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Open Mike 14/02/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 14th, 2018 - 199 comments
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199 comments on “Open Mike 14/02/2018”

  1. Ed 1

    Stop tinkering.
    End neoliberalism.

    “The Salvation Army State of the Nation report reveals Kiwis struggle with rents and wages.

    An estimated 70,000 New Zealand children— or 7% of the under 17-year-old population— are living in severe material deprivation.

    Rents continue to rise faster than wages and salaries. In December 2017, it took 13.0 hours of pay at the average wage to pay the average rent. In December 2015 it was 12.4 hours.

    ​The prison population has grown 30 per cent from 8000 in 2008 to 10,470 at the end of September 2017.

    During 2016/17, average household debt rose 3.1% in inflation adjusted terms to $151,900 per household.

    The number of food parcels being handed out at the Salvation Army’s foodbanks has jumped 12 percent in the last year.”

    Click to access 20180214stateofthenation2018handoutonline.pdf


    • tc 1.1

      There’s some of that ‘brighter future’ middle NZ got sucked in over.

      I’d like to see the govt combine the asset flogging and environmental vandalism into a message that reminds people this is the reality of 3 terms of national.

      Now is the time whilst they have this sham leadership contest to hang the albatross firmly around their necks and ensure the association isn’t missed by anyone.

      If it was good enough for them to sit back while key and blinglish spun and BS’d their way through govt then they can wear the consequences.

      • Ed 1.1.1

        30 years of neoliberalism created this.
        Douglas should be put on trial for destroying this country.

        “Stagnant incomes and rising living costs are pushing more and more Kiwis into poverty, the Salvation Army says.
        In its State of the Nation Report, released Wednesday, the charity paints a damning picture of poorer Kiwis being left behind despite economic growth.
        This year’s report Kei a Tātou – It is us showed pay packets for families on the breadline were being swallowed by rising living costs.”


        • tc

          how about focusing on the ‘brighter future’ instead of going back to an era most voters don’t identify with as either being not old enough or not living in NZ at the time.

          Clark/Cullen stabilised many areas (so the slide ceased) however it’s Key/Blinglish that inherited nett zero crown debt and proceeded to plunder assets, give the rich a tax cut, rack up debt, hobble health, education, housing etc

          Lest we forget as the MSM will have their nat-goggles on pimping for blue at every turn relying on good old kiwi apathy and ignorance come polling day.

    • Leonhart Hunt 1.2

      Welfare – Pretty much all political parties have focused on family support, not individual NZers, they look at the family needs but never address unemployment support, training or getting adults into a stable financial situation though employment.

      If you have Kids there are alot of programs and support to assist you and your kids, from discounted or free healthcare, pregnancy support, early childhood, subsidised housing (when available) to working for families financial support (which in a lot of cases makes you tax neutral) and may of these programs have almost no impact (as when families get more, things cost more so you end up with no gain – Like WFF)

      IF your an individual there is only unemployment, Which works out to be around $10 – $14k per year, many sick/disabled fall into this category (there’s a little more additional support if your condition is recognised, but not much, I know this personally. My cluster headaches, are not recognised and not considered debilitating, which is insane.)

      So are we surprised that inequality and poverty is growing? if your unemployed support, you can be trapped in a cycle of dependency, trapped in a system with little/no support and no re-training. with rising costs (rents/food) and almost no rise in unemployment you get people in need, who have to choose between basic needs, we live in a first world nation and we have people who have to choose between hot water and food, who can only barely afford to eat and have no contingency if things go wrong.

      Studies show that a 6 month or more gap in employment history is a big problem for finding future employment, there are a myriad of advice columns that advise from glossing over or filling in that time with volunteer works to simply lying about work gaps to hide that fact you might have needed help.

      How did this happen? Well, we let it. We believe stories about drug use, crime, Iphones… but the data was never supported, we listen to leaders who called benafieries “bludgers” when the reality of how our economy works is that we need a certain level of unemployment (if unemployment gets too low, works get too much power this means rising wages/perks which in turn drives up product prices, which then reduced global exports, etc, etc, its a domino effect.) but we blame these people for being part of the system we support/created? and refuse to offer then basic living conditions and simple human rights.

      So we take away the one thing these people have left, hope and then wonder why drug use increases, depressions, suicide (I would dearly love to see figures on the number of people on benefits who commit suicide, but this stat is not tracked, in fact MSD has no record of the reason why people leave benefits, it is assumed they find employment.)

      If we want change, I think we need to make “beneficiary bashing” a crime (this includes our leaders) like any “hate speech” it needs to be treated the same.

      And we need to seriously look at how we treat our most vulnerable and take immediate steps to change the public perception (this is the only way to get them they help they need)

      • Molly 1.2.1

        Really appreciate you taking the time to write this comment Leonhart, it spells out clearly the folly in designing systems or solutions that do not address underlying causes – and most importantly, the impact on individual humans.


      • Leonhart Hunt 1.2.2

        Additional this is the earliest report I could find stating unemployment and suicide rates.

        Click to access suicidetrendsandsocialfactors.pdf

        I cannot find one for 2000+ so this is 18 years out of date (so these figure if the same study was concluded would be much higher)

        Document Page 27, PDf page 37 – Excerpt – unemployed and non-active 25−44 and 45−64ñ year-old males had suicide rates usually two to three times greater than employed males in all four cohorts

        Unemployed 18−24-year-old males had elevated suicide rates compared to the employed during 1981−84 (SRR 4.25, 95 percent confidence interval 2.10−8.60) and 1991−94 (1.65, 1.04−2.61), but not during the two other periods.

        Very interesting data.

      • Nic the NZer 1.2.3

        You are absolutely correct this is a significant problem. Unfortunately its actually worse, because a certain level of unemployment is built into economic policy around the economy.

        The government could achieve zero involuntary unemployment (involuntary unemployment is when there are not actually enough jobs to go around). This could be most simply achieved by the government providing a minimum wage job available to any takers, up to say 40 hours per week. It doesn’t do this because economic management indicates a trade off between a statistic called the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU). Supposedly if unemployment falls below the NAIRU rate then inflation should accelerate in the economy. Presently the treasury estimates the NAIRU rate to be 4.25% unemployment and the reserve bank appears to put it even higher and closer to 4.7% unemployment.

