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 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 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 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 ) 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 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 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 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
    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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  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    9 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16
    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    9 hours ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother
    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    12 hours ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?
    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    21 hours ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    23 hours ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    23 hours ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    23 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    2 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    3 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    6 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    7 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    4 hours ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    5 hours ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    6 hours ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    19 hours ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    1 day ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    4 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    4 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    4 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    5 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    5 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    5 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    5 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    6 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    6 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    7 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    7 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    1 week ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    1 week ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    1 week ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    2 weeks ago

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