Open mike 14/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 14th, 2015 - 226 comments
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226 comments on “Open mike 14/05/2015”

  1. Paul 1

    The Reserve Bank tightens rules on local property speculators in Auckland.
    Good.

    However, this does not affect foreign property speculators – people who never plan to live in this country and borrow money overseas at low rates, thereby pumping up Auckland prices and keeping New Zealanders from owning a house.

    When is the government going to act to stop us being serfs in our own land?

    • Tracey 1.1

      I’ve asked that question before Paul, regarding where foreign investors borrow the money from. I have been told that most borrow onshore (NZ) and those who borrow from “home” are in basically the same position as if they had borrowed in NZ by virtue of the exchange rate?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      When is the government going to act to stop us being serfs in our own land?

      After they’ve spent so much time ensuring that we will become serfs?

  2. dv 2

    A question
    I heard the reserve bank talked about cash deposit.

    Many commenters talked about equity.

    In the past equity was enough,. But if it is cash then that could be more difficult.

    • Tracey 2.1

      Are you saying they have to stump up the physical cash to 30% ? So, you go get a second mortgage on your home or property for the deposit (your equity) and use that?

      • dv 2.1.1

        Wheeler used the word cash.
        Your suggestion would probably work.

      • Sabine 2.1.2

        yes, essentially the same regulation that have taken out the first home buyers are to be applied to property investors. And so it should, if we really only have the lending restrictions to secure the risk of a banking crisis as seen in 2008 – Suprime Mortgages.

        How can it be that Joe and Jane Ordinary Citizens need 20% cash to own their house as owners occupiers, but a speculator gets to recieve loans on his / her other mortgage to the hilt properties?
        They can no more pay back the loans if a crash happens than can Joe and Jane Ordinary Citizens. in fact i might be wrong and J+J Citizen might be able to pay of the loan on one property but Joe Speculator might find it hard to do so on 20 properties if no one can afford the rent to cover the mortgage.

    • Grant 2.2

      I thought I heard one of the investor rep people say that larger investors with, say, three or more properties would likely have enough equity in their existing portfolio to leverage the loan without needing cash for deposit??

      • Tracey 2.2.1

        yes he did BUT Wheeler was clear that 50% of people purchasing investment property are borrowing more than 70% to do it, hence they put the limit at 30% deposit

        • Grant 2.2.1.1

          Which is another way of saying they’ll lock out the small fry (bottom 50%) and clear the field for wealthy and established property investors to go for it?

          • Tracey 2.2.1.1.1

            Which is what they did with the 20% LVR to first home buyers.

            RB can only tinker at edges with numbers. The Government, on the other hand, has a wider range of tools

  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    Bill English doesn’t want to see that cashed up overseas buyers are scooping up Auckland properties. Don’t look, don’t see. Rental from properties owned by overseas landlords is money that simply leaves NZ. Listen to Bill English trying to fudge the issue of foreign ownership This man is in charge of writing a budget?!!!

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201754292/finance-minister-welcomes-steps-to-curb-housing-prices-in-akl

    • hoom 3.1

      I am damn sick of hearing Blinglish, Key etc get away free with their constant claim that ‘making more land available’ will in any way make any improvement.

      They need to provide a clear detailed answer to this question: How many of the new homes built in the Special Housing Areas will be sold below market average?

      The answer is going to be 0 because there is nothing being done to ensure that they will be anything but sold at the current going rate -> the Special Housing Areas will do absolutely nothing to help the situation.

      The only thing that can help is direct Govt intervention: by providing tax incentives for Affordable housing, outright forcing a % of new build to be Affordable or given the failure of the Market the Govt step in and build the needed Affordable housing itself.

  4. sabine 4

    I can’t see how anyone can deny that the properties of NZ are being bought by foreign interests.

    If the housing prices goes up as i saw recently (Herald? Stuff? ) by a grand per day, than that inflation of house prices has already surpassed the shopping or purchase power of any kiwi with an income of less then 80000$ anually.

    anectodaly another house in the street where i have my business has sold to Koreans, who are in NZ for the duration of their daughters studies at Auckland University. Not only will the girls get a nice education, the parents are gonna laugh all the way to the bank while they are learning english.

    I expect the property to be back on the market by summers break, and i expect it to sell at 900.000$ as it just sold for 800.000. BTW, this is your regular, no nonsense three bedroom shitter with no frills nor extras. Half of the build is illegal…but thats west auckland for ya.

    no mum and pop buyers here.

    • Tracey 4.1

      Barfoots (national party donor and biggest agency in Auckland and Northland) don’t deny it. In their pitch to vendors they state they have 500 Chinese agents with links overseas to ensure you get the highest price for your property.

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    Seymour Hersh interviewed about Bin Laden killing relevations

    The murder of an old sick cripple who had been held captive by Pakistani security forces since 2006/2007. So much for the US justification of the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Thanks for that CR.I had heard bits of the story but now straight from the horses mouth. Notice the typical politician speak of denigration of the report and the reporter. Confuse and diminish the story but not engage with the content.
      Thank goodness none of our politicians are guilty of that when facing our important issues. What? John Key is a skilled distractor? Surely not!

  6. laila harre just pwnd jamie whyte on tv3 breakfast..

    ..heh..!

  7. Tracey 7

    On what basis was he interviewed Phil? he’s no longer the leader of any political party? And Harre?

    • parts of their ‘panel’ – different people each day..

      ..it just made me regret harre is not in parliament..

      ..aren’t labour such ‘bastards’ – for their perfidy/treachery in ttt..?

      • Tracey 7.1.1

        yes.

        Northland showed what was possible… Harre and Harawira in Parliament… and maybe Sykes as well… sigh

        “Since 2004, Whyte has written for general audiences, and his books and articles typically attempt to expose shoddy reasoning, especially by politicians”

        Anyone got a link to his exposure of David Cameron, Bill English, John Key or David Seymour’s shoddy reasoning? I have searced but can’t find anything.

      • Pasupial 7.1.2

        ure..

        I couldn’t say that Labour were particularly treacherous in supporting their party’s candidate against the IMP’s. Short-sighted and foolish; yes. As with a party to the left of them in parliament their attempts to present themselves as centrist would be more successful.

        However, the real idiocy in Te Tai Tokerau was in NZF supporting Davis against Harawira and so diminishing their own influence this term.

        • adam 7.1.2.1

          With labours track record of backstabbing anyone else on the left – I thought phil was being nice calling them treacherous scum.

          Opps sorry, it was me who added the scum part – not phil.

          • lprent 7.1.2.1.1

            Yeah that works. Saying Labour activists are ‘scum” really helps them to want to help you… Dickhead.

            Generally Labour activists and MPs just ignore everyone else on the left except at coalition time and concentrates on their own job. Winning enough votes to get seats and having enough seats to form a government to implement their policies.

            Mostly when I see people like yourself comment like this, what they are talking about is other political parties and politicians wanting special favours that are above their actual ability to contribute to whatever Labour is doing.

            Labour don’t bother “backstabbing” except maybe at a local electorate level. Even there it is usually counter-productive unless the idiot on the other side is making a fool of themselves (like Hone did with Davis). Labour just don’t help, preferring instead to put their effort in promoting their own party.

            Over the years the Greens have learnt to do this focus on their own objectives as well, which is why we don’t see much of this lazy twaddle from their long-term supporters. I’m looking forward to seeing them get into government with enough seats to be part of a coalition (unlike their one short in 2005 and two other parties blocking them).

            And politics is a long term process. As I told my niece when she was 15, if you want to change anything politically, then be prepared to sit down and push for 30 years. Plan for it. Because it takes that length of time to get something in front of the public and get them convinced enough to cause their politicians to change their minds.

            But in the local political scene we do see it a lot of your kind of childish whining from people who are lazy about politics and looking for a quick fix…. Chumps

            • adam 7.1.2.1.1.1

              I don’t call activist scum. That is a case of putting words in my mouth – That said, the party they support is scum.

              I don’t want labour to help me – I want them off my neck. I want them to all to wake up to the criticism of the new left – and that it applies squarely and fulsomely to them. They are a wreck, and the type of help they give is the usual paternalistic crap we expect from the Tory’s, with their born to rule ethos. So their policies – no thanks, their politicians, no thanks.

              Do you think that we should all doff our hats, and be happy about a labour party who just seem to be the party of little piggies feeding at the troff? Or should we play some hardball? Because this is the party who gave us the reserve bank act.

              As for labour activist I feel sorry for them – seriously with those MP’s who could ask for anything sadder. One or two seem OK – but for the rest – where is anything, but, self service. Where is the vision, the fire, the desire for a better society. Nope not from the New Zealand Labour Party. The odd one liner to keep the faithful happy. Sad, sad and well your thinking the third one…

              But let’s drop to what modern politics is – it’s appearance, and here labour really shine – They look pathetic, weak, backstabbing, and most of all middle class. True or not – appearance is what matters – and a party in the interests of working people – I think not.

              So forgive me if I want more from a party of the left – well being on the left economically would be a good start. Yeah , labour – left wing economics – that old chestnut. I always agreed with Marx on this one – Political economy – not just economy. So in the realms of political economy – sorry but labour are not left wing in an economic sense – not since they passed the reserve bank act. Back to that puppy.

              And finally – how is that slow change working out for you? How are the right doing in their revolution? How about them right wingers ah – Spinning like they are moderates, whilst all the time – forcing thru, more, and more of their hard right ideology. And you get upset I call labour scum – OK, let me rephrase that – The labour Party are the self absorbed bastard we wish they weren’t. Rather than the dross left over from a former age.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                In 30 years, atmospheric CO2 levels will be over 450ppm. Business as usual is already over, and we are making excuses for our political class carrying on with pretend and extend.

        • Molly 7.1.2.2

          Supporting their party member is understandable.

          Publicly stating that they would never enter a coalition, resorting to name calling and joining the insults hurled by National, and negative campaigning were the actions that made me very uncomfortable.

          Siding with the major political bullies on a party whose policies supported the most vulnerable in our society, was indicative – to me – of their lack of commitment to those people. They are so concerned with losing votes to other left parties, they are doing the work of Crosby/Textor without instruction but by instinct, and the benefits all go to a continuation of National’s government.

          • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.2.2.1

            The behaviour of Labour Parties around the anglo world has been the same. Observe UK Labour. All minor parties are considered the enemies of the Labour Party, to be suppressed or sidelined where at all possible.

            • te reo putake 7.1.2.2.1.1

              In the UK, it turned out to be the truth. Like it or not, the SNP won Scotland, but lost the left the election. Not through their own fault, obviously, but as a result of cynical Tory fear mongering. Exactly the same routine as we saw here with mana.

              In a democracy, parties have to beat the other candidates to win. Especially so under FPP rules, which apply both here and in the UK.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                In the UK, it turned out to be the truth. Like it or not, the SNP won Scotland, but lost the left the election. Not through their own fault, obviously, but as a result of cynical Tory fear mongering.

                Well UK Labour is permanently and structurally fucked then isn’t it, unless it can adapt to an electoral environment where it can demonstrate an ability and willingness to work with political partners.

                In a democracy, parties have to beat the other candidates to win. Especially so under FPP rules, which apply both here and in the UK.

                Yes, it’s a democracy. And in a democracy, politicians better realise that they need to listen to and respect voters choices.

                • No, Labour will win again under the current UK rules, which as you’ve noted elsewhere, are skewed toward the two big parties.

                  And as for democracy in NZ, it’s not just parties that need to respect voters’ decisions, it’s also commenters on TS 😉

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    I’m not a status quo establishment loyalist like you are, TRP and the NZ Labour establishment knows it. Yes, Labour will win again in the UK, but not in the next ten or fifteen years, and only then with the help of third party support.

                    Interesting how within hours of Miliband resigning, multiple Labour MPs signalled that they wanted and deserved the leadership.

                    Just like in NZ.

                    • Uk Labour will probably win the next election. Muggins turn and all that. Re: the number of leadership candidates, that’s no surprise. There’s over two hundred MP’s and it’s a wide open election. Plenty of them will fancy they have a reasonable chance of winning.

                      ps The beige one called you an ‘LP maverick’ in today’s edition of his Standard fan site. That’s pretty high praise. Or possibly damning. It’s hard to tell with Pete.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Uk Labour will probably win the next election. Muggins turn and all that.

                      The only very slim chance UK Labour has in 2020 of getting their Queens Speech through would be by asking for the overt help of the SNP. So its not happening.

                    • Far from it, CV. I expect Labour will win outright or lead a narrow minority Government. That’s how FPP works; if the momentum is with you, you win big.

                      Re: the SNP, after the next five years of Tory benefit slashing and other assorted miseries, I suspect the SNP will be only too happy to do whatever it takes to change the Government. That’s the bind they’re in; the SNP won, but Scotland lost.

            • phillip ure 7.1.2.2.1.2

              and yet there are those in this forum – who still defend this shooting of themselves in the feet by lab/nz first..

              (such is their irrational hatred..)

              ..they must be as dumb as sack of fucken hammers – seemingly unable to grasp this basic political fact..

              ..of what they did to mana/the left/themselves…

          • lprent 7.1.2.2.2

            That was pretty much where I wound up viewing Mana as well through the election campaign from 2013 to 2014.

            They appeared to be more concerned with denigrating the rest of the left and centre parties than they were in changing the government. Then they whined about other people on the left gently critiquing their damn fool tactics, or even pointing out that they were unlikely to get above 3%.

            I came to the conclusion that most of their public figures had a inflated sense of entitlement who acted like the tories of the left. That as much as anything else was the reason that they didn’t get more vote. Their political behaviour was just awful to behold.

            They were hopelessly politically incompetent. They were always trying for the distracting king hits during crucial periods rather doing the basics of protecting their vote and encouraging more to vote FOR them rather than AGAINST someone else.

            By the end of the campaign, I’d come to the conclusion that Mana were probably better off dead. I thought that in particular when it was clear that they were squandering their best asset in Hone’s hold on the TTT seat. If they’d spent less time posturing and more time campaigning in areas of TTT who were less sympathetic to Hone, they’d have won the seat. And in the end in our kind of democracy you have to win votes to get seats to have much political power as a political party or as a politicians.

            We could do with a reasonably large political party to the left of Labour, but it needs less of the amateur hour egos and more of the dedicated volunteer workers. Above all it needs to define itself politically by what it stands for rather than what other people don’t stand for.

            No-one likes silly damn critics who talk but don’t do…

            • Molly 7.1.2.2.2.1

              Agree that their campaign was politically flawed, but along with the Greens – Mana is always present at those protest rallies down Queen Street and unequivocal in their position on child poverty, unemployment, housing and human rights.

              The Green Party is adept at managing their balancing act of policy and political appeal, but they have had many years to work on their technique. I would not expect the same of Mana at this stage of their political life.

              Also, if we look at the comments National makes about ACT and their policies, there is almost radio silence. Despite the very right wing policies, and the laughable candidates, National plays the game by ensuring that they will not be part of the criticism of a party that will help them govern if the contest gets too close.

            • Lanthanide 7.1.2.2.2.2

              “We could do with a reasonably large political party to the left of Labour”
              “No-one likes silly damn critics who talk but don’t do…”

              Are you hinting that you’re about to start Lynn’s Leftists…? 😛

              • lprent

                You have to be kidding.

                My reason for being involved in politics was to ensure that my duty instincts never forced me to drop programming and go and do my duty as a politician. I figured that helping out competent politicians would be enough to prevent me from ever having to suffer that fate.

          • McFlock 7.1.2.2.3

            Besides quibbling over whether your link counts as a cast-iron rejection of a coalition or even some less formal view of support on some issues in exchange for C&S (or at least abstention), I agree with pretty much everything said or done by anyone in Labour who isn’t Kelvin Davis (who seems to me, from the other end of the country, to be a dick).

            But what really alienated me from Mana was when they did a deal with a guy who donated to John Banks. That’s a huge hurdle to get over when they claimed to be solidly left wing.

            • Molly 7.1.2.2.3.1

              “But what really alienated me from Mana was when they did a deal with a guy who donated to John Banks. That’s a huge hurdle to get over when they claimed to be solidly left wing.”

              I have asked myself why this doesn’t bother me, but it really doesn’t.

              I attended a few of the GCSB meetings here in Auckland and watched Dotcom. Noted that all those who stood up and spoke about the principles of what had occurred were not those who would have been given a trip on the helicopter before the raid.

              I won’t say that he had an epiphany, but he did undergo a political awakening of sorts in NZ politics, and then aligned himself with Mana. Disastrously as it turns out, but not because the money was tainted but because the personality politics we all rail against, was relentlessly brought out and successfully used against the previously least financially viable two parties of Internet/Mana.

              If we don’t accept that people have a change of heart and values, then we miss the opportunity to bring the majority together. Those studies that someone posted a while back about how people have green and socially aware values but still vote National, is an example of rigid behaviours and thinking.

              We always need to leave space for people to change.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I have asked myself why this doesn’t bother me, but it really doesn’t.

                It doesn’t bother me because it was obvious that KDC had just had rather rude political awakening.

                • McFlock

                  Really?
                  How much has he donated to political parties or poverty action since the election?

                  • Molly

                    Considering that he publicly admitted that his involvement was the opposite of the Midas touch, any political party or initiative that he aligned with would no doubt run away screaming.

                    I fight my own battles with staying on course for progressive politics. I don’t need to critique someone whose primary failing was contributing to a left-wing party that had not been approved by the MSM. And I would not say that his political maturation was complete, just that it seemed that I noticed a change.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I can’t say that I consider KDC every day.

                      But when I was considering who to vote for last year, I suspected his “change of heart” in financing IM was more a “change of anti-extradition tactic”. Which made me in turn question the judgement of Harawira, Harre, etc.

                      Nothing I’ve seen since the election has cast doubt on that suspicion.

                    • Molly

                      I don’t recall him mentioning that after the donation, but I didn’t attend any Internet campaign events so that could have occurred.

                      I also recognise the fact that the Moment of Truth provided us all with a clear picture of what was happening with the GCSB. And that was thanks to his financing of the event.

              • McFlock

                Everyone can have a change of heart.

                But it’s not like KDC started wearing a hair shirt and giving alms to the poor. He financed a political party when being one of many donors to a political candidate got him no results.

                His political interests have consistently remained plausibly tied to his self interest.

                And if someone has a change of heart, it can take time for all but the most gullible to be persuaded of that. The degree of the change in heart professed needs to be reflected in the degree of demonstrated change.

                • Molly

                  My political leanings can be viewed as being self interested.

                  For starters, I want a political movement that effectively addresses climate change, stress on the environment, armed conflict, inequality, healthy affordable housing as a basic right for all NZers and modern day slavery.

                  This is the world in which I want to reside.

                  My problem is – how to be effective in promoting social housing, when I only just manage to pay the mortgage on the one in which I live? How do you be part of a movement that encourages social enterprise, when all the business mentors come from a perspective that is focused on financial bottom lines? How do you spend responsibly when the lines of supply for most goods, food and consumer items is not transparent?

                  Trying to break the habits of a lifetime, amidst all the encouragements and approvals of past behaviours, make this a learning curve. I’m sure it is the same for any behavioural change – and sometimes it causes a return to past behaviours.

                  Dotcom cannot go back in time and retrieve his two cheques from Banks. But I’m guessing both of them regret those transactions at present.

                  (Hone Harawira spoke very articulately about the abuse of the state in the raid on Dotcom. It is likely that this had something to do with the development of the relationship that led to the donation. Russell Norman, in a more secure position was able to see the political fallout and avoid direct association, but he also spoke very well on every occasion that I attended.)

                  • McFlock

                    There’s the enlightened self interest of indirect benefit.

                    I was thinking more the narrow self interest of a benefit that is direct, timely, and limited largely to oneself.

                    I’m not arguing that kdc has not been seriously wronged by the NZ government. I’m simply stating that a rich dude throwing money at random points of the political spectrum could just as easily mean “another attempt at buying influence” as it means “a genuine change of heart”.

                    • Molly

                      “I’m simply stating that a rich dude throwing money at random points of the political spectrum could just as easily mean “another attempt at buying influence” as it means “a genuine change of heart”.”
                      Agree. But as far as I know he has stopped donations and providing easily forgotten helicopter rides to the likes of John Banks. A move in the right(?) direction.

  8. Gosman 8

    The failure of Syriza laid bare

    http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21650600-its-first-hundred-days-greeces-government-has-failed-dismally-crunch-looms-sorry-saga

    “In almost every way, Syriza has brought the opposite of what it promised. It vowed an end to depression in Greece. Instead, growth has slumped. It pledged to end austerity politics in Europe, but has done more to embolden its advocates than any German could have hoped. It promised to jettison the bad habits of old parties, and seems instead to have acquired them”

    Must be depressing being a leftist sometimes.

    • vto 8.1

      pathetic

      the economist is part of the current problematic paradigm there so its views are useless. example – expecting growth in the timeframe since election

      the problem is very clearly the financial system – a Ponzi scheme writ large

      there is more debt in the world than there is money to repay it – how does that work gosman?

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        The Economist is merely reporting the facts of the story as it sees it. If you disagree with it’s analysis then point out where it is wrong? Has Syriza advanced the cause of anti-austerity across the wider EU? Has it’s victory led to a break from the path Greece was on? Has the party radically altered the way the Greeks use the State for political patronage?

        • vto 8.1.1.1

          one, you always avoid the question – I wonder why

          two, “as it sees it” – thanks for confirmation of my point

          three, the question repeated – how does it work when there is more debt in the world than there is money to repay it?

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.1.1

            Zero Hedge got it right yesterday. The ECB and Germany gives not a stuff about the Greek people – this is and has always been a game of political and economic control.

            Meanwhile the ECB is issuing billions in new, free Euros to everyone except the Greeks.

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Because they refuse to reform their economy. If they reform the economy they will get access to the cheap credit the ECB has on offer.

              • vto

                you can’t see the glaring holes in that?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  To be clear, by “reform” Gosman means the Greeks need to sell out any remaining economic sovereignty to foreign capital and to impoverish the poorest Greeks even further so that even more labour surplus can flow to the big owners.

                  • Gosman

                    They have the option to impoverish their poorest citizens even further all on their own. It’s their choice.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Don’t keep blaming the victims and avoiding spotlighting the institutions with all the power, Gossie.

                    • Gosman

                      You can shake your fist at the ‘powers that be’ all you like. That doesn’t mean they have an obligation to help you out of the mess you find yourself in by agreeing to all the terms you want.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Then what is the true purpose of these multinational institutions? If they are not here to help ordinary people who are in distress, why do they even exist?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Except that they actually do gossy. That’s why it’s called the public service and not the screwing over the public for the corporates service.

                    • Gosman

                      You misread my comment. The imporatant point is at the end.

                      “…agreeing to all the terms you want.”

                      If these organisations were simply there to provide funding to nations on whatever terms those nations wanted then there is no incentive for those nations to use those funds wisely. You would just encourage greater spending on uneconomic activity and that is what got the Greeks in to the mess they are in now.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Those multinational institutions want Greece, an utterly insolvent country, to take more money from them. As Varoufakis has said many a time – throwing good money after bad is not in the interests of either EU tax payers or Greek tax payers.

                      So who are these multinational institutions acting in the interests of?

                      ou would just encourage greater spending on uneconomic activity

                      Yeah, like feeding the poor and housing the elderly. Totally uneconomic – cheaper to throw these people away.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    +111

                  • stever

                    Oooooohhh..you’ve just described New Zealand!!!

                • Gosman

                  There isn’t any glaring holes. The Greek situation is a practical example of the saying ‘Beggars can’t be choosers’. The Greeks need capital. The ECB and other creditors don’t need to give it to them.

                  • vto

                    but now you have just highlighted even more glaring holes in the system

                    tell me – how does the ECB have this ‘capital’? where does it get it from?

                    • Gosman

                      Is this going to be one of your diatribes against the ‘evils’ of the fractional reserve banking system? If so I only have one reply. Why do you think no major mainstream party in New Zealand bangs on about it?

                    • vto

                      No it is not a diatribe – I am trying to step through the conversation without falling into that.

                      how does the ECB have this ‘capital’? where does it get it from?
                      Do you have an answer?

                    • Gosman

                      A combination of Capital from savers and that which the ECB creates and releases to the market.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Meanwhile the ECB is issuing billions in new, free Euros to everyone except the Greeks.

              Well, that would actually be everyone except the people, productive businesses and governments. Which, interestingly enough, only leaves the banks.

              And here’s the thing. The more that the ECB, German and pretty much the rest of Europe shits on Greece the more likely that a) Greece will leave the Eurozone, b) default on all debt and c) issue it’s own currency. Of course, this is what it should do but the people of Greece wanted to stay in the Euro but they’re probably about ready to change their minds now.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Of course, this is what it should do but the people of Greece wanted to stay in the Euro but they’re probably about ready to change their minds now.

                In my view, Syriza leaders always knew this, but had to lead the Greek people via much more pain and humiliation from the Troika, to the same realisation.

                • Gosman

                  Oh there will be much, much more pain if they decide to leave (or more likely are forced from) the Eurozone.

                  • The Murphey

                    Q. Why are you still missing the obvious in your repeated comment ?

                    Q. Did I not point out the ‘mistake’ to you only a few days ago ?

                • Tracey

                  It’s amazing how little they have been able to deliver since… January 25 2015,and how much they should have compared to say, a National or ACT party after 6 years. Mind you one has the end game of equal distribution of wealth to eradicate poverty amongst its citizens, and the other has a goal of more wealth at the expense of the poorest of its citizens.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.2

            Depends on how you look at it. Debt for the Debtor is essentially getting the ability to access future income now based on the promise to pay back the creditor with interest. In that sense it is entirely possible for their to be more debt than money (in terms of income). However I disagree that there is more Debt than there are Assets. I think you may be mistaking different things. I also suspect you will attempt to turn this in to some sort of diatribe about fractional reserve banking.

            • vto 8.1.1.1.2.1

              So you think that to pay back all the worlds debts, the assets could be sold ……..

              where does the money come from to buy those assets to pay back the debt?

              • Gosman

                I agree that is a weakness of the economic system. However it has never proved a terminal weakness. Regardless there is ample opportunities to increase productivity and thus growth around the world. Having an economic lapse in some places should be adequately compensated by a spurt in others.

                • vto

                  jeez man, struggling there a bit fulla…..

                  “I agree that is a weakness of the economic system.”

                  Glad we can agree, however it is not just a weakness, it is a systemic fatal flaw that must eventually come to pass, given the way the system is set up. Simple logic and maths.

                  “However it has never proved a terminal weakness”

                  Well quite obviously because the system is still moving. Your point here has no value. Logic and maths man, logic and maths.

                  Auckland house prices will always rise.
                  sheesh

                  edit: but you didn’t actually answer the question… “where does the money come from to buy those assets to pay back the debt?” This goes to the heart of the issue

                  • Gosman

                    Given the System has largely served us incredibly well over the past few hundred years I don’t agree it is a fundamental flaw. It is a weakness that can be managed and can also be dealt with if it did indeed cause major economic distress.

                    • vto

                      No, it can’t be managed – this is simple logic and maths and I am sure you are familiar with those disciplines.

                      but you still didn’t actually answer the question… “where does the money come from to buy those assets to pay back the debt?” This goes to the heart of the issue

                    • Tracey

                      Like in America where all taxpayers had to bail out the banking system, only to see it return to its existing practices/ethics… something you would normally be angry about, how will they learn consequences? Perhaps the new Greek Government observed this behaviour and thought it would try it… and given that some seem to be scrambling to keep them in the EU it’s not a meritless endeavour.

                    • Gosman

                      Yes it is called Moral Hazaard and it happens when Governments or Mulitinational institutions provide the backstop for failure without consequences.

                  • Gosman

                    From a combination of Creditors and State monetary policy settings.

                    • vto

                      What? Please expand and outline in some detail if you don’t mind as that sounds like belly button lint

                    • Gosman

                      It is quite simple. Either the State borrows from Creditors directly or indirectly or the State creates capital. The first option is preferable as the second usually ends up fueling inflation. However I will grant you it is an option to pursue.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The first option is preferable as the second usually ends up fueling inflation.

                      Nope. That’s total BS.

                      The real problem that the rich have with the government creating the money that they use rather than loaning it is that the rich won’t have their government guaranteed income from bludging off the taxpayers.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  However it has never proved a terminal weakness.

                  Actually, it has – several times over the last 5000 years of recorded history. It’s also why many religions, including the two biggest, ban interest/usury.

                  Regardless there is ample opportunities to increase productivity and thus growth around the world.

                  Eternal, unrestricted growth is the logic of a cancer cell (or a virus if you prefer The Matrix).

                  It is a weakness that can be managed and can also be dealt with if it did indeed cause major economic distress.

                  If it could be managed then it wouldn’t keep wiping out societies and we wouldn’t be heading for the first anthropogenic extinction event.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        the economist is part of the current problematic paradigm there so its views are useless.

        QFT

        I read the economist occasionally but only to see how the stupid and ignorant are seeing things.

    • adam 8.2

      Oh please you missed out the facts in Venezuela to tell porkies about their economy – now you’re clutching at straws in Greece.

      Just pathetic – and who do you run to for your half baked ideas – none other than that talk piece of retarded economics – the economist.

      How about you own up to being an Ideological hack Gosman?

      • Gosman 8.2.1

        I’ll repeat my challenge to vto. If you disagree with The Economist’s take on this please point out where it is wrong in terms of the facts presented.

        • adam 8.2.1.1

          Oh please you lied about the situation in Venezuela – you quote from an ideological publication and then you want to talk facts.

          These are the actions of a post-fascist Gosman – being ideological dishonest, coupled with unprincipled opportunism. I never picked you for going down that path.

        • vto 8.2.1.2

          you haven’t faced the first challenge to you

          first things first

    • Tracey 8.3

      How long has he been PM?

      Ours has been at it for over 6 years… and some problems are worse than before…

      • Gosman 8.3.1

        Not as bad as Greece though. Our entire banking system isn’t on the verge of insolvency.

        • The Murphey 8.3.1.1

          Q. Are you really the best on offer with these subjects ?

        • vto 8.3.1.2

          ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

          give us a definition of insolvency gosman then lets have a look at that shall we?

        • Tracey 8.3.1.3

          “How long has he been PM?”

          Are my questions too hard for you Gosman, this is the second time you have responded to my post but not answered the question it posed.

          That is your right of course, just seems odd.

          • Gosman 8.3.1.3.1

            Around about 100 days. I believe the first 100 days is traditionally when new governments attempt to get things done. What has Syriza achieved in their first 100 days?

            • adam 8.3.1.3.1.1

              You mean apart from pointing out to the rest of the globe that austerity is failed economics – especially when the rich won’t pay taxes.

              Sparking off international debate around austerity.

              Caused a slap in the face to rigid economic dogma. Or as we know it rogernomics and euthanasia…

              Created questions around Germany’s dominance of the ECC.

              Having a working relationship with the military and business across Greece.

              Had parliament work for 100 days without violent protest across Greece on a daily basis.

              Were to know oh the list keeps getting longer and longer.

              But your dishonesty today Gosman is truly outstanding – it appears you have walked over to the dark side of the force – and have applied to be a sith lord.

              • Gosman

                They haven’t even been terribly successful at getting the rich in Greece to start paying their taxes.

                • adam

                  What you think they should rock up to their houses with AK’s and demand they pay taxes?

                  Or do a Key – and ignore it – Then go after the little people either via benny bashing, or setting IRD on trades people?

                  • Gosman

                    Why not? They aren’t doing their bit to help fund the Greek government so surely they should be made to pay up. Don’t you agree?

                    • adam

                      Nope, just nationalise their property – after one or two – I think the rest will rush to pay their taxes.

                    • Gosman

                      Quite possibly. Syriza hasn’t tried that approach though.

            • Tracey 8.3.1.3.1.2

              100 days is a US thing. Not some written ins tone political requirement. BUT an artificial measure used as a PR strategy.

              you want them to turn around something you describe as a basketcase in 100 days ….

              • Gosman

                I’d expect them to do something in that 100 days to make things better. All they seem to have done is to make things worse. I at least thought they might start to sort out the collecting of taxes as they were not captured by the previous inertia around this subject but it seems not.

                • adam

                  Actually, i agree on the tax collection – it was like they were given a mandate of action – that one they could have more action on.

        • Colonial Rawshark 8.3.1.4

          Not as bad as Greece though. Our entire banking system isn’t on the verge of insolvency.

          Due to fictitiously high asset prices. But more to the point, ever major bank in the world is on the verge of insolvency (or is in fact, utterly insolvent). The game of pretend and extend continues however.

        • phillip ure 8.3.1.5

          @ gosman..

          ‘Our entire banking system isn’t on the verge of insolvency’.

          r u fucken kidding..?..

          ..the ak prop-bubble is nearing bursting point – the reserve bank is kinda panicking..

          ..dairy is going down the toilet..(and a big ‘haw!’ for me was little yesterday saying ‘when dairy prices come back to normal’..which orifice did he pluck that one from..?..)

          ..and there is no end to how much dairy can crash..the glut is forecast for at least the next five yrs..and big-players like china are gearing up production..

          ..why the fuck can little not see that/not be aware of these two most pertinent-facts..?

          (this is also why i am so freaked out about so many iwi pouring their treaty-settlement money down the toilet..

          ..it’s a road to nowhere..)

          ..but yeah gossie..everything is just grand..!..eh..?

          (and if still swallowing the kool-ade..look over at the home of our ‘stable’-banks..

          ..over there they had iron-ore to our milk…)

          ..both economies/countries need to move to a commons-model..

          ..this neo-lib/extractive model is well and truly fucked..

          • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1.5.1

            +1

          • Tracey 8.3.1.5.2

            well said. Makes you wonder why the RB acted at all yesterday… you know, if there is no problem, current or future within banking in NZ

    • mikesh 8.4

      It takes two to tango. The above could just as easily be laid at the feet of the ECB. More so, in fact, since austerity in Greece will only make things worse.

      In the meantime Putin has invited Greece to join the BRICS group and Tsipras seems very warm to the idea.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Shawn Simoes Fired From Hydro One Job After Taunting Reporter In ‘FHRITP’ Video

    Not much more to say except that this was the best thing to happen and we need to see more of it.

  10. Tracey 10

    I presume Fisiani is on one of his overseas jaunts? I presume that because he was very vocal/gloating over the parity of the NZD and the AUD over a month ago.

    In fact he predicted (first) it would be on 6 April) but when that didn’t happen he changed it to a month from 7 April 2015

    Dollar Parity

    I gave him a week lee-way but he was still wrong…

    Today the NZD buys you 92 Aussie cents…

    So a LONG way from parity… and you can tell cos the gloating dried up and no one pointed out how wrong the gloaters were… til now.

    • Gosman 10.1

      Or how wrong the doom-mongers were.

    • John Shears 10.2

      fisiani could be overseas but I think a more likely reason that he has not been polluting this site recently is that he was banned for I think 2 months back in April by Iprent.

  11. Chooky 11

    Jane Kelsey on latest manouverings failure on TPPA

    ‘Latest TPPA setback another black eye for John Key’

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/05/14/latest-tppa-setback-another-black-eye-for-john-key/

    “My advice is that the TPPA ministers should treat the Senate vote as more evidence that there is no support for this controversial deal, even in the country that stands to benefit most…..Obama needed 60 votes from the 100 Senate members. He got 52. Only one was a Democrat!

    “a number of countries, notably Japan and Canada, have said they will not make any final commitments unless the US President has Fast Track authority.
    Groser said on National Radio that New Zealand – meaning he – would have been prepared to reach a deal without Fast Track (and leave the outcome to the whims of Congress members beholden to corporate lobbies). That’s not the impression he and Key gave several months ago, and another good reason not to ‘trust me’.

    Even if Obama’s Republican team can do a Lazarus number in the Senate there is no way they can get Fast Track in the next 12 days. The ministerial looks like becoming a wake.
    The Senate vote shows how toxic the TPPA and Fast Track have become with the President’s own Party, about a year and a half from a presidential election. While lots of Republicans in Congress (and some Democrats) are paid lackeys for the corporate lobby, a lot of Democrats oppose the TPPA because it’s a deal for the 1%.”….

    • Tracey 11.1

      Is Groser still pretending we are on equal footing with USA, Japan and Canada in this deal and that what he wants or doesn’t want matters?

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 11.2

      TPPA update: Just posted on Huff Post

      Senate Cuts Deal To Pass Obama’s Secretive Trade Bills

      WASHINGTON — Senate leaders reached a deal Wednesday to push ahead with votes on President Barack Obama’s trade deals.

      The agreement came after Democrats blew up an earlier agreement Tuesday over fears that key measures they have sponsored would fail, or never get votes.

      But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Wednesday afternoon that leaders had found a way around the impasse by agreeing to let Democrats have votes on key trade enforcement measures before holding votes on the fast-track authority that Obama needs to finish new massive trade deals with Pacific Rim countries and Europe.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/13/senate-trade_n_7277314.html

      14 May
      “‘Team Obama’ Regroups on Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable
      Tags: Canada, Japan, Malaysia, News, Newsworthy, Professor Jane Kelsey, Trans Pacific Partnership
      Categories: Canada,Japan,Malaysia,News
      Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey
      After yesterdays stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administrations attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage, according to Auckland …14 May 2015
      ‘Team Obama’ Regroups on Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable
      ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey.
      ‘That new proposal will be debated over the next few days and will probably get over the line. But the Senate process was always going to be the easy stage’, Kelsey said.
      ‘Because Fast Track is a “revenue bill” the process was supposed to start in the House of Representatives. That didn’t happen because Obama doesn’t have the votes. Indeed, the way he has run the campaign for Fast Track in recent weeks seems to have alienated more of the House Democrats he needs to get on side.’
      http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/team-obama-regroups-on-fast-track-still-not-deliverable/

      and the
      TPPA talks to proceed even without US Senate backing
      http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1417809?utm_source=dailyfix.dk

      • Chooky 11.2.1

        thanx for the update…they ( corporates) sure are desperate to get the TPPA through despite American elected representatives opposition….a crucial point made by Kelsey

        ‘Obama is now forced to rely on Republicans, with whom he has an otherwise toxic relationship. Unless they can together work a miracle, there is still no prospect of getting a final deal into Congress before the August recess, and the window effectively closes on finalising the TPPA during his presidency.’

        ‘If Obama does pull it off, he will have wrought immeasurable damage inside his own party as it heads into a crucial election year.’

        http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/team-obama-regroups-on-fast-track-still-not-deliverable/

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 11.2.1.1

          More on TPPA. An explanation from Prof Jane Kelsey on the process of Certification-. Tell Tim Groser not to sign ANYTHING.

          Certification

          ” Even if the US Congress has passed the implementing legislation (under Fast Track or otherwise) that deal is still not final. Treaties come into force between states after their leaders have exchanged letters saying they have done what is necessary to comply with their obligations. Under the process known as “certification”, the US refuses to exchange those letters until the other government has changed its laws, regulations and administrative processes to fit the US interpretation of its obligations. So the US effectively decides what the other country’s obligations are. Certification can extend for years after the other country believes it has fulfilled its constitutional requirements for ratification. Indeed, certification could be withheld indefinitely.”

          “The process involves an outrageous interference in sovereign governments. US officials send the other country a list of the changes the US requires to its laws and regulations. They then monitor compliance, and keep the pressure on until they are satisfied. Sometimes they even become involved in drafting the other party’s laws to ensure they will meet US requirements. This intrusion is problematic enough when the US bases its argument on vague or ambiguous provisions and terms – which is a common method of reaching a final agreement. On many occasions, the US has required other countries to comply with what the US says was agreed, even if that is not written in the text and there is no independent evidence to support its interpretation. The US has even tried to obtain concessions through certification that were not in the agreement and where it did not even claim a verbal commitment. For example, it insisted that Guatemala should give three years data exclusivity on medicines that was not an obligation in the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) text, and Guatemala had resisted.”
          http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/38/04.html

          That reminds me- who wrote our GCSB laws?

  12. (a recommended-gig/screening/talk in auckland 2nite..)

    ed:..the most excellent (nz made) doco on the drug-war – ‘druglawed’ – is screening 2nite @ 6.pm @ auckland university..

    ..and this man…

    http://whoar.co.nz/2015/kiwi-drug-smugglers-controlled-global-dope-trade/

    – will be speaking after the screening…

    and if you aren’t in ak/can’t make it..?

    you can always download the film for only $4.20 from http://www.druglawed.com

    this will fund production of the sequel in Israel and Uruguay.

    c u there..

    The room is MLT1 (303-G23) which is just over the road from Albert Park, see the below link to see the location of the 303 building:

    http://web.env.auckland.ac.nz/public/maps/city.pdf

  13. alwyn 13

    Meanwhile, in the region south of the Bombay Hills, Wellington is cut off to the North because of slips and flooding blocking SH 1 and the Railway Line.
    I looked in vain for a comment from the Green Party. Something like this would be appropriate.
    “The Green Party apologises to the people in Wellington for our stupidity. If we had supported the Transmission Gully road and the McKay’s Crossing to Peka Peka highway traffic would be flowing freely instead of people being unable to enter or leave Wellington on the West Coast routes. We were wrong and to express our contrition for our stupidity our Transport spokesperson has resigned.”

    • Tracey 13.1

      Now c’mon Alwyn, when were The Greens last in Government and able to influence big stuff like the roads?As opposed to National, who only apologise to Slater, and no one else for their fuck ups and lies and deception.

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        Alwyn’s simply taking the concept of blaming the poorest, most powerless and utterly ignored people in our society for how fucked things are, to its logical conclusion.

        • alwyn 13.1.1.1

          You comment CR that I am “blaming the poorest, most powerless and utterly ignored people in our society” .
          I live in Wellington Central and I know quite a number of the Green Party members and supporters. They are anything but “poor”. They are typically rather well off Public Servants, residents of Wadestown as often as not and rejoice in the title of “Policy Advisor” to some Government Department.
          They are also anything but “powerless” and are certainly, much to New Zealand’s disadvantage, not “ignored”.
          Why do you think it is that the Green Party vote is strongest in the richest electorates? They live very well already and are quite happy to leave the genuinely poor in the gutter.
          In my experience they are the sort of individuals whose attitudes are best described in Charles M Schulz’s words “I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand”

      • alwyn 13.1.2

        The Transmission Gully Route was first proposed in 1919 I gather.

        I’m not going to blame the Green Party for a 100 year delay but they have certainly led the charge for most of the last 20 years or so. Their approach, and that of their supporters has been
        1. Call for an enquiry.
        2. When it says to go ahead appeal
        3. When the appeal is dismissed start again from step 1
        Repeat the whole process again, and again, and again.

        Luckily for New Zealand the Green Party has never been in Government. They would have dug up all the roads by now and put in billions of dollars of cycleways and footpaths instead. After all they are on record as saying they would scrap Transmission Gully if they could.
        It is a very long walk to Kapiti from Wellington.

    • “..Wellington is cut off to the North because of slips and flooding blocking SH 1 and the Railway Line…”

      should we seize this opportunity – and secede..?

      • Sabine 13.2.1

        yes.

      • alwyn 13.2.2

        Are you a Barry Goldwater fan Phil?
        He was the one who proposed, during the 1964 campaign
        “Sometimes I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea.”
        Take a chain saw to the top of the Bombay Hill will you?

        • phillip ure 13.2.2.1

          goldwater was a total far-right nutjob…

          ..he wanted to nuke cuba..and…and…

          ..he scared the american electorate into voting democrat..

        • phillip ure 13.2.2.2

          “..Take a chain saw to the top of the Bombay Hill will you?..”

          nah..!..we’ll keep the coromandal peninsula..

          ..but you can have hamilton..!..eh..?

      • b waghorn 13.2.3

        You Aucklanders can secede as long as it means I don’t have to hear another fucking housing story. 🙂

    • Maui 13.3

      National Party press release:
      “The small road closure today on SH1 justifies the Transmission Gully project. We will be spending $1 billion on this RoNS and on balance the $600 million of benefits we get back from it we still see as worthwhile. Because we are doing this through a public private partnership we expect the eventual total cost of $3 billion to be more than worthwhile. As you know we are known for our good handling of the financials. We need to make sure our infrastructure is effectively bombproof to combat climate change. Millions of sqm of earthworks, 29 new bridges, a much more elevated transport route, and an awful lot of burnt fossil fuels is all worthwhile to ensure our children have a much more turbulent future in terms of the climate. We are now committed to burning more emissions by attracting more cars to the road when science is telling us we should be doing the opposite. But it’s ok science does not exist in Government.”

    • Rosie 13.4

      Lolz. I was wondering how long it was before the anti Green Party message appeared after today’s slip on centennial highway, and how it was all their fault because they are personally responsible for there only being one route out of Wellington.

      For those outside of Wellington, this is what alwyn is upset about:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/68535256/evacuations-after-heavy-rain-floods-and-slips-in-kapiti-live-blog

      Can you see the small slip on the screen? Northbound lane has been cleared but road still closed due to flooding. An incredibly rare occurrence. In fact I can’t remember when this has happened before.

      And no need to worry, dear leader turned the first sod of Transmission Gully in September last year. All that mighty power the Greens have and they couldn’t stop that happening. Gee whizz.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/254039/first-sod-turned-on-transmission-gully

      • Rosie 13.4.1

        PS. The Paekakariki hill road is still open isn’t it? Drivers can still get to and from the city to the coast.

        • adam 13.4.1.1

          And can’t they still get a train?

        • alwyn 13.4.1.2

          Not according to the NZTA

          There are slips on the Hill Road.
          Are you familiar with it by the way?
          The amount of traffic that road can take at the best of times is pretty small.
          Also there is flooding and closures north of Paraparaumu.

          • Rosie 13.4.1.2.1

            Yep alwyn, I am familiar with the hill road, and no I wouldn’t want to take it in this weather unless I had to. If you had an important appointment to get to you would, say at either Kenepuru or Wgtn Hospitals for example.
            Unless you’re reliant on the trains, like many coastal commuters are, you can still get in and out of Wellington.
            You’re really clutching at straws, creating a bigger drama than actually exists, just for the purpose of having a dig at the Green Party. It’s a bit sad really.

            • alwyn 13.4.1.2.1.1

              Did you look at that link I provided Rosie?
              “I wouldn’t want to take it in this weather unless I had to. If you had an important appointment to get to you would”
              That link showed that the Hill Road was BLOCKED by a slip.
              Just how did you plan to get through if you wanted to?

              • Rosie

                SH1 open now

                ” SH1 has reopened but SH2 is closed. Paekakariki Hill Rd closed due to flooding.”

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/68535256/evacuations-after-heavy-rain-floods-and-slips-in-wellington-region-live-blog

                It’s been a tough day for the region but theres no point blaming road closures on the Greens alwyn. Good thing people like my brother are out clearing slips on his digger so folks can get through.

                • alwyn

                  And I am very grateful to your brother. I hope the rest of your family talk to him though. It sounds as if he works for one of those nasty companies that build roads.

                  It is lucky that we do have highways and don’t rely on Railways isn’t it?
                  If the Greens had had their way and most of the public transport money had been poured into railways with no proper State Highways we would be in much more trouble.
                  All Tranz Metro rail services for the rest of the day are cancelled, according to their website..

                  • miravox

                    “It is lucky that we do have highways and don’t rely on Railways isn’t it?”

                    Yeah because roads aren’t ever blocked by anything more often than the once in x years event that blocks railways? Nor how many times highways would be blocked in ordinary commuting if there were no railway. I could of course mention that money used for one project is money foregone on another (e.g. risk improvements on existing roads).

                    I thought you would have been quite keen on a rational probability or cost-benefit analysis rather than a ‘oh look, railway broken in a severe storm’ evidence-free burp.

                    • alwyn

                      Of course.
                      However. When Railways are blocked they are totally blocked. Nothing moves. When a road is blocked it is often only partially blocked, or there is an alternative road. That is one of the reasons for building Transmission Gully.
                      The only alternative to the railway along the West Coast toward Kapiti would be to take a train up through the Wairarapa, through the Manawatu Gorge and back down the western side of the Tararuas.
                      As for the “x years event” with railways. In Wellington “x” is much less than 1. The railways are regularly out of service.
                      I can remember long term outages in September and December last year and February and today this year. By that I mean that either the Kapiti or the Hutt Valley services, or both, were out nearly all day. That is a value of “x” of 0.25 isn’t it?

                    • miravox

                      “That is a value of “x” of 0.25 isn’t it?”

                      And if the same money was spent or rail instead of roads we’d have a different x value.

                      E.g. the improvements to the coast road to prevent head-on collisions has improved x (road being fully blocked) quite a lot.

                      It’s also rather misleading to give an x value that includes two lines when you’re only talking about one road. Add in SH2 (Hutt) to the SH1 (Kapiti) x value and it wouldn’t be something to brag about.

                    • Maui

                      I forgot the Green are only interested in a single mode of transport – trains, they couldn’t care about buses or cycling…

                  • Maui

                    You could pretty much guarantee that if the Greens had been in charge for a decent stretch we wouldn’t have seen mass gridlock on the roads that we did today. People would be using a variety of modes of transport, not just trains. And an effective bus service would actually be working properly to ferry stranded people out of the Wellington train station in freer flowing traffic.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.5

      What a load of BS. Considering the weather that caused the flooding and slips the chances are that both roads would be closed and so Wellington would still be cut off.

      EDIT:
      I remember when NZers, including National voters, used to just get stuck in to fix these things that Mother Nature threw at us occasionally. Now the RWNJs just complain about them and blame other people.

      • alwyn 13.5.1

        DTB
        ” the chances are that both roads would be closed”
        And just how do you come to that conclusion?
        Qualified Roading Engineer are you, or just making it up?

        • Draco T Bastard 13.5.1.1

          From the news:

          Commuters have been warned against trying to get home as both highways out of Wellington and train services are severely affected by flooding.

          Chances are that a third wouldn’t be any better off.

        • TheContrarian 13.5.1.2

          This is Draco “We should be smashing asteroids into Mars so as to make it more habitable” Bastard you’re talking to here. He doesn’t just make it up, he just phones it in.

    • weka 13.6

      “The Green Party apologises to the people in Wellington for our stupidity. If we had only pushed harder on Climate Change and preparation for increasing extreme weather events, Wellington would not be feeling hard done by right now. Not to worry, it’s going to get a lot worse no matter how many roads you build, but you can feel relieved that all this car driving and other GHG emission activities weren’t your fault, it’s our mea culpa for not forming a government with National. We were wrong and to express our contrition for our stupidity our Transport spokesperson has resigned, and probably the rest of us will follow because by now it’s pretty obvious that what most people really want is BAU and someone to blame. We’re off to the lifestyle block to wait out our remainding time in contemplation”

      fify alwyn, the GP press release on Planet Key.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.7

      Here’s a question for you Alwyn:

      When the Double El Niño hits later this year is National and their sycophantic support parties going to apologise for keeping our economy too reliant upon farming?

    • REdBaronCV 13.8

      So Alwyn these roads that don’t exist would not have been subject to slips or flooding? Really? How on earth can you prdict that

      • alwyn 13.8.1

        Having seen the plans of the route for Transmission Gully there doesn’t seem to be anywhere that a slip is likely and nowhere where the ponding that was todays flooding would occur.
        SH1 from Wellington to Porirua wasn’t affected as far as I am aware. It appears to be the the low-lying flat areas further along the route that flooded. Both Transmission Gully and the McKay’s Crossing Peka Peka road are being built in such a way that the road is elevated above the surrounding terrain.
        The slips appear to be along the coastal part of the road between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki where the road, dating from the 1930s, is close under the hill.

  14. adam 14

    This video is a bit scary. I had heard China was going nut’s in this part of the world – but this is the first time I seen any video of it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503076&gal_cid=1503076&gallery_id=150325

  15. Puckish Rogue 16

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11597436/Stop-your-whinging-why-the-Left-are-such-bad-losers.html

    – There are some major parallels with the left in NZ, not as bad as the left in the UK but its getting there

    • adam 16.1

      A right wing rag telling the left how to behave again – who would have guessed…

      Any chance you could offer some original insights PR? Or are you stuck being a sycophantic dilettante?

      • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1

        He’s quoting the Torygraph lol

      • Puckish Rogue 16.1.2

        The writer of the article voted Labour if that helps

        • adam 16.1.2.1

          Your funny Puckish Rogue what does voting labour have to do with anything?

          Labour is full of Tory bastards.

          • Puckish Rogue 16.1.2.1.1

            Yeah sort of illustrating the point of the article

            • adam 16.1.2.1.1.1

              So a Tory, who votes for a Tory – thinks he can tell the left how to act. MMM, paternalist mastrubation much?

              Or are you still pissed that when offered a real alternative to the stupidity of neo-liberalism – the Scots voted for it?

              • Puckish Rogue

                More like pointing out that the left are all for democracy right up until the people vote differently

        • Tracey 16.1.2.2

          Prebble used to be IN Labour

    • Bill 16.2

      Labour should indeed quit whining – they compete with the Tories to serve unelected and unaccountable centers of power.

      The left on the other hand should be fucking raging. And yes, most of that rage should be aimed at Labour.

      Hmm. There are always moments for celebration from the left though 😉 (Obviously made some time prior to the Edinburgh South result)

  16. Chooky 17

    This Pope is a good one

    ‘Vatican officially recognizes Palestine, while Israel fumes’

    http://rt.com/news/258297-vatican-palestine-state-recognize/

    “The Vatican has become the latest country to recognize the state of Palestine, after a new treaty was finalized on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly Israel has hit out at the move, saying that it damages prospects for peace in the region.

    The treaty, which was agreed, though has yet to be formally signed states the Vatican has switched its diplomatic allegiance from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine. It was finalized days before the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to visit Pope Francis.

    ……”In 2012, the Vatican welcomed a decision by the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state. However, the latest treaty is the first legal document between the Vatican and the state of Palestine, which can be considered as official diplomatic recognition.

    The treaty in question concerns the activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine. In April 2014, a Catholic Monastery was vandalized not far from the Israeli capital of Jerusalem in a hate crime carried out by Israelis. Slogans condemning peace talks with Palestine as well as graffiti disparaging Jesus and Mary was daubed on the walls.

    This is not the first time that Pope Francis has made a diplomatic decision that was not to everyone’s liking. In April, he honored the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks and called it “the first genocide of the 20th century.”

    During a mass at the Armenian Catholic rite at Peter’s Basilica, the Pope said he had a duty to honor the innocent men, women, children, priests and bishops who were murdered by the Ottoman Turks.

    “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” said the pontiff.”

  17. Philip Ferguson 18

    At present I’m slowly getting up online my old PhD on the White New Zealand policy. The latest instalment is on the parliamentary debates of the early 1890s:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/institutionalising-the-white-new-zealand-policy-the-parliamentary-debates-of-the-early-1890s/

    Phil

  18. weka 19

    NewstalkZB headline “VIDEO: Pool party in Nepal rocked by quake”

    Weird, because when I watch the video I see a film of some very scared and distressed people experiencing the second big quake in a month after the first one killed thousands of people.

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-demand/video/video-pool-party-in-nepal-rocked-by-quake/

    • Clemgeopin 19.1

      Weird that you use the word, ‘weird’. What is ‘weird’? I don’t get what you mean.

      • weka 19.1.1

        yeah I guess they’re not going to headline it as people at party scared shitless by another big quake in Nepal

  19. Clemgeopin 20

    “New Zealand halved its top tax rate, cut benefits by up to a quarter of their value, and dramatically reduced the bargaining power – and therefore the share of national income – of ordinary workers. Thousands of people lost their jobs as manufacturing work went overseas, and there was no significant response with increased trade training or skills programs, a policy failure that is ongoing,” Rashbrooke writes in the op-ed. He also blames New Zealand for a lack of affordable homes which led to higher rents and unpaid mortgages.

    NZ heads the list of inequality among the weatern countries!..followed by Mexico!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/01/05/how-inequality-made-these-western-countries-poorer/?postshare=8961430902783293

    See graph here: I hope Key and English of the ‘Rock Star Economy’ will take a look put their head down in shame and cringe.

    https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/files/2015/01/Graph_OECD_2.jpg&w=1484

  20. Potato 21

    The Ministry of Social Development is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to change its workers from red to blue.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/68494982/MSD-spends-taxpayer-dollars-on-workplace-change

    • Sabine 21.1

      was just going to post this up

      one can’t make this shit up. Really.

      • Sabine 21.1.1

        can’t edit my own comment.

        so here
        Can anyone imagine the shit storm should a scheme be made up by Labour to change the office atmosphere from blue to red / green. The howls of commie pinko lunatic fringe spending, the Nanny State, OMGosh the moochers at the through of the government.

        Could anyone from the Labour Party and the Green Party please start calling out the Blue team by their own words?

        Thank thee kindly.

        • Potato 21.1.1.1

          I nearly choked on my coffee when I read it.

          “Human Synergistics uses a circumplex system to measure and change the thinking and behavior styles of staff at the Ministry of Social Development. Blue illustrates good behaviour, while red and green are unfavourable.”

          Think I can add some of my own definitions for them. A few that come to mind…
          Blue – patronising, superior, calculated
          Red/green – considerate, compassionate, caring

          Its just another of those ‘wow’ moments seeing that this is what our tax dollars are spent on. Lets not bother helping the disadvantaged when we can be buy mind-control programs for our workforce.

          • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1.1.1

            +1

          • Atiawa 21.1.1.1.2

            Out of fear of being declared a conspiratist (is there such a word) I have noticed an increasing amount of business advertising and signage popping up in the exact “blue” colours National use in their hoardings and advertising.
            It’s like they never took their hoardings down after the general election.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2

      So, they’re busy trying to turn social workers into National sycophants?

      • b waghorn 21.2.1

        But it says “A spokesman for Human Synergistics said the colours had nothing to do with New Zealand political parties” and what with the present government being beyond reproach in all thing s we’ll have to beleive them.

        • Charles 21.2.1.1

          Human Synergistics Spokesperson” “We’re going to motivate you all to be GOOD PEOPLE!”

          Journalist:”How will you do that?”

          Human Synergistics SP: “Behave like BLUE PEOPLE, not RED PEOPLE, and definitely NOT GREENS.”

          Journalist: “What do those colours relate to?”

          Human Synergistics SP: “WE AREN’T AFFILIATED WITH THE NATIONAL PARTY.”

          Journalist: “Who?”

          Human Synergistics SP: “STOP TWISTING MY WORDS!”

          Journalist: “I didn’t say anything.”

          Human Synergistics SP: “ANDREW LITTLE CALLS MY BOSS NAMES!”

          Journalist: “ok, so, um, who is your boss?”

          Human Synergistics SP: “The National Party of NZ LONG LIVE THE GREED!”

          Journalist: “ok. Thank you for your, time.”

          Human Synergistics SP: “WHEN DID YOU GET HERE?”

      • Ron 21.2.2

        They already are National Sycophants

      • Ron 21.2.3

        They already are National Sycophants

    • Anne 21.3

      @ Potato

      What a load of psychopathic (or is it sycophantic) crap in that article! I always thought blue was associated with feeling down – depressed.

      What gets me is there’s not so much as one word about the people who have to use the Social Welfare services – nothing… zilch. I doubt whether they give a damm whether the offices are painted red, blue, green, yellow or purple.

      We have $50 million (at least that’s what it’ll be by the time its all finished) being spent on a piece of rag called the flag, and now a few million dollars on a colour change for the S.W. offices. That’ll help the poor, the lonely, the sick and the disabled for sure.

      Edit: actually this reminds me of the mad stuff that was coming out of the Public Service neo liberal style of management in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

  21. i’ve also posted this on the tpp-thread from the other day..

    the democrats have folded – and given obama the tpp green-light..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2015/democrats-fold-on-shady-trans-pacific-partnership-deal/

    • ianmac 22.1

      That is disheartening news Phil. Can I shoot you as the messenger? Please?

  22. Chooky 23

    So mass spying on everyone needs amending?….Where is the New Zealand Labour Party on this,? ……now that the Americans have decided warrantless mass surveillance is questionable as regards American human rights , if not downright wrong.

    ‘US House votes to reform NSA bulk data collection’

    http://rt.com/usa/258385-house-usa-freedom-act/

    “The House of Representatives voted to pass the USA Freedom Act on Wednesday, approving a bill that would change the way the National Security Agency gathers telephone data of American citizens. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    The USA Freedom Act was passed overwhelmingly with 338 votes in favor and 88 against. Despite criticism that the legislation falls short of protecting Americans’ rights, the bill was approved without any amendments.”…

    Under the bill, the NSA would be prohibited from collecting telephone metadata under the Patriot Act. Instead, the agency would have to acquire a warrant every time it wanted to access phone records, which would be held by telephone companies. Officials would need to submit data requests via keywords in order to collect relevant data from companies.

    The bill would also reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) by setting up a five-person panel that would offer advise when intelligence agencies are seeking new interpretations of existing law. Some court rulings would need to be declassified.”…

  23. Gosman 24

    Many of the leftists are going to hate this but he does raise some pertinent points. Many of them are valid to the NZ context as well where Labour seems to have lost the vote for the aspirational working class in both countries.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/05/what-labour-must-do-is-estrange-its-awful-voters/

    • Puckish Rogue 24.1

      Come on Gosman everyone knows that all Labour has to do to win the next election is be even more left

  24. ianmac 25

    Will this help?
    “The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security has launched an inquiry into the Government Communications Security Bureau following allegations it monitored rival candidates for a top World Trade Organisation job contested by a senior National government minister.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68556708/spy-watchdog-launches-inquiry-into-wto-job-surveillance

  25. Clemgeopin 26

    It would be good if you could to send Key a message regarding his appalling mismanagement of the housing crisis in Auckland.

    I received the following email a little while ago from Mr Phil Twyford,
    Labour’s Housing Spokesperson.

    “Thank you for sending a postcard to John Key about the housing crisis. The more of us who send him postcards, the stronger our message will be.

    Will you help grow the campaign by sharing on social media?

    If you don’t have social media, please forward on this link to your contacts:

    http://action.labour.org.nz/postcards?recruiter_id=104364

    Thanks,
    Phil Twyford
    Labour’s Housing Spokesperson”

    • alwyn 26.1

      Conspiracy, Conspiracy.
      Twyford is clearly going through John Key’s mail and reading it.!
      Otherwise how would he know?
      Security in the Beehive needs to be tightened up.

  26. swordfish 27

    Some interesting stats from the British Election Study (BES). This wave of data was collected in March 2015, just as the campaign was hotting up.

    Would a clear Anti-Austerity message have been a winner for Labour and the Lib Dems ? Possibly. The BES found that only 25% of all respondents (and only 38% of Tories) felt it was “completely necessary” for the deficit to be eliminated.

    Was Andrew Marr correct when he suggested England is moving to the Right and Scotland to the Left ? Hard to say without data from earlier elections but certainly the average Scot locates their personal ideological position to the left of the average English voter.
    Place yourself on a Left-Right scale where 0 = far Left and 10 =far Right
    Average
    English respondents 5.3
    Welsh respondents 4.8
    Scots respondents 4.5

    Furthermore, a full 75% of Scots said they did not want the Tories involved in the next government.

    Party support, however, was more telling than geographical location when it came to the Left-Right axis…

    Tory voters 7.1
    UKIP voters 6.6
    SNP voters 3.6
    Labour voters 3.5

    Clearly, Labour voters wouldn’t have been overly happy with their Party’s tendency towards Austerity-lite.

    Are post-Election Tory commentators right when they argue Labour did poorer than expected because it “waged war on wealth creators” ?. Apparently not. BES found high popular agreement with the following statements:
    Big Business takes advantage of ordinary people (Agree 77% / Disagree 8%)
    Ordinary working people do not get their fair share (Agree 72% / Disagree 11%)
    There is one law for the rich and one for the poor (Agree 71% / Disagree 14%)
    Management will always try to get the better of employees (Agree 68% / Disagree 12%)
    Government should redistribute incomes (Agree 52% / Disagree 23%)

    • Clemgeopin 27.1

      Thanks for that swordfish. That is the kind of survey that is insightful and so useful. Wish our pollsters do such surveys. (I don’t mean the suspect unscientific, non professional self selecting MSM media polls)

    • REdBaronCV 27.2

      Interesting – looks like statements 1 to 3 would get the biggest emotional cut through.

    • Colonial Rawshark 27.3

      Clearly, Labour voters wouldn’t have been overly happy with their Party’s tendency towards Austerity-lite.

      But the Labour Party hierarchy of MPs, staffers and consultants are super keen on a refresh of Blairite third way-ism. With this kind of philosophical gap, no wonder voters are leaving the party in droves.

  27. greywarshark 28

    NZs on Norfolk Island getting a large helping of Australian politics – indigestible. All social services being cut for long term Kiwi residents who have been paying Australian taxes and will be expected to continue to do so, though not receiving help.

    This is similar to the attitude shown by the Oz govt to NZs on the Australian mainland. In Norfolk Island they are not able to switch to NZ services because they have been paying into Australia’s scheme all the time they have been there.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/273582/concern-for-nzers-on-norfolk-island

    Sentimental tosh from 1945 – Friends and Neighbours

    Lyrics
    When you’ve got friends and neighbours
    All the world is a happier place
    Friends and neighbours
    Put a smile on the gloomiest face
    Just take your little troubles and share `em
    With the folks next door
    Make’s it twice as easy to bear `em
    That’s what friends are for
    `cos if you’ve friends and neighbours
    That is something money won’t buy
    You can hold your head up high
    Although you’ve not a penny
    And your house may be tumbling down
    With friends and neighbours
    You’re the richest man in town.
    http://lyricsplayground.com
    edited

    • alwyn 28.1

      But the people on Norfolk Island have not been paying ANY Australian tax so how can you say:
      “long term Kiwi residents who have been paying Australian taxes and will be expected to continue to do so”.
      Have a look at the following link.

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-19/norfolk-island-to-lose-parliament-will-pay-income-tax/6330620

      • TheContrarian 28.1.1

        Yeah, the island has been income tax free until now.

        I’m a direct descendant of Fletcher Christian and have visited Norfolk several times now – related to almost everyone on Norfolk in some distant sense so have been following this one fairly closely

      • greywarshark 28.1.2

        @ alwyn and The Contrarian
        They have been paying GST tax in the past to their own government. You imply they haven’t been paying tax, living free. It hasn’t been enough to allow for renewal of infrastructure. The Australians are stepping in to assist and will update their facilities. But their self-determination will go and they will be under Australian purview, and that is when the NZs will suffer if they treat NZs there as they treat them on the Australian mainland.

        That is what I understand from what I have read. What could be done is use it for a military base for the USA. That will bring them money and facilities. The Aussies taking over could be a first step.

        And just a prophetic thought, our gummint might see that as a way out for us too, despite that our political and trading interests lie in maintaining good relations with China. But our easy-peasy, out for No.1, make hay now pollies don’t pay attention to the future – that’s in another electoral cycle, that’s then, the useful capital accretion pour moi is now.

        • alwyn 28.1.2.1

          I wasn’t, and neither was Contrarian I would say, implying that they haven’t been paying any tax at all.
          What I said was that they hadn’t been paying any Australian Tax.
          What Contrarian said was that they hadn’t been paying any Income Tax.
          Why would we have put in those qualifiers if we thought, or wanted you to think, that they were paying no tax at all?
          If we had wanted to do that we would have claimed, wrongly, that “The people on Norfolk pay no tax”.

          Why on earth would the USA want a military base there? It is in the middle of nowhere. They might as well put one on the Chatham Islands.

          By the way, when you say that “Australia taking it over etc” you are a bit late. It has been part of the Commonwealth of Australia since 1901.

  28. Lorraine 29

    In economics, reflexivity refers to the self-reinforcing effect of market sentiment, whereby rising prices attract buyers whose actions drive prices higher still until the process becomes unsustainable and the same process operates in reverse leading to a catastrophic collapse in prices. This is an instance of a feedback loop.

    This is exactly what is happening in the Auckland housing market. The government by refusing to do anything about the issue of overseas speculation in the Auckland housing market or even investigate how much this speculation is fuelling the prices is extreme arrogance. The danger is that it is only a matter of time before it all collapses back on itself and people who have paid millions for ordinary houses will have mortgages far higher than what the properties are worth.

    This is happening now in the dairy farming industry and on 60 min it showed how in Australia the ANZ bank has change the nature of interest only mortgages to table mortgages causing farmers to go broke and into mortgagee sales. ANZ bought out these mortgages from another bank or company and then changed the rules on the people. This is the essence of what happened in the US which caused the Global Financial Crisis.

    Our government is lining us up to have this happen here by their refusal to see it as a problem. The do not care about the middle class or the working class. The only care about their wealthy buddies who won’t be effected.

    In Auckland we have a local government and central government who have no concern about the welfare of the citizens. They are just a whole lot of pigs with their snouts in the troff pigging out and getting fat at the ratepayers and taxpayers expense. Not a moral in their bodies.

    • Draco T Bastard 29.1

      In Auckland we have a local government and central government who have no concern about the welfare of the citizens.

      I’m pretty sure that the local government does have concern for the citizens but the central government certainly doesn’t.

      • John Shears 29.1.1

        DTB agreed in fact the central government set up the current Auckland governance system so it would be unworkable and fail.
        The Ports of Auckland shambles is just one case in point.

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    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago

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