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Open mike 15/10/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, October 15th, 2014 - 187 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

187 comments on “Open mike 15/10/2014 ”

  1. Paul 1

    The government is working for New Zealand…..

    Making it nigh on impossible for people to get on the housing ladder,…

    … overseeing an economy with continuing job losses….

    …and destroying our precious environment.

    If you were hoping to buy your first house and voted for National, don’t complain New Zealanders. A tiny bit of research would have told you this would be the outcome.

    If you work in manufacturing and voted for National, don’t complain New Zealanders. A tiny bit of research would have told you this would be the outcome.

    If you fish in the Hauraki Gulf and voted for National, don’t complain New Zealanders. A tiny bit of research would have told you this would be the outcome.

    The government is working for wealthy New Zealanders and foreign corporations.

    • vto 1.1

      Yep, the government is working for New Zealand …. / sarc

      Just like it has in the South Canterbury Finance trial. John Key admitted on the day of his election that SCF was going to fail yet he changed the guarantee scheme rules so they could join ………..

      And then the Treasury was forbidden from giving evidence at the trial – which the Judge has said meant he could not reach judgment on this most crucial of points….

      John Key and Bill English are not working for New Zealand, they are working for very small groups of favoured people.

      I am disgusted

      SCF and its entry into the deposit guarantee scheme has been NZ’s biggest ever fraud, perpetrated by our very own government. The Judge has said as much. Read the judgment.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        John Key and Bill English are not working for New Zealand, they are working for very small groups of favoured people.

        And they need to go to jail because of it. In fact, the entire previous government does.

        • music4menz

          The ‘very small groups of favoured people’ would appear to include 47% of those who bothered to vote in the general election. I doubt that such ‘very small groups’ would agree with you. They didn’t on September 20th.

          • framu

            Because humans have never chosen things that arent in their best interests ever have they m4m

            good grief

          • vto

            Absolute twaddle musicmen. Just because 29% of the electorate voted for Key and English, does not mean that Key and English are working for them.

            Sheesh, what a silly conclusion to pull out of those entirely independent facts. Daft.

            Let me guess – you voted for Key and English …..

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      And preventing realease of information:

      The advice has finally been released under the Official Information Act after Radio New Zealand made a request in May last year. It took a complaint to the Ombudsman’s Office to force former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to release the information – but even then she managed to delay the release until after the election.

      The scary bit though is this:

      One of those who helped with the report, Otago University researcher Simon Chapple, is surprised by the advice from the Ministry of Social Development.
      “The job of a government department is to offer free and frank advice to the Government of the day and my reading of it was that it was free and frank advice strongly tailored to the political preferences of the Government of the day.

      My bold.

  2. Clean_power 2

    Will this be another day of continued infighting among members of the Party? Let’s hope not.

    • Paul 2.1

      Genuine concern?

    • i’m expecting outbreaks of group-hand-holding..

      ..and the singing of ‘kumbaya’…

      • Paul 2.2.1

        I personally think we all should be spending more time discussing issues like:
        The cost of housing.
        The state of our waterways ( the Hauraki Gulf)
        The continuing job losses.

        But if you want to spend hours discussing the Labour Party, then that’s your choice.

        • phillip ure

          now that cunliffe has gone i am bored rigid with the ensuing race of the unelectables…

          ..and am really ambivalent about the outcome..(nash..?..why stick with boags’ recommendation of little..?..

          ..why not go the whole rightwing-hog..?..)

          ..as i don’t see any real/needed change for labour coming out of this…

          ..it’ll just be more of the same..

          ..a labour squabbling with national..

          ..over those few percentage points in the centre..

          ..with the disenfranchised million continuing to be ignored by labour..

          ..meh..! to their ‘race’..

          • Paul

            Which of the issues I mentioned concerns you the most?

            • phillip ure

              they’re about equal..why do you ask..?..(i feel a judgement coming on..)

              ..and of course solving my main worry/concern..poverty..

              ..wd take care of two of them on the way..

              ..and as for the gulf..?

              ..as a barometer..given how dairy has fucked our country/environment so..

              ..and given that all the green mp’s like to walk around clad in the dead skins of those ‘problem’ cows..

              ..and given most of them also like to eat them..

              ..i don’t hold much hope of any meaningful environment clean-up anywhere anytime soon..

              ..we are a very very long way away from that destination..

              ..and all i can do is what i do in my life..

              ..eschew any use/consumption of those animals..or their bye-products..

              ..how about you..?

              ..do you get all worked up about the ‘state of the gulf’..and then go and have a bacon-sarnie to make yrslf feel better..?..

              • Paul

                Agree with you poverty the number one issue.
                The media rarely publicises this as it is shameful we have allowed this to happen.

                No judgement Phil, just interested in your views.

              • The Al1en

                “..and as for the gulf..?”

                “all the green mp’s like to walk around clad in the dead skins of those ‘problem’ cows..”

                Quite bizarre.

                • i also find that quite ‘bizarre’..

                  ..that people can be ‘green’ mp’s for so so many years..

                  ..to be unable not to know the harm to the environment of their own actions..

                  ..and yet seeming unable to see beyond their personal addictions to flesh/fat..

                  ..and their ‘liking’ the wearing of animal skins on their bodies…

                  ..it’s kinda like a temperance party..

                  ..where the members hit the piss in their personal lives..

                  ..as you say..’bizarre’…

                  ..and how can they not be just careerists..?

                  ..with the green party as their vehicle of choice…

                  ..nothing more..

                  • DoublePlus Good

                    They’re Green MPs, not Animals Must Be Venerated As Gods MPs

                    • given how eating animals fries the planet…

                      ..you don’t understand this ‘green’-question/contradiction..?

                    • The Al1en

                      “..you don’t understand this ‘green’-question/contradiction..?”

                      There is no contradiction. Greens don’t have to be vegetarians or vegans to be green. Any notion that they should is laughably naive.
                      Russ or Met driving gas guzzling v8s, yep, you’d be in with a shout of getting one right, but wearing leather shoes, now you’re just having an episode.

                      The sad thing about your analysis is, if any party were going to clean up the gulf, it’d be the greens.
                      You should let your hatred go and concentrate on your aim.

  3. swordfish 3

    When you look at the respective Party Blocs in the broadest possible terms (Opposition Bloc vs Entire Right Bloc), it’s remarkable just how stable support has been over the last 3 Elections:

    Opposition Bloc (Left Bloc + NZ First)

    2008 46%……….2011 46%……….2014 46%


    Broad Right Bloc (Government Bloc + Cons)

    2008 52%……….2011 53%……….2014 53%

    (NOTE: Doesn’t, of course, take into account movements in and out of Non-Voting/Enrolment. Also assumes NZF belongs with the Left Bloc. But still worth highlighting)


    The major swings have occurred within those two broad Blocs.

    In the Opposition Bloc, a steady decline in Left Bloc support and concomitant rise for NZ First.

    In the Broad Right Bloc, a steady decline in Government Bloc (specifically minor-party Government Bloc) support, and concomitant rise for Colin Craig’s Conservatives.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yes, so seen in that light, the pervading sense that National are smashing it home is probably a bit misleading.

      Of course, when it comes to seats in the house, the reality is a little different, with the Left refusing to learn to MMP and gifting seats to Dunne and probably also Seymour. This in turn ensures that small part of the right-wing vote is reflected in Parliament, when the larger vote that went to Mana wasn’t.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 3.2

      Will be interesting also to see some clever people doing an intelligent comparison about what is new and different now as contrasted with the much cited 1922’s election result.

      • swordfish 3.2.1

        Yeah, I made a start in a post-Election comment on Chris Trotter’s Bowalley Road.

        Basically pointed out that Labour stood candidates in only half the seats in 1922 – so the 2014 result is even worse !

        In other words, 24% in 1922 represented Labour’s vote in the 41 seats in which it stood as a proportion of the entire (80 seat) vote nationwide. So little more than half of the New Zealand Electorate even had the opportunity to cast a vote for Labour in 1922. Whereas in 2014, of course, everyone had that opportunity. Had Labour stood candidates in all seats in 1922 there’s absolutely no doubt they would have scored more than 25% of the vote.

        I had a few qualms about pointing this out on the blogosphere. But then I thought is it really going to alter anyone’s vote come 2017 ? Are people really going to stand in the polling booth and think: “If only 2014 had been Labour’s worst result since 1922, I would have voted for them today. But because it’s quite possibly their worst result ever, I won’t” ?

        I noticed, incidently, that a few days later, The Manawatu Evening Standard’s Right-leaning opinion-shaper, Liam Hehir, pretty much repeated everything I’d posted (at Bowalley Road) in an Opinion Piece for the Paper. Even Farrar quoted him on Kiwiblog. May just be coincidence – thinking along the same lines at the same time. But Hehir does turn up from time to time on both The Standard and Bowalley Road so I’m guessing not.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Ok. What about the current MMP system being a point of difference from 1922? The range of parties contesting? Analysis in terms of left bloc versus right bloc in the context of 1922 as comparison?

          • swordfish

            As you can see, I’ve come to these replies very late in the day. So, I thought I might give you a more detailed reply in the next Open Mike, after I’ve rested my wary soul.

            • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

              No rush. Have a good sleep. I am off to sacrifice myself to the bed bugs soon.

        • Liam

          Hi Swordfish,

          I can honestly say that I hadn’t read anything you’d written on that subject (and still haven’t). In fact, my column is submitted a few days before printing anyway.

          There’s no great detective work involved in looking up the often cited 1922 general election on Wikipedia and then noticing that the party only stood candidates in about half the seats that year.

          I remain surprised that so few people have remarked on that fact.

          • swordfish

            Fair enough, Liam,

            Back in the 90s, I carried out some quite extensive research on the geography of the vote in New Zealand Elections between 1914 and 1935 (at Uni). So as soon as people started making comparisons with 1922, I immediately remembered that, having stood candidates in most seats in their first Election as a unified Party in 1919 (to show voters they were serious about becoming the Party of Government rather than remaining some sort of minor appendage to the Liberals) , Labour decided to be much more strategic at the following Election and stood candidates in roughly half the seats in 1922.

            So, from that initial impetus, I – like you – then went to dear old Wikipedia to confirm the figures.

        • Murray Rawshark

          Labour in 1922 was probably closer to the Mana of 2014 than to the present day Labour. This gives a scary indication of how far the country has moved to the right.

  4. Paul 4

    Now there will be two Fox News hate merchants on the airwaves in the morning.
    Hosking and Henry.
    The fact that many NZers like this duo shows how mean spirited we have become after 30 years of neoliberalism.


    • vto 4.1

      Agreed. When travelling the globe the difference between cultures and communities becomes apparent – some are good and some you need to be very wary of. This is a community thing I believe, not a reflection so much of the individual person in each community as I believe most every human is pretty similar..

      But in the community / cultural setting the group mentality and the like kicks in and leads to different types of communities, depending on various influencing factors on that group.

      So you are on that track I think Paul – NZ society has changed from what it was to what it is today. It has most definitely changed, and the neoliberal agenda which has been thrust upon us for 30 years is without doubt one of the major influencing factors.

      This change can be measured in many ways – one of which is the state of the court jesters,. oops, I mean, town cryers, such as Hosking and Henry. They are cocks areseholes imo. They reflect badly. Such a shame.

      • Rawmadness Natshark 4.1.1

        Technology had changed society far more then you give it credit for.

        So bringing a good example up here, again, Albania, I went there recently, email is dial up 56k people hardly use it. At night the TV is diabolic so people gather in their streets tell tales, music dancing, laughter, good times. Everywhere in Tirana at night they were out and about doing stuff, everyone new everyone pretty much, not like here where half the people don’t even know the neighbours name.

        and when they didn’t like a government or piece of legislature, boy do they act. They actually don’t have a keyboard holding them hostage. They get out and loudly protest. Big voter turnout.

        Politics, what discussions we had as a community all sitting around in the evening enjoying a beer, enjoying food, talking up a storm. singing dancing. Now that’s what life should be. I just had not seen a community so connected, so caring of each other before. I really wish we all had just a piece of that.

        In that it is a brilliant country nowhere have I seen the togetherness of before, unspoilt by the techno virus that leaves people lethargic and too lazy to even vote.

        Why am I even blogging, sheesh am I that which I despair of.

        So VTO yes society has changed, a lot. 20 years ago the Nats would have had the biggest protests ever over their goings on, now we have no protest movement society has changed alright, changed for the worse.

        • vto

          Good point madness, but I wonder what you experienced there is part of that latin / med thing of being in the streets in the evening. They have the climate etc. In contrast in NZ pre-internet there was little of that, though perhaps more than now.

          So yes, you have a point that the internet and keyboard have changed things more, but imo the attitudes and policies embodied in the governments of the last 30 years i.e. me me me, money drives everyone’s decisions, less community control (small govt), etc has had the effect of change to that seen in Hosking and Henry.

          needs some more thought …..

          You are right though about the bloody internet and keyboard. I mean, here I am right now trying to do some work (involving email and phone calls – and only because it is easy and relatively cheap) and banging away on a keyboard to someone in some remote part of NZ, rather than being with those around me or out with neighbours etc. It is very true. Without internet my evening would be entirely different – better.

