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Open mike 16/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, May 16th, 2014 - 165 comments
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openmike Open mike is your post.

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165 comments on “Open mike 16/05/2014 ”

  1. amirite 1

    After the Nats have poached and heavily diluted some of the major Labour policies I feel it would be a political suicide for Labour to go forward into the election campaign with the policy of raising the retirement age. That’s something that the Nats will be scaremongering the general public with in the election campaign, and a certain put off for many of would-be Labour voters.
    The accent should be on eliminating child poverty, raising benefits, creating jobs, better housing, protecting the environment etc etc, everything that Nats are NOT even bothered with.
    Just my humble opinion, of course.

    • Paul 1.1


    • bad12 1.2

      Lolz, and we are back to the super discussion again, i would have put the question to David Cunliffe in His post the other day, But, to point out what i see as the affordability of superannuation going forward in terms of what GDP in terms of dollars will be in 30 years time based upon the GDP growth in dollar terms for the previous thirty years,(ie going back to 1980), would have taken a comment half a kilometer long,

      The debate the other day on Open Mike on the same subject where i pointed out that IF the numbers of those collecting super in the next 30 years will double,(the ACT position), THEN, GDP in dollar terms would have to double in that 30 year period, my projection based on the past 30 years of GDP growth in dollar terms has it doing near enough to achieving that doubling,(with a shortfall in the Government’s tax and spend of that GDP in dollar terms of $150 million dollars annually, a mere pfft in terms of that spend),and that takes no account of the monies currently being earned by the Cullen fund,

      However, Lprent with a counter view points out that while that cohort of over 65’s doubles statistics show that the number of those paying taxes drops dramatically which brings into the discussion a valid point that i had not up to that point thought about,

      At present the immigration figures are showing those population projections to be incorrect, BUT, this may or may not be a temporary blip where immigration is up a third of its projected rise,

      SO, while sticking to my projection that GDP in dollar terms will have doubled in 30 years time as it did in the previous 30 years, as how many hundred thousand taxpayers fled the country, i have to insert a large TAIHO into my thinking around the affordability of superannuation based upon the estimation that the numbers of taxpayers will also fall as the numbers of superannuants rises,

      What we need do tho is carefully consider the history of both tax cuts and the raising of the age of superannuation, first we had Sir Roger,(spit), Douglas tax cuts, then we had cuts to superannuation via raising the age of entitlement, Next, Working For Families, followed BY, tax cuts,

      All of that simply looks to me that we are taking from the aged to give to the middle class and the rich, take out tax cuts, working for families and tax cuts and what have you got, affordable superannuation perhaps….

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Too complex. Also, once you strip out the financial sector casinos, real global GDP is flat to declining IMO, and it will get worse over the next 10 years as resource and energy depletion bites harder and harder.

        A far simpler response is: why can NZ happily afford foreign banks and corporates stripping us out of $10B a year, but somehow we can’t afford NZ super?

        Also – note that Labour has left the door open to raising the super age up OVER 67. My belief is that they have examined UK etc raising it to 70 and they think that they WILL go there at some stage.

        • phillip ure

          “..A far simpler response is: why can NZ happily afford foreign banks and corporates stripping us out of $10B a year, but somehow we can’t afford NZ super?..”

          ..+ 1..

          • Chooky

            +100 philip ure ….something needs to be done about foreign banks and New Zealand wealth flowing out of the country!!!

        • Draco T Bastard

          A far simpler response is: why can NZ happily afford foreign banks and corporates stripping us out of $10B a year, but somehow we can’t afford NZ super?

          We can’t. Interestingly enough Piketty makes that point (not overtly though) as he points out that countries with large foreign ownership are poorer than they should be.

          Also – note that Labour has left the door open to raising the super age up OVER 67. My belief is that they have examined UK etc raising it to 70 and they think that they WILL go there at some stage.

          Yep, wouldn’t be surprised. Still, a UBI would allow those that wish to work on to do so while also allowing those that don’t/can’t to ‘retire’.

        • bad12

          Too complex CV, what is so complex about the above that it cannot be understood, its fairly simple to project the past 30 years of GDP in dollar terms onto the next 30 years as an estimate of what that GDP growth will be,(what other means is there??? a crystal ball perhaps),

          Lprent’s point made the other day in a discussion on the same topic is also valid with a question mark over the accuracy or other of population projections,

          i am amused by talk of resource and energy depletion because IF such depletion were to become a fact then superannuation AND everything else Government does using the current financial system is definitely unaffordable,

          As far as following the leader goes up to the age of 70 for superannuation goes i think that that’s a ‘given’, as i point out above, tax cuts, raising the age of entitlement, working for families, tax cuts again,simply transfers the monies that were there from the aged to the middle class and the rich which would in my opinion more than suggest that super at 60 was affordable all the time,

          Politically i am still doing a head scratch, even as a government i fail to see how Labour can change the Legislation without the support of a gleeful National which again in my opinion can only be seen as a request from Labour to become a permanent Party of 20%…

          • Colonial Viper

            its fairly simple to project the past 30 years of GDP in dollar terms onto the next 30 years as an estimate of what that GDP growth will be

            What kind of estimate is that? Is it an estimate which understands that there has been a massive secular change in the nature of the economy and the next 30 years is going to be unbelievably harder than the last 30 years?

            In the late 1990’s the price of a barrel of oil, the energy source which our entire civilisation depends upon like a cokehead depends on his next hit of coke to get up out of bed, was US$15/barrel. A typical NZ worker could, using a weeks take home pay, buy say 30 barrels of crude oil.

            Today Brent is quoted at US$105/barrel and a typical NZ worker can buy just 5-6 barrels of crude oil using a weeks take home pay.

            The message being – as the energy our entire global civilisation runs on becomes unaffordable, things are going to change, for the worse, for most people. Trying to use the last 30 years of “growth” to estimate what is going to happen in this new environment – that’s not going to work.

            • bad12

              CV, i will get back to this, BUT, you simply fail to understand what i said in my first comment,

              My calculation of GDP growth from the past 30 years spanned 1980 to 2012, so YES that calculation of GDP growth in dollar terms took into account the rising cost of oil, the switch from sheep farming to dairy, the share-market crash of 1989, and any other catastrophe you can think of real or imagined that occurred in those three decades…

              My question again is by what other device is there to measure expected GDP, growth or otherwise, its either the historical record or a crystal ball, with all due respect you appear to be using the crystal ball…

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                I would argue that trying to measure expected GDP for the next thirty years is a fools errand whether you’re using historical records or a crystal ball. Economies are not something like climate that can be so readily projected.

                • bad12

                  Gallstone, ”you would argue” and then you fail abjectly to produce that argument except to say ”you thunk it therefor it is so”,

                  Feel free to lift your knuckles off of the pavement wont you…

                  • McFlock

                    And someone using your methodology in 1972 would have predicted steady GDP increases and minimal oil costs.

                    Like most economic models, your prediction is unreliable.

                    • bad12

                      Really Mac, what exactly is unreliable about it, i dont predict steady GDP growth at all, i simply say that across a 3 decade period GDP will double in dollar terms,

                      Oil costs are a red herring please shove them some place the sun don’t shine, across a 30 year time-scale the song, titled in this case GDP growth remains much the same, does just that…

                    • McFlock

                      so you’re not making short term predictions, but think your long term prediction will be accurate.


                    • bad12

                      Mac, masturbating here at the Standard is at the least unseemly, you should really indulge your propensity in a quiet private space, IF you think i am wrong in my use of the data from multi decades of economic growth then fucking prove it otherwise fuck off and wah wah wah in someone else’s ear,

                      Best read the reply to that plonker you have in the tag team with you tonight first tho i would suggest…

                    • McFlock

                      your link was bust.

                      So when you say “double in 30 years”, your margin for error is at least 65% of the original value, possibly before you even include inflation (of which a large factor is energy costs, i.e. oil)?

                      Looking at my GDP link, in the last 30 years real GDP doubled. In the 30 years before that, it trebled.

                      With that amount of variation, in 30 years time it might treble again or be flat.

                    • bad12

                      Pfft ”read the link you put up”, Pfft again, The Treasury’s story of the NZ economy for 10 year olds, perfect for your level of intelligence obviously,

                      The link again,

                      Your childrens squiggles are just that, try looking through whole data series…

                    • McFlock

                      easy source for the graphs, oh conceited one.

                      Unlike your link, which again returns a 404 error in firefox.

                    • bad12

                      Oh and your last wee smidgen of an argument, no matter where in the time series you measure from across any 30 year period GDP in terms of dollars has at least doubled,

                      In no 30 year period in the data series has GDP flatlined, no matter which year you begin the measurement, SO, your argument is spurious.

                      That is a Fact, introducing the notion into the debate that the economy might flatline is a red herring, a diversion, a strawman, the nit scratching of an idea of one determined to win an argument based on nothing but ”you thunk it”…

                    • McFlock

                      oh, and even besides all that, by your logic (65% off is good enough), you’d claim that your “doubled in 30 years” prediction came true if it only increased by a third in that time.

                      Positively Delphic.

                    • bad12

                      IF child my figures were 65% off on the negative side you would have some sort of point to make,(i would gauge that my figures in dollar terms for GDP are 20% off at most on the positive side where my data series starts at 1954 and ends at 1974, only a 20 year period),

                      What you can’t grasp, possibly because your dunces cap is jammed elsewhere other than on your swede, is the difference in there being higher growth, ie positive, across any particular comparison of thirty year periods than a doubling,

                      If across any thirty year comparison the GDP growth was not at least doubled you would have a point to make, even in the simpletons graph of your link, can you see a period where GDP growth flatlined,

                      Didn’t think so, goodnight…

                    • McFlock

                      In no 30 year period in the data series has GDP flatlined, no matter which year you begin the measurement, SO, your argument is spurious.

                      Oh, indeed, for average zero growth over 30 years it would require a true calamity, something Mayan/Rapanui/Carthaginian in scale. In it’s very short existence NZ has never faced a calamity that bad.

                      But then we’d need something like massive climate change, resource depletion, and maybe a pandemic caused by mass refugee mobilisation, for a calamity to have such long term devastation. I don’t think a triple king-hit like that is particularly likely, but it’s within some folks’ actual sciencey predictions.

                      But have fun pulling shit numbers out of your arse.

                    • McFlock

                      If across any thirty year comparison the GDP growth was not at least doubled you would have a point to make

                      StatsNZ infoshare long term data series:

                      Rankin (1990) – GNP, 1910/11 prices, calendar year
                      1902 105.2
                      1932 185.6

                      Greasley and Oxley (2008) – index, 1939 = 100
                      1904 48
                      1934 90

                      SNB – Statistics New Zealand official series – 1991/92 prices
                      1970 48,845
                      2000 92,742

                      So take those 3 points and stick them up your arse – you need to refuel your economic prediction device.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And it’s amazing that people still view increases in GDP as a relentlessly positive thing. Higher GDP means more resource usage. Building more prisons increases GDP. Leveraging the financial sector to create more debt, more derivatives and more asset bubbles increases GDP.

                      I mean, WTF.

                      If the Left cannot communicate a vision of what kind of society and economy it is going to build for the nation it will be left with nothing more than trying to sell in the same language of the neoliberal right.

                  • Disraeli Gladstone

                    Please provide data showing that your modeling has merit. Perhaps from using 1952-1982 records to forecast growth for 1982-2012.

                    Until you have proven some proof that your projection has merit, it’s not worth the time to try and take it seriously.

                    • bad12

                      ”Please provide data”, actually Gallstone, just this once i will humor you, if you consider that my calculations so far are wrong, then i would suggest that it is YOU who should get off of His wanking arse and prove such instead of sitting there going poo poo and ”please provide data” like the massah boss you imagine your self to be,

                      GDP by Volume:
                      1954 = 20.59
                      1984 =53.79

                      Doubled and then some, in terms of dollars, ok,

                      GDP in Billions/Dollars
                      1954 =$2.415
                      1974* =$5.300

                      *this data series for GDP growth in billions of dollars stopped in 1974.

                      Prove the point Gallstone, both by volume and by billions of dollars between the years 1954 and 1984 it is more than obvious that just like in the years 1980 to 2012 GDP at least doubled in both data sets,

                      i have produced the data for the years 1980 to 2012 previously here at the Standard, if you want to look, be my guest, go fetch,

                      The source for the data 1954–1984 and 1954–1974* =


                      i would show you the relevant GNI figures where in 1949 you can times the 1.101 billions by 10 and be 10 odd billion off the 1979 figure then times the 1979 figure by 10 and be that same 10 odd billion off of the 2009 figures but i don’t want to confuse someone that i consder probably has trouble standing upright in anything but the gentlest of breezes…

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      Oh good god. That’s genuinely so bad I don’t know where to start. There are so many assumptions and underlying issues (McFlock covered a few) that I just can’t even follow why you think this works. There so much variation that your “model” doesn’t take into account and the numbers themselves hardly form a pattern in of itself without the margin of error, lack of taking into account inflation, so on.

                      And once again, you just throw out a chorus of personal attacks to hide the fragility of the argument.

                      I tell you what, Bad. You believe what you want, kid. I won’t be responding. Someone slap me if I do.

        • RedBaronCV

          Agree about the stripping out of money and we need to stop it ASAP – we have massive foreign debts to repay as well as super education etc, etc.

          As far as raising the super age and making kiwisaver compulsory I really don’t think these are things for one shot electioneering promises. We need a rational look at the effects of these policies who wins and loses and how we balance them against other economic needs. And how to future proof them against further right wing governments.

          And lastly if this is likely to lose the elction then don’t. Otherwise there will be no super ever for anybody or anything else for that matter.

    • Colonial Viper 1.3

      The current Labour hierarchy are willing to sacrifice 2% to 3% of the votes in order to be seen as “fiscally responsible”. IMO it is electoral suicide. Making people stay in the work force longer when there is already too little employment for them.

      National will start making hay on this during the TV debates; their polling will have told them that Labour supporters hate the policy.

      • Chooky 1.3.1

        +100 CV…they will be very foolish to raise the age of super higher than that of the NACTS

      • greywarbler 1.3.2

        CV Too true. Don’t need a crystal ball. They are thinking like 1980’s twerps. They dropped us into it then and even if they get elected it will just be a case of equality amongst the masses, spreading the unhappiness further than before so the olders can suffer too. Instead of concentrating on holding the costs down for super, with ideas coming from the mature interested as well as academics and specialists. It would be good if Labour could investigate what ideas socially advanced academics have produced and countries considered.

        Labour has become a Party that sees people as problems to be administered to I think. Instead of the idea once held, that people were active participants building the country and their lives. Now they are dropouts, low productivity units, deadbeat dads and feckless mothers.

        This housing idea, where is the innovative self-help thing of the past, I’m thinking sweat equity schemes. Why can’t unemployed men and women be interviewed for skills suitable to join teams building simple houses for themselves and others, with a registered builder with teaching ability in charge of each team. Those who have the ability could go straight into the job of making a home for themselves and short-cutting an official apprenticeship. There could be cul de sac developments with a common garden ready to cope with the hard times ahead. Houses built around a square with a shared playpark with each house having an entry gate. Kilburn in London had this design in some of its planning.

        As for the middle aged and future old age pension needs and the age going to 67 and probably 70 which I am sure the deadheads in Labour are considering. First stop elevating it by calling it superannuation which is gentrifying it. It is a pension, something that is a boon, to be proud of not to be ashamed of – a proper part of a modern society. (A rose by any other name, smells as sweet.)

        One of my relations has had an eventful life and is still reasonably young. First husband abandoned her with two wee children in Oz. Husband died. She remarried to widower with children in NZ. Brought the lot up well. Got sick, virus killed a kidney, kept control of condition, took antibiotics for a year till hospital rostered her for removing the dead tissue. Looking after family all the time, fairly tired and unwell then.

        Husband got cancer, prolonged life spending all their savings on expensive imported drug, till government helped. He died. She has to work but with irregular hours in retail and on roster that she accesses on computer which system sometimes fails then she drives to workplace to see if she is to work that day. Hours fluctuate. Sometimes she works late, gets up at 4 am cleans for 2 hours, and has a short break then starts work at 9 am at other job. Can only just survive. Helps her children and grandchildren, and ailing mother. She will be worn out by 65.

        It’s not only men in physical work who work hard and need to retire. And single people who don’t have the advantage of another wage from a partner, and another person to share the jobs of household management with, they can have difficulties. If they are women they may have been on low wages all their lives, possibly 70 to 80 per cent of what men of the same age receive.

    • Chooky 1.4

      +100…and another winner for Labour would be to STOP legislation allowing foreigners buying up traditional New Zealand houses!…this would be a winner for Labour!..(it will be a winner for Winnie and the Greens)

      ….NACT and their wealthy mates rather than STOP this artificial shortage of housing due to allowing foreigners to buy( which amounts to betrayal against New Zealanders ) ….wants young New Zealanders and returning New Zealanders and those is state houses in prime positions….to be artificially costed out of the traditional housing market and forced into yet to be built trashy new high rises in new subdivisions

      …NACT and their wealthy mates want ordinary New Zealanders relegated to the new slums while foreigners and their wealthy mates buy New Zealand heritage housing and ancestral homes built on the work and taxes of their forebears….its a disgrace!

      ( it is not allowed elsewhere in other countries around the world)

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      I think we need to stop calling welfare “benefits”. We need to change both how people see people on welfare and how the people on welfare see themselves. We need to see the funding going to welfare as an investment in our countries future that over time will produce positive results.

      Of course, that’s going to mean changing “unemployment” to education. People should either be in formal employment or training. There should be no unemployment with people shifting between jobs should be classified as shifting between jobs and not unemployed.

      • Once was Tim 1.5.1

        “I think we need to stop calling welfare “benefits”.

        Ain’t that the truth! +100

        Ekshly calling them benifits is nothing further from a truth.

        (I would comment further, but right about now I’m trying to cope with a Mora – that nicest, most magnanimos man on Earth – all of a sudden feigning concern because some recidivist has copped an outrageoud fine of $15K). They don’t seem to like it when the defendant is one of their ilk. I wonder if the guy got legal aid too!

        Thank Christ there’s now only one hour of the nicest man of Earth. Poor man! – give him a Subway Egg Roll

    • Aux 1.6

      “The accent should be on eliminating child poverty, raising benefits, creating jobs, better housing, protecting the environment etc etc, everything that Nats are NOT even bothered with.”

      Would you not get this result (sort of) by recommending everyone vote Greens/Mana? Then since a small percentage of those who promise to do so would actually do so, you’d have a chance of a coalition that held Labour to the “traditional” (sort of) values they once stood for? Not that I encourage anyone to vote. It’s a bit sad reading stuff here about people wishing Labour would miraculously morph into something other than what they’ve careful and purposely become over the past few decades. All within months of an election. Illusions die hard, hope even harder, but it looks like red or blue pill time.

      Personally, I’d recommend people do nothing, don’t vote. With luck the National party will be re-interred, with an added ACT element – the best chaos factor I could hope for – and then finally people would have the last of the stupid colonial/aspirational/feudal/entitlement attitudes beaten the hell out of them, they’ll see themselves as the fucking animals they are and have to decide to continue to be so, or really truly take a first hand interest in each other as humans. Let’s be honest, no one on this site is going to feel any real pain, just the theoretical/sympathetic kind. I’m close enough to the line I could become homeless under that sort of regime, but I still have an internet connection, how poor am I really? Most of the others commenting here sounds like they come from a nice and comfy place to me, employers, self employed, some even openly admit it. We’ll get over it, the “collateral damage” and such, just like our heroes in Labour got over Rogernomics and the like.

      The Labour Party isn’t the solution to NZ’s problems, change the leader all you like, demand harder or softer lines on this or that policy, split hairs and put this or that off till after this or that. No difference. Until people get hit with reality it’s all hot air. It’s the system that’s screwed, the way people relate to each other, they way people believe themselves to be, or worse, believe they could be.

      Don’t wail too much for the real poor. Right now they are surviving under worse conditions than those that make the papers or pop songs. They’re good at surviving, better at it than you or me, better people than you or me. If they died of disease or starvation, or suicide, or in pain from lack of medical attention, they’d die better people than you or me. They’re there because we believe in a broken system. First easy step for everyone here to help the poor? Stop thinking Labour is coming on a big fucking white horse. They are big fucking white whores.

      • phillip ure 1.6.1

        @ aux..well said/argued..!

        ..my memory of the appearance here by cunnliffe..

        ..was that he offered not a word of concern/solution for the poorest/worst-off..

        ..it was just all the same old same old arbeit macht frei..

        ..(a school-breakfast bandaid here and there doesn’t really cut it/won’t really change much..

        ..we all know that..)

        ..if he has addressed this question elsewhere..i wd appreciate it being pointed out to me..

        • phillip ure

          tho’ i totally reject yr call to ‘not vote.

          ..that is just dumb..dumb..dumb..

          ..not least because we have mmp..

          ..so if you want those sort of policies..

          ..get off yr arse and go and help those that are fighting to right those wrongs..

          ..those that have those policies..


      • bad12 1.6.2

        Oh there’s a big difference between Labour and National alright, and while myself, being one of the poor you claim do not comment here am not enamored of large amounts of Labour policy, Personally there is one HUGE difference,

        Under Labour i do not expect nor receive sweet FA above the miserable amount that makes up the calculation of inflation on the dollar amount of my benefit(long-term), i expect to then get left alone to cope the best i can without having the ”rug” whipped out from under my feet, ie, Labour is unlikely to send some muppet with a doctors degree along to tell me i am now fit for work when previously 3,4, or 5 of them in the past ten years have stamped my file ”Fucked”,

        National of course will happily do this, changing the rules continually leaving every beneficiary in my position, and there are 10’s of 1000’s of us, continually looking over our shoulders wondering (a) when the doctors in charge will get round to us with their ”new” rules, or (b), a real fucking loony in the form of a Nick Smith will find us ”undeserving” to be housed in affordable conditions, and if He will start this ”progrom” upon those over 60 and those wheelchair bound,(which i am neither of), then He sure as hell will gleefully toss my arse out into the street,

        As for your plea for us not to vote, i will use the short form of conversation to describe my feelings, FUCK OFF dickwad that idea is just DUMB…

        • Populuxe1

          Oooh stop saying things I agree with, it’s undermining the foundation of my universe

      • Rosie 1.6.3

        “Personally, I’d recommend people do nothing, don’t vote.”

        And look what happened last time Aux, in 2011, when we had our poorest turnout in decades, life only got worse for so many people.

        I’m not coming from a nice comfy place that you speak of above – although I do have a good house to live in, that’s all, and that could be gone soon, my circumstances are that fragile – my outcomes could be completely different under a different govt from this one so why on earth would I not vote? Why would I abstain from voting when there is a chance things can improve? I’d have to be a sadist not to vote.

        You may view our system as broken and that we need a complete societal collapse to wake us up but there’s not many of us who have the luxury of imagining that scenario. We have to do real things like agitate, demonstrate and VOTE.

        What we do have is the benefit of the MMP system and we can vote for the people that represent us, (and you refer the Greens and Mana above) I don’t think people are assuming that Labour will automatically solve all our problems.

        Would you really prefer a complete disaster via a Nat coalition getting back in for another three years over a return to at least some semblance of sanity via a Left coalition?

        • Rosie

          Furthermore Aux, consider those who might be reading your comment are have come to our country to live, to escape a regime they were living under where they couldn’t vote because they lived under a military dictatorship, or can only vote in sham elections, or they lost loved ones who died fighting for the right to a vote and to live in a fully functioning democracy.

          Life is more shit for them than for us and they would probably feel quite cynical towards those who suggest people don’t vote when they have the opportunity to participate in the legitimate choosing of their government. I think your statement is a little bit “first world problems” perhaps.

        • bad12

          Well put Rosie, a far nicer riposte than i could manage…

          • Rosie

            Ya know bad, one thing that really gets my goat, more than river bank/beneath the bridge dwellers is those that for a variety of reasons say “don’t vote”.

            Aux’s reason is that a non vote will push a disaster upon us that he/she believes will “wake the people” and a fairer system will be restored. That is some fanciful dream. And if the last six years experience hasn’t “awakened the people” then we are so stupid as to have “The I.Q of a fence post” to quote Tom Waits.

            Other reasons you hear are “You can’t trust politicians” or “They’re as bad as each other” – That last sentence is reserved for those that haven’t twigged on to the fact that we left our FPP voting system behind ages ago.

            It’s just petulant self indulgent talk – they see political people and parties as not living up to their unrealistic expectations, so they dismiss them.

            • bad12

              Again well put Rosie, one thing the commenter above did get right is our ability on the bottom of the financial heap to adjust, to make ends meet, having done so again with this National government having a go at me through the ”tax switch” doesn’t make me any happier,

              the disaster the commenter above talks of largely ocurs out of sight and therefor out of mind, (i don’t ‘know’ if the kids down the street are going to school hungry and i am hardly going to ask their mum such questions),

              The disaster of the current politics doesn’t occur in any one year, in the vein of death by a thousand cuts such disasters occur over multi-generations cleverly hisden with the averaged or mediumed figures for incomes and costs of housing,

              In many respects it is the disaster of a slow motion holocaust,(and i don’t use the terms lightly), i seen an article, i think in the Herald, the other day which pointed out the suicidal tendencies imposed upon those who are made unemployed,(i was surprised that this still occurs), this holocaust has been occurring across a 40 year time span as apposed to the 4–5 years of the real one,

              Lolz i think i said enough in the above comment about the ”do not vote” idea, if anything should be compulsory in this world my opinion is that participating in Democracy once every 3 years should be…

            • emergency mike

              Well said Rosie. All I would add is that the “All politicians lie, so you’d be naive to trust them” line gets used by the RWNJs a lot. It benefits Key and co to spread that one about, since it muddies the waters. That way when they are caught out in this week’s lying BS dodgy dealing, a large number of 6 o’clock news watchers will just shrug their shoulders and their eyes will glaze over a little more.

        • Populuxe1

          Anyone who thinks not voting is an option is a first class moron who doesn’t understand how democracy works and presumably wants another term for National

      • Bearded Git 1.6.4

        Aux-you could vote Mana or Green. The Left has 3 genuine choices at this election.

    • Murray Olsen 1.7

      Proposing to raise the retirement age is the one policy that is so bad it makes me seriously question why Labour would want to lose this election. Are they so scared of Mana and Green having any influence that they would rather leave the governing benches with NAct?

  2. @amrite..+ 1..

    ..and what really puzzles me about this one..

    ..is the general agreement that no actual changes have to be made until further down the road..

    ..so really..now we are just arguing the toss over the idea/problem/possible solutions..

    ..(with one strong argument being that we don’t even have a ‘problem’..plus..trying to predict now..how things will be in 30 yrs +..

    ..no risks of error there..!..eh..?..)

    ..so i ask..why the fuck are labour ‘choosing’ to die in the ditch..over what can only be a vote-killing policy..?

    ..when by any measure..they don’t need to..?

    ..what kind of madness is this..?

    ..i would really like to hear the ‘official’ answer to that question..


    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      There will be ample time for reflection and reports on super after the election, the urgent matter is getting out the vote and denying John Phillip Shonkey a further term. It is vital that the Labour Party drops the earnest, brownie points approach to super. These tory swine play for keeps, send Key back to Hawaii first.

      Key knows what the bourgeois economists and funds are saying about the affordability of super. His line is about opportunism not integrity given that he has lied about so many other things. Why this apparent outbreak of wanting to be trusted on his word? There are votes in it. Thousands of late 50s early 60s people will vote National on keeping super at 65. Partly because of the lack of a UBI and the realities of a low wage economy and battling WINZ.

      Labour just needs to say anyone that genuinely needs super from 60 on for health, financial or personal reasons can get it upon application, and those that don’t can go on a sliding schedule till they do.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Thousands of late 50s early 60s people will vote National on keeping super at 65. Partly because of the lack of a UBI and the realities of a low wage economy and battling WINZ.

        Thousands of those above 65 who won’t be affected by Labour’s plans, absolutely hate the idea of raising the super age on their own children and grand children, and vote against Labour – or stay at home from the polls.

        • Draco T Bastard

          They can, of course, vote for Mana, Greens or Alliance even. As far as I know, there’s only two parties suggesting raising the retirement age – Labour and Act and that latter should tell Labour just how bad that policy is.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        If we have a UBI we don’t need super at all.

        • greywarbler

          And we would be able to turn much of the benefit surveillance money going into WINZ into true amenities for parents and children.

  3. tricledrown 3

    With compulsory kiwisaver Labour can drop the vote loosing idea of raising the retirement age .
    As kiwisaver is guaranteed payment at 65.

    • BM 3.1

      It’s too late, the Genie is out of the bottle.

      To reverse their position would make Labour look untrustworthy and voters will just think, “do they think we’re stupid?, they’ll do it anyway once they get elected”.

      Really, dumb stuff from the red team.

      Super is one of those policies you deal with on the way out, not on the way in.

      • phillip ure 3.1.1

        “..It’s too late, the Genie is out of the bottle…”

        ..it could still be saved..

        ..labour could take the high-ground..and announce a bi-partisan/multi-party group/’commission’? to be set up post-election..

        ..to achieve consensus on the issue..(blah!..blah..!..blah..!..)

        ..to develop an agreed course of action before the ’17 election..(blah..!..blah..!..blah..!..)

        ..surely that wouldn’t be too hard to sell to the electorate..?

        • Tiger Mountain

          exactly, aka known as kicking for touch…

          Key has little stomach for genuine cross party handling of super so it would indicate status quo for a while longer but what the hell, climate change will make super rather irrelevant anyway, but not before September 20.

          • phillip ure

            “..climate change will make super rather irrelevant anyway, but not before September 20…”

            ..+ 1..

          • ianmac

            You may have hit on an answer Tiger. Labour could announce a policy on Superannuation thus:
            “When in Government Labour Greens will enter into cross party talks to determine a forward path to protect the integrity of Superannuation.
            All Parties will participate with an open agenda.
            Any refusal to participate in good faith will be regarded as an insult to present and to future Superannuants.”
            Mr Key exPM will respond how?

            • phillip ure

              shit ianmac..and there was me thinking it was ‘my’ ‘answer’..


              ..not that it really matters..the ‘ends’ matter more than the ‘means’..


        • BM

          Why would National want to do that?

          Key has stated National is not touching super, why would he want to enter into some sort of
          “bi-partisan/multi-party group/’commission’? ”

          The way Key probably thinks is that you shouldn’t have to work beyond 65, instead of forcing people to spend very waking second of their life working, try and grow the economy so people can still retire at 65 and the country can still afford it.

          This raising the retirement age is bollocks.

          • framu

            “instead of forcing people to spend very waking second of their life working, try and grow the economy so people can still retire at 65 and the country can still afford it.”

            i doubt that fits into keys world view in even a tiny way – hes neocon from top to toe

            one idea weve chucked about at home is based around the idea that raising the retirement age also locks younger people out of the workforce (potentially)

            so – our idea went,
            if they raise the age for getting super you could still receive it at 65 with no penalty or reduction, on the condition you did x amount of hours (10? 20?) of voluntary work either with an existing org or with the ability to start your own. (Bearing in mind the voluntary work doesnt need to be physical work – it could be mentoring, helping out with basic office work etc etc)

            The “mens shed” projects come to mind here

            this way we would not straight away financially penalise workers who have had very physical jobs, put more money and/or resources into local communities, give charities (existing or yet to be created) some much needed help and free up some positions in the job force. It would probably have physical and mental health benefits for the retiree in there as well

            its just a lose idea and it wouldnt work for everyone, plus im sure theres problems with it that i havent seen yet

      • Chooky 3.1.2

        @BM..”To reverse their position would make Labour look untrustworthy and voters will just think, “do they think we’re stupid?”

        on the contrary …voters will think Labour has listened to the people and bowed to their will and made a sensible decision…many Labour people are worn out at 65 and need that super at the younger age( especially Polynesian men who die at a younger age)…

        … better to pay for the 65 super by axing some of those new motorways…which we dont need anyway

        • BM

          I have to disagree, this is an election plank, not some idea which has been thrown out there for feed back.

          To suddenly turn around and can it, makes Labour look incompetent as well as untrustworthy, they’ve really put themselves in a bad position.

          Also out of the pan and into the fire if Labour floats the idea of canning the road upgrades.
          People love the new roads, touch those at your peril.

          • North

            Poor BM…….he’s hoping like hell Labour DOESN’T change tack on the super age. So like the rusty old right wing bugle he is he squawks on about genies and bottles. Squawking to himself again like some emeritus professor of self soothing. Blowhard Man. Still uses Brylcreem.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      With compulsory kiwisaver Labour can drop the vote loosing idea of raising the retirement age .
      As kiwisaver is guaranteed payment at 65.

      What KiwiSaver? Oh you mean the KiwiSaver which relies on you having employment for life, and which relies on the international financial casino giving you back your money when you retire?

      Pull the other one mate.

      • vto 3.2.1

        “which relies on the international financial casino giving you back your money when you retire?”

        yep. Maybe people should think about why they don’t like to invest in the sharemarkets (i.e. they don’t trust the arseholes which operate in it) yet are happy to pile it into Kiwisaver which invests in sharemarkets. Answer – people don’t think enough. Watch for the whole lot to go up in smoke in the future ….

        • Colonial Viper

          Wall St stole billions from US pension funds and 401K plans over the last 5 years, with the help of their accomplices the credit ratings agencies who marked the junk which was being sold on as “AAA”.

          It’s a major reason why so many of these worker retirement schemes are now “underfunded.”

          We don’t seem to fucking learn in this country.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Throughout history mankind seems to have always tried for the money for nothing that comes from interest and shareholding. People don’t seem to realise that that money still comes from work and use of resources.

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          And of course, for those people who decide that maybe they don’t trust Kiwisaver and want to save for their own retirement in other ways, perhaps getting creative?

          Oh, Labour will just force them to contribute to the fund unless you fall into what we regard as being allowed to be exempt.


  4. comment@whoar..ed:..gee..!..guess what..?..the british tories also have a cash-for-access ‘cabinet-club’…who’dathunkit..?..eh..? – paid-for dinners-with-the-p.m. – and all..)

    ..the stench of tory-corruption..both here and there…


  5. grant roberston was very good on tv1 breakfast..

    ..a lucid/intelligent critique of the budget..

  6. bad12 6

    Laugh out loud material this morning on RadioNZ National as that radio station makes a grovelling abject apology for its treatment of Winston Peters yesterday,

    Twice so far this morning they have broadcast the same apology to Peters, i am not sure who the voice doing the ”grovel” is but Winston should have insisted that ‘the spinner’ Espiner was forced to personally grovel on air…

    • Tiger Mountain 6.1

      Missed it, damn, that weasel E’spinner is aural pollution, what a pest.

      He crowds and jabs opposition interviewees but gives plenty of space to the torys along with a hot towel and backrub by the sounds of it.

    • karol 6.2

      Apology to Peters – mp3

      [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20140516-0747-apology_to_winston_peters-048.mp3" /]

      • phillip ure 6.2.1

        and how about that horan..?

        ..what a fucken joke he is..eh..?

        ..he is clearly trying to do a shane who?…

        ..spraying his way out the door…

    • Once was Tim 6.3

      …….. “a serious departure from RNZ standards” ……. “should not have been aired” ….. etc
      Do you think Espiner will get the message that it’s not all about him and his ego?

      Somehow I doubt it.

      • Chooky 6.3.1

        yes i really enjoyed hearing those apologies ….but i still think the pants should be sued off Espiner et al…it was a serious attempt by National Radio to knee cap Winston Peters and undermine his credibility

        …the NACTs have tried and done it before …it makes anything Peters says thereafter seem like lies or hypocrisy….when in fact Winston Peters is one of John Key /NACTS most able and effective critics…both in the House and out in public

        Radio New Zealand has done damage to a very effective opposition politician and imo more than an apology is required!

        Espiner knew very well that Horan’s accusations were highly likely to be motivated by malice …but he encouraged them instead of stopping him …he broadcasted them to the nation with energy and support….at very least Espiner shopuld go and be replaced by a better journalist

        • Hami Shearlie

          Agreed – Espiner has ruined Morning Report! His wheedling, whiny voice and needling and vindictive manner are a disgrace and so off-putting! And how long did it take him to destroy the goodwill and esteem that Geoff Robinson had built up over decades for that show?? About 5 minutes!

        • felix

          “yes i really enjoyed hearing those apologies”

          Even more fun if you imagine every word being spoken verbatim by Peters. Because that’s exactly what happened.

    • RedBaronCV 6.4

      Anybody who incurs a high level of risk of a big suck out of an employer’s bank account should be shown the door shouldn’t they? Surely his contract provides for termination if he brings a big legal case down on the employer through his own possible inadequacy??

      Or is termination only for litttle people doing little things.

  7. jh 7

    “you can’t make much difference to migration numbers ” Bill English

    The housing boom has meant good profits for many New Zealand companies supplying
    materials and building services, but it implies investors would rather invest in their country’s
    homes rather than its businesses (Bollard 2005). The high returns for property has attracted
    finance and reduced the capital available for productive investment (Moody, 2006). The
    consequence is investment is going in to industries with limited capacity to increase per capita
    incomes. For example, real estate and building are domestically bound and do not have the
    market potential of export industries. They also have less opportunity to increase productivity
    through new processes and products. The irony is, as these sectors grow, they have incurred
    skills shortages which in turn has increased demand for skilled immigrants. The Department
    of Statistics ‘Long Term Skill Shortage List’ of 28/3/2006 includes carpenter/joiner, plumber,
    electricians, fitter and turners, fitter welders; all indicative of a nation building its
    construction/property sector.
    There is a danger that a sector of the economy is being augmented that is totally reliant on a
    small domestic economy. Not only do these industries have limited potential for per-capita
    growth but ‘deriving growth via factor inputs such as labour places pressure on infrastructure
    such as transport and land supply, and ultimately have a further negative impact on growth
    (ARC 2005). Finally, as the sector gets larger, it gains in lobbying/political strength and can
    lobby for immigration regardless if it is the best interests of the economy as a whole. This
    could be seen in Canada where the development industry has lobbied hard for high sustained
    immigration levels (Ley and Tutchener 2001).

    Dr Greg Clydesdale Growing Pains
    National must know it is vulnerable hear, it’s all in this treasury report.

    • am i the only one who can’t be bothered reading ‘bricks/blocks’ of words any more..?

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Don’t you be complaining about badly formatted hard to read comments

      • Tiger Mountain 7.1.2

        …no phillip you just belong to a club with very low membership…

        …white space…

        ……has its place……

        ……but online is just……

        …………a waste…………

        • phillip ure

          it really amuses/fascinates me how people seem to get so engaged/enraged over not using capital-letters ..

          ..and the like..

          ..they seem to have no awareness of the history/evolution of how we communicate..

          ..how ‘norms’ become antiquities/curiousities..(think ‘bricks/blocks’..)

          ..(and anyway..can i help it if someone broke into my house and superglued the caps-lock on my computer..?

          ..it means i can’t shout at anyone..any more..)

          • Chooky

            you are a free thinker phillip….an artisan…just that not everyone appreciates your art …but i like it ( i cant understand why people get uptight about dots)

            • phillip ure

              chrs chooky..

            • Kevin Welsh

              i cant understand why people get uptight about dots

              I am, because they should be in three’s…

              My tutor at ATI National School of Printing in the 1980’s, Mr Frew, would have been most unhappy seeing them in two’s.

          • Draco T Bastard

            (and anyway..can i help it if someone broke into my house and superglued the caps-lock on my computer..?

            Jeez, you used super-glue when you could easily have used a simple registry edit instead?

            And after all that, it appears your shift key still works.

          • Disraeli Gladstone

            Language and communicate does evolve, yes. And just like in evolution itself, some times a style/gene emerges that no one thinks has a benefit and it quickly dies.

            Like yours, I guess.

        • phillip ure

          i have to say i am cheered how so many now double-space sentences/paragraphs..

          ..it was pretty lonely there for awhile..

          ..(it’s like going vegan/plant-based..there are more and more of us..every day..eh..?..

          ..the future is ours..eh..?..

          ..y’know..!..i look at my compatriots..showing the physical outcomes from a life of animal flesh/fat/bye-products/booze..

          ..rattling as they walk..from all the pills they take each day to counter the effects of those diet/lifestyle outcomes..

          ..and i know that they are the dinosaurs..

          ..and anyone out there reading this that is young..

          ..you should really take that on board..eh..?

          ..you have a choice of two very different lives..

          ..it’s like ciggy-smoking..

          ..we now know that it fucks us up..

          ..we no longer have any excuses..

          ..yr futures of either joy or misery..

          ..are entirely in yr own hands..)

          • Bearded Git

            too long-not reading it phillip

            • phillip ure

              what a strange ‘git’ you are there..

              ..bearded git..

              ..but seeing as you won’t read this..eh..?

              ..you won’t even know my opinion..

              ..shine on..!..y.c.d..!..eh..?

        • greywarbler

          TM +1

  8. miravox 8

    It’s good to see some progress on establishing rental warant of fitness criteria.


    More than 90 per cent of rental properties in a nationwide survey have failed a ”warrant of fitness” (WOF) check.

    About 140 rentals across Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Dunedin were given the once-over by home assessment experts earlier this year…

    … About 94 per cent of the 144 houses inspected did not pass at least one of the 31 checklist items, but the majority failed on only a handful.

    The trial found 36 per cent would pass all of the draft WOF criteria with “just a few minor and inexpensive fixes”, such as installing smoke alarms or adjusting hot-water temperatures.

    The WOF looked at weather tightness, insulation, ventilation, lighting, heating, the condition of appliances and general building safety.

    It looks as if this is something good landlords could manage without too much fuss.

  9. jh 9

    Paulus (2,355 comments) says:
    May 16th, 2014 at 8:38 am

    What a pity Guyon Espiner is this morning – he was pathetic trying to show his true socialist colours.

    It was funny to listen to his reverse questions beginning “Don’t you think……” to find that the people he was trying to influence said the opposite of what he was trying to get them to say. Rather sad really as I am sure he is very well paid.

    Mind you his voice pitch is too high – he need lessons – should try Linda Clark as she obviously has time on her hands, and she can teach him to use his voice properly – forgetting what she says though.

    I really think that despite his best intentions his use of the language is very poor – I am sure he is educated, but not in the use of English language.

    Susi Ferguson is better but she goes off at a tangent too often trying to put her views together. Susi – stick to the subject.

    Kiwiblog GD

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Furthermore, if we look at the historical record, it does not appear that capital mobility has been the primary factor promoting convergence of rich and poor nations. None of the Asian countries that have moved closer to the developed countries of the West in recent years has benefited from large foreign investments, whether it be Japan, South Korea or Taiwan and more recently China. In essence, all of these countries themselves financed the necessary investments in physical capital and, even more, in human capital, which the latest research holds to be the key to long-term growth.Conversely, countries owned by other countries, whether in the colonial period or in Africa today, have been less successful, most notably because they have tended to specialize in areas without much prospect of future development and because they have been subject to chronic political instability.

    Piketty, Capital in 21st Century.

    All of that comes after he points out that countries with massive foreign ownership have incomes below their productivity. So, there you have it – foreign ownership is bad for a country and isn’t needed anyway. It causes poverty and specialisation (can anyone say ‘farming’?) which reduces development.

    • jh 10.1

      I was reading discussions yesterday about foreigners buying houses where free trade was invoked. That lead me to a speech in the House of Commons where the Conservative speaker said that the foriegn investors “financed” the countries building. There has to be something wrong when a country can’t pay for it’s own land a construction.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        Buildings in a country are always built using local material. This means that the foreign currency doesn’t pay for anything. All that needs to be done is the government to create the money and spend it on the collection of the resources, the processing of the resources and then the building of the buildings.

        This money would then be taken out of the economy via taxes and charges. Absolutely no need for foreign currency at all.

        This applies to everything in the country.

  11. Not a PS Staffer 11

    Tax debt totals $6 billion, while welfare debt is about $1b

    Tax debtors get off more lightly. Inland Revenue is more likely to negotiate with debtors and collect core tax, and write off penalties and interest.

    Between July 1, 2011, and June 2012, Inland Revenue wrote off nearly 50 per cent of interest and penalties applied to overdue tax, amounting to $374 million.

    It wrote off $435m in core debt, reflecting 11.6 per cent of collectable debt.

    MSD wrote off $8.7m in core debt, or 2.1 per cent of collectable debt.

    This government is giving the rich a lot more that the $1.2b in tax cuts. It is letting them off on paying all their taxes!


    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Got to keep the troublemaking underclass suppressed and oppressed somehows…

    • bad12 11.2

      Well put, i believe that there is also a ”novel” means in play at the moment where those in ”Bizz” via the tax lawyers have been given a ”new tool” with which to legally?? avoid payments of due taxation,

      The current 800 million dollar shortfall in the projected tax rate would more than suggest this, although the prior sacking of half the staff from inland revenue’s provincial offices cannot be totally discounted as the precursor to a large amount of this avoidance of payment of due taxation,(hopefully the next Government bolsters those employment numbers immediately upon election),

      Considering the sloth at which it has taken various governments to address the ability of those owning rental properties to write off income including wages against losses they incur on such properties it will probably be a decade at least befor the current ”new” rort is discovered,(but it is being looked for),

      A faster route to such a discovery would i suggest,(tongue in cheek), involve someone like SSLands, who gives the appearance of being a minor bean-counter for a firm of tax lawyers, a surgical operating dolly, straps, wiring, and a device that conveys electrical charge,

      Lolz, i can say no more…

  12. Olwyn 12

    Hone’s post budget speech is impressive, and leaves you in no doubt as to where he stands:


    Mr Speaker – if a budget is about how we set out our priorities and outline the financial strategies to achieve those priorities, then we must be strong enough to identify the important ones, courageous enough to allocate the money needed to achieve them, and then unwavering in our determination to realise them. Those priorities define what kind of society it is we want, and the resources we dedicate to them in a budget are an expression of our commitment to achieving them.

    • bad12 12.1

      Yeah well received here from Hone, a stark contrast to the speech of the Maori Party leader who incredibly claimed responsibility for the previous Labour/Green home insulation policy,(such an insult put my tv on the endangered species list and my blood pressure on the danger line),

      Flavell, soon to be unseated we pray, started His budget speech with a bout of me me me me….

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        nats and now maori party claiming greens programme..

        absolute power corrupts…

  13. fisiani 13

    Darien Fenton leaving at the election and also Rajen Prasad…. now that’s a real loss of talent. rats sinking ship….

  14. karol 14

    Drinnan says TV3 has buckled somewhat re-using Linda Clark as an election commentator. He agrees she should be more up front up the political clients she works for. But isn’t that the same for Hooton, and not to mention some right wing bloggers used as political commentators?

    • Matthew Hooton 14.1

      I don’t work for any political clients.

      • blue leopard 14.1.1

        ‘I don’t work for any political clients’…. only a select few.

        ‘I don’t work for any political clients’….solely individuals who wish to make profit at all costs….and if this involves donating and spending a whole lot of time lobbying (read ‘wining and dining’) with members of the two parties that most supports their self interest….this doesn’t make them ‘political’ …this makes them ‘following their self interest’ …this is simply ‘business people’ following ‘common business practices’.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.2

        None of your clients have any professional, career or business interest in NZ politics?

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          I think once you start including anything beyond actual political clients, you freeze out the whole of the country.

          • blue leopard

            You just dismissed a whole lot of people who have no political clout, conduct no political activity apart from them perhaps voting once every 3 years by your comment there and there are a whole lot of people in that category.

      • North 14.1.3

        Hahahahahahaha !

      • karol 14.1.4

        But the explicit aim of your organization is political lobbying – IE you aim to represent people to intervene in political processes in order to achieve political aims to their liking and/or benefit.

        Exceltium’s speciality is engaging with the political process – at central and local government level and right across the political spectrum – to assist commercial clients in achieving their commercial objectives.

      • Tracey 14.1.5

        does that extend to others in your business/es and what is your definition of “political” in your statement?

      • RedBaronCV 14.1.6

        What is this statement saying Matty. You don’t work (just sit and collect money for nothing) or you don’t have any political clients?? If you have no political clients why do you find us here so attractive for airing your views? We are your hobby??

        • Matthew Hooton

          Yes, The Standard is one of my hobbies.

          If you are interested, I put this comment on Whaleoil in response to his request for political commentators to say which politicians or political parties they work for:

          I have been doing political commentary since 2004 mainly on Radio New Zealand, RadioLIVE, the Sunday Star Times and the NBR.

          I do not receive any money from any political party or politicians.

          Things that some might believe are relevant in terms of disclosure (none of which have ever been secret) are:

          From 1991-1998, I was employed in the Beehive during the term of the last National Government and was paid by Ministerial Services.
          In 1999, I assisted the Super 2000 Taskforce set up by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley to advise on superannuation policy.
          In 2000, I assisted the Department of Labour promote Margaret Wilson’s Employment Relations Bill to the business community. 

          In 2003, I had expenses associated with organising a press conference for Don Brash refunded by Parliamentary Services (but was not paid for my time).
          In 2004 (successfully) and 2007 (unsuccessfully) I worked for a group called Action Hobson which contested the Hobson ward of the old Auckland City Council. I was paid out of donations.
          In 2005, I did one-off leaders’ debate training for Rodney Hide, playing John Campbell, and was paid by Parliamentary Services (I think – it could have been the Act Party itself).
          In 2007, my staff and I worked on Willie & JT’s unsuccessful mayoral campaigns
          (can’t remember if we were paid or if it was pro bono – probably a bit of
          In 2009, I worked for Don Brash’s 2025 Taskforce in releasing its report and was
          paid by the Treasury.
          In 2011, my company and I worked for the Independent Maori Statutory Board of the Auckland Council, in its dispute with the Council over funding.
          In 2012, my company and I worked for the Maori Economic Development Panel in releasing its report and was paid by TPK.
          In 2012-13, my company and I worked for the Christchurch Central Development Unit on a number of projects.
          I have also done work in Mongolia for people associated with the then Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and the Mongolian Green Party.

          I am pretty sure this is all where politicians might be involved directly or indirectly as clients.

          In addition, I try to avoid writing or talking about anything related to private sector issues I am working on. For example, I never wrote anything about UFB or the proposed carpark tax as a commentator, even when these were highly topical. If I do address anything I am working on, I either mention this in the column or conversation or put a formal disclosure at the end. I neglected to do this once in a column about the ETS and Richard Harman’s The Nation did me over on TV3, which was fair enough.

    • blue leopard 14.2

      On a somewhat related note.

      I don’t like this whole thing going on with the media and rules around politics re TVNZ requiring their workers to not belong to a political party.

      This is a democracy FFS – and if workers are disallowed from being active in politics on some level outside their working hours – this is a political stance in itself. It is a requirement that journalists are disengaged from their democracy.

      While I see this is a way of a media outlet protecting itself and its workers from being accused of bias, isn’t it better – in a democracy – to disclose all connections – such as being involved with any potentially political organisation (for example ‘The Tax Payers Union’) – rather than requiring no outside activities from these people?

      Isn’t it better that the general public are allowed to know what stance the reporter has, rather than having it covered up by such a draconian requirement. Does this requirement require that the journalist has no connection to organisations such as ‘the Taxpayers Union’ too?

      Neutrality in journalists isn’t the way to go – it is an unrealistic expectation – isn’t it better to accept that and have a balance of left-wing and right-wing journalists/political commentators?

      This reminds me of the way Christmas has been cancelled in this country. We could have Christian, Muslim, Maori, Chinese, Indian etc celebrations. Or we can cancel the lot. Cancelling the lot is a religious stance of non-religiousness/non spirituality. Same with the political issue and journalists. This is turning into a non-political requirement from members of a democracy.

      • karol 14.2.1

        Yep. Agree with that, bl.

        I don’t think it is just about people declaring their direct political involvement in parties, etc., but being upfront about their underlying values and general political views.

        • Tracey

          the idea that if you dont belong to a party you are less likely to take a jaundiced view is silly.

          has paul henry stated he belongs to no political party? mike hosking? if they dont, my point stands. if they do, why hide it?

          • lprent

            I mostly object to the concept of “belonging” to a political party. Damn strange way of expressing what happens in my opinion.

            I’m a member of the Labour party. I’m also probably one of its more frequent and effective critics, especially of its parliamentary wing. I get told that rather too frequently sometimes.

            But I’d be surprised if anyone inside the Labour party thinks that I’m their property. Especially since I also donate to and help out the Greens, and actively try to get lefties from across the spectrum to get involved with any political party in anyway that they feel like.

            I often rather suspect that a lot of the politicos in political parties would prefer that I didn’t get interested in them and what they are doing. In much the same way that many commentators here would often prefer that I didn’t take and interest in them. Being a bit of a sarcastic pain interested in slicing and dicing through bullshit appears to be deeply embedded in my nature.

            But as a general principle, I’d agree with you. In my experience experienced members of political parties are usually more critical of the party that they are members of than “independents”. For a starter most people are involved because they want to help change where that party is heading. Otherwise why bother being a member.

    • drinnan talks absolute shite in that column..

      ..i posted a comment there saying as much..and for why..

      ..i doubt it will get thru..

    • blue leopard 14.4

      Hmm…another thought…

      It really shows National to be weak and antidemocratic with their recent activity of taking out any potential left-leaning commentary from the mainstream media.

      National appear to believe that it is not suitable to have people with left-wing views commenting on politics. It is also clear that they don’t mind those of right-wing views on TV, or they would be complaining about the many who are right-wing on TV.

      I can see why they are doing this, both their ideology and position is weak. If they have anyone sharing left-wing views on the mainstream media it will be a landslide to the left in this year’s election.

      The only chance the right-wing have (and I would posit ever have) of winning the election is hiding the reality of what their ideological stance is and where their stupid bloody policies lead.

      National’s aim is clearly to keep people misinformed by imbalanced reporting. That is the only way they can win because they haven’t got any decent arguments to counter the left’s narrative, so they are trying to shut it down completely. Nice one National.

      The people supporting parties who take such measures to shut out opposing views are either simple fools or dictatorial fools who want to destroy democratic processes and prefer a dictatorship because that is what they are getting by supporting this government. Note: either way they are fools because they are undermining the system that they are benefitting the most from.

    • Tracey 14.5

      and tv3 will run a tracker for the first twenty seconds of the paul henry show stating he stood as a national party candidate in 1999.

  15. greywarbler 15

    This is a nasty little piece in the Manawatu Standard. Against the Labour Party. And based on the idea that big unions are should be regarded as corporations and on the same level and standing as business corporations. So when it comes to the wealthy 1-10% giving NACTs donations, the 90% also-rans trying to achieve cohesion and representation and fund it is equal?

    So, with a nice farming practical back to the land title – Deals keep the grassroots tilled
    says LIAM HEHIR on 12 May 2014. (He is a lawyer, surprise, specialising in – Property
    Business, Intellectual property, Rural – surprise?) No doubt he knows which dairy farm his butter comes from. Or indeed, if moving with the times, his olive oil.

    I can reveal that a network of highly organised corporations have gained influence over one of our political parties. They give this party thousands of dollars – and there is no doubt they get their money’s worth.
    For instance, the corporations in question have privileged party connections. As hard as it is to believe, they actually have a direct hand in choosing the party leader. Less directly, a high number of party MPs and organisers used to work for them.
    The party regularly proposes legislation that furthers the goals of these corporations…..
    Yes, the role and influence of unions over the Labour Party is truly disturbing.

    Of course, you probably shouldn’t expect the TV3 news team to express any alarm over this. I also wouldn’t hold my breath while waiting for John Campbell to demand which Labour Party figures met with which union bosses (and what was discussed and what promises were made).
    Another thing you can’t expect is a meaningful distinction as to why the matter is different to the National Party talking to businessmen, receiving donations from them and meeting with them at fundraising events.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Possibly worth complaining and then reporting to the Press council.

    • Tracey 15.2

      it shouldnt surprise anyone cos its all public record. the act board chooses its candidates with no public disclosure of how those decisions are made. national does theirs in secret.

      liam must be struggling to know who to vote for, but i suspect he is in colin craigs camp.

  16. geoff 16

    This is bizarre:


    From the discussion thread in a previous post:

    Anonymous activists broke into [Redacted]’s Tinakori Road apartment when he was in Auckland with his boyfriend. We photocopied documents relating to his and his wife’s messy divorce and employment proceedings with the GCSB. We copied the hard disks of his laptop. We have a mass of documents relating to the GCSB’s spying on Japan, Indonesia, and Middle Eastern Countries and people of a MIddle Eastern origin in New Zealand as well. We also have evidence of the GCSB monitoring Chinese commercial interests on behalf of the United States.


    [Redacted] was caught by his wife fucking men when stationed to the NSA
    NZ spied on Japan re the IWC

    More to come if you can handle it Danyl, or maybe I should seek another outlet?


    Much more to come; much more

    I can’t handle it. Go bug Andrea Vance.

  17. captain hook 17

    I see Radio New Zealand had to apologize to Winston Peters this morning. That slimy little whinger gluon whatshisname had broadcasted an entirley unsubstantiated slander against Winston without checking the facts.
    Is this the “NEW” Radio New Zealand. We just so busy sucking up to National party that we can do what we like now?

    • greywarbler 17.1

      Captain Hook Is that a rhetorical question? Radionz obviously doesn’t consider it can do anything it likes – it read out a full apology. But it wasn’t Gluon that did so, it was a female voice. Was it Gluon that did the interview with Winston Peters? I remember the content and the part about whether Winston was allowed to own part of a racehorse.

      I don’t remember which part and Whinny bucked and kicked in a fair and defensive way. But Winston is a lawyer and can handle the legals unto the party of the third and fourth part and good on him for socking it to them.

    • bad12 18.1

      Interesting, lets see if Labour use this as an opportunity to bump Kelvin Davis up the list…

    • greywarbler 18.2

      I thought that the table that I have pointed to below was an interesting run through of politicians in 2013 summarised in an incisive way.

      Go into Google and search under the words – denis o’rourke Maori gangs
      then scroll to second page, look for Roll Call 2013 – Trans Tasman Newsletter –

      That will bring up the very personal take on each pollie which sounds realistic. For Darien Fenton = there was a rating of 3 out of 10 I think.
      In many ways she embodies Labour’s problems.
      Her main portfolio is transport and you rarely
      hear her talking about it. Not cabinet material

      This is the home page – http://transtasman.co.nz/home/

  18. jh 19

    Picketty has more in common with George than Marx

    For Piketty and George, the bottom line, both moral and economic, is to socialize “rent” — rent, that is, not in the colloquial sense but in the economic sense of income disconnected from productivity.

    It’s an attractive vision: an egalitarian, productive society, purged of parasitical rent-seeking through the expedient of well-aimed taxes.

    Alas, Piketty’s global wealth tax and George’s single tax suffer from the same defect, and it’s not political impracticality — after all, George nearly got himself elected mayor of New York City in 1886.

    It’s the inherent difficulty of separating the productive, untaxed component of the return on land or capital from the unproductive, taxed part.

    Clear in the pages of a treatise, the distinction is murkier in practice. The market price of a vacant lot can reflect potential productive uses, as well as the risk a buyer takes by betting on them. A similar analysis applies to the rate of return on capital.

    As a result, it’s hard to devise a tax on wealth that raises a significant amount of revenue but doesn’t discourage at least some socially beneficial saving or entre­pre­neur­ship. The potential for adverse unintended consequences — economic and political — is greater than Piketty seems to realize.


    I think the difficulty with land tax is political. I brought it up once and someone said “I paid for that” (I paid for my house and by implication the capital gains) or that will cost me.. I don’t want that. People don’t see the (long term) big picture.
    John Key rejected a land tax as “the value of everyone’s property would fall’ … and the banks would suffer?

    • blue leopard 19.1

      @ jh
      Thanks for the link, that article explains the issue in an easy to understand way.

  19. dv 20

    From Key at Sky City

    ‘ Key also questioned opposition claims the wealthy weren’t paying enough tax, saying the top 2% of taxpayers pay 22% of all personal tax, and 12% of households pay 76% of all net tax.

    The question should be widened to HOW much of the income is received by the 2% and the 12% of the households?

    • blue leopard 20.1

      …Or how many people are on the lowest tax rate and how many of them live on or below the poverty threshold.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Exactly – the reason that the wealthy pay so much tax is because they have grabbed so much of the nation’s income.

      If John Key wants everyone else to pay more tax – challenge him to raise the minimum wage to $16/hr.

    • karol 20.3

      And here Key speaks gibberish

      Prime Minister John Key has gone on the attack over inequality, saying the gap between rich and poor isn’t widening.

      Speaking at a post-Budget event at Sky City today, Key said opposition claims of worsening inequality were incorrect.

      “Over the last decade New Zealand has not become any more unequal.

      ‘”Maybe at the margin it has become slightly less unequal.”

      less is more.

        • ianmac

          To me the modern policeman looks like a school boy?
          Key has never had to face and angry crowd. He was bravely always hidden somewhere else.
          During the last election his daily itinerary was never published. Instead he would always pop up surrounded only by his supporters.
          This year?

      • blue leopard 20.3.2

        ‘”Maybe at the margin it has become slightly less unequal.”

        One small sentence for Key – one great leap for the peoples’ interests.


        The National party’s narrative is crumbling. Key cannot even say that the inequality is not widening. He has to qualify it, so he is not caught out, which he would be if he didn’t.


        The right-wing narrative is crumbling, folks.

        The right-wing narrative is crumbling
        The right-wing narrative is crumbling
        The right-wing narrative is crumbling

        Well done to all of you who have worked toward the uncovering of the smoke and mirrors that National depend on. Your efforts are starting to show. Keep up the good work.

        • karol

          Well, in his garbled way, Key was saying it’s become more unequal if you compare the top and bottom centiles. But he ws treating it more dismissively than it warrants. Taking the mean or median income shows little difference in the last couple of decades.

          But there is a danger that long term struggles on the lowest centile means it gets harder and harder to u=improve one’s situation. Meanwhile more wealth, in terms of assets, property ownership etc, is accumulating with those on the highest incomes.

          Then there’s the negative impacts on society of a big inequality gap.

          Nothing to be complacent, or dismissive, about.

          • freedom

            “But there is a danger that long term struggles on the lowest centile means it gets harder and harder to u=improve one’s situation”

            I hope we all agree that is no longer theory,
            for a growing number it is the only reality they know.

            and yes, [them], other countries are worse off than we are!
            besides, I am not talking about NZ alone

      • Tracey 20.3.3

        and then he rolled the dice…

    • felix 20.4

      “The question should be widened to HOW much of the income is received by the 2% and the 12% of the households?”

      It would be lovely if a journalist would ask him this question. Or, horror of horrors, know the answer already and put it to him…

      • Skinny 20.4.1

        English needs to be hauled over the coals for his latest back flip. He blew his arse that the belt tightening was over and employee’s can rightfully expect decent pay rises this year;


        So one would assume he would lead by example by giving decent payrises to public and state sector workers. Instead he stated on tv news tonight that SOE workers won’t be getting bugger all. So it’s all snake oil by this idiot, I know there are strongly unionised workers that have their collective agreements to settle soon. And these workers will rightfully hold English to account by being forced to withdraw the only bargaining tool they have ‘their sweat & toil’ so industrial action is inevitable.

        I really hope the Left back Nationwide protests and get tens of thousands of workers out in the main centers. The CTU and all disgruntled workers need to get proactive in this regard. All opposition party’s must stand up and be counted.

  20. fender 21

    Watch out Richie McCaw, after maligning both David Beckham and Benji Marshall word has it Key will have a go at you next..

  21. Colonial Viper 22

    No, I’m pretty sure that National is still trying to interest McCaw in standing as a candidate at some stage.

  22. Colonial Viper 23

    Raising taxes on the rich would go against the oligarchic principles our nation was founded on

    Got to love the Onion


  23. McGrath 24

    BM is right. Labour turning around and saying that we’re backtracking on Super makes them look foolish and untrustworthy. They’ve staked a very clear position on this issue.

    • felix 24.1

      Nah, Labour’s position is flexible.

      It’s National who have taken the “hell or highwater, my job on the line” stance.

    • Draco T Bastard 25.1

      This isn’t:

      Thursday morning Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his support for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and McCutcheon, the two Supreme Court decisions allowing big money nearly unlimited influence in politics.

      Will be interesting to see how that goes. See if the people of the US can dis-empower the oligarchy.

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