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Open Mike 17/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 17th, 2016 - 169 comments
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169 comments on “Open Mike 17/02/2016 ”

  1. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 1

    Watched ‘The Death of Democracy’ on Channel 5 last night. A penetrating, and sobering, account of America’s pernicious influence in South and Central America.

    I couldn’t help wondering if the scheduling of this programme was just co-incidental, or was the Maori channel trying to tell us, all of us, something about ‘people power?’

    Victor Hugo was quoted by John Pilger: ‘There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” And Gareth Hughes made reference in his apt speech in parliament to the rise of people power.

    I hope we are witnessing the rise of a truly democratic movement to sweep away Key and his brown-nosed and dildo-fancying sycophants for their utter contempt for our democracy.

    I’ll be there when the barricades go up!

    • mary_a 1.1

      @ Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) (1)

      I picked up on a subtle, although positive change on the anti TPPA march on Feb 4 Tony.

      It seems the fires of revolt are beginning to stir and spark in the bellies of ordinary Kiwis now. Democracy is on the rise, through people power, the way it should be. The anti government sentiment demonstrated against FJK at his recent public appearances in less than a month, is more evidence of this point.

      As an organized collective, we Kiwis can rid ourselves of the filthy rodents which have been contaminating this country for the past eight years. WE CAN and WE WILL DO IT 🙂

      You can trust me along with many hundreds of thousands of other Kiwis, to be standing there beside you when the barricades go up 🙂

      • Macro 1.1.1

        Mary and Tony – have you read this? Recommended reading for all, I believe, and really sums up the attitude and expression of the TPPA march the other week.

        • weka

          I wasn’t at any of the marches, but following online it looks promising to me too. I was impressed by the group that organised the blockades in Auckland and their follow up video. I really hope more of that happens. Having Māori out in front leading the way was a very good sign too. And just the momentum that tells us and them that this isn’t going to go away.

        • weka

          Unsurprisingly, some of us featured on the news couldn’t compellingly articulate the complexities of world trade in 15 seconds flat. However, watching clips of the people most gleefully torn apart by the likes of Duncan Garner and Heather, I heard motivations that made perfect sense. I recognise shared human experience and substance in their words. The exact opposite sensation I get when listening Key’s media comment on any given day.


          It’s vital that we allow that people can have gut reactions and non-intellectual reasons for opposing the TPPA. One doesn’t have to understand the intricasies of ISDSs or even what they are to know that what National are doing is wrong. There’s a bit of a culture on ts that says emotion is wrong or bad, but emotional responses to oppression are powerful and valid. Yes we still need rational analysis, but we also need to heed the people who act from their heart.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It’s not that emotional responses ate wrong per se but that they need to be backed up with facts. It’s the RWNJ act of responding with beliefs and gut feelings that makes their economics delusional.

            • weka

              Sure but not at the personal level. Any individual on the street (protesting the TPPA) doesn’t have to back their gut response up with facts.

              And there are times when intuition and instinct are essential but can never be backed up by facts. Security trainer Gavin De Becker tells women that if they’re in a building late at night waiting at the elevator and the door opens and they see a man in there who they have a negative gut reaction to, then don’t get in the elevator. There’s no way to find out any facts in that situation (eg the man is dangerous), but the act of following one’s intuition sharpens it and in his expert opinion keeps women safer. We can rationalise this if we want (people are having gut reactions based on clues they pick up subconsciously), but that’s not necessary for the principle he suggests to be sound.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Any individual on the street (protesting the TPPA) doesn’t have to back their gut response up with facts.

                But it would be better if they could because then they’d be able to articulate that gut response rather standing there looking like an idiot. Such learning would also help them in their lives as they’d be able to make more informed decisions.

                Security trainer Gavin De Becker tells women that if they’re in a building late at night waiting at the elevator and the door opens and they see a man in there who they have a negative gut reaction to, then don’t get in the elevator.

                An intuitive response to subtle body language that the person has observed. It is unfortunate that most people actually fight against what they’ve learned in reading body language. Looking at the overt signs rather than the covert. The overt signs are learned through business schools and self help courses/books on ‘success’ to help manipulate others and thus should be ignored.

          • Incognito

            The knife cuts both ways …

            Arguably, John Key is enjoying his third term, and possibly a fourth, because his persona generated a certain “gut reaction” with enough voters to get him over the line and he stills is very popular. If not that, there certainly was and still is a dire lack of “rational analysis”.

            Emotions are too easily manipulated and hyped; spin doctors and PR wizards are skilled masters in this – a background in advertising, psychology or journalism is usually a pro.

            • Draco T Bastard


            • weka

              Of course Incognito, but the solution to that isn’t to denigrate emotion and intuition and call people expressing opinion from those places stupid. The solution is to teach people better intuitive skills as well as teaching critical thinking, and how both complement each other.

              “Emotions are too easily manipulated and hyped;”

              And yet Jane Kelsey gives an empassioned speech at the protest, not a dispassionate one. Yes the knife cuts both ways (although I think Kelsey is speaking an ethical emotional language whereas spin is as you say manipulative).

              People with good emotional intelligence are just as important as people with good intellect and sometimes they’re better depending on the situation if the good intellect goes with poor emotional intelligence.

  2. Paul 2

    Dairy prices fall for fourth time in a row at Global Dairy Trade auction

    ‘Analysts say depressed dairy prices are the result of mismatch between supply and demand on the world market and they do not expect to see a big improvement in prices over the next six months.
    Fonterra last month cut its farmgate milk price forecast for the 2015/6 season to $4.15 a kg of milksolids, down from a previous forecast of $4.60 a kg, in response to weak international prices.
    The latest auction results suggest a farmgate milk price of below $4 a kg, well below the estimated average break-even point of $5.40 a kg.
    Farmers are now looking at the likelihood of two sub-$5 years together, which is expected to put added stress on farm balance sheets.’


  3. Paul 3

    Auckland’s housing crisis has helped to drive a net 38,000 people out of the city to other parts of New Zealand in the past six years, a new report says.

    ..it says Auckland’s housing “bubble” is worsening inequality, with the city’s house prices up 20 per cent and rents up 5.7 per cent in the past year compared with a 1.5 per cent rise in wages.’


    • Muttonbird 3.1

      Are house prices and/or rent included in inflation figures?

      Sure doesn’t seem like it.

      • Paul 3.1.1

        Fairfax pimping for Key’s flag.
        Any angle to find anyone who supports the bankster will suffice.

        Flag change referendum gets a nod from The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper


      • DH 3.1.2

        “Are house prices and/or rent included in inflation figures? ”

        Yes and no. The materials and construction costs of building a new house is included in the CPI but that doesn’t include the price of the land so it’s meaningless for most intents and purposes. There is no category in the CPI for used houses either.

        Rent is included in the CPI but it is given an expenditure weighting of only 9.22 which means a 10% rise in rents would add a mere 0.922 to the CPI.

        Auckland has a regional weighting of 36.62 for housing meaning its housing inflation makes up 36.62% of the CPI housing inflation. A 5.7% increase in Auckland rents would therefore add 0.19 to the CPI

        Latest CPI figures say rents have increased 22.6% since 2006. I find that hard to believe.

        • Muttonbird

          Thanks. It seems wrong that for those renting and whose cost of housing is generally a high proportion of their income that significant rises in rent account for so little in the rate of inflation.

          Would I be correct in saying that the CPI is not a good reflection of the actual cost of living?

          • Macro

            It used to be.
            I started my career in the Research Branch of the Dept of Statistics working on the CPI in 1967. We would get requests from parliament as to the effect of a 1p increase in the price of bread on the CPI. Then it actually meant something. Over the years the “basket of goods” that make up the CPI has changed somewhat as successive govts have added or removed items for obviously political advantage. Now some say the CPI measures “underlying inflation” whatever that means. For instance – if and when the Auckland housing bubble bursts the effect would be a massive reduction in the CPI if housing prices and rent were included. – but for those NZers living outside Auckland (Taranaki say) they would not be affected to such an extent. House prices in adjacent regions may fall slightly – but then they have only risen slightly for the most part anyway.

    • Peter Lewis 3.2

      That’s the market working.

      If you can’t afford a Mercedes you buy a Toyota.
      If you can’t afford to live in Auckland you live somewhere else.
      It’s always been like that.

      Move right along, no shock horror news there.

      • dv 3.2.1

        So the market in your terms means that auckland won’t have teachers, nurses etc because they can’t afford to live there

        Sounds good!!!

        • Sabine

          actually if you follow a bit the news you will find that the inhabitants of the posh burbs in AKL are now in a tizzy as the ‘urbanisation’ has come knocking on their doors.
          Remuera, Kohimarara, Mt. Eden, Ponsonby, etc etc all have now received their little plan for the future and gasp it allows for infill and high rises, and the peeps are not happy, i tell you they are not happy.
          As i was told yesterday, they were not consulted about the changes (ahahahahahhaha no on else ever gets consulted on anything) and it is ‘morally wrong’ to not consult the people living there. And while I agree with that person, i could not help myself to point out in how many instances the habitants of certain areas where not only not consulted, they were ridiculed, harassed, infuriated etc etc.

          I did offer the option of moving out of Auckland, after all what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
          You can not have unfettered growth and not expect something to give, and besides, have a look at the innercities of the places that AKL likes to be compared too, full of highrises, with no burbs that only are one story houses.
          Oh well, i guess at some stage reality hits even those that up until now were happy counting the pennies that they have made only on paper. Never realising that they are sharing the same boat as the rest of us.

          • Colonial Viper

            This was why I was cynical about Labour’s timing around Chinese immigrants buying Auckland housing.

            The NZ top 5% were finding that they (and their kids) were being consistently out-bid at auction for $850,000 houses by cashed up Chinese buyers.

            And suddenly, it was a problem.

            • Skinny

              6 of 1_half a dozen of the other. I am not sure who are worse the local elite or the spoilt rich one child fuckers from China who carry on like they own the place.

              • SimonM

                Actually the spoilt rich one child fuckers from China do own the place. They’ve taken full advantage of being able to buy up as much NZ residential property as they would like.

            • Sabine

              However the current Government is not Labour is National, and anything done over the last years was done by National.

              You are starting to be bore and you sound like a broken record. Do you have copy paste of “Labour did it too” and “Labour is evil” and Labour is the root cause of misery of everything in NZ since ages ago” or “Labour, yeah right tui”.

              So take your fake outrage and shove it. Unless you live in my town, see what is happening to families that live here, i suggest you “Zip it sweety”, if us that have lived here for all of our lives, for generations even are worried what is happening to our “hood”.

              And yes, fuck it the new Settlement for a few thousand people is predominantly chinese. How do I know this? I live there, I can differentiate a chinese from a korean, from a thai, a vietnamese, or a Laote. Because they a. don’t look the same, b. don’t speak the same language, and I happen to have an ex Mother in Law who is malay chinese, and a sister in law how still lives in China. It does not make me or anyone else a racists by pointing out the elephant that is standing in the room.

              And the B&T Real Estate person is really happy that her “asian” investors are finally getting their IRD numbers and she hopes that the sales in Auckland will a. pick up again and b. they will bring prices up.

              You are so full of pooo you have not got an idea what is coming. All you are looking for is cheap shots towards a party that did not elevate you to Saviour. Fuck mate, get a grip. There is misery out there, and you obviously don’t give a shit, because what, it’s just Aucklanders?

              • Colonial Viper

                by 2005/2006 Auckland housing was already regarded as being “highly unaffordable” and that those house prices shot up and up during a Labour Govt who kept that market overheating, and kept all the MPs property portfolios climbing and climbing.

                National have simply continued a trend inherited from Labour.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The thing that gets me is that we always knew that selling to offshore owners would be a problem. That’s why we previously prevented it.

              And now that problem is looming large in everyone’s vision except for the idiots who think that they’re getting rich by doing nothing.

          • Whispering Kate

            They had Sir John Walker’s support on the council – he admitted he didn’t want a 3 storey building as a neighbour. The sections in these suburbs are full quarter acres, some are massive – I think it is Christine Fletcher who has a home in the vicinity, like our leader’s which is massive. So close to work which people want, its perfect for building multi homes in these areas – listen to the squeals!!

            • Lindsey

              Sir John lives on a farm in the Bombays. He is quite happy to deny his fellow Aucklanders a chance for a more affordable home over something which will never affect him. Until perhaps he goes into a Retirement Village – the new ones are all multi-level.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.2

        That’s the market working.

        Peter Lewis, why would you support a system which only works for the top 1% to 2% of the population, while forcing everyone else into severe compromise?

        After all we are not talking about cars here; you can get a decently running car for $1500 if you know what you are looking for.

        We are talking about a city where someone would have to save up more than 25 years of minimum wage to buy even a basic place.

        Doesn’t all of this make you rather uncaring and short sighted?

        • millsy

          There is compromise and there is compromise.

          Perhaps the wealthy should start doing a bit of comprimising instread of leaving it up to the rest of it.

          Because I am sure people are getting over having to eat 2 min noodles every night so landlords are able to have caviar in retirement.

      • Macro 3.2.3

        It’s obviously working for you Peter – but for the large majority of NZers you might be surprised to find that the market, as it is now, is failing them badly. You need to get out a bit more and open your eyes and ears to what is actually going on around you.
        Like Stephen Byres found out

  4. Paul 4

    Government agencies ‘inventing numbers’ to meet targets, says report

    ‘Government agencies are “inventing” new numbers and changing the definitions of targets to make their performance seem better, a damning report says.
    The Salvation Army says the organisations feel under pressure from the Government to come up with favourable results, creating an attitude where they “find any reason to celebrate success or progress”, regardless of their original goals.
    The charitable organisation’s State of the Nation report attacks the ways in which government agencies appear to be using targets, and the numbers behind them, in a “less than straightforward and reliable manner”.
    The report says agencies have been using a number of “subtle and ingenious approaches” to improve their performance against targets.
    They include changing the definitions behind indicators to make results appear better, “inventing new numbers” that are difficult to verify, and changing the way figures are reported without improving the reliability of information provided.’

    More here….

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      It’s what we’ve suspected for a long time. Government agencies are being forced more and more to deny political interference and the politicisation in the way they report to the public.

      I do hope next year’s corruption index reflects this.

    • Sabine 4.2

      5 year plan
      always achieved
      people may wait hours in line for a banana and a steak
      but the 5 year plan was achieved.

      All hail, dear Leader!!

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        If you’re going to use an example at least use an accurate one.

        Russian economic collapse in the 1990s was not due to any “five year plan” by the Communists it was due to western oriented capitalists, neoliberals and investment bankers asset stripping Russia to the core.

        In the last ten years, Russian worker incomes, employment and life expectancy have bounced back from those bad days.

        By the way, China is on it’s 13th Five Year Plan. Recent plans seem to have been working reasonably well for the Chinese, although some earlier ones were clearly disastrous…

        • pat

          think the point being made was around the manipulation of statistics associated with meeting targets….something that was rife within the Soviet Union due to the consequences of giving your masters bad news

          • Colonial Viper

            Hi Pat,

            As I just wrote to Sabine below, I had thought Sabine had meant Russia, not the Soviet Union, as they are two different countries in two separate centuries.

        • Sabine

          your reading comprehension is failing.

          I did not say a thing about the USSR breaking up.

          I mentioned the dreaded 5 year plan that let to shortages across the USSR, East Germany and the Eastern Block. Equally normal was the cooking of books to pretend the results desired where the results are achieved.

          Other then that you could probably google some old images from the 80’s of people standing in line in front of fruit shops, bread shops, meat shops to receive their allocated rations of food. You will also see that most of the people waiting are elder ladies, they call babushka, grandmother, most important asset of every russian family at the time, as she could stand in line all day.

          I think you have finally achieved troll status. Sad really, that that is all you can contribute.

          • Colonial Viper

            Hi Sabine,

            Someone like yourself understands the difference between “Russia” (the country as it is today) and the “Soviet Union” (the country and its satellite states as it was before).

            So when you wrote “Russia” I assumed that you had actually meant “Russia.”

            Look I’m aware of some of the old Soviet jokes.

            Soviet citizen talking to the attendant in a store:

            “Excuse me, is this the fish counter?”

            “No, this is the meat counter, it’s where you can’t get any meat. The fish counter is over there, it’s where you can’t get any fish.”

            • Sabine

              I am German. I lived in Germany.

              You do not need to CVsplain to me the differences between Russia the Mothers and the USSR.
              However in Germany we don’t refer to Russia as the USSR, we refer to it as Russia.

              But what evs. I still think you are a troll and will read your missives as such.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sabine, I don’t particularly give a flying fuck about how you refer to things in Germany to other Germans in German, you’re in NZ now.

                • That’s not a million miles away from being racist, CV. Even for you, that’s low.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So you reckon Germans are a race now?

                    Yeah I guess you’re right, that was an idea floating around from the ’30s and 40s, thanks for repeating it here.

                  • weka

                    How is that racist? It was rude and unnecessarily aggressive for sure.

                    • Think it through, weka.

                      “You’re in NZ now”.

                      He’s just told someone that their culture and their language is not wanted here in NZ. There’s most definitely a word for that sort of bigotry.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      come on TRP keep bringing up examples from 1930s Germany, Im enjoying your reaching and your straw man bullshit.

                    • weka

                      hmm, xenophobic, maybe. I took him to mean that just because something is understood in another country, this conversation is happening within NZ culture so it’s better to use terms people understand here. But of course he’s being a shit for some reason, so who knows?

                    • miravox

                      “Strawman Bullshit?

                      All I’m seeing is someone who is pretty quickly picks up anti-immigrant sentiment in other people, clutching at straws instead instead of admitting to a vile comment and a weak argument for making it in the first place.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Weka, Sabine justified her use of the term “Russia” when she actually meant the Communist Soviet Union by saying the former was the normal languaging in Germany to refer to the latter.

                      TRP saw this as an opportunity to stick his paws in and try and frame me as racist because that Labour establishment loyalist gets his greasy pro-establishment brownie points that way.

                      Of course I was aggressive in my response to Sabine because her response and aggression toward me by calling me a troll was uncalled for.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      All I’m seeing is someone who is pretty quickly picks up anti-immigrant sentiment in other people, clutching at straws instead instead of admitting to a vile comment and a weak argument for making it in the first place.

                      Someone explain to me how those rotten overseas Chinese deserve to be singled out for outbidding the top 5% for $800,000 Auckland houses.

                    • miravox

                      “Someone explain to me how those rotten overseas Chinese deserve to be singled out for outbidding the top 5% for $800,000 Auckland houses”

                      I wasn’t criticising you for spotting anti-immigrant sentiment.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      miravox, I think it’s clearly getting too late for my own good.

                      A good evening to you.

                    • miravox

                      No worries cv. Sleep well.

                    • weka

                      Weka, Sabine justified her use of the term “Russia” when she actually meant the Communist Soviet Union by saying the former was the normal languaging in Germany to refer to the latter.

                      TRP saw this as an opportunity to stick his paws in and try and frame me as racist because that Labour establishment loyalist gets his greasy pro-establishment brownie points that way.

                      Of course I was aggressive in my response to Sabine because her response and aggression toward me by calling me a troll was uncalled for.

                      Sabine didn’t deserve that degree of aggression and if you can’t handle being called a troll when you’ve been spraying negativity all over this site for months then you’re probably in the wrong job.

                      You and trp need your heads banged together.

                      I grew up calling the USSR Russia. Irrespective of whether youdon’t give a shit about that, it’s not that hard to see that if you want to communicate effectively then it’s good to try and understand what other people mean. Which I assume was the underlying message in your being so rude to Sabine.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s a political discussion site.

                      And Russia and the Soviet Union were two quite different entities at two quite different times in history.

                      My apologies for thinking that well educated people give a shit about a small details like that.

                      As for me “spraying negativity”

                      It just surprises me how often people will go running back to a political party which regularly goes back on their word and shits on their interests.

                    • weka

                      There are people here who aren’t well educated too. I don’t have a problem with you clarifying the differences between USSR and Russia, I’m talking about how you did it.

                      You can justify your behaviour in negativity spraying all you like but it just marks you as having low social intelligence. Or not giving a shit about other people. Or both.

                      as an aside to all that, I’m personally sick of the whole macho shithead part of the culture here, and the bullshit that goes on in debates where people won’t clarify what they mean, or have this expectation that everyone should be as clever as they are. More and more I see many of the main people commenting here as not really being interested in change or working in constructive ways if it comes at the expense of them behaving badly or not hearing the sound of their own inflated voices.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    shit mate, you too? Can’t tell the difference between modern Russia and the former Soviet Union?

                    What does linking to the MSM ignorance of 1976 prove, you think?

                    • weka

                      That McFlock has a better grasp of how NZers understand what Russia means?

                      This is a very silly conversation.

                    • McFlock

                      But in 1976 “Russia” hadn’t existed for 60-odd years.

                      It proves that calling the Soviet Union “Russia” is a perfectly understood substitution for New Zealanders.

                      But I’m sure Kyle Chapman would appreciate your stance that all immigrants should immediately conform to what you erroneously regard as “New Zealand” idiomatic and political norms.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Good god, I really don’t give a fuck how badly Kiwis from 1976 or Germans today incorrectly view or incorrectly perceive modern or olden Russia versus the former USSR/Soviet Union.

                    • pat

                      is fair to draw the distinction between the USSR and contemporary Russia…it is also pertinent to note Russia’s role in the construction of that empire…and also the role of Russia’s current leadership within that empire.

                      The impacts of history never cease.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, many kiwis today still use “Russia” as a substitute for “Soviet Union”.

                      Basically, you saw “Russia” and, as is your reflex, you immediately went to defend Putin’s regime. Upon reading the rest of the comment, you could have gone “oh, did you mean the five year plans of the Soviet Union?”, but no.

                      You tied yourself up in knots to defend your initial interpretation. Because if you can’t see what a commenter here means, how could you possibly know what everyone in NZ or the US is going to vote for in the future? CV knows everything.

                      So you end up indirectly suggesting that China has banana shortages and putting forward a statement that some believe was racist while others merely think it was xenophobic.

                      All for the want of thinking before commenting.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          No. The five year plan caused mass starvation in the 1930s, not economic collapse in the 1990s.

  5. te reo putake 5

    We’re fast becoming the Zimbabwe of the Pacific. Deep in debt, dropping down the anti corruption tables and pretending that driving desperate people off benefits is a victory.

    Where’s our brighter future gone?

    • b waghorn 5.1

      Its a brighter future if you’re a foreign investor who wants a cheap dairy farm.

      • savenz 5.1.1

        It’s a brighter future if you need a passport out of China or India and can import your own migrant workers for your cheap dairy farm as above or get a passport for your residential property portfolio.

  6. Paul 6

    AIG ask?
    The All Blacks go along.

    Rugby: All Blacks-Ireland clash in Chicago confirmed

    And their support for the people of Christchurch?

  7. lprent 7

    Overheat and the backup server didn’t trigger. Somehow we wound up on my gitlab server…

    fancontrol now stopped

    Back to work.

    Muggy, hot, and overcast weather today. Bring on winter

    • millsy 7.1

      Bring on winter?

      The most depressing 3 months of the year.

      No way.

    • Rosie 7.2

      Thanks for the info Lynn. Was having trouble before, with the gitlab thing popping up and not being able to access posts.

      +1 to bring on winter.

      Even here in Wellington we’ve been having insano heat for over two weeks. The sleepless nights are exhausting. I haven’t had heat headaches since I lived in Auckland, never mind the discomfort of driving in 33 degree heat with out air con!

      Rain forecast for later, so that will bring some relief at least.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    More proof that Tories just don’t believe in the free-market:

    Local councils, public bodies and even some university student unions are to be banned by law from boycotting “unethical” companies, as part of a controversial crackdown being announced by the Government.

    Under the plan all publicly funded institutions will lose the freedom to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    They have to force people to act unethically instead.

    • Macro 8.1

      I find this the most despicable ban ever envisaged! How they think that they will get away with this I have no idea!

  9. The Chairman 9

    The Finance Minister also claimed the cost of social housing provision at a development in Tamaki was $900, per person, per week, or $46,800 a year, a hint of the scale of subsidy which could be on offer.

    Work was underway to turn the social housing stock into “something that looks a bit more recognisable to managers of capital. That is, contractual cash flows, such as the existing rest home market,” English said.



  10. Sabine 10

    not sure if this has come up already,

    but here is another petition to sign.

    This time it is to adequately fund mental health care in Canterbury.


  11. savenz 12

    @The Chairman – Retirement villages are the biggest rip of for retiree’s around. You pay for your ‘unit’, can’t sell it yourself, and have to take whatever price the retirement village decides. Retirement villages are ‘darlings of sharemarket’ because they are consumer rips offs that is how they make money.

    I guess now with corporate welfare we take state houses (which apparently return a profit) sell them cheap, then give the money for corporate welfare Saudi and Sky City deals, while getting the tax payer to guarantee returns to corporates for social housing.

    Did someone drop English out of a Serco prison at birth?

    I guess if you and your mates own the shares what a business opportunity to rob the people on NZ!

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Not for profit serviced retirement villages would be very easy for the Left to set up as an alternative to the corporate model.

      • savenz 12.1.1

        I don’t know why people don’t investigate the retirement village rip off!

        But then ripping off Kiwis is big business these days…

        Yes, any left alternatives should be looked at for retirements and social housing.

      • Ad 12.1.2

        Even substantially subsidized ones.

        Or ones that the state partnered with Metropolitan or somesuch. (Maybe not Serco!)

        Anyone remember the Tourist Hotel Corporation?

        • weka

          I do, and I remember when they got sold too. It was one of the culture shifting memes – ‘governments shouldn’t be involved in such things’.

  12. Sabine 13

    Phil Twyford asking a good question.


    Quote: “Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said they were still negotiating with providers to decide which ones the money would go to.
    “We’ve gone to the tender process, we’ve RFP’d, we’ve got them in. We’re currently in negotiations with an organisation in Auckland to look at how we get the new places.
    “The $500,000 before that had already been distributed and helping those organisations; $2m was new money and, as I say, it’s still going through the process.”

    Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said that was not good enough.
    “It is deeply upsetting that the government – they threw a measly $2m in a kind of a panicked public relations bid to try to make it look as if they’re doing something.

    “And, four months later, they still haven’t made any progress on putting more emergency housing in place.”

    Cabinet documents obtained by Labour show the government was told in September the situation in Auckland was acute, with virtually no urgent vacancies and insufficient funding.
    As a result, the Ministry of Social Development has had to put people up in motels.
    Mrs Bennett said she was well aware of how dire the situation was in Auckland – she wrote the Cabinet paper.
    “But that’s part of emergency housing at the moment. We’ve got [it] fragmented across government, fragmented across the sector itself – a combination of no security of funding from government [and] some that don’t want it, that want to be actually going via charities and get donations other ways.” Quote End.

    National, not giving a shit since ages ago.

    • savenz 13.1

      +1 – where have all the state houses in Auckland gone? Sold off, but the ‘replacements’ never came, surprise surprise….

      Rezoned to special housing areas, very few houses built but a whole lot of millionaires from the land rezoning!! Motorways clogged especially North Western on route from Keys electorate. No public transport but plenty of road construction clogging up the system. Maybe getting stuck in traffic for hours getting into the city might make those people think more carefully who they vote for next time!

    • millsy 13.2

      The current WINZ practice is to stick people in motel rooms. This saves the govt money as the beneficaries have to pay the money back out of their benefits, and is on the books as a loan.

      Also, this means that National-voting motel owners get some income when business is slow.

      • savenz 13.2.1

        @Millsy – disgusting. I mean who know this stuff – it is certainly not reported properly in MSM and looked at in a holistic way.

        Also if you are unemployed you are forced to take out a student loan for a course you do not want to do, again getting the person off the WINZ books and becoming a student and saddling them with a loan they have to pay back (or the taxpayers do) and a course they do not want to do, with a provider with students who do not want to be there.

    • Macro 13.3

      Excellent RNZ Insight programme on the scarcity of emergency housing in Auckland – it really is a crisis and now the govt put people on a waiting list FFS!

  13. Pasupial 14

    The olden days version of cellphone footage from a protest that debunks PR spin?

    Sanders served as chapter president of the Congress for Racial Equality at the university. A Chicago Tribune press clipping from August of 1963 shows that during a protest, right there on the corner where the mobile homes were being placed, Bernie Sanders was charged with resisting arrest and taken to jail. This isn’t conjecture or revisionist history. Bernie Sanders was a student activist and was arrested during this protest.

    Now, it appears obscure archival footage filmed on that very day by Temaner, one of the co-founders of Kartemquin Films, a legendary documentary film company in Chicago, shows the arrest of a young Bernie Sanders…

    At a time where surrogates for Hillary Clinton seem to be questioning whether or not Sanders was active in the Civil Rights Movement or ever even cared about issues that matter to black folk, we continue to see more and more evidence that the very identity of Senator Sanders was forged in the fire of activism. Not one other presidential candidate can say such a thing.


    Also, a shortened TV version of the Erica Garner “It’s Not Over”, video. I prefer the longer four minute one, but this is well edited:

  14. Andre 15

    Iraq’s version of Agent Orange (no, it’s not about depleted uranium munitions). Yet more of the nasty shit that war keeps giving long after the bullets and bombs stop.



  15. savenz 16

    “Lobbying for special tax treatment produced a spectacular return for Whirlpool Corp., courtesy of Congress and those who pay the bills, the American taxpayers.

    By investing just $1.8 million over two years in payments for Washington lobbyists, Whirlpool secured the renewal of lucrative energy tax credits for making high-efficiency appliances that it estimates will be worth a combined $120 million for 2012 and 2013. Such breaks have helped the company keep its total tax expenses below zero in recent years.

    The return on that lobbying investment: about 6,700 percent.

    These are the sort of returns that have attracted growing swarms of corporate tax lobbyists to the Capitol over the last decade — the sorts of payoffs typically reserved for gamblers and gold miners. Even as Congress says it is digging for every penny of savings, lobbyists are anything but sequestered; they are ratcheting up their efforts to protect and even increase their clients’ tax breaks.”


    • savenz 16.1

      Imagine the return on the TPPA for these lobbyists.

      Great to see that companies can keep their tax expenses below zero for a mere 1.8 m of lobbying. sarc.

      Welcome to the USA.

      Meanwhile, on MSM, keeping it real in between poo pool stories, we will no doubt hear shortly about some beneficiary being overpaid $300 because their on again off again loser boyfriend keeps turning up and she is on the DPB – throw the book at her!! Keep the kids hungry. In fact lets spend $100.000 on prosecuting her, so she will struggle to find work even if there was a job available!

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Yep but what happens to the real economic criminals?

        “The work previously done to quantify the cost of economic crime in New Zealand was based on a methodology developed overseas. In the course of the work, it became clear that the methodology was not directly applicable to the New Zealand context.

        “As a result, the report was not finalised, and there are no plans to continue the work at this time.”

        Yeah, they stop even looking.

        • savenz


          “Yeah, they stop even looking.”
          A familiar theme from this government. Why look at ways to make tax fair for all, when there are so many deserving corporates like Sky City and Saudi Business men and conference facilities and holiday highways that should be built.

          I think someone has a link above to emergency housing. 4 months later the government are still deciding how to spend their paltry $2 mill in Auckland but (read this fast so may be wrong) have already spent 1/4 of that on the process….

          So far government has not been able to make decision.

          So unlike all their emergency law changes without a moments thought for wars, food companies, ripping people off, TPPA etc ….

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Still say that lobbying needs to be banned. It’ll out a few people out of work but considering how much that work costs us we’ll probably be much better off.

  16. esoteric pineapples 18

    “It was ferocious, it was brutal, it was hardly unexpected”: Eugene Bingham on the end of 3D


  17. Ad 19

    I’ve got a sure-fire election winner for someone:

    Make Chinese New Year a public holiday. Next week after Waitangi Day.
    Hoover dem votes up!

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      I’d prefer to make Matariki a holiday. Great boost to our own culture and we don’t pretend to be someone else.

      • Glenn 19.1.1


      • McFlock 19.1.2

        something in June/July would be nice, too.

        Pepper a few more throughout the year, with a couple of restricted trading/zero advertising holidays too.

      • Graeme 19.1.3

        Somewhat surprised the agricultural aspects of Matariki haven’t been pushed more. About it being the beginning of the agricultural year.

        As a national festival it’s got a lot more going for it than 1st Jan (Pagan mid winter booze up) or Easter (minority faith based ritual)

        Fed Farmers, especially the Maori side (which is pretty big) should be pushing this hard. Even just to demonstrate that New Zealand is primarily an agricultural economy that’s all based around the natural seasons and cycles.

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      I’ve got a sure-fire election winner for someone:

      Make Chinese New Year a public holiday. Next week after Waitangi Day.
      Hoover dem votes up!

      Wouldn’t matter if Labour did this, handed out red packets filled with hundies, and dressed up to do the dragon dance themselves while lighting off bright red firecrackers, Labour ain’t never ever getting the Chinese vote back.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.1

        Yes, because you speak for the “Chinese vote”* as well as citizens of the USA 🙄

        *let’s not unpack the racism implicit in that little package, because you’d bore me with your petit crap.

        • Colonial Viper

          LOL dude, you really are cute with your nerdrage.

          • marty mars

            but you do tend to make sweeping grandiose statements purporting to know what great swathes of people think – you must admit that – and really you don’t know, you just think, or even think you know – but you DON’T know.

  18. savenz 20

    Report into police handling of Roast Busters case to stay secret


    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Just another white wash by the IPCA. I wonder if they even did a report. It would be hard to release if they haven’t done one.

    • Tc 20.2

      No surprises there, it is nationals police force after all.

    • RedBaronCV 20.3

      So they think they are going to get away with this? I wonder just who would be implicated by what if it is released. Just another anti female strike from the blokey Nact pack.

      Still I seem to remember Amy Adams speaking very strongly on issues like this in parliament – will she get to her feet and ask questions on this – and why aren’t the media seeking comment from people like her.

  19. savenz 21

    “Fletcher profits soar 51 per cent

    Fletcher this month announced it had reorganised into five divisions and reported first-half results on that basis. It has been shedding unprofitable assets to focus on businesses where it has a dominant position, acquiring Higgins Group Holdings, New Zealand’s third-largest road construction and maintenance company, for $315 million. The Higgins deal settles at the end of June. Separately today it announced a joint venture with National Aluminium, or Nalco, folding its aluminium assets into the JV and closing its own manufacturing plant in Auckland within 18 months.”


    …focus on businesses where it has a dominant position.. used to be called a monopoly and be illegal… now to buy up businesses to create monopolies… Of course with the Paula Restocks of the world being part of the commerce commission – who cares about ripping off Kiwis and the cost of building materials! sarc.

  20. millsy 22

    Just discovered through the FB universe that Sue Bradford has been left off the shortlist for Children’s Commissioner. The god botherers and neo-liberals probably pulled rank.

    We will probably get that establishment poodle, Lance O Sullivan, who gives lip service to child poverty, but is full on disciple of neo-liberalism, with his heavy support of user pays for health.

  21. ianmac 23

    OOPs! Paddy is reporting a meeting of Nat MPs today where 50% are opposed to Key’s flag change. Leaked emails from Caucus a first. Watch out K ey!

  22. North 24

    I wonder how often this thug’s evidence has been pivotal to someone getting wrongly convicted.

  23. b waghorn 25

    “”There’s no special explanation behind the scorching days and stuffy nights – all blame goes to the set of high-pressure systems rolling across the country””

    No little frogs the element isn’t on under the pot!

  24. Gangnam Style 26

    Just watching Checkpoint, John Campbell talking to the political commentator, & the commentator is going “National said this, National said that” & Campbell said back to him, “Yeah but the Govt is hardly going to tell you if something is wrong are they”. Was a real kick up this guys arse, Campbell asked if he knew which MPS did not go to the ‘Flag Crisis Meeting’ & the political commentator said “no”.

    • weka 26.1

      I heard that too, it was good.

      Am I the only one wondering if there weren’t many people at the meeting because Maggie Barry called it? 😉

  25. Tautuhi 27

    According to the Herald today the poor are better off in NZ these days?

  26. Chooky 28

    Right wing economists…persecution of the young ( these neolib economists should be thrown in jail…not young students)

    ‘US Marshals make arrests over non-payment of student loans’


    ….”Student loans have become a hot-button issue in the Democratic presidential primaries. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have railed against what they call excessive student debt, vowing to lower student loan interest rates. However, Sanders goes a step further by supporting tuition-free public universities that are fully paid for with a tax on Wall Street.

    Almost 71 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients graduate with a student loan, and those graduating in 2015 have an average debt from school of over $35,000, according to The Wall Street Journal.”


  27. alwyn 29

    This was an item from the Economist’s daily newsletter.
    Does anyone know whether the Green Party, which I understand is opposed to genetic modification, would have a problem with this?
    Seems like a great idea to me

    “The World Health Organisation recommended trials of genetically modified mosquitoes to combat the Zika virus, which is suspected to be linked to a rise in birth defects. Offspring of the mosquitoes, developed by Oxitec, a British company, die before reproducing. They have ​already ​been deployed in small-scale trials in the Cayman Islands and Brazil.”

    • Colonial Viper 29.1

      It would be hilarious if the genetic engineering which causes the children mosquito to die before reproducing, end up affecting people in the same way.

      • Chooky 29.1.1

        “hilarious”…is not the term I would use….however it would solve the world’s over population problem and possibly also global warming and ensure the future of the planet.

        (smirk )…but McFlock and his vaccinators would soon be to the rescue and put a stop to that…because Big Pharma needs lots of people to vaccinate in order to make a Big profit.

    • weka 29.2

      Pretty sure the GP don’t develop policy for other countries.

      It’s better if you post the actual link, so we can see teh context.

      • alwyn 29.2.1

        “post the actual link”
        As I said in my comment.
        It is an item from the Economist daily newsletter I receive as an e-mail.
        They are only a series of news items. What I reproduced was the whole item.

        “Pretty sure the GP don’t develop policy for other countries”. I hope not. I don’t think it would be terribly effective. They would probably use rather rude words.

        I was curious what the attitude would be if the virus got to New Zealand, or Ross River fever or whatever. I don’t know whether the particular strain of mosquito could live here but if they could, and the virus arrived would this be considered an acceptable means of fighting it?

        Here is a link from The Guardian to the same material

        • Andre

          The policy linked below appears to have a blanket ban on any GE organisms outside a secure lab.

          However, I hope and believe that by the time New Zealand has to seriously consider a question like this, there will have been enough experience and evidence from the rest of the world for a more nuanced and evidence based position to develop.


          alwyn, if this interests you, do some searching on Wolbachia. That’s coming at using modified host mosquitoes to control diseases from a slightly different angle.

        • weka

          You’re asking if the GP has an opinion about a hypothetical situation where the details aren’t known? I think you’ve misunderstood how the GP develop policy.

          • alwyn

            Andre doesn’t seem to agree with you weka.
            Unfortunately I have discovered many of your comments have little connection to reality

            • weka

              It’s common knowledge that the GP takes a precautionary approach to GE and supports a moratorium on it outside the lab. But that’s not what you were asking.

              “Unfortunately I have discovered many of your comments have little connection to reality”

              lol, assert all you like, but until you learn how to make actual points and back them up with something you’re just full of air and ad hominems.

  28. ianmac 30

    Might be a bit late now but I thought that this was one of the better discussions. Monday 15th.
    “Matthew Hooton and Stephen Mills discuss current political affairs including the flag debate and the trivialisation of New Zealand politics.”
    Stephen holds things into a better balance.

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  • Flood recovery given further assistance
    The Government is contributing a further $1 million to help the flood battered Buller community, Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding for five projects to reduce food waste
    The Government is funding five projects to help address the growing problem of food waste, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “New Zealand households throw away nearly 300,000 tonnes of food every year, half of which could still be eaten. By supporting these initiatives, we’re taking steps to reduce this ...
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  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for West Coast flooding event
    The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated today - meaning residents on the West Coast of the South Island and in the Marlborough region hit by flooding over the weekend can now access help finding temporary accommodation, announced Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Poto Williams in Westport today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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