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Open mike 18/11/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 18th, 2011 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

78 comments on “Open mike 18/11/2011 ”

  1. Bored 1

    From Stuff this morning.
    The richest 1 per cent of the population owns three times more than the combined cash and assets of the poorest 50 per cent.

    Though it is often lauded overseas as an egalitarian society, New Zealand’s income inequality statistics are much worse than those of most other developed nations. More than 200,000 Kiwi children live below the poverty line.

    One can only conclude looking at the Polls that we are a heartless venal bunch of bastards. Or maybe just idiots for siding with the crapheads who promote this type of society.

    • Carol 1.1

      Yes, I just read the article:


      The Dominion Post has investigated the group’s claims to measure just how big the gulf is here between the haves and have nots. A Statistics New Zealand report says the richest inhabitants’ net wealth runs into tens of millions of dollars, but is “likely to be underestimated”.

      The report’s 2004 data – the latest available – reveals the richest 10 per cent collectively possess $128 billion in wealth, with median individual wealth of $255,000. In contrast, the poorest 10 per cent collectively possess $17.2b, with median individual wealth of $3200. While the richest 1 per cent held 16.4 per cent of the country’s net wealth, the poorest 50 per cent owned just 5.2 per cent.

      Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows New Zealand’s income inequality climbed dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s after sweeping economic reforms and deregulation of labour markets.

      Disparities have plateaued since 2000, largely thanks to Working for Families tax credits, bigger pay packets for middle and low-income earners and declining investment returns for the rich.

      But the gap between rich and poor still ranked ninth worst in the developed world in 2008.

      And at the bottom of the article is the response from each party to this news/situation.
      National/Key’s response is all waffly aspirational, grow the economy and jobs. Act/Brash’s is also fairly waffley. Labour/Goff and The Greens/Turie are more specific, mentioning their policies to change the situation.

      • Tigger 1.1.1

        Yes National, your youth rate is really going to close that gap…

      • vto 1.1.2

        Such disparity is clearly the result of the country’s regulatory and legislative settings in areas like taxation, wage rates, welfare support, employment law, union restrictions and wider commercial regs.

        The settings have been set and the water has found its level ….. at these ridiculous and frankly completely rude differences.

        If the settings mentioned above are all adjusted appropriately then the water will find a new level ….. at differences that are more reflective of the contributions each person makes to society.

        It (this enormous gulf, not a general gulf) is nothing to do with who works harder or takes the greater risk or creates the most benefit for society, it is all to do with the government rules and regs.

        • Galeandra

          Yeah, but wealth controls the discourse, so the settings will always be optimal for wealth concentration with just sufficient for the rest to prevent outright civil disintegration.

          Maybe that’s why the PM can refuse to discuss tea drinking because the ‘public’ are only interested in ‘the economy’, while at the same time National doesn’t even attempt to provide policy answers on the Q & A site, or go on RNZ to discuss said policies.

          • vto

            Yes well it wrong that wealth controls much of the discourse. That is why we have a form of democracy. That is why we must be ever vigilant against this type of creeping change. After all, most of the world for most of its history has been under the control of heavily concentrated power.

        • Jenny

          Such disparity is clearly the result of the country’s regulatory and legislative settings in areas like taxation, wage rates, welfare support, employment law, union restrictions and wider commercial regs.


          Below is some tax policy that that begins to address this disparity:

          18 November 2011

          MANA Finds Friends in Strange Places

          MANA economic justice spokesperson John Minto says MANA is surprised to find friends in strange places with no less than 39% of major New Zealand company chief executives supporting a Financial Transactions Tax in the New Zealand Herald’s “Mood of the Boardroom” survey released yesterday.

          He says the CEOs were asked for their attitude to an FTT involving “a low tax on transactions involving equities, bonds, currency deals and derivatives”, and an astonishing 39% agreed.

          “We thought the wealthy 1% would be the last to join the MANA call for a Hone Heke Financial Transactions Tax,” Mr Minto said.

          “But these businesspeople are responding to international momentum building up behind this tax.

          “Debate has taken off around the world and the FTT is now elbowing its way to the centre of economic debate in New Zealand where such a tax would have major benefits.
          “When even the most right-wing businesspeople are seeing the benefits of such a tax then neo-liberal parties like Labour and National should take notice.

          “An FTT on currency speculators would have the effect of stabilising and reducing the value of the New Zealand dollar (we have the 11th most traded currency in the world) which will bring in more money from exports as well as bringing in enough revenue to abolish GST.

          “GST is a tax on the poor and has to go. The bottom 10% of income earners pay 14% of their income on GST while the top 10% pay just 4% of their income on GST.

          “An FTT which abolishes GST will enable New Zealand to shift the tax burden from the poor to wealthy individuals and parasitic financial institutions.”

          Mr Minto says it’s a win-win tax for New Zealand.

          For further information contact John Minto

          MANA Media Liaison: Peter Verschaffelt

          Email media@mana.net.nz Web http://mana.net.nz

          • Draco T Bastard

            “When even the most right-wing businesspeople…

            Not all business people are hard right-wingers.

            “GST is a tax on the poor and has to go. The bottom 10% of income earners pay 14% of their income on GST while the top 10% pay just 4% of their income on GST.

            Although I believe it (it’s why National put GST up to 15% while cutting taxes for the rich) I’d like to see the research and figures that prove it.

            …and parasitic financial institutions.

            Wouldn’t it be better just to ban the parasitic institutions?

      • In Vino Veritas 1.1.3

        Carol, surely this is a joke? No self respecting report would have put their name to this drivel? For instance:

        “But the gap between rich and poor still ranked ninth worst in the developed world in 2008”.

        Given that earlier in the article the writer stated “The report’s 2004 data – the latest available”, how can a judgement be made that we are ninth in 2008, given there is no data for 2008? Warning bells, surely?

        Oh, and on the 04 data, wasnt this after 5 years of Labour government, and during a period of the best economic conditions of a generation?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Given that earlier in the article the writer stated “The report’s 2004 data – the latest available”, how can a judgement be made that we are ninth in 2008, given there is no data for 2008?

          Easy. Extrapolate decreasing wages for the majority with the fact that the top 151 people increased their net wealth by $7b in one year.

          Oh, and on the 04 data, wasnt this after 5 years of Labour government, and during a period of the best economic conditions of a generation?

          You may not have noticed but the increasing gap started after the neo-liberal reforms of the 1980s. It’s been getting worse ever since except over the time from 2000 to 2008 when it closed slightly. Then the GFC happened and it widened again.

          • Colonial Viper

            You may not have noticed but the increasing gap started after the neo-liberal reforms of the 1980s.

            That is in fact why The Powers That Be launched the global neoliberal reforms.

          • In Vino Veritas

            So Draco, you propose that the conclusions drawn by the journo responsible for the article are by “extrapolation” rather than factual information? Now I see where you get some of your left field views from. You make stuff up!!

            I note that you have mentioned the top 151 people increasing their wealth by $7billion. I assume these numbers have come from the NBR rich list. Best you have a look through, say the top 20 on that list. Tell me how many actually live and have business’s in NZ.

            For eg: Graeme Hart’s wealth is almost entirely generated offshore and taxed accordingly, since it is unlikely that he is a tax resident of NZ. The Chandler brothers, Richard and Chris, have lived offshore for years. Again, their business interests are offshore and taxed in the jurisdictions where the income is earned. To that you can add Owen Glenn, Sir Michael Fay, David Richwhite, Eric Watson. There, I’ve done some of the legwork for you. What you need to do now, is sort out the actual numbers re those left in NZ, and their relative increase in wealth to get an accurate perspective.

            Also, do some reading on the time value of money. When you have some, put it in the bank at an interest rate, do nothing and it actually increases! Amazing!

            • Draco T Bastard

              The decreasing incomes for the majority and the increasing net wealth of the minority is observed fact.

              Also, do some reading on the time value of money. When you have some, put it in the bank at an interest rate, do nothing and it actually increases! Amazing!

              Money in itself has no value. Interest is theft, a way to gain without work.

              • In Vino Veritas

                And, Draco, on that same note, Socialism is theft.

                • McFlock

                  Well, if we are getting that fundamental:
                  Capitalism is theft from the poor by the rich;
                  Socialism is when the poor “steal” it back.

    • Olwyn 1.2

      Shamubeel Eaqub says, in relation to the rich/poor divide, “The big issue isn’t in terms of whether low income people have assets, but whether they have enough to live decently.”

      While he is right up to a point, he does not take into account the fact that a lack of assets in a place like NZ plays a big part in being able to live decently – in fact the wealth gap is probably a bigger driver of inequality than the wage gap. NZ used to have a very high proportion of home ownership, supplemented by a stable state housing policy, both of which have been seriously eroded over the past 20-30 years. Being subject to the changing whims of landlords and policies may not cause starvation, but does deprive people of a base upon which to build a life, even a modest life. The realistic appraisal that all industry is under threat and underpaid here, and that there is little hope of getting a foothold in the place if you do not already have one are the two main factors driving the exodus to Australia.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        “The big issue isn’t in terms of whether low income people have assets, but whether they have enough to live decently.”

        Actually, it is. People with assets can be rentiers and increase their income even without working. People without assets can’t.

        Capitalism creates poverty by by shifting the communities wealth into the ownership and control of a few.

        • Olwyn

          I may not have made myself clear enough Draco. I meant that people need assets in the sense of security of dwelling, whether through widespread home ownership or some other model. The lack of this, in a country where home ownership has decreased, casual landlording has increased, and state housing is under threat, plays a large part in locking people into poverty. I certainly did not mean that if we could all be rentiers then we would all be well off.

    • uke 1.3

      What the story only implies:
      John Key is a 1%-er.

  2. logie97 2


    Where does Campbell get off thinking it valid journalism to resurrect
    the worm for assessing public opinion on his show, when the worm,
    in this case, is a downloadable app on smart phones that only a few can afford?
    Some group some where in our “monitoring-of-practice-around-election-behaviour”
    should be on to this one. Particularly as there was “serious” analysis of the results
    on his programme …

  3. jaymam 3

    Paul Goldsmith at last night’s Epsom candidate meeting while the “elephant in the room” was being talked about by David Parker:

    • Uturn 3.1

      It looks like he’s just finished a big piece of turd pie.

    • Jenny 3.2

      I hate to see a grown man cry, but it looks as though Goldsmith is about to break into tears with the news that he is still leading in the polls and is likely to win Epsom for National and not ACT.

  4. kriswgtn 4

    a pisstake on jokey hens life and

    Go and listen – its farkin funny and spread it thru yr networks guys n gals 😛


    • Janice 4.1

      Good one except who knows what charities his (increased) goes too?

      • kriswgtn 4.1.1

        Would love to know what charities get his salary ?- considering alot of them run on the smell of a oily rag aye

        Not many if any– springz 2 mind

        He is too greedy to donate all of his salary

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        Good one except who knows what charities his (increased) goes too?

        National’s Waitemata Trust.

  5. Keeshy 5

    Have you seen this one….so true!

  6. Good to see the politicians tightening their belts and only accepting a 1.5% payrise and 5k bonus.

    Leading by example that’s what we like to see.

    MPs ‘don’t deserve’ pay rise

    The Remuneration Authority, the independent body that sets politicians’ pay, has given MPs a salary increase of 1.5 per cent plus a $5000 payment to compensate for their scrapped international travel perks. The changes have bumped up a backbencher’s pay from $134,800 to $141,800, backdated to July 1 this year.


    • kriswgtn 6.1

      Still far too much

      how bout 20 cents a hour? like the rest of us on minimum wage

      • Rob 6.1.1

        You earn 20c per hour Kris, really.

        • kriswgtn

          a increase of 20 cents a hour like Key gave to minimum wage earners- i earn a bit more than minimum wage but still is fuk all and i resent that MP’s r gona get 7k increase a year
          r u that dumb?

  7. ianmac 7

    Interesting that Joyce says on RNZ that their internal polling says that 80%+ people think that there are more important issues to discuss than tea-tapes. Wow! Fancy that. Most people would say that but the credibility/stability of our PM is also important. Joyce says we should be discussing the important issues like the economy. True but why won’t Key, who has been made the focus of everything, front up for serious interviews on those serious issues? That man is arrogant and treats the voters with contempt.
    Where are the Government Ministers for interview and could they front for more than just reading statements?
    Where is Key on serious interviews?
    Afraid to face the Nation?

    • Dv 7.1

      How many times has Joyce refused morning report interviews?

    • freedom 7.2

      if Policy is so important to them, why won’t they answer the RNZ Q+A Policy questions?
      These guys are just sitting there with middle fingers raised high.

      I do not put it past them to have rigged something that they retain power no matter what the ballots say.

      I do not trust these self serving arse-licking maggot spewing lap dogs of the Industrial-Military-Corpocracy,

      (apologies to maggots everywhere which are, as we all know, very useful little critters)

      • Janice 7.2.1

        Unfortunately with the “Over the teacups” gossip, Labour’s policies, asset sales, CGT, Phil Goff’s meetings, etc, etc, are getting sidelined and not reported. Was this the initial strategy that has just got out of hand?

  8. My friend keeps telling me the Jesus Christ was the first socialist in the world and the consertave government of the day did not like his message and crucified him.

    That was how anxious they were to close down a socialist view, I am beginning to think she is right, here we have another conservative government trying to close down the socialist view.

    Are they any different than the Romans, they have different methods these days but….. would they call themselves christians and look upon Jesus as their savour…. go figure they don’t know what they are talking about.

  9. LynW 9

    Well said Deborah Hill Cone. I share the very same thoughts with regard to the Zac Guildford issue. I was also struck by the contrast between the reaction to Guildford and that meted out by this National Government to run-of-the-mill “criminals”.

    Deborah Hill Cone
    ‘While Zac Guildford gets forgiveness and life coaching, run-of-the-mill crims get locked up and ignored.”


    “National does not seem to see this double standard. It has run an increasingly punitive law and order policy which seems to have been ghost-written by the Sensible Sentencing Trust.”

    • vto 9.1

      Exactly. Reflected also in the example of hypocrisy by ACT and Sensible Sentencing over their hard stance on crims and soft stance on David Garrett’s crimes.

      Another example – name suppression for high profile or rich crims because it “would affect their life so much” whereas the ordinary worker down the road gets no suppression even though it “would affect their life even more, relatively”.

      People notice these things and the slow downward slide in standing of the supposed upper-echelons of society continues and is increasing ….

  10. Is the media munting our democracy? They certainly seem to overuse and abuse their power.

  11. Jackal 12

    Questioning Bill English

    Over the last couple of days I’ve been asking a few questions of Bill English through his website…

  12. uke 13

    Must say, whatever you think of his politics and methods, Winston Peters certainly has the gift of the gab. It’s been refreshing to hear a fluent speaking style on the radio after all the bland waffle of the last 3 years.

    • tc 13.1

      Winnie’s not everyone’s cuppa but at least you know what you’ll get from him and I agree with a previous blogger that at least he’s got kudos from the Winebox saga.

      Which is more than the NACT can claim in terms of honesty or achievement as all they’ve done in 3 years is take a zero nett debt position they inherited from the fiscally prudent clark/cullen era and plunder it for their mates and backers benefits at the expense of hard working struggling kiwis.

      • Bored 13.1.1

        Hoping beyond hope for this scenario…..tied election with Winnie back……Key and Goff approach Winnie who says, “Hey guys, my price is that we re open the Winebox, push through legislation with massive penalties for corporate fraud etc etc etc………”!

  13. Jim Nald 14

    Fantastic to see more of the 1% coming out.

    Somehow, does the piece sound like it is akschully written by the stated author?

    Great to see he has spare time, like the cops do, to work on John Key’s campaign.

    Owen Glenn on the joys and miracles of selling our assets

    Hey you 99%, go on, you know you want to vote for your serfdom 🙂

  14. Bored 15

    Downton Abbey…..pretty settings, costumes and photography….crap dialogue and pathetic story lines….sort of reminds me of John Key and his cronies really. Here the Guardian climbs into it politically.


  15. joe90 16

    Occupy streams from around the globe so the revolution will not be televised.

  16. freedom 17

    12:22 on the Stuff live debate we have Greens announcing a deal with Act

    Act: “James and I have actually entered into a deal: I’m telling ACT voters to vote for Shaw, and he’s telling his supporters to party vote ACT.”
    of course it is a joke but in a soundbite world these guys need to be more responsible
    politics in NZ is a bloody joke,
    it’s off down the rabbit hole for us all

  17. Jim in Tokyo 18

    Young jobseekers told to work without pay or lose unemployment benefits

    “Britain’s jobless young people are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, the Guardian can reveal.”

  18. Deuto 19

    Much as I gave up on The Listener years ago, Toby Manhire has an online blog at the Listener site which is updated throughout the day on the campaign and media developments which I found very useful for keeping up with the play. Probably way behind others in finding the site!

    Anyway, he has posted a link to this weekend’s 60 minutes promo = and scary!!!!


  19. Deuto 20

    Another link found via Toby Manhire’s blog to a TV3 video. Really found Goff’s natural and appropriate reaction at the end of the video a delight compared to Dear Leader’s performance this week.


  20. In Vino Veritas 21

    Interesting. Taken from your good friend the Whale’s site (but not written by him):

    1.You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
    2.What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
    3.The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
    4.You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
    5.When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    • Uturn 21.1

      You cannot substitute intelligence by intelligence substitute cannot you.

    • McFlock 21.2

      Your proportions were a bit off for #5. Should read:

      When 1% of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other 99% is going to take care of them, and when the other 99% gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

      • In Vino Veritas 21.2.1

        Your figures are somewhat skewed McFlock. Over 40 % of households in NZ are net beneficiaries. How does this equate with 99% working to support the 1%?
        The top 10% of households in NZ pay over 70% of income tax already. So to say that the 99% support the one percent is just plain nonsense and an unsustainable argument.

    • freedom 21.3

      i just want to touch on 4 because i am still pissing my pants laughing at the rest of them

      “4.You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!”
      What do you think fractional reserve banking does ?

  21. chris73 22

    Whats up with Christchurch MP pictures

    The candidates all (except for Brendon Burns) look a bit…odd. Cosgrove looks like he has no upper lip. Dyson looks like she has a shrunken head. Woods looks like shes wearing somones couch and Dalziel looks like shes seen a ghost.

    Is it really that hard to get/take a half-way decent photo?

  22. Morrissey 23

    Phil Goff almost broke the national conspiracy of silence tonight
    Radio New Zealand National “Checkpoint”, 6:25 p.m., Friday 18 November 2011

    The Friday night political round-up is not exactly the context you’d expect for this incident. But there you are: football is always on the minds of Kiwis, even the Leader of the Opposition during the heat of a campaign. What follows below constitutes a tantalizing near-miss in the maintenance of the national blackout….

    JULIAN ROBINS: There are just over seven days left before election day. It’s a very big task ahead of you.

    PHIL GOFF: Yes, but then the French team were underdogs five minutes before the World Cup final last month—and look what happened.

    ROBINS: But they lost.

    GOFF: Yes but… [long, long pause] …I will do it differently.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    That was extremely close. Phil Goff NEARLY did it. He nearly broke ranks and said: “Yes, but …. [long, long pause] … the National Party can’t count on a Craig Joubert to deliver them the result they want.”

    But during that long, long pause, Goff’s finely honed political instincts kicked in and he (not for the first time in his career) suppressed the urge to state the truth and almost certainly unleash a political furore about his lack of patriotism. So he uttered the lame and unconvincing Plan B: “I will do it differently.”

    We wonder who in New Zealand will be the first establishment figure to commit the heretical act of admitting what rugby fans all over the world already acknowledge: that the All Blacks were gifted the World Cup by the (possibly corrupt) non-referee.

    • Chris 23.1

      I don’t know how to break this to you but no matter if anyone says it it isn’t going to change anything. The All Blacks still won – probably time to move on, everyone else has.

      • Morrissey 23.1.1

        I don’t know how to break this to you but no matter if anyone says it it isn’t going to change anything.

        Of course the All Blacks will keep the Cup for the next four years, so you’re right in that narrow sense. But millions of fans all over the world—and especially in France, a country that has always held All Black rugby in high regard—saw the All Blacks gifted the final because a possibly corrupt (non-) referee refused to penalize their cynical, repeated, blatant fouling.

        So, in fact, the unfairness of Joubert’s astounding non-performance has left the All Blacks’ victory tarnished. In the euphoric afterglow of victory, it’s not something many of us feel able to comment on, however. It will take a while.

        The All Blacks still won – probably time to move on, everyone else has.

        No, “everyone else” has not “moved on”. This is a major story in France, and it’s only going to get worse. If you’re a fan of the All Blacks, you will feel angry that Joubert’s outrageous display has devalued this victory.

  23. Carol 24

    A couple of comments from Matt McCarten on iPredict tonight:

    He saw Phil Goff yesterday and he was alive and vibrant – his head’s in a very good place compared with Key looking tired and stressed.

    he confirms Hooton’s comment that Key disparaged the Greens in the teapot conversation: Key allegedly said, in the election the Greens won’t score as high as they have been in the polls because the Green supporters are losers and won’t get out to vote.

    • Morrissey 24.1

      Key allegedly said, in the election the Greens won’t score as high as they have been in the polls because the Green supporters are losers and won’t get out to vote.

      Key is as arrogant as he is indolent. The Green voters will come out in force next Saturday, and it looks like Winston’s Army will too.

      Hooton is a keen and intelligent monitor of the airwaves, so he will have heard the alarming (for Hooton and his cronies) item on National Radio this morning, which pointed out that Auckland’s vast Pacific Islands community is going to vote in force for Labour next weekend, and will not be boycotting like it did in 2008.

      • Carol 24.1.1

        Maybe that’s why Goff seems positive?

        Also McCarten made a “measure of the man” kind of comment about Goff. He said that Goff has spent 3 years being slammed in the media, and every day he gets back up and is out there doing his job, and he still looks eager. In contrast, Matt said, Key has had a dream run with the press, and he gets a bit of flack from them and he starts to cave.

      • chris73 24.1.2

        Its true I have doubts now, I used to think National would be able to govern alone. Now I think they’ll need one of either the maori party, peter dunne or act

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