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Open mike 13/08/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 13th, 2015 - 90 comments
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90 comments on “Open mike 13/08/2015 ”

  1. vaughan little 1

    Big double explosion in Tianjin. Some background:

    Tianjin is a port city, about three hours from beijing by car. It’s a megacity, with at least ten million people, although city population stats in china tend to be pretty wild guesses. wikipedia calls it at 15 mil. It’s one of four cities directly controlled from the central government.

    Two seriously good pieces on Chinese disaster news management:



    the latter one gives you an excellent ancient-historical backgrounder to the modern phenomenon of censorship.

    quotable quote from the first link:

    …the one thing unique that emerged from this disaster [2015 yangtse ship disaster] is the confirmation that disaster communication in this country has thoroughly morphed into a kind of grand “mood management” exercise which involves state control as well as the negotiation within the society itself. The fundamental questions that are being asked by those watching the unfolding of the tragedy are not “what happened” and “why did it happen”, but “how should people feel about it” and “when is the right time to feel about what.”

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Ah, sounds like China is starting to catch up with the West in public manipulation.

    • vto 2.1

      surprise surprise

      mind you some of this will bounce back on eqc and the government due to the way in which claims were handled by eqc (very poorly and miserly)

      there has been loads of shoddy workmanship by the building sector in Christchurch. On top of that there is a tremendous market in as-is where-is buildings which are damaged, not repaired and now uninsureable. Being bought, slap of paint and out into the rental market…..

      avoid pre-earthquake homes in Christchurch in the future

    • weka 2.2

      So if some of the builders are cowboys doesn’t that make him the corrupt robber baron mayor living on the plush of this wild west town?

      • Pat 2.2.1

        the cowboy builders were used by EQC and Fletchers to reduce the standard and their liability…it is deliberate and systemic and has been known about for years and the minister brushed it off….these repairs were carried out under consent exemption which means they were performed under producer statements issued by Fletchers EQR and the responsibility to meet code was theirs….the Minister is either complicit or negligent.

        • Draco T Bastard

          the Minister is either complicit or negligent.

          I really don’t think that’s an either/or statement but most likely needs an ‘and’.

          Make no mistake, National ministers really don’t give a shit about anybody and if they can find a way to make a profit they will.

    • Kevin 2.3

      Once again, everything Brownlee gets his paws on turns to shit. Is he related to Nick Smith?

  2. halfcrown 3

    I see the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has just announced a $9 BIllion profit.

    Austerity is certainly working for them.
    As the banks are making these obscene profits, one thing The Double Dipping Dickhead from Dipton can do, is do away with the OBR (Open Bank Resolution). Obviously as the banks are making obscene profits, there is not the need to keep the legislation to bail them out by depositors, or the tax payer, just to fund their massive bonuses.

    • Blue Horseshoe 3.1

      The only ‘money’ in banks comes in the form of deposits

      Everything else is an IOU / accounting method

    • DH 3.2

      I think a simpler solution would be to forbid trading banks from borrowing money. The banks have gained undue power by leveraging their membership of the central bank system to gain access to funding they have no real right to.

      As things stand the banks simply borrow more when they run out of cash reserves & want to make more loans. But they can only borrow because their membership of the RBNZ gives them a solid credit rating. No serious lender would lend so cheaply to them otherwise, a bank would just be another finance company without the RBNZ guarantees.

      Admittance to RBNZ funding could be made conditional on members lending out only depositors funds. If banks want to be a finance company they can, they just can’t be an accredited trading bank at the same time. That would really cramp their style

  3. JanMeyer 4

    Jeremy Corbyn proposes re-opening coal mines in South Wales. He wants to turn the clock back 40 years with this and a number of other policies. Sounds like a winning formula.


    • Charles 4.1

      haha I was just thinking to myself, surely he isn’t going to re-open the shipyards or starting digging up Wales… it’s nostalgia writ large. Good luck to him.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        It’s nostalgic in exactly the same way that being able to afford a house on one income is nostalgic.

    • weka 4.2

      Let’s look at the whole of what he said,

      “But if there’s to be substantial coal fire generation it’s got to be clean burn technology, it’s got to have carbon filters on it, it’s got to be carbon neutral.

      [there’s a bit here in the video about CCS (carbon capture and storage), which they’ve left out of the article, so they’ve mangled what he said and actually misrepresented it]

      “I’ve looked at it, I’ve discussed it, I’ve heard about it. It’s complicated. At one level it looks very expensive. But the advantages also look quite attractive.

