Open Mike 18/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 18th, 2017 - 76 comments
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76 comments on “Open Mike 18/03/2017”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11820240

    ””It is absolutely extraordinary that they are able to get away with paying zero tax in this country. I really like Apple products – they’re incredibly innovative – but it looks like their tax department is even more innovative than their product designers,” Shaw said.”

    apple ripping nz of

    Why don’t we just have a 10% tax on all money as it leaves the country ,?

    • Antoine 1.1

      Suspect this would infringe our international commitments

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        So does being a tax haven.

        Thanks to the National Party, we are in no position to say jack shit about people who avoid tax.

    • dv 1.2

      Tobin tax, about same size as CC charge.

    • Carolyn_nth 1.3

      Very good work by Mr Nippert again. John Campbell has also been on the Apple case for more than a year – trying to get some explanation from Apple about their activities in NZ.

      According to Nippert, Apple has at least several dozen employees in NZ. It’s NZ sales are handled by its Aussie office – so can claim not to have a business here, I think. Legal but morally dodgy.

      “Apple aims to be a force for good and we’re proud of the contributions we’ve made in New Zealand over the past decade. Because our products and services are created, designed and engineered in the US, that’s where the vast majority of our tax is paid,” the spokesperson said.

      But aren’t most of the products made by cheap labour in Asian countries?

      Spark chief executive Simon Moutter said Apple’s zero tax bill reinforced his concerns that New Zealand’s tax base was threatened by the burgeoning wave of technology companies.

      “Some of these companies are willing to use every trick in the book to minimise the tax they pay towards the cost of running our schools, hospitals and social infrastructure,” Moutter said.


      “Whether something can be done about it is another question. The United Kingdom and Australia are taking a lead on this and it will be interesting to see how it works out for them.”

      Both Australia and Britain have gone further than the New Zealand Government and impose a diverted profits tax on companies trying to unfairly skirt national tax obligations.

      John Payne, spokesman for the big business umbrella outfit the Corporate Taxpayers Group, cautioned against radical changes to the tax regime and warned the mechanism used by Apple was also used by local exporters.

      “It’s Tax 101 in terms of activity … and it’s quid pro quo for us when we’re operating similarly in another country,” Payne said.

      But NZ companies tend not to be on the same scale as the likes of Apple. So NZ ultimately is the loser. We’d be better off if all companies, NZ and others, paid a fair share of the tax in countries where they sell products and get some income.

      • RedBaronCV 1.3.1

        Although I suspect there is some self / corporate interest there – good on Simon Moutter for sounding more engaged in the country’s welfare than our RW Nact Politicians.
        Don’t forget any local competitor is stuck with uncompetative outcomes as they pay onshore tax.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Apple’s ripping every country off. That’s why it keeps all of its profits in tax havens.

      And, yes, a Tobin Tax is a remarkably good idea if we’re going to keep offshore ownership.

      • gsays 1.4.1

        Hi draco, I seem to recall dear leader saying the havens provided $43m to those who administered them, so be relaxed.

    • infused 1.5

      The same reason you pay no tax when buying shit from overseas. Tax isn’t applied in the foreign country in most cases.

      • bwaghorn 1.5.1

        sorry you are wrong i don’t spend my time trying to avoid paying for all the good things like schools and medical help

  2. Andre 2

    Is the TOP tax policy actually a good idea? Or is it just a brainfart from a mouthy millionaire out-of-touch economist that can only see things in terms of dollars?

    http://www.top.org.nz/top1

    Most of the argument will no doubt focus on the harmful effects on the asset-rich income-poor, such as the elderly who live in areas where property values have skyrocketed. This policy suggests they build up debt to pay their imputed tax, which destroys their security and peace of mind. Or they sell up and move out, which trashes the idea of community. Basically these problems come about from viewing a home as just another capital asset, which economists only value for producing income. The alternative is a capital gains tax, as used in most of the rest of the world. This gets levied at the time of sale, at the time the property has changed from being a home to just another financial instrument.

    But this policy also favours businesses with low capital requirements such as Trademe, Infometrics etc over businesses that require substantial capital investment to produce tangible goods. For instance, this 3D printing firm http://www.rapidman.co.nz/ would have needed to invest a huge chunk up-front to start up their 3D printing business. Slamming them with a tax liability on that investment right from the beginning would be a big disincentive to starting up. But long term, it’s the actually tangible goods businesses that are better for the economy.

    http://www.vox.com/new-money/2017/3/16/14939624/tesla-billion-raise-uber

    Hitting farmers with a capital tax strikes me as a particularly crap idea. It gives them yet more incentive to try to wring yet more income from their very expensive investment. Do we really want to drive more intensification by changing the tax system to favour it?

    The TOP proposal also puts a continuous burden on cashflow. This adds another difficulty to companies going though a rough patch, and may put some under that would otherwise survive.

    Seems to me a capital gains tax, as used in most of the rest of the world, is a much fairer, less distortionary way of taxing capital. I favour including everything, even family homes (with rollover provisions for family homes). It more fairly captures the income enjoyed by the founders of businesses with low capital requirements that achieve a high sell price because of intangibles such as customer base, brand, intellectual property. TOP’s proposal is light on companies such as TradeMe, Infometrics, Charlie’s, 42 Below, while it would hit hard companies like F&P that need to invest in substantial equipment.

    Finally, since capital gains taxes are widely used elsewhere, there’s plenty of other examples to look to and pick what works and eliminate the loopholes from the beginning.

    • Graeme 2.1

      My reading of their tax policy is more as a capital investment policy. The tax is on equity, so is designed to encourage property owners to borrow against their property and to invest in income generating businesses.

      A noble aspiration, and a very correct observation of what is wrong with all our wealth tied up in non-productive real estate, and Morgan’s ideas may be a solution to that, but there’s some serious transition issues around how we get there.

      Also, on the face of it, a huge structural subsidy (even more of a licence to print money) in favour of the banks.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Encouraging debt can’t be a good thing. I know of a bunch of businesses that went under 2009/2010. Most of them were running on borrowed money. I know a bunch of businesses that survived 2009/2010 with just a bit of belt-tightening. Most of them were debt-free or nearly. The correlation was pretty good.

        Let alone encouraging more mortgage debt to avoid paying tax to live in your own home…

        Seems to me a better way to encourage investment in more productive sectors is to clean up the financial shenanigans that make non-property investment so unattractive in NZ.

        • Graeme 2.1.1.1

          Yeah, I’m not a fan of it for those reasons too. The whole thing looks like a few rather noble ideas with rather poorly thought out execution. But that’s how Morgan operates.

          You’re on the button about this problem needing a carrot approach to make productive investment safer than hence more attractive than real estate. It’s the financial markets that need the stick, not the property owners.

        • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.2

          “Encouraging debt can’t be a good thing.”

          That’s a bit too generic a statement. A lot of new investment is debt funded so any form of encouraging investment is going to encourage debt. The problem occurs when your getting a lot of debt taken on which is chasing capital gains anticipated due to expanding underlying debt levels.

          In terms of Morgans policy proposals, I doubt that the indirect measures like tax changes will have much effect. Even a capital gains tax has worked where? If we were serious about stopping the housing bubble in NZ then you need to prevent competition in taking on more debt directly. The LVR ratio is a start but needs to apply property by property (to stop competition between borrowers) and the cap could be on all borrowing, and lower. Also its still tied into the valuations, so make it loan to rental income to serious stop the competition in who can take on the biggest loan at purchase time.

          Cleaning up the share market and dodgy practices there would do a lot to improve investment, but it will take a long while to kick in, many people have been scammed in the past and have a long memory.

          • Andre 2.1.1.2.1

            I too doubt capital gains taxes will do much to slow the housing bubble inflating.

            CGT is more an equity argument about those that benefit from a societal environment that allows capital investment to be protected and grow being required to contribute something back to maintaining that society. Instead of parasitically keeping it all in their pocket like they do now in NZ.

            • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.2.1.1

              I don’t really believe in that fairness arguments. If some people are profiting off of others falling into significant indebitedness, that is unfair and problematic for society even if the government is taking a cut or even a very significant cut. If Capital Gains Taxes actually work then they need to be set at levels where they collect very little revenue because the underlying behavior is being discouraged by them. On the other hand I don’t think I have seen any examples of them working to actually achieve that.

              My reasoning around Morgan’s tax policies is that essentially he believes the market is fundamentally pretty rational and so if profit is discouraged by taxation then this behavior will desist. I don’t think the market is anywhere near that rational, there are plenty of analysis saying that essentially many property investors are already losing money with their housing speculation and would get better returns with more productive investments anyway.

          • mikesh 2.1.1.2.2

            “A lot of new investment is debt funded so any form of encouraging investment is going to encourage debt. The problem occurs when your getting a lot of debt taken on which is chasing capital gains anticipated due to expanding underlying debt levels.”

            The problem occurs when the interest paid gobbles up profit to the extent that little or no income tax is paid. Banks, however, don’t invest in businesses; they lend to investors, whether proprietors or shareholders, who do the investing. The trouble is that monies borrowed represent a personal benefit to the borrower since he is provided thereby with funds to invest in, and own, a business or property, and of course interest is the cost of that personal benefit, and personal benefits, while normally not tax deductible (this why we have fringe benefit tax), seem to have been deemed deductible in the case of interest.

            Getting rid of deductibility of interest for tax purposes would probably mitigate many problems.

            • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.2.2.1

              Banks do lend to businesses, interest is only deductible for the payer of the interest, so if interest is being deducted before profits are taxed then the business is making the interest payments.

              We don’t want investment in productive businesses because they pay more tax to the government (which is pretty much irrelevant). We want that because it avoids the economy being a contest in speculation, which is prone to busts. Getting rid of interest deductibility is unlikely to solve that problem, though it is likely to make borrowing have a higher interest cost which will likely hamper investment in productive business as well as speculation. That kind of measure needs to be carefully targeted at speculative businesses.

              • mikesh

                “Banks do lend to businesses, interest is only deductible for the payer of the interest, so if interest is being deducted before profits are taxed then the business is making the interest payments.”

                Businesses don’t pay interest; the person to whom the monies were lent, ie the proprietor, pays the interest. It doesn’t matter whether the proprietor pays it from his “business” account or from his “personal” account, it is the proprietor who is paying.

                The issue is not the effect that non deductibility would have on this or that business. The issue is whether it is fair that someone who puts his own savings into (say) a rental property, and earns a decent profit, pays a respectable amount of tax, while someone who borrows heavily to invest pays very little tax because most of his profit is being eaten up by a personal expense.

            • Antoine 2.1.1.2.2.2

              > Getting rid of deductibility of interest for tax purposes would probably mitigate many problems.

              It would send rents through the roof

              A.

              • Sabine

                too late, they are already sky high.

                • Antoine

                  Oh they can still go higher

                  • Sabine

                    of course they can, but will the government be able to continue paying the Accommodation Supplement that would allow Landlords to charge higher rents?
                    and how long before we have riots in the streets and would that be a good outcome?

                    Hmm, but maybe that is the intended outcome, destroy a bit of real estate, lock up a few people, insurance pay out, rebuild, charge higher rents.

                    so how do you like your current society vs the one i just painted?
                    cause it seems that the ‘burn down the house in which you are living’ is a thing at the moment with certain people on the left and the right.

    • mikesh 2.2

      “Seems to me a capital gains tax, as used in most of the rest of the world, is a much fairer, less distortionary way of taxing capital. I favour including everything, even family homes (with rollover provisions for family homes).”

      A capital gain is still capital, but it represents only a small part of the capital that exists.
      It is therefore difficult to see how taxing capital gains is “fairer” or “less distortionary”
      when other capital is not being taxed.

      “Finally, since capital gains taxes are widely used elsewhere, there’s plenty of other examples to look to and pick what works and eliminate the loopholes from the beginning.”

      CGTs don’t seem to have “worked” elsewhere. Countries that have them seem to have just as many problems with property as we have here. I suspect the reason most countries persist with them is because they are a relatively easy to collect form of revenue. That they do not have much effect on interest rates probably makes them popular with the banks as well.

  3. mary_a 3

    John Key is going to work for this Japanese businessman/golfing enthusiast/philanthropist/priest Handa! Now where have I heard this name before?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11820452

    • Handa was made an honorary member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2016…

      Gee, I wonder who arranged that for him?

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        This is only connected in that it involves business people playing with their money in NZ to help them to get all of our money of us. Old news bac in 2012 but for lovers of interesting back stories might fill in gaps

        Why is urban land expensive in NZ? Because it is just a way to gain Monopoly
        money.

        https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/tuesday-heartland-moves-over-toxic-nelson-loan-ch-p-127482

        The property was acquired by Victoria Properties Consolidated in 2005 for $5.4 million with an optimistic forecast of potential value of $18 million to be gleaned from section sales after rezoning….

