Open mike 13/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 13th, 2013 - 144 comments
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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…

144 comments on “Open mike 13/08/2013”

    • Molly 1.1

      There is a couple of good articles on nef about the zero hours contracts in the UK.

      A succinct paragraph is:
      “Even if the Government successfully prepares people to enter employment, it is doing nothing to make sure that employment actually improves people’s livelihoods or well-being. You can’t make work pay simply by reducing benefits and sanctioning claimants for failing to turn up to jobs-training workshops.”

      I would say – Paula Bennett take note, but she doesn’t seem to be a rational thinker.

      • karol 1.1.1

        And an article in the Independent: ‘The real cost of benefits squeeze: £1,600 per family’

        Welfare cuts that are meant to get the jobless back to work are driving down the living standards of hundreds of thousands of people who are in no position to find a job, an assessment of the Coalition’s welfare reforms says today.

        Researchers, who have used data to forecast what will happen to the 1.18 million households where no one works, have calculated that 155,000 (roughly one in eight) can mitigate the effect of the cuts by finding work near their home, while another 115,000 will have the opportunity to move to more affordable housing. The rest – more than three-quarters of the total – will simply see their incomes drop, according to an independent study carried out for the Local Government Association by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion.

  1. Phineas Finn 2

    Bubble bubble gulp gulp…..its so great being popular, more popular than spies us snapper are…swish swish….whats that????? a bottom feeder, yuck, lower than shark shit…must be a prime minister. Pollution, pollution, swim away………

  2. vto 3

    Last week I posted a wee comment about a personal hero who recently passed away. He was one of NZ’s best sportsmen ever in his chosen field and he also did significant things for manwomankind. This post elicited a reply from karol around middle new Zealand values and how wrong they were. To karol’s eyes this highlighted flaws within the average kiwi and what they consider to be worthy. To my eyes karol’s response highlighted the arrogance of the far left and the contempt for “middle” New Zealand which its inhabitants so often show (just like the pricks on the far right – just a different form). The sneering so often just below the surface around here towards middle nz broke the surface. The thread is here /open-mike-08082013/#comment-676953

    And now we have another similar hero, on the front page this time. A life-saver and a leader and champion at his ‘sport’. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9032564/Climbing-community-mourns-Kiwi-hero

    So what gives?

    When is a person a hero? How many heroes can there be? Is it subjective or objective? And equally importantly, why the fuck is there so much sneering by the left and far left at “middle” New Zealand? Contempt for a group of people is often described as bigotry. In addition, this sneering robs the left of a large swathe of potential voters as they turn away from such arrogance (read, ignorance)……….

    • Pasupial 3.1

      @ VTO

      If Heroism is the willingness to risk one’s self to protect others, then I would agree that Vinton-Boot had performed at least one heroic act:

      “When he was 21, he was part of a daring rescue in which he, his younger brother and a friend swam 300m out to sea in a strong rip to save a drowning man.
      The trio were alerted to the Asian tourist’s plight by one of his relatives and dived into the Christchurch surf immediately to spend 30 minutes cradling the semi-conscious man back to shore. ”

      Lots of people (myself amongst them) see sports as a colossal distraction from important things – a contempt for sporting news is not necessarily contempt for middle NZ (who might see politics or art as a distraction from sport). Going from the Stuff acticles you link to; without further biographical details, I couldn’t say that Byrne had shown any degree of Heroism. He might have also been a surf-life saver, or rescued comrades under fire while in the RNZAF which might qualify him for the title, but that was not mentioned there.

      Why is “great surfer” not enough of an accolade in Byrne’s case? Using the tag of “Hero” in this instance would seem to diminish the term when applied to others (such as Vinton-Boot).

    • Molly 3.2

      vto – you said it yourself in the last thread:

      “The hero piece was clearly my opinion. Heroism is, again if you think about it, subjective. ”

      “… you and Karol save hero status for only the very most exceptional of people.”

      The comment above looks like you are disagreeing with yourself on both those statements, and want to engage with others whose ideas of heroism align with yours, so you can say “See. Heroism is definitive – and I nailed it!”

      ” equally importantly, why the fuck is there so much sneering by the left and far left at “middle” New Zealand” Does it not occur to you that this is a snide comment in itself?

      I just think we decide for ourselves who our personal heroes are. If your personal values include sporting achievements – then you will be admiring of those who achieve in that field. Not for me, BTW, although Sir Ed does spring to mind – not because of knocking the bugger off, but for his refusal to state whether he or Tenzing reached the summit first, by refusing to using his fame for advertising, for his life-time commitment to Nepal and for his comments regarding leaving a climber to die on the path to the summit.

      NZ Herald May 24 2006
      But Sir Edmund was in no doubt.

      “On my expedition there was no way that you would have left a man under a rock to die.

      “It simply would not have happened. It would have been a disaster from our point of view.”

      As you say – subjective.

    • s y d 3.3

      just cos someone wants your vote doesn’t mean they have to like you eh….I think it illustrates a huge disconnect….I’m pretty sure I’ve even seen a suggestion that Grant Robertson could lead a Labour party to victory….. maybe in Wellington, but I’m not 100% sure.

      We need a lot more heroes of all the different kinds there could be.

      finally RIP AB. legend.

      http://surf.co.nz/blogs/surf-search/2011/11/2448-amco-hauraki-nz-surf-nats-1976-piha

      • Boadicea 3.3.1

        Grant Robertson is ineligible to be the Leader: he was beaten by the Greens and the Nats for party vote in Central. The performance at the last election by Labour in the wellington hutt region was very worrying.

    • Ennui 3.4

      @VTO. Just read the thread from last week and fully understand your question about the sneering Left. Bored went AWOL because of this unthinking “correctness”, Ennui is still bored with it. There is a lot of unthinking dogma around here and it reflects in how the electorate view large chunks of the “Left”.

      Yesterday Sanctuary gave us a view of the Left that is uncomfortably close to the mark, even if I did not give it total credence. /open-mike-12082013/#comment-678454 Parts of his message were rightly panned, but the core accusation drew so little response. Sad, because unless we examine our dark corners we will remain undesirable and un-electable.

      • Bill 3.4.1

        The trait of being triumphantly superior over others with regards supposed intelligence is one piece of shit many of the left most definately need to dump.

        Another risible aspect of the left is the widespread inability to recognise the political/cultural roots of some left thoughts/beliefs/habits…so for example, the habit to smooth over of the authoritarian past, meaning it gets preserved in the present and projected into the future (both by left cultists and social democrats) and who then, inevitably by dint of excusing and perpetuating past habits, cut the legs off any chance there may be of developing a society that embraces leftist values.