      “But the principles have to be that we’re protective of our environment, guaranteeing affordable energy supplies for everybody, and we’re not ripped off by big companies.”

      To me this looks like he just doesn’t know what he is talking about (re CCS and carbon neutrality). Or, he’s hedging his bets between the workers and the greenies and the economists. His comment was saying that there are few coal mines left in the UK, and that the remaining high quality coal might be worth more in the future.

      • JanMeyer 4.2.1

        He is the opposite of progressive. “Preservationist”?

        • weka

          I didn’t read it like that. Isn’t he talking about reopening mines for economic reasons?

          Not sure there is anything wrong with preservationist. We’d be better off if we’d preserved quite a few things a long time ago 😉

        • Colonial Viper

          “He is the opposite of progressive”

          Utter poppycock. Corbyn is one of the most progressive UK Labour MPs there are.

          How do you get away with making such statements? Look at Osborne, look at Cameron.

          They are the “opposite” of progressive.

    • halfcrown 4.3

      I suppose it is better to back 40 years than 150 years the Neo’ want to do.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.4

      Arn’t sales of coal dropping world-wide? Whos going to buy the coal in that case?

      • Colonial Viper 4.4.1

        Why would sales of coal be dropping during this marvellous global economic recovery in consumption and demand?

    • Bill 4.5

      He didn’t propose any such thing.

      He said that if coal prices rose in the future and if carbon capture tech meant there was zero net additional emissions (it won’t) then there might be a case for opening the deep mines in S. Wales – mines that just happen to contain the worlds’ highest quality coal.

      • Realblue 4.5.1

        So he essentially said nothing about anything at all. If he said something it might have been said if he had said anything….. Possibly.

  4. save NZ 5

    Sad news, Dita de Boni axed from the NZ Herald. Hope The Standard readers can show support.

    Another brave writer axed. Clearly too good for the Herald to tolerate.


    • Puckish Rogue 5.1

      Don’t worry i’m sure she’ll find gainful employment at radio nz

    • DH 5.2

      I was thinking a while back that we should run a lottery here on how long she’d last, but didn’t bother bringing it up because who’d bet on a sure thing.

      I admire her courage but question her wisdom, being so outspoken was just asking for trouble and now we’ve lost her.

      We might also spare a little though for journalists in general. Who’d be a journalist in this country. Their choices of employer are limited and if they buck the system they get fired or shunted out to bumfucksville writing trivia for the village idiots.

      • save NZ 5.2.1

        Thats right we live in a country when people who are paid to be a commentator are expected to give the same opinion as all the other commentators. It is ‘unwise’ not to do so.

        Opinions censored in MSM to all lead to the same pro government conclusions or so tepid, the content is irrelevant .

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Her latest piece on the Canterbury rebuild is, well, scathing:

      Like Tim Groser ignoring his best scientists over the issue of carbon emissions, Brownlee appeared to ditch large parts of his advisory board’s advice so he would retain final veto over major projects and council plans in the city. His own draft in response waters down the local role in the rebuild, ensures the Government’s paw prints are all over a new body looking to snap up prime central city land for redevelopment, and generally provokes more annoyance from locals.

      He gave a month for feedback – which ended at the end of July – without public forums for debate and discussion.

  5. Penny Bright 6

    For those opposed to corporate control – this is going to be quite a weekend!

    In Auckland on Saturday 15 August 2015 – is what should be a sizeable TPPA – WALK AWAY! public protest – assembling at Aotea Square at 1pm.

    In Auckland on Sunday 16 August 2015 – is the RATE$ RIPOFF RALLY!

    WHERE: Assemble 1 PM Aotea Square
    So – if you’ve just received your latest Auckland Council Rates Assessment Notice / Rates Invoice, and you are NOT happy about your latest rates increase – you can ‘stand up and be counted’ :

    The reality is that in Auckland – we have effectively been under direct corporate control for nearly 5 years – when this ‘Supercity for the 1%’ was forced upon us – without a democratic vote by citizens and ratepayers.

    We had 7 democratically elected Councils (warts and all) – replaced with 7 (now 6) undemocratically selected Council (CORPORATE) Controlled Organisations (CCOs) – which have been the mechanism for the Auckland region to be run ‘like a business – by business – FOR business.

    There has been a significant transfer of public rates monie$ to the private sector – but WHERE exactly is that money going?

    Penny Bright

  6. ianmac 7

    This Morning Report had the Arab sheep Saga on, with a soundbite from the QT yesterday where Key answers that Parker should check his answers to Suzie. Suzie replayed his comments from yesterday. Ooops John.
    David Parker explicitly explained why McCulley was breaking the law.
    10 o’clock news on Radio National summarised the issue. Well done.
    Not on 11 o’clock news.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Talking about radionz – did anyone yesterday hear Judith Collins refer to Radionz as Radio Albania? Apparently they are unliked by her because they persist in trying to find out truths and information that she doesn’t want them to bother asking.

      • ianmac 7.1.1

        And a few weeks ago English saying similar. And yet doesn’t National Radio have the highest listener numbers?
        Must look. This is all I can find.
        “Weekly live cumulative audience for Radio New Zealand National is 434,000 or 12% of the 15+ population. National’s station share is 9.1%.”

      • DoublePlusGood 7.1.2

        Someone should probably tell her that Enver Hohxa died 30 years ago.

    • seeker 7.2

      Glad you mentioned this ianmac@11.07am, excellent questioning of key by david parker all this week. and in spite of some criticism of andrew little by a commenter yesterday on “sheepgate mixed metaphors”.

      In fact Little did really well on Tuesday in that he appeared to lull key into a false sense of security with his fonterra questioning after which i actually saw key lean towards english as if to say ” i think we got away with that one and now joyce is up.” Thus andrew bayly began asking patsy questions of stephen who began rejoicing in the wonderful diversity (first time i had heard the natwits using that term) of their economic strategy. How seductive was joyce with his words, words he repeated almost verbatim after another patsy question on Wednesday!

      But back to Tuesday when, if that commenter had hung on, he would have seen Parker attack and attack key on sheepgate with brilliant support from Little and key didn’t look quite so relieved or chipper as he had done earlier.

      Parker continued this attack yesterday so effectively (and i’m sure helped by fergusson’s a.m. ‘softening him up’) that at the end i think key was forced to lie but i couldn’t hear him properly as he sank to his seat and looked quite cowed, or is that ‘sheeped’
      Well done David Parker and Labour. And it takes a lot for me to say that and especially to type it on this bloomin’ tablet.

      (Obviously the sight of arch fabricator key looking queasy was aspirshinul enough to get my finger, gritted teeth and patience working in tandem. Hope this all makes sense.)

  7. les 8

    tweet…’if Trump becomes president…there will be hell….toupee’!;)

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Toupee or not toupee. That is the question.

      To be, or not to be: that is the question:
      Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
      The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
      Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
      And by opposing end them?
      (Aye there’s the rub. Trump may chirp the words from Hamlet Soliloquy? but would have no concept of bringing the meaning to bear, or I doubt, any real wish to do so as he is just another money-rich intellect-poor actor on the power and glory stage.)

      To die: to sleep;
      No more; and by a sleep to say we end
      The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
      That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
      Devoutly to be wish’d.

      To die, to sleep;
      To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
      For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
      When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
      Must give us pause: there’s the respect
      That makes calamity of so long life;

      (What’s the bet that he will die and never have realised the good and transcendent things he could do for his own people and the world. He is just another Roman emperor with a heart of gold.)

  8. maui 9

    Solid Energy put into voluntary adminstration…

    [[breaking news on stuff.co.nz]]

  9. adam 10

    To true, same old lies from national, producing the same out comes. M.P.’s getting fat on the public purse.

    Was I the only one to miss this?


    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      “For households doing it tough this winter, particularly in rural areas where the plummeting dairy price is hitting hard, hearing that the Prime Minister is likely to get an $11,000 pay rise won’t do much to lift their spirits or help them pay their bills.”

      Ah, so after promising to do something about it National then ensured that they’d still get massive pay rises.

      And, no, you’re not the only one who missed it.

  10. McFlock 11

    from the seymour puppet thread:

    Except amongst the Wellington ‘Beltway’ types David Farrar is very well respected on both sides of the political spectrum. I only presume you are based outside Wellington and/or have never had any interaction with him. If he was a slimy and manipulative as you make out it is unlikely he would be so well regarded by key people across the political spectrum.

    Cite, pls.

    I suspect that in many cases you are confusing “behaving professionally towards” with being “very well respected “.

    • Gosman 11.1

      Are you based in Wellington McFlock? If so, do you attend any of the many political events that David Farrar attends? I’m not sure you realise how much of a political operator he is.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        nope. But through the weirdness that is small NZ, I do know people who are well acquainted with him.

        Although that’s beside the point, really – you’re confusing being a “political operator” with “being respected and well regarded”.

        I’ve read more than enough of kiwiblog (and seen the actual outcomes it asserted) to take it with a large block of salt.

        • Gosman

          I will grant you that Cameron Slater is not well respected nor liked by a number of people. The same can not be stated for David Farrar. In terms of the mainstream politicians across the political spectrum that I have observed interacting with him on a social basis there seems to be genuine fondness (if not friendship) and no anomosity. It is only people such as yourself who seemingly think mainstream politics is a battle to the death that paint him as some master manipulator doing his masters bidding.

          • McFlock

            Well, if your impression of “mainstream politicians'” behaviour is as accurate as you “granting me” something I did not claim (however true it might or might not be) and as accurate as your attribution of those thoughts to me, I’ll take that with a large block of salt, too.

            Although I notice that you’ve lid from a general “Wellington beltway types” to “mainstream politicians”. Do you think Seymour is in that latter group? What about the Greens?

            • Gosman

              I’m generally meaning the average Politician. I am sure there are a couple of Politicians and their supporters who do have an issue with David Farrar. I’d suggest that is because of their ideological position rather than anything David Farrar has done though. The worst accusation I have seen made here about him for example is that he pretends to be moderate and reasonable but rarks up his supporters with subtle dog-whistling blog posts and that he spins for National for cash. Even if true this hardly makes him a terrible person. He just seems to understand how to play the political game better than many on the left.

              • McFlock

                The worst accusation I have seen made here about him for example is that he pretends to be moderate and reasonable but rarks up his supporters with subtle dog-whistling blog posts and that he spins for National for cash. Even if true this hardly makes him a terrible person.

                Actually yes, yes it does.

                As for your comment about playing the political “game”, well that says it all. What you tories never understand is that it’s not a game. If you run down prisons and the health sector, have such concern for worker safety that unions have to take private prosecutions when workers are killed on the job, and turn income support and welfare services into confrontational and alienating abuse of the poor, people die.

                • Chooky

                  +100 McFlock…and if people dont die they have a miserable existence thanks to these amoral, immoral creeps

              • Morrissey

                Shortly after Israel’s mass slaughter of more than 1,400 people in Gaza in 2008-9, Farrar accepted a free trip to Israel by the Israeli regime, which included a brief visit to illegally occupied East Jerusalem. With a display of resolute blindness and deafness, Farrar reported that “things were generally very relaxed in this area”….

                So, yes, on that behaviour alone, Farrar would be a terrible person. His behaviour in New Zealand is just as disgusting.

        • Gosman

          I will grant you that Cameron Slater is not well respected nor liked by a number of people. The same can not be stated for David Farrar. In terms of the mainstream politicians across the political spectrum that I have observed interacting with him on a social basis there seems to be genuine fondness (if not friendship) and no anomosity. It is only people such as yourself who seemingly think mainstream politics is a battle to the death that paint him as some master manipulator doing his masters bidding.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Business leaders say time for Key to go

      Yes, so hard to imagine 😈

    • Chooky 12.2

      +100 says it all really..

      “The ‘Key’ brand is over.

      The business community has spoken and say it’s time for the National party to groom a replacement.

      NZME’s fourteenth annual Mood of the Boardroom survey has shown three quarters of business leaders want a new John Key.

      The survey had 110 respondents from the Deloitte top 200 list of chief executives, company heads and heads of industry-leading businesses including the private and public sector.

      Business Editor Fran O’Sullivan said last year, two thirds of respondents felt the ‘Key’ brand was damaged …

    • Chooky 12.3

      risildowgtn…that link is no longer working…I wonder why?

      can you get it up again?

  11. Chooky 13

    Re : dairy price crisis, European and British farmer protests, USA inspired sanctions against Russia :

    ‘West’s aggressive stance pushes Russia to China, threatens Western dominance’


    “The West’s hardline towards Russia is driving Russia closer to China, with deepening Sino-Russian relations posing a strong challenge to global Western hegemony, founding partner at Prosperity Capital Management Mattias Westman told RT”


  12. Sabine 14

    Anyone seen this?

    ” The Government is having secret meetings with groups interested in buying state houses and refuses to release the names of these organisations, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

    “Bill English has admitted meeting with 10 organisations who want to get their hands on these assets but is refusing to say who they are. These organisations are most likely merchant bankers, private/public partnership investors and property developers – so it’s no wonder National wants to keep them secret.

    “This comes as a Bill giving the Government extraordinary powers to sell-off state houses gets its first reading in Parliament. This legislation allows Ministers to take direct personal control of selling these homes, exempts them from normal legal requirements and leaves the sale process wide open for corruption.

