Open mike 15/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 15th, 2011 - 252 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

252 comments on “Open mike 15/12/2011 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    Free milk coming back to primary schools

    This is the greatest thing I have heard of in a long time

    The kids are going to love that.

    The kids will love having a cold milk. (I remember that.) I used to look forward to it so much everyday at school

    It’s great

    It won’t cost the taxpayers a thing.

    I wonder what the government’s response will be?

    The weak point of charity being, (as the news article points out), that as with most charity, it is mostly being done for the benefit of the giver.

    To remove this initiative from the personal whims, or whatever, of any change in circumstances or personal at Fonterra.

    The government needs to follow up with legislation to remove the power of any new board of directors at Fonterra, to undo this initiative, and also force their competitors to match it.

    If Fonterra can do it, so can the rest. If the other big players of the New Zealand dairy industry aren’t compelled to join this scheme, this would be a competitive advantage that would eventually put pressure on Fonterra at some future time to undo this initiative.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      Jenny I agree this is a great thing for Fonterra to be going ahead with, I’ve known about their plans for a little while and believe what they have in mind will be a real benefit to schools, children and the community in general.

      But to suggest that the government legislate that they have to do it is really bizarre.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        But to suggest that the government legislate that they have to do it is really bizarre.

        Its the only way to be sure.

        • AAMC

          Just a pity we’re not feeding children at primary school something that was designed for humans to consume rather than baby cows….

        • higherstandard

          So let’s legislate that all supermarkets provide free food to everyone.

          Oh and let’s not forget all landlords to provide free accomodation.

          • Uturn

            Ah there, you see, I knew you’d come round. It’s hard to believe, but humanity hasn’t always exchanged money for food and shelter.

          • Colonial Viper

            I’d prefer to legislate that employers pay workers above slave level wages.

            Oh wait, we actually do that! And it works. Barely.

            The bottom line for me here HS is that our sovereign government (not the convenience of the free market) needs to make a call on what is important and needs to happen for the welfare of our children.

            • higherstandard

              Do you want me to send over some bales of straw for you as you must be running low.

              • Colonial Viper

                Free makets have no interest in the welfare of society therefore they should not be allowed to set the fundamental frameworks of society.

                When did they take away the previous hs?

                • higherstandard

                  You are equating minimum wage law with legislating that Fonterra must supply milk FOC to primary schools – explain how that is not s strawman.

                  I think you are still struggling with the events of the last few weeks.

                  • McFlock

                    The consideration of either makes tories froth at the mouth, for a start.
                    They both recognise that relying on the goodwill of capital does not ensure humane or even healthy living standards for much or the population.
                    They both operate under the premiss that government has a role in maintaining individual living standards.
                    They both involve legislating a (modest) cost on a few in order to improve the wellbeing of many.
                    They both identify social justice as an obligation of business, as well as “maximising profits”.

                    • higherstandard

                      So you’d be in favour of smart cards for benficiaries to ensure that the benefit is not spent on items such as lotto tickets, cigarettes, alcohol etc – after all surely that’s an important way the government can have a role in maintaining individual living standards.

                    • McFlock

                      really? You’re equating “35% on all income above $30k” or “chuck a portion of your $multi-billion profits towards giving kids calcium” with “we will micromanage even the most miniscule detail of your life”? 
                      Bit desperate, even for a zealot like you.

                    • higherstandard

                      um what ?

                      For a start I think you’ll find that Fonterra doesn’t make a multi billion dollar profit.

                      Not sure what you are on about in relation to the 35% above 30k.

                      But feel free to continue your bizarre cold war/class rhetoric.

                    • McFlock

                      meh – fair enough on the multi-billion profit point, but it’s not exactly a small business, is it.
                      The point is that while minimum wage & legislating milk in schools at fonterra’s cost are not fundamentally dissimilar, wheras your attempt at comparing higher-level regulations that are administerable and workable (minimum wage, milk in schools, progressive taxation) with vetting each and every transaction a beneficiary tries to make was idiotic.

                    • higherstandard

                      They are a large business, the largest after the government I expect.

                      I don’t see how you equate similarity in relation to government legislation for a minimum wage and posited government legislation that Fonterra supply free stock. For any government to legislate that a private company

                      In terms of the smart card for beneficiaries I was being facetious, anyway this will never even be trialled in NZ to see if it has positive effects on recipients and their children’s health and their buying behaviour – more’s the pity.

                      Not sure where you get the idea that this type of thing would by necessity vet each and every purchase a beneficiary tries to make. I think it would be more informative in the first instance to allow any and all purchasing on the smart card for the beneficiary within financial constraints and then have some budgeting advice available once the data comes back on where money is being spent.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So when did they replace the real hs?

                    • McFlock

                      “Budgeting advice”? If that’s all it’s for, why not just use the citizen’s own eftpos card?
                       Besides, it doesn’t “ensure” the benefit is only spent on whatever the case manager du jour regards as deserved.

                      But whether it’s someone defining a database of permitted products before the system is implemented, or just caseworkers going over the transaction logs as part of “budget advice”, my criticism still stands. And then there need to be audits and so on to ensure that people aren’t gaming the system (e.g. ringing up alcohol as “milk”). There’s a massive difference – and diminishing social returns – between the higher level regulation that easily integrates into the way things are currently done, versus spending a huge amount of resources on making sure absolutely no beneficiary has a single cent more than they are deemed to need.

              • Uturn

                Only a modern day urban dweller could sneer at the value of straw.

          • prism

            hs What are you on? Flights of fancy and hyperbole have to meet reality eventually. Pity that you can’t think rationally about using government resources from the people to distribute healthy and helpful benefits to the people. But you don’t care do you, you are practising for your Christmas skit “Higher national standards in grinchdom”.

            • higherstandard

              The government pisses a very large portion of their income up against the proverbial wall.

              Not content with that buffoons like Colonial Viper demand that the government legislate that private companies such as Fonterra must provide product FOC just in case in a year or two’s time they decide to no longer provide milk FOC into primary schools.

              • mik e

                lowerstandard Fonterra is a govt legislated entity

                • higherstandard

                  Government legislation was required to allow Fonterra to be formed…. apart from that have you got some point you’re trying to make or are you just stinking up the interwebs.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Not content with that buffoons like Colonial Viper demand that the government legislate that private companies such as Fonterra must provide product FOC

                    Dairy farmers demand that the country provides them with water free of charge.

                    So fairs fair you right wing asshole

                    • higherstandard

                      Gawd still screeching about right wing this and left wing then a bit of class war this class war that – seriously bud broaden your horizons and get out a bit more.

                    • vto

                      CV “Dairy farmers demand that the country provides them with water free of charge.”

                      Don’t forget the rivers and aquifers that they demand be available to dump their business’s crap and waste in. Which Nick Smith conveniently provides by pushing water quality control onto the regional councils which are majority controlled by farming interests. Oh, except where a regional council is not controlled by farming interests like Canterbury.

                      What a frikkin’ jip.

                      If ever there was something to get my own blood boiling it is this.

                    • CV: “Dairy farmers demand that the country provides them with water free of charge.”

                      Plenty of water falling freely at the moment. But the country doesn’t provide it, regular water is far from free, it’s a major expense on many farms.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      nature provided ecosystem services are part of the commons and aren’t free to commercial enterprises for the gain of just a few major shareholders.

                      I’d be happy to give farmers the portion of water which fell on their land from rain free of charge though, if that is what you are asking.

                      By the way I suspect you are talking about the cost of irrigation schemes not the cost of the water.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey HS this is not a game mate this is class war.

              • prism


                The government pisses a very large portion of their income up against the proverbial wall.

                Well I hope they don’t waste any of it on you. You obviously are not appreciative or in need of any help you receive from the government which should go along with a desire that other people also be helped. Probably you have no need for government help at all being so clever, wise and self-sufficient. You sound like an urban Bear Grylls.

                • higherstandard

                  And you sound like a retard.

                  Let me spell it out for you the government of the day or any day for that matter takes in a large amounts of revenue to spend on Health, Education, Welfare, Policing, Transport etc

                  This is all excellent and to be applauded as I don’t believe anyone apart from the deluded think we should not have these publicly provided services, however, if you have yet to notice that in many areas we continue to spend more and more yet have the same or indeed poorer statistics I would suggest you haven’t been looking.

                  As a small local government example we have had Auckland transport funding a group of street performers in the middle of Queen Street teaching people how to cross the road when the buzzer goes – I kid you not.

                  Add to that the multitudinous QANGOs and government departments who produce reports for Africa which consist of dribble, jibberish and an opposite opinion to the report that they had produced for a previous minister.

                  Oh and how about the government forums where everyone gets a trip to Wellington or overseas to scoff it up big on the taxpayer and pontif-cate from on high – it just goes on and on and on regardless of whether the red or blue team have the keys to the car.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    If you want to go on about waste just look at private sector waste.

                    Frankly lets start with the $1.1B plus that the private sector lost us tax payers in Southern Canterbury Finance.

                    Now here comes the $100M gifted to investment bankers for selling off our prime strategic power assets.

                    Or the luxury dinner out the Marton meatworks management treated themselves to after locking out their workers, demanding that meatworkers take a 20% pay cut.

                    Frankly you are a small picture asshole.

                    • higherstandard

                      And you are a deluded twat who believes the answer to all your perceived ills will be cured by a change from blue to red in Wellington.

                      Anyone who spends their days waiting for governments of any hue to sort their life out for them should jump off a cliff now.

        • Ant

          Now we just need the food to go with the milk and we may be getting somewhere.

          A rollout of meals in schools gives the parents a bit more money in their back pocket and makes sure all kids in education have the fuel to learn.

          • Bunji

            It’s not a full roll-out but the current charity food in school programs are looking at being able to extend further because of this move.

            They were saying this morning on Nine-to-Noon that milk’s a big part of their cost, so could look at expanding into other things – maybe add fruit to the menu (which will certainly please Carol, below).

            • Ant

              Oh a realize that, I’m just hopeful that we may follow this through to it’s full potential and have state run or funded meals in schools.

              Would be interested in seeing what the costings would be for nationwide rollout, I figure it could be pretty popular as an across the board policy if people could be convinced to pay for it.

              • higherstandard

                The cost including transport, storage, refrigeration etc of supplying the milk only to primary schools is in the order of $40 million per year.

                I though it sounded a lot but have seen the various costings and they are real – unlike the assessors fees in CCH.

                • McFlock

                  and the benefit?

                  • higherstandard

                    Kids having a good feed of protein and calcium in the morning.

                    For Fonterra good PR and potentially a greater number of milk drinkers down the track.

                    • McFlock

                      I would expect some reduction in hospital admissions for e.g. dental caries, maybe reduced admissions in adulthood as well, greater attention at lessons (i.e. more complex food than sugar syrup), and improvements in overall health.
                      Pretty big benefit, there.

                    • higherstandard

                      Fair point that could well be the case in the longer medium term – best place to monitor would probably be in parts of the Northland region where flouride usage is still low.

                • mik e

                  The cost of having children in poverty is a $ 6 billion a year problem good on Fonterra for being so brave !

          • prism

            Ant That sounds sensible. I wonder if anybody in education management has ever heard or thought about it?

            • Ant

              I must admit, I also see it as a way to raise benefits by default and give a what is in effect a tax cut to lower paid NZers by chopping their food bill in half without scaring the horses too much.

              Figure it can be sold to middle NZ the same way (putting money in their pockets for the mortgage etc), but will be more beneficial to those on the bottom end.

    • Carol 1.2

      Hmmm… I guess it’s great for all those children who love milk. Milk used to cause me to throw up when I was young. Even the smell of all the open bottles in the classroom used to make my stomach heave a little…. so not very pleasant memories.

      I would have preferred a piece of fruit, but, I had no alternative choice back in those days of free school milk. I just used to have to take a note from my mum to the teacher at the beginning of each year to say I couldn’t drink it. It was compulsory to have one of those little bottles of milk each school day.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Yeah I was quite allergic to milk when I was younger. Caused a number of issues that the GP wouldn’t recognise, but which all stopped each time I went off the stuff for a few weeks.

        But in this case it can be taken home and its the thought that counts!

        • Carol

          Well, it will be of benefit to many children or families.

          But it is a bit of a cynical marketting move, aimed at getting young children into drinking milk for life, and improving Fonterra’s image.

          It is also a shrewd marketing move, possibly sparking improved sales of the whole Fonterra product range.

          But Waikato dairy division representative Chris Lewis supported the idea of Fonterra giving free milk to schools, saying the cost would be probably be covered in the company’s sales and marketing budget.

          So if this venture could be covered by the “sales and marketting budget”, why couldn’t the same logic have been applied to lowering the price of milk generally for Kiwis?

          • higherstandard

            Um because the major factor in the price of milk is the duopoly pricing by progressive and foodstuffs.

            • Colonial Viper

              Look mate, you’re a smart dude and all that, but you’re talking as if we’re all hostages to the freemarket and there is nothing to be done about it.

              Its fairly simple if what you assert is true. Require all retailers in the country to sell milk at no more than its wholesale price plus 10%.


              • higherstandard

                I think you’ll find that price fixing is contrary to the commerce act.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think you’ll find that isn’t much of a problem.

                • KJT

                  So! How do supermarkets, building suppliers and oil companies get away with it. Not to mention company directors, accountants and lawyers.

                  • vto

                    Through flagrant breaches of the law. Duopolies go for walks in the park to sort things and agree to not step on each other and divvy up the market etc.

                    One example – PDL and Skope did it with refrigeration back long ago – they agreed one would take residential and one take commercial. This was in fact admitted by the CEO just last year and published in the Press. See how flagrant it can be?

                    Anywhere there is a duopoloy or similar this goes on. Back room deals are not the stuff of comic books and conspiracy theories. And imagine if you will for a moment what is going on with the Chch rebuild at the moment. It went on in the construction industry pre-earthquake and will now be steaming ahead at a great rate of knots.

                    You may also wish to think about the concrete and cement industries and its dominance by Fletchers and Holcim.

                    Mind you – Vipers suggestion that things get regulated to that extent is similarly not feasible imo. His suggestion that milk retailers be regulated to wholesale price plus 10% … sheesh, surely the holes in that simplistic approach are glaringly obvious.

                    The Soviet Union collapsed and everyone cried “socialism has failed”. The money system is collapsing and everyone is crying “capitalism has failed”. Everybody seems to want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Both systems have favourable and less favourble features. What is needed is a continuing effort to sort the warts, not toss the whole lot out.

                    • KJT

                      The Soviet Union was socialist for about three weeks after the revolution, before it was taken over by an authoritarian dictatorship.

                      A economically and environmentally sustainable society is incompatible with lightly regulated capitalism.

                      A socialist society with large monopolies and infrustructure under democratic control and capitalism limited to the level of corner dairies, tradespeople and sme’s has been shown to work fine. That was NZ in the 50’s and 60’s.

                      Giving 60% of GDP to the financial gambling industry does not work.

                      Niether does letting those who benefit most from society get away without contributing their fair share. The rest of us in one way or another has to fill the gap. Which is difficult when they have already run away with 90% of the wealth.

                      It is only small businesses and the trades that are worried about the law.
                      Big ones get away with it all the time.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      His suggestion that milk retailers be regulated to wholesale price plus 10% … sheesh, surely the holes in that simplistic approach are glaringly obvious.

                      The simpler the approach, the fewer the loop holes.

                  • mik e

                    don’t forget plumbers and drainlayers and Structural engineers requiring a percentage of the buildings value!

                • mik e

                  Well that doesn’t stop the monopolies duopolies and cartels finding away around it.
                  England has cheaper New Zealand lamb than we do 1/2 our price when the Wharehopuse wanted to set up Grocery supermarkets in competition with the duopoly they were under mined by the duopoly and our toothless commerce commiseration.

                  • higherstandard

                    No England does not have NZ lamb at 1/2 the NZ price, it’s actually around about the same price – which is still unacceptable IMO.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It jut so happens the English get paid shitloads more than we do, and how did they manage to ship it around the world and still have it cost the same price. Mysterious free global lamb freight.

          • prism

            Do you understand what is involved in running a business as opposed to running a charity?

            • Carol

              Prism, as I understand it, milk in NZ is priced much higher than it needs to for the business to make a profit. And also, it looks to me that Fonterra is planning to provide milk to schools as much as a PR excercise as out of the charity of the CEO’s heart.

        • Treetop

          For the lactose intolerant children it would be nice if Fonterra proved a soy milk. This could also be available to children with asthma/eczema if milk is a trigger to these conditions.

          • Carol

            Soy isn’t necessarily that good for children Rice milk might be better.

            • Treetop

              I know that soy milk is not recommended for children under age three.

              • rocky

                Soy milk isn’t recommended as a replacement for breast milk.. but any decent nutritionist would tell you that cows milk isn’t either.

              • prism

                There was a talk on radionz in the weeekend on what is in food – the chemicals that affect us. Soy milk should be reserved for those who can’t use ordinary as apparently it stimulates the female hormones.

            • Colonial Viper

              Soy isn’t necessarily that good for children Rice milk might be better.

              Eeeew. Near zero nutritional value.

              Basically human breast milk sets the standard at 10/10, cows (and other mammalian) milk at 5/10, almost everything else might as well be Coke.

        • Ianupnorth

          The Fruit in Schools scheme was originally set up for decile one and two schools as a part of the NZ Cancer strategy – to increase fibre, anti-oxidants and vitamins into kids diets.
          It was to be rolled out into decile 3 and 4, but Ryall stopped that (and mysteriously many schools suddenly jumped a decile or two)
          They need t operate the Finnish model – feed all kids a healthy lunch – the benefits, both educational, health related and social interaction, far outweigh the cost.

      • Uturn 1.2.2

        I saw an item on TV a few months ago about a school feeding kids breakfast. The idea was great and I wouldn’t want to devalue it in any way.

        But the teachers complained about the price. Milk, bread, butter, jam, weetabix – all expensive stuff and loaded with lactosy glutenous sugar problems. Big rush of hyperactive kids, then a big crash of grumpy moaning kids. Dunno if that helps teaching. I wondered why they didn’t take a leaf from our asian friend’s book and serve rice and vegetables. Then my wife suggested it was better kids ate not so good stuff than turn their noses up at healthy food. Still, you have to start somewhere.

        • prism

          Why not porridge made with oats (a little Protein) and milk with sultanas in for sweetening. Stays with you longer than that other hyper stuff.

          Or even rice cooked with milk with cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on and raw sugar in a dispensing container.

          Goodness there, with energy for a few hours.

      • ianmac 1.2.3

        I loved the free school milk. When in the senior classes I was an enthusiastic milk monitor because I got to drink not only my bottle, but any other leftover bottles. And it gave me an excuse to be out of the classroom for a little time each day.

    • Ed 1.3

      The charity of this very large corporation is to be applauded – but it should not be forgotten that the need for this the need for it represents a failure of government as well as some individual families. We should not rely on corporate charity as a replacement for living wages and in support for better parenting.

      In the news report the good citizenship of Fonterra was implied by mentioning their promise to freeze the domestic price of milk until the end of this year. Does anyone know how much this has cost Fonterra (in terms of percentage of milk price – actual dollars are not likely to be available). At one stage there was a suggestion that the freeze actually held prices up at the time of a fall in international prices.

      • jcuknz 1.3.1

        ED …you want a living wage and the employers say they cannot afford it … but is not the real problem the demands to spend that infest our society which make the living wages that people already get hard to live on? I used to have a wage and I lived on it but fortunately for me and my family we were not exposed to so much temptation to spend more than I earnt. When I learnt to live within my means credit was not as easy to get as it is now.

        • Ed

          As a community we at one time decided that milk in schools was desirable, and it was paid for by the community. It reflected the hard times many families were then going through, and the donation of milk by Fonterra reflects the difficulties many families are now going through.

          We know that the cost of petrol is linked to world-wide prices, but the margins taken by the various suppliers are closely monitored. The price of milk prices has similarly been linked to world markets, but we do not seem to have the same scrutiny of the way in which local prices move relative to those world prices.

          Fonterra (conveniently for the National/ACT government) agreed to put a freeze on milk prices for the rest of this year. My question was level of resulting cost to Fonterra – if world prices declined it may have merely been a ‘feel good’ gesture tat actually resulted in an increase in profits for the company – and the ‘donation’ of milk now may ot be a significant cost.

          Before we start to rely on ‘donations’ from corporations for basic foodstuffs, perhaps it would be a good idea to know a little bit more about the real costs of such generosity – and whatever the cost we cannot rely on such a donation on an ongoing basis.

    • Bill 1.4

      Fair warning. The following is a minor rant.

      So am I only one getting the heebie-jeebies?

      Good corporate citizens fed by the corporation (milk), educated by the corporation (charter schools), instructed in basic safety by the corporation (road code), jailed by the corporation (private prisons) ….and soon (probably) to be dispensed welfare by the corporation among a number of other things.

      At least the state often employed people who wanted to make a social contribution or at least feel that they were doing some good. And they did it for years, building up a wealth of knowledge in the process. But corporates moving into social areas do it by the numbers. Employees aren’t ‘needed’ insofar as everything is reduced to formulae that can be followed by ‘anyone, anywhere in the world’…low paid workers in India, Indonesia etc.

      Anyway. Charity is no way to deal with want.

      Neither is ‘equal opportunity’ to participate in an economic system that’s principle product is poverty. All that creates is a bullshit division between the ‘deserving poor’ and the ‘deserve to be poor’ while the economic paradigm that creates the mess in the first place is positioned aloof and beyond serious scrutiny (Queue David Shearer and his deafening silence on poverty as a product of our economic system….What did he say again? That the levels of poverty he has seen across the world aren’t ‘necessary’ in NZ. It was along those lines. Nothing about it being unacceptable. Just ‘unnecessary’. Which begs the question as to what level of poverty he would accept as ‘necessary’ in NZ. And why.)

      • Bored 1.4.1

        Fair comment Bill, you cant help thinking about Fonterra that they do the charity bit as a loss leader, then once established it gets taxpayer funded. I would rather the buggers just paid fair taxes.

        • Bill

          Ain’t a ‘loss leader’ per se. How long before it’s used as a bargaining chip by Fonterra seeking concessions from government? Y’know….”If you don’t give us ‘x’ then the milk disappears…and you know how ‘everyone’ loves us ‘good guys’ and the milk we are ‘giving away’! So feel free to be the ‘bad guys’ losing votes for not bowing to our ‘reasonable’ demands.”

          • Colonial Viper

            Yeah so you legislate or regulate it so it never goes away.

            • Bill

              Nah. Can’t see how you can compel a corporate to provide a social good. There is no way that Fonterra is doing this from any new found sense of social responsibility. One way or the other, we will pay. Better to have social provisions provided by the state and paid up front from taxes.

              • Colonial Viper

                In that case, tax them adequately and require that they supply the state with the needed milk at a maximum discount.

                • Bill

                  But then they’d just pass on the cost to you and me. Y’know? Market rates and supply and demand and all that tosh?

                  Why not have the state offer a milk price for milk that smaller producers/farmers who have been squeezed out from the market by Fonterra would find appealing? A price for milk above that offered by Fonterra but below what Fonterra would prefer to on-sell for?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Well, one could always reconstitute a statutory dairy board to cater to smaller dairy farmers left out in the cold 😉

                    I never have a problem with corporates charging a bit more because the state can simply claw it back via a satisfactory tax system and redistribute it back to society.

                    • Bill

                      No statist. But I have no problem with the first part of your comment.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My second paragraph only describes what social democracies do with capitalist economies. They tax private profits and wealth and redistribute it back to society, theough the provision of social welfare and social benefits.

                      It’s not a statist approach.

                    • Bill

                      Never thought your second part was statist. Problem with simply taxing corporates (apart from the fact they control ‘the game’) is that they will compensate themselves through increasing prices…and going offshore where possible etc.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Indeed. Although I have no problem with large multinationals deciding to head off, leaving NZ companies to grow and take their place in the market.

                    • Bill

                      I’d merely, simply ask that we took their place. See no point in any vertically divided exploitative entities. A multi-national or corporation viewing and treating me as a field nigger is no different to a NZ based company or the guy next door doing the same thing.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.2


    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      It’s nice of Fonterra but it shows why charity isn’t the best method. It would be a lot better if meals were provided as a matter of course at every school. That way the children and our future wouldn’t be reliant upon charity that may be withdrawn.

      • Puddleglum 1.5.1

        If society thinks it necessary to compulsorily educate its young and to take them away from home to do so, then I’m afraid that society should pick up the tab for nourishing children while they are away from home.

        Expecting parents to provide meals (e.g., lunch) for children who have been compulsorily removed reminds me of coalminers having to pay (the company store) for the oil in the lamps that they used to help them mine the coal. 

        There’s no such thing as a ‘free lunch’ so, if society wants institutionalised education as a legislated means to subsidise its economy, it has to accept the costs of doing that. It’s only fair.

        (And that is only partly ‘tongue in cheek’). 

  2. David Shearer asked to be included on the government poverty committee (a Maori Party initiative). It’s hard to see a more appropriate inclusion amongst our MPs than Shearer, but Key has rejected the request.

    I hope Shearer keeps up with this common sense non-partisan approach to politics, and I hope Key widens his inclusive party approach to all parties, utilising the best talent available in parliament.

    Otherwise we will remain stuck in cross party poverty.

    The issue of ‘poverty’ deserves more than partisan politicking.

    • logie97 2.1

      Shearer scored a king hit on that and showed Key up for the nasty weasel he really is. Not a bad start actually. Eventually the MSM will notice these things.

      • higherstandard 2.1.1

        You will be surprised that I agree completely, chipping away like this will slowly but surely impact on the public perception until there is a tipping point.

    • KJT 2.2

      Key has no intention of doing anything substantial about poverty. That would mean the wealthiest 5% paying 2% more taxes.

      Dunne supporting Key shows a total lack of morality.

    • Frida 2.3

      Pete, I know we disagree on a lot but I’m really with you on this one. Good on Shearer for asking and shame on Key for the rejection. It’s the most important issue facing this country at present and it needs to be resolved in a non-partisan way

      • Ant 2.3.1

        I don’t think it was that much of a hit at all tbh.

        Fairly easily turned to look like politicking by Labour if they complain about it too much.

        Because it really is essense politicking.

        • Colonial Viper

          Labour has to return it to a certain meaness from John Key. Which it is.

          • Ant

            I just think the me-too thing to get hits is fairly risky, especially with something like poverty. Labour need to be leading on issues like this and leaving National in the dust not reacting.

            Forcing the issue of a confidence and supply agreement or memorandum of understanding as a means to ensure “working constructively” and to get rid of any doubts of petty politicking will work well for Key if pushed.

    • Bill 2.4

      There is issue after issue that could be viewed as being ‘beyond party politics’. And if all the parliamentary parties got together on them, then we’d merely be living in a more overt dictatorship than our current arrngements would have us perceive.

      We are dictated to by the market. Our parliamentarians gave control of the reserve bank away to international financial interests. So now they (and by extention we) have no control over important economic matters. The present economic arrangements are now accepted as ‘natural’ or ‘god given’ by the main parties in parliament. This wasn’t always the case. But now it is, which is why we have the leader of Labour harking on about how certain levels of poverty are ‘unnecessary’ when he should be saying they (and any other given levels) are unacceptable. Ahh. But God said “Let there be capitalism.” And so there was capitalism.

      Anybody got a copy of the first Labour Party constitution?

      • Pete George 2.4.1

        We are dictated to by the market.

        Sort of, in some markets more than others. More duped.

        We have the power to dictate to many markets. We feed them with our custom. We could choose not to.

        • Bill

          We could choose not to (consume).

          And have no access to resources that (surely) rightfully belong to all of us. So, yeah. Assume the position of a Chinese peasant. No access to land that’s been appropriated. So no access to food that’s been produced. (You aware how many times a domestic population has experienced famine amid ‘food a-plenty’?) No access to health care. No access to schooling. And that’s before we start on the end products of material resources, such as….well, everything.

          • Pete George

            We’re in a bind on some things, but we choose to support many ‘value’-added markets that are totally unneccesary for us, many simply get sucked into consumerism.

            • Bill

              There are only separate ‘markets’ where you are talking about discreet products or services. But all products and services are subject to market logics/rules. Ie, the particular economy we live in. So, you either bow to it (the rules and logics…become a wage slave or a slave master) to get access to anything the economy produces or distributes, or…expire.

              You don’t want to buy an i-phone (assuming you’re ‘economically viable’ enough to make the choice)? Big deal. You want to buy ‘eco’ and ‘sustainable’ or consciensiously? Assuming you have the economic ‘viability’ to make the choice. Again. Big deal.

              The overwhelming majority are on the margins and in need. (How many of the 7 billion of us are desperate for food or reticulated water/sewerage or even the most basic of goods?) The choices of the affluent ‘feel good’ consumers in the ‘west’ mean nothing in the scheme of things from a market perspective. Could say they simply offer new opportunities for market expansion.

  3. logie97 3

    How could we forget the “worm” in 2005 and how Mr Sensible benefitted?
    It’s amazing how he refuses to appear to the sensible over asset sales.

    • The worm was 2002, and it was more the media attention that ensued that benefitted him.

      I think he’s being quite sensible about part sales of assets.

      It was a major National plank, their vote increased. It was Labour’s major campaign obsession and their vote dropped significantly. – the electorate didn’t buy that level of anti.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        It was a major National plank, their vote increased.

        Only at the expense of ACT… the total centre-right NACT vote decreased from 51.5% to 50.4%.

        Another 2.2% went off to the Conservatives who are adamantly opposed to asset sales.

        The Greens were also adamantly opposed to asset sales and they had their best ever result increasing their vote by almost 50%.

        So basically a very weak argument there Pete.

        • Pete George

          On this basis it would be possible to make a statistical case against any policy, and no government would have a mandate to do anything.

          We don’t have a statistical futility.
          We have a representative democracy.

          • vto

            “On this basis it would be possible to make a statistical case against any policy, and no government would have a mandate to do anything.”

            That is nothing to do with your point to which logix was responding.

            You clearly have no answer to the points made against you re their “vote increasing” and the only thing you can do to save face is to go off topic. Pathetic.

          • RedLogix

            It was you who started with the statistical argument; now you want to call it a futility when it’s been shown it doesn’t necessarily work the way you thought.

            Maybe you would be on stronger grounds if instead of making appeals to essentially weak and spurious arguments about ‘mandates’… you were able to make a positive case for why you think UF should support National’s asset sales programs.

            Especially in the light of Peter Dunne stating that “in principle UF was against asset sales”.

            • Pete George

              There’s another principle that the largest party and partner has the most weight in a coalition. I’m sure Labour would have claimed that with CGT if they had put togtether a coalition.

              Peter Dunne and United Future made it clear before the election, including:

              New Zealanders are not definitively pro-asset sales, but under certain conditions, it is no longer the bogeyman issue that Labour would have you believe.

              UnitedFuture’s role as a support partner is not just to contribute its own policies, but to help keep a government to a reasonable, centrist path.


              UnitedFuture campaigned as a moderating influence in government, not as a NO party. It’s quite possible that’s why Dunne was elected.

              • vto

                Right then Pete, it is impliedly agreed by your dropping of the original point and refusal to engage further on it that, contrary to your claim above, the electorate did not in fact increase its vote for parties supporting asset sales (“the electorate didn’t buy that level of anti”). The electorate in support dropped and the electorate in anti increased.

                Not that that matters to a piece of malleable plasticine like Dunne – he has no scruples and just make up shit as he goes along to fit with whoever is in power.

              • Pascal's bookie

                So what moderating influence has UF put in place.

                Examples please, of extreme things National was going to do, but Dunne has prevented.

                • vto

                  Ha, yes good question mr and mrs b.

                  Over to you Pete…

                  • jcuknz

                    The trouble with this discussion and I’m not sure where to interject is that it makes excellent sense to sell assets if the money is going into other assets with greater priority. There are people all around doing that at this moment, or have, or will in the future. This is the foolish Black and White stance of the left throughout the discussions. Peter Dunne I gather has gone part of the way in wanting it to be ‘law’ that the 51% remains in government hands, ignoring the potential for future governments to change the law. My position from way back on this forum was for any sales to be held by NZders and I cannot see why special shares with this limitation could not be created … they would sell for less than open shares but better that than selling the family silver overseas to the detriment of our and future generations. So the left can rant and rage and talk about majorities against the emotive “selling the family silver” which ignores the fact that Kiwis are doing that every day to their benefit, and loss, depending on their skill in the market place.

                    I prefer that there be no asset sales and funding for the projected ventures be found from taxation on those who can afford it. My stance in my first paragraph is a second less desirable option but at least the shares are held by Kiwis directly rather than indirectly as citizens through the government.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      …is that it makes excellent sense to sell assets if the money is going into other assets with greater priority.

                      It makes no sense at all*. Selling existing assets won’t free up any resources at all and so selling them just makes us poorer as we’ll then have to divert some of our available resources to paying rent for our electricity. If something else needs to be done then we need to budget it from available resources.

                      * Admittedly, that applies to our entire socio-economic system.

                • Pascal’s bookie at 11:35 am

                  So what moderating influence has UF put in place.

                  Examples please, of extreme things National was going to do, but Dunne has prevented.

                  So far it’s simply been well signposted coalition negotiations, no surprises. Otherwise it’s far too soon to tell. See what happens over the next two and a half years.

                  UF are in a powerful positione. National need either Maori Party support, or they need Dunne’s vote. That means a major potential to moderate.

                  This morning I proposed that the party has an online means of discussing and debating issues within the party to help establish party positions on future issues. He supports doing that.

                  That means UF members can be a part of decision making and can be in a position to influence the deciding vote.

                  That’s what’s being put in place to help moderate government.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    A potential to moderate is not an example of an actual moderation. It’s just bullshit, is what it is.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Dunne’s been chosen by National as he has a proven track record as a lapdog.

                      Pete George has been chosen by Dunne as he has a proven track record as a lapdog.

                      Its very fitting.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’m sure Labour would have claimed that with CGT if they had put togtether a coalition.

                Nope, all other parties on the left support a CGT as well. In this government only National and Act supposedly support selling state assets. UF said they didn’t – until after the election.

                UnitedFuture’s role as a support partner is not just to contribute its own policies, but to help keep a government to a reasonable, centrist path.

                Which, of course, is what they won’t be doing when they sell our assets.

          • Ed

            The mandate is determined by the number of votes in the house. National has fewer votes than before the election. They have a much weaker mandate.

      • vto 3.1.2

        Look Pete, you’re not even an elected member so stop acting like one and telling lies …. “It was a major National plank, their vote increased”

        Their vote increased less than the population increase, therefore its vote went down.


        Way way way less than half of the voting population voted for a party promoting asset sales.


        • Colonial Viper

          Way way way less than half of the voting population voted for a party promoting asset sales.

          Just over 1/3 of eligible voters went for National.

          But given Peter Dunne’s duplicity here we can’t really expect Pete to be much more than a kowtowing apologist for UF. Heaven forbid he’s had long enough to grow a spine but its probably not going to happen at this late stage of life.

        • jcuknz

          vto … this is a parliament not a referendum and National is supported for better or worse by more people than are agin it, or in the previous election … the majority has dropped becuase people gave up on ACT and United Future and put their votes elsewhere but they still have a majority. If NZFirst sit on the fence then it is safe to say that National have a considerably larger majority over the collective left than is shown by the number of seats they are ‘sure’ of.

          • vto

            I understand that jcuknz. My point was in response to one of Pete’s less than accurate assertions, this time concerning the amount of support in the electorate for selling state assets.

            • Pete George

              How muxch support do you think there is in the electorate for National’s asset proposals. All I’ve seen is a Herald online poll that showed a majority were ok with it, and the election result which is complex but certainly didn’t punish National.

              I’m not talking about the black/white polls that didn’t address National’s plan.

              • vto

                Pete, my posts were in reply to your original “It was a major National plank, their vote increased. It was Labour’s major campaign obsession and their vote dropped significantly. – the electorate didn’t buy that level of anti.”

                It has been pointed out in various posts by me and others around this mini-thread that in fact their vote did drop. And the anti did in fact increase.

                The right’s overall vote dropped.

                The proportion of the electorate that voted for a party proposing asset sales dropped. And the proportion of the electorate that voted for parties opposing asset sales increased.

                Your base proposition was wrong. In evidence, see all those posts and linked stats etc. Simple and specific point.

                • Anti asset sales (grossly misrepresented) was Labour’s major campaign theme, especially in the last week, and their end result was dismal.

                  You can hardly claim that votes for Maori Party, Greens, NZ First and Mana were due to their policies or stances on asset sales. Partially perhaps, but that’s true of all parties and policies.

                  Greens did not have asset sales as a priority, they were very disciplined on repeating and promoting their three main policies which had nothing to do with asset sales.

                  And the way our democracy works this is all pointless argument, because National have the numbers that are needed.

                  • vto

                    Pete, slipping and sliding is just slipping and sliding. It was a very specific point you made and very specific replies that I and others made. You enjoy the contortionist approach clearly but it just weakens your parade of points as time goes on. I should know, I have contorted and twisted many a time myself.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’m not talking about the black/white polls that didn’t address National’s plan.

                PG to English translation: I’m not talking about anything that proves me wrong.

                • Well, try proving me wrong, show me anything the demonstrates the level of public opposition to National asset plan.

                • joe90

                  Asset Sales

                  Strongly favour 7.2%

                  Moderately favour 19.8%

                  No opinion 15.5%

                  Moderately against 22.1%

                  Strongly against 34.5%

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Over a quarter of NZers are in favour of asset sales. Geeezus.

                  • That doesn’t address mixed ownership partial sales as proposed by National. And even then only about a third are strongly against.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      The poll was specifically about National’s proposal, Pete. And calling it asset sales is of course accurate. ‘Mixed ownership partial sales’ are just weasel words to cover up the truth.
                      Speaking of weasels, I note only 27% are in favour, which makes asset sales 25 times more popular than United Follicles.

                    • ‘Asset sales’ is not accurate, there’s a big difference selling something and selling part shares in something.

                      And there’s no indication on that poll link that it refers to National’s plan.

                      The Herald online poll of 20,0000 people asked if voters wanted asset sales, partial assert sales, or no asset sales.

                      44% no asset sales
                      50% partial asset sales
                      3% full asset sales
                      3% didn’t know.

                    • lprent []

                      You are comparing a random phone poll of a 1000 people with a self selected online poll of the most conservative newspaper in the country?

                      I have little respect for phone polls. But they are several orders of magnitude more accurate than any unrestricted online poll.

                      The poll was from August 2011. It was on Nationals plan. What is your problem – you can’t read dates? Or lookup the TV3 site?

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Its from Digipoll in July this year. Who’s asset sales program do you think prompted it, if not National’s? You asked for some evidence at 7.02, Pete, and there it is. Stop dissembling and accept that National don’t have a mandate; never did, never will. 
                      And bugger Auntie, while you’re at it. Online polls are worth even less than your Quisling quibbling.

                    • McFlock

                      So just to clarify your argument, Pete:
                      The polls which make even a vague attempt at accuracy and weighting were surveying people about the asset sales of 15-20 years ago, not the National policy in the headlines at the time
                      The Herald online poll (for which you supply no link) is a joke.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its not the poll which is the joke here.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      See here. This is exactly what I was talking about. No matter what evidence you put up PG will twist and turn and say that it doesn’t prove him wrong.

              • rosy

                “I’ve seen is a Herald online poll that showed a majority were ok with it”
                At that level of validity todays Stuff on-line poll is against it.

                Question: Should the Government go ahead with partial asset sales? No=58.7%

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    ShonKey is enjoying his little post election sugar rush, indicated by that revealing lip curl. But he also knows this is as good as it gets and must be pining for Hawaii. [Deleted… a specific assertion that needs evidence. RL] in the new tory intake, the MP for Northland, ex copper Sabin, so there is likely to be opportunity for scandal and by-elections.

    Agree, good tactic to make poverty cross party and to nail dunnycan for his usual duplicitousness on asset sales. Milk? well who wants to drink it really, but certainly good for some kids, fruit would be better. Free milk: benefits some children–good, let Dairy Corporate off the hook for price gouging–no so good.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      Not going to name names here. I can provide back up by email. Politicians personal lives should not necessarily count unless they are contrary to publicy expressed views or subject to prosecution imo.
      With Richard Worth we still don’t know. My general point is with the Nats slim majority in the house such matters assume more importance.

      [Fair point TM. I’m concious that the law, and community sentiment, around internet media such as The Standard is shifting towards requiring an improved level of accountability. For better or worse the old Wild West days of the internet are fading. Part of me will miss them. But we are here to stay and adapt we must.

      In this instance you made a specific assertion, potentially damaging and actionable (however unlikely), about a specific individual. If there was open domain evidence to back it I’d see no problem with repeating it… but until then I’d prefer to see The Standard take a precautionary approach. It’s a fine line, because at the same time I’m very loath to be seen shutting down legitimate discussion.

      And in general I fully agree that politicians’ private lives are off limits unless there is gross hypocrisy or there is an element that potentially compromises their official role. Neither of those two conditions have been established….RL]

  5. dv 5

    Nat Vote

    2011- 1,058,637
    2008- 1,053,398

    An increase of 5239. Rather minimal

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Anyone earning less than $65K pa (that’s about 80% of New Zealanders) and voting National was voting purely against their own interests.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      And if you consider the Nat+ACT vote (the only two parties unambiguously in favour of asset sales):

      2011 – 1,082,526
      2008 – 1,138,894

      A decrease of 56,368… which is somewhat more than minimal.

      Much of that would have gone to the Conservatives (59,236).

  6. Uturn 6

    I think I watched the most vacuuous news report I’ve ever seen last night. It was so pointless I forget the details, just that I was startled it was even on the news. The general outline went something like this:

    “In NZ somewhere something almost happened today and we were just about to comment on it, saying something about how it would be a shame. Some of the people we interviewed declined to comment, as nothing had yet happened. Next up, we go to somebody talking about something that could happen at some time soon.”

    I think it was one news, Simon Dallow reading. Reporting the news …before it happens.

  7. Rog Chapman 7

    Read in The Press this am that the University of Canterbury has given Ruth Richardson an honorary Doctorate for her work as Minister of Finance in the 1990’s.

    Unbelievable and disgraceful that the creator of the Mother of all Budgets, who trashed huge numbers of poor NZers, is so rewarded. She began a decade of poverty, the remnants of which are still with us.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Time Magazine examines problems with mainstream media reporting

    At last!

    • Carol 8.1

      George Monbiot has published a very good article this week on the problem with MSM reporting in the UK. With some local adaptions it could be applied to the NZ or US media:

      Monbiot begins:

      Have we ever been so badly served by the press? We face multiple crises – economic, environmental, democratic – but most newspapers represent them neither clearly nor fairly. The industry that should reveal and expose instead tries to contain and baffle, to foil questions and shut down dissent.

      Not a day passes in which rightwing papers fail to call for stiffer regulation of protesters, problem families, petty criminals or antisocial teenagers. And every day they call for laxer regulation of business: cutting the “red tape” that prevents companies and banks from using the planet as their dustbin, killing workers or tanking the economy.

      And he draws an interesting distinction between the economic and political elite, the ways they can support or challenge each other.

      These papers recognise the existence of an oppressive elite, but they frame it purely in political terms. The political elite becomes oppressive when it tries to curb the powers and freedoms of the economic elite.

      And Monbiot identifies a general approach to challenge these elites:

      As the theologian Walter Wink shows, challenging a dominant system requires a three-part process: naming the powers, unmasking the powers, engaging the powers. Their white noise of distraction and obfuscation is the means by which the newspapers prevent this process from beginning. They mislead us about the sources of our oppression, misrepresent our democratic choices, demonise those who try to challenge the 1%.

      It’s not just Murdoch and his network of sleazy crooks: our political system has been corrupted by the entire corporate media. Defending ourselves from the economic elite means naming and unmasking the power of the press.

      And there’s a fully referenced version of the article on Monbiot’s website:

  9. Trans-Tasman announces Gerry Brownlee as pollie of the year……

    As Minister in charge of directing recovery from the devastating earthquakes in Canterbury, and faced almost daily with hard decisions, Brownlee has shown his true mettle. He has stood four-square behind the Govt’s determination to rebuild Christchurch, and has given back hope to those whose homes and businesses were torn apart. The job is far from done and Brownlee is expected to remain in charge for at least a year as the process of rebuilding gathers pace. What may have exercised a strong influence on the outcome of the election, as National harvested majorities in onetime Labour fiefdoms in Christchurch, was the conviction the Govt totally supported the city, transmitted through the Brownlee personality, and built around the extraordinary generosity in the payouts to citizens whose homes had been destroyed.

    FFS! – are these people serious?

    • Blue 9.1

      Cheer up – they also think Peter Dunne is one of the best speakers in Parliament.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        This and giving Ruth Richardson an honourary doctorate for being a Chicago School stooge. Unbelievable.

    • higherstandard 9.2

      Yes, but they are dicks.

      Although to be fair there are some sensible scores amongst the BS.

      e.g. Tolley, Bennet, Norman, Turei

    • Carol 9.3

      What is Trans-Tasman, and why are they so limited in their perception? Goff was a far better speaker in the House than Key – eg the attempted jump from the gallery & Key’s throat-slitting antics. Turei speaks more passionately and significantly than Norman. Many opposition MPs performed better in the House, and out of it, than National MPs, who need nodding cheerleaders behind them to give a semblance of good performances.

    • Lanthanide 9.4

      I don’t believe they gave any Labour MP higher than a 6.5. Russell Norman deservedly gets an 8, but I would’ve thought Cunliffe could’ve got 7.0-7.5.

      I also don’t understand why they list incoming MPs and then say N/A next to them because they weren’t in the house. How about you actually rate the people that were in the house who left. Simon Power is an obviously missing cabinet member who deserved ranking.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.5

      He has stood four-square behind the Govt’s determination togive taxpayer money to themselves and their rich mates.
      There, fixed it for them.

  10. rosy 10

    Interesting stat :

    America’s top bosses enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40% last year, according to the largest survey of US CEO pay. The dramatic bounceback comes as the latest government figures show wages for the majority of Americans are failing to keep up with inflation.

    After a year of static pay CEO incomes have made up for lost time, with pay out-stripping share values, while wage-earners are still losing money (inflation-adjusted). Top earners – the healthcare industry.

    You’d think they’d be embarrassed, what with OWS, high unemployment and all going on.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      You’d think they’d be embarrassed, what with OWR, high unemployment and all going on.

      They are the deserving wealthy, nothing to be embarrassed about there. If you’re lucky and patiently wait they might even give you drippings from their table.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        But they’re more likely to kick you, complain that you hurt their foot and then have you charged with assault.

    • vto 10.2

      Hey rosy, this is the way of the world according to John Key and his philosophies. You know, if you can get away with it then go for it.

      Also exemplified by ex-AB and blue stalwart David Kirk who recently opined re the RWC that “you only get out of this world what you can take”.

      So there you have it. Don’t expect anything else while this type of thinking rules the roost.

    • joe90 10.3

      The attitude of the one percent in one sentence :

      “I have one thing to say to you,” she told the handlers, who asked if she supported working families in New York, “I have had one conversation with Bill Ruprecht [the CEO of Sotheby’s] about this, and I told him that if he accedes to any of your demands, I will resign immediately.”

  11. RedLogix 11

    You’d think they’d be embarrassed,

    No that’s why they are paid so much… a complete inability to be embarrassed by anything.

    Ordinary people have scruples, principles, empathy and a sense of shame when they do bad things. As a result they have trouble sleeping nights and … well that means they can’t hack it as a CEO.

    No these Masters of the Universe are a very special breed indeed. That’s why they deserve so much more…

    • vto 11.1

      You are exactly right mr logix. Some too many moons ago when touching on this world that exact sentiment was expressed by none other than Sir Michael Fay, that great New Zealander, in describing the attributes required to work for Fay Richwhite, that great New Zealand business.

      It was exactly that what you say.

      This is the world of John Key’s experience to a tee.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    Trotter is definitely going off the boil.

    Most rural National voters won’t panic at the thought of a blue-green coalition. They’ll trust National to keep the Greens firmly in their correct place.

    Further, the seachange of environmental awareness sweeping society is also moving rural and provincial areas. A blue-green coalition would be an expected evolution, not a surprising one.

    Last but not least – National voters are not going to know whether the NATs sign up with the Greens until *after* the next election. And both Key and Russel were clearly hand signalling this campaign that it could conceivably happen.

    The electorate has been warmed up for the possibility and did not reject the idea.

    • lprent 12.1

      The last paragraphs in that were the kicker…

      And always, over National’s shoulder looms the spectre of New Zealand’s second largest party. No, not Labour, but the party of the one million Kiwis who chose not to vote at all in 2011. It is among these voters that the missionaries of the opposition parties will be moving ceaselessly for the next three years: cajoling them; flattering them; and wooing them back to the ballot-box.

      How many of them, I wonder, are National voters?

      That is where the parties of the left should be focusing for new votes.

      • Puddleglum 12.1.1

        That is where the parties of the left should be focusing for new votes.


        With diminishing voter turnout across the Western world, simply trying to chase the votes of those who do vote in essence means moving further and further to the right, in economic terms.

        Voting behaviour is inversely correlated with wealth (roughly).

        Being ‘electable’ then becomes a matter of the extent to which a party represents the interests of a proportionately wealthier and wealthier sub-set of the population. In effect, the top 1%, 5%, 10% and 20% (in income and wealth terms) of the population are increasingly becoming a greater and greater proportion of those who vote.

  13. Morrissey 13

    Thursday 15 December 2011
    Will Kathryn Ryan risk upsetting Richie McCaw?

    This morning I learned that, after the 10 o’clock news, Radio New Zealand National host Kathryn Ryan will interview All Black captain Richie McCaw “about his very big year.”

    I took the opportunity to remind her that she is a journalist, not a cheerleader, and sent her the following e-mail….

    Please ask Richie McCaw to comment on this
    9:25 AM
    Dear Kathryn,
    Could you please ask Richie McCaw to comment on the performance (or non-performance) of referee Andre Joubert in the World Cup final? He will be aware of the deep anger and resentment in France over the refusal of Mr. Joubert to penalize even the most flagrant offences by the All Blacks in the final. Many New Zealand fans share the disquiet and concern of the French fans, and feel that Mr. Joubert’s performance (or lack of performance) has seriously devalued the win in the eyes of the world.

    Please put this to him and don’t let it be just another anodyne festival of congratulations.

    Yours in sport,
    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    P.S. In case you have not seen it, Kathryn, here is a clear breakdown of Joubert’s failure to do his job….
    Ms. Ryan’s producer replied with alacrity….
    9:41 AM
    Hi Morrissey,
    Sorry but the interview was recorded a couple of days ago. I wasn’t part of it, so not sure if she raised this issue or not.
    Best wishes,
    Clare Sziranyi
    So it looks like we missed out by a couple of days.

    And the question remains: who will be the first New Zealand reporter to do his or her job and start asking a few awkward questions?

    • If French have issues with McCaw’s dodgy play and the the ref is not paying attention they could always resort to their traditional means of protest – eye gouging or testicle wrenching.

      • The Voice of Reason 13.1.1

        Does Ritchie own a boat?

        • Tiger Mountain

          Har har Voice. Regardless of the real world cup indeed being played with a round ball I was not unhappy with the RWC final result.

          The team with the best form in the tournament won, it was not the predicted 25 point plus drubbing, AB fans got put throught the wringer till the whistle and the slightly homo erotic grunting match that is close quarters rugby was on Hi res display for bemused viewers world wide.

          • Morrissey

            The team with the best form in the tournament won,

            But not the team that played better in the final.

            it was not the predicted 25 point plus drubbing,

            What halfwit predicted that? They were playing FRANCE, not Tonga.

            • Tiger Mountain

              Statistics guru Stefan Yelas tipped the All Blacks by 25 points as did hundreds of other internet and media sources not to mention talk back

              • Morrissey

                Statistics guru Stefan Yelas tipped the All Blacks by 25 points

                Stefan Yelas? On what basis did he make his brilliant prognostication? And did he pick Brazil to lose the 2002 World Cup final by 5 goals? It would have made as much sense.

                … as did hundreds of other internet and media sources

                Hundreds? I don’t think so. Could you back that up with a few examples? (Stefan Yelas is not credible, by the way.)

                … not to mention talk back

                So why did you mention the source of the most dire and ill-informed commentary in the whole of New Zealand? And their callers are almost as bad.

            • The Voice of Reason

              My local had a ‘pick the score’ comp, Morrisey, and I actually came second, picking a 5 pt margin. Gwyn, our resident Welshman picked one point. The vast majority of the pub had the AB’s caning France, presumably because we comfortably beat them in the earlier round.
              FWIW, I got roundly abused for pointing out that McCaw should have been sent off for deliberately kneeing a French player in the back of the head in a maul. Thugby, huh!

              • Morrissey

                My local had a ‘pick the score’ comp, Morrisey, and I actually came second, picking a 5 pt margin. Gwyn, our resident Welshman picked one point.

                I hereby proffer maximum respect to you and Gwyn, my friend!

                The vast majority of the pub had the AB’s caning France, presumably because we comfortably beat them in the earlier round.

                I wonder if any of them had noticed that the French did not actually make more than a token effort in that match. In fact, it looked like they were trying to lose. The drunkards in the pub probably never factored that into their complicated and sophisticated reckonings.

      • Morrissey 13.1.2

        If French have issues with McCaw’s dodgy play and the the ref is not paying attention they could always resort to their traditional means of protest – eye gouging or testicle wrenching.

        That’s not a serious response. Nor is it funny.

    • Bored 13.2

      Jeez Morrissey,

      It was always going to be touch and go if the interview was going to another anodyne one with a celeb jock and an ignoramus on rugby in different corners.

      On the question I too pondered the refing of the final….Gee it was great to see the ABs play up to what the ref would tolerate, the same way the Frogs did to us 4 years prior. Watched the game again, the overall impression was at half time NZ should have been out of sight, and the ref had let the Frogs away with too many offenses. In the second half the ABs got away with it….could not help thinking that as in Cardiff 4 years prior the losing team only had to drop a goal.

      Complaints against McCaw….he pushes the boundaries the same way as George Smith did and Pocock does for the Ockers, and Burger does for the Boks. Good on them all.

      • Morrissey 13.2.1

        It was always going to be touch and go if the interview was going to another anodyne one with a celeb jock and an ignoramus on rugby in different corners.

        Is Kathryn Ryan an ignoramus on rugby? I think she knows just as much, and certainly talks more intelligently about the game than virtually any specialist rugby commentator.

        Gee it was great to see the ABs play up to what the ref would tolerate,

        The All Blacks consistently cheated, under the eyes of the referee. Possibly the most egregious instance was Jerome Kaino, off his feet, offside and throwing the ball forward from a ruck. And Joubert did not penalize him.

        … the same way the Frogs did to us 4 years prior.

        There is no serious comparison between the two games.

        Watched the game again, the overall impression was at half time NZ should have been out of sight, and the ref had let the Frogs away with too many offenses.

        You need to watch it again, this time when you are sober. What on earth gave you the feeling NZ “should have been out of sight”? Or were you just referring to their systematic cheating?

        Complaints against McCaw…

        The cheating was systematic and carried out by nearly every All Black forward. The complaints are not against the All Blacks but against the man who did not do his job—the (non-) referee, Craig Joubert.

        • Carol

          Kathryn Ryan has a sporting background:

          … six years running a sports and recreation centre, before completing Canterbury University’s post-graduate journalism course at the age of 27.

          she pursued an active sports career until journalism took over.

          • Vicky32

            she pursued an active sports career until journalism took over.

            That explains such a lot! Before I started work in October, I used to listen to her programme, and do my best to ignore her on Fridays, when she would bore for her country about thugby or “grigger” (cricket) as so many NZ men pronounce it.. YAWN! 😀
            I’ve always assumed she was a spinster, and although she’s younger than I am, she fits the pattern of the older unmarried woman who is a sports obsessive! I don’t know why, but it’s how some women are…

        • Bored

          Bloody hell Morrissey, am I touching a raw nerve or what?

          From my viewpoint, bearing many overlays of scars from sprigs, having been the most blatant cheat and offside flanker ever (that’s my claim, those unfortunates who played with and against me would confirm constant pushing the envelope) there is only one thing to say: “get real”.

          Do whatever you can get away with, always. Only winners win, and most of the time they are cheating better than the others.

          • Morrissey

            Do whatever you can get away with, always. Only winners win, and most of the time they are cheating better than the others.

            My friend, I am not blaming the All Blacks for cheating; of course players will do anything if a referee (or a non-referee) lets them do it.

            The problem in that final was not the All Blacks, the problem was the (non-) referee.

    • happynz 13.3

      Dear Kathryn,
      Could you please ask Richie McCaw to comment on the performance (or non-performance) of referee Andre Joubert in the World Cup final?

      erm…the referee was Craig Joubert, not Andre Joubert.

      • Morrissey 13.3.1

        erm…the referee was Craig Joubert, not Andre Joubert.

        Thanks for that! I need to remind myself occasionally: Andre was the one who actually DID something on the field…

  14. aerobubble 14

    Yeah, smart move by Key allowing gangs, cults and commie Chinese corporations the
    decision of what to teach and pay our taxes to them to.
    And explains why ACT didn’t want to talk about their flawed charter schools themes.
    We’re not the US, with a history of dealing with gangs, cults and Chinese communism,

    we’re a small country easily swamped by money.

    On the election though, I’m awestruck that every single National voter not only got

    out and voted but turned their back on a tax cut!
    Not only that, they also ignored the game changer of a capital gains tax!
    And let’s not forget the GST off fresh food.
    I was expecting some spliting, even if it was stay at home and not voting.
    But for Labour voters (outside of S.Auckland) abstaining, now thats understandable

    with the wall to wall Key will msm win win win.

    Maybe it was because the MSM and Labour failed to cover the Labour platform…

    …how much was that a Labour and how much was that MSM.

    Monday there was a Housing crisis story in the news, and the old affordability stat

    was brought up.
    Six time mediain wage or something, but that’s not reality, many home owners

    actually are foreigners who earn much more that the median overseas.
    So to say housing is unaffordable is both true and false, yes its unaffordable for

    medium Keywees, but its quite affordable, even rather cheaper than housing overseas.
    Anyhow Key is working on this, his policies force even more to move overseas in

    order to afford a kiwi home in the future, meaning housings may even rise further as

    the proportion of medium Keywees drop.

    But just go back, think about that, every National voter thought CGT was bad, enough

    to a bean they got out and voted.
    Nobody in tise suppose business party block thought redressing the investment bubble

    was good for them.
    WTF! There s clearly a block of NZ who are very happy selling down NZ to foreigners

    and locking in primary production as the growth sector.

    Why? Well let’s take a guess.
    If they make money off (or aspire to) renting a second home out, if they are nicely

    turning over their small businesses (or aspire to) without the stress of more taxes

    (unlike their foriegn competitors) they can live with the poor skill employees and

    having to pay lower wages.
    Basically why change the game and have a world class economy when they are already

    doing nicely thank you very much.
    And is this every likely to change given that the world will need our food, milk,


    So it wasn’t just the same old same old fireside chat about the economy needing more

    investment that never got implemented, it was just we never wanted to become

    anything more than a backwater.
    Free-trade means we are not a back water though.
    Is Morgan is just another prophet to be revered and then ignored?
    Expect more downgrades as the world wakes up to the persist parasite on the NZ

    economy, that the private debt Kiwi’s carry doesn’t just mean a higher risk premium,

    but its assisted by a governmental tax system that allows for a quicker turnover of

    risk which allows a high burden of debt to be held.
    NZ capacity for debt is higher thanks to the weaken tax system, but as debt requires

    collateral, with NZ consistently selling off its private collateral, NZ capacity to

    take on debt and its actual ability to pay down debt are heading in opposite

    This is hidden in the economy but is just as threatening as a bank over geared, the

    fact our government will not take measures to strengthen the tax system, and the

    bulk of tax parasites are in the majority (or crowd the media concourse to deliver

    do nothing a second term), then we’re headin for a wall without brakes.

    The wall being cheaper food! As oil inputs into farming become prohibitive, the

    switch to lower energy inputs will mean that our ability to add value is crushed on

    both supply and demand. So those who were pocketing the future NZ food production

    dividend aren’t considering the loss of demand (Eu, US consumers with spare cash)

    and the likely food avalance as the world goes on to producing mass food with cheap

    energy inputs. i.e. if we lock into high fuel input dairying then wont have a

    dividend to keep the bankers of today happy. Countries that create cheap fuel input

    foods in bulk will have the capacity to lower the price of the high fuel input

    foods, and thus out bid NZ.

    So we get back to the crisis, our hollowed out tax system that affords us too little

    investment in growing the economy and keeps a parasite class over paid alive

    swallowing debt and eating up collateral.

    All it takes is two National Mps to put Nation before party and revolt against the bling government of Key that can spin any turd but makes no core changes. Can we afford three more years on spin cycle?

    We need a Labour leader who says to debt addicted middle Nz that rigging the tax system to favor the few only makes it harder to kick the habit.

    • Uturn 14.1

      You won’t get that with Labour, period. They aren’t a left wing party. They reckon they’re centre left, which is a bit like being a little bit pregnant or slightly dead. Centre left is Right, but at a slow speed. I’m pretty sure it is not possible to accomodate the middle classes in the manner they are accustomed and install a socialist perspective in NZ, but I’m happy to hear from someone who thinks they know how. Labour try and try but keep moving right because of it. Then they make a small adjustment to “ease poverty” or “improve healthcare”. Last election campaign offered an adjustment phase. It never lasts though.

    • Campbell Larsen 14.2

      Aero – can you please watch your formatting – it renders you comment almost unreadable.

  15. Jackal 15

    Garth George the dinosaur

    Allowing mankind to continue to dominate and procreate beyond the earths capabilities is a sure way to ensure our mutual destruction.

    It’s a no brainer really… either the worlds population stabilizes at seven billion and we work towards reducing the problems we already face or we continue to reproduce until resources fail to sustain us…

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Seven billion is not sustainable.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        If we stop the slide at between two and three billion, I will be impressed.

      • Jackal 15.1.2

        I suspect you’re right Draco T Bastard. Mainly because capitalism has created such a huge disparity between the haves and have nots, which does not allow developing countries to progress without further environmental destruction.

        • Colonial Viper

          which does not allow developing countries to progress without further environmental destruction.

          Slightly oxymoronic?

          ‘Progress’ in the GDP/capitalist sense requires environmental destruction. Any modern economy is based on cities, roads, mineral use, power dams and coal stations. Fields cleared of native forests and cars, lots of cars.

          • Jackal

            I wasn’t extolling ‘progress’ in terms of the defunct capitalist idea of the word.

            There are ways developed countries can help non-developed countries to grow without undertaking the same huge environmental destruction that gave rise to their “progress”. Although strictly speaking, no progress can be achieved without some form of environmental destruction, the damage can be greatly reduced… particularly with green technology.

            Ensuring developing countries have access to green tech advancements so that they develop into a sustainable economy is the issue. Only through an egalitarian worldwide approach can we truly progress and hope to survive climate change.

            Currently developed countries are promoting old unsustainable technology for themselves and developing countries because we’re trapped under the heel of free market capitalism. Their idea of progress almost always comes at the expense of others

        • joe90

          Perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves.
          Recession isn’t sustainable or healthy either. The positive, sustainable alternative is a steady state economy.

          • Colonial Viper

            One of the preconditions of a steady state economy is getting rid of our interest bearing debt based monetary system.

            It just so happens that TPTB like this system and are going to keep it around as long as possible.

      • Vicky32 15.1.3

        Seven billion is simply never going to happen!
        Just to annoy the angry men who attack, I will say that I am pretty much in agreement with Garth George. It’s true, I am, I have to say so, and that he’s a good guy. He cares about people, and not just their physical jerks and satisfactions!

        • Draco T Bastard

          Seven billion is simply never going to happen!

          What world have you been living on? Because this one hit 7 billion last month.

          I will say that I am pretty much in agreement with Garth George.

          That’s because you’re as stupid.

          …and that he’s a good guy.

          He’s an idiot who promotes stuff that is completely wrong which causes Bad Things and isn’t willing to learn that he’s wrong.

          He cares about people…

          This, in association with my immediately preceding sentence, is why The road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions.

          • Jackal

            You mean Vicky32 is being serious? I thought he/she was joking and undertaking a dim-witted attempt at sarcasm.

            • Colonial Viper

              lolz Vicky32 is clearly living back in the late 70’s.

              • Jackal

                He he! Or perhaps even a throw back to the Mesozoic Era.

              • deuto

                Hi there

                Only just came on this exchange. As someone who read here for years before commenting, I have (possibly had) a lot of respect for your views and those of the Jackal, but have also had a similar respect for those of Vicky32. While I am not a supporter of Garth George, Vicky has a right to her views , so I’m am disappointed at the personal attacks on her.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I have respect for people who are reasonably well informed and/or willing to learn. Vicky32 does have some insightful ideas but when it comes to overpopulation and Garth George her mind is closed thus she loses any respect that she may have got from the few insightful ideas she has.

                  • Vicky32

                    thus she loses any respect that she may have got from the few insightful ideas she has.

                    Thanks a bunch, DtB… I by contrast, usually respect your views – but obviously I can’t respect your snide abuse of me! I have a “few” insightful ideas, do I? How very generous of you! Garth George is an honest and kind person, although for reasons that don’t reflect well on Standardistas, he’s a hate figure here.
                    “Population control” is often a euphemism. Do you believe everyone has the right to life, or do you prioritise people like you, white, educated males (even if only in your secret heart?)  The problem isn’t population growth, it’s the system by which we apportion the world’s wealth. Each one of us in New Zealand, consumes much more than any given 3rd world person. If you choose to be childless, fine, that’s up to you. If you don’t, then recognise your contribution to population growth. But you have no right to say that a woman in Africa, or PNG or Samoa or even Whangarei, should stop at 1 child, simply because we may (and no one is really sure) have hit 7 billion. Do me a favour. Look at Fred Pearce’s articles in New Scientist over the past few years – he’s been waxing testerical, because population growth is slowing, and has halted in the developed world. Yet, he and others are still deeply distressed because women in Malawi or the Sudan have 5 children (many of whom won’t survive to adulthood.)

                • Vicky32

                  Deuto, thank you! Much appreciated… 🙂

          • Vicky32

            I will say that I am pretty much in agreement with Garth George.

            That’s because you’re as stupid.

            Thank you DTB for doing exactly as I predicted! 😀 I wondered which angry man it would be, and it seems it’s you first – gthen one by one, the others…Oh and Jackal, it’s she thank you very much! If I read your blog, and I do, then you should do me the courtesy of reading (not skimming) my posts…
            Colonial Viper, the late 70s were hell on earth. Just saying.
            I loathe and distrust the Greens. They’re all middle-class kiddies, and whether they prioritise gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia over real left issues, remains to be seen. One doesn’t have to have one’s head in the evil 1970s, to oppose carefree murder… as for gay marriage, why is this even an issue? Why do all gay people want to advertise their orientation? We straight people generally don’t go around announcing that we’re not gay.
            Jackal, I thought you’d have been happy that George mentions your issue, alcohol! That’s what I mean by saying that he cares about people – which he does. That’s why he isn’t happy with euthanasia and wholesale abortion… Simple really!

  16. deuto 16

    Well it is full steam ahead with (partial) asset sales with Might River confirmed as the first of the blocks just a day after the swearing in of the new government:


  17. Campbell Larsen 18

    Part time work ‘good for mothers’ states the headline of the article taken from the telegraph group ltd in today’s herald. A neat little headline that conveys the impression that this is a simple issue with an obvious solution, get those lazy mothers working dammit, it’s good for them after all.

    But is that really the conclusion or the main thrust of the study in the journal of family psychology that prompted the article?
    Part time work for the mothers studied did help reduce the incidence of depression and also, or as a result, the mothers appeared more sensitive with their children and were more able or more inclined to provide ‘learning opportunities such as taking children on outings and providing lessons or membership of clubs’ – of course lessons and clubs are a great way to keep kids looked after while you are working too…
    A crucial piece of information has not been included in the original telegraph article or has not been sought out by the Herald – namely the age of the children when the mothers went to work. Given all the debate in NZ about this issue it is exceedingly poor journalism to not provide some this context and to help make this information useful to the discussion here.

    One of the most important conclusions of the study was the criticism of employers:
    “employers tend to use part time work as a money saving strategy and to consider part time employees as both expendable and not worthy of investment through the provision of benefits, training, or career advancement. Since part time work seems to contribute to the strength and wellbeing of families it would be beneficial to employers [and to the employee] if they provide finge benefits, at least proportionally, to part time employees as well as offer them career ladders through training and promotion.”

    The headline should perhaps have been ’employers hurt families by exploiting part time workers’…It is clear that part time work for mothers is not a miracle cure all, it can be helpful but these benefits should not come at the cost of being treated as a disposable commodity by employers – to do so limits the potential value of the work to both mother, baby and employer.

    The highly emotive and factually unsupported ‘breeding for a business’ retoric here in NZ shifts all the responsibility and all of the blame onto the mothers. This study shows the inherent flaw in this politically expedient but morally reprehensible dog whistle. The fact that the herald trumpets the myopic and misleading ‘part time work good for mothers’ speaks volumes about it clear agenda – not to inform or enlighten but as an apologist for the ‘work will set you free’ (but dont expect us to help or reward you fairly) mentality of the National party and is big business cohorts.

    • Carol 18.1

      See Monbiot’s article linked above for this kind of reporting on the less well off in the UK. Same kind of reporting.

  18. Spratwax 19

    Just received this email from a friend – I didn’t even know this was going on! News blackout?

    Over 100 workers have been locked out from the CPM Rangitikei plant for 2 months by a vicious employer trying to starve them into accepting huge pay cuts and unacceptable changes to terms and conditions. Their union, the New Zealand Meatworkers Union, has requested the Employment Relations Authority to provide facilitation services.

    To learn more and to send a message to ANZCO Foods urging the company to enter into facilitation and demanding an end to the lockout and a return to the bargaining table, click here.

    Ron Oswald
    General Secretary, IUF

    International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF)

    8, rampe du Pont-Rouge
    1213 Petit Lancy, Switzerland
    Tel: +41 22 793 22 33
    Fax: +41 22 793 22 38

  19. Banker’s Carbon Tax in context — runaway climate change unstoppable

    Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

    The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.


    [lprent: I cut that back to what it should have been for both reading and legal. Next one that I have to do will get trashed. Next one I see that is copyright material that can cause us legal problems will result in a ban. ]

    • Lanthanide 20.1

      Please don’t copy and paste entire articles. Put the link and excerpt a small but relevant section.

    • RedLogix 20.2

      Actually it’s the comment thread below the article that’s as equally chilling as the article.

      Because there is every possibility that this is the ‘methane catastrophe’ that has been long feared. I know the deniers called it ‘scaremongering’… but here is a research vessel reporting exactly what was predicted. If this is confirmed, and there is little reason to think it won’t be, then all hell has probably just broken loose…slowly.

  20. RedLogix 21

    Drill baby, drill…

  21. randal 22

    news today.
    kweewee says mighty river power first to go.
    thank god kweewee is a nitwit and the next Labour government wil have to go to the trouble of reversing all their right wing nutbar policies.
    how much will kweewee be worth then after the invisble hand of the market gives him and his cronies a big fat slap?

  22. Jackal 23

    Legal liability for oil spills

    Last week, Transport minister Steven Joyce said the cost of the oil cleanup from the Rena disaster hit $19.5 million… and he expects the cost, and the salvage operation, to continue for some months.

    Over 350 tonnes of oil as well as other toxic chemicals spilled into the ocean from the grounded cargo ship Rena… in my opinion $19.5 million a vastly inaccurate figure concerning the true cost of the cleanup and salvage operation.


    The National Government failed to increase legal liability under the Bunker Convention, and liability for the Rena disaster is capped at $12.1 million. That means the New Zealand taxpayer will pay for any costs over and above that comparatively tiny cap.

    Based on the Institute for Maritime Studies costings for oil spills from ships… that’s potentially NZ$248 million above the liability cap. You can therefore see why Steven Joyce would want to minimize the cost, being that it was National’s decision to ignore any proper legislation, even when they were alerted to the issue on many occasions…

  23. Has anyone read Garth George today ,He is sounding like a disciple of the Charter school followers. I’m also wondering just where he gets his extreem Right-wing views from . George’s dangerous ideas are just what we will be having if ACT/ National are allowed to bring in Charter Schools.


  24. Treetop 25

    I noted this morning that an iconic NZer passed away. Carmen was 75 years old and I can recall seeing her in Cuba Mall around 1970. Carmen will be known for being the keeper of secrets, being an entertainer, her political ambitions, and most of all for breaking down sexual stereo type thinking which liberated marginalised against groups.

  25. vto 26

    Peter Dunne this evening on selling Mighty River Power and the two main issues – first, keeping the shares in NZ hands and second, keeping the 51% “control”. He waffles interminably with absolutely zero substance. We are supposed to rely on Dunne’s “I think …” etc. No facts. No legislation. No belts and braces. Just Dunne’s weak-arsed opinion and warming words. Tell me people – how far, in the world of commerce, do opinion and warming words go when there are no belts and braces??

    Answer: nowhere. In fact, worse than that because if in commerce one goes into a deal with just opinion and warming words you get laughed at (out of sight) and go backwards. Fast.

    Thanks Dunne, you are such a benefit to NZ.

    • Campbell Larsen 26.1

      The question is how the markets are going to perform?

      Volatility in the markets is a given: fluctuations result in both buyers and sellers and one of the driving factors behind this transaction is imbalances in wealth. We know that there are vast sums of international capital sloshing around looking for a secure home and that a reckoning is coming.

      My concern is will investers be subjected to a roller coaster ride of fluctuating share price that has more to do with a market that is in it’s death throes than it does with the inherent value of the asset?
      Those best positioned to weather such a storm are those with very deep and very patient pockets – these are not qualities that the majority of ‘mum and dad’ investors possess – the result is a transfer of ownership, on terms which may not be anything at all like a lolly scramble.

      Why on earth anyone would even consider ‘floating’ an asset on the share market at this time is beyond me. There is so much funny money out there/ structural problems in the global economy that only a fool would expose a tangible essential asset like power generation to the uncertainty of abstract valuation via the markets.

    • Treetop 26.2

      You would think that after 27 years in Parliament that Dunne may have learnt something about politics. The man is clueless as he can single handedly stop the sale of strategic assets and he is so gullible to trust Key.

      Shame on you Dunne and I would say this to your face next time I am in Johnsonville.

  26. Jackal 27

    National’s privatization propaganda

    For Nick Smith and Tony Ryall to again claim Treasury has confirmed that assets will remain in New Zealand hands is complete and unadulterated bullshit!

    • Half Crown Millionare 27.1

      Can’t confirm it and cannot find it but someone told me that the banksters are going to get a 100 mil for their part in selling Mighty River Power. Does anybody know about this and is it the true?

  27. Jackal 28

    Likely to be more than that. Here’s the relevant questions for aural answers:

    Hon David Cunliffe: Can the acting Minister tell the House how much he expects that middlemen and ticket-clippers would cost the taxpayer if the Minister’s privatisation agenda goes ahead, given that in the Contact Energy sale alone, $32 million of taxpayers’ money was spent in fees to consultants and bankers, and that officials yesterday told the Finance and Expenditure Committee that they estimate sales costs to be in the range of 2 to 5 percent of the asset value, which would be between $136 million and $340 million?

    Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I disagree with the member’s question because it is not a privatisation agenda. Again, in relation to the matter of fees, I point out that I was talking to the Minister for Tertiary Education the other day and the amounts the member refers to have been wasted many times by the previous Government in the tertiary education area.

    • Half Crown Millionare 28.1

      Thanks for that, that is utter disgusting. I can see all Key’s spiv mates fighting over themselves to make sure they are the line for the hand outs. Bloody arse holes.

  28. Adrian 29

    Lazards Bank in Sydney is apparently getting 100 mil, funny that, why is an Aussie branch affiliate of Goldman Sachs being paid to sell NZers assets to NZers?

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    The Government is making sure those on low incomes will no longer have to wait five weeks to get the minimum weekly rate of ACC, and improving the data collected to make the system fairer, Minister for ACC Peeni Henare said today.  The Accident Compensation (Access Reporting and Other Matters) ...
    3 days ago
  • Compulsory code of conduct for school boards introduced
    A compulsory code of conduct will ensure school board members are crystal clear on their responsibilities and expected standard of behaviour, Minister of Education Jan Tinetti said. It’s the first time a compulsory code of conduct has been published for state and state-integrated school boards and comes into effect on ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen annual conference.
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you, Mayor Nadine Taylor, for your welcome to Marlborough. Thanks also Doug Saunders-Loder and all of you for inviting me to your annual conference. As you might know, I’m quite new to this job – and I’m particularly pleased that the first organisation I’m giving a ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt to support councils with buyout and better protection of cyclone and flood affected properties
    The Government will enter into a funding arrangement with councils in cyclone and flood affected regions to support them to offer a voluntary buyout for owners of Category 3 designated residential properties. It will also co-fund work needed to protect Category 2 designated properties. “From the beginning of this process ...
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers changes to reduce pokies harm
    The Government has announced changes to strengthen requirements in venues with pokie (gambling) machines will come into effect from 15 June. “Pokies are one of the most harmful forms of gambling. They can have a detrimental impact on individuals, their friends, whānau and communities,” Internal Affairs Minister Barbara Edmonds said. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers 1800 additional frontline Police
    The total Police workforce is now the largest it has ever been. Police constabulary stands at 10,700 officers – an increase of 21% since 2017 Māori officers have increased 40%, Pasifika 83%, Asian 157%, Women 61% Every district has got more Police under this Government The Government has delivered on ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister Mahuta talks Pacific ambitions at the first Korea-Pacific Leaders’ summit
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Nanaia Mahuta met with Korea President Yoon, as well as Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, during her recent visit to Korea.  “It was an honour to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the first Korea – Pacific Leaders’ Summit. We discussed Pacific ambitions under the ...
    4 days ago
  • Government drives $2 billion of business research and development
    The Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive has supported more than $2 billion of New Zealand business innovation – an increase of around $1 billion in less than nine months. "Research and innovation are essential in helping us meet the biggest challenges and seize opportunities facing New Zealand. It’s fantastic ...
    4 days ago
  • Achieving lift off: National Space Policy launched
    The next ‘giant leap’ in New Zealand’s space journey has been taken today with the launch of the National Space Policy, Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds announced. “Our space sector is growing rapidly. Each year New Zealand is becoming a more and more attractive place for launches, manufacturing space-related technology ...
    4 days ago
  • New science and creative technologies wharekura announced
    A new Year 7-13 designated character wharekura will be built in Pāpāmoa, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis has announced. The wharekura will focus on science, mathematics and creative technologies while connecting ākonga to the whakapapa of the area. The decision follows an application by the Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore ...
    4 days ago
  • Freedom Camping changes a win for the environment
    Protecting the environment by establishing a stronger, more consistent system for freedom camping Supporting councils to better manage freedom camping in their region and reduce the financial and social impacts on communities Ensuring that self-contained vehicle owners have time to prepare for the new system   The Self-Contained Motor Vehicle ...
    5 days ago
  • Speeding up the family court, reducing stress on families
    A new law passed last night could see up to 25 percent of Family Court judges’ workload freed up in order to reduce delays, Minister of Justice Kiri Allan said. The Family Court (Family Court Associates) Legislation Bill will establish a new role known as the Family Court Associate. The ...
    5 days ago
  • UK FTA delivers benefits from today
    New Zealand businesses will begin reaping the rewards of our gold-standard free trade agreement with the United Kingdom (UK FTA) from today.  “The New Zealand UK FTA enters into force from today, and is one of the seven new or upgraded Free Trade Agreements negotiated by Labour to date,” Prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Next steps to reform outdated surrogacy law
    The Government will reform outdated surrogacy laws to improve the experiences of children, surrogates, and the growing number of families formed through surrogacy, by adopting Labour MP Tāmati Coffey’s Member’s Bill as a Government Bill, Minister Kiri Allan has announced. “Surrogacy has become an established method of forming a family ...
    5 days ago
  • Defence Minister to attend Shangri-La Dialogue
    Defence Minister Andrew Little departs for Singapore tomorrow to attend the 20th annual Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from the Indo-Pacific region. “Shangri-La brings together many countries to speak frankly and express views about defence issues that could affect us all,” Andrew Little said. “New Zealand is a long-standing participant ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand–China science relationship affirmed
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall and the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang met in Wellington today and affirmed the two countries’ long-standing science relationship. Minister Wang was in New Zealand for the 6th New Zealand-China Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation. Following ...
    5 days ago
  • Supporting a strong future for screen sector
    5 percent uplift clearer and simpler to navigate  Domestic productions can access more funding sources 20 percent rebate confirmed for post-production, digital and visual effects Qualifying expenditure for post-production, digital and visual effects rebate dropped to $250,000 to encourage more smaller productions The Government is making it easier for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister Sepuloni to attend 61st Anniversary of Samoa’s Independence
    Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region) Carmel Sepuloni will represent New Zealand at Samoa’s 61st Anniversary of Independence commemorations in Apia. “Aotearoa New Zealand is pleased to share in this significant occasion, alongside other invited Pacific leaders, and congratulates Samoa on the milestone of 61 ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs retailers with expansion of fog cannon programme
    The Government is continuing to support retailers with additional funding for the highly popular Fog Cannon Subsidy Scheme, Police and Small Business Minister Ginny Andersen announced today.  “The Government is committed to improving retailers’ safety,” Ginny Andersen said.  “I’ve seen first-hand the difference fog cannons are making. Not only do ...
    6 days ago
  • Government will consider recommendations of Intelligence and Security Act review
    The Government has received the first independent review of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says. The review, considered by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, was presented to the House of Representatives today.  “Ensuring the safety and security of New Zealanders is of the utmost ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt expresses condolences on the passing of HRH Princess Sui’ilikutapu
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has expressed condolences on behalf of New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili. “New Zealand sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Tonga, and to His Majesty King Tupou VI at this time ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt expresses condolences on the passing of HRH Princess Siu’ilikutapu
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has expressed condolences on behalf of New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili. “New Zealand sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Tonga, and to His Majesty King Tupou VI at this time ...
    6 days ago
  • Security support to Solomon Islands extended
    Defence Minister Andrew Little and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta have today announced the extension of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployment to Solomon Islands, as part of the regionally-led Solomon Islands International Assistance Force (SIAF). “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of working alongside the Royal Solomon ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister Mahuta to attend the first Korea-Pacific Leaders’ Summit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will travel to the Republic of Korea today to attend the Korea–Pacific Leaders’ Summit in Seoul and Busan. “Korea is an important partner for Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific region. I am eager for the opportunity to meet and discuss issues that matter to our ...
    1 week ago
  • Agreement between Indo-Pacific partners for supply chain resilience
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor joined ministerial representatives at a meeting in Detroit, USA today to announce substantial conclusion of negotiations of a new regional supply chains agreement among 14 Indo-Pacific countries. The Supply Chains agreement is one of four pillars being negotiated within the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ...
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating Samoa Language Week 2023
    Our most spoken Pacific language is taking centre stage this week with Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa – Samoa Language Week kicking off around the country. “Understanding and using the Samoan language across our nation is vital to its survival,” Barbara Edmonds said. “The Samoan population in New Zealand are ...
    1 week ago
  • Nationwide test of Emergency Mobile Alert system
    Over 90 per cent of New Zealanders are expected to receive this year’s nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert system tonight between 6-7pm. “Emergency Mobile Alert is a tool that can alert people when their life, health, or property, is in danger,” Kieran McAnulty said. “The annual nationwide test ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatōhea and the Crown sign Deed of Settlement
    ENGLISH: Whakatōhea and the Crown sign Deed of Settlement A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Whakatōhea and the Crown, 183 years to the day since Whakatōhea rangatira signed the Treaty of Waitangi, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Whakatōhea is an iwi based in ...
    1 week ago
  • New Chair appointed to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO
    Elizabeth Longworth has been appointed as the Chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Associate Minister of Education Jo Luxton announced today. UNESCO is the United Nations agency responsible for promoting cooperative action among member states in the areas of education, science, culture, social science (including peace and ...
    1 week ago
  • Tourism transformation starts with people
    Tourism and hospitality employer accreditation scheme to recognise quality employers Better education and career opportunities in tourism Cultural competency to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces Innovation and technology acceleration to drive satisfying, skilled jobs Strengthening our tourism workers and supporting them into good career pathways, pay and working conditions ...
    1 week ago
  • Tourism transformation starts with people
    Tourism and hospitality employer accreditation scheme to recognise quality employers Better education and career opportunities in tourism Cultural competency to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces Innovation and technology acceleration to drive satisfying, skilled jobs Strengthening our tourism workers and supporting them into good career pathways, pay and working conditions ...
    1 week ago
  • Te ao Māori health services cheaper and more accessible for whānau
      Greater access to primary care, including 193 more front line clinical staff More hauora services and increased mental health support Boost for maternity and early years programmes Funding for cancers, HIV and longer term conditions    Greater access to primary care, improved maternity care and mental health support  are ...
    1 week ago
  • Te ao Māori health services more accessible for whānau
      Greater access to primary care, including 193 more front line clinical staff More hauora services and increased mental health support Boost for maternity and early years programmes Funding for cancers, HIV and longer term conditions    Greater access to primary care, improved maternity care and mental health support  are ...
    1 week ago

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