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Open mike 15/12/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 15th, 2022 - 72 comments
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72 comments on “Open mike 15/12/2022 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1


    Snatching defeat from the Jaws of victory?

    Or did labour never really want HWEN to fly?

    • Graeme 1.1

      Did anyone really want He Waka Eke Noa to fly / float?

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        Certainly not Groundswell.

        "…Groundswell, the farmer protest movement born out of opposition to poorly thought out government policy on winter grazing in Southland."

        More "dragged itself out of the mud/primeval ooze"

        There will be some who read the article and find it believable.


      • bwaghorn 1.1.2

        Maybe I missed something but didn't lavour tell farmers to design these own plan, ?

        That would make a simple hick like me think atleast labour and a chunk of farmers want it.

        • tinderdry6

          As the article explains, it was a partnership between the government, primary sector organisations and Māori. There was certainly support for the process from within the farming community, but there was also a lot of opposition.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      Dairy farmer writes mendacious and disingenuous opinion piece opposing the governments emissions targets? Who would have thought?

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        Craig Hickman is an equity manager on a 1000-cow dairy farm in mid-Canterbury.

        "Mid-Canterbury" and "1000-cow dairy farm" – a match made in heaven!

        The perfect pulpit from which to preach about climate change.

        • Craig H

          If he's Dairymannz (similar picture so I think so), his tiktok account is quite good. Obviously anyone can present a persona, but it's quite balanced, not typical dairy talking points on everything by any means.

      • bwaghorn 1.2.2

        Can you point out the bits that are disingenuous and mendacious?

  2. tsmithfield 2

    I was quite disappointed that the government has decided to scrap the fuel rebate.

    Firstly, this move will put extra inflationary pressure into the economy which isn't good for anyone.

    Secondly, it will be as popular as a turd on a Christmas cake so far as voters are concerned.

    Thirdly there was a missed opportunity to make that tax much fairer. At the moment, the amount of tax the government takes on fuel increases with the price. A much fairer approach would be to make the tax take on fuel at a fixed amount rather than variable.

    • Craig H 2.1

      Fuel excise (tax) is fixed, what goes up and down with prices is GST which is true of all prices.

      • tsmithfield 2.1.1

        Yes, that is probably a fair comment. But the unfair thing is that GST in this case is partially a tax on a tax. So, it is unfair in a number of ways.

        I don't normally advocate dicking around with GST due to the complexities involved. But, in this case, GST on fuel could be abolished, and the excise part increased so that it is truly a fair tax.

  3. Temp ORary 3

    I commented on the Fiji election yestereve, but results reporting stalled before midnight. Appears to have been a tech issue:

    Supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem briefed media in the early hours of Thursday morning saying attempts to restart a failed data transfer had caused the app to glitch out and give a disproportionate amount of votes to some candidates, with two in particular receiving a boost of about 28,000 and 14,000 votes respectively…

    At 7am provisional results will stop being released and the official count will begin.

    No further provisional results will be released, and official results are expected on Sunday local time…

    The new results released at the relaunch of the app around 2.30am Fiji time showed Fiji First leading with 65,949 votes over the Peoples Alliance Party who had 50,348 votes, with 531 of 2071 stations counted.


    So that's Bainimarama's party now leading Rabuka's. Though with a lot of votes to be counted (or at least announced), and a peculiar computing error in the middle. So far the military seems to be holding to their promise of respecting the outcome.

  4. joe90 4

    Elmo protecting his own.

    • joe90 4.1

      • Ad 4.1.1

        I would like to see Twitter go bust or bankrupt, just to force both Republicans and Democrats to regulate far more strongly regulate social media.

        Even if Twitter survives the next 6 months, it's hard to see the subscribers coming back in 2023 that would enable Twitter to survive the year.

      • Incognito 4.1.2

        So, Aliens Have Landed is ok but Musk Has Landed On Mars is not?

  5. Ad 5

    OK so it was a terrible idea to restrict immigration and push unemployment down and labour utilisation up?

    Awful to support the economy with massive subsidy?

    Horrifying to have all that upward wage pressure?

    Economy boomed: GDP data shows solid economic growth, reveals star performers – NZ Herald

    Robertson and Treasury have put New Zealand in a very strong place to withstand the downward pressures of a global recession.

    No idea if any Nat voter or swinging centrist will figure this out, but it simply shows again that if you want an economy run well, vote Labour in 2023.

    • AB 5.1

      Looking forward to the NZ Herald selecting Robertson as their 2022 Politician of the Year.

      Though maybe, in the Herald's 'mind', Luxon's grotesque, shroud-waving opportunism when standing in front of a Sandringham dairy with a bunch of flowers, will make him the winner.

    • AB 6.1

      Brown was put in there to sell stuff. If he lowers the value of existing shares through being a oaf – and the Council gets less on selling their shares while 'investors' make out like bandits – that's not inconsistent with his actual mission.

    • Ad 6.2

      Every single Green and Labour and City Vision Councillor should be blowing up about this.

      Where the fuck are they? They have no need to vote with the mayor on his budget, Hell the right wouldn't.

      Auckland Council has held onto this as a passive shareholder for over a decade.

      Yet that is despite Auckland Airport being the most powerful and largest single economic force in the entire Auckland region, and also the most important spatial player.

      Bruce Jesson should come back and haunt the Green/Labour/CityVision Councillors until they weep.

      • tinderdry6 6.2.1

        It's not that simple for them.

        Auckland Council have 18% of the current shareholding. That gives them little to no say in how the airport is run. If, as Brown says, the airport needs to raise money for further expansion, ratepayers will be on the hook for more investment or that 18% will be further diluted. This is a ratepayer owned asset worth around $2bn, money a sum that would, if realised, dramatically reduce debt and therefore rates.

        It's also not a policy in isolation. It is being considered as part of a range of initiatives to cut debt and hold back the level of rates rises.

        In an article in 2020, Damien Grant described how Auckland Council had become a "bloated, debt-laden monster sucking in cash, employees and capital", and a "dysfunctional mess that Rodney Hide’s legacy to Auckland has become." In the 2 years since, it has, if anything, got worse.

        • arkie

          Local government has only two options for ongoing income; dividends from council-owned businesses or rates. If we want low rates rises we should want councils to own profitable and useful businesses, selling them off only benefits us once.

          • gsays

            Another option to lower the rates bill is to lower expenses.

            Golf courses cost Auckland rate-payers $162M a year, nearly twice the cost of the $88M annual debt servicing of the airport shares.

            "Wayne Brown wants to sell Auckland Airport shares to save $88 million a year in interest costs, but has no plans to sell golf courses costing $162 million a year to run and worth over $2.9 billion. Bernard Hickey asks – why not?"


          • Tinderdry6

            Again, it’s not that simple. Auckland City has substantial debt, and servicing that debt is a significant cost to ratepayers. The airport company hasn’t returned a dividend in the past 3 years, and with major further infrastructure investment planned, isn’t likely to for some time. So selling the shares, paying down debt and saving the servicing costs makes sense.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              It was paying quite good dividends prior to COVID. Yeah use a crisis to get greedy little mitts on ratepayers assets and income stream.

              We've all see what has happened to taxpayer assets when the private sector gets their paws on them. Lack of investment, capital taken out by way of dividend, capital taken out by way of high salaries – has to be high salaries otherwise it would simply be theft costs up continually for the consumer. and leaving taxes as the only revenue stream most of which is paid by workers and consumers. Business pays sweet FA and often doesn't pay it when it is supposed to. as we see in the paper all the time.

              time to bring in a turnover tax paid to IRD at the transaction point.

              electricity is a mess, telecommunications is a mess, housing is a mess….

              As far as I can tell the private sector is pretty shit at running stuff.

              • lprent


                blockquote>As far as I can tell the private sector is pretty shit at running stuff.

                Just long-run infrastructure where they’ve got dividends to pay out now to satisfy investors – rather than doing rigorous maintenance and paying down debt or squirrelling investments for the inevitable upgrades and enhancements.

                Mostly the private sector runs reasonably well on a yearly cycle. Corporates often run quarter to quarter, bu may have up to a 3 year forward planning year cycle if you’re lucky.

                It doesn’t run a decade or two ahead looking at demographics and town planning required for infrastructure planning.

              • Aucklands current problems are being caused, at least in part, by a bloated public sector salaries and staff numbers.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  So we have built a paradigm where top public sector salaries are linked to top private sector salaries supposedly to in part be able to attract good private sector people into the public service.

                  So mayors, and senior officials get paid lots more than they used to before this paradigm was built.

                  I continue to see however many public servants such as some of the ones in my family move into the private sector for better pay and to the Australian private sector for the same reason. This tells me their skills and expertise – in one case built up over twenty five years in a council position, are in demand.

                  At the same time there has been restraint put on the public sector by two successive governments which has their pay falling further behind the private sector. Or course this affects the CEO's much less than those at the coal face.


                  So when you say bloated salaries (and I personally think public service leaders get paid too much) then we need to think about the paradigm. It is the increases in private sector salaries that drive public sector salaries up and I've yet to see a private sector manager go into either local or central government and say pay me less. Has Mr Brown said pay me less – I don't think so though I do recall him saying he would work less hours for the same salary. Lots of cheerleaders saying well if he had get the work done in less time then what does it matter?

                  And when someone from the private sector moves into the public sector are they still private sector and deserving of their salary or are they now public sector and getting a bloated salary. When does one become a public servant? And if they, the public servant leave and take their skills to the private sector for more pay do they suddenly get a deserved salary or wages even though it is now a higher rate. Bloated but paid less just makes no sense.

                  It is a bit like the magic of turning 65 and going from a bludger on benefit to a hard-working paid taxes all my life worthy citizen on NZS.

            • lprent

              Depends on how fast the tourism takes to startup. As I remember it, the return to the council was about 58 million in 2019 year (and that was with virtually no traffic in the last quarter) when we still had tourism and a lot of traffic. That was as I recall, a pretty good ROI for 2019 and the years leading up to it.

              In that 2019 last quarter and after that we had covid which kind of knocked all passenger traffic off. It is hardly surprising that “The airport company hasn’t returned a dividend in the past 3 years…”.

              So if you’re a short-term return cretin like Wayne Brown who can barely remember his lines from his over paid advisers (puppet masters?), then of course you’re never going to look at if Auckland Council wants to have a say in one of our major economic hubs. Which is what the council is there for – the health of the Auckland region.

              So as far as I understand it, they want to drop the shares in major economic hub for Auckland, and use that to pay off existing debt. Why don’t they do something that we don’t need. For instance selling off the golf courses that they own which have absolutely no economic return to Auckland but are only there for a small (but noisy) affluent minority. I’m sure they will snapped up by private interests and used more productively.

              Of course that would require that Wayne Brown (and his handlers) would have to do some real work against people who can fight back (unlike most of their ‘targeted’ budget cuts). But we know that Wayne Brown has always been a lazy gutless wonder who takes credit for other work and only targets simple tasks.

              But of course he and his team are also the morons who are so unaware of how the anything in the region operates. They couldn’t figure out that entry into the art gallery is free – so ticket numbers are small.

              Need I say more.

  6. Stephen D 7


    Interesting viewing in light of the PM’s comments about Iran being removed from the UN’s Women’s Group.

    Drawing a much longer bow, I wonder if potential regime change in Iran would force a change in their foreign policy. Especially in regards to supporting and supplying weapons to Russia.

  7. aj 8

    • bwaghorn 8.1

      I'd love to know who's idea that was , genius!!

      Makes on wonder if labour and act could team.up. (just a thought, don’t lose your shit)

    • observer 8.2

      They both come out of it well, the only ones who come out of it looking stupid are the pearl-clutchers who went with fake outrage because they thought it was scoring a devastating point.

      They end up looking like the whiny kid in the classroom who squeals: "Teacher's pet Cindy said a bad word, punish her, not fair, boo!".

      • gsays 8.2.1

        You are not giving Gordon Brittas enough credit. I thought well of him not to stoop for the low hanging fruit that was on offer.

        • Cricklewood

          Haha had completely forgotten about Gordon Brittas… think I still prefer the Arnold Rimmer comparison but only just.

          • lprent

            I actually pulled down some Brittas the other day just to see what it was like. Got tired of being offered another end-game Bruce Willis movie on streaming.

            If you look at Act policy and Brittas together, it really does fit. The same half-arsed psuedo-management completely unrealistic bullshit that Brittas spouted (and is earnestly parroted by the Rimmer clone) actually fit Act policy closely. Written by someone who works on theory that they don’t really understand, showing no signs of understanding the obvious pitfalls, and so absolutely sure that they’re right…

            For instance the Act policy on 3 waters is that councils should go and raise bonds to repair, maintain, and upgrade their water infrastructure. Yeah right. Richard Harmon gave a good example of a council in “Government fails to explain the real need for three waters” at Politik (paywalled). Note that when he is talking about “three waters infrastructure” he is talking about managing the fresh, sewerage, and storm water, rather than the proposal.

            An example of the pressures that three waters infrastructure can place on a Council is evident in the Kaipara District Council.

            Its 18,700 ratepayers pay about $44 million a year, but the Council has total debt of $44 million, much of it incurred for a wastewater plant in Mangawhai. However, there are now plans for 30,000 new houses in the district over the next ten years with no specific proposals for how the three waters infrastructure for those developments would be funded.

            Under the Three Waters plans, the Council would be part of the Auckland water entity.

            But these are not the issues and challenges that the Prime Minister and Mahuta have usually addressed in their public comments on Three Waters.

            Which is why most of the comments I hear from opponents here. are kind of mindless and show virtually no signs of understanding what the problem is.

            As Harmon points out – a National led government will be doing something very similar to 3 Waters regardless. The alternative is to let local councils fall into a hole dragging the productivity of rural and small town NZ with it.

            … is that if National forms the next Government, they have promised to “repeal and replace” the legislation passed yesterday.

            They have not said what they will replace Labour’s mode with, but any reasoned analysis would suggest they would end up doing much of what Labour has done.

            The implication of the anti-three waters campaign led by the right-wing Taxpayers’ Union that a repeal would lead to restoring the status quo is unlikely to be viable.

            And .

            Simply, local Government cannot be trusted by the central Government to invest its water revenues in three waters infrastructure.

            In a 2019 report, the Auditor General found that in 2018/19, all councils’ renewal capital expenditure on three waters infrastructure was 79% of depreciation.

            “We remain concerned that councils might not be adequately reinvesting in critical assets,” the Auditor General, John Ryan, warned.

            A May 2020 Treasury paper argued that Covid made matters worse.

            This was all identified as an issue in 2015 by Bill English who kicked off the first close look at the infrastructural problem. THe 2017 inquiry that led to the 3 Waters legislation was initiated by the Bill English government in 2017.

            Which kind of means that you have to look at what all of the objections are about from National.

            That is easy to see – basically they are are pushing the racist anti-moari vote. In particular in those same small town and city councils that have the problem.

            Personally, at this point I think that a point needs to be made. No general taxpayer money or debt should go into supporting National’s plan. It should be opposed by the left as being a racist and non-community plan. If National get in and try to enact it. Then support a bill by Act (an urban group). Let them sink with bonds and the free market.

            I live in Auckland. Even with the cretin political skills of Wayne Brown, the fixes to the 3 waters infrastructure here is advanced enough that there isn’t likely to be much of a problem after the current builds are completed. I can live on bottled water and not swimming when in other parts of the country.

            That damn near has to be done anyway now. The nitrogen levels in Canterbury water are just one nice el nino drought away from going really toxic.

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      So…here we are presented with , "an effective, easy, “set and forget” methane reduction solution…"


      Okay. A "bolus" will be introduced (introduced?) to the stomach of each ruminant "

      "Bolus – How Does It Work?

      Boluses are a common mechanism to deliver drugs and trace elements/minerals to ruminants and have been used safely for around 50 years in the farming industry.

      A bolus is a like a large capsule which sits in a ruminant animal’s stomach and continuously releases, at a slow pace, an optimal dose of a drug or substance. In our case, that substance is tribromomethane.

      The dose of tribromomethane the animals receive over time should be low enough to be safe for animal, food and the environment, while high enough to achieve significant levels of methane reduction.

      Ruminant BioTech says this needs to be verified by its comprehensive animal research plan, but based on initial data they have, there is no cause for concern."

      The dose "should be low enough to be safe for animal, food and the environment,"


      Well, let's see. For now, I'm underwhelmed. The bolus is interfering with the ruminants naturals digestive process, but that's okay, because we want a different result.

    • weka 9.2

      I know it's tempting to get excited by such news, but both the pieces you've posted in recent days are not solutions we can rely on currently. The bolus still needs to go through trials to establish safety and efficacy.

      So how long should we delay and wait for high tech to save the day? Five years? Ten?

      We have to drop GHGs immediately and fast. We can still do high tech research for the future, but I'm not sure this is a current priority given the other negative impacts of industrial farming in addition to emissions.

      • Robert Guyton 9.2.1

        Like the tobacco industry says, nothing must be done till the science is settled…

      • bwaghorn 9.2.2

        We have to lower emmisions without collapsing the luxury lifestyle a decent chunk of us live , because take a look around most people ain't going to give up shit, and powering down just isn't going to happen.

        Look at what's happening with tourism and air travel, rocketing back to pre covid levels , people don't give a fuck about emmisions so you better pray science saves pur arses.

        • Incognito

          There’s considerable irony in praying for science to save us 😉

        • weka

          that's one way to think about it.

          The other is that people can and do change. It's not luxury lifestyles vs living in a mud hut. It's a good standard of living without the excesses and with many benefits like more time with family, better community, healthier environment vs no more whitebait, increasing extreme weather events, food shortages, cost of living spiraling, increasing poverty, and collapse of ecosystems. I'm in my mid 50s and I think it's likely I will live to experience all of that.

          Every year more and more people understand that the climate/ecology crisis is here, now. At some point they will want to change, because they're not stupid.

          Your narrative is one of giving up. Let's pray for solutions that we like, instead of using the perfectly good ones we have in front of us.

          Look at what's happening with tourism and air travel, rocketing back to pre covid levels , people don't give a fuck about emmisions so you better pray science saves pur arses.

          I don't think that is what is happening. NZ research shows that the greater majority of us want the government to do more about climate. What's happening is cognitive dissonance, people know climate matters but it's not in our faces enough yet and we can still think it's someone else's problem. Many people feel powerless. But we are not.

          • Cricklewood

            The problem is people want more action but at the same time they don't want action that is detrimental to their way of life.

            Sadly the only real solution is meaningful global action and that's just not going to happen for a bunch of mostly political reasons.

            As an example we have a very high proportion of our electricity from renewable sources, improvements are now very expensive ie lower return on investment. On a global scale as far as emmisions go that money is far better spent getting easy and larger gains in the developing world. but that won’t happen as politicians are focused on patch protection

            • Robert Guyton

              "The problem is people want more action but at the same time they don't want action that is detrimental to their way of life."

              For now…

  8. Eco maori 10

    Ki the aha whano

    I know that a lot my whano can see what I see .

    The system is a joke.

    When Its treating me and my mokopuna like shit .

    What do they do when negative stats about tangata whenua is being tossed around like a hot kumara they throw there hands in the air and say I don't know why that has happened basically they are lying to us and themselves.

    It's the system it's the people with power who are to greedy to share mana with tangata whenua.

    Mate wa whano Eco maori knows how this system works .

    And we will use this system to get mana and respect back from these greedy people.

    We just have to go back in time and lead our tangata like Te Rangatira did .

    He tangata he tangata he tangata.

    Ka kite ano

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