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Open mike 17/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 17th, 2012 - 54 comments
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54 comments on “Open mike 17/02/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Pretending they didn’t know this was coming.

    The Nats. soften us for extreme austerity measures.


    As in Greece struggle between bailing out the bankers and financiers and cutting everywhere else, means that a victory of the wharfies takes on a greater significance.

    From now on, a defeat for any organised workforce will mean less ability for working people to resist austerity.

    • Carol 1.1

      Yes, of course they knew it was coming, and still they try to gild the lily:

      But Mr English said New Zealanders “need to get conditioned to that”. “This kind of news about Europe is going to stay like this for a number of years. We don’t want to be overly focused on it because our prospects are still pretty good.”

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        And did anyone really believe the “Dutch” auction when Nat and Lab were out doing themselves to achieve a surplus around 2015?
        Unfortunately it will we you and I who suffer from these fools false hopes.
        As a note I saw on the news last night that 2/3 of the reduction in the armed forces is from uniformed servicemen and that the corporate office is still untouched at 70, and we were informed that there was to be no loss in front line serviceman.

    • millsy 1.2

      I knew New Zealand would end up copping some form of austerity. The list of cuts is probably sitting in a drawer waiting to be dusted off.

      Given that we are still feeling the effects of our last set of austerity measures, the 1991 budget, and to a lesser extent, the 1997-98 cuts in response to the Asian crisis, things arent going to be good.

      And what is worse, is that the wealthy won’t be called upon to pay a single cent in extra tax. It will be everyone else who will bear the burden.

  2. Carol 2

    Hmmm… maybe the hairpiece hasn’t totally backed off his original asset sales position?


    The group led by Sir Michael Fay behind a New Zealand bid for Crafar farms will today raise the stakes by promising to match or better the rival Chinese bidder on a raft of promises that helped swing the Government’s approval.

    The move comes as Prime Minister John Key signals a law change is unlikely in response to a High Court ruling that potentially sets a high bar on future purchases by foreign investors.

    Mr Key said any law change was unlikely to get the numbers in Parliament – and UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne, on whose vote any law change is likely to hinge, confirmed yesterday his support was not guaranteed.

    But the Government also appears to have little stomach anyway for a political battle over freeing up foreign investment rules in the face of loud opposition from Labour, the Greens and NZ First.

    So, first cracks (or maybe the second after the Maori Party issues) in this “landslide” government. Good on the opposition for the early concerted pressure. I’ve liked the way in Pariament this week, that the opposition parties have come in with various supplementaries following a primary question on Crafar/assett sales by one of the parties – a concerted & fairly united approach to keeping the pressure on the government..

    • Fortran 2.1

      Michael Fay’s PR team have not yet put up a proposition to the seller Westpac. Any contract is willing buyer willing seller not a PR exercise.
      They sort of talked about offer is $57 million below the Chinese, with all sorts of promises.
      Crafer now says that he wants to buy back his onetime farms, which he disgracefully ran into the ground, and went bankrupt.
      To cancel the Chinese bid would be a shocking look for New Zealand, but I assume that is what so many want ?
      The James Cameron sale would have to be cancelled along with a number of other potential purchases currently with the IOI.

  3. rosy 3

    In Britain free labour from young people started with intern schemes for graduates, then community work for the dole schemes that are expanding quite rapidly into big high street firms, like Tescos

    unpaid work – bad enough when it applied to supposed “interns”, but grim beyond belief when used on the unemployed – is now being built into what some people call The New Normal. Given the thousands involved, it clearly represents a boon to the kind of multinational giants whose profit margins must be creeping upwards thanks to the plentiful supply of people – and please, all you free-marketeers, read this bit slowly – effectively paid a pittance to work for them by the taxpayer.

    Get that? The taxpayer is paying people to work in menial jobs at big firms – how can this reduce unemployment? or provide skills training? A revolving door of people being paid job-seekers allowance for 26 weeks to stack supermarket shelves and the like, will surely increase unemployment as big firms use free labour.

    Coming to a work and income job board near you?

    • just saying 3.1

      Great link. Ta.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Coming to a work and income job board near you?

      Probably, this government will do pretty much anything to boost the profits of the corporates. I’ve already heard of some businesses wanting a two week period to “see if you fit the culture” where you work for nothing. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people, desperate for work, are falling for it.

    • Vicky32 3.3

      then community work for the dole schemes that are expanding quite rapidly into big high street firms, like Tescos

      A British friend of mine (a retired economist!) is helping organise protests against Tescos this weekend…
      I was reading a site about propaganda earlier today, and the guy has a list of ‘positive’ words Newt Gingrich was distributing to Republicans … the last word on the positive list (for candidates to use) was “workfare“.

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.1

        of course “workfare” is nothing more than a kind of subsidised corporate welfare.

      • rosy 3.3.2

        Good to hear, at least the Brits protest injustice… It gets worse though. I’d read about the new assessment procedures for disability that, now, almost everyone acknowledges are faulty, but I’d not realised this was in the pipeline

        The new policy, outlined by DWP officials in meetings with disabilities groups, is due to be announced after legal changes contained in clause 54 of the welfare reform bill have made their way through parliament.

        So those with sometimes serious disabilities will be in work placements, as the healthy unemployed are, but without the 26 week time limit. A permanent free workforce for the corporates. Who cares about reduced productivity when you’re not paying them yourself.

        The policy could mean that those on employment and support allowance who have been placed in the work-related activity group (Wrag) could be compelled to undertake work experience for charities, public bodies and high-street retailers. The Wrag group includes those who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer but have more than six months to live; accident and stroke victims; and some of those with mental health issues.

        In official notes from a meeting on 1 December last year, DWP advisers revealed they were not intending to put a time limit on the work experience placements.

        So a free permanent workforce for the corporates, without the 26-week limit. Who cares about productivity when you’re not paying for workers yourself.

  4. dv 4

    See Mr English on the News last night.
    Apparently the revenue from the sale of the SOEs is


    • Warren 4.1

      And not even a “best guess” either.
      Funny he didn’t say it was just a guess BEFORE the election eh?

      • Herodotus 4.1.1

        That is totally unfair. He has worked backwards from – We need a surplus in year 2015: We have these income and these expenses = A deficit. Asset sales = deficit + $1b = $1b surplus. So aseet sales = X. Not a real guess just a means of balancingthe books 😉

    • PJ 4.2

      And laughing while he said it. The arrogance astounds

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Oh, I do like The Hairs response:

      Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says some previous predictions were more specific than they needed to be.

      “But that’s not my problem – I don’t make them.”

      Yep, not his problem and not his responsibility even though he happens to be part of the government.

      • Jackal 4.3.1

        If he is not taking responsibility for his portfolio and decisions made by the government, he must be dismissing himself from the government. Early election here we come.

    • Fortran 4.4

      Do you really think that English/Treasury do not have a very good idea of the partial sales share values.
      They are not going to tell you, or me, as its commercially sensitive, as to offer price.
      John Armstrong in the Herald today believes that there was a great deal of media dissing yesterday in English’s comments, and that he fooled them sucessfully, along with many others.

      • Colonial Viper 4.4.1

        They are not going to tell you, or me, as its commercially sensitive, as to offer price.

        Funny, not sure how it can be “commercially sensitive” when the offer price has to be released well in advance in a prospectus???

        • McFlock

          The other point being that the actual price, like any export product (sorry “mums & dads”, you don’t have the capital to be a player in this game), will vary wildly with the exchange rate at the time. 
          Which throws another flavour into the mix. 5-7bil is a best guess, 6bil is an arbitrary stab within that, and it’s all based on the entrails-reading that is economic prediction.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And the funny thing is that it’s so easy to determine what they’re actually worth – just calculate how much it would cost to build them at today’s prices. Anybody paying less than that isn’t paying enough and, I suspect, that price is far above the guessed $6b.

      • mik e 4.4.2

        borrowing bungling blithering bills english double dipping double downgrader DIPstick from dipton,
        Worst finance minister in modern New Zealand history!
        Rebalancing the economy in favour of a few very well off.

  5. “…The Decorah Bald Eagle Cam, last year’s runaway internet sensation, is back.

    Go do whatever you need to for the next few months right now.

    You might not get much done once the eaglets hatch.

    Last year, more than 200,000 people from about 180 countries watched eagle parents hatch three eggs – brave bad weather – raise their chicks and teach them to fly in Decorah, Iowa.

    The eagle cam, Wired Science’s most popular post of 2011 created our very own online community of eaglophiles.

    So many people tuned in the traffic crashed our website more than once.

    But this year we’re ready!

    And now the eagles are back.

    The mom’s about to lay her eggs any day now…”




  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    Yup. Uh huh.


    Simple see. We have to put an extra charge onto the ACC levy, a top up if you will, on account of how the private sector wouldn’t be able to compete with ACC because ACC doesnae have to make a profit. This means that ACC can provide the service for a lower cost to employers, obviously enough, so we oughtta make the ACC charge more so that employers will pay more in the new competitive era, which will be more efficient all round. Unfortunately, this might mean that the ACC will build up lots of money in its accounts, because we will be making it charge more than it needs to, so we’ll make them give any excess money they might build up to treasury. This is the only way we can make the new competitive model work and thereby deliver efficiencies to the economy.

    Nick Smith. Class idiot.

    • vto 6.1

      So we have to pay more in order to allow competition, which is meant to result in us paying less.

      Fuck, that is just fucking dopey dumb, brainless logic out the window, head in the clouds, looney tunes, crappola of the highest order.

      Smith should be put in the stocks for public ridicule for the most brainless type of thinking EVER exhibited by a politician. Surely this cannot be so – someone please tell me it is not going to be…

      ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        So we have to pay more in order to allow competition, which is meant to result in us paying less.

        You’d think the economists and politicians would be starting to wake up to reality by now wouldn’t you? Considering that all their theories are falling down and this (competition reduces prices) was a main one. Now, in the real world, we’re finding that it doesn’t – it raises costs but reduces profits.

        • vto

          This numbskull thinking must be rammed at the Nats….

          …alongside the sideways glances the public are already throwing their way for the brainlessness of foreign landlords, asset sales, Crafar Farms decision and the like…

          I am gobsmacked.

          The rest of NZ surely will be too when they read it.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Labour says the paper, prepared before the election, proposes introducing new four levies on insurers to meet the additional costs on ACC when it is opened to competition.

      Its ACC spokesman Andrew Little said privatisation would create a huge new bureaucracy and was likely to increase costs to employers and workers.

      “There is nothing efficient in this plan.”

      Wow, really? Now, will you (Labour) get around to saying the same thing about telecommunications and power?

      • Carol 6.2.1

        Meanwhile, inspite of having paid my ACC levies, most people who know how serious my injury was, and how far I am from full recovery can’t believe that, not only did ACC stopped giving me physio a while ago and are continuing to quibble about re-instating it, but people can’t believe I haven’t been given a regular long-term allowance for physio.

        Cutting costs and services provided by ACC, and raising the levies so that parasitic businesses can make a profit from providing an even worse service for ordinary Kiwi levy-payers…..

        So, ordinary tax & levy paying Kiwis, if you can’t stop this privatisation of ACC, be VERY careful that you don’t get injured in future, because you probably won’t get the care you need…..AND, watch out for those employers who try to get away with cutting Health and Safety provisions….

    • Lanthanide 6.3

      Didn’t make any sense to me, either.

      Perhaps the clearest and simplest example of double-think to come out of this government so far.

  7. Jackal 8

    David Carter – extreme biosecurity risk

    Why would we reduce security measures further when the consequences of doing so are financially disastrous?

  8. gorj 9

    Poverty in America

    • willie maley 9.1

      Not sure how I feel after watching that, many more people need to take 30 minutes out of their lives to watch it.
      It is coming to a town near here in the very near future.
      Thanks for posting the link.

  9. In here looking for any commentary on the Tania Wysocki business.


    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      For what its worth, many students resort to prostitution to pay for their studies. At least, that was the case in the late nineties when I interviewed some students who were doing so for a newspaper article. I also quoted the regional head of the Prostitutes’ Collective who confirmed that was the case.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Studying as a mature student is a waste of time and makes you poor and depressed.

      No, really, it isn’t. Life is learning to meet new challenges – not giving up to make do with you already have. And it only makes you poor and depressed because our society likes to punish people for no reason.

    • Fortran 10.3

      In looking at her photo I do not think she would make a very good prostitute – she is “most” unattractive. A Greenpeace party stunt. And she gets $43,000 after tax -very good I believe.
      Does she not get anything from the fathers of her children, assuming she knows who they are?

      • Te Reo Putake 10.3.1

        Well, if the ugliness of your comments is reflected in your face, you won’t be making a dime either. BTW, $43k isn’t a decent wage for a single person, let alone someone bringing up kids.

      • William Joyce 10.3.2

        While not wanting to pass any comment on Ms. Wysocki’s looks, you would be surprised who gets paid for their services. As someone else has said “God gave men a brain and a penis, but only enough blood to run one at a time”.

      • Lanthanide 10.3.3

        I can’t see where it says she receives $43k after tax.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s like the POAL $90K income calculation. They’ve thrown everything bar the bridge into the number.

          • Livingday2day

            @ Colon Wiper

            Hold on you seem to be selective in how you believe the media, when it cam to the tea tapes you were ranting about that, but now you think the media are exaggerating in this case. I think you must wear rose coloured glasses.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That’s because it doesn’t – it says she receives the equivalent of a $43000/year income. I’d assume that was before tax.

      • mik e 10.3.4

        fotran are you sure you are not the neanderthal red-neck King Kong
        in drag!
        It must make an emotionally aloof Bigoted red-neck misogynist feel good with that pathetic sexist comment.

  10. The crisis in child poverty and welfare grows but so does the government’s determination to ignore the cause!http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/child-poverty.html

  11. Some new pics…link

  12. Jackal 13

    Lockjaw Smith guard dog

    Why is Lockwood Smith claiming in the media that changes will ensure more integrity and increased public scrutiny, when this obviously not the case?

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
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