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Open Mike 17/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 17th, 2018 - 138 comments
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138 comments on “Open Mike 17/01/2018”

  1. cleangreen 1

    There is a good window on the reality going forward with the economy folks as Martyn over on ‘The Daily Blog’ the coming economic slump is not far away.


    All the canaries in the minefield are dead – the looming economic correction
    By Martyn Bradbury / January 16, 2018

    …people are going to want a State that will be prepared to step up to the challenge and lead rather than leave it to the free market.
    The spectre at the feast during the negotiations for the new Government last year was the deep seated belief that a serious economic collapse was coming.
    It shaped the way Winston Peters approached the negotiations ands it’s the reason the agreement between him and Jacinda will never be released.
    Almost everywhere now, alarm bells are ringing that the correction is coming.
    Markets have gone beyond euphoric and have now entered their drugged up kool aid cult phase.
    The stratospheric asset markets pumped up by quantitate easing to try and fight off the 2007-2008 global financial recession are all starting to shake and shudder under the enormous weight of debt created wealth the current economic system must now try and carry.
    In the normal rhythm of Capitalism we would have had our boom bust cycle, but because the last bust would have been so destructive, the system allowed the same reckless corporate greed to overtake providence and the elites are once again gambling with everyones livelihoods.

    • Ed 1.1

      Yes a major economic crash is coming.
      With our deregulated economy we are highly vulnerable to any global events.

      • Stunned Mullet 1.1.1

        Quick fix our exchange rate to the venezuelan bolivar !

        • Ed

          The Norwegian krone would be a good idea.
          I suggest you research the taxation rates in the Scandinavian countries as opposed to our own, and at the same time, look at their social welfare policies.

          It is a bit silly to compare us with Venezuela.
          But you know that, don’t you?

          • James

            Yet it is such a good example of what socialism can do to a country.

            Yeah I know all is swell there – it’s the evil media conspiracy to make it look bad.

            • Ed

              What is your opinion of Norway?
              Have you looked at its tax rates and social policies?
              It is a better country to look at when observing the results of progressive social policies.
              You never compare New Zealand with that country for some reason.
              I wonder why.

              • David Mac

                The major difference between Norway and NZ’s economies are due to North Sea oil. On a per capita basis Norway is the largest oil and natural gas producer outside of the Middle East. Their population size is about the same as ours, the government pension fund has over a trillion US dollars in it.

                • Ed

                  I think you will find the Norwegian government protected their oil revenue a lot better from big oil corporations than the UK government.

                  • David Mac

                    Yes, the Norwegians did it smart. Kept their share of the North Sea fields out of the hands of BP, Shell etc and formed SOE Statoil.

                    If you’re gonna drill, it is a socialist approach to exploiting the commodity for the benefit of all.

                    It’s govt income that has enabled them to generate their electricity via 100% hydro.

                    • Ed

                      Funny Norway’s socialist stance doesn’t get mentioned by sm, james, bm….

                    • indiana

                      NZ has commodities that can be exploited for the benefit of all, but we have a 5% faction group that will lead protests when the government wants to mine it or drill it. You never see or hear about the mass public protests in Norway against mining or oil exploration – to me that’s not socialist behavior, that pure capitalism – a government supported to exploit its country’s natural resources.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Don’t worry Ed, if Jacinda announced something like this I’d support it

              • james

                I use Venezuela as an example because it proves a point – and the crisis is real despite people like you ignoring it or worse denying it is happening.

                • solkta

                  It proves that wingnuts can cherry pick?

                  • Johan

                    Why do people give James, the RWNJ so much oxygen?

                    • Grey Area

                      I give up. Why do people continue to give this person so much oxygen despite pleas from a number of us to ignore him?

                    • Sam

                      Now let me see if I can do this right.

                      I bet you $82736393764828197382 that you didn’t actually read the whole number, so I’m guessing you didn’t actually see the letter in it. You just went back and checked and saw that I lied. Muhahahahaha.

                      So as you can see triggers err wer. And normies just can’t help it but get triggered.

              • alwyn

                I guess that if we want to emulate Norway we are simply going to have to scrap the Green’s crazy refusal to allow any off-shore oil exploration and production.
                Just how do you think that Norway is paying for there social policies?
                It sure isn’t from singing Kumbaya and Morris Dancing.

              • Ian

                Norway has control of its oil and gas and has a sovereign wealth fund to die for. They are as wealthy as scrooge Mc duck and can afford to pay the taxes they are levied. Capitalism has given them options

                • Ed

                  It’s hard to discuss anything seriously with someone who does not appreciate the journalism of Rachel Stewart.
                  I sense you are a troll.

            • adam

              james you’re such an idiot, so the disaster that is the USA economy, are we to use that as capitalism is not working. You know the rising homeless, the failing infrastructure and the decay.

              You know Venezuela is a oil rich country too, so by your own analysis you can’t make a comparison to NZ.

              Who said it was swell there, with outside forces stuffing with their economy, oil prices being low, right wing extremists use of violence, and right wing militia are killing people of colour, it’s has serious issues. But the the media, like you, is being rather disingenuous.

              By the way, seeing as your saying it’s a conspiracy, what proof do you have that someone said it was such?

