Open mike 16/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 16th, 2011 - 156 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

156 comments on “Open mike 16/12/2011”

  1. Jenny 1

    On yesterday’s news that Fonterra is to provide free milk to primary schools.

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


    Kia ora H.S. The following Labour Party news release is why Fonterra’s decision to provide free milk to primary schools, (that is, if it is to be more than just another short term anarchic public relatations stunt), must be regulated.

    If this initiative is needed, (and it is), and it really makes a difference, (which it could), then it must be taken out of sphere of charity giving, which can be removed at any time at the whim of the donor.

    Labour Party Press release: Monday, 23 May, 2011

    The decision by Countdown to cancel its support for the Red Cross Breakfast in Schools programme is devastating news for vulnerable children whose parents are struggling to put food on the table.
    “The programme depends on the sponsorship from Countdown to provide a basic breakfast of toast, hot drinks, milk and cereal to children attending 61 schools. It’s been a real lifeline for many families and has made an enormous difference to the lives of vulnerable children since its inception four years ago.”

    Annette King, Labour Party Social Policy Spokesperson

    • higherstandard 1.1

      Jenny I note that nowhere in that release does Annette suggest that countdown should be legislatively compelled to do anything.

      I also find it disheartening that the day before NZs largest company announces a plan to supply milk free of charge for all primary school children in NZ that all many on this site can do is moan and bleat.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        HS I would prefer the children of the poor received a proper breakfast than all children were given some free milk.  And the “gesture” is funded by exorbitant prices charged by Fonterra.  In the land of milk and honey something is so wrong that it should cost so much.

        • higherstandard

          Still moaning and bleating about all and sundry Greg, take a big breath and suggest how all children receive a proper breakfast and in the meantime find it in your retarded activist brain to acknowledge that free milk in all primary schools is a good thing.

          Tell you what here’s another few things I would like to see in relation to NZs children
          1. 100% vaccination
          2. A decline in the sickening child abuse stats

          • lprent

            A good thing – but for how long.

            Open mike 16/12/2011

            Probably for long enough that they get the best PR for the expense, but when it becomes just expense then the generosity ceases as well. Long term welfare programmes are unsung. Companies are not suited for the task.

            • higherstandard

              ‘Long term welfare programmes are unsung. Companies are not suited for the task.’

              What, like the rescue helicopter (Westpac) , surf lifesaving (DHL) and the childrens hospital (MacDonalds) ?

              • kriswgtn

                you forgot to add the never ending canvassing ie begging on street corners for peoples money 😛 , by so called said companies

              • Ianupnorth

                You forgot to add that Westpac are giving payback for all the government banking business they receive and McDonald’s actually contribute more to the ill health of children via obesity and also only fund Ronald McDonald house, the accommodation for the parents. Most other civilised countries actually have inbuilt parental accommodation, without the need for a burger bar in the entry to the national childrens hospital!

              • rosy

                Our family has been in the unfortunate position of having to rely on Ronald McDonald House for quite some time. I fully appreciate the facilities, and work put in by the wonderful volunteers. But MacDonalds doesn’t provide the service – volunteers do – the company just has naming rights for collecting the money. And in a sense it’s easy money because sick kids tug the heart strings. I’d love to see companies provide for the hard stuff – women’s refuges for instance, and leave essential health services* to the health system.

                *Because the health system does not provide for rare, complex conditions outside of large urban centres this accommodation is essential and should be part of the health service IMO.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s still cheaper and far more efficient to fund such things through taxes and we don’t get the BS advertising that comes with corporate sponsorship.

              • Vicky32

                What, like the rescue helicopter (Westpac) , surf lifesaving (DHL) and the childrens hospital (MacDonalds) ?

                All largely funded by public donation! Countdown was promoting surf lifesaving a few weeks back, at the same time as frontliners were outside our local, begging for $$ for the same charity!

              • millsy

                The system of rescue helicopters should be funded from taxation and run by either the NZDF or the Fire Services.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Actually, turning the airforce into a coastguard would make a lot of sense. Both for S&R and territorial reasons.

          • Bored

            Would’nt we all, plus a big breakfast. Hope Mum can afford the cut price loaf of bread now the rent has gone up……..

          • Blue

            The free market will sort it all out, HS. No worries.

          • Puddleglum

            higherstandard, noblesse oblige from an elite is not the way to solve social and economic issues (such as malnourished children) in a democratic society.

            In feudal times, it is true that noblesse oblige provided some minimal relief but it always came with some pretty strong strings attached.

            Corporate sponsorship is just updated feudal charity. And ‘noblesse oblige‘ is now just ‘corporate social responsibility‘.

      • lprent 1.1.2

        It is just an example about why companies are not suited to the task to providing long term welfare.

      • mik e 1.1.3

        I would legislate for that as we have a duopoly in the grocery sector and they are maximizing their profits at the expense of the connedsumer .England has far more competition in the food sector that’s why our lamb costs half the price it does here.
        The free market is a wonderful thing when their is true competition but in many countries it has to be regulated to stop price gouging New Zealands Commerce Commission is a joke!

        • insider

          well woolworths online has racks of lamb at $31kg while Tescos UK has racks at about $43kg. Legs are about the same, chops about the same, steaks about $32 in the UK v $25 in NZ. Lamb’s seasonality maybe makes it not quite as simple as you think

          • Colonial Viper

            And given that UK incomes in NZD terms are far higher than ours, we are being cheated at home.

