Open mike 14/07/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 14th, 2023 - 136 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

136 comments on “Open mike 14/07/2023 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    The PM has been doing geopolitics. And with some finesse!

    Hipkins said that in his visit two weeks ago to Beijing he "encouraged China to play a constructive role" to attempt to influence Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. "China's increasing assertiveness is resulting in geopolitical change and competition," he said.

    "Critical supply chain disruptions, economic coercion and foreign interference are shared security challenges for New Zealand, the Pacific and Nato allies alike." https://www.newsroom.co.nz/china-to-nz-dont-open-door-to-the-devil

    Noteworthy is the conceptual link between his second and third statements. If you comprehend his linkage, appreciate the subtlety of the nuance he's using.

    Nudge theory has been influential quite a while now. Hints are a traditional part of human discourse, so nudge theory uses them as the basis for tactical influence.

    Another thing worth noting about his geopolitical stance is that it deploys a paradox: we are both friend and foe to China simultaneously. Using a paradox to send a geopolitical signal to other nations is extremely sophisticated political behaviour. I wonder who's pulling his strings. Bilderbergers? Not that NATO didn't do so directly, of course, but we don't know that unless he tells us. Perhaps his dance with NATO includes a dance with the truth, in which case default Labour obfuscation could produce a dance with 7 veils. Traditional cultural play, so likely to appeal to the PM as a true conservative…

    • Ad 1.1

      If Hipkins or any future PM wanted to do 'honest broker' work with China, he could figure out how to persuade China to get into the CPTPP.

      That's an actual prize of use to all, rather than reciting endless lists of threats real or imagined.

      Would be more use than Blinken popping over to China again to get his butt kicked as he is shortly on climate measures.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Yeah, you're not wrong but I'm agnostic on any updated TPP, the devil being in the detail. Speaking of which, note the warning about the devil issued by Xi's underling to Aotearoa (reported in that link above).

        Ultimately God's will will prevail & since he's omnipotent and omniscient the devil will act accordingly. Theologians are always strangely quiet on this topic…

        Blinken seems a typical Democrat thus far, straight out of the classic mould. No sign of him growing into the job.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Imagine if the Greens had an export policy aimed at growing wealth, not just a more-tax policy.

          • Phillip ure 1.1.1.1.1

            Nurturing a/the local fake/lab-grown meat industry… would seem to make sense..

            For reasons green…for export..and to service the local market..

            Anyone got any better ideas..?

            • Nic the NZer 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Stop hiking the OCR and therefore stop encouraging the NZ$ exchange rate to increase, if you want to boost exporters. This is the fundamental basis for Germany's trade success, they have been either part of an exchange rate or monetary union which lowers their exchange rates in relation to other neighbour economies (for 40+ years). NZ is not part of such a union and as a developed economy isn't going to compete on price with other still developing economies in Asia.

              • Dennis Frank

                Interesting. How the RB uses the OCR for leverage is fundamental to neolib economic practice & the essence of Nat/Lab common ground.

                Your dissent, does it indicate an alternative ideology you can name?? If so, could be a game-changer.

                • Nic the NZer

                  I wouldn't particularly name this as any alternative ideology. I just think its important to recognize that the same kinds of politicians and commentators who are supposedly in favour of exporters are also cheering often whenever the exchange rate hits at new peek. I think only Winston Peters ever released an official policy position at any time.

                  Also its not exactly dissent from my point of view. I'm highlighting that NZ is not that geared up for exports primarily and doesn't really commit to that kind of policy without these kinds of contradictions anyway. NZ mostly runs current account deficits and that's fine but could do better at recognizing the effects of that.

          • arkie 1.1.1.1.2

            You're on fire today Ad; it is more accurately a less-tax policy as it would result in 95% of people getting a tax cut, but you keep banging that drum, it sure distracts from what Labour have said they'll do!

          • KJT 1.1.1.1.3

            Taxing unearned wealth is an incentive to "invest" in real wealth building, including export earning business, instead of speculation focused on pushing prices of existing assets into the stratosphere.

            The Greens tax policy may well do more for our overall wealth, than any number of Corporate welfare (free trade agreements).

            • Shanreagh 1.1.1.1.3.1

              Taxing unearned wealth is an incentive to "invest" in real wealth building, including export earning business, instead of speculation focused on pushing prices of existing assets into the stratosphere

              But this did not apply to The Greens wealth tax. It was going to tax farms, businesses including taxing export earning businesses.

              KJT I think we need a definition of what 'real wealth building' is. I for one would have thought investing in a export businesses in shares in export businesses. Or are you meaning a growth in Govt bonds say an opportunity to invest in tied capital raising by the govt to say pay for roads or specific programmes.

              This used to be a quite attractive investment for civic minded people who did not mind a slightly less than market rates, with the difference being a combination of feel good plus security of investment.

              • KJT

                Shanreagh. Businesses, real businesses, already pay tax. I invested in business and pay tax on income at my marginal rate. This will add buggerrall to my tax apart from a few percent at the margin which Ihave no problem paying so others can live a little better.
                Those that are in the business of land speculation or the "chain in the river" rental income, that takes without adding to real wealth, however. https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/13-03-2022/sunday-essay-the-chain-across-the-river “The landlords aren’t doing anything useful for that extra money. They’re just using political power to extract value from the productive economy, same as the lord chaining his river. And when the artificial scarcity of housing drives up property values then all homeowners extract rent from people trying to enter the market, who have to pay inflated prices. The quality of the housing hasn’t gone up. (The quality of our housing stock is mostly terrible.) It just costs more”.

                Taxing unearned income streams such as "Capital gains tax farming" would long term have benefited farming and other businesses, by reducing the cost of land for farming, business rentals and premises, and the hemorrhaging of farm income to banks, that pays the interest on inflated land prices.

                Farms are now technically loss making businesses, expecting to only make a profit when the land is sold, because their is no way farm income can cover the interest cost on the land. Leading to over stocking, soil depletion and other effects of having to cover excessive interest bills. Only the banks and finance interests gain long term.

                • Shanreagh

                  Thanks KJT.

                  I'm aware that businesses pay tax.

                  I'm also aware that export businesses provide the lifeblood of NZ. They bring new money into the country. We (Govt) should support any business that does this. We (citizens) should be behind any Govt that recognises the important role of exporting..

                  I have never said or implied that land speculators are export businesses or bring new money into the economy.

                  I was hoping you would have had comments on the ideas of Govt Bonds being a postive mechanism for people to invest in NZ smiley

                  • KJT

                    Our Goverments have largely signed away the ability to help our export businesses, in favour of so called " free trade agreements" which have sacrificed most of our export businesses for the "sacred cow" of dairy commodity exports, which has questionable long term net benefits.

                    Government bonds are a legitimate way of investing in the countries future. Noting that gains on them are already taxed.

                • tWiggle

                  KJT, fabulous exposé on NZ's rentier capitalism. Thanks for putting that link up. All explained in a nutshell.

              • KJT

                There is a problem with the taxing of "unrealised gains" which has still to be addressed in both the Greens and TOP's wealth tax proposals.

                Noting that you get taxed on interest earned from monetary investments, and share dividends, even if you don't "realise" withdraw, the money.

                It would be simpler to tax at realisation, such as inheritance or sale, and much easier to determine values. Then loopholes such as "gifting" need to be addressed.

                The "family home" is another glaring loophole. Key's 10 million "family home" is just one example. I can see every child in a wealthy family with a "family home". Setting a threshold such as two million per person makes it harder to make such a loophole. A million per person automatically exempts most "family homes". Two million leaves most peoples savings untaxed.

                Lastly. Reducing the huge deadweight cost and mis-directed speculation, sorry, investment, on our economy, of inflation of existing assets caused by speculation driven by unequal tax treatment, is essential for all our future.

                • Shanreagh

                  It would be simpler to tax at realisation, such as inheritance or sale, and much easier to determine values.

                  My points exactly. Until the "unrealised gains" are crystallised by sale or inhertance it is taxing on book or notional values.

                  • KJT

                    Noting that "book values" are part of our tax system already. Depreciation on business assets, for example, which is then adjusted on their sale.

                    Greens do allow defferral to realisation which will obviously be adjusted to actual sale prices.

                  • KJT

                    What I do like is the principle.

                    That earnings, from owning wealth, is taxed same as income from productive work.

                    Adam Smith, the Capitalist guru, would agree with that one.

                    In fact, he believed rentiers should be taxed, not workers.

                    The rest is details to be ironed out when it comes into practice.

          • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.1.4

            But then they'd be on the wavelength of the BlueGreens. That line of thinking was used by Guy Salmon in his book Green Tiger 30 years ago.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/123836390/proud-history-of-collaboration-for-veteran-environmentalist

            Salmon co-founded the Native Forest Action Council – now the Ecologic Foundation– which launched the petition, the Maruia Declaration, in 1975… Forty-six years on, Salmon has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the environment.

            He was competing with us during the early '90s – Stephen Rainbow left us, joined him & Gary Taylor to try a blue-green political party:

            In the 1996 election, conducted under the new MMP system, the Progressive Green Party won 0.26% of the vote, considerably below what they had hoped for, and had no members elected to Parliament. The Party did not contest any further elections, and eventually disbanded. In December 1998 the Progressive Greens were de-registered by the Electoral Commission.

            Many of the party's members are now associated with the Bluegreens, an environmental "task force" within the National Party – Fenwick was the first convener of the Bluegreens and went on to co-found the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Green_Party_(New_Zealand)

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Rainbow

          • KJT 1.1.1.1.5

            If only Labour had a policy to reverse the Neo-Liberal disaster inflicted on us since 1984.

            Had some hopes, but Hipkins just dashed them again, in favour of tinkering around the edges with policies NACT will reverse in a heartbeat.

            Fucking gutless Labour, strikes again.

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.5.1

              Your labels are a waste of time.

              Since 2008 Labour has run a low-unemployment highly subsidised export economy, and done so better than most other OECD countries.

              • Phillip ure

                They have also continued to trash the environment..

                And to do s.f.a. about ending poverty…

                (Something j.ardern ..(with a catch in her voice)…vowed to do..eh..?)

                Labour since '84…

                ..have been neoliberal-incrementalist..

                ..to their core..

                chippy is just the latest do-nothing political iteration of that poxy ideology..

              • KJT

                Given the opportunity to set policy towards a more progressive future Labour "baulked at the fence" again.

                Labour has again failed to institute and defend more progressive policy.

                Which makes you wonder if their heart is really in it?

                When the right wing say Labour "squandered" their time in power they mean that Labour spent on people other than themselves. What Labour has really squandered is opportunity to reset the future for everyone. The only positive is that it is still better than NACT "competently" stealing our future.

              • Shanreagh

                I agree Ad. While I have been critical that more was not done on reversing things like the energy sell-off I accept that it would be an enormously complex undertaking.

                I think the value of not being dead and also running a low unemployment model is worth megabucks. The scourge of unemployment & the move to keep high employment rates is something worth fighting for.

                Rightist Govts often use rates of unemployment to crudely make progress ie to get money into their supporters hands they are willing to tolerate a higher rate of unemployment

                The govts in the 80s & 90s altered the relationships and rights of workers drastically and this work by the Labour govt helps workers.

                Michael Woods and his work will have a long lasting effect.

                https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/major-step-towards-fairer-system-new-zealand-workers

                Fair Pay Agreements were a 2020 Labour manifesto commitment, which we have extensively consulted on, taking a balanced approach to the final design,” Michael Wood said.

              • tWiggle

                Name the subsidies, please. Film-making is the only one I can think of with overt subsidies.

            • Phillip ure 1.1.1.1.5.2

              Wot kjt said…

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    The patriarchy strikes back: https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/300927567/italians-outraged-after-judge-allows-10-seconds-groping-rule

    Italians have reacted with outrage after a 66-year-old school cleaner escaped punishment for groping a female pupil because it “only lasted about ten seconds”.

    The 17-year-old schoolgirl was walking up a flight of stairs between classes when the janitor, Antonio Avola, put his hand inside the waistband of her trousers and inside her underwear from behind.

    When she confronted him, he responded: “Come on darling, you know I’m only joking,” according to other students who witnessed the incident, which happened at a high school in Rome in April last year.

    But a court in Rome ruled that his groping had “only lasted between five and 10 seconds” and that his hand had not “lingered” down her underpants for very long. He had not intended to seriously molest the teenager, the court said. Putting his hand inside her trousers was “bumbling” but had not been a sign of “sexual desire”.

    The notion that judges get it right is extremely traditional, even if crazy. So we can assume a resurgence of the patriarchy in Italy. Will it become contagious?

    Last week, an Italian minister, Vittorio Sgarbi, faced calls to resign after he used an appearance at a modern art museum in Rome to praise the penis as “an organ of knowledge, that is to say penetration” and boasted of sleeping with 1500 women.

    Macho art critics could become a thing here quite easily, eh? Those Maori carvings of erections are extremely traditional, so one can imagine the possibility of pakeha finally getting over 19th century puritanical values and embracing an iconic macho stance.

    • tWiggle 2.1

      In that case, if that 17 yo grabbed and squeezed the custodian's balls for 10 seconds, then, no damage or crime either. Fair's fair.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        A kick in the balls often works better though: "Yer honour, God made me do it. I'm a good catholic so I had to obey." wink

    • Ad 3.1

      The ETS is a Green Party James Shaw system beginning to end.

      There's no weaseling out of it.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        True if you focus on the mastermind producing the design but spare a thought for the practice of responsible government – our constitutional praxis. Cabinet agreed to the policy. Therefore it is a Labour/Green solidarity position.

        No need to weasel, so long as James is able to use leverage to tweak the thing. Best to point to the market failure. Neolibs are in perpetual denial when it comes to market failures even when surrounded by them. Eyes tight shut. One must get up close with a megaphone & point it at their ears and yell into it. He will have to do so.

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          Weasel bullshit, as useful as saying that Budget 2017, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 is Green policy. Or any other Cabinet level decision.

          Shaw has had 2 terms to make any distinction between himself and beige custard. Shaw is through and through a market-focused solution guy. Which is if course why they are solid at 8% now not crashing: they don't scare the horses. Even Hosking gives him an easy ride.

