Open mike 19/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 19th, 2015 - 100 comments
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100 comments on “Open mike 19/05/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Further evidence of a society in disarray.
    The selfish neo-liberal approach is damaging the social structure.
    Don’t expect the Herald to make the link between an economic system and such consequences, though.
    However the Spirit Level has the research to prove it.

    ‘New research has found that New Zealanders are losing touch with their neighbours – and it’s affecting our wellbeing.
    In the recently released results of the Sovereign Wellness Index, New Zealand trailed behind other countries when it came social connections and community, with our neighbourly relations particularly lacking.
    “We came last when compared to 29 European countries that deployed the same survey, which is not only a disappointing result but, when compared to the first Sovereign Wellbeing Index in 2013, it shows no improvement,” said Grant Schofield professor of public health at AUT University, who led the research.’

    • Rosie 1.1

      I’ve been watching “Someone else’s country” again. In a general way you see the machinery at work during the 80’s/90’s that began to transform our society from a collective and cohesive one to a self serving and socially isolating one.

      It’s certainly not in our imaginations that this transition occurred. The theorist, Uri Bronfenbrenner, who studied Human Development came up with his well known Ecological Theory to illustrate the impact of systems, including political systems upon the development of the individual. The political system exists within the Chronosystem. See handy chart below:

      On the development where I live it’s all too easy to see the effect of community cohesion break down. It’s on the outer perimeter of existing suburbs, people are reliant of cars despite a good bus service, and very few residents have put any effort into creating gardens in the neighbourhood. There appears to be no connection to nature or one another.

      To try and combat this sense of alienation I joined in an attempt to get people talking and break the ice. (The founder of that website is quoted in the Herald article) Twice I advertised an an afternoon tea at our place to discuss community resilience and response during an emergency, to be hosted by my husband whose a civil defence volunteer. Not one response from the 100+ members on the site. Twice I advertised an all ages kite flying day, a get to know your neighbours thing and once again, not one response.

      It’s really quite depressing living here, but it’s what you do when you can’t afford to live in the established neighbourhoods closer to town.
      Interestingly it’s those neighbourhoods that appear to be going from strength to strength with their efforts to improve social cohesion. There are many reports in the local papers about all the events they put on and their community building activities.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see more fracturing of social cohesion as we continue to sprawl out into former farmlands and as we move further away from our formerly collective and caring society. It can’t be denied that this is political in its origin.

      • Atiawa 1.1.1

        The dismantling of the “awards” system for purposes of workplace bargaining along with disestablishing compulsory unionism should not be underestimated as to why there is less social cohesion in NZ society today. We have been forced into believing the neo liberal framing of the narrative that individual responsibility is saintly and collectivism & the concept of team work only works when it is controlled by the privileged and powerful for the benefits of capital.

        • Rosie

          I wouldn’t be surprised if a link existed between the politically motivated promotion of individualism in the workplace, the loss of widespread Union membership and diminishing social cohesion. – solidarity and collective strength is something that spreads beyond the walls of the workplace and into people’s consciousness.

          You lose those bonds and surely that weakens the community as a whole. Think of the lock outs and strikes of the pre 1990 ECA era and how neighbours and sometimes local businesses rallied around to support the workers.

          There are many contributing factors though and we are a long way now, from where we used to be.
          The problem with the mass developments, like the one I live on, is often they’re out of sight out of mind, they’re new and not part of the culture of the region or city and all the more isolated because of it. It’s made worse by the fact that they often don’t have any amenities (shops etc) and no recreational facilities so there is no gathering place, something once so crucial to human socialising.

          • Atiawa

            Thanks Rosie, I think you are 100% correct. I recall attending union meetings where the topic of conversation wasn’t solely focused on pay & conditions. Large work places were especially fertile ground for wider social issue type conversations. Where else could a large group of working people come together and share their thoughts and points of view on topics as diverse as social welfare benefits ( for freezing workers whose work was seasonal this was important – still is -) or the Vietnam war ( the recent deployment of troops to the Middle East makes that conversation as meaningful today as it was back in the 60’s & 70’s ).
            The white apartheid regime in South Africa, especially when the All Blacks were due to tour was a hot topic that divided loyalties but raised consciousness levels of the many who supported tours, albeit begrudgingly and often with the exchange of more than a few words!
            Of course it wasn’t all beer & skittles. People were shouted down. The loudest voice was sometimes the only one heard, while others were handier with their tongues then their mitts. But it was all part of the growing pains of a new and growing nation – we still are -.
            I sympathise with what you are having to endure and as social animals we deserve better.

            • Rosie

              I should probably make it clear that when I speak of pre 1990 ECA era workplaces I speak not from experience but from learning from doco’s and sitting and listening to the fascinating stories of older Union activists.

              You echo what my friend told me of his experiences in a large workplace where people sat in the canteen and discussed the Springbok tour. He was deeply involved in the anti tour movement and discussions got very lively, there was some aggro but on the whole, people did get to learn and came round to understanding why he did what he did, even if they didn’t always support him.

              As for the ECA, I had been in the work force only two years before the ECA was introduced and the changes were horrendous. Our pay was dropped as we lost our penal rates and we had to work 6 days instead of 5 just to make up for the loss in wages. Retailers got to exploit the new law and it made it cheaper for them to keep shops open for longer. Thats were our long opening hours in retail came from, the ECA of 1990.

              Bastards. Thats what woke me up. After that I started paying attention to what politicians do and what we can do to stop them.

      • JanMeyer 1.1.2

        I’m quite sure we share different political beliefs Rosie, but can I just say I was quite moved by your story. Well spoken.

  2. Paul 2

    Stingy farmers named and shamed on social media.

    ‘Farmers seeking staff for the new milking season risk being named and shamed on social media if the money being offered in their job advertisement is below the minimum wage.
    Outgoing Waikato Federated farmers dairy chairman Craig Littin revealed that trade unions were picking apart farm jobs placed on Fonterra’s Farm Source website.
    Littin told farmers at the group’s annual meeting that unions were doing simple calculations around listed salary, hours worked and days off and posting them on social media.’

  3. Paul 3

    New Zealand’s ‘rock star economy’ is growing slower.

    ‘New Zealand’s recent economic growth is actually lower in the last two years than it has averaged over the last 20, despite being hailed as a “rock star economy”.
    Quarterly growth figures show the economy grew on average 2.8 per cent between 1995 and 2014, slightly more than the 2.6 per cent it averaged in 2013-14.’

  4. mickysavage 4

    So the Herald is now praising David Cunliffe’s CGT policies (

    I now look forward to it apologising to David for its Donghua Liu coverage (

    • Ben 4.1

      Yes… but at the same time not so subtly putting the knife into Little for shying away from CGT as it was seen as a vote shedder. Labour was on the right track, but really failed to deliver a clear and concise CGT policy that was not easily picked apart, with some artistic scaremongering, by the Nats.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        @ Ben
        Yes I thought that too. Why should the Hairy offer positives about Cunliffe? Just a way to pour a little salt and water into any crack they might find in Labour skin.

    • ianmac 4.2

      Not sure that Labour has ditched the CGT. Didn’t they just comment that it was the wrong time and not well presented to the electorate at that time. Now on the back burner.

      • jenny kirk 4.2.1

        CGT is one of the many previous policies Labour has under review – whether it gets picked up again is still debatable – there may well be other ways of dealing with property speculation eg removing tax benefits like property losses against other income.

      • Anne 4.2.2

        Hi ianmac, I don’t think it was a case of being badly presented, but the political climate that still existed prior to the election made it the wrong time. To my way of thinking David Parker did a very good job of presenting it, but he was up against a well resourced and hostile political machine that successfully convinced the public they were going to “lose lots of money” when they sold their houses.

        I hope Labour has finally learned the lesson that a little bit of pre-election subterfuge is inevitable if you want to get into power and make a real difference for everyone and not just a chosen few.

  5. Charles 5

    In an ideal world, none of this would be necessary…

    Notes for Labour Party handlers #2:

    “Phrases of a negative tone that have as the subject, “things that aren’t big”, should never leave the leader’s mouth. Instead, try positive expositions on how things that are not big often become important, and are necessary to success.”

    • ianmac 6.1

      Hmmm? Possible that someone knows that there is? Indeed what then!

      • Anne 6.1.1

        Very cryptic indeed. Sounds like there is another case of hair pulling waiting in the wings.

        “He” behaves like those horrible boys in my day who liked pulling wings off butterflies and tipping baby birds out of their nests.

    • Maui 6.2

      And in a Government department.. was this Roger Sutton’s ponytail?

    • weka 6.3

      Bradbury shouldn’t play games with this (as evidenced by his readers comments who either make jokes or say nothing will happen).

  6. arkie 7

    This story highlights the effects of a funding freeze on services.'t-'prop-up'-counselling-service

    I am disappointed that there is not more coverage of this and more dissembling of the way National frame moderate CPI-based increases in funding to essential services as ‘propping up’.

    No such concern at ‘propping up’ yachties or aluminium smelters owned by wealthy overseas companies.

    • joe90 7.1

      Listening confirmed my take-away from lasts nights Native Affairs – Tolley’s a dissembling fool.

      @ 22 minutes, Mihi Forbes has the fool on the rack over the make up the CYF review panel and lack of Māori input.

      • ianmac 7.1.1

        But to her credit MS Tolley has not checked the bloodlines which no Minister of the Crown would do. (Sarc)
        Mihi is pretty good in a quiet understated way.

        • joe90

          I’m not sure why but the bloodline references turned my stomach.

          And in IMO Mihi Forbes is by far the best interviewer on the box today.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Defining poverty down

      New Zealand has a problem: too many children living in poverty. But National has a solution: redefining poverty to make the problem look smaller:

      And National’s actual priorities?

      So, no money to help domestic violence victims, but more money for spies. No resources for real problems, but buckets of cash for fake ones.

      Proof, if any more was actually needed, that National just doesn’t give a shit about anything except protecting the status quo.

  7. greywarshark 8

    Luxon from Airnz on line with Radionz at 9.35am. He is one of those fast speakers who don’t sound as if there is room for thought between sentences! Comes up with a block of words that provide an explanation as to why they are doing okay as they are.

    He is being questioned about their attitude to the provincial services and lack of co-operation. Highly complex systems are needed by the replacement regional services with IT etc.

    Seems to be good at batting away suggestions. At a fast pace.

  8. millsy 9

    Mike Yardley – columnist for The Press seems to be kept awake at night at the thought of the City of Christchurch owning power grids and airports.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Auckland councillor Penny Webster is alarmed that some controls should be put on dairies selling sugar laden food. …the suggestions were “totally overboard” and she would oppose them if they were put before the council.

      Sour woman, don’t know what her spiel to get into Council was. It couldn’t have been to help the people with planning and action to have a healthy and happy community.

      The idea is to act with plans to lobby for changes to the Resource Management Act to give councils the power to stop new dairies, convenience stores and takeaways being built, in the same way they can for alcohol outlets.

      Sounds a good idea. Talk about supermarkets and garages also being lolly outlets is just a smokescreen, and a strawman argument. The dairies are local, common and easily accessed. Way back, on my way to Sunday School, I would spend my collection money on chocolate fish, so know about the sweet temptation! Also I have had a dairy and being near a school is being near a good customer source for sales, and also on the downside, for shop stealing.

      Retail industry lobbies and spokespeople for dairy owners, often Indian, need to step back or else they will be viewed negatively. They already are seen often running liquor stores in poor areas, and making a living from selling goods with a health-destroying effect will not give them mana in the community, quite the opposite.

  9. Philip Ferguson 10

    During the apartheid era various performers disgraced themselves by playing at Sun City.

    Today, Israel offers a lucrative market for various musicians. Some people just play there and take the blood money; some declare their love for the repressive racist state and complain how it is misunderstood. The latest ratbag in this category is the airhead Lady Gaga.

    Meanwhile Roger Waters, ex of Pink Floyd, maintains his integrity, calling on artists to turn down offers to play there.

    Pimping for Israel: Lady Gaga, Madonna and Dionne Warwick:

    • Ron 10.1

      Why not just say that you don;t like Israelis

      • vto 10.1.1

        I imagine because that is not what he is saying Ron.

      • greywarshark 10.1.2

        Ron Why don’t you just say that you do like Israelis, no matter what nasty people say about them – like running over protesters with a bulldozer. Using massive force against puny protests etc. But perhaps you are amoral as they have chosen to be.

        • Ron

          Well I do like Israelis, I have not meet any that I dislike. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for some of people of other countries that I have met.
          Better put me on the list

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.3

        Why not just say that you don;t like Israelis

        Don’t like the Israeli government or their policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and lethal use of heavy military weapons on civilians. That’s quite different to “not liking Israelis.”

        • Ron

          Golly you are going to have a real problem with Hamas, ISISL, Boko Haram then

          Don’t like the Israeli government or their policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and lethal use of heavy military weapons on civilians

    • swordfish 10.2

      Israeli Apologist Vs Pro-Palestinian Celebs and near-Celebs (a little list I’ve been compiling)

      (one or two, as you’ll see, are now deceased)

      In no particular order

      Israel Cheerleaders (includes everything from extensive outspoken support for Israel to explicit opposition to BDS to signing pro-Israeli petitions/advertisements – usually as PR exercises during one of Israel’s regular massacres in Gaza, the West Bank or Lebanon)

      Serena Williams (US tennis champ)
      Ellen DeGeneres (US comedian/talkshow host)
      Samuel L Jackson (US actor)
      Scarlett Johansson (US actress/model)
      Lady Gaga (US musician)
      Simon Cowell (UK record/tv producer/prominent Tory supporter)
      Vanessa Williams (US singer/actress)
      Howard Stern (US radio personality)
      Sylvester Stallone (US actor)
      Nicole Kidman (Aussie actress)
      Dennis Hopper (US actor/prominent Republican)
      Bruce Willis (US actor/Republican)
      Danny De Vito and Rhea Perleman (US actors/couple)
      Don Johnson (US actor)
      James Wood (US actor/prominent Republican)
      Charlie Daniels (US Country Music)
      Bill Maher (US comedian/talkshow host)
      Dionne Warwick (US singer)
      Ashton Kutcher (talentless US actor)
      Jesse Eisenberg (US actor)
      Joan Rivers (US comedian)
      Jon Voight (US actor/prominent Republican)
      Mayim Bialik (US actress)
      Justin Timberlake (UK singer)
      Mark Pellegrino (US actor – Lost/Dexter)
      Robert De Niro (US actor)
      Kelly Preston (US actress)
      William Hurt (US actor)
      Danny Schuler (US musician – Biohazard)
      Jackie Mason (US comedian)
      Gene Simmons (remarkably talentless US musician)
      Ridley Scott (US Director)
      Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones (US/UK actors/’power couple’)
      Dick Donner (US Director)
      Tony Scott (US Director)
      Michael Mann (US Director)
      Elton John (UK singer/drama queen)
      Patricia Heaton (US actress)
      Barbra Streisand (US actress/singer)
      Gal Gadot (US actress)
      Adam Baldwin (US actor)
      Madonna (US singer)
      Adam Sandler (talentless US actor/comedian)
      Arnold Schwarzenegger (over-the-top US/Austrian actor/politician)
      John Lydon (UK musician – Sex Pistols)
      Chuck Norris (US actor)
      Maureen Lipman (UK actress)

      Sympathy for Palestinians/Gaza/BDS and explicit criticism of Israel

      Nelson Mandela
      Archbishop Desmond Tutu
      Naomi Wolf (US author/political consultant)
      Danny Glover (US actor)
      Alice Walker (US writer/poet)
      Roger Waters (UK musician – Pink Floyd)
      Rihanna (US/Barbadian singer)
      Alan Rickman (UK actor)
      Mia Farrow (US actress)
      Brian Eno (UK musician/producer/prominent LibDem)
      Anthony Bourdain (US celebrity chef)
      Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz (Spanish actors/’power couple’)
      Rob Schneider (US actor/comedian)
      Rosie O’Donnell (US actress/talkshow host)
      John Cusack (US actor)
      Selena Gomez (US actress/singer)
      Stephen Hawking (UK leading Physicist)
      Peter Gabriel (UK musician)
      Bryan Adams (Canadian Singer)
      Bobby Gillespie (Scots musician – Primal Scream)
      William Dalrymple (UK journalist/historian)
      David Morrissey (UK actor)
      Maxine Peake (UK actress)
      Alexei Sayle (UK comedian)
      Mario Balotelli (Italian/Ghanaian Football player)
      Whoopi Goldberg (US comedian/actress)
      Dwight Howard (US NBA Basketballer)
      Talib Kweli (US Hip Hop artist)
      Joey Barton (UK Football)
      Eddie Vedder (US singer – Pearl Jam)
      Jarvis Cocker (UK musician – Pulp)
      Sinead O’Connor (Irish singer/musician)
      Zayn Malik (UK Boy Band singer)
      Mark Ruffalo (US actor)
      John Stewart (US – The Daily Show)
      Wallace Shawn (US actor/playwright)
      Jonathan Demme (US director)
      Emma Thompson (UK actress)
      Elvis Costello (UK musician)
      Bella Freud (UK fashion designer)
      Ken Loach (UK director/filmmaker)
      Robert del Naja (UK musician – Massive Attack)
      Jemima Khan (UK journalist/activist)
      Will Self (UK writer)
      Pedro Almodovar (Spanish director)
      Hanif Kureishi (UK playwright/filmmaker)
      Esther Freud (UK novelist)
      Laura Bailey (UK actress)
      Jeremy Hardy (UK comedian)
      David Randall (UK music producer)
      Boots Riley (US rapper/arts producer)
      Chris Hedges (US journalist)
      Kool A.D/Victor Vazquez (US musician)
      Michael Ondaatje (Canadian writer)
      Mike Leigh (UK writer/director)
      Vanessa Redgrave (UK actress)
      Christiano Ronaldo (Portuguese Football legend)
      Lupe Fiasco (US Hip Hop)
      Michael Radford (UK director/screenwriter)
      Amare Stondemire (US NBA Basketballer)
      Gianluigi Buffon (Italian footballer – Goalkeeper)
      Dustin Hoffman (US actor)
      Cynthia Nixon (US actress – Sex in the City)
      Stephen Fry (UK actor/comedian)
      Miriam Margolyes (UK actress)
      Harold Pinter (UK playwright legend)
      Jimmy McGovern (UK screenwriter)
      Zoe Wanamaker (UK actress)
      Jenny Diski (UK author)
      Ben Elton (UK writer/comedian)
      Susan Wooldridge (UK actress)
      Patrick Neville (UK actor)
      Tom Adams (US musician)
      Andy de la Tour (UK actor/writer)
      Mike Hodges (UK director/screenwriter)
      Earl Okin (UK musician/comedian)
      Hayley Carmichael (UK actress)
      Reem Kelani (UK musician)
      David Calder (UK actor)
      Norma Cohen (UK actress)
      Somaye Zadeh (UK singer/musician)
      Pablo Navarette (director/producer)
      Chris Thomas (UK director)
      Laurie Penny (UK journalist)
      Mark Thomas (UK comedian)
      Kate Tempest (UK musician)
      Robert Wyatt (UK musician)

      • Bill 10.2.1

        Might want to throw the SNP on that second list Swordfish 😉

        • swordfish

          Yeah, well I guess the SNP has, in its own way, become a kind of “celeb or near-celeb” since the Referendum/May Election. 🙂
          That’s a pretty refreshing stance, akin to the position adopted by various Nordic Left-Socialist parties (and, to some extent, Germany’s Die Linke).

          Starkly contrasting with Britain’s two major parties with their powerful Friends of Israel lobbies (although, it seems Labour started to make some – admittedly tentative and half-hearted – moves away from knee-jerk Israeli support under Ed Miliband – enough to upset Zionist erstwhile-Labour-supporters like Maureen Lipman).

          • greywarshark

            I thought Maureen Lipman was a humorist. Has she lost her fine sense of what’s ridiculous and what’s nauseous?

        • greywarshark

          That’s amazing list Swordfish. Whaleoil for NZ and there is a new company starting up. They have very fresh ideas in business in Israel, very go-ahead, eating and living for two states I suppose has that effect.

      • Puckish Rogue 10.2.2

        Without going through the list with a fine tooth comb but Dennis Hoppers been dead 5 years and Joan Rivers passed away last year I’d suggest your lists are a bit out of date

      • Grant 10.2.3

        Ridley Scott’s a Brit..

  10. Chooky 12

    There is a Neolib view in New Zealand that restricting the DPB stops teenage pregnancies ( see Post comments by Andrew on Miteria Turei’s May guest blog on the ‘Daily Blog’)

    This is counter to the international prevailing view that looks at other social issues such as young female wellbeing and rights ….contraception, supportive family , education and employment independence opportunities etc…better to address these issues than chauvinist female victim blaming and making children of the poor even more disadvantaged

    “In developed countries, teenage pregnancies are often associated with social issues, including lower educational levels, higher rates of poverty, and other poorer life outcomes in children of teenage mothers. Teenage pregnancy in developed countries is usually outside of marriage, and carries a social stigma in many communities and cultures.[8] By contrast, teenage parents in developing countries are often married, and their pregnancies welcomed by family and society. However, in these societies, early pregnancy may combine with malnutrition and poor health care to cause medical problems.

    Teenage pregnancies appear to be preventable by comprehensive sex education and access to birth control.[9] Abstinence-only sex education does not appear to be effective.[10]”

    In countries where women have equality of opportunity and good contraception options they do not choose to have teenage pregnancies…this is a feminist issue , a human rights issue and also an overpopulation issue

    • Bill 12.1

      “There is a Neolib view in New Zealand that restricting the DPB stops teenage pregnancies..”

      Even if it did, it would be no justification for making children and their parents suffer financial and material hardship. But since ‘the left’ (I’m using that term loosely) has ceded the debate on just about every fucking thing these days, we ain’t going to hear how it’s simply decent for society to support those most in need of support as much as possible.

  11. weka 13

    Smile of the morning, I got a phishing email pretending to be vodafone and it was signed off with ‘Yours Truly’.

    • ianmac 13.1

      Just giving up on Vodafone and switching to Spark @ $30 less per month. Hope the service is OK.

      • weka 13.1.1

        Vodafone is bad, but Spark is worse 😉 I stick with vodafone because the call centre is better. That I have to call the call centre that much to be able to tell is an indictment of the whole telecommunications industry in NZ.

        • Karen

          I have never had to ring Spark as I have never had a problem, and have been with them for years.

  12. Dazzer 14



    • Enough is Enough 14.1

      Kim Dotcom changed his evidence.

      zero credibility now for the fat german

      • DoublePlusGood 14.1.1

        More like Banksie’s wife got some mates to make up some extra evidence. If you have enough money, you can buy just about anything these days – well, unless the US government is after you.

      • The lost sheep 14.1.2

        “zero credibility now for the fat german”

        Pity all those gullible leftists who let their bullshit detecting faculties get completely disarmed by the hope that KDC might be able to do some real damage to JK didn’t realise that THEN.

        Too late now. Three more years….

        Just hope those of you who got taken for absolute dummies will remember this case next time you get tempted by a false messiah pandering to your ‘obsession with JK’ weak point.

  13. Rudi Can't Fail 15

    At least now its official before the courts. Dotcom is telly porkies.
    John Banks was/is the most credible witness.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      I have a collateralised future dividend option on Auckland Harbour Bridge that might interest you.

      • Rudi Can't Fail 15.1.1

        But apparently there are two harbour bridges and you have conveniently forgotten to tell the crown about the other one?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Metaphor fail: Banks agrees that donations were discussed; the disclosure failure was the Crown’s.

          Nice try though: far better than Alwyn’s feeble effort.

      • alwyn 15.1.2

        So you were the mug who bought it were you?
        Now you realise that you were stupid to do so you are trying to palm it off on some other sucker. I doubt you will find anyone though who is quite as credulous as you were though.

  14. Clemgeopin 16

    Some interesting questions during question time today in parliament.

    Here are the questions:

    Here is the parliament TV available from 2 pm:

  15. SETI 17

    Cue a post and one thousand comment thread about judicial corruption. What with centre-right governments being elected around the world the left can’t take a trick at the moment.

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.1

      The anglo-saxon FVEY nations have systems biased towards the establishment conservative (now right wing) players. No one argues that is not the case.

  16. greywarshark 18

    John Banks gets off, wipes egg from face, and denies it was ever there. Proceeds to fowlhouse for further feathered foolhardy, furtive and futile fandangos.

  17. Ron 19

    John Banks acquitted today of submitting false returns. Honest John at last.

  18. adam 20

    Todays the private sector can’t do it better than a collective comment.

    Have a wee look at the phone book. I know you probably don’t – but at work yesterday we lost the internet – and, well, we tried using a phone book. It became a nightmare of epic proportions.

    Try finding a government department – or anything which is community based. Ministry of health. And you local community centre.

    Now that has probably frustrated you no end – think back before a private company got hold of it and it was privatised.

  19. Herodotus 21

    Just heard john key reiterate that there is no housing crisis in Auckland, and Andrew Little say there is one.
    Why then has no one asked john Key what symptoms would be present in his opinion he would see for him to acknowledge that there is a crisis.

  20. greywarshark 22

    Meanwhile Rohingya people from Myanmar float on boats crying for water, fighting, hungry, lying sick. What can we do about it.

    What is IOM – Part of United Nations Alliance of Civilisations
    The IOM believes about half a dozen boats remain at sea, some close to shore. Mr. Lowry likened the search for the vessels that are further out to “looking for specific needles in a giant haystack,” and says a much greater search and rescue effort from the region’s governments is needed.

    Food has been dropped to some by Thai helicopter. Indonesia is also offering help.
    What is New Zealand doing to help its trading partner and Pacific neighbour Indenesia.

    Two days ago –
    The Thai govt is cracking down on smugglers. This boat had called into Malaysia which had provided water and food and sent it off. It broke down off Thailand, but after the engine was fixed, and food and water given it went back to Malaysia. An observer says it is like a game of ping-pong. And many boats have been abandoned by the smugglers because they have not been able to offload their passengers and are afraid for their own safety.

    We need to help these truly helpless If not – The shame is on all of us. The USA military budget is $600 billion, Australian $32 B. The matter is widely reported by media from wealthy nations.

    I did a google search –
    What aid offered to Myanmar boat people by Red Cross
    Red Cross have nothing up about these people, last is Nepal.
    Then World Vision below
    Then Oxfam – they have been working in Myanmar, but the boats no.

    World Vision – a summary of the problemMyanmar’s Rohingya minority adrift with little aid
    As many as 120,000 members of the Rohingya ethnic and religious group have fled Myanmar and Bangladesh by sea in the past three years. Now, about 8,000 of them are stranded in boats in the Andaman sea, having been abandoned by their traffickers as a result of crackdowns on international trafficking. Boatloads of Rohingya that have been left adrift without food and water are now being turned away by Thai, Malaysian, and Indonesian authorities. About 1.3 million Rohingya have lived for generations in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, but are not counted among its citizens. The Rohingya have long suffered displacement, abuse, and extreme poverty.

    Google headings – The Guardian –
    Burma’s boatpeople ‘faced choice of annihilation
    5 days ago – With up to 8000 desperate people – Rohingya Muslims from Burma and … leaving an estimated 6,000 refugees to fend for themselves, according to reliable aid .
    USNews –
    500 people on a boat found Wednesday off northern Penang state were given …
    Yahoo –
    Southeast Asia for years tried to quietly ignore the plight of Myanmar’s 1.3 million … –
    Southeast Asia for years tried to quietly ignore the plight of Myanmar’s 1.3 million …
    phuketwan –
    Nations Must Speedily Aid Desperate Boatpeople, Says Rights Group … to work together to rescue these desperate people and offer them humanitarian aid, help in … ”The world will judge these governments by how they treat these most …
    msn news –
    4 days ago – More than 1,600 migrants and refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh have…
    trust –
    Jeffrey Savage, who works for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees … boats for the next 20 days and given only small amounts of food and water.
    jakartapost –
    Australia’s slashing of foreign aid by almost Aus$1.0 billion (US$800 million) will hurt the most .
    thedailybeast –
    4 days ago – BANGKOK—As boatloads of stateless Rohingya people and other migrants drift off the … 8,000 boat people seeking to land somewhere—anywhere—as they struggle with a ..

    Rohingya Vision TV | Human Trafficking
    6 days ago – … Myanmar migrants on a boat stranded for a week in the Andaman Sea with no ..

    Rohingya Blogger
    6 hours ago – The price of living in a world of rules and norms widely shared is that you do not get … Malaysia prodded Myanmar on Sunday to halt the exodus from its shores as ..

    Can AsEAN help in its own territory?
    At the core of ASEAN’s inaction is its principle of non-interference in internal political affairs of its member states, observers said.
    “There is a lot of sensitivity, a lot of prejudices and a lot of mutual suspicion that make it difficult for any entity to do something about this situation,” Surin said.

    The U.N. has said the deadly pattern of migration across the Bay of Bengal would continue unless Myanmar ends discrimination against the Rohingya.
    Most of Myanmar’s 1.1 million Rohingya are stateless and live in apartheid-like conditions. Almost 140,000 were displaced in clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012.

    Is the UN going to wait till talks on May 29 which Myanmar says it will not attend if the word Rohingya is mentioned! Can people live on air and hope? Is this a time to put aside regional thoughts and make it an all-world crisis and do the blaming and reproaching later!!

    Help Medecins Sans Frontieres with donation?

    After this is over it might be that we should look at helping Muslim Aid as a counter to so much of the destruction and violence that they are suffering. It might help in the healing that hopefully would come soon.
    Muslim Aid

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      The USA military budget is $600 billion, Australian $32 B.

      This is a statement from somebody who doesn’t understand economics. Economics isn’t about money but about resources and we’re running out of them.

      There’s also the point that, no matter how much money was spent on militaries around the world, almost none of those resources would help the people on the boats even if they hadn’t left their homeland. You cannot eat or drink steel.

      You can’t say that if we just spent the money here rather than there and everything will be fixed because of the difference between what resources are being used and what resources are needed to bring about the change you desire.

      • greywarshark 22.1.1

        What are you on about DTB. You’re making an argument out of a mud pie.
        If countries can afford to spend on war to that extent then they can find the machinmery to fly or sail to help those people. They can find a bit in a corner of their extensive budgets to pay for water food and humanitarian aid. Don’t make a blockbuster drama out of a very simple premise.

        Stop being so objective too, when people are hurting. They don’t want your considered opinion on the cost benefit of helping them, or care whether you care or not, just as long as you don’t stop other people from paying attnetion to their plight which was what my bloody comment was about.

  21. I’ve taken the leap and joined twitter. So if you really, really need to know two minutes ahead of time that I’m about to put up a post, this is the place for you:

    Any PR/media consultants/publicists with the inside goss to share are welcome to send it to me as well. No promises that it’ll make it into the Standard though; my bullshit detector is finely tuned.

  22. Northsider 25

    Labour Party in England is repeating the exact same mistake as in the last leader selection: only Oxbridge graduates who subsequently became “Special Advisers” are entered into the race.

    Andy Burnham: English, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

    Yvette Cooper: PPE, Balliol College, Oxford.

    Mary Creagh:Languages, Pembroke College, Oxford.

    Liz Kendall: History, Queen’s College, Cambridge.

    Tristram Julian William Hunt: History, Trinity College, Cambridge.

    As long as they continue to draw from this small clique they will continue to be loosers.

    In contract the SNP intake is remarkably representative of broad society.

    • Atiawa 25.1

      Pretty much the same issue here. Caused in no small part by the destruction of the trade union movement and Labours natural leaders. Of course Andrew Little at least has a union background and a strong understanding of workers issues. Unfortunately the union movement in this country is predominantly led by academics and they are appointed rather than elected, albeit they are in all probability good people with sound humanitarian values, but I would doubt that any of them would have ever lined up in the dole queue waiting to see their case officer or boned a quarter of beef or sweated over a cheese vat or polished a lino floor 40 hours a week.

      • Rodel 25.1.1

        With respect I think you’d find that many people with academic qualifications, especially older ones have in their student days.done the sorts of jobs that you mention.

        • vto

          yeah but that aint the same is it.


          aint no substitute for experience and time

        • Atiawa

          and your point is? Roger Douglas was a pig farmer once.
          I wasn’t trying to be disingenuous as I think their hearts and intentions are noble and some of them could have (had) high paying positions utilising their qualifications in other vocations.
          But I wonder if they have the passion, understanding and desire to lead those who perform those jobs their entire working lives? Douglas didn’t.
          Oh well I hope I’m wrong.

          • Northsider

            My point about Oxbridge, SPADs and the small elite which had control of the English Labour Party.

            There are 109 universities in the current UK. There is an additional 133 Higher Education Institutes that don’t use the term university. The great prosperity bestowed (another story) on “Oxbridge” was and is marvellous. I don’t begrudge them their history and their current standing as two great places of learning, research and thought leadership.

            When the five contestants for Labour leadership in 2010 and the five in 2015 all come from a tiny section of society there is a systemic problem.

            • Atiawa

              No argument from me Northsider. I’m with you on this one.
              My was a response to 25.1.1.
              Seems to me that Labour here and the UK need a broader mix of people standing for public office and a reconnection with communities and their real needs. Ain’t necessarily enough to simply ask about & attempt to resolve there issues, but more about having as their representatives those people themselves. Not really convinced that Grant is capable of representing the financial views of labour simply because he picked a few apples during the summer break.

              • Northsider

                I’ve no issue with an individual Oxbridge grad and spad becoming a Labour MP. I’ve no issue with an individual rolling down the hill from Victoria to a back office role in a political office and then onto becoming an MP.
                When a powerful group at HQ all have the same career profile then there is a systemic problem. Robertson, Ardern, Faafoi in Labour and many in the Nats have these narrow profiles.
                The public hear similar mechanical messaging styles.
                The public turn off.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  In the 1970s UK Labour had a third of its MPs come from labouring and manual work backgrounds, including a couple of dozen MPs who were former coal miners. The unions frequently sponsored workers from within their own ranks to run as candidates in electorates.

                  Today, Labour all around the world are professional middle class and upper middle class politicians: former student politicians, former Parliamentary staffers, former academics and policy wonks, PhDs and upper middle class professionals.

                  Labour thinks that it represents the best interests of almost all NZers; sadly only about one in five voters agreed.

                  When a powerful group at HQ all have the same career profile then there is a systemic problem. Robertson, Ardern, Faafoi in Labour and many in the Nats have these narrow profiles.

                  Yep. Hipkins. It’s a self perpetuating systemic issue with Labour now, as you infer.

  23. Ariadne 26

    Tell me something, interesting?

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