        But then, from my (allegedly) hard left perspective, I would say that – wouldn’t I? 😉

        • Rogue Trooper 3.4.1.1

          You are not alone in the wings Bill.

        • Ennui 3.4.1.2

          Nicely put Bill: I sort of reside on the “hard left”. One of the salutary lessons I learnt as a (former) Marxist is that a prescribed ideology that has as a core belief its’ own undeniable “truth” is a cop out for non thinkers. Therein lies no wriggle room nor forgiveness. No shades of grey. In short entrenched materialist ideologies like Marxism, Neo Liberalism, etc lack humanity, so I dropped them.

          • Colonial Viper 3.4.1.2.1

            You’re giving Marxism too hard a time, and too little credit.

            Marxism did something that almost no other political-economic philosophy did at the time: it gave an insightful, yet brutal, critique of capitalism as a system, and as capitalism as the basis of a society. It pointed out what is obvious to every serious Lefty today: that in a capitalist system it is those people who own the assets and the capital who make out like bandits, and those people who only have their labour, who get fucked.

            Do you know why so many Labour MPs sound completely wishy-washy about the problems in our society, despite their good intentions?

            Because even as they go on the attack over an important issue like say…child poverty…hardly any of them go on to recognise and attack the actual neoliberal machinery which is behind the problem. So we get “solutions” like…a Ministry for Children, more healthcare checks, food in schools, transfer payments for families with kids, and meanwhile…the neoliberal machinery just keeps rumbling on in the background.

            • Ennui 3.4.1.2.1.1

              CV, I still think some of the analysis by Marx such as relationship to production, surplus value, capital accumulation etc is incredibly valuable.

              Where I diverge from Marx is that he, like all of Voltaires children is a rationalist who uses logical constructs to prove his point…which in the example of his historic dialectic is obviously wrong. The neo libs, leftist libertarians etc do much the same…its a one trick pony. If you begin an argument at a set point (of your precise choosing) you can logically prove anything…until you get into the real world. There you meet Ennuis First Law…”if theory and reality by some random chance ever meet they are already probably divergent”.

              Our leftist parliamentarians…how many of them have ever actually pulled the levers of the neo lib machinery? Or ever been any closer than taking a cheque to keep quiet about the realities? Their role is the application of band aids, not the removal of the knife.

            • Rogue Trooper 3.4.1.2.1.2

              same applies to the general analysis of the implications of greater surveillance by the state and corporates; analysis not going much deeper than each individual’s assessment of their own current data histories and context. Guess they’ll learn in time with the cadence.

      • karol 3.4.2

        It just looks to me like those who question the dominance of values skewed towards the white male establishment are dismissed as “hard left” and “arrogant” and “sneering”?

        Seems to me a lot of pots and kettles.

        What exactly is “hard left” about, for instance, the Claudia Bell quotes above?

        • Colonial Viper 3.4.2.1

          The morale of a people is heavily affected by their heroes, whether they be quiet unassuming ones recognised only in a family, neighbourhood or community, and the ones seen leading the story of the 6pm news.

          I’m really surprised that feminism doesn’t recognise any heroes amongst its own ranks.

          It just looks to me like those who question the dominance of values skewed towards the white male establishment

          I understand that black South Africans and indigenous Burmese have their own local home-grown political heroes too.

        • Ennui 3.4.2.2

          In which case K should the “hard left” not be allowed to include white male values? Are we to be categorised, condemned and thrown into the outer darkness as beyond redemption?

          It may be a little subtle but once on this blog I was “advised” (upon point of excommunication) to read and adhere to Feminism 101…..I did. I also reread Alice in Wonderland, which made perfect sense. It clearly stated that “nothing is as it seems”. Maybe we would all do better to only write when under the influence of vast quantities of lordinum.

          • karol 3.4.2.2.1

            In which case K should the “hard left” not be allowed to include white male values? Are we to be categorised, condemned and thrown into the outer darkness as beyond redemption?

            Ennui, I’m not sure how this relates to my comments critical of sports focused heroes & the dominant culture in NZ? Yes I did say something about such dominant values being skewed towards the white male establishment.

            You “far left” point doesn’t seem to relate to anything I have said on this issue.

            For being critical of the individualistic heroic man vs wild (“man alone”) ethos, I have been personally attacked as being a “bigot”, “arrogant”, “far left” and dismissive of “middle NZ”

            But I said nothing about white male* values being included or excluded from the “hard left” (or that it was only embraced by white males*) – and indeed, I have question being called “far left” – a term often used in a very subjective way – see for instance the way John Key calling anyone critical of his pro-corporate and wealthy elite agenda as “far left”. I have never considered myself to be hard of far left.

            It was vto who started saying my criticism of the white male values are “far left” – I have never owned that.

            * I should have said traditional white masculine values – it’s about cultural values not biological sex.

          • Rogue Trooper 3.4.2.2.2

            may we detect an intentional spelling error therein oh nonchalant one…

    • karol 3.5

      Does one heroic act a hero make?

      Interesting, vto, that the examples you give, and that are particularly promoted by the MSM, are male sportsmen in the old man vs wild narrative – and individualistic.

      They did carry out very commendable actions at risk to themselves. Many other people, in diverse (non-sporting) fields, get far less attention for their heroic actions. Or if they do get attention, like Jon Stephenson, they tend to be called something other than heroes.

      The occupiers of Noble Discoverer all collectively (not just Lucy Lawless) participated in a heroic act.

      The women protesting at the removals of people from Glen Innes state houses, are carrying out on-going heroic acts, with little media spotlight, and, when they are mention, the hero word is not used.

      When I was growing up I tended to admire individuals – I’m not sure I would have used the “hero” word. But they were people who i thought did noble and worthy things in their lives:

      Helen Keller, for instance.

      “Far left”? Really? That’s not how I think of myself. it sounds like a very subjective term. What exactly does that mean? Ditto “Middle New Zealand”? Is it like Brash’s “mainstream New Zealand”? Is any challenge to the NZ status quo deemed contemptuous of “middle New Zealand?

      • Molly 3.5.1

        Agree with you on the use of the word “Hero”. Never feel comfortable using it myself – reminds me of Greek mythology and the unquestioning subservience of mere mortals to the Gods…

        Don’t have the same disquiet referring to heroic acts though, – perhaps, because I’m comfortable with the idea that people are made up of many parts – and sometimes one could be honorable, brave and inspiring and at other times petty, dishonest and shrill.

