Open mike 16/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:35 am, March 16th, 2015 - 81 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

81 comments on “Open mike 16/03/2015”

  1. gsays 1

    Hi there all, could any of y’all point me in the direction of resources on how to run a workers run business?

    • felix 1.1

      No, but you can google Riccardo Semler for an interesting example of how to turn a large existing business into a worker-run business.

    • Molly 1.2

      Hi gsays, there are a few articles and videos on workers cooperatives on Films for Action.

      I watched one recently that referenced a website that has a lot of resources for those just starting out. Can’t remember which one though, sorry.

      • gsays 1.2.1

        hi there molly and felix, thanx for that.
        a rare inside day today so i will investigate.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      Try these guys. I’m sure that they’ll be happy to help.

    • David H 1.4

      Your biggest problem is who’s going to be the boss? Who is going to make the hard decisions. It’s all well and good to have a collective, but you have to have a leader or you will just be stuck in committees.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.4.1

        Democratic election of “the boss” is required. All workers discuss, vote on and approve overall strategy and budgets. They then democratically select “the boss” (preferably from amongst their own number) who will carry out that strategy day to day and week to week.

        The boss is also democratically replaceable, and should receive no more than 25% more than the pay the other workers receive.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.2

        You do not need a leader to make hard decisions if the people involved in the cooperative have all the necessary information to make decisions. Needing a leader is a lie told by authoritative types.

        • weka


          It’s skill to work in a leaderless group, but a learnable skill.

          • thatguynz

            Indeed. Have a look at Agile teams in an I.T context – they are self organising and self managing and it works exceptionally well.

            • weka

              what’s an Agile team?

              • thatguynz

                Effectively a different way of delivering (primarily software development) projects. The point I was making is that they are non-hierarchical and somewhat akin to a workers co-op in a micro sense.

                • weka

                  That’s interesting. Do you know why that structure has evolved or been adopted?

                  • thatguynz

                    In this instance it is because the team can more efficiently deal with change through collaborative effort. In a lot of ways they have much greater control over their own “destiny” if you will as their work practices aren’t dictated to them – they define them themselves.

                    • weka

                      Are they contractors rather than employees then?

                    • thatguynz

                      Not at all. In the “agile team” construct the workers employment status maintains much less relevance to what (I assume) it would within a workers co-op.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              What will the big bosses do when the workers realise that the big bosses don’t add value to the core business of the enterprise to justify their 5x or 10x higher salaries?

              • Draco T Bastard

                They’re going to get fired and they won’t like it.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  So the guy on $150K pa gets tossed out, and the remaining 10 workers each get a raise from $50K pa to $65K pa.

                  Sounds fair. (If he’s actually good for something other than “management” they could offer to rehire him at their rates of course…my how the tables could quickly turn).

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    So the guy on $150K pa gets tossed out, and the remaining 10 workers each get a raise from $50K pa to $65K pa.

                    Or they could hire another three people at $50k each.

                    I think we’d see the massive incomes disappearing really quick along with the poverty that they induce.

        • vto

          “You do not need a leader to make hard decisions if the people involved in the cooperative have all the necessary information to make decisions. Needing a leader is a lie told by authoritative types.”

          I find both of those sentences at odds with the reality of human existence to a very large extent.

    • Colonial Rawshark 1.5

      Democracy at work

      Also search for Richard Wolff economist, on YouTube.

  2. veutoviper 3

    Another wonderful National Northland by-election billboard doing the rounds on Twitter and Facebook to cheer your Monday morning!

    Apparently, this one is on Waiteitei Road, Wellsford.

    • Skinny 3.1

      Just shows the wheels really have come off Joyce’s campaign rig. This photo is creating quite a lot good jokes on Facebook.

      “Sabin uncovered”

      “Who needs Teflon John”

  3. logie97 4

    When the other Mr Key got back stage with his family for the photo-op with a recent touring female artist, what strings would have been pulled for that one.
    I can imagine the conversation going something like…
    “… the Prime Minister is out the back and he would like his family to come and meet you…”

    Just wondering when the Prime Minister bit ends and Joe Citizen kicks in. Would be terrible to think that he used his official status to garner favour.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.1

      I think most international superstars who come to Aotearoa really do so with a desire to meet with our great PM and his family. His brilliance shines forth from Aotearoa like a beacon and they feel humbled in his presence. In a recent poll undertaken by Penguins R Us, only the Dalai Lama was voted anywhere near FJK in the “Inspiring leaders I’d cut off both my arms and kick myself repeatedly in the goolies to meet”.

