Open mike 19/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 19th, 2012 - 128 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

128 comments on “Open mike 19/07/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Agents of New Zealand’s secret police, the SIS, possibly acting on behalf of Fiji’s dictator, crack down on members of a pro democracy group sheltering in New Zealand, raiding several houses in the Auckland area. The SIS raided the home of democratically elected Fijian MP Rajesh Singh and took away personal property belonging to him and his daughter.

    Colonel Mara, who is wanted on charges that he was plotting to overthrow Bainimarama, fled Fiji in May last year and has refuge with the Tongan royal family, to whom he is related, in Nuku’alofa.

    Mara was in Auckland two weeks ago.

    Singh said a woman who he named said she was from the SIS and that she had a warrant to search his place.

    He asked for a copy of the warrant but was told it was classified and he could not have it.
    She was accompanied by three plain clothed police.

    They took away the computer and cell phone and gave him a blank receipt for it, which included the SIS’s 0800 number.

    “They said: ‘We heard Mara came here’ and I said: ‘Yes, Mara comes here every time, we have been friends for 40 years’.”

    They told him they had “credible evidence” that Mara and another New Zealander were planning to assassinate Bainimarama and his attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

    “I said that was news to me… I said it never happened, we never talked about those things.”

    Singh and others visited were members of a small Auckland based group, Coalition for Democracy in Fiji which is called for the restoration of democracy.

    stuff.co.nz

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/7303392/Raids-over-alleged-Fiji-assassination-plot

    Coming hard on the heels of the Dotcom fiasco. Where the police, (no doubt with secret police involvement), made raids on the say so of the FBI and the US government.

    Questions need to be asked;

    Does a legal representative of the Fijian people have less legal and diplomatic and privacy rights than his illegal usurpers, in that his home can be raided and his possessions and personal information can be taken without any publicly accountable justification or diplomatic protocol? What, if any, diplomatic safeties or controls are afforded for Mr Singh’s personal information obtained in this raid?

    Is the regime using their continuing links with our security forces to intimidate Rajesh Singh and other democracy activists sheltering in New Zealand?

    Will the Fijian military through their contined links with our security forces be able to obtain information from Mr Singh’s private files to intimidate democracy activists in Fiji?

    Are the police force and the SIS at the behest of the regime, helping the regime prepare a case for extradition against Colonel Mara, either here, or in Tonga?

    Will the information gathered here, be used in court for an extradition hearing against Colonel Mara?

    What New Zealand laws if any cover our secret police, or regular police to raid peoples homes and seize property on the say so of (legal, or illegal), foreign powers?

    To avoid abuse. Shouldn’t there be some specific legislation in place to cover such matters?

    Shouldn’t a court ordered warrant be required?

    Why was Rajesh Singh not allowed to see the warrant?

    Why was the warrant secret?

    Can this warrant be obtained through an OI request?

    If not why not?

    Were the plain clothes officers accompanying the unnamed SIS officer from the Secret Police, or the regular police?

    Did they have the power to arrest and detain as well as seize property?

    What links, secretive or otherwise, do our secret police, or our regular police have with the Fijian secret police, or indeed with the illegitimate Fijian regime?

    Do our secret police have operatives in Fiji?

    Do these agents regularly share information with the Fijian Secret Police?

    Are they in regular contact with the Fijian Secret Police?

    Is the sharing of information between our secret police force and the Fijian Secret Police mutual?

    What laws, if any, protect Fijian citizens in Fiji, from being betrayed to the dictatorship by our secret police?

    Were our secret police acting on any evidence at all, apart from the Fijian dictator’s claim of a plot?

    Who’s interests is the SIS trying to protect? Legal foreign residents of New Zealand, or an illegal foreign regime?

    What legal rights do our secret police have to act on behalf of a foreign dictator?

    Was this action approved by the Minister of the SIS?

    If not why not?

    Was this a legal action?

    Why has the Prime Minister refused to comment?

    Did he see the “credible evidence”?

    Did he think it was credible?

    If the evidence was indeed “credible evidence” why have no charges been laid?

    Did this “credible evidence” come via the regime?

    Or, was it collected independently?

    What weight should be given to evidence collected by illegal agents of an illegitimate regime?

    Should the police and the secret police be allowed to operate on such evidence without any public safeguard, or democratic oversight?

    Will private information and data taken from Rajesh Singh by the SIS in this raid be passed on to the Fijian authorities?

    Will any of the names and contact details of Rajesh Singh’s friends and associates remaining in Fiji and extracted from his phone and his daughters laptop computer be handed on to the regime?

    Will their safety and freedom and be put at risk?

    Will the Prime Minister give a catagorical assurance that the information collected by our secret police in this raid will not be passed on to the Fijian SIS, or the Fijian police, or other agents of the regime?

    This latest scandal comes not only on the heels of the Dotcom fiasco but the Terror Raids fiasco and the Ahmed Zowie fiasco.

    All three fiascos share the same MO. Police and secret police acting on secret information not made available to the public, and supplied by foreign powers.

    Like Ahmed Zowie Rajesh Singh is the legally elected cabinet minister, legally and peacefully and democratically elected yet he is being hounded by our police and secret police on behalf of the criminal regime that illegally imposes their authoritarian rule on his country.

    The rule of law seems to not matter as much to our police and secret police as the rule of authority.

    The conclusion is that the police and the secret police are free to make conservative foreign policy political decisions without any recourse to our democracy and which increasingly result in more and more bizarre and undemocratic outcomes.

    Isn’t it way over time that there should be some public accountability in these dealings with foreign powers and the secret evidence supplied by them, and to them?

    In my opinion if a foreign power wants our state forces to act on their behalf, then they should have to make open notifiable requests through proper legal, political and public, diplomatic channels. And then after proper deliberation our democratically accountable political leaders will properly decide if they will act on these requests or not.

    This is how a democracy should work.

    Instead we have extra-judicial actions by secret and regular police that always end up in embarrassing,though deadly serious, political embarrassments. (for a democracy, that is)

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      Colonel Mara is a person of legitimate interest to our security forces. They wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t keep an eye (or two or three) on him.

      But like Jenny says: where are they getting their information from?

      And why aren’t they on his side? Fiji’s dictator and his minions are not welcome here. Why are we harassing their victims?

      • Anne 1.1.1

        And why aren’t they on his side? Fiji’s dictator and his minions are not welcome here. Why are we harassing their victims?

        Precisely.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      He asked for a copy of the warrant but was told it was classified and he could not have it.

      A classified warrant? What on earth use is a classified warrant? That’s a legal absurdity. Questions must indeed be asked!

  2. = our so called leaders are just corrupt bastards. What else could it possibly be?
    Garbage in garbage out, humans are trash, that is why we get trash as leaders.

  3. L'Heure 3

    The Labour ship is now drifting into the fifth year of the Goff/Shearer doldrums.
    The same bit players are performing the trimmer, pitman and bowman roles. All of the ordinary passengers are a bit un-sure as who actually is the real helmsman. Some are wondering who the guy calling himself the helmsman really is.
    And outside of smug central Wellington, half a million non-voters are saying…..nothing…and are uninspired….and are deaf to their Labour voting parents….and their kids believe the Greens are the party of ideas…..and uncle Jack says Winston will sort it…and the Labour activists are saying they will keep their chin up…..and the Labour Caucus only wants to hear good news…and a few smooth ones are telling them what they want to hear…
    Quel dommage…

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1

      🙄

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Well, aye KTH. That emocion (or whatever you call them ) kind of encapsulates the general reaction of people observing the Labour Party rather well 🙂

        But never fear. The ‘blandists’ can always trundle out Robertson. Now theres a guy with vision in his head and fire in his belly! 🙄

    • Carol 3.2

      And who are you supporting Mr Now-is-the-Hour?

      • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1

        L’heur is a pretty transparent plant, as were the two other hit and run posters from the other day. I’m guessing that in the absence of Labour scoring any own goals lately, the C/T and friends meme is to accuse Labour of ‘doing nothing’ and hope the infantile left will run with it. Those polls must be really getting to them, eh?
         
        National’s decline and Labour’s rise under Shearer are the underlying trends at the moment. The media have reported the constitutional review in a mainly positive way, too, so that’s all to the good. And good on the Greens, too. Their polling momentum has stalled, but they have maintained a solid presence in double figures, something they’ve never been able to do previously. They’ve manged to achieve a level of polling credibility no other green party anywhere in the world has enjoyed.
         

        • BillODrees 3.2.1.1

          http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4802/

          We should all look to the positive in any situation.  Without hope among the activists, we will never get to the Enrolled Non Voters or the switching voters.  There is much good in the revised rules. They will re-energise those who want great new policies and strategies that will significantly improve the quality of life of all Kiwis. Not just the few.  

          TPR, The link to the Morgan polls (avove) shows National slightly ahead and Labour slightly behind where they were when we lost in 2008.   What Polls are you getting your positive outlook from? I’m hearing a mixture of cynical resignation and angry frustration from Labour people. 
          Keep up the positive messaging. 
           

          • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1.1.1

            Cheers, Bill. The difference between 2008 and now is that National is on the rack now and it was on the rise then. ACT and the MP were still credible parties back then and took a further few percentage points away from the left and to the right. So the right camp was massively ahead of the left on the night.
             
            However, a repetition of National’s 2008 result now, with ACT and the MP only providing 2 or 3 seats, instead of 8 or 9*, would almost certainly mean a Labour/Green government would be formed. The difficulty National face is that the votes that ACT and the MP got in 2008 dropped dramatically in 2011 and barely exist now. Worse, those votes have not gone to National in significant numbers, so there is no consequent rise in National polling.
             
            Frankly, National’s only hope of retaining power lies with Winston Peters going dog again and that’s a slim chance indeed.
             
            *getting a server error at the RM site, so relying on memory for how many ACT/MP seats there were in 2008.

            • BillODrees 3.2.1.1.1.1

              TRP, The calculations, doing the numbers, and all that, has to be done. All parties do it.   Positive thinking can’t hide that we have failed to get any advantage despited the Natz cocking up repeadly, and alienating many demographics.

              What makes us differant from the Natz is that we want government power in order to bring about change. The Natz want power in order to maintain the status quo. That is why they are called conservatives. 
              Why are 500,000 less well off people, ENVs,  not among the numbers we are counting?  

              The current Labour leadership is not promoting any real change. That makes them conservative in my eyes.  To give that 500,00 hope and motivation to vote we have to genuinely, convincingly and clearly show that Labour will make a change.  I’ve no confidence in the current Labour leadership’s understanding of what is needed to make a real change for Kiwis.  

              Cunliffe has shown that he can think change, sell change, implement change and make it successful.

              Labour membership bit their lip when the caucus narrowly selected and unknown untested Shearer.  He was certainly not the choice of those who saw him in the leadership debates.  
              We have watched second rate performances  from Shearer, Jacinda, Grant and now the latest from the hapless Parker.  If this continues Key will win a third term. 
              Like the majority of members, I want us to NOT repeat the mistake we made with Phil.  We didn’t “retire” Phil soon enough.  Never again.

              We are ready for Cunliffe. 
               

              • Colonial Viper

                What makes us differant from the Natz is that we want government power in order to bring about change. The Natz want power in order to maintain the status quo.

                And another home truth: when out of power (which looking back 50 years is more often than not), Labour has no levers to pull to effect change in society.

                When out of power, National still has every corporate lever, sponsor and primary producer at its disposal to influence society.

                When it is said that Labour is disconnected from the electorate – it is true in more ways than one.

  4. rosy 4

    While you were sleeping….
    Is this the Syrian ‘end game’ playing out now?

    Four senior members of the Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle have been killed in a bomb attack on the national security building in Damascus, in what amounts to a grave crisis for the ruling regime. The blast killed defence minister Dawoud Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat – Assad’s brother-in-law. Also killer were the interior minister Mohammad Shaar and the assistant vice president, Hassan Turkmani. The blast occurred during a meeting of cabinet ministers and security officials, according to state TV.

    • Two groups have claimed responsibility for the explosions. Liwa al-Islam, an Islamist rebel group whose name means “The Brigade of Islam”, said on its Facebook page that it “targeted the cell called the crisis control room in the capital of Damascus.” The Free Syrian Army also claimed responsibility for the attack, according to spokesman Qassim Saadedine. “This is the volcano we talked about, we have just started,” he said. Security sources have blamed the attack on a bodyguard for the regime’s inner circle, according to Reuters.

    • The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, says the situation in Syria is “spiralling out of control”. He called on the international community to “bring maximum pressure on Assad to do what’s right to step down and allow for that peaceful transition” The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov says a “decisive battle” is under way in Syria. A UN vote on the future of its monitoring force in Syria, due to take place today, has been cancelled.

    • The Syrian government has vowed to wipe out those responsible for the blast, amid fears of increased bombardment against opposition strongholds. In a statement issued by the military it blamed the attack on “hired hands”. It said it was “more determined than ever to confront all forms of terrorism and chop any hand that harms national security”

    Hope for the best, but expect the worst seems to be the talk. Full-blown civil war, how dreadfully awful.

    • muzza 4.1

      Yes its all going nicely to plan in the ME.

      And oh look, it must have been Iran!

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10820646

      “All the signs point to Iran,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, which claimed this was the latest in a string of attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other places”

      NZH gets its copy of the propaganda distribution bulletin from the Associated Press as usual, gotta make sure those kiwis down there know who the evil doers are!

      • Bill 4.1.1

        “For some time we have been following the intentions of terror organisations like Hezbollah, Hamas and Iranian and Jihad elements, to carry out terror throughout the world,” he said in a statement.

        Hmm. Except when the intention of those Jihad elements is the destabilisation and overthrow of the Syrian government. Oh, that’s right. The entire situation in Syria was and is a popular uprising of the people. No Jihad elements there. Nope. None.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Its an election year, and because the US economy is sliding into the toilet, a war will be required. Look out for the horrific false flag justification coming up on cue.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        NZH gets its copy of the propaganda distribution bulletin from the Associated Press as usual…

        Which probably gets it direct from Israeli special forces.
        Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land

      • Vicky32 4.1.3

        And oh look, it must have been Iran!

        When I heard the first item on the radio I had a WTF moment…

    • Bill 4.2

      “The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, says the situation in Syria is “spiralling out of control”.”

      Did they report that she was clapping her hands with glee and doing a little faux whirling dervish dance on the way to the champagne at the time?

    • rosy 4.3

      Jeez.. imagine if Switzerland had this lack of compassion at the beginning of WW11:

      Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak says Israel will stop Syrian refugees from entering the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights if they try to flee there. AP reports.

      Barak told reporters after touring the Golan on Thursday that Syrian refugees, who have already started fleeing to Turkey and Jordan, might also start fleeing toward the Israeli-held territory.

      He added: “If we have to stop waves of refugees we will stop them.”

    • Vicky32 4.4

      Syrian end game…

      I had the same thought when I heard the news this morning…

  5. Judge David Harvey is a tough, uncompromising, intelligent and dedicated Judge with considerable knowledge of technology and the internet. He is that much of a geek that he had a PC on his desk in 1985. Rumour has it he used to play Quake online.

    His retweeting of a Russell Brown tweet and his reference to it could at an extreme level be interpreted as the slightest suggestion of bias. And so he has recused himself. It is a real shame. If we wanted a Judge who actually understood the technology issues and was tough enough to make up his own mind up I cannot think of a better Judge than Judge David Harvey.

    • Dv 5.1

      Are judges able to ask the advice of other judges?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.2

      The way the FBI has behaved is enough to create bias in even the most impartial observer.

    • deuto 5.3

      +1 to you comments on Judge Harvey. I recall him commenting frequently on a couple of newsgroups way back before blogs came to the fore. I was really pleased that he was one of the main judges in the various Dotcom court actions because of his internet etc knowledge, and agree that it is a real shame that he has stepped down, but he really had no other choice.

      Don’t know much about Judge Dawson, other than that he was the first DC judge to release Dotcom and the others on bail. A quick check of Google did not provide a snapshot of his career; but reading a couple of articles revealed that he was in private practice in Palmerston North (commercial and conveyancy) before being appointed a District Court judge in 2003 in PN; did a two year stint in Vanuatu where he was seriously threatened after a hard hitting review of police actions relating to the death of a suspect; and more recently has been a North Shore DC judge.

      • Vicky32 5.3.1

        I recall him commenting frequently on a couple of newsgroups way back before blogs came to the fore

        I remember meeting him at Norcon in 1981, or another sf con in 1982… anyone who goes to sf cons is a good person by me! (He’s a Christian, btw… 🙂 )

  6. rosy 6

    hmmm the Minister of Tourism is not doing his job properly

    Air New Zealand’s departing chief executive Rob Fyfe and his outspoken chairman John Palmer have rung alarm bells about the country’s diminishing appeal as a destination for long-haul tourists. Appearing before MPs at Parliament, the pair called for urgent action by Government and the industry to promote New Zealand as an attractive destination..

    “Clearly we are losing position relative to other key markets long-haul.” The number of airlines servicing New Zealand remained healthy “but we actually need to attract customers to those airlines because airlines will disappear very quickly if their seats aren’t full”, he said. “That’s what we’re currently experiencing.”…

    Palmer said the industry had to accept it had done a poor job of promoting New Zealand and do something about it.

    “I think there’s a case for initiative taking place on an organisation-by-organisation basis with involvement both from the minister and Tourism NZ.”

    The Minister of Tourism reckons she’ll be right. Especially with a national convention centre and a new hobbit film.

    • Dv 6.1

      AirNZ has real skin in the game and has been acknowledged as a well run out fit (by the Min of Tourism).
      It seems to me airnz would have a very good handle on the situation and the PMs comments were glib.
      AirNZ are also running smaller planes between Japan and NZ because the traffic has dropped.

    • marsman 6.2

      Isn’t that the same Palmer who was shown on TV last night proclaiming that flogging off part of AirNZ would be good for the economy and that the 80% of the population against it were being emotional and didn’t understand and the Govt had done a poor job of selling the idea. Cut to Russel Norman who called him arrogant.

      • deuto 6.2.1

        He was also interviewed on Morning Report today where he claimed that it would be difficult to recruit a new CEO for Air NZ if it was 100% government owned.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2525530/soe-chair-says-total-public-ownership-deters-top-managers.asx

        The chairman for Air New Zealand, John Palmer, says the company would have found it more difficult to replace its incumbent chief executive, Rob Fyfe, were the airline totally owned by the Government. Mr Palmer also chairs the 100% state-owned Solid Energy. (4′16″)

        • KJT 6.2.1.1

          That is almost funny.

          Yeah. they may have to find somebody competent from within the organisation who can do a good job for $300k.

          They were Lucky with Fyfe, but research shows that the overpaid star managers that are parachuted in are almost always less effective, and much more expensive, than promoting someone, who knows the business, from within. Fyfe was an exception.

          You only have to look at the million dollar managers who alienated Telecoms customers and staff.

          http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/kia-ora-corporatism-and-neo-liberalism.html

          “””The corporations with the largest income gap between Directors/Managers and employees have proven to be the least functional.

          The star managers paid in millions have proven to be much less effective than, lesser paid, experienced promotions from within the organisation.
          Twenty year research into Management effectiveness study
          “companies that exclusively promote CEOs from within outperform companies that recruit CEOs from outside the company.”””

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      Appearing before MPs at Parliament, the pair called for urgent action by Government and the industry to promote New Zealand as an attractive destination.

      Difficult to do that when this government is trying hard to turn NZ into a lunar landscape for the benefit of the mining multi-nationals and the global economy is teetering on the edge of collapse.

      • Colonial Viper 6.3.1

        At least Air NZ is doing its bit for domestic tourism by making sure NZers are charged at maximum rates for leaving our shores.

  7. Carol 7

    RIP The Maori Party.

    Showed show much promise and high ideals once. Shame.

    • Anne 7.1

      How about a rendering of this song everytime Turia and Sharples appear in public.

    • Tiger Mountain 7.2

      The MP has at least done the country one great service, providing a real world example of the inbuilt flaws of identity politics in a parliamentary setting. The usual negative stats have headed North since Tari and Pita got aboard the tory bus.

      • marty mars 7.2.1

        I’m not sure about this being an example of identity politics flaws, it seems to me that their lowering of their standards around identity politics was the issue. When they sided with key instead of tangata whenua their fate was sealed. I certainly agree with the negative stats – that is a good point seldom mentioned.

  8. Carol 8

    So Turia was upset that Key had insulted the Waitangi Tribunal, and, this includes the Maori Council’s role in the Tribunal. Key continued to say he preferred to negotiate with directly with Iwi leaders. Turia & the Mp wanted an apology.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/maori/news/article.cfm?c_id=252&objectid=10820485&ref=rss

    The Government sees the way forward over water issues with Maori in negotiations with the Iwi Leaders’ Forum – however Key’s comments won’t have helped that relationship.

    Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau, who also sits on the forum, said it supported the council’s right to take the issue to the Waitangi Tribunal.

    However, he believed the ultimate solution to the issue would be a political rather than a legal one.

    But the government argues that negotiation can occur after the sale of Mighty River Power, while the Tribunal want it to be decided before the sale:

    Its third report is due in September, with advice on allocation of fresh water resources, but that leaves no time for the Government to address Maori concerns before shares in Mighty River Power are sold.

    “And that goes to the nub of the action before the Waitangi Tribunal,” Ryall acknowledges.

    “In terms of the claim that’s been made to the tribunal they’ve already got a clear view that they want to get the issues around water dealt with before the floats, and obviously we think there’s a separate process for that.”

    Ryall said the Government believed allocation issues, including how Maori interests fitted into those, could be dealt with after the sale.

    Now Turia and Sharples are claiming that they have a victory with Key saying he won’t stop Maori going to court over water rights.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/110965/maori-party,-pm-agree-on-further-talks-on-water

    But all they’ve got is a deal saying exactly what Key was saying a couple of days ago – that government will deal directly with Iwi (and Hapu) leaders:

    It says the two parties have agreed that when the Waitangi Tribunal report is issued that, as part of developing their respective responses, they will jointly discuss the matter.

    The statement says that for the Maori Party, the debate is not about ownership, but about protecting the rights and interests of hapu and iwi with respect to water.

    It says the Maori Party and the Government will continue to support a process of negotiation between hapu, iwi and the Government over water rights.

    And it says the Government has undertaken not to legislate over those rights and interests.

    Interviews with Hone Harawira and Shane Jones a little while ago on Morning Report: One of them said it’s about the government following a divide and conquer strategy….. and no apology for insulting the Tribunal and Maori Council, while the Mp are supporting Key’s marginalisation of both the Tribunal & Council.

  9. dd 9

    This website is entirely different depending on if Pete George is banned or not.

  10. Chris 10

    So Sharples was “pleased”with the outcome of their meeting with Twat Key.Oink oink!

  11. Campbell Larsen 11

    What a coincidence – the Herald has turned off comments on its Editorial, a bit sensitive to criticism it seems…

  12. urban rascal 12

    And cue end game, prod china and russia enough so they react next year over Iran. Make them villains, reboot the 1%’s military industrial profits. I hope people really are as awakened to this as they all claim to be.

    Media Lens is awesome for anyone who doesn’t get their emails and appreciates transparency on foreign affairs.

    http://www.medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=690:libyan-elections-burying-the-amnesty-report&catid=25:alerts-2012&Itemid=69

  13. higherstandard 13

    “How members discharge their duties is a matter for them as members of the House and any attempt to dictate the way that they carry out their responsibilities could be regarded, in my view, as fettering the privilege of the House to control its own operation.”

    Magnificent satire.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10820608

  14. Have YOU made the switch yet from Mercury Energy?

    (Mercury energy is 100% owned by Mighty River Power)

    OK FOLKS! TIME TO HELP PUSH ‘PEOPLE POWER’ TIME!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/7306585/Mighty-River-Power-seminar-disrupted-by-asset-sales-opponents?comment_msg=posted#post_comment

    MY COMMENT (yet to be published)

    Don’t be greedy and selfish NZ ‘mums and dads’ and ‘grandmas and granddads’!

    Think of your children and grandchildren and the children and grandchildren of those who are struggling now to pay power bills?

    Think of the vulnerable elderly – who can’t afford to have a heater on in winter.

    Do YOU want a profitable Mighty Power dividend on the backs of the vulnerable poor whose power prices are bound to increase?

    If so – what sort of New Zealander are YOU?

    If YOU are a decent, ethical, socially and fiscally responsible New Zealander – YOU will pledge NOT to invest in Mighty River Power, and to take action that cannot be ignored!

    IT’S PEOPLE POWER TIME!

    Time to SWITCH OFF / SWITCH FROM Mercury Energy – 100% by Mighty River Power! Time to use the market against the market.

    There is precedent for this.

    In 2008, (already privatised) Contact Energy raised their power prices 12% and doubled Directors fees. In 6 months Contact Energy lost 40,000 customers and their profits halved.

    Switch to Genesis or Meridian (NOT Contact Energy – because it’s already privatised).

    http://www.powerswitch.org.nz

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-privatisation’ /’Anti-corruption’ campaigner

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • fnjckg 14.1

      xcellent: u the bomb!

    • Chris 14.2

      I assume you know that they are planning to privatize Genesis and Meridian as well?

    • millsy 14.3

      Mind you, all the power companies heavily outsource their work anyway, and they all use the same contractors, who work with data from different retailers all the time.

      I should know, the company I work for reads the power meters for them. To the point where the meter readers have reads for MRP, GEN, Pulse, NOVA in their runs at times.

      Ever since I first started working for the company I work for, I have thought that it would make more sense to have the local network company to the meter reading, recon, disco, special and final (and there are also check and recheck reads as well), but no, the way work is allocated and contracted is a huge fucking mess, and that is one of the reasons why power prices are so high.

  15. fnjckg 15

    aha moment(time)(th-c not for every-body, everytime;never say ever) Say Now.

    realisation, was “using” “sphere”,had visualised sphere yet not completely helpful in behaviour, either.

    mastery ongoing, every day, weep alone(not lonely) for People; time of great sadness to see, and in my time, tears as typing.

    have lived among people all my life, never left country.
    Looked a-round entire country though ‘cept up north. (practice behaving way into typing-2 finger slow)
    only use machine as tool, including emotional tool (art).

    TRIAL

  16. fnjckg 16

    Ah, understanding.

    adoption-not necessarily helpful if early and no bond established

    temperament, sensitivity

    and content in adopting mother

    possibility of subsequent biological children and implications if added to content

    Authoritarian Parenting DEFINATELY not helpful; out of the mouth comes much to re-pair

    from the rod comes much harm and memory

    memory is difficult to master as it brings suffering

    TRIAL

    (ah, editing. much to learn)

  17. urban rascal 17

    What are these crazy dis-jointed stream of conscience posts all about? So hard to make sense of.

    [lprent: A good question. However they appear to be written by a human and being in OpenMike they are by definition on topic. But I’ll keep an eye on it in case we have someone trying to learn how to troll. ]

    • higherstandard 17.1

      I think it may be Trevor Mallard’s strategy document.

    • fnjckg 17.2

      streams of consciousness; thinking like a sphere, analagous to “blogosphere”
      lots of ideas, experiences and learnings are bought together. i am self-taught at “putting back” via a machine as opposed to “taking”, that is, exchanging money with a machine.

      Iteration helps me and it helps some learning
      conceptualise that the signals you send via machines do not go in a line, they go like in a ball of string (check out string theory)
      these signals may be forwarded on, or captured and filed, etc, building up a “profile”

      some of the people in the “ball of string” USE that profile for self-interest.
      when i read blogs regularly, i build up profile of contributors personality, their balance of emotional content and contribution.

      consider autism, experiencers of autism think and emote in an alternate way to people who may have been educated in a catholic school (as i live with a catholically raised flattie, i empathise with the challenges aroused by their indoctrination.

      i have “taken” much to re-place what was never developed; costs society dreadfully non-adaptive,
      non-functional parenting.
      have had to reparent self consequently with tax-payer dollars so i imagine AUTHORITARIAN
      parents reading this looking. this is not helpful, beginning requests and commands with Do, Dont, No, Not etc.
      was seeking and found blogworld and “played” but learning to master play.

      segmented posts as i got “shaped” away from stream of consciousnes to narrative
      oops,tea cold
      sooo, maybe-maybe not, when comment made, goes to universe, which is great, but caution is wise as a box comes up on my desktop requesting Mic and Camera; i not mind, faced death many times voluntarily so ready for right meaning, know what i mean?

    • fnjckg 17.3

      dear oh dear, what has world come to. was going to share Left wing thinking built up upon experiential, emotional, academic and vocational learning for the “sphere” from a working class background but understanding not clear so will take up art i thought up when blocked yesterday.
      (dreadful categorisation “troll”) generations that evolved from X not helpful in the agregate employing such heuristcs.
      all the best.

      • Rosie 17.3.1

        Hi fnjckg. Sorry your tea went cold. I understand your words but have to admit your format threw me a bit. As it happened I was listening to some NZ HipHop that was on Radio Active at the time of reading your post and that beat combined with your words really gelled. Practice in the front of the mirror with some beats then take it to the streets.