    • Uturn 1.2

      “…The public affairs manager for Countdown owner Progressive Enterprises, Luke Schepen, said the chain stopped sponsoring the Red Cross programme at the end of last year “following a review of our community initiatives”.

      “Our team has a terrific passion for supporting the communities we serve and this has not changed. We are currently exploring new opportunities to invest in initiatives that will benefit both our communities and our business,” he said.

      He declined to comment on the contract with MasterChef, which was “an advertising sponsorship”.

      Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich said food companies were considering a coordinated national programme to supply foodbanks and breakfast programmes modelled on Foodbank Australia, which distributes food to welfare agencies feeding the hungry.

      Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson said her mission had sent a consultant to look at the Australian scheme and was working on a proposal for the New Zealand industry…”

      The beginning of privatised welfare. And the self interest of the invisible hand:

      For once, Shelley Bridgeman’s experience is relevent to her story. Just like, say 100% vaccination, the free market doesn’t care about disease in children, or poverty. It wants profit, money for doing not much, and influence in our culture – whether that is a government subsidy or some long term brand recognition. Then when you work your way out to something like, say, “reducing child abuse stats”, the cultural influence become institutionalised racism, or to put it another way cultural war. Cultural war? Why that’s preposterous! All we want is for maori and immigrants to give up their gods and families obligations and traditions and come be a part of our aspirational ladder giving full deference to our values and culture and boosting our production and profit. They’ll be rich… well, umm, ok they’ll be allowed to compete among themselves for below living wages. But it’s not cultural war. Honest. And some will make it, for sure, after my son of course, and his children, and once I have a new house in Noosa.

      But let’s get back to feeding starved kids. Poor children should not be fed, the right say, if rich children do not recieve the same food. Why? Because, one law for all. It wouldn’t be fair. But the real mentality is that to get ahead you need to take from someone, and if you aren’t taking or getting from someone, or worse, doing something for it’s own end, you are falling behind. It doesn’t matter if the rich kids on-sell their unneeded milk – they say – turn it into cheese and export it at a profit or waste it by tipping it on the ground. That is just the invisible hand, the free market. They could offer it to the poor children but that wouldn’t be right. They’d be falling behind. So the government would end up subsidising a theoretical rich child’s export cheese business. But that’s ok because it was “fair”. The rich kids had no advantage – except they weren’t hungry to start with and their parents weren’t exporters. The poor kids could have chosen not to drink their milk and do the same. As long as they built up an export business first, or paid the rich kids to take their milk – at a heaviliy discounted price of course. Shuffling paper doesn’t come cheap.

      You see, the free market, the invisible hand, the Right in general, do not care about anything that is not them, or that can’t be made to be like them. Basic human dignity is not in their vocabulary – it has to be earned by being… you guessed it… like them. They are inherently and categorically incapable of doing what is right for it’s own end and withdrawing the concealed, invisible hand of control. Self interest and greed is good they say – without greed and self interest, no one would have cars, they say. What they forget is that greed is a choice; that humans are not wholey animals unless they choose to discard their conscience; that cars, for example, were never a predestined product of humanity; and that humans always find an altenative. It all leads back to self interest, and a born to rule mentality: we rule therefore we we always meant to rule; we exist as we are, therefore we were always meant to be this. If greed and self interest dies, they say, there will be nothing left in the world to do. No motivation to act.

      I get tired of hearing the same rightwing principles drip fed by various people through every thread. They are cowards. They will not either come out and admit their greed and self interest and leave it at that, or discover their greed and self interest and develop their minds. It’s always about how greed and self interest can be made to be morally good through ethical sanitisation.

      • Bored 1.2.1

        If the corporate bastards just paid their taxes at a reasonable rate without going through all the chicanery of avoidance schemes etc we would not need their “charity”.

        • Uturn

          Corporate tax is an affront to the individual. Everything happens in a vacuum. My efforts are my own. I raised myself. Fed myself when I could not even see, schooled myself. My birth was no accident. I am god. Everything is for me to take.

          Corporate Executives were not born in hospitals built by people with foresight because they might be needed. Therefore they should not pay taxes to contribute to the collective foresight of others unless they get something from it.

          Welcome to the toddler mind.

          • Olwyn

            “It’s always about how greed and self interest can be made to be morally good through ethical sanitisation.”

            I am certainly not advocating a return to the Divine Right of Kings, but it had one advantage over the invisible hand: it conferred some conception of moral authority and hence moral duty on the socially dominant. It worked to a very limited degree of course, as such things do. But the invisible hand confers no such authority; its only justification is power. Hence the hunger for power has no limit, and rival conceptions of value eliminated or suborned, including ethical value. Note that the ethical value at play here is charity, which is often seen as supererogatory, and can more easily be withdrawn than justice.

          • logie97

            … or the roads that their behemoths move their goods on.

      • aerobubble 1.2.2

        The good people pull out their wallets to fund gaps in the welfare-health coverage.
        A sensible country would spread the cost to the bad people who don’t pay a share.
        Just because there are generous people in the world we should not reward those
        who aren’t.

  2. dv 2

    From the NBR
    Hanover civil proceedings just the beginning – Hughes
    Duncan Bridgeman | Thursday December 15, 2011
    Intended civil proceedings against the Hanover group of finance companies could be a test case for further compensation action, the Financial Markets Authority says.

    The FMA announced today it will file civil proceedings against directors and promoters of Hanover Finance, Hanover Capital, and United Finance next year.

    So next year could we see BANKS and BRASH charged as directors of HULLICH?

  3. David Shearer was fast tracked to Labour leadership because of his life experience, and because he comes across as an approachable honest sort of bloke. If his party – and it’s people – can convert to a similar image – in practice – it might start it’s recovery.

    • When Pete belongs to a party that shows it can get more than 0.6% of the popular vote I may think about giving some credence to what he says.

      • Pete George 3.1.1

        Greg, I know you’re not a Shearer supporter but you could learn a bit off him. He says he wants to be a uniter, and that he’s is prepared to listen to and learn from what people think and what they want. He doesn’t seem to be the sort of person who will abuse and bitch at anyone who doesn’t fit into some wee political pigeonhole.

        Are you with him or against him?

        • chris73

          Leave Lionel Hutz alone, hes probably feeling a bit down what with the recent selection and all

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      If UF can find a candidate with even boofier hair than The Hair, it might start it’s recovery.

      • logie97 3.2.1

        Pete George. Nominal UF supporter. NACT government apologist.
        Just because your I’ll-get-into-bed-with-who-ever-I-can-get-a-profile-and-ministerial-salary-from-electorate-MP has given confidence and supply to Key’s movement, does not mean that his minions have to defend him to the hilt. If you had found the Standard in the years from 1999 to 2008, presumably your comments here would have looked as if they were from the same song sheet as most other contributors. When did you change? Shit, by placing a question there, it might encourage further column inches of wasted space from you …

        Perhaps you should rename your blog site to something closer to TheStandard and you may then get some random exposure that way. Seems you need this one to get any recognition.

  4. rosy 4

    News of a digital media start-up fusing politics, social networking and news – working title Cloud Tiger Media :

    the aim of the venture is to “spread important, compelling ideas to hundreds of millions of people online and make being a progressive fun again…

    Given that the people behind it are Chris Hughes, Facebook co-founder and Obama’s digital guru during the 2008 election, Eli Pariser from MoveOn and Peter Koechley from The Onion it might be worth keeping an eye on.

  5. Dv 5

    From stuff


    Ok jackel, what Have you been up too.

  6. Jilly Bee 6

    Just had a look at the TV3 website – it says that Richie McCaw has turned down a Knighthood. Richie, you have just gone up heaps in my estimation. He said that it was because it wouldn’t be right as he is still playing rugby, so I suppose it’s always on the cards that it will happen once he retires. I fear that most recipients of titular honours suffer from delusions of grandeur.

    • rosy 6.1

      “Richie, you have just gone up heaps in my estimation”

      My thought exactly

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Quoting article:

        McCaw will receive an honorary doctorate of natural resources at April’s graduation ceremony.

        And WTF does a doctorate of natural resources usually mean?

        • McFlock

          Oh, be nice. It’s lincoln – a university with gumboot scrapers outside the entrance to the library. He probably turned down their initial offers of honorary docs in sheep-shagging, waterways nitrate-saturation, and strip-mining. 🙂
          The pols department is pretty good, though.

          • The Voice of Reason

            The view from the roof of the science block is stunning on a crisp winter’s day. And the cricket oval next door is magic in the summer, too.

          • Colonial Viper

            Jacqui Dean, look out for your day job! Dr Richie McCaw is after it!

  7. joe90 7

    “Income achievement gap” almost double black-white achievement gap

    In a dramatic illustration of the impact of income inequality on how children do in school, the achievement gap between children from high and low income families is far higher than the achievement gap between black and white students, a pathbreaking research report from Stanford University has shown.

    The report by Sean Reardon, a Stanford professor of education and sociology, shows that the income achievement gap—the difference in the average standardized scores between children from families at the 10th percentile of income distribution and children at the 90th percentile—is now “nearly twice as large as the black-white achievement gap.”


    While children at the bottom of the income scale are not doing worse academically than similar kids did decades ago—and in fact are doing better based on their test scores—the wider income achievement gap is a result of children at the top end of the income scale doing far better, he said.

    When you look at poor 4th graders today they are doing better than poor 4th graders 30 years ago. But rich 4th graders are doing much, much better than rich 4th graders (over the same time period). Most of the growth has been because kids at the high end of the family income distribution level have pulled away from middle income kids, not because kids at the low end have fallen away from middle income kids.

    • Yes, that’s in line with the study reported in ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell. The big shifts in SAT scores between children in schools of different SES areas happens over the summer break – not during school time.

      It may not be palatable for those on the liberal left, but better formal education will not solve the problem of increasing inequality.

      Only fundamental social and economic changes will achieve that. 

  8. chris73 8

    Ok seriously its beyond a joke now:

    Wheres the Labour, CTU, Len Brown or even National (Crusher Collins would have a few good ideas I’m sure). Someone needs to step in here and get this sorted (chance for shearer to score massive brownie points?)

    These idiots are stuck in a time warp and are damaging every other trade union

    • Ant 8.1

      LOL Maersk’s decision would have been made months before any strike action started.

      • Uturn 8.1.1

        “Instead the company had made a new offer of a 10 per cent increase in hourly rates in return for full operational flexibility and productivity increases. ”

        That means effective pay cuts and redundancies as POAL intend to contract out some or all of its container terminal operations and support services to third party contractors. But Stuff just print the percentage, so readers can say, “Oh my 10% increase? How can they turn it down? That’s heaps!”.

        Then POAL go on to whine about how those nasty strikers will effect those poor battling retailers just trying to make a living. Forgetting that it was POAL who locked the workers out and failed to turn up to negotiations.

        • chris73

          POAL has generous wage and benefit packages for staff under the Collective Agreement. For the year ended 30 June 2011:

          o Average wage for a full time stevedore at POAL was $91,480
          o Average wage for a part time stevedore at POAL was $65,518
          o 53% of full time stevedores (123 individuals) earned over $80,000
          o 28% (43 individuals) earned over $100,000 with the highest earner making $122,000

          POAL provides:

          Southern Cross medical insurance for the employee and family
          Sick leave of up to 15 days per annum accumulating to 45 days over three years
          Fully paid in house training (no student loans required) to become a lasher, straddle and crane driver
          Five weeks annual leave for shift workers

          Embedded inflexibilities and old-fashioned work practices mean that labour utilisation at POAL is approx. 65% compared to approx. 80% at Port of Tauranga:

          POAL’s crane drivers and deck foremen work on average 5.33 hours for every 8 paid
          Straddle drivers work an average 6 hours out of every 8 paid
          One recent example: stevedores worked 2 hours on an overtime shift but were paid for the whole 8 hour shift.

          Oh yeah those poor, struggling workers, turns out most of them are “rich pricks”

          • Ant

            Looks like pretty standard pay for a dangerous job and doesn’t take into account hours worked so is pretty meaningless, i know people who earn that much for reasonably un-skilled jobs due purely to overtime.

            Rest of the “generous benefits” are pretty standard also.

            • chris73

              Oh yeah I’m sure these guys are doing 70 hour weeks, I’m sure their union would have saomething to say about that

              This is the problem with unions and their leaders, they start thinking they’re more important then anything else

              • Colonial Viper

                Frak you, lets see a print out on what the senior managers and directors at the port company are getting first.

          • joe90

            So where’s the link to the source of the figures you cite?.

            • chris73

              Being that no one else on here (especially those with links to the union itself) isn’t questioning the figures should tell you something but its a hat tip to Cactus Kate for bringing this to light

              • The Voice of Reason

                Oh, great! You’re citing Cactus Kate as the source? D’oh! The source is the company. They are relying on the politics of envy to make the raw figures seem generous to the wider public and hoping to make their workers look greedy. It is propaganda designed to fool the naive, the gullible and the stupid. Camps you fit into well, chris.

              • lprent

                Alternatively it is because you’re largely being ignored? I realize that you think it is important. However it appears that few others do.

                In any case trying to use the “No answer means I am right” tactic is pretty dangerous here. When I’m in moderating mode I usually regard it as part of the pwned fallacy by whoever uses it and treat it like any other type of flame starter – maybe warn and likely ban. I don’t have time to deal with the flamewar outbreaks that result from the use of the tactic.

                Find a better argument.

          • McFlock

            got a link for that? I want to see what their overtime rates etc are.

          • millsy

            Yes, it shows how trade unions can catapult people into the middle class.

            Tell me, would you just have them earning minumum wage? (which means they will have to get WFF and Accomodation supplements)

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      The only time warp here is for workers to get a fair share of national GDP.

    • Campbell Larsen 8.3

      The ports of Auckland should not be operating from the downtown waterfront at all- the vast towering stacks of containers obscuring the view of the ocean are an eyesore.
      The port company has had a sweet ride for so long it believes that it is entitled not only to this premium public space but it also believes that it is doing it’s employees a favor by demanding productivity increases, demanding ‘operational flexibility’ (HR speak for you will work whenever however and for as long as I want and thank me for it) with the only ‘concession’ being a miserly 10% increase in hourly rate that does not even begin to compensate workers for the changes in their conditions or deliverables, let alone inflation.
      If someone needs their ass kicked it’s the Ports of Auckland – after all it’s not like they have 3 overlong movie versions of a fiction classic providing a justification for their bullying.

      • Ant 8.3.1

        Exactly, it’s a high-risk job, any drop in conditions compromises the safety of the entire work force. Unions need to be staunch in these industries or workers end up dead under containers for their 10% increase.

    • joe90 8.4

      WTF is it any of your business that they choose to legally withdraw their labour ?.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.5

      “These idiots are stuck in a time warp and are damaging every other trade union” – #73

      Spoken like a true anti unionist (#73, not the other commenters), e.g. unions have their place as long as it is compliant and ineffective.

      The default official setting for government is hands off labour disputes, but behind the scenes they encourage the employer, and remind the cops what is expected of them–“maintain law’n ordah!” and help scab herd.

      In the absence of any govt. committment to good faith bargaining, but plenty towards downgrading workers rights (attack ILO freedom of association, 90 Day Fire at Will) there are going to be more episodes of workers taking industrial action during this thin majority ShonKey administrations term.

    • Oh sure Chris, are you stuck in the time warp of 1951 when the shipowners and NATs collaborated with the right wing FOL leader Walsh to smash the wharfies over a few pennies so they could defeat the ‘communist’ threat to civilisation?
      Shearer could take the Nash line of 1951 of being ‘neither for or against’ the union.
      After all he is a ‘peacemaker’ not a fighter.
      Shearer said Labour would fight privatisation in the streets. No statement from him over Mighty River only his Minister Cosgrove. Can we expect a statement promising to renationalise Mighty River?
      Jones says Labour has lost the fight for privatisation, and will not oppose iwi buying shares. I can’t see Jones promising to renationalise iwi shareholdings.
      Is this the Shearer ‘reconnection’ strategy of undoing the damage of the F$S by selling assets to corporate Maori to undercut the MP and win back support in Maori seats?

  9. Ant 9

    So AMI is sold but we take it’s current and future earthquake liabilities, sounds like a pretty good deal for IAG, not so good for us. 😐

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Private insurance was never meant to be good for us – only for the stockholders.

