Open Mike 16/03/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 16th, 2018 - 191 comments
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191 comments on “Open Mike 16/03/2018 ”

  1. A challenge to all the resolute keyboard heroes out there: Get active!

    “Cyber space warriorism get’s us no where, it’s just therapeutic venting at a distance.”

    A quote from a commentator on The Daily Blog.

    If we want to effect change, we need to take to the streets! We need to get in the face of authority and, yes, risk personal discomfort.

    Change won’t happen in cyberspace!

    • Incognito 1.1

      With due respect to that commenter on TDB, who probably meant well (but there’s no link for context), I think such statement, on its own, is naive and orthodox and smells like sentimental nostalgia. It seems to be oblivious of internet, online, digital, or social media activism, for example. Now, if you were to combine old-school activism, whatever that is, and ‘modernise’ it, with digital activism you start to make much more sense. Some things that used to work in ‘the old days’ are still incredibly effective …

      All political action needs good strategy and this is a great topic for a post here.

    • Ad 1.2

      If the commenter is that keen on changing budgetary proprities, they wil be organising their resistance through the Council budget process, which is on now.

      If you think that’s just too hard and cumbersome, you will be surprised to read that on current consultation numbers, Aucklands currently favour increasing taxes on transport, directly upon Aucklanders.

      If the blogger really thinks that “keyboard warriors” have no effect, they will be surprised that the Council budget including the transport project priorities alter after consultation by betwee\n 20 and 25%.

      The blogger would do well to have a chat with Generation Zero and ask them: what part did marching up the street in crowds play to changing the entire transport policies of two parties (who are now in government), and draft the Zero Carbon bill (now heading for Parliament).

      But as usual, at The Daily Blog, it’s really important to feel real, get out there on the streets, get all mo’shizzle with the kids, and rather than change the system, get out there like Lisa Praeger did yesterday and take to the pavement with a sledgehammer.
      For which she was duly arrested for destroying public property.

      And achieved nothing.

    • bwaghorn 1.3

      i made my way over to a tpp march/protest one day the only discomfort i suffered was the bit were i was in danger of being hugged by strangers. nice people but hardly pulse raising.

      • alwyn 1.3.1

        At the Labour Party Youth Wing camp were you?
        “i was in danger of being hugged by strangers”

  2. Ed 2

    It is good to see people fighting back in Christchurch against the looting of water from the area for private overseas profit.
    Court is one thing.
    Cantabrians could follow the Bolivian example and boot foreign water companies out.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/environment/102307238/ecan-accused-of-bending-the-law-over-consents-for-water-bottling-plants

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hn9wujK0ho4

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.1

      They could, but Is it really a practical solution in New Zealand where we like to give everyone a fair go?

      The total sum being removed for bottling is marginal as a percentage

      • patricia bremner 2.1.1

        That is what the people in California thought.
        Until there was a drought nobody worried that outsiders had bought up “old” water rights.
        Then they found crops being bowled.
        The owners of the water rights could make more from on selling water than keeping 50 year walnut trees, workers and factories.
        Jobs went. Local economy crumbled. We need to protect our free water from predators like that.

        • Ed 2.1.1.1

          That’s what the people of India thought.
          And CocaCola took their water.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.1.1.1.1

            Coca Cola took all the water in India? Do you understand the meaning of hyperbole?

            • Stunned Mullet 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I’d drink coke before I drank the water in India and I despise coke.

              • OncewasTim

                You mean in ALL of India @ SM or are you just being your usual ‘know it all’ pompous smart arse gittus?
                Ditt Tuppence.

                • OncewasTim

                  I only ask because there a parts of India (very large parts) where sinking a bore down 100-200 feet produces the most pristine H2O…..far superior to the shit we’ve seen in Hawkes Bay and Canterbury.
                  There are also people a lot more concerned and knowledgable about preserving the water table than most seem to be in NZ (and that’s despite the lack of rubbish collection and preponderance of surface pollution).
                  They could teach a few farmers about how to handle cow shit too

      • Zorb6 2.1.2

        The total iron sands being removed from Australia is marginal as a percentage too.On that basis it should be free as well.

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.1.2.1

          False equivalence, I never said it should be free. I just don’t object to bottling water and selling it. It’d be better if they only sold in reusable bottles of course.

      • dv 2.1.3

        The total sum being removed for bottling is marginal as a percentage

        UNTIL its not.

        • James 2.1.3.1

          That’s probably why they have limits on the amount allowed to be taken so they can prevent this Being an issue.

          • mpledger 2.1.3.1.1

            The key word being “Probably”

            And that’s why people are getting active – they want to know or already know whether that “probably” is true or not.

            As they and many people ought to.

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.1.3.2

          But it is

      • mac1 2.1.4

        My understanding from recent news was that another issue with this water take was the drilling of a new well bore alongside a shallower one and the subsequent risk of cross contamination between two aquifers. The site was formerly a wool scouring plant and that may compound the problem. The deeper bore reaches into the aquifer supplying Christchurch drinking water.

        http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/03/chinese-company-drills-water-bore-in-christchurch-despite-council-warning.html

        • Stuart Munro 2.1.4.1

          The very idea that a water right for a radically different purpose should be transferable is absurd. The bottling company should have had to make a fresh application based on the situation regarding water now and in the foreseeable future, not leech off a right that should have expired with the demise of the business that secured it legitimately.

    • James 2.2

      You know it’s not looting if they are doing it legally right?

      • mac1 2.2.1

        According to the article I’ve cited above, a lawyer disagrees and legal action has been filed. The deeper bore was drilled against Council advice.

        Is there any legal or moral constraint to the practice of buying a factory with an existing water use (in this case for wool scouring ) in order to use the water right for another and entirely different purpose (in this case the selling of the water overseas by an overseas owner)?

        Apart from the ethical issue, there is a practical issue of possible contamination of a city water supply as well.

        How long before overseas companies buy a Marlborough vineyard with an existing water right and bottle that, without bothering with cycling it first through a grape vine?

        10 litres of bottled costs $27 in China. A vineyard may have a water right of 12 litres per vine per day. That, for a 5 ha vineyard, is 159,000 litres per day. At the $27/10l price, that is $430,000 per day- $157,285,800 per annum. I bet that’s just a bit more than a 5ha vineyard produces in wine!

        • patricia bremner 2.2.1.1

          My point exactly. Seller selling “on behalf of citizens” Councils, (in this case ECAN a political construct), not knowing the real worth of the item, not doing what they should for their rate payers, being sloppy and ignorant, even dubious or dangerous in their actions.
          Were the sales legitimate?
          How many wells is the new owner of the old scouring works allowed to sink?
          How come they can enlarge the original right to such a degree?
          The law will decide, and this will pause work while that is settled, quite rightly.

      • AB 2.2.2

        Merely requiring formal legality is setting a pretty low bar.
        What sort of people do you think exercise the most influence over what is legal and what is not?
        Historically, looting of the commons has often been made legal.

      • Grey Area 2.2.3

        You do realise looting is legal under neoliberal economics right?

        • patricia bremner 2.2.3.1

          Well that may be true when the sale is to the “Crown”. This is not the case here.
          Our law says you must show true ownership to sell something legally. ECAN?????

        • Robert Guyton 2.2.3.2

          Elegantly phrased, Grey Area. And on the button.

        • Ed 2.2.3.3

          That’s how neoliberalism work.
          Organised theft.

  3. Ed 3

    I read the news today.

    “Global warming threatening species’ survival, WWF warns

    Up to half of the plant and animal species in the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon could be extinct by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report warns.”
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/352643/global-warming-threatening-species-survival-wwf-warns

    When I read this article about the WWF, it reminded me about the book End Game by Derek Jensen. I would recommend Standard readers read Jensen for their enlightenment.

    This quote of Jensen’s sums up the problem.

    “Make no mistake, our economic system can do no other than destroy everything it encounters. That’s what happens when you convert living beings to cash. That conversion, from living trees to lumber, schools of cod to fish sticks, and onward to numbers on a ledger, is the central process of our economic system. Psychologically, it is the central process of our enculturation; we are most handsomely rewarded in direct relation to the manner in which we can help increase the Gross National Product.”

    We abandon capitalism or our children and grandchildren die.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    The new puritans are having their way, at least for now…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12011927

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      “”All cinematographers have been instructed to exercise discretion while shooting the women’s heats.”
      (my bold)

      Seems okay.

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        Except if you are a female surfer getting a nice big sponsorship deal from a bikini maker who suddenly sees no value in the deal.

        A woman being paid in a mutually entered into contract to wear a high cut bikini in a televised competition is surely exercising her agency to chose what she wears, and has to have an expectation of close up shots.

        In those circumstance it is worrying that a TV broadcaster feels browbeaten by various feminist puritans into self censorship over broadcasting images of a woman’s backside.

    • bwaghorn 4.2

      why the hell would they wear them if they don’t want you to look . serious question ?
      surly if a woman has her boobs and but hanging out i’m allowed to enjoy the view ?
      (no touching rude comments or wolf whistles of course)

      • weka 4.2.1

        I know this might come as a surprise (seriously, but listen to this) – some women like the way they feel when they dress in different ways and it has nothing to do with men.

        There is a difference between quietly appreciating the beauty of someone’s body, and ogling. Camera operators zooming in on bikini bottoms is clearly in the latter category. It makes women feel uncomfortable, so just don’t do it.

      • RedLogix 4.2.2

        Short answer no. Unless a woman gives express and enthusiastic consent to be looked at by a male, regardless of what she is wearing … it’s unwanted ogling. All unwanted male sexual behaviour is either criminal or shameful. Don’t do it, look elsewhere.

  5. Jenny 5

    “LAST CHANCE TO SIGN! PETITION TO SAVE TE KUHA FROM COAL MINING CLOSES THIS SUNDAY, 18 MARCH!”

    It’s astonishing and appalling that a Government that says all the right words about the need for action on climate change may nevertheless let a new coal mine go ahead on the West Coast, when it could stop that mine with the stroke of a pen.

    http://coalaction.org.nz/network/350/last-chance-to-sign-petition-to-save-te-kuha-from-coal-mining-closes-this-sunday-18-march

    • savenz 5.1

      Good point Jenny, are Labour Greenies? I think it’s neoliberalism first, liberalism 2nd and environmentalism is just something to try and pretend to do.

      Natz and NZ First are similar neoliberalism first, liberalism 2nd and environmentalism something to deny as being loony.

      Then when Pike river happens they can’t work out why neoliberalism first, liberalism 2nd and environmentalism something to deny as being loony doesn’t work out in any way, they kill people, leave them to die because they can’t organise a rescue and don’t even get their economic gain as they actually bankrupt their own company. But hey, no lessons learnt no doubt.

      I seem to remember RMA removed endangered snails for mining to take place and then DoC accidentally froze them to death.

      I’m just wondering who are the loonies and most incompetent here. The environmentalists or the neoliberalists.

  6. Grantoc 6

    I note that NZ is one of the few western nations to so far fail to condemn the Russians for their assassination attacks in the UK. NZ is silent on the matter.

    Is this because Peter’s is a Russian apologist and Arden’s afraid to do the right thing and formally condemn Russia’s actions because of her fear as to what Peter’s might do? Like throw a hissy fit and damage the coalition.

    • Just thought you should bring Kiwiblog’s attack lines over here, did you? (This morning’s headline post: NZ Silent on Russia)

      • James 6.1.1

        Even if s/he is – so what? The point being made is that Winston and this government are not condemning Russia for the attacks.

        Why?

        • francesca 6.1.1.1

          Probably standing by the notion , innocent until proven guilty, and in a proper court of law if you don’t mind
          Old fashioned ,I know, but worth sticking with

        • Bearded Git 6.1.1.2

          Why are we not continuously condemning Russia for the mass slaughter it is perpetuating in Syria by backing Assad? Now that is a real issue.

          Teresa May is grandstanding on this issue, using one boy in blue as a hook, but taking no genuine action at all that will jeopardise Britain’s trading links with Russia or the funding her Conservative Party mates receive from Russian mates.

          • In Vino 6.1.1.2.1

            Why are we not condemning Saudi Arabia and its backers (USA GB included) for the mass slaughter being perpetuated in the Yemen?

      • Sanctuary 6.1.2

        Screw the British, why should we support them? I say sanction bust – we may even make up all the money we lost when they couldn’t wait to kick us into touch when they joined the EU.

        To paraphrase Lord Palmerston (a British politician) “…New Zealand has no eternal friends, New Zealand has no perpetual enemies, New Zealand has only eternal and perpetual interests…”

        And I reckon it is more in our interests to sell heaps of stuff to Russia than it is to stand with our ex-colonial master.

        • James 6.1.2.1

          “Screw the British, why should we support them? I say sanction bust ”

          So …. screw the fact that used an nerve agent to kill people in the street – we could make a few bob out of this ?

          • Sanctuary 6.1.2.1.1

            We owe the British nothing. They’d sell us down the river in a flash if it suited them. They didn’t give a shit about the impact on our economy when they joined the EU.

            This dispute between our ex-colonial master and Russia over an event that occurred in a country on the other side of the world has got zilch to do with us.

            It is in our interests to do a trade deal with Russia. Backing the British in their spat with Russia? Not so much.

          • AB 6.1.2.1.2

            We trade with lots of countries that do awful things domestically and internationally.
            Conservatives get upset about this only when it is one of our ‘official enemies’ e.g. Russia.
            There is no consistent principle behind what you are saying – just propagandist braying.

        • Pat 6.1.2.2

          it may be….but it would also pay to remember that their payment history isnt great and their main exports are fossil fuels, military hardware and oligarchs

          • francesca 6.1.2.2.1

            Look, fuck it
            I’m sick of this shoddy out of date rubbish
            Are you still in the Lada era?
            Just lose the age old prejudices and get some new information
            And this is just the top 10

            “Mineral fuels including oil: US$173.3 billion (48.5% of total exports)
            Iron, steel: $18.8 billion (5.3%)
            Gems, precious metals: $11 billion (3.1%)
            Machinery including computers: $8.5 billion (2.4%)
            Wood: $7.9 billion (2.2%)
            Cereals: $7.5 billion (2.1%)
            Fertilizers: $7.2 billion (2%)
            Aluminum: $6.7 billion (1.9%)
            Copper: $4.7 billion (1.3%)
            Electrical machinery, equipment: $4.3 billion (1.2%)
            Russia’s top 10 exports accounted for 70% of the overall value of its global shipments.

            Copper was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 42.2% from 2016 to 2017.

            In second place for improving export sales was Russian cereals which was up 34.3%, led by higher international sales of wheat, barley and corn.

            Close behind, Russia’s shipments of iron and steel posted the third-fastest gain in value up 32.9%.

            Up 6.7%, electrical machinery and equipment posted the smallest increase among Russia’s top 10 export categories.’

            • Pat 6.1.2.2.1.1

              lol
              you may wish to speak to some in the industry about dealing with Russian exporters and the quality of their product…..they make china look positively angelic

            • Ad 6.1.2.2.1.2

              48.5% mineral fuels.
              13% mining.

              All owned by oligarchs and the Russian state.

              Pat was pretty close.

              • francesca

                Russia had the largest Grain exports for 2 years running
                Not insignificant

                • McFlock

                  And arms exports were at about the same level last year, but doesn’t seem to be on that list…

            • alwyn 6.1.2.2.1.3

              Where did you get these figures from and why do they not include sales of arms?
              This isn’t a terribly good source but the Russian exports of arms seem to be about $US15 billion/year
              That number, if correct, should put them at number 3 in your list.

            • Bearded Git 6.1.2.2.1.4

              Russian computers? Pass me the floppy disc.

              • alwyn

                “floppy disc”.
                Are you serious? The latest model I have seen has just got a cassette tape.
                Others still use punch cards and paper tape.

                • Tricledrown

                  Alwyn who doesn’ t know what FB means.
                  Russia hasn’t stood still spies will have stolen any tech deficiencies they have had.
                  So if you think Russia hasn’t kept up to date,how come they are so successful at cyber warfare.
                  Alwyn is still pumping out their fake news and propaganda Putin’s Puppet.

        • Gabby 6.1.2.3

          Rainbow Warrior, sanky, Rainbow Warrior.

      • mauī 6.1.3

        Strange bedfellows Farrar and sections of the intellectual left.

        I hear “Puteen and his 13 troll dwarfs” comes out in paperback next year. Soon to be followed by “Sauron’s chemical weapons attack – we know it was you.. so tell us why it wasn’t!” Straight to dvd.

        • Ed 6.1.3.1

          Many on this site have forgotten the legal principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’

          As they seems so keen for war, maybe they can jump on planes to the Baltic States as volunteers.

          • McFlock 6.1.3.1.1

            You’ve forgotten that this site isn’t a court of law, just a reflection of people’s opinions given the available information

      • Grantoc 6.1.4

        PS

        No

        A column in Politik earlier today on this matter is my source for my post.

    • Jenny 6.2

      I note that NZ has so far failed to condemn Saudi Arabia for bombing Yemen.

      Is this because New Zealand is a close ally of the United States, which is the main backer and supplier of the Saudi regime?

      • James 6.2.1

        Why not try to debate the point of the thread?

        • adam 6.2.1.1

          Yeah Jenny, why are you not following the rwnj attack line?

          I get the confusion, the hardright are tossing around so many conspiracy theories these days, it’s hard to keep up.

      • Brigid 6.2.2

        How are the people in Aleppo these days Jenny?

      • Ed 6.2.3

        You do realise that the US has backed ISIS in the Syrian War?
        And that ISIS have been responsible for ghastly slaughter against civilians.

    • DoublePlusGood 6.3

      Sorry, why exactly do we have to in any way engage in diplomatic activity in this particular case?

    • savenz 6.4

      I think any assassinations are not OK by any country.

      As well as all the usual countries you would expect, USA had the most drone assassinations under the Obama government. NZ is pretty much trying to ignore the deaths of civilians from our own military in Afghanistan.

      Don’t forget the UK started bombing Iraq illegally and against what many of the British people wanted.

      So I think while it’s disgusting that apparently Russian’s are openly assassinating people in the UK, it’s not like it’s a one off or they are alone in the world assassinating people in other countries.

      Assassination is a growth industry of governments. And its hypocritical to condemn when you are guilty of it yourself.

    • Cinny 6.5

      Question please… how do people know for sure that is was Russia, or is it all assumptions based on the nerve agent used and the target selected?

      • francesca 6.5.1

        So far we have May’s assertion that Porton Down has identified the nerve agent as from the Novichok group , originally developed (so it is said, no samples have been scientifically analysed and identified up to now)30 years ago in Russia, and Uzbekistan
        Personally, what with the collapse of the Soviet Union and all those chemists who decamped to the west, I’m not convinced Russia managed to hang on to it
        So , and wrongly I think, May has identified the means

        The motive?
        Oh Jesus, you pick it
        Sending a message?
        Not the kind of message I’d be going for if the OPCW had just declared I’d destroyed all my chemical weapons.
        Revenge?
        In intelligence circles apparently there is a convention that Spy swaps are sacrosanct,you don’t go after ex spies pardoned and released as part of a spy swap otherwise you fuck up the whole system, its against your interests
        Stupidity?
        Nah
        Noobody knows at present except maybe the victims and I hope they recover, or the perpetrators
        Let the OPCW do their work I say instead of muddying the waters with pre emptive
        declarations of retaliation
        Sorry Cinny, a bit of a long rant

      • Stuart Munro 6.5.2

        There are three things really.

        Skripal’s area of concern or operation was Russia. If his killing was politically motivated, and the means of killing him suggest it was not a random local attack, then the obvious suspect is some state or person aggrieved by his activities. In his case that means Russia rather than North Korea, the other country that recently carried out a nerve gas assassination.

        The poisoning of former agents is a Russian trope. There was the thalium umbrella poisoning, and the Yuschenko poisoning as well as the Litvinenko poisoning in England and a number of others.

        May has stated that the agent was Novichok. It is doubtful she is so up on nerve agents as to have made that up – it will be the finding of some person better qualified in nerve agent chemistry than bloggers. The investigators will be annoyed she let that cat out of the bag as they prefer to contain such details to sort false claims of responsibility. Novichok is of Russian origin, and it is probable that if anyone has access to any it would be the FSB.

        • francesca 6.5.2.1

          Stuart, could you point to those agents who had been arrested then pardoned as part of a spy swap?Then assassinated
          Thanks , because I’m not finding it
          Litvinenko.. ex FSB…employee of Berezovsky, who himself was rubbished by a British judge .Never part of a spy swap as far as I can tell
          The thalium umbrella poisoning..never heard of it
          The ricin umbrella poisoning on the other hand takes us back to 1978, when a Bulgarian dissident and writer was “implanted ” with a ricin pellet, via umbrella spike
          So that was Georgi Markov, killed by a Bulgarian agent who may or may not have been helped by the KGB
          That is still speculation
          Yuschenko..A Ukrainian presidential candidate poisoned with dioxin at a dinner in Kiev.Survived after an illness of about 18 mths
          Scientists have not been able to determine where the toxin( same as in Agent Orange)came from or who the perpetrator was.But knowing what a hellhole Ukraine has been with its gangsters and warring oligarchs, take your pick
          Again, as the spy swap program is considered sacrosanct on all sides, can you point to me your examples , because I have read that this is the first time, and a real departure

          Russia being the only possessor of Novichoks?

          No, I don’t think the world works like that, I’ve banged on about that already. Even Macro recognises that others would most probably have it

          • Stuart Munro 6.5.2.1.1

            Thalium relates to Nikolai Evgenievich Khokhlov of course – did your FSB briefing not include it?
            Ricin – Russian deniability if you buy it. I certainly don’t.
            and of course the Russians have “no motive at all” to poison Ukrainian politicians – it’s like the BUK – must’ve been some other aggressive invading imperialistic power with late soviet weapons systems.

            “I don’t think the world works like that”

            Russia certainly possessed the Novichok agents in greater quantity and accessibility than any other nation during the time that they were developing them.

            Although it is possible other parties or nations have the capacity to recreate Novichok, such a sophisticated operation could probably find a more reliable and less obtrusive means of disposing of Skripal, supposing they wished to do so. Your counter presumption, that unknown parties offed Skripal to fit up Russia suffers from lack of evidence. There is simply nothing to suggest that it is anything other than a convenient Kremlin fantasy.

            • francesca 6.5.2.1.1.1

              Still looking for the thalium umbrella
              Khokhlov I’m afraid is going too far back for me, the Soviet days
              I’m looking for previous instances of agents released in spy swaps who then get assassinated by the Russian govt
              Never happened before because its against ones own interests to undermine the swap system
              And I don’t know who poisoned the Skripals, and neither do you, but by god, there’s certainly a lot of capital being made out of it
              And it certainly isn’t going to make for a fair and just investigation
              For all I know some family member of someone betrayed by Skripal hired a hitman, a lot of murky things go in in Eastern Europe, it seems to be aswill with weapons sold on the black market

              https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/moldova-nuclear-weapons-isis/409456/

              I just find it hard to believe that Russia would sully its reputation for something as petty as revenge, when it had just completed the arduous and long process under the OPCW of destroying its chemical weapons
              To then turn around 6 months later and provocatively use a chemical weapon on a target that would point straight back to itself just doesn’t cut the logic mustard
              http://www.dw.com/en/russia-destroys-last-cold-war-era-chemical-weapons/a-40714097

              • joe90

                I just find it hard to believe that Russia would sully its reputation

                Gangsters don’t give a rats about their reputations.
                /

                • francesca

                  So why go the enormous expense of destroying your chemical weapons under the auspices of the OPCW
                  Thats about reputation, first and foremost
                  Otherwise, why do it?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    To collect the $15.7 billion in US funding provided for their destruction?

                    https://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/9354/00Dec_Mostoller.pdf;sequence=1

                    • francesca

                      you think they spent the money on fur coats and taxis instead?

                    • Ed

                      Stuart is beginning to sound like a character in Dr. Stranglelove.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Perhaps you should ask why the US canceled the funding – which was originally to have been a mere $1.7 billion.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Whereas you’re sounding a lot like Harley Quin Ed – the pathetic dupe of a crook that the world and his wife knows for a compulsive liar.

                    • Ed

                      Stuart.
                      This isn’t a John Wayne film.
                      It’s a little more complex than the goodies vs the baddies.

                      Anyway, it would appear no amount of reason will work.
                      Check out flights to Warsaw.
                      You can enlist on arrival.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “This isn’t a John Wayne film.”

                      No shit Sherlock. Try The Spy who Came In From The Cold.

                      Or The Twelve Chairs.

                    • Ed

                      Flights to Riga are only just over $1250 on 27th April.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      ” it would appear no amount of reason will work”

                      Over the last year Ed, you’ve produced little or no reasoning.

                      Which is why we are concerned by your irrational attachment to this murderous dictator.

                      Stand up for your principles Ed – make the case for the butcher of Grozny. Such a progressive genocide!

                    • Ed

                      Volunteer Stuart.
                      Don’t expect others to fight for you.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “Volunteer Stuart.
                      Don’t expect others to fight for you.”

                      You know what Ed – I’ll volunteer to defend here if I must – in self defense against malign aggression.

                      Part of that would necessarily involve rooting out the fifth columnists anyway – there seem to be quite a few of them.

                • Ed

                  Gangsters…like US, Saudi, ISIS, fascist Ukraine ?

              • Gabby

                Reputation?
                Hah!

            • joe90 6.5.2.1.1.2

              Thalium relates to Nikolai Evgenievich Khokhlov

              In 2008 Oleg Gordievsky alleged he’d poisoned with the same substance.

              Police are investigating allegations that a former Russian spy who defected to Britain was poisoned in an attempt to assassinate him.

              Oleg Gordievsky spent 34 hours unconscious in hospital after falling ill at his home in Guildford in November. He was initially partially paralysed and still has no feeling in his fingers.

              Mr Gordievsky, the highest-ranking Soviet spy to defect to the West, claimed he was the victim of a Kremlin-inspired assassination attempt similar to that alleged to have killed the former security agent Alexander Litvinenko.

              “I’ve known for some time that I am on the assassination list drawn up by rogue elements in Moscow. It was obvious to me I had been poisoned,” he told The Mail on Sunday. He accused MI6 of forcing Special Branch to drop its early investigations into his allegations.

              Mr Gordievsky claims he was poisoned with thallium, a highly toxic metal used in insecticides which was favoured by the KGB in assassinations during the Cold War. Mr Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium, a radioactive element.

              http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/double-agent-gordievsky-claims-he-was-poisoned-by-the-kremlin-805308.html

              • francesca

                So what happened next/
                I’m all ears
                Don’t leave me hanging
                When did he die?

        • Tricledrown 6.5.2.2

          Russia more comfortable with its enemies creating economic inequality and helping fund divisive right wing backward looking Nationalism.
          Putin is playing the West cyber warfare unstoppable Hypersonic ICBM’s
          Ukraine Georgian and Crimean land grabs.
          Backing the Sryrian regime .
          Arms sales are one of Russia’s main exports ,creating conflict’s helps increase sales as oil prices are down.

          • Cinny 6.5.2.2.1

            Thank you all for the info, you guys are awesome. Helps to get my head around it all. Wonder if there’s anyone who doesn’t make money via war, far out.

            theresa may, she’s worn, unpopular and clinging to leadership, desperate now to mark her mark.

            Putin…. knocking people off is part of the Russian culture, maybe he’s just over people blaming Russia and is either being bold about his moves or ignoring the critics and just being Putin. Maybe it has nothing to do with Putin. Standby for the doco-drama film…

            Media have a huge part to play in this, I wonder who is really pushing the narrative and what do they have to gain…war sells papers/gets clicks.

            Time for NZ to become a republic lolololol 🙂 🙂 ?
            Am sick of all the global conflict/greed, thought we would have evolved more by now.

            • Tricledrown 6.5.2.2.1.1

              Humans are like a culture of yeast in an finite ecosystem as yeast greedily gobbling up all the sugar exceating alcohol eventually killing its self at around 13% alcohol.
              Humans are greedily gobbling up all the resources the planet has killing any one who gets in the way and the environment with all our forms of excrement.

          • Ed 6.5.2.2.2

            Ukraine’s Democratic government was removed by a coup funded by the US.
            Who are the gangsters ?

    • patricia bremner 6.6

      No James.

    • Jenny 6.7

      Honour UN Resolution 2401

      As awful as the alleged attack on Russian double agent and his daughter, it is not as awful as the proven Russian and the Assad regime continued breach of the U.N. Security Council mandated 30 day ceasefire for Eastern Ghouta. Despite the fact that Security Council member Russia had voted for the resolution. Russia’s ally Syria, had voted for the resolution in the General Assembly.

      “Briefing Security Council on Syria Ceasefire Resolution, Secretary-General Says Humanitarian Convoys Remain Unable to Safely Enter Eastern Ghouta”

      Despite the demands of the Security Council’s resolution for a ceasefire in Syria, humanitarian convoys had not been able to enter eastern Ghouta without impediment, members heard today as the Secretary‑General provided an update on the situation.

      António Guterres, United Nations Secretary‑General, reporting on the implementation of resolution 2401 (2018), said that there had been no cessation of hostilities in parts of Syria, and violence continued not only in eastern Ghouta but also in Afrin, Idlib, and Damascus and its suburbs. The delivery of humanitarian aid had not been safe or unimpeded, and no sieges had been lifted. He also underscored that efforts to combat terrorist groups did not supersede those humanitarian obligations.

      In a disgusting act devoid of humanitarian principles, the Syrian regime has been removing medical supplies from few aid convoys that have been allowed to enter the besieged region of Eastern Ghouta. Though terrible, this act is in keeping with the regime’s targeting of independent hospitals and rescue workers.

      On 5 March, the United Nations had sent an inter‑agency convoy of 46 trucks to Douma in eastern Ghouta with food for 27,500 people, representing only one third of the requested beneficiaries, all in desperate need, he continued. Syrian authorities had removed most of the health supplies, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that only 30 per cent of medical supplies in the convoy had been allowed to proceed. On 9 March, a 13‑truck convoy had reached Douma, delivering the remaining food assistance. Shelling occurred nearby, despite assurances given by all parties. In Douma, relief workers described conditions as shocking: people sheltering in overcrowded basements with limited access to food, water and sanitation. In eastern Ghouta, health partners advised that some 1,000 people required urgent medical evacuation, which the United Nations was ready to support, in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. A prioritized list of those in greatest need had been shared with Syria, and he urged a positive response.

  7. Ad 7

    Great to see the United States, Germany, France, Britain, form a common voice condemning Russia for the poisoning attack on an ex-spy:

    http://www.dw.com/en/france-germany-uk-us-blame-moscow-for-ex-spy-chemical-attack-joint-declaration/a-42990115

    Both Haley and Trump are finally beginning to accept the truth of Putin.

    And by the time Mueller is done with the entire Trump organisation and family, they will be both apologising for their complicity with Putin, and in jail where they should be:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mueller-subpoena-trump-organization_us_5aaab9e3e4b04221740d4a0a

    • One Two 7.1

      The Truth of Putin..

      ‘Truth’ is impossible…

      The imperialist nations relentless bare faced ‘attacks’ on Russia, are deflectionary tactics of the most hypocritical nature…

      • Stunned Mullet 7.1.1

        😆 this could’ve been penned by one of the current directors of a Russian troll farm – reminds me of good old Fisiani’s posts about ‘honest John Key’

        • One Two 7.1.1.1

          To be clear to you as well, mullet…so as you can’t misunderstand….

          I’ll not be spending energy replying to your comments…not one more…

          The level of your comments is far lower than your chronological age group…

      • Ed 7.1.2

        Some of the comments on this site smack of McCarthyism in the 50s.
        There are many Russophobic folk here.
        A study of the Syrian War shows bad being done on all sides, yet we are continually hectored on this site by the neocons that only Assad and Russia are had.
        For some reason they feel that Putin and RTV have a monopoly on propaganda.

        They so easily forget 9/11, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, the Ukraine…

    • francesca 7.2

      Yes its great when the International Community gets its shit together and decides the outcome of an investigation before the evidence is produced and presented as per international conventions like the CWC
      I’m so proud!

      Don’t you just love the rule of law?
      They got their shit together in 2011 , too, and did Libya over real good
      Well, Ghadaffi had it coming what with the viagra and the black mercenaries and the genocide and all
      And those Rooskies deserve it , they’re so STOOOOPID always gassing and things at the most embarrassing times for them , just when the OPCW declares them free of chemical weapons, elections coming up, the World Cup, finalising Nordstream.
      Its worked out well for the weapons industry though, bumper sales
      Kaching!
      ,

      • Stunned Mullet 7.2.1

        Sometimes the most obvious explanation for an event is the most obvious and given that the main suspect nation has considerable form and that initial evidence points in a certain direction it is not surprising that there is condemnation from like minded countries.

        There will of course be ongoing investigation and I’m sure there will be behind the scenes communication and maneuvering between the UK and Russia, I’m hoping there will be a bit of a change in behavior once Putin is voted back in and he will roll back on the rather extreme nationalism and bigotry that have been on display over the last several months.

        • francesca 7.2.1.1

          I thought we prided ourselves on due process, rule of law, natural justice etc
          normal criminal law would declare this a mistrial
          from the start

          • Cinny 7.2.1.1.1

            It’s almost like…. the 1% need more money…. quick start a war… an assination that assumes the russians did it should do the trick.

            Personally I’m just not convinced that it was the Russians. Something seems way off, I might be wrong, but it just seems too obvious.

            • patricia bremner 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes Cinny. Seems that way to me also. Mind you they are all a bunch of crooks, only some of them are our crooks.

            • Tricledrown 7.2.1.1.1.2

              Alwyn who doesn’ t know what FB means.
              Russia hasn’t stood still spies will have stolen any tech deficiencies they have had.
              So if you think Russia hasn’t kept up to date,how come they are so successful at cyber warfare.
              Alwyn is still pumping out their fake news and propaganda Putin’s Puppet.Put

            • Ed 7.2.1.1.1.3

              There is certainly a drive for war.
              Asking why suddenly makes the conversation interesting.

              Is it because an economic crash is about to happen?
              Capitalism usually deals with its crises with violence.

          • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.1.2

            This was an act of war, not mere criminality.

            Had Britain used nerve gas to kill a British defector in Russia the trolls would be screaming about an attack on a sovereign nation.

            • francesca 7.2.1.1.2.1

              This is still conjecture
              Get a grip

              • Stuart Munro

                Nonsense – a WMD has been used on British soil.

                That’s as casus belli as it gets.

                • Ed

                  Get a grip.
                  Remember WMD?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    You may not be aware of the seriousness of the use of chemical weapons against another country Ed, or more likely be concerned to downplay it out of misplaced loyalty to your Kremlin master.

                    In this instance the presence of the WMD is already established – it is not a PR artifact to be sold to US opinion formers.

                • Ed

                  Conjecture.
                  I really hope they let you nowhere near a jury.

            • Ed 7.2.1.1.2.2

              You should volunteer Stuart.
              Mark Mitchell has contacts.

              • Stuart Munro

                I may not need to volunteer Ed, Putin is doing his best to bring the war to us.

                • Ed

                  Yes Russia is about to invade Europe.
                  What planet are you on?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    The planet where Ukraine is part of eastern Europe Ed, a country upon which Putin’s militaristic ambitions have been solidly established.

                  • Exkiwiforces

                    No Sir, we should be asking what planet you come from? Because it’s sounds like you are not following the events in the Baltic States, Putin comments IRT Finland and Sweden of late.

      • Bill 7.2.2

        For what it’s worth, at least one prominent politician kinda gets it.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/15/salisbury-attack-conflict-britain-cold-war

        • Carolyn_Nth 7.2.2.1

          How refreshing to have a party leader willing and able to stand up to bullshit, and media frenzies, and exercise wise judgment, with a clear and sensible way forward.

          Recognise that there are 2 possibilities (the Russian government, or Mafia-like rogues who’ve acquired the chemical agents as the result of lax Russian oversight); Complete an investigation. Hold the perps to account. Exclude Russian money from the UK political system. Stop servicing Russian chronic capitalism int he UK.

          • francesca 7.2.2.1.1

            I question why are there only these 2 possibilities, both originating in Russia?
            Soviet era chemists (like Mirzayanov , the self declared creator of Novichok)have spread far and wide in the world, Israel, Canada, Uk, Us,their knowledge and expertise welcome
            Mirzayanov has published a book on the Soviet program, complete with formulas for the legendary novichoks
            Please, doesn’t logic lead to the idea that the ability to produce novichoks is now out there in the wide world?
            As well, Russia may be the inheritor state of the Soviet Union, but after 1991 it was a lawless chaotic mess, incapable of maintaining security ,and totally vulnerable to the criminal looting and pillaging that indeed went on all through the soviet satellite states
            When a society collapses, everythings up for grab
            As an example

            https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/moldova-nuclear-weapons-isis/409456/

            • mpledger 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Who but the Russian government would be interested in killing a retiree and his daughter? Their is no motive other than retribution and message sending. While Trump is so obviously pro-Russia, Putin is using that to play some dirty tricks because he knows there will be little consequence.

              • Bill

                Would the Russian government kill people for political purposes? Yes.
                Would the UK government kill people for political purposes? Yes.
                Would most governments in the world kill people for political purposes? Yes.

                Would the Russian government kill a retired British spy….?

              • francesca

                Trump is so obviously pro Russia he’s sent lethal weapons to Ukraine, increased sanctions, bombed its allies in Syria,weighed in with all the other toadies at the UN denouncing Putin
                Are you some kind of political virgin?
                Unaware of mischief making amongst the various intelligence agencies over the last few hundred years?
                the perfect crime…. get rid of a nuisance whether he knows too much about the Steele dossier..or has become too demanding, maybe wants his BMW upgraded one too many times..
                Who knows who he’s pissed off
                Traitors aren’t known for their loyalty or moral fibre

                Kill a lot of birds with one stone, upping the pressure on Russia to comply, to “behave” , code for opening up wide for foreign corporations, stop opposing American imperialism
                Big picture here

              • Cinny

                “Who but the Russian government would be interested in killing a retiree and his daughter?”
                Depends…..he could have pissed off anyone, who knows? He will, his daughter will not.

            • Bearded Git 7.2.2.1.1.2

              There is a third option.

              I seem to remember that the Americans have refused to destroy their stocks of chemical weapons. Surely they have the capacity to manufacture the nerve agent used in the UK attack, and who is to say they haven’t allowed this to be used, by accident or design, by some other country; vicious secretly nuclear-powered Israel comes to mind.

              • Bill

                I can’t see why Israel would attempt to murder this particular retired British spy BG.

                It would be good to know what Sergei Skripal was doing in his retirement and what circles he moved in, or in what/whose orbits he traveled.

                It would also be good to have the identity of the poison verified by the relevant international bodies, as well as clarity on where Novichok was purportedly produced in the first place (both Uzbekistan and deep in Russia have been reported) before getting on to the signature of this particular sample.

                When I saw the initial reports (in the Guardian) I immediately thought “here we go”. I was going to throw up a post and map the progress of mainstream reporting as things built. Wish I hadn’t been so damned lazy.

                • francesca

                  Yep
                  We have been told in various news accounts he met regularly with his old handler Pablo Miller who also lives in Salisbury and up until his Linked in profile was scrubbed, still working for his old boss Steele , ie Orbis who would have handled Skripals spy drops (the old plastic rock in Moscow caper)until 2004 when he was discovered
                  Often the beginning of a story , before an “official ” story has emerged, includes a lot more information
                  When the official story coalesces you only get the stuff that reinforces the already agreed
                  When Russia opened up its chemical weapons facilities to the OPCW, there should be some documentation available

                  Then there’s the other exiled Russian who spied for Britain claiming that Skripal regularly visited the Russian Embassy

                  “Last night, another former Russian agent exiled in the UK, Valery Morozov, claimed that Mr Skripal had maintained ties with Russian intelligence and visited the Russian embassy in London “every month”.

                  Mr Morozov told Channel 4 news “If you have a military intelligence officer working in the Russian diplomatic service, living after retirement in the UK, working in cyber-security and every month going to the embassy to meet military intelligence officers – for me being political refugee, it is either a certain danger or, frankly speaking, I thought that this contact might not be very good for me because it can bring some questions from British officials.”
                  Who knows
                  I have read that he was missing Russia
                  Berezovsky was said to be wanting to repair relations with Putin and hoped to return shortly before his demise too
                  Seemed he led a pretty quiet life
                  I’ve also read that Yulia came over every 2nd month

              • Stuart Munro

                China would be a better case for a third party – a stoush between the west and Russia reduces the pressure on them. But it would be a mighty long shot.

          • Gabby 7.2.2.1.2

            Those two possibilities aren’t necessarily unconnected Karoraina.

        • Ad 7.2.2.2

          He agrees completely with the action taken by May, but wants more punishment for Russians.

          Fair enough.

          • Carolyn_Nth 7.2.2.2.1

            Corbyn wants to get at the truth. May is just racking up rhetoric to make herself look strong because – look over here not Brxit.

            Corbyn wants to wind back the cold war rhetoric and bluster, get at the truth, and respond appropriately to the real problems with Russia.

            RNZ OP from ex UK Labour MP – on what May’s measures will achieve – very little of significance.

        • francesca 7.2.2.3

          Bill about Corbyn
          Nevertheless he has to watch his back, and pull his punches
          Witness how Macron was pulled pretty smartly in to line after showing too much spunk
          And the pressure we ourselves are under from the Brits and God knows who else over the FTA with Russia
          Funnily enough, after Crimea, and the trade delegation was practically pulled off the plane, NZ quietly continued to trade with Russia, Fonterra in particular

          • Bill 7.2.2.3.1

            Yup. I read him being circumspect in his words. So agreeing with May’s premise, with caveats, while condemning her reaction.

      • Ed 7.2.3

        This happened in 2002 and 2003 when the drum for war against Iraq was beaten loudly and repetitively by the media.
        I understand the media’s motivations. They are owned by large financial interests and War is profitable.

        What I don’t understand is the number of neocons and Mcarthyites on this site.
        I’m not counting the obvious trolls, but others who are left wing domestically but have a blind spot internationally; despite Iraq, they still cling to the Blairite doctrine.

        • Stuart Munro 7.2.3.1

          You’re a fool Ed.

          The Niger yellowcake was a recycled speculation – the Skripal chemical agent was unquestionably a real chemical agent.

    • Ed 7.3

      I really hope you’re not on the jury in trials.

      • Stuart Munro 7.3.1

        Yes, I’m sure you prefer nodding dogs. Have no fear – teachers are routinely struck from juries because they are not readily swayed by legal rhetoric.

        • Ed 7.3.1.1

          Stuart it is you who is repeating the propaganda.
          We are questioning it.

          Remember WMD and Saddam Hussain – it pays not to accept what you’re told unquestioningly.

          • Stuart Munro 7.3.1.1.1

            Oh wake up you pathetic indoctrinated sheep.

            Two civilians and a policeman were hospitalized after what has proven to be a chemical attack. Fact. You can bleat about Novichok but you’re not qualified to dispute Portland Down’s evidence and neither is MoonofAlabama.

            There was good reason to suppose that Iraqi envoys (Zahawie) visited Niger in search of “yellowcake” uranium ore, but no evidence of a deal or a shipment.

            Can you spot the difference?

            One relates to an actual attack – the other is little more than an intention.

            The fact of the attack proves the existence of some kind of chemical agent.

            • In Vino 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes, but after the existence of Novichok became known to the West, are you sure that the West did not reproduce it to look for antidotes? Maybe 6 miles away from Shrewsbury?
              Sorry, but at my age with what I have read in History, I lack your confidence in the veracity of what the standard western media spew out.
              Tonkin Gulf… Weapons of Mass destruction… Hit and Run… How often have we really been told the truth?

  8. Jenny 8

    A natural disaster, being copied by an unnatural disaster.

    The proto-dinosaurids of the Permian era were not responsible for deliberately burning the coal, that destroyed their climate, causing the extinction of 90% of all life on earth.

    The coal fields were ignited by the intrusion of liquid magma from the Earth’s core.

    A more advanced warm blooded species has found a way to deliberately burn all that buried carbon and put it back into the atmosphere.

    “Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction”

    Levels of various metals in the rock samples were critical in identifying the culprit of this mass extinction event. As in end-Permian samples collected from other locations around the world, Burger didn’t find the kinds of rare metals that are associated with asteroid impacts. There simply isn’t evidence that an asteroid struck at the right time to cause the Great Dying.

    However, Burger did find high levels of mercury and lead in his samples, coinciding with the end of the Permian period. Mercury has also been identified in end-Permian samples from other sites. Lead and mercury aren’t associated with volcanic ash, but they are a byproduct of burning coal. Burger also identified a shift from heavier carbon-13 to lighter carbon-12; the latter results from burning fossil fuels.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/mar/12/burning-coal-may-have-caused-earths-worst-mass-extinction

    “Eerie similarities to today”

    Scientists are observing many of the same signs of dangerously rapid climate change today. There’s more lighter carbon-12 in the atmosphere because the increase in atmospheric carbon levels is due entirely to humans burning fossil fuels. There are an increasing number of dead zones in the oceans. Burning coal was causing acid rain, although we largely solved that problem through Clean Air Acts, and in the US, a sulfur dioxide cap and trade system implemented by a Republican administration.

    We’ve had less success in tackling carbon dioxide pollution, which continues to rise. As a result, the oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, and temperatures increasingly hot. Scientists today also worry about potentially large releases of methane from the ocean floor and Arctic.

    These are some of the similarities between the climate change that nearly wiped out life on Earth 252 million years ago and the climate change today. Both appear to have largely been caused by burning coal. A 2011 study found that over the past 500 years, species are now going extinct at least as fast as they did during the five previous mass extinction events.

    It’s enough to make you think; maybe coal isn’t so beautiful and clean after all.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/mar/12/burning-coal-may-have-caused-earths-worst-mass-extinction

      • Jenny 8.1.1

        “This full potential can only be realised, when government promotes energy development.”

        As a new fossil fuel pall is being threatened to be expanded around the globe, one small country needs to take an independent stand, to show that another way is possible.

        With these incredible resources my government we will not only achieve the energy independence, we have been looking for so long, but American energy dominance.

        And we are gonna be an exporter, an exporter.

        We will be dominant. We will export American energy all over the world, all around the globe.

        These energy exports will create countless jobs for our people, and provide true energy security to our friends, partners and allies, all across the globe.

        This full potential can only be realised, when government promotes energy development.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNENR-x_HYk

        No New Coal Mines.

        New-Coal Free New Zealand

        • Ad 8.1.1.1

          Shaw was interesting last night.

          Lots of Fonterra reps in the room. In his speech he mentioned their commitment to no more new coal fired dryers in a few years. A wry smile: “Well … it’s a start.”

          • weka 8.1.1.1.1

            Lol. It’s going to be really interesting to see what changes in the next decade if we get three terms of a govt with the Greens holding that portfolio.

  9. Carolyn_Nth 9

    How I learned to stop worrying and love my census.

    A few weeks back I decided to take the option of requesting paper forms. Went to the census website, clicked the request paper form option and completed the request. I got a reply saying that it would take up to a week to receive the forms.

    A week later, nothing.

    So I went online again to the census site, and used the page to submit a question – saying I hadn’t received my paper form.

    Both submissions required a contact address. I gave them my email addy.

    Another week past – nothing. Last evening I had a knock on my door. My first thought on opening it, especially as it looked like someone official with logos and clip board, etc, was that it was finally someone delivering my census forms. But then I focused on the Mercury logos, and said” Oh, you’re from Mercury. Not interested.” – the guy thought I must have had a bad experience with Mercury in the past.

    Then I went to my letter box and found 2 envelops from the census people. I thought it must finally be my forms. But, No. Each envelop contained a repeat of the original form with my code, telling me how to complete the census.

    So then I tried to request paper forms by my landline. I took the phone away from my ear to key in my code. When I got the phone back to my ear, I caught the end of something telling me to key something into the keypad, but not what – couldn’t get back to the automaton telling me what to do next.
    Gave up on that and went back to making another online request.

    I did recall that some people were told the online census often only works properly with google chrome.

    So since last night I have made requests on 3 different browsers for paper forms – plus sent a message saying how useless the system is.

    It’s now become something of an experiment – how much of a hole is this in the census instructions?

    Now, I know some people will say that I should just complete the online form – it’s easier. But any submission of data via the Internet is hackable. I dislike the way we are increasingly pressured to put our data online.

    And if they give you an option for complying with a legal requirement, it bloody well should work.

    • James 9.1

      “And if they give you an option for complying with a legal requirement, it bloody well should work.”

      100%.

    • DoublePlusGood 9.2

      One hopes there’ll be a significant clearout at Stats NZ after this debarcle.

    • weka 9.3

      I had similar problems, not as bad but still made me think of really dysfunctional systems. I just phoned them directly and sorted it out that way. Not great, but it did work out in the end.

      • Carolyn_Nth 9.3.1

        Did you get a person on the phone? how? Which number? because all I’ve seen/heard are automatons.

        Edit: hah. I rang the number. Ignored the option to press #1 to request a form, and pressed#2 to talk to someone in English.

        The guy said he had now ordered paper forms to be sent to me. He said the system had read my request for paper forms as a request for new forms just with the code (not the paper ones).

  10. James 10

    Why the waka jumping Bill should not move forward in any format:

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/03/15/96985/academics-slam-waka-jumping-bill

  11. savenz 11

    Plastic particles found in ‘brand after brand’ of bottled water study

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12013675

    • Stunned Mullet 11.1

      Yuk – can’t understand the consumer purchasing decision when buying bottled water in NZ.

  12. adam 12

    I’m always impressed how Brisband produces some great thinkers on the left. You know the left that actually sees there is a class struggle going on. That the nature of liberal capitalism is effectively one of conflict. Also good to see the ALP has as much bullshit thinking on economics as NZLP.

    If you need a dose of reality, then this piece is for you, if you are happy with the current crop of voodoo economics then please avoid. I’d also point out the author uses Marx and marxists analysis in their argument, so that might be a bit much, if you think it would be a bit much for you, then again, please avoid.

    https://libcom.org/blog/anti-shorten-alp-still-selling-bullshit-13032018

  13. Siobhan 13

    There needs to be a wider public conversation around ‘Is This The Sort of Country/Economy We Want’. The sort of thing that was once covered to some degree by documentaries and discussion panels on Public Television.

    For instance, we have the Government promising more RSE workers* and, more importantly, refugees to the Hawkes Bay for apple picking.

    Now ignoring the fact that Refugee settlement is not supposed to be a source of cheap labour for seasonal jobs, the fact is there is a well recognised housing crisis in the Bay.
    Not to mention the report pointing out that the Hawkes Bay was not equipped for refugees.

    I dread this development, its only a matter of time before we have shanty towns as part of our ‘Regional Economic Development Plan….infact we already have orchard workers living in shipping containers…but out of sight is out of mind apparently

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76781805/napier-and-hastings-rejected-for-refugee-settlement-over-safety-concerns

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018636100/govt-may-settle-refugees-in-hawke-s-bay-to-meet-labour-shortage

    http://www.communityhousing.org.nz/resources/article/hawkes-bay-families-struggle-moving-on-from-transitional-housing

    *which is what Labour campaigned on, hence there were more orchard owners than pickers at their electionaring road show..that Labour didn’t campaign on better wages for pickers is odd, given its such a ‘great’ industry, yet binn rates haven’t increased in 25 years, and most orchards are now just paying minimum hourly wage, tough luck when it rains..

  14. eco maori 14

    Good evening Eric young from Prime News it good to see a lot of people like you showing respect for Maori culture.
    Its a shame to see that bridge collapse America my condolences to all the people who got hurt.
    Southern response government insurance the way they behave is because shonky started that bad behaviour and a lot of government agencies behave like that insurance company.
    Its good to see Te papa up grading it facilities It a excellent museum. Ka kite ano.

    • eco maori 14.1

      Eric young from Prime News its a good sports day for ECO MAORI Kia kaha Ka kite ano

  15. eco maori 15

    Newshub on TV3 the plastic bottles were forced on to us and we were cond into using plastic milk bottles by multi national companies we should not have abandoned glass bottles they are the environmental friendly option glass bottles provided a streem of pocket money for the mokos
    Its a good thing to switch back to glass bottles.
    Good Ron Marks I see he is a honorable Kiwi leader who respect OUR environment he recycl every thing he can Ka pai Kia kaha Ka kite ano.

    • eco maori 15.1

      Good music The Sound Radio midnight Special kai pai Ka kite ano

      • eco maori 15.1.1

        Excellent sound from the Sound Radio station Kia kaha Ka kite ano

        • eco maori 15.1.1.1

          Titanium good song Polly and Grant Iv got about 1/2 kg of titanium in my legs keep up the good music Ka kite ano

  16. mosa 16

    Some one should remind that moron Mark Mitchell who was singling out Ron Mark and his transport that when you are in a glass house don’t throw stones.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10720727

  17. OncewasTim 17

    Is it just me, or are we seeing the degree of pedantry rising on TS….especially this year…from a fair few contributors.
    How about we just acknowledge how very clever and educated and sophisticated with huge dicks some people are.
    Also that some (others-not me of course) just don’t/cannot live up to the smartness, the smarminess, the value, the richness, the supreme intellect of some contributors here.
    Truly, i just live in awe sometimes and wish I could be ‘like Mike’ and others.

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