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Open mike 17/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 17th, 2012 - 59 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…

59 comments on “Open mike 17/06/2012 ”

  1. Carol 1

    Ah, Winston! He has the ready answers! Key should be careful about taking him on:


    Key, who last week said he was “holding hands with Winston” over the issue, yesterday laid down the gauntlet to Peters.

    “I dare him to go out there and say he will not under any conditions form a government with Labour, even if Labour’s policy is to raise the super age from 2020, not in the three-year period from 2014 to 2017.

    “I dare him to say he will not, because he’s tricky and he’ll find a way all around all of that stuff.”

    But Peters took exception. “Tricky am I? I never worked for a company that took the American people to the cleaners and then went broke and got the American people to bail them out,” he said, referring to Key’s time with investment company Merrill Lynch.

    He said NZ First would not do a deal with another party 2 1/2 years out from the next election, and the challenge showed National was in trouble.

    Key was “running out of friends, support and excuses”, Peters said.

    Peters also hit back at Key’s comments on the infamous teapot tape – that NZ First’s supporters were dying off – saying they knew they couldn’t trust Key any more than previous National leaders who had lifted the age of entitlement and raised the surcharge rate.

    “This is about people’s lives, not some sort of tawdry deal in the dealers’ room.”

    While super wasn’t a deal-breaker next election, he said asset sales were. “Everybody knows it’s a bottom line. We walked out over the sale of Wellington airport, and we would not go down that road again.”

    • I’m disappointed to see the same old political pointscoring crap from both Key and Peters on this. Super is one issue that needs wideranging cross-party discussions – with open minds at this stage.

      Both Peters and Key have fobbed off addressing this now, saying nothing needs to hapen until next decade anyway. Except that many people who will retire next decade need to know what to expect and what to plan for.

      And it will take some time to discuss and work out how to go forward with Super for the next half century.

      If Key wins next election or Peters holds the balance of power in the next Government does that mean ignoring Super until 2017? Not if I (and a lot others) can help it.

      • tc 1.1.1

        You’d know all about point scoring and controlling a debate with your behaviour Petey, just delete what’s not desired….too easy.

      • bad12 1.1.2

        I assume the last line of your contribution is in fact a deliberate attempt at generating mirth, it certainly got the larffs going here,

        Despite the ‘polls’ telling us all, (as usual), that NZFirst are registering a miserly 2-3% there’s not many i should imagine who contribute to the Standard who believe that Peters and NZFirst are polling less then 5% and will definitely be in the Parliament after the 2014 election,

        There-in lies your answer, not in how much shall we rip off the workers nearing the end of their working lives by AGAIN raising the age of Pension entitlement but in how shall we re-define our economic activity so as to enable the status quo to continue vis a vis superannuation payments,

        Here is ONE simple fact that would aid in ensuring the affordability of superannuation, the sale of State Owned Assets and the further plan by Slippery the Prime Minister to GIVE AWAY shares in the assets sold as a loyalty scheme for those who hold the shares sold for a set period is simply an attack on the Governments ability to raise revenue from the income of those assets,

        You would achieve a far more sympathetic audience should you (a) spend your energies as a supporter of the ‘Hairdo from Ohariu’ convincing the Leader of your party to withdraw His support for Asset Sales and (b) examining the taxation system and the income tax cuts of the last 3 decades as to why superannuation has come under attack by continuous calls for cut-backs,

        Your Leader, the ‘Hairdo from Ohariu’ has supported all this tax cutting and as Minister of Revenue has indulged in much cutting of taxes that have not been widely publicized which have further served to place more of the tax burden onto the Have Nots to the benefit of the Haves,

        Had not the current Slippery lead National Government supported by your own leader the ‘Hairdo from Ohariu’ cut the taxes of the HAVES in 2009 and instead continued to make payments into the dedicated superannuation fund there would be no need for there to be a discussion about the age of entitlement for superannuation at all,

        Your calls for some form of cross party discussion on this subject are both futile and puerile and the only discussion needed with National at this point is just how long they can be expected to be the Opposition after the 2014 election,(my pick another 9)…

        • muzza

          The talking points are never on the core issue that is, we can afford the current super,

          We just have to fund it via “printing” of our sovereign currency…

          Any discussion around having to give up one thing in order to have another, is the age old divide and conquer, give with one hand , take with the other, so the plebs continue to argue and not see the obvious solution..

          None of the parties are are talking about it, because they either genuinely don;t know its an option, or they do know, and wont discuss it as the consequences would be too dire to them personally.

          Our politics is a disgrace, it has to be taken back from these lying, two faced con artists we allow, and some even endorse to stealing our country from in front of our faces to hand to those who put them in position.

    • Jim Nald 1.2

      “.. the sale of Wellington airport ..”

      Ahh, was that the case which went to court and which is now widely quoted as articulating the legal standard for “consultation”:

      “Consultation must allow sufficient time, and a genuine effort must be made. It is a reality not a charade. The concept is grasped most clearly by an approach in principle. To “consult” is not merely to tell or present. Nor, at the other extreme is it to agree. Consultation does not necessarily involve negotiation toward an agreement, although the latter not uncommonly can follow, as the tendency in consultation is to seek at least consensus. Consultation is an intermediate situation involving meaningful discussion. ….. ‘Consultation involves the statement of a proposal not yet fully decided upon, listening to what others have to say, considering their responses and then deciding what will be done.’ …..Implicit in the concept is a requirement that the party consulted will be (or will be made) adequately informed so as to be able to make intelligent and useful responses. It is also implicit that the party obliged to consult, while quite entitled to have a working plan already in mind, must keep its mind open and be ready to change and even start afresh.”

      Wellington International Airport Limited and others v Air New Zealand [1993] 1 NZLR 671, at p. 675. Judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered by McKay J quoting McGechan J in the High Court in Air New Zealand and others v Wellington International Airport Limited and others, HC, Wellington, CP 403-91, Jan 6, 1992

    • prism 1.3

      Winston Peters – our Muhammed Ali dancing like a butterfly etc. and well-dressed and urbane at the same time. And quick thinking with credit of the past to back him up and diminish the failings.
      He can’t be talked down by any one I believe, even when he is wrong. Has he ever admitted to being wrong, I can’t remember?

  2. Dr Terry 2

    Yes, Pete, I do not always agree with you, but here I think you make a fair case.

    In general, I am somewhat alarmed by the rejoicing of the Left in a recent run of victories. Beware of the perils of prematurely predicting triumph in 2012. Key shows no signs of allowing anything to bother him, rather he looks as smugly confident as ever. Life was always going to be tougher for him in the first months after an election. In the year of the next election, 2014, there will arrive all the usual sweeteners that appeal to self-interest. Depend upon it too, that human memories tend to be remarkably short concerning less attractive government policies (as has been the case over the intention to mine conservation land and that huge protest in the first term).. Presently, the Christchurch quake is viewed as anything like a disaster, it is seen instead as the main plank for restructuring the economy. National has gone down in recent polls, but when you look at them you will understand why Key is happy. He would have expected much worse, for not much short of half the country appears still to stand behind its “saviour figure” even when he could do nothing right. (Even John Armstrong calls this “a miracle”). The polls could well pick up within short time as ruffled feathers settle.
    We dare not lose vigilance, for there is a lengthy and tough slog ahead. Fortunately Key and cronies do not win every round, but what we have to look out for is a last round knock-out. So, let’s be happy with successes, without being carried away by overly-confident stances. Key is very far from being conquered and has not yet, by any means, already lost the next election. He has sufficient support to keep right on gambling as wont, without great fear of losing at the last. I most certainly do not in the least favour him or the gang he so dominates, but think this is a suitable time, not to sound negative, but to offer reasonable warning. As the Scout motto goes, “Be prepared”!

  3. On Q+A this morning Tony Ryall repeated several times that at least of 51% Government ownership will be enshrined in legislation. It’s good to hear that clearly expressed.

    Ryall also said that 85-90% New Zealand ownership was likely.

    There is plenty of scaremongering about “selling everything overseas”, but there is nothing to support these claims.

    There is nothing but opposition conjecture to suggest that private and institutional investors – and many of us via Kiwisaver accounts – will not retain most of ther 49% of shares above the enshrined Government 51%.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      “There is plenty of scaremongering about “selling everything overseas”, but there is nothing to support these claims.”
      Telecom. Rail. Air NZ. Those who don’t remember their history are doomed to repeat it. Or become Tory shills.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Petey I think it is a waste of time trying to educate you on this issue as past attempts have failed.  But here goes:

        1.  Every single share that is sold means that the Government’s finances get worse.
        2.  There is no legal restriction on overseas interests owning 49%.
        3.  Every single share sold to an overseas interest will mean the balance of payments will worsen.
        4.  Even thought the Government may own 51% the Board will still be constrained to act in the financial best interests of the shareholders, not the country.
        5.  The Government has only promised to retain 51% of voting rights, not of the ownership.

        • Pete George

          1. Based on what?
          2. That may or may not end up being the case, but I haven’t seen anything supported by facts suggesting overseas ownership getting close to 49% .
          4. How is that different to now?
          5. That wasn’t a promise, legislation is still in progress.

    • Dv 3.2

      Contact energy!!!
      And the return from Contact has been 4% per year over the 12 years.

    • bad12 3.3

      Which just makes either Ryall or Slippery the Prime Minister the ‘bigger’ of the Liars over the issue of asset sales???,

      Ryall pontificating that 51% of the assets will remain Government owned, or, Slippery insinuating that those who buy the shares in the assets who then retain the shares for a 2 year period will be ‘given’ shares as a loyalty scheme???,

      Both of them cannot be right or perhaps Slippery is planning some more sleight of hand trickery with a new share issue after the asset sales program is carried out….

    • freedom 3.4

      Can anyone out there offer a clear ‘common use’ explanation of the Government’s declaration that it is 51% of the voting rights not the total share parcel that will remain in NZ hands?

      I understand this to be a very different kettle even though the fish still stink and yet the distinction, especially in the Media, seemed to last only a few days then it all reverted to the the 51% ownership message. Like the majority of Kiwis I do not own stocks and profess to have little accurate knowledge of their machinations. All i do know is they are tools, and like all tools it is how they are utilized that defines their productivity. When it comes to the current contractors, i do not trust their workmanship or their invoicing.

      • Pete George 3.4.1

        Ryall didn’t mention voting rights this morning, all his statements were clearly on 51% ownership.

        • freedom

          thank you Pete George for proving my point that the issue of ownership is not being accurately and honestly communicated by the Government.

        • bad12

          Wake up wont you???, if Ryall is saying 51% of assets will remain in Government ownership while Slippery is saying that there will be a loyalty scheme for those who retain their (stolen goods) shares for 2 years of 1 for every 15 shares held then they cannot both be right can they,

          My question to you is simple and encompasses nothing but when the fuck will you wake up to the fact that this Slippery lead National Government are nothing but shysters and the salesmen on any used car lot in this land have far more credibility…

          • Pete George

            I’ve already woken up to the fact that there are ways of helping keep them honest.

            • bad12

              Have you really???, your ‘way’ seems to lack efficacy then doesn’t it when we have Slippery saying there will be a share ‘giveaway’ one day and Ryall saying there will be 51% of Government ownership another there is a mile of dishonesty inherent in the both statements wouldn’t you say???

              There is only one method whereby the National Party can be kept even slightly honest and that is to keep them as tame pets on the Opposition benches, as for Slippery the Prime Minister there is NO hope,

              From the time prior to the 2008 election when Slippery uttered the words ”National will not be raising GST” there has been an unending stream of utter Bullshit emanating from the mouth of the Prime Minister thatr marks His scorecard as being a Compulsive most whom believe the more of it you tell the less the people will be able to detect and prove to be such,

              Bullshit that is…

            • Draco T Bastard

              There are ways of keeping them honest. I haven’t seen you use any of them. What I have seen is you defending the NACTs dishonesty.

            • mickysavage


              Can anyone out there offer a clear ‘common use’ explanation of the Government’s declaration that it is 51% of the voting rights not the total share parcel that will remain in NZ hands?

              I will give it a go.  Section 45R of the MOM Bill said the following:

              “(1)No Minister who is a shareholder in a mixed ownership model company may take any of the following actions if it would result in the Crown holding less than 51% of the voting rights in the company:

              (a)sell or otherwise dispose of any shares in the company held in the Minister’s name:

              (b)permit shares in, or other securities of, the company to be allotted or issued to any person.”

              See that it says “voting rights”.  This is entirely different to shares.  Theoretically a company could have non voting shares sold so that in a $5 billion dollar company there would be 4,999,999,949 privately owned shares and 51 publicly owned shares.

              The Crown dividend stream would be minimal.

              Ryall’s comments directly contradict the provisions in the Bill.

              • yeshe

                and as I mention below in another post — all the assets of said company could be sold off without any protection .. maybe this will be the true coming of age of Treaty of Waitangi when everyone might begin to see we are protected by it, and it alone …

                this is a such a slippery and duplicitous bunch of money men.

      • prism 3.4.2

        Yes this business of 51% simple majority of 2% over the others is badly flawed and too simple for country’s complex decisions. We need more weight on one side than the other – say 60-40.

    • yeshe 3.5

      where are the provisions to prevent the companies being stripped of their assets then ?? without this protection, the 51% is meaningless … and also, where are the provisions to prevent dilution so the 51% becomes completely meaningless ?? nothing is at it seems … nothing ….

    • millsy 3.6

      It is not about whether they will be in overseas or NZ hand’s to me, that is not the issue. The issue here is that its about important infrastructure falling into private hands, where profit will override any public or social good, and lets face it, power is too valuable to society for it to be run by the private sector.

      ‘Mum and dad’ shareholders will demand higher dividends, and the rest of will end up paying more and more and more in power prices with blackout after blackout thrown in. If you dont belive it, look at Telecom, its because those same shareholders have demanded dividend after dividend after dividend that we have crap broadband at high prices, broadband which is shunted through cables dating back to the 1920’s. And if you go out of town, you have to either have dial up, or a hugely expensive mobile connection. Do you really want to have the same people who own rental properties in Christchurch and rent them out at such high rates that their tenants cannot afford anything else to be owning our power companies?

  4. Te Reo Putake 4

    Edit: reply to PG above

    • deuto 5.1

      Well, well, well. I enjoyed that article, made my day. AND – Whaleoil declined to comment. That in itself is a first!

      • Redman 5.1.1

        it is also very amusing to note that anytime his little affair is mentioned on his blog he deletes the post and pretends nothing was said.

        I love it when a moralising sod like Cam falls and then will not allow any discussion on it. Can you imagine if this had have been a Labour supporter or MP? He would be posting and sermonizing about it all day long.

        But I do feel sorry for his wife. Not only is she married to a man of dubious looks, she is also married to a cheater.

        • Murray Olsen

          I don’t feel sorry for his wife at all. She supports the sleazy dog and thinks she benefits from some of his reflected glory.

          • Redman

            No woman deserves to be cheated on.

            • Murray Olsen

              That’s not what I said. I said I have no sympathy for her. If she wants to leave him and get a benefit, she’d better hurry before this government applies the anti beneficiary policies the two of them support and does away with social welfare completely. I’ll save my sympathy for the men, women and children of the class that those two attack. Anyway, for all we know, he had his sordid affair with her blessing. Wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened.

              • fender

                Yes she may have welcomed the affair to avoid contact with the foulness of the oilily creep.

                [While Slater really does not rate any consideration from us … no-one is doing themselves any favours with this kind of pointless speculation. RL]

                • fender


                  Right you are.

                  Anyone getting involved with a foul creep slithering around in oil deserves our sympathy.

    • Eddie 5.2

      I’ve been wondering when this shit would start to come out…

  5. prism 6

    For a useful view on positive ways of thinking and improving ourselves so we are more life fulfilled, reach our potential and take up the unrealised opportunities, and our society the same, there has been a good discussion on Radionz this a.m. between Chris Laidlaw and Kerry Spackman as below.

    10:06 Kerry Spackman – Answering Big Questions
    Dr Kerry Spackman is a neuroscientist, TV presenter and mental trainer for high profile sportspeople including Formula 1 World Champions, Olympic Gold Medallists and the All Blacks. His new book ‘The Ant and the Ferrari: Lifting the Hood on Truth, Society and the Universe’ (Harper Collins NZ) deals with philosophy and ethics amongst other subjects.

    9:40 Saras Sarasvathy – Entrepreneurship
    Saras Sarasvathy is Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Professor Sarasvathy was in Wellington this week speaking at the 2012 International Council for Small Business World Conference.

    I think it is important for politically inclined bloggers to think of one positive idea a day!

  6. Clandestino 7

    Lower the cost of Super not the age of entitlement screwing over younger tradies and manual labourers.

    Means test now with a sliding pay scale and lower the payouts. $350 pw is over generous and $560 for couples is beyond ridiculous. You can’t live expensively if you didn’t save for it. State built cheap single/double units for those unprepared in retirement or who refuse to relocate from expensive cities.

    Lower the costs not the age. We can’t keep paying for Grandma to visit the grandkids in Oz twice a year.

    • millsy 7.1

      So you think that having the lowest senior poverty rate is unacceptable?

    • KJT 7.2


      It is the younger tradies and manual labourers that will be screwed over by raising the age.

      It is those who are too physically or mentally stuffed to continue working, after working at demanding jobs all their lives, but havn’t reached the level of near death required to get a benefit, who will be screwed.

      All right for those in undemanding paper shuffling jobs, to talk about later retirement.

  7. dd 8

    I’d happily pay 2 percent more tax to keep super at the same age. Surely most would?

    If you work past the age of 65 you shouldn’t be getting super.

    • Clandestino 8.1

      Yep. There are loads of over 65s making well over $1000 a week from income plus super. Can’t agree on paying more tax to keep super the same. It’s a personal thing but if I was to pay more tax on my (meagre) income I’d rather it went elsewhere.

      • Fortran 8.1.1


        Please be kind enough to advise where you get your figures from.
        To earn $1,000 per week = $52,000 pa would require a capital of approx $1,500,000, earning net after tax about 3.25% which is what the banks will give you today (4.25% gross).

        • Tazirev

          I read the comment as over 65’s who were still working (income) plus Super earnt over $1000 per week, not Interest on investments + Super

        • Colonial Viper

          Rental properties can return 6%-8% net.

    • Eddie 8.2

      the question is whether your extra 2% tax is best spent going to people aged 65 and 66, who can work and many of whom can, or on education and poverty etc.

      • dd 8.2.1

        My point is more that our tax rate is hardly high. Especially for the highest earners.

        A small adjustment across the board and we could address education, poverty, and the retirement age.

        I think there is a negative attitude towards tax. Which there should be if it’s not used well; but if it was used to provide a higher standard of living for everybody it should be seen as a benefit.

        Still I do appreciate there is the problem of an aging society, New Zealanders leaving NZ too quick, and people living older. But, what are the actual benefits of our supposed technological advance since the industrial revolution. People are working longer and for a whole have a worse quality of life.

        I find it a bit weak of labour to suggest we need to raise the age. It’s hardly an innovative idea. However, it is an idea and shows a willingness to confront the issue. The same can’t be said from National who want to put their heads in the sand.

        We went from a situation where pretty much only men worked too both women and men having to work full time to afford a house. That’s not progress.

        And now the idea is to get people working to an even older age.

        With all the extra workers we should be working 20 hour weeks. I guess we just work more now to pay for i phones and lcd tv’s.

        • Vicky32

          A small adjustment across the board and we could address education, poverty, and the retirement age.

          Agreed, though I can’t see it ever happening!

      • dd 8.3.1

        Thanks Joe, interesting.

      • bad12 8.3.2

        NRT makes a good point, consider the income demographics of those calling for the raising of the age of entitlement for superannuation,

        Then consider the income demographics of those who have gained the most financially from Governments of the past 30 years,

        And next consider the income demographic of where more and more elections are fought and won between the 2 major political party’s,

        Snap, the 3 category’s above are all one and the same, the bloated middle class unwilling to give up any of the major financial gains they have managed to accrue whilst playing off against each other Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in the elections are hardly going to quietly accede to giving up any of those gains in either taxation or Government benefit, (working for families), without first trying to have ‘some-one’ else painted as the ‘problem’ to be the focus of Government cost cutting…

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    This made me laugh:

    But now, despite the rise of social media, fewer prominent voices within China are able to make the case for a systemic overhaul that would prepare the nation for long-term prosperity on sturdier foundations.

    What’s meant by “sturdier foundations” is the same foundations that just caused the global economy to collapse.

    This bit is also interesting:

    “It’s not a good time to speak out for reforms, but it’s a good time to speak out against them,” said Li Shuguang, a professor at the China University of Politics and Law. “The government doesn’t encourage debate.”

    Sounds exactly like what is happening here with state asset sales being rushed through.

  9. Colonial Viper 10

    Marketwatch.com posts opinion piece the “Myth of Perpetual Growth is Killing America”

    This is a website run by the Wall Street journal, believe it or not.


  10. quartz 11

    So much for Slater’s “family man” bullshit: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10813552

  11. captain hook 12

    has kweewee pissed off back to Hawaii yet?

  12. Graeme 13

    Here’s something pretty funny – Slater’s started channeling Brian Tamaki. This is what he said today to someone who thanked him for his Daily Proverb: “So often I look to Proverbs and the text is there that is appropriate for the day.” I think Slater might be looking to be our next big cult leader. I can’t wait. Someone should do a comedy skit on it. There’s enough material for it already. Bloody priceless.


  13. captain hook 14

    heres something funny.
    news of the buyout of Crafar farms coming out on Sunday night teevee.
    either they have been working all weekend to reach this decision or “they” knew on Friday but decided to hold it back.
    which is it?

  14. xtasy 15

    Something that struck me today was, that Marae Investigate and the news on One were reporting, that Pita Sharpless (pun allowed) is warming to the Crafar Farms sale deal. A visit to some enterprising people associated with Penxhin Shanghai appears to have given him and others some “comfort”. Now there is even talk of selling back two of the farms to Maori farming interests.

    Now, what was all this about initially? Was there not this desperate situation that the farms had to be sold, and that this Mainland Chinese corporation, which only has indirect interests and involvement in farming, was the best and only acceptable bidder?

    Was this not supposed to be an “investment” to bring some added economic activity and value to NZ?

    Or is this now not rather turning out to be a smart “real estate” deal, where on-selling may bring about some gain of sorts to the new owner, now turned seller again?

    I am perplexed about what goes on in NZ.

    Also The Nation reported about the “Dragonz” as being “Asian” (or rather Mainland Chinese) migrants that can deliver a great potential for economic development, enhancing exports and thus getting involved in establishing ties to the giant “market” of over 1.4 billion people in Mainland China. A week earlier Huawei Corp. was portrayed in more favourable light, well, given they paid TV3 journos the trip to China and back.

    That corporation is not so popular in Australia, the US, UK and some other countries now, due to suspicions of abusing hard- and or software for “spying”.

    A young Mainland Chinese entrepreneur was today presented on ‘The Nation” to have discovered a great enterprising opportunity to translate NZ real estate ads into Chinese, so Mainland Chinese would find it easier buying houses and else here.

    So that is the great economic contributions presented. I am sure there are more constructive things happening, but please tell me about them, I did not see any on ‘The Nation’ this morning.

    Be mindful with investment policies, I presume.

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