          Was having this conversation with a friend today and I wished that people would just stop emailing and phoning – just stop communicating so much. It is infuriating. Aaaarrrggghhh !!

    • Ron 4.2

      And don’t forget that we can look forward to Slaters version of Fox television in the New Year

      Now there will be two Fox News hate merchants on the airwaves in the morning.

  5. les 5

    Realpolitik is the name of the game.As the staunch neocon from Obamas first term ,Larry Summers said…’first do no harm’!NZ’ers want safety,security and consistency.Policy they perceive for whatever reasons as radical turns them off.The lessons are clear and need to be addressed.

  6. Our government loves us, as we all know, and everything they do is to help us achieve our full potential. In order to do so the government has decided to spend more money on training and evening school courses we are served with brand spanking new buses equipped with a system that will help us find out how much we have drunk too much, keeping us away from our full potential, by allowing us to give our finger prints and DNA in those brand spanking new buses equipped with all kinds of modern gadgets to test all off that.

    It also means of course that you have to come out of your car and get into a bus filled with policemen who can detain you in case you have drunk too much or in case you show up in a database for whatever reason such as fines, being brown, suspected activism, opposition to our ruling elite, writing books our government doesn’t like or for merely having a blog they don’t like…..

    And we know from the past in oppressive countries, which we aren’t of course, that being in the company of policemen in closely confined spaces, with nobody else around, accidents do take place…..

    Not here of course. Our government does not conspire against us, we are a democracy, and if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear…. And you shouldn’t drink in the first place anyway!

    • Te Reo Putake 6.1

      Thanks for providing the link, Ev. It shows your words to be hyperbolic rubbish. I think there is real clue in the name of the vehicle as to who this will really effect. If you’re not pissed behind the wheel, or committing another driving offence, you are not going to see the inside of the booze bus. Proost!

      • karol 6.1.1

        Finger printing on booze buses – a step way too far.

        All the more reason for using car as little as possible.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Why is it a step to far, karol? The same provisions and protections apply as in a police station and I’d rather be processed at the scene then be on my way than have to spend hours locked in a cell while PC Plod does his job. If anything, this makes life easier when the offence is minor (out of date WOF, not having your licence etc.). All that changes is the speed and location of the process, as far as I can see.

          • framu

            i get your gist there – ie: the back of the booze bus is essentially the same as the station

            but this bit was what stood out for me –

            “They can require a person to accompany them to a police station to take prints only if there is a reason to suspect the person may have given a false identity. ”

            that seems likely to change – maybe not legally, but in practice

            how quickly do you think this will turn into blanket finger print collection?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Well, it would be foolish to think there won’t be occasions when it gets misused, but, as it stands now, you can be arrested and fingerprinted/DNA’d whether innocent or not. And, at the moment, that means being driven to the police station, held in custody, fingerprinted, then released often miles away from your home or vehicle.

              Ps, I’m sure you’ll never be caught inder the unfluence, Framu 😉

              • framu

                good to see the word is catching on 🙂

                im not one for driving while drunk – but i am rather unfluential most of the time

            • les

              raises an interesting point….you may be legally required to provide fingerprints,but are you legally required to sign the document that has the impressions?Anyone know?

        • AsleepWhileWalking

          Too invasive and I agree with Karol in that it is a step too far mainly because appears to be more of a data gathering exercise than preventing drunk driving IMHO. I guess we will see.

      • travellerev 6.1.2

        “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”. You’d have loved Goebbels if you had been a German in pre-WWII times!

        • Te Reo Putake

          And today’s Godwin award for intellectual vacuity goes to … opens envelope … Travellerev!!!

          • Tiger Mountain

            if you have an arm of the state forces with a proven track record of abuse of power, a filthy culture of racist, sexist violence and of not acting on (rare) IPCA findings against them–why the hell give the bluebellies even more information gathering powers to interfere with and generally make peoples lives miserable?

            • Te Reo Putake

              It’s not more information gathering powers. It’s the same powers in a different location.

              • And way easier and less transparent AND with more secretive organizations wanting to collect your data + all your internet activity with more draconian law changes coming our way. The bigger picture. TRP, the bigger picture! But sleep on Te Reo Putake. I’m sure you will love it when the pigs take over completely. You will feel right at home!

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yeah, that makes total sense. 🙄

                • 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

                  • vto

                    I don’t understand why people have this rosy view of the authorities and their intentions…

                    Do you people not read history? Or do you think that bad things can’t happen in New Zealand?

                    When I see the constant rolling of eyes it occurs to me that there is no vigilance…. don’t the daises look nice today dear ….

          • greywarshark

            TRP 10.17 am
            Travellerev can’t be said to have intellectual vacuity any more than yourself.
            But there is definitely a highly developed sense of conspiracy coming from reading about real ones that have been researched no doubt.

            And yourself, you have a highly developed belief in the power of the Labour Party to rise on the election of the third year. Pity it didn’t come about. Have to start burning incense and offering up sacrifices again I think.

      • Murray Rawshark 6.1.3

        So TRP, nothing to hide, nothing to fear? As usual, ev is exaggerating things one way, but you’re doing the same the other way. Police will do twice as much as they’re allowed to anyway, so a good lawmaker will let them do half as much as is intended.

    • tinfoilhat 6.2


  7. wekarawshark 7

    So did Cosgrove say something about the standard yesterday too? A bit of a barney on twitter about ts and its, ahem, standards, but I couldn’t tell what sparked it.

      • wekarawshark 7.1.1

        Not sure where I got the idea there was something about Cosgrove.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Cosgrove thinks Standardistas should STFU while caucus members continue to get a free pass to screw up in the media.


        • karol

          Thanks for that link. Wow! What a crazy discussion – more sanity from Tiso – then from Tat, Lynn and you towards the end.

          Some of the chattering classes just don’t like hearing the rude and angry voices of diverse people on the left, having their say on crucial matters.

          • wekarawshark

            it was a bummer we didn’t see the convo earlier in the day and could have countered some of the crap bits. Tiso did well. I don’t think it’s in that particular thread but Russell Brown said some pretty daming stuff about ts (paraphrase = we’re fuck ups). I was surprised at that, but then later I realised he’s probably one of the ones that hardly ever reads here. I can see if you skim through on a bad day you would miss the importance of what happens here and just see the abuse/bullshit. But also I was reminded of his mainstreamness. Chattering classes yes.

            • karol

              People here have been very critical of Brown in the past: eg on the Hobbit issue. And also have been critical of Public Address (eg over the pseudonym/real name issue) as being a blog for middle class, Ponsonby cafe, liberals.

              It’s amazing how personal criticisms will colour a journalist’s view of blogs. I have been pondering on the relationship between MSM journos and WO & KB as in Dirty Politics. So, those blogs cultivate lines to friendly journos.

              In contrast, TS authors and posters use a lot of blog space criticising MSM journos – necessary when the fourth estate fails. But it’s not going to result in favourable coverage from most of those journos.

              • wekarawshark

                Ah, ok, that makes sense.

                Here’s the Brown’s statement that surprised me,

                “Russell Brown
                @gtiso @KeirLeslie @Simonpnz @edmuzik I do think it’s problem that the biggest Labour-aligned website is a pit of factional partisan idiocy.”

                Leaving aside the Labour bit, ‘factional partisan idiocy’? Assuming he means the posts not the comments, I just don’t get it. eg re the leadership process, we have authors supporting different candidates. Is that what he means by partisan? Should the authors not be expressing support or opinion?

                I’ve been thinking about the relationship between social media and the MSM too. I only joined twitter a month before the election so I could follow the politics, but it’s been very interesting. It seems like there is a direct holding journos accountable thing that goes on there, which strikes me as both healthy and having potential.

                My theory is we need to be encouraging journos when they get it right. I’ve been impressed by Brown in the last couple of months, he’s been challenging much of the govt and bullshit going on, in his nice middle class way. People like my family will read and listen to people like him but would find ts too strident and wouldn’t know how to take it seriously.

                btw, Tiso put up an interesting call out re the media after the election, did you see it?


                • karol

                  Brown can be very good. But, he is a very centrist kind of leftie. He’s a solid researcher and commentator.

                  Jessica Williams seems to be one of the better MSM commercial radio journalists.

                  Yes, twitter can be used to old journalists to account. Tova O’Brien doesn’t take criticism well, and gets all huffy and attacking.

                  Gower can roll with the punches, but won’t really change.

                  It is worth praising journalists where its due. Andrea Vance can be critical on spy matters, but quite right wing on other matters.

                  Simon Collins of the Herald is generally very good on poverty and welfare matters. I always try to make a positive comment when I refer to his articles.

                  David Fisher always worth a read.

                  We do need fundamental overhaul of the media, with better outlets for left wing voices.

                  Myself, I’ve been pondering on posting less, but putting more time and thought into each post. The one I posted yesterday, I started drafting a few days ago. I revised it a few times, to cut down the length (people online have short attention spans), while trying to focus on my main points.

                  People online aren’t necessarily interested in all the details of the analysis that has resulted int he conclusions I draw.

                  I am thinking about how to make left wing analysis more accessible to a wider audience – also about focusing as much on cultural and social analysis from a left wing perspective – of pop culture etc – appealing to a wider range of interests beyond those who follow news and politics closely.

                  On the post you link to: it occurs to me that, while we don’t have the direct benefit of Key’s daily polling via Curia, we may be able to read off the results from Key’s and the Nats’ public responses to issues.

                  • Rawmadness Natshark

                    I think we’ve all become lazy, by that I mean activism means blogging or commenting. IE Keyboard protestors. Sadly and truthfully in the old days pre email, and web, people would have been marching to parliament on assets and Nova pay, let alone the other corruption.

                    The real issue is how do we get a society that makes it’s dissent of legislation by doing something more than posting on a web site that no polly takes at the remotest seriously.

                  • karol

                    while we don’t have the direct benefit of Key’s daily polling via Curia, we may be able to read off the results from Key’s and the Nats’ public responses to issues.

                    For instance, Key’s responses re the international meeting about combating ISIS, indicates that the Nats’ polling is showing that Kiwis are not keen on committing combat troops, as reported by RNZ Checkpoint:

                    The Prime Minister is downplaying New Zealand’s presence at a high level defence meeting in Washington on defeating Islamic State saying this country is still not part of a US-led military coalition.

                    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ckpt/ckpt-20141015-1707-john_key_plays_down_nz_at_high_level_defence_meeting_in_us-048.mp3" /]

                    And this is supported by the responses from Washington, plus Goff’s comment about Key just softening up the NZ public.

                    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ckpt/ckpt-20141015-1709-meeting_between_defence_chiefs_and_obama_not_regular-048.mp3" /]

                    And while Defence and John Key say the meeting is nothing out of the ordinary our Washington correspondent Simon Marks says that is certainly not the way the White House is describing it.

                    It’s evident in the way Key stresses the difference between combat troops and other forms of assistance.

                    • RedbaronCV

                      Gun mad Johnny – perhaps he could do an offshore stint for us all. And this is how the NYT presents it.

                      “coalition of nations allied against the militants”
                      Are we back to smirk & deny.

    • lprent 7.2

      He did. I got it as hearsay (a bit short of time at present). But it was the usual “anonymous” crap

      • vto 7.2.1

        Voting is “anonymous”, for a whole bunch of reasons that I am sure Cosgrove understands.

        Why does he not understand that those same reasons apply to political commentary? Is he a bit dim, or does it just suit his political ambitions to ignore those principles?

        • ianmac

          A bit strange that those who are the most critical of TS are so negative about those on the TS who are so negative. Huh?
          And where else but TS can there be such a wide range of leftish, and rightish viewpoints. For example I like to read what Matthew writes as it gives an inkling of the “enemy.”
          And Russel Brown getting a bit snooty about commentary on the TS should reflect on some of the anonymous commentary on his own site.
          And Posts should be distinguished from Comments. Cosgrove STFU.

          • wekarawshark

            “And Posts should be distinguished from Comments”

            I wonder how much antipathy towards ts is because of the comments and because there are obvious party activists here commenting. Unlike with Dirty Politics, as far as I can tell the parties involved don’t control the commenting. The solution to this is pretty easy though. Labour and the GP can build relationships within the blogosphere. Engage. Put up guest posts.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    ullo ullo…what do we have ’ere then…
    West Auckland coppers were suspected of dragging their heels on the “Roastbusters” matter, but they may have just been otherwise engaged.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      Ouch. Bad news when cops get up to this. Very bad news.

    • BLiP 8.2

      Hmmm . . . I wonder if Peter Pakau was working in Huntly between June 2010 and January 2011

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      “Police are always extremely disappointed when staff do not meet the standards the public rightly expects, and we will not hesitate to investigate these matters and bring them before the courts where appropriate,” he said in a statement.

      Meanwhile, IPCA rulings are ignored or are just outright whitewashes.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.4

      From the depths of my failing memory, he was arrested before the roastbusters stuff came to public notice. They certainly haven’t been working on this instead. It was all done ages ago.

  9. And just to get Te Reo Putake’s knickers in a twist here is my take on the Southern Katipo NATO military drill from November last year.

  10. karol 10

    Yesterday’s Western Leader reports a “funding crisis” for the Waitakere Festival – One local board gave the money requested. One gave a lesser amount. The Whau board gave nothing.

    Whau and Waitakere Boards say they have had a load of applications for funding this year.

  11. Tiger Mountain 11

    Public Service Announcement–why you should NOT talk to the Police
    All people and activists should consider reading this guide. It was compiled in the US but applies anywhere police officers operate.

    • Te Reo Putake 11.1

      Excellent article, TM. The late John Haigh once told me that there were only two things you should ever say to the police:

      I have done nothing wrong.

      I would like to speak to a lawyer.

      Repeat ad nauseum.

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.2

      Ahhhh right, thanks for this. Everything here goes double if you are brown or black, I suspect.

  12. les 12

    coverall…’my lawyer told me never to say anything to the Police,because you can never rely on your innocence to protect you’.

    • The Lone Haranguer 12.1

      A big time lawyer (Simpson Grierson partner) once told me to say nothing at all to the Police. He said 75% of defendants fail on that and incriminate themselves when your name and a request for a lawyer is all you need to start with.

      Hes even (successfully) defended politicians……

  13. Te Reo Putake 13

    I see the tags just under the Standard banner have a new chum. Is there something we should be told?

    • lprent 13.1

      Just means that an author doesn’t realize that top-level post categories get automatically displayed at the top of the site, and therefore they MUST parent all new categories to a parent category.

      Moved her under Politics / Politicians

  14. wekarawshark 15

    Some reasons for us to think about what would happen in an epidemic (rather than just leaving it all to the authorities)> Written by a hematologist who worked with AIDS patients.

    Ebola, which is not transmitted by air, does get around by blood and, possibly, dried blood. It differs from HIV in this regard; most AIDS patients don’t bleed profusely – even full-blown AIDS is usually not such a messy condition as Ebola. The same goes for hepatitis C – which by is, by blood, at least 10-fold more infectious than HIV. As for Ebola, I’m not convinced that we know its “R0” – the degree of infectiousness.

    As much as there’s a danger in being overly fearful, there’s a danger in overconfidence.

    In the absence of a U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Tom Frieden at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has done a terrific job in communicating what’s going on and, in general, appropriately assuring the public. But the agency could be more up-front about what we don’t know, and should offer more guidance for ordinary people about what they might do in homes, at work, in schools, in airports, prisons, churches, gyms and cafeterias – basically everywhere – to minimize their chances of catching and spreading Ebola.

    To this end, the CDC might answer some questions. Straight answers from public health officials could affect the behavior and lives of ordinary people, including patients with other medical conditions:

    1. Can Ebola be spread by food handlers? Think of typhoid Mary. (Note that typhoid, or cholera, differs from Ebola in that it’s caused by a bacterial infection, not a virus.) But either might be spread by contaminated feces. There’s a reason why my grandmothers feared raw vegetables, unpeeled fruit and uncooked foods. Because if someone has infectious diarrhea, or carries a germ on his or her hands, they might contaminate the food or beverages (and dishes).

    2. Along those lines…Is it OK to eat salad in a restaurant? What about salad bars? And does heat – as might be applied by cooking – kill the Ebola virus? Homemakers and chefs, and guys in trucks and food stands around the world, might benefit from knowing the answer to this simple question.

    3. Does Purell kill Ebola? This is a very practical matter, as not everyone is in a position to wash their hands before, say, eating a sandwich on a plane. And if Purell is insufficient, what might ordinary people do to stay clean?

    4. Can you get Ebola from a toilet seat? Seriously. I was traveling earlier this week, and I couldn’t help but notice the women working in hotel and airport bathrooms – whose job it is to keep those places clean. The CDC might offer guidelines (in many languages, clearly translated) about what you shouldn’t touch. And if you or they do accidentally brush up against an unclean surface, what then?


    • greywarshark 15.1

      @ wekarawshark
      Really good points. This reminds me. I read a story by Edmund Rutherfurd built around English history and covering the great plague. Sarum the novel which includes a report on the Plague or Black Death. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death

      His imagination, or something in the records, led him to a tale of how a mother took her children and older step-children to an isolated animal shed built for weather protection and kept them apart from the sickness in the village. It is possibly based on stories from Eyam, the Plague Village that got infected in its rural setting, and to stop it spreading to its neighbours, the village sealed itself off. They lost 259 people from their number to it over quite a long period before it lost its virulence.

      In Rutherfurd’s story one older boy went out to reconnoitre and she got the children collecting stones and stepped out a circle using the stones to mark a perimeter around the shelter. When he came back she refused to let him cross it with a threat she would shoot him with a bow and arrow that she knew how to use.

      I thought what a shocking thing to be forced to do. In the story he found a place to be safe in the village but reported back each day from outside the circle, till one day he didn’t. In the story he threw himself out of the high window of his room before the sickness could enfeeble him. Village people remained still, trying to contain the disaster collecting the bodies to a mass grave. And it started from an infected flea in the story.

      Ebola sounds just as bad, or worse. The attitudes of present government and leaders does not bode well for responsible behaviour from authorities to take precautionary action. Present day money-mad leaders hate to act until there is a report detailing proven deaths numbers and providing peer-critiqued trend scenarios with risk assessments.

      • wekarawshark 15.1.1

        I’ve read some historical accounts of epidemics too. It’s sobering.

        Agreed about the attitudes of government.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          My understanding is that further research found that material (cloth) infested with fleas had been delivered to the town tailor. Whose family was amongst the first to succumb to disease.

    • McFlock 15.2

      Well, look at what happened in the SARS epidemic.
      Massive public information campaigns covering those subjects and more (door handles, distribution of face masks, etc). But not before all the information was known, and not too long before it was needed (forestalls compliance fatigue).

      It might be good for the makers of purell, but why, in Dunedin, should I be changing my behaviour because of ebola? If there was a case in good old leaky DPH, yes. But by then, there will be large scale information and sanitation campaigns going on.

      • wekarawshark 15.2.1

        I haven’t suggested you change your behaviour. In fact I think I suggested that if you’re not interested in this discussion, you don’t have to do anything at all.

        “It might be good for the makers of purell, but why, in Dunedin, should I be changing my behaviour because of ebola? If there was a case in good old leaky DPH, yes. But by then, there will be large scale information and sanitation campaigns going on.”

        We already know that information doesn’t reach a lot of people via the channels that the MoH uses. It takes time to get people educated and changing. Waiting for an epidemic is just daft. As I mentioned last night, many people I know are used to self-reliance and like to prepare, and it’s better to learn new skills before you need them, not when everyone is stressed.

        When was the SARS epidemic in NZ?

        • McFlock

          You might not have said “everybody needs to change their behaviour right now”, but the piece you quoted at length said that the CDC

          should offer more guidance for ordinary people about what they might do in homes, at work, in schools, in airports, prisons, churches, gyms and cafeterias – basically everywhere – to minimize their chances of catching and spreading Ebola.

          I’m more interested in the discussion about whether now is the time we need to have that discussion about how, as private citizens, we should behave to minimize our chances of catching ebola.

          And hey, it’s open mike.

          Your question sort of demonstrates my point. With Sars, people started washing their hands more frequently and that’s about it. Gastro probably went down, so it’s all good.

          ISTR with bird flu, individuals started stockpiling Tamiflu and other contingency supplies (which pushed up the costs for national stockpiles of an emergency drug of unknown efficacy against that strain). Individual “planning” actually harmed both the system as a whole and its response.

          • wekarawshark

            “I’m more interested in the discussion about whether now is the time we need to have that discussion about how, as private citizens, we should behave to minimize our chances of catching ebola.”

            So start your own discussion instead of disrupting this one with your own agenda.

            “You might not have said “everybody needs to change their behaviour right now”, but the piece you quoted at length said that the CDC”

            Yeah, but you’re not really paying attention. I’ve said multiple times now I’m interested in what people can do for themselves. That article obviously has nothing to do with NZ (the CDC still has no power or responsibility here). It was an easy way to look at the issues. I thought the toilet cleaning one was interesting for instance, because it overlaps health issues with work and safety ones.

            You didn’t say then teh SARS epidemic was in NZ. Let me put it another way. We haven’t had a SARS epidemic of the nature that is being discussed here, which is what happens if Ebola gets out of hand.

            • McFlock

              And we have an ebola epidemic in NZ?

              At the moment, there is nothing “people can do for themselves”, because there is no ebola in NZ.

              And if we get a couple of imported cases, there will still be nothing people can do for themselves, other than the medical staff in their ppe.

              And if there’s an actual outbreak in NZ, then individuals might be in a position to minimise the spread of the disease (which is different from doing stuff “for themselves”). In that eventuality, the MoH will provide a fuckload more useful information that is relevant to the actual situation (what we know at that time about the virus, vectors, and how long it survives outside a host), rather than blog comments and speculation right now.

              • weka

                If your not going to make an effort to understand what I am talking about you can fuck off McFlock

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Psychological and physical preparations are crucial in many things McFlock. You don’t have to wait until an earthquake hits to buy an extra box of candles and put away an extra 10L of bottled water.

                • wekarawshark

                  I’m thinking really basic stuff like handwashing techniques too. Most people don’t know how to wash hands to prevent viruses spreading. Am thinking of people who are caring for ill people once the hospitals are full. And esp going into the future.

                  Chch taught me that there were too many people who got left to fend for themselves for too long (no McFlock I’m not talking about rebuilding bricks and mortar, I’m talking things like dust masks and water). The reasons for this are complex, bureaucracy, trauma, scale, all things possible in an epidemic.

                  Despite McFlock’s faith in the MoH, they won’t have a hope in hell in of reaching people in time if an epidemic happens suddenly. Too many people out of the reach of the authorities now, which I would have thought would have been perfectly fucking obvious to someone who works in the public health sector. Plus people learn well or retain information well when under stress or freaking out.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Yep. And I don’t think that there is a single hospital ward in the entirety of NZ built to a standard to isolate cases of diseases like ebola. We’d make do of course. But we’d lose a number of doctors, nurses and other HCWs in the process.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I think a good way is to delegate responsibility to the nurses, doctors, etc, to lead teams of politicians who, on pain of summary execution, obey the orders of the health professionals.

                    • McFlock

                      I think Middlemore has one such ward – it was on the news recently. Full isolation, including filtering the air that comes out of it. Only one or two beds I think.

                      Home-caring for infected patients would be run under the same controls as occasional TB cases are now. But really, most people don’t remember or practise such stuff until the threat is immediate, and one problem about launching a big campaign now would be that people would let things slide after a few weeks, so if it eventually does happen in NZ a large chunk of folks would have slipped into complacent habits.

                      The interesting thing is that in the glummer cases, infrastructure like roads, power and water won’t crunch immediately, but degrade over time. And populations will migrate to those areas that still have services maintained by engineers.

                  • Chooky Shark Smile


                    here is a bit of light reading on the subject .. imo it should be broken down to 10 handy hints for plebs


                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The best way to respond to the threat of Ebola is to ensure that if it arrives here it will decimate the wealthiest members of our society.

                  Then they might stop hoarding our resources.

                  • wekarawshark

                    You offering to be a carrier around the board rooms of Welly OAB? Maybe a courier disguise?

                    Anyway, thanks for that, we’ve now got the SIS following the conversation.

            • Chooky Shark Smile

              +100 …yes weka I am interested in this too

              eg severe measles viruses hit populations worst eg the early pre-European settler Maori which had a vit A deficiency and were malnourished and of course had never been exposed to this virus and did not have natural passed down immunity

              …it makes sense to try and find ways not only to decrease exposure to the ebola hemorrhagic fever virus ( travel precautions/public places /foods etc)…but also to prepare the immediate home environment and people / body naturally to combat the virus if exposed

              ….the sooner people are educated to be able to prepare to be as self-reliant as possible….. the less panic there will be around hospitals and medical centres…if the virus does hit

      • RedLogix 15.2.2

        Again the weakness of your argument McFlock is this; that 20 day doubling period.

        If ebola does arrive in Australisia it’s a fairly safe bet it will have gotten completely out of hand in the rest of the world and containing it will demand massive, hugely disruptive measures globally.

        Right now WHO are quoting a minimum of 3-6 months to get on top of this outbreak. Six months is 9 doubling periods.

        No-one is asking you to change your behaviour right now. Except perhaps for this:


        • McFlock

          Cheers for the unicef link.

          As for the rest of it, we’ll see.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            As for the rest of it, we’ll see.

            I suggest if we see 3 to 4 more doubling periods of 20-25 days (which will take us to New Year), particularly in nations other than Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, it will be time to pull out all the stops.

            Truly exponential physical phenomena are extremely punishing. Most people cannot intuitively get that. But you’re numerate.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              A 70% die-off would certainly reduce greenhouse emissions.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It would also crash the stock markets, exports and monetary velocity would grind to a halt. Chances are that there wouldn’t be fuel in most Western fuel tanks within 90 days which means that deliveries to supermarkets will no longer be happening. Lights would be going out as electricity generation went off line in the EU, UK and the US.

                We would, very rapidly, find out just how fragile the global economy is.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  …how fragile society is. FIFY.

                  PS: fuck the economy.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It’s the disruption in the global economy that will collapse society because we rely on it too much and act as if nothing will change it. We treat it as a natural order rather than as the human construct that it is.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Earth calling DtB: you can’t collapse human society because it exists so long as people do.

                      The “collapse” you are describing, if/when it occurs, will be measured in economic and demographic terms. It is my expectation that there will be a rennaissance in societal values as a result.

                    • this scenario may not be that far away..

                      “..“..Ebola and the Five Stages of Collapse..

                      ..If Ebola is not stopped –

                      – it has the potential to reduce the human population of the earth from over 7 billion – to around 3.5 billion –

                      – in a relatively short period of time..”



                    • RedLogix

                      Trust Orlov to have thought it through in a logical, consistent manner. Dark – but worryingly shorn his trademark black humour this time.

                    • karol

                      This got a chuckle from me:

                      Our current set of financial arrangements, involving very large levels of debt leading to artificially high valuations placed on stocks, commodities, real estate, and Ph.D’s in economics,

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      you can’t collapse human society because it exists so long as people do.

                      Yeah, you can – ask the Romans how their Empire is going. Or maybe the Egyptians or the Persians or the Incas.

                      Society can most definitely collapse. What exists afterwards will still be a society but it won’t be the one that existed before and there’s going to be a lot of pain in the decades, or centuries, long collapse.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Great link. Gets more and more interesting as one continues to read more and more.

                      I enjoyed this bit:

                      “At the very far end of the spectrum are found roving bands of feral children, speaking a language that no adult is able to understand. It is at this point that we are able to conclude that cultural collapse has run its course”

                      I thought we had already reached that stage!

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Society can most definitely collapse. What exists afterwards will still be a society but it won’t be the one that existed before

                      Correct. People will still be around, living and associating together. Most everything that we take for granted in our current civilisation set up will be gone, however.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    OAB yep. If we want to salvage prospects for our ecosystem, and hence our civilisation, large parts of our economy need to be done away with.

                • BM


                  Woo hoo, time to break out the 12 gauge.

                  • The Al1en


                    Double tap and always check the back seat.

                    “Woo hoo, time to break out the 12 gauge.”

                    Left4Dead’s hordes and Halo’s flood on legendary :halo:

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Not when I kill you first.

                    • BM

                      Kill or be Killed, first to the draw, is that the rules?

                    • wekarawshark

                      nope. What you have to worry about BM is what will happen to you if people let you live.

                    • BM


                      Out of curiosity, what would happen, would I be skinned alive, face cut off and worn like a trophy, nails hammered through the family jewels.?

                      Do tell.

                    • wekarawshark

                      I thought you would be thinking something like that. I was thinking of what the community that is working together to ensure survival would do with someone like you to make you useful. Most people don’t believe in cruelty, so what to do with a cruel person?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      In a world full of ebola, blowing people to bits with a shotgun or flaying them alive, is probably not a great idea.

                    • McFlock

                      lol good call CV

                • wekarawshark

                  “Chances are that there wouldn’t be fuel in most Western fuel tanks within 90 days which means that deliveries to supermarkets will no longer be happening.”

                  If we’re talking about this happening in the NZ spring, 90 days is probably survivable here as a rapid powerdown. Not easy by any means. Biggest concern (apart from dying) would be that Key and his mates are in charge of the army and police force.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Got to maintain friendly relations with the Army and Police so that they’ll disobey National’s Quisling orders.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Yep. That’s why any and all civil resistance has to be non-violent. To maintain the moral high ground and help bring onside the foot soldiers and NCOs of the regime.

            • McFlock

              Oh, agreed. If ebola manages to breach containment and continues with an exponential growth rate, we’re talking global human catastrophe.

              If, and if.

              In the real world, the first if is reasonably likely, but the second if less so.
              First if: if not, the current outbreak will burn itself out within the current area.
              Second if: relies on no effective treatment or prevention protocols being found for a body-fluid-spread organism.

              The second if is the one I feel is particularly doubtful, especially with the early promising signs of survivor-donated blood. Essentially, the spread increases the supply of treatment, if it works consistently.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You’ve described the very essence of “fat tailed” black swan events. An highly improbable but highly systematically destructive event.

                • McFlock

                  Apart from the bit where people don’t imagine the black swan at all, indeed think the concept is an impossible absurdity, and then come up with wonderful hindsight explanations after it’s happened.

                  Whereas I’m just saying that it’s technically possible, but unlikely at this stage that the ebola pandemic bullet will be fired in NZ, and if it does happen there is little if anything of consequence we as individuals can do to determine whether we as individuals catch that bullet if it’s fired.

                  So, actually nothing like a black swan event.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Black swan events have a relatively simple definition. High unlikely events (although often much less unlikely than commonly estimated) but which have extraordinarily substantial systematic consequences. Or simply put, extreme events lying within fat-tailed distributions.

                    • McFlock

                      Ah, okay – wires crossed. Wikipedia:

                      Unlike the earlier philosophical “black swan problem”, the “black swan theory” refers only to unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history. Such events, considered extreme outliers, collectively play vastly larger roles than regular occurrences.[1] More technically, in the scientific monograph Lectures on Probability and Risk in the Real World: Fat Tails (Volume 1), Taleb mathematically defines the black swan problem as “stemming from the use of degenerate metaprobability”.[2]

                      But both definitions include “unexpected”.
                      That’s a mischaracterisation of what I’m saying, which is that it’s still too early for most individuals in NZ to bother doing anything more than monitoring the news. Because we have more immediate things to worry about, and there’s no need for individuals to prepare for that particular problem right now. And even if we did damned near everything we as individuals could, it wouldn’t likely affect our individual outcomes. Certainly nowhere near as much as bigger measures way out of our control – e.g. the timing of quarantine and border control decisions.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ok cool, most of your comments are fairly proximal to my personal position of watchful waiting.

                    • McFlock

                      on that moment of tangential agreement, I’m off to bed. 🙂

                    • Chooky Shark Smile

                      ( and now for another conspiracy theory)

                      ‘The Ebola Outbreak. Can it be Controlled? Monsanto Invests in Ebola Treatment Drug Company as Pandemic Spreads’

                      “One fascinating development worth investigating further is that TEKMIRA Pharmaceuticals, a company working on an anti-Ebola drug, just received a $1.5 million cash infusion from none other than Monsanto. … “Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing novel RNAi therapeutics and providing its leading lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology to pharmaceutical partners.”

                      The money from Monsanto is reportedly related to the company’s developed of RNAi technology used in agriculture. The deal is valued at up to $86.2 million, according to the WSJ. (11)

                      Another press release about Tekmira reveals a $140 million contract with the U.S. military for Ebola treatment drugs:

                      TKM-Ebola, an anti-Ebola virus RNAi therapeutic, is being developed under a $140 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Medical Countermeasure Systems BioDefense Therapeutics (MCS-BDTX) Joint Product Management Office.

                      Additional Tekmira partnership are listed at this Tekmira web page.”…….


  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    And the news for charter schools gets worse:

    New report shows charter schools have performed MUCH worse than public schools in Chicago, on all fronts

    I’m assuming this one:

    Charter schools have failed to improve Chicago’s public school system and perform less ably than comparable traditional schools, according to a new report from an urban research group at the University of Minnesota Law School.

    • Chooky Shark Smile 16.1

      interesting…there has been no real debate in NZ on Charter Schools ..it has just been dished up to us by Act and the National Government as being good for us !….good for BIG BUSINESS to make money out of education is more like it !

      Charter Schools are very controversial in the States….and are argued to produce poorer results and at the same time undermine the State education system

  16. RedLogix 17

    Just had a good laugh with this:


    Aussie comedian Jim Jefferies on gun control.

  17. weka 18

    On today’s The Panel, annoying sounds that make you leave the room.

    Mine is Middle class guests on the Panel angsting and joking about whether the price of chocolate will rise 20% if Ebola spreads to Ghana.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.1


      • wekarawshark 18.1.1

        I was in the car in traffic and couldn’t believe my ears. I hardly listen to RNZ in the afternoons now and I didn’t realise it was that bad.

    • Puddleglum 18.2


      Sometimes when I’m listening to The Panel I feel like I’m witnessing the middle-class massification and democratisation of the decadence of the Ancient Roman elite and their attitudes.

      Everything just has to be amusing – or at least you have to feign amusement at everything.

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Richest 1% of people own nearly half of global wealth, says report

    The richest 1% of the world’s population are getting wealthier, owning more than 48% of global wealth, according to a report published on Tuesday which warned growing inequality could be a trigger for recession.

    “For more than a century, the wealth income ratio has typically fallen in a narrow interval between 4 and 5. However, the ratio briefly rose above 6 in 1999 during the dotcom bubble and broke that barrier again during 2005–2007. It dropped sharply into the “normal band” following the financial crisis, but the decline has since been reversed, and the ratio is now at a recent record high level of 6.5, matched previously only during the great Depression. This is a worrying signal given that abnormally high wealth income ratios have always signaled recession in the past,” the report said.

    Well, at least some in the MSM are reporting that the rich are the problem even they’re not using those exact words.

  19. Paul 20

    Mike Joy presented very powerful data on how stuffed our environment is in this country. It was a sobering talk.
    Waterways, soil (high levels of cadmium and phosphate) at the top of the list.
    Joy feared for further attacks on Scientists such as him for speaking out.
    All down to neoliberalism.
    Ted Thomas commented on NZers wilful ignorance.

  20. whateva next? 21

    Harry reminds us why we are proud to vote Labour. (Ironically heard on radiolive)

  21. Draco T Bastard 22

    The age of loneliness is killing us

    Ebola is unlikely ever to kill as many people as this disease strikes down. Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day; loneliness, research suggests, is twice as deadly as obesity. Dementia, high blood pressure, alcoholism and accidents – all these, like depression, paranoia, anxiety and suicide, become more prevalent when connections are cut. We cannot cope alone.

    The legacy of Thatcher’s, and the other RWNJs, There is no such thing as society?

    • Puddleglum 22.1

      Yes, Monbiot summarises the research on the effects and causes of social isolation well. This from your link:

      British children no longer aspire to be train drivers or nurses – more than a fifth say they “just want to be rich”: wealth and fame are the sole ambitions of 40% of those surveyed. A government study in June revealed that Britain is the loneliness capital of Europe. We are less likely than other Europeans to have close friends or to know our neighbours.

      It’s sobering to note that in the recent ‘Sovereign Wellbeing Index‘ New Zealand fared poorly compared with other participating countries. It did especially poorly in ‘social connection’:

      New Zealand ranks 22nd [out of 23 counties) in Social Wellbeing. Social Wellbeing is made up of the dimensions of Supportive Relations (rank 21st), Felt lonely (rank 20th), Meet socially (rank 21st), Trust and Belonging (rank 23rd), People in local area help one another (rank 21st), Treated with respect (rank 22nd), Feel close to people in local area (rank 23rd), and most people can be trusted (rank 11th).

    • RedLogix 22.2

      Which is one reason why the community here is important to us.

  22. Draco T Bastard 23

    Abortion isn’t about the right to privacy. It’s about women’s right to equality

    The pro-choice movement needs to put the opposition on its heels, and make what some in the “pro-forced birth” movement say what they’re really thinking: that it’s more important for women be mothers than go to college; that the ability to support existing children, to have a job that pays well or to pursue a career path we love are inconsequential realities compared to embracing our “natural” role as perpetually pregnant; that a woman’s ability to incubate a fetus trumps any other contribution to society that she could possibly make.

  23. Penny Bright 24


    Progress is being made in the fight for transparency and accountability when fighting back against the Auckland Supercity for the 1% ‘whistle-blower’


    Auckland rates protester Penny Bright has successfully delayed the council from selling her home to raise money for the rates she owes.

    Long-time ally Graham McCready, who is supporting her in the matter, said the sale had been suspended, but the council would not confirm the delay or comment further.

    Bright, a long-term stone in the council’s shoe, has refused to pay rates since 2008 and owes the council $33,288.25 including legal costs.

    The action is to protest against what she said was a lack of transparency in how the rates were spent.

    In a policy approved last year, the council has the power to sell properties to pay for overdue rates.

    This week, retired Wellington accountant McCready said in an email that the solicitor for Auckland council had confirmed the suspension of the sale of Bright’s house pending a District Court hearing.

    He said the hearing would hear an application to set aside the original judgment for unpaid rates and stay the proceedings.

    McCready, who successfully brought a private prosecution that led to the resignation of former ACT MP John Banks, said no date had been set for the hearing.

    Bright bought her two-storey Kingsland home in 1990 for $144,500, and it was valued at $530,000 in 2011.

    Recently properties in the area have sold for more than $800,000.


    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

  24. GregJ 26

    France 24 update has New Zealand elected to UN Security Council along with Angola, Malaysia & Venezuela. (1600 GMT)

  25. screwball 27

    Have any of you seen this site slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz ?

    Looks like a guy pretending to be left when he’s to the right of Muldoon

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  • Happy new year, Aotearoa!
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    3 weeks ago

  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
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  • Record high of new homes consented continues
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  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
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  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
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    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
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  • Our Pacific community shares in New Year’s Honours
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  • Congratulations to Māori New Year’s Honours stars of 2022
    Kei aku rangatira kua whakawhiwhia koutou ki ngā tohu ā tō tātou kuīni hei whakanui nui i ā koutou mahi rangatira i hāpai i te manotini puta noa i a Aotearoa. Ko koutou ngā tino tauira. I whanake i ngā hapori, iwi, hapū, whānau me te motu anō hoki. Mauri ...
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  • Top honours for women in sport
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