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Open mike 17/11/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 am, November 17th, 2014 - 133 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

133 comments on “Open mike 17/11/2014”

  1. Paul 1

    A really interesting article. You’ll learn more from this than reading The Herald for a year. Lots of stuff here that’s interesting. The TPPA is mentioned, as is the Ukraine and secret deals we don’t hear about.

    “What really happened in Beijing: Putin, Obama, Xi — and the back story the media won’t tell you.”


    • Anne 1.1

      Courtis had a curious exchange with Putin during some of the economic forum sessions in Beijing. He asked if Russia would provide North Korea security guarantees if it agreed to renounce nuclear weapons.

      Putin replied in part: “Your question is too clever. This is not the moment yet even to raise that question, let alone answer it. Often, the problem in the world is not that small countries, who feel they are under siege, are unwilling to change. Rather, it is that the bigger countries are all piling on like bullies in the school yard – and they don’t know when to stop.”

      Now there’s a very interesting response from your illuminating link Paul.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        @Paul This is very interesting.
        Just off the subject, but if Russia and China can co-operate and advantage themselves, perhaps Labour and the Greens can copy here, recognising the advantages each brings to the table.

        I heard Brent Oil well down from $100 a barrel which I imagined I’d heard some time back. I wondered why. Nor perhaps I know.

    • Rosie 1.2

      Paul, I honestly have no idea why folks would even read the Herald, unless they are keeping a propaganda tally, as an exercise in monitoring the media.

      It’s nothing more than a trashy rag. I haven’t looked at a copy since I shot through from Auckland in ’06. The only time I’ve glanced at an article from the Herald since then is when it pops up in a google search.

    • nadis 1.3

      Interesting article. He doesn’t mention though the fact that the US is now pumping 2.5 milllion barrels a day more oil now than it was 18 months ago. That’s a big impact on the oil price and the effect on high grade crude exports from West Africa has been devestating.

      Poilitics aside – and there is no doubt the west is happy to punish the Russian economy – the world is awash with oil. According to the US DOE there are about 1.5 trillion barrels of recoverable oil which is a low ball estimate now given fracking technology.

      The US is trying to manage a transition from sole global superpower to sharing that with China. Russia will become less and less important as power shifts from the US to China, all Russia has is commodity oil, rampant official corruption, shitty demographics, a fully evolved police state, a decayed military, a Chinese customer and the ability to poke sticks into nests. The more it tries to prove its strength the weaker (but more dangerous) it looks. China is still decades away from military parity with the US (10 aircraft carrier groups) but the economic interdependence of China and US means (each suffers without the other) their relationship will be more positive than US/Russia.

      Imagine what Russia would look like if trillions of dollars hadn’t been plundered by the kleptocracy. Putin alone allegedly has $50 billion stashed away in Switzerland.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.3.1

        According to the US DOE there are about 1.5 trillion barrels of recoverable oil which is a low ball estimate now given fracking technology.

        Utter BS. For starters, most of this oil while technically recoverable, will never be economically recoverable, especially from a EROEI standpoint.

        Secondly, where exactly does the US DOE think these oil fields are?

        • nadis

          no – not utter BS. The definition is actually “proven reserves” which is estimated to be recoverable under current economic and technical constraints with a 90% probability. I can’t link to the report as it is a hardcopy but a cursory glance at wikipedia gives you this:


          Point I was making is that right now the world is flush with oil, demand is weak, so it is no surprise the price is $80 bbl.

          Wishing oil to be a near term constrained supply doesn’t actually make it so.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            You say oil today is cheap, and compared to the $100/bb oil of last year yes it is cheap. But even at this “cheap” level it’s still too expensive for countries and citizens to afford.

            I put “cheap” in quotation marks because as recently as the late 1990s, $20/bb was standard. Since then oil which is 4x as expensive is regarded as “cheap” and it shows how much things have actually changed.

            The definition is actually “proven reserves” which is estimated to be recoverable under current economic and technical constraints with a 90% probability.

            1.5T barrels of oil in proven global reserves. RLY?

            So where are all these magnificent 50B to 100B barrel Ghawar-style megafields just waiting to be exploited? Which country controls them?

            • nadis

              Oil as a share of global GDP has been remarkably stable since the 1970s at between 4 and 6% share of GDP.

              I don’t know why you are arguing with me – all I’ve stated is that there is a particular confluence of factors at the moment which is making oil relatively cheap – right now. And that various national and supra-national organisations publish oil reserve estimates that are broadly in agreement.

              I agree that oil intensive industrial economies are ultimately unsustainable as the marginal production cost of oil creeps ever higher. Governments (everywhere) won’t transition away from oil until they are given a serious price signal to do so. Until then lip service is all you’ll get, probably for 3 or 4 more decades. Its not until the mideast (cheapest marginal production cost) runs out that the price signals will start getting serious. You completely misunderstand my comment “We will never run out of oil”. It’s an expression an old economics lecturer of mine used to use when lecturing to non-economics students to illustrate the difference between marginal cost and average cost.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                The reason I am arguing with you is that you are mixing up price signals and other market mechanisms with the physical reality of energy and the real economy.

                For instance it is quite possible for oil to become scarce AND for its price to decline, because at the end of the day it is affordability which matters, not the nominal price.

                You completely misunderstand my comment “We will never run out of oil”. It’s an expression an old economics lecturer of mine used to use when lecturing to non-economics students to illustrate the difference between marginal cost and average cost.

                Well OK, and I can accept this as well, but lets not beat about the bush what the implications actually are. What it really means is that the bottom 3/4 of the world is going to end up unable to afford the energy they need, while the top 1/4 of the world keeps getting supplied. And you cannot keep a global civilisation running under circumstances like this.

        • KJS0ne

          Energy return on investment is one of the most important points most casual observers fail to grasp when assessing the oil situation.

          Peak oil is not dead, the can has just been kicked down the road by a decade or so.

          • nadis

            The world will never run out of oil. It will however run out of cheap oil.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Price is one factor. But we’re now also down to using up one barrel of oil to power the extraction of 3 to 5 barrels of oil. That’s an EROEI as low as 3:1.

              When it gets closer to using up one barrel of oil to extract another barrel of oil, it will makes no energy or financial sense to continue, even if the price of a barrel of oil is $1000.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s amazing how the RWNJs ignore reality to suit their purposes.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  This chart shows very clearly how anything with an EROEI of less than say 4:1 to 5:1 means you are on the very wrong end of a very steep decline. Western global civilisation was built on an EROEI higher than 10:1. We can barely hold it together at a 5:1 EROEI ratio. Anything lower than that and I suggest stagnation, retrenchment and redundancy will be the order of the day. Whoops – that’s exactly what we have.


                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Western global civilisation was built on an EROEI higher than 10:1.

                    Typo? Western civilisation was built on an EROEI of better than 100:1

                  • weka

                    CV, do you know if the EROEI in that chart for corn and soy diesel takes into account that current infrastructure has been built with fossil fuels with a much higher EROEI? I’m assuming it’s not counting replacing the infrastructure using corn/soy.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Good question, and I think it probably does not. To frame your comment in another way: no one is taking into account the embedded energy already invested in the common economic infrastructure and social systems that this energy production relies upon.

                    • weka

                      yep, and then there is time, and the AGW context. If we have to replace infrastructure fast because of AGW (think replacing the car fleet world wide with electric cars), what does that do to EROEI calculations? But even having to replace and repair the infrastructure needed to make biodiesel on an ongoing basis looks to me like it’s going to skew the picture, because then we are talking about all the mining, manufacturing and recycling infrastructure as well.

                      It’s the interrelationship of those things that makes it difficult for many people to understand. Even if PO is slower than expected, AGW and the need for a post-carbon system is now more urgent. Yet everything we do is completely supported by fossil fuels.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.4

      Good article. Obama is still carrying on about American exceptionalism and their manifest destiny to run the world. It’s as if the American establishment is a bunch of nuclear armed hicks with a messianic derangement. They’re like the Mad Monk Abbott, but with nuclear weapons. Without defending Putin in the least, I really can’t see Russia as the danger.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.4.1

        If you live in the developing world or are in an oil rich non-aligned nation, then the major threat to your people and your sovereignty certainly comes from places other than Russia/Putin.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Would these people meet Chris Finlayson’s definition of being domestic terrorists?


    • greywarshark 2.1

      @ Sanctuary
      Wow I had discovered some years ago that the suffragettes were much more ‘hands-on’ than I had thought, but I hadn’t read of all that is detailed in this article. (Interesting to know that there was another group the Suffragists who were more circumspect.)

      Women only got the vote, and the right to be regarded as a legal person after a lot of sacrifice and time raising everyone’s consciousness. They had to be activists, became warrior women – definitely not mimsy conformists or fickle followers of frocks and fashion.
      Domestic terrorism then and the same treatment now as then for transgressors? Force feeding could be more than unpleasant I understand, there could be damage to the delicate internal breathing and digestive organs.

      • Sirenia 2.1.1

        Suffragette was a derogatory term used by the opponents of the UK suffrage movement. Like many such negative terms it was claimed by the movement as a proud label. Suffragists are people (in this case women) who fight for the right to vote. NZ feminist activists on the 1890s are known as suffragists as the later word had not then been invented. If the movement to lower the vote here gains momentum those activists could be called youth suffragists.

        • Sanctuary

          Are you seriously telling me the most important thing you took out my post was the need to criticise the use of the term suffragette?

          Good grief. No wonder NZ feminists hold their meetings in a phone box and need a mirror for a quorum.

        • Rosie

          Thanks. Didn’t know the difference in the terms.

      • Sanctuary 2.1.2

        It got me thinking.

        Under the new anti-terror laws being proposed by John Key, would we have had an anti-nuclear movement? Or would we have seen the criminalisation of democratic protest and direct action – the Peace Squadron being subjected to warrantless spying and intercepts, preemptive raids to disrupt on the water protests, and SIS planting listening devices into Nuclear-Free organisations offices and the GCSB interceting all their call to ensure John Key would know what to provide to Slater and picked journalists and when to privide it to cause maximum damage to it as a movement? Would we have had a HART to oppose racism in South Africa? Or would they now be subject to ceaseless surveillance and destabilisation by electroic surveillance and infiltrated by swarms of informants, spies and agent-provocateurs to get key leaders framed, vilified, areested and jailed? Although I am pretty sure the police infiltrated informants into the anti-tour movement in 1982….

        • Rosie

          Can’t help but wonder if the new “anti terror laws” are a handy foil for dissenters of all colours. 48 hour non warrant surveillance of folks that look at a ISIS website………..

          OR those

          trade unionists,
          animal rights supporters
          anti TPP demonstrators
          peace promoters
          critics of the government,

          checking out websites, social media, getting on the phone and arranging meetings and actions………….you know, normal democratic participation type things.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I am pretty sure the squirrels have been doing most of the stuff you mention since at least 1951. They do not, and never have obeyed the rules. 48 hours warrantless spying will become permanent spying, with a 5 minute break every 48 hours. One of the high up anti-tour guys in Wellington was a police informant. I’m quite sure he wasn’t the only one. What laws did they use to pay the creep who infiltrated the animal protection groups?

          When they push for an increase in power, it’s usually just to legalise what they’re already doing. Then they do much more.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Good points.

          • Rosie

            To be sure Murray. Having associated with some very active and vocal activists and listening to their stories I’m under no illusion of the state powers that have been abused for decades. This latest piece of legislation just gives the authorities a longer lead and even less accountability I’m guessing, while legitimising previous oppressive government behaviour.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Labour contest down to the wire

    Little has more than little chance!


  4. fisiani 4

    It seems unlikely with four candidates that someone will win on the first ballot. I assume that Mahuta will have the lowest vote and thus her voters second choice will be distributed first. I suspect that will be enough to put Andrew Little over the line. Even if he falls just short the third place redistribution should confirm his ascendency.
    Robertson’s ambition will not however abate and he will calmly smile and just wait for the polls to drop before starting the whispering campaign.

  5. wyndham 5

    Is it not time for Philip Ure to be forgiven and allowed to return from his lonely wanderings in the wildernesses of the internet ?

    I miss his contributions.

    • andrew murray 5.1

      here here!!!

    • Rosie 5.2

      I wasn’t around for that banning. Was it the dope and vegan themed show that did it?

      Another banned one I thought of the other day was Bad12 – I was wondering if a removal of the banning would apply to him at some stage. This isn’t to suggest that he deserves it – I heard his personal abuse of an author was off the scale and was at the sharp end of unforgivable.

      While people come and go, I got the feeling that his ability to contribute on TS was important socially and intellectually for him. I got the feeling he was slightly marginalised IRL and being able to communicate here helped him feel connected. He came up with some really useful political observations and was entertaining when he didn’t wander into the dark area of his psyche. He was an excellent gatekeeper for the t****s, he really kept them on their toes when logic and reason offered by other commenters failed (as it frequently does),

      Just my two cents.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        @ Rosie
        If bad12 didn’t feel connected it probably was because he deliberately disconnects. He seems to have tourettes attacks of hostility that break out unreasonably and rudely. Perhaps that was why he was good with the trills – not being as kind, understanding, reasonable and patient and prepared to waste precious time on them as others here have been.

        • Rosie

          He sure did have outbreaks of hostility, and he did get personal with it.

          He was quite honest about his upbringing and psychiatric illnesses – and how he was treated when he was forcibly removed from society and “treated” at hospital. This surely affected him – he was aware of how he behaved here and sometimes said the “bold black writing is coming soon”, ie, mod’s warnings.

          I guessed he lacked respect because it he never had it shown to him in his life and his experiences made him hostile and distrusting. If you’re unloved by society you’re not going to show love in return. Probably not quite the right frame of mind to enter into debate with people on line but I usually read what he had to say and withheld entering into a conversation with him when he was behaving in a particularly prickly manner.

          • greywarshark

            Yeah but as an adult when you get to the stage of reviewing your life the great Everest challenge is to change yourself. And there are numerous treatises written about how to do it. There are self-help books galore. It’s hard to reroute the habits and the synapses.

            Too much sympathy doesn’t give the spur to change. Let people grow don’t keep wiping their noses for them. A person is unlikely to develop to the wonderful being they have the potential for, wise, witty, kind and strong if not encouraged to try themselves, with the promise of a hand, sharing a beer or an ear sometimes, when needed.

      • Chooky 5.2.2

        +100 Rosie….Bad12 was an excellent foil for the tr..ls and for phillip ure…if phillip ure comes back i think Bad12 should come back …both are obviously intelligent, entertaining and have very good points to make ….although obviously excessive at times and abusive…it is really up to the moderators /owners of the site

        …..some people, myself included, have found a rest from them to be good ….but lets face it we all get up people’s noses on occasion….

        • Rosie

          Yes Chooky a cooling off period is surely welcomed by many 🙂

          Despite having conflicting personalities both Bad and Phillip were more politically close in their views than either of them seemed to realise – they just had different ways of approaching things.

          Wouldn’t want to go back to the Phil N’ Bad breakfast show though, if they came back, while really entertaining it consumed Open Mike and got predictable.

      • Tracey 5.2.3

        He took his vegan show on the road, outside open mike and derailed one or two threads

      • Murray Rawshark 5.2.4

        If I were running a blog, I wouldn’t let someone back who’d abused and threatened myself and authors. They would have to find some other outlet. Phil doesn’t do that, but he can be annoying.

        On the other hand, I wouldn’t let RWNJs in at all. And I don’t have the time to run one anyway.

    • greywarshark 5.3

      Yes phillip U is so keen and thinking all the time and though transgressed is still far better value than the RW others we put up with who often closely resemble boils and excrescences.

    • Didn’t know he was banned. WHY????

      • minarch 5.4.1

        because we couldn’t handle the truth !!!

        ( well about eating animals at least ? )

        • greywarshark

          @ minarch lol
          After some of the craziness here it could be a good idea to go over to one flew over the cuckoos nest – I want my cigarettes. Especially if trying to purge the effect of phil u and bad after a long drawn-out slanging match over……

          And Sanctuary, TS should not be a drop-in place for the homeless.We are trying to think and discuss important matters (with a little levity now and then.) So take your kind hearts to another site. Just give each other a little respect and that is the basic oil that keeps the site thriving.
          I like phil u because he’s keen and he has something worthwhile to say.

      • Sanctuary 5.4.2

        Yeah, he was harmless poster, even if his strange grammar cluttered up threads. The dude has to have a place to go, you know. The Standard probably serves as a metaphorical intellectual park bench for Phil U to lay his homeless head.

        And none of us would support the police moving on a homeless person jst cos he was cluttering up the city scape.

        • weka

          FFS, phil broke the standard’s rules (which he was aware of), got a warning, ignored it, and then abused the moderator when they’d finally had enough (he was spamming threads other than OM with his vegan comments).

          He isn’t a harmless poster. His ‘cluttering’ of threads’ influences culture here and how conversations go. Irrespective of the value of the content of his comments, he creates a mess on OM every day and basically doesn’t give a shit about how that affects other people. Lots of people don’t read his comments, which means that a big chunk of OM every day is reserved for his fan club. He is grossly self-centred and I fully expect him to learn nothing from his ban except perhaps how to be a bit more circumspect in avoiding ban. Whoopee.

          None of that would matter particularly if ts were a social club. It’s not. It holds an important place in what is happening with left wing politics in this country, so it matters that OM is affected in this way.

          “The dude has to have a place to go, you know.”

          The internet is a big place. All the people that are missing him, have you been commenting on his blog?

          • Rosie

            Hi weka.

            “The internet is a big place. All the people that are missing him, have you been commenting on his blog?”

            I was only wondering why he was banned, which Tracey has explained to me. I was unsurprisingly close to the reason why. I’m not arguing for or against his presence here – just to clarify.

            As for social club Vs left wing politics. I think it would be a GOOD thing if socialising was part of the discussion around politics. It would a good way to include a wider variety of voices, and take the heat out of some of the aggro that sometimes occurs and form something solid and cohesive.

            I’m talking about off line socialising btw and growing connections/bonds and a political strength in the area you live in. Social gatherings have the potential to be solidarity builders. We could do with that if we want to get our you know what together within the next 3 years.

          • greywarshark

            That sounds like most of the RW trills that come here to The Standard. I think pu is better than them. Still he can be back that’s good. And we can get annoyed with him all over again.

            • weka

              “That sounds like most of the RW trills that come here to The Standard. I think pu is better than them”

              Yeah but how interesting people feel the need to make that particular comparison.

              “And we can get annoyed with him all over again.”

              It’s not about whether he is annoying or not. It’s about the impact that his presence has on political debate here, including the potential for us to do something useful beyond the banter. In this sense, he’s very similar to the troles.

              • andrew murray

                What bull shit!! he displayed more clarity of ethics and purpose than many on this site

                • weka

                  and yet his ethics don’t extend to the culture of OM or ts in general.

                  • Tracey

                    and when you call him out for a prediction he makes which later turns out to be false he becomes a kind of stalker. he is incredibly ego centric and will be loving this thread… except for weka and who will get our special dose of pu when he returns.

              • The Al1en

                “It’s not about whether he is annoying or not. It’s about the impact that his presence has on political debate here, including the potential for us to do something useful beyond the banter. In this sense, he’s very similar to the troles.”

                I’m not going to back stab, being more an aim for the face sort of man, and even though it’s no secret what I think of pu’s judgemental, repetitive, sloganeering, cliche ridden angst, I’ll wait and see if he has no shame and starts ‘commenting’ again after his idiocy ban expires.

                • weka

                  I’m not backstabbing. I’m taking the only opportunity to have a clean conversation that doesn’t degenerate into nasty shit and end up using lots of space for no good reason. I think it’s patently obvious to most people that we couldn’t have this conversation if phil was able to post here today.

                  I appreciate you prefer to deal with the man directly 🙂 As you know, I think that it’s easy for some to get caught up in the game with him and for that to create a distraction and add to the general mess esp in OM.

                  • The Al1en

                    Didn’t mean to imply you or anybody else is back stabbing, just emphasising the point in my way – Nothing I write I won’t give the right to reply to etc… Not that means I’m gonna agree, but can’t reach consensus without listening.

                    “it’s easy for some to get caught up in the game with him and for that to create a distraction”

                    I guess to some he’s a pete george to a bullock 🙂

          • Chooky

            @weka..+100…..i agree with you too… while I found him entertaining at times…and decidedly NOT at other times … the diversions I felt were either becoming obsessive or were decidedly sus…certainly a distraction and sometimes a very personally directed one

            • weka

              Sorry Chooky, but as you know I experience you as part of the problem. Like phil, you choose to communicate in ways that are difficult for some people to understand. I don’t expect better from phil, but it’s been a complete surprise to see this from you.

              I’m glad you see the content as a problem too, let’s see what happens when he comes back and whether people can put their energies into something more constructive.

              • Chooky

                well thanks a lot weka…re “you are part of the problem”!

                …well i almost got banned myself…and …i almost wish I had because I waste a hell of a lot of time here when i should be doing other more productive things.

                re…”Like phil, you choose to communicate in ways that are difficult for some people to understand. I don’t expect better from phil, but it’s been a complete surprise to see this from you.”.

                ( are you sure the “some people” is not just you?…you are rather literal…i can understand you …so why cant you understand me?…do i fool around too much for you tastes?)

                Question :..how do you know who i am?…to be so surprised at how I communicate? ( you are not a spy are you?…lol…i would expect this from the GCSB…but not you , because i do not know who the f..ck u r…and I would be very surprised if you knew who I was)

                • weka

                  Sorry, but I’m not even going to try and read that. You know why. As with phil, I don’t read 95% or more of your comments. Which is a shame because you have much to say that is interesting.

                  Edit, btw, if you want to repost that without the dots and using more conventional punctuation etc, I’ll read it.

                  • Chooky

                    weka…cant you read dots? …do you have an eye problems?…or do you hate poetry?…or dont you have much contact with teenagers?

                    btw …if you dont read 95% of my comments …how do you know that I have “much to say that is interesting” ?…( and I will take that as a compliment from the headmistress).

                    • weka

                      As I’ve said a few times now, I have a disability that makes reading your and phil’s posts difficult. You’ve chosen to ignore that. There are other people here who don’t like the dots thing, but for me it’s not dislike, it’s actualy an impediment to communication (although if other people don’t read comments because of the dots, that’s impediment too). Go read up on social theories of disability, and consider why you would want to put barriers in the way of people.

                      Your disrespect is interesting, but just reinforces what I said about phil above. You think this is about you or me. I think it’s about the online left’s ability or inability to do something constructive. People who intentionally use communication methods that make their ideas harder to understand are just egotistical IMO. And part of the problem.

                      I remember your posts from before you started in with the dots. Maybe the content of your comments had deteriorated along with the communication :shrug:

                    • adam

                      Weka silly question I use (dash) – a lot. Does that make what I write hard to read for you?

                      And I agree with you, if we put spacing and writing styles aside. The ability to see and read what people write becomes difficult when they use symbols.

                      The overuse of dots, exclamations and other symbols make reading bloody difficult. It is the medium, reading some people on here can be a bloody nightmare. The medium has limitations, people should accept that – and work within them.

                    • weka

                      Thanks adam. I’ve not noticed the dashes being a problem, nor that your posts are hard to read. I think it’s often the ratio in a comment, alongside other things like big blocks of text or lack of capitals.

                  • greywarshark

                    I am thinking of the obssessive attacks by many here when attempting to have a discussion on the treatment and behaviour of women. With the attribute of behaving in a way that has been labelled rape culture.
                    That became as obssessive as any of phil u and was oppressive and attacking of every comment that transgressed against ‘the right’ line of thinking. Yet others are soundly criticised for similar.

          • RedBaronCV

            Perhaps Lprent could give Phil his own vegan thread that comes up each day with previous days comments

    • Tracey 5.5

      Its only two weeks. You can visit him at his blog til he returns.

    • Rodel 5.6

      I don’t. Never read them.

  6. Chooky 6

    Michael Buckley ( veteran author of ‘Lonely Planet’ guides for backpacking travellers, (series founded by Maureen and Tony Wheeler which dates back to the 1970s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonely_Planet ) has written a book about the ecological and environmental trashing of Tibet by the Chinese. He is well placed to observe changes to Tibet , especially since the China’s Golmud- Lhasa railway completed about a decade ago. The book is:

    ‘Meltdown in Tibet: China’s reckless destruction of ecosystems from the highlands of Tibet to the deltas of Asia'( Palgrave-MacMillan)

    …..In a book review by Adrian Barnett in ‘New Scientist ‘ (8 Nov, 2014) the book is described as the equivalent of a Stephen King horror-writing for environmental journalism.

    ….exploitation of Tibet’s mineral wealth, mass killing of antelopes and wild yaks, deforestation, resettlement of tribal herders, huge dams 80- stories high…the depleting rivers not only in Tibet but used to feed lowland Asia (..amongst other rivers are the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Mekong providing water for agriculture and freshwater fisheries in lower Asian countries )…these rivers in the words of one hydrologist ,are regarded by mainstream China as “an awful waste of water leaving China”.

    ” ‘Meltdown in Tibet’ is full of evidence of ethnocide and ecocide, brutal repression, human rights violations, wide corruption and profiteering at he highest levels. It is also highly readable, a travelogue of despoiling, with contrasting views of how the environment should be treated, and interwoven personal narratives providing a sense of place and loss.”

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Yesterday I asked: How do you get people to socialise?

    Today I got this:

    More adult New Zealanders would like to trial a new pay-for internet TV service proposed by SKY TV than other similar services.

    A Horizon Research survey finds 20.7% of adults, equivalent to around 662,000 people, would like to trial the Sky service, expected to be made available late this year.

    TV apps from Google are next most favoured for trial (17.8% of those aged 18+), followed by Netflix (14.2%) and the Lightbox service (11.5%) launched by Spark (formerly Telecom).

    Now, IMO, a lot of those people are actually the same people which means that only around 20% of the population will pay for TV.

    There’s also been some talk on here about public service TV so as to try and counter the RWNJ MSM.

    Well, here’s another idea.

    1. We ban advertising. Considering its manipulative core raison d’etre and sociopathic overtones this should have been done years ago.
    2. We drop public service TV and radio altogether.

    This should leave only pay to view TV and radio and one or two free channels with an obvious political cant which would seriously impinge upon the RWNJs ability to get their message in front of everyone. People would be forced to look for their news and entertainment and would, IMO, become more critical of it.

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      To my mind, the retreat of physical government to a few sites in a few main centres and the increasing substitution of physical with e-government means digital access is now a basic human and democratic right.

      So I think a good plan would be for the government to provide a guaranteed 30GB ADSL speed free broadband connection to every household that wants it. This “government web” would only allow access to websites that use a set of NZ government owned domain names – say websites that end in .kiwinet.nz via a fixed portal site. This portal could also offer commercial-free access to news and current affairs sourced from non-commercial internet TV and radio stations that negotiate for access to a .kiwinet.nz web address. Since the internet TV stations and radio could cover all sorts of minority groups for little cost and with no competition from commercial offerings on the government web, a powerful new media channel not dominated by corporate or rightwing media would be available to get across news and information to anyone with a computer.

      • nadis 7.1.1

        So to summarise, the plan is to provide free internet to people but restrict access to a handful of official sites that meet the criteria of an unspecified government bureaucrat..

        Sure to be popular, after all that’s exactly how the internet is designed to be used.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        To my mind, the retreat of physical government to a few sites in a few main centres and the increasing substitution of physical with e-government means digital access is now a basic human and democratic right.

        To my mind people have a democratic right to be able to access government by other than e-centres, and there should be a broad number of ways to replace these physical centres.

        Telephones, cellphones, telegrams, post, pigeon post (for remote areas), instant answer and access status, answerphone lines when caller can’t get through, special personalised system where information can be given by a number code that go automatically to the person’s file and would be for reporting, wellness.

        Or perhaps there should be a return to government presence fronting-up to the citizens and also booths in all malls, etc. Then reduce the amount of reporting to once a month for most people.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.3

        I’m of the opinion that having access to the internet is a right and that every household should have a high-speed fibre connection provided by a state monopoly and paid for through taxes. But this would be an internet connection and not a government web.

        • Sanctuary

          I do understand the principles of net neutrality, my dear nadis. And as Draco T Bastard says, it should be an internet connection free of restriction. But let’s get real about the politics here – if you gave a free internet connection to people, the obvious attack is “why are taxpayers paying for beneficaries to stay home all day and surf porn on the internet”?

          We gotta walk before we can run.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            You’re right to consider the politics of course. But there are ways of playing the politics. Limit it to a 10GB plan and a 256K connection. Make standard a default browser home page where approved sites are featured first. Problem solved. And anyone who wants better broadband can pay $20/month.

    • TheContrarian 7.2

      Ban people from advertising their goods and services while taking steps to restrict the ability of those you disagree with from presenting their POV.

      What could possibly go wrong…

      • Sanctuary 7.2.1

        “…Ban people from advertising their goods and services…” We do that now, it is called “public radio” and we used to do it on TV.

        “…taking steps to restrict the ability of those you disagree with from presenting their POV…”

        The .kiwinet.nz domain names would be available to anyone who signed up to a set of rules around content (as in, no porn, torrents etc).

    • McFlock 7.3

      But getting to a position to be able to implement 1 & 2 requires people to vote for a government willing to implement 1 & 2. The problem is solved before the solution is implemented (even if your plan worked – I just think a whole bunch of folks would end up paying to watch a faux news channel).

      I think more obvious coordination between parties, rather than being coy about coalitions, and firm party policies will end up being more successful at bringing about change. Hell, agree on the bulk of a “100 days” agenda prior to the election. My logic is that the Third Way doesn’t work, wishy-washy doesn’t work, so the Left might as well fly its banner and see who salutes. It might not work, but I reckon it would get votes for honesty.

  8. adam 8

    Gotta love the Greeks – Today is the day.

    Opps for them tomorrow, the 17th of November. The start of the tear gas, the street battles and the chance to overthrow a failed government.

    It has already started.


    And it will only get more heated. Authorities, are running with a news ban, which seems to be holding. Time will tell.

    Just remember, the thing those in power fear the most – people on the streets thinking for themselves.

  9. greywarshark 9

    The government wants to double primary exports by 2015? Misheard by me on Radionz? Sounds a lot too quickly. To bring in $40 billion extra?. We will be well off then and able to enjoy a lifestyle commensurate with such a successful country. No probs. Won’t be long and we’ll be on the up and up and not have to borrow to match our purchases overseas. But yet, that’s the one thing we are really good at, spending.

    Year to
    (dollar amounts in millions)
    …….. Exports- Imports- Balance of Trade -Exports as % of Imports
    2009 41,588 43,257 (1,669) 96.1
    2010 41,785 40,810 975 102.4
    2011 46,798 46,104 694 101.5
    2012 46,748 47,640 (891) 98.1
    2013 46,019 47,556 (1,536) 96.8

    Yet we have been having good returns haven’t we – over 2012 and 2013. And we have still come out of the stats overspent on our export earnings in 2012 (891 million in the red) with exports as % of imports (e%i) at 98.1 and 2013 (1536 million in the red) with (e%i) at 96.8, less exports than purchases.

    No surpluses in our export-led rock star economy there. Won’t that be a surprise to all those who have stuck their hand to the golden goose as in the folk tale from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Goose.
    Just replace the name Simpleton with Key and you will have a clear picture of our dilemma in NZ – too many people attracted to golden feathers hoping it will turn them into Midases (from a different story, but the same one that goes on down the Ages.)

  10. Richies McClaw 10

    I see that Mr. Farrar has not cleaned up his blog despite his expression of intent earlier this year. The pattern is that there will be a “innocent” post that acts as a dog whistle to bring out the usual suspects, led by one Mr. Garrett, to attack whoever the xenophobes deem to be fair game for that day. I note that they have embraced diversity in the sense that they have been more inclusive of Muslims in their pool of targets (with Mr. Garrett comparing them to possums, and another poster advocating for their extermination), granting some temporary relief to beneficiaries and the Maori people.

  11. Tautoko Mango Mata 11

    Why is Dotcom being harassed about bail? What exactly did Tony Ryall’s position with Simpson-Grierson (Former National minister Tony Ryall is joining law firm Simpson Grierson as head of its public policy practice.) have to do with Dotcom requiring new NZ lawyers? Are any of the new terrorism laws applicable to Dotcom? (Actually I think that John Key has a chip on his shoulder about Dotcom so therefore John Key could be on Chris Finlayson’s Ministry of Love watch list.)
    The impression is being given that Dotcom might do a runner. Dotcom is charged with crimes related to online piracy, including racketeering, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, and conspiring to commit money laundering- all violent crimes (sarc). While the hatchet job that the Ministry of Truth machine did on Dotcom just before the election was very successful, this type of harassment of Dotcom, (together with the reminder of the unjustified Hager raid, and the declassification and release of SIS papers for party political purposes) will further highlight the hypocrisy of this Government. As Orwell wrote “If there is hope, it lies in the proles.”

    • chris73 11.1

      Probably because hes been known to move countries to avoid prosecution

      I like this one from Orwell: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

      • joe90 11.1.1


        Quote Investigator:There is no substantive evidence that George Orwell who died in 1950 made this remark. The earliest known matching statement appeared in a column in the Washington Times newspaper written by the film critic and essayist Richard Grenier in 1993: 1 2

        As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

        It is important to note that Grenier did not use quotation marks around the statement of the view that he ascribed to Orwell. QI believes that Grenier was using his own words to present a summary of Orwell’s viewpoint. Later commentators placed the statement between quotation marks and introduced various modifications to the passage.


  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Back in the thread about automation I said back that people would stop going to the doctors and that the diagnosis would be done by machines with a lot more information. Well, it appears that that may be closer than I anticipated at the time:

    The rHEALTH (Reusable Handheld Electrolyte and Lab Technology for Humans) device operates using nano sensors that can measure everything from the presence of HIV or other viruses in the bloodstream, to the level of vitamins or calcium or cholesterol, with the results arriving within minutes.

    It also comes with a small patch that monitors heart rate, body temperature, and other indicators, with the information all being pooled in a central unit, which comes in three sizes – one resembling a flask, to be used on the move, a walkie-talkie-sized unit for home testers, and a home-blender-like contraption for labs.

    After submitting the data – at any time, within the comfort of a person’s own house – the screen simply flashes up with suggestions for what is potentially wrong with the patient, which means they immediately know whether they need to call a doctor.

    Now, if we had a viable and rational economic system this is the type of device that the government would be planning to get out to every household ASAP.

    Also note that that device was partially funded by NASA – you, know, a space program.

  13. Morrissey 13

    The siege of Julian Assange is a farce.
    Silencing and criminalising was the aim, smear the method

    by JOHN PILGER, Global Research, 16 November 2014

    The siege of Knightsbridge is a farce. For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. Their quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee from gross injustice whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His true crime is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.

    The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Even the British government clearly believes it must end. On 28 October, the deputy foreign minister, Hugo Swire, told Parliament he would “actively welcome” the Swedish prosecutor in London and “we would do absolutely everything to facilitate that.” The tone was impatient. The Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, has refused to come to London to question Assange about allegations of sexual misconduct in Stockholm in 2010 – even thoughSwedish law allows for it and the procedure is routine for Sweden and the UK. The documentary evidence of a threat to Assange’s life and freedom from the United States – should he leave the embassy – is overwhelming. On May 14 this year, US court files revealed that a “multi subject investigation” against Assange was “active and ongoing.

    Ny has never properly explained why she will not come to London, just as the Swedish authorities have never explained why they refuse to give Assange a guarantee that they will not extradite him on to the US under a secret arrangement agreed between Stockholm and Washington. In December 2010, the Independent revealed that the two governments had discussed his onward extradition to the US before the European Arrest Warrant was issued.

    Perhaps an explanation is that, contrary to its reputation as a liberal bastion, Sweden has drawn so close to Washington that it has allowed secret CIA “renditions” – including the illegal deportation of refugees. The rendition and subsequent torture of two Egyptian political refugees in 2001 was condemned by the UN Committee against Torture, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch; the complicity and duplicity of the Swedish state are documented in successful civil litigation and WikiLeaks cables. In the summer of 2010, Assange had been in Sweden to talk about WikiLeaks revelations of the war in Afghanistan – in which Sweden had forces under US command.

    The Americans are pursuing Assange because WikiLeaks exposed their epic crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale killing of tens of thousands of civilians, which they covered up; and their contempt for sovereignty and international law, as demonstrated vividly in their leaked diplomatic cables.

    For his part in disclosing how US soldiers murdered Afghan and Iraqi civilians, the heroic soldier Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning received a sentence of 35 years, having been held for more than a thousand days in conditions which, according to the UN Special Rapporteur, amounted to torture.

    Few doubt that should the US get their hands on Assange, a similar fate awaits him. Threats of capture and assassination became the currency of the political extremes in the US following Vice-President Joe Biden’s preposterous slur that Assange was a “cyber-terrorist”. Anyone doubting the kind of US ruthlessness he can expect should remember the forcing down of the Bolivian president’s plane last year – wrongly believed to be carrying Edward Snowden.

    According to documents released by Snowden, Assange is on a “Manhunt target list”. Washington’s bid to get him, say Australian diplomatic cables, is “unprecedented in scale and nature”. In Alexandria, Virginia, a secret grand jury has spent four years attempting to contrive a crime for which Assange can be prosecuted. This is not easy. The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects publishers, journalists and whistleblowers. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama lauded whistleblowers as “part of a healthy democracy [and they] must be protected from reprisal”. Under President Obama, more whistleblowers have been prosecuted than under all other US presidents combined. Even before the verdict was announced in the trial of Chelsea Manning, Obama had pronounced the whisletblower guilty.

    “Documents released by WikiLeaks since Assange moved to England,” wrote Al Burke, editor of the online Nordic News Network, an authority on the multiple twists and dangers facing Assange, “clearly indicate that Sweden has consistently submitted to pressure from the United States in matters relating to civil rights. There is every reason for concern that if Assange were to be taken into custody by Swedish authorities, he could be turned over to the United States without due consideration of his legal rights.”

    There are signs that the Swedish public and legal community do not support prosecutor’s Marianne Ny’s intransigence. Once implacably hostile to Assange, the Swedish press has published headlines such as: “Go to London, for God’s sake.”

    Why won’t she? More to the point, why won’t she allow the Swedish court access to hundreds of SMS messages that the police extracted from the phone of one of the two women involved in the misconduct allegations? Why won’t she hand them over to Assange’s Swedish lawyers?….

    Read more……

    • Tracey 13.1

      ” Under President Obama, more whistleblowers have been prosecuted than under all other US presidents combined. Even before the verdict was announced in the trial of Chelsea Manning, Obama had pronounced the whisletblower guilty.”

      more drone attacks under obama than gwb

      this govt has a similar attitude toward open democracy…. can see why key and obama get on so well.

  14. Murray Rawshark 14

    I doubt if Assange raped anyone. This is one of the charges that is extremely hard to defend for a political person. The other would be pedophilia. I believe the Swedish prosecutor has colluded with the US and A. Australia’s stand on this treatment of a citizen has been disgusting. Both Julia Gillard and the Swedish prosecutor have shown the cravenness of social democratic politics.


    • weka 14.1

      It’s a pity that the commentariat has largely been unable to make that argument without getting into rape apology. I don’t have an opinion on Assange’s guilt or innocence, and haven’t read the Pilger article yet. Mostly I saw big chunks of the left undermine women’s rights and the rights of survivors of sexual assault in their attempt to support Assange. I really hope that can change.

      Having a quick look through the Pilger article now, I notice he doesn’t link to cite. Is that normal for him?

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1

        Pilger is widely regarded as having unassailable integrity in his journalism, but yes it would be helpful for him to include those citations.

        I have always wanted Assange to stand trial in Sweden so that the alleged victims could have their day in a court of justice, but not if the whole procedure is merely a rouse designed to render Assange to Guantanamo Bay with zero sincere Swedish interest in giving those women any justice.

        Usually at this point, McFlock would chime in saying – Assange is the criminal suspect and he doesn’t get to choose the manner of his questioning, arrest or charging. Which is of course correct while also totally sidestepping all the issues of justice and civil rights.

        • McFlock


          You mean the issues that were raised before three courts in the UK?

          Or do you mean issues of justice and civil rights that would completely demonstrate that the interests of justice would and can only be served if he were questioned, arrested and/or charged on his terms, but that his high profile legal team accidentally forgot to raise in court?

          • Draco T Bastard

            How about these points?

            Ny has never properly explained why she will not come to London, just as the Swedish authorities have never explained why they refuse to give Assange a guarantee that they will not extradite him on to the US under a secret arrangement agreed between Stockholm and Washington. In December 2010, the Independent revealed that the two governments had discussed his onward extradition to the US before the European Arrest Warrant was issued.

            Neither woman claimed she had been raped. Indeed, both have denied they were raped and one of them has since tweeted, “I have not been raped.” That they were manipulated by police and their wishes ignored is evident – whatever their lawyers might say now. Certainly, they are victims of a saga worthy of Kafka.

            If the women themselves are saying that they weren’t raped and the extradition was agreed before the charges laid then we obviously have a case of a serious charge being leveled solely for political purposes.

            • weka

              Unfortunately when Pilger was writing on this a couple of years ago he talked about sex instead of rape. That’s undermined his credibility on this particular aspect, so when he says this week that one of the women tweeted that she has not been raped, I’m not inclined to take that at face value without seeing the context.

              He doesn’t need to put rape allegations in quotation marks to make his points. These kinds of things mean for me I need to see a citation before I believe him. This is a shame, because it undermines his integrity. The first paragraph you quoted I can take at face value, but not the second.

              (as an aside, I thought at least one of the women had given a statement that clearly demonstrated rape. Not really wanting to rehash this or do a whole bunch of research, but the operative word in your comment would be ‘if’ from my pov).

            • McFlock

              then we obviously have a case of a serious charge being leveled solely for political purposes.

              then I suggest his legal team raise those points with the UK courts. Sounds like grounds for appeal. Especially as they’d have actual evidence, rather than internet hearsay.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                And in the mean time, is Assange to remain cooped up in the embassy surrounded by a million pound police detail?

                • McFlock

                  Well, he’s an obvious flight risk so I suspect that the embassy is a mite more comfortable than the likely alternative accommodation he’ll get while the appeal goes ahead.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    “An obvious flight risk”

                    Huh? What do you mean? He complied with Swedish authorities instructions about staying in Sweden, then he complied with house arrest in the UK, he’s got nowhere else to go now as he is recognised everywhere, and I doubt Putin wants another asylum headache in Russia right this moment.

                    • McFlock

                      Ecuador seem keen to keep him out of UK jurisdiction, in case you hadn’t noticed. And he’s more than willing to accept their assistance.

                      I wonder if they’re the only state that might want to keep an international bargaining chip under their thumb?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Ecuador was quite correct from both a civil rights and international law perspective in accepting Assange’s request for political asylum. If there was no more need for political asylum, Ecuador would happily eject Assange from its Embassy instead of putting him up with indefinite board and lodgings.

                      The UK, Sweden and USA all seem very keen to keep Assange as a bargaining chip under the thumb (or example of what they will do to wreck the lives of people who fuck with their intelligence interests).

                    • McFlock

                      Nice dodge from the fact that Assange is a flight risk while his lawyers present the UK courts with the clear evidence that shows how it is a gross offence against “justice and civil rights” that he cannot dictate the terms under which he is questioned, arrested and/or charged by the Swedes.

                      For the simple reason that he’s at flight right now.

      • Murray Rawshark 14.1.2

        He doesn’t write his columns as academic articles, so no citing.

    • Chooky 14.2

      +100 MR…i believe he was set up…a least one of the women accusers was CIA…and I don’t think either of them pressed rape charges against him

  15. weka 15

    The UK still leading the way on the surveillance state,

    “Say I don’t like the look of you. If I’ve scanned in your ID, I could ban you not only from my club but, by sharing that data, from every nightclub in London. How the fuck is that not illegal? How are there not data protection issues with that?”

    Alex Proud, owner of Proud Camden, has a reputation for being a bit opinionated and gobby, but this issue – the harvesting of personal data from clubbers, which is increasingly becoming mandatory for late night venues – has him firing words out with furious, spitfire precision.

    “There are moments when everyone likes to have a bit of power,” he says. “But I’m not here to police society. I run a nightclub. It’s ludicrous that I’d be given that sort of power, and society doesn’t want me to have it.”

    The UK’s biggest provider of ID scanning equipment for clubs and bars, IDScan Biometrics Limited, claims to have the largest private ID library in the world, and its database includes passports, visas, ID cards, driving licenses, utility bills and work permits. The system can check NHS numbers, the electoral role, telephone numbers, National Insurance numbers, sanction lists and “politically exposed persons” lists.

    They’re also using fingerprinting, and data sharing with the police.


  16. Michael 16

    Policies I’d like to see from the next Labour government:

    – Universal child benefit to replace the confusing and discriminatory WFF system (say, $50 pw)
    – Paid parental leave of 13 months as recommended by the families commission with higher rates of wage replacement
    – Minimum wage of $16.50 an hour, and the living wage of $18.80 for all those employed by the Crown and it’s contractors. Over time, the living wage could become the minimum wage.
    – Immediate increase in benefit rates to about (net): $280pw unemployment benefit, and $400pw for some parents
    – Universal 25 hours ECE/childcare for those aged 1, 2, 3, and 4. Another 25 hours could be available at a subsidised rate dependent on income. That way, there’s a right to ece/childcare from the time the 13 months paid parental leave ends.
    – Some sort of redundancy package similar to what the greens proposed.
    – First $15k tax free, with higher progressive tax. (Maybe 45% on income above $150k?)
    – Free tertiary education and a universal student allowance
    – Complete restoration of all state houses and more should be built.
    – Employment Insurance could be established. This would be in addition to winz benefits. People would receive, say, 75% of their previouswages in the event of unemployment or short term sickness leave. This would provide more security for people and make for a more active and secure labour market.

    I think that with a programme like that, Labour would be able to appeal to the disadvantaged, poor, and working class — while also appealing to “middle New zealand”. For example, things like universal child benefits appeal to everyone.

    Labour should look to create a Scandinavian-style welfare state in New Zealand. Breaking away from the typical “Anglo Saxon welfare state” would be a good thing. Universalism can create solidarity and unite people. Heavy means testing creates an “us versus them” society.

  17. Clemgeopin 17

    Just received this email from Mahuta, sent to all members:

    Teenaa Koe Clem

    The Labour Leadership Campaign has been an important opportunity to set out the vision I have to lead Labour. In two years’ time we will be celebrating our great Party’s Centenary anniversary. We have a proud legacy and our challenge is to determine, as a progressive movement for change what the future can look like.

    I believe that we need to change the style of politics in order to attract more people to the cause of a more equal, fair and just society. We can have a New Zealand that works for all of us!

    If successful, my immediate priority will be to thank members for their confidence, to regroup caucus and shape the leaders office in a manner that will help to support our team. I am mindful that New Zealand Council will be holding its last meeting for the year and it will be the first opportunity to discuss an integrated plan that aligns the parliamentary and party wings for the next three years. We must be of one accord in seeking to change the Government.

    It is important that prior to xmas, our Party reflects on the election review so that we can make the necessary changes to get our Party organisation and fundraising capability campaign ready.

    I have said in husting meetings that necessary changes may not always be popular but the clear message from the membership has been to stop internal bickering, the negative behaviour, and get on with representing the values and issues that are important to ordinary New Zealanders.

    We have work to do and it will be a three year campaign to earn the confidence and trust of people who want to see the kind of country that puts people first and the heart back into a fair, decent and caring society.

    My approach builds on what I know to be the most effective motivation for change and that is a country and opportunities where the next generation can lead a better life!

    We are stronger when we work together!

    Pai Marire


    Nanaia Mahuta

  18. Dont worry. Be happy 18

    NZ First has had the good sense and strategic nous to pull out of the pick a flag fiasco. Now Green Party and Labour should pull out too. Leave the Nats, and the phone box parties United Future, ACT and the Maori Party to wear the charges of folly, waste and distraction.

    • McFlock 18.1


      When NZ1 refuse to push arbitrary nationalism buttons, you know it’s gonna be more divisive than votewinning.

      Especially as dunnokeyo’s current favourite looks like a corporate logo. So a bunch of tories will go for that because he likes it, traditionalists will get pissed that the union jack gets removed, a chunk of folk will want the silver fern with a passion, and most will want any politician with an opinion on the flag to stfu and do some real work.

      I wonder if pepsi will sue for royalties using the TPPA?

      • joe90 18.1.1

        Todays DomPost.

        Our prime minister has decided to initiate two binding referendums, costing up to $26 million, for a new flag.

        If the current flag is rejected then there will also need to be an update to the New Zealand coat of arms, which includes the current flag. To save more money being spent on design, I would like to suggest how a new coat of arms might look.

        The central coronation crown would have to be replaced by a rugby ball featuring the fern.

        Then I can visualise a smiling male figure resembling John Key holding the ”new” flag replacing the woman holding the ”old” one; an Air New Zealand plane featuring the koru replacing the three sailing ships; a dairy cow and a log of wood replacing the golden fleece and the wheat sheaf; and an Auckland house with a dollar sign over it and a surveillance camera replacing the four stars and the two hammers.


        Paparangi [abridged]


        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          There are better uses of those millions, as well as many other questions that can be asked by way of referenda for difficult decision-making that truly matter to people struggling to make ends meet or get ahead.

        • Zolan

          .. and the maari in a McDonalds uniform holding a spatula.

          I think there is opportunity for some clever people to use the publicity focus against the system.

          Design flags that raise questions or mock superficiality etc. The committee will prevent them being distributed on the ballot, but they could be produced and displayed in other ways.

          Get something out there that gets people talking, and maybe they will start thinking for themselves.

          • greywarshark

            @ zolan 9.04am
            There could be a place on the net to send flag designs that get put up for viewing, sort of like our caption threads, and count likes. A small prize for top 10? As a bit of encouragement and appreciation.

      • RedBaronCV 18.1.2

        Nact are arrogant tossers aren’t they. Not enough money for women’s refuges or rape crisis but hey $26m for a flag referendum. I think I’ll spoil my paper.

        • b waghorn

          The best way to get at key and save half the money is to convince people to leave it as it is.

          • RedBaronCV

            Will the “leave er as it is” option get onto the ballot?

            • b waghorn

              Would have or there’s no point for the 1st referendum . as much as I dislike the union jack I’d live with it to see key loose one.

          • Zolan

            The waste is hardwired.
            First, you must choose your favourite wine.
            And only afterwards can you say you don’t want any wine.

    • Chooky 18.2

      +100 …. the flag issue is a disgraceful waste of money and a John Key ego trip

      …John Key is NOT the founding father of New Zealand….and the majority of New Zealanders do not want to change the flag…especially young New Zealanders


  19. greywarshark 19

    Sad, sad. You might have to face abuse yourself if reporting animal abuse. License owners? With free animal care and psychology workshop for owners plus cheaper licence fees for those who attend. These were in Whangarei.

    Ms Shields, who has 23 years of experience, says SPCA inspectors rescued a record six emaciated dogs last month, some of them chained up, nearly all of them close to death, and one so unwell it had to be put down.

    She said to highlight the problem, she had pledged to consume nothing but water until midnight on Wednesday.
    Ms Shields said the SPCA needed good people in the community to report cases of animal neglect and abuse.
    She said that could take courage, because people who abused pets were likely to abuse people too, but the alternative could be letting an animal die.


    These below around Karaka in South Auckland
    A fox terrier was skinned and had a paw and ears removed and rabbits were decapitated and maimed in other ways.
    He says because there is a strong link between animal abuse and human abuse, he’s worried the person or people involved could go on the hurt an adult, or children.


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    by Don Franks Like New Zealand, Britain is officially a country of equal opportunity under the rule of law, with increasing hardship for those at the bottom. When there’s an election, and the party most obviously callous towards poor people wins, decent folks are dismayed and bewildered. “What the hell ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Well, crap
    UKanians went to the polls yesterday in early elections aimed at resolving the Brexit impasse. And they certainly have, delivering a huge majority to the Tories, and (barring internal rebellions of the sort which delayed Brexit) giving them the power to do whatever they want. And thanks to the UK's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Austerity meets fresh resistance in Iran
      by Karim Pourhamzavi Mass protests are occurring across Iran, taking place in over 100 cities.  The protests have been sparked by the government’s cutting of fuel subsidies, a measure which caused fuel prices to double overnight. Mass protests are hardly new in Iran, but there is an important difference ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Oh No! It’s a …..
    What other song could we play as the UK's political rule book gets torn up and thrown away?Video courtesy of YouTubeThis post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Election 2019 – The Legendary Liveblog
    Legendary in my own mind, I mean.  All times are NZ, which is an hour10.00am (NZ) There's about an hour to go until the exit poll is released.  At that point, half of the British voting public will devastated, and the other half celebrating wildly.  Unless everyone is simply confused.Turnout seems ...
    3 days ago
  • Some Thoughts On Socialism As Jeremy Corbyn Loses The UK General Election.
    Forlorn Hope: When the call came down to make Corbyn unelectable, the Establishment's journalists and columnists rose to the challenge. Antisemitism was only the most imaginative of the charges levelled against the old democratic-socialist. There were many more and, sadly, they appear to have worked. Boris Johnson may not be much ...
    3 days ago
  • Cartoonist David Low’s Radical Sympathy.
    "Rendezvous" by David Low, September 1939.DUNEDIN IS THE BIRTHPLACE of, for my money, the world’s greatest cartoonist, David Low. At the height of his powers, in 1930s London, Low’s cartoons represented the visual conscience of the civilised world. His most famous cartoon, “Rendezvous”, penned a few weeks into the Second ...
    3 days ago
  • The UK has a choice as to whether it chooses to be manipulated… or not.
    If you want to study propagandist techniques, you are typically told to study Dictatorships. Not unfair, but what’s always been more interesting to me is so-called “democratic” countries and their broader information systems. Why? Because people opt for it, even as they decry “totalitarian regimes!”.. It’s quite an eye ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Today’s secrecy legislation
    Introducing legislation which shits on the public's right to know seems to have become a daily occurrence for this government. Today's example is the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The bill establishes a framework for the establishment of "special purpose vehicles" (SPVs) to hide debt from local government balance sheets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Time to vote!
    Below is the longlist of words and phrases generated in the korero phase of Public Address Word of the Year 2019, with some editorial moderation. Now it's time to vote. As you'll doubtless be able to see, you get three ranked choices. Use your power wisely. Or frivolously, whatever.As usual, ...
    4 days ago
  • Encryption, passwords, and self-incrimination
    The University of Waikato and New Zealand Law Foundation have released a report today on the law around encryption in New Zealand. There's stuff in there about principles and values, and how proposed government policies to provide for "lawful access" by creating backdoors would destroy the trust which makes encryption ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for two Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Insurance (Prompt Settlement of Claims for Uninhabitable Residential Property) Bill (Stuart Smith) Social Security (Exemption for Ex Gratia and Compensation Payments) Amendment Bill (Willow-Jean Prime) Neither bill seems likely to be particularly controversial. This is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bougainville votes for independence
    Earlier in the month, Bougainvilleans went to the polls in a landmark referendum to decide on whether they would remain part of Papua New Guinea or become independent. Yesterday, the results came in, with over 97% support for independence. The referendum wasn't binding - instead it means negotiations with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bus strikes, suspensions and solidarity
    by Daphna Whitmore This week 800 unionised bus drivers in Auckland were suspended from work after they refused to collect fares as part of a campaign of industrial action. Drivers working for Auckland’s largest bus company NZ Bus are asking for more pay and better working conditions after being offered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • How to support after the Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption
    As details emerge about what unfolded on Whakaari / White Island two days ago, my thoughts go out to all the families affected by this terrible event. My thoughts are also with the first responders who worked in perilous circumstances to assist and protect those affected. Both local and ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarb Johal
    4 days ago
  • Final BMG poll – nothing to see here
    BMG research have unleashed their final poll of the 2019 campaign:Westminster voting intention: CON: 41% (-)LAB: 32% (-)LDEM: 14% (-)GRN: 4% (-)BREX: 3% (-1)via @BMGResearch , 06 - 11 Dec Chgs. w/ 06 Dec That's a bit of a "Dunno why we bothered" sort of poll. "Phillip, I'm afraid I've been a ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Spends Up Large – On The Establishment!
    Grant Keeps On Trucking: Out of the $12 billion Robertson has announced for infrastructure investment, $8 billion will be allocated to specific projects, with the balance of $4 billion held in reserve. What does it say about this Government's "transformational" ambitions that 85 percent of that $8 billion is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    4 days ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    5 days ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    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 climate.change@stuff.co.nz I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Courthouse redesign a model for the future
    The Government will invest $100 million on a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Government enables early access to 5G spectrum
    The Government has given the go ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available. The Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has confirmed Cabinet approval for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum. 3.5GHz is the first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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