    • Chooky 14.1

      very disturbing …good to see Phil Twyford and Labour Party is on to it!….hope Labour jumps up and down…and NZF…and the Greens in Parliament….and Mana/Int…and all social welfare groups…this is the future housing of NZ’s poorest!

      …It should not be for property speculators or private control and gain

      ….state housing is an asset built up over the years by generations of New Zealand taxpayers

      where is the Maori Party on this ?…and Peter Dunn?

      • Chooky 14.1.1

        if any state houses are put up for sale they should be offered to the existing tenants first…and loan money should be made available for existing tenants so that they can buy

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      …and leaves the sale process wide open for corruption.

      Well, that would explain why this government is passing this legislation.

  13. NickS 15


    Silly silly Fulton Hogan, blocking the EMPU is never a good PR decision, and sure as hell suggests things are not okay on the work site.

  14. katipo 16

    Interesting article about Income based fines…


    “Income-based fines could introduce fairness to a legal system that many have shown to be biased against the poor”

    • ianmac 16.1

      Sounds like a good idea but the wealthy in NZ have their real income hidden away in Trusts. One family that I know are very wealthy but because on paper they are poor they were able to claim Student allowances for their daughter. So how likely is it in NZ that say My Key would pay big money for speeding?

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Yes, well, that’s something else that we really need to address – the fact that the rich can hide their true wealth and not pay their way.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Fines should always be proportional to the persons income as this would make the fine equivalent across the income spectrum.

      Say two people get fined for speeding. One is rich and the on minimum wage but the fine is the same $150. For the person on minimum wage that could mean not eating for a week, bills not being paid and significant stress. The rich person would be thinking if they should have wine with lunch or not and then buy the wine anyway. The fine is meaningless to them.

      This is the first point. The fine actually has to have meaning to the person being fined.

      The second point is that the fine should be proportional to the crime and having to go without food for a week, not pay bills and being subjugated to a huge amount of stress for a time is disproportional to mere speeding*.

      * If it was speeding resulting in death then I would expect murder charges.

      • greywarshark 16.2.1

        I have heard that they do this in some country, Iceland, Finland? The fine is proportional to income.

  15. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17

    Prisoner dead at Mt Eden. Did you notice the clamour of people saying that the government was unfit to run the prison and must immediately let someone else do it?

    Me too.

    • Karen 17.1

      Prisoner died overnight. Serco still manage Mt Eden at night, but get corrections help during the day. Hapless Minister refusing to comment.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17.1.1

        Got a source for that? It’s not how Natrad or the Herald are reporting it.

    • adam 17.2

      Oh look The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell, got the facts wrong again. What a sorry excuse for a Tory you are.

    • Naki man 17.3

      Scumbag who plead guilty to nearly 80 charges including rape, sexual violation, assault, kidnapping, threatening to kill and grievous bodily harm kills himself in Mt Eden. Excellent news for his victims and their families.

      • McFlock 17.3.1

        They might have an excuse for a somewhat warped perspective, but what’s yours?

        Besides, I wasn’t aware they’d released the deceased’s name yet.

  16. Chooky 18

    Breaking News: Bomber has an appointment with a detective at the police station but he may not go :


    …and just seen this over on the Daily Blog which is quite shocking:

    “A series of unfortunate events leading up to Alan Hubbard’s untimely death. ”

    ‘John Key Set Up Allan Hubbard To Fail & Sold Assets To His Mates, Paul Carruthers’

    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/08/10/take-your-car-keys-shopping-with-you/#sthash.TBULYfjj.dpuf

    ( I always thought there was something strange about that car crash just before Hubbard was about to put his case for justice before the courts)

    • seeker 18.1

      And didn’t Alan Hubbard say John Key would sort this out and speak up for him when he got back………. for of course when the story broke of Mr. Hubbard doing something wrong with his accounting or some such thing, Key was else where. And when key did return from wherever, he wouldn’t even speak to Mr Hubbard. I thought then that something fishy was going on…….and obviously there was………. apparently a rather nasty set up.
      I did think at the time that Alan Hubbard must have felt so hurt and bemused and, unfortunately for him, was beginning to see the true measure of john key…. together with his sidekicks bill english and simon power (who had also figured in the maligning of Winston Peters.)
      What a horror to behold at his time of life.

  17. Fran O'Sullivan 19

    Hey Chooky, the radio story on National succession to John Key was taken down by NZME (Newstalk) because it was inaccurate in several places. It was replaced – The initial Herald story was accurate. Fran O’Sullivan

    [lprent: It must be a new email. Sorry about the delay releasing from first time moderation. But I suspect that everyone was out getting some healthy exercise around midday. ]

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