        Estimates of the NAIRU are frequently vague and multiple natural experiments where unemployment has fallen below NAIRU have indicated its not a realistic theory of what happens in the economy. Even on any reasonable theoretical grounds the NAIRU is pretty nebulous concept but it remains part of the practice of economic management never the less.

        Even if there is a trade-off between inflation and unemployment its horribly unfair to use unemployment to the benefit largely of wealthy individuals who don’t suffer from unemployment at all and massively benefit from low inflation. A better policy (as I indicated above) would be to balance between government created job-guarantee jobs and other jobs, for the purposes of economic management. Allowing people to participate in work would as you indicate be better for their self esteem, better for their income and make it easier for them to find work from a position of being in work (even job-guaranteed work).

        This policy is entirely within the abilities of the government of NZ to implement. Unemployment due to not enough jobs is a choice and the present government chooses it just as much as the previous one did.

  2. Ed 2

    One way to act and stop tinkering.
    Nationalise the banks.
    Obscene profits over $5 billion sucked out of our country and stashed overseas.
    $5 billion in one year.
    Just imagine what could be done with that.


    • Stunned mullet 2.1

      How do you propose this would be achieved?

      • Ed 2.1.1

        Google is your friend.

        • Stunned mullet

          ..but not yours apparently..

          • Ed

            I’m not doing your work for you.
            If you have questions, do the research.

            • Stunned Mullet


            • solkta

              No, you are the one proposing something be done so you should say what you mean by “Nationalise”. If you mean just seizing assets, well this usually leads to being invaded or at the very least strict trade embargoes.

              If you mean that banks would be forced to sell then how do we pay them? Do we borrow this money? Is that really an improvement to create huge state debt? Do we ‘print’ the money? If we create the money how could we reasonably expect the banks to accept our then deflated currency? In this scenario we are basically back to taking it from them. Even if we pay them in currency that is worth something we would still need to withdraw from all our trade deals including CER.

              You remind me of a flatmate when at uni. He always used to say “but we could just have a revolution” somehow oblivious to the fact that that doesn’t usually turn out too well.

              • mikes

                What he might mean is that banks should be state owned, not for profit organizations that exist to assist us with day to day transactions and to help us manage our finances, they should only cover their costs to taxpayers, not make a profit.

                • solkta

                  That is obvious. The question is how he would achieve that transformation without destroying the economy.

            • Morrissey

              I see, Ed, that our good friend “Stunned mullet” is living up to his moniker and resorting to the passive-aggressive non-answer. Well done for humoring him, but don’t let him upset you; serious readers will have taken in your excellent point about bank profiteering.

              • Stunned Mullet

                Moz me old chum how’s the blog going ?

              • Ed

                Thank you Morrissey. Your support is most welcome.
                I am under regular attack from James, stunned mullet, chuck and others for proposing socialist policies on a left wing blog.

                • solkta

                  If you are proposing policy then how about saying how you would achieve it..

                  My policy is World Peace and Happiness. We should just do it.

                  • Ed

                    I propose nationalising the banks.
                    It has been done before in many countries.Look up how they did it.
                    There are many ways to force foreign private profit gouging banks out. Look at the techniques that have been used.
                    I sense too many posters are scared of banks and won’t take them on. What is lacking is courage and will,

                    • solkta

                      It is your policy so it is up to you to give examples of how it has been done before. I gave you some questions in my previous post.

                      I propose world peace and happiness.

        • Psycho Milt

          Google is your friend.

          Google loves me very much but doesn’t tell me how NZ could nationalise Australian banks without first withdrawing from CER and without getting into a huge scrap with the Aus government, which would be an economic disaster on a scale that makes the $5 bil going to Aussie banks look trivial. Maybe it’s the search terms I’m using?

          • Zorb6

            No need to nationalise the aussie banks,just promote Kiwibank harder,give it an edge.
            All Govt business would be a good start
            .The big 4 aussie banks here have 1 rule for their Australian customers and another for Kiwis.In aussie they have deposit insurance cover,in NZ we have the opposite, the OBR.A number of fees to customers have been dispensed with in aussie,that remain for Kiwi customers.
            They do it,because they can.
            Exporting profits overseas is our biggest growth industry.

            • Cinny

              100% yes re Kiwibank

            • JanM

              “• KiwiBank: Investigate KiwiBank’s capabilities to become the Government’s banker when that contract is next renewed.”
              This is part of the Labour/NZF agreement. Great idea!

          • alwyn

            You really must stop being such a nit-picker.
            Ed says do it. Just do it!

            • James

              Google is your friend is his new answer to “I have no idea how to back up my ridiculous statement”

              • mauī

                James obviously doesnt give shit about $5 bill being sucked out of the country. I bet you voted for the blue and black feather too.

                • James

                  And I assume that 100% of the people here all bank entirely with Kiwibank?

                  And no – I don’t care – if kiwibank does not work for me then I go to a bank that can help. I don’t care where the profits end up.

                  • One Two

                    I don’t care…ME ME ME…
                    I don’t care where the profits end up…

                    • james

                      I was answering for me, nobody else.

                      So that’s the correct term to use.

                      Apologies if English is your second language.

                    • OncewasTim []

                      English certainly was your language. Did you get the memo? He’s resigned.
                      You’ll need a new set of language learnings now (going forward)

                    • Ed

                      “ I don’t care.”
                      In 3 words James summarises his world view.

                  • Molly

                    Interestingly, my partner and I only looked at Kiwi owned banks for our banking requirements because we did care where the profits ended up.

                    Would you bank with a cooperative bank that actively promoted socialist policies if you would get a better deal?

                    • David Mac

                      Same here Molly, my personal and business banking is with Kiwibank, I support the country that is educating my child and set my broken arm.

                      I think Kiwibank could create more compelling reasons for most of us to support them….I guess they need to be wary of the big Aussie banks making an anti-competition case against them. I still think there are many sweeteners Kiwibank could be putting on offer.

              • Stuart Munro

                He gets trolled a lot – no point posting links for folk who only come to kvetch.

            • Ed

              Thank you

    • dv 2.2

      That is about $1250 per person PROFIT for the banks.
      One way to claw back is a tobin tax.
      1% would get about 50million.

      The other advantage is that it would catch all the profit shift as well by the multiNats

      Tobin tax
      a proposed tax on international financial transactions, especially speculative currency exchange transactions.

