Open mike 19/04/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 19th, 2019 - 54 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

54 comments on “Open mike 19/04/2019”

  1. Andre 1

    The redacted Mueller report is out. While it’s still way too early to digest it all and get all a clear picture of what we’re being allowed too see, let alone try to parse what might have been in the redacted bits, let’s all keep in mind how seriously Barr has already misrepresented the report.

    Here’s Barr:

    As the report states: ”[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election inference activities.”

    Here’s the full sentence from Mueller:

    Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

    What we already knew from public info: they met in a bar, there was dirty dancing, there was steamy snogging in the carpark. Mueller just couldn’t get the tapes that they got to the bedroom together and jumped each other’s bones.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/william-barr-misled-public-mueller-report_n_5cb8b2b0e4b032e7ceb60d05

    • marty mars 1.1

      Yep – gonna be fun unraveling the lies.

      But her role in covering up Trump’s motivations for firing Comey were laid bare in the report, which cited how her statements at a press briefing days after the FBI’s firing were at odds with the facts. Sanders insisted at the briefing that Trump fired Comey at the justice department’s recommendation and repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that rank-and-file members of the FBI had lost confidence in Comey.

      Sanders acknowledged to the special counsel’s office that her assertion “was not founded on anything”.

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2019/apr/18/mueller-report-trump-russia-key-takeaways

  2. Jenny - How to get there? 2

    This is how progressive politics is done.’

    “A Message from the Future with AOC”: New Film Imagines World Transformed by the Green New Deal

    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/18/a_message_from_the_future_with

    The push for the Green New Deal continues to build momentum in the United States.

    Backers of the Bill are launching a nation wide tour tonight to build support for the Congressional resolution…..

    • CC 2.1

      Here is a link to just the video of “A Message from the Future with AOC”: https://www.youtube.com/embed/d9uTH0iprVQ?wmode=opaque

    • Jenny - How to get there? 2.2

      This is how progressive politics is done. II

      https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/18/warren-markey-and-pressley-join-launch-sunrise-movements-250-city-road-green-new

      The tour will “lay out the plan to make the 2020 election a referendum on the Green New Deal, so we can make the Green New Deal law in 2021.”

      ……..Three prominent Massachusetts Democrats will join community and labor leaders in Boston Thursday night to kick off the youth-led Sunrise Movement’s 250-city Road to a Green New Deal Tour……

      ……..”We’re building a groundswell of support for the Green New Deal in every corner of this country,” organizers explain on a tour webpage. “We’ll gather in libraries, university campuses, churches, and living rooms to learn about the ambition, prosperity, and promise of a Green New Deal, hear from political and community leaders, and discuss the pathway to make the Green New Deal become reality.”…..

      ……”First, we put the Green New Deal on the map and changed the conversation on climate policy in this country,” Sunrise Movement executive director Varshini Prakash said in a press statement. “Now it’s time to transform the 2020 election into a referendum on climate action…….

      • Jenny - How to get there? 2.2.1

        This is how progressive politics is done. III

        https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/04/18/if-you-think-that-the-nz-green-party-who-are-just-as-wedded-to-neoliberalism-as-labour-is-are-your-new-political-home-you-are-delusional/#comment-459265

        ….This sort of leadership, combining public activism with parliamentary activism, fought from a minority position, is not unknown in this country.

        Rod Donald also fought for his corner with the sort of dogged leadership currently being given by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

        Rod Donald MP, from an even slimmer minority position, than the one currently enjoyed by the Green Party, promoted and fought for, and eventually won over the whole country pushing the National government of Jim Bolger to hold a public referendum on MMP, which was carried by a huge majority, despite a massive well funded anti-MMP campaign by the Right.

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.1.1

          Rod Donald, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Catherine Delahunty….none afraid of speaking up or standing out. Goodness, I’d forgotten about the battle for MMP, thanks Jenny-htgt.

          • Jenny - How to get there? 2.2.1.1.1

            Hi Rosemary, what is even less well known about Rod Donald was his political activism to make New Zealand Nuclear Weapons free.

            ‘Combining public activism with par’iamentary activism’

            All politics is pressure

            Rod Donald had been a Values Party member since 1974,  in 1982  Rod Donald and other Values Party members  joined the Labour Party. What Rod and other ex-Values members brought with them into the Labour Party was their strong anti-nuclear views.

            During the time  of Rod Donald’s influential leadership and political activism against war, (and nuclear weapons in particular), within the Labour Party, LECs became the main organising centres for the huge protests against US Nuclear armed and powered warships. This grass roots activism at the LEC level fed into the parliamentary activism of the opposition Labour Party in parliament. In 1984 public pressure, combined with the huge anti-nuclear ship protests, two government MPs Mike Minogue and Maralyn Waring crossed the floor to vote with the opposition Labour Party to make New Zealand nuclear free. To prevent the final vote being taken, Prime MInister Muldoon closed parliament and called a snap election. The rest is history.

            (The strategies and tactics that Rod Donald learned in the Anti-nuclear campaign, he honed and refined in his later campaign for MMP.)

            We are again living in an age where activists must become politicians, and politicians must become activists.

            https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060108771

            Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s path to Congress representing an urban, diverse district in New York City began in a freezing-cold protest camp in North Dakota.

            She spent several weeks in 2017 with indigenous activists fighting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The protests garnered national attention, even if she herself didn’t.

            “It was right after I left Standing Rock that I knew I had to do something,” she said at a press conference last week…..

            ….”She was someone who was very passionate about climate justice,” said Evan Weber, Sunrise Movement founder, who noted her time at Standing Rock…..

            …..Ocasio-Cortez often links her experiences with the water protectors at Standing Rock and the goals of the Green New Deal. In North Dakota, she saw corporate power bearing down on the Native activists, building a pipeline that would endanger local water and ultimately contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

            On being elected to congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t disappear into committee rooms never to heard from again, as is the traditional career path followed by most freshmen congress members. But continued how she had begun,  melding, executive parliamentary activism with grass roots political activism.

            https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060108771

            On Nov. 13, [Congresswoman] Ocasio-Cortez joined 150 activists from Sunrise in a protest at the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the likely next speaker.

            Sunrise wants a Green New Deal: a program aimed at decarbonizing the U.S. economy through significant investments in green infrastructure and renewable energy. It also wants the establishment of a select panel on climate change with legislative authority in the House.

            Ocasio-Cortez quickly signed on to the group’s goals, boosting them on Twitter and turning what had been fringe proposals into a legitimate movement among the party’s progressive flank. At least 18 members of the new Democratic caucus back the Green New Deal.

            “Obviously we had added star power and firepower that took it through the roof,” Weber said regarding the explosion of interest in the Green New Deal after Ocasio-Cortez trumpeted the cause.

            She has since been joined by other progressive favorites including Reps.-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Gordon Campbell ruminates on the aftermath of the cgt debacle, and asks “who were the big winners”? “That’s easy: the people on the topmost rungs of the wealth ladder. By the Tax Working Group’s own calculations, 10% of the population own 70% of the assets that stood to be taxed, while the bottom 70% have only 10% of such assets, and the 30% of lowest income earners have merely 1% of them.” http://werewolf.co.nz/2019/04/gordon-campbell-on-scrapping-the-capital-gains-tax/

    So the coalition has chosen survival via preservation of wealth inequality. It knows those who voted for them in hope of reducing inequality have no better voting option, so making a living wage more viable will have to do for this term.

    “In fact, if they have a good tax lawyer, high earners can find ingenious ways to transform their ordinary taxable income into untaxed capital gains. So… is it fair that the country’s top 10% will continue to enjoy tax–free earnings for the foreseeable, while ordinary wage earners have to pay tax year in, year out? Of course not.”

    Since there’s never been a fair economy, Gordon’s perception (which I share) is largely irrelevant. Politics is the art of the possible. CGT was proven impossible.

    “On strictly economic terms, it also isn’t very smart – or efficient – to incentivize people to buy up property for the capital gain, rather than encourage them to invest in the productive parts of the economy.” Maybe so. However, the notion that investing in shares is a good idea was shredded by the ’87 crash. Slow learners still clinging to the notion got done over by the dot-com crash a decade later. God only knows what constituency Gordon thinks he’s (not) preaching to…

    • SPC 3.1

      Not possible only in the most neo-liberal nation state. Most others have a higher top rate of tax, a CGT and estate tax. And near all have higher GDP per capita – much greater investment in the real economy, rather than property.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        So perhaps focus will now switch to whether the coalition can keep faith with the electorate by making the tax system fairer in other ways. I hope so.

        Ardern’s choice to not park the cgt, but eliminate it, was strange. Some kind of Labour in-house psychodynamic has to explain this – I wonder if it will be made public or suppressed as dirty laundry?

      • Wayne 3.1.2

        As a percentage of GDP, the New Zealand government’s share of the economy is pretty much in the the middle of the OECD.

        The reason why it is done without CGT and with a top tax rate of 33%, is because we have almost no tax deductions and that it actually very difficult to avoid taxes in New Zealand. Also our GST is across the board, and also has virtually no exemptions.

        Our GDP level is not due to the size of government, which is pretty average among the OECD. It is mostly the result of being the most remote nation in the world and largely dependent on a few key primary products. In fact given that, we do pretty well.

        • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.2.1

          Wayne.

          We are so incredibly fortunate to have you around here.

          Those who make the unpalatable sound like ambrosia also serve.

          From the bottom of my heart….

        • Incognito 3.1.2.2

          GDP is just one aggregate economic measure and more of an indicator, just like CPI, for example.

    • Stuart Munro. 3.2

      “CGT was proven impossible”

      Nope – our representatives merely folded too soon as usual.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        I meant it has proven impossible in the current political & economic context. I agree it’s possible in principle. Desirable, too. Preferable.

        I suspect Labour insiders with a practical inclination would point to impracticality of application, due to the devil being in the details. Perhaps lack of advocacy from Labour politicians can be explained by this?

        • Stuart Munro. 3.2.1.1

          I think it was a corrosive decision.

          Good leadership includes things like embracing slightly risky options, if they offer improved outcomes over time. Consistently failing to take such steps erodes trust in leadership. The trope is not yet firmly established, but duck squeezing is not a habit that grows support.

          • gsays 3.2.1.1.1

            In respect to the leadership angle, this decision reeks more of management than leadership.
            Splitting hairs perhaps.

            I am desirous of leadership in regards to bringing equity into our society.
            Getting rid of G.S.T. and P.A.Y.E. and bringing in a F.T.T. aka Tobin tax or Hone tax.

            (Not telling you how to suck eggs Stuart, the link is for onlookers.)

            • Stuart Munro. 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Any substantive action that counteracts burgeoning inequality will attract my ringing endorsement – I’ll suck those eggs any way you want.

      • Anne 3.2.2

        I suspect you are right Stuart Munro.

        I recall around 7/8 years ago – when Key was riding the crest of political popularity – having a polite (reasonably) argument with a bunch of Auckland based MPs about Labour’s lack of responses to Key’s lies and false representations. In a polite and pc nuanced way they told me… they were scared to be too critical cos the voters might punish them.

        I wandered off thinking… damm cowards. 😉

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury 3.2.2.1

          Maybe they didn’t agree with you Anne and knew the voters would take issue with too many falsehoods being thrown at John Key. H fee blew up spectacularly for labour. That was about 7-8 years ago

          • Anne 3.2.2.1.1

            Except they weren’t falsehoods mate!

            A variety of reputable (note I said reputable) journalists were able to pick the lies and the distortions to pieces but the MSM for the most part ignored their contributions and we all know why… living in Key’s back pocket was regarded as essential if one’s career was to continue unobstructed.

            Btw. my recollectuion was the H thing blew up about ten years ago… soon after the Key govt. was elected.

            • Tuppence Shrewsbury 3.2.2.1.1.1

              But they were falsehoods.

              If labour mp’s feel that way, I’d trust their judgement over yours on the matter.

    • RedLogix 3.3

      Nah. The entire thing was botched from the outset. Setting aside my view the a CGT is a dogs breakfast of a tax that doesn’t work, the TWG report was an uninspiring rehash of last century ideas and thinking. There was no vision, or cohesive strategy to energise a desire for change.

      But the fatal blow was the proposed settings for the CGT. If it had been inflation adjusted and/or set at less than the top marginal tax rate, I think most people would have gone along with it.

      Failing to adjust it for inflation was stupid. In rough terms property inflation over the long-term is about 3% pa, while inflation is 2%. It meant that even in the case of a property which has had zero gain in real value, that over periods of a decade or more, would still be hit with substantial tax liabilities on eventual sale due simply to inflation.

      The same exact effect happens when PAYE tax rate thresholds are not inflation adjusted. Nice for government revenue, but it’s a lazy, dishonest form of taxation for everyone else.

      Another major fault was a failure to exempt the tax if the proceeds of a sale are immediately re-invested into the same asset class, which is a major disincentive to businesses re-structuring and updating.

      Still there is an upside to dumping this tax; it clears the way for something else. We may even be in for a surprise as soon as this next Budget.

      • Anne 3.3.1

        There had better be Redlogix otherwise they will look like losers in the minds of ordinary folk. If you have principles then you must act on those principles.

        John Key never had to worry because he didn’t have a lot pf principles in the first place.

      • Dennis Frank 3.3.2

        Failure to make equity-setting policies time-independent has long puzzled me. Conventional thinking has been driving settings out of whack throughout our lives, so you’d think all stakeholders would have learnt the lesson by now. Bad design.

        Re a pleasant budget surprise, hope you’re right. Maybe they put the rocket scientists onto a parallel track & left the cgt to the dummies. Will GR talk out of the socialist side of his mouth while reassuring the markets out of the neoliberal side? Will we see a forked tongue slithering between the two?

      • Ad 3.3.3

        Agreed.

        The whole exercise appears to have been designed as a trap by Minister Robertson to smash the reputation and body of work of Dr Cullen into a smeared red paste.

        As if Robertson was simply letting the left of the party, the unions, the churches, NGOs, and the Green Party, know in neon lights that he knows exactly what they want – and they will never get it.

      • mikesh 3.3.4

        The biggest failure of all was to get things back to front. The person who should be paying CGT is the owner of a family home. Everyone else should be exempt. Paying a tax on the capital gain on the sale of a family home would afford some recognition of the years of rent free accommodation enjoyed by the family home owner. Instead the designers of the CGT want to exempt the family home and tax every other capital gain.

        And this is a world wide problem. Every country that has a capital gains tax exempts the family home and taxes everything else. It’s no wonder the tax is so ineffectual.

        • RedLogix 3.3.4.1

          Yes. When TOP first pointed this out many people found it a bit hard to process. The basic argument goes, that if you have money sitting in your own house you pay zero tax, but if you have it invested in any productive asset, even a minimum risk/return bank account you do pay tax on the income generated.

          The argument rests on the idea that the benefit you enjoy from living in your own home is a form of ‘income’ that should be taxed in the interests of horizontal equity. That’s a grey area for a lot of people, we’ve become so acculturated to this loophole most people will deny it exists.

          What is clear though, you do get to keep any ‘real capital gains’ (over and above inflation) as real income when you sell your home. That form of income was what a CGT was intended to capture, but as you say, for purely political reasons the family home is perversely excluded.

          Thus homeowners would get to enjoy two tax benefits over all other asset types. Again for political reasons this may be tolerable. Home ownership has long been considered a desirable social goal in it’s own right. It’s also the presupposition our superannuation model is built on; $20k pa Super is simply not enough if your also paying $15k pa in rent.

          But the core problem with home ownership as a desirable goal is that it privileges a hugely unproductive investment in housing. The vast bulk of the debt we owe as a nation is sitting in our houses. It’s not entirely wasted, we need shelter and a place to call our own, but the problem comes when we also start treating our homes as savings accounts and ATM’s.

          Much of this is driven by the fact that National Super is insufficient to sustain even a modest middle class standard of living in retirement. It’s a safety net, not a lifestyle. Because my generation got repeatedly burnt by our financial sector and Muldoon destroyed our infant superannuation industry, that left housing as the only moderately reliable place to put our retirement savings.

          As an aside it’s often overlooked that NZ is the only OECD country to fund superannuation entirely from the govt’s current account. Most other nations, retirement provision is at least a separate stream from core govt taxation. Indeed if for comparison purposes you separate out National Super, NZ’s core govt fraction of the economy is the very lowest in the OECD. So much for the proposition that we’re an over-taxed socialist hell-hole 🙂

          But increasing tax revenue is difficult because our tax system is working with such a thin base. And this because so much of our wealth is tied up in non productive, un-taxed housing. An anti-virtuous circle if there ever was one.

          The current system is a distorted mess and I’m under no illusion how difficult it will be to fix without causing more problems than we’re trying to solve. But it’s why I supported TOP because at least they were willing to put substantive tax reform at the centre of their agenda.

    • Incognito 3.4

      Let’s no buy in and spread the meme that CGT was or is proven impossible; other countries have CGT and the sky has not fallen for them. This does not help the tax debate, which must continue because the problems have not gone away; they have moved the elephant from one to another room.

      In the NZ context, CGT was in the too-hard basket and the political price too high for some.

      Shares are a good medium- to long-term investment option, even when you take inevitable market downturns and ‘crashes’ into account. The golden rule is to diversify and not put all your (Easter) eggs in one basket and to adopt a financial risk level that suits you.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Could be that tax policy is something the govt want to defer until the review of the Public Finance Act is complete. It sets out the standards and practices of how the Crown should report its tax and spending to parliament, according to economist Brian Easton. https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/a-taxing-and-spending-matter

    “To understand the power of the PFA you need to recall Gilling’s Law which states the way you score the game shapes the way the game is played. Gilling’s Law says the danger is that we lapse into placing the level of debt at the top of the score card even if the primary focus is meant to be wellbeing. This is well illustrated by the current ‘Budget Responsibility Rules’, which emphasise the debt track.”

    The coalition seeks to incorporate well-being as a policy goal, and shift the govt from operating like a business to include more of a quality of life focus. Such practical socialism is laudable, even if the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I agree that game theory has become influential in public policy since the eighties, despite practitioners remaining reluctant to educate the public about usage. They ought to pull finger and lose their diffident stance. We need more sophisticated politics.

    • Wayne 4.1

      I think the PM’s next tax initiative (if there is one) will be a top rate of 40% for incomes above $150,000 (or maybe $200,000) and a tax free threshold of $5,000 to $10,000.

      She could readily campaign on that for the 2020 election. But would she take that risk? Are changes to income tax rates even necessary?

      She could just stay with the current tax settings, on the basis they have widespread consent. That is what Labour did for 2017. Clearly it was a proven winner, so why mess with success.

      In my view Jacinda’s brand does not lie in tax policy. It is much more in the area of children, environment, climate change and peacemaking.

      The government doesn’t actually need to raise taxes to get more money. They already have a healthy surplus, some of which could be spent. Fiscal drag will slowly push up the size of government as a percentage of GDP. Govt spending could easily increase by say $4 billion per year (about 5% increase in govt spending) on current settings. You can actually do quite a lot with an extra $4 billion.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Maybe so, but that will only keep the conventional part of her electoral base happy. To make the progressive part happy she has to produce a fairer system. I doubt Winston is allergic to fairness (despite being conservative) so I hope the two will agree on sufficient of a better design of the tax system to deliver reassurance to the electorate that they intend to be more than just managerial neoliberals.

        I expect the Greens to be firm in encouraging the govt to produce more of a sophisticated design. Recalling that income tax didn’t exist prior to around a century ago, and that land tax was the primary source of govt finance in the colonial era, I’m anticipating a design suitable for sustainable economics.

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          The economically progressive part are not required, and Robertson’s team are actively burning them off, both within caucus and the Party.

          • Koff 4.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps Grant and his ‘team’ should bugger off and join the National Party

            • Ad 4.1.1.1.1.1

              They have the power not us.

              After all what would be the real point of major tax policy or even tax bracket change?

              The economy is fine,
              – international trade is fine,
              – inequality is what it has been for a while,
              – the government has plenty of money, and spends it,
              – the Prime Minister is applauded for leadership in emotion without policy,
              – the farmers are happy,
              – any social-legislaation reform like euthanasia is gone,
              – and the government sits atop a great pile of unused political capital.

              Ta-daaaaaaah!

          • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1.2

            Well, I’m taken aback by that news. Sounds rather like an infestation of Blairites, requiring remedial action. Understandable, however, given the ongoing failure of Corbyn and Sanders to explain how they intend to launch Socialism 2.0 as an operating system.

            The way I see it, making progress in economics means devising a sustainable economy, in which the business cycle operates in a steady-state macroeconomic context. However, that’s mere philosophy and vision, and it needs a cadre of economists to drive it forward. After 27 years waiting, I’m still not seeing that emerge. Socialism 2.0 as an operating system will have to be designed as sustainable in perpetuity. Perhaps we still lack sufficient desperation to make it happen. More disasters, please!!

      • Incognito 4.1.2

        In my view Jacinda’s brand does not lie in tax policy. It is much more in the area of children, environment, climate change and peacemaking.

        I suspect you are correct. However, the danger with this kind of statements is that we start to associate signature policies with political branding (PR) and this raises expectations in one and lowers them in other areas. The point is that it is not an either-or situation when you are in Government. Even outside of Government it matters as the Greens can attest to, for example. People didn’t mind them as long as they were barking up and hugging the right ‘tree’ but they get really upset when the Greens appear to stray from their ‘paddock’.

        I’d hoped that we were getting past that kind of simplistic politics but it seems we still have a long way to go …

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    60 Minis left Kaitaia this morning, how many will make it to Invercargill.

    In tribute to the iconic Goodbye Pork Pie & it’s recent remake; and raising money for the KidsCan charity.

    Jolly good!

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=12223139

    To donate:

    https://porkpiecharityrun2019.gofundraise.co.nz

    • alwyn 5.1

      But it’s not the real thing.
      As the article says
      “By the time you get there and back you’ve done well over 5000km”.
      What is this back bit? Surely they could hock of bits of the cars as they go along. I’m sure you could be a pretty good price for the drivers door from a yellow mini as you passed through Wanaka.
      That would really be in the spirit of the original film, although if I was in it I certainly wouldn’t be volunteering parts of my car.

      Are they all real minis or are the BMW imposters along as well?

  6. Koff 6

    I doubt if Fortune magazine would be keen to change JA’s ranking* in the light of NZ domestic politics. Funny how a leader who gained such credibility so recently has seemingly lost it all so quickly with the CGT backdown. Mind you, it’s a funny old list anyway, with the Gates at number 1 and Greta Thunberg there with Jacinda in the top 10.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/04/fortune-magazine-names-jacinda-ardern-world-s-second-best-leader.html

  7. greywarshark 7

    We can’t afford to have unbalanced people with destructive obsessions roaming free in the streets. There is so much lasting damage that some quick or small behaviour can cause to society.

    Just days after flames ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a man was arrested Wednesday night (local time) after entering St Patrick’s Cathedral [New York] carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, police say….

    “It’s hard to say exactly what his intentions were, but I think the totality of circumstances of an individual walking into an iconic location like St Patrick’s Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters is something that we would have great concern over,” Mr Miller said.
    “His story is not consistent.”
    Mr Miller said the suspect was known to police, who were currently looking into his background.
    St Patrick’s Cathedral was built in 1878 and has installed a sprinkler-like system during recent renovations. Its wooden roof is also coated with fire retardant.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/387371/new-york-police-arrest-man-entering-st-patrick-s-cathedral-with-petrol-cans

  8. Rosemary McDonald 8

    Read it and weep….I did.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/112080526/vulnerable-man-who-drank-own-urine-spends-last-hours-constantly-moaning-and-calling-for-food-and-water

    Whanau care at its very, very worst….aided and abetted by the Tokoroa Hospital, Waikato Hospital, WINZ, a General Practitioner, a social worker and the New Zealand Police.

    These criminals have been remanded in custody until sentencing…they shoild both be jailed…but probably will walk free.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      They shoud be jailed and learn a bit about how it feels to be helpless, and they actually might learn something useful while there. Also it would split them up, they have been dragging each other down.

      A mother in Nelson took her own life and her intellectually handicapped son’s when Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley indicated to the country that they had no human compassion. The mother felt if she died, her son would be neglected and have a hell of a life, and she decided to act before that happened. Very sad.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Having some crass cosmetic business use my sacred place name as a trademark would upset me greatly. What can we do about this to indicate that we actually have respect and sensitivity to Islam?

    Australian makeup retailer Mecca is moving out of its Auckland CBD store and into the former Topshop Auckland site on the corner of Queen and Victoria Sts.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12047157

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    Breathing Happily

    Is so nice to be among the Trolls and Misfits. They churn out so much piffle. Most of it against Jacinda Adern .

    Jacinda is a woman. Which is her biggest fault. She is The Prime Minister of New Zealand. Which is Her next biggest fault. She is Kindly – Which is her next biggest fault. The Trolls of New Zealand detest her with a vicious venom exuding from their tiny head cells. Some Bastard gave her magnificent Intelligence. Which is another Fault. Never Mind.

    Also they are very old Trolls – more interested in their Cirrhotic Livers – than anything important.

    Jacinda has looked at the Money Books and decided She will not Tax Property. It means a lot to the greedy pinchy males of NZ – for after all they were bred for Greed.

    However, the Greedy know, Money always goes to fewer and fewer and fewer- and the Trolls will gradually loose out. Even if The Queen of Sheba hands the coin stuff out.

    The Trolls know that in a nonfair place like New Zealand they will soon be heavily impoverished. The Trolls and misfits will be no loss whatever. In my Opinion.

  11. Jum 11

    https://www.euronews.com/2019/04/06/germans-take-to-streets-in-rent-rise-protests-demanding-government-takeover-large-private

    ‘Thousands took to the streets of Berlin on Saturday in protest against rising property rents and called for properties of large-scale landlords with more than 3,000 houses to be taken over by the government.

    Other protests have been held across Germany’s major cities, including Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich on Saturday.’

    (Might need to ratchet the numbers down for NZ…)

  12. Eco Maori 12

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute.

    Whanau you see the sandflys have that much hardware pointed at me cameras listening devices that’s the main reason they keep blocking my YouTube video music because they are scared they might miss something interesting with my music blocking there buggs YEA RIGHT YOU got nothing and ain’t never going to find ANYTHING fools. P.S they broke a radio at the old whare to be careful whanau they are dirty rotten cheats

  13. Eco Maori 13

    Whanau here is more evedince that goverments serve the 00.1% first and for most The sweet tooths use there money to bribe lobby cheat and steal with impunity .US the 99.9 % of people are just sheep to them waiting to be ripped off THATs REALITY.
    Private Eye’s work revealed that a large chunk of the country was not only under corporate control, but owned by companies that – in many cases – were almost certainly seeking to avoid paying tax, that most basic contribution to a civilised society. Some potentially had an even darker motive: purchasing property in England or Wales as a means for kleptocratic regimes or corrupt businessmen to launder money, and to get a healthy return on their ill-gotten gains in the process. This was information that clearly ought to be out in the open, with a huge public interest case for doing so. And yet the government had sat on it for years.The political ramifications of these revelations were profound. They kickstarted a process of opening up information on land ownership that, although far slower and less complete than many would have liked, has nevertheless transformed our understanding of what companies own. In November 2017, the Land Registry released its corporate and commercial dataset, free of charge and open to all. It revealed, for the first time, the 3.5m land titles owned by UK-based corporate bodies – covering both public sector institutions and private firms – with limited companies owning the majority, 2.1m, of these. But there were two important caveats. Although we now had the addresses owned by companies, the dataset omitted to tell us the size of land they owned. Second, the data lacked accurate information on locations, making it hard to map. Ka Kite ano Links below P.S Whanau Eco Maori is going to change this atrocity 
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/19/who-owns-england-secretive-companies-hoarding-land

    Some how I think the pro brexit was a plan to turn britian into Europe’s Factory farm.

  14. Eco Maori 14

    Good choice of spreaker Moana will give a awsome view on the realitys of Aotearoa.
    This is not the time for white voices
    The speaker at the Hamilton Press Club on Friday May 3 will be Moana Jackson.He was a little bit reluctant and could even be described as diffident. Put it this way, it wasn’t his life’s dream.But he spoke with friends who have attended Hamilton Press Club events, and could be trusted to give him an honest appraisal of the lunch events and whether they are worthwhile forums, and they must have said okay things and out of kindness not described me as a complete jackass, because Moana eventually said, in his slow, measured way, yes.
    Great. I think it’s going to be a special moment for the Hamilton Press Club. It can be a bit of a rough-house affair. I’m thinking of the time guest speaker Duncan Garner directed a jibe at then-MP Brendan Horan, who simmered and seethed for a couple of minutes, then caught my eye and indicated he needed to have a word in private.We met backstage. He said: “I’m going to dunk the *** in the river.” He really was incandescent with rage and I calmed him down with the help of New Zealand Herald journalist David Fisher, but I kind of regret it. I’d have paid good money to see Horan go at it with Garner.
    Ka kite ano links below P.S its cool to get Eco Maori tau toko there are———- you know 

    https://e-tangata.co.nz/media/this-is-not-the-time-for-white-voices/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_religion

  15. Eco Maori 15

    The 00.1% Who are the actual rulers of the world still want there chocolate $$$ whether it ruins the Papatuanuku mother earth or not .Kia kaha protesters of the Extinction Rebellion Eco Maori Has your BACK 

    Pink boat becomes focus of attention on fifth day of Extinction Rebellion protestsThe siege of the Berta Cáceres started started shortly after noon when police in high-vis jackets surrounded the bright pink boat in Oxford Circus, central London, with two cordons and then steadily peeled off the Extinction Rebellion activists stuck to it.Officers with angle grinders cut through the bars below the hull of the vessel, named after the murdered Honduran environmental activist, which protesters had chained and glued themselves to.Five hours later, however, the tables had turned as hundreds of activist reinforcements swarmed into side roads and blocked the end of Regent Street. The police were surrounded. As officers attached the Berta Cáceres to a lorry, the crowd chanted: “We have more boats.”By 7pm police had managed to move the boat just two streets away, only to find themselves pinned in by more rows of demonstrators singing the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love. After much obstruction the vessel was eventually driven away up Regent Street followed by jogging uniformed officers. 
    Welcome to the fifth day of the Extinction Rebellion, the escalating but still methodically polite campaign of disruption that has turned several of central London’s best-known locations into a giant game of territorial to-and-fro.Despite more than 100 arrests on Friday, taking the total to 682 by early evening, the demonstration which has blocked four major London landmarks looked set to continue beyond the weekend, with organisers preparing to extend their disruption on Monday to “picnics on the motorway.”Advertisement
    The activists reported an influx of supporters as the Easter holiday, balmy weather and gestures of support from school strike leader Greta Thunberg and the actor Emma Thompson injected new momentum into the weeklong climate protest. Ka kite ano  Links below 
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/19/extinction-rebellion-reports-hundreds-of-people-signing-up

  16. Eco Maori 16

    Kia ora Newshub  
    Yes biggest thanks from Eco Maori for the protesting in Auckland  and around the Papatuanukue on Climate change Kia kaha I would be there with you but if ECO Maori was there you would have seen the big police escort that caters for ME.
    Cleo the haters need there heads read why hate its beyond me I’m get – – – on but I forgive the perpetrators I can see it’s the sandflys minupulate them I will forgive but NOT forget what they are doing. 
    Its quite dry in the Bop and Waikato regions hope no one was hurt in the 2 fires in Waikato . 
    Its cool that the Auckland Council is being vigilant in the defence of Tane Mahuta againstthe vvirus but YOU must do all you can to save him and his Mokopuna. 
    I can remember all the new species of fish when we first started fishing for orangeruffy  and fishing Scampi down the Auckland island . 
    I see that a big name is calling on a trump inpeachment. 
    What giving the Democract no choice they can read the trump report but can’t talk about it or publish it what’s the fucken use of that PUPPET. 
    That was a big beautiful pithonsnake all animals have personalitys OUR dogs all had excellent personalitys hope she didn’t get to scared. 
    Plants are beautiful orcds to I had a elderly neighbour who had heaps of Orchids to use to give her all the fish she can eat. 
    Ka kite ano 

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