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Open mike 14/05/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 14th, 2016 - 190 comments
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190 comments on “Open mike 14/05/2016 ”

  1. Gristle 1

    At the Anti-Corruption conference Ms Collins said a Corruption Register was being looked at in NZ where beneficial ownership etc would be recorded. Meanwhile back on planet key there is still denial of there being a problem. Is this Ms Collins putting the fix on the PM?

    • Almost Deaf 1.1

      “Is being looked at . . .” is pure public relations.

      Translation: “This will soon blow over and we will do nothing.”

  2. The Chairman 2

    Sorry, full house.

    Tourism New Zealand is going to stop promoting the country in the high season because operators can’t cope with any more visitors in summer.


    As the country’s economic growth becomes more reliant on tourism, it seems to have become another sector that has outgrown our ability to sustain.


    • weka 2.1

      Finite planet, finite set of islands, there is only so much room. We passed the OK number of tourists years ago which is why we now have problems with things like so called freedom campers leaving their poo around the place. It’s yet another example of NZ thinking it can make easy money and not deal with the consequences.

      In a climate change world relying on tourism is a high level of disconnect and denial. And peak oil. Av gas is a fossil fuel. Given we have over a million tourists a year I wonder how they are accounted for in our emission stats. Likewise the costs of specific areas like ski tourism and the increasing need to manufacture snow.

      There are two issues in terms of cc. One is our responsibility regarding emissions. The other is what will happen to the economy when we have to transition off that income? In some cases fast.

      But even without cc context, how many people do we think we can cram in without wrecking the place? Industrial Tourism has long understood the relationship between the value of what it sells and its potential to shit in its own best. Hasn’t really done anything about it though. And it mostly disregards the inherent value of places. A cap on numbers is well past due.

      • Pat 2.1.1

        “In 2014 about 2.9 million international visitors flew into New Zealand and those numbers could grow to 3.75 million by 2021.”
        and those are not the highest numbers I’ve seen given….


        • Colonial Viper

          Awesome the global 1% checking out NZ

          • Almost Deaf


            “Awesome”? No. Frightening.

            It’s like , “Tony Soprano is checking out your neighborhood.”

            • Colonial Viper

              Except some of these parasitic 0.1% sharks make Tony Soprano look like a soft hearted lieutenant.

        • weka

          Thanks Pat! So let’s assume we want double the population, although that’s over a year not for the whole year. Really want to know now where the cc accounting is. Who takes the international flight av gas emissions for instance.

          • Pat

            there are positives from tourism however it is not the basis of anything other than a very low wage economy and imo has a very uncertain future….fine as a small part of a bigger picture.

            Is being the Sherpa of the south pacific what we aspire to? Suspect not and suspect not what most Nepalese aspire to either.

    • Ad 2.2

      Tourism is one of the lowest impact industries around.
      We are incredibly lucky to have had this boom at the same time as dairy has tanked. And it has no part in the standard FIRE economy.

      The core problem is that service industry staff are still not well paid. If they were well paid there would be less of a housing crisis in Queenstown and other tourism centers.

      Tourism will really work for New Zealand when our operators and hoteliers price ourselves well above the heads of cheap backpackers. We need fewer, higher-qulity tourists that pay us more.

      • Pat 2.2.1

        while not disagreeing entirely with those sentiments there remains the question of sustainability in light of carbon emissions…..what future the industry ?…..I guess we can always convert the empty hotels to cheap accommodation for the homeless in the future.

        • Ad

          The people who can afford to travel in future, will always be able to afford to travel in future. And we will remain ranked as one of the most desirable places to visit on earth.

      • weka 2.2.2

        “Tourism will really work for New Zealand when our operators and hoteliers price ourselves well above the heads of cheap backpackers. We need fewer, higher-qulity tourists that pay us more.”

        It’s a nice idea, but it’s one that’s been talked about for decades and there is no sign that anyone with power is intending to do that. You’d have to regulate to force that to happen and we are so far from that in both the industry and government.

        I’m also not convinced that it would work. Airlines are part of the growth economy too, and need increasing seats and increasing flights to remain viable. So how woudl fewer flights at a higher price work?

        No-one is working sustainably here.

        • Graeme

          Industry got told to put the rates up at TRENZ last week, http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/79818642/tourism-industry-told-peak-hotel-room-rates-are-too-cheap

          But in a slight defence, tourism is a viscously cyclic industry and totally dependant on NZD being less than $0.75 USD. Anything above that and we are too expensive . Below that and it all works, and the lower the better. Rooms occupied this summer were probably sold 12 -18 months prior when the NZD was much higher and a lot of the industry was desperate for cashflow.

          The best thing that could be done for tourism sustainability would be a balanced exchange rate policy. Could be a bit of an ask with current ideologies though.

          • Ad

            Our loading of inbound flights now only partially follows Australia’s.
            We continue to shear away from being a single Australasian market.
            That means they see our comparative advantages, not just our competitive advantage.

            • Graeme

              That’s because the Australian economy’s tanked. There’s no discretionary spending coming out of Australia, and they are virtually absent as a tourist market now. This winter is going to be interesting i Queenstown as it is very dependant on the Aussie market.

              The Australian market is also dollar driven, if our dollar is much over $0.80 AUD it becomes hard work. The thought of NZD – AUD parity of worse is quite offensive to Aussie sensibilities.

        • Ad

          The trend to higher-paying guest nights is going exceedingly well, without some strange price regulation. Minister Bennett rightly shot down a dumb idea this week to price foreign tourists for access to our National Parks.

          Check out Auckland, Rotorua or Queenstown right now: close to 100% vacancy in every 3 stars or more place. That’s where we are headed.

          We won’t be having fewer flights: they are pouring in and are projected to do so for many years to come.

          Same with cruise liners. Huge growth for years to come. Fundamentally changing even musty old Dunedin’s service culture.

          • Corokia

            The cruise ship passengers spend money on a few tourist attractions. There is a bit more work for a some bus drivers and a handful of cafe workers. Otherwise, for all that it’s talked up, the thousands of cruise ship passengers don’t provide much benefit to the Dunedin economy.

            • Ad

              Stewart Street would be sad.
              As would the visitor numbers to any of the major attractions.
              As would the hotel and B&B percentages.

              • Corokia

                In what way do cruise ships benefit hotels and B &Bs?

              • Corokia

                Since you can’t spell Stuart St correctly you obviously have no idea what you are talking about regarding cruise ships and Dunedin.

                • weka

                  Ad’s been making lots of assertions, would be good to see a bit more oomph in his arguments for sure.

                  • Graeme

                    I think Ad might have been supping on too much of Carnival’s coolaid.

                    Reality is that the cruise industry has the worst captive spending behaviour in tourism, and is the most explicit at socialising their costs.

      • Gabby 2.2.3

        I really don’t get why Queenstown isn’t full of workers’ hostels. Built by the Council if no developers are interested. Maybe the Council is stacked with landlords.

        • Graeme

          It’s a function of the short cycles tourism experiences. By the time the positive side of the cycle advances to the point there’s a problem with worker accomodation it’s too expensive / hard to provide quickly. By the time developers and social housing providers get their shit together the cycle’s gone through and there’s no need for it. Has been going on for the last 30 years at least in Queenstown.

          Could be about to change with a very large rezoning / SHA in Gorge Road very close to town. This will provide high density residential development and hopefully large amounts of worker accommodation. That’s if it doesn’t turn into speculative appartments and visitor accommodation.

          • weka

            I was going to say isn’t it also a function of geography and class. Small amount of land, large amount of wealthy people who don’t want the plebs living nearby.

            Seasonal workers too, who don’t need accommodation all year round.

            • Graeme

              I think the numbers might stack up pretty soon, the Gorge Road thing looks possible but will need leadership from business and Council.

              A large workers accomodation complex was built at Arthur’s Point last cycle, but was too late in the cycle and went bust. A local operator bought it at mortgagee sale and seems to be doing quite well with it.

              A lot of businesses and Govt Depts. had staff housing up till 90s when the accountants sold them off, then there were the cabins at the Camping Ground, but they went for the Convention Centre that’s gone nowhere….

              Council elections coming up, lots of people pissed off about it, might become an issue if the Council doesn’t get replaced by a commissioner


              • weka

                Would they appoint a Commissioner over taht one issue?

                It does sound like the Council building and owning the worker accommodation would be the way to go. I never understood why it was considered a good thing to sell off ‘assets’.

                • Graeme

                  I’m wondering what Toddy is on about too, he may just be referring to the building consent issue, but he’s a lawyer, and normally fairly precise in what he says. There’s more than that going down as well, with the failing convention centre and resistance to rural subdivision.

                  There’s also this dog whistle from Nick Smith, http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/303829/government-housing-bought-for-flood-victims

                  “”When you’ve got a tourism sector that is booming it is also concerning that so many of the jobs are going to work permit [holders] and visitors when places like Franz Josef and quite frankly Queenstown, we need to have affordable worker accommodation so that we can build long-term base New Zealand families.”

                  Out of a total database of 25,000 ratepayers in Queenstown, there were 2142 ratepayers who supplied an overseas address.

                  “I just love reading the evidence of one of the hearings for a new subdivision, where a neighbour who was objecting to the size of sections insisted that none of the sections be less than 250,000 square metres, and went under scrutiny and said that means the properties will be over $2 million each – said ‘I’d much prefer the people pouring the coffee and changing the beds be living in Cromwell and Invercargill’.”

        • Colonial Viper

          I really don’t get why Queenstown isn’t full of workers’ hostels. Built by the Council if no developers are interested. Maybe the Council is stacked with landlords.

          What a waste of valuable commercially valuable land that would be.

      • Graeme 2.2.4

        “We need fewer, higher-qulity tourists that pay us more.”

        Agree totally. It’s not just in the backpacker markets where the problem exists. The mainstream tour market is just as active in the high volume / low yield model. Some of the products coming from emerging markets aren’t doing much for the country, or their customers who find New Zealand considerably more expensive, and culturally foreign than they were expecting.

        But the industry went into these markets several years ago when things were tighter through the GFC. Now we can’t deliver to those markets requirements, and there’s better paying options.

        What tourism needs most is stability in exchange rates compared to our markets. That will deal with most of the cyclic issues.

      • Mary 2.2.5

        I really like the points in the last paragraph. That makes a lot of sense.

    • The Chairman 2.3

      As usual, the Government’s solution is to seek more offshore investment.

      It’s called Project Palace. It’s a global mission by the Government’s Trade and Enterprise agency to lure rich foreigners to invest in hotels.


      However, while it may provide more beds, it largely robs us of the income those beds generate.


      • Ad 2.3.1

        Until more New Zealanders with a bit of capital accept that trying to throw more debt at extensive pastoral farming is a proven fool’s errand, fresh foreign capital is going to run and own our hotels for us.

        We have become stupidly addicted to dairy, when there are lower-imapct and higher-income industries – such as running hotels – begging for local capital to do well.

        The really smart extensive farmers are turning their farms into hotels.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2

        The government turning us into serfs for offshore capital.

        Really, the offshore rich will bring nothing to NZ. They’ll just divert our own people and resources and the government could do that easily by simply creating the money to do the same thing.

      • Bill 2.3.3

        The workaround? Bring the service industry along – no need for the destination country to provide it all via temporary, crap jobs. “The natives” can gather in the Octagon (as they do), instead of making beds and waiting, to play drums and hawk their wares to cruise ship wallahs.


        • weka

          I suspect that that ship shouldn’t be allowed in some harbours, including Otago (which already has erosions issues with current sized ships). Good idea though, I wonder what the Dunedin equivalent would be of optimal return souvenirs 😈

          (looking at that ship though, it’s hard not to think Titanic. Lovely symbolism).

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      An obvious inevitability once you think about it. We have 4.5 million people with not quite enough infrastructure to support them. Throw in another million + per year just passing through and there’s no way that we have enough and the capitalist system would ensure that we will never have enough as capitalism works on profit and the only way to make a profit is through scarcity.

      Hence why the government needs to build and maintain infrastructure and to cut out the ticket clippers.

      Then, of course, there’s the real limited resources we have. limited people to serve all these tourists, limited resources to build the infrastructure etc, etc. Moving our limited resources into one particular industry or another prevents us from developing and diversifying our economy which then causes our society to stagnate.

      • Jenny Kirk 2.4.1

        And of course – if for some reason, tourism has a bad year or two – there goes our fragile economy again ……. down, down, down. The extreme foolishness of our government in thinking that we can be propped up by just one or two main industries is frightening. Like Draco says this prevents our economy from diversifying and allows us to continue to stagnate ….. balancing between dairying on the one hand, and tourism on the other. Just Nuts !

      • The lost sheep 2.4.2

        ‘capitalism works on profit and the only way to make a profit is through scarcity.’

        So Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are the worlds most profitable companies because of the scarcity of mobile phones, computers and appliances?
        ExxonMobil’s profitability is due to a scarcity of oil, Walmarts to a shortage of general consumer goods, MacDonalds to a dearth of hamburgers, Toyoto and VW’s because of the horrendous wait list for cars?

        You do spout some utterly unmitigated drivel at times Draco.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Rare items are expensive. Unique items often fetch astronomical prices. How many phones do Samsung et al make in each production cycle? Is it more or less than the demand for them?

          You’re acquainted with the terms “supply” and “demand” I take it.

          • The lost sheep

            You haven’t grasped the point I was addressing OAB. It must have been the way I hid it in a quote at the top of my comment.

            the only way to make a profit is through scarcity

            Clearly, this is nonsense, as per the facts i quote.

            • Draco T Bastard

              You haven’t proven me wrong at all. In fact, all you’ve done is spouted drivel hoping that people would be confused by your BS and not call you on it – either that or you’re so stupid as to believe what you’re saying.

              If we had infinite competition along with a few other unrealistic assumptions that the neo-liberals make there would be no profit (well to be more precise, profit would be infinitesimal). It is increasing competition that lowers profit but to have increased competition you need increased supply as well.

              It is this fear of increased competition that drives mega corporations to merge and consolidate.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Meanwhile, on Earth, my comment addresses your point head on.

              When demand exceeds supply*, there is profit to be made.

              aka ‘scarcity’.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              In the specific examples you quoted, Samsung et al make a range of products. Their luxury items are limited edition and expensive. Same with cars, and even crude oil refineries have their high and low-end products.

              It’s the same in any industry. Quality – especially bespoke – is expensive.

              Take potatoes. If they grew like weeds there’d be no money in them, but when you order them at Cabinet Club – oh my! And that’s before you even pay for the table and the Minister’s drinks.

          • Reddelusion

            Draco sorry what you are saying is unmitigated drivel Firms merge or Aquire for many reasons, be it to break into new markets, products, geography, consolidation synergies, gain ip. Scope synergies etc. You also have a very simplified version of the firm and economics Some firms simply trade on price and cost others have different advantages, likewise firms come and go via disruptive technology etc, Market and capitalism is not static unlike your fixed world Marxist view, yes in some markets increase competion drives down price as supply increases, likewise scarcity drives up prices as more demand is chasing less supply, However the power of capitalism is its ability to shift the demand and supply curve with new products and services, disruptive technologies, thus fortunately our world is not a static demand and supply curve that you seem to pine for.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Firms merge or Aquire for many reasons, be it to break into new markets, products, geography, consolidation synergies, gain ip. Scope synergies etc.

              That’s what they tell us. Afterwards there’s still less competition than before which, amazingly enough, is what that drivel you spouted actually means.

              Don’t need to merge to break into new markets. Just some advertising.
              Two companies that produce identical products merge and the end result is less range in those products.
              Geography? So, two companies that are competing merge to increase their land mass?
              And consolidation synergies, gain ip is nothing but pure reduction in competition.

              However the power of capitalism is its ability to shift the demand and supply curve with new products and services, disruptive technologies

              That’s not the power of capitalism but the power of people working together. Capitalism just exploits that willingness of people to be creative so as to enrich the psychopaths.

              My view of the world isn’t static. It’s the capitalists that want to keep things the way they are that are static – and it’s killing us.

              • Reddelusion

                As per Chris trotter your rhetoric is inversely proportionate to the facts you present, what a load of rubbish you spew, I can only but surmise the you have failed in your career or business personally and you seek to externalise your failure on some warped views

                • In Vino

                  Or maybe you are a self-congratulatory bullcrapper who thinks himself a success through profit-gouging thanks to a basically unfair system that you think it clever to exploit. I see no sense of social responsibility in the comments you so often make. I think your critical attitude might be inversely proportionate to your awareness of what your corrupt system is doing to the poor. You’re OK, aren’t you Jack?

        • AmaKiwi

          @ The lost sheep

          Have you ever heard of monopolies?

          Do you know what they are for? Destroying competition.

          Need some examples of monopolies and pseudo-monopolies? No. You have already mentioned them.

  3. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 3

    Just heard on the seven o’clock news: some business spokesman said workers should be happy that CEO’s salaries rose 12% ($180,000) last year while workers got only 3% ($800) because that shows the businesses are making money.

    Please, someone, tell me he’s taking the piss!

    • The Chairman 3.1

      While it may show businesses are making money, it also highlights business returns are disproportionately shared, hence the problem.

      • jcuknz 3.1.1

        I agree with TV and TC views except I appreciate that the holders of my meager savings are making a good profit as it suggests my nest eggs, split around three banks, are safer than if I were in America and their system etc.

        If executives are to get these high incomes then that means they are in a better position to share the burden of paying for our society as opposed to lower workers who have a negative effect and are the ones needing help to raise them and their families to a positive balance. That was one of the points which I took on board as an early ACT supporter [ which I am no longer as they moved to the right, but that is another story.]

        • Nic the NZer

          You may want to revise your position, based on what you can learn from Bill Black. Professor Black was involved in prosecution of banks during the savings and loan crisis in the US. During this process a general scheme was identified where the bank started operating an accounting control fraud strategy,
          * The frauds would grow rapidly
          * The frauds would all report record profits.
          * This would make the CEO’s wealthy through modern executive compensation
          * The frauds would employ extreme leverage (which is how they achieved rapid growth)
          * The frauds would set aside insufficient allowances for the inevitable losses.
          * The eventual losses overtaking insufficient allowances would eventually cause the fraud to collapse (which caused failure and massive losses to the shareholders).

          Since its shareholders on the hook there you should probably not naively take it that profits indicate the general health of the firm. For example Dick Smiths reported record profits just quite recently, which cost shareholders quite a lot of money recently.


          Though modern executive compensation could cause a 12%-3% disparity in pay rises without any fraud being involved.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The executives don’t share any burdens – they just get all the rewards.

    • Ffloyd 3.2

      I heard that and just burst out laughing. A statement like that just beggars belief.

    • Bill 3.3

      We’re all in this together Tony! Celebrate the fact of icing on the cake!! (Never mind that the cake’s unpalatable)

    • Rodel 3.4

      reply to Tony Veitch (3.0)
      The person who said that workers should be glad their CEOs got 12% extra pay while they got only 3% because it shows the business is doing well, is a spokesperson for the right wing ‘think tank’ the ‘New Zealand Initiative’….enough said …. best to ignore.

    • Reddelusion 3.5

      Don’t tear you panties tony I can assure you most ceo have not got anything like 12pc pay rises , these are a selected few of listed companies, the great unwashed of CEOs, privately owned companies etc I would suggest have got less than 3pc yoy

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.5.1

        You would suggest it when? If you ever find a single piece of evidence in support? If the PM says it first?

        • Reddelusion

          No more evidence than tony simply holding a stupid comment by a journalist as fact for all CEOs, by the what the hell had the Pm got to with this topic, your infatuation with Jk is unhealthy. If you respond please in plain English not some cryptic spaced out on acid response 😀

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Too cryptic? Oh well: in simple terms I’m saying your reckons ain’t worth shit.

            • Redelusion

              Shit a commodity you are well versed in OAB

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                True: I can spot you coming a mile off. The smell precedes you too.

                • Reddelusion

                  I was referring more to your core substance

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Whereas, as I pointed out at 3.5.2, you have no substance at all.

                    • stunnedmullet

                      Gawd you’re an odiferous bumhole OAB.

                      I’m sure the moderators have some reason for letting you stay around…perhaps they hope you’ll actually add something one day apart from trolling sniping abuse.

      • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 3.5.2

        Reported on the radio – the average CEO rise was 12% or $180,000. This relates to the obscene CEO salaries reported in the Herald, and perhaps not to all CEO. But, more to the point, the average wage rise was 3.2% – well short of the rise for CEOs.

        And that is cause for celebration? Un-f****** believable!

        • Reddelusion

          And what percentage of CEOs does that small sample represent tony ?

          Heres an example to help you, the average author or singing artist makes fk all, but I can name a few who make millions

          you are simply looking for selective facts to justify a misguided belief. I hope this helps

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            What do you know about facts? Everything you believe is utter gobshite.

            • Reddelusion

              Yes dear, yawn and any other contrite response that conveys I don’t really care what that little angry voice in your head compels you to spew forth. Likewise I don’t take it personally should in a period of solace you reflect on your crudeness😀

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Can’t address the facts I linked to, eh sweety. That’s because they utterly refute your feeble reckons, which, in case you’d forgotten, are worthless.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    This is the kind of bullshit we have to put up with and eliminate somehow over the next 12 months


    • Rodel 4.1

      Watkin’s article repeated in the Press with a super flattering photo of Shipley and an unflattering photo of Clark. Read a little way getting to the ‘Helengrad’ and Nanny state’ comments before the bias got to me.
      Don’t think Watkins mentioned the Nat’s ‘Ditch The Bitch’ posters campaign though.

    • Reddelusion 4.2

      Barring your KDS , what do you disagree with in the article All I can assume is that you don’t like the truth, Watkins clearly articulates why jk and national have been successful, What’s the issue ?

  5. Tautoko Mangō Mata 5

    A well written, readable article on TPP
    “Malcolm Eves: TPP’s cloak and dagger clauses”

    The National Party, particularly John Key, are fudging facts in their determination to pass this deal into law even while the TPPA and its sister Atlantic agreement, the TTIP, are coming under heavy fire both in the US and in Europe itself as politicians realise that the Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses in these agreements sabotage country sovereignty.


    Another development in US is that

    Public Citizen Pre-emptively Questions Imminent USITC Report On TPP Impacts”
    “The divergence between the USITC’s rosy projections and trade pacts’ negative outcomes has not been a fluke.”

    The paper can be found here:

    Also Prof Gus van Harten on ISDS and his study of Canadian experience of ISDS. http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/79903061/expert-warns-nz-about-foreign-lawsuits-as-tppa-bill-passes-first-reading

    • RedBaronCV 5.1

      Perhaps the Nacts want to retain the tax haven status so that multi national companies can channel “profits” through here and use our TPPA status to sue other nations?

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    Those chip cards the credit card companies insist you have are gonna cost you


    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Just another reason why the entire monetary system needs to be government owned. Get rid of these huge taxes that the private companies put on everything.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        More strictly speaking its the transaction system which needs to be publicly owned.

  7. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    A dream come true – lawyers phased out, replaced with AI?

    • Ad 7.1

      There was a conference of public sector lawyers in Nelson this week with a very good speaker on precisely this point.

      I’m a sufficient sceptic about driverless cars, and I’m still waiting for my 1950s jet pack, but the core point of a speaker at the conference was the challenge faced by Deep Blue beating Gary Kasparov for a world title chess match.

      You can break a lot of regulator decisions into millions of variants, and enable the weighting of factors. This might deal to some minor decisions, e.g. parking enforcement.

      You could conceivably break down others like conveyancing with further automation of legal templates.

      But ask a really good chess player to describe what mass makes them really good, and it’s hard to explain. It requires multi-dimensional rational thinking, slippery thinking, empathic and oppositional calculations, and the ability to concede different points while retaining the drive for the singular purpose through sacrifice.

      Deep Blue said that computers can do slippery judgements. They can draft multiple causalities and counterfactuals, even as facts change. That will be a challenge to the existence of lawyers.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Why self driving cars are a big scam. Ans: they can’t do it, and they want to sell you stuff.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That guy didn’t know WTF he was talking about and thus was just talking shit.

          Know how the astronomers see through dust clouds light years thick? Infra-red. Works on dust and snow in the atmosphere as well.

          • weka

            Most of what the video is about is the social issues and how the promotion of driverless cars is coming from companies that want those drivers to be freed up to buy more shit. He’s also talking about how systems are being designed around making money not around making systems more efficient or better for the environment. Seems a legitimate critique to me. Plus his day job is in tech working on why things don’t work, so he has a background in that kind of analysis.

            “Know how the astronomers see through dust clouds light years thick? Infra-red. Works on dust and snow in the atmosphere as well.”


            • Draco T Bastard

              Plus his day job is in tech working on why things don’t work, so he has a background in that kind of analysis.

              So he says and yet he didn’t know something that anyone working in tech would know.


              Anything above Absolute Zero can be detected and that’s two hundred and something degrees colder than anywhere on Earth.

              • Colonial Viper

                So you think that we’re going to start equipping cars with liquid nitrogen cooled thermal sensors, like they have on military grade hardware and infra red seeking warheads?

                Sorry mate, that you’ve just had another one of your foolish and impractical high tech dreams smashed, but the Jetsons future ain’t gonna be happening.

                So he says and yet he didn’t know something that anyone working in tech would know.

                You can be an arrogant sonofabitch at times you know.

                Bet you didn’t even know that you need specialised coolants for the kind of advanced thermal imaging you referred to, to work.

                But you know it all right.

                • Andre

                  None of the infrared cameras I’ve ever used has needed specialised cooling. They’ve just been open the case, turn them on, and you’re ready to go. And they can measure down to -40 C.


                  Sure, if you’re looking for the cosmic microwave background, your detector needs fancy cooling. But not for the temperature ranges a self-driving car needs to look at.

                  As far as I can make out, the biggest programming challenges of self-driving cars are due to having to share the road space with unpredictable and uncommunicative humans. When they get sorted, the benefits will be real.

                  • weka

                    Lol, classic. Let’s get rid of the humans and then the whole tech thing will work wonderfully.

                    Did you watch the vid? The guy is saying that they’re not actually planning to take those things into account.

                    • Andre

                      Yeah, I did watch the vid. I was pretty underwhelmed to be honest. My view of it is pretty close to DTBs. Although I agree replacing human drivers in all the wide variety of conditions we operate in is a bit further than just a few years away.

                      But it will happen. Because when the systems get sorted out properly once, they can be immediately and cheaply replicated. And machine control, once properly tuned, works better than human control. Because it can detect more inputs and react a lot faster over many more outputs. For instance, I was deeply skeptical of traction control and hill descent control for four-wheel drives. Until I experienced them, and realised it all did a much better job than I could have.

                      My experience of human-machine interactions is the human side of it is much much harder. With a human in the loop, you have to figure out how they might incorrectly react to the inputs they are given. It’s much harder than actually programming the control system.

                      Often I think the most important safety equipment when it comes to complex machinery is the operator’s bum. To be used to hold the operator’s hands firmly pressed onto the chair.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The guy is saying that they’re not actually planning to take those things into account.

                      The guy who obviously doesn’t know WTF he’s talking about?

                      Now, I don’t think driverless cars are a practical solution to anything simply because cars aren’t a solution – they’re the problem and making them electric won’t actually change that.

                      But driverless buses, trucks and trains? Now that’s a different story.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You can be an arrogant sonofabitch at times you know.

                  Read the fucken name.

                  Bet you didn’t even know that you need specialised coolants for the kind of advanced thermal imaging you referred to, to work.

                  And that would be you spouting your ignorance again:


          • Colonial Viper

            That guy didn’t know WTF he was talking about and thus was just talking shit.

            How many cars have you reviewed in the last year Draco?

            How many cars have you raced in the last year Draco?

            Do you work in a high tech IT field like that guy does Draco?

            You are the one who can’t see that for Google, its all about dominating the information-$$$ nexus.

            • BM

              You might find this site interesting, it’s a NZ website run by by a chap called Shane Ohlin, he’s an expert on driverless technology


              I recommend having a read of some of the news links,


              Driverless cars are happening and way sooner than you realise.

              • weka

                Are they just for the cities? Because I can’t see how they will work for rural areas that aren’t even being mapped properly now.

                • BM

                  Not sure, from what I understand it seems to be google that’s the only one pushing the fully driver less vehicle concept,, the other car companies are doing a vehicle with the capacity to self drive.

                  I reckon what you’ll see is certain roads tagged as being where you can operate a car in driver less mode and once people get used it it they’ll become driver less only.

                • Andre

                  The military has had huge interest in being able to send unmanned vehicles into unmapped or poorly mapped areas, relying solely on onboard sensors and GPS.


            • weka

              +1 CV. Writing off the guy’s experience and expertise on the basis of a very small part of the video at the end seemed pretty over the top.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Good job I didn’t do that then eh? He makes a couple of good points generally about the failure of capitalism (and he doesn’t even realise that) but the rest is BS and his conclusions are all wrong.

            • Draco T Bastard

              How many cars have you reviewed in the last year Draco?

              How many cars have you raced in the last year Draco?

              Totally meaningless BS.

              Do you work in a high tech IT field like that guy does Draco?

              I’ve been working in tech since the 1980s.

              You are the one who can’t see that for Google, its all about dominating the information-$$$ nexus.

              I can see that. Doesn’t mean that driverless cars are impossible though.

              • Colonial Viper

                they’re not impossible, they’ll just never happen for the 95%.

                ” I’ve been working in tech since the 1980s.”

                How much experience do you have in dynamic real time processing?

                If you havent had experience with the failings of the latest vehicle driver aids available in 2016, how can you be so confident of what can be achieved in the next 10 years?

    • Bill 7.2


  8. Tory 8

    Interesting to see that Green Party has gone to ground following revelations through Panama Papers of dodgy donations. Great own goal…..

    • weka 8.1

      Ooh look, a Crosby Textor memo via David Farrar basically saying The Greens do it too!! Lol, scraping the bottom of the intellectual barrel there.

      • Jenny Kirk 8.1.1

        My thoughts exactly, Weka. who on earth believes this sort of crap !

        • Chuck

          By your comment “who on earth believes this sort of crap !”

          1/ Do you mean the Panama Papers data dump (data is flawed)? or

          2/ that the Greens have not put up the idea of scrapping FBT for electric car fleets?

    • Nick 8.2

      Yes @Tory……. The Green Party will probably be thrown out of Parliament by the speaker so they don’t have to talk about it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4

      Yes, if we all launder money that’s makes it ok according to Tory, because Tory has no moral compass.

    • greywarshark 8.5

      Sit down children, and hear here a scary Tory-story about the Greens being attacked by insects leaving great big holes in them. That will teach them for trying to be organic!

  9. weka 9

    Sarah Kendzior on why none of the US candidates are anti-establishment but voters are still looking for it. Plus some interesting explanation about how the running of the US cane to serve private interests after WW2.


    • save nz 9.1

      “Bernie voters are not with her: These exit polls should rattle the Clinton campaign
      Hillary has shown little to no interest in courting Sanders supporters. It could end up costing her the presidency”

      “This doesn’t look like it will end well—especially if Trump is seen as the agent of change in 2016, and Clinton, for all of her proposed pragmatic steps forward, is seen as barely budging the status quo.”


      My thoughts are that Trump’s ideas of pulling the troops home, getting rid of corruption and getting out of trade agreements that cost American’s jobs seems to be a more popular public message than Hillary’s, keeping the status quo with a bit of tinkering, fighting wars and supporting wall ST and looking after big business before Americans.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        My thoughts are that Trump’s ideas of pulling the troops home, getting rid of corruption and getting out of trade agreements that cost American’s jobs seems to be a more popular public message than Hillary’s, keeping the status quo with a bit of tinkering, fighting wars and supporting wall ST and looking after big business before Americans.

        It will be interesting to see what happens if trump becomes POTUS. Will he actually be able to get congress and the senate to back his promises or will he become another lame duck?

        If he becomes a lame duck will he then go to the people to try and force congress/senate to back his ideas?

        If that fails will the US citizenry finally wake up to the fact that the rich have stolen their nation from them?

        • Wayne

          The US system is intended to have checks and balances, precisely so that one branch of govt does not have excessive power. So if President Trump (hopefully won’t happen) was checked by Congress that is what the system is designed to do. So not “the rich have stolen the nation” rather it would be an intended constitutional outcome.

          • Draco T Bastard

            So not “the rich have stolen the nation” rather it would be an intended constitutional outcome.

            So, the Founding Fathers intended for the rich to control the US?

            Oh, wait, that’s right – they did. They set up the US system to prevent the poor having any influence. That’s actually written down BTW.

            And the US has been an oligarchy for some time now. It’s arguable if it was ever a democracy.

            • Pat


            • One Two

              Constitutional Republic

            • Wayne

              The point of my comment was about the checks and balances in the US constitution, which was surely apparent. Nothing to do with a rich/poor conflict.
              Although clearly the US is set up on the basis of a competitive market economy and private property (which has constitutional protection, subject to eminent domain)

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Oh, it’s competitive alright, take the market in elected representatives, for example, and the resulting corporate welfare.

                It isn’t quite so overt in NZ, eh Wayne 😉

              • Draco T Bastard

                Nothing to do with a rich/poor conflict.

                Except that the whole system was set up on rich/poor conflict and done in such a way so as to prevent the poor gaining power.

                Same applies in the English system. Capitalists simply hate democracy.

                Although clearly the US is set up on the basis of a competitive market economy and private property

                Otherwise known as feudalism:

                There may be 147 companies in the world that own everything, as colleague Bruce Upbin points out and they are dominated by investment companies as Eric Savitz rightly points out. But it’s not you and I who really control those companies, even though much of our money is in them. Given the nature of how money is invested, there are four companies in the shadows that really control those companies that own everything.

                And he’s being excessively generous, to the point of lying, in proclaiming how much the average person owns.

        • Colonial Viper

          Will he actually be able to get congress and the senate to back his promises or will he become another lame duck?

          The deep state runs the USA.

          • save nz

            If they want a real election it should be Bernie vs Trump. Now that would be interesting…..

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    In “Profound Loss for Maine’s Citizens,” Court OKs Sale of Town’s Water to Nestle”

    Decision “paves the way for a private corporation to profit from a vital public resource for decades to come.”
    “Water is a basic right,” she added. “No private company should be allowed to rake in profits from water while leaving a local community high and dry. As we’ve seen in communities around the country, selling off Fryeburg’s water will do nothing to help the town’s residents.

    Interesting, particularly in the light of Prof Gus van Harten’s research that the threat of ISDS prevented Canada from prohibiting bulk removal of water from Canadian waterways.

    • weka 10.1

      NZ can’t say it wasn’t warned 🙁

    • save nz 10.2



      • Jenny Kirk 10.2.1

        Yes – we’ve been warned. And its happening here already. Local hapu are struggling to fight against corporates wanting to make use of the Poroti Springs nor-west of Whangarei.

        Its a never-ending battle for them – and I question the morality, the ethics, (and even the racism) that allows a regional council to favour the multi-corporate against the local indigenous people – let alone the local Pakeha who don’t have much say in it anyway.

    • Colonial Viper 10.3

      Is Labour aware of the threat to water rights posed by the TPP.

  11. Xanthe 11

    Very uneasy with the police tactics in obtaining their latest murder “confession” .
    This is a very bad idea, unsafe conviction, unsafe practise.

  12. NZJester 12

    Have any of you seen the video on the YouTube channel The Young Turks about what went down recently in Brazil?
    The video title explains what has really happened in that country.
    “Brazillian Impeachment Is Actually A Corporate Coup”

    All I can say is RIP Brazilian democracy as it looks like the 1% have taken over in that country and are going to start enforcing austerity measures to extract every last dollar they can at the expense of its population.

    • One Two 12.1

      Brazil was taken over many years ago

      The country is a GMO laboratory experiment and is one of the most chemically sprayed nations on earth

      The lungs of this planet are being tarred permanently

    • North 12.2

      This is good. Excellently probing Young Turk stuff. Don’t see our commentariat even attempting depth like this .

  13. Pat 13


    an attempt at clarification for those not intimate with the shenanigans on their behalf.

  14. swordfish 14

    For those who feel we have far too many Opinion Polls shaping and distorting political discourse … you may well be getting your wish …

    Clear fall in the number of Polls conducted during the first 4 months of each year:

    (Years in Bold = Middle Term Years comparable to 2016)
    Total Polls Jan-April
    2016.. 6
    2015.. 8
    2014.. 14
    2013.. 14
    2012.. 12
    2011.. 12
    2010.. 12

    Partly a consequence of Roy Morgan halving the number they carry out on an annual basis, but also a result of Reid Research, Fairfax-Ipsos and Herald-Digi failing to conduct any polls so far this year (it seems Herald-DigiPoll is no longer in operation). These latter 3 usually carry out 1 or 2 polls each over the first 4 months of each year.

    Strangely enough, 3 News / Newshub Reid Research did carry out a poll on the Flag Referendum in February … and provided breakdowns by Party Support. Which makes me wonder if it was also a political poll but for some reason they’ve decided not to release it. Particularly odd given that for at least the last 12 years Reid Research has always released a poll in either January or February.

    • Cowboy 14.1

      Have we reached peak Crosby Textor?

      Sky news Aussie election leaders forum last night saw Bill Shorten come out a clear winner by actually engaging with the questioner and offering genuine answers. Turnbull wheeled out his talking point around ‘ jobs and growth’ in a wooden ,scripted performance.

      Interesting parallels with NZ, the union leader vs the wealthy merchant banker….

      • Reddelusion 14.1.1

        Yes angry andy the great communicator, and a pretty long bow assuming that running a union prepares you for anything

        • Cowboy

          I agree he will have to overcome the C/T ‘angry Andy’ stuff . However I think Shorten is showing him the way in which he is seen engaging genuinely with ordinary voters. Especially Given the Teflon is well and truely wearing off Key.

          • Reddelusion

            kiwis are not ozzies, slightly more intelligent😀

            • cowboy

              Hard to disagree with that!

              The point I was ham-fistedly trying to make is I wonder if voters are starting to get wary of the highly scripted talking points rhetoric. What I had seen of Shorten previously was a rather unimpressive character who delivered dry monologues and was most famous for backstabbing two prime ministers. However since the campaign started and you get to see him engaging with the actual voters (remember them!) he seems to be going from strength to strength. Turnbull on the other hand looks frightened witless at the prospect of meeting an actual voter and his default position is to utter some inane spiel like “we’re backing business” to the startled peasants.

              For mine Little is coming across far too defensive and earnest and he needs to start demonstrating he can connect with the actual punters.

              • Redelusion

                I tend to agree however the Labour Party bedrock of support in oz is much stronger than nz, they never had a Douglas era etc. My belief is that the wider public view of the left competency here is low, thus a lot more is required than simply labour talking to the people or we have had enough of national or John key for change to occur. winstton peters could change that but I don’t characterise winston as left. Likewise if polls closer to election threaten a 3 headed dragon government this just pushes people to the stability of a national led government, polls in between are sort of meaningless as this threat does not exist

          • AmaKiwi

            @ Cowboy

            I think Angry Andy is a good tactic. The public mood is shifting from polite to indignant.

            It’s working for Trump and Sanders.

            • cowboy

              I think it is good to have that in the armoury but if that’s all you’ve got then it wears thin.

              The difference in the US is that they are hugely pissed off. In NZ large swaths of middle NZ are sitting on their inflated capital gains with low interest rates in a relatively benign employment environment and simply are not seeing the damage Key has done. I think that is changing as more and more realise that there is some massive structural and social imbalances building that cannot be swept under the mat much longer.

        • fender

          Speaking of preparation, what makes you think drinking from a septic tank is all you need to do before coming here and spewing all over the place?

          • cowboy


          • Reddelusion

            as what I read here is often the proverbial, been close to a septic tank does help

            • fender

              You need to stop re-reading your comments over and over. Try some others.

              Like your ridiculous one about Hager below; you’re beyond fecal.

  15. Tautoko Mangō Mata 15

    Could this

    Major Trade Associations Urge TPP Countries To Accept U.S. Demands For Fixes
    With a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in doubt this year, six trade associations belonging to the U.S. Business Coalition for TPP this month urged ambassadors of participating countries to quickly resolve outstanding issues identified by business groups and members of Congress.

    be related to this?

    NZ MP Accuses USTR Of Pressuring Government On Biologics After Deal Signed; TPP Debate Begins In Parliament

  16. adam 16

    This makes me so mad, and similarities here are just so scary. Why we need to connect with workers across boarders. Make the connections people!

    • weka 17.1

      *Matthew Hooton is a political commentator from the right. He discusses politics on Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan every Monday, alongside former Labour Party president Mike Williams.

      Disclosure: Matthew Hooton’s public relations and lobbying firm, Exceltium, has clients in the legal services industry offering trust services to domestic and international clients. These views are his own.

      Interesting disclosure. How about disclosing the ways that Hooton featured in Dirty Politics?

    • The Other Mike 17.2

      Yeah saw this arkie.

      I was wondering which Prime Mimister hoots was referring to.


    • Reddelusion 17.3

      Very fair points, Hagar does not walk the talk, hypocrite of the first order

  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    Partition in the UK to “Make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work”

    This is probably in response to this:

    A London receptionist was sent home from work after refusing to wear high heels, it has emerged.
    Temp worker Nicola Thorp, 27, from Hackney, arrived at finance company PwC to be told she had to wear shoes with a “2in to 4in heel”.
    When she refused and complained male colleagues were not asked to do the same, she was sent home without pay.

    Ms Thorp said she asked if a man would be expected to do the same shift in heels, and was laughed at.

    Which is ridiculous, sexist and downright inhumane.

    • Rosemary McDonald 18.1

      But guys can do it too!!!!

      Sterling journalism here….http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11638915

      “Obviously this is nothing new. Beyonce often uses high heels as a way of describing an empowered modern woman in control of both her life and her finances.

      But now an Australian shoe company is asking why that opportunity should be limited to only women, and have launched a collection of high heels for men. This month Solestruck launched Syro, a brand aiming to break “the oppression of male femininity [that] still continues to shame, exile and attack the freedom of self-expression”. It’s built on a community of men who want to embrace their feminine side without judgment, men who contacted Solestruck time and again asking for high heels in their sizes.””

      Please god, let this be satire, please, please,

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        I have no problem wearing boots with 2 inch heels.

        But these items ain’t for looking pretty in, and they ain’t suitable for office wear.

  18. adam 19

    Lets make voter suppression sexy.

    With over a million people missing here, is this the next step?


  19. North 20

    Stephen Franks

  20. save nz 21

    BUSTED: The Overfishing Denier

    A Greenpeace investigation shows that a prominent American fisheries scientist took millions of dollars in funding from fishing industry groups without publicly disclosing it.


  21. Xanthe 22

    The problem with tourism is it has a huge carbon footprint in the air transport industry

    What we need are very large ocean going passenger catamarans wind powered, and to promte the idea that the journey is the destination.

    • Andre 22.1

      Yeah, the carbon footprint of aviation is roughly the same as the carbon footprint of this interwebby thingy we’re all using to get into arguments with strangers. Roughly similar to shipping, too, coincidentally. On a worldwide basis.

      While I see easy routes to changing almost all land-based energy use to renewable electric, I don’t see anything replacing liquid fuels for long-haul aviation. But biofuels could easily step in.

      For shipping, biofuels are also possible, or if not due to cost, nuclear. Sometime very soon, fossil fuels will have to become too expensive to use for shipping to avoid cooking the planet, If biofuels can’t be produced in sufficient quantity, do you really think the entire world will give up the benefits of fast reliable shipping and accept the slow unreliability of wind power, or will the majority shout down the hard-core greenies and accept nuclear powered shipping (as used in many military vessels)?

      • weka 22.1.1

        “the carbon footprint of aviation is roughly the same as the carbon footprint of this interwebby thingy we’re all using to get into arguments with strangers. Roughly similar to shipping, too, coincidentally. On a worldwide basis.”

        Is that the av gas or the total footprint?

        • Andre

          From the context of the articles I’ve seen the comparisons in, I’m pretty sure it’s the total footprint, including the embodied energy of equipment and infrastructure. But the fuel is by far the biggest component.

          And it’s only very roughly a “similar size” footprint for the internet, aviation, and shipping. Without going into all kinds of finer details such as sulphur and particle emissions, cloud generation etc.

          • Xanthe

            So you are saying that the air travel uses as much fuel as all the worlds shipping…… eeeeeck

            Sure large fast tourist catamarans wont replace air travel , but they would be waay cool and would support a truely sustainable new zealand experience that many would appreciate.

            Nb by large i mean equivelent size of a modern cruise ship . Speed of a sailing vessel is largly determined by size

      • Pat 22.1.2

        assume the carbon footprint for the net you describe is based on the energy consumed produced by coal/gas?

        • Andre

          Mostly the coal/gas use to generate electricity. So when the electricity supply goes non-fossil, the footprint will go way down.

  22. Tautoko Mangō Mata 23

    School Funding-

    ANALYSIS: The government’s overhaul of the school and early childhood funding systems is still under development, but this week a few clues emerged as to where things are heading. ….
    Deciles demolished…..
    Performance-based funding?
    The terms of reference say the review will shift the funding system so it is focused on children’s learning progress and achievement.

    That could be read to mean performance funding, where schools get more money if their students’ results are good.

    If that’s the case, teacher unions and principals’ groups will not be happy.

    They will argue that their members are being held accountable for children who are failing because of socio-economic factors that are beyond their control.

    FFS! I can’t think of anything printable to write about the sheer stupidity of even considering performance pay.

    • ianmac 23.1

      No one knows just what the best teacher is.
      Performance pay on child progress is fraught. It would cause schools and/or teachers to avoid the difficult learners.
      It would encourage the bending of results.

      Worst of all would be the development of teacher secretiveness. Only some will get performance pay so each teacher would guard the secrets. The great strength of NZ teachers has been, until the last few years, to collaborate and innovate. Now it will be “play it safe and make it look good.” Tough luck for special needs of the gifted and those of those who have disabilities.

      And parents will be encourage to flight from schools that are failing. Teachers would gravitate away from the schools with poorer kids and go for the schools with rich kids who will be easier to teach.

  23. jcuknz 24

    +10 Xanthe but for folk with short holidays even cats are too slow.

  24. Halfcrown 25

    I like to watch Rural Delivery on Saturday mornings. One very concerning item this morning (14th May) a major Bio Security leak. Somehow a Willow Aphid has got into the country and is invading a large numbers of the Willow Trees
    This Aphid’s only predator is the ladybird and as the Willow Tree grower said, the population of these aphids has exploded, and the numbers are too great for the lady birds to cope with. These aphids are non sexual and can produce 10 other Aphids each per day
    Big problems, they can kill the Willow, secreat a honeydew which attracts wasps.
    The wasp population in these areas has exploded and it is now a major threat along with other threats to the Bee Industry. The Willow grower said he could not get near his plantation this summer with the number of wasps. The increase in the wasp population is a major concern to Apiarists. One bee keeper said he had lost several hives through wasp attacks

    It is said that this Aphid breeched the Bio Security in 2013.

    Funny that I thought as I remember in 2012 a certain National Party member – a one David Carter REDUCED the number of Bio Security staff claiming it would not have any effect on Bio security.
    In addition to our lakes and waterways being polluted by excessive cows piss, we now have another situation AGAIN caused by this incompetent pack of clowns who could not organise a piss up in a brewery. Trying to save a few dollars wage wise they have put at severe risk the Willow Growers who are essential for river bank and hill stabilisation and the bee industry with the potential of losing millions of dollars to these industries, and is going to cost millions to fix. If it can ever be fixed.
    As I said earlier, what a pack of fucking useless clowns who could not organise a piss up in a brewery.


    • ianmac 25.1

      Underfunded understaffed and in spite of being surrounded by oceans we are still at risk. Intensive grapes, intensive dairying perhaps next?

    • weka 25.2

      Thanks Halfcrown, that’s very interesting. I’ve been wondering about wtf is going on too, after the introduction of velvetleaf, which looks to have been entirely preventable.

    • Chooky 25.3


    • Chooky 25.4

      ….you would have thought the Nactional Party would have learned a lesson from the Bio Security Varroa mite fiasco and its devastation on NZ bees


      ….Bio Security should be a growth employment area, considering all the overseas visitors…NOT reduction in valuable Bio Security staff

      • Draco T Bastard 25.4.1

        But, but, but – then National wouldn’t be able to lower taxes for the rich.

    • Draco T Bastard 25.5

      Funny that I thought as I remember in 2012 a certain National Party member – a one David Carter REDUCED the number of Bio Security staff claiming it would not have any effect on Bio security.

      National always go round reducing critical government services claiming that it will have no effect and then fudging or outright hiding the numbers that prove that they absolute worst possible thing.

      Trying to save a few dollars wage wise they have put at severe risk the Willow Growers who are essential for river bank and hill stabilisation and the bee industry with the potential of losing millions of dollars to these industries, and is going to cost millions to fix. If it can ever be fixed.

      Nature will fix it – in about a thousand years. We probably won’t like the short term (anything less than 1000 years) results though.

      Willows were also an early import. Weeping willow (Salix babylonica) cuttings, reputed to be from alongside Napoleon’s grave on St Helena, were planted at Akaroa in 1839. Other early introductions included S. fragilis, S.alba, S. cinerea and S. viminalis.
      What was used to stabilise hills and river banks before the poplar and willow trees were imported?

      • Halfcrown 25.5.1

        Thank you all for your responses.

        I sometimes wonder Chooky and I have not looked it up, what has happened to our once very successful Queen & Bumble Bee export market now we have the Varroa mite fiasco and its devastation on NZ bees.

        Draco said
        “What was used to stabilise hills and river banks before the poplar and willow trees were imported?

        Native bush Draco

        Regeneration of the native bush would fix it, and it would not be hard to do. But that wont happen will it. Can’t grow natives on vulnerable hillsides that will slip and silt up the nearest river when you need it for more fucking cows and there is a dollar to be made. No dollars (they think) in regenerating the bush on vulnerable land, sooner plant Willows

        As two people who’s opinions I respect said
        Steve Keen economist. They don’t teach history and therefore learn from history, .that is why they still make the same mistakes thinking it is going to work. No wonder the world is in such a mess.

        Glenda Jackson actress The Neo retards (my words) know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

        Going slightly off topic, I would add though there are quite a few farmers who are very conscious of their responsibilities to future generations and to the country and have area’s on their property that they have let return to bush.

        • Draco T Bastard

          They don’t teach history and therefore learn from history, .

          If we don’t learn from history then we’re doomed to repeat it. History is littered with the corpses of civilisations destroyed by the rich. The lesson we need to learn is to get rid of the rich before they destroy us.

          I like this one:

          “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

          Seems to sum up what has become of our society. It’s been taken over by the criminals.

  25. Chooky 26

    ‘Blue on blue: Tory infighting intensifies 6 weeks before Brexit vote’


    “Tory infighting has escalated this week with increasingly bitter ‘blue on blue’ attacks in the debate on whether Britain should vote to leave the EU in just six weeks’ time.
    Despite Prime Minister David Cameron urging his party not to tear itself apart, recent exchanges show the referendum campaign is causing a split among senior members of the Conservative Party.

    Whatever the outcome of the referendum on June 23, it seems Cameron will have to consider some delicate party reshuffling to keep a grip on power…

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