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Open Mike 19/06/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 19th, 2017 - 184 comments
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184 comments on “Open Mike 19/06/2017”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Why does the government continue to fund what is essentially a leisure activity (sports) when critical needs of the people aren’t being met?

    • garibaldi 1.1

      Two reasons…..
      1) The boat building industry in NZ is huge, and cutting edge.
      2) They don’t care about critical needs of people who aren’t in the National Party.

    • James 1.2

      so you not think that he government should fund sports ?

      I’m sure that would be a winner. Being involved in sport is one of the best health benefits available.

      • ianmac 1.2.1

        How about fundinding Sports at the healthy entry level instead of the high end high cost end?

        • Gosman

          Very good point. The same applies to arts and culture.

        • Craig H

          Local Government funds sport facilities like grounds and community centres, so there’s some government funding of sorts.

          Theoretically, funding high performance sport allows the sports organisations to fund grass roots sports from their other funds since they don’t have to pay as much for representative teams etc, and it’s a form of advertising that gets more kids involved, so health outcomes are improved.

      • Molly 1.2.2

        “Being involved in sport is one of the best health benefits available.”
        If you are participating in the sports, as opposed to watching this would be true.

        But government funding for sports at grassroots level is much lower than that for our “elite” or “high performance” sports.

        And given the high level of branding on those sports by sponsors, we are effectively subsiding large advertising campaigns. But you probably consider that more worthwhile than making sports accessible to all.

        • Draco T Bastard


          I’d have less concern with the government backing Team NZ if it didn’t have all that advertising on it for the mega corporations.

          • Gosman

            Then we wouldn’t be able to afford to compete.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Of course we could. If we can afford to compete now with all the added costs of the corporations involved then we can afford to compete without them.

      • The Chairman 1.2.3

        “Being involved in sport is one of the best health benefits available.”

        With the amount of related injuries and deaths, some would question that.

    • Gosman 1.3

      Good point. The same goes for Arts and culture.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    France arrested 429 people on suspicion of Islamist terrorism offences in 2016.
    Spain and Belgium were the next highest in the Eurozone arresting 69 and 62 respectively.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    The Trump administration will attack overseas regulations that restrict the export of GMO crops and other products resulting from American technological innovation, said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer

    • Gosman 3.1

      Except how will they attack these regulations?

    • saveNZ 3.2

      @AsleepWhileWalking, SHOCKING. Although I’m getting the impression John Key was pretty comfortable with Genetic Modification … god knows how much is already here.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        What is wrong with Genetic modification exactly? Do you not eat Potatoes or Corn or Sheep or Beef or pretty much every item produced by modern farms?

        • saveNZ

          Thats too big a question to answer here Gosman, but nope, I like my food fully tested over time before it’s said to be safe, I’m concerned about declining bee populations and effects to the environment by this type of experiment and also companies like Monsanto that use their patent rights to create a monopoly of the food supply which has resulted in economic losses by small farmers. Also concerned about the conflicts of interests between regulatory agencies, corporations and governmental channels.

          • Gosman

            ALL your food is genetically modified. The potato you eat is not the same as the natural potato that human first found growing. The Sheep and Cows we have an abundance of do not look much like the animals that our ancestors first domesticated 6000 odd years ago.

            • weka

              You really can’t tell the difference between gene splicing and selecting seed from a plant that has the best characteristics? I suspect you can but are using a misleading argument because you don’t care if there are problems with genetic engineering.

            • Ma Rohemo

              Gosman, please try to distinguish the difference between selective breeding (hybridisation) and genetic modification.
              The former has been practiced for 6000 odd years.
              Genetic modification is more recent.

              • inspider

                Genetic modification through interspecies genetic transfers is an entirely natural process. Bacteria and viruses have been doing it practically since life began. How do you think you got that little bit of neanderthal in you?

                • McFlock

                  because my great^1000-grandmother had a wee bit of neanderthal in her?

                  Not quite the same as trying to splice pig and elephant DNA.

                  • It’s up to the people who believe there’s a huge difference between bacteria and viruses causing inter-species gene transfer and humans causing it to make a case for that difference – and more to the point, to make a case for such a likelihood of harm arising from that difference that it needs to be banned, because that’s the only context in which people mention it.

                    • weka

                      Precautionary principle trumps that every time.

                    • You seem to be conflating “precautionary principle” with “proving a negative.”

                    • inspider

                      No, the precautionary principle ignores the fact that people have been getting on just fine without it for a 100,000 years. That reality trumps the precautionary principle. Along with all those non peer reviewed new technologies that were enthusiastically introduced to human populations without widespread testing or great knowledge of how they worked, such as penicillin, vaccines and basic medical hygiene.

                    • I should probably elaborate on that. Genetic engineering is already subject to a shitload of regulations because precautionary principle. People who want it banned outright (more accurately, restricted to being carried out in Third World or authoritarian countries) need to show such a clear and present danger from it that banning would be justified.

                      In short: if there’s no plausible case for harm to arise, you’re asking people to prove a negative. We can’t go banning every invention anyone comes up with on the basis that they can’t prove it won’t cause some unspecifed harm at some unspecified future point.

                    • Incognito

                      At Psycho Milt 19 June 2017 at 2:03 pm:

                      There’s another reason why certain experiments are only conducted in “Third World or authoritarian countries” and that is because of ethical considerations. More often than not these outweigh risks of presumed and possible harm.

                    • Well, yes. That’s yet another reason why I think we’d be nuts to banish genetic engineering to Third World countries and authoritarian dictatorships. Ask the Green Party why they think that’s a good idea, not me.

                  • inspider


                    it;s a lot closer to that comparison than you think when you consider the method that that neanderthal and your great^1000-grandmother +1 used to splice their DNA together.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah I couldn’t find the clip of how the SP kids did it lol

                      I’m actually pretty ambivalent about the entire issue – my main objection to GM food is more along the lines of how corporates use it than any Pandora’s Box scenario.

                      GM just becomes a way to lock in monoculture to one brand, terminator seeds enforce reliance on that supplier, and it’s just another way for capitalists to fuck the workers (farmers being the next rung of workers up the ladder). Farmers fuck the farm workers, corporations fuck the farmers, and the system continues to eat itself.

                    • inspider

                      Go for a drive through the cropping parts of Manawatu or Canterbury and you will see a range of corporate seeds in the fields. Go to a nursery and see the same in the rose garden. Or go to an export fruit warehouse and see the braeburns, pacific roses and galas, along with the zespri golds boxed up.

                      What you are ignoring is that other smart people are equally capable of coming up with alternative breeds, and no farmer is forced to use any of them.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, that’s been the historic refrain of every corporation back to Standard Oil. /sarc

          • Psycho Milt

            …I like my food fully tested over time before it’s said to be safe…

            It’s a good thing your distant ancestors who domesticated all the food we eat today were a little more adventurous, isn’t it? Also, no food ever has been subjected to the testing regimes inflicted on directly-genetically-modified food, so you should probably stick with the GE food to be really safe.

            …I’m concerned about declining bee populations and effects to the environment…

            Aren’t we fuckin’ all…

            …by this type of experiment…

            I presume by “experiment” you mean use of directly-modified foods in production, which isn’t actually an experiment. There is no evidence whatsoever that the practice of GE has or might in future cause a decline in bee populations, and evidence thus far suggests it’s actually better for the environment than conventional cropping.

            …companies like Monsanto that use their patent rights to create a monopoly of the food supply which has resulted in economic losses by small farmers.

            Well, yeah. But that has nothing to do with GE. Companies were patenting seed varieties long before GE was invented.

            Also concerned about the conflicts of interests between regulatory agencies, corporations and governmental channels.

            I am too. A hell of organic-food activists and vegetarians seem to be influencing those bodies. But as long as society is run by humans, that’s going to be a problem.

            • Robert Guyton

              Milt, I wonder, do you have a view of what farmers whose economic well-being relies upon customers that require guaranteed GMO-free produce and how their future’s would be affected by a neighbour planting GMO crops, which could cross the boundaries between their properties. It’s not science, but politics, I guess. There is, after all, more to the issue than just the science.

              • We’ve had that conversation before. I don’t believe farmers have the right to veto other farmers’ choice of crop, especially if the basis for the veto is the desire to serve a niche market with peculiar ideas about food. It is about politics rather than science, as you say.

                • And the politics, or “ground-reality” of the issue can’t be ignored. Your argument ” I don’t believe farmers have the right to veto other farmers’ choice of crop” works both ways: farmers using GMO crops in the same space as farmers who cannot afford to have their own crops contaminated by GMOs “veto”their neighbours potential activities; something I guess you are equally unhappy about. I haven’t seen an argument from you that settles the issue.

                  • There is no issue. There would be an issue if there was some actual harm that could come from GMO seeds drifting onto non-GMO neighbouring properties, but there is no actual harm – no more than there is from non-GMO seeds drifting onto GMO properties. The “harm” being claimed here is an ideological one, and the solution to it is in the hands of the bodies with authority over the ideology – ie, pressure the relevant organic certification bodies to stop being unreasonable, rather than pressuring local councils to trample on people’s civil rights.

                    • Hi, Psycho Milt. I’m trying to understand in a non-combative way. I can’t understand how the organic certification bodies are unreasonable; they promote and support GMO-free production. The customers of those products rely upon an authority to guarantee the authenticity; ie.GMO-free, of the food they wish to purchase. How could those agencies: Demeter etc. abandon their customers by changing their stance? You may be able to help me grasp this.
                      Edit: the “actul harm” comes to the livelihoods of the GMO-free farmers. That’s real, tangible and devastating, where their earning is destroyed by the actions of their neighbours.

                    • gsays

                      I have to call bullshit on the claim there is no harm to farmers from their gmo farming neighbours.
                      Monsanto Canada Inc vs Schneider 2004.

                      From Wikipedia: “That case concerned Percy Schmeiser, who claimed to have discovered that some canola growing on his farm in 1997 was Roundup resistant. Schmeiser harvested the seed from the Roundup resistant plants, and planted the seed in 1998. Monsanto sued Schmeiser for patent infringement for the 1998 planting. Schmeiser claimed that because the 1997 plants grew from seed that was pollinated with pollen blown into his field from neighboring fields, he owned the harvest and was entitled to do with it whatever he wished, including saving the seeds from the 1997 harvest and planting them in 1998.

                    • I’m sorry for the combative tone – I find the enthusiasm for GMO-free as irrational as enthusiasm for religions and that tends to come through in my comments.

                      Organic certification bodies are being unreasonable by pretending that GMO food is inorganic. It can be grown organically the same as any other food, because, well, it is any other food, isn’t it. It’s all just food. Only someone with a genetic testing kit could tell whether an organically-grown plant was directly modified or not (in fact with the current trend for using CRISPR on the original genome it may soon be impossible to tell in some cases), and that distinction is itself entirely academic. There’s no practical, real-world basis for distinguishing between them at all.

                      What this is really about is pandering to the superstitions of people with more money than sense. There’s good money in that, to be sure, but let’s not pretend it’s actually about food safety or what constitutes organic farming. It isn’t the government’s job to protect a superstition-based market, especially if it has to unreasonably restrain citizens to achieve that protection.

                    • Monsanto Canada Inc vs Schneider 2004.

                      Disputes over patented seeds are irrelevant to genetic engineering. Patenting seeds has been going on for a long time, much longer than genetic engineering has been around.

        • mauī

          What is wrong with genetic modification?

          Oh I dunno, manipulating the genetic structure of crops that you eat so that they’re the only thing that survives being sprayed by Roundup, an industrial pipe cleaner sounds like common sense to you??

          • Gosman

            According to Science it does. Or are you anti-Science?

            • mauī

              Is that the science that said we should go nuclear too? How has science made nuclear safe exactly?

            • adam

              Gosman is now going to champion global climate change, and stomp on anyone who goes against the science.

              I won’t hold my breath

              • Gosman

                I’ve never denied the scientific consensus around climate change. The question is do you support the scientific consensus around GMO’s?

                • You agree that mankind’s activities have caused the climate to change, Gosman?
                  That’s progress.
                  There is no “scientific consensus around GMOs” – there is instead, a range of scientific findings on aspects of GMOs that you might like to present here, if you are serious about the discussion. By all means do that, rather than pushing the nonsensical position you’ve tried out here today.

                • adam

                  I’m yet to see the consensus on GMO’s, I’ve seen a consensus forming around mono crops, like the ones you put up, with their over use and other problems. So when there is a consensus I will support it.

                  I will continue to support scientist who have used genetic engineering to fix up problems with selective breeding and hybridisation. And have been a supporter of that all the way through, but like many I feel when we don’t fully understand how things work, it’s not a time to play god.

                  • gsays

                    To be fair, this consensus is about profit and controlling the world’s food supply.

      • Jenny Kirk 3.2.2

        Yep – saveNZ – right now the Australian NZ food authority is calling for submissions – deadlines soon – on whether canola seed and potato seed should be genetically modified. Pandora is being let out of the box !

        Page 8 of the AustralianNZFood Standards development Work Plan 16 June 2017 has the details.

        • Psycho Milt

          Pandora is being let out of the box !

          Pandora was let out of the box the first time ancient humans noticed a genetic mutation that was useful to humans in a plant and stopped nature from breeding it out of existence. The rest (human civilisation) is history…

  4. James 4

    Team New Sealand smoked Oracle this morning- a pleasure to watch.

    its going to be amazing if they can bring the cup back to NZ.

    • Cinny 4.1

      Those boats are incredible feats of engineering, amazing to watch. Was living in Devonport when the Americas cup was raced in Auckland, it was a wonderful time, the city so alive, loved every minute of it.

      Would be exciting if we won and were able to hold the event here again, sadly I don’t think we have the accommodation in Auckland to house all the teams and supporters, but maybe with a change of government we will be ready in time.

      • James 4.1.1

        Sure labour is going to build hotels.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The increased economic activity that always accompanies Labour governments will take care of that. Oh, and there’ll be more motel beds available because they’ll increase state housing stock too.

        • The Chairman

          “Sure labour is going to build hotels.”

          It would help cater to the demand and stimulate training and employment, while widening and growing the Governments revenue stream going forward.

          Whereas, National are paying exorbitant amounts filling them with the homeless.

  5. Wayne Mapp’s slap down comment from yesterday is worth reposting here:


    Your comment about the Americas Cup is a deliberate wind up. You know perfectly well that this site is not really a forum for sport and was bound to generate negative comment.”

    Wayne recognises a troll when he sees one.

    • Andre 5.1

      Professional spectacles like the America’s Cup or Super Rugby etc isn’t sport, it’s entertainment industry product and as such has more in common with the likes of WWE than it does with sport.

      Sport is about ordinary people going out and getting active because it’s fun. This professional crap is about a subset of 1 percenters figuring out how to get even wealthier by selling eyeballs to advertisers.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Sport is about ordinary people going out and getting active because it’s fun. This professional crap is about a subset of 1 percenters figuring out how to get even wealthier by selling eyeballs to advertisers.


        • Gosman

          Funnily enough that is what the old farts running Rugby Union in the UK used to think. A more privileged and stuck up bunch you would have trouble finding.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The UK had it aristocracy to copy.

            We’ve mostly managed not to do that although National seems to be trying very hard to replicate it here – with them as the aristocrats of course.

      • Halfcrown 5.1.2


      • ianmac 5.1.3

        My father in law at the age of 65 was playing rugby as a Golden Oldie because he loved participating in the sport. The oldest chap that I last saw in that match was 90 years old. And the Saturday kids are playing sport for fun too.
        Not so sure about the Elite though.

      • marty mars 5.1.4

        Nah. Professional sportspeople are sportspeople who are utilized by the entertainment industry. There is a big big difference. Do you personally know any proffessional sportsperson in person?

        Your description mocks the hard hard work professionals put in to be elite. I dont want to be like them and I can appreciate their effort.

        • Andre

          After leaving high school I put three years into getting good at my chosen sport, reaching as high as representing NZ internationally. Where I was racing against professionals, albeit just at the start of professionalism in that particular sport so they were just barely scraping by covering their expenses. And I learned I didn’t have what it takes to get right to the top.

          Since then I’ve spent a substantial part of my career in various parts of sporting industries. Which frequently involved working with professional sportspeople at the top of their sport. Most of them were fairly clear-eyed about the fact that their high incomes depended on their ability to produce a saleable entertainment spectacle.

          • marty mars

            Not professional sportspeople but entertainers based on your first comment. Good we are on the same page now ☺ because I don’t disagree with your point just the way you made it.

    • James 5.2

      It’s open Mike. I like talking sport (and playing).

      I regularly comment on the All Blacks as well.

      But handwringers seem to moan about that as well.

      • Enough is Enough 5.2.1

        Sport is wonderful.

        I was in Rotorua in the weekend for the Lions v Maori match. The town was alive with New Zealand culture and thousands of British and Irish tourists, mixing with each other and having a fantastic time.

        It Is events like these that create culture

    • The decrypter 5.3

      RG. Does that mean that Wayne says james is a sporting troll? —Now I’m all mixed up like james.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.4

      Wayne is being a troll. “Lefties hate sport” is yet another nasty party attack line.

      • Stunned Mullet 5.4.1

        Wayne’s a troll now.. gosh it’s hard to keep up with who is and isn’t a troll, can someone make a list ?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          English comprehension 101.

          “Wayne is being a troll” ≠ “Wayne is a troll.”

          For further assistance, seek out your nearest adult community education service.

  6. Cinny 6

    Massively supportive of Labours plan of a ‘warrant of fitness’ for boarding houses, personally I’d like to see every rental have a warrant of fitness.

    Have heard that living in a damp and moldy house is worse for a persons health than living in a house contaminated by the P.

    Bloody criminal what we saw in the weekend, the exploitation and the lack of government regulation.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Personally, I’m thinking it’s probably a good idea to extend such a WOF to all living quarters. Some people will complain as some people always will but they’ll end up being better off a long with the rest of us.

      • Cinny 6.1.1

        If it stops people becoming sick or dying I’m all for it, because at the moment that’s what seems to be happening, unhealthy homes are slowly killing people.

        • Gosman

          Would you support it if it increases homelessness?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Done properly, it won’t.

            It will get rid of the bludging capitalists though.

            • Gosman

              We all know your solution to the problems of the World Draco. They are straight out of Pyongyang.

              • Draco T Bastard

                We all know your solution to the problems of the World Draco.

                No you don’t because even I don’t.

                They are straight out of Pyongyang.

                No, that’s where National/ACT/Republicans and RWNJs in general get their ideas from.

                I actually prefer democracy. Even the elected dictatorship that National’s been taking away here and there is better than the absolute dictatorship that they and other RWNJs obviously prefer.

    • The Chairman 6.2

      “Massively supportive of Labours plan of a ‘warrant of fitness’ for boarding houses…”

      Got a link to that?

      The concern is the cost burden will be passed on to tenants, further driving up rents. Moreover, if put into practice before cheap alternative premises are provided, more will end up homeless.

      • Cinny 6.2.1

        Phil Twyford was talking about it on the wireless this morning at about 7.20am on radio live. Will try find the link, nothing showing up at present.

        • The Chairman

          Cool, thanks Cinny.

          Out of interest, do you share the concern? And did Labour’s proposal address it?

          • Cinny

            The link is now up here it is TC 😀

            Yes I do share the concern, even as a landlord, and from what I’ve heard Labour has been addressing it which is awesome, I really rate Phil Twyford, he is doing great work and is truly passionate about his portfolio.

            My friend moved the other week, her son has always suffered from bad asthma, she thought she had found a great house, it is a great house, but not for her son. He has started to feel unwell again, but we found the problem when the venetian blinds were let down in his room, they are riddled with mould, as are the curtain linings, mold spores are so toxic for that kid.

            The landlord may not have realised there was so much mold happening behind the curtains etc, landlord is away at present, will be interesting to see how long they take to fix it. In the meantime we’ve scrubbed and I’m making some new curtains to hang up, but it still won’t address the damp in that room, a rental warrant of fitness could provide a check list, eliminating the problem before the house was rented out. Her situation may not be a big deal for some and is very mild compared with what was on the telly, but it is a huge issue for the health of her son. As well, addressing the problem means for the landlord not having an even bigger more expensive problem later as the house ages.

            With that in mind a rental WOF would benefit all and benefit our already over stretched health system.

            For a landlord a WOF could be factored into their rental equation along with rates, insurance, repairs etc. And if rents were capped it would make an even greater difference especially in our largest city.

            This year I’m voting to save lives, I’m voting to change the government.

            • The Chairman

              Rather concerned with Labour’s approach. They have it the wrong way around. They need to have alternative premises prepared and ready to go before they apply a housing WoF.

              • McFlock

                Depends on whether more newly-homeless people will die than the 1600 a year shitty homes kill

                • The Chairman

                  Are you suggesting tenants would be better off living on the streets, thus lets shut the boarding houses down now?

                  I heard (on the news the other day) a tenant of one of these dives say it was better than living on the streets.

                  Additionally, I see you blame “shitty homes” but overlook the high cost of heating, which also tends to play a factor in these deaths.

                  • McFlock

                    No, I was suggesting that 1600 people a year are currently killed by their homes and that’s the flipside of your eviction concern. If 1500 people lost their homes and died because they couldn’t afford homes that don’t kill people, that’s still 100 fewer deaths than if we kept the shitty homes until more people could afford to live in non-murdering homes.

                    The cost of heating is related to the shittiness of the home, by the way. Draughtier or more damp homes require bigger heating bills.

                    • The Chairman

                      While non-insulated homes cost more to heat, the cost of heating a well insulated home is still expensive, thus a struggle for some, hence played a role in a number of those deaths.

                      “No, I was suggesting that 1600 people a year are currently killed by their homes and that’s the flipside of your eviction concern. If 1500 people lost their homes and died because they couldn’t afford homes that don’t kill people, that’s still 100 fewer deaths than if we kept the shitty homes “

                      Are you suggesting Labour should take that gamble?

                    • McFlock

                      At least we know how many people are killed by shitty homes. we don’t know that anyone will be made homeless by a decent WoF being implemented alongside the improvements to housingNZ and the kiwibuild program (which will get more people out of the rental market, thus keeping prices down for the decent quality homes).

                      All you’re doing is pretending that your way around isn’t the flipside of that exact same gamble, even though your conclusion is based on zero actual numbers.

                    • The Chairman

                      “At least we know how many people are killed by shitty homes…”

                      So can we take that as a yes, you want Labour to take that gamble?

                      One can’t provide exact numbers to a proposal that has yet to take place. But one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that places will close and rents will increase, thus leaving a number with nowhere to go.

                      Seeing as Labour seem happy to take the gamble shouldn’t they have an estimate on how many people will be put out when they apply a housing WoF?

                      Deferring a WoF will allow more time for HNZ to catch those that fall through the gaps, regardless the numbers.

                    • McFlock

                      But one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that places will close and rents will increase, thus leaving a number with nowhere to go.

                      Funnily enough, rocket scientists frequently deal with multivariable situations, rather than simply assuming that the entire thing might blow up so it’s a bad idea.

                      If one were to follow a simply supply/demand curve, you might be right, or at have a reasonable concern. But with multiple policies going on (and even the chance that a Labgrn victory will automatically pop the speculative housing bubble and free up spaces in the rental market as actual resident NZers move into currently speculatively vacant houses) the idea that work on improving housing standards must wait until work on the homeless is complete is, frankly, bloody stupid. At the very least, development of the housing standards will take time during which work on state housing will also be proceeding.

                      But like I say, thanks for your concern 🙄

                    • The Chairman

                      Evidently, you failed to see I’ve taken variables into account and there still remains a potential risk.

                      Popping the housing bubble may impact the wider economy. Thus, impact on peoples ability to borrow, while putting pressure on those that are already leveraged up, hence may result in more looking to rent as they go belly up.

                      The worry for Labour will be how many others will be concerned? And will that concern put them off voting Labour?

                      Moreover, if Labour do make a hash of it, it will kill their credibility and mostly likely keep them out of power for decades.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not sure Labour will worry about how many people will share your assumption-based concerns. You’re not very good at spreading them.

                      Which is good, because we know that 1600 people a year are dying, and you don’t want to do anything about it until your theoretical concerns have been allayed.

                    • The Chairman

                      With the way Labour have been polling, they should be. They need every vote they can get.

                    • McFlock

                      and again, I’m sure Labour will be grateful for your concern.

                    • The Chairman

                      “Which is good, because we know that 1600 people a year are dying, and you don’t want to do anything about it until your theoretical concerns have been allayed.”

                      No. I want to see it done in a way that is less likely to exacerbate the problem.

                      Just had a look at your link. “1600 deaths attributed to cold houses each winter in New Zealand”. Told you heating is a factor.

                    • McFlock

                      less likely in your highly speculative and apparently biased opinion.

                      And you might want to read the bit about damp, too.

            • RedLogix

              The core problem with mould is humidity. Temperature much less so. Just insulating, raising the temperature without increasing the air change rate and getting the humidity under control will likely make matters worse.

              If you have condensation running down your windows in winter, you likely have a mould problem.

              This is an issue the NZ building industry has struggled to get to grips with. But in general we find some form of ventilation system is always the most effective cure.

        • McFlock

          Little’s Bill here.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2

        The costs are always past on to tenants. Getting others to pay for them is how the rich get rich.

        • The Chairman

          Which is the concern. Costs being passed on will further drive up rents, ultimately pricing tenants out.

          • RedLogix

            Yes. Every landlord has a different cash flow situation, but overall with returns well under 4 % in many larger centres, there often isn’t much margin to re-invest back into the property.

            Especially when most improvements make very little difference to the rent, even though they are of real benefit to the tenant. The signals are all wrong, made worse in the context of a broken building industry.

            What would help is a package of incentives, assistance and regulation, plus the return of a revitalised HNZ into the market to put a social floor under the market.

            The state could offer low interest, long-term financial packages available to landlords tied to substantial upgrades, and meeting strongly graded WoF standards. Big emphasis on healthy safe environments, lower energy costs, and ongoing R&D to provide the tools to progressively improve NZ’s generally crappy housing stock. Look around the world for best practice ideas, materials and methods. Find ways to use local resources and manufacturing to slash material costs.

            Big regulatory sticks for landlords that fall short.

            Get the state back into heavily training and re-directing the energies of the building industry into creating sustainable living systems for families and communities. Encourage local councils and iwi back into land development and social housing. Look for smarter more human centred housing configurations.

            There are many, many highly talented, visionary people out there with skills and experience who given the leadership opportunities could transform our nations homes. All it takes is a political party with some vision and balls.

            • The Chairman

              “The state could offer low interest, long-term financial packages available to landlords tied to substantial upgrades, and meeting strongly graded WoF standards.”

              Yes, this would reduce the sum being passed on. However, until housing supply outstrips demand, there will be scope for rents to increase.

              Increasing the housing stock and that of HNZ will take time. Therefore, if we want to avoid costs being passed on (thus avert the risk of forcing more people out and onto the streets) applying a housing WoF should be deferred until the housing shortage is addressed. By which time we may find the increase in quality and supply, thus the corresponding market competition created, ceases the need.

              • Draco T Bastard

                By which time we may find the increase in quality and supply, thus the corresponding market competition created, ceases the need.

                Can you point to anywhere where an unregulated market has managed to address social concerns?

                • The Chairman

                  “Can you point to anywhere where an unregulated market has managed to address social concerns?”

                  That’s why the Government needs to partake in the market. Improving quality and supply with the competition created applying market pressure.

                  In other words, if the Government provided better alternatives, tenants would seek them, pressuring private landlords to up their game or miss out.

                  • McFlock

                    what, like moving midrange renters out of the market by increasing housing availability and affordability?

                    • The Chairman

                      Increasing supply and quality will help meet demand, stabilize prices, thus provide tenants with far more choice.

                    • McFlock

                      lucky Labour policy seems to dovetail a bit, then, eh.

                    • The Chairman

                      Unfortunately, Labour have it the wrong way around. They need to have alternative premises prepared and ready to go before they apply a housing WoF.

                      Adding more costs in an overheated market can potentially do more harm than good.

                    • McFlock

                      but then doing it your way could also do more harm than good, leaving more people in dangerous homes than they get off the streets.

                    • The Chairman

                      It all comes back to whether you believe they are better off remaining in these dives or out on the streets?

                      Labour are talking quick temporary housing, however they need to put that in place first.

                    • McFlock

                      No, it comes down to actual numbers. Your problem with the policy is that you believe it will cause more homelessness, but that’s based purely on speculation even before we take into account a number of parallel policies that Labour have, from emergency temp housing to the effects of kiwibuild on the rental market. you have no idea whether the problem will exist at all, let alone its extent if it does.

                      On the flipside, we have actual numbers of a clear problem right now, a problem that you think should take a back seat to your hypothetical worry.

                      Thanks for your concern, I guess.

                    • The Chairman

                      It’s based on a logical assumption considering the variables.

                      Apart from temporary housing (which will still take some time) Labour’s other two parallel policies will take even longer, leaving a void for people to fall through. Therefore, while we do have a problem now, one shouldn’t overlook the potential harm Labour’s proposal could do.

                      I get the feeling Labour are looking for any excuse to push this WoF through, as with their CGT. And if people fall through the gaps, so be it.

                      I don’t think the problem should take a back seat, providing alternative homes should be a priority. I just don’t want to see it exacerbated by racing into an overheated market with a WoF first.

                    • McFlock

                      I get the feeling that yet again you’re letting your “logical assumptions” get in the way of addressing issues we know exist.

                      And if 1600 people a year die until your innumerable concerns have been addressed, in triplicate, well then so be it.

                    • The Chairman

                      Not at all. It’s another way to address the problem, without resulting in putting people out of homes they are currently residing in.

                      Adding cost to an overheated market will have wider implications. As rents increase, cut backs will be made (food, power, doctors visits, etc) hence consumer spending will slow down, negatively impacting retailers and no doubt tenants health.

                    • McFlock

                      And when we have the additional homes, you’ll still be saying the same damned thing: “if there are wofs, people will be put out of their homes”.

                      So people will still die, because some landlords will always rent out cold, damp homes.

                    • The Chairman

                      “And when we have the additional homes, you’ll still be saying the same damned thing”

                      Not at all. However, as I pointed out before, the increase in quality and supply, thus the corresponding market competition created may cease the need.

                      Although, the cost of heating will still be problematic

                    • McFlock

                      Just as your concerns “may” be completely baseless in the real world.

                    • The Chairman

                      Ha, very unlikely.

                    • McFlock

                      that’s your assumption.

            • weka

              “The state could offer low interest, long-term financial packages available to landlords tied to substantial upgrades, and meeting strongly graded WoF standards.”

              My problem with that is it’s essentially the government indirectly subsidising banks and property speculators. Helping good landlords makes sense, but I have to wonder if the returns are so low that landlord’s can’t upkeep the property then perhaps they should be earning a living a different way.

              “Get the state back into heavily training and re-directing the energies of the building industry into creating sustainable living systems for families and communities. Encourage local councils and iwi back into land development and social housing. Look for smarter more human centred housing configurations.”

              Would love to see more done on the intersection of state/social housing and intentional communities. Huge potential there that would help with not just housing but a whole range of issues affecting the actual humans that live in our economy. This is why I don’t buy the traditional left wing idea that the govt should do everything.

              • RedLogix

                You want good landlords but you want to beat up on them at the same time. That should help.

                This is why I don’t buy the traditional left wing idea that the govt should do everything.

                Nor do I .. which is why I do keep banging on about community as an essential component of a healthy society.

              • Draco T Bastard

                This is why I don’t buy the traditional left wing idea that the govt should do everything.

                I’m pretty sure that’s not a traditional left-wing idea. Hell, even I don’t hold that position although I think that the state should provide all housing.

                • weka

                  I was short handing. In certain sectors e.g. housing, health, welfare, some people believe that the govt should do it all and there should be no NGO involvement.

              • The Chairman

                “My problem with that is it’s essentially the government indirectly subsidising banks and property speculators.”

                It would be cost neutral in the long-term. Landlords would repay it.

                • weka

                  how so?

                  • The Chairman

                    The Government outlay would be repaid, thus overtime there would be no direct fiscal cost. There would however be an opportunity cost, as in the money could be spent elsewhere.

              • …if the returns are so low that landlord’s can’t upkeep the property then perhaps they should be earning a living a different way.

                What’s being talked about isn’t “upkeep,” it’s substantial improvements. I have a rental built in 1910 – it’s well-maintained, but it’s still a hundred-year-old house. Making it behave like a modern house would involve hugely expensive improvements (not maintenance) that bring little return because you’re still asking tenants to rent a hundred-year-old house in a dodgy neighbourhood.

                Landlords aren’t going to make those improvements without a fat subsidy. The government could force them to make the improvements, which would have two outcomes:
                1. Increased rents.\
                2. Forced exodus from the property market of middle-class people who have to sell cheap because they can’t afford to make the improvements. And woe betide the government that wrecks the retirement savings of NZ’s middle class…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I’m pretty sure a 100 year old house is about 60+ years past it’s use by date and simply won’t get a rental WOF. I would never want to live in one.

                  So, why do you demand that the government protect your worthless business?

                  • How is the government not acting to destroy someone’s investment “protecting” it? That’s like saying you “protect” your kids by not punching them in the face.

                    Also: “I would never want to live in one.” Well, no-one’s going to make you, so your point’s irrelevant. Fact is there are people who do want to live in them, because they’re cheap. Providing only expensive housing doesn’t meet everyone’s requirements (and by that, I mean “doesn’t meet everyone’s requirements in the real, actually-existing world, not their requirements in Draco’s post-revolutionary utopia”).

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      How is the government not acting to destroy someone’s investment “protecting” it?

                      Because instead of acting in the best interests of the population as a whole as they should do they’re acting in a way that allows you to not lose money.

                      In other words, they’d be punching everyone else in the face for your personal benefit. I think that you should just wear the risk that you took when you bought an investment property.

                      Fact is there are people who do want to live in them, because they’re cheap.

                      Do they really want to live in them or is it because it’s all they can afford?

                      I don’t want to live in one because the chances are that it’s a damp, mouldy death-trap that’s cold throughout the year.

                      Providing only expensive housing doesn’t meet everyone’s requirements

                      Government provided housing would be the best available but everyone would be able to afford it and there’d be a home for everyone.

        • Stuart Munro

          The easy answer to the building WOF is to cap rents on unWOFed buildings. If it’s a dump then the tenant needs their financial resources to mitigate the risks – and if you don’t like the rent cap, WOF your building. This would apply pressure to the worst landlords without punishing the tenants.

      • Sabine 6.2.3

        well if it drives up rental costs we (taxpayers) will at least be financing healthy and dry homes with the Accommodation Supplement rather then moldy, cold and deadly ice boxes as we do currently.

        Secondly, if the rental gets an upgrade, that would be considered a business expense and should be tax deductible.

        Thirdly, if someone has a rental and can’t afford to keep it to a minimum standard, and that is what the WOF would do – then they should not be in the business of renting.

        • The Chairman

          A number of people staying in such dives already receive accommodation benefits. So unless that is also going to further increase, an increase in rental cost will result in forcing some people out.

          Substantial improvements of a rental is not tax deductible. And it would be fair to say a number of these dives require substantial improvements.

          Affording to keep a rental to a minimum standard will result in a number requiring to increase their rent, thus risk forcing some people out. And round we go again.

          • Sabine

            National just announced an increase in the Accomodation Supplement should they be again selected to run this country.
            And all of that without a WOF.

            but hey, lets just do nothing. Cause that is what you are arguing for.
            ACtually, lets get rid of all regulations of anything. Cause hey it might be inconvenient to some. Fuck the rest.

            • The Chairman

              Don’t be silly. I’m not arguing we do nothing.

              My argument is if we want to avoid costs being passed on (thus avert the risk of forcing more people out and onto the streets) applying a housing WoF should be deferred until the housing shortage is addressed.

              Therefore, the first thing to do is to focus on how we can quickly build more homes in a cost effective way.

            • The Chairman

              “National just announced an increase in the Accomodation Supplement should they be again selected to run this country.”

              Yes. And in an overheated market, rents are expected to increase. And that’s without a housing WoF.

    • Gosman 6.3

      Which is fine but then acknowledge there will be even less stock available to rent.

      • saveNZ 6.3.1

        If anyone cleans up the current fake overseas student degrees rout, and the working visas rout, more accommodation might become available

        • saveNZ

          BTW – I’m not against overseas students coming here, in fact think it’s a great idea as when you look at how hard it is for students in China for example with all the competition there, and of course anyone now who speaks great English and Chinese is almost guaranteed a job in China. So win win.

          At present it’s not win win, as some educational places are not giving real course in exchange for this but instead a lottery of residency with the fake course. Not happy with that! Also people going into debt to send their kids here with money lenders and the like. Not on.

          And they should be operating in places that need the students not Auckland!!! And local students should not be effected. Local lecturers should not be forced to dumb down courses. There should be specific overseas student courses that teach english while they study. And no working visas or residency to go with it.

          The whole tertiary situation seems screwed with too much emphasis of bums on seats at universities and not enough about the actual results against other universities.

          We have an excellent tertiary education reputation in NZ, which I fear is sadly being diminished for short term gains that will turn us into the ‘Trump University’ of the Pacific if it’s allowed to continue.

          • Craig H

            Foreign students study at schools and tertiary institutions all over NZ, not just in Auckland. Every university and polytech has foreign students, not just the Auckland-based ones. Student visas to study English is big business everywhere in NZ.

            I agree the rorts need work, but the Labour policies will address them well.

  7. Andre 7

    Is Trump trying for a New World Order of petrostates vs greenie renewables states? An interesting idea, especially for the conspiracy-minded.


    Personally I reckon the Chump doesn’t have the nous or the discipline for any kind of grand plan like that. The emotionally undeveloped wealthy brat who’s never had to learn impulse control or humility remains the much better explanation.

    • Anne 8.1

      Enjoyed that. Thanks Macro. So, May’s Britain has gone the same way as Trump’s America. At least both have enough local wits to keep us from going completely bonkers with despair.

      Jonathon Pie’s latest:

      Not much to laugh at this time though.

  8. weka 9

    TOP environmental policy wants to capitalise on our clean green image. The environment is a capitalist investment.

    • saveNZ 9.1

      Money is the only way they can relate to the environment.

      • weka 9.1.1

        Apparently so.

        • RedLogix

          Or you could read their Environmental Policy

          TOP’s position is that we should leave the environment for our descendants in no worse shape than we inherited it – and preferably in better shape. We will protect and enhance our natural environment, not just because we love it, but because it makes good business sense.


          What is so hard about keeping two complementary ideas in your head at the one time? What is so wrong about having a deep emotional connection to the land, AND understanding the economic value of a healthy environment at the same time?

          Or is just sour grapes because Morgan threatens to nibble on the Green’s lunch a bit?

          • mauī

            I think both The Green Party and TOP are working to solve environmental issues within a capitalist model, though they’ve got different methods to go about it. I don’t have a problem with that in fact it’s probably good to have another party – TOP in there proposing how we might go about it. Probably TOP have a better chance than the Greens stealing votes off National too as I think they will get votes from all over the political spectrum. That can’t be a bad thing, reducing Nationals vote. Not as good as a National voter switching to Green which is a 2 vote swing, but a 1 vote swing can’t be sneezed at either.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Don’t want to be termed a criminal because you smack your child?
    Perhaps a reasoned discussion on this strawman argument relating to prevention of violence would be helpful.

    Perhaps go to TDB and see what Bradbury’s reasoning is about it:

    I have a 7 year old daughter & I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever once felt any ‘chilling effect’ on my parenting because I don’t bash my kid!

  10. Glenn 11

    More than ten pedestrians were hit by a van which veered onto a pavement near a renowned north London mosque late last night, according to reports.

    Several people were reportedly hurt after the van ploughed into a crowd outside Finsbury Park Mosque, where hate cleric Abu Hamza once preached, as they finished Ramadan evening prayers called taraweeh.

    Eyewitnesses reported seeing bystanders wrestle the suspect to the floor and pin him down until officers arrived.


  11. greywarshark 12

    I have been looking at info on Crystal Palace, London which at its final location was wrecked by fire in 1936, and the remaining water tower in 1941. It used to be an ancient oak forest before development spread. The space has been used for car racing, concerts etc. It seems that here there is room for extensive housing, of various types and heights with a barrier of 10 stories could well be established and STILL there would be park land and the well-loved amenities.

    Wikipedia says this:
    Proposed developments
    A number of proposals to redevelop the Crystal Palace Park have been put forward since the 1980s. The park was handed to the London Borough of Bromley after the abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986, and a long-fought-over local issue is whether to build on the open space which was the location of the original Crystal Palace building or to leave it as parkland as the Greater London Council had done. In 1989 Bromley proposed the development of the site for hotel and leisure purposes, it culminated in the passing by the House of Commons of the Bromley London Borough Council (Crystal Palace) Act 1990, which limits development on the site.[22][23]
    The Italian Terraces.

    In 1997, a planning proposal was submitted which involved 53,000 square metres of leisure floor space, including a 20-screen multiplex. The proposal was opposed by a local campaign group, the Crystal Palace Campaign, set up a month later.[24]

    In 2003, plan for a modern building in glass was submitted to the Bromley council.[25]

    In 2007, a £67 million master plan was drawn up by London Development Agency which includes the building of a new sports centre, the creation of a tree canopy to mimic the outline of the palace, the restoration of the Paxton Axis walkway through the park, but it also included a controversial proposal for housing on two parts of the park.[26] It won government backing in 2010, and the plans were upheld by the High Court in 2012 after a challenge by a local group, the Crystal Palace Community Association.[27][28]

    In January 2011 the owners of Crystal Palace F.C. announced plans to relocate the club back to the site of the NSC from their current Selhurst Park home, redeveloping it into a 25,000-seater, purpose-built football stadium.[29] However Tottenham Hotspur F.C. also released plans to redevelop the NSC into a 25,000-seater stadium, maintaining it as an athletics stadium, as part of their plans to redevelop the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.[30]

    In 2013, a plan to build a replica of the destroyed Crystal Palace was proposed by a Chinese developer.[31][32][33] Bromley Council however cancelled the exclusivity agreement with the developer in 2015.[34]
    It’s enormous over 200 acres, has a Sydenham address, is south of the South Circular Road and if looking at Vauxhall and the Imperial War Museum near the Thames it can be found by moving directly down.

    So what about it you constipated British politicians?)

    I also looked at the Barbican estate built on bombed areas.
    This article is on the difference between a social housing estate and a private one.
    on looking closely at the Barbican:

    It would be good if housing could be built within known and normal fire service capabilities, say no higher than 10 stories, with internal staircases and quality lifts. And with fire in mind, with double controls, sprinklers, and as well, fire retardant applications outside. Then once built the building should be managed to provide continual affordable housing based on historic cost plus maintenance valuations not some market frenzied shark attack valuations.

    That would keep them affordable for low-middle income people, and kept up to standard, handled by Council or a non-profit social housing entity. The Barbican redevelopment seems to be likely to be priced for the middle class.

  12. Cinny 13

    LMFAO !!!

    Outgoing Minister Nick Smith presented with ‘poo’ cupcakes at the Nelson Market on Saturday lololololz

    A+ for creative effort 😀

  13. Patricia 14

    Has anyone heard of new regulations allowing employers to be notified whenever there are any changes on their employees’ driving licences ? Even when they don’t have a work car or use their personal vehicle for work related purposes.

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  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
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