        After months on TradeMe’s saved searches I finally managed to buy a copy of Claudia Bell’s – Inventing New Zealand – everyday myths of pakeha identity. I borrowed it from Auckland libraries a few months ago, and felt like it was a book written straight out of my head. But of course – with better sentence structure and form.

        I understand Paul Moon has released something similar, but from the excerpts I’ve read, seems fairly lightweight.

        A couple of excerpts:
        The strongest place in public representations of New Zealand way of life is claimed by the events, celebrations, lifestyle and material consumption of the more advantaged group. Just as the economic and political interests of the most powerful in the Pakeha group are manipulated into prominence and maintained there, so does this same group have most access to constructing national imagery. This is available because of the social status and political power of Pakeha: symbols of Pakeha culture are the dominant icons for national identity. The loudest voice proclaiming identity is the one that persuades the nation. Television has the loudest voice of all.”

        Because the book was published in 1996, she gives the example of the America’s Cup:
        A brilliant illustration of this was the America’s Cup welcome-home parade up Queen Street, Auckland in May, 1995, sponsored by TV One.

        The America’s Cup was shown on every news broadcast, so this event looked like a very important part of national culture. This occurred through negotiation by several agencies: the sponsors, the event organisers, the decision-makers in the media (who made what mileage they could out of the event by being ‘good sports’ and stating ‘how good this is for the country’), and the audience, who gradually ‘learned’ to be interested.

        …Winning the cup was claimed by television as being a win for the nation as a whole: ‘we’ salute ‘our’ heroes; ‘we’ won the cup! – an especially delicious win, given the far greater resource power of the opposition.

        …It might seem a bit unlikely to match an expensive sport like yachting to the tradition of achievement of ordinary New Zealanders. The nature of the race – offshore, far away, out of sight – is such that without television it was not and could not be a spectator sport. Ordinary New Zealanders could not go along for a few hours and watch and cheer. An event thousands of kilometres away raced by an exclusive group of white male professionals with access to a vast amount of money was seen as a major milestone in national history. Converted from offshore race to media spectacle, it allowed ‘everyone’ in the nation to participate.

        The America’s Cup win conveniently distracted us from more contentious events occurring at the same time, that ‘we’ would not want to be taken as ‘representative’ of ‘us’. Race relations issues were also in the news that week, with Maori activist Mike Smith taking a chainsaw to the iconic pine tree on One Tree Hill, the Motua Gardens demonstration in Wanganui, and two Members of Parliament playing racist games on a daytime radio talk show. Politicians and media people do not want these latter occurrences to be seen as ‘representative’ events. The ‘Welcome Home’ America’s Cup parades could be described a therapeutic symbolic displays of nationalism. Appropriately fostered, patriotic feelings cut across class groups, and affect women and men, adults and children, alike. With all eyes on the screen, a nation could feel united.”

        Fast forward to 2013… seems not a lot has changed.

        • karol 3.5.1.1

          Yes, Claudia Bell’s book is worth a read. i read it several years back now, so don’t remember a lot of detail. Excellent quote, thanks, Molly.

          • Ennui 3.5.1.1.1

            Molly, you might have mentioned the original Hero. She (yes Hero was a female) lit a candle for her lover Leander who would swim the Hellespont for her embrace. One stormy night the candle blew out, Leander lost his way and drowned, and Hero in a fit of grief threw herself from a cliff to join her lover in death. make of it what you will.

            • Molly 3.5.1.1.1.1

              … don’t gamble your life on someone else’s swimming prowess….
              …expect your lover to own his own compass…
              …candles may be environmentally friendlier, but LEDs rule…
              …forget about sex on a stormy night, unless you live on the same peninsula…

              …thanks, Ennui, for the redirection.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.6

      Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, sporting achievements do not a hero make.

    • Murray Olsen 3.7

      I consider John Minto a hero, far more than someone who takes personal risks in the interests of following their recreational pursuits. Assange has some heroic qualities. A woman who works 2 or 3 jobs to feed and clothe her kids is a heroine. If that makes me a sneering far lefty in your cataloguing system, too bloody bad.

    • vto 3.8

      Thanks to all the posters above for your feedback. Unfortunately circumstances intervened yesterday short-circuiting intended conversations…

      It seems there are several related tangents. Firstly, that sport is put on a pedestal that is above its reasonable position and I agree that is the case. It is interesting that nobody put up anything about how sports arrived at that place, how sport developed as not just recreation but a form of practice for running down the wounded impala, or cutting the most lumber in a day. From a time when physical prowess had a direct and immediate impact on provision for the family. This was lost just a few generations ago and so of course such a central feature of life for milleniums doesn’t change overnight.

      And heroism is certainly subjective. Imo heroism does not arise solely because of sporting success (in these particular cases), it arises due to more humane acts – putting ones life at risk, dedicating ones life to good causes, even bad causes have their heroes though too. It arises in all sorts of spheres – the local nurse, the ed Hilary, the forgotten foster parents. We all know this I think. Heroic acts can be small and forgotten the next day – they can be large and remembered for a lifetime and beyond.

      Then of course the sneering. That subject will most definitely arise again, most probably by way of example when some stupid person stereotypes all middle nz as having some equal set of values, unable to realise that you cannot judge a driver by their vehicle. Good bit of sneering going on in a mini-thread just below about stupid people though.

  3. tricledrown 4

    476 millon dollars write down in asset value +30 million dollars
    The subsidy to Rio Tinto.

  4. karol 5

    An article in Friday’s Independent warns that world wide there has been an increasing over-investment in farming, making agriculture particularly vulnerable to environmental disasters.

    The threat posed to agriculture by environmental hazards such as climate change and water scarcity is now so great that it could wipe as much as £5 trillion off the value of the world’s farm land, equipment and stock in any one year, a heavyweight study is warning.

    Agriculture in the UK and worldwide is under huge financial and physical stress. A surge of investment on the back of a boom in the global food commodities market meets an increasingly precarious physical environment for farming – creating a dangerous asset bubble that threatens to burst, according to the Oxford University research.

  5. Suspected! 15 Quadrillion becquerels of radioactive material in the trench that TEPCO is now admitting water is leaking from into the groundwater. Muwahahahaha, but hey I’m just the alarmist!

    • weka 6.1

      You said it.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      I don’t think that “quadrillion” is a real number. I mean, how many “quadrillion” to the googleplex?

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        lol

      • alwyn 6.2.2

        About 0.0002. (I think I have the right number of zeroes)

        This is based on the assumption that the people who work for Google, and are therefore in the Googleplex which is the name of their headquarters, are worth about $200 billion between them.
        It also uses the American definition of quadrillion which is 10 to the power of 15.

        There, wasn’t that something you were just dying to know?

        • McFlock 6.2.2.1

          And that’s assuming that the mass:volume unit conversion in the link was correct, which it would only be if they were talking about pure water.

          • alwyn 6.2.2.1.1

            I don’t really think you meant to reply to my comment did you?
            I certainly wasn’t talking about the subject of the original comment re radioactivity.

            • McFlock 6.2.2.1.1.1

              Now that I observe it, you are in a state of being correct and a small piece of my ego has been converted into humility…

      • Seti 6.2.3

        A lot. In fact it is theorised that if you had fine dust particles each a micron in size you could fit approx a googol of them in the volume of the universe. Easy to write out though, just 1 with a hundred zeroes.

        A googolplex however would require a different mindset to quantify. Each of those dust particles would carry a zero to write it out in full. Now consider a “googolplexian” – a 1 with a googolplex of zeroes after it. Possibly the largest number with a name, although I can’t determine if Graham’s number is larger. Cerebral torture trying to work it out.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.3.1

          😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯

          😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯

          😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯

          😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯 😯

        • Murray Olsen 6.2.3.2

          Graham’s number is larger than a googolplex.

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    John Key on Campbell last night – double *ugh*.

    Reporter says they are doing a piece on the GCSB bill on Campbell Live…he doesn’t answer her question(s), but says that they would get more viewers if they did a piece on the snapper quota instead. Whatever the reporter says he comes back to the snapper….because “people fish”.

    Patronising git.

  7. Pete 8

    We New Zealanders are one of the dullest, most stupidly conservative, most unenterprising races on this planet. By a long course of self-hypnotism extending over several decades we have persuaded ourselves of the opposite – that we are bold, enterprising, progressive, intelligent people, unhampered by the shackles of the past. The sooner we realise what damned nonsense this is, the better for us.

    Our national vice is stupidity. It is not that, individually, we are more stupid than other people. The trouble is that we have such a solid respect for stupidity. The result is that it pervades every department of our life, and chokes all growth.

    A.R.D. Fairburn, We New Zealanders, 1944, p.14.

    The more things change, huh?

    • karol 8.1

      Are these “stupid” people, “middle New Zealand”?

      • Pete 8.1.1

        Well, he does goes on to write:

        It is still possible for the industrial workers and the working farmers, who form the core of the population, to let themselves be persuaded to support the most outrageous commercial and political rackets, of which they are the willing victims, and to defend them as if they were the pillars of human freedom. (Even dogs don’t undertake benevolent work on behalf of fleas).

      • muzza 8.1.2

        Karol – “stupid” people, exist at all/every level of so called society, however depending on the definition of “stupid”, the parameters which is exits in, will depend on the message attempting to conveyed.

        In this instance, I would expect the parameteres are all encompassing, because “stupid”, is everywhere, all with contributing levels of negative influence!

        • karol 8.1.2.1

          I rarely use the word “stupid” to describe people. I am more likely to use it to refer to actions and words.

          Intelligent people can say and/or do “stupid” things.

          • lprent 8.1.2.1.1

            I’m somewhat more judgemental of judgemental people myself.

            Comes of many long hours moderating and deciding that there is only one effective way to deal with such people. That is to hold an high-handed and quite extremist mirror to their own extremist behaviour. In other words if they are arrogant, then be even more arrogant to them. If they are boring pedants, then be a even more effective pedant commenting on their pedantic behaviour. If they run insults under superficial politeness, then do the same but without any veneer of politeness. If they are obsessively sarcastic to others, then be withering about their personal characteristics. If they pontificate, then pontificate about their pontification. etc etc.

            I tend to find after a few sessions on the receiving end with the powers of a sysop, then such people tend to either adapt or run away. In either case the behaviour gets moderated.

            Besides, it amuses me 😈

            BTW: Been off with the flu in the last few days. Lyn has no voice and coughs all night. But I am short of sleep and have a headache, a low tolerance level. Must restrain myself…

            • Rogue Trooper 8.1.2.1.1.1

              and comb one’s hair at the same time.

              • Tigger

                I get sick of anyone who dares to speak for any entire ‘people’. It’s nationalism at its worst. It can be used to deride a minority nd for bs nationalistic fervour.

                Don’t ever speak for me. ‘We New Zealanders…’ It’s a stupid phrase.

                • Colonial Viper

                  despite your understandable insistence of individualism…the quotes explain so much, don’t you think…

                • Rogue Trooper

                  This reads as a reply to moi Tigger; personally, i’m Notoriously non-patriotic since completing the Tao Te Ching. (which I’m re-reading). 😀

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Our national vice is stupidity. It is not that, individually, we are more stupid than other people. The trouble is that we have such a solid respect for stupidity. The result is that it pervades every department of our life, and chokes all growth.

      Now that is something I can agree with and it shows in our worship of sportspeople and our disdain for the intellectual.

      • grumpy 8.2.1

        “Nobody ever went broke overestimating the stupidity of the average New zealander….”

    • Rogue Trooper 8.3

      Excellent Pete, Excellent. There are also loose links to the theme of vto’s earlier post. Anyway, watching Campbell Live certainly challenges some assumptions, while confirming others, around the make-up of the ‘middle-New Zealand’ collective psyche.
      Oh well, great scenery though (for now).

  8. fender 9

    So Key will have a Govt. inquiry into the Fonterra fuckup and then he says he will visit China to assure them there is no systemic problems with NZ food regulations.

    Sounds like he’s already determined the outcome of yet another inquiry before it’s even been conducted.

    • Veutoviper 9.1

      I agree, fender, that it sounds like Key has already determined the outcome of the inquiry.

      I have also been pondering on his statements (for almost a week now) that he will fly to China – initially he seemed to want to do so almost immediately; now he is saying after the inquiry. On RNZ Morning Report today, he said something to the effect that “he wanted to look down the barrels of their television cameras …”.

      It just does not compute to me for a PM to do this. And Rob Oram has also just said on Nine to Noon that he considers this completely inappropriate on all sorts of levels. Replay is not yet up.

      • fender 9.1.1

        I have much respect for Rod Oram, imagine being lucky enough to have a PM with his insight and intelligence instead of a crooked rusty Key.

      • Rogue Trooper 9.1.2

        Ears pricked up at “…look down the barrels…” but, alas, was only a ‘side-by-side’ juxtaposition.

      • emergency mike 9.1.3

        So last time he went there to promote trade he announced that we would go to war against their ally North Korea if push came to shove, which was rather quickly followed by the ‘administrative error’ that lead to our meat being barred entry to China. Now this, and he wants to “look down the barrels of their television cameras” after the state broadcaster made it really, really clear that they are a hair’s breath away from kicking us to the curb.

        Got any more language of confrontation to use there John? Oh yeah, send John “Let’s talk about snapper instead” Key over there to sort them out, I’m sure the Chinese will love that.

  9. karol 10

    Surveillance by corporate rubbish bin: ‘Minority Report’ in action:

    Officials have demanded that an advertising firm stop using a network of high-tech trash cans to track people walking through London’s financial district.

    The Renew ad firm has been using technology embedded in the hulking receptacles to measure the Wi-Fi signals emitted by smartphones, and suggested that it would apply the concept of “cookies” – tracking files that follow Internet users across the web – to the physical world.

    “We will cookie the street,” Renew Chief Executive Kaveh Memari said in June.

  10. AsleepWhileWalking 11

    “The more we know about each other, the safer we’ll be.”

    The slogan for propaganda videos in Argentina where Police now collect fingerprints at random traffic stops. They have around 20% of the population (around 8 million prints) so far.

    Source: Sovereign Man.

    • Pete 11.1

      Well if that worries you, consider that the NZ government has a blood sample of most babies born in NZ since the 1960s. It’s only a matter of resourcing for them to have a DNA profile of a large proportion of the population.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        a blood sample it needs to save lives.
        Much more of a classic ethical problem than just the big brother – ticking bomb bullshit totalitarians usually come up with.

        • Pete 11.1.1.1

          Oh, I have no objection to the tests. I just find the indefinite retention of them to be questionable.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            highly questionable.

            If you have been given patient consent to take a blood sample for a specific reason, once that reason is fulfiled, you have no grounds on which to either keep the sample or use it for myriad other puposes.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.1.2

            not really – their individual health uses don’t just finish at the initial tests. An obvious one is if the child does manifest later on a condition for which the Guthrie screening was negative. Was there a testing failure? Was it an error within the known bounds? Do we have a systemic misunderstanding about the condition? Who else is affected – everyone in that period/ that batch of cards/that lab/ that lab technician? Do we need to retest a large sample of cards to audit the system?

            All of that’s strictly within the purpose of the test.

            More interesting questions concern the balance between the preservation of privacy and dignity rights vs the value of the collection for health research. Then you get into more concerning issues like the divorce case where they got a court order to use the card in a paternity test, and the dividing line between using a card as the last chance to identify/rule out the most likely identity of an unidentifiable body vs the worst-case “police dragnet” scenario.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.2.1

              .All of that’s strictly within the purpose of the test.

              So, you hold the samples for 6 months. Or 12 months.

              And not like the NSA, forever more until the end of time.

              vs the value of the collection for health research.

              There’s no confusion or leeway here. If the patient did not consent to participate in medical research, you can’t use the samples as such. The Cartwright Inquiry was pretty clear on this point.

              • McFlock

                So, you hold the samples for 6 months. Or 12 months.

                And not like the NSA, forever more until the end of time.

                It’s not like there’s an expiry date on possibly finding problems in the system or comparing old processes and tests with new ones. And a bigger sample set for that is always better. So yes, you do keep them for as long as possible.

                If the patient did not consent to participate in medical research, you can’t use the samples as such. The Cartwright Inquiry was pretty clear on this point.

                Fucking lucky that researchers need to meet that standard then, eh. In addition to all the other ethical review criteria, of course. You leapt up onto that high horse so quickly you’re in danger of hitting your head on the stable roof.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s not like there’s an expiry date on possibly finding problems in the system or comparing old processes and tests with new ones. And a bigger sample set for that is always better. So yes, you do keep them for as long as possible.

                  Just be aware that is exactly the same rationale that the NSA uses to determine if it is capturing communications “relevant” to terrorism and national security.

                  That is, at any time in the future, any given set of communications may be relevant to a future investigation, therefore all communications are relevant to be targeted now to be kept indefinitely.

                  Fucking lucky that researchers need to meet that standard then, eh. In addition to all the other ethical review criteria, of course.

                  Gimme a break McFlock, there have been numerous ethical breaches by researchers not dotting eyes and crossing T’s, and you know it. Baby parts kept without permission is only one example from just a few years ago. Fucking blase “trust us and our standards” attitude doesn’t cut it.

                  • McFlock

                    Just be aware that is exactly the same rationale that the NSA uses to determine if it is capturing communications “relevant” to terrorism and national security.

                    That is, at any time in the future, any given set of communications may be relevant to a future investigation, therefore all communications are relevant to be targeted now to be kept indefinitely.

                    Exactly the same rationale? Some fundamental differences there, not least of which is the warrantless gathering of private data to incriminate people (including themselves). As opposed to systems being in place to prevent that happening with the Guthrie cards.

                    A system being designed to warrantlessly-gather and use private information is not “exactly the same” as a system designed to protect information and material from that abuse.

                    Gimme a break McFlock, there have been numerous ethical breaches by researchers not dotting eyes and crossing T’s, and you know it. Baby parts kept without permission is only one example from just a few years ago. Fucking blase “trust us and our standards” attitude doesn’t cut it.

                    I know what we could do – make you the Minister of Health, because you’re fucking perfect when it comes to healthcare. Hell, you know exactly how much fluoride you need and can apply the precise amount down to a fraction of a microgram each day, and you sure know exactly who should or should not be vaccinated and for what. And on top of that, you need absolutely no knowledge or experience in dealing with ethical matters because you already know everything. Fuck, who needs a school of medecine, royal commissions, or health councils – just ask CV.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Seems I hit a nerve. Sorry mate.

                      Exactly the same rationale? Some fundamental differences there, not least of which is the warrantless gathering of private data to incriminate people (including themselves).

                      biological samples are rich in personal data, and yes they can certainly be used to incriminate the people that they come from and others associated with them.

                      What were you saying about “fundamental differences”? Doesn’t seem to me like you’ve thought it through very far, as there are in fact many fundamental similarities.

                    • McFlock

                      I suddenly remembered with whom I was trying to have a rational discussion about a health system.

                      The only common factor in the two examples is that personal data (in electronic or biological form) is held by a government organisation. That is it.

                      One system is especially designed to make off-spec gathering, use or abuse of that data as easy as possible.

                      The other system is especially designed to make such abuse as difficult, obvious and preventable as possible.

                      Ducks and ships are completely different things, even if they both float.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey mate, whatever.

        • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.2

          Is the sample necessary, or just the blood type?

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    This is why we need employment regulations that protect work rights:

    Ms Ryan found Mr Smith had only been paid $12.50 an hour, under the minimum wage, for the amount of work he was doing. She said the company’s behaviour was unfair.

    ”I consider Kereru’s apparent expectation that Mr Smith work 13 1/2 hour days, Monday to Friday, without rest or meal breaks to be unreasonable,” she said.

    What really needed to happen here is that the employer be banned from owning a business or being in a management position for a few years.

    • Rosie 12.1

      Interesting Draco. I’ve chatted with a few ex couriers in recent years. It seems to be an industry that has a rep for exploiting drivers. One particular ex courier driver I spoke to said she calculated that one week she ended up working for $5 per hour. She told me that drivers can be paid per delivery/pick up only rather than be given a rate per hour. I’m not sure how this works but I think it occurs when a driver becomes a “contractor” for the courier company, rather than an employee.

      I’ve banged on before about the practice of supermarket suppliers having to provide “merchandisers” to unload and stack supermarket shelves, but it is an important topic because it highlights the direction our work rights are heading in NZ, – down the toilet. This is effectively the supermarket outsourcing their work to the supplier. That means the supermarket doesn’t have to hire people in inwards goods and shelf stacking. Merchies, as they’re known are often contracted by an agency and must provide their own cell phone, computer and vehicle for the uncertain and non guaranteed hours they are hired to work. Out of their wage they pay their own ACC, tax, sick pay and holiday pay. Recently on SEEK I saw an ad where the agency wanted a worker that already had their “store safe” pass, which is a supermarket health and safety I.D card. That is the agency expected the worker was going to stump up the cost of their H&S training themselves.

      This is not respectable work. It is precarious work, such as Helen Kelly discussed in her recent article on The Standard. With the National Govt eroding work rights, right from the very beginning with the 90 day bill, their 33 changes to the ERA a few years ago and now with Simon Bridges gutting whats left with his contemptuous anti Union anti worker policies, workers are now in a seriously vulnerable and powerless position. It’s going to take a lot to claw back our rights, once this side show of a govt finally comes to an end, and it’s hard to know whether anything will ever be the same again.

  12. Rogue Trooper 13

    “The third dream was about Elsie and Jenny. I was in bed with Elsie. We were just lying sleeping together, the way Jenny and I used to lie. And she said to me, ‘Is this is it?” And I said, is it what?” And she said, “Just this. is this all there is?” And I said, “Yes”. And she turned to kiss me, and it wasn’t Elsie, it was Jenny, and a huge wave of sadness rolled over me. If I was deliriously happy walking in the hills with the Devil, this was the opposite. Happiness missed. I knew the sadness was because of some fault in me, but I didn’t know what the fault was. It was as if there was something I didn’t have, a part missing.”
    -excerpt from The Testament of Gideon Mack.

  13. pollywog 14

    My take on National party aspirations:

    It’s not about keeping up with the Jones’s anymore. It’s about keeping the Smiths beneath you.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      +1

      That’s it exactly. They’re at the top and they want to stay there and so they work to keep everyone else down.

  14. s y d 15

    if only everyone had a bach at omaha…imagine the market for a permit to fish the leigh reserve.

  15. Winston Smith 16

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9030855/Live-chat-School-advice-for-parents


    What would you look for when comparing colleges for your child? Just NCEA results??

    by Rach 12:50 PM yesterday

    NCEA results, in fact tell you very little about how a school can support your child. You need to look at the academic, cultural and sporting opportunities that are important to your child. Go visit.

    by Angela Roberts 12:51 PM yesterday

    and

    Some private schools offer assessment other than NCEA e.g. International Baccalaureate. What are the advantages of these alternative assessments?

    by Jo 12:58 PM yesterday

    To me, NCEA offers everything that our students need. When I met the top NCEA scholars at the start of this year, I was reassured that NCEA is able to bring out the best in our best students.

    by Angela Roberts 12:59 PM yesterday

    No mixed messages there…

  16. yeshe 17

    Why, oh why, is there no-one from Labour being listed for anti- GCSB public meeting in Auckland next Monday ? How many more votes do Labour plan to lose to Mana, NZF and Greens? Wtf ??

  17. bad12 18

    Overheard in the supermarket today in a heavy European accent, ”That f**king Jew has told one too many lies”,

    Only took a nano-second to figure out who was the subject of that conversation…

    • yeshe 18.1

      That’s just nasty, nasty, nasty. Shame you chose to repeat it .. and racist twice noting the accent in which it was delivered. There are many valid issues on which to attack this sad and unfortunate human being, but being anti-semitic hardly helps. And yes, I think you enjoin yourself to the anti-Semitism in the re-posting of it. Racism of any kind is simply not accceptable. Ugh.

      • bad12 18.1.1

        Jews are not ‘a race’, they are a religion, and if you think that referring to someones heavy European,(i should have put East European), accent to be racist then i can only LOLZ at you and wonder what it’s like inside that bubble,

        PS, having read widely of the progroms and many other fates suffered by those of the Jewish religion prior to the establishment of the state of Israel i once harbored a deep sympathy for such a persecuted religion,

        However, the actions of the Jewish State in the modern age has evaporated such sympathies i once held…

        • yeshe 18.1.1.1

          And none of which, including your odd attack on me, precludes the fact that re-posting racism enjoins you to it.

          • bad12 18.1.1.1.1

            Aaaw is you the victim now, poor poor you, yelling racism at me will just have me LOLZ one hell of a lot more,

            Are Jews a race???, nope Jews hail from all over the world, all sorts of races connected by the Jewish religion so your raving of racism at me is to say the least silly and the fact that you consider anyone mentioning the language or tone of language that they have heard someone speak in as racist, in my opinion makes you far more than just silly…

            • yeshe 18.1.1.1.1.1

              And nothing of which you write precludes the fact that re-posting racism enjoins you to it.

            • weka 18.1.1.1.1.2

              “Are Jews a race???”

              There is no such thing as race. But there is such a thing as racism and to suggest that Jewish people don’t experience it is ridiculous in the extreme.

              I don’t know if you were being racist in your comment, but the quote from the supermaket most definitely is. Interesting though.

        • richard 18.1.1.2

          Please don’t confuse the government of Israel with Judaism. Even though the Israeli government would like you to think otherwise, they are quite separate.

        • karol 18.1.1.3

          Actually “Jews” are define as a culture and a religion, and by bloodline. Whether one is a “Jew” or not, is usually based on their mother having been “Jewish” – a bloodline, un-connected with religion.

          • bad12 18.1.1.3.1

            Oh well those folks in the pak’n’slave talking in that heavy Eastern European accent had their facts right then…

            • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.3.1.1

              If those types were truly Eastern European, they have a far finer sensibility for this shit than the 99% of NZers who couldn’t tell the difference between Croation, Serbian and Hungarian if you poked them in the eye with it.

  18. bad12 19

    The Electoral Commission has agreed to re-register ‘ the Hairdo’s’ defunct party so the great leader rises form the ashes once more,

    i heard He was thinking of a new name for the firm having besmirched the old one to it’s limits of tolerance,

    Dunne is the black hole in space of New Zealand politics having sucked them all in from Christians to hunters and fishers said all have disappeared never to be heard from again…

    • Veutoviper 19.1

      IMO it was pretty inevidable that UF would be re-registered – 500 members is not a high number to get.

      I thinkk I heard on Morning Report that Dunne was considering calling his party simply United.

      In my half-awake state at the time, it crossed my mind that this could be very confusing, with both positive and negative results. That is, some people might think that his party was connected to the Unite union – and vote for it on this misapprehension. OTH, others would not vote for it if they thought the two were connected!

      • yeshe 19.1.1

        Might be a Dunne case of United We Stand, Derided We Fall ( with apologies to Hot Chocolate).

      • emergency mike 19.1.2

        “I thinkk I heard on Morning Report that Dunne was considering calling his party simply United”

        lol Because the ‘future’ part no longer applies?

    • karol 19.2

      Dunne – shamelsss – so now we see Key praising him and talking about having him back in the cabinet – no wonder Dunne kept saying he’ll vote for the GCSB Bill against all rational arguments.

      He’s been tamed. Owned by Key.

      • Bearded Git 19.2.1

        Yes but the problem for Key is that Dunne is now a busted flush. It’s very odd but every time I see Dunne now (since his resignation) he seems to me to lack any mana/confidence/credibility. Is this just me? If we could just replace Shearer with Cunliffe I would be pretty confident that we would wave bye bye to Key and his ‘orrible cohorts in 2014. That would make me feel soooo goooooood.

  19. Veutoviper 20

    Picture of the day – from KDC’s Twitter. Obama and his Key dummy.

    LOL – would make a good Cartoon Competition!

    http://t.co/ukoPxXN7Pq

  20. muzza 21

    Food bill submission end on Friday, which has been cloaked by the GCSB discussions.

    We are being systematically dismantled, on 360 degrees!

    • yeshe 21.1

      Yes Muzza — getting us ready for full-on GMOs … the RMA changes are clearing the way, TPPA will ensure it, and changes to food regs will guarantee we cannot oppose it. Sad days for NZ. Oh, for a life free of those acronyms !

      • muzza 21.1.1

        Nicely joined up.

        The changes are always sold in silo, as if there are no links or interdependencies, this is where the punters, get right royally shafted!

        Nz = Monsanto Inc (incubation laboritory)!

        How many years you reckon until it’s troops on the street enforcing these new laws?

        My opinion, once the TPPA is in place, all bets are off, due to the speed at which the corporations will have open access, once we are locked in!

        • yeshe 21.1.1.1

          I agree, Muzza — I think the TPPA is without doubt the most dangerous of the intentions of this government. And that all is being negotiated and signed in 100% secrecy and allowed to be signed with absolutely no reference back to Parliament must surely verge on treason. Somewhere hidden in all the regs there must be a law preventing this ?

          Mai Chen, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Professor Jane Kelsey, please?

          Muzza .. I have to hope and pray that extraordinary efforts will be made to ensure everyone who can vote actually will register and vote in the next general election. This will be our only chance. After that, as you say, all bets will be off. Scary, very scary.

  21. Bearded Git 22

    This is what I told the QLDC full Council today at the Public Forum:

    The government is in the process of “gutting the RMA”. These are not my words, they are the words of respected financial commentator Rod Oram in last week’s Sunday Star Times. 13277 submissions were received from the public on the proposed changes to the Act- 99% opposed the changes.
    The changes allow new subdivision and development anywhere and everywhere unless a council expressly restricts this through a plan rule. The QLDC has a discretionary regime in its DP for subdivision and development which means no subdivision is expressly restricted. This change is a recipe for urban sprawl and ad hoc rural subdivision anywhere in the mountains and along around lakes and rivers in this District. This has the potential to devastate the landscape values-values that that this District largely relies upon for its economic wellbeing.
    Anyone who has a secluded rural residence should be scared because under the changes a subdivision will be able to be dumped next to you as of right.
    Commissioners at QLDC resource consent hearings will be powerless to decline subdivision and development. Council’s power to control adverse effects will be massively reduced. The changes overturn decades of planning law.
    There are major changes to s.6 and s.7 of the Act that will dilute provisions relating to matters of national importance. The requirements to maintain and enhance “amenity values” and the “quality of the environment” are deleted.

    There is a new requirement that ONL and ONF’s must be “specified”. In this District there is a gradual process taking place to identify landscape categorization boundaries through the Court. This process is far from complete. The changes will mean that large areas of ONL currently non-specified in the QLDC will be removed from protection from inappropriate subdivision and development.
    The changes reduce public participation. Councils currently notify only 4 to 6 per cent of applications for public submissions and only 1% of applications are appealed. The changes further reduce the need to publicly notify applications and further limit who is an affected party. The changes also further limit matters that submitters can comment on.

    The changes to the Act are based on ideology rather than any evidence of the need for change. They will make 22 years of case law largely irrelevant.

    The Society respectfully asks that when the Bill goes through the Select Committee process the QLDC submits in opposition to the changes described above especially any that reduce the protection of landscapes from inappropriate development.

    • yeshe 22.1

      More bloody treason by this government. Incredible post, thank you. Kia Kaha, BG.

    • beatie 22.2

      It’ll be open slather down here on the West Coast. Expect McMansions along the Coast Road, particularly around Punakaiki

  22. freedom 23

    https://www.facebook.com/StandDownJohnKey

    a growing collection of some of the adapted images honouring our great leader and his colleagues.
    -many probably nsfw

  23. North 24

    So, so refreshing to hear Gary McCormack on RNZ this afternoon.

    A very welcome respite from the usual, mainly Auckland, yuppy wanker, big-fish-putrid-little pond, wannabees. A guy who while retaining his jocularity has steel to his voice on poverty, greed, and the inevitable vileness of the socially poisonous and destructive experiment of the last 30 years.

    And then we have ShonKey Python, the poncey, akshully vicious rat-like when backed into a corner, idol of the greedies and the snobs – Schnapper………sorry………snapper. For Christ’s Sake !

    Calling Morrissey………

    • Anne 24.1

      +1 North.

      Oh to see and hear more from Gary McCormack.

    • weka 24.2

      McCormack was great – calling poverty the elephant in the living room that no-one wants to talk about, but is the thing we should be doing something about.

      Then Jim Fucking Moira said ‘oh yes, but we don’t know how much poverty contributes to child abuse, the research (which I’ve read) says… blah blab blah’. I had to get out of the car and walk away from the radio. I really don’t understand that mentality, it’s like looking for an excuse to let poverty exist. Even if research proved that poverty doesn’t increase incidence of child abuse (which it won’t), it would still be a societal wrong we should do somethign about. The ‘we don’t know how much poverty is responsible for’ argument is a completely nonsensical red herring.

    • Morrissey 24.3

      I heard the programme too, North, and yes, Gary McCormick was quite excellent. Let’s hope he keeps it up. He hasn’t always been as good as he was today. Two years ago, he and Raybon Kan put on an unfunny and particularly stupid double act…

      Open mike 11/03/2011

      • Paul 24.3.1

        You could hear McCormack becoming increasingly frustrated with Mora’s wordy evasions.
        Surprised he tolerated the nonsense Mora was spouting.
        What a pathetic liberal Mora is!

        • Colonial Viper 24.3.1.1

          The liberal elite are not particularly close friends of the underclasses or the working classes. That should be pretty clear to everyone.

  24. Tiger Mountain 25

    http://destinationfiji.org
    Campaign worth supporting, why holiday on others misery? “Voreqe” Bainimarama tries to put the guilts on previous Aussie and NZ sanctions and censure while instituting a clampdown on Fijian workers, why do those holidays seem so cheap again…

    Plus while researching was reminded that Colonel Frank was trained by experts in military coups and repression having spent some time in 1979 on the Chilean torture ship Esmeralda, plus Fiji military and individuals profited from the US “attack on Iraq” as contractors and still receive United Nations funding. Stuff ’em, don’t go there.

  25. North 26

    TV3 News – now we know the price extracted by Scummy Dunney and paid by ShonKey Python for GCSB vote. Sorted UF membership figures – renewed ministerial warrant. $100K of funding thrown in. And that’s just for now. Cup of tea in 2014 ?

    You’re asking why young people don’t respect ?

  26. North 27

    Sorry – correction – $100K happens on proving the membership – ministerial salary then. Piece of sanctimonious shit ! We’re not forgetting the silly old man skeleton-in-cupboard bizo though are we ? The cupboard ShonKey Python will open at will.

    Thank God we’ve got Sir Kiwi Kim Dotcom with his yet unrevealed proof (audio and visual) of ShonKey Python knowing ALL about him WELL prior to the date he claimed, thus misleading Parliament.

    Haere Ra………Aloha………overnight.

    • Bearded Git 27.1

      It’s good news in reality. Key will look a dork taking support from 2 discredited wallies-Dunne and Banks. Some of the public will pick up on this. Got to be worth 2/3 points off National’s polling at the election.

  27. Seen this?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10911645

    ” Two large public transport organisations – Auckland Transport and KiwiRail – are holding inquiries into separate allegations of corruption over contracts.

    Serious fraud investigators are waiting on findings from the inquiries before deciding whether to swoop.

    Auckland Transport has put a senior manager in its road maintenance division on indefinite leave until it completes an internal investigation into what it says are “serious allegations relating to the potential misuse of public monies”.

    KiwiRail has called in outside forensic accountants to make an independent review of infrastructure contracts after receiving what it says were anonymous allegations about them.

    “There is no evidence of wrong-doing at this time and, as a result, we have not stood anyone down,” the state-owned rail operator’s chief executive, Jim Quinn said late yesterday in a statement to the Herald.

    The Serious Fraud Office says it is aware of the two sets of investigations, and has spoken to both transport organisations.

    Both had undertaken to contact the SFO if their investigations found evidence of possible fraud, a spokeswoman for the office said yesterday.

    A spokesman for Auckland Mayor Len Brown said he knew of the council-controlled transport organisation’s investigation but had no comment to make about the allegations which prompted it.

    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee’s office referred Herald questions to State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall, whose office referred the newspaper to KiwiRail.

    Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton said a senior manager had been placed on indefinite leave after a review of procurement procedures in its road corridor maintenance operations…”

    ______________________________________________________________

    AUCKLAND TRANSPORT CONTRACTS:

    http://www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz/about-us/ProcurementAndSuppliers/Awarded-Contracts/Documents/AwardedContracts.pdf

    Check for yourselves how many contracts are made by ‘direct appointments’.

    Check how many contracts are for ‘professional services’.

    (‘Consultants’? )

    Check how many contracts are going to member companies of the unelected, hugely powerful private business lobby group ‘the Committee for Auckland’:

    http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/membership/member-organisations

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Want to stop this corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10899523

    “The will of the people is the basis of the authority of government.”

    Who elected this unholy alliance of the New Zealand Property Council and the hugely powerful private lobby group the Committee for Auckland to effectively run our Auckland region “like a business, by business, for business”?

    The mechanism for this corporate control of the Auckland region is through council-controlled organisations – run by boards of appointed business people and executive private-sector staff.

    CCOs must go!

    Key council officers effectively run Auckland Council as if it were their own private business.

    I support citizens’ lawful rights to privacy, but transparency and accountability for those in public office. … ”

    Penny Bright

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  28. joe90 29

    Ironing much.

    http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2013/08/12/2452621/olympic-committee-could-punish-athletes-for-speaking-out-against-russian-anti-gay-law/

    6. Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement

    http://www.olympic.org/Documents/olympic_charter_en.pdf

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