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Open mike 18/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 18th, 2016 - 94 comments
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94 comments on “Open mike 18/04/2016 ”

  1. amirite 1

    Murray McCully says there’s no link between a New Zealand businessman Earl Hagaman’s $101K donation to the National Party and his company winning a contract to manage a resort in Niue. Tui anyone? The resort is heavily subsidised by the NZ Government.


    • James 1.1

      Do you have any evidence there is?

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        Well i guess you have to read the link.
        but I feel generous today, so I do a little copy and paste and let the Mr. McCully speak for himself and his government.

        Quote from the above posted link:

        “Mr McCully said there was no link between the two events, nor the $7.5 million in aid funding to expand the resort a year later.

        In October 2014, New Zealand’s Scenic Hotel Group announced it had “secured” the Matavai Resort in Niue.

        The Niue Tourism Property Trust, whose trustees are appointed by Mr McCully, carried out what the minister said was a fully commercial process to find a company to run the resort.

        That contract was won by the Scenic Hotel Group.

        The month before, Earl Hagaman, that company’s founder, donated $101,000 to the National Party, making him National’s biggest living financial donor in 2014. Only a man who had died and left his estate to National gave more.” Quote End.

        Now you can make up your own mind. But you should really put more effort in your reading abilities. It would make you less hopeless.

      • saveNZ 1.1.2

        Why James, do you want to try to implicate Labour into it too?

        I mean what the Fuck – why is National giving 7.5m in aid to expand resorts, first question, second question is why McCully, national party and Scenic Hotel Group is not being investigated by the SFO?

      • ianmac 1.1.3

        James. If you are going to defend McCulley it points more to his guilt since your job seems to be to defend the indefensible.

        • James

          Didnt defend – I simply asked if there was any evidence to the “tui” that was made.

          Looking at the replies – it seems that there isnt.

          • RedLogix

            I would suggest that in the circumstances McCully would need to produce evidence to prove there was NO connection.

            Because on the face of it, a large donation to a political party (and $100k is about 3 times the median income in this country) and the donor then benefiting from a special arrangement to the tune of $7.5m absolutely demands transparency.

            If you cannot provide that transparency it is YOU who has the problem.

            • Rosie

              Well said.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yep. All appearances are that this was pure corruption.

            • indiana

              Guilty until you can prove your innocence?

              • Puckish Rogue

                Unless you’re National politician

                • framu

                  in govt perception matters just as much as reality – pretty sure you both know this

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I concede that yes perception is very important in politics (for purposes of getting elected that is)

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But it’s ok if the present government gives the appearance of being totally corrupt?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Perception in regards to being re-elected not whether a government is corrupt or not…of course if a corrupt government gives the perception of not being corrupt and the people don’t believe the government is corrupt then is that bad thing?

                    • framu

                      the ministerial handbook has plenty to say on this subject – and that is utterly unrelated to getting elected

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Actually there’s more than that – persons in positions of responsibility are expected to maintain clean hands – lawyers can be disbarred for not doing so. It’s not a lot to expect the same standards from government ministers, most of them are lawyers.

                      So it’s not just getting elected, it’s about conducting the affairs of the country in an honest and responsible manner.

                      “Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards.” (Cabinet Manual)

                      The contemptible McCully is clearly corrupt and has broken this pledge repeatedly. Although enforcement lies first of all with the PM, the malefactor is in fact responsible to us, the citizenry, his masters.

                      So, if the public are baying for the blood of any of this worthless pack of crooks and scoundrels that Key dares to pretend to call a government, then they have a perfect and well-established right to do so.

                      Elections or scurrilously dishonest polls have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

                • joe90

                  Unless you’re National politician

                  Nah, they’re appointed to a select committee chair….

              • Rosie

                indiana, citizens have expectations of decent moral and legal behaviour from MP’s and Ministers for good reason – they are paid by us to run a democratic government.

                When it appears that democracy is for sale, ie, a political party can be brought off for personal gain, citizens have a right to ask questions.

                As RedLogix points out, the onus is on McCully to produce evidence there was no connection between the events of Hagaman making a massive donation to the National party a month prior to the company he foundered being given “aid” of $7.5 mil for their resort.

                On another note, are you ok with your tax payer money funding an offshore private business?

                • indiana

                  “When it appears that democracy is for sale, ie, a political party can be brought off for personal gain, citizens have a right to ask questions.”

                  Is this why Mana didn’t get anywhere?

                  I think the issue is more that you do not agree with the answers to your “questions” so labels like corrupt get brought out.

                  • Rosie

                    Speaking of answers, you didn’t provide one.

                    Are you really ok with NZ tax payers funding a private business offshore to the tune of $7.5 mil?

                    Here’s another one. Are you ok with living in a tax haven of a country? What’s not morally corrupt about a PM that changes the law to make it easy for corporates to evade the tax that is due to benefit the citizens of the country?

                    Please note, it’s not the Mana Party running the country. They are not employed by us, there is no Mana MP in parliament.

                    • indiana

                      “Are you really ok with NZ tax payers funding a private business offshore to the tune of $7.5 mil?”

                      If you are asking this question as you believe that the Govt is corrupt and that you are trying to call me out on accepting a corrupt govt, then I have no answer for you – your mind is made up, my opinion is irrelevant.

                      “Here’s another one. Are you ok with living in a tax haven of a country? What’s not morally corrupt about a PM that changes the law to make it easy for corporates to evade the tax that is due to benefit the citizens of the country?”

                      If you believe that NZ is a tax haven, which I am not sure why you would think that as NZ doesn’t even register in the top 20-30 countries acknowledged as a tax haven, then I’m ok with living in NZ’s perceived highly imaginative tax haven. I’m sure you have all the hard evidence to prove beyond all reasonable doubt how our government blindly permits corporates to pay no tax in NZ what so ever.

                    • framu

                      and in that case the issue wasnt all of NZ tax law – just one part of it as it related to offshore trusts

                      it was never a case of NZ being a tax haven – just one part of our law providing a means for off shore money to hide its origin and destination

                      your playing semantics to avoid, or your not up to speed on, the issue

                  • Stuart Munro

                    No, it’s because the MSM flunkies asked no questions about Donghwa Liu – that’s the asshole who secretly bought an election – and baldly set out to neutralise Cunliffe by barefaced dishonesty. Even far-right shill John Armstrong was ashamed of his part in it. If NZ ever holds treason trials, Liu and his accomplices will be a major feature. Dotcom made his play openly, as anyone is entitled to do. Not through a festering stew of corruption like cabinet club.

                  • framu

                    except KDC and mana was out in the open and was an upfront funding of an election campaign broadcast far and wide by the people doing it

                    this issues is a donation and a favourable business circumstance with in a close time frame – which requires someone to go through paperwork to establish and publish for us to know about

                    ie: they arent the same thing – not even close

              • Stuart Munro

                Caesar’s wife is the standard for cabinet.

      • Expat 1.1.4


        Have you been living in a bubble, McCully has a reputation for this type of behavior spreading back to the “leaky Home Syndrome”, for which he was responsible, and then there is the corrupt Saudi affair, the man has no conscience or integrity, although those remarks probably apply to most Nat members, waky, waky, James, ignoring reality doesn’t solve the problem.

    • Whispering Kate 1.2

      When I heard this on the news, I thought I saw a flock of pink pigs flying by the window. Do these politicians think we all came down with the last shower of rain. How many more sound bites of news are we supposed to believe is the truth. Beggars belief.

    • Rosie 1.3

      Yes, this is absolutely stunning.

      This has nothing to do with supporting the welfare of the people of Niue and everything to do with the corrupt favours handed out in cabinet club.

      First off, pacific aid provided by the NZ government should be going to improve infrastructure that benefits the people of Niue. Instead $7.5 mil has gone to Scenic Group for their resort, a private business interest. That’s what we’re funding fellow tax payers!

      Secondly, it’s too easy. Give a $101,000 donation and hey bingo, a month later, your company is the recipient of a $7.5 mil “aid donation”. How freaking corrupt is that?

      Why do we keep letting this government get away with this kind of shit? (Jude got away with a slap over the wrist with a wet bus ticket for the Oravida scandal) Why do we not march like the Londoners?

      PS: Edit. Niue is also a tax haven. What else has that Hagaman character been up to?


    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.4

      This totally reeks. A shining example of everything that is wrong with our current political system.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1


        This is a prime example of why we can no longer allow political parties to be funded by private donations.

        • indiana

          Agree…including Unions.

        • Stuart Munro

          Political parties have no intrinsic right to exist and do not deserve public funding.

          Private funding needs to be capped and corporate funding (of which unions are part) strictly forbidden. Corporations have no right to political representation – only their constituent citizens, and then only if they are New Zealanders.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    ― R. Buckminster Fuller

    This makes sense. And this:
    What the history of both Keynesianism and neoliberalism show is that it’s not enough to oppose a broken system. A coherent alternative has to be proposed. For Labour, the Democrats and the wider left, the central task should be to develop an economic Apollo programme, a conscious attempt to design a new system, tailored to the demands of the 21st Century.
    –George Monbiot

    Michael Moore, in his new doco “Where to invade next” has used this principle to produce a positive glimpse into what could become a reality since it is actually a reality in certain countries. He cleverly contrasts the good ideas in action with the current situation resulting from neoliberalism. I have deliberately been vague because I don’t want to spoil the impact of this doco for you, but it is inspiring.

    • Ant 2.1

      “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
      To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller

      Agreed, but a viable model will not persuade voters through words, theory or persuasion. It has to be demonstrably effective as a way of life that honours individuality, draws on innate talent, works cooperatively rather than competitively, and embraces the restoration of the planet’s integrity as existential imperative.

      The spread of co-ops globally and all manner of co-creative enterprise is gaining momentum as people discover the incentives of one-up-manship, competition and amassing wealth are more easily shed than imagined. Sheer force of numbers will necessitate increasing publicity via MSM. Then we may see a favourable tipping point being reached.

      After all, most of us are sheeple. 😉

  3. RedLogix 3

    Malcolm Turnbull has taken a cautious approach to the prime ministership, and he’s being punished for it.

    Bill Shorten is taking a riskier line, announcing controversial policies, and it’s working for him.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: When he seized the prime ministership seven months ago, Turnbull was bigger than his party.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: When he seized the prime ministership seven months ago, Turnbull was bigger than his party. The net result is that the Turnbull government has entirely lost its advantage in the election-deciding two-party share of the vote, the first time in the Fairfax Ipsos poll.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/fairfax-ipsos-poll-malcolm-turnbull-a-cautious-pm-and-voters-are-punishing-him-for-it-20160417-go8hju.html#ixzz467GRN8U4
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

    I would put 80% of the difference between NZ and Aus down to one thing. Here in Aus there is still a functioning media; it’s rambunctious, noisy and has obvious biases. But at least you get both sides of the story. Well more than this; you actually get a story, in stark contrast to the piffling sound-bites and arse-licking talkbacks that pass for political media in NZ.

    • maui 3.1

      From my experience their tv is about as trashy as ours. I don’t seem to remember channels 7, 9 or 10 doing hard hitting stuff. Breakfast tv and current affairs afters the news were about our seven sharp quality. They do have ABC and SBS which are good channels and take on the important issues, but for most people I don’t think they want to watch that. Not sure how their print media compares but with Fairfax operating in both countries I imagine that is similar too.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Yep the commercial channels are predictable enough, but ABC and SBS are remarkably strong and they do get watched by enough people that it matters.

        And with Fairfax does operate in both countries, there is a notable difference between their mastheads. The Age and the SMH are still worth a read, especially the weekend editions.

        • TC

          Exactly key words being ‘when it matters’ . Elections, major events, disasters, conflicts all see ABC/SBS ratings rise as people seek balance.

          Crucial difference is they exist to be viewed whereas here no such balance exists

          • Pasupial

            One thing about ABC is that it provides a venue for satire. Sure, I only watch Clarke & Dawe online, but it’d be great to have something similar broadcast here (the closest I can think of is the Corbett/ Ego two man circlejerk that used to occasionally occur on TV3, but haven’t watched for several months now to know if that still happens).

    • Expat 3.2



      “I would put 80% of the difference between NZ and Aus down to one thing. Here in Aus there is still a functioning media; it’s rambunctious, noisy and has obvious biases. But at least you get both sides of the story. Well more than this; you actually get a story, in stark contrast to the piffling sound-bites and arse-licking talkbacks that pass for political media in NZ.”

      Exactly, democracy is still alive and kicking in Aus, the punters are wise to BS, just look at Queensland and Vic changing their state Govts.

      During the Abbott election though, there was considerable bias from the media, I put down to the fact that there was a female Prime minister, and misogynism was and still is very much alive here.

      I’ve found channel 7 to be the most balanced of the commercial channels, sometimes more so than the ABC, which Turnbull has made some changes to.

    • swordfish 3.3

      Two-Party-Preferred in Last 5 Polls = have either been 50/50 or 51/49 to the ALP.

  4. pat 5

    is it my imagination or has the tide turned?…..The MSM appear to have decided they have nothing to lose and are actually starting to do their job……seems to be a lot of questions being asked about the governance of our country these past couple of weeks

    • Puckish Rogue 5.1

      Its funny you say that because I was about to post something along the lines about having reaching peak-Little, where Little is so disrespected that people stop making fun of him because it starts to feel like you’re picking on someone that can’t defend themselves

      Like near the end of Shearers reign with the snapper incident or just after the election with the Cunliffe and you knew it was only a matter of time

      • pat 5.1.1

        so you suggest it is my imagination?….no change then?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Actually you may very well be right, because its merely my perception I was just be seeing what I want to see or rather what I want to see to confirm my bias

          Eight years of government and the media may be tired of it so they well be turning on National

          • pat

            lol….well my confirmation bias has been reinforced by the fact the PM is hiding overseas again….so the questions must be a little too hard

            • Puckish Rogue

              Yes its true John Key likes to tag in Bill English when the hard questions start rolling in

              Though I think it may possibly be a lucky break for him as dealing with China is a pretty big deal so it would be considered unusual for him to be over there

              Or its that bias sneaking in again…

      • John Shears 5.1.2

        PR what a pathetic bit of nonsense, typical trollisationingisms.

      • Bearded Git 5.1.3

        I was thinking the opposite PR. I was thinking when Little was attacked all guns blazing in an effort to do a Cunliffe on him, he just quietly and honestly came back saying “I made a couple of mistakes in that poll period” and “we have to work harder to put our message across”. No signs of a leadership challenge at all.

        Little has the caucus united, some of the further right elements Goff/Cosgrove have been eased out (though I quite like Goff) and a strong policy platform will be being prepared in the background.

        Meanwhile sleazy Key refuses to show his tax return; backs the 12,000 secret non-disclosing offshore trusts in NZ because his Remuera golf buddies make a few million from them. The teflon is peeling-that Key 39% approval rating is the sign.

        • Puckish Rogue

          You may be right and I might wrong (and vice versa) I think I’m probably right but the next couple of polls will probably give a better indication

          Though if I were advising Little I’d suggest he jettison Robertson and McCarten as I wouldn’t trust them at all

      • mac1 5.1.4

        I have just heard an hour ago Andrew Little speak very well at the Grey Power AGM. He spoke coherently and forcefully and then answered questions in a forthright and unequivocal fashion.

        He was heard in a very respectful and powerful silence, as his message and delivery demanded.

    • weka 5.2

      is it my imagination or has the tide turned?…..The MSM appear to have decided they have nothing to lose and are actually starting to do their job……seems to be a lot of questions being asked about the governance of our country these past couple of weeks

      Looks like that to me too. A slow change perhaps, and I’ve been cautious about getting too optimistic, but something seems different. I suspect some of them are finally feeling like what’s the govt has been doing is too much even for their jaded perspective.

  5. Amazing how the left are so keen to get something on John Key but appear to have completely overlooked something real and important.

    This is an issue that needs a whole lot more investigation and exposure. Where is it in the NZ media? Why is it being overlooked? The issue is this-

    What role do PRC immigrants have in the National Party, and do they have connections to the Chinese Communist Party?

    What role if any did they play in Key’s weird decision to attack our traditional flag?

    Key and the Chinese Connection

    Australian journalists are doing the work on this. NZ journos need to catch up.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Because the last time Labour said anything about the influence of China on NZ, everyone stood up a bleated ‘racism’?

      • Redbaiter 6.1.1

        Yes, I know what you mean, and a lot of that criticism came from “Progressives” within the Labour Party.

        The same people who have been dragging it away from core Labour issues for decades and who are in my humble opinion, most responsible for the party’s current lack of effectiveness.

        This is an issue that could really put the skids under Key, quickly and permanently, and to my mind it is an extremely serious security issue.

        And Labour would put this to one side because they’re frightened of a few false but loud allegations of racism.

        The issue is being faced in Australia. Why not in NZ?

        As I said, its not racism anyway. Who gives a damn about Chinese from Singapore or Taiwan? Its the PRC that is the real issue.

        • RedLogix

          I once said RB that if we both traversed around the entire political circle we’d bump into each other on the other side. 🙂

  6. RedLogix 7

    Ecuador gets a hammering:


    Look at the pics and see how many totally collapsed buildings. Now think back to ChCh and that while several buildings did fail totally, the vast majority did not. They may have been damaged beyond economic repair, but they didn’t kill their inhabitants.

    For those of us inclined to forget, this is why strong, well funded government is important.

    On a another note: All about the unit right now we have a flock of kurawongs, about 20 of them making the most beautiful dawn chorus. They’re about the size and colour of a crow, but far more elegant and melodious. Then just as I was looking up a flock of a dozen pure white spoonbills passed briefly overhead.

    One way or another personally the past week or two have been pretty tough; but there plenty of good reasons not to give into the dark side. I only had to look out the door.

  7. Puckish Rogue 8

    Hey National, Labopur, Greens, NZFirst, Maori Party, Act, UF heres something to look at:


  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    Can solar energy power a home all year round?

    A group of residents from Great Barrier Island who live entirely off the grid, say yes it can, as long as you have enough photovoltaic panels on your roof positioned to take in maximum sunlight in all seasons.

    RNZ programme

  9. Macro 10

    We’re in the Money
    Hillary Clinton showered with 1000 $1 bills as she drives to a $343,000 a pop dinner at George Clooney’s

  10. Chooky 11

    ‘Government try and ram through TPPA without NZers noticing’ by Professor Jane Kelsey


    “Last week National announced it was fast tracking the report from the Foreign Affairs Trade and Defence Committee on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) from the end of May to 4 May. While the select committee process itself is a farce as it can’t change the deal, there are more sinister motivations behind the new deadline…

    So what is really behind the decision to fast track the select committee’s report? For those of us involved in the Waitangi Tribunal claim on the TPPA lodged last July, the answer is very simple. The urgent Tribunal process concluded with the final submissions on Wednesday. The Tribunal then thought it had six weeks to write a report – already a daunting task given the thousands of pages of documents and the complexity of the issues – already a daunting task given the thousands of pages of documents and the complexity of the issues.

    Now they have fewer than three weeks. The Crown is arguing ‘comity’ – that the Waitangi Tribunal must respect the jurisdiction of the Parliament as law maker. In lay terms, the Tribunal can’t engage with claims that the government’s processes and the content of the TPPA have breached its Treaty of Waitangi obligations once legislation has been introduced to the House. To borrow a term commonly used to describe the effect of the TPPA on government decisions, National intends to ‘chill’ the Tribunal process: in the truncated time available the Tribunal will be unable or unwilling to write a detailed report that is critical of the government that may not stand up to scrutiny. The threat of judicial review is already hovering in the background of the proceedings.”…

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    On the subject of tax avoidance:

    For Airbnb, things are different. Because it manages its finances via units in Ireland and tax havens like Jersey in the Channel Islands, only a small part of its share of the revenue is ever likely to be taxed by Australia or the U.S. A review of Airbnb’s overseas regulatory filings shows it has a far more extensive web of subsidiaries than it has publicly acknowledged—more than 40 in all.

    This is the challenge that Airbnb, like Uber and other companies in the so-called sharing economy, poses for the world’s treasuries. In the five years since these businesses began their spiraling growth, some cities and states around the globe have fought hard to make them play by the same rules as traditional hotels or taxis and collect various local taxes—often as not, they’ve lost. As the new breed of companies moves toward profitability, transforming larger chunks of the economy, policy experts say the battle is likely to shift to the national level, where billions of dollars a year in corporate taxes could be at risk. (A source close to Airbnb says the company will turn its first profit this year.) Governments have been slow to respond.

    Obviously, the government needs to ensure that money is properly taxed before it moves offshore.

    Of course, there’s a fairly good argument for simply not allowing money to move offshore.

  12. Barfly 13

    Hi there folks I am looking for help…not for myself but for a family I know that are in a dreadful situation the NZ Herald articles explains it better than I can


    Please read the article and if you are able to please “give a little”

    • Chooky 13.1

      thanx…the Mother of the autistic girl is very articulate ( I also heard her on RNZ)….this family should NOT be put in this situation of facing the burden of care and housing by themselves

      …this government should be taking responsibility and footing the whole bill imo, especially as leaky buildings was due to lack of government oversight

      …this Nact government is uncaring and immoral

  13. amirite 14

    Jane Bowron doesn’t mince her words when criticising this Government, great article:


    • Gangnam Style 14.1

      “The gap between rich and poor is now so wide that the Government feels comfortable writing off the unemployed and washing their hands of any part in their increasing demise.” – and those supporting the comments of English too.

    • Chooky 14.2

      +100…good for Jane Bowron

    • Puckish Rogue 14.3

      Except the first part didn’t happen, a recording was released that just mysteriously happened to remove the context from what Bill English was saying and for the second part well, I don’t think it’ll hurt National in the polls but we’ll see I guess

      “No disrespect to hospitality workers – I’ve been a dishwasher, a kitchen hand, a barmaid and a waitress, but I’d rather down tools and join the homeless on the street than become the servant class in my own country.”

      – Yeah that’s quite a lot of disrespect right there

  14. greywarshark 15

    Thinking about recession and business decline etc. I have gathered a few stats and news items on small business, our life blood in the economy.

    Small business in general should receive more support concentrating on helping them build up and employing more workers and apprentices. People forming local businesses provide jobs and money that circulate amongst the locals, enabling all to have a better stab at the economic pie and improving their conditions locally and ultimately the whole country’s. Stuff gives a brief summary.
    One in three New Zealand workers is employed in a small business, and combined they contribute a third of New Zealand’s gross domestic product.
    The finding comes from the country’s first Small Business Sector Report, provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
    The report outlines the statistics on New Zealand’s 460,000 small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), and the more than 900,000 workers that the business with 20 staff or less employ.

    ASB 18/6/2015 report on small business.
    Helping them to achieve their ambitions should be a focus for all of us interested in the success of the New Zealand economy. They make up 97% of all New Zealand enterprises (that’s 459,300 businesses) and make a substantial contribution to New Zealand’s employment and economy – employing 584,000 people and contributing about $60b to New Zealand’s GDP each year, that’s nearly 30% of the total GDP!

    These 459,300 businesses include zero (no employees), micro (1-5 employees) and small (6-19 employees) enterprises.

    Otago University report below lists various problems that small NZ businesses grapple with. Taxation needs to be lessened on these people wading into commerce on a small scale and they should be able to charge seminars, locums, local promotions etc to their taxation offsets, and given special refunds when they employ people, and especially while they are training them. Cut the 90 day business down to a brief 15 working days orientation for staff and employer assessment. Then if workers are kept on, the taxation offset is allowed for block training courses during the first year, and lesser offset for the period of employment. Help the businesses hire and cope with the new employee training and gaining experience! Less tax for small business, and more wisely targeted!

    The main group of challenges appear to be of the financial variety. This challenge is often described by business owners in other surveys. The issues relating to finances were: Lack of capital- Access to capital-Cash flow and Profits-Debt-Bad debts
    Another highly mentioned challenge is related to time….
    The other common issues raised were:
    Lack of acceptance of their business from local/NZ customers particularly
    Small size of the local market in New Zealand and the physical distance from markets
    People not prepared to pay for quality service/products. Customers wanting ‘freebies”
    Staff – hiring, not being able to afford to hire staff and/or retain good staff
    New Zealand’s labour laws
    Lack of understanding from others about what it takes to be a business owner
    Attracting customers/sales
    The fluctuating Exchange rate
    Intellectual Property
    Balancing capacity with demand
    Keeping up with technology
    Compliance/bureaucracy – particularly around GST, Tax and resource consents
    Access and knowledge of where to go for advice, on relevant courses, and networking
    Lack of marketing skills

    • greywarshark 15.1

      I noticed this from Macro the other day in Job Losses Everywhere.
      16 April 2016 at 5:11 pm
      Here we have lost 100 jobs from a saw mill closure just before xmas.
      A large foundry firm has been cutting back and cutting back and now operates a skeleton staff.
      Retailers and cafes open and shut down on a regular basis.
      Our food bank has gone into overdrive (and thanks to the local supermarket and donors) who have helped keep things afloat…..

      It sparked my delving into the latest on small business in NZ which I have put above.
      It illustrates how we need to get our own local systems going. Perhaps shift away from areas where the local Council is regulation-bound, or they have ideas above their station, or stadium as in Dunedin. You might be starved of necessary funds by comfortable retirees who don’t want to pay their whack when systems have to be upgraded. The dead hand of central and local government is being felt all over. (That sounds funny, I’ll leave it and someone might get a much-needed giggle.) Take an interest in what useful stuff they are, or not, doing with your money.

      They should be finding money for task force green projects, and small business-friendly ones. They should be careful not to dig up the road outside a suburban micro business centre and leave for months with boards to walk on and no parking so that no-one goes there and the business is just about bankrupted.

      Government seems to think that businesses don’can stand a business drought or need a flow of spending to survive, but they keep getting their money, oh yes. But businesses are like plants that need care and water to survive.

  15. I see a Herald headline about the PM’s son going to China. Big fucken deal.

  16. joe90 17

    A member of the diplomatic corps is involved in writing the speech of an American political candidate….there’s a word for shit like this…..

    Netanyahu’s confidant Ron Dermer discussed diplomatic and security policy with Jared Kushner, who wrote Trump’s speech, ahead of the conference.


  17. Peroxide Blonde 18

    I love lunch.
    I love long boozy lunches.

    Here is a great piece of writing by Henry Mance in the Financial Times.

    © James Ferguson
    Nigel Farage has an adjective for the good things in life — “proper”. Proper blokes, proper jobs, proper markets. And when we meet at The Lamb, a pub in London’s Leadenhall Market, he clearly is in the mood for a proper lunch. “Have we got an order in?” the leader of the UK Independence party exclaims within two minutes of our arrival. “A man could die of thirst in here.”
    This was Farage’s local pub when he was a trader on the London Metal Exchange. When he started in the 1980s, the City was a fantastic gentlemen’s club. “Now it’s like being a battery chicken,” he sighs.
    Farage, in contrast, is a free-range bull. He once labelled the European Council president a “damp rag”, and said Britons should be “concerned if a group of Romanian people suddenly moved in next door”. Supporters call him the boss man; opponents call him a racist. He is, undoubtedly, Britain’s most effective Brussels-basher, the man without whom there would be no EU referendum in June.
    Ukip is the biggest new party to emerge in Britain since Labour a century ago. It won 3.8m votes in last year’s general election, as many as the Scottish Nationalists and Liberal Democrats combined, and is likely to gain dozens of seats in local elections in May.
    Yet as Farage jovially plunges into his pint of ale, there is a sense that he may be losing his touch. Academics argue that his rhetoric puts off the very moderates whose votes will decide the in/out referendum. Ukip has also slipped into civil war. Farage is not on speaking terms with its sole member of parliament, Douglas Carswell; critics say he is incapable of sharing the limelight. “The cult of personality is very strong,” says one Ukipper. “They’d be better off ditching him,” says a Tory MP.
    He croaks with laughter. ‘I love Europe! France is wonderful. It should be.We subsidised it for 40 years’
    An easy question to answer is, does Farage want a second pint? A harder one is, might he soon be as outdated as his overcoat?
    We head outside, where Farage can smoke. The son of an alcoholic Kent stockbroker, he joined the City aged 18 from London’s prestigious Dulwich College, and then became convinced that Britain needed a more Eurosceptic party than the Conservatives. “I’d been predicting a commodity boom all through the 1990s. Politics took over and I bloody well missed it!” he jokes.
    A passer-by intercedes: “I thought it was a doppelgänger but it’s actually you!” Farage is delighted. Voters yearn for a politician they’d like to have a beer with; finally here’s a politician who’d take up the offer. “Every pub’s a parliament!” he enthuses.
    The Lamb serves food but Farage, 52, has other plans. We walk down Cornhill to Simpson’s Tavern — London’s oldest surviving chophouse, where he has been a customer for more than 30 years. “Sadly most of the waitresses have changed,” he says.
    Most of the waitresses have not changed, it seems. “Haven’t seen you here for a while, Nigel,” says one, pouring him a pint before the door has shut behind me. I survey the clientele, and conclude that there’s unlikely to be a queue for the women’s toilets. “I love it here,” beams Farage.
    We take our third pint to the courtyard. An hour gone, and the alcohol we’ve consumed is already half the recommended weekly limit. “I know. It’s just ludicrous,” says Farage, resting on an old beer barrel, his mood livelier than his grey suit suggests. He reaches for his third cigarette. “They’ll be telling us this is bad for us next. They want to live forever!”
    I ask about his hobby: visiting first-world-war battlefields. Farage opens up. “Whenever I go there, I always think, what would I have done? If I was a 19-year-old, fresh out of college … would I have been a proper man or not?”
    Our table is ready inside. We squeeze alongside each other on a wooden bench with our backs to the window. Farage orders the house speciality — stewed cheese — for both of us, and picks a bottle of wine. For me, this is now entering stag-party territory; for him, it’s little more than holy communion. “The thing we used to drink here was port,” he says. “We’d all go back to work, all crimson. That’s just what we did! No one cared. I don’t drink port at all now, ever.”
    What happened in the afternoons? “Chaos. Extraordinary. I remember once there was a really big cock-up … I remember the boss saying, ‘So when did this happen?’ ‘Half-past four yesterday afternoon.’ ‘Oh well, there we are then.’ The boss accepted this!”
    Farage is quick to depict politics as a sacrifice. “I’m a loopy optimist, aren’t I?” he says. “I like to think I’ve changed the centre of gravity on lots of national debates. But there is no life at all — nothing.” It would be even worse, he says, if he’d succeeded in his seventh attempt to enter parliament last year. “Can you imagine if I’d been elected to Westminster? I’d need to be there every day.”
    He has four children, two with his second wife Kirsten, who is German. In the 2000s, he twice had to remortgage his house in Kent. “My financial position is slightly better than it was, but for about 10 years it was pretty rough,” he says. How is it better? “It just is. Slightly better. There we are,” he says, drawing a boundary.
    The cheese arrives, and Farage smears his white toast with sauce. “Yeah mustard, yeah lovely, proper job!” he says, reaching for the Lea & Perrins. He is right — it’s wonderful. The wine, a fruity Bordeaux, is excellent too. I should visit the 1980s more often.
    An old friend of Farage’s arrives at a neighbouring table and points at the paper napkin around Farage’s collar. “You must be meeting someone important if you’ve got that tucked in there!” Farage laughs, carefree. “Is it a proper lunch, Kevin?” he asks his friend. “No, we’ve got a meeting later,” comes the reply. “They were the days, Kevin,” says Farage, “they were the days.”
    Accused of nostalgia, however, he turns serious. “The club was lovely, but the club wasn’t very efficient. It had to change. The sadness is — this is where I may be nostalgic — the people whose working lives are on computers, they’re not as fulfilling as working lives that are actually meeting people doing stuff.”
    Farage orders the Edwardian pork chop, well done, with a sausage. “I can’t help it, I love pork chop.” It’s my turn. “Lamb chops? Pork chops?” Farage suggests. “Mixed grill?” offers the waitress. I order goat’s cheese in filo pastry.
    There is a pause while Farage’s ears relay the news to his brain. “What? No. They shouldn’t serve rubbish like that here. Goat’s cheese? I mean … Goat’s cheese?” He turns to the waitress. “You can’t give him bloody goat’s cheese.” I look up at her for sympathy; she looks back with contempt. Farage continues: “You’re not a veggie, are you, or something like that? If you are, fine. But what on earth are you doing here then?”
    And for a brief moment I know how the Romanians must feel.

  18. Penny Bright 19

    I predict that Bernie Sanders will win in New York.

    Look at the numbers attending his rallies – compared with Hillary Clinton.

    Look at how his support has soared – even over the last month.

    (Who had even heard of Bernie Sanders a year ago?)


    Clinton Delegate Lead Down to 194, Even as Dramatic Miscounting of Delegates by Media Continues

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Nick 19.1

      The problem is democratic voters had to be registered last October…. So it’s not likely he will win. But I hope he does.

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