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Open mike 19/04/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 19th, 2012 - 128 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…

128 comments on “Open mike 19/04/2012 ”

  1. And in breaking news the stench of corruption surrounding the Sky City legislation for investment deal grows stronger.

    Sky City Chairman Rod McGeoch said the access was enabling the company to change the way it was seen by “key influencers”.

    So this Government is happy to give gambling a veneer of respectability as long as the price is right.

    Its true colors are finally showing. 

    • Oops should have said “access to cabinet ministers”

      • ad 1.1.1

        It’s time Shearer calls Key “corrupt” as often as possible.

        Otherwise Peters as a smart lawyer will seek a judicial review of the Convention Centre deal as soon as it is made, and the story is his and bigger than the Winebox thing because it could take the Prime Minister down.

        • Frida

          Yes, I was hoping this morning that one of the disgruntled tenderers would launch judicial review of this decision. Always hard to do in the case of tenders because the first stop is usually seen to be the contract (or the first process contract). However the Privy Council 1994 decision in Mercury Energy v ECNZ still applies. That decision holds in essence that a commercial contract will not be reviewable, except in the situation of “fraud, corruption or bad faith.”

          • ad

            The Whitianga Environment Court decision that Minister Chris Carter overturned and then got pinged for is also worth considering here, although of course we are a long way from that kind of procedure.

            In the end what John Key is doing is what he has done over The Hobbit: because they control Parliament they really can make tradeoffs weighing economic good to social harm. We have been used to a Clark Government which did little of this and was simply anti-commercial.

            What Key will need to release to forestall the NZHerald and TV1 holding their own inquiry, is a precise timetable of:
            – the tendering proces
            – the weighting criteria
            – the people in the room making the decision and their delegations
            – the advice from officials every step of the way

            – and all of that matched against every phone call or email or pull-aside or meeting he or his Ministers have had with Sky since the 2008 election.

            He either has to dump all of this in public fast and visibily, or it will cut his tree down blow by blow. And he needs to get a Minsiter to take the fall for this as well.

            If the media get to do this inquiry, it will be repeated in the High Court – and probably within this Parliamentary term.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Peters is many things but he is not a smart lawyer.

    • Logie97 1.2

      New Zealand has had a long tradition of career prime ministers people who have learnt protocol. (Same goes for our diplomatic service.) Suddenly we get someone who has been plucked from the business world and the nature of the office changes.

  2. vto 2

    When it comes to the right wing fanatics and their love of foreign landlords they have often claimed, as the likes of Gosman has repeatedly here, that “they can’t take the land with them” as if the effect on our sovereignty is nil.

    This is patent nonsense as common sense knows that every person will make moves to protect what they consider theirs no matter its location or political position. Evidence for this was recently provided when a Chinese under-diplomat at the Chinese Embassy in Wellington made statements about the effect of NZ banning foreign ownership of land with particular reference to the Crafar farms.

    This has been followed up this week with the fourth-ranking leader of China, visiting at the moment, apparently making points re the Crafar farms and their desire for other purchases of New Zealand. Yesterday this man, more powerful by a universe than any person in our lands, visited Synlait, a 51% Chinese-owned dairy factory just outside Christchurch. Clearly, the ownership of New Zealand is important to the Chinese.

    Now we see further evidence of the effect of foreign ownership on sovereignty in Argentina, with Eurpoe making continent-wide threats against Argentina which has has nationalised an energy company. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/6766653/Spain-threatens-Argentina-over-YPF-seizure

    Argentina is a sovereign nation, entitled to make its own rules about anything. It has a government elected by its people, yet here is Europe jumping up and down saying “no, you cannot make those rules in Argentina, and if you do then we will take action against you”.

    The evidence is clear people. Sell New Zealand to foreigners and we lose control of our country.



    • Bill 2.1


      Okay. You have no effective sovereignty right now. None. Zip. Nada. So what you afraid of losing again?

      And if you are just against foreign ownership of land (as opposd to the consistent position of being against private ownership of land, full stop.) then does that extend to all foreign entities owning land in other coountries? What about Fonterra’s recent moves into China where they are assuming control (effective sovereignty) of arable lands? Is that okay? And their acquisitions in S.America, are they okay?

      And please bear in mind that Fonterra (at last time of looking) enjoy the fruits of NZ prison labour…slave labour as some would have it.

      • vto 2.1.1

        Bill, you have raised this issue before. The reference to soveignty is a reference to our current political structure and commonly recognised sovereignty, with your noted warts and all. Our current “sovereignty” is the position against which this is measured.

        As for NZers going and spending money in other countries that is up to them. Also nothing to do with what I am talking about. If they want to take the same political risks with their money that is their business. And the business of those other countries. Bloody risky if you ask me but they seem to think that world geopolitics is stable enough to make those calls. Good luck to them.

        As for Fonterra’s slave labour use, again, not related to my point.

        • Bill

          *sigh* Sovereignty is control. You and I have no control over land use and so on. (Oh sure, we can petition and protest, but we have no positive and empowering input) But you accept a meaningless definition of sovereignty…a thing devoid of agency. Meaning you accept the loss of our sovereignty…yet complain about a potential loss of our sovereignty!

          As for Fonterra investing ‘their’ money (as you put it) in foreign ventures, doesn’t that underscore the point that private ownership robs us of sovereignty? It’s their money that came from their businesses run on their land….the same land that, if they chose to sell some to a foreign interest would suddenly become our land… and not up for grabs.

          It’s a massive disconnect vto and one that is going to tie swathes of the left in knots. Why not adopt a position that at least offers consistency, that avoids the potential for jingo-ism and that offers a modicum of solidarity to all those people overseas finding themselves in a similar position to the one NZ ers are getting so het up about?

          Or is it a jingoistic case predicated on a notion of *our* Fonterra (quick, quick, wave the flag! what a fantastic kiwi business it is!) versus the world…going into bat for *us* against the rest of the world? And the rest of the world (that’s mostly people like you and me btw) can ‘look out’ for themselves if they choose… Fonterra…the kiwi ‘big batter’ is coming to town…ra-ra Fonterra and hiss boo ‘the others’?

          • vto

            So Bill if we have no control whatsoever over the use and ownership of land in NZ then who does control it?

            And I don’t follow your logic re NZers investing overseas. It seems it is you getting tied up in knots.

            • Bill

              Who does control it? The owners of course! And you and I in’t the owners.

              And if you can’t follow the simple logic of private entities investing overseas and why your tacit support of that = a level of inconsistency or hypocrisy, then it means you don’t understand….not that I’m getting tied in knots. If you discern inconsistencies in my stance, then elucidate.

              • vto

                “Who does control it? The owners of course! ”

                That is patent nonsense. I have a plenty experience in property ownership and using it and trying to change its use and I can tell you that an owner’s control over its land is in fact small. Surely it doesn’t need pointing out that both central and local government exercise the major control thru e.g. RMA, Council plans, govt legislation concerning mining, burial, policing, taxation, the list goes on and on and on.

                The control and use of land in NZ is effected through our common law, our land tenure system, central government legislation and local government regulation and planning. Nothing else.

                We are clearly miles apart in our understandings, which means my original point, in this context, cannot even begin to be discussed.

                • Bill

                  Yes vto. The owners exert control…make decisions and take actions…exercise their sovereign rights as it were, within the context of a legislative framework. Granted.

                  And if we were looking at a situation of ‘the commons’ then there would be a framework delimiting sovereignty too. The difference being that we would be the ones instituting the rules and bounderies within which we acted…in other words, substantive sovereignty guided by democratic principles.

                  Now where is our ability to partake in decisions and actions within the context of private land ownership guided or delimited by government legislation? How do we express any meaningful sovereignty over that land? What opportunities for control do we have? There’s nothing there, is there?

                  • vto

                    Well, we clearly do. By way of example, we vote in governments to make changes to the legislated framework around ownership (further example being recent more restrictive changes to foreign ownership of land). Another example, submissions and voting in of councils around the regulatory policies concerning local land use (further particular example being the changes made to rural Councils plans around rural land use around ten years ago).

                    Brining this back to my original point. The above control that we have (shown by law and example) is affected when ownership is held by foreigners when they try to influence those Council and government decision-making processes. And my original point outlined three examples of where that has happenned.

                    This is how we lose control of our sovereignty, as outlined in my original point.

                    • Bill

                      I guess you kind of glazed over at the word meaningful in my previous comment. Sure, you and I can vote ‘representatives’ into positions of power and hope they will represent something…anything!… we actually give a shit about. And sometimes they might enact legislative changes that we agree with…or not, as the case may be.

                      And powerful economic actors with a kiwi identity (a head office here or whatever) don’t attempt to influence councils and governments?! Or if they do, it’s all okay because their influence doesn’t affect our (well, your imagined) sovereignty…unlike nefarious foreigners?

                      Ever considered that if nationalisation was to be seen a possible step in the direction of people someday realising a measure of actual sovereignty, that it would be far easier for a government to nationalise foreign owned ‘stuff’ cause they would possibly enjoy more public support than they would if the ‘stuff’ was in the private hands of nz companies?

                      Just throwing that out there for you to mull over…

                  • AAMC

                    Speaking of the Commons, Via Campesina occupy farm land in Honduras


      • Bored 2.1.2

        Bill, Fonterras use of slave prison labour? Tell me more.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        What about Fonterra’s recent moves into China where they are assuming control (effective sovereignty) of arable lands? Is that okay?

        Foreign ownership of an economy is bad for that economy thus it is not Ok for Fontera to take control of Chinas lands.

        And, yes, private ownership of land in NZ also needs to be banned with the present deeds being turned into leases.

        • Bill

          Thankyou for articulating a position that’s consistant….was beginning to feel quite lonely I was…

        • Colonial Viper

          “Effective sovereignty” is such a lame-ass phrase. Bottom line is that China will not allow Fonterra to ever own that land, and don’t mistake the illusion of control over it for actual control.

          A squad from the Chinese Army turns up and your “effective sovereignty” and control of that farm land is all over, just like that.

          • Bill

            Should have read (perhaps for the sake of clarity becasue it was not intended to be read as a phrase) ‘effectively sovereignty’…ie control…but if that;’s nonsense then what is sovereignty when it is just a vacuous label or word with no ‘real world’ expression in terms of the things it traditionally pertains to ie control?

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    Crafar decision 2 due out tomorrow.

    All indicators are pointing to a piece of our Paradise being run by the Chinese very very shortly.

    Makes me so Angry

    • Unless plans have changed the farms are to be run by New Zealanders. The Chinese are providing the money and a market.

      • marsman 3.1.1

        And NZ is to pay millions of dollars to run the farms!

        • Bill

          Genuine query. But in on way or another, wouldn’t ‘nz’ pay millions no matter who the owners were? Externalised costs and all that. And through paying $10 -$15 for a block of cheese that sells on the world market for about $2?

          • Fortran

            I understand that Landcorp were to manage the Crafer Farms, with New Zealanders from Landcorp being employees paid in New Zealand dollars.

            • Colonial Viper

              Yeah well Landcorp should own the land as well. And then we could profit as a nation from their competent working of it.

      • freedom 3.1.2

        Petey Petey petey, you are such a waste of oxygen, what about the inconvenient truth that NZrs were never given the opportunity to buy the farms. Sure a handful of elite groups made a half arsed pitch as a collected lot, and the few that tried faced such a wall of predetermination the cause was lost before it began. There has also not yet been a full and frank explanation as to why the farms were not offered to NZ as individual lots in the same way they were offered to overseas interests. Lastly, who cares who is employed to run them where is the profit going??? oh yeah, offshore, like everything else of worth in NZ.

        • Dv

          The money is to pay off the mortgages held by overseas banks.

          • freedom

            yes, we all know that and once the liquidation process is over the farms will become regular earners again and with foreign ownership that money goes offshore, so the point of your comment is what exactly?

          • Draco T Bastard

            The overseas banks can where the loss that was part of the risk that they took on when they gave out the loans.

        • Pete George

          A lot of New Zealanders are employed by foreign owned companies. Fact of life.

          It would be great if all our land could be owned by New Zealanders, and all companies be owned and run by New Zealanders, but that’s simply not feasible.

          Benefits don’t just come as profits (some of which go to overseas owners) – employment and the money it injects into the economy. And downstream business is very significant.

          It’s been claimed that for every new job at Marsden point due to the proposed refurbishment and expansion there will be six jobs due to associated business. That’s employment and profits (in many cases) for New Zealanders.

          • freedom

            You really don’t get it do you. Just because you did not die from the first three head on collisions does not mean the next hit won’t check you out. Sooner or later the brakes must be applied. Selling what minuscule scraps of NZ that remain, is not a good idea.

            • Pete George

              Sounds like you’re the one that doesn’t get it.

              The country is called New Zealand, not New Utopia.

              • Colonial Viper

                You don’t get the concept of economic sovereignty. Which is not surprising since neither does Dunne.

                The country is called New Zealand, not New Utopia.

                If you have no ideals and vision for the future of the nation, get the fuck out of politics.

                • freedom

                  i was going to be a little less polite CV, though it is hard not to think PeteG is the posterboy for some words i recall from my youth.

                  ‘Works all day busy doing nothing Working very hard to find nothing to do.’

                  Since i first realised a human has the capacity for independent thought (i was six and refusing my first holy communion, twice) i have been battling fuckwits who fail to see that NZ is possibly the only country in the modern world which had the potential to show the rest of the world there is a better way. Emphasis sadly is now on the ‘had’ instead of ‘has’

                  • Len Brown is exploring possibilities:

                    Chinese investors have shown encouraging interest towards the Auckland Council’s planned $10.8 billion worth of infrastructure projects and other trade and investment opportunities, Auckland Mayor Len Brown says. …

                    China, as our second largest trading partner, was one of the few countries with significant capital to invest offshore and was particularly interested in tourism investment, Brown said.

                    The first project off the block will be the $2.4b inner city rail loop and Brown favours a PPP (public/private/partnership) deal over borrowing, issuing infrastructure bonds, or raising rates and taxes in order to fund it.


                    Alternately he could ask for commenters on The Standard to provide the investment capital required.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      China, as our second largest trading partner, was one of the few countries with significant capital to invest offshore and was particularly interested in tourism investment, Brown said.

                      Money is nothing and the Chinese seem to understand that. All that nothing that the Chinese will invest will be used to benefit China from our resources making us poorer.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In fact China is looking to unload its about-to-become-worthless Treasuries on to useless saps like us, in exchange for the best hard assets we own.

                      The Chinese used to respect us, but these days they realise we’re just like the rest of the short term thinking money hungry capitalists.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Emphasis sadly is now on the ‘had’ instead of ‘has’


                    NZ is still the country to do it in. No matter how far we’ve slid backwards…everyone else has gone even further!!! There will be opportunities, that I can promise you.

          • vto

            “It would be great if all our land could be owned by New Zealanders, and all companies be owned and run by New Zealanders, but that’s simply not feasible.”


            explain why that is not feasible

          • Draco T Bastard

            It would be great if all our land could be owned by New Zealanders, and all companies be owned and run by New Zealanders, but that’s simply not feasible.

            It’s perfectly feasible – all we have to do is ban foreign ownership.

            Benefits don’t just come as profits (some of which go to overseas owners) – employment and the money it injects into the economy.

            Profit is a dead weight loss and so those profits going overseas are a loss to NZ and it’s greater than the money injected into NZ – else that money wouldn’t have been injected in the first place. I don’t count becoming a serf for foreign owners as much of a benefit either.

            • Pete George

              It’s perfectly feasible – all we have to do is ban foreign ownership.

              Theoretically it could be done, but I don’t think any New Zealand Government in the forseeable future would attempt it.

              It would require and force massive changes, and many of them would not be positive.

              • vto

                You need more explanation Pete to back up your claim. A bare claim is not much use.

                • No, you need to explain how you think it would be feasible, and what positive and negative efeects there are likely to be.

                  • vto

                    No Pete, you need to explain because it was you who made the claim, not me …… and here is the evidence that you did so, from your early post …

                    “It would be great if all our land could be owned by New Zealanders, and all companies be owned and run by New Zealanders, but that’s simply not feasible.”

                    Why on earth should I need to make an explanation about your point? That is nonsense.

                    So come on, back yourself and the points you make. How is it not feasible?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Parliament is sovereign and makes the rules

                    Positive effects
                    Our resources and efforts no longer going to enrich private individuals in other economies thus making us better off

                    Negative effects
                    Can’t think of any

                    • Feasibility
                      Parliament is sovereign and makes the rules

                      1. Find a party that is prepared and able to do it.

                      If you can’t do that then it won’t happen. Unless you can start a revolution – and get it to turn out how you want – but that’s even less likely.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Your question was feasibility – not which party will do it.

                    • fea·si·ble
                      1. capable of being done, effected, or accomplished: a feasible plan.
                      2. probable; likely: a feasible theory.

                      For it to be capable of being done you need a party who is likely to do it, and to be likely to be able to do it.

                      What parties currently have policies to ban all foreign ownership?

                    • vto

                      Right, so you meant not feasible in just the political sense. By the nature of the post/thread it was imagined that you meant for other reasons as well, like economically, socially, international pressurely, practically, etc.

                      But it is entirely feasible politically. The Greens, who are already shaping up as a very strong third force in NZ, already have a policy of banning foreign ownership of land. Labour have recently moved theirs towards heavier restriction. Even the Nats have recently tightened up (quite pathetically) due to public pressure and opinion.

                      What can be gleaned from this is that politically the issue is heading in the direction of banning foreign ownership.

                      Similarly, many / most countries in the world do not allow non-residents to own their land.

                      The direction of the politics is clear therefore I would suggest that your claim that it is not feasible politically is wrong. In addition, for all those other reasons it is also entirely feasible, which you would surely agree with given that you neglected to mention them, presumably because they carried even less weight for your argument.

                    • McFlock

                      Winston if the wind blows ri-well, left.
                      The Greens might.
                      Labour might.
                      Not forced sales, but a moratorium on new ownership or an effective one by tightening up OIO rules.
                      You seem to think that just because it might not have been in policy for the last election, something along those lines won’t be new policy in the next.
                      The more National act dickishly – and they’ve lost the plot politically – the father the pendulum will sing.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      For it to be capable of being done you need a party who is likely to do it, and to be likely to be able to do it.

                      Ah, no. It is feasible because parliament is supreme, they’re the ones who set the rules. Whether it will be done is another question and it’s certainly looking like it’s on the table for most of the left of NACT/UF parties. You know, the ones that will be in government next term.

      • vto 3.1.3

        The right always says, for some reason, that we do not have a decent capital base in NZ.

        Selling these farms to foreigners means that capital base is now lost too, so they have just made the situation worse.

        • Bored

          Interesting concept capital base….I would contend that the valuation of “capital base” as described by the standard mainstream economist, and as valued excludes any externalities, paid for by the environment or by somebody else in providing the ability to use that “capital”.

          It is also a concept that goes with the old unspoken idea of empire: letting the locals control their “assets” and resultant production. This is antithetical to the wealth pump of empire, which is based upon the concept of the core of empire sending capital to the periphery, buying / owning the locals productive capacity and bringing the capital home at a greater rate than that sent out.

          If we were to disallow this movement of capital and prevent ownership under the current imperial system the shit would hit the fan. We would be asking to sell our wares at a fair exchange. And that is where the “Free Trade Agreements” we have signed would crucify us, it is what they are designed to do: they guarantee and institutionalise unfair trade.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I would contend that the valuation of “capital base” as described by the standard mainstream economist, and as valued excludes any externalities, paid for by the environment or by somebody else in providing the ability to use that “capital”.

            Economists have two definitions of capital.
            1.) Capital – the actual physical resources/machinery
            2.) Finance Capital – Money

            Whenever capital is being talked about by politicians and economists in the media they’re talking about the 2nd definition. The first definition, which is the most important one, is never mentioned.

            If we were to disallow this movement of capital and prevent ownership under the current imperial system the shit would hit the fan. We would be asking to sell our wares at a fair exchange. And that is where the “Free Trade Agreements” we have signed would crucify us, it is what they are designed to do: they guarantee and institutionalise unfair trade.


      • Colonial Viper 3.1.4

        The Chinese are providing the money and a market.

        We’ve got our own fucking money thank you very much. Further we’re the ones with the farming expertise to farm the land profitability.

        Landcorp should simply buy the land and lease it back to the Chinese on a 25 year term.

        Be a good profitable deal for NZ. If you were interested in such a thing, PG.

  4. freedom 4

    words from our great leader?

    “We want to increase the level of earnings and the level of incomes of the average New Zealander and we think we have a quality product with which we can do that.”

    so John, what is this magic product? Do tell!

  5. DH 5

    This might interest people….

    “There are 16 people with swipe card security access to Parliament, but their names and organisations are secret.”


    “We know two of them – Sky TV’s Tony O’Brien and Wellington consultant Mark Unsworth.”

    Sky TV have been getting some cosy deals on content lately and the Herald had this report in 2010 about Unsworth and the PMs advisor…


    Lobbying is the antithesis of democracy.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Thanks for this. But it makes me want to puke.

    • Rosie 5.2

      And Mark Unsworth, from memory has been having quite a bit to do with representing US Pharmaceutical interests in regard to trying to weaken Pharmac’s role as a public medicines supplier, so the NZ market can be more open to US pharmaceutical manufactuers……..(Sorry, no links for that).
      He is certainly a traitor to the people of NZ. This whole lobbying business is way out of hand, and as mentioned, anti democratic and just plain dodgy.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Lobbying is the antithesis of democracy.


      Realised that years ago. Secret discussions between private enterprise and MPs that result in what private enterprise wants against the wishes of the people is pure dictatorship – Banana Republic stuff.

      • muzza 5.3.1

        DTB – I think the term you are looking, for is conspiracy to commit……..

        Banana Republic is what NZ has been for a very long time! If we are lucky, we may not progress past whatever the status might be that follows a Banana Republic. What happens next will already have been decided however!

    • Fortran 5.4

      And don’t forget Greenpeace representative, one from FOL, and one from Labour Party, who attends caucus meetings. And Nat party president.
      What about the lobbyist from the media RNZ, TVNZ, TV3 etc
      Look forward to see full list.

  6. james 111 6

    More great news about Australian manufacturing plants moving here for our skilled work force, and cost competitiveness Australian Unions are slowly driving them all out of the Country could be a windfall for us.


    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Ahh NZ, how you are fortunate to be the sweatshop of the western world!

      Taking jobs from your NZ relatives in Australia, getting paid much less over here,

      Smiling while the corporates pocket as shareholder profits the difference inbetween!

      • Jim Nald 6.1.1

        As the Prime Gambler has just told an international audience, we are a “buy on the dips”. Yippee.


        Quick, sell off NZ!

        And he has been ringing around his fellow investment banking mates.

        • freedom

          our PM is basically fapping away to the loutish cheers of the banking fraternity, as they get ready for another good ‘ol game of pass the biscuit. ( p.s. we are the biscuit ! )
          sick bunch of fuckwits the lot of them

        • felix

          This needs emphasising.

          According to Jim’s link above, John Key is not out to get us the best price for our assets. He’s out to get the best price for the overseas buyers.

          Nat supporters, you need to think about this.

          • vto

            Agreed completely. That is absolutely fucking appalling.

            The man is shallow. So shallow that he does not even know what he is saying or doing. He only undrstands the world and NZ in a single financial context. No doubt he will justify it as saying it is a good time to attract investment etc, but he is just a shallow man of little understanding. He is selling us down the road. What a complete and utter wanker.


            If the opposition parties can’t blast him loose after this and other insights into Key’s workings then I will simply give up and go fishing (actually, might do that anyway).

            Buy New Zealand everybody! We’re cheap. And the value will rise. Buy now before the locals cotton on. Buy now while I am leader. Last chance. Come one and all … free balloons and law changes ….

          • Bored

            Felix, that’s an oxymoron, Nat supporters and thinking.

            • felix

              I was hoping that at the very least they’d be able to think in their own self interest 😀

    • (A different) Nick K 6.2

      I’m in two minds about this. On one hand we have a lot of people that want jobs, particularly in the unskilled / semiskilled sector as evidenced by the turnouts at supermarket opening etc., This is acutally good for unemployment and ‘good’ for the economy if it moves people from the dole to having a little bit more money to spend and a little more comfortable life.

      However its also nothing to get too excited about, especially from National’s point of view (though they are trying hard to spin it into a positive).

      * It further highlights the gap between NZ and Oz when it comes to working conditions and wages, something National promised to narrow then gave up on after one round of ‘tax switch’

      * It is one of the only things that seems to be happening to reduce unemployment, and its not generated by anything positive the Government has done, quite the opposite, by poor handling of the economy we have made ourselves low wage and desperate enough for Australia to export jobs to us.

      * It shows that Bill English was right to be bragging about our low wage economy, something that didn’t go down well with the public if I recall and Key distanced himself from.

      It would be far better to be growing the economy, be innovative in research (not sending our brightest off shore) and have other countries investing in our workers because they are high value not because they are cheap.

      BUT we are stuck with these fullas till 2014 so if some more jobs can come this way and help some folks out I don’t think we should be too quick in turning them away.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      Yeah, you mentioned this BS yesterday, I’m pretty sure you’ll get the same response today.

  7. Uturn 7

    “We want to increase the level of earnings and the level of incomes of the average New Zealander and we think we have a quality product with which we can do that.”

    Oh, no magic product, it’s just BAU. Let me translate. The key phrase here is “average New Zealander”. It provdies the point of reference for measuring “increase level of earnings and level of incomes”.

    Key has recently given descriptions of “the average New Zealander”: They own their own home freehold; they are in a position to buy enough shares in SOE sales to maintain control; people of influence and financial wealth.

    Sometimes they are called “Mums and Dads” and generally he means anyone not quite as wealthy as him, but certainly not week-to-week wage workers and definitely not poorer types. No one sick, disabled or recieving social security, is anywhere near “average” to him.

    So his product is the National party line, division and hate, and oppression as usual. Reduce wages, increase working hours, reducing costs for the employer class, thereby giving more to the “middle classes” that raises their level of income.

    There will be more shufflings of phrases like this as his happy band of averageness steps further into the kind of soulessness that uses comparisons of social harm vs. economic good.

    • Fortran 8.1

      Why listen to Gould – he is a failed UK MP and his policies for New Zealand are similar – negative as always – brought in by Margaret Wilson, as he couldn’t find a job in the UK, to be overpaid at a second rate University.
      Of course he now one of our Party advisors but why cannot we get somebody who we can look up to – not a failure.

      • Bored 8.1.1

        Fortran, I suggest you change your name to Basic. Gould was (as you obviously dont know) a very successful and high ranked MP in the UK. You don’t get to be part of the Shadow cabinet or get to lead a leadership challenge if you are a “failure”.

        • Colonial Viper

          The Righties are (very) scared of ability. Notice how the big projects they are involved with always shit themselves in a big way; a few make of with the cash but mostly its just collateral damage.

  8. Johnm 9

    Peak Oil Most people wish it would just go away letting us continue our happy motoring lifestyles.

    However There is now evidence that the plateau of production we’ve been on mostly with the help of deep sea, oil shale, oil sands and additional small field discoveries is failing and we’re on the terminal supply decline curve that AFKTT and R.Atack, Colin Campbell, and many others have been warning us about for 15 years at least. Some evidence:
    1. Brent prices are yo yoing upwards
    2. Argentina is nationalising a Spanish oil company in Argentina.
    3. UK economy in doo doo with North Sea in terminal decline.
    4. Even the ultra conservative IEA saying we’re past peak oil
    5.Nations are gearing up to exploit the Arctic for oil as the ice cap recedes despite Lucy Lawless’s efforts to stop them!

    Now this video interview with corporate spokesperson commodities expert Dr Stephen Leeb who is saying that high oil prices are due to scarcity, I’ll say that again scarcity not speculation! See for yourself but I think probably signifies the downward supply curve beginning. As R. Atack and others say this is not to be feared if we but face reality and adapt. For Example No more wasted money on motorways!



    In this World controlling your own energy sector is becoming paramount. This shows up the ideological madness of Privatising our Power Companies and sending profits and dividends overseas on the backs of the ordinary kiwi. John Key’s ok with 50,000,000 Dinero in the hip pocket increased power charges are easily covered by the interest payments on his investments.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      This shows up the ideological madness of Privatising our Power Companies and sending profits and dividends overseas on the backs of the ordinary kiwi.

      Ideological, yes, but not madness. It’s sole purpose is to ensure that the rich remain rich at everyone else’s expense.

      • Bored 9.1.1

        It is going to get quite difficult for the Average Joe to get the concept of what happens next as supply declines. For anyone interested it goes like this:

        * the oil supply declines….causing price to increase to an unsustainable level as supply cant meet demand ….causing economic contraction……causing drop in demand……resulting in price decline…which in turn results in lack of capital investment in new production..so demand take a while to recover…then the whole cycle begins again.
        * As this goes on the EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) gets less and less, the capital required to pump goes up, and the whole thing gets uneconomic in energy terms.

        Meanwhile idiot entrail readers from the Treasury predict growth and suggest printing cash etc, the MSM run stories about new energy supply sources that never seem to be as big or good as promised, politicians predict growth so long as we cut services and wages, and the whole economy delays the movement to a requisite low energy structure resulting in massive suffering and dislocation.

        The sick thing in this environment for NZ is that the hydro dams electricity wont be able to be bought by the people, they wont have any cash. The investors wont be getting a return, and the whole thing will turn to violence. Well done National, anybody with half a brain could see this coming.

  9. Jackal 10

    Kiwiblog vs Maui Street

    Rightwing blogger David Farrar has complained about an excellent post by Morgan Godfery at Maui Street. He thinks Godfery is being unfair to the cops who brutally disbanded a peaceful protest in Glenn Innes on Tuesday…

    • I think Morgan was being very unfair to all police. He blogged:

      They’re desperate for recruits so they, more often than not, recruit brain-dead males fresh from failing to gain university entrance or any meaningful academic qualification. I’ve always said, you become a cop if you’re too dumb to do law and too soft to join the military.

      That’s an awful thuing to say about the police – who have to deal with the worst our society dishes up, and most of the time the do it admirably.

      • felix 10.1.1

        It may well be awful, Pete, but the question is whether it’s true.

        • Pete George

          It’s true he said it, it’s still on his blog.

          It’s not true what he’s said about most police recruits. Entrance requirements are quite extensive – you can see them at http://www.newcops.co.nz/application-process

          It doesn’t look like I’d qualify, I wouldn’t pass the swimming competency test.

          And it’s not true about his army comparison, most of the time being in the army would be a much softer option than working in the frontline of the police force.

          • felix

            Rather than looking at the entrance requirements, how about looking at the cops that actually get through?

            You usually rail against violent thugs, Pete.

            What’s changed?

            • Pete George

              Nothing has changed.

              When a cop is a violent thug I’ll rail against them – when it’s proven. I think most police do a reasonable (and very difficult) job most of the time. I could even grizzle about the two that arrested me and then lied in court, but I wouldn’t blame all police all of the time.

              As for some protesters who claim they have been thugged by police – I’ll rail against that if it’s proven.

              And if it can be proven that the very experienced protesters manufactered the situation, provoked a sound bite reaction and exaggerated the outcome to attract attention I’ll rail against that too.

              • Jackal

                Whether you blame all police all the time is largely irrelevant. The thing is Pete is that the actions of a few police reflect badly on the entire force. It makes those who are impacted treat the police differently and therefore reduces the effectiveness of law enforcement. There is also a certain climate in the force that is unhealthy. Godfery’s post articulates that and the way most young people feel about the police very well.

                • I agree that a few actions can taint the whole police force.

                  I think he articulates some things well, and some things poorly.

                  Godfery’s post articulates that and the way most young people feel about the police very well.

                  Most young people? I wonder how he would know that.

                  And actually the complainers in the Glen Innes protest where not very young. They have been too a few protests in their day and know who it works. And how to work it for all it’s worth. And how gullible “most young people” can be when they jump to conclusions based on their prejudices.

                  • felix

                    “…and know who it works”

                    I’m gonna assume you meant to type “how it works”.

                    What do you mean by that?

                    • felix

                      Oh Peeeteeeey….. where aaaaaareeee yooooouuuuu?

                    • Yes, I meant “how it works”. By that I mean that they are well aware of how to get media attention, and how far they can push the police in order to get coveraghe they think will give there cause good coverage.

                    • felix

                      Are you saying they wanted to get bashed by the cops?

                      That they were asking for it?


              • felix

                That’s real cute, Pete.

                I bet you think those two cops who lied in court are the exception.

                • muzza

                  Cops are very happy to lie in court, seen it first hand myself more than once. Those involved were senior too, and the IPCC investigation which followed was beyond a joke, I lost respect for the police after that.

                  My opinion went from knowing that they had a tough job, and someone had to do it, to, I have seen police lies/thuggery etc too many times, they are a crooked gang, working for a crooked establishment!

                  The police reflect those who govern them, they are no different to society.

                  Their track record speaks loud and clear, and I would expect that violence and general clamp down of society will become more prevelant in coming years. You want to have certain types onboard who are comfortable dishing out the type of violence seen in NZ by The Crowns force!

      • Vicky32 10.1.2

        That’s an awful thuing to say about the police – who have to deal with the worst our society dishes up, and most of the time the do it admirably.

        Oh no, I agree with Morgan! We all had a good laugh at an absolute dumb-arse back in Rotorua who joined the police – and his brother who wanted to, but failed the intelligence test – he had some!

  10. Kiwirail’s Hillside Workshops up for sale? Summary of reports including union statement.

    No word on potential nationality of any buyers.

    This could be bad for Dunedin, or it could end up working for the better. Depends on a lot of things.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Oh fuck off.
      It’s going to be a kick in the nuts that Dunedin doesn’t need, you dick. 

  11. felix 12

    PuddleGlum takes a look at the CCDU, the CERA, the DRP, the CCP, and the CCBD, and discovers a disturbing whiff of BS emanating from the BFC: http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/?p=788

    • deuto 12.1

      Thanks for the link – recommend others also read it and would be interested in comments from people in Christchurch on it. As a Wellingtonian, I prefer not to comment as I am not close enough to what is going on in Chch.

    • ianmac 12.2

      Thanks Felix. What we see is not what we get. I used to admire magicians sleight of hand. Not now.

  12. muzza 13

    But only yesterday we were being told the stocks markets had improved on the back on the IMF “growth forecast” and confidence

    Actually the entire media world is designed for nothing more than sucking your energy!

    Really base level stuff this!

  13. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14

    Should David Shearer be worried that not even the Standard is interested in his big announcement of today?

    • Olwyn 14.1

      Gormless I take it that you are referring to Shearer’s speech in Nelson, in which he endorses a voluntary living wage campaign, following on Millibrand doing the same thing in London last month.



      I really do want to feel heartened by this, and I am to the extent that the words “living wage” are proceeding from the mouths of politicians. But the cautious, non-committal language surrounding both men’s claims, and the emphasis on “voluntary,” given AFFCO etc, has the ring of “I feel your pain, and I’d really like to do something though it but my hands are tied. But I really really do feel your pain.” But perhaps I have become too pessimistic, and too ready to fixate upon the slightest equivocation.

      • Olwyn 14.1.1

        I see now what you mean – he gave a major speech today, which included talk of the living wage. I have nos skimmed it, but have not had time to absorb it properly


      • Pete George 14.1.2

        I was really hoping that David Shearer might provide some insipiration and leadership and great new ideas. May have to wait a bit longer.

        His speech may have some good bits, I haven’t had time to have a read right through. But it started with the heading:

        A country that works for you.

        I think I know what he means but I hope not to many people take it as meaning they don’t have to do anything becasue the country will do everything for them.

        And then he launched in to dissing the rich pricks overseas and I groaned. Then I skipped to the grand finale.

        What we need are big changes. We need a clean, green, clever country where the world wants to live.

        That sounds like same old rhetoric, nothing changed.

        Above all we need to grow a new economy so that we all share in the benefits.

        That’s the new New Zealand I want to create.

        We can only build on what we have, it’s impossible to start with a new economy. He’ll have to try creating somewhere where there is no estbalished economy with international relationships and dependencies.

        If you like the idea of a New Zealand where most people are struggling to get ahead and a happy few are wondering which of the 26 toilets they might use tomorrow, then we don’t need to change a thing.

        Ok, maybe a grand diss rather than finale. Whoever though up that speech closing needs to be flushed, one toilet will suffice.

        But if you think we can do better, let’s get going.

        I guess he doesn’t mean to Australia.

        At a time when a strong opposition and a real alternative government is at about it’s most important this is really quite depressing.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      I read his speech and it was just more BAU BS. Still following the delusional growth meme that capitalism needs and that’s destroying the environment.

  14. Great article by RICHARD BOOCK

    “Credit where credit’s due. This might not be the most deceitful New Zealand Government of the past 50 years but it’s certainly the most brazenly deceitful. If there were to be awards for sneering-in-your-face dishonesty; for being deliberately misleading and for sweeping inconvenient truths under the carpet, the Class of 2012 would already be assured of the silverware. Seldom, in the field of shameless chicanery, has one Government achieved so much.

    The only remaining question is how many imaginery “Shiftys” our National-led coalition deserve. They can certainly look forward to multiple nominations for their performance over the Sky City scandal, in which they’re blatantly exchanging Government policy for the equivalent of a brown paper bag full of money. The PM’s declaration that he wasn’t, before conceding in his next breath that he’d actually initiated proceedings, also puts him in line for Best Accidental Comic.

    Biggest Hypocrite? Bill English is already tipped to win this one after his recent effort on the Paid Parental Leave issue. His insistence that the proposal will be vetoed without discussion was a delightful piece of phony austerity, particularly in light of his own track-record. “Double Dipton” we used to call him, so opportunistic and carefree was he over taxpayer money. But, oh no. Far too responsible a man to tolerate the excesses of more PPL.”

    Continued: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/blogs/an-auckland-minute/6767682/Our-government-is-brazenly-deceitful

  15. ianmac 16

    Well spotted SL and well summarised Richard.

  16. Morrissey 17

    Thursday 19 April 2012, 4:25 p.m.
    Jock Anderson (NBR) finds Key’s dishonesty repugnant
    National Radio, The Panel with Jim Mora, Jock Anderson and Josie McNaught

    The discussion turns to the secret deal that the Prime Minister has done with the casino company Sky City.

    Listen to National Business Review journalist Jock Anderson: “There’s a serious smell about this. There’s going to be a serious backlash against Mr Key. His approach to this is arrogant and offhand. We cannot have this kind of deal in this country. The perception of John Key and his government is very bad. It is a moral issue and the community needs to stand up against this. Why should community groups need to go cap in hand to alcohol barons and gambling operators to get funds that the government refuses to hand out?”

    National Party supporters will have noted with concern who the speaker is. He’s one of the most right wing thinkers in the country, but he finds the Key regime utterly repugnant.

    Two and a half more years, maximum.

    • bad12 17.1

      Two and a half more years indeed, thats if Te Party Maori and the Hair-do for Ohariu can stand (a), the stench of Slippery’s corruption for that long, and, (b), having to face down the thundering locomotive of electoral oblivion without blinking for that two and a half years,

      The damage tho has been done,(again),to our economy and while we dont intend to get into a full on slagging of Dave Shearer and Labour at this point we would like to insert a ‘what the f**k’ here in response to the latest offering from the Labour Leader,

      Lucky New Zealand we have the Green Party which will give Socialism in this country the Steel it needs in Government for the trying times ahead…

    • ianmac 18.1

      Long before the internet I read of how the finance/commerce of the World was ultimately in the hands of a very few unknown shadowy international conglomerates. Every company was in turn owned by other companies but surely that couldn’t be so. Who could wonder about some innocent sounding group called Blue Circle for instance? Surely such a shadow could not possibly own a quarter of the Worlds money? Must be science fiction surely.

  17. vto 19

    Astoundment at injustice ….. leads to resentment ……. leads to anger …………. leads to hatred……..

    One of life’s consistent patterns and oh so destructive.

    Can best, and often only, be nipped in the bud at the beginning. Vigilance for the unjust.

    …just been on mine mind …

  18. Anne 20

    MPs Mallard and Little will not be apologising to Collins. It seems she demanded in her latest letter that they pay her legal costs which they have also declined to do.

    What they should do however is buy her a broom, put a red ribbon around the handle and present it to her when parliament reconvenes.


    • felix 20.1

      Haha! What a vulgar display of entitlement. She expects people to pay to be threatened by her.

  19. Jackal 21

    Greg White – Asshole of the Week

    The government dictates the terms of settlement and therefore bears some responsibility for how and who manages it. And that’s where this story gets interesting…

    • fender 21.1

      Certainly qualified to be a National party candidate, should be given speech writing time in a cell. He’s more than a weeks worth of assholeness.

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