Open mike 17/11/2013

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 17th, 2013 - 119 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 right up to the mike …

119 comments on “Open mike 17/11/2013”

  1. Paul 1

    Child neglect at casino increasing

    John Banks, Peter Dunne and the others who voted for more pokies, hang your heads in shame.
    This will just get worse in the future.

    • chris73 1.1

      Of course because its nothing to do with poor parenting at all

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Poor parenting is 50% of the problem. Let’s tackle the whole problem. Including resourcing and teaching parents better skills and better approaches.

        • aerobubble

          Every child is different, until we teach to weakness and reward their strengths schools and teachers will continue to fail kids in my opinion.

      • Paul 1.1.2

        Yeah, Chris..that’s the only reason….
        Saves you from having to worry about any social contract.

        If 73 refers to your date of birth, it explains a lot.
        A child of the neo-liberal revolution.

        Do you realise there are successful alternative views to how society can operate than the Ayn Rand/’Atlas shrugged’/libertarian/ me me me model ?

        • Tim

          “If 73 refers to your date of birth, it explains a lot.
          A child of the neo-liberal revolution.”

          I’d even put money on it!

      • fender 1.1.3

        Chris73… in case you missed it Murray Olsen asked you an important question

        • chris73

          Didn’t miss it, there was no reply button. Trying to decide whether to go larger caliber (thus more expensive ammo) and learn to reload to offset costs or stay with smaller caliber which is cheaper ammo

      • felix 1.1.4

        Of course because its nothing to do with poor parenting at all

        Of course this is an example of poor parenting, chris. The whole point is that this is poor parenting. We should all be appalled by such poor parenting.

        So how come you and John Key are supporting legislation that will ensure more of it?

      • Puddleglum 1.1.5

        HI chris73,

        Let’s play with this idea for a bit.

        What causes ‘good parenting’ or ‘poor parenting’? To answer this question we would have to abondon the magical notion that some strange, supernatural ability to ‘make different choices’ exist.

        That’s because the idea that people can summon ‘willpower’ (ex nihilo) from somewhere beyond the world of natural processes to do things differently immediately raises the question of why some people do – and are able to – summon such willpower while others don’t. From what does that different ability – and outcome – arise?

        Sooner or later, to explain human behaviour we have to appeal to processes and forces beyond the individual person. To do otherwise and claim that it all arises from the person is unabashed hocus pocus.

        That leaves us with two possibilities.

        One is that external processes need to be employed to stop individuals emitting ‘bad behaviour’. Some respond to this possibility by claiming that there needs to be increased coercive force to constrain or prevent ‘bad behaviour’. This is the thinking behind punishment and ‘deterrence’ for ‘bad behaviour’. Alternatively, it might be argued that supportive ‘training’ is needed to prevent ‘bad behaviour’. These are two sides to the same coin and see the answer at the level of re-engineering individuals.

        The other possibility is that there are sets of external processes that actually generate ‘bad behaviour’ and do so quite systematically. That is, external structures (economic, social, etc.) are busy generating bad behaviours like a widget factory generates widgets (perhaps this ‘production’ is unintentional but the fact remains that this is what is happening). From this perspective, the sensible thing to do is close down the ‘factory’ or radically alter its functioning so that it no longer generates the ‘bad behaviour’. That means changing social and economic structures – changing the way we organise ourselves for production.

        The usual argument against the second possible explanation is that not everyone in the current social and economic structures exhibits ‘bad behaviour’ therefore it can’t be the fault of the structures.

        But this is garbled logic.

        It can be argued against by pointing out that – given ‘natural variation’ in everything from genes to developmental experiences – the impact of malevolent structures will always produce different outcomes in different individuals but that this is not evidence for the lack of malevolence or dysfunctionality in those structures.

        Also, we don’t have good stats on ‘sub-critical’ dysfunction to check to see whether the socially acknowledged ‘bad behaviour’ is actually just the tip of a bigger iceberg of social difficulties that are more widespread in the population but never come to formal expression, especially in relation to a particular issue such as child neglect (i.e., the same difficulties that result in some people neglecting children may be expressed, by other people, in other ways – e.g., mental ill health – rather than through child neglect; therefore, we don’t see them as connected phenomena, arising from the same causes).

        I’d argue that those who believe in the first kind of explanation will, forever, be like the dutch boy trying to plug holes in the dyke. Things will just get worse and worse until the whole dyke bursts open violently. All that sticking your finger in one hole does is increase the pressure on other parts of the dyke and make those other parts more likely to break.

        Paradoxically, the more fevered and wide-ranging the attempts to ‘plug the dyke’ the more harm ends up being done, and done more quickly. The answer, if the second view is adopted, is to divert the body of water behind the dyke (to take the pressure off it – i.e., to stop it generating ‘holes’) then either rebuild the dyke more robustly or do things differently so we don’t need dykes.

        ‘Dyke plugging’ is the ‘piecemeal social engineering’ approach to social change that Karl Popper advocated – and it is beloved by those of a classical liberal/liberal bent who fear the effects of widespread social and economic change; which is understandable but not necessarily a guarantee that it is a successful strategy.

        Like gamblers at a casino, the bet being laid by ‘hole pluggers’ is that ‘things are not really that bad’ in terms of fundamental social and economic structures. (i.e., that we have enough fingers to plug all the holes that will arise so no need to think beyond ‘hole plugging’.)

        • Paul

          He won’t have an idea what you’re talking about.

          • Puddleglum

            I hope you’re wrong but if you’re right I guess that means that I must try to express myself more clearly.

            I don’t mind trying to meet someone three-quarters of the way, if that’s what it takes. I just find it difficult hitting the right pitch sometimes.

            It’s an art, I know, and I need to practice it more.

            • Rogue Trooper

              that will be helpful, for some, I’m certain.

            • felix

              I thought it was expressed very clearly. Never be clear enough for those who feign ignorance though.

              • North

                Frankly Puddleglum I am moved. Excellent, calm, clear, superbly logical, profound, analysis. Thanks.

                Who cares that the Little Churchill effigies infesting this site won’t by will or nature understand. Be fun to see them squeal and splutter.

            • Foreign Waka

              I found your article perfectly fine and understandable. One item you have not included, albeit this might be quite important when trying to explain why parents leave children in the car to go gambling is: Gambling is an addiction. Like a drug it draws certain vulnerable individuals to think they can “beat” the system, play to a proven method etc.They also watch how much a “one armed bandit” as the pokies where once called is played on in the belief that there are certain odds to get a winner when jumping on one of these at the “right” time. How I know this? I have watched 2 people ruining their and their family lives and nothing, absolutely nothing could stop them until they reached bottom level with no money left. Ultimately, this is what casinos live on – to take the hard earned money of ordinary people. In times past movies indicated that is was the mobs business.

              • Hi Foreign Waka,

                I agree about the addictive qualities of gambling. After all, it is the variable ratio schedule of reinforcement (from the work of behaviourist B.F. Skinner) that is used to explain and calculate the average rate of reward in these machines to make a behaviour most resistant to extinction.

                I’d suggest that one of the dysfunctional aspects of the social and economic structures we have in place currently is that it creates incentives for commercial enterprises to identify and then exploit those behaviours most prone to behavioural addiction with the inevitable bad consequences for individuals and society.

                One of the skills that consumerism, for example, actively undermines is the ability for self control (aka ‘deferred gratification’) that is now known – from our own Dunedin study – to be one of the best predictors of adult success in relation to “health, wealth and public safety“.

                The prevalence of addictive behaviours, I’d argue, is itself a function of structures that provide conditions to encourage them.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  After all, it is the variable ratio schedule of reinforcement (from the work of behaviourist B.F. Skinner) that is used to explain and calculate the average rate of reward in these machines to make a behaviour most resistant to extinction.

                  Same thing applies to MMOs and other games.

                  The prevalence of addictive behaviours, I’d argue, is itself a function of structures that provide conditions to encourage them.


                  And this is where regulations come in. The simple fact is that capitalism will exploit these bad behaviors for personal gain means that they need to be regulated to minimise the harm to society that otherwise would result.

                • RedLogix

                  Some time back as a single and dating lad, I recall a quiet evening out at the local. As we walked in she quietly said to me ” If you find me in the bandit room any time later… you have my full permission to strong-arm me out of here.” She wasn’t kidding.

                  This from an otherwise intelligent, strong-willed and capable person was … memorable. It was something I’d never encountered before.

                  I’m curious because while I understand PG’s narrative, there still remains the fact that different individuals appear to vary very widely in their susceptibility to addictive behaviours.

                  Do you imagine that genetic’s should wholly account for this, or is there some other factor in play?

              • Chooky

                +1 …perfectly understandable good article from puddlegum…I dont trust those who always seek to blame the parents ….it takes a good caring balanced society to create good parents……and yes gambling can be an addiction (like being on the standard all the time….ha ha)

        • Murray Olsen

          Well said, and good to see someone else who doesn’t worship Popper.

  2. Debbie 2

    But Paul that’s the wonderful thing about always being right, cos of course it isn’t their fault, it never is! And after all increased child neglect at sky city, even increased pokie use has nothing to do with increased poker machines; that is all the fault of BAD beneficiaries, who should know better than to use poker machines. All the right have done is to get us a convention centre which they keep telling us we desperately needed, and of course there is no correlation whatsoever with increased poker machines and increased gambling. None whatsoever

  3. Paul 3

    Our MPs jeer at the words of the the Filipino delegate to the climate change talks.
    And now we make our dairy profits by ignoring genocide.
    I’m ashamed to be a New Zealander, given the direction this government is taking it.
    Just wait for his twitter saying how much fun he’s having. The man is loathsome.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Key has always been weak. Its the old story about managers, you help promote the ones that aren’t a threat. Key’s compliance and acquiescence style is very welcome in easy going times, as its predictable. Yet our world is now entering crisis, resource limits, population (aging and growth), climate and cultural (mono uniformity globally).

  4. Paul 4

    “Prime Minister John Key said he will set out his concerns about human rights issues “pretty directl” when he has his formal meeting with Sri Lanka’s President later today, but said overall the relationship between the two countries was improving.”
    (Typo courtesy of the Herald.)

    Pretty directly, eh?
    Rajapaksa must be shaking in his boots.

    Compare Key’s words with this.

    ”British prime minister say he will look to UN to investigate claims of civil war abuses if Sri Lanka does not act within four months”

    I’m not a fan of David Cameron… but it seems he’s a lot more direct.

    “But as world leaders and royalty, including the Prince of Wales, gathered in the capital for their biennial meeting, Cameron first headed to meet victims of Sri Lanka’s 25-year civil war and those suffering continuing violence.”

    • To be fair to Key, if the UK had some significant economic or strategic interests in Sri Lanka Cameron wouldn’t be using his current tone.

      So far as I’m aware, for Cameron it’s a ‘free hit’.

      By contrast, I understand that there’s some reasonably significant economic (‘dairy’??) interests in Sri Lanka for Key.

      Diplomatic duplicity (or ‘realpolitik’ or whatever you want to call it) once again prevails.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        Fonterra is uniquely tied up with the nation state of NZ, and so is a easy target for global politics. Splitting Fonterra would seem a reasonable way to disconnect and allow our PM leeway to pursue our other national interest, the promotion of civil rights. Key is too close to big business.

  5. ScottGN 5

    Key’s getting a real pasting over Sri Lanka and Fonterra on Q & A. More and more I get the impression Fran O’Sullivan has pretty much lost all respect for him.

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      A pasting with knobs on. Well worth a watch. Have never heard Key dismissed as an incompetent idiot (my words/interpretation) previously in the msm, albeit only in foreign relations terms. Is this a turning point?

      • Arfamo 5.1.1

        I doubt it. Fearful “stuff everyone else I’m looking after number one” selfishness is still the driver of the majority of the voters it seems.

        • Rogue Trooper

          well, the Tories maintain support so far. And from The Nation, Colon Craig- “we’re more in that business space (than NZFirst), …50% of our list are successful small businesmen…my portfolio to interests (Rachel)…small business, property… and, government in an efficient manner.” Oh dear, along with more of these show-business and respectable types being found less than whole-some.

          • greywarbler

            … and, government in an efficient manner.”
            Colon Craig, another weed springing up from the rampant neo liberal infested countryside.
            Just as pervasive as bindwee, convulvulus, old man’s beard. Get rid, root and branch.

            • Rogue Trooper

              now, that is a co-inky-dink; bindweed and the persistent c are an issue in my garden too. Old-Man’s Beard, we cleared a lot of on a rural property we leased two years ago; it was strangling the trees, dreadful stuff.

    • Rogue Trooper 5.2

      yes, it was interesting commentary by Fran, praising Helen Clark’s comprehension of the issues that a New Zealand Prime Minister needs.

      Also from Q&A, Robert Reid of First Union on this rape culture prevalence : “we live in a bullying, misogynist culture […] that needs a complete change.” (paraphrased).

      And Hone, on Feed The Kids Bill, believes that some Nats would personally support it to select committee, he has to see their whips: 80,000-100,000 children go to school hungry- Source, Barnados.

      • North 5.2.1

        Little Churchill’s losing it and not just abroad. Mutant biped corgi of a man. Honestly ! What an embarrassment !

      • millsy 5.2.2

        As I said before, there is really no different than the School Dental Service, free milk in school, Education Board speech therapists and psychologists, school nurses, school buses, etc and so on..

  6. hone harawira just gave a blistering-interview on Q & A..

    phillip ure..

  7. travellerev 7

    Raglan came out to support the flotilla on its way to Anadarko’s ground zero. With hundreds of people both Pakeha and Maori (Which is new here in Rags) and speeches from not other than Angeline Greensill, Catherine Delahunty and Hone Harawira amongst others it was a great turn out!

  8. Tat Loo (CV) 8

    NZ war in Afghanistan = NZ$280M cost. No problem. Pike River families compensation = NZ$3.0M. No way.

    What a pathetic crappy Govt. NZ deserves better. The West Coast deserves better.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Funny how cost wasn’t going to be an issue in the fool’s goal of getting back into the mine, but as soon as a very modest amount of money that actually would make a real difference to people’s lives come around, suddenly the purse strings are closed.

    • travellerev 8.2

      And if they can’t be bothered to help those people with a bit of funding. What makes us think they will cough up if and when Anadarko fucks up on our coasts! We will be left in a destroyed country while John Key and his ilk live it up elsewhere on our dime and with our assets!

    • Anne 8.3

      Currently reading Nicky Hagar’s ‘Other Peoples’ Wars”. What I find the most shocking is the attitude of some at least of the NZ Defence Force personnel (including senior officers) who were posted to Afghanistan. They pulled the wool over the Labour govt’s eyes and blatantly lied about what they were doing there. Their brief was to be peace keepers and assist with reconstruction and they were NOT to be part of the killing sprees (my word for it) except in a situation of a threat to their life and limb.

      My point is: under National they most certainly would have been sent there to be part of the random killing sprees – of that I have no doubts. Imagine how much more the Afghanistan cost would have been – $500M? But they can’t compensate the Pike River families for the terrible ordeal they’re still going through at a mere pittance in comparison.

      Pathetic, crappy Govt. is almost an understatement. As for the voters… most are no better.

      • Paul 8.3.1

        George Carlin
        ‘Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens – if you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here… like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks.’

  9. fender 9

    Oh dear… Roy Harper gets charged with historic sex offences…

  10. aerobubble 10

    The Nation today, Bennett said women were vulnerable, preyed upon by loser men (since no women in her right mind wants a baby, forgets to take the pill, or just doesn’t want to live with a man, does not occur to her). Now, apart from the outward rage against men this former single mum beneficiary has toward men, and the pedaling the stereotype that women are weak (and so vulnerable which feeds into the roastbuster views of women), apart from all that, what really really irked was how now she was in this position of power she felt so easily compelled to dish it out to women and men about their promiscuity. As if the state was somehow supposed to govern personal matters like that, but worse, that now she was powerful, that she needed to emphasis her now non-vulnerability. All the compassion and the principle just drained from her, and to my mind she just fed the roastbuster stereotypes, at both ends, ruthless men pray of weak women. Women are not weak, women do pray on men too, they do when they are physically stronger but also more likely psychologically. If Bennett had not been sexist against both men and women she might just have caused authorities to investigate, but its one of those bureaucratic technicalities that let this culture of women hatred, self loathing, self-victimization alive. I mean that’s not to suggest that strong women don’t exist, or self-loathing weak vulnerable MSD ministers, but that just as there are predatory women there are predatory men, just as there are sex crimes against women, there are also against men (by women as well as other men), anyway I think you get the point, I hope.

    [karol: moved from National day of action against rape culture, highly moderated post. I share your disapproval of Paula Bennett’s treatment of beneficiaries. You draw a long bow from there to the day of action against rape culture. You also don’t seem to understand how rape culture is supported by sexism and patriarchal culture.]

    • ropata 10.1

      Yes we are well aware of Bennett’s mean streak and general misanthropy, directed towards either gender

    • xtasy 10.2

      aerobubble, that “loser man” term was introduced by the moderator on the program, not so much by Bennett, but she is of course always a two faced, hypocrite, trying to at one stage presenting women and men as losers, but then claiming some are “really good” and “heroes”, which sounds so unconvincing coming from her high seat.

      She is just laughing material, with all this slap happy, sloganised, casual shit talk she presents to the media, there is little detail, substance or anything else of reliable information she ever presents. It is all about “spirit”, “morals”, about “doing” things, about this that and the other vague stuff, one has to wonder, why these idiot journalists let her get away with it all.

      Truth is, most agree with her “moral high-ground lecturing”, so they do as mostly typical uppety middle classers totally agree with what she and Nationals stand for and do. There is NOTHING we can expect from the shit mainstream media to really address what is going on in welfare, they simply are not at all interested, whether it is fair, objective, just or whatever.

      • aerobubble 10.2.1

        This presumes the interviewer didn’t inject the term to play Bennett, exposing her for the emptiness. It makes more sense that way, since Bennett loves the put down of those she is duty bound to serve, the needy. Says more about Key selecting her, and National for stomaching her for so long. But hey I’m biased I think a benefit should not come with strings attached since its inhibits seeking further income and so helps force down wages as employers increase churn knowing the work force will not rise up (as they will have a subsidy). It means over time a subgroup of under skilled, under utilized, under paid citizens comes into existance, locked out of higher wages necessary to build their own lives and investments. Universal income payment is not only efficient its the only ethical way, the caveat being that governments may raise it too much to gain popularity but this should never be a reason for not having one.

  11. Rogue Trooper 11

    According to Bennett, of the 80,000 receiving sole-parent support (DPB,etc), 89% are women.
    Conversely, $2.8B is outstanding in child support payments (yes, I paid mine, and extras) and this figure is growing. Not much more to be said on gender imbalances in NZ. Well, of course there is…

    • RedbaronCV 11.1

      Good on you for paying RT – hope that included some compensation for her labour.

      But generally child support is a big fat fail – time we stopped the male view of reasonable about this – $12 a week is generally considered enough

    • Tim 11.2

      ….”(yes, I paid mine, and extras)” …..
      As did I. In fact I estimate I paid close to 1.5 – 2 times what my ex, and one of my children received in any sort of state benefits.
      ….. still, can’t grumble – otherwise I’d have no right to be able to regard the likes of BM, Chris73 and other trolls as complete and utter assholes devoid of any concept of community, egalitarianism, selflessness, etc.
      I hope the cnuts don’t claim any sort of Christian principles (a la Chris Finlayson et al).

  12. Arfamo 12

    There’s a lot to be said for putting contraceptives in the water supply until this situation is sorted out.

  13. the air new zealand shares will be flogged off ‘by tuesday night’..

