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Open mike 18/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 18th, 2015 - 46 comments
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For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

46 comments on “Open mike 18/05/2015”

  1. Paul 1

    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.

    George Orwell

    A capital gains tax is not a capital gains tax

    John Key.

  2. North 2

    I hear from someone in Auckland that representatives from Serco have been seen sniffing around Whakatakapokai, the MSD/CYF Care and Protection Residence in Clendon, Manurewa.

    This place houses our broken kids in a low-security restrained environment.

    Are we gonna see our broken kids handed over as raw material for proft making by Serco on behalf of its foreign shareholders ?

    The Serco Group ain’t doing too well it would seem. What happens when Serco decides it has to cut corners to meet its compact with head office and its foreign shareholders ? What might that mean for our broken kids ? You know, those bad wee buggers who’ve made all the wrong choices. In this land of milk and honey for the few PlanetKey.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11357634

    • Molly 2.1

      Damn.

      Not even enough residential care places available anyway. Handing this one over puts already vulnerable kids in a position where the duty of care chain is further lengthened. And the SERCO link is one that will no doubt be forged at the least expense, and at the lowest strength.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    We’ll call it the “Pony-tail Budget”, surely !

  4. CnrJoe 4

    lower case gains tax

  5. Charles 5

    Over on The Daily Blog, Metiria Turei bravely opens the dogma box. Worth a read if you’re out that way. Those already way out on the left might want to keep a chill pill handy. It’ll upset some.

    • weka 5.1

      It’s good, not particularly upsetting IMO, but I think that it highlights an issue here on ts where the rhetoric renders any understanding or cooperation impossible at times. I agree with Turei that we (New Zealanders) need new conversations and they need to include the left being able to talk to people who don’t fit in the traditional left/right spectrum (as well as IMO being able to work with old school conservatives), people who are apolotical, or who’s politics change or where they take from traditional left and right. I can’t see how we can get past where we are now if that doesn’t happen (Bill’s posts and comments on Scotland probably hold the most clues)..

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/05/18/may-day-guest-blog-metiria-turei-shoot-the-dogma/

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.2

      Ah yes we desperately need to convince the amiable ‘working suits on the aeroplane class’ (is that the ‘with Koru membership’ or ‘without Koru membership’ demographic) that progressive principles are up for negotiation and compromise.

      Face it after massively disappointing themselves last elections, the Greens are just as lost in the philosophical and electoral woods as Labour is at the moment.

    • Michael 6.1

      Agreed! So to beat Australia and be #1 we need to raise it by 27%, which would be about $18.73. I believe the living wage is $18.80 so it’s clear we need to go to $18.80! 😉

    • b waghorn 6.2

      If its so good I dear you to go live in Auckland for six months on minimum wage and report back about how well done it is.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1

        This is why NZ under National is such a good place to live and why John Key may go for a fourth term (probably won’t but the look on lefties faces would be priceless)

        • b waghorn 6.2.1.1

          I love the way you brainless fools click into a default “key is great ” setting when you’ve got nothing worth saying .

          • McFlock 6.2.1.1.1

            to be fair, pr probably does think that making Auckland unaffordable to live in for most actual Auckland workers is a good thing.

            Because he’s a cock.

    • miravox 6.3

      “good top ten to be in”
      Another top 10

  6. North 7

    Location – IRD Office Planet Key

    Present – Me and IRD Person

    IRD Person – “Mr Me, I see you bought a capital asset for $X and sold that
    capital asset for $XPlus”…….Arithmetic 101…….you made a
    capital gain of $#”

    Me – “Well…….if you put it that way……I s’pose I did. But the Prime
    Minister says there’s no capital gains tax”

    IRD Person – “Yeah right…….there’s tax to pay Muppet ! Get your cheque
    book out !”

    IRD Persons at smoko 10 minutes later – “Fark ! Another howler for The BLip List !”

  7. Colonial Rawshark 8

    Trials of psych drugs biased to look good; suicides in drug trials are under-reported

    Gøtzsche, who is also a clinical trials expert, says drug trials funded by big pharmaceutical companies tend to produce biased results because many patients took other medication prior to the tests.

    He says patients cease taking the old drugs and then experience a phase of withdrawal prior to taking the trial pharmaceuticals, which appear highly beneficial at first.

    The Danish professor also warns fatalities from suicides in clinical trials are significantly under-reported.

    http://rt.com/uk/258133-antidepressants-unnecessary-for-many/

    • Charles 8.1

      re: http://rt.com/uk/258133-antidepressants-unnecessary-for-many/

      “In the case of antidepressants venlafaxine and fluoxetine, Gøtzsche casts doubt over their efficacy. He said depression lifts in placebo groups given fake tablets almost as promptly as groups who partake in official clinical tests.”

      Reasonably commonly (subsidised) and prescribed here in NZ – with some delightful side effects that are too easily left unexplained. Be careful out there, people, support those near you who are going through the fire or, like me, they’ll have to do it alone and that’s not fun at all. You might also find that what you are told you need is not what you need or what you’re getting. Communicative and cultural styles add to the difficulty of prescribing the right course. It’s another one of those bad jokes that life plays: those least capable somehow have to be more capable and keep their wits about them under enormous stresses, while the capable often get in their way and look the other way.

      If there is a general sentiment I would give to those at the “lesser” end of the mental illness spectrum, i.e. hasn’t totally lost their grip on present reality, although their reasoning may be distorted, it’s please remember to consider your illness as a “friend in disguise” that is trying to attract attention to something important you have to change, while you also simultaneously treat the symptoms of the same (serious) illness in a careful and sensible way, using drugs, therapy, family support and even your own intuition and intelligence.

      There’s a million reasons why someone may or may not be better off with or without antidepressents, so don’t stop taking your meds just because I did and “I turned out fine”. My situation may not match yours. Cleaning up the repercussions of an overwhelming life is hardwork and may not be entirely possible for some.

      It is yet another reason why experienced people cannot afford to buy into the luxury of the aspirant lifestyle, as promoted by certain well-known groups – too much to do that is irreconcilable.

  8. JOHN KEY'S CRAPPY HAIR TRANSPLANT 9

    Paul Henry Show Recap, 18 May 2015:

    Paul Henry: “LABOUR ARE SHIT AND DON’T HAVE ANY IDEAS TEE HEE HEE”

    10 minutes later, he interviews John Key about the new policy he stole from Labour.

    Hillary Barry and that guy just sit there like burnt stumps and let him get away with it.

  9. Michael 10

    Bernie Sanders 2016! He speaks the truth.

  10. Colonial Rawshark 11

    Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, falls to ISIS; just 60 miles west of Baghdad

    Iraqi troops flee Ramadi as black flags are raised over the city; divisions between the Shia militia and the Baghdad government hindered the defence of the city; Iraqi government refusal to arm Sunni groups around Ramadi a key contributor to the fall of the city.

    In my view, we have gotten ourselves mixed up in a sectarian based civil war, one which is going as predictably and as well as these things always do.

    Juan Cole:

    Some of the problems Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi may be having keeping Ramadi may stem from his rift with some of the Shiite militias, who did the heavy lifting in the assault on Tikrit. Some of them have retired from the battlefield in anger because they were criticized for acting like Shiite extremists. But Sunni tribes in the Ramadi region eager to fight Daesh also complained that they have never received promised government weapons and that the government seems to be afraid to arm them.

    Why exactly the Iraqi forces in Ramadi could not get reinforcements or air support is not clear. The Iraqi army also does have helicopter gunships, which appear also not to have been deployed, despite the fighting being near the capital.

    RT: Marine Brig Gen Weidley says

    “We believe across Iraq and Syria that Daesh is losing and remains on the defensive,” said Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. Playing down ISIS made gains he added that Iraqi forces still controlled most “key facilities, infrastructure and lines of communication” in the Ramadi area.

    http://www.juancole.com/2015/05/refuses-tribal-levies.html

    http://rt.com/news/259173-isis-ramadi-control-iraq/

    • Chooky 11.1

      So remind us Jonkey Nactional why are we are sending NZ troops into help fight ISIL?! …when our ‘allies’ (USA, Israel , Saudi Arabia) seem to be supporting ISIL covertly and overtly…

      ….when ISIL is being used against Syria to bring down Assad! ( who 80% of Syrians voted for)….this mess?!…straw dogs and red herrings….and following on from the shame of what has happened to Libya?…who are the pawns in this game?….who is behind these utter warmongering strategic crimes against humanity?

      ‘Syrian nightmare’

      http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/258701-syria-civil-war-is/

      “Is it too late for an agreed political settlement to end the Syrian civil war? Recent advances by Al-Qaeda affiliated groups and the Islamic State suggest any regime following Assad will be radicalized, extremely brutal and possibly aggressive. Would this be a case of the cure being worse than the disease?
      CrossTalking with Richard Murphy, Jason Hirthler, and Sukant Chandan”.

  11. Karen 12

    Have a read of this piece in this morning’s Dominion Post, then go back and read BLiP’s piece about their work with Roger Douglas in the 1980’s. This needs more exposure.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/68614620/bowron-going-blue-makes-me-see-red

    • greywarbler 12.1

      I noted the finding below that was reported by the human resources research team in the link. I would have thought that the last thing that Poorer Benefit would want is staff who ‘thought rules were more important than ideas’.

      I remember one job I read of in the US where they set up a team that got friendly with staff who after telling them private thoughts in confidence found they got sacked. So watch out MSD staff. They’re listening and watching you!

      The programme called Building Blue followed a 2013 survey of
      approximately 10,000 MSD staff, which found they were too accepting of the status quo, thought rules were more important than ideas, and didn’t want to rock the boat. Staff felt they had to obey orders, follow policy, create a good impression and check in with superiors demonstrating a willingness to conform.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 13

    American police need automatic weapons and military gear because they are in a dangerous job

    So they say.

    But strangely, fishers, loggers, pilots, drivers, roofers, iron and steel workers, construction labourers, agricultural labourers, power line technicians, farmers and others have higher on the job death rates.

    And no one is proposing to paramilitarise them.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-17/deadliest-jobs-america

  13. Weepus beard 15

    Fuck me.

    First quote in the article: “Clark did it too.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/68621964/no-housing-crisis-in-auckland-john-key

    It’s the go-to sound bite when pushed into a corner.

    Bling: “We got people paying them one way or another”

    Yes Bill, the same fucking people, over and over!

    Bling: “We got growth and supply coming to market”

    No Bill, you don’t. Actual town planners say stop, you can’t do this without infrastructure!

    “One way or another.” Did the Finance Minister just say that as part of official position???

    IRD receiv(ed) $33 million in Budget 2010 for more inspectors to start cracking down on investors who bought and sold a lot of property in a short period of time.

    Really? Well that was money well spent, wasn’t it?

  14. Philip Ferguson 17

    For folks in or near Dunedin:

    A talk on the referendum on same-sex marriage taking place in the south of Ireland on Friday. . .

    The talk is on “Will south of Ireland be first country in world to vote for same-sex marriage?” (Venue, time etc below)

    For many decades after the establishment of the twenty-six county state in the south of Ireland in 1921-23, the Catholic Church, both directly and indirectly, wielded vast power in the state and in civil society. Even well into the 1980s it was able to mobilise followers in referenda that prevented divorce being made available and abortion being made available.

    However, despite this apparent high-water point for conservative social attitudes and Church power, the wider society was already changing significantly. Exposure of child abuse by priests and nuns – ranging from physical beatings to child rape – undermined the Church’s pretence to the ‘high moral ground’, while new generations supported expanded personal freedom.

