NZ Super in discussion and proposal of policies.
    – Open it to wide public discussion.
    – Gather as much information and opinion as possible.
    – National and United Future have a Confidence and Supply commitment to public discussion on flexi-super – this can be used to develop the Super debate further.
    – In time for next election campaign have a commitment from all (willing) parties on the future direction of NZ Super and a timeframe for dealing with it.
    – Include NZ Super in parliamentary business early in the next term (first half of 2015)

    Let’s make it happen. Starting now.

  5. Suggested progress:

    – get the poodle to not vote for the next budget unless it addresses the Superannuation time bomb.
    – get all the pollies to read the very interesting and comprehensive posts and comments in the Standard on the subject.

    Lets really make it happen.  Starting now. 

    • Your first point is either pathetic or woefully ignorant.

      Your second point is very good – why don’t you make it happen? I could give you some practical advice if you like. If you can generate some positive and balanced discussion here I’d be happy to promote and support it. Cross-blog discussion on Super is something I’ve suggested.

      What are you doing on your blog about Super? I’d be happy to link that in too.

      • mickysavage 5.1.1

        Your first point is either pathetic or woefully ignorant.
        Why is that Petey?

        • Pete George

          Sounds like ignorance.

          • mickysavage

            Why doesn’t the poodle withhold his vote on next year’s budget if the Government refuses to confront the baby boomer bulge now?

            • Pete George

              Because C&S responsibilities don’t allow for the bringing down of the government at the request of some random blog commenter. This is a standard coalition provision, and will have protected the Clark government from first year collapse due to Redbaiter asking a party to break their agreement (similar to you he’s currently asking for banishment of the entire National contingent).

              Perhaps you think any coalition between between Labour and Greens would be as flimsy and temporary as you seem to think the current one should be.

              Apart from that it’s ridiculous to threaten a budget that’s eleven months away on an issue that could achieve significant progress in that time, but will probably take longer than that to resolve.

              • Te Reo Putake

                There are no C&S responsibilities that overide Dunne’s responsibilities to NZ, Pete. If he genuinely wants a debate on Super, then the power is in his hands to enforce one. Which he won’t do, because he is too worried about a single aspect of the super debate; his own pension pot.

                • If he genuinely wants a debate on Super, then the power is in his hands to enforce one.

                  Dunne has already used his (coalition) power to get a commitment with National to a public discussion paper on Super, which is more than anyone else has been able to achieve.

                  How effective that discussion will be will depend on how much effort a range of parties, organisations and individuals make to take advantage of the opportunity.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    No he hasn’t. Key refuses to join in the debate and the ‘agreement’ you refer to is nothing to do with the wider issue of super. It’s just a sop, as you well know, Pete. Stop dissembling and start putting pressure on your leader. Poodles have teeth, you know. They just have to be trained to use them.

    • Other blogs are getting in on promoting good Super discussion and progress too:

      Consensus in our times?

      We welcome this move by David Shearer and Russel Norman to make superannuation non-political. And we reckon that John Key would be wise to accept the olive branch being offered to him; after all, failure to do so would leave him vulnerable to the two main parties of the Left.

      John Key may well have made superannuation a die-in-a-ditch issue. But David Shearer and Russel Norman have thrown him a rope. We hope that he accepts it; superannuation is far too important an issue to continue to be a political football, and cross-party consensus now could indeed produce a solution that will endure regardless of who occupies the Treasury Benches.

      Is consensus in our times too much to hope for?

      From: http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/consensus-in-our-times.html

  6. Canadian tar sands break even between $50-$75 per barrel http://awe.sm/aKsc Price is currently $40 http://awe.sm/aKsX #peakoil

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      My understanding is that break even today is closer to $75/barrel for new operations.

      And that assumes the ongoing ability to use and pollute as much fresh ground water as you like in the process for free AND not clean any of the massive chemical ponds or pollution up afterwards.

      • Shell gave the $50 figure at the beginning of last year so that’s a long time in the oil business. You could be right on current costs.

