Open mike 17/05/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 17th, 2016 - 129 comments
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129 comments on “Open mike 17/05/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, ugly and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    • b waghorn 1.1

      Its a very ineffective government that can’t get some houses built,

      • vto 1.1.1

        The village chief is not looking after the villagers

        Fail 101

      • weka 1.1.2

        Ever the question, ideology or incompetency.

        • Paul

          The ideology is incompetent as well.

          • b waghorn

            Its become a religion for these believers in the market solving everything, and just like the second coming it may happen but its unlikely to happen in ones lifetime.

            • Paul

              Some are true believers and others ( the majority) cynically use this amoral philosophy to fit her their own interests.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.3

        If we all take it as a given that Auckland will be allowed to grow to 2M people, then this is what we are going to end up with, even as provincial towns all around the regions continue to slowly die off.

        Wanganui/Manawatu median house price $233,000 what the hell are people all doing in fucking $810,000 median Auckland?

        Is the minimum wage 4x higher in Auckland or something?

        • Te Reo Putake

          There’s few well paid jobs in the provinces. Whanganui, for example, is a lovely town, but has little in the way of future focussed work. There’s a freezing works, a pet food factory, a place that makes helmets, a shipyard and not much else. Most of the work at those places is paid in the minimum to living wage level. So, houses may be priced reasonably, but the income levels still make them difficult to afford for a lot of residents.

          If I was in Auckland, and thinking of getting out, the pressing question is ‘what do I do when I get there?’.

          • Colonial Viper

            Basically there needs to be more jobs in the provinces.

            Having said that, 3 mates on the minimum wage can put together and buy a $233,000 Wanganui/Manawatu house. They can never do that in Auckland.

          • Sabine

            the more pressing question is, what will your wife or partner do.
            All the jobs you listed for the largest part are jobs for men.

            • Colonial Viper

              You want there to be different womens jobs now?

              IMO women do just as fine as the men in the freezing works and in factory process worker jobs, thanks.

              • weka

                For many women the issue is around being the primary caregiver esp for kids. Jobs have to fit around school hours and be flexible enough for kids being sick.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Sabine is on the money. The options for women in provincial towns are mostly limited to the service industry, so, again, low pay.

              As an aside, while there are many women in the meat industry, there are very few holding down the higher paying jobs. Boning and slaughterboard work are extremely physical jobs which are paid on a tally basis (the more you do, the more you get paid) and there aren’t many women represented there. Packing jobs, which are predominantly done by women, are the often the lowest paid positions in a freezing works.

              • vto

                At least in the provinces, if you aint got no money, you can go hunt and gather. And in pleasant surrounds no less.

                The emptier the place the better if you got no money or job, really…

              • Colonial Viper

                If you’re a woman management professional, or you are a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant, there are plenty of opportunities outside of the big city.

                You’re not going to be on big firm money or prestige though. If that’s what you want then by all means go fire up your career in the big city.

                But if you have real ambition in a professional field you need to get out of small time Auckland anyway.

                And most women in NZ live outside of Auckland Wellington and Christchurch. I doubt they think that the big city types have better lives than they do.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  I think you are overestimating both the percentage of women in the workforce who are tertiary educated and the number of jobs available for them in the provinces. In addition, the financial rewards are less outside the bigger cities. The going rate for similar jobs in Auckland and Timaru is always going to be higher in Auckland.

                  By the way, was your second to last sentence a typo? I’ll think you’ll find that most women (and men) in NZ do live in Ak, Wellington or Christchurch.

                  • adam

                    It’s not all jobs and income. For me one of the major attractions of Auckland, is the access to the medical care I need at a good price. And a public health system, whilst slow, still works.

                    Also it gives me a chance to engage in a multicultural city. The weather is half decent as well, as is access to beaches, good food, family, and things like community gardens.

                    It also a city were by you can have engagement with a good ideas and great things, it also were we see the worst of the worst.

                    Auckland, will be a battle ground of ideas for years to come, with Maori and Pacific taking the led more and more.

                    • Bill

                      Well said Adam. It troubles me that people still seem, and without question, to lock themselves into a mindset that says having a job is the principle thing in life…and that from that, all else should flow.

                    • Sacha

                      Yes, I would really miss the potential of living in the biggest Polynesian city in the world. So much to learn.

          • Gabby

            If you’re doing nothing at present, doesn’t really matter does it?

          • Draco T Bastard

            a shipyard

            And that could be the basis of a huge tech R&D facility – if the government got off it’s arse and started actually trying to develop the nations economy.

          • Ad

            That transition out of Auckland is something I have been putting a lot of thought into, because I’m getting ready to in the next few years.

            If you sell out of Auckland, you never go back.
            If you simply rent your Auckland place out, you can cover the mortgage, but you need quite a bit of the equity to set up properly elsewhere, in my case Wanaka. And you’re a very distant landlord.

            We will both largely be jumping off the cliff of salaried life, and starting up a boutique hotel. We will still consult back to Auckland, but just a day or so a week until we really have the business bedded in.

            These are not small transitions to make, because they are pretty much irreversible. Better to plan them rather than have them forced on us later in life.

            Walking away from the Auckland property also means walking away from family and friends and many networks. But it has to be done if we’re going to get the life we want.

        • Naki man

          “Wanganui/Manawatu median house price $233,000 what the hell are people all doing in fucking $810,000 median Auckland?

          Is the minimum wage 4x higher in Auckland or something?”

          Perhaps they are scared of moving to a new city and making new friends.
          Maybe they are not organised enough to get a job in a new city before they move there, i have moved to get a higher paying job a shitload of times. The people who rent and are on longterm welfare who won’t move to a more affordable area amaze me the most. Some people are just lazy or they don’t mind living in a shithole.

          • Colonial Viper

            Some people have more ties in their lives than you do.

            • Gabby

              Some people have phones.

              • McFlock

                Yes. Because phoning is just as good when elderly parents need work done around the house, or when your kids live the ex. /sarc

                • weka

                  That’s their fault for getting old, personal responsibility and all that.

                • Gabby

                  You mean they wouldn’t take in their elderly parents? Some people are so rude.

                  • McFlock

                    No. “rude” is expecting people to uproot themselves and now their parents just in the hope that the grass is greener elsewhere.

                    You seem unfamiliar with the idea of social and familial ties to a place. That’s your loss.

                    • Gabby

                      No, we’re a nation of immigrants. When the grass definitely is greener elsewhere it’s time to move. You can only fit so many generations into a given space. Don’t be so placeist.

                    • McFlock

                      “Placeist”? Get a life. It’s called “having friends and family and community”.

                      Besides, you don’t know that the grass is “most definitely” greener. And what if the parents don’t want to be uprooted at their time of life – you expect the kids to say “screw you, mum, you’re on your own”?

                      Wriggle and dance all you want, the only thing you’re demonstrating is that you have nobody you genuinely care about.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.4

        It’s very effectively shifting our wealth into the hands of the rich.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    This man is representing our country?!!!

    NZ ENVOY TO HATCH: DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY: New Zealand Ambassador Tim Groser said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch’s position on biologics in the TPP was “principled” but that the Utah Republican should not be worried about the level of protection the deal will provide for the new class of drugs.
    Not enough attention has been paid to TPP language saying that all countries must provide “effective market protection” for biological drugs, Groser told reporters Friday at a lunch hosted by the National Foreign Trade Council.
    “[New Zealand] will meet our TPP obligations, which require us to give effective market control through a variety of different mechanisms,” said Groser, who recently served as his country’s trade minister. “The shortest period of time between the marketing of the original [biological drug] and the entry of [a biosimilar] through our regulatory process … the shortest period is over 20 years. So this is not just pure theory I’m spouting.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

    The Republican Senator Orrin Hatch who is chair of the Senate Finance Committee is concerned that TPP negotiators failed to secure 12 years of protection for next-generation biological drugs.

    • Chooky 2.1

      +100 TMM

      jonkey Nacts representative Tim Groser is a disgrace!…have these people no shame?!

      Lets hope Trump or Sanders becomes President and kills the TPP dead in the water!

      …Hillary Clinton who works for the USA corporates certainly won’t!

      (oops doesnt Andrew Little support Hillary Clinton for President?)

      • save nz 2.1.1

        Yep if they don’t put Bernie through I think just as democrats will vote Trump rather than Clinton or not vote.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Not enough attention has been paid to TPP language saying that all countries must provide “effective market protection” for biological drugs, Groser told reporters Friday at a lunch hosted by the National Foreign Trade Council.

      So, what they’re promising is protection from the market effectively guaranteeing profits.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.2.1

        US seeks more in TPP on medicine monopolies at APEC meeting

        “The US government is making a desperate attempt to placate domestic US corporate and Republican opposition to the TPP implementing legislation by demanding stronger monopolies for pharmaceutical companies and other concessions at a meeting of TPP ministers to be held this week on the sidelines of the APEC Trade Ministers meeting in Peru,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

        Jane Kelsey: Heavy hand of US domestic politics evident in TPP

        The US has covertly sent officials around the other countries’ capitals to check on their implementation. New Zealand’s proposed new intellectual property laws have already been attacked publicly by US officials and the pharmaceutical industry.

        We can only imagine the pressure behind closed doors, because the Government won’t tell us what’s happening.

        • Draco T Bastard

          And our government will cave. That was a given right from the word go.

          • Colonial Viper

            Labour and Little lost a golden opportunity to stand fast against the TPP.

            • Kiwiri


            • McFlock

              Why would they “stand fast” against the entirety of something that meets many of their international trade objectives, even if some of it is contrary to their sovereignty issues?

              “Baby” and “bathwater” come to mind.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I don’t think that it even made any of their trade objectives and that they had to use the BS that National released to justify saying that it did. You know, the figures that have since been shown to be complete bollocks.

                On all counts the TPPA will be bad for NZ and we should not be signing it. Labour still has time to come out fully against it but I’m sure that they won’t as they continue to follow the same failed ideology that brought about the Great Depression and the GFC.

                • McFlock

                  If Labour shared your assessment of it, they probably would.
                  But they don’t so they won’t.

                  But then Labour think NZ needs international trade to get stuff we want and stuff we need. And we’ve had that discussion before.

        • joe90

          Stand over tactics, buy our shit – or land mines.

          Leaked diplomatic letters sent from Colombia’s Embassy in Washington describe how a staffer with the Senate Finance Committee, which is led by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, warned of repercussions if Colombia moves forward on approving the cheaper, generic form of a cancer drug.


          In the second letter, after a meeting with Senate Finance Committee International Trade Counsel Everett Eissenstat, Flórez wrote that Eissenstat said that authorizing the generic version would “violate the intellectual property rights” of Novartis. Eissenstat also said that if “the Ministry of Health did not correct this situation, the pharmaceutical industry in the United States and related interest groups could become very vocal and interfere with other interests that Colombia could have in the United States,” according to the letter.

          In particular, Flórez expressed a worry that “this case could jeopardize the approval of the financing of the new initiative ‘Peace Colombia.’”

          The Obama administration has pledged $450 million for Peace Colombia, which seeks to bring together rebels and the government to end decades of fighting that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and a shattered civil society. These funds will be used for, among other things, removing land mines. The country has the second-highest number of land-mine fatalities in the world, behind only Afghanistan.

  3. puckish rogue 3

    I’m not sure that the exact numbers are correct but the margin of differences seem about right to me (based on nothing more than a feeling)

  4. DH 4

    How far we’ve fallen, now we appear to be demanding and/or accepting bribes…..

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Yeah, that should have had the buyers not pass the good character test as well.

    • vto 5.1

      illegal overthrow of an elected government again

      outright coup d’état

      it cannot be allowed to stand

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        And wikileaks has released doc which show that the new interim president is a US government informant.

      • Paul 5.1.2

        Ukraine was allowed to stand.
        It was a country brought down by a coup d’état against an elected government.
        Venezuela is on the brink after 2 years + of economic sabotage.

        America is a rogue state.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The US has been a rogue state ever since the 19th century. It’s never followed international law or anything to with ethics or morals.

          • AmaKiwi

            @ Draco

            “The US has been a rogue state ever since the 19th century.”

            It goes back to the 1630’s when the prime export of these colonies was a highly addictive narcotic, nicotine (i.e., tobacco). The colonists realized it would easy to grow tobacco in a lot of other places so they made it a capital offense to export tobacco plants, seeds, or cuttings. “Capital offense” as in, we hang you by the neck until dead!

            This was the birth of America’s concept of “monopolistic free trade,” a noble tradition they continue to honor in the TPPA.

        • Colonial Viper

          Ukraine was always a poor country ineptly run by corrupt politicians and officials. Now it is a destroyed country ineptly run by corrupt politicians and officials.

          And the US has successfully convinced Ukraine to cut all its economic ties with Russia. Including all the high tech aerospace and defence components they used to make for Russia.

          In exchange the Ukraine now gets to export more fruit to the EU. And IMF overlords insisting that the Ukraine “liberalise” its state assets.

    • dukeofurl 5.2

      Un-electable ?

      He was Roussefs running mate, selected by her. The process stinks but he is a long time leader of Brazils largest party and as Rousseff was in a coalition with other parties compromises are made

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Major advance for the US in destabilising the BRICS rival block.

        • dukeofurl

          Yes it seems to be the case.

          How else could it this way, except in Brazil which the politicians are notoriously corrupt, the President is removed for just a government budget measure.

          Having screwed the Middle east, the US gaze turns to South America and uses its underhand methods to upset the democratic apple cart when it favours leftist leaders.

          • joe90

            Having screwed the Middle east, the US gaze turns to South America and uses its underhand methods to upset the democratic apple cart when it favours leftist leaders.

            Well, them and their allies.

            Amidst predictions of Rousseff’s demise, the mainstream media has consistently downplayed, and occasionally outright ignored, one fact: the social backgrounds of protesters. It is not “the Brazilian people” who are in the streets, but rather a very specific segment of the population whose economic interests are historically opposed to those of the majority. They are largely middle and upper class and, consequently, mainly white. In the 2014 elections they sensed that their time had come to get rid of the PT, only to see their favored candidate, former Minas Gerais PSDB governor Aécio Neves, lose in Brazil’s closest-ever presidential contest. Despite the very real and serious flaws of the current government, this discontent with the PT finds its true source in centuries of elite fear of popular mobilization and a deep resentment of the gains working class people have made since Lula took office in 2003.


            The operation known as ‘Car Wash’ (Lava Jato) – which was designed to force Lula to testify – was leaked to the Globo television network in advance so that their helicopter could hover over the former president’s house before the federal police arrived. During the night, Epoca magazine’s editor-in-chief (which belongs to the Globo media network) tweeted about the actions that would take place the following morning. This demonstrated the media’s power to manipulate public opinion with a noticeable coup-driven agenda.


          • AmaKiwi

            @ dukeofurl

            “Having screwed the Middle east, the US gaze turns to South America”

            America’s Monroe Doctrine (1823) essentially said, “The Western Hemisphere belongs to us.” From an American foreign policy point of view, the US is simply managing weaker countries that have always belonged to the USA.

            (OK, I admit this is a Latin American perspective. The US State Dept. would disagree.)

  5. save nz 6

    Love the Natz myth (sarc) about ‘freeing up more land” – yep that old chestnut been saying it for years now, (change the record) but the problem is that there is too many people coming into NZ, not enough building and plenty of land but that does not mean houses!!

    Even when they do build the houses are not aimed at Kiwis but at overseas money.

    It is the building of the houses that is the problem not the land or resource consents!

    Why are they selling off the state houses if they need more affordable housing?

    The insane lazy immigration strategy from the Natz so that overseas money can flood into Auckland and hide the major problems in the Natz economic strategy and give them more votes to boot.

    P.s If you live in a car can you register to vote? Probably a lot more difficult, win win for the Natz.

    • Sacha 6.1

      It’s not too many people, it’s too much cheap money being sold as debt by our foreign banks. That’s what inflates the bubble. Building more dwellings will not fix it.

    • AmaKiwi 6.2

      A friend of mine says the Chinese can land ready to erect house kits in NZ for $12,000 each. I can’t support this but I do know that mass produced housing units can be built quickly and economically.

      We can’t do that. It would cut out the real estate developers who finance National’s elections.

  6. Colonial Viper 7

    Don’t try and solve the wrong problem. You won’t get anywhere.

    The real problem is: not enough $20/hr jobs in the regions.

    You are never going to get affordable (less than 4x household income) housing in Auckland. I don’t care if you get a Labour/Greens government in Auckland, they will be able to do nothing to drop median Auckland house prices under $800K. It will keep climbing.

    No Government can build the five thousand houses a year in Auckland which is what you will need to even start to make a dent against the city’s projected population growth. And even then all the Government will be doing is taking land which would be used by private developers, hence no net gain in numbers of houses.

    Get people out of Auckland. It is the only way.

    • Sabine 7.1

      or lets stop people from moving into auckland?

      how about that?
      Why does the majority of migrants need to move to Auckland? Why not incentives them to move to the regions and create their ‘investment businesses’ there?
      Why force people that have lived in Auckland for many generations, that have paid rates, that have paid taxes here out?
      Oh cause you don’t care about the people that already live here?

      Is that your problem?

      Stop people from moving to AKL for the next 5 – 10 years, unless they have a. a job and b. housing lined up.
      And everyone who still then wants to ‘migrate’ to NZ to buy up properties and keep them empty can do that elsewhere.

      The unit next to my house has been empty now for 3 years. And there are many thousands of properties in AKL that are kept empty. We would not need to build several thousands of houses desperatly if we could get those that are kept empty for captial gains back on the market as a house for people that actually want to live in it.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Let’s go ahead and do both.

        Give people ways to move out of Auckland.

        Disincentivise people from moving into Auckland.

        Why force people that have lived in Auckland for many generations, that have paid rates, that have paid taxes here out?
        Oh cause you don’t care about the people that already live here?

        People can pick and choose for themselves whether or not they want to stay in Auckland, once you give them a way out.

        But let’s stop pretending that Auckland is ever going to make an affordable city to live in if it keeps growing.

        It’s great for those on the top 5% of incomes though.

        • Sabine

          i have advocated for the government – any fucking government – to invest in the region now for the longest time. Here, and elsewhere.

          What i have not done, is to call for gutsy people elsewhere to just up their families, leave everything behind that they know and move god knows where to start a new life. You however have asked for that yesterday. Are there any gutsy aucklanders that would move to the Waikato. To do what? What jobs? And not only jobs for the blokes, but jobs for the wifes – cause we like to earn a living too and would love to not be completly depended on a man – jobs for the kids, cause well, eventually they grow into adutls. That alone should see you blush with shame, but i guess that is something you don’t have. How many dairy frm workers just do you think live in Auckland?

          I have never pretended that Auckland is going to out build its issues. AS for affordable, you and I have vastly different ideas as to what is affordable then you. I actually don’t have an issue with the house prices in AKL, as they are the same world wide for a city that size.
          What i have an issue with, is that the government is not investing in decent humanly build appartment blocks that are not leaking, rotting, fire hazards. What i have an issue with is that a tenancy for six month is legal. Anyone who looks for a place to live will most likely not want to move again in six month. Everyone who wants to rent for less then six month could go rent a motel unit for that long.
          I have an issue with people leaving previously tenanted or lived in houses empty cause the Carpet, like that fuckwit Gareth Morgan and others of his ilk.
          I have an issue with people buying rental properties and then hear them complain that they actually can’t keep up the maintenance of said rental cause they have no money.
          i have an issue with the same house being sold several times over and everytime it does the last family that moved in 4 month ago is again on the streets, and the next tenant will pay an extra 100$ per week on the same house, cause we don’t have no fucking regulations for rentals and no protection for tenants.

          So frankly, keep your lets move Aucklanders out away for a moment, and lets have a look at the issues that are, and that more often then no are not caused by the o es living in despair.
          Namely no job creation what so ever for decades now in the regions other then cows and wine it seems.
          Namely, no houses being build to be in the affordable brackets for tenants that live and work for a certain time in AKL, but might not want to actually buy in Akl.

          but that would not be quite as easy as saying, if yer can’t afford it just move out.

          • Colonial Viper

            People every day in the regions are having to up their lives and move to Auckland to try and get work.

            It ain’t exactly a new phenomenon.

            Regardless of the value of the ideas you propose to improve rental situations in Auckland, they can never keep up with the pressure that 30,000 to 40,000 population growth per year, for the next 20 years, in the city will create.

            Which is where my point comes in. People need avenues to move out of Auckland and people need to be discouraged from moving into Auckland.

            At that point, your suggestions about rental controls and government apartment blocks, might have a chance to make an impact.

            Even then however, average income earners on $60K pa in Auckland will never own their own home. They will be renters for life, enriching some landlord for life.

            Let alone the situation for the majority of Auckland workers who make way less than $60K pa.

            • Sabine

              But the difference between you and me is that i don’t call for them to do that.

              Equally, there are many Aucklanders that have moved or say retired, to Tauranga and other nice places in NZ fucking up house prices there.
              Then you have the Aucklanders that have moved overseas. Quite a few actually.
              Then you will have those that will sell within the next few month and also move somewhere nice.

              Not everyone needs to buy a house. Full stop there. Have a good look at europe and other places and understand than many do not own the house/apartment they live in, but they rent it. At a decent affordable rent, long term – sometimes several decades even. But then the ‘landlords’ overseas don’t participate in a Volkssport called’ Flip a house, fuck over a tenant’ to get rich.
              As for affordable, soon working stiffs won’t be able to buy in Wellington, Tauranga, Wellington, CHCH, well i guess they all can just move to a region and start milking cows for a living.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’ll ignore your smart big city folk diss of the regions.

                If people want to spend an hour in traffic day every day instead of with their families, good on em.

                I’m betting that people given the choice won’t.

                And my point stands – Auckland is going to cross 2M population by 2035, if not before.

                Your schemes with government apartment blocks etc cannot keep pace with that, not even close.

                As for young Kiwis giving up their dream of owning their own home. If they stay in Auckland, most of them will have to. Unless they luckily have parents ready to put down a $150K deposit for them.

                • Sacha

                  Young people might value a well-paid, engaging career and diverse lifestyle options over the historic allure of owning a quarter-acre. They already know where they will find those choices.

                  Stopping people moving to our only world-scale city is not going to help NZ’s future prospects. Investing in regional development however is also important. It’s not a zero-sum thing. We can walk and chew gum.

                  Any government could boldly fix this housing crisis if they thought voters would support it. Unfortunately those who benefit from our current arrangements vote more than than those who don’t. We need leaders competently presenting a better alternative to change that. Where are they?

          • Ad

            If New Zealanders won’t, there’s plenty of UK, Hong Kong, Netherlands, US, and South African couples who will sell up at home and move to specific provinces: North Shore, Queenstown, Wanaka, Wairarapa, Bay of Islands.

            But then there’s those pesky OIO rules, anti-foreigner policies, immigration hoops.

            Therein the regional policy/immigration/land ownership quandary.

      • Bill 7.1.2

        And there are many thousands of properties in AKL that are kept empty.

        And everywhere else. Compulsory purchase of all properties that are vacant for a given amount of time on the basis that they are mere instruments of speculation.

        Squatter’s rights! Then there’s no need for wrangling in any court over whether a property was deliberately left empty 😉

        There is no rational reason not to have legislation along those lines. But we’re talking ideology; an ideology that is never named or examined by even investigative journalistic pieces.

        edit: And life long leases that have provisions for running intergenerationally.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      The real problem is: not enough $60/hr jobs in the regions.


    • AmaKiwi 7.3


      “No Government can build the five thousand houses a year in Auckland”

      You definitely can. It’s been done elsewhere time and time again. But there was always a powerful sense of urgency, such as a war or natural disaster.

  7. Glenn 8

    The US has a few dairy woes.
    “Billions of pounds of cheese are about to go to waste. Clearly America needs your help”
    Americans eat an average of 34 pounds of cheese a year however the cheese surplus is mounting partly due to imported cheese from Europe because of the low Euro.
    Warehouses are full of curds that may have to be dumped.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The free market strikes again.

      This is what happens when an economy is driven by profit. You get huge amounts of ‘waste’ that could be used to help people but it’ll be dumped instead because putting it to use will lower profits.

  8. Penny Bright 9

    More transparency regarding contracting with the private sector one of the outcomes of the recent UK Anti-Corruption Summit?

    The UK Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18 (NAP) sets out 13 commitments on transparency, anti corruption and open government. It also sets out how government is making information clearer, easier to interpret and easier to use.
    The commitments include:

    ● The UK becoming the first G7 country to commit to the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) for contracts administered by a central purchasing authority, the Crown Commercial Service.

    This means that the whole process of awarding public sector contracts – from the bidding right through to the building – will be visible to the public for the first time by October 2016.
    This will be piloted by High Speed Rail 2.


    What’s New Zealand doing?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      What’s New Zealand doing?

      Still hiding them under the BS of ‘commercial sensitivity’. Our politicians don’t seem to have woken up to the fact that a contract between a private firm and the government is with us, the people and that we need to know the details of those contracts.

  9. Anne 10

    Helen Clark wants the top UN job only if she is considered to be the best person for the job. And that’s the way it should be.'t-give-me-un-job-on-gender

    Women should be given every assistance to break the ceiling barriers – as it were – but in the final analysis appoint on ability and merit and not gender.

    • indiana 10.1

      So we are happy that an all male selection panel is ok to determine the merit of female applicant?

      • dukeofurl 10.1.1

        The UN P5 isnt all male at the present time.

        The US representative is Samatha Power

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 10.2

      I find it interesting that Helen wants the top job, but not because she’s a woman, while Hilary wants the top job because she is a woman!

      • Anne 10.2.1

        Well, I think Hilary is using her gender. Helen wants it based on her skills.

        I know which one I respect the more…

        Edit: to be fair they are playing to totally different audiences.

  10. Penny Bright 11

    Looking forward to receiving my invitation to this Mayoral debate.

    I’m sure my pro-transparency Mayoral policies will receive support from, in my opinion, many decent business people – particularly those who have been unsuccessful in obtaining contracts for services and regulatory functions with Auckland Council and Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)?

    “Business to Put Tough Questions to Auckland Mayoral Candidates

    With the countdown now on to local body elections, and the mayoralty of New Zealand’s largest city being hotly contested, three leading business associations want to put the tough questions to Auckland mayoral contenders around how they will deliver more prosperity to the city.

    The powerhouse combination of EMA, Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Heart of the City have partnered up to host two Mayoral Debates.

    The first in this series is being held on Friday, June 17 and a second debate is planned for Thursday, September 8. Candidates will include Phil Goff, Victoria Crone and Mark Thomas.

    The three business focussed organisations want to ensure the needs of Auckland’s businesses are front and centre in the minds of the candidates.

    The objective of the debates is to create an opportunity for Auckland businesses to send strong signals about the outcomes they want to see the successful candidate deliver.

    All three organisations agree, that the potential of Auckland has to be unlocked and that business wants to see action, not words, from the city’s future leader.”

    (And I’m sure my participation will sharpen, and make far more lively, this Mayoral debate, particularly my view that Auckland is already being run ‘like a business, by business FOR business’ and what need is an Auckland region that is ‘people’ – not ‘business’ friendly 🙂

    Will these business associations be brave enough to invite me?

    (If the Institute of Directors can invite me to a Mayoral debate at the Northern Club – why not? 😉

    Penny Bright
    2016 Mayoral candidate.

  11. Tarquin 12

    Life in the provinces isn’t all bad. I left Auckland twenty years ago, everyone said we would be back after a couple of years but we’re still here. You can buy a very nice house in Whangarei for under $300,000 – close to town and probably with sea views. The wages aren’t as good up here, but they aren’t that bad and there seems to be plenty of work out there for those who want it. The beaches are awesome, the fishing is pretty good and the only time you get a traffic jam is on a friday before a long weekend. If for some strange reason you want to go to Auckland it’s less than 2 hours away.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Sounds about right. I lived in Auckland for five years. Never again.

    • weka 12.2

      Two problems, one is that some of us in the provinces don’t want a big influx from Auckland 😉

      The other is that Aucklanders migrating out to cheaper places can have the same effect there on house and land prices that wealthy immigrants are having in Auckland. I agree with the general premise that part of Auckland’s problem is too many people want or need to live there. But let’s look at the complexities, not just exporting the problem somewhere else.

  12. Bill 13

    This brought a smile to my face…

    …so after Alex Salmond has been informed by the ICC that won’t prosecute Blair for a ‘crime of aggression’ – it isn’t within their jurisdiction – up jumps Jim Sillars with a suggestion that the Scottish Parliament pass retrospective legislation so that he can be hauled before the Scottish courts.

    Now, it won’t happen. But I’m enjoying all the nipping at the heels and the apparent determination to ‘get the bastard’ 🙂

    • adam 13.1

      That was such a good read, thanks Bill

    • dukeofurl 13.2

      Holyrood is a devolved parliament and certainly doesnt have powers to create a war crime law for outside Scotland
      These are its restricted areas of legislation

      agriculture, forestry and fisheries
      education and training
      health and social services
      law and order( locally)
      local government
      sport and the arts
      tourism and economic development
      many aspects of transport.

      • Bill 13.2.1

        Scottish Law is separate to the Law in England and Wales – always has been. Tony Blair was the PM of the UK, not just England and Wales. Scotland is a part of the UK and I’d pick that a person governing the UK has to abide by the law as it stands in England and Wales just as much as by the law as it stands in Scotland – when, where and if they are considering something that impacts both north and south of the English-Scottish border.

        There won’t be a retrospective law passed, but it would be interesting if there was.

        • dukeofurl

          Scottish law may be separate, but Holyrood has limited powers to indroduce new laws,

          I would have though the SNP would have bigger problems of its own.

          “The English rose leaving SNP marriages in tatters: Two high-profile MPs leave their wives after they BOTH have affair with blonde writer ..”

          Scandal and incompetence stalk the SNP

          The voters think they have replaced one party of careerists, philanders and incompetents with another.

          • Bill

            Well, I’m picking that Jim Sillars wouldn’t have made the suggestion, and the newspaper wouldn’t have reported the suggestion, and the SNP spokesperson wouldn’t merely have responded that they had no plans to table such a piece of legislation, if that facet of Scottish Law (criminal) was ‘reserved’ (ie -came under the purview of Westminster).

            For the world of me I can’t imagine why criminal law would be reserved, but hey…

            • dukeofurl

              Since none of the actions of the Iraqi war occurred in Scotland or were planned in Scotland, that would make it a very big ask to make it a domestic law and order issue they can legislate on.
              There is also the idea of murder its elf, as Blair never directly participated in the war operations ( unlike US , PM isnt commander in chief) he would have to be prosecuted under the political aspect of war crimes. The Hague hasnt even done anything in that regard as far as I’m aware.

              AS for why an SNP MP has raised the issue, the idea that MPs are all knowing, is ludicrous. A grandiose idea in their mind of what they do know and can legislate for is more common. Sillars is exactly such a person.

              One other aspect that wouldnt be a problem, is retrospective, as the UKs own War Crimes Act of 1991, which only covered crimes in Europe under german occupation, is clearly retrospective .
              Interestingly, that law was one of only a few last century that was passed in spite of the House of Lords rejecting it. ( and probably doomed the hereditary lords who did so.)
              As I understand it, only applied to individuals who were now resident in UK, and were participants in particular war crimes during the war.

  13. adam 14

    There have been a few things this I really had a great belly laugh over this year. Larry Wilmore speech at Obama’s last correspondents dinner, was one time. I thought it was up their with Stephen Colbert, and in some ways better for it’s frankness. Now this, sheesh he hit, and he hit hard it seems.

    • Bill 14.1

      Hadn’t seen or heard his speech. So I searched it out (link below). The first 15 minutes were kind of taking no prisoners and I found I didn’t necessarily have to know who he was referring to to ‘get it’ – one very uncomfortable audience, but then it kind of washed out about the point of the Zodiac Killer stuff. (btw – I got the impression that him and Lemon are mates – that wasn’t really a go so much as a jibe you might hear between two mates. Lemon just seems to be laughing “You bastard”. That’s how I took it anyway.

      “Saw you (Obama) hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. That was cool. That was cool, yeah. You know it kinda makes sense, too, because both of you like raining down bombs on people from long distances, right? What? Am I wrong?”

      • adam 14.1.1

        I thought Lemon took it well.

        I think it was Wolf Blitzer that was offended.

        Yeah love that line.

        “Saw you (Obama) hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. That was cool. That was cool, yeah. You know it kinda makes sense, too, because both of you like raining down bombs on people from long distances, right? What? Am I wrong?”

  14. puckish rogue 15

    Not a political story at all, just one I thought was quite interesting

    • Gangnam Style 15.1

      Hi puckish rogue, is it you who’s the gamer? I was just thinking Uncharted 4 when I saw that story earlier, very nice.

      • puckish rogue 15.1.1

        I don’t play a huge amount of games but I tend to play a select few games a lot, (Saints Row series, Skyrim and Fallout are my go to games) and I’m so hanging out for the release of Far Harbour on the 19th

        But yeah it makes you wonder what else is stashed in museums around that area and if other items are out in the open and no ones noticed them

        • Gangnam Style

          Theres a crap load hidden away in Museums, there’s something like only 10% of the collection on display at any one time so I heard from a curator once, & thats just the documented stuff.
          Yeah ploughing my way through Fall Out 4, I def recommend Uncharted 4, will have a look at Far Harbour, I am relatively new at these things but totally hooked!

          • puckish rogue

            I would like to get other games but if I did it would sit on around for ages before I started playing it, I tend to focus on one game until I get sick of it then switch to another

          • McFlock

            10% is optimistic.

            Filing systems take a lot less space than display cabinents. But accredited folk who can be trusted (relatively speaking) to not drop the exhibits or cover them in toffee can usually get access for research purposes.

            And most museums and galleries create different public display collections over time, both to get people through the door and to illuminate different aspects and events for the regular patrons.

            But also these days there’s a trend towards turning museums into theme parks mostly aimed at kids.

            • puckish rogue

              But also these days there’s a trend towards turning museums into theme parks mostly aimed at kids

              – That’s true, its hard to find the balancing line between making something interesting and dumbing it down.

              I haven’t been to Te Papa for a while but last time I was there it seemed to be more infomercial, hands on rather than informative

              I think the Otago Early Settlers Museum has go the balance right though

            • Gangnam Style

              Otago Museum has this huge sword collection that hasn’t been displayed in years, its bloody impressive.

              Re: games, yeah pr I am the same, I can only play a handful of games, the Star Wars is a good dumb online free-for-all shoot ’em up, Fall Out 4 is freakin’ hard & a total mindf*ck that takes up all my concentration, I am still at the top of the map so it’s slow going (though my settlement is healthy & safe), but Uncharted 4 is a great treasure hunt adventure like Indiana Jones & it grooves along at a cracking pace & the online version is just mean! I am really wanting some kinda WW2 game but so far not found any for the PS4. Better than movies!

              • puckish rogue

                A game like Skyrim (the closest I’ve come to D & D in tone) can make me spend all day on my bed just playing the game, it really does take me away

                Saves me money as well!

                • Colonial Viper

                  Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion with the Star Trek Armada 3 total mod…for all you avid Trekkies out there 😉

                • Stuart Munro

                  Far Cry Primal gets good press – I’m into Mount & Blade atm.

              • McFlock

                Otago museum’s sword display (not collection, haven’t seen the full thing) really pissed me off the last few times I swung by (haven’t been in a few years, though). There was a little note basically saying that violence is bad but part of history, sorry we have to show this stuff, and a couple of dozen swords were hung up with no arrangement and little information.

                Thing is, there was one piece from most eras and most regions across the globe, and if you knew where/when they were from you could actually trace the drift of design elements e.g. from Greece to Persia to India to China, and back the other way. It just seemed such a waste – I really like shit like that, where it really brings the world together and provdes context through the pieces themselves.

                re: WW2 games, I read today that the latest Battlefield iteration is set in WW1. Might be interesting, although apparently one clip from the advertising showed a guy in a suit of armour hip-firing an MG that weight 20kilos in real life. Possible big-boss bs.

                • puckish rogue

                  Well hopefully it’ll be reasonably historically accurate at least (machine gun carrying aside)

                • Gangnam Style

                  Oh my goodness Mcflock that new Battlefield looks incredible, cheers for that, will keep an eye out for it! & going to check out Skyrim too, heard a lot about but will have a look.

  15. NoThanks 16

    Guardian is for all the international justice warriors por la Revolucion. Of course, they love stories like this. The paper thrives upon their readers’ bleeding hearts.

    [BLiP: Attack the messenger diversion. Moved to Open Mike. First and last warning.]

  16. dave 17

    homeless needs to park there cars on john keys street nice wide verges for the tents there also nice park area at the end of his road

  17. Gabby 18

    Pretty harsh McFlock, clinging like a limpet to a rock under a sledgehammer might not be Survival Plan A.

    • McFlock 18.1

      Not harsh at all. You want people to abandon weekly visitation with their kids (because the ex doesn’t want to move) and try to relocate their parents simply on the offchance of getting better paying work elsewhere in the country.

      Economic migration is the product of economic desperation multiplied by the inverse of social integration. “Social integration” is the concept that seems alien to you, but most humans experience it to greater or lesser degrees.

      • Gabby 18.1.1

        Are you funking serious? You advocate ghettoising and call it social integration. Keep all the lumps in one place eh. Your bogus garbled ‘equation’ is meaningless. What exactly do a homeless family owe to a social ‘network’ that has failed them?

        • McFlock

          How does “not moving town” equal “ghettoising”?

          And social connections aren’t always about what material benefits you can get out of them. By now I’m well aware that this confuses you.

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