      • arkie 3.1.2

        Given that the ETS was developed and introduced by the Fifth Labour Government in 2008 and James Shaw entered parliament in 2014, it certainly seems that someone's trying to weasel out of something here, but it's not the Greens.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Emissions_Trading_Scheme

        • Ad 3.1.2.1

          Oh please. James Shaw drafted the law, was and is the Minister responsible for the policy, got all sides of Parliament except Act to agree, and implemented it. Do yourself a solid and just take an ounce of responsibility.

          • arkie 3.1.2.1.1

            That's just not true though.

            In the 2014 Election when Shaw first entered parliament, the Greens policy was a Carbon Tax. Labour and National wanted a market, which is what they made.

            ‘Take the responsibility’ you say of a minister outside of cabinet. Very very normal, and not at all panicked lashing out.

            • Dennis Frank 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Looks like Ad is differentiating between Shaw's update law & that original ETS enactment. Market failure resulted both times…

            • Ad 3.1.2.1.1.2

              Shane Jones was Minister for Climate Change all along, apparently.

              Obviously Some Other Guy praised his guidance of the Carbon Zero Act through parliament in his own Parliamentary bio.

              https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/biography/james-shaw

              And it wasn’t the Greens that were in charge of getting the legislation through Parliament at all.

              https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20200602_20200602_20

              Probably some other Minister for Climate Change being taken to court for his own scheme being inconsistent with his own carbon reduction targets.

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/489579/climate-change-minister-taken-to-court-over-emissions-trading-scheme-cabinet-decision

              Was obviously Some Other Guy being told by the Commission in writing how crap his own policy was under the Climate Change Response Act.

              https://www.climatecommission.govt.nz/public/Advice-to-govt-docs/16-02-2023-Letter-from-Dr-Rod-Carr-to-Minister-James-Shaw-ETS-Settings.pdf

              Not sure why the Greens want further Cabinet positions if they can’t take responsibility for the primary Cabinet position they wanted in the first place.

              • weka

                this is stupid. The Greens have limited power. If they'd had their way they would have developed a different kind of system for NZ's climate response. But they didn't have that power, so they worked with what they could.

                Shaw doesn't have a magic wand to force Labour to change Labour policy nor to get GP policy implemented and it's really weird that you keep pretending that he does.

            • weka 3.1.2.1.1.3

              thanks for this. I never got my head around the ETS because polluter pays is a very poor form of climate action. It's my memory that the Greens had to swallow a bitter pill on the ETS because they didn't have the power to get something better through. I'd like to write a post on this, do you have any further thoughts or links? I will need to understand the scheme and the history.

              • arkie

                I think it is a pragmatic acceptance that since both Labour and National govts maintained it, improving the existing ETS would have more permanence and therefore effectiveness.

                Here's an example prior to that in 2014 when they still advocated scrapping it:

                The Green Party announced last month it would scrap the ETS and introduce a fair and transparent carbon tax, the revenue from which will all be returned to households and businesses in the form of tax cuts.

                https://www.greens.org.nz/new-multi-million-dollar-bill-taxpayers-under-failed-ets

                Here is James Shaw praising a rising carbon price, while also saying it is insufficient and still too low, and advocating for a carbon tax in 2016:

                “The price is still far too low to be an effective incentive to business to shift investment towards low-carbon alternatives. Even at the price we have today, emissions will continue to rise. Businesses need more certainty that the carbon price won’t crash again.

                “We would prefer the Government move to a simpler carbon tax system, but if it’s going to review the ETS we hope it takes it seriously and restores its integrity. This should include instituting a minimum carbon price of $25, scrapping the subsidies to polluters, and giving agriculture a deadline for entering the scheme.

                “A gradual increase in the price of carbon will be good news for the economy. It will mean New Zealand businesses are more likely to invest in clean sectors of the economy, making New Zealand more competitive with the rest of the world.

                https://www.greens.org.nz/govt-has-opportunity-rebuild-new-zealands-carbon-market

                In 2022 Shaw addressed some of the history while announcing the changes the current government made to the ETS. There is still an emphasis on a more effective pricing structure:

                “When the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) began it was decided that some companies would receive up to 90 percent of their pollution credits for free. The purpose of this was to protect these companies from more lightly regulated competitors outside of New Zealand. However, the baseline used to decide how many credits each company would receive is exactly the same today as it was 12 years ago.

                “Over the last decade, major polluters have changed how they do business and are now receiving many more credits than they need. The government at the time said it would begin phasing down the free allocation of credits from 2013, slowly driving up the cost of pollution. However this did not happen, meaning we’ve been stuck with an out of date system that has directed large amounts of taxpayers’ money towards big polluters, while keeping emissions higher than they should be. Allowing this to continue would be incompatible with the climate targets we have set – so we’re stepping in to fix it.

                “From 2024, our biggest polluters will receive only the pollution credits they need – making sure they play a major role in meeting the Government’s second emissions budget. The changes will remove a major obstacle to innovation, to industrial decarbonisation and the proper functioning of our carbon market. Together with our plan to phase out free allocation over time, this will push the big polluters to make a larger contribution towards meeting our goal of building a net-zero future.

                “Today’s announcement builds on the work we have already done to make the ETS fit-for-purpose, including reforms that have put a proper price on pollution and raised about $4.5 million for climate action.

                “A well-functioning ETS that puts a proper price on pollution is a critical tool in our climate action toolbox. But it cannot do the job alone. The actions and initiatives in the Emissions Reduction Plan will ensure we meet the first emissions budget and lay the foundation for future climate action,”

                https://www.greens.org.nz/big_emitters_will_have_to_do_more_to_cut_emissions

                There's likely more instances in news archives too.

        • Phillip ure 3.1.2.2

          @ arkie…

          Boom…!

          Heh..!

          (Tho I have always thought the ets was a crock..)

      • Sabine 3.1.3

        And Labour latched onto it, and supported it, and the Greens are – other the Shaw / Davidson – no where in government.

        So it may be that Shaw is the birther of the scheme, but Labour then adopted it. Labour is currently the Government with a full Majority.

        There is no weaseling out of it.

        This comes up when you put ETS and Labour into the Google machine.

        https://www.labour.org.nz/environment

        In 2020, we declared a climate emergency, committing to urgent action to reduce emissions. In 2019, we passed the Zero Carbon Act – aiming to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – and reformed the Emissions Trading Scheme to more effectively reduce climate-polluting emissions.

        https://www.labour.org.nz/release-labours-next-steps-to-reduce-climate-emissions

        In government, Labour took significant steps to address climate change, including:

        • Fixing the Emissions Trading Scheme

        or maybe Shaw was just the surrogate and Labour the buying parent. As you wish, but that shite is bi-partisan, and its Labour and their Green surrogates.

    • pat 3.2

      I think the talk came before the realisation….and may well be the reason for stepping aside.

      • tWiggle 3.2.1

        The NZ ETS was not develped de novo in a vacuum. I'd say, look to trends and political pressures internationally at the time – and at which consulting firms pushed the government towards this option.

        • pat 3.2.1.1

          "Ardern proves to have been all talk when it came to climate change action,"

          3.2 is my response

  3. bwaghorn 4

    https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2023/07/an-extraordinary-promise.html?m=1

    Another unnecessary green party policy that'll cost more votes than it earns.