    The wider changes in southern Irish society also mean that the religious right’s campaign against same-sex marriage can no longer be expressed in blatantly anti-gay terms. Instead, they argue that same-sex couples can settle for civil unions and that marriage has to be of male and female because “children’s rights” involve the right to have a mother and father. They’ve even invoked the names of the radical rebels of the 1916 Rising to push their opposition to marriage equality.

    While, in the past two decades, the religious right has lost battle after battle and look likely to lose on the same-sex marriage issue, there is now a secularising, post-religious right which, while actively supporting issues like same-sex marriage, is carrying out an utterly vicious assault on working class living standards. This new post-religious right is represented today in government as the Fine Gael-Labour coalition.

    Speaker: Dr Philip Ferguson

    5pm, Thursday, May 21
    Room 2, Clubs and Societies Building
    84 Albany Street
    Dunedin

  15. Penny Bright 18

    FYI folks – information flushed out from Trade Minister Tim Groser under the OIA, regarding his secret meeting behind closed doors on the TPPA with Auckland Mayor Len Brown, on 7 April 2015, in the Auckland Mayoral Office.

    In my opinion, the lack of transparency regarding TPPA discussions and negotiations has now infested New Zealand at the highest levels of central and local government?
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    18 May 2015

    Further ‘Open Letter’ / OIA request to Minister of Trade Tim Groser, arising from ‘briefing notes’ provided for the ‘informal exchange of information’ between the Minister of Trade and Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown, on the TPPA (and related matters) behind closed doors, on 7 April 2015:

    Tim Groser,
    Minister of Trade

    Dear Minister,

    A) Please be reminded of the following statutory requirements of the New Zealand Public Records Act 2005:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345536.html

    3 Purposes of Act
    The purposes of this Act are—

    (c) to enable the Government to be held accountable by—

    (i) ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are created and maintained; and

    (ii) providing for the preservation of, and public access to, records of long-term value; and

    (d)to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public records and local authority records; and
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    How can the public have confidence in the transparency or accountability of those in public office, at the highest levels, without proper written records?

    BACKGROUND:

    In your OIA reply, (dated 14 May 2015) you state:

    “The meeting was organised by MFAT and the Office of the Mayor.

    It was an opportunity to discuss with the Mayor, trade and economic issues relevant to Auckland.

    In addition to the Mayor and me, the meeting was attended by an official from my office, one official from NZTE and one official from MFAT.

    Several of the Mayor’s advisors also attended.

    The meeting was not a public engagement.

    It was an informal exchange of information.

    It was not therefore appropriate to include the public, media or other Councillors.

    I have attached a briefing note prepared for me by officials in advance of the meeting.

    No formal minute or record of the meeting was prepared. ”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    INCLUDED IN THE (attached) ‘BRIEFING NOTE’:

    “Purpose of the call.

    This meeting is expected to focus entirely on trade and economic issues.

    It is an opportunity for you to give the mayor an update on the FTA agenda and BGA, and discuss their relevance to Auckland’s economic growth aspirations.

    The Mayor may use the meeting to brief you on the Council’s new Global Engagement Strategy, in particular, the Tripartite Economic Alliance and Auckland’s candidacy for the Lee Kwan Yew City Prize.

    FTA roundup.

    You may wish to give the mayor a summary of New Zealand’s various and ongoing and recently concluded FTA negotiations.

    In particular, we believe the Mayor would be interested in updates on TPP, Korea, and the China upgrade.

    We provide some background on the Mayor’s interest in TPP below.

    * The Mayor has expressed interest in the economic benefits to Auckland that the TPP could deliver.

    As New Zealand’s exporting hub, and its most internationally connected city, Auckland stands to derive significant benefits from TPP.

    In particular, the fact that the TPP promises to better integrate New Zealand into a region accounting for 40% of global GDP, presents significant opportunities for Auckland’s exporters, and ultimately its residents.

    While we have no projections of how the benefits of TPP might accrue specifically to Auckland, the mayor will be interested in in a high level discussion of progress in the negotiation, and of the projected benefits at national level, particularly in terms of export growth, investment flow and labour mobility.

    It is also worth noting that in December 2012, the Regional and Development Committee of the Auckland Council passed a resolution which encouraged the Government to conclude negotiations on TPP in a way which achieved 12 objectives (see Appendix 1).

    These objectives included achieving substantially increased access for agricultural exports, not increasing the costs of medical treatments, and not giving overseas investors more rights than domestic investors.

    Mayor Brown was not present when this resolution was adopted, but he is known to be supportive of trade agreements in general.”

    OIA Request:

    1) Please provide the information which explains how a meeting between yourself as the Minister of Trade (in that official capacity), and the Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown (in that official capacity), for which the attached ‘briefing note’ was provided – can possibly be described as an ‘informal exchange of information’, from which:

    – the details of this meeting were NOT minuted,

    – elected Auckland Councillors were not informed and were excluded,

    – the public and media were not informed and excluded,

    can be compliant with the above-mentioned statutory requirements of the Public Records Act 2005.

    B) This attached ‘briefing note’, included the following, in my view, significant ‘statistic’:

    Appendix 1 : Economic and demographic statistics demonstrating the importance of Auckland to New Zealand’s international connectivity.

    ……………………….

    “Auckland’s population is projected to grow by approximately 700,000 people between 2011 and 2041 (assuming a medium populations growth scenario).”

    As the initiating petitioner of the following petition, which resulted in a Social Services Select Committee of Inquiry, here is their Report:

    Social Services Select Committee Report

    http://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-nz/50DBSCH_SCR5953_1/9f8a825ae96c25bddf7d0c8bddb58511039a4d16

    The Social Services Committee has considered Petition 2011/64 of Penelope Mary Bright, requesting that Parliament decline to proceed with the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill until the lawfulness of the reliance of Auckland Council on the New Zealand Department of Statistics “high” population growth projections, instead of their “medium” population growth projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan, has been properly and independently investigated, taking into consideration that both Auckland Transport and Watercare Services Ltd, have relied upon “medium” population growth projections for their infrastructural asset management plans.

    We heard and received evidence from the petitioner, but note that the matters she raised have been addressed publicly by the Auckland Council in statements posted on its website and issued to media.

    The Auckland Council’s Chief Planning Officer has said that while Auckland may not grow by one million people by 2041 (the high-growth projection), Auckland Council is preparing for it.

    The city has historically met the high-growth projection, and it is therefore prudent for the council to plan accordingly.

    He said that the city needs to be prepared for, and infrastructure needs to be able to cope with, growth. He pointed out that the “Unitary Plan”, which is a part of the Auckland Spatial Plan, sets out only rules for development.

    We understand that actual development would be undertaken only in response to demand. Regarding the use of alternative projections for higher- and lower-growth scenarios, we note that the council’s Chief Planning Officer has also said that it is prudent for the Auckland Council to provide for the highest likely population growth, and at the same time to be cautious to avoid over-investment.

    He said that the council requires organisations it owns or controls to be cautious about capital spending ahead of time to avoid high borrowing, interest, and depreciation costs, and that any underspending on infrastructure could be addressed through regular budget reviews and incremental expansion of facilities such as wastewater treatment plants.

    The Mayor of Auckland has also said that using the high-growth projection was the appropriate thing to do, and that the council should not be too conservative in their assumptions about population growth.

    We consider that the response to this issue provided by the council appears reasonable, and therefore have no matters to bring to the attention of the House.

    Melissa Lee Deputy Chairperson ”

    ( FYI – the supplementary evidence which I provided the Social Services Select Committee, (dated 14 June 2013) to support this Petition 2011/64, is available here:

    http://www.parliament.nz/resource/mi-nz/50SCSS_EVI_50DBHOH_PET3157_1_A338307/c0545be9171849399f2468c6567ae9303ce418ce )

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    OIA REQUEST:

    2) Please provide ALL/ANY information which explains why this above-mentioned ‘briefing note’ used the medium population growth projection of 700,000 more people coming to Auckland in the next 30 years, rather than high population growth projection, (1 million extra people) which was preferred by both Auckland Council and the Social Services Select Committee in their above-mentioned Report.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    ……………………..

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    2009 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2010 Attendee Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2014 Attendee G20 Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes)

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • Chooky 18.1

      +100 ….Go Penny ….and disgraceful that Len Brown seems to be colluding with Tim Groser in secret on the TPP

      …the corruption and secrecy is getting grosser and grosser

  16. greywarbler 20

    Its estimated that up to 6000 Myanmar people have been forced to leave because of religion – Muslim in a Buddhist country, although they have been there about 1000 years. I think that’s what I read. Anyway they are being pushed out to sea because no-one wants them to land. And they are needing water and food. So whats happening. The UN is anxious. The various countries around are obdurate. Time for Batman or some hero to organise a helicopter from Sea Shepherd or some such. By the time anybody does anything officially many will be dead.

    And in Australia money available in foreign aid had a big cut because of them being in the proverbial.

    Australia’s slashing of foreign aid by almost Aus$1.0 billion (US$800 million) will hurt the most vulnerable people in Asia and Africa and damage the country’s reputation, aid groups said Wednesday.In its national budget on Tuesday,
    Australia confirmed that aid spending will fall by Aus$980.2 million to Aus$4.1 billion in 2015-16 as it looks for savings to rein in its deficit. The Asian region will lose Aus$522.5 million in assistance
    . – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/13/australian-foreign-aid-cuts-hurt-most-vulnerable-ngos.html#sthash.v6uSwPzg.dpuf

    Compare with military expenditure around the world:
    from Stockholm Int. Peace Research Institute
    The USA is first by a huge number. about $600 Billion 2014-2015
    China next $216 Billion
    Russia $84.5 Billion
    Saudi Arabia $81 Billion
    France $62 Billion
    UK $60 Billion
    Australia $25 Billion
    (Projection from UK Ministry of Defence for 2045 is that USA will be up around $1300 Billion and China will be just behind – India about $600 Billion!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures
    edited

  17. Mark Craig 21

    I would like to start a thread with all of the interested people here to let us all input the names of all the large and middle size companies and their tax payments that have been sold to overseas interests since the perfidious R Douglas introduced the neo liberal clusterfuck that has rooted the New Zealand economy since 1984 .I understand we are now close to $100 bn debt now. Of course the recent power companies come to mind ,Fisher and Paykel to the Chinese Government owned Haier . Lion Breweries to Kirin ,Japan ,Dominion Breweries to Heineken (Singapore ) ? wtf I think it was Dutch originally ,Crafar farms ,Telecom to Bell South and on and on and on . Please feel free to add to the list . Ps Not to mention Air New Zealand ,sold by that illiterate fuck wit Prebble for about the cost of about 1 new 747 replacement cost ,and the CNI forest to Fletchers and the Chinese I think for about $0 ,20 cents per tree

  18. greywarshark 22

    Interesting interview tomorrow on RNZ for those interested in WTF has/is going on in the Middle East.

    10:05 am Wednesday 20 May: Nine To Noon
    Christina Lamb Journalist and author, Christina Lamb’s latest book, Farewell Kabul tells how the West turned success into defeat in the longest war fought by the United States in its history and by Britain since the Hundred Years War. She says Farewell Kabul: How the West Ignored Pakistan and Lost Afghanistan is the he story of well-intentioned men and women going into a place they did not understand at all. And how, what had once been the right thing to do had become a conflict that everyone wanted to exit. This has left Afghanistan still one of the poorest and most dangerous nations on earth.

    Christina Lamb is the best-selling author of The Africa House and I Am Malala, co-authored with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

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