        The oil companies pretty much have free range in Alberta and from the Harper government. They are desperate to get a pipeline either East or West but are facing huge opposition. They have to give large discounts to the US as they buy 99% of the Albertan oil at the moment.

        • insider

          That $50 is just their assessment of when they make meaningful money. Oilcos have been working the sands for decades at lower prices. Production costs including a reasonable rate of return are much lower.

          • Colonial Viper

            Production costs including a reasonable rate of return are much lower.

            For established conventional fields in the prime of production, I agree.

            But for new deep sea wells and other unconventional sources, financial break even is not far off US$75/bb.

            As for energy break even (EROEI) that’s another matter again.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Break even in terms of raw production costs. Not break even in terms of CO2 and environmental destruction.

    • insider 6.3

      A few years back lifting costs were only about $15


      • mike e 6.3.1

        outsider mad hatters institute a right wing propaganda organisation with very deep pockets.
        I smell Murdoch and other robber barons all over this!
        No credibility looking after vested interests.

  7. just saying 7

    Another brilliant blog analysis by Giovanni Tiso, this time on the temporarily derailed education reforms. And apart from the content, Tiso writes so damn well.


    We aren’t always going to be so lucky. Attacks against public education, here and elsewhere, are going to continue, and they will be launched – against the backdrop of a permanent state of economic crisis – by driving a wedge between the aspirations of the middle class and the realities faced by the working class. Of course league tables and performance pay are damaging to public education understood as a universal good – and I’m going to explain why to John Roughan in a minute – but so long as you feel confident that you will be able to move to the area with the best school, and you have been correctly conditioned to view the education of your children as a form of competition, you might not mind this, or even learn to actively support the idea. And just in case you might harbour some nostalgia for old-fashioned egalitarian myths, we shall disguise the reforms as pious concern for the one in five whom the education system currently fails (never mind it’s more like one in twenty), and who hail in the main from the lower socio-economic classes. This will sway some of the liberals who most need to be made to feel altruistic in exchange for their class interests being served. …

    embolding mine.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Thanks just saying. You are right about Giovanni’s writing style. And he has captured the essence of dark days of Education that are to come. Larger classes are just the opening shots. Ughh!

      • Olwyn 7.1.1

        I agree, Giovanni Tiso’s writing is lovely to read, and this is an excellent piece. But whichever way you look, the downward squeeze /upward flow gets more and more apparent. Everything works in the manner of a nasty franchise: the owner of the brand squeezes the margins so that the franchisee cannot get his head above water, and in turn squeezes the staff. Dollar-guys attack the Euro Zone through its weakest links, and the strong members squeeze the weaker ones in an attempt to regain their ground. Education is no different; the recent changes to tertiary education, in which interest-free student loans are kept but limits placed upon getting them, essentially means a near-free education for the wealthy (who can invest the loan amount, take the loan, and reduce the cost via the interest received), while the poor are gradually squeezed out. The mooted changes to primary/secondary education follow much the same pattern. Wake up, middle class! You are only a squeeze or two further away from ruin than the people you want to see sterilised.

  8. lprent 8

    There have been a few server structural shifts going on overnight. See this comment from yesterday.

    Let me know if anyone spots anything outside of the current site flaws. I haven’t been seeing any of significiance apart from a markedly reduced overseas bandwidth.

    • just saying 8.1

      On my screen, the layout is different, lists of blogs, media etc., is now running single-file down the length of the right side of the screen, and periodically it becomes blurred with the words on top of each other.

  9. prism 9

    The UK, for the opening of the Olympics is setting up a picture of a country idyll with happy cows and people – must be like a glossy Midsomer Murders background. Very Marie Antoinette who used to have tableaus with her entourage dressed as rustics I understand.

    And funny in a nightmarish way when one thinks of residential buildings in London having their roofs turned into sites for anti-missile etc surveillance. This will have to be set up earlier than the opening and people screened in and out. The people there will have this burden of suspicion and checking systems for months perhaps, and feel like targets for damage. Not an idyll.

  10. prism 10

    I have struck a wee problem. I put an item on 12/6 open mike and then realised I wanted it in 13/6 so tried to delete it and that gave me a blank page with -1 at the top of it. I thought okay it’s been deleted, and put the item in 13/6 and then checked back on 12/6 but it was still there. Pressed delete again got the pink line that I wasn’t allowed to do this and blue Close. I pressed this and nothing happened. I couldn’t get reaction either from the return/refresh arrow at top so was locked there in Ajax and had to close out to get out.

  11. ianmac 11

    Alert from Avaaz.org. An online petition re Asset Sales:

    Tomorrow, John Key is planning to ram controversial asset sales legislation through parliament — despite thousands of citizens taking to the streets in protest. Let’s create a massive outcry and stop the sale of New Zealand’s key assets:


    • Dr Terry 11.1

      You said it ianmac! New Zealand’s “Key” assets, indeed!! He must have at least 3 people supporting him, I guess.

  12. Carol 12

    Lurker Boag goes viral:


    What was Michelle Boag doing?

    That’s the question most people who watched TV3 News last night were pondering, confused by Boag’s lurking appearance in political reporter Patrick Gower’s piece to camera.
    She was there, then she wasn’t, then she peeked out in front of the pole once again.

    Gower, on Twitter, called it “one of the truly great lurking incidents on the Parliamentary precinct”.

    Turns out neither Boag nor Gower knew she was on camera – Boag only found out later in the evening when her husband asked her what she was doing.

    “I happened to be walking down the stairs and I saw Paddy was about to go on and I wasn’t going to have the chance to watch what he said so I just hung around to listen,” she said.
    A UK-based journalist with the same name – Patrick Gower – said he’d received “a slightly unnerving set of tweets about a woman behind me”.

    • Jim Nald 12.1

      “What was Michelle Boag doing?”

      Tee hee.

      From accounts about a decade ago, the Lady does not do “demure” (please correct this if this is not accurate). “It was that simple.”

      Btw, being “short” (courtesy from Crushless) does not preclude having bionic ears.

    • mike e 12.2

      secret taping lurking round parliament spying on reporters i smell a rat a natrat from the brat pack.
      Boag will not be the flavour of the month in most Nact circles right now.
      Helping undermine her leaders aspirations.
      The Boag Con stictor. Sqeezing the life out of her prey.
      Another Nactional meddling muddler

    • Dr Terry 12.3

      Well spotted Carol! Just what the hell was she doing there? Is this awful woman still an office-holder within National? I guess that she is another “asset” on the side, but one (unfortunately) they will never sell!

  13. ianmac 13

    Bob Jones treads a shaky line in his column in the Herald:

    Still, when one recalls his mincing catwalk performance a year back and given his hedging response to the homosexual marriage proposition, well who knows? Might we yet see an out-of-the-closet Prime Ministerial announcement, with a tearful Bronagh in the background?

  14. ianmac 14

    ACC CEO Ralph Stewart to leave… details soon

    • Even worse for National, Speaker Roy has allowed an urgent debate on ACC with him chairing.  It is going to be a blood bath …

  15. Time for some predictions.
    In the movie The Truman Show, Truman is talking to the woman who will later be his girlfriend. She is wearing a button saying “How’s it going to end?”
    How’s our Truman Show going to end?
    Around the world, elected and un-elected officials developing unworkable economic solutions to problems created by corporates and banks seeking profits that are now being paid for from austerity measures placed on the innocent.
    The use of taxes earned off the backs of the workers to purchase worthless “assets” from private interests who manipulated, deluded and defrauded so they could use other people’s money to make personal profit.
    Banks, corporations, executives, bankers escaping prosecution for the misery they created around to world in the form of job loses, mortgagee sales, business failures and all the attendant mental, emotional damage.
    The development of a corporate aristocracy for whom the rules applied to lesser beings do not apply. Golden parachutes given to people who cause loss or harm to their company. Corporate boxes for politicians when public servants could be sacked for receiving such a gift. Horrendously large salaries and bonuses for jobs that, some times, could be done by a well trained chimp.
    A worker goes to work knowing that a percentage of their labour and time will be exchanged for money that will fund a life of entitlement for politicians who do not undergo a performance review. An election every three years by an uninformed or indifferent populace is NOT a performance review.
    Taxes used to fund corporate welfare projects based on flawed calculations of how many jobs it will create. Instead, private investors who have some degree of wealth profit from the sweat of those who don’t.
    A world economic system that is soooo flawed that it needs radical reform but the lunatics are the ones running the asylum.
    The list goes on…..
    How’s it going to end? Are we all just a Truman Burbank? Content to live in a world where everything is a corporate product and nothing is real?
    Christof: If his was more than just a vague ambition, if he was absolutely determined to discover the truth, there’s no way we could prevent him.

    Christof: “I’ve given Truman the chance to lead a normal life. The world, the place you live in is the sick place. Seahaven is the way the world should be.”
    How do you think it will end?

    • prism 15.1

      Financial systems are a constant mystery also those involved in them. On Radionz I think on Sunday afternoon there was a piece on auditors. There used to be 9 big ones, now there are only four. Consideration is being given to legislating for a change of auditor every 6 years to prevent client capture or moral hazard or whatever name for cosiness. The auditors spoken to were very confident that everything was fine as it is. Auditing relationships have been known to last 48 years. Of course that rarely applies now as businesses average about 10 years before fading.

  16. What we need is another Australian with a socialist background to lead this country out of recession…

  17. just saying 17

    Only LPrent knows for sure, but it seems to me that there has been a steady increase in the number of women commenting on the Standard in the couple of years I’ve been coming here. I’m extrpolating to a certain extent from the pseudonyms people are using, and assuming can make an ass….

    • lprent 17.1

      I don’t know for sure, I generally have to guess. And I frequently find I am wrong both ways. I’ve had people tell me that they deliberately pick opposite gender names…. The whole point about the site is that unless people choose to rely on parts of the life outside of pure argument and use those in the conversation, you can’t tell.

      But I think that there has been a steadily increasing numbers of women commenting over the years and that they are commenting more than they used to.

      • Dr Terry 17.1.1

        And making the most sensible and sensitive comments too.

        • lprent

          Some do. Some make my cynical rants designed to perform experimental literay inguinal orchiectomy on trolls look relatively tame. You should see some of the compliments I get after each excision from our modestly polite but robust debate.

          Personally I rather like that our other gender has a healthy dislike of idiots. Makes me more hopeful about the kids with that level of discrimination against the socially inept with a self assessed Priapus problem.

          As I say, it is sometimes hard to tell. But very few act like trolls.

  18. joe90 18

    Hmm, this.

    China is a kleptocracy of a scale never seen before in human history. This post aims to explain how this wave of theft is financed, what makes it sustainable and what will make it fail. There are several China experts I have chatted with – and many of the ideas are not original. The synthesis however is mine. Some sources do not want to be quoted.

    The macroeconomic effects of the Chinese kleptocracy and the massive fixed-currency crisis in Europe are the dominant macroeconomic drivers of the global economy. As I am trying a comprehensive explanation for much of the world’s economy in less that two thousand words I expect some kick-back.

  19. Campbell Larsen 19

    Foreign Minister Murray McChardonnay – receives todays ROTFL award for his outstanding comedy skit performed recently at the Institute of International Affairs in Wellington.
    He had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand with the seemly candid admission that the Security Council is a sham:

    “That view holds that contested Security Council seats will always fall to the highest bidder of aid dollars, or to the holder of the most flexible positions on the controversial foreign policy issues of the day,”

    And then came the punch line:

    “The Prime Minister’s approach and my own approach is that we would rather lose with honour than trade overseas development assistance or policy positions for Security Council votes.”

    I have had many doubts about Mr McCully, Mr Key and the National government, and those doubts of course remain, but now I think I finally understand them – they are actually a stealth comedy act, gone deep cover, their strategy – to kill off the opposition with the most potent of all weapons – uncontrollable laughter.

  20. prism 21

    Our fishing is certainly under threat with ships like the Korean one in the case being tried in Court. But the Korean officers have left the country apparently. You would think we would have some legal means of stopping them leaving so they could answer to their wrongs.

    The crew have been brutalised, the observer tried to intervene on some of the practices but got very curt responses and feared for her safety. Why should they be able to get away with bad practices like this major dump of fish worth I think a million dollars when apparently all they needed to do was bring the net up earlier. It’s such careless and wasteful and inefficient practice and our seas are the losers to these marauding sods.

  21. Carol 22

    So Paula Benefit is planning some “tough love” for teenagers likely to go on the unemployment benefit. This involves extra surveillance, advice on budgeting and parenting…… but apparently no jobs???!!!


    Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett has reinforced her tough love approach to stopping the flow of young people getting the unemployment benefit after dropping out of school.

    In Parliament today, while speaking during the second reading of the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, Ms Bennett said “major reforms would stop an inter-generational cycle of dependence.”
    Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett has reinforced her tough love approach to stopping the flow of young people getting the unemployment benefit after dropping out of school.

    In Parliament today, while speaking during the second reading of the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, Ms Bennett said “major reforms would stop an inter-generational cycle of dependence.”
    The bill will allow the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to share information about school leavers, so that the MSD can identify youth before they sign up for a benefit.

    “As Minister of Social Development I will continue to push, cajole, incentivise, obligate and at the end of the day put all my belief in those people on welfare,” she said.

    So just a lot of additional harassment, surveillance and window-dressing, nothing useful like ACTUAL jobs …. and, the kicker!…. it’ll save the government $1billion!

    Vampire lurve!

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      In Parliament today, while speaking during the second reading of the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, Ms Bennett said “major reforms would stop an inter-generational cycle of dependence.”

      No they won’t, far more likely to entrench them.

      “As Minister of Social Development I will continue to push, cajole, incentivise, obligate and at the end of the day put all my belief in those people on welfare,” she said.

      What she means is that she’ll force more into poverty so that they’re forced to work to make some bludger richer for lower wages than they get already.

      • prism 22.1.1

        That is all rote stuff that Petulant Bean learned at USA University isn’t it. I think she did a pressure cooker course on how to cook the books? so as to make welfare beneficiaries seem to be a mix between vampires and the devil’s spawn. Was it at Wisconsin, a name that occurs when talking about meanness, and they would be big on using the terms welfare dependence also learned helplessness is another favourite.

        • Vicky32

          learned helplessness is another favourite.

          Learned helplessness has a specific meaning in educational psychology, and should never be used outside that specific discipline!

    • fatty 22.2

      Paula Bennett is a sick piece of work…so is this concept of ‘welfare dependency’ .
      Its time we took back the word dependency and use it to vilify the rich.
      Within the relationship between the rich and the poor, there is only one direction that dependency exists. The concept of dependency was made famous by the theorist andre gunder frank who exposed how under capitalism, on a world wide scale, the rich are dependent on the poor. Somehow this term has been highjacked and is used to stigmatise victims, and champion the abusers.

  22. prism 23

    Points about Gabriel Makhlouf, Secretary to the Treasury, NZ. He fits my prejudice about the hardening effect on children of absent parents sent to boarding schools at long distance from their parents, as in school in Britain while parents work for UN in various countries.

    “his father pursued a career in the UN. From age 11, he was separated from his family to continue his education at a British boarding school.
    After graduating with an honours degree in economics at the University of Exeter, he spent a year as a treasurer for a student union, then did a masters degree in industrial relations at the University of Bath. His thesis was on “intra-union relationships in academia” As a PhD beckoned, Makhlouf realised it was either a life in academia “or I had to get out”, and he landed his first job in 1984, as a tax inspector.”

    About our teachers “However, Makhlouf doesn’t have backing from Hattie on the alleged failure of the New Zealand education system. In the book’s foreword Hattie says, “We have a nation of excellent teachers, as shown in the country’s ranking in the top half-dozen nations in reading, mathematics and science. http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/interview-gabriel-makhlouf/

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    1 day ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    2 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    2 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    2 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    2 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    4 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    6 days ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    6 days ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    6 days ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    7 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    1 week ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    1 week ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
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    1 week ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
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    1 week ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
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    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
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    1 week ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
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    1 week ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
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    2 weeks ago