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Open mike 14/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 14th, 2011 - 69 comments
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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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69 comments on “Open mike 14/01/2011 ”

  1. Dan 1

    Watching the scale of the tragedy in Queensland on the news this morning, I worry for so many that flood insurance is very difficult to get in Queensland. I understand you can get storm coverage but not flood coverage. Can someone elaborate further.

    • just saying 1.1


      Quote Lew:
      Well, you would — but in fact, it’s worse than that. Many of those worst affected by flooding actually aren’t insured for it — because insurers expressly exclude flood damage from their policies. Most cover storms (falling water in the local area) but not flooding (rising water, or that which originated elsewhere). The Queensland Department of Primary Industry has a summary:

      Damn, the link in the above didn’t come through -you’ll have to hit the link to the blog at the top to get the details,

      As a footnote:
      Quote Lew:
      “…despite the present floods being declared the most severe disaster in Queensland’s history and with some discussion today that it may be the worst in the history of the Commonwealth, insurers were, a few days ago, saying that the losses to their industry would be modest.

      (Sidebar: if you’ve not connected the dots, this is the same insurance industry to which the Key government intends to deliver ACC early in their second term. Don’t say you weren’t warned.).

      italics mine

      • ZeeBop 1.1.1

        When I travel in Queensland I was struck by the flatness and how some homes were on stilts. But that’s capitalism, if insurance companies don’t provide flood cover then home owners should build their homes on stilts. But its easy for the market to supply cheaper homes to new comers who don’t ask why some homes are on stilts, the homes are cheaper to build without stilts. This is well government comes in, floodplains in Queensland should have all building built on stilts. Duh.

  2. So smile and wave sends Police Commissioner Howard Broad to the West Coast to tell grieving families that the Government is giving up the effort to retrieve the bodies of the minors. They had been promised by Key that everything possible would be done but apparently it was getting expensive. Some experts say a rescue is still possible according to Morning Report. Key should have at least fronted up and broken the news himself.

    The mighty dollar wins again …

  3. Chris73 3

    Monty owns Chris Hipkins on his “If the lights go out, blame Gerry” thread over on Red Alert, most amusing

    [lprent: You’re new here and I’m feeling tolerant after my second coffee of the morning. Do not use words like owns, pwned, or won when it comes to any comment around here. I will ban people who do so after doing my best to humiliate them for their self evident stupidity.

    This is an agree to disagree forum because there are very few issues where anything is as clearcut as would be required to make that apparent. However is a favorite trolling tactic because it is guaranteed to start flamewars. Read the policy to understand how much I dislike trolling tactics and flamewars and how far I will go to prevent outbreaks of either here.

    Follow the loose behavioural guidelines of the site and you won’t attract my moderating attention. ]

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      Or not, as the case may be. Monty regurgitating the press release added nothing to the debate and didn’t diminish Hipkin’s argument in the least, which was that the loss of the Whirinaki plant and the associated reserve scheme is short sighted and foolish.

      ps I think you’ll find variations on owned, pawned etc. are frowned on round these parts because they’re childish and inflammatory.

      • Chris73 3.1.1

        No he was because no one (not even Hipkins himself) has replied and refuted his (Montys) points (and fair enough about the owned comment)

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Monty, just like you, hasn’t got a friggen clue.

  4. Salsy 4

    Could it be America’s downfall is in fact democracy? Too large a volume of… well dumb people getting to decide for the many…

    Sarah Palin, the worlds most dangerous idiot.

    • Olwyn 4.1

      I would blame the corporate usurpation of governments leading to some representatives being chosen on the grounds of celebrity appeal rather than ability. Palin is presented as some sort of real, down home gal – a position maintained by shooting the odd moose and mouthing off in the right tone rather than reading long documents. She is roughly the equivalent of a pretty tattooed receptionist in a “funky” ad agency, exemplifying the firm’s image of itself. Different image, same principle.

      • prism 4.1.1

        Olwyn – good summary of Palin, I think right on it. Have been confused about her appeal, but shooting a moose would be big for a President I think. (Didn’t Teddy Roosevelt shoot bears. Or is that a myth.)

        The problem with USA democracy is that plain, practical, principled men and women probably can’t get in to power. It’s too expensive to campaign against those with huge cash for bells and whistles, and of course the entertainment quotient, as for Regan, and of course they have face and body recognition but unfortunately their minds and capacity for thought and analysis and determination to do the best for all American people remain masked.

        • Lanthanide

          I think Obama is the closest they’ve gotten, and probably will get for a long time, so a ‘plain, practical, principled man’.

          I think part of his failure as a president was going into Washington without all the connections. Obviously being hamstrung by the ‘party of no’ at every turn hasn’t helped him at all, either.

          • Carol

            Obama had already sold his soul to key financial and other corporates by the time he was elected president. He compromised his plainness, practicality and principles a while back.

  5. This morning I heard the announcement that the “police” have made a decision to hand over responsibility for the recovery of bodies from Pike River. Since when is that a matter that should be controlled by a financial receiver?! I see John Key and Gerry Brownlee have all run for cover on National radio today.

    There’s no way this issue was decided by the police. Key and his lot would have had the sign off. This will play badly for key – after his promises to the families.

    Why wouldn’t a PM have the guts to front on this? Yes we all know…just following Crosby Textor lines of what to front on and what not to…thanks Howard for taking the wrap, love John…
    Did you notice Key was fine to front on the assistance for Brisbane (with framed pic of himself as a backdrop)…but seemingly not about small disaster issues on our doorstep. Stunning I think my view of Key just went a few degrees lower.

    • Olwyn 5.1

      Absolutely shocking, after “We will do all we can to get your boys back” having been said so often and so earnestly. And now that I hear Queenslanders being described in exactly the same tone as Coasters were then, it all sounds like so much mac-rhetoric, devoid of any real respect for the courage and suffering of ordinary people.

    • Chris73 5.2

      He can’t be everywhere (even Trevor Mallard was wondering why he wasn’t in Christchurch…), he doesn’t have access to the Tardis so he probably didn’t knpw about the announcement until it was too late

      And how dare he go to australia after all what have australia done for us recently in regards to natural disasters we’ve suffered…(please note the sarcasm)

      • prism 5.2.1

        Can you tell us what Australia has done for free for us Chris73? Aren’t we paying for the machines we have had to bring over for Pike River as we didn’t have any equipment like that? Personnel, for mining experts, we would probably be paying expenses and be glad to so we could gain from the expertise. (Perhaps Pike River management should publish a booklet giving their hindsight findings called Mining on a Tight Budget – How to avoid the more egregious problems).

        We send firefighting teams between countries to fight these and there is a team helping out in Queensland.

    • Deadly_NZ 5.3

      Have you not worked it out yet?? Then let me tell you, The Smiley wavey one will NEVER put himself in a position where he has to answer a question that he can spin his way out of. And there is NO WAY so make this look any better than it is, in fact is looks even worse by the fact that NO politician from the ruling elite has fronted up. (well thats what they think of themselves as)

    • Treetop 5.4

      I at least expected to hear from Judith Collins in regard to the police handing over the management of the Pike River mine. I say management because the company who managed the Pike River mine pissed off about a month ago (Pike river mine became a political issue then) and the recievers went quiet. Collins is the duty minister this week.

      Safety of the Pike River mine is still the responsibility of the owner of the mine. The Aussies have made a huge contribution inspite of the gag machine not being as efficent as expected and realising that plugging the leaks earlier would have made the recovery more efficient.

      • Treetop 5.4.1

        One minute I hear on radio that Pike River Coal are responsible for safety of the mine, then I read that the recievers are. What the hell do accountants know about mine safety?

        Has the smoke and mirrors began?
        “trickery or deception often in a political context”

        Who are the more seasoned politicians?
        Pike River Coal or the government.

    • Vicky32 5.5

      I am just hearing Key on 3 News, now saying that he never promised to get the bodies out!

  6. johnm 6

    May God Protect Global Bankers: Irish Leaders Castigated As Greatest Traitors Of All Time
    the names of Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan are now being reviled as the villains who inflicted horrendous financial disaster upon the Irish people and forced the enslavement of future generations to a criminal cadre of International Banksters.

    The words ‘treason’, ‘traitors’, and ‘treachery’ are being increasingly used not only by ordinary citizens but also by certain politicians, economists, business leaders, and celebrities. ‘Economic treason’ was a term used by the leader of the Labour Party to describe Cowen and Lenihan’s blanket guarantee to the banks. And, incredibly, even the country’s ostensibly non-partisan police association, the GRA, accused the government of ‘treachery’ and denounced it as a ‘government of national sabotage’.
    Refer link:

    Relevance to NZ? Why was tax payers money used to bail out South Canterbury, which if hadn’t happened would have led to a deflationary effect, which is realistic and is obeying the free market principles ACT-nat profess. But really they believe in Privatize Public Wealth and recover Private losses from the Public coffers! Corporate Welfare but darwinian free market for taxpayers.
    What’s happened in Ireland is one of the most Outrageous heists of public money ever done and the Irish people are going to reject it BIG TIME.

    [lprent: My moderator instincts get aroused when I see very similar comments across two posts within minutes. I’d suggest you don’t try this as a generic practice because it draws my attention. It tends to annoy me when people start using the site as a dumping ground for cut’n’paste. ]

  7. logie97 7

    Our Prime Minister was quick to send a team of firemen and others to assist in Queensland. Quite right too – we should be in there boots and all.

    But when all the assistance is finished and life has returned to some normality the firemen will inevitably go cap in hand to their masters in a new pay round. And John Key will tell them through his ministers, that there ain’t no money. Strange thing that. One of life’s mysteries.

    And who were the heroes in the devastation that beset Canterbury last year?
    Politically Key and Parker were the winners. But the heroes were the ones who had to be called upon to repair the basics and not the least of whom were the sewer workers. I bet they are not in the $70,000 plus bracket. They know their station in life.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    The disgraceful cynicism of this government continues. The gutless refusal of John Key to front the media this morning over the decision to seal the Pike River Mine simply beggars belief. The man is a lazy coward, quick to exploit a photo opportunity but running a mile from bad news or from offering genuine leadership. Absolutely disgraceful beyond words.

    • prism 8.1

      Key – Mr Cinceritie, a pseudo cardboard copy of reality. Lots of sincerity, warmth, compassion, commitment at emotional and news-breaking moments, but this is similar to perfume where the scent fades in time. Now it needs to be reapplied but the bottle is empty.

      captcha – operators

    • interesting 8.2

      Sanctuary, I agree that Key should have fronted. But My understanding is that they are NOT saying that they are sealing the mine, but that it is now up to the Pike River receivers to deal with the recovery. They have said that they can’t afford it, but are looking for help to fund it.

  9. Carol 9

    So, after the Tuscon shootings, the sale of guns in Arizona has increased, especially of exactly the kind of gun used by Jared Loughner in the shootings.


    Some of the Arizonans interviewed on Al Jazeera this morning said they were buying guns to be safe, and to protect themselves in their homes etc. How exactly would citizens carrying guns have stopped Loughner from shooting any of his victims?

    • interesting 9.1

      Carol, easy, they would shoot him before he shot anymore? American logic for ya. Heh.

      • Bright Red 9.1.1

        one of the guys who tackled Laughner was armed. Didn’t save anyone. He didn’t even draw the weapon.

        • Colonial Viper

          Draw a weapon in a situation like that and some passing cop will probably decide you are one of the perps.

  10. prism 10

    More 1080 is needed. Or we lose all our native birds by attrition. 1080 is passionately hated by hunters because it affects mammals, which includes their dogs. That is the main reason I think for their hatred of 1080. The birds can go whistle. It can fall into waterways but the applications try to prevent this, and I understand it dissipates to a tolerable level to mammals, which includes us.

    • The Voice of Reason 10.1

      1080 is not the answer prism and it’s not just hunters who hate it. If you drive along the coast its amazing the number of properties that have anti-1080 signs on their fences. There are alternatives to poisoning our forests. Someof them can be found here:


      • Bill 10.1.1


        Just been and had a look at that website. They have an ‘alternatives’ button, but they don’t advocate for any alternatives beyond a trapping programme. Given the remoteness and difficulty of much of NZ’s terrain, I can’t see how trapping alone could ever constitute a viable alternative to poison drops. Sure, in accessable areas, trapping might be of some use. And possum skins can be sold at present if anyone is so inclined. But what about rats and cats, stoats and whatever else?

        If a viable alternative to 1080 was proposed, then all good. But until then, 1080 would seem to be the best option there is.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        I remember when Rangitoto didn’t have flowers on it and it’s tree cover was dessicated because of the possums. After they dropped 1080 on it and got rid of the bloody possums the trees grew healthy again and bloomed, native wild life returned and, overall, the island life is much healthier now.

    • Bill 10.2

      I as extremely uncomfortale with 1080 use until I saw a (60 minutes?) spot on it’s use, aired in relation to the guy, dying of cancer, who camped out somewhere in protest at its use.

      My problem now is that the debate is utterly emotional. Even DOCs website (last time I looked) had pictures of various predators in angry and vicious ‘going to rip your throat out’ poses. Not bloody helpful for faccilitating any informed debate.

      I never knew that is use was predicated on the knowledge that it would kill a percentage of native birds, but that their population levels would recover then expand much faster than predator populations. And I didn’t know that a sub-lethal dose would be ‘processed’ and eliminated from the bodies of affected creatures.

      It seems to me that the 1080 debate is quite a simple one, but that the information simply isn’t being put out there. Don’t know why that is.

      • The Voice of Reason 10.2.1

        Cheers for your comments, Bill, gave me some pause for thought. I’m not an expert on the matter, but as I said above, it seems a fair percentage of coasters oppose 1080’s use and the alternatives must be worth a look. I appreciate trapping is labour intensive, but it’s not like we have a shortage of labour at the moment. (Perhaps we could combine the building of the South Island leg of the cycleway and the laying of traps and kill two birds with one stone, er, …).

        • MrSmith

          I live in an remote area that was 1080’ed a couple of years ago, I was catching a possum almost every night before the 1080 poisoning now can’t catch 1 a month, 1080 is the most cost affective way we have of controlling possum numbers at the moment , I think the Kiwi party campaigned on banning 1080 at the last election, so that has the alarms bells ringing in my head.

      • prism 10.2.2

        I have noticed this Bill – the emotion I mean. The fact that people may have signs up on their properties saying no 1080 does not mean these people are connoiseurs of facts and bastions of reason, it just means that they are a tight little group that has pitched each other against the nasty chemicals that they have seen, or been told about, kill animals.

        Unfortunately it seems that there has to be some small loss for a large gain and if these people were really environment lovers they would start thinking along those lines. Checking up on Doc’s system and contractors all the time yes, but not crying for a complete ban or major obstruction.

        • shaz47

          When I was a kid living on a farm (40 years ago) living in Central Otago we had the rabbit board. Government paid, whose sole job was to hunt rabbits, possums and stoats. They were excellent hunters and were most effective. The government supplied a land rover, family house and all the guns. These men were government paid and where able to make extra money selling the skins and they could clean an area very quickly. Most of the old farmers and land owners now say that of all the methods used for pest control these men were the most effective. They also ate the meat from the rabbits. The government axed all rabbit boards around 1966 and from that point pests became a problem. It would be difficult to go back to that style of control and maybe one or two could be still alive to teach the skill. I know doc is doing the best they know how but maybe it is time to search out some of these men and invest in their skill. It might also create some new jobs as well, and less birds will sacrificed. These men where real hunters and took there job seriously.

  11. interesting 11

    Appears a new party, linked to the failed chinese crafar farm bid, is planning to launch and run in the Botany By-election.

    The New Zealand Herald reports it:


    • The Voice of Reason 11.1

      “The Herald understands contenders for the party’s Botany candidacy include former Labour Party list candidate Stephen Ching, United Chinese Press chief editor Jerry Wen Yang and Auckland businessman Paul Young.”

      Presumably Paul Young will be doing it for the love of the common people.


      • Carol 11.1.1

        And key leaders of this proposed New Citizens Party met last week in Beijing? Huh? Is this an NZ party or what?

      • Chris73 11.1.2

        Hopefully he’ll come back and stay for good this time…

        • The Voice of Reason

          Nice one, Chris, another great song. Shame about his cover of love will never tear us apart, though. I could never vote for him after that!

    • Tigger 12.1

      This quote floored me.
      “Ms Goudie said her greatest contribution to the electorate has been her “open-door policy” for constituents.
      “People’s political preferences have never stopped me helping them,” she said.”

      I should damn well hope not. You’re elected to represent the electorate, not just your voters. If doing her job is her biggest success then it’s just as well she’s off.

      • Chris73 12.1.1

        Shes leaving so National can bring in someone with new skills and experiences, something for Labour to consider…

      • logie97 12.1.2

        Let’s see now, my gilt-edged superannuation kicks in after how many years in Parliament? 1, 2, 3… ah yes 9. Thanks NZ.

        Go the Greens.

  12. Tigger 13

    Key desperate for invite to royal wedding…


    He’s just hoping Obama is there…

    • Deadly_NZ 13.1

      He’s like a little kid jumping up ‘n’ down saying ” take my picture ” Take MY Picture” Then throwing a tanty TAKE MY F87ING PICTURE NOW” and spitting the dummy and doing the big tanty spin on the floor, parents know this one the cereal isle one.

  13. stever 14

    Take a look at


    It’s great for adding comments even to pages that don’t allow them (so, very useful for Stuff and HNZ reports, for example)—having conversations about reports *in place* seems like a great idea.

    • Deadly_NZ 14.1

      Yeah but how many sites will it piss off and how many will it make open up feedback on some of the more important things instead of feedback on farking glee?

      I may even give it a go unless it just caused the first Firefox crash i’ve had in about 6 months just after i installed it

  14. Colonial Viper 15

    UK Govt’s Own Bookie Set to Relocate to Avoid Tax


    The Tote, the government-owned bookmaker, is braced for a backlash over plans to move a portion of its business offshore and reduce its tax liabilities in the process. Despite being fully state-owned and operated since its foundation in 1928, the Tote yesterday admitted it plans to filter bets placed with third-party, offshore bookmakers through its Guernsey outpost in a move that would sidestep income tax.

    The potential for avoidance of income tax and payments to the Levy, the tax on bookmakers which partially funds the racing industry, is seen as an important carrot in the task of persuading bookmakers, who are themselves already avoiding gross profits tax, corporation tax and the Levy by basing themselves outside Britain, to remain loyal to the Tote rather than using other pool betting operators.


  15. Vicky32 17

    Just heard Hil’ry Berry announce that an investigation has “cleared the SAS of any wrong-doing”. Predicted and predictable…

    • higherstandard 17.1

      Indeed I predicted that they had acted in a correct manner and it was most predictable that they had.


      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        You mean the security guards acted in the correct manner?

        I guess so since the security guard was tasked with defending the compound against raids of armed men, and when one occurred the guard was doing exactly his job when he was killed.

        How exactly was the guard supposed to know that this was NZ SAS?

        • higherstandard


          “New Zealand SAS soldiers fired weapons in self-defence when they killed two security guards during an operation in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, an investigation by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and the New Zealand Defence Force has found.”

          “It clearly shows the New Zealanders came under fire from an Afghan ‘security guard’ and that the New Zealanders only returned fire in self defence because they were at risk of death or serious injury. The guard was wounded during the exchange of fire and then retreated into a nearby building.”

          • The Voice of Reason

            Um, didn’t we attack them? The guard was defending his own turf. If it was your house and somebody came through the door in camo gear and you had a gun to hand and the time to get off a shot, what would you do, HS?

          • Pascal's bookie

            hs, old chum.

            I’ll say first up that I don’t care much about the particulars of this incident. In a very real sense it’s irrelevant who shot first or what have you.

            The important point of this incident is that we were acting on what we believed was solid intelligence about a threat, got into a firefight where people were killed, following that the Afghan government complained that the raid was in breach of the agreement that their forces lead all actions in Kabul. Somewhere in that chain of events there is a fuckup that has not been touched on by this report. Or at least if the report does touch on those issues, we are not being told about it.

            Explicitly: was the intelligence good? If it was good, why didn’t we run the operation as per the agreement? These are questions about trust, essentially. And the lack of it.

            The second point I’d make is that while I have enormous respect for our military both as an institution and at the individual level, I have a much lower level of confidence in ISAF reporting and investigations.

          • QoT

            Late to the party but I am loving the use of scare quotes around “security guard” in that Herald article. Whatever it takes to make the actions of Our Boys look okay, right?

      • prism 17.1.2

        hs You are so predictable.

  16. Salsy 18

    Key fronts up about Pike River – from his gated mansion in Auckland The plan has failed

  17. Colonial Viper 19

    The Destruction of the US Middle Class

    This in the richest country in the world.


    Even before Seymour joined the ranks of the jobless, bills had started piling up. During his previous spell of unemployment several years ago, he and Sondi burned through their savings and $100,000 they had parked in 401(k) savings plans. At the peak of the boom, aiming to clear their credit card debt, they took out a loan against a house in North Carolina that Sondi had inherited from her parents. When they could no longer afford the mortgage or utilities, they put the place on the market, praying that they could unload it, even for less than what they owed.

    When the power at their Fairfax City house was cut off in November, Sondi and Seymour got used to seeing by flashlight, eating cold food and lingering at the houses of Sondi’s cat-sitting clients just to be warm. The last time they had gone without electricity for that long was by choice, when they went diving on a private island in Fiji.

    In November, Sondi Moore called Dominion Virginia Power seeking help and was referred to the county human services office. Within 10 days, she paid $600 of the power bill; a caseworker covered the rest by cobbling together small amounts from utility assistance programs.

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