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Open mike 17/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 17th, 2013 - 167 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

167 comments on “Open mike 17/03/2013”

  1. Jenny 1

    It may seem a strange thing for a city dweller to worry about.

    But,

    Still no rain.

    Well not here in Papakura at least.
    Black heavy clouds that normally would guarantee a rainfall just hang over the suburb.
    Our lawn has not grown for months. While the grass dies, strange new weeds, (probably with deeper roots) are raise their heads. I witnessed a man mowing his dust yesterday, Clouds of it billowing up around him as he pushes his lawnmower around his section. Could this be a metaphor for business as usual?
    Is this how it ends? Trudging around in diminishing circles mindlessly repeating rituals that have lost all meaning, and could be doing us harm?

    Our world, as we know it, is dying. Who can deny it?

    Scientists and politicians here and overseas talk of the “New Normal”. The National Government warn farmers that there will no more bailout for droughts after this one.

    Meanwhile in the next borough, Fonterra continue with their plan to cook to climate, with a new coal mine. Are they mowing a dead lawn? Are they just ignorant, or are their actions more sinister and cynical than that?

    Is it that they don’t give a damn?

    At the flea market I bumped into a well known local ACT supporter who accused me of “frightening people”. I replied, “people should be frightened. Go to Australia, people are frightened, some are terrified.” With the crazy illogic of the Right. He loudly accused me of “making things worse”.
    “How could I make things worse”, I retorted.

    • muzza 1.1

      Its light drizzle in central AKL, but what happened to the *predicted cyclone*.

      Heavy black clouds, but no rain – Who would to try explain why when AKL is covered in clouds that look like they only belong on the tropics right before a 2-3 hour deluge, are these things hanging around AKL without dispensing SFA??

      Re your encounter with the act supoorter, yes thats the response of a scared weak human being, with no ability to review their own belief system!

      Re Fonterra – If the permits are given, then its also those who allow the mine to go ahead that are sinister, along with whomever applied the pressure to get it through!

      • marty mars 1.1.1

        Maybe time for the anticipated exodus from the dying cities to begin while people still can – just don’t all come here lol – pouring down here in the bay but we are always greener than most from grass to voting. We do tend to get lots of lines across the sky but it has always been a convergence point here for the whales, people and I suppose the demented. Good luck up there.

        • muzza 1.1.1.1

          Hey Marty,

          Yes, cities are killers, no questions about that, they kill the mind and soul, and not only steal energy, they can turn positive energy negative with ease.

          It will be time to depart soon, that is for sure, I expect many people who are now tied to a mortage and invested in this dying/decaying city, might be wishing they were not so tied to it, but hey, people make their choices.

          We will need alot of luck up here, appreciate the sentiment bro!

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            Time to keep building houses and roads as if people will still want to live in an Auckland with 2M people. 40% of NZers on 0.3% the land area.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2

            I see population projections which show that Auckland is going to hit 2M in 2035. 12 years from now.

            That’s 500,000 more people than today, or a full third more than 2013. That’s fucked and its not going to work.

            • marty mars 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Problem is a bit like whale strandings – when the sand is felt on their belly it is too late for them to get off and they have to wait for the next high tide and when the city is gnawing the belly it will be too late to move too and notwithstanding rising sea levels the next high tide may be quite a wait.

          • Colonial Weka 1.1.1.1.3

            No need for everyone to leave the cities. Cities have lots of valuable resources and infrastructure that we will need in the future. We can transform much of the city. Suburbs can be retrofitted into sustainable communities and villages.

            Learn first how to harvest water 😉 Not just collecting water in cisterns/tanks, but how to make use of the water that hits the ground, channelling it to where you grow food. Re-use grey water for gardening. Plant trees! and create local microclimates. The shadier it is the better you can do with low rainfall. Many people in the world have lived successfully for long periods of time in places alot drier that Auckland 🙂

            A 2000 year old food forest in the Moroccan desert with plants that would probably do ok in the Auckland region, but adapting forest design for the sub tropics.

            http://www.permaculture.co.uk/videos/2000-year-old-food-forest

            City food forests. Google ‘urban farming’ too, there is a renaissance in the US of this (all cities used to have farms, even in NZ).

            http://beaconfoodforest.weebly.com/

            Chch plans for the Avon –

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-mail/8217472/Land-could-feed-city

    • Raa 1.2

      There is a lot of overcast cloud over Te Whanganui a Tara as I write, but no sign of moisture as yet. Rain is forecast for this afternoon. The grass outside looks like something from an Australian drought – but this one is Aotearoan.

      Dr. Salinger was right to call it “historic”, in fact he and other climate scientists have been right all along, but don’t expect any thanks from a government relying on the fading charm of former trading floor manager.

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        Yes thick black clouds over Papakura too. A slight breeze. Rain must be nearly here. There is a mist on the top of the Hunuas. Maybe it is raining up there.

        • Jenny 1.2.1.1

          It has started.

          • Jenny 1.2.1.1.1

            It’s like music. It is so exciting. Oh my God! My towels, I should have got them in before.

            • Jenny 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Where are the umbrellas? We had a big stripey one. The dog is just sitting out in the rain.

              • Jenny

                The dog is still just standing there. I think it has forgotten what rain looks like.

                • Clockie

                  Relax. Geoff Palmer will turn up and remind us we live in an irreducibly pluvial country any time now….

                  • Raa

                    A light drizzle has fallen over Wellington. Where are those water containers .. ?

                    • karol

                      Yep. Good to see some continuing light rain in Auckland this morning, though this hasn’t been the area most in need.

                      I guess the welcome sight makes up for it putting an end to my plans today for using my day off work – yesterday it was the sniffles, today the rain… and there goes my little bit of annual leave.

            • muzza 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Had about 20 minutes of light rain in central AKL – More than the drizzle, but hardly rain.

              Its stopped for the time being, perhaps blown over..

              Will we get more, or is that it!

              • Herodotus

                Hope everyone has been out clearing there gutters, as with the lack of rain all those leaves, moss etc building up and blocking the down pipes. Result for internal gutters water getting in, traditional guttering systems overflows.

                • Colonial Weka

                  Bit early in the year for gutter cleaning. Need to wait until the last leaves have fallen.

              • karol

                Still light rain/drizzle here in New Lynn. Hasn’t stopped.

              • ghostrider888

                OM “it’s Yesterday once more” muzza

    • Colonial Weka 1.3

      Jenny, post 1 is a great comment, thanks.

    • ghostrider888 1.4

      Excellent ‘post’ Jenny; yes, weeds with deeper roots emerge and re-establish; observed a few folk mowing their dust and slivers to within a mil of nothing too.

