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Open mike 14/06/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 14th, 2010 - 23 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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23 comments on “Open mike 14/06/2010 ”

  1. jcuknz 1

    This morning on NYT I read a warning from Iraq.
    Basically the countries up river , Tigris and Euphrates, Syria Turkey and Iran, are holding back water in dams to reduce the flow at the mouth that salt water is invading the lower reache to kill of fresh fish farming etc and without the flow pollution is building up dangerously.

    • Bored 1.1

      Pretty scary stuff JCUKNZ, sounds a bit like Canterbury. I like what the farmer from Basra way says about how God gives the water, its not for man to take away. Tragic story.

    • prism 1.2

      I wonder if the report could be better worded about the dams in the upper Tigris and Euphrates. Instead of it being an implied act of deliberate sabotage that fresh water is being withheld, if “to reduce the flow” is replaced with “which reduces the flow” then the true situation is indicated. Countries are looking after their own interests and that impacts on others.

      This is just the start. We should as a planet of states be talking and making agreements to supply water to each other. Instead countries are being goaded and facilitated in numerous ways to fight and not talk. Churchill said “to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” We need someone with his vision and determination to break through the wall of papier mache politicians who are making a career of getting by, presenting their new parliaments as fresh and new, but don’t look at the grubbiness under the rugs!

  2. Bill 2

    On Building and Banking.

    Know how the banks were bailed and most of us were against our tax monies being used for such a move? And know how most of us were of the persuasion that since the banks had lobbied for an end to regulation that they should wear the consequences? Well, why aren’t we applying the same logic when it comes to NZ’s leaky homes?

    The building industry lobbied for relaxed regulations. They got that. They made money, lots of it and people got shit homes. So why are we not pushing for the main building firms in NZ who lobbied for changes to have their heads handed back to them on a plate? Why are they not being bankrupted?

    Why is it now okay for tax monies to be used to get these bastards off the hook? Bust them first. Go after every penny they ever had and then use public money to take up the slack.

    I’m not interested in targeting sub contractors and the like, but these big companies….Fletchers and whoever that actually lobbied?…bury them deep.

    And now if somebody would be kind enough to point out what it is I have missed in comparing a conniving banking industry and a conniving building industry? And if I haven’t actually missed anything, then the question as to why the main players in the building industry aren’t in the cross hairs remain.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      What banks are you talking about? There hasn’t been any bank bailout in NZ except for the BNZ bank sometime in the 90’s.

      What the government did do is offer banks (and other financial institutions) to opt into a scheme where the government would bail them out if need be. I believe this was used for a couple of smaller financial institutions, but nothing big. In order to belong to the scheme, banks actually had to pay the government a small insurance fee, which I believe the government has made a profit on.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        I’m talking of the Goldman Sachs etc in the US as well as the British Banks and the opinions held by people in NZ about those bail outs. And I’m wondering why there appears to be no consistency in the opinions of those same people when it looks as though the building industry here is to be bailed in a not dissimilar fashion.

    • prism 2.2

      Bill – On Building and …..
      The building industry cannot ever be made to wear their mistakes. It would start a precedent. Next thing people would be calling for politicians to make reparations and then where would it end. The world as we know it would go down the gurgler.

      If the politicians who sponsor bills, or their party as the case may be, had to deposit some of their gotten earnings into a Fidelity Fund, that could be begged from, it would send a signal to these busy bees not to incorporate toxic practices into our community.

    • uke 2.3

      It’s not just the building industry at fault. How about the property developers, the architects, the real estate agents, the local council inspectors, the legislators, the government departments, the insurance companies…?

      All failed to do their jobs. This was systemic failure on a grand scale. It occurred because of our unquestioning faith in advanced structures of control.

      • Bill 2.3.1

        Okay uke, you could say that many people played a part, but who fought for the regulations to be slackened? The real estate agents? I doubt it. Same with others you list.

        Did Fletchers and others seek to have regulations and standards watered down? Did various players in the timber industry?

        I don’t know the answers to those questions although I have my suspicions and if they did play a part, then why isn’t there an outcry calling for their fucking blood?

        Why is the first port of call the councils? Why should I, or anyone else be hit with cut backs in council services because of something industry ‘big boys’ argued for, got and fucked up on?

        How many major building outfits are there? One? Two? How much are they worth? There are enough smaller companies that can quickly expand to fill any vacuum left by their deserved demise.

        And if the timber industry was a part of the lobbying process then why not have the tax payer take them over at rock bottom bargain basement prices so that the monies expended by us can be recovered over time through expropriation of profits?

        • prism

          Bill You comment on councils being the ones called on to make reparation, not the private players.
          I heard a good interview I think this a.m. on Radnz and an inspector from Tauranga Council was saying that once the building inspection business was opened up, a large number of new house owners used it rather than the council’s services. He made the comment that there seemed to be a prevailing opinion that the private services were better. He did point out that they could offer more services than the council was required to do. The large number going private, are not now entitled to any money or help from the council. Kathryn Ryan seemed to have trouble with this idea, why the council should not be paying out. It just shows there is a huge gap in accountability from the private sector and the busy smart guys who created their jobs with no or little accountability by anyone.

          The idea from government was that council’s needed competition. I think that was the catchphrase that ruled the thinking at that time. So some people got firms who did a sort of wrap-around all aspects overview of the building project. But apparently they did not have the expertise in some cases and who was watching them?

        • Herodotus

          Timber coy even when they get caught still make money from their activity, so if something so blatent gets this type of fine/response what do we expect regarding Leaky homes?
          The kiwi guy is never suppose to win just to bend over and smile, so to say

        • uke

          Yeah Bill I agree with you on many of these points. The councils aren’t the “last men standing” and shouldn’t be left with the bag.

          It seems strange to me that other groups aren’t being investigated:

          Why was the leaky-home problem seemingly “uninsured”?
          Why aren’t the piss-poor architects being sued?

          And why is that property developers and builders can hide behind the whole limited liability company set-up? (“Limited liability” seems just another capitalist rort to me).

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Jim Anderton leads vs Bob Parker in polls:

    “Anderton, the Progressive Party leader, leads Parker by 46 per cent to 21 per cent, with 11 per cent planning to vote for other candidates and 22 per cent unsure.

    The UMR poll showed Anderton leading Parker by 61 per cent to 30 per cent in a head-to-head contest.”


    • gingercrush 3.1

      Exactly what is an UMR Online Poll? Is just like any online poll or what?

      Not that I question the results which sadly (since I dislike Anderton) probably reflects the sentiments of Christchurch people.

  4. The public outcry by Pasifikans continues over the process by which 4.8 mil of taxpayer money was gifted to a private company, owned by a guy with dodgy links to the National party, to service educational /employment related issues in Auckland.

    Now, not only can Georgina Te Heu Heu, as Minister for PI affairs, not front up with decent answers to Su’a Wiliam Sio’s questions, but neither does Bill English or any of the directors or shareholder of Pacific Economic Development Agency LTD want to either, by way of public interview for Radio 531pi.

    To be fair one of the directors did front up but then just ‘fobbed’ off the interviewer with meaningless drivel…


    Looks like privatisation by stealth just managed to slip in under the radar with this case being the pilot programme. Positively makes Whanau Ora look downright reputable, given that the minister when last questioned in parliament could not answer who dealt with the company, what the gov’t is buying in terms of deliverable outcomes or how they’re going to deliver it.

    Meanwhile the Pasifikan community are being told to move on, forgive the indiscretions of the past, aspire to be like the self serving businessmen, be humble, thankful but most of all SILENT.

    Long live the invisible Pasifikan underclass !!


    Me, i want to know how to access the official relevent material through the Official Information Act and get some mainstream media buy in.

    Anyone want to lend a brother a hand ?

    • Bill 4.1

      Just ’cause comments are less visible than posts, why not submit a post on this and from that higher profile stand a better chance of getting the info you need on OIA?

      Just a thought.

    • Lazy Susan 4.2

      Hi Pollywog

      There is a guide on how to request information under the OIA on the Ombudsman’s website here.

      Suggest you start by making an OIA to the Ministry of PI Affairs requesting all the information they have associated with the rewarding of this contract.

    • pollywog 4.3

      Thanks guys.

      will do…

  5. Quoth the Raven 5

    Greenwald is brilliant as usual on Obama: A growing part of the Obama legacy

    When the history of the Bush era is written, the obvious question will be: what was done about the systematic war crimes, torture regime, chronic lawbreaking, and even human experimentation which that administration perpetrated on the world? And the answer is now just as obvious: nothing, because the subsequent President — Barack Obama — decreed that We Must Look Forward, Not Backward, and then engaged in extreme measures to carry out that imperial, Orwellian dictate by shielding those crimes from investigation, review, adjudication and accountability.

    All of that would be bad enough if his generous immunity were being applied across the board. But it isn’t. Numerous incidents now demonstrate that as high-level Bush lawbreakers are vested with presidential immunity, low-level whistle blowers who exposed serious wrongdoing and allowed citizens some minimal glimpse into what our government does are being persecuted by the Obama administration with a vengeance. Yesterday it was revealed by Wired that the Army intelligence officer analyst who reportedly leaked the Apache helicopter attack video to Wikileaks — and thus enabled Americans to see what we are really doing in Iraq and other countries which we occupy and attack — has been arrested (Wikileaks denies the part of that report claiming that the whistle blower also leaked to it “hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records”). This latest episode led Der Spiegel today to decry Obama’s “war on whistle blowers” as more severe than the one waged by the Bush administration (English translation here).

  6. We’ve discussed the dirty tricks attack on Len Brown ,likewise the so called porn Film Scandal.So as that dies down just watch the coming attack on Jim Anderton.The news today that the latest gallop poll shows Jim well in front will have the Nats dirty tricks in alarm. What they will try is anyone guess but lets be very aware.
    With that type of news the Boag’s and all the other brigade will be frothing at the mouth.

  7. jcuknz 7

    No hope for afghanistan now ….
    American Geologists have found ‘trillions’ worth of minerals there including huge Lithium deposits.
    And I thought they might have been getting fed up with the pointless war there shortly.

    I take your point PRISM and did think of it at the time but was really just giving a clue to if the link was worth following up.

    Another interesting story if I knew how to research it is why we didn’t follow the Canadian example with regard to leaky homes. They had been down the path before and come up with pretty good regulations from what I have read…. in a right-wing magazine of all places. Gauntlet. A bad scene here with the changes to building regs and we bother about a few porn videos, or maybe it is using the wrong card. Parliament staff bother about the cards but let through such dreadful legislation … shocking it seems to me.

    • prism 7.1

      Yeah jcuknz It seems like smoke and mirrors. I had a vision of The Zoo tv program come to mind, with us as the wild animals being thrown things to keep us amused or distracted while the real business is being implemented.

      Yes the Canadian thing is interesting. What does a search in the archives here show? – there has been quite a lot on it. I wonder if the over-riding principle? (if you could call it that) for politicians and their advisors, was opening up business opportunities, less regulation, etc.

      The politicians have shown us they have the school of fish response to whatever seems the latest economic theory (from USA, the fount of all intelligent innovation?). By striding round and quoting the current dogma and following the trend of downsizing, or deregulating or whatever it is they seem knowledgeable, important, and a man (embraces woman) of the times. We are hearing the stock phrases from NACT’s boys and girls regularly. That the end result may be an unmitigated disaster does not enter their overheated minds.

  8. McRad 8

    the pinkpostman – Jim’s sure got a fine line to walk over the coming months. Who knows if he’ll ride in on the back of his Kiwibank success, or if he’ll be knobbled before then. Underdog status has always suited him, so maybe even he is a little concerned at the early high ranking. A smear campaign will have to fly low under the radar initially. Any overt stuff will probably just help solidify his support. After all, the credit card fiasco has been ‘dealt with’ and people are now looking for fresh meat.

    Just out of curiosity, because I haven’t been in a while, but can anyone tell me if the Wellington zoo is still a little crap?

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