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Open Mike 15/11/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 15th, 2018 - 158 comments
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158 comments on “Open Mike 15/11/2018”

  1. Ed 1

    This sort of article should be headline news.
    Every day.

    Monbiot nails it.

    “It was a moment of the kind that changes lives. At a press conference held by climate activists Extinction Rebellion last week, two of us journalists pressed the organisers on whether their aims were realistic. They have called, for example, for UK carbon emissions to be reduced to net zero by 2025. Wouldn’t it be better, we asked, to pursue some intermediate aims?

    A young woman called Lizia Woolf stepped forward. She hadn’t spoken before, but the passion, grief and fury of her response was utterly compelling. “What is it that you are asking me as a 20-year-old to face and to accept about my future and my life? … This is an emergency. We are facing extinction. When you ask questions like that, what is it you want me to feel?” We had no answer.

    Softer aims might be politically realistic, but they are physically unrealistic. Only shifts commensurate with the scale of our existential crises have any prospect of averting them. Hopeless realism, tinkering at the edges of the problem, got us into this mess. It will not get us out………

    …….Two tasks need to be performed simultaneously: throwing ourselves at the possibility of averting collapse, as Extinction Rebellion is doing, slight though this possibility may appear; and preparing ourselves for the likely failure of these efforts, terrifying as this prospect is. Both tasks require a complete revision of our relationship with the living planet.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/14/earth-death-spiral-radical-action-climate-breakdown

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The problem is political. A fascinating analysis by the social science professor Kevin MacKay contends that oligarchy has been a more fundamental cause of the collapse of civilisations than social complexity or energy demand. Control by oligarchs, he argues, thwarts rational decision-making, because the short-term interests of the elite are radically different to the long-term interests of society. This explains why past civilisations have collapsed “despite possessing the cultural and technological know-how needed to resolve their crises”. Economic elites, which benefit from social dysfunction, block the necessary solutions.

      Capitalism always destroys the society that it arises in.

      If we want to survive we need to get rid of the capitalists.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Even the bodies that claim to be addressing our predicament remain locked within destructive frameworks. Last Wednesday I attended a meeting about environmental breakdown at the Institute for Public Policy Research. Many people in the room seemed to understand that continued economic growth is incompatible with sustaining the Earth’s systems.

      My bold.

      In other words, economic growth is uneconomic.

      • JohnSelway 1.2.1

        “…continued economic growth is incompatible with sustaining the Earth’s systems.”

        Something we agree on. Though I’d word it slightly differently nonetheless a system of increasing economic growth based on a system that still uses fuels that are unable to be used in perpetuity is crazy.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2018/nov/14/brexit-deal-theresa-may-conservatives-meet-decide-cabinet-politics-live

    So it looks like the venality and political paralysis of the Oxbridge British political elites over Brexit are coming to a head.

    If Theresa May’s Brexit deal is rejected by the Tory hardliners, she will have to try and resign. I say try, because no one will want to replace her – a moderate will inherit exactly the same problems she has inherited and a hard line Brexiteer will not have the required support. Boris Johnson’s overweening ambition means he desperately wants to lead the Tories but he would be a disaster – he is incompetent and the remainers in his party hate him. Anyway, the hardliners don’t want a deal – they would be happy with a no deal hard Brexit. Their irresponsibility knows no bounds. The trouble is, it is difficult to trigger a new election under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 without at least some Turkeys voting for an early Xmas.

    Assuming there is another election before Xmas, don’t assume Labour (who would inevitably win) would be any better at fixing the problem. Internally, the Labour party under Corbyn has managed to pretty much deal with “New Labour” PLP faction now, who have become isolated within the party, will dwindle considerably in number after the next general election and have no major constituency outside it (which is why they haven’t yet flounced off to form a new party of the radical centre). But that doesn’t mean the hardline neoliberal remainers of the Labour right. Such is the venality of the Labour’s Blairite Oxbridge political elites that they will wait until after the next general election, then they’ll just use the fixed-term Parliaments Act to cover their forming a new party of the radical centre (possibly with a few Tories and some Lib-dems) and then settle down to paralyse the new Corbyn government on everything from re-nationalisation to Brexit.

    The British Oxbridge recruited political class has been a total clusterfuck for 150 years. Short of a major revolution, expect the fight desperately to retain their own political primacy (which is why so many of them really hate Brexit – it was a full-on punch on the nose for them and a direct challenge to their authority) and not much else.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    Here is a good interview with Max Blumenthal on the appalling Nikki Haley, possibly a very real contender for 2020.

    Max Blumenthal: Natsec Elites Welcome Nikki Haley

    • ScottGN 4.2

      And finally stopped pretending it’s about travel to and from the CBD and the airport instead of the real opposition which is nimbyism around the planned TOD intensification along the Dominion Road corridor.

    • Molly 4.3

      I agree with Mike Lee. His reference to ‘experts’ is a timely reminder, considering that many high profile – but low benefit – projects seem to go ahead because of marketing skills rather than true cost benefit analysis.

      There was a recent article on the Auckland Cycleway that showed the disconnect between projections and actual use – as well as financial overruns.

      • adam 4.3.1

        Experts are just people who came from privilege who got an education. They struggle to realise it’s their connections which make their opinions count – not some innate sense of understanding.

        • Molly 4.3.1.1

          Experts also often seem to be those who have excelled at self-promotion and have a high visibility and familiarity with the public. Auckland transport and planning have suffered from that reliance.

          What frustrates me in particularly, is that those most in need are missing out because they have no profile, and are given none when it counts.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.2

          Experts are just people who came from privilege who got an education.

          That’s not always true and you also have to prove that they’re doing worse than a bunch of ignoramuses who couldn’t even do the maths.

        • McFlock 4.3.1.3

          Gotta disagree on the value of an education, there.

          The problem is when business consultancies provide “expertise” – are they experts who are also good at marketing, or are they excellent marketers who know fuckall? And will they provide you with an expert solution, or expertly persuade you that you need more of their solutions?

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.3.1

            Yep, private enterprise expertise has to be seriously questioned about their actual expertise and about their motivations.

            I do recall many roading contractors got really upset when the last Labour government started building rail rather than roads while all declaiming rail.

          • greywarshark 4.3.1.3.2

            Reminds me of the thinking that McLuhan did years ago as to where to get the best solution, ideas. The thinking was that you ask a builder and he things of infrastructure, a taxi company thinks of vehicles, a teacher would probably say more education.l All would be partly right. So does one ask a business consultancy that probably is operating from a bunch of theories from business school – and where did that get its ideas and what practical experience in all the fields of business have they had?

            “The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_medium_is_the_message

            • McFlock 4.3.1.3.2.1

              Also – an organisation I was involved with for a while asked a corporate services outfit to do a systems audit. Recommended outsourcing some management services.

              Twenty years later apparently the same outfit is still providing management services to the organisation. Smartest way to go, or self-serving advice? Who knows? No apparent improvement to the organisation.

        • Jack Ramaka 4.3.1.4

          Often have little practical experience or track records.

      • ScottGN 4.3.2

        His reference to the lack of experts in NZ to design Light Rail was a bloody pathetic excuse for an argument. AT and the NZTA are the experts – Mike Lee just doesn’t agree with them.
        And the Orsman article in the Herald was just more axe grinding from him and was pretty easily debunked by this https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2018/11/13/the-heralds-latest-cycling-smear/

        • Molly 4.3.2.1

          Mike Lee was on the board for Auckland Transport, until Goff dismantled that elector representation. He understands how the system works, and I suspect you don’t.

          Our community got access to public transport because of our high-response level to an AT survey, not because it was a community determined in need of it. (Personally advised of this by a Local Board rep, who was upset by the fact his neighbouring community did not respond as fully, and so missed out.) If you understand this – then you have the realisation that it is the vocal – and not the needy – who benefit from this method of resource and planning allocation. Which is why we see those without voices or adequate representation lose out time and time again.

          There are experts at fact finding that supports their lobbying. To me, Greater Transport is an example. It’s failure is a lack of comprehensive voices that encompass all of Auckland, and it’s closer relationship with Auckland Transport has removed it’s claim to independence. Auckland Transport has supported it when it aligns, because of it’s influence. That cosy relationship comes at a cost.

          The push for light rail is supported by well chosen analytics and presumptions – much like the cycleway project. I support the development of cycleways, but I believe the priority of projects and the feasiblity should be based on independently based evidence, and more accurate projections of both financial and social benefits. From that perspective, I believe the electric train connection to the airport is better on both counts.

          • ScottGN 4.3.2.1.1

            How is a heavy rail express service between Britomart and the airport a better social benefit than expansion of public transport to the (currently poorly served) south western suburbs via LRT?

            • Molly 4.3.2.1.1.1

              If you noticed I also added priorities to my comment. There is a dearth of adequate affordable public transport in South Auckland, that would also not be improved by the proposed LRT option.

              The constant return to a proposed stadium on the waterfront is an example of consistent lobbying gaining traction without evidential requirement for priority spending. As time passes, the public assumes a need has been identified by independent analysis, not the tabled projections by interested parties.

              Should we really be looking at airport expansion and consequential airport travellers as a priority, or should we – as you point out – be looking at those in areas of Auckland already poorly served, and be improving their current and future options? Given the growing awareness of climate change, and the failure of any feasible commercial alternative to aviation fuel, this seems a strange consideration. Or alternatively, ‘improving’ the services to Dominion Road residents is hardly improving options for those in South Auckland.

              • ScottGN

                I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say with this comment? The waterfront stadium and the aviation industry’s adverse contribution to climate change are worthy subjects in their own right but not really pertinent to this conversation.
                The gist of your argument seems to be that South Auckland’s public transport network is shit and while that’s so everybody else’s should be too?
                The South-WESTERN (geddit?) LRT is designed to improve service to that part of Auckland and to alleviate the severe road congestion that’s projected for southern entry points into the CBD if the bus network is to keep up with growing demand.

                • Molly

                  I am saying that you are making the presumption that projects are being prioritised due to some sort of internal process that identifies both need, short-term and long-term benefits. From observation, this is not what happens.

                  The aviation’s adverse contribution to climate change is pertinent to the large financial investment – and appropriation of land – for airport expansion, and proposals to facilitate the faster movement of airport travellers.

                  “…and to alleviate the severe road congestion that’s projected for southern entry points into the CBD if the bus network is to keep up with growing demand…”. There are many Aucklanders that don’t travel into the CBD, that have not had their needs identified. If they don’t get identified, then they aren’t even in the running for prioritisation.

                  I am unequivocally saying that I agree with Mike Lee. That employment at Auckland Transport does not automatically ensure a balanced, objective view for spending and priorities is presented.

          • greywarshark 4.3.2.1.2

            And Mike Lee has dived to the bottom of the pond and survived all that fetid pond water. A strong head and constitution and hopefully with brain cells still in tip top order. We need the wise like him and not the fast thinking then disappearing man.

      • mickysavage 4.3.3

        Molly that article has been debunked repeatedly.

        • Molly 4.3.3.1

          By whom? Can you link, as far as I know it only came out a couple of days ago, but I haven’t really been watching. I also don’t refer to Greater Auckland as an authority, because I think their perspective is too narrow, but I know that many take what they say as independent and comprehensive analysis.

          Further spending is expected to happen in the CBD, and inner Auckland while other areas struggle for alternative transport infrastructure like walking and cycling. The division of Auckland Transport from Auckland Council, means that the way people live and move are treated separately and often have outcomes that are detrimental those that live in those communities.

          I am in favour of – and have advocated for – better alternative and public transport planning and implementation. But I also don’t think that a particular cycleway project is necessarily money well spent – unless the need was identified and it provides the best cost/benefit analysis, in terms of other areas where it may be needed.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.3.1.1

            By whom? Can you link, as far as I know it only came out a couple of days ago, but I haven’t really been watching.

            Yes, I can:

            he figures seemed damning, but one important detail was obscured: the projections the cycleways were failing to live up to were for 2026, which is at last count, eight years in the future. The paper version of the story never mentioned that arguably important fact, while the online version tacked the detail 20 paragraphs down in a quote from the New Zealand Transport Authority. According to Matt Lowrie at Greater Auckland the report leaked to Orsman had been discarded at draft stage because it was so inaccurate. Orsman’s story was, at best, misleading.

            Bold mine.

            So, we can assume that the reason why that particular report was leaked was because someone within the organisation was working for a political end. He was probably also the person who wrote it.

            There is a grain of truth to the trio’s idea that our transport authorities are getting it wrong though. There really are some wasteful, underused, prohibitively expensive transport projects being funded in New Zealand. Even if the worst horror stories about cycleways were all true, these projects’ overruns would still make them pale into economic insignificance. Hosking, Orsman, and Smith should check out some of the stuff that’s happening with roads.

            Yeah, roads are actually the real problem but those three dinosaurs won’t accept that reality.

            EDIT:

            Maybe it’s because these things represent change, and change is scary. Maybe it’s just more interesting and newsworthy to heap scorn on new ways of doing things than to properly examine our existing system.

            That’s understandable. But the truth is we’ve institutionalised an often prohibitively expensive, inefficient, unsafe transport model that’s literally killing us. Cycleways are at least a feint in a different direction. They might cost us a few million and a little extra time in our cars, but keeping things the way they are may cost the Earth.

            • Molly 4.3.3.1.1.1

              Greater Auckland was also a great advocate of the cycleway from the beginning. They should acknowledge that in any posts.

              Matt Lowrie at Greater Auckland, has his own perspective, and the time and audience to present to. This does not mean that all perspectives are included in their analysis and data which is collected to justify their views.

              And the pertinent point that Mike Lee made is not a discussion is not about roads vs cycleways. It is about that particular cycleway project, not providing the level of benefit that was used to secure funding.

              It is a derailment 😀 to make it otherwise.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Did you read the bit about the report being dumped because it was inaccurate?

                The level of benefit was estimated as being 926 in 2026. In other words, in eight years from now and present growth in use shown by the same report indicates that that will actually be seriously under.

                I didn’t make it otherwise. The article I linked addressed your concerns and pointed out that the dinosaurs attacking cycleways don’t do the same for roads. In other words, it pointed out both the inaccuracies used to produce a false impression (lies) and the hypocrisy of those lying.

                You’re still trying to believe the lies.

                • Molly

                  “According to Matt Lowrie at Greater Auckland the report leaked to Orsman had been discarded at draft stage because it was so inaccurate. Orsman’s story was, at best, misleading.”
                  Matt Lowrie does more than that – he discredits Orsman’s objectivity in all his reporting:

                  ” But I had also noticed the article was authored by Bernard Orsman, who has gained quite a history in recent years of articles that try to generate some sort of outrage, usually related to the council and/or housing. I’ve also noticed there is a tendency in these types of articles for the real story to be somewhere in the last few paragraphs, a point by which many people have stopped reading. Sure enough, this ‘beat up’ fit the pattern perfectly. The key point is in this sentence.

                  “In undertaking this review, the audit and assurance team was informed that Auckland Transport forecast cyclist user numbers were based on cyclist user estimates forecast in 2026,” a spokesman said.

                  So Orsman, or the internal report he’s obtained that he’s basing this article on, compares cycling numbers in January-17 with projections for 2026 after we’ve completed an entire city centre networks.

                  1. When you look at Orsman’s filed stories they are typical council reporting – full with the facts etc that have been presented during meetings, and from my point of view, it seems disingenous to discredit all his work – as a method of discussing this topic.

                  2. Matt is right, the key point is in this sentence: ” “In undertaking this review, the audit and assurance team was informed that Auckland Transport forecast cyclist user numbers were based on cyclist user estimates forecast in 2026,” a spokesman said.”
                  Why did were they informed only during the review process? Surely this information should have been clearly given at the time the decision to allocate funds was given? If that was the case, the audit team should have had access to it for the draft report and would not have to be belatedly ‘informed’. Does that not give you pause for thought?

                  “You’re still trying to believe the lies.”
                  There is a lack of robust process and transparency going on there. Processes should stand up to scrutiny, and this project while beneficial to many – may not have been the most beneficial – including projects that were designed to provide access to alternative transport modes for those who already are badly served by public transport or are transport poor.

                • Molly

                  A very quick search delivers a Auckland Transport Business Case study published in 2017, that shows on Page 4 the following:

                  “21. The modelling of the cycle network near the City Centre indicates that by 2026 4500 people a day will cycle to the City Centre, which is the equivalent to approximately four lanes of traffic on the arterial road network during the peak period. Investment in cycling therefore presents a potentially cost effective means of adding additional capacity to the network.”

                  I’m assuming that this is similar to the figure used for the initial assessment for the cycleway, but despite GA and other articles saying that the inference made by Orsman is misleading, there are no links showing the original figures or report used for decision making. That would go some way to clearing up the confusion, and would provide accessible evidence for those seeking the facts.

          • Jack Ramaka 4.3.3.1.2

            Would like to see the Cost Benefit Analysis of Light Rail (Trams) to the Airport vs Heavy Rail via Puhinui. I have little faith in AT. Hopefully the decision is peer reviewed by some professional overseas experts.

            • Molly 4.3.3.1.2.1

              I also have little faith in AT, and often still they let me down. 😀

              I would like to see some analysis of the benefit of Heavy Rails for long-term provision of passenger network, freight movement, maintenance and service costs, but also whether either option is the best use of transport funds at the moment.

        • Molly 4.3.3.2

          Just had a look at the Greater Auckland latest blog on the topic, and the post and comments seem to move towards a discussion on the benefits of cycleways in general, and a disregard for roads.

          Which is a way of going off topic, when you are talking about particular projects, and discussing the merits, costs and benefits of them in regards to alternative spending on other cycling projects.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.4

        Two projects – Nelson St and Grafton Gully – went over budget, performed worse than expected and may not have been economically viable, said the report.

        That describes every single RON.

        And the cycleways are still going to be a better investment.

        The business case for Nelson St predicted 986 cyclists would use the cycleway daily, but in January last year the count was 333 when the report was written. The latest figures from AT at the end of September this year show 448 cyclists a day using the cycleway.

        Ah, so use is still building.

        I suspect that this report will be conveniently lost and forgotten when it reaches and then exceeds the estimated number.

        • Molly 4.3.4.1

          “Ah, so use is still building.

          I suspect that this report will be conveniently lost and forgotten when it reaches and then exceeds the estimated number.”

          I am in favour of cycleways. But consider if this project was chosen over another – more accurately – but less positively presented project, and it makes a difference to how well our transport spending is being allocated in terms of priority.

          Yes, the use is still building. But that was not the criteria that provided the decision makers with the information they needed to responsibly allocate resources.

          (Also, I think many smaller projects that would have really good outcomes don’t even make it to the discussion table because they don’t have visible advocates.)

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.4.1.1

            This project is part of an ongoing series of projects that will build up a network of cycle paths across Auckland. When that network reaches across more of Auckland than it does now then we will see explosive growth in cycle use.

            This project is a necessary part of that network and without it the network won’t be as good as it should be.

            • Molly 4.3.4.1.1.1

              “This project is part of an ongoing series of projects that will build up a network of cycle paths across Auckland. When that network reaches across more of Auckland than it does now then we will see explosive growth in cycle use.”
              Great. But where is the analysis that says that this was the priority – not because it was central Auckland – but because it provided the most benefit. As far as I know, analysis on other areas of Auckland has not been done to any high degree of detail – other than self-filled surveys.

              This lack of analysis right at the start, makes the allocation and prioritisation of funding lop-sided. Not necessarily the best outcome for all Aucklanders.

              • greywarshark

                Thanks for adding thought and analysis Molly.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Why don’t you do an OIA and ask?

                BTW, surveys are about the best democracy we can get ATM.

                • Molly

                  “BTW, surveys are about the best democracy we can get ATM.”
                  Surveys will always then favour the time rich and already provided for. They have the time and resources to participate. That is not a high standard to aim for.

                  A stocktake of options available to communities of people doesn’t really require surveys, just good robust data. Further research – which may or may not include surveys – can be undertaken to identify areas where investment delivers big returns for community while still putting pieces in place towards an integrated transport system.

                  “Why don’t you do an OIA and ask?”
                  Not my cup of tea at the moment. But I did go to many council meetings etc for a few years, and have spent enough time on it – I’ve moved on. I don’t see any significant change in processes though. And I remain concerned about the lack of focus for communities throughout Auckland that don’t have advocacy.

                  I am a supporter of alternative transport modes, and of increasing public transport options for Aucklanders. I’m not convinced that the ever rising cost of the proposed LRT for the airport link is the best use of transport funds.

  4. Cinny 5

    Cease fire between Israel and Palestine results in the Israeli Defence Minister resigning.

    Personally I think lieberman resigning is huge news, come on NZ media, catch up please.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/israel-defence-minister-lieberman-resigns-gaza-ceasefire-181114111137338.html

    • ScottGN 5.1

      The unfolding constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka, a fellow Commonwealth country, is huge news too Cinny but I doubt our parochial media in NZ will be covering that story anytime soon even though there is a sizeable Sri Lankan minority in Auckland.

    • Jack Ramaka 5.2

      We tend to get a more balanced viewpoint from Al Jazeera compared the US news networks. Hopefully they can sort this shit out once and for all ?

  5. ScottGN 6

    As the postal ballots slowly get counted in California that state looks to be a rolling bloodbath for Republicans. Nationwide Dems may pick up as many as 40 seats, the third biggest Midterms gain in the last 40 years.

    • Bearded Git 6.1

      Its looking more like the Democrats will pick up 37 Scott….but that really is an excellent result that has been very poorly reported by the media which (as in NZ) concentrates on early results and not the final result.

      The Dems picking up Arizona in the senate yesterday-previously called for the Republicans-was great news.

      • ScottGN 6.1.1

        You’re probably right at 37/38 but possibly as many as 40 if the outstanding races go the Dems way, and most have been.
        It seems the tv networks 10 pm election night prognosis was the narrative that got “baked in” as they say in America. Republicans built their spin around that and it’s taken a week to unravel.
        The Arizona win is significant for Democrats, even though Sinema (originally a Green Party staffer) recast herself as a very right/centrist Democrat to win and Martha McSally was a pretty bad candidate. It points to some sort of pathway for the Democrats towards majority in the Senate via the shifting demographics in the sunbelt states.

        • Bearded Git 6.1.1.1

          agree totally…Trump said he won so he must have won!

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            That must be why he was so cheerful on his Europe trip. 🙂

            the helicopter couldn’t fly in the rain. That’s it. Not that the president of the USA is a fucking three year old throwing a week-long tantrum.

            • JohnSelway 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Helicopters don’t work in the rain and you need voter ID to buy cereal.

              Jesus man, this is basic stuff.

        • Bearded Git 6.1.1.2

          Scott I may be wrong here and you right…Democrats seem to be picking up enough House seats to get to +39 and even +40.

          Its a bit weird in my defence-I was relying on realclearpolitics figures that showed that House races had been 100% counted with the Dems behind where in fact the figures have continued to change towards the Dem after this.

  6. ScottGN 7

    Nick Smith has just finished throwing tantrum on Morning Report because Susie Ferguson had the temerity to ask him about the Pike River re-entry rather than let him drone on about government use of consultants.

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      He misses that cabinet limo….time he hung up his spurs.

      • ScottGN 7.1.1

        He still pontificates like he’s a cabinet minister.

        • veutoviper 7.1.1.1

          Dreadful as it may sound, my perceptions/thoughts over recent months have become that Nick Smith is actually now coming across as one of National’s “better and more experienced”* MPs – compared to Bridges, Bennett and co.

          * Yes, I did say that! Even I find myself querying myself for saying it. LOL.

          However, out of the limelight of Question Time, he has actually been the one leading the Opposition’s questioning and challenging the Government’s position on various bits of legislation during their passage through the House for 1st Readings, 2nd Readings, Committee stages, and final 3rd Readings. This has included the waka jumping amendment legislation but also many other bits of legislation not of such prominence.

          This is not meant to be a defense of Smith because he certainly is not someone I like or respect (with the one exception of many years ago when he was Minister for Conservation where he did not too bad a job). IMO he is simply “better’ than the vast majority (all?) members of the current National front bench when measured against a very low benchmark. The fact that I now think that is simply an indication of how far down that benchmark has now dropped, IMO.

          For example, his interview this morning was certainly not good, but at least he seemed to be trying to mount an opposition/challenge re the use of consultants – but I was pleased to hear Suzie not giving him a clear run and challenging him.

          Smith was at least coherent in what he said re Suzie diverting her questions onto the Pike River re-entry – IMO Bridges in similar situations just throws his toys in a much less mature, coherent manner.

          https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018671303/nick-smith-criticises-govt-over-contractor-spending

          • Anne 7.1.1.1.1

            I agree with you vv about Nick Smith.

            What it really demonstrates is the second class status of the current National Party caucus and their lack of experience, nous and maturity. We may not have liked or agreed with Key, Joyce and co. who fled the sinking Nat ship in advance (or are about to) but at least they carried out their functions in a (mostly) competent manner. It is going to take the Nats quite a few years to grow another caucus that is ready to again take the reins of power.

            In the meantime, Dirty Politics is all they have.

            Labour – when it went through its ritual growing pains brought on by public rejection – had to be content with fighting and squabbling with one another and, much to my eternal shame, I was one of the participants. 🙁

            • veutoviper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks Anne. Good to know I am not losing the plot yet, LOL.

              Totally agree with your last para, also – and I was also part of that. It is quite interesting watching it now happening with the now Opposition., albeit in a slightly different less open/public manner. Well, up to a point. JLR has put a bit of dent in the behind closed doors scenario. Long may it last.

            • Antoine 7.1.1.1.1.2

              > What it really demonstrates is the second class status of the current National Party caucus and their lack of experience, nous and maturity

              100% agree – though in my view the Labour Party caucus is not in a much better state – I think both parties had much more talent in the mid 2000s.

              A.

          • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.2

            Many years back I attended a Tararua Tramping Club meeting where Nick spoke on conservation issues. I still recall it quite well; it seemed to me at the time that spoke competently, sincerely and had an extensive, passionate grasp of his subject. He’s certainly served his Party well for many decades, and undertaken much work for the nation.

            Others will leap to disagree I realise, but even if my political values are different to his, I can respect his substantial contribution over the decades.

            • solkta 7.1.1.1.2.1

              He was certainly not being sincere with all the lies and bullshit he spoke about fresh water quality.

              • solkta

                Federated Mountain Club’s, Fish and Game and Forest and Bird all thought he was full of shit:

                Federated Mountain Club’s withdrawal from the Land and Water Forum shows how Environment Minister Nick Smith’s water policy is dissolving around him, the Green Party said today.

                Environmental groups have been abandoning the Land and Water Forum (LAWF); Fish and Game left last year, while Forest and Bird left just three days ago.

                “The Forum is supposed to represent all those with an interest in water in this country, from industry to environmentalists. But the balance is tipped too much in favour of industry and the Minister cherry-picks its recommendations to suit his pro-pollution agenda. It’s become untenable for environmental groups to stay in the Forum,” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

                “The Green Party has been questioning Nick Smith all week on the failures of his Clean Water package, in which the goal posts have been moved to classify dirty rivers as clean.

                https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/nick-smith%E2%80%99s-water-policy-dissolving-another-environmental-group-walks-away-land

                • RedLogix

                  Yes … that is the entire purpose of politics; thrashing out competing interests and desires. I’d be shocked if the Greens and FMC were not opposed to at least some of his policy work, and I never said I aligned with Nick’s position, but that I could respect the way he has gone about it.

                  Two different things, and a distinction many here seem to struggle with.

                  • solkta

                    So you think that changing the definition of “swimmable” to include that which clearly is not is an honest way of going about this?

                    • RedLogix

                      It’s probably what he could get past Cabinet.

                    • solkta

                      Oh OK, so it is OK for him to be dishonest as long as he has got the best he can out of Cabinet? Now you are talking about a different thing.

                    • RedLogix

                      If you asked Nick in his personal capacity how he’d like our rivers, I bet he’d give the same answer you or I would give, crystal clear and wonderful (as I remember them from decades past).

                      But that’s politics for you. You don’t always get what you want and you have to make the best of what you get. You can’t make a stand on everything you disagree with, otherwise you get kicked out of the game fast. Call that dishonest if you like, but it’s how the system works.

                    • solkta

                      The thing that was dishonest was changing the definition of “swimmable” to include that which clearly isn’t. That is a separate thing to Nact deciding that water quality should not be significantly improved.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’m not at all familiar with this story so, but it’s likely a good example of how the system works. If we looked closely at the policy involved we would likely see that in the long-term it creates a reasonable framework for improving river water quality.

                      But initially it’s going to get opposition from interests that it’s going to impose costs on, ie the farmers. So what you do is put in place an overarching legislation that can have it’s detailed settings altered over time, but accept that the first pass isn’t going to be everything you want.

                      Yeah I know, it’s boring and incremental, but it’s the way you get things done without too many unintended consequences. I’m not at all unsympathetic to what your saying here; as you can deduce my single biggest passion in life has been tramping in the backcountry of these amazingly beautiful islands; assume I care about the rivers as you do.

                      But politics isn’t a natural playground for idealists like us; understanding how to get things done requires competence and pragmatism.

                  • greywarshark

                    Smoke and mirrors Red Logix?

            • veutoviper 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Smith was Minister of Conservation from 1996 – 1999 after Denis Marshall resigned post Cave Creek. I worked for the Dept of Conservation for three years after the final Cave Creek report as part of the restructuring of the Dept as a result of the report. Smith was a good Minister during his time and became well respected by Conservation staff, both old and new. My type of work meant I had direct contact with him, and I found him good to deal with on the complex issues pertaining to the restructure etc.

              Some of his other and later ‘history’*, some of which is covered by legal suppression orders, not so much. But c’est la vie – we are all a mix of good and bad.

              * including his clean water package in 2017 as per Solkta’s comment above.

              • RedLogix

                Yes … like many politicians meeting or working with them in person is a different experience to their media projection. Your comment is interesting, clearly Nick Smith was at his best in the Conservation portfolio, and his record in other roles has been …. let’s say workmanlike, but sometimes scratchy.

                • veutoviper

                  Exactly – well said. From all accounts, Conservation was probably his Ministerial high point.

                  I also agree with what you have said above to solkta.

                  I don’t mean this as a criticism, but for those who have not worked in the parliamentary environment and/or in govt in roles that interact with the parliamentary system, things can be very black or white and idealistic; whereas the reality of our system of government is one of shades of grey including (acceptable levels of) compromise, deferred/staged implementation etc, etc.

                  This, of course, is also true for many other areas of work, business etc – for example, the type of work you appear to be in.

                  As you said, two different things, and a distinction many here seem to struggle with.

                • Macro

                  I know one politician who says of Nick Smith that he is the biggest liar they have ever met, and that includes John Key. It was an opinion expressed to me as we drove over to a conference in Hamilton in 2014 on Climate Change and NZ’s commitment, or otherwise.

                  • veutoviper

                    I don’t think anything I, or possibly others, have said necessarily excludes that as a possibility. We humans are complex beings, and that possibility is not necessarily out of line with my brief mention of legally suppressed matters of many years ago. Will say no more.

                  • Nick Smith married a woman he was assisting when she was a constituant thats akin to a Doctor sleeping with patients, a big no no, likely to get any other professional struck off from their registration body. Then again polititians have no understanding of ethical behaviour.

                    • Anne

                      Sorry Psych nurse but that is silly. There are no parallels with a doctor tending to a patient. That is a deeply personal situation at all levels (even if its only to syringe a dammed pesky ear every few months 🙁 ) whereas a constituent is only requiring advice or wanting to reference some local concern that may be bothering them. There is no reason why after such an encounter with an MP that they don’t discover (maybe) they have friends and associates in common and ultimately choose to extend their relationship.

                      Good grief, does that mean you can’t strike up a friendship with your local chemist or computer technician (if you’re a pc dummy like me) or anyone you may hire to do a job for you?

                    • greywarshark

                      Is it regarded as unethical to try to marry a computer technician if you are a needy computer klutz?

              • gsays

                Jingos VV, this is sounding more like an obituary.
                (Not wishing ill on the man).

                • veutoviper

                  Ooops – not meant that way at all, especially as I have just worked out the difference in age between him and I. ROFL.

                  But I do think that he needs to move on, and find something else for his remaining working years. Or perhaps, he still has designs on being Leader? …………………………..

                  • gsays

                    Leader…
                    Putting a tory hat on, I couldnt think of three better candidates in the party.
                    I am being sincere here.

                    Although IMO the best candidate for leader is someone the likes of O’Sullivan, GP in the far north, and chopper him in to Botany.
                    A la key, that went well for them.

              • patricia bremner

                What he did and the lies he told re ACC remain painful for many.

          • ScottGN 7.1.1.1.3

            I’m no fan of the Waka Jumping Legislation but I’m not really inclined to be lectured on its many flaws by Nick Smith, who was part of the National government that completely ignored the recommendations of the MMP Review in 2012 for no better reason than those recommendations (abolishing of coattails rule and resulting overhang and lowering the threshold to 4% etc), if implemented, would have disadvantaged National’s client parties.

            • Jack Ramaka 7.1.1.1.3.1

              JLR has done the country a service exposing the grubby workings of the Natzi Party

          • Bearded Git 7.1.1.1.4

            I will never trust a word he ever says again after the way he lied about the National Party’s devious RMA reforms (and the Special Housing Areas) that are a developers charter and a disaster for NZ’s landscapes.

            The Maori Party got its just deserts for supporting the RMA reforms.

            • veutoviper 7.1.1.1.4.1

              Fair enough. And that is a biggie.

              What I was trying to get through in my comment that you have replied to was that while I do not have any great love, trust or anything else for Smith, using him as a form of measure, he actually shows up many/most/all (?) of the rest of the Nat frontbench as being possibly worse.

              In other words, I think the quality of the current Nats MPs is at a major low. (I am trying to keep a bit of an open mind re some of the latest additions but suspect that they are just other chips off the same block.)

              I certainly do not have any respect for Smith or trust him – with the one exception of the short period when Smith was Minister of Conservation and I discussed that further down the thread with Red Logix.

              As I also replied to Macro who also reported that he had been referred to as the biggest liar another politician had ever met, I certainly don’t exclude that as well.

              ScottGN also made good points re Smith and the waka jumping legislation.

              We all see things from slightly different perspectives and it would be a dull old world if we didn’t.

    • Jack Ramaka 7.2

      Time to put his slippers on and have another whisky perhaps.

  7. Cinny 8

    I need some advice please…..

    Miss almost 14 was bullied badly at school earlier in the year, I got involved, the boys concerned were punished by the school, the bullying has pretty much stopped.

    She meet a brother of one of the bullies at the bike track, turns out both him and his brother get beaten by their father. When the father was contacted by the school to advise him that his son was bullying my daughter, the father beat up his son with a stick, threw a chair at him etc.

    Myself and Miss almost 14 are deeply troubled that these boys are getting beaten by their father. We only know one of the boys first names.

    We need to do something to protect these boys, what should we do or who should we approach?

    Should we go to the school and tell them or the police?

    I’m really lost on who to approach and how to go about it, I don’t want these kids to get another beating.

    • Antoine 8.1

      STart with your school principal and be clear you are speaking in confidence?

      A.

    • James 8.2

      I would recommend going directly to the police.

      Telll then the school has the full names of the boys.

      That separates you and your daughter from the school (so less chance of blow back on you) and better change of it being acted on quickly.

      Not a fun position. Good luck.

      • ankerawshark 8.2.1

        I agree with James. It is a criminal offence and rightly so. The boys and their father need help. Or you could

    • gsays 8.3

      KAhaI agree with the advice above.
      By all means help how you see fit, also set some boundaries for yourself and yours.
      It is important to keep yourself safe. Safe physically, mentally and emotionally.
      It is quite possible you may not achieve concrete results in this case.
      You may be able to help in other kids lives.
      By this I mean perhaps help out with another group. Youthline, Big Brother Big Sister, after school groups etc.
      It may not be on the front line, all these groups need help running.
      All this according to your time and resources.

      Good luck and stay safe.

    • veutoviper 8.4

      A difficult situation, Cinny.

      IMO it depends on your relationship with your school principal. I recall that you have mentioned him/her on here once or twice. If you have a good trusting relationship where you feel confident in the principal’s integrity, confidentiality etc, then I would start there.

      If not, I would suggest either the police (they usually have specific officers especially trained in these areas) and/or Oranga Tamariki.

      Oranga Tamariki has a specific section on their website on this very issue with who to contact, contact numbers etc. They seem to be doing a lot better under the guidance of Tracey Martin as their Minister.

      https://www.orangatamariki.govt.nz/worried-about-a-child-tell-us/

      Full site https://www.orangatamariki.govt.nz/

      Kia kaha

      EDIT – Actually, I would suggest talking to OT first as they will/should know the best/right(legal) procedures in such cases. There were some changes to the law on this recently IIRC.

    • Jimmy 8.5

      Approach the school / principal. Hopefully they can investigate or get police involved if needed which separates yourself. Good luck…horrible situation.

    • Cinny 8.6

      Thanks so much everyone.

      I contacted Oranga Tamariki, cheers for the links VV very much appreciated. Because I don’t know the last name or address of the children unfortunately they are unable to progress it.

      But they were ever so helpful, and suggested to go to the school and advise them, and ask the school to contact O.T. Glad the staff at the school and the principal are so very approachable, makes a massive difference.

      Social worker on the phone said that because the parent used a stick to beat their children and threw a chair at them that it could well end up being a police matter.

      Will have to tread very carefully as the last thing I want is those boys to get another beating because they disclosed their situation to someone.

      Once again thanks everyone for the info and advice.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.7

      I’d go to the police. That’s not just smacking but outright assault.

      • Cinny 8.7.1

        I wish it was that easy Draco, but having been a in violent relationship I know it’s not.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.7.1.1

          It’s certainly not something that would have worked when I was living with my father after my mother died 36 years ago. I tried after I ran away because the fuckwit was beating me most days for things that I hadn’t even done and got caught by the police. Their only response was that my father could actually force me to stay at home until I was twenty.

          But things have changed since then and going to the police can actually work. Especially after the repeal of s59 which gave abusers an out.

  8. SaveNZ 9

    Exclusive: Serious concern over preschool checks as conditions not picked-up

    “Many children were starting at a language development age of 3-4 years. More than 30 per cent had a language proficiency in the bottom 2.5 per cent of the population.

    The study, sent to ministers of health and education, concludes: “our current model of delivering health, education and social services equally is increasing inequity. We need to realign the current health and education systems”.”

    “But it took a comprehensive check of new entrants at schools in the Tamaki area as part of the Welcome to School study to reveal the true picture.

    By the time they were five-and-a-half, a quarter of new entrants either had or needed tooth extractions under general anaesthetic.

    Burt said in a middle class family such a procedure would be considered extremely significant.

    The fact it was so common in his school’s area but not well understood showed how disadvantage “normalises things that ought not to be normal”.

    Other study findings included 36 per cent of new entrants being obese and a similar proportion overweight.

    “It is normal in this community to be an unhealthy weight,” the study’s executive summary noted. “Many of these children are actually malnourished kids in big bodies.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12159206

  9. SaveNZ 10

    Revealed: Hundreds declined specialist care for painful skin conditions

    “Half of South Auckland children sent for specialist care for serious skin conditions are declined an appointment, a Herald investigation has found.

    The picture is similar at some other district health boards (DHBs), as the public system struggles with specialist-to-population ratios called “third world” by the NZ Dermatological Society.

    Health Minister David Clark has now asked for advice on the problem.

    In Canterbury, hundreds of referrals (mostly for adults) have been sent back, despite meeting the usual clinical threshold for an appointment.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12150553

    • SaveNZ 10.1

      In the wake of the ‘compassion’ and amount Karel Sroubek has cost the taxpayers, maybe the government could reprioritise their spending onto kids born here, who seem to be receiving a third world health service.

      Likewise there is so much government money being spent on private housing, and the hundreds of thousands of new migrants and work permits being given out, but where are the new hospitals and the doctors and schools that should be put in BEFORE the migrants and work permits are given out. Or the prison gets another drug smuggler needing hundreds of thousands of tax payer money for their prison stay and our government fights for their rights out of ‘compassion” while the priorities of kids born here that have little to nothing, are having worse and worse outcomes.

      NZ is a small country with a set amount to be spent, the big issue seems to be that our government seem more interested in overseas drug smuggler’s rights than making sure the human rights of their own kids are a priority and don’t want for anything.

      • SaveNZ 10.1.1

        Major infrastructure partnership for North Auckland
        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1811/S00135/major-infrastructure-partnership-for-north-auckland.htm

        What we need to ask ourselves is who is paying for the hospital and schools and congestion, because more houses don’t create wealth, well paid secure jobs do, and to keep the same standard of living with more houses and people we need to also AT THE SAME TIME, build more hospitals and schools and have the money to fund the doctors and teachers who teach in them ready and accounted for.

        Instead of giving more money to big construction interests through housing, maybe the government should look at where the well paid secure jobs being created in Auckland are, (truck drivers and baristas are not exactly well paid jobs) the educational and health levels of the next generation who seem to be going backwards, otherwise the government are diverting public money and resources to the world’s wealthy and privileged new home owners and away from NZ poor and middle classes who have to ‘share’ the dwindling hospitals and schools, and roads/public transport and polluted beaches with more and more of the world’s privileged with money earned outside of NZ and people who qualify for free super, health care and even public transport with the gold card, but may have only been in NZ for a fraction of their life time.

      • Gabby 10.1.2

        Maybe Karel can rustle up some under the counter skin cream savvy.

    • greywarshark 10.2

      Sad about skin conditions lack of help.

      I have wondered for some time about the skin reaction to the strength of the ‘soap’ powders on offer and whether the clothes get properly rinsed by modern washing machine programs. In my machine the idea seems to be to save water and energy with seemingly lower rinse levels than for wash period, and only one full rinse. If the machine is very full of washing, as it probably would be for poor households who are also time poor, then there could be a considerable amount of washing solution left in the clothes which could be irritating and sensitise the skin.

      • Jilly Bee 10.2.1

        I have the same thoughts about the new washing machines. I purchased a new front loading machine when we shifted house in 2015 – the older top loader was too wide for the space, and have despaired at times at the rinsing programme, even with the extra rinse option. I often then put the load through a rinse cycle again, which takes extra time. This certain could have detrimental effects on some people who have sensitive skin – I just get a bit p****d off at the towels drying like sheets of plywood.

    • Jack Ramaka 10.3

      Natzi’s undermined the Health System and imported 500k fresh Asian Immigrants with no improvements to the country’s infrastructure have a think about the consequences ?

  10. patricia bremner 12

    It is brilliant the boys have started the dialogue.
    It is a cry for help.
    James is correct, as an adult you need to report the possible abuse, in as far as you know it.
    The police will speak with the Principal, who has the right to speak with the boys and trigger protection.
    Cinny, you will be taken seriously. Even a phone call to the police would elicit a response.

  11. joe90 13

    #FiveWhiteGuys think the menz should be running the shop.

    This is not good news.These #FiveWhiteGuys @RepTimRyan, @sethmoulton, @RepPerlmutter, @RepSchrader and @RepBillFoster are leading a small group with tea party tactics to change the rules for how House Speaker is elected. They are fighting to take down @NancyPelosi.1/ pic.twitter.com/a3kM8fGvuI— Robert #Resist Sandy (@frodofied) November 13, 2018

    (1/7)

    For those members, old and new, who oppose Pelosi from the left, the #FiveWhiteGuys are offering a sucker’s bet. The #FiveWhiteGuys are of the school that believes that the Democratic Party’s needs are best served winning back all those disgruntled folks at diners in the Mahoning Valley, a theory fairly well demolished last Tuesday. It is very unlikely that a Green New Deal or Medicare For All is high on their list of priorities. The only argument that the #FiveWhiteGuys have that might resonate with their new progressive colleagues is that Pelosi is old and has been in Congress for a long time. Period. That’s not enough to dispense with the party’s most effective legislative leader since Lyndon Johnson.

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a25093451/nancy-pelosi-speaker-democrat-opposition-tim-ryan-seth-moulton/?

  12. adam 14

    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortizhas has always been an historian I really respect.

    http://reddirtsite.com/

    This interview with her from Abby Martin the Empire Files is just fantastic. Talking about mass killing and white nationalism. Her analysis of trump is illuminating.

  13. Draco T Bastard 15

    Housing crisis in Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes forces young families out of region

    Young families are leaving Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes due to the losing battle with housing affordability.

    The inevitable result of allowing offshore ownership.

    I note two things:
    1. The council is ignoring the fact that it’s the rich outsiders that are the problem.
    2. The council is concerned with losing workers thus we see that rich people can’t actually support themselves or the economy.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      That reminds me of The Admirable Crichton a play which was made as a film in 1957.
      Based on the James Barrie classic, THE ADMIRABLE CRICHTON tells the story of an English butler who, shipwrecked with his employers, resourcefully leads them in their attempts to survive.

      I can’t give a clip of it because Columbia Pictures, although it is 60 years od, won’t allow it to be shown with a soundtrack). It’s available in audio voiced by a machine, or can be seen as a nearly mute soundtrack (just the faintest tape rustle or something to be heard).

      Perhaps we need to be resourceful and lead ourselves out of this mess that the export-oriented, anti-domestic, money-mad business people have landed us in.

    • Gabby 15.2

      Qtown might lose its appeal to the richpricks if there’s nobody there to clean their pools even for redy money.

    • Graeme 15.3

      It’s more the normal cyclical behaviour of the Queenstown and Central Otago property and employment markets. I’ve seen four or five cycles now and the same thing happens every time.

      Queenstown’s a funny place, there’s lots of glitz and glamour, and it’s all premium property, think the very top suburbs of Auckland or Sydney, but most of the residents are really pretty modest, along with most of the jobs. You probably wouldn’t see them trying to live in the top suburbs in auckland or Sydney. Unfortunately the closest we have to Ranui is Lumsden, and that’s 100 km away.

      But people come to town and see the glamour, the stunning landscape and “lifestyle” and think the streets are paved with gold. And just have to be part of it. Generally this turns out to be a cashflow negative undertaking and after a few years they realise that the streets are truly paved with gold, but it’s, or was, their gold. This realisation can have a profound effect on attitudes and there can be some spectacular spitting of the dummy. The Queenstown’s ruined rant is at the lower end of the spectrum.

      World boutique, who appear to be doing very well at making our streets glitter, were in the paper again this morning for some provocative displays. https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/queenstown/shop-window-display-signs-removed-after-complaint Our first reaction was, oh, they’re on their way…

  14. OnceWasTim 16

    Oh dear, how sad.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/entertainment-top-stories/108622921/mediaworks-radio-arm-radio-live-to-be-merged-with-magic-network
    Another lot licking at RNZ door’s threshold hoping for mercy. (They’re becoming increasingly merciful towards the commercially oriented)
    In the meantime, I ‘spose a spot or two on the Panel with Jum (not TS’ Jum) will pay for the groceries.

    • millsy 16.1

      Talkback has had it’s day, replaced with social media and the like. Hopefully at least we will get to see Magic come to Taranaki, with Radio Live’s frequency being take over.

  15. Morrissey 17

    Mike Williams continues to agree with everything Michelle Boag says;
    This is cringe-inducing radio, on a level with Newstalk ZzzzzB.

    The Panel, RNZ National, Wednesday 14 November 2018
    Jim Mora, Michelle Boag, Mike “I Agree With Michelle” Williams, Emil Donovan

    We’ve studied many times over the last few years the less than stellar performances of the late Paul Holmes’s former classmate Mike Williams. While he has the ability to speak clearly and intelligently, Williams too often chooses to abase himself in order to curry favor with the likes of Matthew Hooton [1] and, as we heard today, the notorious democracy-hater Michelle Boag. In Williams she has secured another perfect stooge, or sycophant, now that Brian “I agree entirely with Michelle” Edwards is no longer available. [2]

    First major “discussion” this afternoon concerned the teacher pay dispute. As would have surprised nobody at all, Boag launched into an extended rant against the teacher unions, with Williams adding the odd supportive “yeah” and “mmmm” every now and again. Then, after several minutes, mercifully, she came to a halt. Mike Williams now had a chance to respond. This is what he said:

    “I agree with Michelle.”

    Next topic was the Karel Sroubek “saga”. Boag again took the opportunity to launch into another extended, partisan rant. At the end of it, Mike Williams again had a chance to say something intelligent. He said:

    “Look I, I agree with Michelle very largely here.”

    The third-last item for consideration by these thoroughly thoughtful thinkers was previewed as follows:

    Spying drones
    Following our drones discussion over the last few days, we look into the problem of drones being used to spy on people and to scout out properties for thieves to burgle. We ask New Zealand Police if they’ve had any cases, as have been seen in other countries.

    Now, The Panel has discussed drones many, many times. It’s a topic that they’ve chatted lightly about almost as often as they’ve chatted about coffee, or diet research, or the frustrations of buying rock concert tickets online. [3] Never once during these frivolous talkfests have I heard them even mention the use of drones to kill thousands of people, mainly civilians and children, in Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, Gaza, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Previewing this discussion at 3:45 p.m., Jim Mora read out, without a trace of irony in his voice: “Could drones be used for crime?”

    [1] /open-mike-21092015/#comment-1072911

    Open mike 06/10/2015


    [2] /open-mike-08102014/#comment-906562

    Open mike 22/07/2012


    [3] /open-mike-10062014/#comment-828881

  16. Gabby 18

    Jimoara does seem a wee bit drone obsessed morry. I guess he ‘gets’ drones. Best laugh was Boagy growling ‘I’m rilly empatheddic’.

  17. JohnSelway 19

    I know it’s all politics but god, how could Ardern stand to be seated next to (or near to given Pence doesn’t want any woman closer to him than his wife – weird little religious zealot he is) Mike Pence. A Christian nut with some very strange ideas about homosexuality, climate change, evolution etc etc etc.

    I couldn’t spend 5 mins with him without getting into an argument

  18. eco maori 20

    Kia ora The Am Show
    judy trying to the flip flop on the Pike River Mine disaster tipal neo polly itwasent me.
    shonky was pulling all the strings come on .
    May the word’s that come out of the waha don’t match her body language.
    I tau toko respecting the Wahine and treating them Equally but I say those stat’s about Aotearoa being the worst in the world is full of stats were country’s are manipulating there data to make there image look good hence a honest country sit at the top .
    A Star Is Born is A awesome movie some in our MSM have been kicking it a bit?????????.
    If one does not talk about a problem there are no solutions found to solve the suicide problem with our Stars .Fame Alcohol hard drugs can = suicide people are passing on way to early because of that fact not being talked about hence no reduction in this problem.
    Re setting driver’s licences test is not a bright Idea who thought of this bright Idea I say no more.
    Ka kite ano . P.S have a good weekend

  19. eco maori 21

    The Norton based dimp worked I just managed to save this computer .
    I went to Auckland to see our MOKO’s and you should have seen the sandfly’s marked ones everywhere .

  20. eco maori 22

    These beautiful Creatures deserve a future we are there Guardians
    Ka kite ano link below
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2018/nov/15/the-empire-of-the-eagle-book-mike-unwin-david-tiplin

  21. eco maori 23

    I remember in the 90ts some trying to launch super rugby/league comp and it FLOPPED just like this one the positive out come from that attempt is we now have professorial Rugby . some people don’t know how to be original they are copy cats.
    A new rugby competition involving teams from Australia and smaller nations has been conditionally sanctioned by the World Rugby Council.

    Rapid Rugby, the brainchild of Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, will include the Perth-based Western Force as well as teams from Samoa, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Fiji, plus another backed by a private consortium based in a country yet to be revealed.

    The teams would contest 56 games over 14 rounds, prior to four finals over three weeks, with the winners taking a $1 million first prize.

    The competition will run during a similar period to Super Rugby, with Forrest indicating a start in late February, with a three-week finals series culminating in a June grand final.
    Ka kite ano link below P.S this guy should use his money to support Australian rugby

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12161083

  22. Eco Maori 24

    Kia ora Newshub looks like a good circus.
    Lloyd Britexit in a nother move by the wealthy for the wealthy the commoners are the people who are going to pay for the wealthy like trump is steam rolling Americans it all about the rich oil barron to them.
    It was cool that the conjoined twins have been separated by operation in Australia.
    The Bill Clinton saga the Republins new he is a stick man they used Monaca Lewnsky to set him up and played the media and Bill like a violin.
    That Panda is so gorgeous.
    Ka kite ano P.S I have been busy using dimp

  23. Eco Maori 25

    The Crowd goes Wild apologies I have been tied up with the mokos.
    Because the sandflys are playing with them selves so much these days I am using sign language a lot as of late ki kaha to the Crowd goes Wild crew.
    Ka kite ano P.S I will have to be more careful who I post about

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