Open Mike 15/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 15th, 2017 - 70 comments
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70 comments on “Open Mike 15/03/2017”

  1. Yesterday, regional councils around the country were the scene of protests about water by New Zealanders, many of whom were provoked or incensed by the Governments recent manipulations of the water standards. A range of concerns were presented, from the selling of freshwater by overseas-owned companies to the effect of intensive dairying. The most compelling question, from the point of view of a councillor, was, “has your council succeeded in protecting the water of your region?” So I’m asking here, has your regional council successfully protected the waters it is bound to manage?

    • Carolyn_nth 1.1

      I live in Auckland. Need I say more?

    • Manawatu, and no it hasn’t: http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3097651/Manawatu-River-among-worst-in-the-West

      Most cringeworthy part: then-mayor (PN city, not region) Jono Naylor declaring that “the quality of sewage discharged had improved.” Not any old sewage, mate – in PN we only put quality sewage in the river.

    • saveNZ 1.3

      Not content to pollute our water, the National government is giving it away free for export to cronies….

      “Chinese company Nongfu Spring wants more NZ water

      A Chinese company wants to buy a Bay of Plenty water bottling plant and dramatically increase its water take, and it will get the water virtually for free.

      Otakiri Springs currently pays only $2003 in compliance costs each year, allowing it to take 700,000 litres a day. The consent doesn’t expire until 2026.

      Now prospective owner Nongfu Spring Natural Mineral Water wants to increase the water take to 5 million litres a day. It’s the same aquifer where New Zealand company Oravida takes 400,000 litres a day.”

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/03/14/why-are-we-allowing-china-to-take-our-water-and-where-have-i-heard-oravida-from-again/

      • greywarshark 1.3.1

        A big meeting last Friday 10/3 in Golden Bay. The pristine limestone filtered Pupu (Te Waikoropupu) Springs, the clearest water in the country and a unique feature which can connect with imaginations of Eden and unspoiled nature which is wonderful and valuable just as nature’s life-giving resource, has to be defended against development, farming development in this case.

        Nick Smith is local Gnashonall MP and we know he is a bit one-eyed about water and any sort of control on anything that some wealthy bod can make money out of.

        http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/03/tensions-boil-at-te-waikoropupu-springs-meeting.html

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        Otakiri Springs currently pays only $2003 in compliance costs each year, allowing it to take 700,000 litres a day. The consent doesn’t expire until 2026.

        If I used 700,000 litres a day it would cost me $1700 per day.

        It should cost them more because of their huge demand if we actually kept to the supposed economic law of supply and demand.

  2. Andre 2

    Heh – evidence that maybe there is a place for free markets in at least some things – the US feds can’t grow dope for shit.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/14/14924068/marijuana-research-federal-government

  3. Ad 3

    Apparently this is World Consumer Day.
    China Central Television does an annual programme using hidden cameras to highlight unfair practices to consumers:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-14/china-s-name-and-shame-tv-show-puts-household-brands-in-hot-seat

    In previous years it has successfully targeted Lotte-Hershey, Apple, McDonalds, and Volkswagen. Maybe it’ll be Samsung this time.

    If New Zealand had public television with that kind of focus here, just imagine which companies would quake at the knees.

  4. Anne 4

    John Key leaves on April 14th.

    “One of the great privileges of my political career and my life was to meet so many hard-working and inspiring New Zealanders. I remain as ambitious for them, and New Zealand, as the day I entered Parliament…

    … I would like to thank all those who backed me and the National-led Government to build a stronger and more resilient country. We got New Zealand back on its feet, got people into jobs, got back into surplus, and tackled natural disasters.

    He’s still at it. Lying through his teeth. He was handed a healthy surplus by Michael Cullen and immediately squandered it on tax cuts for the rich. And that was just the start…

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/john-key-and-david-cunliffe-leaving-parliament-three-days-apart-its-been-absolute-honour

    • ianmac 4.1

      Yes. So sad that such a great Statesman is leaving us. In the streets there will be thousands of homeless and destitute people weeping and wailing and gnashing their remaining teeth.
      “Please don’t go Beloved!” Will be the cry from bereft Mike and Audrey.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        Key was one of the unnatural disasters that we have had inflicted on us by
        Wellington governments. We haven’t found how to tackle them yet. Call in the All Blacks, with one of their unique, even disabling methods?

        • Except Key was an Aucklander, steady on there. You can’t blame everything political on Wellington. 😉

          • greywarshark 4.1.1.1.1

            Matthew W
            Wellington has to take the downs with the ups of being central government.
            Surely you don’t want that to pass to Auckland. So you have to put up with a few kicks about the pollies, it’s where they are crack-ing up.

            • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.1.1.1.1

              You seem to be forgetting that John Key is an electorate MP. Helensville are the ones to blame for him, not Wellington, and the looooong tradition in political griping has always been that constituency elections in any country get the blame for picking the wrong bloke. 😉

              • greywarshark

                Okay can’t break with such an established tradition. But following through if they get blamed, do they accept responsibility? Can I go back to Helensville and get recompense from them for providing a faulty MP and PM and other acronyms? Or WTF?

                • Oh sure, you can absolutely complain to Helensville voters. They may point out/pretend they didn’t vote for him, of course, which is also tradition. Why, just before Obama was elected, nobody in the US would admit to voting for Bush. XD

    • saveNZ 4.2

      At least John Key leaves with 2% support of him as Preferred PM, that is his legacy, like Tony Blair, nobody cares about him and like Tony, Key will spend the rest of his life concerned about being indicted for criminal activity.

      AKA for him, at best nobody cares he’s going, at worst – the truth comes out about what he got up to.

  5. I am really glad to see publicity recently on stuff.co.nz and today in the Herald about threatened staffing cuts and other changes to our Super City libraries.

    Admin know this won’t be a popular move and it looks like we the public will be informed as late in the process as possible to prevent us kicking up a fuss. I’m disgusted that staff were given a lengthy consultation document and told not to share any of it with the public. This is not a multinational corporation with the secret recipe for Crabby Patties; this is a public service we fund with our rates.

    However, a new grassroots group called Love Our Libraries is onto it. We had a launch event at Auckland Central on March 4. We collected video and written testimony from a diversity of library patrons. Very few had heard that cuts were in the offing, and the news did not go over well.

    Already we’ve made an impact. Staff were told in a conference call last Friday not to engage (or only in a “limited” way) with members of our group. This tells me our charm offensive is working. If we continue the outpouring of appreciation for our libraries as they are, we change the political climate and make it hard for admin, and ultimately Council, to pursue its plans.

    We’ll be at St Heliers Library (one of the system’s busiest) tomorrow afternoon from 3-5 PM and plans are underway for action on Saturday at Avondale and Remuera branches.

    We need more helpers. Check out the public Facebook page and ask to join. And have your say about the next city budget. Did you vote for cuts in essential services?

    • saveNZ 5.1

      +100 Julia Schiller –
      Hundreds of thousands more people in Auckland City but less library services???

      And Phil Goff and the Auckland Council CEO are blowing money for a feasibility study into a billion dollar stadium that nobody wants here…

      You have to wonder on their mentality, people are homeless and the council are actually thinking of reducing one of the few resources ratepayers like the council for like the libraries.

      Everyone uses libraries – from the homeless who can often be seen taking a snooze in the library, to the kids, elderly, rich and poor!

      • james 5.1.1

        “You have to wonder on their mentality, people are homeless and the council are actually thinking of reducing one of the few resources ratepayers like the council for like the libraries.”

        “Everyone uses libraries”

        Thank you for speaking on behalf of all ratepayers.

        I think you will find more and more people get their information online and do not use libraries.

        • Molly 5.1.1.1

          Libraries have been the place where people can go for a free education, that is not subject to the whims of national government or dependent on a quota for minimum class size.

          This availability is almost universal – catering to homeless, people not connected to the web at home, or those who require assistance in locating information.

          I’m quite happy to have my rates go towards this kind of societal engagement and education.

          I believe that encouraging the self-education of our communities pays off in the long-term , alongside investment and maintenance of critical physical infrastructure. This is investment and maintenance of critical societal infrastructure – not replaced in the foreseeable future by online engagement.

        • amirite 5.1.1.2

          And you are a spokesman for all ratepayers, James? Not all Aucklanders can afford to access internet from their home. In our not-posh Auckland suburb the library is a great community hub and offers a lot of other valuable services to the local people, especially to those who struggle to survive on low incomes. I believe it’s the same for many other Auckland suburbs too.

          Easy to overlook all that if you’re living in your privileged little bubble.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.3

          People on low incomes find the services provided by libraries invaluable. Including internet access.

          Sorry James, they won’t let you download copyright material though.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.4

          But even then libraries could be great in providing online resources.

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        Look who needs libraries, it’s just about reading and the public learn enough of that at school. And it costs, all ratepayers have to pay and many of them never use the library at all. I don’t, and is that fair that I and others should pay for something we don’t and never will probably, use.

        We pollies can tell them all they need to know or show them on television, much cheaper. And libraries are full of paper, hard copy is so 20th century and full of redundant or revised information, so hard to change or whisk away at a micro-moment’s notice.

        Yes, libraries are bad ecologically, waste paper, and they can burn which adds to greenhouse gases. I hardly ever read a book, and look where I am today! Everyone uses libraries – from the homeless who can often be seen taking a snooze in the library, to the kids, elderly, rich and poor! If people spent less time reading and more doing we might get somewhere in this country. (See James below. I rest My Case.)/sarc

        And cheers Julia: We’ll {Love our Libraries} be at St Heliers Library (one of the system’s busiest) tomorrow afternoon {today Thursday 16th} from 3-5 PM –
        and plans are underway for action on Saturday at Avondale and Remuera branches.

        We need more helpers. Check out the public Facebook page and ask to join. And have your say about the next city budget. Did you vote for cuts in essential services?

  6. greywarshark 6

    Northland is working hard to get a vibrant Hundertwasser museum going which will also be a great place for Maori in its Wairau Maori Art Gallery.

    They are on the finishing straight, so support them by buying posters, making donations, buy some early Christmas presents, be behind this great new feature and boost for Northland.

    Bring some colour into your life in Hundertwasser’s unique way.
    http://www.yeswhangarei.co.nz/art-shop/

    • Pete 6.1

      The ironic thing about the Hundertwasser project is that the misery guts, unimaginative, boring, people who cannot see that it would add colour to the town (and region) in ways far more than the literal senses, are the ones against it.

      They are the ones who need colour, imagination, vitality and forward thinking in their lives more than anyone.

      They are likely also those afraid of debt for the future in creating a future yet think Bill English adding billions and billions onto our national debt is fine.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Pete
        I feel you have doubts about Hundertwasser and the cost of the project. But it will pay off in bringing tourist business to Whangarei and that helps jobs.

        And yes we all do need to have some colour in our lives, and it is a great celebration of the vivid life enjoyed and shared. Hopefully it will be a monument to a change of attitude by those with power to make opportunities for others to have better lives. Life is grey and unhappy for too many, and that should make us all unhappy till actions that can be done to improve this are done.

        • Pete 6.1.1.1

          I have no doubt about the project and the importance of it going ahead.
          The whole process so far is symbolic of heads-in-the-sand, limited, provincial, backwater, thinking of the unimaginative putting the brakes on progress.

          Shortly after it is built it will be the most photographed place in Northland, a place which any visitors will tell friends, families and workmates about. The neanderthals will merely say, “Yeah, but what does that do to the bottom line?”

          • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1

            Oh I get you. I thought you might be being ironic. An elderly relation up there thinks it would be better if the Council used the area for a car park.
            ‘The pay paradise put up a parking lot, etc.’

      • JanM 6.1.2

        I don’t think they are against it because they are against adding colour, etc – I think they (the councillors anyway) are against it because they can see that over time there will be a different sort of person attracted to living here and they will no longer be able to run Northland like their personal little fiefdom – bring it on I say!!

        • greywarshark 6.1.2.1

          Jan M
          Interesting point. A couple of years ago I visited Far North and some immigrants that I rented a room from told me that they thought there was a complacent attitude by various people who were not actively working for more business and jobs. They thought that leading citizens had a broken system which they had managed to shape to suit themselves and were slow, even reluctant to make changes to better the situation and get a thriving, vital community going. I think that stagnant would have been their description if they had not been so polite.

  7. John Key is always shooting his mouth off about the economy when his whole plan was never anything but mass immigration.

    It looks though like this plan is soon about to founder, if Auckland real estate signals are anything to go on.

    China’s recent restrictions on capital outflow having an effect.

    Did Key as a banker know this was coming?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Of course he knew it was coming as he knows that National’s policies are about to trash the economy and our society. He’s a psychopath – not an idiot.

      • Redbaiter 7.1.1

        What’s Labour’s contingency plan for managing the devastation that economic reality will bring?

        They better have a good one, and it shouldn’t involve pissing around with global warming myths or identity politics.

        This is real stuff that needs real solutions. Nobody wants to see Venezuela in NZ.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          They better have a good one, and it shouldn’t involve pissing around with global warming myths or identity politics.

          And there you prove that you have absolutely no credibility at all and never will have.

          You’re too bloody stupid and delusional.

        • SpaceMonkey 7.1.1.2

          Labour’s contingency plan…? Blame it on National.

    • SpaceMonkey 7.2

      Did Key as a banker know this was coming? Absolutely. Not a shadow of doubt.

  8. Bill Drees 8

    If you are interested in getting a keen perspective on the Scottish Referendum look into http://wingsoverscotland.com.
    Here is a taste of the style.

    “Judging by the first 24 hours, we’re in for a two-year festival of utter horror from the UK and Scottish media. Yesterday saw a never-ending parade of metrosplaining idiots dragged willingly in front of cameras and microphones to pontificate their clueless and mind-numbingly ignorant drivel about Scotland.

    It wasn’t possible to keep track of it all, because it was frequently happening on five channels at once, and it was harder still to watch it for any extended period of time without hurling a brick through the screen in frustration at the offensive stupidity of it.”

  9. I am hearing commentators saying New Zealand can learn from the replanting of the Port Hills after the fires. I agree, but I go one step further show how replanting needs to be done (see link in post – PDF).

    In increasing order of importance:

    Lessons to be learnt.
    Property to be protected.
    Lives to be saved.

    https://willnewzealandberight.com/2017/03/15/replanting-the-port-hills-post-fires-a-lesson-for-all-new-zealand/

    • Ad 9.1

      Best to get all that 20-20 hindsight out of the way as quick as possible..

      For both the landowners who by and large are lifestyle block owners who have put their heart and soul and $$ into their places, and for the Council, and for the dogged teams who had restored chunks of it, it is seriously dispiriting.

  10. saveNZ 10

    Good points from norightturn.

    “John Key is leaving Parliament the moment he is able to without causing a by-election. But don’t worry – because Labour is letting him do it without affecting the government’s majority:
    I have one question: why? Why would an opposition possibly want to do this? Especially when there’s important legislation like the gutting of the RMA on the table? Why would an opposition want to let the government keep its ability to legislate at will, rather than gaining the ability to advance the aims of its members via an effective veto on government legislation?

    I understand that Labour can’t stop Cunliffe from resigning if he wants to. But this move, echoing the old FPP practice of pairing, seems to be sacrificing a real opportunity for diddly-squat. Its a reminder that when push comes to shove, Labour is just a bit useless really – and that’s not a good message to be sending in an election year.”

    • Ad 10.1

      Horseshit.
      It’s at least good manners to not destabilise Parliament a few months before election day.

      The turnout from by-elections is so poor as to be not an effective democratic response anyway, let alone asking for even m ore of them.

      • The Chairman 10.1.1

        So you believe good manners should come before the party’s ability to advance the aims of its members via an effective veto on government legislation?

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          ok, let’s play that through: key leaves in april. In may the budget comes up, lab/grn/nz1 nuke it. Government collapses, election is held a few weeks earlier, no budget for 3 months (wtf even happens then – expenditure freeze? Unpaid public servants?).

          Opposition get the blame for the early election and all the repercussions of no budget, including “we tried to fund a bridge but then the opposition scuppered the budget”.

          Alternatively, nothing much changes because the balance of power is maintained, we have an election a couple of months later, and cunliffe pisses off somewhere else in the meantime.

          • weka 10.1.1.1.1

            Why would Labour or the Greens or NZF nuke the budget?

            There is quite a difference between blocking specific pieces of legislation, and bringing down a govt.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Because every year, the budget is where the nats do the most damage to our society.

          • The Chairman 10.1.1.1.2

            “No budget for 3 months (wtf even happens then – expenditure freeze? Unpaid public servants?).”

            Alternatively, the Government passes what it can and is then forced to negotiate or put forward a more acceptable budget.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.2.1

              I thought annual budget appropriations were one big bill? And had to add up? What happens if Labour like a particular spending increase but not the tax cut that takes out the other half of the projected surplus?

              That’s even more problematic than just nuking the entire thing: Labour support expenditure but not the taxes, so the government acquires a massive deficit, at Labour’s fault, just before the election.

              Nah, thinking about it more theentire idea has too many tiny pitfalls. Better to just do it this way.

  11. saveNZ 11

    Go Barry Coates…

  12. So, I finally hooked up my poll-averaging spreadsheet to automatically calculate the number of List seats each party gets, and man is the current poll average depressing:
    The Māori Party is likely to decide who governs. Yeah, not even New Zealand First, they’re necessary for a Labour government, but not sufficient. Right now Labour+Greens+NZ is averaging just one MP above National, and the most likely scenario from polling is that the MP’s choice is necessary to determine who governs, assuming UF breaks National’s way.

    Didn’t think I’d be nostalgic for the polling that gave us a likely outcome of Winston determining the government, but this is depressing.

    If anyone’s curious, here’s what I’ve got:

    ACT: 1MP / 0.7%
    National: 58MPs / 47.4%
    UF: 1MP* / 0.2%
    Māori: 2MPs / 1.8%
    NZF: 10MPs / 8.4%
    Mana: 1MP* / 0.1%
    Greens: 16MPs / 13%
    Labour: 33MPs / 26.5%
    Others: 1.8% (including TOP)

    * = overhang MP

    Most of the weighting is towards the February RM poll in this average. I’m assuming every credible microparty wins their electorates, and that no independents win. If that Ilam seat doesn’t go to Browlee, Labour would lose a list seat based on this average of polling, (as they are currently allocated the 120th seat) which would allow National to govern without the MP.

    • weka 12.1

      In that scenario, aren’t both Mp and NZF potential kingmakers? e.g. if Mp goes with Labour, NZF could still go with Nact and thus we have a 4th term National govt.

      What happens if Mana don’t get TTT? If Mana do get TTT, Labour would need a C and S agreement from them right?

      Or Dunne doesn’t get Ōhariū?

      Any meaning attached to this far out from the election?

      • No, you need both MP and NZF to get a Labour government in that scenario, but only one of the two to go to National for them to govern. Remember, for every two overhang seats, the amount needed for a majority goes up by 1, so this would be a 62-to-win scenario. Mana and UF would both be overhang, (I expect realistically that ACT will be too, they’re just benefitting from rounding)

        It actually makes no difference with those particular numbers whether either Mana or UF lose their seats, as the Māori Party has 2 seats but each side only needs 1 of them, so losing their extra party just means they need both MP seats instead. You’d need the MP to lose their electorate too for it to make any difference at this level of polling.

        edit: excuse me, it does make a difference if UF loses, as then National would need NZF to govern, whether it gets the MP or not.

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          What I was meaning is that in terms of kingmaker roles, if Peters chooses National it doesn’t matter what the Mp wants or does. The right bloc would then have 70 seats (A, N, UF, NZF). Even just N and NZF would be enough. I find that more depressing than the Mp having the balance of power 😉 But yes, for the Mp to do the right thing, it also depends on the left having to deal with Peters. Again, fucking depressing.

          At least those lefties who might have voted Peters might now vote TOP.

          • Matthew Whitehead 12.1.1.1.1

            Given that TOP isn’t actually going to take sides, but NZF might still choose Labour, I’d actually prefer that NZF voters stay with NZF if they’re not going to move to the Greens or Labour.

        • weka 12.1.1.2

          “It actually makes no difference with those particular numbers whether either Mana or UF lose their seats, as the Māori Party has 2 seats but each side only needs 1 of them, so losing their extra party just means they need both MP seats instead. You’d need the MP to lose their electorate too for it to make any difference at this level of polling.”

          Interesting, and presumably part of the Mana/Mp deal. It must be a nightmare having to track all this internally at the party level and then try and make good decisions (am thinking of the Greens here).

    • Antoine 12.2

      You’d probably be hoping for a bit more of a swing to the left between now and the election, though, so that National could not govern without NZ First, and Lab/Greens could govern with NZ First but without the MP?

      A.

      • Oh, if we’re going off what I’m hoping for, it’s that Labour and the Greens have a choice other than NZ First that gets them a majority, so that they can do a minority coalition, and pull in say the Māori Party on issues too liberal for NZ First, and can flex to NZ First where they need to, too.

        This is all from before Annette King resigned too, so this month’s RM should be interesting. If a swing away from National is going to happen after their recovery from Key’s resignation, this would be a reasonable starting point for it.

        (Actually I was missing last month’s CB too when I posted those figures, although mostly they’ve just moved MPs around within the Left rather than changing the overall balance much. I hope you’ll all excuse me, but well, CB hardly ever polls, so I forget to check it sometimes, wheras Roy Morgan is regular so I know roughly when to expect the next one)

        • Antoine 12.2.1.1

          > it’s that Labour and the Greens have a choice other than NZ First that gets them a majority

          Sounds like a long shot

          • Matthew Whitehead 12.2.1.1.1

            It was (just) within the margin of error a couples times in 2016, actually, so it’s not as long a shot as it sounds, especially as polling before recent elections under MMP has seemed to lean slightly more in favour of National than the actual election did, for whatever reason. Labour and the Greens need to manage about a 5% boost between them from current polling levels in order to reliably get there, assuming that O’Connor loses Ohariu to Dunne, and Hone loses TTT. If both electorates go their way, it’s even less.

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