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Open mike 18/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 18th, 2010 - 106 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

106 comments on “Open mike 18/11/2010”

  1. Jenny 1

    Labour party fanatic attacks McCarten campaign

    After rudely shouting Matt down and refusing to allow him to speak with demands that he concede to Labour, a Labour Party heckler makes the claim that McCarten only wants the minimum wage to go up to $15p/h so he can can take bigger union fees from the people of Mana. In my opinion this sort of sectarian behaviour by Labour supporters hurts more than helps Labours image.

    Labour supporters don’t behave like this with the right, instead displaying a pathological hatred of anyone to the left of them.

    Why won’t the left try to work together against the common enemy?

    McCarten defended himself by saying he had a democratic right to stand.

    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      You must have the wrong link, Jenny. The Herald report shows a local voter being shouted down by McCarten and one of his team while the voter is being interviewed. Still, foolish of the man not to want to work together to fight the common enemy, Labour, by using the uniting tactic of vote splitting.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        MMP works to the benefit of unity. Parties that are less sectarian can make coalitions, those that claim to be the one true religion don’t and instead would rather be in opposition than form coalitions.

        If McCarten did win the Mana seat, (unlikely in my opinion), and was to hold it through the next election this would be one (and maybe even more seats) on the left of the house and would be a big nail in the coffin lid of a National led coalition government.

        The tendency of such a breakthrough on the left would be to draw Labour more to the left.

        Obviously, this is further to the left than some in the Labour Party would be comfortable with, hence the number of wistful comments on this site wishing for a NZ First breakthrough. This is because some feel more comfortable with a Labour led coalition to the right of the political spectrum.

        My fear is, that if by the time of the next election, the Labour Party haven’t got over their sectarianism that they would rather throw the election result over to the Nacts rather than try to form a coalition that takes them outside their comfort zone. (Name-check the Brown Labour Party here)

    • Lazy Susan 1.2

      That guy Cheriton seemed to typify the defeatist attitude among some members of the Labour party. He kept repeating the mantra “it’s never going to happen”. So I guess he’s happy to accept what crumbs the right might throw out rather than identifying the real enemy and fighting for a roll back in the huge shift in wealth, from the majority to a tiny wealthy elite, that has taken place over the last 25 years.

      He’s out there attacking McCarten for fighting for a $15/hr minimum wage the very day after it’s revealed that the Westpac chairman’s pay last year totalled $5.5 million. Cheriton and like minded Labour supporters really need to get some perspective and understand how bad things have got and how far removed society has become from the founding principles of the Labour movement. There’s a long fight back ahead and only unity on the left will win that fight. The right are big and powerful enough already without the likes of Cheriton lending a helping hand. I honestly thought at first that he was a NAct stooge.

      • The Voice of Reason 1.2.1

        So how does having a 3rd left candidate in Mana build unity, LS?

      • mickysavage 1.2.2

        Cheriton was right in that McCarten is not going to win. All that he is going to do is make it slightly more likely that National will beat Labour.

        Given the events of just the last 24 hours and the attacks on basic workers’ rights by the Nats why would he want to do something which may increase the chances that they will remain in power?

        Don’t get me wrong I admire McCarten’s passion and his contribution to left politics. But he has made the wrong decision here.

        TVOR is right as are you LS. Unity is vital for the left. McCarten should have backed Faafoi and Labour and not stood.

        • Bored

          Mickey, you may be right tactically in Mana BUT think of it this way….

          * McCarten and a large chunk of the left still regard Labour as a centre right party, any movement to the left has to them been too slow, and Goff is just another right facing careerist tainted by the Douglas years. So why not expose to Labour what it has been too slow to appreciate: that it cannot ignore the working poor in favour of the middle classes and expect their vote.
          * McCarten does not really care if he ensures a Labour defeat, realistically the elected person will be up for re election within a year, and their vote is surplus to requirement to National.

          I for one say go McCarten, make Labour take another long hard look at themselves.

          • mickysavage


            Guess who said this less than a month ago?

            And just when the left were still hugging each other in delight, the Labour Party for the first time since who knows when got excited about being left-wing again.

            Labour Party president Andrew Little set the scene by giving a speech I’m sure he had always wanted to give.

            No more “measured and responsible” nonsense that was the norm under Helen Clark’s regime. It was good rousing stuff. It wasn’t revolutionary – that would be too much to expect – but it showed Little’s real emotional connection to the workers’ cause.

            Little’s example fired up the latent leftie sentiments still lurking in the faithful. Even Phil Goff got in on the act, revelling in his new role as the “left-wing” leader, dissing everything he once advocated for on behalf of his old boss Roger Douglas.

            It was a bit forced and it was hard to swallow his Road to Damascus conversion. But I’ll play along for now.

            But most of what the conference did mattered little. It was rather the universal acceptance by conference attendees that the new-right experiment was wrong and it’s now over.”

            I do not disagree with your synopsis of McCarten’s current position but it contradicts what he sad not very long ago. And why attack and weaken Labour at the very time the collective consciousness is developing in a way that McCarten approves of?

            • Carol

              I don’t have strong views on the Mana candidates and am just watching to see how it plays out. But, micky, I don’t see a contradiction in the McCarten quote you posted and his standing in Mana. In the quote he said:
              It was a bit forced and it was hard to swallow his Road to Damascus conversion. But I’ll play along for now.
              But most of what the conference did mattered little. It was rather the universal acceptance by conference attendees that the new-right experiment was wrong and it’s now over.”

              So Mana marks the point when he stopped playing along & chose to focus on what he perceives as a lack of depth to Labour leaders’ conversion. Where’s the contradiction?

              He sees the strength exposed at the conference being the desire for a shift away from neoliberalism by many Labour supporters & others on the left. So isn’t that what McCarten is aiming to target at Mana?

              • So why should the Labour Movement be punished because McCarten has reservations about Phil Goff?

                And a resounding win to Labour in Mana after what was a significant shift to the left would reinforce that decision. The danger is that if Mana is not a good result then some may use this as an argument that Labour should move more to the centre.

                Sorry Carol but McCarten’s decision still does not make any sense to me.

                • Carol

                  micky, I only point to the fact that, from McCarten’s expressed views, I don’t see any contradiction. Whether his judgement is correct is another matter. I don’t have a definite position on what is happening in Mana.

                  I read your views, and then those of people like Jenny above, and I can see some merit in both views. I do want a Labour-led government next year, like their change in focus, and think there’s some useful talent in Labour, and definitely DON’T won’t another NACT term, but also have some reservations about Goff.

                  I don’t know enough about Mana, McCarten, Goff or Fa’afoi to be certain of how things will play out, or how I would want them to unfold. I was not living in NZ in the last couple of decades of the 20th century, and did not witness Goff supporting Douglas, the rise of McCarten or the rise & (beginning of) fall of The Alliance.

                • Bored

                  Just walked to work and listened to the radio…it just reinforced who the audience for “centrist viewpoints” and the status quo is. Maybe Matt is still listening to the same Labour paradigm over the airwaves and has decided that the rhetoric, the mindset and the frame of reference did not really match his expectations. Perhaps he sees it as I do, a smokescreen for more of the same by the same people.

                  You are right, it damages the left on this one seat, but if the Labour message is strong enough, expressed by the candidate, the leader and the party they should whip all comers. I suspect that this is at the heart of the issue. Could it be that Labour cannot represent this type of electorate with any certainty of support against another left candidate? Does that tell Labour something about their positioning.

                  I think that McCarten running might just be the best thing for Labour prior to the general election next year.

                  • M

                    ‘I think that McCarten running might just be the best thing for Labour prior to the general election next year.’

                    Yes, I think so too, as he will keep them on their toes.

                    The way Labour treated its supporters 84-90 was terrible and although better from 99-08 still dragged their heels in giving help to those most in need. Does anyone remember the family in the Sunday paper where the mother’s present for her 30th birthday was a haircut? I think this embarrassed them into implementing WFF. Labour was also slow to drop the automatic $20 deduction from a benefit when a person engaged in some work – only came in the last phase of their governance. Not every voter has a short memory.

                    Labour is going to have to show true repentance before it can be fully supported by its old faithful base. To give full reconciliation before they really change would be like a woman being bought off by an unfaithful lover with a mumbled sorry, box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers.

                    If Labour is to gain a stronger foothold in voters’ hearts then it needs far more public mea culpas than just the Labour Party conference.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      To give full reconciliation before they really change would be like a woman being bought off by an unfaithful lover with a mumbled sorry, box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers.

                      You forgot the hopeless attempt at a home cooked dinner of spag bol.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  To be honest, McCarten standing in Mana just shows that we need STV for electorate voting. This would still see the “resounding win” that you want to see but it will be for the left rather than for Labour.

                  Still, if the left in Mana have the most votes overall and the NACT member wins that would also show a need to dump FPP.

                  • swordfish

                    I see the MSM (for example, Tracy Watkins/and even to some extent the usually-sensible Vernon Small) are still pushing the idea that Laban’s 6100 majority is the benchmark and that anything much less for Fa’afoi would signal a clear defeat for Labour. (The Nats are suggesting anything below 3000 would be a massive coup for them).

                    Watkins – strongly influenced by Farrar – is suggesting that Laban holds the seat for Labour with “one of the country’s biggest majorities”, while Small thinks Fa’afoi is “likely to win because of the massive majority Labour takes into the campaign.” Both describe Mana as “heartland Labour” and a “red-ribbon” seat.

                    Reality check:

                    (1) Two-thirds of current Electorate MPs have majorities larger than Laban’s.

                    (2) A huge chunk of Laban’s 6100+ majority came from non-Labour people who – with the luxury of two votes – could happily cast their Candidate-Vote for Laban. With only ONE by-election vote, most of these 4500 voters are likely to return to their respective parties. The Party-Vote, then, is THE REAL BENCHMARK – a mere 2500 majority for Labour.

                    (3) And then, of course, TURNOUT, TURNOUT, TURNOUT !.

                    I’ve argued this before on this site and I’m just gonna have to keep on doing it.

                    • All the best Swordfish for Saturday.

                      BTW very incisive comments. You obviously understand the area well. We need a Swordfish in each electorate.

                    • gingercrush

                      And how many of those two-thirds are National held electorates in rural and provincial New Zealand and such majorities were made at a time when National’s party vote at an election was an all-time high for a MMP election. In otherwords Labour majorities were always going to be down because their party vote was much lower in 2008 than it has been previous election while National’s is higher.

                      A 6, 000 vote majority for any Labour candidate was significant in 2008 and thus signals that such a seat is very safe for Labour therefore Labour should do very well in the electorate and anything else really is a disappointment.

                    • felix

                      gc you miss swordfish’s central point:

                      Winnie Laban has a lead of 6000, Labour’s is only 2500.

                    • The numbers are close to Mt Albert’s. I thought at the beginning of that campaign that Labour could be in trouble. But a good campaign by David Shearer and a disaster by Melissa Lee and the end result was clear.

                      The lesson is that the local candidate has to be good. My impression of Faafoi is that he is good but Parata is no Lee. So the result will be awaited with interest.

        • Jenny

          MS you could just as easily argue that in the interest of left unity Faafoi should have backed McCarten. This is because a McCarten victory will bring one, and under MMP possibly even another left seat into parliament. This would strengthen the chance of a Labour Led coalition government next term.

          As matters stand at the moment, Labour will not have the coalition partners necessary to govern next year.

          In the interests of left unity Labour supporters should vote Matt McCarten into Mana.

          MS as you said, “Unity is vital for the left”.

          I couldn’t agree more.

          • the pink postman

            The fact is that Labour is the only party for Lefties ,warts and all .
            the other fact is ,like it or not . if Labour moves to far to the Left we lose the voters . The Tories have a field day connecting us to “the Commies” The result more bloody National governments. Just look at how many times they have won in the last 50 years. The same results if we are seen as too close to unions. .Out come the Tory propogander machines .”Who runs the country the Unions or the Government.” What surprises me is that a political activist like Mat McCarten is not aware of this. Socialism and Social Democracy has to be applied slowly but surely. We have to have the majority of the public behind us then we win and win well.
            Mat McCarten has disapointed me , a possible anchor for the Labour Left he has betrayed us all.

        • Jenny


          micky savage:

          Cheriton was right in that McCarten is not going to win. All that he is going to do is make it slightly more likely that National will beat Labour.

          Given the events of just the last 24 hours and the attacks on basic workers’ rights by the Nats why would he want to do something which may increase the chances that they will remain in power?

          MS I think your logic is faulty on this one. McCarten is doing nothing to increase the chances that the Nats will remain in power. (In fact the opposite.)

          Firstly as you well know know, no matter who wins in Mana it will not upset National’s present majority in the House.

          Secondly, as you also know, the only way that Matt McCarten’s campaign could could possibly keep National in power, is if Matt won the Mana seat, and then gave his vote to the Nats.

          Is this what you are suggesting, when you claim that Matt McCarten “may increase the chances that they (National) will remain in power”?

          What else could you be suggesting?

          MS, I would like to challenge you, to explain clearly, how you think Matt’s campaign would keep the Nats in power.

          My guess is you can’t.

          • mickysavage


            Labour losing a log time held stronghold would be a significant blow to morale and would give National undeserved momentum.

            Matt will not win. If he takes enough votes off Faafoi Parata may come through the middle. This is a FPP election. Think FPP.

            • Olwyn

              When St Paul had his moment at Damascus, it changed the way he behaved. He no longer sought out little Christian communities to haul before the authorities; he instead hot-footed it around the Mediterranean telling everyone what a good thing he was onto.

              Similarly, Labour’s return to its roots ought rightly to show up clearly in a bi-election in a poor area, and this in fact may be happening, even if it is not shown in the TV coverage. If it is happening, then Matt McCarten ought not to pose a threat, since a left wing candidate with a party machine behind it has more show of making something happen than a candidate from a fledgling party with a narrow band of issues to discuss.

              Right wing politicians can get away with holding no position and simply being personable, but this approach does not work for the left. People who vote for the left expect more than a smiling face and a feigned interest in their concerns from their representatives.

              • prism

                Right wing politicians can get away with holding no position and simply being personable, but this approach does not work for the left. People who vote for the left expect more than a smiling face and a feigned interest in their concerns from their representatives.

                That puts it well Olwyn. I guess right wing supporters expect and receive commitment and payout with no ‘feigned’ interest from their candidates. The have nots and only justs are not so glamorous and easy to satisfy, but some of their votes will flow to the right if they can be tickled right (to catch the fish). The left to ensure election success need to tickle some of the right, and they are in the position to demand payout ensuring more than feigned interest in their wants.

                • Olwyn

                  What I mean is, it is more readily assumed that a right wing candidate will attend to right wing interests – it is after all, the easy default position. By wandering around being personal, he may get to sway a few undecideds. But it cannot be so readily assumed that a left wing candidate will attend to left wing interests, because attending to those interests is not an easy default and requires effort and commitment. So being personable without revealing any clear commitments makes the left wing candidate look less than trustworthy, more a like careerist than a genuine representative.

            • The Baron

              Fail. Stick to conveyancing, Greg.

              I’ve never heard a more anti-democratic rant anyway. Your problem seems to be that someone dared to stand on Labour’s god given turf. Well sorry pal, it just because it was Labour’s long time stronghold that you need to stave off significant momentum doesn’t mean you are the only ones allowed to stand candidates.

              Surely you trust the people of Mana to make the right decision, and reflect on just how many good years of representation they had from Labour?

              Oh no, you just want them to be forced into binary choices that suit your binary world view.

              Still curious as to how your Te Atatu candidacy is coming along – do you live in the electorate?

              [Why don’t you do mickysavage the courtesy of using his screen name Baron? — r0b]

              • Colonial Viper

                Come on Baron, its a bit too late for you to do the white as driven snow act.

                After all its no accident that Rodney Hide survived in Epsom for so long – strategic electoral politics by the NATs. You know the calculations undertaken in this game full well, there is no need to pretend.

              • The Baron

                Noted thanks r0b – admit I have been waiting for that too.

            • pollywog

              In the best interests of a stronger left and a willingness to ‘keep the bastards honest’ and to preserve the integrity of parliament, Goff should stand down Fa’afoi and throw their campaign weight behind McCarten.

              Fa’afoi is not worthy nor ready to represent ‘his’ people !!!

