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Open mike 17/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 17th, 2016 - 55 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

55 comments on “Open mike 17/04/2016 ”

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

    Gentle satire for a Sunday morning:

    “Harry, old fellow, you look a little annoyed.”

    “Damn right I’m annoyed, Sid. I had Mossack Fonseca do a little, heh, you know, shell company creation a year ago, and I’m pissed it may come to light.”

    “Oh ho, that’s not good. You’ve been parking money off shore, hey? Well, so have we all. Thank God, I didn’t use those Mossack Fonseca chaps.”

    “And you know what else is beginning to piss me off, Sid? All these bloody plebs taking the moral high ground! I’ve worked hard for my money . . .”

    “Oh, come on Harry, that’s a bit rich. You inherited your wad from your father.”

    “But I’ve tripled the fortune he left me. And there’s nothing illegal about not wanting to pay more tax than you have too. Yet all the lower class scum, and by that I mean those lefties in government too, are now baying for our blood.”

    “I wouldn’t be too concerned, Harry, old fellow. We’ve got the right man, all bought and well paid for, in the top job. He’ll see that nothing will come of it all. A storm in a teacup.”

    “You really think so?”

    “Yes, I do. Have a little faith, old chap. Our man’s a past master of deception and deceit. It’s in his DNA. You’ll see, it’ll all blow over.”

    “Well, I must say, it’s reassuring chatting to you Sid. But, shit, I must run. The road past my country house will be beginning to clog up. Bloody government, not putting enough money into infrastructure! . . . You really think there’s nothing to worry about?”

  2. miravox 2

    Media deserve a gold medal for preparing Helen Clark for her interview.

    But [Helen Clark] goes into the race with some unique weapons in her formidable arsenal – among them the New Zealand media.

    For nine years as prime minister, Clark fronted up to journalists almost daily and was tested and grilled and challenged on every issue you could imagine throwing at her.

    …She daily had to deal with questions out of left field and right field. Some that went to to the heart of her character. Some that were deeply personal. And others that tested the limits of her ability to get up to speed on an issue in a ridiculously short amount of time.

    As former foreign ministers or similar, none of Clark’s rivals for the UN job are quite as accustomed to the heat of public scrutiny.

    I guess they’re being so mean to the current PM by not providing him with similar training.

    • locus 2.1

      Our current pm needs no media training as there are no more tough journalists employed in the NZ msm …..or is it that there are no msm journalists who are willing or who are given the opportunity to be tough on him?

      To be fair – this pm really does stand up well to ‘public scrutiny’….. by talk show hosts, commercial radio, magazines – and his friends on FB and WO

      That the NZ msm don’t challenge or probe deeply into the frequent memory lapses, vagueness on policy, and false framing should be surprising, but then again….

      Even the BBC’s ‘Hard’ Talk interview was in Brian Edwards’ words pretty soft on Key. However, the comments on Brian’s post ….. well they’re definitely worth rereading:

    • Kevin 2.2

      That’ s a huge relief. No chance of FJK aspiring to that position now.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Quote “It’s expensive to be poor—in ways that are often quantitatively invisible. Research on the psychology of poverty suggests that not having enough money changes the way people think about time. It’s hard to prepare for the next decade when you’re worried about making it to next Monday. The tens of millions of Americans without bank accounts can spend as much as 10 percent of their income on pawn shops, check cashing services, and payday loans that charge punishing fees.

    So, if a single mother gets a job (or a government benefit) and a bank account that rescues her from the psychological crush of poverty, how much is that new income worth? More than the number printed on the check. Its total value might include (a) the fact that she might be able to save some of that money and build a little wealth; and (b) the fact that she’ll never have to visit another usurious payday lender in her life.”


  4. maui 4

    An interesting look at Pope Francis and the work by the church to address poverty.

    I also saw a Natgeo doco recently called Rebel Pope and that talks about how the Pope was known to be quite a conservative guy. But when a right wing group took power in Argentina in the 70s and two of his slum priest friends were kidnapped, it changed him. There seems to be a strong political thread runnng through his life story.

