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Open mike 14/10/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 14th, 2019 - 127 comments
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127 comments on “Open mike 14/10/2019”

  1. So, Peter Jackson just demonstrated that a rich man can buy a city! If that doesn’t ring alarm bells throughout the country, I’m buggered if I know what will.


    Labour and Jacinda are down in the latest Reid poll. National Party attack ads have appeared on large electronic bill boards in Christchurch and other cities, plugging away at a theme. There’s big money behind this National campaign, not just 1 Chinese = 2 Indians. This is a threat to our democracy, as real as the Trump fiasco in the US.


    After all, Josef Goebbels, in a quote attributed to him, nailed it:  “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”


    Hence the narrative: National Government all good, Coalition government all bad. 


    Us baby boomers, comfortable smug pricks as most of us are, vote National. Milleniums and X, Y generations, with all the problems of the world to face, tend to vote left. The government should aim at policies which appeal to those on the left.


    The Coalition should promise tax cuts – but aim them at the poorer parts of our society, to encourage them to vote (and vote left). Remove GST on fresh fruit and vegetables. That will have a real impact on those struggling, while the rich will hardly notice. More of the poor’s income is spent on food and survival.


    Make the first $20,000 or so of income tax free. Again, the poor will benefit most and the well off will think it’s just an accounting error.


    Frankly, this country cannot afford another National government – ever!


    It will take time (and perhaps the absence of Winnie) for a Labor Greens coalition to make real changes to New Zealand – we must do everything we can to ensure a left wing victory in 2020.



    PS. I’d like to see a crowd funded attack ad, appearing immediately after a National attack add on the electronic billboards, like this:



    Woops – won't let me post pictures. The first one reads Caution: likelihood of National Party lies – extreme.


    or this one:

    Reads: Is that the truth, or something Simon Bridges says.

    Both taken from comments on Siomuns Twitter pages.

    I’d certainly contribute a few dollars.

    • cricklewood 1.1

      Tax free $20000 yes, messing with GST no.  There is no doubt in my mind that the 15% reduction would disappear in the first 3 months by the way of increased margins etc at the supermarket.

      Or can someone convince me competition between Progressive and Foodstuffs will prevent that?


      • Psycho Milt 1.1.1

        Yes, on this subject the right-wingers have a point.  The government would be guaranteed to experience the lost tax revenue and increased admin costs of exempting fruit and veg from GST, but the customers would by no means be guaranteed lower prices for fruit and veg. I'd expect supermarket owners to put out press releases saying the increased complexity of dealing with GST meant increased costs for them so they were unable to pass savings on to their customers. 

        • Dukeofurl

          Grocery items are normally at price points which is why $2.99  etc is so common. Removing the GST just means they might drop for  a while then find their way back to the old price point.

          Another marketing trick Ive seen Pak N Save do is have a special for a week or more of 2 for $5 with the normal price of $2.69.

          Yet when the special ends they  have moved to a higher price , $2.99@.

          Clearly its done to  cover their tracks on rising prices as regular customers might think they have returned to  old price

      • David Mac 1.1.2

        In the last decade or so owning a grocery store has become a ticket for the billionaire bus. Pak n Save, New World and 4 Square owners are only allowed to own 1 store at a time. Something is wrong when a grocery store owner has 60 million in the bank. Prolific wallet rapists.



      • Dukeofurl 1.1.3

        Tax free thresholds become money pits exploited by the well off who can redirect income and  have dividend  refunds to reduce their taxable income below a certain point.

        Rebates are better,  the old way when you had to file a tax return , which most people didnt do, to claim meant a lot  missed out. But with the new IRD  computerised system where they know  all your income  and can refund  without a person taking action to  claim a rebate.

        The other way is through  'winter energy payments' ( a marketing name) to beneficiaries, which  is a  6 months of increase, where you dont have to get on your knees to Winz.

        Could never work out why some here were claiming Labour hasnt given beneficiaries  anything

        • Kay

          @Duke, because $20/week for 6 months ISN'T anything when it's been eaten up right away by the rent, or prescription costs, or anything other than the winter heating. Hardly what I'd call an increase in real terms to benefit levels. Then it goes away again and for the next 6 months things are just as bad. 

        • phillip ure

          @ duke..

          ''Could never work out why some here were claiming Labour hasnt given beneficiaries  anything..'

          well..seeing as that twenty dollar winter-pittance has ended..

          we are back in the position of the key govts' basic increase of $20 per wk..

          ..being much more than has been done by this 'it's gonna be transforming!' labour government..

          what in the basic mathematics of that are you apparantly finding so difficult to understand..?

          or are you just spinning for them..again/still..?

          • Dukeofurl

            The governments concerns are bigger that your own daily struggles. Just dont say 'we got nothing'

            Indeed the 'families package' for low income families far exceeded the  'beneficiaries bump' ?

            Did you miss out on that …Sad .


    • Tony Veitch (not etc)

      That's really OTT.   You know that Peter Jackson helped fund Andy whotsname with his run for Mayor.    You don't know where other aspiring pollies got their money from!   They have been upfront about it, unlike others, some of whom are very sneaky.    Every aspiring pollie needs funding to pay for advertising and the extra costs involved with essentially working for democracy, as opposed to their everyday work to support themselves.    If they get elected, then those costs are covered.  

      Even if they are wealthy they will get funding from others of their strata who have money to spare for someone who will advance in the direction envisaged by the donor, or at least replace someone insensitive to their needs.

