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Open Mike 16/12/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 16th, 2017 - 108 comments
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108 comments on “Open Mike 16/12/2017”

  1. Cinny 1

    Someone has been making money… a brave whistler blower has exposed joyces super ministry has been spending way way to much money on contractors. Especially job recruitment agencies for YEARS. Excellent article by Matt Nippert

    ” The data — leaked from internal MBIE financial reports by an anonymous source claiming to be concerned about “waste” — covers more than $250 million in payments to more than 2000 individual contractors, and $54m in payments to consulting firms, over the past four years.

    Analysis of the data shows spending on contractors, as a percentage of MBIE’s salary bill, has increased every year over the period — from 20.4 per cent in 2014, to 30.2 per cent in the financial year ended June 2017.

    The number of highly paid contractors — those earning more than $200,000 a year — more than quadrupled in the period, from 23 to 94.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11960761

    I believe this won’t be the only instance of such decisions, government should also look at the spending of contracting security guards for WINZ, personally I feel that is another money making rort.

    We should be employing people, not outsourcing work to our contracting mates. But hey, national made it LOOK like they were cutting backing/capping the number of government employees. Freaking bunch of loop hole cowboys.

    Dear new Government, can we please have greater protection for whistler blowers? Thank you.

    • OnceWasTim 1.1

      I’m not at all surprised @Cinny. All that (and more) while entities such as INZ, and the Labour Inspectorate have been utterly underfunded and under-resourced.
      But, as previously commented, just have a look at MoBIE’s history, structure and the backgrounds of its senior management.

      • cleangreen 1.1.1

        Hi Cinny, This is pure gold as I thin there is some proof here of Steven joyce acting outside the law here.

        ‘The data — leaked from internal MBIE financial reports by an anonymous source claiming to be concerned about “waste” — covers more than $250 million in payments to more than 2000 individual contractors, and $54m in payments to consulting firms, over the past four years.’

        Cinny I recall this event below;

        Before the last election there was a program on one of the ‘public affairs’ shows on RNZ , Q+A, or The Nation, – where Matthew Hooten was speaking about Steven joyce offering the contract to a road building company wongly & illegally without lthe usual ‘letting the contract out for tender firstly.’

        Next to Hooten being interviewed was Michelle Boag who turned viciously on Hooten and said “Matthew are you mad!!! why are you saying this!!!! you need to see a doctor!!”

        Now there maybe a connnection to this here somewhere as Steven Joyce was then actually running the ‘MBIE’ agency.

        And since Steven Joyce alone had setup this mega agency called ‘MBIE’, the real possibility of corruption is there now, that it may have been easily done arranged for deals to have been done by Joyce as he had so much power nover the agency then…. So this needs a deep investigation now.

    • ianmac 1.2

      Thanks Cinny. A couple of years ago Gordon Campbell (I think) wrote a scathing review of the running of MBIE. I can’t find it but his analysis was of huge inefficiencies and wastefulness and worse the combined Ministries finding it hard to get things done.
      Maybe that explains the big money on consultants?

    • Penny Bright (hopefully she’ll link to a few of them) has linked to many articles over the years showing that when government uses contractors rather than in-house employees their costs go up dramatically. As there is no way that the previous government would have been unaware of this then we must assume that it was done on purpose.

      So, who were the contractors and what’s their connection with the National Party?

      EDIT:

      McRobie said the variance between MBIE’s 2017 Annual Report, which said the Ministry had spent $56.1m on contractors and consultants, and the spreadsheet’s $93.8m tally for such spending, was explained by accounting treatments.

      Translation: We were able to doctor the document to make it look better.

      This needs a full Royal inquiry.

      • Cinny 1.3.1

        Am so hearing that, will go on a link hunt next time I come inside. joyces (no capital letter for that scum) superministry seems to be naught but a marketing tactic, the more I learn about it.

        Media coverage will be a real teller of inbed/embedded tory journalists, now the government has changed.

        Penny and Gordon, double thumbs up.

        • OnceWasTim 1.3.1.1

          Unfortunately @Cinny, the coalition hasn’t (yet) seen fit to pull out some of its functions and have them ‘refocus’ (to use a buzzword) – just as they have done with MPI. If ever their was a Ministry in need, MoBIE was it. (Not that there aren’t others)

          If you check back through Open Mike (even around 3,4,5 December) people have touched on them.

          RNZ have done a number of stories on the functions for which MoBIE is respobsible. It’s a very ugly story overall.
          Mr Smug (Joyce) and Mr Smug (Coleman) designed this bugger’s muddle of a Ministry that has basically been working as designed and its only real achievements have been the lowering of standards, the exploitation of people and enabling a heirarchy of ticket clippers to take advantage of it all.
          Thankfully, the likes of Iain Lees-Galloway aren’t stupid …. but we’ll have to wait and see a bit longer.

    • In a statement, MBIE’s McRobie decried the leak and claimed it disclosed “personally and commercially sensitive information about current and former contractors” and was being treated as a “serious issue”.

      No, it’s not commercially sensitive information. It’s information that your employers, the public, need access to. You trying to keep it from us is, as a matter of fact, you not doing your job properly.

      We, the public, need that information to make proper decisions about the running our country.

      • cleangreen 1.4.1

        Cinny, Draco, ianmac,

        We now have the evidence & heard and now seen the proof found from 2014 three weeks before the last election also.

        That newly found information was in a leak from the political panel on a radio show
        we just located that a large contract worth between $50 million and 100 million was illegally given by Steven Joyce for a roading contractor that was made though MBIE.

        The contractor complaned to them that they were not legally allowed to carry out that contract that way.

        After complaining the contractor was told flatly “that is the way we want you to do it”

        Steven Joyce broke the rules here again, so we need a royal enquiry into this arrogant little man now!!!

        Ironic when he has been going around blaming everyone else for their wrong doings eh???

        We are prepared to release the evidence when an enquiry is set up to investigate MBIE wrongful illegal operations.

        • Wensleydale 1.4.1.1

          Tee hee. Looks like the only one to have dug himself a fiscal hole is Dildo Joyce. It’s high time that smirking little stoat got a sound drubbing. I suspect it’s one of the reasons they were all so keen to be back on the government benches. More time to stuff skeletons back into Beehive cupboards. It’s just a crying shame that, as per usual, it’s only now that National have been chucked out we start to see the true extent of their vandalism. Bloody wreckers, the lot of them.

  2. Morrissey 2

    “Unbelievable brutality, day after day, night after night….
    No other society anywhere lives in such willed ignorance.”

    Gideon Levy at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, Dominion Road
    Sunday 3 December 2017, 3 p.m. (Part 1 of 2)

    On a gorgeous early summer afternoon, the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall was packed for this rare chance to see someone who is without any doubt a hero and an inspiration to human rights activists around the world. However, there were some notable absentees: where were the “liberal” bloggers such as Russell Brown and his court? Where was Māori Television? Where was TVNZ? Where was “THREE”? Where was the Herald?

    Ngati Whatua o Orakei welcomed Gideon In an eloquent and moving couple of minutes, the speaker established a connection between New Zealand’s treatment of Māori and Israel’s dispossession of Palestinians. He recalled how in 1951 the National Government and the Auckland City Council collaborated to evict Māori families from their homes in Okahu Bay. “It traumatised our people, though they rarely spoke of it. More recently, John Key’s government allowed people to claim our land. We are in the courts all across the land. My advice to the Palestinian people is not to fall for that. Our dispossession was of a different severity to the dispossession of the Palestinians, but they both had the same result.”

    Next came some introductory remarks by Nicholas Rowe, who lived in Ramallah from 2000 to 2008, teaching in refugee camps. Professor Rowe is especially interested in the phenomenon of addiction, and why people do such injurious things to themselves. Nationalism, he said, is crystal meth, cooked up in think tanks and exacerbated by peer pressure. Like all addictions, nationalism does not discriminate on the basis of economics. The Israel-Palestine conflict is not a religious one, it’s political. Manufactured ideals are terribly addictive. Prof. Rowe said that Gideon Levy is like a crack baby. He has had to struggle to break away from the grip of nationalism. It’s a very hard struggle. Israel’s brutal politics of exclusion is an issue that needs to be addressed.

    The great journalist then began his speech. (I’ve organised this point by point. It’s pretty much verbatim.)

    GIDEON LEVY:

    1.) First of all, I have to say that, in spite of the grimness and darkness of the situation, there is still hope. I learned a great deal from my host Parata yesterday. I was greatly impressed to learn of the immense scale and length of the protests in New Zealand against another apartheid state in 1981. We are not pro-Palestinian, we are pro-justice. We are struggling for justice, equality and for respect for international law. (APPLAUSE)

    2.) I was stunned to see Māori art at Auckland International Airport. Just imagine Palestinian art at Ben Gurion Airport! It would be erased within hours.

    3.) Solidarity is essential. I was born in Tel Aviv. I was a “good Tel Aviv boy.” I was taught to believe the Palestinians are always wrong, that WE are weak, that on the other side are golem who want to push us into the sea. We were a people without land, who came to a land without people. There were ruins around the roads in Israel. I never asked what those ruins were. I never heard the word nakba until I was twenty years old. We were told that the Palestinian leaders had incited their people to run away.

    4.) In the late 1980s, I went to the Palestinian Territories. I was working for the IDF and Shimon Peres; I don’t know which was worse. (LAUGHTER)

    5.) In the Occupied Territories I saw unbelievable brutality, day after day, night after night. I decided that I would make it my life’s work to cover the Occupation. For this I have been labeled a “self-hating Jew.”

    6.) I’m not “covering the Palestinians”—I’m a journalist. I am covering the story, and holding up a mirror to my fellow Israelis, and saying: “You, and each of us, is accountable.”

    7.) In Israel there is a broad coalition of opinion, which says “We don’t want to know.” No other society anywhere lives in such willed ignorance, abetted and amplified by the Israeli media and the Jewish establishment in New Zealand and Australia. Israel is becoming increasingly militaristic, nationalistic, and religious.

    8.) In Canberra last week I met some Australian members of parliament. It gave me hope, because until I heard them speak I had always thought that Israel’s right wing politicians were the worst. —-(LAUGHTER)— I’ve never heard any Israeli politician speak about the Palestinian people the way that those Australian politicians did. But they are Australia’s problem, not mine. (LAUGHTER) I spoke with the Australian foreign minister; she talked and she was very nice but we could not agree on anything. (LAUGHTER)

    9.) Israel has three regimes. First, there is the “liberal democracy” which is the privilege of its Jewish citizens, but there are many threats to this. The second regime is aimed at the Palestinians—the “Israeli Arabs” who comprise 20 per cent of the population, and who have formal civil rights; they are deeply discriminated against in every way. The third regime is very different from any “liberal” posturing—this is Israel’s dark heart, the regime in the Occupied Territories. This is one of the most brutal tyrannies on Earth today, no less than that.