      • Fotran 9.1.1

        AMI was a Mutual – it had no Stockholders.
        It was owned by the Policyholders, and nobody else.
        The money received from IAG (Australian owned State and NZI) will go towards paying for their share of the Christchurch Earthquake.

        • Colonial Viper


          The Government should have acquired the entirety of AMI, 100% of it. Instead of just the liabilities.

          And used the section which has been sold off as a new profitable SOE adding to our nation’s bottom line for years to come, instead of detracting from our balance of payments to Australia.

  10. logie97 10

    What a bazaar world of political speak we live in …

    “He said Labour had shed “most vestiges” of the Helen Clark government.” apparently said by Stuart Nash.

    Bloody hell. Was 1999 to 2008 a period of tyranny and treason?
    Why? Because we had an independent foreign policy. Reducing government debt. Pretty favourable employment figures … ummmm. Of course! That’s it! The community lost the right to beat its children with implements. Wait a minute, Key supported that measure – perhaps someone can explain.

    I for one was proud of Helen Clark’s stewardship of New Zealand.

    • joe90 10.1


      • Olwyn 10.1.1

        Helen Clark’s government was the only government I could feel proud of since rogernomics. Please, Labour, stop playing into the hands of right wing propagandists!

        • seeker

          Helen Clark was the best leader I have had in 40years of adult hood on the planet. A remarkable woman. One we knew was on top of her job, who respected her citizens and especially their children. Who led a government under which one could feel they could develop, progress and achieve. Above all, Helen was a leader one could feel safe and supported under,one who did not attack her own people. A leader who united the people, not divided, derided and negated parts of the population. And finally a leader who tried to make sure all prospered -not just the few,whilst trying to enslave or starve all those in a low wage society, who did not earn over $30,000 or who made as many as possible involuntarily unemployed and then blamed them for being out of work.

          When living under a government that respects and appreciates the talents and diversity and creativity of its people and supports them a country will flourish and become great,as we were doing until the hollow men came along with their spin and duplicity and false smiles..

          Unfortunately, as we are seeing, if people are left to suffocate under a government who acts unjustly, hoards all the money, negates and undermines its citizens, cuts off all opportunity to progress and achieve, who lies, cheats and steals(assets) all in the name of money and profit, and all in the name of money for self interest for itself or its business masters and buddies, then that government is not only dishonourable, it is an abuser of power and its members will one day have to answer for their rather wicked behaviour. Not a good look for eternity!

          At least I had the good fortune to experience one good leader in my lifetime. Thank you Helen. Now you were a real star.

    • newsense 10.2

      So Labour has shed most vestiges of the Clark government and hurrah says Stuart Nash and National has shed, actually SFA of their old dodders: Brownlee, English, Ryall, Smith, McCully are still there- though I can’t remember actually hearing any of them apart from English say a damn thing. With Maurice Williamson outside cabinet.

      Really? Is success measured by not having any institutional memory at all and having very little or no experience of actual government in your front ranks?

      Does this cabinet also look like it will spend more time playing push me pull you with Pagani and Nash giving advice from the side? So much for the momentary optimism.

      The ones who could win their electorates and party votes are mostly leaving or down the list. The ones who didn’t win their electorates are being promoted or given jobs.

      sorry should probably put this in open mike….can this be resolved and with the “vestiges” removed what will the party be underneath??

      sorry repost from another thread, and see this is already here.

      Agree that the Clark-led government seemed full of talented people pulling together for the centre left and achieving things. I am VERY underwhelmed at the moment by the thinness of this possible front bench.

    • Vicky32 10.3

      I for one was proud of Helen Clark’s stewardship of New Zealand.


    • deuto 10.4

      + whatever number we are up to. Helen (and Cullen) will go down in NZ history as amongst the best we have had. I remember well the feeling of a large load of feeling uttely disenfranchised lifting when Helen first won and during her year. I have had that feeling again in the last 3 years and unfortunately know it will continue until the present lot go – the sooner the better.

      • newsense 10.4.1

        It would seem like Labour wishes to move to the right a bit.

        Would in a million years the Greens consider asking David Cunliffe to join them at the next election or resign and stand for them in a by-election and try and take more space on the left if Labour becomes less convincing as a party of the left?

        Be an interesting proposition- would it be too unnatural?

    • millsy 10.5

      Really from a left perspective, the Clark years were nothing to write home about.

      Sure, there were some great things, such as Kiwibank, which was an Alliance inititaive, but in reality, the 5th Labour government never really went close to reversing the reforms of the Lange-Douglas-Richardson-Bolger administrations.

      Employment statistics from that era are rather misleading IMO, given that a lot of jobs created were casual and part time work, and labour hire companies such as AWF found themselves booming. Wages grew at a snails pace, despite all the talk of a growing economy with Clark and Cullen falling over themselves to discourage workers from seeking huge wage increases.

      Clark and Cullen still sold assets, with Terralink going on the block, not to mention forests, Landcorp farms, and gas/geothermal fields to name a few.

      For all the talk about ‘economic transformation’, ‘carbon neutrality’, ‘sustainability’ and so on, Clark and Cullen never really took the steps that were really required to achive such goals, probably because doing so required government agencies and state/publicly owned entities to lead the way, with the private sector being fast followers, a step too politically incorrect for a government that oozed PC-ness.

      I would have to agree that wiping student loan intrest was a bribe, but only insofar that shut up people who used to question as to why tuition fees werent coming down, unlike the number of hospitals closed under Labour. Yes, they stopped the large bulk of hopsital closures, a heartless act by the National party to pay for the huge tax cuts it intended to give to the rich in 1996 (people wonder why the left ‘hate’ the rich. Its because their tax cuts were paid for by massive cuts in services.), but Queen Mary hospital at Hamner Springs and the Kimberly Center at Levin are 2 examples.

      There are more points I could make, but I have things to do..

      IMO the Labour Party cannot make a break from the Clark era soon enough, the woman was essentially a female Tony Blair, cultivating a bland centerism and tinkering round the edges.

      • seeker 10.5.1

        @ millsy
        Don’t care if she was inside left, back to front, inside out or right up against it, Helen was an ace leader.

      • newsense 10.5.2

        yep and little action on climate change…though that may have cost them an election who knows…

        I think Clark was best when she and her government faced a strong and intellectually vibrant criticism from the left.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Government eats all AMI’s liabilities, Australians buy the cream

    Socialisation of hundreds of millions in Christchurch losses on to tax payers, while some Australian corporate gets the money making divisions.

    The Government should have compulsorarily acquired the entire insurance company for nothing.

    • Ant 11.1

      Yeah saw this, so we get all the high cost liablities, and sell all the profit making bits that hedge against high cost events. No wonder other insurance companies are interest because it looks like the most awesome deal ever.

      Sounds like some clever and hard nosed negotiating, I wonder who could have been involved in this one.

    • Fotran 11.2

      Who sold State Insurance to the Poms, who onsold it to the Aussies ?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Ah, The right-biased MSM trying to prove that someone thinking about his options is someone who’s not being supportive.

  12. Morrissey 13

    New Zealand First’s new Social Welfare spokeswoman makes her public debut…

    Winston Peters will shortly announce the appointment of this woman to the post of Social Welfare spokesperson….

  13. Ant 14

    Productivity commissioner knows nothing about productivity

    How is spending 3 hours in traffic getting to work productive? Also, is providing services over a larger geographic area with lower population density less or more productive?

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      The commission called for urgent action to free up more land for housing…

      What a surprise – a “productivity” commissioner out to make rates and living more expensive by increasing the sprawl. All those extra roads, which are going to become White Elephants in the near future, are expensive and so are the extra network services (sewerage, telecomms, electricity, etc etc) as well.


    As sexual violence surges in New Zealand, thousands join last-ditch campaign to restore funding for Auckland’s 24/7 sexual violence help centre.

    Petition: Stop the closure of Auckland’s 24/7 sexual violence crisis service

    24/7 sexual abuse helpline faces closure
    [lprent: better. However – my rewrite is a hell of lot more likely to have people reading it. For a start the links are clickable rather than word wrapped to incomprehension. I also hide all of the internet gobbledygook under anchors. Finally I dumped the last link for which you hadn’t provided any context and didn’t relate to the previous ones.

    And the following is what you garbage is what you cut’n’pasted. Basically it is crap. Do better. ]



    As sexual violence surges in New Zealand, thousands join last-ditch campaign to restore funding for Auckland’s 24/7 sexual violence help centre.


    Petition: Stop the closure of Auckland’s 24/7 sexual violence crisis service


    24/7 sexual abuse helpline faces closure


  15. joe90 16

    “Police officers investigating the theft of thousands of private emails between climate scientists from a University of East Anglia server in 2009″ — the source of the Climategate smear campaign timed to disrupt the Copenhagen climate summit — “have seized computer equipment” belonging to Roger Tattersall, who writes a climate denier blog under the pseudonym TallBloke.

    In the United States, the Department of Justice sent a “formal request for preservation” to Tattersall and climate denier Patrick Condon, who runs the No Consensus blog under the pseudonym Jeff Id. The DOJ letter tells the conspiracy theorists to preserve “all stored communications, records, and other evidence in your possession” for their blogs and for Climate Audit, a denier blog run by Steve McIntyre, a Canadian mining consultant.

  16. Wow, Waitakere has been returned to Bennett on judicial recount. Majority of 9 for her now.

    It must be a very anxious time for the MPs (or not MPs) having to wait through these recounts. Their whole future hinges on the outcome.

    • Colonial Viper 17.2

      It must be a very anxious time for the MPs (or not MPs) having to wait through these recounts. Their whole future hinges on the outcome.

      The Hair! What would The Hair! have done without his MP’s salary these last two decades? Riddle me that, Mr Pete George 🙂

  17. Adolf Fiinkensein 18

    I say there, chaps!

    How are things out in Waitakere these days?

  18. Dan hansen 19

    That will teach Miss Sepuloni to be a gracious winner in the future….! karma’s a bitch!

  19. joe bloggs 20

    Ouch – that has to hurt!

    Paula wins Waitakere back!

    I guess that at the very end of the day, the voters have had the final word and given Paula the mandate she so richly deserves.

    • lprent 20.1

      I suspect that this one will be going to court to look at those shifty votes.

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1

        As it’s so close I think an election with just the two of them standing would be the better option. Of course, the best option is to move to proportional voting system in electorates.

      • Jackal 20.1.2

        I requested information about vote cheating from the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Justice the other day… will be interesting to see what they front up with.

    • Gosman 20.2

      [Nelson Muntz mode] Ha ha ! [/Nelson Muntz mode]

  20. Bazar 21

    Bennett is back in as an electorate MP and Sepuloni is out.

  21. Treetop 22

    I was just saying to someone yesterday how grumpy I have been feeling about the election results. Nothing has gone right, too many people not voting, then Dunne not stopping asset sales (must have known that Bennett would get back her seat), then the Maori Party being a coalition partner and Cunliffe not being elected as Labour leader.

    I suppose I should be lucky that I am not Carmel.

  22. Vicky32 23

    I am just hearing Hil’ry Berry having orgasms of joy because Petulant Bean has won Waitakere back again. How is this even possible?

  23. seeker 24

    Paula Bennett has just been declared the winner in Waitakere on the recount- by nine I think they said. What is going on.? I think the whole election should be recounted .Perhaps Labour could form a government???? Am feeling rather queasy at the mo.

    • Jackal 24.1

      That means they miscounted by 20 votes… which is a hell of a lot. Something is smelling decidedly fishy.

      • Olwyn 24.1.1

        Yes I would like to know if it involves miscounting, or the rejection of votes that were previously accepted – the tick not quite in the box indicating an “unclear intention” etc.

      • Mehere 24.1.2

        And if those 20 votes had gone the other way, would they smell so fishy to you? I suspect not. Vote counting is just like anything where humans are involved, mistakes will be made. You could keep recounting until you get the result you want or you could just accept the result and move on. I suggest the latter is the best course of action.

        • Olwyn

          It does seem a lot to be out by, especially since they are said to be very thorough before they release the results.

        • Colonial Viper

          We just want the actual count Mehere. Not an approximation.

        • seeker

          .Mehere you write

          “…or you could just accept the result and move on. I suggest the latter is the best course of action.”

          If only John Key and Paula Bennett had done that when Carmel won by 11 votes.

      • mickysavage 24.1.3

        Miscount at Fruitvale School.  Mistakes do happen …

    • Treetop 24.2

      I personally have to question counting votes, transporting votes, storing votes and the scrutiny of ballot papers as Christchurch Central and Waitakere could have gone either way.

  24. chris73 25

    And thats why you should always be a gracious winner

    • seeker 25.1

      Like Paula you mean Chris? One word that definitely does not describe Miss P. Bennett is “gracious”. Another recount is called for I think.

      • tsmithfield 25.1.1

        This isn’t Zimbabwe.

        • Colonial Viper

          And that’s why we can do a recount.

          • higherstandard

            I’m not sure if you can do a recount of a recount – something to do with a three day period from memory, I think it has to be escalated to a judicial review/electoral petition at this stage if anyone wants to take it further.

      • chris73 25.1.2

        Well Carmel should have just congratulated her opponent on a tough fight and thanked the people for voting her in, not take a couple of cheap shots (which has backfired)

  25. higherstandard 26

    Has anyone heard from Greg Presland I’m worried that this may push him over the edge.

    Why was Carmel so low on the list – nothing against Raymond Huo but he’s not in the same class as Carmel/

    • hs you are a piece and a waste of space.

      The recount was done impeccably and there was a mistake in Fruitvale School.  The decision cannot be faulted.

      But there is the possibility of a Electoral Petition and the possibility that this may affect National’s majority.

      Have you impersonated any female staff members lately? 

      • higherstandard 26.1.1

        Greg – yes I often wear a dress to work, it winds the patients up no end.

        I can’t seem to reconcile a count being done impeccably with a mistake in fruitvale school ?

        Never mind have a good day the weathers fine and I’m off for some cricket.

  26. The Voice of Reason 27

    Lefty author Christopher Hitchens has died. Cancer took him, aged a mere 62 years old. It’s ironic that he should die on the day of the American withdrawal from Iraq, as he was often criticised for writing in support of the invasion.

    • higherstandard 27.1

      At least he made it to 62 poor Jason Richards lost to his family at 35.

    • Vicky32 27.2

      Lefty author Christopher Hitchens has died.

      Lefty author? Not since the 1970s, afaik… He made a meal out of having once been a lefty, and pro-war people found it tremendously useful to claim he still was a lefty, but he himself was proud to proclaim that he wasn’t.
      It  takes a darn sight more than being a “famous atheist” to make someone a lefty..

      • The Voice of Reason 27.2.1

        Nah, he was left till the end, though he was definitely critical of the movement when he felt it was deserved. I don’t think he was much of a joiner, if you know what I mean, and I think he distrusted the organised left. He was also very pro-American which was confusing for some.

        • Vicky32

          Nah, he was left till the end

          Sorry, that’s utter nonsense! He was proud to be a rightist, he was truly American to the point of gastropody, and he was very scathing of the left, especially the anti-war left. I first became aware of him through a profile in the Listener in about 2002, and was frustrated to see the pro-war right saying in the lead up to the destruction of Iraq – “See! Christopher Hitchens supports us and he’s a lefty!” 
          It was rather like trying to say to these fascist clowns that there were no WMD… (which we all know now that there weren’t… at least I hope you do! 🙂 )
          No matter how many links to Hitchens’ own words proving his hatred of Islam, Christianity, (but not Judaism you note, as Zionism has a lot to do with the casus belli , and Bush’s crusade against Islam) or his hatred of the left, the pro-war nutmegs would just stick their fingers in their ear and go “la-la-la, I can’t hear you”!

  27. randal 28

    Kweewee and his gang have already used up their goodwill.
    once the left gets organised next year then he and his greedy little stockjobber mates are in for a big fright.

  28. millsy 29

    RE: Bennett winning the recount.


    • Jilly Bee 29.1

      Yep, definitely drowning our sorrows in this household. Is there nothing further to be done, I recall in my dark dim past about Winston Peters taking it a step further when he was denied the Hunua seat, way back in [when?] against Roger Douglas’ brother and won it back. It would seem to be not a level playing field when considering what constitutes a valid vote.

    • Tiger Mountain 29.2

      While Carmel could have zipped her lip, she should take this all the way. It is highly suspicious and could verge on Hunua like “ticks and crosses” territory, “hanging chads” or some other jiggery pokery, such as part millimetres of tick placement to get Bennett across the line. It strains belief that the change in numbers comes down to pure counting straight after a recount involving special votes.

      To the whingers that say what about when Carmel won by a small number on recount, think about it. Who has the ability to manipulate here-who has a tiny parliamentary majority, i.e who has motive and opportunity to rort.

      • chris73 29.2.1

        Or maybe Bennet just got more votes

      • the phantom 29.2.2

        presumably the same people who watched from the sidelines as Carmel won by 12 on the specials. If you are serious about this argument surely you must ascribe them the power to avert that little sideshow.

      • Grumpy 29.2.3

        Labour didn’t even bother to have a lawyer at the recount. Was Greg playing golf?

        • mickysavage

          You should not believe everything that Slater tells you.  In fact if you want to be safe you should not believe anything that Slater tells you.

          • McFlock

            Pity. If the only party lawyers present were nats, it might indicate a cunning plan. Specifically, this cunning plan which relies on bennett winning the recount by a small margin (and 9 is as close as it gets), then labour to a petition for judicial review of the count. Bennett loses, but because the list seats have been finalised she is out of parliament and nactuf only have 60 seats.
            It all just depends on the wider strategy, if one exists. With no lab lawyers in the room, 9 votes would be the best case scenario for bennett. And no real cost to labour.

            • dancerwaitakere

              Some people have an inability to infer anything when reading. Your comment is proof.

              • McFlock

                Some people have an inability to infer anything when reading.

                Like the implied meaning of the one-word sentence “pity”.

            • mickysavage


              Like I said don’t believe everything or come to think of it anything Slater tells you.  I have read the cunning plan you talk about and I might start fundraising …

              • McFlock

                I don’t read slater. One the single-digit occasions commenters here have been adamant enough and I have read their links to wo, I’ve regretted it each and every time.
                I’m much more interested in whether Edgeler’s analysis is spot on, or whether it misses a bit that brings the entire house of cards down. 9 votes can easily switch the other way. I assume that in that eventuality, the nats would go to the court of appeal, and then the supreme court. But then key/joyce would have to consider whether a prolonged legal argument would lose them more votes in the long run.

              • ak

                Not the slightest might about it I would hope Mick…at the very very least it keeps the razor-edge factor high in the public (and MP) mind and will rattle the Key ring like a dose of salts. Epsom salts. Tories don’t like it up em, no siree…

  29. Blue 30

    Must be some pretty oddly-marked ballot papers out Waitakere way.

    I wonder what the usual level of inaccuracy is with this sort of thing. When someone has a majority in the thousands it’s not so important, but in such a closely-run contest, it’s a bit concerning.

  30. Draco T Bastard 31

    The Return Of Debtor’s Prisons: Thousands Of Americans Jailed For Not Paying Their Bills

    More than a third of all states now allow borrowers who don’t pay their bills to be jailed, even when debtor’s prisons have been explicitly banned by state constitutions. A report by the American Civil Liberties Union found that people were imprisoned even when the cost of doing so exceeded the amount of debt they owed.

    Wonder when they’ll bring back the ruling that the debtor has to pay back everything including the cost of being in prison before being released…

    Some debtors are even forced to pay for their jail time themselves, adding to their financial troubles.

    Oh, well, that was quick.

  31. I guess it’s come as a shock to David Cunliffe to realise that his caucus colleagues don’t like him as much as he likes himself…
    And will he throw his toys out of the cot to go and play somewhere else?

    • Jackal 32.1

      It’s sad to see the propaganda about rifts in Labour start with such a boring supposition… thoroughly yawn inducing. I would rather watch the grass grow than waste my time reading the trivial nonsense that spews out your ignoramus Toosense.

  32. logie97 33

    All Black captain turns down a knighthood.
    What a disgraceful insult to the position of Prime Minister.
    McCaw has no right to turn down such an honour if offered by the office of Prime Minister. Then again, maybe Key has insulted the office of Prime Minister, throwing knighthoods around at will.

    And just how did we find this out anyway? We wouldn’t expect to know who has turned down the honours. Surely it wasn’t McCaw himself? That would counter the argument of his wonderful humility. So who leaked it… perhaps the office of Joky Hen or was it the PM?

    Either way, it’s a disgrace. Disgraceful I say, damn it! Time we scrapped the dashed things what?

  33. logie97 34

    We occasionally have a laugh at the Penguin’s column in the Herald. So now Farrar wants to limit a government’s term. Headquarters obviously didn’t proof read this one before release.

    Quote … dictators whose presumably noble original intentions have morphed into despotism as those in charge of a country conflate their personal best interests, with the country’s overall interest …

    … The best of intentions often descend into a mixture of incompetence and even corruption when a political party, or a politician, rules for too long with no real chance of losing an election to the opposition… unquote

    As I was only scanning his column, I had to do a double take. Was he talking about
    Double Dipton? On closer reading I see he was referring to African states.

  34. millsy 35

    It always gets me about how the right expect the left always be gracious and respectful, but, as can be seen from the above, they expect to be able to slag off all and sundry and be nasty in general.

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  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago

  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    6 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    11 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    12 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    13 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    13 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    13 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    14 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 day ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    1 day ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    1 day ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    7 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    7 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    1 week ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    1 week ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago