Open mike 18/07/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, July 18th, 2019 - 77 comments
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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 …

77 comments on “Open mike 18/07/2019”

  1. A 1

    ANZ in the news again. This time it looks like they failed to report suspicious behavior to the US authorities Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

    Despite being US based FinCEN basically have global reach. Looks bad for ANZ.. not sure if that’s constitutes criminal action but from what I’ve read it’s possible.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/114321074/300m-share-scam-saw-money-stashed-in-cook-islands-bank-account

    “Suspicious activity reports” or SARs are required by the US from all banks regardless of location in the world. That’s why it has become difficult for US citizens to open foreign bank accounts – crazy compliance requirements

  2. reason 2

    The Cost of Bad Laws

    New Zealand is not rich, and that’s  making the new Government constrained from the large spending that’s needed to go into areas like housing, health, the environment etc.

    But there are many 'cheap ' legislative changes they could undertake to fix certain things, and possibly save or gain money at the same time.

    i.e…. regarding our  prohibition Cannabis laws, and the cult logic that flows from them, ,,,, 1Kg of Cannabis creates $47,000 of costs / harms in NZ

    Big flaky numbers I’ve quoted from the budget justifying (for drug squads / customs ) nz drug harm index  ,,, page 38  https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/nz-drug-harm-index-2016-2nd-ed-jul16.pdf

    Drug group, Cannabinoids

    Personal harm ($) per kg … 9,000

    Community harm ($) per kg…  … 26,000

    Intervention costs ($) per kg  11,000

    Total social costs ($) per kg ……. 47,000

    Personally I  believe the numbers are hogwash …For instance in the Netherlands where

    Given there are around 600 coffee shop establishments in the country, this means that an average turnover per shop should be between 1.4 and 2 million euros.

    It seems 1 KG of cannabis is worth about  10,000 Euros direct revenue into their economy … calculated at 10 euros per gram.

    https://www.clear-uk.org/the-economic-benefits-of-the-dutch-coffee-shops/

    Colorado also gains from its recent Cannabis regulations …

    Researchers at Colorado State University – Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research set out to answer that question when they studied the economic benefit of marijuana to Pueblo County, Colorado. The researchers found that the marijuana industry provides a net positive economic benefit to the county, reports the Denver Post.

    How is the same Kilo of Cannabis benefiting the Netherlands and Colorado … yet apparently costing NZ tens of thousands in negative costs.

    The only difference is Bad Law we can ill afford …

    https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/05/the-netherlands-is-richer-than-thought-thanks-to-the-marijuana-industry/

  3. Andre 3

    So the orange anusmouth wants to take the humanitarian aid money intended for Honduras and Guatemala and divert it to funding regime change in Venezuela. Meanwhile, desperate people fleeing the crises in Honduras and Guatemala are jumping out of the frying pan into the fire of gratuitously malicious mistreatment at the border. Anyone else see any connection? Or wanna take a guess at the likely result of regime change fuckery in Venezuela?

    https://thinkprogress.org/regime-overthrow-venezuela-trump-diverted-humanitarian-aid-b6cc01a43fd5/

    • reason 3.1

      the mainstream corporate media in the united states did not publish one piece opposing regime change in Venezuela  … over one months worth.

      Zero percent of elites oppose regime change ….

      So the Dems are largely united with tRump.

      With some notable … and targeted exceptions ….

      targeted by you too Andre … TG ?

      • Andre 3.1.1

        There's mixed messages from Democrats on how to respond to the crisis in Venezuela because it's a complex, nuanced situation. While there's little argument that Maduro is a nasty sack'o'shit, and if there's a significant home-grown movement of Venezuelans wanting to rid themselves of Maduro, then they are deserving of moral support at a minimum. But going in and stirring up trouble to try to create pretext for imposing regime change from the outside, as Bolton and Pompeo apparently want to do, is simply unacceptable, and there's very few Democrats in favour of that.

        There's also significant local political implications particularly in states such as Florida. Actively trying to foment regime change in Venezuela is quite popular among some communities such as Cuban-Americans. That realpolitik tends to blunt any potential messaging critical of Bolton and Pompeo's fuckery.

        • Morrissey 3.1.1.1

          While there's little argument that Maduro is a nasty sack'o'shit

          ???? Oh yes, that's what the Trump regime says, and it's what the Trump regime's parrots in the media say, so that's what you say, of course.

          and if there's a significant home-grown movement of Venezuelans wanting to rid themselves of Maduro

          Key words: "if", "significant" and "home-grown". None of them actually applies to the situation.

          as Bolton and Pompeo apparently want to do

          Ha! He said "apparently."

          trying to foment regime change in Venezuela is quite popular among some communities such as Cuban-Americans

          Corrected for truthfulness, that reads "…. trying to foment regime change in Venezuela is quite popular among reactionary, right wing Cuban-Americans…"

        • reason 3.1.1.2

          There's mixed messages from Democrats on how to respond to the crisis in Venezuela

          Bullshit ….. the only ones to speak out strongly against things like Eliot Abrahms ,,, or the sanctions / siege….. are the ones being dumped on by Trump … and yourself in regards to Tulsi Gabbard.

          Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Richard Durbin, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS commentators are among the leading liberal internationalist choristers chanting their support for Trump’s right to impose regime change on another people’s country.

          Zayas wrote a U.N. report on Venezuela in late 2018 that was scathing in its assessment of U.S. policy toward Venezuela under both Obama and Trump.

          https://www.thenation.com/article/venezuela-democrats-trump-sanctions/

          And which party thought " the price was worth it " …. when western siege  / sanctions killed half a million Iraq children.

          Face it …. both the democrats and repugs are exceptional … when it comes to war and killing.

          Finally Which party turned on Martin Luther King …. in the year or two before he was murdered.

  4. Blazer 4

    I think NZ is rich.

    Abundant natural resources,a temperate climate and more than enough to provide every NZ'er with a home to raise a family,adequate healthy food and all the basic needs of people.

    The shackles of  Friedman economics and pursuit of the delusional ,materialism of the 'American Dream' have lead to the shallow,unreal reality of today.

    • alwyn 4.1

      Is that the same Friedman who was one of the early advocates for a UBI? If so perhaps you could explain why you don't seem to approve of him given that he was an advocate of actually providing the basic needs of everyone.

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        Friedman was a supporter of the smashing of Chile's democracy in 1973. That's just one compelling reason to despise him. Another is his inability to cogently defend his outrageous positions….

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          I must confess, having watched this clip, that I think Milton Friedman was a great deal clearer than the person with that amazing head of hair.

          You seem to be ascribing views, and actions regarding Chile, to Milton that he didn't appear to hold.

          • Morrissey 4.1.1.1.1

            Friedman worked with the U.S.-backed dictator to dismantle democracy in Chile. Because he himself never physically killed a teacher or student or nun or poet does not mean he was not involved in the bloodletting. Pinochet never personally dispatched a prisoner either. Nor did Kissinger.

          • reason 4.1.1.1.2

            Milton Friedman …. Shock Doctrine

            His medicine was on show under boris yelstin

            Under Yeltsin, Russia’s economy collapsed some 60%, the male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56, millions were reduced to living on subsistence farming for the first time since Stalin as wages went unpaid for years at a time. Russia was on its way to going extinct—but about 3-5% of the population (plus or minus 3%) was making out like bandits. Probably because they actually were bandits.

            Milton fails because there is no ' level playing field ' …… ' The market decides' is the sort of crap that gave NZ Pike River …… which Alwyn tried to pin on Andrew Little.

            Showing up Alwyn for having no concern for the truth …. or safety of any future mine workers.

            He'd rather lie for political gain … repeatedly and on just about everything.

            Roger Douglas gave the NZ economy its first dose of Miltons snake oil …. leading to the 1988 sharemarket crash … and the  lost decade in the  1990's where our economy languished  ….. as ruth richardson, jenny shiply and national doubled down.

            The seeds to our housing crisis were planted then ….money spent on  welfare to landlords via  the  'Accommodation Allowance',… instead of state house building.

            Student debt was introduced….

            And did I say our economy hit the skids ,,,, Australia was the saving grace in stopping our unemployment rate going through the roof …. kiwi workers moved there.

            Milton and trickle down were a fraud …. He grew oligarchs and inequality.

            Russia 39 mins

        • Adrian Thornton 4.1.1.2

          This has some funny moments…

          Let's Ridicule Thomas Friedman With Matt Taibbi..

      • Blazer 4.1.2

        Is that how you interpret 'trickle down theory'?

        Chicago style economics embraced the doctrine of privatisation and austerity when crisis situations developed domestically and internationally.

        The mess you see today is a direct result of this flawed ideology.

        Their handiwork in US interventions is appalling.

      • Adrian Thornton 4.1.3

        " he was an advocate of actually providing the basic needs of everyone." really? the the same people who promote the ideology of modern wage slavery ie. free market laissez-faire economics are interested in your well being, or anyone's well being,I don’t think so.
        The only interest in humans those rodents have is in their ability to either produce or consume market driven goods…why you would trust people with that ideology to provide anything of intrinsic value to the human project in a positive or long term way is beyond me.

        Unending growth and short term gain for the wealthy is Friedman's ideology, nothing more…now debunked too I might add.

        • alwyn 4.1.3.1

          Rubbish. Why don't you simply look up what he really did say on the subject?

      • joe90 4.1.4

        he was an advocate of actually providing the basic needs of everyone.

        Arse. Friedman's negative tax wasn't a way to supplement income, it was a way to eliminate social spending by the state and replace it with private charity.

        • alwyn 4.1.4.1

          You haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about. The only bit that is accurate is the comment that he (sometimes) called it a negative tax. The money was to be supplied, without strings, by the Government. There was no mention at all that is should be provided by private charity.

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    In a housing market where few new houses are being built, I don't see how more small investors returning to the market is a good thing for anybody other than small investors. The signal no capital gains tax sends to the market is that property investors are to be encouraged because they are good for the economy. But as far as I can see, property investors simply soak up a lot of the available housing stock so it is not available for first home buyers. I don't see what added value they add to the economy.

    https://www.qv.co.nz/property-insights-blog/smaller-investors-appear-more-confident-after-capital-gains-tax-scrapping/457

    • David Mac 5.1

      We need property investors because our government can't afford to provide a rental home for everyone that needs or wants one. 

      Our govenment has been trying to meet the housing needs of our most needy for only a few generations. Other nations have been at it for centuries. 

      The government and local council ownership of homes in Sweden are at such a level that stock levels extend beyond housing the most needy and extends into teachers, office admin, bus driving folk etc. 

      Good things happen when numbers get to that level. In NZ, the NZ housing stock is a huge expense. People speak of the dividend Housing NZ returns to our govt, bulldust, before we even get to the ledger, when considering the lost opportunity with the billions tied up it's an immense money-pit.

      When the govt is the dominant rental property owner, they set the 'Market Rent' levels, not by making rent level laws, by proxy, the market follows the dominant player. When salespeople and drivers rather than just beneficiaries are in the rentals we all own, they are in a position to pay rent at levels that could push Housing NZ close to being a profitable business.

      All sorts of benefits filter down. In Sweden, people in govt owned houses aren't judged unfavourably, it's so common amongst people of all walks of life it's not really a thing.

      I feel there is a point of critical mass with govt owned housing, in nations that have been at it a lot longer than us the benefits are plain to see. We're some way off owning enough houses to 'Own the market' but I feel we should be on that road. In the meantime we need small time investors and their type have the reins. 

      When Jacinda holds the majority of rental properties and sets the tone, the marketplace might stop pissing around with our homes like our lives are a game of Monopoly. That's what happened in Sweden, I met a few wealthy people, none of them owned rental houses.  

  6. Cinny 6

    anne tolley is nasty piece of work.

    “A teen was reduced to tears after her speech about a friend’s suicide during a Youth Parliament debate was interrupted by senior National MP Anne Tolley.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12250413

    • I feel love 6.1

      Let's see the trolls defend that! 

      An 11 year old girl committed suicide at my kids school a few months back, bloody sad. 

    • veutoviper 6.3

      Note – this is an edited version from one I put up earlier but deleted after getting the video to work.

      Hi Cinny, I saw the little bit of that article much earlier this morning that I could read, but the video was not available so I was left wondering what had happened.  

      Having now watched the video, I am actually of two minds in this particular situation.  

      I was involved in helping with a couple of Youth Parliaments some years ago and instances such as that where young rep MPs are pulled up for reading speeches, cautioned that they are running out of time etc are quite usual.  The purpose of the Youth Parliaments are to give young people an experience of what it is like to be a MP and how Parliament operates etc –warts and all.

      Firstly, I never liked Tolley as a Minister etc in the last government, and agree that she did show a nasty side at times.  On the other hand, as a regular watcher of Parliament (hard to break old work habits/requirements!) for the most part, I am actually quite impressed with her as a Deputy Speaker of the House.

      In this particular situation I think Anne Tolley could have perhaps handled her interruption of Lily Dorrance’s speech a little better than she did considering the sensitive nature of Lily’s speech.  On the other hand, Tolley was also bound to fulfill her role as Speaker to the Youth Parliament in the same way as she must do so as a Speaker in the 'normal' Parliament, in accord with all applicable rules, procedures, etc.  I note that she also referred to things that had gone on previously in the Youth Parliament sittings that seemed to have provided context to her interruption on this occasion. Unfortunately we are not privy to what those earlier instances involved.

      I have had a quick check of the Parliament site and note that some parts of the proceedings of this year's Youth Parliament (two days – Tuesday and Wednesday this week) were broadcast live on the usual Parliamentary TV channels, but unfortunately these broadcast sessions are not available On Demand on/through the Parliament website.  So that does not help seeing what actually happened in the earlier sessions/speeches that Tolley referred to.

      For anyone interested, here are links to the sections on the Parliamentary website re the 2019 Youth Parliament:

      Programme PDF (LB = live broadcast sessions)
      https://www.parliament.nz/media/5837/youth-parliament-2019-programme-for-website.pdf

      Parliament website main page with further links to detailed information
      https://www.parliament.nz/en/get-involved/youth-parliament/

      I note from the “Bio” page the young woman concerned, Lily Dorrance, is from Christchurch. Each young person attending the Youth Parliament is sponsored by and represents a sitting MP – in Lily's case, that was The Rt Hon David Carter (Nat).

      I have also now looked at the link in the second link above to the Youth Parliament Media pages, but nothing there about this incident – but some other interesting stuff.   Will keep my eyes out for any more information re this situation and report back if I find out more. 

      [Cinny, despite this ‘incident’, the Youth Parliaments are really great and the young people who attended these in the past have reported that they really enjoyed them and the experience has spurred quite a few to move down this road in their studies and later lives.  You really should think about these for your girls if they are interested in politics etc. ;Happy to get further info for you but also lots of stuff there on the second link to give you and the girls a feel for what happens etc.]

      • mauī 6.3.1

        Here's some background from the start of the General Debate. She's a bully who can't pronounce people's names and changes the rules when and if she feels like it.



        • veutoviper 6.3.1.1

          Thanks so much, maui.  I wondered whether all the Youth Parliament televised sessions were up on You Tube – and it seems they are.  I don't have time right now to watch them in detail but will do so over the weekend.

          Have now watched quite a bit of the one above and considered that Tolley laid out the rules in a fairly even manner at the very 'get go' and so far, yes there has been some querying etc her ruling that speeches are not just to be read from notes.

          Actually, the whole intention of these debates is that  it is a learning opportunity where these young people get real experience of how Parliament works – including being pulled up for not sticking to the rules, then debating the rules, disagreeing with one another etc.  It is not intended as a soft fluffy ride – and they are well aware of that before they apply to be part of a Youth Parliament.

          IMO having worked in this area, what Tolley achieved in those first few minutes is in fact exactly the above.  Yes, she stirred the pot and got things moving, people disagreeing with her and one another, and debating what the rules are, whether they are acceptable or not, and what the rules are that  they (the House) wished to work to.  

          Sorry – IMO that is not bullying  That is 'Mission achieved'. 

          • mauī 6.3.1.1.1

            She made up a new rule that none of the students were aware of. There seemed to be an expectation that they could read from notes, otherwise all of them would have started off trying their best not to.

            Pretty harsh thing to do to students who are at Parliament for the first time doing public speaking. Doing a speech is nerve wracking enough.. having a powerful person silence you and embarass you infront of your peers is definitely something else. 

      • Cinny 6.3.2

        Thanks for the links VV, much appreciated.  I guess my issue is that we see MP's reading aloud from their notes in the house often.

        And great advice re my girls and youth parliament, that's well worth looking into

        • veutoviper 6.3.2.1

          Cinny I agree that we see MPs reading aloud from their notes in the House often, and that the different Speakers (Mallard, Tolley, Potp Williams and Adrian Rauhine) have different tolerance levels in that regard – much like different moderators here. 

          One of the points I was trying to make earlier (badly) was that the amount of experience that the Youth Parliaments try to provide in an action-packed two days leads to it being a pressure cooker of 'tastes' rather than indepth experiences. In my experience, anyway, the emphasis in all the preliminary info etc about becoming a youth MP and during the two days is that it is not a platform to push issues but rather a chance to get a taste of how Parliament operates and why etc.   That is in no way to criticise Lily for raising a very important issue – youth suicide -as the subject of her speech; but IMO Tolley was seeing things from that perspective and was pushing Lily to express her own views on what should be done in the short time she had left rather than continuing to describe the situation re youth suicide in NZ.  As I said, I think Tolley could probably have handled the situation better.

          I note that the Herald has now put up an amended non-payrolled version of their original article which provides more information about the Youth Parliament and includes comments/apologies from Tolley – plus an amended heading.

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12250519

          I also note that mickysavage has also now put up a post, but not sure whether he has read the discussion here …

          • veutoviper 6.3.2.1.1

            Oops, realised too late that I had misspelled two names – should be Poto Williams and Adrian Rurawhe.  I am actually wondering whether someone else will replace Poto now that she is bcoming a Minister.  I have a lot of respect for both her and Adrian as Assistant Speakers.

    • Muttonbird 6.4

      I think it proves National party people have no soul and aren't fit to be parents.

    • Gabby 6.5

      What did she say? Assuming the hibbledibble bothered giving details.

  7. francesca 7

    Correa reponds to CNN's false allegations about Assange's "control centre"

    "What CNN and other media are saying is rubbish, but we're used to it. They are prepping for the show. The reason is, when they extradite Assange to the US and sentence him to life, they want the honest backing of the public. They are setting the stage.

    Correa compared CNN's assertions about Assange to its claims about "weapons of mass destruction" in the lead up to the Iraq war in 2003 — media manipulation which was used to make Americans "applaud a war,” he said.

    Now, to "justify the assassination of Assange or to extradite him" they are constructing a new narrative about a fake "command center" for election meddling, he said."

    Typically, whenever the new information contradicts the mainstream narrative, the MSM declines to report, thus contributing to a biased , incomplete coverage .

    RT guys, but straight from the horse's mouth 

    https://www.rt.com/news/464409-correa-cnn-assange-embassy/

    • johnm 7.1

      One thing the United States most certainly is not is a democracy.  A democracy requires an informed electorate, and the United States most certainly does not have an informed electorate. The American media, indeed, the entirety of the Western print and TV media, functions as a Propaganda Ministry for Washington and the ruling oligarchies.  The explanations are controlled to serve the agendas of the ruling elites.  The persecution and torture of Julian Assange proves conclusively that the First Amendment is a dead-letter Amendment.  

      https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/07/01/the-torture-of-julian-assange/

      Without an honest Fourth Estate it is impossible to prevent a democracy from becoming a tyranny.  In America tyranny is far advanced.  Suppose that Americans somehow became aware of the truth about Julian Assange’s total innocence that has been disclosed by Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.  What could they do about it short of violent revolution and complete elimination of the ruling elites? 

    • johnm 7.2

      CNN interviewed Julian Assange—several times!

    • Brigid 7.3

      Speaking of RT and the often stated claims that it is a Russian controlled media, it seems that that is not so much.

      The following is an interview and transcript by  journalist Ivan Golunov  who spoke to RT about his arrest on false drug charges, alleged mistreatment in custody, huge public support that he didn’t expect, and plans for the future now that he is a minor celebrity in Russia.

      https://www.rt.com/russia/462048-golunov-full-interview-transcript/

      • One Two 7.3.1

        BBC of course, is state sponsored

        CNN/Fox and other US networks are state apararti…Federal agencies and employees are part of the organisations…

        Finger pointing at RT for example, is the purest hypocrisy. 

        • Morrissey 7.3.1.1

          The BBC is not just state-sponsored, it's a mouthpiece for the state. It was effectively brought to heel after Blair and Alastair Campbell went to war on it following the David Kelly revelations in 2004.

  8. Observer Tokoroa 8

    The Weasel goes Pop

    With the arrival of the Coalition Government there has been an explosion of thought and some valuable activity, particularly in looking towards the Future of New Zealand.

    But at the Risk of being a Pain in the Butt – I wish to draw attention to the massive crisis in Housing. The whole Nation has let Poverty of  Population waddle around in disgrace.

    We must Immediatlely stop all Immigration 

    We must build 3 bedroom qualityApartments / Houses   (that do not leak or fall apart or drop off from great heights)

    We must Stop all other constructions until Housing is built.

    The Apartments / Houses should be sold for $300 thousand Dollars to persons earning less than $50,000.  Should be sold at $90, 000 for persons earning at $70, 000  Indicative only.

    Rentals should be reduced to max of  $170 per week. I

    mmediately -Indicative.

    The Houses may never be sold To the Free Market!  Only to the Government of the Day.

    • alwyn 8.1

      "We must Stop all other constructions until Housing is built.". 

      I'm not sure that this would really be a good idea. Are we not to be allowed any new schools or classrooms as Chippie Hipkins announced recently?

      And are you going to scrap the rebuild of the Dunedin Hospital that was announced by the National Government back prior to the last election and that the current lot seemed to be willing to carry out?

      Is "Dr" Clark going to renege on this and go along with your proposal instead?

      • Gabby 8.1.1

        Not to mention international conference centres wally. They should always get priority.

        • alwyn 8.1.1.1

          I suppose you can demand the provision of lots of conference centres if you are so much in favour of them. God knows what you would want them for but you are allowed to call for them if you must.

          Personally I can't see why we should need any more but the idiot Labour Mayor in Wellington seem to be, like you, a fan. What is that makes you lot so keen to have them?

          You will note that I didn't want to see useful things scrapped for a single minded push for standard sized houses. Do you really not favour schools and hospitals?

          • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1.1.1.1

            Agreed. The planet can do without the carbon footprint associated with holding large international conferences in NZ – hold 'em online.

            Budget blowout for SkyCity centre
            https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/64337208/

            "The estimated costs of SkyCity's controversial international conference centre in Auckland have blown out by up to $128 million, with uncertainty as to who will pick up the tab.

            The casino company lodged a resource consent application with the Auckland Council today, which covers the centre as well as a separate five-star 300-room hotel and pedestrian laneway.

            However, design improvements and sensitive treatment of historic buildings have blown the cost estimates for the project out to a range of $470-$530m.

            SkyCity is only contractually obligated to cover $402m, after agreeing to a deal with the Government allowing it to extend its casino licence to 2048, and add 230 poker machines and 40 gaming tables.

            Chief executive Nigel Morrison said the company would "work constructively" with the Crown to identify options to address the funding of the extra costs.

            SkyCity's shares dropped 2.8 per cent on the news to close at 3.83."

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/266186/back-to-the-drawing-board

          • In Vino 8.1.1.1.2

            Please don't feign dumb ignorance, alwyn. Gabby was obviously making a witty allusion to John Key's dodgy deal with Sky City to provide Auckland with a 'marvellous' (?) Conference Centre. You remember? About the time when he was refusing to admit that there was any kind of housing crisis?

            Is your memory truly as selective as you pretend?

            • alwyn 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Gabby? Witty??

              You really must be joking. You are also showing signs of a failing memory of course. The thing at Sky City wasn't built by the taxpayer, was it?

              It was built by Sky City themselves, or at least it was going to be. I don't live in Auckland or waste my time at Casinos so I really have no idea what happened to it. I am only too well aware of out idiot Labour Mayor in Wellington wanting to waste the ratepayer's money on building something like it here. 

              What I am very well aware of is that this current pack of fools, known as the CoL, have poured a fortune into a miserable few houses and then haven't even been able to sell many of them. I think it is total madness for the State to run a subsidy scheme for unsuccessful developers which is what KiwiBuild has turned out to be. What do you think the final cost of the farce is going to be? How many hundreds of millions of dollars has already been wasted and what will the final bill turn out to be?

              • In Vino

                You still fail to explain your selective memory about the previous Govt's strange priorities.

                I disagree with you about the holy, sacred 'taxpayer' not being penalised by the Sky City Convention Centre deal.

                Sky City got the right to increase the number of their gaming machines. (Are you going to pretend that there was no commercial gain? More importantly, no social cost in a low-wage country where so many of the poor are conned into seeing lotto and Casinos as a source of hope?)

                I suspect that in the long term we will all be paying the social costs of that foul deal. Taxpayer or not.

                Your criticism of Wellington's mayor because you personally do not want that casino is another feint, avoiding the valid point that Gabby raised: the Key Govt's obsession with the great value of Conference Centres.

    • Jenny - How to Get there? 8.2

      Observer Tokoroa

      18 July 2019 at 9:20 am

      ……We must Immediatlely stop all Immigration 

      How to go all Trumpian on it, Eh Tokeroa?

      Tokeroa, how do you propose we get the workers to build these houses?

      Also, Tokeroa, You obviously haven't been to hospital lately. If you had you would notice that the health sector labour force is totally reliant on immigrants to operate it. Realise Tokeroa, that without immigration our health system would be in near collapse.

      Also know this Tokeroa the massive state house building programme launched by the first Labour Government Minister of Housing, John A. Lee relied massively on immigrant labour. (Admittedly mostly from what we called at that time the 'Home Country')

  9. Neville Winsley 9

    Had a call from Curia last night ( for the first time). One little curiosity I thought – was asked to rank a group of politicians from 1 ( terrible ) -5 ( fantastic ). The group was Jacinda, James Shaw, Winston Peters, Simon Bridges and……Paula Bennett. I get the first four, but Bennett ?  Any thoughts on what this could mean? 

    • alwyn 9.1

      Shaw is going to get a turn as Prime Minister perhaps?

      Given his disastrous performance in Statistics, his only real portfolio, he would be about as bad as the incumbent, wouldn't he?

      Actually looking at the names, and the rating system to be used, I see why you have named them in that order. The first name would get a rating of 1. The second name gets a rating of 2 and so on. All is clear.

    • Sacha 9.2

      Nat party checking out swapping leaders?

      • greywarshark 9.2.1

        Pick out the top five and let them all have a go.   National pollies don't take their job seriously even when they are the government and now is the perfect time for pilot apprentices  to show their Gnashers.

    • Sacha 9.3

      Ah, maybe a breakaway party? Though that seems less likely to be led by Bennett than others in their current caucus..

  10. Andre 10

    Just in case anyone was wondering, "go back to where you came from" is explicitly cited by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as an example of illegal discrimination.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/federal-law-go-back-came-from-discrimination_n_5d2e815de4b085eda5a390cc

  11. Observer Tokoroa 11

    Dear Mrs Alwind

    Thankyou for  drawing attention to your your stupid  liitle nothings.  You seem to have been caught up in a nasty little house in which hatred of the poor is the only thing that spoouts out of your twisted mind and Arse. You low achiever.

    Creep back into Your House of Hatred now !

    [Please tone it down a little – Incognito]

    • Incognito 11.1

      See my Moderation note @ 11:59 AM.

    • Observer Tokoroa 11.2

      I will tone it down a bit as you request.

      Is there a Rule which insists that serious topics get treated with real respect  – sans abuse – san bias- and sans stupidity.

      I appreciate your work and monitoring. Incognito !

      • Incognito 11.2.1

        Thank you.

        No rule, just consider what makes for good healthy debate. The more a comment or commenter detracts from that, the more likely it will attract the attention of moderators.

    • alwyn 11.3

      Was this meant to have been addressed to me?

      If it was can I suggest you look at the little "Reply" below comments? And that you use it? And, if you are really trying to get my attention that you both spell my name correctly and that you try and say something intelligible rather than just abuse me.

      If you weren't referring to me please ignore this remark of mine. I will, in the meantime, simply ignore the meaningless dribble you are coming out with.

  12. greywarshark 12

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/394649/limited-service-volunteer-programme-boot-camps-for-the-unemployed-set-to-double-in-size

    Boot camps have been running for 26 years!   They are a good thing even if people don't go far after them, provided of course that they never degenerate into bullying and sexual foreplay and after, and treating people detrimentally – no old fashioned sarn't major like in the films with vituperation etc – You lazy worms etc., and there should be some mind work, just not keeping tidy clean, regular hours etc.

    Some of the people are going into the Defence Force.    What about other people going into the Community Work Force, and having decent work jobs that the young ones give a go, for a few weeks, and then decide if they could take on that job for a stint of six months on minimum wage for a few months, and then living wage.    What an incentive!   

    What a lot of work there is waiting to do in NZ.     They could after six months be helped into real apprenticeships.    But no Cave Creek projects, only doing what is appropriate for young unskilled people.

    Those who did not want to commit to a six months in the first job offered, could be part of a local group who worked every week part-time, doing a variety of jobs, and then could nominate what they would like to study at for six months, with some outcome, certification etc. they would have to  show for their work.   Then they would be found a job, or place where they could use that expertise and interest.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Powerful guns bought back – drones only sold under permit?

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/394564/government-looks-at-powers-to-seize-illegally-operated-drones

    We have enough human drones in NZ whose brains are under loose control.  They can extend their reach for misbehaviour and worse with drones.   Spy ware on a large scale is what they are – and also unpleasantly clogging up the air as badly as the cyclists, mobile carts and others clog up the footpaths.   Our footpaths, the air, we always took for granted having a good clear purpose – best to be aware of the invasive things in our lives and try to control them from the start.   Limit drones now to certain proved users!

  14. Muttonbird 14

    It's always the cover up which gets you. After lying by omission and using the a bit of family limo use as a decoy, John Key has failed in throwing investors and the media off the scent of his ANZ's corruption.

    Remember the money the Hiscos saved from the undervaluation of this house went straight into John Key's pocket not six months later…

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/money/114330734/simplicity-could-launch-legal-action-over-anz-mansion-valuation-secrecy

  15. Tony Veitch (not etc) 15

    Sitting in Charles de Gaulle airport overhearing 2 couples discussing Brexit it and Trump! English couple bemoaning the probability of Boris as pm, comparing him with Trump.

    Never felt more proud to have Jacinta as leader. She may not appeal to the redneck tunnel visioned Nat voters, and even to me the coalition government is not radical enough – but, hell, light years better than has and UK.

    • alwyn 15.1

      Who is "Jacinta"? I've never heard of her.

      • In Vino 15.1.1

        Another obvious, insincere feint.

        I assume you know that a 'd' is merely a softened, vocalised 't'.  In Olde English, the word 'Hundred' ended with a t, not a d.  But you would still have understood it.

        Don't want to answer the point made, so dodge it with a pedantic diversion.

  16. Molotov 16

    Philosophy or Science Fiction the path forward. Let us forget about stone age Neolithic cannibal culture for a while.

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