  5. swordfish 5

    In which I take issue with the suggestion by (my otherwise favourite kiwi journalist) Gordon Campbell that “what sustains the political rhetoric on benefit fraud is the hostility that exists between the working poor and those on benefits”

    See comments section … http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2016/04/15/gordon-campbell-on-political-rhetoric-and-the-dark-triad/

    I briefly explore the New Zealand Election Study data on attitudes towards beneficiaries over the last 20 years, in order to rebut Campbell’s rather sweeping assertion.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    Is it fair to describe the four BIG accountancy firms – ‘the pin striped mafia’?

    Seen this?


    ‘Big Four’ audit firms never examined over illegal tax plans

    Exclusive: Regulators fail to act as they are dominated by the companies they are supposed to police, say critics

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  7. Bearded Git 7

    Bernard Hickey good in the Herald today on how rocketing Auckland house prices suit the current government. He concludes:

    “To avoid the cost from entrenching a generation in housing poverty for decades, the Government would have few problems justifying spending a few billion now on the housing and infrastructure needed to turn that around.”

    Which is basically Labour/Green policy from memory.

    You can read it all here:


  8. Chooky 8

    ‘Saudi Arabia wants US to kill 9/11 bill, threatens to dump US assets worth $750 bn – report’


    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Interesting how the US Democrats seek to protect US citizens from their own actions:

      The Obama administration is opposing the bill, saying it would make foreign nations retaliate by passing similar legislation and target American citizens and corporations in their national courts. Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate panel in February that the bill, in its current form, would “expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent.”

      It seems that it’s all right for the US to hold them responsible for their actions but not all right for other nations to hold the US accountable for their actions.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        LATE EDIT:
        It seems that it’s all right for the US to hold other nations responsible for their actions but not all right for other nations to hold the US accountable for their actions.

        • locus

          It’s a good question as to how much a nation’s sovereignty can excuse the nation from accountability for its citizens’ criminal acts overseas. More interestingly, how should one nation be held accountable for its citizens’ criminal acts against another.

          If the US passes this domestic legislation, the most tangible method of enforcement would be for them to seize foreign assets in the US or to mete out ‘justice’ when the ‘accountable’ nation’s citizens visitied, were domiciled or doing business with the US. Just another recipe for building international dischord and hatreds.

          IMO international law and international institutions are the best course of redress, but then the US struggles with any authority that’s greater than theirs. And where they grudgingly sign up to international conventions they twist their interpretation, e.g. Guantanamo ‘PoWs’, or simply don’t ratify them, e.g. the International Criminal Court

          • Draco T Bastard

            It’s a good question as to how much a nation’s sovereignty can excuse the nation from accountability for its citizens’ criminal acts overseas.

            It seems that the US has already set that bar:

            Ironically, sovereign immunity didn’t stop a US judge from last month ordering Iran to pay $10.5 billion in damages to families of the 9/11 victims. The ruling was passed because Iran didn’t defend itself against the allegations. These put the blame on Iran over its links with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which, plaintiffs argued, aided Al-Qaeda. The argument is based on the same congressional report, which also said no link between the hijackers and Iran had been found.

            So, a US judge found Iran guilty despite the US findings that Iran had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

  9. Chooky 9

    Keiser Report


    In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss disintermediation of the meatspace, onshore services by offshore property sites such as Uber and AirBnB, and what the inevitable collapse in tax revenue will mean for the onshore citizen.

    They also discuss Goldman Sachs’ alleged $5-billion fine for mortgage securities fraud actually only being half that thanks to the systemic corruption of our so-called justice system.

    In the second half, Max and Stacy interview Steve Topple about what two weeks of #PanamaPapers leaks have told us about the systemic nature of corruption.

  10. Ben 10

    Interesting opinion piece by HDPA in the Herald today. Sounds like all is not well in the Labour caucus. McCarten on borrowed time also – all before the latest drop in the polls. Unity is being tested for sure.

    • Gangnam Style 10.1

      Thanks for the concern, I am sure HDPA has her finger on the pulse, pfft.

    • BM 10.2

      Talk of giving Grant Robertson the chop is very interesting, she wouldn’t just make that sort of stuff up

      Robertson must be still playing his own game in the background and Little’s had enough.

      • Ben 10.2.1

        HDPA making stuff up? Surely not. Parker has a far sharper financial mind than Robertson, and IMO should hold the finance role. Was speaking with Parker at the airport a year or so ago, and he certanly knew his facts and figures,and was also interested in engaging in a convo. By all accounts Robertson has a slack work ethic and is shallow in all things finance.

      • maui 10.2.2

        She’s almost as dishonest as you BM, which takes some beating!

        • Draco T Bastard

          Isn’t it amazing just how concerned the RWNJs are about who the Left has as representatives?

          • Ben

            Because the LWNJs are in no way concerned as to who sits on the other side.

            • Draco T Bastard

              We take note of the psychopaths on the top of the pile on the right-wing – we don’t try tell the RWNJs who should actually be there. The RWNJs do try to tell the Left who should be at the top though and they do it all the bloody time.

              They seem absolutely terrified of having actual left-wingers representing the Left and always suggest those who are right-wing.

            • DoublePlusGood

              Most of the reason for that is that the MPs on the right are so dire that it is a pointless exercise to make any recommendations as to which MP should hold each position.

  11. Please to announce the formation of a charity committed to Medical Cannabis.

    Rather than protesting etc, we are keen to raise public awareness through the plight of the patients, and fundraise for their Sativex initially, stay tunes, We should have a news piece on Newshub tonight…

  12. Bullying in schools in the news again as bullies have to pay big money for their bullying.

    “A former Southland principal has won another victory over the school commissioner who unjustifiably sacked her…”


  13. pat 13


    …and things haven’t improved in the 10 years since this article

  14. Gangnam Style 14

    Lol Veronica Crone, what a lightweight.

    • joe90 14.1

      Too kind. Watching The Nation yesterday I thought Victoria Crone, what an idiot.

      • Gangnam Style 14.1.1

        Ha, my mistake, Victoria. When asked anything on The Nation she was ‘What we need to do is start a conversation about it.’

  15. Penny Bright 15

    Serious question.

    Where do you draw the line between ‘privacy’ and ‘transparency’?

    What rights to ‘privacy’ do those in public office have – particularly at the highest levels – compared to the rights of the public to ‘transparency’ in order to help prevent the potential abuse of public office for private gain?

    Compare the instrusive surveillance and attacks on ordinary citizens’ supposedly lawful rights to privacy – with the, in my view, lack of transparency
    and accountability for those at the highest levels of public office?

    Our New Zealand MPs don’t even have an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ while they make the laws for everybody else.

    How are ‘the highest ethical standards’ to which NZ Cabinet Ministers are supposed to be held accountable by the PRIME Minister – thus defined?

    What happens if the NZ PRIME Minister doesn’t act in accordance with ‘the highest ethical standards’?

    Is he going to sack himself?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Ben 15.1

      Serious question.

      How ethical is not paying your way? For example, using Council services, but letting others pay for it?

  16. Descendant Of Sssmith 16

    No surprises here:


    Governments mis-using health stats with an incompetent Minister touting them when a simple check with his own Ministry would have shown they were in error. and not to use them in that way.

    “Maxwell put the cost of these admissions at $31m in 2005, up from $19m the year before, based on a whopping 58,000 hospital bed nights on average.

    Tony Ryall, Health Minister at the time, suspected the cost to the health system would be “significantly higher … when you consider its contribution to accidents and family breakdown”.


    It included an email from Simon Ross, the Ministry of Health’s manager of analysis and reporting, who had met with police NDIB members to discuss Dawson’s concerns about their use of health data.

    Ross had urged caution in using the ICD-10 data and said the NDIB should focus only on cases where a drug-related diagnosis was the primary reason for a hospital admission.

    “Presentation of numbers of primary and secondary diagnoses in the same graph are problematic because they imply to the reader that these have the same significance. Since this is demonstrably not true … this practice should be avoided,” he wrote.

    Ross said the cost estimates for the cannabis-related hospital admissions were also incorrect as they were based on the “secondary” diagnosis. The estimated yearly cost of $25m to $30m was incorrect, he wrote: $2.5m was “much more realistic”.

  17. DoublePlusGood 17

    It seems the police deliberately misrepresented hospital statistics to make cannabis harm look more serious to incite public concern prior to them undertaking the Switched On Gardener raids. The NDIB chief has not tendered his resignation, so we can assume he has no integrity whatsoever.

  18. joe90 18

    It’s almost as if Governments are on the payroll.

    In 1972, a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar – and not fat – was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and his reputation ruined. How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get it so wrong for so long?


    We tend to think of heretics as contrarians, individuals with a compulsion to flout conventional wisdom. But sometimes a heretic is simply a mainstream thinker who stays facing the same way while everyone around him turns 180 degrees. When, in 1957, John Yudkin first floated his hypothesis that sugar was a hazard to public health, it was taken seriously, as was its proponent. By the time Yudkin retired, 14 years later, both theory and author had been marginalised and derided. Only now is Yudkin’s work being returned, posthumously, to the scientific mainstream.


  19. James 19

    Seems a bit of focus on McCarten this week. HDPAs piece in the media (in the other post) and 3 part story of all his tax “issues” from a few years ago on whale. (Which are interesting reading).

    Esp given littles comments about tax lately which points to someone in the media asking him about linking his position to the behaviour of his chief of staff.

    Could be an interesting week.

    • Gangnam Style 19.1

      Its like there’s some kind of conspiracy…Ede back on the payroll is he?

    • ianmac 19.2

      One of the problems caused by young girls is that they tend to create nasty rumours, and spread spite to cause loss of confidence and create harm. James is one of those little girls so perhaps if we wait long enough she will grow up. James lassie. Malice will destroy you.

  20. Robertina 20

    Dunedin is about to receive its first intake of refugees, which is kind of a big deal here.
    The ODT dispatched a reporter/videographer to the refugee centre in Mangere ahead of their move South, and the resulting coverage (over two weekends) has been touching, real, and positive.
    The feature yesterday included an interview with a Dunedin-raised teacher who works at the centre, and a video featuring children talking about perceptions of their new home.

  21. James 21

    Ianmac – [edited out by self moderation] – I havnt started any rumours.

    Its a fact that HDPA did some writing on McCarten, and Whale also has done 3 post on him in the last week.

    I then made an observation of what I think this is going to point to – ie somebody asking Little about it.

    I can only go on what I have read – and if McCarten did indeed pay his staffs PAYE for other uses – then it is a bad look (and illegal) – and given all the talk of tax by little – it stands to reason that whale (and prob others) are giving he media all the information to ask the questions on a plate.

    You can choose to insult, and call names – as opposed to discussing – or you can try to ignore everything that dosnt fit with your views of the world and continue to be oblivious.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      Cameron “I tell lies” Slater is your source. Why are you cuddling up to trash?

  22. maui 22

    Are the alarm bells going off yet.

    According to information released by the Ministry of Social Development under the Official Information Act, the numbers of times police have been notified of security incidents at the Ministry’s sites has multiplied by a factor of almost 12 in five years.


    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      MSD employees who are found to have breached aspects of the UDoHR should face prosecution whether or not they were simply following National Party orders, although that might be a mitigating factor.

      All history demonstrates that only way to compel the National Party to behave ethically is by the full force of the law.

  23. Robertina 23


    Important and scary report on TVNZ’s Q and A this morning about our aquifers.
    It features the CDHB’s Alistair Humphrey, a medical officer of health who gets flak for doing his job.
    He’s been warning about this for quite some time now:


    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      The only way the National Party can be forced to stop killing children is by holding them personally responsible for these and other human rights violations.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.2

      Scientists warn NZ aquifers are being poisoned by farming

      Although some aquifers are already contaminated, they say the worst is yet to hit because pollutants like nitrate, can take decades to get down to the drinking supply.

      Canterbury University’s Dr Jenny Webster-Brown says nitrate will loom large in New Zealand’s future, but it’s already a public health concern.

      “I think we’re definitely going to see things get worse before they get better.”

      Pregnant women and mums with young babies on private bores around Ashburton are advised to use bottled water as high nitrate levels can block oxygen in babies and cause the potentially fatal blue baby syndome.

      Environment Canerbury test results show nitrate hotspots around Canterbury is growing.

      The destruction caused by intense farming is becoming acute. About time we did something about that. The farmers promised that they would and they’ve failed to act and so we must.

      The only possibility is a massive curtailment of farming and a regulated move to fully organic farming.

      • ianmac 23.2.1

        The Government change the rules.
        The Government has a “personal choice” policy and fear the label Nanny State whether it is sugar, or clean water, or tax exposure, or a living wage. So no law change to act on the above, but OK to make employment less employee friendly.

  24. Logie97 24

    Anyone else notice the sports broadcasters’ struggling / angst over the pronunciation of the visiting super rugby team from Argentina. (Jaguares). Those same voices have no problem with local names – Wongaray, Towrongah, Wycatoh. Trips off the tongue fluently.

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