    Maori are quiet capable of buying anything they want in nz, if they can raise the funds,

    The biggest limiting factor is the multiple ownership modal they have on rural land limiting the ability to raise capital.

    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      It's vitally important that left-wingers signal a virtue to everyone. It's what they were born to do. They can't be authentic without doing so! https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/suasion

      If it finds itself in a position to do so, the Green Party will “explore” the return of land “wrongfully alienated from the tangata whenua”.

      Exploration is not a bad thing. Explorers have mana traditionally. Heroic adventuring into the wild Green yonder is also fun.

      • tWiggle 4.1.1

        Love the grab-bag of RW slogans I see you sprinkle into your comments. Struggling with what idea you're trying to communicate with the slogan 'virtue signalling' here. What do you actually mean to say?

        • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1

          No big deal, merely irony. That you see me recycling RW slogans is perception – the accuracy of those being more to the point. Note the moral guidance of suasion. That inherent part of leftism is a valid component. It signals useful common ground and is therefore an eternal survival skill for humans.

          Despite that sensibility, leftists defaulting into banality when talking at people rather than to them is a herding drift that they often use to render themselves politically impotent. I try to be helpful by pointing to it every now & then…

    • Phillip ure 4.2

      That is a well-argued piece from trotter…

      And the green policy makes sense…

      Both in righting historical wrongs..and in making economic sense ..

      Giving local iwi/hapu the right of first refusal on formerly owned land they seem significant..

      As trotter points out this would not be price-setting in any shape or form..

      That iwi/hapu purchases would meet the market price…

      What's to argue against there..?

      (And I see this column was published in the otago local rag..

      That'll have them clutching their pearls in unison..in the deep/racist south..)

      • Sabine 4.2.1

        As trotter points out this would not be price-setting in any shape or form..

        That iwi/hapu purchases would meet the market price…"

        Until it is and how can enforce it?. If they have first right of refusal, can the vendor refuse if they offer too low a price or will they have to accept any offer – or will they have to go to court to be allowed any other offer if the Iwi/hapu offer is to low, and how could that be legislated and who would enforce it.

        You can hope, but then hope costs nothing and generally has no worth other then it makes one feel better for a moment until reality hits again square in the face.

        What this reminds me of the Landreforms in Eastern Europe/Germany during the times of the Communists and to some extend in West Germany.

        The land reforms in both East and West Germany had three main goals:

        • to end the conservative political influence of land barons[clarification needed].
        • to reallocate and integrate refugees from the former eastern territories and citizens displaced by bombings.[12][13]
        • to enforce greater flexibility and efficiency in short-term agricultural production.[14]

        The communist Bodenreform in East Germany nationalised all private property exceeding an area of 100 hectares (247 acres), and redistributed it to publicly owned estates.[15]

        Since 1990, after German reunification, some Junkers tried to regain their former estates through civil lawsuits, but the German courts have upheld the land reforms and rebuffed all claims for compensation.

        On part for the refusal to pay out any damages etc is simply the understanding that you can't undo and go back to the past, and at the same time you can not burden any other new generation with the costs of the past, and that to destroy the current for the past makes no sense.

        Sometimes what is done is done.

        this might be a good read on that decision of the courts.

        https://core.ac.uk/reader/232702770

        A Bitter Inheritance: East German Real Property and the Supreme Constitutional Court's "Land Reform" Decision of April 23, 1991 Constitutional Court's "Land Reform" Decision of A

        What are we trying to achieve here should be the first question, second would be does it benefit all or just a select few, if it only benefits a select few is it then not against the greater good for all? Or we go full Zimbabwe. That too would be an option.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform_in_Zimbabwe#:~:text=Land%20reform%20in%20Zimbabwe%20officially,superior%20political%20and%20economic%20status.

  4. Sanctuary 5

    "White european colonist extracts fortune from Antipodes, retires to Europe"

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/marc-ellis-on-why-hes-leaving-nz-rugbys-problems-razor-and-world-cup-concerns/CSULXAD3CRARTL3ZTHWGJ22G5A/

    As I have said before, if Pakeha resent being called settlers, then they should stop behaving like it.

    • Ed 5.1

      Don’t subscribe to the Herald.

      What does Ellis say?

    • Ad 5.2

      Moving out of where you are at retirement age (or thereabouts) to where you think you'll be happy is a basic Kiwi instinct. Call it neocolonial if you want.

      • Shanreagh 5.2.1

        Yes some go further than others and good on them.

        Is this just another manifesto of Tall Poppy Syndrome and the politics of envy? Horrible whatever it is.

        I have every admiration for the likes of Marc Ellis and do not begrudge him his good fortune. he was a talented sports figure, built his juice empire…….good on him.

        I somehow think that an intensive updating of knowledge about the history of kiwi home ownership & its importance to Kiwi battlers from the year dot would be a good thing. Perhaps along with Civics we can get this in the school curricula.

    • Sabine 5.3

      How on earth can you really justify calling someone who was born into this country a 'settler'.- I man can you even in any meaningful term define 'settler'?

      Pakeha in most people mind means New Zealander born to the country not of Maori ethnicity.

      Pretty much all of Maori have settlers blood in them. Who is the purest then, and at what stage can a Maori be a settler, is that like African Americans dabbling in White Supremacy?

      How big is the percentage of Maori that are married to their settler overlords and have children?

      The white, brown, asian children born into this country should have the right to be not insulted by being called settler (implying some sort of inherited 'oppressor' status) by people who want to feel righteous and who like to bask in the purifying light of moral supremacy. Until of course these righteous settlers are happy to leave, after all this is not heir country. And that would include anyone of us who is not sufficiently maori, and who much % of Maori must one have to be sufficiently pure? Just asking, cause as a German i can't really put my finger on it, but……..it feels vaguely familiar.

      See, I don't identify as a Pakeha. I am not. I am german, born in germany, raised in the culture etc etc etc, I am like that Maori Guy that lives in my hometown with his German wife and his German/Maori son an 'expat' or an immigrant. So I really don't identify with all that settler crap that is designed to put down todays white, non maori/pi brown kids and asian kids down a nudge as an intruder of sorts.

      I also have a place to go to, should that settler crap here explode and become mean as it seems to go atm, do you? Are you enough Tangata Whenua to not be considered a settler? How racially pure are you Sanctuary.

      As for the tone of his reasoning for leaving, it resonates with many, and we are losing our best to OZ and any other country that will have them, to import the cheapest laborer we can find in asia. Go figure.

      • Sanctuary 5.3.1

        It is a pretty straight forward rule to me. Is your relationship with your homeland transactional or unconditional? Like all of us, Ellis won huge in the lottery of birth – the country he was born into, the genetics he was blessed with that made him a skilled athlete and the infrastructure that existed to allow to achieve his full potential. By all means, he should go and enjoy your wealth as you see fit. But a thank you and a bit of humility and love for his country would be nice, don’t you think?

        NZ made him a rich man – yet his relationship remians entirely transactional and transitory and he feels the need to dump on the place before he buggers off. It is this entitled, transitory and transactional mindset that irks me and for me sets apart the settler and colonist from the native. You find few Maori who feel the need to bag the country in public, even when they migrate for better jobs or opportunites. Taika Waititi might be clear eyed enough to know NZ is "racist as" but it doesn't stop him showing his affection for the people of this land in "Hunt for the Wilderpeople".

        Ask yourself this – is there any real, material difference between Ellis's attitude to his homeland and one displayed by any number of Victorians and Edwardians, who having made their fortune in extracting wealth in the colonies retired with their money to live the life of leisured gentlemen in London?

        • Dennis Frank 5.3.1.1

          You can also read it as a vote of no confidence in National and ACT though, eh? Isn't that a better way of seeing his move? Since his explanation isn't visible.

        • Sabine 5.3.1.2

          Ask yourself this – is there any real, material difference between Ellis's attitude to his homeland and one displayed by any number of Victorians and Edwardians, who having made their fortune in extracting wealth in the colonies retired with their money to live the life of leisured gentlemen in London?

          Ask yourself this – is there any real, material difference between Ellis's attitude to his homeland and one displayed by any number of foreigners, who having made their fortune in extracting wealth in the colonies retired with their money to live the life of leisured gentlemen in Wanaka? 🙂

          Now that is the problem, you don't ask yourself why a born and bred Kiwi, who made good money and made the country good money, leaves his comfortable life here to start a new comfortable life elsewhere. I mean the sunshine is a reason, but its not the only one.

          Fact is that he is one of the few lucky that can just retire, and that will be given citizenship in Italy, as they clearly see him as a law abiding gentlemen, with his family, bringing money and a bit of prestige to a i Italian town, maybe he even coaches a youth club or something. Who knows.

          What you prefer to not mention is the 25.299 others that are also leaving, Maori and 'Settler' alike, for the same reason to any country that will have them, whilst we are trying to import as cheap a laborer as we can find to make up for the shortfall.

          Cheaper housing, cheaper food, better services, and hopefully no constant divide and conquer on the grounds of race, which for the most part of NZ'lers mean a mix of maori and 'settler'. That is why people leave. And you who has nothing of substance to that point say trot out your idiotic last century talking points about colonies and settlers. Mind me asking, did you get a Lolly with that critical race theory? .

          Young people with education, and those with money are voting with their feet.

          Highest number since 2013. That would be at John Key level. Well done Labour, you have achieve equality.

          • Peter 5.3.1.2.1

            I remember hearing when young, "The party's boring, I'm going."

            Which often seemed a way of saying "The party's boring, and I don't have the ability or personality to make it not boring. I'll go somewhere else where someone else will provide an environment for me that I find not boring."

            Another aspect of the Mark Ellis perspective: He is like many career sports journalists who moan about rules in the game of rugby. I have yet to see one come out with their 'book of laws and rules' for the game. Whingeing from the sideline? Plenty of that. Sit down and come up with a comprehensive re-write (with some from the multitude of discontented) and use their influence and reach to try to get change? No way. It's easier to chip and run. To the backblocks, or Italy.

            • Sabine 5.3.1.2.1.1

              25 thousand people as per the current stats – the highest since 2013 are feeling that the party is boring.

              Well done Labour for organizing such a boring piss up that either no one shows up in the first place or those that did leave early to other shores.

              well done.

          • tWiggle 5.3.1.2.2

            Pfft. People come and people go. Not everyone gets on with their birth family, or suits the temperament of their birth culture. Some are ambitious and see better chances for themselves elsewhere. Not much point in trying to get the leavers to stay.

            However, I agree that putting the boot in before you slam the door on your way out is ungracious.

  5. tsmithfield 6

    I got myself into a bit of trouble with the mods yesterday using output from Chat GPT

    On reflection, I think the criticism was fair enough. I asked it to produce a list of studies which I didn't bother to investigate which I should have.

    But one of the big weaknesses I can see (confirmed by Chat GPT itself, asking it today) is that it is unable to access the full studies if these are not publicly available. Therefore, it may not be aware of weaknesses in those studies, or how directly applicable they are.

    This probably isn't such an issue with well investigated areas, as it will be able to access relevant text books etc I suspect. But, in those areas, there probably isn't much need to ask Chat GPT anyway. Though, I think it is best to use that output as a starting point, rather than as the final word on anything.

    But in more obscure areas, I think any output from Chat GPT needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Because Chat GPT seems almost omnipresent, it is easy to assume it knows everything. But, this clearly isn't the case.

    • Incognito 6.1

      This is educational for all TS commenters!

      Always check what ChatGPT or similar generates. It can and does make up stuff (BS), including links. Click on the links, check that they are real, and check that the info matches the burbles generated by ChatGPT. This is critical when you are in unfamiliar topic territory (NB incorrect title, authors, publication/journal name, or date/year are signs that it was made up or at least part of it – you won’t know which part)

      ChatGPT is not a magical key or wand that gets past (most) firewalls or subscriptions. If you cannot see the full text then ChatGPT cannot either. However, ChatGPT has no shame or moral handbrake on filling in the blanks and generate something plausible. (NB it sounds plausible because it is probable text based on its training set, but this does not make it correct or even accurate)

      ChatGPT has an in-built bias because it was trained on a biased training set.

      ChatGPT responds to your prompts; different prompts generate different burbles.

      ChatGPT is a powerful tool when used correctly but it can also be a formidable weapon in the wrong hands. TS Mods will follow a hard line against misuse and abuse of AI tools for political gain, such as propagating talking points & propaganda or dumping large amounts of unchecked (and unlinked) misinformation.

      This site is for robust political debate and all commenters are expected to take ownership & responsibility of their comments. TS is not a notice board or a free-for-all forum to indulge your personal pet projects with a plethora of copy-pasta and spam the site with your favourite links to your preferred sites (aka spamming or link-whoring). When you copy & paste ChatGPT burble, for example, it becomes your burble (aka your baby) and you must defend it accordingly.

      The opinion of others rarely matters (much) here and you cannot hide behind the opinions or comments of others; it is considered bad-faith. In general, for the sake of robust debate, the only opinions that matter here are the ones expressed & debated by commenters (and Authors), as they are the only people who exist on this site. (NB we cannot debate with a person who’s not commenting here nor can that person explain or defend themselves if they are not active on this site – this should be as obvious as an open door)

      Remember this when you use ChatGPT or similar. It will be a learning curve for all, but ignorance is not an excuse.

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Apparently it's both sexist & leftist:

        ChatGPT has been accused of engaging in biased or discriminatory behaviors, such as telling jokes about men and people from England while refusing to tell jokes about women and people from India, or praising figures such as Joe Biden while refusing to do the same for Donald Trump. Conservative commentators accused ChatGPT of having a bias towards left-leaning perspectives.

        Additionally, in a 2023 research paper, 15 political orientation tests were conducted on ChatGPT, with 14 of them indicating left-leaning viewpoints, which appeared to contradict ChatGPT's claimed neutrality.