      Peter Jackson is a NZr who has built a business in NZ.   A lot of previous NZ businesses have been sold off completely to overseas pension funds etc. Don't get shitty with Peter.    You may think he has done things that means he deserves to be called a bastard – but he is our bastard who happens to work for NZ interests as a whole.   

      A wider view needs to be taken by people who have never made or built a big business in a new milieu.   The Jacksons have exceeded other clever and successful businesspeople, and coped with the negative response from workers wanting more before the project was finalised and financially successful.    Dealing with the financial giants in the world requires superman mind-muscles of steel.   Just watch and learn.   

      The whole of NZ is just a project to the financiers, and we all need to be as wily as Jackson to gain any advantage from dealings with them.   They are buying the country piecemeal at the present;  what project have we in mind that will result from our enabling of this activity?    Are we going to end up with a winning income-earner like Lord of the Rings films?   I doubt it – we seem to be too small-minded and bent on getting feathers for our own nests while the whole environment changes in negative ways to limit our lives.   

      Birds are lucky to have bird-brains and not have the means to understand everything that goes on in the wide world.   We are cursed with bigger brains, giving less response to the basic survival information we need to extract from our available vast inputs of information.    We could at least aim at kea-intelligence:  curious (questioning and thoughtful), inclined to dismantle machinery (recycling) and able to cope with a variety of climate conditions (flexible, wise and practical) which increasingly is our scenario.

  2. Andre 2

    How Idiocracy comes about: when the untalented offspring of the wealthy and powerful are protected from downward mobility, then it damages us all. Because they clog up the positions at the top, preventing new actual talent from rising.

    And though it may be understandable for wealthy parents to use their power to insulate their children from downward mobility, the broader effect of this trend could be severe. According to Reeves, dozens of studies have estimated the negative effects of failing to tap into the talents of low-income students. Far fewer, however, have considered the drag on the gross domestic product caused by unintelligent CEOs and Ivy League HR staffers hiring people just like themselves.

    “No one is in favor of downward mobility,” Reeves said. “But if there isn’t enough circulation of elites at the top of their professions, you’re going to get stagnation.”


    • joe90 2.1

      The rich have always been stupid.

      I believe that the seeds of the intellectual decay of Individualistic Capitalism are to be found in an institution which is not in the least characteristic of itself, but which it took over from the social system of Feudalism which preceded it,—namely, the hereditary principle. The hereditary principle in the transmission of wealth and the control of business is the reason why the leadership of the Capitalist Cause is weak and stupid. It is too much dominated by third-generation men. Nothing will cause a social institution to decay with more certainty than its attachment to the hereditary principle. It is an illustration of this that by far the oldest of our institutions, the Church, is the one which has always kept itself free from the hereditary taint.

      – Essays in Persuasion,  John Maynard Keynes 1925

  3. marty mars 4

    joining the dots – how long before the mortal danger is accepted and we sort out the people doing this to us – how long will we tolerate being destroyed? These 'people' should be in court and then jail imo

    The Guardian today reveals the 20 fossil fuel companies whose relentless exploitation of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves can be directly linked to more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.


    The world’s largest investment banks have provided more than $700bn of financing for the fossil fuel companies most aggressively expanding in new coal, oil and gas projects since the Paris climate change agreement, figures show.

    The financing has been led by the Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase, which has provided $75bn (£61bn) to companies expanding in sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration, according to the analysis.

    The New York bank is one of 33 powerful financial institutions to have provided an estimated total of $1.9tn to the fossil fuel sector between 2016 and 2018.



    Why don't we clean up our drinking water quality in NZ?

    As for using 'toxic Chlorine' in our municipal water supply is sadly the wrong move for public health and safety.

    What about these clever non- toxic easy on the environment options instead?

    • Ultraviolet Sterilisation. – https://www.purewater.co.nz/Online-Store/Ultraviolet-Sterilisation

    • Hydrogen peroxide. (H2O2) – http://www.h2o2.com/files/DrinkingWater-Municipal-Tech-Bulletin-15-HR.pdf

    Note the H2O2 is well researched and accepted system as shown in their scientific research technical bulletin attachment, and we lived for five years in Florida and they used H2O2 in their water supply and in public pools also in our area, and we never got any disease or complications from drinking that water.

    • Dukeofurl 5.1

      and H2O2 isnt toxic  compared to  NaOCl Sodium Hypochlorite ?

      Where do you get that information

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Chemist walks into a bar and says "give me an H2O", and receives a refreshing drink.

        Economist beside him thinks "that's a nice cheap drink", says "give me an H2O too", and dies a horrible death.

      • cleangreen 5.1.2


        H2O2 (food grade HP) is used everywhere in many foodstuffs, particularity dairy products. 

        <What use of what in particular are you asking me for information exactly?

        • Dukeofurl


          • Household peroxide is sold in brown bottles in drugstores and supermarkets. It contains 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.
          • Hair bleach is about 6 to 10% hydrogen peroxide.
          • "Food grade" hydrogen peroxide is 35%. Despite its name, "food grade" hydrogen peroxide should never be taken internally, unless it is extremely dilute.
          • Higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, up to 90 percent, are used in industry.


          Thats what I mean . You only have limited information or understanding

    • Andre 5.2

      Mind telling us what you think is toxic about the chlorine-containing compounds used for water treatment when used in appropriate concentrations? After all, your body contains approximately 0.2% chlorine, and it's an essential element.

      Hell, even the IARC doesn't have concerns about chlorinating water (in appropriate concentrations), and there aren't many substances that IARC doesn't have on its lists of possibly, probably and definitely causes cancer.