      I do not think there is any substance to your suspicions.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        @ Murray R
        It’s all right you didn’t need to put sarc in your piece – we all knew it was farce! And some force in that farce too.

        By the way I know I’m going to seem a dolt, but what is the F in FJK? You don’t have to spell it out, just give me a steer on it.

        • Murray Rawshark

          It’s a shortened version of MLTJK, or Make Love To John Key. Saves typing, which I like doing because I’m a lazy lefty.

  4. miravox 5

    Child health in the news – preventable hospital admissions

    The number one reason why children visited a hospital in New Zealand in 2014 was to get their teeth removed under general anaesthetic.

    Hospital admission rates for skin infection in young children in New Zealand are higher than in other developed countries and have steadily increased over the past 20 years

    • miravox 5.1

      Also dyslexic children get more help if they’re in high decile schools.

      Figures provided to DFNZ under the Official Information Act show just 17 pupils in decile one schools received special assessment conditions for external NCEA exams in 2014. Just under 1300 pupils in decile 10 schools received help.

      This perpetuates what amounts to systemic discrimination against students at lower decile schools, where SACs can make all the difference between achieving or not achieving NCEA qualifications

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        can you post the link to Peratas response?

        • miravox

          The national-led government is committed to raising achievement…. National Standards… Charter schools

          Nah – just joking. Did you expect a response from her?

  5. Jim Nald 6

    Regarding Dunedin Hospital’s frozen meals being trucked in from Auckland, someone has written some thoughtful comments to the Southern District Health Board and here’s the letter [edited] for your information:

    Dear Sir,

    I am a retired psychiatrist, who worked for the Dunedin Hospital Board for many years. I am writing on behalf of many others I have spoken to in the Dunedin community, of which I have been part for 36 years.

    I recently wrote a letter to the Otago Daily Times on this issue, and have been urged to bring our concerns to the attention of the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) members.

    There are two related issues:

    [1] Food Services should not be privatised. This is not simply a matter of jobs being lost locally and renovated kitchens standing idle. It is inhumane to talk about money-saving as a primary object, rather about human beings who are unwell.

    Psychologically, as well as physiologically, food is very important for all people. We are hard-wired to associate food with care and motherly love, which makes us feel secure and cared-for. Natural endorphins thus released help healing. Part of this is the feeling of intimacy and individual care local cooking provided. “If you don’t
    like the chicken, I will see what the kitchen can fix up for you.” They do not need carefully devised, nutritionally accurate airline-type food sent from some hub where cost-saving is the main focus at the bottom line of the spreadsheet.

    Local food comes with concern and love from our own community. Everybody knows each other: two degrees of separation here, not six.

    When food cooked on site the delicious aromas drift up to stimulate flagging appetites, as occurs in the home.

    [2] Greater and longer lasting risks and problems will be faced by the SDHB if they accept Compass Group as their contract food service. They are the largest contract food service in the world, based in the UK, but having operations in over 50 countries. It is a multinational organisation, listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent
    of the FTSE 100 Index. Compass Group may seem to offer a good deal, but additional costs may be covert, like the recently discovered ‘setting up costs’. They are out to make as much money for their shareholders as they can, and are not offering a ‘good deal’ to Otago and Southland out of goodwill. They want to make money out of us. Our sick and infirm are commodities to them. And the money will mainly leave NZ. They will pay a little tax, exploiting our tax loop-holes perfectly legally, and will siphon away the money that needs to be circulating in NZ for New Zealanders.

    Once locked into a contract with a multinational like this, the SDHB will find themselves riding a tiger. Multinationals can start to demand terms in the decision-making process regarding service delivery, and may take this out of the SDHB’s hands, as they can have recourse to the Investor States Disputes Settlement [ISDS] if they deem that their free access to making profit is being impaired in some way. If the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement comes in, this is more likely to happen. They could bring objections in from one of their many other sites in countries who are signatories.

    For example, NZ has laws about the ingredients in food, both how they are sourced, and whether they are GE free, to name but two. One can speculate how they will avoid meeting these laws in the search for the cheapest ingredients, or failing that, take the issue to the ISDS, which is an off-shore tribunal and costs to contest objections are
    huge. Besides, the tribunal is weighted in favour of the multinational.

    It would be better, if hospital food services must be privatised, to give the contract to a New Zealand-based and owned firm, even if it seems not to save as much money. It may well be cheaper in the long run. Of course, care must be taken that that company is not covertly owned by a multinational itself, as can be the case.

    Please give the above earnest consideration before action is taken.

    Thank you for your attention.

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      North @ 8: Cheers! I thought it was a superb letter when it was shown to me.

      Someone pointed out what naughty multi-nat profit-making Compass was up to a few years ago on the Facebook page ‘Stop Dunedin Hospital From Being Downgraded’ that can be viewed publicly (without needing to log in with one’s personal account):

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Jim Nald you always add value to comments and the post when you join in the discussion. Thanks.

        • Jim Nald

          Heh. I wondered what was behind that comment and had to refresh my own mind! I have stayed away from commenting on The Standard. About a year now. But TPPA, mass surveillance issues, and other things are bringing me back. Some interesting developments in recent months with grassroots and community activities have competed for my time and energy. But some of the stuff offline might make it here.

    • Pasupial 6.2

      It is a fine letter, but as I mostly read the ODT online I haven’t seen how much of it got printed. [edit; rereading the above, I see it was addressed to the SDHB and not to the ODT editor; hope they read it with an open mind]

      However I noted this in Saturday’s article (more about the immediate meals on wheels programme than the creeping corporate takeover of hospital meals and kitchens):

      Grey Power Otago president Jo Millar said the board should have been more open from the start about the ”ridiculous” idea.

      ”What facilities are there going to be if they can’t truck this food down south in the mid-winter?

      ”How long is the food going to be in frozen storage?

      ”We have no idea what the quality of those meals are going to be coming down from Auckland – absolutely none.”

      Meals would be heated before delivery, but Mrs Millar said many older people ate in the evening.

      Heating meals twice was potentially ”extremely unsafe”.

      She also feared the new meals for the hospital patients would lack nutritional value…

      Compass Group New Zealand issued a statement yesterday saying the company could utilise sea or air links if road transport was blocked.

      The company used the latest freezing technology for meals, which ensured maximum nutrient retention.

      ”Compass Group intends to work closely with volunteer organisations in Dunedin and Invercargill who deliver meals, to improve the information available and communication to recipients on safely handling their meals when they are received,” chief operating officer Julian Baldey said.

      Which implies that if these; “volunteer organisations in Dunedin and Invercargill who deliver meals”, were to refuse to do so if Compass was the provider, then the entire proposal would fall flat on its face. This is a clear case of privitising profit and externalising costs to the public.

      If Compass had to foot the bill for delivering the meals, then the SDHB would be more likely looking at a cost rather than saving to implement the scheme. Also, who would be paying for the cost of this air-freighting of meals? As a backup plan it seems flawed, as the kind of weather that would take out the road &/or ferry from Auckland down South, would also likely disrupt the; “sea or air links”.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.1

        Which implies that if these; “volunteer organisations in Dunedin and Invercargill who deliver meals”, were to refuse to do so if Compass was the provider, then the entire proposal would fall flat on its face. This is a clear case of privitising profit and externalising costs to the public.


      • greywarshark 6.2.2

        Volunteers delivering the meals for frail people are providing aid to their community hospital which is an organisation providing free or low cost treatment and assistance to the community.

        If companies or business trusts, even not-for-profit charities (which are often businesses with a plastic halo) like Compass are to take over and carry out this unsatisfactory system of food supply then a generous mileage should be paid to the volunteers. Otherwise they will be squeezing profit out of this very personal service to the community, and from the human activity of food provision.

        The provision from outside the location is a waste of energy and will cause additional stress in the case of disaster or bad weather, wondering if the wagons are going to get through to the beleaguered citizens under seige by events. It
        stretches the supply lines too far, which has led to great disasters. For instance in Russia

        It is an idea thought up by brain-atrophied business economists and taken up probably by the person who hired the person who hired the thieving and conniving IT techology fellow who cost the Southern District Health Board $16.9 million. The Sensible Sentencing Trust is on this occasion rightly outraged that the fraudster Swann is being released from prison halfway through, and has not accounted for much of the lost funds.
        Also the Southern District Health Board has not received help from the Ministry of Health in auditing an amount paid to a private health concern Southern Link Health, run by independent practitioners. Only under $1 million of spending for savings on service contracts has been accounted for, although $6.2 million was paid. And accrued interest has meant that the amount in contention is now $15 million!

        The Health Board is in an unhealthy position. It needs an overhaul. But in trying to cut service costs it has got into a quagmire. The government has wiped a contract with a company which had a similar objective because its expenses were going up and the savings were down. Now this new efficiency move in Otago seems likely to be another costly boo-boo, and bound to cause heartache to managers and workers and possibly heartburn to patients.

        It is a Trojan horse the Southern District Health Board is ushering in, that will open up spewing out little men who will pop out and grab sack fulls of money in exchange for sack fulls of chaff.

      • Tracey 6.2.3

        we are also seeing the result of nationals leadership… dont vote for dont expect anything

      • Ergo Robertina 6.2.4

        The ODT’s editorial from Saturday also covered this:

        ”The latest details of the proposal to outsource Dunedin and Invercargill hospital food services leave a bad taste in the mouth for southerners….
        ” There is – rightly – a healthy amount of scepticism about the reality of ”savings”, the transparency of procedures, not to mention the flow-on effects and local impact of health proposals….
        ”It is to be hoped other counterproposals may offer a more palatable solution, which can retain jobs and services locally. ”

    • freedom 6.3

      not to mention the difficulties in dealing with food allergies and associated issues

    • Tracey 6.4

      great stuff.

      the outrage reserved for a vacuous tv show would be better directed to tbis kind of thing.

      what a horrid little lot we are becoming.

  6. adam 7

    Mean time – in China. Things are looking different and the same – but this I found to be very new – as in middle class China seems to be a questioning the status quo.

    Positive and Hopeful for the future. But need our support.

    On the support front. Ukrainian friends in need.

  7. North 8

    That is a marvellous letter @ 6 ! The humanity (and the patent common sense) it conveys deepens my contempt for the Keys and the Joyces and the self-seeking sycophants who back them. They deserve to go down in history for the fetid moral crooks they are !

  8. aerobubble 9

    When does a fee become a tax? When the employer revokes your professional body that you pay a fee for, and creates a new organisatio with the same name but employer controlled, directing your proffessional fees to the employer ends.

  9. aerobubble 10

    Caught a news conference on te Chinese channel, english translation provided, and was shocked, China is introducing a deposits guarentee. I maybe misheard but what if its true?

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      China’s banking system is under a lot of strain presently…

    • Ovid 10.2

      China big notes its economic performance. The fact is they have ghost cities full of surplus real estate. Their demand for raw materials has dropped, as Australia has learned lately. I don’t think the country will collapse, but there is some belt-tightening afoot.

  10. greywarshark 12

    This was an interesting interview on 9toNoon this morning. A very engaging baskeball player and now wine expert from NZ on his career and development. I loved hearing how well he had done and his thoughtful and positive attitude. NZs who are doing it – let’s hear more of it, and learn from them!
    Former Tall Black’s love letter to basketball ( 25′ 41″ )
    10:07 John Saker was a Tall Black from 1975 until 1987. He was one of the first New Zealanders to get a basketball scholarship to a US University, and then became the country’s first professional player, taking up a contract with a French side. During that stint in France, a love of wine blossomed, inspiring a secondary career as a wine writer. John Saker remains passionate about basketball, his latest book is called Open Looks and is a kind of a love letter to the sport.

    One thing that struck me – he said that basketball is attracting in NZ a lot of brown players, keen and doing well. Can we get behind that sport, rather than the thuggish and increasingly amoral and injury-causing rugby, and have good things happening for teams of integrated and hopeful young teenagers in South Auckland? Please make it so.

  11. veutoviper 13

    If you did not hear it, I found this interview on RNZ National Nine to Noon this morning very enlightening in respect of the definitions used by NSA etc of terms such as “mass collection”, “mass surveillance” and “Full Take”.

    Kathryn Ryan was interviewing “… Bruce Schneier is a US technology and security expert whose latest book “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World”, highlights just how much information is being gathered by governments and corporations through our use of phones and computers.”

    Ryan took the opportunity to question Schneler closely about what the terms “mass collection” etc meant when used by the NSA etc in view of Key’s dissembling in this regard.

    Schneler’s explanations were excellent – clear and understandable; and IMO provided confirmation that Key knows full well how these terms are used in the international 5 Eyes setting.

  12. greywarshark 14

    Also on radionz this a.m. something on data surveillance and how many have their fingers in your daily soup of communications?
    Personal data collection and your technology footprint ( 18′ 44″ )
    09:35 How much do you know about what others might know about you, from your use of technology? How do you minimise your online footprint on things you’d rather keep private?
    Bruce Schneier is a US technology and security expert whose latest book “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World”, highlights just how much information is being gathered by governments and corporations through our use of phones and computers.

    NB I went to give a UNICEF donation towards Vanuatu and found they insisted on my address, phone number and email just so I could give them money they need. Talk about highwaymen without pistols! They didn’t get my money or my details. Stuff them I gave to someone else. Did you know that some professional fund raisers give under 10% of what they raise to the actual charity. Nice work extorting money, when you get it.

  13. weka 15

    Encouraging, almost hopeful rallying cry from Bill McKibben on climate change. I love the bit about how it’s not the leaders that matter, it’s the pressure being brought to bear by the radicals and sane people.

    Pressure is growing. A relentless climate movement is starting to win big, unprecedented victories around the world, victories which are quickly reshaping the consensus view.

    The official view: all eyes are on Paris, where negotiators will meet in December for a climate conference that will be described as “the most important diplomatic gathering ever” and “a last chance for humanity.” Heads of state will jet in, tense closed-door meetings will be held, newspapers will report that negotiations are near a breaking point, and at the last minute some kind of agreement will emerge, hailed as “a start for serious action”.

    The actual story: what happens at Paris will be, at best, one small part of the climate story, one more skirmish in the long, hard-fought road to climate sanity. What comes before and after will count more. And to the extent Paris matters, its success will depend not on the character of our leaders but on how much a resurgent climate movement has softened up the fossil fuel industry, and how much pressure the politicians feel to deliver something.

    The good news is, that pressure is growing. In fact, that relentless climate movement is starting to win big, unprecedented victories around the world, victories which are quickly reshaping the consensus view – including among investors – about how fast a clean energy future could come. It’s a movement grounded in the streets and reaching for the photovoltaic rooftops, and its thinking can be easily summarised in a mantra: Fossil freeze. Solar thaw. Keep it in the ground.

    Triumph is not certain – in fact, as the steadily rising toll of floods and droughts and melting glaciers makes clear, major losses are guaranteed. But for the first time in the quarter-century since global warming became a major public issue the advantage in this struggle has begun to tilt away from the Exxons and the BPs and towards the ragtag and spread-out fossil fuel resistance, which is led by indigenous people, young people, people breathing the impossible air in front-line communities. The fight won’t wait for Paris – the fight is on every day, and on every continent.

  14. weka 16

    Fed Farmers Waikato have called for a moratorium on dairy conversions in the area (apparently most farm there are still small family owned farms). Good for them.

    Lewis’s suggestion for a moratorium was heard “with interest” by the Waikato Regional Council’s industry and infrastructure manager Brent Sinclair.

    In an emailed statement, Sinclair said the council would be happy to discuss further with Federated Farmers exactly what they were looking to achieve in terms of managing water quality in the region.

    Dairy conversions were not regulated in the council’s regional plan, so it lacked hard data on the number of such conversions that have taken place or been planned in the past few years.

    It’s never ceases to amaze me just how strongly the regional councils are still dragging the chain on environmental protection.

    • freedom 16.1

      “Dairy conversions were not regulated in the council’s regional plan, ”

      Dairy conversions require a number of buildings to be built or converted, especially the buildings where the milk collection equipment will be installed. These buildings require building permits, and in many cases food safety certificates, so for the Council to say ‘we don’t know’ is a bit fibby.

      • weka 16.1.1

        That would be district councils though wouldn’t it?

        • freedom

          Yes, absolutely – my comment was prodding the reality that the info exists. Regional Councils have access to such info and it is a completely reasonable way to at least get a ball park picture of the recent number of conversions. But of course it is far easier and less troublesome to simply tell the public ‘ we don’t know’.

  15. Murray Rawshark 17

    Seen on The Standard now and then: The best way to not have problems from the police/CIA/GCSB is to not break the law (yeah, it surprised me at first too)

  16. Morrissey 18

    Pippa Wetzell clearly perturbed by the frivolous approach of Mike Hosking this evening
    Seven Sharp, Television One, Monday 16 March 2015
    Mike Hosking, Pippa Wetzell

    Watching the following travesty a few minutes ago, I got the feeling that Pippa Wetzell was trying to treat the crap script she’d been handed with as much seriousness as she could muster. In spite of being in an utterly frivolous environment, she has obviously made up her mind to do her best. The contra king Hosking, on the other hand, is not serious in the slightest, and Wetzell seemed to acknowledge this when he made his idiotic comment about “strange countries like Russia”….

    PIPPA WETZELL: Where’s Vladimir Putin? He hasn’t been seen for ten days. Top rumors on the internet are, one, that he’s dead and, two, that he’s been attending the birth of his love child.

    MIKE “CONTRA” HOSKING: He could be on holiday in the Seychelles.

    PIPPA WETZELL: Maybe he’s sick. They don’t want the image of the macho man on horseback to be diminished.

    MIKE “CONTRA” HOSKING: There’ll be a big vacuum. There’s always a vacuum in strange countries like Russia.

    At that point, Pippa Wetzell frowns in consternation and disapproval. Hosking simply chunters on, oblivious to anything but the sound of his own voice….

    • Paul 18.1

      You deserve a medal for listening to that popinjay and narcissist.

      • Morrissey 18.1.1

        Actually, Paul, I think it’s poor old Pippa Wetzell that deserves a medal. I don’t have to put up with that boor, and only listen to and watch him occasionally. Pippa Wetzell, on the other hand, had no escape last night. To her credit, she made her contempt for him quite clear.

  17. Hateatea 19

    The Prime Minister is both seriously worried and very defensive when PMsplaining why his State Visit to Japan has been shortened.

    Pity the poor constituents in Northland though with every man and his dog dropping by to explain why the should still vote National!

    • Paul 19.1

      Yes, there’ll be no TPPA for him to sign with Japan if Winston wins in Northland.

      • Ergo Robertina 19.1.1

        I believe the TPP will not be going to the Parliament for a vote though – Key doesn’t need a majority in the House for it.

    • te aro pundit 19.2

      Looks like even the NACT leaning pundits on ipredict are now putting their money on Winston winning Northland:

      • Paul 19.2.1

        Would this be the result of the Nat’s internal polling?

      • Clemgeopin 19.2.2

        One has to be cautious to come to any definite conclusions yet, because, there seems to be no big money going in generally for either of the candidates, except in minute amounts of mostly 1 dollar or so which is quite unusual. I am suspecting that there is some kind of cunning manipulation going on to scare the Nat supporters to go and vote for their ‘super’ candidate.

        At the moment, here are the waiting orders:

        Current Top 10 Buy Orders Quantity (Stocks) Price Per Share
        1 $0.5610
        5 $0.5510
        1 $0.5510
        1 $0.5410
        5 $0.5375
        1 $0.5310
        5 $0.5250
        1 $0.5210
        1 $0.5110
        1 $0.5010
        Current Top 10 Sell Orders Quantity (Stocks) Price Per Share
        1 $0.5710
        1 $0.5810
        1 $0.5910
        1 $0.6010
        1 $0.6100
        1 $0.6110
        1 $0.6210
        3 $0.6275
        1 $0.6310
        15 $0.6380

        Some of them would be auto generated of course.

    • Weepus beard 19.3

      It is really annoying they are still only allowed to say Sabin resigned for personal reasons, rather than the real reason.

    • Clemgeopin 19.4

      “every man and his dog dropping by “

      More like, the Prime Minister and his dogs dropping by at taxpayer’s huge expense for their party benefit.

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    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 day ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy
    3 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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