  2. lprent 2

    Identicon time

  3. Jenny Kirk 3

    We’ve had heavy drizzle all thru the night – this is over the eastern hills and towards the east coast of the mid-north. But the rain fall is patchy – doesn’t happen everywhere. We had a similar rainy patch in February – lasted three days. Keeping our place green but probably not enough for local farmers. Elsewhere in the north this hasn’t happened – its very brown in Far North.

  4. Jenny 4

    The bloody face of coal. With almost identical circumstances to Pike River, Coal Keeps Killing

    As well as being dangerous to mine, and unhealthy for the people in nearby communities, coal is the number 1 cause of anthropomorphic CO2 emissions

    The coal industry is brutal, it is sick, it is dirty, And It is Dying. This monstrous industry belongs in the 19th century, yet it stumbles and lurches, unwelcome into the 21st. No doubt, eventually, like all slavering grotesque monsters it will die a horrible and well deserved death. The danger is, if this death is latter, rather than sooner, that it threatens to take us all with it.

    In other news on coal:

    In the Australian capital of coal, New Castle, residents march against coal.

    http://indymedia.org.au/2013/03/16/coal-dust-and-climate-change-newcastle-residents-march-against-proposed-t4-coal-loader

    In other news China puts a legislative cap on coal:

    “Coal consumption will peak below 4 billion tonnes,” Jiang Kejun, who led the modelling team that advised the State Council on energy use scenarios, told Fairfax Media.

    “It’s time to make change,” said Dr Jiang, who is director of the Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). “There’s no market for further development of energy-intensive industry.”

    The imminent stabilisation of coal usage, if broadly achieved, would mark a stunning turn-around for a nation that is estimated to have burned 3.9 billion tonnes last year, which is nearly as much as the rest of the world combined.

    The move would also bring some relief in the fight against global warming.

    And it would trigger a negative income shock to Australia, the world’s biggest exporter or coal and iron ore, with significant implications for government budget forecasts.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/time-for-change-china-flags-peak-in-coal-usage-20130206-2dxrv.html#ixzz2NoXEcB4Z

    And the short sighted managers of solid energy wonder why the price of coal has dropped through the floor. They must know that they are working in a dying industry. (In more ways than one). (They have been informed of this inevitable crisis by environmentalists and scientists for more than a decade now.

    The Chinese government’s restrictions on coal, are driven by environmental concerns:

    Chinese officials and analysts acknowledge that state-owned enterprises, regional leaders and their political patrons have resisted or ignored previous edicts.

    But they say the economic growth is now ready to be weaned from its addiction to coal and the State Council decision – including to apportion responsibilities to local governments and enterprises – shows a stronger political consensus has been reached to mobilise the bureaucracy.

    Pan Jiahua, who heads a team of climate change economists at China’s leading think tank, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Fairfax Media that the State Council’s endorsement of the energy target had the effect of elevating it into a “political requirement”.

    He said officials in local governments and state-owned enterprises would now be judged partly on their ability to meet energy targets while a long list of green slogans, incentives and policies were translating into concrete measures.

    Professor Pan said energy security remained the primary motivation behind the measures but last month’s record pollution readings in North China had contributed to the hardening of political will.

    “Chinese people have done enough tolerating such bad air,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/time-for-change-china-flags-peak-in-coal-usage-20130206-2dxrv.html#ixzz2NoaCneaQ

    We are reliving the last dying days of the asbestos mining industry. Why prolong the pain? When will our policy makers stop trying to make money out of this dying industry, regardless to the cost, to the environment, to lives, to the climate?

    Are they idiots?

    Or, as the residents of New Castle claim, just “F**king Greedy”, with no respect for human life.

    “We have concluded that pollution from T4 is a significant threat to public health. Most affected will be 32,000 people living alongside the coal corridor from Newcastle to Rutherford and 23,000 children who live within half a kilometre or attending schools within half a kilometre of the coal rail and the 23,000 residents living close to Kooragang Island.

    What we find most objectionable is that the T4 proposal is their denial that any disease burden will be imposed on the residents from noise and pollution.

    T4 pollution comes with an unpaid health bill. It’s cost will be charged to the victims and their famillies and to all of us who pay for the national health budget. This coal dust bill is not trivial. T4 activities along the rail corridor and coal loader will add 363 tonnes of small particles called PM10 into the air each year. Coal loader expansion will make already poor air quality even worse.

    Midwives Association, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham

    The same coal particles that the Associate Professor of mid wives Nick Higginbottom identifies as being a hazard to the health of the people of New Castle. Are soon to be released here, into the air upwind of this country’s biggest reservoir, the Mangatangi Dam. Fonterra is planning to dig a brand new open cast mine at Mangatangi due east of the reservoir that supplies the bulk of Auckland’s drinking water.

    Auckland Coal Action has called on Aucklanders to put a stop to this new coal mine. This is in line with the official Green Party policy of No New Coal Mines in Aotearoa.

    • Jenny 4.1

      Fonterra Cooks the Climate

      Fonterra is the third biggest single consumer of coal after Huntly Power Station and Glenbrook Steel Mill. (Dairy industry as a whole, may consume more than Glenbrook making Dairying number 2. Unfortunately figures for the total consumption of coal by the total Dairy Industry are hard to come by).

      Trend setter, Fonterra plans to dig a brand new open cast coal mine, just south of Auckland.

      Though having owned the land for nearly 20 years, Fonterra were unable to mine it for it’s known coal reserves. I surmise that Fonterra were unable, or unwilling to meet the strict Auckland Regional compliance regulations.

      But it seems, there is more than one way to skin a cat. (or a climate).

      In the creation of the Super City the Southern Auckland boundary which contained Mangatangi, (including the Mangatangi reservoir, the biggest in the country, providing the bulk of Auckland’s drinking water), was moved North.

      Who knew?

      Mangatangi, including the Mangatangi Reservoir, the Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir and the proposed mine, are all now, in the newly created borough of North East Waikato, part of the Waikato Region where consents are easier to obtain, and compliance regulations far looser than under Auckland Regional governance.

      The prevailing winds are from the West, the Mangatangi Reservoir, in particular, is almost directly down wind of the open cast mine. Coal dust is notorious for being contaminated with heavy metal residues.

      Are the local residents of Mangatangi/Mangatawhiri concerned?

      Yes, they are.

      Should you be too?

      Yes you should.

      Anti-climate change pressure group Auckland Coal Action has teamed up with local residents of Mangatangi and Mangatawhiri to oppose Fonterra’s plans for the new open cast coal mine at Mangatangi.

      They are calling for as many people as possible to make submissions to the Waikato Regional Council.

      You can help.

      Details on how to make a submission are here:

      http://aucklandcoalaction.org/2013/02/28/submissions-on-proposed-new-coal-mine-at-mangatangimangatawhiri/

      Numbers Count.

      If you make a submission, ask for the right to speak to it.

      Remember; NUMBERS COUNT!

      Protect Auckland’s drinking water from coal dust contamination!

      Become a climate change hero!

      Be able to look your grandchildren in the eye!

      Fill in a submission form!

      Address the council!

      This is your chance!

      Have your say!

  5. prism 5

    We think we have problems with nz governments and their wasteful spending and profligacy in their chosen directions (while not having money for essential services and citizen support).
    I just heard on radionz someone saying that people in usa are monitoring the development of the F35 plane which is supposed to cost 1 Trillion $ over 35 years, and is not going well.

  6. prism 6

    It’s wet on the ground in Nelson. Light but steady so far. When did it last rain here can’t think?

  7. saarbo 7

    Watching Bill English on Q&A. When he says that “in 2009 the government was facing a decade of deficits because of the Labour Party”…what does he mean? I understand that Labour/Cullen run surpluses throughout its term in government???

    The National Party also have this on their website.

    • Morrissey 7.1

      When you lie, you have to be very intelligent if you’re not going to be caught out.

      Do you think Bill English, or any of his National Party colleagues, has the intelligence to avoid being caught out?

      Well done, saarbo, you’ve rumbled the Double Dipper of Dipton beautifully….

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      It was a ridiculous statement put out by the treasury, showing that if current spending levels were left unchanged, the government would face deficits for the next decade. National jumped on it and trumpeted it as if Labour were reckless, irresponsible and had driven the country into the ground.

      Of course Labour would have changed spending priorities if they had won the 2008 election (Labour were promising a mini-budget to respond to the then-unfolding financial crisis), just as National changed spending priorities themselves – and we’re still going to be in deficit in 2014/2015, almost a decade after the 2008 election anyway.

      • saarbo 7.2.1

        Thanks M and L. Oh now I understand, that is ridiculous. So Labours decade of deficits relates to the treasuries projected deficits from 2010 to 2020??? How the fuck does this get labelled as “Labours” decade of deficits.

        How this National government maintains its support in the Polls is beyond belief. English’s idea of dealing with climate change is setting up mass irrigation schemes and letting farmers sort the issue out. Then in the Solid Energy issue he openly admits that National encouraged SE to have a 40% Debt to Equity ratio, the Directors state that that is too high and were only prepared to go as high as 35%. For this the Directors get fired for driving debt too high. Whhaaaattt?

        Why does this abysmal governments hopelessness not convert to movements in the polls? I wonder if it has something to do with a Shearer lead government, also containing Winston scares people. And although I quite like Hone/Mana’s policies, I wonder if the thought of Shearer leading with Hone and Winston also scares the shit out of the middle class swing voters. Buggered if I know but something is stopping people from moving their votes back to Labour.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          There’s every chance there will be another high non-vote in 2014. People who refuse to vote for National, but can’t see any alternative government- in-waiting which works for them.

          I reckon the Greens will be a big winner in this scenario and have a good chance of breaking over 13%.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.2

          Poor reporting so that people don’t have all the facts, an even poorer understanding of economics (hell, if economists don’t know what an economy is that’s not really surprising) and an unsupported belief that National are better economic managers than Labour despite the fact that National always run the economy into the ground and Labour fixes it (well, they did kinda fix it until the 1980s and then they really screwed it up).

        • Olwyn 7.2.1.3

          I blame the lack of a coherent, readily characterised position on Labour’s part. It seems that, afraid of being characterised as “yeah, yeah, tax and spend” Labour have opted to try and avoid characterisation altogether. Hence it is very hard to see what a coalition of the left would look like. Think about Labour’s return to the front benches under Helen Clark. There was a clear position from which concessions to smaller parties might be made. Labour’s commitment to this position was underwritten by a pledge card.

          The present fear of characterisation leaves the party unable to meaningfully commit itself. The housing policy, for example, concentrates on means, with the assumption that the claimed ends will follow. There is no “we will do whatever it takes to make housing affordable, re-establish manufacturing, etc.” In a similar vein, their challenges to the welfare reforms are generally technical rather than moral. And we have seen the limp possible-policy response to asset sales, which was their flagship policy in 2011. Such equivocation cannot hope to galvanise voters.

    • aj 7.3

      Around 2011? 2012? he also said something along the lines of “NZ was left in good shape to handle to GFC”

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        Yep. English said that the GFC was the rainy day that the government had been saving up for.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      It was a load of bollocks. Basically, Treasury looked at the GFC, panicked and, because they’re all ideologues, blamed the Labour governments spending rather than the socio-economic system that caused the crash.

    • BLiP 7.5

      Its bullshit, of course.

      . . . Bill English had to swallow the proverbial dead rat this morning and effectively acknowledge that Michael Cullen had done something right in his stewardship of the Government’s finances in the past nine years.

      Having condemned his predecessor for many years for paying off debt too quickly, English said: “I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.”

      “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,” he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts . . .

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/audrey-young/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501219&objectid=10548753&pnum=1

  8. Morrissey 8

    The nervous chuckling of radio broadcasters
    Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw, National Radio, 17 March 2013

    Chris Laidlaw is one of this country’s more serious-minded and intelligent broadcasters. He goes out of his way to be fair and even-handed, and he has attracted many high quality guests on to his show, including dissidents normally shunned by the mainstream media, such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein.

    He also has one of the very best feature writers in the country, Wayne Brittenden, who in his “Counterpoint” segment every week provides an unflinching, often startling in-depth backgrounder to current news issues.

    Today, just after the 8 o’clock news, during his rundown of the programme, Chris Laidlaw said this: “At 11:40 Wayne Brittenden talks about the American soldier who is on trial for releasing hundreds of thousands of official documents to Wikileaks.” Then he chuckled, and quipped: “Which makes him flavour of the month at the Pentagon!” And he chuckled again.

    Such behaviour is not just irritating, it is concerning for two reasons. (1) The American soldier (Bradley Manning) is not on trial for releasing hundreds of thousands of documents, he is on trial for blowing the whistle on atrocities and war crimes committed by U.S. occupation troops in Iraq. No doubt Laidlaw knows that, but he obediently read out the misleading words anyway. (2) The chuckle didn’t just happen. He did not chuckle while reading out anything else, only while reading out about Bradley Manning. This is, I believe, because Laidlaw realized that he was wading into extremely dangerous territory, and the consequences of even MENTIONING, let alone giving a fair hearing to, an official enemy are dire. Chuckling is a distancing mechanism, an almost subconscious way of protecting yourself from the charge of taking all this radical stuff too seriously.

    That’s why Jim Mora chuckled incessantly recently whenever he even mentioned the name of official enemy Hugo Chávez. It’s not that Mora is a raving right winger like many of his guests, it’s just that he realizes it’s risky to go out on a limb and tell the truth unflinchingly.

    A few years ago, Brian Edwards shrewdly assessed the behaviour of journalist/PR shill Bill Ralston: “He is an intelligent man who is afraid of being seen to be intelligent.” Replace the word “intelligent” with “principled”, and you have a perfect description of the timid “liberals” on Radio New Zealand National.

    • Jenny 8.1

      You should have listened to the broad cast program on climate change. Laughing and giggles and unfunny jokes all through it.

      I’ll be damned.

      Now I understand why. It was a distancing tactic. They were too frightened to seriously discuss this issue in case they ruffled the feathers of powerful interest groups who could harm their careers.

      I will right now, go and look up the link. And listen again with new ears.

    • “it’s just that he realizes it’s risky to go out on a limb and tell the truth unflinchingly”

      I agree. Man-made earthquakes are not funny things. Another way of looking at it is when they lie blatantly about something, then you know that the issue is an important one. Like common law, for example.

    • North 8.3

      Methinks you may overcook Laidlaw’s chuckle there Morrissey. Doesn’t strike me that Laidlaw is an individual to be cowed either consciously or subliminally.

      Thanks anyway for the reminder to listen to the Brittenden interview @ 11.40 am. Didn’t hear the chuckle myself so won’t be adamant about it but are there possibly legs in Laidlaw actually doing a bit of a snidey at the expense of the monstrously fruit-saladed boys and girls at the Pentagon ? It was only an intro after all.

      As to Mora on the other hand…….well, he’s more a fulsomely charming dinner guest than anything else. The one whom for whatever self-preening reason brings the finest wine at the table and the only one whose demeanour is ineffably affable from start to finish.

      Anyway, raining steadily in the Mid-North for a few hours and just now quite solidly

      My ruggedly individualistic, freedom-loving, self-reliant, ACT-voting silverbeet and herbs are positvely humming. For today anyway they can safely eschew the vile-welfarism attendant in Nanny North’s watering.

      It is exciting as someone said.

      • ghostrider888 8.3.1

        Love it North (possibly the laughing discomfort of dissonance Mozza)

      • Morrissey 8.3.2

        Doesn’t strike me that Laidlaw is an individual to be cowed either consciously or subliminally.

        You’re correct in that he is not easily cowed. It’s hard to intimidate someone who has survived THIS….
        http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lrao8j533u1qgfwr0o1_500.jpg

        I do, however, think that his slight chuckle didn’t just arise because he thinks the persecution of Bradley Manning is funny.

        Don’t get me wrong: I believe Laidlaw is a brave and independently-minded broadcaster, but even he is not immune to pressure. Chuckling like that is the verbal equivalent of wincing; it signals uncertainty and discomfort.

        It’s far from the gales of laughter that resound in Jim Mora’s studio whenever something delicate, like government crimes or human rights, comes up for discussion.

  9. johnm 9

    Another dispatch from the U$K class war of austerity. The Artist Taxi driver. 🙁 😀

    The bedroom tax an obscene ideological Govt attack on the vulnerable.

    Weekend edition of the BBC Sucks o Cocks News

  10. big bruv 10

    “Watching Bill English on Q&A. When he says that “in 2009 the government was facing a decade of deficits because of the Labour Party”…”

    Is there something wrong with your memory?

    Do you not recall when Cullen (one of the nastiest MP’s we have ever had) proudly stood in the house and said he “had spent it all, there is nothing left”

    Cullen did not care that he led NZ into the recession before any other country in the world, he did not care that he wasted surpluses of the like we had never seen before he just wanted to make sure that the nation suffered because it had the temerity to turn it’s back on the Clark government, the most corrupt government in our nations history.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Hmmmm it seems you don’t know much about NZ Government in the 19th century…

      Labour paid back foreign debt by the billion.

      National is accruing it by the billion.

      The liberal/conservative tables have switched, it seems.

      • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1

        19th century? Shome mishtake, shurely?

        Poor Bruv, in his world sensible economic management by a government is an affront to everything he read in the Ayn Rand books and therefore cannot be real.

    • rosy 10.2

      Did Cullen actually say that? Do you have a link?

      I’d always thought that was Labour in UK with a quote that there’s ‘no money left’ when they lost the election. If it was Cullen I’d be keen to read what that was all about.

    • lprent 10.3

      Ignoring your poor grasp of history… Just consider this.

      Ok – so given your view on the situation in 2009 – how does that explain why Bill English, supposedly faced with a decade of deficits, promptly went out and caused not one but two rounds of additional tax cuts to worsen the revenue situation and to increase the possible deficit. Which then grew faster in almost any terms than we have ever seen before, including during the oil shocks of the 70’s.

      Is there something wrong with your memory?

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Last day to help Steve Keen’s Minsky simulation project reach US$70,000

    On Kickstarter here

    I believe this quantitative macroeconomic simulator will help change the science and art of the economic profession. And as you know, it needs it.

    • saarbo 11.1

      Thanks Cv, interesting.

      Steve Keen also a big supporter of a tough capital gains tax, which would do more to stop another housing bubble developing, it could also lead to another reduction in the cash rate (which we desperately need, particularly now that the drought will cost the country $2b), which could lower the exchange rate.

    • RedLogix 11.2

      I put in $500.

  12. did everyone miss helen clarks’ drug-u-turn yesterday..?

    ..and her coming out as an end-prohibition warrior..?

    …the corporate media certainly did..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2013/helen-clark-the-head-of-the-united-nations-development-program-has-publicly-slammed-global-strategies-to-combat-drugs/

    phillip ure..

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Why did you link to your site? All you did was quote a few phrases from another site and then link to that other site.

      Here’s the Yahoo news link for those that don’t want to reward the link whore.

    • Murray Olsen 12.2

      The War on Drugs fits in very nicely with the War on Black and Indigenous Youth, the War on Sustainable Peasant Agriculture, and the War for Serco’s Profits. It has very little to do with drugs, but allowed the US and A to criminalise a whole generation of black and Latino youth for private profit. Until terrorism came along as a convenient excuse, it was the rationale of choice for increasing Police powers and moving us towards an oppressive lawn order society.

      Many of these public figures, from ex-presidents to ex-police chiefs, are happy to come out against it once they’re no longer in office. It’s about time they started taking a stand while they can still do something.

      End the ridiculous war on drugs – legalise everything. It couldn’t possibly be worse than what we’ve got and the evidence from countries like Portugal suggests it could be much better.

      • North 12.2.1

        Agreed Olsen. Isn’t it starkly ironic that the last geezer of the poltical class who had anything vaguely sensible to say about it all was the hapless Don Brash ?

        And the laddies and lasses of the media (and forgive me for understanding that most’ve been and still may be into it…..the dak anyway)………well……..they roasted the old duffer. While shortly thereafter saying “Yeah, OK” re Botox Banks and his complete loss of memory about a chopper trip to the Dotcom mansion.

        Save me !

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.2

        End the ridiculous war on drugs – legalise everything.

        I wouldn’t go that far. I’d go so far as to legalise the drugs that we know the effects of but not unknowns?

      • joe90 12.2.3

        The War on Drugs fits in very nicely with the War on Black and Indigenous Youth, the War on Sustainable Peasant Agriculture, and the War for Serco’s Profits

        ‘The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

        Michelle Alexander argues that the get-tough-on-crime policies that began in the early 1970s were enacted in an effort to push back the gains of the Civil Rights Movement. This effort, she says, has been successful. Prof. Alexander spoke at the University of Tennessee at an event hosted by the university’s Africana Studies Program

  13. Tiresias 13

    Here’s an interesting development.

    The banks in Cyprus are broke, as is Cyprus as a state – part of the EU. To get their bankers, and the state, out of the hole caused by profligate spending and bad speculation by its banks – much of it in Greece – Cyprus has frozen all bank deposits and is to impose a ‘one-time tax’ of 6.75% on all bank deposits under EU100,000 and a ‘levy’ of 10% on all deposits of more than EU100,000.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/16/cyprus-savings-levy-imposed-eurozone

    So in effect if you were a saver you get 6.75% or 10% taken from your savings without warning over the weekend. If you were a spendthrift, or poor, it doesn’t touch you.

    Do do we cheer, or look on in horror? Do we say that the ordinary Cypriot who might have been saving for a house, or a holiday, or a daughter’s wedding, or retirment is just getting what he deserves for being a capitalist? Do we say that spending all you earn on the flashiest life-style possible is the way to go ‘cos they can’t tax that? Do we say that anyone who earns more than they absolutely need and chooses to save it rather than spend it should be forced to underwrite the profligacy and bad investment decisons of others?

    The Germans, who are largely responsible for forcing this on the Cypriots as the price of yet another bank bail-out, argue that quite a lot of money deposited in Cypriot banks is ‘dirty money’ from Russia, which makes it all right to also take money from the savings accounts of Cypriot mums and dads, and a great many pensioners from other European countries that retired there. Would you feel happy about money being seized from your bank account without any forewarning, or legal approval, because your bank is also used by crooks?

    Is there any longer any reason to believe your money is safe in the bank?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Yep. Steve Keen writes a little more about it here. He predicts that this could be the start of an old fashioned EU bank run.

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2123355930/minsky-reforming-economics-with-visual-monetary-mo/posts

    • ghostrider888 13.2

      to the final query Tiresias; NO!

      • Tiresias 13.2.1

        Fair ’nuff. I’m seriously considering pulling back on what I keep in the bank for day-to-day expenses and that ‘rainy day’

        But that begs the question what do I do with surplus cash? Buy more Mighty River Power shares? Increase my stake in Australia and the US? Replace my 2-year-old SUV with a new one I neither need nor want? Buy a house in Auckland and rent it out?

        Dammitm, I can’t even give it to the RC Church for the benefit of my soul, seeing as how Pope Francis I wants the church to be Poor.

        Problems, problems.

        • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1

          Help build businesses which employ people and crate new jobs.

          • Tiresias 13.2.1.1.1

            Tried that by buying a mussel farm and spending $thousands tripling its size, making work for locals in the work-boats and processing factories, fighting the protestors who think the Sounds should be kept pristine for Aucklanders and Wellingtonians to look at and fish out on their holidays, and sold out when uncontrolled expansion of the industry (just like mine) doubled the growing time between harvests, while the high dollar and greedy middlemen meant I was subsidising sea-food restaurants in Los Angeles and New York or supermarket chains in Europe.

            Tried that by sinking $thousands into Windflow Technology Limited. Haven’t yet had a cent back over 13 years but helped create plenty of new jobs that have come and gone, and might have done some real good for New Zealand employment, technical reputation and the environment had any Government of either colour done any more than make encouraging noises and jumped at the ‘green’ photo-ops.

            Did that by supporting Moa Beer’s IPO last year – but oh dear, the stick I’ll get from commentators at this site for being a rentier and not earning an honest living toiling in the fields from dawn to dusk.

            • RedLogix 13.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree. Apart from bars, brothels, drug-dealing, various forms of accounting and tax fraud … it’s become bloody hard to find any decent business in this country that an ordinary person might personally own and invest in. (And I’m not counting that den of thieves otherwise called the NZX).

              I’ve put some time and effort over the last five years looking at various businesses, but they’re been either boring and wouldn’t hold my interest, or they’ve place too high a value on their capital assets.

              One example was a food growing and processing business that looked good, but on a turnover of about $150k they were asking 1.5m. Sure there was a substantial asset …. but nowhere near enough cashflow to sustain it. Two years later it’s still on the market.

              Lots of dying businesses like old motels, or businesses that are only really worth the knowledge and networking of the existing owner. Or businesses that are slowly but surely being out-competed by cheap Asians. And plenty of others where you are really just buying a job with low pay and long hours.

              Provincial New Zealand is being slowly strangled and Auckland/ChCh are madhouses. No wonder Australia beckons for so many.

              • Herodotus

                Many business are at best allow the owner to earn a living wage and take advantage of some tax concessions with all the real gains in any property that the business operates from increasing in value and able to be released (untaxed) if kept separate in some other form ae.g. a trust when the business is sold. So property is we’re the gains in wealth reside, no wonder our fixation with property and govts lack of will power to address the issue.

              • prism

                RL
                That comment sounds like a real gem of truth that can only come from an objective and experienced investor.

                It seems to me that we are living mainly on the remains of past endeavours and the playing field has been tilted so far that the sort of new business that we need just can’t get a hold.

                • prism

                  bad12
                  I followed up yesterday on your comment that handling links is something you want to do. I haven’t seen a mention that you have seen it. If you are interested then see it around
                  9.1….
                  prism … at Open Mike
                  16 March 2013 at 2:23 pm

              • ghostrider888

                Tourist accommodation sector is flailing here; Ships Cruise in and out ya sea

            • North 13.2.1.1.1.2

              No Tiresias, I’m not going to abuse you because you’ve got bucks to invest. Some of my best friends…….hahaha.

              No seriously – what I find OK about you, as far as I can recall your contributions, is that unlike many, many immature, insecure, nothing people with a few bob, you’re not up yourself and you’re not a pissy little wannabee John Key cargo-cultist with two shitty rental properties angling at rackrenting a third. The types that remind me of that ridiculous carpet advertisment no longer on TV – some weathered middle aged plus dame with the “darling darling” accent – “Oh yes…….we bought carpet brand X for both our investment properties”.

              You seem not to be the modern representation of the insecure fuck who borrows a pair of boots to walk 20 miles to vote Tory, and then dines out on his voting choice forever and bloody ever. Kia Ora.

        • bad12 13.2.1.2

          Wrap it in plastic and bury it…

          • Tiresias 13.2.1.2.1

            Which achieves what, exactly?

            Mind you with negative interest rates in the US and most of Europe, and the idiot example of asset confistication in Cyprus, keeping cash in your mattress is making a lot of sense.

            • bad12 13.2.1.2.1.1

              Lolz, so go and be an investor then and add to the madness, if you have spare cash coming in the best place for it is buried in the ground especially where your able to at least increase the cache by the rate of inflation,

              If your into a spot of anarchy then and know how the banks play the game with your money there’s a couple of ways that i wont elucidate that you can be a little mischievous,

              In the ground tho is best for those with a historical perspective on what happens at some time after the slave masters have totally stuffed the money system and debt bonds tk on a physical life as debt bombs…

              • Tiresias

                Well, better is to convert your paper, which can be made worthless overnight by Government fiat, into gold and then bury that in the garden.

                • bad12

                  Lolz, said like a true capitalist, if and when the whole system goes tits up, (which it would have at the point of the GFC if Obama hadn’t got the presses smokin), some liquid cash will be the necessity as changing gold into cash in a hurry will not be possible,

                  Yes it is possible that Government might at some stage in the future issue a different scrip but i would dare suggest that should they do so gold will be of little worth as any action that requires a change of scrip will probably have them coming after the gold at the same time…

      • Draco T Bastard 13.2.2

        Money should never have been safe in banks. They’re private enterprise taking risks and risks have a habit of falling due.

        The only place money should be safe is in a government deposit where it merely sits there gaining no interest.

        • Tiresias 13.2.2.1

          “Money should never have been safe in banks. They’re private enterprise taking risks and risks have a habit of falling due.”

          That’s only true since the rules against mixing ‘trading banks’ with High Street Banks were relaxed.

          When exactly the same things as are happening now, with banks going under and taking ordinary people’s savings with them in the “Great Depression” (now World Depression 1?), the eventual intelligent response was first to separate the gambling side of banking from the boring High Street banking and subject the latter to stringent regulation to protect savers and depositors, and secondly to ‘guarantee’ deposits to prevent a panicked withdrawal of funds at the first whiff of trouble – a bank run.

          Proving that they are incapable of learning from history, politicians in the US and Europe beginning with Ronald Reagan began relaxing the separation of banking until it ceased to exist and the High Street banks where you kept your money began to be able to gamble with it again in the 1990s. Now, this week-end, the second rung of that essential underpinning of the entire capitalist system has been pulled away.

          The whole concept of ‘money’ and the running of the modern world depends upon trust – trust that the paper you earn with your labour can be exchanged for goods and services – which itself depends upon trust that that paper can be placed, deposited and collected through a bank. Undermine that trust, which the morons of the EU have now done, and the foundation of modern society, the idea that paper or binary digits on a bank’s computer is worth something fixed that can be relied upon, starts crumbling.

          Money invested in a bank is a risk like any other investment as you are giving it to the bank to play with, but money deposited with a bank should be as safe as houses because you are placing it there for safe-keeping.

          • RedLogix 13.2.2.1.1

            Exactly Tiresias. As Steven Keen put it the correct role for banks was to “act as trusted bookkeepers” for the credit transactions that enabled normal day to day commerce.

            The problem arose when we allowed them to exploit this privileged position to print money and gamble with it.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.2.2.1.1.1

              And we need to take away the privilege of printing money from them as well.

              • Tiresias

                Would you entrust the Government of the Day to have the power to print money – especially three months out from an election or at any time when their ‘policies’ turn to custard?

                Banks are allowed to ‘print’ money by lending xtimes what they are holding on deposit, and that worked fine while the ‘x times’ (Basil III) was set at an intelligent level and was rigorously policed and enforced. Unfortunately the regulators have been asleep at the wheel – at best – for years and allowing banks to creatively account their way around the rule.

                For myself I would prefer to return to Glass-Steagall and proper regulation rather than launch off experimentally into a whole new monetary theory, and I’ve a hope that the brown-pants lessons the current crop of politicians and regulators are learning – particularly if Cyprus triggers another banking crisis – might scare them back into line for another generation or so.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Would you entrust the Government of the Day to have the power to print money – especially three months out from an election or at any time when their ‘policies’ turn to custard?

                  If everybody could see what they’re doing – yes.

                  Banks are allowed to ‘print’ money by lending xtimes what they are holding on deposit, and that worked fine while the ‘x times’ (Basil III) was set at an intelligent level and was rigorously policed and enforced.

                  No it didn’t. Even with those regulations in place the banks had produced too much money. It was that pressure of excess money that led the banksters to lobby for the lifting of regulations as well as the regulatory capture that they ended up with. In other words, even with those regulations in place the system would have collapsed simply because there wasn’t enough investment vehicles making any sort of return for the amount of money around (there’s a link lying around somewhere with a World Bank economist saying something about it).

                  For myself I would prefer to return to Glass-Steagall and proper regulation…

                  Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
                  If nothing changes then nothing changes.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.2.2.1.2

            Which is why I also suggested a government deposit where the money is safe.

            The problem with guaranteeing private bank deposits is that it encourages banks to take greater and greater risks knowing that the government will bail them out. We need to take that guarantee away but at the same time give them somewhere safe to put their money.

    • thatguynz 13.3

      If you’re interested in “whether it could happen here”, have a read about the Reserve Bank’s “Open Bank Resolution”. Coupled with the lack of any Government guarantee for deposited funds then yes, it very much could happen here..

  14. ghostrider888 14

    Watch your thoughts
    -they become words
    Watch your words
    -they become actions
    Watch your actions
    -they become habits
    Watch your habits
    -they become character
    Watch your character
    It becomes your destiny

    -Frank Outlaw 😉

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      RT 🙂

      • ghostrider888 14.1.1

        😉 “it’s evolution baby” (He is still my only master though, otherwise might get into trouble; meant to say to “redbaiter” “some of my closest friends and neighbours operate both collectively AND brandish the insignia of ubermensch, know what I mean 😉 no need to hide behind the skirts of the law or white pick it fences)

  15. ghostrider888 15

    Even modern surveys, such as the one by Sir Alistair Hardy’s Religious Research Unit in Oxford (see The Spiritual Nature of Man, A Study of Contemporary Religious Experience, Oxford 1979) show that an “incredible” 36% of people have had some kind of religious or mystical experience.

    ‘For moments together my heart stood still between delight and sorrow to find how rich was the gallery of my life, and how thronged the wretched Steppenwolf with high eternal stars and constellations….My life had become weariness. It had wandered in a maze of unhappiness….It was bitter with the salt of all human beings; yet it had laid up riches, riches to be (fond) of. It had been, for all it’s wretchedness, a princely life. Let the little way to death be as it might- the kernel of this life of mine was noble. It came of high descent (son of Robert) and turned, not on trifles, but on the stars.”

    unlike “…the old mill of the mind
    Consuming it’s rag and bone…”

    “The Buddha’s teaching was wholly concerned with untying the knots in (people’s) minds so that they can be open to reality and free from the greed and ignorance which binds them like chains. I discovered , through (mindfulness), that seeing things in their suchness- the word the Buddha uses for the essential nature of all things- seeing them as I did once without any barrier of “me” to get in the way, was one of the great aims of Buddhism. This was a big relief to me because I didn’t want pious talk or a guilty feeling that I should attend some sort of church. I wanted, and found, a straightforward acceptance that man’s deepest need is not to live by bread alone but to transcend all his thoughts and feelings and to know the meaning of timeless reality, and of God.”

    Let the LeShan know what the “right” hand is doing;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_LeShan

    Henri, Henri, “The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together…”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Bergson

    been weeding
    “I’m addicted to feeling
    Stealing love isn’t stealing
    Can’t you see that I understand your mind?

    I’m a walking believer
    I’m a ghost and a healer

    I’m a soldier for hire
    Killing all you admire
    And you live in the cloud but that will change…”

    13 : 14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death”

    Lose you head and gain a world.

  16. lprent 16

    The delays right now are due to testing a bug fix for the backups – they failed last night due to a permissions error.

    • lprent 16.1

      Damn. Something locked up at the server side. It did it *after* the the backup was done, so it is likely that it was something to do with the transaction log processing.

      Ok – flag this for a late night session and some more research on the ‘quick’ vs buffered feature of the mysqldump.

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    Europe (Cyprus) suffers it’s first unexpected “National Bank Holiday”.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-16/europe-does-it-again-cyprus-depositor-haircut-bailout-turns-saver-panic-bank-runs-br

    So much for safe as money in the bank.

  18. Morrissey 18

    “His supporters ADORED him—we don’t see that in Anglo-Saxon societies
    Paul Buchanan on Hugo Chávez
    Radio New Zealand National, Sunday 17 March 2013

    Generally interesting and fair, as one would expect from a commentator as respected and decent as Paul Buchanan. However, there is still some muddle-headed stuff here, especially when Laidlaw allows Buchanan to make the ridiculous, stereotyped statement that “Anglo-Saxons” don’t get carried away with adoration of their leaders like South Americans do. That will come as a surprise to anyone who watched the wedding of Kate to Prince William, and to anyone who listened just over an hour later to Laidlaw interviewing Sir Don MacKinnon, who raved like a young lover about how he ardently admires the Queen: “We don’t see enough of her laugh! She has a GREAT chuckle!”

    Then, near the end of the interview, he lets Buchanan get away, unchallenged, with the assertion that Chávez “did not systematically torture or kill”, which implies that he did some torturing and killing. Of course, the democratically elected Chávez government did not kill or torture anyone, not even the vilest of the extreme right wing saboteurs who never stopped attempting to ruin him.

    Anyway, here are the highlights that I managed to jot down….

    CHRIS LAIDLAW: We move now to Venezuela. Hugo Chávez, that ebullient, populist politician died just over a week ago. This rumbustious country has hit some real head winds when it comes to stability. We’re joined by Paul Buchanan, an academic and former CIA operative who spent many years living in South America, and knows the Venezuela situation very closely. Paul, Chávez called his regime Bolívarian. What did he mean by that?

    Paul Buchanan proceeds to give a quick outline of Bolívar and the ways that Chávez resembled him.

    LAIDLAW: But Simon Bolívar wasn’t the bombastic [snicker] character Chávez [snicker] was, was he?

    PAUL BUCHANAN: Hugo Chávez was a nationalist populist, similar in many ways to Juan Perón. He was very personality driven. And the trouble with this is the same as with every populist regime: it is inherently unstable. This movement will fragment and splinter over the next few years.

    LAIDLAW: Really? And then you’ve got trouble?

    <bBUCHANAN: Indeed.

    LAIDLAW: I’ve been reading around Chávez [snicker] and it seems to me that his appeal was very Cuban-like, he was like a televangelist.

    BUCHANAN: His supporters adored him, in fact they are deifying him as we speak. And that’s something you don’t see in Anglo-Saxon societies.

    LAIDLAW: He claimed rather flamboyantly that he’d been poisoned. [snicker] What do you make of that?

    BUCHANAN: Well this is the unfortunate thing. He called Bush “the Devil” at the U.N. There was a coup against him 2002 and the United States was the only government that recognized the coup. If you’re going to run a coup, you must make sure the guy doesn’t survive…

    LAIDLAW: Yeah. [snicker]

    BUCHANAN: You don’t let him return.

    LAIDLAW: Ha ha ha!

    BUCHANAN: He did not systematically torture or kill. He did bring about the abridgments of basic freedoms, but it was all legal.

    LAIDLAW: He started to stack the judiciary, civil service and the armed forces.

    BUCHANAN: He did a lot of good things, but he was resisted, from the beginning, by the middle classes and the United States.

    • Murray Olsen 18.1

      Maybe Anglo-Saxon societies don’t adore the democratically elected, but only those who attain their exalted positions by accident of birth? Or maybe only cringing Tories who need a structured class system to give their lives meaning do the adoration bit? Or maybe, just maybe, the CIA agent doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    And now for some awesome pictures of lightning.

  20. Herodotus 20

    Auckland just experienced a shake, I would take it to be about 3.4 from check experiences any other guesses on the size

  21. Anne 21

    Two shakes about 5 mins apart. Second one stronger than the first. Nothing compared to CHCH but jeez… they’re scary.

    • Jenny 22.1

      Hi Anne.

      The link you gave said this:

      The quake was centred on Motutapu Island, next to the volcanic island of Rangitoto. There are unconfirmed reports that smoke was rising from Motutapu.”

      Auckland Herald

      I wouldn’t be concerned. There are lots of sandstone cliffs on Motutapu. The “smoke” may have been a dust plume from a landslide.

      • Anne 22.1.1

        Yes, Jenny I figured that. Whoever wrote it would have been well aware it was dust but anything for sensation. Unless of course they’re as thick as I suspect many of these reporters/journalists are…

      • lprent 22.1.2

        I’d agree about the “smoke”.

        But something that shallow next to the last magma extrusion is really interesting. I wonder if there is still the magma pool down there.

        • karol 22.1.2.1

          Hmmm. I didn’t notice it. Interesting though.

          • lprent 22.1.2.1.1

            You wouldn’t where you are. It looks like it was localised to the “harbour area”

            I didn’t feel it either, but I was having a nice doze on a very comfortable bed.

            • karol 22.1.2.1.1.1

              The Herald is reporting that some people at Muriwai and Hunua felt it.

              • Herodotus

                Here in south east manukau the house shock, but from the time given of the 2 moderate shakes, it must have been the 2nd one that was noticeable. Yet one member of the family made comment before the 2nd of “what was that”, and then a wee precursor truck/train rumble that comes before the rattle.

              • lprent

                Odd. I’d expect that the basalt intrusion would have blocked the shock at Muriwai. I guess I should dig out a geological map of Auckland

                • Jilly Bee

                  Anne, my son sent me the same photo after the fairly recent earthquakes in Melbourne – I think it was last year and we all had a chuckle at the irony. I felt the two jolts in Swanson – the second was rather stronger and gave our house a good rattle. The forces of nature are not to be snuffed at, but I can appreciate the Cantabrians giving us Jafas the metaphorical fingers.

            • Draco T Bastard 22.1.2.1.1.2

              You wouldn’t where you are.

              I felt it and I believe I’m further out west than Karol is.

      • Murray Olsen 22.1.3

        Ron Keam, who knows a few things about Kiwi volcanoes, once told me that Rangitoto had been of a different type to all the other Auckland volcanoes. He said it was too early to say whether this was a good or a bad thing.

  22. Anne 23

    Interesting thing is on RNZ – just before the 5pm news bulletin – I heard the tail end of a panel discussion chaired by Kim Hill. It was a recording (I think) and ‘Sir’ Bob Harvey was issuing a warning about the Auckland waterfront and pointing out (I paraphrase)… from the bridge through to Mechanics Bay is land reclaimed by the bare hands of many thousands of men and their donkeys and horses. He intimated it was therefore vulnerable to natural disasters. Two minutes later, RNZ was reporting the earthquake.

  23. RedLogix 24

    Cyclist struck and killed by truck.

    My sister-in-law … and perhaps the very best person in the whole extended family. It sometimes seems so very cruel that the best are taken first. A devastated husband, two teenage sons and many, many friends left to grieve.

    It’s going to be a hard funeral.

    And what to say about this man? Fine upstanding employer and all.

    Update: More details.. Which needless to say doesn’t make matters any better at all.

    [lprent: Fixed the first link, correctly I hope. My sincere condolences – that kind of accident is just devastating because it is completely unexpected. ]

    • The Al1en 24.1

      Sorry for your loss. Seems even sadder now there’s a name and a face behind the headline.

      I gave up riding a bike back and forth to work, a couple of years back. Mainly because of the broken glass all over the place (clean and green, my arse) and forever having to repair punctures or buy tyres and tubes, but bad, unsafe and disrespectful kiwi driving was a big part of my decision.

    • marty mars 24.2

      I’m very sad for your loss – all the best to you and your loved ones at this terrible time.

    • just saying 24.3

      Very sorry for your loss Red Logix.

      We lost the one I felt was the “very best person in the whole extended family” in tragic circumstances, last year. I’m still very sad, and still can’t get my head around it.

      I hope the funeral, tough as it will be, brings everyone in to grieve together.

    • muzza 24.4

      Red, very sorry to hear about your familys loss.

      The article about David Ware, for me sums up whats gone wrong with NZ, the attitude is not the exception any more, has not been for many years.

      The other link (assuming it was different), does not seem to work.

      Kia kaha

    • lprent 24.5

      While fixing the link on RL’s comment, I noticed that right next to it on the herald site there was a article

      Pedestrian hit by truck

      It isn’t hard to find stories about the deaths and injuries on truckers and inflicted by truckers these days. Most have ratshit working conditions.

      We really really need to fix the oversight of the health and safety aspects on NZ industry these days, separate it from the economic development side (what idiot put it in there) and give it some funding to inspect and investigate. The current system just isn’t working. I believe that is top of the recommendations from the Pike River commission.

    • karol 24.6

      Sorry to read about your loss, RL. Also my condolences to the rest of her family. Too sad.

    • Murray Olsen 24.7

      My condolences, RL.
      When I was riding a bicycle to university in Auckland in the 90s, too many drivers had the attitude of that creep in Wellington. Put them in a protective metal cage and they basically become predators looking for a victim more fragile than themselves. I also rode motorbikes for years, sometimes in large groups, and couldn’t help contrasting the different attitudes from car drivers.
      With the cult of self that has become more prevalent in every aspect of Kiwi life since, I can only imagine that the situation would have worsened. Thirty years of neoliberal governance does not encourage civilised behaviour.

    • McFlock 24.8

      Very sad for your loss.

    • Herodotus 24.9

      Sympathies go out to you RL,
      Take care

    • Alanz 24.10

      Condolences to you and your family, RL.

      I bike to work and I have observed some careless driving on the road. Sometimes I wonder when I’ll be next.

    • fender 24.11

      Very sad to hear of your loss Redlogix.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.12

      My sister-in-law …

      Condolences.

      And what to say about this man? Fine upstanding employer and all.

      Sounds like that upstanding businessman who killed a 15 y/o for putting graffiti on his fence.

    • LynWiper 24.13

      So very very sorry to hear of such a tragic loss. The pain and grief is so very distressing. Thoughts are with you and your family RL.

    • Colonial Viper 24.14

      That’s awful news RL. Condolences. I am glad that the boys will be old enough to remember their mother.

      On a related note I have a good friend who does rural contracting work road side. He regularly cops abuse from sports cyclists unhappy at road closures and who are more than happy to sail past the guys working and operating machinery ignoring all and every warning (verbal and sign posted) given to them.

      • Murray Olsen 24.14.1

        Surprisingly enough, I have no problem blaming neoliberalism for the lack of manners and concern for others shown by these sports cyclists as well. You get the same sort of thing walking along the riverside in Brisbane. Wearing lycra seems to have a similar effect to being behind the wheel of a Remuera tractor.

    • rosy 24.16

      Just awful RL, condolences to you and your family. Be generous in your care for each other as you manage your lives through this tragedy.

  24. Anne 25

    My deepest condolences Redlogix.

    You’re so right. It does sometimes seem the best are taken first

    I lost an old friend going back to my childhood not so long ago. She was one of the very best in every sense of the word. Not surprisingly her funeral was a big one. Take care…

  25. Belladonna 26

    So sorry to hear of your loss RL.

  26. joe90 27

    So sorry for your loss RL and family.

    [audio src="http://folksong.org.nz/ho-kihoki/ho-ki_hoki.mp3" /]

  27. prism 28

    Sad news RL.

  28. Olwyn 29

    My sincere condolences for your loss RedLogix; my heart goes out to you and yours at this sad time.

  29. ghostrider888 30

    I invoke a short prayer Red.

    • ghostrider888 30.1

      when I first encountered the net of (un) evolved public opinion facilitated by open media and blog commentary I was astounded, and saddened by the extremities of polarization that were occurring in our “society”. and that rant against cyclists? Case rested!

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