    ..according to bill english..

    phillip ure..

  14. Paul 14

    Air NZ asset sale process begins

    “The Government has begun the process to sell 20 per cent of Air New Zealand shares,
    it announced today.”


    • CC 14.1

      Good news – now I won’t feel obliged to put up with the crappy over-hyped Air NZ in the name of patriotism.
      Question – how long before the taxpayers will have to buy it back again?

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        I’d say 5-6 years for the private buyers to strip most of the value out of it and turn its balance sheet into cash to be extracted for shareholders.

        • alwyn

          Can you perhaps explain how the “private buyers” are going to accomplish this when the Government will continue to hold and absolute majority of 53% of the shares?

  15. aerobubble 15

    China introduces two child policy, one might think they wanted to first destroy Fonterras brand in the market firstly and keep imports down.

    One thing is for sure, the cows will be shitting in the rivers even more to fulfill demand from a wave of new babies in China.

  16. adam 16

    I was in attendance at the protest over the roast busters and rape culture yesterday in Auckland and it got me thinking.

    I do wonder sometimes, if Auckland is to big, and if it was all possible that we need to have events like this spread over the city. I mean for us out west with the trains down yesterday and having a pram, taking a bus is not an option. (was able to borrow a car)

    Local organisation for the local people. And as it happened in the west – a protest or event in New Lynn may have been better. This is not a criticism of the event – because it was fantastic – but the beginning of of some questions for us lefties. If we really are keen to hear local communities and their opinions – then we need to operate in those communities.

    A protest is an empowering thing – it gives voice to the voiceless – it offers a sense of action and it gives people a feeling of togetherness.

    Questions really, can we do this differently? Can we make it more effective? I know logistics seems BIG – but if we keep it local – then it’s local orgaisation for local people. Drawing on more talent and orgaisational skills expands the left not diminishes it.

    Just thoughts and Ideas – Again let me say the orgainsation and the speakers at yesterdays rally were spot on and awesome!! And If Miss Davidson would/could please put her speech on line I’d like to read it again – it was bloody awesome.

    • alwyn 17.1

      What a depressing read. This must apply to about 99.92% of the contributors to blogs.
      I of course am the other 0.08% of the set, as I am of course never miserable.

      • phillip ure 17.1.1

        i of course am of the opinion that a miserablist can be (at least temporarily) cured.. the application of an ear-pinning-back joint… of those ones that five mins after consumption ..

        ..has you going ..’whoar..!..’

        ..hard to be/maintain the miserable..if you are giggling..

        ..phillip ure..

  17. Rogue Trooper 18

    Police Not Getting The Message
    “soaring numbers of emergency calls… and an inadequate budget”.

  18. Morrissey 19

    Smart Talk not so smart;
    The decline in quality of our public radio is a scandal

    Smart Talk: Zeus and Hera – Family and Marriage
    Radio NZ National, Sunday 17 November 2013

    This is how the Radio NZ website advertises this dog:

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The first of a series of panel discussions from the Auckland Museum on the theme of Gods and Men features Dita De Boni, Conrad Reyners and Dr Susan Morton. With Zeus and Hera in mind Noelle McCarthy explores what family and marriage means in 21st century Aotearoa, a place where the only thing nuclear about the family is the way that it has exploded. In a wide-ranging discussion, the group considers the impact of the Marriage Equality Bill.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    For any serious listener, one name above all would have set the alarm bells ringing: anyone who has listened to Dita Di Boni‘s light-hearted and light-headed contributions on The Panel or read her sub-sophomoric ruminations in the Herald will have been aware that, whatever the producers of this program had in mind, it was not a serious discussion. [1]

    Due to other commitments, I tuned in only to the last few minutes of the program. This is what I heard…..

    DITA DI BONI: We’re hamstrung by political correctness in the parenting realm. There are some things we are not allowed to do these days. I’m not brave enough to say what they are! He he he he he!

    She then went on to defend “those people of conservative views” (translation: hateful fundamentalist Christian bigots) who were subjected to ridicule on “the leftist forum” of Twitter after they had posted their ignorant messages during the recent Civil Marriage debate.

    The really troubling thing about this was not that she said something so foolish and provocative, but that she was not challenged in any way by any of the other participants. There are a couple of possibilities to explain their silence: either Conrad Reyners and Dr Susan Morton are brain-dead, or they knew without having to be told that disagreement and debate are not encouraged or tolerated on Radio New Zealand National.

    This Smart Talk turkey follows the format of being interrupted every twelve or so minutes—clearly someone imagines it can be flogged to some commercial outfit somewhere—by a recorded promo of the program, consisting of Noelle McCarthy’s Cork lilt over a bed of unsettling, vaguely portentous music. It is done in exactly the same sententious manner as the TED Radio Hour, the dire PBS series that recently filled the 4 o’clock spot.

    This style of grandiose introductions for essentially light, intellectually lazy arts and discussion programs goes back a long way. Those Standardisti who watched CanWest television shows on Sunday afternoons in New Zealand in the late 1990s will recall with horror a similarly pretentious Canadian television series [2] that used to show on TV3, and will be unable to forget—try as they might—the breathy introductions and voiceovers by one Marilyn Lightstone. Disturbingly, someone at Radio New Zealand National is impressed rather than repelled by such shallowness, and they have compelled poor Noelle McCarthy to perform the radio equivalent of what the National Party’s brains trust did when it compelled poor Don Brash to climb into a stock car on the campaign trail.

    At the end of the program, the studio audience erupted into explosive applause. I would bet Bill Clinton’s monthly whoring budget that someone had instructed them to do this, and it was not spontaneous. Certainly the Sunday 4 ’til 8 host Katrina Batten sounded dubious: “A very enthusiastic audience there,” she said, carefully, “ending the first episode of Smart Talk….”

    [1] /open-mike-10052013/#comment-631145
    [2] It consisted almost entirely of following the Toronto dinner-jacket set to exhibition openings and book launches. There was a particularly sad, worshipful segment one day devoted to Christopher Hitchens’ appearance at a society dinner party; the Canadian and American punters interviewed seemed to be in awe of the fact that Hitchens had read so many books.

    • Murray Olsen 19.1

      How many of those books had Hitchens understood? He always struck me as the sort that would read a précis of a book, just so he could throw it into conversation.

      • Morrissey 19.1.1

        I think he read them, Murray. He was a liar, a bully and a toady, but unlike his sad acolytes and the right wing politicians he so virulently defended, he did actually know what he was talking about.

        • ropata

          Hitchens v. Galloway: Iraq war debate.
          Galloway condemns Hitchens’ warmongering in virulent fashion. Must see.

          • Morrissey

            That’s a very good citation, ropata. However, I don’t think “virulent” is the right word to describe Galloway’s systematic demolition of Hitchens. It applies to Hitchens though, quite appropriately.

  19. logie97 20

    John Key and Sri Lanka and 1981.

    If there was any doubt before, none remains now.
    We have got a true measure of Key’s understanding of the world.
    Far from being able to remember what he was doing in 1981, Key knows full well what he was doing and where he stood on playing with Apartheid, as evidenced by his opinions of sanctions against countries – “as not working or ineffective” says it all.

  20. miravox 21

    I think there are so good ideas here

    I still think an inquisitorial rather than adversarial processes is best in court, but Collins is not going to go there.

    Ms Collins was looking at restorative justice.

    “What we know is that quite a lot of those people who do complain to police as victims of sexual assault are actually assaulted by people who are close to them – either partners, former partners, friends, family members.

    “And sometimes they don’t want, those victims, to have to go to court. They also don’t want to necessarily see the accused end up in jail for up to 20 years, because rape is treated extremely seriously in this country.

    “What thy do want is they want abuse to stop, they want the offender to confess to what they’ve done, to acknowledge the harm that they’ve caused and to help give back that person’s dignity.

    “And I think it’s that loss of dignity which continues to live with the victim forever.”</blockquote.

    Obviously it won't suit all victims, or be appropriate for many forms of rape, but there are a lot of people who would feel they can get some proportionate justice, with further protection through behaviour change as a result of a restorative justice process, than having families being ruined by long drawn out adversarial justice processes and prison terms.

    I'm surprised and pleased Collins is actually putting a bit of thought into this, rather than making excuses. Note to self to see if this process is in use elsewhere.

  21. vto 22

    here’s something from the past

  22. xtasy 23

    Chile determined to return a left of centre president, while many will say: “BASTA Pinera”:

    Immense social inequality established after a “Chicago Boys” generated type of “economic boom” (for the top winners), supported by US and other overseas capital, is likely to urge most Chileans to question the present system and return Bachelet to presidency.

    This is highly interesting stuff to watch in one of Latin America’s most important countries and economies!!!

  23. xtasy 24

    Just a further good link to an interesting story on Chile here, from Al Jazeera online:

    Yep, so while we have the “Chicago Boys” do their deals, the rest of society have to live with humble pie, no matter where you go and look. “Trickle down” or “pissing down” your leg while you stand next by the side, that is their theory.

    John Key did oversee another “dairy deal” in Sri Lanka, shat on human rights issues, while the UK media exposed the censorship and bias in the media there. NZ is becoming a sell-out country when it comes to human rights, gradually similar to the “sell out” terms that the Pinochet government offered overseas “investors” to make great gains in Chile, over the last few decades.

    Private education locks many out of decent education there, so there have been endless protests. This election there this Sunday is a must watch story. Hopefully some more moves towards a bit more social and economic justice will be the result after all.

  24. xtasy 25

    Camila Vallejo’s election “ad” for her “Florida” electorate in the south of Santiago. Well, it seems they all at some stage turn a bit “mainstream”, she being a former “communist” and student leader, now running under the group supporting prospective president Bachelet:

    Well, I wish her well, any move away from what they have now can only be an improvement.

  25. xtasy 26

    A better video here on Camila and her election campaign:,497332.html

    An upcoming mother by all looks too, how interesting, running for Parliament and also motherhood at the same time, here you go, emancipated Kiwi girls, a good example to perhaps respect and follow (some do by the way!)!

  26. xtasy 27

    Libertad for MAPUCHE!!!

  27. xtasy 28


    There are issues in NZ, but the issues that took importance there, and have a follow up story to tell, they can also happen here.. This is what one of the most commercially brainwashed people on this planet, and those are you, dear NZers, do not bloody realise!

    Wake up and take a bloody stand, thanks! Key just let Sri Lanka off the hook! A country with unadressed human rights issues, where tens of thousands were killed. How can a people, that is “civilised” and “educated’ stand bloody still and damned well IGNORE this???

  28. Gatsby 29

    If it adds nothing then do not remove it allow us to respond in kind. It really is censorship shame on you.

    All we want is a democratic and fair government but the minute you censor something you are admitting you are no better than them. A democratic society doesn’t censor or delete its citizens comments just because they disagree. They allow debate and free speech.

    The thread flowed and ebbed comments from photonz would have been taken to task.

    [karol: this is a blog not government. There are policies for the blog, breaching of them is a banning offence. See here. I haven’t banned commenters but moderated some comments and moved them because they are in danger of derailing the thread.

    Banning offences are attacking authors and telling them what to write.
    there are also rules, which includes trollish behaviour such as not engaging the brain when commenting.

    You are really overstating the value of the comments I deleted. The commenter had set the discussion off in a direction that was off topic, was warned, then continued to dispute it. That’s not censorship.
    And continuing to dispute my decisions and actions will not be looked on favourably either.

    I’m sorry I originally moved the comments to this open mike – 17th, then corrected and sent them to open mike for the 18th]

  29. captain hook 30

    O Karol. did you offend diddums. Have yu traumatised him and f*cked him up for the rest of his life?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    11 hours ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    17 hours ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    19 hours ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    20 hours ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    20 hours ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    20 hours ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago

  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    14 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    19 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    20 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    21 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    21 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    22 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    7 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    7 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    1 week ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    1 week ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago