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Open mike 14/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 14th, 2012 - 83 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

83 comments on “Open mike 14/05/2012 ”

  1. marsman 1

    Disgusting how Corporates get favourable treatment. One dollar a year lease for Wellington’s ex-Overseas Passenger terminal. The same company got a similar deal a while ago for another property.

    Wellington.scoop.co.nz » A dollar a year – Willis Bond’s deals with the council :


  2. Hilary 2

    The times they are a changing – sung by Michael Moore and friends for the Occupy movement. Not bad.

  3. Key supports having a debate on marriage equality and would vote for a bill if introduced to parliament.

    Key: ‘Lets have debate’ on gay marriage

    Key this morning said he would vote for the bill’s first reading if it was pulled from the ballot.

    “I’m not going to bring a bill into the House,” he said.

    “Personally I’m not opposed. There will be a range of views of course. Let’s have the debate.”

    It will depend on whether Louisa Wall’s proposed bill gets drawn from the ballot.

    • s y d 3.1

      john key supports having a debate on anything that will distract from what is really going on…seems you do to

      • Pete George 3.1.1

        Key has not initiated debate on this, nor is he going to push it, but if it comes up in the ballot (initiated by Labour’s Louisa Wall) he said he will vote to have it debated in parliament. That seems reasonable to me, and a silly thing to blast the PM for. I’d blast him if he tried to block debate on this.

        • QoT

          Key has said he will do the absolute minimum necessary to maintain his gay-friendly persona if forced to by others. How courageous of him.

          Of course, it helps him that he doesn’t need to “block” debate on this, just sit back and do fuck-all safe in the knowledge the Pete Georges of the world will be there to broadcast his spin.

  4. Rosie 4

    And for more daily horrors news – and the National Govt horrors do keep coming on a daily basis don’t they?


    Felt very sad watching the doco on 3 last night about the Strongman mine disaster. Seems there were similarities in management behaviour at Pike River. In light of last weeks dispicable news regarding the non recovery of victims, it was particularly painful watching the doco. The pain and grief of the victims families must be unfathomable.

    • Vicky32 4.1

      And for more daily horrors news – and the National Govt horrors do keep coming on a daily basis don’t they?

      True! Encouragingly, the poll at the bottom of the page is mostly against these changes…

  5. Half Crown Millionare 5

    I was recently bought an E Reader. Now I am retired I have started to read novels again something I have not been able to do for quite a few years owing to work pressures.

    Being a lover of history, I have downloaded and started to read again the Flashman novels by Mc Donald Frazer, who in the sixties started to write about the career’s of the bully of Rugby School who was expelled in Tom Brown School Days. Frazer wrote these novels based on true historical events like the Charge of the Light Brigade and interwove his fictional character of Flashman with real people. The novels are very humorous, but also a good record of historical events and attitudes of the times.

    When I first started to read theses novels in the sixties I thought then how fortunate it was that the world was progressing away from the attitudes the novels projected.

    Starting to read these novels again today, my thoughts have completely changed to how unfortunate it is that the world is slipping backwards to the same Neo Liberal attitudes that are equal if not worse than the attitudes the Flashman novels projected.

    • ianmac 5.1

      HCM: Read several in the series this year. Flashman was part of the Imperial forces used to impose will on “ignorant savages” in places like Afghanistan and India. Yes it does sound familiar today in Iraq and Afghanistan and soon in Iran.
      History does repeat. Agreed. Sadly.

      • Half Crown Millionare 5.1.1

        Also in Britain and America and sadly NZ. Saw that clown Cameron in Parliament just after the riots in Tottenham. I thought any minute now this spoilt upper class brat is going to burst into tears and stamp his foot in temper, and I am sure if he could, he would have the culprits given 10 lashes and transported on a convict ship to a penal colony somewhere.

  6. ianmac 6

    Tapu Misa does it again. How come the research is not published widely in this case Incentivising as a means of improving Performance in this case of teaching. Great column.

    …..education academic Richard Rothstein argued that incentive systems have a corrupting influence, and many “have actually harmed the institutions they were designed to improve”…….

    “When health care systems (such as Medicare) attempted to reward cardiac surgeons, or their hospitals or practice groups for survival rates of their patients, medical professionals responded by declining to operate on the sickest patients. When the Department of Labour attempted to reward local agencies for placing the unemployed in jobs, the agencies increased placement rates by getting more workers into easily found short-term poorly paid jobs, and fewer into harder-to-find but more skilled long-term jobs.”

    A 2010 study which looked at the impact of performance-related pay in Portugal’s public schools in the three years after it was introduced found “that the increased focus on individual teacher performance caused a sizeable relative decline in student achievement, as measured by national exams”. The study also found evidence of grade inflation, “disruption of teacher co-operation … and increased administrative workloads, both resulting in job dissatisfaction”.

    Incentivise, Performance Pay
    Damn doesn’t link to:

    • vto 6.1

      ianmac, you may have seen the doco on tv3 last night about the Strongman Mine disaster in 1967 and the leading role that incentivisation had in driving lax safety regimes which killed 19 men.

      Exactly the same as Pike River, where 29 men were killed.

      Do you imagine this link registers in the thinking of those setting up such important structures and organisations? Because I think most people dont really think much at all when they go about things at work.

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        Exactly vto. I wonder how the multi-million dollar Incentive schemes for big business works, like in Banks for instance? Even when the business has failures, the bosses still get their bonusses.
        There is strong evidence that job satisfaction and job recognition is far more powerful incentivising and conversely lack of recognition and lack of job satisfaction is the recipe for poor performance. (The glow from a pay rise lasts about 3 days.)

    • KJT 6.2

      Trouble is that most of our right wing leaders are solely motivated by money.
      They are incapable of understanding those who work mostly for the satisfaction of achievement, to help other people or for a better society.

      There is actually nothing in the Teachers agreement that prevents extra pay for performance. Though, just as in the private sector, performance pay has often proven to be counterproductive.

      They just want to pay most teachers less.

  7. Economist Sue Newberry said New Zealand’s Constitution Act 1986 requires parliament to approve borrowing and spending, but the Public Finance Act delegates these powers to the minister of finance, along with the power to delegate further.

    Those powers appear to be delegated without limit and are exercised outside of the parliamentary process, Newberry said.

    The result a portfolio of $112 BILLION in DERIVATIVES kept of the books and outside of Governmental oversight.

    With a $500 Trillion to $1.5 Quadrillion in derivatives on the verge of collapse what do you reckon? You feel safe?

  8. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8

    The Leveson inquiry for pop music:


    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      brilliant #funnybastards

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.1.1

        My personal favourite:

        And did you honestly believe that rock and roll was an adequate foundation for a city of this size?

  9. Te Reo Putake 9

    Paul Watson of telling lies to save the whales fame has been nicked in Germany and is being deported to face attempted murder charges in Costa Rica.

    • prism 9.1

      TRP Your link gives a good report on this situation. And I hope they give him fair justice and don’t brush off his evidence there as ‘telling lies’.

      • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1

        Me too, prism. Much as I think Watson is an ego driven buffoon, his organisation has actually had the guts to physically stop whale slaughter, which is a big step up from lobbying nations who aren’t listening anyway.
        The odd line is where it’s claimed that Sea Shepherd were acting on behalf of the Guatamalan Government. That doesn’t sound too likely, does it?

  10. captain hook 10

    the gospel according to mathew.
    winston will go back into coalition with national in 2014 because john key will promise him a senior cabinet position and a knighthood and overseas posting whereas labour cant.
    and while the nincompoops were arguing about promsicuity (gasp) the nats passed a bill stopping allowances for students doing a second degree.

  11. John72 11

    So what is happening while we weep over Pike River Mine. Surely the observation, “Just declare it a cemetery” was not insensitive.
    A search party is usually closed down when there is no hope of life.

  12. Would like to see The Standard do something on this:

    Key backs off ‘hub’

    “John Key’s plan for a financial services hub in New Zealand would require years of taxpayer support and risks transferring wealth offshore, Treasury has warned the Government.

    The Government’s lead economic and financial policy agency advised that plans to pay international banks to move here represent “a wealth transfer from New Zealand taxpayers to overseas financial institutions”.

    Further, the touted benefits were highly uncertain.

    Following queries from the Sunday Star-Times last week, Key distanced the government from the controversial aspects of the plan.

    “The more costly aspects of the [hub] plan were not seen as an effective use of taxpayer money,” a spokesman said.

    The financial services hub proposal emerged after banker Craig Stobo told the Government’s 2009 Jobs Summit an economic boost would result if the Government created a zero tax rating for foreign investors who invested in international funds based here.”


    • John72 12.1

      One. Would finance from any other country be safe ?
      Two How does it fit in with muzza theory that some small group is trying to take over the entire world?

      • vto 12.1.1

        ha ha, yeah John, because nobody has ever tried to dominate the known world before – no sirreeeee…… just never happens.

      • John72 12.1.2

        It is now 8.25pm(20.25hrs) and 4 people have replied. May I suggest that each one takes a hard copy of the relevant parts of the post and puts this in the back of their diary, to read in 6 months time. Hopefully they will be pleasantly surprised to find how much they have matured in 6 months.

        • vto

          But John, it is you with the child-like view in pouring scorn on anyone who suggests that darker forces are at play – as has been the case at just about every point of time in history.

          That is what Neville Chamberlain did, for just one of countless examples consistent through history.

    • John72 12.2

      Refer to “muzza 11 May 2012 12.40 hrs”

    • tc 12.3

      Shonkey’s mob are too busy selling our laws and SOE’s, they never figured it’d be this much work even with a sham consultation process.

      Simply no time to sell out the remainder of our economic sovereignty now (more so than laws and SOE’s reperesent anyway) or even whip up some opinionated costings that make it appear the answer to our prayers with a financial hub.

      This was always a reckless and ill considered spark of an idea (especially with sydney/melbourne so close) more so than the cycleway which at least would leave us with a physical asset but then JK’s is the ideas guy with the smile n wave thing going for him also.

  13. From what I’ve been reading on several sites, at least 3 shipments of Jap import cars have been sent back to Japan,(or maybe re routed to NZ?) two from Russia and one from Vietnam.
    There are meant to be 7,000 Jap import cars on the docks in Auckland at the moment, I wounder if anyone has gone over them with a Geiger counter?
    The exporters in Japan are re-registering Fukushima cars, so it looks like they came from another prefecture.

    • Very interesting Robert. Found this where tires imported to Russia were sent back due to radiation. http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/article3199418.ece

      They are also already testing in Australia: http://www.caradvice.com.au/123945/australian-vehicles-imported-from-japan-to-be-radiation-tested/

      And in Chile: “Traces of radiation were found on 21 of the 2500 vehicles that were shipped from Yokohama. The Chilean Nuclear Commission deemed the level of radiation too low to be harmful to human health, although Chilean port workers protested, believing their safety was being put at risk.”

      • Bill 13.1.1

        Doesn’t say what specific radiation they are looking for. I’d guess there’d be s.f.a. gamma radiation, which is what a geiger counters detect. But ‘hot particles’ emitting beta and/or alpha radiation? In the air filters of used cars? Well, that’s another matter innit? They can be dislodged and become airborne and then potentially be inhaled by a driver or passenger and lodge in their lung.

        Anyway, this presentation was of a study done on the air filters of Japanese cars. (the transcript for the video is lower on the same page)

        we took our automobile air filters from different locations. We opened them up and we laid the filter paper inside these air filters on a piece of x-ray film and developed them. On the far left we have an automobile air filter that operated during March, April and May in Seattle, Washington. It looks clear, if your eyes are really good, you can see one tiny little dot near the center. We have an automobile air filter from Tokyo and you can see that each one of these black spots represents a radioactive particle that was trapped on the filter paper and exposed the x-ray film. And also we have Fukushima’s which is about 65 kilometers away from the site. This automobile air filter is actually hazardous. My university is annoyed with me because we have to contract to have this filter disposed of as radioactive waste. Unfortunately, you can just imagine what this means to the people in Fukushima City which is not evacuated, and even for the (automobile) mechanics who are changing these air filters.


        Meanwhile, Hilary Clinton apparently signed a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ deal with Japan whereby the US will not test imported Japanese goods for radiation levels. And I very much doubt NZ is carrying out any testing on goods or food. Which is bizarre given the fact that there are (just to give one of many examples) still sheep in Wales that are too radioactive due to uptake of contamination from their pasture to go to market following Chernobyl.

        And yet here we are.

    • freedom 14.1

      just how much poverty and abjection are these [people] willing to impose on NZ?

      Let’s pay folk to build a deal that will sell us what we already own, before it is gifted away to people who won’t pay us much to get what they want but will charge us more once they have it. That is obviously far far more important than citizens getting the medicine they need.

    • rosy 14.2

      Wait to see headlines about people turning up at ED for standard GP care – because people hadn’t filled prescriptions. Wait to see overwork increase in hospital clinics for chronic conditions. Wait to see the headlines about increased rates of hospitalisation because people aren’t filling the prescriptions they need. Wait to see the headlines about poor people not taking personal responsibility for their own health.

      A lot of the very good work to improve access to health care access is slowly being unravelled by this government.

      • Vicky32 14.2.1

        Wait to see headlines about people turning up at ED for standard GP care – because people hadn’t filled prescriptions.

        Absolutely yes! I now have a prescription to pick up, but have been putting it off until I absolutely need it – it will be worse when the price rises!
        Also, just hearing Garner on 3News banging on about his belief that Shearer barred Cunliffe from appearing on his programme. It doesn’t matter what Shearer and Cunliffe actually say! (Each got a 15 second soundbite, but Garner chose to disbelieve them both.)

        • rosy

          yeah – you’re in the same boat as 7-19% of the population who can’t afford their prescriptions, so I guess technically this is true –

          He said the increase in prescription charges was small and was “unlikely to be a barrier for most”.

          – I mean most are people who are not poor and pick up a prescription only now and then.

          I wonder if they’re making changes to charges for prescriptions from specialists …

  14. ianmac 15

    The Court of Appeal has thrown out an appeal by the Ministry of Health over payments for parents who care for their disabled children.

    That means that parents who care for disabled kids are just as entitled to be paid support as any other care giver. Good job. Hope Tony Ryall doesn’t change the Act to bypass our Courts.
    Appeal Court triumph for caregivers
    Damn again links to wrong place.

    • Vicky32 15.1

      That means that parents who care for disabled kids are just as entitled to be paid support as any other care giver

      Awesome news! I used to work with that family at Unitec in 2001… 🙂

    • Herodotus 15.2

      Pity that yet again to see that this topic had to go to the highest level in our legal system to find out what – that these caregivers/family were being used by the last 2 governments. And Vicky agree hope that there is no retrospective changes to the entitlements.
      Yet in examples re private schools being overpaid $2.5m and the govt comfortable in not retrieving the $ owed or the “moral” basis for covering those who were not entitled to their full SCF investments being covered by the govt e.g from Treasury link below “Where a retail debt security is held jointly, the coverage limit applies to the joint holders collectively and the maximum that will be paid to the joint holders collectively in respect of their debt security jointly held is $500,000 per institution if the deposit is with a registered bank and $250,000 if the deposit is with a non-bank deposit taker.
      The Crown has discretion to apply a higher cap in relation to any claim or class of claims against an entity that is the product of the merger, amalgamation or takeover of one or more approved institutions.” So how come we are questioning compensating valid and worthy reasons and then paying out on cases that there is no obligation to ?
      This case is pretty damning to both Nat and Lab for their lack of empathy 🙁

    • Campbell Larsen 15.3

      @ianmac – your links have a ” ‘ ” [space added for emphasis] at the end – I was having the same prob when cutting and pasting from the ‘how to?’ tab. I recommend committing to memory a href= and ></a – looks tricky at first glance, but easier to remember than you might think : )

      • Campbell Larsen 15.3.1


        Maybe the link tutorial should read more like this?

        a href=my-bloody-long-link>Visible text</a

        Just a thought.

  15. Te Reo Putake 16

    My opinion of George Lucas has just risen markedly! After his equally wealthy neighbours vetoed his plans to expand the film production facilities at his ranch in Marin County, California by raising ongoing planning objections, Lucas has decided to do the one thing that is guaranteed to annoy snobs.
    Instead of building a new studio, Lucas is proposing to subdivide the ranch and turn it into to low cost housing for the poor and the retired. Presumably, just the sort of folk his neighbours moved from the city to avoid.
    Ok, it doesn’t quite make up for Jar Jar Binks, but it shows he’s at least got a sense of humour, eh?

    • NickS 16.1

      Epic troll is Epic.

      Especially as all those poor people will lower surrounding land values and cause flight given that American’s are massive snobs when it comes to living near poor people. Although this maybe some cunning plan to make his neighbours accept the film production facilities expansion. Which will likely backfire, given it’s Lucas…

  16. NickS 17


    However, the Aids Foundation labelled the Mokopuna Early Childhood Education centre close-minded, irresponsible and guilty of wilful ignorance.

    The boy was infected at birth and is on advanced medication, which means he is not considered a risk.

    The Director of Child Health at Auckland District Health Board, Dr Richard Aickin, said HIV could not be transmitted through social contact, sharing utensils, kissing, hugging or sharing baths.

    “If another child has an open wound or cuts themselves simultaneously with another and is exposed to infected blood, then any blood from the infected child would have to, firstly, contain viral DNA. This is unlikely in a child with an undetectable viral load,” he said.

    “Secondly, the virus would have to be able to survive the journey from the infected child to the non-infected child and thirdly, somehow manage to enter the non-infected child’s blood stream.

    “There has been no documented case of transmission of HIV from one child to another in a day care or school setting. This, we believe, supports our opinion that the transmission risk is miniscule.”

    And here was me thinking we’d finally left stupid fearmongering crap over HIV carriers behind…

    • prism 17.1

      NickS The fact that to explain this matter properly you used a number of points and sentences illustrates that it is not a simple straightforward problem. It is silly to go off at a tangent when the schools are trying to ensure they have a plan that works for everyone. It’s not an Eve situation.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Are you sure that talking down to everyone who doesn’t meet the demands of our own rigorous intellectual sensibilities won’t be effective, persuasively?

      • NickS 17.1.2


        You did notice the quote marks right? And the point in said quote marks that the kid is completely non-infectious thus the pre-schools attitude has major issues? And that this sort of shit last happened long ago and was mainly associated with the initial outbreak of HIV?

        Because if not, you need to re-read it, and go a googling. Otherwise I’m going to have to nom on you.

        After work (FUCK YES, finally got some work!) that is.

        • prism

          NickS I know about the previous HIV scare. We have found that it is treatable and containable, it won’t be picked up like a flu virus by everybody. We have had our fears allayed by knowledge and time. In that time we have forgotten things and need to run a check again on how to manage it and what problems there might be. That is what the school did apparently. Then they can provide an assurance of safety and care for other parents.

          I think I have read your comments in the past and you always seemed to take an objective, scientific view. So this matter strikes a nerve perhaps.

  17. Logie97 18

    So Ryall tells us that prescription charges haven’t been increased for 20 years. So what political party had the treasury benches back then. And what was Upton/Richardsons rationale?

    • prism 19.1

      joe 90
      This Arizona stuff is unbelievable – but reading it, well it’s eyes wide open. A sure sign of cant and intolerance is in the reference to mom and pop, hostility to the ‘gummint’, the Soviet Union and then the skewed opposite idea of virtuous USA. This is the sort of doubletalk that does not represent good religious thought. Taleban anyone?

      The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-2 Monday to endorse a controversial bill that would allow Arizona employers the right to deny health insurance coverage for contraceptives based on religious objections.
      Arizona House Bill 2625, authored by Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, would permit employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment.

      “I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union,” Lesko said. “So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom and pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.”
      Lesko said this bill responds to a contraceptive mandate in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law March 2010.
      “My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion,” Lesko said. “All my bill does is that an employer can opt out of the mandate if they have any religious objections.”

      Does this sound vaguely familiar when thinking of recent comments on this blog. Awful government measures to force long acting contraceptives on female citizens who Have Rights to Have as many Children on Welfare as happenstance. (Because they wouldn’t be planned. And the benefits of having sex without the concern about having extra children would be wrong, wrong according to the human rightists.)

      • vto 19.1.1

        If an alien was looking at this from outofspace it would surely conclude that the USA is as facsist and as extremist as those places where the Taleban rule.

        So perhaps the USA is as fascist and extremist as the worst of them. Do you think Americans would consider themselves extremists? I bet not. Would love to hear the reasons …. any Americans out there like to defend the motherland?

        • prism

          vto I don’t think you would find any Americans who could give an objective view of their zeitgeist. Their extreme religious, individualistic, skewed attitudes of resentment to federal as opposed to state government, their brain-washed attitudes about communism and socialism, and grandiose notions of their country’s standing and moral worth is based on just being big, nationally wealthy and powerful, free-market and profit driven with a huge military with a compliant treasury enabling huge deficits, and some random individual efforts to provide needed charitable programs glinting through the smog here and there.

          And there is the fact that they are not united at all in their behaviours and thinking, going from backward states like Arizona, and the still racist southern states to the cooler, thinking northern states shows a great difference in progress towards realisation of the greatness and goodness that human society can aspire to.

          The myths inculcated at school and reinforced at assemblies while assuming the posture of patriotic hand-over-heart when facing the flag is reminiscent of the automatic nazi salute – all these things are scrambled egg floating around in the heads of US Americans. Most would be unable to crawl out from under them to get a different view.

          And there are shadows of this hanging over New Zealand too.

    • joe90 19.2

      One and the same prism. Pandering to the Taliban/taxpaying public.

  18. vto 20

    Key’s government told “piss off you fucked up” by the Courts over the Akaroa Marine Reserve decision.

    Key’s government told “piss off you fucked up” by the Courts over the family care-givers.

    Key’s government told “piss off you fucked up” by the Courts over the Crafar farms decision.

    ….. there are a few patterns here ……….

    • Herodotus 20.1

      The care giver case also displays the lack of caring from Labour, they do not come out of this untarnished vto. As stated above hope the disease of retrospective changes does not carry over tho this case. Pretty poor on all accounts from our voted by the peoples governments for the people !!

    • Colonial Viper 20.2


    • NickS 20.3

      Wait, the marine reserve actually went though?!

      FUCK YES.

      Heh, there’s also an unfinished draft on this site too from back then go over marine reserve and general theory stuff that I never got finished explaining why they’re a really good idea and why people should welcome them, even if it means loosing a mint fishing spot. Plus some more general NZ marine ecology stuff that came up abut sea grass meadow restoration (tip – major habitat for young fish).

  19. joe90 21

    Russell Brand appears before the Home Affairs Committee on drug policy.

    Dude’s eloquent.


  20. Draco T Bastard 22

    An interesting look at the contraceptives for beneficiaries:

    What the government really funded was an advertising campaign to promote themselves, and we – collectively – just paid $1 million dollars for it. Not a bad investment from their point of view.

  21. lprent 23

    This is a test message looking for a reported problem saving comments on firefox 12.0. Logged in works ok.

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