        • McFlock 17.3.1.1

          Interesting about the beat thing.
                   
          I must confess I need to be in the right zone for poetry – most of the day I’m dealing with computer programmes and empirical data, so it’s probably safe to say I’m hardly every in the more abstract zone these days.
               
          My brain probably threw an ‘invalidliteral’ exception that failed to – er – parse muster.
                   
          Each to their own, though – in addition to people willing to call a spade a spade the world needs people prepared to call it “yon metal crescent that pierceth our mother Earth”.

          • Rosie 17.3.1.1.1

            Chuckling here McFlock. Of course your brain was busy in workaday technical mode and such a flourish of words would be baffling, as it was to me (not that I was working mind you). But like you say each to their own. All power to F + all the other letters in his/her name for their expressive stance and socio-political interpretation. Kia Kaha.

            • fnjckg 17.3.1.1.1.1

              thank you; i grew up here in this beautiful environment.felt very safe here when international winds
              stormy through vietnam on; became hardened.

              i have been a slave to excess; emancipation takes time for all PEOPLE

              neither troll or shrill; playing as in reparenting through the teachings of UT.DTB.J9 and the clearly insightful people who often contribute.(jackal u rascal)
              not an idealogue; a sensitive human being initially squeezed in a box
              not “guilt” by offences; yet to learn

              have concept of blogosphere like ball of string, not line like e-mail chain.
              master ball of string

              challenge for machine is files; not files in human being:Flow

      • urban rascal 17.3.2

        “troll” in the context you mention describes persons or entities posting on the internet to provoke reactions while having no real intention in participating in the debate. Often posting outlandish responses to generate anger fueled responses to remove rational thought from peoples arguments.

        “Shill” is more inline with what you on initial appearance seemed to act like. A poster who in league with other groups outside of forums posts extreme posts that are used to ferment public opinion against the views of that forum and degrade the integrity of the discussions on the site.

        You are however it seems, neither of these. I speak only from a vantage of not understanding your messages.

        • Uturn 17.3.2.1

          Neither troll nor shill,
          VERSIFORM
          I’ve counted 4, possibly five angles so far.

          From here it looks like a recursion theory that reflects the same theme, but in different arrangements; each with different perspective on the same view. To do that you have to know the original material inside out, topside upside down, right and left, light and dark. Very hard to do if it doesn’t come naturally. Tried something similar but simpler once, and failed.

          While the material seems personal, inside each standard theme, there are references to historical and current practical knowledge to unlock the arrangement of the next image. There’s more to it than that, of course. That’s only the stuff I’ve noticed. Remember, when you’re typing with two fingers, nothing happens by chance.

          So either this person (soul, formally known as,) possesses an ability to think in rare ways or they are being themselves in a way rarely seen. Will be interesting to see where it goes, how fast it travels (but don’t take that as an encouragement to show us how fast it can travel) and what form the information settles on.

          Take care JC/J.E./SH: A death is still a death.

          Travel too fast with rationality and push the darkness outwards
          and the piece missed or denied, you’ll see emphasised.
          Over-reach and drag the darkness inside,
          and you’ll see analogous reflection.
          Illumination, from all angles.
          Something worth dying for?

      • freedom 17.3.3

        Hi fnjckg never stop creating,
        but sometimes creativity paused
        in society requires some formality simplify intentions
        how vast are transcription vaults
        does it foment comprehension art dialogues people differences are all necessary voices
        effort perseverance will applaud the new cast unless masks silence the words
        the labels are on everyone the necessary devices to protect the stability

        jug on

    • gareth 17.4

      I’m sticking with my ‘Phill U with a worn out full stop button on his keyboard’ theory

      • fnjckg 17.4.1

        Phill U? Gareth Morgan?

        (i support minimum universal income; not a zero sum)
        must be acknowledged that all PEOPLE are at different places and stops on way.
        but learning helps people on way

        i brushed up on economic and political “theory” foundations and origins before commencing comments

        only motivation is to be helpful.this only blog i contribute to (cept slight turn for cam on comments)
        (Master of machine/sl to ghost)
        ( i began exhorting ghosts, led to more fear at times)
        as indicated, community via blog meets many human Be-ing needs, once those needs understood and moderation applied.(not censorship) ,polemic return to a-round the middle.
        (puppet easy to master for darkness, but darkness is not light; without light, cannot see way)
        i see cam’s irony with an image of humungus behind mask; need to master stories.

        self-knowledge leads to greater mastery by PEOPLE of being

        moralisation not helpful
        push/push back: lead follow

  18. Te Reo Putake 18

    How’s that Brighter Future looking? Not so flash, as it happens; another couple of hundred direct and indirect jobs on the line in Hamilton.

    • freedom 18.1

      and this confusing little situation in the incremental destruction of F&P NZ,
      who do we believe???

      “Members of the Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union and FIRST Union were told at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon that one of Fisher & Paykel’s fridge production lines is being discontinued in Auckland and sent to the company’s Thailand factory.”
      http://www.epmu.org.nz/news/show/173403

      “Mr Broadhurst said “no, there’s not been a production line shut down, there’s been no changes to our staff in the last six weeks, so all of this and particularly the comments around Thailand are just a work in progress.”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10820724

      • Te Reo Putake 18.1.1

        Well, one of them sounds like the truth and the other sounds like typical employer weasel words.
         
        I was appalled by what F&P appear to be doing in Thailand. These comments from the First Union’s Robert Reid in the EPMU press release shows F&P’s strategy of de-unionisation and wage minimisation for what it is:
         
        Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union, said that workers were disappointed that yet another manufacturing line is closing and going overseas, and it reflected a complete lack of strategy from the government on jobs.
        He said that FIRST Union has been assisting the workers at the company’s factory in Rayong, Thailand to form a union, and he had visited the workers three times in recent years, where low wages was a significant problem for them.
        “We are doubly disappointed that not only is Fisher & Paykel exiting from good jobs that are paid well above the minimum wage in New Zealand, but when it goes to Thailand, it is refusing to collectively bargain for any wage rate other than the minimum wage in that region of the country.”
        “Thailand is already a low wage country, and Fisher & Paykel needs to pull back from its stubborn approach to wage negotiations with the Thai workers, and start paying workers properly when it does shift production overseas,” Robert Reid said.
         

        • Tiger Mountain 18.1.1.1

          “when good companies go bad” F&P have not been good for a very long time, sacking hundreds in Dunedin and scuttling off to Exploitation Alley (Maquiladoras) in Mexico as well as Thailand. Good on FIRST for paying attention and trying to do something in an internationalist vein.

          And what about that other warm fuzzy kiwi corporate Fonterra? they have a much touted International Agreement signed by the NZ Dairy Workers Union, IUF and Fonterra. But in reality in places like Sri Lanka, China and even Nestle they give the workers the one fingered salute. Sporadic success in Latin America though where there is a reasonable level of organisation such as ATILRA in Argentina.

  19. yeshe 19

    we have a shameful and scummy guvmint … how low will they go ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10820686

    CUT IN PAYMENTS TO LAWYER ‘INSTITUTIONAL RACISM’

    Meanwhile Maori Council has also said it intends to complain to the Human Rights Commission after legal aid payments for its lawyer at the hearing were cut at the last minute, jeopardising its ability to continue with the claim.

    Maori Council chair Maanu Paul said the Legal Services Agency decided yesterday it would fund Mr Geiringer at a much lower rate than it had initially agreed to, which he said was institutional racism.

    “The Maori Council has a statutory duty to protect all Maori, but if the Crown through the mystery of justice, breaks an agreement and that forces our barrister to say he has to consider whether he can continue with the claim, it prejudices the whole system of justice for Maori.”

    He said Mr Geiringer was now considering whether he could carry on with the case.

    Mr Geiringer told the Waitangi Tribunal this morning he had considered not appearing for his closing submissions today because Legal Services told him yesterday it was halving the hourly rate it had originally agreed to fund him at.

    It was also drastically cutting the number of hours he would be paid for.

    He said the changes were in breach of an earlier undertaking by Legal Services and meant he would only be paid for the hours he spent before the Tribunal and did not take into account any preparatory work. He said that meant he had effectively been working for less than the minimum wage over the past week of the hearing.

    He said the changes meant his costs for working on the case over the past four months would not be covered, threatening the viability of his legal practice.

    He said the original undertaking by Legal Services would have ensured his costs were covered and paid him a modest amount on top of that.

    Lawyer Donna Hall said that it meant the Maori Council was not on an even playing field with the Crown’s army of well-paid solicitors at the hearing.

    “This does go to equity between the parties to be able to present their cases.”

    Tribunal chief judge Wilson Isaacs said he had some sympathy for Geiringer’s plight, but it was not the job of the Tribunal to get involved in the matter.

    By Claire Trevett | Email Claire

    • urban rascal 19.1

      That is blatantly underhanded. No wonder Key said he wasn’t worried about it going before the courts. He can just run their lawyers practices into the ground.

    • OneTrack 19.2

      What is the actual rate he is now getting?

      • Carol 19.2.1

        It can’t be that much because, not being paid for preparation time means he’s effectively being paid less than the minimum wage – as in the article quoted above.

  20. Jackal 20

    Keys assurance to the Maori party means nothing

    Keys assurance to the Maori party that National will not legislate away any rights to water is patently false and has been used to score a cheap hit on the previous Labour government.

    • freedom 20.1

      But John Key always keeps his word, he never lies or reneges on a deal or- oh hang on
      that’s Beaurepairs i’m thinking of.

  21. bad12 21

    NZfirst Winston Peters in select committee hearings yesterday gave Maori Party vice-Prez Ken Mair a bit of a wind-up over the Maori Party support for ‘saving their people’ from the evils of smoking by rack raising the price of a packet of filtered ciggies to $20 and beyond,

    Besides Whanau Ora, a grand slush fund, ooops sorry a policy by the Maori Party to help Maori families in need, the anti-smoking ‘saving our people’ policy of attempting and failing to deter smokers form their addiction with tax increases seems to be just about ALL that Maori will get from the Maori Party’s coalition with the National Government,

    The 2 are of course intrinsically related, Whanau Ora and ‘saving our people’ by rack raising tobacco taxes, as one policy is in fact paying for another,

    In effect Maori, along with everyone else aint giving up the fags in droves, such is the nature of addiction, SO, Turia and the Maori Party are in effect taking the food off of ‘their peoples’ tables,(and bad diet will kill them all a damn sight faster than tobacco will), and then giving part of it back if they kiss the arse of the Whanau Ora slushy hard enough,

    Winston Peters should open up an office in the middle of Whanga’z and use that to inform ‘Tariana’s people’ exactly who, how, and, why the price of the cigarettes they are addicted to has gone up so much that its now taking the food off of their tables…

    • bad12 21.1

      PS, just for the Professor of something or other that was trotted into the Health Select Committee at the Parliament yesterday to keep the ‘faithful’ firmly on message about the ‘evils of tobacco’,

      Lumping ‘Heart Disease’ into the deaths ’caused’ by tobacco use is hardly proven science, unless of course science is now ‘he smoked and died of heart disease therefor smoking killed him,

      Japanese % of population who smoke = 24%
      Japanese deaths from heart disease per 100,000 = 30

      New Zealand % of population who smoke = 19.9%
      New Zealand deaths from heart disease per 100,000 = 127.3

      Spot the difference can you Prof ???…

      • urban rascal 21.1.1

        As someone that until a month ago smoked 10 a day, I hope that the health cost of smoking is overblown. But i’ve been to my dentist and I know the damage that it did to my gums in the 5 years I smoked so can’t be good. But i’d love a reason to start again, trust me.

        • bad12 21.1.1.1

          Aha, and the reason you would love to have a reason to start smoking again is called addiction, i know people that gave up smoking 20 years ago,

          They cannot stand to be anywhere near people smoking, coz it makes them want to light up, i have been smoking the stuff, mainly unfiltered, for 43 years, and, there’s nothing wrong with my gums,

          I don’t doubt that there are adverse health effects as a result of tobacco use, BUT, the more i dig, the more i find that there are LARGE ANOMALIES in the supposed facts we are fed by the anti-smoking lobby, health professionals, and, politicians like Tariana Turia,

          What i don’t doubt tho is the addictive nature of nicotine, i and the Treasury who advised the Government that rack raising the tobacco excise tax was an extremely effective means of raising revenue as very few of the users could quit the addiction knows this also,

          If Turia and the Maori Party were in the least bit interested in ‘saving their people’ from the evils of such tobacco use they could and should have treated the product just as they have treated ‘party pills’ and subjected it to banning until proven safe,

          Doing so while allowing the present cohort of addicted users access to the product via a prescription only regime while refusing to register anyone under the age of 18 so as to be able to access such a program is in fact the only way that New Zealand will ever reach the declared Nirvana of being ‘smoke-free’,

          But then, like i say, it’s nothing about smoke-free NZ, it’s about revenue gathering and providing for particular politicians slush funds…

          • urban rascal 21.1.1.1.1

            Yep it’s not fair that they are pin-pointed this over other things.
            My grandfathers both died of heart attacks and stroke while living more active jobs than my own. I wouldn’t want to gamble myself on the anomalies, but I have always expressed doubt towards the stats.

            I remember a few years ago some friends laughed me out after I found a medical report that concluded that smoking cannabis likely removed many toxins from tobacco from the lungs as the cannabis “tar” is absorbed by lung tissue, transferring tobacco tar where it can be broken down. It appeared in the mainstream newswire earlier this year from Harvard. Was great to finally be able to laugh them out. So I expect that a lot of the stats are misleading.

            Just like HIV stats are highly debatable.

      • McFlock 21.1.2

        Um – bullshit.
                 
        You might also want to control for diet and exercise factors rather than just looking at the smoking rate, not to mention tobacco consumption per smoker.
            
        Yes, imo the anti-smoking brigade are instinctively going to an authoritarian kneejerk reaction that is disproportionate to the problem, but don’t be in denial about the real risks of smoking. Don’t become as bad as ASH with their data, such as issuing press releases about ‘research shows draconian measure X will help smokers quit’ when it turns out that the ‘research’ consisted of interviews with a dozen patsy smokers who already want to quit and are probably prepared to blame anything except themselves. 

        • bad12 21.1.2.1

          Not sure who you is calling BS on McFlock, if it is i you will have to be a bit more specific…

          • McFlock 21.1.2.1.1

            Your japan:nz comparison leaves out massive confounding factors such as diet and exercise
                 
            The trouble is that ASH fundies are perfectly happy to use bunk science themselves, but will call others on the drawbacks of simple comparisons like your one above. 
                 
             

            • bad12 21.1.2.1.1.1

              Confounding or compounding???as far as factors go that is???

              How else can i view such stats??? whats being broadcast by the media via the people who should know is the simplistic ‘he smoked and died of heart disease therefore smoking killed him’,

              The discussion has been subtly turning from ‘smoking could contribute to heart disease’ to ‘smoking causes heart disease’

              The figures i provide above, the ‘Japanese comparison’ say only one thing to me, it’s bullshit, the Japanese have higher rates of smoking than we do but barely a quarter of the rrate of heart disease that we do, so at best the link between smoking/heart disease is tenuous,

              But, makes damn fine press when you can lump those figures into the half of smokers are killed by the product,

              Now that’s the real bullshit…

              • McFlock

                Look, if someone dies of heart disease many people who know them say “ooo it were probly their smoking that did it”.
                   
                But that’s not how population statistics work.

                Smoking is not the only factor that affects heart disease – lifestyle and probably genetic factors, as well as relative health systems, also affect it. They will also affect (“confound“) the relative HD rates between nations. And for rough back-of-the-envelope statistical purposes the smoking rates in Japan and NZ are the same. 
                         
                Basically, about 60 or 70 years of solid research has gone into the effects of smoking. And is still going on. Smoking does cause heart disease. 
                      

                • bad12

                  And what the Japanese statistics actually say, besides the fact that 4% more of them smoke than us is that per 100,000 their rate of heart disease deaths is way out of proportion to what it should be when compared to ours IF smoking tobacco products was a MAJOR cause of heart disease,

                  You may choose to conveniently write off the % difference in the actual smoking rates,(such a really really scientific way you do so too), but the actual difference in the rate of death from heart disease is too far out of the park to dismiss as some small statistical anomaly,

                  When as a % of population the number of Japanese who smoke is 4% above that of the New Zealand population IF the use of tobacco products was to be a MAJOR CAUSE of heart disease such a statistical anomaly for heart disease deaths among users, Japan 30 per 100,000, New Zealand 127.3 per 100,000, should not exist and the fact that it does suggests that we are as easily fooled by BULLSHIT from the men in white coats as what we are by the suits of the corporate and political world…

                  • bad12

                    PS,what the figures suggest re: the death rate from heart disease is that as our rates of smoking are reasonably close that the numbers of heart disease deaths are weighted far far higher on the basis of diet and lifestyle then any amount of smoking in the two country’s further tending to suggest that smoking has very little connection at all…

              • mike e

                Sad12 even with half the death rate thats still makes it the most dangerous drug by ten times any other drug.
                So sad one start eating sushi get charcoal filters and safer Japanese cigarettes.
                It still makes cigarette smoking a dumb and dangerous thing to do.
                What your actually saying is that the rest of the world suck twice as much.

                • McFlock

                  *any* other drug? I’d love to see some stats on that…

                  • mike e

                    McF alcohol kills nearly 600 a year although new research shows that could be much higher and is understood thats another reason deaths from smoking in Japan are lower because Japanese men consume much lower quantities of alcohol.

                • Vicky32

                  It still makes cigarette smoking a dumb and dangerous thing to do.

                  Vi prego per l’ennessima volta..
                  I mean, I beg you for the millionth time, as this is not America, could people here please stop using the word ‘dumb’ to mean stupid! To me, just doing that is a sign of stupidity in itself. This usage of ‘dumb’ is an insult to people with disabilities, and I heard something on Radio NZ that told me that NZ began its gallop towards being culturally American in the 1950s. An  old man being interviewed by Kathryn Ryan at the beginning of the year spoke about how his deaf mother was surrounded by teenage boys chanting ‘dummy, dummy’ at her, whenever she left the house. Back then, I give the barstewards the benefit of the doubt, they have have simply been attacking her for being mute. However I doubt it – it’s likely that they were stupid enough to assume that a deaf woman was intellectually disabled.
                  Imagine how furious I get every time I hear a teenage woman on TV exhorting me to ‘sort out my dumb debt’.

              • higherstandard

                Smoking is a leading cause of mortality in japan

                http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/ed20120129a2.html#.UAepde13EQI

        • Olwyn 21.1.2.2

          The question that interests me is this one: What puts the wind into the anti-smoking lobby’s sails? Do not say health, though that will be true for many of its supporters. However, concern for other people’s health does not explain the force with which the message is driven home. And people in the past did not think that smoking was good for your health either; they cheerfully referred to their fags as coffin nails as they puffed away. But decent housing, adequate food, job security and affordable dentistry also play a very big part in health, but are never spoken of with the same urgency. How about “adequate, affordable housing for everyone by 2025?” or “a living wage for all within 15 years?” Not going to happen is it? The tobacco war seems to have arisen in the US, and I suspect the big players are big tobacco versus big insurance. There is a huge catchment of people alive now who have smoked at some time in their lives, and the insurance industry would be all too pleased to find reasons for not honouring agreements with them.

          • McFlock 21.1.2.2.1

            aye, but insurance companies just raise the premiums on smokers.
                 
            My personal theory is that the result is a combination of ex-smokers being the most zealous inquisitors coupled with the tobacco industry’s complete mishandling of the issue. Lying about the health effects while working on ways to make it as addictive as possible was old school capitalism, but they didn’t realise that the new model was that you had to pretend to give a damn. 
                         
            What they should have done was go through several iterations of ingredient labelling and advisories on safe levels of consumption while funding real research into health effects (not the laughable snow-jobs that were published) and professing concern all the way. That way they could have steered the debate without the multi-billion dollar backlash and extermination craze.

            • rosy 21.1.2.2.1.1

              My personal theory is that the result is a combination of ex-smokers being the most zealous inquisitors coupled with the tobacco industry’s complete mishandling of the issue

              Add to that the marketing targeting people some deem should be protected – the young. That makes me angry every time I think about it. Get them while they’re young and they’re customers for life. There’s lots of marketing that goes on that some people are barely aware of – especially through films, music and events. Booze companies have noted and copied.

        • Vicky32 21.1.2.3

          and are probably prepared to blame anything except themselves.

          You don’t get the psychology of it, I’m afraid! It’s all about getting us to blame ourselves, trust me on this. I have two sons (one a cardiac nurse) who are both obsessed about smoking and denigrating smokers, and they, along with every health professional I’ve come across (many more this year than any other!) are heavily into inducing guilt.
          It works. Smokers will all put up with all sorts of ill-treatment and abuse because they feel guilty. I know I do!
           

          • McFlock 21.1.2.3.1

            I’m talking about the ones who tell ASH surveys that if they so much as see anyone think about having a cigarette then they are overwhelmed by an uncontrollable urge to smoke.
                     
            Not the ones who are so used to being ostracised and bullied that they think they deserve it. 

            • Vicky32 21.1.2.3.1.1

              Not the ones who are so used to being ostracised and bullied that they think they deserve it.

              As yes, I see.
              As an example of bullying, there’s my son who works on a cardiac ward at Welly hospital and who will screech and eff and blind about patients who go out (IV drip and all) to smoke in the wind and rain – if he had his way, they’d be cast out and not allowed back.
              First, whose fault is it that they’re standing in the wind and the rain? Not theirs… 🙂
              Second, if I was facing an angiogram, I’d smoke too! Seriously, I’d sooner die than have an angio, (yes, that’s just me, other people can handle the prospect) but as I won’t touch alcohol (which bizarrely, my son and his colleagues would approve of!) I gotta cope somehow.

              • McFlock

                Next time he mentions it, ask whether addiction is a genuine illness. Then point out that refusing access to smokers (i.e. the only place they can receive treatment is a place where their addiction is not permitted and therefore they cannot go for any useful length of time) is discrimination on the basis of disability.
                       
                It never seems to compute. 

      • Vicky32 21.1.3

        Japanese % of population who smoke = 24%
        Japanese deaths from heart disease per 100,000 = 30
        New Zealand % of population who smoke = 19.9%
        New Zealand deaths from heart disease per 100,000 = 127.3

        Very interesting!

  22. Carol 22

    There was an interest question and secondaries from Annette King on the way the government has spread misinformation about the costs and activities of local government.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/d/7/9/50HansQ_20120719_00000009-9-Local-Authorities-Financial-Statistics.htm

    Hon Annette King: Why did not the Minister of Local Government or the Prime Minister inform the public, local government, and the media that the data being used by the Government to justify local government reform was inaccurate, but instead chose to keep quiet and let the media report the misinformation, to the detriment of local government?

    Hon DAVID CARTER: The reason driving the Better Local Government reforms is fundamentally that the rate of council increases over the last decade has been more than twice the rate of rate increases over the previous decade. That is why this Government believes Better Local Government reform is necessary.

    Hon Annette King: Can he confirm that his department, in a recent briefing to him and in two recent inquiries, found no evidence that councils had broadened their functions since 2002, and has he been informed by Local Government New Zealand as to what the cost of forcing councils to amend their long-term plans would be?

    Hon DAVID CARTER: To the first question, yes; to the second question, no.

    Hon Annette King: I have a number of documents I wish to table. The first one is a letter to me from David Carter, dated 16 July, telling me that the incorrect figures will not be replaced, because the correct figures would detract from the focus of the reform.

    All parties tend to use stats for their own ends, but this NAct government has elevated it to a prime MO.

  23. There is something funny (not ha ha) about this supposed statement from key to the Maori Party last night.

    Mrs Turia was asked whether that meant that should a court decision subsequent to the tribunal find that Maori did have proprietary type right over water, the Government would not legislate against that.

    She said: “That was what they told us tonight”.

    ‘They’ – not nice Mr Key, or The Prime Minister, or Johnny – no it is the ‘they’. I wonder who ‘they’ are. The use of ‘they’ implies wriggle room to me but who will do the wriggling, I’m not too sure. To date I have not heard key say it or agree with Tariana’s statement. Has anyone?

    http://mars2earth.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/sullied-waters.html

    edit- just heard on the radio key deliberately not say it when directly asked

    • Carol 23.1

      Wriggle room? You mean like here in Question time today?
      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/b/a/b/50HansQ_20120719_00000001-1-Water-Rights-Prime-Minister-s-Statements.htm

      Grant Robertson: Can he confirm the joint announcement he made last night with the Māori Party leadership that no matter what the outcome of the tribunal and subsequent court action, he will not legislate, even if that outcome was that Māori had a proprietary-type right over water?

      Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Prime Minister stands by the statements made in the statement that was released.

      nice catch marsman!

    • mike e 23.2

      mm he was mumbling( lying)

    • bad12 23.3

      I would imagine that the next stop for the Maori Council will be the High Court and i can well imagine that on the back of what is likely to be a highly scathing report of various Governments action/inaction since 1840 along with various Courts having already expressed their view that Maori do own various specific Lakes,Rivers and Streams, the High Court are highly likely to grant an injunction stopping the sale of Mighty River Power until such time as a negotiated settlement of ALL the claims to both the water and the bed of the Waikato River has been reached,

      For Slippery the Prime Minister there’s political capital to be harvested from dragging this out until 2014 as an election issue, the Maori party as well will be watching it’s polling to see if it can get any traction whatsoever for it’s polling which has Flavell being berated by his own electorate about being played like a fool by Turia,(and in particular Her trip to the Waitangi Tribunal hearings),

      The ‘deal’ here as i see it is that if the ‘issue’ of who owns the lakes,rivers, and, streams is still alive as we close in on the 2014 election, National lead by Slippery will go all out with the racism of a Brash-like Iwi/Kiwi campaign and the Maori Party at an opportune time in 2014 will with a nod and a wink from Slippery ‘walk’ from the coalition in an attempt to ressurect a Maori Party that is to all extents and purposes now a foot-note in Maori political history….

      • Ed 23.3.1

        I think you are confusing “ownership” with “rights” and “control”. That may suit some political agendas, but may not be helpful to anyone (except, as you point out, to those seeking to mislead).

        Issues that are important to all New Zealanders involve ensuring that some users are not able to withhold water from those downstream beyond agreed levels (particularly relevant for those operating a hydro- dam, or that river and lake levels are controlled to avoid deterioration of banks (applies to most rivers and lakes), and that pollution does not detract from waterways by killing fish, endangering heath, reducing natural enjoyment and tourism potential etc.

        If a sale is deemed to lock in current levels of “water rights” by current users, that may not be sufficient protection for the future.

        The issue of who is able to use and control water (in many and various ways) is indeed alive, but that is not necessarily ownership. I do not own other vehicles on the road, but I am glad they are constrained by traffic rules, Warrant and registration requirements etc. Why perpetuate use of a term that through abuse by the right has become ambiguous, emotional, and misleading in most contexts?

        • bad12 23.3.1.1

          Um no,not confusing ‘ownership’ vis a vis Maori ‘rights’ to Lakes, Rivers, and, Streams, i am simply being literal in light of article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi, (English version),and, at least 3 Native Land Court rulings from 1883 onward where 3 different Hapu have taken 3 different cases to that Court over Lakes, Rivers,and, Streams, and, in Paki V Crown in the Court of Appeal in more recent times the Court held the view that the Poukani Block owners ‘owned’ the land upon which sit 3 of the dams that generate power for Mighty River Power and under the Lakes that these dams created,

          Yes across the country there are ‘water rights’ issued by Regional Councils which in light of Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi, (English version), and, subsequent Court decisions i see as of dubious legality and as such ‘consents’ of use have a finite term would not see them as being able to be altered on the basis of the Crowns inability to provide ‘water rights’ through proxy organizations, (Regional Councils),because i do not believe that the Crown ‘legitimately’ owned or had the legal right to dispense consents of use for water in the Rivers, Lakes, and, Streams,BUT, for Maori to simply cancel such water use consents would in itself be a breach of the Treaty as the issue befor the Tribunal cannot disenfranchise private owners or in this case ‘users’,

          Having said that though, there is nothing to stop ‘water rights’ in the future being a matter for Maori to decide, which of course would be one of the concerns in a negotiation with the Crown should or when such takes place,

          This is my view of the issue, while some Maori do see my point of arguing such an issue from the Pakeha perspective of ‘ownership’ it is not necessarily a view held by either the Maori Council at the current Waitangi Tribunal hearing or the Iwi Leaders Group who for the past 4 years have been in largely secret discussions with the Prime Minister over the issue of ‘water rights’ or ‘ownership’…

        • bad12 23.3.1.2

          As a PS:,this is from the closing address Maori Council Lawyer Felix Geringer gave to the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of the New Zealand Maori Council,

          ”Hapu had in 1840 a relationship with water for which the closest cultural equivalent with modern English concepts is one of ownership,of full blown property rights”, unquote.

          And that as Mr Geringer so succinctly puts it is exactly what i am saying…

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  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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