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Open mike 14/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 14th, 2014 - 117 comments
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Paula Bennett christmas square-1Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

117 comments on “Open mike 14/12/2014 ”

  1. Manuka AOR 1

    With the ending of the IMP coalition, Mana are returning to work at ground level. “Everybody’s really focussed on getting back to stuff in their communities, which is what I’m doing as well, and rebuilding from that level,” – Hone Harawira. http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/internet-mana-coalition-comes-to-an-end-2014121313#axzz3LnYhiuoW

    It’s good advice for all of us, I think. While keeping an eye on our politicians and what’s happening “up there”, actual change often begins at local community level.

  2. Manuka AOR 2

    It’s a bit depressing reading various news summations of the year’s political events. I think Bryce Edwards is onto something when he says, “Labour fluffed its biggest opportunity – taking advantage of the huge upsurge of concern about inequality. Labour should have “owned” this issue, but instead National succeeded in convincing many that it was dealing with the problem.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11373917

    The problems arising from inequality won’t go away. The Nats have not even begun to deal with it and I suspect have no genuine intention of doing so. They will try and ignore it and hope it just fades from public concern, but it won’t. Hopefully through 2015 Labour can really take this on and bring out realistic options for resolving at least some of the worst aspects of the problem.

    • Pete George 2.1

      Edwards also wrote about ‘scandal fatigue’.

      Most significant of all was Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, which produced the biggest scandal of the year and helped bring Collins down. The substance of the book will continue to be discussed for some time.

      But overall, these controversies seemed to produce something of a scandal fatigue for many New Zealanders. The media covered the debates in detail but for most, these simply weren’t issues that mattered. Perhaps the overload of scandal, controversy and personality politics spooked voters.

      One of the biggest problems is that if a scandal comes to light that has sufficient evidence and seriousness to genuinely warrant holding politicians to account it’s impact will be severely diminished if it is seen as ‘just another round of mud slinging’.

      ‘Dirty Politics’ is as relevant to the next three years as ‘Vote Positive’ – there could be some flow on effect but it was largely a failed campaign slogan.

      How about ‘act Positive’? Little and Labour would win much more support if they launch into the next three year campaign looking like a positive alternative.

      And John Key needs to get over his annoyance and arrogance and concentrate on getting his Government on being positive about making New Zealand a bit better.

      Positive politics will do far more for people and the country in the future than pissing in the dark past.

      • The Al1en 2.1.1

        Dirty politics wasn’t a failed election campaign slogan, in fact it wasn’t even a left wing slogan, it was the title of a book. Any link between it and a campaign is in your head only.

        “it’s impact will be severely diminished if it is seen as ‘just another round of mud slinging’.”

        To who, you? Quelle surprise. Unlike you I wouldn’t think of speaking for everyone else, but to me (and I’m sure plenty of those in opposition sick of a corrupt national government) it won’t be mud slinging at all, it’ll be more like nails in coffins. To the nats it’ll be more like pins in eyes. That’s a good thing.

        As for positive politics, money where your mouth is and make the start. Tell peter dunne to fuck off cause he’s shit.

        • Pete George

          Funny contradiction.

          It’s not for me to tell Dunne what to do, I didn’t vote for him nor had anything to do with him being democratically elected and appointed to Ministerial responsibilities. He may make up his own mind before his electorate does it for him. His long career is obviously waning and he’s looking jaded.

          • The Al1en

            No contradiction, it’s exactly the opposite, which is why I mentioned it.
            It’s undeniable that peter dunne fucking off will be a positive thing for NZ and NZ politics.
            Not for you to tell dunne, but okay for you to come on here and tell us the lay of the land. I’m calling hypocrite on that one.

            You should do a dunne. It would be your biggest and best contribution to the nation. Fact check that.

        • Tracey

          Notice how PG almost quotes the 2014 campaign strategy of Labour which failed and proposes it as though he just thought of it and it will win 2017?

          “How about ‘act Positive’? Little and Labour would win much more support if they launch into the next three year campaign looking like a positive alternative.”

        • batweka

          pins in the eyes, that’s good. It’s also the gift that will keep on giving.

          DP collaborators like Petey will keep up with the whitewash, but today’s effort is a D. Paul got it downthread, very dull pg.

        • Halfcrown

          “As for positive politics, money where your mouth is and make the start. Tell peter dunne to fuck off cause he’s shit.”

          Very well said.

      • Paul 2.1.2

        Very dull, pg

      • Manuka AOR 2.1.3

        Mr G: “if a scandal comes to light that has sufficient evidence and seriousness to genuinely warrant holding politicians to account it’s impact will be severely diminished if it is seen as ‘just another round of mud slinging’.”

        What came to light via Nicky Hager’s book was rather more than “a scandal”. It showed how corruption has entered NZ parliament and governmental processes. The question of the public’s interest or lack of it in the matter is irrelevant to that of a) impartial justice and b) cleaning up the halls of power so that such corruption does not re-emerge elsewhere.

        • batweka

          yep, and most people aren’t following politics that closely anyway, so the assertion that most people aren’t bothered about DP is a redundancy. PG thinks that nothing is valid until it’s gotten the stamp of approval from muddle NZ.

      • North 2.1.4

        Yes PG @ 2.1 it’s a dark yesterday which continues into today. Your only answer is to offer sloganised non-sequitur. Disingenuity your specialty is it or do you truly hold that John Key has delivered the higher standards of governance promised ?

        Corruption deployed at the highest level and the ongoing effects of that are not expunged by electoral victory. Rather it means that for myriad reasons, major among them a neutered media, those cynically engaging that corruption got away with it. In a democracy the healthy workings of which were long depleted by that very corruption.

        But there you go again, the Pious Champion of Democracy – ” And John Key needs to get over his annoyance and arrogance and concentrate on getting his Government on being positive about making New Zealand a bit better. ”

        Wow ! – the high aspiration you embrace. NZ to be “……..a ‘bit’ better.” With a prime minister who’s remarkably incompetent or an unmitigated liar or both.

        • Pete George

          Most political improvements are incremental – a bit better is as good as change usually gets for most people and most governments.

          Dreams of massive shifts to an ideological nirvana never happen in real life.

          • Once wasTim

            “Dreams of massive shifts to an ideological nirvana never happen in real life.”

            Actually they do. We call them wars – nirvana depending on which side you’re on.
            Atm, I’m not especially keen on the direction we’re headed but we sure as hell are headed for a tipping point.

          • Ecosse_Maidy

            Mr George, just when we thought it was safe, you show up back in the water. I try not to pay attention to your distraction nonsense, yet needed something to amuse myself before your next inevitable self exile, or exile with help.. So, for PG’s ego to last One Month, Evens. Six Weeks 5-1, Two Months 10-1. Three Months 4000-1. Paula Bennett to become a Nun , The Pope To Go On A Nude One Man Heavy Metal tour, sponsored by a condom company, Keys to grow back his hair, Your New Zealand Blog site to be overwhelmed with new members. RNZ to be stupid enough to ask for your double talk as an honest broker, again 4999-1. Pete George to Last Four Months 5000-1.

      • Skinny 2.1.5

        When the news broke of Hager’s new book Dirty Politic!s I thought this is not good timing, of course the MSM played games of putting voters off the Left. For some reason Nicky comes across as a twerp and tends to piss people like me off.

        • phillip ure

          @ skinny..

          in my list of xmas presents for politicians:

          ..nicky hager:..a copy of the book:..’how i inadvertantly wrecked two elections for the left’..

          • ankerawshark

            Skinny and PU,…………………..Re Nicky, surely not a back lash. Nicky did an incredible job . He raced to get the book written prior to the election (don’t think he could have done it any sooner). If he hadn’t published before the election, my best bet is everyone would have berated him for that.

            Nicky is responsible for what happened next and we can hardly blame the election loss on him! I still put the majority of the responsibility on the msm, who completely maligned DC and continued their love affair with Shokey.

            • phillip ure

              @ anker..

              ..for me..it’s not a ‘backlash’..it’s a hindsight-drenched observation..

              ..with a key-word being ‘inadvertantly’…

              ..i too was surprised at the public/media seeming indifference to the corruption-revelations..

              ..and to the revelations from greenwald/snowden..

              ..it was not the medias’ finest-hour..that whole election-campaign..

              ..in fact..it was one of their worst..

              ..hysterical/ego-driven/gibbering-idiots..most of them..

              ..seemingly driven by gust/eddies of wind..

              ..and with a grip on not very much at all..

              .(i’ve been reading corkerys’ p.r-explained how-to manual..hence the salty language..)

          • Skinny

            My partner paid the money and got the book. It annoyed me as she wouldn’t get Hollow Men out from our local library that she uses regularly. I was that pissed off that I haven’t even bothered reading yet, will wait till I go on a camping holiday. Politics is dirty we all know that, I enjoyed cracking NACT with my own adaptation locally.

        • Murray Rawshark

          Whether he comes across as a twerp or not would be largely irrelevant in a more mature society. It’s what he says that should matter, but we haven’t got to that stage yet.
          The business of content vs style is what allows Key to get away with so much, and I’d say Hager is far less of a twerp than David Farrar.

        • John Shears

          Have you actually read the book?

      • Rosie 2.1.6

        Geez, you know the scroll wheel on the mouse is in for some over time when PG is back in town.

        • Once wasTim

          @ Rosie ….. use that scroll wheel ‘incrementally’. Alternatively just take a PG bypass

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.7


  3. “..5 WTF Marijuana Moments of 2014..

    ..Some of the craziest lies spun about the drug..”



  4. Wairua 5

    Obama campaigners back Senator Elizabeth Warren’s challenge to Hillary ..


  5. Molly 6

    Interesting letter to the editor in the Franklin County News this week – one of the true-blue electorates:

    What is up with John Key?

    “Christmas is upon us and the water cooler and sorting table banter will shift to repartee around the barbecue.

    Recent political articles in the Herald, our own Franklin County News’ John Allen’s and last weekend TV3’s The Nation’s report on John Key’s black ops man Jason Ede would have raised consternation in many a household in the Franklin area and may well become a subject chewed over with the charcoaled sausage.

    The Herald’s newly appointed satirist Steve Braunias with his Secret Diary of John Key poked fun at Houdini like mental gymnastics of our PM, as have many other mainstream media commentators.

    I have to remind myself that this was the same mainstream media that listened to and was influenced by the Hobbits of ‘muddle’ National Party leadership.

    Perhaps the most telling comment was made by the wellconnected Fran O’Sullivan who attended the Deloitte Top 200 Business Awards. This prestigious event was a golden opportunity for the business elite and powerbrokers to network.

    What surprised her was that the first question on the lips of leading company chairmen and chief executives was, ‘‘what is up with John Key’’? Perhaps nothing is up with John Key, is this not as he has always been? You do not have to be practising medicine very long before you discover that some patients appear to have a greater investment in having their doctors think well of them than they do of our their own health and wellbeing.

    A term often used is the narcissistic fibber. Their body language is often the first thing to give them away but this must be observed over a period of time before coming to a conclusion.

    They automatically react to minimise their potential shame, as though shame would annihilate them.

    You have to work around their foibles to get the information that you need.

    It becomes part of the day’s work and sometimes they remain elusive and frustrating. Their persistence becomes legionary. So much for the doctor/patient relationship.

    But what happens when a country is involved? Unfortunately narcissism has become a norm in our society.

    Our politicians, our institutions, our culture are steeped in narcissism – we have a culture that overvalues image at the expense of truth.

    The proliferation of material things has become a measure of progress; wealth occupies a higher position than wisdom; and notoriety is more admired than dignity.

    Our politicians, our institutions, our culture are steeped in narcissism – we have a culture that overvalues image at the expense of truth.

    Lying to our doctors is but a symptom of this wider picture.

    Why does John Key persist with Cameron Slater? Does he not realise perception and intuition count and the public is becoming suspicious of the reality of this toxic relationship? It is starting to appear that John Key has something to hide? Anyone who has taken the trouble to download Nicky Hager’s book would recognise how well researched it is and will become a standard text for most students interested in political science.

    Calling the Pulitzer winning journalist Glenn Greenwald a ‘loser’ was beyond the pale.

    I currently belong to the National Party and I definitely feel uneasy about our PM’s antics.

    I would like to think I am not the only Party member in Hunua who shares this unease? This is not the National party my parents and grandparents supported and admired. “

    Encouragement to all those who commented on various media about how National Party members and supporters should take note of the current machinations of the National Party. People are starting to take notice. And kudos to the FCN editor who printed it in full – although this may be a deliberate provocation – but it does the job.

    • Manuka AOR 6.1

      Good News! People around NZ are finally beginning to wake up…

      Here’s the ‘Secret Diary’: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10392141/The-secret-diary-of-John-Key

    • Clemgeopin 6.2

      Very good letter. But the only way things can change is if the National party caucus members and party leadership realise that the tide is turning and see the writing on the wall that Key has now actually become a liability for them and the country, not a strength.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        That won’t change anything except the smiley face that National wears to hide it’s intentions.

    • Rosie 6.3

      That’s a well written letter – I hope the questioning of Key by Nat members begins to snowball and one day even coalesce into a backlash.

      I had always thought that the more traditional Nat members and voters would be uncomfortable with the loose morals and deception of the Key regime. Those members who have expectations of certain standards being maintained by their Party must feel some disappointment and a feel like they are at a distance from the Party as values begin to clash.

      • Once wasTim 6.3.1

        Very true… that line “A term often used is the narcissistic fibber” has until now only been counterbalanced by Nat ideologues voting with their wallets in mind (which is why I’ve been bloody surprised at the likes of Chris Finlayson – who I’d have thought wouldn’t have. He knows what a philistine the prick actually is – and as someone one here said – his PMship has always been a vanity project. I suspect its a BoQ’s quest not to come across as snobbish and someone who’s down with the leopard skin and ugg boot members. You’re not succeeding Chris – too late by 20 years).
        I’d love to know what a Bolger, or a McKinnon, or even a Holyoake (unconstrained by his suspender belt) thinks of #TeamKey

        • Murray Rawshark

          Holyoake would have understood Key and Collins very well. His corrupt machinations regarding Tuwharetoa land down by Taupo were at least as bad as anything this regime has done.

  6. Morrissey 7

    Israel is “investing in new fences” to “insulate itself against the chaos”
    An especially nasty propagandist given a platform this morning

    Radio NZ National, Sunday 14 December 2014

    I’ve just heard one of the most cynical, outrageous liars to ever besmirch the airwaves in this country. Wallace Chapman interviewed—or more accurately, ceded the airwaves to—one Jonathon Spyer, who is billed on the Radio NZ website as a “journalist and analyst”…..

    “Journalist and analyst Dr Jonathon Spyer is a former official of the Israel Government’s press office and advised Cabinet ministers on international affairs. His journalism is published in major outlets like the Jerusalem Post, The Guardian and the Middle East Review of International Affairs. He holds a PHD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and currently he is a senior research fellow at the Center for Global Research in International Affairs in Israel. He’s been in New Zealand this week, speaking at the Institute of International Affairs about Israel, and rising violence in the Middle East.”

    Early in the interview, Spyer spoke about his trips to Syria with the “Free Syrian Army”—he says they’re the good guys, notwithstanding the fact that they cut out and eat human hearts on camera—-and expressed how distressed he was “to see one of the greatest cities in the Middle East reduced to rubble…. The Syrian war is the biggest catastrophe to hit the Levant in more than a decade.”

    After hearing his praise for the brave terrorists in Syria, it came as no surprise to hear him speaking so disparagingly of Iran, which according to him “does nothing for the greater good.” In contrast, of course, to Israel, which “seeks to INSULATE itself against the chaos in the region. So it’s investing in new fences and drones…. It’s trying to insulate itself against that chaos. Israel does not want to get drawn into this quagmire.”

    Wallace Chapman probably tells himself he tried to hold his guest to account by daring to mention the blockade of Gaza and the Occupation of the West Bank. But he was weak and cautious throughout, and kept calling it a “brutal conflict”, as if there was some kind of parity between the two sides.

    Spyer was permitted to unload, uninterrupted, the most extreme, contentious statements…

    JONATHON SPYER: Unfortunately as long as Hamas remains in control of Gaza, and as we know that organization is committed to Israel’s demise.…

    WALLACE CHAPMAN: Haven’t they recanted from that?

    JONATHON SPYER: Their statements still reflect not only an anti-Israel but anti-Jewish view of the world.

    WALLACE CHAPMAN: There was that question of proportionality, what some say is collective punishment.

    JONATHON SPYER: [concerned tone] Mmmmm, mmmm.

    WALLACE CHAPMAN: Some Israeli politicians seemed to think it was OKAY.

    JONATHON SPYER: Yeah, I don’t think anyone thinks it’s okay. ….

    et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam….

    The host was obviously as repulsed by this fellow as I or anybody else was. It’s a real pity that he did not seem prepared to question him rigorously and challenge the lies he told. I sent the obviously appalled, but fatally diffident, Wallace Chapman the following e-mail….

    Why did you bill Jonathon Spyer as a “journalist and analyst”?

    Dear Wallace,

    I am offended by the platform you gave to the notorious Israeli apologist Jonathon Spyer. He recycled the most callous, cynical lies during the interview. Your website bills him as a “journalist and analyst”; in fact he is the very opposite.

    Perhaps the most blackly comic moment came when Spyer, an apologist for the destruction of Gaza, expressed how distressed he was “to see one of the greatest cities in the Middle East reduced to rubble.” He was, hypocritically, talking about Aleppo.

    He then went on to describe the Syrian conflict as “the biggest catastrophe to hit the Levant in more than a decade”. Only a dedicated Israeli apologist could say that.

    Yours sincerely,
    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • Skinny 7.1

      I found Wallace’s interview far too on the fence, typical of his PC crap. The Israel’s get away with war crimes, meanwhile the Arabs fight back against the latest weaponry with basically sticks & stones. Disgraceful goings on.

      • phillip ure 7.1.1

        my w.t.f! moment with chapman came when i found out..

        ..that when a teenager..he was a fan of kenny g.

        ..and other assorted soft-rock atrocities..

        ..i have been unable to take him seriously since then..

        ..and to me..with his ongoing ‘affability’..no matter what..

        .he seems to be a mora mini-me..

        • Skinny

          Oh dear Kenny G lol. Don’t rate him at all now Phil.

        • greywarshark

          @ phillip ure
          Don’t mix Wallace with Jim Mora. Wallace has real integrity and he deserves better than your facile put-down. If you find fault tell him rather than giving him the tall poppy treatment here.

          • phillip ure

            r u also a fan of kenny g..there..greyshark..?

            • greywarshark

              phillip u
              I bow to your greater knowledge of music. Know nothing of Kenny G. I live in The Moment I think. And this one passed me by. I still like Acker Bilk, and I know he’s old hat.

              I don’t like hearing our little outgrowth of intelligent broadcasting run down.
              Some criticism to be passed on to benefit them but not rubbishing. Nurture what we have. Get a change and it is possible it would be a downward one.

  7. Clemgeopin 8

    We learn something new everyday!


  8. Penny Bright 9

    Those who are fervent supporters of Cathy Odgers and/or Cameron Slater (WhaleOil) – might be advised to read this post from Richard Smith from ‘Naked Capitalism’ – an international alternative finance blog, which has apparently had over 60 million hits since 2007?

    “Summing up: we had already found Odgers in close proximity to post-Soviet moneylaundering, US ponzis, Australian superannuation frauds and imploding New Zealand shadow banks. Now the HCI Hamilton US microcap boiler room dodginess, and the GXG ramifications, extend an already sprawling picture. Pull at the string named ‘Odgers’ and all manner of nasty stuff keeps turning up at the other end. That’s business as usual when you dig into scams, and now, evidently, when you dig into Odgers, too.

    On top of all that normal scam stuff, there are, by way of exotic intensifiers, Odgers’ direct connections to media manipulation, including, FFS, national-press-level op-ed gigs at the NZ Herald and NBR, and to successful smear jobs on regulators and on enforcers.

    And lastly, there are Odgers’ strong connections to government ministers, and to the PM himself, via his Office.

    Those connections are unique, for someone with Odgers’ burgeoning track record of proximity to major financial crime after major financial crime.

    More precisely, they are connections that are unique in Western democracies, as far as I know.

    The whole thing builds up into quite a nice generic case study of what sufficiently uninhibited, or incompetent, but anyway well-connected offshore lawyers can get embroiled in.

    Clearly, both politicians and journalists should be wary of being beholden to Odgers in any way, but equally clearly, that’s a warning that is far too late. ”


    New Zealand: if Investment Fraud was Typhoid, Cathy Odgers Would be Typhoid Mary, (but Lucy Lawless Would Still be Xena, Warrior Princess)

    Posted on October 14, 2014 by Richard Smith

    In a moment, we offer the latest sightings of the wake left by Cathy Odgers, including two brief, but searing, personal appearances by the lady herself.

    First, though, here are some running repairs to my post of 22nd August, which set out Cathy Odgers’ role in a network of shell companies strongly associated with $multibillion moneylaundering activities in the former Soviet Union, and also, her very unfortunate, very close connection with Jack Flader, the CEO of GCSL, where Odgers was legal counsel. Flader was fingered by an Australian parliamentary enquiry as the ‘mastermind’ of an AUD200Mn superannuation fraud. Flader’s name crops up in connection with a $1Bn US Ponzi, too.

    In that August post, I described Cathy Odgers as:

    an expatriate New Zealand lawyer specializing in the offshore trust business, for instance in Hong Kong and Samoa.

    That’s out of date now. Back in August, the “Samoa” link took me to this page, with Cathy Odgers, in her professional rig, resembling nothing so much as a dome-headed alien wearing a precarious toupee of uncertain tint:

    Pacific 2

    Today, the page looks like this:

    Pacific Fiduciaries recent Capture

    It appears that the space formerly required for Ms Odgers’ image is now occupied by pictures of lumps of wood, carved into letters. Hurried web page redesign can deliver striking results like that. I quite like the contrast with the rest of the site’s style: bonkers.

    Within days of that August blog post, Ms Odgers had turned in her directorship at Jeeves Group of Hong Kong (some time around 25th August) and her New Zealand lawyer’s practicing certificate (early September, as near as I can make out). So, though I can’t be terribly precise, nor accurate, I would guess that her disappearance from Pacific Fiduciaries fits into the same sort of timeframe. By ‘disappearance’ I don’t actually mean ‘resignation’, though. As of 11th October, Odgers was still a director of Pacific Fiduciaries (Samoa), according to the Samoa Companies Registry (look up company number 0530).

    While all that resigning and disappearing was going on, another story was breaking: of Odgers’ involvement in two successful paid-for media campaigns to smear the head of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley, and then the head of the Financial Markets Authority, Sean Hughes. The gentleman paying for the campaign was apparently Mark Hotchin, who was under investigation, first (ahem) by the Serious Fraud Office, and then (ahem) by the Financial Markets Authority, in connection with the $500Mn implosion of his company Hanover Finance, a New Zealand shadow bank.

    The story broke when Odgers leaked ‘smoking gun’ emails to the Prime Minister’s office, emails in which Justice Minister Collins appeared to be conniving at Feeley’s demise. That leak precipitated the resignation of Judith Collins, who, via her entanglement with the “Dirty Politics” scandal, was already something of an embarrassment to the National party in the late stages of an election campaign. Collins’ resignation pretty much contained the “Dirty Politics” fallout for Key. Thus boosted, Key and party retained power, quite comfortably, in the ensuing election.

    After the Collins email leak, and with the sense, one imagines, of a difficult job well done, and with a yen for pastures new, Ms Odgers set off for a spot of globetrotting.

    The Quest For Odgers now offers a spot of light relief. While Odgers went walkabout, actress Lucy Lawless speculated briefly, in a mostly serious NZ Herald piece, about portraying Odgers in a film of the Odgers-Collins-Whaleoil political scandal.

    Lucy Lawless, by the way, is an NZ Green Party activist, when she gets the time, but is better known internationally for her late-90s TV portrayal of teenager-and-gay-icon Xena, Warrior Princess. If you are not a former late-90s teenager, nor gay, nor the right kind of middle-aged lecher to have found her already, you can get some of the idea of Xena from a publicity pose:

    xena hi res

    In her Herald piece, Lawless concluded that Odgers would not be the juiciest role.

    This putdown by the impressive Lawless briefly goaded the less-impressive Odgers out of globetrotting radio silence, which she is anyway constitutionally incapable of maintaining for long. Via the Whaleoil blog, Odgers popped up in a Manhattan Halloween fancy dress shop with a counter-offer: she, Odgers, would portray Xena, Warrior Princess, thus (in another wig, non-professional, this time):


    Faced with this apparition, surely the best, honest advice one could offer Ms Odgers would be to stick with the day job; except, of course, that she doesn’t seem to have one, at the moment. But I think Ms Odgers was merely being a little waggish, in that pic, and indulging her fondness for attention, which had gone unsatisfied for a long couple of weeks. I don’t think that she is out of a job, either.

    So much for the running repairs, recap and light relief; let’s get serious, and revert to savouring the heady aroma that hits the nostrils whenever one starts to sniff at any of Ms Odgers’ recent professional berths. There’s a new example, the aforementioned Pacific Fiduciaries (Samoa), and the going is about to get a little tougher, so pay attention.

    Pacific Fiduciaries (Samoa) was formerly part of dodgy Jack Flader’s GCSL empire. Since it’s in the offshore trust business, it is a low profile sort of an entity, but oddly enough, its name cropped up just a few days ago, in connection with an announcement on the European microcap stock exchange, GXG Markets:


    What if they do make it through? Well, it’s been a while since I was a registered professional investment advisor, but here’s a word to the wise: in my strictly amateur opinion, those stocks don’t really look set to be stellar long term performers.

    Full disclosure: I am, perforce, flat of all of them, but now, given the Odgers connection, I am certainly a keen spectator.

    Summing up: we had already found Odgers in close proximity to post-Soviet moneylaundering, US ponzis, Australian superannuation frauds and imploding New Zealand shadow banks. Now the HCI Hamilton US microcap boiler room dodginess, and the GXG ramifications, extend an already sprawling picture. Pull at the string named ‘Odgers’ and all manner of nasty stuff keeps turning up at the other end. That’s business as usual when you dig into scams, and now, evidently, when you dig into Odgers, too.

    On top of all that normal scam stuff, there are, by way of exotic intensifiers, Odgers’ direct connections to media manipulation, including, FFS, national-press-level op-ed gigs at the NZ Herald and NBR, and to successful smear jobs on regulators and on enforcers.

    And lastly, there are Odgers’ strong connections to government ministers, and to the PM himself, via his Office.
    Those connections are unique, for someone with Odgers’ burgeoning track record of proximity to major financial crime after major financial crime. More precisely, they are connections that are unique in Western democracies, as far as I know.
    The whole thing builds up into quite a nice generic case study of what sufficiently uninhibited, or incompetent, but anyway well-connected offshore lawyers can get embroiled in.

    Clearly, both politicians and journalists should be wary of being beholden to Odgers in any way, but equally clearly, that’s a warning that is far too late.


    I wonder what Cameron Slater will say to this?

    (I would post this directly on HIS WhaleOil blog – but I’m banned …………….

    Hopefully Cathy Odgers will see this and put her side of the story, and her ‘story’ will be based upon FACTS and substantiated with EVIDENCE, because in my considered opinion, and personal experience, she tends to spin things a little and ‘make sh*t up’?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    • b waghorn 9.1

      ‘Please allow me to introduce my self ‘springs to mind.

      • Once wasTim 9.1.1

        as in “Sympathy for the Devil”?
        what a good choice …. I’ll wind up the gramophone and platter the vinyl forthwith

        • b waghorn

          Might have to search it up on the spotify myself.:-)

        • Once wasTim

          btw …. I’ll be having a bloody good beggar’s banquet of a Christmas DEVOID of commercialism, bullshit consumerism (aside from a bit of leggo for grandson), and laughing my arse off at the recent Mt Vic arrivals attempting their various gentrification projects behind PIN numbered ‘access points’ (no doubt, I’ll BET there’ll be a fair few coming back from their little jaunts ready to tell the MSM how they feel totally “VIOLATED” because their attempts at avoiding contact with society have been breached. Funny as a fart in my mind

    • les 9.2

      nice work penny…Odgers looks like Ellen De Generes and Homer Simpson had a baby and pissed on it!

      • James 9.2.1

        I thought it was generally accepted that making comments simpy based on someones appearance was frowned upon.

        Im sure if I made comments about the looks higher profile leftie women I would be banned in a heartbeat.

        Usual story tho’ its ok to do it if its to someone we dont like.

  9. Tracey 10

    first collins. now goff working for SST. if he isnt tilting for auckland mayor i will go “hee”

    media has gone to hell in a handbasket when goff is portrayed as the left answer to colliis… for balance.


  10. b waghorn 11

    I had a message shared to my face book last night about a dairy farmer committing suicide in the last few days basically asking people to remember that they are human too.
    I don’t know the person who died or the person who wrote it but the feeling I got was how dairy farmers feel despised by much of nz.
    Please remember they are just people that are sold the line that borrowing up large and working your Arse! off is the key to happiness.

    • Rosie 11.1

      Sorry to hear of the suicide b waghorn. I had heard that farmers are slightly over represented in suicide stats, by occupation. There has been some suggestions that the sometimes isolated life of a farmer, their long work hours and financial stress can lead to depression, and ultimately suicide in some.

      Being socially marginalised is another factor in all groups who suicide. It would be tragic if in this instance the farmer felt despised as an individual, if that is in fact the case rather than an assumption.

      There is a difference however between how some feel anger towards the poorly regulated (in animal welfare and environmental terms) system of farming in NZ and the individual themselves – and thoughtful people would not target their anger towards an individual they do not know. They would also know not to burden the individual alone when the regulatory system is at fault.

      I sincerely hope that the family of the farmer and his/her friends and members of the farming community have all the support they need – loss to suicide is such a hard grief to bear.

      • Clotilde 11.1.1

        Suicide- how utterly sad! Most people who commit suicide feel there is no way out, a prisoner with no end in site. A revolving circle, helplessness, heartache and loneliness all wrapped in one. These people are stuck with tunnel vision and can’t see a end in site (to their misery) and often recluse into themselves or the opposite- take it out on everyone around them, including strangers, but especially family members (followed by empty repeated false apologies, that mean absolutely nothing). Their perception is distorted and they can’t find the solution to their very complex illness and inner battle. There is a way out but most people need help – thank God there are many organizations (like Lifeline) that reach out and rescue people, especially in emergencies!! Though you can’t help people who won’t help themselves, people need to find the strength from within and battle the fear that lives inside of them. That is the most important point of all!

      • left for deadshark 11.1.2

        Sadly more farmers suicide,than died on quad bike accidents in this country.

    • Jimmy 11.2

      Yes I had the same facebook message shared with me.
      Im not sure when the Urban Country divide suddenly turned into a chasm.
      It seems about the time the country was having the endless price of milk debate.
      You only have to see the uninformed comments on the stuff website too realise, how farmers feel a little ostricised.
      And the current financially unsustainable dairy payout is causing a lot of worry in the community.
      And Rosie farmers definately dont feel like they are under regulated on their propertys.
      Rules, inspections, compliance, abound in the dairy farmers life.

      • Rosie 11.2.1

        “And Rosie farmers definately dont feel like they are under regulated on their propertys.
        Rules, inspections, compliance, abound in the dairy farmers life.”

        I know they do have a certain amount regulatory framework to deal with, I still have family on dairy farms, but how effective is it really?
        Just like we have health and safety regs but have really appalling rates of workplace injury and 51 workplace deaths in one year, for a country the size of NZ, it’s a lot when we are supposedly protected by law.

        • b waghorn

          When you flush the toilet Rosie what happens? Probably gone and forgotten. Now farmers have 100% responsibility for there own waste and that can be quiet expensive but dairy farmers are also responsible for on average the waste of 300 cows while they are in the shed and increasingly in the paddock to and they are mostly taking that responsibility seriously but the same msm that most here on standard berate do a top Job of attacking any mishaps in the systems and painting the whole lot as crooks.

          • Rosie

            Hi waghorn. Having being surrounded through out my life by men who work as drainage contractors and work on waste water engineering projects I am kind of up on human sewerage systems, for better or for worse.

            Nobody has a right to pollute. We have a responsibility to our environment first and foremost. We’ve seen the environmental degradation that comes from dirty dairying increase over the years as our dairy herd populations increase. People are rightly concerned about this.

            I get the feeling you are angling at blaming people who criticise, whoever those “people” may be, for the death of the farmer. I don’t want to trivialise his/her death by arguing about farming practices.

            Unless you personally know this farmer you simply can’t make assumptions about what was most likely very complex circumstances that led to his/her suicide.

        • Jimmy

          I cant give a difinitive answer as to how effective the regs are, all I know is if they arent working I dont want anymore of them.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.2

        And Rosie farmers definately dont feel like they are under regulated on their propertys.

        And yet our streams and water ways are still getting worse from their actions.

        Lesson: Either not enough regulation, lack of enforcement of the existing regulation or both.

        • b waghorn

          It’s the endless pursuit of more draco if a farmer could afford to milk 2 cows a ha instead of having to push to 4 per ha the rivers would probably be fine .

        • Jimmy

          Sounds like the NRA answer to american gun control, just need more guns.

      • RedLogix 11.2.3

        In my experience around the back country Jimmy farmers are generally the good guys. There are bad exceptions, but they a minority. And on the other side of the coin there are some real pioneering farmers who are absolute heroes whom we can all admire.

        But the industry as a whole is not in good shape. As you say the relationship between town and country has never been worse, and far too much of it seems stuck in financial and ecological ruts no-one seems willing to talk about.

        A big part of the problem for me is too many farmers caught up in the terrible trap of farming for capital gain, rather than sustainable cash flow.

        • b waghorn

          Its the banks red the fucking banks are the problem. There mission is to have farmers in debt for life or till they sell but they convince them they are there to help.

          • Jimmy

            I agree the banks are partially to blame, Ive also noticed a step change in the banks at the moment Im not sure why, but they seem willing to lend more money at the moment.
            I think they are trying to get rid of the at risk farms (high debt, or not terribly good at getting production farmers) off their books, so are willing to lend more money at better interest rates to what they consider better risk farmers.
            Anyway Im off to milk talk later.

            • b waghorn

              Just so you know jimmy i’m a shepherd with just enough knowledge to be dangerous.Likely to get myself in trouble here for here say but an ex employer of mines wife had worked for robber bank and they were payed healthy bonuses for selling debt and in his words ‘she wasn’t to worried about risk’ .
              I wish I could find it again but I found a article circa early 1900s about the nz gov and banks deciding the best way to up productivity in nz was to have farmers more in debt.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I wish I could find it again but I found a article circa early 1900s about the nz gov and banks deciding the best way to up productivity in nz was to have farmers more in debt.

                Under such a system they’re not measuring productivity but GDP and, as Steve Keen has shown, driving up debt also drives up GDP.

                • b waghorn

                  Any chance of a very basic explanation of GDP and how debt effects it.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    In basic terms GDP is the sum of all the $ value of economic activity which takes place in society.

                    GDP is a very rough measure – some would say a very faulty measure.


                    In the USA putting black people in private prisons is very expensive: and increases GDP. Same as pouring money into gargantuan and failure prone defence projects: also increases GDP. You can see how these things can increase “economic growth” but in fact, are completely uneconomic activities in that they harm people and they harm communities.

                    Re: debt – the recognition here is that the money supply in our economies is almost all debt based. Spending $100 on your credit card pushes $100 into economic circulation. (Debt based spending power/debt based money creation).

                    Paying your credit card off essentially destroys money out of economic civilisation.

                    • b waghorn

                      Thanks . please don’t think I’m being cheeky but if every one got out of debt(not likely I know) what would happen

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The UN has defined 5 types of “uneconomic growth.”


                    • b waghorn

                      That link should come with a warning for being mind altering. Cheers

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      if every one got out of debt(not likely I know) what would happen

                      The worlds money supply would decrease by ~97%. Due to the multiplier effect monetary velocity would decrease by a multiple of that.

                      Essentially, the economy would grind to a halt. Effectively, what happened in the Great Depression and what the EU, US and UK held off with their massive Quantitative Easing after the GFC hit.

                    • b waghorn

                      @ draco so Q easing was to put enough money into the system so that enough people could sustain there debt to stop all out collapse of the financial sector.?

              • Molly

                Dairy debt trebled in the last decade.

                Meeting the costs of that debt must have increased the financial burden of farmers. And influenced their choices to increase herds on their lands, (and subsequently have to deal with more imported feed and more waste). A downward spiral.

                I always wonder whether the decision to run Fonterra like a business had something to do with the increased debt. Traditional farmers often seemed to me to have a good grasp of caretaking of land and water.

                Also, as our level of stock cannot be accommodated by pasture alone, our imports of PKE (Palm Kernel Expeller) has grown rapidly. According to some sources we are the 3rd/4th largest purchaser in the world.

                So, following such an intensive, debt laden business model is not just affecting our farmers, our land and our waterways but contributes to environmental degradation and loss of communities and diversity in other countries too.

                Over in the States, where large-scale corporate farming has been going on for decades there are some small scale movements happening. There are alternatives, but the farming community is quite conservative, and disquiet about current practices needs to reach a level where farmers themselves are willing to practice alternative methods AND then talk to other farmers about it.

    • Once wasTim 11.3

      @ B Wag…
      I too feel sad, AND pissed off at the needless lives lost. There will be more I suspect as Fonterra stumbles, banks do their numbers, and the likes of Blinglishes work out what’s an expedient number of sacrificial lambs.
      It’s reminiscent of the incredible numbers of Indian farmers doing likewise as the result of big-corporate promises of better results. Some sign up out of naivety and the promise of better results. Others purely out of greed. Either way though – there’s a common thread.
      – Collateral damage
      – Casualties of ideological wars (whilst the likes of PG tips do numbers and pontificate
      Opportunists engage

      • b waghorn 11.3.1

        It’s human nature to get excited about things and dream big and when you have lending agencies that no doubt have a % failure rate built into there lending there will be a cost as far as I can see there’s only two solution s control the lenders or change the system completly?

    • greywarshark 11.4

      I think this situation has been developing for a long time. Unfortunately ordinary small farmers need to group together in a small farmers union and discuss amongst themselves their real problems without a lot of National right wing bias and disinformation.

      If farmers want to know how to farm and remain human they need to look beyond Fed Farmers bullshit, simplistic stuff, avoiding real issues. Godwins-law like it won’t be long before ‘resilience’ is mentioned as deep-seated problems are passed over. The whole sector has gone into space as far as prices go as the money-hungry like the Crafars buy up multiple farms and game the system. How can the ordinary man and woman manage?

  11. joe90 12

    We could call it the Mana Party.


    More importantly, the establishment centrists have clearly failed the country. The public has never had less faith in social or government institutions than it does today. Every other month seems to produce some new moral or institutional crisis demonstrating the failure of American elites to police their own. Wages refuse to go up no matter what happens with the rest of the economy, and the middle class is shrinking and unstable. The only utterly indefensible position is that major changes aren’t necessary, and that due respect for the mores of the Washington elite should trump blunt talk and sharp moves away from the status quo.


    So why, exactly, shouldn’t the progressive wing have its own response? One that promotes policies that are not only objectively wiser and proven right, but are also politically popular per public polling? The American people want comprehensive immigration reform. They want to reduce both wealth and income inequality. If the deficit must be reduced (and it’s not entirely clear that it must be), they want it reduced by taxing the obscenely wealthy. They want Wall Street curbed, and to break up banks that are too big to fail. They want to take action on climate change and move faster toward renewable energy. They want cheaper healthcare. They want more privacy protections, and fewer military interventions overseas.


    So why shouldn’t there be a coalition in Washington that stands up for them? Why shouldn’t there be a group that threatens to primary leaders, play hardball with budget negotiations and upend longstanding traditions to achieve those legislative goals? What could possibly be wrong with that, when done in the service of the right policies? We already know from experience with the Tea Party that such an approach can be successful in defeating the centrists from a tactical standpoint.


  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    If all New York commuters drove, Manhattan would need an obscene amount of roadways

    What would it look like if all of those commuters entered Manhattan by car, instead of the 16 percent that currently do?

    It’s an exercise that will definitely make you thankful for public transport.

    And yet our governments keep building more roads and essentially ignoring public transport.

  13. Clemgeopin 14

    It all started when police in Tarrant, Alabama, were called to the local Dollar Store last weekend for a report of a woman trying to steal eggs.

    Helen Johnson, 47, says she was desperate trying to feed her two grandchildren, but it turned out she didn’t even have enough money to buy them a carton of eggs.

    So she slipped three inside her pocket, only to be caught by a store worker. (Adding insult to injury, the eggs also broke inside her jacket pocket.)

    When police Officer William Stacy arrived and told her to stay put she thought, “‘Oh my God I’m going to jail for eggs. My grandkids are not going to eat. What am I going to do.”

    But rather than slap handcuffs on her, Stacy came back outside with a carton of eggs that he had bought for her. He also told her the store wouldn’t be pressing charges.

    The good-hearted cop said his own mother had sometimes struggled to feed him and his sister growing up, and having been been to Johnson’s home once before, he’d caught a glimpse of her living conditions. The family sleeps on mattresses in the sparsely furnished home.

    “The story she told me Saturday matched up with what I had seen when I was there,” said Stacy. “I felt like it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want to pass judgment on her.”

    “She started crying, she got very emotional and was very apologetic,” Stacy told Al.com. “She tried to give me the money she had on her, $1.25.”


  14. On a completely different subject: I was watching a studio audience programme with Norman Finkelstein on al-Jazeera yesterday and one of the points made was how limited Gandhian tactics were, especially when confronted with a state that was perfectly prepared to resort to brute force like Israel with the Palestinians. It reminded me of a couple of pieces:


    • swordfish 15.1

      I think Finkelstein’s argument was the polar opposite: that Gandhian tactics of non-violence by Palestinians would be particularly useful (and not least because of Israel’s frequent resort to brute force).

      He argues: “Gandhi’s tactics can work in certain circumstances, they can’t work in others. If you’re in the middle of a forest in India and the Indian Army is coming in and just wiping you out – nobody in the World cares because nobody knows what the heck is going on in that little forest in India. So non-violence is not going to work there. But in a place like Israel-Palestine where, for historic reasons, Palestine is very much in the eye of the World, very much on the international agenda, in places like that, yes, I think non-violent resistance can work.”

      Finkelstein’s broader argument over the last few years has been that Israel’s inevitable uber-violent reaction against peaceful mass-Palestinian protest marches to Israel’s Separation/Apartheid Wall/De-Facto Border could be a game-changer, finally mobilising World opinion (already, of course, increasingly hostile to Israel’s brutality) to demand a decisive end to Israel’s on-going Occupation, ethnic-cleansing and flagrant violation of International Law.

      • Oops, yes, you’re right. He made the general point about Gandhian tactics only being useful sometimes, and gave the Indian case, where the tribal indigenous population in the forests is being murdered by the Indian army to facilitate big mining companies, but then went on to suggest that the Palestinians could use them effectively because the eyes of the world are on the occupied territories.

        The Palestinians of course do use unarmed struggle – the intifadas have been largely unarmed. But the Israelis turn on heavy state violence so the Palestinians are faced with the situation of armed resistance or getting killed in non-armed protests. This is a situation in which Gandhian tactics simply get Palestinians killed.

        I thought that programme was very interesting – it’s a real comment on TV stations here that we don’t have this kind of show.


        • swordfish

          Yep. Real Current Affairs. Sharp, critical, incisive and covering multiple viewpoints. Something we haven’t had here for two decades.

          People who blame Palestinian violence for the situation need to remember that Israel’s extension of the Occupation is even more rapid during official ceasefires and whenever the Palestinians are relatively quiet and peaceful in their resistance. In that sense, Palestinian violence (as a response to violent Israeli Occupation) has actually been somewhat successful over the last decade in slowing down the ethnic-cleansing. Albeit at the enormous cost of allowing Israel a pretext to massacre and destroy, while at the same time gifting it a useful Hasbara strategy to demonise the Palestinians. (I hasten to add that I personally oppose violent tactics – they’re both immoral and, ultimately at least – counter-productive)

          I should point out, though, that Finkelstein would disagree with you, Philip, when you suggest that “This is a situation in which Gandhian tactics simply get Palestinians killed.” He’d argue that this is the whole point. When unarmed, peaceful Palestinians (on mass protest marches to the de-facto border, loudly demanding their full rights under International Law) are met with the almost inevitable overwhelming violence from the Israeli military – all in full sight of the World’s media – then that’s the game-changer that mobilises World public opinion (Just as televised police violence against civil rights protesters in the Southern US did in the early/mid 60s and as the televised Sharpville Massacre (1960) and, more so, Soweto (1976) galvanised World public opinion over Apartheid SA).

  15. greywarshark 17

    Thanx joe 90 Good reading for me and i will pass it on as he invites.

    I wonder how many policy direction spotlights like this one would be necessary to set us on the good path to modernism and sustainability of enterprise and income? Twenty>?

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  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
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  • Huge investment in new and upgraded classrooms to boost construction jobs
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  • Keeping Pike River Mine promises 10 years on
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  • Additional testing to strengthen border and increase safety of workers
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  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
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  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
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  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
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  • New Dunedin Hospital project progresses to next stage
    As the new Dunedin Hospital project progresses, the Government is changing the oversight group to provide more technical input, ensure continued local representation, and to make sure lessons learnt from Dunedin benefit other health infrastructure projects around the country. Concept design approval and the release of a tender for early ...
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  • Jump in apprentice and trainee numbers
    The number of New Zealanders taking up apprenticeships has increased nearly 50 percent, and the number of female apprentices has more than doubled. This comes as a Government campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET) begins. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced ...
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  • ReBuilding Nations Symposium 2020 (Infrastructure NZ Conference opening session)
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  • New Zealand's biosecurity champions honoured
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  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa Conference
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    2 weeks ago