      • cleangreen 5.2.1

        Andre I know you love chemicals so I choose not to engage with you on this.

        It's like talking to a wall.

        Can I ask why you never responded to me on the toxic result of "substitution reaction" please feel free to offer your option on this dangerous inter-reaction between the atoms in the original molecule of those elements you love?





        • Dukeofurl

          Food grade !  hahahaha

        • Andre

          You got nuthin? Just a bunch of sciencey scary words you don't really understand, but can put into a sentence that sounds scary to you and you think others should be scared by too?

          • Incognito

            Cleangreen is on garden leave for a week so keep your powder dry.

            • Andre


            • Andre

              BTW, a while ago cleangreen more or less doxxed themself, and as a result I did a little looking into that organisation they're so fond of posting long unlinked unattributed press releases from. It appears to be entirely an astroturfing effort from cleangreen and family. So if I had to guess, I'd speculate those were indeed cleangreen's own words pasted here alongside a bunch of other places.

          • RedLogix

            The simple reason why chlorine is used is persistence.

            Chlorine is typically added at the treatment plant at around 0.6 to 0.8 ppm depending on various factors such as temperature. From this point it while persist for about 3 – 6 days

            By the the time it's reached your local reservoir about a day later it's dropped to about 0.4 ppm.

            By the time it gets through the local distribution system to your taps it's usually less than 0.2ppm. But this minute amount is still sufficient to ensure the system remains sterile and safe.

            And as Andre points out this is less than the concentration of Cl2 in your own body. Consider for instance that your stomach acid is essentially hydrochloric acid, HCl, potassium chloride KCl and salt, NaCl.  Chlorine ions are everywhere, their highly dilute presence in drinking water is by itself absolutely not an issue.

            There are two potential problems, both of which are well understood by the NZDWS authority. The big one is to ensure that organics (such as forest tannins )are removed from the water before chlorination at the plant. Otherwise a minute but non-zero quantity of organo-chlorides which are potential carcinogens will be produced. This only applies to plants that source their water from rivers with heavily forested catchments. This is well understood and tightly controlled for in all major city treatment plants.

            I spent some of my life writing the complex software to that monitors and controls this process.

            Overseas its is also reasonably common to sterilise with an alternative called chloramine, essentially the same thing but with ammonia molecules attached. It's common in the USA and Australia, but the NZDWS does not permit it's use as its chemical behaviour is less well understood and in my view at least, somewhat less desirable than pure chlorine.

            The big limitation with UV and H2O2 sterilisation is that neither of them persist in the distribution system after the treatment plant. UV obviously has zero persistence and hydrogen peroxide breaks down spontaneously far too quickly.

            The advent of safe drinking water (and waste disposal) on an industrial scale was one of the handful of major engineering advances that has most dramatically extended human life expectancy everywhere, and one of the key enablers of our modern economic and social world. Chlorination is one of the critical elements in that story. 

  5. NZ strikes the gong again!   Radionz had a range of important news items this morning.

    Concrete buildings – not reliable and safe.   https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018717563/widespread-defective-or-missing-concrete-or-reinforcing-steel-revealed

    Electricity – Another own goal for Labour making improvements to help lower-income public which are unhelpful? – https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018717596/what-s-the-impact-of-scrapping-power-users-fixed-low-charge

    Education – New measures on school donations not well defined.   Integrating education and world relevance off-school experiences, school camps, under threat of being unsustainable.   https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018717597/school-principals-warning-over-confusing-donation-scheme

    Health services – Example of young person not getting timely health services.   A young woman died because not operated on quickly enough to stop a noticeably growing tumour from suffocating her.    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018717568/coroner-rules-suffocation-death-could-have-been-prevented

    Revelation of hidden callous nature of NZ government by not backing PM Ardern – https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/voices/audio/2018716927/two-mosque-attack-widows-plea-for-residency

    Self-respect for NZ ethical worldview?  Support for Kurdish – https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018717587/kurdish-community-protest-in-auckland

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      "Revelation of hidden callous nature of NZ government by not backing PM Ardern – "

      No it isnt . The decision was made not to have a a new special category for relatives of those not in NZ at the time of the Mosque attack but to process them sympathetically by the ministerial discretion method. These widows would be a prime example.

    • The Chairman 6.2

      Electricity – Another own goal for Labour making improvements to help lower-income public which are unhelpful? 

      Indeed, greywarshark. The Government plans to phase out the requirement for electricity companies to sell plans that offer a low fixed daily charge.

      However, it's been reported about 60% of consumers are on such low-fixed charges. Bringing into question whether or not the Government's reform will actually lower their overall electricity costs?  

      It also brings into question the incentive for consumers to cut down on their power use via insulation, double glazing, solar power, etc. 

      Another rule in the reform will temporarily ban electricity companies from offering discounts to win back customers who have given notice they intend to switch suppliers. This restrains market competition while robbing consumers of playing companies off as a means of securing a better price.

      Electricity companies will also be encouraged (under threat of regulation) to stop offering prompt payment discounts. However, we are yet to see if a lower price will eventuate from the removal of this current discount.

      If the Government's reforms don't result in lowering power costs and in fact drives them up, it will piss off thousands of households thus will really hurt them (the Government) come next election. This is one they really need to get right. 

  6. Brexit –

    BBC News has some info buttons and a long piece setting out various matters.   
    Brexit: 'Intense technical' talks between UK and EU in Brussels

    In UK they are still slugging it out.   Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is still making his cautious way through the bog, and he and his Shadow Brexit Secretary have announced different thoughts on Brexit moves.

    Corbyn cautions against public vote on Johnson's Brexit deal
    Labour leader says he would prefer to fight election before any second referendum is held.

    Jeremy Corbyn has poured cold water on the idea that Labour could support an attempt to attach a referendum to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal at next Saturday’s emergency sitting of parliament….

    He [Corbyn] said he would instead be keen to see a Labour-style Brexit deal, including a customs union, and guarantees on workers’ rights and environmental standards, put to the public.

    Corbyn’s comments appeared to put him at odds with the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, who said in a speech in Glasgow on Saturday that Labour would press for any deal Johnson secures to be subject to a referendum.

    “Next week our priorities are clear: if Boris Johnson does manage to negotiate a deal, then we will insist that it is put back to the people in a confirmatory vote,” Starmer said.


    European correspondent, Seamus Kearney joins Kathryn to talk about the critical week looming for Boris Johnson as he tries to get a Brexit deal done before an EU summit on Thursday and Friday. Amid the Brexit drama, the leader of the Scottish National Party says she'll make a request for a new referendum on independence "within weeks".

  7. weka 8

    Anyone following what's happening with this?

    • weka 8.1

      • AB 8.1.1

        No – but 'Accountable Capitalism' illustrates why Warren is a (thoroughly likeable) nerdy technocrat unable to escape the "mind-forged manacles" that limit her vision.  What she suggests is good and will be bitterly opposed – but any change from BAU, no matter how minor, will be bitterly opposed.  So you may as well go the whole hog and  radically equalise the distribution of economic power – so that you are no longer having to continually police these disgusting swine.

        • weka

          I understand, but I assume she wants to get elected.

          • Andre

            Subtle, understated, concise. Love it.

            • weka

              Something I aspire to. Doesn't happen very often 🙂

              • AB

                Except that you can't know a priori what constitutes something electable and what doesn't. Within certain limits anyway. Given that reality, " subtle, understated and concise" might simply be "smug, untested and condescending".

                • weka

                  What can I say, I wasn't feeling smug or condescending when I wrote it. I agree with you that radically equalising power is what needs to happen.

                  It's also true that knowing what will win in any given election cannot be known absolutely. But likewise, theories about centre left parties/people going strongly left and winning are theories. I think it's reasonable to speculate on what might happen, but it's also reasonable to assume that Warren has a plan based on evidence and research and who she is as a person i.e. she might not be convincing or good at radically equalising power.

                  The may as well go strongly left argument is one of radical change not assuming power to make less radical change. I'm ok with either given the situation in the US.

                  What interested me about her tweets was that that plan does seem radical by US political standards but I haven't been following closely so I'm unclear if it's radical for her or fits easily within the other things she is doing.

      • DJ Ward 8.1.2

        No wonder she gets so few donations. Meanwhile Trump is getting donations greater than her and the rest of the dem candidates combined.

        Overt power and control over free enterprise is off-putting to many in the capitalist loving USA. Yes there needs to be some reform in tax evasion but her ideas are scary. Next step from her ideas is nationalisation. IE communism.

        She is also unelectable. Endless gaffs and her lies are like a ball and chain. First her American Indian claim, now her proven false claim of being fired for being pregnant. No thanks.

        In the debates Trump will crush her, exposing her week personality.

        • Andre

          I gotta know; did you keep a straight face while you wrote that?

        • Wensleydale

          Trump couldn't crush Warren in a debate if you gave him a running start and a hydraulic ram. He'll likely just follow her round like a creepy uncle, giving her the death stare and occasionally embarking on unhinged tirades about conspiracies and fake news. That's how the tangerine behemoth 'debates'. Rational thought and reasoned debate have never been long-term residents of Trumpland.

          • Andre

            Don't forget the sniffs.

          • mauī

            Facts don't necessarily decide debates though. Pocahontas is going to face an uphill battle taking on one of the canniest political operators of this time.

            • The Al1en


              You running with Trump attack lines now, maui? 

              Showing your true left credentials there 🙄


              • mauī

                I'm left of the left… and in alignment with these 2 comments I found on youtube…  

                Weimar America  2 days ago

                "who else is voting Trump if Bernie or Tulsi doesn't get the nomination?"

                Glow Worm  2 days ago

                "Yup! Out of pure hatred for the DNC."

                • The Al1en

                  Supposed left wingers running Trump attack lines on the most left democratic candidate likely to get the Dem nomination, and admitting they'd vote four more years of Trump ahead of Warren because it's not Bernie or that one who polls 2%

                  Yeah, I stick, you're really showing your left credentials there, maui.

                  So you’ll be voting national in 2020 if you don’t get John Minto running the labour party? 🙄

            • Andre

              I just checked for you, and TRMPKN is still available if you want it as a personalised plate. May as well be loud and proud about being a trumpkin.

              DRUMPF is too, but I'm trying to decide if I'm willing to pony up a G for it along with big plate surrounds that say "The sound a fat New York pigeon makes when it splats into a window"

            • marty mars

              You p.o.s. using that attempt to insult and shame – your opinion is worthless and a joke.

            • weka

              I'm also gobsmacked that you used the name Pocahontas in this way. Might want to rethink that mauī.

        • joe90

          her proven false claim of being fired for being pregnant


          At the time teachers were shown the door when they showed signs of being pregnant.

        • Sabine



          so yeah, you should re-read your comment and maybe tone it down on the 'liar' thing a bit. But then it goes hand in hand with the shitshows doctrine of accuse others of what you are guilty of. Right 🙂 


  8. Will all the actors in the great Brexit production be able to gather together and sing from the same songbook  –    I Did it My Way!?

    • McFlock 9.1

      Boris sings this one when looking in a mirror.

      Linked version still brings a smile to my face to this day.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Thank goodness he can't sing like that.   All the women would swoon over his beautiful voice, he would get away with anything.   

        Aren't these guys great – having their mock battle of the voices.   So good, the lot of them.

        I think the song for Boorish is Nessun Dorma  – None Will Sleep isn't it?  Dangerous to even shut your eyes for a moment while he is around, willing to pickpocket your society from your pocket while you're distracted.  

        Do you know the Giles cartoons?   I think the public need to be like Grandma with her portmanteau with a padlock and chain on it, and her hefty umbrella with a parrot beak that would leave a dent on any pollie with thoughts of purloining the People's Purse.

        • McFlock

          Nessun Dorma ends with a bold prediction of victory 🙂


          My favourite Giles cartoon was from the time of three mile island – grandma's sitting under a tree, and a kid has dropped a spanner out of the tree house. Someone is saying "if that spanner hits Grandma's head it'll cause more than a nuclear meltdown".

          • Anne

            On the subject of Giles:

            My favourite was when the Queen and Prince Phillip payed a State Visit to Italy where they visited the ancient Roman statues (male) with top hats hanging on their fundamentals in the interest of royal decorum. 

            • McFlock

              lol I think I recall the one, yeah

              and the amount of detail he put into some of the frames was amazing – always something happening in the background.

              • Anne

                Yes there was always more than one humorous thread running through them. In the statue cartoon there were a bunch of 'spivvy' looking workers watching proceedings and an officious Italiano cop was gesticulating at them with the threat… don't you dare pinch da royal bottom.  

                Wouldn't get away with it these days.

                Then there was the one where Grandma (in her black regalia) was mounting Westminster Abbey steps to attend Charles' and Di's wedding. The place was deserted and a couple of cops tried to tell her the wedding was at St. Pauls. She was having none of it – royal weddings were always at the Abbey – so she cast them aside and proceeded inside. Not even the cops dared mess with Grandma.

            • greywarshark

              Cheeky Giles – Always aware of the social niceties that he could send up.

              Another good one about Royalty is when a stableboy leads a herd of camels to the Household Cavalry yard with a note saying that a Royal Middle East person has donated these to Us and We wish you to look after them carefully, which leads to a state of shock.    One is eating the hat of a horse attendant and another sneers superciliously at a barking corgi leaping around, with a yawning mouth ready to bite it in half.

              One cannot applaud the behaviour of the ordinary people!   Like going on a canal trip and the boys make a hole in the fence of the animal park and entice the tigers out to jump through a hoop while mop-head with the camera gets a shot.   But the tiger has a glint in its eye as it looks at the small morsel in trousers.

              And Grandma has had various things dropped from a great height ie bags of flour.    But she is tough!

              Then there is the newly married couple who are advised their best man has found them a quiet, covered private corner on the  Heathrow concourse where there is a mass of other waiting hopeful travellers affected by a strike/bad weather.

              Another one shows the same patient travellers, who have been entertained by a Punch and Judy show ad-libbing and a passenger asks the stewardess if the Captain can just wait a few minutes till  they find out what is going to happen to Judy.

              At Christmas time they all line up to decide whether to kill the turkey Sebastian that they have been fattening.   Mother takes a vote whether it will live or die and everyone chickens out.   So she sends the kids down to the dairy for dozen tins of spam.

              They are wonderful bits of humour poking fun at everyone and good to look at when the world is bruising.

              • Dukeofurl

                Odd comment 

                "leads a herd of camels to the Household Cavalry yard with a note saying that a Royal Middle East person has donated these to Us"

                Middle Eastern persons  are just as big horse buffs as the Royals, maybe bigger.

                Have you never heard of Arabian  horse breed?
                Yes, you are repeating a old fashioned British stereotype of Arabs as being culturally unaware.
                Do you have some stories from the Black and White Minstrels to regale us with too?

  9. Some random thoughts on education and the new 'New Age' that we need to gear ourselves up for.

    The idea of children remaining at school until well into first-stage maturity is now redundant I think.    We need to be into the world earlier, all putting something in, and being able to take time out when appropriate for studying particular subjects for specialisation.   

    Being able to learn things throughout life, take time out to study something new, perhaps a one month course, every now and then, but also being expected to contribute time and skills to the community in some way throughout life.   That would make us less of zombies, and the me-first generation. 

    First general education and life setting and experience as well as literacy, love of books and reading where imagination is ignited.   Then the attraction of maths as a system, and how to work out heights and shade areas during different times of the year – useful for planning gardens and house positions.   How to work out the number of rolls of wallpaper for a room making allowance for pattern repeat, or how many litres of paint, and what the different types are valuable for, priming, light or dark top coat.  Useful stuff – that requires knowledge of chemistry, maths, and probably physics, colour effects, heat retention, etc.   Gardening – the soil, mycrophiyllia? and the unseen community below ground – fascinating.

    So secondary schools having everyone involved in understanding politics would be a good start.   Primary could start with projects suggested and then participated in by the kids as part of their learning.   Doing rather than being theoretical chair sitters, seeing the start of an idea, and learning about unintended consequences and problems.

  10. Barfly 11



    This has to be the most bloody idiotic thing I have seen in ages.

    • really..?

      i envy you for the sheltered life you must lead..

      and i must remember to stand well back when you find out about the inaction in response to global-warming..eh..?

      that really puts the 'id' in idiotic…

      whereas yr minor supermarket inconvenience – is just that..eh..?

      [How does your ad hom relate to the article that Barfly linked to? What does it have to do with “the inaction in response to global-warming”? Are you a wind-up artist or do you want to engage with the topic started by another commenter? Take the rest of the day off – Incognito]

      • Barfly 11.1.1


        i envy you for your inability to think beyond your "hot button" issues what a limited life you must lead..

        and i must remember that when engaging in anything other than what you deem unimportant to expect smart ass comments from you

        that really puts the Phil in Philip Ure…

        whereas yr sarcastic drivel – is just that..eh..?

      • Incognito 11.1.2

        See my Moderation note @ 1:45 PM.

      • Incognito 11.1.3

        Phil, I didn’t censor your reply. You were given the remainder of the day off and your comments automatically end up in Trash. Get over yourself.

    • You had better stick to getting your beer or non-beer at a bar!    The rules aren't meant to be worked out by those on the counter, just followed.    So the intelligent thing would be to say there seems to be a problem so I'll pay for the other groceries and see a Supervisor about the beer.   You don't argue with the poor person on the counter and probably hold a line of people up with your botheration.


      • Barfly 11.2.1

        GWS….it wasn't me in the article I can understand the liquor rules in my sleep…it's company rules which have no relation to the sale of liquor act…its company policy – which is likely in breach of human rights discrimination in relation to age as there is no restriction on non alcoholic product sales. i repeat it wasn't me…but it is barking bloody mental to put age restriction on NON ALCOHOLIC BEER FFS!

  11. soddenleaf 12

    Tories have had three years to put the question, in a referendum… which of these types of brexit do you want. It hasn't. It's not a democracy, when it's rule by stupid.

  12. observer 13

    Shane Jones should be sacked:

    Jones says "Screw you" to PM

    The headline is misleading. He wasn't "spotted". It's not a mistake. He wanted the world to know. Specifically, NZF voters.

    Violates "no surprises" and tries to make a fool of his boss. Serial offender, after many warnings.

    Sack him, and if NZF protest, call a snap election.

    • cleangreen 13.1

      Observer; maybe you want the entire Government also sacked?



      • observer 13.1.1

        Can you tell me what is "unbelievable"?

        Yes, I can work it out. A leads to B leads to C. It's not hard.

        PM keeps giving Jones second, third, multiple chances. If the reason is "because election" she is going to keep being undermined.

        Sack him, and call NZF's bluff. Election now? Labour-Green majority.

        Do you think a year of looking weak is going to make Ardern look stronger?

        • Dukeofurl

          The agreements between labour and its support parties allow 'private views' of ministers

          eg Greens

          "When Green Party Ministers speak about matters outside their portfolios, they may speak as political party leaders or members of Parliament (MPs) rather than as Ministers, and do not necessarily represent the government position."

          and NZ First

          "As provided for in the Cabinet Manual and coalition agreement, the parties may decide to “agree to disagree” on some particular issues or policies where negotiated between the party leaders. In such circumstances, the parties may express alternative views publicly and in Parliament

    • mac1 13.2

      Observer, it is misleading to cite a newspaper article under your own heading as that then seems to be what the Herald said in its article.

      It would have been clearer and less misleading if you had stated your opinion that Jones was saying screw you to the PM and then linked using its own link.

      It would then have read somrhing like this.

      "I believe Jones has given the finger so the PM. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12276364.&quot;

      Using speech mrks around the words "screw you" also gives the impression that you werr quoting Jones.

      He didn't say that. It's your interpretation of his actions, 'observer'.

      • observer 13.2.1

        Yes, that's the real issue here. My phrasing. FFS.

        Are you OK with Jones' actions or not?

        • Dukeofurl

          Did you not get past the  $ paywall to this

          "decisions that our Cabinet have made as to what types of arsenal are and are not legal is something I thoroughly agree with"

          • observer

            Did you not get past the word "updated"?

            • Dukeofurl

              No . None of your comments seem to be based on facts , instead this sort of fantatsy.

              'Sack him, and call NZF's bluff. Election now? Labour-Green majority."

              The other choice is National  keeps its vote high as they 'seem stable' and NZ First gets back  too and becomes the partner national doesnt have. They could even chose the Nats  next year at the normal GE

    • Edit
      Did Shane Jones say that observer?   If not you are a stirrer and should not edit-in your own bad mouth sayings, we don't need loose lips round here shooting off their mouths! It’s you who is at fault not Jones.

      If PM Ardern told him off that sounds reasonable – she has to put up with so much negative stuff it probably makes her cross when someone on her side adds something smelly to the soup always bubbling on the MSM cauldron.

      • observer 13.3.1

        So a comment on the Standard riles you up but a Minister of the Crown doesn't.

        Do you think the PM is OK with Jones' actions? It violates the "no surprises" agreement, it's brazen and boorish.

        I suspect her view of her Minister will be much less indulgent than yours.

        • observer

          And at post-Cab PM gives Jones a clear serve – points out that Jones supports a ban on the weapons, and that has not changed.

          Translation: Shane can grandstand but can't deny his votes on the legislation, which is what matters. Smart.

          • Dukeofurl

            Cabinet manual  on the Coalition agreements allow  Ministers from non labour parties to have 'private views'

            Nothing to do with 'no surprises ' , which is policy based .

            Cabinet office Circular  here

            "have committed to work together in coalition government in good faith and with no surprises, reflecting appropriate notice and consultation on important matters, including the ongoing development of policy."

            Holiday snaps arent 'surprises' but may be oopsies

            • observer

              But you know perfectly well what Jones is doing. Or if you don't, Jones certainly does.

              It's not a mistake. It's a very unsubtle message.

              And – at the very least – a crass and insensitive one.

              • Dukeofurl

                I think you are just trolling him.

                You may not have been aware of his comments behind the paywall of support 'wholeheartedly' of the NZ gun ban

                You may not have been aware of the Cabinet office Circular that   allows private views of non labour ministers  including Greens and NZ First

                You clearly had no idea of what political surprises meant.

                Why do you continue digging a hole into the rock of facts

    • Gabby 13.4

      He doesn't appear to have murdered anyone obbytokki.

  13. cleangreen 14

    Our response to the out of control NZTA that the National Party "Mr Fix It Steven Joyce setup in 2008-9 as everything he did was a disaster.

    CEAC accuses NZTA management of extravagance and calls Gov’t to reset NZTA. Monday, 14th October 2019, 12.50 pm. Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre



    [As far as I can tell, this is another copy & paste job without link (e.g. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1910/S00141/ceac-accuses-nzta-management-of-extravagance.htm) and without quotation marks and again with sloppy or no formatting that makes it hard to read, which is not helped by the length because you decided to paste the whole text again and without adding a personal comment. You have been warned and warned and warned before. Take a week off and the bans will escalate for repeat offences – Incognito]

    [long text replaced with a link – weka]

  14. cleangreen 15

    Sorry we doubled this by mistake.''Will be more careful in future apologies.

  15. bwaghorn 16


    This is how you sell carbon reduction to the laggards.

    • bwaghorn Thanks for that.  Good direction from the Special Agricultural Trade Envoy Mike Petersen (and I give his title capital letters as it deserves.)

      Peterson said “If people think this is being dreamed up by NZ politicians to get at NZ farmers then you need to think again.”

      It is being driven by those who buy our food.

      “Companies and consumers are driving climate change.

      “We know governments are slow to react and are often behind the private sector and commercial drivers.”

      Unless New Zealanders act sooner rather than later they run the risk of alienating affluent customers in the United States, Europe, Britain and here.

      “This is more than just a movement. 

      But this made me smile.  Talking about having your cake and eating it too.   Government are slow and behind business in recognising the importance of various measures?    More because farmers in positions of power are stone-walling them, and don't even know how to do that!

      Farmers are now being presented with an image of themselves  being bold and up with the play.  Just as long as they do get on with what's been proved to be needed 'because companies and customers' demand it.    Not because it is the sensible and right thing to do and what farmers do who love their land blah blah.

  16. Looking at the proposed new road for the Manawatu Gorge, saw a 2018 piece on it and glanced at the comments below.    I think they give a good example of the average NZ driver, complaining, fault-finding, all-knowing and wanting everything now.    A really unpleasant tone, and possibly what NZ is at baseline when not putting on an act for the media.


    • Dukeofurl 17.1

      Considering that in 2010 when the Gorge closed for some months and the new route option wasnt chosen by National  , as they wanted  to  save the money for their RONS.

      Thats over $200 mill spent on fixes , when the new route could have been  built by now.

  17. Pat 18

    "So, I want to hear from the urban folk (of which I am one) as to where we are going to earn export income to pay for all of those items we use in our daily life (cars,  trucks, buses, planes, computers, smart phones, pharmaceuticals, overseas travel, and so on) but for which we have no international  competitive advantage, and which we do not produce ourselves."


    a fair enough question

    • It's a question that's based on a false dichotomy: either we're OK with intensification of farming that's destroying our waterways, increasing foreign ownership of NZ farms, business models predicated entirely on capital gain and the ability to externalise environmental costs to future generations etc, or NZ can't earn decent export income.  Those aren't the only two choices.

      • Pat 18.1.1

        and the other choices are…?

        • McFlock

          We diversify industries that earn us export income.
          We build a competitive advantage of quality for efficiency, rather than quantity for efficiency.

          We favour truly efficient export industries, rather than subsidising them by having everyone (and every other industry) absorb the negative externalities without fault.



          • Pat

            Lovely words….and the question remains…of what? and if we are so capable why arnt we already doing so….why do we rely on ag (and tourism) for over 50% of our export receipts?….in a trade balance that is permanently in deficit to the tune of billions per annum and has been for decades


            • McFlock

              Short answer is because for the last thirty years we deregulated the economy so much that the only industries that remained subsidised were the ones with unregulated negative externalities: shit in our waterways, cattle wallowing in mud, tourbuses everywhere, helicopters and cruise ships overloading our national parks.

              But have a trained fabricator build a decent, asbestos-free rail coach in Dunedin? Oooo, fuck, that's government favouritism and anticompetitive.


              • Besides there are 101 reasons why we should get China to manufacture it.

              • Pat

                and were we exporting asbestos free decent rail coaches prior to Roger's wet dream?

                The question is valid because while we have to address the environment it needs to be done with foresight…so again, 

                "…where we are going to earn export income to pay for all of those items we use in our daily life (cars,  trucks, buses, planes, computers, smart phones, pharmaceuticals, overseas travel, and so on)…."


                • McFlock

                  We tended to build what we needed with NZ steel.
                  As for where the money comes from, it's not a simply "dollars in must equal dollars out" equation. The ways of international finance are mysterious to me, but your suggestion that we've had deficits for thirty years suggests a natural response of "so? The dollar value seems, if anything, a little bit high. If we've spent a generation throwing more NZD at people than they knew what to do with, shouldn't it be comparable to the Zimbabwe dollar?"

                  • Pat

                    the coach question was rhetorical for we did not export railway wagons , not even ones containing asbestos.

                    Ask yourself why we have spent the post Douglas decades touting for FDI, selling residency and paying Japanese housewives above market rate interest if not to support the NZD….and then consider what will happen to that NZD should a good portion of that FDI need/choose to be repatriated due to 'events'

                    • McFlock

                      Should "events" happen, we will need to restructure our economic dependencies regardless of our exchange rate.

                      And again, FDI is the result of deregulation (and minimal enforcement of the regulations that remain). There's no big mystery here. US or Chinese investment funds buy NZ farms because they're highly profitasble because there are few rules against intensive farming and it was cheaper to pay the fines than to eliminate the runoff.

                  • Pat

                     "The ways of international finance are mysterious to me, but your suggestion that we've had deficits for thirty years suggests a natural response of "so? The dollar value seems, if anything, a little bit high. If we've spent a generation throwing more NZD at people than they knew what to do with, shouldn't it be comparable to the Zimbabwe dollar?"

            • greywarshark

              If anyone strays from the rose lined path for suitable exports and chosen countries to deal with, having radical ideas like Dr Sutch they will chase the rascal round and round the raspberry bush till he drops.

            • Psycho Milt

              …if we are so capable why arnt we already doing so…

              Why aren't the world's industries virtuously denying themselves the readily-available option of externalising environmental costs onto future generations, rather than bearing the full costs and the accompanying harder work for lower profitability?  Again, is that a serious question?

        • Psycho Milt

          and the other choices are…?

          What choices are open to agriculture other than over-stocking farms, externalising environmental costs to future generations and farming capital gain?  Is that really a serious question? 

          • Pat

            so serious you appear incapable of addressing it

            • Psycho Milt

              I guess an implied argument was a bit much.  The other choices are not overstocking farms, not externalising environmental costs onto future generations and not farming capital gain.  The first and last of them should be pretty straightforward, since they were the norm in farming not that long ago.  The second is more difficult, but can be started on in small chunks and worked through a bit at a time – there are already farmers doing that, after all.

              • Pat

                agree that would be a partial solution and should therefore be being modelled , supported as necessary and (importantly) promoted ….is it being?…..Id suggest not.

                Instead we appear to have  endless increasingly polarised uninformed rhetoric instead of realistic proposals that have some chance of being adopted and succeeding…..and all that does is waste more time we dont have

                • My reference to Dr Sutch was passed over.   In his time he was trying to see how we could increase our exports, diversify to have a balanced economy, one that was quick on the uptake and not just reliant on commodities and price-taking.  There was talk about value-adding and diversification.   But that was crushed when the Douglas troika invited in the Trojan horse of neoliberalism and free markets and dropped our trousers leaving us naked by abandoning quickly all our tariffs that underpinned our working economy that enabled the citizens of NZ to have a life. A sort of ‘wedgie’ that we still suffer effects from.    

                  I did a simple business course and understanding the NZ economy was part of it.   Our tutor alarmed me.   He said that no country in the world had been able to become 'developed' relying on agriculture, food production.   He thought we were only at the edge of being developed.   What has happened since is that the wealthy here have used what leverage they had to manipulate the economy to apparently match developed countries level, by adopting free market systems bringing in cheaper goods that benefitted them including the importers, but changing distribution patterns for the citizens so the rest of us could moulder with mini wage rises, low inflation with low interest on secure investments, and at the bottom, be left to fester in confusion and poverty, under an overwhelming cloud of disdain and rejection.  

                  Now only some citizens have a living wage, and the rest have to scrabble or worse, pay WINZ back for the money they have borrowed enabling them to live.  There is probably a nice little graph showing pensions and average family living costs, with a shaded area in the middle where there is a deficit.   

                  It has probably become a Treasury wall decoration showing how successful they have been in squeezing all the money efficiently from the lower income to ensure they get maximum work for minimum income to the lower strata of the country.

                  In Sutch's time we were looking at Russia to trade with; I think they were being sanctioned.    We traded butter for Lardas, and conducted diplomatic discussions on our own behalf to allow this new market.    We weren't tied down to rigid trade agreements with open borders inviting people to come in and buy the family silver.   He was trying to find new avenues for trade, make changes, give us a wide base, turn the pyramid over so we weren't reliant on a narrow line of exports requiring large volumes to give the national income we needed.   We have always been hungry for imported goods beyond the returns received from exports.

                  Our exchange rate is high for many reasons, one apparently being that we are stable and a good parking place for hot money in between one international entity's financial coup and another.   And so much of what we have is for sale which keeps us under scrutiny and interest from the world.   Australia mines its land, we are up to mining everything when National is in power.  

                  And Labour can't yet get enough lackadaisical thinkers here to vote for them sufficient to be able to move with certainty and confidence of support.  These new voters would have to apply themselves to understand the economy, and realise what damage present ways do to the country they profess to love; a great number of NZs are too comfortable and incurious to make the effort.

                  • Pat

                    Sutch was before my time and I cant say I have read any of his work….something I should probably amend….but the 'added value' mantra has been promoted for all of my adult life ….to little effect.

                    The post was not necessarily to promote any specific policy but to encourage some discussion around the fact there can be no transformation without specific planning and pathways….and the absence of by the current gov


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