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Open mike 14/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 14th, 2011 - 84 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

84 comments on “Open mike 14/07/2011 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    In breaking news, asbestos mining to be restarted in Southland. Will create up to 30 jobs says government. Banned decades ago for it’s deadly side affects, the government has said compared to coal the death toll will be statistically insignificant.

    Morning Haiku

    Coal Kills:

    Coal Kills people

    Coal Kills planets

    Coal kills

    Ban it.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      batshit crazy Haiku

      i luvs it.

      • Zorr 1.1.1

        I don’t know what it is… but I know what it ain’t, and that’s a haiku.

        Just call it a poem and be done with it… 😛

    • Bill 1.2

      Wee comment on some old news/non-news connected to this.

      The other night there was a news report on asbestos dumped on DOC land. If disturbed or broken it becomes hazardous.

      A quick google search will reveal that entire streets are shut down if a building containing asbestos suffers damage through fire or whatever.

      But in Christchurch demolition and clear-up continues as though it is an asbestos free zone. Which it definately isn’t.

      Plenty of footage coming from Christchurch showing workers in the vicinity of diggers etc that are throwing up immense quantities of dust. And those workers have no protective clothing. Neither does the public.

      But it’s all okay. Because the CERA legislation indemnifies the authorities from consequences flowing from the clean up.

      Fucking criminal doesn’t even begin to describe the situation. I cannot for the life of me understand why our media has been so resoundingly silent on the blindingly fucking obvious issue of cancergenic asbestos dust being constantly stirred up and liberated over Christchurch, both during the ‘excavation’/ loading of rubble phase and the transportation phase of that rubble.

      Wonder where and how it’s being dumped?

      • just saying 1.2.1

        I wonder if there hasn’t been a kind of veil thrown over the issue of which buildings are made of materials that contain asbestos.

        A building inspector told me that I should be careful because the cladding tiles on my house may contain asbestos. Thing is, this is an ex-state house like thousands of others and you can be bloody sure that someone knows whether all these houses, and probably many other privately built buildings of a similar vintage, are potentially toxic.

        But that information could be problematic, so maybe the official word has become ‘may contain asbestos’ to get around the potential consequences.

        Just a possibility. Don’t know if this could be a factor in the ChCh situation.

        • Bill 1.2.1.1

          Existing H&S guidelines or directives are that if asbestos is suspected then samples have to be taken. In the absense of sample analysis (due to overload, for example), then it would seem that the precautionary principle would properly apply and full protective measures put in place.

          Current legislation has it that only workers registered/ qualified to work around asbestos over see or execute demolition/clear-up.

          But as far as I can tell, no samples are being taken, no protective measures are being employed and no qualified oversight is being deployed.

          People are going to be contracting cancers in 20 or 30 years time because of how Christchurch is being handled/mishandled and nobody is going to be held to account because of CERA.

          • just saying 1.2.1.1.1

            A couple of questions could easily be asked in the house:

            Is there a register of buildings that may contain asbestos?

            Are samples from such buildings being tested before work on them is undertaken?

            Seems like the old story with asbestos – mainly poor and powerless affected, so easy to turn a blind eye.

            • Bill 1.2.1.1.1.1

              There is no register. That’s why sampling and analysis kicks in if there is uncertainty or suspicion over what a material might be. It was used all over the place in a number of different applications over many decades and came in many different froms of manufacture. As such, it simply cannot be reliably identified by sight.

              From memory (I wrote a post on this a long time back) there is only one lab in NZ. There is no way it could cope with an inundation of thousands of samples. That should have been tackled as one of the primary problems post quake.

              But just look at the TV pictures. No protective suits. No respirators. No negative pressure environment tents.

  2. Age of eligibility for super – the retirement Commissioner (and many other people) are calling for a raise in the age eligibility. What are the party policies on this?

    Key says he will resign if it changes.
    Labour, Greens, NZ First, Maori and Mana don’t seem to have a policy on it.
    United Future has a different proposal and a poll to get public reaction.
    Act has detailed super policies which aim at privatisation and personal responsibility.

    Collated details here.

    And nothing will change, and the cost will keep climbing, and climbing, and climbing.

    • Squirrel

      Another fact free comment I see.

      What did Labour do when in power?  Well there was the Cullen fund with $16 billion in it, ACC reserves built up to $11 billion (old people have accidents more often) and kiwisaver was also put in place.  Following their actions the country did have the chance of continuing to fund superannuation at current levels.
       
      I’m sorry but the Labour Party does not think that satisfying your curiosity is reason for bringing forward the release of its policy but if you think of what it has done in the past you can be assured that there will be a coherent and costed policy.
       
      You should criticise Key.  He is cutting the state’s ability to pay super in the future while cynically ruling out increasing the age of retirement.  His actions mean that an increase will be inevitable.

      • Another fact free comment I see.

        From you. You should read and think before posting your daily diss.

        FFS, check the details. I’ve researched and collated and posted facts.
        Ah, hang on, no, I’ve posted what is on (or not on) party websites. Not facts.

        I have and am criticising Key, I don’t agree with his stance on this.
        I’m also criticisng the other parties for having soft or no policy on it.

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          I’ve researched and collated and posted facts.
           
          No you have not.  You had a quick squizz at the Labour website and went “wah wah wah their policy is not up ergo they have no policy”.
           
          I am saying to you that if you had a skerrit of knowledge of politics and what has happened even over the past decade you would not diss Labour for not having a position on the issue.  Labour and the Greens are the only ones with responsible positions on the issue and they have stuck to these positions consistently.
           
          Explain this.  How can you post on superannuation policy and not mention the Cullen fund at all and only mention Kiwisaver incidentally when cutting and pasting ACT policy?
           

          • Secret Squirrel 2.1.1.1.1

            How about turning your brain on before piling in.

            I checked all the party websites looking for policy on the age of eligibility. That is what the Retirement Commissioner was referring to, and what I was researching.

            If I missed something (on the age specifically) please let me know and I will amend my summary.

            • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.1.1

              SS
               
              You said
               
              “Labour … don’t seem to have a policy on it.”
               
              I said
               
              “You had a quick squizz at the Labour website and went “wah wah wah their policy is not up ergo they have no policy”.
               
              I also said 
               
              “What did Labour do when in power?  Well there was the Cullen fund with $16 billion in it, ACC reserves built up to $11 billion (old people have accidents more often) and kiwisaver was also put in place.  Following their actions the country did have the chance of continuing to fund superannuation at current levels.”
               
              You said
               
              “If I missed something (on the age specifically) please let me know and I will amend my summary.”
               
              Well you are missing that Labour wants to keep the age of retirement where it is and pay for increased costs through the Cullen Fund and Kiwisaver.  This is clear from the history and Labour’s behaviour.  Not putting its policy on the website right now is not an excuse for you to draw the conclusions that you have.

              • Not putting its (Labour’s) policy on the website right now is not an excuse for you to draw the conclusions that you have.

                The conclusion I drew is that Labour (and others) didn’t mention it in policy on their website.

                History and behaviour and what you think is not policy.

                • McFlock

                  “Labour, Greens, NZ First, Maori and Mana don’t seem to have a policy on it”

                  =/=

                  “[…] Labour (and others) didn’t mention it in policy on their website.”

                  Stop sliding.

    • lprent 2.2

      The cost will keep climbing for some time until the current bulge is through (then the cost will be falling falling falling). Unlike the other parties you mention, Labour has actually done something positive about it.

      That was what the Cullen fund was for before the Nats gutted conibutions to it to pay for their tax cuts. Kiwi saver was a different form of retirement savings, and the Nats gutted the taxpayers contributions to that as well.

      Raising the age is merely one of the alternatives, and more of an emergencyo ne thatn particularly useful. The problem with raising the age is that there are a lot of people who are hanging out for retirement long before age 65 now.

      If you have been using your body as a crane throughout your working life doing manual labour, it is frequently broken and unemployable at age 60. They fluently wind up on invalids benefits or ACC. So merely raising the age of retirement isn’t the panacea that your simplistic mind views it as.

      • Carol 2.2.1

        Also, if the retirement age is raised, there needs to be enough jobs for the older people as well a for all the people below retirement age.

      • I think the Cullen Fund was a good idea. Suspending contributions to it during a severe recession had some merit but it set a bad precendent for ongoing meddling.

        I never suggested raising the age is a panacea, I was following up on Diane Crossan’s suggestion.

        I think Brash has suggested a variable age allowing for worn out bodies (and minds) who want to retire earlier. United Future have a proposal on a 60/70 option. They’re far from simple to make fair.

    • millsy 2.3

      Squirrell,

      New Zealand has the lowest rate of senior poverty in the OECD.

      I think that alone is why we should NOT change NZ Super.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    Here’s a rumour for you mongers.

    You know those branded beer glasses that you get in pubs? The one’s that advertise which beer you are drinking. Not a bad thing, all in all. Different beers deserve different shaped glassware and bar owners can allay some of the cost by having the brewer provide the breakables.

    Watch the size though. I mean that. If, say, a brewer wanted to up its price during the RWC it could shrink the glass, and raise the keg price. The second bit forces the bar owner to use the new smaller glass or wear the cost rise themselves. The punter, if they notice the small serves, will usually put ill feeling on the bar owner.

    I don’t particularly give a shit about the whole ‘clean stadiums’ and all that restriction of advertising thing. Deals are deals. But a WRC sponser that pulled this sort of thing on top of that, one who was already getting the benefits of sponsorship; well, I’m not going to give much of a damn if ambush marketers hit them hard. or if consumers boycotted their product where anything else was available.

    • Herodotus 3.1

      Personnally speaking it is crap beer. There was a beer brewed in the West Coast (for a limited few you can still source beer from there) that was magic – but then they started brewing it in Auckland, this to save costs. Funny how some of these MASSIVE savings were not passed onto the consumer !!!
      PB same as you re ambush markering hitting them hard. We can only hope !!!!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-6-wMKQ_ls

    • Bill 3.2

      Why isn’t there any ‘weights and measures’ legislation in NZ? In the case of glasses it is simple to legislate for half pint and pint glasses. Brewers can still have all the vessel shapes and whatever that they wish. But a pint would actually be a pint.

      Arbritary ‘handles’ and the like would disappear.

      Fuck it. The same should apply to spirits. Those free pour ‘measures’ atop many bottles do not in any way measure the liquid being dispensed. So us punters are paying a set price for wildly varying amounts of alcohol.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        There is a minimum alcohol % requirement for something to be considered spirits, I think its 37.5%

        Many labels are at that now, when they started off at 45% or more a few years ago (check out the difference in the duty free spirits you buy compared to the adulterated ones in the local stores).

        Every time profit margins are squeezed, they water down what they put in the bottle to fractionally avoid excise.

  4. toad 4

    Portugal celebrates the success of 10 years drug decriminalisation, NZ fights another losing battle in the War on Drugs.  Go figure

  5. Jim Nald 5

    14 July: Don’t forget today is a special day back in 1789 in Paris.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Bastille Day!

      Good day for a game changing Labour economic policy release 😀

      • Mac1 5.1.1

        “Allons, Enfants de la patrie, le jour de gloire est arrive.
        Contre nous de la tyrannie l’etendard sanglant est leve.”

        Time to fertilise the ploughed fields………metaphorically speaking.

      • Ianupnorth 5.1.2

        Wonders if somewhere in Remuera Bronagh (rhymes with Mona you know) Key is saying “if all those hungry children cannot have bread why don’t they eat cake?”

    • millsy 5.2

      Also on this day in 1984 (wet and windy, by all accounts), was the day New Zealand united to vote out Robert Muldoon’s National party and changed the face of New Zealand forever.

      the 94.2% turnout remains the highest in the post war period.

      • lprent 5.2.1

        wet and windy, by all accounts

        It was. I was never so glad to get out in lousy weather.

      • rd 5.2.2

        The Bob Jones got 20% (From faulty memory) and no seats.

      • Anne 5.2.3

        1984 was one of the most dramatic times in our history. It would be appropriate for one of our illustrious (older) authors to remind our (younger) contributors what happened. We were on the brink of bankruptcy and we had a PM who was in total denial. He effectively refused to accept he had lost the election. The situation was so dire at one point there was talk of a Constitutional crisis… and a call for the Queen to intervene and sack him.

        It was knife edge stuff for about two weeks… and, as we know, provided the perfect background scenario for the introduction of Rogernomics.

        • Lanthanide 5.2.3.1

          So similar to US and EU at the moment, then. Perhaps a little more dire. Give it a couple of weeks and see if the US actually manages to pull finger…

      • chris73 5.2.4

        Changed the face all right, wasn’t that the govt that started selling off 100% stakes of NZs silverware?

        NZ not for sale (unless Labour are in power)

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Natz are still bucking at a fair backpay settlement for “sleepover” carers in the long running PSA/Service & Food Union case.

    Minister Ryall is able to regurgitate a script as evidenced on RNZ this morning, sounding like a stuck CD. Simon Mercep’s gentle interviewing style again let a prize prick get away with his “Paid for sleeping” slurs. A way better line is “paid for ripping off the taxpayer” in respect of $1.7 bill to bail out South Canterbury Finance.

    Carers are rendered unavailable for a life of their own while on duty. Which is why they deserve recompense as various legal forums have already determined. It looks like this may now be headed to the Supreme Court, if of course the tories don’t head ’em off at the pass and legislate as they have previously threatened.

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      What is IT about that man or thing?
      I was sitting on the toilet seat before Ryall, the sleeper ripper, came on.
      When his voice oozed and excreted over the radio, I felt like I was getting really dirty and I hurriedly reached for generous amounts of the toilet paper to wipe my bottom. I then rushed into the shower to have a good clean.

    • Ianupnorth 6.2

      It’s not as if said carers were not on mega salaries too – probably on just above minimum wage.

      • davidc 6.2.1

        However … if a carer is employed from 4 pm till 8 am and the law says that person must be paid for all 16 hours I would say that is then 2 jobs and not one and 2 people should be employed for it, and that carer then should not sleep on the job and should be doing something that recovers some of his/her cost of employment.

        • Vicky32 6.2.1.1

          and that carer then should not sleep on the job and should be doing something that recovers some of his/her cost of employment.

          They do, of course! It’s not true that carers do nothing but sleep… I have worked as a carer for IHC and never slept the night through… Breaking up fights between children in the same room, corralling romers and returning them to bed, calling the manager who was the only person able to soothe a frightened and agitated man with manic depression and intellectual disabilities… Even at the most basic, we were there in case of emergency, fire for instance.

  7. Bored 7

    A statement I read this morning…The economy is closely linked with the physical resources that underly it. Most economists assume debt can rise endlessly, just as they assume GDP can rise endlessly. But if there really is a limit that prevents oil supply from rising endlessly, it seems to me that there is also a corresponding limit that prevents debt from rising endlessly.

    Critique please all market rationalists out there please…LS, rusty et al.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      There are now several times more financial obligations existing in the world than the world has the physical resources to pay for. Estimates exist into the tens of trillions of dollars and beyond.

      Many of these obligations are “invisible” i.e. not in the form of the Greeks owe the German banks $1B or whatever (that’s quite straight forward after all), but in the form of derivative contracts and multiple interconnected counterparty liabilities that are hidden and almost impossible to collate and assess.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        These derivatives seem like a gamble, really.

        When the economy starts crashing, if your derivatives cash out first, you win. Everyone else is left holding the empty bag.

        • Bored 7.1.1.1

          Thanks Lan and CV, been away all day, really thought the usual RWNJ suspects would have had a go here…..useless buggers would not know where to start a critique, the proposition that the economy must be attached to something tangible and real is way beyond them.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    “Consultant” is another word for unemployed

    Man it is really bleak in the US. It seems like this guy at the ground level gets it. The process happening in the US is extraordinarily destructive at a real economy – main st level.

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly11/why-smallbiz-not-hiring-6-11.html

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly11/smallbiz-not-hiringII-6-11.html

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Jump You F$%^K’ers

    Harsh language in this music video, but makes a point.

    ah yes the linky thing

  10. davidc 10

    From Stuff….

    “Parliament’s Speaker, Lockwood Smith, has refused to swear controversial MP Hone Harawira in. “

    • Yep.  Looks like Smith relied on schedule 17 of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957.  Hone was meant to say:
       
      “I, ……, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her [or His] Majesty [Specify the name of the reigning Sovereign, as thus: Queen Elizabeth the Second], Her [or His] heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”
       
      Under section 4A of that Act there has to be a Te Reo equivalent described in regulations made under the Act.  Looks like there may not have been.
       
      Not sure but maybe Smith was technically correct although not right …

    • vto 10.2

      Hone tricks = boring.

      there are more important things …..

    • Vicky32 10.3

      Don’t forget to say why! I disagree, MS, he was (for perhaps the first time in his life) right.
      Hone was sh*t stirring, and that was all…

  11. freedom 11

    hey MR Speaker if the rule of law is so important how come Blinglish is still there after lying to the House this week?

    • davidc 11.1

      if lying got a politician binned the place would be empty!

    • One law for all? They are so going to regret saying that in the months to come.

      Here’s a link to his speech. The one he was going to make after his swearing in that is: Hone’s speech.

      And I agree; one law for all so let’s throw the bums who think that lying, rorting and profiting from their “elevated” positions is OK and drag them to court for stealing from “the people”.

      And all this on Bastille day too! Well done Hone. You go my man. It’s a great day to start the revolution!!!

  12. JS 12

    Nat P HQ – What can we do to distract the media from Labour’s tax announcements? We tried the boat people and it didn’t last long enough. Let’s manufacture a Hone crisis!

    • davidc 12.1

      This is just Hone drumming up some free publicity.

    • Spot on JS . I have been waiting on edge to try and guess what the Tories would come up with.This is typical Textor/ Crosby dealings. What next I wonder?

      • davidc 12.2.1

        The Nats asked Hone to do this? you guys really do now how to make me laugh!

        “It wasn’t that he was speaking Maori, he wanted to swear allegiance to the Treaty of Waitangi rather than the Queen.”

        • JS 12.2.1.1

          No, they didn’t ask him. He was just doing what many other MPs before have done, and probably didn’t expect any reaction. They chose to make a fuss of it.

          • Ianupnorth 12.2.1.1.1

            I seem to recollect a similar thing happened when Sinn Fein won seats in Westminster – they refused to swear allegiance to the crown and were refused entry.

  13. Good to see Helen Clark commenting on the recent boat people episode. As usual sensible and humane. What a loss to NZ she is ,however a big gain to the UN. All NZ should be proud of her . Lets hope that when she returns she will be offered a post that will be of benefit to all NZ. from her talents.

    • Anne 13.1

      I’m predicting she will be the next Secretary General of the UN, so her return to NZ will be some years away. I agree with you though about it being our loss. I have heard many people (no not Labour members) say they wish Helen Clark was still running the country. I think a lot of NZers didn’t appreciate how good in the job she was.. until after she had gone.

  14. joe90 14

    Rachel Maddow on the lunacy gripping the US.

  15. vto 15

    Unexpected Earthquake Observation #1,251;

    Increased blood pressure.

    • freedom 15.1

      c’mon that could be caused by any number of disasters these days, there’s the 2 Dons, the bait and Switch court cases, the bankrupt politicians (morally), the hardship pleas from millionaires, the RWC, the …list is quite long actually, stick with the Quake. Its safer ground

  16. Samuel Hill 17

    1. Labour says they won’t work with MANA.

    2. Labour announce BIG TAX PLAN on same day that Hone Harawria is being sworn in.

    3. Oops. Hone just stole the limelight.

    Shouldn’t try play hardball Labour, most the true lefties have given up on your bullshit.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Oops. Hone just stole the limelight.

      Wrong, NAct manufactured a crises to try to steal Labours thunder. There was no reason for the Speaker to stop Hone from being sworn in.

      • davidc 17.1.1

        Except that if he read the text that he wanted to he wouldnt have actually been sworn in according to the law. Moron.

        I love how those here that want to make this the Speakers “fault” ignore all the facts.

        Yes jackal I am looking at you.

        Enjoy your damp squib tax policy.

  17. jackal 18

    Asshole of the Week Award – Lockwood Smith

    Lockwood Smith didn’t allow Hone Harawira to swear his oath of allegiance to the crown in Parliament today. Instead the Leader of te Mana party had to make his valedictory speech outside in front of the house of representatives. Lockwood was unhappy that Hone wanted to swear his allegiance to the crown in Maori. Unless I’m mistaken, Lockwood Smith does not speak te Reo, so he had no call to admonish Hone Harawira in such a disrespectful manner and insist that he leave the house…

  18. policywonk 19

    So Hone Harawera is not officially an MP but he can officially draw a party leader’s salary…

    I’d love to climb on that gravy train!!

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