        About 150 mainly Otago investors have money in the Victoria group, which is managed by Britannia Management, whose directors include National Party director and Canterbury Westland chairman Roger Bridge and financial adviser Craig Myles.

        Probably where some of the payout from Hubbard’s South Canterbury Finance debacle went.

  4. trump is a rude man – what possible reason other than that is there for this?

    nah nothing stacks up – he is a petulant, pathetic man-child

    “”Do you want to have a handshake?” Merkel asked Trump, leaning closer to Trump after the US president failed to respond to the requests.

    Trump continued to stare straight ahead and didn’t answer, leaving Merkel high and dry.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/90579146/donald-trump-angela-merkel-hold-first-facetoface-meeting-at-white-house

  5. The Chairman 5

    Christchurch City Council committee keen to introduce city’s own dollar.

    The committee is focusing on the Bristol Pound as a potential model.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/90493334/christchurch-city-council-committee-keen-to-introduce-citys-own-dollar

  6. Cinny 6


    Parents win ‘fight’ to get daughter into Salisbury School

    Hekia has been attempting to bully Salisbury School into closure for many years now, by denying girls the best facility in the country for their needs, instead preferring they use a ‘wrap around’ service.

    Once again we discover another story of the struggle a family has gone through over a number of years to have their daughter attend Salisbury School.
    Finally she has been excepted, Salisbury will change and improve her life and that of her family tremendously.

    Salisbury School is NZs most valuable educational facility for girls with complex needs, a wrap around service is not enough for some girls, Salisbury saves lives.

    I wish this family all the very best, your girl is going to love Salisbury, so happy you finally got there.

    A change of government will help to keep one of the most valuable schools in the country open.

    Some wrap around services must be making a fortune, Salisbury school is not about making money, it’s about improving lives. Would be interesting to know who is making money from the wrap around services, someone is.

    • JanM 6.1

      Have you any idea what ‘wrap around services’ are or are they just double speak for actually doing nothing?
      I’m not surprised they’ve been trying to shut down what seems to me to be a great school – they’ve been making it harder and harder for children with additional needs to access suitable education.
      For that matter, they’ve been busy screwing the whole education system from top to bottom to suit their own ideological ends – they’ve got to go!!!

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Have you any idea what ‘wrap around services’ are or are they just double speak for actually doing nothing?

        I suspect that it’s doublespeak for the average, run of the mill school that suits most children but is detrimental to those that are outside the norm.

        • JanM 6.1.2.1

          Thanks for that – sounds like a few hours with a psychologist and on yer bike! Charming!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.2.2

          A cynical piecemeal approach that has one advantage from the National Party’s perspective: it’s easier to defund.

        • Cinny 6.1.2.3

          Yesah Salisbury School is an incredible place which saves lives.

          Sometimes residential care is the best option rather than mainstream school. And the way this school prepares the girls for life is outstanding. Like when they reach a certain age they are moved to little villas to live with each other, on site with staff support, to give them life skills in a supportive controlled environment. Awesome.

          They get to experience a strong sense of community, not only in the school, but also in Richmond itself and sometimes that will be the first time some girls have ever felt a sense of community or inclusion.

          Hekia has been hell bent on closing Salisbury down, it’s more like a competition to her, the urge to win. People shouldn’t play games like that with the lives of others.

          It’s so hard for me to understand why push the wrap around services which haven’t worked for some families, rather than supporting a facility that has been up and running and making a huge difference for decades. So I begin to wonder things like… do her friends have a wrap around service business?

          Should some parents not be told about the school from the beginning as an option?

          Anyways, Salisbury is a very very good school, huge respect for all the staff whom have made it so amazing over the many years it has been operating, and looking forward to seeing the roll increase in the future, rather than more road blocks, and more suffering from the outgoing government.

          • Antoine 6.1.2.3.1

            > So I begin to wonder things like… do her friends have a wrap around service business?

            I don’t think you need to invoke corruption here – ideological blinders and a fairly hefty dose of incompetence is enough

            A.

            PS _Some_ people do well on wrap around, I understand

  7. ianmac 7

    Connections?
    Rangiora High School has Trust land. The Ministry wants to grab the control off the BOT so they can sell the land. So destroy Principal and BOT.
    Salisbury has valuable land. The Ministry wants to grab the control off the BOT so they can sell the land. So destroy Principal and BOT and strangle the entrance for the girls.
    Good on Parata! Yay!

    Edit:Meant for Cinny

  8. North 8

    How ridiculously childish is this POTUS ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503076&gal_cid=1503076&gallery_id=173026

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  9. Penny Bright 9

    Beware of moving from Auckland Council (Corporate) Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

    This upcoming ‘review’ needs to, in my view, make a top priority of returning all public services provided by Auckland Council and CCOs back to ‘in house’ service provision under the genuine, not-for-profit public service model.

    Which was never broken before we had two doses of Neo-liberal ‘Rogernomic$’ reforms forced upon the public majority of Aucklanders.

    In my view, we also need a huge clean out of ex-private sector businesspeople from ‘public servant’ roles.

    How do people from the private sector ‘transmogrify’ into genuine public servants – serving the public and the public interest?

    In my view – they don’t.

    They’re from Planet ‘Private Profit’ and come from a completely different background and culture
    – make money for shareholders – look after yourself and your mates?

    Time for some BIG changes!

    OPEN THE BOOKS!

    CUT OUT THE CONSULTANTS ,
    CONTRACTORS and CCOs!

    BRING COUNCIL PUBLIC SERVICES BACK ‘IN HOUSE’ UNDER THE ‘NOT-FOR-PROFIT’ PUBLIC SERVICE MODEL!

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      This upcoming ‘review’ needs to, in my view, make a top priority of returning all public services provided by Auckland Council and CCOs back to ‘in house’ service provision under the genuine, not-for-profit public service model.

      That’s would be the desired end result but the review should do an unbiased cost/benefit review. If they do that then moving all back in house should be a no-brainer.

      The PPP model simply costs too much for limited returns that often makes things worse.

  10. JC 10

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/90495259/Forest-Bird-holding-Environment-Southland-to-ransom-ES-chair

    “If Forest & Bird gets its way, marine farming could never be considered…”

    While “Forest & Bird Otago/Southland regional manager Sue Maturin said it did not consider marine farming to be appropriate for internationally significant and special places such as Fiordland and the wild pristine waters of Stewart Island, or the marine mammal sanctuaries for Hector’s dolphins in Curio Bay and Te Wae Wae”.

    • weka 10.1

      They’re talking about two bays by the sounds of things. Sounds reasonable.

      “He was concerned the Wellington-based organisation was “not prepared to compromise” and said court action would cost a lot of money for Southland ratepayers.”

      I’m sure all the Southland F and B members and volunteers who work in the area will love that bit.

      • JC 10.1.1

        Weka Interested to know more about 2 Bays… interested in hearing more.. Link Please…

        Seems a default setting/response whenever these sorts of questions are raised…

        “court action would cost a lot of money for Southland ratepayers.” (or any her Ratepayers… Why is is it that only Ratepayers count when these are National issues! Just like Dairy Intensification!

        Northland/Westland/Canterbury/Horowhenua… wherever… Why is it that only Ratepayers, (As I am), only allowed to comment on/have impute into “district” issues”

        Surely Marine Farming in Fiordland or Stewart Island, (as part of NZ), or the planet! If it’s unsustainable/ and/or inappropriate,( In some circumstance) (Just like Cows in the McKenzie Country, or Canterbury…) Why is it that these issues can only be allowed/commented on by _”Rate Payers”..

        When there is so much apathy locally surely there’s a need for other parties to put their 10 cents worth in. For the Good of All!

        Or can the few in Jackson’s Bay, ( or the Westland Council) determine whats Best…

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/88099749/From-national-park-to-overseas-Plan-to-export-billions-of-litres-of-West-Coast-water

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          I only know about Curio and Te Waewae Bays issues from the article (although I have been to both places too). I trust F and B’s judgement. Hopefully Robert Guyton will comment. He would also know if there is a place for non-rate payers to have input.

          I also think getting it written into the Regional Policy Statement is critical, because so much time, energy, effort and resource is being wasted having to refight these battles over and over and over.

        • weka 10.1.2.1

          My concern is that too many people are saying we need to put a price on water. I think we should have a moratorium on all new exports until we sort this out.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.1.1

            If we’re going to keep with a market system then we most definitely need to put a price on it.

            Me, I’d like to put science on it and determine just how much water we can use before it becomes unsustainable.

            I’m also pretty sure that we’re well into the unsustainable usage now and it’s just getting worse as the farms suck up more water and the water bottlers export it.

            • weka 10.1.2.1.1.1

              “If we’re going to keep with a market system then we most definitely need to put a price on it”

              Quite. Which is why I think focussing on the price rather than a moratorium is buying into neoliberal framing. Have the conversation first about water being life, then talk about the limits, then see what if any price is needed. But then I think bottling water for profit is up there in terms of evil alongside Monsanto or chopping down rainforest to make burgers.

              “Me, I’d like to put science on it and determine just how much water we can use before it becomes unsustainable.

              I’m also pretty sure that we’re well into the unsustainable usage now and it’s just getting worse as the farms suck up more water and the water bottlers export it.”

              I also believe we are well past anything remotely sustainable. I’m not sure we could even determine what sustainable is under the current system. Industrial export dairying would have to stop for a start, and no-one even wants to talk about that apart from those of us who have nothing to lose. And Rachel Steward 🙂

            • Antoine 10.1.2.1.1.2

              It is very little water that the bottlers are exporting. By all means worry about the farms but I really wouldn’t lose sleep over the bottling

              • weka

                Look at the bigger picture. Bottled water is a pollutant because of plastic’s accumulation in the environment (e.g. the Pacific gyre), and because plastic is an endocrine disruptor.

                Exporting water has a ridiculous carbon cost. It actively supports the despoilment of local aquifers and watersheds in the places it is being sold. There is a reason people need to ship water from here. It’s daft beyond all reasoning to be moving water from one side of the planet to another using fossil fuels, but even if that were sustainable, it doesn’t get around why people need the water in the first place. Making money off other people’s destruction of the environment is not only amoral, it’s going to back lash against us. You think people with bigger sticks won’t come and take water from us if we let the civilisation get to the point of mass water wars?

                “It is very little water that the bottlers are exporting.”

                That argument I am not convince about. It’s the overall take from a catchment that counts, and if an aquifer is depleting (e.g. farming), then taking out water for bottling is still a further depletion. We also don’t know what the demand will be going forward except that it’s most likely to increase and may increase exponentially. We should be setting limits now, not doing what we have done with dairy and seeing how far we can push the plunder. From what I understand replenishing an aquifer is not a quick or easy thing, and by the time we get to that point we will be well into direct climate change issues.

                We’re already at the point of fucking with the groundwater beyond our ken,

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11705149

                • Antoine

                  Well, I sympathise with your desire for better water management

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But, like all RWNJs, don’t like the idea that there are real physical limits that we need to live within.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I dont have a problem with that idea

                    That is not the way that you come across with your ‘sympathy’ nor your excusing of water bottlers.

                    • Antoine

                      Everyone agrees that the world has real physical limits. The interesting bit starts when you talk about what those limits are, how close we are to exceeding them, and what should be done about it.

                      My point is that water bottling (as opposed to dairy) takes you only a very little closer to reaching a hard limit.

                      I understand Weka’s rejoinder however.

                      A.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Everyone agrees that the world has real physical limits.

                    That’s not actually true. Many of the conservative bent don’t think that the world has limits. They’re easy to spot as they insist that we can just keep using more and more of the worlds limited resources with consequences.

                    Bottling water is fine because it uses so little. Owning and running a car is fine because it uses so little.

                    They don’t seem to understand the effect of multiplication and that it’s not just a single bottling plant and just one car being but many. That the demands upon those scarce resources isn’t just one thing but many and they all have their cost that reduces amount available.

                    You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

                    But very few people understand that. Even, IMO, most economists don’t get it despite it being at the root of their profession.

                    My point is that water bottling (as opposed to dairy) takes you only a very little closer to reaching a hard limit.

                    But what is the limit? Without knowing that how can you say that water bottling doesn’t take us over it?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Every little bit counts.

                Watercare aren’t asking for one person to save a lot, they’re asking everyone to save a little which will add up to a lot.

  11. feed your head – great vocal – ‘Grace Slick’s isolated vocals tracks for “White Rabbit.’

    https://youtu.be/eChgEiovCww

    why? – just a point – does ‘why’ need a question mark?

    anyway – we must look at things from different angles – we can do it with a song and with a few other things as well…

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  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    17 hours ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    18 hours ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    18 hours ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    1 day ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    3 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    3 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago