Open Mike 18/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 18th, 2016 - 91 comments
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91 comments on “Open Mike 18/02/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Pacific nations desperate for climate action

    ‘Representatives from 17 Pacific states, including Kiribati President Anote Tong, have been meeting leaders and experts in Wellington this week as part of Victoria University’s Pacific Climate Change Conference.
    The university’s Professor James Renwick said there had been a sense of “alarm and panic” from Pacific delegates, whose low-lying nations were facing between 50cm and 1m of sea level rise by the end of this century.

    While New Zealand had contributed $3 million to the fund, Professor Sims said, this was little compared to its annual fossil fuel subsidies of around $80 million — something which earned it the first “Fossil of the Day” award to be presented by activists at the Paris conference.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11591295

    • Manuka AOR 1.1

      And the biggest fight they face is with Big Oil: http://asiapacificreport.nz/2016/02/17/climate-change-action-faces-fight-with-big-oil-says-mckibben/

      “Climate change activists have to be prepared for a confrontation with oil companies that will “flat out lie”, says environmental leader Bill McKibben.

      “McKibben, a professor of environmental journalism at Middlebury College and founder of the Pacific Climate Warriors, he was speaking yesterday to the In the Eye of the Storm conference from his office in Vermont, USA.

      “Noting how high the stakes were, he said there were “absolute survival risks in this century if we let the temperature go up even a little bit more”. ”
      —————
      “Oil companies “will flat out lie,” he said, singling out Exxon for particular criticism.

      “Despite having known about global warming 25 years ago, the firm had used that knowledge only to prepare its oil rigs for the rising sea level.” [emph added]

      • Paul 1.1.1

        And I’m assuming some big oil companies were privy to the TPP, thereby ensuring future governments’ hands are tied in preventative action.

        • Manuka AOR 1.1.1.1

          I think that is the main point of the TPP in its present form – its raison d’etre. As people start to wake up to climate change, and to see the need for urgent change and especially for an end to Big Oil, it is ONLY something like the TPP that will slow their demise.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            It’s one of the major points of the TPP. One other is the goal of the US economically isolating Russia and China, two rival countries which it believes may be becoming geopolitical competitors for itself on the world stage.

            Russia and China are two huge economies which face the Pacific Rim – but yet are deliberately excluded from the TPP.

            • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1.1

              No it’s not. It is one of YOUR fears about the TPPA. However there is nothing in the TPPA that would preclude nations from legislating to tackle climate change.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Says who? Your word isn’t worth squat.

                And plenty of credible people who don’t have a track record of mendacity, unlike you, say the opposite.

              • dv

                OK Read the whole 6000 pages, and got legal opinions on them all.
                Just to be sure!!!

    • Manuka AOR 1.2

      “We’re going to lose Islands, whole countries…” http://asiapacificreport.nz/2016/02/15/were-going-to-lose-islands-whole-countries-says-pacific-climate-advocate/

      “New Zealand needs to acknowledge that Pacific Island nations face an “ecological holocaust” and “ecocide” thanks to climate change, says Dr Pala Molisa.

      “Molisa, a lecturer in accounting at Victoria University, will be leading the open forum at the In the Eye of the Storm Pacific climate change conference, which started today. Dr Molisa is also the MC of the conference.

      ” “One of the reasons we call this … conference In the Eye of the Storm,” Molisa says, “is that the Pacific is one of the places where the impacts of climate change will be most severely felt and first felt.

      ” “We’re going to lose islands – we’re going to lose whole countries – because of rising sea levels … The Pacific is one of the most vulnerable areas to these super storms and extreme weather events.” “

      • Sabine 1.2.1

        if you google the Pentagon Papers on Climate Change from 2003 you will see that this was addressed amidst mass evacuation/migration of people living in low lying areas, mass evacuation/migration in areas of drought, etc etc etc. It is an impressive read. Have fun

        http://www.climate.org/PDF/clim_change_scenario.pdf

        and this guy has been writing a book about this in 1995 (and he even includes the ‘refugee’ Islands)

        http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1416715.Mother_of_Storms

        In Germany at the beginning of the eighties, we had newspapers print ‘artists impressions’ of a tropical Germany.
        We have known for a long time, we have just and still are not ready yes to give up on a few of our comforts to a. prevent it from happening, or b. at least buy some time.