            • prism

              If Labour decided to work with Matt, if he won, then it would be in the MMP spirit ms.

              Matt upset the Alliance party when he stood for the Auckland mayoralty. Anderton didn’t agree with it. McCarten did it then because he wanted a left choice for voters, as he is saying in Mana. If there is a big difference in what he is asking for and his general stance on local and national problems, then it throws the lack of Labour commitment into relief. Matt is a good yardstick to measure the left by.

              • Matt’s experience with the Auckland mayoralty campaign is a very good reason for him not standing this time.

                He ran a good campaign and highlighted many important issues. He also took Christine Fletcher out and let John Banks win. From memory the margin was about the size of McCarten’s vote. I am no fan of Fletcher but she was not too bad as Mayor and had been able to work with the City Vision councillors and get some good things done.

            • Jenny

              MS I guess, I guessed wrong. Good on you for your come back.

              I hope you forgive me but I think your comeback is a bit weak.

              micky savage:

              Labour losing a log time held stronghold would be a significant blow to morale and would give National undeserved momentum.

              First off. You have offered up a only a subjective reason, rather than any material way that Matt’s Campaign might help National.

              ie that National would feel encouraged and Labour would feel discouraged.

              Since we’re dealing in the subjective, conjecturing how people in these parties would feel at such an upset.

              I would like to posit it is just as likely that National might feel concerned and worried to learn that they could lose their majority in the house.

              And Labour could be encouraged at the possibility of new coalition partner arising to their left.

            • felix

              Mickey I see your point but when you say “Labour Movement” it seems to me like you’re thinking of the “Labour Party”.

              Seriously, if McCarten can take enough votes from Labour by representing working class people’s interests that the Nats win in Mana, then the Labour Party deserve to lose the seat.

              If Labour stand up for the people they claim to speak for – and run a candidate who can speak for them – they’ll piss it in. If not, ce la vie.

              Or as Lockwood might say “The solution is in the members’ own hands”.

              • Felix

                Yep I am equating Labour movement with Labour Party. Blame it on my DNA.

                Over the past month Labour has moved solidly to the left. The Mana campaign may not reflect this but the thinking is way different now.

                Labour is representing working class people’s interests. It is not in power so right now this involves standing up in Parliament and continuously saying what a stupid idea the tories’ reforms are and at the appropriate time voting against them.

                The way that I see it this is the difference. In opposition you speak and vote against, in power you change.

                Labour may not have changed too much too quickly last time but I have this really nostalgic memory of things moving in the right direction.

                • lprent

                  You’re lucky. I tend to think that way myself (in a semi-private manner) because of a lack of any other politically credible and coherent (ie not the greens) vote winning (ok I just lost the alliance fragments, the hardline socialist fragments, the communist fragments, and most social activists unable to cooperate together) parties dedicated to the public interest (ok Act, NZF, and Dunne just disappeared) over the long term (darn I lost National as well). Ummm kind of leaves me with Labour…..

                  However if I ever express that belief in the actions of my public persona helping to run this site, then I can expect to be dealing with e-mail and commentary from both authors and commentators for some time and at some length. Since I’m not the Labour party; just a member, I don’t bother. Besides it is more fun pricking holes in other peoples balloons than standing up and defending a party.

                  It is even more fun keeping just enough of a rein of the boisterous crowd around here with their widely varying beliefs that they can argue without coming to flamewars. I’m pretty sure that is useful as part of the dialogue of the left between themselves and with the participants of the right who can argue.

                • felix

                  I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying, Mickey, but the thing that troubles me is this:

                  If the Mana by-election isn’t a good time to demonstrate the new thinking, the shift to the left, the genuine concern for working class people, then when is?

    • millsy 1.3

      That labour supporter sounds like a Blairite Rogernome to be who should just piss off to National.

      The guy effectively wants wages and conditions held down.

      Captcha: disturbed

    • Green Tea 1.4

      Sorry, but Labour have failed to deliver for working people – that’s why Matt McCarten is standing.

      Why don’t the Labour Party faithful just admit they’re pissed because he’s highlighting the inconvenient truth that Labour doesn’t give a shit about working people? What’s the real purpose of accusing Matt of vote splitting? Is it in the hope that he’ll back off and give the hopeless Kris Faafoi a free ride into Parliament?

      • Bored 1.4.1

        Thanks Green Tea, that makes the point for me, there is a lurking suspicion in my mind that the peoples flag is a shade of pink with Labour, served with Chardonnay.

        I was listening to a social commentator who made the point strongly that the bulk of the population define themselves as, and have become “middle class” in their minds. When we mention “working class” very few of us recognise that we are all to some extent “working class”, unless of course we have transcended this position to be independent or an employer / owner / rentier. It might help Labour if the membership all examined their “relations to production” as defined by Marx…going by that standard the proletariat with “middle class” pretensions is disturbingly large.

        • M

          Yes Bored, you’ve got that right about the subtle shift in people defining themselves as middle class over the years. I think it has been used as a means of pacifying and then controlling most working people by making them feel better about themselves socially and economically and maybe for the more insecure to have someone else to look down on.

  2. In June 1991 in an address to the trilateral commission David Rockefeller was quoted as saying, “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National autodetermination practiced in past centuries.”

    If you want to know what that means, Ladies and gentleman I give you William Montague the third

    What do you reckon can Labour step up to the challenge issued by John Key and stop the rorting? Or will we go to slaughter like the sheep mentioned by William Montague the third.

    • higherstandard 2.1

      You sound like an advert for the Glenn Beck show.

      If you don’t believe me have a lookee at this.


      • travellerev 2.1.1

        Dear HS,

        I know this is very hard for you to understand but Glenn Beck is a paid mouth piece for the ruling elite.

        He is used to make people like you very confused. And judging by your reaction it works.

        This is a very revealing documentary about Fox news. It’s from 2004 and Beck has only started his dancing bear routing in the last year or so but never the less it is very informative.

        Here is an open letter from Alex Jones to Glenn Beck confronting him about his antics and before I get another barrage over me about Alex Jones; apart from his views on 911 and the TSA and police state activities and his passion to stand up for what he believes is right, I probably don’t share a whole lot of his other views (Christian, Anti abortion, Pro weapon, Anti illegal alien (He has a huge and culturally and racially mixed audience and his problem with illegal aliens is not with them being mostly Mexican but with they way they have been used to break the labour movement so wages went down and he sees them as victims also from the “Free trade” agreements ) )

        He is however becoming a force to be reckoned with in the US (and around the world) as a result of a huge grass root support (From both the the left and the right) financed by nothing other than money bombs (Days on which people can give him money which they seem to do in huge numbers) and the sale of video’s and books and the ads from people who sell from natural soaps and how to grow food in your backyard DVDs to millionaires who want to get people to learn how to defend themselves with guns. He is able to get through to people via the internet and other non mainstream media outlets and he does so refusing to have anything to do with the big news corporations and is therefore to most people more accessible and trust worthy and he uses that to bring issues such as the TSA harrasment, 911 survivors etc, straight from the people affected by it to his audience avoiding any intervention from the big News corps.

        It is our contention (Glenn Beck has about 5 people on his staff monitoring Alex Jones’s show 24/7) that Glenn Beck is used to divert people from Alex Jones’s news cast by usurping his over the top American ranting style (well worth having the occasional listen to because it is so hugely American, informative and its free) and messages in order to break his popularity .

        I know that HS you really don’t have that many brain cells available and that you would be a prime Glenn Beck target because rather than applying those few brain cells and actually try to learn something you take his cue and run with it. Don’t worry you’re not alone. In fact quit a lot of people here probably fall for the same tactic.

        Kind regards,


    • Bored 2.2

      Feck that was brilliant, keep em coming.

  3. Maybe Mark Solomon and Rick Tau could explain how Ngai Tahu has enough money to splash around so they can attend every race meeting held in the South Island. Both these greedy magpie maoris are on the treaty gravy train. Both are scum criminals laughing at silly white man.

    • freedom 3.1

      by default are they not also laughing at Maori who like many of the silly white man, are also facing declining standards of living

    • hateatea 3.2

      Have you evidence that the money that they may or may not spend at the race meetings that they attend comes from Ngāi Tahu? Granted that Mr Solomon is the Kaiwhakahaere and receives payment for that role but that is his to spend as he wishes.

      I am unaware of H R Tau (Rik) being in receipt of payment from Ngāi Tahu.

      If your assertion is that iwi money is being used you should notify the relevant authorities rather than readers of this blog.

      Being Ngāi Tahu, having participated in the Treaty process and attending race meetings do not make people criminals nor scum fortunately for you as you must have done at least one of these things yourself.

    • prism 3.3

      d4j That’s ugly and your pseudonym sounds pseudo d4j. That sort of malicious smug racist talk doesn’t advance thought on the problem. KKK stuff.

      • dad4justice 3.3.1

        Would you like the name of Mark’s dealer? Yeah right. Ask Rick about the CFM Picnic Fund then run.
        Don’t call me a racist you thick morons. These two should be behind bars.

  4. freedom 4

    The Prime Minister of Greece says what we all know. Carbon Tax is a revenue generator with nothing to do with environmental issues.

    • nzfp 4.1

      Hey freedom,

      Carbon Tax is a revenue generator with nothing to do with environmental issues

      What? No…. You don’t say? Maybe Carbon Tax is needed to fight terrorism? See my post from yesterday at “17 November 2010 at 1:03 pm” for a laugh… All about Carbon Tax and fighting terrorists.

      • freedom 4.1.1

        Yes i am preaching to the choir in regards to the motive for a Carbon Tax, the reason i posted the above link was it is a Prime Minister saying it is. This is a first, and will probably fall under the knife of a revisionist edit over the next few days and it will be explained what he really meant to say, that we all took it out of context, and he never really said it anyway as it was all just lights reflecting off swamp gas, or some equally vapid economic coverstory

        – re your link yesterday, loved it.
        he should write his own sitcom,
        instead of playing out the tragedy he has cast himself in

  5. ianmac 5

    Yesterday in the House Anne Tolley was pleased to report that “60% of schools were somewhat ready to institute National Standards.” Well I thought. Things seem to be looking up for Anne. But then I find that just 80 schools out of 2,000+ schools were surveyed! Remember when 240 protesting schools were regarded by Ann Tolley as insignificant?
    “The ERO evaluation was based on information collected from 80 primary and intermediate schools during term three this year.”

    • freedom 5.1

      ‘somewhat prepared’ is a phrase I would prefer not to see used to describe the implementation of massive changes to the education system in New Zealand

      let’s look at it another way
      The building’s foundation was ‘somewhat prepared’ before the construction began.

      The brakes on the vehicle were somewhat prepared to face the steep gradient.

      i am ‘somewhat prepared’ to face the day after only one cup of coffee,
      but i would never consider that to be an alert and competent state

  6. nzfp 6

    Here’s another wee gem:
    The MailOnline reported Wednesday 17th November 2010 “Days after British Gas raises bills by 7% firm announces profits will be more than £2.2BILLION”
    The Mail Reported that:

    Earlier this month, Centrica-owned British Gas said it would put up its prices by 7per cent on December 10, blaming a 25 per cent increase in wholesale gas prices.

    While at the same time:

    The amount of gas and oil it produced was expected to rise by 50 per cent year-on-year, helped by drilling new wells in the North Sea.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Drilling new wells is expensive. By definition, the new wells must be more difficult/costly/risky to produce than the old wells, or they would’ve drilled them first.

      Having said that, you’d think they could absorb a 7% price rise into their 2.2B profit without too much fuss.

      • nzfp 6.1.1

        Ae L,
        That’s the point! Someone is rorting the system. Of course now they are blaming the cold winter:

        The UK’s biggest energy supplier benefited from one of the coldest winters in 30 years, which caused shivering households to crank up the heating, helping sales of gas by volume to rise by 8 per cent in the period.

        But the old winter had a negative effect:

        Despite the huge profits hike at the residential arm, the British Gas services business saw operating profits fall 3 per cent to £109 million in the first half of the year as the big chill sparked a record level of callouts.

        the next quote is telling…

        The company’s engineers repaired up to 35,000 boilers a day during the coldest period, the firm said, while volumes at its Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea fell to record low levels.

        Something which seems to be a function of lack of investment in infrastructure.

        Nationalise the natural monopolies and provide them at a loss to the rest of the economy and watch the system literally light up.

        While your at it – take the Publicly owned Bank of England – outlaw fractional reserve banking – and invest debt free UK pounds into rebuilding the UK infrastructure as well as investment in green sustainable energy.

        • Colonial Viper

          While your at it – take the Publicly owned Bank of England – outlaw fractional reserve banking – and invest debt free UK pounds

          ^ +1

          The interest and fees charged by the banks (not just to us as individuals but to SME’s and indeed to entire countries), as well as their ability to instantaneously tighten money supply to the whole economy with their control of credit, has become a systemic burden on society.

          Do NZ homeowners struggling to pay off their mortgages understand that they go to work every day to benefit the incomes and lifestyles of banking sector shareholders in Sydney.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Looks like our PM is on a charm offensive to NATs core rural constituency


    “PM slams Save the Farms lobby group “

    Mr Key told farmers that sales to foreigners prevented farm prices from falling dramatically.

    Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard did not agree with him, Mr Key said.

    “But I, for the life of me, cannot see why farm purchase prices could stay at this level if there were no overseas purchasers available.” Mr Key told the conference he had accepted an invitation from the Save the Farms group to speak to them.

    They wanted no sales, leasing agreements or corporate ownership stakes for foreigners in any farms, orchards or vineyards.

    “That is pretty hardcore and that’s putting it bluntly,” he said. “I don’t think any country I’ve seen actually has that level of prohibition on it – maybe North Korea.”

    • Bored 7.1

      Its all a bit of a laugh really, farm prices if the economy was “rational” would reflect the productive return. That this is so far out of whack with reality demonstrates very clearly that the world view of capitalism has yet to accept that you cann no longert mortgage today on tomorrows expected returns. In the case of farms it is the expectation that you can afford the capital cost of the farm by paying next year or the year after with constantly increasing production and returns. Like the rest of the growth model we are addicted to this ignores that only some many cows can eat as much grass as it is possible to grow, and therefore productive capacit is finite. In fact it is going to decrease as fuel and chemical inputs become less available and cost more. Expect a lot of bankrupcies.

      If I were a foreign investor with surplus cash I would not be buying right now, best to wait for the prices to crash.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        One reason foreign currency rich countries like China are buying hard assets now and not waiting for their prices to crash is that they are worried that the USD and other foreign denominated holdings they have now are going to become worthless in the foreseeable future.

      • ianmac 7.1.2

        What bothers me is when the investment of the business (dairy farm) is running at a loss in spite of record payouts, and if the mortgage is too tough, the investor (dairy farmer) demands to get as much money as he can from foreign buyers, with the consent and approval of John Key. Surely it is the responsibility of the farmer to be prudent rather than greedy? And if he gets it wrong like all the other folk in the country, he should face the fact of mortgagee sale without inflating the cost of land in the future.

    • Red Rosa 7.2

      North Korea? More like Iowa, JK. They take their prime farmland seriously.

      You cannot simply rock up and buy land in Iowa.


      Not that FF would want to know.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Vodafone: our heart belongs to Telecom http://goo.gl/oQKyQ Well, it appears that the “competition” understand that having multiple networks is a waste of time and money. So, when are our parliamentarians going to do the same and renationalise the telecommunications network?

  9. Finance Minister Bill English says Westpac should front up to its customers and explain why it is paying its New Zealand boss a record $5.59 million in a tough economic environment.


    yeah fair enough Bill, but it sounds like you’re a wee bit jealous you can only screw a few thou at a time out of the great unwashed in the current climate…

    …unless you do a ‘hit and run’ through a blind trust under the gov’t guarantees scheme on an unsuspecting finance company

    even then it’s not like you’re gonna do anything about a fatcat salary cap other than what you’ve done…issue a press statement saying you think its a bit off…

    PFFFFT you may as well have done nothing which in effect is what you will do !!!

    if you really want to go in and bat for the little people. Get the wunch of bankers to wipe transaction fees on ATMs and make dishonour fees for failed automatic payments illegal.

    its fucking criminal that they can charge us a flat fee of up to $25 per failed AP but only pay out a percentage of interest on the balance of an account.

    they should charge a percentage of interest on whatever was in the account when the payment failed and just the once, not for every single transaction.

  10. ak 10

    (wunch! love it, ta poll)

  11. ianmac 11

    A “wunch of bankers…” Wow! Do they wear a lot of jewellery and wear very dark glasses and live in guarded mansions and get escorted by dark men wearing dark glasses?
    Actually Polly the PSIS and Kiwibank are as generous as any, and both strangely enough are NZ owned. At least until John and Bill take over as a wunch of wankers, or even a wunch of bankers.

    • nzfp 11.1

      as a wunch of wankers, or even a wunch of bankers

      Oh… huh… is there a difference…?

    • pollywog 11.2

      Actually Polly the PSIS and Kiwibank are as generous as any…

      Kiwibank still charge 7 bucks as a dishonour fee on a missed automatic payment.

      it’d be different if they honoured the payment and then charged for covering the shortfall, but nah…and its not like it cost the bank time and money for a real live teller to set up a payment, or do anything, cos it’s AUTOMATIC.

      i set ’em up from home, online and it costs me $2 for the privilege of doing it….like WTF is that all about as well ???

      so how is it banks can afford to pay their execs millions ?…by creaming off and preying on its less affluent customers in times of hardship and oh yeah, power companies do the same.

      if some cant afford to pay their power bill regularly and have to redirect AP money towards more pressing needs, how the hell can they afford to pay the $25 dishonour fee ?

      it’s bad enough being poor, but to be fined and punished for it as well is a bitter pill to swallow.

  12. Jenny 12

    Flood tides in England

    Who can I blame for rising seas

    I blame the penguins.
    I blame the penguins with their mighty march,
    They set a bad example
    Small and fat and smelly,
    they waddle carelessly
    across nature’s boundaries

    I blame the gazelles
    The ones with black stripes
    on brown and white bellies,
    I blame them for the rising seas
    Elegant and clumsy like a herd of dusty bees
    migrating across the plain
    from a scarcity of their own making
    that evicts them from the savannah

    I blame the sky.
    I blame the sky above the penguins stream-lined heads
    Uncaring the rings of Saturn rotate around their orbit
    And Neptune, Pluto, Mars, the Moon,
    All smugly complimenting each other,
    By circumnavigating celestially

    I blame the sky and the Earth itself.
    When under a thousand gazelle hooves
    Tectonic plates shift, and continents drift.

    I blame the sea, pouring itself over the sand
    following the bad example set by the penguins
    I blame the sea
    I go down to the salty water
    And like King Canute shake my fists at the surf
    as it breaks on the shore
    and shout;
    ‘go back to where you came from you whore!’

    Ellen Factor

  13. Mrhappy 13

    … So is it Wong of me to inquire why this government is so totally Worthless??

    • ianmac 13.1

      I have just come in from sewing some pansy seeds in my garden. The sparrows flew away when I laughed at the irony. Hope the flowers flourish.

  14. Fisiani 14

    Did the thugs and bullies from Kris Faafoi and Matt McCarten’s camp have a suicide bid in their bad behaviour to John Key today in Porirua. Please let it be on all news broadcasts.

    • Vicky32 14.1

      Something was, but heaven only knows what really happened! 3 News’ bias is so well known to me that I have to discount everything they say when I hear Patrick Gower’s ugly voice…

      • Anne 14.1.1

        It was your typical MSM TV beat-up about nothing. Apart from one lady McCarten supporter who was a bit ‘in your face’, there was no thuggish, bullying, suicidal behaviour as portrayed by Fisiani. A bit of chanting from some Labourites in the background and that was all.

        One thing that really does annoy me though is the inevitable Labour activist who falls straight into a trap set for them. In this case Patrick Gower asks where a woman lives? “Dunedin” she proudly announces, thus giving Key the opportunity to brand the whole group as “a rent a crowd”.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Q: In this case Patrick Gower asks where a woman lives?

          A: Why don’t you report on the issues?

          • Anne

            Not sure what you’re insinuating Pb. Live the other end of the island mate. Couldn’t hear what issues were involved. Saw the TV3 item and was refuting Fisiani’s claims. A mildly negative comment about a protestor is not a deadly sin. She didn’t know how her answer would be portrayed. All the more reason to be careful – especially in the penultimate day of a campaign.

            • Carol

              I understood PB to be answering Gower’s question. ie Why doesn’t Gower report on the issues?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Yep, if gower asks a stupid question, ask him why he isn’t doing something useful instead.

                (and not meaning it as a criticism of the woman Gower chose to use to extend his stupid meme)

  15. NickS 15


    It’s like these people live in a fantasy world, in which sexual discrimination and violence is either doesn’t exist, or is “not a problem” (translation; it’s their own fault). More disturbing is the commenter how treats taxes as though they’re the source of your legal rights and is deluded enough to think that anyone not on a benefit doesn’t pay net tax.

    Sheesh, I know Lindsay’s to the right, but I assumed she didn’t entirely ignore reality, and that the comment threads didn’t contain the same delusional bullshit as kiwiblog and the sewer…

    And going back to the gold standard? I’d find it lawl-tastic if it wasn’t for the seriousness over it.

    • Carol 15.1

      Oh, it’s the individualist philosophy. Ie, they basically have little understanding of social processes and assume everybody has the same privileges and choices. No individual is anything on there own….. no (wo)man is an island.

      • Zorr 15.1.1

        Temptation to troll those stupid RWNJs… rising…

        Though they would probably be too dense to even realise

        • NickS

          There’s also the fact you’ll probably get deleted/ban-hammered. Which is why I wisely posted here instead…

    • NickS 15.2

      Didn’t think/get to edit in time:

      Part of the problem with the gold standard is that it’s a choice made on scarcity, scarcity which could be interrupted easily by new discoveries of gold, sea-water processing finally getting off the ground or worse yet, off world gold deposits. Along with the whole “tradition” meme.

      Question is, why not pin currency to energy instead? Or sheep? Or randbots? (If one tends towards the absurd, though it does take a certain special type of mind to think Ayn Rand’s works have any more resemblance to reality than Stalinism, or communist utopias.Energy’s a bit easier to handle though than a quarter of a randbot, and less messy.)

      • KJT 15.2.1

        Currency does not have to be based on anything. 98% of money now is fiat currency issued by private banks.

        Its issue is too important to be left to banks instead of being under democratic control.

        There are well known problems with resource based currencies and no real reason why a currency should be resource based to be credible.

        All currency is a token of labour productivity, present or future.

        The trillions of US$ debt at present exceeds any possible future US productivity many times.

        For a sustainable economy we need to return to the idea of money as a medium of exchange, not as a commodity which can be magically increased in a computer unsupported by work.

        The central bank should be the only issuer of money and the whole concept of interest and charges on the economy by the financial sector needs to be revisited.

        Their share of GDP has grown rapidly since the withdrawal of restrictions on them since the 70’s (80’s in NZ) without any corresponding benefits to society as a whole.

        Instead we are all supposed to have austerity imposed on us to pay their gambling losses.

    • prism 15.3

      I see from LMitchell’s profile on her blog that she started her social welfare crusade in 2001. I wonder what unfortunate event happened in her life at that time?

    • M 15.4

      Lindsay Mitchell is a truly remarkable woman – it would take some doing to best her meanness.

      Having read her letters to the Dom over the years it would appear she hates her fellow wo/man and for anyone down on their luck, they’d better lucky up quickly or if she had her way she’d beat them with the big stick.

      The funny thing with people like her who believe in individual responsibility or user pays is that they haven’t had much bad luck or are unlikely to do so, but if anything goes wrong they’re first in line with palms outstretched. I remember Jenny Shipley getting her angioplasty on the public – if she truly believed in individual responsibility and user pays she would have fronted up to a private hospital and shouldered all the cost herself if uninsured or would have had most of the cost defrayed by health insurance – she certainly could afford it.

      Nice ‘girls’ like Jenny and Lindsay have had education, have married nice guys, have never missed a meal in their lives (Jenny is real evidence of that) and have managed to position themselves into careers or activities that mean they have some form of fulfillment.

      If a person is unemployed because the economy is in freefall or unemployable through a bad family situation whilst growing up with education not high on the priority list, learning disability or chronic health condition then they should just get over it and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, by gum!

      Women who have had to flee relationships for whatever reason with children in her dream world are useless eaters who deserve nothing – if mothers can’t get a job by the end of the week with free childcare then sod them. Wonder if she advises them to go on the game? It would be interesting to know what percentage of women on the DPB remarry to escape the scourge of been labeled a DPB slapper – I know women who have done this and it’s awful – I feel sorry for the men involved as well as these women.

      Live in crappy accommodation or don’t have enough money for food (no, not talking about the drink, ciggies or TAB crowd here) then tough shit, get asthma and starve.

      • Vicky32 15.4.1

        “It would be interesting to know what percentage of women on the DPB remarry to escape the scourge of been labeled a DPB slapper – I know women who have done this and it’s awful – I feel sorry for the men involved as well as these women.”
        I almost did! (And would have if I could – thanks be to God that it all went pear-shaped owing to his immigration (from Germany) issues. What an escape and it was all so unnecessary, though I didn’t think so at the time.)

  16. NickS 16

    Via Pharyngula:

    The Shadow Scholar

    The man who writes your students’ papers tells his story
    By Ed Dante

    Editor’s note: Ed Dante is a pseudonym for a writer who lives on the East Coast. Through a literary agent, he approached The Chronicle wanting to tell the story of how he makes a living writing papers for a custom-essay company and to describe the extent of student cheating he has observed. In the course of editing his article, The Chronicle reviewed correspondence Dante had with clients and some of the papers he had been paid to write. In the article published here, some details of the assignment he describes have been altered to protect the identity of the student.

    The request came in by e-mail around 2 in the afternoon. It was from a previous customer, and she had urgent business. I quote her message here verbatim (if I had to put up with it, so should you): “You did me business ethics propsal for me I need propsal got approved pls can you will write me paper?”

    I’ve gotten pretty good at interpreting this kind of correspondence. The client had attached a document from her professor with details about the paper. She needed the first section in a week. Seventy-five pages.

    I told her no problem.

    Excuse me while I put my jaw back in place…


    The best part? The seminary students getting his company to write for them, about teh evils of teh modern world, like homosexual marriage, gays, evolution, lying.

    The worst, teachers? nurses and anyone with serious responsibilities using the service.

    The moderately troubling bit? The science and engineering students getting him to do their work, especially post-grad stuff.

    This guys a fricken genius too, as he’s able to take any information and make sense of it to produce professional looking documents (well, close enough to professional), and he’ll be in business until we have expert systems capable of analysing writing styles and digging out rapid changes. And as for research papers? Given some the horrors I’ve seen published [insert standard “this methodology section is making my eyes bleed” story here], or heard published, with the right name attached, it’s not that hard…

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    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago