Open Mike 18/04/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 18th, 2017 - 72 comments
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72 comments on “Open Mike 18/04/2017”

  1. ropata 1

    New RNZ series “Water Fools?” looks at the troubled state of our lakes and rivers. First up, Rangitikei locals are wary of “spray and pray” – a new intensive farming method
    Water fools? – Spray and Pray

    • ropata 1.1

      Related: Freshwater pollution and increasing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are among the biggest challenges New Zealand’s environment faces, says OECD review. The OECD said water charges were needed to change the way the resource was used.
      NZ’s economic growth model pushing environmental limits

      Incidentally, Simon Upton is back from his OECD role and is going to be the new Commissioner for the Environment.

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Simon Upton has “been back” before. I think it was around 2009-2010, but didnt get a plum job while Key was in charge

        Doesnt surprise me a bit that under English he has got a job like this

      • Gosman 1.1.2

        Water charges are a brilliant idea. Good to see both left and right agree on this.

    • gsays 1.2

      Thanks ropata for posting this.

      I have been helping to do firewood on a local farm.
      I was horrified to see the cocky spray hectares with roundup, only to sow a winter feed crop a few days later.

      Now the crop might be round up resistant, but the dairy cows aren’t and I know the water table isn’t.

      I have been assured this is a common practice.

      • ropata 1.2.1

        It’s unbelievable, farmers think they have a God given right to trash NZ in the name of $$$

      • Psycho Milt 1.2.2

        Now the crop might be round up resistant, but the dairy cows aren’t and I know the water table isn’t.

        The dairy cows don’t have to be – glyphosate is a herbicide, it has very low toxicity as far as animals are concerned. The water table isn’t likely to be affected either. Which is why it’s a common practice.

        • weka 1.2.2.2

          “The dairy cows don’t have to be – glyphosate is a herbicide, it has very low toxicity as far as animals are concerned. The water table isn’t likely to be affected either. Which is why it’s a common practice.”

          AFAIK research doesn’t get done on cumulative effects over time of total load on an animal (or human), or ecosystem.

          Mind you, when we’re pumping mass amounts of nitrates, fertilisers, cow shite etc into the ecosystems, more subtle effects are probably going to be harder to see.

        • mauī 1.2.2.3

          And if you were feeding your own family off those paddocks you would be quite happy to douse them regularly with Roundup which was designed as an industrial pipe cleaner? This makes total sense..

          Freshwater scientist Russell Death found macroinvertabrate levels in waterways were so low they were off the scale in the Havelock area. So much for chemicals not affecting waterways.
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201813133/fresh-water-results-worst-ecology-professor-has-seen

        • gsays 1.2.2.4

          Hi PM,
          Re: no probs for cows and water table ok, how do you know?

          We were all assured, back in the day, that round up was neutral after 15 minutes.
          I even know a horticulturalist who still maintains this position.

          Beyond the well dodgy environmental health practice, bugger doing business with a company which aims to control the world’s food supply.

          In European studies, glyphosate is showing up in human breast milk and in the foreskin of newborns, even though Monsanto tells us glysophate can not cross the placenta.

      • Cinny 1.2.3

        Interesting you brought that up Gsays. Was up the Motueka Valley in the weekend, noticed a number of brown dead fields, which had obviously been sprayed with something.

        • gsays 1.2.3.1

          I felt like a dullard after years of seeing the brown paddocks and not clicking to the Monsanto elixir being the issue.

          Have talked to a few farmers and agricultural students since and yes it is a mainstream (tasteless pun sorry) practice.

          We will be getting more of our milk from the gate at our local organic dairy farm.

          • Cinny 1.2.3.1.1

            G, just like you I’ve asked around… it’s worse than I thought it was.

            They spray the clover with round up, once it is dead, they bail up the round up laced clover and feed it to the stock.

            Paddock remains dormant until new clover pops up and then they do it again.

            The person I talked to named a few of farmers up the valley who harvest roundup killed crops for stock feed.

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    An RNZ article on an OECD report, headlines that we are among the lowest taxed in the OECD.

    This actually refers to income tax mainly, as indicated lower down in the article. Earlier in the article there’s a quote from an NZ Initiative guy who seems to reckon high taxation is an offence.

    New Zealand wage earners are among the most lightly taxed in the developed world.

    It found workers in New Zealand and Chile were taxed the least, and those in Belgium and France among the most.

    “We are among the lowest taxed countries in the OECD. The worst offenders for high taxation are mainly in Europe, and Western European economies,” New Zealand Initiative executive director Oliver Hartwich said.

    “And if you just compare how much they are taxed compared to what we get here, it makes you feel all the more better to be in New Zealand.”

    The study excluded other taxes such as goods and services tax (GST) and value-added taxes, property tax, and tax on investment income.

    “We are relatively highly-taxed with GST (15 percent),” Council of Trade Unions economist and policy adviser Bill Rosenberg said.

    “Those taxes hurt low income families more than high income families.”

    Those on high incomes were also taxed at quite low rates by OECD standards, Dr Rosenberg said, and they should pay more to fund the growing problems of ill health, rising poverty and homelessness.

    “We should be doing more to make our tax system more progressive, to raise more revenue so we can address these deficits which are causing more and more problems for people in the community.”

    • John up North 2.1

      Why oh why do we hear from these mumpties ” NZ Initiative” or the “NZ Taxpayers Union”?

      Why is there never a byline as to who these NZ whatever “organisations” members, aims and influences are?

      When I realise these people are representatives of the Business Round Table, employer lobby groups etc….. It becomes very clear as to why they whinge about issues of taxation, and fight (lobby) tooth and nail to obtain as much cake as possible.

      A quote from each sums up my view of either side of the article.

      Business Guy – Mr Hartwich said he did not want New Zealand following Belgium, Germany or France, where more and more taxes were paid to fund an ever-expanding welfare state.

      People Guy – “We should be doing more to make our tax system more progressive, to raise more revenue so we can address these deficits which are causing more and more problems for people in the community.”

    • RedLogix 2.2

      @carol

      It’s a complete myth that NZ is overtaxed. The critical thing left out of most comparisons is retirement funding which has to be included in any meaningful comparison.

      From memory this issue got some airing here years back. There are many different ways countries fund retirement income, from personal savings, through various Super schemes, employer funded or not, or from taxation. Whichever path taken it is effectively a form of taxation, and a significant one at that, usually somewhere between 7 -20 % of the total burden. NZ is very unusual in that we fund most of our retirement income from direct taxation, which means that when we compare tax rates with most other countries it’s very easy to get to to a wrong answer.

      I recall a very good graph ranking various countries, that when this was taken into account NZ ranked second lowest for total taxation in the OECD. I think Mexico was lowest.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Kristine Bartlett and E Tu showing everyone how collective action plus human rights = power.

    …for the primary litigant, rest home caregiver Kristine Bartlett, it will mean an increase from about $16 an hour to about $23 an hour – more than 43 per cent.

    The deal allows for annual increases over five years to $27 an hour.

    Overall, pay rises will range from $3 an hour to $7, depending on the work and experience.

    This will have flow-on effects for the entire economy. The usual idiot parrots will screech and claim that it will cause unemployment. They are wrong: watch and learn 🙂

    • Antoine 3.1

      Very cool, well deserved

    • Carolyn_nth 3.2

      Maybe it will also have flow on effects to cultural values with respect to the kinds of work (paid or unpaid) that contribute most to a decent/fair society.

    • Cinny 3.3

      Awesomesauce 😀 It will be wonderful to see those who genuinely care about the well being of some of our most vulnerable being paid fairly for their work.

      Strongly agree with you OAB about the flow on effects for the entire economy, workers will have more money to spend at local businesses, good news for everyone.

    • Ethica 3.4

      I would be wary about this happening any time soon. There is a 5 year plan to implement and we know from earlier examples that the big corporates will do anything they can not to pass on the pay increase.

  4. Carolyn_nth 4

    Not so much an “academic” view – more a right wing, US Trump/Republican apologist, patriarchal view.

    Stephen Hoadley: Missiles on Syria: An academic view

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      It may be so but this leapt out at me
      ‘Legal scholars will readily agree that the strike was clearly a violation of the international law of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states in the absence of UN Security Council approval or manifest self-defence”

  5. Cinny 6

    Sales are down at Boeing, time to lay off engineers, maybe start a war to increase their sales.

    http://www.todayevery.com/share/SkxSRBYGAl?hint=/boeing-layoffs-engineers

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Kind of sad really. Boeing and Airbus really are two most extraordinary enterprises that have given the world some astounding machines. Even today I cannot board a large wide-body jet without wonderment for the achievement they represent.

      Shedding skilled engineering staff is a body-blow. You don’t replace that kind of experience easily … ever.

  6. Terry Win 7

    To One Anonomous Bloke.
    At long last some recognition of work that can be mentally and physically exhausting. It can be dirty and dangerous and abuse and assaults happen. The shift work hours are often long and/ or antisocial. But hey y,know its “women’s work”.
    I,m not a woman and have been doing this for over forty years, thirty of those as a registered nurse.
    The late nineties bought immense changes to the disability sector that I,m in and I now work as a support worker, same work, same people but not ” worth” a nurse apparently so barely above minimum wages, shifts and weekends needed to earn enough to live on.
    I absolutely welcome any increase and it’s implied recognition of worth but let’s not fool ourselves here, is this an acceptance of inherent value of the tasks and skills involved and a revaluing of ” women’s ” work?
    Or is it a way to cover up the decades long underfunding of the disability,aged care and support roles society requires to be done without admitting that?
    Remember that this fight hasn’t been easily won, if indeed it has been, and many will still hold the work to be of little value.
    The government has been dragged to the negotiating table kicking and screaming and under the threat of a court finding that might have forced a back pay for 50,000 people who,ve been shafted for years.
    I,m guessing that since I reach retirement age in 3 years, and this “settlement” is to be spread over 5, I might just be able to earn a little more per hour for the last two years of my working life.
    Oh lucky me, funny how this comes about in an election year. Terry

    • ropata 7.1

      You’re doing vital work but according to neoliberal economics it’s the “market” that allocates monetary rewards. Unfortunately, collective action is the only way to improve wages and conditions for most workers, otherwise you will be screwed over as much as possible. That’s why we are importing thousands of cheap workers from overseas — “we want to see wages drop” remember?

      A friend of mine used to work for a private outfit supposedly providing care for the elderly, she was paid a pittance and even had to claim petrol costs, it’s very tough, drove her nuts (literally! 🙁 she was in a bad place )

  7. RedLogix 8

    China, India, Korea all ahead of us:

    “UBI is inevitable. We have relied on labour and wages to drive consumption and we’re not going to have that – in terms of technological unemployment, even if it gets close to the predictions it would be catastrophic,” Gregory Marston, head of the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland, said at a recent conference in Taiwan.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11840042

    The local game is way behind, except for TOPS who will be studiously ignored.

    • Gosman 8.1

      Way behind what? The UBI in China doesn’t in fact look like a UBI but more of a social safety net which is open to abuse from those who shouldn’t be getting it.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        The whole idea of a UBI is that it is Universal; in principle everyone is eligible therefore it cannot be ‘abused by anyone who should not be getting it’.

        Having said that most nations don’t immediately jump into a pure form of UBI. It’s either set at a very low level, or targeted in some form or another. So naturally there will be compromises and shortcomings. But crucially they ARE moving in the direction of implementing a UBI.

        Whereas NZ still struggles to talk about it.

        • Gosman 8.1.1.1

          Exactly. The Chinese situation is not a UBI.

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1

            I never said it was, but it is clearly a starting point towards universal coverage.

            http://basicincome.org/news/2016/05/chinas-minimum-income-guarantee-youve-never-heard-of/

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Except you could argue Working for families or National Super is a starting point towards UBI. There are always opportunities to expand existing programmes to cover the entire population. Weirdly TOP wishes to ditch the universality of National super.

              • RedLogix

                Universal Super has been hugely successful at eliminating poverty among the elderly in this country. Expanding it to the entire population is a reasonable and logical step.

                But a UBI is not a magic bullet in isolation; TOPS also proposes major reforms around taxing asset wealth which is an essential step towards rebalancing NZ’s desperately stupid housing market.

                Feel free to debate the semantics Gosman. I’ve other things to do. Cheers

                • Gosman

                  So we aren’t way behind on UBI at all.

                • The Chairman

                  “Universal Super has been hugely successful at eliminating poverty among the elderly in this country.”

                  Indeed. However, instead of improving and expanding upon that, TOP actually wants to reduce the sum paid.

                  Additionally, TOP’s tax changes will result in a number being further shortchanged as they struggle to find the income to cover the new tax burden.

        • ropata 8.1.1.2

          WINZ prefers to torment beneficiaries and make them jump through hoops and suffer long stand down periods for trivial reasons, because they view everyone as potential fraudsters. (No matter that welfare fraud is nothing compared to white collar crime like tax evasion)

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.2.1

            Which to my mind was always one of the most compelling arguments for a UBI. This entrenched culture of humiliation is probably the single most corrosive aspect of any beneficiaries life.

    • millsy 8.2

      What we really need is a jobs guarantee, plus a boost to the unemployment benefit, and a loosening of all the restrictions around it.

  8. This may have already been discussed – nice model the doughnut for lots of things including economics

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/12/doughnut-growth-economics-book-economic-model?CMP=share_btn_fb

  9. repateet 10

    When I heard the news on the radio this morning about pay equity I knew there would be some negative reaction.

    I see on the Herald site, “Mike’s Minute: Who pays for pay equity?
    Under this new regime there is simply more money going out for the same work, and you can’t do that without someone somewhere picking up the tab.”

    I don’t watch his pieces as I know I’d feel like spewing. But seeing this headline makes me feel like spewing. You see, I can imagine the country on its knees and poor old Mike on the bones of his arse because of this particular pay equity move. The absolute tragedy that in a country (also on the news) that has the second lowest tax take in the world, that people as talented as him are turned into paupers by grasping workers.

    Now ain’t that enough to make anyone spew?

    • Incognito 10.1

      A just society embraces equity and equal rights. As such, nobody is ‘paying’ for equity; they are rectifying a societal wrong that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

      • ropata 10.1.1

        Hosking isn’t interested in a just society, his mindless drooling is motivated solely on the impact on his tax bracket and property values. Doesn’t give a flying fsck about anyone else. He belongs in a gated community in South Africa, or perhaps in a science experiment where he is kept in a glass box and monitored for signs of humanity and empathy.

        • Pete 10.1.1.1

          The irony!

          I can hear him sermonising, pontificating, about grubby people holding placards, blocking the footpath, protesting that dumb animals were being kept for science experiments!

        • Incognito 10.1.1.2

          I have no concerns about Mr Hosking but I do worry about many of his listeners nodding in agreement. Up till now the health care workers have been underpaid but I guess that’s alright then. I’d think that none of his listeners would like to be underpaid for years and when they stand up for their rights (!) that some guy with entitlement issues jumps up & down crying that it’ll cost somebody money. Mr Hosking cannot win the argument, and he knows it, but he can stir up things and create ‘outrage’.

  10. joe90 11

    Incoherence as policy.

    BREAKING Presidential sources: US President Trump calls Turkish President Erdoğan to congratulate him on #Turkeyreferendum result. pic.twitter.com/4UtWsMPXyU— CNN Türk ENG (@CNNTURK_ENG) April 17, 2017

    NEW: State Dept. issues statement on Turkish referendum vote, noting reports of "irregularities" on voting day, urging political dialogue. pic.twitter.com/WSGwawEbNC— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 17, 2017

    edit:

    White House confirms Trump called Erdogan “to congratulate him on his recent referendum victory” pic.twitter.com/zQ3xZdr54u— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 18, 2017

  11. Jenny Kirk 12

    Interesting story here – Stuff – about the current (new) gov-gen’s former business dealings.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/78888650/how-the-new-governor-generals-firm-made-a-cool-20m

    • joe90 12.1

      Dizzy heights achieved with a taxpayer funded education.

      /

      • greywarshark 12.1.2

        Jenny Kirk
        Thanks for that. An in depth report from Martin van Beynen, so often excellent.
        It throws light on the way that business operates, sneaky when needed and also with iron hand in a velvet glove ready to be thrown down at propitious moments.
        Which in turn gives vision of the sort of thinking that neo liberals indulge in.
        (There was a great film-documentary called Blood on the Carpet made years ago about British business’ similar behaviour. Connected with Trust House Forte IIRC.)

        Like your wry comment joe 90 about the usefulness of a good NZ education in this area of enterprise. I noted too, the bit in the article about Paul Collins having done so much for NZ sport which went well with a ‘Sir’. The last thing people with swads of money want to spend their philanthropy on is other people who need it. That has no class or appeal, like sport and assisting the arts. Perhaps the beggars can turn themselves into a living statue and be called buskers, so entering the world of art. They could sit nude, and people pay to clothe them instead of painting them as interesting human shapes.

        Ordinary needy people should adopt behaviour like kittens which get much attention from the general public on the internet, or when they are dumped or taken to the SPCA. So people should grow fur or stick some on with non-toxic glues that are waterbased (ie shouldn’t go mad and do this at home with something unhealthy), paint their faces with a cat head and cute whiskers, and race around in circles chasing their tails, which probably already doing so just do it more cutely!

    • KJT 12.2

      Another member of the kleptocracy gets rewarded.

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    MetService defends forecasts: ‘We’re certainly seeing more extremes’

    The weather service has been criticised for the severe predictions it made leading up to the tropical storm from Cyclone Cook hitting New Zealand.

    Pretty much what I expected to happen even before the cyclone got here. Thing is, if the Metservice had predicted that it would all be fine and dandy they’d be getting hell for it as well. Some people will complain about government service no matter what and, as as I can make out, it’s got nothing to do with the actual service but the fact that it was government.

    Personally, I’d rather an overly pessimistic forecast that got us to prepare for the worst and not a lot happening rather than an overly optimistic one that had us doing nothing and then getting hammered.

  13. tinfoihat 14

    I’m curious to know others take on the NCEA data that has recently been released.

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/final-results-confirm-rising-m%C4%81ori-and-pasifika-student-achievement

    While I’m sceptical of some of the statistics and a presentation to put everything in its best light it does tend to reflect what I’ve seen over the last few years working in secondary schools around Auckland.

    • Molly 14.1

      A lot of money seems to have been put into raising the NCEA pass rates for Māori and Pasifika students in the last few years, without a clear plan. For my children, it has meant an increase in the number of attempts to get them to attend numeracy and literacy workshops. Which despite the name – are not workshops at all – more of a rah-rah session which on top of a ninety-minute commute each way, is about as effective as you would suppose.

      The data provided on the link on the link, shows most cohorts tracking up in all three NCEA levels. Without further information, it seems pre-emptive to credit any focused work with the results.

      Which could have been achieved in a number of ways, improving access to alternative methods of assessment, changing assessment criteria etc.

      I believe some of these changes are good and were necessary. But until we define what "successful" means in education and the wider society, then both our methods and are outcomes are likely to fail those who fall outside the current parameters.

    • Johan 14.2

      Would it be significant to know if these improved pass figures, Achieved, Merit or Excellence were in the internally assessed or the externally assessed exams?

  14. adam 15

    Laugh, you may need it in this environment,

    That said, an interesting take on politics, and the final gag is golden.

  15. Craig H 16

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/have-we-the-right-approach-for-regional-wellbeing

    Brian Easton comments on regional development policies, and the need to be strategic. Some really good points in there, IMO, particularly around the changing demographics in some regions and the impact that has on e.g. health service provision in small towns.

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