Open Mike 15/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 15th, 2017 - 45 comments
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45 comments on “Open Mike 15/02/2017”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Consultant = over paid suit who stands around sounding smart while the workers do the job they would have done anyway.

    • Cinny 1.1

      Jobs for the boys? How much of our taxpayer money has the super ministry wasted since it was set up?

      The greed for glory of the outgoing government and their friends is obscene.

      “Some of its payments for consultants included:

      – $198,523 on an analyst for one year
      – $251,815 on a senior commercial advisor
      – Up to $450 an hour for “immigration global management system independent governance adviser services”
      – $156,457 for “temporary cover in information and education” over nine months
      – and $249,398 for “NZ Business Number Senior Advisor Stakeholder Engagement”

      In some cases, the contracts were paying roughly double the salary of that for a senior MBIE employee doing the same work”

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        In some cases, the contracts were paying roughly double the salary of that for a senior MBIE employee doing the same work

        Which, as far as I can make out, is the point of the privatisation of government services. It costs more and so GDP goes up without actually doing anything more. The other point is that all that money most likely ends up in the hands of National supporters.

        As Penny Bright has pointed out over the last few years – studies clearly show that using contractors costs more and that’s across the world where the same privatisation policies have been used.

  2. Cinny 2

    Here is another reason the cannabis laws need to be changed.

    Terminal cancer patient, uses cannabis for pain and nausea relief etc. Grows one plant in their garden so they don’t have to go to a gang or dealer.

    Someone comes onto their property and steals their plant, their medicine, are they able to go to to the police for help? No.

    Do they feel safe in their home after someone prowled around their property and stole something from them? No

    Will the cannabis end up in the hands of a gang who will profit from it? Probably

    Will the terminal cancer patient be suffering because someone stole from them? Yes

    All the current cannabis laws seem to do is look after the gangs and neglects the sick and dying. Its disgusting.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 2.1

      Prohibition is a guaranteed source of funding for the gangs and provides employment for 1000’s of police, court workers and prison staff. Also the pharmaceutical industry makes big money selling anti-depressants, this market would also collapse if cannabis was legalised. I have heard of people using cannabloids to treat cancer here in NZ, which is evidently quite successful, and evidently there is sound research to back this up.

      So obviously the decriminalisation of cannabis will deprive the gangs of funding, cut police spending, cut court costs, cut jail costs etc, etc

      Most companies in NZ have a no drugs policy and drug testing in place, cannabis stays in the blood for approx 42 days, so most people will not use it unless they want to risk losing their job?

      Alcohol prohibition in the USA provided funding for the mafia and the likes of
      Al Capone in Chicago in the 1920’s, it is exactly the same senario here in NZ 2016.

      If there are addiction issues it is a mental health/medical problem the same as alcohol, we need to shift the paradigm or think outside the square?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1


        Much better for full legalisation of marijuana and a few other ‘recreational’ drugs. I’ve heard that magic mushrooms are absolutely brilliant for treating psychiatric issues.

        • Tamati Tautuhi

          Like, it will dry up cashflow for the likes of the Head Hunters, Hells Angels etc and will take the pressure of our police, corrections and judicial system.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      All the current cannabis laws seem to do is look after the gangs and neglects the sick and dying. Its disgusting.

      It looks after the corporations as well as it reduces the competition on them allowing them to charge far more for the drugs that they produce.

      Just think of how the aspirin/panadol/neurofen market would crash if everyone could grow a plant in the back garden/spare room for pain.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 2.2.1

        It will take the cashflow out of the hands of the gangs and the pharmaceutical companies and we can reallocate those funds into medical and mental health.

        Quite simple really?

      • Cinny 2.2.2

        I wonder if any one is actively fighting/lobbying against medical marijuana?

        • Draco T Bastard

          There probably is somewhere but I think you’ll find that the drug companies are lobbying for IP laws that allow them to lock everyone else out so that they can get monopoly rentals.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    This video explains how after North Korea tested a missile while Trump was at dinner with the Japanese Prime Minister at Trump’s resort in Florida, Trump got all his security advisors around the table at the restaurant along with the Japanese PM, top secret briefing papers etc to discuss the issue while other diners in the restaurant took photos and posted them on Facebook with one diner even taking a selfie of himself with the man who holds the briefcase with the nuclear code in it.

  4. Leftie 4

    “Security guards unionised by Unite Union at MSD sites are angry with new policy changes brought in by the Government yesterday, that now sees them stopping every citizen trying to access their rights, and asking them for their name, appointment, and photo ID.”

    <a hre="

    • aerobubble 4.1

      So an agency that requires id wants s security staff to make sure clients have id, coz it aint for security given how clients are there to identify themselves. Less they give money to just anyone who walks in.

      As for security, this is argued that some clients get very aggressive. As aggression is a barrier to work why isnt this a opportunity to send aggressive people to their doctor or councilling? Clearly any prospective employer will not employ angry people.

      So overtime angry people would not be a problem, less of course, their anger is not the staff but the policy changes that keep kids sleeping in cars, families in damp state housing, running up huge debts to winz etc.

      Any reasonable person would regard the act of upping security for staff as a defensive defeatist act of an organsation incapable of standing up to their minister. Instead of protecting staff properly by not puting them in the invidious position they leave them open to and increade the stressors that causes anger. i.e. the funding for security comes from a loss of ace time with clients duh, waiting causes stress…

      Stressed people seeking assistanced are then woundup by WINZ who are forced into the position by neolib policies.

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        Ken Loach addressed the British government’s outrageous treatment of the poor eloquently at the BAFTA Awards two days ago…

  5. Carolyn_nth 5

    Brian Rudman on the government’s alt-facts about housing – Bling catches the Trump disease.

    For we viewers of Three News, issues took a bizarre twist when the over-excitable political editor Paddy Gower popped up to announce breathlessly that “69,000 houses [are] to be built in Auckland over 10 years. A much bigger figure than has ever been made public by the Government before”.

    He said they would be in Mt Roskill and Avondale, half state rentals, the rest for sale.

    It was nice fantasy while it lasted, and, I thought, a smart political U-turn, stealing Labour’s thunder.

    • Anne 6.1

      The most sinister aspect of his reign of terror which has yet to be officially acknowledged was his paranoid obsession with communists – or ‘reds under the beds’ as it was commonly referred to at the time. Many NZers were spied upon, bullied, intimidated and a lot of them lost their jobs. The vast majority were innocent but that didn’t stop his lackeys (whoever they may have been) from trying to ruin people’s lives. I should know because I was one of the innocent victims.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        Here’s an example from last Saturday’s Herald:

        The campaign waged by the New Zealand Government of the time was extremely nasty and more in keeping with the actions of a totalitarian state than a democracy.
        Brian Newth

        • greywarshark

          While thinking about how to do things in future to restore the country without someone like Trump or authoritarian fascist types, Yanis Varoufakis Greek economist and politician and Philip Adams a long-time Oz journalist have an interesting interview.

          Points of interest –
          * Diem 25 relating to the Treaty of Rome is sharing some new approach on 25 March I think.
          * The European New Deal, similar in its openness to ideas, and building capacity and keeping the economy alive with work schemes etc. He talks about people being displaced by deprivation in their areas and forced to emigrate, which destabilises the countries they go to.
          * Besides high tech jobs for the future, there will be another stream of work recognised as basic and essential done by the Maintainers. (The idea here is this ensures that everybody that isn’t in IT is recognised as being a useful citizen, not some clapped out bit of old technology thrown out of the Human Resources offices.)
          * Much use is to be made of a public bank that carries out basic transfers for the poorer people at little or no cost, and acts as an arm of social welfare.
          * Social cohesion was referred to.
          * Employment Guarantee Scheme – sounds rather like the UBI mixed with the work system we had giving employment to people doing things that are needed or wanted to do – Task Force Green ours is called.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Labour, however, turned its back on its history and pushed through free-market reforms, backed by significant business interests. After a stock market crash and some further volatility, the New Zealand economy finally got its act together in the 1990s.

      Yeah, having higher rates of poverty while a few people own pretty much everything is truly getting our act together – NOT.

      Labour’s reforms have put us on the path to collapse.

      One lesson from the comparison is that a leader like Muldoon can be fairly popular, as he stayed in power from 1975 to 1984, winning three terms despite mistakes, antagonisms and policy failures.

      And because he managed to win those three terms with less than a majority is what started the ball rolling to change to MMP.

  6. Morrissey 7

    Britain’s Pravda studiously ignored Ken Loach’s BAFTA win; maybe
    he should punch an underling and make racist jokes if he wants BBC support

    In 2005 the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Harold Pinter, a trenchant and uncompromising critic of the U.K./U.S. aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan. All the Blair regime’s self-proclaimed blather about “Cool Britannia” counted for nothing as Blair and his cronies sullenly showed the great playwright the collective cold shoulder. The displays of anger and bewilderment, and the obvious embarrassment of the British political class, was compared by many to the official mood in Moscow in 1958 after Boris Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    Another outspoken critic of government, the great Ken Loach, is now receiving similar treatment from Britain’s state television, the same state broadcaster that lionized Jimmy Savile for decades and bent over backwards for louts like Jeremy Clarkson….

    • Bearded Git 7.1


      I, Daniel Blake is an excellent film, they clapped at the end in Wanaka when it was shown…this seldom happens.

      Shame on the beeb.

    • adam 7.2

      Ken Loach has hit a nerve, the hard right media are biting back hard.

      All sorts of anti-Loach press now.

  7. Bearded Git 8

    A solar power expert from (I think) Oxford University was just interviewed on Nine to Noon (from about 9.30am). His conclusion was that in 5 years time all new installed capacity should be solar as nothing else will compete with it.

    A new type of panel has just been developed and is just coming into production that adds 15% to solar panel efficiency at a stroke.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Solar has been more price competitive for awhile now. It has always been more economical.

      • inspider 8.1.1

        No it isn’t and hasn’t. It’s only economic if you ignore all the associated costs that support a solar installation and that are needed to provide a reliable 24/7 power source.

        Even solar advocate sites I have seen acknowledge that solar lifetime operating costs have to halve before competitive with gas, geothermal, and wind.

        Some individuals will find it cost effective, particularly if they have an isolated property with no services installed. If you are on mains power then solar is a lifestyle not an economic choice (and a perfectly valid one).

        • Draco T Bastard

          No it isn’t and hasn’t. It’s only economic if you ignore all the associated costs that support a solar installation and that are needed to provide a reliable 24/7 power source.

          No, even with all that, it’s still more economical.

          To put it another way, fossil fuels are only economical if you ignore the millions of barrels of non-renewable resources destroyed everyday and the damage done to the environment.

          Even solar advocate sites I have seen acknowledge that solar lifetime operating costs have to halve before competitive with gas, geothermal, and wind.

          Those groups sound like the environmental groups that support more logging and damage to the environment because money.

          World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That’s Cheaper Than Wind

          A transformation is happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity.

          This has happened in isolated projects in the past: an especially competitive auction in the Middle East, for example, resulting in record-cheap solar costs. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects, according to fresh data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

  8. Carolyn_nth 9

    Gordon Campbell on Werewolf, always a journalist worth reading, doesn’t hold back on Labour’s latest candidate selections and Green’s complicity.

    T’is about the Jackson-Williams issue, and Ohariu. Campbell quotes from comments on the Daily Blog by Martyn, and Anti-racist’s reply. then this:

    Bomber’s message is the one that women on the left have been hearing since time eternal ie, that they should keep quiet, remain patient until victory is assured, and – in the meantime – make sure their concerns and modes of expression don’t antagonise the heroes of the proletariat. Besides everything else, this looks like a failure of imagination. Is the Winston Wing of Labour’s support base – those heroic, hand-calloused members of the white working class that Bomber Bradbury and Chris Trotter always bang on about – really so immune to policy arguments pitched any higher than Greg O’Connor’s face on a campaign billboard, or Willie Jackson on the mike?

    By the final sentence, I take it that Campbell is presenting Bomber-Trotter’s limited view of the white working class: one that Campbell is indicating under-estimates working class people.

  9. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    Rachel Stewart – nails it,

    “We need to wise up to the fact that continuing to compartmentalise our endless individual battles – pay equity, dirty dairying, transport, roading, autism funding, education, intersectional feminism, partisan politics – is a waste of precious energy.

    Don’t get me wrong. All are beyond important but, ultimately, unless we tackle climate change and right now, there’ll be no human rights or environment to actually fight for.”

  10. adam 13

    The political writer from Rolling Stone magazine Matt Taibbi always been a joy to read. A very nice interview with Chris Hedges, about his new book “Insane Clown President”.
    25.40 Min long.

  11. Draco T Bastard 14

    The age of rentier capitalism

    It is well known that globalization has put strong downward pressure on wages and benefits of workers in wealthy countries, as companies have offshored and outsourced labor to lower-wage locations and justified wage cuts to try to stay competitive. But politicians and economists have yet to come to terms with the fact that in the rich world the income distribution system itself has broken down irretrievably.

    The 20th century was the only century in which most income was divided between capital (profits) and labor (wages), with the struggle for shares mediated by the state through regulations, fiscal policy and a system of social protection. But once economic liberalization took off in the 1980s, the struggle was won decisively by capital, and labor’s share of total income has shrunk everywhere.

    Meanwhile, rental income, linked to the control of natural resources, property, financial assets and intellectual property, has become a dominant force in the global economy.

    This is the age of rentier capitalism; rich countries are becoming rentier economies. A rising share of global income is going to rent, rather than to wages or profits from productive activities. This perpetuates inequalities: It disproportionately favors the wealthy, and accentuates inequality over generations.

    It is this rise of inequality, where a few rich people are getting richer not through producing anything of value but because they’re bludging off of everyone else, which eventually leads to the collapse of society. And this is what our governments have supported over the last 30+ years.

    Throughout history it has been the rich that’s destroyed societies from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and they’re doing it again now for our own society.

    It is time that we learned the lesson of history and stopped them and the only way to do that is to get rid of the rich. Legislate them out of existence.

  12. McFlock 15

    So I read today that Flynn’s 29 day tenure was the shortest appointment of a National Security Advisor in the position’s history.

    So at least Trump’s made one historic change already 🙂

  13. Poission 16

    “The tendency to impute order to ambiguous stimuli is simply built into the
    cognitive machinery we use to apprehend the world. It may have been bred into us through evolution because of its general adaptiveness. . .” (Gilovich 1993,
    chapter 2).

    or how to be fooled by randomness (without context) eg Lyttleton fire last night.×349.1h8lkx.png/1487120697474.jpg

  14. piper 17

    Listening now to Nick Smith,getting hamerd,and unlike lost arguement insulted Twyford.Now if Labour can keep housing pushing and the minimum wage joke,that employment is profit honest work,for some one hour per week others two,hours per week and for even more full employed,three,days per week.

    • Cinny 17.1

      Dr Custard keeps to his regular pattern , informs the speaker prior that the answer will be longer than normal and jacks up some patsy supplementary questions. Hand picked facts to delude and distract.

      Nelson voters need educating, proactive approach is necessary.

      Looking forward to this years election

  15. Cinny 18

    “Pike River families told that sealing of mine will be stopped following meeting with PM”

    More to come..

    • Carolyn_nth 18.1

      Stuff on this

      Speaking to media at Parliament before the meeting, English offered his sympathies to the victims’ families, saying they were “people who have suffered the distress of enormous loss”.

      However, the decision over whether or not to re-enter the mine was “at its core a safety issue”, rather than a decision for the Government.

      Some political parties have taken up the cause of the Pike River families, with Labour and NZ First both pledging to make re-entry an election year issue.

      • chris73 18.1.1

        Bill really is quite keen on an election win isn’t he…or is it swallowing dead rats time again?

  16. Carolyn_nth 19

    Following Checkpoint on the out of control fire in Christchurch Port Hills.

    RNZ doing updates

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