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Open Mike 17/11/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 17th, 2016 - 101 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

[In order to keep Open Mike and Daily Review free for other conversations, please put all discussion, comments, link postings etc about the US election under one of the posts about the Election]

101 comments on “Open Mike 17/11/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Well done RNZ for repeating US propaganda.
    News report at 6.30 a.m. describes al Qaeda and ISIS in Aleppo as ‘activists.’
    I’ll be waiting with bated breath for our media to use the same term to describe the defenders of Mosul.

    You want another reason why people voted for Brexit and Trump.
    They don’t believe a word the corporate media tells them.
    With good reason.

    Patrick Cockburn is one journalist worth the job description.
    Pity RNZ just has repeaters like Espiner and Ferguson.


    • On that note, Brad Hoff from The Canary interviewing US SF veteran Jack Murphy on the role of US advisors training ‘moderate’ rebels and the spurious qualification of neocon and liberal hawk ‘experts’ on nations like Syria and Russia.

  2. Morrissey 2


    [banned one week for ignoring the election-free mandate on OM – weka]

  3. simbit 3

    Lincoln University dismantling it’s ecology department. Wtf?

  4. BM 4


    [banned one week for ignoring the election-free mandate on OM – weka]

    • halfcrown 4.1

      With respect weka, that’s a bit harsh banning these two for that.

      • weka 4.1.1

        If people want to have election discussions in OM again, then start having a conversation about it. I’m in two minds myself.

        But in the meantime, there’s a rule in place that most people are respecting and others have been banned for ignoring, so it’s hard to see why BM and Morrissey would be exceptions. Banning is the easiest way to reduce moderator workload, people should know this by now, and esp after the last few weeks.

        • tc


          Its clear and unequivocal, some people/algorythms just dont get it. Correct call weka.

        • Sacha

          I have been grateful to be able to avoid screeds of invective that I’m not interested in wading through. Thank you for the separation.

        • Bob

          “so it’s hard to see why BM and Morrissey would be exceptions”

          Because there isn’t a single place for them to post about the election on the home page without ‘derailing the post’ perhaps…all options are pointed in their own slant with strict conditions of commenting.

          I agree with removing the conversation from OM and appreciate the work you have put in to keep OM clean of the bullshit, but if there are no readily available alternative options…

          To be honest, now that the election is over, why would anyone give a shit about the US until Trump is sworn in and actually had the chance to do anything!

          • Pasupial

            Bob does have a point there. According to the link at the top of the page, other than your post yesterday (and I’m guessing that BM’s comment at least wouldn’t have fitted with; “A post-US election space for engendering solidarity and resistance.”), there hasn’t been a dedicated election post since the 13th (or 11th for a general post-election one).

            I do agree that it is not time yet to stop the quarantine of those infected with election fever (counting myself amongst them). But there should be some way to get to the pest tent from the main page, rather than scrolling your middle finger off, or using the link on Open Mike.

            On a related topic, on last nights Daily Review; Billmurray, was clearly in violation of this election-free zone edict, but didn’t face a ban. Perhaps you need to include your warning header there too?

            • weka

              I completely agree with what you and Bob say. Problem is, I would have to do the work every night and I’m sick of it. There’s been so much bullshit, which will probably return next week. I’m savouring the lack of aggro and work 😉

              I’ll have a think about putting up a generic election post that I don’t have to do daily, but it will still drop down the page and that’s the point of the links in OM now, they go to all US election posts. No reason you can’t keep commenting in the old ones.

              Daily Review… micky puts those up, and he’s been putting up election pics, so I figure he will moderate the thread if he wants to. That’s how it happens here mostly, there’s not a lot of planning goes into it.

        • b waghorn

          some of the worst offenders are in the naughty chair and things have cooled off a bit so maybe the need for a quarantine is no longer needed, my two cents .

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.2

        THIS is harsh……http://geekandsundry.com/bring-a-little-life-to-your-desk-fan-craft-troll-planter/

        “1. Pull the hair off the troll’s head.

        2. Saw off the top of the head.

        3. Punch holes in the bottom of the troll’s feet……”

  5. Puckish Rogue 5


  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    So…is it ok to say well done to the Marae, the people of Kaikoura (and other towns of course) and the military response in regards to the earthquakes?

    Also every cloud has a silver lining: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/86546505/bikies-left-stranded-in-kaikoura-at-the-local-pub


  7. save nz 7

    Very interesting article – especially in the context of a change of president.

    How the US justifies drone strikes: targeted killing, secrecy and the law


    • Kevin 7.1

      Very good series of articles on The Intercept about the US drone programme.


      • Garibaldi 7.1.1

        Thank you save nz and Kevin. I have always maintained that drone warfare is a cowardly and despicable practice. It is war by video games. It is the legacy of a Nobel Peace Price winner .What a crock. And what a way to breed hatred for America and recruits for the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS.

        • save nz

          Yes, isn’t it innocent before proven guilty as the basics for our legal system?

          It’s a slippery slope. Interesting Obama even tried to change it, knowing a new Republican person might get the assassination power next, but now they have screwed themselves by the look of it as it’s going to be hard to unwind it.

          Also says a lot about Obama’s God complex and arrogance. He thought he was wise enough so they could make assassination legal but then less sure as he saw who else coming through was going to have that power.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    It’s estimated that the total value of earthquake construction is $32b. But just 59 per cent of the construction was complete by June 30 this year, according to a report on the national state of infrastructure.

    Just one-third (31 per cent) of the public-sector rebuild programme expenditure had been delivered by the end of June.

    This is an example of the current government’s so called excellent crisis management. Unlike those of Sats NZ on jobless figures and actual costs of living, these numbers don’t lie. They show, despite the spin from government lackeys in the media, that the Christchurch rebuild is a terribly handled operation. Just one third of the money for the public rebuild has been delivered nearly six years after the event.


    • Ad 8.1

      Just as well those recovery costs are being spread out – gov’t is getting the big bills nohw when the tax receipts are looking great. And that payments spread also pushes out the positive effect the rebuild has.

      • Muttonbird 8.1.1

        At this rate, Christchurch might have its public facilities funded in 2029. Completion who knows when?

        Are you saying a go slow is beneficial because there’ll still be work in ten years to come? Interesting.

        I wonder what effect your go slow will have on the long term growth of Canterbury’s economy, outside of the rebuild?

      • greywarshark 8.1.2

        Christchurch – rebuild – manual training not an important school subject – Brownlee as a teacher.
        These thoughts went through my mind. We used to like NZrs being well-rounded! capable people and were taught physical skills apart from how to play sport, when we went to woodwork, metalwork, and cooking classes.

        That apparently changed in 1993 when schools felt they were being steered towards computers and IT. Now we are all tappers on keys, but actually doing something physical, that’s not grand enough for the likes of us. Not knowing enough about that type of technology, we are at risk from badly educated professionals who have learned how to get round the rules of physical technology so things can be done more cheaply. It has cost us high though, in the end.

        An extract from a paper on this.
        The Status of Technology Education in New Zealand Secondary Schools: New age focus Sandie Gusscott
        written about 2001

        In New Zealand, teachers’ attitudes to the different subjects have directly correlated to the status that they have. This has been reinforced as staff have competed for strategic teaching resources (Bernstein, 1971). Teachers of science and mathematics subjects were considered to have high status and were therefore given higher salaries compared with teachers of vocational subjects, such as woodwork and home economics who held lower status. Even today equity with positions of responsibility for all subjects is rare. Most positions of responsibility for technology education advertised in the Education Gazette are not above a PR2….

        The New Zealand Curriculum Framework was released in 1993. Dr Lockwood Smith announced ….. Technology was one of seven essential learning areas. Subjects that were technical and previously held little status, suddenly had the potential to gain some. The previous subjects of metalwork, woodwork, sewing and cooking were not mentioned. Instead we had new names: materials technology, production and process technology, structures and mechanisms, and food technology.

        I suggest that the change in name was deliberate so that people would not equate the vocational subjects of the past with technology education in the present. Electronics and control, biotechnology and information and communications technology added to these made up the seven technological areas.

        (But schools interpreted the direction to be towards computer technology and were not encouraged to upskill the traditional physical subjects and integrate them with the new techniques and methods that IT would bring.)

        • In Vino

          Perceptive and true, I fear Greywarshark. but I fear that too few care. Not clickbaity enough…

  9. adam 9

    sheesh Idiot/Savant don’t hold back,


    Here’s the thing, whilst it’s easy to bag the north shore, and sure – we all should more. It’s the up to 3 hours a day stuck in a car to get to (and back) a minimum wage job on the other side of Auckland which is the real problem.

    Remember this is the city that said lets have a tax increase to help pay for Christchurch, so our infrastructure spend does not suffer. Oh wait, Auckland infrastructure has suffered, and we are close to grid lock.

    If and it seems we are committed to this economic mess for a while it seems, until people realize it is not actually working. Then taking from Auckland will make the overall problem worse.

    Time to put a new tax back on the table, that is if you want this economy to work, otherwise…

    • save nz 9.1

      Adam, if you know anything about the Shore you would know that 90% don’t have minimum wage jobs and they don’t need to commute either most of the time, because they have the under-utilised ferries which I think the Gold Card works on.
      Not only that, it is the place that migrants (from the Brits, to the South Africans to the Chinese) love to have their ghost houses in, their property investments and their residences.

      The youth live in their parents 2 million dollar basements and start lobby groups like Gen 0 so that they can get better infrastructure (to save the planet of course) and developers love them..

      So all in all, a very deserving place to help rich commuters and to foster the Blue Green Fucked up Neoliberal movement … I’m sure the poorer commuters from poorer Auckland don’t mind pitching in. sarc.

      If you believe in user pays, you have to wonder what the council has done with all the increased rates money – 1 billion on failed IT comes to mind that nobody can be bothered fixing.

      • adam 9.1.1

        Good to see you bagging the Shore save NZ.

        But this city is bloody near impossible to move around when your older or disabled. So infrastructure is needed.

        TAX, I said it. It’s not a nasty word, and in times of crisis I think having a tax to make everyone pay a fair shear is not to much to ask.

        Mind you all the liberals and neo-liberals will be having kittens at this comment, pulling out their hair, and think of ways to deflect the conversation.

        I see Puckish already has…

        • Puckish Rogue

          I’m not saying nothing about tax, I’m saying it was not the smartest thing Goff could have said considering how much of SH1 (and other roads) are damaged

          • adam

            See running from tax, and deflecting. Same old Puckish 😉

            I agree, but if it leads into a debate about tax, and the fact we need one – just for the short term. Then I will let phil f.o. goff away with it.

            Also there already is a tax, but only if you pay insurance, and it’s woefully not enough to cover what is needed.

            • Puckish Rogue

              I’m not running from tax it simply wasn’t what I was referring to and I’m also trying to play nice so I’m trying to keep away from polarising issues

              However a debate is always a good way to learn if something should be implemented (I’m not against taxes in situations like earthquake rebuilds etc)

              • adam

                Talking about a tax to help with earthquake and it’s damage now, would not be polarizing.

                Only the hard core ideologies or the libertarian crowd would make it a polarizing issue.

                I think it is something we desperately need to do. If Christchurch taught us anything; cash and cash flow is needed. Relying on a underfunded agency to make good decisions is never a good call.

        • greywarshark

          Is progressive tax getting a fair shear?

      • james 9.1.2

        SaveNZ (from the likes of you I guess),

        “if you know anything about the Shore you would know that 90% don’t have minimum wage jobs and they don’t need to commute either most of the time, because they have the under-utilised ferries which I think the Gold Card works on.”

        If you KNEW anything about the Shore you would know that most of the Shore isnt serviced by Ferries.

        It would be great if it was – I would enjoy nothing more than having the ability to sit back and have a nice wine on the trip home.

        Whilst there are a lot of migrants here – there are all over Auckland – and I would guess there are less “ghost” properties” on the Shore than the rest of Auckland – if just for the cost of them alone.

        • save nz

          Sounds like you are a shore boy James – why am I not surprised. sarc.

          There are parts of Auckland that need and deserve more investment before the shore, and if they do want to invest in the shore they should be looking more at the ferries to do it, hense my phrase ‘under utilised Ferries”.

    • Puckish Rogue 9.2

      Timing is everything as they say: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/11/16/is-this-the-right-time-to-protest-against-an-american-warship/

      But yes I’m surprised at Goff saying something like this, mind you he did manage to give himself some credit:


      “Thank you for the work you’re doing with those wonderful NH90 helicopters I bought as minister that are evacuating people from Kaikoura and for the multi role vessel Canterbury which I hope is in the process of getting large numbers of people out”.

      This is one of those times where I think Christchurch did all right with Lianne Dalziel as mayor

      • save nz 9.2.1

        No wonder the Natz ran two right wing candidates against him to secure Phil’s victory.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Urrgh, I still can’t get over good National is at general elections and how bad they’re at local ones

          • save nz

            Phil is so much better that the Natz candidates – being a true believer in neoliberalism while being under the ex Labour banner – win win…

      • alwyn 9.2.2

        “This is one of those times where I think Christchurch did all right with Lianne Dalziel as mayor”.

        They have certainly done better, it seems, than either Auckland or Wellington.
        I have been overseas and hence out of touch with New Zealand local body affairs.
        I am pleased to see however how Auckland and Wellington have got on so promptly with the major problems of their communities. I see that Phil has ignored the trivia about housing and transport and concentrated on the truly important issues.
        Hasn’t he arranged as his first priority for the Auckland council to ban deep sea drilling in the city? I didn’t know their actually was any deep water within the city boundaries or that it was any responsibility of the city anyway but Phil is leading the way on things that matter, at least to him.
        Wellington is equally prompt on things that trouble the ratepayers. As their first action it appears that they have increased their pay.
        Oh well, what did I expect. Elect left-leaning councils and you get such things I suppose.

        • save nz

          @Alwyn – Phil’s just taken 2 council elected representatives off the AT board at a time when transport are in the courts for corruption and they get 1 billion dollars of funding. In particular taking off Mike Lee who had a dirty campaign run against him by the righties.

          There is also talk of a billion dollar sports stadium and library layoffs..

          So yep, the drilling is good, but the rest of his ideas have been outrageous.

          • alwyn

            “talk of a billion dollar sports stadium”

            I thought that Glasshole of an idea had died when Trevor Mallard got the chop as Sports Minister.
            Why do bloody politician get an edifice complex and want to blow billions on monuments to themselves?
            I suppose he will be planning to build a pyramid as a burial site for himself next so that people can worship at the tomb of the greatest Mayor Auckland ever had.

            I don’t quite follow your comment about the AT Board. If there was corruption there cleaning up the Board would seem quite sensible, surely? Even if the Council appointed members weren’t directly responsible they would have ben remiss in not cleaning it up themselves.

  10. Brutus Iscariot 10

    The Brian Tamaki imbroglio is a great chance to revoke the tax exempt status of all religious organisations. 19th century anachronism.

    • tc 10.1

      A half decent media would ignore the rants of a cult leader who preys upon his followers to lead a wealthy priviledged lifesytle.

      • Robertina 10.1.1

        It would be reported in a similar fashion in other countries.

        More importantly, the followers’ children didn’t choose Tamaki as their moral guide. For them to hear the outraged reaction from Key and others might make a difference.
        Whether we like it or not, what Key says matters; in this case if it makes someone think they might be OK after all, it’s a good thing.

    • Pasupial 10.2

      An alternative might be to demand tax-exemption for atheist organisations:

      Sahelanthropus led the march, he roared chants through a megaphone, including ”Uga uga uga chuga” and ”free bananas for primates of all beliefs”.
      Shoppers and retailers stood with stunned smiles as they watched the primal procession, some accepting free bananas from marchers.

      On the steps, Sahelanthropus, armed with a bone and a microphone, gave a sermon about the genealogy of mankind, with the audience interjecting with ”different schools of thought”… the performance art was funded by Creative New Zealand and aimed to celebrate the proud atheist


  11. North 11

    Old Shamaki’s looking decidedly Sean Plunket.


    One or two gay guys loudly defended him a while ago. Where are they ?

    • James Thrace 11.1

      Jevan Goulter was one that did a bit of work for Tamaki and Co. Tried to say that despite Goulter being gay, Tamaki loved him to pieces and was just misunderstood. Goulter tried to defend Tamaki further by saying that Tamaki’s belief around gay people being the devils work wasn’t really anything to take seriously…

      Goulter later turned up trying to take a seat on Porirua City Council in the 2016 elections despite never living in Porirua before. Fortunately, the wise denizens of the east saw right through the little deleted

  12. DRUM 12

    I write to confess that….for the first time….I have ventured deep into Kiwiblog country interested in knowing how DF (and his commentors) responded to the OIA decision re his communications with Jason Ede. I came away disappointed having hoped to find some dialogue, ideas, arguments and thoughts. All I found were a series of snide digs at other commentors, a smattering of “Labour did it to” but nothing in the way of substance or interest. Lesson learned….

    • b waghorn 12.1

      they hide comments from those that don’t live on planet key over at kb, so they learn nothing.

  13. The lost sheep 13

    Pulled out of the Seismic testing thread…
    @Robert Guyton.
    ‘At yesterdays discussion on Predator Free NZ 2050, I tried again (brought up the issue of “people centred” focus) but the resulting blank looks reflected those earlier disengaged stares’

    What ‘focus’ were you asking them to take on that issue Robert?
    Was it by any chance the point of vision from which ‘Nature’ should be free to resolve the consequences of human meddling in ‘Nature’, without the complication of any further human meddling?

    • Hi, lost sheep. I’m easing the council toward a metanoia by means of cryptic questions and suggestions. The primary of those involves q&a around “what/who are we doing this for?” The answer thus far coming back to me has been, the people. I’m floating them the inkling that an anthropocentric focus is what got us to the critical point we are at now and is not the vehicle we need to get out of the death-spin we are in. I don’t use the” us and nature” model, as it’s insufficient for describing the world. Meddling, you say? What do you mean?

      • The lost sheep 13.1.1

        Ambitious Robert!
        If your goal is to lead the good folk of Environment Southland through to a psychotic “breakdown” and subsequent positive psychological re-building or “healing”….. I just hope you’ve put a realistic time frame on the process?

        Somewhere between now and when that Silver Spaceship leaves for a new home in the Sun perhaps?

        But, to satisfy my unenlightened craving for the mundane and immediate, and my desire to wipe this blankness from my face, can you give me a less cryptic hint as to what your answer is to the question of ‘who/what are we doing this for’ in relation to Predator Free NZ?

        • Robert Guyton

          Can I give a less cryptic hint for you but not my councilors? That’d hardly be cricket (the insect, not the game).
          Ambitious, yes. Realistic? We shall see but I’ve other irons in the fire and am not holding my breath. I’ve a question for you though; are rats so loathsome that we should plan their annihilation?

          • The lost sheep

            It may not be Cricket, but knowing an answer, and withholding it in order to deliberately induce incomprehension is certainly some kind of game Robert?

            Whatever, it seems less than ‘sporting’ of you to decline to give an honest and straight forward response, and simultaneously have the bad form to answer a question with a question! Another game no doubt?

            are rats so loathsome that we should plan their annihilation?
            (You don’t mind if I stick to the anthropocentric view? Just until such time as your games have lead me to enlightenment and I understand how to answer in a more spiritual sense.)
            That is a question that is meaningless without a context.
            A Pacific Rat (Kiore) living in it’s evolutionary home in a South East Asian forest? Just lovely.
            A family of Norwegian Rats that have shifted into your ceiling and eaten a hole into your heritage fruit seed storeroom? You won’t be meddling with that situation I hope?

            But here’s the question for you Robert…
            You know the story of the invasion of Taukahepa / Big South Cape back in 1963.
            If you were on such an Island at such a time…..what would you do?
            Stand back and watch as the Rats wiped out species after species?
            Personally, I believe that would be a ‘loathsome’ thing to do, but keen to understand how it looks from your ‘focus’?

            • Robert Guyton

              “You don’t mind if I stick to the anthropocentric view?”
              In fact, I do, as described earlier. If you insist on digging in, when you sense I’d like you out in the open, it just makes my work so much harder.
              My rat question though, was not without context, it’s just that you didn’t discern it. The topic was Predator Free NZ and my question asked,
              “are rats so loathsome that we should plan their annihilation?” which seems pretty un-cryptic to me. I’ll parse:
              are rats (throughout NZ) so loathsome that we (New Zealanders) should plan their annihilation (from NZ).
              I stayed on Putauhinu, beside Taukihepa, long enough to recognise that scale matters and actions that are suitable for small islands don’t necessarily translate to much, much larger ones. For example, excluding people for most of the year. We might try it across NZ but I don’t think it would be a goer, politically.

              • weka

                lol, imagine bringing that one up at a Southland Regional Council meeting.

                Interesting deeper question though. If we did have the ability to remove all rats from say the Mainland, are they so loathesome that we should? There’s a way to side step that one, which is to what extent complete removal of rats would affect mice and mustelid populations, but for the sake of argument let’s assume that there would be no negative consequences in terms of other predator species. I find it harder to answer at that point (it’s probably a moot point though because of the old lady that swallowed the fly).

                • The lost sheep

                  There are negative consequences that can’t be sidestepped Weka.
                  Rats are a primary food of Weasels and Stoats, and those Mustelids are already officially recognized as the number one threat to our taonga bird species.
                  Take Rats out alone and you simply force Mustelids to eat a bird where there used to be a Rat.

                  As a Green Party supporter I am surprised you do not seem to be familiar with The Greens stance and policy on pests?

                  • weka

                    Taking out rats also increases the mouse population. So that issue is only one of the reasons why trying to completely eradicate a species is looked on skeptically by those who approach this from a sustainability perspective.

                    What has any of this to do with the GP policy?

                    • The lost sheep

                      You are correct Weka, there is no point taking out a single species. That is why the proposal is for a ‘Predator’ free NZ, as opposed to a ‘Rat’ free NZ.
                      I am unsure why Robert wanted to single out Rats?

                      Green Party policy is that the key conservation priority is to protect our native species, and as such they fully back The Predator Free New Zealand Plan. Therefore the future of the plan has quite a lot ‘to do’ with their support.
                      I was thinking you were a Green supporter, and as such, I thought you might consider their stance significant?

                    • weka

                      “I am unsure why Robert wanted to single out Rats?”

                      yes, I think you have definitely failed to understand what he was trying to say.

                      “I was thinking you were a Green supporter, and as such, I thought you might consider their stance significant?”

                      Bullshit. You’re trying to pick a fight. If you had any genuine interest in my views in GP policy you would have asked instead of making snide sideways windups. Not in any mood today for people who are this disingenuous.

                    • The lost sheep

                      My apologies for being unclear.
                      I am not looking to pick a fight.
                      As someone who has been passionately involved in Conservation action for 40 years, my interest was genuinely to understand what your opinion was of The Green Party policy on the protection of native species and the Predator Free NZ project?

                      That is what I thought I’s asked you.

                    • weka

                      You said,

                      “As a Green Party supporter I am surprised you do not seem to be familiar with The Greens stance and policy on pests?”

                      In the middle of a conversation that wasn’t anything to do with the GP. You assumed I’m not aware of the GP policy, and framed that in a passive aggressive way. What we were talking about had nothing to do with the GP.

                      I know what the GP policy is. I disagree with it.

                      Robert and myself have been involved in sustainability for decades, and there are things for conservation to learn from that.

                      It’s not possible to eradicate all predators in NZ. It’s just not.

                      I fully support sensible, targeted pest-control programmes in most native ecosystems, I support targeted eradication programmes where that is feasible (islands, predator-proof sanctuaries), and everywhere else I support regenerative design to create and support whole, healthy ecologies.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Thank you Weka.

                      It’s not possible to eradicate all predators in NZ. It’s just not.
                      For the first 38 odd years of my conservation work I would have agreed with you. Over the past 2 years I have been 100% convinced by concrete experience and evolving technology that the answer now is ‘ít just is’.

                      As to sustainability – My view, and that of everyone behind the Predator Free project, is that there is nothing less sustainable than continuing to pour resources into a ‘finger in the dam’ scenario. Nobody involved in the project would be proposing Predator Free unless the outcome was not just sustainable, but a net gain in resources and benefits.

                      I look forward to being able one day of pointing to the reality that proves both those points.

                    • weka

                      It’s not possible to eradicate all predators in NZ. It’s just not.
                      For the first 38 odd years of my conservation work I would have agreed with you. Over the past 2 years I have been 100% convinced by concrete experience and evolving technology that the answer now is ‘ít just is’.

                      What are you proposing to do about cats? Hedgehogs? Rats, stoats, mice etc in urban areas? On private rural land? Be specific.

                      The idea of ‘predator-free NZ’ is a publicity campaign, it’s not an attempt at literal truth. As such I find it misleading. At a pragmatic level it’s an attempt to work around neoliberalism, and all power to the scientists, politicians and conservationists for getting on board for that. But let’s not forget that this is also a politically motivated campaign.

                      As to sustainability – My view, and that of everyone behind the Predator Free project, is that there is nothing less sustainable than continuing to pour resources into a ‘finger in the dam’ scenario. Nobody involved in the project would be proposing Predator Free unless the outcome was not just sustainable, but a net gain in resources and benefits.

                      You are talking about a very limited idea of sustainability and applying it in a reductionist manner. So sure, if the goal here is to protect native species, then that needs to be sustainable in the sense of humans not wasting their time. But that’s nothing to do with ecological sustainability, which looks at whole systems. So instead of silo-ing off this one aspect of conservation from the rest of NZ, regenerative design would place natives species within that whole. That’s what Robert and I are talking about. There’s a whole conversation there that you are sidestepping, and I’m guessing you don’t yet know what we are referring to.

                      “I look forward to being able one day of pointing to the reality that proves both those points.”

                      I’ve been hearing people talk about the imminent tech breakthrough will solve the possum problem in NZ for a good 20 years. If you have some evidence that something has changed on that score, please post it. Otherwise I’ll continue to treat the idea that future tech we haven’t invented yet is going to save us in the same way I do with AGW (step away from it, and focus on regenerative design which we already can and are doing).

                    • The lost sheep

                      What are you proposing to do about cats? Hedgehogs? Rats, stoats, mice etc in urban areas? On private rural land? Be specific.
                      They are issues that certainly need to be resolved, along with many many others, both on a social agreement and technical level. No one is pretending that all the answers and solutions are already in place.
                      If you are really interested in knowing where things are at this point I suggest you start here, and herehttp://predatorfreenz.org/

                      The idea of ‘predator-free NZ’ is a publicity campaign, it’s not an attempt at literal truth. As such I find it misleading. At a pragmatic level it’s an attempt to work around neoliberalism, and all power to the scientists, politicians and conservationists for getting on board for that. But let’s not forget that this is also a politically motivated campaign.
                      You find it misleading because you seem not to understand the genesis of the movement and the motivations of the people and organisations that have put in the decades of work that got us to this point.
                      This is a grassroots movement that has built from the bottom up over many decades, and has eventually reached the critical mass where all the major Political Parties recognise the social desire for change and have come on board to support the vision.
                      Ain’t that wonderful? Just how you’d hope a democracy would work?

                      There’s a whole conversation there that you are sidestepping, and I’m guessing you don’t yet know what we are referring to.
                      It’s difficult to know what Robert is referring to, when by his own admission he is being deliberately ‘cyrptic’ and withholding information from the very people he is expecting to have the conversation with!
                      But assuming it is some form of the ‘regenerative design’ philosophy you reference, then I won’t sidestep that discussion at all.

                      My view is simple. It is anthropocentric point of view, and as such I agree that for some people and/or some places it might be a perfectly valid or even the ‘best’ and most sustainable solution.
                      But for Aotearoa it has one major flaw that leads me to reject it completely from my particular anthropomorphic / moral focus.

                      As I understand, It presupposes that natural ecosystems will find their own balance. In a place where all the components of the Eco-system have been in place for long enough to have largely achieved that on an evolutionary basis I can see the potential for it to work.

                      But when you have a situation where there is a still significantly intact natural evolutionary community, and an introduced army of predatory killers that the natural community has no defense against – then reaching the ‘balance’ is actually going to involve the utter elimination of one community. If that is what you call ‘sustainable’, I violently disagree.

                      Anthropomorphically, from a moral sense that the native community has a right to exist on this Earth as Rats, Cats, Possums and Stoats, so I ‘ve got an idea Weka?

                      Kill off the introduced killers, and then allow a ‘regeneration’ to occur.

              • The lost sheep

                “You don’t mind if I stick to the anthropocentric view?”
                In fact, I do, as described earlier.

                You object, but you are still not going to explain what view you think I and your fellow Councillors should be discussing this issue from? And the point of that game is?

                are rats (throughout NZ) so loathsome ….. Better?
                Happy to be more direct Robert.

                In themselves, Rats are no more or less ‘loathsome’ than any other creature.
                But the consequence of allowing them and the other pest species to exist unhindered in the Eco-systems of Aotearoa? Yes. That is a loathsome vision.

                ……that we (New Zealanders) should plan their annihilation (from NZ).
                If you were standing on Putauhinu or Taukihepa today and became aware that Rats had arrived, knowing full well the consequences for the resident ‘nature’, would you approve of the Rats ‘annihilation’?
                Yes, or, No Robert? I’d appreciate you being direct.

                I would. Absolutely and without compunction. The idea of standing back and allowing Ecocide is ‘loathsome’.

                And here’s the rub Robert. You are standing on an Island, and Introduced pests arecommitting an Ecocide that will rob our future generations of their taonga natural heritage.
                This is exactly the same process that occurred on Taukihepa in ’63, except for that scale you mention, causing it to play out over a much longer period of time.

                So, what are you going to do Robert? Stand back and do nothing, or what? Please be direct.

                • Ridding a small off-shore island of rats is doable, lost sheep.
                  Doing the same for the island in space that is planet earth is not doable, imo.
                  Eliminating all rats of all stripes from the collection of islands large and small that we call New Zealand/Aotearoa is not feasible, imo. Half-doing the job would be worse than doing nothing, if all it did was cost a fortune that could be better employed elsewhere, upset the ecology and cast poisons all about the place, let alone any other unintended consequences that might occur. I can see no reasons to believe it’s a real option. Add to that the potential for vast agonies for the small mammals and I’m not sold on the idea at all.

  14. adam 14

    Threats, that is what this government resorts to, too get its way.


    So much for john key and his word.

    Creepy and a liar – what a great country this is.

    • McFlock 14.1

      One thing I’ve been curious about for years – much of the discussion against re-entry has been about the dangers of making the atmosphere breathable to miners, and the subsequent explosive risk.

      Why not tethered air masks/suits, like for divers? It’s also put an end to things like black lung. The atmosphere would be naturally non-explosive and there’d be no fire risk because it’s anoxic. Spare airtanks, rebreathers and safety chambers could be deployed in case of emergency, but how much more expensive would that be than constantly trying to ventilate a gassy mine?

    • Muttonbird 14.2

      I understand how hard it must be to be out there on that road but I’m surprised they have decided to not continue the blockade.

      Heartless National government wins again.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Brian Tamaki, megalomaniac?
    He has been ranting as usual and struck it lucky. Blaming gays and others for sexual perversions that are punished by God sending natural disasters like the earthquake in Christchurch on Sunday morning and then hallelujah on Monday morning the big one struck. Fantastic publicity for your anointed God, he must have said. (I am putting words in his mouth here. I don’t know this for sure.)



    and what a lovely life for this god-fearing? ranter:


  16. God deeply frustrated Auckland’s gay people live nowhere near a fault line

    The Civilian at his best: http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/god-deeply-frustrated-aucklands-gay-people-live-nowhere-near-a-fault-line/

  17. weka 17

    [In order to keep Open Mike and Daily Review free for other conversations, please put all discussion, comments, link postings etc about the US election under one of the posts about the Election – weka]

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  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
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  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
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  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
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  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
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    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
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  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
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  • Tourism operators provided extra support
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