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Open mike 18/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:44 am, March 18th, 2015 - 168 comments
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168 comments on “Open mike 18/03/2015 ”

  1. tc 1

    With the porkys and taxpayer spend piling up in northland granny does her best to help the NACT again with a lead on Len brown and no politics section immediately visible online.

    It’s as if parliament wasn’t sitting and nothing of political merit was occurring….

    • ScottGN 1.1

      All the media outlets have downgraded their politics sections in the wake of the election. TVNZ doesn’t even have a politics tab you can click on anymore, it’s all just jumbled up with the rest of the NZ news.

    • freedom 1.2

      tc- On the home page, the NZH link to their Politics section now appears on the far right hand side about 4/5ths the way down, just above the Puzzles and Games section –

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      The MSM in NZ seem to have become a diversion from politics and politicians rather than reporting on them and holding them to account as is their job.

      • tc 1.3.1

        Who can blame them when goff fuels speculation about a mayoralty bid rather than turn the blowtorch on NACT over Northland pork barrelling, Lui 25K donation, Sabin, Troop deployment etc etc

      • Incognito 1.3.2

        Indeed. David Fisher wrote a compelling objective and analytical article about the recent Snowden revelations in the Herald and it appeared online yesterday afternoon http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11418653

        However, the Herald gave it as little attention as possible and although the comment section is open not one comment has appeared yet. It never featured in the Politics or Opinion sections where it rightfully belongs. Why?

        A quick search online suggests that it has not been picked up by anybody, which is odd IMO.

        I think it is very good article that raises very good questions that need to be pondered and discussed by many.

  2. Incognito 2

    Crown limousines cost $68 per hour http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11418839

    Does this mean the limo drivers are on the minimum hourly wage and zero-hour contracts with no set tea- or toilet-breaks? Are they unionised? Perhaps now is a good time to negotiate better employment terms …

    • RedBaronCV 2.1

      And if the negotiations stall then they could ..well head for wellington sans passengers who will have a long walk/ bus ride if they are lucky to the nearest airport.
      Althogh I’m not so sure that the sight of a lot of rich limo’s tooling cabinet ministers around will bring out the vote in their favour

  3. My two cents on “Prince” Harry’s timely visit during his “gap” year!

  4. Ergo Robertina 4


    New research from Otago Uni shows a common ointment used to treat child skin infections is worsening the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
    As well as a general wake-up call about antibiotic resistance, it’s another reason not to rely on being able to treat the symptoms of poverty rather than its causes.

  5. swordfish 5

    Here’s a remarkably precise re-enactment of the free-for-all fist-fight we’ve just witnessed on The Standard over the last 2 days regarding Julian Assange.

    Re-enacted by the Sheffield Townswomen’s Guild, starring Mrs Elsie Osselthwaite as TRP, Mrs Patricia Wesleydale as Chooky, Mrs Audrey Bycroft as OAB and Mrs Ena Daniels as CV. And – in a brief but memorable cameo – Mrs Petulia Ramsbottom as Les…….

    Due to ill-health, Mrs Millicent Holdsworth was unable to play Stephanie Rodgers throwing a heavily-loaded (rape-culture-enabling) hand-grenade to start the fight off (so they had to make-do with a whistle).

  6. philj 6

    Government is listening to retail lobby group and will tax on line purchases 15%, possibly in this term. National, the big brother government that increases tax and reduces services.

  7. Polling in the Israeli election closes in a few minutes. The final polling had the rightwing party Likud neck and neck with the the left wing (and awfully named) Zionist Union. They are both at around 25% of the vote. So both will need other parties to form government in a system that, like here, is proportionally based and also involves getting 61 seats in a 120 seat parliament.

    The initial results will be known in an hour or so, then coalition building begins.

    Live updates here:



  8. Lanthanide 8

    If A Prominent New Zealander has their name suppression extended tomorrow, will WhaleOil follow his previous form and break the suppression order, in public interest?

    • rawshark-yeshe 8.1

      somehow I doubt he is willing to inflict that much pain and hurt on Key in northland …
      and if it involves children as ‘personal matters’, perhaps even Slater may be a little kind. Doubt he wants back in court quite so soon, and also he is a ‘real’ journalist now, isn’t he ?

      • Ergo Robertina 8.1.1

        ”and if it involves children as ‘personal matters’, perhaps even Slater may be a little kind.”

        Something for commenters on TS to keep in mind as well in respect of any comment on this issue.

        • rawshark-yeshe

          Just for clarity, I was referring solely to breaching name suppression by Slater … we know that no-one here is going to do that.

    • Puckish Rogue 8.2

      He hasn’t broken name suppression since he got fined, in fact hes very strict on anyone even hinting at it

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        Pity, because this truly would be in the public interest, unlike the other ones he chose to expose.

        • rawshark-yeshe

          Personally, I am sure it will come but likely not from Slater.

          Dirty secrets hidden for three elections* in our tiny land with less than 1.5 degrees of separation and Australia just over the ditch ? And Winston on an absolute roll ?

          It must come out. Our whole citizenry has the right to know what this
          vile Key government has been willing to cover up and who it is they are willing to harm.

          * Two general elections and the current one.

    • felix 8.3

      Nope. Slater has been spreading fud for the Nats over this.

      He’s published at least two posts this month in which he insinuates that what the Nats are covering up is “wife-bashing”.

      While awful enough, that’s fucking nothing compared to what pretty much everyone knows they’re really covering up.

  9. Colonial Rawshark 9

    West’s cognitive dissonance grows as Saudi Arabia decapitates 45th person

    That’s since the start of the 2015. Not sure how many of stonings of women have been carried out in that same time frame but I think that’s an additional number.

    Just remember: ISIS are the bad guys.


    • Where did ISIS come from?

      “My book shows how the US and Western European countries have fostered and put to work different kinds of “Islams” during the last two hundred years—pan-Islamism, jihadist forms of Islam, and liberal forms of Islam, depending on the period and the tactical and strategic goals they sought; sometimes they foster these different varieties at the same time to serve different agendas. The question of the Caliphate, which became a major concern for European colonial powers, would not subside until the eve of World War II. The book goes into details about Western designs about who the Caliph should be, what authority he should have, and what ethnic background he must have.

      We see, for example, how at present the US and Western European countries are fostering two kinds of “Islam” simultaneously, a jihadist form that targets those who resist the US order and its Israeli and Saudi proxies—beginning in Afghanistan, but also in Arab countries with regimes that resisted US diktat (though recently jihadists like ISIS, who were made possible by the support of the US and its allies, have partly gone off script in their Iraqi and Libyan incarnations and have themselves made use of the Caliphate, at least at the titular if not the institutional level)—and a liberal form of Islam that the US could tolerate, which Arab and Muslim governments and an army of Arab and Muslim intellectuals and journalists and a political and economic class espouse and push for in the name of modernization, human rights, and a new/neo liberal order. The latter form of liberal Islam was also supported by the British in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; hence British celebrations then and ongoing American celebrations today of thinkers like Qasim Amin, Muhammad ‘Abduh, the already-mentioned al-Kawakibi, ‘Ali Abd al-Raziq, and scores of others.”


      • Gosman 9.1.1

        Would be interesting to see where you place Islamic government on your Marxist take on historical development of civilisation.

  10. Hami Shearlie 10

    Why oh why did Andrew Little come out straight away and agree with John Key’s idea to charge GST on overseas online purchases?? This could be a real vote-loser with the public. So why not just say that Labour would look at it and leave it at that? Labour could claw that lost GST back easily by raising the tax rate on the wealthy! And leave the public’s wrath on Key’s back! After all it’s his idea – maybe he wants the money to pay for his new flag and probably other little hobby-horses he has in the pipeline – And how much is this to do with the TPPA? So many questions the mainstream media will never never ask. Still it does give ammo to the left today in Parliament over Key’s appalling inability to work out 15 percent GST on an i-tunes song worth $1.39 – and here he was laughing at the Green leadership candidates some of whom did not know the exact unemployment rate etc! Shouldn’t his GST gaffe be front page news in the Herald? David Cunliffe wearing his red scarf sure was!

    • Philip Ferguson 10.1

      The whole point of GST is that it’s a tax which hits working class people hardest – and not just because we spend more of our income on necessities, but because unlike income tax it comes out of our wages, whereas generally workers’ income tax is a deduction on surplus-value. This is why GST was introduced and why the most economically right-wing prefer higher GST and lower income tax.
      See: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/understanding-gst-and-tax-policy/

      I’m not surprised that Little isn’t opposed to what Key said. Labour brought in GST.

      Moreover, GST is 15% – 12.5% was introduced by Labour! First Labour made it 10%, then they increased it to 12.5%.

      GST is, essentially, a Labour Party tax.


      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1

        It’s appalling. Labour supporting a tax which hits the bottom 50% of NZ disproportionately.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2


        Simply speaking, GST was introduced so as to allow the government lower taxes upon the rich with no thought whatsoever on the harm it does to the poor. If Labour were serious about helping the poor they’d be talking about dropping GST.

        • Gosman

          Yes please. Drop GST and raise income taxes. It would be good to see the left lose another election.

        • greywarshark

          dtb +100
          I think GST is quite a useful tax that throws a wide net and could be used much more effectively to fund infrastructure and so on where business and enterprise is happening and therefore needs facilitating services and improvements. My belief is that it should not be 15%, and I suggest half that would make a useful tax, with an element of distribution like this – 7 1/2% with 5% going to central government and 2 1/2% to the local authority.

          Although it is a tax that hits everyone equally, it has an unequal effect on the rich than on the poor. I get something mended and pay the government 15% on that, it might be only $4 but that would buy a nice coffee which I forego most days while watching my budget, someone comfortably off can buy new and afford the 15% without making a hole in their ample funds.

          So bring it down as I have suggested, that would be fair to everyone.

          • Rosie

            And if we didn’t have GST at all your coffee would only cost $3.40 instead of $4 🙂

            Other area’s where GST sucks up valuable dollars, my examples:

            Weekly grocery shop: Up to $45
            Landline/broadband monthly approx $15
            Power monthly :Approx $18
            Doctor’s visit: $6
            Unfunded medicines per month average: $10
            Quarterly rates bill $87
            Weekly petrol: $7

            Just a few random examples off the top of my head, the cruellest and most unfair being groceries.

            Get rid of GST all together and the retailers won’t be complaining. People with a bit of extra coin in their pocket are going to spend it in the shops. Get those shoppers off line and into the stores by removing GST. Shops get busier, hire more staff, increase wages, boss has greater profits, Put the profit into NZ businesses not over seas ones. Everyone’s happy.

            More than that, people will be able to afford to get extra food in their weekly shop or improve the quality of the products they buy. Once again this will lead to increased turnover. Why should a necessity such as food be taxed? Thats sick!

            Along with low wage rates and the high cost of accommodation in our cities GST is an added unfair burden and surely contributes to poverty.

            Get rid of it. Replace with a FTT, CGT and increase the income tax on the highest earners

            • greywarshark

              @ Rosie
              Sounds nice, I can see a double rainbow behind that printed in big letters on a roadside billboard. But GST has been set up, it’s in place and it provides a good base of taxation to do things with and everybody has to contribute.

              A lower rate will ensure that every citizen is putting into the putea without being scalped, and the Taxpayers Union which has a sort of sacred, special tang about it can go suck their iceblocks. They willl be made to admit that their idea of being special and different and somehow better is just a bunch of Minties, whose moment has gone. It can be reiterated that we ALL pay tax through GST, so CRACT shut the f…up. But the tax take must be smaller, like I suggest 7% or so.

              Don’t think of wiping it until the FTT and the CGT come in. The income tax of course ought to be going up anyway, starting from down at the bottom, 5% to $20,000 and then progressing up by 10% every $20,000 to 40%. After that 45% marginal.

              And make sure they pay, and no lambasting people with cumulative interest if they don’t, but just threaten seizure of assets if they don’t keep to their schedules and strt carrying it out. Treat them like gang members if they just won’t do it.

              • Rosie

                Sounds nice, would be nice for sure!

                7% would be better than 15% but to my mind, it has to go, it has to be phased out, after CGT and FTT’s and increased tax on high incomes are soundly in place (Ha! I remember when GST came in. I was at my first job at DEKA, when I was 17. I thought it was unfair, even back then).

                And about “everyone contributing”. This isn’t fair either. Unlike income tax, that one income tax paying individual then, can potentially go on to supply additional tax to the government on behalf of others, not just themselves – They are paying taxes for those in the household who aren’t earning, such as babies and children, or supporting a partner who isn’t earning, so the heavy burden of GST is increased on that one individual. All the tax on all the goods and services purchased for those non earners comes from one individual. Think of those poor aching shoulders!

                Tax is being squeezed out of zero earners. It has to come from somewhere so falls back on the main earner for the household.

                There are multiple ways in which GST is unfair.

                As for those minties 🙂 they can go jump. Leave them to bleat about FTT and CGT instead.

                • greywarshark

                  They have had their moment as far as I am concerned.

                • greywarshark

                  @ Rosie
                  I was looking at it from a fairer tax approach so that bennies would be paying 12% ta all up. Naturally the crazy secondary tax would be stopped and people would be encouraged to earn and keep their government services if wanted.

                  But looking at GST from a different viewpoint, the beneficiary pays it on most of his/her transactions which goes to the government. Then the government probably pays that out in accommodation allowance to the landlord of the house/flat being tenanted by the beneficiary. That is instead of increasing state housing in purpose built people friendly and
                  affordable state ccommodation, it goes out of the bennies hands and into the landlord’s hands. Who responds to this vicious circle by keeping the rents rising whereby the accommodation allowance goes up again.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    The politicians are being cowardly and placing the hardest taxes on the people with the least power while facilitating a transfer to from the poor to the landed gentry of the landlord class. Usual fucked up behaviour from the “left” and the “right.”

                    Especially when you consider that the Crown is sovereign and does not necessarily need to collect in electronic NZD in order to spend electronic NZD.

                  • Rosie

                    Yep +1 to that Warbs

            • Murray Rawshark

              +1 Rosie. Lower income people pay GST on everything they earn, because they spend all their money to survive. 15% for them.

              Someone on $100k might spend $50k on living costs, with the rest invested in property. Let’s say they get a capital gain of $50k a year. 5% GST for them.

              Get rid of it. It’s a gift to globetrotting scumbags with houses in Hawaii and keeps the poor stuck in their poverty.

        • Rosie

          “If Labour were serious about helping the poor they’d be talking about dropping GST.

          Amen to that.

          • les

            not sure about that ,GST catches big spenders too ,increasing tax on very high earners and closing down loopholes would be more productive imo.If you think about all the financial devices ..tax havens ,trusts ,etc..they only are for the benefit of the very wealthy ..a small % of voters.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              This I agree with: taxation isn’t the answer to a high GINI: it’s an answer. Predistribution is preferable.

              It all comes down to value of life (all life) and work. Let’s set a high value on them.

            • Rosie

              @ les. Got no problem with introducing a sales tax on luxury goods for the big spenders 🙂

              • les

                and a bit more ..Rosie…tax avoidance is an industry patronised by a very few to the detriment of ..many.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                an assets tax including a land tax is where a truly progressive party would be looking. Get rid of GST on the portion of any item under $50.

            • Draco T Bastard

              GST catches big spenders too

              No it doesn’t. Due to GST the bottom decile pay nearly as high a percentage of tax as the top decile. And some of those big spenders are also shaping their finances through businesses and trusts so that they can minimise the the GST that they pay.

              GST is massively regressive.

              • les

                really..so when rich prick goes to the wine shop and spends a few thousand its all down to company expenses..hope not ,but probably..

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  A thousand bucks spent on fancy wine is still only fuck all proportion of the rich prick’s $250K per annum income.

                  Compared to someone who blows $100 out of their $600 wages on scrumpy, gin and Woodstock bourbon.

                  The ordinary wage earners gets smashed with GST way harder as a % of their income. One in six dollars they earn gets GST’d just on that transaction alone. For the rich prick its only one in two hundred and fifty dollars that they earn which is subject to GST. Big difference.

      • les 10.1.3

        how does income tax not come out of ‘our wages?

    • Gosman 10.2

      The Green Party contenders were far more ignorant than not knowing the exact unemplyment rate. Some didn’t know what the current inflation rate or what the OCR was. I’d expect any politician should have a clue about those two economic measures given they drive so much of our economic framework.

      • greywarshark 10.2.1

        Gosman no doubt you knew the exact employment rate and the ratio in different regions one to another. You are keen and interested in winkling out inaccuracies.
        I suggest you offer your sterling services to the UNACTS and don’t waste your talents throwing pearls to wee, wee, wee the swine at TS.

      • Hami Shearlie 10.2.2

        But unlike Key on finance, they don’t portray themselves as experts on unemployment rates! Key asked Goff to “show me the money” – well, come on John, “Show us the exact GST amount” – any moron can work out 15 percent GST on $1.39 – but maybe John Key isn’t just “any moron” – Maybe he’s a gold-plated “special and exclusive” kind of moron??

        • greywarshark

          Hami Shearlie
          It probably is the case that yek never thinks about anything so small as that bit of money. He deals in millions of dollars after all. He doesn’t have to know the minor details of odd dollars and cents. When you have lots, you just put it all on your credit card and pay up each month. No wonder the poor man couldn’t do the sums in his head, it’s peanuts to him where he lives on Planet Key.

    • Bearded Git 10.3

      @ Hami Shearlie
      mmm I doubt very much if GST on online purchases hits the bottom 20% of income earners Hami. In the real world they can’t afford to buy tablets/cameras/SD cards online, just food at the Supermarket and often second-hand clothes.

      It follows that Little is right to support this as online-purchase GST is likely to mostly tax the better off, thus increasing the tax base for potential social spending.

      Are you sure this isn’t just a complaint because, like that silly woman on The Panel last night, you buy things online and don’t want to pay more?

      • Hami Shearlie 10.3.1

        15 percent gst wouldn’t stop me buying anything online as I already save so much and can actually buy things like narrow fitting shoes at the same price as all the others instead of paying $500 for narrow italian shoes – All I am saying is why share the burden of the public’s anger with Key when you don’t have to – I think this could blow up to be a very sore point with many kiwis – especially young people who buy much more online than anyone else and who usually don’t vote at the moment – this might give them a real incentive to vote against National – but if Labour come out publicly and stand beside Key on this from the get-go, then those young people will decide to not vote once again. Sometimes silence is truly golden, at least for a time, long enough for the public to associate Key and National with this unpopular idea.

    • Murray Rawshark 10.4

      “Why oh why did Andrew Little come out straight away and agree with John Key’s idea to charge GST on overseas online purchases?”

      I can’t think of any good reasons. Little continues to disappoint. Is his view of economics so dismal that he thinks of GST as leftist because Labour introduced it?

      • the pigman 10.4.1

        Ehm, don’t you think that not doing so rather advantages overseas, Delaware/Cayman/Taxhavenian multinationals from obtaining a ~15% cost advantage over kiwi retailers trying to peddle their wares online in NZ?

        Let me know if I’ve missed the obvious…

        • Murray Rawshark

          Kiwis who spend all their money to survive each week would have 15% extra to spend if gst were dropped on everything. Not all, in fact probably not much of that, would be spent overseas. Kiwi retailers prices would drop as well and they’d still be competitive. I think you missed the fact that I am totally opposed to consumption taxes. Maybe I should have made it obvious.

          • the pigman

            I getcha, in which case we agree, GST should be abandoned uniformly as a regressive tax system.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Or put in place a 25% GST on the portion of all items sticker price over $50

              That essentially means that all items in a supermarket would be GST free.

              (just messing with ideas now)

      • les 10.4.2

        probably because he supports an even playing field ,and it affects smaller business more than large multi national retailers.

        • Murray Rawshark

          Yeah, Douglas and Prebble talked about the good old level playing field a lot. They forgot to tell us that the workers’ team would have its legs broken before the game and, if they were still doing ok at half time, their arms as well.

          • les

            luv it!Douglas and Prebble would be the biggest turncoats in NZ political history.

  11. Philip Ferguson 11

    Interesting dissection of Hillary Clinton’s claims to be a progressive and a feminist:
    Hillary Clinton and corporate feminism:


    • b waghorn 11.1

      I would think any real feminist would have little respect for a women who kept her man after finding out he was fiddling with young women.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        Part of her version of feminism might extend to fiddling with young, or old, men (If she’s not ageist). There is plenty of pluck in us old folks and there’s hope for us yet.

  12. Michael 12


    Israeli exit polls are out! The centre-left Zionist Union and rightwing Likud are each estimated to get 27 seats. Netanyahu has called it a victory, but it is premature and still there is a chance of a left-wing victory.

    One possible scenario is a coalition/alliance between Zionist Union (centre-left), Meretz (left-wing), Yesh Atid (centre), Kulanu (centre), and with support from the Joint List (Arab parties). These parties, as far as I know, have all indicated a preference for a Zionist Union-led Government. That combination would give 67 seats, or a majority.

    So hopefully, hopefully, hopefully that is the case and Bibi is not PM anymore. It would be a much more progressive and pro-peace Government.

    Hopefully everyone can cooperate and it doesn’t end up a right-wing victory..

  13. http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/67433115/israels-netanyahu-declares-victory-in-tight-race

    Oh dear. Benjamin Netanyahu has declared victory in the Israeli election. I guess in the worst possible terms Palestine now knows where it stands with Netanyahu.


  14. esoteric pineapples 14

    I see that according to the “Lions of Rojava” facebook page, Turkey is right now aiding ISIS fighters in fighting the northern Syrian Kurds who have established democratic cantons in the part of Syria they control.


    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      And there have been more reports of ISIS positions getting air supplied…

  15. Gosman 15


    For all you Venezuelan apologists out there here is a good break down of the key problems in that country and what they are caused by (Hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with US economic sanctions).

    • Molly 15.1

      Not exactly an unprejudiced, objective source as your link Gosman. Try harder.

      Both the site and this particular author come from a very limited perspective.

      • Gosman 15.1.1

        Play the ball not the man. If you have a problem with the facts presented please advise where they are wrong. Simply stating I don’t like the political bent of the target source is a lazy way to argue.

        • Molly

          You are right, but you often choose very limited perspectives – on another country, in particular Venezuela – and I don’t understand your obsession with it.

          Given that the last few democratic elections have been considered to be quite rigorously conducted, are you just commenting on the policy of a sovereign country using outside sources for the sheer joy of it, or are you actually fascinated with how external commentators view alternate economies?

          An interesting topic would have links to Venezuelan sources from both the minority right wing, and existing governing left on a singular topic. Then it would be worth reading both articles to start a discussion.

          • Gosman

            I am fascinated how many left wingers use examples like Venezuela as examples the world should aspire to when the populist regime in power starts out. Then when it all turns to custard they blame external forces for the failure rather than the economic policies that were implemented. This despite it being obvious to anyone with any nous of understanding around economics that this is what happens following those sorts of economic policies.

            • McFlock

              What, like how neolibs touted Ireland and Iceland as success stories because of low corporate taxes and money trading in the early 2000s?

              • Gosman

                You mean how Ireland has bounced back strongly after undertaking austerity?


                • McFlock

                  lol oh it’s back in the good books now is it? Not one of the PIIGS any more?

                  Amazing how well an economy can grow when the EU bails it out.

                  • Gosman

                    And it undertakes a period of austerity to get it’s books back in order.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Rubbish. Austerity degrades, distorts and destroys societies. Ireland should never have given away its currency sovereignty and it should never have let property and banking speculators get away with rampant cronyism and corruption.

                      One main reason that Irish unemployment rates have been decreasing is that unemployed people have been fucking off out of Ireland.

                      Yet another neoliberal way to get the “books back in order.”

                    • Oh, that must be why the Irish Finance Minister is getting out of stocks and into real world Gold then! Because he has such faith in the Irish recovery. Not!! 🙄 😆

                    • McFlock


                      One of those things throws money into an economy and boosts gdp.
                      The other simply extracts money from the poor and further shuts down the real economy in order to temporarily prop up the computer-chip betting market “economy”.

    • tricledrown 15.2

      Wall Street Journal offshoot publication
      Rupert Murdoch owned.
      Oil prices plummeting heavy sanctions have nothing to do with their situation.
      Murder Rate nothing to do with American war on drugs causing inflated prices for illegal drugs making it more profitable for drug lords who control vast areas of Venezuela.
      Previous Right wing dictatorships propped up by the CIA,s profiting from the Drug trade to Run South American covert ops.
      Is why Venezuelans don’t trust the US.
      The Murdoch Press happy to give only one side of the Story.

      • Gosman 15.2.1

        Please name me one economic sanction imposed by the US which has led to the shortages of common goods in Venezuela. I am pretty confident you won’t be able to because there has been no economic sanctions like this imposed.

        • Paul

          The deliberate lowering of oil prices by the Saudis in cahoots with the US.

          • Gosman

            This hurts US Oil producers just as badly. I also note you haven’t produced any evidence that the US has worked with the Saudis on this or explained why it would necessarily cause shortages of key goods. Other oil producers aren’t suffering shortages of items like toilet paper or medicines.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Venezuela has been a US target since they nationalised their oil industry and kicked Exxon & co. out. Economic sanctions are simply there to destabilise the nation.

              • Gosman

                What economic sanctions?

                • Murray Rawshark

                  Here you go, Goosestep, straight from the US Embassy in Caracas (the capital of Venezuela):


                  • Gosman

                    Ummm…. you do realise these are for defence items i.e. weapons and ammunition. They are not for goods like toilet paper. Please tell me how these sactions lead to shortages of goods.

                    • felix

                      You had nearly 10 hours to read those few short paragraphs.

                      In May 2011, the State Department imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), for delivering at least two cargoes of reformate, a blending component for gasoline, to Iran between December 2010 and March 2011. The sanctions prohibit PDVSA from competing for U.S. government procurement contracts, from securing financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and from obtaining U.S. export licenses. They do not, however, apply to PDVSA subsidiaries nor prohibit the export of crude oil to the United States.

                      The sanctions generally preclude the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation from financing or underwriting projects in Venezuela. However, in 2013 President Obama issued a vital national interest waiver to authorize these entities to finance programs critical to U.S. foreign policy interests.

                      The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has also imposed sanctions on various designated Venezuelan businesses and individuals. You can find information regarding Venezuela-related OFAC designations at the following website:


                      U.S. citizens and residents considering trade with Venezuela may wish to seek the advice of experienced legal counsel, given the range of economic sanctions potentially affecting such transactions. See the section on Commercial Disputes and Legal Resources below.

                    • Gosman

                      Again you have no example of how sanctions are causing the specific shortages. My understanding is that the recent announcements are targeted sanctions on specific members of the Venezuelan regime. In this regard they are no different to those imposed on Zimbabwe in the early 2000’s. The Zimbabwe regime also blamed these sanctions for the collapse of their economy. Of course there was no evidence for this there just as there is no evidence in the case of Venezuela.

                    • felix

                      I don’t give a fuck about that. I was replying to this:

                      “Ummm…. you do realise these are for defence items i.e. weapons and ammunition.”

                      It’s bullshit, and it shows you didn’t read the link, and it amuses me to highlight your pompous patronising tone now and then.

                      Good day, fucko.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      Ah, so now that we find some sanctions, you want other ones. For that, you should talk to FJK. He can tell you “Yes, those are some sanctions, but I can always find other ones.”

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Please name me one economic sanction imposed by the US which has led to the shortages of common goods in Venezuela.

          The US uses multi-prong tactics to destabilise Central and South American nations. Even the press corps and State Department press secretary knows it:


          • Gosman

            So no specific examples of economic sanctions just a loose reference to a general approach the US possibly takes in dealings with South American countries.

            • les

              do some research on U.S interventions in Guatemala,Honduras and all other central and Sth American nations ,usually on behalf of business corporations.Freedom and democracy do not figure.

              • Gosman

                Just as I thought. No evidence of sanctions causing shortages just a general argument that the US is working against the government because it has done something like this in other nations before.

                • Tracey

                  how excited you must be to have started a thread about how right you are about Venezuela from a certain premise and now satisfied yourself you were right . Enjoy you day.

    • b waghorn 16.1

      Link doesn’t seem to be working

      • Clemgeopin 16.1.1

        Works for me.
        If still no, then may be you could try it in the 3 news website and see if it works there for you. .

    • Puckish Rogue 16.2

      No wonder shes not going to win, why vote for her if your party and leader don’t support her

      • b waghorn 16.2.1

        Moderately cleverer than something your mate fisiani might post but only just. 3/10

        • Puckish Rogue

          I guess i could have gone with something about how it really shows what Labour thinks about the heartland, rural communities of NZ

          • b waghorn

            You do have a point ,but you first post is either showing you’re thick or you’re mischief making and I prefer your average mischief maker to at least attempt to be clever or funny ,preferably both

          • Murray Rawshark

            Labour might just think that the rural communities are too important to leave with NAct, and have decided not to sacrifice the people, and especially the children, of Northland on a sectarian altar. Good on them.

            • One Anonymous Bloke


              It’s symbolism. Useful, certainly, but substantive?

              If Labour is confused about that they’re worse than useless.

              • Murray Rawshark

                I don’t think they are confused, nor do I think they are not supporting the candidate. That should become obvious later on. Yeah, I’m serious.

  16. ScottGN 17

    Radio NZ is reporting that a roading advocate group in Northland claim the National MP for Whangarei Shane Reti has bullied them in an effort to shut them up ahead of the by-election:

    • b waghorn 17.1

      If that’s true and the proof is concrete we should be expecting another bye election in a couple of months surely.

    • freedom 17.2

      The Transport Minister was asked about this yesterday so I would imagine there is more to come http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/51HansQ_20150317_00000007/7-transport-infrastructure%E2%80%94investment-in-northland

      Phil Twyford : Has he been advised that the Pipiwai Tītoki Advocacy for Community Health and Safety Group, which is campaigning to get more money spent sealing Northland roads, allegedly received a threatening phone call from his colleague Shane Reti telling it to tone down its demands or it would not get what it wanted?

      Hon SIMON BRIDGES : I am not aware of that. I am aware of the general project. It is one that I think does need looking at. Of course, if we did that, the other side would accuse us of pork-barrel politics. On this side of the House we have got strong voices inside Government who can make a difference on projects that matter to people in the north.

      Ron Mark’s comments at that part of QT are also worth noting
      Ron Mark : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Could I ask you to have a look at that transcript and pay some attention particularly to the first supplementary question, which is virtually an identical supplementary question to one I asked the very same Minister last week. The problem is that the answer he gave here is different from the answer he gave last time.

      How much is National’s Northland panic costing the taxpayer?

      • Skinny 17.2.1

        Twyford has really struggled to get traction on Transport and Housing, two plum portfolios that any capable front bench MP should be able too. Maybe DC should be given one of them bringing him back up to the front bench.

        • ScottGN

          I think Twyford has done ok on housing actually. He can take some credit for the government never really being able to front-foot this issue. Though I accept the main reason they struggle with this is their ideological blindness.

    • rawshark-yeshe 17.3

      would be good to hear her recording of the call …. smart woman !!

    • Clemgeopin 17.4

      From your link:

      “Whangarei dairy farmer Alex Wright said Whangarei National MP Shane Reti rang her last week and told her the Pipiwai advocacy group should keep quiet for the next two and a half weeks – or risk getting nothing.

      In the call, which she recorded, Dr Reti said he had been working behind the scenes to help the group, but warned her that could be jeopardised if the group continued to agitate and send what he called threatening emails to MPs.

      Ms Wright said she was taken aback by Dr Reti’s call, and felt bullied.

      But Dr Reti said he was trying to help the group – not bully them”

      The behaviour from that MP is appalling. In fact, a BLACKMAIL!

      He needs to be sacked from the party immediately. It is worse than the ‘Do you know who I am’ stupid offense by the drunken bravado of Aaron Gilmore! Aaron’s were drunken words where as, Reti’s threat is very serious BLACKMAIL! No doubt about that.

      • b waghorn 17.4.1

        Bloody right he needs sacking stand over tactics are the realm of gangs and crooks.

      • Tracey 17.4.2

        he was trying to help them by telling them to back off til after the election cos his higher ups were getting embarassed and when embarassed the basis of their decision making changes.

        i hope that clarifies it.

        • ScottGN

          Dr Reti (for I believe he is a doctor of some sort) has since issued a statement saying he could have handled his communications with Alex Wright better. The higher-ups are shitting on him.

      • greywarshark 17.4.3

        These days well paid people expect to get their salary, once employed, as a right whatever they do. They have to have performance pay to goad them into doing their job. And if they fail and have to leave they get compensated for someone exerting authority over them.

        When a group being helped by a politician makes some democratic comment that isn’t favourable well that isn’t showing proper respect and gratitude to their patron. This polly is in exactly the same position as if working in a private firm. He doesn’t need to do anything for them and has helped out of the goodness of his heart.
        He has put himself out to do some work for them, and the ingratitude! It’s appalling.

        They apparently think that government should be working for the people. They don’t understand there are many, many things that must be done by pollies who have to prioritise, to meet Party obligatons.

  17. ScottGN 18

    And in the same midday report Steven Joyce has been forced to concede that some of the 7000 so-called jobs he claimed were created in Northland are actually in neighbouring electorates.

  18. greywarshark 19

    Interested in systems enabling cheaper and better house construction in NZ. Keep an eye on innovators and idea producers like this.

    and a few more

    I’m not saying you should like them but someone has to think about housing and get behind affordable housing and understand different types. The government seems to have stopped thinking about housing and establishing intelligent renewals and city dense designs back in the 1960’s – 50 years later look at the mess we are in.

    BRANZ seemed a bloody waste of money when it came to leaky house design and concepts, with its net gains being non-existent. I hope it is different now but if it was reformed to help property speculators it is just a subsidy for them.
    Here is a report that is supposed to be from them but comes from first light studio, whatever they are.

  19. greywarshark 20

    I see in the DomPost that they are worried after ebola that measles is coming in. It is so contagious that vaccines are a must they think. And a large group of children are at risk.
    So this is where vaccination is essential isn’t it. When there is an emerging situation like this it is a prophylactic that can be given a tick. They fear the measles epidemic, and they fear the unpreparedness of the medical system depleted and exhuasted after ebola will not be able to cope.

    Another debilitating disease – that of drug running.
    This poor woman was abducted and allegedly beheaded by those in the drug business as a warning not to interfere with them. Illegal drugs and huge profits is resulting in Mexico losing its soul. The pope says that Mexico is being punished. I don’t know if the right people are getting it though.

    And while it’s handy here is the latest from Oz via the Guardian.
    * Federal police confirm they have accessed journalists’ metadata
    * Senate blocks university deregulation for the second time

    • Colonial Rawshark 20.1

      I see in the DomPost that they are worried after ebola that measles is coming in. It is so contagious that vaccines are a must they think. And a large group of children are at risk.
      So this is where vaccination is essential isn’t it. When there is an emerging situation like this it is a prophylactic that can be given a tick.

      Well, linking ebola and measles together is a deliberate, but rather transparent and unimaginative tactic.

      • Chooky 20.1.1

        +100 CR…”linking ebola and measles together”….is pathetic!…one is a deadly disease , the other most of us had as children…. and our parents and grandparents had as children….and we surbvived and lived long and well

      • McFlock 20.1.2

        Measles is much more contagious than ebola.

        • Colonial Rawshark


        • greywarshark

          @ McFlock
          I got the impression that measles was more contagious than ebola. And making out that it’s some sort of cunning plan to sneak vaccinations in under the pretext of heightened anxiety after ebola is not a good look from you CR.

          • weka

            In the absence of context (no link) it’s not a bad assumption to make. Not that there is a conspiracy, but that this is just the natural way that some people think. It’s unclear however whether it’s a journalist or health authority.

            • greywarshark

              @ weka
              No link? I put three in at 20. Surely there was something there that was informative.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            GWS: not a good look from ME? I’m not the major news outlet which posited ebola and measles in the same piece.

            • McFlock

              Measles killed 145,000 people globally in 2013.
              Ebola in 2014? Not so much.

            • greywarshark

              I thought they made a good case for being careful about measles. But what do I know?? And my conclusions though I thought they were reasoned ones, just show my ignorance clearly. I’m afraid this matter will always be one of those black holes down which thought is sucked and vanishes.

  20. The Chairman 21

    Increasing GDP leads to foreign-owned companies in New Zealand making bigger profits:

    • greywarshark 21.1

      @The Chairman
      Thanks for that. That must send a clear signal to those RW and business oriented types who chorus that we need more foreign investment.

      It’s like an awful addiction – a giant Ponzi scheme. The more we get, the less advamtage there is because if it helps us do more business successfully, then the increased flow of profits out of the country ups our current account deficit. Then that is easiest met by getting more foreigh money invested in the country.

      That media piece seems to scotch the idea and I suppose business types will admit they are wrong and look at the whole system again for change. Or perhaps not.

  21. Ergo Robertina 23

    Fairfax moving to branch office model for newspapers.


    ”Fairfax Media New Zealand is rolling out a new model for its newsrooms nationwide and regional newspaper editors are disappearing in favour of regional editorial managers based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch….
    ”The changes, trialed in Southland, are being rolled out nationwide in coming months.
    ”The roles disappearing are expected to be editors in smaller regional centres.
    ”Under the newsroom changes journalists will edit each other’s stories more.”

    The last point in particular is disturbing – even if they had the time, reporters are not trained for the very different role of sub-editing.

    • McFlock 23.1

      I have a nodding acquaintance with document production (not on a daily publication basis, though). One reason our team is successful is that we actually do have people who will spend an afternoon mulling over the precision of phrasing or the difference between an em dash and an en dash. I tend to be oblivious to that sort of thing, and the conversations do my nut in, but on the other hand I have skillsets that they do not. Like switching the computer off, then on again.

      Frankly, I’d rather headbutt a pencil than have daily discussions on topics such as whether the building was evacuated or merely the building’s occupants were evacuated. I suppose that with a big enough news story aka “disaster” both might be true…

      • weka 23.1.1

        “Frankly, I’d rather headbutt a pencil than have daily discussions on topics such as whether the building was evacuated or merely the building’s occupants were evacuated”

        That shouldn’t actually need discussion.

        • McFlock

          I would have given a more specific example, but if some of my colleagues participate here it might have made staff meetings a tad uncomfortable 🙂

          Another example would be that I almost wrote “it amazes me how many pages can be written on the most nuanced turns of phrase”, but then realised that if that sentence had been considered for publication we would have spent fifteen minutes discussing the merits of “it amazes me how many pages can be written regarding the most nuanced turns of phrase”, with at least one person in favour of “on” because of space requirements and another person adamant that “on” is misleading because nothing is literally written on a turn of phrase, and then someone else would wonder whether the plural should be “turns of phrases” or whether “expressions” should be used instead.

          Those are the days I long for a return to security, with ice-cold rain down the back of my neck and most problems essentially revolving around “refer issue to someone else, run away, or stop person hitting me”.

          • weka

            lol. Ok, I have to ask, are the staff meetings full of self-deprecating humour and wit, or is that completely serious?

            • McFlock

              That’s pretty typical of some of the discussions, but fortunately not every week.

              And there are funny moments, too – all in all it’s a pretty good team I work with 🙂

    • weka 23.2

      ”The changes, trialed in Southland, are being rolled out nationwide in coming months.”

      They’re getting rid of the Editor of the Southland Times? I bet that’s going to go down well. I also seem to remember the current editor being fairly outspoken on a number of issues, so that would be a loss not just for Southland but for NZ journalism.

      Hmm, this would seem to contradict the Fairfax announcement, a new editor of the ST was appointed yesterday.


      • Ergo Robertina 23.2.1

        Good spotting, I hadn’t seen that. That is a bit confusing.
        I see Joanna Norris is quoted as South Island editor-in-chief, a title I haven’t heard before, so maybe the on-site editors will be less autonomous.

  22. Penny Bright 24

    So folks – there was never a planned Puhoi to WELLSFORD motorway.

    That was just ‘made up’,and in my view, a blatant election lying ‘BRIBE’.

    The planned motorway was from Puhoi to WARKWORTH.

    There is 19 kms between WARKWORTH and WELLSFORD.

    WARKWORTH is in the Rodney electorate (and comes within the Auckland ‘Supercity’).

    WELLSFORD is in the Northland electorate.

    Seems that Winston Peters is owed an apology?


    Steven Joyce answers the ‘Puhoi to Wellsford’ roading ‘bribe’ question today in the House:

    3. Roading, Auckland—Pūhoi to Wellsford Route

    [Sitting date: 18 March 2015. Volume:704;Page:3. Text is subject to correction.]

    3. DENIS O’ROURKE (NZ First) to the Minister for Economic Development : Does he stand by his statement to RadioLive ’s Duncan Garner yesterday, in respect of starting the Pūhoi to Wellsford Motorway , that “2016 sounds like a pretty good date to me”?

    Hon STEVEN JOYCE (Minister for Economic Development): I thank the member for his question, and I absolutely do.

    The New Zealand Transport Agency expects construction of the Pūhoi to Wellsford motorway to start in late 2016 and to take around 5 years, which is fantastic for the people of Northland. Pūhoi to Wellsford will open up Northland to economic development and tourism by providing a critical link between Northland and the rest of the country.

    Yesterday I happened to be in the north of Northland, and they were telling me it could not come soon enough, which is why it is important they support a good local who understands the needs of the north and who does not just fly in and fly out on his helicopter.

    Denis O’Rourke : Can the Minister please tell the House when the board of inquiry was held on the 19 kilometre Warkworth to Wellsford section of the Pūhoi to Wellsford motorway, which is vital to the economic future of Northland?

    Hon STEVEN JOYCE : That part has not yet happened, as the member may have noticed. Pūhoi to Warkworth has, and it is expected to start construction next year, which is very exciting. And I remind the House that before this Government came along, the commitment of the other side was to stop a four-lane motorway in a paddock outside Pūhoi and never extend it further.

    Denis O’Rourke : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question asked whether the Minister would tell the House when the board of inquiry was held. That was not addressed at all.

    Mr SPEAKER : It certainly was addressed. He said it has not occurred for that particular section, and then referred to the section that it had been. The question has been addressed.

    Phil Twyford : Can he confirm the New Zealand Transport Agency’s advice that at this stage, in respect of the route between Warkworth and Wellsford, there is no indicative route available and no start date for construction; if not, is he announcing that a route has been set and a start date has been confirmed?

    Penny Bright

  23. JanMeyer 25

    Checking out the NZH and Stuff websites from a wee stint in Europe and what is leading the national news three days in a row? Something about a couple of utter nobodies bullying another nobody on some unwatchable “talent” show. Call me a snob but no wonder some of us still suffer from “cultural cringe”

  24. greywarshark 26

    I think the background to the matter is a racist comment thrown at someone performing by one of the judges. There are just a few standards left that people on tv and radio have to consider and the comment violated them. I have not had tv for a while now so it’s largely gone over my head. But 18 year olds and those stuck in a time warp of that mental age have got agitated on the subject.

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