    10.) Israel cannot be defined as anything other than an apartheid regime. It is apartheid. No one with an open heart could not be shocked and moved by the situation in the Occupied Territories. Israel claimed for years that the Occupation was “temporary. We cannot find a partner.” The Occupation is part of Israel, therefore we cannot define Israel as a democracy. Either ALL the inhabitants of Israel enjoy civil rights, or they do not. Either you are a democracy, or there are other names to call you.

    11.) I enjoy full freedoms. But this is just a front. You in this audience know more than the average Israeli does, because you are interested. How can Israeli society live with this terrible reality in our backyard? This brutality, this criminal reality.

    12.) Whenever there is a catastrophe overseas, Israel sends a rescue team. But we are blind to the catastrophe in our backyard. The roots of this problem lie in the message with which we are inculcated from birth and right through the school system: (a) “Israelis are the Chosen People—therefore we do not have to obey the law”; (b) “Israelis are the greatest victims in history. Not only are we the greatest victims in history, we are the ONLY victims in history, therefore we can do what we want”; (c) “The Palestinians are not human beings like us; the Palestinians are cruel, brutal terrorists, who want to push us us into the ocean. They are NOT human beings.” This message is very effective because if it is accepted, then there is no question of the Palestinians deserving human rights.Though more severe, this is similar to what has been done to the Māori; this is what the colonizer does, dehumanize people.

    13.) The informal religion of Israelis is the worship of security. This lets us do whatever we like. No one speaks of the security of the Palestinians, who paid a much bigger price. Israel is the regional superpower, with all the weapons in the world , and still we pretend to be David facing existential threat.

    14.) Don’t expect any change from within Israeli society. Life is too good in Israel, and Israeli people are brainwashed. Never before has there been an occupatioin where the occupying force is the victim. There have been longer and more brutal occupations, but this is the only one where the occupier pretends to be the victim.

    15.) Israel never stops making excuses for its refusal to negotiate with the Palestinians. “Arafat is too strong, Abu Mazen is too weak. Hamas wants to exterminate us.” But the world is watching. The world agrees, from Africa to Australia to the United States, everyone wants a two-state solution, no one recognizes the Occupation. Israel’s second best friend is Micronesia. The world pays lip service to the two-state solution year after year, and Israel takes advantage. There are endless “peace plans”, all of them the same: Israel must recognize the 1967 borders. In the meantime, Israel has exploded its influence in the Occupied Territories. There are now SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND illegal settlers in the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem. Will they ever evacuate 700,000 settlers?

    16.) But don’t blame the settlers. We are ALL settlers. We have missed the train of one state shared justly. The Occupation is stronger and more brutal than ever. We have to change the discourse and talk of one thing: equal rights for everyone between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.

    17.) New Zealand is a democracy; that’s enough for my country. (APPLAUSE) There are six million Palestinians, therefore Israel cannot be a purely Jewish state. Israel has to accept it is an apartheid state. The international community fought against South Africa; don’t we have to do the same against this apartheid state? Or do we choose to support, blindly and intentionally, the apartheid state? There is no other way to describe Israel: it is an apartheid state.

    18.) The so-called “friends of Israel”, who support Israel automatically and blindly: this has nothing to do with friendship. They are enemies of Israel—they corrupt us. The Jewish establishment in Australia kept saying to me: “Israel right or wrong.” Well, Israel is wrong and they need to stop supporting it. Continuous support by Western governments and by the Jewish establishment is anything BUT friendship.

    19.) Gaza is the biggest cage on Earth. It is the biggest experiment on human beings that has ever been taken: let’s lock two million people in a cage and see what happens to them. One in three of Gaza’s children has been a victim of sexual harassment. Families, and society, are falling apart in Gaza. No one is able to support the children. Addiction to painkillers is rampant. Gaza was famous for its solidarity, its willpower, and its devotion. Gazans were famous for being always happy, and never complaining. Now it is falling apart, even Gaza’s famous solidarity. The United Nations has declared that Gaza will be unlivable by the year 2020. That is two years from now. In fact, it is already unlivable. Anyone who goes there is horrified. There is sewage in the streets, and the electricity is cut constantly. Launching rockets is the only way to get world attention.

    20.) The occupation of the West Bank has always been brutal. Hundreds of Palestinians are kidnapped by the I.D.F. every week. I ask you to imagine teams of soldiers descending on your home in the night, then taking one family member away for weeks, even months, even years, into “administrative detention. None of us, except the Palestinians here, can imagine living under occupation. Humiliation in front of your family, the routine, daily humiliation and degradation more than the bloodshed, which is horrifying at certain times. Their only hope is civil society—NGOs like yours (Kia Ora Gaza, the NZ Palestine Solidarity Network, ), the Boycott, Divestment and
    Sanctions movement, etc. For me, meeting people like you gives me hope.

    21.) New Zealand has a good reputation. On the Q+A program this morning, I was asked about the United Nations Resolution 2334 led by New Zealand last year. Each New Zealander should be so proud of that. (PROLONGED APPLAUSE) The resolution states: “The settlements are a violation of international law.” Who can deny it? Israel denies it of course. Of course, anyone can deny anything. You could say today is not Sunday, but at the end of the day some things are beyond dispute. The settlements are a brutal violation of international law. Some will try to make your government’s brave leadership in this matter an international scandal. The United States did not veto the Resolution because Obama felt guilty after eight years of doing nothing. So don’t let your politicians do the wrong thing; you know more than they do.

    22.) Many things in history happen unexpectedly. Think of the last thirty years: apartheid South Africa—gone. The Soviet Union—gone. The Berlin Wall—gone. This gives us hope, even though I can’t expect the situation to change right now. In our part of the world, one should be realistic enough to believe in miracles. (LAUGHTER) And we need miracles. (PROLONGED, SUSTAINED APPLAUSE.)

  3. OnceWasTim 3

    Interesting interview on RNZ with Kim Hill at the mo : 8.20 Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple) – The Proper Procedure.
    Link not yet up.
    It might be a bit tedious to get through, but it’ll be interesting to hear/see feedback

  4. dv 4

    Tim Watkins writes an analysis of the Moko verdict at Pundit

    The core issue is spending. Money. Our tax dollars. We are trying to provide for the care of our most vulnerable children on the cheap, and kids like Moko are picking up the cheque.

    It struck me
    How far would have the 26 million for Keys bloody flag referendum have gone to help that under funding

    $26,000,000 would have paid for about 400 social workers.

    In 2014 Chief Social Worker Paul Nixon reported CYF were over 350 social workers short.

    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/moko-the-first-thing-we-need-to-do-to-save-lives-is-0

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.1

      “$26,000,000 would have paid for about 400 social workers.”

      But those social workers would have to do their job, properly.

      Their overarching responsibility must be the protection of children.

      Let’s look, again, at the organisations who came in contact with Moko’s mother and the friend she entrusted with the care of her other two children while caring for another child who was hospitalised.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11918075
      and https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/99831946/Missed-opportunities-that-could-have-saved-Moko-Rangitoheriri

      “Child Youth and Family, the Auckland DHB, the Maori Women’s Welfare Refuge, the Waipahihi Kindergarten, Family Works, as well as the Rural Education Activities Programme. ”

      All of these funded organisations knew this family was under stress and should have extrapolated from that the the two children who ended up in Shailer’s care were potentially at risk.

      Not a single one of these funded organisations put the welfare of those two children first.

      If they had, Moko would still be alive and his older sister would not have to live with the accusation from Shailer that she delivered the fatal kick to her brother ringing forever in her ears.

      I wholeheartedly agree that the National party approach of targetted ‘investment’ and the Ministry for Vulnerable Children moniker has the potential to stigmatise certain groups and result in unfair and possibly dangerous profiling.

      That is why I support Coroner Bain’s call for monitoring of ALL children up to the age of five.

      As I said yesterday, this can be done in such a fashion that the accusation of ‘fascism’ is avoided.

      I distinctly recall my colleagues at work back in the eighties referring to the poor Plunket Nurse who was charged with ensuring that as a new and inexperienced mother I didn’t damage my baby, as my Probation Officer. Because certainly there were parallels between her monitoring of me (as I returned to work within days of the mites’s birth) and the monitoring of some of our residents in the halfway house I was working in.
      I look back with a little shame as subsequent Plunket Nurses were subject to a certain amount of disrespect from me as I now (having bred a couple of times more) had more hands on experience of child rearing than these usually childless women.
      However…I was also aware, through my work, that failure to ensure that children received optimal loving care from day one had the potential to, at least, have those grown children now dealing with drug and alcohol and mental health issues and seriously entanglements with the Justice system.
      So I sucked it up and submitted to what I saw as unfair scrutiny in the hope that the ‘system’ would pick up those who really needed extra attention.

      That was thirty years ago, and despite billions being spent nothing has changed.

      And this causes me considerable personal grief as a ‘survivor’ of childhood abuse and neglect that at risk children today are no safer.

      • dv 4.1.1

        Your point about having to the job properly is certainly valid.
        One of the key issues is that the workers have to time to do their job.
        The shortage will not have helped that.

      • funstigator 4.1.2

        Why the hell would the 99% of parents who have no problem keeping themselves sober, drug free, out of prison and not killing children be subject to some more state monitoring of their children? The Investment model can almost predict which children are at risk, as can many of us with eyes and the ability to read coroners reports. You are worried about stigmatising these low life’s rather than protecting children? FFS

        • dv 4.1.2.1

          Don’t think its 99% Fun.

          subject to some more state monitoring of their children?
          The Investment model can almost predict which children are at risk,

          Isn’t the investment model state monitoring?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2.2

          The Investment model can almost predict which children are at risk

          So it can’t predict which children are at risk then.

          Meanwhile, we can predict that more children will be at risk the longer this level of inequality continues. We can also predict that the National Party’s policies lead to more children being at risk, and our prediction will be accurate because that’s exactly what has happened.

          So we already know exactly who the low-lives are, and their crocodile tears for the victims of their sadistic greedy policies are already seen for what they are.

          What about the parents who don’t support greedy sadism?

        • greywarshark 4.1.2.3

          You are putting yourself on the side of the gods funstigator. If you want to comment here and have a rant that is therapeutic, but it is important that you don’t flash round pseudo stats like 99% and talk about the investment model without trying to understand its nature and cost.

      • One Two 4.1.3

        As I said yesterday, this can be done in such a fashion that the accusation of ‘fascism’ is avoided.

        It doesn’t matter if ‘it’ managed to avoid such a label..

        ‘It’, should not be done!

        • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.3.1

          Okay, One Two, do better.

          Expand on your comment, and perhaps suggest an alternative?

          You know…a discussion….;-)

          • One Two 4.1.3.1.1

            Hi Rosemary, thanks for the offer

            There isn’t a solution which will prevent tragedies from occurring…

            It’s not possible, under any circumstances..

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.3.1.1.1

              Strawman. No-one has suggested that it is possible to prevent tragedies from occurring.

              What is being argued is that it is possible to reduce or increase the frequency with which they occur.

              Not the National Party way though.

              • One Two

                Hello OAB , how are you today?

                Strawman. No, that’s the wrong response and you’re terribly off track with that comment

                At Rosemarys request, I elaborated on my first comment, and gave a reason as to why I am not in favour of forced check ups…

                See if you can link it all together…I’ll start you off…

                I’m not in favour of forced checkups because [complete the sentence ]…

                You can do it, off you go

                • McFlock

                  … because you’re a pretentious idiot who’s contaminating the thread with your stupidity?

                  I’ll make it easier for you:
                  Q1: will the big brother approach reduce instances of children being beaten to death?
                  Q2: if not, why not?
                  Q3: if it will reduce the numbers of children being beaten to death, is there a better non-BB option?
                  Q4: if there is not a better option, and the BB option will reduce the number of children being beaten to death, why shouldn’t we make that decision to implement that plan?

                  Frankly, I think any impact in Q1 would be more the product of extra people on the ground than the monitoring benefits, so “more social workers with more resources and lower caseloads” would probably be the better option requested in Q3.

                  Do you have any coherent thoughts on the matter, preferably expressed using precise grammar and lots of nouns?

                  • One Two

                    Your questions are pointless and of no consequence to my position

                    I’ll make it simple for you

                    I’m not in favor of forced checkups…under any conditions!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So why do you construct bullshit strawmen that proponents of forced checkups can use to discredit your position?

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, ok. Not under any conditions. Neighbours reports screams, kids with limps and facial bruising, but don’t actually see violence occurring. You’d not give social workers the authority to check while the kid is still alive.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I’m not in favour of forced checkups because of a strawman argument that doesn’t address the issue, and I don’t like it being pointed out.

                  • One Two

                    At least you’ve managed to tone down the abuse in recent comments towards mine..

                    You’re still wrong about the strawman though…but you’re not one to admit it, so you go into parrot mode hoping to convince yourself…

                    I’ll try to make it easy for you to understand why you’re wrong…again…

                    I’m not in favor of forced checkups…under any conditions!

                    I’ve made my opinion very clear multiple times and this will be the last time I use energy responding to you..

                    Now let go of the urge to try and override the obvious opinion of my comment,and find someone else to stalk..

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The reason you gave for your opinion – “There isn’t a solution which will prevent tragedies from occurring” – is bullshit, because the premise is that there are solutions that will reduce tragedies. It’s a strawman argument.

                      Should anyone else be stupid enough to employ your “argument” against the ‘Big Brother’ proposal, ‘Big Brother’ advocates win.

                      Slow clap.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    I see the 659 million spending blow out on our two frigates is causing a rucus.

    I guess we need to understand what the frigates are for. They primary role is to be able in any hot war is to slot into the escort screen of a Naval force made up mainly of the USN (as well as RCN, RAN and possibly RN) ships. Other roles like fisheries protection, anti-piracy patrols, enforcement of UN mandated sanctions, SAR, etc etc are secondary to their primary combat mission. Since the end of the cold war, when the RNZN had the fairly simple mission of providing dedicated ASW escorts to the US Pacific fleet to combat the usually second line Soviet submarines of the Soviet Pacific fleet that ventured beyond the Okhotsk bastion, and the emergence of a multi-polar world the threats have grown more complex and potentially more dangerous, and hence our ships have adopted CIWS, SSM and SAM systems. In addition, we have to factor in the possibility our warships would be required to engage well-armed Chinese warships.

    It is worth considering that many theorists (myself included) consider that advances in robot weapons and the supreme superiority of submarines over surface ships since the 1940s means even the most modern warships are only capable of feeble defense in the face of an airborne onslaught of missiles and completely defenseless in the face of modern nuclear powered attack submarines.

    Now, if you are an anti-American, anti-ANZAC supporter of peace at any price you will hate that mission description and you’ll think the frigates are a waste of money.

    If you are a unilaterally disarming peacenik with an isolationist bent, you’d scrap the Navy and replace it with a Coast Guard with a primary mission of fisheries protection, SAR, and customs patrols.

    If you are an isolationist who demands an armed neutrality, you would be crying out fora force of submarines that could attack and sink any amphibious attack force threatening our home islands and fast attack corvettes able to sally forth from isolated and hidden coastal bays and river mouths and subject attackers to a hail of SSMs before retiring to reload.

    Anyway, my 5c worth to the discussion.

    • AB 5.1

      What will we need to repel the Australians if they can’t grow enough food on that ugly, overheating great slab of rock and come looking for ‘lebensraum’?

      • Sanctuary 5.1.1

        Australian boat people will never be allowed here! We will send them to a holding camp on the Auckland islands. So we just need a few converted fishing boats to intercept their people smuggler boats.

    • I’m an integrationist with a strong bent of self-sufficiency. Integrate with the global system but if/when it all goes to custard we can stand on our own two feet.

      Produce enough food to feed ourselves.
      Produce all the goods and services that we need to function as a modern society.
      Produce all the weapons systems that we need to defend ourselves adequately.

      Defence would be based around land based ballistic anti-ship missiles with a range of 2000km or more and land based anti-aircraft/missile missiles with a range of 400km or more.
      Force projection (part of that global integration) would be based around capital ship battle-group or two.
      To help with information and detection of hostile forces a polar-orbit satellite system that covers the entire globe every ten minutes.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Isn’t patrolling he Antarctic to protect our fisheries supposed to be one of their roles. The fishing companies themselves are law breakers and should be watched, then there are the furriners. But we need to make an effort to look after our fisheries.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          Isn’t patrolling he Antarctic to protect our fisheries supposed to be one of their roles.

          Yep, it is and you wouldn’t want to send merely a patrol boat to do it. Doesn’t have the necessary range or capabilities.

          That said, when one of our frigates caught a boat illegally fishing in the Southern Ocean they didn’t do anything about it. Seems that they don’t have the necessary capabilities either.

    • Cinny 5.3

      anti war, but frigates are freaking important re climate change, natural disasters etc etc.

      Why the blow out? Seems to be a common theme with the prior government.

      What’s costing so much $$$

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.4

      What about lots and lots of drones?

      Inside here is 3g of shaped explosive…trust me, these were all bad guys [audience laughter]…

  6. alwyn 6

    There, there diddums.
    If you didn’t write rubbish that is totally divorced from facts I wouldn’t feel the need to correct you.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • alwyn 6.1

      This was originally written as a response to the following comment.

      James Shaw: a stocktake on climate change action in Aotearoa – livestream announcement 11am


      I thought it was entirely relevant to the comment I was replying to, which amounted to personal abuse of me.
      I agree that it was, just like the one I have linked to here, quite irrelevant to the discussion about Shaw’s stocktake.
      I shall endeavour to resist replying to irrelevant comments by other people in future.

      • That comment you linked to seems reasonable.

        Your one was complete bollocks.

      • weka 6.1.3

        The bold in the moderation is a generic one that gets attached to a comment when it is moved to OM.

        I moved your comment because it looked designed to inflame. The comment you replied to looked like an observation, that while not great for you, wasn’t framed in a way designed to create a fight. It also made a political point.

      • cleangreen 6.1.4

        Glad to hear that alwyn is waking up.

        Write about your best friend Steven Joyce who seems to be in big trouble down at his “own made mega agency, MBIE” as they are now finding all manner of wrong doings and his hands are involved we hear now.

        • alwyn 6.1.4.1

          You really are very dumb, aren’t you?
          Do you ever bother to read answers to questions you pose?
          I do you the courtesy of replying to your comments and you either never bother to read them or immediately forget what I said.
          You asked questions about my supposed relationship to Joyce.
          I replied here

          Media response to Labour’s budget

          Did you even look at it?
          Do you always ignore answers to your questions?
          Did you not understand big words like ZERO?
          I fail to see how Joyce could possibly be my “best friend”.
          Yours, however, is clearly your colon. It clearly connects directly to your mouth and is what you use to produce the words you use.
          They have a word for people like you that is widely used in North America.
          You are a schmuck.
          Now have a good cry about it.

          • weka 6.1.4.1.1

            Your intention to make other people feel shitty is noted alwyn.

            • cleangreen 6.1.4.1.1.1

              He is an extremely un-hinged soul isn’t he.
              Very sad chappy, must be having a bad life since his national party is hitting the skids now as MBIE is under investigation.

              Does someone work there?

            • alwyn 6.1.4.1.1.2

              I imagine you will consider the contribution from the schmuck “cleangreen” that comes immediately before this?
              Or not, as the case may be.
              Do you think that reading what other people say, and taking account of it is the mark of a civilised, intelligent human being and simply continuing an irrational diatribe is the mark of a schmuck?
              Or perhaps he is merely an extremely in-hinged soul and we should simply feel sorry for “cleangreen”

  7. red-blooded 7

    Check out what Wayne Mapp is saying on The Spinoff. Basically:
    1) The new government is settling in and doing well – lots of credit to Jacinda Ardern.
    2) Some targets are really ambitious (mud thrown at David Clark and Phill Twyford).
    3) NZF are described as “National’s nemesis” and Mapp doesn’t think they’ll go with the Nats in 2020.
    4) Nats need a small party friend and hey! – they’ve already got one. Just need to build up ACT!

    …Cos no-one’s sick of ACT, are they, Wayne? And no-one can see through the cynicism of that pretence that they’re a real, independent party. We’re all too thick for that, presumably.

    • red-blooded 7.1

      And the title? “National’s best chance now – the eradication of NZF”. Those grapes are really tasting sour, aren’t they?

    • Anne 7.2

      Its painful, but every now and then I agree with Wayne – at least based on your summary red blooded. Don’t have time to read the piece, but Wayne had to throw a few sticks and who better than two of the more energetic and enlightened ministers – one at each end of the country. 🙂

      ACT is pretty much their best bet. Install the right people (in their books) and build up their finances again. That is what happened in the beginning and it can be done again.

    • Ed 8.1

      That and this.
      The real news.
      That doesn’t get reported.

      https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/12/12/16767152/arctic-sea-ice-extent-chart

      ‘Today, while we’ve discussed other matters, huge masses of ice that had been frozen for millennia thawed, wept out in trickles, converged into streams, ran into rivers of meltwater, then flowed into rising seas.

      That’s the real news of the day.’

      • marty mars 8.1.1

        Yes ed, agreed.

        For 37 years I’ve had a vegetarian Christmas. How you going getting ready as a vegan?

        • Ed 8.1.1.1

          Going to make lots of delicious salads on Christmas Eve for a Christmas feast.
          What are you doing?

          • marty mars 8.1.1.1.1

            Everyone else eats meat so salad spuds maybe a nice homemade vege pie.

            • weka 8.1.1.1.1.1

              My family’s pretty good with salads, so in my veg days we had bean salad, green salad, tabouleh. I usually made something else that only a few people would eat 😛

              I still eat lots of vegetarian. What do you put in your pie marty?

              • Tin of tomatoes and one of chickpeas ☺ plus whatever is around. Like brassicas, greens, onion, garlic anything really. My short time in the hari krsna’s taught me to make a medium pastry and flavourings cumin, coriandar etc is pretty standard.
                Although as I write all that I’m thinking garlic buttered filo pastry with asparagus and mushroom sauce. Yum haven’t made that for a while prob too much butter and bloody expensive.

                • weka

                  That second one sounds amazing.

                  Lol the tomatoes and chickpeas. I had a rant in me few days ago about how many low income people I know who are vegetarian and who would appreciate tinned chickpeas if in dire straights and we need to stop pathologising food (also, some cultures eat chickpeas daily as a staple). I never got around to tweeting it, probably just as well.

                  • Matthew Whitehead

                    Was someone talking down chickpeas? They’re bloody good!

                    • weka

                      Yes! Did you see the whole thing on twitter about the aunties and tinned tomatoes? In there there was some dissing of chickpeas as useless, hipster food amongst the righteous political critique of telling women in refuges what to eat. I thought we could be righteous about that without dissing foods.

                    • Matthew Whitehead

                      Well, I mean, I can understand them being useless for donating to people in extremes. (I didn’t get originally the rationale for not wanting tinned tomatoes, but it made perfect sense once I saw it) I can absolutely see the same logic applying to chickpeas.

                      Chickpeas may be used in several hipstery meals, but they are cheap, fast to cook, and taste good. That said, I wouldn’t get down on anyone for not eating them, I just think they’re a good option if you cook for yourself.

                    • BM

                      Tinned tomatoes are awesome, the issue is I don’t most of these women have ever eaten chickpeas or canned tomatoes.

                      Would you serve Jake the Muss a chickpea salad? I don’t think so.

                      Eggs, Spuds, mince, corned beef, fatty boil ups, white bread with heaps of cheap margarine, pre-cooked sausages, that’s pretty much it

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Fix me some mixed kebab! 😈

                    • weka

                      BM, the point of that whole thing is that people wanting to help need to listen to the people needing help about what they need and not impose their own ideas on them. e.g. not assuming something about ‘most of these women’, or that because of some perceived cultural/class issue they won’t want x food. Just ask. And listen.

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      I’ve never been that keen on tomatoes. i think once when I was young I got hives after eating some. I also am just not keen on the taste of canned tomatoes in meals, or of tomato soup.

                      But I’d use chickpeas and lentils. We all have different tastes.

                      Basically, it’s necessary to check with refuges and foodbanks when donating food for the ones that people will use/eat. You may have no idea about why some foods are preferred over others.

                    • McFlock

                      A shelf of three different brands of tinned tomatos and nothing else in the pantry would be pretty bloody depressing when you need to eat, let alone feed the kids.

      • JC 8.1.2

        A Heart Wrenching, (and emotive illustration), of the real news..

        “We stood there crying—filming with tears rolling down our cheeks,”

        https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/12/polar-bear-starving-arctic-sea-ice-melt-climate-change-spd/

        • Firepig 8.1.2.1

          Not really “real news”.

          Perhaps you could have a look at the website of Susan J. Crockford, a published researcher on polar bears, who has discussed this video extensively. https://polarbearscience.com/2017/12/09/one-starving-bear-is-not-evidence-of-climate-change-despite-gruesome-photos/

          • JC 8.1.2.1.1

            Just like John Key eh?

            “(S)He’s one academic, and like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview. ”

            * “Loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is the primary threat to polar bears throughout their range… Our findings support the potential for large declines in polar bear numbers.”

            http://www.carbonbrief.org/polar-bears-and-climate-change-what-does-the-science-say

            • cleangreen 8.1.2.1.1.1

              JC.

              Our Environment Centre has long found that Corporates have their lawyers using false prepared reports to counter the real truth of any environmental and health issues.

              It is therefore not surprising to see these ‘mules’ repeating the phrase, “there is no evidence” because they planted ghost studies to counter the ‘real truth’.

              Many National bloggers we see here use this same policy.

              That is why we never respond to their use of their “ghost reports” and diversions as they just keep repeating their lies, and using phony studies just as we saw happen when the Tobacco excecutives of those companies in the dock lying about smoking not being addictive.

              Sometimes we have to ignore their comments as they are worthless.

  8. joe90 9

    Thanks for voting for me, suckers. Now if you don’t mind, could you quietly FO and die.
    /

    Charleston, W.Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s mining regulators are reconsidering rules meant to protect underground miners from breathing coal and rock dust — the cause of black lung — and diesel exhaust, which can cause cancer. An advocate for coal miners said Friday that this sends a “very bad signal.”

    The Mine Safety and Health Administration has asked for public comments on whether standards “could be improved or made more effective or less burdensome by accommodating advances in technology, innovative techniques, or less costly methods.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-15/trump-reconsiders-rules-protecting-miners-from-black-lung

  9. Morrissey 10

    Keep this disgusting creep out of our country.

    Surely Matt Lauer (Groper No. 15 in our ongoing Daisycutter Sports series) fails to meet any character requirements to buy land here….

  10. joe90 11

    Building the theocracy, one word at a time.

    The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.

    Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

    […]

    Other CDC officials confirmed the existence of a list of forbidden words.It’s likely that other parts of HHS are operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these words, the analyst said.

    At the CDC, several offices have responsibility for work that uses some of these words. The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention is working on ways to prevent HIV among transgender people and reduce health disparities. The CDC’s work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus includes research on the developing fetus.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-gets-list-of-forbidden-words-fetus-transgender-diversity/2017/12/15/f503837a-e1cf-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.5393852e612a

    • Incognito 11.1

      Shocking, but that’s not theocracy, it is lunacy.

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        theocracy is lunacy

        • adam 11.1.1.1

          Theocracy is the worst way to govern, becasue it brings out all and any lunacy within a religion.

          And rewards the biggest lunatic of them all, by calling them leader…

        • Incognito 11.1.1.2

          Theocracy is not necessarily lunacy in a literal sense but what’s going on in the USA definitely is lunacy as in mass psychosis.

          • Sabine 11.1.1.2.1

            look at any theocracy anywhere at any given time past or present and show me where it has not been lunacy on the part of those that make the rules and deadly for those that were on the loosing end of these rules.

            Talibans, ISIS, Roman Catholic Inquisition etc etc etc

            • Incognito 11.1.1.2.1.1

              In present time, the Vatican.

              Anyway, it is merely semantics; what’s going on in the USA is not theocracy but mass psychosis AKA lunacy with the leader that goes with that. A pattern that we have seen many times before.

              • Sabine

                let’s agree to disagree.

              • joe90

                it is lunacy.

                By banning certain words in areas relating to reproduction, gender, replacing other terms with community standards and wishes and indulging their end-times Jerusalem is Israel’s capital fantasy, tRump’s theological dog-whistling to his evangelical base reminds them that he is carrying out their version of Dog’s will, culminating in what they really want, dominion.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_Theology

                • Incognito

                  Indeed, they want dominion and power, but not for (their) God (I assume that’s what you meant to write), but for themselves. Trump does not bow to anybody …

                  • joe90

                    They want to live in a theocratic society where power is held by a religious class — their preachers.

                    • Incognito

                      Been there, done that, and they cannot go back in time; the world has changed in so many ways that this can only be labelled as an illusion. An illusion that has a lot of power because of where it springs from and how it is being fed.

                  • Sabine

                    it would not the first time that people hide behind ‘god’ in order to fill their coffers.
                    in fact is that not why religion was invented in the first place?
                    Or how else would you get people to ‘tithe’ you a few percent of their earnings. lol.

                    • Incognito

                      I currently subscribe to Jung’s theories regarding religion: it is outward projection onto God(s) as a symbol/archetype. Organised religion is built on this and the rest is history 😉

    • Sabine 11.2

      fetus
      gestating human parasite ?

      lol

      wanting to impose ‘person’ ‘baby’ ‘human’ but mainly ‘person’ for their special ‘personhood’ amendment where the gestating human parasite living in the female body will end up having more rights to live, liberty and pursuit of happiness then the actual female gestating the human parasite that once born will be a baby, then toddler, then preschooler etc etc and person.

      i also like how Paul Ryan has done his bid in breeding three white children – his wife – who no one ever mentiones – seen but not heard of ever – was obviously not involved in the breeding of his three white children – and now expects the white women of the US of A to do some more breeding – economics be damned – only white male working class persons have economic anxiety that is important to aspiring lawmakers.

      http://www.newsweek.com/paul-ryan-wants-you-have-more-kids-749328

      also diversity, evidence based, science based is for suckers
      transgender is a mental illness and can be electrocuted away
      vulnerable is for rich kids that don’t want to pay taxes on inheritances over several millions worth of dollars
      and entitlements is something form me but not for thee

      get on with it.

    • One Two 11.3

      Corporations have been using the same approach, for ages

      Governments and corporations have merged into indistinguishable business partners

      This is not new behaviour

  11. eco maori 12

    Many thanks to Peter Jackson for being honest and giving his true opinion of H
    harvey weinstein as a minupulating bigot bully and all people like this rich and poor need to be held accountable for there actions Ka pai.

    My discription of neo liberal is they like to deceive everyone an make US believe that they have our best interests at heart. There actions prove
    That they only care about the 1%. They keep lying to the World and us even when they are caught red hand cheating stealing they like to play games and they are playing the long game on the rest of us around the world this is why the 1% have got the power over the other 99% and they don’t care about the damage they do to get power You no that old saying the best trick the DEVIL has acompleshed is having people believing he does not exist. Well the way these neo liberal bigots behave sure look very similar to the Devil to me. I think there is a God but when I was younger I was not happy that God would takeaway the one person who made me feel safe and loved but now I see I am part of the fait of our world and I have been given the Mana to advocate for equality for all the people of OUR world and advercate for a humane future for mother earth and all the creatures on her. This is why I back the Rock to go for the President of the USA. Kai kaha

  12. joe90 13

    Next up, political commissars.

    EPA adminstrator hiring a GOP oppo research group to hunt down ideological subversives in his own agency is NUTS https://t.co/AjOixGPoR3 #inners— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 16, 2017

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/15/us/politics/epa-scott-pruitt-foia.html

  13. eco maori 14

    I can see that the cops are carrying on there farcical smear campaign against ECO. Once again I say if anything they have said had a gram of factual evidence to back there lying smear campaign against me don’t you think they would arrest me. I no I have shown up the hole police force in NZ up to the very top men. And everything I have said can be proven to be fact they no this. What is a state organisation that does not have a functioning complaint process what does that tell the intelligence people of the world the independent police conduct authority is run by the police so how is that independent they just use that name to bullshit everyone into believing that it’s independent people they are playing with your emotions.
    They are playing with me like I’m not human. They don’t care about the effects there game has on my family or anyone I associate with work mostly they are jeopardiseing the future of my mokos and what do you all think that because they are my mokos that is just collateral damage. We all no that the effects of people perception of one’s familys behaviour in OUR society can have a positive or negative effect on there futures progress this is fact so to all my Maori culture people please behave yourself and set a good example for all OUR mokos Ana to Ka Kai Kaha

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