        In response to such criticism, OpenAI acknowledged plans to allow ChatGPT to create "outputs that other people (ourselves included) may strongly disagree with". It also contained information on the recommendations it had issued to human reviewers on how to handle controversial subjects, including that the AI should "offer to describe some viewpoints of people and movements", and not provide an argument "from its voice" in favor of "inflammatory or dangerous" topics (although it may still "describe arguments from historical people and movements"), nor "affiliate with one side" or "judge one group as good or bad". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChatGPT

        The style & tone modifier provided to users seems to portend a dimension of idiosyncrasy – almost whimsical potential, if you include that with the capacity to dissent from favoured views as mentioned above.

        A senior editor at The Atlantic has written that ChatGPT and other similar technology make the previously absurd idea of the dead internet theory a little more realistic, where most web content could someday be created by AI in order to control society.

        Seems likely to add a surreal dimension at the leading edge, which will seep into the mainstream in ratio to the number of users.

        The share price of Buzzfeed, a digital media company unrelated to AI, increased 120% after announcing OpenAI technology adoption for content creation.

        Currently it has 200 million users, up from 100 million in January: https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/chatgpt-number-of-users

    • roblogic 6.2

      Bing AI seems pretty decent and it gives answers with hyperlinked references. It will admit that its answers are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate

      • Incognito 6.2.1

        Hyperlinks are generally genuine but URLs are often bogus.

      • Dennis Frank 6.2.2

        Looks like law clerks could lose part of their duties…

        While GPT-3 demonstrated impressive results in AI language processing, GPT-3.5 pushed the boundaries even further and incorporated improvements in both processing and output quality.

        However, GPT-4 goes even further and is much more concise than 3.5, so much so that it was able to pass the law bar exam with ease!

        https://blog.enterprisedna.co/how-to-use-chat-gpt/

        I wonder how long it will take till one of these gizmos gets to provide testimony on case law in court. Soon as we hear of top US legal firms using this system to expedite precedent research we'll know it won't take much longer.

  6. KJT 7

    'Government by swing voters". Otherwise known as "focus groups".

    It is obvious that our laughable, "Representative Democracy" is going to result in policy that somewhere between 53% and 80% of voters polled, want! is being dumped in favour of policy to sway approximately 10% of voters, that will swing between Labour and National.

    • Ad 7.1

      You've never participated in consultation or market testing before?

      Might want to try it.

    • Anne 7.2

      Pretty sad KJT but it is reality.

      Up to 80% of the electorate support left or right leaning political parties. The levels of 'left' and 'right' might change but that is roughly what happens. Up to 20% 'don't know' for a variety of reasons but mostly because they don't bother to take an interest. Some of those 'don't knows' make up their minds on polling day or in the days leading up to it. The rest don't vote.

      Yet 'they' are usually the ones who decide the outcome which pretty much defeats the purpose of a democratically elected government.

      • KJT 7.2.1

        Pretty much confirms that any idea we have a Democracy, is illusory.

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.2

        Your last point is worthwhile considering at length. Everyone ought to. Imagine if the govt set up a website called Public Opinion. Framed it to elicit feedback on current issues. Allowed crowd-sourced wisdom to tweak that framing by demand, driven by numbers dissenting in ratio to numbers favouring govt framing.

        If the tech design & system worked out right, we'd all get a user interface with direct democracy. We couldn't compel the govt – but we could provide a useful simulation of the overall public mood on issues. Way better than focus groups!!

        • Belladonna 7.2.2.1

          Ha! Immediately subject to capture by those politically invested in the outcome of any one vote. Not to mention the political framing of the question to start with (who gets to decide this, I wonder)

          Given that we can't persuade voters to come out and cast their ballot once every 3 years – what would make you think that we could get people to invest their time more regularly? Especially after the first time, they didn't get the outcome they wanted.

          Anyone who's been involved in market surveys and focus groups, knows the challenge they face to get ongoing participation…..

          It seems much like governing by referendum….. And we've all seen the dubious outcomes those can generate….

          • Dennis Frank 7.2.2.1.1

            Valid points but seems to me the incentive-structure does enable participatory democracy to an indicative extent. Sort of organised virtue-signalling, but in a methodica design. If you chartered a public service organisation to administer the interface, you could insert a clause in their employment contracts requiring them to design and operate it in accord with the public interest.

            That kind of pragmatic consensus-generating model usually works due to the extent of common ground becoming evident to all players. It is essentially an activist-driven arena.

            I'd advocate, for instance, a class-based module within the overall system, plus an identity-politics module as well, leaving it flexible enough to respond to other crowd-sourced framings too. Those to be incorporated when surpassing a threshold of activation to be consensually decided…

            • Belladonna 7.2.2.1.1.1

              I think, however, you are wildly over-estimating the willingness of the general NZ public to participate. The TS commentariat is a wild outlier in terms of general political engagement.

              • Dennis Frank

                Have you been monitoring the progress of Action Station? Since launch, I mean, around a decade or so back (I was involved in designing it prior to that). Last I noticed the membership count it was several thousand.

                Unfortunately it got captured by left-wingers early but it still has leverage on politics and sometimes gets results from collective pressure that even I have been able to feel good about.

                My point is that the system I propose caters for all shades of political opinion & tribalism gets relegated into holistic context.

        • tWiggle 7.2.2.2

          Dennis Frank, sounds a little like Switzerland's semi-direct democracy

          'Switzerland features a system of government not seen in any other nation: direct representation, sometimes called half-direct democracy (this may be arguable, because theoretically, the sovereign of Switzerland is actually its entire electorate). Referendums on the most important laws have been used since the 1848 consitution.

          'Amendments to the Federal Constitution of Switzerland, the joining of international organisations, or changes to federal laws that have no foundation in the constitution but will remain in force for more than one year must be approved by the majority of both the people and the cantons, a double majority.

          'Any citizen may challenge a law that has been passed by parliament. If that person is able to gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days, a national vote has to be scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority of the voters whether to accept or reject the law.'

          The cantons are parts of the federal system that have their own decision-making power.

          • Dennis Frank 7.2.2.2.1

            Indeed. I recall making a similar comment on their system onsite here a while back actually. However blending it with high tech design and a user-interface seems the best way to go. I read a book called User Friendly from the library and it emphasised the role of design in operational systems, and how that could produce optimal engagement of people. Made Apple top corporation globally.

      • Sabine 7.2.3

        Can you support your claim of up to 80% support this. Please. I would like to see that poll or stats. Thanks.

        • Belladonna 7.2.3.1

          My take on this is that 80% is way too high.

          I'd say that both Labour and National have a tribal vote of around 20% (maybe a little higher) – of voters who will vote that way, regardless of what is happening to the party. We see this reflected in the election numbers when the party crashes for some reason (2002 National; 2014 Labour) They each have another 10% of 'soft' vote (usually vote Labour/National – but can jump ship for tactical reasons, or because they don't like what the party is doing).

          Note this group can cross the right/left divide (e.g. 'right' voters voting for Ardern in 2020).

          The GP probably has a tribal vote of 4-5%. And again another 3-4% who will usually vote Green – but can be lost to other parties (again for tactical or disenchantment reasons).

          ACT might have 1% historically of tribal voters. Although if they maintain their momentum for another couple of elections – this may well shift up to the 5% mark.

          NZF (i.e. Winston) historically had around 3% tribal voters. However, these have been dying off – and it's probably around 1% ATM. The bulk of the NZF vote has always been a protest one.

          TPM – is really too new to say. The party in its current iteration is quite different to the earlier one – and the voter base has changed as well. Given that their election strategy is a seat-based one, rather than a party vote – it doesn't matter too much. I'd say that, like NZF, the bulk of their vote is a protest vote, rather than tribal loyalty [NB: 'tribal' in a political sense, here]

          So: Around 47% of the vote is 'locked' into one party or another. Another 25% is a mobile right/left vote – which can choose to vote tactically, or be disenchanted and protest vote. Leaving around 28% of the vote being truly mobile – no particular loyalty to either right or left philosophies. The group most subject (I think) to capture by glossy policies or leaders.

        • Anne 7.2.3.2

          I know English is not your first language Sabine but do take note of what I said – "up to"!

          It varies from anywhere between say 60% and 80%. Voting patterns are not static. They can vary dramatically depending on the political climate of the time. Any stat or poll that claims to be an accurate assessment of general voting percentages is bullshit. Nor even political polls make that assumption.

          However, anyone who has been around the political traps for 40 plus years can tell you that the majority of people who change their vote do so within the parameters of 'left' and 'right' political parties. Its the small percentage (up to 10% at most) who do change sides who decide the outcome.

          That is what we are discussing so I suggest you stop your silly game playing.

          • Belladonna 7.2.3.2.1

            the majority of people who change their vote do so within the parameters of 'left' and 'right' political parties.

            Sorry, Anne, but this is rubbish. There is a highly mobile centrist vote (at least 20%) who regularly move between National and Labour (sometimes with NZF or another centrist party in the mix).

            That's the political definition of a centrist voter – one that may vote 'right' or 'left' depending on political circumstance.

            And the reason that National is a centre/right, and Labour is a centre/left party. Both know that the centrist voters are key to any election.

            And another 20%+ who are not tied to any political loyalty at all. This relatively high level of voter mobility is why our political ecology has times when party votes crash.

            • Anne 7.2.3.2.1.1

              I doubt we are too far apart on this one. I agree there is a significant group who sit around the so-called centre and are capable of moving left or right but the vast majority remain on one side of the left/right equation.

              From my standpoint the so-called centre is an amorphous area where nothing happens. All the action occurs around the periphery with Labour and National taking the bulk of the support.

              In theory there may be a political centre but in practice I don't really think it exists. Some people just happen to move over the dividing line depending on the way the wind happens to be blowing on the day.

              But then again my standpoint may be coloured by a former career. 🙂

              • Belladonna

                Well, I'd have to say that you're pretty much alone in the political sphere in thinking that a group of centrist voters doesn't exist.

          • Sabine 7.2.3.2.2

            I know that English is not my first language in fact it is my third, but well done for remembering it Anne.

            Again, please provide a link to a statistic or a poll that would support your comment of ” up to 80%” unless it is made up, or hoped for.

            cheers

      • Belladonna 7.2.4

        Well, yes, that's what democracy is.
        The idiot-down-the-road's vote is worth just as much as your intelligent, politically-nuanced one.

        There is no entry bar (apart from age) and no exit condition (apart from serious incarceration). There is no intelligence test, or political awareness test.

        Democracy (even the variant MMP democracy) requires political parties to convince the majority of Kiwis to support their policies (or their leaders, if you subscribe to the great man/woman theory of politics). It does not demand an overwhelming consensus of the population (which would probably be unachievable)

        If 51% (or whatever the MMP majority is) favours your coalition – that group of parties gets to form a government (and arm-wrestle over which policies get enacted). That is precisely what a democratically elected government is.

        Yes – that15-20% of 'mobile' voters (i.e. they don't have tribal loyalty to any one party) – often the derided 'centrist' voters – are the ones who decide elections. [They are also, BTW, the ones who 'waste' votes on unelectable parties]

        Indeed that is the *only* way that a government can change – if everyone was tribal – then government would never change (or at least, only generationally, as new voters graduated into the pool)

        I believe that we have a civic duty to vote. But I know that view is not universally shared. People choose not to vote for a variety of reasons (everything from apathy to anarchy). And, non-voters don't affect the result.

        That mobile vote swept Ardern's government into an unprecedented under MMP absolute majority government in 2020. I don't recall you complaining about democracy, then.

        What alternative form of government would you like to see?

        • Sabine 7.2.4.1

          two things here,

          a. make voting mandatory

          b. add – non of the above

          if b were to be the majority of votes, leave the last government as a care takers government for a few more month and then vote again, hopefully that would be enough time for the suited ones to come up with policies that represent the wishes and needs of the people rather then the wishes of the needs of the policy writers.

          we will get neither, of course.

          • Belladonna 7.2.4.1.1

            While, intellectually, I like the "none of the above" or "no confidence" option on the ballot paper. In reality, elections are hugely expensive operations – and as a taxpayer I don't really want to have any more than are truly necessary.

            If people just don't care – and indicate this at the ballot – their vote hasn't changed anything. I don't feel that this is any way to encourage them to care…..

            • The Chairman 7.2.4.1.1.1

              If people just don't care – and indicate this at the ballot – their vote hasn't changed anything. I don't feel that this is any way to encourage them to care…

              It's about making politicians change their policy to better reflect what voters want.

              Here is a little more info on it:

              • Belladonna

                Why would politicians change their policies to appeal to a group of 'don't care' politically disengaged voters?
                It's only voters who are going to vote against them that matter electorally.

                Under Sabine's scenario, you'd have to have somewhere around 40+% of the electorate voting 'don't care' before the result would cause a new election. I think that it would never happen….
                People who care enough to vote – already have plenty of unelectable parties – effectively the spoilt vote scenario. This doesn't inspire them to vote now….

            • Sabine 7.2.4.1.1.2

              I agree with you. But at some stage we either accept the non voters as the cheap option of 'non of the above' or we find a way to include that into the voting process.

              In parliament we have Yes, No, or Abstain, we should have the same right, or at least abolish 'abstain' for any vote in parliament.

              People care, but they can't in good conscience vote for any of the above. It is not that their vote has not changed anything, it is that they know/feel that their vote is of no importance.

              Maybe that should be addressed before we judge those that no longer want to participate in a system they feel is designed to be simply rubberstamped by voters in order to keep a sheen of legitimacy.

              • Belladonna

                People care, but they can't in good conscience vote for any of the above. It is not that their vote has not changed anything, it is that they know/feel that their vote is of no importance.

                I agree that this is true for some voters… some are simply completely uninterested politically at all.

                However, simply having a 'no confidence' vote isn't going to inspire them – since, once again, their vote won't have changed anything.

                • Sabine

                  i have never met anyone who is not interested but i have many who simply state that they don't see a difference between any of them. And that is where the political parties fail.

                  At some stage the failure to attract voters is a problem created by parties who expect people to vote for soundbites and not on the result of their actions.

                  And partisanship has also something to do with this, and frankly that is a question that some should ask themselves, how many soft voters are now nowhere to be seen thanks to a lot of vitriol coming their way for not sufficiently supporting L and their excesses.

                  Voting is not just policies.

  7. Phillip ure 8

    Question: ..

    If chippys polling drops to Andrew little levels…

    Signalling a rout..

    Will he walk..?

    And who would be his ardern to his little…?

    • Sabine 8.1

      According to twitter, they are to be replaced by the grand Grant Robertson, person beloved my some. thus no J.A effect. That card can't not be played again.

  8. tWiggle 9

    If you want to understand how a social media political marketing campign works:

    Guardian Australia deconstructs how the No campaign organises its Facebook ads on The Voice referendum.

    And see how cheap it is – under the $100k mark.

  9. Dennis Frank 10

    I listened to Bernard Hickey interviewing Danyl McLaughlin on the Kaka (25 mins), first on Fukuyama’s theory of vetocracy then current context here, folks becoming disillusioned with democracy due to leftist failure etc.

    Around 22 mins in they got onto something else interesting: Danyl mentioned that mental health reform had failed due to govt doing suitable policy but the public service not having a clue what to do with the funding of it. He said the Infrastructure Commission issued a report to that effect – I never saw that reported in the media.

    I know everyone always defaults to blind faith in democracy even when it fails but really folks ought to try to learn from those failures… https://thekaka.substack.com/p/matariki-special-interview-danyl#details

  10. weston 11

    Jolly gd chat with JFKjr …head an shoulders over any other pres candidate imo

    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGtwCvdCxxTFCkbFzHhKvRdTlSD?projector=1

    • tWiggle 11.1

      Yr link just goes to google sign-in page.

      • weston 11.1.1

        Bugga sorry about that i got in the mail i guess i cant share it like that too bad its a podcast called ' All In ' four panelists + jfk

    • fender 11.2

      Do you mean RFK jr.? If so, he's very dangerous, as Samoa found out:

      • weston 11.2.1

        If Mehdi Hassan is going after him that just tells me the ' establishment ' thinks he's "very dangerous " as in a threat to them .

    • joe90 11.3

      Kennedy's a killer of Samoan children.

      He's also a narcissistic ex-junkie who traded smack for an addiction to himself, is proud of his own ignorance, and has all the confidence that goes with a lifetime of privilege, excess, and special treatment.

      Of course you think he's …head an shoulders..

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-robert-f-kennedy-jr-distorted-vaccine-science1/

      • weston 11.3.1

        Head an shoulders etc

        Yep intelligent courageous and despite a fairly acute voice impediment articulate can speak for hours knowledgably off the cuff isnt afraid to say hes wrong or made a mistake or needs to think about something a bit more has humility and compassion [ unlike some !! ]

  11. Jester 12

    This judge needs to be removed from the bench.

    Judge says public, police and him are sick of the kid offending (last time while out on bail for previous offending).

    Judge then promptly discounts sentence down to 14 months and gives him home detention and name suppression! FFS!

    So he will probably be out in the public again breaking the law!

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/retail-crime-almost-400-ram-raids-in-six-months-judge-tells-young-offender-the-public-have-had-enough/L7X4UDED5FB5PD74DEK7NJ5BZU/

    • Bearded Git 12.1

      Yes but if you put them in jail for 5 years that is a million dollars we all have to pay.

      Remember the kid has already been on electronically monitored bail for a year, presumably with strict reporting requirements.

      If his name becomes known he will be labelled for life-it doesn't exactly help trying to turn him into a useful member of society. Neither does slamming him inside for 5 years.

      • hetzer 12.1.1

        A million? More like $600,000. Either way, probably a bargain considering the havoc he may cause before his short brutish life comes to an end.

      • Belladonna 12.1.2

        Remember the kid has already been on electronically monitored bail for a year, presumably with strict reporting requirements.

        It seems that the current round of offending before the courts occurred while he was on this strictly monitored bail for previous crimes…. so not very effective, was it….

        At the time the man, then 18, was on bail after he was charged with an aggravated robbery, for which he was sentenced in September to home detention.

        We have no evidence, either way, whether he has been charged with other crimes committed while on bail for this offence.

      • Jester 12.1.3

        He committed this ram raid while on the "electronically monitored bail for a year, presumably with strict reporting requirements." that you mention so a fat lot of good that was!

        I believe it costs around $193k a year to keep someone in jail, but having him out in the community is costing a lot more than that.

  12. tWiggle 13

    You and Grannie completely missing the point of judges and a justice system there. What would it look like if your court of public opinion set judicial sentences on the basis of a social media story, or a done-once-over-lightly Herald article, as you are doing here? Not much need for judging then. Just rubber-stamp the writ for hanging.

    Clearly the judge had reasons for their sentence that you do not know about.

    • Jester 13.1

      The kid was doing the ram raid while out on bail! Do you really think being on home D he will not commit another crime?

  13. Muttonbird 14

    Labour's election pitch to voters so far.

    https://twitter.com/HaydenDonnell/status/1679349333416906752

  14. tWiggle 15

    Fran Drescher, Actors Guild negotiator with entertainment bosses, rallies union members in strike action.

    Guardian article and Drescher's speech

    Drescher says this is a crossroads for many workers, not just actors and screenwriters. She describes the industry as having changed the business model fundamentally with streaming services, while not accepting that the payment structures for creatives need renegotiating. Examples are the lack of residual payments for digital media. AI challenges the future of creatives as well.

    • Muttonbird 15.1

      I agree disruptor tech needs to be critiqued, challenged, and reigned in because personal profit driven people will always take advantage of artists and workers, but this industrial action is really tough on film crews, many of who are not unionised/syndicated because it’s very expensive in the US. And globally crews have zero worker protection (in NZ see the Hobbit law).

      On the surface it seems incongruous for headline wealthy actors to be walking out of London premiers midway because 'they are the victims' but in a way it generates huge publicity for workers rights.

      There will be real pain for ordinary film crew workers and their families because of the disruption to productions but the long view is a chance to set some real ground rules for the new era of entertainment consumption, ie streaming, AI content etc.

      I went to Indiana Jones: Dial of Destiny the other day and the first 20 mins shows a young Harrison Ford (he's now 81 years old). The first few shots you can tell it's CGI but after that you don't notice. A sign of things to come…

  15. tWiggle 16

    MSNBC interviews Drescher in more detail

    Two examples of AI used to steal from performers, in comments under this video:

    1. Background actors who came in for a multi-day shoot did some scenes on day one, and were 3D-scanned. They were then dismissed and paid only for one day, despite being told beforehand they would be paid for use of their image and movements.
    2. A dancer in a live show filmed for additional distribution had another face pasted over hers by AI and received no income from the distribution of the tape. Under standard condition, use of her image/performance would have needed her signed permission, with associated fee/residual payments.

    It’s essential for creatives to get fair payment, as most of the 160,000 AG union members cannot support themselves on their acting work alone, and they have to cover audition and presentation costs.

  16. Dennis Frank 17

    Gloriavale lawyer interviewed on 3News gave the govt a roasting. He meant the departmental heads involved. Negligence, delinquent behaviour is my framing of his gist. Newshub doesn't have it onsite yet.

    He's disgusted the Nat/Lab duopoly have allowed a cult to get away with slavery in Aotearoa. Correctly so, it seems. PM & ministers will look around wildly, going "We're not responsible. Just because it says so in our constitutional law doesn't mean it's true!"

  17. Muttonbird 19

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