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Open mike 13/10/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 13th, 2010 - 19 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

19 comments on “Open mike 13/10/2010 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    The new city leaders have the example of the harbour bridge to show them that Aucklanders are willing to pay for infrastructure that is clearly worthwhile. They paid for the bridge with tolls, which is probably not a realistic proposition for rail schemes. Ratepayers will have to be persuaded to pay for them.

    They will not be persuaded by devices such as infrastructure bonds and public-private partnerships, which Mr Brown presents as alternatives to taxes or rates.

    Bonds and “PPPs” are fine methods of testing the value of public investments but they still carry public costs, either as interest on bonds or charges by private partners.


    • nzfp 1.1

      Hey The Chairman

      They paid for the bridge with tolls, which is probably not a realistic proposition for rail schemes.

      Agreed, it isn’t “a realistic proposition” for anything. This is what David Ricardo described as “The Theory of Rent” – and in this case it is economic rent and unnecessary – especially considering that all infrastructure costs can and should be funded directly by the Government via the Reserve Bank (RBNZ).

      Ratepayers will have to be persuaded to pay for them.


      Again, this is unnecessary as the Public Finance Act 1989 No 44 (as at 30 July 2010) – New Zealand Law – explicitly provides the mechanism for the Government to finance all infrastructure without incurring debt or tax to the citizens.

      The Public Finance Act 1989 No 44 (as at 30 July 2010), Public Act section 65L and section 47 explicity states that the “Minister, on behalf of the Crown, may lend money to a person or organisation […] on any terms and conditions that the Minister thinks fit” (ss65L)

      This Act allows the Finance Minister, via the Reserve Bank, to lend to any institution it chooses on any terms it chooses – such as zero interest at a period of 100 years.

      The Argument needs to moved away from Public vs Private, tax / rate payers vs toll booths and must be focused on the law and to what has worked historically – before the neo-liberal revolution.

      The funding of public infrastructure is not an argument for rate payers – rather it is a political argument that will result in a loss of constant tax payer revenue to the private banks in the form of interest. Anything else is a distraction from this.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        Tolls are a form of user pays. And if removed once a project’s cost has been recouped, aren’t so bad. Tolling for profit would more align to the theory of rent.

        Despite your suggestion (which is a viable option) ratepayers would still be responsible for repaying the principal on the loan. Moreover, this interest free option doesn’t seem to be registering on Brown’s radar.

        • Herodotus

          Or you compel private enterprise to construct or fund e.g. Motor way accessories or introduce development levies then wonder why there is NO development occurring and infrastructure for local bodies is non existent, as large ticket items are being funded pre income streams and the banks have stopped lending and in many cases reducing credit facilites as money is repartriated back to Aussie.
          “This Act allows the Finance Minister, via the Reserve Bank, to lend to any institution it chooses on any terms it chooses – such as zero interest at a period of 100 years.” So why is/has this not been implemented? Is it both Nats and Lab (NZRB/Treasury) are full of the US universities brain washing economic models?

          • Colonial Viper

            Is it both Nats and Lab (NZRB/Treasury) are full of the US universities brain washing economic models?

            Yeah, all those NZRB/Treasury types would love a job with UBS or Goldman Sachs, which is why they love hobnobbing with them.

  2. The Chairman 2

    Audit step in right direction but fails to suffice

  3. BLiP 3

    If you love Kiwi music then your library has to have this:

    Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music 1918-1964

    This illustrated history of popular music in New Zealand from World War I to the 1960s animates the people, places and sounds of a world we have lost, recounting how Māori and Pākehā New Zealanders developed a distinctive melody, rhythm and voice.

    Managed to wangle an invite to the Auckland launch last night, what a fantastic evening. I cannot recall a time when I was in the company of so rapscallion a battalion of glorious codgers and wonderful women – the stories, the music, the people, just amazing. In any other country these people would be heroes. But – 1964 – The Beatles, television, affordable air fares, the first trickle of mass consumer imports, and the onset of cultural cringe. Shame on us.

    Ake ake kia kaha nga iwi o te waiata.

    • prism 3.1

      What an interesting blog Blip. Blue Smoke – our first NZ record by TANZA sung by Pixie Williams to band of Ruru Karaitiana I think. I think they had trouble in not having a sound-proof venue giving a necessary quiet period for the recording, having to constantly start again when a bus went past or a dog barked.

      I have taken all this in from RadioNZ docos where you learn about what’s going on in this country as well as the world, and can feel proud of genuine Kiwi achievement. And of course no-one is paying me for this endorsement!

      • BLiP 3.1.1

        Don’t worry – I had to buy my copy, and pay $5 for the band at the launch. My endorsement is a penance for not having supported Kiwi music enough and remaining largely oblivious to the special history of it.

        • prism

          I wasn’t casting aspersions only roses! I was laughing at myself raving over RadioNZ so enthusiastically. A devoted fan.

  4. r0b 5

    I hadn’t really been following the story of the trapped miners. But the background material at The Guardian is fascinating:


    and a live update page on the rescue will be interesting to follow:


  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    Wellington gets new mayor

    A source told NZPA that Ms Wade-Brown beat her rival by 176 votes.

  6. hateatea 8

    Can someone please explain to me why there is so much bad language on the’right’ blogs eg Kiwiblog but most people here on the ‘left’ are. for the most part are obscenity free? (I know there are exceptions in both places)

    Just wondering

    captcha: Habits (bad ones, maybe)

    [lprent: there are probably many reasons, retarded adulthood comes to mind whenever I read the sewer. But one reason here is that I don’t like pointless insulting because it inevitably leads to flamewars that I have to read, and I’m long past my adolescence.. So you have to construct an argument before you are free to insult or I start removing the distractions to my moderating sweeps. My underlying standard is that they can’t be alive if I could write a phrase driven AI that sounds more intelligent than the commentator – so i treat them as spambots.

    Since it turns out there is more fun in the more subtle insults of a good argument people tend to stick with that. It amuses me to see a well constructed argument that calls someone an illiterate drone without ever having to state it, so it is a safe practice.. ]

    • hateatea 8.1

      Ah, maturity. That must explains my son’s potty mouth and my (mostly) polite one.

      I applaud your preference for a well crafted subtle insult over a crude one and I will try to remain on your approved list!

  7. prism 9

    Did anyone catch up with Judith Collins brown nosing the police. Almost sycophantic. She wants them to have more guns, locked in their cars, but not yet on their person. But Greg O’Connor is asking for armed police of course. What else – predictable. I think police need more protection – they should have had flak jackets and helmets and riot shields to go to that poor wounded Indian shopkeeper who expired while they had a regulation 20 minute wait. But something to help police safety would be not to have single police in rural areas, That’s where I think they are particularly vulnerable. There should be two, in nearby locations. So do something about that Collins and Broad.

    And if we can reduce drug and alcohol in NZ so that the highs are lower we would reduce criminal behaviour in the country and the city. The latest on drug taking is that the eye-popping effects of ecstasy aren’t up to the usual standard, so young people (mainly middle class) are going for LSD.

    I think that there should be facilities for spewing alcoholics and drug overdoses showing up at night after parties, to be sited well away from hospitals where they can receive basic treatment till they recover from their self-imposed derangement. They would be put in the recovery position in a locked room, checked and turned every quarter-hour, and given whatever medication is required. and their parents called to nurse them and they would really hate having to do the hard yards for once. It would cost but also save much money in the ordinary hospital emergency departments and the nursing there would not be the trial it often is. Eventually there would be a downturn in cases for police. The young would receive a bill for their care which parents could pay or it could be garnisheed from their wages if necessary and they would be given some free life counselling and future planning time.

    We spend so much on the careless, thoughtless, partying-up types who often attack the people trying to help them. More effective, no-nonsense treatment is needed. The problem will not go away and legislating with extra or more punitive laws just adds to the Justice and Corrections costs.

  8. Nobody seems to mention the best news of the year. The Rescue of the Chilean miners. What a wonderful engineering feat .What an example of leadership by the trapped miners foreman. Having said that I wonder how it would have been had Pinochet (the dear friend of Thatcher and Muldoon) been still in power . After all Right-Wing politics does not consider working people.
    Lets all celebrate this wonderful occasion. Workers of vthe

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