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Open Mike 18/11/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 18th, 2017 - 134 comments
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134 comments on “Open Mike 18/11/2017 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Tried a couple of times to post this link about the Freedom of the Press Foundation considering cutting its ties to WikiLeaks, but they disappeared into the memory hole. Let’s see if it goes through without the snark about Assange…


    edit: yep, appeared immediately. Now I really wonder what triggered the disappearance of the previous comments.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Heavenly morning in Riverton; sunshine, bird song, not a breath of wind; probably be in the garden all day 🙂

    • Marcus Morris 2.1

      Hi Robert, Enjoyed your contribution to this weeks edition of “Get Growing”. I follow their “Moon” almanac and it generally works.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Hi Marcus – I’m pleased you did – I like writing for them, they give me plenty of freedom to chose topics, etc. Writing about un-likeable plants was a hoot! I’m pleased too, that you take notice of the moon, just as plants do 🙂

  3. Andre 3

    The post about “Yellow Peril” got me wondering about one of my recent choices.

    I have a part interest in a farm property that is partway through the process of being sold. It is in an area where a number of properties have been bought by chinese, and then left unused and neglected to the point that they become nuisance pest reservoirs for the neighbours.

    When it come to decision time, we had two offers: a higher offer from chinese investors with no apparent connection to farming and had nothing to say about their plans for the property, and a lower offer from a local who mentioned his interest in continuing bush restoration in unproductive areas and continuing to farm (and has a track record of doing so).

    We accepted the lower offer from the local. In my case the difference means effectively I chose to forego a year or two’s worth of income in order to sell to the local.

    Does that make me a racist?

    Or does that just make me an idiot for not taking the most money and running?

    Should I feel a warm fuzzy for being willing to take a personal financial hit to get a result I think is better for NZ? Or ashamed that I let softy sentimentality interfere with looking after my best interests?

    • James 3.1

      Are you racist ?

      I guess that depends if the fact that one buyer was Chinese entered your decision making process.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        Well, I mentioned “chinese” twice in my comment, so obviously it did affect my decision. But if instead of “chinese” it had been “american” or “australian” or “south african” or “russian” in those two places, my decision would have been the same. Or “remuera tractor driving queen street farmer”, for that matter.

        • weka

          Can you really not tell whether your comment is racist or not? Or are you trying to make a point?

        • Colonial Viper

          Don’t worry about “racism” – Mainland Chinese business people treat white skin marks completely differently to Chinese marks all the time.

          Even if you are just buying from their roadside stall.

        • greywarshark

          It certainly is getting to the stage where you can’t draw attention to the facts and clearly seen observations and name the people involved. It’s not a reaction to racism by critics it is an attempt to introduce censorship.

          At the same times, excess being something to avoid, one must not blame everything that happens on every individual Chinese etc. also they are taking advantage of conditions that ‘our’ so-called government has set up and
          welcomed. So call the National government out on disabling our borders and causing the entry of more foreign disruptive organisms that act against our, as ordinary NZs, best interests.

          • Draco T Bastard

            So call the National government out on disabling our borders and causing the entry of more foreign disruptive organisms that act against our, as ordinary NZs, best interests.

            IIRC, That wasn’t actually National but the 4th Labour government. National just refused to put the border controls back in place – and so did the 5th Labour government. The present Labour government are putting in place a few restrictions but the borders are remaining open.

            We haven’t had a government working in the best interests of NZ for some time. Admittedly, a lot of that is due to poor understanding of real world economics brought about by a bunch of economists who have no understanding of real world economics.

            • greywarshark

              Yeah yeah DTB – keep on saying it – they say you have to go through three levels to get a speech received and understood – Tell the audiance what you are on about, give them the spiel, and summarise what you have just told them, If you keep telling people the same as you did at 11.26am you will have broken through the density shield by the time you die.

              By the way I put up link earlier from Radionz this morning but you might miss it. So here it is again, talking about newtech and life extension and great topics for some science fiction books, only it isn’t fiction. Peter Thiel appears – interesting contrarian.

        • Nick

          What you could have said is one buyer had no farming plan and the other buyer did.

      • CLEANGREEN 3.1.2

        You know James;

        Everything you write is about critising others!!!!!

        Get real will you; ffs; – #$%^&*()_>

        We are now building a positve new future “out of the shaddows of the long deep respressive nine years of discontent” – that your national party placed over us all.

        • James

          Wow clean green – you are a strange person.

          A question was asked and I replied. There was zero criticism or indeed judgement.

          “Does that make me a racist?”

          I replied (in short) only if the race entered your decision making process.

          Then you post going (as my kids would say) off on one with zero justification or reason.

          Perhaps it’s you that needs to “get real Ffs”

          A question was asked

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.2

      Time to explore the difference between…


      making or showing an unfair or prejudicial distinction between different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
      “discriminatory employment practices”
      synonyms: prejudicial, biased, prejudiced, preferential, unfair, unjust, invidious, inequitable, weighted, one-sided, partisan;



      having or showing refined taste or good judgement.
      “he became a discriminating collector and patron of the arts”
      synonyms: discerning, perceptive, astute, shrewd, judicious, perspicacious, insightful;

      • In Vino 3.2.1

        Well said, Rosemary. But it is almost a lost cause trying to get people to discriminate accurately between meanings of words nowadays – you are quite likely to be abused by some ardent believer for pedantry.

    • patricia bremner 3.3

      No, you were primarily judging by the land use. You have that right. You made a loss to follow your beliefs. What a shame more people don’t think less of money and more of out comes, there wouldn’t be the pest sink.

      • Andre 3.3.1

        I wouldn’t say “loss”. The difference was between a ridiculous amount of capital gain and an even more ridiculous capital gain.

        And NZ’s tax laws mean the NZ government won’t claim any part of this effective windfall that they have enabled. But because I’m dual NZ-US, I’m fairly sure I’m going to have to write a fairly big cheque to Uncle Sam for their capital gains tax, even though the US contributed absolutely nothing to creating it.

      • What a shame more people don’t think less of money and more of out comes, there wouldn’t be the pest sink.

        The government should be doing that and putting in place the proper regulations to prevent land being sold to become obvious land banks.

        It’s relatively simple – use it or lose it.

    • Ed 3.4

      Why are foreign investors land banking in New Zealand?!
      Fred Pearce in his outstanding book ‘The Land Grabbers’ says this.

      ‘Across the world there is a land grab. Entire countries are being snatched from under the feet of native residents: Saudia Arabia now owns most of Ethiopia; the Rev Moon owns a slice of South America the size of Switzerland. Triggered by the 2008 world food crisis and the credit crunch, this grab is not just about food.’

    • Does that make me a racist?

      Or does that just make me an idiot for not taking the most money and running?

      On Kiwiblog, both of those would apply – you’d be a villainous xenophobe and also an idiot for not putting money above all other considerations. Fortunately, you posted it here…

    • AB 3.6

      You would be racist if:
      The intended land use of the two bidders was reversed, and
      The price offers were the same, and
      You made the same decision.
      Under those conditions there would clearly be no factor influencing your decision other than the race of the buyer.

    • Pretty standard decision tree there. Not racist unless you were wearing your ‘go home you look different’ t shirt. Weighing up pluses and minuses including the financials is normal I think – a few people here choose to sell their houses to families instead of non families for social concious reasons – seems a good way to think about it to me – you know, values an all.

    • Colonial Viper 3.8

      I’m just fascinated with why western liberal lefty culture is so anxious about even the merest perceptions of racism. In Asia, discrimination by race and region is basic every day life.

      • Andre 3.8.1

        Yeah, it’s an interesting phenomenon how some people work so hard at finding something they can point to and call “racist” and then use that to completely ignore any other points being made.

        But I don’t think the fact that racism has been and continues to be a cultural thing all around the world should get in the way of trying to move beyond it for the future.

        • Colonial Viper

          ‘Moving beyond racism’ seems like a great idea until people realise that multicultural societies fully acknowledge that different cultures have different values, beliefs, perspectives and behavioural tendencies (albeit with large areas of overlap).

          You can’t try and do deals in Japan like you would in China. Like you would in Australia. Like you would in the USA.

          As Rosemary suggested, it’s the difference between discrimination and being discriminating.

          So making a vendor decision based solely on skin colour might certainly be racism – but it’d also be superficial and thoughtless. But once you take into account what fits with your value system – then it becomes a nuanced decision which takes into account cultural values across many dimensions – theirs as a buyer and yours as a vendor.

          It seems to me that’s exactly what you did.

      • greywarshark 3.8.2

        Thanks for that point CV. I have a book about Australia’s interaction with Asia written 1980’s I think and Indonesia calls Australia all sorts of things. And attitudes are expressed by them that represent their political advantage from time to time.

    • DH 3.9

      Why did you even mention they were Chinese Andre? I can’t see why that has any relevance there.

      • greywarshark 3.9.1

        It has relevance because it is evidence of another example of land ownership and its use to add to the information about foreign buyers and who they are. Its not rocket science. Just looking at the facts.

      • Andre 3.9.2

        It would have been a fairly pointless self-congratulatory onanistic comment if I had left out the chinese bit. But put it in and hopefully we get an interesting conversation about what racism really is, and how to interpret behaviours that can look like racism viewed one way, and “not racism” viewed another.

        • DH

          Ok. Well to make an observation you appear to have made a judgement on a group based on their race, unless your reference to ‘chinese’ is specific to foreign investors from China.

          I would think that a Chinese immigrant, or NZ born person of Chinese origin, who read your post would be asking if you’d have acted the same if all the buyers in your story were caucasions.

          • greywarshark

            We know that Chinese from Mainland and also Singapore and Hong Kong are big investors all over the world, that they have chosen to move out all over the world, and threaten the USA’s

            It is unfortunate that Chinese Kiwis are being affected. The problem is that the government has opened the doors so wide there are too many newbie foreigners, China had the investment money, so are in a majority.

            So we have to be careful as to which Chinese we are talking about, cold-eyed newbies buying up land, houses to land bank, as unlovely as any of our own speculators, or whatever. I know of a large investment by dreamers from North America, that was done in visionary dreams and hopes and overseas money has fallen through, and local contractors remain unpaid. Huge legal bills for all those involved in the practical outcomes.

            The bloody world can’t descend on us to play around with, what were the economic and political leaders thinking of to not see it leading to an asymmetric engagement of some sort? A rhetorical question!

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              So we have to be careful as to which investors we are talking about… FIFY.

              Ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

              • greywarshark

                Ethnicity is important because the individuals are acting within a financial matrix of that country, or to which that country is incorporated.

        • David Mac

          Racism is playing the man, not the ball.

          Another way of looking at the sale would be to estimate that the overseas investor will just make a purchase down the road and the extra money he would of paid might of worked harder if donated to a cause dedicated to changing our OSI rules.

    • Or does that just make me an idiot for not taking the most money and running?

      According to National it would make you a racist, a xenophobe and an idiot.

      Should I feel a warm fuzzy for being willing to take a personal financial hit to get a result I think is better for NZ?

      You should feel warm and fuzzy. Doing what’s right for the local community is far better than doing what’s right for your bank account when doing what’s right for the bank account is obviously so bad for the local community.

    • Foreign waka 3.11

      Andre, if the decision was made out of a principle of having the land used in an appropriate way, not land banked and even native bush added, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Some might misconstrue the concept but it would be just another opinion.

    • Stephen Doyle 3.12

      I’d have called you an ecologist rather than a racist.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Another day, another round of MSM trommelfeuer against the government – this time kelvin Davis is in the firing line. Oh, if they’d only ever held Key’s ministers to such account in their nine year love fest of being insiders to a culture of complacent, smug arrogance.

    • patricia bremner 4.1

      Their audience share is shrinking, so they are less effective.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Geeze I had to google that … drumfire. Yes the perfect image.

      One thing I’ve really enjoyed about living in Australia this past few years has been an MSM that has a range of voices. Sure there is the ugly (Andrew Bolt comes to mind) and the mad, but there are other voices to balance them.

      NZ just has this narrow little click-bait cult.

      • Sanctuary 4.2.1

        it is the German word for a constant, wearying bombardment. It is constant dissection of the trivial with a pummeling, carping tone designed to buttress audience prejudices and pitch people against each other rather than challenge them to work together and it is explicitly aimed at feeding cynicism and outrage for clickbait rather than appeal to hope and altruism.

        It is the media environment that loved the cynical eye rolling lip service to society by the servants of the greedy and the haughty that was the Key government, and it is a environment profoundly threatened by the ideals of an inclusive progressive government.

        The MSM desperately needs reform, but I doubt this Labour government has the balls to do it.

        Look at the utter bullshit from Garner today on paid parental leave – it is so idiotic I won’t link to it. But the bottom line if the roles were reversed, Duncan “who ate all the pies” Garner would have spent his piece excoriating Labour on it’s record on paid parental leave and demanding it support incremental change. Instead, he lauds National’s cynical ploy from a position of not even understanding the governments position on the matter. What an ignorant, idiotic right wing fucktard.

        • Grey Area

          Very good analysis. This time it’s Davis’s turn. Unfortunately he’s a soft target. He doesn’t seem to have the skillset to have Ardern’s back like Cullen did for Clark. To me he’s the wrong person for the role.

          As for the attack lines against the government it’s almost like the whole thing is being orchestrated. I got an image in my mind of a team of evil trolls sitting somewhere in a darkened room saying: “Right. Who’s turn is it this time? Davis. Who do we allocate this one to? Moir, she’ll do.”

          “And as a bonus hit, how about some dribble from Garner about parental leave. Perfect.”

          “Now what’s for tomorrow?”

          And you’re right Sanctuary this sort of BS will be relentless.

          • bwaghorn

            ”whole thing is being orchestrated. ”

            gee they could have someone in the office next to english and then he could feed lies to a piece of shit blogger who could hand feed the lies to moron journos to spread , i reckon that would work ,

            oh wait i think it’s been done , ? i wonder if they refined it to make it harder to spot?

          • Grantoc

            Of course its orchestrated Grey Area.

            Why wouldn’t it be. The opposition’s strategy is to identify the government’s weak points and seek to undermine it. When the media picks it up and amplifies it, well, thats a bonus. Davis, rightly, will be feeling exposed and humiliated as a result.

            Davis’s ineptness provided National with an easy target last week and of course they’d use this as an opportunity to undermine Labour. And it worked. It’s for Labour to figure out how they can mitigate such attacks. The obvious answer, as you have identified, is to sack Davis and replace him with someone more competent.

            BTW Labour had exactly the same strategy when it was in opposition. Its what oppositions do in Westminster democracies.

        • greywarshark

          Aspects of what you have written at 9.38am would have been mentioned in this interesting and mind-opening interview by Kim this morning. It helps to put Peter Thiel and bitcoin etc in context.

          Anthony Byrt and Simon Denny – The Founder’s Paradox
          From Saturday Morning, about 1 hour ago

          Listen duration 16′ :04″
          Simon Denny graduated with a BFA from Elam in 2004 and completed his post-graduate study in Frankfurt. Recent exhibitions include The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington (2014) and All You Need is Data – The DLD 2012 Conference REDUX as part of the Walter’s Prize exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (2014).

          Denny was selected to represent New Zealand at the 56th Venice Biennale, exhibiting Secret Power at the New Zealand Pavilion. Anthony Byrt is an Auckland-based critic and journalist. He is a regular writer for Metro, a contributing editor to Paperboy, and the New Zealand correspondent for Artforum International. His book This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art was shortlisted for the 2017 Ockham national book award.

          Together the pair have created an exhibition, The Founder’s Paradox, including essays, on a series of large art pieces based on familiar board games. The games unpack extreme libertarian ideologies such as those held by ‘new’ New Zealander Peter Thiel and other Silicon Valley thought leaders. The Founder’s Paradox is on at the Michael Lett Gallery until December 22.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The MSM desperately needs reform, but I doubt this Labour government has the balls to do it.

          They still believe that the profit drive gets the best results despite all the evidence to the contrary.

        • Foreign waka

          Sanctuary, just read the article from Garner. My first thought was – is he going to breastfeed the little pumperletsch (German for poor little one)?
          Has he and with him the right lost completely the connection to the issue at hand? A women giving birth, needing the rest, breastfeeding, post natal hormone disturbances, learning the ropes of having a new born etc… yes, men should be supporting the new mother but they most likely have no idea either. Visiting the pub, playing golf and/ or partying to celebrate fatherhood does not count.
          Not that there are fathers who will try very hard to help, but to help one needs experience and knowledge about the subject. This is where the plunket service comes in.
          To make new mothers a political football is another low for half the population. Is is ever going to be any different?

          • Cricklewood

            I wish I had the option of paid parental leave. My wife’s an immigrant with no family here and my family was a long way away as well.
            My wife suffered terribly from postnatal depression and later also diagnosed with ptsd as a result. It was and still is a harrowing experience. At the time I used all my leave, leave in advance and sick leave took on a fairly large debt before having to return to work to keep the rent paid.
            At times things were so bad I was scared to leave the house in the morning not knowing what I would find when I got home. I could get very little in the way of practical support for my wife and myself outside of our gp and a councillor who agreed to see me free of charge as I started to fall to bits having to work and try and care for a wife who was becoming progressively more unwell. Tbh neither of us have fully recovered 10 years down the track.
            I don’t know for sure but having the ability to spend 3-6 months at home would have made a massive difference.

            • Foreign waka

              Cricklewood, I am sorry to hear that and quite sad when reading your story. I am shocked that your wife did not receive more help. PN depression is not often mentioned in general and new mothers often feel very upset because they MUST feel elated.
              In such severe cases such as your wife experienced, it ought to be possible for you to stay with the new mother as her carer for more than just 6 months.
              My best wishes and I hope this years festive season will give you and your family reason to celebrate.

    • mary_a 4.3

      @ Sanctuary (4) … I agree. The previous government of the past nine years was never held to account by media for anything!

      Kelvin Davis did his best as a novice in the position he was put into to fill in for the PM, when both she and her deputy PM were both away. Davis became media’s target, due to his inexperience in the role, demonstrating msm’s bullying tactics in a mean spirited attempt to humiliate and cause strife in government, when there was no necessity for it. Media’s job is to cover news facts and report it, not make it up to suit Natz, still stinging after the election loss!

      However, it will be very interesting when Winston fills in for Jacinda, as acting PM and he will, given his animosity towards Natz at the moment, re his superannuation detail leaks. Also I’m sure he won’t hesitate to call out any sour, denigrating media BS against government either!

      • Grantoc 4.3.1

        Davis set himself up through his ineptness. He’s the deputy pm, he gets the status and the remuneration and other benefits that goes with the role. He’s fair game if he screws up – as did last week in question time, which is covered by the media..

        If he can’t cut the mustard he should step down.

  5. Koff 5

    Deafening silence in NZ about the climate summit in Bonn which has just ended despite the fact that NZ sent James Shaw along.


    Also no news here about the new “Powering Past Coal Alliance” of 19 countries, of which significantly NZ is now one.


    Would be good to see a Standard post about this, even if the MSM are more interested in title tattle rather than the world’s “nuclear free moment”.

  6. Marcus Morris 6

    Last week the Herald published an article written by Brian Gaynor in which he exposed the awful folly of Muldoon’s National Super scheme. He also highlighted how the recent National Government had failed to enhance the Cullen Fund (which, he says, has been a brilliant success) and had taken away the incentive to join Kiwi Saver (another great Labour initiative.

    I thought the article was “political dynamite” but it wasn’t even a damp squib.

    When I wrote to Mr Gaynor expressing my surprise at the muted reaction he said that it was just a sign of the times – people were only interested in sound bites and not long term issues.

    Muldoon’s strategy has caused this vital issue to be a political football for over forty years but the worst aspect is that it has cost the country billions of dollars. The National Party as a whole should be held to account because it has connived in the scandal for all of that time.

    • millsy 6.1

      Gaynor is a fool. Kirk’s fund would have been privatised and broken up in the 1980’s. Everyone knows that.

      • Sanctuary 6.1.1

        And we’d be living on Mars etc etc. Once you depart on a road of what ifs, anything is possible. Calling someone a fool for extrapolating an alternative outcome just makes you look like an uncharitable moron.

      • Marcus Morris 6.1.2

        Good grief. You swallowed Muldoon’s line hook and sinker. By the way, did you read the article. I very much doubted but I have a copy if you care to read it. Were you even around then? Brian is a respected and trusted economist. What are your credentials.

    • John Shears 6.2

      Thanks Marcus M I too have been waiting in vain for any MSM comment on that article which I found very revealing and very well written.
      I cut it out and pasted it into my scrapbook, yes , I know I can get it off the net but it looks more real somehow alongside the other clippings that I have collected over the years.

      • Marcus Morris 6.2.1

        The whole dastardly “episode” is even worse when you read Hugh Templeton’s comment in his book “All Honourable Men”. Hugh was a member of Muldoon’s cabinet and the architect of CER. He writes that the National Party strategists (including Muldoon himself), knew the scheme was unsustainable before it was even promulgated. It was an unspeakable crime against the country in my view and has resulted in an appalling cost.

  7. alwyn 7

    It looks as though Little has put the Pike River promises into the too-hard basket.
    Didn’t Labour, New Zealand First and the Green parties make an unconditional guarantee that the mine would be re-entered and the bodies recovered?
    Now it seems to all be fading away.

    [you start running lies about Labour and I will start banning you. Take this as the warning for future comments. I’ll let this one stand so I can deal with it in comments. – weka]

    • weka 7.1

      Can’t tell if you really are that stupid.

      • weka 7.1.1

        For people that haven’t clicked through and might be wondering what bullshit alwyn is on about, the article is Little describing the process for making a decision about re-entry into Pike River including the risk assessment and involving the families in that. He makes the point that if it turns out that re-entry can’t be done safely then there are no absolute guarantees.

        Which is exactly what I would expect. Alwyn wants to play politics with this, I guess thinking that Little should be letting a dangerous re-entry go ahead. This all says much about alwyn.

        The article also points out the differences between National’s ‘fill the mine with concrete’ position and Labour’s (and NZF/Greens’) ‘let’s work through the process to make sure re-entry is possible, and do right by the families’. It’s clear from the article that Little still thinkings re-entry is possible but is just being responsible by making it clear that it won’t be done at the risk to workers.

        • RedLogix

          Agreed. What Little should be making is the one thing he can control, which is an absolute guarantee that the decision making process is open and transparent.

          No-one wants to put a re-entry crew into an unreasonable hazard, much less see harm to them. National were completely obdurate and opaque about defining the risk, hiding behind nameless ‘experts’ whose interests in the matter could never be assessed.

          The best Labour can do here is ensure the families and the wider public have a high level of confidence in what’s done. There will of course be criticism, and it will be impossible to make everyone happy.

          And of course the likes of alwyn will exploit this for all they can wring from it. Expect more.

          • Andre

            weka says “… at the risk to workers.”

            RedLogix says “… put a re-entry crew …”

            These kinds of wordings bother me. They imply a workplace environment where the people going in are doing so under the instruction of supervisors responsible for their safety.

            The only people I’m comfortable with going into that mine are acknowledged expects in dealing with the conditions likely to be in the mine, that are choosing to go in for personal reasons of their own around the remains still in there or learning lessons for the future.

            The grounds for refusing a volunteer team entry into the mine should only be “we don’t think you have the experience and expertise to assess and manage the risks you’re about to take, come back when you have a more credible team”.

            That’s very far removed from any kind of situation where workplace health and safety regulations are relevant.

            • weka

              “These kinds of wordings bother me.”

              Fair points and ones I’d agree with if it turns out the risk is higher than they thought, but I’m guessing that neither weka nor Red know what the actual plans are 😉 I’d suggest digging a bit deeper with the people who are doing the planning (I’d be interested to know that too if you find out).

              Little seems to be saying that he thinks safe re-entry can be done without messing with Health and Safety legislation. That’s a good sign.

            • RedLogix

              I understand that. Every time I used to go into the mountains I put myself at risk. Had enough close calls to know the risk was nothing airy-fairy or hypothetical either.

              But this isn’t some individual quest of modest consequence, it’s a highly sensitive and deeply political operation. You only have to imagine the blow-back if something DID go wrong. Labour have to be totally clear and responsible about the decision-making process here.

              • Grantoc

                Winston has volunteered to led a team in. Let him do so. He’s already exploited the situation for selfish and cynical political gain. Let him put his money where his mouth is.

        • Antoine

          I don’t see what is incorrect in what Alwyn said.

          He said “Didn’t Labour, New Zealand First and the Green parties make an unconditional guarantee that the mine would be re-entered and the bodies recovered?”

          Indeed, they did: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/95798732/crossparty-agreement-pledges-a-reentry-of-pike-river-mine. “Jacinda Ardern says a Labour Government would reenter the Pike River Mine . The leaders of Labour, United Future, the Maori Party and the Green Party signed a commitment in Wellington on Tuesday to reenter the West Coast mine.”

          (Italics mine)


          • weka

            Do you believe that Labour intended to re-enter at any cost? If so then I think your thinking is pretty stupid.

            Alwyn, and you, can parse the abstract meaning any way you like, but my expectation is that the Labour govt will work on re-entering the mine safely. That’s what Little is talking about and it’s very clear even from Clare Trevett’s reporting that that is what Little is talking about – safe re-entry. I don’t see anything there to suggest that Little is resiling from Labour’s commitment.

            Before the election a number of groups, including Labour, said that unlike National they thought re-entry was possible. They committed to doing that, but I don’t think anyone apart from you and alwyn and RW shit stirrers thought that meant doing so unsafely. Grow the fuck up.

            “I don’t see what is incorrect in what Alwyn said.”

            He also said, “It looks as though Little has put the Pike River promises into the too-hard basket.” and “Now it seems to all be fading away.” That’s the malicious spin that got my moderation attention.

            • Antoine

              FWIW i think Little’s position now is sensible. The earlier tripartite accord however should have been cast in more cautious terms.


              • weka

                From memory, those parties took advice from experts and those experts advised that re-entry was possible. As Red points out, what’s happening now is that Little is working through the process responsibly. Only an idiot would think that Labour promised to re-enter if there was a risk of people dying. Also, see my comment below about point scoring in the context of Pike River.

          • Bondy

            Yes, well said & linked Antoine. I can’t see why mods would get so upset about alwyn’s post, except possibly with despair as another absolute promise seems to dilute into wishes & feels.

            • weka

              If you think that Labour have put re-entry into the to “too-hard basket” and their commitment is ‘fading away’, produce some evidence of that. I can’t see it in the article linked.

              Alwyn can believe whatever he likes, but when he misrepresents political parties and how they are being reported in the MSM he’s going to get moderator attention.

              “another absolute promise”

              Likewise, produce evidence that Labour ever said that re-entry would happen no matter what even if it mean people dying or being hurt in the process. That’s what absolute means.

              Both you and alwyn are playing silly bugger politics. Personally I have a very low tolerance for that on this particular issue because people died and then their families were treated badly by the previous government who have failed to ensure a safe work place was maintained. Those are all serious issues with bigger picture consequences that don’t deserve stupid shit point scoring.

              • alwyn

                Perhaps I can offer a couple of examples of the change in the Labour Parties former leader, Andrew Little’s approach.

                In January 2017 he told TVNZ News
                “He said on February 7, the first day of Parliament, he’d seek leave to table a bill that would absolve those involved in recovery of responsibility”
                He now says
                “He did not intend to legislate for any exemption to the health and safety laws or immunity from liability for the Pike River Agency.”
                From the Herald article I linked to.

                In October 2016 Little said
                “The Government claims it’s not safe to enter the drift and try to get any bodies in there out. That’s not true. Experts, both local and international, say the mine is now stable. We can get those men out, and secure evidence regarding the cause of the explosion. It can be done”
                Now he says it isn’t really as certain as he was a year ago.
                “Those plans include another risk assessment to decide whether a manned re-entry is possible.”

                I would suggest these examples illustrate that Andrew Little, now that he is part of the Government is being vastly more responsible than he was when in Opposition.
                And a damn good thing that he is. The approach he seems to be willing to take now is, of course, in line with what the National Government did.
                When they found that the expert opinion was that re-entry was unsafe they didn’t promise to go ahead with such an attempt.

                I think John Armstrong’s comments from January 2017 are going to turn out to be completely accurate.
                “It ain’t going to happen. Not now. Not ever. Full stop.”

                • weka

                  The full quote (not your selective one) from today’s Herald article is,

                  He did not intend to legislate for any exemption to the health and safety laws or immunity from liability for the Pike River Agency.

                  “I’m confident we can do everything that’s needed in terms of planning and preparation without it.”

                  So yes, Little has changed his approach, because he no longer sees a need to change legislation in order to re-enter the mine. What’s the problem with that exactly?

                  In October 2016 Little said
                  “The Government claims it’s not safe to enter the drift and try to get any bodies in there out. That’s not true. Experts, both local and international, say the mine is now stable. We can get those men out, and secure evidence regarding the cause of the explosion. It can be done”


                  Now he says it isn’t really as certain as he was a year ago.

                  “Those plans include another risk assessment to decide whether a manned re-entry is possible.”

                  First point is about expert advice on what might be possible, second point is them doing the actual planning based on that advice. Do I really have to explain to you what the differences are there?

                  “I would suggest these examples illustrate that Andrew Little, now that he is part of the Government is being vastly more responsible than he was when in Opposition.”

                  Well duh. Maybe that’s because only the government is capable of organising the re-entry and it’s not something that the Opposition could or should do. The role of the opposition was to listen to the families, get expert advice, and then try and get into government so they would have access to all the tools that the govt has.

                  “The approach he seems to be willing to take now is, of course, in line with what the National Government did.”

                  No. National wanted to close the mine permanently and not let anyone in. They also treated the families badly.

                  I think John Armstrong’s comments from January 2017 are going to turn out to be completely accurate.

                  “It ain’t going to happen. Not now. Not ever. Full stop.”


                  You are of course entitled to believe whatever you want. But what you’ve just said doesn’t support what you said originally, so the moderation warning stands going forward. I’m not really interested in spending a bunch of time arguing back against your random reckons when you are misrepresenting the situation.

                  If you want to argue against what Labour are doing, then do it honestly.

                  • greywarshark

                    If Antoine is left running she will generate enough return comments to keep the blog going while in summer the mod lies back with a cool glass of something and just blobs out.

            • Antoine

              Labour is backpedalling hard on election promises at the moment.

              • weka

                Give us five examples (with links) please.

                Also, demonstrate how Labour are back-pedalling on Pike River.

                • Antoine

                  Why are you disagreeing with me? I thought you disliked Labour’s change of stance on the TPP?


                  • weka

                    I think you are making shit up. Go ahead, produce five examples of Labour ‘back-pedalling hard on election promises at the moment’.

                    I’m not sure if Labour have back-pedalled hard on the TPPA, I thought their pre-election stance was opaque, so while I don’t like what they are doing it’s hard to point to positions from during the election campaign and see where they have reversed them.

                    But seeing as how you think Labour are back-pedalling on promises plural, by all means put up some other examples.

                    • Antoine

                      There’s no point. Whatever example I came up with, you would say was invalid for some reason.


                    • weka

                      Well that’s what we do here Antoine, we put up arguments and other people disagree with them and then we discuss that. But what you have done is asserted that Labour are back-pedalling hard on multiple fronts, and you’ve been unable to provide any back up of that, so I’m going to assume you made it up.

              • JC

                Back peddling? You mean like this…..

                “Osborne said Little had so far been true to his word to involve the family members every step of the way in his plans for the Pike River Agency.

                “It’s something quite new to the families because that’s something we haven’t had for seven years is a bit of truth and transparency around things.”

                Or ..

                “Just 25 days after the Labour-led Government was sworn in, legislation to set up a new agency devoted to the Pike River Mine re-entry is expected to go before cabinet on Monday.”


          • McFlock


            You almost had me, until the video started autoplaying: “we the undersigned commit that a new government we are part of will act immediately to safely reenter”…


        • CLEANGREEN


          We are growing so tired of you;

          Are you ever going to positively contribute to our effects to restore our society to a kinder, gentler society again after the last nine years of turmoil and despression we all suffered through?

    • weka 7.2

      see moderator note.

    • AB 7.3

      When you “put things in the too hard basket” it’s a way of avoiding doing anything and shutting things down. This was a classic National Party tactic on a whole range of things , but it’s not actually what Little is doing here. Let’s wait and see. The difference seems to be one of emphasis: National it seems were desperately seeking reasons not to re-enter the mine, the Coalition are keen to find a way of doing so.

    • Foolish alwyn, foolish to try this approach – when will have an honest discussion eh? The 12th of never is when…

    • dv 7.5

      Hey weka if you ban all who tell lies about labour, aint going to be many RWNJ left here.

      • Stunned Mullet 7.5.1

        ..and certainly very few labour MPs

      • weka 7.5.2

        Alwyn has a particular sly approach to his spin and slurs. I don’t believe that he genuinely thinks that Labour previously promised to enter the mine at the risk to those re-entering. I think he’s just politicking to undermine Labour.

        He used to tell blatant lies about the Greens and was unable to back up what he was saying so I got to call him a liar quite a bit (before I was an author). More recently he’s learned how to not be so blatant and he uses framing like ‘seems to’. Which is an improvement if that’s what he genuinely believes, but on issues that are important and where misinformation is likely to cause problems for the site, he’ll get this moderator attention similar to if he told the lie more blatantly.

        As for others, their mileage will vary. Honestly held belief is fine. Trolling isn’t. The grey area in-between is where the warnings happen.

      • The Fairy Godmother 7.5.3

        I found the rwnjs here were quite useful during the election campaign. They would spout all the rubbish heard on kiwi blog and talk back and the Standanista community would refute them in a calm and intelligent way. The arguments made by the Standanista community were very useful when I was out door knocking so I must say thank you rwnjs.

        • The Fairy Godmother

          But I must say we do need better trolls than at comment 13 on this page. He contributes nothing – no argument at all. So I hope that the cleverer rwnjs don’t desert us perhaps due to funding issues from National big payers deserting them leaving us with the dregs.

  8. joe90 8

    Eighty something years ago, IBM’s punch card technology was used to identify undesirables.

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A coalition of rights groups launched an online petition on Thursday urging IBM Corp to declare that it will not develop technology to help the Trump administration carry out a proposal to identify people for visa denial and deportation from the United States.


    ICE wants to use machine learning technology and social media monitoring to determine whether an individual is a “positively contributing member of society,” according to documents published on federal contracting websites.


  9. Morrissey 9

    No. 3: Al Franken

    Of the photo, he added: “I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself… It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture.”


    “GROPERS” is researched and presented by GroperWatch, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    No.1 George Herbert Walker Bush
    No. 2 Bill O’Reilly

  10. Greg 10

    Has anyone else noticed the amount of mc Mansons that are on the market to it looks like the speculators are abandoning ship all at once.

  11. eco maori 11

    There you go computational technology used as a sword OUR WORLD CAN VOTE with there wallet and dump IBM Shears if they don’t heed the calls to be a humane company and stop this bulls hit.
    One good point OUR people should see with Andrew little is he is honest. If a neo liberal was in the same situation they would have lied there ass off.
    Andrew I would take heed to Trumps and jacinda conversion he is not all bad There are a lot of power full people who are pissed that we won so please be cautious people will be throwing under arm balls from all directions. Kia kaha

  12. Morrissey 12

    Did Miriama Kamo ever work for BBC morning television?

    If it’s not Miriama Kamo, then it’s her doppelgänger who appears at the 1:09 mark…..

  13. terry hurley 13

    I voted Labour,I believed in their vision.

    I wont vote Labour again.

    Sorry but I cant think of a thing I was told,apart from paid parental leave that is what I voted for.

    Sorry again,I cant support Labour with this leadership group in charge.

  14. Morrissey 14

    What about Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes?

    As you watch the loathsome Tucker Carlson chuntering on in this masterpiece of selective outrage, consider how little concern he shows for the victims of Harvey Weinstein, and how obsessed he is with emphasizing that Weinstein is a “liberal” (if someone on the right wing of the Democratic Party can so be described)….


    • Morrissey 15.1

      I’d love to think that the likes of Stephen Sackur, Gavin Esler and Mishal Hussein showed such intelligence and self-awareness when they’re similarly off-camera, but I doubt they do.

  15. joe90 16


    Three misconfigured AWS S3 buckets have been discovered wide open on the public internet containing “dozens of terabytes” of social media posts and similar pages – all scraped from around the world by the US military to identify and profile persons of interest.

    The archives were found by veteran security breach hunter UpGuard’s Chris Vickery during a routine scan of open Amazon-hosted data silos, and these ones weren’t exactly hidden. The buckets were named centcom-backup, centcom-archive, and pacom-archive.


    Just one of the buckets contained 1.8 billion social media posts automatically fetched over the past eight years up to today.


    • eco maori 16.1

      Many thanks to Our New Zealand media for showing a lot more positive stories about OUR Maori culture people this will lift the Mana of all New Zealanders Ka pai
      JOE90 the only social media I use is the standard I new a long time ago of the dubble edged sword of our Internet many thanks to for getting it out there my story has spread all around OUR WORLD Kia kaha

  16. eco maori 17

    Good on you Pete from one news you are a good role model for our men.
    Also many thanks to OUR media for all the good stories on Lady sports stars it a shame Jacinda did not have more lady peers while she was meeting all of the other world leaders this is going to change soon Kia Kaha.

  17. greywarshark 18

    This British man (originally from Latvia) has interesting thoughts.

  18. Morrissey 20

    No. 4: Robin Brooke

    He did, however, not specify what he had done to the 15-year-old Auckland girl who was holidaying at the Hilton on Denarau Island, saying he was too drunk to remember but accepted her version of events.

    The allegations included that he twice grabbed the girl’s backside while she was pool-side at around 3am and had assaulted her male friend when he had tried to intervene.



    “GROPERS” is researched and presented by GroperWatch, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    No.1 George Herbert Walker Bush
    No. 2 Bill O’Reilly
    No. 3 Al Franken

  19. Morrissey 21

    Deadbeat Dads
    No. 2: From where did this little creep learn his hateful attitudes?


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