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Open mike 19/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 19th, 2012 - 44 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

44 comments on “Open mike 19/03/2012 ”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Aint nothin to see here. Move along see. Clouds I tell you. Hockey sticks. Fantastical new scienticious devices will appear in the nick of time, you’ll see. http://ind.pn/FPhdFH We got yer feedback loops right here.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      …and just keep right on moving!

    • Bill 1.2

      Just playfully thinking out loud over me morning coffee. Since methane persists for only about 12 years in the atmosphere (and given it is far more ‘lethal’ in terms of warming than CO2), then the spike in warming and the flow on effects could be the rude wake up needed to get to the absolute decisiveness needed with regards CO2 emmissions.

      Now, if only global warming and it’s effects were linear and reversable, we’d be sweet. Oh,well. Wonder what the most timely re-release date would be for this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyFH4S76ErU

      • Ianupnorth 1.2.1

        Avery long time ago I had a summer holiday in Menorca in the Balearic islands. At the beach there was a very foul odour that bubbled up from the sea bottom; that was methane from decomposing plant matter. Now, if it has been trapped by ice for thousands of years this must be like a mass release; I am surprised the Russki’s aren’t drilling and piping it!

        • Lanthanide

          They’re called methane clathrates and they are being investigated as yet another form of fossil fuel. The difficulty is that they’re generally very deep and very cold. There’s also the potential that if disturbed or there’s an accident that the gas could be released in an explosion, or the rate of release increased dramatically.

          Interestingly, though, CO2 is a weaker greenhouse gas than methane, so if we’re faced with a case where the methane is definitely going to be released at some point, then it’s actually better if we capture it and burn it up first, as this will produce a lower (although longer laster) effect on the environment.

      • lprent 1.2.2

        More like 70 years. 12 years is the half life…..

  2. Mike 2

    What happened to the ‘Remember 1984’ post?

    • lprent 2.1

      I suspect mike pressed the wrong button and released it before he finished it. It is currently in draft. Any comment that got attached when it was in view will be there when it returns.

  3. Nick Smith is considering mucking around with Auckland’s Super City’s rating system.

    The super city legislation decreed that all of Auckland had to have the same rating system introduced this year. Many complained about it and suggested that longer should be taken so that the changes could be more graduated but like so many other issues this was ignored.

    The introduction of the system has created the possibility of considerable change.  For instance out west there is the potential for large decreases to occur for most ratepayers.

    The areas most adversely hit were central Auckland and the Eastern Suburbs and North Shore, the richest areas and most able to handle any increase.

    Len Brown has very generously sought a law change so that the poor’s decreases will be slower than they would otherwise have been.  This will benefit the rich.  I am certain that Smith will accede to the request.

    Expect Smith to also attack the universal annual general charge, a standard amount charged to all ratepayers.  It was set at a relatively modest $350 per year.  The right always wants it as high as possible. 

    • framu 3.1

      not to mention he wants to implement act party policy re: directing councils to only focus on rubbish etc (but with the addition of libraries) and stay away from social issues and events

      if hes so concerned about rates rises why not give us more say? – not more control from wellington

    • ianmac 3.2

      On Morning Report Nick Smith refused to front so, in keeping with the new policy, if the Minister won’t front then give the Opposition a good run. Annette King gave a fluent compelling response to the expected proposals, including that if Local bodies do not pay for libraries, pools, sportsfields, then who does?

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        There was a ridiculous email read out from a likely investment property owner (probably upset that his tenants ‘don’t pay rates’) saying the rates system is outdated and should be replaced with something else, I suggested “user pays” to my boyfriend about 3 seconds before that was read out.

        Apparently it would be more efficient if we had people standing out on the corner, collecting 20c from all pedestrians that walk past.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1

      Key and English contradicting one another. Can they both be wrong? Probably.

      • vto 4.1.1


        English: I don’t think there will be a housing boom.

        Key: I think there will be a housing boom.

        And these fools think they can run a country

  4. Campbell Larsen 5

    Help stop the TPPA from destroying our sovereignty – sign up for newsletters and information:


  5. Pascal's bookie 6

    ” PM sees no need for formal inquiry into ACC following latest allegations made against whistleblower in privacy breach case”


    So that’s all right then.



    • Lanthanide 6.1

      I heard it mentioned on some news bulletin or another, probably a snippet of Checkpoint on National Radio, that ACC managers had been emailing names of the sensitive claims clients among themselves for years. Apparently it is done for statistical purposes.

      So this means they aren’t following industry best-practice. For starters, emailing excel files around is terribly insecure, and it wouldn’t have been difficult to scrub the names out of the document at the very least. The proper way to do it would have been to use a specialised anonymous database, where it is impossible to ask queries that would reveal personal details about any individual case (or a combination of queries where details about an individual could be deduced).

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        Frankly, there should be much yelling in various offices. If they really needed to drill down the stats that deeply, adopting a standard private/public key encryption tool or other encryption method should have been mandatory. And that’s without sending sealed DVDs by registered courier.
        I would have thought there would have been some privacy paranoia that ACC had acquired from interactions with the Ministry of Health. Obviously not. 

  6. ianmac 7

    News to me. I thought that the decision on Leadership yet to be made but:
    “Catherine Isaac, who has been appointed to lead the charter schools trial, said terms of reference were yet to be finalised. But officials would look at overseas examples to try to avoid pitfalls.”

  7. vto 8

    When is the popular uprising against Saudi Arabia’s dictators and despots going to start?

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      When the oil runs out and they can’t afford to bribe the populace any more.

      Of course uprisings lead to reduced oil production so it’s somewhat self-defeating. Meanwhile the rest of the world will try and manage on $200-300/barrel oil!

    • Bill 8.2

      Maybe there will be a resurgence of protest leading to an uprising if and when ‘undesirables’ get released from jail? But don’t go holding your breath.

      Those individuals who did bravely demonstrate were swiftly arrested. Among them was 40-year-old Khaled al-Johani, the only man to demonstrate on the 11 March “Day of Rage” in Riyadh, who told journalists he was frustrated by media censorship in Saudi Arabia and predicted his own arrest.

      Charged with supporting a protest and communicating with foreign media, he is believed to have been held in solitary confinement for two months. Nine months on he remains in detention and has not been tried.

      A number of people who have spoken up in support of protests or reform have been arrested. Sheikh Tawfiq Jaber Ibrahim al-Amer, a Shi’a cleric, was arrested for the second time this year in August for calling for reform at a mosque. He has been charged with “inciting public opinion”.

      On 22 November 16 men, including nine prominent reformists, were given sentences by the Specialized Criminal Court ranging from five to 30 years in prison, on charges that included forming a secret organization, attempting to seize power, incitement against the King, financing terrorism, and money laundering.


  8. Bored 9

    Private prisons here we come…as sure as day follows night the announcement yesterday that the regional prisons were going to be closed, et voila private prisons announced.


    I cannot express my level of contempt and disgust at this nasty profiteering from those incarcerated. Another sign of the ideological extremity of these corporatist lackies we call NACT.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Unfortunately it’s easy for governments to get away with this sort of bullshit because most voters take a very dim view of criminals and don’t care if removing regional prisons causes huge disruptions to families of the criminals.

      My bf pointed out that for a lot of people, losing links with their local community and family simply increases the likelihood of recidivism.

      • felix 9.1.1

        Your bf makes some good points.

        The trouble with these oafs in govt is they think crime is essentially a genetic flaw, so once you diagnose someone as criminal it doesn’t really matter what happens to them.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.2

      Private prisons and everything that comes with them.

    • marsman 9.3

      Private prisons even though everyone knows they cost the taxpayer more than public prisons. Nasty, nasty NAct.

    • Jenny 9.4

      I cannot express my level of contempt and disgust at this nasty profiteering from those incarcerated. Another sign of the ideological extremity of these corporatist lackies we call NACT.


      Bored in my opinion the crassness of this decision by the NACTs may be matched by the city fathers of the Town of Flora Ill. USA, who launched a campaign in 1987 under the banner, “All We Want’s A Prison.” It came with a music video featuring many of the town fathers.

      See these conservative worthies prostituting themselves in this U tube video.

      The good news is, that these disgusting hucksters lost their bid to get the prison built in their town.

      Bored I think that if you go to the end of the link you may agree that your inexpressible contempt for the NACTS was matched by the citizens of Flora for their right wing political leaders.

  9. Jackal 10

    The Boag, Puller and ACC scandal gets stranger:

    Ms Pullar suffered a head injury in a 2002 bicycle accident which she believes left her unable to work fulltime. However, the report that Ms Pullar was the woman in the privacy breach prompted blogger Cameron Slater to publish emails sent to him by her seeking his help in a long battle with the corporation over its assessments of her ability to work.

    Those emails, sent in October 2010, include one Ms Pullar originally sent to then ACC Minister Nick Smith, in which she tells him that corruption “is alive and well within ACC”.

    “ACC is rotten to the core and I have numerous examples that could seriously embarrass you, over and above this.

    “This is just the beginning of a process to bring into the public arena the concerns about ACC’s new policies in their drive to reduce financial liability at the expense of injured claimants and their rights.”

    Why would Puller think Slater gives a damn about injured claimants and their rights?

    • just saying 10.1

      Probably because he also had a long drawn-out dispute regarding income replacement payments, and the insurers assessment about his capacity to work.

    • Treetop 10.2

      I am beginning to see why Boag advocated for Pullar, I suspect because of the way Pullar was not being taken seriously initially by ACC and then by Smith. I can also see why Pullar held back on not informing ACC of the 6700 emails which were sent to her in August 2011. Previously Pullar had made a complaint to Smith in October 2010 and I suspect that earlier breaches of privacy were in the complaint, (yet to be established). Irrespective of any complaint made by Pullar (head injury) any breach of privacy that Pullar mentioned to ACC, this appears to have been handled incompetently.

      Key needs to have an inquiry conducted as I suspect that Boag knows a lot more than she is saying and being Pullars friend for 15 years. The public also need to have confidence in ACC in particular regarding sensitive files. When a person has PTSD they need to feel safe, retell the trauma to intergrate it and to reconnect back into the community. ACC has done a disservice to every sensitive claimaint as the way they file share the information is not best practice.

      Yesterday I asked whether Boag told Smith of the privacy breach and when? (I am referring to the August 2011 emails). Smith could have even asked Boag to advocate for Pullar. When Smith was dropped as ACC minister last December was this because of something Key knew?

  10. Morrissey 11


    In case you are thinking of throwing your money away, take a look at this…


  11. Morrissey 12

    Truer word was never spoken…
    National Radio, Monday 19.3.2012, 3:52 p.m.

    “Whatever I say, I’m going to sound like a WANKER.”—Deborah Hill Cone

    Significantly, neither of her fellow Panelists (Jim Mora and Mike Williams) said anything.

  12. The Government has announced major changes to Local Government.  The timing of the announcement is something of a surprise.  I had understood that a confidential briefing for Councillors was going to occur on Thursday of this week.  There is nothing on the web and Farrar had to put up a pdf on Scribed so he had something to talk about.
    I wonder what the rush was?  On first blush the changes themselves are pretty radical.  Capping Councils’ ability to increase rates will mean that a lot of infrastructure is not going to be repaired …

    • Herodotus 13.1

      Capping Councils’ ability to increase rates will mean that a lot of infrastructure is not going to be repaired … – sad that councils within Auckland have been collecting contributions to cover the costs of maintenance of infrastructure and not conducting any maintanence e.g. The 100’s of Stormwater quality ponds that have been engineered in design & capacity to handle a 1:100 year event- yet to do this they have to be regularly “cleaned out” to maintain their designed holding capacity. Ask next time when was any pond cleaned out or for a maintenace schedule?
      How can power/phone utility coy dig trenches for ducts/cables etc destroy roads, kerbs & footpaths – Do a patch repair that fails or is inferrior to the original then council repairs these failures 2 years later. Or why councils have not enforce consent conditions on developers and the costs have by default fallen on rate payers?
      Rate payers are just dump cows that are always in season being milked.

    • prism 13.2

      But it’s greater change for councils than capping spending on infrastructure. Councils are not to be involved in working with citizens for things that are socially desirable.

      Much of local tourism depends on volunteers with council back-up or grants staging performances that are drawcards for tourists and make pleasurable living for the locals.

      What about libraries? I don’t believe that some of these just-do-it men read at all to inform themselves and are known to be low fiction readers. Without use of their imagination, their focus is so narrow they miss the points about being alive.

      This is another revolution. Perhaps younger people will realise what it means when their bread and their circuses disappear. The older age group won’t worry while their super comes through and they get their wants met without the shaming and blaming that other beneficiaries receive.. NZ as an entity to them is off the horizon.

  13. Treetop 14

    The world is going to end, there is a shortage of NZ Marmite.

  14. RedLogix 15

    Another perspective from National Radio this morning. Bit of a talking head but worth a listen.

    And another angle on the Universal Income idea as well.

  15. I can see National making even more savings by combining the Ministry of Education with the Treasury, we’re almost halfway there anyway…


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