  2. maui 2

    Ugo Bardi resources expert argues that Saudi Arabia will be the next failed state following Syria in the Middle east.

    http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.co.nz/2015/11/the-syrian-sickness-what-crude-oil.html?m=1

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      And the impacts of the depletion of cheap, easy oil reverberate far and wide, not justr regionally but globally.

      Our elites have depended on this cheap easy energy for their oversize profits and to distribute enough income around the western population to keep things held together.

      But as that pool shrinks, and our leadership elite refuse to share with the rest of us a little more of that shrinking pool, the bottom 80% of western society is going to be put under a harder and harder squeeze.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      I see the same happening here as we export our wealth in exchange for worthless money. It is the inevitable result of being a ‘trading nation’ where we try to support an economy greater than the resources we have can sustain.

      Our resources are disappearing through massive extraction. We will have nothing at the end of it – not even the money as that would have been spent trying to maintain our society in the face of the economic destruction we brought about.

  3. Steve 3

    Media Bias? No coverage of the Flag leaked email in my print edition of today’s Dom Post.

  4. Lucy 4

    Am so very disappointed in Cameron Bennett and all the other judges for NZer of the year – not that we are allowed to know who these faceless people are. We have a woman who is and has been for a large number of years holding up the mirror to NZ to try and change the culture that says its OK to be have sex with a person who is smaller and weaker than you, and for most of the time is not paid, and a man who plays the sport that typifies that culture and the culture that violence is good, drinking to excess is good, beating up anyone smaller than you is good, and is well paid for it the man wins. Shows what qualities the judges admire and why NZ it is great to be a man and lousy to be a woman!

    • John Ross 4.1

      Couldn’t agree with you more Lucy. Misuse of alcohol and violence – not just against women – are built in to the NZ culture, and our national game plays a very large part in that through sponsorship, thuggery on the field and after-match booze-ups. Ritchie McCaw is a great guy, but he exemplifies the rugby scene and has been well paid for his ‘sportsmanship.’ So the result is simply reflecting how kiwis feel about their game and women – disappointing, but not surprising.

  5. weka 5

    Very good look at how the MSM are using and misusing social media as sources from a journalist at the coal face. It’s looking at ethics in a changing world, including to what extent social media are public spaces and where there needs to be a more subtle understanding of how the public uses them and what they expect (or don’t see coming).

    Twitter and Facebook are public spaces. And conversations you have in public spaces are by nature public. You want privacy? Email, text, phone. It seems fair. But apply this to the offline world and things crumble quickly. Don’t want me butting in on your conversation at McDonalds? Should have gone to your bedroom. Don’t want me rifling through your rubbish bag – filled with prescription bottles, condoms, notes? Maybe you shouldn’t have put it in a public street.

    The boundary between private and public is blurry. It always has been. We do private stuff in public and while, legally, technically, we can violate the privacy of those moments – grieving, an intimate conversation, having a breakdown – mostly we don’t. Because it’s universally understood as hugely rude.

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/17-02-2016/jess-mcallen-if-its-public-is-it-fair-game-why-we-as-media-need-to-change-the-way-we-report-on-social-media/

    Another one here I’m just about to read,

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/18-02-2016/a-journalist-is-someone-who-leaves-the-office-and-actually-talks-to-people/

    I’m more and more impressed by The Spin Off.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      That point about private in public – while we can’t help overhearing some things if close by or said in a loud voice, there actually is a rule of courtesy and respect for others that is allied to the ‘Do as you would be done by’ golden rule, that though people live in a community they also have private lives within that community, even when in public.

      And reasonable, good and fair people recognise that basic principle, and feel ashamed at overwhelming curiosity, unless there is an important and desperate need to know relating to safety.

