Open mike 14/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 14th, 2011 - 76 comments
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76 comments on “Open mike 14/06/2011”

  1. ZeeBop 1

    The new Waikato highway is being built, a new bypass over a high valley to get around the Waikato gorge.

    Can’t help but think that if oil prices rise then traffic diminishes and people realize that the old gorge road is cheap on the fuel miles. With freight taking the rail link.

    Then the empty John Key highway, except for a mass exodus from an Auckland Volcano, it will be a waste of money.

    Look hey I haven’t crunched the numbers but I just thought it might provoke some.
    i.e. at what price of oil does the gorge become cheap enough to risk getting caught in a traffic snarl.

    • prism 1.1

      ZeeBop – In the near future (when the robots have taken over or was that in 2000 according to the Conchords), there will be lots of road for cycleways. It will be a breeze. But seriously the car is useful, we should be looking at some using new technology. The electric ones seem to be possibilities – one thing pedestrians will get mown down as the cars are practically silent.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Takes a lot of energy to make the steel, alloys and components used in an electric car, and then to ship it all here. And then find the energy to set up the infrastructure for it here.

        That industrially usable energy is not as plentiful or as cheap as it once was.

  2. Dan1 2

    Where is education going here? National standards? Thoughtful article from across the ditch.

    • LynW 2.1

      Hope this gets broader attention. Excellent article.

    • ianmac 2.2

      Great article Dan. In NZ there is a political blind obedience to National Standards. Any Educational objection is passed off as being just those pesky “unions resisting change” and “protecting poor teachers.” We have a brilliant new Curriculum but that is being submerged under National Standards. Next they will bring in Money for those teachers who lift the NS Scores. Thus decades of progress in Education Stymied.

  3. PeteG 3

    Should a party list represent the best representation of the diversity of a party?

    Should it be a party convenience, as a second chance for failed electorate MPs or as a reward for party loyalty?

    Or would a list be better if it was like a board of directors, the best people available to manage the party, and to manage the country? That doesn’t mean just business management, social management is as important.

    What sort of people would be best for a party list?

    • ZeeBop 3.1

      Over controlling the process chooses more measures, and Dan1 points to an article about the measure being money result in the selection of bores. The point being that the choice of metric selects the outcomes you will get. If you get debt outcomes, fiscal debt, social debt, cultural debt and environmental debt, then society must have been using too many metrics, too mcu of the time, and limiting the metrics somehow. Now as small government ideologues cried for less regulation, that shifted the metrics to those selected by the private sector, and by companies and individuals who overwhelming had a duty to maximize profit, and few community voices got a look in. Just take my street, the cars are getting noisier, there are some massive harleys now, and you’d expect that we’d be seeing smaller cars and quieter motorbikes (electric). Electric motorcycles need smaller batteries. So why are people selecting poor choices? Well it could be that they like being reckless in their use of oil, but I think its more likely there is a glut of these cars and they are picking them up so cheap, or dumping their car for the Harley, or using second hand parts to fix their engines (that are just noisier). Now government deregulated a long time ago, allowing second hand japanese cars into the market, so it used a rather broad metric and selected the poor fleet of vehicles we have now. Just as Key selected to roading policy by the way he choose his metrics to measure the problem as he saw it.
      So the answer to your question is what are you measuring, don’t measure too much, let the system breath, and put feedback into your system, so if you start getting too many bores, you let your teacher have more room to teach, but if you start getting too many noisy cars then tighten your car standards. But if your ACT and National you just don’t care diddly squat about quality.

      • PeteG 3.1.1

        But if your ACT and National you just don’t care diddly squat about quality.

        The other parties don’t exactly ooze oodles of quality either.

        • Colonial Viper

          Every party should have at least one MP who receives income from a brothel. If you think about it, it’s really egalitarian.

    • felix 3.2

      I think the best people for a party list would be people with no ideas, no beliefs, and no opinions.

      They could ask everyone what they should do, and just do all those things. That way politicians would only be doing stuff that people want, as opposed to now where politicians just do lots of stuff that people don’t want.

      Except that sometimes (all the time) groups of people want opposite things done. So in this situation (every situation) a good representative would do both things, or neither. Or kill half the kittens.

      That’s the sort of person, Pete. Oh, and they should despise the concept of a political party list.

    • felix 4.1

      Not much of a party, Pete. Looks like there’s a quiet gathering with a bunch of people discussing Labour’s fuck-up and National’s treachery…

      …and then there’s you, standing in the middle of the room, screaming “EVERYONE LISTEN TO ME”.

  4. William Joyce 5

    At the risk of being petty, which is not unusual for me 🙂 , watching the Jabba the Inflated One in Christchurch this morning and he was wearing a nice warm jacket, in Cantab colours, with CERA embossed on the left breast.
    My question is, who decided that it was a priority for CERA to get themselves, purpose made jackets? Do they need a uniform?
    It’s not like they are USAR or other emergency people who need a change of clothes to do their work. All they need is some form of fob ID and bring their own jacket from home.
    Considering the state of the recovery, it strikes me as unnecessary empire building to me.
    Obviously we are setting a trend for world’s best practice when it comes to earthquake recovery……priority number one in a disaster – establish a corporate identity for the bureaucrats.

    • marsman 5.1

      Good points William.

    • sophie 5.2

      I was thinking exactly the same thing!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Considering the state of the recovery, it strikes me as unnecessary empire building to me.

      What else can you expect from people who think that everyone else should know who they are and bow down to them?

    • prism 5.4

      WilliamJ – Gerry the Butt obviously heard that you had sussed out that the Emperor had no clothes so rushed out and bought a $100 CERA embroidered jacket. After all he is the top banana in earthquake relief, he has to look the part, even if he doesn’t actually do anything useful.

  5. prism 6

    Monday night with Bryan Crump, last night, Neville Bennett NBR economist discussed ours and made some interesting comments.

    Today, Tuesday at 11am radionz Rod Oram is discussing the history and effect of Ron Brierley. Should be good.

    The real main issues continue with most of the politicians and their party lines and comments just providing fill-in entertainment and diversion, deserving derision.

  6. The Voice of Reason 7

    TVNZ fined over Paul Henry’s racist comments. Though only the equivalent of about two days of Henry’s wages at the time.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      I don’t know why these fines always amount to slaps with a wet bus ticket.
      Maybe the original act and penalties were written a decade or more ago? Perhaps they should be inflation-adjusted?
      Seems like at least 10-15k for this offence would be more likely to actually penalise the company and prompt policy/operational changes. As it is, $3k is likely to be only a fraction of the actual salary time spent by TVNZ employees dealing with the complaint.

      • The Voice of Reason 7.1.1

        I have a feeling that they can be ordered to broadcast ad free if the matter is serious enough. Kind of like a short closure of a pub for liquor law breaches or making a soccer club with a hooligan problem play in an empty stadium.
        Loss of income in that way is more punitive than a fine and goes to the heart of the offending.

  7. Deadly_NZ 8

    Another 900 million wasted for the World Cup, Glad I dont live AK, you are getting screwed 6 ways to sundown by this bunch of free spending clowns.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Well it’s an additional $900K wasted subsidising private interests, but yeah your point remains.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      …Waterfront Auckland is planning to buy them for $900,000 for use after the Cup.

      Does that mean that Queen Street is going to be subject to 24/7 live advertising?

  8. William Joyce 9

    The Prime Minister comforted the nation yesterday with the welcome news that Gerry was being flown to Christchurch.

  9. The Voice of Reason 10

    Italian voters reject nuclear power, privatised water and Don Silvio!

    • Vicky32 10.1

      Yes, isn’t it great? My beloved is delighted about it… He of course voted against nuclear power, privatised water and Il Nano…

  10. jackal 11

    Young People Dying

    There’s no doubt that the death of King’s College student David Gaynor is a tragedy. It appears that the young man died from alcohol poisoning. This is the fourth such death in seventeen months for the college that is attended by students from wealthy families. There are now hundreds of articles concerning the death with the story gripping the Television News and radio stations like an virus.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      And over a dozen young people have died in Kawerau. Young and poor, our youth feel abandoned with no meaningful place or role in society, and no sense of looking to the future.

      • ianmac 11.1.1

        Yes CV. A single lad from a high profile Dad (my sympathies with the family) and shock horror, underprivileged kids get little support or aid. I wonder if those kids from rich families are more likely to get all the material advantages of privilege, and less of the emotional support. Just wondering really.

      • ZeeBop 11.1.2

        The one party state exists in NZ, conform to the destroy-everyone-around-you-attitude or be ‘let go’, ‘denied access’, to the basics except of course if your n an Earthquake and then you should just wait and wait for the opportunity to choose based on the facts. Oh, Jaba the Hutt must be feel so powerful holding back the decision about E.Surburbs.

        Party line number one, the winners need wealth to continue winning, making all too easy
        for the winners so they don’t innovate, so they suck up the wiggle room in the rest of ther
        economy for themselves and then whine when the dollar is used as a speculatively printing
        money machine.

        We live in a corrupt country run by 100~ senators who know if they raised the number to 300 then most of them would not be able to compete. Bring back a lower chamber, first past the post.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      “There’s no doubt that the death of King’s College student David Gaynor is a tragedy. It appears that the young man died from alcohol poisoning. This is the fourth such death in seventeen months for the college that is attended by students from wealthy families.”
      There have been 4 deaths in 17 months, yes. But only 2 of them are related to alcohol; the other 2 have nothing to do with it. Once again you fail to do basic fact-checking before publishing a blog.

  11. salamander 12

    The Chinese admiral Zheng He claimed Aotearoa for the Ming empire in 1421 according to Gavin Menzies, a retired British submarine commander .

    Empires have been built on flimsier premises (Pizzaro, Cortez).

    There might be something in it, Dave.

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike as I am unsure what they had to do with Belgian. ]

  12. Pascal's bookie 13

    So thing at StPats (town) where the school is putting out the ‘no poofters’ sign for the ball.

    Defenders are reckoning that the school has to follow its special character in order to get its funding under the integrated schools deal, and that as the character is defined by Catholic teaching, which as I understand it says homosexual behaviour is a sin, its open and shut.

    Attackers are reckoning that fair enough, but as society is paying the dosh, then society gets a say in whether or not the special character is something we ought to support.

    I’m a bit confused to be honest, and maybe I’ve got the Catholic teaching a bit wrong, (it’s been a while since I darkened the door, and the invites to drinks with my favorite jesuit died off quite soon after he did), but as I understand church teaching, it is that homosexual activity, (ie buttsecks and stuff) is wrong, and its unnatural, and a moral disorder and so on and so forth. But on the princilpe of hating the sin and not the sinner, homosexuals are ok.

    They just have be celibat. I was under the impression that homosexual sex was on a par with masturbation and plain ol ‘vanilla het sex with the lights off outside of marriage’.

    If that’s right, (and I stand to be corrected for sure), then how would allowing a gay student to bring his boyfriend be any more condoning of sin than allowing straight students to bring along their friends whom they likewise shouldn’t be having sex with?

    Also and too, human rights act, and decency, and all that jazz.

    • felix 13.1

      These Romans are crazy…

      • ZeeBop 13.1.1

        You want crazy, living on the benefit is living day to day in survival mode.

        Like jumping in with the lions every week? Then the Romans shouting you’re enjoying being gorged by the lions too much and they are going to reduce your fee.

    • Lanthanide 13.2

      To add yet a further wrinkle for the school: the guy who goes to the school is actually straight and has a girlfriend, but the guy he wants to bring is gay and simply a friend.

      • Vicky32 13.2.1

        I wonder how his girlfriend feels? She’s being shoved aside so that a political point can be made… Sad!

  13. felix 14

    Constable Nichol (HNBC53) and Constable Reynolds (DRBL48) of Kaitaia Police holding a man on the ground and beating him until he bleeds with closed fists and a baton.

    Apparently they’re on private property without a warrant too.

    • ZeeBop 14.1

      WINZ tells mental impaired beneficiaries to harden up, or loss income support.

      Duty of care? Or just liberty to beat up on others?

  14. jackal 15

    Loosing Our Power

    Hekia Parata took up parliamentary time today to promote a website that is meant to help people choose the cheapest power supplier. She was asked a patsy question by National MP Jonathan Young to allow her to go on about how great our power companies are and that National is increasing competition. There’s one thing that she missed out though; privatisation hasn’t delivered cheaper power to the masses at all…

    • Carol 15.1

      I saw that. My thoughts were that I don’t think it should be up to me to be continually monitoring my power supplier & checking out the competition. I want to chose a supplier and be pretty certain that they will continue, for a reasonable length of time, to deliver what they pledged when I made the contract. Also, what’s to stop all the suppliers over-charging, and thus merely giving us the choice between the least expensive.

      • jackal 15.1.1

        Apparently a similar scheme has been shown to be flawed in England in the way you describe. It’s amazing how much spin National puts on things to try and look good, all the while charging exorbitant amounts for energy. Even Parata’s 14% works out to be excessive in terms of the cost of living. I wonder how they can sleep at night knowing they’re wrecking the country just to add a few numbers to rich people’s bank balances?

  15. McFlock 16

    Another of our Great Contributors to the Economy showing his colours.
    But I’m sure he feels bad about it. God bless our economic champions! /sarc

  16. Herodotus 17

    Another treat from the Herald. The borrowing as reported has never balanced up, But why then has Lab been so quiet on the subject, I take it that they were aware of this, if not they deserve to poll less than English’s 2002 Nat version, and the cheerleaders of Lab need to reaccess their position: do they want to blindly follow or follow a party with depth, if the later then demand changes.

    Pre-budget roundup

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Yeah I loved that column.

      I heard Cunliffe describe these DMO statements as mere “technical” press releases as if they would have been incomprehensible to the common people. (From the Herald article)

      What Cunliffe was obviously meaning was the the DMO statement was a very low key routine report that, while publically available, was not the sort of thing a lot of people pay much attention to because of it’s ‘technical’ nature.

      If Cunliffe had gone on the attack a month ago the media would have responded with something like “Labour’s dirty politics again”, or “What about the earthquake? Haven’t we got more important things to worry about”, or “Cunliffe challenging Goff’s leadership”…. any crap to divert from the story.

      But finally when a few in the media drop onto how Key and English have been bullshitting them, suddenly it all becomes Labour’s fault for being a poor Opposition.

      Really there is no winning with some of these shits.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Notice how the business writer Chaplin said that the info had been in the public domain for the longest time, and why hadn’t Labour picked up on it earlier?

        Then proceeded to make excuses for himself also missing the facts by saying that he’d been busy.


        • Eddie

          yeah. Didn’t chaplin realise the same thing that had him busy in early/mid May was the same thing that Cunliffe would have been concentrating his communications on – framing the Budget

        • Pascal's bookie

          Apparently cutting through and explaining what politicians are up to is what we have politicians for. Journalists are for something else.

      • Carol 17.1.2

        Actually Cunliffe mentioned this issue of pre-loading borrowing before June, in May at least. From a post made on May 11 2011:

        A: The difference between $300 m and $380 m is the fact that NZDMO is in the market issuing more debt securities than it needs beacuse demand is good and prices low. In other words it is bringing forward next years borrowing, and that is all. Of the $300m about half is rollover of exisitng debt. So next year it can say it reduced the borrowing, beacuse it will have pre-borrowed some of what it needs already.

        • Eddie

          ha. Chaplin will be apologising soon, eh?

        • Herodotus

          This was evident to some many months before hand. Lab has been party to the mis-infomation. just as a large portion of the $300m was just rolling over and refinancing existing debt9 as you have mentioned). Now the damage has been done in that Lab cannot now come out with any spending policies as it has been accepted (Wrongly) that we are far more indebted than we actual are (Govt debt that is), and has played into Nats hands regarding partial sales and cost reductions. Yet our private debt has always been a concern, a legacy that Labour has left NZ with that will limit NZ for many generations to come (some issue as our current account), just watch our living stds decrease.
          Pity the Lab years appeared so fruitful and we wasted THE opportunity.

          • KJT

            Private debt is only of concern because the rating agencies factor in the State bailing out failed bankers.
            If the Government followed the logical corollary and said they will only bail out Kiwibank,and left private business to pay for their own failures, then private debt is not a problem.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Someone less lazy about registering for sites should wrap that in a brick and throw it through his comment section.

          Or better yet, and this works, write an email, using your real name and email address, by clicking on his by line. Be polite, recognise how busy he is, and just quote what he said in the article and point to ( and quote) Cunliffe’s comment, that he obviously missed because it wasn’t a press release or something. One could ask if they talked to Cunliffe before writing the current piece, if on wanted to be mean about it.

          They are usually pretty good about that sort of thing, ( don’t know about this guy in particular, but other granny writers are) and it pays to show we care about their work.

          No need to then go tattling tales about what if anything they say in response. Just note it on background, as it were. Pays dividends. Promise.

      • Herodotus 17.1.3

        RL – the $300m was always framed (incorrectly)as the “gross” borrowings to cover govt expenditure. There was scant comment regarding 1/2 of this being refinacing existing credit lines. The same as will occur with EQC funds being required for Cant that covers govt borrowings and the shortfall being sourced from offshore (If it has not already been).
        I notice that after Nick Smiths comments re ACC shortfall (due to sharemarket crashed post 08) and that levies were required to increase, now that markets have rebounded & more, no mention as to ACC’s current financial position.
        Pity we have so few well versed financial commentators (and one I value with the sad happenings from last weekend, my thoughts go out to his family), and not many more who have a basic understanding of what they write about.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.4

        That’s about what I was thinking. It’s actually part of the job of the 4th estate to bring these facts to the notice of the public. Sure, Labour and the rest of the opposition should probably have said something but the MSM should definitely have said something and held National accountable for the lies that they were spreading.

  17. jackal 18

    Public debt per person in New Zealand = $7,564

    Public debt per person in Australia = $11,438

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      And their private debt over there is high as well.Similar reasons – banks fueling a property bubble for their own mortgage product profits.

  18. Morrissey 19

    NewstalkZB, Tuesday, June 14, 2011
    Tony Veitch reckons he “could hear the fear in Jo Scott’s voice”

    At 7.15 this morning, NewstalkZB breakfast host Mike Hosking interviewed Garth Galloway, the proud Canterbury man who has organised The Pledge, whereby Canterbury people publicly commit themselves to staying in Canterbury despite the earthquakes.

    Galloway is bursting with Canterbury pride, and he is very angry about the ignorant, negative, sensationalist comments by some non-Cantabrians in the media. Two commentators in particular have irked Galloway…

    “I heard Tony Veitch saying before the news that he ‘could hear the fear in Jo Scott’s voice’. Now I’ve heard Jo Scott talking on radio for many months, and she did not sound at all different this morning. Veitch’s comment was ludicrous. And last night on Television One’s Close-Up programme, Mark Sainsbury said to Bob Parker, ‘People are going to leave.’ If Bob Parker had had his wits about him, he would have challenged that statement.”

    A bit later, in the 7.30 News, this is what Niva Retimanu read out as the lead item: “Canterbury Pledge organiser Garth Galloway has played down media reports of local reaction to yesterdays quakes.”

    So a no-nonsense refutation of two foolish statements by two substandard journalists was spun (or distorted) into the misleading phrase “played down”.

    Then there is, of course, another interesting question: just how adept is Tony “Boot-Boy” Veitch at gauging the fear in a women’s voice? Not very adept at all, judging by this morning’s attempt at expressing empathy.

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