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Open mike 18/04/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 18th, 2011 - 98 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

98 comments on “Open mike 18/04/2011”

  1. Matthew Hooton 1

    So, what about that poll then?

    captcha = support  !

    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      Try and keep up Matthew. That one was put to bed yesterday.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.1.1

        Omigog, you’re right.  And all the usual leftwing nutbars were out last night with their favourite conspiracy theory about why the polls are wrong.  Even the dopey “landline bias” theory got a play!  Thanks for alerting me.

        • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1.1

          No problem, Matthew. Any chance you can explain how Winnie gets more support as preferred PM than he does as an MP? That sorta tells me that Reid Research don’t know what they are doing and the poll counts for shit.

          • Matthew Hooton 1.1.1.1.1

            Any chance you can explain how Winnie gets more support as preferred PM than he does as an MP?

            Not really, but I can speculate that it has something to do with the larrikinism in the NZ culture and that, among the 30% of the population who don’t like Key, Goff or Clark, which includes the majority of Labour voters now, a handfull names Peters when asked who they would like to be Prime Minister.    

            That to me, “Voice of Reason”, is a more reasonable explanation than “sorta tells me that Reid Research don’t know what they are doing and the poll counts for shit” but there you go. 

          • felix 1.1.1.1.2

            I’m not sure Winston’s results are so hard to reconcile.
             
            Does anyone know what the exact questions were? I can think of a few ways of phrasing them that might give that sort of result.
             
            If you polled Helensville for example you might find a number of people who support John Key as PM but would rank him totally useless as their MP.
             
            There’s also a big difference between “who do you prefer” and “who will you vote for”. People who “prefer” Helen Clark as PM for example presumably know that they aren’t going to be voting for her in November.
             
            Matthew might have a point too about larrikinism. “I might just bloody well vote Winston if these bastards don’t pull finger” might not be an unheard-of sentiment in the current climate. Winston is in a way the ultimate protest vote.
             
            Note that I neither know nor care about the accuracy of the poll in general, just pointing out that Winston’s result might not be as unusual as it seems on the face of it.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.2

          Good to see you displaying your usual reasoned and balanced self Matthew.  Of course the MSM should go to you for views on the Labour Party and on politics in general.  You can be guaranteed to provide carefully reasoned and fact based opinions every time and you never, ever try to spin anything.

          • Bob 1.1.1.2.1

            Matthew spins so much that Jim Mora uses him to generate electricity to power RNZ afternoons , helps to keep the costs down .

        • Puddleglum 1.1.1.3

          Hi Matthew,

          Do you know how this polling company (or any other) has responded to the dislocation in the Christchurch population – people leaving the city, people living elsewhere in the city (where they are unlikely to be the respondent on the phone), people increasingly simply not having the time or inclination to respond, etc.?

          Personally, I have no firm idea about what the poll means other than it still looks like National remains popular. That genuinely makes me sad as my belief is that the policies that National is pushing are likely to make most people’s lives in New Zealand that much worse and increase the fracturing of families, communities, etc..

          I’m not sure if that makes me a “leftwing nutbar” or simply someone who has made considerable effort to reflect quite deeply on our society and what it is to be human. Compared to these issues, gloating over polls seems extraordinarily beside the point.

    • pollywog 1.2

      To me it says, the lackaballsical Labour caucus shoulda rolled Goff weeks ago when he bungled the Hughes affair.

      H1 FTW !!!
       

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.3

      I’m guessing you are hapy because a high number for National (and Simon Power’s departure) will increase your chances of a right wing takeover of the National Party.

  2. JohnDee 2

    So what about the poll?
    Could it be the first installment of the Mediaworks millions?

    • Matthew Hooton 2.1

      Could it be the first installment of the Mediaworks millions?

      Oh, JohnDee, that is so desperate and pathetic.  Are you seriously saying that Reid Research and the 3News newsroom carried out and reported a fake or dodgy poll because of the MediaWorks loan? 

      If so, this is the sort of thing which explains why the left is in such a hopeless position at present – a total detachment from reality.  The situation for the left is far worse even than when Labour was 16% in 1996 because back then you had the Alliance and NZ First.

      Things aren’t going to get better until the left’s activists stop living in conspiracyland.

      Even more appropriate captcha this time – sciences

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        But Matthew you will have to agree that the polling company is often way out with its results and it does not publish its polling techniques so a certain degree of cynicism is justified.  Also there are streets in the poorer parts of Auckland where the huge majority use cellphones rather than land lines.  Surely this is a fertile area for bias?

        • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1.1

          There are streets in the richer parts of Auckland where everyone uses cellphones and no one would ever answer their land line, even if they still have one.  What’s your point?  The polling industry has an excellent record of being broadly accurate and anyone with high school stats can understand why.

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.1

            The polling industry has an excellent record of being broadly accurate and anyone with high school stats can understand why.

            You mean like on 8 August 2010 when Reid Research’s poll said it was Nat-Lab 54.5-30.6 and the same day Colmar Brunton said it was 49-35 and the comparable Roy Morgan said it was 50-33.5?  Is that what you mean by being accurate?  Reid Research has no history of being broadly accurate, it has not polled during an election period before.
            • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep – exactly, they are all roughly in line with one another.  Always prudent to average them out though. 

              • The margin is RR-CB-RM 24-14-16.  Is that really “broadly accurate”?  A 10% variation in the margin?  10% is about twelve seats.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  They are roughly in line with each other if you average them out though.

                  • Tigger

                    Did a UMR poll last week.  Every time I was asked to a ‘which party would you vote for’, ‘who do you prefer’ question National or John Key was the top choice.  Every single time.  No cycling of options.  So of course National would rank above Labour…
                    Anyway, polling is fine but the country is still in the crapper, inflation is out of control, the outlook is bleak and National is the government.  Congrats Hooten, your team are the Kings of Shitville…Kings yes but it’s still Shitville.
                     

                    • Hooten was just on RadioNZ and was as calm and as balanced as I can ever remember him being in that smarmy condescending way that he has perfected.
                       
                      Good comment about Shitville.  The nats may retain power and continue to feed their corporate mates but the country will just continue to decline.

                    • Drakula

                      And may the Kings of shitsville deepen the contradiction and bring about a revolution!!!!

                      It’s a powder kegg I tell you!!!!!

                    • Jenny

                      Captains of the Titanic

      • willie maley 2.1.2

        Aye Matthew you may well be correct. But there is now a question regarding mediaworks impartiality, especially when Key, Impey and Joyce are all implicated in this deal.
        So people can be excused for wondering about TV3s motives in this affair.

      • millsy 2.1.3

        Fuck off Hooten, you have pretty much devoted ourself to flogging this country off to the highest bidder, starting with Lyttleton Port.

        Your nothing better than a fucking quisling – you and your string pullers in the Nats.

        You may win this round, but I dont think even you will stomach the sight of single mums having to live in the street.

        • Drakula 2.1.3.1

          “The sight of single mums having to live in the street.”

          He would be the sort of creep who would put his hand in his wallet with glee!!!

  3. PeteG 3

    Apart from blah blah blah blah blah it’s still and awful poll for Labour.
     
    The leader isn’t going to change, the list is fixed, it doesn’t look like opinion is going to change in a hurry (in the left direction anyway), so what is going to have to change? Nothing isn’t a realistic option. Lalalalalala land isn’t going to last seven more months.

    • todd 3.1

      Does anybody know the exact process/method these polls follow? I mean unless we know that the process is just, one must take such information with a grain of salt. Apart from the obvious media bias, there are many areas that need improvement… Namely Labours performance at being an effective opposition party and Nationals ability to tell the truth.
       
      I would not crow too loudly yet PeteG. There are a number of things happening that will take the sheen off National. Watch this space.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Lalalalalala land isn’t going to last seven more months.

      Well, we hope it doesn’t anyway but National could always get back in.

  4. higherstandard 4

    Anyone interested in a functioning parliamentary democracy should be worried about how shit an opposition Labour is, they are currently making the Nat opposition under Bill English look OK in retropsect.

    • Bright Red 4.1

      I think five years of Gerry Brownlee dictatorship is a bigger threat to democracy than a period of weakness for one of the two major parties.

  5. Tigger 5

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4899125/Tolleys-Wild-West-call-to-ride-horses-to-school-derided
    Yes, let them ride horses and let them eat cake.  Hooters can shout with glee over the poll results but in the real world (where the rest of us live) this government is a pile of elitist shit.

  6. marsman 6

    In the ‘Boys Own’ world of the Hollow Men anything can mean anything.

  7. Anne 7

    Don’t have the expertise, but can someone email Radio NZ’s Kathryn Ryan ahead of this morning’s political slot (after 11am news) and link her to Hooten’s pitiable contribution on The Standard? Might be a wake-up call for her.

    • Carol 7.1

      Ryan’s not on this morning.  There’s a stand-in: Freeman, I think.

    • ianmac 7.2

      This Morning on National Radio Matthew will be reasonable and agreeable but at some point he will vent his spin and repeat it at least three times. The spin will be about Goff’s leadership, or the alleged failures of the Labour List or…… He does the “hammer a point of spin” each time while smiling for the rest of the slot. Bet a dollar on it.

      • logie97 7.2.1

        Actually, what Hooten et al say on RNZ in the mornings is irrelevant.  The station has a very limited audience.  Most listeners are able to discern whether it is right/left spin or bias.  I doubt you could record much of a political shift amongst listeners since national radio began – most have a political philosophy and they are unswayed, though often riled, by the comments of the pundits.

        No, its the RadioNetwork, and their cronies that have more of an influence on public opinion.  Again, not the phone in branch, but the DJs on the rock and popular stations, when they throw in their inane and bigoted comments between songs.  Joyce had them well and truly recruited when he had influence.

        And that is where Key is winning his battle.  He has used the Network stations to trivialise government and managed to portray Parliament as an irrelevance and hooked into the population that believes it is all about ‘Question Time’ and an unruly rabble.

        • uke 7.2.1.1

          And that is where Key is winning his battle.  He has used the Network stations to trivialise government and managed to portray Parliament as an irrelevance and hooked into the population that believes it is all about ‘Question Time’ and an unruly rabble.

          Reminds of the matter of Key saying he would quit parliament if National lost rather than continue in opposition. There have been comments on this site about how this shows Key’s lack of commitment to the political process – and this may be so. But it probably resonates with much public opinion about politicians and the parliamentary process: it supports his everyman “just one of us” image. It’s probably a fairly honest response, too, rings true, just increases his kudos. More’s the pity.

      • Carol 7.2.2

        Actually Freeman (interviewer) handed it onto a platter for Hooten to comment on the latest poll and the problems of Labour & it’s leadersip.  The spin came later, where Hooten was claiming that National was clearly pursueing a moderate agenda (eg on student loan) and had no radical hidden agenda, that they wouldn’t privatise everything if they get back in or attack welfare etc… that was repeated at least three times. Sue Bradford’s response to this moderate line of spin was in the realms of “Yeah.  Right.”

        • Puddleglum 7.2.2.1

          I think you’re right Carol.

          I’ve noticed that Hooten, Brash and various business leaders repeatedly claim that Key is too ‘centrist’, ‘moderate’, ‘un-radical’ and even that he is ruining New Zealand and squandering the chance to get New Zealand Inc. on the ‘right track’. That just reinforces the idea that Key is, indeed, centrist.

          I actually suspect there may be considerable intention involved in these sorts of comments since those same critics seem absolutely ecstatic that National has such a lead over Labour in the polls (whatever the actual figure for that lead is).

          This wouldn’t be the reaction you’d expect if they truly believed that National was taking us to hell in a handcart almost as rapidly as Labour would. They should be disconsolate with these polls – unless they suspect that National will, indeed, move towards their position once the votes are in.

          Currently having many commentators to his right does at least two things for Key:

          1. It creates in the minds of those parts of the electorate who like to see themselves as ‘pragmatic centrists’ that Key is their man; 

          2. Beyond the election, it also provides a bedrock of support for, and a movement of the discourse towards, the right so that, in the second term, Key will have a chorus of supporters lined up to say how, now, he is simply doing just what needs to be done.

          The ideas that can now be talked about (e.g., via the various task forces and commentators such as Hooten) as being to the ‘right of Key’ get aired and spun into the discourse. It’s that familiarity that gives them an aura of reasonableness (as opposed to their actual reasonableness) and so as ‘worth considering’.

          The population will have heard Key’s ‘critics’ to the right often enough and, so, even as he swings further to the right, those critics can offer grudging support and still argue that he hasn’t gone far enough. I’m not sure how many iterations of this strategy the electorate will put up with but a good number of people are very likely to go along with it for this second time (i.e., in 2011).

          I wonder if there’s an ipredict bet that a returned National government would swing to the right after the election? Not sure how it would be worded in terms of a definitive outcome, but it would be fascinating to see the betting odds.

    • Jim Nald 7.3

      Next time, email:
       
      ninetonoon [at] radionz.co.nz

  8. Lanthanide 8

    We probably get quite a few expats coming to this site. There’s a private group that has set up a survey for NZers living overseas. They had a short interview with one of the leading women this morning on Radio NZ – their main goal is to try and find out who is living overseas, and see if they can leverage their contacts/knowledge to help small and medium NZ exporters to grow and get footholds in foreign markets.

    I guess this is one example where the private industry is much better than the government at this sort of thing!

    The website is: http://www.everykiwicounts.com
    captcha: solutions

    • ianmac 8.1

      I was wondering in a conspiracy sort of way if this contact could be used to track the unpaid student loans folk? One of my family is overseas but not with a Student Loan but I wonder?

      • ianmac 8.1.1

        I see that they promise to not pass on information to a third party.

      • Carol 8.1.2

        It concerned me more that the private group’s aim is clearly to pursue the tired old neoliberal agenda…”blah, blah, blah…. growth, bliah, blah, blah…. .increase NZ’s exports….”

    • Bill 8.2

      their main goal is to try and find out who is living overseas, and see if they can leverage their contacts/knowledge to help small and medium NZ exporters to grow and get footholds in foreign markets

      Are they being fucking serious? I mean for fuck’s sake. There’s a reason newbies in the workforce are told to ask for a ‘long stand’ and all the rest of it.
      But no. Some ‘bright spark’ in NZ wants to build the export sector on the back of bubbies on their OE who may or may not have contacts with customers in the tourist hotels they are working in or may or may not have drunken contacts with fellow traveler and similarly drunken Germans or Ozzies.
       
      Or maybe they’re looking for longer established ex-pats to do a wee bit of moonlighting? For – what were those prizes again?
       
      I sincerely hope it is a way…and the only way…that is being used to chase up student loans. At least then, only the terminally stupid will get sprung. (407 so far by the page counter)

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        From the interview this morning, it sounds like they were more interested in people who had been overseas long term and perhaps had businesses of there own or were highly placed in businesses that could be useful for NZ. They said that the results from their last survey (18,000 people, in 2006), 50% of them said they were planning on coming back to NZ at some point. So they don’t need “prizes” to encourage them to help NZ, and really this survey and the followup may prompt them to realise that actually, given who they know and where they are, they could be a valuable asset to certain companies in NZ, and pro actively do something about it.

  9. todd 9

    Link Between Chlorine and Asthma
     
    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/04/link-between-chlorine-and-asthma.html
     
    Checking out your drinking water might be a good idea if you or a family member has asthma and allergies.  A recent Belgian study concluded that chlorine, a common chemical added to water to help kill bacteria, could be making asthma in children worse.  Fumes from chlorine in pools, and even in the shower, could trigger an attack for some people with asthma and allergies.
     

    • wtl 9.1

      That page has no references to the original study making it impossible to evaluate the strength of evidence for the finding. A quick search online revealed a 2011 paper from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, which concludes:

      Conclusions: This first prospective longitudinal study suggests that swimming did not increase the risk of asthma or allergic symptoms in British children. Swimming was associated with increased lung function and lower risk of asthma symptoms, especially among children with preexisting respiratory conditions.

      There were also pro/con editiorials on this article evaluating the evidence for the ‘chlorine hypothesis’. Overall, the take home message, as given in the summary/comment accompany this article is that:

      … that we should encourage all patients with asthma to exercise regularly but still caution them that prolonged exposure to chlorine products (e.g., in elite swimmers) could cause lung injury

      Note that all these studies are based on chlorine in swimming pools, which is a much higher level that that in drinking water. You can’t simply compare/extrapolate one set of findings to another simply because the same chemical is involved. Furthermore, any evidence for a risk associating with sterilising water with chlorine would have to be compared against the risk of not sterilising water or sterilising it by other means.

    • RedLogix 9.2

      Interesting. Public swimming pools are chlorinated to a very high degree… often in the order of 2-5 ppm. That’s pretty high. What’s more it’s not the actual chlorine you can smell, but the by-product of the Cl2 reacting with all the organics in the water that the people put there. And it’s these organo-chlorides that since the 1960’s have been known to be quite powerful carcinogens; they are not nice chemicals at all.
       
      Quite a remarkable amount of dead-skin, skin oils and filth is washed off people in pools, and without some form of disinfectant they’d been dangerous to swim in within days or even hours.
       
      Some pools use alternate forms of disinfectant, UV and various forms of oxygen are useful, but nothing beats Cl2 for it’s persistence in the water. (By contrast UV is only effective for the short period while the water transits the sterilising unit, which is a few seconds at best.) There are some alternatives out there which use silver ions as well, but they aren’t mainstream yet.
       
      The only reason why chlorine is tolerated in swimming pools is that it’s assumed the exposure time is short enough not to matter too much. Wouldn’t surprise me if these organo-chlorides trigger asthma though.
       
      The NZ Drinking Water Standard for potable water is quite different. The whole aim of water treatment is to virtually eliminate the organics in the water before the Cl2 is added, minimising the formation of organo-chlorides along with their associated odour/taste issues and long-term health risks.
       
      The amount added at the treatment plant is much less than in swimming pools, usually around 0.7 ppm. By the time it reaches your taps it’s less again … often around 0.2 ppm. The purpose of Cl2 in water supply is primarily to deal to the thin bio-film that always cling to the inside of the pipes and the sludge that inevitably builds up in the bottom of reservoirs over time. And whenever maintenance work is done, a little extra chlorine is added locally at the end of the job to ensure that the system is sterile again.
       
      I’d accept there is probably a live issue here with chlorine in public swimming pools, but the public water supply here in NZ is far better controlled to much lower levels. It’s one thing that we do get right in most of NZ, although some smaller centers have yet to become fully compliant. (And the situation in many other countries is far less desirable again. )

  10. Anthony 10

    The poll is probably accurate, excuses or no excuses.

    • Armchair Critic 10.1

      Meanwhile the poll that counts is seven months away, National are continuing with their poor effort at being a good government and a week is still a long time in politics.

      • Jim Nald 10.1.1

        For some people like a good friend and his family, you can be polling them as much as you like but they are not ready yet to revisit how they voted in the past election (they swung to Nats).
        Tellingly, they drop their eyes to the ground when I ask them if their tax cuts made a difference and if they would vote for a right-leaning Govt.

  11. Campbell Larsen 11

    A new proposal being put forward in the US:
    A National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace



    Convenience for users is the main rationale for adopting this new protocol according to the clip however serious questions over the impact on free speech and privacy remain unaddressed. ‘Surfing the net’ would not be ID verified (though one would be foolish to think that such activities are not tracked already) however it is easy to see ID verified being extended to postings for example.
    Given that technology to create entire identities and track internet usage is available to governments already the only loser here is the average member of the public whose details will be held by a mix of private and public sector organizations who will apparently not disclose them to third parties (yeah right)
    Rather than protect us from identity theft this proposal will mean that any thief will only need to make one stop to gain access to a persons entire online persona.
    Protest and dissent are becoming more common across the globe as citizens resist draconian power grabs by corrupt governments. It is surely no coincidence that this ‘strategy’ if it is accepted by the public will result in governments being able to more easily quash dissenters and prosecute them.

    @font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }
     

  12. The Voice of Reason 12

    CPI hits 4.5%. Key Gov’t promises to do nothing.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4899053/Economists-forecast-inflation-rise-to-5-5pc

    • Armchair Critic 12.1

      Which explains why the usual suspects want to talk about polls.

      • todd 12.1.1

        Shonkey thinks National can’t do much except control expenditure. Inflation based on oil cannot be rectified until our reliance on this is curbed. Although this is not the only factor in the high inflation rate and is being somewhat used as an excuse… The sooner we change away from petroleum, the more we will save. There are many things that the Government can do to develop our infrastructure so that we are not reliant on an imported and polluting resource. It is a pity National has no intention of moving New Zealand into a brighter future though.

  13. felix 13

    With ACT getting the bum’s rush from National in Epsom, they’re going to have to lift their party vote nationwide.
     
    Does anyone know what proportion of their 3.65% party vote came from Epsom?
     
    Are we going to see the potentially hilarious spectacle of ACT candidates seriously campaigning outside of the eastern suburbs of Auckland?
     
     

    • logie97 13.1

      Understand they could be targeting a few more personalities for candidates – former top New Zealand sportsman who now move around in the corporate circles.

    • ACT party vote in Empsom was 6.2% of total party vote in Epsom and 2.8% of the party vote received throughout the country.  Epsom voters were canny with their electorate vote but obviously do not have much more time for the ACToids than the rest of the country has.

  14. logie97 14

    Just a thought.
    Anyone done a head count on the animals in Christchurch’s Orana Wildlife park since February?

    Makes you wonder how safe the suburbs would be if any of the “big cats”, and other less than human friendly animals were to escape into the wild.  That goes for Auckland and Wellington – (never say “never”, because that’s the meme the Nuclear energy lot have consistently assured us with…)

    • Campbell Larsen 14.1

      Release the animals into the Beehive I say- the Green MPs are probably the fittest and will most likely escape – the rest of them should be made to battle it out with the beasts live on Parliament TV. Our elected representatives owe us at the very least some decent entertainment.

      • M 14.1.1

        LOL Campbell –  have you been watching ‘Rome’?

        Anti-spam: feed

        • Campbell Larsen 14.1.1.1

          Spartacus. Im getting some great ideas on how to deal with tyrannical slave masters. It is a messy solution I will admit however Im sure that we can get close to 100% voter turn out if it is a fight to the death between candidates, or between candidates and people they have marginalised (eg Paula Bennet vs. a horde of desperate and hungry benificiaries)

          Its not democracy – but then what we currently have isn’t either – beats watching the RWC anyway.

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      I recall a snippet on the radio, pretty sure it was after the February quake. The giraffes were apparently very wary of their shelter house and didn’t want to go back inside for a few days after.
       
      I’m pretty sure if any dangerous animals had escaped, we’d know about it (there were stories about an escaped monkey a few months back).

      • logie97 14.2.1

        …that apelike creature was Hide.  Caught in the right light and angle he can look as though his knuckles should be dragging on the ground.

    • wtl 14.3

      The chance of getting killed by an escaped big cat or something like that is probably a lot less than the chance of being killed by lightning and certainly a few orders of magnitude less than the chance of being killed in a cat accident. Of course the probability is not zero, but I really don’t think it’s something worth worrying about.

      • logie97 14.3.1

        And what empirical research would you be basing that assurance on wtl. Tell that to people living around Western Springs in Auckland.  Presumably the park keepers would have it all under  control – assumes they are on site at the time of course…

        • wtl 14.3.1.1

          LOL, emprical research? No, I didn’t bother doing any, I just used some common sense based on my estimates of:

          1) The number of people killed by escaped big cats. In NZ, I estimate this to be zero, as I’ve never heard of any such cases. Worldwide the number is presumeably very low, the only case I can think of is one in a zoo in the US (San Diego?) where a tiger jumped over a moat a few years ago. Note that this is the kind of story that would be widely reported if it did happen.

          2) The number of people killed by lightning is a certainly not zero. In fact its probably hundreds if not thousands a year worldwide.

          3) It doesn’t take a genius to know that the chance of being killed in a car accident is actually very high. Probably tens or hundreds of thousands a year worldwide.

          Assuming the ‘escaped big cat attacks’ followed a roughly even distribution over time, and keeping in mind that any single instance of such an event is only going to result in a few deaths (rather than hundreds/thousands deaths), it is perfectly reasonable to use an approach such as above to estimate the probably of being killed in such an event.

          ps. Some quick digging indicates that:

          The chance of being struck by lightning is one in 280,000 in a year and of being killed in a car crash is one in 11,000.

  15. Samuel Hill 15

    What are the odds on a former All Black being a National MP this year? They teased us with that last time.. I can just see Michael Jones being unveiled next to his statue at Eden Park..

  16. randal 16

    the poll only means that kiwis dont really give a stuff at the moment.
    they have more important things to consider like the world cup, holidays in hawaii and christmas.
    wait till november dingbat.

  17. uke 17

    Interesting story by Madeleine Bunting in “The Guardian” about the sudden ‘discovery’ of old Foreign Office files relating to the Kenyan Mau Mau uprising and which throw the old official version of that conflict into a new light.

    The endgames of our empire never quite finished – just look at Bahrain

    Key quote: ‘The Foreign Office attributed the forgotten boxes to “an earlier misunderstanding about contents” and stated that there needed to be an “improvement in archive management”. In a superbly smooth statement, the Foreign Office commented that “it was the general practice for the colonial administrations to transfer to the UK … selected documents held by the governor which were not appropriate to hand on to the successor government”…’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/17/bahrain-foreign-office-empire

    (Sorry, link function on toolbar didn’t work.)

  18. ak 18

    So it’s official, according to Hooters on the wireless.  As of last wednesday the tories have been forced to slough ACT, leaving them with no friends whatsoever in stormiest political weather for decades.   
     
    A first for MMP, and a first in Breathtaking Arrogance.

    Grand day, brothers and sisters, mark it down, and celebrate.  

  19. grumpy 19

    Sorry guys, I just can’t help it – best I’ve seen for a while.

      A small airplane was flying from Auckland to Wellington with 5 passengers on board when suddenly the motor cut out and there were only 4 parachutes available.
    The first passenger said “I’m Pita Sharples, co leader of the Maori Party, it’s imperative I survive to make sure those nasty Pakeha don’t make off with our foreshore and seabed” so pita grabbed the first parachute and jumped from the plane.
    The second passenger Red Russel said “I’m also an extremely important man, without me around they would have the bulldozers in and the country would be leveled within a week” so Red Russel grabs the second chute and leaps out the door.
    The third passenger, Goofy, he said “I’m the leader of the opposition and I am the smartest man in NZ, if I wasn’t keeping the government honest the place would be a capitalist hell hole” Goofy makes a grab for chute and rushes head first out the door.
    The fourth passenger was Shonkey and the fifth passenger a 10 year old schoolgirl, Shonkey turns to talk to the girl and says “I’m sure New Zealanders will re-elect National no matter if I’m leader or not ………so I will sacrifice my life for yours”
    “That’s all right Mr prime minister” the little girl says ,” there’s a parachute left for you, New Zealand’s smartest man just took my schoolbag”.

    Stolen from Kiwiblog

    • Armchair Critic 19.1

      Another bail-out for John?  He’s getting good at them.
      Betcha if the plane wasn’t insured John would pay the owner out on the taxpayer’s dime.

    • logie97 19.2

      Nice one grumpy.  That joke has been circulating for years.  The only things that you have changed are the names and a couple of current agendas.  Obviously nothing original even in the National Party apologists joke coffers either. Pathetic…

      • The Voice of Reason 19.2.1

        Used to be Muldoon exiting the plane with the backpack when I was a lad. And I think it was Peters for a while in the nineties.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.3

      Stolen from Kiwiblog

       
      You paid too much 🙂

      • grumpy 19.3.1

        So you’re the leftie on these pages with a sense of humour – I knew there had to be one. 🙂

    • Jum 19.4

       
       
      Grumpy, You just can’t help it?
      You and your rightwing crims have been helping themselves to our assets ever since they morphed into suits, shaved the body hair and stood upright – last week sometime…  Hide’s still learning to balance on two limbs and JKeyll’s still taking the ‘I forget where I left my cheque book, oh sorry New Zealand’s cheque book…’ pills.

  20. Tigger 20

    Some nice work here by Paul Norris about TVNZ.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10719996
    “Make no mistake – the public may own TVNZ, but it is a public broadcaster no more.”  Couldn’t agree more.  Stop pretending, TVNZ, you’re not NZ’s TV so cough up the name and hand it over.

    • Jum 20.1

      Thanks Tigger.
      Two parts that stood out:
      ‘A mere two hours a day has transferred to TVNZ7, which has enough funding to last until mid-2012. After that it will disappear from our screens unless a solution is found’.
      ** Vote Labour and Greens
      ‘Why should we care about this situation? First, because viewers will be disadvantaged by the loss of these channels.

      Already there have been complaints from parents who found value in the range and quality of children’s programmes on TVNZ6 and who are unwilling to have to subscribe to Sky to get them.’
      ** Maybe they’re not ‘unwilling’ maybe they cannot ‘afford’ to.

  21. gobsmacked 21

    More brain-dead polling from TV3. Apparently 70% support spending cuts. So says Dunce Garner.

    No, I think about 100% support spending cuts. I support spending cuts. So do you.

    Until we ask – “on what?”. BMWs and Beehive consultants’ jobs for the boys and Rugby World Cup – yes. Schools and hospitals – no.

    In tomorrow’s poll: Dunce Garner says 70% support tax cuts, because when asked “Would you like some more money in your pocket?” they said yes, they would, thanks.
    Moronic Mediaworks.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      And they are running my favourite useless question;

      “Who do you think will win?”

      Rephrased as:

      “Do you think Goff can win?” 

      It’s a useless question because it’s asking respondents to say how they think everyone else will vote. Horse race journalism at its worst

    • The Voice of Reason 21.2

      Yep, that Mediaworks backhander is really paying dividends now. I came in to the item late, something about 50% don’t reckon Labour should replace Goff, followed by the percentages for the potential replacements. BTW, is it just me or does Garner’s gimp talk like he’s had a recent stroke?
      (No offence, stroke victims, you’ve got enough to deal without unfair comparisons to mike’d up morons)

      • aj 21.2.1

        Mediaworks backhander is really paying dividends now.

        The 2nd night in a row that TV3 has conducted a hatchet job on Labour. Compare with the time devoted to analysing Key’s segment at a presser when he claimed that the GST rise was fully compensated (none)

    • ianmac 21.3

      It did occur to me that few would be able to name the “spending cuts.”
      Q1: Can you name 3 spending cuts?
      A: Not sure.
      Q2: Do you approve of spending cuts?
      A: I guess so. Er yes.
       

  22. Vicky32 22

    Paranoia reigns! I don’t watch TV, I listen – but pricked up my ears at an item on evil Chinese hackers – a reporter with a faux British accent did a story about the afore-mentioned evil Chinese hackers, and had a tame one sitting beside her and she cooed admiringly as he hacked into her ‘account’, and took her credit card details. (His face was blacked out and his name not given.) Then there was an interview with him, that showed him once again blacked out – but also the concerned face of his interpreter – who was none other than the well-known American actress Ming Na! Maybe she’s on hiatus from Stargate Universe or it’s finally just ended, and she has to take any work she can get?
    Just a wee bit weird, I think…
     

  23. M 23

    Unrest in North Africa and the Middle East has left Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations nervous of political instability and of a sharp fall in oil prices that could lead to a fiscal crunch while populations are restive. The kingdom promised nearly $93 billion in handouts to its citizens in the wake of the wave of unrest that swept the Arab world this spring, making a sharp fall in oil prices a major risk for its budget.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/17/us-saudi-oil-idUSTRE73G14020110417?pageNumber=1

  24. KJT 24

    Sysadmin

    My attampts to add something in the contribute or contact from are returning with “failed’ each time I try to send. I am using FF 4 on win 7.

    KJT

    • lprent 24.1

      The email is off after the server move on Sunday. I was going to do it last night but an old friend came around to check that I was still alive. I will sneak it into today.

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