      I hate papparazzi stalkers, and gawkers when there is an argument or a fight, these gawkers aren’t usually the ones who stop and help someone having an epiliptic fit or a faint or heart attack. When there is something happening that actually requires attention and interest along with a helping hand, they will pass by averting their eyes, even step over that person and pass on.

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        I assume from what you and weka have said here that both of you now accept that the Herald reporter who “accidentally” left his recorder on the table in a café where John Key and John Banks were having a private chat is therefore a total shithead?
        I’m sure you are not going to claim that there was “an important and desperate need to know relating to safety”?
        And I’m sure weka would say it shouldn’t have happened “Because it’s universally understood as hugely rude”?
        Or have you suddenly changed your minds?

        • b waghorn 5.1.1.1

          Of course he left it there on purpose and good on him ,it was a polititical meeting in a public place so we had a right to know what was being said.

          • alwyn 5.1.1.1.1

            You can hold any view on the matter you like. It wasn’t you who made the comments I was replying to and you are not therefore going to be judged.

            His action was, however, completely opposite to the sentiments expressed by weka and greywarshark.
            They should either agree with the judgement I propose about the reporter and show that they are consistent in their views, regardless of who is involved, or else admit that they are being hypocritical and that they have different rules for “them” and “us”.

        • Puddleglum 5.1.1.2

          I think your analogical extension fails since Banks and Key were, at that moment, elected public officials performing part of their public function as MPs and party leaders during an election campaign.

          While, for whatever reason, they may have wished the conversation to be ‘private’ (in the wake of a public event they had gone to some trouble to arrange as an event of high media interest) the content of that conversation was certainly likely to have been in the public interest since it would likely have had some bearing on party political positioning and strategy during an election campaign.

          Further, it is reasonable to assume that they sat together in that cafe in full sight of the reporters and camera people who had been ushered outside just in order to make a political and very public point – that they had things to say to each other and that they were on good and friendly terms. That is, the moment in which they supposedly were having a ‘private conversation’ was likely itself part of the public and political event they had staged and that they wished to be recorded – visually at least – for the public to witness.

          In that circumstance, if this was a case of deliberate eavesdropping it has some public interest defence even if, personally, one finds the journalistic method distasteful. (Banks and Key were simply being incautious and unwise in the execution of their political agendas if they truly wished to speak privately in such a context.)

          The same cannot be said of going out of one’s way to eavesdrop on private citizens attempting to converse privately in public spaces. There is no defence – short of suspecting, on good evidence, some nefarious or criminal purpose – to eavesdrop on such conversations.

          • alwyn 5.1.1.2.1

            Have a look at my first comment and my first response to b waghorn.

            I wasn’t trying to re-open the general subject of the recording.
            What I am saying is that if weka and greywarshark really believe the things they put in their comments they MUST, unless they are hypocrites, condemn his actions.
            Unless you agree with their expressed opinions you can take any view you like about the reporter’s actions.
            I mean to say, was the casual political chat between Key and Banks something of which ” there is an important and desperate need to know relating to safety”.

            This has nothing to do with whether I think Key and Banks should have expected someone to try and tape them. Of course they should have been more careful. On the other hand I felt like blowing a raspberry when the clown who did the taping tried to claim it was an accident and that he didn’t mean to leave an active recorder there.

            • Andre 5.1.1.2.1.1

              alwyn, what are your views on the police raiding newsrooms to retrieve copies of the recording?

              • alwyn

                Such actions come into the category of way over the top frankly.
                There certainly wasn’t anything of great national security importance on it.
                On the other hand the holier-than-thou attitude of journalists is a load of crap. Fearless supporters of the publics right to know my foot.

  6. Sabine 6

    RIP Boutros Boutros Gali

    I did like the Ali G interviews of ze important People

    🙂

  7. You would think responsible governments would be looking at how to stop tax avoidance and corporate welfare via global trade deals instead of adding more corporate welfare!

    this link has examples of how corporates like Vodaphone vs India, Perenco vs Ecuador: Micula vs Romania: US agribusiness vs Mexico: Tullow Oil vs Uganda: are using ISDS to sue against paying taxes to governments.

    http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/resources/taxes-on-trial-how-trade-deals-threaten-tax-justice-global-justice-now.pdf

  8. European Groups Expose ‘Terrifying Extent of Corporate Grab’ Within TTIP
    ‘The ability to enact effective and fair tax systems to finance vital public services is one of the defining features of sovereignty,’ says Global Justice Now—one that is threatened by corporate trade deals

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/02/15/european-groups-expose-terrifying-extent-corporate-grab-within-ttip

  9. The zombie ISDS
    Rebranded as ICS, rights for corporations to sue states refuse to die

    http://corporateeurope.org/international-trade/2016/02/zombie-isds

  10. ianmac 10

    Claire Trevett sighs in relief. Her hero came bacK!
    So it was some relief to find Judith Collins, the twice-risen minister, was unaffected by her time in the wilderness.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11591314

  11. Sabine 11

    if a beneficiary would use their ‘government sponsored credit card’ fraudulently that poor person would be in purgatory for ever.
    However National PM Paul Bennet “Pull’s her Benefit” is allowed to blame a staffer and claims, no biggie….we paid it back.
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politics/answers-demanded-over-bennetts-ministerial-credit-card/

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation

    But in terms of systematic, state-sponsored, formalized punishments for speech and activism, nothing compares to the growing multi-nation effort to criminalize activism against Israeli occupation. Rafeef Ziadah, a Palestinian a member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, told The Intercept: “Israel is increasingly unable to defend its regime of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people and its regular massacres of Palestinians in Gaza so is resorting to asking supportive governments in the U.S. and Europe to undermine free speech as a way of shielding it from criticism and measures aimed at holding it to account.”

    It is, needless to say, perfectly legitimate to argue against BDS and to engage in activism to defeat it. But only advocates of tyranny could support the literal outlawing of the same type of activism that ended apartheid in South Africa merely on the grounds that this time it is aimed at Israeli occupation (some of Israel’s own leaders have compared its occupation to apartheid). And whatever else is true, commentators and activists who prance around as defenders of campus free speech and free expression generally — yet who completely ignore this most pernicious trend of free speech erosion — are likely many things, but an authentic believer in free speech is not among them.

    It seems that many nations of the world are working tirelessly to legitimate Israel’s ongoing invasion of Palestine even as they spout rhetoric about ending it.

  13. pat 13

    Pressure must be starting to be felt…..the counter attack has begun

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11591376

  14. weka 14

    A useful precedent

    Remember ponytailgate? Prime Minister John Key repeatedly bullied and sexually harassed a cafe waitress, then when his pet dirty politics smear operative Rachel Glucina expose the victim as punishment for speaking out, publicly denied any involvement. Oddly though, when asked about it under the OIA, he clammed up, refusing to release any information because “it is not the practice of the media team or the Prime Minister to divulge details of the communications with journalists”.

    Well, it might not be the practice, but its the law, and (having lodged a request of my own specifically to generate an appealable refusal) I now have the Ombudsman’s ruling to prove it. The key lines:

    [image in link]

    Further, the Ombudsman rejected the use of s9(2)(a) (privacy) and s9(2)(ba) (confidentiality) in this case, and noted that even if they had applied, they would have been trumped by the public interest. In my case, that means I get to know whether Key had communicated with Glucina about pony-tail pulling incident or victim (the answer to which, from the Ombudsman’s ruling, appears to be “yes”). As for the original requester (who had complained as well), this should mean that they will be receiving the content of that communication shortly.

    As for the supposed consequences on the relationship between Ministers and journalists, there’s exactly zero public interest in protecting the ability of the powerful to smear using media proxies. And if Key is so ashamed of his contact with Rachel Glucina that he will blatantly ignore the law to avoid admitting it, maybe he shouldn’t talk to her in the first place.

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2016/02/a-useful-precedent.html

  15. Puckish Rogue 15

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/77023614/wellington-city-councillor-caught-parking-across-a-pedestrian-crossing-in-a-car-with-her-name-on-it

    A Wellington City Council spokesman said that because the pedestrian crossing was on health board land she was “probably in the clear.

    I bet if it was a member of the public it’d be towed pretty damn quickly and/or fined

    • dv 15.1

      Lotsa Wilson paring, like i have to used when in hospital!!!

    • alwyn 15.2

      No PR. Your car would have been crushed.

      Ritchie has been, for many years, a member of both the Council and the Health Board. Far too many years, but she is the trougher incarnate.
      Some years ago she was (very seriously) ill. She stopped attending Council meetings but kept turning up to the DHB ones.
      Does anyone believe it was only a coincidence that the Council paid her regardless of attendance but the DHB only paid for meetings attended?

  16. McFlock 16

    Ann Tolley reckons child poverty can’t be solved overnight.

    It quite literally can.

    It’s called a “bank transfer”.

    • Puckish Rogue 16.1

      Can you explain further?

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        poverty is a lack of funds.

        Give the poor money, they are no longer poor. Not even as a proportion of median income, in case you’d forgotten basic maths.

        Then whatever problems remain are not due to poverty.

        • Puckish Rogue 16.1.1.1

          True but how much do you give until someone isn’t considered poor and is there a way this can be done that doesn’t involve raising taxes?

          • weka 16.1.1.1.1

            Did you just say that it’s ok to eliminate child poverty so long as it doesn’t involve anyone paying more tax?

            As for how much, how about enough so that they can afford housing, healthy food, transport, clothing and healthcare? If you don’t know how much that is, your income is too high.

          • McFlock 16.1.1.1.2

            1: that’s between them and (most likely) the IRD.

            2: who gives a shit.

          • DoublePlusGood 16.1.1.1.3

            Sorry, why would we not raise taxes to get this done?

        • BM 16.1.1.2

          Never happen.

          Not under National, not under Labour.

          • McFlock 16.1.1.2.1

            I dunno.
            I reckon the world might be coming around once again to the idea that children being killed by poverty is something we shouldn’t permit.

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      Yep. Labour’s formerly proposed $60/week payment per child under one – which should be extended up to at least 3 years of age – was a great start.

      I hope Labour does not abandon the policy but instead extends it.

    • The Chairman 16.3

      Tolley also said the best way out of poverty is getting people into work, yet she is clearly overlooking around half those currently in poverty are already in work.

      • alwyn 16.3.1

        That is why they have working for families, among other benefits.

        • vto 16.3.1.1

          taxpayer subsidising business

          it is cheaper to pay minimum wage than it is to keep a slave

          your system alwyn is fucked in the head

          a man should be able to support himself and family off a decent days work – otherwise we are barbaric heathens neaderthals philistines uncivilised wankers

          • alwyn 16.3.1.1.1

            Utter rubbish. People should earn what their labour is worth.
            If it is not enough for them, or their family, to live on it should be made up by the state from taxes.

            • miravox 16.3.1.1.1.1

              I had to check the calendar there. Come on alwyn, it’s not April 1st yet.

              Surely you don’t believe private employers are a charity entitled to taxpayer funds.

              • alwyn

                I don’t regard benefits paid to individuals by the state as being support for their employers.
                That is a totally stupid interpretation of the situation.

                A number of contributors to this site are in favour of a ubi.
                Do they regard that as being “a subsidy for employers”?
                Draco T Bastard is a great fan of a ubi. He is also opposed to benefits paid by the state, stating just below here that if a business can’t pay people enough to live on it should go out of business.
                How can someone hold such diametrically opposed views?

                As for vto’s view, again just below
                “You are distorted and have no idea about the human community”.
                It is vto that has no idea of community. People in the community should work to the best of their ability. If that work does not provide them with enough to live on they shouldn’t be dumped on the scrapheap as vto desires. Their community should support them at an acceptable standard of living.
                That is community. Not the distorted approach vto proposes.

                • miravox

                  I’m in favour of a UBI too. The ‘U’ bit takes out the the notion of a subsidy to employers.

                  Until then, in general, I think employers should be responsible for paying a living wage to their employees, not the taxpayer.

            • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1.1.1.2

              Labour should pay enough to live on. If it doesn’t then the business should go out of business. It should not be subsidised by the government.

            • vto 16.3.1.1.1.3

              alwyn “Utter rubbish. People should earn what their labour is worth.
              If it is not enough for them, or their family, to live on it should be made up by the state from taxes.”

              That is wrong in so very many ways.

              You are distorted and have no idea about the human community

        • weka 16.3.1.2

          “That is why they have working for families, among other benefits.”

          Yes, that’s why we have so many working people in poverty.

    • dv 16.4

      Well Ann how about the 6 years you’ve had already!!!!

    • weka 16.5

      “Ann Tolley reckons child poverty can’t be solved overnight.”

      How long have National been in govt?

      Why is Tolley talking about CYFS solving poverty? I thought their job was juggling crap after poverty hadn’t been solved.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.5.1

        When she’s blamed them enough it’ll be time to suggest that the private sector would do a better job.

    • Expat 16.6

      I suppose she’s half right, it did take a few years for the govt to create child poverty in the first place.

  17. Penny Bright 17

    Good.

    Glad to have helped.
    _________________________________________

    Housing intensification debate deferred

    Thursday, 18 February 2016
    The New Zealand Herald

    Len Brown has postponed the housing intensification debate after recognising the need to take the views of the community on board.
    By Bernard Orsman

    Auckland Mayor Len Brown is deferring the controversial issue of rezoning thousands of homes for intensification until next Wednesday.

    The issue was down to be debated at today’s governing meeting, but after a delegation of five councillors met with Mr Brown last night the mayor decided to delay the issue.

    Mr Brown said he recognised the need to reflect the views of the community and the need to be a “little bit flexible in this space”.

    “This is the most significant plan change this city has every seen, or likely to see,” Mr Brown said.

    Councillors are receiving a briefing on the Unitary Plan this afternoon, which will help inform what happens at next Wednesday’s extraordinary governing body meeting.

    Next week’s meeting will allow for public input from groups such as Auckland 2040, which has accused the council of abandoning the consultative process in the Unitary Plan.
    ….
    _____________________

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  18. Penny Bright 18

    Do ‘Generation Zero’ support the ‘out of scope’ changes passed behind closed doors, at the 9 December 2015 Unitary Plan Committee meeting – which both excluded the public, and did not go to the Auckland Council Governing Body before being submitted to the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel?

    Does ‘Generation Zero’ support lawful ‘due process’ and the ‘Rule of Law’ regarding the development, amendment and implementation of the Auckland ‘spatial plan’ –
    yes or no?

    Is this still the position of ‘Generation Zero’?

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/auckland/75219048/Aucklands-controversial-new-residential-zoning-maps-released

    But urban environmental group Generation Zero supported the reduction of the Single House zone.

    “Auckland has a serious housing shortage, we need to allow new houses to be built in existing suburbs across the city,” Auckland convener Leroy Beckett said.

    “This is the best option as it prevents sprawl and allows people to be closer to where they live, work and socialise.”

    He pointed out that under the proposed changes a quarter of the city was still Single House, “a zone that totally restricts any development”.

    “We are disappointed that still only 5 per cent of the city is zoned for terrace housing and apartment buildings – this is not enough to meet demand for this type of living.”

    ……

    ________________________

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Whispering Kate 18.1

      Penny, sorry but you are mistaken if you think the residents of the leafy suburbs are going to let the council infill and build 3 storey buildings in their ‘burbs. Its okay for the rest of us to have high density housing plans foisted on us without considering how we feel about it but they will come up with excuses like “heritage value” etc. In a real world these inner city suburbs would be sensible because people would be close to their working environment and transport links, but this isn’t a real world. Do you honestly think they are going to give up their huge sections and the luxury of privacy so close to the inner city – I think not. It isn’t going to happen. There’s an old saying “you cannot beat city hall” and money talks, it still applies today

  19. ankerawshark 19

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/share-your-news-and-views/13955089/Richie-McCaw-is-not-my-New-Zealander-of-the-Year

    Couldn’t agree more. Makes a complete mockery of the NZders of year. Glad someone has written this on Stuff

    • ianmac 19.1

      Me too anker. Good bloke Ritchie but people like Helen are working tirelessly for NZers.

    • vto 19.2

      Couldn’t agree more

      Sport in this country is rapidly following John Key to the laughing stock stocks

      What a fikkin’ joke

      This government gives a knighthood to the evil Talley
      And completely ignores Helen Kelly

      Loathsome is what these people are.
      And their supporters

  20. Expat 20

    The ABC produced a news article on the ChCh earthquake last week and did a follow up on the recovery after five years, disappointing to see the very slow rate of improvement.
    The link below was shown a few days ago on the 7 o’clock news.

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4408012.htm

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    TED Talk: Capitalism will eat democracy — unless we speak up

    I’ve been saying for years that democracy is anathema to democracy. The selling of our assets and the signing of the TPPA against our will is proof enough of that.

    • Expat 21.1

      Draco

      NZ’s parliamentary democracy doesn’t have sufficient oversight to be a democracy, there is no “upper” house to rationalise the govts activities.

      The Turnbull govt has just rejected raising the GST to 15% (a 50% increase), stating that there was NO evidence that it would provide any economic benefits, it would increase unemployment and take money out of the economy, even though the chamber of commerce pushed very hard for the change.
      Turnbull polled the idea and found 70% of the population rejected the idea, he recognised that raising the GST would have seen him lose the election in 6 months time.
      Even if Turnbull had proceeded with the GST increase and made legislation for it’s provision, the upper house (the senate) would have rejected it outright anyway.

      Democracy can work when there are enough checks and balances in place.

      • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1

        NZ’s parliamentary democracy doesn’t have sufficient oversight to be a democracy, there is no “upper” house to rationalise the govts activities.

        Upper Houses don’t actually do that. Just look to the US and UK for proof of that.

        Democracy can work when there are enough checks and balances in place.

        Actual democracy would prevent the government acting against our wishes as we would be the government.

        • Expat 21.1.1.1

          “Actual democracy would prevent the government acting against our wishes as we would be the government.”

          A democracy, as in NZ only requires a majority to pass any legislation they like, whether it’s good, bad or ugly for society, having two houses, at least, in most cases, weeds out the undesirable aspects of autocratic ruling govts.

          The style of govt presently operating in NZ is akin to a “banana republic”

          • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1.1.1

            …having two houses, at least, in most cases, weeds out the undesirable aspects of autocratic ruling govts.

            But that just it – it doesn’t. As I said – look to the US and UK which both have upper houses and you can see both poor legislation getting passed and good legislation getting stopped all depending on if the same party controls both houses or one house.

            The style of govt presently operating in NZ is akin to a “banana republic”

            Correct, NZ isn’t a democracy. Democracy is rule by the people, not rule by a few that are owned by the corporations.

  22. nom 22

    Watching Parliament TV on Tuesday, I found this exchange interesting:


    Dr Kennedy Graham: Will the Prime Minister commit not to introduce and pass any Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement-related legislation until the US Congress has ratified the agreement?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No.

    Dr Kennedy Graham: If the US Congress does not pass the TPP agreement, will he guarantee to reverse all the changes that his Government may have made to our legislation?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: This might come as a shock to the member, but this is a free-trade agreement between, in this particular instance, 12 countries. One of those countries is the United States—the member is clearly very wound up about that—but if the United States does not ratify the legislation then it is null and void with the United States, in which case we do not have anything to worry about.

    http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/41510

    My understanding is that if the US has not ratified within 2 years then the whole deal is cancelled, because the 85% of GDP threshold has not been reached.

    I would then assume that if the deal is cancelled, trade barriers/tariffs (and any benefits) will not change.

    If we have changed our laws (copyright, pharmaceuticals etc) and the Government does not reverse the law changes if the agreement fails, then we end up with the costs but none of the benefits?

    Please correct any of my incorrect assumptions.

    Also, are the details of the proposed law changes public yet? I had a quick search around but couldn’t find anything.

    • weka 22.1

      I heard commentary on that the other day too, and I basically think two things. One is that National have an undeclared agenda in putting the legislation through now, and two, they’re liars so anything Key says should be taken with a grain fo salt.

    • b waghorn 22.2

      “but if the United States does not ratify the legislation then it is null and void with the United States, in which case we do not have anything to worry about.”
      Not sure if this is Freudian slip but it would imply that if the USA does ratify the tppa ,we should be worried.

  23. Penny Bright 23

    BREAKING NEWS!

    I have an MP who will present the following petition to the House, when it gets back from recess on 1 March 2016.

    “That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the alleged failure of Auckland Council to comply with their statutory duties regarding spatial planning, particularly the requirement to involve and consult with the communities of Auckland, regarding amendments to the spatial plan, as outlined in the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009.”

    This should help focus the minds of those on Auckland Council who wish to keep ‘defending the indefensible’?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  24. Gael 24

    Submissions open on all the TPP legislation requirements now (including “International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the purposes of Patent Procedure… recognises the deposit of microorganisms to enable patent protection” What is that??? Sounds hideous. Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee… Anyway its all up now rolling on the after hours parliament tv… they all close on 11 March tho so get your skates on.

    Patents Amendment Bill
    International Treaty examination of the TPPA
    International Treaty examination of the WIPO Copyright Treaty
    International Treaty examination of the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
    Patents TPP Attorneys and Other Matters Bill … amendment to the grounds on which someone can oppose the grant of a patent under TPPA
    All close 11 March!

    Also tucked in there is the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill “…resource managment system that achieves sustainable management…efficient way” you can only guess what National thinks that is. (closes 24 March)

    And if that wasn’t enough they are also asking for submissions to the ‘inquiry into the future of NZ mobility… changing transport techology…enhance productivity in the economy..” Let me just presume this isn’t about helping NZ Railways.. (got till April fools day for this one).

    And if the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade committee weren’t busy enough then there is all this other for consideration… how many people are they employing right now?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/details/foreign-affairs/00DBHOH_BBSC_SCFDT_1/business-before-the-foreign-affairs-defence-and-trade

    The link to the pdf files of the TPPA (they actually have it up instead of the normal ‘contact the owner’ thing that is normally there so yay for that…

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/presented/papers/51HOHTPPAdocs1/trans-pacific-partnership-agreement-tppa

    3 weeks to do 7 submissions, on some 16,000 pages of treaty… Good luck and God Bless each and every one of you!

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      3 weeks to do 7 submissions, on some 16,000 pages of treaty…

      In other words, not near enough time for the people of NZ to actually read and discuss what’s happening. Another rush job by this government for the benefit of offshore corporations.

      • greywarshark 24.1.1

        Thanks Gael for that extensive and helpful comment.
        And thanks DTB for putting the situation so clearly. Heartbreaking that we have this situation for ordinary citizens. Neo liberalism as I understand says that the decision of the public guides what is done commercially, and that decision will be correct when the public is fully informed about the product or action being planned.

        So with absolute certainty that we can never get through all this guff or understand it, and with a sly understanding that the politicians themselves don’t understand it all, and even the lobbying corporations who drew up most of the legals don’t understand all the ramifications, except that they will be maintained as a wealthy powerful corporations, we get this farce. It is similar to releasing thousands of flag designs to the public when the puppet master knows that the in-group favour three or four which will be promoted as The People’s Choice in due time.

        Whatever we do in all sincerity and anxiety, we cannot get to the dark heart of this legal maze. When Harry Potter succeeded in his task of getting to the centre of his maze, he was magically whipped away by Voldermoort? and was on the edge of extinction, but kept his strength and humanity to get away and also take back his dead friend to his parents. What will we manage to do to cope with the dark lords in power? And don’t laugh and say how fanciful, that would only label you immediately as a fool; thoughtless, stupid, ignorant.

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