            • AB

              If you are going to play this silly game then I can play it too…
              Here’s a similarly fatuous generalisation:
              It’s ‘obvious’ that Pinochet’s Chile shows that neoliberal capitalism ‘inevitably’ results in death squads, torture and dissidents being pushed out of helicopters.
              There, that was easy – required no thought at all. Now I will just repeat repeat, repeat like a de-cerebrate parrot

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yet it is such a good example of what socialism can do to a country.

              And there you go lying again.

              It wasn’t socialism that did it but capitalism as the capitalists strangled the economy in a fit of pique as they always do.

              • Ed

                Capitalism led by the US who have used every trick to undermine the country, including the manipulation of oil prices.
                James either does not know this- in which case some reading is required- or he does know this, yet he chooses to spin for billionaires.

                • alwyn

                  “including the manipulation of oil prices”.
                  Pray tell us exactly how the US was able to do that?
                  If OPEC couldn’t do it successfully I really don’t see how the IS was going to manage it.
                  Producing oil more cheaply using new and more efficient technology doesn’t really count as “manipulation” you know. It merely exhibits the benefits of a Capitalist economy.

                  • Ed

                    Pray tell us exactly how the US was able to do that?

                    Please do your own research.

                    • alwyn

                      You mean that you have no idea and indeed you cannot see any way that they could do it.
                      Perhaps I could offer you a few other nuggets.
                      You do know that James Shaw and Jacinda Ardern are senior KGB officers don’t you?
                      And if you want to know how I know that I suggest you do your own research. Why do you expect me to do everything for you?

          • Stunned Mullet

            “It is a bit silly to compare us with Venezuela.”

            Yes it certainly is, in fact almost as daft as your supposition that a regulated economy is not as vulnerable as a deregulated economy to global events.

            I also note that we are neither an overly regulated nor overly deregulated economy.

        • Ed

          Why don’t you go there and join the opposition?

          • Stunned Mullet

            Because I enjoy living in NZ.

            Why don’t you attach your nipples to the mains and flog yourself with a knotted rope ?

    • ropata 1.2

      Herald quick to blame Labour for the ills of global capitalism
      NZ business confidence drops on Labour policy concerns
      NZ business confidence declines as weaker growth looms

      …maybe because the Labour-led govt wants to curb the NZ obsession with mega immigration and property gambling…

  2. Ad 2

    Mueller has subpoena’d Steve Bannon to testify.

    So has the Senate hearing on the Russia probe.


    With no donors left, no political patron, and looking up from a very deep pit, he may be tempted if someone offers him a deal in the form of a ladder.

    Turning Bannon would be a thing. Like turning a rotten log.

  3. Ed 3

    This article from RNZ is another nail in the coffin of the lie that New Zealand is a clean green country. We are so wasteful, we export our garbage to China and Thailand. We aren’t content with polluting our own land, we have to ruin others.

    Yet propaganda merchants like Herald describe us as ‘pristine.’
    What a squalid selfish state we have become.
    33 years of neoliberalism has destroyed this country.

    “Revealed: Kiwis generate 734kg of waste each per year.

    The government is vowing to cut the amount of waste New Zealanders create, which is estimated to be among the highest in the developed world.
    New Zealand was very vulnerable to any changes in the markets overseas, she said, including China’s recent ban on waste imports.
    Ms Sage said the ban posed a challenge for New Zealand and would mean more of New Zealand’s recyclable waste was likely to end up in places like Thailand.”


    • “Revealed: Kiwis generate 734kg of waste each per year.

      Wonder how much that would be reduced if we banned the mailbox spam:

      Love it or loathe it, want it or not – we are drowning in junk mail.

      A survey into the amount being stuffed into letterboxes has found the average household receives about 33 kilograms every year – about the weight of a golden retriever.

      So that would a reduction of a couple of kilograms each per year and probably a vote winner as well. Businesses couldn’t complain – they had the government ban email spam and that was nowhere near as damaging or as costly as the letter box spam that they dish out.

      But, still, where the hell is it all the rest of it coming from?

      Ms Knight said the review should focus on creating more onshore processing facilities, and limiting the use of combined plastics which are difficult to process or recycle.

      We should be looking at recycling all of the ‘waste’. After all, it’s all limited resources and simply throwing it out further limits the availability of those resources.

      Doing it onshore would produce jobs, economic diversification and an increase skills and R&D.

  4. Stunned Mullet 4

    Instead of Paul’s hand wringing doom and gloom Ms Sage offers a prudent initial approach.

    ‘Ms Sage said more data was needed to understand what was going to New Zealand’s landfills and consumers needed to be more cognisant of their buying habits.’

    • Ed 4.1

      We need to change the economic system.
      Sage’s suggestions are merely tinkering.

      Why capitalism creates a throwaway society

      Within living memory, Britain was a country where recycling was a way of life and waste was abhorred. Milk was delivered in glass bottles and the empties were left on the doorstep for collection the next morning.

      The silver tops were kept to buy guide dogs for the blind. A beer or soft-drink bottle carried a deposit that was recoverable on its return. Rag-and-bone men toured the streets seeking waste material.

      Children who failed to eat up their food were sternly told the Chinese would be grateful for it. Shops would charge for bags (which became a subject of growing consumer indignation) and so you took your own bag instead. Socks were darned, elbows patched and small pieces of string kept in the cupboard under the stairs……

      The whole issue of waste is surely one of the great policy failures of the past 50 years. With global warming, politicians can at least argue that the science was inconclusive until about 20 years ago. But it was always obvious that our capacity to dispose of waste wasn’t infinite…….

      Nevertheless,waste is integral to what Robert Reich, in his most recent book, calls “supercapitalism”. Unchecked supercapitalism produces waste as inevitably as it produces inequality, job insecurity, loss of community and so on.
      We are rapidly reaching the point, long promised by futurologists, where we throw away clothes after wearing them once, and we already dispose of many electrical goods as soon as they go wrong.

      The average British household currently spends a mere 60p a week on repairs. The economic logic is impeccable: the goods are made in countries where labour costs are low, while repairs have to be carried out here, where costs are high. But even when goods don’t need repairing, we still throw them away. Supercapitalism’s brilliant answer to increasing durability is to elaborate and refine so that goods feel obsolete almost as soon as you buy them. Even environmentalism has been turned to supercapitalism’s advantage: always buy a new machine, you are told, because it will be more energy-efficient than the old one.

      Business talks of “consumer demand”. But nobody ever marched to demand an end to recyclable milk bottles, more upgrades for mobile phones, more cheap Chinese imports. (People usually march to protect something they have, perhaps a job or a nice view, not to gain something they don’t have.) Greengrocers got by for years telling their customers there was “no demand, madam” for anything more exotic than a cabbage.

      People buy what is made available to them, provided it delivers gratification at a reasonable price. As Reich points out, supercapitalism gives us great deals as consumers and investors, without our even troubling to ask for them. Unfortunately, it gives us bad deals as citizens. Drowning us in waste is just one of them.

    • Sanctuary 4.2

      ‘Ms Sage said more data was needed to understand what was going to New Zealand’s landfills and consumers needed to be more cognisant of their buying habits.’

      Yet another fine example of the previous National government’s policy of outright denialism by simply refusing to fund the collection of evidence that might imply laissez faire business as usual could be the wrong approach.

      The blind belief in magic that is typical of right wing economics is one thing; the suppression of evidence the previous government actively engaged in was an Orwellian exercise in fanatical wishful thinking.

    • Ad 4.3

      Sage wasn’t elected to sit there and call for more information.
      That only kinda works in opposition. As a Minister it just sounds like you’re not up to the briefings and not up to actual policy formation.

      She needs to get her policies moving and implemented.

      • Or it could be that the information just isn’t available because the previous government didn’t collect it.

        Considering their MO and their refusal to collect information regarding poverty and house sales then we can be fairly certain that there’s not enough information available.

      • alwyn 4.3.2

        “her policies moving and implemented”
        She isn’t allowed to actually do anything.
        Look at how Shaw described what the Greens are allowed to do.
        They have to follow the Government policies and do what they are told.
        1. Kermadec Sanctuary. They even had a private member’s bill to implement that but Winston has told them to pull their heads in and Shaw says “Of Course”
        2. Waka jumping Bill. They used to be opposed to this sort of Bill on principle. Now they will vote for it because Winston says so.
        If they dared to promote ideas of their own they would be told they were out of their Ministerial sinecures and it would be out of the Beemer and into the taxi again.

        • Draco T Bastard

          They have to follow the Government policies and do what they are told.

          1. They’re part of the government and so, once all parties in the government have decided to do something they support it. They disagree and get changes before the agreement. Fairly obvious really.
          2. If Labour and Winston don’t agree with something then it’s not going to get through. It’s as simple as that.

          Waka jumping Bill. They used to be opposed to this sort of Bill on principle. Now they will vote for it because Winston says so.

          Or, more likely, the people in the Greens have discussed this and they now support the bill. Remember – Green Party leaders can’t do anything without the Green Party say so. The Greens aren’t National with their dictatorial methods.

          In other words, you’re talking out your arse again.

          • alwyn

            Anyone here who is a Green Party member.
            If so please tell us whether there were any Party wide consultations on the subject of the Waka jumping bill?
            Were you consulted?

            • alwyn

              If you are really so convinced that the Green Party have any influence on the Coalition of Labour and New Zealand First I suggest you go back and read this story.
              The Green Party say that they didn’t even know what the Coalition partners had agreed to. They were just told that the Kermadec Sanctuary was off the table. So much for Government policy being set by agreement between the parties.
              Whatever Winston wants, Winston gets and the Greens can go he.

            • solkta

              There is no specific policy on this so Caucus is free to make their own interpretation based on principles. This is what the last Caucus did the last time. This Caucus is not bound by interpretations of a previous Caucus. I would think most members would not have wanted the two recent turncoats to have been allowed to stay on as independents.

        • solkta

          “If they dared to promote ideas of their own they would be told they were out of their Ministerial sinecures and it would be out of the Beemer and into the taxi again.”

          Bollocks. The most recent example would be refusing to withdraw their medical cannabis bill because Labour’s version is crap.

          • alwyn

            That is because Winston doesn’t have the slightest interest in the subject.
            They jump when Winston tells them to jump though, don’t they?
            Did you look at the link to the Kermadec Sanctuary I just posted?

            • solkta

              The Greens have not changed their position on the sanctuary. Come back to me when you have some evidence they have.

              • alwyn

                Nothing would persuade you.
                You are a true believer in the purity of the Green Party.
                Rather like followers of most Religious Cults I’m afraid. Look at Scientologists or Exclusive Brethren.

  5. greywarshark 5

    This is a country that does not support its people, the culture, the way of life, anything that can’t be sold to foreigners. Now a valuable educational and cultural event is being lost to school because it has run out of funds. It has been going for decades but is being lost. Arts in general are not being supported either, not in all schools I believe. (Someone who knows could provide real info or anecdote on this.)

    The shock scraping of the popular Stage Challenge will leave a dramatic gap in the lives of student performers.
    The Stage Challenge Foundation has contacted schools and sponsors throughout the country to say the annual high school competition was no longer financially viable.

    The dance competition celebrated its 25th year in 2017 and organisers estimate more than 500,000 students have taken part.
    J Rock, for years 7 to 12 pupils, was run in partnership with Stage Challenge, and has been cut too.


    It is very important that the creative arts are taught at school, because there are careers and jobs to be had in entertainment. It is important that there is training in all areas where people can find work with so much of our business enterprises being stifled by competition from overseas in one form or another. So many outlets for work would be open to us if we didn’t have free-market-reigns to contend with.

    • Stunned Mullet 5.1

      I think, but am happy to be corrected, that stage challenge was a privately run gig and has fallen over due to lack of support from those taking part and their friends and family.

      The creative arts, music, drama and kapa haka in particular are thriving in NZ schools at such events as The Big Sing, KBB Music Festival, Polyfest and Ngā Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua o Aotearoa. Additionally the standard of performance by many of the schools taking part is quite stunning.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Sounds good SMullet and I am glad to hear of the ones you mention. Naturally Nga Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua o Aotearoa would be there, as I have said before Maori are vital and determined to preserve their culture and community.
        But are the others available to a wide group of schools, and really all schools should be involved each year?

        But if a long-term thing like Stage Challenge has been successful and well-used and loved, it shouldn’t be allowed to fall over. Perhaps they need some new people involved, and revamp it slightly, and get some help from government. Creatives are the New Black in NZ, we can’t all be managers imposing the employers money-squeezing screws on workers.

      • red-blooded 5.1.2

        Yes, Stage Challenge has been a private operation for all of its existence. It’s given huge amounts of creative challenge and enjoyment to its participants, but it’s also been hugely expensive to enter, the tickets to the live performances have been prohibitively expensive (the last time I went, many years ago, it was about $50 – no wonder people started to stay away) and they’ve owned and sold the TV rights.

        Stunned Mullet is right that there are lots of creative performance opportunities in NZ schools. Others I’d add to the list include one act play competitions, Rock Quest, Shakespeare performance competition, theatre sports, a multitude of speech competitions, debating, Ngā Manu Korero, orchestras and chamber music groups… I do note that Stage Challenge was a great opportunity for dance and choreography to shine, though. While there’s dance involved in things like Polyfest and kapa haka, the dramatic freedom of Stage Challenge was a real thrill for a lot of kids and it will be missed.

        • repateet

          The Stage Challenge was a great opportunity for young people.

          I’d reiterate your first paragraph though. That’s a side which people don’t know about.

  6. Ed 6

    This is a response to Stuart at 4.1 yesterday on Daily Review.

    I suspect Nash is either a clown or a tool for the neoliberal elite.
    In either case big business wins at the expense of us and the environment.

    Newshub continues the story this morning.
    It is amazing the nerve these bunch have when they say their concern is for New Zealand’s reputation.

    If they cared, there is something really simple they could do.
    Fish by the rules.

    Fishing industry’s cover up request ‘outrageous’

    The commercial fishing industry wants to stop public access to videos and images of fish being discarded and dolphins, sea lions and seabirds being scooped up in trawl nets.

    The industry has asked the Government to change the law so that the Official Information Act could not be used by journalists, competitors and other groups to access such information, saying it could damage New Zealand’s reputation.


  7. greywarshark 7

    Electricity – they’re banging on the drum, hey look at the yo-yos, but they aren’t dumb.

    Record numbers of New Zealanders switched electricity company in 2017, looking for a better deal.

    New data from the Electricity Authority shows almost 441,000 households switched during the year, more than the previous record, in 2015, of 417,642. In 2012, just 356,746 switches were made.

    More than 20 per cent of customers changed supplier over the year.
    They have more options to choose from: There are now more than 40 retail brands in the market, up from 22 five years ago.

    READ MORE: Power companies annoy customers with deals just for newbies

    • Wonder how much that’s costing us. All that switching takes time and effort both for the consumers and for the companies that need more employees and more bureaucracy to be able to achieve it.

      And it all achieves precisely nothing.

      All of that extra cost could be saved if we had a state monopoly running as a government service that ensured that everyone had power available to their household. That would remove the dead-weight loss of profit as well.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        I can’t see how ‘competition’ in electricity provision in a country of about 4 million people helps us. ‘There are now more than 40 retail brands in the market, up from 22 five years ago.’ And now we are getting so much competition that it must result in ineffeciency and price gouging of a sort as they try to grab each other’s business.

        I see this view of customers always looking for a better deal and so this system serves us, as a picture of hen’s getting around with their heads down looking for tasty morsels in the ground. I’m not a hen, and I need to keep my head up to make sure that neither a money-hawk from above or a vicious biting insect to the body, doesn’t get the best of me.

        • Draco T Bastard

          What it comes down to is that we actually don’t want competition for the supply of services that are a natural monopoly as that’s not where innovation improves things.

          Where we need competition is in ideas on how to produce and reticulate the service and from that the best idea is chosen with government then providing the service out to the populace. Covering the costs of running the service is a combination of taxes and charging.

  8. Rosemary McDonald 8

    Well done Willow-Jean Prime for adding her voice to this campaign…


    “A community-led campaign in Northland wants to lift women out of ‘period poverty’, one cup at a time.
    It’s a topic many people shy away from but one campaign leader, Willow Jean-Prime, is determined to talk about.

    Ms Prime raised the conversation last year at a local high school, and realised just how difficult it was for some women to manage their periods.

    “There were girls, young women, who were missing school because their families couldn’t afford to pay for sanitary products.

    “This really is something that illustrates the level of poverty that we have in our local community.”

    She said the cup was going to have a massive impact on these communities.

    “The impact of 500 cups is about $120,000 a year savings in these local communities.

    “It is about 125 tampons diverted from landfill and our waste treatment plant so it really does have environmental benefits as well.” “

    • greywarshark 8.1

      A bold and kind and practical move by Willow Jean.

      • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.1

        That’s just what I thought…and can only raise W-J’s profile positively in this struggling yet paradoxically true blue electorate.

    • Bill 8.2

      Why not on prescription instead of ‘private charity’?

      At ~$45 a pop, getting the money up front’s a bit of “an ask” for those on benefits.

      If government is going to pull out the funding card, I’d point out it’s got to be way more cost effective for government to subsidise cups than fund endless repeat prescriptions for bullshit nicotine products.

      Bin that rort the pharmaceuticals have been enjoying for years and just legalise the open sale of nicotine again if the priority is to reduce smoking rates.

      And then the monies saved by government ,and poor people with high rates of smoking shifting to very low cost nicotine delivery systems, added on top of prescription cups in lieu of tampons….a win/win/win situation.

      Won’t be happening then.

      • Rosemary McDonald 8.2.1

        Bill, this is a ‘social enterprise’ and for every $45 cup bought by someone who can afford it they donate another cup to someone who can’t. The most awesome aspect to this (and I’m am constitutionally inclined towards suspicion about these schemes 😉 ) is that there is kanohi ki kanohi support in the community as well as on-line support.

        I agree a one off subsidy would be great…but fuck me Bill…can you imagine just how much perverted joy some petty bureaucrat would get by putting a young applicant through an application process???

        Less whakama this way.

    • Venezia 8.3

      As some older women know, these menstrual cups have been around for about 80 years. (Google “Menstrual Cup” – called Moon Cups, Freedom cups, Diva cups among other names.) Interesting to read the claim that they were developed in NZ in last few years.

  9. Ed 9

    The Herald calls this weird weather.

    Sea temperatures rise across New Zealand after marine heatwave.

    A marine heatwave has led to New Zealand’s coastal waters jumping 2-4degC warmer than a year ago.

    The South Island has seen the most drastic change with some waters recording a jump of 6degC, and temperatures sitting as high as 20degC in December, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

    The Salinger effect means NIWA scientists will say no more.
    Indeed, they are careful to minimise the situation.

    It’s nothing to be too alarmed about, it’s expected as we now live on a warmer planet which comes hand in hand with heat waves and that a piece of the climate change puzzle will always be a factor in all extreme weather events, Mr Noll said.

    Don’t scare the horse, NIWA. Is that why you fired Salinger?

    However you do find the truth in a few places.
    Rachel Stewart is an independent journalist.
    Her twitter feed sums it up.

    Are we worried yet?


    And why does she say that?
    Because of these and other words from Professor James Renwick, Victoria University climate scientist.

    My gut feeling is that we won’t stop the warming until we are committed to 2.5C or even 3C of temperature rise.
    That would lock in loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet, plus most of Greenland and part of the east Antarctic and would commit the globe to 10m or more of sea level rise.
    Plus of course a big rise in extreme high temperatures, droughts, floods and crop failures.
    Because of the delay time built into the climate system, it’s my feeling that we won’t take decisive action until a lot of change is baked in, so we’ll have a great deal of adapting to do.

    I am worried.

    • weka 9.1

      I am too.

      One of the dynamics at play here is we just don’t know what is happening or what will happen. So people know something is wrong but it’s a big unknown. Lots of conflicting information doesn’t help with that.

      Nor does scaremongering without giving people a path of action. Most people can’t sustain being scared all the time and will switch off if they become overloaded. We’re hardwired to do that imo. People need to see a way forward and to have a sense of agency and power.

      Otoh, too many people are still worried about their western lifestyles, and the sooner we get enough people understanding that that is really the least of our worries the better.

      btw, fuck sea level rise. I’m way more concerned about species extinction leading to biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse. Also weather event extremes we haven’t got our heads around. Industrial infrastructure issues are important, but more important are essential things like shelter, ability to grow food, water.

      • Ed 9.1.1

        I’m way more concerned about species extinction leading to biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse.

        Totally agree.
        Of far more concern.

        Nor does scaremongering without giving people a path of action.

        There are individual paths of action and we need to maker these changes to our lives.
        However World war 2 was not won by people making individual choices.
        It was won by government’s forcing change.
        I am sorry to say that I agree with Rachel Stewart and Jame Renwick on this one.
        I just don’t see change being effected until it is too late. Too many vested interests are blocking the necessary revolution.

        • weka

          Change is already happening. If you think it’s not going to happen that will affect what you yourself do and how you communicate about it.

          Governments are made up of individual people, and individual people vote for them. We know that National are worse than useless and that Labour are kind of in the right direction but not nearly enough. To get Labour to change we need a mass movement of people demanding that. They’re not going to change on their own. To get a mass movement of people, we need pathways to solutions. Feeling worried on its own is not enough.

          • greywarshark

            Well said, to be noted – should be the leitmotif at the head of The Standard
            on the banner. What we are here for, and if not, we are wasting our and everybody else’s time.

          • Ed


      • alwyn 9.1.2

        Why would “species extinction leading to biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse” happen?
        After all according to PBS “Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct”. Has the ecosystem collapsed and would it matter if it did?

        If mankind became extinct for example the earth would still continue along and some other species would take our place. In the larger view of things it wouldn’t matter in the slightest. After all dinosaurs were dominant for about 150 million years. When they were wiped out mammals simply took their place at the top of the food chain. Sooner or later, in say 5 billion years, all life on Earth will become extinct as the Sun ages and swells. The Universe will continue without our absence mattering in the slightest.

        • weka

          Depends on whether you care about nature or not. If you see the earth mechanistically, then sure, it’s ok to cause mass suffering and extinction and loss because after a few million years it will right itself. Kind of odd position given that most humans are incapable of conceiving of that time scale any way other than abstractly.

          If ecosystems collapse badly enough, fast enough, you will starve. Maybe you don’t mind, but if you do perhaps you could expand your self-compassion to include others.

  10. Ed 10

    Let’s compare New Zealand with Norway.

    1. Pokie machines

    Norway banned all slot machines in 2007 and had them removed immediately from gaming premises.


    New Zealand

    ‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’: Christchurch gamblers drop $1.5m a week into poker machines

    Millions of dollars each year flow from some of the most deprived Christchurch communities into the hands of clubs and charities via pokies scattered around the city.
    A case worker has described the situation as an ethical dilemma, while a gaming industry representative says the industry is working hard to make sure the money benefiting organisations does not come from problem gambling.
    Gaming machine societies raked in about $56 million in the first nine months of last year in Christchurch at a rate of close to $1.5m a week, according to Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) figures.
    Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Paula Snowden said of the 87 licensed venues in the city, excluding Christchurch Casino, about 40 per cent were in areas that measured a 7 or more on the index of deprivation.


      • SpaceMonkey 10.1.1

        Yeah it’s expensive but they also get paid well. What I saw when I worked there for 2 weeks was a society that had confidence that the stuff that needs to happen will happen. Everything worked. No shitty transport options from the airport to the capital city. Oslo was clean, public transport ran on time. And because public transport was doing the heavy lifting, no visible traffic problems. Beer was expensive but good food, and they eat very well. Overall the Norwegians struck me as a very happy people, despite their GST rate.

        Would i consider living there if it was an option? In a heartbeat.

      • joe90 10.1.2

        Oh noes, how does the poor globe trotting brand ambassador for free shit deary cope.

        I can’t tell you how badly I miss a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

    • greywarshark 10.2

      In Australia om the 1970’s the Returned Services League were a club with a public face and popular venue for the ordinary worker. They had lots of pokies. I lived near a working family that had one addicted member who wanted to be banned. I think he had to cut up his membership card to stop himself.

      The habituees of the clubs and hotels with pokies had a practice of ‘bagsing’ a machine they had played on for a while, if they went to the toilet or to get another drink. They would put a white handkerchief over the playing window and that would hold it. If anyone else mistakenly tried to play it they were very unpopular. If you met and tried to have a conversation, they could be distant as they kept looking aside, waiting for a machine to become vacant so they could get ‘playing’.

      The belief was that the longer you played, the more likely that the point of luck and payment would occur, so you stuck with the one machine. A couple who ran a day/night taxi business were determined to win one night, and got very upset at their continual losses and started going round all the machines playing them a few times before moving on, on the basis that somewhere in that room was a machine about to spew out a win. They were said to have spent all their rent and food money in that effort, and may indeed have got a win, but I don’t think it even reimbursed them for their losses much less laying the golden egg they were playing and praying for.

      Gambling is a nasty addiction. I notice that many businesses are regularly encouraging people to buy or do things like go on-line and enter some contest and possibly win something. I never do, I want the option of having a life that is enjoyable, not be dirt poor and praying for dream outcomes. That is what will make us happy – to have an enjoyable life with achievable dreams and the opportunity to earn extra towards those dreams.

      • ropata 10.2.1

        That is why mathematics is the foundation of civilization. People with no grasp of statistics are suckers for this sort of shit. They also don’t understand climate change, or how the Earth orbits the Sun, or how loansharks kill them with compound interest.

        • greywarshark

          I remember a woman who was educated at a convent, and the nun was a keen racing fan. The class became very adept at working out odds on the horsies
          and found maths in the real world had many differing uses.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Thinking on –
    Konrad Lorenz – The Waning of Humaneness.
    Excerpt Part One: … the processes of organic creation are realised in unforeseeable ways. On this realisation, this recognition, is based our belief both in the possibility of truly creative processes and in the freedom of human choice, but above all in the responsibility of every human being. …the first part of this book takes on the task of refuting the assumption that what happens in the world is predetermined.

  12. SPC 12

    Polls indicate Trump will be re-nominated by the GOP (87% support) but lose in 2020.

    While Trump passed his medical, many feel the temperamental bully is an unfit for office by character and personality.

    Then there is honesty. Little over 20% felt he had kept the promises he made while running for president.

    And more voters give credit to Obama than to Trump for the economy.


    • Sam 12.1

      I mean fuck me. Polls have been saying trump will lose since he chucked his name in the race… You need to get your self a better story…

      • SPC 12.1.1

        May I remind you of Truman, the polls indicated he would lose in 1948 and yet he won, but having done so support fell to 22%.

        Trump is the worst polling incumbent since Carter.

        And as for his 2016 victory the rust belt states fell to Trump (as they once did to Reagan) but by very narrow margins – Clinton’s failure to campaign in this region is what cost her the race. Won’t happen next time.

        • Sam

          It’s comments like these why I get so pissed at liberal academic charlatans pushing made up narratives. I also sometimes forget the type of people on here & their intelligence levels. For that I apologize for assuming you could do 5th form math, or grade 5 or what ever the fuck Math. 100% of $4.5trln is $4.5trln (Bush=jobs) and 100% of $9trln is $9trln (Obama= zero job creation) 100% of $1trln (Trump=jobs). Ill remember to spell it out for you nubs more clearly next time. But it dosnt fit your bullshit outrage mental narrative so you have to invent shit to sell papers or collude so you look a little bit clever…

          But what pisses me off the most is lefties just won’t see reason. They just don’t see how there bullshit whinging actually helped Trump take the White House.

  13. skyler 13

    Why is the sale of a Canterbury Diary Farm to the Canadian Govt going ahead? The present Govt must be able to veto this via the Ministers curtailing it? ie, Eugenie Sage. Many of us voted to have the sale of our country stopped!!

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      Agreed. They could wind up the OIO while they’re at it – I’m not saying they’re round-heeled but they haven’t said “No” in their entire existence.

    • Gabby 13.2

      But that might make Justin sad.

    • Many of us voted to have the sale of our country stopped!!

      Many of us have been demanding that the government stop the sale of NZ to offshore owners for decades.

      All the political parties have refused to hear this as the listen to the economists and capitalists that say it will all be good despite all the evidence showing otherwise.

      It is actions like this that prove that we do not live in a democracy but an elected dictatorship.

    • weka 13.4

      “Why is the sale of a Canterbury Diary Farm to the Canadian Govt going ahead? The present Govt must be able to veto this via the Ministers curtailing it? ie, Eugenie Sage. Many of us voted to have the sale of our country stopped!!”

      Who did you vote for? Because Labour have never had any intention to do much about rural land sales, their focus has been on residential.

      The sale happened in November. My guess is that there wasn’t enough time for the incoming govt to take action via directing the OIO. I’ll be watching to see what happens this year.

      • weka 13.4.1

        Here you go,

        Directive Letter to the Overseas Investment Office.

        The Directive Letter directs the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) on the Government’s policy approach to overseas investment in sensitive New Zealand assets and the relative importance of benefit factors for different types of overseas investment, as well as other matters.

        The new Directive Letter will come into force on 15 December 2017 and will apply to all applications currently being assessed by the OIO and any new applications received.

        The OIO will be reviewing all current applications as soon as possible against the new directive letter to determine which applications are affected. The OIO will contact applicant’s advisors if their application is affected.

        The OIO webpages are currently being updated to reflect the new Ministerial Directive Letter.

        Read the Ministers’ media release (on the Beehive website) (link is external)

        Read the 2017 Ministerial Directive Letter


          • Ian

            Having an investor in NZ of such a high caliber is fantastic. The Canadian Government superannuation scheme has faith in Canterbury Dairy farming. Dairy price shot up 5 % today which is also a good signal. Canada good,China bad in the eyes of this current government.Expect butter price to go up.

            • Sam

              Only in your universe would rent seeking to better the lives of retirees in a foreign country be considered in any way productive.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Heh 🙂

              • Ian

                The Canadian pension fund will employ kiwis to run the farm and pay for all the local service folk that keep dairy farms running.The benefits to our economy are incalculable.Local schools will stay viable,child care centers like the labour list MP from Hinds owns will remain viable. It is not beer and skittles out in the boondocks .At least twatford will be happy that it ain’t the guys with chinky names investing in our great country. Sorry for my enthusiasm but it’s not erery day you get a 5 % payrise.

                • Muttonbird

                  Sorry for my enthusiasm but it’s not erery day you get a 5 % pay rise.

                  *RWNJ virtue-signalling.

                  And, just how are the benefits to the economy “incalculable”? This should be meat and drink to economist types.

                  • Sam

                    @Ian. It amazes me how normies use dead trickle down memes to get there opinions across. Using dead memes sucks the life out of people. So you’re sucking the life out of people and you’re probably laughing about it as you post it… I mean I laugh as well every time I trigger normies. But at least my attempts at memes try to be original content. You just use dead memes…

                    • Ian

                      Sorry sam,what is a normie ? What is a meme ? sorry to disturb you from your baby sleep.

                    • Sam

                      You know I presumed that we are all over 18 here but there’s always that one guy that just has to prove me wrong.

                      A challenge has been sent out to ignore normies. So now I think it’s a good time to necromance a meme back to life, properly, by giving it new meaning. I’ll use as little words as possible and as many coloured picture frames as possible. With that said roll the tape: https://youtu.be/hcYYoIFppA0

                      But I won’t end it there. I think it’s important to go over what a meme actually is. Meme is short for memematocs and now you can use your superior intellect and google it. But basically it’s about coming up with original content.

                  • Ian

                    Just quoting facts stinky. While sitting in your nest being stuffed with regurgitated fish with a Titi islander ready to stuff you in a Kai bag I would have thought you would know a bit about economics. Tosser,

  14. mauī 14

    Vandals who caused more than $20,000 worth of damage offered apprenticeships


    This is exactly the kind of caring and problem solving approach we need, a pity it is so rare in our current society.

  15. Puckish Rogue 16


    A tired, old, has-been and a hack and now compare his comments to Timothee Chalamet

    One of those guys knows the deal and one of them doesn’t

  16. Ed 17

    Stephen Cowan, like me, was impressed by Rachel Stewart’s first column for the Herald in 2018.


    We live in scary times but NZ Herald columnist Rachel Stewart has concluded that the fight must go on.

    IT WAS ONLY a few months ago that Rachel Stewart was writing that, in the aftermath of Jacinda Ardern’s elevation to Prime Minister, she was basking in the glow of a new found optimism. It appears though that Rachel’s optimism has been shortlived. The new year finds her in a more sombre mood.

    In her first NZ Herald column for 2018, she explains that the fate of the planet and of humanity itself is weighing heavily on her mind. Her prognosis is a gloomy one. ………

    I don’t think Rachel is being melodramatic. I think she’s being realistic and good on her for not sugar coating what would of been an unpalatable message for many NZ Herald readers.

    We are indeed living in unprecedented- and scary – times……….

  17. Ed 18

    Good to see people in other countries are learning how unclean and ungreen New Zealand has become.
    This article was in the Guardian.

    New Zealand fisheries want grisly images of dead penguins caught in nets censored

    The seafood industry in New Zealand has asked the government to withhold graphic video of dead sea life caught in trawler nets as they are potentially damaging to fisheries and to brand New Zealand.

    A letter from five seafood industry leaders to the Ministry of Primary Industries highlights the fisheries’ growing unease with the government’s proposal to install video cameras on all commercial fishing vessels to monitor bycatch of other species and illegal fish dumping.

    The letter requests an amendment to the Fisheries Act, so video captured onboard cannot be released to the general public through a freedom of information request, frequently used by the media, campaign groups and opposition parties.

    “They [the proposed videos] also raise significant risks for MPI and for ‘New Zealand Inc’,” the letter reads, also citing concerns about invading the privacy of employees onboard, and protecting commercial and trade secrets.

    ​There are no reliable figures on the numbers of penguins, sea lions, dolphins and seals that die in fishing nets or longlines in New Zealand, but according to some researchers and environmental groups the commercial fishing industry is the main culprit for declining populations of endangered sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins.

    George Monbiot writes on the crisis caused by industrial fishing.

    Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental issue? Climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive only a fraction of the attention.
    This is not to downgrade the danger presented by global heating – on the contrary, it presents an existential threat. It is simply that I have come to realise that two other issues have such huge and immediate impacts that they push even this great predicament into third place.
    One is industrial fishing, which, all over the blue planet, is now causing systemic ecological collapse.

    There is a solution.
    Stop eating fish.
    Save the planet.

  18. Bugsolutely 19

    Part of the solution could be to change your preconceptions and eats insects. Good food with minimal environmental impact. A good export earner too as more markets are opening up. The only downside is in your head. There is now a local producer that you can support Otago Locusts. Eat sustainably produced fish on Friday, how about a day for the planet.

    • Stuart Munro 19.1

      If you’re growing insects for feed isopods would be worth a try – they contain the desirable carotenes that pink salmonid flesh.

  19. eco maori 20

    Awesome program TV 1 Gate to globa Ka pai.
    Greg Boyed don’t worry M8 I won’t vent on you again afterall you were just reading the script the producers wrote last time I commented about on Q&A Your cool I know quite a few Boyds from Tairawhiti and Hawkes Bay Ka pai

  20. eco maori 21

    Congratulations to Jim from the Rock radio station for the expectations of your new baby all the best to your lady to.
    I no a lady who had complacations she had to have a C-section at 26 weeks I wish her and her baby and father all the best.
    I’ve got 2 mokos coming one any day now when she starts labouring we are going up to Auckland to help her out for a few days. I allways stress when my daughters and daughter in laws are having babies as there can be complications. I say LADY’S DESERVE A LOT MORE SAY on what happens in our world society for all they go through giving US life equality is what they deserve and they will get it to. Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 21.1

      Come on guys u know I reached out to you and the lawyer and you guys just shit yourselves as for a lawyer comferming if the NZ police are corrupt well he ain’t never going to admit that on air live he knows the police will put a micphone up his ass and intimidat him his family and friends that’s what they are doing to me + I know we have a different opinion on some subject I won’t say because I don’t want to damage your reputation as that’s your bread and butter. Ka kite ano

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