      • savenz 2.2.1

        @DV +100 – when profits are now our 2nd biggest exports and our BIG exporters like Fonterra have had the farmers double milk production but essentially receive little from their productivity gain through poor management practises and siphoning off profits (overseas bought CEO getting 8 million plus salaries for example of the discrepancy) then you have to look how to tax the actual money which is disappearing overseas or into individuals through companies etc.

        Globalism has meant it is now vitally important for our government to implement a Tobin tax or similar to get the people that are exporting money out using loopholes and our increasing overseas owned assets having money funnelled out through ‘IP’ payments and complicated debt structures like Mondelez has made from Cadbury in NZ. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201843153/business-commentator-rod-oram

        • greywarshark

          Tobin tax – doesn’t have to be even 1% but should be in a band like inflation is presently. Tobin say between 1% – 0.33%, that would be unwelcome at the first but would not be too hard to adjust to, and not too costly apart from the fact that wealth tends to want a free ride, being spoken of as a natural ‘good’.

      • Tricledrown 2.2.2

        dv at 1% Tobin tax on financial transactions would bring in more than $5 billion in taxes.
        You just looking at banking profits.

        • dv

          Correct – that was just the banking profits.

          • savenz

            $5 billion sounds good. And while some may leave NZ with a Tobin tax, it will encourage more ethical business and individuals to come here.

            The trusts that came to NZ with John Key’s, 0% tax haven no questions about who owns the money, and now that’s been slightly amended many of the trusts have left. We are better off without those trusts!!!

      • David Mac 2.2.3

        I make 5 billion dollars divided by 4.5 million people about $111 each.

        • savenz

          I’d like there to be a .5 or 1% tax on EVERY financial transaction made in this country. Everything, mortgages, wages, any transaction going through a bank into NZ and move to a cashless society. Most people wouldn’t even notice it and those that do and don’t like it, can more on out of NZ, freeing up whatever asset they are holding onto, for some more ethical person to acquire. We might even get our country back from the scam city money laundering nation, it has become.

          They government could either lower PAYE taxes, get rid of debt, look at a partial UBI or decide to have the best schools, healthcare and so forth in this country.

          Those that earn, $1,000 p/w can afford that $10 per week for the privilege.

          Those who transact $500 million through Sky City or through real estate for example can also afford to pay the government the small change of $50,000 transaction charge for the privilege of gambling or buying here. Sell it to their friend, no worries, that will be another 1% please straight away to the government and all monitored through the banks and titles being changed, to make sure no cheating.

          Some properties in west Auckland were being sold every 3 months and going up 100k each time.

          There is no worry about litigation from IRD about the speculation tax, capital gains etc and 20 year fights, this way, its cut and dry – everyone just has to pay a little something to the government and the NZ taxpayers to transact here.

          I’m all for micro taxes that NOBODY can avoid in particular those that make a global living out of avoiding taxes.

        • Planet Earth

          It’s back to charter school for you David Mac (or new batteries for your calculator) 🙂

        • Dv

          4.5 million x 1000=4500 million
          Which is 4.5 billion??

          For those big no’s, I doo the calc in google

          • David Mac

            Ha, my apologies Dv, I have severely shortchanged you and discovered that my iPhone calculator runs out of space at 500,000,000 and didn’t accept the last ‘0’ I tapped in. So not batteries Planet Earth but yeah, my calculator.

  3. Ed 3

    One way to act and stop tinkering.
    Set up housing cooperatives.
    And give government tenders to them.
    Cheaper houses.
    The crooked cartel in building over.
    Better wages.
    Improved workers’ conditions.
    More accountable management.


    • Stunned mullet 3.1

      And the building materials where would they be purchased from ? ….. how about the workforce ? Who do you propose would have quality and managerial oversight ?

      • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1

        Google is your friend 🙂

        • Ed

          You’ve got it. Now follow up on your suggestion and stop being too lazy to find out the simple solutions to foreign private banks and the solutions to expensive housing.

          The solutions are simple.
          And radical.

      • savenz 3.1.2

        We seem to have the raw materials in NZ for building (wood, steel, cement, wool insulation etc) and plenty of un and underemployed people so it seems that our industry (through the NZ ideology and corporate control by accountants, economists and lawyers,) now have one of the highest building costs per square meter, but also has one of the biggest square footage meter of housing as well.

        Go figure! Who are we building these houses for (not many locals by the looks of things) and why are they so expensive and malfunctioning aka leaky or designed wrong.

        • Molly

          State built and rented housing is a primary requirement – but not the only one – to solving the housing crisis.

          Ed, is quite right. To continue as we are, is to continue to fail.

          NZers needed secure access to housing ten years ago, the problem requires an immediate and radical solution.

          The Nats completely restructured Ministries and created new ones.

          This coalition, if it wanted, could act innovatively. Create a Ministry of Works and link it to apprenticeships in the trades. This could be in conjunction with regional spending. The supervision is provided by those tradies now near retirement age, that had the benefit of the old apprenticeship schemes and whose long experience gives their knowledge value. Employ them to train apprentices from foundation to final fitting, and we have a scheme that delivers training, housing and regional development and local economy boost all at once.

          Housing NZ used to provide housing loans to NZers. The only thing stopping them doing the same is a lack of political will.

          Cooperative housing could be encouraged by providing specialised cooperative development advisors, and oversight and management of government start up loans, which can then be replaced with the usual options when the developments are completed. The repaid start ups can then be reused for another community.

          Imagine what the current outgoings for the America’s Cup could do if redirected.

        • savenz

          Also how have our workers gone from being extremely well regarded and full of initiative to be labeled ‘hopeless drug users’ in the last 20 years? Even the B and C overseas executives are being flown in, because apparently Kiwi executives aren’t good enough. Even if they were, it’s all the same tired executives (Paula Rebstock types) being used in the same companies, accountants, politicians and lawyers who are not exactly used to having ideas, making stuff and innovating.

          NZ has to dramatically look at how the Rogernomics and the Ruth Richardson mentality that has crippled NZ business and individuals in the last few decades and created poorly performing companies (Fletchers, Fonterra, Silver Fern farms) that strip out wealth from the country, rely on paying lower and lower wages with poorer conditions for most employees (apart from execs of course) and actually become basket cases that can’t compete globally, along with a nation of precariat workers.

          NZ as a country, is like a farmer going bankrupt, so keeps on selling little parts of the farm to get the cashflow in, and then goes to the bank to borrow more and more money, while appearing really wealthy and knowledgable and telling everyone what a great farmer he is. He’s too lazy and unwilling to invest in his children or community so just brings in the cheapest unquestioning workers to keep the farm going.

          Of course there’s not much left of the farm for the next generation to inherit and the bank effectively starts to control his farm, but who cares about the next generation.

          • OncewasTim

            Who cares about the next generattion? Fuck all from what I can see.
            You raise so many good points Molly…..including the B and C execs.

  4. patricia bremner 4

    Regarding the Report. At least this government is not in denial. They are not saying “It is a Rock Star Economy”

    By getting a clear picture of the struggle, plans can be formed and progress measured.

    We need to give this government support to implement the changes in an electorate where 44% aprox, like the status quo.

    There are only so many hours in a day, and what is already in the pipeline is more than most could have hoped for just 6 months ago.

    Yes some things we are unhappy about, but others far exceed our expectations.

    For those who have yet to see an improvement in their situation, personally visit your MP’s office, go to party meetings, write emails and letters, as well as blogging.

    These representatives have hit the ground running, but find infrastructure underfunded, the Public Service in tatters and the “rosy picture” painted on a rotten apple. Give them support to turn this around.

    We have a great coalition, which is a cross section of the community at large. It has good leadership, and so far good teamwork, setting targets to achieve.

    The opposition is entering new and uncharted waters. They will find there is less money in opposition, just as there is less power and a deal of internal ructions.
    The “boat” looks a little rudderless at present, and the running “team” in disarray.

    Some in the previous government have been self serving to an unprecedented degree, doing things to improve their own lives while performing very poorly in highly paid positions.

    We are now seeing a huge political shift away from denial to open government. Some of the information won’t be pretty.

    • Ed 4.1

      There has been a notable improvement in honesty.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      an electorate where 44% aprox, like the status quo.

      The Nats got 1,152,075 votes out of a possible 3,298,009.

      That’s just under 35% of the electorate.

      No need to inflate it 🙂

      • patricia bremner 4.2.1

        Sorry, You are correct.

      • Tricledrown 4.2.2

        As opposed to to 51%that didn’t like National.
        It looks like someone in national wanted Bill English toppled so did the dirty on Winston Peters so national wouldn’t have a coalition partner even with the largest single block of votes. Waiting for another 3 years for your ambition to arrive was too much for Collins crushing Double Dipper to become National leader her only option!

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          To compare apples with apples, the coalition parties got 1,305,333 votes out of a possible 3,298,009: 39.6% of the electorate 🙂

    • alwyn 4.3

      “They are not saying “It is a Rock Star Economy””
      Neither did the last Government say it Patricia.
      It was outside observers who did so.
      It is the outside observers who have stopped saying it today. They have seen the confusion the Government is in, the incompetence of the Minister of Finance and the stupidity of the CIC, The Right Honourable Winston the First, and decided that the Economy will steadily decline.

      • In Vino 4.3.1

        “Outside observers”? More like fawning right-wing spinners.

      • Ed 4.3.2

        Outside observers like the banks,
        Who’ve just made off with over $5 billion of our money.
        They would say that, wouldn’t they?

  5. eco maori 5

    Ed I agree there is to much money being spent on management in all the companies around Papatuanukue and not enough on the people who do the work /generate there income I think management should costs 10% not 45% for shuffling paper.
    I vote for Mike King for Kiwis Bank person of the year Ka pai Kiwi Bank.
    Morning Breakfast good win Black Caps.
    I was not impressed by the way some people in the media Treat you over the last couple weeks Kia Kaha Men.
    I give my condolences to all the people of Tonga and I won’t use there miss fortune to highlight one of my cause.
    Ka kite ano P.S I figure out what bank I’m charging to.????

    • Ed 5.1

      If we have cooperatives there are no management costs.
      Just shared interests.

    • eco maori 5.2

      Morning Rock Rumble radio I won’t say to much mite cause to come out of some people _______and you get problems with your hard ware or soft wear I wonder if the sandflys are going to play games on the road today after what happened yesterday Ana to kai. Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 5.3

      The Tauranga sandflys are swarming today the think they own Atoearoa there is a lot of Maori history right here in the mount Maunganui like water of a duck back
      Ka kite ano

  6. swordfish 6

    When is a 2 Week Ban … Not a 2 Week Ban ?

    Colonial Viper received a two week ban wayyyyy back on Nov 27.

    Open Mike 27/11/2017

    My understanding is that he’s made one or two attempts to comment here since the ban period ended … and yet his comments haven’t made it through.

    Any particular reason ?

    The Standard


    We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views.


    Personally, (and here I very much echo the policy of The Standard) I greatly favour open, candid, robust debate over any pernicious censorship, enforced ideological conformity or echo chamber tribalism. The latter is extremely unhealthy for the Left in my ever so humble opinion.

    (Note: Just off out the door … so won’t see any replies … whether well-meaning or sarky … until this evening. But I can assure you, here and now, that I’m certainly looking forward to them 🙂 )

    [Your ‘understanding’ would appear to be incorrect]- Bill

    [CV’s historical bans were for his behaviour, not his political views. If he were being banned for his political views he wouldn’t have made it through the US election. Probably the ‘Hitler did some good things’ comment would have been an obvious point to step in, but it didn’t happen.

    If you want to talk about this I suggest you take more care in how you represent moderation on this site, and how you critique moderators, especially as at least one of your criticisms in the past has been utterly inaccurate. I’m not in the mood for another round of commenters disrespecting how this site is run. If you are unclear on where the boundaries are, ask. – weka]

    • xanthe 6.1

      I also would be interested to know if CV is still being “discouraged” somehow or if they just found somewhere more enlightened to participate

      • Andre 6.1.1

        😆 “… enlightened … ” 😆

        Aren’t CV and TRP on twitter, still carrying on the Batley Townswomen’s Guild Re-enactment of Pearl Harbour?

        • greywarshark

          Caught you “Sexist”; don’t make fun of the Batley Townswomens Guild wherever they may be, even in your mind. Remember Jimmy Carter who committed indecencies in his mind and was ashamed. You have to answer for such transgressions eventually.

          • Andre

            I am sooo busted. Guilty as charged. All I’ll plead in mitigation is I did look for something else I could link as visual imagery, like mud wrestling men, but all the hits seemed to be gay porn or otherwise inappropriate, whereas the Batley Townswomen’s Guild hit exactly the right note I was looking for.

            • greywarshark

              I understand you did your best. But in fact too many town guilds are out there waiting to be used as awful examples. I hope I am learning better methods of discussing and critiquing ideas here after sitting through some meetings that became bogged down and circular.

              • Andre

                In the case of the re-enactment, bogged down fer sure. But I wouldn’t describe it as circular. Especially not with the pig trotting nonchalantly across the field at the end of it.

          • Gabby

            Justin and I like to call them Townswomanpersons.

      • Ed 6.1.2

        I enjoyed CV’s comments.
        They were a lot more informed , a lot more radical and a lot more thought provoking than those from James, chuck, bm and others who come on this site for kicks.

        • mauī

          Agree totally there Ed. My own opinion is that much of his problem was that he didn’t fit in with the establishment left residing here.

    • savenz 6.2

      I like a lot of CV’s comments, and if there starts to be a long winded debate that I’m not interested in, then I just scroll down.

      If everyone thinks the same and has the same solutions to every problem, then the site is dead.

      One of NZ biggest problems is that the neoliberal views have become the dominant ideology that is still unquestioned and championed by the global media. The lefties (in my view) have taken many of the right wing views (aka TPPA) and just added more taxes as a view to ‘redistribute’ the wealth being taken by a few. There are so many issues and stupidity in this approach (hard to stop climate change and environment degradation, inequality is growing fastest in places with major taxes like UK so it’s not working at all etc).

      Labour lost touch and were not elected for nearly a decade, Greens nearly didn’t make it back last election. Even if some commentators are critical, then it’s still valuable, because politicians must stay in touch and that mean’s listening to a range of views and positions and then SHOCK maybe changing one’s mind before it’s too late could save themselves from themselves (and the rest of the planet from the faster tracked destruction via the Natz, plunder now, think later, approach).

    • Bill 6.3

      There is no block on comments from CV.

    • Olwyn 6.4

      I wonder if CV needs to log in for his comments to go through. I know that is the case for me – I have not been banned but I have become an infrequent commentator.

      • greywarshark 6.4.1

        Yes I notice your absence Olwyn, good to see when you turn up.

      • weka 6.4.2

        If someone is not logged in their comments go to spam and get seen and released by any Author that is around.

        • solkta

          I’ve never logged in and there was only a delay on the first couple of posts i made.

          • weka

            yes, the first post always gets held. There’s a bug that holds people with logins who aren’t logged in.

      • weka 6.4.3

        There is a work around, can’t quite remember what it is. I’ll see if I can do a test later and figure it out. Feel free to remind me if I forget.

        I think it will resolved if I delete your login too, if that helps (I might check with Lynn on any issues with that). You won’t be able to set it up again though.

        • Olwyn

          Thanks Weka. I am OK with having to log in – it is a very small step and just a matter of remembering to do it. But if there is a way of getting round it, it would be nice to know what it is.

          • weka

            ok, I’ve been meaning to get that clear in my head anyway, so will have a play and see what works.

          • weka

            This should work. It’d be great if you could try it out and let me know.

            – Make sure you are logged out
            – Delete browser cookies
            – Restart browser
            – Make a comment with same user name but a different email address (make one up, or put 2 after your email name before the @, so you can tell them apart. TS doesn’t require valid email addresses)
            – First comment will go into spam, because you are considered a new user
            – Subsequent comments should go through ok

            • Olwyn

              Thanks Weka. I have an alternative email connection that have accidentally used in the distant past. Would that do, or would it be better to fulfill the whole instruction, so you can see what results?

  7. mac1 7

    “Best listeners in the country.”

    “Aware of their customers’ needs before they ask for them.”

    “Complimentary case of Spy Valley chardonnay with every purchase.”

    “Great store security. The man at the gate even notes your car rego should you forget where you left it under the two all-weather domed car parks.”

    “Full country hospitality.”

    “Owned by the Great Connections Sounds Board, they have sister service centres throughout the world.”

    ” The Five Eye brand not only encompasses four-eyed computer viewing geeks but the fifth eye cleverly embraces the totality of their knowledge of audio-visual home-based systems.”


    One bad customer review said, “Their know-it-all staff have a ‘we’ve heard it all before’ attitude.”

    • greywarshark 7.1

      That is such a good comment and link to put up. Very clever.
      I was pleased to see in the comments under the item, that someone had put up the traditional line:

      there is nothing wrong with it if you have nothing to hide

      This from, I imagine, someone called Be pure citizens, trolls suffer.

    • Anne 7.2

      Thanks for the belly laughs mac1.

      Tell me though. Is the photo of the cowboys security guys at the base entrance for real? Or did someone include it for a joke?

  8. adam 8

    Big fan of Lissa Lucas, she got up and named the politicians taking bribes, so they stopped her from talking. Then manhandled her off the stage. Corruption is insidious, one small step at a time.


  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    So obviously I’m back on the payroll:


    Judith Collins has announced a bid to replace Bill English as leader of the National Party.

    She said on Twitter National needed strong leadership to win in 2020.

    “I am that person.”

    This is a good move by Jude, as I told her yesterday its likely she wouldn’t get supported after the 2020 election so her only time is now


    • Cinny 9.1

      Question please PR…

      Do all caucus members have to vote, or if you don’t like any of the leadership choices can one abstain?

  10. greywarshark 10

    A Spinoff piece on ‘thrifty’ travellers – if you didn’t catch it before. Apparently it was from 9 February though I couldn’t see date on page.


  11. Ad 11

    Fletcher Building are now no longer bidding on any large new jobs.


    This is a devastating blow to industry capacity when Twyford desperately needs industry capacity to deliver his housing and transport policies.

    It’s like Fonterra saying they will stop entry into all new markets.

    This is an industry earthquake.

    You have to squint through some really tinted glasses to see the upside for this.

    • greywarshark 11.1


      business economy
      Fletcher Building announces $660m loss, Ralph Norris quits
      From Morning Report, 8:57 am today
      Listen duration 3′ :15″

      Sir Ralph Norris has stood down from his chairmanship of Fletchers after its building division announced revised losses of $660 million. Sir Ralph said he wanted to show he was accountable for the company’s position. RNZ business editor Gyles Beckford tells Guyon Espiner the company has cashflow to cover debts, but shareholdes will be forgoing dividends.

      They have weakened the market by trying to undercut everyone and now they have managed to reach the probably forecast result, they have skewed the whole sector and other firms would struggle to get up to speed. Bastard Fletchers.

      • mac1 11.1.1

        Fletchers’ could make a good profit and show social leadership if they got into home construction for affordable prices.

        As they did. Their quality was a such that “the first house they built together, in 1909, still stands and is open to the public in Dunedin.”

        At least what they build will be more profitable than chasing the big dollars.

        Interesting to note their current losses are about the same size as the extra revenue above budget projections announced by Finance Minister Robertson in the House yesterday.

        How can a building company lose money when the economy is doing better than Treasury projections and there are a 100,000 houses to be built?

        • savenz

          “How can a building company lose money when the economy is doing better than Treasury projections and there are a 100,000 houses to be built?”

          Poor management hiring other bad workers, bad company culture, loss of focus, can’t make the right decisions in a timely manner or can’t make any decision , can’t look forward to the future.

          • Tricledrown

            Fletcher’s under quoted to help the National Party look good in ChCh and with Auckland’s sky tower convention centre.
            The cost,s had already blown out, John Key negotiated the Deal which was seen as Dodgy at the time.
            So John Key rides off into the sunset while The Govt no doubt pick up the bill.

            • greywarshark

              The latest from the Herald showing a falling line on the graph.
              The NBR article from 2017 indicated concern then, and the graph showed that there has not been much improvement throughout 2017 and now it is lower still.

              April 18 2017
              NBR won’t let me copy so –
              Shares sank 21% wiping $1.52 billion off Fletchers group\construction division earnings weak.
              Construction division had been caught out by a rapid increase in
              labour costs’… generating 10% of earnings on 20% of revenue.
              JBWere R Ward said “It’s a division in the company that’s low margin but important to win contracts…”
              Construction division valued at $341 million with earnings multiple of four, compared to 8.1 across entire group.
              Largest shareholder US based fund manager BlackRock with 6%, and the top 100 hold 84% out of 37,630 shareholders.l

              ODT 26/10/2017
              For its year trading to June, the portfolio of B+I projects, most of which were on fixed price contracts, delivered a $292million loss, while guidance released yesterday for 2018 estimated a further $160 million B+I loss – $125 million in project losses and $35 million overhead costs.

              Because of ongoing ”uncertainty”, Fletcher has separated B+I guidance from the rest of Fletcher group earnings.

              Of last year’s $292 million
              loss, Auckland’s international convention centre and
              Christchurch’s Justice Precinct represented about $195 million of the total, while of the estimated $125 million 2018 project losses, those two projects represent about $100 million.

              What I see in listings online here doesnt match with other info so can’t comment.
              I don’t understand it of course so not sure what, how to compare. The overview in this morningstar report of Fletcher Building Ltd shows that Institutions and Mutual funds are major shareholders.
              Here is table which looks as if it is just USA.


            • alwyn

              Do you have any evidence for this or is it just as much a product of your imagination as your claim that Robertson had an Economics degree.
              Found any evidence of that little fantasy by the way?
              Please provide it.

      • McFlock 11.1.2

        sounds like a candidate for some synergistic nationalisation 😉

    • Ed 11.2

      I have been saying for some time .
      We are on the brink of a crash.

      • alwyn 11.2.1

        “I have been saying for some time .
        We are on the brink of a crash.”

        Have you ever considered learning something new and studying a bit of Economics?
        Paul Samuelson, who was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century once came out with this.

        “To prove that Wall Street is an early omen of movements still to come in GNP, commentators quote economic studies alleging that market downturns predicted four out of the last five recessions. That is an understatement. Wall Street indexes predicted nine out of the last five recessions! And its mistakes were beauties.”

        I think you come into the category of someone who keeps repeating his predictions until someday one of them comes true. Like a stopped clock that tells the right time twice a day.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.3

      I think it’s what they call “a gap in the market”. Other contractors will be looking to expand and take on more work.

  12. Fireblade 12

    I wonder if the Act Party will survive the next few years.

    It’s likely the new National Party leader will move the Nats further to the right and the Act party may loose their already tiny support base. Will National need or want David Seymour to win Epsom in 2020? When Seymour realises he’s got no mates and no real voter support, will he simply resign and leave Epsom to National?

  13. Morrissey 13

    Join the Army—get Ahed.

    Her secret “trial” begins today. What is our government doing about this? Has the Prime Minister said a word about it?

    “The IDF is the most cowardly army on earth.”—Norman Finkelstein



  14. greywarshark 14

    Radionz good interview with intelligent informed person – perhaps we can take notice of what he says and act promptly.

    Toxic foam: Officials underplaying risks – US expert
    From Morning Report, 8:42 am today
    Listen duration 4′ :19″

    An American expert in public health says New Zealand officials are deliberately underplaying risks from firefighting foam that’s contaminated water supplies near air force bases.

    On Morning Report the Environment Ministry was asked about the health impacts. Howard Freed was the director of the New York Department of Health’s Center for Environmental Health from 2008 to 2012 while that state grappled – and is still grappling – with the impacts of foam contamination on water supplies.

    He says government agencies usually respond to public health problems in one of two ways – they either try to persuade the public the risk is minimal, or they take a precautionary approach and begin acting immediately. And after listening to Vicky Robertson’s interview, Dr Freed says New Zealand is going down the path of trying not to alarm people.

  15. Ad 15

    Germany is proposing making public transport completely free, in five cities.

    Good and bold.


    • savenz 15.1

      @ AD, good link.

      Of course a lot of German wealth is based on their manufacturing and highly skilled focus, not the low wage economy to compete with Asian at $3p/h that NZ adopted.

      Not too late for NZ, hopefully to give up Bill n John’s low wage precariat dream for NZ and adopt a more German, local jobs, local manufacturing, high wage, high conditions, high skill and training, highly accountable industry, approach.

      With regards the public transport, NZ needs to actually get the public transport working and available and useable.

      Got on a bus the other day, strong smell of chemicals coming from the upholstery/interior materials of the bus, a leak from the window meant the unfortunate person who sat there got their bum soaked and an animal was trapped at the back of the bus. The driver looked downtrodden and smelt of BO. It was a newish bus.

      NZ does not seem to believe in quality anymore or even seems to know what is going on in their own industries.

    • xanthe 15.2

      Thats a smart move and the only way that public transport can be sustainable IMHO

    • Tony Veitch (not etc) 15.3

      John Minto stood for the mayor of Christchurch with, among others, a platform of ‘Free and Frequent’ public transport in the city.

      And that fw Brownlee said that a ‘business case’ couldn’t be made for trains from Rangiora to Rolleston!

      Well, a ‘business case’ probably couldn’t be made for saving the planet (or at least the human part of it) but that’s just what we have to do – think outside the box, be innovative and to hell with the dollars and cents!

    • Ed 15.4

      Brilliant news.
      Stunned mullet would tell them it wasn’t possible and how could they afford it?
      Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

      In Germany they have a will.
      In the neoliberal slave state of New Zealand, they don’t.


  16. Morrissey 16

    John Banks in his element

  17. alwyn 17

    I see that Winston Peters has cracked the whip again and the Coalition parties are into backflip mode.
    Stuart Nash looks like backing down on ensuring cameras are installed on fishing boats in order to monitor their activities, like dumping fish and so on.
    Was this another one of the secret parts of the Labour/New Zealand support agreement?
    Did Winston or Shane demand that Nash behave himself and stop making life difficult for the Winston First Parties financial backers?
    Forest and Birds CEO Kevin Hague is not at all impressed.
    I suppose the Green Party will go along with it. After all if Winston wants something Winston gets it.

  18. The Chairman 18

    The authors of the Government’s own housing stocktake argue it lacks the ambition to truly solve a multi-generational crisis because of a self-imposed debt limit. Bernard Hickey reports.


    • The Chairman 18.1

      CTU President Richard Wagstaff said he would welcome a fresh debate about slowing down the pace of debt reduction, given the Government was now confronting much bigger infrastructure, social and environmental deficits than expected before it came into Government. See link above.

      Where are the Greens on this?

      Are the Greens considering a revision of their stance? Would they join the CTU in welcoming a debate?

      • The Chairman 18.1.1

        Nothing from the Greens on this?

        What happen to walking and chewing gum?

        • alwyn

          You are far too polite.
          Johnson’s real statement, if applied to the Greens would be
          The Greens are so dumb they can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.
          Not very nice is it? Or fair perhaps.

  19. The Chairman 19

    I see The Salvation Army’s annual State of the Nation report spurred this (link below) from the Greens.


    “The Government’s Families’ Package is a start but it cannot be the end of our work.

    “As part of our confidence and supply agreement, the Green Party and the Labour Party will be undertaking a review and overhaul of the welfare system.

    “Today’s report from the Salvation Army shows just how crucial and urgent that work, to lift the incomes of our poorest families, is… “ says Jan Logie.

    One can’t help but notice the use of the word “families”, which rules out individuals (a number of the sick, disabled and unemployed) and couples without young kids.

    As we already know the Greens and Labour will be undertaking a review and overhaul of the welfare system, looking at the service and care provided. This announcement/press release is just a recycling of their initial intent.

    Unless, of course, it will also look at increasing the income of all beneficiaries as was kind of vaguely implied (or at least the need for it) in the Greens release. But it was far from clearly stated. Was this intentional?

    Moreover, while urgency was noted, what was also missing was an announcement or at least a calling to bring forward the review.

    So two points for the Greens. Better communicate your intentions. And when calling something urgent, at least call for action to be taken more urgently.

    On a side, as Treasury is reporting better government books, use that as a leverage in this review to encourage Labour to do more on lifting the income of all beneficiaries. And call for it publicly.

    • McFlock 19.1


    • weka 19.2

      🙄 🙄

      • The Chairman 19.2.1

        Lets hope the Greens can come up with something a little more constructive and start bringing their A game.

        The Salvation Army release their annual State of the Nation report and this (recycling of their initial intent) is the best the Greens decide to leverage off it?

        Come on, surely even you must concede they can and should be doing better than that?

        • McFlock

          So do you think they should give their coalition partners a heads-up before caucus unilaterally changes party policy?

          When should they have started the democratic process to change their policy, given the recent nature of the fiscal news and the content of the Salvation Army report? Should they do nothing until the policy has been changed?

          And even if the country is collecting more tax, there’s still the 21billion dollar hole Joyce left the new govt.

          In short: fuck off, concern-o-bot.

          You can sketch out fancy plans, but in the real world politics isn’t a chess game played by two masterminds, in revolves around cooperation and consensus just as much as it involves competition. On the plus side, now we know you can find out what the Greens are doing on poverty, so any future questions you ask along those lines will just be intentional stupidity on your part.

          • The Chairman

            I’ve been following the Greens press releases for years, thanks. So don’t take that disingenuous, condescending tone with me.

            Moreover, it’s their lack of effort judged on their lack of releases coupled with the minimal effort within their releases (as highlighted above) in this regard that is resulting in beneficiaries feeling of abandonment. As highlighted the other day.

            “When should they have started the democratic process to change their policy,”

            What change in policy are you on about?

            • McFlock

              What, you have the monopoly on disingenuous condescension?
              Was it yesterday or the day before you were asking what the greens were doing about poverty – do you need me to link to the comment, or do you recall it?

              As for the change in policy, the current policy is the review and overhaul of the system, and you’re looking for the Greens to suddenly call for a specific benefit hike funded by treasury’s inability to predict its books a few months out. Even if that’s consistent with green policy, is it consistent with the coalition negotiations?

              • The Chairman

                The reason I was asking was because they have put little info out there.

                So while I’m aware of what they have publicly released, I was seeking to see if anybody had any further (insider) knowledge.

                As for the change in policy, I wasn’t calling for one in this regard. As you are aware, increasing benefits is consistent with Green policy.

                Moreover, just because they have a negotiation agreement, doesn’t mean they can’t honour their commitment and work on achieving more.

                • McFlock

                  They can indeed work to achieve more, but it might be balanced against putting their allies on the spot. (look up “working with others” and “professional courtesy” and “don’t be a dick”). Or maybe reinforcing their position serves a purpose of which you are unaware – keeping focus on the Sally army report, rather than making it a political football.

                  Not to mention that publicly concern-trolling the government of which you are a part simply provides succour to an enemy in disarray.

                  As for you looking for non-public information, you want the greens’ reputation to be improved by leaking? That’s a new one.

                  • The Chairman

                    Most things in life are a balance. And according to Labour and the Greens, they have a robust relationship which can withstand disagreements.

                    Nevertheless, it’s not always about putting allies on the spot.

                    Therefore, it seems you’re the one that needs to look up working together.

                    The Greens are barley above the 5% threshold. Therefore, if Labour wants friends next election, it’s in their own best interest to give the Greens a win or two.

                    The Greens leveraging off the report would also keep the focus on it. And as the review is already planned, calling for it to be urgently brought forward is unlikely to see the report become a political football.

                    If the Greens don’t keep the commitment to the cause, the fallout within will give National plenty to work with. And I’m sure the Greens would rather put this to bed now than have it airing in the run up to the next election.

                    I wasn’t seeking party sensitive info, just anything that could be openly shared.

                    • McFlock

                      OK, you wanted insider info that wasn’t publicly available, but you wanted insiders to decide what should be publicly available. And it’s not leaking lol

                      Basically, you’re repeating the common criticism that sticking to what a party announced is somehow a disappointment. Basing it on an assumption that the polls now will be the polls in 28 months time unless the greens and labour follow your concerns.

                      The Greens have nothing to put to bed. They’re fine. They don’t need your advice. Three out of four polls since the election have them above their election result, and some of those would be well outside the MoE@6-10%. But if Greens listened to you, they’d be thinking that 6.3% was their normal vote share, rather than an aberration.

                      But here’s the thing: you’re not going to succeed in depressing people and discouraging them. You actually make me want to vote green again, except when your concerned about Labour, in which case you make me want to vote for them. Your concern trolling actually praises with faint damnation.

                  • The Chairman

                    Depressing people and discouraging them isn’t my goal. Moreover, the Greens don’t need help in that respect, they are doing a fine job of that by themselves.

                    They made a commitment to continue the cause, yet people aren’t seeing that. One only has to look at their press releases to see the evidence for that.

                    Now that could merely be their communications is lacking, which is why I asked if there was anything more. But as you can see, nothing further has been presented.

                    And with little more up their sleeves, it is highly unlikely their support will grow.

                    The Greens have largely outlined their plans for this term, however, it’s failed to inspire growth in their support. This is the most the party has ever accomplished in respect to having political power, yet they aren’t getting a surge in support. Whereas, after Meteria’s announcement, their support surged to one of their highest ratings.

                    Therefore, if the Greens want to grow their support, they are going to have to do more than what they have already outlined. And honouring their commitment would be the place to start. Failing to do so will only depress and discourage more.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s not your goal, but it still seems to be the main content of your comment.

                      Again, you’re advertising “doing what they agreed” as “shortcoming”. I don’t see much evidence the greens in parliament or outside are depressed at all. The shouldn’t be. They took a hit for doing the right thing, but they survived. That hit had bad timing for them, so they’ll put up with helpers like you for three years, but really I think it’s made them stronger. If someone doubts whether their politicians have guts as wussy wishy washy hippies, there’s the evidence.

                      But the other question revolves around why the Greens should take advice on popularity from someone who has less than they do…

  20. Pete 20

    That nice Mr English who has given such wonderful service to the country is on TV at the moment in the House.

    Fortunately he’ll have time on his hands to take the lead role in the movie when they make it – “Scumbag Dogs.”

  21. Morrissey 21

    Unless you’re determined to be as ignorant as the likes of Nick Cohen, Dan Hodges, John Rentoul and the rest of Britain’s mediocracy, you will want to read this book….


  22. gsays 22

    Spot on zorb6, all government departments to bank with kiwibank.
    Kiwibank can sub-contract to other locally owned banks/co-operatives.

    A tax or levy on foreign bank transactions.

    When the courage arises, introduce a financial transaction tax with a higher rate for the foreign owned institutions.

    $5B, imagine the shopping/wish list

  23. Chris 23

    Has Asperger’s but keeps getting locked up. When will we understand that jailing people with disabilities or who are unwell doesn’t help?


  24. cleangreen 24

    Breaking news,; – 13/2/2018.


    Finally the Canadian (former) Defense minister has come out of the closet and confessed the “Illuminati movement to control the world and use “agenda 21” to push for One world governance and we need to realise that this TPP11 and all other falsely termed “free trade” agreements are made to link up together so it becomes one big elite controlled vehicle to run the world.

    • Puckish Rogue 24.1

      Now thats some expert-level trolling

    • Andre 24.2

      Aww, damn, it’s just a secret group of humans pulling all the strings controlling the world? Bugger, I was hoping it really was shapeshifting reptilian aliens.

    • solkta 24.3

      “use “agenda 21” to push for One world governance”

      The article doesn’t say this at all. It reads like a big enough pile of crap without you adding to it.

    • weka 24.4

      “Mr Hellyer is hopeful the aliens will be able to help us if the Earth is ever in serious strife.”

      Why aren’t they here now then?

  25. eco maori 25

    Hillary & Jeremy I thank Garth Morgan for waking up my political Wairua it was his policy and him being a down to earth KIWI that got me blogging about politics and politicians he just got his humerus line wrong.
    The words he used were not a personal attack on Jacinda they were a attack on the establishment of NEW ZEALAND Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 25.1

      Eco Maori says there is nobody in Aotearoa that can out shine Jacinda Mana as OUR Prime Minster .
      That said does not mean I will hold my tongue when I see her being lead down the wrong path Kia Kaha . Ka kite ano

  26. eco maori 26

    I have just signed the petition to protest against the tpp from Penny Brights post and made a donation to the givealittle page here is the link

    If you cannot make it to the venues or protest please make a donating to help these good people stop or change this bull_______ tpp11
    Ana to kai ka kite ano

  27. Dont waste any of your time worrying about the trolls Lydia Ko they are just jealous people that don’t have a life .
    If your employed help is not delivering the right harmonious winning environment for your success well move on and find the people that will help with your success .
    Elon Mus is the same type of person anyone who is successful does not carry on making the same mistakes .
    I have had employees that were costing me a lot of Mana /money I did not muck around with them I sacked them not a problem It is better for your career and theres .
    Ka pai Lydia Kia Kaha .Ka kite ano

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